The Myth of Creativity 

In all my years of blogging and teaching paper crafting – and in teaching hundreds of card makers  around the world – the #1 thing that I hear, over and over again is this:

“I am not creative”, “I am not artistic”, “I can’t come up with my own ideas”,  “I don’t know how to take an idea and make it my own”.

Different ways of saying it – but ultimately all saying the same thing.  “I am not creative!”

I am here to tell you that this belief is absolutely, NOT TRUE!

There is a wide-spread misconception about creativity that is perpetuated almost everywhere we turn.

The first definition of creativity you see when you look at the  online dictionary is “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.”

Below that, it lists the “Full Definition of Creativity” as the quality of being creative, the ability to create. If you dig further and look at “create,” the dictionary states that to create is “to make or produce something, to cause something new to exist”

Most people mistakenly interpret “new” as “original”.  They are NOT the same thing.

When something is “original” it is “the first of it’s kind”

Whereas when you make (i.e. create) something – you are making something new. “New” meaning – you brought it to life, so to speak. It was not in existence, in EXACTLY the same way before you made it.

In the grand scheme of humanity and the billions of humans that populate the earth – there are relatively few things that are truly unique and original.

Let’s bring this a little closer to home. Let’s look at this in the context of crafting. Almost all of our “hottest trends” today – right now – are things that have been trendy in the past – either in exactly the same form, or in a slightly different form. Sometimes from within the same industry, other times from another industry.

Look at Multi-layered stamping – it used to be called 2-step stamping.

Or look at watercolouring or other mixed media techniques – they have taken the paper crafting world by storm in the last few years – but these products and techniques have been around forever in the art industry.

Remember paisley and plaid?  First we saw them incorporated into fashions. Then they made their way into papers and stamps. Then they disappeared, then they emerging in clothing again.

None of these things are “original” or “unique”. Does that mean they are not creative? Or that they are not being used creatively?

Absolutely not!

Creativity is not a talent. It’s not a gift. It is an element of every thing that you do.

It is a part of who you are.

Creativity is not something you learn.

Look at a child. Give them crayons, colour pencils, markers, scissors, glue and paper, and they create.

Certainly you have to teach them how to hold a pencil and how to use a pair of scissors safely,  you have to teach them to colour on paper instead of a wall. You may even have to teach them a few techniques (how to draw a circle, a square a triangle).

What you do not have to teach them is how to express themselves creatively.  They just do.

It’s when people come along and starting giving opinions, critiquing, maybe even criticizing – not necessarily maliciously – perhaps with total love and intent to help. But it’s when that begins to happen that they start doubting themselves and what they are creating.

Over time, that child becomes the adult, who no longer “feels” or believes they are creative.

You ARE creative. Believe it, wholeheartedly.

It is there – inside you – you just need to learn how to release your creativity.

That’s what I am here for.

I have been where you may be now.  Believing that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body.

Look at where I am now – embracing my creativity, and continuing to grow and develop creatively.

How did I get to where I am now?  Trial, error and experimentation, learning, trying, reflecting and then starting over as many times as necessary. Eventually I created a process for myself.

It’s not one step, or two steps, it can’t be accomplished in one day, a week or even a month. It’s ongoing and ever-evolving.

But it can be done, and I will be showing you how.

In the meantime though – this is the truth I want you to embrace – you are creative.

Tell yourself this: “I am Creative”

Every day. Write it out, type it out or stamp it out using some fun fonts and colours. Create multiple copies. Stick it up everywhere you spend time – stick it to your bathroom mirror, in the kitchen, place it on your night table, or frame it and hang it up above your bed.

As many times as it takes – until you stop telling yourself (or others) that you are not creative.

Now go and do it.

Right now!

If you need to kickstart your creativity – join my free 5-day ecourse to help jolt your Creativity Back into Gear!  CLICK HERE to sign up now.

Building a Focal Point

Building a Focal Point

Clean and Simple card design requires one and only one focal point. A clear place that your eye is immediately drawn to.

