Monthly Archives: January 2011

Tri Shutter Card

A beautiful work of art for someone very special.

This card goes all out! Sometimes you want a card that is a little over the top. A Tri Shutter card is that. I saw a tutorial on Splitcoaststampers and knew I wanted to try it.

It does take some time and patience but it really isn’t that difficult does take plenty of time and it is very impressive. This is best tried by a crafter with some experience under his or her belt. It’s been suggested to me that I should emphasize how important it is to read all the directions once through before starting, then have them close by for reference as you go through the steps. The card base is cut and folded into the fun fold-out style and then layered with paper and embellished. This is a chance to use lots of printed paper and contrary to my typical style, I like to use more embellishments than usual.

Once again, I urge you to read all the directions and look at all the pictures before starting this project.


5 ½” x 12″ piece of card stock

card stock scraps to cut for layers

printed paper for more layers

paper cutter with cutting and scoring blades (I have the Fiskars Triple Track paper trimmer)

If you have a paper cutter without a scoring blade, you can use a bone folder to score the folds. I’ve heard a knitting needle is a good tool for scoring along with a ruler, but I haven’t tried it yet. 2/6 update: my sister was very successful using a letter opener to score her card stock.  She had a magazine under the card for padding so when she scored it was only the card and not the table underneath.

bone folder for making sharp creases

double-sided adhesive (I like Tombow)

embellishments  – buttons, self-adhesive jewels, ribbon, etc.

pop-up dots and glue dots for embellishments

stamps and ink to complete the card

First a note about my paper cutter. My old one had a fold-out ruler that came out on the lower right side of the cutter. The fold-out ruler on this one comes out on the upper left. So I use mine upside down with the cutting track on the left and the fold-out ruler on the right. Sorry, it’s just what I’m used to.

Start by removing your cutting blade from your paper cutter. This is to safe-guard you from cutting when you mean to score your paper. I’ve learned this the hard way!

Using the scoring blade on your paper cutter, score at 2", 4", 8" & 10".

With your paper horizontal, score at 2 inches, 4 inches, 8 inches and 10 inches (click on picture to see close up).

Replace the cutting blade and turn your paper vertically on the cutter.

This pattern shows where to cut.

The center of the blade has a little arrow or other guide to show where you're cutting.

Measure 1 ½ inches from the edge and cut between the 2 inch score line and the 10 inch score line.

The cutting blade on your paper trimmer should have a guide to show exactly where the blade is cutting (see photo).

Turn the paper around and do the same thing from the other long side.

You’ve cut between the 2″ score line and the 10″ score line.
Set cutter aside. With one short end towards you, fold card at the 2 inch score line, folding away from you.

Flip card over so the same short end is in front of you and fold at the 4 inch score line, again folding away from you.

Repeat the flip and fold at the 8 inch score line.

Finally flip back and fold towards you at the 10 inch score line. (it will make more sense when you look at the next two photos)

Crease all the folds with a bone folder (or your fingers).

Once it is folded.

Now reverse the folds on the center section on the 4 inch score line and the 8 inch score line so they are going the opposite direction as the original folds.

View from above with the center sections folds reversed.

Check your work against the photo above and the following photo.  If your card has all the same folds, your base card is done and ready to layer!  If something looks wrong, perhaps you’ve reversed the folds.


Cut layers at least 1/8 inch smaller than the size of each section. I marked a “pattern” card with letters with each section of the same size getting the same letter of the alphabet.

When deciding your layout and what papers to use, you may want to know what will be showing on the front when the card is closed.  Fold the card closed to note what part of the card is showing.  You can also compare the closed card in my pictures to the fully opened one to see what shows when it is closed.

Each section labeled (two A's, 4 B's etc.)

The measurements that follow will give you two layers for each section. If you just want one layer, you may want to use the smaller (second layer) size.

First layers:

A (x2) 1 7/8 x 5 3/8

B (x4) 1 7/8 x 1 3/8

C (x2) 1 7/8 x 2 3/8

D (x2) 3 7/8 x 1 3/8

E (x1) 3 7/8 x 2 3/8

This is all the first layers.

Second layers added using pretty printed paper.

