Who Loves Anna Griffin?

I know I do. Her art and designs are absolutely beautiful.  But, did you know that she has a stationery line? I didn’t.




Sticky Notes




Mixed Media Steampunk Journal

SAMSUNG CSCAfter watching Marion Smith Design’s Ustream Video at least three times, I decided to tackle her journal project, which involves upcycling the cover of an old book and machine stitching the signatures. Although I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, I can say with utmost certainty that I will never again make a mini album this way. EVER!  In hindsight, I recognize that my choice of papers was definitely not the best. But, that was only part of the problem. Where I got hung up was on attaching the first and last signature pages (leaves) to the inside covers of the book. It just didn’t work for me the way it did for her. Again, I’m certain my paper was at least part of the problem. I tore the front end paper on my first attempt and struggled to figure out how to fix it. So, in my frustration, I left the book sitting, unfinished on the kitchen table for about a week. Since I had already invested so much time and energy (i.e. passion) into creating it, I was determined to make it work. That’s when I showed it to my husband, who without batting an eyelash, saw exactly what needed to be done. And with that, I was able to finish the inside and get to the much more enjoyable decorating of the front cover.

I have not been able to locate the Ustream video to reference, however, once I do (if it’s still available) I will link it at the end. The gist is this; you rip out the guts of an old hardcover book (I chose one with especially brittle pages) and replace those pages with signatures from paper of your choosing. Note: I did not use Marion Smith Designs downloadable papers. Instead, I used what was in my stash. The cover is painted, distressed, decorated and a sealant is applied (I chose a gel matte medium).

SAMSUNG CSCFirst, the papers I chose; GCD Studios Antiquities and Tim Holtz idea-ology Kraft Resist Paper Stash. The Kraft Resist paper was trouble with a capitol “T”. Therefore, I do not recommend it for this type of project, as it tore easily. However, any paper will tear if you don’t treat it right. This is what happened on the inside cover. So, I used 7 Gypsies Gaffer tape to fix my mistake (i.e. manhandling of my papers).


Another area of trouble was using the recommended distress ink (Tim Holtz) on the cover with a wet medium to seal it. As you probably know, distress ink reacts with water or water based products. I knew this, so I ended up going with my Timber Brown StazOn. But, not until after I gave the distress ink a shot. Some of it stayed put but, not much.


Side note: The original cover color of this book was blue.


I created six signatures but, because of the thickness of the Kraft paper, each signature has only three layers. I added mini envelopes (from an old Sizzix die I found at a thrift store) and embellished them with baked black Sculpey polymer clay.




The “speak no evil” bird was made using UTEE in a homemade mold and the gear die-cuts are from Cricut. 

 All in all, I am happy with the final product and it is currently being displayed on top of one of my bookshelves.

Let me know what you think and if you’ve made one of these I’d love to hear about your experience and see your work.

6×6 Mixed Media Layout – Enjoy the Little Things

IMG_1581I’ve seen so many artists creating the large 12 x12 mixed media, dimensional “scrapbook” layouts and wanted so bad to give it a go. However, the large format was intimidating me. Then it dawned on me, as I was flipping through one of my 6 x 6 Prima paper collections, why not start small?

I backed the completed layout against a sheet of 6 x 6 corrugated cardstock to give it the extra weight it needed. After applying so many layers of gesso, ink, gel medium, etc, it just wouldn’t lay flat.

Since I didn’t do a step by step tutorial with photos, I will list the products I used. I’m amazed by how much went in to this little layout:

