Decorated Clips

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Hello TJ Girlfriends (guys, too if you're out there)~Kathie McGuire here today with a Decorated Clips project from the 3D and Fun Folds CD. Wait, what? Don't I make anything else besides these clips? Truth is, no--not much. Well, not as much as I make these because they are so adorable, so useful, and such a fantastic personal gift.

This small assortment is for a fellow-makeup and fragrance lover, my Avon lady. She loves pink, so I chose a background paper with pink in it along with a few of the other colors which would match the buttons. I found these buttons from an online store called Shelly's Buttons and More.The cosmetic theme was perfect for her, so with very little effort, I had a coordinated, personalized gift for my wonderful friend.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing a few more of these Decorated Clips. Have you tried them? I have to warn you, once you begin making them, it's hard to turn back. LOL

Happy Holidays, Dear Friends!!


Michael Strong Tags of Christmas

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Hello Friends!

Thank you for stopping by today for the Michael Strong Stamps Blog Hop. If you've arrived here without seeing the other artwork by our fabulous participants, please go back to Hetty's blog HERE and start at the beginning.

My Christmas tag features the Cloisonne Christmas Trees. I stamped them onto maroon card stock and embossed them with PSX Brass Embossing Powder. I loved being able to cut them out in seconds with the coordinating Christmas Tree Metal Dies. Last, I added some glitz with Stickles Gold.

I embossed the green and gold cardstock in a Cuttlebug folder and added some gold metallic rub-ons over the swirls. The "snow" is white Flower Soft. At the top of the tag, please notice the Strong Stamps Triangle stamp from the Cloisonne Accents stamp set. When I had it securely in place, I used a Crop-A-Dile to set a brass eyelet to thread the fibers through. The last elements are a bit of gold cord and a brass snowflake from a pile of Christmas doo-dads in my stash.

The next stop on the hop will take you to Michelle Williamson's Blog. Click HERE to see what Michelle has in store for you.

And don't forget to take the following letter along with you for the scavenger hunt: H Collect all of the letters and put them together to spell the secret phrase. If you think you know it, send your guess to Hetty Sanders at her email address:

Thanks for stopping by today!


Eggplant With Gold Metal Accents Chocolate Box

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Hello Friends!

I'm so excited to share one of my latest projects with you here today. I've created a gift box for a friend from Stampin' Up!'s box die cut and filled it with some coordinating chocolate candies decorated to match.

I added some flair to the box with some metal sheets from Add A Little Dazzle.Once I had the measurements figured out, the project was fast and easy. And the next box will be even easier!! I used the Gold Nugget sheet and ran it thru the Cuttlebug in a folder for some texture. Next, I sanded the raised areas with a sanding block to turn the gold to silver. What a fast and easy way to acheive two-tone metal! (for some excellent ideas, visit Add A Little Dazzle's website. It's fabulous!)

The chocolates inside are Hershey's Nuggets covered with two different stamped images (wiggly-line image is unknown, other image is Stampin' Up!)

As a note, I attached the metal to the cardstock with ordinary fabric glue.

To finish off the box, I added a gold button type embellishment with a center gem.

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Cloisonne' Origami Cranes

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My card's finished, folded size is 6" X 6" and the background is batik fabric. I attached it to the cardstock with fusible webbing (a thin webbing of iron-on glue which can be purchased online or at a fabric store) by first ironing the webbing to the fabric and then ironing the fabric onto the cardstock.

The threads which are wrapped around the background is metallic sewing thread. I didn't want to cover up too much of the fabric, so I thought it was a good choice for adding some interest without covering up the pattern on the fabric.

I poked some holes in the blue layer and then mounted all of that onto the base cardstock. The Michael Strong Cloisonne' Cranes were stamped with VersaMark ink onto Kraft cardstock, then embossed with Pearlescent Garnet colored embossing powder. I cut them out and attached them to the card with double-sided mounting foam tape.

