Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spring Beauty

I just love Springtime in Tennessee, and this one has been beautiful. Our azaleas were just gorgeous, the daffodils beautiful and all the flowering trees made wonderful touches of color in our woods, but the most stunning blooms were on our three-year-old Clematis. I took so many photos because it just became more beautiful every day.

I knew I had to document them in a scrapbook page. This one is a digital page created with the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio fonts, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, but you could just as easily create this in a traditional layout.  The Duetica Lettering Arts Studio made this beautiful title so easy to do with the elegant Mandolyn font.

Here's how I did it:
  1. Using the Duetica lettering Arts Studio, set “Spring Beauty” using Mandolyn font. Make changes to “S” and “Y” to create swirls.
  2. Open Spring Beauty file in Photoshop. Change color to deep purple. Save as a png file to preserve background transparency.
  3. Open photo. Set image size to 12 x 12. cropping as necessary. Set Opacity to 50% and save.
  4. Open new 12 x 12 file in InDesign or Pagemaker or other layout software. Note: You can also create this entire page in Photoshop.
  5. Draw a 12 x 12 square and fill with purple, adjusting color to 20%
  6. Place photo from step 3 and reduce size to 11 x 11 with a purple border.
  7. Place photos and journaling block as desired, set for a 45% purple drop shadow and give them white borders .
  8. Type journaling in black and change Clematis title to purple.
Did you have a beautiful spring as well? Be sure to document it in your scrapbook pages or journals. I smile when I think how excited my descendants will be to peruse my thoughts 100 years from now, especially if that Clematis is still blooming every spring!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Mother Album

I know Mothers Day for 2013 has come and gone, but this project could work for any subject. Check out how I created this using lace paper, Mica powders and KoolTak® adhesives.

Now I just have to fill it up!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Using up my stash...

I was cleaning put my stash of ribbons and fibers a few weeks ago and came across a pack of colored twine. There were at least a dozen colors, maybe more, and I was saying to my self, "What was I thinking when I bought all this twine? I have enough to twine bomb a small country."

I was trying to think of different things I could use it for when I remembered the small foam spheres I had from Smoothfoam®. I whipped out my foam cutter, sliced several of them in half, plopped myself down on the sofa with a Criminal Minds marathon on the TV, a big glass of sweet tea and made flowers. Lots and lots of flowers.

You can see compete directions at While you're there, be sure to  go through the posts of other professional designers who love Smoothfoam® the way I do.

Have a great Memorial Day and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sand and shells picture frame

sand texture smoothfoam picture frame

I have always loved the addition of texture in art, whether it’s the tiny brush stokes of Van Gogh or the addition of fibers, rusty metals, embossing powder or glitter to my current craft project.
But this not a case of adding texture. It was a case of covering up an error. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but I occasionally make a few mistakes, and while you might never notice them, they drive me crazy. In fact, while some designers are the Queens of Creativity, or the Divas of Design, I am Her Highness of Hiding Mistakes.

This piece started out as a simple tutorial on how to make a little frame for one of my favorite quotes about the beach. It got ugly quick.

I use an awesome heat foam cutter. It cuts Smoothfoam like butter, but that’s my problem. I tried to zoom through the inner cuts and wound up with one side not only crooked, but ¼” smaller that the opposite side. When I tried to correct the error, I made the cut too long, almost cutting the entire side off.

So here’s what I did…I got out the heat tool, went outside and heated up the whole thing, using the side of a pencil to mush the edges into a semi-straight line. I liked the look, and instant texture was born. The effect reminded me of the beaches near Charleston, South Carolina where they aren’t white sugar sand, but have bits and pieces of beautiful granite mixed in and huge chunks of it protruding from the beach.

Once that part was done, I was officially in love with this project, and I became positively giddy as I added to it!

Safety note: Wear a mask when melting Smoothfoam; do it outdoors or in a large room with plenty of ventilation.


1.  Cut Smoothfoam to 6” x 8″ and remove the center area (3-¼” x 5-¼”, reserve this inner rectangle).

2.  Heat this frame with heat tool, moving the heat around quickly as it starts to melt. If you have a large uneven section that needs to be straightened, heat it and quickly roll a brayer or the wooden part of a pencil over the area to flatten it. Allow to cool.

3.  Paint the frame, front and back, with a mixture of two parts Titanium White and one part Yellow Ochre. Be sure to get down into the crevices. Allow to dry.

paint smoothfoam frame

4.  Working on a small area at a time, apply the bronze paint and quickly wipe it off with a paper towel. Using swiping and dabbing motions to get a nice mottled look. Allow to dry and apply more of the white/gold paint with a sponge to highlight some areas.

5.  Create a quotation on the computer and center it inside a rectangle that is the size of your frame opening. Tape a piece of muslin fabric to a sheet of computer paper. Place the fabric/paper in your manual paper feed tray and print the quotation on the fabric.

6.  Use a foam cutter to slice the depth of the piece of Smoothfoam you removed from the frame’s center to about 5/8” – this creates the sunken look when placed in the frame. Center the muslin on the rectangle and wrap it around the foam like a gift, secure with  adhesive tape. Place it inside the frame; it should fit snugly without  adhesives to hold it in place.

7.  Cut a sheet of chipboard or cardboard to 5-½” x 7-½’ and glue it to the back of the frame.

8.  Embellish as desired with shells and beads, etc.

And here’s how I discovered how handy those little scrap pieces of Smoothfoam can be…the 3/8″ sliver that I cut from the inner frame to make it thinner was laying on my worktable, broken into two pieces, when the mailman arrived with a very hefty package for me. It contained three huge vintage spools from cotton mills, which were used for the spun threads. Several pieces of silk thread in a yummy beige color were draped artistically across the spools. No way that was going in the trash! I picked up the scrap Smoothfoam and began winding the thread around it to keep it from tangling. I pressed the end of the thread down on the edge of the Smoothfoam and it held instantly.

