Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We're all a Little Bit Bad!

Although I love creating new things, I also love a lot of things I've done in the past. Sometimes it's a shame to design a great card, collage or aceo, then put it away or sell it and forget about it! So I've decided to resurrect some of my past favorite altered postcards into new projects. The original postcard was a vintage image that I stamped and decoupaged. I printed the photos I took of those cards, then laminated and attached them to chipboard, thus creating a whole new postcard! The backs are stamped with a postcard stamp. They can truly be sent in the mail, or just saved as a little piece of art. These were fun because I loved the messages they convey, and I'll definately be working on lots more similar projects. These are available on my Etsy site.

"Bad Girls Postcards".....

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Poll for Card Buyers

I've posted a new poll on The Card Chronicles to help all card designers determine the type of card the buying public wants to see. There's been a lot of discussion on the Etsy forums about single cards vs. multiple card sets. But I also want to know what type of card you're looking for. Please take a look at our poll and cast your vote.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adopted Ancestors

I often use vintage photographs in my art and I'm always amazed to find them at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. I wonder why anyone would sell these snippets of history. Vintage photos are family treasures that I feel strongly should be preserved and given respect, so I always snatch them up when I see them. I have very few pictures of my grandparents and none at all of my great-grandparents. I don't know if they were lost or destroyed, or if they were too poor to afford the luxury of photographs. Here are some of my adopted ancestors. Oh - and by the way, if you happen to recognize anyone, please let me know!

Monday, November 10, 2008

An Award with a Twist

I've been honored to receive an I Love Your Blog Award from Jan of Expressive Papers. In accepting this Blog Award I'm required to answer the following questions with ONE WORD. So here are some things you never knew about me....

1. Where is your cell phone? PURSE
2. Where is your significant other? KITCHEN
3. Your hair color? ASH BLONDE
4. Your mother? STRONG
5. Your father? HONEST
6. Your favorite thing? FAMILY
7. Your dream last night? LOST
8. Your dream/goal? BUSINESS OWNER
9. The room you're in? OFFICE
10. Your hobby? CRAFTS
11. Your fear? SLOWING DOWN
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? HERE
13. Where were you last night? HOME
14. What you're not? STUPID
15. One of your wish-list items? RETIREMENT
16. Where you grew up? BUFFALO
17. The last thing you ate? CREAMSICLE
18. What are you wearing? JEANS
19. Your TV? NEW
20. Your pet? HUSKY
21. Your computer? GATEWAY
22. Your mood? CALM
23. Missing someone? MOM
24. Your car? JEEP
25. Something you're not wearing? MAKEUP
26. Favorite store? FRESH n EASY
27. Your summer? HOT
28. Love someone? SURE
29. Your favorite color? YELLOW
30. When is the last time you laughed? TODAY
31. Last time you cried? YESTERDAY

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tag Christmas Card

Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I always like to do the unusual. Well here's my unique Christmas card for this year. I pulled out my library tag template to make a birthday card and decided it could make a unique Christmas card. The inserted greeting could also be used as an ornament on the holiday tree. I had lots of fun creating this card and plan on experimenting with a few more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tag - You're It!

I've been "tagged" by The Spotted Sparrow, a great artist and papercrafter. Make sure to check out her blog for her projects and tutorials.

Playing tag is a great way to get to know each other and find some really great blogs. The rules of the game are these:
Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.

Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now for my facts:
1. I'm a baby boomer who still feels like I'm 20 - well, maybe 30!
2. As a young adult I loved "Peter, Paul and Mary" and played folksongs on the guitar.
3. My husband and I moved to Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, after living a rather conservative life in Buffalo, New York. And just in case your wondering - I'm just a recreational gambler that loses more than I win!
4. As a child, I never had a dog, but since I "growed up" I've always kept Siberian Huskies.
5. I love natural whole foods and could easily become a vegetarian.
6. I love walking, riding my bike and gardening. In Buffalo, I raised all my own vegetables, but here I can only raise cactus!
7. I've always loved creating things, but only started cardmaking and altered art about 10 years ago. It all started when I decided Christmas cards were way too expensive for the quality of the card you got. I made my own one year, and I never stopped.

I've chosen the following bloggers to play the game. Sorry if you've already been tagged - but it just lets us get to know you better!

