Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy, happy birthday!


I love to make birthday cards. I don't always get them in the mail on time, but I still love the creative process of making them. This sentiment has been around for a long time in one form or another, but I can remember my Dad wishing me "Hoppy Birdie" when I was a child. I don't know where it originated, so if it came from you, please let me know and I will happily give you credit. Otherwise, all the credit goes to my funny, sweet father, who I am so thankful for and miss every day.

This is an example of one of those times when a stamp just will not do. That’s why I am so thankful for the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio. I can get a very cool look, just using their fonts in basic form, but adding the ability to have a myriad of letter styles within each font family is the icing on the cake. Not only that, you can alter the colors in Photoshop or print out outlines of your sentiment and custom –color them with paint, markers or colored pencil.

TIP: When you’re working with an inkjet printer, it’s very easy to smear the ink when you paint over it. Just add a spritz or two of Krylon’s Workable Fixative, the spray used for sealing pastel and graphite art. I still wouldn’t saturate the paper, but if you let the ink dry, spritz with fixative and then paint, you should have no problems.

Card Front Detail
Other things I am thankful for are my Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square, the fabulous Duetica Lettering Arts Studio, my Big Shot and all the fabulous dies, Viva Décor products, and Graphic 45 and Bo Bunny papers. They just seem to inspire me to create bigger and better things. This little card may not be bigger (well, it is actually a 6" x 6", so I guess that's bigger than the ones I usually make),  but I think it's one of my all-time favorite designs. The first one of these was made for my BFF Linda Gordon Bradshaw for her 65th birthday October 3rd (I can't believe we have known each other for 52 -count 'em- 52 years!), and I've been making it for birthdays ever since, just changing the colors, papers and embellishments.

The background paper I chose is very busy and not conducive to eyeballing a straight line. Even though your aligning skills may be way up there, it's still hard to get it right the first time with random paper patterns, which can result in damaged paper and extremely frayed nerves. This is where my great Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square comes in.

Here's how I did it:

Duetica Lettering System Software, Saxi Font
Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Level
Graphic 45 (51/2" x 5 1/2") and Bo Bunny (6" x 12", folded to 6" x6") Cardstock, plus small scraps for punching
Cream cardstock(Stampin' Up!®)
Chipboard, 51/2" square
Big Shot and Caged Bird die, (Sizzix, Tim Holtz Alterations)
Woven Trim, 8"
3D Stamp Paint, Copper (Viva Décor)
Sponge Applicator (Viva Décor)
Inka Gold, Orange, Lava Green, Cobalt Blue, Lava Red (Viva Décor)
Dew Drops (The Robin's Nest)
Distress Ink, Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz/Ranger)
Jute (American Crafts)
Double Stick tape (Sookwang)
Dimensional Glue Dots, assorted sizes
Best Glue Ever (ScraPerfect)
Silk flowers and leaves

Step 1
1. Apply double stick tape to backside of woven trim. Line up 51/2" square cardstock on the  Kellycraft Laser Square and set the guide at 3/4". Remove backing paper from tape and carefully apply the trim slightly below the laser line. Fold excess to the back of the cardstock.

2. Cut bird, cage and wing from Caged Bird die. Apply Inka Gold to bird and wing and edge with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for contrast.

Step 3
3. Apply Viva Décor 3D Stamp Paint to the cage using the sponge applicator in and up and down motion to create an uneven surface. This will not only give the look of aged metal, but also the feel. Allow to dry, then add more age with Vintage Photo ink applied randomly, direct to paper. Apply glue dots to back of cage.

Step 4
4. Using the Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square, line up birdcage bottom approx. 3/8" from the bottom of the 51/2" square, and adhere in place. Apply Best Glue Ever to openings across the bottom of the cage and add Dew Drops. 

Step 5
5. Use Inka Gold to make the flowers match the background paper. Adhere in place and add Dew Drops with Best Glue Ever. Cut 1/2" circles from scrap printed paper and edge with Vintage Photo ink for the large flower centers. Adhere in place.

