Craft With May no rules, just happy crafting Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:41:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Falling for you blog hop – with video tutorial Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:00:38 +0000 fallingforyouhop

I’m excited to be a part of the Simon Says Stamp MEGA blog hop featuring their newest batch of releases! Heads up that Simon will be picking one random commenter on each stop for a Simon Says Stamp Prize pack randomly selected on April 28! So when you finish checking out my post, you probably want to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!


I went wild with loads of fun stamps + stencils for my project. Here is my You Tube Video of the process!

As you can see, these stamps & stencils look great alone or layered up! I love taking a white piece of cardstock and customizing a background for a scrapbook layout!


Supplies Used:

This style of layout is so much fun to make!


But wait – there’s more! I made a card with the exact same techniques:

003 copy

Just a reminder that fun techniques can always apply to a multitude of project types!

Remember – leave a comment here (and on any/all stops!) for your chance to win! I’m the final stop in this blog hop, so if this is your first stop, or if you want to continue along the hop and check out all of the great projects and information head to the Simon Says Stamp blog – aka the first post.

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Embrace the fails – they’re success too. Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:00:45 +0000 There have been a lot of scary risks and leaps I’ve taken in my craft life. Things like writing a letter to every single manufacturer (over a decade ago) trying to get hired in any form was a great risk for rejection.

Not one person ever replied to those letters.

Applying to design teams and going out for jobs – that can be another risk because you’re putting yourself out there and the feelings of rejection can be overwhelming.

Ah, but here’s the secret to the whole thing: I couldn’t ever do what I do, I wouldn’t be who I am had I not failed hundreds of times. Oh at this point it may be into the THOUSANDS. I promise you that even today, should I go out for a design team I would more likely be told no thanks than yes please. It’s not personal, it isn’t my shortcoming – I just am perhaps not what that particular company needs in a team member. Guess what? That’s ok.

The only way to figure out what you want, what you excel in, and what you would really like to get better at is to put yourself out there. A few months back I decided I hadn’t been taking enough risks and felt kind of without solid focus. I started working on some brand focusing stuff. Watching videos and reading articles and working on some internal improvements here at HQ. I also tried submitting some articles to a huge website/blog.

When I first applied I was asked to make some pitches. That was super exciting. Then I was asked to write up a few. Scary, but still exciting. They never got picked up – in fact they never got a reply which seemed odd given the quick replies to the initial process. But that’s OK. The point of this was that it terrified me in a good “egads! Scary! Vulnerable! what if?!” way. The goal was to push myself, try something new, and embrace that vulnerable space where you’re not sure if success or failure is the desired result because both can be scary.

The actual success or fail wasn’t the point – it didn’t actually matter. It was the doing, the effort, the putting myself out there and trying new things that was the entire focus.

If you want to give this a go (creative industry speaking) I do have a few tips. First of all – never ever be afraid to email a person or contact a company and pitch your idea. I can count on one hand the number of times someone has approached me with an idea/to pitch themselves. People just don’t tend to jump in and go for it! Just follow these three rules:

  • Keep it short/to the point and respect their busy schedule. Cut out all the meandering/long intros/deep detail. They’ll contact you if you spark interest.
  • Keep it focused on what you can provide/do for the company and/or how your idea benefits them in some way.
  • Have something to back it up- if you say you craft a ton, blog regularly, etc… you’d better have the website/gallery/proof to show you are serious!

Just remember – being turned down is not a “fail” or rejection. You’ve got to knock on a LOT of doors, try a lot of ideas, and make a lot of stuff before things start opening up and you start seeing progress. That’s all good – it’s a part of the ever changing process of being a creative person.

This applies to all those who enjoy this hobby of paper crafting in general too – don’t get stuck and don’t tell yourself “I can’t…” because guess what? You CAN do whatever it is you’ve convinced yourself is impossible for you. You just have to do little steps each day, embrace the fails as well as the wins, and go for it.

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new guest post: upcycled card Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:02:42 +0000 I love it when I sit down to make something and a brand new idea, something I’ve never done before pops into my head clear as can be. That happened here! I had never done quite what I did with this card.


