Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Quotes

This is my all-time favorite quote for the end of the year!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

Find more New Year quotes at The Quote Garden.

And my favorite Earth WebCam to watch, especially on New Year's Eve ~ Times Square, New York City !


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quick, Last Minute Decorations ...

Details for these cute trees were found via Paper Crave at this fantastical website. Thank you, kind over matter!

And here are the instructions for my easy little totes.

click to enlarge


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
~ Carl Gustav Jung

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
~ Frank Capra

The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
~ Charles Dickens

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
~ Charles Mingu

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
~ Mary Lou Cook

Have a very creative day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Paper Trees by Carol Heppner

I saw these cute paper trees on Carol Heppner's blog.

Quick and easy, all you do is trace, cut and fold! My kind of project :o) I made a few to place in the center of a big round table my mother decorates-- in lieu of a tree. She loved them and friends that stopped by noticed them immediately. The trees are stylish and very unique!

I embellished with some cute painted red and green brads I found on sale at Michaels. After I took this picture, I inked the edges and white core showing on the folds with Ranger Old Paper distress ink. As with any picture, they look much more festive in person :)

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quilled Paisley Ornament

I needed a red paisley item for a recent Etsy Treasury, so I quickly made this Christmas ornament.

It is an altered version of the crimped and quilled paisley mobile project in my book. Made with 3/8" wide paper strips, two paisley shapes are glued together back to back. A single strip is glued completely around the paisley to hide the seam. I added the green vintage sequins and Austrian rhinestones.

I used 33 feet (10 meters) of paper strips. It hangs so nicely on a tree because it weighs only 1/4 ounce (7 grams). The ornament measures 2.5" (6.35cm) long, 1.5" (3.8cm) tall and .75" (1.9cm) wide.

Happy holidays!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy, Easy Tote Box

This box is SO easy and you can use it for anything! It is two inches deep, four inches tall and three inches wide. To make these I trimmed a 12"x12" sheet down to an 11" square and used the one-inch scraps for handles (makes 2). Refer to the template for measurements, scoring and cutting (click to enlarge). I used the following tools and materials.

paper trimmer
paper crimper
permanent tape runner
hole punch
corner rounder

To make the box, start by scoring vertically at 2, 5, 7, and 10 inches. Turn (either way) and score horizontally at 1.5 inches. Refer to the template; fold on the solid lines and cut on the dash lines. I fold in all bottom flaps except the piece closest to the side flap and add my tape runner to those two pieces only. Line up, adhere and presto! you have a tote box! Attach a handle and embellish a bit if you like.

I embellished with Distress Ink (brushed corduroy), pink rhinestones, clear sticker, quilled flower, word stamp, brass brads.

If you need to put something in the box taller than the handle, attach the handle with brads so you can move it back and forth out of the way. And below, I used a piece of the handle for a matching tag.

Have a safe, delicious and wonderful Thanksgiving Day and long weekend!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coffee Break

My favorite coffee is freshly brewed, strong, with a splash of Half & Half. I always like to experiment and change up our coffees during the holidays.

Starbucks is not a favorite. Too many years of having to go buy it (this was before there was a store on every corner and no drive-through), get it freshly ground and bring it back to the office. We finally got a coffee service and they delivered it in cute little one-pot packages. Much more convenient but I swear that was not Starbucks regular coffee in those packets. Another reason is I can't afford it ... (except for the Vanilla Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Coffee for my four hour road trips :o)

I went through a stage of loving chicory coffee by the truck load. Knowing now that chicory is bad for you, I hope it was a chicory blend. I drink very strong coffee, so I believe that was when I started adding a bit of milk to it.

The flavored coffee was short lived too, along with coffee after supper, flavored creamers and coffee with Baileys. Oh, I still love all of these but in moderation now. And I like the free bottles of hazelnut and cinnamon syrup they have at the convenience store coffee stations. Guess was Starbucks charges for a splash of that in your cup?!?

The following are related Real Simple links.

