Make a Wish

When the organizer of the monthly pocket letter swap on the forums at Scrapbook.com announced that one of the themes for June was fairies, I knew I wanted to participate this month. I’d had so much fun making my fairy theater shrine, I wanted to keep playing with Graphic 45’s new Fairie Wings collection. So I signed up.

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I used both Graphic 45 fairy collections, Fairie Dust and Fairie Wings. Fairie Dust was from last year I believe, and no longer available. But I wanted to have plenty of fairies to make all nine pockets, so I used both.

For my four corner pockets, I used four different Memory Box/Poppystamps dies to cut a woodsy window into a piece of green paper from the collection. I used foam tape to make the scenes more dimensional. Fussy-cut fairies, flowers and toadstools were used to create my little fairy scenes. (Click the images to enlarge.)

For the other four outside pockets, I just layered pieces cut from the paper pads with a few chipboard and ephemera elements. More foam tape gave these pockets some dimension as well.

Finally, for the center, I simply used hot glue to adhere two chipboard pieces as my centerpiece. The center circle was also popped up using foam tape.

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Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Someday You Will Be Old Enough

Vacations never last long enough. I had nine days off, and only managed to finish one project. Of course, that one project took about three days to complete. It was quite fiddly and involved a lot of fussy cutting. But I do love the way it turned out.

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I’ve had this in mind since seeing previews for Graphic 45’s new Fairie Wings collection. I wanted to create a layered tableau, and chose a theater shrine from Retro Cafe Art to decorate.

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I began this project by painting the edges of the shrine with Victorian Green Impasto paint. I then carefully measured each piece of the shrine in order to cover both sides with Fairie Wings papers. I used Mod Podge to glue the papers down. After everything was dry, I glued the shrine together except for the front curtain piece.

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I used some window dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps to cut leafy windows from several pieces of the Fairie Wings collection, both the 8×8 pad and the Patterns and Solids 12×12 pad. I used pieces of adhesive foam to create the layers. I added fussy cut fairies and flowers to each layer as I went along.

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When I was satisfied with my interior layers, I glued on the curtain piece, adding more flowers and fairies along the front. A thin sticker from the sticker sheets was added along the edge of the base. I heat embossed the wooden circle for the top of the shrine with WOW Embossing Powder in Velvet. One of the small chipboard circles from the Fairie Wings collection fit perfectly inside. Finally, I added a few sequins as a finishing touch.

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This was such fun to make, but my goodness, it was a lot of fussy cutting! If I could do one thing differently, I would have painted or covered the back of the curtain piece. I may still try to do that later.

I still have plenty of the Fairie Wings collection left. I’ll have to see what else I can come up with. ❤

Look for the Magic

With cold temperatures alternating with highs in the 80s, it seems as if Mother Nature has given spring a miss, going straight from winter to summer. With barely any time to enjoy the blooming of flowers due to fluctuating temperatures, social distancing, and rainy days, why not bring a little spring into your home with flowers made of paper? Guaranteed not to wilt and die, paper flowers can brighten any home year-round. 

I took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to sit down and be creative. I have a bunch of MDF shapes in my stash, and I wanted to do something spring-like, so I chose the unicorn. I’d done an MDF unicorn before, but it had more of a cosmos/outer space vibe, and this time I wanted magic and floral.

To begin with, I first painted the edges of the unicorn with Mermaid Sparkle Sparks paint from Prima/Finnabair. 

I then chose a piece of patterned scrapbook paper from my stash of 49 and Market papers to use as my background. The paper I chose is from a discontinued collection, but they have so many gorgeous papers to chose from, it wouldn’t be hard to find a different sheet.

Flipping both the unicorn and the scrapbook paper over, I traced the unicorn shape on the back with a pencil and cut the shape out using a pair of sharp scissors.

I used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the unicorn head, trimming off excess with a sharp craft knife.

Next, I used an embossing ink pad and embossing powder on the unicorn’s horn. For this project, I went with Mulberry Mist from WOW! Embossing Powder. I also used a piece of silver twine from Lawn Fawn to create the illusion of spirals on the horn.

