Turn a mini album tag into a Christmas card

Through September and on into October I have been creating videos on how to make mini album tags for the newest batch of creative people coming in.  I used to be one of them.  Searching for answers to my burning questions and not finding much in the way of an answer.

As in life, one thing leads to another.  For new card makers that don’t have a lick of interest in ever making mini albums, but need to be inspired to create a greeting card, I thought it would be good to show how a mini album tag can be made into a card front.

I chose to use one of the Measured and Layered tags with a pocket as my inspiration for the card front.

This tag is my inspiration

This tag is my inspiration

I have some old….circa 2009….Stampin’ Up! stamp sets which are Christmas themed.  Serene Snowflakes, Delightful Decorations, and Big on Christmas.  These are no longer available at Stampin’ Up! but if you have them in your stash of stamps you can give this a try.

Old Stampin' Up! stamp sets

Old Stampin’ Up! stamp sets

This is what I came up with using the mini album tag format and converting it into a Christmas card with a little gift of tags tucked into the front pocket.

Mini album tag converted into Christmas card

Mini album tag converted into Christmas card

I will have the tutorial on making these cards up on YouTube Friday – October 9, 2015.


Sneak peek at next week’s tutorials for heat embossing.

Heat embossing with stencils

Heat embossing with stencils

What you see in the photo is just a SMALL selection of the stencils I own.  Over the past 10+ years I have acquired all kinds of things that, at the time, I thought I just HAD TO HAVE.

The newest acquisitions are the butterfly brass stencil and the Dylusions thing on the bottom right of the photo.  The rest have been hidden away in the deep dark recesses of my cupboards.

The two round stencils in the back?  Those are actually drain covers I bought from my local big box hardware store – Lowe’s – about 7 years back.

At this point….I have a, nearly, 3 hour “Show and Blab Fest” going on as I go through the various stencils and show you how to use them.  I have a LOT of editing to do on the video when I’m finished shooting.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, August 19th, 2015.  I’m POSITIVE you will search through your stash for the stencils you bought years ago.  “Come here my little friend”! 😀


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.





Assembly line style card making…..

Sometimes….I get an idea.  That idea doesn’t get properly thought out.  Bringing that idea into reality…..turns into…..”What The Heck Was I Thinking?!

I looked through the Operation Write Home card sketches.  My search was to find a sketch that has many elements, therefore, I would be using up more scrap papers.  Brilliant!

I chose card sketch #10 from Operation Write Home.

Operation Write Home card sketch #10

Operation Write Home card sketch #10.

The stamp set I chose to use for some birthday cards is an old Stampin’ Up! Hostess Set titled “Birthday Bakery”.

Stampin' Up! Birthday Bakery stamp set.

Stampin’ Up! Birthday Bakery stamp set.

I have a tag punch I bought from Stampin’ Up! in about 2009.  This is the old style punch.  I’m pretty sure they don’t sell this style any longer.  The tag measures a tiny bit over one inch wide and is 1-1/4 inches long.

Old style tag punch from Stampin' Up!

Old style tag punch from Stampin’ Up!.

I’m busting out my Copic markers that were a gift to me from my friend, Maureen C. Mathis, several years ago.  I’ve not really used these markers to color many images.  It is time that I face me fear of coloring and just get with the program.

Copic markers.

Copic markers.

I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of using these markers.  I was even pleased with my results.  The images look like illustrations that would be in a children’s book.  Okay, maybe that is just a bit of an exaggeration of my coloring skills.

Copic marker colored images

Copic marker colored images

This is where I thought I had “Done gone and lost my mind”.  I did something that I absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, HATE to do.  I fussy cut around every stinkin’ one of those images.

Fussy cut around each image.

Fussy cut around each image.

The results of this crazy bit of business has turned out pretty good.  I like the result.  And I do believe that I may have earned a new title.  “The Queen of Crooked”!  Oh well.  Let’s just call it “Whimsical”.

Finished birthday card front.

Finished birthday card front.

Over the next couple days I will be putting together a tutorial on how I made this card front.  I’ve taken step by step photos of the process and will be using those photos to create a video.