The Best Coffee
Keeping Tabs on your Caffeine Intake
9 Energy Boosters


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

I know it is early, Thanksgiving is two weeks away, but if time is flying by for you like it is for me it is not that early to be thinking about the Thanksgiving fixings. Here are a few of my favorites links for money-saving, time-saving tips, yummy but easy recipes and fabulous ideas; Real Simple always being on top of the list.

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Taking time to honor the more than 19 million living war veterans who have served our country and fought for our freedom. My Dad served in World War II and my husband fought in Vietnam.

I did several Veterans Day quiz's last night. This is the best and shortest one if you want to spend a few minutes with your family (to see who knows what :o)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Many quillers are also quilters, not me ...

Unfortunately, I cannot sew on a button much less quilt. If I could, this would definitely be on the top of my wish list. This product would make a great Christmas gift for friends who quilt. What a fun game to play at a sewing circle or quilting group.

My talented friend and designer, Phyllis Dobbs, had a lot to do with the whimsical and fun design of the game board. Read Phyllis' take on it here.

Google for locations to buy, check your local quilt, needlework or craft store or you can get it directly from the creator DMC, here.

Happy November! :o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A tisket, a tasket ..

quilled eyeballs in a basket!

  • 6" black for the pupil
  • 12" any color for the iris
  • 72" of bright white Lake City paper - yes, three strips of paper. If you use another brand and the paper is thick, use less (60")
I shaped the tightroll on a 1/2" round dowel (wooden, marble, hard foam) and brushed tacky craft glue inside first. When that dried I brushed a coat of Beacon Liquid Laminate on the top. A red Sharpie ultra fine point works best for the squiggles.

Credit for this eyeball pattern goes to Patricia, the owner of Whimsiquills. Thank you, Pat!

Do you like the tiny box? I think these would be perfect for any holiday and it takes so little to fill them up. I am not an illustrator by any means, but I did make this quick template to show how easy the box is to make with a 4"x4" piece of cardstock. The bottom is 1" wide so score in at 1-1/2" on two sides first. I forgot to indicate that on the template but most people would figure it out.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn ~ Mini Maze Book Album

This is my favorite time of year!

I made this little maze book a while back for a gift. I designed the covers using graphics from one of my favorite artists, Carolee Jones. At the time, I was starting to make paper beads so I added a matching removable paper bead bookmark.
I watched this video to learn how to fold-cut-fold the twelve 3" x 3" maze pages from only one piece of scrapbook paper. Tricia Morris from Club Scrap makes the difficult-looking folds and cutting very easy.

Enjoy the season!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Denim Paper Cha-Cha Ring

I need to be doing something crafty with my hands while watching TV, sitting with my mother, in a waiting room, flying. Recently on a flight from Texas to CHA in Orlando, I sneaked on a needle tool in my carry-on and made some tiny denim bullet and barrel beads using 1/8" by 6" strips of denim paper.

This is my cha-cha ring. It is full but lightweight and matches a cha-cha bracelet I made to wear at the 2010 NAQGCON next year.

Have a crafty September!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Magnificent Magnets

I am again making magnets from recycled 2" wood-like vinyl blinds. EASY! I have detailed how they are made here. These are covered with gold Ranger acrylic matte paint, no clear coat.

The graphics are from Carolee Jones' Gratefall Critters Collection.



Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fun Folded Fan Cards

These are very easy to create using coordinating papers and blank cards.

The fans are 2.5" x 8", accordion folded lengthwise at 1/4". I score my folds first with a quilling needle tool and ruler. Pinch and gather at the bottom and hold with a clip or clothespin. Turn over flat and glue underneath to hold the fan shape.

Make a punched flower or use another embellishment if you don't quill. The loose tendrils are strips of paper cut 1/16" wide. Wrap the strips loosely around a toothpick or small dowel and adjust the tension to your liking. Or you may want to or draw, paint or print a flourish.

I like to make matching embossed tags, use distressed ink or chalk and a craft thread through the eyelet.

