Monday, October 27, 2014

Scrapbooker's Blog Tour

Hello!  I was nominated by the fabulous Robyn at Cozie Nook Homestead to participate in the Scrapbooker's Blog Tour!  I love Robyn's country distressed style and her use of mixed media and metal on her scrapbook pages.  You should check her blog out!

On with the tour: 

1.) What am I working on right now?
Right now I am mostly working on trying to (once again) organize my office, which serves as my writing and creating studio.  I recently took out a card table and replaced it with a bookcase and a small piece of countertop that was left over from our kitchen remodel.  I'm also hoping to finally put away the pile of stuff on the floor that has been waiting for a home.

I've added shelves to the wall over my desk and moved my inks up there from their old position on the hutch.  That is now occupied by an Ott Light that sticks out over the spot where I do most of my creating.  I've been bringing in and taking out different organizational units (shelves, tables, racks, drawers, etc.) trying to find the right combo to finally have a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Once things get cleaned back up I'll start on the baby album for my newest Great-Niece.  I think it's funny that I'm only 41 and I have 15 Great-Nieces and Nephews (and another on the way!).  Some of them are older than my kids!  That's the fun of having a large family with 16 years between the oldest and youngest sibling.  :)

2.) How long does it take me to create a project?
This varies greatly.  If I have a good chunk of time where I can escape to my office to work, I can get a LO done in a couple hours.  Usually it happens over a matter of days, though, because I'm constantly being interrupted by my kids (being Mom comes first and foremost) or have mixed media elements that need to dry.

3.) What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?
Right now I'm really into stamp and matching die sets.  I always liked to fussy cut things for my work, and this is an easier way of doing the same thing.  I'm also having fun playing with various gels and pastes for mixed media techniques.

4.) How does my writing/creating process work?
I almost always start with the photos I want to scrap.  Then I pick papers that somehow go with the photos, and add in embellishments from there.  I don't usually use a sketch, but I'm sure doing so would speed up my creative process A LOT.  My journaling is usually off the top of my head, though I often write it out on a scrap piece of paper to make sure it will fit into the space allotted on the LO.

5.) How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
I'm inspired a lot by other people's work, and when my scrappy mojo has disappeared I can usually get it back by checking out a challenge on the Scrappin' Peeps board or a blog.  Sometimes I'll see a random photo or something IRL that inspires me -- usually a color combination.  I recently saw a bhangra dance group on a TV show and their bright, beautiful costumes made me want to create something with those happy colors.

Cornell Bhangra dance group

6.)What is my signature style?
I don't really have one style.  I'm a Gemini, and it shows in my love for many different looks: vintage, clean and simple, shabby chic, mixed media.  I love to learn and try new things, so my style is always evolving, and it really just depends on my mood or the mood I want my LO to convey.

Well, thanks for coming on my little creative tour!  I'm waiting on permission to nominate the next blogger, so once that comes, I'll link up to their blog.

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pretty Packages

It amazes me how the simplest packaging can add so much to the experience of receiving something.  I recently ordered some stamps and dies from CASual Fridays and they came packaged like this:

Just a strip of cute tissue paper around the middle, tied with a piece of twine, but it made me smile.  It made me feel like they cared enough about me as a customer to put in the extra effort to package my order in a cute way.

I had a similiar experience a few months ago when my mother-in-law got me a subscription to Somerset Studio for my birthday.  (Yes, I won the MIL lottery.  She's awesome!)  One day I found an envelope in my mailbox with this inside:

What a beautiful way to announce my gift subscription!  I felt like I was really going to get a high quality product from this company if the gift announcement was packaged so nicely.

Even an extra little message added to a card envelope can make someone's day.  This was on the card my sister sent me for my birthday this year:

That's one way to ensure the envelope will be saved!  :)

Sometimes as crafters we get so used to what we make that we don't realize the impact our creations can have.  This pillow box was so simple to make, but the response to it was great. 