6. Cut a small slit in the bird's beak to hold the tag. Slide bird into cage, allowing the head to peek out a little.

7. Print "Hoppy Birdie to You" using the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio software on cream cardstock. I used my finger to add Vintage Photo Distress ink to the edges and across the surface of the tag. Tie hemp around tag, add glue dots to the back and slip between the slits in the bird's beak. 

Step 8
8. Apply large glue dots to the back of the card front and use the Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square to align it perfectly on the card fold.

 That's it. Easy as pie and it looks like you spent hours on it.


I received product from Kellycraft, Viva Décor, ScraPerfect, Sizzix, Bo Bunny and Duetica Lettering Arts Studio.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handmade Gifts

Today begins another monthly edition of the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop. This month's theme is handmade gifts. Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection button at left to hop forward or backward and see all the wonderful gift ideas from our talented designers.

This little box began life as a chick feeder that I found on Decor Steals. (If you are not on their email list for daily bargains, you're missing out.) When I bought it, I didn't know what it would become, but knew that I loved it.

Chick feeder base
I have to admit that the idea to house the growing pile of charger cords into one container was not mine. I got the idea of containing all the cords from a website that I stumbled onto late one night. I wish I could remember where it was, but alas, my brain is not as good as it once was. (My theory: Our brains are like hard drives. You store a lot of information in there and the more you have, the longer it takes to sort through find what you're looking for. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.) So if housing all those cords in a box was your idea, please let me know so I can give you proper credit.

Since so many of my friends and family are techno-junkies, I knew this little project would make the perfect gift. Just change the paper to make it for a man, woman or young teen.

Anyway, with the addition of some ink, embellishments and Graphic 45 papers, the lowly chick feeder is gloriously reborn as a charger cord holder. I can get the charger for an iphone, camera battery and AA & AAA recharger in this box with no cords left dangling. It can be hung on the wall near the receptacle generally used for recharging or left standing on a table or counter top. No more wondering where you put your chargers and no more masses of tangled cords piled up near the receptacle!

Here's how I did it:

Chick feeder
Graphic 45 cardstock, two coordinating sheets, plus one with blocked images
Telephone Embellishment (Studio 490)
Scalloped Circle (Kaisercraft)
3D Stamping Cream (Viva Décor)
Alcohol Inks, Terra Cotta and Bottle (Ranger)
Inkssentials Blending Tool and felt pads (Ranger)
Alcohol Blending Solution (Ranger)
Liquid Fusion Adhesive
Miscellaneous fiber/ribbon scraps
Assorted beads


Note: All paper edges are inked with Colorbox inks before adhering to feeder.

Apply Alcohol Inks to entire box.
1. Wipe chick feeder to remove any dust.  Apply first color of alcohol ink (Terra Cotta) to entire box and lid and then go back over it with the second color (Bottle), blending as you go. If you get too much or have harsh lines instead of blended ones, just dampen your felt pad with a little Alcohol Blending Solution and pounce over those areas.

Trace the side pattern onto chipboard and trim 1/4" inside the lines.
2. Lay the feeder on its side on the chipboard and trace the outline. Measure and draw lines 1/4" inside the pattern all around. Cut two pieces of cardstock from your pattern, being sure the printed pieces are facing the correct way unless you want the two sides to be different. Trim an additional rectangle the width of the box front. Adhere all cardstock to lower front and sides of the box. You will need to add a separate piece to the box back to completely cover it.

3. Trim the blocked image to fit the upper front and adhere.

4 Apply 3D Stamping Cream to both sides of the scalloped circle. Adhere telephone embellishment and tie it to the box lid handle.

5. Tie several strands of fiber to the box handle. Add beads to the ends.

This is a quick little project and can be done in under an hour if you don't add the beads. That took longer than making the whole project!

Now, go find some chick feeders and you'll be able to cross a couple of gifts off your list, and then go hug your sweetie. Hugs make every day much better!

Note: I received product from Kaisercraft, Viva Décor,Liquid Fusion, Studio 490 and Clearsnap.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Winter Reflections

Winter is finally coming to West Tennessee. It was warm today, but we're expecting 20° one night next week. Brrrrrrrrrr!

One nice thing about winter is the number of poems and quotations available with the click of a mouse to be used in our art. And doesn't this just come in so handy since the All Things Altered blog hop theme is Winter? Be sure to click on the the list below to  see the work of some really talented designers.

