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Thursday, June 30, 2011

4th of July Cards

Good Morning Everyone!

I have another 4th of July card to share with you today.

I used mini porcupine balls to create the fireworks.  Mini porcupine balls are 1" balls that have little flexible rubber points.  Some are rounder than the ones in my photograph. 

You can find them in party stores. I clipped a clothespin to a ball before I dipped it into a puddle of paint. Then I pounced the ball onto a sheet of tag so that a spatter of paint was left on the paper. I did that over and over again using red, white and blue acrylic paint. 

The patriotic puppy was created with a Serendipity stamp.   I used a Hero Arts clear stamp from their Celebrate Everyday set to create the text.  The dog's shirt was colored in with a couple of red Copic markers.

If you have children they would enjoy painting with porcupine balls.  Potato mashers, dish scrubber brushes, and bottoms of soda bottles are also great for gadget painting.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherry Pie

Good Morning Everyone!

Instead of sharing a card with you this morning I want to share a recipe.  First a little background information.  From the time he could first stand Rob has been at my side in the kitchen.  We have a double sink in our kitchen.  I'd fill one of the sinks with water and Rob would stand on a step stool and scrub mainly potatoes and carrots while I was cooking dinner.  I tell people that story over and over again and mention that we always had the cleanest vegetables in town because when dinner was ready I'd put those vegetables away and would often give the same ones back to Rob the next day.

I enjoy cooking and baking, but I am not a pie maker.  Or let's just say that my pie crusts come from a box.  For as long as I can remember Rob wanted to learn how to make pies from scratch.  One Sunday our friend Herb's mother, Louisa, taught Rob how to make a pie crust.  Rob regretted that he didn't write the recipe down because Louisa passed away a short time later, but happily he did remember the techniques that she taught him. 

Louisa would be so proud of Rob.  His pies are as beautiful and tasty as hers used to be. 
That's a cherry pie in the photograph.  If you are planning to make a dessert for a 4th of July celebration or just as a treat for your family try this recipe.  The recipe is posted on and this is the link for it.
Everyone who has tasted this pie says it's the best cherry pie they've ever had. 

Rob makes his pie crust from scratch.  He uses a recipe from the Wilson's Farm Cookbook, but you can just use your favorite pie crust recipe if you don't happen to own that book. 

Here's a photograph of Rob holding the pie he baked last night.

Jeanne and I both have today off so we're going on an outing. 
Have a great day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birthday Cards for Rob

Good Morning!

I think we're finally going to see some sunshine today.  The sun is fighting its way through the clouds. 

We live in the suburbs of Boston where squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and a variety of songbirds have always shared our backyard.  I've been told of coyote and deer sightings, but have never seen either of them. Recently turkey sightings have become as common as squirrels and chipmunks.   Rob just told me that he saw a fox crossing the road the other day.

Earlier this spring Rob and I would race outside each time one of us spotted a turkey. Our neighbor Jan would call us on the phone whenever she saw one in our side yard. We'd join her and Bob and watched adult male and female turkeys roam from one yard to the next. About a month ago 4 poults joined the adults in their early morning and early evening strolls.

Every morning....EVERY MORNING...EVERY MORNING one of the male turkeys struts back and forth in front of our house gobbling over and over again. He puffs himself up and spreads his tail feathers wide to let his female friends know he's awake.  He starts to gobble shortly before 4:30 AM and doesn't stop until he has successfully woken every human, dog, squirrel, and crow in the neighborhood.  Then he strolls off into our woods to take a nap. A few hours later some of the females appear. Mother turkey and her 4 poults come on their own. She purrs softly to her children if we try to get close to them and hurries them along.

Although I find the early morning antics of the male turkey annoying, the novelty of seeing these creatures hasn't worn off. It's amazing to see large adult turkeys fly from the ground onto the railing of our front and back decks. Rob and I have seen them fly up into the trees to sleep there for the night.  One day I sat at my worktable and from my window watched a male turkey carefully preen every one of his tail feathers. Mother turkey often rolls in the soil on the side of our house and each of her poults mimics her actions. 