I put some chocolates and a gift card in these to give to my son's teachers at the end of the year.  He has some learning difficulties, so his IEP team had been working with him for a few years, and he was now moving on to middle school.  I wanted to let them know how much we appreciated what they did for him and how far he had come with their help.  I put a little note inside that said "Thank you for helping him SOAR!"

When I dropped these off at his school, the office staff kept commenting on the packaging and how cute it was.  They couldn't believe I made it.  I was surprised by the reaction because it was so easy to make!  I'm so used to what I make, and to seeing the amazing creations of my fellow crafters, that I forgot how special what we do actually is.

So next time you're looking at a website, a magazine, or even a friend's work and think, "Oh, I wish I was that good!" remember:  YOU ARE!  To the people who receive your handmade cards or albums or even just pretty packaging on something, the effort you put into it makes them feel extra special.  And that's worth more than anything.

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Heartfelt Creations Flowers

I've had some Heartfelt Creations stamps and dies for awhile now.  I've used the Sweet Juliet dies to make flowers, but this is the first time I've used the stamps and dies together.  I got out the Vintage Floret sets and went to work on a lay out for a challenge on Scrappin' Peeps.  (The challenge was to use a 6-Word Memoir on your lay out.)  It was a lot of work making all the flowers, especially since I haven't found a good method for combining the stamps and die cuts yet.  I need to invest some time in watching videos on ways to do it.  In the end, the effort was so worth it, though.  I absolutely LOVE my lay out!  I think I'm going to get a 12x12 frame for it and hang it up somewhere.  I mean, who wouldn't want to see my cute babies every day?  :)

Everything on this lay out is paper and ink, which is kind of amazing to me.  With all the scrappy goodies out there to embellish with, I sometimes forget how much you can do with just paper!

Materials Used: paper: Heartfelt Creations (Countryside Evening Collection); ink: Tim Holtz Distress (Pumice Stone, Walnut Stain, Broken China), Lindy's Stamp Gang Moonshadow Mist (Buccaneer Bay Blue), Wink of Stella Brush (Clear); stamps and dies: Heartfelt Creations (flowers = Vintage Florets, leaves = Sweet Juliet and Delicate Asters); flower-shaping tools: McGill; pen: Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (black); adhesive: ATG and Art Glitter

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Experiment: Adding Color to Modeling Paste

I decided to try adding a bunch of different colorants to modeling paste to see which ones work best.  The experiment itself went pretty well.  Making the video?  Yeah... not so much.  lol  I had planned to fast forward some of the scenes to make the video shorter, but my editing software wouldn't let me do it.  Then the end of it was all wonky and staticky, so I ended up cutting it and doing a new ending.  But the important thing is that you get to see what happens when adding things like spray ink and Twinkling H2Os to modeling paste.  I will warn you that the video is almost 14 minutes long, so grab some popcorn and snuggle into a comfy chair.  :)

Materials Used in the video:  stencils: Heidi Swapp and Studio Calico, Twinkling H2O : LuminArte (Hot Cinnamon), gelato: Faber Castell (Tangerine), spray ink: Lindy's Stamp Gang (Yellow Rose of Texas), india ink: Dr. Ph. Martin's (Grass Green), acrylic paint: Craft Smart (Mediterranean Blue), metallic rub: Viva Inka Gold (Violet), molding paste: Golden, cardstock: from my scrap pile

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders: Fiber Paste

Hello Campers!

This is my final post for Camp Iwannascrap 2014, so I want to take the opportunity to thank you all so, so much for playing along and giving me your feedback over the last two weeks.  I have had so much fun  making these tutorials for camp and joining in with all the other camp activities!

Today it's all about fiber paste!  This is another art medium that can be found with the gels and modeling paste in the fine arts section of many craft stores.  What sets fiber paste apart is the handmade paper appearance it has once dry.  This video shows off one my absolute favorite techniques for using this!

