Why I love teaching rubber stamping

Dear Fellow Crafters,

I have always loved sharing my crafting experiences with others. Lately, I’ve been sharing my excess paper with our Granddaughter and my journaling classes. I got to thinking the other day about why I love teaching rubber stamping and thought I would share what I have learned with you.

I have taught children (After-School Programs) and adults (Adult Ed Programs, Libraries, Clubs) and over the years have realized that the two groups are about the same in their motivations. Once presented with the techniques, both children and adults see the potentials. They also feel the apprehension of trying something new. One of my most reassuring slogans is “there’s no mistakes in rubber stamping.” It’s true. In another blog post, I will share what to do when you make a mistake.

Children get excited when they color images. They are in control and can manipulate the images. Overtime, I realized that a larger open-spaced image worked better with a younger group (ages 7-10) and used the now discontinued lines of Azadi Earles (Imagine That) and Darcie Hunter. The girls like to create scenes with the teddy bears and flowers and the boys like themed images like train sets and dinos.  Adults saw potentials in creating with the stamps and set about making wall art, stationery and unique greeting cards.

I never knew until the first class which registered students were “newbies or not. I love “newbies”. They have no pre-conceived notions or bad habits. They’re like sponges waiting to be exposed to the elements of ink, powder, heat, glitter and color.

I not only give a lot of hands-on info but get a tremendous amount of “give back” in new ways of creating an image or using a tool. When a student reaches the point of “I can do this” you know you’ve succeeded in not only sharing your love of crafting but given the students just the right amount of confidence to take them to the next step along their creative journey.

‘Til next time,


Fun and Easy Mason Jar Crafts

Mason Jar History and some crafting ideas

Dear Fellow Crafters,

A lot of  you have noticed my fascination with Mason Jars and the many ways you can use them in crafting. I thought you might also like to know about the history of this famous jar.

Mason Jar

In 1810, a Frenchman names Nicholas Appert produced a canning jar just in time for Napoleon’s plans for conquering the world. In 1858 an American tinsmith names John Landis Mason patented his own version of the jar. His “Mason Jar” featured a threaded jar mouth, a rubber seal and a reusable screw zinc cover.

The jar became very popular, and in 1886 the Ball Brothers of Buffalo, New York started manufacturing their design.

Alexander Kerr improved the jar sealing mechanism in 1903. He gave it a wider mouth. The Ball Brothers liked the version so much that they adopted it too!

….And that is why you will find different versions of Mason Jars on the shelves of your local craft stores.

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While researching ideas for Mason Jars I came across these. Sorry, no pics.

Washi Tape Utensil jar

Items Needed:  Washi tape in assorted sizes, colors and prints


                             Quart size Mason Jar with smooth sides

  1. Choose your combinations of Washi tapes.
  2. Cut the tapes into 12 1/2″  strips and apply one at a time to the jar. Leave the bottom inch or so of curvy jar and the top few inches free of tape.
  3. Overlap the tape strips at the same spot (the back of the jar).
  4. Place kitchen utensils in the jar.


Mason Magnets

Items needed:  Lids, newspaper, acrylic paint, waxed paper, craft paintbrush, craft glue, Mod Podge, water-colored markers, craft magnets, hot glue gun, spray primer.

  1. Place the lids shiny side up on newspaper. Give then an even coat of spray primer. Do this outside. Dry and repeat if necessary. Dry.
  2. Put acrylic paint on waxed paper and with paint brush, paint the lids.
  3. Punch out circles to cover the lid front.
  4. Stamp image and color or place a die on lid. Cover with Mod Podge. Dry.
  5. Using hot glue , glue the magnet on back of lid.
Reed Diffuser
Items needed: 8 oz jelly jar, baby oil, Essential oil (can be purchased at natural food store), 15 thin bamboo skewers, scissors, rubbing alcohol
1. Pour baby oil into the jar until you fill it about /2 way (1/2 cup)
2. Choose Essential oil and add 45 drops to the jar.
3. Splash a tsp. of alcohol or vodka to help the oils wick up the sticks. Stir to mix.
4. Bamboo skewers should be roughly twice as long as your jar. Most skewers seem to be about 10″ long and the pint jar is 4″ tall so cut off 2″ from the pointy end of the skewers. Adjust as necessary.
Bubble Mason Jar
Items Needed:  8 oz Mason Jar, label (die cut), 1/2 cup of water, 4 table spoons of liquid dish soap, 2 tbl. of light corn syrup (Karo), spoon.
1. Mix the ingredients together in the jar and stir slowly but thoroughly with a spoon.
2. Test the bubbles with a bubble wand. Experiment until you can easily create several bubbles with one blow.
‘Til next time,
craft stores

Craft Stores

Craft Stores

Dear Fellow Crafters,

     When I was getting ready to retire from my “day job” as a Senior Customer Service Rep for a large manufacturing firm, my co-workers started asking me which craft stores I shopped in. Now, they all knew I rubber stamped and die-cutted (is that a word?) because they had received greeting cards over the years. They didn’t really know where I shopped. My guess at the time (which proved correct) was that they wanted to give me some gift cards.

     I think we all have had that experience. My favorite “Brick and Mortar” stores are (in no particular order)  are Joanne, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and A C Moore. Each of these stores carry different inventory. For instance, my local Michaels, doesn’t carry a lot of rubber stamps, while Joanne’s does. Hobby Lobby carries different card stock and A C Moore has a lot of dies. Joanne’s carries Craft Magazines and Michaels does not. And the list of differences and similarities goes on.

     What motivates me to shop are several reasons – I’m running out of some particular item; I’ve got an occasion/holiday coming up; I’ve been commissioned by someone; a new die or stamp has been advertised.

     One tip for all of you is to set up an on-line account with your favorite store. A lot of time, that item you can’t find on the shelf is actually “on-line” and sometimes (Yeah!) it is on sale.  Please share your comments in the box below.

‘Til next time,