HELLO ALL YOU FAITHFUL…..playing catch up sucks… and lately I have been in way over my head… as we age so do those who we love around us age… I have had relatives with aging problems, and my mom’s extra care giver left town for very valid reasons so i had to go thru trying to get another and I did it but all of that is just excuses for not posting the last couple of weeks… actually without going to look I have no idea when the last blog posted … I had been staying ahead but then ……

Anyway back to blog… I have been playing with watercolor as as well as playing with lettering more than card making…I can’t promise that I am going to be able to stay caught up but I am going to give it a try… I did pay with this idea and below are some of my play.

my masked watercolor backgroun

My scribbled lives piece using the watercolor background

kwdesign..EASY TAPED WATERCOLOR this is another one of her designs and I’ve it too..I told ya’ll I was really in to watercolor backgrounds…so you can skip the ad after a few seconds… all YouTube videos have ads…

A couple of things I would mention after you have seen the video …its possible to buy masking tape which won’t tear up your paper when you remove it… that is already in the the thin strips….so being the LAZY STAMPER that I am …look for it in art stores or on Amazon..¼ inch masking tape . This link is just one that I found but there are others… depending on the size of your card… you might want the ½ in one or there is an 1/8 in one also… she is just very frugal using what she has….

Another HINT…is that I prefer FROG TAPE also on Amazon and in Lowes and Home Depot and Probably any hardware store I prefer it because I think it sticks better and is more removable… but thats just my choice… if you have low tack blue use it… but if you look closely down at the bottom she didn’t press the tape down well to the card and she had some bleeding down there as well… mostly its all about pressing the tape down well  BUT NOT TOO HARD or is might damage your paper when you try to remove…also you need to leave it till your watercolor is dry not too long as it also gets harder to remove…so like don’t wait 3 days to go back and remove it … it might remove easily but it might not…

VIDEO HINT: they tend to speed up the videos when they are do repetitive stuff and this is good and bad… you might not have noticed that while she puts down dark color at the beginning of each segment she goes back and ads more water so that she gets an ombre effect to the color… all solid dark red is not as appealing as variated shadings of red…


HINT: Now all of that said.. .I remembered after this piece dried…. that WATERCOLOR ALWAYS dries significantly lighter than it looks when its keep the in mind when you are working yours …..I had togo ahead and use it for my SCRIBBLED LIVES PIECE because I was on a deadline and no time to paint and then let dry another piece… but I hope to do that soon. STILL I’d try for the ombre effect.

I hope you faithful followers will hang in there I do have some ideas in my head just no time to put them on paper… so don’ t too disappointed if you don’t see a post every week…

I ALSO WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT GRACEFUL ENVELOPE submissions are due the end of March and the theme this year WEATHER… check the link for deails.

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wire headed cyber toad….aka kath


me at New Year’s eve with the FLU…

Yep… right after Christmas the 26th to be exact both my hubby and I were at urgent care to find out that yes , we did have the flu…. canceled group annual dinner party as no one wanted to get the flu along with us… but my BFF Pamela had given me these great glasses at her Christmas party and it was good way to cover up how swollen and red my eyes were… lol  got meds now just need energy and ability to hold a thought…lol

BUT I wanted to share some information with you as I figure some of you may have received $$$ for christmas and it may be burning a hole in your pocket… so here is my take on the possibilities… and know that in some case you might also find the Holtz platform at either Michael’s or Jo ann’s and be able to use a coupon… again for the bang for buck my money is Holtz ( I do think lots of his stuff is over priced  but this is pretty fair)

