May 29, 2019

Perfectly Happy

I was inspired by a post at Vintage Everyday that featured wedding photos during WWII and I used one of them for this tag.

It was framed for Simon's Monday challenge this week and also features a Hero Arts stamp from 2007 called Lace Flower Cluster which I used especially for their 45th anniversary Show & Tell Celebration.

After stamping, the lace flower was cut out and embellished with lines from a white Gelly Roll pen. I altered a Tim Holtz lace frame by peeling it from its baseboard backing, trimmed its shape a little and applied dots of Liquid Pearls to the edges. The background was made with Collage Paper.

May 22, 2019

Miss Trudy

I'd sure like to know the story behind this lovely little girl but for now, I'm calling her Miss Trudy. She's a Tim Holtz Paper Doll and I stained her clothing with the ink from gel pens (scratching the darker areas a bit to lighten and texturize).

The background was stenciled (Tim Holtz Dot Fade) and I stamp embossed the border using a vintage rubber stamp (1996) by Hero Arts called Violet Border. I am featuring this stamp as part of the company's 45th anniversary Show & Tell celebration for a chance to win their monthly kits.

I am so glad I dusted it off and set about putting it to work as I'd forgotten just how useful this stamp can be!

My tag was colored with Distress Oxides, some gel pen ink and a bit of colored pencil. The bench was made out of washi tape.

I had a lot of fun with it so it's no coincidence that I chose this particular Remnant Rub for the text!

I'm linking up to the Hero Arts Show & Tell Celebration and also to Simon's Monday challenge because this week's theme is Use Stencils.

May 20, 2019

A Fortunate Find

I fussed with a tag over the weekend by altering a photo of a vintage road sign. I knew it needed something else and this morning's announcement of the stencil theme at Simon's Monday challenge gave me the ah-hah moment I needed.

I used the Tim Holtz dot fade stencil in the background but instead of dabbing ink through the holes, I swiped my ink pad over the entire surface of the stencil and then pressed it on to the tag.

May 12, 2019

The Way

During an evening walk a few weeks back, I found a rusty, gold painted piece of metal (shaped like a wing?) which someone had tucked into a street sign in my neighborhood.

It was happenstance that I glanced-up at just the right time with just the right light to see it's shiny reflection and to know it was there.

And so I used it for a small plaque made with various papers (vintage book, Tim Holtz collage and butterflies cut from Prima scrapbook paper). The flowers are from the new Idea-ology Botanical Layers and the girl is a Baseboard Doll.

I used a bit of crackle medium around the edges, drew some lines and added shading to create a faux border, and trimmed the plaque edges with gold paint. The text was an image transfer.

I began work on this Monday when I discovered the Simon Monday challenge was "Add Something Metallic." Since this metal piece had been laying around my studio for awhile (with no idea of how or what to use it for), this challenge was just the push I needed.

I didn't think I'd get it done in time to enter but sure enough, I did!

Happy Mother's Day

This is the card I made for my Mom this year. I am so grateful to have her still (she's a nonagenarian) and these days, our roles are reversed somewhat but more than a mom, she's my truest friend.

That's washi tape around the outside (pink polka dots), the scalloped border was hand-drawn and embellished with white paint and glitter glue.

The stamped pieces (Simon's Delicate Flower set) were cut from transparent paper that I tinted with inks and pasted onto book paper along with some more washi.

I used white and black gel pens to make lines in the background, on the borders and to further emphasize the line quality on the flowers.

I'm linking to the Monday challenge at Simon, the theme is "Add Something Metallic" and I think my glitter glue may qualify.

If you are a Mom, I hope your day is as special as you are!

May 04, 2019

Beautiful to Me

Let's just say you don't see these greeting card techniques everyday so I thought they might be worthy of a share. I made this card for my stamping sister, Thelma, using the new bottle of glitter that she had gifted me.

I stamped my images (Simon's new Delicate Flowers set) on purple cardstock, outlined the edges with Nuvo Glitter Drops, used bleach with a paint brush to lighten the colored paper, tinted the space with colored pencils (orange and green), and finishing up with a big ol' fussy-cut.

