DIY Thickers

I have a love/hate relationship with alphabet stickers. I love the texture and style that a good thick alphabet sticker can bring to a layout. But I am constantly running out of the most popular letters and then I’m left with 50% of the product (or more) as unusable. While I have come up with a few ideas on recycling and upcycling these items, I’m just a bit tired of the whole process.

So for the next few months I am on a quest to make all my own alphabet stickers. Since I like the dimension of foam letters I’m using that material for now. I’ll use die sets and my Cricut Maker1 to create my alphas and spruce then up with various techniques to get a variety of styles. Yes I will still have all the bits of foam left over from cutting out the letters. My plan for that is to use it to replace my foam dot usage. That way the material does double duty and hopefully I’ll have little to no waste to throw away. You can see what I have in mind with my latest video.

Since filming this episode I’ve decided on one more style I want to try. If I cover a foam sheet with double sticky adhesive and then lay a white sheet of cardstock over that I’ll have a surface that should be easily alterable in more ways that the plain foam is. That way the dye ink techniques I talk about in the video will work. This style will cut easily with die sets. But will my Cricut blade be able to handle the stickiness of the adhesive without gumming up my blade? I’ll let you know when I know!

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Footnote 1: I do have to specifically use the Cricut Maker model for this and here is why. I have not had any luck using the fine point or deep point blade cutting foam simply because Cricut’s pre-set cutting features move too fast and the blades drag the material. When I use my Maker with the special knife blade and the Thin Garment Leather setting I can get the machine to slow down and cut very well. But that setting has it’s own drawback, which I won’t go into now. Instead, I’ll be brining a video on this topic soon!

CKC July Challenge #2

It is the 18th, which means it is time for scrappy challenge number two over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. Todays challenge is to use foreign language somehow on your page. I took that prompt and just rolled with it! I used it as the main focus of my page to talk about how I tried at three different times to learn foreign languages and none of them really stuck.

Notice that there are no photos on this page? Well I didn’t have any photos about this story. But I didn’t let that stop me. The pattern papers and the design is enough visual to help tell the story.

You can see my whole process over in YouTube.

Free Cut Files, July 2021

I’ve got this month’s cut files up for you. This one is called Summer Days and includes plenty of images.

Each file is multiple pieces that can be used independently or layered up for the looks you see here. If you want to see all this set has to offer, check out the YouTube episode.

And you can download the files directly here or head to my Freebies tab to see all I have to offer in the way of cut files and also sketch files.

SCT Sampler Kit Unboxing

It is surprise time of the month. I love getting my little goody box in the mail. I alway squish the package to try and feel/guess what is inside. I know, it is usually a stamp. But there are days when I do get surprised! Like this time we got a cute little storage pouch from Scrapbook.com. You can see all the goodies packed in this little power package on my YouTube unboxing. And if you know my unboxings, you know I always have a project included. So don’t miss it.

And if you want a quick look at the project, you can take a gander.

If you want more info on these affordable little packs (as low as $14 per month, INCLUDING shipping), head over to the SCT site.

July week 2 layouts

I’ve got two process videos up this week for you to check out.

First up I am playing with my Counterfeit Kit for July and using the very (overly!) bold painted paper I created in a previous video. Small doses make it more “friendly” to my senses! Plus you can watch a quick tip on creating DIY enamel dots. (Photos below)


Next up is a mixed media layout using a stamp ink bleeding technique. If you enjoy a bit of artsy ink on your pages, you should give this one a try. (Photos below)

So that is it for this week. I hope you have an artful weekend and I’ll be back soon with more crafty goodness.

Feature Friday

The first Friday of the month I pull out some type of crafty product and play with it. I show at least 10 ways to put that product to use. Here is a look at that video. And if you want the short and sweet version, you can see the photo gallery bellow. But trust me, some of these techniques you’ll want to see in action, like the inked circles with dripping.

Remember when viewing a gallery you can click on each image to see the full version. The gallery view does cut off some sides of the images and you may miss something important if you don’t see the whole picture!

Do you have a favorite? Let me know! Want me to show something you’ve been curious about? Let me know?

Until next time, have an artful day.

Forgery on the 4th for July

Forgery is the act of recreating something. And over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, the quote “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” by Oscar Wilde is used to give us permission to recreate something we see and like. This builds our skills, saves on money and resources, and it just plain satisfying! So let me show you what I forged. If you prefer reading, then scroll down for the print version…

Our kit inspiration for July is from The Paper Person April 2021 kit called New Episode. So lets look at it again. Do you notice anything you could re-create at home? I noticed something I wanted to try to recreate. I had high hopes it would come out well. What piece was that?