TIM HOLTZ stamp platform

FIRST A DISCLAIMER... I don’t receive any payment for that which I am about to share with you regarding stamping platforms… 2) I can’t really take credit for this as it was shared with me by one of great readers and friend Janis Blevins…she does great research and is always looking for the best product for the money… so with those said… I should also share that I bought a MISTI stamping platform( no video) in WA and while I used it a few times and it worked ok… I did not initially purchase one for her in FL ….so when Janis wrote me and shared the video of TIM HOLTZ’s STAMPING PLATFORM .… I looked but frankly didn’t intend to purchase however  after watching it and discussing more with Janis I had to agree that 1) ITS EASIER TO STORE IN SMALL SPACES…2) IT DOES STAMP BOTH VERTICLE AND HORIZONTAL WITHOUT HAVING TWO PIECES OF LUCITE and there folds flat for storage…a huge plus for both of us.. while I am going to include a link to STAMPING UP’S platform…I don’t like the its two pieces and that the magnets are so difficult to and that ou have to store them on the back … The Holtz one stores on front under the plexiglass..they are strong but so strong that you can’t move them well ( it could also be her nails that causes Dawn trouble…lovely but hard to work with some things although she doesn’t seem to have a problem) 3) and this is the biggest reason… you can order this RIGHT NOW FROM AMAZON and you can’t get the STAMPING UP ONE if you missed the last preorder date until JUNE…. way too long for this impatient stamper… one last disclaimer…remember I am on meds…incase this blog seems a bit spacey…lol

NOW the best part of this device which ever one you choose is that is it will allow you to stamp over your image exactly in the same place until you get the image well inked… for larger stamps ( and I have been removing a lot of my wooden large stamps and using them with this positioned as I get better inking and perfect position every time as long as your image is removed from platform.

In addition it will make stamping multiple cards with the same image go a lot faster just cut your paper and place each sheet in the same place on your platform use your magnets to hold it place and ink and stamp and repeat as necessary.  So as my favorite Calligraphy teacher Carol DuBosch would say “WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION” to your stamping tools…


One more item Janis shared with me was a cleaning cloth from LAWN FAWN... I don’t know what it is or truly understand but you simple wet it and wipe off your stamps and VIOLA it comes clean with the exception of STAZON…that one takes a bit more work and your image is going to get stained with the ink color but it will be clean for you decide where you want it placed on your card…if you are uncertain about the clean  then use a scrap piece of paper the same size as your card and test it… just to make sure… kinda link running only one copy to test before you make 50 upside it happens…also it stays wet for a long time even WITH AC… now heat maybe be different if it dries too quickly keep a plastic bag handy and tuck it in there when you are using it. But you are supposed to get up and move every hour anyway…lol….so just go wet again…

SO the links are listed above but not the MISTI as I was not that impressed with it I am sure you really want to see it go on line to YOU TUBE AND type in Misti and I am sure you can find one…

Ok as I said I am just sharing some information and for ME  and Janis… we found the TIM HOLTZ was our favorite….

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wire headed cyber toad..aka kath




TICK TOCK,TICK TOCK….YEP the clock continues to click on getting your cards together to and ready to mail…but least you feel that you won’t make it ….let me just say that late cards are always accepted and you can change it to a NEW YEAR’S CARD and buy yourself an extra week…lol

SCS LAYERED WINDOW CARD this is an interesting little card…and while they show it standing up…that will only happen if you have either one of those alligator clips on a base or if you send along a small plastic photo stand for it go it… but it is unique and unique is good.. I am pretty sure that I have posted about this before but its been awhile so thought I would do it again… and perhaps use a different die maybe just a plain circle…

Layered window

Open layered window

I am pretty sure that we have done this before but it is one my favorites… and don’t think that you have to do those side panels with the same stamp you can use word stamps or you can use the various decorator papers you might have also… and again the shape in the center could be round , or heart , square or even just plane round… and as I have suggested so many times… cut some of the bases and fold them so that they are ready to go they all you need to do is add your panels and the center design… I do suggest that you stamp first and cut second on those so that you make sure you get the images that you want where you want them …..this is also one of those image and added words will work so well with the stamping platform that I gave you links to last week…I am not saying you have to have it but it does make laying out a multiple image layout much easier…

just in case you missed it last week TIM HOLTZ STAMPING PLATFORM again…my good friend and best stamping buddy JANIS BLEVINS ..shared these with me and now I am sharing it with you….

In any a case hope you enjoy this who knows maybe it will be your 2017 christmas or valentine card..

