Monday, April 10, 2017

We have a new home ....

Sail on over to our new blog home:

Update your coordinates ... please update your subscription and book mark the new blog address!

Helms Alee ... see you there.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Pixie Powder Card Class ~ update on Blog from Feb 13 2017

I was playing with the Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders back in February and wrote a blog about the resulting card:

I then decided I'd have it as a card class. We plan the month of classes a month in advance, so by the time the card rolled around, I was a bit concerned with my abilities!

Here is the first card I made along with the most recent.

In class we used only the "single color" pixie powders. So layered the different colors individually. Using a light dusting of the powder, then spritzing with water and heat drying the area, we created individual colors on our paper. The die is a Creative Expressions Background die, CED7106 and the sentiment Creative Expressions, CED5414.

Without naming names, there was one person in each class that came in saying they weren't going to like Pixie Powders. Thankfully I was able to serve up a slice of "crow pie" 😃. 

"Hi Jennifer, I am glad I stuck with it, because I love the end product."

 Here are some of the cards made in class (I didn't get photos of all of them, unfortunately).

 One person finished their card at home (with the rose) and made a second with the left over paper.

Each its own masterpiece, Pixie Powders allow you to create beautiful and custom backgrounds. The combinations and possibilities are endless! One tip, if I may, when layering colors, don't use too much water, keep a paper towel handy to dab up excess water while drying and above all, be patient and give the finished background piece a chance to dry. You may get discouraged during the process, but they are virtually fool-proof. 

I'd love to see your Pixie Powder creations. Feel free to email them to me at

Until next time,

Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders are available at

Creative Expressions dies CED7106 and CED5414 available at

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stamp and Stencil card tutorial

Had a brief moment to play a little with the structure paste, a brick stencil and a cute Frog's Whiskers flower cart stamp. 

Using my Position-It, just in case, even though I didn't re-ink at any point, it's always a good idea to use it, just to be safe. You don't want to see that you need to re-stamp and can't because you didn't use your stamping tool
I used the Cosmic Shimmer Cloud Ink (Frosty Mink) to wash the background.
I used Nellie Snellen's brick stencil and the Nellie Structure paste. Leaving some bricks not filled in, just for the random affect.

Used the watercolor paper and memento watercolor markers to color in the stamp.  
Found a sentiment and frame and put the card together. Used some gilding wax on the Marianne frame. Can't really make out the cute frame this is.  Here's a close up of the frame.

Kind of cute, don't you think 😃?

So many card ideas, so little time!!

Until next time,


For more info on the Position-It, Cathie Allan was featured in Creative Scrapbooker Magazine, have a look:

Products used: Cathie Allan's Position-It
Cosmic Shimmer Cloud Ink Frosty Mink
Nellie's Mixed Media Brick Stencil
Nellie's Structure Paste
Frog's Whiskers Flower Cart
Marianne Designs Frame
Joy! Crafts Stamp Sentiment

For more stamps from Frog's Whiskers, visit their web site:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mixed media foray!

I have admired the mixed media style for some time now. I've been playing a bit with different types of media but I'm ready to take the journey into some serious mixed media and even "grunge" card styles.

I scheduled a card class for April 12 & 15 and the theme was mixed media. So I pretty much pigeon-holed myself into coming up with something.

Now this is a rather gentle mixed media card, not so much for my sake but for the sake of the people who enjoy classes here at the EC PaperCrafts store in Shannonville, Ontario.

But I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

I used a lace-looking strip die from Creative Expressions (CED8102) and made a stencil (or mask) using acetate. Cutting tip: Use a metal shim against the acetate to get a clean, crisp cut.

Painted the card stock with some Cloud Inks Summer Sky (CSCC15) and Decadent Oak (CSCC26). Spritzed that with the Cosmic Shimmer Mica Mists to give it a bit of iridescence (Teal Wash CSM01 on the summer sky area and Marigold CSVMM09 on the decadent oak area).

