Scrap paper hoarder makes a birthday card.

It has been a couple of weeks since my last card making tutorial.  Yowzers!  Things have been plum a$$ crazy at my house.  Computer hacking up a hair ball, getting back into making video tutorials of different kinds, and now it is preparing for the Thanksgiving festivities.  Whew!

Today’s video tutorial is all in photos.  You don’t get to be showered with all of my blathering and have to sit through nearly 20 minutes of it.  This 3 minute video showcases my hoard of scrap papers and how I use them to make two cards.

I am using Operation Write Home Card Sketch #7 for this tutorial.

OWH Sketch #7

OWH Skecth #7

As you can see, the sentiment is supposed to be vertical in the center of the card.  I don’t have anything that I can use in this spot, I forgot about my stash of letter stickers.

I made two birthday cards.  One feminine and one masculine.  This card sketch was ideal for digging into my hoard of 1 inch by 5-1/2 inch scraps.

Birthday cards

Birthday cards

The sentiment is a rubber stamp from Club Scrap I’ve had for many years.  Time to get that puppy out and do something with it 😀

Hope you enjoy the video.


Craft Life Hack – DIY Magnetic Platform

Getting into card making, scrapbook layouts, or the Project Life series of documenting our daily lives can be over the top expensive.  Especially if you spend any amount of time watching craft videos on YouTube where every new tool or convenience is displayed for you to drool over and covet.

Die cutting is one such tool.  The machines themselves are over $100 and they come with the bare necessities.  Extra items are all add-ons and can destroy your budget quickly.  With the advent of wafer thin dies that serve dual duty, cut and emboss, the industry has been finding more ways to deplete your budget with these tools that we “Just Have to HAVE”.

Sizzix created a “Magnetic Platform” just for the wafer thin dies.  This acrylic pad with a magnetic top has allowed the paper crafter to do more with their dies.  That Magnetic Platform will set you back $30 or more.  The good thing about this tool is that you no longer have to fuss around with dies shifting on you through the cutting process.  You no longer have to tape everything down to get a good and clean cut without wasting a lot of paper while keeping track of where the die is before it goes under the pressure rollers.

I have not gotten into the wafer thin die aspect of paper crafting.  Mostly because of the initial cost of the die set.  These dies come in sets, or “Nested” sets.  Each die is graduated in height and width from smallest to largest and ideal for layering on your card fronts or your scrapbook layouts.  One set of dies will cost over $25 and it would be really easy to get to the check out with a total of over $100 just for three or four of these sets.  Add on the cost of the magnetic platform and your crafting budget will be gone in seconds.

Storing these wafer thin dies can be a challenge in itself.  Keep the packaging they came in or find an alternate storage solution.  One of my friends, Maureen Criss Mathis, told me about her purchase of Magnetic Vent Covers from her local hardware store to use for her die storage.  This was a few years back.

While in my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center I went to the heating aisle and right to the section that sells the vent covers.

Vent covers at my hardware store

Vent covers at my hardware store

Magnetic Vent Covers are sold in this section.  When you want to block air flow over one or more registers in your home it can be accomplished with these covers.  The cost is $4.97 at my store for a set of 3.

Magnetic vent covers

Magnetic vent covers

These magnetic sheets cut easily with a pair of scissors.  So I had to see if I could make my own “Magnetic Platform” using this product on my three Sizzix machines.  The Big Shot, Original Sizzix Machine, and the Side Kick.

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

I was able to use the magnetic sheets on all three of my machines successfully.  The cuts I got using this home heating product were clean without any mistakes.

So, if you have been thinking about getting the Magnetic Platform from Sizzix for your wafer thin dies then head on over to  your local hardware store.  Spend your craft budget money on the acquisition of more wafer thin dies 😀

Here is my demonstration video for this new tool in my paper craft arsenal.


Budget friendly Christmas presents from your local hardware store.

My thoughts have been centered around the hardware store recently.  Oh the wonders one can find in a store dedicated to destruction and reconstruction.  Take a little trip through the hardware store for supplies to make Christmas presents.

If you don’t have a “Big Box” hardware store in your area you might have to check out your local flooring center for today’s project idea.  I got my supplies from my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.

Lowe's Home Improvement Center

Lowe’s Home Improvement Center

Coasters are used in many homes to protect the furniture tops from beverage mishaps.  Heat rings from a hot mug of coffee, water rings left behind when iced beverages drip condensation.  You can find plenty of coasters at your local stores.  Wood, fiber, ceramic, porcelain.  Some with inspirational phrases, colors, graphic designs, and even some you can personalize with your photos.