I am keeping this short cause I am sure we both have lots to do…lol….AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wire headed cyber toad aka kath



Hope this finds you laying around to stuffed with Turkey to do more than read and look…lol and also hope that you and your familiies and extended families had a delightful THANKSGIVING…

SCS ACRYLIC TECHNIQUE….I left out the word drunken because I am not sure it applies..but I do like the idea and I like the fact that she uses a spray bottle but opens it and drops the alcohol( guess that’s where the drunken comes from) onto the paper..but you should know that not all reds , blues and yellows, blend together to make good colors and I really didn’t like the addition of the turquoise to her sample… lI thought that the red or in her case the magenta and the yellow ….were stunning and certainly made me think of the Pacific Northwest this time of year… most cases the rule for blending colors is no more than 3 or you get mud… BUT  in this case I think that the red/magenta and yellow work best.  However, you could also try doing the base color yellow then when dry apply the red over part of the card and let it dry then go back and apply the blue over the yellow that is still showing but not over the red…

3 color alcohol /acrylic technique…too much in my opinion..

This is interesting but in my opinion just too its also possible that this looks way better and way different in real life than it photographed… so experiment and play my favorite two words…

Another thing I would try is to actually spray the alcohol on the card maybe from different directions with each layer… the spray will I think make it a bit more streaky…but this is interesting background…

REMINDER….you drop/spray the alcohol onto the color while its WET…then let it dry before adding a second  or third coat…each time drop/spay when the color/layer is wet then let dry totally before moving to next layer…


HINT 2…Because you need to let this air dry naturally I would suggest you precut several pieces of card stock and work on all of them at one time… then go away let them dry and come back for stage two….each time you have to let it dry naturally or AIR DRY no heat tool as she suggested it would make the paint bubble…

Alchol acrylic technique from SPLLITCOAST STAMPERS

With the unicorn above I think she used the WHITE acrylic over the top for her last layer but I am just guessing….again not my favorite effect looks a little too busy to suit me …I often have to remind myself that LESS IS MORE…

THE ONE WITH THE TREES IS MY FAVORITE…. it so looks like a fall background and its possible that on that one she did as I suggested you try putting the colors on over a solid background BUT not over each other so much… IE THE RED LOOKS LIKE it might be over the yellow but not over the green and the same with the green over the yellow but not over the red except in a few places…. remember it is all about play so explore and if you think when its dry that you don’t like it ….BEFORE YOU THROW IT AWAY…look and see if there are areas that you do like and cut them out or punch them out etc…before you toss…. look at carefully to see what might be saved…

HINT 3….because I also do calligraphy I bought a small set of  HIGH FLOW GOLDEN ACRYLICS……these are just what it says very fluid so you probably won’t need to add the water just put some on a plate and paint away….of course they re available in a 1 oz set of ten..from AMAZON for about $34 .  They work great in calligraphy pens as well as making art with them… so put them on your christmas wish list or play some christmas music and order them today…lol don’t forget the water color paper but you may find that locally at either a Michael’s, JO ANN’S OR HOBBY LOBBY…and you might be able to use your coupon… but I doubt you will find the HIGH FLOW SET.……the cheap acrylics will work just fine for this technique… I am only suggesting the HIGH FLOW..for those of my readers who might also be calligraphers and would want to use the colors to letter with as well as making art…

My favorite

These three are definitely my favorites for a lovely fall background…. enjoy


EYE CANDY…as you know I am in Florida and I recently saw this on FB and because I know I have friends out there that don’t use FB ….i found this video of STARFISH WALKING. CHECK IT OUT …its very interesting … when I was in college on the east coast of Florida we had a medium size fish tank and we had baby starfish that we brought from the ocean into the tank so we got to watch them climbing the sides of tank as well as walking around…but this nice big one so you can really see how the move .

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPING BY …wiire headed cyber toad..aka kath





Greetings ya’ll its FALL and by the time you see this i will be in Florida and the only resemblance to fall will be that IRMA took out a lot of trees, bushes, flowers, etc and everyone is in the clean up mode and piling the debris along the sides of roads in hopes that the city and county will pick it up and haul it off to someplace where there will giant piles of botanical debris and the when the weather permits it will get burned…or perhaps chopped up to become mulch. I am not making light of IRMA she and MARIA have done serious damage to Places like Puerto Rico and they has been much loss of life…Our area of FL had lots of water damage …long lines for food /water and long waits for power to come back on but not the damage that other places have seen. On top of all that they have had sweltering heat and humidity. But we have had almost a week of FALL WEATHER….very dry and sunny and warm during the day but nice and cool during the night …my idea of cool is down in the 50s…and it has been but now moving up to 69s at night but still dry so no humidity… YES…