Second layers:

A (x2) 1 3/4  x 5 1/4

B (x4) 1 3/4 x 1 1/4

C (x2) 1 3/4 x 2 1/4

D (x2) 3 3/4 x 1 1/4

E (x1) 3 3/4 x 2 1/4

Once you have all your layers cut, carefully adhere them to the card base.

Embellish and complete the card.(Don’t forget to click on photo to see it close up).

Finished card showing all layers plus embellishments.

Here it is closed...

...and one more look at it open.


Filed under Crafts

Brownie in a Mug

One mug, one brownie

Sometimes nothing hits the spot like chocolate. A warm, freshly-baked brownie right out of the oven is hard to resist. But having a whole pan of brownies in the kitchen can be too much of a good thing (and really tempting). I’d seen several links for “Brownie in a Mug” but hadn’t tried one until last week. It was a cold night and the idea of a warm, chocolaty brownie was just the comfort food that I wanted.

I looked at several recipes and liked this one I saw on Chow I didn’t change the recipe much, but I did simplify the instructions, switch out one tablespoon of vegetable oil for a tablespoon of egg white and reduce the sugar to lighten it up a bit. It isn’t exactly health food, but making just one brownie means I don’t have the whole pan left to eat and it really satisfies that desire for chocolate.

This also makes a nice treat for your Valentine and it’s ready in no time at all. Mine thought it was yummy, especially topped with ice cream.

Brownie in a Mug

Adapted from “Adirao” on Chow


For each serving:

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

2 Tbs sugar

2 Tbs all purpose flour

A dash salt

2 Tbs water

1 Tbs vegetable oil

1Tbs egg white

Few drops vanilla extract


  1. In a large coffee mug, stir together dry ingredients with a fork.
  2. Add water, oil, egg white and vanilla and stir until well combined.
  3. Microwave for 60-75 seconds: 60 seconds for a more moist brownie, 75 for more uniformly done.
  4. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a spoon.



Filed under Cooking

What inspires you?



1.aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something

I’m inspired by lots of different things. When I’m reading a novel set in a different culture, I may be inspired, for example, to cook curry for dinner.  Or  seeing a combination of colors in nature I may want to try them together in a card.

The other day I’d been struggling with getting my blog set up and my first posts written. I read this at the end of an email and it was just what I needed to read.

“Write for others to read,
Help for others to learn,
Be kind for others to feel,
Have peace for others to emulate,
Be humble to teach,
Always give thanks and dream.”

Karen Monroe

I asked my friend about it and she replied, “I wrote it in an effort to remind myself of what to strive for every day.”  Well, thank you, Karen for writing for me to read. I’m inspired.


Filed under Life

Alphabet Valentine

Rubber Stamp Love

This is a clean, not-too-mushy Valentine. A classic red card with black font on white paper accented with a little bright pink.


alphabet rubber stamp set (not too big)

4.25″ x 5.5 ” red card stock (half sheet of 8.5 x11)

pink, black and white card stock (size depends on stamps used)

red, pink & black felt pens

black ink pad

double-sided adhesive

paper cutter

stamps, ink and other embellishments to complete the card

1. Establish the size of your white paper. Mine is about 2.75″ x 3″. It depends on the alphabet set you use. I used an alphabet rubber stamp set from Hero Arts.  The size of the set, when pushed all together in a block,  is about 3 1/8 inches on each side.  Cut white paper.

2. Line the stamps up in a grid of 5 rows with 6 blocks in each.  Set the i, o and u on end so you remember not to stamp them in black.  Stamp all the other letters  in black ink (see finished card for alignment).  If  a letter doesn’t fully stamp, carefully ink in missing portion on your white paper with a black felt pen.

3. Ink the letters i and u with a red felt pen and stamp them.

4. Using a pink felt pen draw a small pink heart where the o would go. Let ink dry.

5. Measure and cut black paper at least 1/8 inch larger on both sides then white paper. Do the same with pink paper.

6. Adhere layers together.

5. Score and fold red card stock for the card and adhere alphabet piece to the front.

6. Embellish as desired. I used three dots punched from the pink paper as an accent (I call these “Dianne Dots and will write about them more another time).  Stamp or write message inside card.

