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Selling Some Card Creations

Selling Some Card Creations

Whew! I’ve been gone for almost a year! Luckily, I’m back 😉

I have the wonderful opportunity to sell some of my cards at the Paper Crane in Half Moon Bay, California. They are quite old school and magnificent. They do letter press on site and work with small companies and artisans (mainly local, hence me!) to fill the store. It’s also a family run business and, to be fully transparent, I’m friends with the son and daughter-in-law of the operation.

Here are some of my cards that will be going on sale in a few weeks:

I enjoyed creating cards that don’t come from any one company, as well as using some of my ATC skills.

I hope you enjoy and highly recommend you check out the Paper Crane, not just for my cards, but for the wonderful selection of unique cards and gifts.

Cheers, Gretchen


I’m Doing the Colour Challenge #GDP033!

So, I haven’t done much in the way of posting for, oh, a month. Stress and a relaxing trip to Mexico (Tulum. Gorgeous! I highly recommend it over Cancun.) are my excuses. But, I’m back!

I decided it would be fun to do a challenge. I was going to do a different one than this, but the timing was all wrong. So, Global Design Project #033 Colour Challenge for the win! The colors/colours are from Stampin’ Up: Night of Navy (dark blue), Calypso Coral (salmon), and Sahara Sand (light brown). I love these colors and had never thought to put them together, so I love GDP now 🙂

I present my finished project and entry:

GDP33 Color Challenge - Bird

I am going to brag a bit: I love how it turned out! I have started to really love the hummingbird from A Happy Thing stamp set. Too bad it was only for Sale-A-Bration.

Components and techniques!


I stamped the bird (humming or king fisher?) in StazOn Jet Black Ink and then used the three colors (ink) with a waterbrush to color it in. I used Night of Navy, Calypso Coral, and Very Vanilla cardstock. The book page is actually a page from a book that was going to be pulped, so I don’t feel so bad. It is a book about Chaucer, so I run into fun phrases all the time.

I inked the edged of both the bird and book pages. I used sponge daubers, Sahara Sand ink, and Tsukineko All-Purpose Ink, Champagne Mist for the edges of the bird and book pages. Unfortunately, Stampin’ Up no longer stocks the Champagne Mist, but you can get it on Amazon (remember, use so they make donations to your favorite charity at no cost to you).


The idea and layout for this card came from Stamping Smiles and have wanted to make a version for ages. I had used the bird stamp and waterbrush on a previous card (see below) with different colors (other than Sahara Sand) and really liked it, so I copied myself and Stamping Smiles to make my card.

How did I get the colors onto the waterbrush, you ask (or don’t)? With the Stampin’ Up ink pads! You open but do not flip the pad, squeeze down a few times, open it further, have the ink on the non-pad side, then dip the semi-full water brush in the ink and and color away! It allows for you to change the intensity of a color. Be careful when not using watercolor paper, as it can wreck the normal cardstock if saturated.

The All-Purpose Ink and light brown ink (SS or Crumb Cake) edging is a fun technique taught by my demonstrator Bethani Semple (doesn’t have site, but you can add her as your order demonstrator via name and Los Altos, CA) and both of us use it all the time. Almost obsessively. You first use a dauber and take up a bit of the SS ink directly from the pad. You then tap it along the edge of the page gently, but still getting a bit of color around the edges. For the Champagne Mist, you take a dauber, which fits perfectly into the top of the container, and put it into the top of the container, press down to make sure there is a seal, shake the bottle and dauber, and run the dauber along the edge of the paper to give it a light shimmer.

It is actually a simple card. I think I just went into every possible detail in the construction other than the use of tape runner and sizes of the sheets. I have those numbers somewhere if you’d like them.

Thanks for making it to the end! Cheer!

Pi Day: Release the Math Puns!

Ah, March the 14th. Not much to anyone who writes the date day-month-year, but here in the ol’ U.S. of A., we have Pi Day (3.14)!

Pusheen Pi Day

It is a holiday for math teachers, geeks, and those who like puns (these categories crossover too much). It is celebrated with pie, Pi related t-shirts, and puns. While I am definitely a geek, both of my siblings and my mother are math teachers, so I’m pretty well damned 🙂

Racoon and Pi Meme

This year I had HUGE plans to make t-shirts for all my friends’ kids. That didn’t quite work out, but I did make one for my daughter … morning of. I have worked it out in Cricut Design Space weeks before, but life and my daughter tend to get in the way.

Here are are the two images I decided on (after trying way more than you would think):

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 9.54.54 PM

I used the Cricut Iron-on Glitter Red material. Turned out rather well, I believe …

Cricut Iron-On Pi Shirt 1


My little cherry pie 🙂

Mental Health Care Package

My dear friend is having a rough time at the moment, but I’m 300 miles away, so I can’t go give her a physical hug. This package is the best option I had to make her day just a little brighter, to let her know I care.

