share love

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!! I hope this day brings you love and happiness. Today is a special day for me as I get to enjoy afternoon tea with some lovely ladies and share my love for card making with them.  Over the past two years I have donated handmade cards to Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital, in nearby Charlotte, Michigan to be raffled off during their yearly gala.  After my second year I was approached to teach a card making class at Alive, the hospital’s Well-Being facility.  Today’s post focuses on the card design I created to be shared and made in class, a card for the participants to take home and various examples of techniques used in paper crafting.

Love Is Always The Answer

This simple card is an example of what the ladies and I will be making during our time together today.  The card features the Simon Says clear stamp set “Love” with the matching “Love” wafer die. For this image glitter paper was used for the “love” script.  For today, I used Ranger Archival Ink to stamp the “love” script before cutting with the die.  This stamp set has wonderful sentiments included and each of the ladies will get to customize their card with their choice of sayings.  I also used the Memory Box Heart String Poppy Stamps Craft Die for an additional embellishment and for additional texture, heart shape sequins were added.

Happy Heart Day

Throughout my time preparing for this class, I felt that it was important to show options and simplicity.  I kept remembering those early trips to the local craft stores and just how overwhelmed I was.  I also spent some time organizing my studio space and realized just how much stuff I have accumulated during a short period of time.  Being creative or finding a hobby doesn’t always have to mean spending large sums of money.  Of course it is fun to go on a complete spending bender, but I wanted to share that there are many options available and yet sometimes you only need a few items for a great handmade craft.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I am starting to use dies more and more in my designs.  The above card is a combination of Lawn Fawn’s How You Bean Conversation Heart stamp and die cut partnered with Jillibean Soup Jar Die Set.  I colored the hearts with Copic Sketch Markers and added some bakers twine for dimension.

I've Taken A Viking

Here is another example of a quick and simple card.  I absolutely fell in love with this little guy.  The sentiment “I’ve Taken A Viking To You” reminded me of the Valentines we use to exchange in school.  This stamp and complimentary die are from Avery Elle.  For this card I created my own background using Strathmore Bristol cardstock and the Simon Says Stamp Stencil in Falling Hearts.  Using multiple colors of Distress Ink by Ranger, I layered the inks to create an ombre effect. To finish, I added additional die cut hearts and colored my Viking with Copic Sketch Markers.

Shaker Card

One other example that I knew I needed for class was for a shaker card. When I saw my first shaker card I immediately wanted to make one.  I have to admit, my first few attempts at shaker cards were a process. Some have been great, some not so much.  While shopping for items for Valentine crafts I found that My Favorite Things have some wonderful products for making shaker cards a breeze.  This card was really a very simple card to make.  I used the My Favorite Things Heart Shaker Window and Frame Die Namics with the Heart Shaker pouches.  This card took me less than thirty minutes to make.  I will definitely be looking into more of these tools from My Favorite Things.  Gone are the days of McGyvering my shaker cards.

The final cards I wanted to share are for the ladies at today’s tea.  Besides the card that we are making in class today, I also included supplies for an easy to make card to take home.  The supplies included for this card are all pre-made items that can be purchased at your local craft store, I purchased most of these at Michaels and they are part of their Recollections line.  (The sparkle hearts I had in my supplies from past projects but I know that I picked those up at one of the large chain craft stores)  The only tools needed at home will be adhesives and scissors.

Step 1: You will want to arrange your cardstock in the following layers, card, colored cardstock and printed cardstock.  The white cardstock is for the inside of your card and was left blank so that you may include your own sentiment.  I have cut each especially to fit one over top of the other. All of the cards will have a vertical placement with the exception of the kraft card with the bicycle die cut, your card placement will be horizontal. First use adhesive to attach your colored cardstock to your card and then follow with your printed cardstock.  Please note, that in the following photos the printed cardstock that I used may appear slightly different.  I was using a 12 x 12 pad of paper versus a 6 x 6 pad that I used for your supplies.


Step 2: Next you will apply your die cut and additional embellishments. The die cut itself is actually a sticker but for added dimension I have supplied foam tape.  I have pictures of each of the cards in which I had a special way of using the foam tape.  If you have the “Happy Valentine’s Day” embellishment you will only need to use your foam tape to attach your die cut.  Follow below to find your card and how the die cut was applied.

