Thursday, September 3, 2020

Come join me as I play "Craft Roulette"

Hello, CardMonkey friends!  I hope your summer was healthy and restful. Are you ready to jump into cardmaking season?  Yes, it's hard to believe that we'll be mailing out those Christmas cards in about 3 months.  Meanwhile, I have some fun for you...

What is your favorite TV game show?  

For me, it's Wheel of Fortune, one of television's longest running game shows that combines the old paper game of "Hangman" with the roulette wheel's game of chance. Spin to find your fortune, and guess a letter to complete the mystery sentence.  

Next question:  What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

For me, no doubt, it's crafting, and specifically cardmaking. I love the feel of paper, the quick satisfaction of completing a card in one sitting, and the joy it gives not only to me in creating the art, but also that it delivers to the card's recipient when it makes it into the mail. (I'm bad at that!) 

So imagine if you could combine the two loves -- game show and crafting. Well, imagine no more!  Mary Gunn, a long-time crafter and paper genius, has created an online fun game show called "Craft Roulette."  It runs weekly on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Eastern/6:30 Central, and you can find it at 

Click the picture above to be taken to a brief FUNN intro about Craft Roulette. 

Why my buzz about "Craft Roulette"?  If you'll tune into the show on Friday, September 4 (7:30 p.m. Eastern time), you'll see that I have been selected to be a Guest Crafter on that day's show.  What this means is that I'll be put to the instant craft test, making a project, with the selected colors, theme and random bit, within the show's hour.  My work will be shown along with that of the expert Mary Gunn -- founder and head professor at Funn University!  

I've been playing along on Craft Roulette since Episode #23, when the spins of the wheel took me to purse, car or truck, coral color, and masking technique.  Here is my project -- a Taco Purse Truck!

And on Episode #24, the wheel selected for us a basket, that had winter colors, that should include a wreath, and some tearing. 
I made two projects for this one, a card, as well as a torn paper basket.  Here they are:  

Finally, during Episode #25 when CTMH Consultant Katy Taylor was the Guest Crafter, the wheel picked a building or house as its element, fall colors, a collage of some sort, and rock-and-roll stamping technique.  I made a pop-up box card, as well as a standard A2 card:  


You'll see both of the Episode #25 cards featured on Friday's episode, along with all of the other fabulous projects other players have entered. We previewed them on Monday on Mary's blog, and I will say, they are just terrific.  Come get inspired.

Tune in on Friday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern (6:30 p.m. Central), and every Friday, at, and play along.  Hope to see you there!!  And thanks, Mary Gunn, for the FUNN invitation to join you live.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

One Sheet Wonder - A Tutorial

My darling "frontline," Emily
Oh my friends, I've been meaning to keep up with this blog, but time always slips away from me. Let me try again. 

This time, I am doing so because I have a wonderful group of women who have frequently come to my card classes that I hold at Creative Inkling (222 N. York Road, Hatboro, PA 19040). Typically, my classes are held on the third Wednesday of every month, from 6 to 8 p.m.  Just as I announced a second class --  this one to be held on a weekday afternoon -- the world suddenly shut down due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. 

Social distancing became the norm, and we all started
wearing masks. And while the shop and retreat at Creative Inkling was shut down by mandate, Edie and Kelsey Malin (part of the wonderful full-time crew at CI), got special permission to use the studio space to make/donate face masks for care providers throughout the country. 

My card classes have kept up ...and even increased, as so many of us have been looking for a creative outlet and safe social connectivity.  We now do our classes on ZOOM, a live internet platform. And we typically hold these classes on Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m.  As I catch up, I'll be showing off some of the cards that were designed for these classes.  

Okay, that intro behind us, our next class is tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 22) at 6 p.m., and it's FREE!!  That's because you're going to be doing most of the work -- and the supplies will come from your stash!  We're learning "One Page Wonders", aka, "One Sheet Wonder."  

And you're invited to follow along!  

