Monthly Archives: March 2011

Greeting Cards Made With Masterboard Technique

Four Cards Made with Masterboard Technique



An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and color.

The masterboard technique is creating  a collage starting with a plain piece of card stock  and layering it with stamped words, images and in this case torn paper. Once you’ve made your masterboard, you cut it up to use as backgrounds for greeting cards.  Use different colors of card stock, different greetings and embellishments and you can make a variety of unique and beautiful cards.

I previously posted about this technique when I wrote about making Masterboard Valentine Tags.  You might want to revisit that post and then read through this one before getting out your supplies for this project. As always, clicking on a picture will enlarge it for better viewing.

Supplies for Masterboard

1 sheet 8 1/2 x 11 inch page card stock in a light color

variety of different size and designs of rubber stamps

variety of ink

scraps of card stock and decorated paper

glue stick

Supplies for Finished Cards:

8 1/2 x 5 1/2 sheet of colored card stock, scored and folded for each card

scraps of card stock and/or decorated paper

rubber stamps and ink

paper cutter

double-sided adhesive


foam adhesive dots, glue dots, glue pen

self-adhesive glitter dots and crystals

hole punch ( 1/8 inch)

decorative punches



The masterboard doesn’t look like much when you start.  You want layers of paper and images so once you pick out the paper, stamps and ink, start with lighter colors and larger images.

Tear your first scrap into pieces about two or three inches on a side. Using a glue stick, adhere them randomly to your base piece.

If you like things symmetrical and orderly, this project may be a challenge for you.  I find it helps if after adhering one piece, I imagine it at one corner of a triangle.  I adhere the next two pieces at the other two corners of this triangle.  Continue until you have a scattering of pieces over the whole page

Since you’ll be cutting the masterboard, be sure and go all the way to the edges, even off the edges because you can trim them later.

Using your largest rubber stamp and light ink, start randomly stamping over the page. Again, be sure to cover the page from edge to edge.

Now go back to your scraps and pick something that is a little deeper in color and tear pieces that are smaller than your first ones. Using the glue stick, adhere pieces.

In the sample the green bits were from some wrapping paper I’d saved.  A collage or masterboard is a great way to use old wrapping paper, sheet music, greeting cards, magazine pictures, etc.  I often save beautiful paper and this gives me a way to reuse it.

Choose another rubber stamp and another color of ink and stamp every which way on your masterboard. I like to step away and squint at the page to see if it seems evenly covered.

Continue layering paper scraps and inked images until you are satisfied with your masterboard.

Trim any paper that goes off the edge of your page, and cut the masterboard into pieces using a paper trimmer.  The largest should be no larger than about 4 3/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches and most will be about 4 1/4 by 2 1/2 inches or smaller. You can cut them down when crafting each specific card.

Even small bits from the masterboard can find their way into different projects.  I received this glass locket on my birthday from my sweetheart and a small piece from one of my masterboards looks beautiful inside.  The front is beveled glass and the back of the locket is glass too.  I put another piece of masterboard to show through there, so if the pendant flips over it still looks great.  Putting another mini-collage inside the locket changes the look.

Back to our project at hand!  You now have lots of material to create a variety of cards.  Even with a piece of the same masterboard on each card, none of them will be exactly the same.

Pink For You Card: Use a scalloped circle punch to punch out a piece of the masterboard.  Adhere a piece of pink flowered background paper to a pink card.  Adhere a piece of green ribbon for the stem; stamp and cut out leaves and glued them in place.  Cut a  large scalloped circle from green paper and adhere the masterboard scalloped circle to the center with a small flower punched from bright pink paper in the center of that. Stamp “for you” on the background paper and put a finishing stamp, signature and/or initials on the back of the card.

Turquoise Birthday Card: Glue two narrow pieces of masterboard to a turquoise card. Stamp birthday greeting in turquoise ink on white paper and adhere to a mat of deep pink.  Mount this greeting to the card with foam adhesive dots.  Attach turquoise button with a glue dot.  Initial the back and it’s done.

Green Card: Start by stamping a decorative square on the diagonal in green ink on the green card.  Attach the masterboard piece to a rectangle of turquoise paper and adhere that to the card.  Finish with three “Dianne dots” punched from pink card stock and attached with dots from a glue pen. (The tip of small craft scissors are the tool I use to pick up the tiny paper dots and place them on the wet glue dots from the glue pen). Stamp and sign the back and another beautiful and original card is ready to send.

Here are more cards created using the masterboard technique. I’d love to see pictures of cards you make with this technique – send them to me and I’ll post them.

Thank you for visiting!

Card stock, ink, scallop circle punch, 1/8 inch hole punch and stamps: Stampin’ Up!

