Quick & Simple Tags

I bought 4 different papers from the Maggie Holmes Sunny Days collection last week, and was happily fussy cutting them up, so as to have my little bags of ephemera pieces ready to use when I want to. However, looking at the tags in the cut out papers, I was inspired to make something out of them.  So I ended up making little tags by combining the 3 mini tags in the Beach Day paper with 3 of the long tags in the Happy Place paper.

I cut out the charming blue butterflies from the Blissful paper, and combined them with the sentiments from the Charmed paper, to make the 3 tags.

The butterfly wings are curved slightly and raised on foam pads, to give a bit of dimension.

The useful thing about the double-sided 12×12 papers is that I can use the reverse of the paper scraps from fussy cutting to form little banners and layers, adding more patterns to the tags with just 4 different papers.

I finished up the tags by adding coloured twine to the top. I kept the reverse of the tags plain, so that I can add a personal message to the back if I want to. Once again I’m stuck with the dilemma of what to do with these little beauties. My son said he can use them as bookmarks, but I think I’ll go up in flames if he adds the tiniest crease to the tags! So currently I’m just displaying them on my crafting corner, to give me some inspiration while I finish up my notebooks.


Whale Done

A couple of simple cards I created using the free papers in Issue 103 of the Mollie Makes magazine:

I fussy cut the whales from one paper and let them swim against the backdrop of the pretty pink vines of the other. To give the whales a bit of dimension, I propped them up on 2 layers of card and inked the edges with black marker, then covered them with Nuvo Glitter Aqua Flow pen. Thickers and other embellishments from my stash complete the quick and simple cards.

Flowers for my Hair – Altered Floral Shoppe Box

I tried out a new supplement for my joints recently, and the unnecessarily large & sturdy packaging box for the small plastic bottle of pills simply calls out to be reused! Remembering one of the quotes on the journaling cards, I pulled out my Graphic 45 Floral Shoppe collection, and proceeded to convert the box into storage for my hair clips.

I started by colouring all the edges of the smooth yellow box with black permanent marker. As usual, I was too lazy to whitewash the whole thing with gesso, nor wait for wet paint to dry. This turns out to be a mistake, as the black ink on the edges of the inner drawer scratched off after a few uses, revealing the bright yellow underneath. I can only hope that the situation would not worsen too much, and that the obvious edges would blend in with the yellow papers on the box. In future, I must remember not to skip steps for projects with drawers and moving parts. Or at least chose a colour scheme where the edges would blend well with the papers on it!

The 4×6 journaling card with the interesting quote was too big for my box, so I cut out the central panel to use as my main focus design, and worked my project around it. I chose to use the dark Midnight Medly paper to decorate the front and back of the outside of the box. The prints on the 8×8 paper pad looks much better on the small box than those from the 12×12 collection kit, though using the 8″ papers would generate more off-cuts than I’m willing to deal with.

So, to reduce the number of my precious Floral Shoppe papers used, I browsed through my Christmas Magic 8×8 paper pad and found the green checkered paper a good match for the green leaves of the Floral Shoppe papers. Really pleased that I bought those papers at a sale last month!

I plan to keep the top of the box relatively flat, in case I need to pile other boxes on top of it. Thus, I only added 2 corner metal embellishments with Glossy Accents.

For the sides, I used more of the green checkered paper to keep things simple, and used a wide burlap with white lace ribbon to decorate the centre. The border sticker from the sticker sheet matches the main focus design and I used that to cover the centre of the burlap ribbon.

For the outside of the drawer, I chose to use the yellow on the reverse of Indigo Lilies paper on the short sides, to match the yellow background of the central quotation when the box is closed. Then I simply flipped the paper over to use the dark Indigo Lilies pattern for the long edges. I was very glad that all the 4 panels can be cut from a single sheet of 8″ paper, minimising my paper scraps!

I was fortunate to have won a pair of shabby chic door pulls in a Graphic 45 Challenge previously. I coloured one of them with bronze and silver Sharpie markers to match my colour scheme. Hopefully this simple treatment would last for multiple uses. Later, I coloured the metal corners on the outer box with the bronze Sharpies too, for a better colour match.

