Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Card Class

Today we did these five projects at card class.  Since I haven't been able to have a card class since August, I decided to add the blue angel and the treat bag as an extra little gift to the ladies.
I provide a two-page instruction sheet to my class participants - this month I had to shorten it, so it doesn't include the dimensions of the layers, colors, etc., but I've shared it in my DropBox here if you would like to download it: December Card Class Instructions
Hopefully I'll be back posting more regularly now that we're home from various trips.  I'll post pictures from our Thanksgiving visit with family in southern Oregon soon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Technique - Black Magic

Here's my November technique club sample, showcasing the Black Magic technique.  This technique has been around for quite awhile.  It's fun and a little different to stamp on black card stock instead of white, and see the colors pop.  This can be quite stunning with a bold floral stamp, but I decided on something a bit more in keeping with the season.

The technique is simple:  stamp a solid image with white ink on black card stock, and color the image when the ink is completely dry.  Watercolor pencils are often used as the coloring medium, but I've used regular colored pencils here.  After coloring, embellish a bit with a white gel pen, and it's ready to make into a card.

 I masked the pumpkin and the "hello" before stamping the leaf, to make it appear the leaf was behind the other images.
 Be sure the image is completely dry.  You can use a heat tool to dry it and set the white ink.
 I colored the image with some Crayola colored pencils I picked up for 50¢ at a thrift store!
 And finally, I doodled a bit with a white gel pen to make the images stand out a little more.

Scrapbooking in Loveland

It's good to be back!  Seems like all kinds of busy-ness has kept me away from my blog lately.  One of those things was preparing for and attending the "Scrapbook All Day" event in Loveland, CO.  This was a full day and a half of scrapbooking held as a fund-raiser for the Greeley Transitional House.  Deb and Kris, the organizers, hold these weekend events four times a year to raise money for various groups.  Scrapbookers rent table space and come with friends, photos, and lots of supplies and tools to spend a weekend relaxing and working on their creations with other like-minded crafters.  Meals and snacks are provided, and there are lots of silent auctions, door prizes, and fun.

I went with my Fun Stampers Journey up-line, Nanette Mueller, from Colorado Springs, and we had a PACKED van!!

We set up a booth to showcase and introduce FSJ products and specials, and offered tables where participants could make and sign cards to be sent to veterans in Colorado nursing homes, or make cards for cancer patients and survivors.  It was an enjoyable weekend, but I came back a bit tired after having been gone every weekend for a month!!

Here are some photos of our booth and the crowd.  If you are interested in attending an event like this, Deb and Kris have a Facebook page you can follow:  Scrapbook All Day - Scrapbooking Events with Deb and Kris.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Stamping on Die-Cut Shapes

Yesterday I needed to make 40 kits for this little candy topper for a Make-It project.  Luckily, my friend Barbara was willing to loan me her Frosty Fun stamp and die, but the idea of stamping and die-cutting 40 snowmen was still a bit daunting, especially since I was having a pretty hard time lining up  the die with the stamped image and keeping it in place while running it through my Journey Grand.
Then I remembered a YouTube video I had seen about using a stamp positioner to stamp AFTER cutting, and decided to try it with the home-made positioner my husband made for me.

First I cut the snowman shape out of a scrap piece of card stock and put it into one of the corners to act as a placement template for the blank die-cut pieces.  The red showing through is a sheet of fun foam that cushions the metal back of the positioner, and the card stock is held in place by magnets.

Next, I placed the stamp right into the cut opening so it fit perfectly, and closed the acrylic door of the positioner so the stamp stuck to the door and would stamp in the same place every time the door was closed.

Here's my first try.  Every now and then part of the image didn't stamp perfectly, so I just re-opened the door, made sure the die-cut shape was still in the template's opening, re-inked the stamp, and stamped again.

And here are a few of the finished snowmen.  I was able to use my card stock much more efficiently by cutting blanks, and this was MUCH faster and easier than stamping, then placing and cutting, then doing it over and over again.  This is a technique I'll definitely use again, especially with images that are a little difficult to line up in the cutting die.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Technique - Bleach

 This month's Technique Club uses common household bleach. Remember to be very careful with bleach, not to spill it or get it on your skin, clothing, or other surfaces.
Before starting, I decided to experiment with different types of black ink for my base image.  Some sources I looked at said to use Staz-On, others suggested heat embossing the image first, and still others didn't stipulate any particular ink.  (Oh - one more thing!  It's a GOOD IDEA to wear an apron!!!)