I noticed in the video that it's a little hard to see the yellow color on the star, so here's a close up of the star and butterfly I inked:

Here are some flowers and butterflies I punched out, painted with Twinkling H2Os, and added to a LO:


Once again, thank you to everyone who took the time to watch my videos!  Don't forget, I have two challenges going -- one on Scrappin' Peeps and one listed here on my blog hop post.  The deadlines are at the end of this month, so you have plenty of time to work on your projects.  :)

I hope you'll continue to visit me here at Terrapin Creek Design Studio!  Happy Scrappin'!

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders: Modeling Paste

Hi Campers!  Today we're going to play with modeling paste!  Yippee!

Modeling paste is an acrylic polymer that you can use to create amazing texture on your lay outs and cards.  It can be mixed with acrylic paint to color it before applying, and once dry it can be painted over with acrylics, water colors, inks... all kinds of stuff.  So it's a very versatile medium to play with.

Modeling paste is also called molding paste by Golden Artist Colors.  When I looked up what the difference was, I found out there really isn't any.  According to Golden's website, Mr. Golden just carried "molding paste" over from a similiar product, but it's basically the same thing.  (Apparently he also used it to fill a dent in his car bumper... oh, those creative types!  lol)

I have another video tutorial for you, but I'll warn you that it's a little on the long side (7 minutes).  The first half is the modeling paste technique and the second half is an insight into my crazy process.  Here you go:

And here is the finished LO:

As I mentioned in the video, I did this for the Everything's Coming Up Roses Challenge at Scrappin' Peeps.  The pink roses were made using a tutorial found at Stacy Cohen's blog.

Materials used: cardstock: American Crafts, patterned paper: DCWV (Blossoms & Butterflies), flowers: Recollections, bling: Queen & Co, sequins: Studio Calico, molding paste: Golden, adhesive: Beacon and Multicraft Imports

Photo taken by Studio Mark Emile in NH

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders: Gel Medium

Hi there!  Today I have another video tutorial for you; this one on how to use gel medium to create a resist effect.

I mention in the video that I'm using a "soft gel," so I thought I would explain a little bit about what that means.  There are a wide variety of gel mediums out there, and they are used for different purposes, such as glazing, decoupage, adding texture, and extending paints.  "Soft" gel is thinner than some of the other gels, so it spreads on in a super thin layer and doesn't create peaks as much as other gels do.  It's great for resist techniques.

When I first ventured into using art mediums I bought a sample box that came with six different Golden gel mediums in it.  I haven't tried them all yet, but I'm having fun just playing around and seeing what each can do.  I bought mine at Michael's using a 40% off coupon (yahoo!), but they are also available from Dick Blick Art Materials, which also has an excellent description of the different types of gel mediums.

Now, on with the show!  :)

I used acrylic paint for this project, but you could use pretty much any colorant, such as watercolors, spray ink, ink pads, markers, stains, etc.  Here is the finished card I made using the background:


  1. Cut a 4" x 5.5" piece of blue patterned paper and cover the front of a card blank with it.
  2. Cut a 3.5" x 4.75" piece of tan Subway Art patterned paper.
  3. Use gel medium to isolate just a few words.  Let dry.
  4. Paint over entire paper with acrylic paint to tone down the other words.  It doesn't have to completely cover the words -- if a hint of the typography shows through the paint it will add visual interest to your card.
  5. Wipe paint off gel medium to expose the isolated words.  Let paint dry over the rest of the paper.
  6. Wrap ribbon around lower part of the paper and secure to the back with tape.
  7. Attach this painted background sheet to the front of the card.
  8. Attach flower embellishment with bling.
Materials Used: card blank: Recollections, patterned paper: Teresa Collins, gel medium: Golden, acrylic paint: Plaid, flowers: Recollections (white) and Heartfelt Creations (the blue flower was die cut and stamped on HC paper using HC die and stamp set), ink: Tim Holtz, flower center: Prima, other: ribbon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders: Gelatos and Gesso

Hi Campers!  I hope you enjoyed the first week of Camp Iwannascrap!  To start off Week 2 in the Water Wonders Unit I have a tutorial that uses Gesso and Faber Castell Gelatos in a reverse masking technique.