For the inside of the drawer, I used the reverse of the Sunlit Medley paper to line the sides. This is chosen to match the base, which is made from the packaging back of the journaling cards. The backing cardboard was torn, so I trimmed the remaining cardboard to a suitable size to provide a sturdy base for the drawer unit.

All the papers are edged with dark green, brown or black permanent marker to blend better into the project, and adhered with double-sided tape + Beacon glue.

Am so very pleased with my new storage box!! I can stand the box up or lay it down and the drawer can be placed such that it works in both configurations. Nothing like a pretty container to encourage oneself to reorganise and tidy up old stuff!


Adding Dimension Without Adding Bulk

Earlier in January, I’ve created multiple little notebooks from my son’s old school exercise books. After decorating the first one, I decided to be more systematic in working the remaining 6 notebooks, following more or less the same sketch.

Most importantly, I decided that I MUST keep the cover design flat, so that I can write easily on the left side of the notebook. This means no adhesive pearls/crystals, no metal or wooden embellishments, no bows or 3D paper flowers. But I realised I can still create plenty of dimension by making plenty of layers with paper off-cuts and scraps.

There are of course many other ways of adding dimension to a design without adding a lot of bulk: stamping, dry embossing, heat embossing, fringing. I’m not using any of these techniques though, simply due to laziness in breaking out another cupboard of supplies (I don’t have the luxury of having a craft room or even a craft corner). I decided to rely simply on my mountain of Maggie Holmes stash, which consists of not only papers from the Willow Lane and Chasing Dreams collection, but also ephemera pieces and a sticker book.

I had previously fussy cut several papers and kept the resulting ephemera pieces in transparent plastic ziploc bags. Now I break out all my paper scraps and started to layer them, building up more layers in one particular corner where I plan to put a focal large image.


To add dimension, I used my Stabilo Fineliner pens to draw simple borders around some of my papers. For others, I distress the edges instead. Glitter washi tape from my stash provided an easy way of adding interest & layers without bulk, as do the gold foil stickers from the Maggie Holmes Sticker Book.

For my main image, I used a 3 mm thick foam tape (from Daiso) to raise it slightly. I also inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to provide more dimension. Then I highlighted the rabbit head with Nuvo Glitter Gloss Aqua Flow Pen.


I had added staples to the top of the banner shape for this particular booklet, but it turns out to be a poor decision. The cover doesn’t lie flat around the metal staplers. Fortunately I had placed them right at the top, so it does not interfere with my writing too much.

What I love about this method is that even small scraps of double-sided papers can be used! I had saved some of the paper scraps from my fussy cutting, and am glad I can simply trim small pieces to a banner shape to slot under larger papers or to layer my sentiments.


For the butterfly I fussy cut from the Willow Lane Flutter paper, I inked the edges with Distress Ink Dried Marigold, then cover the 2 wings using the Nuvo Glitter Gloss Aqua Flow pen. Once dry, I curved the wings to create a slight 3D effect, and maintained the curve by placing 3 mm foam tape under the wings only.

The sticker book is super useful, as it provided not only basic paper stickers, but also clear stickers and gold foil designs too. Makes it really easy to slip in little details while keeping the whole cover flat. Not to mention the designs blend in easily with the Maggie Holmes papers! Of course, if I make the mistake of layering the stickers over a thicker layer, as what I did with the gold foil hearts on the left, the difference in the height becomes rather obvious.

Am very pleased with these little notebooks of mine, as they’re not only pretty and colourful, but also practical and easy to use too! I don’t have to worry too much about tearing off any bulky embellishments when I take the notebooks in and out of my bag!

Upcycling Notebooks

At the beginning of the year, as we were clearing away the son’s old school books to make space for his new school stuff, I put aside his half-used school exercise books for upcycling. These I cut up and folded in half, to make little notebooks measuring approximately 15 cm x 10 cm.


I used papers from Maggie Holme’s Willow Lane 6×8 paper pad to make the covers, and held all the papers together with mid-size staplers, using Poster Shop Staple Board. It was therapeutic to just cut and staple without too much thought, and I accumulated multiple notebooks in just a couple of crafting sessions.

