Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bethlehem Star Pattern

I have been neglecting my blog a lot lately, but here's a new one for ya! If you are new to paper construction, I would recommend trying a different project, because this is not as easy as it would seem.

The back story: every year I like to add some handmade ornaments to my tree, and over the past few years I have been recycling my Christmas cards for this purpose. You can see a couple of them in the edges of the pic. This year, I went online with the hopes of finding a pattern for a 360 degree Bethlehem star, and had no luck! You can find one-sided and two-sided patterns, but not 'ball' shaped ones. So I came up with my own, which turned out to be a tricky bit of geometry - what exactly do you call a 14-spiked sphere where some of the spikes are 3-sided and some are 4-sided?

Anyway, here are the patterns and instructions for your personal use. The pattern printed full size makes about an 8 1/2" long star. Just double-click on the pics to enlarge. Merry Christmas and Happy Crafting!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Deed is Done!

My eldest was married this weekend! And since this is a craft blog....the above picture includes some of the items that I made over the past 13 months for her wedding. Not included were the bridal bouquets, etched glasses, and jewelry that she made.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gaelic Storm Band is Amazing!

Went to see them last night, and being such a crafty-minded person, I had to find a way to attach "Darcy's Ass" to my dashboard. There's a back story (and a song of course) to this little donkey, and you can find out about their missing mascot, the band, and their celtic music at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labels for Favors and Tent Cards

Personalized labels are easy to make! Here I've imported an image to my graphics program, and tweaked away! The labels include a mock nutritional label, with ingredients such as "love" and "happiness", as well as a thank you message from the bride and groom.
Tent-style table number cards are made from the leftover invitation scraps.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Had to adjust my sign a bit!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


These wedding invites for my daughter took awhile, as I was trying to find a balance between "casual fun" and "formal occasion". The rules from the bride: lots of fall color, nothing elegant, no ruffles, bows, ribbons, or buttons,lol! Hence, the velcro dot and leaf brad enclosures...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Cat and a Cake

...and candles, of course! I colored the flames with orange and yellow oil pencil, then sealed them with glitter glue. If you don't seal your chalks or pencils when they are used inside a card, you'll wind up with smudges you didn't count on. The sealant doesn't have to be glitter glue, I just wanted the sparkly effect.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

International Wedding

This one was made for a friend of my daughter, and combines some cultural features of Spain, Austria and the US:

The background is of an etching by Josef Eidenberger, an Austrian artist, and is titled Linz Hofgasse. The Spanish bride has lace trim and Swarovski beads on her dress (a nod to spanish lace and Austrian crystal). Her bouquet features the national flowers of the US, Spain, and Austria (rose, pomegranate, and edelweiss). Each flower is made of paper by me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Table Numbers

I've been MIA for a while, working on the invites to my daughter's wedding, but here is my latest project: the table numbers.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Long Neck

This pop-up giraffe prefers the ground vegetation over the trees.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Now I need to make an apple pie card to match!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Big Screen Buddies

Dad and his son are enjoying a favorite pastime. (Inside, the son has grown up.) The screen part was made to have a photo slid in from the top.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Just a simple paper cutout design: there's a white lining to hide the message inside from peeking thru the cutouts.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Computer Guy

Integrates a purchased sticker into the design

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chalk guidelines

A quick tip for getting those slots in just the right spot: use a chalk pencil! It wipes clean when your done. Simply chalk the fold line, then close the card. Rub gently, and the chalk will be right where you need to cut the slot. No ruler needed!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Dad is outfished by his son for this Father's Day pop-up.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!

Just the latest in my self-guided cake decorating escapade. The lesson here was how to work with piping gel to get that stained glass look. This one - my first ever piping gel attempt - took me 5 hours just to do the flower design!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garden Gate and Dandelions

My yard will be blooming soon!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vote for my Little Guy!

I've entered him in the "Green is Universal" reuse contest because he's made from plastic security packaging and leftover Christmas wrapping paper. (In his previous life he was wrapped around the HP ink cartridges at Costco.)

So please vote for him, and at the very least click on him to find a semi-tutorial for how to make the plastic part :)

The link: , and you'll find him under 'toys, games, and gadgets'. An extra bonus - your vote will enter you to win a $500 shopping spree at Etsy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

For the Future Oscar Winner

Not showing well in this pic was the shine on the statue. I used metallic gold cardstock, and hand-inked the shadows, but the paper did not have enough shine to it. So the paper statue was coated in clear gloss acrylic finish.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Progress Halted!