Expressive Papers
Crafty This and That
Homespun Heaven
Quixotic Cards
Paper Lady Invites
Heart Hugs
Posh Doodles

Monday, October 6, 2008

Custom Mini Envelopes

Went crazy with cards this weekend - well, not really cards - envelopes! I love these mini envelopes for thank you notes, gift cards or small items. If you want to make your own, find a small envelope you like and open it up to make your own template. Transfer the template to chipboard or plastic and voila - and easy to use template for no cost!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Newest Project

I have so many beautiful papers, diecuts and small embellishments that I decided to try my hand at making some mini note cards using these pieces. Now believe it or not, even though I love making cards, I really don't send that many! But I definately think I will be using some of these tiny treasures as gift cards and "thank-yous". I mounted the embossed and inked diecuts on textured cardstock and lined the card with parchment paper. Each card measures 2 3/4" square. I think it's a great way to use some of these under used, highly detailed die cuts.

New Card to Share

As promised, here is my newest card creation to share with you. My favorite style is collage and my favorite theme is the vintage woman. This is a 5" x 6 7/8" card - large enough for the longest love letter! The collage is mounted on textured cardstock. The pensive woman is a computer generated copy of a vintage postcard. The corner heart is a Spellbinder diecut. I've used a button brad, lace and faux stone lettering for lots of dimension.

Now it's your turn. Leave a comment with the link to your newest creation. We can all use daily inspiration.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

World Card Making Day

This Saturday, October 4th is World Cardmaking Day! Can you believe we actually have a special day to celebrate our passion? Spread the word! Have a sale! Buy something from a new card artist! Post to your blog! Let's all join together and encourage each other. One of the great things about this hobby is that you can easily share your thoughts and ideas. And as much as designing our own cards, we just love to see what other card artists are up to. So get going - I challenge each of you to create a fantastic card to share with us on Saturday. I'll be posting one and I hope everyone who accepts the challenge leaves their posting URL as a comment at that time. Leave the computer for a while and go create!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Poll - Vote Today!

The Creative Card Designs (CRCD) Team is conducting a new poll about the use of acid free materials in greeting cards. If you are a handmade card enthusiast and/or buyer, please help us better meet your expectations and needs, by casting your vote today at the Card Chronicles Blog:(http://www.creativecard-designs.blogspot.com/).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do You Diecut?

Anyone who uses die cuts probably has more that one machine since there are so many claiming to be the best. I don't have experience with them all, but I always do a lot of research prior to purchasing anything, and I can say with confidence that there is no miracle machine. Each has advantages and disadvantages. I've singled out three as my favorites because each of them has a particular benefit for me. Probably the number one consideration in purchasing any die cutter is cost. There is a wide range of prices starting at about $30 to over $300. For a very reasonable and easy to use die cutter I purchased the Sizzix Sidekick. I think it was actually less than $30 with a 40% off coupon at my local craft store. I bought it mainly because I have a few slimline dies that I love and was having a hard time cutting thick or textured cardstock with them on my more expensive machine. It has proved to be a real time saver for those cuts. I also own a Quickkutz that I use almost exclusively for letters and numbers. The dies are small, very important when using the cuts for cards. It's quick and easy to grab and punch one or two letters. However, my favorite die cutter is the Spellbinder Wizard. There is a lot of controversy over this machine. You either love it or hate it. It's expensive and it's a little tricky to operated properly, as it's not as automated as the other cutters. And it takes a little thought to get your "sandwiches" set up correctly. But the wizard has the most beautiful embossed diecuts I have ever seen. It can cut using almost any die, embosses using Fiskar plates, flattens bottle caps, sets eyelets and snaps, flattens polymer clay, photo transfers, and lots more. I admit I haven't used the machine for all purposes, but knowing I could is good enough for me!!

Now why did I decide to focus on die cutters today? Because I found the best bargain ever at a garage sale this weekend. I've already said that you either love the Wizard or hate it. Well, I found someone who hated it - and I purchased a brand new machine with all the accessories for $10.00. The orginal machine I bought cost me over $100.00 and each replacement plate runs about $8.00. You know I'm a happy crafty camper!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vintage Medicine - Oh My!