Floral vine stamp: Paper Source

Large blossom stamp: Impress Rubber Stamps


Filed under Crafts

Weekend Getaway

Pacific Ocean from Hwy. 1

Photographers: Rem O’Donnelley and Dianne Faw


Filed under Life

Waterfall Card

A waterfall card has four decorated squares that, when the tab is pulled, flip up to reveal the next image. People really love cards with moving parts and this has another bonus: your greeting or another image is revealed as you pull down on the tab.  Moving parts AND a surprise greeting make this a distinctive card.

Take the time to read through the directions first.  Then measure and cut your card stock, stamp all the images and finally assemble the parts.


Base: 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ piece colored card stock: Score and fold to make a card 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.   Alternatively, your base can be a non-opening card.  In this case, just cut your cards stock to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.

Layer: 5 1/4″ x 4″ white or light colored card stock: The waterfall mechanism is built on this layer. Alternatively, use a piece of decorative paper for this layer.

Pull Tab Piece: 9″ x 2″ piece colored card stock

Band: 4″ x 3/4″ piece colored card stock: This holds the pull tab piece in place.  I like to match it to the base card.

Decorated Squares: Four pieces of white or light colored card stock each: 1 7/8″ x 1 7/8″

Mats for Decorated Squares: Four pieces of colored card stock each: 2″ x 2″ (these can be matching or different from each other, your choice)

Sticky Strip adhesive or double sided tape You want something strong enough to hold all the parts together when the pull tab is pulled

Double sided adhesive such as Tombow Mono Adhesive (permanent)




Small hole punch(1/8″ or smaller)

2 Brads

Eyelet and eyelet setting tools


For embellishment:

Because of the movement, you don’t want to add anything that will stick up on the card but a little glitter on the decorated squares is nice and sparkles to catch your eye when the tab is pulled. I also used a Spritzer airbrush tool.  It is a hand-powered squeeze bulb used with ink markers to spray ink (photo below).


Cut all the pieces of card stock.

Score the pull tab (9″ x 2″ piece) at:

  • 2″
  • 2 3/4″
  • 3 1/2″
  • 4 1/4″

Fold the pull tab at score lines being careful to keep sides aligned.

You can stamp your greeting on the long end (end opposite of the score lines) stamping about 3/4 of an inch from the bottom.  I prefer assembling the card first but this is risky because if I mess up while stamping, my card is already done.

Stamp designs on layer piece of white card stock. I also spritzed with colored ink using the Spritzer tool.

Stamp designs on 1 7/8″ pieces of white card stock.  If desired, embellish with spritzed or sponged ink, or glitter.

Adhere these pieces to mat pieces of colored card stock.

Making sure band is aligned straight, adhere it about 3/4″ from the bottom of the layer piece. For strength I use a small piece of Sticky Strip (strong double-sided adhesive) here. IMPORTANT: Only put adhesive on each end of the band (about 1/2″) and don’t glue down in the center so the pull tab can move freely underneath the band.

For a more secure hold, punch a hole through the band at each end and through the layer underneath and secure brads through the holes on each side (see photo).

Put the long end of the pull tab under the band and align with the bottom edge of the layer piece. Now folding the short end up, adhere the bottom of the short edge to the center of the band.

Put adhesive on band where shown here with grid marks

Adhere the edge of the pull tab piece to the center of the band.

Decide what order your decorated squares will go and adhere the bottom square to the 2″ of the pull tab that is now adhered to the band.

Put adhesive in the 3/4″ segment of the pull tab above the piece you just attached and attach your next decorated square.

Put adhesive for second square as shown with the grid marks

Continue attaching the last two decorated squares.

Adhere the layer piece to the card base.  I like to use Sticky Strip right under where the band is but regular double-sided adhesive or double-sided tape will work fine.

Pull the pull tab out (if you haven’t stamped your greeting yet, now is a good time to do that). Punch a hole about 1/4″ from the bottom center of the pull tab and set an eyelet in the hole.  Here’s a link with directions for setting an eyelet.

Thread a piece of ribbon (about 10″) through the eyelet and knot.

If you don’t have eyelets and an eyelet setting tool, you can cut a strip of paper (about 3 1/2″ x 7/8″) fold in half and adhere at the end of your pull tab to make a tab to pull your pull tab!

Stamp and/or sign the back of your original creation and give it to a deserving person in your life.


You can turn the whole waterfall card on it’s side with the pull tab pulling out on the right.  I did that here and decided to make stamped images that show a little stop-motion action.  As you pull out on the tab, the dome lifts off and reveals a birthday cake and candle.  To see this card in motion, go here.

