Monday, February 28, 2011

Who's Having A Birthday?

This past weekend my two year old daughter was invited to a birthday party for a little girl she sometimes plays with. The night before the party I realized, "Duh! Make her a card!" So I sat down and came up with this precious little number. I stamped the owl and balloon on a separate sheet of card stock (Neenah), colored them with Copics, cut them out and adhered them to the purple paper. (I apologize for not being able to give you the name of the stamp set- I unfortunately wasn't keeping track of that information before starting this blog and the original packaging is long gone). The stump (Hero Arts), sentiment and party hat (both from the same set as the owl and balloon) were stamped directly onto the purple card stock. I hand wrote "I Hope It's A Hoot!" on the inside using a black size 03 Pigma Micron Pen. So cute and just perfect for a little girl (or boy if you change up the colors)!

By the way, if anyone knows what the owl stamp set is called or who it was put out by, I would really appreciate the information. Thanks!
As always

Follow For February's Freebie!

Ok... this is the last day to Follow my blog to be entered in the February freebie drawing! Drawing will take place tomorrow (March 1st) and the winner will be contacted through their blog follower contact info. If you don't enter a valid email address I will not be able to contact you. Also, if I don't hear back from the winner in a week I will draw another name. Another way to know if you've won is to check back in here... the winner will be announced in a separate blog post! And don't worry... the winning name is drawn by a completely unbiased 3rd party... my 2 year old (who is more than happy to help)!

Want to know something awesome? If you don't win this months drawing your name will be rolled over into next months drawing! The sooner you follow, the more chances you'll have to win!

As always


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Today I had a realization... I love making cards and usually make at least one a day, if not more. However, I hardly ever make tags! In fact, the only tags I have ever made were completely one dimensional- just stamped and given a "vintage" look by using distress inks. I think my problem lies in my misconceptions about tags. They don't have to be simple and they don't have to be flat. In fact, since they aren't going into an envelope, they can pretty much have as many layers and embellishments as I want! I decided it was time to change my thinking and get over whatever was holding me back from making tags. My plan? To think of tags as miniature versions of cards. Once I put my mind on that track, my hands did the rest! Here's the tag I made tonight...


  • white card stock
  • Nestabilities dies (Labels Eight)
  • Tim Holtz Visual Artistry clear stamp set (Flights of Fancy)
  • Martha Stewart clear stamp set (Butterflies)
  • Stampendous background stamp (Music Score)
  • Tsukinekos Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black
  • Distress Inks (Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey)/Blending Tool
  • Copic Markers (Y15, Y17, YR16)
  • Honey Bee Scissors
  • Dimensional Adhesives
  • Black Eyelet
  • Black satin ribbon

I am so in love with it! I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it turned out so beautifully I can't stop looking at it! (Don't you just love it when you make something that takes your own breath away)? Anyway, I'll probably be listing this little beauty in my Etsy shop in the next couple of days, but I wanted to share it with you first!

As always

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Butterflies, Copics and Scissors... Oh, My!

So as you can probably tell from my previous posts on the subject, I am totally loving my new Copic markers! I am very new at using them, but I have been having so much fun getting to know them. Practice makes perfect, right? Because Copics bleed through paper (unless you use Gina K's Pure Luxury card stock which you can find at Gina K Designs) I have been stamping mass amounts of images on my paper (Neenah card stock which can be found at Ellen Hutson), coloring them with Copics all at once, and then cutting them out for use on cards, tags, etc.

Two days ago I purchased the clear butterfly stamp set from Martha Stewart. I am in love with this set! Here's a little look at what I've done so far...

Aren't they just so vibrant?! I'm not quite sure what I'll be using them for yet, but I know I'll find something spectacular to do with them! And because I believe in giving credit where credit is due, my method of coloring these little beauties was inspired by Jennifer McGuire who has this awesome blog you can check out at Jennifer McGuire, ink..

  • Martha Stewart Clear Butterfly Stamp Set
  • Copic Markers (Yellow: Y15, Y17, YR16; Pink: RV21, RV23, RV04; Purple: V000, V06, V09)
  • Neenah Paper
  • Tsukinekos Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black
  • Honey Bee Scissors from EK Success (perfect for cutting small details)

As always


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let There Be Light!

I was recently inspired by a LIVE Etsy Symposium to do everything in my power to have a successful shop. One of the biggest parts of success on Etsy is to have spectacular photographs of your products. I had been taking my photos in my attic in an area I had set up to take photos to the best of my ability, but it really just wasn't good enough. Not only was it hard to photograph certain colors, but it was also very inconvenient to have to run up to the attic every time I needed to photograph a product. My finished items would pile up until I could finally get around to getting it done. That meant less listings to my Etsy shop.
I finally decided I needed to do something about this problem. I searched "How To Make A Light Box" and came up with some great tutorials which all pretty much gave the same directions. I'll share my process with you here...