A "One Page Wonder" is where a papercrafter has created a template that uses just one sheet of 12" x 12" designer paper (that's one-sided or double-sided) that allows a crafter to cut and create pieces of that paper to serve as components in making as many standard-sized (A2) cards as possible.  The cards come out "naked" (unadorned, or non-embellished), and ready for the crafter to make the cards her own. So much depends on the paper that is chosen for this project. But let's get started; feel free to leave comments or questions and I'll be happy to address them.

Here are my "naked cards" for the April 22 class:

And here they are, all "dressed":

Here is my template for this class:

(Feel free to copy/paste, open/print, and have fun with my free template!)

Instructions: Start by cutting the 4" wide column on the left. Mark on the back of each piece which card (#1 - #11) and which piece (A-D) this piece represents. You can mark in pencil or on a Post-It Note, just in case you decide to flip over the paper and use the reverse side of it instead of the front. The adventure is YOURS!

Next, from the balance of the paper -- across the top -- cut the 4" horizontal strip, and then the pieces in that strip. Again, mark your pieces. 

The next major cut is down the right hand column, where the strip is 5.25". That piece has 5 sub-pieces; cut and mark those next.

Finally, you're left with a strip that's 2-3/4" wide. Cut that one down into its four pieces, and mark them. You should have very little scrap. Don't throw it away -- you never know how you might use it to embellish a card.

Matting: It's your choice:  Whether or not you mat your paper pieces is entirely up to you, and your scrap bin. You can mat each card in the same color (as I did) or you can switch it up to accent or match a color in your selected designer paper. OR you can use the paper pieces as they're cut, with no matting. It's entirely up to you!

Let's get down to the nitty-gritty:

Card 1 (pieces A, B, C):
I matted and arranged my pieces all across the top of the card, and I used the card as a side-opening vertical A2 card, with a sentiment on the bottom right. 

If you'd rather, you can make it a horizontal card, with the pieces on the left-hand side and sentiment on the right. 

Card 2 (pieces A and B):
I matted each of the two 1.75" pieces and placed one on each of the top and bottom. I created the card as a side-opening vertical card, with the sentiment in the center. The sentiment is diecut. 

You can just as easily make this a horizontal card, with the greeting also in the center of the card.  
I scribbled a black line, just because I wanted to. 

Card 3 (four pieces, A-D):
This card uses the most designer paper, with four pieces, and the pieces are lifted over each other like glass shutters, just because. No other reason!  Go ahead, experiment with your pieces, too, and let me see what you do! 

The white sentiment stands out nicely on the medium to dark paper. 

Card 4 (1 piece, A):
Here's the first horizontal card in this series. The piece is just one 1.5" strip across the top, with a large sentiment (die-cut) across the bottom. This card uses almost the least amount of designer paper. Can you guess the one that uses less?

Card 5 (2 pieces, A and B):
If you guessed this card as using the least amount of paper, you would have guessed correctly. Each piece is only 1/2" wide, but look how effective those slivers can be. Initially, I planned on making this a vertical card, but I liked this big sentiment with it.

Card 6 (one big piece, A):

So if you can decorate the edges, you can do the opposite, right?  Here, this card fills the center "hole" with paper as an accent piece to a Cricut-cut shadowed label. The sentiment was stamped using a Stampin' Up! greeting, and embellished with hand-drawn squiggles and cuts from a scrap of paper on the top.

Card 7 (one slanted piece, A):

With this card, I covered most of the bottom with a slant-cut large piece of designer paper, leaving plenty of room up top for the large Cricut-cut poppy and a Happy Retirement die cut. (In looking at it more, perhaps that poppy could be slightly smaller, what do you think?!)  

Card 8 (slanted the other way, one piece, A):
So again, let's do the opposite of what we've done previously. With this card, I made it a top-fold so the card base was cut lengthwise. That's supposed to look like a large ladybug because, well, I had the sentiment die, and I have no clue what occasion I'd send this card to cover.  "Fancy That"???  Who even says that any more?  It came in the sentiment pack. Can someone tell me -- maybe a thinking of you?

Card 9: (Two pieces, different sizes, A and B):

This balance of cuts is actually one that I would typically prefer, even with a slightly deeper bottom piece if the sentiment was smaller. This one I also used as a top-opening card, because it stands well with the wider base. 

I'm really loving this paper, aren't you?  It's by Stampin' Up!  

