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!

Art journal playtime

I had a week off work recently, and I spent the time not only cleaning my craft room, but playing in my art journal. I have two art journals to share with you today.

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It’s All Perspective

I’d had this idea in mind for a while, of greenery spouting from the Tim Holtz skull die cut. My original plan was to have butterflies dancing among the plants, but as I was going through my dies, looking for my butterflies, I came across some lovely koi fish dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. So I went a little abstract and had fish “flying” between the greenery. I even added an octopus and tentacle coming from the eye socket. I kind of love how it turned out.

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Think Different

My second layout, I used some elements from Maremi’s Small Art Design that I fussy cut and adhered to my abstract background. Not my favorite page I’ve ever done, but I do love the colors, and Marta’s designs and sentiment stickers are just gorgeous and fun to play with.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be showcasing my first Halloween project later in the week!

The Beauty of Becoming

Spring has sprung, and over on the Scrapbook.com forums, a spring secret partner tag swap was held. We were all given a secret partner and had to create a spring-themed tag, but we weren’t allowed to say who our partner was. They would find out when the tag arrived.

I decided to use the Tim Holtz Funky Florals dies to create a spring flower scene.

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I cut my tag base out of chipboard (5×7 in.) and glued down some background paper from my stash. (I believe both pieces used were Kaisercraft.)

I cut out a bunch of blooms and greenery from the Tim Holtz Funky Florals 2, Funky Florals 3, Funky Foliage, Wildflower Stems 1 and Garden Greens from various colors of Lawn Fawn card stock. I used Distress Inks to give the flowers and stems some shading.

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The watering can is a Tim Holtz Bigz die. The big piece was colored with Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, and the band was colored with Black Soot Distress Ink. I also sprayed the watering can with some silver sparkle spray so it glitters in the light.

I adhered the watering can to the tag base using foam tape, then tucked in the greenery and flowers behind using liquid glue to adhere them.

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I added a couple of flowers to the bottom of the can, along with a fussy cut butterfly from my stash. The sentiment is from the Prima Finnabair Art Daily Sentiments sticker book that I inked with some green Distress Ink.

When everything was glued down, I felt the tag needed a little something, so I added “shading” all around the tag by using three tiny greenery stamps from Lavinia Stamps in various shades of green VersaFine Clair inks. The final touch was the green ribbon at the top of the tag.

My partner loved it, which made me happy! Thanks for stopping by!

Art journal: November and December

Hope everyone had a great Christmas/holiday season! This will probably be my last post for 2018, but I wanted to get my final two Julie Nutting art journal layouts posted before ringing in the new year. I’m honestly surprised that I managed to complete this art journal that started all the way back in January. I don’t always finish long-term projects. One of my many faults. But I managed to finish this one and it will be my first completed art journal. Well… the inside is complete. I hope to decorate the cover sometime in the new year.

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For my November layout, I wanted to do an autumn theme. I used a piece of scrapbook paper for my background to set the scene. I paper pieced the Julie Nutting Doll with Pocket Dress using Prima’s Amber Moon papers. I decorated my little scene using stickers from Paper House Productions (Autumn Woods) and Carta Bella (Fall Break). My sentiment wreath is from the Amber Moon ephemera pack.

To finish off the scene, I used some small leaf stamps by Lavinia Stamps around the edges in autumn colors. I don’t care much for reds and oranges, but I love the way this turned out!

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For my December layout, I again used a pretty piece of scrapbook paper for the background, this time from Ella & Viv. I used my new Merry Julie Nutting doll, paper pieced with papers from the Christmas Jewel collection from Kaisercraft. I die cut the Westbridge Christmas Tree die and the Village Lamp Post die from Poppystamps to add to my scene. I inked the lamp post with Black Soot Distress Ink and used Daytona Sands embossing powder from WOW! for the lamp light. I also heat embossed the tree using WOW! Metalline Greengage embossing powder. The sentiment is from the Merry stamp set, heat embossed with WOW! Blue Glitz powder.

I added some leftover animal stickers from the Paper House Productions Autumn Woods collections. I also added a poinsettia sticker to the lamp post and some purple gems to both the tree and the doll. My final touch was to add some sparkly snowflake stickers from Doodlebug.

I’m not planning on doing a monthly art journal next year… trying to keep up with this one was tough at times! But I’m not giving up art journaling altogether. I’m just going to do it when the mood strikes me next year.

And speaking of year-end wrap-ups, I’d just like to share my Top Nine favorite projects of 2018. I think I’ve improved a little over my creations in 2017, so I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

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Happy New Year!