DAWN’S EMBOSSED RESIST is a great technique type of card and also she is using the technique of sponging ink .  Now I have a friend who might prefer to remain nameless (Stephanie)..who hates to get her hands dirty…this always tickles me as she is a motorcycle mama…so you would think a little ink or glue on her hands would not be a problem but it is…so if you also hate getting glue or ink on your fingers then try using this sponges cut in wedges and then hold them with what I call butterfly clips or what office supply people call binder clips …they come in all sizes and even in colors but if you use one of them to hold your sponge then it will keep you fingers clean and free of ink..

If you haven’t don’t much embossing with the heat tool there a few tings I”d like to mention… I think it works best and easiest to use a solid image IF YOU SPONGING AROUND IT….its not a rule but it will make the sponging easier if you don’t have to worry about getting ink inside the image…..with the solid image you can’t just use a tissue to wipe off the ink that may get on the image ….basically the embossing acts as a resist g…and this card and these stamps certainly show off that aspect very well… it makes the town and the characters look as if they either are lit up or that moonlight is shining on them…just gives your card a more dimensional look…

Sponging over embossed images by Dawn

If you also have little experience with SPONGING then be sure to watch this video as she gives you really good lesson on how to do it… and most important is to note that you start off the paper…also dense ponies don’t work as well as the open airy kind…at least that is both STAMPING UP and my opinion….you can use those ready made sponge things but its easier to use do and you have more control with the open airy kinda yellow ones …you can buy them from SU of course but also from places like Walmart in the car wash area or over in the paint doesn’t matter what color they are as long as they are the open airy looking sponges…

THE WATERMARK pad works great to stamp with then depending on your weather quickly sprinkle on the embossing powder ….you can also use a white pigment pad to stamp and if you use white pigment then you could use clear if you didn’t have white…

More sponged ideas..its great as background too.

Sponged background

Another sponged background

Dawn’s Sponged background

 EYE CANDY…this link will take you a true paper artist or maybe I should call  him a paper engineer….its a short video but I think it may have taken him hours or days to create these pieces……PAPER GEAR ART….enjoy

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY....wire headed cyber toad…aka kath

EXTRA ….since I posted the piece on the CORNER FOLD and suggested you make a calendar…here is SCS EASEL CALENDAR is really cute as well and while they give you a web site where you can go and print up tiny calendar PAGES..then adhere them together to make a complete calendar…my suggestion is to make the card and order the calendars from IIMPRESS CARDS AND CRAFTS…AS I mentioned in the previous blog…they have three sizes of mini calendars all of them will fit on this card but the smallest rectangle will either need more embellishment or for you to downsize the card…I am ordering some more calendars myself….





IN APRIL of 2016 I posted DAWN’S VIDEO LINK to this little card… I had posted it before that and The pattern that I am sharing here actually came several years ago from Impress Rubber Stamps when they still had a store in BELLEVUE Square….They gave away the pattern for free….and as you can see its incredibly simple but as I said its good for so many ideas…and this time I am also letting you know that it works as a mini desk calendar where it can stand on someones desk or counter with one of this two little mini page a month calendars…

mini calendars from IMPRESS RUBBER STAMPS top one is about 1 ½ in x ¾ inches square and the bottom one is like about 3 ” x  1 ½ inches… and now they found on my request the older version which was about 1 ½ ”  SQUARE…. I always love the little square ones but they kinda disappeared and so when I asked they come up with them so I think you can get them there.


So decorate your standing corner and then add your little calendar…you can decorate with embellishments , punched or die cut images or even a favorite photo…or one my favorites is to use canceled postage stamps…when I get cool postage in the mail I save it to make my cards /calendars etc…you can soak them off the paper even the newer sticky ones or just use them like a collage..or you can just make this a card as Dawn has done..

I know there is not much to this but think you will enjoy making these and IMPRESS CARDS AND CRAFTS does sell the tiny calendars and this year they also have some that are about 1 1/2 inch square.

