Mini Kit + Pocket Page Ideas

Hello everyone. I’m here with the Counterfeit Kit Club’s Mini Kit and project for the month of September 2020. You can quickly see my whole process in the video below or keep reading for the text and photo version.

Our inspiration kit (Vivid by {Not} Just for Boys kit club) shown below had a strong fall theme vibe.

When I was pondering this project I was in the process of cleaning my scrap space. While doing that I came across this bin that contained the extra photos, paper scraps and previous fall themed layout I had created a couple of month back.

Admittedly this gave me a huge head start on creating a page kit for this month’s mini. If you think I cheated, I promise all you would need to do to get to this same point is choose a base pattern paper or cardstock, plus 3-4 pattern paper scraps in various sizes. Then grab 6-10 embellishment pieces in various sizes to support your theme and you are done. Simple as that. Really.

Here I chose a base woodgrain paper, 5 pattern paper scraps, 1 cardstock and literally 12 individual embellishment pieces. The woodgrain, plaid and use of blue comes from our inspiration piece. The other imagery I chose to support my page theme (cameras + together/cozy)

Once I had a narrow palette of supplies to work with, my layout came together quickly. I think about this style of layout as a “pocket page” layout without the actual pockets. (You could also just call it a grid layout). I love the idea of pocket pages for ease but I feel too constrained by the pocket numbers and orientations. So I started my layout with the base page + photos. I trimmed my photos, and in fact all the pocket elements, down by 1/4″ in both height and width to give that gap that pockets have.

The open areas around the photos now become other “pockets.” The top right was very large and could have been broken down into several pockets, but I left it large for more visual impact to those cameras since this layout is about selfies. The journal pocket on the bottom left is 6×4″ (or rather 5.75×3.75″ once trimmed down.) The gray strip started at 2×4″ before trimming and the lower plaid is 2×8″ before trimming.

Sprucing up each pocket with limited embellishments helps the whole page feel cohesive. I also repeat elements, such as circles, blue, and plaid, in a visual triangle to pull everything together. Approaching a layout this way is super straightforward. It gives you the ease of pocket pages without the constraints. And with this design you could include way more photos than I did! Just so much flexibility here.

I hope you were inspired by how easy it can be to put together a quick page kit as well as a quick layout!

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 😉

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.

Forgery time!

One of the projects I love over at CKC is the Forgery on the 4th. This lets us get creative and really see what we can make happen with our supplies. The more we create the simpler our crafty room stash can become as we turn back to some basic supplies.

Today I’m recreating a sheeter of pattern paper with flowing bursts of rich color.

And here is how it came out? What do you think? Personally I’m super pleased. I will tell you honestly when things aren’t working and this time around I am just plain happy with how things came out!

It really is hard to capture this process in words, so watching the video is going to give you the most helpful tips.

Watercoloring with stencils

I played along with the Mixed Media Frenzy group YouTube hop again this month. I’ve shared the whole process over on my channel. But if you want some quick tips on using stencils to get a watercolor look I can set you up with some photos here.

First off, my paper was prepped with gesso. This helps ink release and allows these effects to work to the fullest. For the coloring, I used layering stencils from Pink Fresh studio (available for purchase here). For each layer I used simple, different tips to create watercolor effects.

Layer One. Lightest color. Stencil on color. Give a hearty mist of water and tip paper to drip. This will eliminate most of the form of your stenciling and just leave a haze. You can always add detail back in with more stenciling. It is hard to see but there is a haze of color in the background.

Layer Two. Mid tone color. Stencil and give a gentle spritz with water. This will just fuzz out the images. Notice the largest leaf is all blurry?

Layer Three. First flowers. Stencil. Use a watercolor brush to paint over the image with just a little clean water. Stroke outside the lines of the image just a little. This gives a flowy watercolor look. I did add back more detail and depth with a light re-stenciling exactly over the same spots. Can you see the back layer of the flower has jagged edges and a lighter color? The front layer has crisper edges and richer color from the extra stencil work. When you know these little tricks you can get LOTS of dimension and interest.