Memento Tuxedo Black was the least successful.  The bleach lightened the black lines, and the image looked smeary.  I think the VersaFine Onyx Black probably came out best, but Staz-on Black and FunStampersJourney Black Licorice Fusion worked well also.

Step 1:  Stamp image on colored card stock.  Different colors will yield different results.  I test the bleach on a corner of the colors I'm thinking about using first.  The dark blue and red I tried bleached to an ivory or yellowish color.  I didn't try black, but I think that would give a rather striking effect.

Step 2:  Using a small paint brush (not one of your GOOD ones!!) or a cotton swab, lightly paint the areas you wish to lighten.  I found I have more control with a brush...I go out of the lines more with a swab.  As the bleach dries, the color lightens.  For lighter color, go over the area again after it dries.

Step 3:  This may be as far as you want to go, but if you want to add a bit of color, I recommend wax-based colored pencils.  I think the bleach might continue to work on markers or watercolor, but not sure.  That's an experiment for another day!  Here's my final sample, using a touch of green on the leaves:

Bleach can also be used to stamp with, using a "stamp pad" made of bleach-moistened folded paper towels on a saucer or other non-porous surface.  Clean your stamps well with water after stamping with bleach.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Gift for my Aunt

My 86-year-old mom and I are leaving in a couple of days for Iowa to visit her sister.  This may be their last visit, as they live so far apart and neither is well enough to travel much.  One of my cousins will pick us up and take us to my aunt's home, then another cousin will pick us up in a few days and return us to the airport. We hope to also visit another cousin who is struggling with Stage 3 cancer while we're there.

I've been trying to collect a few gifts to take back with us.  Colorado-grown beans, honey, hand-made soaps - gifts for my cousins were fairly easy.  But I was having a hard time thinking of something for my aunt. Then I happened on some fabric that called out her name and I decided to make a NCW (Necessary Clutch Wallet) for her. This is a pattern from Emmaline Bags that I've made several times.  I was originally inspired by Rachel Anaya, an amazing seamstress friend.  Her blog,, is well worth following.  My mom and I both carry a NCW, I have a couple of spares at home, I've made some for charity raffles, and a couple as gifts for my daughters.  I keep adjusting the pattern to get it EXACTLY the way I want it.  This one is close, but I think I need to make a few more!

Here's what I made to take to my aunt.  I think she'll like it, as she's a quilter and seamstress and I'm sure she will value the time and love that went into it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

August Swap Card

I occasionally join a group of other FSJ Coaches in a card swap.  I'll be sitting out September - and maybe October - but here's the card I sent in for August.  (I hadn't wanted to share it before the organizer sent everyone's cards out to them, but I think it's late enough now - especially since she posted pictures today!)

I'd had several ATC cards left over from a different swap, so decided to incorporate them into full-sized cards.  I'm not sure I care for the wonky placement now that I see it again!  I stamped the flower and leaf images and sentiment on the front of the larger card using clear embossing ink to create a watermark look. Then I rubbed on a dusting of pan pastels before attaching the ATC and some sequins.

Click HERE to see how I created the background on the ATCs. I used red, yellow and orange water-based markers, then clear-embossed the Honeycomb stamp over the color before spritzing with water and softening the rest of the background with the watercolor lift technique.

Monday, September 5, 2016

September Club Technique - Watercolor and Alcohol

Our September club technique uses watercolor and rubbing alcohol to add interest and texture to a background piece.  It's pretty easy - just lay down a watercolor wash and drip, splatter or dab on some rubbing alcohol.  The color around the alcohol will spread and lighten.  I added some bits of more intense color after adding the alcohol, to give it a bit more interest.  After you try the technique, make a card using your watercolor and alcohol background. And please share your creations! Here's mine.  I used an older sentiment stamp from my stash, the FSJ doily die, and FSJ Butterfly Prints and matching dies.
To get started, you'll need watercolor paper, watercolor paints or crayons, water, rubbing alcohol, and paint brushes.  I also like to use a bit of masking tape to hold my paper flat while I'm working, and an acrylic block to use as a palette.

Mix up some water and color on your palette so you'll have it ready for your wash.  Then spritz your paper (or brush with clear water). Paint color over the entire surface.

Next use a paint brush, Q-tip, or cotton ball to splatter or drip alcohol onto the wet color wash.  I think my starting color should have been darker so the contrast would show up better.  The alcohol will look grayish when you first add it, but will soon dry.

