Monday, March 30, 2009

Flower Soft

Here is my first "Frugal, Frivolous or Foolish" review...I bought Flower Soft at the Stamp Convention on Saturday. Pictured is what I purchased...the pastel kit with 6 different color pots (green, white, yellow, peach, lavender and blue), another darker green, the glue and flower wires. In case you haven't heard of Flower Soft yet, it is a fluffy product that comes in color pots. It resembles glitter in that you apply it to an area that has been glued. It is not sparkly and gives texture when applied. I did my research before I went to the show, so I knew what I wanted in advance. The items cost approximately $36.00. I chose a starter kit so that I could have a variety of colors to start out rather than buying only a few individual colors. While the starter kit may have cost me a few dollars more, I am better able to judge the results and versatility of Flower Soft. Here is my first card...

The image (Rubber Cottage) was colored with Prima Pencils and Gamsol. I also lined the mats with a Krylon Gold Leaf Pen. The papers and inks are all CTMH. The Flower Soft embellishes the plant on the table.

I did a second card in order to check the other colors and to try another style or application. All items in this card (except of course the Flower Soft) are CTMH.

Flower Soft is fun to work with and I was pleased with the realistic look. I learned a few things that I want to share...

1. Try using a coffee filter as a mat. This is a tip I picked up at the Stamp Convention for use with glitter so I tried it with the Flower Soft. They are light, cheap and very pliable so that the excess "fluff" can be returned to the pot for next time. Just make sure you change filters when you change colors in order not to mix.

2. When you open the pot, do it over the coffee filter. I read that Flower Soft expands and flys all over. I didn't have that problem...mine stuck in the pot. I used a toothpick to loosen the flakes.

3. I purchased the Flower Soft glue. It is very thick and I used a toothpick to apply the glue in a straight line. It made for a more even application.

4. Make sure not to "squeeze" the flakes together or it will clump. I found that if I roll the flakes between my forefinger and thumb as I sprinkle over the glue, I get a more even application.

5. Apply your darker colors first. I did a few practice images before I completed the cards and found it looked more natural and shaded better with the dark applied first.

I love the Flower Soft! It is easy to work with and gives a great result with just a little practice. There is an initial investment but it seems that the product will produce many projects. With my purchase of the starter kit and the additional green, I have enough colors to complete many types of flowers. It will only take a few more color pots to add to what I have in order to make Fall and Holiday projects. My overall rating of Flower Soft is "Frugal."

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Frugal, Frivolous or Foolish

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to begin to look at what ways we can best utilize out crafting budgets. I've decided that as I purchase new items, I will try them out and then share my opinion of the purchase as it relates to the following categories: frugal, frivolous or foolish. To me, frugal does not mean "cheap." It means making a well thought out purchase (regardless of price) that will have a positive long term outcome. In papercraft terms it means purchasing a product that will be used over and over again with good results. I define frivolous as making an impulse purchase that may only get used once or is a fad. Buying a glue stick when you already have 6 others, 5 boxes of splits and an ATG gun is a frivolous purchase. Buying the latest circle cutter when you already have something that cuts a perfect circle is frivolous. A foolish purchase is one of those purchases that either just doesn't work or sits and collects dust because you can't figure out how to work it or the results are not what was expected.

We all make impulse purchases just because we "have to have it" and that's OK. My goal is periodically review items that I purchase and share with you my thoughts. As a make a purchase, I will discuss it and then class it as frugal, frivolous or foolish. I also have some ideas to share on organization and multiple ways to use an item so that all of our crafting expenses are frugal. Remember, what I share are my opinions and nothing more that that.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Card of the Week!

I had a great day yesterday! I spend the day at the Stamp Scrap Art Tour held in Oaks, PA. What a great time. The stamp/scrap show was held yesterday and continues today at the new Philadelphia Convention Center that is about 30 minutes outside of Philly. My good friend and I were there at around 11:00am and were still there at 5:00pm when the announcement was being made that it was over for the day. I love these shows. There is booth after booth of vendors with new products, new techniques and tried and true supplies that are almost impossible to get anywhere else. I couldn't find any paper quilling items , but I did find some new and interesting things. What I did realize is that if you are prudent and with a little planning, there are many interesting things you can do and NOT spend a fortune! I spent my budget on "supplies" that can be used over and over again; "supplies" that enhance what I already own. I have said it before, I am amazed at the talent, enthusiasm and creative spirit of paper crafters.

