Texts from my husband: “Where are U”

I have been putting off a trip to my local big box craft/hobby stores for several months.  My supply of foam mounting squares is getting really low.  So low that a project I’m working on will require more than what I have on hand.

The temptations that await me at a craft/hobby store are more than I have the power to resist.  Even if I take Joe with me as the sane adult.  I have come to flippantly calling my journeys to these stores….seeing my drug dealer.

Just as soon as I walk in the doors I get a rush.  Some endorphin, or whatever the chemical rush is, kicks in and I become hyper focused on the goods displayed.  A joy wells up within me.  An excitement that is akin to a child let loose in a toy store.  The mantra in my head is “I WANT IT!”   The major problem with that is, I can’t seem to muster the restraint required to end up leaving the store with what I had gone in to get in the first place.  Invariably, I wind up leaving the store with a whole lot of stuff and NONE of what I went in for.

I don’t watch the plethora of “HAUL” videos on YouTube because of the same thing.  I see what people have and I feel the great need to say “I WANT IT!”.  This is the main reason why all of the things I create are from my burgeoning stash of old items.  I have way too much stuff from my many previous visits to my “drug dealer”.

So, with Joe in tow, I went to my local Hobby Lobby.  I told him before we got out of the car that I needed to get “Foam Dots”.  My husband is totally awesome in so many ways.  He is, however, an “Enabler”.  He can make the process worse for me.  He’ll see something on display and say “You don’t have this do you?” or “Do you want that?”.  He was going in to find balsa wood strips to prepare for the day he creates a model train landscape with all the bridges and towns.  He has been acquiring bits and pieces since 1993 and has yet to build more than one trestle bridge.

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

My recent trip to Hobby Lobby

I felt that the best way to handle this was to not stroll next to him.  If I go off on my own, maybe, I can be less tempted and actually get the foam dots.

The foam dots used to be in the back of the store where the Clearance items are located.  Of course, I immediately headed to the clearance area.  First thing that caught my eye was a border punch.

A border punch

A border punch

Who cares that we are nearing winter and the Holiday season.  It is shiny and “I Want It”.

No foam dots in the cart, yet.

The project I am working on needs to have some winter embellishments.  Snowflakes or something winter like.  The butterfly punch, although lovely, is not what I need.  The foam dots were no longer displayed near the Clearance wall.  A small, very small, selection of dies was on display near there.  I saw this die for making snowflakes.  Yes, it is shiny and it went into my cart.

Snowflake die

Snowflake die

I got a text message from Joe.  “Where r u?”

Where r u?

Where r u?

When I left the aisle with the dies I went in search of Joe.  Only to find a couple more things I could not resist.  Clear Christmas balls just waiting to be altered.  Then fake snow to go inside the clear balls.

Clear Christmas balls

Clear Christmas balls

Fake snow

Fake snow

I did, finally, find the foam dots and get them in my shopping cart.

Foam dots

Foam dots

Ultimately, this was the extent of my shopping trip.

Results of my shopping trip

Results of my shopping trip

Well, as  you might imagine…the project I had been diligently working on was put on the back burner.  The whole reason for the trip to the craft/hobby store.  Here is a little teaser for what will be coming to my YouTube channel this coming Tuesday.  It is only a little over one minute long and packed with music, excitement, and a bit like a professional movie trailer 😀


My very FIRST “Finish It Friday” feature.

Usually….unless I have a gift making project….the “How To” video item gets tossed to the side, shoved into a box, hidden beneath a pile of other stuff, and generally is forgotten.

As a fickle crafter, always looking for the next fun technique or idea, I have amassed quite a stash of……crap…..

Seriously folks, I don’t think very far into the future as I create.  I get an idea for a technique.  Make a video featuring the technique.  The end.

These past two weeks I’ve been showing you how to heat emboss items without using rubber stamps.  Getting creative by using what I have on hand.  Saving myself money and time while trying to let you know that the online or walk in craft stores don’t have to be your go to place when you need something for a project.

If your craft space is anything like mine (after 10+ years of creating) you have a rich supply of paper, adhesive, dies, tools, equipment, and just a whole lot of cr….oops STUFF patiently waiting for you to remember them.

