Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Nautical theme male birthday card

As I mentioned in a recent post, I'm trying to use up more of the supplies that I have and not  buy more. I confess, the longer something sits in my crafting room without me using it, the less likely I am to use it at all.

This really doesn't make sense. Something doesn't have to be new to be nice. I think we're all just so inundated with seeing new, that we forgot our old and retired supplies were once new, too. We loved them when we bought them, why not now?

Like this perfectly nice docrafts Ahoy There! mini decoupage medley pack used on this card. I wanted to make a card for my brother's birthday and was digging around in my stash when I came across it. Frankly, I had forgotten I had it (I'm sure you can relate). I think it turned out quite nice and am glad I was finally able to put it to good use.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, patterened paper, docrafts Ahoy There! mini decoupage medley PMA 169053
Dies—Crafts Too step card die, Nellies label dies MFD 066
Embellishments—twine, vintage buttons, gems
Font—Candy Round BTN

I'm linking up with: Shopping Our Stash challenge #200—Big, Bold and Beautiful, Crafting From the Heart challenge #58—Always Anything Goes, Craft Your Passion challenge #260—Always Anything Goes and Not Just Cards challenge #18—Anything Goes.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Paperesse Style—My 'Hair'story of going gray (or embracing my natural highlights)

I'm SICK of coloring my hair. I'm tired of the expense, the time, the mess and ruined pillowcases. Haircolor and I have been having a hot and heavy affair the last 30 years and it isn't doing anything for me anymore. I'm ready to end it.

I realize this choice isn't for everyone. I'm a firm believer in every woman looking the way she chooses, that makes her feel good (forget all that age appropriate crap, that wear this not that advice, wear what you freakin' want...but I digress), so if you want to color your hair, fine, but, if you don't want to color your hair, that's fine, too. A woman can have gray hair and still be an attractive, funky, vivacious, sexy woman (even if haircolor advertisers do their very best to convince women otherwise).

There's a whole gray revolution going on (which is kind of silly when you think about it, why should being natural require a revolution?). There's even a great website by that name—Revolution Gray—whose motto is  'It's not just a hair color, it's a lifestyle'. If you think you might want to enlist, consider the read Going Gray by Anne Kreamer. Her research into gray hair and how people (okay, men) react to it might surprise you.

Here's my own little visual gray hairstory—er, history—on embracing my natural highlights.

One day I was walking in Geneva and saw a short haired woman, about my own age, with salt and pepper hair. She exuded confidence. She was so chic and pretty, I wanted her look, that look, but lacked the courage to stop coloring. The seed had been planted. In 2010, when my hairstory begins, I was my preferred red.

Summer 2010

In 2011 curiosity got the better of me. My natural hair color and I hadn't seen one another in so many years I didn't know what she looked like anymore. I decided we should meet up.

Summer 2011

In 2012 I caved in to others' opinions and colored it back to red.

Spring 2012

By early 2014, I was fed up once again and was back to my natural color.

Spring 2014

Popular and vocal opinion won out once more in the summer of 2014. Only this time, I decided to make a major change and went blonde. I started to have reactions to the chemicals in the decoloration process and my hair was thinning at an alarming rate. A haircut and color was four times my normal monthly haircut price. My pocketbook was in a state of shock. Even if my hair hadn't revolted, my bank balance eventually would have, I stopped.

Summer 2014

After this blonde, I briefly colored it red again, but hated it. I just couldn't bring myself to do it anymore.Which brings me to the end of this little hairstory, and the present day. I'm once again back to my natural hair color, I've got pretty patterned pillowcases on my bed...and it feels so good!

I'm rockin' my gray and if it makes me look 'older', so what? I am older. Does it make me look fifty? So what, I am fifty.

Curious for more? There's more gray inspiration to be found on Pinterest and my own board here.

I'm linking up with Not Dear Yet Style's Visibile Monday on this post.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Foire Internationale de Lyon, France

My husband and I have a thing for French foires. A foire is sort of like an American fair, but without the rides, cooking competitions and livestock. A French foire has exhibitors showing and selling their products—food, wine, clothing, furniture, etcetera—with restaurants and food stalls offering you an energetic boost should you get tired. You can see the Rochexpo Foire de la Haute-Savoie Mont-Blanc we attended last year here.

Our recent visit to Lyon coincided with the last day of the Foire Inernationale de Lyon. It's held in a large exhibition space on the outskirts of Lyon; it took us a bus, a metro and two tram rides to get there, but it was worth it.

This vendor had a colorful stall. The olives looked delicious.

The foire's name is certainly correct—it is international; there were exhibitors from all over the world.