  • cardboard box (large enough for whatever you are photographing... mine measures 14x14x16 inches)
  • white tissue paper
  • at least 2 lamps with bulbs (get bulbs that are crisp white light... not the basic bulbs that give off a yellow tint
  • tape (I used painters tape)
  • box cutter
  • ruler
  • black or white poster board (I got both to use depending on the color of what I am photographing)

First, assemble the box by taping the bottom. Cut off the remaining flaps (that would normally be used to secure the top). Measure 2 inches in from the sides for the top of your box and 2 of the sides. Draw lines to connect these measurements and cut out the centers with your box cutter.

Cut a long these lines with your box cutter to create 3 square openings- one in the top and 2 on the sides.

Cut the poster board to the width of the box and mount it inside. It should curve down and out- not be made to fit in the bottom back corner of the box. This creates the seamless effect of the background in your photos.

Layer 1-2 sheets of tissue paper over each opening (or however many you need to create the desired lighting effect). Position a lamp on each side (I use desk lamps with positionable necks). I only have lamps on the two sides which has worked fine for me, but you could also position a lamp to shine through the top if you fend that works best for you.

Voila! You are ready to take magnificent photographs! You may still need to do a little light balance editing in photo shop, but you will be amazed at the quality of your photos. Things I was never able to photograph well before turn out spectacularly!

If you found this useful, let me know! I love hearing from you guys!

As always


My Workbox In All Its Glory...AKA Probably The Worst Videos Ever

So here it is, as promised, video of my assembled Workbox and all the goodies now calling it home! These are the first videos I have ever made so please forgive me for the crappiest camera work you will ever see. They are titled Part 3 and Part 4 because Part 1 is the Workbox being delivered (taken off the truck) and Part 2 is the Workbox assembled, but not filled.

I hope you've enjoyed checking out the Workbox and all my goodies! (The company did send the shelves that were missing so it is now complete). I have been so productive since having the Workbox. I'm actually able to create what I want when I want because I am no longer worried about fumbling around for all my supplies or having to dig things out just to have to put them back in some corner in a box again five minutes later. Please let me know what you think... leave a comment!

As always

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Week In Cards

My sister-in-law recently found out she's expecting her first child. Of course I wanted to congratulate her (and let her know I can't wait to see someone other than myself pregnant)! I created this sweet and simple card using this cute little stamp (I bought it awhile ago and had never used it), Copic markers (E00, B29, R29, BG10), some blue textured card stock and 3 red brads. The stamped image was cut out and then adhered using dimensional adhesives.

The following card was created as a nice way to send out one of my recent Ultimate Year of Happy Mail swaps (on I didn't want to send just a sheet of paper with my list on it so I decided to make something nice and fun to brighten my partners day. This card was created using a hedgehog stamp, 2 inch circle punch, 3 inch scallop punch, kraft paper and designer card stock (K&Company). The image was colored using Copic markers (E21, E33, E57 and G07 as the background).

I had so much fun with my new Copic markers this past weekend! The creative inspiration seemed to flow freely. Here are a few of the creations I listed in my etsy shop

Thanks for letting me share a little of what I've been up to for the past week or so. I hope you all enjoyed!

As always

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Shout Out To OOZAK.COM

I know I recently spotlighted on my list of great websites to buy from. However, I had a recent (as in, today) experience with this site that warrants mentioning. In this day and age it seems great customer service is hard to come by especially when you are not dealing with someone face-to-face. Not only that, but most websites seem to be run by massive corporations that almost don't have a face to go with them. That is why I believe that when a website not only has great customer service, but provides a personal experience, it deserves to be acknowledged.

A few weeks ago I purchased about 16 Copic markers from (their prices can't be beat!). Today I purchased some more. Not long after I completed this purchase I received the following letter in my email inbox...


I just happen to be reviewing some orders manually and noticed that you have not created a login/account for the site. You could be saving money on your orders if you use a login when ordering. You can login before or after adding items to your cart. When logged in, the lower price on items that offer a lower price will automatically show the lower price.

I am going to create a login for you. Your login is your ***** and your password will be your *****. You can change the password to whatever you would like by logging in and clicking the ‘my account’ link near the top of the page.

Your current order has been adjusted to reflect login pricing ($8.08 savings). The total charged to your card was $58.05.

Thank you for your continued business!

