September Forgeries

I admit that I am a forger. Luckily since it is just craft supplies that I forge, I am innocent of any crimes! Take a look at the items I was inspired by. The kit inspiration we are using this month over at CKC is the “Vivid” kit by {Not} Just for Boys kit club from September 2020.

Here you can see the whole kit plus two close-ups. Notice all the frames? And how about those three little tassels? I’m going to recreate those and it is easy. Check out the whole process on YouTube. That is the best way to see everything, including how to use the Frame Punch Board to create frames. For photo tutorial on the tassels, keep reading.

You can follow along on this photo tutorial to create simple little tassels. I used literal bakers twine here from the kitchen section of my grocer, but any light weight twine or embroidery floss will work.

The punch board pictured far left is a tool made by We R Memory keepers and it is one of my favorites in my stash. It eliminates most :thinking” needed to cut simple frames. Learning to use it is not too hard, but you do have to pay attention to the steps, so checking out my video above is the best way.

Now go forge some craft supplies. But if you get arrested, don’t mention my name 😉

September CKC Kit

Welcome to September 2021 everyone. For me this year has flown by despite all the continuing troubles with covid. I thought for sure this would be another year that crawled by. Yet here we are. I hope you have all stayed safe and healthy. I send you extra wishes for continued health as we head back indoors with the chill of fall weather looming.

Lets get on to crafting, shall we? This month Master Forger Tina is our kit host and she has invited Tori Gaines as our guest designer!

Tina has offered up this kit called Vivid from the {Not} Just for Boys kit club from September 2020 as our inspiration this month. Of course it is sold out at this point so counterfeiting this kit is a great option to get the vibe you are going for.

This kit includes

“Vivid” Paper: 

  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Make a Wish”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Free Spirit”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Amy Tan-Late Afternoon “Warm & Cozy”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Heidi Swapp- Old School “Summerland”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Simple Stories-SN@P! Basics “Walnut/Cream Dot” 
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Heidi Swapp- Old School “True Blue”
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Elle & Viv- Oxidation “7” (single sided)
  • 1 piece 12×12 paper- Echo Park- Witches & Wiards “Letters”

“Vivid” Embellishments: 

  • Crete Paper “Magical Forest” Puffy Alpha Copper Foil Stickers-14 pieces
  • 1 NJFB 3″ x 4″ Exclusive “Vivid” Stamp Set- 13 stamps
  • 1 Amy Tan-“Late Afternoon” Ephemera Pack- 40 pieces
  • 1 Jar NJFB “Vivid” Pearl Mix
  • 3 Yards “Vivid” Trim (1 yard each of 3 colors)
  • 1 Pack of NJFB Exclusive Acrylic Embellishments and 3 Mini Tassels  
  • 24 “Vivid” Textured Buttons
  • 1 “Tree Slice” cardstock cut by Sophie Gallo  

For the whole process of my kit build you can check out the video I made for this month.

The first thing I noticed about the kit is the warm oranges and browns of the classic fall season imagery. Since these are not my favorite colors and I am just plain not ready for fall, I looked deeper at the kit for inspiration. The Heidi Swapp blue and yellow stripe/geometric paper caught my attention next. I know I have this paper in my stash… well at least I thought I did. When building my kit I just couldn’t find it. (I may have tucked it away in another project and since forgotten which project and where!) Despite not being able to find that paper I let the colors lead the way for me. And then I followed this inspiration kit’s path in terms of pattern. I found some plaids/checks, a bold floral, woodgrain and some watercolor textures. I then added a couple of supporting patterns to round out the choices.

Moving on to embellishments I was inspired by the leafy die cuts, ribbon texture, wood texture buttons, and the log cut file. I decided to pull wood and cork elements and add in plenty of floral die cuts. It worked out that some of my leafy ephemera also had gold, which was included in the alpha from the inspiration kit. I also found some floral acetate that can take the place of the acrylics in the inspiration kit. Toss in a few natural fibers and some alphas and that topped off my kit.

With this lighter, brighter take on this inspiration that clings to the remnants of summer, I’m calling this kit Last Hurrah.

Be sure to check out all the fun over at the Counterfeit Kit Club blog for challenges and inspiration to build and use your kit. Don’t forget to see the other design team members’ takes on this months inspiration. Be sure to leave extra love for Tori for being our guest designer this time around.

Adapt scrapbook sketches to cards

It is free sketch time!

I’ve got a new 12×12 scrapbook layout sketch up for you here on the blog. Normally I’d use this sketch to show you a take on it for a layout, but a few things happened that made me take this sketch into a card making direction instead.

  1. I’ve already done a process video for this sketch. (In fact I based the sketch off of this project to begin with!)
  2. I created that project as a scraplift of myself from several years ago
  3. I wanted to do something different.
  4. I took a card making class recently and was feeling inspired to make cards!

Thus this adaptation was born. First let’s take a look at the sketch and the supporting layouts that inspired this sketch.