No matter your age as a new paper crafter, YouTube is a gateway to creativity.  It can also be a gateway to hell as you compare your work to others with more experience.  I might even go so far as to say quite a number of the 10 Commandments get mangled and abused in our my craft areas as we watch YouTube videos.

COMMANDMENT #1:   You shall have no other Gods before me.

I’m guilty of abusing this Commandment.  Tim Holtz, for example.  Wonderful man and teacher.  When he has a new blog post or video I am on it.  Reading every word of his blog or tweets.  Intently listening and watching his instruction as he creates his art pieces.

Tim Holtz is not the only one.  Stampin’ Up!, Graphic 45, Die Cuts With a View (DCWV), Michaels, Hobby Lobby to name a few.

COMMANDMENT #2:  You shall not make idols.

Yes, I’ve fractured this Commandment a time or two.  I’ve made a few things that I am particularly proud of and often look at the photos of my creations that have been passed on to whomever I made them for.

COMMANDMENT #3:  You shall not take the name of your LORD and God in vain.

Yep.  Smashed this Commandment on numerous occasions when a project or technique goes bad.  Hissy fit with a potty mouth.

COMMANDMENT #4:  Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

When I am in the creative zone one day runs into the next.  The only day(s) I don’t do anything creative are the days when my Mojo takes a hike or I am in a total funk.

COMMANDMENT #5:  Honor your father and mother.

This one gets trashed from time to time.  If I feel the need to speak about my childhood in foster care my father and mother usually get eviscerated in the conversation.

COMMANDMENT #6:  You shall not murder.

So far….I’m good on that one.  However, I am sorely tempted to act on this when I get a particularly nasty comment on one of my videos.

COMMANDMENT #7:  You shall not commit adultery.

I often wonder what my husband thinks as I babble on and on about Tim Holtz.  At least I only babble about him and don’t actively seek him out.  So…I guess I’m safe on this one.

COMMANDMENT #8:  You shall not steal.

Err, uhm, ahem.  I have stolen someone’s idea from a YouTube video and made it my own.  Not anymore though.  I have learned to give credit where credit is due.

COMMANDMENT #9:  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I have not sullied this Commandment…..yet.

COMMANDMENT #10:  You shall not covet.

Guilty!  Totally guilty of obliterating this Commandment.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at my craft room tour video if you have AN HOUR to kill and want to listen to my voice drone on and  on.

I’m going to Hell I tell you.

Before I go to Hell I want to share with you the newest video I have created.  It is a scrapbook page featuring all the heat embossing techniques I’ve shown you how to do.  It is a “Sampler” page or a reference.  I can look at this page and remember how I did any one of the techniques and use that on a card or another scrapbook page.

I hope this video helps you to be a bit more creative in your craft room.  Using what you have on hand and make others marvel at your genius.





Power outage at Hobby Lobby.

It has been quite a while since I set foot in a craft store.  Mostly because I am determined to use the stuff I already have and not purchase more.

Joe and I went to Hobby Lobby, near our home, last night.  I was getting low on jewelry head pins and jump rings.  I found the needed items and we went to the check out area.  While we were waiting in line for our turn the lights went out.

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

Lights out at Hobby Lobby

No one knew when the power was going to come back on so we left and headed for Michaels.  A new store was built closer to where we live.  It is a bit disappointing.  There is only about half the products in the new store as what was in their older store.  I was not able to purchase the head pins.  All that was available were eye pins.  I bought some anyway.

I have been making some coordinating charms to go with the fancy glass bead charms.

Blue glass with bead strings

Blue glass with bead strings

This set turned out really beautiful, if I do say so myself.  I really like the orange and blue.

Orange and blue

Orange and blue

These swirls on the blue glass beads are beautiful.

Blue swirls

Blue swirls

I have some bead sets that I had purchased a long time ago and have kicked myself black and blue for buying them.  Now I am really glad that I did.

Multi colored glass beads

Multi colored glass beads

Bead assortment

Bead assortment

I have an assortment of charms in an old pickle jar.  It is getting more full by the day.  I think I will have a Purse Charm that I can show you in a couple days.