Card 10: (one large piece, A):
Again, here the paper is the focal point on this card with a large (4"x 4") piece of designer paper. Use this as a focal point for a larger sentiment on a label. This one was cut on a Cricut, but label dies are very popular. Dress it up with a few snips of your mat cardstock, a flower, a leaf and a gem.

Card 11: (one large piece, A):
Once again, this is a card that I initially intended to be a vertical card with a small sentiment on the lower right, but I fell in love with how this thin Thank You die looked on a horizontal card. I just changed it up, added some more of those squiggly lines, and tah-dah, I'm done! 

I hope you enjoyed this lesson in using a "One Page Wonder". Break it out whenever you need a quick dozen or so cards for your stash. 

Hey, are you interested in our upcoming card classes?  Drop me a line at, and let me know. For the time being, they are 100% online so they're available worldwide!  They're free to watch, but if you want a kit with all you'll need to make the four cards in each class, it's $25 including shipping in the U.S.

I do have a favor to ask:  If you have some prayers to drop on a frontline hero, please say a few for my daughter, Emily, who's pictured at the top of this post. She works not only as an Nurse Practitioner in a specialty surgical practice during the day, but she also works as an RN in the evenings in the ER of a local hospital -- the job she held before putting herself through night school ($$$) to earn her MSN/NP.  She is exposed to COVID every day, and then goes home to her babies, my two grandchildren. She does all she can to protect them from any exposure to her germs -- stripping outside, putting her scrubs directly into a "sanitize" cycle, and a hot shower. But they need her ... as do I.  Please pray for her safety, and that of her co-workers and fellow heroes.  Thank you. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Interactive Card Series #2: Center Fold Display Card

The outside front panel has fussy-cut flowers, along
with leaves on the side of the greeting banner.
I really like the waterfall of clear gems in two sizes.
Hi Everyone!  How is your summer going?   
Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, we are hot and humid -- very typical weather for us in this part of the country for this time of year.  What's unusual is that we have already had our FOURTH official "heat wave" and we're not even done with the first week of July. A heat wave is when the temperatures cross 90 degrees for four or more consecutive days. 
And while my 55+ community (VFP - Villas at Five Ponds) has beautiful pools (indoors and outdoors) and a hot tub/spa, they are rendered unusable when Mother Nature sends her natural fireworks -- thunderstorms -- overhead.  So the best thing to do is stay inside with the central air conditioning, and craft, right?

The inside view of my Center Fold Display Card. There's a sentiment mini-card
on the left inside panel, with room for your greeting and signature.
 I'm getting my mojo back slowly but surely.  It was cramped a bit due to some major spine surgery I had in the beginning of May.  The worst part about recovery is that the nerve endings for my thighs were on fire, making sitting and crafting impossible. Thankfully, that passed after a couple of weeks. The best part about recovery is that I remember very little of the pain in the hospital or the first ten days afterwards, thanks to my surgeon's belief in pain management.  

OK, that's me ... what about you?  Have you been getting to those layouts waiting to be done, or the cards needing to be mailed?  August is my heavy-hitting birthday month. I used to spend a boatload of money in August at the Hallmark Store, but now I try my best to make the cards I need, especially for those "cardworthy" friends and family -- you know, the ones who won't think it's weird or cheap to receive a handmade card.

First up, I unwrapped some brand new Stampin' Up! Designer Paper called "Magnolia Lane" and made this "Center Fold Display Card."  I saw a similar card in this design made by another Stampin' Up consultant, and created my own template for it.  Here it is:

If you are a Cricut user, you may want to access the file I created for this template. The base of the card is 12" long, so you'll have to turn the base lengthwise and cut it using a longer (24") mat, at least for that part. I think the base comes up that way when you go to cut it on your Cricut Explore or Maker.