Then using the acetate stencil I made with the die, I used a putty knife to lay down the Nellie Structure Paste (MMSP001) on top of the stencil. This stands up off the paper so gives the card some dimension. I've done other cards with this structure paste and you can actually use mica pigments or even PVA to change the color of the paste.

Lightly spritzed the same teal wash mister (Teal Wash SCM01) onto card stock to cut out the roll up roses (Marianne Designs LR0256). If I wasn't doing a class with this card, I'd probably put double the roses on the card but I have a 2 hour time limit, so wanted to make sure we could complete everything. 

Picked some ribbon and cut the Creative Expressions "Cattails" (CED1444) out of parchment to make it more delicate. Used glue dots to seal up the roses and adhere all of this to the corner. The tag is from the same Creative Expressions pack (CED8102) and the sentiment (my surface area was limited) is from a Bonnidee stamp set (BS038), stamped in brown ink. 

Touched the edges with a brown stamp pad and layered on to a 5 x 7 card.

The first of many, you can be sure!

Until next time,


Products in the card can be found at
Retail Store in Shannonville
Products used: CED8102CSCC15, CSCC26CSM01, CSVMM09, MMSP001LRO256, CED1444, BS038 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stencils and brushes and quick cards!!

We received our shipment of the ClarityStamp Stencil Brushes and i had a chance to play on Saturday.

Watched a couple of videos (I'll link below) and thought I was ready to whip off some lovely stencil cards.

Ooops, I was mistaken, there was a bit of a learning curve.

Here are the videos I watched on the brushes:

Seems easy enough, right?

Well it is and it isn't. I picked out a simple stencil from Creative Expressions and used ink colors I had open, pear, yellow and Mediterranean blue on white card stock. I did not get the desired results. Here's a picture: 

Pretty awful, right? Even tried it again thinking it was my blending ability ... nope just as bad.

So I took a step back and thought, what colors do I love? One of my favorite color combinations is turquoise and brown. So I used those colors and a simple 5 x 5 inch pre-packaged card and layered it with the two colors. Here's a step by step pictorial:

Luckily, I chose right off to put my sentiment stamp on my Position-It. And if I hadn't you can see on the first hit of ink to paper, it was not good coverage. I imagine because of the space this script takes up, leaves room for an imperfect ink-to-paper hit. I went over the "Thanks" 4 times to get nice saturation.

But isn't that a lovely card?

I used a simple multi-frame die from Marianne Designs (one of my favorites for its simplicity and size) and the 4-pack of Romak card stock with envelopes. Whip out 4 of these with a variety of the sentiments from the Creative Expressions "Stylish Script" stamp set and you've got a really nice set of cards for any time you need a card quick!

My next play session will be on mixed media as I have a card class scheduled and I don't even have a card done yet. Stay tuned for more fun with paper crafting!!

Until next time,


Products used can all be purchased at

Marianne multi frame square (CR1332).
Creative Expressions Stylish Script stamp set (CEC820) 
ClarityStamp Stencil Brush (ACCBR30006) 
Creative Expressions stencil (Mask)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

February Contest Winner

We had our contest in February, post a comment on any of the blogs in February and each comment would enter your name in a draw for the Pixie Powders used in the card blog on February 13th. 

Fun With Pigment Powders

Drum roll please ... the winner of this set of Pixie Powders is ...
LRitchie (Lori from Courtenay)

 Please contact me at with your address and I will have them sent off to you.

Thank you all who participated. 

Until next time,


Monday, February 27, 2017

Marianne Designs: Blog spotlight

We just received the spring collection from Marianne Designs and I haven't yet had a chance to play with them. But Marianne Designs has a blog and several designers so there is always inspiration and card designs on her blog.

I'll just post some of the cards made with this latest collection here and you can check them out on her blog.