There is also a great prize package pictured on the first blog in the list below, Scrapbook Flair. To be entered to win the main prize package:

1. Leave a comment on all the designers' blogs.
2. Sign up to Follow the blogs.
3. Leave a message on the Scrapbook Flair Blog telling Pam you followed the directions!

Be sure to read through all the blogs on this hop.There are several additional prizes on individual blogs.

Duetica Lettering Arts Studio, Mandolyn Font
Assorted patterned cardstock, (Graphic 45, Bo Bunny, Stampin’Up!® cardstock, Not Quite Navy and Whisper White)
Sizzix Big Shot
Sizzix On the Edge Die, Snowflake Flurries (656920)
Sizzix Bigz Die, Reindeer Flight, (656923)
Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folders, Fancy and Floral Frames Set (657197)
Chipboard for die cuts
Gallery Wrapped Canvases, 2 , 8” x 10”
Hinges, 2
Crystal drops, 3
American Crafts Hemp, light blue
Versamark Embossing Ink
Ultra-Detail Embossing Powder, Silver
Metallic Trims, Paper Dreams Factory
Computer-generated poem by Robert Frost, Quotation and Title
Viva Décor Inka Gold, Platinum, Cobalt Blue and Violet
Colorbox pigment ink pads, Black, Chestnut Roan and Peacock Blue
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Stamps, Stampin’Up!®
Metal Charms
Slate Blue Craft Paint
Paint Brush

Note: These directions are for an 8” x 10” canvas. If you use a different sixe, you will have to adjust all measurements.
1. Paint both canvases front and back with blue paint. Set aside to dry.
2. Cut one printed paper 6 ¾” x 8 ¾”, solid cardstock 6 1/8”  x 8” and a second printed paper 5 ½” x 7 ½”. Ink all edges with brown ink.
3. Cut four snowflake borders with Sizzix On the Edge die. Apply Inka Gold in Platinum and add Cobalt Blue and Violet sparingly.
4. Set type using the Mandolyn font and Duetica Lettering Arts Studio software. Print on white cardstock to fit within the borders of the Sizzix Texture Fades Embossing Folder. Fussy cut the border and lightly apply blue ink..
5. Stamp the swirl stamp with Peacock Blue Ink.
6. Adhere all paper layers for the cover and adhere this set to one of the canvas pieces.
7. Color the Snow Flurries with Platinum Inka Gold and add light touches of Cobalt Blue and Violet. Adhere across top of the cardstock layer.  Note: You will have to add a small portion to make this go from end to end. I used the small metal snowflake to hide the joint where the additional snowflake was added.
8. Attach the title block and metal snowflakes.
9. Apply Versamark ink to the reindeer and cover with Silver embossing powder. Heat to melt the powder and then edge the deer with Cobalt Blue and Chestnut Roan inks.

1. For the left side, print out the quotation. Trim paper to cover the canvas inside the frame . Print out the quotation, cut the width slightly smaller than the opening and tear the top and bottom edges. Ink the edges with Cobalt Blue and Violet. Stamp the snowflakes using Cobalt Blue ink. Roll the top and bottom corners with a pencil and adhere inside the opening. Cut 3 8” pieces of blue hemp. Run the hemp through the hole in the top of the crystal. Tie all together with a knot. Use a pushpin to attach the crystals to the inside top of the canvas.
2. Cut two pieces of printed cardstock to make frames for the canvas back edges. Trim out the center of each piece with a 1 ¼” border. Place the snowflake trim as desired, then cover  the “frame” portion with the paper frames. Apply Platinum Inka Gold randomly with your fingers along the edges of the frame, then go over it again with Peacock Blue  and Black inks to create an aged  look.
3. Apply Platinum Ink Gold to a purple pennant border. Trim to fit around inside edge of the frame.
4. For the right side, print poem and trim to fit inside the opening.  Add a scrap of the paper used on the left side background to add interest and tie the two sections together.
5. Complete the frame border as in Step 2 above.
5. Add the second silver embossed deer in the lower right corner.