I know that not all of my readers are Cricut users, or may have other electronic machines. So here are some easy cut instructions with measurements that you should be able to adapt or to create your own cutting files:
Please remember me if you'd like to purchase some "Magnolia Lane" paper from Stampin' Up! The paper truly is beautiful, and at just $11.50 for 12 sheets of double-sided designer paper, that's less than $1.00 per sheet!!    I still haven't figured out how to be sure that the link to the product links to ME as your SU Demonstrator, so when you search for a Demo, please indicate that you'd like product credit to go to ELLEN JARVIS in WARMINSTER, PA.  Here is the link to the paper itself: 

I'd appreciate your support of my endeavor with Stampin' Up! very much. Those who have known me for a while know the story of how I came to be with Stampin' Up!, and how I am building my business from scratch ...again.

Enjoy your summer!  And watch out for new posts as I try to reinvigorate my blog. It's been a long time coming!!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CardMonkey's Interactive Card Series #1: Card with Folded Well

In an effort to make my blog FUN again, I'm unveiling a new "Interactive Card Series".  I've been making cards that are far from the standard single-fold card ... I just love pop-ups, cards with movement, etc.   To me, these are cards where your recipients or customers can never say, "Oh, I've seen something just like that at the Dollar Store."  (UGH!!!)

So let's take a look at my Card with Folded Well.  Below is the video I posted on Facebook Live to unveil this card. The "well" in the card can hold just about anything that is flat and fits -- a note inside, a package of seeds, sequins, a gift card, you name it!

Here is the Card Map for this card:

One of the things that I am working on doing for my readers is making a Cricut cut file for my Interactive Cards.  To use this file, you'll need to be using Cricut Design Space, with an Explore or Maker.  This file will automatically cut and score the design shown above, reducing the time spent on making this card down really significantly. Here is the LINK (click here).

You can decorate each of the panels (left and right) if you'd like, and not have an element to hold this "well" shut.  You could also put a "belly band" around the card to hold it shut.  OR, you can put a piece of decorated cardstock (4.25"w x 5.5"h) glued onto the top, with a "zipper" in the middle (as shown in the video), or with ribbons holding it shut, etc.  Let your creative wings fly! 

Here is the card cover I designed for one of the cards I show in the video:

For the sunflowers, I found a single sunflower in Cricut Design Space, and welded two other sunflowers in a "vine."  I also altered a tag shape to include a shadow; the sentiment is stamped. The bumblebee is cut from a Cricut DS shape; a favorite part of the bee would be her wings -- I backed them in Vellum and painted them with Wink of Stella gold.  It has a zip die in the center from Technique Tuesday. 

For the inside, I stamped some sunflowers into the upper left corner of a card, and glued some stripes to match the front's tag. And the gift included in the well is a package of sunflower seeds. I made this for one of my dear friends who is facing some surgery this week. 
I'd love to see any cards you've made like this -- please find me on Facebook (click that link) or send an e-mail to  

For supplies (including that pretty yellow print paper, above), please come over and shop with me at Stampin' Up!  Click the SU words there for a link to my shop site, or visit:


Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year, New Me ... Come along for the ride!

Oh, Friends ...

There is so much to catch up on that I barely know where to start.  So rather than go back to the beginning of my crafty-goodness time, let me start with today:  I am now an Independent Designer for Stampin' Up!, one of the world's greatest and oldest companies for papercrafting and stamping.

It's a brand new world for me, and I'm looking forward to SU's beautiful approach to paper design, colors and omg lovely stamps!  

If you need particulars, I'd be happy to share them with you privately, but for now, let me just say that after 7 years or so with a competitor (Close To My Heart), CTMH Corporate interpreted their rules in a way that caused me to have to make an untenable choice. If I wanted to teach my cardmaking classes freely, I could not be a CTMH Consultant, and I was terminated in October 2018.  

Now it's time to brush off that pain and start anew. Has anyone seen where I put my mojo???!

So for now, let me just say you'll see some straightening up of this blog as I try to reinvigorate this way of communication, and to show you new cards, fun styles, and blossoming creativity.

I'm waiting for my new Stampin' Up! kit to arrive, so in the meantime, I'll post some cards I've made as I come across them. Enjoy life, my friends.... It is much too short to do otherwise.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Color Your World with Re-Inkers!

Let's talk re-inkers. We all have them, but other than using them to re-ink those well-loved stamp pads, did you know that you can use them for many, many other purposes?

