Sunday, July 31, 2011


Welcome to my Crafting Cave!
Recently a stamping friend in Illinois (Hi Bette!) asked me about my 'crafting cave' ... so today while I was cleaning up a bit from putting together kits for an upcoming card class, I thought I'd take a few photos and share them with her & you!!  
(click on any image to enlarge)
Mind you, I've now taken over 'HALF' the basement (hence 'cave' reference) and LOVIN' every moment I'm down here. I AM A VERY LUCKY GIRL!!  I have it set up so I can have friends over and seat 8 people comfortably.  (that is once I clean up MY workarea ... you know how easy it is to s-p-r-e-a-d out as you work!  LOL!

I probably stand to craft as much as I sit.  And when I do, here is where I do it.  My husband, Mark, built my shelving & counter tops as well as put up all the peg board for me.  LOVE being able to see what I have to work with.

(Here is a close up of most of my ribbon ... 
there's more hanging around here & there!)

I started buying these 3-drawer 12x12 cases several years ago when I started scrapbooking with my daughter.  It's hard to believe, but at one time I could go to a crop with just 3 sets of these drawers ... THEN I started making cards ... well ... enough said!!!  Most of these 3 drawer cases now house my stamps and 12x12 paper.  Of course, if you notice, I also have paper shelves (right) for my paper packs too.  
The tall shelving unit came from Lowes and the nice thing about it is when you're putting it together, you adjust the shelves at 1" increments ... which made it possible to have less wasted space.  I have my 8 1/2 x 11 papers in clear plastic boxes sorted by color ... with the exception of my SU paper ... it's on the bottom row in original packaging to remember the names of the colors easier.

I really like having the pegboard down the side of the steps.  Gives me room to hang so many of my embellishments that I would otherwise probably forget I even had!  The pegboard was hubby's idea and a darn good one too!  LOVE it!
This is my little Cuttlebug work station.  A lot of my Spellbinder dies are housed in CD cases on the stand right next to this station (see photo below) ... and all my embossing folders and other dies are on the shelves lower shelves.  
Having all the 'plug in' type things in the same location works great for me.  The only problem is when we need to get into the breaker box (big gray thing in the background that I use to stick things on with magnets). 
Now mind you, I have to have somewhere to put the OVERFLOW ... so along the back wall is this shelving unit which I have pretty much filled to the brim!  LOL.  

This is my way of categorizing and storing my cards until time for the local craftshow.  This is also easier when I get requests to do a card class or bring cards to show (family usually) ... I can just lay them down, put the lids on ... stack and go!

Well, there you have it!  My little corner of the world and the place you will find me most every day of the week!  Thanks for taking the tour and please feel free to STOP BY AND PLAY anytime you are in the Akron, Ohio area!  REALLY!!  

Darlene ... the crazy lady in her crafting cave!

UPDATE:  Here's what it looked like back in 2007 when I first got SERIOUS about crafting!  Notice there was only ONE table ... LOL!!
 Click image to enlarge.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crafty Secrets & Nicecrane Designs

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Today I'd like to share with you a few cards I've made over the past week.  First of all, the Crafty Secrets Forum Challenge over on SCS (splitcoast stampers) is a "Paper Parade" and hosted by Marcy. 

Crafty Secrets has some wonderful paper packs and I decided to use a sheet from the 'Earthy' pack.  It's 2 sided so I created panels from each side for my background.

The sentiment is from their 'Garden Girls' stamp set and I have used Prismacolor markers for the coloring on the flowers/leaves ... and TH Tea Dye Distress Ink for the sponging.  Michael's grosgrain ribbon and a Martha Stewart butterfly punched butterfly were all the embellishments I felt were needed.

*  * * * * * *  *
Next are 3 cards created using some of the newer images available at Nicecrane Designs.  Ignacio has been really busy ... so you'll want to pop over and see all the new images/papers he's offering in the store.  (Scroll down a little and in the left sidebar, click on NEW PRODUCTS)  These creations were made using his 'Incredible Josephine' images ... SO ADORABLE

 This first card utilizes one of the 'digital images' from the Josephine Birthday Pack and I have used Prismacolor Markers for my coloring.  This luscious background paper is from the Prima - Madeline paper pack (love it!). The flower was made using TH grunge paper and his floral die.  The leaf is of old olive cs and a Cheery Lynn Designs (B119) leaf die (purchased through Joan's Gardens).