Look at your card and imagine it in three equal parts, your focal point should be placed in the first or third part or between 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 as shown in the pictures below. Your focal point should never be placed the the center of that 2nd panel, it is said to be unappealing to the eye and does not draw your eye in as a focal point should.

Once you place your focal point, you have more freedom design-wise. Here you can do your embellishing, as much or as little as you’d like. Everything should be built around your focal point, adding to it and not drawing the eye away from it.

Let’s look at my sample…

140219 - Building a focal point


I have placed my focal point between the 1st & 2nd panel. My butterfly serves as my focal point. The contrast of the Powder Pink cardstock against the Early Espresso and Whisper White really makes it pop.

Now, I kept my focal point simple, but you could do so much here …embossing, patterned paper, a row of rhinestones, a few small flowers…as long as you keep the rest of the card clean (white space!) you can go crazy on your focal point! You can even stamp your sentiment on the card base leaving you more room to add interest to your focal point, like I have.

The card above uses one of my fall-to-layouts! I use this design often, moving my focal point to different areas. Here are a few sketches to help you get started.

Your sentiment can be placed on the strip, just below the circle or in the circle.

I hope I’ve helped you define a focal point in CAS design!
If you have any questions, please ask!

Colour Theory Part 2

Colour Theory Part 2

In a recent blog post I shared some basic guidelines about how colours work in relation to each other, you can read all about it HERE

Today we are going to put this information together into some practical applications.  Please remember that in using some of these colour combinations, you are applying it to the whole card or project, not just a section.  So combine these within the image, the cardstock, and the embellishment.


colour theory

  • Do use strong contrasts in your card.  Whether this is used within the paper image relationship, or just the image or just the paper.  Strong contrasts can create bold eye catching designs whereas using all the same value (such as everything done light or everything dark) can create a visually boring creation. Highlighting with a gel pen emphasises this idea of highlighting with a light colour to emphasise and bring forward a certain area.
  • Do use complementary colours, but not necessarily with the same intensity.  Two bright complementary colours are definitely vibrant, but often, can be too vibrant.  They become hard to look at after a period of time.  Instead try pairing a bright hue, with a toned down version of its complementary companion.  This can be done either with sponging or picking a duller version of the same hue.  (its is not to say that the all bright never works, just that it may not be the most ideal).
  • Remember that cool colours visually appear to move back within a composition, and warm colours visually appear to move forward.  When colouring, this can be an important trait for emphasising your image.  In terms of CS choice, it is prefered to stay within the same temperature range (so all cool, or all warm)
  • Try out a monochromatic colour scheme, where you are using the different values of one hue within the same composition, and then pair it with some sort of neutral
  • Do try Analogous colours, or colours which are located next to each other. So for instance Red, Red-Orange and Orange-Yellow would all look great together, as would other colours which lie next to each other.
  • Do rely on the colours used within Designer Paper, they have chosen out harmonious colour combinations.
  • Do pick up a colour wheel which can show you interesting ways of using triangles and rectangles to create harmonious colour combinations. These combinations are known as Triad’s (triangle) and Tetrad (square). By drawing a Triangle which touches three colours, and a square or rectangle which touches four colours, you will achieve successful combinations.

Analogous Colour Scheme

Analogous colour schemes use colors that are next to each other on the colour wheel. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs. Analogous colour schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye. Make sure you have enough contrast when choosing an analogous colour scheme. Choose one colour to dominate, a second to support. The third colour is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.

Triadic Colour Scheme

A triadic colour scheme uses colours that are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. Triadic colour schemes tend to be quite vibrant, even if you use pale or unsaturated versions of your hues. To use a triadic colour scheme successfully, the colours should be carefully balanced – let one colour dominate and use the two others for accent

Rectangle or Tetrad Colour Scheme 

The rectangle or tetrad colour scheme uses four colours arranged into two complementary pairs. Tetrad colour schemes works best if you let one colour be dominant. You should also pay attention to the balance between warm and cool colours in your design. It is a rich colour combination.