I've worked in the medical field for 40 years and have a small collection of old medical ephemera. I love reading the old medical almanacs from the 1920's to 1950's. The almanacs were actually printed by companies in an effort to sell their medicines, and distributed by drugstores and pharmacies. And what medicines they were! My newest creation is a magnet from an advertisement in the 1939 Jaynes's Almanac for vermifuge for roundworms! Basically, the entire booklet educated the reader on the symptoms and horrors of this parasite. I have no idea whether the medicine worked, but found the reading quite amusing. The advertisement is mounted on heavy chipboard, sealed with mod podge, edged in copper foil tape, and has a full magnetic back. It measures 2 1/2" square. I had a lot of fun with this; I think I'll be doing some more in the near future.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thrifty Craft Shopping

I've discovered a new store for purchasing brand name craft supplies at discount prices. It's none other than my local Big Lots ! I stop in every time I pass by. You just never know what you're going to find or when new shipments arrive. My latest purchases were McGill giant punches at just $4 each. I bought six - library folders, ticket stubs, file folders, tags, and 2 types of envelopes. Even if I use them only a couple of times they will pay for themselves! I also found some K&Company metallic cards with envelopes in holiday colors that retail for $6, for $1.88 each. I bought them all. Now I'm ready for Christmas. They usually also have embellishments, ribbons, scrapbook paper, and sometimes even some Martha Stewart stuff at highly discounted prices! Just a couple of warnings - if you see something you think you might use, don't think you can come back for it later. It'll be gone! You also have to remember, shopping here is addicting, so don't expect to go once and forget it. The great prices will bring you back over and over again!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Vintage Car Notecards

I found some really great photos of vintage muscle cars and went out of my comfort zone a bit to create some notecards for the vintage car fanatics. I mounted the computer generated photos on metallic and textured cardstock, then mounted them on foam for dimension. The four embellishments are pewter colored eyelets. I love the way these cards turned out!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reverse Creativity

My normal process of designing a card starts with a general idea I want to communicate, followed by a search for pictures, embellishments, and quotes to represent that theme. Too often, I end up printing out an entire collage sheet for just one picture. While attempting to organize my craft supplies this past week, I decided I had way to many pictures just gathering dust. So I decided to change my thinking process and started designing some cards in reverse. I found a picture that I totally loved, but had no idea what to do with. I mounted it on coordinating scrapbook paper and textured card, then I found an appropriate quote. So far, so good, but it definately needed to be embellished. A search through my supplies found some great additions to the theme, and Voila... Here's the results of my reverse creativity! It was a fun personal challenge to take an object, in this case the picture of the dancer, and force myself to develop it into a beautiful and unique creation.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Guy Cards

My guess would be that about 70% of handmade cards can be sent only to a woman, maybe 25% can be sent to either sex, and only about 5% are made specifically with the man in mind. Today I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite "guy cards." Sometimes it's quite a challenge to design cards for the men, but they're really quite fun and you can use themes that you just can't use on a woman's card. Think about sports, fishing, TV (I recommend the Three Stooges!), motorcycles, cars, etc. as themes and make sure to use a suitable color scheme. Stay away from flowers and cutesy animals. Old vintage photos are great to use. Just don't be afraid to try something "completely different". The guys will love you for it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Storing Your Unmounted Stamps

I love my unmounted stamps, and tried every storage solution I could think of that wouldn't cost a fortune. This is my method for storage and I think it works great. I take old CD holders (you can also buy them rather cheaply at a computer supply store) and remove the inside plastic that holds the CD. The unmounted stamps then lay perfectly inside. You can store them in a CD tower or stick them in a drawer. You can see exactly what is in each plastic cassette. Another tip: if you don't know how to make unmounteds stick to your acrylic block, just use Aleene's TACK-IT and you can stick and remove all you want. When you're done stamping, stick it back in its plastic holder. I don't even use a foam backing for my stamps. I just do my stamping on a computer mouse pad. It doesn't matter if the foam is between the stamp and the block, or on the bottom... it works the same way.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My New Etsy Store

If you like using vintage and unusual items in your projects, check out my new Etsy Store, Thrift Store Supplies. I'm always on the search for discarded treasures to use in my creations and now I will be offering some to you at very reasonable prices.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lest We Forget...