Paper: Old Olive, White and Blue Bayou cardstock
Inks:  Blue Bayou, Old Olive
Accessories:  Spellbinder Stylish Flowers EF, Prima flowers, Silk flowers w/pearls (JoAnns), Cheery Lynn Designs (B118) Pair of Ferns die, Offray satin ribbon

 These next two cards utilize images from the Incredible Josephine Collage Sheet.  There are two different collage sheets available and EIGHT different images on each sheet (quite a bargain if you ask me!). 

 Paper:  White, Pink, Black cardstock, DCWV designer paper
Accessories:  Organza ribbon, Stampendous diamond dots, MS butterfly

Please be sure to pop on over to see what's new at Nicecrane Designs.  Be sure to check out his latest designer papers too ... they are AWESOME!

Other Challenges:
Digistamps4Joy - Children's Day Around the World
Mami Doodles - Flowers

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Sisterhood of Crafters . . .

are back with another FUN challenge!  Today we are MAKING GIFTS for friends & neighbors!

 (click on image to enlarge)

I've had a couple of these $.50 address books (see rear image) from Michael's laying around my crafting cave for a couple of years now ... today's the day to turn it into a gift for one of my friends!

I've used a 12x12 sheet of holiday paper from the K&Company, Brenda Walton Evergreen pack.  I've done some 'crafty cutting' in order to utilize the words and image from this 12x12 sheet.  Pretty Easy-Peezy!!

Please come join in the fun at The Sisterhood ... and if you need more inspiration, the SISTAHS have provided it for you!  Pop on over to check it out!!   Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge #114

HOORAY!  It's Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge time again! 

Did you know that over at CDAC they have NEW Progressive Challenges Starting!  Vintage ATC Swap OPEN for sign ups and an awesome Mini Paper Bag Album Swap Open for sign ups. 
You still have plenty of time so head on over and check it out today!

This this week we must say good bye to one of our long time DT members. Lovely Linda has had some doors open up for her in the crafting world and has had to step down from the MMDT. Linda has been playing the MMDT since the very beginning and has been a huge supporter of our players. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors and will miss her very much!!!

Would you like to be a part of these teams? We always have a look out for some talented crafters. Not only for the Midnight Madness DT, the "priscillastyles" DT but the CDAC Dream Team. So if you are interested in taking a super fun journey with some very talented crafters, we want to hear from you.
Email me at with your information!

This weeks's "YOUR PICK" Make it fancy, clean and simple, or somewhere in-between. Remember to click on the sneak peek button on the side bar for the following weeks sketch each Friday.


Enter one style or both this week.
Just have fun and come play with us :)
Our MMSC113 Gold Star Award goes to...
 Our Remarkables Awards this week go to...
  2. mocca22 
 20. Vickie Kertz  
Our MMSC113 Weekly Bonus Winner is...
  19. Audrey E. 
Here are your random numbers:19
Timestamp: 2011-07-26 03:16:16 UTC
Our MMSC114 Weekly Bonus Sponsor is..
Stamp and Create and is offering a $25.00 gift certificate.
Stamp and Create is an on-line store carrying many popular brands of stamps, paper, and embellishments including: Wags ‘n Whiskers Rubber Stamps, High Hopes Stamps, Sweet Pea, CC Designs, Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps, Whiff of Joy, Stampavie, Penny Black, The Greeting Farm, Basic Grey, 7 Gypsies, Shimmerz, Nestabilities (always 20% off!!), charms and more!! Lacey is always adding new items to the store…so check it out at
Thanks Lacey for your wonderful prize this week!
Our July Monthly sponsor is....
Be sure to check out the DT projects 
made with Petaloo flowers.

Click HERE to see the monthly prize details!
Here is my creation using a Stamp and Create image ... isn't she just adorable!!! Her name is 'Lacey' and you can find her (and her friends) HERE.

 AND ... here's a 3D project using Petaloo flowers.

This beautiful spray of Petaloo flowers is called 'Trumpet Vine Spray' and was colored with Gold Brillance Ink and Gold Stickles.  The basic box is The Original Blackboard Photo Box by Cosmo Cricket.  I've used a small piece of acetate to cover the opening so I could add candy inside.

Here you can see I used coordinating Graphic45 paper down the sides (and on the top) of the box.  The Petaloo "Color Me Crazy" flowers are so much fun to create with and coming up with different ways to color them is half the fun!  For this creation I used 2 methods ... I already told you about the Gold Brillance ... the red flowers were colored using a Red Prismacolor Marker.  You can get so creative in coloring these flowers ... the sky's the limit ... really!!

Have a wonderful day and please come join in the fun at Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge!  You won't be sorry!


Monday, July 25, 2011

A SAD DAY . . .

Hello everyone!  

I just wanted to share some sad news our family just received and ask that you say a prayer for my sister Linda and her family. 