Over at the Simon Says Stamp blog today I’ve got a new project! Hop on over and check out the how-to if you’d like.

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Challenge: Due Date (And my fun unplugged weekend of sketching…) Mon, 20 Apr 2015 04:00:22 +0000 forgetmenot

For this week’s challenge at Simon Says Stamp I thought about making something hours before the challenge – in fact I had a few things started. ah, but then I got to thinking about how all weekend I sketched, played, and generally ignored deadlines and all the daily stress we all so often face. I just doodled and played with Prima pencils + my notebook. I have many pages (above) that are simple and quick and fun. Some (below) aren’t nearly finished! As I moved around Girl Scout Camp and had to reset in new locations sometimes my idea wasn’t finished.


I’m totally ok with this because it means now at home I can revisit, finish, and keep playing with the inspiration given to me, thanks to the time I took enjoying a camp experience like this. A few times someone came up to see what I was doing and why I was so involved in my book. I got a few compliments too and instead of saying “no this is bad” or otherwise trying to say no – I smiled and said thank you.

The girls and I had a wonderful time – how could we not? Here are a few pictures of where we were…


Now as I said – stay tuned I want to talk more about my art journal and taking time. For now though – the “due date” fast approaches!


Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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gel medium + balzer bits stencil Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:00:49 +0000 158 copy

Put down a stencil. Coat with glossy gel medium. Spray with colors. Remove stencil. Let dry.

This is still a favorite – here’s a card I made using this technique a few months ago that I just rediscovered here on my computer that I wanted to share.

I hope you have a colorful + crafty weekend!

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Mid-week peek… Thu, 16 Apr 2015 01:57:15 +0000 skarpi

  • You can see my new floor
  • Yes, yes miss Scrappy is the cutest.
  • the drawers/dresser blue wood with FULLY REMOVABLE drawers thing? each drawer is about 6x6x10 making it PERFECT for so many things! Very excited I wandered into Home Goods looking for some retail therapy.
  • I folded every single piece of fabric the same size <insert eye crossing emoji here>
  • I crafted for the first time in here today
  • I’m so glad all this work is being done – it is WORTH IT!
  • Many new projects, an exciting free class, and announcing of Camp Scrap coming soon! You wanna be on my newsletter list (once a month mailing at max)…
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Beware the mean girls… Tue, 14 Apr 2015 09:00:56 +0000 This is another article submitted (and not accepted)… you guys sent so much great feedback about my last one I wanted to share this too! We’ll talk about why the rejection was GREAT and all that next week…

When I wanted to strike out on my own and try to make a name for myself my friend laughed. She said I couldn’t be serious, that I had no good ideas, and that nobody would ever be giving me money to do the work I envisioned. Didn’t I see? I needed to work in a corporate setting and take other people’s ideas and recycle them. I couldn’t be an innovative independent creative woman.

I had a Rory Gilmore vs Mitchum Huntzberger “I guess I don’t have what it takes” moment and I wondered if she might be right. If I was delusional and without talent. Then a few weeks later I saw that she was using my ideas in her upcoming project. It was like the plot of Working Girl but without any Harrison Ford or skiing accidents.

That day, I stood up and got to work.

I knocked on every door, mailed letters to everyone who might be interested in the freelance work I could offer, and I kept putting myself and my ideas (good and bad) out there. Every time I thought about giving up I remembered that incident and used it to fuel my quest for greatness.

In the decade since that fateful day I’ve had my share of failures and total bombs, but I’ve also had success too. While the naysayers can indeed put you down, you can also use them to your advantage and take their negativity, keep working, and move ahead to places they can’t even begin to dream of.

Play it safe gal
This gal means well because at heart she really doesn’t want you to fail. If possible, she’d wrap everyone in foam and make sure no sharp edges existed so the chance of hurting onself was minimized. The problem here is – no risk no reward! Sometimes a good suggestion or compromise can be made brainstorming with a play it safe gal – just listen to them in moderation.

