Monday, October 3, 2011

Anyone can create a card!

I wanted to prove that a card can be made inexpensively without having to possess any special skills.  This card is just a simple card & envelope set that I found in a bargain store (6 in a pack), the leaves and berries were removed from a wreath (Dollarama) and glued on the card front with a little 'Tacky' glue.

As for the inside, using MS Word, I typed a simple sentiment that I found on the Internet, changing the font to a pretty one, and added a clipart also found on the Internet.  I then tore the paper edges and adhered it with a glue stick (don’t use white glue on paper as it will cause it to buckle).  That’s all there is to it! 
Now, can it get any easier?  As for cost, I would have to guess at less than $0.25, and that includes the envelope!

A colorful autumn wreath found at Dollarama.

A few selected leaves embellished with berries is enough to make a simple and pretty card.

The sentiment was printed on my computer in MS Word, using simple clipart.
Please email me your comments or contact me about upcoming classes!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Classes are now posted!!!

I have created a series of weekly technique workshops, starting on Thursday, October 13, 2011 (6:30pm - 8:30pm) Each week, a new technique in the paper arts will be featured for the time being.  Keep in mind, most of these techniques can be used for scrapbooking, gifts and what ever else your imagination can create!

Please take a look at the 'Technique Workshops' tab to see what weekly workshops are being offered. If you are interested in something that's not mentioned, please feel free to let me know.  I have 100's of techniques to share and am excited about showing them to you. 

The 'New Classes' tab features special classes that are being offered periodically and please check often to see what is coming up.  This will include a variety of classes in the paper arts.

All events require registration and please feel free to email or call me at 905.341.5362 for more information or to register.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pirates Ahoy!

My nephew recently got married and as he and his new bride are into pirates, I thought a unique gift might be the thing.  I decided to try this pirate pillow, using black denim (I prewashed first) and appliquéd with machine zigzag.  I decided to colour in the details with a black sharpie pen, testing a sample first to ensure it would be color fast.  For the back, I found some neat buckles that I also sewed on, and added some red piping to finish it off.  Overall, I’m pleased with the result and I’m glad to say, so were the newlyweds!  The entire pillow is about 22” x 24” and was not overly difficult to make.

As an added note, I don’t own a fancy sewing machine that embroiders, etc.  My faithful White has been the outlet of my creations since 1973 when I got it brand new!

A fun pirate pillow makes a great gift for pirate wannabees!

The back - a couple of buckles for the opening
adds to the theme.

Comments are always welcome!  Email me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recycling Onion Skins

When I saw this technique on Michael Strong’s blog, I knew I had to try it.  I saved my onion skins and discovered I only had high gloss Mod Podge with sparkle, but went ahead.  I just love the result and what a neat background this awesome technique makes (although mine is a bit shiny!)  You should use a heavy card stock so it won’t curl.  I added a couple of leaves cut from a Dollarama wreath, and a bit of fun yarn so your eye focuses on the background, and overall, I’m very pleased with the final result!  This card really costs only pennies to make. 

I've included a sample before cutting to fit a card.  You can use spray adhesive, but I think white glue works better.

Comments are welcome!  Please email.  

Friday, September 9, 2011


The idea of my workshops is to let your imagination soar – so mine did the other day and I came up with this very odd card.  It’s not exactly something you would mail in the post; I would have to hand deliver it, perhaps even using a ‘puffy box’ envie (easy to make and is perfect for thicker cards, or with puffy ribbon).

I used a bit of trim for curtains or pillows, it already had the tassles attached.  The frog is made from bronze UTEE and the multicolored background from Ranger alcohol inks.  Although you can’t see it in the picture, it is metallic looking with copper accents.  The thin strip was made with embossing powder applied on an ultra sticky double sided tape.  This is another card that made me smile - it’s a bit silly, but hey, that’s part of the fun!

A fun card to make and give -- definitely unique!
For comments or questions, please email me!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Recycling can be Fun!

A friend from the West Coast (thanks Judith!) saved these magnificent bath salt packages for me and what a lovely gift they made.  I came up with a couple of cards for you to see here - not only is the paper gorgeous, but they smell divine!  I had to find a way to cover up the logos, but I kept the ‘Moonflower’ fragrance text and added a big ornate button over the logo.  I find it a bit humorous having this huge button as a moonflower, but I think it looks neat. 

