Monday, December 21, 2009

Tim's Tags

It is that time of year for the Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas. Many crafters I know participated in it - I have only done about half. Of course, only four are completely done. The projects centered around the various grunge techniques using Ranger/Tim Holt/Stampers Anonymous products.
The above tag was one of my favorites. I did not have the exact supplies, but made due all the same. Notice the gold photo corner in the upper right? It is not a photo corner, really. I punched the shape from a small square of gold cardstock that had been run the the Sizzix in a Cuttlebug embossing folder. After punching, I rubbed a bit ink over it and glued it on. This is a very elegant and simple tag that can be easily reproduced in a smaller version.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Book in a Box

I found a great addition to giving the gift of scrapbooks to family. Club Scrap has a project called Book in a Box. It was very simple to make and I think it looks great. The first photo is of the closed box - I kept the exterior fairly simple.
In this photo, the book was removed from the box. It's just created from 6 x 6 page protectors held together with binder rings. I accessorized the rings with a variety of ribbons and fibers. This gift is for my cousin and her husband, who were given a surprise birthday party (they both have birthdays on the same day in March!).

Here is a photo of the open box and closed book. Pretty cool - and a bit different from a standard 6 x 6 album. Club Scrap has them in different colors, so you can customize a bit. The inside pages were a snap using an assembly cutting and sorting technique.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gift Tags

I have a couple (more) gift tag ideas using alcohol inks and metal. These 2 tags are made from Pre-purchased metal tags that I ran through my Sizzix in embossing folders.
The gold and pink colored tag was painted with alcohol inks to match the gift bag to which it was attached.
The red and white tag at the top was colored with alcohol inks using an applicator with felt attached. the strips were colored white with a paint pen. To tie in the idea of a candy cane, I stamped the small squares and attached with mounting tape. Easy and quick!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm thinking

that November and December are difficult months to find time to blog! I do have Christmas shopping under control and the myriad of gifts to be shipped are almost gone.

I was in the process of wrapping for my crafting friends, when it occurred to me to do something creative as gift tags. I try to do something a little different for my friends - sometimes, it seems I've used all available techniques over the years.

This year, I brought out the alcohol inks, metal, and foil. Yep- aluminum foil wrapped over cardstock can be made into tags or card fronts! The above tag was made by wrapping foil around cardstock that was inserted into a snowflake embossing folder. I ran the folder through my Sizzix to emboss the pattern. I smeared a blue Staz On ink pad over the tag and added a few punched snowflakes. It turned out great and my recipient loved it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

While I have...

been busy making Christmas gifts (not ready to be posted) and getting ready for my daughter's brief return for Thanksgiving, I received this award nomination from my friend, Rinda. She has recently embarked on the blogging adventure - and has been doing a fabulous job on content and art! Check out her blog at : .

I need to share 7 things about myself and nominate others....

1. I have a BS and MS in Health Science.

2. I have waded in the Arctic Ocean.

3. I helped teach middle schoolers life science for 5 years.

4. I have 2 college age kids.

5. I have been stamping since 1990/91.

6. I could live in Barnes and Noble!

7. I usually have a latte or tea in the afternoon as a pick me up.

Other blogs that keep me inspired (including Rinda's!):

Ginny Carter of Small Studio

Kelly Kilmer

Elaine Schader

And, a couple of others that Rinda has already named.

What a wonderful surprise - and I better get busy with postings! My daughter is home for the Thanksgiving Holiday - I picked her up from SFO last night. Today was busy doing some shopping and going out to lunch. She drove - after not driving for 2 months. Thankfully, all was well and she is enjoying her car.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Taking a Break...

from making Christmas gifts, i.e. Christmas scrapbooks. I thought I'd tackle another GAB book page. This one was "wishes", and had me stumped for awhile. Never being one to put much stock in wishes, I wasn't sure the direction I wanted to take. There are a number of cliches I could have used, but nothing seemed right. I decided to look up some quotes as a start, and I found one that I liked. I decided to use some of the cliche sayings as a background.