Instead of stamping your layer piece you can use decorative paper.  I used cute paper printed with animal faces for this card and I decided to make my pieces a little wider.  This card also shows a paper tab instead of eyelet and ribbon for pulling out the pull tab piece.

For this card my images are on pieces that are 1 7/8″ x 2 1/4″ and the mats are 2″ x 2 3/8″.  I matched the width of the pull tab to the width of the mat pieces.

Finally, a word about crafting with friends. Since a good friend and fellow-crafter moved to Seattle I’ve been sad about not having her close by to craft together.  That is until we spent the other evening crafting together via Skype!  It was a lot of fun making this card together (with another friend there in Seattle too), laughing and chatting and showing each other our project.  We looked at paper choices and had a wonderful, relaxing time of shared craft therapy.

I challenge myself to make time for crafting and friends and encourage you to do the same.  And as mentioned before, if you make any cards from directions I’ve posted, please send me a photo and I will post it! Send to

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

Card stock, ink, stamps, brads, eyelet, ribbon, glitter, hole punch and Spritzer from  Stampin’ Up!

Decorative paper from Michaels.


Filed under Crafts

The Comforts of Winter: Cooking Class Week 3

Our final cooking class focused on seafood. Poached fish served on a bed of herbs cloaked in a rich Meyer lemon aioli, pasta with mussels and squid in a saffron cream sauce with fennel balanced by a beautiful winter salad of chicory, cara cara oranges, and pistachios in a sherry vinaigrette.  The perfect, simple dessert is pictured in part above: tangerines, lovely, fresh medjool dates and what you can’t see are the tiny, delicious, addictive sesame cookies.

Tom advices getting dessert taken care of so you can guarantee a great finish to your meal.  These unassuming little cookies are made with toasted sesame seeds with a few black sesame seeds included for interest. The dough is dropped by half teaspoonfuls and the resulting little cookie really could be habit-forming.  While the cookie baking got going, some people starting prepping the chicory salad.

A combination of bitter winter greens:  frisee, escarole, red and white endive, sweet pink-fleshed cara cara oranges, and toasted pistachio nuts were dressed in a sherry vinaigrette.

Both zest and juice from Meyer lemons are used in the aioli.  A salad of herbs, small croutons and olives is topped with the poached fish and then draped with aioli. So many flavors and textures in one dish – wonderful.

I don’t think I’ll ever prep squid but having seen it demonstrated twice I could…if I wanted to.  The pasta was bursting with mussels and squid, golden with saffron, flecked with green fennel fronds and rich with cream – a decadent dish.

Here is the complete menu:


Recipes are here, on Tom’s site.

I’ve been eating cara cara oranges (I found them at Trader Joe’s) almost daily since I first had them in this class.  Salads made with bitter greens are now part of my winter dinner menus.  I bought fennel for the first time last week.

The other day I was inspired to poach fish, in this case some frozen Pacific Cod I picked up at Safeway, not Berkeley Bowl, toast some croutons and stir together a very quick lemon mayonnaise.  I fixed an herbaceous green salad, topped it with the fresh croutons, sprinkled on some capers to sub for the green olives I didn’t have and nestle my poached fish on top.  It wasn’t quite the same as the dish Tom created in class, but it was very good and I will try it again.  Next time I’ll really make the aioli.

You can too!  All Tom’s recipes from this class and much more are on his blog, Whole Hog Blog, here.  Stop by and take a look and see what you are inspired to try. Even if you just decide to have some tangerines and dates, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this post.

1 Comment

Filed under Cooking


Jade. Celadon. Hunter.  Lime.  Army.  Kelly.  Sea.  Olive.  Mint. Teal.  Green. It is a popular buzzword for sustainable building. There is, of course, a certain frog and his lament about being green.  Green can refer to someone or something that is immature or unripe, to someone who is ill, to leafy plants eaten as vegetables and to golf courses and park land.

Is is that last definition that I experienced hiking on Saturday.  Spring is almost here and it seemed like nearly everything around me was green. You may have noticed I changed the background color here.  When I started writing this, I’d planned on changing it every few months to keep things interesting.  After that hike green seemed like the obvious color. With St. Patrick’s day just around the corner,  I offer my little tribute to green.

I parked on Crown Road (the Goodhill Road side) in Kentfield and hiked down the Harry Allen trail to Phoenix Lake.  In the picture, above, I’m almost at the top of the trail.  Mt. Baldy is on the upper right and you can just see a bit of Phoenix Lake in the upper center portion of the picture (click on it for a bigger image).  The lake is a little diamond of dark green.

The path was populated with volunteers hard at work doing trail maintenance .  A salute to Marin Conservation League and their crew clearing roots, resetting heavy wooden steps, scraping slippery moss from a wooden bridge and other tasks. Molly was delighted with all the people and attention and charged downhill with me trying to stay upright.