At this rate….I think it might be the year 2025 when I use up all of my scrap papers.  :/


A stolen pickle jar results in assault.

Okay, another half truth.  I did, in fact, steal the pickle jar from my husband.  He is hoarding them to put his plethora of screws in.  Not only pickle jars but any other glass food jar that I deem fit for the recycling bin gets claimed by my husband.  The only assault was on the poor jar by the use of a hot glue gun.

I have a granddaughter who will be 16 (I think) the first week of February.  In my attempt to get birthday presents out to my family members, in a timely manner, this year I am trying to get ahead of the game.

I searched on Pinterest for things a teen girl would like.  Aside from too tight clothing, necklines that leave little to the imagination, and jewelry pieces I would not be able to even begin to create, I had to search elsewhere for some kind of idea.

My granddaughter has a favorite color.  Black.

I’ve made  her a mini album, covered a balsa wood box with flowers and other festoonery, and a few other things over the years.  What to do this year?  I was in a pickle….Ah Ha!  Why not make use of a pickle jar.

Altered pickle jar.

Altered pickle jar.

The paper, featured inside the jar, is from DCWV Street Lace.  The black trim is from a length of scrap trim, the white ruffly lace is also from a length of scrap trim.  The pearl string is from a spool that is being steadily reduced.  The half back pearls on the black lace is from the Michaels dollar bin.  The tag is from a box of 500 I purchased from the office supply store about five or six years ago and hardly touched.

I’ve used two Stampin’ Up! stamp sets that have been wasting away for several years.  One is titled “Favorite Thoughts” and the other is “Tiny Tags”.  I’ve used some turquoise chalk ink from VersaMark that I’ve had since the early 2000’s to color the tag.  And I’ve used some clear embossing powder, the NOT fine stuff, I’ve had since 2004 on the tag to give it some much needed sparkle and shine.

Decorative tag.

Decorative tag.

The lid of the jar was painted with Lamp Black acrylic paint from Americana and sprayed with a Krylon Clear Glaze to make that shiny as well.  Flowers on the lid are from the Michaels dollar bin.  The beautiful butterfly is from Dollar Tree.  Both of these items were a more recent purchase…..last year.  The rhinestones for the butterfly trail are from Stampin’ Up! and have been knocked around in my room since Stampin’ Up! first brought them out to the general public…..way back in about 2009 I think it was.  The glue I used, still wet in the photo, is Glossy Accents to ensure the rhinestones will stay where I put them.

Decorative lid.

Decorative lid.

The turquoise lace trim around the lid edge, attached to the tag, and the little bow is from my stash.  I have no idea when I bought the ribbon or where I bought it.

I hope you enjoy this idea of altering a glass jar.  Possibly find a way to use these cast offs in your home organization needs or for your craft supplies.  If you would like to see the creation of this jar I have the video below for your convenience.  Also, as an added bonus I have a video that shows  how to remove a label from a glass jar that won’t budge from the normal soaking in hot soapy water for an hour or more.  That video is included in this post.

Now you go “Show someone how special they are”.






A woman got busted over a birthday card.

How’s that for an ambiguous title?  The truth of the matter is that I did get busted.  My daughter saw it on Facebook.  :/

Stampin' Up!'s Big Bold Birthday stamp set used to create the balloons.

Stampin’ Up!’s Big Bold Birthday stamp set used to create the balloons.

The card front was created using papers from my scrap stash.  I tried a technique, new to me and quite possibly not something done by anyone else.  Then again, this technique is probably old and I’m just the last to know.

I picked out 2 x 2 inch patterned paper scraps, used various colors of inks, stamped the balloon image on the patterned paper then used Glossy Accents to cover the stamped image.  I taped the papers down to my table using painters tape before I applied the Glossy Accents.  You can see the entire process in the video I have below.

I used some, many years old, baby yarn to act as the balloon streamers.  The balloons are hot glued to the card front and the balloon tails are secured under the ribbon I’ve placed near the bottom.  This musical note ribbon is about eight years old.  I can’t read music so I have no idea if this is for a country western song, pop music, or classical notes.  Since I have no idea then I will ignorantly pretend it is the Happy Birthday song.  😀

I was quite happy that the outcome of my experiment was successful.  Most experiments are anything but successful.  The patterned papers show up very nicely under the ink and glue.