As promised, here is the card I created using the background I made in the video:

  1. Attach a 3.5" x 5" piece of the background to a 4" x 5.5" white card blank.
  2. Color wood veneer with yellow pigment ink.  Attach to top right corner.
  3. Attach turtle embellishment with foam dots.  Mine is a die cut I made with an Ellentina metal die.
  4. Add enamel dots to create water bubbles.
  5. Add "It's Your Birthday!" sentiment to the inside of the card.
Materials Used: card blank: Recollections, cardstock: American Crafts, gesso: Folk Art, colorants: Faber Castell gelatos (blueberry,metallic mint, and cotton candy) and Scrappy Cat pigment ink (yellow), wood veneer banner and Enamel Dew Drop Stickers: Freckled Fawn, metal die: Ellentina, other: patterned paper

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders:Goosebumps Waterdroplets

Hello Campers!  Welcome to another fun-filled, creative day at Scrappin' Peeps Camp Iwannascrap 2014!

Today I have a tutorial that introduces you to a dimensional spray called Goosebumps, and shows how it can be customized with color to create a waterdroplet effect.

I used India Inks in the video to color the Goosebumps, but you could use other inks such as the Tim Holtz Distress Ink in reinker bottles.  You could even use spray mist, though the higher water content in those may dilute the Goosebumps causing the bumps to be flatter than usual.  Experiment and see what you can come up with!  There's no such thing as failure here -- just learning experiences.  :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Camp Iwannascrap 2014 Water Wonders: Watercolor Brush Stamps

Watercolor is all the rage in the crafting world right now, and I have to say I'm all for it.  I love the look!  But what if you're not that good with a paint brush, don't like to get messy, or don't have room to store even more craft supplies than you already hoard, ahem, have.  Enter the watercolor brush stroke stamps!  There are a lot of companies making these, and for digi or hybrid scrappers there are lots of options out there, too. Just Google watercolor stamps.

The stamp set I have is from the Pink Paisley Color Wash collection.  It includes three brush strokes and a number of words and symbols to combine with them.  I really like the layered effect you can get with these.

image from

All you need is the stamps, ink, paper, and embellies and you have the makings of a quick, easy, and cute card.


1. Layer a 3.75' x 5.25" piece of patterned paper on a 4' x 5.5" white card blank.  If desired, ink the edges first.
2.  On a 3.5" x 5" piece of white cardstock, stamp three brush strokes in different colors, then use black ink to stamp "Happy" over each of them.  Ink the edges and attach the cardstock to the front of the card.
3.  Add a 1.75" flower to the bottom right corner.  
4.  Punch a 1" circle from patterned paper with sentiment on it, or punch a 1" circle of cardstock and add your own sentiment.  A 6x6 sheet of tag paper works well for this:

5. Attach circle to the middle of the flower and ring the edges with tiny rhinestones.  Voila!  An easy peasy card in 10 minutes or less.

Materials used: card blank: Recollections, Patterned Paper: Pebbles, Inc., stamps: Pink Paisley, rhinestones: Queen & Co., ink: Stephanie Barnard for Color Box (Strawberry, Sky, and Celery) and Memento (Tuxedo Black), other: cardstock & flower

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scrappin' Peeps Camp Iwannascrap Blog Hop

Welcome to the Scrappin' Peeps summer camp blog hop!  I am so excited to join this group of talented women in sharing projects with you.  You should have arrived here from Robyn's blog, but if you didn't that's ok!  Here's the complete list of blogs: 

Kraze of MJ  
My Scrap Bliss 

Cozie Nook Homestead
Terrapin Creek Design Studio

This post was inspired by a challenge over at A Cutt Above.  I just love the Splish Splash cut file in their Etsy store!  I have a gazillion pictures of us in the pool, so this was the perfect way to get some of them scrapped.

First I cut the entire file on a 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock.  Before removing it from the Silhouette mat, I pried up the edges near the splash cuts and placed photos underneath, centering them the way I wanted them cut.  I then removed the cardstock and ran the photos through the machine, cutting only the splashes.  I wanted to add two more photos, but I didn't want the splashes to look exactly the same, so I copied the cut file in Silhouette Studio, flipped it, and enlarged the splashes before making two more photo cuts.

