No, I’m still not able to craft, but I thought I would let you know that I haven’t forgotten about you all.

In case you hadn’t heard, I have been unable to use my hands for much of anything since Dec. 4 of last year. I have lost my fine motor skills and, some days, any skills. There are days when I can do the dishes with little to no pain, but also days when I need help showering and getting dressed.

Obviously, I can no longer teach or make videos, but I also gave up driving in February because gripping the steering wheel was painful and one shouldn’t be in control of something that could kill people when they aren’t sure if they can control it. At the same time, I resigned from what was left of my job at Joann. (I had already scaled back.)

I still do the weekly newsletter and some blog posts for Mosaic Moments — they give them too me far enough in advance that I can do them when I feel up to it, since some days I can’t type at all. I am so thankful for their support and encouragement and understanding through all of this.

So, what does an unemployed person unable to cook, clean or do any of their hobbies do all day? Well, my sister took me to the mall one day, so I made her get our photos taken with the Easter Bunny.

I’ve had a couple opportunities to do a bit of photography — mostly with my phone since I don’t always have the strength to hold up my camera.

And, I play with these babies a lot … from the left, that’s Whiskey, Irish and Bourbon. Irish had a green spot on her when we got her and, well, in my crazed state, that’s what I named them. To each his own, right?!

Matt has helped me immensely — washing my hair, tying my shoes, and cutting up my food, in addition to taking over all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and taking care of the animals. He’s also made some modifications around the house to make some things easier to do. Yep, he still calls himself Minion Bob.

I’m still not sure what caused all of this, if there is a treatment, or if I will ever get better. It came on suddenly, spread and then stopped. The pain and swelling is intermittent, but seems to be triggered by use of my fingers or gripping anything. Pain can be sharp, burning, shocking, aching or squeezing and can be in the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows or right shoulder. My muscles give out after a few minutes and then tremors set in. It’s worse on the right side, but both hands are affected.

I’ve been to a handful of specialists, including one at the Cleveland Clinic, who all say the same thing … it’s not my area. I can’t help you. Here’s a new drug to try. Go see so and so.

I can tell you it’s not arthritis, MS, lyme disease, or any other auto-immune disease. I can tell you they did find a case of carpal tunnel so minor, it’s not viable for surgery and isn’t causing any of these problems. They also found a genetic heart condition that will need fixing 20 years from now, but isn’t causing any issues at the moment.

I’ve tried physical therapy, wore two different wrist braces, had a steroid injection, a dose of oral steroids, and had two different wrist compressions, with little to no help.

And, we’ve been trying all different sorts of medicines to try to find some relief — at least of the pain. So far, the only thing that really helps is rest. If I sit with my arms up on the arms of my sofa or propped up with pillows, I am completely pain free. Of course, that only allows me to watch tv, so it quickly gets boring!

I see another specialist at the end of April and am getting a second MRI — this one of the neck. Hopefully one of these will have an answer. The EMG saw no issues with nerve compression from the neck, but the doctor at Cleveland Clinic said this could be misleading, so I guess there is hope. Something has to give since I’ve gained 20 pounds since January!

Personally, I am no longer looking to the future. I’m just living each day as it is … taking one day at a time and doing whatever I can. I’m on another dose of steroids due to an allergic reaction to one of the meds. Thanks to their help, I’ve typed more today than I have in the past month — with very little pain. And I feel like the Energizer Bunny with sore wrists and elbows. So, I’m off to attempt to do the dishes …

Keep me in your thoughts and drop me a line here, via email or on Facebook to show me what you’re creating, the new techniques you’re learning and fun you’re having. Happy Crafting!

Back To School Notebooks

I’m on the Paper Mill Store’s blog! It’s been fun to work with a company and see my creations on someone’s blog, again.

In this one, I made altered notebooks that are perfect for teacher’s gifts, friends, neighbors and more.

Check it out … http://blog.thepapermillstore.com/crafter-spotlight-celebrate-back-school-candy-spiegel/

Mosaic Mittens


I’m back!

