Attention Altered Book Lovers – Check Out the Dollar Store!

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I just discovered a new source for hardback books – the dollar store! Who knew? I’m certain they’ve always been there but, it didn’t dawn on me to buy any there until recently. Their selection doesn’t seem to include anything I usually like so I guess I’ve always just walked right past that aisle. Then one day, I noticed a title by one of my favorite authors. It didn’t sound familiar so I picked it up only to discover I already owned it when I got home. What to do with the second copy now? Luckily, I love altered books. I also love printing, stamping and painting on torn out pages to use as card and scrapbooking elements. If you do too, check your local dollar store next time you need a new “canvas.”

Happy hunting,


10 Minutes A Day

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How do you get good at something? Do it. A lot. Over and over again. How do you start? Just start. Give yourself 10 minutes a day to work on whatever it is you want to be good at. Want to be a better artist? Doodle for 10 minutes a day. A better writer? Jot down your thoughts; 10 minutes every day. Organize your craft room, get into better shape? 10 minutes! You will see a big difference in a month. If you keep it up for two months, you’ll have yourself a new habit. As time passes, it becomes part of your life. So what do you want to get better at? Start today. Then set your alarm or tie a sting around your finger to remind you to do it again tomorrow and the next day. If you need help getting to the next level, sign up for a class. And don’t forget to tell people about it. I don’t know about you but, I’m way more likely to stick to it if I’ve told people I’m going to do something. So here I go, I intend to drop a few pounds (get back to where my clothes aren’t too tight) and I really want to learn to draw. Being the crafty girl I am, I made this reminder ring to help keep me on track. (Thank you I Spy DIY! You can find the tutorial for the ring
here.) Wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!

To Sign the Back of Your Cards, or Not?

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Simple, it’s a mini piece of art, of course you sign it!

When I was a little girl, I used to draw a rose on the back of my homemade cards and call them “Amanda Greetings” or “Hallmandy.” I didn’t know what copyright infringement was back then but, I knew the back shouldn’t be left blank.

As I got older, I discovered cute “handcrafted by” rubber stamps and I used those to create my own brand. Nowadays, I usually draw a little heart and sign my first name. It feels more like art that way, and quite frankly, it looks more like art these days too.

Believe it or not, I’ve often had students that didn’t feel comfortable signing the back of the cards they made. Sometimes it was because they didn’t feel like it was good enough, sometimes because it was my design instead of their own. No matter what, I always encourage everyone to sign them. In the end, no two are ever identical and if you put the time and effort into making something, you should get the credit.

What if you’re not proud of it? I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes the ideas in our heads don’t translate to paper that well. So…If it’s exceptionally bad, sign someone else’s name! Or if it’s a little naughty, sign your stage name 😉

Happy crafting,


Looking for the Right Adhesive?

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There are lots of different glues and adhesives out there. Finding the right one for the job isn’t always easy. I have two shelves in the studio devoted solely to sticky stuff so that I can glue pretty much anything to anything else. So how do you know which one to use? The label usually tells you what materials that particular adhesive will work on but, if you’re “stuck”, check out
This to That. They can point you in the right direction.

Using Wrapping Paper for Quick Cards

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Ever find your self wrapping a present and realize you don’t
have a card for it? It always seems to be 10 minutes before you have to walk
out the door with it too, doesn’t it? No problem, you can use a scrap of the
gift wrap as a background for a quick and easy card that will look great and
match perfectly! Just fold a piece of cardstock (in a neutral or coordinating
color), trim and layer the scrap of gift wrap to fit and add a quick focal
point. You can use a sticker or stamp a sentiment onto another scrap of
cardstock to use as the focal point or add a silk flower and some ribbon. Don’t
over think it, try to limit yourself to just a few elements and you can whip out a
beautiful card in less than 5 minutes! This is also a great idea for mini
cards to fit under the ribbon of smaller gift boxes