Friday, January 29, 2016

“Grateful Heart”

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2016

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air! I have so much to be grateful for, with my husband Charles is at the top of the list. I have had this set of stamps for several years and have always loved the verbiage--but one keeps calling me. I knew it would be perfect paired with the swirly heart die and a new embossing folder for his Valentine’s Day card.


·       Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
·       A sunny window
·       Blender, strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
·       Scraps of white or off white, light and dark pink paper (think junk mail, etc.)
·       Beacon ZipDryTM Adhesive
·       Envelopes to fit cards (or make your own with the AG envelope template)
·       Scor-palTM
·       Scrap of tissue paper
·       Die: Impression ObsessionTM DIE126-U Heart Swirl
·       Embossing Folder: Couture Creations CO724383 Hearts Ease Collection  
·       SpellbindersTM Grand Calibur die cutting machine
·       Stamp: JustRite™ CR04450 Greateful Heart set
·       ColorBoxTM Blush Rose Chalk Ink pad


1.     Follow the instructions found in any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits to create one or more sheets of heavy weight rose colored speckled paper.
2.     Add more white or off white scrap to the slurry and create more sheets of paper. You want several shades of rose colored handmade paper. (Create more sheets if you are going to make numerous cards… sheet will make 2 cards.) 
3.     When the lighter shade of paper is dry, fold and tear it (you want the deckle edges) to make two pieces 5 ½ x 8 ½”.
4.     Score and fold to create a 4 ¼ x 5 ½” card.
5.     Die cut one of the swirly hearts from a darker shade of handmade paper.
6.     Emboss the words on the front of the card.
7.     Stamp the “Start each day with a grateful heart” sentiment on the piece of tissue paper with the Chalk ink.
8.     When the ink is dry attach the stamped tissue paper to the upper left of the card and the swirly heart to the bottom right of the card with ZipDry™

Note: the embossing folder has wonderful words: Believe, Explore, Wish, Beauty, Imagine, Hope, Love, Joy & Dream. So sorry that the words did not show up better in the photo.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter Blues

Good Morning! Have you got the Winter Blues? Snow and cold getting you down? Well, I have a project to brighten your day!

I used several pieces of hand made paper as well as a paper casting to create a bright and springy card for a friend.

I folded over my first piece to make the card base. The background was created using Magicals paint on bubble wrap. The paint was quickly absorbed by the paper. For the next layer I wanted a deckled edge. Want to know an easy way to achieve this?

Using a paint brush add a line of water to the paper. Once it is soaked in, gently pull the paper apart at the line.

I used a stamp for the script background.

Create a butterfly using the casting mold. Once you have made your pulp, pour it through a strainer. Pat pulp into image and press with finger to remove water. Make sure the pulp is in every nook and cranny. Use a sponge to remove even more water and finally a paper towel.  Remove and let dry. Arnold Grummer has a wonderful variety of  casting molds

Once dry, I painted my butterfly with Magicals paint.  Silver Adhesive Floral Design Ribbon and painted White Raffia Paper Ribbon (available from  Ribbon Resource ) were added next.

3/4 inch Silver Adhesive Floral Design RibbonWhite Paper Raffia

I finished the card with a gem and cameo.

I think this will brighten her day!

Maybe you know someone who could use a message of friendship or cheer. By brightening their day you will also brighten yours!!


Trash to Treasure
Casting Mold

Friday, January 22, 2016

"The Buddha Book”

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2016

I love journals and handmade books, and I add several new ones to my collection each year! My favorites are handmade books with "content". You may remember the “Knots Prayer” book from my Jan. 1 blog project which was filled with quotes.  This "ribbon bound" journal is one of the easiest books to create and making multiples is a breeze.  Match the quotes to the paper theme. They make marvelous gifts! I often create books a certain size because I have odd size papers etc. I had a stack of long skinny scraps of handmade paper, mat board scraps and some wallpaper pieces that were perfect for the covers. I will list the measurements for my book, but please do not be stuck with this size - make your book whatever size you want. Even though my book is "landscape" oriented, it can also be made "portrait" oriented. Remember if you don’t have handmade paper to use for your book you will need to make as many pages as you want.


  • Matboard: back cover 4 x 9", front cover 4 x 1" and 4 x 8 ½”
  • Pages: 3 ¾ x 8 ¾" handmade paper
  • Scrap of tan heavy weight handmade paper for the temple
  • Wallpaper for covers: two pieces 6 x 10 1/2"
  • Solid color paper for inside the covers: two pieces 3 ¾ x 8 ¾”
  • SpellbindersTM Grand Calabur cutting and embossing machine
  • Die: Joy Crafts Orientals 6002/0229
  • Tonic® paper trimmer & scissors
  • Ruler, sanding block
  • Japanese screw punch & 1/8” bit
  • Beacon ZipDryTM adhesive, old cc to use for spreading the ZipDry™ adhesive
  • Double sided foam tape or dots
  • Approx. 24” of ½ sheer gold ribbon to match the wall paper for binding
  • Clearsnap™  light brown Chalk ink pad, Stylus™ handle & tips
  • Fine point pen to write the Buddha quotes

