African Graphics

 

My sister went on a trip to Africa last fall and I get to make the scrapbook showing all of her adventures.

This meal was her favorite, but she only had a couple of photos to remember it by, which left plenty of space for embellishments. I took my inspiration from the colorful plate and wall decor and used the new In the Corner Die Set from Mosaic Moments.

Here’s a video to show you how I did it …

This post is sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Stripping the Kayak

I learned to kayak so I could get closer to nature — ducks, swans and turtles, in particular. So, I always have a camera with me when I go. While I haven’t had the courage to take my Cannon out on the water yet, I do bring my iPhone along for the ride.

For this page, I compiled some of the pictures I took, as well as some my husband took of me, into a panorama of sorts. It’s a great technique that is easy with Mosaic Moments.

Naturally, I made a video to show you how to do it …

This post is sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Diamond Background Cards

Today I am finally getting to share some of the cards I made using the new dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs!

I have lots of cards to show you and many more on the way, but I thought I would start by showing you a couple takes on the Diamond Background Die.

I absolutely love this die. It fits perfectly on a typical A2 card and is so versatile, you can look at multiple cards and not realize it is the same die.

For this card, I started with a blue card base. Added a layer of dark brown and then my die cut, also out of blue. I added a rectangle with a sentiment on it (ECD Dream Sentiments Clear Stamps) and a few feathers (this die is also from ECD) accented in Distress Ink. Some Glitter Dots in various sizes topped it off. I love this card. It’s simple and quick and easy, but packs quite a punch.

For this one, I used a strip I cut from the Diamond Background. I created some layers with Stitched Fishtail Borders (ECD) and the word Hello (also from ECD). A few Prima flowers and this one is good to go!

And this one I made with the leftovers from the card above … I left a bit of a space and tucked in the word Thanks (also from ECD). I used watercolor paper in the back and added a couple of layers. Again, quick and easy, but beautiful, don’t you think?

You can, of course, order any of these dies from me or online at https://www.elizabethcraftdesigns.com/.

Happy shopping!

 

Signs of Spring

While it feels like August around here, spring was just a few weeks ago. Fortunately, my crazy life has finally calmed down enough for me to share all of the things I have been making and this page showing the signs of spring is one of my favorites.

The pictures were taken at different times over the corse of a few weeks and several of them were those rare opportunities you get to witness a special moment in time. The squirrel, for example, posed for me for several minutes so I could get a series of pictures.

The baby ducks hopped out of their nest and dipped their feet in the water for the first time … I haven’t seen them since, but I’m sure they’ve moved on to another lake.

The little bird behind the fence worked for several minutes to steal that feather from the chicken’s run. It took a few attempts to get it positioned just right in his beak before he could fly off with it for his nest.

And the robin, one of the first I saw this spring, let me get closer than I ever have to take his picture.

I used Mosaic Moments dies and grid paper to create the layout. I love the mixture of close-up photos with those farther away. And I love how the 1-inch square floral photos wrap around the ducks.

I made a video to show you how to make this page.

This page was sponsored by Mosaic Moments.

Card Hop: Happy Thoughts

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique.  We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.

June‘s hop is devoted to basic card folds; featuring drapery/curtain fold, peek-a-boo fold or double-z gate-fold.  And we’re adding a twist of using double-sided paper.   We hope this gives you lots of ideas and will inspire you to try these card folds yourself…and pull out that double-sided paper as well!    If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:

We have an amazing sponsor this month, Candy Spiegel.

Please take a moment to check out all the crafty goodness on her blog, Candy Scraps.

And the awesome prize this month is four stencils from Elizabeth Craft Designs:

We  really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today.  While you are encouraged to comment at any time, only comments received by  Friday, June 23, 2017 at 8:00pm (EST) will be eligible to win.   The winner will be announced on Sunday,  June 25, 2017 on A Piece of (my) Heart’s blog, so be sure to check her blog on Sunday.

And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is SUSAN ELIOT; picked by Random Name Picker.  Congratulations, Susan!  Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Jodie Park, to claim your prize.

You should  have arrived here from Jodie’s BlogIf you’re visiting  here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on  each blog.

 

Flamingos always make me smile, so I thought this would be the perfect card to cheer someone.

I started by cutting black cardstock 4 1/4 x11 and scoring it at the 5 1/2 mark. Then I cut flamingo paper (by Doodlebug) 4 1/8 x 5 3/8.

I used a centering ruler (by Tim Holtz) to find the center on the side of the paper and marked it with a pencil.

Then I cut a slit at the mark about 1 1/2″ into the paper, as shown. Then, fold each corner back.