Yep, I picked the wavy color striped pattern paper. Here is a better view of that…

I wanted to be sure to switch up my color palette to include my pops of red instead of the orange in this paper. I grabbed some cheap acrylic paint and a sheet of Vicki Boutin’s Foundations mixed media paper and started painting. Here is how it came out…

So, what is my final feeling about this piece? I like it as its own project. I like the texture that came from the brush I used. I knew I would not get a smooth feel from that brush and I was okay with that difference. The texture came out how I imagined it would. But… did I get the feel I was going for in the original? Not really. My piece does not have the light and airy feel of the original. My colors are too saturated. Mine is also less dynamic. What I mean by that is all of my stripes are too similar. Notice in the original that the stripes widen and narrow across the length of the page. My stripes do not do that as much.

Am I unhappy with this piece? Not really. It is a bit bold for my style generally. I definitely imagine using it in smaller doses – as border strips, and as punched shapes. I’m actually interested in creating another page and trying to work on some of the “problems” that I had. It felt like this process involved a great bit of learning, especially since I don’t usually work with acrylic paint. I need to put what I learned into practice.

I’m very curious to see what I will actually do with this paper! Come back later in the month to find out along with me.

CKC Kit Reveal & Blog Hop, July 2021

I am thrilled to say that this is my first official blog hop as part of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge design team! And I am raring to go so let’s dive in.

First off, YouTube is my favorite platform so I will always start you off with a link to my “live” look at my kit build.

And for those of you who prefer text and photos, I have you covered too! First off lets take a look at the inspiration for this months kit. We are working from The Paper Person April 2021 kit called New Episode.

I always start by taking a good look at the kit and any close up photos I can find. This time around I noticed that Obed Marshall’s Buenos Dias collection plays a big role in this kit. That is going to make me dive a bit deeper, which we’ll get to. First I notice that this kit is on the smaller side, strongly features blue & green with orange pops, has a stamp set and enamel dots. Those are all things I can work with. But like I said, I have that Buenos Dias collection rattling around in my brain so I just have to go look more at that.

So what am I going to pick up from this bit of inspiration? Just that map print. I say “just” but that rainbow map is swoon worthy.

My final paper choices ended up including blues and greens but I subbed in red instead of orange as my accent color. I used the confetti kit paper as inspiration for my blue confetti paper choice on the left. I have a green map print there in the middle. That map included florals so I pulled the blue floral next. And the final three papers include my pops of red. That last paper also catches some of the artful energy of the Obed Marshall line.

Embellishments are up next. the inspiration piece had cut-aparts, labels, enamel dots, some die cut ephemera, and a stamp set. I included all of those elements. Plus I added some clear Nuvo drops in case I want to create more custom enamel style elements. I know the Obed Marshall enamels are more artistic, so I could get creative if I want. There was no alpha in the inspiration kit but I gotta have alpha, so I just picked colors I know I like. And then I threw in a few more bits of paper in my color palette that will be good for layering embellishment clusters.

So that is my base kit. The team has a tradition of naming their kits so I’m calling this one Chasing Blues. However, the kit is just shy of complete. CKC has a project called Forgery on the 4th. So I’ll be back in a couple of days to add a bit more into my kit. Any guesses as to what I’ll be forging?? Here is a hint… I like to do a bit of painting now and again. Join me on the 4th to see what I end up doing.

And don’t forget this is a hop. Go see what direction the other team members went with their kits. And a special shout out to the guest designer for this month, Antonia!

Be sure to share up your kit build with us. There are a couple of ways to play along…

• Join the CKC Facebook group
• Use Instagram to tags us @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge

ScrapHappy with Water

I’m on the design team for the ScrapHappy Membership group. Each month our team has a theme to work with and then we offer up inspiration on the SH blog around that theme. I just want to highlight some of the things we’ve been talking about over there this month.

Danielle Leonetti talked about loving the beach despite not generally being an outdoorsy person. Along the way she offers a few tips to capture your stories this month.

What is watercoloring without water? Alison Day offers easy tips on this medium for those who think it may be too hard. Check out her post and then give her tips a try!

April Swingler shares another water inspired technique using a stencil that instantly made it onto my wish list! You’ve got to check out how she got that watery look.

Kathy McElfresh reminisces on a lifetime of watery fun. She also shows some of the filters she loves to use on her photos. See how this layout’s photo was altered for a artful look?

Finally, my post went live all about thinking about our past, present and future lives based on the theme of water. And of course there are story and technique ideas to read about. Here is just a teaser to get you curious!

I hope you go check out each blog post to find fun tips, tricks & inspiration all based on water!

Free Sketches for May + June

I love sketches, from using them to creating them. I often start a layout with a hand doodled sketch of some sort. So it was natural for me to add digi sketches to my offerings here at Crafty Soup. Now you don’t have to use these sketches digitally. You can download the pdf version for viewing or printing if that is more your jam. I hope you enjoy the sketches for these past two months. And I hope you’ll join me in the future for more freebies! I love creating and sharing 😉

Downloads are available on the freebies tab above: craftysoup.com/freebies

Downloads are available on the freebies tab above: craftysoup.com/freebies