How to Make a Standard Card Base for Greeting Cards

How to Make a Standard Card Base for Greeting Cards

To make a greeting card, you first need a card base. This is a plain piece of cardstock that’s been cut and folded into the shape of a card. It’s called a ‘card base’ because it’s the base onto which you stamp images, layer papers, etc. to create your greeting card.

Although you can buy pre-made card bases, they’re also very easy to make! Today I’ll show you two (2) ways to  make a standard card base from a sheet A4 cardstock, using just a few basic tools.

What is a Standard Card Base?

standard card base — also sometimes called an ‘A6’ card base — is one that measures 105 x 148mm (10 x 15) when finished. This size of card base is the most common one that stampers use to make greeting cards.

Once you learn how to make a standard card base, you can apply the same technique to make card bases in any size you like.

Watch this short video while share with you 2 ways to cut your cardstock to create a cardbase

Want to see more quick tips?  Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel and be notified each time I upload a new video,

Smart Shopping

Smart Shopping 

Do you consider yourself to be a smart shopper? I have one thing I always keep in mind when I do my smart shopping and it’s a secret I call  “5 before I buy”.  Before I buy something I make sure I can think of five (5) ways of using it.  This way I can make sure I make wise choices plus it also helps me with my creativity.

So here’s the secret, whenever I get a new catalogue and find a stamp set that I  like … I often will put a sticky note on it with some ideas including sketches on how I want to use it.  So this is great for when my creativity is just out of whack  I can grab this off the back and I know where to start.

Smark Shopping

I put the sticky note on the back of the product before I put away, so that when I’m ready to create I just grab it out and I have some ideas ready.  Again, I don’t always do the post-it note trick but I find that when I do it, it really helps me to use that product, so I’m trying to get into the habit of doing it every time I receive my order to add a post-it note with ideas.

5 Before I Buy

Here are 5 tips to help you come up with 5 ways to use a stamp set or product before you buy.

  1. Can I alter?  The first one is can I alter this product, can I do something to change the look of it or can I use it to alter something I already have?  Then I can get more uses from it and other products.
  2. Can I use with a tool? Can I use this in combination with a tool I already have.  Can I use this in combination with my die cut machine, or an embossing folder, a punch or my Stampin’ Blends.  I find I can get more uses if I combine my tools.  Because tools never go away.  Say the product I’m considering is a tool for example a die, I try and think of different ways to use that die.  If I can use it with things other than paper, like maybe felt or fabric, so I try  to get multiple uses out of it.
  3. Can I use a technique?  I love techniques, they’re a great way to stretch your product and stretch your creativity, so I try to think if this product would be good to use with a technique
  4. Is it my style? Sometimes its fun to buy things that ain’t my style but sometimes that limits me creatively.  Or if its something that feels like it works with me, I know I will use it alot more in the future.
  5. Do I LOVE it?  Sometimes you just gotta get something because you absolutely love it.  But this tip I usually put on the back burner I try to think about how I can use my stamp set with the other tips I’ve given.

So what better way to show this than with an example.  I’ve taken one stamp set and share with you five (5) different ways to use it.  The stamp set I’m using today is “Birthday Wishes for You”  


Creating a Watercolour Wash with ink pads and aqua painters.


Colour blocking – stamping across two solid colours of cardstock


Colouring image using Stampin’ Blends


Stamping directly on patterned paper


Watercolour Pencils and Blender Pencils


Next time you’re looking to purchase a new item, brainstorm multiple ideas.  Use the five tips I’ve shared to help come up with new ways to use your stamping products.



Colour Theory

Colour Theory

There are so many important decisions to make when it comes to card making, but one of the first most important decisions that you need to address once the theme has been decided upon is colour. Now there are a lot of things to consider when choosing colour, and the purpose of this post is to direct you on some ways to choose your colours as related to paper, embellishments, and colouring of images. First we will be addressing some key terms, next we will move on to the relationships between colours, and we will finish off with some great tips to achieving a winning colour combination.