  1. Die cut the Buddhist temple from the scrap of tan handmade paper.
  2. Lightly sand the die cut to bring out some details.
  3. Use the Stylus™ and light brown ink to shade around the edges. 
To create the journal:

  1. Cut the 2 pieces of wallpaper 1 ½” larger than the mat board.    
  2. Spread a thin coat of ZipDry™ adhesive onto the back side of the wallpaper.
  3. Center the mat board piece for the back cover onto the wallpaper.
  4. Miter the corners, leaving a tiny bit more than the thickness of the mat board.
  5. Apply additional adhesive to the flaps if needed.
  6. Secure the flaps to the other side of the mat board.
  7. Apply the adhesive to the back side of the wallpaper.
  8. Place the two front cover pieces of matboard onto the wallpaper, leaving ½” between the two pieces.
  9. Miter the corners and wrap the flaps to the back side.
  10. Apply a thin coat of adhesive to the matching papers and place in the back sides of the covers.
  11. Measure ¾” from the top and bottom hinge part of journal and two places in between.
  12. Use the Japanese Screw Punch to create holes.
  13. Place the pages inside of the covers, mark and create holes in all of the pages. (Remember the pages are a bit smaller than the covers.)
  14. Bind the journal using the ribbon to weave in and out of the holes, starting and ending at the top.
  15. Tie a bow.
  16. Attach the die cut with double side foam tape or dots.
      17. Fill the book with quotes

Note: You can find a lot of videos on the internet showing how to create many different ribbon bindings.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Match Game

I have two young grandsons who like to play board games, don't get me wrong, they also like their gaming systems also. But because their dad is a hand on dad, he likes to play actual hand on games with them. I decided to pull out my cast molds and make a casting (actually two of each one) of the ones I have.

I have them for the weekend every so often because the like coming to grandma's house...... hmmmm, could it be because I spoil them? LOL

Here is a snapshot of a few of the molds.

Here are the completed casts after painting them.

I'm sure everyone knows how to play the matching game, that is why I made two of each one. If you coat them with a good varnish, they will hold up very well.

Now off to make another set because I know they will want a set to take home. I think I will leave them unpainted tho and let them paint them. That way they will be so proud they made a game themselves.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

artfully letting go

 I purge my "important papers" every so often, probably not often enough but I'm always afraid of getting rid of something too soon. I figured my divorce papers from 1988 could finally be purged...right? I wanted to keep the lesson I learned in my sight but also know that I am healed from that emotional wound too.

So I shredded the papers and made a new sheet ( the grey large background sheet ).
This became the foundation for my mixed media piece.
(Directions for making a sheet of paper can be found here.)
I used a cookie cutter mold and some wet pulp made from red cardstock scraps to form the heart. I laid the cookie cutter mold onto a sheet of wax paper and then filled the mold with the wet pulp, removing moisture from the pulp with a paper towel. After the heart dried I inked the edges and then gently tore it apart and glued it to the center of the grey paper. I then sewed it with a zig zag stich to symbolize that the heart which had been torn apart was now mended, but leaving a gap to shaow that while mended, the scar is still there. 
( Directions from making cast paper can be found here.) 

I also hand stitched my word "mended" through the grey paper. 

The frame was made by making a mold out of clay from an old antique frame, and then filling the mold with wet pulp and left to dry. You can speed up the drying process by gently pressing down on the wet pulp with a paper towel thereby wicking out the water. 

I just love the symbolism to this piece and no one has to know that it's made from my divorce papers unless I want to share that with them. It's like a little secret hanging on my wall.

So maybe you have some important papers that mean something to you but you don't need them in document form any longer, why not shred them up and make them into some art?
 You'll always remember what they mean to you when you look at it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

“AG Butterfly Plant Pick”

©Michele Emerson-Roberts  2016

January in Southeastern Arizona sometime is a little grey and dreary. Plants are resting and dreaming of sunshine and new growth. It is a good time of year to reflect back on the past year and start making plans for the current year. Creating the paper cast butterfly and small potted silk ivy is a breeze and makes a great gift. I keep several of these on hand as “cheer up gifts. It is a perfect gift for someone who is ill or in the hospital…….. the last thing they need to worry about is watering a plant!


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • Casting mold: CP Butterfly
  • A sunny window, heat gun or microwave oven
  • Blender, small strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Scraps of white paper (think junk mail, etc.)
  • Beacon QuickGripTM adhesive
  • Silk Ivy plant, moss, flower foam, small terracotta pot, white plastic coffee stirrer
  • 24 gauge green wire, Coiling Gizmo™
  • Two ½” flat backed white pearl hearts, 1/8: flat backed round pearl, 2 small spaghetti beads
  • Wire cutters

  1. Follow the direction for paper making and casting found in any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits or books to make slurry from the white scraps.
  2. Cast one (or more) of the butterfly molds.
  3. Dry the castings in a microwave oven, with a heat gun, or place it in a sunny window.
  4. Create the antennas from the green wire and the Coiling Gizmo™.
  5. Attach the spaghetti beads to the body of the butterfly, the antennas & flat backed round to the head and the two hearts to the wing area, the coffee stirrer to the back of the butterfly with QuickGrip™ adhesive.
  6. Place the flower foam inside the pot.
  7. Place the moss on top of the foam.
  8. Cut the ivy plant apart.
  9. Insert the silk ivy plant pieces into the moss covered foam.
  10. Insert the butterfly plant pick into the pot.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bookmark in Faith with Tamiko

I love my handmade papers.  While I don't quite make them in bulk to gift to anyone yet, I do make samples of my papers in the form of bookmarks to give people a chance to experience the varieties of papers and types of paper that can be made if you just think to not just recycle.. but recycling by colors also help.  Here is a bookmark I will be gifting a few friends for the new year.