This card uses the "Box Card Die" that is one of my favorites as it's base and filled in with delightful garden images. Just right up my alley, this one is! I will recreate it to some extent for sure.

The collection has two "confetti" dies one of flower heads and the other of garden veggies. As well two vines, so you can create garden veggie vines or garden flower vies.

Both equally delightful.

This card uses some of the dies from last year that are favorites of mine, the rubber boots, rake, and door add to this theme.

There is an edger die that is so well thought out, it has the notches cut out so you can tuck the veggies into the "ground"

there is also a "seed packet" die. I mean did they not think of everything??!!
Here's the Marianne Blog, has an option at the top to pick your language:

Bookmark this Blog for inspiration!

Until next time,


And of course, this entire collection can be found at Ecstasy Crafts.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Full Participation Required!

So I was making a card today. Of course using watercolor markers and stamps, my new favorite thing. Well it didn't start out as a card, I was just playing with the Position-It stamping tool but then my stamp took shape so I started building the card. 

Now I would hope each of you has been in the same spot as me, don't make me feel totally inept. I put the whole card together *then* remembered I hadn't stamped my sentiment. 

Of course, it didn't turn out .... here's the picture ...

So here's were the "Full Participation Required" part comes in. I haven't finished my "fix" but what I wanted from readers is any tips and tricks you have up your sleeve for ways to fix and and all card blunders you've encountered.

For this card and blunder, I found an ink pad in the same tone as my card stock and I am layering up the off-white with a Q-tip to cover the "over stamp" on the edges of my sentiment. I have enlarged the sentiment to help show my mistake. It was darker and I have already applied a few layers of off-white pigment ink to start the covering process.

We'll ignore the fact that it is slightly crooked, that I won't be able to fix and will have to live with that particular mistake.

So please post your fixes in the comments of this blog. And don't forget those entries will put your name in to win the Pixie Powders used in the February 13th blog "Fun With Pigment Powders"

Until next time,


Creative Expressions stamp UMS552; Creative Expression dies CED1203 & CED1206

Items from this blog available at

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bucket list item number 15 complete!!

Any of you who know me personally or are friends with me on Facebook, will know dogs ... and in particular Bernese Mountain Dogs ... are a big part of my life. I was given the opportunity to go to New York City to watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last week.

Oh wait, to bring this back to card making, I'll post here a picture of a Bernese die by Tattered Lace, Barney the Bernese and the card I made with it 😏

You can imagine how I squealed with delight when this die arrived in stock!!!

Barney the Bernese is from Tattered Lace (#TTLETL551), I'll post a link below.

And I'll post a little tip with regard to sentiments. It has to be the bane of every card maker's existence having to find sentiments that fit the theme of the card, and then into the space available once the card is assembled. I would spend more time on that than designing cards!! So I ordered from Amazon some matte transparent labels (here's a link to give you an idea) , they come in a variety of sizes, then I can print out my sentiment and adhere to card stock and have it fit the card design. Also the background of this card was finished with the Gilding Polish and embossed. Gives card stock a pearlescence and is quite lovely. Comes in a variety of colors as well!

To make it look a little spiffier, I use different fonts within the sentiment. Looks more professional that way, I think. Here's another example of the sticker and printer sentiment, I think this was one of the first times I used this method on a card. Now it's my fall back when a die or stamp sentiment doesn't fit or I don't have one that says what I want my card to say.

OK now back to my New York story ... I haven't been to New York since the late 80's and haven't spent time in a big city since moving to the country in 2010, so made for an even more exciting trip. Did some shopping, of course!! And to make the trip a true NY experience, lost my cell phone in the cab on the way back from Madison Square Garden. Thankfully a lovely person, Nina, found it and left if with her doorman for me to pick up! I'll have to send her a hand-made thank you card, of course!!

I'm back in the office now, so can get back on track with the blogs.

And don't forget the month of February contest, enter a comment on any of the February blogs for a chance to win the Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders used in the card on blog entry for February 13th.