First, I wanted to make a stuffed something that she can hug. I’m a meme geek, so I wanted to make a foxtato. If you don’t know what a foxtato is, check out the original post. I wandered around Pinterest looking for stuffed animal ideas, so I found this fox pillow and this stuffed fox, both with instructions. Then super easy pillow case instructions. I’m not a great sewer, but have the knowledge and sewing machine to try and make something, even if it sucks. This is how it turned out:

Foxtato Collage

With little sewing skill, I used Heat N Bond Permanent to iron on the details. I did sew on the eye buttons, the floppy ears, and the pillow case itself. (If you like the printed fabric, here’s my source. If you like the pillowcase fabric, World Market/Cost Plus napkins baby.)I used my Cricut Explore to cut out freezer paper, so I could cut the pieces, as I hate free-hand cutting and I found good options for the tail and face in the Access Subscription images. I can share the Cricut project, in case anyone is interested in making their own pillow foxtato.

I bought a few different items, mainly local since she likes that kind of thing, for her, her family, and her daughter. Nice chocolate bars tend to be appreciated by chocolate fiends, so I also got her some hot chocolate and a tin. I included a tag based on the below drawing from InkPug on Etsy (though I just found the image on Facebook, always find the source kids), but I did a supplier of hot chocolate as she’s not much into tea.Not better, but tea

I would have done something with Robot Hugs’ Nest, but I had just given her a print of this beautiful comic for her birthday.


I bought her daughter a book, A Dragon’s Guid to the Care and Feeding of Humans, that is slightly above her reading level, so the whole family will read it together. Sneaky, eh? I included a crafter bookmark via the, wait for it, Cricut. I used their Folk Art set, embroidery floss from Michaels, a quote from Erin Hunter’s Moonrise (which I have yet to read, though really want to after finding this quote), and paper from Stampin’ Up (Hello Honey and Blackberry Bliss) to make a squirrel bookmark.

Squirrel Bookmark Collage

I also made a mug of which I did not take a picture. It’s a geek mug for her hot chocolate with #10’s profile, a silhouette of Dobby, BB8, and a NDGT quote from his Death By Black Hole: “Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.” I, of course, used my Cricut for cutting the vinyl stencils and then used an oil-based sharpie and baked it according to these great instructions.

The main point of this package is that while I can’t fix anything, I can let her know she is cared for. Check in on your friends now and again to make sure they are OK. Try to better understand Facebook/Twitter posts. Look for the real struggle and pain. I feel powerless, but I have been amazed what a card or care package can do.

I just sent it off yesterday, so she should get it tomorrow. I’ve been working on it for a long time (mainly via procrastination), so I hope it helps.


Fun with My New Toy: a Cricut Explore One

My lovely hubby got me a Cricut Explore One for Christmas. I had been putting off getting one because I felt it was “cheating”. I was wrong. It takes a lot to make something original, even with design space. It is soooooooo much fun too!

I played around with it for a while before “printing” anything. I finally did for both my nephew’s and friend’s birthdays.

For my friend, I was more original though not fully. I used images, but didn’t do a full layout from the system. I used a flower image from the subscription and bought a Lia Griffith because, well, it was a gorgeous image! I then watercolored the background. Real watercolors, took me so long to get what I wanted, but I had completely forgotten that I could do it with a water pen and ink … eh, it worked out well in the end.

Anyway, here is the card I made for my friend with the Lia Griffith image (and the bottom bit the negative of the flower):

Owl Card

I’ve also used my lesson learned to make multiples when I figure out a good layout with good images, so here are the next three:

Flower and Owl Cards

Totally cheated for my nephew, as I just couldn’t think of something original. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the card. I both forgot and didn’t much care to since it was direct from the Cricut subscription file. I was a T-Rex skeleton that said Happy B-Day. That is totally not my type of phrasing, but that whole mental block was my excuse. So, here’s another crafter (Angela Dodson at PollyPurpleHorse) who did the same card, but a little nicer and with a goggly eye (and in orange rather than green)!

As my most original I made stencils from freezer paper for onsie creation. I uploaded my “own” images and turned them into stencils. Have the Cricut cut the freezer paper from Design Space, gently separate, iron onto the onsies, wait to cool, sponge paint, wait to dry, remove freezer paper, and voila! (Reinforcement of geekhood: yes, that is a TARDIS from Doctor Who. We’re both fans 🙂 )

Owl and Android Onsies


Supply list: Cricut Explore One with tools and mat; Stampin’ Up paper in Basic Black, Kraft, Lost Lagoon, and (I think) Wisteria Wonder; Stampin’ Up Morning Meadow Clear-Mount Stamp Set (an old hostess set); watercolor paper and watercolors from Michaels (Artist Loft, nothing fancy); fabric paint, fabric paint medium, and acrylic paint (Martha Stewart) from Michaels; freezer paper (only seems to be available at the supermarket); onsies from Amazon.

