Birds & Words

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Random Play

I had a chance to sit in my studio and just have a play recently.  No theme, no restrictions, just letting my imagination roam.  I love days like that, don't you?

I had just made up a bunch of layered flowers that were scattered on my desk.  The Pewter Screw Top brads are favorites for flower centers.  The Creative Impressions flowers are Sheer Blossoms & Leave and Felt Blossoms & Leaves, which makes such an interesting texture.


 Both Sheer Blossoms & Leaves and Felt Blossoms & Leaves
come in Small, Medium & Large
and in Tropical, Pastel, Heritage & Bright colors.  I mixed sizes, colors, and materials in making these flowers.

Flower Centers:
Metallic Mini Spiral Clips 85010
Pewter Screw Top 90000
White Mini Round 90111 

Trimmed Layer:
Black Web Ribbon
Gold Glitter Ribbon
Rick Rack

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I dropped one of these Twine Flowers on a bit of yellow web ribbon and liked what I saw.  So cool when you accidentally find color combos that make you smile.


More twine flowers paired with a vintage image from Tim's Paper Dolls.  Creative Impressions new buttons make pretty flower centers.  I really liked these bright colors contrasted with black & white images.  

Thin Twine 80604 & Baker's Twine
Yellow Web Ribbon 
____ Buttons
Birthday Greetings Twill Expressions (with "birthday" snipped away) 80471
Tropical Funky Flowers paper fasteners 90663 

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Lesson learned: Clean up your work space from time to time, but don't clean it too much.  Those random bits that you keep in front of you can give you a kickstart for a Random Play Day!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

F a l l i n g L e a v e s . . . . . .


One of my very favorite things about personal, handmade cards is that you can send, not just a birthday card, but a FALL birthday card.  I've got several October and November birthdays on my calendar (twelve, to be exact!!) and I love that I can make their birthday cards special and personal with fall themed embellishments.

  Creative Impressions has an excellent selection of autumn themed and colored embellishments for fall birthdays and other occasions.  


Below you'll find a tutorial for making these colorful cards.


Last week I went to a meeting where we were served finger foods along with these gorgeous fall napkins.  I try, as best as I can, to hoard the napkins without being noticed!!  This technique to make cards using napkins can be really fun to send a thank you note for a birthday or other celebration using the napkins from the event.  


Separate the layers of the napkin.  They are generally three ply, so make sure the printed layer has no white layer attached.  If it is, you'll end up adhering the white layer and not the printed layer, which is what you want.


Layer a cut piece of card stock, then a layer of a trimmed piece of a Zip Lock (or other brand) bag, then the napkin, as shown.  I find it easiest to cut the plastic a bit larger than the card stock and the napkin a bit larger than the plastic.  Each layer should completely cover the layer below.


Funny story:  I learned this technique using kitchen plastic wrap, like Saran Wrap.  I taught this at my store and people were having trouble with it.  The layers weren't adhering well.  We figured out we had "microwave safe" plastic wrap.  No good for this technique!!  What we want is for the plastic to melt and microwave safe plastic is engineered NOT to melt.  The plastic used for Zip Lock bags melts and is thicker and I like it better for this technique.  You may have other plastic materials in you house that would work, as well.


Sandwich your layers and then iron on the hottest setting, dry heat.  If the napkin layer completely covers the layer below, you won't have to worry about melted plastic on the iron.  I've done this covering the whole thing with a paper towel, but I think it works best without it so that the heat is directly applied to the napkin.

I used my folded cotton "inky binky" for an ironing surface.  If you pull up the layers while still warm, any melted plastic on the cotton surface pulls away easily.


Give the layers a few seconds to cool.  When you can handle them easily, trim away the excess material.  


Creative Impressions felt leaves come with a hole at the end of the stem for fastening with a brad.  Sometimes I use this and sometimes I cut it off.  


I cut them off for this card and thought they could be used for a little extra detail.  They looked like washers to me, so I layered them behind the brad head.


