Friday, January 31, 2014

CASE STUDY Challenge 176 card

I thought this challenge looked like fun - I had a paper scrap given to me by my sister and I have been holding on to it … forever and knew immediately this is the challenge for it.

CASE study Challenge No. 176

And I think when you see my card you will instantly get why I chose to use this paper bit.


Isn’t that paper fantastic?

I got to use my crop-o-dile for this project, I’ve been looking for an excuse (besides using it to fix my cheese grater today too, but that is a whole other story) 


I backed the paper with a scallop cut of black cardstock.  I cut the plastic layer out of recycled packaging (I think from a cuttlebug embossing folder package if I’m not mistaken) I cut the black lettering and a heart from black vinyl and then the smaller heart from sparkle vinyl.  I popped some holes in the sides of the tag and added the grommets.  Then I lined up the vinyl bits, stuck them on (popping the heart out with some foam tape) Lastly, I used some gold twine and black crochet cotton to ground the tag.


When I got finished I decided to jazz this card up a bit by cutting the face into an angle (leaving the bit where the tie sits) and adding a scrap of paper to the bottom of the inside.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You’re MY cup of tea! FREE “Tea-Cup cutting file for your Cameo!

Today’s post is not for any sort of a card challenge, It is simply my way to say a super big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear forever friend ValindaValinda met me way back in the days when digital scrapbooking was something new and practically unheard of (WHAT??? No paper???)  We met at in a forum somewhere. 

I took to the digi side of things like a duck to water and soon was no longer satisfied to simply find, download and create from other talented designers - instead I began making my own digi kits.  I actually chose to make and give here on my blog, I’m so glad I’ve done this.

Along my journey I’ve met some absolutely wonderful ladies who have become my friends.  And among my closest circle Valinda shines bright as a diamond. When we were in the day when you would not dream of visiting a blog and not leaving some ♥… well, there’s SO much going on nowadays that's pretty much impossible - it makes the ones you do get all the sweeter.  Valinda is a constant.  When she befriends you, she is your friend forever. 

Valinda is a very talented person - (she even used to design freebies for digi-scrapping for give away!!!)  she is also a paper crafter, wife, mom, daughter.  Her family is all totally talented too (Mr - carpentier, Daughter Christie - way cool polymer clay artist and crochetter) - just to name a few in her family.  She has a true heart for the Lord and is a wonderful friend and Proverbs 31 Mom - so today its my complete honour to design a card dedicated to our friendship.  Its design expresses one of my fondest wishes… to have a tea with her in person one day.  (you better wear a lifejacket that day my friend so I don’t squish you to bits!!!) 

Here is the card I designed in honour of my Sweet Valinda’s (MILESTONE but I won’t tell *wink*) Birthday:


Designer Paper
Embossing Folder
Used Dryer Sheet
Silhouette Sketch Pen
Silhouette Cutting Files - Valinda’s Teacup by Barb Derksen

Isn’t the “teabag” just the most darling EVER???  I cooked this idea up in the middle of the night and worked it out the very next day.  The teacup was traced and altared from a free commercial use file which I got HERE at Pixel Scrapper.

The teabag is a used dryer sheet.  I folded a bit over, tucked the heart inside.  I just used my rotary cutter to make the “tag” - 1” x 2” and then folded over onto a loop of crochet cotton.  I inserted the other end into the teabag and then sewed all round with white thread.  I can think of all sorts of variations on this theme. 

I have made the file with the sentiment meant to be “sketched” using a Silhouette pen, however you might leave it blank and add your own sentiment.  Be sure to change your settings from “cut” to “sketch” when doing those particular things. 

Another look for this card with a plain white embossed background (scuze the quality of this quick iphone picture)
I hope you might take a teeeeeny tiny moment to hop over to Valinda’s blog and leave her a HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY Smile

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fussy Fancy Fridays No. 106 Challenge Card - “Vintage”

I’m joining in a “new to me” card challenge this week because it perfectly fits an image I scooped from Graphics Fairy recently.

