Monday, November 24, 2014

Blog Hop Around the World (part 2)

Today is part two of the Blog Hop. I am answering the four questions and revealing my links for the next two blogs.

1. What am I working on:
A Disney themed hidden hinge swap, Kathy Orta's R365 kit and a holiday gift for my step mom.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre:
I feel that my graphic design and digital art experience make my scrapbooking/papercrafting style different. I tend to look at my layouts in terms of shapes, positive and negative space and balance.

3. Why do I create what I do:
I create because it brings me joy. Both to make things with my hands and to give the results to friends and family.

4. How does my creating process work:
My creative process tends to be messy and disorganized. No matter how hard I try to preplan I always end up with stuff scattered across my work space.

Now for the next two blogs. These are two really awesome ladies I am proud to know.

Kelly Hudson is the owner of Scrap Diva Retreats- a vacation resort frequented by a community of scrapbookers and mixed media artists who enjoy spending time with their friends. Kelly is a passionate scrapbooker, mixed media artist, blogger and creative entrepreneur. She is a Close to My Heart consultant who has been scrapbooking for over 15 years. Please feel free to connect with her.

Noelle Martin creates some beautiful art. She is amazing at coloring stamps using many different methods and styles like the no line method and Copics. She also owns her own online store, Quick Creations (see link on right) which sells many different stamp brands and other scrapbooking supplies.

Thank you for visiting my blog and enjoy the rest of the blog hop!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blog Hop Around the World (part 1)

I am really honored and touched that my buddy and talented multimedia artist, Blacque Diamond, has chosen me as one of her two picks for the Blog Hop Around the World. 

Thank you for visiting!

If you are here for the first time, please come in, pull up a chair and look around and feel free to hang out for awhile.

If you are an old friend of the blog, welcome back, I am glad you are here.

And don't forget to come back next Monday when I announce the next two creative blogs to hop on over to and answer the 4 questions.

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” — Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Three ATCs for November

I created three ATCs for November, one for the Custom Impressions trade and two for the mail trade I joined last month. I used Twinkling H2O paints on all three cards. I haven't used these much and am starting to feel like ATCs are a fun opportunity to play and learn about my less used products.

For the CI group the theme was Gratitude. I decided to make two similar cards, representing two November holidays- Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving. 

For both versions, I used a stamp from The Greeting Farm Cheeky collection, one a soldier and one with a pie. The images were stamped in Stazon and colored with the H2Os. Most of the painting/coloring went well. I used two yellowy shades for the hair (Sunburst & Yellow Roses) on both images. For Cheeky Pie, I painted the dress blue (Bashful Blue) with accents of pink (Playful Peony) on her shoes and scarf. The pie was painted in Bronze, Pearl Gold and Copper for the pan.
 I had trouble at first with the green for the soldier since I didn't have a khaki or olive color. I eventually diluted a darker green (Emerald) with lots of water to create a wash of a lighter more transparent green and I think it looks good. I could even layer the color with the wash and create shadows and tone. (Yay learning.) I then added Bronze for the piping and bow.

 I also was unhappy with the skin tone for both. I used Baby's Breath and it was very pink until dry and the level of shimmer seemed some how wrong for skin.
The background coloring is a Viva Decor paint called Maya Gold in the shade Petrol. Due to accidental spillage, I applied the paint with my fingers. I added the words "thank you" along the edge. I cut these out with my Cricut from G45 Steampunk Spells paper. And added a few glitter paper punch outs to finish  the cards.
The ATC trade is the last Sunday of the Month at Custom Impressions. Please call ((562) 430-8100) for details and themes. Hope to see you next month!

The theme I choose for the seven mail in  ATCs was things with stripes or dots. I decided to use some stamps of moths and butterflies as my striped and dotted things. I once again used Stazon, because it works well with wet mediums like the H2Os. Instead of using any of the bright colors of paints, I decided to try out the set of pearl colors I had. These all look almost white and have an iridescent quality to them. I painted the stamps in Pearl Green, Pearl Violet and Pearl Gold. What was really cool and unexpected to me was that these paints changed the color of the ink not the paper. (More learning!) And it looks so different and interesting from different angles, with I thought looked just right on my winged buggies. 

