Saturday, November 8, 2014

Easy Step-up Cards with Sizzix

I have admired step cards and have been wanting to find an easy way to create them. I recently got the Sizzix Framelits Die Set of 23 piece by Stephanie Barnard. This wafer-thin chemical-etched die set is fairly easy and efficient to use.
At first I used the piece in my Cuttlebug without extended cutting pads. I needed to clean the pieces up with my scissor and make folds by. They weren't perfect, but I did love the creations and wanted to make more and want to make them right. I went to Michaels and bought the extended cutting pads (B plates) as well as the adapter (C plate)! It's much easier and neater with the extended pads to make the card base. I use light tact tape to hold the paper to the framelite and put the base through the machine twice...flipping the piece once between the pads to make neat cuts and better embossed impressions for the folds.

The kit come with a handy storage envelope, needed to keep the many pieces together and the set it compatible with several machines.

The stack or sandwich for the Cuttlebug from bottom to top is as follows:

A spacer
C adapter
Die blades facing up
B cutting pad

Yes, the new long pad gets cuts and is tough to turn at the beginning...slow and even pressure is needed to turn the Cuttlebug and placement beyond the border line is recommended.
Here is my take on the original picture as shown in the detailed description:
Of course I didn't just by the set to continue to make balloon birthday cards. I like to make little scenic cards using some rubber stamped pieces which I had previously colored. The first two of the following cards were made before I got the cutting pads and if you were to check them, the backs are not the same as the later cards, but they are so very cute anyway!

I used assorted Magnolia rubber stamps and Art Impression stamps as well as the Cricut Expression and the Sizzix dies and Cuttlebug machine to illustrate this blog post. I hope you enjoyed this story and try this new item yourself.
For additional information on the designer of these dies check this out:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Prismacolor Pencils or Faber-Castell Polychromos

Image by Rick St. Dennis, scene by My Craft Studio, put together in Craft artist 2 by Carla Brooke
After enjoying Prismacolor pencils, but putting up with the broken leads and wax bloom, I tried a new pencil and I'm loving it! I believe the Faber-Castell Polychromos have a richer pigment and blend better than the Prismacolor and there is no need for the gumso or mineral spirits. These vibrant pencils are break resistant, waterproof, non-smudge and match the company's other color lines. The pencils have a creamy texture and the color saturation is wonderful. They are easy to use, blend well and even erase. They are excellent for coloring, very smooth and accurate. I love the ability to mix color and create my own shades.  I have also used my Prismacolor pencils for a color I don't have in the Polychromos. Prismacolor pencils are wax based and Polychromos are oil based.

I only have the set 24 and would enjoy owning the whole 120 pencil set! I plan to fill in with single pencils ordered in the future, from Dick Blick. My set came from a company on

The card at the top, the image of the girl and the toys around her was color with Faber-Castell Polychromos and just a bit with Prismacolor for the colors I currently do not have.

Come back to my blog to see the next pieces done using Polychromos!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Holiday Lamppost Card

Ever since I first spotted the Sizzix Holiday Lamppost die, I've wanted to buy it and design a card around it. Finally, I ordered it from my favorite scrapbook store. Of course due to the holly leaf on the front of the lamppost the December holiday cards are a natural for its' use. Without their addition a scenic would work well too.

I used it for an unusual holiday card, with the addition of a tinted piece of filler plastic for the lighted area.

Cuddlebug Machine
Jim Holtz Alterations Sizzix Bigz Die - Holiday Lamppost 657469
D'vine Swirl embossing folder
Impression Obsession cover a card brick stamp
Tinted sheet plastic
White cardstock
Black cardstock\
Green cardstock
Red cardstock
Stazon Brown solvent ink pad
Red pigment ink pad
Zip two way glue
3 in 1 Beacon advanced craft glue
140 lb.watercolor paper
Foam demensionals
Large and small acrylic blocks
Small Xmas sentiment stamp
Card base

Cut lamppost with Cuttlebug machine.

Glue parts to lamppost.

Trim plastic for light.

Cut dimensionals to size and secure.

Ink stamp with brown

Rub watercolor paper onto large stamp and pickup ink.

Stamped leaving white area for paper snow.
Put embossing folder through Cuddlebug for snow design.

Hand rip embossed paper for the look of snow.

Glue paper snow in place.
Stamp small piece of cardstock with sentiment and rub ink on edges of cardstock.
Glue sentiment

Ready to glue to card base.

Finished set of 4 cards.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Casements, Ormond Beach, Fl.