Robbie continues to race outside each time he spots a turkey and I usually join him. Our fascination with turkeys was the inspiration for some of the birthday cards I created for Rob this year. I don't give him more than one card. I create the cards that Jeanne, Marie, and I give him and if (when) I get carried away with my creations I bring the extras to craft fairs, etc.

I just had to make another accordion card. I think they look so "rich" and they remind me of the incredible cards that are displayed near the check out area in Barnes and Noble.

I pulled out 3 of my turkey stamps, inked them up and stamped them, colored the images with markers and fussy cut each image. I used a craft knife to cut a slit in each of the larger turkeys mouths and slipped a party noisemaker sticker into the openings. I layered 2 identical noisemakers with a piece of foam tape between them to add dimension to them. The party hat on the largest turkey is covering a "Pilgrim's hat". I cut off the Pilgrim hat on the middle size turkey and replaced it with a party hat. I masked the word "ham" that was on the middle size turkey stamp and replaced it with "pizza" which is one of Rob's favorite foods.  The gifts and balloons are from my sticker stash. 

I used a 4th turkey stamp for the images on this second card. I added tiny googly eyes to the birds and musical brads near the text before I adhered the layering paper to the card. The picket fence was created with a Martha Stewart punch.

I've now created at least 4 cards that can be used for Rob's birthday.

In our family Jeanne's birthday comes up next. She's turning 55 this year so I must think of an extra special card to create for her. Any suggestions?
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Card for Rob

Hi Everyone!

Rob's birthday is approaching so I have been in birthday card making mode. For most of his life Rob saved every card he received. One day he gave me a backpack full of cards so that I could use them in a workshop. Later he regretted that decision and once again started saving his cards. It wasn't until sometime this year that I learned that Marie has also saved most of the cards that she has received. Now I make sure to write the date and an extra special message inside all of the cards I give them.

Rob's a quiet guy. When he's home he mostly hangs out in his room. He reads, goes on his computer, watches TV, and writes in a journal. When I ask what he's doing he usually responds, "Just chillin'". So a while back when I saw a "just chillin'" wooden rubber stamp from Purrs and Pants I knew I had to add it to my collection. I used it when I created this card. The popsicles are brads from Eyelet Outlet.

I have a great (and constantly expanding) collection of brads. I used to store them in silicone muffin wrappers on a cupcake stand that can hold 12 cupcakes. As my brad collection grew I continued to store them in the muffin wrappers, but moved them to cupcake stand that holds 24 cupcakes. That stand was taking up too much space on my worktable so I moved the muffin wrappers into some of the plastic drawers that are next to me. When I am working I just pick up the muffin wrapper of brads that I want to use and place it next to me.

I keep my bird and musical note brads in the same muffin wrapper because "birds sing". I keep party hat, cupcake, and ice cream cone brads in the same muffin wrapper because they are all part of a birthday theme. I think you get the picture.

I have more cards underway for Rob so check back soon to see if I have posted them.

Have a great day! 
Hope some sunshine comes your way!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scrapbooks etc. Card

Hi Everyone!

I do not scrapbook. I make cards, tags, gift boxes and bags, wreaths, and other paper crafts. Yet, one of my favorite magazines is Scrapbooks etc. This magazine arrives in my mailbox 6 times a year. In addition to scrapbooking ideas there are always wonderfully creative ideas for cards and crafts. I do study the scrapbook illustrations and read the ideas for them because many of the techniques can be applied to cardmaking.

In addition to being a subscriber to the magazine I frequently visit the Scrapbooks etc. web site. I love using the paper piecing patterns and there are always all sorts of great tips and techniques to learn.

The August 2011 magazine arrived in my mailbox on Friday. I tossed it into my bag as I headed out the door to my parent and child class. I sat and flipped through the magazine while I waited for my students to arrive. As soon as I saw the card idea on page 54 I wanted to run home to make it, but I taught my class and did some errands first.

I was amazed at how simple the card was to create and how quickly I finished the first one.