Charms I've made so far

Charms I’ve made so far

I hope that I may have inspired you to take a stab at some beading.


Hello. My name is Leslie and I am a paper hoarder.

Scraps.  Man those bits of paper can take over your craft area.  They are the abandoned children of the whole sheets of paper.

Most paper crafters get so excited about the new lines that come out several times a year.  We hot foot it to the nearest scrapbooking store or craft/hobby store to romance the new collections.  I do mean romance these papers.

Alright, I have to speak for myself and no one else.  I’m really bad about this.  I love paper with texture and that has some weight.  I’m not a big fan of the design paper that is almost the weight of photocopier paper.  I like my paper to have some heft to it….some meat on its bones – kind of like me 😉

If you have gone to Hobby Lobby or Michaels and picked up a pad of paper by DCWV, K&Company, or Recollections to find the 2 inch round sticker holding the pad closed torn away that means I have beat you to the paper.

I have to see the full page, feel the texture, look at the printed designs, feel the weight of the paper, listen to it as I flick from one page to the next.  If a particular sheet of paper captures my total attention I have spent several minutes looking at the colors, images, and light reflection.  If the paper has that machined embossing that shines over some of the images I have to feel the whole sheet.

My craziness is akin to when Joe and I were first married.  Every chance I got I would run my fingers through his hair, touch the skin on his arm, brush my hand over his clothing, give a little squeeze of his backside.  This paper “fetish” is almost the same.  I have to touch my fingertips to the sheet of paper.  Let my fingers gently run across the face of it.  Open my hand and let my palm run over the texture caressing the slick surface of the product applied to the paper.  Let my fingertips trace the glitter applied to the papers.  Give the paper a gentle squeeze to feel the thickness of it.

When I have made my purchase I fantasize what I could make with the paper once I get home.  Sometimes I get so caught  up in my solo orgy that I forget to purchase glue, adhesive, or any other type of embellishments to go with the paper.  When I reach home I can’t wait to rip the packaging from the paper and freely run my  hands over each and every sheet enjoying it to the fullest without looking over my shoulder to see if there is someone else close looking askance at me.

When I have a project in mind for the papers I get out my trimmers and begin cutting away.  The scraps are shunted off to the side to be later dumped, unceremoniously, in a storage bin somewhere.  These scraps will languish away and be forgotten.  They no longer serve a purpose in my creative life.

One morning earlier this week I found a website whose sole aim is to gather greeting cards from crafters to be sent to our service people to be able to have cards to send home to their loved ones.  OWH “Operation Write Home” has lots of information about creating cards.  Videos on making cards, tips, techniques, and a really fun site to check out.   One of the videos and blog posts was on scraps to be used in card making.  Using Scraps is the title for the tutorial that I have used to reacquaint myself with my abandoned scrap children.

I made a note of the sizes used in card making.  The sizes for scraps on this website is to fit card fronts that are A2 or measure 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″.

Measurements to cut the scraps

In cleaning off my work surface yesterday I had a huge pile of scraps from the Christmas Card Boxed Set.  A massive pile.  I thought I would start there first before I gathered all the rest of my scraps.

You can see, off to the left of the photo, I have a white storage bin with the scraps of white and cream that I dumped in the bin last year.  I got a start on the papers on my work surface and began placing them in neat little piles with a small sticky note stuck to the top of the stack.

Starting the scrap cutting

Once I finished with clearing my table I went to work on the basket of white scrap papers and got that bin empty.  This is what my scrap bins looked like.  Poor things.

Bins full of scraps

This is not a project that is fast.  It is quite time consuming to be exact.  I worked on two of the baskets yesterday all the time wondering if I had lost my mind and taken on a project with no end in sight.  The cutting and stacking went on today for another several hours.  I am happy to say that I have gotten through it all and am quite happy with the results.

Stacks of uniform sized scraps

This bin has all of the 4″ scraps ranging in size from 4″ x 4″ to 4″ x  5-1/2″.

4" wide scraps

This bin holds all of the 2″ x 2″, on up to 3″ x 5-1/2″ scraps.

2" x 2" up to 3" x 5-1/2" scraps

This bin holds all of the 1″ x 3″ to 1-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ scraps.

