How to use few of my favourite things ….

My crafty friend Helen discovered this great place to pick-up ends of run and offcut card and paper quite a few years ago called Reverse Garbage.  It was a great secret – buying wallpaper samples, stardream paper, card, cardboard tubes for $1-$2 per kg shared by ourselves, teaches and a few eco-artists.  The sustainability movement is gathering pace in Oz and this has now become a fashionable and widely known place and they even know have their own facebook page.

So when I saw these sparkly little items I rushed in to purchase some for myself and the crafty gals for Easter as I knew they would disappear off the shelf quite quickly.  Whilst it is disappointing to have less bargains than we used to, it is great to see so many other crafty people trying actively to reuse and repurpose items.


A bag of pretties is always hard for you to use but where to start?  I opened the bag sorted into colours and see what came to mind.  As I sorted they reminded me of pretty flowers and I remembered a craft friend had given me a stack of small flowers in pretty colours and I still have heaps of brads (I really must stop buying them).  Bingo!  Now just to design the card… the result, simple but beautiful.  All I had to add was a small strip of patterned paper on the inside to cover the back of the brads.

sparkly flowers

Happy crafting all.



Making a Tardis

Ok well it’s not a real one but I had a request for assistance from my brother to decorate a card board box which he had already painted blue as a Tardis to hold a whizz bang laser point thingy and USB stick that looks very Dr Who.

Well he arrived with a few sheets of colored card, a picture and some pre printed police box signs and we set to work. He was keen to get cutting by hand but I really wanted to try to use the cricut to do the hard lifting of cutting so many panels and windows. He really didn’t understand at the time but he certainly understood the benefits by the time we were done.

I found a black and white jpg image which was finally (after several attempts) approved as suitable and I used the fantastic svgcuts software to trace the image. After some playing removing unwanted cutting lines and the resizing and stretching for the actual box it was time to cut a few test pieces. This process need to be repeated as the top was of course a different size to the rest of the panels.

I added acetate (from old packaging) to imitate windows and star dream opal card to provide the effect of lights. Bro then added the decals which i had reinforced using the xyron on some black card, attached a zillion bits of foam tape to give the raised effect and presto, four hours later one Tardis. Pics of the box and the fancy thingy are below.



We added a false card board bottom with tissue paper underneath, cut some felt and then rolled the two sides (no glue require) to make it appear as a custom holder. Apparently it was a big hit.


How to get your mojo back…

As much as I love crafting sometimes I am lost for inspiration. At these times I have found it helpful to pull out one type of item out my stash or tools on my desk and force myself to use it before using anything else. I don’t have to make an entire card but I do need to at least make something which will eventually be used for a card.

Here is an idea to get you started:

Grab edging things e.g. ribbons, washi tapes, stickers, cut yourself some plain white card slightly smaller than your standard card. Start randomly using the items to create interesting backgrounds until you run out of card or your stash items. Put these aside until later.

Next time start with your decorated base cards and your embellishment of choice (purchased stickers, flowers, brads, stamped images etc) and add these to your backgrounds. Then attach your backgrounds to your base cards.

Not only do you use up stash items, force yourself to be a bit creative but you can make a large volume using similar materials. I usually aim for around 2 dozen or so finished cards. Below are some I made recently doing just this.

Other ideas are to look for things you haven’t played with for awhile be it some stamps (stamp these with archival ink onto blank card or watercolor paper ready for colouring later), emboss some offcuts, cut and fold some blank cards, layer up some embellishment ready for adhering (colored images, background paper, paper flowers with brads etc). Just remember you don’t have to make the whole card in one sitting. Sometimes it is fun just to work on one part and work out how to use it later.

Till next time.

P.S. sorry about the quality of the photo this time, it has been grey, wet and rainy here in not so sunny Brisbane.

How to upcycle items for card making

I am always in search of ideas to upcycle or reuse items purchased for non-card making purposes. It is a small way to offset the reams of paper I seem to print on a daily basis when at work but also forces you to be more creative. Below is a list of 10 items I have used to create card friendly items:

1. Textured wool – combine normal wool, crochet metallic thread and one of the newer varieties of wools (feather, Pom Pom etc) and use these to loop through tags

2. Front covers of patterned paper pads – don’t throw these out, cut the pictures of what’s inside out and use a backgrounds. Also keep the back card to use in your die cutting or as a mat when you are stamping

3. Ribbons from your tops and dresses – those annoying little bits that really are useless for keeping you item on the hanger, cut them off and use as an embellishment

4. Sticker sheets – think about how you can use the negative, some times you can’t but even short little bits left over from cutting a piece the right width for you card can be used to create a pleasing pattern (eg arrange these at different angles down one side of the card)

5. Mail – keep an eye out for good quality envelopes particularly those with patterned paper on the inside and card. These make fabulous backgrounds.

6. Buttons – raid your stash of spare buttons even those cut off from inside shirts and use these in your card designs.

7. Stud earrings – go through your jewelry collection and pull out any you don’t wear or are missing its mate and the use these as you would a brad. You will need pliers to bend the back and add a spot of glue to the point end or cut off the back and glue directly to your card.

8. Cards you have received – Look for good quality cards with square or rectangular designs to cut out and use as an embellishment – use foam tape or wobble springs to make them a feature.

9. Wrapping paper – cheap wrapping paper from the dollar shop with a regular design which can but cut out also make great focal pieces as do patterned paper for backgrounds. Used wrapping paper and foil from your Easter chocolates also make great background paper. If these seem to light to use by themselves stick them to some card first.

10. Clear plastic in packaging – you often see these in toy boxes can be used to make shaker cards or embossed.

Till next time, happy crafting.


Custom storage for stamps and accessories

As promised I thought I would show you some pictures of my custom designed and built (thanks Dad) stamp storage mobile.


It has 6 slide out storage trays for stamps, punches and colouring items.


It has deep top which A3 card can be stored in with a tray sitting on top for larger items like stamp pads, cube stamps, punches, ink refills, embossing powders etc. Along with a blackboard to list items to be replaced both inside the lid and on the back.



I painted it bright yellow. Added some textured paste stencils and a removable PVC top for protection. It is large enough to hold all my mounted stamps, some card and all my stamp accessories and still fits neatly under a desk.

Hope you like it. Happy for you to make your own for your own use but copyright in the design is reserved for commercial purposes.