Ocean Breeze – A Graphic 45 Mini Album

I made a little Graphic 45 “Down by the Sea” mini album to capture a week-long vacation at the beach.

The structure of my book is Kathy Orta’s hidden hinge system.  It may take a while to watch the video and understand, but believe me, you can do it!  Here is the link to Kathy’s tutorial.  There are other tutorials available for making the cover.

And here is the 5″x7″ mini album I made.  It has a clear acrylic cover and chipboard back.  I primarily used Graphic 45’s Down by the Sea Collection.

Ocean Breeze Mini Album

It has a two-inch spine and I added a Tim Holtz hanger brad to the spine before adhering the hidden hinge framework.  Here is a close up of the front – the same little Cricut houses are used on the front and the inside front of the clear cover.   The middle house is adhered on a layer of chipboard for some added dimension.  I added a banner title and a little paper eyelet from a Martha Stewart border punch.  My new Cricut Explore cut a lot of this project – I am still getting used to the clunky software, but the machine is awesome!

Ocean Breeze Front Cover

The challenging thing about using acrylic sheets is determining what should go behind it and aligning it correctly.  In this mini album,  the next under page has a banner in the same place with the second line of the song.

Front and Pg 1

Here is all of the first page:

Pg 1

All together, I used three different page types.  The page above is made by cutting the paper 6.75″ wide by 10″ long and scoring (along the long edge) at 0.5″ and at 4.75″.   Fold in the flap and adhere, making a tube.  You will want to burnish the top and bottom edge for a smooth page.  Leave one end open for inserting tags and use the other open end to attach to your hinge system.  You can also add a die cut or paper to make a pocket on top of your page.  Here is the back of page one:


And here is the little tag that tucks in behind the car die cut:


For the second type of page, I used strips cut from 12″ pocket page protectors and I added a paper “header” to attach to the hidden hinge system.   When cutting your pocket page, make sure you cut below the line that forms the “stop” for the row above it.  Once you get a pocket page in the trimmer, you will see what I mean.  I used a bone folder to accordion fold one row of 4″ square pockets for one page and a row of 3″ x 4″ pockets for a second page.

Here is how I added the header:  measure the height of your row/strip of pockets.  Mine measured 4.25″ tall.  I cut a strip of paper 1″ wide by 9″ long.  Along the long end, score at 0.5″ and 4.75″.  Add ScorPal tape on the outside edge of your page pocket row along the side with the plastic header and holes for putting in a larger album with rings.


Check your row of pockets to ensure that pockets are facing up. then tuck in the .05″ flap, and wrap your header band around the pocket row lining.   Your pocket row should be attached to one side of your header band.  After that, adhere it to your hidden hinge binding.  Add a little pull tab to the side of your accordion folded pockets, and you are ready to fill your pockets.


The last type of page is a flap page.  With a 12″ piece of paper, cut a 4.75″ width of paper (so the design will run horizontal) by 10″.  Score at 6.5″ and fold the flap.  Cut another piece of paper that measures 4.75″ wide by 6.5″ and adhere on 3 sides leaving one end open for a flap. Adhere that paper underneath your flap.  You can mix and match patterns to your heart’s content.

What Does the Fox Bake – A Silhouette Cameo Recipe Card

A new year – a new recipe swap!  This year, our 6″ by 6″ recipe cards use the seasons for inspiration.  First up, winter.

Here is my swap page – a skating fox with a strawberry and her strawberry cake.  I used my Silhouette Cameo and much of its awesome software capability to make this card.  I love to mix paper companies and scale to make these little vignettes and this one is no exception.  Papers from Authentique, Studio Calico, and Kaisercraft make up bits and pieces of the page.  I also used my American Button Machine to add a little flair.



The fox started off as a raccoon in the Silhouette Online Store.  I shared some of my techniques to modify her into a fox and add dimension (if you click on the photo, it is easier to read).

Skating Fox

Sympathy Card


This is a card for a friend who unexpectedly lost her mother.  Although I never had the pleasure of meeting her mom, I know she was an extraordinary person because her daughter is.

For this card, I used the color palette from the Carta Bella flower bouquet  available at the Silhouette Online Store.  This graphic uses Silhouette’s print and cut feature.  I printed and cut the file at 3.6″ tall.  To add a little dimension, I found some flower shapes and a leaf that were similar to the shapes in the print and cut file.  I sized the flowers to fit over the Carta Bella blooms and then used the color selector tool (the eye drop) to fill the flowers with the same color.  I printed all of the card elements at one time on the same Bazzill French Vanilla paper and then assembled.  The flowers were glued on top of the respective blooms and “fluffed”.   One of the flowers was folded in half for added dimension and to align better to the cut file.  After tying a small ribbon around the cut file, I used foam tape to adhere the Carta Bella bouquet to a 4″ square of paper (using the same paper that the flowers and bouquet were printed).  I also used the color selector tool to match the colors of the label and the font to the bouquet.  After that, I added some layers to frame the bouquet and used foam tape to add a little more dimension to the dark frame.