I LUUUUV how pliable the metal used for Creative Impressions brads are.  These leaves bend easily and give a fluttering, natural look.


You may not be able to see it well in the photograph, but this card has this pretty fall leaf ribbon layered over a green grosgrain ribbon.  Love how Creative Impressions ribbons can be layered and used together.


Instead of trimming excess material with scissors, I tore away the excess around the edge of the card stock.  Just a way to get a different look for this card.  Antique copper frame, maple leaf, and brads combine for an elegant focal point, and cork paper sets it off!

Its so easy to use Creative Impressions embellishments to add more detail to make your cards special for the special ones in your life!






Thursday, September 28, 2017

One Design - Six Different Cards



Every now and then I have a day in the studio that just feels right.  I spend hours playing and in the end I think "that was a good day's work".  

Creative Impressions embellishments worked really well here.  The little black frame popped on a frayed white bit of crinoline fabric, framing a glittery white butterfly fastener.  The butterfly wings are bent forward a little for dimension.  I stapled my "birthday greetings" from Creative Impressions message twill ribbon.  I absolutely love these ribbons.  A "impressive" selection and variety of messages makes them a real asset for your stash.

The paper is an all time favorite, Tim Holtz' "Wallflower Paper Stash".  The different colors and graphic elements in the pages called for a different spin on each card, but using mostly the same design elements.  The TH Botanical die cuts are a nice complement to the Wallflower papers.  Great way to use up your bits that you can't bear to throw away!

Close ups:


Monochromatic cards are always a favorite in my classes.



Some cards have a library pocket on front containing a decorated tag.







I love the matte, muted colors in Creative Impressions new button collection. 

I hope you're getting some play time and finding that satisfaction that comes from adding just the right embellishment!






Monday, July 24, 2017

Baker's Twine Flowers

Hey guys, Janet at Creative Impressions asked me to do a blog tutorial to show you how to make flowers with her Baker's Twine and Thin Jute Twine.
Here are the items you'll need.  Pretty simple, no?  The pasta fork is a great tool!  You can make different sizes of flowers and it keeps your loops a uniform size.
 Tape the end of the Baker's Twine and Thin Jute Twine to the back of the pasta fork.  The Baker's Twine by itself is pretty limp but the jute helps give it some body and hold shape.
Make several loops with both fibers and tape the end on the back of the pasta fork.  I did six loops.

 Cut a length of both twines to tie off the loops in the middle.  About 4 or 5 inches should do it.
Tie off in the middle nice and tight.  Release the loops from the fork.
 Fluff the loops out and repeat.  You'll need two of these.
 Overlay one set of loops on the other, one horizontal and the other vertical.  Glue together with a little matte medium.
I stamped a large round paper fastener with tiny script.  On the left is the paper fastener as they come in the package.  I spread the pins to accommodate the thickness of the flower and make a flower center.

Have a little fun today and "create" your own garden of flowers with Creative Impressions embellishments!

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Friday, February 10, 2017

❤︎ Love ❤︎


Happy Valentine's Day, lovers everywhere!  Valentine's Day is almost upon us and "love" is the perfect theme for February.  Not only because of Valentine's Day but because what the world needs now is love, sweet love, no?


I sort of got carried away with this theme.  I kept creating and each creation meant of few cast off things that didn't work for that project, so I had to start another to use all my ideas up.  I'll be posting some of my other pieces on Facebook over the next few days.

The old photo of this couple is such fun.  It spoke to me of  young love and the beginnings of a life together.  So I kind of invented a story for them and told it on this art journal page.


My other inspiration for this page was this lyric from Eric Clapton.  Let it Grow is a really catchy, soulful, George Harrison-y song, easy and relaxed.



I did want to experiment a bit with the idea of spreading out embossing paste with my finger for a thin layer on a background.  This is Wendy Vecchi's Embossing Paste tinted with DecoArt Payne's Grey Media paint.  I like the effect and that it felt good to work with my hands and not just use tools to apply medium.  Dampen your fingers a little or the paste will stick to them.


