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!

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 appliqu├ęd 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)