1. Apply the second metallic trim to the outside edges. (If you don’t have the color trim you want, you can color the trim with Inka Gold, Viva Décor Metallic Paint or alcohol inks.). Join the canvases using  two small hinges.

Now that we have Thanksgiving out of the way, remember to shop small businesses/handmade this holiday season. Anyone can purchase a mass-produced product that will be as old as yesterday's news before long. When you purchase hand made, you're buying a gift that will be treasured for years to come. 

Now, go hug someone you love and spend the day snuggling instead of shopping! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Flowers

Welcome to a middle-of-the-month blog challenge on the Designer Crafts Connection! This time, we're playing with Smoothfoam, one of my new favorite surfaces. Smoothfoam™ is sturdy, resists chipping and crushing, paintable (no tedious prep work!), waxable, stampable - everything you want in a foam product. On top of that, it can be adhered with just about any adhesive, including glue guns. You can get out that dinosaur glue gun from the "olden days" when that was all that we had available, and not worry about whether you are using high heat or low. Both work fine on Smoothfoam™ (but you still need to keep it off your fingers). This stuff can be cut or carved as well.

Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection logo to the left to see what some great designers have done with Smoothfoam™.

You can win the Smoothfoam™
 Kit to make me!
As you hop through the designer blogs, comment on your favorite projects. Each time you comment you'll be entered to win a Smoothfoam™ Snowman Kit plus a few extra goodies, so the more comments you add, the more entries you'll have. You can also comment on our Pinterest page after November 12th for additional entries.
The winner will be announced on Monday, November 19th on our Facebook pages.We hope you'll "like" us too!   
I used the 2" Smoothfoam™ balls and the 6" cube to make this simple centerpiece. Here's how I did it:

Smoothfoam™, 2" balls and 6" cube
Cardstock, assorted designs that look well together-mine came from my scrap pile (Graphic 45, Bohemia, Coredinations)
Glue Gun
Liquid Fusion
Sizzix Big Shot and Tattered Leaves (Tim Holtz's Alterations) die
Assorted Craft Paints (Pearl, Bronze)
Paint brush
Tim Holtz Distress inks (Spiced Marmalade, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Ebony, Rusty Hinge)
Flower Detail
Circle punch, 2"
Hemp twine
Floral pick (gold berries)
Floral stems
Copper and gold wire, 22 gauge
Assorted rubber stamps (swirls)
Scissors (Westcott)
Hot wire cutter
Sanding block
Recycled Greenery
Spray Paint (Krylon)

1. Cut  four 2" Smoothfoam™ balls in half (a sharp knife will work, but a hot cutter is much easier, not to mention less dangerous). Paint each with pearl craft paint. When dry, sponge Walnut Stain and Ebony Distress Inks over the entire surface.
2. Cut cardstock with Tattered Leaves die. Sponge all leaves with Vintage Photo or Ebony Distress Inks. Sand the high points on the Coredinations cardstock.
3. Cut eight 2" circles from scrap paper.
TIP: Try to use coordinating papers so that the back will look as pretty as the front.
4. Lay circle face down on your work surface. Apply hot glue and arrange the leaves around the circle. Top each off with the Smoothfoam™ you painted in step 1, adhering with hot glue.
Wrap twine around the base
5. Apply a bead of Liquid Fusion around the ball edge. Wrap hemp twine around the base several time. Trim and tuck the ends under.
6. Fold a floral stem in half. Cut a small slit in the underside of each flower, drop in  a small amount of Liquid Fusion and insert the folded end of the wire into the slit. Set all flowers aside to dry.
7. To create "springs", wrap the ends of an 8" piece of wire around a floral stem. Use a pencil or skewer to wrap the wire to create the spring.
8. Pull floral stem berries off the original stem. Add 6-9 gold berries to the end of  several floral stems.
9. Spray artificial greenery with spray paint. (I used bronze to tone down the bright green. The greenery was slated for a yard sale, but I repurposed it.)

1. Paint entire 6" block with cream pearl paint. When dry, use Ebony, Spiced Marmalade and Vintage Photo Distress Inks to stamp swirls.
2. Use a small hammer to gently bang up the corners and bottom and top edges of the block.
3. Use Walnut Distress Ink to sponge edges. If you prefer a darker base, sponge all of the Distress inks listed in the supply list to add interest.