In today's world, no matter who we are, we are thinking budget and money. In the near future, I want to focus on budget conscious papercrafting. What techniques, what supplies allow our creative juices to flow and yet won't break the bank. My tips and techniques will be coming soon...

The cherry on the sundae yesterday was learning that my "Spring is in the Air" card was mentioned on "Card of the Week." It is in the Easter Section of this week's review. You have to click through the section but it is there. A gal by the name of Susanna spends hours (I assume) going through all of our blogs and highlights cards each week. Check out her site. It is wonderful to see the creations. I thank Susanna for the shout out!

If you live in the Philadelphia area, check out the Stamp and Scrap Convention in Oaks today. It runs until 3:00pm. Check out "Card of the Week" it is a wonderful blog. I am making a promise to be better at commenting on blogs and cards our our favorite sites. I realized yesterday that there are so many talented people who work very hard at advancing our craft. It is important to acknowledge that hard work. I know it made me smile yesterday! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing!

This post title fits for two reasons today! I made this card for the SCS Limited Supply Challenge yesterday. I bought the Mae West stamp last year at the Philadelphia Stamp Convention. I have now remembered that it is made by "The Stampsmith." What a hoot!

Later today, I am heading off with a friend to this year's Philadelphia Stamp Convention. Oh pocketbook already hurts. I'll let everyone know what treasures I bring home. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

I can't believe that it March is almost over. With a thermometer reading of 45 degrees it is hard to comprehend. But, the way my allergies are kicking I KNOW spring is in the air! I have been busy working on my Easter Cards. I love sending Easter Cards. They're bright and an unexpected treat for the recipient. Here is my next card. I did this one for the SCS sketch challenge.

This was a really fun challenge. It is a great sketch and I actually have another card already laid out with this design. I tried a new technique on this card. I found it in the resource section at SCS and it is called Frosted Filters. To complete this technique, you squeeze drops of re-inker onto a plate. Mist the drops with water and drop your filter onto the color wash. The filter absorbs the color in a mottled pattern. When dry, you have a great background! Here is the full tutorial.

I also used my new quilling goodies mentioned the other day. What fun!

I do love trying new techniques! And, I see that it is time to start working on more projects! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quilling Treat!

I received a wonderful treat in the mail the other day! ...Yippie!! Monica at Giddy Greetings had a drawing for a quilling tool and the supplies needed for one of her tutorials. The tool is great to work with and I now how leaves to finish off my flowers. I am still working on developing my quilling and hope to have a project posted in a few days using the goodies. Don't forget to check Monica's website. It is a great blog with tutorials, suggestions and examples.

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Celebrate Spring!

The calendar says it is spring, but the thermometer was 27 degrees this morning. My Mom always said that patience is a virtue. In honor of our long wait, I completed this Easter Card for the SCS Clean and Simple Challenge.

The challenge was to complete a CAS card using punches. I punched the yellow square and ran it through my Cuttlebug with the swiss dot embossing folder. I used two other punches for the smaller squares and used a swirl punch for the flourishes. I used my Nesties for the scalloped ovals and my Enveloper for the scoring, added a few drops of Stickles to the stamped image and before I knew it, the card was done!

CTMH – Olive, Garden Green, Buttercup and Colonial White
Hero Arts and Inkadinkadoo
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Garden Green
Olive Ribbon, Punches, Enveloper, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, CTMH Blush Pen and Stickles
Carly the Cat is sitting next to me meowing which means it's time to feed her. I am the "Keeper of the can opener" you know... :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vintage Easter Scrapbook Layout

No, the Layout isn't vintage, but the pictures are. I completed this layout for a challenge listed in Bug Creations on Paper Therapy. Lisa, who coordinates the group, does a really nice job with her tutorials (I've mentioned her before). This challenge was to use your CB, ink an embossing folder and use the end result in a scrapbook layout. Check out her tutorial on how to do this. It is well done and the techniques is fun.