Here is a close up of the bouquet showing the flowers and leaf.   I intend to use this technique again particularly when working on a card where I want the design feature to stand out.


A Hospice Card

A much respected and admired man entered hospice care a few days ago.  This card is for him.

The sentiment is from the almost last line in my favorite Irish blessing used on partings.   I added three shamrocks to represent the Trinity and a Celtic-inspired background from My Mind’s Eye “Remarkable” collectable.  All of the shapes are from the Silhouette Online Store and the font is SNF Picardy.

Although I am very sad that is he is in hospice, I am very thankful for the nurses and doctors, like my friend Diane, who will make sure he is afforded the dignity he has earned and the care he and his family need.


I debated posting the card on my blog.   I thought it might provide some encouragement for someone looking for a hospice card or wondering if something as simple as a card could help.  I hope it will.

In A First for Me – A Mixed Media Canvas

Well – there is not a lot of media mixing going on, but here is my first try.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the paper, my trusty Epson Photo R2000 for printing the “words” and some gesso, matte medium, acrylic paints, and stamps to create something to hang on the wall of a friend’s creative space (scheduled for expansion after her daughter gets married and moves out).

The best thing about this type of project is you can cut and adhere your paper pieces with relative freedom because of the matte medium.  I used a flowering dogwood branch, a heart, and some stars in a variety of papers.  To get the branch properly aligned to fit the 4×12 canvas, I simply trimmed the branch apart and adhered the heart over the  stem pieces.


So there you have it – a first canvas.

The Final Page in the Recipe Card Swap – A Silhouette Cameo Diorama Card

So – this is it – the final page in our two-year swap of 6×6″ recipe pages.  I have learned a lot, and I have made some friends along the way.  The background paper was the inspiration – even though it doesn’t have pears, it was the right palette for this project.


I bought the “paper doll” .png file from Etsy at Cherry Hill Living.  It’s easy to import a .png file to your Silhouette Designer Edition Software, add a “sticker” border (also known as an offset) and print and cut.  If you want to know more, check out Jin’s tutorials and projects at Under A Cherry Tree.

So after printing and cutting my tiny cook, I set out to make a little retro scene for her.  A wooden spoon, a stove, a few pots, and a pumpkin pie are all from the Silhouette Online Store.  For the stove, I added the pots and welded them to the background shape.  After cutting the background in black, I adhered the pie and a little oven rack to the background.  Next, I hand cut the vellum oven front and adhered it behind the stove.  After that it was a simple as adhering the layers.  The little dish towel is hand cut and draped over the oven door handle.  A few little brads for knobs and the recipe title made the scene complete.  To add some dimension and emphasize the retro feel, I cut a frame from black cardstock and sandwiched in a piece of clear acrylic and popped it up to make the little diorama a little more retro.

It has been a pleasure to create these pages – here is my first – I think I almost wore out my friend Diane with a million questions and I owe my friend Nadia a lifetime of thanks for her encouragement and tips on altering cuts to fit the scene-

Recipe - Appetizer

And here is my last:


I have some ideas for new projects and hope to be back soon.  Until then – happy papering….

A Tale of 3 Recipe Boxes


I recently participated in a partnered recipe box swap with a group recipe card swap.  Each participant made one box for a partner and one recipe card for each member of the group of 35.  At the end of the swap, each participant had a decorated box and 35 holiday or winter sweet recipe cards to fill it.

Box 1 above used Bo Bunny papers and Lettering Delights’ “Eskimo Pie” collection.  I added a few cut files from the Silhouette Online Store to add canisters, tools, and a gingerbread cookie to the sled. The “recipes” title brads are from Farmhouse Paper Company.

On one of the sides, I used another cut from the Eskimo Pie collection and cut off the fishing pole and replaced the fish with more gingerbread men.


As I did on the front die cut, I used my Copics to add the skin tones and fur texture and a Uno Signo-Ball white pen to add the icing details.

For the second side, I used Lettering Delights “Jan’kufuudo” cut set to add the hot chocolate mug.