1. Insert the base greenery directly into the top of the Smoothfoam™. Arrange flowers and add gold berries and springs to balance the design.

That's it! Easy as pie.

Have a great weekend and don't forget to hop through the blog posts (and comment to win)!

I received product from Smoothfoam™for this project.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thanks X 2

Welcome to the November edition of the Designers Crafts Connection (DCC) blog hop!

What better way to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season than with little gifts that say, "Thank you!" in a big way? This little thank you gift gives an added bonus: yummy mints and a handmade flower pin. It's also quick and easy to do. The sentiment was created with the fabulous Duetica Lettering Arts Studio and the whole thing was assembled in less than 30 minutes.

Here's how I made it:

• Printed paper, 6" x 12" (Graphic 45) and a small scrap of a contrasting color/pattern, 4" x 3"
• White Cardstock, 3" x 11" (Stampin'Up!®)
• Sizzix Dies (Eileen Hull's Frame, Easel and
  Tim Holtz Alterations, Vintage Lace)
• Mat Board (Sizzix) 
• Big Shot
• Small zipper lock bag, 3" x 4"
• Coiled Roses Kit (Laliberi)
• Double-stick tape, 1/4" width (Sookwang)
• Brads, three large
• Sentiment (Duetica Lettering Arts Studio)
• Spray Adhesive (3M Super 77)
• Black craft paint (Plaid)
• Peacock Blue Ink Pad (ColorBox)
• Hot glue and glue gun
• Transparent Gloss Gel (Viva Décor)
• Lifesaver® mints or fruit flavored candies

1. Adhere printed paper to matboard and diecut with the Frame/Easel die. Paint the backside, edges and inner frame edges of the mat board with black craft paint and set aside to dry. When dry, bend on scored lines and join the piece together with brads, using the holes cut with the die.
2. Sponge edges of 4" x 3" paper with blue ink and fold over the top of the frame.
3. Cut white cardstock with Vintage Lace die and attach to lower front and back edges of the topper.
4. Print sentiment on white cardstock, trim and ink edges. Adhere to front of topper with double-stick tape. Add a strip of double-stick tape to the zipper lock bag and attach inside the frame.
5. Make coiled rose according to directions in kit and attach pin back to flower with hot glue. Use the pin to attach the flower to the frame topper.
6. Add dew drops with Transparent Gloss Gel.

This makes a pretty little gift, and the rose can be removed and attached to a lapel, a hat or a purse for a little flowery fashion statement.

Be sure to click on the DCC button to the left to hop to other blogs and see more creative ways to say thanks.

Remember to be thankful for those you love!

I received product from Sizzzix, Laliberi, Sookwang, Viva Décor and Duetica Lettering Arts Studio.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Forget the Bakin' with Makin's Clay!

I am totally in love with Makin's Air Dry Clay. It's just like playing with clay when I was a little girl, but this one sets up and hardens without any baking or long wait periods. You can cut it, sand it or texturize it, and it always comes out looking fabulous! Be sure to scroll to the bottom to see how you can win some cool tools and supplies from Makin's Clay, and be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop button at left to hop to other blogs and see some more wonderful creations.

Here's the side view showing the trim.
This cool box began as a Goodwill find. I think my friend Nancy Kennedy actually found it and handed it to me. (Thanks, Nancy!) I knew it was going to be something special.

The finished box is designed to holds precious memories: a child's small toy, pretty rocks from special places, travel souvenirs or just about anything you can think of.