CTMH – Boom di Ada, Hollyhock, Garden Green, Olive, Buttercup, Colonial White
From My Stash – unknown
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Hollyhock
Cuttlebug Dies, Cuttlebug Inked Embossing Folder, Ribbon
Inked Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Cuttlebug Dies, Prisma Markers, Nesties and Punches

I followed Lisa's tutorial, completed the embossing and then went to work on the rest of the page. The stamps were colored with my Prisma Markers and the letters and eggs were cut with Cuttlebug. These pictures have been "hanging around" for 45 years so I guess it was time that they received some respect. By the way, do you want to venture a guess about the identity of the cute little girl? :o) For Now, Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Clean and Simple

I have all kinds of errands to run this afternoon, but a day without stamping is day without enthusiasm. Here is a quick card I made for the Clean and Simple Challenge on Split Coast. The center design is heat embossed, the circles and scallops were made with a punch and the stamps from the Close To My Heart set "Gratitude."

Off to take care of business. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sketch Challenge

Today was a "dull" day and I really wanted to do something that was different for me. Ah, not to worry, I didn't put away my quilling or scrapbooking or crocheting...I just needed something different. I found this challenge at Stamps and Smiles and thought that I would give it a try. Thanks to those gals for a great challenge.

CTMH – Perfect Day DP, Sorbet, Juniper, Colonial White, Desert Sand
CTMH – Egg Hunt
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Juniper and StazOn Stone Gray
Prisma Markers, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Cricut, Ribbon

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paper Quilling - Day 2

I'm liking Paper Quilling. I am still having some trouble mastering pulling the paper off the tool, but it that is my only trouble in the world, I should be happy! Paper Quilling is fun. Earlier today, I posted a link to a tutorial I took and I found out later this afternoon, that my name was randomly selected for blog candy! Yippee!!! I also received a post from another quiller. I checked out her site and so should you!
I plan to check both blogs frequently.

Here is my card for today's Split Coast Stampers Sketch challenge.

This challenge kicked my butt. It is a great sketch, but I have been told by friends that I am obsessive compulsive. Na, not me...can I tell you how many times I cut the strips to make sure that they were precisely the same length?? Have I mentioned that I love the TV show "Monk"?Ok, maybe I am a tad compulsive... But anyway, I used my cuttlebug to emboss the Colonial White mat (it is barely visible) and used my Prisma Markers to color the stamped rose. The quilling arrangement is my own inexperienced pattern. Those are ovals cut with my Cricut and I used my favorite CTMH paper..."That's Amore."

I'm smelling my sausage and peppers cooking in the crock pot so that tells me it's time to check on dinner. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Paper Quilling

Ok, a glue stick is stuck in my craw and I am trying yet another papercrafting technique. I have always admired the lacy look of quilled framing around wedding invitations. So I began snooping around the local craft stores. Three craft stores later, I only found tubes of basic paper, a simple tool and NO instructions. Hum... So, with a tube of neutral color strips and a basic tool, I paddled home to figure out how to do this.

Quilling began during the Renaissance. Italian and French Nuns used the gilded edges of books to form the rolled flowers and scrolls. During that time, paper was a prized commodity which served to increase the value of the decorated items. Bibles and trinket boxes were most often decorated with designs that were done to mimic the ironwork of the times. During the 18th Century, upper crust Ladies of Leisure began practicing the craft. It was felt that this task would not put on strain on their delicate constitutions....oy.... :o) Quilling spread to Colonial America and there are examples that can be found from that time period. Today, quilling is done around the world and by all walks of life.

During my research, I found many wonderful blogs and websites that display the beautiful art and provide patterns and supplies. I found one in particular that encouraged me to get started. I want to give Monica a shout out for the great tutorials she has posted on her giddy greetings blogspot. Check out her tutorials and her blog.

I made this card for the Splitcoast CAS06 Challenge. At the bottom are my first few roses as adornments.