I mounted my cut-out on some Prima cardstock (Ephipany), used black Scribbles to bring out the stamens, and edged the card with thin dark grey paper and more Glitter Drops.

I've used Nuvo Crystal Drops before but this was a first for the glitter drops and I must say they are very useful for a number of reasons. First, the are very easy to apply--the fine tip and soft-sided bottle allow for good precision. Second, this stuff is tough! Even after using the bleach, rubbing in the tints, and cutting right next to it, the glitter never came off the paper. It reminds me of Glossy Accents with glitter in it.

May 02, 2019


Craft nerd (and big fan of tags) that I am, when I heard the Monday challenge at Simon this week was "Tag It" I jumped right in. I grabbed a scrap of Tim Holtz paper (Memoranda) and a couple of his stamps and boom--a tag was born!

After stamping, I machine stitched, drew lines, tinted with markers and colored pencils, added some tissue tape, ephemera (the cigar ring and buttons), and even a touch of Glossy Accents.

No plan, no rules, just spontaneous play and when my head is in this kind of zone I am happiest. Thank-you, Simon!

April 24, 2019

Sending Hugs

I got side-tracked trying out a new stamp set from Simon called Delicate Flowers and ended up with a card I hadn't really planned on.

I'd been experimenting with coating thin papers with various mediums to use for collage. I had some rice paper, coated one side with fluid medium, let it dry and then decided to stamp it with my new set to make some masks.

After cutting the pieces out, I played around with tinting them and liked the result so I decided to use one of the flowers plus leaves on a greeting card. If you look closely, you'll see that the flower is transparent.

The background paper with the scrolls, bird, etc. is old stock from Prima called Epiphany.

I messed-up stamping the sentiment so I cut out that section, replaced it with a smaller square and re-stamped my text. A good save and one I'll remember if and when I mess-up again!

Yes, it looks handmade and it's a bit unconventional, but I'm dedicating it to all the encouraging commenters from my last post, embracing my greeting card style and learning a few tricks along the way.

April 20, 2019

Hello Friend

This card/stamping took so many tries that I almost gave up.

My artistic point-of-view takes a turn when I set about making a card. I try to be very precise so it looks "store-bought" but if it were a tag or mixed media project, I'd embrace the imperfection.

Eventually, I come around and remember that the hand-made qualities are what makes card-making superior to those that are mass-produced and machine-made. I will be bookmarking this post so I can remind myself of this point for the next time!

In this close-up, I'll point out that I stamped the image (Tim Holtz Flower Jar) on scrapbook paper using archival ink and tinted it with gel pens. For the water in the jar and the table-top, I spread the ink using a water brush (same as with the tops of the purple flowers).

The submerged stems were hand-drawn and smudged and it was tricky to get it to look right. I should have practiced on some scrap before attempting it on my card and I wouldn't have had so many do-overs (duh!).

The oval frame was machine-stitched but needed something else so I used a white Gelly Roll pen to highlight the edges.

Some of my readers know that I often use dimensional products like Scribbles or Liquid Pearls to make dots. I recently discovered a new product called Nuvo Crystal Drops (which I really like) and went kind of crazy with them here.

Mounting all of this on kraft cardstock helped convey the old-fashioned feel of the card.

I'm linking up to Simon, this week's Monday challenge is Beautiful Blooms and then I'm tossing this card in the post. 

BTW, the sentiment is from a new stamp set by Simon called Delicate Flowers. I splurged and bought the May card kit and am excited about using it.  Stay tuned!

April 12, 2019

Maurice Crooks

My Great Aunt Esther took a photo of a neighbor whose family was homesteading in Newcastle, Wyoming. She wrote his name and the date on the back--Maurice Crooks, August, 1921.

I made a copy of that photo and used gel medium to transfer the image onto a manila tag.

Then I used gesso to white-out some areas, blending the edges of the photo into the background.

Then I went about stamping and tinting and embellishing and came up with what you see here.

I know it's best not to put the focal point of a composition directly in the middle, but in this case, I threw caution to the wind since Maurice seemed to stand so proudly right in the middle of his family's meager garden.