7. Complete your card with a signature or initials on the back and give to your Valentine.

"I Heart U"

I had the idea of printing out the alphabet portion on your computer. What I realized is the computer will cleverly align the letters depending on their size. This is good for text but not helpful for this project.

Paper and ink from Stampin’ Up!

Tag Alphabet and Alphadot sets in first photo from Stampin’ Up!

Celtic Lowercase Alphabet set from Personal Stamp Exchange (out of business but stamps may be available through eBay).

Happy Upper Case Alphabet set from Hero Arts. I found it at Joann Fabric and Craft Store.

Tombow adhesive.

Thanks for stopping by!


Filed under Crafts

Paper-Strip-Heart Valentine

Paper strip hearts

Valentine’s Day will be here in less than a month. This is a beautiful card that isn’t hard to make but looks it. For those of you not keen on the holiday it is still a great card for a birthday greeting, thank you or thinking of you card for someone you care about.  The heart is adapted from my friend and fellow crafter, Margaret Melsh – thanks, Margaret!

Paper strip heart supplies


8.5″ x 5.5″ colored card stock, folded in half

card stock scraps

thin scrap paper – as a base for your paper strips

patterned paper – Double-sided paper is nice because it gives you two coordinating pieces. Optional: old sheet music and/or foreign language newspapers.

paper cutter

double-sided adhesive – I love Tombow permanent mono adhesive

heart-shaped punch – (mine is about 1 and 5/8 inches across)

~ or heart-shaped template (homemade is fine), pencil and scissors

pop-up adhesive dots

stamps, ink and other embellishments to complete the card


Cutting paper strips.


1. Using paper cutter, cut patterned paper into strips right around 1/4 inch wide, some a little thicker, some thinner.

Glue the strips to your thinner scrap paper.

2. Cover an area of your scrap paper with rows of adhesive, large enough for your heart shape.

3. Arrange the strips of patterned paper on the adhesive, edges touching, to make a solid section of paper big enough to fit the heart.  If you are making more than one card, you can cover a larger area and punch as many hearts as needed.

Have the opening of the heart facing you so you can see where to punch.

4. Punch heart from this paper.  Turn the opening of the punch up when you insert your paper so you can see right where you are punching that heart. If you are using a template, carefully draw around the template with pencil and cut out shape.  Set aside heart and complete the rest of your card.

5. Score and fold your 4.25″ x 5.5″ piece of card stock for the card.

6. Cut one piece of colored card stock, patterned paper or old sheet music or newspaper large enough to mat the heart. For the size of heart punch I use, my first layer is about 2 inches square.

7. Cut another piece of card stock a little larger to layer under the first piece – I make it a 1/4 larger on both sides. If you like, you can add another layer.

8. Adhere your layers to your card.

9. I like the heart to pop so I mount it using pop-up adhesive dots and adhere to the paper layers.

Mon Ami card

Voila! The finished card.

10. Stamp or write a greeting and add embellishments as desired to complete your card. Michaels 1$ bins are great for inexpensive stick-on rhinestones.

11. Be sure and sign the back of your beautiful handcrafted card.  I like to include a stamp that says “handcrafted”, my initials and the date.

12. I almost forgot the best part of all: send or deliver your card to your special sweetie!

Asian Background Paper Strip Heart card

Different papers completely change the look.

I wanted to use a Chinese newspaper for the background on the red card but couldn’t find one.  My work- around was to go here and put in the lyrics of a song and translated it into Chinese! Then I printed it out and used it for my background.

Paper strip heart mini cards

Make sweet mini cards with the hearts.

Stamps, ink, adhesive and some paper for this project are from Stampin’ Up!

Heart punch is from Paper Shapers.

Remaining paper is from my collection and could be from any of the following stores or sites: Paper Source, Scrapbook Territory, Joann, or  Michaels.


Filed under Crafts

Hello world!

Welcome! I love crafting and cooking and look forward to sharing my ideas and tips with you.

Outdoor labyrinth, Grace Cathedral. San Francisco, 2/2010.

This is my very first post and I have loads to learn about blogging so I decided to include a picture of a labyrinth as a symbol of this journey I am starting.


Filed under Life