So here is the sketch you can download it directly here in a photoshop format or a printable pdf format or you can head to the Freebies tab above to see this and many more sketches available for download. This sketch came out of the layout below that I created for the ScrapHappy.org membership group blog post.

And in turn this layout was scraplifted from myself. I made the original layout below many years ago and it has remained one of my favorites.

And here is the layout process for the most recent project.


With that out of the way I wanted to move on to another project… adapting this sketch to card making. I used the same idea of angles, but inked and stamped them instead of using paper. I repeated the greeting instead of using three photos and I embellished with smaller items instead of layered clusters. And just like that, a card is born! Hope you enjoy a view of these cards and the products used are listed below.

Mixed Media Hop, 8/21

I’m back with the August ’21 Mixed Media Frenzy YouTube hop. The final Friday of each month the group invites all members to participate in a community hop. If you want to join in the fun, visit their Facebook group for inspiration and interaction. We were scrap lifting the image below, created by the very talented Missy Whidden. If you haven’t seen her videos I highly recommend them. She has so much patience for layering details onto her projects!

I had fun playing with plenty of ink (as paint!), stamps, and die cuts for my own interpretation. You’ll notice the photo is very fuzzy. That isn’t you, or my graphic, it is actually how the picture was taken! I was on my first kayak trip and my phone/camera was in a ziplock to keep it dry. I was too nervous about dropping it in the water to take it out of the ziplock. But do I let a bad photo stop me from scrapbooking? Never!

Check out the entire process over on my YouTube episode. And remember this is a hop! The video description box will lead you to each creator playing along. Check them all out and leave them all some love.

Free cut files, 8/21

Each month I offer free cut files for download here on the blog. If you head to the Freebies tab you can find all the previous freebies, both cut files and sketches.

This month’s file is all about Back to School! With all of the US schools reopening full time this fall going back to school means something this year that it hasn’t in years past! I wanted to honor that story telling with this cut file. You have your typical school icons such as a bus, backpack and book. But you now have the mask and distancing sign which many schools are using as part of the CDC guidelines.

You can download the svg cut file directly by clicking here. And here is a brief look at the digital design (left) and my cut and assembled pieces (right). Click to enlarge.

If you want to see the details on assembling the multi-piece cuts, like the bus and backpack, then check out the accompanying video.

CKC Challenge #2

I was not on official design team duty over at CKC for this challenge, but I love to play along anyway when time allows. So for this sketch challenge I knew I had to play. I love sketches almost as much as I love kits! Put my CKC kit together with a good sketch and I’m a happy camper.

This old sketch we are working with comes from the much missed Basic Grey company. At the point in time when Basic Grey was hot I was more of a double page scrapper. But crafty styles shift and I’ve moved into being more of a single page scrapper. So that is where I started in this challenge.

I pulled out photos of my daughter and her 14th birthday and a cheery rainbow print since they felt so right together. And then I realized I had a Project Life layout that I had done on my phone with all the fun pictures we took during her photo session. So I pulled arrows off the right page of the sketch and included them near my title on the left page layout. That way it leads the story into this accompanying layout. I ended up with a two-pager after all!

For the love of kits

It is no secret that I am a fan of crafty kits. I have subscribed to various kits over the years, largely scrapbooking. But I always end up cancelling. This is often for three reasons:

  1. On ongoing spending commitment. Many scrapbooking kits clock in anywhere from &25-40 per month.
  2. Stash overwhelm. I found I wasn’t using everything from those big kits every month.
  3. Shipping. Many boxes containing 12×12 papers cost $8-10 to ship. Imagine what I could by with the money spent on shipping.

And yet I still WANT the kits. I want the surprise. I want to try new things. I love getting goodies in the mail. I love digging into a fresh set of supplies and the inspiration that sparks excitement.

So what is a crafter to do when the pros and cons collide? I went on a search for smaller scrappy kits and couldn’t find what I was looking. Then somehow I realized that the SCT Sampler kit, put out by Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine, was right under my nose. (And just to get this clear right now I do not in any way work for SCT. I simply use their kits and am happy to share my love of them.) The kits are packed with fun at a fair price point, between $14-17 per month including shipping. Longer commitment = lowers price. Yes there is still a commitment but that is why I like to show these kits off so you can decide if they are right for you.

Look at the goodies that come in a typical kit! Like the name implies these are samples of supplies. You get 6×6 papers cut down from 12×12 (no shipping fee on the “large” item boxes!). You get partial packs of die cuts, stickers enamel dots and other items from two different paper collections. You get a theme word embellishment (currently a chunky acrylic word). Plus there is a long-term reusable item that is often a stamp set but may otherwise be a stencil, storage pouch or other item to keep.

You can see the full unboxing on my YouTube channel. I even have a playlist of previous kits so you can see the things to expect from these kits.

When you watch my unboxing I also do a project to show you that these kits can pack plenty of possibilities. For this episode I created a Christmas layout using summer products!