1" x 3" up to 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" scraps

These bins hold an assortment of card stock and designer series paper.  This project took so long to do there is no way I’m going to put these in color order.  I thought about it but decided I’m not that energetic.

I have one final bin that is full of cut apart embellishments from Club Scrap and various other unique papers I did not want to cut up.

Specialty papers and embellishments

I am really happy that I took the time to do this.  I think I may actually use these scraps to create things.  At least I had some ideas floating around in my head as I whacked away with the paper trimmer.  Rest assured I’ll be blabbing about any project I come up with to use these scraps.

How do you store your small-ish scrap pieces of paper?  Are you a card maker and find you need to cut up whole sheets of paper to use your punches?  Do you end up creating more scraps from whole sheets when you have a die cutting project?  If you do take this project on I’d love to hear what your solution has been.


Altered Goodwill picture and frame.

Back in January I purchased two pictures with frames from the Goodwill.  The pictures and wet stained cardboard backing I threw away but kept the frames.  Total price for these two large frames….$5.00

Picture frames from the Goodwill

Joe measured the inside of the frames and we went to our home improvement center to have some plywood cut down to size.

Getting the plywood cut for the framesI found a place in Oklahoma City that sells industrial self healing cork.  Much more heavy duty and durable than the stuff I’ve purchased at Hobby Lobby, Michales, Dollar Store, and the home improvement centers.  This stuff is expensive but it is going to hold up so much better than the cheap stuff.

Heavy duty industrial self healing corkJoe and I cut the cork to fit the plywood, to my specifications anyway.  He administered the contact adhesive to both the wood and the cork.  Then we carefully placed the cork in the designated areas and Joe went to town banging on the cork to seat the two surfaces.

Now it is finally time to do something with one of the cork boards.

Gluing paper to the cork

The papers I’m using are mixed.  DCWV Family Connections, K&Company Life’s Journey, and Graphic 45 Romantique.

The oval frame piece is DCWV Family Connections, the antique documents paper is K&Company Life’s Journey, as is the border of the roses.  The focal collage (sort of) papers are from Graphic 45 Romantique, as is the bridal image within the oval.

Papers glued to the cork board

I’m thinking of giving this to Carissa.  She has some framed art work on her walls of men and women around this time period.  The colors are deep red and black so maybe these colors will be too tame for her.    I’m also contemplating hot gluing tear shaped pearls strung together around the inset of the frame.  The outer part.  The white might fade out.  I tried black ribbon in the area of the frame and didn’t like it.

The bulletin boards I’ve made before I’ve used foam core board for the push pins.  Cover the exposed foam core with ribbon and glue it all together.

Foam core push pinsI wasn’t thrilled with the results then and I’m not thrilled with them now.  So I’m going to try my hand at coloring with Copic markers and use Tim Holtz Facets for the push pins.  This should prove to be interesting.


Hampton Arts rubber stamp set

The Graphic 45 Romantique collection has an advertisement for women’s hats.  I have used the advertisement on the board now the push pins are going to reference the ad.

Graphic 45 Romantique paper and the push pun tops

I had a bit of trouble with the coloring.  The Staz-On ink smeared just a tiny bit.  The next push pin tops will be from the Graphic 45 paper and the Facets.

Graphic 45 and Tim Holtz Facets

The push pins are just some clear things I’ve purchased from Hobby Lobby.

Push pins

I’m going to try the Beacon 3 in 1 glue to adhere the tops to the pins.

Beacon 3 in 1 glue

I have quite a scrap stash of foam core board.  I’m using it to poke the push pins in and be held upright while the tops dry after they are attached.

Scraps of foam core board

The support system seems to be working really great.  The jury is still out on the glue!

Foam core support

Foam core and push pins

A couple of the push pins will be some beautiful pieces I found in the gift that Shelly gave me.  They are not buttons.  I don’t know what they are….besides beautiful.

Push pin topPush pin top

So that is the project I’ve worked on today.  Are you up to altering a Goodwill find?  If  you do, leave a link to your blog so I can go see.


Add the soft feel of Flock to your projects.