For the background of the dot ATCs I painted the whole cards in a copper metallic paint. Once thst dried I added some Viva Decor Ferro in a dark gold shade thru a circle pattern mask. I finished off the cards with a few rhinestones.

The final card for November is my mail in bonus card. I only need to make three- two to trade and one to keep. And it is a free theme.

I used another TGF stamp, this time from the Magical collection. I stamped with Stazon and painted in the H2O.  I think I did WAY better with the painting this go round. (The learning paid off, yay!) I played more with the wash method of diluting the colors to create shading on the hair (Sugar Plum & Heavenly) and clothes (Lemongrass & Kiwi) And also to make the skin tone not only less pink, but slightly less sparkly by creating a light wash with the Baby's Breath pink. I added some pinkish (Playful Peony) and teal (Mystique) to the stats in her hair and the stamp was all colored in.

For the card background I used Primary Pigment powders in a few shades (Twilight, Bronze and Kiwi) and blended/rubbed them onto black chipboard. I then spritzed the cards with two coats of Goosebumps. This not only set the powder, but created a texture and sheen to the background. 

I used a Dyan Reavley phrase stamp-"a life without dreams would just be a life"- on the right corner in Pastel Violet Prima chalk and added dome multicolor bling gems to finish up the card.

Which card is your favorite? I think I like the bonus card best, my technique was getting pretty good by then. Have you tried Sparkling H20 paints? How do you use them? I would love to hear any new tips or techniques for next time.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Coming in 2015: Layout class fearuring G45's A Time to Celebrate

After the holidays I will be teaching a class featuring Graphic 45's A Time to Celebrate. In the class we will be making 3 two page layouts. One to celebrate a birthday, one to celebrate a wedding or anniversary and one with a general celebration theme.

Along with G45's paper, which has lovely greens and coral pinks, the layouts include Prima flowers, paper doilies and cling.  The images have a lovely, nostalgic look that will bring a bit of vintage flair to your album,  Would look lovely for a tea party, afternoon wedding or just about anything!
The class will be a Custom Impressions in Los Alimitos, California. (562-430-8100) I will update the time and date as soon as I have that information. (Along with some better pictures)
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Card for My Guy While He's Away

I have been seriously missing my guy while his is gone for work. So, I decided to make him a care package with some candy and a card to let him know how much I missed him. 

For the care package I was sent him some Japanese Kit Kats in green tea and vanilla flavors. And I also sent him some Aero bars in green tea. I also added some treats from a dog that is near where he worked.
For the card I used some Just Rite stamps I already had. The background stamp is called Time Flies and was designed by Amy Tedder. It features a pocket watch with the banner across that you can add a sentiment to. I added a sentiment (sending my love), also by Just Rite, that was curved to fit in banners like this.

To create the card I first did a stamp with brown Memento ink of the whole background. I colored it in lightly with soft E Copics, aiming for a washed look. Next, I stamped the wings, watch and "tail" sections and fussy cut them out. I colored the with Copics (BG 00 & 02 for wings, G22 & G00 for "tail"). I added a touch of stickles to the wings. Then, with Versamark ink,  I stamped just the watch and embossed it with Stampendous bronze powder. I then fussy cut out the embossed pocket watch. Finally, I stamped the image so it was justvthe banner, again with Momento. Inside the banner I stamped my sentiment. (I was originally planning to use a glue stamp pad and fine glitter for the sentiment, but that method did not seem legible.) I once again used embosssing powder, this time in blue. The banner itself was coloered with pale R Copics.

To assemble the card I first put down the large backgrounds now then I added pop dots to the back of all the fussy cut pieces.  Then, starting with the largest piece, I lined the up with the main image and attached. This created a layered, 3D card. The whole image was attached to card base and was ready to mail to my sweetie.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October: Two Pink Crops & Three October ATCs

This October, I participated in two "pink" crops to benefit breast cancer. 