Because I can't decide what words to add to the cover! This will eventually be the cover of my daughter's wedding guestbook, but indecision has had me staring at it for the last hour.
Don't look too close yet - I still have to add more 'depth' to the woodburned picture.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coordinating Mother's and Father Day Accordian Cards

These two are paired up for the Etsygreetings Team Design challenge, which was to somehow coordinate Mother's and Father's Day cards. To see the rest of the challenge entries:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silhouettes and String

Most of the elements of this card were custom requested (mandolin, banjolele, guitar, keyboard, family members, pop-up). The challenge was to find a way to get them all on the card without making it look too crowded! The conclusion was a two-color palette, with lots of layers, scoring, and string.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Envelope Book

The quest here was to find a way to use my larger prints, other than scrapbooking or collage. I tend to buy the slabs of paper, but only use the smaller background prints for my cards. This was a great way to make a dent in my paper stash, and now I can buy more, lol.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Two of my impulse buys are put to use here for the first time - the jar stamp and the bug punch! Stamp on the back side of the acetate so that the ink won't smear with handling.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cake Notes

This one's for my use - I needed a way to organize all my cake decorating info. But it really was just an excuse to buy the Bind-It-All. This was my first attempt with wire binding, and I think I added too many pages to make it work as well as I'd like. I also crimped the wires too tight. Lessons learned!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Sliver

If you're looking for a slim book with just enough room to have a single sentence, quotation, or memory per page, then this is the perfect size! Colorful dividers section off each of the signatures inside.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cake Trials

Stepping away a bit from paper here, but lately I've been occupying most of my craft time with learning how to decorate cakes. It's my goal to do my daughter's wedding cake this coming October, and she wants autumn leaves on a brown cake. So....

cake #1 was my first cake ever. I tried store bought fondant, which tasted awful, but it was a good practice attempt at smoothing and icing. The cake itself was dry, and so I went on a major research quest to find amazing cake recipes suitable for a wedding cake. (I was eventually successful, so ask me if you're interested in either a white or chocolate cake recipe that will knock your socks off.)

cake #2 was really to attempt a square cake. Corners are harder, so now I know: I don't want to do a square cake. I also learned that I don't really want to make flowers out of fondant - too floppy.

cake #3 was for my daughter's 23rd birthday (she's the bride-to-be). Each layer was a different cake flavor. It was also my first (and last) time I will ever attempt to tint fondant dark brown. What an arm workout!

cake #4 involved gum paste leaves. I used cookie cutters purchased on line, and handpainted the leaves. They looked terrific on this cake design I attempted from an online picture, but edible gum paste isn't really edible unless you have no taste buds! Still, I may use gum paste as it was very easy to work with, and the caterer wouldn't have to serve up the leaves with the cake.

cake #5 was really all about the white cake recipe inside with a strawberry filling. All who tried this one thought the cake tasted amazing. I also started for the first time tweaking the fondant recipe to find a way to make it taste better. In this picture it was half white chocolate 'plastic' and half fondant. It was much better, but still not tasting good enough for me.

cake #6 is not fondant, as i decided to look for alternatives. Icing the cake the old-fashioned way with regular chocolate buttercream will taste great, but not be as easy to get that smooth, wedding cake polish. So I came across this rolled buttercream recipe, that rolls out like fondant. This tastes wonderful, but is harder to work with as it is softer and easier to tear. For this reason, I would not recommend using this for a cake bigger than 10" round. Those roses are chocolate plastic, and taste a lot like tootsie rolls.

(side note: the real cake #6 was completely covered in semisweet chocolate plastic, and tasted so amazing that I didn't have time to snap a picture before it was eaten.)

cake #7 was made for my other daughter to take to school for Valentine's day. It is a chocoholic's dream - the cake, the icing, the bark, the roses and the white-chocolate pink flowers.

Many thanks to the students, coworkers, and family members who have all been my guinea pigs lately! Thank you for taking all these experiments off my hands!

Next up, are plans to try using white chocolate for the autumn leaves, so that people can eat them. I'd also like to try my hand at airbrushing instead of handpainting them. And I still haven't tried homemade marshmallow fondant yet. My goal is to have a great looking, and great tasting 4- tier wedding cake, that can be done and still keep my sanity in the days before the ceremony. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

This card was donated to Etsy's "Special Delivery: Share Your Love 2011" Valentine's Day card drive, as is destined for New York's Citymeals-on-Wheels program. It is an open, heart-shaped paper weave with a pale-pink lining insert, allowing light to shine inside.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cool Cats

A custom request, using paper piecing and thread as the guitar strings.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

A repeat for me, but appropriate for the day! Hope you all have a good holiday :)