CTMH – White Daisy, Hollyhock
Clear Art Impressions and Rubber Stamp Tapestry
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – New England Ivy, Garden Green, StazOn Stone Gray
Prisma Markers, Marvy Markers, Brads, Ribbon

I will continue to research Paper Quilling and let everyone know what I find out and try! Quilling is on the list with Heritage Scrapbooking, Crocheting and Paper Embroidery. I wish there were more hours in the day. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A quick post on a fun day....
May everyone find their Pot of Gold!
For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have not fallen in a black hole, nor have I forsaken my crafts. I have just been busy, but, don't ask me what I have gotten done. :o) I have spent time speaking with a number of friends. Some of whom are having personal issues, some who are helping me with my business, some just for fun and even one who called me out of the blue after no contact for 3 years. Friends are important connections to past experiences, the present and our future. Friends help us laugh, cry and cope with everyday life. As I have gotten older, I realize how important it is to hold on to all of our friends.

I made this card for Friday's Splitcoast Limited Supply Challenge. The challenge was to use no pattern paper, have only 4 layers and use a bug someplace in the card. What fun...

CTMH – Colonial White, Moonstruck, Hollyhock and Lilac Mist
CTMH – Friendship Garden
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Hollyhock
Cricut, Cuttlebug Embossing Folder, Nesties, Stickes, Rickrack

Take time to keep up with your crafts and remember to share them with all of your friends. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


...they come out like you want them and sometimes they don't.

I needed a quick Thank You card so I thought that I would make it following the Clean and Simple Challenge for this week. The challenge was to make a card that used blue and green. Since blue and green is my favorite color combo should have been a piece of cake. I don't like how the paper distressing looks, but I needed the card quick and I didn't want you to think that I wasn't "creating" anymore. I do like the cuddlebug die that I threaded the ribbon through. It was a great find at the craft store on the clearance rack...yippee...half price!

I was busy getting my new table assembled. FINALLY, at my age, I realized that I can't sit on the floor anymore to do my crafting. I have an entire room in my house that would be perfect for crafting. I have a desk, bookshelves and morning light. I don't have my creature comforts like a computer, TV and phone. Guess that is why I never used that room. I rearranged my Rec Room to accommodate my new crafting table. What a pleasure to have you equipment at your finger tips. Now I have no excuses. So it's off to work a scrapbook album I am making as a gift. For now, Happy Crafting!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

How Exciting!

I had been selling assorted vintage and antique items on EBAY for about 8 months and have been reasonably successful. The items were in my Parent's home (both gone now) so I can vouch for the authenticity of the items. It has been fun to watch items I grew up with go to new homes literally around the world! I even sold a few Christmas Cards and Gift Tags. A couple weeks ago, I decided to open an Etsy site. I'm located at I thought it would be fun to watch that site, too. The "Business Plan" includes the offering of scrapbook pages, cards and crocheted items. Right now, I only have a small inventory and haven't sold anything yet. Today, to my surprise, I get an email that I my Birthday Card was selected as a favorite on a Treasury List... yipee!!!
My inventory should grow as time goes on! Wish me luck!

I was out marketing yesterday for one of my businesses...Caring Transitions.... but I did have a chance to get a another Clean and Simple card done.

CTMH – White Daisy and Sorbet
CTMH – Wonderful Charms
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH - Sorbet and StazOn Stone Gray
Cuttlebug, Paper Piercing, Prisma Markers

As I mentioned before, I really like these CAS cards....but then I like all cards! For Now, Happy Crafting!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Clean and Simple

I have been doing a great deal of research into styles and techniques in card making and scrapbooking. In the January 2009 edition of "Creating Keepsakes" there is an article called "2009 Trend Watch." The piece highlights 5 upcoming trends. It discusses stamps, patterns and images to watch. Among these trends is a "new" style called "White + 1 Color." I did a SCS challenge way back in January that included using these "new" trends. I have always preferred a Layout that augments the photographs rather than competes with them and "white + 1 color" certainly does that.