There is an Internet site called "Wordle" where you can type in words, sayings,etc and it'll create a background to your specifications as to number of words, color, font, etc. So, I typed in several lines of "wishes" and had a background created. It's a pretty interesting site and fun to scramble words and phrases. I stamped the woman (Paula's Kit Club), colored her with Copic markers and used mounting tape the pop her off the page a little. She's now ready to hit the road!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's been a week...

since my last post! I've been busy, but haven't had much time to post. Good news is my mom is home with 24 hr care, and will continue physical therapy at home twice a week. Thankfully, this has all worked out well.
Thinking about all this with my mom, finally spurred me to scrap her 80th birthday photos from a year and a half ago. I bought this Club Scrap ziplock (yes, as in baggie) book project to use for the photos. I made it very simple and did little to drop or alter the photos. I have also shown a couple of sample pages. I ended up painting the covers since they were chipboard and the cover papers didn't cover the entire chipboard. I also added different fibers to the binder rings - colors more in tune to the colors of the album.
I do have a couple more little albums to do for Christmas gifts. My cousin (and godmother) turned 65 last March - there was a surprise party for her (and her husband - same birth date but a year older!). I have photos from that event that I want to make a book for them.
All this scrapbooking is making me want to make books and do some journaling...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


for our freedom. Today is Veteran's Day. What better way to observe it than to make get well cards for our hospitalized troops. One of the Club Scrap members has a sister who visits the troops at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospitals. So I made 6 cards today and will make several more before they are due to her at the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GAB Book Page

My GAB group continues each month with a new book page based on a members suggestion. For November, my friend, Rinda, picked the theme of Micah's List. I'm not familiar with this piece of writing (poetry?) and it has given me a lot of trouble coming up with a page to illustrate its principles. In a paraphrased nutshell, it speaks to being kind, fair, just, live well - an almost treat others as you would want to be treated. I'm very much over simplifying this - but I'm sure you could Google "Micah's List" and see it in its entirety.

The background is a marbled white with some gold - a paper I bought in Florence a few years back. I thought I would go with the white for its connotations of purity and goodness. The "dancers" are stamped in gold and silver (center image) - all from A Stamp in the Hand. The sentiment is from Postmodern Design. I stamped the sentiment and attached it to a gate image - thinking of heaven (St Peter guarding the gates of heaven).

Thankfully, it all came together once I had the stamps picked. Now, to work on "wishes"...

CORRECTION: Micah's List is a scripture - thanks, Rinda, for the correction!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birds of a Feather card

This was the birthday card I made my friend, Nancy. All the very cheery cardstocks and the striped ribbon are from the September Club Scrap kit "Birds of a Feather". The pink mat was embossed on my Sizzix with the swirl Cuttlebug embossing folder. The sentiment was from the Birds of a Feather stamp kit. The bird is a clear stamp from Inkadinkadoo.

I have a couple of book projects and altered book pages in the works. I'm hoping to finish in the next day or so (unless I'm driving to So Ca to check on mom).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The "Sandwich" Generation...

That's of what I am a part. We "sandwichers" still have kids that need us and our parents are of the age in which they need assistance. About 2 years ago, I was spending week or two at home and then week in So Ca (I'm in San Jose) caring for my mother who had hip replacement surgery and became ill afterwards. She had recovered as much as she was going to given that she refused further assistance and therapy (long story - won't go there!).

So, last Saturday, she fell at home on her reconstructed hip and fractured her upper thigh bone. Thankfully, the bone is in place - no surgery or casting, just physical therapy in a rehab unit for a while. That's where she is now. I do have a brother who lives close to Mom - so he's handling things (I did everything last time - including being on his case to visit his very sick mother - but we won't go there either!)

So, I'm in a funk - wanting to make art and just lacking the motivation. I did put together a Paper bag book - which I'll use for photos. The photo above is of the cover.

On a more fun note - I received a "thank you" gift from Jeannine Stein, author of Re-bound creating handmade books from recycled materials. A lovely collection of ephemera that is calling my name to be used...perhaps it will be the motivation...

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Cards...