Thinlets Greenery Dies worked beautifully here.  I could cut a lot of them in one pass and got the wild, overgrown, "let it grow" effect I wanted.


This is the train ticket this couple took on their honeymoon.  Creative Impressions triangle clip and metal tag make the embellishment.  I hammered the names into the metal tag, rubbed black paint into the recessed letters and then wiped away the excess paint.  I then dabbed on a just bit of Espresso Distress paint with my finger.

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Who's getting a valentine from you??  We've got so many new friends on Creative Carte Blanche.  Take some pics of your work and share them with us!  Just use the InLinkz button on the Creative Carte Blanche page, located just below art for the current theme.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Creative Impressions DT


I'm happy and honored to announce that, along with my good friend Susan Mostek, I'll be on the Creative Impressions Design Team for 2017.  Creative Impressions is a supplier of a huge variety of embellishments & trims and is owned and operated by the beautiful and gracious Janet Ramsos.

Ask your LSS, do you carry Creative Impressions?
So excited to launch some creativity with these sweet girls!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Baby, It is SO Cold Outside! SO COLD


Welcome to my blog and to 2017!  We are getting a chilly start almost everywhere and that makes the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" theme so much fun.  Thanks to Susan Mostek for choosing this one.  Her husband is a meterologist.  Do you think she may have had some inside information on the weather that was to come??  Mmmm....... 

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One of my favorite things about crafting is that my friends and family who have January birthdays get winter themed birthday cards.   A goal of mine for 2017 (just as it was for 2016) is to stay on top of getting handmade cards done for everyone to whom I want to send greetings.  I did pretty well last year, but want to be even more organized this year.

My strategy is to use my Inkwell Press planner pages for Important Dates and record all birthdays and other dates I want to remember.  In January, I count all the cards I want to send for the next two months for men.  Then I make that number of cards appropriate for men.  I do the same for women, children, teenagers, etc., but at separate creative times.  I collect these cards in my birthday planner, ready to send when the time comes.



This was a fabulous class taught at Rocky Mountain Art Retreats by the talented Mandy Welch.  She taught the construction and the inside layout for the planner.  The design for the cover is mine.

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This artistic adventure gave me a chance to use my beautiful Tim Holtz Grunge Flakes.  I stamped the snowflake on Specialty Stamping Paper with Wendy Vecchi Watering Can ink.  I used white Perfect Pearls powder and dusted over the ink right way to get a subtle shimmer to the snowflake.


The next layer for my focal point are the beautiful holographic die cut snowflakes from Creative Impressions.  I didn't want to use the holographic effect however, so I dabbed Picket Fence Distress Paint on them and let dry.  I used my heat to to just warm the paint a little to speed drying.  This caused the snowflakes to begin to curl a bit which I didn't mind, if it was only a bit.  This helped with the lift for a more dimensional effect.


Creative Impressions also has several sizes and colors of snowflake brads which are fantastic for altering.  This one got Picket Fence Distress Paint and then dipped in Rock Candy Distress Glitter, then dried with heat tool.  I repeated this step a couple of times.


Another tiny die cut snowflake layer and a pearl competes the layered snowflake for my focal point.  Additional die cut and brad snowflakes compliment the front of the card.  I dabbed a little additional Diamond Stickles for more glitter still.  The silver glitter ribbon is from Creative Impressions.


The background panel is Shadow Vintage Double Dot paper from BoBunny, one of my favorite paper collections.  I almost always need this paper when creating, especially for cards.  I cut the panel into strips, distressed the edges and then adhered them all down on a white panel for additional dimension.  Additional Watering Can stamped Grunge Flakes fill out the background.

I liked the way these turned out but they definitely needed a little extra attention for mailing.  This one is best for hand delivery.  

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Thanks for your time and I hope you've got a teaspoon of inspiration for your own creative time today!


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