The first was at Custom Impressions. This is a great store and has become my "home" store for cropping and crafting. The breast cancer charity crop benefiting the Breast Cancer Angels was a great event. It featured a raffle with almost 50 items. There was also an altered bra contest, door prizes and some delish food. Not too mention great company.  

I donated a few things for the event. Including a pair of pumps i had decorated with Graphic 45's Ladies' Diary and an undecorated album based on Kathy Orta's My Design Mini album. I am proud to say the album was very popular and recieved quite a few tickets. Yay!

I also entered a bra into the altered bra contest. It was fun to make. I used trim and ribbon to createca vintage-y floral look (#2). And i won! I couldnt believe it. All the entries were so pretty and well done. I think they were all winners and congratulations to all the participants.

I really enjoyed the crop and got alot done (my ATCs.) And store raised alot of money for the Breast Cancer Angels thru the raffle, donations and the crop, so way to go Teresa and company!!

The  second breast cancer event I went to was for Scrap Pink OC. Its run by my friend, Rachel and her Just Crop Retreats company. And yes, this is more of a retreat than a crop. But since i didn't get a hotel room it felt more like a crop for me. Lol.
This was another great event with door prizes, a yard sale type store and a huge space to work in. But the best part was my crafty buddies I hadn't seen in a while. So for me this crop was all about spending time with more of my crafty friends. Which is always awesome!

I enjoyed the opportunity to go in and craft during the wee hours of the night/morning because I really am a night owl at heart. And my friend Carole is the night shift and I always have fun hanging out with her, she is such a hoot.

The travelling back and forth between home and the hotel was less fun and i fid not get much sleep. But the cats needed to be fed and i was too cheap to get a room. (More crafting supplies.) But i did get a massage which made me feel way better. Plus once again a lot of money was raised toward finding a cure for breast cancer. How can you beat that?

I had to leave the Scrap Pink OC crop early on Sunday in order to make it to my monthly ATC swap at Custom Impressions. (More info here.) So I was uber tired by then. But I made it.

This month's theme for the Custom Impressions ATC group was Harvest. For my card I used a digi stamp by Some Odd Girl, a leaf stamp & die by Stampendous, Stampendous embossing powder and Viva Decor blackberry crackle paint. As accents I added some glossy accents and pearl pen to the acorn and flocking to the squirrel's tail. The stamp was colored with Copics.

The ATC trade is the last Sunday of the Month at Custom Impressions. Please call ((562) 430-8100) for details and themes. Hope to see you next month!

I also was invited to participate in a through the mail ATC swap. The themes were Currency and Halloween. For the currency theme, I used Viva Decor gold crackle, a piece of a print out of a fake $1,000 bill, Stampendous Luxe Mix, Prima fine glitter (to cover the cricut cut $ sign) and heart shaped bling.

On the Halloween ATC, there is Guildenstern gilding on the background in sunset with two digi stamps I bought on Etsy from AuroraWings in front. I colored the stamps with Copics

So what did you do this October? Id love to hear about what you created.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September ATC: Back to School

For this month (September) the theme for Custom Impressions' ATC group was Back to School. I used a digital stamp I bought on Etsy by  Artbymiram. It is an adorably anime style girl with books and a satchel.

I colored her with colored pencils that I blended with mineral spirits in the gamsol method. To do this I filled in lightly with two or three shades of colored pencil and then blended it wit a paper "stump" dipped in mineral spirits.  This was my first time trying this method, I had picked up a kit during Shop Hop.  I did find that some pencils blended way better than others, I am not sure why and will have to investigate further.

I covered her glasses with Diamond Glaze to give a lens look, In the background I used pieces of Dear Lizzy Neopolitain paper and added some Stampendeous Luxe Mix and butter fly bling.

