PaperCrafting 101

How to wean yourself from Pinterest

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Don’t panic! I’m not suggesting a full on escape. What I have discovered is that I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing and not enough time actually crafting! So many new ideas, so many things to try etc. It’s easy to get addicted to Pinterest, as evidenced by the number of “pinoholcs” out there. Old pins never die and never fade away.

So what can we do about this?

  • Set up a schedule – now I know I just finished suggesting that we ease off on this (see post January 2nd) but this case might just be an exception -“Less is more” kind of thing.
  • Try pinning at night – after dinner unless you’re  fan of two tv shows “Jeopardy” or “Wheel of Fortune”. Pinning could be useful for that hour immediately proceeding these shows if you are trying to escape the drama and angst of politics these days. Saturday mornings are good times to pin (maybe while waiting in the car for your children’s activities o end. Another opportunity is early in the morning, say between 6-7:30 am.

Happy Pinning,



Adventures in Card-Making · Too Much Stuff!

Where do you keep your crafting ideas?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, there lived a group of crafters. They were clever folks who believed that with their talents and many ideas they had become their villages’ answer to the NEXT BIG THING.  Then disaster struck! They lost their ideas. They had so many of them, all in various secretive  places and they were lost.

OK – this is a fantasy. However, the last part, sadly is not. We crafters do tend to have so many ideas, stored in so many places that they may get lost or worse yet, finished products never made!

Long before the internet, there was email. Lots of us, crafters and non-crafters alike took our ideas from our browsers and stored them in folders on our laptops or in our email account. Then came newsletters, blogs, magazine galleries, craft store ideas. Then came the mysterious CLOUD and finally Pinterest.

Where do you store ideas? This situation came to a head for me this summer. I realized that I was never going to be able to make all the cards I wanted to. Other than all the magazines I have where was the bulk of my ideas and more importantly, how would I organize them? HMMMM. It’s interesting what you can find on the internet isn’t it? When I typed in the question I found this article “Why all crafters need a visual diary.” The author of this intriguing blog post, Felicia (creator of the Craft Sessions) explains it this way:

“All crafters need a visual diary and by visual diary I mean a notebook, Pinterest and an inspiration board.” Her article continues to say that visual diaries help you identify and prioritize which ideas to make. You can plan and gather supplies. “The visual diary allows your ideas to develop over time.” Sometimes you see an idea on Pinterest or on the web and say to yourself “I can make that.” The only thing is, after you start you realize that the original crafter used “X” to make the finished product and you don’t have “X”. Using a visual diary allows you to sketch out your idea and plan on how to implement your supplies. You can work on your design for a long time.

“Visual Diaries provide clarity about what your brain really likes which helps you make better things.” This is sorta like putting all your eggs in one basket, er, folder. Like the example above,, if you make “X” it will be different if you use your supplies instead of buying the exact same thing the original designer used. Pinterest, as I’ve often said, is a “godsend.” Pinning things on a board is a way of checking to see what you like over time. A visual diary will help your ideas become the best versions of themselves.

Happy Crafting,




Oldie but goodie

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Don’t you just love browsing through Pinterest? The only thing better than that is older craft magazines. Many of them are on the web. Some of the ideas may be passe`  but the card sketches and techniques are as old as time”. One of my favorite “go to” magazine is Cardmaker. Any of the other holiday issues are on-line. All you have to do is sign up for the newsletter.

I recently read their winter 2016 issue to discover new ways to use wooden gift tags. Now, I’d originally decided to die-cut images and glue them but the article suggested I rubber stamp and emboss.

So, try browsing through those digital magazines folks and learn or ‘re-learn new ways to craft and create.

Happy discoveries,


How I solved _______________

Gift shaped cards

Dear Fellow crafters,

I am really excited to share this post with you because I love presents! Yes, I know what you are thinking – who doesn’t love presents? Well, these “presents” are for shaping cards. You see, for as long as I have  been card creating, I have always tried to use different shapes for cards. I used to make pumpkin lace-up cards for my son’s class when he was in grade school. I made library return pockets for bookmarks and flowers in baskets and the list goes on. When I found a present rubber stamp with a “removable” lid I was soooo happy. So fast forward to 2016.

In issue 158 of Quick Cards  November 2016   there was a template for a present card. So I copied it and used it that year for my holiday cards. I was still on the hunt for something more permanent when I happened upon Crafters CompanionDie’sire Create a Card Accordion Card – Christmas Present Square Accordion Die.  It was great but I had to buy  an overlay also or stamp around the edges. It did make for an interesting card though.

The BEST present was a  Sizzix Dies Stephanie Barnard Framelits Fold-Its Gift which I found by accident while scrolling though Pinterest and I bought it that night! Finally, a die that can be made for all occasions with all different bow and paper colors. I am now in Crafting Heaven!

Happy crafting,


Adventures in Card-Making · trends

Wood embellishments

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Years ago, when I taught rubber stamping at my local Joanne’s, I always tried to incorporate the different departments into the paper crafting section. It boosted sales for the store and crafters liked exploring the different items that they could use for their paper crafting adventures. I would show the stampers how to use tiny bows or ribbon and how to stamp on candles (tissue paper and a heat gun). I also used tiny wooden embellishments. The fad disappeared and I forgot about wood embellishments until I started making my Mason Jar Luminaries. I mostly used wooden ornaments with the lid toppers but was suddenly surprised when I saw a card at my local Hallmark Store with a wooden dove on it.

It seemed that wood was making a comeback – wood was everywhere! Pinterest had cards with wood and Paper Craft magazines featured wood embellishments. So I checked out the wood section of my local craft stores, photographed some cards at Hallmark (for ideas) and scoured Pinterest boards. Some of the ideas are below.

Have fun crafting,


Here are two articles that I found really helpful: