Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bring on the Chicken Scratch!

My Chicken Scratch products from the March Papertrey Ink Release made their way to me. It's been a flurry of activity ever since. So much fun to create with this group of products. I'm working on a big post with lots of cards on it, but I thought I'd pop in here with the first card I created. Because I just couldn't wait!

I had already been working on this card when my package arrived. I had the bouquet wrap made from the Scissor Keeper Dies from the Quick Stitch Sewing Staples Kit and I had the flowers cut, stamped and ready to go (the kit exclusive stamp set). I was just uninspired as to how to place them on my card.

Then the mail came. And low and behold, the perfect solution! I took a piece of the Fine Linen gingham paper from the Chicken Scratch Paper Pad and trimmed it down. Then I just took the "x" stamp from Chicken Scratch and stamped it in Blueberry Sky ink on the dark squares along the border. Perfect. And so very easy. Very simple way to "scratch". :) The scale of the gingham in the paper pad matches the size of the stitches for those times you want a completely no-brainer chicken scratch application.

I have been wanting to try the original form of chicken scratch embroidery for some time now. Crazy to think about that I got inspired for the all the Chicken Scratch stamping products without having seen this particular embroidery style in real life. Only way to solve that is to make some myself. And thus, we now have two Chicken Scratch Scissor Keepers being put to use at my house.

I first made one the basic way, with the scalloped liner layers from the Scissor Keeper Dies (Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit). I used Heat N' Bond to adhere and stabilize my black gingham fabric to my felt. You can see a video tutorial here on how to do that. Then I just sort of made up my design. I have a close up of it here so you can do it to if you so wish. I bought the fabric at Joann's and the squares seem to be sized to 1/4".

My second attempt was a subtly different. Obviously I cut off the handles and didn't use the scalloped liner portion of the Scissor Keeper. I also cut the gingham at an angle. See how it is oriented on the diagonal here? It doesn't make much difference in the stitched design towards the top, but lower down, where the scissor keeper narrows, it looks less blocky to me, which I like better I think. What is your preference?

More Chicken Scratch to come over the next few days!  Thanks for stopping by.


Mother Day Card
Stamps: Quick Stitch Kit: Sewing Staples exclusive, Chicken Scratch, Happy Hydrangea, Keep It Simple: Mother
Dies:  Quick Stitch Kit: Sewing Staples (scissor keeper, flowers + leaves), Happy Hydrangea
Paper: Chicken Scratch Pad, Dearest Jane
Colors: Blueberry Sky, Ocean Tides, Winter Wisteria, Aqua Mist, Ripe Avocado, Spring Moss, Dark Chocolate

Scissor Keepers
Dies: Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit
Felt: Raspberry Fizz, Tropical Teal
Gingham Fabric

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Card

It snowed on the very first day of spring here in Maryland. I was much disgruntled about it. The winters are so very tough for us mamas with little kids at home. And this one seemed harsher than others in the past. I'm barely hanging onto my sanity. Come this time of year, it all wears so very thin. Good thing there's hope. A few more weeks. I can do anything for a few more weeks.

Out of protest on March 20th, and just to make myself feel better, I made this spring card for my gardening mom. Because the hope just knowing that warm weather, flowers, and sunshine are right around the corner is something that needs to be celebrated!

I had lots of fun here. Ever since I saw the Comic Strip Cover Plate die, I wanted to use those defined spaces to house all sort of stamped elements. So I did that here. I even rearranged them to match my card design more.

I used a sentiment from Spring Hills stamp set. And in doing so, it dawned on me that the combination of these defined rectangles and the various images in the Hills Collection would make some really cute cards. Hope to get a chance to do that here soon.

The rest of the supplies are listed below. Here's hoping spring comes your way soon!


Stamps: Garden Variety, Quilted: Spring, Spring Hills, Beautiful Butterflies, Beautiful Butterflies Layers
Dies: Beautiful Butterflies, Quilted Spring, Comic Strip Cover Plate, Garden Variety
Ink: Scarlet Jewel, Classic Kraft, Fine Linen, Spring Moss, Autumn Rose, Dark Chocolate
Cardstock: Classic Kraft, Fine Linen, Stamper's Select White

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy April Birthday!

My sweet niece, who is not so little any more, is turning 12 next month. She lives in England as well, so timing the mail to get over there is a bit tricky. With those two things in mind, I came up with this birthday card for her. It's a bit more sophisticated than she has gotten from me in the past. She's 12 after all. And I choose the sentiment on the front to cover the entire month, just in case the mail gets held up. I've always had problems getting them stuff. Which is unfortunate. I'm just hoping she gets this in April.

I just had to get the Stitched Cover Plate die from the February Release. It adds so much subtle texture. In love. Totally and completely.  I also adore the font used in the Monthly Moments: Year Around stamp set, which I used to stamp "April". And we've got the flower cluster from the Quilted: Spring Collection by Betsy. Both the stamps and the dies are used here from that.

I can see myself making a 12 card set to give as a gift, one card for every month. I have no idea what lays ahead with the Quilted Collection, but I'm hoping that I can use the "extras" from each set for the appropriate months. The whole package would look fabulous.

Restocked my envelopes and was thrilled to be able to line one with Winter Wisteria Gingham patterned paper and the Envelope Liner Die.

Don't forget to stamp the backs of your card for a very finished look. The little saying from my Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples exclusive stamp set is going to get lots of use doing just that on many of my cards yet to come. It's still available if you want to add it to your collection right here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Introducing Chicken Scratch + Sewing Staples

Hello Papertrey Ink folks and Happy Spring! Well, almost. But I'm feeling it, aren't you? Like deep in my bones. Bring on the renewal and the sunshine and the warm weather.

Cheery gingham is certainly contributing my  happy mood. You've probably popped over from Nichole's blog. My new product line for March, the Chicken Scratch Collection, is being featured today for the first group post. I've seen a few projects and the DT ladies did an amazing job. They exceed my expectations. Just absolutely beautiful stuff.

You might be looking around for Chicken Scratch projects from me. Unfortunately, nothing has made it to me in time with mail delays and the weather. Which is OK. I've been doing this for over five years and to have it happen just this once, is a pretty good track record. Besides, all the Chicken Scratch goodness is on its way to me, so it won't be long before I get to play. And of course, I'll share when I do.

So, as a result, I've had ample opportunity to do some other things with it. Like build an inspiration board for you. And create some "sketches" on the computer to share, so when you get the Chicken Scratch Collection, you are all ready to play and infused with inspiration.

So..Chicken Scratch. Pretty whimsical name, right? Chicken Scratch is a type of embroidery done on gingham fabric that some say looks like the pattern chicken feet would make in the dirt of the chicken coop. Yep, it doesn't get any more "vintage" than that. :) LOL!  It is also called depression lace, Amish embroidery, or simply, gingham embroidery. All of which speaks of its homespun, county look.

 In Chicken Scratch, the squares of the gingham act like the squares of cross stitch fabric. The corners and lines of the pattern show you where to place your stitches. There are some rather unique stitches to be made, that make up classic "chicken scratch" look. And in using these stitches on a gingham background, you work with the light, dark, and medium tones in the fabric, highlighting each in a different way. When viewed as a whole, the color of the stitches combined with the highlighted pattern of the gingham gives a very unique look and pattern. All of which, I thought would be great for a stamp set.

Here are some inspiration examples. You can view my entire Pinterest Chicken Scratch Board here.

Original Source

Original Source

Original Source

Super pretty stuff, right? I might have sent my Mom that pin this morning of that summer tank. Told her I'd do the embroidery if she made it for me:). I'd love to have that. 

Now that you've seen some examples, I've taken the images from the stamp sets (I have both the Chicken Scratch and Super Gingham being released), the Chicken Scratch Cover Plate, and the Chicken Scratch Paper Pad and made some computer examples for you. You can download the PDF here for easy reference. 

I hope you are as excited as I am to be using this fun, vintage style of embroidery.  As you can see, you can go as easy or as complicated as you like. We've worked in lots of short cuts (Chicken Plate Cover Plate, Gingham Paper) to make it easy to accomplish too.

Now, while I have you here, I have another Quick Stitch Sewing Staples Kit project for you. I really wanted to turn those Scissor Keepers into carrots for Easter!

I found these marshmallow bunnies on a lollipop stick at Target. They are from Just Born, like those yummy peeps everybody likes this time of year. I thought they'd be perfect for this!

I love how they look like they are popping out of the carrot. These were really easy to stitch up, by not reversing the running stitch. The handle on the orange carrot part, got cut off.. The backside is "green" and has the handle, but after I put these together, you didn't need to use the handle here either. Whatever you decide to do if you are planning on recreating this.

For the grass, I cut green tissue paper with the Tissue Favor Die. Love how nice and fluffy it is.

The Floral Cluster Die from the Sewing Staples kit was used to make these paper flowers. I adore these in paper. Just the right amount of detail when stitched. Sentiment is from Birthday Classics: April and the tag is from Tremendous Tags.

Here's a carrot upright. These things are BIG! Ten inches with the candy. Would make an impressive little something.

OK. That's it from me. Thanks for stopping by. More inspiration for Chicken Scratch below. All the Chicken Scratch stuff will be available March 15th at at 10 PM EST and the Sewing Staples Kit is available right now! Fabulous.

Nichole Heady
Betsy Veldman
Dawn McVey
Maile Belles
Heather Nichols
Melissa Phillips
Danielle Flanders
Laura Bassen
Laurie Willison
Ashley Cannon Newell


Scissor Keeper Carrots
Quick Stitch Sewing Staples Kit
Stamps: Birthday Classics: April
Dies: Tremendous Tags, Tissue Favor
Patterned Paper: Orange Zest and Summer Sunrise Collections
Cardstock: Orange Zest and Summer Sunrise

Monday, March 9, 2015

Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples...Tonight's the Night!

There's a little bit of excitement in the air! Tonight's the night my first Quick Stitch Kit with Papertrey Ink goes on sale. It will be available to purchase at at 10 PM EST. Here's a few blog posts from the last week that can show you some projects (with videos, PDF downloadable instructions, and links to other blogs featuring the kit)  and tell you more about it if you are stopping by for the first time.

And I've got one more project to share with you using the Scissor Keeper Dies that are included in this kit. This time I made springtime pennants with them for some sweet home decor.

I cut off the handles of the Scissor Keeper Dies and used PTI's grosgrain ribbon to attach them to some 3/8" wooden dowels. I also got the circular caps to top them off. They happen to have a 3/8" hole in the bottom for a perfect fit. I didn't even have to glue them. Both I got at Michael's.

I added all the spring accents from the Seasonal Stitches: Eggs, Shamrock, and Butterfly which I released last year. Each have button accents in coordinating colors. And the egg has a flower accent from the Floral Cluster Dies that are included in the Quick Stitch Kit.

I have a trick to make these have some "body". They stick nicely straight out from the dowel. They take just two layers of felt cuts,  one straight edge and one scalloped edge die from the Scissor Keeper Collection.

Hidden within the two layers is a paper core (also cut with the straight edge cover from the Scissor Keeper Dies), which gives the stiffness and "body" to my flag. I attached the ribbon with adhesive to the paper flag. The adhesive goes the entire length of the ribbon and holds the ribbon to the dowel.

The other end of the ribbon adheres to the front. And then I just sandwich the paper between my two felt cuts and sew it up. Super simple and easy.

The flags are in a mason jar with a "frog style" lid to help hold them in place. I've got one of my favorite Easter candies as filler. Hopefully I won't be eating those Cadbury Mini-Eggs when they are buried underneath that paper grass. A Tremendous Tag cut is stamped with Wreath for All Seasons.

Sitting here on my family room couch typing this up and smiling up at my mantle where this sweet decor piece resides. I'm glad I finished it! It's been a work in progress for a few weeks. Thinking it would also make a very cute gift. And with the variety of Seasonal Stitches Dies, you can do one for every season.

OK, that's it from me. Hope you are as excited as I am to get stitching with the Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit! Just a few more hours. Remember, 10 PM EST at Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

School Picture Keepsake

Just popping in here with a new project I created this afternoon using the Needle Book Stitching Dies. If you are stopping by for the first time, these dies will be available at in my first Quick Stitch Kit on March 9th.

I made sure they would work with one of my all time favorite stitching dies, the Stiched Frame Collection. There's just something about felt and a photo for me. I just think the combo makes the most adorable gifts. My favorite holiday gifts to make and give are felt ornaments like this one.

I sewed on a Seasonal Stitches: Apple felt cut to a Smokey Shadow cover. I only cut the straight rectangle die from the Needle Book Stitching Dies on this project. Love that red against the charcoal grey.

I opted to sew in two lengths of red baker's twine to use as a closure. They are knotted once on each side to keep them from slipping out.

And there's one of my favorite faces! I used the photo opening in the Stitched Frame to cut openings and stitching holes for a photo and a card stock panel. I got to incorporate some stamping into this project. Love the fusion. The paper stitched in gives some rigidity to the project and it stands up on its own like this.

This little beauty is going to Hank. Would make a great keepsake for a grandparent too.

That's it for me tonight:). Hope you are having a good one.

Supplies from Papertrey Ink
Dies: Stitched Needle Book (from the upcoming Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit available 3/9 at, Seasonal Stitches: Apple, Stitched Frame
Pure Poppy, Smokey Shadow, Simply Chartreuse, Dark Chocolate, Vintage Cream
Stamps: Jourrnaling Accessories, Type Stripes, Back to School, Mini Scrapbook Series: Journaling Lines
Ink: Pure Poppy, Blueberry Sky, Simply Chartreuse, Soft Stone

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Using the Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit on Cards

Thank you so much for all the positive response to my first Quick Stitch Kit. I feel a kinship with all you fellow hand-sewists. We've got such a passion for it, don't we? New stitching dies make me just as happy as they make you. I love them so.

I thought I'd share a few more projects with you today using the new kit. I wanted to focus on using the elements to make cards. The dies are an investment, absolutely. So I want to show you how to get the maximum use out of them. Turns out, they lend themselves quite nicely to paper projects.

First up, this card that demonstrates how well the Needle Book Stitching Dies fit across the A2 card. The scalloped layer just happens to be 5.5" across! I'm trying to remember if I planned it that way, but I can't recall. So we'll just go with it and say I did!

The card base is cut down a little bit from an A2. Probably 5.25" across. I wanted the scalloped panel to hang off the edges a bit. Rest assured, it fits nicely in an envelope for easy mailing.

I've noticed a lot of "card panel" die sets out there in the marketplace lately. If you think about the price points for those, the Needle Book Die Collection is comparable. You just get lots of different extra dies within the rectangle dies to create a Needle Book:).

There is an even number of holes in the two large rectangles of the Needle Book Stitching Dies so you can do a quick running stitch and tie with a bow. Saves some time and is the perfect "extra touch" to your project.

I used the exclusive stamp set and coordinating dies from Sewing Staples to create all my flower clusters in shades of Enchanted Evening and Tropical Teal on Aqua Mist cuts. And we've got Ripe Avocado and Simply Chartreuse on Spring Moss cardstock for the leaves.

The sentiment is from my previously released A Little Inspiration stamp set.

Here's another card that uses the Needle Book Stitching Dies and A Little Inspiration. I cut the "needle keep" die several times in shades of Summer Sunrise, Melon Berry, Harvest Gold, and Berry Sorbet card stock. I also made a point of cutting the "holes only" version of the die into the white card stock panel. This way the empty holes go all the way back to the True Black card base. If I hadn't done that, those holes would be white and not nearly have the visual impact.

I used black floss to cross stitch a few of the strips together. This was to reinforce the "strong" them of the card. Those stitches hold everything together, both literally and figuratively.

We saw yesterday from some of the girls how the Needle Book Stitching Die Collection makes the most darling little mini cards. Today, I'm showing my version. I created four, each featuring a different color against Stamper's Select White Cardstock. We've got Hibiscus Burst, Spring Moss, Summer Sunrise, and Blueberry Sky.

Again, I used the exclusive Sewing Staples Stamps and Dies to create my flower accents on the top. It's nice to have option of just stamping these elements instead of sewing them. You need something quick every now and again.

Simple sewing around the outside of the cards uses floss in the same colors as the ink.

I also made the happy discovery that the large cross stitch block from the Cross Stitch Mini Stamp Set (previously released) fits really nicely on a folded Needle Book cut. Sew perfect.

On the inside, I have the coordinating card stock colors sewn in. It's a nice surprise to see that burst of color when you open the card. Sentiments from the old favorite Mega Mixed Messages are the perfect fit.

I mentioned yesterday that when you make a lined mini card from the Needle Book Die Collection that both the outside and inside of the cards are completely smooth and don't show any scratched up areas from your cutting plates. Because the holes are symmetrical, you can face the two "bad sides" together on the insides, hiding them from view. Sweet!

And lastly, I had to stitch some paper flowers up from the Floral Cluster for a card front. I did all these individually (I did not cut the corresponding "holes only" dies in the card front).  I had to apply my liquid adhesive to the stitching on the backs to glue them down. The thread ended up acting like pop dots, elevating the flowers and leaves a little bit from the background. Very nice.

The "channel pocket" from the Needle Book Die Collection makes up my flower pot. Just a few cross stitches put in with crochet thread. It doesn't take much to get a sweet look.

Again, I found the Cross Stitch stamp set to be a nice companion here. I stamped the single "x" a few times on my card in Royal Velvet Ink for the perfect accent. It matches up with the Royal Velvet cut from Wonderful Words: Thank You Die.

Whew! That's a lot. Hope you enjoyed and can see how all these sewing elements can easily be adapted to paper projects. I don't think I used a single piece of felt on these cards. So nice to have that versatility.

The Quick Stitch: Sewing Staples Kit will be available for purchase on March 9th at And if you are just popping in today for the first, check out my blog post yesterday to see how these dies are used on fabulous felt projects.


Don't Ever Change Card
Sewing Staples Quick Stitch Kit: Needle Book Dies, Sewing Staples stamp set and Dies
Stamp Set: A Little Inspiration
Cardstock: Classic Kraft, Aqua Mist, and Stamper's Select White
Patterned Paper: Enchanted Evening Simple Stripe
Ink: Enchanted Evening, Tropical Teal, Simply Chartreuse, and Ripe Avocado
Turquoise Crochet Thread

Be Strong Card
Sewing Staples Quick Stitch Kit: Needle Book Dies
Stamp Set: A Little Inspiration
Cardstock: True Black, Stamper's Select White, Melon Berry, Summer Sunrise, Berry Sorbet, Sweet Blush
Ink: True Black

Mini Card Set
Sewing Staples Quick Stitch Kit: Needle Book Dies, Sewing Staples stamp set and dies
Stamps: Cross Stitch and Mega Mixed Messages
Ink: Spring Moss, Summer Sunrise, Hibiscus Burst, Blueberry Sky, Raspberry Fizz, Melon Berry, Simply Chartreuse, Tropical Teal, Aqua Mist, Winter Wisteria, Enchanted Evening, Berry Sorbet

Thank You Card
Sewing Staples: Floral Cluster, Needle Book Dies
Stamps: Cross Stitch
Cardstock: Stamper's Select White, Royal Velvet, Aqua Mist, Spring Rain, Winter Wisteria, Classic Kraft
Ocean Tides and Winter Wisteria Simple Stripe Patterned Paper
Dies: Wonderful Words: Thank You