I was in somewhat of a reflective mood this morning and came up with this thought provoking card called "Time Travel". I am quite involved in family genealogy, and my ancestors settled in Buffalo, New York from Germany, so this card really comes from the heart. My purpose in creating the card was to let the recipient stop for a few moments and reflect on where they came from and where they're going.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some of my Favorite Craft Blogs

I love surfing the craft blogs. Here are 3 of my recently discovered favorites:

A Time 4 Art A little bit of everything - altered art, atc's, postcards, tags, etc, etc, etc. - all with a vintage flair!

Paper Cat's Page Altered art, more postcards, collage and more!

The Best of DIY Links to totally awesome tutorials for the crafter.

Related post: Introducing "Just Blogs"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mother Earth's Children TAGS

I discovered a wonderful child's book at a thrift store and just had to use the pictures for something! I made sturdy chipboard tags, then used old Farmer's almanac pages covered in mulberry paper as the background. The pics of the plant children and the quotes were copied from the book. I then added ribbon and an old print-like picture of the apple and strawberry and finished them off with a fiber hanger. I like these a lot and plan on creating more from the many plates in Mother Earth's Children: The Frolics of the Fruits and Vegetables.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Latest Treasure Hunt Finds...

Ah - Scrabble tiles - a versatile little piece of wood! I always pick up games when I find them at thrift stores or garage sales. I don't care what the box or the board looks like - I only want the tiles! But yesterday I hit the jackpot - I found a deluxe edition that contains maroon tiles! They will be the perfect addition to my vintage style cards. Most likely, I'll save these tiles to use just as they are. My brown wooden tiles which are much more easily found, will be the ones I'll use for decoupage or stamping, or altering in any way. I also picked up a bag of dominoes. Along with the large plastic ones I use for pendants, there are also a number of dark brown wooden ones. There is a Chinese dragon embossed into the wood. I foresee something new and exiting over the horizon! I can't wait to get started using these little beauties. My next search will be for vintage buttons - not the cheap plastic rip-offs you find today - but the little treasures made of bakelite, bone and ivory I remember in my mothers button box many years ago.........

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vintage Friendship Challenge Card

I want to share with you my newest card developed for my recent card challenge group. The theme was easy enough.. "Friendship", but as usual, I wanted to do something completely out of the ordinary. The resulting card combines vintage elements with a beautiful quote. I think the card portrays a peaceful, sweet and sincere sentiment perfect for any special friend.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I'm a big fan of Lucille Ball - her comedy and her philosphy on life. So I came up with these two cards using stamped images of Lucy and a couple of her famous quotes. The stamps are available from The Stampsmith which carries a wonderful line of vintage photo stamps. Click on the cards to get a better view and read Lucy's wonderful attitude about life.

A Memorial Day Thought

Memorial Day .. the beginning of summer for many of us, but let us not forget the purpose of this holiday. Let us pay tribute to all those who have served our country and given their lives so that we may have the freedom offered by our great nation. A big THANK YOU to all our service men and women, past and present.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Retro Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day is coming and I'd like to share with you 2 of my retro mother's day cards. I had such a fun time creating these cards - the sentiments are so true!

The pictures of the Moms are computer generated from a purchased CD. To the first I added lots of vintage ephemera - I use all copies, not originals - and buttons. Then I stamped "lifetime of love". The second card is mounted on textured cardstock. The mom's quotes are stamped on parchment paper. A few embellishments and a Thank You raised sticker complete the card. Both cards could be used for other occasions such as a birthday or just to say you care.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Altered Canines"

I've started a new line of altered dominoes I call "Altered Canines". They're made from large 1" x 2" x 3/8" dominoes which are first colored with alcohol inks. Then they're stamped, fixed, and sealed with acrylic sealer. Some have eyerings, and some have attached wire bails or chains. They can be used as a pendant, or attached to a pin or keyring. Presently I'm limited in breeds to German Shepherd, Great Dane, Dalmation, and Siberian Husky, but I will be increasing my inventory shortly. If you have a breed you'd like to see, send me an email - cardsbypatzee@embarqmail.com. You can find more examples at my Etsy shop but don't forget to look in my sold items, because they go fast.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Frugal - Not CHEAP!!! Frequent local Garage Sales....