My poor blog has been so neglected this month … between the holidays, being sick and working on classes and other projects, I am just so behind. That, however, is the story of my life … I feel like I am always a day late and a dollar short!

I have several posts that I’m behind on, so I’ll try to get those caught up in the next few days.

The first is one I am so excited to share!

Did you know you can cut felt with most of your thin, metal dies? You can!! In this video, I show you how to turn a border die into fabulous felt mittens! Thanks for watching (and reading)!

Here’s the link … 


A Lacy Canvas


I have been on Pinterest quite a bit lately. One of the things that keeps popping up is lace and vintage neutral fabrics made into books, banners and mixed-media art.

I wanted to play with this style myself, but not wanting to get out the sewing machine, I thought I would try it with canvas.


I started by adhering pieces of cheesecloth, eyelet and lace to the canvas with Prima’s Heavy Body Gel. This is a great medium for adhering heavy and difficult-to-adhere items. I put on a layer of the gel, then the lace, and then another layer of the gel. It worked well, except I noticed it can easily build up inside the pieces of lace. I also didn’t like the sort of plastic look it gave when dry — even though I did not get the glossy, it still has too much shine for me.

I also used a stencil and texture paste to add a bit more texture and design. This didn’t work too well on the bumpy lace, but you would never know if you don’t try.


I wanted to add a little color, so I spritzed it with Dylusions spray. Again, not the best solution, but it did add a bit of color here and there. One problem was that when I went to glue anything on top of it, because it is water soluble, I got a bit of rose ink on my canvas. NOTE: Use permanent or archival product instead!


Next I used Archival Ink and an ink applicator to color the lace. I added a photo of my husband’s grandmother (a favorite of mine) and then I went to work adhering flowers, gems and other embellishments.


I used chipboard letters and the same Archival Ink to create the title … ila_canvas_by_Candy_Spiegel2

Many of the objects I added were leftovers from other projects or the last one of something I have been carrying around for years. The buttons sewed onto tulle was something new I purchased at the Great Lakes Mega Meet. The key is also new from Tim Holtz. The fragment (square clock face) had been made years ago for another project and was never used. I finally put it to good use!ila_canvas_by_Candy_Spiegel4

The metal stars and flowers are new from Prima. The bird charm I made by trimming a piece of art from Craft Fantastic to fit an old bezel I had from Hobby Lobby. I then coated the entire thing with a layer of Globecraft UV Resin (which I haven’t used in years. Globecraft is now part of Sweet Stamps.) and let it sit in the sun for a few minutes to cure. I forgot how much fun that stuff was!


I love how my canvas turned out, although I do need to find a different medium to adhere the lace next time. Have you tried any of these techniques?


Window of Travel


Welcome to day 2 of the 4th Annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop!

A few years ago we were looking online for handmade gift ideas and thought it would be great if there was a resource dedicated JUST to handmade gift ideas. Enter the Handmade Holidays hop!

We’ve gathered over 100 of our creative blogger friends in the craft industry as well as some of our fellow product manufacturers to bring you a plethora of inspiring gift ideas you can make now to give to your friends, family, and colleagues.

Pin and bookmark these ideas for this holiday season and to use throughout the year! Each day of the hop features approximately 30 gift projects and you can “hop” from one blog to another to check them all out.



For my project, I decided to alter a window with travel photos as a gift to my parents. This is a long post and there are a lot of steps, but do not let that frighten you. It is deceptively easy to create a photo window.


This is what the window looked like when I started … it came out of a barn that was being demolished. After a good hose down with a little bleach, my husband added a piece of wood and hardware cloth to fill in the two missing panes and it was ready to transform.


I applied layers of acrylic paint, some watered down a bit, until I liked the patina. I used white, deep brown and a bright blue. I also left a bit of the red paint that was on the window and some of the chipped paint and wood visible in my layers.


My dad is not into rustic and I was worried he would think the window was dirty, so I painted the sides and back with white gesso to keep it nice and clean. (My cat likes to help with all of my projects — mostly as a supervisor.)