I discovered these fabulous buttons in a big bucket at a local Len’s Mill Store for only pennies.  Cutting off the back loops, I ground them down with my Dremel tool and they make ‘out of the ordinary’ embellishments!  Take a look around your home and see what you can use.
These bath salt packages smell heavenly and are perfect for paper arts.
An ornate button makes a fun focal point.

Just to be a bit 'different', I offset the patterned paper.  An embossed leaf covers up the logo.
Don't forget - the inside should be appealing too!  I used the package flap to enhance the sentiment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dabbling with Jewelry!

'Effusive Arts’ is just that – effusive!  My creativity has exploded and now I’m dabbling with jewelry.  Using a bit of heated UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) I've added some fun elements – sand, glitter (of course), even small stones and a bit of metal.  This is something you can easily make and let your imagination go.  Nothing around the house is safe, I’m always looking for something to use as an embellishment whether it’s for a card or other projects!

While the UTEE was still hot, I stamped an image.  A fun tassle adds bit of interest.

A close up shot of the medallion.  A little bit of my 'secret' pearlescent powder adds a nice touch!

A small pebble, a couple of shells and a bit of gold EP added really make an interesting pendant.

I used a small, rusty heart embellishment here.

If you have any comments or would like to learn more, send me an email!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


De-cou-page:  the art of decorating surfaces by applying cut-outs (as of paper) and then coating with usually several layers of finish (as lacquer or varnish).

I’ve been experimenting with this gorgeous and fun technique.  You can use tissue paper or separated napkins, both of which are now available in the most wonderful colours and designs.  It’s not a quick process, but it is an easy one.  I tried it on a couple of wood pieces and on heavy stock paper and used on a card (of course).  I love the versatility that you have, by means of adding glitter, rhinestones, stamping, and pearlex; just about anything that suits your fancy. 

I used a varathane water base lacquer (Home Hardware) and applied 5 layers, allowing each coat to dry.  For the card, just spray lacquer will do.  (You need a good adhesive as the paper will curl a bit). 

My first attempt - a little keepsake box. I added some glitter and rhinestones.
A plain wood frame (from the 'M' store) made into something beautiful.

A detail look at the embellishment (2 coats of Embossing Powder followed by a rubber stamp image, and some pearl-ex)

Of course I had to use this technique on a card!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why create at all?

As I'm in the midst of organizing my upcoming workshops, I've been reflecting on why should we indulge in expressing our creativity.  Creativity can be any form, even trying a new recipe!  But for the purpose here, I'll focus on paper crafts:

  • There is a definitive calming effect when letting your creativity flow.  Not only is your mind relaxing, but your body will too.
  • What better way to clear your mind when you are troubled?  Focussing on a project gives your mind a break and when you get back to your problem, you will look at it differently.
  • If you are feeling sad or have the blues, creating something new will help to lighten your mood!  Try some cheerful colors and add a bright flower or ribbon and you will feel better.
  • Making something yourself provides a real feeling of accomplishment.  YOU did this.  YOU!  Don't be too critical of yourself, especially if you're new at making something.  If you really hate it, recycle it and create something new with it!  (Hint: only you will dwell on any flaws, so don't worry about it!)
  • If you're facing a serious illness, make something.  Anything.  Especially with cards, you can make one in 5 mins - perfect if your energy isn't the greatest.  Again, it will take your mind off yourself and allows your body some space to heal.
  • Children at home?  Sit down and have them help you!  Even if it's coloring an image, or helping you select colours, let them in.  They will probably want to make something of their own.  What a great way to let their creativity get flowing!
  • Errors are not a big deal!  You wouldn't believe how many ugly cards I've made, or they were centered badly.  No problem - you can use them in a new card or if it's really bad, parts of it.
  • What better way to give a gift to someone than giving something YOU made? 
  • Out of a gift idea?  Make a card to suit the person!  Even just printing a photo and gluing it on the front will make them smile.  Or, make 6 and wrap a cheerful ribbon around them as a set (don't forget the envelopes).
  • I often write my note on a sticky or loose paper and put it inside the card, so the recipient can use them (I also include an extra envelope).

