How I solved _______________ · When I have time, I'l organize my _________________

Quick Fix – Organizing scraps

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Scraps of paper always find a way to clutter up my space. I hate to throw them away as they may be useful “someday”. If you suffer from this malady there’s a couple of suggestions I found in a magazine recently:

  • Stamp on them
  • Die-cut interesting shapes or flowers out of the more colorful pieces
  • Use as borders on envelopes
  • Glue behind your Han-stamped or die-cut greeting for the inside of your card

Happy Crafting!



Ombre color

Dear Fellow Crafters,

In our neck of the woods, winter takes on a dreary and dull finish over everything. While snow is kind-of pretty when falling from the sky and I am looking at it from a nice cozy warm kitchen, snow becomes black when it sits too long after being plowed, melted and driven on. Our senses, if we let them, can become dull and gray too in this winter season. So when I read an article recently about a new trend in coloring our card stock, I immediately became intrigued. Color, lots of color!

Ombre, by definition, means the gradual blending of one color hue to another, dark to light and vice versa. So how does one use this new technique, you ask.

Paper companies are smart. A few of them jumped on the proverbial, “band wagon” and have put papers on the market that are printed with ombre color designs – no guess-work for the consumer. All you have to do is glue stick or Xyron the papers to your card stock. You can, of course, die-cut or hole punch them as usual. Ink companies, not to be outdone, have ombre ink pads too. There are dye and pigment versions and the color is graduated from darker to light on either end.

Crafters, being creative, have come up with ideas to make their own ombre colored paper. Here are some of the more ingenious ideas:

Paper strips– the idea here is to use up your paper stash. On your craft table, lay out strips of the same color family, varying from dark to light and then paste onto card stock.  An ink version is to take an ink pad and using a foam blending sponge, swirl the ink with a light pressure on one end of the cardstock, gradually adding more pressure. Pigment and dye inks work well with this technique. This is akin to coloring a sky for an image.  The final technique is called dip-dying. I saw this technique done using heavy-duty water-color paper years ago. My son attended a school camp one summer and all the parents had to participate in at least one activity. Of course, I volunteered for the arts and crafts program.  At the time, I had no idea that years later I would be advocating this technique for my blog! What you do is mix fabric dye as directed on the box. You can use paper or canvas for this technique. After mixing, lower the paper into the dye. The longer you leave it in, the more intense the color becomes. One of the camp instructors used a popsicle stick to swirl the color and we put the papers in, one at a time only on the surface to create a tie-dye effect.

You can, of course use markers, watercolors or even acrylic paint to achieve ombre colors for your artwork. Experiment and have fun!

‘Til next time,



Adventures in Card-Making · Books I recommend

Review of book

Dear Fellow Crafters,

“The Big Book of Cardmaking” is part of the Craft Q and A series published by Cardmaking and Papercraft and Quick Cards. This 148 page guide discusses techniques in great detail with step by step pictures. The book also includes 16 patterned pages.

I like the fact that the writers include tips and answers to common questions such as ” What cutting tools should I carry in my craft kit?” and “how to cut paper if I have Carpel Tunnel?”

I picked up my copy at my local Barnes and Noble for $14.99 plus tax.

Happy Crafting!



How do I combine paper patterns?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

If you’re like me, you probably have several paper packs from different companies. I have some from DCV (Die Cuts with a View) and some from K and Company. Paper companies change designs every year so it is hard to mix patterns and prints but there are some specific rules:

1. Start with one multi-color print and then pull in subtle patterns that are the same color.

2. Try using different papers with the same print like flowers or polka dots but in varying scales.

3. You can pair papers of the same color together like shades of red.

4. Try mixing similar design elements like circles, stripes and polka dots.

5. Neutral colors work well with pattern papers.

‘Til next time,


PaperCrafting 101

Mod Podge revisited



Dear Fellow Crafters,

I re-discovered a crafting product this past summer and in doing so opened up a whole new world. My daughter-in-law decided to make Styrofoam blocks for her daughter for Christmas and asked me if I had any Mod Podge. “Somewhere in my craft room” I replied. It was an older bottle but I still heard liquid in it when I shook it. The minor problem was the cap it was “glued’ to the  bottle. After some hot water and strong muscles (courtesy of my husband) we got it opened at last. “Mom, did you know that there are now more than 5 kinds?” “Really?” I asked, now fully aware that I was hopelessly behind my times in this area.  Of course, after she left with the bottle, I had to go on-line and here’s what I found out:

Mod Podge is made by Plaid Enterprises. It was invented in the 1960’s. It’s a glue that holds tight and dries clear for adhering paper, fabric and other porous materials to almost any surface. It’s a sealer that protects decoupage, acrylic paint, stain, fabric and more. It’s a finish that is durable, smooth and fast-drying. It’s a “go to” for parents because it is non-toxic and cleans up with soap and water. What’s not to like?

Here are the types they make:

Classic, Antique, Brushstroke, Dishwasher Safe, Extreme Glitter, Fabric, Furniture, Glow in the dark, Hardcoat, Kids Washout, Outdoor, Paper, Satin, Shear Colors, and Sparkle.

They also make special formulas that don’t glue but act as special finishes. They are:

Crackle Medium, Dimensional Magic, Photo Transfer Medium, and Super Gloss.

In the beginning, there were 2 finishes, Gloss and Matte, but it soon became apparent that other glues/finishes would need to be invented and so they did. In future posts we’ll discuss the various types and I give you a tutorial on how to use each one with a picture. So that you can have some knowledge when you visit your favorite craft store (with gift card in hand) later this month, I offer the following.

   Classic: All around “go to” . 2 types of finishes: Gloss – shiny finish and Matte- non-shiny finish.

Antique: Matte finish only – Your project will have a slightly brown tint to give aged look

     Brushstroke: Glossy or matte finishes. Very textured and clear dimensional.Your project will look hand-painted.

 Dishwasher Safe: This was a new product released in 2014. The formula glues, seals and finishes and the finished product can be put in the dishwasher. The finish is glossy. You would use this formula to add paper or fabric to something that you want to wash. Note: Keep the Mod Podge away from your mouth (3/4″ from the top of a glass).

 Extreme Glitter: This sounds like something I would like! The formula looks best on dark surfaces and is VERY Glittery.

   Fabric: Use this formula to prepare fabric for decoupaging to surfaces and for decoupaging things to fabric. It also prevents fraying – good for ribbon.

 Furniture: There are 3 finishes- glossy, matte and satin. Obviously, this one’s for furniture.

Glow in the dark: According to the manufacturer, you need to use several coats to achieve the desired result. To recharge, you just expose the project to light.

Kids Wash Out: The finish is glossy and will wash out of kids clothing if the liquid is spilled.

   Outdoor: This formula was made to protect outdoor projects, think clay pots, from moisture and the elements.

Paper: The 2 finishes are glossy and matte. Unlike the original formula, this one is for archival photos and papers.

 Satin: This formula gives your project a slightly frosty look. it is good for items where you want a non-glossy, soft appearance that wears well.

   Shear Colors: This is original Mod Podge with tints. There are only a few colors now but apparently it is good for dyeing glass.

and finally, there is Sparkle: This formula contains glitter and you only need one coat.

“Til next time,


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