Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Family and Friends and Happy Holiday Weekend

Barry and Judy
Valinda and Jim
Congratulations to both “sets of you”!    Both Judy and Valinda have blogs so if you feel the urge to go visit and wish congrats them yourself!  Judy has posted today with a special bouquet you must see!

In honour of this momentous and romantic celebration I’ve created another design for YOU!   I made this sweet fish which I then had (of course – keeping with my trying to make an original card every day) to make a card to show how this design might look on YOUR own card. 
First I cut out my fish using the design I will post at the end of this ramble.  I can’t say I’d pick the same paper for the fish next time but I’m not entirely displeased with it and it at least gives me (and better yet YOU) some good ideas.  I don’t know what brand of papers these are, just remnants I had around.  The red paper for the lips, tail and fin are a nice shiny red – hard to appreciate in my photo.
I cut the top and bottom papers out using a scallop edge and then brushing the edges with some ink from Michaels in a hot pink.
I cut the “bubbles out of patterned cardstock paper and then dusted them with clear glitter.  I harvested the feminine googly eye from an old greeting card (the ladies at the local thrift store collect and save them for me!)   My original download file for YOU does have an eye included though.
I made my own little fish hook and fishing line using two different wires.  The thicker wire is just a plain one for jewellery and the red “line” is thin wire I bought at the dollar store.  They come in very pretty and useful colors. 


I've entered my tiny hook and line into the "I Was Caught" post at My {re}purposed life today - why not wander over there too - some terrific ideas [including some for Silhoutte SD]
So now I’m offering this design here for YOU as a free download both in PNG format, layered PSD and .studio file (specifically for Silhouette SD)  to use as you wish – the only stipulation being you must credit me and and link back to my blog.  Please do not share the download link, rather have your friends come here and download them for themselves (and I’d love a comment!)  If you use my designs for a project, why not send me a jpg and I’ll feature you
Just click on the preview below to be taken to the download for the zipped file for all three file types (I’ll also post the plain .studio file under the Silhouette tab, top of the blog) as well as in the Vault.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another 365 Card challenge completed and FREE Silhouette cutting files!

I decided to keep with my accomplishing at least one card a day while learning how to use my Silhouette SD.  This challenge is from 365 Cards, Day 150 - Background challenge and the rule was:

"Create a background for your card using wet and/or dry embossing"

This is my take on the challenge - which my Mr said was the best card I've made to date.  I love it, but I'd beg to differ.  though I love the preciseness of it, I am more for the artistic side of things.  I take his praise highly though, as he does not dispense it out for just any old card! 

The pretty flower file was a free download from SVGCuts (loads of high quality items for sale here and some terrific freebies too!)  The flower file came in several pieces and I had to actually take the file into illustrator to covert it into a png which I could then trace and cut with my Silhouette. 

I created the next three shapes in the Silhouette software - and I've posted the last two in a "page tab" top of my blog where you can download them for FREE.  I did not provide the one for the tag because all I did for that one was "drew" a round cornered rectangle twice, enlarging one and then punching a hole for it so it turned into a tag.  The Happy Birthday stamp was a small Studio G from Michaels - I use this one over and over as its just the right size. 

I used a tiny bit of colored wire for the "string" for the tag - the dollar store has pretty colored wire for pennies!  

I forgot to mention that I added a film of glitter over the cut out paper flower. 

Off to tackle today's challenge! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My 1000th Post–really and truly! A 365 Card Challenge and a FREE template

Gracious – this milestone sneaked up on me.  I know that my yearly date will come up soon because I have that little counter gadget in the side of my blog but the actual number eluded me until I saw it on my blogger dashboard somewhere in the 990’s.   Wow.  It has been quite the journey. 

My blog has been a gift and joy in my life.  I’ve come to know many of you as friends over the years.  My family has joined in blogging too.  My blog has been a journal and I often love to comb back to compare what has transpired in previous years.  When I began my blog I prayed about it and asked the Lord for guidance on what the content should be.  As I was faithful to blog afterward, amazing things have happened, one of the most amazing to me, and still is today, is that I have developed many talents and I’ve been able to share them with YOU! 

One thing that was important from the beginning, and still is, is that this blog will always be a “safe” place.  I like to keep it simple.  Though I do sometimes promote some products and friends designs – and have at times sold my own designs through shops – I’ve still always made some ‘extras’ for YOU because being a stay at home wife (by choice) I know that there have been many times I’ve been blessed by the generous designs and items from others.  I like to pay it forward – and all the glory to the Lord for anything I’ve given that might have helped you. 

THANK YOU all so very much for visiting me and the encouraging comments you leave.  You have no idea how much they mean to me.  Thanks also to those of you who have chosen to “follow” me, it tickles me to know you would find my site a place you like to keep current with. 