This is short but I am heading to HALIFAX soon and I wanted to get one more blog lined up before I left…I hope to create some travel blogs and especially with photos of the Bay of FUNDI…which can have a 30 ft tide….yikes what fun…a 30ft tide in Florida would cover coast to coast underwater….I listen to lots of books on AUDIBLE and just in case you have a any interest in tides …AUDIBLE has a book called TIDES ….that is really interesting…it starts by talking about FUNDI and the thousands of SANDPIPERS that swoop in to feed on the muck when the tide is out….I hope to get photos of that and share them with you but while its not a book I might have read ….listening to it was fantastic. It’s TIDES..THE SECRET SCIENCE OF THE OCEAN..AND some other books I highly recommend are THE BOYS IN THE BOAT ..About the 1936 Olympics and the rowing team from university of WA….again fantastic story…..and JOYLAND by STEPHAN KING…nope not horror at all its actually a love story/coming of age and the narrator is fantastic…ahhh the english major in me is coming out… I will quit for now… but how about some

EYE CANDY….this is a short technique on how to create water color background for stamping or lettering… I love this and while it looks messy my suggestion is to tape your paper to a piece of Masonite or FOAMCOR board and then work over a plastic tablecloth or near your sink…this made me think of my making mud pies days.. sometimes we just need to be a big messy….Michael’s sells the hand held small spritz bottle for about 4.99 and its a great one as it has a trigger… some control of the amount of water…


AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPING BY..wire headed cyber toad…aka kath




This card will work best if you have not too heavy card stock will also work a duplex type of card stock but then if you want to put a message inside either of the openings you may need to layer a solid piece of card stock so that you can stamp or write one it. I do like the fact that it opens twice any little twist  on a card is positive if creates a smile on the person who receives it.  I also like that its pretty simple and that you only have to measure each triangle and score at the 5 inch mark to make it work…Now it is probably going to be a bit bulky to mail so you may need a slightly larger envelope and also you will probably need extra postage. Still I think its worth the effort…. and I also like the fact that it has a belly band to hold it closed and that you decorate the belly band to give the front of our card a nice look. So here is Dawn’s and she had duplex paper that was solid on one side and printed on the other but because it was dark she still need to put a layer inside to stamp/write on.

Dbl gate fold by Dawn

So give this one a try and in fact you can fold some ahead of time and then have them available to decorate and mail.





same fold just different ….sent this to my BFF who has been suffering some annoying health issues…

EYE CANDY…THE REAL VENICEIn 2013 we went to venice and I only had two days and have been dying to get back …. this is a wonderful article with pictures that show you just what a terrific city it is…. so sit back and do a little “arm chair ” travel to one of the most wonderful and romantic cities in Italy… BUON GIORNO  .GOOD DAY… PS they also had an incredible pen/calligraphy/murano glass stores in ST Marks square…well off the square but there….and the images below or me drooling and shopping…

me in calligraphy store in St Marks square oh how do I decide

power shopping ….and sensory overload and me helping someone else decide

note shopping bag….lol look at that face does that say success or what… lolA

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPING BY…..wire headed cyber toad aka kath

Dawn’s Move Me card and TRI FOLD CARD


AT first glance this looks like a card with a window shade …and an image behind it… not so…. this is the most amazing card…and YES i went directly from the video to the shopping to order this bundle ….You will have to watch it to appreciate it…


OK are you amazed…definitely SHOCK AND AWE.This is just such an incredible idea and while I think both the butterfly and the hummer are terrific images but I can only hope that they do this with some other images as well …like balloons or boats or the birds..airplanes … ok I’ll try to calm down… but I am excited about this  bundle and in addition I will post another of Dawn’s cards which is also using this butterfly die as an overlay over a solid image of a butterfly..this is a die cut that comes with the set and gives you both a solid image and the cut out image… 

aren’t they just amazing.. I will try to show you an additional card that also uses this butterfly and it uses the butterfly as a closure to hold the card closed… its the                    LIVE LOVE LAUGH TRI FOLD This is a rather simple card but the fact that she used the butterfly to hold the flap on the front closed…is really unique.  In any case I think you may find lots of ways to use the dies in this set.



BUTTERFLY CLOSURE .. then when closed the left side of the card tucks lightly under the piece of butterfly that is cut out…. creating a very unique card.