These are just a few reasons why we have to express ourselves and let our creativity out.  There are days when I sit down and am just NOT in the mood to create and then I end up disliking the result.  When you feel like that, just leave it and do something else, take a walk, what ever.  You don't always HAVE to be in the mood to create, but give it a try.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Toilet Tissue Technique

Here is one of the least expensive techniques you can possibly find!  I applied 3 layers of toilet paper on a rubber stamp and applied a bit of ink here and there.  Once it dried, this gorgeous image appeared, looking very much like watercolor.  I'll add more as I experiment with this soooo easy technique.

A few rhinestones add a touch of glitz!

Close up detail.

Inside sentiment.

If this technique peaks your interest, email me about my workshops!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Inspiration Continued!

I really fell in love with this colour combination and had to continue....  Then I saw an episode of 'Farscape' and the aliens had amazing make-up using the same colours!  I just had to get to my studio and let my creativity 'effusive'!  Most of my cards lately contain glitter, unfortuantely you don't get the full effect online:

Glitter on the mermaid of course.

A bit of gold leaf was used here.  The Whale was stamped on clear acetate and lots of glitter applied!

More glitter...

Faux rhinestones from Dollarama!

More to come!  If you are interested in any of these techniques shown here, email me about my workshops!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Looking for Inspiration?

You don't have to look far if design ideas aren't coming easy.  I've been eyeballing this tissue box for some time and was finally inspired to make something of it.  I LOVE the colour combination and have saved 3 boxes now, so I decided it was time to get creative:

I added some 'Glitter Glue' (Wal-Mart) and a couple of rhinestones:

An embellishment was added by coloring a vellum butterfly (Buck or Two) with Sharpies to match:

A little bit of ribbon, some glitz and a contrasting background for a 'frame':

Here's another variation, a bit more involved, but contact me if you would like to learn how I did it.  Hint:  Two embossing techniques were involved:

The final results!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cool Nail Polish Technique

Here's a really cool effect for cards or scrapbooks and a great way to use up old nail polish. It's easy, a bit messy and good ventilation is important:

I found some gorgeous colours at the local dollar store:

It's so easy and so much fun! If you want to find out how I created these, join our card club or inquire about my workshops. Contact me for more info.

(yes, that's a copper background)


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beat the Heat and Join my Card Club

Are you interested in making cards but have limited tools and materials?  I am setting up a 'card club' to enable card enthusiasts to get together for a couple of hours a week for fun and creativity.  I have a wide range of papers, embellishments, stamps and ideas for you to make use of.  It's a good way to find out if making cards is your 'thing' or you're just unsure of what to buy to get started.  My workshop is nice and cool with lots of room in which to work.

Beginners are most welcome and I'll provide guidance on techniques - you won't believe how easy and fun it is!  Contact me for more information, there is a nominal fee to join.  Start date will be announced once we have enough members.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cool Mini Iron!

Look what I found at a recent craft & hobby show for only $15.00!  This tiny iron is only about 4" long, but it heats up just like a regular one.  It's perfect for straightening ribbons and small bits of fabric.  You could always use it for travelling as well, but it might take a while to iron a shirt!  I love it and it's easy to store.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

PC Nurse - Announcing computer tutoring!

I certainly haven't been idle with just clearing out, painting, moving in, and setting up the basement AND my studio (whew), but have also been busy setting up my sideline!  I am offering one on one computer tutoring either in your own home, or here in my workshop (bring your laptop).  More info on that on my web site:

For more info, email me!

Back online!

The worst is over -- and I have a beautiful new studio from which to work on my creations and offer workshops (I can seat 6 - 8).  For now, I am offering one one one tutoring in my workshop, for the nominal cost of $15.00/hour (all materials included), or $25.00/hour if you bring a friend!

Some topics I cover include:
- card making (embossing, UTEE, dies, stamping, embellishments, special effects).
- introduction to sewing with a sewing machine.
- learn to crochet (your choice of scarf or wrist cuff, why not go big and try an afghan!).

More will be offered as I collect materials.  Stay tuned for more...and photos are on their way!

Feel free to email me with your comments or ideas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bursting with ideas with no where to go...

My basement is still in a mess and I've been busy prepping and painting the walls.  I'm not used to working on such a large scale, my projects are usually contained in a small area!  Something also very important has cropped up in the meantime so I am chomping at the bit to get my workshops up and running.  It doesn't look like they will take place until at least mid-May.  You have no idea how frustrating this is for me!