I am determined to learn my Silhouette SD inside and out and so today I wanted to “Print and Cut” a graphic.  Oh MY.  Good thing that I had lots of time sequestered away here for it took me several hours and lots of paper.  I decided to combine today’s challenge at 365 Cards with this technique. Thanks to my dear friend Valinda who spent the morning with me online while I grumbled and crumpled paper after paper and kept saying “I know you can do it.”

Today’s Day 149’s Background Challenge rules were:

Divide the background into 4 parts - 2/4 must be solid color and 2/4 must have a pattern.  The colors and patterns to not have to be the same on each part.

And here is my take on this challenge and also a tutorial on the lace I “made” for this card.



I got the image from Create with TLC (see, one of those generous places!)  I asked my Silhouette SD to trace the image and then I made an oval around it and then I asked it to print the graphic and then cut it out in the oval shape.  After something like 6 attempts I finally got it! 

I then created the beautiful Damask Oval shape using Photoshop and then I saved it as a PNG and that will be my gift to YOU at the end of this post!  Here’s more about this card. 

I used watercolour pencils on the graphic.  I inked the edges of almost everything.  The stamp is a Studio G, purchased at Michaels. 

Here’s the story of the lace -



I’m a girl who likes to “up cycle” things.  Being a stay-at-home anything requires one to be inventive in accumulating supplies.  I’d bought this frothy item a long time ago.  Now, you might see this as a pretty bit of lingerie or a nice cami – me, I saw it as lace. 


And, in fact, it is!  15 + yards in fact, after stripping it down with scissors.  Ha!


And because I did not want to be bothered with sewing I simply used a bit of very thin wire to gather the lace nicely.


Once I had it gathered then I cut it to the width I desired. 

I stuck it onto my card using double sided tape. 


Though there were a few things I’d do differently next time, I learned a lot of new tools and helpful techniques today. 

Do YOU have a good tip or technique you would like to share?  Please leave me a comment and I’d be glad to post here!


And, as I promised, I am giving away a FREE template for YOU to use.  I will provide it in a zipped folder – a PNG, 300 dpi and also a .studio file for anyone visiting who has a Silhouette SD.  This is fine for you to use for your personal or commercial projects only I ask that you credit me and also link back to me, please.  And if you use my items in a project I’d LOVE you to show me!  Just leave a comment with your email or blog site.

Just click on the graphic to be taken to the download.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trying a "365" Card Challenge and some new FREEBIES available in "The Vault"

I am trying to work my way through a pile of cards I need to make so I'm trying to accomplish at least one a day, more if I am able, so I have decided to check out and accomplish a challenge or two.  Sometimes they give me just the inspiration or push that I need.  Today I'm going to do Monday's challenge for 365 Cards.  Their challenge is to use 1/2 polka dots and one half plain, decorating it any way I liked.  Here's my take on that idea and also some info on 'making' your own lace... from discarded doilies!

I know I know, its not just polka dots but I could not resist the combo of this paper with the red top!  The scallop was cut with my Silhouette SD, using a template I created myself, just cutting it narrower than I'd designed it for.  The "charm" is actually an earring - a lot of my charms are "harvested" from discarded jewelry.

Even my Mr has started collecting for me - he found this discarded bracelet in a parking lot - the clasp was broken and some pieces crushed.  He brought it home for me (this deserves me spoiling him by baking him something nice, methinks!)  

And so I used a pair of jewelry pliers to snip it into some little sections and some single charms!

Here's the story on the "lace".  It's actually just part of a doily.  Thrift stores are full of doilies, they are available for pennies at yard sales.  I take them and do all sorts of beautiful things with them.

This is the doily that I cut this "lace" out of - as you can see there is so much usable and interesting bits to it. Am I inspiring you, giving you new ideas?  I'm a frugal girl and love to upcycle used items.  

All in all this card cost next to nothing to make and yet is a unique little work of art.

What sort of items do YOU re-use to make your cards?

On another note, I added 5 more "Freebies" into the Vault (Tab Uptop of blog page)  I tried to organize them into categories as I post eg: the cross element is sort of in a "spiritual" section, the Ice Fishin' Kit in with the winter/Christmas stuff at the end etc.  They are as follows: 

  • Bill and Barry's Ice Fishin' Kit
  • John 3:16 Cross
  • Pink Lemonade Tapes
  • Love Hearts and Charms
  • Love Stamps
In case you are a die-hard "Carder" or "Stamper" and have just stumbled upon my blog, and are wondering what all these things are in my Vault, they are digital scrap-booking elements and kits.  These are all jpg (for the papers) and PNG (for the "elements' - buttons, flowers, brads etc) files, the PNG on transparent backgrounds.  I'm sure many of the PNG elements could be imported into your cutting machines to make custom elements for your cards.  I hope you enjoy them - all I ask is that you respect whether they are labeled "personal" use or "commercial" if it states, though I am open to allowing some use if you ask me permission.  The other thing would be a link to my blog and a credit.  You can credit me as Barb Derksen or Mrs Miles.  