At this point, I felt like the unicorn’s mane could use a little more something-something than just the flowers I was planning to add. So I took the Mystic Swirl stamp from Lavinia Stamps and stamped it several times in Soft Blossom and Soft Purple inks from Hero Arts. 

After that, I began to build my floral mane, using hot glue to attach the flowers from 49 and Market to my project.

I also added some purple crystals and 49 and Market’s dimensional stickers for added interest.

I then added some sentiment stickers from Finnabair’s Art Daily collection, with edges inked in Milled Lavender. 

For my final touch, I added drops of Glossy Accents here and there to the flowers, sprinkling over the top with the Angel Mix sequins from Dress my craft.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be on a vacation-staycation next week, so I hope I’ll get a chance to be creative while I’m off. 🙂

Mother’s Day 2020

For someone who has been slow to create this year, I managed to be extra productive the day before Mother’s Day. Nothing like waiting until the very last minute to motivate you!

I wanted to do a clean and simple card for Mother’s Day this year, since my cards in years past had been a little elaborate. I’d finally gotten the Spring Gnome stamp set from Simon Says Stamp, and since Mom loves gnomes and fairies, I though they would be perfect. However, when I was finished with the card, the two gnomes reminded me so much of Mom and Dad together, I gave the card to my Dad to give to Mom. (He’d forgotten too. This year has messed everybody up.)

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So, I needed another card for Mom, from me. I ended up using the cute little raccoon stamp from the Mama Elephant Dandelion Wishes stamp set. Turned out way cuter than I was expecting.

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I also wanted to make something for Mom, as a keepsake. I’ve done jewelry in the past, but since none of us go out much, she doesn’t wear jewelry as much as she did when she was still working. And I’d been wanting to make something for her using Graphic 45’s Fairie Dust collection for a while, since she is such a fairy fanatic. So I thought I’d create a trapped fairy under glass for her to keep on her knick knack shelf.

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Whew, that was a lot of fussy cutting. But I love the dimensional look to it. I may try it again someday!

NSD 2020: Explore

Another (Inter)National Scrapbook Day has come and gone. I usually spend the day making my Mother’s Day card for mom, but for some reason, this completely slipped my mind, so I’m going to have to scramble to get one done tomorrow. Oops. Don’t tell Mom.

Anyway, instead of card making, I decided to do a little mixed media work, as I hadn’t really had much opportunity to play with mixed media thus far this year. I’ve had this cute little seahorse shrine from Retro Cafe Art Gallery for ages, which is what I decided to go with.

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The shrine comes unassembled, so first I glued some crumpled up tissue paper to all the pieces with Mod Podge. I carefully cut the paper away from the slots and tabs before gluing the shrine together with a strong, clear glue.

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I used a swirl stencil to add more texture to the background with Prima graphite paste. After everything had dried, I painted the whole thing with black gesso. Using several different small sea critter dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps, I glue die cuts to the shrine, trimming off any major overhang. I also added a few small, clear droplets. I then painted the die cuts and drops with black gesso.

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In the niche, I glued down some metal embellishments painted with black gesso on top of a chipboard piece of coral. After everything was glued securely, I started painting the whole thing with three colors of Prima Metallique wax in Old Denim, Mint Sparkle and Blue Lagoon. (You can see the gradient effect better in person.) Afterwards, I went over the top of all the texture with Vintage Gold wax on my fingertip. Finally, I added my focal point, a stunning Swarovski jellyfish stone in Bermuda Blue. So, so sparkly!

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Thanks for stopping by. Happy Mother’s Day!

Easter Egg Extravaganza

I work for the local newspaper, and since the COVID-19 outbreak shut most things down, we’ve been struggling to fill our Lifestyles section. Which is why my editor asked if I’d do another step-by-step craft page for the week of Easter… because we didn’t really have anything else at the moment. So, I created some Cherry Blossom Easter Eggs, based on some I’d seen on Pinterest, to share with our readers.

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Start by painting your eggs white. That way, if there’s a gap in your twine, the color won’t be as visible. (If you use plastic eggs, glue them shut first.)

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Squeeze some quick-dry glue onto the top of the egg. Work on a small area at a time so the glue doesn’t dry up before adding your twine.