Here's how I made it:

Makin's Clay, Black, white and yellow (I knew I was going to paint it so wasn't too worried about the base color.)
Makin's Clay tools (texture sheets, cutters, misc. tools)
KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square
Viva Décor Inka Gold (Orange, Lava Green, Violet, Steel Blue, Gold, Silver)
Sophisticated Finishes Copper Paint, Triangle Coatings
Mold N Pour
Tim Holtz' Alterations dies, Vintage Lace and Tattered Florals
Big Shot die cutting machine
Martha Stewart Glaze, Black Coffee
Green card stock, Bo Bunny Olive Dots card stock
Burgundy paper, My Mind's Eye
Black card stock
Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
Black acrylic paint
Wooden knobs, 4
Fancy Knob, Advantus - Tim Holtz - Idea-ology Collection - Curio Knobs

1. Trim burgundy paper to fit 1/4" inside box lid edges. Trim Olive Dots to leave a 1/2" border of burgundy paper. Trim black card stock to leave a 1/2" border of Olive Dot.
2. Condition one pack of clay  (I used white), run through pasta machine and apply texture sheets. Trim out rectangles to cover black card stock and overhang edges at least 1/4". Be sure to cut and texturize one extra piece of clay for your title tag. Set aside to dry.
3.  Roll out 1/2 package of clay (I used yellow) and run through pasta machine on #2 setting. Sandwich between two pieces of waxed paper  and use Textured Florals die to cut flowers. Apply texture sheets to each flower. NOTE: Be sure to remove any clay that may become lodged in your die immediately.
4. Roll out 1/2  package of black clay and add texture with texture sheets. Trim to 1/2" strips and set aside to dry.
5. Press clay scraps into Mold N Pour molds created with vintage buttons (or use buttons or embellishment for flower centers). Mold N Pour allows you to create molds from jewelry, buttons, etc.. Check it out here.
6. Die cut Vintage Lace trim from scrap paper and apply orange Inka Gold.
Paint all the clay pieces for the box top with metallic paint.
7. When all clay pieces are dry, apply Martha Stewart Metallic Paint to all clay rectangles for the box top. Paint Tattered Florals die cuts with Sophisticated Finishes Copper Paint Allow all to dry, then apply Inka Gold to all pieces, including the black strips.
8. Arrange rectangles on the black card stock, using the KellyCraft Get-It-Straight Laser Square to line up the pieces. Glue pieces to black card stock and set aside to dry. When dry, flip the card stock over and trim the excess clay. Touch up visible trimmed edges with copper paint.
The Get-It-Straight Laser Square makes it easy to line up the rectangles.
9. Assemble paper and clay layers and adhere to box lid.
10. Adhere floral die cuts to box lid. 
11. Create "Memories" tag on printer and adhere to the extra piece of clay from step 2.
12. Adhere two strips of Vintage Lace paper trim to each side of box. Trim black clay to 1/4" and lay over trim seam. Attach glass knob to lid.

Line up and adhere the paper layers, then  add the clay layer last.
13. Paint wooden knobs black and adhere to box bottom.

I hope you will try Makin's clay. There is no end to the possibilities of this wonderful product.

Now for the fun stuff!

You can buy Makin's Clay at most hobby and craft stores, but you can win this prize package! Don't forget to check out the Makin's Clay blog hop and giveaway running Oct. 13- Oct. 21! Start here:
I received product from Makin's Clay,  KellyCraft and  Viva Décor.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Shameless Self-promotion

I am honored to let you know that there is a review of my new book, Scrapbooking for Home Decor, on the Favecrafts blog. See it here. Kathryn Wright wrote such nice things about it and I am truly humbled.  

You can get your own copy and have it signed at one of the following:

Sunday, October 7, 2-4 p.m.
Trinity Baptist Church
5970 Brighton-Clopton Rd.
Brighton, TN
(901) 476-8889
Proceeds from the sales on October 4 will benefit Trinity Baptist Church's new Awana program for children.

Thursday, October 11, 5-7 p.m.
Electica Scrapbooks and Stamps
2965 N. Germantown Rd. (next door to Eat Well Japanese Restaurant)
Memphis, TN
(901) 377-0730

If you can't make it to one of these events and would like a copy, it is available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Thanks for looking. Now go hug your sweetie!

Monday, October 1, 2012


With today being October 1, our Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop is once again in full swing and this time, we're featuring seasonal home decor. Be sure to use the forward/back buttons on the Designer Crafts Connection logo at left to move through the hop.

Today is also what would have been my Granny's 105th birthday, the woman who had a great role in making me the artist I am today. Happy birthday, Granny. I know you're having a fine time in Heaven!