Rusty @ Oozak

Now, if that's not customer service at its best, I don't know what is! Also, in case you missed my previous post, here are some more great benefits of buying at

  • Orders received by 3:30 pm (Eastern time) go out the same day!
  • Orders $50 or more ship FREE

And they don't just carry Copics! They have a vast selection of supplies for art, paper crafting, bookbinding, laminating and more at prices you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else!

As always


Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Accidents

While the words "happy" and "accident" don't often go together, when it comes to crafting these are two of my favorite words to combine. To me a "happy accident" is when you make a mistake or do something unintentional which results in a wonderful and unexpected outcome.

Here is a recent example of one of my favorite "happy accidents." I had been meaning to create an entire card of peacock feathers, but the background stamp I was using failed to leave an impression near the middle of the card. For a brief moment I was bummed to have to start over, but then I saw an even better opportunity present itself to me. I was able to use the empty space for an actual peacock and the over-all affect came out far better than my original idea.

So basically what I'm saying is don't be afraid to make mistakes! Mistakes are often success in disguise and it is in our greatest mistakes that we often find our greatest work.

Peacock Post Card
  • White 4x6 cardstock
  • Background: Ranger Alcohol Inks
  • Stamps: Fiskars ("Plumage")
  • Finishing Touches: Gloss Mod-Podge

**This PC was created for a handmade post card swap.

As always


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's A (5 Month Old) Girl!

Fallon Mae is my precious 5 month old daughter who also happens to be my second born. There is no excuse for the fact I am just now getting around to ordering her birth announcements. In fact, I feel terrible it's taken me this long. Sure, I could have just forgotten about it and let bygones be bygones, but Fallon's birth deserves to be announced to the world... no matter how old she happens to be at the time!

Dots Rose Baby Announcements
Create photo birth announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

As always

Monday, February 7, 2011

Variety Is The Spice of Crafting

Wouldn't it be great if we could find every stamp, paper, ink, tool and embellishment we ever wanted at our nearest craft store? How convenient! No more shipping fees (or in some cases, taxes AND shipping). No more scouring the world wide web for the best selcetion at the best prices. No more having to wait (and wait... and wait) for our items to arrive. (For me, that's the worst part). Unfortunately that's just not how it is. So if you are looking for any kind of variety or specialty item or maybe even just a better price the internet is the way to go. I'm going to share with you some of my favorite places to shop online and some of the reasons why I like to shop there. (Every site I list is a site I have personally purchased from).
  • SALES: You can sign up to receive emails of JoAnn's current sales and promotions. Sometimes they even have online only sales.
  • COUPONS: Their coupons have codes which can be used online.
  • VAST SELECTION: They have a much larger papercrafting/scrapbooking selection online that they do in their stores.

One downside is that when I buy from I end up having to pay taxes and shipping (unless I have a free shipping coupon code, then it is just tax). This is the website I ordered my Workbox through!

  • Free shipping on orders $79.00 or more (yes, even the Workbox)!
  • PHENOMENAL customer service!
  • Product demo videos and webisodes featuring project tutorials
  • They sometimes offer discounts on their gift certificates (they also have e-gift certificates which are great).
  • You can also request their catalog for free. I recently discovered this website which boasts having "the lowest prices, and we know it"!

  • They really do have low prices!
  • They offer price matching and a 100% satisfaction 60 day money back guarantee.
  • You can register and earn reward points on items you purchase and also for giving product reviews, etc...
  • You can estimate your shipping before you buy! (I LOVE when websites offer this feature). Ebay is one of those maybe/maybe not websites. That is, sometimes you'll find great deals and sometimes you won't. Give ebay a try when you have an exact item in mind, but you can't find it anywhere else (for example: retired stamps) or you are hoping for a better deal. Also look for options like Buy It Now (great when an item is rare and you don't want to risk being out-bid) and sellers who offer free shipping (or combined shipping when you buy multiple items from the same seller). Buy your Copic markers here! Seriously, I don't think you could possibly find a better price for all your Copic needs.

  • Free shipping on orders $50.00 or more. (I am a HUGE fan of free shipping).
  • If you place your order by 3:30 pm (Eastern Time on weekdays) your order will ship the same day! (I am also a HUGE fan of super fast shipping).
  • Rediculously awesome customer service!

Something else I think is worth mentioning is this company uses empty Copic marker boxes as padding when they package your items. Earth friendly! You won't find the greatest prices here, but you will find some great products. (I've ordered an XL die and also a letterpress plate from this company). Make sure you choose a local demonstrator to get the preferred price. The items still ship directly to you and you don't have to have any contact with the demonstrator if you don't want to.