Fussy Fancy Fridays No. 106 Challenge Card - theme: “Vintage”  The following is the inspiration:

And here’s my creation:

FFF 106 1_Barb Derksen


Designer Paper - Nature Garden Collection, JoDie Lee Designs

Image - Graphics Fairy

Lace, Ribbon, Pearls

Pheasant Feathers

Diamond Glaze

TomBow Marker - 772



I confess, this card did not come easily to me, in fact I printed the image a couple of times and tried coloring it with both pearlescent paints (thought they would go nice with the soft background paper) and with TomBow Markers as well. Turned out the pearlescent wiped out most of the black detail lines while the use of just TomBows were overwhelming.  I wound up taking a picture of the designer paper, bringing it into Photoshop along with the peacock image.  I knocked the peacock out to a png line drawing and then set it on the designer paper layer.  Next, I was able to work in layers and color the image digitally using soft variations of color based on the background layer. 

Sounds convoluted but it worked.  At the end I added n extra touch of color to the bird and shined her up with Diamond Glaze. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Freshly Made Sketches No. 120 Challenge Card - “You’re a STAR!”

TOTALLY loved this sketch for this challenge:

Freshly Made Sketches No. 120:

Straight away I “saw STARS” and -



I appreciated the simplicity of this sketch - this card flew right out of my head and onto cardstock!



Designer Paper - Recollections from Michael’s

Stamps - Studio G (various alphabet stamps - ♥ those things, they come in SO handy!)

Vinyl - chrome look

Foam Tape



I added a bit of sparkly black cardstock behind the word STAR to punch it up a bit. 

Thanks for taking the time to visit and/or comment (and if you do both then I pinch your cheeks and tell you you de BEST!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday Throwdown 179 Challenge Card & CELEBRATION FREEBIE!

Well WELL!  This post should put me at 300,000 page views and I want to celebrate! 

I must clarify something here - I have had my blog since 2005 and so the numbers are way way WAY more, but somewhere along the line Blogger added the page counting thing right into the blog and started counting from there.  I’m not quite sure when.  But, like having a second chance to celebrate a milestone of sorts, I’m all giddy.  So, I made an extra fun and special cutting file and incorporated it for this challenge.

Tuesday Throwdown 179 Challenge:

Our challenge theme this week is

"Baked Goods"

We want to see yummy baked goods on your cards/projects this week.


So here is what I created:


I know… nothing special on the outside you say - the great part of this card is all on the inside!


I made an insert for the center of the card which acts a “Pop-Up”.  What you are seeing is in parts.  There is the back plate which has a section cut in the middle and fold which you glue inside.  Then, there is the half circle and sentiment “eat cake” - I have created it once together, then just the lettering and then an extra half circle.  For my card I chose to leave the half circle behind the cake a plain white, but you might use it to cut from a designer paper.  Its up to you, with lots of options.


And then there’s the sweetest little piece of cake around!  Two pieces, cake and icing, you choose the flavor Winking smile 

Pssst - I used a stick on gem for the cherry and a bit of crochet cotton for the stem.



1 small Thing is where I share - things.  Could be a poem, thought, tip, song or photo.  You just never know.

My tip to you today is … Flannelette. 

Flannelette is hands down the best for dusting, cleaning and especially mirrors.  You often don’t need cleaners because flannelette leaves surfaces streak-free.  An old sheet (though not much to look at) can be cut into several dozen nice hand size rags and they last forever.  They are light and dry quickly too.  Plus - same reason as so many of you use flannellete diapers, its easier on the environment!

I know this is just little, but every little bit helps.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thank each and every one of you who come visit me here, and I appreciate each and every one of you!  Its hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that each of those 300,000 visits are persons… you, and you and YOU!

Oh and one LAST THING!!!

I updated my FREE .studio files PAGES TAB (located top of the blog on the right hand side)  I added the following files for easy access:

  • Easter Bunny Napkin ring
  • Tabby Cat HELLO Card
  • Father’s Day TIE Card
  • Girl and Birds Silhouette (Dream a Little Dream)
  • 45 Record


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge No. 203 & a FREE .studio card banner

Sunday is a day of rest and I can’t think of a more restful thing for myself than to create something beautiful. I checked out a few challenges and decided to make the following:

Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge No. 203

I like to have a mitt full of birthday cards on hand so I chose to make this my theme:



Designer Paper - ‘Apron Strings’ by Bella Road, various scraps and cardstock

Banner - ‘Eat Cake’ by Barbara Derksen (thats me!)

Silhouette Sketch Pen - black

Stamps - Fiskars


Gelly Roller sparkle pen

TomBow markers - N75, 553, 312, 969, 090,991

Embossing Folder


I’m giving you the FREE .studio cutting file so you can create your own “Eat Cake” banner.  I designed this banner with the word “Eat” for you to make with a sketch pen but the CAKE as a cut from the cardstock.  You will have to be sure to check you have the appropriate settings in your Silhouette Cameo, SD or Portrait. 