CKC challenge #1

CKC helps you build pretty scrapbook kits, and we also help you use them! We give you challenges to kick start your crafting. Today’s challenge is about diagonal design. It just so happens that a pattern paper from the inspiration kit that I re-created in a forgery has a diagonal design. So I used that as the foundation for my project. If you struggle with the idea of diagonal design, why not start with a diagonal product! You can watch the full process or keep reading for the simplified version.

I started with this diagonal paper that I painted. It has a strong diagonal design already.

I laid out my photos in story order along that diagonal line.

I then used a variety of embellishments, matching their color up with the background color. This process is called color blocking and it can help you use embellishments up that you were having a hard time making work.

Multicolored embellishments like the cupcake down below can be color blocked in different ways. I chose to match it up with the color of the frosting.

How do you feel about diagonal designs? How about color blocking your embellishments? Leave me your thoughts!

Central Embellishment Collage

I am finally busting into my CKC kit for this month. You can always check out my kit build over on my YouTube channel. But this kit is inspired by some bright colors balanced with pops of rich color and themes of travel. While we have not been traveling (still) due to Covid, I’m putting that travel theme to use on an educational layout.

Notice how the words “adventure”, “seek”, and “go, see, do” all can play into my daughters college bound days. Just because a them “says” one thing doesn’t mean you can’t find commonalities to other themes. There are other good tips in the video so be sure to check out all the ideas there.

10 Ways to Use Nuvo Drops

I love to play and experiment with products. Sometimes it goes terribly wrong and sometimes I am super surprised at the results. Once a month I share one particular product that I’ve played with and at least 10 ideas for putting it to use. I don’t share the disasters of course. Of what I do share some of the ideas are more inviting than others. See which ideas you like! (Keep reading for the quick photo version.)

  1. While you can do all the enamel style dots your heart desires, why not try other shapes? Go ahead and mix and match colors while you are drawing. And don’t forget you can draw fun things too. I once drew a fork and knife as embellishments to a scrapbook layout.
  2. If you just draw a rectangle around an items like a photo or embellishment cluster, then you have a frame. Or doodle it up for fun borders.
  3. Two important things to note here. First did you know you can draw with Nuvo drops on a non-stick craft mat (or sheet of plastic packaging, or a glass mat) and then pop the pieces off the mat for a stand-alone embellishment. Second some of the drops dry clear or translucent. You can put these to use for a stained glass look or for mimicking actual glass.
  4. Have you ever thought about writing with your drops? You can do titles, greetings or word embellishments. You can just free draw or you can use this tip: Cover a printed sheet of words with clear plastic. Then trace the words onto the plastic. Let dry 24-48 hours (more is better). And then you can add these words to your projects. You could also write with a pencil or stamp in a light colored ink directly on your project and then trace over with an opaque style drops (most of them ARE opaque. Jewel drops are an exception, as well as clear colors. Glitter drops have a clear base with colored glitter so you may be able to see through parts of the image is you use the glitter drops.)
  5. Likewise you can create your own puffy alphas in the same way. I prefer tracing for this so that my letters are consistently shaped and sized.
  6. You can make your own flair-badge type embellishments. Punch out an image from some patterned paper and top with Morning Dew (clear!) Crystal drops for an epoxy-like finish.
  7. If you do the same thing with very small punches then you get a “fancy” style enamel dot look. Just be sure to put temporary adhesive down on a craft mat. Stick your punches to the adhesive and THEN cover with your drops. This will prevent your pieces from sliding around and requiring you to touch them. That just ruins the drop’s finish.
  8. A further idea here is to replicate acrylic pieces. You need to punch or die cut three layers of cardstock. Glue the layers together and then top with your clear drops. The added thickness of the multiple layers makes it look more like acrylic.
  9. Go ahead and use your drops through various stencils. You can mix and match colors of drops, use a mask under the stencil to keep an open portion and even combine multiple ideas for added interest. Just don’t forget to wash your stencil immediately. If the Nuvo drops have a chance to dry and your stencils it will “clog” them up and ruin your stencil.
  10. Have you ever done a heat-embossing and ink resist technique? This is the same thing, only easier. Just draw/stencil/write an image onto your project. Let dry overnight and then apply water-based inks the next day. Be sure to buff your Nuvo shapes with a tissue just a bit to remove any excess ink. Then you are left with pretty, colorful designs.
  11. I know this is titled 10 ways, but here is a bonus 11th way. Just smear your products onto projects. This is much more mixed media vibe, but it can be oh so pretty. Here I’ve got a beach scene using opaque drops, glitter drops, and there at the bottom, stone drops. The stone drops have a sandy texture and when inked with brown will hold the color a little and actually look like sand.

Remember how I talked about disasters in the beginning? This is one of them. I know I said I don’t share disasters, but this is a cautionary tale when trying these techniques. Let them dry ALL THE WAY before you mess with them. Otherwise they can stick to each other becoming inseparable blobs or they can stick to other things like the table and then pull themselves apart.

So other than that one precaution, go play with Nuvo drops! Were any of these a favorite? Do you have interesting ways you’ve used these drops? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.