Well, I hope you have found this post useful in your own quest for great papercrafting supplies! If you've got a great website you love buying from please feel free to share it in the comment section!

As always


****These websites are based off my location being in the US. For those living in other areas of the world, feel free to share your websites as well!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Copic (Like Toe Pick)!

It is around 3:20 in the lovely a.m. and I am (semi) wide awake. Mostly because my precious 5 month old had a bit of gas, but partly because I have a new purchase to be excited about. I ordered my first Copics yesterday! And as the title suggests, it's pronounced with a long o.... like toe pick! (Please tell me someone else has seen the original Cutting Edge). I'm not a snob though... I won't fault you for saying it wrong because before I watched a ton of youtube videos and read various tutorials on them I pronounced it incorrectly myself!

Sooo... yes. I have about 16 Copics coming my way. I ordered them from this fabulous website which offers them at an AMAZING discount! Check them out at This website offers free shipping on orders of 50 dollars or more so I ordered enough markers to put me at that point. They also ship out the same day if your order is received by 3:30 pm (Eastern time) which is great if you're like me- super impatient! Yup... I want what I want when I want it. (Oh, you know you do too)! Anyway, I decided to start out with the Ciao series. I did this for a few reasons...
  • They are cheaper! I was able to start out with a wider range of colors and still stay in the 50 dollar range.
  • The tips are the same as the Sketch series.
  • Even though there is less ink in the Ciao markers, if I do end up using them a lot I can always buy the ink refills which will refill a Ciao about 13 times. These refills are fairly inexpensive.
  • If I decide I want more colors than the Ciao series offers (right now they offer 180 colors with more expected in March) I can always get what I want from the Sketch series (which has 346 color choices at the moment).

The point is, I'm not locked down to the Ciao markers. They're just a starting point. It's all about preference. I'm sure if I enjoy working with Copics I will eventually add Sketch markers to my collection.

Some other things I learned... the PAPER you use is important! I ordered Neenah Classic Solar White cardstock because it seemed to be the most recommended at the best price. I ordered that here It's a lot of paper! I just can't pass up a good deal when I see one though and it was the biggest bang for my buck. The other paper names that came up the most for stampers wanting to use copics was Gina K Pure Luxury Card Stock which can be found here and Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Card Stock which is here They offer 40 sheets of 8.5"x11" for 6 dollars where Gina K's paper is 25 sheets (not sure what the size is) for $6.95. It's really all going to come down to two factors... which do you prefer and which can you afford. If you're able to experiment with more than one go for it! Let me know what you think! I'll be sure to share my findings as well.

The next important thing is INK! The general consensus seems to be to use Tsukineko's Memento Ink (try Tuxedo Black). Apparently this ink will not bleed or ruin your Copic nibs. You also don't have to heat set it before coloring your images! (I'm too lazy for that nonsense anyway). It is also the general consensus that you should NOT use inks like Staz-On (which is also from Tsukineko). This ink will ruin your Copic nibs!

Well, for anyone thinking about trying Copics I hope this was a little helpful. Obviously I am NOT an expert as I have still never even held a Copic marker in my hands. I just thought I would share with you what I found through my own research... sort of a condensed version. I figure it's easier than having to dig through all the Copic muck yourself. I will be sure to share my personal experiences with you in the future! If you have any input or questions please be sure to leave a comment!

As always


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When Creativity Met Lack of Inspiration (This Is Not A Love Story)

There are times when I will want to create, but it isn't clear what to create. We've all been there- the place where creativity meets up with lack of inspiration and decides to hang out awhile. Your fingers are raring to go, but the mind is seemingly blank. We all have our own ways of dealing with our creative blahs- the things that work best for us. Or maybe you haven't found what works best for you yet (don't worry, you will). Next time you're looking for inspiration give this a try- LOOK. Look through your papers... the different colors, textures and designs. Peruse through your collection of stamps, even the ones you don't seem to use all that often. Dig through your many embellishments... searching for something that might catch your eye. Your supplies trust you to turn them into something amazing. Maybe you should trust them to get you there.

For me, all it usually takes is one tiny moment, one piece of paper or stamp that grabs me, and the rest just comes rushing in. The layout, the embellishments, the color scheme. Sometimes it happens so fast I have to write or sketch it out before I forget. So give it a try- there really isn't anything to lose from trying (and you may even find some great supplies you forgot you had!). Does it work every time? No. It does however work most of the time. And if it's not working it's usually a sign that I am just creatively burned out. When that happens I treat myself to a little creative R&R. Yes, even creativity needs a nap now and then (especially after hanging out with lack of inspiration).

As always