I dipped the tip of my small brush directly into my wet paint and just touched the damp paper here and there since I didn't think my original color was intense enough. I like the look of this step better than the final piece after it dried!!

Finally, let the background dry, or dry with a heat tool, trim and use it to create an element on your card.  Have fun!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Denise's Class Today

I attended a card-making class today, put on by fellow FSJ Coach Denise Weiger.  We had a great time and got to play with several new items (pan pastels, color splash pencils, and color burst pencils).  I had never tried the triple-stamp technique, so was excited to give that a try.  AND - she fed us!!  A delightful croissant and chicken salad sandwich, home-made chocolate chip cookies, and pineapple-coconut drink.  Yum.  We had a lot of fun, and made 5 lovely cards.  Thanks so much, Denise - it was a real treat to attend your class today.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


As fall approaches with cooler weather, I've been thinking about slippers.   Now, I'm a barefoot type of person.  I only put shoes on when I go outside.  I don't know if this started when I was a child, or when I lived in Alaska, where EVERYONE takes off their shoes when they come in the house, but it's an ingrained habit now and I'm more comfortable barefoot or in socks.  I find that as I've gotten older, my feet get colder in the winter so I'm more inclined to put on a pair of slippers.  Problem is, I don't really have any.  I used to have moose hide and beaver fur slippers in Alaska, but those are long gone.  I keep two or three pair of scuffs around for my mom when she visits, but I want slippers that have more than just toes.

I haven't done much sewing or crocheting lately, and need to get back into it, so I've been on the search for slipper patterns.  Free, of course!  Pretty Prudent has a really cute pattern that looks easy to make: I want to try these and will definitely post pictures if I ever get around to it.  Someone on made them with an old sweatshirt.  Good idea, cheap and warm, and I could make several pair to have around the house.

I guess I could try crocheting a pair, but that sounds like a lot more work. There are a lot of free patterns on the internet.  These look easy, and they're a lot cuter than some I've seen!  I'll have to see what kind of yarn I have in my stash.  I sold a LOT of it at the yard sale.

Well, I've wasted some time THINKING about doing something...I guess now I have to get up and DO something.  Drink more coffee, maybe?  :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Outdoor Fun

Welcome to the August Amazing Journey Blog Hoppers Hop! This month’s theme is "Outdoor Fun." I'm so happy you're hopping along. If you arrived here from Betsye Rose’s blog, you're on the right track. If not, that's ok too! Just continue the hop and you'll come full circle.

Please don’t forget to click the Next button at the bottom to continue on the hop with Carol's blog.

I love living in sight of (and within easy driving distance of) the Wet Mountains Range of the Rocky Mountains in south-central Colorado. This card is missing the beautiful pines, but the sunshine, the mountains, and Lake Isabel are all here. I used pan pastels to add color, and had to do a LOT of masking. I love how the pastels blend together - the blues in the lake, the green and brown of the shore.





I used one of the Journey
Rectangles stitched
dies to outline the
bottom of the banner.

These are just a FEW of the masks I
was working with.

Wilma Payne:

Carol Moffett Norby:

Becky Lemire:

Heather Flaherty:

Kim Lamos:

Christine Pennington:

Karen Seifert:

Allie Gower:

Ruth Cooper:

Click HERE to visit my online
Fun Stampers Journey Store.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August Club Technique - Watercolor Lift

Our August club technique is "Watercolor Lift."  This simple technique seems to be all over the internet right now! Basically, large areas of color are protected by clear embossing, and then the rest of the color is "lifted" to create a softer look.  I tend to use splotches of color, but I've seen beautiful cards done with horizontal blocks to create a smoother look.  After you try the technique, make a card using your watercolor lift background. Here's mine:

Share your creations on our group Facebook page at>
1. Cover watercolor paper with random patches
of color using water-based markers.

2. Spritz with water to blend edges.  Let dry
completely or use heat tool to speed drying.

3. Rub dry surface with Embossing Buddy or
dryer sheet. Stamp image with clear embossing
ink such as VersaMark.

4. Dust with clear embossing powder. Tap
off excess.

5. Heat embossing powder until it melts.

6.  Embossed areas will protect the color beneath the image.

7. Spritz with water again.

8. Soak up water with paper towels. Extra
color will lift, leaving behind the darker
color behind the embossed image.