Monday, July 25, 2011

Mojo Two-Oh-One and … My NEW Machine & a FREE Card Topper Template!

Well, I’ve been stay-cationing a bit between side trips (camping and such) and enjoying the quiet time playing a new machine.  Yes, my Mr spoils me.  We decided to make some smaller trips in vacation time this year and so he invested some of our intended holiday money into a dream of mine.  He bought me a machine to help me make my cards. 

I was paging through a PaperCrafts Magazine recently and saw an advertisement for the Silhouette SD – and on a whim visited their website and was WOWWED by the ability of this thing.  So, we put an order together and now I’m on a huge learning curve with it. 

My Silhouette SD can do so much more than just cut things out!  Oh my, I just visited the site to link here and discovered that there is a newer upcoming version which has the ability to cut papers up to 12 inches wide, mine does the standard 8.5.  I’m not complaining here. 

So, after much practice I designed my own scalloped template for today’s card.  Here is the Mojo Monday sketch for #201.  I know its sure not an exact following but I fear had I added it all it would have been too much the way I did it. 

And here is my take on the card.  I freely admit that I also took a lot of inspiration from Debbie Carrier’s take on the card too.


Honestly, this thing took me ALL DAY to create.  Haha, I muttered at myself quite a bit, I did.  First I asked my Silhouette to cut out the card itself on this pretty cardstock.  I wish I could tell you who made the cardstock but it was a gift.  Its nice and heavy, perfect for a project like this.  It was truly tricky designing the card so that the two sides were identical!  I used a template which came with the software to make the ribbon (with the holes in it) across the card, and asked the machine to cut the edge of the ribbon to exactly fit with the edge of the card (the scallops)  K, so that took me an hour in itself!

The sentiment and the shoe, I confess, are cut out from a book I picked up at a yard sale some time ago.  I had to use a razor cutter that slides over my finger to do that trick.  Another 1/2 hour. 


This part was the most fun! 

I created a butterfly template and cut it out twice – once with cardstock and then once with vellum. I used a dab of double sided tape to join the two in the centre.  Next I struggled for an hour with jewellery wire and teensy tiny pearls trying to create a set of antennae – another wasted hour and I was not happy with the result.  Yeh yeh, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

I was at a loss and so when my Mr called me and asked me to help hold his guitar while he took out the old strings and put on new… yes, it was an epiphany!  I took one of the strings he discarded cut off a length,.  I then folded it in two and then I found some “crimping beads” which I had picked up one time at Wal-Mart because they were shiny and I’m attracted to shiny things and thought I might use them one day.  After adding a bead to the string at the height that looked right I crimped and voila!  I then added a light dusting of glitter to the edges of the vellum wings. 

(that’s another hour gone!)


Lastly I created three blossoms from ribbon using a little ribbon maker I picked up at a thrift store recently.  They were tricky little fellers – the “bud” was done freehand.   That too took me an hour.  What a MESS I had here!

So, in celebration of my new machine, I am offering up my FREE card topper template for you.  It is suitable for a card 5.5 inches wide.  You may use my template for personal or commercial use though I would ask you link to me when you use it, please.  I will start another “Page” up-top of my blog and perhaps share more templates in the future.  My files will be 300 dpi in PNG format so you may have to suss out how to import it into your particular software.  And as always, I’d LOVE to see how you use my template – or any of my designs!  Just leave me a comment and I’ll provide you my email.  click on the picture to be taken to the download.  Enjoy!

Here’s a sample card I made using this template and using a discarded earring as a charm.

And you would be missing out if you did not visit my sister Nina's blog too - she's a wicked good carder herself, and often is the one who puts seeds of ideas into my head that wind up being designs I give away here!   I've looked for my other family member's Mojo's today but nobody has posted yet - soon I bet! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back with Mojo No. 200 and a FREE Element!

Whew, I think I went through withdrawals this past week because I did not card or do any sort of hobby or craft for seven whole entire complete days.  My fingers were all twitchy and I felt like... weird!  So, now that I have a chance I attempted a mojo!  

CONGRATS to the Mojo team on their 200th sketch - and what a nice one it 'tis!  