The tagweight paper I used is from SEI. Most of the embellishments are from SEI's Happy Day collection. The ribbons are from my stash. I stamped "Make a Wish!" and backed it with a scrap of blue tag before I adhered it to my card. See the ribbon on the side of the card? It's attached to a tag that is inside of a little pocket that is on the card. The directions in the magazine explain how to fold the card and create the pocket and pull tab.

When I woke up on Saturday I created my second card.
I used some double sided tag from SEI's Happy Day collection for the card. The paper embellishments are from the Me & My Big Ideas 12" x 12" Celebrate paper pad. The adhesive pearls, stickers, and ribbons are from my stash. This time I made my pocket a little wider so that a gift card will slip in and out of it easily.

The technique for this card can of course be used for any type of card. Saturday night I used it to create this baby card.

I dug through my stash and found all of the embellishments that you see on the card. I did not put a pocket on this card.

I cannot give you the specific directions for these cards, but you can purchase Scrapbooks etc. at newstands and you'll most definitely get your money's worth of ideas from it.  In the August issue in addition to great card ideas there's a cool idea for an ABC album and an On the Road Bingo that I am dying to create.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Summer

Hi Everyone!
Thank you for all of the comments you made on Sammi's card a few days ago.  I am definitely in summer cardmaking mode and decided to create a variety of cards with the Denami Designs castle stamp and some sandpaper. 
I started out by using a sea sponge to dab some acrylic blue and green paints on white tag.  When the tag was dry I cut a piece so it measured 4" x 5.25".
As I did a few days ago I stamped some castle images onto sand paper.  I also tore some strips of sand paper and adhered them to the layering paper. 
Then I fussy cut the sand castles and adhered them to my card. 
I used a DieNamics sun to cut my sun, stamped text onto it with an Amuse Artstamp and added a rhinestone brad to it to make it sparkle.  

When I attended the CK Conference in Manchester, NH I purchased a variety of brads from the Eyelet Outlet booth.  When I attended the Stamp Show in West Springfield, MA a few weeks ago I purchased even more brads from Eyelet Outlet because they are so much fun to use on my cards and gift tags.  
I looked through my brad stash and picked out some of the summery ones and added them to my card.  They add color and additional texture to my card. 
Have a great day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Impression Obsession Summer Challenge

Hi Everyone!

Today is Impression Obsession's Hot Fun in the Summer-Summer Fun Greetings Challenge. The idea for my card came to me after I worked with some children the other day. Two little girls were sitting with their mom licking popsicles which were melting very quickly due to the hot bright sun in the sky. They were reading their new book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. That's when the card idea came to me.  Inspiration truly is everywhere!

Eric Carle puts a sun in every one of his books. I created a sun that looks like many of his suns. He uses tissue paper to create his illustrations, but I used patterned paper from SEI. I had some epoxy stickers from EK Success that totally reminded me of the dripping popsicles the girls were eating. I used some Scor-pal tape to attach tiny craft sticks to my card and added the stickers to those sticks.

I wanted the sun to be as sparkly as the popsicle drips were so I added tiny rhinestones to the sun and the sun's rays. I used Impression Obsession's wooden "Enjoy the Sweet Thing in Life" stamp for the greeting on this card. That stamp says "summer" to me. Sweet children eating sweet popsicles in the bright sunshine! You cannot get more "summery" than that!

By the way what's your favorite flavor popsicle? I love root beer ones.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Taped Card

Hi Everyone!

I've been reading about Washi tape in some of the blogs I follow.  Photographs I have seen of it show all sorts of decorative patterns on tape.  Many people have been using that tape as a paper crafting tool.
While I was in my basement last night I came across a container of tape.  I don't think it's Washi tape, but I may be wrong.  I know a school supply sales representative gave it to me a few years ago, but other than that I don't know the source of it.  The rolls of tape that I have are solid colors in a variety of widths.  Some are as thin as thread and others are an inch wide.   Some are "flat" in color and others are shiny. 

I cut a sheet of tag that measured 4" x 5.25" to use as my layering paper.  Then I just added strips of tape to it.  After I had added all the tape I wanted, I used Scor-pal tape to adhere the layering paper to an A2 card. 