NOTE: I have updated some files into the FREE .studio TAB (top of my blog) so be sure to check.  I added:

  • Paper Cone Christmas Tree
  • Merry Christmas Doodles
  • Bow Tie
  • Lovely Lemon
  • Heart and Wings
  • Mrs Miles Love Bug

This makes them easy to find.  I will be working my way to add all the FREEBIES from 2013. 



Today’s 1 small THING is a tip from my household to yours.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I water plants I manage (somehow, no matter how careful I am) to get dirt outside the plant pot.  I thought and thought and came up with this solution -

Watering Jug & Baster


A jug, jar, pitcher or any other container for water (preferably with a handle) and a turkey baster.  This allows you to ‘portion out’ the amount of water each plant receives and also allows a greater control and direction of the watering. 

I know… your carpets and floors will thank me Smile

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Fusion No.2 Challenge Card

Fitting another little creation into my day - as I enjoy the morning via the wonders of the internet with Nina and Judy, my family!  Its wonderful to create, if not together at least at the same time. 

Fushion No.2 Challenge:

I thought I’d like the color combo of the photo and  I had the thought that I have just the right papers in my stash.  Here’s what I did:


This card could go happily masculine or feminine. 


Designer Paper - I can only identify the yellow, its ‘Apron Strings’ by Bella Road





It came together nicely - I just made lots of layers, and elevated things using foam tape. 

Which led me to a happy HAPPY discovery along the journey which I will share with you here:


RECOLOR (inexpensive) GEMS!

I found myself once again without a particular colored gem and thought ho-hummy, and thinking I now had to make an especial trip to the local dollar store and hope like mad they carry the color I want.  Or, find an alternative for now and wait till I get to a real scrapbooking store in a larger center (one of the cons of living ruralish) 


Then my brilliant little brain (it goes through phases haha!) -I hit the payload for  I discovered that I could RECOLOR my inexpensive dollar store silver gems using either a sharpie or my TomBow markers!  Woo hoo!  The possibilities are endless!

I hope this idea inspires you and saves you some money even. I think what excites me is to know that I can custom colour my gems to almost identically match my TomBow coloring projects. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Seize The Birthday - ‘Coloring’ - Challenge Card

I’m in ♥ with my TomBow markers, my Christmas present from my Mr.  They really are impressive.  This challenge seems so timely as I find myself wanting to colour, colour, COLOUR!!!

Seize the Birthday - Jan 16th - ‘COLORING’

Actually, one could do “Coloring” or, “Birthday” - I did a combo:

Seize The Birthday - Colurr 1_Barb Derksen


Arches 140lb Watercolour Paper

Designer Paper (scrap)

Stamps - Hero Arts, Fiskars Stampin’ Up 

TomBow Markers - N00 933 177 757 856 985 685 373 N57476 933

Guitar Strings


I used my Mr’s discarded guitar strings for the stems!


and chose a ‘near-shade’ to add some dimension to the little pocket. 

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Little Red Wagon No. 220 card and a FREE 3 Part Ruffle Cut File!

I rewarded all my drudgery housework chores took the opportunity to make a few cards yesterday and decided to seek out and try a new challenge.  I hopped around the internet and found the following challenge by Little Red Wagon.  Funnily enough, I had just posted to twitter a few days ago this exact thing - the 2014 Pantone Colour of the Year - Radiant Orchid! 

Little Red Wagon No. 220 sample pic:

We are to use varying shades of purple or orchid.

I will be the first to admit I don’t jump all around and get excited about purple, and I often quirk a brow when I see some in my paper bin.  Where did it morph from?  Did I willingly pick that paper sometime in the past?  What was I thinking?  What did I eat that day, I wonder?

Well, at any rate, I did find some lovely juicy fun bits and I just went for it before I could give my psyche a chance to scream in rebellion.  Here’s what I wound up creating:




Designer Paper - sorry, no identity on this 6 x 6 pad it appears someone halved with me

Ruffle - this too somehow magically showed itself to me in my fun bin

Wire - (for the feelers)

Beads - (feeler tips)

Glitter Paper (layer in butterfly)

Cutting File - Ruffle by Barb Derksen




I was wowwed watching my hands just blast ahead with this card.  It just came together so fast.  I scoped my supplies and found this butterfly themed DP and then matched it up with the Ruffle stuff.  Ok, what is it, exactly?  I don’t know what its official name is, but it is the texture of a dryer sheet.  I have a big square of it. 

