Category Archives: Nature Sketchbook

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box

This is my 2nd post for today.  If you are looking for the RRR Hop, Please scroll down.  Thanks!

Accessorize with Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box

Hello, G 45’ers!  I bet you never thought I’d be sharing a post about making jewelry with you.  But today I have a Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch and Gift Box that represents a personal triumph. Read on if you are curious…or just skip ahead and look at the pretty photos.  The choice is yours!

One of the things I truly love about being on a design team is the challenge of trying new things. You may not be aware of this, but we are given monthly assignments that guide our creativity.  Sometimes, the assignment fits like a glove.  And then there are the times when the assignment forces you to pull your Brave Boots out of the Closet of Shame.

An Opportunity for Growth

The above statement is code for “holy cow…I have no idea what to do/how to do this, lay awake at night and wonder how I’m gonna pull this one off.”  By the luck of the draw, I was assigned the task of creating jewelry using Graphic 45 metal staples.



You see, i barely wear jewelry.  I’ve always been a mom and a housewife, so I keep it pretty simple with just my wedding band and my mom’s engagement ring most of the time.  And I have NEVER made jewelry.  Until now.  This Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch & Gift Box is the outcome of a  “growth opportunity.”  (You can laugh at that…because I am!)

Ta da!  My very first piece of handmade jewelry.  That is, unless you count the macaroni necklace I made for my mom in first grade.  I don’t.  Hang with me for a while, and I’ll share the details of this with you, leaving out the weeping and gnashing of teeth, of course.

How I Made a Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Brooch with Faux Porcelain Flowers and Butterflies

It all started with  the flower.  This is one of the die cut flowers that  is part of the Nature Sketchbook collection.  I used the 3 smallest flower layers to make this flower with what I like to call a “faux porcelain” technique.

Begin by misting your punched out flowers lightly with water.  This will help to break down the starches that make the paper nice and stiff and allow you to shape them with a stylus and mat.

Working with UTEE and a Melting Pot

First, a word of caution.  Melted UTEE is hot.  By that I mean it will burn you and blister your skin and hurt like mad, make you cry and maybe even utter a forbidden word.  So USE CAUTION with this technique.  Keep melted UTEE away from children and pets!  Now, on with our regularly scheduled programming!

While you are shaping your flowers, heat up some UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) in a Ranger Melting Pot.  (You could use an old pot from the thrift store and any heat source, but for safety, I recommend a Melting Pot. The one from Ranger is hard to find and kind of pricey, but here’s one from Darice that is reasonable and looks like it would do the job.)

You want your UTEE to be deep enough that you can dip your shaped flower layers in it…maybe 1/2″ deep.

Once the flowers have been shaped and dried completely you are ready to give them the “faux porcelain” treatment.

Get Out Your Tweezers

Lay out your non stick craft sheet on your work surface.  You will need this or some other non-stick surface to cool your dipped flowers.  A piece of glass from an old picture frame will work in a pinch.

USE TWEEZERS!  Refer to the word of caution above.

Dip the shaped flower into the UTEE and submerge it completely for a second.  You have to work quickly so that the paper does not burn.  Catch the edge of a petal with your tweezers.  Lift out of the melted UTEE and let the excess drip off into the melt pot.  Place right side up on a mat to cool.  Repeat with all the layers.

I also shaped my butterflies and dipped them.  And, even my chipboard tag base took a UTEE bath.

Working with UTEE is fun as long as you are cautious and stay focused on your task.  I recommend a fairly clear work surface for obvious reasons.
When you’ve finished dipping, unplug the melt pot and move it to a safe place.  It will stay hot for some time.  Again, be mindful of children and pets!

Let’s Look at the Details

Here you can kind of see the glossy finish the faux porcelain process lends to the chipboard flower and fussy cut butterfly.  I love this look!

My shabby chic door plate was altered with paint and alcohol inks then glued onto the chipboard base with Glossy Accents.  Hold it in place with binder clips until the glue dries.  Then it’s just a matter of hot gluing your flower layers together and adding all the elements to the base.  The flower center is the mini door knob that matches the door plate.  Feathers add a fun touch of texture, color and design.  Your final step should be adding the pin bale to the back side of the chipboard base.  I actually used my heat gun and while holding the chipboard with a pair of tweezers, I re-melted the UTEE. You have to work quickly here, but you can press the pin bale into the melt using the points of your scissors.  Or, you could be more cautious and use Glossy Accents.  I was feeling lucky.

Making the Gift Box

Next, I wanted a gift box to house my brooch, so I altered a Kraftboard Matchbook Box from Graphic 45 using papers from Nature Sketchbook.

I had a couple extra petals left over from my UTEE adventure.  One is filled with a sweet little bird nest that I found in my stash. The other is filled with seed beads and tops my bow cluster. Then I turned a Staples Metal Key into a butterfly body.  This part of the project came together very quickly.

Pinning the finished brooch on a piece of felt helps to keep it from getting knocked around inside the gift box.

I know this was a long post,but I knew you would have lots of questions about the process.  If I forgot to address something, just ask in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to answer.

This ended up being a very fun project, and I learned a lot. My final word to you is to embrace growth opportunities because maybe there’s fun waiting out there in the scary unknown.

Thanks for hanging with me!






Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas with G45 Nature Sketchbook

Frilly and Funkie Challenge: Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas with G45 Nature Sketchbook and Wendy Vecchi Stamps

Hello, Friends!  It’s time for another fabulous challenge over at the Frilly and Funkie Blog.  Today I’ve prepared a Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas using Graphic 45’s Nature Sketchbook and Wendy Vecchi stamps and goodies.  First, let’s see what Cec, our hostess, has to say about this challenge.

Challenge Theme: Out Of The Cold!
It is winter and that means snow and cold in so many places so let’s head to the tropics.  Create any vintage or shabby chic project that will make us feel warm – think lots of sunshine, bright colours, flora and fauna and even animals hiding in the rain forest.

I had to think a long time about this challenge but knew I wanted to incorporate Wendy’s flowers and the beautiful Nature Sketchbook papers. This inverted canvas started out as a card…and just kind of took me where it wanted to go.

From Card to Canvas

The inspiration for this entire piece was the bright tropical flowers in the center of the canvas.  I made these by stamping Wendy Vecchi’s Mix and Match Art Stamps onto watercolor paper about a dozen times.  Knowing that I wanted the flowers to be yellow, I stamped using Wendy Vecchi Dandelion Archival ink.  This way, I had no harsh stamp lines around the edges.

Next, each flower layer was painted with Prima water colors. Then I  stamped each image a second time to reinforce the detail lines.  After fussy cutting, the layers were shaped, stacked and inked around the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink.  Then the centers were filled with FloraSoft.  Finally, I painted the flowers with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint to add shimmer. The wet Crackle paint was sprinkled lightly with Clear Rock Candy Dry Glitter.

Now it was time to add some stenciling, some clear texture paste, some die cutting, paper layering….and the base began to grow…and grow.  Pretty soon I realized this card was destined to be a canvas.

A Warm Color Palette for Flowers and Art Inverted Canvas

I used lots of warm colors in my palette with little pops of blue and green.

Butterflies were fussy cut from the 12×12 pad and scattered around the canvas. Star anise is a great natural addition to a canvas like this.  I painted each one with Scattered Straw Distress Paint.

Chipboard elements, metal keys, and wooden flourishes add lots of texture.

These metal pieces are tapped with Vintaj patina, then stacked along the side.

I stamped the sentiment from Wendy in Jet Black Archival Ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder.  It was sponged with more ink, then cut apart and glued in place.  The die cut swallow was treated with Distress Crazing medium and tapped with paint.

The back side of an 8×10 canvas was wrapped with tissue wrap and sprayed with various sprays.  It has a lovely patina in real life.  I like the depth that the inverted canvas provides. As a finishing touch, I brushed Antique Linen Distress Paint randomly onto the canvas.

Now It’s Your Turn

You can play along in this wonderful challenge by linking your own Out of the Cold vintage or shabby chic project to the challenge page over at Frilly and Funkie.  You have until midnightEST on Tuesday, February 28th to join the party.

The team will choose their top four picks with the winner being invited to join us in a Guest DT spot  at Frilly and Funkie. The other 3 talented designers will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into the draw to have the chance to win a $25 spending spree at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I can’t wait to see what you make!

Thanks for stopping by!



Product Links to The Funkie Junkie Boutique


Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner Tutorial

Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook: Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Hello, Friends!  How do you spell love?  Today, I’m spelling it with a super cute Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day banner tutorial.

Isn’t it fun?  The best part about this banner is the fact that it uses very few materials and can be made in about an hour.

Supply List for Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Snapguide Tutorial for Butterfly Kisses Valentine’s Day Banner

Check out How to Graphic 45 Butterfly Kisses Valentine Banner by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

Why I love Butterflies on Valentine’s Day

I know butterflies are not a traditional image for Valentine’s Day.  Well, as you might suspect by  now, there’s a story behind this project.  Since it is nearly Valentine’s Day…and the story is super romantic, I’ll share it with you here.

My mom and dad were both working as bookkeepers at a trucking company in southern Vermont in 1939.   Mom worked the day shift.  Dad worked nights.  Mom must have caught his eye right away, because of all the available chairs in that office, Dad opted to use hers each night.  This meant that every day at shift change, he had to return her chair to her desk.  And of course, this gave him the opportunity to say good morning.

Dad was shy.  I mean super shy.  So he rarely said anything beyond good morning each day.  But, he started leaving little gifts for mom on her desk: a pack of her favorite chewing gum, a piece of candy…small tokens of friendship.  After almost a YEAR of this delicate courtship dance, Valentine’s Day rolled around.  Mom came into work that morning to find an envelope with her name on it.  Inside the envelope was a beautiful Valentine’s Day card with…you guessed it…butterflies!