Craft stores are filled with thousands of cardmaking embellishments. You can usually find anything you want to finish that special card. But if you want to be truly unique, bypass the ready made embellishments, and dare to be different. Some of my favorite places to search for one of a kind items for my cards are flea markets and garage sales. They're also the best place to find alterable items. Look for vintage photographs and postcards. You'll be amazed at what people are giving away for almost nothing. Vintage ephemera - newspapers, magazines, books, menus, maps, travel brochures, etc. can all be used in your creations. Don't overlook things like small hardware and jewelry pieces. They can be attached to almost anything. Rip things apart - don't always look at the whole piece - there are some extremely interesting components to other people's "junque". Old games - scrabble, dominoes, mahjong, etc. provide alterable items as well as embellishments. Look for inexpensive books, records (if you're old enough to remember what they are!), boxes, tins, clipboards, picture frames, and anything else that you can recycle. To create successful altered art you must see things not as they are, but as they could be. One final thought - my rule which I have broken too many times and regretted it: If you pick something up twice it better go home with you. You'll be sorry later that cheap treasure got away!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Attention All Animal Lovers!!

I've just uploaded March's themed cards to JUST CARDS. Being an animal lover myself, many of my cards reflect the relationship of pets and their people. You'll find dogs, cats, pigs and cows in this unusual collection.

Friday, February 15, 2008

First Try Mini Collage Pendant

What's so difficult about a mini collage pendant? A LOT ! Oh my gosh, this is so much harder than you would think! I have a whole box of mahjong tiles and I thought I try my hand at using them in a little pendant. Well, my little project ended up taking me hours to finish. I used a cut CD for the base, stamped and coated with ultra thick embossing enamel. Then I used diamond glaze to hold the watch parts in place and drilled some holes for my wire. The mahjong tile is stamped with alcohol inks and versafine blank ink, then coated in diamond glaze. Then I added a few embellishments, giving the front a better look, but the back looked terrible. So I cut a piece of foam to size and glued it on with E6000. At this point I had to decide on a pin or a pendant. In the future when I see these little works of art I surely will better appreciate the work that goes into them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Altered Postcards

Postcards do not usually come to mind when one thinks of altered art, but they are one of my favorite mediums. Lots of people who do "altered postcards" simply take a PC, white it out, and make their own. In my opinion, that is not altering, but re-using. I prefer to take a card and alter the theme. White out with gesso only the areas you want to change, then decoupage or stamp the card. Of course, if you're using a rare or vintage card, use a copy for your altering rather than the original. You'll end up with a unique card to send or to frame.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Link to the Past

A friend of mine sent me some vintage photos she had acquired of her ancestors. She has no idea as to the identity of this child in this photo, but as soon as I saw it I knew it would make a wonderful card. These two cards make me laugh every time I look at them. What a wonderful link to the past. Just seeing an old photo like this makes you stop and think about this little guy's life and what the future held for him. Little did he know this anonymous photo would bring so much joy so many years in the future.

Both these cards are available on ETSY.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vintage Niagara Falls

Just thought I'd share with you a card I recently finished reminding me of home. Although I live in Las Vegas, I am originally from a town just outside of Buffalo, NY. Grand Island, NY is an island situated in the Niagara River between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, so I am very familiar with this awesome natural wonder. We were even able to see the mist of the falls from our home - about 7 miles away! If any of you are from Western New York I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More Tags....

Simple - sassy - sentimental. These tags are made from decoupaged laminate chip samples. The hardest part is matching the picture with the words!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A New Tag to Share.

I love, love, love this tag! It's created on a laminate sample chip and decoupaged. I have never made tags before, but I like the way this came out so well that I'm inspired to do more. If interested, it's listed on ETSY.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolutions for 2008 --- AGAIN !

So what's on your list this year? Here's some suggestions every crafter can relate to:
  1. Complete all unfinished projects from last year. Oh, yeah, you know what I'm talking about! "I'll get to that as soon as I try this new technique I heard about"... sure !
  2. Pull out some of the old tools that were so hot when they were introduced that you just had to have one! You'll be surprised what you can still do with them.
  3. Toss out or give away anything you haven't used or even thought about last year. Ok..maybe 2 years, since we crafters are notorious pack-rats.
  4. Make a resolution to go out of your comfort zone and try something daring or something you've been thinking about for a long time.
  5. CLEAN your studio. This should probably be #1. And at least try to clean up after every project. It will be easier to start working again later on.
  6. And finally - take advantage of the great sales at your local craft store this month and buy something FUN! Then use it.