The text is from an Amuse Artstamp.  I used a Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad for my ink because I knew it would dry quickly and wouldn't smudge.  This was a super fast way to create a nicely textured card.

Off to present another parent and child literacy program. 

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Denami Designs Fabulous Frames Blog Hop

Good Morning Everyone!

Welcome to the Denami Designs Fabulous Frames Blog Hop. Here are the details that were sent to me from Denami Designs.

When: The blog hop starts on June 12 at 6 AM, PST. However, you have until June 13, 2011, 11:59 pm PST, to leave comments on all the blogs (to be eligible for a prize).

Why: To be inspired by beautiful creations featuring DeNami Design stamps and also the chance to win mini shopping sprees on the DeNami Design website!

Prizes: We are giving away THREE $20 gift certificates to our website! We'll be giving away one gift certificate to a random participant (DT members not eligible) and then we'll also be giving away TWO gift certificates to TWO people who comment along the hop!

If you started at the beginning of the blog you arrived here from Tenia Nelson's blog at

You are now at Carol Hartery's blog at

My friend Sandy's granddaughter, Sammi, celebrates her birthday next month. Sammi loves everything "princess" so Sandy asked me to create a princess card for her. I ordered the Denami castle and chickie princess stamps specifically for Sammi's card. Since Sammi also loves the beach I decided to have the chickie princess live in a sand castle. I used my Tuxedo Black Memento ink pad and stamped 3 castles onto a piece of sand paper. I used some of my markers to add color to the sand castles before I fussy cut them. I tore some small sheets of sandpaper to create some sand for the card.

Well, princesses love sunshine so I used Denami's medium birthday circle stamp to create a large bright sun. The princess is framed by the birthday text. I cut some triangles for the sun's rays and added tiny rhinestones to the rays and to the text to add some sparkle to the card. The chickie princess doesn't want a sunburn so she's standing under her favorite pink umbrella.

The beach ball is a brad from Eyelet Outlet.

All stamps used are from Denami Designs


Chickie princess

Medium birthday circle stamp


Your next stop is at Jenny Wagener's blog at

If you get lost along the way you can always start at

Please be sure to leave a comment at each blog you visit. Hope you'll become a follower on my blog and will come back to visit me again soon.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

4th of July Cards

Hi Everyone!

What's a 4th of July celebration without watermelon, stawberries, and blueberries! The slices of watermelon on today's first card were stamped with a stamp from the Hero Arts Simply the Best clear stamp set. The layering papers are from SEI. SEI makes the yummiest papers!

I used a Martha Stewart ribbon threader punch to create the holes I used to weave through a piece of pink sorbet baker's twine from The Twinery. The 4th of July text was stamped with a wooden stamp from Northwoods Stamps.  I put some foam tape on the back of one slice of watermelon to add some dimension to the card.

The cover of Martha Stewart's July 2011 Living magazine is decked out with gorgeous patriotic cookies. The inside is packed with recipes and ideas for decorating for the holiday. One page spread showcases wagons and bicycles decorated for the annual parade. That photograph took me back more than 40 years when my twin sisters won the blue ribbon for their decorated doll carriages. The memory is fuzzy, but knowing my mom I am sure that they were probably wearing matching patriotic outfits that she sewed for them.

With that memory for inspiration I created this patriotic card. I think I'll send it to one of the twins.

The bicycle was stamped with a Hero Arts cling stamp and the pinwheels were stamped with A Country Welcome wooden stamp. The text is stamped with a Hero Arts clear stamp from their Celebrate Everyday collection. I used a Martha Stewart punch for the balloons. The bicycle is riding along a ribbon road from my stash. The maraschino twine is from The Twinery. I store my twine in a clear iris vase to add a touch of color to my own little corner.

Months ago I purchased a sampler pack of twine from The Twinery. I am sort of surprised that there's no blue and white twine in their collection, but other than that the sampler pack has 11 cheery colors of twine.