Patterned papers show very well under the ink and glue.

Patterned papers show very well under the ink and glue.

The cupcake is also from the Big Bold Birthday stamp set.  I used Close To  Cocoa on the cake part of the image.  I have no idea if this is still a color in the Stampin’ Up! family.  The top of the cupcake I used Pixie Pink ink.  The topper is another patterned paper scrap from my stash.  I was attempting to make it look like a “Sprinkle” festooned frosted cupcake.  I used Spiced Marmalade Stickles from Ranger Industries, a Studio G green and blue glitter glue, and a Liquid Pearls in Hydrangea on the flower centers.

Big Bold Birthday cupcake stamp

Big Bold Birthday cupcake stamp

The last bit of this card is a bow.  I’ve watched many videos on YouTube about tying small bows.  A dinner fork was used to make that cute little bow.

A fork was used to tie the bow.

A fork was used to tie the bow.

You can watch the condensed version of making this card in the video below.  I chose, for time sake, to only use the segments that highlighted the process of making the main features of the card.


I hope you have found something of interest in my video and give some of these techniques a try.


Scrap Rehab – Card Front Stock

Joe is home from a month long trek across the US.  He’s had about as much fun as he can stand with moving old and decrepit trucks from one place to another.  I know my time at home is limited and it will be back out once again for a few weeks.  :/

Operation Write Home Card Sketches.

I have been using my stash of scrap papers to create card fronts.  Not the whole entire card(s), just fronts.

My stash of scraps

My stash of scraps

Click on the image(s) below to enlarge the photos to see the details.

OWH Sketch #1

OWH Sketch #1

I used a Stampin’ Up! embossing folder (don’t know the name of it) to add texture to the background for Card Sketch #2.

OWH Sketch #2

OWH Sketch #2

I used a Tim Holtz Alterations embossing folder for the background texture on the bottom most card front in the following photo.  The next card front features a Cuttlebug embossing folder (I think it is Damask).  The second one down is another Stampin’ Up! embossing folder and I don’t remember the name of it either.  This top card front has a texture made using a Fiskar’s Texture Plate titled “Fabric”.  These card fronts are OWH Card Sketch #3

OWH Sketch #3

OWH Sketch #3

For Card Sketch #4 I used a Thin Cuts “Drill and Bits” die on the bottom card, a Stampin’ Up! embosslet titled Beautiful Wings for the butterflies, a Sizzix Thin Die titled Buttons #5 for the second card front, and finally I used stickers I purchased from Scrap Your Trip that I’ve had for a while.

OWH Sketch #4

OWH Sketch #4

I’ve made a video featuring the making of Operation Write Home Sketch #4 and the reasons why I make them as you see them.

My thinking is to have a stash of ready made card fronts available.  When I need to have a card for some reason all that would be necessary would be a stamped sentiment added to the front of the card then attach the assembled front to an A2 card base then add a piece of white card stock and another stamped sentiment to the inside of the card.  Kind of a “Wham Bam” thing.

Personally, thinking up a concept design and sentiment to make a complete card is not my forte.  I don’t think well on my feet in this type of creativity.  Seems to add more stress to me and take all the fun out of making cards.  Having a visual already in front of me will make choosing a sentiment easier.  All I need to worry about is getting the stamped images straight and clean without worrying about having to remake the card all over again because I screwed up the inking and stamping.

I got to get into my die stash.  I was reminded of the tools I have had for years and years and not use.  I also got to get into my embossing folder stash to create some really great background texture.  I have not been so happy to be crafting in quite a long time.

Christmas cards!  This would be a fantastic way to make Christmas cards.

If you would like to have access to the Operation Write Home Card Sketches you can click the link  above, or HERE, to get the downloadable PDF files.  One day, when I’m not having to leave home for long periods of time, I will get cards made for our military service people.  If I would have known that I could have this much fun I would have done this so much sooner :/.

I would like to know:  Do you like to make full cards?  Do you make card fronts already?  If not, would you consider trying this type of creative design and just let the papers and tools take you where ever they will?



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