The ATC trade is the last Sunday of the Month at Custom Impressions. Please call ((562) 430-8100) for details and themes. Hope to see you next month!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Teresa Collins Class at Scrapbook Daisies, Christmas Countdown Flip Album

I recently took anothervgreat class with the fabulous Teresa Collins.  This class was at Scrapbook Daisies in Xxx, Ca.  She was teaching a few classes on this trip to Southern, Ca, but the one I took was this beautiful and fun Christmas countdown, flip album with the Candy Cane Lane paper.

Teresa was such a sweetheart sharing sneak peaks of some of her new products, like Fiskers punches and scissors and he new dies and embossing folders with Craftwell. She is always coming out with something new and amazing.

The project started with a plastic frame from Ikea that we spray painted gold. (Side note: Her husband, who has been terribly sick, drilled the holes for the rings in all the frames. What a sweet and helpful man, right?) Along with some numbers from a chipboard set.

We then followed along with Teresa and her detailed photo guide to decorate all the tags and pages. I decided I wasn't crazy for the black letters in the kit and replaced them with sobe red Thickers.  I also added some of the new punch shapes, like love and feathers to the pages. And the snowflake rosette was different from original, but Teresa had suggested it. (Alot of people added it.)

I think it came out very nice and can't wait to display it during the holidays. It counts from 25 down to 1 and will be super nice to look at and change it everyday


Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Version of the MDM using G45 Couture & Typography Goes to Moscow

Recently, I had a chance to make a gift for a friend of mine who lives in Moscow, Russia. Since she has never seen any of my paper crafting in person, I wanted to make something special. I decided to make a version of Kathy Orta's My Design Mini album and use Graphic 45's Couture and Typography lines.

I picked the MDM album because it has customizable options, but does not look too complex or overwhelming for someone who doesn't scrapbook. Also it was a new tutorial for me and looked like fun to make. Couture by G45 was my first thought for paper because my friend is stylish and the colors and feel of the paper suit her style. As I worked on the project and realized I need more pspers, I added the Typography line (also G45) into the mix.
I really like the My Design Mini and the idea of having a tutorial that can be customized to different projects. What a great concept! To get the MDM tutorial click here. To order the EKC #12 with MDM included click here.
Since I did not create the MDM design, I don' t feel right posting images of the book in progress. So we will skip right to dessert with pictures and a video link of the completed album.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Shop Hop 2014- A Good Read..

Rosie and I teamed up again to conquer the So Cal Shop Hop. This year the theme was books, which made for some fun photo ops and make amd takes.

Once Upon A Memory, Huntington Beach
 The So Cal Shop Hop is a great event here in Southern California. You get 20% off at all the participating stores. 

Custom Impressions, Bellflower
There were a few changes this year. Shop Hop is under new management, which was different because I used to get the inside scoop from Rachel. Also, Rosie and I had a new home store, Custom Impressions.

But we did make it to all 42 stores. Here are some highlights.

Scrapbooking Forever, Thousand Oaks
Treasured Memories, Oak Park
Wootens, Ontario
Paper Tales, San Diego
The Making Place, Escondido

Monday, July 28, 2014

My ATC card for CI's July trade.

The theme for July was Books. This was a really fun theme because there are so many different ways to go. Like do you do something about reading, or a specific book or images of books? I choose to go with reading as the main focus.
Once again, I choose a Some Odd Girl digi stamp, this one is of Mae reading. It is colored and shaded with Copics and fussy cut. (The old fashioned way this time.)  In the background is a card that looks lije a book page. It is from a set i bought that were close to ATC dimensions. I thought they were so cute, I even cut up the cover page and used the tiny preview cards. I attachedvthem to tge cardcwith a tiny Tim Holtz paper clip. I inked the edges of both with brown ink.

As embellishments to finish the ATC, I added a few bits of bling and a punvhed glitter heart. And to the bottom, the phrase "I ♡ to read" with a plastic strip style label maker.

I think it came out cute and makes me think of books and reading.  What do you think? Would you have tackled the subject of books as a general theme (like I did) or been inspired by a specific book?