Hello Love Setp 2:B

“Hello Love” on the back place foam tape on the four corners.  Save a piece of the foam tape to attach your sparkle heart to the front and clip on mini clothes pin.  You can choose to add a small amount of liquid adhesive to the back of your clothes pin and adhere to the printed cardstock.

Hello Love

“Heart Lock” Use the supplied bakers twine to thread your hearts onto the twine.  Place three pieces of foam tape to the back of the die cut.  The two foam pieces on the top of your heart will be where you also attach the bakers twine.


Heart Lock

“Love You Bicycle”  Apply the die cut with supplied foam tape.  For the card in the picture  I used Ranger Enamel Accents for my dots.  You have been given adhesive enamel accents that you can simply place where you desire. (These are pictured to the left of the Ranger Enamel Accents)  I wanted to show this as an option so that you can see how ready made accents can make for a quick handmade card.


“Be Mine Valentine”  Apply foam tape to the die cut and attach to front of card.  The foam hearts are actually stickers so all that is needed is for the pre-cut ribbon to be shaped and attached to the back of the heart.  Once the ribbon and heart have been joined attach the heart to the front of the card.

“Happy Valentine’s Day”  Apply foam tape to the back of your die cut and attach to front of card.  Your gemstones included in your project have a sticky back so there is no need for any additional adhesive, just peel and stick wherever you like.

Happy Valentine's Day

Step 3: The final and easiest step is to attach the blank white cardstock to the inside of your card with adhesive.  All that is needed now is your personal messages.  I hope that you all have enjoyed these special Valentine projects and don’t forget to breathe create relax. mj

products used






made with love sneak peak

Hi all! Here is a sneak peak of what’s coming up this month. Cards made with love for those we love.  Tune in on Valentine’s Day to see more.  Until then, breathe create relax. mj

Love You Always

creativity of Christmas past

Christmas Classic

During the past season there where numerous handmade holiday cards being shared on social media that I was inspired by.  I have seen many wonderful and inspiring pieces using the Christmas Classic Stamp Set by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous.  Now I didn’t come up with any new techniques when creating my card and I didn’t do anything that hasn’t already been done, but I enjoyed taking elements from all that has been shared and using those in my creative process. It is easy to stick to a routine even with card making. Sometimes you need to try some “new ideas” (at least new to you)

Let’s first talk about this stamp set.  I love the look of anything vintage Christmas. There is something about the face of a vintage Santa and the fonts and scripts that get my creative juices flowing.  And this stamp set has it.  I am easily inspired by a stamp set, pad of paper or even a die.  When I look at this set I see beautiful greens and reds and sparkling silvers and golds.  Not to mention, Santa and his rosy cheeks.

I have been using more dies in the last few months.  I have been trying to create cards in at least sets of 6 or 8. (I eventually want to have my own online store) Die cuts can be used for many items in your card making arsenal. Use die cuts for cutting the shape of your media you are going to put into your design or use die cuts for creating your own customized embellishments. Because they are so easy to use, and if you have time restraints throughout the week, it only takes minutes each night to do something as easy as cut your cardstock or cut out your embellishments.  You may not be sitting down and immersing yourself into the stamping or coloring process, but it is a great way to get portions of your card done and set aside so that you already have them completed for a later date.  One of the die sets I use the most are the Large Stitched Square Stackables from Lawn Fawn.  I love the stitched edges and the sizes work great for placing a stamped image within.

Lawn Fawn Cross-Stiched Square Dies

I am still using Bristol paper as my go to card stock for stamping.  Once I have my Bristol die cut to the size and shape I desire, it is time to stamp. For this design I didn’t want to stamp over the stitched edge, I wanted it to stand out.  To do this, simply use washi tape to frame out the area that you wish to keep “clean” or free from any stamped images. Partnering Ranger Archival Ink in Sap Green, Library Green and Wendy Vecchi’s Fern Green with the pine baugh stamps from the set, I worked around the outside edge of the Bristol creating a pine framing effect.

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Once all the pine boughs were stamped around the outside edge of the Bristol card stock, Santa was stamped into the center and the washi tape removed. I then colored in Santa using various Tim Holtz Distress Inks by Ranger.  For the red of his suit and hat I simply colored directly from pen to paper. Mixing two reds together. For Santa’s beard I applied the pen directly to the paper but used a water brush to soften the lines.  For Santa’s rosy cheeks and lips I simply applied my Distress Ink to my craft sheet and used the water brush to apply a softer more watery effect of color to these more delicate areas. Now, here is a new tool for me, Zig’s Wink of Stella Glitter Brush in clear.  I was so excited about this product that it is on my list of “must haves” for 2018.  (they make even more fabulous colors)  I used this on the white furry band of Santa’s hat.  It is a glitter pen with a silver/gold shimmer that is applied with a paint pen applicator and dries to a smooth marker like finish.  I absolutely love this pen!