Key Terms:

  • Hue: refers to the purest form of the colour ( for instance red, orange, magenta are all hues)
  • Temperature: the temperature of a colour is classified as either warm or cool. Any amount of blue in a colour will give it a cool classification. The rest are considered warm. There are warm and cool reds, warm and cool yellow’s, and by the nature of its colour, blue will always fall to the cool side, even when it has the characteristics of a warm colour (anything with the smallest amount of blue is considered cool).
  • Intensity: This refers to the brightness or dullness of a colour. The brightest of any intensity of a colour is called its Hue (so ink or watercolor crayon with little dilution). As you darken or grey down the color, you are dulling it down and reducing its intensity.
  • Value: refers to the lightness and darkness of a colour. The lightest form of the colour is the tint, and the darkest form of the colour is a shade. Shades are achieved by adding more black or darkness to a colour.

Primary Color Wheel:

The primary colour wheel shows the most basic hues in our colour system. All colours can be made from these three hues (Red, Yellow, Blue), but no colours can create these three hues.


Secondary Colour Wheel:

The secondary colours are the colours which are created when you mix two primary colours together. So Red and Yellow create Orange, Blue and Yellow create Green, Red and Blue create Violet. These secondary colours are also called hues. Now if you look at the colours represented in this wheel, you will notice that specific colours lay opposite each other. These opposing colours are called Complementary Colors, and they are the colors which intensify each other. So if you look at all the complementary pairs, you will see that Red and Green are complementary, Yellow and Violet, and finally Blue and Orange. Each of these combinations will make the other seem brighter and more vibrant.

Tertiary Color Wheel:

The next hues we are going to look at are called the Tertiary colours. These colours result when we mix a Primary colour with one secondary colour which lies directly to the Left or Right of it. In this photo, we have shown the names inside of the corresponding colour. The complementary colour theory tightens even more over here as we view for instance the Blue-Green being complementary to the Red-Orange.

Here is the final view of the completed colour wheel, which shows the different values along all the colour relationship. Remember, the value refers to the lightness and darkness of a colour. This will be a visual guide when viewing the complementary relationships. You will also see a dividing line which shows off the cool vs warm colours. The colour labelled Crimson, can also be referred to as Magenta.

Be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter, where I will share how to put the colour theory to practice.

How to Clean Your Stamps

Back to Basics: How to Clean Your Stamps

One of the best habits to get into, is to always clean your stamps in between colours and once you’ve finished using them  before putting them away.  By taking that extra little time you will ensure you don’t contaminate your ink pads and/or get muddy images when you stamp.

I’ve created a video series to help share with you different methods for cleaning your stamps

General Tips for Cleaning Your Stamps

Getting into the habit of cleaning your stamps is essential – in between using different ink colours as well as before you put them away. This video will share with you the general things you need to know about cleaning your stamps.

Cleaning Your Stamps with Baby Wipes

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with baby wipes as well as the pros and cons of using this method of cleaning.

Cleaning Your Stamps with a Paper Towel

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with a paper towel  as well as the pros and cons of using this method of cleaning.

Cleaning Your Stamps with Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with Stampin’ Up!’s Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub.

Click the images below to purchase your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist in my online store.

I’ve shared a few different ways you can clean your stamps.  Comment below and let me know which method your prefer to clean your stamps,

Introduction to the Bone Folder

Introduction to the Bone Folder

So what’s all the fuss about bone folders? Simply put, this basic craft tool is the “multi-tasker” of tools. It does it ALL. Bone folders are ideal for making cards with great folds, invitations with perfect smoothed liners, stationery with clean creases, scrap booking scores for recessing photos, and virtually anything in the realm of bookbinding. A bone folder makes anything you create look more professional. 