The Post-Holiday Slow Down – Two-Tone Embossed Ladies Cards

I think I have finally recovered from the holiday season. So much crafting, so many people, and just busy-ness. I was able to do a little bit of non-Christmas related crafting before my family and I travelled to SoCal for the holiday madness. Not much, but I had two birthdays coming up.

Two-Tone Blue Lady Birthday Card Two-Tone Purple Lady Birthday Card

Yup, same card with only color and orientation adjusted. These were for two good friends and it was a card I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.

The original idea came from Stamps n’ Smiles and I really had no idea how to achieve the look when I first found the card, even with the tutorial. Luckily, I have developed a better ability to follow YouTube video tutorials and general paper crafting ability. Her video tutorial is quite good and if you want to make a card like this or hers, check it out!

I used a stamp I found in a closeout sale at an art store, so I don’t know the brand. The paper and ink is Stampin’ Up Blackberry Bliss and Night of Navy, with the background as Whisper White. I used VersaMark Watermark, Recollections white embossing powder, and the Martha Stewart Heat Gun for the embossing. There are also little adhesive pearls from Michaels used to give a little more dimension to the card.

I hope you enjoy and I will be posting more soon!

Baby’s 1st Birthday Party

The party finally happened! I was prepping for months and it was lovely. C and the guests had a good time. No food ran out and there was little extra (except soda, dear lord, so much!). Everything looked as good as it could and C loved looking at the pictures of herself around the house … a lot. Are all babies this level of narcissist?

So, here are the pictures …

Animals in party hats (yes, animals with a capital A).

CP - Party Animals

The decorations, including the animals in hats and my normal Christmas stuff. One of the main decorations was photographs of my daughter through the last year: First Holidays, How She Grows, Many a First, Funny Baby, and Glamor Shots. I haven’t been able to take them down. She loves them and so do her father and I 🙂 For the wreath, my inspirations et al are here. The arrangement used inspirations from near everywhere and I actually did not use a base model. Very odd for me

 PC - Decorations

More decorations and the party! My two main “Pinterest-y” things: a hot chocolate bar and “mushrooms” made of half a cherry tomato and a bit of mozzarella. Both were huge hits. Yay Pinterest! The banner was inspired by a class I taught at Michaels back in October. It was a free class and I helped a woman adjust it to her needs, so it was even easier to adjust to mine.

CP - The Party

While not really crafty, how can I not the first cupcake pictures? I guess it was a little crafty, since I found the chocolate buttercream frosting recipe on Pinterest. She loves chocolate, hence licking of the tray (she hadn’t done that before).

CP - Cupcake

It was a lovely party, I’m happy it went well, and I do not want to do that for at least another year.

Here is a list of supplies and where I bought/found them:

Animals in Party Hats: Beanie Boos/Babies from Michaels and Diddams; ornament/pinecone/rough animals from Cost Plus-World Market; felt and pompoms for the hats from Michaels. Photo titles: stickers from Michaels, paper from Stampin’ Up. Large 1 arrangement supplies from Michaels (old vase covered in ribbon, Christmas stems, wood 1 painted in Martha Stewart Acrylic True Gold, floral foam). Banner: paper from Stampin’ Up, stickers and jute from Michaels. Felt crown: felt and pearls from Michaels, headband from my collection of unused headbands.

Birds in hats from Target. Pictures ordered from Shutterfly. Hot chocolate bar: all from Cost Plus-World Market.

1st Birthday Party: A Preview

My daughter turned one this week. Bigger deal for me than her, but we all know that about first birthdays. I’ve been planning and prepping for her party for months and the big day is tomorrow! I am not one to go professional or Martha Stewart, but I’ve enjoyed the crafting and arranging process. All the decorations are up, other than the banner, and just the food needs to be bought/prepared/arranged on table.

Here is a preview of the party decor with a theme of Woodland Animals:

Party Preview

Animals in party hats! Woohoo!

More to come.

Crafts of Christmas Past

October 1st through January 2nd is my favorite time of year. Why? Decorating holidays! And I also love fall.

As a follow up to Oldies, but Goldies, I present my crafting from previous Christmases. Well, only 2012 and 2013, as that’s the time I re-started crafting in ernest and 2014 I was a little busy with a new baby.

Here is a bit of the fun I had back in the day … (Really? Back in the day? It was, like, 2-3 years ago.)