My final step with Santa was to add a little more red to the design.  I also wanted to add texture since I had only used stamped images thus far. I used Ranger’s Big Emboss It Clear Embossing Pad partnered with Wendy Vecchi’s Red Geranium Embossing Powder to stamp my “Merry” sentiment.  I used Wendy Vecchi’s enamel accent in Carnation Red also by Ranger, applied with an artists dotting tool to create the appearance of holly berries throughout the design.  Once dry, both the embossing powder and enamel accent has a shinny finish that helps to add additional sparkle.  In the finished photo at the beginning of this blog post you will also notice that I added some red sequins for even more texture.


Now it was just a matter of matching up my papers and adding additional embellishments.  If the stamp was the first to ‘speek to me” I will wait until the finished stamped image is complete before I pick out papers to coordinate with it. I knew all along I would be leaning more towards a craft card with some form of plaid.  As I was laying down paper I came across a green, that although not really pretty on its own, managed to pull in the Fern Green Archival Ink I used for the stamped pine bough.


As I mentioned earlier, I am focusing more and more on creating my own embellishments, usually with die cuts.  I had previously spent time cutting my embellishments so now I just needed to finish assembling them and adding some finishing touches.  For this project I used all the following creative goodies from Tim Holtz, Holiday Greens Mini Thinlits and the Holiday Words 2 Thinlits both from Sizzix, the Tag Press from Idea-ology, and the Holiday Postmarks stamp set from Stampers Anonymous.  To finish the look I added some festive holiday bakers twine to complete my hand made tag.

embellishments before

Remember my new discovery? the Wink of Stella Pen? Check out my holiday greens now. This awesome gem of a pen allowed me to put a whisper of sparkle onto my greens. I love how soft it is, but yet how it transforms the mini shapes from just simple die cuts to die cuts that “wow”.

embellishments after

I Hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed the process. And don’t forget to breathe create relax. mj

products used

simple and easy

I can’t believe it has been over a year since my last post.  Not a day has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about this blog.  I am not giving up on being creative, not by a long shot, just life sometimes takes over. During my time away I have been putting some thought into what I want to accomplish  with my creativity.  I would love to eventually have my own online store where I can sell handmade cards.  So I’d like to reach out to readers and conduct some market research. I have brain stormed some questions that hopefully will aid me in the process of finding out who my target market is and what they look for in handmade goods. Below are my first two inquiries and I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Do you give or send cards to family and friends throughout the year?

If so, what holidays or special occasions do you find you give cards for?

In the meantime, I’d like to share a card I just recently made for my dad for Father’s Day. I have been putting thought into my card making process.  I feel it is important to be able to create simple and beautiful cards within a manageable time frame. Especially, since I want to be able to produce large quantities to sell online.  This has given me the opportunity to venture into some new stamps and techniques that create simple and easy cards.

While looking for inspiring ideas I came across several companies that have stamps that allow you to layer colors.  This cute stamp set, Hero Arts Color Layering Goldfish is so amazingly simple and fun to use.  There are endless possibilities with this stamp set and it also has a coordinating die and ink set that is sold separately or as a bundle.

I used white cardstock cut slightly smaller than the card itself as my design area. Using a circle die cut, I created a peak-a-boo window and layered with embossed cardstick with a bubble texture for extra interest.  Quick tip, use a white marker to highlight details on your embossed design to add more dimension. The key to working with the layering stamps is a Misti by My Sweet Petunia or the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform by Tonic Studios. You will want to be able to keep your image in one place and line up each of the stamp layers before you ink.  I also experimented with different types of ink. Archival or permanent ink worked the best for me.  To finish up, add your sentiment, fussy cut or die cut your stamped images and adhere with 3D foam tape for added effect.