Here's my take on it:

Paper is Jen Wilson's 29th Street Market (gotta love it, double sided!) 
Word Art from Elegant
Scalloped Ribbon - my own design
Flower - my own template, cut out and layered (all using opposite sides of the paper) 
Pearl - Forever in Time


And here's another of my friend Pam's elements from her vintage family album: 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wedding Weekend

My photos here are not great quality because someone (silly ME) captured most photos on my "real" camera with no computer to transfer etc to. Besides, I'd look pretty funny trying to use both iPhone and the camera at the same time - I had to choose one or the other. So what you will see here are photos of the screen of my "real" camera, taken with my iPhone and then enhanced as best I could. Little snippets that hopefully still share the essence.

In an architecturally eye pleasing building downtown Vancouver we has the pleasure of attending the wedding of our family, Kyle and Denise.

A romantic collision of Italian marries Chinese it was a cultural mashup - throw in friends from all over the world and even the couple's dog and it made for an eclectic and happy celebration.

If we can define it further in a culinary sense might we say bruschetta meets dim sum?

The banquet was held the previous evening in a five star Chinese restaurant and consisted of an eight course meal and included such delicacies as sea cucumber (pictured above). My usually squeamish Mr outdid me in adventurousness by eating a good portion of this dish - I just couldn't quite make it there.

We met relatives we haven't had the opportunity to until now - it's amazing and wonderful, like adding new leaves on our family tree!

Though it rained softly off and on the venue location featured a 'waterfall' theme.

Fortunately the interior of the building was light and bright and inviting.

And, this lovely event, anticipated for long was over all too quickly.

Congratulations Kyle and Denise!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mojo Monday 199

Well I did'nt get things done on my big list of to-do's today... for when I was supposed to be checking that list off I got sidetracked by Mojo.  My sweet Mr does not call me "Miss Stubbs" for nothing, I was determined to finish this card no matter what.  It took me several hours in the end!

I really liked this challenge and I like how my card turned out - even if I really really struggled with it: 

I'm sorry I can't name the papers as they were given to me, but the shapes are all my own.  
The Rose  and Leaves are from Graphics Fairy. 
I sprinkled some glass beads over glue in the middle of the flower. 
The stamp is from Studio G

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Happy Anniversary Lil Sister - a FREEBIE to celebrate!

It's my Sister Nina's wedding anniversary - wishing you both a v. special day!   To celebrate I made up this pretty stamp for you to use for your projects.  Its a png file, 300 dpi, aproximately 3 inches in size.  I am also including a staple so you can secure it :)  I took the photo with my iphone yesterday and added some filters to that!  G'wan over to Nina's and wish her a happy day instead of leaving a comment here if you only have one comment in you!

Right click on elements and "Save As"  
Personal Use! 

Friday, July 08, 2011

A Card for Seb's Mechanics & more FREEBIES added to "The Vault"

Most of you who are regulars to my blog know that we have a VW Vanagon and we ♥ it to bits.  It is not only our vehicle but it is our "home away from home" when life bites and when we vacation.  This is our second van, and this second one I picked out myself in 2008 for my birthday present:

Oh what a happy day that was!  At any rate, we have always "named" our vehicles and so this is Seb - short for Sebastian who was a famous Italian explorer and cartographer. 

We try to take very good care of Seb, so we take him in to get some TLC each year before summer.  Our mechanics specialize in VW's and are sooooo nice too, so we always do something nice for them when we pay the bill.  This time I made an extra special card for the people at the auto place to go along with their do-nuts: 

('scuze my finger holding it together)
This is a 5.5 inch card

The transparent road map panels on the sides came from
Making Memories - [clear creations] TRAVEL set

I love the little hunk of brown textured paper under the Thanks sentiment,
I just had a scrap of it.  Its almost plastic feel but I think it just finished
the card off perfectly! 


I added 5 more personal use products into "The Vault" {click the tab at the top of this page that says "Mrs Miles...}  They are as follows:

  • Heart Music (mini kit)
  • Holly Wreath
  • Howdy (rope words)
  • Howdy Frames (rope )
  • Howdy Knots (rope)

Enjoy - and a little comment would sure go a loooooong way to make more additions possible! *wink*

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Clean and Simple

I'm just catching my breath after a few days visiting with my Sister in Law Judy - we had a wonderful time visiting, crafting and poking around in the local shops.  It was great to spend time with you Judy!  
I had to build a birthday card for a friend and my Sister Nina invited me to a simple card challenge and I decided to take her up on it.  Here's the sketch: 

And here's my take on it:

Grapic: Graphics Fairy
Stamp Studio G
Papers - various 

Luckily the person this card is intended for likes birds.  I loved how quick this card went - it gave me time to play with other projects - stay tuned!  

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