Category Archives: Digital Collage

Mushroom Fairies

 Mushroom Fairies with Red Knock-Out Roses and Sweet Childhood Memories

Hello, Friends!

When I was a little girl, I used to go to our small public library every Friday evening while my mother and father did the weekly shopping.  I would carefully roam the stacks of books in the juvenile section searching for just the right books to check out for a week of reading pleasure.  We were only allowed to take 4 books with us, so I chose my reading companions with great care.  One book was easy to find every single time. I always picked one of the wonderful Andrew Lang fairy tale anthologies I loved so much.  There was the Blue Fairy Book, the Red Fairy Book , the Purple Fairy Book, the Green Fairy Book..and so on.  A dozen different fairy tale collections to delight my imagination.  Now, what does this have to do with paper crafting?  Well, Polly’s Paper Studio has the most whimsical digital download of Mushroom Fairies you’ve ever seen.  And while I was creating with these delightful images, I remembered the long summer days I spent in the hammock getting lost in those magical Andrew Lang fairy tales.

Kathy by Design: Mushroom Fairies for Polly's Paper EtsyDon’t you just love this image?  This one, of course, is for the Red Fairy Book.  I used old book pages to die cut some flower layers (MFT Flower & Leaf trio)I tried a little bit of a different “technique” when making my flowers this time.  I sprayed them with red stain, then crumpled them into a ball and left them to dry.  Then, I carefully opened them, shaped them just a little with my stylus and layered them together.  Finally, I spritzed them with my hand made gold mist.

Pollys Paper Mushroom Fairies 03I filled the centers with seed beads.  They add a nice touch of shimmer.  Mushroom Fairies love shimmer!  To me, these flowers look like the red knock-out roses that climbed up my mother’s garden arbor.

Pollys Paper Mushroom Fairies 01My loopy bow was made with Red Burlap String and Natural Burlap string.  I tied a loopy bow with my Zutter Bow-it-All, then squeezed some hot glue under the flower petals and used the tip of my scissors to push the center of the bow into the puddle of glue.  Then I arranged the loops the way you see them here.  The leaves are hand cut from burlap scraps.

Pollys Paper Mushroom Fairies 04The inside of the card uses a sentiment from the Subway Art Digital Sentiments Assortment.  I thought it was a good fit to go with the theme of the card.  I also stamped “happy birthday” in Memento Tuxedo Black Ink.

I had so much fun with these fairies, that I had to make another project in honor of the Blue Fairy Book.

Mushroom Fairies Notebook 01I altered a little spiral notebook (4.5″ x 6″) with this sweet image.  The little mushroom clothespin in the top left corner can be used as a bookmark.  Just clip it where you want the book to open.

Mushroom Fairies Notebook 02I used burlap on this card, too.  Burlap and mushrooms…they just go together.

Mushroom Fairies Notebook 03I decorated the inside front cover.

Mushroom Fairies Notebook 05And I covered the back of the notebook with burlap as well.  I actually wrapped it around the edge………

Mushroom Fairies Notebook 04……… create a pocket on the inside.  You could tuck photos or coupons or receipts in here.  You can never have too many pockets.

And that’s my summertime stroll down memory lane today.  I had such fun sharing these Mushroom Fairies with you.  And, I’m curious….did you read any of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Tales during your childhood?  I made it through every single volume…some of them more than once!

Thanks for stopping by!



These items are available for purchase in my ETSY shop.

Retro Ladies Christmas Cards

Polly’s Paper Retro Ladies Christmas Cards: Christmas in July Post

Hello, Friends!

It’s Christmas in July at Kathy by Design!  I know it seems odd to be sharing Christmas projects in the middle of a heat wave, but you’ll thank me in December when all your cards and hand made gifts are neatly packaged up and you can sit back, relax and pat yourself on the back for having been clever enough to get a head start on things.  (You’re welcome!) Today I have 3 totally adorable Retro Ladies Christmas cards to share with you.  They are from Polly’s Paper Etsy, and I fell in love with them right away.  I think you will agree:

Kathy by Design/Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies trioThese take me right back to my childhood.  My mom always wore an A-line dress with a big pleated skirt.  If she went shopping, she put on her hat and gloves.  Everyone did!  Our small town had one main street, all decked out with Christmas lights from Thanksgiving to New Year.  The shops stayed open late (til 9!!) and everyone bustled about under the soft light getting their holiday shopping done.  It was magical!