Earlier this year I shared with you the visit I made along with my sister, Linda & granddaughter, Morgan to visit my nephew (Linda's son) Danny, who has been in a home since the age of two with severe cerebral palsy.  Early this morning, Danny passed away and is now with our Lord.  We were certainly BLESSED to have him in our lives and we now pray that he will find peace & comfort in heaven!
God be with you Danny!
Aunt Darlene


Shelly's Images Challenge - 1st Birthday

I hope you were able to join in all the fun last week at Shelly's Images to celebrate Shelly's birthday!!

Today's Marvelous Monday features another birthday favorite.  Here is Shelly's '1st Birthday' image which is offered at a SPECIAL PRICE today only!!
You can find this image and many more fun images at Shelly's Images Store.  Please be sure to hop over and see these fabulous digi images!  Here is the card sample I created using this fun birthday image ... the balloon sentiment is also one of Shelly's images.
 (click on image to enlarge)

Paper - White, Black, Bright Pink Bazzill cs
Accessories - Martha Stewart Butterfly border punch, Prismacolor Markers, Paper Piercer, Quickie Glue, Deco Art Glamour Dust

Other Challenges:
Little Claire's Designs - Things with Wings
Our Daily Bread - Piercing
Totally Gorjuss - Punch or Die Cut
Card Makin' Mamas - #25 Food and Drink
Paper Cutz Challenge - Anything Goes

THANKS so much for your visit and I hope you're enjoying your summer!  TOO HOT here in N.E. Ohio to do much outdoors ... BUT ... my sister and I are going to the ZOO today and act like kids again!  (She's 62 and I'm 61) ... she's NEVER been to the zoo!!!  I'd say it's time for some fun!!  Hope the animals aren't all HIDING to stay cool ... either way it's a day with my 'big sis' and we'll have a good time!!    The zoo will have to wait!  Linda's son, Danny, died last night so we are doing Memory Books of Dan today instead.  Please give your children an extra hug & kiss in Memory of Danny today!!  He would have liked that!!

Hugs (and wish me luck!  LOL)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 5 - Shelly's Birthday Bash

It's Friday - Day 5 of Shelly's Birthday Bash at Shelly's Images Blog and TODAY'S the BIG DAY! 

Happy Birthday to you ...
Happy Birthday to you ...
Happy Birthday Dear Shelly . . .
Happy Birthday to you!!

Shelly loves to hear from our Shelly's Images friends and this is your chance to wish Shelly a "Happy Birthday".  We will draw one random winner for every 20 comments left for Shelly over on the Shelly's Images Blog.  Won't you please help make Shelly's birthday the BEST EVER by popping over and leaving a comment!  

See you at the party!

Have you popped over for HAPPY HOUR yet?  It's everyday from 2-4 ... (3 or 4 images will be offered at a DRASTICALLY REDUCED price).

Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge

Time for another Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge!  
Are you ready??  
This week our hostess, Tammy Louise 
asked us to create something with 
 (click on image to enlarge)
 I had so much fun creating this card!  This 'Nichola' image is so adorable and I couldn't wait to pair her up with the Prima 'Sweet Fairy' 6x6 paper pack I purchased recently.

Recipe for this card:
Stamps - The Stamp Pad sentiment stamp
Image - Wags 'n Whiskers 'Nichola'
Papers - Prima Sweet Fairy dp, white cs, lilac cs, violet cs
Accessories - Bucket 'o Buttons, Michael's organza wire edge lilac ribbon, Violet satin ribbon, Lime Green ribbon,  Spellbinder classic ovals, Prismacolor markers, quickie glue, Deco Art Glamour Dust, Bow Easy, Fiskars swivel crafting knife

Now it's your turn.  Be sure to pop over to our WnW Challenge Blog for any further details as well as inspiration from my team mates!!  Have Fun!

Case study - Backgrounds
Southern Girls - Happy Birthday


Thursday, July 21, 2011


I just received this birthday card from a friend who lives in Illinois and her name is Bette Henson.  Betty and I met last year at a workshop held at Joan's Gardens in North Liberty, Indiana.  We hit it off right away and have stayed in touch via email & phone ... chit chatting about what else ... making cards & doing paper crafts!!

I don't care that it is a week late (LOL) ... it's just so gorgeous and MY FAVORITE COLOR!!   I adore easel cards and just don't think to make them often enough myself! Thanks for inspiration Bette!

 I know the background doily came from Joan's Gardens ... I believe it's one of the Cheery Lynn Design doily dies (don't have that one ... YET!) ... LOVE how she ran it through the Cuttlebug and embossed it ... fabulous idea!!
And ... I just LOVE this sentiment tag!  Will have to ask her who makes this one ... ANOTHER purchase I'll be making!!  Uuugh!  There goes my 'mad money'! LOL!