I added flamingo brads a friend gave me and then adhered it to the black card base.

Finally, I stamped “Happy Thoughts” to the front and it’s ready to send!

Now  you’re off to visit with Debbie. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by.  See you next month with another technique!

Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

Honeymoon Fund Jar

My sister is getting married this weekend. The bartenders’ gratuity is already figured into the cost of the reception, so she thought it would be fun to collect donations to her honeymoon trip (in Australia!) at the bar. So I made her this jar … I was, of course, finishing it at the last minute, so I just took quick pics with my phone, but it was a fun project filled with tecniques and I wanted to share them with you …

I started with a Gordon Food Services’ pickle jar … I threw out the lid, cleaned the jar and got ready to etch the glass.

I wanted the jar to last beyond the reception. Since my sister is always traveling, I thought it would be nice for her to be able to remove the wedding stuff and keep it as a change jar for whatever trip she is planning in the future. So, I decided to etch a monogrammed heart on the front.

I cut out both a heart and a monogrammed S from etchall® etchmask using my Cricut. etchmask is a sticky vinyl … personally, I find it works much better for etching than a traditional vinyl since it is thicker, sticks better and doesn’t stretch as easily as vinyl does.

My sister likes things simple, so after I applied both the heart and the monogram, I trimmed off the fancy swirlies on the letter with a craft knife.

After making sure all of the edges were tight, I added my leftover pieces of etchmask to the edges of the design to make sure I didn’t etch anything I didn’t mean to.

Then, I applied a thick, even layer of etchall® etching crème to the design and let it sit for 15 minutes. I scraped the crème off and put it back in the bottle (it’s reusable) and then washed the jar with soap and water, removed the stencil and washed it again.

The metal tags are from Art C. My husband used sandpaper to remove the sharp edges and then stamped the words Honeymoon Fund into one of them (they are a pretty thick steel and I wasn’t hammering hard enough). I then used a fine-pointed Sharpie to make the letters dark and prominent.

Since the wedding colors are University of Michigan blue and gold, I used the chipped sapphire Distress Crayon to color the heart and the word love. I used my finger to smooth out the color on the heart … I love the streaking effect it gave.

I used a sticker and label set from Tim Holtz to add their wedding date. I tied gold ribbon to the top of the jar and used jump rings to adhere each of the tags.

Since the banquet hall is pretty dark, I figured the tags can sort of layer over each other and the etching on the jar during the reception and then she can remove the tags and ribbon and just have the jar with her new last initial monogrammed for later.

The entire project, because I already had most of the supplies on hand, was® inexpensive. The only thing I purchased were the tags, which were on sale at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for $2.39 each — and they come three to a pack, so I have quite a few left for additional projects. Oh, and I figured it was bad luck to give a tip jar without any money in it, so I threw in a few $1 bills to get them started.

Foxy Watercolors

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a great variety of cards and ideas.
For May, we are venturing into the world of watercolor. There are so many watercoloring techniques available to us today; far too many to list here. But actions speak louder than words; so our team has worked with their favorite mediums to bring you lots of examples and loads of inspiration.
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:
We have an amazing sponsor this month, Jodie Park of Close to My Heart:
Please take a moment to check out the great products Close to My Heart has to offer. To visit Jodie on Facebook page, just click here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of May 26, 2017. The winner will be announced in our June hop; so be sure to come back next month.
And speaking of winners, the lucky hopper from last month is Golden Goddess Designs; picked by Random Name Picker. Congratulations! Please get in touch with last month’s sponsor, Wilma Payne at wpayne@email.com, by May 26th to claim your prize.
You should have arrived here from Jodie’s blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by commenting on each blog.
Here’s my project:
I have to admit, watercoloring has not been my thing. I can never get it to look right. But this technique, I think looks pretty good and it’s super easy. It’s sort of my take on the Watercolor the Art Impressions Way by Bonnie Krebs (click here to learn all about it). I love her techniques and I bought quite a few of her stamps, but I wanted to apply some of the same techniques to other stamps, so I tried it with Distress Markers and these stamps from Krista Schneider.
First, I put the stamps on an acrylic block and colored directly on them with a Distress Marker.
I stamped them on watercolor paper and then used a damp brush to drag the color from the edges to the center of the image. The trick is to limit the amount of water. I dipped my brush into a cup of water and then wiped it on a paper towel before using it. If it is too dry, it won’t move the color — just wet it a little more until you can see the color move. If you use too much water, your image will become a lake of mud …
I went back in with the marker to color the nose and a bit of shading on the fox and did the same thing with the owl’s beak and the center of the flowers.
I then used the coordinating dies to cut out each image. Use either a magnetic plate or washi tape to hold the dies in place while cutting.
I took another piece of watercolor paper and cut out the Dotted Oval die by Elizabeth Craft Designs. I inked the border with Distress Ink.
For the background, I smeared Distress Oxide ink on the acrylic block, wet it and then swiped it over the cardstock. I then sprayed it again with water and used a paper towel to remove some of the color … I just wanted the impression of sky and grass …
I put the two pieces back together and adhered them to the new papers from Elizabeth Craft designs and then onto a white cardbase.
Then I put the pieces I had stamped, watercolored and cut out back into a scene.
I love the soft look of watercolor with these whimsical stamps — it’s OK to go out of the lines on this project!
Now you’re off to visit with Debbie. Hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost:

