Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy Christmas, Everybody!


Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Stamping and Coloring

A while back I was making swatches for some watercolors Valerie bought me, and I used a piece of watercolor paper to clean off my brush in between colors. When I was done, I looked over at the paper and thought, wow, that would make great backgrounds for a set of ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).

I stamped windmills on two of them. The other one was done with Distress Inks.

For this one I did the puppin in the pocket separately and popped it up with pop dots. I made the puppy to look like an on-line friend's dog and sent it on its way. I like how differently it looks just by cutting the background with the brush strokes going vertically.

Valerie keeps spoiling me with new dies she doesn't want to wrap for Christmas! Aren't these flowers so pretty?! I cut them with handmade paper I've held on for far too long. It even has metallic highlights.

Dawn bought me this sweet stamp I've wanting for a long time. Isn't she fabulous?! I colored her with Faber-Castell markers and then went over each color with colored pencils to kind of fill in the strokes. I need to practice coloring with my markers more. Actually, I need to practice more of everything.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Little Watercoloring

It's December already!

Shortly after watching a couple of watercoloring videos on YouTube by The Fugal Crafter, Valerie surprised me with this adorable puppy stamp by Stampendous. It was after Midnight and I couldn't sleep, so I sat took out my Watercolor Confections by Prima and went to work.

The next day I made it into a card for my sister-in-law, who's been in the hospital for over a week now. It's pretty serious, so I didn't want to the sentiment to be the run of the mill get well thing. I was happy to rediscover this stamp for her.

I loved watercoloring this little guy so much, I stamped a few more with the intention of making more cards.

I roughed up the edges of the watercolor paper and popped it up with pop dots, easy-peasy. As you can see, it's a good-sized rubber stamp and takes up most of the  of the 6" x 4-3/4" card front. I like that because it doesn't need anything in the background except a piece of pretty paper. It's a great stand-alone image I feel I can make more than one of without taking hours to do it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Video of me kneading my refrigerator roll dough

I can’t believe I forgot to make my refrigerator roll dough!

I try to keep the clover leaf roll tradition alive that my father began close to 70 years ago. I found that this Betty Crocker’s recipe from my favorite cookbook, a wedding gift from over 38 years ago, tastes as close to his as I’ll ever get.

The thing is, this recipe has to rise in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, but the best part is that it will keep up to 5 days. I usually make it a couple of days ahead of time, but I totally spaced this year. Looks like it’ll be late tonight or tomorrow before we get to taste them. So worth the wait.

The cutting board I'm kneading the bread on is actually a sort of island on wheels. My sister-in-law gave it to us, and we've had it for probably 20 years. Someone in her family made it, possibly her father, I forget, but it's been one of the handiest pieces of furniture we've ever owned.

I cooked a fairly small meal this year because it was just Deni, Dawn and myself. Valerie had to work. We were invited to a couple of different family gatherings, but we weren't feeling that well, so we opted to stay at home. The turkey breast I cooked turned out to be chicken, and not very good. *sigh* But the other things I cooked were yummy. Then my niece dropped off a feast, so we'll have that with the clover leaf rolls tomorrow.

I hope you had a wonderful day of lots of good things to eat and great company with which to gather. 

Monday, November 7, 2016


My daughter Dawn and I did our first Artist Trading Card (ATC) collaboration!

Dawn created the background with the amazing technique we learned from Tim Holt's Creative Chemistry Class-3. She brought them to me and said, "Now that I've done this I don't know what to put on them. You're good at that, here."

I was nervous at first because I didn't want to ruin her beautiful art. It took me a bit to come up with ideas, but after rifling through my die cuts and stamps, I came up with these. She kept the bird, I kept the other one. Maybe next time we do it, I'll do the background and she can put the other side of her creative brain to work.

I've done several Instagram ATC swaps and having so much fun! This is my latest, which will be going out to jolly old England. I borrowed Dawn's mermaid die-cut and used some scratch watercolor paper on which I was trying different art crayons. I feel like there's something missing, but at this point, I'm afraid I'll mess it up. Plus I have to decorate an envelope in which to mail it, so I'm calling it done. 


I belong to a Facebook paper doll crafting group that consists mostly of making Julie Nutting paper dolls. I joined their Christmas ATC swap and will find out who my partner is at the end of this week. This is the ATC I made using one of the smaller Christmas sets by Prima. I wrote JOY on the Christmas ornament confetti, but it was a challenge to photograph.


I'm working on a few other things, mainly my ornaments for our annual ornament swap, which is this Saturday! I've never cut it so close, but I didn't like any of the ideas I was considering. I finished the prototype last night around 1:00 a.m. I'm still not feeling it like I usually do, but maybe it'll grow on me. Happy holidays have begun!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Decorating Happy Mail

I've been on an envelope-decorating kick lately using our often ignored but very awesome stencils. Here are a few I've done for craft swaps on Instagram.

Project Life layouts
Project Life layouts
I'm in love with this process, the result of which are very satisfying. I'd love to hear how you decorate your mail!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

We Had A Happy Halloween!
I haven't posted in too long. I seem to have putting more effort into Instagram than here, which disappoints me. The blog books my daughter publishes for me each year are such a highlight, but they won't be if I don't sit up and pay more attention.

Dawn and I made these candy boxes for hers and Valerie's co-workers. Molly approved of them and so did everyone else. We made them using We R Memory Keepers candy box punch board. They're super easy, but punching them does require some stamina of the hands. These are so versatile, I hope we make some at Christmastime.