And finally, the inside of the box using some of the Bo Bunny die cuts, some foam, tape, and chipboard:


Box 2, below, is a winter steam punk trunk with an adventurous Echo Park penguin from the Silhouette Online store.  I cut several penguin layers in different patterned papers to create his trousers, vest, and cravat, and shirt and then hand-trimmed to make him the little gentleman penguin that he is.  I purchased his vintage doll house binoculars from Etsy and added a chain.  The trunk features Tim Holtz buckles, brad nails, and Theresa Collins paper.  I added Prima flowers, kitchen charms, gears, a clock key, and a mixer from the Farmhouse Paper Company Kitchen metals brads to finish the box front.


The penguin’s map, of Antarctica,  is cut from an October Afternoon 12×12 map page and folded.


Metal handles from Kaisercraft are adhered to the sides of the trunk.


Box #3 uses Graphic 45’s Tropical Travelogue and Prima flowers.  I also added some metal butterflies, a lock, and key to add a little more G45-like elements to the box.  Most of the design elements were hand-cut from 12×12 paper.  I learned that it is possible to fold the metal butterfly wings up to add a little more dimension.


The inside of the third box is the most interesting of the three and included several layered G45 elements adhered on chipboard for added dimension.


The boxes I received in return are amazing.  Many thanks to my friends, Esther, Amy, and Ashley, for the beautiful boxes that each made for me.

Cricut and Silhouette Cameo Team Up for a Recipe Card – Texas Caviar

Another 6″ by 6″ vignette for the recipe card swap.  The theme for this round was 4th of July.  I used Cricut’s “Yee Haw” cow girl as the focal point and substituted a hand cut tortilla chip for her hat.  The bowl (formerly of popcorn) is from the Silhouette Online Store.  I used the Silhouette Designer Edition software to cut the five-pointed star in blue gingham and then add more cut lines to the star cut and split the red patterned paper points in half for a little extra dimension and color.  I simply added the red pieces directly over the top of the blue gingham points.

Texas Caviar Recipe Page

I used Copics to add the color for the Texas caviar (black beans, black-eyed peas, red and green peppers, and shoe peg corn) and added a second hand-cut tortilla chip.  Silhouette’s Print and Cut capability was key to making the recipe title label, and the Cricut Craft Room was instrumental in hiding contours on the cow girl.  When working with small pieces, I generally “hide” the eyes and mouth as it is simply easier to draw them in.

The ground was also hand cut.  Using scissors, just cut a wavy line about a half-inch up from the end of a six-inch wide paper strip.  Next, cut a straight line across about a half-inch above the wavy edge.  You will have two “ground” pieces and it is simpler and easier than using a machine.

Hurry Up & Feel Better – A Silhouette Cameo Card

A friend’s sister was recently in an accident.  I thought she might appreciate something a little vintage and a little modern to brighten up her recovery.

I found a vintage card on eBay and interpreted it into this:

Up Card - folded

I liked the open “U” so I needed to make sure I maintained plenty of open space while adding all of the details.  The little bird is from the Silhouette Online Store and I used a variety of papers and patterns to create her.  The “hurry” banner used Arial font; I copied and flipped the word vertically and horizontally and then welded each of the letters together.  After cutting, I folded the letters over the bakers twine.  I cut the bird’s beak in Papertrey Ink cardstock, colored it with Copics, and hand trimmed her beak so she could carry her banner.

To make the “U”, I used the Silhouette Designer Edition software and Copperplate font.  I then used the offset feature for the teal outline.  The  completed “U” measures about 5.5″ wide and 4.75″ tall.

Next I created the inside of the card by copying the “U” from the front of the card and welding it to a “P”.  Underneath all of the patterned papers, is a Papertrey Ink cardstock foundation to provide for stability.

Up Card Inside

I cut the bird a second time (after flipping it horizontally) as well as the individual letters and the teal offset.  I hand trimmed some of the bird away to make it look as if it were flying between the layers.


The flowers are from the Silhouette Online Store.  I hand trimmed the “P” so it wasn’t visible from the front of the folded card.


I added a piece of acetate to the back of the “P” so the card could stand open.  The banner sentiment uses the Silhouette Designer Edition software “text to path” and print and cut feature.

And there you have it, a fresh twist on vintage.

Happy Bug Day ~ A Silhouette Cameo Birthday Card

A happy little birthday bug with her slice of cake and a daisy flourish fascinator.

The happy bug uses googly eye brads and I hand trimmed some arms for her to hold her piece of cake.  I added some floral flourishes and made one into a fashionable fascinator.

Add the usual mix of patterned papers, pop dots, and a Hero Arts stamped sentiment, and she is almost done.  Don’t forget to use Papertrey Ink cardstock for your base as she is loaded down with papery goodness.