Bette doesn't have a blog ... but, as you can see, she makes BEAUTIFUL cards and I just HAD to share it with you all!  Thanks so much my friend ... what a FABULOUS surprise in my mailbox today!  MWAH!!!

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have made SO MANY amazing friends through this craft!  What a blessing it has been for me!  A special thanks goes out to ALL of my crafting / blogging friends!  You truly 'keep me going' and 'MAKE MY DAY!'

Another Fun Challenge at CDAC . . .

I just couldn't wait to share this fun challenge with you!

 (original card)

Over on "Priscillastyles" group at CDAC, she has reached 900+ members so that warranted a challenge.  Here's how it works: You are to find the 1st card you uploaded to the CDAC gallery using one of "priscillastyles" digi images ... then case that card!  What a great idea and great fun!  You are allowed to make up to THREE cards so that's exactly what I did ... each one using a different "priscillastyles" digi image.

I'm just thrilled with how these each came together, and I chose to make one a different theme ... in sentiment & color.  Why not CHALLENGE YOURSELF ... go back and find a card you created a YEAR AGO ... then case that card using the same sketch but different images & themes.  What fun!

I hope you've found inspiration in today's posting and will come back again!  PLEASE feel free to leave a comment (good & BAD).  I'd love to hear from you!

Day 4 - Shelly's Birthday Bash

  •  Comment on new digi for a chance to win!

  • Comment and become a fan for a chance to win.

Don't forget ... HAPPY HOUR everyday from 2-4 ... (3 or 4 images will be offered at a DRASTICALLY REDUCED price).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Guest Designer Challenge at Joan's Gardens

It wasn't easy to create a 'winter time' project today when the temperature is 93 degrees outside!!  But it's what came to my mind when I saw what Guest Designer LANA EDWARDS, for Joan's Gardens,  posted as the current challenge.  

 (click image to enlarge)

What a unique way to create flowers ... you'll want to check this out and you can do that by going to Lana's 'Blest With Stamps' Blog.

Here's a little hint:  You use Muslin & Cardboard ... 
did that peak your interest??

 I must admit ... I've been doing a number of 3D type creations lately and I finally decided to create something I can use in MY home.  And, since I love VINTAGE of all types ... a vintage Christmas wall hanging was perfect & a lot of fun!!  Thanks Lana!

ABC Christmas Challenge - "O" Old (my dp is over a year old)
Crafts and Me - Add a Flower
Crafty Creations Challenge #128 - Seeing Double (2 homemade flowers)
Creative Belli Blog - Christmas in July
Digistamps4Joy #23 - Christmas in July
For Fun Challenge - Use 2 ribbons on 1 creation
The House that Stamps Built - DCC720 - Glitter
The Paper Shelter #23 - Color Green

Stay cool out there!

It's ALTER time at PPCC . . .

WOW ... is it Wednesday already?

Yes it is and it's time for a new challenge over at Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge Blog.  Today we are ALTERING things ... what ever strikes your fancy ... works for us!  I recently learned how to alter a TABLET so that is what I have to share with you today!

 This is your average 5x8 lined tablet (purchased at Staples 12 pk for $7.29).  You can either get the yellow lined paper or white ... I chose white.  

Here's a quick step tutorial on how to make this:

1.  Cut your BASE cardstock 5" x 9 1/4" ... this allows for the 8" front, 1/4" top and 1" over the back.

2.  Score at 1", 1-1/4" and 2 1/4" ... this allows for an inch on the back, front and the 1/4" top.  Making it possible for you to FLIP the top panel properly to utilize the tablet.

3.  Use a strong adhesive to adhere the back, top & front of your 'cover' to the top panels of your tablet.  Of course, be sure to measure your tablet in case the measurements are slightly different from mine.

4.  Now the fun part ... create & embellish to your liking for whatever occasion or color scheme you desire.  
 I decided to make this one for my girlfriends office.  She loves flowers so I made these homemade flowers (another day tutorial) using the PunchBunch Dahlia punch and Tim Holtz distress inks.
What a fun project ... I'll be making more of these to sell at this years craft show at the local high school in the fall.  The front cover ideas are ENDLESS!
NOW ... it's your turn!  Our challenge runs for 2 weeks, so you have plenty of time to go ALTER CRAZY!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!
Our sponsor this week is:

Please be sure to pop on over to Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge Blog for all the details and to enter your altered creation!  I look forward to being 'inspired' by you all!  Happy Day!