When we got down to the lake level, sunshine enhanced all the shades of green including the new grass growing on Mt. Baldy.

Continuing around the lake I looked back for this view of Mt. Tam – a beautiful shade of blue to accent the green palette. Then on around the lake on the Phoenix Lake trail.

California Buckeye’s are one of the few trees I could pick out and name on sight and they’re all in new leaf.  The leaves come out in this little cluster and then open up like little umbrella’s.

Another touch of blue, another waterfall and then the hike back up (and up, and up) the newly-groomed trail to Crown Road and my car.  Molly was still full of energy, but I was a little worn out.  Most of the volunteers were continuing to work and recognized us from passing earlier.  A good hike in our little corner of Oz.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Life

Leaving 50

Today is my birthday and I’m 51 years old. I’m finding that 51 doesn’t have the special cachet that 50 held.  There is less drama and hoopla when turning 51 than there was at turning 50. And maybe I’m just being really sensitive but there seems to be less people saying things like “You – 51? No!” and more people offering me anti-aging skin care products.

I’ve been thinking about aging and trying to pin down my own feelings around the topic.  I wonder how long the term “middle-aged” can be used.  I certainly don’t expect to be alive at 102 so I don’t think middle-aged is a very accurate description of who I am.  So I wonder what IS?

I like my birthday and will celebrate “Birthday Month” throughout March if I am so indulged.  It also comes just a few days after the anniversary of the day I met my boyfriend, Rem.  This year we celebrated 12 years together.  So there is a nice progress from our annual Valentine’s projects to our anniversary and to my birthday.

Turning 50 was special for me and it was very positive.  I wanted to mark the date and celebrate it with something special.  I requested and received lovely diamond earrings from Rem.  Every time I put them on I feel cherished.

A friend hosted a circle of wise, beautiful and funny women from different areas of my life to gather and mark the occasion.  I asked each of them for a birthday wish in the form of a song, blessing, poem or whatever expression they wanted.  The food was potluck and it was delicious.  There were flowers, singing, and abundant creativity. I was honored and celebrated.

This year I haven’t made plans much beyond a long weekend on the coast later in the month.  I’m o.k. with a quieter, more low key birthday.  Our visit to Sea Ranch will include some crafting, walks along the bluffs and beaches, cooking, reading, and napping.

I’m going to make an appointment for a vigorous total body scrub down and massage at the Korean-style Imperial Spa in San Francisco.  I hope to visit the gardens at Filoli in Woodside with a friend to enjoy whatever is in bloom.  If we go soon, we’ll see the daffodils.   They are one of my favorite flowers: the sight of blooming daffodils means my birthday is almost here.  The picture at the top of this post is from a visit to Filoli last February.

Another friend and I will be getting together for dinner and to work on our Image Journals, a wonderful creative outlet I’ll blog about another time. She has a January birthday so this is for both of us.

In the last few months I’ve started this blog and continue to love sharing my thoughts and recipes.  In late September I decided to make healthier choices with my eating and exercise.  I’m logging it all daily;  weighing and measuring my food, keeping track of my workouts, and going to Jazzercise. Since then I’ve lost 37.5 lbs.  I’m more active and I’m eating lots more veggies, fruit, whole grains and beans and less whole eggs, ice cream, bread and butter.

I’m really proud of myself and very grateful to one friend for suggesting the food logging site, My Food Diary, since it had been helpful for her when she wanted to take off baby-weight. I’m also thankful to my friends and family members who’ve been supportive of these new choices I’m making.  I do feel better, have more energy, and believe that losing weight is making an investment in my long-term health.  I do admit to one small regret: I’ve learned that the lines on my 51-year-old face show up more since I’ve lost weight.

In spite of this, I wanted some new pictures of myself.  The picture I’ve been using in my profile was taken a year ago at my birthday celebration.  It represents the whole day and the joyful event.   So, the other day, I got this idea: to ask people in my life to take my picture.  I want to see not just the lines in my forehead but to see a thinner, or as I like to think of it, a more concentrated me.  I also thought if I had different friends taking the photos I would dwell less on whether or not my eyes are the same size (they’re not) or if I should should start saving for Botox and instead associate the pictures with the photographers and the experience of semi-spontaneous portraits.  So far, so good!

Call me a boomer or mature or fifty-something – it doesn’t really matter.  I think it turns out that my birthday plans for turning 51 are kind of like my life plans: take care of myself, spend time with family and friends, do the things I love and just keep on living.  Happy Birthday to me!

Thanks to my photographers, in order:

Jim Arnold

Rem O’Donnelley

Eileen Acker

Rem O’Donnelley

Maridel Barr

Nicole Cruz


Filed under Life