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Eggplant and Copper Cloisonne Dragonfly

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Today's card features the Cloisonne Dragonfly stamp, a long time favorite of image of mine from Strong Stamps. I made the background for this card using a technique I learned on the Technique Junkies group. It's called "Faux Washi Paper" and wow, is it fun and easy.

I made the background first, then decided how I wanted to make the dragonfly. I thought copper embossing powder on eggplant cardstock would be the perfect combination. I wanted to embellish the dragonfly, so I chose to use some irridescent beads which I attached to the dragonfly with Crystal Effects. I carefully cut between the wings with sharp scissors, then gently curled the wings by pulling them between my finger and thumb. I attached the dragonfly's body to the card with two sided foam mounting tape. I also used some larger copper beads to decorate the corner of the cards. They were also attached with Crystal Effects.

TIP: Lastly--and most importantly--I would like to share a very fun embellishment I discovered using a few years ago. Behind the dragonfly, please notice a copper colored material which looks like a type of shred.

What the material is: it's a metal pot scrubber which I purchased at the dollar store--three of them in one package (what a deal!). I cut into the scrubber near the top with a regular pair of scissors, and then gently pulled the material as it began to "unravel" from the scrubber. When I had enough, I simply cut the length. To "tame" this big wad of copper, just roll it into a ball in your hands until it's the size you want. You can attach the material to the base card with just about any kind of clear drying adhesive--I used my favorite fabric glue, Fabri-Tac. Since the material is wadded up into a ball, glue is necessary in only a few places. To ensure attachment, I placed Fabri-Tac in a few places on underside of the dragonfly and then weighted it down on top of the metal material with a few punches until it dried.

I hope my projects have inspired you in new and different ways in using your Michael Strong Stamps and Dies.

Thanks for stopping by today!!


Cloisonne Butterfly in Black and White

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Today's project features a Tri Shutter card design. For instructions on the cutting, scoring, and folding of a Tri Shutter card, go to my dear friend Bonnie's blog HERE.

Tri Shutter is a great design because it has so many great little pallettes to show off stamped images and embellishments. I've been accused of "over-doing" (such nonsense!) and "over-embellishing" (is there such a thing?) my Tri Shutters. I'll let you be the judge and then you can create as little or as much as you like on your Tri Shutters! =)

I chose a black and white theme because I thought the Cloisonne Butterfly image would look great stamped in black ink on white paper. I had black, white, and silver on my mind, so I designed around my color choices. The small panels on the card display an assortment of some decorative papers I had in my stash, the two outer panels show some regular white cardstock which I Cuttlebugg'd, and the two silver polka dotted pieces are background papers which I attached to the panels, then sewed around them with silver thread in a zig zag pattern on my Janome Sew Mini Sewing Machine. The center panel is a background paper from Scrappin' Deals n Steals which is luxuriously flocked with a black pattern.

The main panel shows off the Michael Strong Cloisonne Butterfly and the two small panels display the smaller butterflies from the Mini Wings stamp set. They were stamped with VersaMark ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder. I die cut the small butterflies with the coordinating butterfly die from the Mini Wings Die Cut set.

The die cuts on the end panels are from Sizzix; the butterflys placed randomly on the panels are a Martha Stewart punch--a few of them were run through a Cuttlebug Swiss dots folder to match up with the polka dotted paper on the inner panels.

The beading on the card:
Large Butterfly Image: I hand glued individual silver beads onto the Butterfly's thorax (middle portion) on the card using Crystal Effects for an adhesive. The beads on the outer edges of the wings are very tiny seed beads. First, I applied a thin line of Crystal Effects in approximately 2" sections on outer edges of the wings. Then, I carefully dipped the wing into a bowl of the seed beads, shook off the excess beads, then let it dry before moving on to the next 2" section.

Small Butterlies: The silver beads were cut from a string of silver beads purchased from JoAnn's Fabric and Crafts stores. They were attached with Crystal Effects.

Hanging Beads with Irridescent Butterflies: These may be difficult to see, so try enlarging the photo if needed. Three strings of beads hang on the right hand side of the card from the small upper panel. I purchased these at WalMart in a close-out bin years ago. The beads--with the transparent irridescent butterflies at the end of each string--are sewn to about 12" of ribbon, and the 12" piece can be cut to the length of your liking. I carefully use fabric glue to affix a thread which runs along the back of the ribbon--it's a continuous length between the beads, holding them all together. If it's not glued before it's cut, one snip of the scissors and the beads begin falling off! I cut three of the individual lengths of beads and butterflies and attached them so they would hang freely and dangle in front of the last panel on the card.

Thank you for staying with me for this very long tutorial; see you tomorrow!


Fly Cloisonne Hummingbird

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Today's project features a square 6" X 6" card showcasing the Cloisonne Hummingbird Stamp and the Punch and Spell Alphabet stamp set from Michael Strong Stamps.

The beautiful foliage on the top layer the card is a flocked background paper. It was a gift from a friend, so I'm unsure of the source. I thought it would be a nice background for the Cloisonne Hummingbird. I stamped the hummingbird with VersaMark ink onto white cardstock and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder. Then, I colored the image with Distress Inks and an aqua paint brush. I didn't make note of the Distress Ink colors, but I can attest to the fact that it was probably ten or more different colors. I blended and painted and blended some more to achieve the array of colors you see here. A lot of my coloring is experimental, ever evolving and changing as I paint. Keeping a list of colors most of the time is impossible since I change and blend and basically create a few new colors along the way! =)

I stitched the layers with gold thread on my Janome Mini Sewing machine in a zig-zag stitch to add a little frame, and then stamped the letters F-L-Y from the alphabet set. They were also stamped with VersaMark and heat embossed with gold embossing powder. I added some gold half-beads in some of the flourishes on the letters as well as some colored gems on the bird.

This card will be "flying" across the globe with Michael Strong to the stamp convention "Stempel Mecca" in Hagen, Germany. I hope they both arrive safely and have a wonderful time in Germany. Wish I could be there with them, don't you?

Thanks for stopping by today!


Cloisonne Silhouette Panel: Hummingbirds

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Today's featured card project showcases a brand new Michael Strong Stamps image from the Cloisonne Silhouette Panels collection. I stamped the image in VersaMark ink and embossed it with white embossing powder, then painted it with Distress Inks. The small hummingbirds are from the Mini Wings Collection.

The background is my version of "Faux Encaustic Wax", which is really just melted crayons on an iron, then applied to plain white cardstock. It's a wonderful adventure to play with crayons and combine colors, then swirl them around onto cardstock with an iron. I made the background first, then selected coordinating inks when I painted the Cloisonne Silhouette Panel. Each Faux Encaustic Wax project, regardless of the skill level of the crafter, produces an explosion of fantastic colors!

If you haven't tried the Michael Strong die cuts (which coordinate with several of the stamp images), I have to say that they are quite possibly the best dies I've ever worked with. They have a nifty little registration system and when you run them through a die cutter, they cut like butter!! For fun, I tried a little shadow effect behind the hummingbirds to add a little interest and dimension.

Here is how I did it:
I stamped and die cut a hummingbird on white cardstock. Then, I die cut two hummingbirds from teal cardstock. I positioned one of the teal die cuts behind the white hummingbird and raised it slightly above the white layer, and the other die cut slightly below the white layer. It made a nice outline/shadow effect behind each bird.

As a note, I attached the panel to the wax base with brads since I was concerned with tapes and adhesives resisting the wax.

I hope you've enjoyed today's project and thank you for taking the time to look at today's project.


Cloisonne Dragonfly in Greens

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Today's card is a 5 3/4" X 6" (finished size) card showcasing both the large Cloisonne Dragonfly and the Small Cloisonne Dragonfly. I used a Spellbinders die to make the cut out on the front of the card, then placed a piece of gold screen behind it. I cut an identical piece of green cardstock with the die in the same place to cover up the raw edges of the screen inside of the card. The large dragonfly image was stamped with VersaMark ink and heat embossed with Dark Cloisonne Green embossing powder. I hand cut the image and applied it to the screen with two sided foam mounting tape.

I stamped several small dragonfly images in vanilla craft ink and added a Martha Stewart leaf punch for interest. Some half-pearls adorn a few of the leaves and also dressed up the Large Cloisonne Dragonfly a bit.

I lined the inside of the card with a vanilla colored cardstock and stamped a couple of dragonflys in green so they'd show through the screen.

I hope you enjoy today's card; see you tomorrow for another Michael Strong Stamps project.


Coffee Blog Hop~Michael Strong Stamps

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Hello papercrafting friends and Michael Strong fans! Welcome to my blog and my "Coffee" themed project for the enjoymichaelstrongstamps Yahoo Group circular blog hop. What's a circular blog hop? It means you can start from ANY blog on the hop and continue through all 9 blogs until you're back where you began. If I'm the first stop on your tour, be sure to visit all of my Michael Strong Group friends and see their fantastic creations using (at least one) Michael Strong stamps. This hop crosses the globe, so if you reach a blog and there isn't a coffee themed project, please re-visit as those bloggers may be in another far away time zone. =)

Our coffee theme is in honor of our group leader and my dear friend, Hetty Sanders. Hetty lives in The Netherlands, but she's only a click away from me on my computer, so Hetty and I visit regularly (and we’ve even been lucky enough to meet in person one time. HI HETTY!). Hetty is a real coffee lover, so hence, the coffee theme.

My card is made using two Michael Strong stamps. The coffee cup itself was made by cutting the Cloisonne Pot image apart, separating the lid from the main body of the pot. The cup handle was made by stamping and embossing the large Cloisonne Vase image and cutting out the handle on it, then taping it to the backside of my cup!! Clever, huh?

My card design is called a Center Step card. I got the instructions from Splitcoaststampers HERE, although I made my card a little bigger (6" wide rather than 5 1/2" wide).

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you enjoy the next stop on the hop at Bev Allaire's blog--click HERE to see her fantastic project!!


Faux Encaustic Wax

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What is Faux Encaustic Wax? It's my version of melting cheap crayons instead of using "real" encaustic wax! I bought a new little iron at WalMart (craft section of the store, 10.00) and decided to try my hand at wax. With a tutorial from a stamping friend and a few YouTube videos, and I was well on my way to creating some backgrounds.

I had so much fun melting crayons and "painting" with my iron and old, broken crayons. This background uses regular white cardstock. The patterns are unpredictable (unless there's some experience which was not the case with me) and can be shaped and melted and re-done at the artist's discretion.

Since this piece looked "ocean-y" to me, I paired it up with a Michael Strong Cloisonne Fish image and backed the fish with some English Ivy Fantasty Fiber from Art Institute Glitter. The fish is colored with a Technique Junkies technique called "Pencil Over Marker" and I added some Stickles Glitter and a gem to his eye to complete the image. The corners are Cuttlebug die cuts and the stick-on gems are from JoAnn Etc.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a fin-tastic weekend!!


"Giraffe"~Paint Horse Style

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I am happy to share my scrapbook page showcasing the technique, "Giraffe" from the 4/10 Technique Junkie newsletter. The technique is called giraffe because it was actually intended to create spots for giraffe artwork (brown spots on gold paper), but I couldn't resist turning it into a paint horse project.

I chose to make this page using black and brown paper to match a greeting card size replication of a portrait I have of a family horse named "Minnie." Minnie and her baby were photographed and (color pencil) drawn by the fabulous equine artist, Suanne Wamsley. Her website showcases some spectacular equine artwork, sure to delight horse lovers everywhere! You'll find this piece of artwork for sale in a much larger size along with one other portrait of Minnie and her baby. So many more gorgeous horses portraits there, too!!