A few days back, I made the above cards for a couple of friends. The top "Owl" card was made for my friend, Janice, as a "thank you". She made all attendees of Mini Retreat these wonderfully sewn fabric book binding kits. I used on the gesso techniques from Technique Junkies that I included in my tech book. The cardstock and ribbon is from Club Scrap and the owls from Inkadinkadoo.
The second card was for Farley's birthday. The entire card was made with Club Scrap's October kit, Natural Resources. I did use a Cuttlebug border embossing folder on the green cardstock near the bottem edge.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Enjoy the evening safely! The above card was sent with halloween See's candy to the college kids. The inside reads "Practice Safe Hex". Mom received the glitter pumpkins card from Mini Retreat. Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gesso Techniques

The last class we had at Mini Retreat was a gesso techniques class taught be Nancy. She put together a Bind-It-All book, so that we had a master reference source. I believe all the techniques came from Pat Huntoon's Technique Junkies Newletter. (You should definitely check the Newsletter out - it's like mini classes with color examples sent right to your mailbox!) I trimmed down each of my samples and placed them in the book with the page across being instructions. In the first photo, I trimmed a square of each technique to use as the book cover.
We painted gesso on cardstock and sanded, inked, brayered, and "Cuttlebug-ed" the cardstock for backgrounds. I added one technique to the back (the second photo) in which gesso is painted onto a cardstock and you stamp into it, wiggle a bit, and remove. You are basically taking the gesso off the cardstock in whatever image of your stamp.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mini Retreat - Rigid Wrap

The third project we worked on was taught by Rinda. We used a material called "Rigid Wrap", a plaster wrap that is similar to broken bone casting material. It's easy to work with, although you should double up the layers to give the sheet some strength. We made a door hanging and then a project of our choice. We used paints, stamps, inks and ephemera.
The top photo is that of the holiday door hanging. I painted a silver/iridescent paint as the background. The moon is a diecut and the Santa is German Scrap. I stamped the gold stars and the sentiment.
The second piece was painted with a variety of Golden Fluid acrylics. I tore several Italian papers for the perimeter and cut out a couple of cherubs. The statue is a piece of ephemera from Rinda and I stamped "Journey". A thin layer of golden glaze was painted all over the piece.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Mini Retreat projects...

My friend, KJ, who arranged the Retreat at her development's club house, taught 2 card techniques.
For card on the left, we colored the image with colored pencils and apllied small dabs of glue to the flowers. We then added a relatively new paper product, Flower Soft. In real life, the flowers are slightly puffed, almost as if there are petals. I finished off the card by matting the image to cardstock and a foldover card and added ribbon. I added a "Thank You" sentiment and sent it off to my cousin!

The Halloween image was stamped in permanent ink onto acetate. We then dabbed glue to the reverse side in small areas and applied glitter. I had some trouble getting good coverage of glitter, but I perservered! Guess I'm just glitter impaired - although my craft apron looked did parts of my cheek...strands of my get the idea! I added matting and sent this card off to my mom for Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I took a brief break from art to visit Megan in Boston. It was Parent's Weekend at Emerson, so my husband and I flew out on Thursday (at the ungodly hour of 6am Ca time) and stayed through Sunday afternoon. The weather was good - warm rain off and on on Saturday - otherwise fine. The trees were in the process of turning so we took several walks through the Public Garden and Boston Common. It's a wonderful city and very visitor friendly. Megan has settled into a nice life there and is quite the whiz at navigating the subways and trains. We had a great time and were also able to meet and get to know some of her new found friends. All were mature, responsible, caring supportive and kind hearted. A vast improvement....
As if that is not exciting enough (afterall, if you have not been to Boston, you can live vicariously through me - kidding!), I received a wonderful surprise just before I left town. Jeannine Stein, the author of the book "re-bound"I profiled somehow found my blog and read the post on the hot water bottle book! I received a very kind and supportive email from her - it has made my month, to say the least! Thank you , Jeannine and so glad you liked the project and the twist!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mini retreat Book Project