After an earlier busy period, I finally have time to decorate these little notebooks. I pulled out all my Maggie Holmes papers, ephemera, chipboard and sticker books (from the Chasing Dreams and Willow Lane collections), and set about putting pieces together. This is the final result:

I had originally planned to keep the design relatively flat, as I wanted to be able to write on both sides on the notebook, so I did not use a lot of foam pads. However, after a night’s rest, I couldn’t resist breaking out my sequins, and although I like the final look, the left side of the notebook is no longer flat when opened, and I have to be very gentle and careful when writing on the left half of my new expenditure record book.

I was glad, though, that I found my rose-coloured paper clips during my sequins search. Aren’t they a good match?? I decorated one with my sequin flower, and besides serving a decorative purpose, the paper clips also help to secure my receipts in the inner cover.

To add more dimension, I tried out my mini bottle of Ranger Crackle Accents on the lens area of the camera. Loved the result!!! I’m now onto decorating the remaining 6 little notebooks!

Jen Hadfield Thank You Cards

The past 3 weeks had been a hectic one for me on the home front. I didn’t have a lot of time for crafting, choosing to be an ostrich and lose myself in Japanese & Korean drama serials instead.

But it always feel good to cut and paste. So in between my romantic comedies and detective stories, I tried making cards using Jen Hadfield’s Along the Way 12×12 paper pad. Maybe it’s because I lost my craft mojo in domestic chaos. Maybe it’s because I just cannot get a grip on the clean and simple feel of the papers. Somehow none of the 5 cards I tried turned out the way I imagined them to be.

I was first motivated to make a thank you card based on the January Pebbles Inc Facebook challenge. After all, I had bought the Along the Way collection with the idea of making thank you cards with it. But my first 2 cards were so bad, I didn’t even want to take photos of them! In fact, I cut them up to use as scrap paper, and reused the ribbons for this next card.

The top was created by fussy cutting gold flowers from the papers to layer up below and on top of a golden ribbon double bow. I then selected papers and a tag that I thought would go well together, and used a simple sketch for the card design. But as you can see, the feel of the card is not quite right somehow.

I tried to add some dimension to the sentiment by adding Glossy Accents to the letters, but the result is uneven, not smooth at all. Adhesive pearls and puffy stickers didn’t manage to help improve the feel of the card in any way either.

The only card I managed to complete in January in time for the challenge was this one. But I wasn’t satisfied with what I’ve done. I still had another idea to try out though, so I went on to make another card in early February.

I cut up one of the recipe cards from the paper pad, fussy cutting the girl figure and separating the border to create a frame. The inner lined area I trimmed to create a small banner shape. All these I combined with other papers and a tag, adding ribbons and clear sequins as embellishments.

What do you think?? I still feel that it’s not good enough to send to a friend. But not lousy enough to cut up either! It’s now sitting on my desk……..perhaps the card will look more pleasing if I’m in a better mood??!!

CAS Thank You Card

I just bought the 12 x 12 paper pad of Jen Hadfield’s Along the Way last month, because I like how the collection comes complete with so many tags and sentiments covering the “thank you” theme. So when I read about the January blog challenge for Pebbles Inc Blog, I thought it was just made for me!

What I did NOT expect was how much difficult it would be to make a Clean and Simple card!!! I’ve been so used to working with vintage-styled papers and adding ribbons & embellishments to my craft over the past 2 months, no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to make something plain & simple that still looks nice and balanced!!

But still, as the other reason I bought the paper pad was because I was attracted by the CAS-styled projects I saw online – those made it so simple to have something pretty with simpler designs lots of white space – I was determined to master this particular style. Well, maybe not master, but be at least able to make something nice enough I feel able to send out to a friend!!!

So at my 3rd attempt over 2 days of cardmaking, I finally came up with something:


This was made following the sketch challenge on this week’s Freshly Made Sketches. I used an A6 card base though, instead of a square card.

fms final 371-001

As I said, it’s not exactly clean and simple; I couldn’t resist edging my papers with my favourite Fossilized Amber Distress Ink, but at least I managed not to put embellishments all over the card, just added some adhesive pearls to the flower centres. The gold string serves as a nice match to the gold foiled white strip, doesn’t it???

There’re still a couple of Thank You tags from the paper pad I want to use, just hoping the ideas in my head would translate out nicely next time!!!