The price range of this decor item varies.  Cheap and inexpensive to quality with a high end price tag.  Most coasters I have seen in stores come in a set of four.

For this project, I have selected four porcelain tiles that measure 4″ x 4″.  The tile costs were 17 cents a piece.  The felt protective feet came in a set of 20 for $2.97.  If you have Mod Podge glue, or something similar, in your craft supplies this project will cost you less that $5 for one of a kind gift giving.

Altered porcelain tiles

Altered porcelain tiles

I used one of the last few papers from my DCWV Mariposa paper collection on these tiles.  My supply of Mod Podge was seriously depleted.  I went to my Michaels craft store to purchase more and found a formulation that is “Dishwasher Safe”.  This Mod Podge dries completely with no sticky or tacky feel after fully curing.  I don’t, as a general rule, use Mod Podge because of that one problem I have with it.  Living in a humid area this glue tends to be tacky for a long time before it fully cures.  Sometimes even weeks after project completion.

The Mod Podge set me back $9 and I had to purchase another tube of E-6000 which was an additional $5.  These two products will have a long shelf life in my craft room and will be used on other projects in the future so the cost can be spread out over the years.

I used the E-6000 to adhere the felt feet on the back of the tiles.  This is to ensure no furniture damage will occur when moving or stacking the tile coasters on table tops.  If you would like to have a full tutorial on making these tile coasters, I have a video for you.


How to make Push Pin charms.

Today is Monday and it is another “Subscriber Question” day for my YouTube video subscribers.  Last week I made a step by step video on altering a Goodwill store picture frame into a cork bulletin board.  The Push Pins for the board were made using Tim Holtz Facet Charms.  I had a couple of requests to show how I made the charms.

For those of you that would like to see the finished board, I will show you the piece as I was cutting away the backing paper.

Altered Goodwill picture frame

Altered Goodwill picture frame.

The charms for this project were made using the Tim Holtz Facet Charms.

Altered Tim Holtz Fragment Charms

Altered Tim Holtz Facet Charms

The Facet Charms are clear, the backs of the charms are flat.  I dug through my scrap paper stash to find images that I liked and thought would look good as focal pieces for the charms.

Using Glossy Accents, I applied some to the back of the Facet and adhered it to the paper.  Squishing it around a little to level out the glue and make sure it came out to the edges of the charm.  Setting it aside for an hour or two to dry, then cut around the charm to remove the excess paper.  These pieces can be made into necklace pendants or large charm pendants when finished.

I had used the last of the Facet Charms I had stashed away.  For today’s tutorial I dug into my stash of Tim Holtz Fragment Charms to answer the question posed.

The E-6000 glue I used to attach the jump rings to the Push Pins has been set aside to dry.  I have them backed with wax paper so the glue doesn’t get permanently seated to the scrap of cork I used for the pressure and drying process.

Tim Holtz Fragment Charms.  Drying the E-6000 glue

Tim Holtz Fragment Charms. Drying the E-6000 glue

The Fragment Charms are created the same as with the Facet Charms.  Apply Glossy Accents to the back of the charm, place on the patterned paper in the desired place, squish it around until the glue is distributed evenly and squeezes out to the edges.  Set aside to dry and cut the excess paper away.

The Fragment Charms come in a package of 48 pieces in different sizes and shapes.  These are just the right size for those of you that make jewelry.  Necklace pendants with matching earrings can be made through this same process.  I would advise covering the back of the paper adhered to the charm with an even coating of Glossy Accents.  This will protect the paper from body oils and sweat that would degrade the paper.

If you would like to see the entire process, I have included a video of the tutorial below.


Coma but the brain was showing signs of life.

My computer is finally back home from the repair shop.

For nearly a month it was showing signs of trauma.  It succumbed to coma after some really weird power outage events here at home.  The stress was too much for the poor thing.

My poor computer’s brain was scrambled.  Valiant attempts it made each time I took it to the repair shop where it worked just fine and without any problems.  Bring it back home and it would not work.  This went on for several days…in and out of the shop.  Until it was finally determined that my computer needed to have a full diagnostic run on it and some “medical” tests run.

Once my computer’s guts were opened, poked, prodded, and thoroughly cleaned it was determined that the hard drive was in such a state it needed to be “defraged”.

Computer being defraged

Computer being defraged

Bob, from The MacMan in Moore, Oklahoma, sent me an email telling me that my hard drive was all in the “RED”.  Defraging was necessary in order to have it back in working order.  As you can see, from the photo above, my poor thing was in critical condition.