There were some very interesting cocktails on offer at this stand. Hmmm...I admit I was tempted to ask what the punch was like, but just couldn't bring myself to do it.

This gentleman was making small pieces of pottery that he gave away for free. Larger items were for sale.

Say cheese! Wine and cheese vendors are a must at every foire. This one was no exception. This Beaufort cheese is very good, by the way.

An then there's foire food...those things I'd never eat at home. For some reason, a sausage sandwich and a cold beer just hits the spot at a foire,

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Suit"-able for a male birthday card

I'm trying to be a frugal and use up the supplies I already have. Not only is it good for my pocketbook, but also my space, as I'm just about at maximum supply storage capacity in my office.

I used the docrafts Heritage Press City Gent decoupage pack (an oldie, but a goodie) to create this 3D birthday card for my father-in-law, who does not speak English. I think a suit really doesn't need much explanation.

To add a little something to it, I hung a watch face charm from the breast pocket. He usually doesn't say much about my cards, but this one he really liked and laughed when he saw it. Just goes to show, that sometimes the most simple cards give the most pleasure.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, docrafts A4 Decoupage Pack Heritage Press City Gent PMA 169094
Embellishments—ribbon, charm, jump rings

I'm linking up with: Crafting Musketeers challenge #24—It's a Man's World, QKR Stampede challenge #136—Guy Cards, Simply Papercrafts challenge #3—Lots of Layers, and Through the Craft Room Door challenge—Anything Goes.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Victorian boot with daisies Mother's Day card

This Mother's Day card is made with a digital stamp from Meljens Designs.

I dressed up the buttons with little pearls and attached a shoe charm to the twine tied on the side. I used Honey Script font for the sentiment.

Our postal regulations have changed here in France and anything over 3cms (just about an inch) in thickness going abroad (in my case, back to the States) requires filling out a long customs form and paying significantly more in price. I've kept this card reasonably flat that it might go along with a box of chocolates, keeping the entire package under 3cms. Luckily, my favorite Merci chocolates come in a thin box.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Kirby Teesdale Studio paper pack
Digital Stamp—Meljens Designs Victorian Shoe Daisies digital stamp
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Artemio circles and scalloped circles
Embellishments—twine, pearls, shoe charm
Font—Honey Script

I'm linking up with: Suzy Bee's Challenge #76—Anything Goes with a die or punch, Chocolate, Coffee and Cards challenge #89—Use a die-cut, Craft for the Craic April challenge—Use a die-cut or Easter theme, Digitally Sweet Challenge #133—Anything Goes, Simply Papercraft challenge #2—Anything Goes/Steampunk, Crafty Gals Corner challenge #15—Vintage, Digi Chooseday—Pearls & Gems.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Men's Spring floral wear—as seen in the Printemps, Lyon, France

So what do you think? Any chance your fella will be wearing one of these outfits?

 My husband and I were in Lyon a week ago, visiting his family. Of course, we had to do some window shopping. I don't really buy in Lyon, but I do like to look, like these windows in the Printemps department store (yes, the same one as in Paris).

I thought these male floral outfits were wonderful (my husband less so, I believe his comment was, "Hmphfff"), although I doubt we'll see many men wearing them.

And just across from Printemps is this floral boutique, who always has a great display. They match the windows right now.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Upgrading a card kit - dress form vintage look birthday card - and what to do with leftover flower wires

Card kits are a great way for beginning cardmakers to learn the craft, but once you're more advanced you might want to consider 'upgrading' them a bit, as I've done with this digital corset card kit from Paper Creator. It's a great kit, I liked the decoupage focal image, papers and sentiment, but I wanted to gussy it up just a bit.

I added my own vintage sheet music as a background paper and changed the design. I dressed it up with flowers, die cut foliage, pearls and some cute wooden embellishments.

If you've ever asked yourself, 'What can I do with the wire stems I've cut from paper flowers?" here's your answer. See the little green swirls in my card? Those are left over wires twirled around a quilling tool (or a toothpick would work).

Supply List
Paper—Paper Creator Corsett 6x6 card kit, vintage sheet music, cardstock
Dies—Die-namics rectangle stack, Spellbinders Shapeabilities foliage, Nellie's corner MFD027
Embellishments—flowers, flower wires, wooden lock and key, pearls

I'm linking up with: Crafty Calendar Challenge April—Add a sentiment, Open Minded Crafting Challenge #34—Recycle something, Crafty Catz #274—Two or more patterened papers,  Simply Create Too challenge #83—No digis or stamped images and 4 Crafty Chicks challenge #241—Use die cuts.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Happy Easter weekend and a Bad Hare day card

Happy Easter weekend to you! It's a long weekend for us here as both Friday and Monday are holidays and considered part of the Easter weekend. This Meljen's Design digital stamp just cracks me up. It's cute AND funny and perfect for a guy Easter card. I sent this one to my cousin.

