Sure fire Ways to Beat a Creative Slump

We all have those times when the creativity just doesn’t seem to flow as well as other times. Often it can be life stresses or a busy schedule, but sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint why the creative juices aren’t flowing. Here are my go-to solutions to reactivate your artistic self.

on my mind 5.15

1. Surround yourself with artistic images. I like to go on Instagram, Pinterest, or I will even just Google artistic images. I find that setting your mind on artsy mode can be half the battle. You can’t expect to be crafty when you have been cleaning up toys, working in a cubicle, or battling traffic, and have no artistic outlets to get your mind in the mood.


2. Try SOMETHING creative. You might really want to make a card, but the ideas aren’t coming, so switch gears. Try some fun lettering techniques, paint, try a new recipe, color in a coloring book, read a book, or make some jewelery. Sometimes by setting your mind to something creative it will get all those creative ideas going.


3. Get outside. There is no better creative inspiration than the beauty of nature. The colors, shapes, forms, and peace that nature brings can relax your mind, and spur on a new design.


4. Do something else. You can’t force creativity. If there is something else on your mind or a chore that is bothering you left unfinished, get it done. This helps free your mind, so you can create unburdened.

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5. Try something new. Open your mind and be brave and try a new technique or product. Experiment. Make mistakes. Try again. Give yourself free license to just have fun. No one has to see it, but you.


6. Pick a stamp, die, patterned paper,  or theme and gather supplies just for that topic and try to create something just with those things. Narrowing down your supplies can force you to focus. Having your whole stash in front of you can be overwhelming.

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7. Buy something new. I do not advocate buying a ridiculous amount of supplies. I am not a crafter that has to have every new thing. Frankly I find that to be overwhelming and counterproductive to creativity. However, sometimes buying something new can help spur on creativity. It can be something small, like a new stamp pad, one new stamp set, a stencil, some new embellishments,  or even some new patterned paper. Getting something fresh can help get you inspired to mix the old and the new.


8. Just create already. When I am in my worst slumps, I will force myself to just sit down and create. I will usually start small and create a distress ink background, or color in an image and see where it leads. Other times I will just start with a rainbow color combo in some way and that bright cheerful pattern never fails to inspire. Even if I don’t love my first attempts just getting my mind moving never fails to help me produce something I love.


9. Copy something you love.  When all else fails, I copy a design I love. I know I will love the results, and I may not even post these, but if I do I give credit for the inspiration, and most crafty people will appreciate the shout-out. Many times I start off copying it, and will tweak it along the way so it ends up being mostly my own creation.

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10. Join a challenge. When I run out of ideas, I look to the current design/ weekly challenges and see which ones I like. Having a color scheme, or a design template to copy helps get the ideas flowing, and many times there is a prize for the challenge so it is a win-win.

Those are my top 10 ideas for getting out of a design slump.  What do yiu do for a ewsign slump? Hope you got inspired, and thanks for stopping by!


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Spring Wreath


I love making wreaths, and I wanted to make a new spring wreath to celebrate the end of winter. I bought a wire wreath frame at Michael’s and some spring floral picks that were on sale. I found the ribbon at Costco and then watched the 4 ribbon wreath video at Craig Bachman imports YouTube chanel. I only had two spools of the ribbon so the wreath wasn’t as full. To combat that problem, I went around twice on the wire wreath frame at different spots on the frame so it was nice and full. I used pipe cleaners to affix my ribbon, but I think I will try zip ties next time like the video suggests.

Thanks for stopping by!



My watercolor tips and tricks for beginners Part 1

20150225_191829Tip #1

If you are new to drawing  or are intimidated by the idea of a blank space waiting to be filled use a stamp to help you. I used Papertrey ink’ s violets stamp.

Tip #2

I used distress inks to stamp my images on my watercolor paper so that it wouldn’t leave a harsh line. I used dusty concord for the flowers and peeled paint for the leaves. I liked that effect of the outline becoming g part of the painting.

Tip #3

Plan your stamping images out ahead of time. I used a scrap piece of white paper and planned where my images were going to go, so that I didn’t  waste watercolor paper.


I really liked Strathmore watercolor paper. It holds water well. It is inexpensive, but still provides a nice look, especially when  you are just string out like me.

Tip #5

I think the most important thing to have is good brushes. They don’t necessarily have to be super expensive, but  a good brush can really help. The two blue winsor  and newton brushes are the ones I used for this painting. I think the best thing is to try out a few different styles of brushes and see what you like.

Tip #6

I used M. Graham & Co. Paints but there are tons of beautiful watercolor options that work really well for a beginner. I also recommend  a pallette that has lots of wells, so you can mix colors. Watercolor is nice because you can leave your paints on the pallette and just reactivate them with water. This really cuts down on waste if you don’t use the pan style paints. I bought this one at Dick Blick.


Tip #7

Tape you piece down. As you paint your paper will curl and that will affect how the water moves and pools on the paper. I use painter tape and bought an inexpensive foam display board from Michaels. I cut it into slightly larger pieces than my paper so that I had room to tape it down. It provides a stable hard place for me to paint and it is lightweight so I can move it around easily. I like that I can get a large sheet and work on multiple projects by custom cutting it up for what I need.


I’ll continue my tips for the painting process in a new post. I am no expert ,but figured since I am a beginner some of you might have the same questions.

Thanks for stopping by!



