Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hello Sweets!

Hello blog friends! Spring blooms are sprouting everywhere in the Garden State and it's so pretty. We are on spring break right now. Most things I'm creating at the moment also have a spring vibe to them. Such as this layout I made for the RG Make Amazing Design Team. Follow along to see how I created this layout in steps.

Start with a colorful stack of cardstock.

Next, pick a set of dies to make flowers, leaves and a pocket.

Here are all the die-cut pieces.

Layer the die-cuts to make the flowers.

Attach the flowers and leaves inside the die-cut pocket in a pleasing arrangement. This will be the left half of the 2-page layout.

Add Accent Dots to create the flower centers.

Add details to the flower arrangement with pen, watercolors and a paint brush.

Here's a close-up  of the flowers.

Here's the layout, finished with a brush-lettered title and some journaling along with a triple-matted adorable photo, using the same cardstocks as in the die-cuts for unifying the all the layout elements.
RG Celebra'tions Collection Assorted Solid 8.5 x 11 cardstock SCP-015
Others: Die-cutting system, watercolors, paint brush

 So, what is spring inspiring you to create?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

For Hair and Beyond

When Nini started taking dance lessons in the summer of 2013, I didn't know exactly what I was signing up for. Pretty soon, I was having to do much more than just taking her to classes and waiting. I had to know which shop in town carried the right shade of dance tights the school wanted, which warehouse in Pennsylvania was the only one that carried a certain kind of split sole jazz shoes, what size of nude leotard she needed and such. 

Then, there were costumes which thankfully, I didn't have to make myself, but just had to make the money to pay for. Oh yeah, then there were hair and make-up - that was the deep end of the pool for me. I learned to do her make-up fast enough, but hair-dos were my undoing!

I had short hair much of my life which I never did more than keep clean and run a brush through. Then when I had really long hair, I just braided it or made a messy bun with my bare hands. But you can't expect that skill to hold up for a dancer leaping across the stage or swirling like a doll in a music box. It's a good thing that we have good friends who are good at stuff. 

I bought packs of bobby pins, gels, sprays, nets... well, basically, everything they sell in the hair aisles and sent her off to shows. Then she started learning how to do it herself. It wasn't perfect at the beginning, but it was a start. I kept looking for resources to help her learn.

When I found this book by Anne Thoumieux called Hairstyled: 75 Ways to to Braid, Pin & Accessorize Your Hair, I was eager to know if the styles will be doable for my daughter. The answer is YES!
There are 75 different styles in the book fit for various lengths and types of hair. The do's don't require too many fancy products. You may already have many of them in your stash. Some of the styles are for casual everyday looks and some are for more formal occasions. Every style is stepped out with photos and explained in only 3-5 steps. Each style is also rated for difficulty level. They don't seem very hard to do, but will require patience to learn.

Now, that wasn't the only value I got from this book. 

I decided to review this book on my blog for a very different reason though - something that might interest you a lot more.
I am using it to study the styles to practice my drawing skills. Let me show you what I mean:

What do you think?

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jazz Up Your Planners with Stamper's Big Brush pens

Hi everyone, today I want to show you how much fun it is to use Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stamper's Big Brush pens in your planners!

I am going to share with you pages from my personal planner from February 2016 so you can see how I have used my  Stamper's Big Brush pens
  1. to experiment with hand-lettering
  2. to write stand-out information
  3. to add pops of colors
  4. to color little doodles and illustrations
  5. to add over-all interest to my planner.
So, let's get started.

Hand-lettering is a fun trend in crafts. For everyday lettering, there's really no right or wrong way. It's your handwriting. No matter which spot you find yourself in the handwriting satisfaction spectrum, you can improve. I use my planner sort of as a sketchbook to experiment with lettering. I do try to keep the style consistent and look cohesive. It helps get a tiny daily dose of practice.

I doodle. For example, in the above spread, I doodled and colored the FedEX and UPS icons. And then a vintage rotary phone on the right side. 

On the above spread, there are more doodles. I have written my entry in block letters and then filled in colors.

Here's a mix of block lettering, cursive, all caps, all lowercase, and a combination of both.

The Stamper's Big Brush pens don't bleed through most planner pages. As you can see, I have worked with them on back-to-back pages with no trouble at all. You can also use the Stamper's Big Brush pens for detail stamping on your pages if you want to stamp little icons and such if you are not a doodler.

On a final note, I want to tell you to not be afraid of writing. Don't be held back by rules. Your handwriting is your unique gift. With the right writing tools, you can make immense progress if you try. 

Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stamper's Big Brush Pens:
3 ct RED (#770050) - #133 Magenta, #219 Deep Scarlet Red, #118 Scarlet Red
3 ct YELLOW (#770051) - #113 Orange Glaze, #107 Cadmium Yellow, #104 Light Yellow Glaze
3 ct GREEN (#770052) - #171 Light Green, #170 May Green, #167 Permanent Green Olive
3 ct BLUE (#770053) - #156 Cobalt Green, #143 Cobalt Blue, #146 Smalt Blue
3ct: SUBTLE TONES (#770055) - #103, #132, #230
Essential PITT Artist Pens BLACK (#770075)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Little ADORABLE Felted Dogs! 
When I first saw the book 'Little Felted Dogs: Easy Projects for Making Adorable Dogs' by Saori Yamazaki, I was immediately drawn to the CUTE cover image! But unlike many books that feature the most attractive project on the cover, every image in this book is absolutely adorable. 

The author begins by dedicating this book to all the lovely dogs of this world... being a dog lover myself, I could personally relate to that sentiment. She goes on to list and describe the essential tools of felting, what types of wool work best and how to prepare the wool for felting.

With a pictorial, she shows the basic construction techniques for felting  a dog with highlighted helpful tips. Then she offers detailed step-by-step instructions for putting together several breeds of dogs with suggested weights of each color of wool, labeled diagrams of each dog for dimensions, color combinations, etc. 

The artistry is incredible in the expressions of the felted dogs that bring out their unique personalities. You just want to pick them up and cuddle! There are the Bull dog, Golden Retriever, Toy Poodle, Dalmatian, Pug, to name just a few of the total 24 breeds represented.

Is this book going to make you an expert felting artist instantly? No. But it will give you a great head start if you are looking to hone your skill. It's a great book for a crafter and any dog lover! We (my kids and I) are planning to start with the Poodle!

This book is sure to make one smile!

Saori Yamazaki has several other books on felting. You can read more about her here and about Little Felted Dogs here.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to Create A Faux Indoor Planter with RG Lumberjack Days Collection

So... how many plants have you killed (despite your BEST intentions) in your gardening efforts? Anyone? Okay, I'll go first!

I admit it ... I don't exactly have a green thumb. My mom's an avid gardener but apparently such skills don't always get passed down via DNA. I switched to hardier succulents and cacti as our family grew. My indoor potted plants thrive better outdoors where they get dew, rain, sun... in short, where they are not forgotten!

So, this spring, while my husband's daffodils are blooming, I am adding a touch of guilt-free green to my indoors with faux planters. If you too are gardening-challenged, follow along!

I put together a video tutorial to show you how to create this faux indoor planter. Let's start by looking at the supplies.

Here's the complete list of supplies:
 Here's the video. I hope you watch and enjoy.


And below is a close-up of the leaves.

Please let me know in your comments if you liked the project. And feel free to share! 

You are also invited to subscribe to my YouTube channel

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Planner Pages using RG Noteworthy Collection

Hello there bloggers, Happy Tuesday to you!
How are your creative planners coming along? 

I am working on three different planners this year. You can see how they are coming along in my 5-part blog series over at Here are the links to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

I have decked up my Journey Girl Planner pages for March with RG Noteworthy Collection: patterned papers, washi tape stickers and stamps.

Let me walk you through the pages. 

This is the first spread for March.

Here are a few close-ups of how I have used the stickers and stamps. I adore that Noteworthy pin stamp!

Here's spread # 2.

I used this clock stamp to mark the start of Daylight Savings Time.

Here's the third spread.

I LOVE these pen washi tape stickers! The Noteworthy patterned papers are 6" x 6" and have a series of THE cutest patterns on them, such as that telephone with the 'hello' speech bubble. You can cut them out for instant fun embellishments.

I'll share more of my planner pages in coming weeks. 

In the mean time, will you share with me which planner embellishments are your favorites ?

Others: Markers, pen, watercolors, adhesive, scissors

Monday, March 21, 2016

Saying Hello with a Card

Hello fellow mixed media fans, here's a card with a touch of traditional and a little bit of mixed media! 

Let me walk you through the steps of making the card above.


Start by stamping the Sweet Like Cake image on a piece of cardstock using Stamper's Big Brush pen #199 to ink the stamp.

Cut out the stamped image with scissors and color it in with various shades of Art GRIP® Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils.

Using an embossing machine, emboss a 5.5" x 4.25" cardstock with Gilded Embossing Folder. 

Using a die-cutter, die-cut the second largest Basic Stitched Flag. 


Color the Flag with Gelatos colors Cotton Candy.

Color the embossed surface by lightly rubbing Gelatos color Bubble Gum and blend dry with foam wedge.

Attach the embossed piece to a card, folded from cardstock. Stitch all around.
Attach the flag and stitch at the top. Mount the cut out stamped image to the flag.
Place 301 Stencil with the Greetings below the flag to create the sentiment 'Hello' and apply Whipped Spackle with palette knife. Let dry.

Here's a close-up of my card.

Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Products:

LDRS Creative products:

Basic Stitched Flags

Gilded Embossing Folders

Other products:
Adhesive, cardstock, paint brush, scissors, die cutter, embossing machine