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Rosette 01Each 5×7 top fold card has a slightly different embellishment.  But they all are dolled up with a Christmas Ticket collage, also from Polly’s.  You could print these large enough to be a focal on a card, but I printed them small to use as an embellishment.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Rosette 03This stylish Retro Lady was touched with a bit of Art Institute Glitter Glue and white glitter.  She needed a big old red rosette to mimic her candy cane stripe pleated skirt. I also topped my mini jingle bells with glue and glitter.  The candy cane ribbon was in my stash of Christmas ribbons.  I’m not even sure where it came from, but it was perfect for this project.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Rosette 04The papers are retired Stampin’ Up.  The stamped sentiment is from them as well.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Poinsettia 03Poinsettias dusted with Viva Decor White 3-D Stamp paint are keeping this Retro lady company while she decorates the tree.  The metallic gold string is from Really Reasonable Ribbon.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Poinsettia 01Matting the designer paper layers helps to anchor the card. And I used a red paper clip as an ornament hanger for my little jingle bells.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Poinsettia 04Finishing the inside of a card is easy.  Just bring elements from the outside of your card (the papers) to the inside and you’ll have a design that really works.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Banner 01I sewed a banner at the top of this card and added a row of ruffled ribbon on the base.  It makes me think of a Christmas tree skirt.

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Banner 02I looped some metallic string on the top of my Christmas ticket, just for fun!

Pollys Paper Christmas Ladies Banner 03Did you notice that this card is built on a black cardstock base?  I wouldn’t normally use black on a Christmas card, but I really liked the way it grounded these bright, retro colors and designs.

So, have you started your Christmas cards yet?  If you’re looking for inspiration, you might want to check out the holiday digital collage selection at Polly’s.  She has so many adorable vintage images in all kinds of holiday themes.  Grab a cold glass of iced tea and take a peek!

I’ll be sharing more Christmas ideas throughout the month of July, and I feel a little giveaway coming on…so stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!



These cards are available for purchase in my ETSY shop.


Red, White and Blue Birthday Card

Red, White and Blue Birthday Card

Hello, Friends!

I have such a fun vintage card to share with you today!  I was recently asked to create a special red, white and blue birthday card for a young lady’s 18th birthday.  The card has to be mailed to the U.K. so I had to keep it a little on the “flat” side, and also be sure it didn’t weigh a ton.  I was slightly stumped by this request, but when I dug into my digital supplies, I found these great Patriotic Americana Vintage Collage Digital Images from Polly’s Paper Etsy.  Problem solved!

Red. White and Blue Birthday Card/Kathy by DesignI think this card is super cute!  I die cut foil stars with my Tim Holtz Crescent Moon and Stars die, The foil papers add some glitz and shimmer…and they are easy to mail because they are flat elements.  The top and bottom papers are separated from a simple strip of blue paper.  This keeps things from being too busy.

Red White and Blue Birthday Card/Kathy by DesignI used complementary layers on the inside of the card, and stamped some appropriate greetings.  The stamped label is actually a pocket for a gift card or a personal note. It was a real challenge for me not to add elebenty hunnerd layers to a card, and to keep things fairly flat, but I think I managed to pull it off.

If you are hosting a 4th of July party this year, I think the digital images in the Patriotic Americana Download would make a fabulous banner, invitations, table decor or place cards!

Thanks for stopping by!



Crafty Secrets April 2015 Linky Party

Crafty Secrets and Really Reasonable Ribbon: A Perfect Match!

NOTE:  If you are looking for my April Blog Candy Event, please scroll down!  Thanks!

Welcome to the Crafty Secrets April 2015 Linky Party! We are excited to be partnering with Really Reasonable Ribbon  in this fun cross-promotional event that we are calling “Anything Goes with Ribbon.”

Really Reasonable Ribbon sponsored the Crafty Secrets Design team this month, giving us the beautiful April Ribbon Club Collection of Ribbons to add to our projects.

April Ribbon Club

I chose to alter a little shadowbox tray for my project, and I have a tutorial showing you how to make the little banner, too.

Craft Secrets April 2015 Linky Party 01I worked with one of the darling Solo Trays from Canvas Corp Brands.  These measure about 6″ square.  I printed the Happy Thoughts paper from the Vintage Typography CD to 8″ square and trimmed the top portion with the sentiment to fit inside the largest box of the tray. That’s one of the big benefits of working with digital…being able to print out a paper that fits the size of your project!  I fussy cut the bird from the paper, inked the edges with Vintage photo and layered him on top of the background with a double row of foam dots.

Crafty Secrets April 2015 Linky Party 02Inside the top portion, I cut squares from the Birds and Blossoms Creative Scraps to fit, and then layered some little stickers on top of them.  This is easy, right? Next, I ran 1/4″ Scor-Tape all around the top edge of my tray.  Then I added the gorgeous Roses with Scalloped Edge Aqua Ribbon on top of that layer.  It was the exact shade of aqua to work with all my papers, now isn’t that nice?