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Using your finger or a pair of tweezers, place the end of your twine into the glue, rolling the twine into a coil around the end.

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Carefully begin winding the twine around the egg. Use your fingers or tweezers to keep your alignment straight. Apply glue about 1/4 to 1/2 inch high at a time during the winding.

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Once you have completed winding the twine around the egg, allow the glue time to dry so the twine is securely in place. Using a brown or black marker, sketch some branches onto your egg, front and back.

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Trace the lines you sketched with a metallic brown acrylic paint using a fine tip brush. After the paint is dry, begin adding flower sequins with glue onto your branches. I used pink flower sequins to create cherry blossoms, but any color would be just as pretty!

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I also created some other Easter eggs for the feature, to show different options families could do while stuck at home.

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Using the same twine technique as the cherry blossom eggs, decorate your eggs in a shabby chic or vintage style using lace, ribbon and paper flowers.

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Decoupage papers come in a variety of colors and patterns you can use to create decorative eggs in your own style.

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Create an Easter wreath by gluing painted eggs, paper flowers, Spanish moss and ribbon onto a wreath base. Best for indoor use only.

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To jazz up your Easter decor, use push-pins and sequins to add sparkle and bling to your painted eggs.

Have a Happy Easter, however you celebrate. Stay home. Stay safe. We’ll get through this! ❤

Be My Valentine

I’m so sorry. This pocket letter post should have been up much sooner than this. But life just kind of smacked me in the face this past month. First, one of the very dear ladies in my swap group passed away from cancer. She wasn’t my partner for this swap, but we have been partners before. I shall always treasure the things she made and sent to me. Godspeed, Donna.

Then, just earlier this week, a tornado tore through the community next to mine, a town I lived in for six years while going to school. Eighteen people were killed. People I know lost everything. It’s been horrific and I just haven’t had energy for a whole lot lately. So please forgive me as I try to get back into being creative. And spare some good thoughts for Tennessee if you can.

My last art swap was a pocket letter swap on the forums of Scrapbook.com. The theme was Valentine’s Day, and this is what I created for my partner.

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I went with very traditional colors, pinks and reds, in my creation. I also used a lot of dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps to create my pocket letter.

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The center heart flower box was made using the Memory Box Precious Heart Box die, filling it with flowers from Prima and 49 & Market.

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The fairy and the butterfly are both from Reneabouquets, and the little wooden embellishments are Kaisercraft.

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I also included a Valentine-themed necklace for my swap partner that I made. 🙂

I’m on vacation next week, so I hope to get my creative mojo going… that is, if I can bring myself to crawl out of bed long enough. Hug your loved ones. Enjoy each day. Don’t take anything for granted! ❤

Back from hiatus!

Has it really been over two months since I last updated my blog?? Well, all I can say is the past couple of months have been ridiculously crazy. First, there were the holidays to get ready for. My very pregnant friend/coworker was just miserable in her last month of pregnancy, so I tried to help out by wrapping her gifts for her. My craft room was turned into wrapping central! Her baby made a surprise entrance on Christmas night, a week early, so we’ve been muddling along without her at work while she’s been on maternity leave. And work has been so busy, all I want to do when I get home is eat dinner and go to bed!

Hopefully things will begin to get back to normal a bit when she gets back in a couple of weeks!

I do have a couple of things to share. My parents’ 50th anniversary was Dec. 13, 2019. I made them a special card to commemorate the occasion.

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I used the Spellbinders Grand Cabinet die set with the Happily Ever After add-on to celebrate their golden anniversary.

Then I was able to make a couple of shaker tags for my friend’s Christmas presents.

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Of course, since the girls are crazy about unicorns, I used two unicorn stamps from Lawn Fawn. I heard later they loved them!

Finally, in an effort to get my crafty mojo flowing, I watched some videos on YouTube. A video by Nuneka sparked the creative juices and I was able to create this mixed media altered embroidery hoop:

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No tutorial this time, but I used a lot of the same techniques as in the video.