Jealous lady
Whether she realizes it or not, jealous girl can’t let you have anything better than what she’s already had. She might convince you to give up because “he’s just not into you” even when he so is. She might jab at your capabilities to hold you back. It is important when someone is spewing hateful words or giving you poisonous words aimed at sabotaging you that you pause and think about what they’re saying and why. It’s 100% about her, and not at all about you or what you can accomplish. Any way around it – there’s no room for jealous girl in your life.

Negative woman
Say the sky is blue she will tell you about the dangers of cancer. Tell her you’re going to start your own business she will start quoting failure rates. Let her know you’re going to have a baby she’ll start in with the horror labor stories. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing – this woman will find a way to put a spin on it that is negative. You can’t afford to be hanging around someone who will try and add negativity into your life – but don’t worry she’ll find a fun way to put a negative spin on your cutting her out.

Mean girl
She gets pleasure from being mean, from cutting down or holding back her fellow females. Maybe she has jealousy or insecurity issues, perhaps she’s miserable in life, or maybe she just gets her jollies from seeing what kind of havoc she can reap on other ladies lives. Mean girls are dangerous because their sneak attacks, ability to sense and exploit weaknesses, and cutting words can be more damaging than we know. We’ve all seen the movie (and if you haven’t you need to) – so keep your eyes peeled for Regina George.

You may also run across the boss who wants to claim your work as her own. It could be a well-meaning friend or cranky relative – the naysayers are everywhere in this world. But wait! Don’t let that boss walk off with your idea and your man. Grab hold of your inner Tess McGill and take another look at what you want to accomplish.

Positive people, women who are trying to uplift, inspire, and generally help out are all around. I look for the people who encourage and cheer me on, who shout “yes!” and enthusiastically support whatever idea I may be dreaming up. When I find these people I hold onto them and cherish them and give them as much positive feedback as I can because I’ve learned what a true gift that kind of positive reinforcement can mean to a person.

So the universe is going to cast some mean girls and negative women in the story of my life. Well ok, then I’ll be sure to cast myself as the hardworking and inspired heroine who the audience is rooting for. Maybe I don’t have a big audience, perhaps I won’t ever be anything anyone would call a sensation, but I can believe in myself. I can set an example for myself and others to smile, be kind, and believe in myself and the ideas my wacky brain comes up with. I can try, fail, laugh, fall, and maybe find some success along the way too.

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In the middle: of a studio make-over!! Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:00:09 +0000 Hey everyone, this week the Simon Says Stamp challenge is “in the middle” – well I’m in the middle of a 100% studio make-over which is taking longer than anticipated – so I am not yet set up to craft again. I don’t have a project to share today, but I do want to share with you what’s going on here in my world:

First of all, for nearly a year I have contemplated the re-model and to try and figure out how BEST to fit my studio back together. Made notes of things that don’t work, things that do, things I love, things I dislike… I’ve also been cleaning and purging my studio this whole time too. One small drawer, one bit at a time.

Here is a photo of it circa exactly 3 years ago:


As you can see cardstock used to be housed on the ground (and patterned paper is in that brown cabinet next to it). My die cuts and sewing supplies were up in that far corner under the TV. I can see my purple chair – which means my computer desk right there bottom left had not yet migrated to the closet.

Over the last 13 years of living here I’ve revamped this room OFTEN. But here’s the mistake I made every time:

I never emptied it 100% and thoughtfully put each thing back.

This time is different. About 2 weeks ago I started painting (the room was empty!) and then I had the floors re-done. You can imagine what a piece of carpet that had been my studio floor for 13 years looked like!!


The day before the new carpet went in I went in with masking tape on the floor and plotted out the 3 big pieces of furniture I own and how I saw them fitting back into this room. I made some sketches of how the little stuff would fit – but honestly that just can’t be figured out in advance too well.

Once the three big pieces were back in I re-measured, re-tested, and reconsidered what I NEEDED. Now note that I think adorable shelves, cute cubbies and drawers, and other beautiful studio stuff is grand. I really do.

The thing is… I need hardcore heavy weight holding no limitations type stuff! A big box of photos weighs a LOT, let alone 10 of them! So in addition to thinking about space constraints, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I craft, how I use this space, and what is useful to me.