I am thinking Christmas fan cards using some beautiful papers I bought too late last year :)

Have fun!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Matchbook Note Pads w/ Puffy Flower Covers

Here we go, a blast from the past making matchbook note pads. I used a Me & My Big Ideas paper pad (Sunshine). I applied distress ink to the cover, especially on the white cut edges and folds, and I like to use slick/shiny brochure paper for my notes. Here are two variations:

I found the easy template at this
fabulous blog and here are instructions for the puffy paper flowers (go down to the middle of the post).



Sunday, August 2, 2009

CHA Summer 2009

It was so much fun seeing my designer, manufacturer and editorial friends again and sharing the experience of CHA in the summer. I made new friends and enjoyed every minute of being with thousands of people in the craft and hobby association. Here are a few of my favorite experiences over the past week in Orlando.
  • Favorite class - Tim Holtz's Distress the Holidays .. loved the music and gobs of products

  • Favorite giveaway - Tim Holtz's 12x12 paper, Christmas Past Collection by Graphic 45, WOW!

  • Favorite new product .. now on my wish list - Tim Holtz's Idea-ology Tiny Attacher, unbelievable!

  • Favorite tool I used .. now on my wish list - Tim Holtz's non-stick micro serrated scissors .. too cool!

  • Favorite person and booth I visited - Diane Newman, Beacon Adhesive .. love their Liquid Laminate to coat my paper beads, appreciate Diane's continuing assistance

  • Favorite event - Designer Showcase .. enjoyed talking to everyone!

  • Favorite night event - dinner with Denise Clason and 12-14 other designers and friends
Tim Holtz is the most generous person in the CHA. As always, his class was amazing and the four extra giveaways and take-it, make-it project were a huge surprise. He is a genius when it comes to embellishing paper and coming up with new tools, nifty doodads (his mini-clips) and brilliant ideas. He genuinely loves what he does and it shows.

Tim Holtz

Have a crafty August!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Inchie Art


I posted a project in a Christmas in July chat party last week. I had no idea there was going to be a contest! YES I won, but I do believe I was the only one that posted a project :) Others offered ideas and recipes. I received a few suggestions for improvement and redid the card. 

Here it is! This is a 5" x 6.5" corrugated card. I used a gold leafing pen around the edges of the cardstocks. I scored a 1/4" border around the red piece and added the gold cord bow.

I embellished with a few glitter pens and a black glaze pen to write the word joy. A simple idea for Christmas cards. I'm not sending this one, it is not centered. But then, imperfection adds character so who knows? Thanks for looking!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Inchie Art

Want to have some big fun with something small?

I love creating miniatures and usually work with quilling or polymer clay. However, 1" x 1" squares of paper [inchies] can make fabulous pieces of art. I keep a photo folder on my computer of colorful, creative and amazingly small collages that give me instant inspiration.

I was going to list my favorites bookmark links, but if you Google inchies, inchie cards, inchie blogs (you get the idea) there are a ton of links to get you started. The techniques, possibilities and ideas are endless. Enjoy!

If you are already into inchie art, check out the neat supplies at
Stampington & Company :o)

Have a safe and fun 4th of July holiday!

[Photo: I participated in two inchie swaps recently, collecting inchies from over 48 crafters. I embellished the tag with a set of patriotic inchies that were a favorite.]

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Making Puffy Paper Flowers

There was a day when a print and fold greeting card was not necessary but very much appreciated by the recipient. Then two holes were punched at the top and ribbon was added. Embellishing! In this day and time, with a gazillion craft supplies available along with die cut machines and card kits, a personalized handmade card has no limits. I do own some border punches and a few Coluzzle templates, but I am old-fashioned and still prefer to give handmade versus machine made cards.

I first picked a simple graphic and printed twice, on plain paper and cardstock.

I added a personal greeting on the cardstock copy, tore the edges with a ruler and used a Scor-Pal to score a half-inch horizontal/vertical grid.

I used antique linen Ranger Distress Ink on the raised grid and torn edges. One version is to add a little bling to the flower centers and a bit of glitter pen.

Another version is to add quilled flowers to the card.

One of my favorite techniques is to make puffy paper flowers. I cut out the three flowers from the plain paper copy. (It's best to trim slightly bigger than the print.)