On an upbeat note, I visited the 'Creativ Festival' in Misissauga today.  I have oodles of ideas for my workshops, but what really captivated my attention was an ancient technique called 'Turkish Ebru'.  Ever notice the paper lining of old books with the beautiful curly-que patterns?  That's probably ebru.  Looks easy, but is a special art form and very beautiful.  Here's a video to give you an idea:  Ebru Water Marbling Art.

Another neat idea is an easy technique using punches to make really groovy flowers.  I'll post some samples as soon as I can get to my project supplies!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Workshops Coming!

I'm afraid the basement is still packed in boxes, but it is showing signs of nearing completion.  The good news is that I have been busy scanning the Internet for new ideas and I'm really excited about sharing these!  There is so much out there and I can't wait to share them with you.  Sometimes good comes out of a disaster, and I will be setting up a larger and brighter studio! 

I can't wait to start playing with polymer clay -- there is so much versatility with this easy to use medium.  You can paint it with gorgeous metallic colours and add neat baubels, charms and found objects.  You can incorporate it in a lot of creations including jewellery, trinkets and even on cards! 

Please check here again soon, I will post the upcoming workshops but look out - I'm bursting with ideas!  Feel free to email me with your comments or ideas.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Workshops on Hold!

It is with heartfelt regret that I will have to put my workshops on hold.  Our basement flooded last night and EVERYTHING must be packed and removed in order to replace the carpeting.  A very big disappointment as I had things set up quite nicely and was very excited about my first workshop on Saturday. 

Therefore, until further notice, my workshops are on hold.  Please check back soon for an update and certainly feel free to contact me.  I have a waiting list started!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Introduction to Card Making - Part 2

I have now added a calendar tab to keep my workshops organized, but will still announce events in my posts on this page. 

I've added a second part to the 'Introduction to Card Making' workshop, as there is so much to cover.  We'll take a closer look at what tools to use and explore the world of embossing.  This easy technique is what really drew me to making cards and it looks so professional!

As an added bonus, we'll have a draw for a fun prize at every workshop!

When:  Saturday, April 2 (1-3pm)
Fee:  $20.00 (includes 3 'take away' cards)

Call 905-341-5326 or email for more details or to register.

Register now to save your seat!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Check for Updates

Having spent most of my life on computers and the Internet, blogging is new to me!  While I have read endless blogs for inspiration and ideas, it's quite something else to set one up.  Please check this site often as there are changes made every day and I am striving to cover the basics.  Feel free to offer comments or suggestions and I love questions!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Seeking Ideas for Future Workshops!

I have the space in my home studio for a good size workshop and am looking for new ideas on new projects to share.  If you have any suggestions for arts & crafts workshops, or a technique, please let me know by email.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Technique Tuesdays!

What better way to start the week than learning a new technique?  Every Tuesday I'll show you a brand new technique to try out.  Check back soon for a full list and dates. 

Again, this 2-hour class includes the creation of 3 cards, the first one following me, the next 2 are entirely up to you on how what paper, color combo and extras to use.  Depending on the class, this could be stamps, embellishments specialty paper, fabric, the possibilities are endless!

As an added bonus, we'll have a draw for a fun prize at every workshop!

Date:  TBA
Time:  6:30 - 8:30pm
Fee:  $20.00
Call 905-341-5326 or email for details.

Please note -- I will have a calendar up and running soon!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Introduction to Card Making - Without Going into Debt

Registrations are now being accepted for my first workshop. This is an introductory class in card making but scrapbookers are welcome to join in! I will show you how to make gorgeous cards with materials you can find at home or from dollar stores.   

This class will show you the basics - what paper to use, adhesives, embellishments, stamping and more.  This will be the start of a card making series to help you get on your way to making gorgeous cards for any occasion!

This 2-hour class includes the creation of 3 cards and an overview on how get started without outlaying a lot of money.  The first card is your 'practice' and the next 2 cards are created using your own choice of color combos and arrangement. (See Calendar for more information.)

As an added bonus, we'll have a draw for a fun prize at every workshop!

Saturday, March 26 (1-3pm)
Fee:  $20.00
Call 905-341-5326 or email for details.

Register now to save your seat!