Today is also another first Monday posting day for Designer Crafts Connection. Just click on the button, above left, to hop form blog to blog for Handmade Inspiration.

Now, go hug someone you love and dream of spending time with them on a beach soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mothers Day Card

I can't imagine a better season to honor our mothers than spring. Iris and tulips are pushing up through the warmed earth, birds are singing and preparing nests for their new additions and the sun shines - most of the time, although those showers are helpful as well.

When I think of my mother, I think of sewing, baking and setting a high moral example for her two daughters. She loved family history, anything old as well as the latest trends and beautiful color combinations. This card reminds me of a beautiful purple wool straight skirt that she paired with a purple twin sweater set. Add pearls and heels and she was definitely decked out.

She made all of our clothes when we were growing up, and there were always scraps from which we fashioned doll clothes. Today, my scraps are now baskets of paper pieces left over from my latest projects. When I saw these wonderful quilt-patterned stamps, designed by Ann Butler for Unity Stamp Company, I knew they would make the perfect frame for this card.

There are 20 additional designers in the blog hop today. Just click a name to hop from blog to blog.
1. Ann Butler  
2. Beth Watson  
3. Candace Jedrowicz  
4. Candice Windham (you are here)
5. Carol Heppner  
6. Cheryl Boglioli  
7. Cindi Bisson  
8. Debra Quartermain  
9. Denise Clason  
10. Eileen Hull  
11. Fabrizio (Fab) Martellucci  
12. Jen Goode  
13. Jonathan Fong  
14. Kristin Kelly  
15. Lisa Fulmer  
16. LIsa Rojas  
17. Lorine Mason  
18. Madeline Arendt  
19. Melony Bradley  
20. Rebekah Meier  
21. Theresa Cifali  

Be sure to scroll all the way to the end for a great coupon from Unity Stamp Company!

Here's how I made this simple card:

  • Stamps, 1" Doily Picnic and Leaves All Over (Designed by Ann Butler for Unity Stamp Company )
  • Versamark Ink
  • Silver Embossing Powder
  • Heat Tool
  • Card stock, 5 3/4" x 5 3/4" (Basic Grey)
  • Card Stock, 12" x 6 ",  4" x 4" and 5" x 5" white
  • Cardstock scraps, 6" x 1/2" coordinating patterned paper, approximately 20 strips
  • Double Stick Tape
  • Craft Knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Stamping mat or rubber padded mouse pad
  • Sponge
  • Dye inks to match your patterned paper (Colorbox Dye Inks)
  • Paper Towels
  • Lace Ribbon, two pieces, 7" (Offrey)
  • Square Punches, 1 1/4" , and 1 1/2"
  • Scissors


1. Fold white card stock to 6" square and set aside.

2a.  Measure  1 1/4" from each edge of the 5 3/4" square. Trim the center out to create the frame.
Step 2a. Measure margin and trim center out.

2b. Mark the center of each edge of the frame and use this as a guide for stamping. (I used a 2" square acrylic block and set both my stamps on it to save a little time.)

Step 2b. Find the center of each side and mark lightly with pencil.

 3. Begin in the center, aligning the point of one stamp with the center mark, and stamp four images on two opposite sides. On the other two sides, line up the center point (if you are using two stamps on one block) and stamp the two images. Apply silver embossing powder and heat with heat tool until it melts.

Step 3. Stamp the images on the frame with Versamark ink.

4. Sponge ink on frame and buff it off the embossed areas. Be sure to hit the paper edges of the frame as well to hide the white inner core.
Step 4. Ink frame with a sponge and dye ink. 

Step 4. Buff embossed areas lightly with damp paper towel.

5. On the 4" square of white cardstock, create an opening that is 1/4" all around smaller than the other frame opening. Adhere to the larger frame to create a white liner. Set aside.

Woven Background
1. Draw two lines corner to corner. Line up two strips of 1/2" paper along the pencil lines and adhere both ends to the white card.

2a. Weave paper strips with alternating patterns, using the two guide strips to keep the lines straight. Once you have woven a strip, adhere one end only to the card stock. This will make it easier to weave the last few strips in place. 2b. Trim any edges off the white card stock and paper scraps. Adhere the frame to the top of the woven strip.

Step 2a. Tape down only one end of the woven strips.

Step 2b. Weave all the strips into the base, alternating colors.

3. Place double-stick tape on each end of the ribbon and wrap it to the back side of the frame.

4. Stamp (or print from your computer) the sentiment. Punch it out on the diagonal with the 1 1/4" square punch. Punch a scrap of patterned paper with the 1 1/2" punch and layer the sentiment on it. Adhere it to the woven center of the card.

5. Punch a heart from a card stock scrap, apply Versamark and silver embossing powder and heat with heat tool. Form the center bow by wrapping the ends of the lace ribbon  across the center of the ribbon and secure with double stick tape. Apply the heart to the ribbon center and attach it to the card.

6. Adhere the entire frame front to the 6" folded white cradstock.

I will probably think of a hundred things I could have added to improve this card, but at the moment the only thing that would make this card better is if I could hand it to my mother personally.

Wishing you all a very happy Mothers Day, just a little bit early!

Use this coupon to get a great deal on Ann Butler's Stamps as well as all Unity Stamps!