The old tried-and-true “basic” bone folder (traditionally made of animal bone –the way old fashioned bookbinders have been for using them for centuries) has two ends with specific purposes. One end is narrowed to a softer point, which makes them great for deep scoring of heavy-weight paper and indenting for marking on book board. The tip can be sanded to the desired roundness depending on the project.

Two (2) of the most popular things a bone folder is used for is

  1. Scoring your paper crafting projects to create score lines for Cards, boxes and other paper crafting projects
  2. Burnish a fold

Watch the videos below to show you how to do each technique

Introduction to the Bone Folder

In this video you will be introduced to Stampin’ Up!’s bone folder.

How to Score using a Bone Folder

In this video you will learn how to use your bone folder to create a score line in your paper crafting projects.  Why might you need to do this?  If you don’t own a paper trimmer that has a scoring blade, or you have lost your scoring blade you will still be able to get a nice clean fold line using your bone folder.

How to Burnish using a Bone Folder

In this video you will learn how to use Stampin’ Up!’s Bone Folder to burnish a fold.

Multiple ways to use your bone folder in your crafting projects.  You can purchase one in my online store on this link HERE

The Basic Card Making Supplies Every Stamper Needs

The Basic Card Making Supplies Every Stamper Needs

While you could dive into the world of paper crafting with a pair of scissors, some construction paper and a bottle of white school glue, a few basic paper crafting tools can really take your craft to the next level. By investing in a few beginner card making supplies, you’ll be creating projects with professional results and a lot less frustration!

Here, I’ll walk you through the basic tools every papercrafter needs

Paper trimmers

A paper trimmer is a must for card making and scrapbooking. It keeps your edges straight and square, and makes cutting so much faster. Your paper trimmer should have a trimming tool (for cutting paper) and a scoring tool (for creasing paper).

I recommend using a paper trimmer like the Stampin’ Up! Paper Trimmer. First off, I have to say that every tool from Stampin’ Up!  is really great quality. I haven’t tried a tool of theirs yet that I wouldn’t recommend.

Why this particular trimmer? Full 30.5 cm cut or score cards for easy folding.  1 cutting and 1 scoring blade.  I love the ability to cut and score all with one tool. Ruler and grid protected by durable plastic cover.  Point on cutting / scoring handle for precise measuring.   Right side grid for cutting thin strips Plus, it has paper trimmer must-haves, like a ruler along the top.

The size of this trimmer is nice, too: It’s a great size for easy storage and has an extended arm ( 36.5cm) when you want to cut or score a full 12″ x 12″ piece of paper.

Circle punches

I have a small collection of circle punches that I use often.  I would recommend getting a variety of sizes of circle punches. They’re great for layering papers for tags and other embellishments on cards. Circle punches come in a wide range of sizes — Stampin’ Up! have handheld punches that measure 1/16” to ¼” which I love, too.

Tip: Flip the punch upside down so you can see the area you are punching out. This will help you get more out of page and punch your circles more accurately.

You can also buy punches for other shapes, but you’ll find circles to be very versatile, and you’ll love how crisp and perfect the results are.


Every paper crafter needs a stapler, and I love this little stapler.  I usually use it to attach small tags or other ephemera to gifts bags and cards. The size adds a special touch to every project. The thin design helps you to get into tight places that would be hard to reach with a regular stapler.

Handheld Stapler

Handheld Stapler

Adhesive runner

When attaching photos and paper to cards, scrapbook pages and gift bags, you can’t just use school glue or tape. What you want is something lightweight but strong enough to hold paper together. An adhesive runner, like SNAIL, or Fast Fuse does the trick..

Before trying this tool, know that SNAIL it’s not strong enough to hold everything. I don’t use it for gluing on thick embellishments like chipboard or holding together any 3-D projects like boxes, but Fast Fuse works a treat.

Liquid glue

For 3-D projects like gift boxes or thicker card embellishments, you’ll need a strong liquid glue. I discovered the Multi purpose Liquid Glue and love it! Once this glue dries (and it dries quickly — only a minute or two to set), it holds everything perfectly in place. None of my boxes or other 3-D projects fall apart when glued with this adhesive. 