The ATC trade is the last Sunday of the Month at Custom Impressions. Please call ((562) 430-8100) for details and themes. Hope to see you next month! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Paper Phenomenon Files (Part 2) OR: Taking the Next Step

As I wrote in an earlier post, I had ordered a few Kathy Orta tutorials from . And since then, I ordered a few more. So when the enrollment for her Everyday Kit Club (EKC) #12 opened up, I was pretty intrigued. 

Each Kit Club (EKC) has three main projects and three bonus projects plus a bonus tool. The three main projects are breifly described before purchase and come with all thecl supplies. And I mean ALL, chipboard, pattern paper, embellishments- the works.  The three bonus projects are a surprise. Generally they will either enhance the main project or enchance each other. And the bonus tool is kind of like a gift with purchase.

Now when I first looked at it I thought it looked cool and fun, but I wondred if it was worth the price. I don't fo kits often. In fact I have a tendency to disect kits for the paper. BUT, Kathy had one more special feature for EKC #12. She included a teaching and selling licence with this specific kit.  Yeah, I was in.

I will be participating in the July, August & September projects, which are as follows: My Design Mini (MDM), Life is an Open Book & Cascade Parade. I will also be getting the directions for the three bonus projects and a nifty teflon Trib bone folder.

I plan to post more about each project as I make it. This should be a fun adventure!
To order the digital version of EKC #12 click here. To order a future EKC please check for open enrollment period.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Paper Phenomenon Files (Part 1) OR How I Learned to Embrace My Inner PITA and Became a Kathy Orta Fan.

A bunch of my friends were doing it but I wasn't sure it was for me. But the projects I saw were really cool and I I liked them . So eventually I decided I would try it too. And now I just can't stop. What am I talking about I'm talking about doing the Kathy Orta tutorials from

It started innocently enough. I decided to buy three tutorials on her website. The three I chose were the file m for memories, the vintage camera and the vintage typewriter. Now clearly I didn't choose the easy tutorials. I chose projects that were things that I wouldn't normally make. I wanted these to be projects where I learned something new. So I chose projects that were heavy on the construction which I hadn't done often.


First up with a vintage typewriter. The first step was to make sure I had all the materials and supplies I needed. After that I cut down all my chip board according to the instructions in Kathy's tutorial. And although there are a few moments where I struggled in the construction it wasn't very hard to follow the directions and put the typewriter together.


I did do one thing differently from the tutorial and added a small mini album to the inside of the typewriter instead of the calendar cards that were in the original tutorial. I used the Prima / Marion Smith Romance Novel paper for the mini album. It was based on a mini album in Kathy's Interactive Mini-Albums book. (I bought a digital copy from It is aldo available signed on


I was really pretty thrilled with the end result. And was proud to give the typewriter and album to a friend of mine (who is a romance/ya writer) as a birthday gift. I also made another Vintage Typewriter for a friend as a graduation gift. (I used Graphic 45's  Bohemian Bazaar for the mini album.) I also put black painted grunge board over the "roller" of the typewriter on the second version, this gave it a very realistic look.


To make your own Vintage Typerwriter, you can buy the tutorial here at Kathy Orta's blog, And some of the hardware can also be purchased here at the blog shop. Many of the items are Tim Holtz items and can be purchased at craft stores. But getting them from Kathy can save time and having to buy extras. For the typewriter's keys, I bought laser cuts from PorkchopShow's Etsy store. (The black ones seem to fit better than the silver.)

The second project I chose to make was the File M for Memories album. One of the reasons I really like this album is that it is full of pockets.  I think that this makes the File M album a great gift for my non scrapbooking friends because they can use ot like a journal or diary. Notes, poems, drawings or just about anything can be tucked into the pockets with out having to add glues.