1. Prima Life Time 6 x 6 paper collection

2. Wendy Vecchi Crackled Texture Paste

3. Punchinella (as a stencil)

4. Inka Gold – Lava Red & Jade Green (LUV this stuff!)

5. Heidi Swapp Color Shine – Seafoam

6. Dylusions Spray – Calypso Teal ( see my earlier post regarding my “oopsie”)

7. Perfect Pearls Mist – Perfect Pearl

8. Gloss Gel Medium – Liquitex Basics

9. White Gesso ( can’t remember the brand right now but, I bought a gallon of the stuff on clearance at Hobby Lobby)

10. Tulip Beads in a Bottle – Aqua Marine Gemstone

11. Graphite

12. Faber-Castell Pitt Big White Pen

13. Martha Stewart Paper Clay

14. Mod Podge Molds (for use with paper clay)

15. Tsukineko All Purpose Inks – white & black

16. Metal heart embellishment

17. “Friend” wood embellishment

18. Cricut Die Cut – Ornate Heart

WOW, that’s a lot of product! And I realize I could have added more.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to create and I plan to make more. In the meantime, I am working on a leather cuff bracelet. Which, of course, I will post at a later date.

Right now, I gots to chill. Currently (Feb. 6th), I am 22 hours post-op foot surgery.  *smile* *frown* *yawn* beep bop boop…

6x6 layout displayed

Quick Tip: Dylusions Ink Sprays

Never. Ever. Ever! Ever spill Dylusions Ink!


Seriously! And it gets worse. As I was cleaning it up, a huge puddle rolled right off my craft mat onto the tile floor. No problem getting it off the tile, but the grout! That’s another story.


My husband is currently out of the country on business. Whew! BUT, if I don’t get that Calypso Teal out of the grout, he might just kill me.

So, if I never make another post after Monday, you’ll know why.

Cricut Paper Dolls Teen Scene with a Twist

I adore the Julie Nutting Paper Doll stamps by Prima. What I don’t love is fussy cutting. I just don’t have the patience for it. So, I was determined to use my Paper Dolls Teen Scene cartridge to make a Nutting-esque paper doll. Plus, I needed it larger than the Nutting dolls.

Teen Scene paper doll

The Teen Scene dolls have faces so, the first thing I had to do was to remove those layers. Basically, I just used the shadow as the base. Because I was manipulating the original design, the rest of the layers no longer fit together accurately. But, there’s an easy fix for this. All that has to be done is to lay down the shadow base and size the other layers directly over it until they match up. Obviously, you’ll need to use either Cricut Craft Room or Design Space to achieve this.

The doll I chose was wearing cropped pants but, I wanted her in a skirt. So, I simply drew an easy skirt shape to match the top and added some Tulle for flair and dimension.

For the hair, I used a cardstock with a core so that I could lightly sand it to get the highlights. I think the next time I make one of these, I will use Mohair yarn to make the hair. Mohair is often used for making doll hair so, why not paper dolls too?

I wanted to give her “face” some color and rosy cheeks so, I broke out my craft chalk and used the sponge dauber to apply her “makeup”. Which, by the way, is the only thing I have ever used the craft chalk for.

Her buttons were made by using Tulip Beads in a Bottle. This is a fabric product but, it works great on paper crafts as well.

Nutting dolls are approximately 7.25 inches tall and this one is about 2 inches taller. ..maybe more. I needed her taller to fit on an altered 12×12 scrapbook album.

The Scrapbook Album

It was just an inexpensive album I picked up at a thrift store. Probably Goodwill. Anyway, I didn’t like the colors so, I decided to treat it like a canvas.

Altered Album

I started with several coats of Gesso, then randomly applied blue and grey acrylic paint. I stamped tissue paper using Black StazOn ink and adhered it using Liquitex gloss gel medium. The lace is vintage, another thrift store find, and was adhered the same way. As was the stamped vintage book pages and paper doll. I used the same gel medium to seal everything except the doll (since she is made from acid free papers).

I filled the album with a combination of Project Life Pocket Pages, We R Memory Keepers Page Protectors and their prospective journaling cards. Plus some regular 12×12 page protectors with “My Minds Eye” Complete Boy light cardstock.  All this was made and given as a gift to my daughter who recently had her first child, a son (my grandson!) named Remy.

I had a lot of fun with this project. I think it helps a lot when you have a person in mind and a color scheme. I am currently working on projects for my niece who is expecting a daughter in January. I missed the deadline for her baby shower (oopsie) but, will be done before the baby comes. I hope.