I'm linking to Simon, the Monday challenge is "Down on the Farm."

March 30, 2019


Lyrics from a song by Miranda Lambert is the text typed on this tag that features wildflowers in canning jars.

It's my first time working with a stamp set (Tim Holtz Flower Jar) that has matching dies and I cut the images out of tissue paper so I could layer the arrangement without adding bulk.

The background is a page from the Tim Holtz Etcetera paper stash.

I used sepia archival ink on the flowers but in hindsight, I probably should have used black.

I tinted the flowers with dilute acrylic paint so it would be waterproof during the pasting process.

I like the scale of this set (it's tiny) but that does make it more tedious to use. And there are also some design challenges like a solution for the flower stems that appear inside the jar.

I penciled-in the lower stems but they would have looked better with more defined edges (less blurry). I'll work on my technique for the next time!

I think it would be very hard to arrange the flowers just by stamping so it's good that the coordinating die-cut set is available.

But I plan to give it a try--a clean white background with a delicate stamping would be nice on a greeting card. (I'll keep you posted.)

I'm linking to Simon's Monday challenge, this week's theme is Play with Paint.

March 07, 2019

Tell Your Story

. . . even if no one is listening.

Made for Simon's Monday Challenge - Whatever the Weather

Stamp credit: Stampers Anonymous "Chemistry Notes"

March 03, 2019

Absolutely Unique

A collection of Photobooth pics (Tim Holtz) pasted on hardboard, embellished with colored and printed/stamped tissue paper and typewriter text becomes an homage for a quirky quote.

There is confusion over the attribution but some would say Margaret Mead.

It's my entry for this week's Monday challenge at Simon--the theme is vintage/past times.

February 23, 2019

Explore Life

It's "Things with Wheels" this week at Simon's Monday Challenge so I rubbed Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Faded Jeans, and Dusty Concord) on a manila tag, covered it with Tissue Wrap, pasted on a fussy-cut image (thank you, Vintage Everyday), used a Distress Marker (Old Paper) to tint the dress, and added a Remnant Rub.

My go-to glue these days may surprise you: Elmer's Re-Stick.

I've always used glue sticks for convenience (and you can't beat the price) and even though these are smaller than the kind I was using, the glue dries slowly so you have plenty of time to spread it. And this property allows you to reposition whatever you are pasting which is a big plus too.

February 13, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

My good friend Thelma (I'm Louise) introduced me to card-making and it's understood that the cards we exchange between ourselves can be an outside-the-box/anything goes kind of flavor. Because there are no rules it makes our tradition that much more fun.

This is the card she will receive tomorrow, made from an assortment of papers (mostly Authentique) including one called "Stitches Two" which is the band running through the center.

The card also includes a hand-colored printable (background heart border) that I distressed and embellished with dots of Scribbles (3D fabric paint). I used an assortment of gel pens for the coloring.

I have a very limited stash of sentiment stamps so this one was taken from an example found on the net. My technique is to print the example, rub a thick coating of graphite (pencil lead) on the back, tape it down with washi and trace over the top of it. This transfers most of the outline of the lettering and then I go back over it with a fine-tipped marker. The heart trio was stamped.

February 05, 2019

Wildflowers of America

I'm happy to be part of Richele Christensen's blog hop of artists who made show samples for the Tim Holtz booths at Creativation 2019.

This piece features Idea-ology and I used a Vignette Tray (large), new Vignette Divided Drawer, Worn Wallpaper, Butterfly Adornments, new Ephemera (Keepsakes), new/revised Layers (Botanicals), Bouquet, Mini Hardware, Corners, and Ball Chain.

I took the dividers out of the drawer, lined it with paper, anchored it inside a large tray, and placed 1/2" thick foam core around the circumference to make it less deep (underneath the Worn Wallpaper).

My technique for painting the butterflies is simple and all you need is a steady hand. I used thin acrylic paint and a tiny paint brush to apply multiple coats layering one transparent color over another.

The new/revised assortment of Botanicals (Layers) is really beautiful and was my inspiration for this piece. The mix of flowers is very different from the last release and much improved with lots of roses and lovely banner pieces all in multiple sizes of left and right versions.