As I have mentioned, I taught a book project class last Saturday at WC's Mini Retreat. I kept the details a secret as I know a few of the ladies are not overjoyed with bookbinding projects - but this one was quite unique.
I recently purchased a book "Re-bound making books from recycled materials" written by Jeannine Stein. Really interesting book projects using items like bath mats, plastic gift cards, old wallets - to name a few. My book? This is a recycled (actually a "re-purposed" new) hot water bottle! My friends could not guess what the book was made of - and just cracked up when I pulled out the hot water bottles!
By following the cutting instructions, each hot water bottle can make 2 books. It's a fairly easy stitch, crossing on the spine to form X's. I did modify it a bit by using a ribbon closure and creating a loop in which to set a pen. I will definitely make this again - adding beads to the spine and painting the pages before binding.
Fun isn't it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yesterday, my West Coast Scrap and Stamp group had our Mini Retreat. The history (as I understand it) is that every October a contingent of members go to Club Scrap's annual Retreat in Wisconsin. So, to give those who are unable to attend something fun to do, Mini Retreat was born. This is my second Mini Retreat.

There were 16 of us total - and 4 of us taught classes. KJ Jones arranged the whole day - including meals. Nancy and I provided goodie bags, KJ and Janice provided fabulous bookmaking kits, and there were some door prizes. These are just a couple of photos from the day.
The classes that were taught: book project taught by me;cardmaking using glitter and Flowersoft taught by KJ; art with plaster taught by Rinda; and gesso techniques for cards taught by Nancy. We started classes at 9:30am(mine) and finished up around 7:45 pm. It was a very fun day! I'll be posting projects from the day this week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

GAB November Page

I was able to complete the November page for my GAB swap. The theme is "The Planet Earth" After gesso-ing the page, I used a variety of blues and a black paints. I found a clip art image of the earth that would work and did some embossing on the page to sort of match. Stamped and attached "hand of God" and page done! It's nice when everything comes together without too much stress and trouble!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Card for MOM

I'm finishing a bunch of project stuff (including making more twinchies for another swap), and squeezed in time to make a Thanksgiving card for my mom is So Ca. I know it's early - just wanted it done so I can just head to See's for her chocolates!
The cardstock was bought by a friend attending the Cincinnati Stamp Convention - and I think the pumpkin diecut as well. I just added ribbon, wire, punched leaves and a circular stamp. All ready to go in November!

Monday, October 12, 2009


In my West Coast group, several of us are involved in OCAM - one card a month. Those who sign up agree to make a card each month and send it to a name on the list. This is quite a popular type of round robin - I know of several groups who do this.

I was able to catch up - I needed to send to my friend, Sonja, in September and to Lucy this month. The top card is for Lucy and utilizes Club Scrap's Apothecary kit from August. It was made using a "faux bleach" technique of black embossing the main image and using white watercolor pencil and water pen around the image.
The bottom card is made from Club Scrap Matrix cardstock and a variety of stamp images. The rest of the saying is on the inside " ... and if you can't be good, be stylish".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Art Room

As I've been mentioning for months, my art room has been reformulated and new and improved! I'm finally done with all aspects of installing (and hanging) - so today I was able to clean all the surfaces. I had ceiling and wall dust from hanging bulletin boards and green man - so everything is very clean and uncluttered! (Hopefully, that will last!)
The top photo is what the room sort of looked like before: the sofa bed was against the right wall (that has the large shelf and drawer unit). My desk was originally against the left wall, and the window area was open. The desk and 2 of the bulletin boards are all that remain from the original room. I did not photograph the closet - it was redone as well but not all that exciting!
The final piece was added when I hung green man. I bought him at an art gallery in the town of Murphy's - small former mining town in the Sierras. We have a cabin in Arnold a few minutes east of there. The artist was at a street festival in Barcelona where a man on stilts painted similarly was walking about. His name in the gallery was "Barcelona Green Man". I do think he needs a new name...Any suggestions feel free to comment!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Birds...