I designed and cut the ruffle.  I cut my DP to the standard 4.25 x 5.5 size.  I chose some mauve thread and loaded up my sewing machine and then I sewed the ruffle in gathers across the card, in three layers, each separate.  I think you get more volume by doing each seperate. 

I then taped and glued the DP to my card base.

Next, I “fussy-cut” (used good old fashioned really sharp little hand held Fiskars scissors) to extract a complete butterfly image out of the leftover DP.  I placed a layer of the ruffle material underneath the butterfly and cut it a bit wider than the butterfly.  Then I took some co-ordinating glitter paper and made yet another, slightly larger cut. 

I located some thin gold wire (dollar store) and two beads and fashioned a set of ‘feelers’, wrapping it around the entire middle between the two for stability.  I used a combo of double sided foam tape and glue to affix this sweet insect to the ruffle. 




Lastly, I used a Micron marker to write a teeny tiny ‘Hello to you’ sentiment in a small ivory butterfly. 


Today’s ‘1 small THING’ is my giving you the cutting file I designed for the ruffle.  My ruffle cut like a piece of cake on my Silhouette Cameo!  I used the light fabric setting.  I am thinking because it seems to be the same material as dryer sheets you might use a dryer sheet (used one - you don’t want a new one because of the softner in a new one)  You might iron it flat first.  You could even dye it.  I think if you PINterest you could find a tut using kool-aid for dye.  The possibilities are endless.

I created this file to make a ruffle across the card on the short side… you can scale it to make it longer if you want to use it for the long side of your card.  You want to make it longer than the 5.5 length if you do because it you need room to make tiny gathers in your material as you sew. 

I do the gathering by keeping a seam-ripper with me, and after I sew a 1/2 inch I then lift the foot on the sewing machine up and  use the sharp end of the seam-ripper to poke some of the material forward.  Repeat. 

I hope you enjoy this cutting file!  I’d love to see what you make too.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mojo 328 Challenge Card

It has been a while since I tackled a Mojo card, though I visit often to peek at the sketches. This week’s appealed to me straight off so here goes:

Mojo 328 Challenge:

It looks like the Design Team have created some beautiful and inspiring cards once again! 

And here is my personal take on this challenge:



Designer Paper - “Brioche” by Memorybox Inc

Plastic Packaging

Cuttlebug Embossing Folder

Sheer Ribbon

Watercolor Paper

Stamp - (“bloom” sentiment) “Roses” stamp by Hot Off the Press

Tombow Markers - 847, 098

Gelly Roll sparkle pen

Geranium Image - Graphics Fairy 

This card has so much texture and sparkle and all the while a subtleness.  I will unpackage the process for you a bit here. I wanted the designer paper to shine through on this card, because I think it really pulls the front image together with the background.  So, I chose to make the second layer from a piece of plastic packaging (yes, nothing goes to waste in my household if it could be re-purposed for crafting).  I ran the packaging through the Cuttlebug using an embossing folder to get a similar texture to the pattern on the base. 


I have been stumped in the past in trying to figure out how to affix a clear layer to a background because anything I chose would show through and that was unsightly.  But then it “came to me” just like that!  I thought “photo corners!”.  I did not have any so I thought there had to be a simple solution to make my own.  I did a simple Google and came up with a little tutorial on (where else?) Martha Stewart - you can find it HERE.  She makes hers with ribbon but I used a strip of cardstock.  Worked like a dream.  

I did use a thin strip of double-sided tape for the silver ribbon layer - its not so visible. 


I used this marigold image from Graphics Fairy - her images are just so pretty and crisp, perfect to print.  I use a 140lb watercolor paper and it makes it look professional when colored in.  I used my Tombow Markers, still getting used to them.  I absolutely love them, now that I’m being the boss of them instead of allowing myself to be intimidated. 

The final touch was adding a bit of glitz to the petals with a sparkle Gelly Roller pen.  It ties it in with the silvery layer.


Today’s 1 small thing is - SET THE SCENE


In your home… including the atmosphere!

Start the day on the wrong side out,

Glum you’ll end it, there’s no doubt;

Smile at breakfast, there’s a chance

All the day your heart will dance.

If by day your spirit’s bright,

Chances are you’ll sleep tonight!

I like to create little “landscapes” in my decor. 