Botanicals Layers - New Version
Botanicals Layers - Old Version

I also mixed in a few of the fabric-like flowers called Bouquet after lightly tinting the edges with Antique Linen Distress Ink.

The wire mesh in the background is made out of something called "hardware cloth." In my neighborhood, it's used as a fence around plants to keep the rabbits from chewing them.

I sponged on off-white paint and built a ledge for it to rest on from thin wooden strips painted to match the box's paper lining.

The Worn Wallpaper was distressed by placing torn strips over the top of one another and inking the edges to make them stand out. And yes, that's Ball Chain (it comes in three different metal finishes) which was used to embellish the border.

Good luck with the giveaway (comment by midnight PST February 9). The contest has ended, see winners announcement here.

I hope we've inspired you! If you are hopping in order, Cheiron Brandon is up next.


Cathie Parreco (Beulah Bee) YOU ARE HERE...

February 01, 2019

Love Always

Tim Holtz (Idea-ology) came out with a new product this year called Baseboard Dolls and I received some of them to use on projects for the Creativation booth. The little girl on this tag was a Baseboard Doll that I converted to a regular one by peeling her off the substrate.

She sports one of Tim's new Transparent Wings and I used a flower from the previous version of Botanical Layers that also comes on sturdy paper which I peeled off to make more suitable for collage.

The background was part of the instructions from a needlework pattern that I tinted with Distress Ink.

I dabbed on a very small amount of alcohol ink to tint the wings (originally clear) with a combo of Butterscotch and Watermelon and some hand-sanitizer to help dilute it and spread it around.

They were attached with a drop of epoxy in the center of the girl's back and the remainder of the wing surface moves freely.

Click to Enlarge

For the first time, I also used a product call Nuvo Crystal Drops (Olive Branch) to make dots along the tag border.  Some of you probably know how much I like to use Scribbles (a 3D fabric paint) or Liquid Pearls to create a similar effect but that paint is opaque and this product is transparent, behaves like a tinted version of Glossy Accents, and I like it a lot!

I'm linking up to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog--this week's theme is Love is in the Air.

January 27, 2019

She's Changed

My projects from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Creativation 2019 booth were returned to me yesterday and I made two changes to one of them.

Formerly called Vintage Clip Book #15, she's #13 now (the original Number Token fell off during the take down) and I decided to get rid of the dot border because it just didn't work and wasn't necessary.

The Vintage Clip used for this example is 2-1/2" wide and, as you can see, the book is not much bigger than the clip. I pasted a piece of red paper behind the Number Token to make it stand-out more, added one of the new Hardware Heads and used Gorilla Glue to re-attach it to the clip.

I think the girl with dog is a new Paper Doll image (I haven't seen her before) and she was the perfect size to use with my fussy-cut and Ephemera pieces.

The rest of my projects are in the previous post.

January 24, 2019

Creativation Idea-ology 2019

For details on this project (Wildflowers)--here's the link.

For more details on Vintage Clip Book #15 (now #13) see this post.

These are my contributions to the Tim Holtz Idea-ology booth at Creativation 2019.*

There are some terrific new products this year and some of my favorites include the new Ephemera Pack (Keepsakes), the new Layers (Remnants) and of course the Vintage Clips (which I used on small antique books).

There's not much to say that isn't already obvious technique-wise--it's just some fussy-cutting, painting, and pasting. To see the details, click on the photo for a larger view. Be sure to contact me if you have any questions, there's a link to my email address in the sidebar or you can leave me a comment.

Perhaps there will be a blog hop like last year. If that's the case, I'll pick a project and include all the specifics. Do you have a favorite you'd like to know more about? Update 1/29/2019 - There will be a blog hop (with giveaways) scheduled for February 5 hosted again this year by Richele Christensen ( and will include the designers for all of Tim's new products (Idea-ology, Stampers Anonymous, Sizzix, etc.).

Thanks for stopping by and a big thank-you to Paula and Tim for asking me to contribute again this year. If you are interested in seeing my work for the Idea-ology booths from 2015-2018, here's the link.

*The last two pieces did not appear in Tim's video.