It’s not to easy to see but if you look closely at the photo above and of course watch the video you will see that she only cuts out part of the butterfly so that part is available to lift up and tuck the other side of the card under it… As I said you will probably find lots of other things /images /dies that can also be used this way…the coffee cup die….the small animals the bear , lion and elephant all of those also could be used as a CLOSURE.

In addition it doesn’t really have to be a die that you cut out half way and then tuck the other side of the card under….it could be an image that you punched out and then only glue half of it onto the card leave the other half unglued and you can also tuck the left side of the card under it…. it makes for a nice effect on the card so look at your dies, your punches and even some embellishments might work for this TRI FOLD CARD.  Of course I am drawn to this card because I am ALWAYS drawn to card that doesn’t just open like any store-bought card…. I always want the unique or special effect to my cards…the real joke to this is that and I can’t believe I am sharing this but the truth is once I have made the card and sent it out my recipient….if they text me or call me to tell me how much they loved the card I usually have to admit to them that I have no idea what I sent…. now this is both embarrassing as well as kinda hurtful to my friend as it kinda implies that I don’t really care I just sent a card…. nothing to could be farther from the truth…I actually work hard on trying to come up with a design that think my friend will both like and appreciate. However, once its in the mail…I am on to the next creation and lately I have been spending more time working on my lettering …I have been neglecting it and I really want to improve my scripts and use my design ideas to create better lettering.

So thats all for this post… AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY….wire headed cyber toad…aka kath


AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…..wire headed cyber toad..aka kath





FRENCHIE’S BOX IN A Z FOLD …..WELL we had made this Z FOLD  with a couple of different twist to it but this is really cute also as it has sorta pop ups coming out of the box… Plus its Frenchie and you know how I just love her accent and also her laid back method of making art.  She so goes with the flow… she does a birthday one and then a christmas one….so this is a popcorn video..its 25 minutes long but its worth every minute.


This is her vision of the birthday box one…and it is taken form over head so that you can see how the layers go in inside the box.

Frenchie’s bday box z card

then here are the images of her xmas one or winter one.

I really like that she suggests that you put a piece of clear plastic in the back panel cause it will give it a bit more depth and give you something to attach your pieces too. As I said its a long video but she does a good job and has lots of good suggestions and I like that for the winter /snowman one she basically designs it as she goes… she made all her pieces first and then had them ready to assemble .

Well since the video is long …I am going to keep this short… but check out Frenchie and enjoy the video..You Tube has several different videos on this same card and each is just a bit different…




I love the idea of repurposing almost anything and I am a BABY BOOMER ergo a child or the 60’s so tie dye is in my blood….

In addition to the look of this…I love the fact that this has TEXTURE…so when she says don’t smooth it out …DON’T….I still have a grocery brown paper bag full of wadded up tissue paper that you can iron onto freezer paper or  butcher paper so that you can not only actually use the tissue paper but it has great texture…but I digress…this just looks like a fun project and a great way to create interesting background.

 SCS TIE DIE TECHNIQUE  here is the link ….watch it and go create…




HINT:  I am sure some of you are going to say well I don’t know what colors to put together…or I don’t have any stampin up ink pads…no worries just stick die based inks not pigment ( probably just cause it would take forever to dry ) and then some of those ombré stamp pads already chose the colors for you and if you don’t have any of those I am sure you have some of the older rainbow pads the ones that you slide together to use and unslide to close up so they didn’t bleed together….and it you Don’t have any of either of these…..YOU NEED TO DO SOME SHOPPING..LOL…


Hero Arts
Ombré pads.

Both of these are probably, sometimes, maybe , available at Joanne’s or Michael’s but they are also available at local stamp stores and defininately at AMAZON…

  • HINT: she doesn’t actually say but implies that you only want to use three that’s COLORS or it may get muddy looking unless you want to make it a rainbow effect but again…( i taught 1st grade for many years so I believe in repetitation ) don’t try to cover all the space…leave some white space between rows…it will look better …TRUST ME…lol…ok there you have it ….so lets see a run on coffee filters at the grocery…oh and UNSENTED BABY WHIPES ALSO.

AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY…wire headed cyber toad..aka kath