This level of complexity to the pages did make it a bit harder at first. In fact, I found this album harder to make than the typewriter. The trick for me was that I needed to see a page completed and understand how it worked. However, once I understood how the flaps and the pockets come together it was much easier to visualize and itn"clicked" for me. And then the process of construction for the rest of tne album went pretty fast. I was very lucky and met one of the women I crop with had made the album before and help me put together my first page.


I matted the album mainly with Kaisercraft's Telegraph Road but I also used some of their other lines like Kaleidoscope, BeYOUtiful and Storyteller because this album is pretty large and takes a lot of paper to decorate. I also used some of the Kaisercraft Captured Moments cards. (These are like Project Life or journaling cards.)  I think all the papers matched very nicely. I think sometimes when you use a group of papers all from the same company the colors and the themes can work well together. This project was also I gift, this time for a friend of mine who recently moved to China.


Some tips for making the album: Choose a file folder that has a nice large tab on it. I think this is a nice look for the album. (I decided not to use the printable templates in the tutorial.) Definitely make a template for matting the tabs (it should be slightly, 1/8 inch, smaller than the tab base.) That way it will look consistent, I did not do this and regretted it.


Another tip I learned that really helped was that adding a. thin layer of glue stick over the scor tape (or other double sided adhesive), gives an extra few seconds where you can move the item before it's fixed permanently.  This helped me a lot. I sometimes need a second chance, so this avoided alot of boo boos. In the tutorial Kathy used  Scotch wet glue to attach the pattern paper(snd it looked fab). I tried, but it didn't work as well for me(maybe I used too much adhesive). I then tried using a glue pen (Martha Stewart), but it seemed to stay a little too tacky even after it dried. I now use Scor Tape with the glue stick trick and it has been pretty successful.


To get the tutorial for the File M album at go here. The main supplies you will need a chipboard cardstock and pattern paper. And since this is a nice big album you can use that whole line of pattern paper you have tucked away for just the right project.

The final project in my triptych of Kathy Orta projects is the Vintage Camera. This is the tutorial I was most intimidated by. Both because of the difficulty and the fact it was going to be a gift for my Dad and Stepmom. But this also made it the tutorial I looked forward to the most. And in the end had the biggest "pay off" for me.

I have to admit I did stray from the tutorial. The biggest change was using Kraft Tex instead of regular cardstock for the bellows.  For those of you who haven't used it, Kraft Tex is a paper/fabric hybrid. It is made from paper fiber, but has the strength, texture and durability of fabric. Heck you can even throw this stuff in your washer! So basically i followed the cutting, scoring and folding directions the same as Kathy gave for paper. The difference was that I had to score a little harder and use a strong wet adhesive. I used the brown Kraft Tex and painted it black with Tim Holtz' Distress Paint. I then distressed, sanded, repainted and distressed again until it had an antiqued leather look. It was a bit of work to get it just right, but it was SO worth it.


The second place I was forced to make changes was in the hardware. While most of the hardware is pretty easy to find, the Graphic 45 Staples Metal Tags are not. I was lucky and had a pack with all but one of the six tags. So i only had to replace one. (The "P" medallion at the front of camera base, under lens.) The metal piece that curves around the lens is sldo different. Instead of the clip for binding documents (which I could only find in a box of 100), I used a Tim Holtz metal word band and curved it gently with pliers.


I highly recommend that you have a really good trimmer that cuts medium to heavy weight chipboard before tackling this project. Some of the pieces are cut quite small and can be difficult without one.
Inside the camera is a really cute album. Since this was an anniversary gift, I used Teresa Collins' Save the Date (with a little You Are My Happy and Something Wonderful.) The angled pocket construction of the album is very striking and would look good as a stand alone piece.

I think the camera ended up being my favorite piece. I plan to make a couple more, including one for myself. The tutorial can be found here. It includes video for the bellows portion, so be prepared to play you tube on this one.

I hope you enjoyed this first foray into the Paper Phenomemon files of Kathy Orta. I really enjoy making these tutorials and plan on trying more. Let me know what you think. Have you done any of Kathy's projects? What are your favorites? Or is there a different paper craft
er's tutorials that you love?