This particular bottle has two dispensing ends, which makes it a versatile choice for whatever project you’re working on. I always use the thin pen tip because I am usually gluing small areas. It also has a broad tip, similar to the size of a glue stick, for larger projects.

Foam adhesive dots (Stampin’ Dimentionals)

Stampin’ Dimentionals great for emphasising embellishments. Because of the foam, they elevate elements off the page, really making them pop. Put them behind a sentiment, flower or another embellishment on a card to really bring it to life. They are a great alternative to a hot glue gun with some materials.


To craft with paper, you definitely need, well, paper! I like to keep a supply of A4 smooth, Thick white cardstock on hand for making cards. Cutting one of these pages in half and folding it makes the perfect sized card. Hint: You can also buy “Note Cards & Envelopes” which are pre-cut and pre-folded cards to save yourself  a step.

I prefer smooth cardstock for the base of my cards because you can easily write your sentiment on the inside. However, textured cardstock is great for decorating and embellishing.

Patterned paper

I love stampin’ Up! Patterned paper, The paper packs often include coordinating embellishments, ribbon and more. It makes creating a cohesive card or project so easy. I also love the Memories & More collections. It comes with different size cards, washi tape, chipboard embellishments and more that all work well together. Plus, it’s really pretty!

With these supplies, you’ll have enough to get started. Once you’re comfortable using these, you might even graduate to more advanced supplies like Die Cutting or Heat embossing.

The 6 Types of Adhesives Every Paper Crafter Needs

The 6 Types of Adhesives Every Paper Crafter Needs

If you’re a paper crafter, it can be overwhelming to learn about all the various adhesives that are on the market. We’re breaking down the most popular types of adhesives for paper craft projects, and giving you the run down on what, when and HOW to use each one!


Tape runners are the most popular type of adhesive in paper crafting. These tools come pre-filled with a roll of adhesive tape. As you run the dispenser along paper, the tape will apply a smooth line of adhesive. The tape runner device is typically reloadable, and refills snap in easily. Tape runners are great to use for photos, card stock and scrapbooking. They are portable, convenient and give you excellent control over where and how much adhesive to use.


For little intricate embellishments try liquid adhesive. Once dry, these adhesives can be very strong and give your project the extra strength it needs, but also allows you time to get that embellishment in the perfect spot before the adhesive dries.  Use caution when using this adhesive on photos or paper, as it can apply unevenly and warp your paper.



Adhesive in sheet form is another excellent option for gluing down intricate die cuts. To use, trim a piece of the sheet adhesive to the approximate size of your die, apply the sheet to the card stock and run through your die cut machine. The end result will be a die cut “sticker” with adhesive applied evenly to one side. Simply remove the backing paper and adhere to your project.



For items that need ultimate hold, heavy-duty craft adhesives are your best choice. These can be found in many forms, Tear Tape by Stampin’ Up!. Trim the tape to desired length and apply one side to your project. To adhere, remove the paper backing from the tape or glue dot and apply even pressure. These are great options when making pages for a mini scrapbook album, gift boxes or anything else that will be handled frequently.



For embellishments with dimension, such as buttons, flowers, brads, bows or wood veneer, try glue dots. Once dry, this adhesive can be very strong and give your project the extra strength it needs, especially if you’re sending handmade cards through the mail.



Adding dimension to paper crafts can produce stunning results. Foam adhesive is the best way to quickly add dimension to any project. You can find foam tape in small ready-made squares or in large rolls, which you can cut pieces from. Foam adhesive is also offered in various heights, allowing you to add small hints of dimension or bold statements of height on your project. Foam is best used with small embellishments and heavyweight card stock that will not bend or bulge around the foam.


I hope that gives you a better understanding of which adhesive to use for which project.

Tell me in the comments what you’re favourite adhesive is?