I covered the wood with paper from Graphic 45’s Come Away With Me collection. I also added a bit of embossing paste through a stencil in the corners. At first, the paste was too white, so I took a bit of permanent ink (by dabbing a dauber into the ink pad) and went over it lightly to deepen the color.


I cut out elements from other papers in the collection, inked the edges and adhered them to the frame. I also added a tiny nail at each side and in the top left corner of the frame to hang things on.

HH_CandySpiegel9For the next pane, I adhered a couple of photos to a piece of paper, cut slightly larger than the glass. I used packing tape to attach it to the back of the window.


Here it is from the front side …


I used clips to attach photos to the hardware cloth. This way, they can easily be changed out as often as desired.


The banner was cut out of Graphic 45 papers with Elizabeth Craft Designs Tags & More 2 — Deco.


I decided to put the tags upside down to create a banner. I added cork squares (with rounded corners) and circles cut out of the maps on the paper. Then, I cut out letters with Sizzix/Tim Holtz die Wordplay. I punched holes in each tag and ran fibers through to connect them. I tied them to little nails I put in the edges of the frame.


To add a bit of dimension to the top frame, I used the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Ticket die to cut out tickets out of Graphic 45 paper and then stamped them with a coordinating Tim Holtz stamp.

I used Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares to adhere some of the tickets so they stand out better.


I also cut out arrows and cars out of these Sizzix/Tim Holtz dies. This type of die allows the images to be cut out of paper and chipboard. I adhered the papers to the chipboard for a little more dimension.

HH_CandySpiegel17In this pane, I adhered photos and elements directly to the glass. I used Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares to add a bit of dimension to some of the elements.


I used the Mini Filmstrip/Ticket die from Sizzix/Tim Holtz to create a filmstrip border. Then I cut out small images from the Graphic 45 paper and used the Sakura Quickie Glue to adhere them. (DISCLOSURE: I did receive products from Sakura to use and promote on this project).


I added the filmstrip border, car, compass stamp and buttons to the front of the glass, so photos can still be changed on the backside without bothering these elements.


I added additional elements cut from paper and chipboard, along with more vintage buttons to this frame.


I wanted to make items to dangle on the frame’s left side. I used Sakura’s Glaze Pens to color an acrylic tag.


I coated another tag with clear, liquid adhesive and adhered it to paper. I added rub ons to the blue tag. Then, I used the black Glaze pen to create dimensional dots on the acrylic. Once the glue dried, I trimmed the tag with the paper on it.


Then I added some jump rings, fibers and pearls to create a little tag for the side of the frame.


For a final touch, I used Sakura Gellyroll Moonlight 06 pens to make a little tag to hang on the frame. These pens show up brilliantly on black cardstock.


And, one last look at the completed frame … I already presented it to my parents and they loved it!


Are you ready for lots more creative handmade gift ideas and projects??

Follow along on our blog hop! Simply click on each of the links below to be taken to that post with additional information and photos on how to create a handmade gift project. Have fun and pin away!


 Ellison Educational Equipment

Walnut Hollow

 Graphic 45

 Hydrangea Hippo


 Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 

Rowland Technologies

 Neat and Tangled

 ICE Resin

 Therm O Web

 Elizabeth Craft Designs

 Pink and Main

The Buckle Boutique

Clearsnap – Vivian Keh

Ashley Rader – Giddy Upcycled

 ICE Resin – Jen Cushman  ‎

 Candy Spiegel- Candy Scraps  YOU ARE HERE

 Graphic 45 – Andrew Roberts

 Rina Gonzales – Mothership Scrapbook Gal

 Therm O Web – Amanda Niederhauser

 Cori Warner – The Flying C

 Yana Smakula – My Cardmaking & Scrapbooking

 The Buckle Boutique – Shawn Mosch

 Eileen Hull Designs – Eileen Hull

 Angela Muir – Handmade in the Heartland

 Krista Winters – eat, knit & d.i.y.

 Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L – Erica Houghton

Katie Smith – Punk Projects

 Elizabeth Craft Designs – Karen Aicken

 Jeanie Hevener – Create & Babble

 Ellison Educational Equipment – Hilary Kanwischer

 Fancy Shanty – Stacy Molter

Liz Hicks – Blogerisms

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow our Handmade Holidays Gift Ideas Pinterest board for even more inspiration!

Follow Jennifer Priest of RainMaker Media Works + Hydrangea Hippo’s board Handmade Holidays on Pinterest.

A huge thank you to our sponsors for this hop – please visit their blogs below and follow them. And be sure to come back tomorrow for another 30+ amazing Handmade Gift Ideas!


Clearsnap|| Ellison Educational Equipment || Walnut Hollow || Graphic45 || Westcott || ICE Resin || Therm O Web || Rowland Industries || Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L || Pink and Main || Elizabeth Craft Designs || The Buckle Boutique || Neat and Tangled

Additional Sponsorship provided to bloggers by:

Sakura|| Fairfield Processing

Thankful Butterflies

butterfly Candy SpiegelDespite the cold and 2-feet of snow stacked outside my front door, I thought it was time for a little summer. I’ve been hooked on blue and green lately, so I created this thank you card.

002I started with an orange Shimmer Sheetz. I ran it through an embossing folder and then lightly sanded the color off of the top of it.

I added a strip of paper from Bo Bunny.

003Next, I added glitter to Elizabeth Crafts Designs butterfly, flowers and leaves stickers. To see a video on how easy this technique is, click here. I love Elizabeth Crafts Design Glitter because you can color on it with your Copic, Tombow or Distress Ink markers. This is the ONLY glitter I know of that is safe for your markers.

004Here are the colors I used …

005After coloring, I used a craft knife to carefully cut out each piece and adhere it to the card.

butterfly Candy SpiegelI used dimensional foam to adhere the flowers and butterflies to the card.

Then, I added a bit of ribbon and cut out the word “Thank You” from an Elizabeth Craft Die.

I hope you enjoyed this brief peek into summer!




A box for chickens

My idea for this project came from Arlene Cuevas, one of the amazing members of the Graphic 45 team. As soon as I saw her creation, I fell in love and wanted to do something similar. Check out this blog for a link to the two step-by-step videos that show you how to make it.

6a011570479cdc970b019102f22107970c-500wiI was merely waiting for something to decorate to copy her technique. And, when my mom gave me an embroidered doily with chickens on it, I knew it was the perfect thing to frame.

Naturally, I put my own spin on it and went through a little trial and error, but eventually my project came out looking like this:


I started with a plain black shadow box I got on sale at Michaels.


I coated the entire box with white gesso.


Then, I used Wendy Vecchi’s white embossing paste and a stencil from Christy Tomlinson Designs to cover the entire frame and provide some texture.

This is where my project took a turn …

Box_Candy_Spiegel_3I wanted to see what would happen if I used Piccolo 3D Enamel Gels to help provide some background color. I started with Dark Green.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_4And then added Clementine.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_5Then I glued on a bunch of random flowers, metal pieces, ribbon, keys, buttons and more to the front of the box and coated everything with gesso. This covered up all of the odd colors … my flowers were navy, hot pink, gray and peach! I kept the gesso light on the sides so the colors would show through.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_6Next I added a bit of Bright Yellow …

Box_Candy_Spiegel_7And some more green and orange … I taped off the glass front (it couldn’t be removed from the frame) and sprayed it with blue Glimmer Mist. It came out darker than I wanted, but it looked OK. (I don’t have any photos of that stage because it was a bit of a disaster).

Needless to say, Glimmer Mist does not dry on top of 3D Enamel Gel. Ever.

I tried heating.

I tried sitting it in the sun.

After a week, I was still getting blue on my hands every time I picked up the piece. I really didn’t want to start over since I had quite a bit of time and money invested in this, but I knew I couldn’t hang it on the wall as it was.

Deciding I couldn’t hurt it anymore than I already had, I ran it under the faucet. The water washed most of the Glimmer Mist off — at least the parts that refused to dry.