Years ago my grandmother, Nana Riley, used to buy us all sorts of delicious treats from Hanlon's bakery in West Roxbury. They had an overhead container that held twine. The worker would reach up and pull down a piece of twine to wrap around the box of baked goods. Funny how almost any memory can trigger a paper craft and how almost every paper craft can trigger a memory!

Today I am doing a family nature program. We're making clipboards, binoculars, and observation circles. Have a great day!

Oh, I have a quick request for anyone who is reading this post. Please leave a comment telling us how you store your border punches.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Creative Spaces and Marker Storage

Hi Everyone!

This is my second post for today. I have so many things I want to share with you that I may double up on posts for a while.

A few weeks ago I purchased a copy of the Creating Keepsakes special issue magazine called "Creative Spaces". I carefully studied each page and ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the different scrapbooking spaces. There were some truly amazing ideas. When I finished reading, I walked into my dining room and sat in "my own little corner" and looked around me. I felt very content and happy with what I saw.

"Creative Spaces" is in stores right now and I highly recommend it to anyone who papercrafts. You'll get some great ideas and you'll have a chance to peek into the rooms of some of the best known names in the industry.

While we were driving to the Stamp Show on Saturday Janet told us that she was going to Ikea with her husband on Sunday to purchase some furniture for her new crafting space. We talked about her plans for that space and I learned that many of her materials will be behind closed doors and her stamps will be stored in clear containers.

I prefer to have my materials out in the open. I love to sit back and admire my wooden stamps and think about ways to use them. I love having my ink pads and scissors within arm's reach. I told Janet that the one and only thing I wanted to change in my corner was the way I stored my markers. They were sorted and organized in one of my drawers, but I constantly had to search through them to find the color I wanted.

Janet said that she has also read "Creating Spaces" and that she had seen a photograph of markers being stored in cups on a wine rack. When I got home I studied my magazine and found the photograph that Janet had mentioned. I loved the idea so yesterday I went to HomeGoods to see if I could find a wine rack. I found a small wicker one that could hold just 3 wine bottles. I tested to see how plastic cups would fit in it because I knew I had some at home that I could use with it.

I came home and sorted and arranged my markers into 3 plastic cups and set them on their sides in the wine rack. I can see what color each of my markers is and can easily pull out the marker I want. I can also pull out a cupful of markers to use while I am working. Love it!

I've told you how happy I am with my paper crafting space. That doesn't mean that I don't change things around from time to time. I rotate my stamps and ribbons mostly according to the season. Jeanne hung all but one of my cutlery trays and fabric drawer organizers on the wall as "shelves" for my wooden stamps. There's one left to hang and not a lot more room on the walls after that unless I remove my brads bulletin board, my framed sample border edges, and/or my button collage. We'll see about that when the need arrives.

Meanwhile, here's how I am storing my embossing folders and my Bazzill In Stich'z templates. I purchased 2 of these mail holders, but cannot figure out where to hang the second one so it may go back to the store.

I am off to teach a parent/child literacy program. Will talk with you again soon.

Washing Machine Card

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday my friend Peggy e-mailed me and asked if I could make her a washing machine card.  A friend had let Peggy use her washing machine while Peggy was having some work done in her basement.  Peggy wanted a thank you card for that friend.

This was a fun card to create.  I cut my layering paper which is the washing machine so that it measured 4" x 5".  I used a Fiskars corner rounder punch to round all 4 corners.  I cut an opening in the washing machine with my purple circle Marvy Uchida paper punch and then adhered a piece of transparency to that hole to make it look like the glass opening in a front loading washing machine. 

I have some Sizzix dies that are baby clothes.  I took some scraps from my scrap drawer and used the dies to cut some pants and shirts.  The letters on those clothes are from my stash.  I adhered the clothes to the circle punchout I got when I punched the hole in the card.  I taped that circle onto the back of the washing machine, cut some legs for the washing machine and then attached it to an A2 card.

I used a quilling strip for the strips on the machine and attached some raised felt dots for the washing machine's buttons. 

An alternate idea for the washing machine's glass window would be to use the plastic pieces for a shaker card. 

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

For a Special Teacher

Good Morning Everyone!

It's a beautiful day.  The sun is shining and the air is crisp.  I love days like this.  I am not a fan of the hot days of summer.  I prefer the slightly cooler days of early fall and that's how the air feels today.

The school year is drawing to a close here in Massachusetts. It's the time of year that many parents and/or PTO groups will be thanking teachers for their hard work. With that in mind I created today's first card. It's a gift card holder. When you open the card up there's a pocket inside for a gift card. The papers I used are from dcwv's Grade School small block. The doggie stamp is from Dandelion Designs and the text is from an A Muse Artstamp. The crayon embellishment is a Favorite Findings button and the epoxy apple sticker was in my stash.

The next card is similar to one I shared with you the other day. I used distress inks to color the Tree Trunk stamp from Hero Arts. I learned the technique from a video that was presented by Shari Carroll on the Hero Arts site.

This time I cut off the birds and flowers and replaced them with some adorable bird brads from Eyelet Outlet. After I stamped the text I free cut some clouds and paper pierced them before I added them to the card.

Today my friends Janet and Diane are riding with me to the Heirloom Designs Stamp Show in West Springfield. We're all very excited because this will be our first stamp show. I've given myself a nice little budget for today so that I can have some fun and come home with new stamps and other goodies.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Congratulations Stephanie

Happy Friday Everyone!

My sisters and many of my friends like to send personalized cards. Happily when they want one they call on me to create it for them. My friend Kathy asked me to create a card for a dear girl in her life who is graduating from high school.

I called the school and learned that the girls in the graduating class will be wearing white caps and gowns. The tassels on their caps will be red and white. To create the cap I used a template that I have told you about before and used over and over again. It's a template for a petal card and is one of the many templates that is included with the book Handmade Cards from Klutz Press. I use the largest petal template when I am using the cap as the card and the smallest petal template when I am putting a cap on a card.

In the past I have purchased black and gold tassels to use on my cards. After I use up my tassel stash I won't be buying them again because now I know how to make them. I needed a red and white tassel and made my own. I found excellent instructions on this site:
By slightly adapting the instructions you'll be able to make any size or length tassel in the colors that you want. I can see these tassels being used as pom poms on a card for a cheerleader.

I typed the text message on my computer. I printed some graduation cap clip art, added a tiny red brad to each cap, and fussy cut them before I added them to the card with foam tape. You could of course use a graduation cap stamp too.

Congratulations Stephanie!
Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thanks a Bunch Cards

Hi Everyone!

Over the  years I have signed up for newsletters from many manufacturers in the paper crafting industry.  I enjoy reading those newsletters because they often showcase new products and ways to use the products that the company provides.  Last night I received the June newsletter from Hero Arts.  As I glanced at the "front page" I noticed that there was a new video showing ways to use distress inks as water colors.  Since I have a stack of distress ink pads I decided to watch the video. 

It turns out that I not only had 3 of the 4 colors of ink pads that Shari Carroll used, but also have the Hero Arts "Tree Trunk" stamp that she used in her demonstration.  The video was excellent and I decided to give the technique a try.  I am so excited because I can see the shading that I wanted on my tree trunk.

As Shari did in the video I fussy cut the tree trunk after I finished painting it. Since I was going to mount it on blue patterned paper instead of white I cut off the birds and flowers so that I didn't need to cut out their legs and stems.  I used a thin marker to draw legs and stems and then glued the birds and flowers onto the patterned paper.  I stamped and colored some grass.  I used a Paper Trey Ink cloud die cut to create the cloud, stamped the text on it and paper pierced it to make it look stitched.  I am pleased with my card and plan to use that technique again and again.  Thank you Shari and Hero Arts for the great video.
My second card from today was inspired by the pinwheels that have been sitting on my dining room table for the past few months.  First I had some spring pinwheels and now I have some patriotic ones.  A short time ago I purchased a pinwheel stamp from A Country Welcome  and I used it on today's card. 

The picket fence was created with a Sizzix die.  The cloud was created with a Paper Trey Ink die.  I used my Martha Stewart fringing scissors to create the grass. 

I photographed many of my other cards today and will hopefully post some of them in the next day or two.

Have a great night!