Tag Archives: Design Team

Making Cork Stamps


Making stamps from corks is a great way to reuse something you might otherwise throw away, and the resulting stamps can be used to embellish anything from a place card to the pages of your art journal! This cork-stamped place card project is my latest Design Team project for crescendoh.com, and I hope you like it.  I used corks from wine bottles, but you can use other types of corks if you have them…


How To Carve a Cork Into a Stamp

Begin with a dry cork.  Draw a design on one end of the cork, or plan the design in your head before you begin cutting freehand.  Using a very sharp X-ACTO knife, and working carefully so you don’t slice your fingers or hands, cut out your design.  A sharp blade will make cutting your design easier, so consider starting with a brand new blade in your utility knife.

Test the stamp with ink when you think the stamp is ready, to make sure you’re pleased with your design. You can easily make tweaks to your design if it’s not quite right.  Oh, and don’t worry if you mess up or aren’t pleased with your design.  You can simply slice a small section off the end of your cork and try again!

Please note: Both ends of a cork can be used, resulting in two stamps per cork.  Woo hoo!


Place Card Directions – So Easy!

Stamp a cork flower image onto watercolor paper with black ink.  Stamp your guests’ name next to your cork-stamped design using the lowercase Best Life Alphabet.  Attach a red gem to the center of the stamped flower design using a mini glue dot.

I Love My Cork Stamps!

Making cork stamps is easy, economical, and fun.  I use my cork stamps on a regular basis, and hope you’ll make some too!  Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you…

Warm regards,

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DIY: Bird Necklace


I love birds, and after seeing a darling necklace made by fellow design team member, Shona Cole, earlier this year I decided to make a necklace of my own.  And though I used her project as a jumping off point, my necklace is a bit different.  For one, no sewing!

Quick and easy to make, this versatile necklace design can easily be modified by using a different stamped image or a different style of ribbon.  Consider having multiple stamped images that you switch out, giving you multiple looks with one necklace!


Squeeze a drop of purple Pearlescent acrylic ink onto the smooth side of a small piece of watercolor paper, and rub it into the paper – spreading the ink into an even layer using a circular motion.  Let dry.  Alternately, you can use a piece of metallic cardstock, or another thick piece of paper that appeals to you.

Stamp the bird image from the Woodland Friends stamp set onto the purple paper piece using permanent black ink.  (I used my favorite, StazOn ink)   Trace the silver frame onto the paper – I used an aluminum oval label holder by Making Memories. Center the bird within the frame’s opening, and trim the bird piece so it fits into the opening.  Attach the two pieces with adhesive.

Glue two rhinestones on either side of the bird, and let dry.  Attach two silver jump rings to the holes on either side of the oval label holder, and thread ribbon and silver ball chain through the jump rings, making sure the ribbon and chain run along the back.

Tie a knot around the chain with the ribbon, a few inches away from the bird pendant, on each side of the necklace. Finish the necklace by tying off the ribbon near the end of the ball chain and the clasp on the two sides of the chain.  Trim any excess ribbon before wearing.


I hope you like this little bird necklace as much as I do.  Happy Crafting!

Warm regards,

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Vintage Snapshot Ornaments


Look – my newest Design Team project for crescendoh.com!  If you have a pile of precious family photos that are languishing in a box or drawer, this Vintage Snapshot Ornament project is for you.  These ornaments can be used in many different ways, and are easy to make.

Consider hanging them on a Christmas tree, a found wooden branch, or around the necks of vintage glass bottles.  They’d make unique tags, and could even be hung from the “branches” of a family tree you paint on the wall!  This project may be particularly appealing to scrapbookers and family historians, and a set of these ornaments would make a lovely gift.


Begin by printing or copying the black and white images you’d like to use.  I printed scans of old family photos onto regular copy paper using my home printer.  Crop the images into a square shape.  My finished ornaments vary slightly in size, but are 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” on average.  Glue the cropped image onto a thin piece of chipboard or a thick piece of cardstock that you’ve trimmed to the same size as the photo, using a glue stick to adhere the two pieces.  (I used cardboard from a Panera bagel box!)

Slide black photo corners onto each corner of your image – the front should lay on top of the image, and the back should lie on top of the chipboard/cardstock piece you attached to the photo.  Affix the back piece of each photo corner to the chipboard/cardstock with glue or a glue dot to ensure they don’t shift or fall off.