A week or so ago, I had a conversation with a friend who is also an avid crafter. She mentioned a thread on the Split Coast Stampers site discussing is there a place for the paper crafter who doesn't do those fancy chalked, layered, colored, stitched, nestiabilited, cuttlebugged, watercolored, bradded, embossed cards. Hum....I stumbled around and found the thread. And, what I learned was there are many people pondering this same question. From this simple rhetorical question a new style is emerging...Clean and Simple cards. There is even a weekly challenge that I have been monitoring and it is growing with a vengeance.

On the thread, I found someone who posted the description of a Clean and Simple card:
"Definition: A clean and simple card has limited layers and sometimes just a card base. It leaves a lot of "open space". It uses little or no embellishments. Any techniques should be the old standard everyday kind like sponging, distressing and piercing. Limit the number of tools you use. Any colored images should be small and quick. Don't go overboard on tons of punches and embossing. CAS cards should be easy and quick."

Card making and Scrapbooking is here to stay. Both have been with us for years. I marvel at the complexity, the talent, the sophistication of many of the cards. But, as the SCS thread suggestions, it can be intimidating. Let's face it, it IS an expensive hobby. The fancy tools and stamps are costly. That is why the group project at my recent Open House demonstrated several different ways to use one stamp. I knew that several of my participants were new to stamping and I didn't want to overwhelm them. It is addicting. We see a tool, a stamp or a set of designer paper and we have to have it.

Why is the Clean and Simple style exploding? Is it because in today's world we can't buy all the tools we want merely from an economic standpoint? Is it because there is so much turmoil in the outside world that people are searching for simplicity somewhere in their lives? It is because some crafters just don't have the time for the sophistication?

I realize that I am raising more questions rather than answering them. As I am writing this post, a TV commercial touted the need to return to simple ways when making the family dinner. The same theme as the CAS card and White + 1 Color Layout. A return to basics. There will always be a place for the sophisticated card...they are beautiful, true works of art. I love using my Prisma Markers and water coloring. If card making and scrapbooking is to grow and evolve, those of us dedicated to promoting the craft must acknowledge trends. We must acknowledge the needs of all of our fellow artisans.

I completed this card yesterday for the most recent CAS challenge on Split Coast.

Give a Clean and Simple card a try. They are harder than they look. Stick with the definition I cited above and you can really get your creative juices flowing! There is room for all levels of talent, room for varied techniques and styles and room for everyone to enjoy our favorite pastime. For Now, Happy Crafting!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Snow, Snow, Snow everywhere!!! I don't have the final amount, but I can tell you that it is a pile. I made this card for the SCS Clean and Simple Challenge today (CAS04). A CAS card is done simply with few layers and embellishments...less is more. Today's challenge was to complete a card that has "dots" done either by pen or paper piercing. This card had to be done for all the Mom's home with the kiddies that didn't have school today (or me, because DH the school teacher was home.) :o) It is a very simple card done with CTMH CS and ink colors of Juniper and Sorbet. The card base is Daisy White. The stamps are from my stash. I colored them with my markers and added liquid glass and glitter glue and the card was done. I did try a new technique for the "dots." I used a plastic needlework canvas to keep them straight...wooohooo...they are straight for the first time in my life!

I need a suggestion...anyone have any ideas for me about a craft table? I have a small space and would like something that is collapsible but something that looks like furniture. I am toooooo old to be sitting on the floor making cards. :o)

For Now, Happy Crafting!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Where is Spring?

Another card to help us remember that Spring will eventually arrive. Mr. Weatherman is predicting a pile of snow in the next 24 hours. I completed this for the next Bug Creations Challenge on Paper Therapy. The challenge was to emboss a card base with an A2 cuttlebug folder.

CTMH – Colonial White, Hollyhock and Spring Iris
Hero Arts
Ink – Stamp Pads
CTMH – Colonial White and StazOn Stone Gray
Nestabilities, Cuttlebug, Embossing Folder, Blender Pen, Alcohol Markers, Rickrack, Dimensional Pearls, Prisma Glitter and Glitter Glue

A fun challenge to complete. For Now, Happy Crafting!