Layer Four. Accent flowers. Stencil. Use paintbrush to just touch a spot of water to center. This pushes pigment out towards the edge of the image for a gradient look. Really look at those yellow flowers to see how the color changes across the image.

Layer Five. Final foliage layer in darkest shade. Stencil. Wet entire image with a watercolor brush, much like for the flowers. Except this time dab up excess water and ink with a tissue to really tone back the image. Don’t dab up all the water and ink or it’ll be like you didn’t do anything at all. Just a quick tap with the tissue will leave a “splotchy” image that adds texture more than anything. See how only parts of the leaves are fully clear? That adds a lot of texture.

Top off your new painting with some pen work to give just a touch of details and you now have a pretty watercolored background painting and you don’t have to know how to draw a single thing!

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.

DIY small item storage

I’ll admit that I can get a little carried away with organization and storage. But when I figure out some simple and affordable ways to stay organized I get excited and I have to share! So that is what we are dong to do today.

In part 1 of my process I created small trays/boxes that can be used solo, sized to stack, or made with lids. Part 2 shows how to make a drawer system to hold the trays for yet another option.

Download the template guide to help you create these drawers.

Third Mojo Booster

Okay, I’ll admit that my mojo feels like it is back. But I wanted to give one final look at something I do when I’m not quite feeling it and that is to just play. Play with something new. Or play with something old and try to figure out how to use it in a new way. This past week I played with two unrelated things in unrelated ways.

First off I was inspired by a ScrapHappy session over at (you can find a video for every week day in April over on the ScrapHappy YouTube channel full of playful ideas). The topic was alcohol ink and I have been meaning to play with those again. I had bought a class kit with different “papers” to try and I had bought my own Yupo “paper” from my local craft store. And those things have just been sitting in my new materials bin. So thanks to Alice’s session, I got those out and played. And technically that is a fourth mojo booster for you — take a class or find a less formal demo video to play along with.

So check out the pretty colors I created with my inks. Now, was it all a success? No. With some things working and some things not working (for me!) I can better hone in on what I like in order to make wiser choices next time. For example, in these items, the alcohol ink on the glitter paper got toned down way too much and became more pastel. While the look is nice, it wasn’t what I wanted. I like alcohol inks for the in-your-face color they can offer. So I made that work with a different technique.

Okay, moving on to the second item I played with and that was sequins. I actually started this project for my YouTube channel right at the beginning of my mojo dip and I didn’t get it posted on the schedule I had planned. So I had to take a step back and think about where the project was going. I took a look at my pile of sequins and I took a look at some projects and I asked myself a question – where else could I put sequins besides just sprinkling them on the side. And once I had a question I was able to experiment. And I managed to get the one technique I was the most excited to try to actually work. But it took some playing and some experimentation. And that could have ended up with a frustrating moment, but if I had given up I would never have experienced the success. So sometimes if you keep going and keep pushing, you can break through. Can you tell which technique I’m talking about in my video?

Second Mojo Booster

It is unusual for me to be feeling low in the springtime. I was really surprised that my creativity sort of vanished. And it did so after coming off an exciting card making event that had me super jazzed. So, where did “it” go? I don’t really know and while tracking down a cause could be helpful, turning to tactics to move past this phase is more productive. Last post I talked about using a sketch as a mojo motivator. This time I going to use a scrappy challenge.

I turned to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog for some inspiration. They offer crafty challenges on the 12th and 18th of every month to help boost our creativity. And I really needed that. April 12th’s challenge was titled “Al Fresco” and it was about finding inspiration in the outdoors in some way. I took on that challenge with some mixed media on a double page layout about a beach trip.

Playing with product I haven’t played with in many years, namely modeling paste, did help get my brain going a bit. Plus I combined the product with a new technique I just saw on a demo video. So combining those two gave me a new way to play. Not everything was successful, but it did feel good to experiment.

If you want to see the whole process, you can check out my YouTube episode. Until next time, I hope you find artful ways to be happy!