I am involved in a twinchie swap at Club Scrap and just sent them off today! Twinchies are mini art pieces 2 inches by 2 inches. I made mine a la Andy Warhol Campbell Soup cans - except in very cheery bright pastel-type colors. The little birds was heat embossed on each panel - I added the little flower rhinestone to cover the meeting of the corners. I'll be making several more for a West Coast swap we're doing along the same lines.
One of the final pieces to my room makeover should be arriving via a FedEx today. I'm hoping to hang green man and post the transformation. I'm feeling a bit under the weather today - fighting off something - so no working with power tools today!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birds of a Feather...

Yesterday, I was in my craft room working on a variety of projects (as mentioned in yesterday's post). Above is the birthday card and ATC card that I made for our West Coast group challenge. This challenge called for a favorite technique...although this is not my favorite, I have not used it in awhile. I lightly sprayed the stamps with water and colored on them with watercolor crayons. The stamps and cardstocks are from Club Scrap's September kit, Birds of a Feather. The colors are very cheery!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

End of the Weekend...

It was a very productive weekend! In between laundry, errands, grocery shopping, and talking to Megan, I was busy in my room creating. I decorated (stenciled and stamped) gift bags that will be the goodie bags for the mini retreat that I'm attending and teaching a book class. Not quite autumnal, I used Club Scrap's Pure and Simple stencil and stamps with spring green ink and black accents. I'll be buying and making a few items that will fill them. My friend, Nancy Young is helping.

In addition to the goodie bags, I made a card and ATC using watercolor crayons for a West Coast challenge. I also finished a mini altered board book with a music theme. Three of us participated in this round robin exchange, each picking a different theme. And..we started these a loooong time ago (3-4years?). So, it's nice to have it done, drying and ready to display.

I'll scan in the next day or so and post the photos!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Altered Book

I made something! I sound like one of my kids when they came home from school with an art project! I'm getting in a few more bits of time actually creating, rather than organizing and cleaning up my room.

I recently completed my September GAB altered book page. This month's theme was actually chosen by me - films/movies. I made the above page to showcase the film "Nightmare Before Christmas (I'm a big Tim Burton fan - and am looking forward to Alice in Wonderland!). The film strip is from a plastic streamer that can be bought at a party store, a la an "Oscar" party. I cut it so that I could make it wider. I did the same when I made Megan's Senior Memory board.
I'm also finishing "twinchies" for a Club Scrap swap and will scan and post soon. This weekend I should have time to play a little!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello Again

It's been a long month...How've you been? Are you still there? Life happens and, unfortunately, blogging and creating sometimes take a back seat. Such has been the case with me. A new chapter has been opened and, at times, I'm trying to get it all figured out.

When last we spoke, I was in the midst of several things: dorm room shopping with my daughter; a craft room makeover; and I don't seem to remember what else! ( oh yeah, quotes for a bathroom remodel) Taking a child to college 3000 miles away has been a learning experience.

For one thing, ship more than you think seems reasonable. We shipped 2 large boxes and decided to carry as much clothes in our suitcases as possible. We left a pile of stuff for later shipments. I spent 2 weeks after leaving Boston, boxing and finding all the "maybe you could send..". Priority Mail? Five days on average to get items to Boston - almost the same as Fed Ex.

Second, and this is a biggie, BE SURE AND SEND A FEW SENTIMENTAL ITEMS FROM HOME! Sorry for yelling, but it would have been nice to have this advice. New stuff is exciting but, when your child feels homesick at 2:30am - a familiar pillow or critter would be a good thing. As soon as I returned from Boston, I shipped some stuff from her room and some familiar snacks. It helped a great deal from what Megan told me.

Clean out you child's room with them before she/he leaves...this still needs to be done, but it's kinda sad to go in there. Although, it has stayed clean! Soon, very soon....

With all this emotional upheaval, I've still been plugging away at my room. It is mostly organized, and that includes closet. I have bulletin boards up and a honeycomb top-down/bottom-up shade on my window. I did the installation of all items by my self and feel pretty good about it, Thank You! Just waiting for a tabletop turnstile to hold CD cases(which contain some unmounted stamps). Oh, and green man still needs to hang. But, it's pretty much done. Oh yes, I do remember I said I would post photos. They're coming- have no fear!