I attended a wonderful gilding workshop this weekend sponsored by the Memphis Calligraphy Guild with instructor Roann Mathias, the über talented calligrapher, painter and all-around good girl/great artist and teacher, as well as one of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine's Artisans for 2012. If you ever have the opportunity to take one of her workshops, don't hesitate. She is patient, organized and a wealth of information.

We were up to our necks in gold leaf. If you've ever used this stuff, you know how it loves to fly around. Just breathing will send it flying across the room. I took lots of photos with my iphone, but have misplaced my jack to plug into my computer. Apologies to Roann and the workshop attendees who allowed me to photograph their work. When I locate it, I will post the photos.

One of the things we did was to use a variety of acrylic mediums. Roann supplied a variety of stencils for us to try the different mediums with, but I wasn't through when I left for the day. I went home and made a ton more stenciled images on a variety of papers. The project I'm showing was made with Golden's Light Molding Paste. I have to confess that I've had a jar of this stuff for more than 10 years (with no breakdown in consistency!) and have never used it. That is all over, because I love it!

I started with black card stock, Golden Light Gel Medium, foils (available at Michael's and Hobby Lobby), Krylon's Easy Tak Repositionable Spray Adhesive, a heat iron, palette knife and a 6" square Crafter's Workshop's Branches Reversed stencil of barren trees. I coated the backside of the stencil lightly with the Krylon Spray (you could also use masking tape to hold the stencil in place), positioned it on the card stock and spread the Molding Paste over the stencil. I scraped off most of the paste to leave a very thin layer and let it dry.

When it was dry, I placed the foil over the image and pressed with the heat tool set to medium. The foil will not stick to the molding paste in a solid block, so some of the white shows through, which is exactly the effect I wanted. When I had the copper and purple down, I decided to add a gold moon, so I repositioned the stencil, added more paste in a circle, let it dry and applied the gold foil.

TIP: For neat circle edges, punch the circle from card stock, then place the open circle on top of the stencil and card stock and apply the paste.

I selected a shadow box frame from Michael's and cut a piece of foam board with a 4 1/2" square opening. I attached the foiled piece to this. I added gold and black trim and a spider web from PaperDreamsFactory around the edge, and a black spider from Michael's, enhanced with Viva Décor's Inka Gold in Orange. The spider web also has a light applications of Inka Gold Platinum to make it show up.

I had stumbled upon a 3D Beware piece at, of all places, the Kroger grocery store near my house. It fit perfectly in the shadow box. I added Inka Gold in violet, orange, gold and green to make the piece more prominent and placed it in the lower portion of the box.

I hope you like this project. It was easy, quick and fun to do.

Be sure to stop back by on October 13 for the Makin's Clay challenge and an opportunity to win this great prize package from Makin's Clay!

Now, go out and buy your Halloween candy and bring it home to share with someone you love.

I received product from Crafter's Workshop, Viva Décor and Golden Acrylics.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Skeletons in My Closet

Welcome to the All Things Altered Blog Hop!

It's getting close to the bewitching time of year, and while I'm not a big Halloween fan, I am a fan of wonderful quotations. When I saw this quote by George Bernard Shaw: "If you can't get rid of the skeletons in your closet, you'd better make sure they can dance," I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

I had been hoarding these little 6" skeletons for a couple of years and I think I bought them as a garland at Dollar Tree. They've been sitting in my Favorite Stash Drawer (yes, it's all caps because everything in there is just that important), waiting for me to take them out to dance (no pun intended).

Larry and I are junk store junkies and a few weeks ago we went to a row of them in Memphis, just spending the day browsing. I went in one and immediately turned around and came back out. The proprietor laughed at me because he knew I was afraid of the 16' stack of junk on either side of each aisle with barely enough room to squeeze through. My claustrophobia didn't help either. He assured me that it wouldn't fall on me, and I went back in once again. I sure am glad I did because I found this little wooden cigar box for Rum Runner cigars for $2. I knew immediately that it was going to become the house for my skeletons.