On the Horizon

Another Great Lakes Mega Meet has come and gone … and this one was the best yet!

For those of you who don’t live near, GLMM is a papercrafting convention where manufacturers and retailers set up mini stores. Ladies come from all over Michigan, Canada, Ohio and Wisconsin to the show — I even met one who flew from California just to attend — the show is that good! Attendees can shop, take classes, do make-and-takes, meet their favorite designers (including Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi), catch up with old friends and see thousands of amazing creations to get their creative juices flowing.

But this year was extra special for me, since I got to meet, and work for, Els Van de Burgt, owner of Elizabeth Craft Designs. I started using, and teaching with, Elizabeth Craft Designs’ products many years ago. For a few years, I was even on ECD’s design team, so there are lots of posts using their products. Naturally, when Els asked me to help out in their booth, I gladly accepted. I’ve done that for several companies before, including my own, so I thought I knew what to expect. Boy was I wrong.

Els and her husband, Joep, took the time to get to know me, offered me some advice and told me what I’d been doing wrong. By the time the weekend was over, I had regained my confidence, found opportunities to possibly teach at three new stores and was inspired to give Candy Scraps another go. (And she didn’t even comment on how dirty my car was because I don’t have time to clean it!)

I believe the scrapbooking trend is returning and I’m ready to ride the wagon for a bit! I came home with a huge bag of ECD products to get me started (and an apron!!). And I signed up for a crop at a friend’s house, so I can design without the distractions of kayaking, playing with baby turkeys, watching the chickens, planting flowers and cleaning my house.

I’m going to be expanding my ECD line by bringing in colored glitter … in 21 flavors to start … along with the tools to make it work. And, I’m gearing up to take my classes on the road. So, if you see Matt, remind him that he needs to build Candy Scraps on Wheels, please.

Take care and let me know if there is a crop or store near you that would welcome my classes!

 

Back from Boyne Highlands

I’m back from Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan. It is one of my favorite events of the year and is by far the largest … there were 389 women this time! I’m there to work, not crop, but I’ve made dozens of friends and I love spending time with them. The rest of the time I was shopping from my favorite vendors (my purchases are still in their bag), having my traditional Thursday night dinner at the bar (grilled whitefish and sweet potato fries, all made gluten free), and teaching others to use Elizabeth Craft Designs and Mosaic Moments products. It’s tiring, but wonderful and it always goes way too fast.

Last fall, one of my customers-turned-friends asked me to make a page kit showing some of the resort. I used Mosaic Moments Grid paper and dies to create the layout and sold every one — including my sample. Fortunately I have the photo so I can make another for myself!

Matt has taken over many of the make-and-take duties during the event — especially since I had so many classes this time. While demonstrating how to use a transfer sheet to use the leftover stickers, he came up with a few new techniques. (Well, either he did or customers did … I never did get the answer, but I came back to this)

And this …

And this …

and this! I was quite impressed.

Another customer worked up an idea with Silk Microfine Glitter that I helped her implement. I thought I took a photo, but I must not have. I will be making a tutorial to show you how she did it soon — it’s that fantastic.

This time, I taught classes for Bayview Scrappers, a new store in Traverse City, Michigan, in addition to teaching my own. One of the classes I taught was on using rubber stamps from Art Impressions to create watercolor art. I was so impressed that even I could watercolor that I came home with several sets of stamps. Stay tuned for more!

I also taught a Mosaic Moments class and worked one-on-one with others showing them how easy this system is. It amazes me when ladies learn and then come back and show me their first page … yes, this is her first page! I love the mix of detail and distant photos and how she mixed in family pics with scenery. This one is going in a frame on the wall in her family’s cottage … she plans to do one each year. What a wonderful idea!

This is another first-time page, believe it or not. Although you can’t see it very well in the photo, she used different depths of dimensional foam adhesive on different squares in the photo. The effect was amazing!

I will admit to helping her decide between lavender and navy grid paper and showing her how to use the Mosaic Moments At-a-Glance-Guide to make sure she didn’t cut the sun, but otherwise, it is all her! An amazing idea I plan to steal and a truly beautiful page.

Each year, there is a layout contest as part of the fun. Ladies submit their favorite works and the other croppers vote on them. I was pretty proud to see three Mosaic Moments pages registered for the contest. And, even more proud to hear the winner of the contest was one of them! She did photos of her trip to Ireland.

We also gave away an Ott-Lite and a box of stamps, inks and card bases. Of course, I forgot to take photos of the winners with their prizes. Going to have to change that for next year!

The ladies totally spoiled us while we were there. They came with hugs for us both (I even heard one of them calling Matt, “honey”) and tons of gifts. My friend from Marquette brought me these dish cloths with the UP knitted right in. I’m not sure how she knew blue was my favorite color. She also brought me jam and Matt the Yooper version of biscotti. yumm

A mother and daughter from Northern Michigan brought Matt and I each a birdhouse filled with candy eggs. And they brought me a “Take-and-Make.” They gave me a great tip for using my tweezers to thread the ribbon and quietly fixed my bag when I did it wrong. lol. I love these ladies!

My friend from Ohio who keeps me laughing until I cry, gave me a copy of this beautiful picture she took last fall at the resort. I told her I was going to put it on my fridge and wanted to show her this proof that I did!

And, my wonderful friends from Canada brought me this adorable chicken to welcome everyone to my house. I love it and I love them!

These ladies make this trip so wonderful for me. I come back with new ideas and techniques and lots of inspiration and I think I actually learn more than I teach. It is such a wonderfully uplifting event. I cannot wait until fall when I see them all again.

Coffee Four Ways

Welcome to A Year of Card Techniques Blog Hop where each month we’ll feature a different card technique. We’ve assembled a team of fabulous card makers who range from new to advanced, so you’ll see a wide variety of cards and ideas.
The month of April features a Showdown! A stamp set showdown, that is. We’re using one stamp set in various ways. Let’s face it, stamp sets are getting more and more expensive; so we’re here to inspire you by demonstrating how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those stamps!
If you would like to check out our past technique hops, you can do that here:

 

 

We have an amazing sponsor this month, Wilma Payne of Fun Stamper’s Journey:

Please take a moment to check out the great products Fun Stampers Journey has to offer. To visit Wilma’s blog, click here and her Facebook Group here.
And the awesome prize this month is:
We really appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment on each of the blogs in the hop today. One winner will be chosen from all comments on the hop as of April 28, 2017. The winner will be announced in our May hop, so be sure to come back next month.
You should have arrived here from Sandy’s Blog. If you’re visiting here first, you might want to start at the beginning so you don’t miss a thing and increase your chances of winning by leaving a comment on each blog.
I decided to work with stamps that match my latest obsession … coffee. I chose this set from JustRite Clear.
The set is huge with many possibilities. So, to keep within the spirit of the challenge, I limited myself further … I “required” myself to use the coffee-house cup on each card.
For the first one, I stamped the cup with Wendy Vecchi’s Potting Soil Archival Ink, added a sentiment on the label and a saying. I worked on a kraft card and added a bit of Distress Ink (in Ground Espresso) around the edges of the card. It’s simple, but I like it for its simplicity.
Next, I stamped the image twice, colored it with Copic markers, cut it out and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive to the layered card. The black is done with Memento Ink; the brown is the same Wendy Vecchi ink. The coffee stains and the saying are also from the stamp set.
For this one, I stamped the cup over and over in order to create a background with it. I used the coffee beans to make a strip and stamped another of the sentiments, as well, which I cut out and adhered.
And, finally, my favorite one … I used the same inks, but this time layered the elements in a soft teal. I stamped the cup on paper, added the word Java to the label and then cut out the image and adhered it with dimensional foam adhesive.
I created the background paper by placing each of the coffee beans on a single acrylic block and then turning and stamping repeatedly. I made sure to stamp off of the paper in some places and even stamped a few beans a second time for a softer look. I love how the background paper turned out!
I’m the last stop on the blog hop this month, but if you missed the earlier ones, it is worth a visit to the beginning.
I hope you had fun and thanks for stopping by. See you next month with another technique!
And, if you choose to try this one, post a photo of your creations on my Facebook page or, send me a copy and I’ll post it here.
Candy
Here’s the full line-up in case you get lost: