Category Archives: Shells and Ocean

Anything But a Card Challenge at RRR

On the Boardwalk Zig-Zag Album for Anything But a Card Challenge at RRR

Hello, Friends!  Really Reasonable Ribbon has issued an Anything But a Card Challenge today, and I have a super fun On the Boardwalk Zig-Zag Beach Mini album to share with you.

On the Boardwalk Mini 01I found that RRR’s Canvas Color Band Ribbon was the perfect pairing for this beachy project. The texture it adds is amazing.  The ribbon is soft and easy to tie into these big loopy bows, too.  I used both the red and the sage throughout the album.

On the Boardwalk Mini 02The album measures 4.5″ x 6.5″ and has a fun accordion fold interior.  I die cut Tim Holtz Sand and Sea and added them to the colorful On the Boardwalk papers from Graphic 45.  Ivory Burlap String adds a light note, texture and a sense of movement to the cover

On the Boardwalk Mini 10The inside of the album is filled with fold out pages like this one….

On the Boardwalk Mini 13tag pockets….

On the Boardwalk Mini 17waterfall pages….

On the Boardwalk Mini 25accordion fold pages…

On the Boardwalk Mini 27pocket pages….

On the Boardwalk Mini 07and even has photo storage on the back side of the album.  This photo gives you a great idea of how cool this zig zag design really is.

I made a YouTube Video so you could really get  a sense of the flow of the album.  There were just too many pictures to put in one blog post.  Enjoy!

I love the way the beautiful Canvas Color Band Ribbon enhances the pages of this sassy little album.

Now you need to get busy and link up your own “anything but a card” project to the Really Reasonable Ribbon Challenge Blog.  You can find all the details HERE.
Want to make one of these albums yourself?  I put together a PDF tutorial that you can download from my ETSY shop.  It has pictures of all the pages, a complete supply list and detailed instructions.  I even tell you how to make those magical chipboard embellies! You can find the tutorial HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!



Vintage Wooden File Folder Beach Journal

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop & Challenge: Vintage Wooden File Folder Beach Journal

Hello, Friends!

It’s Summertime! It’s the time of year to kick back, relax and enjoy life.  Maybe you pile in the car and take a trip to the beach, you might go for a hike in the mountains or camp out under the stars. Maybe you play in the pool, or sit in the shade and sip lemonade.  However you celebrate summer, share it with us in a card, mini album, layout, canvas or altered art project that shares what you love about this sizzling season we call summer.  My favorite thing about summer is …you guessed it…the beach!  So I’ve created a very vintage Woodned File Folder Beach Journal to share with you today.  I also have some great tips for using product packaging, inking up a great background and creating a collage that works.  Let’s get started!

Kathy by Design/Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and ChallengeI used so many of my favorite products from Crafty Secrets in this Wooden File Folder Beach Journal.  If you haven’t seen our mini wooden file folders, you might want to check them out.  Measuring just 4.5″ x 6’25” they are tiny, but mighty!  Here, I’ve added layers of paint, stencils and crackle medium to the wooden cover base, then topped it with gorgeous goodies.  Here a list of what you’ll need to create this album:

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge01On the cover, I began by using a cosmetic sponge to add a light coat of Tumbled Glass Distress Paint to the album front cover.  The cosmetic sponge puts down a nice smooth coat.  Dry it, then add another coat.  When that is dry, put a dime sized puddle of Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint onto a non-porous surface. Spritz it very lightly with water.  Tap an old toothbrush into the puddle, and then starting at the bottom of the album cover, brush the toothbrush from the bottom upward.  Repeat until you’ve added a sort of wood grain look to the entire cover.  Repeat with the Picket Fence Distress Paint.  When it’s dry, sponge on some Vintage Photo Distress INK randomly to create a worn wood look.  The painted areas will resist the Distress ink and you’ll have a great beachy cover.  Use the Picket Fence Distress Crackle and a stencil to add even more texure, if desired.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge02When creating a collage cover, like this one, I keep several things in mind.

  1. Choose a color palette that works well together.  I’ve used shades of teal, brown and cream here.  This creates a sense of harmony.  I chose these colors based on the colors in my focal image.  To reinforce that, I matted my focal image in shades of teal, and sponged the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
  2. Have ONE focal image, and choose other elements to SUPPORT the main image.  You don’t want your eye to be wandering around a composition looking for a place to rest.  I have a lot of layers and elements here, but your eye immediately goes to the image of the boy and girl on the beach.  At least I hope it does! It is the dominant image, and all the other elements enhance it.
  3.  Group elements together in a way that causes the eye to naturally move through the entire piece.  You do this by clustering your elements together.  In this collage, my eye grabs onto the focal image first, then it is drawn to the cluster of flowers in the upper left corner, from there, it sees the post card layer, then moves down to the tiny post card, and back to the focal image where it picks up on the cluster of flowers in the lower right hand corner.  Then it sees the little calendar banner, the shells and back to the focal.  The eye naturally grabs the focal in the beginning, middle and end.  Nothing is placed in such a way to draw the eye away from the focal or to compete with the focal.
  4. Unify elements or layers with matting.  I’ve matted all the major paper elements with the same shades of teal paper.  I started with my base layer, which is a journaling spot from the Summertime booklet.  Same thing for the sentiment banner.
  5. A good test is to close your eyes for a minute or two, and then open them.  What do you see first?  If it’s not the focal image, you need to move things around.  Or, walk out of the room and come back again.  What do you see first.  How does your eye move across the page?  It takes some practice, but it is so worth the time and effort!

Lesson over…now let’s just look at the pretty pages!

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge04The wooden file folder album comes with the binding rings and manila page dividers. I used paper from the Typography CD to line the front and back covers.  The little bitty bags make great tag pockets.  The backgrounds are inked with Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean and Mermaid Lagoon, then sprayed lightly with water.  Then I sponged in Vintage Photo Ink and sprayed again. To add depth and texture, I stamped over the background with the same color inks.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge07I left lots of room for photos or notes or recipes or to do lists.  I added heavy cardstock pages at the front and back of each section for added strength.  I just cut up ivory paper for the pages. I’m not sure where I got these little charms.  I found them in my box of beachy goodies.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge08The images in the Summertime booklet are some of my favorites.  I matted this bathing beauty with a bit of product packaging that the flowers came on.  I liked the shape and the color was a good match.  Why throw it away?

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge09The background here is stenciled.  I just sponged the darker ink over the background.  The lighthouse is from Travel & Adventure Vintage Scraps.  I love the quote!

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge10Fussy cutting around an image can make it come to life, as with the Souvenir sign.  The burlap helps to ground the page.  These flowers weren’t quite the right shade of blue, so I inked them with Mermaid Lagoon.  Much better!

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge11Another great image from the Summertime Journal!  Now you know why I love that booklet so much!

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge12Here, I used the inked flowers to frame my image.  The manila folder was dry embossed with a Spellbinder folder.  And I used product packaging underneath.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge13This is also product packaging.  I just trimmed it up and rounded the corners.  Waste not, want not.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge14Inside the back cover, Another little place to stuff memories or souvenirs.

Crafty Secrets July Blog Hop and Challenge15The back is covered in burlap that I inked up to create an aged appearance.  I tied on pretty ribbons, and that, as they say is that.

Whew!  Long post!  Sorry about that, but I hope you picked up a tip here and there that might be of use to you somewhere along the way.

Now, hop along and see what the rest of the team has prepared for you.  And be sure to visit the Crafty Secrets Blog for all the guidelines and PRIZE information for this challenge. You’ll also find a free digital image and paper that you can use to create your entry for this fun challenge.  You don’t have to follow the theme, but it’s always fun if you do.

Elizabeth is unable to join us this month.

DarleneDianeGinnyMelodyMicheleShantaie SheilaTeresa

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’d love to hear what you think about this Vintage Wooden File Folder Beach Journal tutorial.  Did you learn anything new?





Seaside Mini Album

Hello Friends!

Ah, Summertime….time for fun and relaxation. Time to kick back and relax!  Time to soak up some sunshine!  Time to work less and play more!  And time to take pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures.  But where do you do with all those great seaside photos after the vacation is done?  I have a super cute Seaside Mini Album with a fun zig zag construction that is the perfect resting place for all those fabby photos and sweet memories.  I loaded it up with great ribbons from Really Reasonable Ribbon to take it over the top. Check it out!

Authentique Seaside Album 01This album is tiny, but mighty!  Measuring just 4.5″ x 6.5″ its pockets, flip outs pages, and fold down features can store a couple of dozen 4×6 photos…and there’s loads of room inside for journaling, too.

Here’s what I used to make this Seaside Mini album:

Here’s a little video tour of my Seaside Mini Album.  It’s short…just 4 minutes!


Thanks for stopping by today!  I hope you get some sand between your toes soon!



This item is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop

Blog Hop with Really Reasonable Ribbon

RRR Blog Hop BadgeHello, Ribbon Lovers!  It’s time to blog hop with Really Reasonable Ribbon!  You should have come here from the always fun and fashionable Jenn’s Blog, and if so you are right on course.  If not, you can always go back to the Really Reasonable Ribbon blog and get back on track.

It’s May…and all those great summertime patriotic holidays are right around the corner: Memorial Day, Flag Day, and the Fourth of July…so we are thinking Red, White and Blue this month.  Take a look at the fabby May Ribbon Club Assortment.

RRR May Ribbon Club AssortmentJust looking at these ribbons made me want to throw a party.  And thinking of throwing a party made me want to decorate my house.  And decorating my house made me want to make a banner!  So I did!

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 01

Then, when it came time to photograph said banner, I felt like kicking myself, because banners are soooooo hard to photograph.  Ugh. But I looove to make them.  And in real life, hanging on my mantle, it’s super cute. So, I’ll just show you the individual panels, OK?

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 03Each panel measures 4″ x 6″ and is matted on a slightly larger piece of red or blue cardstock. My papers are Authentique “Seaside” and I just love all the little prints and retro images. I stitched the panels onto 1.5″ wide Red Gingham Ribbon, which is not in the ribbon assortment, just so you know!  I used the Red, White and Blue Grosgrain Ribbon to create streamers on each end of my banner.  I love the shimmer of the bow I tied with Electric Blue Satin with Silver Metallic Edges Ribbon!

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 04This is one of my all time favorite quotes, and I was thrilled to find it in the paper collection.  I ran Tiny Electric Blue Stars across the top and added a jaunty bow made with  Patriotic Plaid Ribbon.

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 02And, I believe this saying with all my heart!  After putting down a layer of Electric Blue Satin Ribbon with a Grosgrain Edge, I topped it with another layer of Tiny Poppy Red Stars Grograin Ribbon, and a perky bow tied with the help of my Zutter Bow it All.

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 05This beach babe is doing exactly what I want to do…just soak up the sun and relax!  This Poppy Red Satin just sizzles against the navy blue paper and looks great with the Tiny Electric Blue Stars Grosgrain Ribbon accent.

RRR Blog Hop Authentique Banner 06Isn’t this what we’re all waiting for?  Fun & Sun!!  Yes, please!  And the Poppy Red Satin with Silver Metallic Edge Ribbon and Molly White Crochet Lace are the perfect finishing touches for this patriotic, beachy, summery banner.

A couple of things to remember when you are making a banner like this: keep the color palette simple!  Red, white, blue and a touch of grey are all you need with bold ribbons like these.  A little tiny punch of color here or there keeps things from getting boring, but too much color confuses the eye.  Tiny prints work great with bold sentiments and ribbons, too.

While you are reading this, I’m actually at the coast, soaking up some fun & sun myself!  But you can slip on your sandals and go grab some fun ideas from Cherry’s amazing blog.  When you’ve finished there, head on over to the Really Reasonable Ribbon blog and let Bonnie know that you visited all the blogs and answer her question of the month….and maybe you’ll win your very own May Ribbon Club assortment!  Woo-hoo!  If you’d like to sign up for the Monthly Ribbon Club, you can do that HERE…and get fabby ribbon delivered right to your door each month! Now that’s something to party about!

I’ll throw a shell in the ocean for you!





Crafty Secrets August Linky Party (Custom Box and Fun Fold CardTutorials)

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party

Good Monday morning, and welcome to the  Crafty Secrets August Linky Party!  Each month, Crafty Secrets issues a challenge to the design team to use new materials in a fresh, fun way and to share that information with you in the form of a tutorial.  Then, we invite you to play along with us by linking your Crafty Secrets creation to the Heartwarming Vintage blog.  Just click on the link above, use the Linky tool to upload a photo of your project along with a link to your blog or online gallery and one lucky participant will be randomly chosen to win a $50.00 gift certificate to the Crafty Secrets online shop!  That prize will go a long way, because the shop is loaded with sale items and wonderful bargains on digital downloads.  So it’s definitely worth playing along, don’t you think? So, let the Crafty Secrets August Linky Party begin!

Beach Time Custom Box and Fun Card Fold Tutorial

I had promised some of my followers a tutorial on how to make your own custom card box, so that is the direction I went in for this design team challenge.  My regular followers know how much I love the beach, so I chose the newly released Bathing Beauties digital art stamp set to make my fun fold card and custom box tutorial.  I have always loved the sassy  bathing beauties in this wonderful set of 24 vintage images, and I hope you will, too. 

This is a photo laden post, so you might want to go get yourself a nice cuppa or a tall glass of something cool to drink before we start.  Ready?  Ok…let’s get this show on the road.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 22  Here’s a look at the finished card and custom box.  To make this project, or one like it, you will need the following supplies: Radiant Digital Paper Collection, Bathing Beauties Digital Stamps from Crafty Secrets, Bathing Beauties Clear Arts Stamp Set (optional…but it is on sale, and there are only 3 sets left!) Travel Creative Scraps (also on sale!), a 5×7 kraft card base, a scoring tool, 2 sheets of heavy cardstock (one kraft, one the color of your choice) script stamps, coloring medium, beach embellishments of your choice, white glue, glossy accents, Versamark ink pad and brown and blue ink pads, foam tape, and ribbon. 

Fun Fold Card Tutorial

I think you are really going to love this  design.  It’s a mix between a mini album and a card and while it looks impressive, it’s really very easy to make.  Let’s begin by taking  a good look at the finished product, then I’ll show you how to make your own.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 10

Here’s the card front.  It looks like a standard cutaway card front….until you open it!

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 16 It opens out like a little booklet or mini album.

Each fold in the card can hold another die cut page…how fun is that?

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 13  Here’s another photo to give you a better idea of what the card looks like when fully opened:

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 15

I began by printing out six 5×7″ papers from the Radiant Paper Collection onto plain white cardstock.  I used my Spellbinder Mega Nestabilities Curved Rectangles to cut 5 of the largest die shapes for the card.  I used the white crackle finish paper to line the folded bits, and the die cut labels became the “pages” of the card.  I also saved one of the evacuated die cuts to use as a frame on the last page of the card.  You are simply gluing these rectangles back to back over the folds so that they match up and this creates pages that you can flip through.  Here are the diagrams for the card fold:

Begin with a 5x7 kraft card base.  Open it flat on your scoring tool.  Score every 1 5/8" until you reach the center of the card.

Begin with a 5×7 kraft card base. Open it flat on your scoring tool. Score every 1 5/8″ until you reach the center of the card.

Fold the first score line into a mountain fold, the second score line into a valley fold,, the third score line into a mountain fold and the final fold into a valley fold.

Fold the first score line into a mountain fold, the second score line into a valley fold,,and the third score line into a mountain fold .

This is what your card will look like from the top

This is what your card will look like from the top

and this is what it will look like from the side

and this is what it will look like from the side

Next, I copied and pasted the bathing beauty images I wanted to use into Microsoft Word. I sized them where I wanted them, then printed them out.  I used smooth white cardstock that works well with alcohol markers, because that is how I wanted to color them.  Once the images were colored, I treated them with Glossy Accents and Stickles and set them aside to dry.  I fussy cut them from the paper, and used foam tape to secure them to the “pages” in my card. Once I had all my pages decorated, I carefully glued them onto the folds, making sure that the edges of each die cut piece lined up with its partner.  This way, you can’t tell from the outside that there are so many fun surprises inside the card.  I finished the card off with a bow and a posy.

One of the fun inside images on the card...I added Stickles to make the surf look sparkly.

One of the fun inside images on the card…I added Stickles to make the surf look sparkly.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 14...and here’s the flip side of that page, so you can see how the die cuts are lined up. 

Custom Box Tutorial

Often, when you make a really dimensional card like this, it won’t fit into a standard envelope.  That is when you need to make your own custom card box.  It is such a simple process, but it makes for a great presentation, and provides a keepsake box that serves as a gift all on its own.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 17  Here are the directions to make your own custom box:

Select two very heavy weight pieces of card stock.  I generally  use a piece of kraft cardstock for the base of the box, and then a coordinating piece of color cardstock for the lid.  For this card, I wanted the depth of the box to be about 1 inch deep.  The basic formula I use to determine what size I should cut my paper is as follows.

Measure your card’s width and height.  I added 2 1/2 inches to each of these measurements because I wanted a box that was 1″ deep and I also wanted there to be enough space around the edges of the box that my card would fit.  I cut both pieces of my cardstock to

7 1/2″ by 10″.Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 01  

Next, I scored the base of the box:

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 02 Then  folded all four score lines with a bone folder.  You will see a small square in each corner of your folded cardstock.  You will cut as follows:

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 03 Cut from the base to the fold line, then from the center of each tab to the score line.  This becomes the flap that you will glue, fold and insert inside each corner of the box.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 04 Use a strong white glue on each triangular piece, then fold under the adjacent box side.  Secure with clothespins or metal clips for about 5 minutes to give the glue a chance to set up.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 05

While the box base is drying, you will create the lid.  Start by scoring the lid at 7/8″ on all sides.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 06  Use a bone folder to crease each side, and cut the corner tabs as before, but do not glue the lid together until after you have decorated it.  This will make your life sooooooo much easier!

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 07 Once you have decorate your lid, follow the same steps to glue each corner.

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 20I stamped on my box using images from the original Clear art stamps and a script stamp and postmark stamp from Artsy Banners.(This collection is only available in digital format now. I used the original clear art stamps.)  Then I cut images from the Travel Creative Scraps, treated them with Versamark and UTEE and gave them that wonderful vintage cracked glass look.  ( You can find a tutorial on how to do this technique here.)I layered on some fun brads, seashells, a bright tropical flower and my box was complete.

Line your box with tissue paper, if desired, add the card and a bow, and your gift is ready for giving!

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 23

Crafty Secrets August Linky Party Box Tutorial 27

Let the linking begin!

So what will you make for your entry in the Crafty Secrets August Linky Party?  You could make your own version of this custom box and fun fold card, or something entirely different.  Be sure to check out the other designers’ projects, as they will be sharing wonderful tutorials and crafty inspiration on each of their blogs.  And be sure to link up before August 12th, so that you can have a chance to win that $50.00 gift certificate!

That’s it for me today, folks!  Thanks for hanging with me through this looooong post.  I hope you were inspired!  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding these instructions.  (I find it’s a lot harder to tell someone how to make something than it is to make it myself. )  And thanks for all your kind comments.  I read and respond to each and every one because they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers.  Until next time,



PS…I’m also linking this project up to the Frilly and Funkie By the Seaside Challenge:





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