One of my favorite sources of tips and product news for Close To My Heart is it's blog, "Make It From Your Heart."  I highly recommend subscribing to it.  In today's blog post there, you can find the tip I show you below, as well as several other great ways to use your re-inkers.

So you'll want to jump over to today's post once you're done here.  Here's that link:

Check out this terrific card made for Father's Day (this Sunday!!).  I love how watered-down re-inker makes the splatter background, or using a water brush with a few drops of re-inker can "paint" a color like the Juniper on this card (lower part).  

And check out that multi-colored "stamp pad" used to stamp the sentiment from the "Rad Dad" stamp set....

I'll give you a hint:  Stack up some Baby Wipes (four were used in this photo) and randomly drip complementing colors of re-inkers onto the wipes. Here, CTMH used Juniper, Sapphire and Crystal Blue

(Be sure to protect your work surface with an All-Purpose Mat, as that ink can stain your table top.) 

Are there other ways that you use your re-inkers?  Let me know, in a comment here, for your chance to win a re-inker in the color of your choice!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Amazing YOU! It's National Scrapbooking Month

Happy National Scrapbooking Month!  

Now, you all know by now that I'm not much of a scrapbooker -- otherwise I'd be known as ScrapMonkey, right? -- but I DO love my cards, and I especially love finding creative ways to use papers and kits made for scrapbooking.

This month, Close To My Heart has a fabulous kit that includes designer two-sided paper, complementing cardstock, punched cut-outs and oooh-la-la, a stamp set. Check this out!
For me, this paper collection is the perfect picker-upper as we head into summer from what felt like a very long winter. Certainly, there aren't any palm trees in Pennsylvania but we do travel to tropical islands from time to time, and we can dream, right?

Let's take a closer look at the stamp set. It has several images that you can use independent of the kit, and even, independent of the tropics:

See those pretty flowers (hibiscus, I think)?  Many of my friends grow those in planters on their patios. There's also one stamp that says "amazing Family vacation". Cut it apart -- YES, you can do that with acrylic stamps, just use sharp scissors and care, and look at what you can make with this -- a congratulations card!

I stamped the larger hibiscus flower in Sapphire and Crystal Blue CTMH Exclusive Inks, the smaller flower in Smoothie ink, and the leaves in Fern ink. The "Amazing" part of the large stamp set was also stamped in Crystal Blue.  I also added "Congratulations" from an older, retired stamp set (C1673: Some Kinda Wonderful), stamped in Sapphire. 

The technique in cutting the word "YOU" from the center of the card and elevating it is called the "Eclipse" method.  There are many ways that crafters describe how they do this technique; I'm not sure there's a right way or a wrong way, as long as you get the same results. 

For me, I stamp my paper in the pattern that I want. I then cut the word out of the print I've made, using CTMH's Block Alphabet Thin Cuts.  Save every piece you cut out, including the center of the letter O.  

Next, create your "eclipse" by using Craft Foam. I purchased the foam I use at Michael's; it comes in a package of multi-colored foam that's about 1/32nd of an inch thick. Each sheet is 8.5"x11".  

Cut a piece that's wider than your letter die cuts are high. In the case of the CTMH Block Alphabet Thin Cuts, that's 1.5" high, so I cut a strip of foam that's 2" wide from the larger sheet.  

Next, cover that piece of foam with double-sided adhesive tape. I use 6" wide tape from Elizabeth Crafts.  Yes, it's expensive -- almost $50 for a large roll -- but believe me, it lasts forever and it's really worth it!  Cut your letters (YOU, here) from the foam with its adhesive, using a Cuttlebug or other die-cutting machine. 

You'll need to mount your stamped card (that now has the YOU cut out of the center) onto a background color. I used CTMH's Sapphire cardstock. Peel the adhesive backing off of your cut letters, and affix them in place of the missing letters on your stamped card. After that, peel the top of the adhesive paper off of the letters to expose the stickiness, and attach the letters that you've saved on top of that, like a foam sandwich. Don't forget to adhere (with glue) the center of your O.  All done!

Have a question on the Eclipse Method I used, or about any CTMH product?  Please don't hesitate to contact me at, or via a comment left here.

Thanks for stopping by!