And I ended up with this:

Box_Candy_Spiegel_8The perfect box to showcase the doily my mom gave me!

Here are a few close-ups …


The flowers took on the look of molded plastic. Very cool when you think of it …,Box_Candy_Spiegel_10


The front is pretty, but the sides are amazing … I love the patina I got.Box_Candy_Spiegel_9

Thanks Arlene for the inspiration! I still plan to follow your instructions to do another one that more closely resembles yours!


A Sneak Peek …

Today I have a post on the Globecraft & Piccolo site featuring one of my favorite places to visit in Livingston County, Michigan — Parshallville. It is a small community (so small that it doesn’t even have a blinking light) made up of mostly an old grist mill.

I have been going there since I can remember and I have watched as it transformed from a grist mill to a tourist attraction to a bakeshop and more. These days they only make cider and donuts during the fall, but the setting is still magical to me.

gandp_candy_spiegel_parshallville3Here is a sneak peek at the layout I created about Parshallville … click over to the Globecraft & Piccolo blog for a look at the entire finished page and a tutorial on how I created it.


My Store is Closing

I have been through this before, but somehow it is worse this time around.

The store that I have been working at, teaching at and ordering through, Capture A Memory, is closing.

I have only been teaching there for a little over a year, but I am finally starting to develop a customer base of students who want to learn new techniques, try new products and create amazing pieces. And now my classroom, and store, will be gone.

Yesterday I was angry and in shock. Today I am just sad. Very, very sad.

I am determined to continue my career in the papercrafting industry — and I have many possibilities ahead of me. I need some time to investigate them and determine what is best for me.

In the meantime, I am setting up a little yard sale to get rid of my unused and gently used papercrafting products in order to generate some money to invest in tables, tents and other things I may need for the step 2. I’ll be putting those items up in the next couple of days. If you would like an invite, send me an e-mail with your Facebook name and I’ll get it sent out.

I also would like to extend an invitation: I am willing to travel to teach. If you provide the students and the space, I am more than happy to teach you! Just let me know what you want to learn and I’ll put something together.

Of course, I still have all of my design team work to keep me busy, so I’ll be posting more projects soon. Thanks for listening!

Star-struck weekend

It has been quite a week. In fact, I have been working so hard, I forgot to post!

Of course, my blog isn’t the only thing that has been neglected. I think every surface of my home is piled with clutter and the laundry hamper is overflowing. I am sure I will get to all of that in time …

I have several projects to share with you over the coming days, but first I wanted to share my weekend fun. I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Great Lakes Mega Meet (and spent Sunday recovering from the lack of sleep, 10 hours of standing on concrete each day, caffeine and the stress of driving, or sitting, in rush-hour traffic each day). It was wonderful to see people I hadn’t seen in a while, get tons of ideas and meet some paper-crafting celebrities. While most of my time was spent working in the Globecraft & Piccolo booth, I did escape for a few minutes to see Melissa Frances.

She has launched a new line of rubber stamps (I bought one, of course).


Melissa showed me how to make these amazing flowers (although I neglected to get a photo of her)
melissa_frances2And I bought some of these beautiful embellishments to experiment with (I have an idea)


Then I found time to visit with Wendy Vecchi


I learn so many new ideas and great tips every time I watch her …wendy_vecchi2 These are a few of her samples … I can’t wait to order a few more of her stamps and stencils (they sold out at the show)wendy_vecchiTim Holtz was there, too …

tim_holtzHere are a few samples from him …


tim_holtz3And, I got to meet Mario! He was so nice and made me feel like it was an honor for him to meet me!

049I also spent some time in the Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine booth. One of my friends insisted on getting my autograph, which cracked me up so much I had to take a photo … here is Carol with the autographed copy of my article in this month’s magazine.



This year’s Mega Meet was one of the best ever. Thanks for letting me share some of my excitement! (if you have e-mailed me a question, I am getting to it. I had 295 e-mails when I got back and I am still working my way through them all!)