I generated the text on my computer for the title, "Dream In Color." The border stamp is from Taylored Artwork.

Thanks for looking!!

Kathie McGuire

Decorative Clips

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Scissors (or cutting tool to cut decorative paper)
Decorative paper (two strips) cut 3/8” X 3” (or to fit size of clothespin used)
Wooden clip style clothespin
Foam brush
Tacky Glue

Step 1: Apply a coat of ModPodge to the flat side of the clothespin with the foam brush.

Step 2: Press the paper onto the clothespin, making sure it adheres to the ModPodge in all areas.

Step 3: Smooth the paper along the top and edges to create a firm seal of the paper to the clothespin. Then, allow it to dry.

Step 4: Turn the clothespin over and repeat steps 1 through 3.

Step 5: Apply a generous coat of ModPodge on top of the paper, smoothing it as you paint it on. Then, allow one side to dry before turning it over and repeating on the opposite side.

Step 6: Turn the clothespin on its side and continue to apply ModPodge. This step will seal any small slivers or rough spots of wood for ease in handling. Allow to dry, then turn over and repeat on the opposite side.

Step 7. Glue embellishment to the clothespin with the white tacky glue. (It is not necessary to apply additional ModPodge on top of the embellishement.)

Altered Eyeglass Case Box

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This was such a fun recycling/repurposing project! I rescue these eyeglass case boxes from a local optometrist and have had so much fun altering them.

The original color was brown and it was in good shape, so why recover? I left well enough alone and just added to the box. The lace is from a local fabric mill-ends store and the "feet" on the box are recycled beads from an old necklace.

I decorated the top of the box with a strip of drywall tape--it's available at all of the hardware stores. So cheap, too. About $6 for a giant roll. The best thing is about it is that it's self adhesive. Thanks drywallers for making another great embellishment for the papercrafting world! =)

I found a fabulous tutorial for making these flowers over Swirlydoos. Go HERE to see the tutorial--then, make some yourself!

Thanks for stopping by!


Faux Tooled Leather

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This is the Faux Tooled Leather technique included on the Emboss or Die Technique Junkie CD. Wow, what a great technique! This is the first (but certainly not the last) time I tried it. It's perfect for western themed cards, but so much more!

This card is a late (probably too late) entry for a recent challenge over at the Gingersnap blog. Have you been there? So many wonderful things to see and do. AND she now has a fabulous line of stamps (of course, I bought some. Would you think otherwise?).

My sentiment is a sticker I purchased from Scrappin' Deals and Steals, the image is Stampourri.

Yee Haw!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Altered Eyeglass Case box

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This is a box that eyeglass cases come in. It was so much fun to make/so easy to alter.

I made the paper using a technique called "Bomber Jacket"--I learned it on the Technique Junkies group. The side pieces were punched with a Martha Stewart punch. I added some Distress Ink around the edges to give it some added dimension.

The top of the box has a strip of Drywall Tape across it along with some plastic beads I purchased at a local mill-ends fabric store (SAS Fabrics). The "feet" are beads I had in my stash--I glued them with Aleen's Tacky Glue.

I hope you've enjoyed my altered box project and thanks for stopping by!


Cuttlebug Smoosh Butterfly

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I made the background for this card with a Cuttlebug folder. I learned the technique from a fabulous Technique Junkies CD called Emboss or Die (tee-hee). Kinda cute name for a CD with some incredible embossing and die cutting ideas. LOVE IT!

I stamped the butterfly--from The Rubber Cafe--with two Distress ink colors onto glossy card stock. Then, I added some coral color ink to the wings with a sponge. The fabulous half-pearls are also from The Rubber Cafe!

It was a quick and easy card that I really enjoyed making. I hope you'enjoyed seeing it.

Until next time, happy stamping!!