This is a tea-rose which was given to me a few years ago and I have nurtured it, indoors and out ever since.  (A minor miracle as I tend to kill all but the hardiest)  I have a collection of books which explore decor - many with the idea of bringing nature indoor if one can.  I thought this book, perched on the edge of the tea-rose and backed by the dark wall creates a peaceful feeling.  Though my house is far FAR from ‘stark’ - it is not cluttered either, my rule being most things I collect must be incorporated into the look of a room as a prop.  So many of my decorative items have sentimental meaning attached. 

Do YOU have a unique way to create a pleasant atmosphere in your home?

I hope you have a lovely week!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday Mashup No. 142 Challenge card

Wow, another card, can you dig it? 

When I saw the word “twine” in the choices one could use for this challenge I new immediately I was going to attempt an idea that has been rattling around in the back of my brain for quite some time. 




Designer Paper - “Blank Canvas” by Kristin Cronin Barrow

Coloring Page Image - “Vase with Flowers” I traced this coloring page image from HERE using my Silhouette Designer Edition Software

Silhouette Sketch Pen - black

TomBow Markers - 025, 685, 443, 158, N00



Pearl Gems

Diamond Glaze


I used “twine” to wrap the vase!


*note: I used a TomBow marker to color one of the pearls because I did not have different coloured centers… it worked wonderful, allowing the shimmer of the pearl to shine through!


Today’s “1 small THING” is to share a technique I use to make some “line art” images with my Silhouette Designer Edition software. 

Sometimes when I can’t find the stamp I want in my messy, jumbled craft drawers I  would like to find a different image, clean and simple, to work with.  I ♥ my Silhouette Sketch Pens and they can do some beautiful line work as well.  So, I will just use Google and search for “Coloring Page” with “” (the item I’m looking for - in this instance a vase with flowers)  Once you find the image of your dreams you can often simply right click and “copy” and then “paste” directly into your Silhouette program.  And you end up with it like this:

Color Page Trace 1

Then you just trace it using the Trace tool  in the program:

Color Page Trace 2

Once you have that selected you “trace” (click, pull and drag the mouse) around the flower and vase. You will wind up with an image like this:

Color Page Trace 3

The software got MOST of the trace but not all.  Generally, in a nice black and white line art image like this one, you just need to click, or un-click,  a box (and sometimes adjust a slider or two) to get a nice crisp trace:

Color Page Trace 4


In this instance I clicked the High Pass Filter Box off and I bumped the slider under Threshold up a bit - now my image looks solid, like this:

Color Page Trace 5

I want both the inside petals etc and the outside of the line art so I will choose the follwing trace setting (in the panel on the right of the screen)

Color Page Trace 6

Your trace will now make your image appear like this:

Color Page Trace 7

I don’t want to print this image at all so I just click and grab the trace lines and move them off of the image and delete the original image.

Color Page Trace 8

now I am ready to sketch and cut. 

Now I am going to be the first to tell you I probably go about the next step different than most folk.  Most folk would use the “cut line” settings but in a case like this (because the outside line is purely for cutting, while the inside lines are for the sketch pen, but here’s what I would do next:

Once you have deleted the original image, click on the traced image.  Size it to how big or small you want it and then move it to a corner of the matt where you will sketch and cut it.  Now, click on the image and then

Color Page Trace 9

You really may have to hit that “Release” command twice while to make it take effect.  You will know its worked if the pieces of the image are now in separate bits - try moving one - then hit undo to get it back to normal if you move a petal or something by mistake.  if you moved the outside line you are good to go for the next step.

Color Page Trace 10


If you now have the outside line moved off the other bits, you can now simply select the outside line and hit DELETE to remove the outside line.  We want to just sketch the inside lines.  Load up your Cameo with cardstock and a Silhouette Sketch Pen and using the appropriate Sketch Pen setting then allow your Cammy to “draw” the image. 

Once you have done this, then change the Setting on your machine to “Cardstock” setting for the cutting blade, adjust that if it needs to be twisted to “3” and then hit the UNDO button in your software until the sketch is whole again, with all the lines visible. 

Now, click onto all the inside bits, leaving just the outside line.  Now ask your Cameo to actually cut out, and it should cut this all out nicely.  You will wind up with the sketched image nicely inside the cut out edge.  Voila! 

If I want to save the image as a .studio Silhouette file, I will then do “undo” until all the bits are back and then save the image for future projects.

I hope my instructions might be of use to you.  Don’t be afraid to leave a comment/ask a question. 

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