Betty Crocker or from scratch?

Princess Castle Box Card

My niece’s birthday is tomorrow.  Can you imagine someone more passionate than a child born on the cusp of Scorpio and Sagittarius?  Her parents have their hands full I assure you. Though she is turning 4 I have only met her once. But that is a story for another time and another forum.  At any rate I am told by her grandmother that she is quite the Princess and will be having a princess birthday tomorrow. I wanted to make something special and of course the box card I made for my mom came to mind and so I did some research on Pinterest (where else?) and discovered the  castle in a box card which when the template is purchased comes with about 5 other designs for box cards. I plunk down my paypal account and bought the set for a reasonable sum.

Because I have the tools and the know how I downloaded, converted, printed and cut the template out toot sweet as they say. ( Does anyone say that anymore?)  The hardest part was finding the right size and color paper. Apparently I did not own 12×12 pink cardstock. So I had to go shopping ( awww…gosh I HATE shopping :) ). Anyhow once the particular shades of pink were purchased it all went along swimmingly.  And so there it is put together, mailed  along with the children’s book Twelve Dancing Princesses.  I do hope she likes it or at least her parents do.  Though I can never tell with them.

My dilemma with this is more cerebral. Bear says that its because I can’t except my own talent. I say its because I am trying to be honest when someone asks…..did you make that? My answer is usually along the lines of….well I put it together. It is a template. I have the tools to make it look easy. But I didnt design it. Admittedly I picked out the colors and patterns and accessorized it making it unique.

Bear says it is not necessary for me to explain about templates and that saying I DID make it is ok.

I guess its in my definition of “making”. To me making something  means original work. Something I created from “scratch” I  likened this to a Betty Crocker brownies. He disagreed.

In the end I doubt my niece ( or brother and sister in law) care. Its fun and cute and she will no doubt rip it apart in her glee. And thats ok. I made it and then I released its fate to be what it will.

But I am just not sure I actually made it so much as constructed it….followed directions and decorated.

Published: November 20, 2015


Digital Version

I sent out a thank you card recently to a woman who is a yoga teacher and whom I have known for sometime. She had generously shared a copy of a sketch she had drawn and mailed it to me. I wish I could say we were dear friends but it just never happened. She is however someone I admire greatly and support as I can. She is deeply real about her journey and her life and that is something I aspire to as well.

Originally I had planned on doing a digital version and printing the flattened result. I wanted to take advantage of all the digital scrap papers I have. And it would have been very pretty I dare say.

But in the end my love of texture won out and I made the card more dimensional.  I had the “Scan and Cut” cut out the lotus outline and I glued in some handmade papers behind it. It came out beautifully and all I can say is that I hope she likes purple!



Side view




When I look at the finished versions of my cards I am always kind of amazed that I made them. My inner child is like; “WOW! I made that! I mean seriously…I really MADE that.”  I am not sure why I am so amazed at that. Maybe it is acknowledgement of skill or ability which is a big step for me. I tend to downplay any innate ability I have. I chalk things up to luck or coincidence. I am not claiming my work is classic and timeless just that I am acknowledging I can be creative. its not something that comes easily.

Published: November 6, 2015

Organize me!

More magazines

So many magazines!

I dont know why I bother to try and get anything done in the summer. It never happens. My time is not my own. However it is now September. School has resumed and I am back to work. Sort of. I spend the better part of August going through magazines I had collected (over 10 boxes worth) and cutting them up for collage images. Talk about repetitive! Still I was determined to get through them enough to at least clean them out of the garage and office. I still have a lot left but I have probably gone though about 2/3 of them. So thats good. Many that are left are Nat. Geos. and there are so many pics its almost easier to keep them whole.

Another project I tackled was my closest in the office which has been the “faux” attic since we moved in a year ago. A useless shelving

Clean closet!

Clean closet!

system meant most everything ended up on the floor. So we went out to Home Depot sunday and got shelving and I got busy cleaning out stuff. I figure if I must hoard things I should at least hoard what I like and get rid of the rest so in the last few days I have made a concerted effort to put stuff on Buy Nothing.  And if you have never heard of the Buy Nothing Project you should check it out…you get free stuff….like magazines :)

Next up is resolving what to do with unmounted stamps. I saw this great video the other day and I am off to Home Depot again tomorrow ( I hope) to work on that. If it works I will share some pics.

And while I did only a whopping 2 tutorials this summer ( I am mucho behind) and no digital scrapbooking I did manage to mostly keep up on the No excuses art journaling batches at a time and I am happy about that.  In the last week or so I have mae a couple of cards so watch out for posts on those.



Published: September 1, 2015

Be Mine

Small EnvelopesI am not usually one to make Valentines Cards but being that I am clear across the country from my mom and mother in law and daughterlove envelope
I decided to make a go at it. I did some perusing on Pinterest and came across numerous adorable and cute cards but I really liked the idea of envelopes within an envelope. The idea that I am senfing love across the country. So that is the direction I took. Because I am a letters, words, paper kind of person I really liked the card on the right. The color and style really appealed to me. I also liked the idea of having somewhat of a 3D effect. It gives depth. I was really happy with the  outside of the finished project. I had the letters “love” cut out of the Scan and cut and of course had to find the perfect stamp.  ( Any good reason to visit the craft store). The inside I didnt plan very well and it felt busy and hard to read but nonetheless everyone liked their cards and I enjoyed experimenting.

valentines2015b valebtines2015

Published: February 14, 2015

Happy Merry Jingle Holidays!

Well its that time of year. Time to think of Holiday cards which I try and design every year. Last year my card was an ode to simplicity. Being in school and busy all the time I did something simple with snowflakes.Cover of December 2013 card Inside of 2013 card  However this year… simplicity escaped me.





Original Art Journal Page

With my fascination with art journaling bringing all my loves together ( that is paper, paint, texture, color, ephemera, collage and what have you) it it hard not to make some busy  textured fun  card for friends and family.

It started off simply enough with sheet music and some die cut stars….but it grew, expanded, morphed and re shaped itself. I went through a few drafts and actually this one was not supposed to be a final  version but it was so pretty I just couldnt resist. I am sure my teachers would cringe at my layers. I never was good at simplifying.  I started with some sheet music. and then went shopping at Michaels and got some holiday paper and inks etc.  My hushand says the tree looks like gingerbread but it is soft embossed paper with some silver ink I sponged across the top.  The stars are diecut and so are the silver snowflakes. I am really liking die cuts a lot.  The background is a Tim Holtz  tissue, which, since I did not plan this out ahead of time I cut around to fit the tree. But it all works out.  Except for the ribbon. Which came out terrible. Its silver wrapping ribbon and photographs black and scans about the same I fixed it in photoshop to make it a more gray color.

On the inside of the card I digitized the cover and the tissue paper and reproduced the cover in a lighter tone.  Like I said above I just really like the card as dense as it is.  The finished product is 4×5 inches and perfect shape for a holiday card.

2014 Christmas Card

Inside of card

Published: December 1, 2014