I've been doing a lot of ATC (Artist Trading Card) trades on Instagram. We also include other crafty things like tissue paper, die-cuts and other little tidbits we can use to make more ATCs. Here a just a few I made.

I won something on Instagram! A bunch of Faber-Castell products, woo-hoo! This box was full of great products I'll definitely use.

And then my husband and I celebrated our 38th anniversary! I can't believe we're that old.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Butterflies Galore!

I recently revisited Swap-Bot and signed up for a butterfly swap. We were to make 20 butterflies for two partners, so a total of 40 butterflies were made. They could be punched, die-cut or hand-cut, and could all be the same shape, but they all had to be from different paper or prints. Of course, I went overboard, but it was so fun!

I wonder what my partners will do with all of their butterflies?

The other side of the butterfly on the left (above) is pink instead of blue, and is backed with vellum. They're cut from a Tim Holtz die and they are huge.

These are steampunk-ish palm-sized butterflies, my favorites.
See? So big! I spritzed them with Distress and Dylusions ink and glued gears cut from metallic cardstock onto the wings. In person, it really does look like metal.
I don't know why I haven't made myself one of these!
For the envelopes, I cut out two large butterflies from a coloring book I found at a thrift store, and placed them on the front of the envelopes as masks while I spritzed ink all around them. I placed smaller butterflies where the return address should be.

I like how the fronts turned out, the backs could have been better.
I received 40 butterflies from the Swap-Bot swap, mostly the size of the smallest ones I did, and I'm very happy with them. When I swap with someone, I mostly think about the giving, not the getting. So when it dawned on me I was going to get 40 butterflies, I was a little worried about where I was going to put them all. It's fine, they're in with my cut dies and I've already used a few of them on a project. This was a fun swap that I enjoyed immensely. 

I liked the steampunk-ish ones so much, I took the butterflies I used as masks on the envelopes and did the same technique on them. I had originally intended to throw them away, but after seeing them with all the ink spritzed on them, I just couldn't. I'm glad I didn't! I'm sending them to a couple of Instagram buddies, but they don't know it yet. They're huge, and I'm not sure what my two Instagram buddies will end up using them for, but they commented on how much they liked them, so I thought I'd surprise them by sending them each one.

Be careful when you tell me you like something I've made, you just might end up with it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

More Creative Chemistry!

With the exception of working for my father during his ceramic business days, I have never crafted this much in all of my life! Dawn and I crafted from Friday after she got off work until tonight (Sunday). We're almost finished with Creative Chemistry 103, only four tags left to do. We did 29 tags this past week! Go us.

The first thing Dawn did today was lay down some texture paste, so the tags would dry.


After emptying out all of the Distress Crayons, we went to work on those tags.

...and made these! My two are on the left, Dawn's on the right

I didn't take pictures of all of the tags we did because I was so busy I actually forgot. And I also realized I didn't have Dawn take one single picture of me crafting, poo. Next time.

We played around with crazing medium on a stamped tag. You can't rush the drying process because the crazing happens while it's drying, so we had to muster up some patience while it dried on its own. The wait was well worth it. It's so cool!

Here's a close-up of Dawn's crazing before she applied Distress Crayons.

This is my tag before applying Distress Crayons.

Here it is after I applied Distress Crayons

One last close-up of the crazing

As I said, we're almost finished with Creative Chemistry 103. Next we'll dive into 101 where we left off. This was such a fun weekend, I hope we can do it again soon.

Summer of Creative Chemistry 101, 102, and 103

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Creative Chemistry 103, Day 6

Today's class was an overview of some of the variety of substrates available from his line, so he didn't have any tags for us to make. So Dawn and I took the opportunity to get caught up. We crafted all. day. long!

First and foremost, we made a humongous mess!


After gathering stencils from my bedroom and craft room, and throwing them on the floor so we could see them more easily, we decided it was time to put them in a bin. Honestly, I hadn't realized just how many we've accumulated over the last couple of years.

Okay, finally, here are the tags we created today. I can't remember all of the process names exactly, so my apologies for not labeling these as they should be labeled. I can tell you there was a lot of stencils, Distress Paint and Ink used, and a whole lot of spritzing going on. These are meant to be used as a reference so when we go to make a card, journal page or mixed media piece, we can look at the tags and remember, hey, we can do this or that to them, and have the confidence to go for it.

Mine is on the left, Dawn's on the right.
Paint lifting, which was pretty cool once we got the hang of it.

Mine is on the left, Dawn's on the right.
The one on the right is my favorite so far of all the tags she's made.

Both of these are mine.I kind of want to draw flower outlines on the one on the right.

Using Mica spray, this one is mine. You can't really see the wonderful shimmer
the mica spray gives it.

When we were finished crafting, Dawn printed out the tag/process labels and we sat on my bed, cut them out and adhered them to the backs of the tags we've been making the last few days. We finished just in time to tune into a live chat with Tim Holtz and company. It was very enjoyable, and we're looking forward to the next one.

Paint resist with ink, one of my favorite processes.Mine is on the left, Dawn's on the right. 

Using Micro Glaze, steampunk!
Mine is on the left, Dawn's on the right.

Stain rub resist using Tim Holtz rub-ons
along the outer edges. Both of these are mine.
I love how they turned out.

That's a lot of arting going on, right?!

Summer of Creative Chemistry 101, 102, and 103