Trim a piece of white cardstock to the same size as your photo.  Stamp the cardstock with a frame image from the Little Miss Mason stamp set, choosing a frame of appropriate size and shape.  Use an alphabet letter stamp to add information about the photo inside the frame, like the person’s name, date, or the occasion.  You can also write the information in, if you’d like.  Set this stamped piece aside.


To make the hanger, attach the two ends of a piece of narrow black ribbon to the back of the photo/chipboard piece, using double stick tape.  The ribbon should be centered, and should extend down at least ½” from the top edge.

Finish the ornament by attaching the stamped piece of cardstock to the beribboned photo piece.  The back of the photo piece should be attached to the back of the stamped cardstock, sandwiching the ribbon in between.


Please note: If you’re using digital copies of black and white/sepia photos and you have photo editing software like Photoshop, your images will look more uniform if you desaturate the images before printing them.  If you copy paper photos, you’ll get better results if you color copy them, though they’re black and white.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at my newest DIY project.  Do you have some precious family photos you’d like to make into snapshot ornaments? If so, please let me know if you have any questions…

Warm regards,

p.s. Have you entered my newest GIVEAWAY yet?  I’ll announce two winners on Tuesday, so enter today!

Posted in crafts, DIY, family, life in general, photography, vintage | Also tagged , , , 8 Comments

Beribboned “Art Saves” Mobile

My newest Design Team project features some of the wonderful, hand-dyed ribbon that I’m giving away this coming Tuesday.  If you haven’t already entered the giveaway, I’m hoping you’ll want to after perusing the pictures of this mobile.  The ribbon is so lovely!

The design actually reminds me of a jellyfish, one of nature’s beauties.  I decided to start my mobile with a sentiment that’s very close to my heart: Art Saves.  I used the design by Danita from the Art Saves Stamp set, and stamped the image twice with black ink onto watercolor paper.  I used an oval template, cut out the two stamped designs, and set these central images aside.


The “base”, or top, of the mobile was made from a round piece of cardboard salvaged from packaging, but you could make your base by tracing a bowl or plate of your choosing onto any piece of cardboard and then cutting it out with heavy-duty scissors.  (My circle is 8” in diameter)  Next, I brushed undiluted gesso onto both sides of the cardboard circle – one side at a time.  I applied it loosely, and I blotted the gesso with the textured side of a paper towel to leave a subtle pattern.

Once the cardboard circle was completely dry, I measured to find the center and marked it in pencil.  This would become my central hanging hole.  Next I measured in ¾ of an inch from one edge and made another mark.  I placed another mark ¾ of an inch in exactly opposite my first “edge mark”, on the other side of the circle, and repeated this pair of markings three more times, leaving me with eight marks approximately 2½ inches apart and ¾ of an inch in from the edge of the circle.


I punched out a hole at each mark along the edge of the circle with a ¼ inch hole punch, and used an awl to make a smaller hole in the center.  I attached the ribbon to the edges of the mobile by first threading the ribbon through vintage buttons, and then pushing the two free ends of the ribbon through the punched hole towards the bottom of the mobile. Once the ribbon is pulled all the way down the button keeps it from going all the way through the hole.  (Each piece of ribbon is ½ inch thick, and the pieces I used were approximately 32 inches long.)


I attached the darker blue center ribbon by cutting a 12 inch piece of fishing line, bringing the two ends together, and then draping the blue ribbon over the fishing line before threading the two ends of the fishing line up through the bottom of the mobile’s base.  Next, I threaded two vintage buttons onto the two ends of fishing line and tied them securely against the top of the mobile’s base.  I threaded a plastic ring between the two pieces of fishing line, tied the ends together about 6 inches up from the cardboard base, and trimmed the excess.

I punched out eight hearts from black cardstock using the Fiskars Funky Heart punch, and glued vintage buttons to the paper with craft glue.  Once dry, I sewed the buttons onto the paper with black thread, but this step is optional if you’ve glued the buttons down.  I like the look of the thread so I took the time to sew them on as well.  I attached the black heart to the outside piece of each color of ribbon using double-stick adhesive.  I attached the hearts 1 – 1½ inches up from the bottom of the ribbon.


I wanted a finished look on the edge of the cardboard circle, and applied very thin black masking tape I happened to have on hand, but you could use a thin ribbon instead if you have that handy.  A 1/8” ribbon would’ve worked well instead.  I completed the mobile by sandwiching the darker blue center ribbon between the two Art Saves pieces – mounted back-to-back on the ribbon using Pop Up Glue Dots.  I added a vintage button above and below the stamped image as a final enhancement.