Until next time,


Barney the Bernese items used: TTLETL551 Die by Tattered lace; Snowflake embossing folder from Leane Creatief #359777; Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Polish Pearl Lustre #CSMGP08; Snow Flakes by In The Making Dee's Distinctively IME216; the doily die is from Marianne Designs #CR1331 and behind is a circle die with hearts by Sue Wilson/Creative Expressions #CED1503; after I watercolor painted the die cut of Barney to the Bernese colors with Memento brushes, I spritzed it with the Cosmic Shimmer Mica Mister Pearl #CSM04; and to do the eyes, I used brown sequins glazed up with a gloss glaze finish from Cosmic Shimmer, if you see the card in person this is more evident than in the picture. I also glazed the top of the nose with the gloss glaze, because you know, dog's noses are wet 🐕

For the Autumn card, I used: Frog's Whiskers' "Backwoods" stamp CK1043; Marianne Design's Wheelbarrow LR0260, boots LR0316 and rake LR0374; Frantic Stamper's Leaves (for the wheelbarrow) FRA9599; Memento watercolor markers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A whole new world of stamping

I'll stop the stamp cards soon, I promise!! But this Position-It has opened a whole new area for me, I'm just itching to play. And truth be told, I still have a few more stamp-focused cards coming your way so bear with me.

In playing with the stamping tool and a set of Frog's Whiskers stamps that is the filled in and outline versions that match up, it opens a new world to me!!

I first saw this technique when I watched the Cathie Allan video on the Position-It and we had a stamp here that seemed like it would work perfectly with this technique.

Here is the Cathie Allan video:

About 4 minutes in she starts this layering technique.

So I tried it today. Here is my picture tutorial

Starting with your lightest color, and make sure your paper surface is taped down. I use 3M extra strong post-it notes they have sticky all the way along and it doesn't remove any paper when you are finished.

Because you can ink and restamp, we can layer many, many times. So I applied various shades of blues and even purples.

building layer by layer adding different shades of blues and purples

adding a bit of lilac and  white to the center of the stamp

The final stage is lining up the outline layer of the stamp set and stamping down the outline. Easy enough to do really, especially when the stamp has definitive patterns to line up.

Here are the two stamps from Frog's Whiskers

Don't forget, I am going to have a little give-away ... post a comment on any blog in the month of February and your name will be entered into a draw to receive this combination of Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders used in the card on my blog February 13. Comment on each blog to increase your entries. Only one comment per blog but you can comment on any and every blog entry in February (including blogs posted earlier in the month).

Until next time,


products used:

Frog's Whiskers Hydrangea J802 & J805 and carious pigment inks. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fun with pigment powders

I'm not entirely sure if Brusho is the exact same as the Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders as I have not used the Brusho before. But in watching the videos, it seems they are the same type of thing.

I mentioned in the blog just before this that when I first laid eyes on the Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powder I was at a loss as to what, on God's green earth, you'd use them for. I played with them a bit and the result was so much less than inspirational, I shelved them for a few months. 

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Wait, let me back up even more ... I seem to have some programming that keeps me from jumping on board with new ideas, even if they are marvelous inventions (probably one of the last people to ever use a GPS for example!). Ya, I don't know where that funky programming is from but at 55, I am not sure I can get past it 😏. So with this "programming" I was a hold out on becoming addicted to Pinterest. I know, right??!!

So now, of course, I'm a Pinterest junkie. I wake up, pour a coffee and pin my fool-head off before I have to get ready for work.

OK now you are up to date.

So I find "Brusho" on Pinterest. Light bulb moment!! Ahhhh, now I see how those Pixie Powders work. And so now I can't get enough Pixie Powder cards done!!

I found this video which is really the basis of the Brusho or Pixie Powders and I'll share it here. 

I did the second technique and created this card. But like I've said, I can't find enough hours in the day to try different card making techniques using these wonderful pigment powders. But rest-assured, I'll be posting them here when I make them. 