Flock used to enhance the designThe card stock design papers, lately, are very tactile with the embossed images with all the hills and valleys.  Glittered designs have a raised and rough texture, embossed designs have a raised and sometimes slick texture.  The light bouncing off the glitter or the clear glazes used in printing is candy to the eyes.  Now you can add a raised and oh so soft texture with Flock.

I have a set of one ounce bottles of different colored Flock from Doodlebug Designs.  I’ve purchased this set from Hobby Lobby.  The price is a bit steep but Hobby Lobby has a general couple for 40% off to help defray the cost.

Doodlebug Designs Flock assortmentThese vials are used the same as you do embossing powder.  The difference is you use a liquid glue to attach the Flock.  I’m using a Zig 2-Way Glue Pen.

Zig 2-Way Glue PenI purchased this way, way, way back in about 2003.  I don’t know if this product is still even manufactured but I would imagine it still is…or something similar.  I like this pen because the working end is just like a gel pen in application.

The working tip of the glue pen is just like a gel penAs with all other types of 2-Way Glue there are two properties of this adhesive.  In the “Wet” stage the glue is permanent.  In the “Dry” stage the glue is tacky and not super strong.  The “Dry” application would be great for masking.  Apply the 2-Way glue on a scrap piece of paper, let it dry clear, then attach the paper to your project as you would a Post-It-Note.  I’m using the “Wet” application here.

Apply the 2-Way glue and quickly add the FlockApply the Flock in the same manner you would embossing powder.  The difference in this application over embossing powder is you have to PRESS the Flock into the wet glue before tapping off the excess.  DO NOT heat set the Flock.  Just press and tap off.

One ounce bottle of Flock

Apply the Flock over the wet glue then press to set in the glue

Tap off the excess Flock into a tray

Work in small areas at a time.  This will ensure the 2-Way glue remains wet to accept the Flock better.

Work in small areas at a time to keep the 2-Way glue wet

Clean up is the same as with embossing powder.  Get the remaining Flock back into the bottle.  You don’t need to have one of these funnel trays.  A sheet of notebook paper, copy paper, or card stock will do.  Work over the paper as you add the Flock or embossing powder, tap the excess off onto the paper of your choice, then use the paper to return the excess back to the bottle.  Cheap and just as effective as having the funnel tray which can cost $5.

Return the tapped off contents to the jarThis piece of Tiffany’s album is a folio of sorts.  There are two pockets inside the folio for photos and journaling.  I’ve added a couple pieces of the DCWV Street Lace paper to the pocket flaps.

Mini folor with two pocketsThis folio fits into the pocket of the inside of the second piece to this project I’ve got all wonky.

Pocket for the folio in the center of the mini

The Flock adds dimension, texture, and pizazz to the folio piece as it peeks out of the center pocket.  The Flock just begs to be touched and caressed 😀

The Flock peeks out from the pocket holding the folioThis is only one example of the use of Flock to your projects.  With the assortment of colors available in a package you can add texture and touchy feely softness to a card front.  I think I may have to use the Flock on some of the flowers in this paper 😀

Have fun in your crafting.  You get to be the first to caress the softness of the Flock on your projects long before you give it away to someone else to put their hands on 😀


Foam Core ink pad storage – Part 1

Last year I made a trash receptacle out of Foam Core.  In theory it would work wonders.  In reality not so much.  It ended up falling on the floor and would not remain attached to the bottom of my table.  Some additional thought will need to be used to make that one work better.

First thing to do is PICK YOUR SPOT.  Depending on how much space you have available AND the amount of ink pads you have this type of construction can be adapted for any size space.  Even a small closet area.

The good thing about Foam Core is it is sturdy when constructed well.  You won’t be able to stand on it but it will hold the weight of your ink pads, reinkers, and other stamping related items without caving in on you.  It is portable and can be moved from one location to another if you have a penchant for rearranging your area as I seem to have.

This can be adapted to your needs.  Just because I’m doing mine as you will see does not mean it is “Gospel” and has to be done my way.  Do you need a place to store your stamp cleaner pad?  That funnel type tray for your embossing powder over spill and/or glitter?   Do you have those large Archival Ink Pads?  How about the long and narrow multi colored ink pads?