Mom and Dad were finally married on Valentine’s Day 1941.  Each year when their anniversary rolled around, Dad gave her a box of chocolates, a packet of chewing gum and a card…and there was always a butterfly on it somewhere!

So now you know why I love butterflies for Valentine’s Day.

Thanks for stopping by!






Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial

Graphic 45: Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial with Nature Sketchbook

Hello, Friends!  I’m up on the Graphic 45 blog today where I’m sharing this Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial.  It’s just the perfect little gift for Valentine’s Day.

Look at alll the darling little bee images in Nature Sketchbook.  I decided to riff off that idea and turn it into a Love Sweet Love theme…complete with a honey spoon!  Tea with honey is one of my favorite things!

These metal pieces are painted with Black Soot Distress Paint to match my yellow, black and red color palette.  For the keyhole, I let the paint set for about 1 minute, then I wiped off with a barely damp paper towel.

Just as bees love to cluster around the hive, cluster your embellishments around a focal image to create a real visual impact.

Sweet Surprises on the inside

Join two policy envelopes together and what do you get?  A really fun wallet/pocket combo.  I altered the red policy envelope to create the pocket, and I’ll show you how in the Snapguide tutorial at the end of this post.

The pocket is filled with pretty ephemera cards, a post card and a delicious herbal tea bag to go along with the honey spoon on the front of the wallet.

Don’t you just love these gorgeous images?  To create a custom string tie opening, simply glue chipboard buttons on top of the black discs .  It adds a great pop of color!

Wanna see what’s in the pocket?

Happy to oblige!

Would you like to know how to make your own Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet?  Then please enjoy this Snapguide Tutorial.

Snapguide: Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Tutorial

Check out How to Love Sweet Love G45 Policy Envelope Wallet & Tag by Kathy Clement on Snapguide.

I hope this has given you some “sweet” ideas for your own Valentine’s Day (or any day!) creations.  It’s always the right time to share a little love!

Thanks for stopping by!




Love Sweet Love Policy Envelope Wallet Supply List




New Year’s Inspiration with Frilly and Funkie

New Year’s Inspiration Challenge at Frilly and Funkie

Hello, Friends!  Don’t you just love the start of a new year?  It’s like writing on a fresh page in a new journal…all filled with promise and full of wonderful expectations.  For our first  Frilly and Funkie challenge of 2017, the theme is New Year’s Inspiration.  Here’s what Linda, the owner of the Funkie Junkie Boutique has to say about this challenge:

New Years Inspiration
At the start of each New Year so many of us make plans and set goals for the futures. So for this challenge we want you to create a vintage or shabby chic project depicting what you are inspired to do/achieve in 2017.

The team will choose their top 4 picks with the winner being invited to join us for  Guest Designer spot on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog. Three additional participants will receive badges to display on their blogs. Everyone who enters and follows the rules will be entered into a random drawing for a $25 shopping spree at the Funkie Junkie Boutique.

Nature Sketchbook Easel Card

I gave this challenge theme a lot of thought, and I had about a hundred different ideas in about as many different directions.  But I finally settled upon this rather simple Nature Sketchbook Easel Card because the sentiment really spoke to me.

2016 was a real roller coaster of a year loaded with all kinds of highs and lows.  We endured the stress of having our house on the market, selling our house…and having the contract fall through 3 times before we finally found a buyer who took it to the finish line.  Then there was the stress of sorting through all our “stuff” and downsizing so that we could fit into our cozy new home.  I had to get my new studio arranged in such a way that I could find a good work flow.  I also had to remember where I’d put everything.  (Labels save the day!)

In May, I learned that I had won a spot on the Graphic 45 Design Team, and that was a wonderful celebration as well as a new learning curve. And, on top of it all, Dale had ongoing health issues.  There were lots of sweet happy times mixed in with not so fun challenging times.  I found myself to be busier than I’ve been in years.  I got tired.  Exhausted, really. And my creativity began to wane.  It all just felt like WORK.  So. Much. Work.

Happiness is a Butterfly

I think that’s why this sentiment spoke to me.  The whole idea of sitting down quietly…developing a quiet spirit in the midst of all kinds of hubbub…and then creating from that place…that is my goal for 2017.  Making time to sit quietly and just BE.

Anyone who creates knows that you must feed your spirit in order to maintain a flow of creativity and inspiration.  I want to remember to take the time to do that in the coming year.  I’m hopeful that if I keep this card on my desk, it will remind me to sit quietly and reflect on all that I am thankful for in this beautiful mess we call life.

These fragile butterflies will remind me that in order to soar, I have to spend some time resting my mind and my spirit as I focus on the beauty of the life that surrounds me. And I have to remember to rest (and exercise!) my body in order to stay healthy and strong.

That about sums it up.  But I’d love to hear from you.  What are YOU inspired to do/achieve in 2017?  If you’d like, you can share it with me in the comment section below.  I’m hoping you’ll be inspired to join in on this fun challenge, and link up on the Frilly and Funkie blog.  You’ll find all the necessary details HERE.

Thanks so much for letting me share my thoughts with you here today!



Product Links to the Funkie Junkie Boutique