I am going to have a little give-away ... post a comment on any blog in the month of February and your name will be entered in a draw to receive this combination of Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders used in the above card. Comment on each blog to increase your entries. Only one comment per blog but you can comment on any and every blog entry in February.

Until next time,


Pixie Powders by Cosmic Shimmer are available at Ecstasy Crafts.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Tools you need to get the job done!

So many lessons, so little time.

To help speed up the learning process, I'll share with you some of the lessons I've learned along the way. 

Today on What I've Learned So Far: The tools you need to successfully get the job done. In this particular occasion, I'm referring to the use of the restamping tools on the market. I know, like you, I thought there was no need in my paper crafting for one of those expensive Stamping Tools.

But I'll tell you, once you use one and see the benefits, the financial outlay is secondary. 

First up is the obvious ability to stamp on the exact same spot as many times as you need. Now in playing with different paints and watercolors, I have a whole new respect for this concept. 

I made this grunge-type card with Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders (which was another product I saw no merit in until I started playing with them .... but I'll get into the Pixie Powders more at another time) and a wood-mounted rubber stamp I had. The Position-It Ultimate Stamping Tool, sold by Ecstasy Crafts, has the ability to stamp off the tool's platform and use a "sub-positioner" to use with wood mounted rubber stamps. This particular card needed that butterfly re-stamped seven times, yes SEVEN times! Never before would that have been possible. Nor is it possible with any other stamping tool on the market, as far as I know (the wood-mounted, restamping ability).

Same re-stamping became painfully obvious when I used the pixie powders on glossy card stock and stamped just using the "Stamping Buddy" by Nellie Snellen ... the stamping tool that I *thought* was all I needed and I'll give it high praise for its contribution to my stamping progression. But it is extremely difficult to re-stamp with it. Case in point, I create this funky background and line up my stamps with the Stamping Buddy and ink up with a nice black pigment ink only to be let down with the coverage. I had to redo my background and used the Position-It and stamped the black 3 times to get complete coverage.

My days of feeling cocky with my stamping ability are over!! I'm not taking chances any longer.

A secondary little benefit to these re-stamping tools is you can relax about the pressure you put on your stamp. You know we have one shot at the perfect stamp application, so you lay your body weight on the stamp to make sure every square inch has completely touched the surface of your paper. 

And in doing this we over-stamp. Cling stamps are smooshed and the lines become blurry and thick, or with rubber stamps the outer edge is transferred to your project because we rock the stamp back and forth to make sure there is complete coverage.

I can now relax ... "oh I missed a corner?" "No problem, I'll just re-stamp!" ... how liberating!!

Until next time,


Position-It Ultimate Stamping Tool is available at Ecstasy Crafts.
Stamping Buddy by Nellie Snellen is available at Ecstasy Crafts
Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powder is available at Ecstasy Crafts

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Embossing folder technique: Embossing "diffuser"

It seems hard to find embossing folders I like that have an open [non-embossed] center to place sentiments.

There are products you can purchase called diffusers that allow you to omit an area of the embossing folder from connecting with the paper. 

I'll explain in a little pictorial. This isn't a new technique but worth sharing here as it has come to my attention that some people aren't familiar with this embossing technique.

I used a piece of cardboard that you'd find on the back of writing tablets and my favorite nesting oval.

Cut the cardboard in half so it would be nice and thick when taped together. Cut the oval out of the center of the first half then marked that spot on the second half so it would be in the same spot.

Cut the two out then tape together with double sided tape.

You can see how nice and thick the finished template is.

Mark your card stock on the template as to where you want it positioned. 

You can see the mark through the embossing folder so you know you are lined up in correct position.

Now emboss as your machine instructs. This leaves a nice opening for sentiments, stamps, tags, toppers or whatever you needed the open space for. You can use the center cut oval to emboss that area instead of the outlying area.

Until next time,