If you purchase a ready made ink pad holder to our specifications it can cost up to $100.  Make your own for $6 plus the personal time to create and construct one specific to your personal needs.

You can spray paint the pieces as you get them made or cover them in the paper(s) of your choice.  This is a project that will take a while to create so don’t imagine having this done in a couple  hours.  Depending on how difficult you want to make this, it CAN be put together in just a couple hours if you only make a top, bottom, and two sides.  Slap that puppy together and call it good.

Here is a link to a blog writer who made one of the more complicated ones for her Stampin’ Up! ink pads and reinkers.  Syzygy of Me.  Mine is not going to be quite so complicated but it will involve some of the same steps.

First – Where to purchase Foam Core – if you don’t already have some.  I purchase mine from Hobby Lobby – found near the framing section – and from Michaels – found near the children’s art section.  I’ve read you can find Foam Core at the variety of Dollar Stores, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Big Lots, and other thrifty places like that.  The sizes and prices range from $1 to $6 and from 12″ x 24″ to 36″ x 42″.  The larger sizes are found at the craft/hobby stores.

Foam Core is light weight and the thicknesses range from 3/16″ to 1/2″.  The inner foam is sandwiched between thick paper.  This allows you to use hot glue or a good strong tape – such as duct tape to assemble your pieces together.

Now on to what I’ve accomplished so far.  I ran out of my stash of Foam Core and will need to make a trip to the craft store to get more today.

STEP 1.  Measure your area.

My designated spot

My designated spot

I have 18″ of clearance from the top of my work table to just below the radio/cd player thing.

Under the radio/cd player thing

Under the radio/cd player thing

I have a width of about 36″ to build my creations.  I’m going to be making these in sections then joining each section.  That is the plan right now and subject to change at any time during construction :-(.

Width of 36 inches

Width of 36 inches

The base, or bottom, and the top is only going to be 5″ wide.  This is about 1/2″ wider than the Stampin’ Up! ink pads I have.  You can make yours to be 4-1/2 inches if you wish.

STEP 2 – Cutting the Foam Core.

I am making this section 18″ tall, 12-1/2″ wide.  This will be the back panel of my box.  Measure and draw lines on your Foam Core Board and use a craft knife to cut through the layers of paper and foam.  Make sure to do this part on something other than your work surface so you don’t cut through your table top.

Cut your bottom, top, and two sides as well.  My top and bottom will be 18″ long and 5″ wide.  The sides will be 12-1/2″ long, and 5″ deep.  I’m already confused 😦  Top and bottom will be 12-1/2″ wide by 5″ deep.  The sides will be 18″ tall by 5″ deep.

Measure, mark, and cut your pieces

Measure, mark, and cut your pieces

STEP 3.  Decisions.

Now is the time to decide if you want to go the easy route.  Do you have only Stampin’ Up! ink pads?  See My Paper Passion for an example to stack the Stampin’ Up! pads.  They stack on top of each other pretty well and don’t topple over or cascade down.  You can cut Foam Core to the length, top to bottom, and attach them with hot glue at this point and call it done.  That is after you have put your top, bottom, and two sides together.

I’m going to make shelves spaced 1″ apart.  The next step is going to be tedious.

STEP 4.  Mark the shelf spacing.

Around the center of my 5″ by 18″ shelf support I made 1″ marks then used my Big Bite Cropadile to make the holes.  It is so much easier to do it this way than to draw a rectangle and make the two small corner cuts at the center.

Mark at 1" increments and use the Big Bite Cropadile to cut holes

Mark at 1" increments and use the Big Bite Cropadile to cut holes

This is how I used my Cropadile.

Using the Cropadile

Using the Cropadile

Draw even lines with your ruler from the hole you made down to the end of the side.  Cut the Foam Core out of this area.

Cut the spaces out

Cut the spaces out

These two will be standing to divide my box into four sections.  The shelf parts I will construct today after I get back from purchasing more Foam Core.

The principle of this type of design is to make the box stronger and less likely to warp and bow as time passes.

Think of the last time you purchased a box of stem ware or glasses.  The cardboard inserts that separated the glass ware into individual compartments.  That is what I’m going for in this construction.

I’ll have more for you tomorrow on the creation of this box.  So stay tuned.

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