Note: If your mobile isn’t perfectly balanced once everything is strung and assembled, you can “tip it back up to even” by noting where it’s dipping down, placing another button on top of the cardboard base to counterbalance, and shifting it slightly until it rests in the place that creates balance.  You can then glue that button in place.

I hope you’re inspired to make something of your own with this ribbon, whether it’s a mobile or something else entirely…

Warm regards,

Posted in art, art supplies, crafts, DIY, giveaway, inspiration | Also tagged , , , , 14 Comments

“American Pie” Apron


As a member of the CRESCENDOh Design Team, I get the opportunity to play with stamps and kits in exchange for sharing the projects I create – such fun!  I recently had the pleasure of making an apron from an Apron of My Eye kit (American Pie), and love the results.  I hadn’t sewn since making a pillow in home economics when I was in the 7th grade, but took this kit along to a first sewing lesson and was able to complete the apron with guidance from my sewing teacher – fellow Design Team member Cynthia Shaffer.  I’d planned out my design before heading over, and just needed to do the actual sewing.


I love this apron kit for multiple reasons.  First of all, the fabrics included in each kit are a bit different, so no two aprons will ever be exactly alike.  Second, I was able to lay out the apron’s design myself so it’s perfectly suited to me.  For example, I’m a big fan of symmetry; I was able to make my apron beautifully symmetrical.  I also opted not to include a pocket, but did include a decorative four-square panel front and center.  And finally, because this project doesn’t require complete precision and is supposed to be a bit more funky it’s well suited to multiple skill levels.


Virtually everything I needed was included in the kit.  All I pulled from my personal stash was thread and five buttons (though three buttons were included in the kit).  Nice!  I had ten fabric squares and a few bits of trim left over – because I opted not to include them in my design – and have tucked them into my stash of art supplies for future use.  I look forward to wearing this darling apron, though it’s almost too cute to use!


I hope you have a great day, and a wonderful weekend!

Warm regards,

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A New Project & a $25 Gift Card Giveaway!


My November Design Team Project – Paper Ornaments

I recently created a new project for Jenny Doh over at crescendoh.com, and it’s been posted on her website.  You’re cordially invited to stop by and take a peek!  I used the Mason jar stamp from Jenny’s Little Miss Mason stamp set, and created three holiday-themed ornaments.




This project is very versatile and requires few materials – two of my favorite characteristics when creating a project to share!  Please click here to see the project and read the instructions on how to make your own Mason jar ornaments.

$25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and I’m giving away a $25 Visa gift card to help a lucky winner with their shopping! How do you enter the giveaway?  Simply subscribe to my blog.  The winner will be drawn from among my blog subscribers on December 1st, so be sure to subscribe by midnight PST on November 30th.

Subscribing is quick and easy, and can be done using the subscribe feature on the right side of this main blog page or can be done on the subscribe page here.  Already a subscriber?  Thank you!  No need to take further action.

The winner will be announced on December 2, 2010. Good luck everyone!

Warm regards,

Posted in art, art supplies, giveaway, inspiration, life in general | Also tagged , , , 4 Comments

A new Design Team project: Viva la Vida Garland


Jenny Doh has posted another one of my projects at crescendoh.com!  I created something perfect for October/Dia de los Muertos, and hope you’ll stop by for a visit.

It’s a garland featuring Jenny’s Frida image, and the garland’s base is made up of empty toilet paper rolls.  It’s an easy, fun, green, and versatile project.  What more could you ask for?

Consider making a modified version of this garland for birthdays, Christmas, baby showers, Valentine’s Day – anything you’d like to celebrate.  Please click here to see the complete project and the related instructions.

Happy Crafting!

Warm regards,

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Introducing the Newest Member of the CRESCENDOh Design Team!


I’m happy to announce that I was recently asked to join the Design Team at crescendoh.com.  Jenny Doh “proposed”, so to speak, and I happily accepted!

As a Design Team member I’ll use crescendoh.com products to create projects infused with my own personal aesthetic.  I will create something new each month, and will publish posts here that link you to the artwork and instructions.

My first featured project is a grid collage, and I used some of Jenny’s fabulous rubber stamps in my design.  The image above shows a small section of the collage.  Please click here to see Jenny’s unveiling of the piece, and here to see the collage with the directions on how to make a grid collage of your own.

I’m honored to be on the CRESCENDOh Design Team, and hope you enjoy the artwork you’ll see in the coming months!

Warm regards,

p.s. If you haven’t commented on my giveaway post, comment today – you’ll be in the running for Friday’s giveaway drawing!

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