It is back home and I am finally able to get back to doing what I have been doing.  Making tutorial movies for my YouTube channel, getting back in touch with friends and family on Facebook, (which I did do with my smartphone) and making an attempt to catch up on the blogs I have missed reading, and finally to begin the posting on my blog.

While my computer was down I worked on the cork bulletin board.  Sharing my progress in photos to Facebook.  As a test to the abilities of my newly “unscrambled” hard drive I made a video for my channel on how to alter a picture frame from the Goodwill, with a lot of help from my Joe.

If you are interested in the process, you can watch the video below.


Operation Write a Home Card Sketch 23

Thanksgiving is nearing, for us in the Lower 48. Canada had their celebratory time in October. 

Today’s card share is using OWH card sketch #23, and it is Thanksgiving themed. 

One of my long time friends said she needed to have a boost of inspiration to get back into card making. Her life has been bombarded with High School and College graduations and a wedding.  I asked if she would like to be a contributor to this week’s card making. 

Maureen used a wood grain stencil from Tim Holtz and texture paste on her two cards. The turkey embellishment on the right was “Fussy” cut and a wobble spring attached to the back. That turkey will dance up a storm for the lucky recipient.

Aren’t these cards FABULOUS?!!!  Thank you Maureen for your inspiration and contribution. 

I’ve used an embossing folder on my card for texture and visual interest. 

My internet service is down. Thank you AT&T U-Verse for your crappy service. I can rely on my cell phone for this post. 


Priceless art found at Goodwill store.

Okay, so I’ve lied.  Just to get you in to read my blog.  Shameless bit of self promotion.  😦

One of my YouTube subscribers and Facebook followers has told me she has put herself on an extremely strict craft buying budget.  Her question was “What can I make for Christmas presents”?

If you have followed my blog you may know that I do a lot of altering of items that are culled from the trash/recycling or purchased items from thrift stores.  Currently, I am working on a cork bulletin board project.

When I go to the Goodwill store I always look for picture frames that are undamaged.  Even if the glass is broken but the frame is in good shape I will purchase it.  Last year I found several of them and they have been waiting for my attention.  I’ve chosen one that would be a good size, I think.

Frame from the Goodwill

Frame from the Goodwill

This beauty was priced for the fabulous art, I think.

Price for the frame

Price for the frame

There is some really great floral reliefs on the frame that I want to bring out.

Floral reliefs on frame

Floral reliefs on frame

The back side of the frame is deeply inset and not damaged from paper backing or a bazillion staples.

The back looks good and not damaged

The back looks good and not damaged

The staples holding the artwork in place will be easily removed.

Staples are in good condition

Staples are in good condition

Several years ago I purchased a giant piece of industrial cork from a supplier in Oklahoma City.  This cork is a specialty item.  It has been combined with rubber and been processed to be “Self Healing”.  Any place a stick pin goes, once removed the cork will close the hole and not wallow out bigger.  This is the piece that Joe cut for me from my giant piece.

Self-healing cork

Self-healing cork

Check out your local hardware store or flooring center for cork tile flooring.  This type of cork is thicker.  The wafer thin cork that comes with the cork boards sold in most stores is backed by a piece of wood that is not as good as the thicker pieces of flooring or specialty cork.

I am working on a tutorial of how to do this type of a project.  With the steps involved, this is not a project that is quick.  It takes several days to do.  There is a lot of waiting for different products to dry or become workable.  Contact cement to adhere the cork to a wood backing piece, paint to dry, glue to dry.

The papers I have chosen to adhere to the cork are from a Paper Studio pack I received as a Christmas present last year…or the year before….from one of my daughters.

Paper Studio Kirby Teesdale Collection

Paper Studio Kirby Teesdale Collection

I cut the papers to fit and glued them on with my FAVORITE adhesive in the world.  Club Scrap’s Book Binding and Laminating glue.  You can use Mod Podge on this type of a project.  I have done that and it works great.

Using Club Scrap's Bookbinding and Laminating glue

Using Club Scrap’s Bookbinding and Laminating glue

For the next 24 hours this puppy will be squished under my two dutch ovens while the glue dries and the paper is permanently adhered to the cork.

Waiting for the glue to dry

Waiting for the glue to dry

For a few dollars, you can take anything that is lost and forlorn and make it into a thing of beauty.  That is what I am shooting for anyway.  The beauty part that is.



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