Bear Thank you

bear thanksI wanted to revisit some beloved stamp sets that I haven’t  used in a while. I am loving the new releases from Lawn Fawn. Their critters are always so cute. So, I pulled out my Love You S’ more set and wanted to use a repeating pattern of the bear.

At first I just used brown ink to stamp the bear repeatedly, but I did not like the way it turned out. It just seemed boring. Instead I embossed the bears with my favorite American Crafts copper embossing powder. It really popped the image on the card. I wanted to highlight one bear so I took a puffy heart sticker I had in my stash and added it to one full size bear. You could easily die cut a hear and emboss it to get that’s a me puffy look if you don’t have a sticker.

These are the supplies I used:

bear thanks suppliesI used the Paper Smooches Chit Chat stamp set for the sentiment.  I added some dots with Sharpies to the “thanks” for a bit more color.

bear thanks close ipI used some scraps to create a frame for the sentiments. I just took my four stamp colors and inked up the parts of the stamps I wanted each color to be. It is not a big deal if the colors aren’t  perfect because they make a pretty ombre/ sunset effect.

Thanks for stopping by!





Storage solutions for dies

IMG_20150215_154731I am so happy to be able to start crafting more regularly. My thumb is finally on the mend,and it is easier for me to create posts. I have also been posting some projects on Instagra and I have been able to see the amazing projects of my crafty friends.

First up, is a magnetic sheet storage solution for my metal dies.  I found some thin magnetic sheets from Staples. It comes with 4 sheets for around $10.49. The nice thing is that you can trim them to fit your storage pockets and dies. I trimmed mine with my Fiskars trimmer.







I am so happy with the results. I can arrange my dies the way I need them and they cling well so I can see what I have.

I am using the Avery Elle storage pockets and I have a Brother labeler to label my dies.


I love a great adaptable storage solution. Hope it helps you out! Leave any questions or comments below.

Thanks for stopping by,


Need to get your mojo going? Start small…

tags2We all have creative highs and lows.  I find when work keeps my too busy my creative energy lags.  It is hard to get in a good creative head space when your mind is taken up with other things. One way that I try to get my mojo moving again is to start small. I may not be able to come up with an entire layout or card right away, but I like to start with a stamped image I can color and embellish and go from there, or a specific product I want to work with, or lately it has been tags.

With Christmas coming I wanted to try to make up some homemade tags for presents and I found that having that small canvas to work on is so much fun!  I could either create cards from these tags, or just keep them as they are and use them for tags on presents.  I have been starting with a distressed ink background and then layering stamping, die cuts, and sentiments from there.  Add a pretty ribbon or string and you have something extra special for someone you love this holiday season.

Hope that inspires you to create something homemade this holiday season. We all need a break from the hustle and bustle and expressing creative energy is a win-win!

Thanks for stopping by!

Must Have Adhesives…

I have been paper crafting for years and I always am on the search for strong adhesives that get the job done.  I thought I would start a series of  my must-haves for different categories, and I wanted to begin with adhesives.  They aren’t the fun things to buy when it comes to card-making and paper crafts, but they are the foundation that helps your project look polished and stay together.  As of late these are my go-to products.20141115_130552For adhering things flat, and for things that need a strong adhesive, like card fronts to card bases, and flat embellishments I Love the Tombow Extreme Tape Runner. I had been using the Elmer’s tape runner, but for some projects it just did not seem to  have the staying power and sometimes my projects would come apart.  If you use a coupon at Michael’s you can get the refills and it really doesn’t cost any more and it might actually cost less.   So far, I have enjoyed using this and it is easy to hold and use.

ranger multi

For multi-dimenisional embellishments or die-cut sentiments I love to use the Ranger Multi Medium in Matte finish.  Simon says Stamp’s November Card kit had a bottle of this in it and I was running low so that was great timing!  This is a strong adhesive and if you are working with tricky shapes, small pieces, or anything else that might end up showing the adhesive this is nice, because it dries matte, meaning it won’t leave a shiny adhesive residue.

Another tool that I recently purchased is the Zig Glue pen.  It comes out blue, but dries clear, and this works well for REALLY small things you want to glue down.  It comes out super small, so you can you adhere things down that pop up or get into small places. It would also be great for gluing super small places to hide your adhesive on vellum.

foam tape

I love my foam tape/dimensional adhesive.  I bought a big roll of 3M foam tape and it tears off so easily . It is great for popping up larger shapes and card fronts to card backs.  I could not live without this adhesive.  Adding dimension to a card is an easy way to make the card look more professional and add interest, even if you don’t do anything else different in your card making.

foam dots


Foam dots are also nice for small areas that the foam tape is just too bulky for. I like to buy these pre-made ones, but I am not a fan of any particular brand. I just buy whatever I can find easy at my local stores. Every type and brand that I have bought has done a good job. I mainly go for cost, since I want to save my money to buy the fun stuff for papercrafting!

glossy accent

I also love Glossy Accents. It works well for a strong adhesive, but my main use is to use it on stamped images to make them look glossy/wet/3-D. I will put glossy accents on details on my stamped images, and this is another surefire way to make any card look more professional.


Last, but not least, is my Tombow Mono Multi Glue. This is the perfect all purpose adhesive.   I love this for all things paper crafting!!  It lasts forever, and it has two ends:  one end dispenses from a really small tip, and the other has a larger brush tip.

Thanks for stopping by, and my next post will be all about my Must-have tools.