Color sketch by Sandy Brooke, Digital Image by Zuri Artsy crafty and card by Carla Brooke
The clinking of the champagne glasses and he murmur of the party goers echoed across the still waters of the Halifax River. Time went by and with the decades came people, highways, bridges and more people. If buildings could talk, the “cottage,” now called “The Casements,” located in Ormond Beach (near the Ormond Memorial Gardens), would have some great stories to tell. The Casements, named for the large hand-cut casement windows that adorn the mansion, has been beautifully restored to function as the Cultural Center for the City of Ormond Beach, Florida. Set on the shore of the Halifax River, and just two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, the late John D. Rockefeller's winter home is known as "The Jewel of Ormond Beach."
Color sketch by Sandy Brooke, Digital Image by Zuri Artsy crafty and card by Carla Brooke
 Reverend Harwood Hunting built the Casements in the early 1900s for his wife, the daughter of Mr. Goodhue, manufacturer of the Pullman automobile. Standard Oil billionaire, John D. Rockefeller purchased the house in 1918 and lived there during the winters until his death in 1937 at the age of 97. The building gets its unusual name from the charming casement windows, which face out onto the Halifax River.
Color sketch by Sandy Brooke, Digital Image by Mo's Digital Pencil and card by Carla Brooke
Life for Rockefeller consisted of golf, riding in his chauffeured car, and attending concerts at the Ormond Hotel, which was right across the street from the Casements. Rockefeller attended the Ormond street fairs where he passed out dimes to children and adults. He started with nickels but his pockets became to full and heavy with the change. Rockefeller entertained celebrities either at the Casements or on the golf course. Will Rogers, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Sir Malcolm Campbell, the British race driver; were among his invited guests. Campbell drove his racecar on Daytona Beach in 1932 at 253 miles per hour, carrying a Rockefeller dime for good luck. Rockefeller was interested in the races held on beaches at Ormond and Daytona and watched from his car. He was delighted when Henry Ford gave him the first Ford V-8 to come off the assembly line in 1931. Rockefeller’s winter sojourn included his annual Christmas party attended by friends and neighbors. His activities were curtailed in 1932 due to poor health, but continues to reside in Ormond until his death.
In 1941, the Casements was sold to Maud Van Woy. She enlarged it and added a building on the south side for students of her Junior College for Young Women. She sold it in 1951 to the Fellowship Foundation for $150,000. The foundation intended to use it, along with its Ormond Hotel, for a fellowship center and room and board for transient guests. The venture failed in 1953. Lavin-Johnson bought The Casements in 1959 for $100,000, and later that year sold it for $128,000 to Ormond Hotel Casements, Inc., which had already bought the Ormond Hotel. A 180-unit condominium was proposed for the property in 1971, but a seven-year fight by local citizens defeated that project.
The Casements was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1972, and was purchased by the city in 1973 for $500,000. On December 7, 1979, it was dedicated as The Ormond Beach Community Enrichment Center. The Casements houses displays of Rockefeller memorabilia, plus exhibits on early local history, Boy Scouting and a collection of Hungarian festival costumes and artifacts..
Color sketch by Sandy Brooke, Digital Image by Polkadoodles and card by Carla Brooke
 The Casements is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 10:00a.m. to 3:30p.m., and Saturday from 10:00a.m. to 11:30a.m. The Casements hosts numerous events throughout the year.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Operation Write Home, a Reminder

I'm always designing new cards and learning new techniques. But along with each of these new techniques, comes dozens of homemade cards! So what do you do with all these small pieces of art?

I can give some with gifts or even as gifts to relatives and friends, but then there are way too many that could surely be put to good use. Some time ago, I found Operation Write Home or OWH for short. Basically, American crafters throughout the country make cards, then send them to a shipper who packages them and sends them to our nation's armed forces overseas. These men and women use them to write home to their relatives and friends. The handmade cards are blank inside. The cards can be use for birthdays, holidays or general greetings, and all can be put into service to help our people far from home communicate with their relatives and friends at home. This organization takes A2 cards. Please check the website for additional guideline.

  What a great idea. For information on this cause, go to:


Bundle your cards off to our service men and women. Check information on the website for Operation Write Home.

Please note that if you have sent in your card donations in the past, the address has changed to just one in Washington. Please check out the blog for the latest information.

If you are designing Christmas cards to be used by our service men and women, they must be sent to the shipper by Oct. 31 at the latest. For early delivery send your cards by October 10th. You will need to start early to make this deadline and so this post is meant to be a reminder, that our people in uniform enjoy sending handmade cards home and are waiting for yours. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Tribute to a Dearly Departed Family Member

Photo: Where my dog at?!?
R.est I.n P.iece  buddy,

 The following story was written in 2003, when I worked for the News Tribune, when Moose came to live with us.
Moose, A Dog’s Profile
I had never written a dog story before but, since “Moose” is now considered the family dog, it’s time to tell his tale!
The story begins when our sons, Ian and Gordon were young boys. One morning while our younger son Ian, was waiting for the bus to school, a large yellow labrador retriever came up to him. Friendly fellow that Ian is, he quickly made friends with this new four-legged fellow. The bus came and Ian got on after saying goodbye to his new friend. He thought no more about the dog until the next morning when, at the corner, there he was, the same yellow lab. Ian was happy to see his new friend and said goodbye before climbing the bus steps. But, this time the yellow lab decided to go to school with Ian and followed him onto the bus. So, Ian had to lead him back off the bus! After that each morning Ian met the dog which kept him company while waiting for the bus and Ian would make sure that the dog didn’t follow him onto the bus. A short time went by and this four-legged friend began to meet Ian after school at that same bus stop. Ian found out that the dog’s owner lived around the block from our house. Each afternoon Ian brought the dog back to his home. The dog’s name was “Moose” and Ian always said, “ when I grow up, I want a dog just like “Moose” and I’ll name him “Moose.” Years later we all left New York State behind and moved to the sunshine of Florida. In a place that rescues dogs in Daytona Beach, Ian found our current family member “Moose.” “Moose” looks a lot like that dog of Ian’s childhood and he’s a great dog!