Of course, I wasn’t completely idle over the holidays. Even though I couldn’t use my craft room because of the Christmas chaos, I was able to make some jewelry, as my jewelry-making supplies aren’t kept in that room. I have several new pieces in my Etsy shop, CarolineByDesignTN. Stop by if you have a chance and have a look!

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I’ll have a Valentine’s pocket letter for my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas season is upon us! I’ve been busy making cards and gifts for the loved ones in my life, but I had a few moments during my last week off work to make an altered Christmas embroidery hoop to commemorate this year’s holiday season.

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I started off with an 6-inch hoop that I painted white with Finnabair’s Snow White Impasto Paint. I gave it several coats until I was happy with the color.

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After the paint had dried, I took a sanding block and went over the paint in a few places, to give it a more distressed look.

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To make my Christmas trees, I used an old Sizzix die called Trees, Three, but free-cutting triangles would work just as well. I also used up some old scraps of Christmas paper from Photoplay. Any paper with a small pattern would work.

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I cut several trees and bases, and inked the edges with Distress inks in Candied Apple and Peeled Paint for the trees and Vintage Photo for the bases. I then glued the bases to the trees.

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While waiting for the glue on my trees to dry, I mounted a piece of lace-covered burlap into my embroidery hoop. I trimmed the excess fabric away on the back, and glued what remained to the back of the hoop using hot glue.

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When my embroidery hoop was ready, I arranged my trees and glued them onto the burlap. I took a length of gold twine and wrapped it around the bottom, tying a knot at the base of the trees. For added security I also applied a little bit of glue to the back to hold the twine in place.

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For decoration, I added a few small buttons in red and green…

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…and a chipboard “Merry Christmas” heat embossed with an opaque white embossing powder.

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The final touch was to add a bow to the top and a piece of ribbon to hang my hoop from.

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I had so much fun making this embroidery hoop, I made a second as well.

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I didn’t do step-by-step photos for this one, but it’s a 4-inch hoop decorated with a poinsettia using the Tim Holtz Layered Tattered Poinsettia Die. I used gold seed beads for the center of the flower, and a chipboard “Joy” heat embossed with a sparkly gold embossing powder.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

Halloween pocket letter/ATC

Happy Halloween! It’s been a busy, busy month at work, so I’m just popping in today to post my Halloween-themed pocket letter and ATCs!

I never turn down the opportunity to do a Halloween-themed pocket letter!

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The bottom row features a spooky graveyard scene. The background was made with Distress Oxides. The haunted house and ghosts are from Memory Box/Poppystamps and the skeleton is Tim Holtz colored with a bit of Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink. The graveyard border is a chipboard piece from Creative Embellishments that I’ve heat embossed with black embossing powder to give it a shiny look. The sentiment is from the Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings.

In the center, I have a SnipArt chipboard skull frame heat embossed with Oyster Glintz embossing powder from WOW. The raven, bats and creepy eye are Tim Holtz, as is the sentiment. The black cat is a sticker from Michaels.

On the top row, I’ve mounted three ephemera pieces from a Michaels ephemera pack on different pieces of Halloween paper and accented with sequins. I’ve tied little bows with purple and black twine and added Tim Holtz Halloween quote chips on the spine to finish the project.

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For my Halloween ATCs, I’ve again used Distress Oxide inks to create my background, masking off a small strip along the bottom for my sentiment, along with the moon. The black die cuts are from the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill border die. The sentiment is stamped from the Poppystamps Halloween Fun stamp set. The ghosts are stamped from the Mama Elephant Little Boo Agenda stamp set, colored with Copic markers and die cut using the coordinating dies.

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I also made a set of autumn-themed ATCs for my monthly swap. For my base, I used a set of pumpkin die cut pieces from Joggles that I trimmed just a bit to adhere to the standard ATC size of 3.5 by 2.5 inches. I used the ink squishing technique using Distress Oxides to color them, inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for definition. I glued down some gold thread, then placed a sprig of flowers from Prima in autumn colors on top. I added some puffy stickers from the Autumn Sunset collection from Prima, as well as gems from the same collection. The sentiment is from the Small Talk Occasions sticker collection from Tim Holtz.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start on Christmas projects! Let the holiday season begin!