I am putting a condensed version of the directions on here. If you have any questions, please email me at

Cigar Box
Plastic Skeletons
Duetica Lettering Arts Studio
Sizzix dies (Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals, Tattered Leaves and Texture Plates)
Graphic 45 Papers and Metal Label Holder
Pennant Borders (Paper Dreams Factory)
Metal embellishments (Tim Holtz for all flower centers;Monn was an online purchase from an individual)
Alcohol Inks (Ranger)
Inka Gold,assorted colors, and Paper Soft Color, Walnut and Orange (Viva Décor)
Makin's Air Dry Clay, Black
Book Binding Tape
Double stick adhesive (Red Liner)
3M Scrapbook Adhesive
Adirondack Color Spray, Butterscotch
Glitter, orange, porple, yellow
Organdy ribbon, 3", three colors, 12" each
Gold Angel Wings (PaperDreamsFactory)
Ink Jet Printer and cream cardstock
Small Tag
Mulberry paper
Copper Sheet
Copper Paint
Small dowel or skewer
Wire, black and copper
Tiny clothes pins
Marvy 2" circle punch

Box Cover
1. Roll out Makin's Clay, impress with texture plate and cut to make doors. Set aside to dry.
2. Sponge orange alcohol ink over skull trim. I used alcohol ink rather than dye ink because it was a slick paper.)
3. Cut flowers and leaves from chipboard(cut additional leaves from mulberry paper and copper sheet), then run chipboard and copper sheet through Big Shot with assorted texture plates. Apply Orange Paper Soft Color to all elements except copper sheet, then apply Walnut Paper Soft Color on edges. Apply Inka Gold to all pieces.
4. Adhere metal embellishments to flower centers. and set aside to dry.
5. Apply small black pennant to inside of skull trim on cover.
6. Adhere Graphic 45 paper to chipboard, cut to allow a 1/8" border on the backside of the clay doors. Apply Inka Gold to door fronts.
7. Determine where you need to punch holes to hold key and latch. Attach key with black wire and latch with brad. Apply book tape to chipboard side of shutter liners, leaving 3/4" of liner showing. This will make your hinge. Adhere liners to clay shutters with 3M glue and allow to dry.
8. Place shutters so that they touch in the middle and adhere book tape to hold in place.
9. Print "If you have skeletons in your closet" on cream cardstock, trim and adhere behind shutters.
10. Tie on tag  and attach Metal Label holder.

1.Paint skewer with copper paint. Punch holes in box sides with awl. Run skewer through to make closet rod.
2. Fold ribbon in half to make 12" x 1 1/2" wide. Gather and stitch around skeleton waist. Adhere gold wings with double stick tape.
3. Form shoes around skeleton feet with Makin's Air Dry clay. When dry, apply 3M adhesive and glitter.
 4. Form coat hangers from copper wire. Use clothes pins to attach skirts to hanger and hook over rod.

Inside lid
1.Cut black paper to fit inside of lid, leaving skull border uncovered. Apply Walnut Paper Soft Color to orange pennant border. Use double stick tape to adhere  around inside.
2. Punch out printed sentiment with 2" punch. Punch and additional piece of chipboard with punch. Apply double stick tape to chipboard circle, then, with sticky side up,  add purple pennant border around edge. Cover chipboard circle with sentiment. Apply double stick tape to back of chipboard and add orange pennant border. Glue down in box lid center.
Note: The font I used, Piper, is from the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio. I was able to scroll through and make each letter look the way I wanted, especially in the word "Dance" so it looked like they were dancing, using this software, which I absolutely adore!

I hope you enjopy the rest of the hop.

Here are the participating artists' blog addresses:
1. Pammejo
2. Nicole
3. Betty
4. Gloria
5. Irit
6. Christine
7. Debbie -
8. Jennifer -
9. Jess B. -
10. Barbara R. -
11. Shelley
12. Candice -

Prize Alert!!!
Now to the best part, this is the "Prize" pictured above that one person will win. All you have to do is:
1. Leave a comment on ALL of the designers blogs and let Pam know, either on her blog or you can email her at
2. Become a follower of ALL our blogs, because as you visit through them you will be surprised how many are giving prizes away. :)

Now, hop on through all the blogs, then go hug someone you love!

I received product from Sizzix, PaperDreamsFactory, Viva Décor, Duetica Lettering Arts Studio and Makin's Clay.