2012 - Christmas Card Collage

Since cards are my main gig, here are a few samples. If you couldn’t tell from the cards, I LOVE birds. One even has a hat, as is my preference for animals. 2012 was the year I realized that multiple designs for Christmas cards is a bad idea, as you can’t assembly line them to get done in a reasonable amount of time. And, post wedding in 2013, I had a much longer Christmas card list. I can’t seem to find a picture of the one card I made for 2013, but, if I find it, I will post it.

2013 - Wreath

This is probably the worst picture I have of my crafts. Bad lighting and a white, slightly annoying wall behind. So I added snowflakes (or something) in PicMonkey to make it a tiny bit better. The wreath (from 2012) was in my last post. It took a lot longer to wrap than expected, but the flowers and embellishments were easy when I busted out (bought?) my glue gun. Here are the original posts I used: wreath wrapping, felt flowers, and beads on roses. The bird and torn apart picks are mine and mine alone (or from Michaels).

2012-2013 - Tree Collage I also love Christmas trees. Ancient tradition (“barbarian” German and Roman) and so so pretty! In 2012, I made the Pinterest classic ribbon and beads tree, created about 15-20, and gave them out as gifts. Again, longer than expected. That seems to have been the crafting theme of 2012. I made another Pinterest classic in 2013: the half circle paper tree. This one was much much easier. The paper tree didn’t have instructions, that I can find anymore, just this image from an Etsy posting that is no longer available. This was my inspiration for the ribbon tree, though I do like mine better (*patting myself on the back*), but still need to pay reverence to my inspiration.

*Side Note* I love books. Almost everything about them. I also love re-purposing things. The book pages I use in my crafts were going to be pulped, so I think it’s a better idea to use them rather than just throw them away.

2013 - Mini Album Collage

I’m rather proud of this little folio/mini album. It was hard to make (at my 2013 skill level), but so much fun to see my mom look through it. I used multiple how-tos to get this to work: 1, 2, and more than I remembered to pin.

2013 - Decopage Frame + Paper Roses

I made this for a good friend (top, officiant at my wedding, friend since junior high) and her family. I don’t think she wants her face all over the internet, so lovely flares for them. The frame was basic wood and glass from Michaels. It originally had 3 frames, but I broke the glass in one … whoops … so down to two! I painted (black and shimmer something) the frames, decoupaged the paper onto them, and created paper roses. (This links include instructions and my inspiration.)

2014 - Christmas

And this tiny wonder is the reason I don’t have any crafts for 2014. I think it is a good excuse.

I will have a post on my 2015 crafts near the end of the season! Happy holidays (as there are many at the moment) to all!

Oldies, But Goldies: A Blast from My Crafting Past

Here are some of the highlights of my creations in the far past … *cough – no older than 4 years – cough*

Cut Out Collage

From the top left, I made a card using Japanese themed paper for my friend’s bridal shower, the next was a good job card for my friend’s daughter (who loves dinosaurs), the house from Up for a new home card, a onsie baby card, a simple sympathy card (these are always hard, but I found a quote stamp that works very well for a cover without being cheesy), a bowtie card for a friend’s dapper son, a robot card for a nephew obsessed with his uncle’s work, Yoda for the same nephew the next year, and a penguin holding Sesame Street character balloons to my brother’s son (my favorite).

I made these cards using punches. From a simple corner rounder to messing about with the SU Owl Punch to major fussy cutting. I love working with punches and have far too many of them. I also used my embossing machine (Big Shot) with die cuts and embossing folders, sooooooooooo I have way too many options. It makes deciding what to make/use incredibly difficult (a good difficulty to have and I cannot, in good conscience, complain).

ATC Birds Collage

These are from my foray into Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I very much want to get back to them, but having a baby limits my freeform crafting. I loved trying out different techniques on these 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 cards. You will notice very soon, if you follow my blog, that I love birds. I’m a little obsessed. These are two of my favorite cards and my favorite bird stamp.

Michaels Classes Collage

These cards are from my self-designed (instructor’s choice) classes at Michaels. Only one person ever came, so I didn’t really get to show off the different techniques, but I did have a lot of fun creating the examples for the classes.

Sleeping Cat Birthday

I love putting hats on animals. I have no idea why, but I just do. This party hat from SU fit perfectly on the adorable sleeping kitty from Picture Show on Etsy. An incredibly simple card, but one of my favorites. It took me forever to get the scoring right! (You will also notice that I also have a slight obsession with not just birds, but cats as well.)

Yarn Christmas Wreath

This is one of my non-paper crafts that I both enjoyed and felt turned out well. A Christmas wreath of yarn, felt, and torn apart pics the Michaels. I hang it up every year now. (See obsession with birds.)

That is a look into my crafting past. I have enjoyed crafting since I was a little kid and can’t wait to pass on the passion (hopefully) to my daughter. Along with my husband’s passion for robots.

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