Be sure to pick up the fall edition of Michigan Scrapbooker magazine — I have two articles published inside!

The first is a new how-to series on getting started. These are basic articles for “virgin scrapbookers,” but there are tips that might be helpful for those more advanced, as well.

And, it features my adorable chickens:

The second article offers some tips on ways to make die cuts pop by adding Stickles, stamps, chalk, ink, folds, layers and more.

Additionally, there are some interesting articles by other writers and lots of coupons for savings on your favorite products. And, if you are traveling around the state, there is a map showing the locations of all of the scrapbook stores in Michigan so you can check them out during your journey.

Thanks for reading!

A Storage Find

One of my favorite blogs is Vicki Chrisman’s This Art That Makes Me Happy.

Vicki has a wonderful vintage, scrappy chic style that I adore. I began following her when I discovered she was the designer of an Accu-Cut die that I fell in love with and I have been following her ever since.

In addition to her creations, Vicki often shares her flea market finds and how she alters, displays or uses them. Since there aren’t many flea markets in my neck of the woods, I enjoy hearing about her adventures and seeing the treasures she discovers.

So, inspired by Vicki, I have started searching for my own treasures at our local Goodwill store and a couple of resale and antique shops. Most of the time, I leave without finding anything (which is OK because the hunt is part of the fun and it makes my husband happy when I don’t spend any money), but sometimes I find awesome storage pieces for my studio.

A few weeks ago, I discovered this old canning jar. I fell in love with the lid and knew it would be perfect for the hardware I recently collected. Jars are pretty easy to find, so I’m sure it will have companions before long. In fact, there are a pair at the antique store that I have my eye on …

Yesterday, I found the most adorable little black metal bucket. I love that it is rectangular and that the sides are straight (unlike baskets that are usually larger on the top than on the bottom.) I thought it would be perfect for my Tim Holtz dies, so I brought it home.

It holds my dies perfectly — with space for a few more. My previous die storage was awkward and traveling with it was difficult. But with this, I can just grab the handle and go!

My husband thinks it might be an old minnow box that someone painted. I would like to know so I can search for another, but in the meantime, I am loving my little black box.

my new header

I finally got around to doing something I have been wanting to do for some time … make a header for my blog.

I used some of my favorite products, along with some of my favorite subjects and a few of my current favorite techniques.

The background is made by inking a piece of cardstock with Distress Ink and then applying a mask by Tim Holtz (I have always had a clock thing, so this one seemed appropriate) and inking with a second color of Distress Ink. Then, I used a Studio 490 stamp — Fly Poop — to add a little texture. When one discovers a stamp made by one of her favorite companies, designed by one of her favorite designers named something silly, like Fly Poop, one MUST buy it!

I then used some rubber stamps to showcase some of my obsessions — hot air balloons, Winnie the Pooh, and chickens. That Winnie the Pooh stamp is destined to be my next tattoo, but who knows when I’ll get the courage up to do that! I colored all of them in with Copic markers — another new obsession of mine.

Next I added some die cuts from Dies Direct — I collect hippos and have a recent thing for birds … All of them were inked with Distress Ink. I love how the color blends and shades itself. It is almost magic.

For the name, I used two different techniques on chipboard letters by Maya Road. The first, taught to me by Wendy Vecchi, is to color them with Distress Ink and then stamp over them with a background stamp — I used words because I am an editor and writer in the real world. The second is super simple: I used my finger to spread Mica Gloss by JudiKins over them. Don’t you love the shine?

Finally, I added a few stamps by 7 Gypsies, lace from Graphic 45 and some metal pieces by Tim Holtz.

What do you think?

Beyond pink and blue

In the scrapbooking world, nearly everything made for babies seems to be either blue or pink. I suppose that is fine in some cases, but I would imagine a new mommy would get tired of opening dozens of cards in pink or blue. So, I challenged myself to make a card that didn’t use either of those colors.

This is what I came up with …

I used an embossing background die by Dies Direct and then inked it with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink.

I added Stickles in some of the flowers and mounted it on green and then put on a white card.

I used brads and a button from Bo Bunny, a strip of paper ribbon by Basic Grey and a flower “button” made with a die by Dies Direct to finish it off. The mini font used to write A Baby is also from Dies Direct.

Time-Saving Die Cut Tip

I am a lazy scrapbooker.

I like complex pages, but I don’t like to spend a lot of time on them. If there is a way to shorten drying time, cut out a step or do it quicker, I am likely to discover it.

As I was creating a page for Dies Direct, I thought of two ways to save a bit of time on the die.

I was using the luggage tag die from Dies Direct. The die has a tiny border that adds dimension. But, lazy cropper that I am, I never want to take the time to cut out the die twice with two different colors of paper. I suppose I could have trimmed my paper and run two different colors through at the same time, but I came up with two other options.

For the first one, I ran each of the little pieces through my Xyron. Then, while still attached to the backing, I colored them with Distress Ink and then attached to my tag.

In the second option, I used the paper left over after cutting out the die as a stencil and, using Distress Ink, stenciled the pattern onto the tag.

After journaling, I covered both with Diamond Glaze and added a brad.

In the end, I liked the first option best, but because I wasn’t thinking when I did the journaling, I used the second option on my page. Here’s the finished page …

Die cuts — not just for decoration, anymore

I wanted to share some different ideas for using die cuts or punches.

In this example, I used this flower die from Dies Direct as both a mask and an accent. I used the colors I had on hand and made my own glimmer mist, but you could do it any color. Imagine how pretty it would be in pinks and purples!


1. I cut the die cut out of cardstock several times. Then I ran each piece through my non-permanent Xyron machine and placed them where I wanted them on the card front. I used both the inside and outside of the flower.

2. I made two glimmer mists by mixing a drop or two of Distress Ink, a little Perfect Pearls, and then filling my mini mister with water. I used Mustard Seed and gold in one and Peeled Paint and green patina in another.

3. I lightly sprayed the surface with the yellow mixture and then let dry (I used a heat gun to speed up the process.)

4. Then, I repeated with the green. I did it heavier in places.

5. Once dry, I peeled off the die cuts and threw them away.

6. I decided I wanted more color, so I lightly misted with the yellow again in some places.

7. Once dry, I edged the card in Peeled Paint Distress Ink and blended it a bit on some of the sides.


1. I cut out dies again and sprayed them with the green mist. I went heavier on the inside of the flower.

2. I inked the edges of the back part of the flower with Peeled Paint Distress Ink. I used a lot of ink because I didn’t get the contrast I wanted originally — but it’s all an experiment, right!

3. I attached the flowers with brads directly onto the card and added the title.

You can’t see the glimmer well in the photo, but the card sparkles, without looking like glitter.

I think I’ll try to hippo die next and see what sort of grungy background I can make!