There's been a little time for creativity - completed an altered book page for my swap and made a small canvas as a gift for our usher at the Giants games. Of course - I forgot to photograph it before I sent it off with my husband. Too bad, really, because it was my first foray into canvas work and it turned out pretty well.

I do think you're up to date.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Still on Hiatus

Well, the BBQ (both of them) was fun! Megan's best bud Ryan had one Friday, Aug 20th - he left for BYU on Sunday. We had one on sat, Aug 22nd. It was great to spend time with all and it gave Megan a chance to see our chosen "family" members before she leaves.
We've spent the past couple of days up in Arnold at our cabin. We have an annual "girl's trip" to come up, relax, and hike the South Grove trail in Big Trees (about 4 miles). After the hike, we picnicked at Beaver Creek and played in the water. Craig joined us this year - but it'll be back to traditions next year!
Soon, we'll be heading home. We need to box everything up so I can ship it to Boston on, I need to get back to "my room". i will post pictures soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I've been busy slowly but surely moving back into my room. I'm trying to take my time and think through where to put everything. It's a lot tougher than I thought - mainly due to all the stuff that needs to fit! I have emptied out 2 tall iris carts and some cleared closet shelves.

Amidst the mess in my room (and garage) is the stash of dorm stuff for Megan. It's been fun shopping together and planning the little bit we can. As summer is ending, it's been a bit disappointing for Megan. Friendship issues (and jealousies) have continued - some of these teenage girls are just not very nice. Megan is a December birthday, so she is pretty mature and focused for a teen. Actually, she's a teen in age only - probably why she has done so well with all the adults in community theatre. It'll be good for her to meet people who have similar interests and some who are more mature and focused.

Tomorrow, I hope to start posting "before" photos.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Brief Break from Creating...

Yesterday, I did take a book class at ScrapLovers/A Work of Heart, but I need to complete the stitching on them. When they're done, I'll post them. Today was another day of dorm shopping with Megan.

Target has college packs of single place settings, as well as other odds and ends for dorm rooms. We also did some clothing shopping. I now have a big box to be shipped off to Boston in the coming weeks. I'm hoping that we'll just have 2 boxes to ship - some of the smaller items will fit in a suitcase. The question will be whether the large box of bed linens and towels will fir in my car!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Since I had to hang out to wait for a patio furniture delivery, I spent some time in my room-in-transition. We started the last week of PSL Summer Camp for Club Scrap. So, I made two 2-page layouts. After that, I thought it was probably time to address the altered books gathering dust in my room.

A couple of years ago, four us picked themes and began circulating our books to be altered. We have no time limit - which is why we still are not done! I worked on Linda's "black and white" book. This theme has been difficult for me because I'm not a black and white type of person. I see colors and nuances - plus I don't believe in absolutes. So, I pulled out some funky black and white designed paper and decided to go with the first thought I had. Hence the above pages. It's a hand with a pocket watch on a chain and the words "you're getting very sleepy". I thought the circles might be something you'd see being while being hypnotized....I told you I had trouble with this theme:-)
Tomorrow, I'll be at ScrapLovers/A Work of Heart for a bookmaking class. I made some inside pages with FW liquid acrylics and water to use as some of the pages...I'll post those tomorrow after the class!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


All my creative energy today was spent painting my room. My daughter helped with the cutting in and I rolled all the walls (and took over the 2nd coat of cut ins). It's a great red. I'll probably post photos after it's done. I've been taking one at every step of the re-decorating process. I'm hoping to look at lighting options tomorrow. THEN, I need to scrap some pages to help my team for Club Scrap's Summer PSL!
The photo above is from the most recent GAB altered book page. The theme is "Naughty Little Secrets". The background and the bed are fabrics and the bedposts are actually fairly flat wooden beads.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Podium Book Completed

I added photos to the Podium Book project. I also stamped some accents and used various brads. The print on some of the pages is from the Avant Garde kit. So, I stamped the circles in a couple of similar colors and punched them out. I popped the circles up in several places on the pages. These were photos take 2 years ago, about this time, of my daughter and my visit to So Calif. to visit my cousin and her twin grandsons.