The sewing machine has to have a space about 3x bigger than it. period. Otherwise I just move and shuffle things every time I use it – and I use it a lot. There are a few other things I know too – for example:

  • Paper on floor level = bad
  • Embellishments out of packages and stored in  small drawers or containers = good
  • Things need to be stored simply. No fuss no dedicated spot for one specific small item
  • I like to have multiple working spots so people can craft with me and/or I can leave wet projects and move on to things elsewhere
  • I need to better utilize my wall space
  • The more I can store away, the easier it will be to keep clean
  • Simple. Can’t say that enough. The storage must be simple.

As I find my storage solutions, work with what I have here, and continue this process I will be doing regular blog posts to share with you the process and (eventually) the finished studio!!

For now I encourage you to share with the challenge your project inspired by “in the middle”.


Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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5 things Girl Scouts has taught me… Wed, 08 Apr 2015 00:35:09 +0000 this is an article I wrote and submitted someplace big… it didn’t get picked up. I will talk more about that another day. Today I want to share it here with you…

I expected that being a Girl Scout leader for my kids would involve a lot of hours and also many craft projects. I love craft projects. What I didn’t expect was to find so many empowering messages and lessons that I can apply in my own grown up lady life. From how to build a proper fire to embracing and treating all fellow girls as sisters – there’s a lot of girl power here. Here are some of my favorites so far – lessons I think we can all use.

#1: I will do my best to be responsible for what I say and do
This is my favorite line in the Girl Scout Law because so many people don’t feel they should be held accountable for their actions and oh, you really should. When my girls speak the Girl Scout law and promise to do their best in everything from honesty to making a difference in the world – it gets me. Focusing on being a positive and contributing woman in this society. Yes. I will.

#2: Girls can do anything
Not only do the Girl Scouts have my heart for being so inclusive to anyone who identifies as a girl (yes!), and for being known for saying we all make our own choices and have our own opinions and that is great, but they also encourage the girls that they can do anything. This is something so many of us women lose – we forget that we have choices and options and can do darn near anything! Ok, so I won’t become a professional athlete most likely but I could learn any sport if I try. I could get into politics, go back to school, learn a new skill or craft, and anything else I can dream up. Maybe I could apply to an amazing website and ask if I could write some articles for them…

#3: Break it down into steps
When the girls work on new skills and earning patches things are broken down into steps. From speaking with a professional to trying a new skill, spending time practicing something to sharing your newfound knowledge with others the seemingly big tasks are broken down into manageable steps. When I wanted to launch my new website things were wildly overwhelming – until I took a page from the Girl Scouts and broke it down and took it one step at a time.

#4: Be a sister to every Girl Scout
We extend this to every girl – and we all really need this one. There is enough crime, drama, and pain in the world as it is. To be an encouraging and supportive person to each and every girl and woman I encounter is something I most definitely want to take on. I will smile, look for ways to help, and always support the successes and triumphs as well as be there for the hard times for all the women in my life.

#5: Be curious and learn new things
We don’t all have to like the same things, but it is always good to be curious and to work on learning new things. Some of the badges I’ve helped the girls earn I am an expert at – and that feels great to share my knowledge. Other times? Well there are badges that I’m learning right along with them and it feels fantastic. Maybe it is learning about the process of making pottery or perhaps the proper steps to safely build and cook over an open flame. I am consistently learning new things and being inspired to be more curious by the girls in our troop.

So thanks Girl Scouts, not just for the yummy cookies but for all you do for my daughters. From summer camp to learning about independence, figuring out how to properly care for our puppy to finding ways to better serve their community I’ve seen so much wonderful growth for my daughters. Even more though, perhaps, has been all of the reminders on being a better woman, mom, and friend that I myself have gotten.

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A is for… Mon, 06 Apr 2015 04:00:06 +0000 Art Journal! This week our challenge is inspired by the letter “A” and I decided to play in my art journal for the challenge.


I went wild – I splattered paint, stenciled with gold paste, sprayed & colored all over… FUN!

supplies used:

I love a good wild play session where I just test things out and try new ideas – so this was a great reason. A: start in an art journal and just play!



Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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