I place the cut flowers upside down on a piece of thick craft foam and burnish with the round end of a marker. Next I burnish around the edges with the ball of an embossing tool. The finished flower will be in a bowl shape. Turn the flower over and press in the center to shape. I glued the centers of the puffy flowers to the card as shown, and added a gloss accent to the centers.

Sadly, I cannot draw or paint but I can trace and color inside the lines with glitter pens :)
Here is my final handmade card.

Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Binder Clip Purses

I want to show these blippie purses before packing away. I was busy making them this time last year. I used the large one (2") on my CHA summer showcase table (denim theme) next to the chocolate goodies. The leather-looking trim is also paper, cut from a greeting card. I made the small one (1.25") for inspiration and holding reminders on my desk. There are a ton of uses for these and the possible designs are endless. I hope they inspire you to dig in your drawer for a binder clip and create your own.

Credit due: I was looking at Mel Stampz 150-something purse templates on her blog and found the blippie purses here (No. 59).

Have fun!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stacks of Paper Come Full Circle

Fifty years ago: I played a lot in a dollhouse in the backyard. Not with dolls or toys, but paper. My dad would often stop by his best friend's printing company at the end of the day for coffee. They visited as good friends do and then my dad would go to the cutting room and pick up paper scraps of tablets, colored paper, etc. He brought home a box full of paper once a week. I was allowed to have round-tip scissors, a jar of glue with a brush attached to the lid and crayons. I was only about 5 years old and cannot remember exactly what I did with all the paper I kept in neat little stacks, but I do know I loved playing with it and stayed in the dollhouse for hours at a time!

What is my love and passion? Paper, stacks of paper. I cannot have too much. I have caught on to the inchies craze, but three by three is about the smallest pads I work with. Anna Griffin's eleven by seventeen pads are the largest. I fall for every
Brenda Pinnick design on QVC. I also buy Provo Craft Slabs, DCWV Stacks, Making Memories Pads, the Paper Studio Packs, and on and on.

My dad recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Sadly for him, he has outlived many lifelong friends. His party was a small gathering of family and the elders and staff at the wonderful home he lives. One friend did come to his party, and even with my dad's advanced dementia, he recognized and knew the name of his friend. They sold newspapers on opposite corners in downtown San Angelo, Texas, when they were 11 years old. They both grew up with the same career and family goals. They traveled together on trips to Las Vegas when times were good at their businesses and their wives were very good friends.

They joked at the party about who was going to outlive who and which one is the oldest. It was a very joyous time for my dad (and me) and I believe he actually understood that it was his birthday and his best friend was there to celebrate. A friend he had visited every afternoon after work for coffee at the printing company. A friend who I realized at that moment, how very special he is to me as well.

Do what you love and love what you do!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quilling with Whimsiquills

Patricia Caputo, blog owner of Quilling with Whimsiquills, featured me in a two-part article. Part one tells about my earlier quilling adventures and a few pictures of miniature to huge quilling pieces. Part two is how-to details and tips about getting published-- from a magazine project to writing a book.

Thanks for looking!

Pat has been quilling for more than thirty years and owns Whimsiquills, the mega quilling store that carries quilling papers, tools, kits, books, plus, a gazillion American, English and specialty papers. Order online, the eBay Store or via a toll-free phone call. [ quilled teacup, plate, spoon © Patricia Caputo ]

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspirational Crafty Links

I want to share a few inspirational links I use when I suffer from crafter's block, or want to make something unique, or have a minute to research trends ... you get the idea. - ever need that one certain word? click on 7 strong words - design ideas - this is just a feel-good site for me - what people are buying - recipes to make a special gift, party favor or something for yourself (when is the last time you did that, huh?) - paint a rock, ideas for 8 to 80

Enjoy :o)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Linky Links

Happy New Year!

I don't go searching for these things, they just appear in my email Inbox for some unknown reason :o) I thought I would share a few links on various topics. Crafty links coming next week.

Daily Good

Health Effects of Clutter

10 Tips for Staying Motivated A Year Long

Spending Time on Social Networking - Make it Count

10 Ways to Have a Happy Workday

Have a great week!