Once the photos were ready, I used the original cardstock as a stencil, taping a couple sheets of copier paper over parts of the page to isolate the "Splish Splash" title.  I sprayed the title with two different inks to add a little extra dimension to the letters:

From there I cut the "Family Fun" out of patterned paper and attached it with foam squares to pop it up off the page.  Finally, I sprinkled glass baubles and bling around the page to mimic water droplets.  I thought about adding some journaling, but then decided to just let the pictures tell the story.  On the back of the page I included the date the photos were taken. 

I hope this has inspired you to create, too!  And in that spirit, who would like a little bling?!  All you have to do is:

  • Leave a comment on all four blogs in the Camp Iwannascrap blog hop.
  • Create a new scrapbook layout or card that has something to do with water (please no back linking -- the goal is to get you creating).
  • Leave a link to your creation in the comments on this post by August 22, 2014. 
A winner will be randomly drawn from all who submit.

** UPDATE: Congratulations, islandscrapper!  You are the winner of this fun and fabulous bling set!  Thanks so much for playing along!!

We could be yours!

Thanks for stopping by!  

** Materials used: cardstock: American Crafts, die cutting file: A Cutt Above the Rest (Splish Splash), patterned paper: K & Company (Citronella), spray ink: Ranger -- Dylusions (London Blue) and Perfect Pearls Mists (Turquoise), bling: the Robin's Nest Dew Drops (Water) and Queen & Co. bubbles and rhinestones

Monday, July 21, 2014

Scrappin' Peeps Camp Iwannascrap 2014! Water Wonders: Twinkling H2Os

For those who don't know about Scrappin' Peeps, it's an online community of scrapbookers and card makers who gather together to share our love of crafting. We have active, friendly message boards as well as challenges and swaps, and for the next two weeks, we have SUMMER CAMP!   Camp Iwannascrap starts today!  If you'd like to check out Scrappin' Peeps you can do so here.  It's a private board, so you'll need to be approved by admin, but we love to welcome new peeps to the board!

Welcome campers (and anyone else who happens to find this post)!  Today for our Water Wonders Unit we will be playing with Twinkling H2Os!  This is my first time making a video, so let me know how it is -- especially if there are areas I can improve on.  I should warn you that my Tremors were really having a field day while I made this, so please excuse my shaky hands.  :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't Throw Away Those Pilly PJs Yet!

Hi everyone!  I'm back!  Sorry for the long absence.  Some family matters took precedence over many other things in my life, like this blog, but I am ready to roll and get back into it.

In a wishful effort to bring on Spring, I have started to clean out my kids' closets and sort the clothes they've outgrown.  Some go into a bag for donation, some are put away on the off chance we decide to add one more to our family, and then there are those that are too worn, ripped, or stained to donate.  These are the clothes that I think of as creative possibilities.  Before they go into the trash, I see what I can salvage off them.  Sometimes it's just a button or snap, sometimes a pocket, sometimes a big square of the fabric.  But my favorites are the kids' t-shirts or PJs that have a design on the front.  Some of these shirts are even embroidered.

For this LO I took one of my daughter's old PJ tops and cut the front embroidered design out.  Then I cut off the ruffle that was at the hem of the shirt and handsewed it around what was now my title.

Add some glittered cardstock, lots of flowers, butterflies, and bling, and I had a super girly LO for my super girly girl!  

So next time you're getting ready to throw out an old shirt or a ripped pair of jeans, take a look to see what you can salvage.  The back pockets of jeans make great journaling or memoriabilia pockets; zippers, ruffles, and other trims can be wound into unique flowers or used as borders; and even just using a swatch of fabric in your background can add some great texture to a LO.  You'll have a unique embellishment that also has some sentimental value.

Have you ever used old clothing on a scrapbook or art project?  I'd love to hear about it!