Crafty Secrets April 2015 Linky Party 02aNext, Spanish Moss was glued in place, then a whole host of pretty Prima and Petaloo flowers followed.  I added in a pretty little Prima bird nest that I found in my stash, and a piece of star anise, too.  I love the shape and texture that added to the mix.  A couple of stamps from Birds and Blossoms, and a tiny little pocket watch were added to the mix.  I topped it all off with a gorgeous bow tied with Light Coral Satin Ribbon.   I just love these spring colors…they make me think of sherbet…and that is a good thing!

Craft Secrets April 2015 Linky Party 01a

I was pretty happy with this creation, but I felt it needed just a little finishing touch.  So I decided to make a banner.  I printed off an 8″ square piece of the beautiful Rose Diamonds Paper and in no time flat, I had a banner for my altered tray.  Here’s how I made it!

April 2015 Linky Party TutorialPrint off the paper sized at 8″ square.

April 2015 Linky Party Tutorial01Cut out the individual diamond shapes and ink the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

April 2015 Linky Party Tutorial02Fold each diamond shape in half to form a triangle. Twist two strands of Natural Jute String together.  Fold in half and tie a knot on each end.  You want it to match the width of your tray when you are finished.

April 2015 Linky Party Tutorial03Lay the triangles over the prepared twine so that you can glue the triangle tips shut.  Then hot glue onto the sides of your tray, or card or layout…whatever you are making!  Easy, Right?

Crafty Secrets shared some awesome goodies with the design team at RRR, and they will be featuring those projects on the Really Reasonable Ribbon BLOG from April 3rd through April 11th, so you will want to pop over for even more inspiration from the RRR Design team.

To play along, simply create any project that features Crafty Secrets products and add ribbon or trim to your project. You do not have to use Really Reasonable Ribbon to play along, any ribbon or trim will do.

To thank you for playing along, we have selected a pretty digital paper and a fun seasonal image that you can download.. You may use this on your project if you wish, or save it for another day. You may link any project you like, however if you wish to be eligible for this month’s prize package, you must feature Crafty Secrets products in your project.

Crafty Secrets Birds and Blossoms Digital Creative Scraps

Crafty Secrets Birds and Blossoms Digital Creative Scraps

Paper from Crafty Secrets Birds and Blooms Digital Paper Collection

Paper from Crafty Secrets Birds and Blooms Digital Paper Collection

This month’s lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate for any DIGITAL products in our online store! You can choose from our Digital Art Stamps, digital paper packs, digital printable sheets or digital Creative Scraps and fill your shopping cart to the brim with wonderful digital vintage goodies from Crafty Secrets!
Link your “Anything Goes with Ribbon” project to the Crafty Secrets BLOG no later than midnight PT on Sunday, April 19th. I’ll be hopping by to take a peek at your beautiful creations and leave a nice comment on your blog. On Wednesday, April 22nd, the winner of this month’s prize package will be announced on the Crafty Secrets Blog.

Now, go visit the rest of the amazing Crafty Secrets Design team, and prepare to be inspired!

Kathy Clement, DT Leader  ( You are here)
Darlene Pavlick: Dar’s Crafty Creations
Diane Hover: Nellie’s Nest
Elizabeth Lincoln:  Paper Passtimes
Ginny Nemchak: Polly’s Paper
Gloria Stengel: Scraps of Life
Melody Clement: Paper Melody’s
Michele Kovack: Thoughts of a Cardmaking Scrapbooker
Shantaie Fowler:  Inking Pink
Sheila Rumney: Sheila Rumney Design and Photography

Don’t forget to visit the Really Reasonable Ribbon Blog for more inspiration!  They also have a great challenge going on right now, so you might as well  play there, too!  I can’t wait to see what you make!



My First Digital Collage (Crafty Secrets)

Hello, Friends!  I am so excited to share today’s post with you.  For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I’ve been teaching myself how to use the wonderful digital art stamps, papers and images from Crafty Secrets.  Since it’s Christmas, I’ve been playing around with my favorite Christmas resource: Creating With Vintage Christmas CD6.  I’ve printed lots of papers, and used a lot of the images, but I’ve never taken the plunge into creating a digital collage with all these elements….until now!  I got my Brave Boots out of the Closet of Shame and created my first digital collage!  Woot!

Crafty Secrets December 08 01Ta da!  The focal image on this card is actually made up from 4 separate digital images: the vintage music paper,  the holly frame, the robins, and the border pieces at the top and bottom of the collage.  And it was EASY!  I topped it off with a luscious Red Delicate Stitched Satin Bow and a few embellies. And let me tell you, I am really tickled with my bad self!  LOL

Crafty Secrets December 08 03I was so excited, I made a second digital collage for this card.  I used the same sweet image, a different frame and background paper.  I printed it out, fussy cut around it and treated it with UTEE to age it. I love the result!  Of course. that beautiful Ivory, Rust and Gold Plaid Ribbon adds to the rustic vibe of the card.

So who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  I just made my first digital collage, and I can’t wait to make more!

Thanks for stopping by!