products used







summer vacation


Hi again!! I have to say my Summer of Creativity with Tim Holtz is making me nostalgic.  I really enjoyed summer vacation as a child, late summer nights outside, ridding bikes till it was dark, coloring outside on a blanket, if I would have had to take summer classes I would have been heartbroken.  Fast forward to today… If someone told me I could take the summer off from being an adult but I had to take some type of summer class, Creative Chemistry would be the class. I really find this experience so enjoyable, I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it. I’m a little behind on my lessons but I’ll catch up.  Here’s what I have been up to for weeks 4-6.  For more details head on over to or check out Tim Holtz at


Remember, breathe create relax! mj

summer of learning


Summer is finally here.  Even though it announces the time for more events and responsibilities that take me away from my studio, I am pleased to say that I have decided to take part in a wonderful learning opportunity.  Tim Holtz Summer of Creative Chemistry has just recently been announced and the first online class started this past week, Wednesday, June 1.  I had started Creative Chemistry 101 on my own, following along at my own pace late last fall, but I was so excited to hear about Creative Chemistry 103 and the inspiration to create every week that I have started all over again.  Head on over to to get all the details.  It doesn’t matter if you are a returning student or new.  Creative Chemistry 101 is going on now, followed by 102.  And just when you think it can’t get any better, Creative Chemistry 103.  Let’s face it, Tim has great new products out and I am ready to be inspired to create.  The student gallery has been reopened for the duration of Creative Chemistry to share our work and chances to win great Distress products.

Below are my examples from Day 2 Distress Ink Intro, Creative Chemistry 101. From left to right, Blended Spritz and Flick Technique, Brushless Watercolor Technique and Wrinkle-Free Distress Technique.  It’s not to late to join in the fun. And it’s never to late to breathe create relax. mj



blog neglect


Hello Everyone!

I am so sorry to have abandoned the blog.  Actually, I am more ashamed. It was never my intention to let so much time go by without a post.  Life just kinda came in and demanded my attention.  Nothing out of the norm, just the usual day-to-day activities, but it left me without much time to blog.  Also, I think I was in a bit of a creative rut.  I was still spending time being creative, I have accepted that I always need to make time for that, but I found myself struggling for ideas. Then again, maybe it was too many ideas that was the problem and I didn’t know what to work on.

I was very fortunate early this fall to take a class with the lovely Dyan Reaveley.  It was a full day hands on art journaling class hosted by Scrappy Chic.  Up until this class I had never had my hands on any of her wonderful paints, sprays and stencils, but minutes into this class I was hooked.  For someone who has always colored within the lines, spent more energy trying NOT to make a mess and has had to teach themselves how to let go of control, this was just the outlet I needed.

Class Photo

lovely lady, lovely class

Art Journal 4

take a peak at my large Dylusions Creative Journal

Of course the class expanded on the want for more products, products that have since been added to wish lists, but it was more than that.  It was a new way of looking at what inspires me and where my interests lie.  We received the Dylusions small creative journal as part of our class tuition and even though we used it throughout the class, I still came home with pages left for experimenting.  I have now added this journal to my creative process.  It sits in my Ikea Raskog utility cart and when I have extra paints or stains left over on stamps, stencils, baby wipes, etc, it is the perfect spot to deposit those colors.  It’s really an ingenious way of multitasking.  By cleaning off your colors onto the journal pages you are creating backgrounds for future journaling pages.  It’s simple really, but something that helped to make Art Journal 3journalling easier and more effortless.  I have also picked up the large Dylusions creative journal and have started to play with paints, sprays, stains and stencils.  One day I may just create backgrounds, another day I doodle.  Dyan stated in class that this is how she works and it just made sense to me.  I had always seen beautiful examples of journaling but really didn’t know where to start.  My mind saw one page from start to finish instead of moments of creativity spread over time.  I really am enjoying this new aspect of my creativity.
Art Journal 1

The other thing I picked up from the class was getting back to drawing.  I have never been one to be able to sit and sketch life-like drawings, but I do enjoy simple line sketches.  I fell in love with Dyan’s Dylusions Stamps.  They evoke a feeling of happiness and make me smile.  With her quirky doodles and funky characters, I was inspired to begin to draw again.  Because I enjoy simple sketches, I was then lead to Manga.  Manga is Japanese for comics and cartooning.  Unfortunately, this also lead to the discovery of Copic Markers.  Can you see how my wish lists exploded after just one class?

Manga Eyes

I haven’t given up on card making, in fact my next project is to begin Christmas cards.  I just have been excited to try some new ideas and push myself to discover new things.  With the holiday season upon us, don’t forget to breathe create relax. mj