Unfortunately, Meljen's is no longer selling digital stamps (phooey), but she had a 50% off sale last month and I stocked up on quite a few goodies. The paper is also digital—Delicious digital paper pack from Sassy Designs.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Delicious digital paper pack
Digital Stamp—Meljen's Designs Bad Hare Day
Color—Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 pencils
Dies—Die-Namics square and rectangle stax
Embellishments—buttons, twine

I'm linking up with: Crafty Catz challenge #273—Anything Goes, Creative Corner challenge—Animal Fun, Jo's Scrap Shack challenge #82—Anything Goes, Aloha Friday challenge #44—Easter, Sister Act Card challenge #100—Anything Goes, Wags 'n Whiskers #151—Buttons, ABC challenge—G is for Go Digital, 4 Crafty Chicks challenge #240—Easter, The Crafters Cafe challenge #110—Easter, and Simply Create Too challenge #82—Anything Goes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to alter an inexpensive plastic photo album into a one of a kind mini you'll be proud to give as a gift


I like decorative mini-albums with pretty papers and plenty of embellishments as much as the next crafter, but sometimes I want to give an album as a gift, quickly made, easily and inexpensively mailed, where larger photos take pride of place. This mini-album I've made as a gift for my cousin is the perfect example.

To do this, I use inexpensive plastic photo albums purchased on sale (I never pay more than €1 for them). To make the type of mini I have here, it's important that the album 'covers' front and back can be removed.


1) Prepare the covers with digital image processing software—I used Craft Artist 2 Professional software and assorted digital papers and images to come up with my cover (you can see where I used the focal image in a 'traditional' mini here). In designing my covers I sized them to the same dimensions as the covers that came with the album. You need four 'covers'—one for the front, one for the inside front, one for the inside back and one for the back. Cut your paper to the same size as the original album covers and print. You could also do this 'traditionally' with pretty paper and a stamped image.

2) Prepare the ribbon closure—take a cutting knife and carefully make a small slit in the center outside seam edge of the covers, front and back, just a little wider than the ribbon you want to use to keep your album closed. Cut two pieces of ribbon to your desired length.

3) Assemble the front cover sandwich—outside and inside— just as if you were going to insert it into the album cover. It's important that you know what you're doing here and that the images are facing in the right direction; it's easy to get confused. Undo the sandwich and adhere an inch (3cms) of  the end of your ribbon in the center of the back of  the front cover on what will be the right edge when done, then glue the front and inside front covers together with the ribbon hanging free between them. Repeat for the back cover, except this time the ribbon end will be glued to what will be the left edge of the back cover. Insert the covers—front and back—ribbons first and pull them through the tiny slits you made in step 2.

4) Digitally prepare a title page—I like to create a title page that says what the album is about and gives the dates. I print this on the back side of a 4 x 6 photo paper (10 x 15cms).

5) Prepare and print your photos and insert in the pockets provided. I like to 'write' on the front of the photo where it was taken and the date. Here's a inside look at a few of the inner pages. In the first photo you can see the inside of the front cover and my title page and in the last the back inside cover.

And there you go! A quick, easy, inexpensive album that looks nothing whatsoever like it's before photo below.

Supply List
Inexpensive plastic photo album, digital image processing software, digital images and papers, paper for printing covers and photos, ribbon.

I'm linking up with: TTCRD challenge week March 24—Anything Goes, All Crafts Challenge Feb/March—Anything But a Card and Not Just Cards challenge #15.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day! and a green beer card

I used Digi-Stamp Boutique's  Celebration set 'Celebrate with beer' sentiment and stamp for this St. Patrick's Day step card. After all, what's more appropriate for St. Patty's day than green beer?!

A friend gave me a set of Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water-soluble pastels and I used them for the first time coloring this image. I love the bright colors and soft water color look.

Supply List
Paper—cardstock, Sassy Designs Ireland and Holiday digital paper packs
Digital Stamp—Digi-Stamp Boutique Celebration set
Color—Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels
Dies—Crafts-too step card, Die-namics rectangle and circle stax
Embellishments—felt shamrocks, buttons, twine

I'm linking up with: Order of the Opus Gluei challenge #204—St. Patrick's Day, My Sheri Crafts challenge #152—Happy St. Patrick's Day, Left of Center challenge #69—Good or Bad Luck, The Stamping Boutique challenge—St. Patrick's Day, Dare to Be Sassy Thursdays #272—Happy St. Patrick's Day and The Pink Elephant challenge #290—Pinch Me (use the color green).


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