I always refer people to the Arnold Grummer YouTube Channel, where there is a plethora of video how-tos done by Arnold Grummer himself and members of our design team, don't forget to subscribe!  These papers were first created with scraps from holiday wrapping papers.  I followed the instructions shown for the dip method, here.. for creating paper with my AG Papermill Kit. Then I traced the tags with the Medium Template:Tags for Cards and Pages, so I would have a cleaner edge. Using the template with the paper mill, creates a deckled edge to the handmade paper.

After my tags were made, I lightly brushed them with gel medium before I stamped and decorated them.  I used Jamie Dougherty's Create in Faith Stamps from Prima to embellish my papers.  I really hope my family loves them! I stamped with an archival ink and used my Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals and Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils and water brush to add color to the stamped images.  I also used my Helmar 450 QuickDry to add my stamped text tag.

I hope you enjoyed my bookmarks. I would love to take a moment to remind you as my bookmark says... Let faith be bigger than your fears, sometimes you have to know in your heart, what you are able to accomplish and let that be enough to tell yourself.. to jump in.. with your eyes open!  Then and only then.. will you conquer any and all fears.. Wishing you all a  NEW YEAR full of opportunity, adventure, happiness, love and fortune.. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

We are fast approaching the season of love! I have a fun valentine's day project made with pressed flowers from our yard and recycled Christmas wrapping paper.

I hope you saved those crumpled piles of used Christmas wrapping paper because that is what we will be using to make our paper. Luckily many of these papers and red! I also chose one that had a silver design in it. More about that later!

Follow the directions on pages 52 - 55 for making paper with a Pour mold.

Add torn pieces of paper to the blender filled with water and make the pulp. 
Pour into the hand mold and then remove the water using first the screen, then the couches. The sheet can be air dried or dried using an iron. 

I told you I used a paper that had a silver design. I should have known it would be a problem when I could not tear it but instead had to use scissors. The pulp was filled with pieces of foil. I did continued to finish the piece of paper and even used it. 

I pressed the flowers last summer using the Arnold Grummer Garden Press.

 Simply place your leaves and flowers between the pages and close with the straps. The items will dry in a couple of days.

I cut a larger heart, inked the edges, and placed that behind a doily. To that, I added pressed flowers, leaves and smaller hearts cut from my papers.  I finished with some decorative pearls and a title. 

              I hope you have enjoyed this fun project which uses both flowers from summer and Christmas wrapping paper! All of the items used can be found over at  the Arnold Grummer Website

Also don't forget to visit our Facebook page

Get out those papers and let's recycle!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Valentine Tag

With Christmas and New Year's all but a memory, I'm getting ready for Valentine's Day. I made this Valentin'es tag for my special someone.

I started with a blank tag from KaiserCraft's Antique Tag set, and painted it with a coat of gesso. When the gesso was dry, I added a coat of Perfect Pigment White Satin Pearl acrylic paint.

While that was drying I dug through my stash to find the grungeboard key and heart shapes. I traced the hearts on my handmade paper (made following these basic instructions), cut them out, and used a liquid adhesive to glue the paper to the grungeboard. While the glue was drying I painted the key with silver metallic acrylic paint.

Back to the hearts. I inked the edges with a complimentary pink pigment ink. Since the hearts extended beyond the edges of the tags, I also inked the reverse side of the hearts. I used the same ink to sponge onto the white paper doily.
Inked edges on hearts
Sponge inked paper doily
I used liquid adhesive to glue half of the doily, the hearts, and silver Dew Drops onto the tag. I used a short length of jewelry chain and jump rings to attach the key and charm (that I found while digging through my stash hunting the grungeboard).

For the ribbons, I pulled one side of Ribbon Resource White Paper Raffia over the same ink pad that I used to edge the hearts. This added lovely variegated coloring to the ribbon. The last embellishment was the length of tulle tied into a bow.

I cut the sentiment on the reverse side out of silver vinyl using Make-the-Cut and my Zing electronic cutting machine.

So, I have one Valentine greeting finished. Progress. Now to get busy on the rest of them.


Friday, January 8, 2016

“A Face in the Crowd”

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2016

Faces are so wonderful. Each one is different (even though they say that we all have a “doppelganger” out there). Face molds are one more thing I collect. This one is actually a metal jewelry finding. It makes a great mold for paper casting and polymer clay. She is a bit exotic, maybe from Tahiti?

  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • Microwave , heat tool or a sunny window
  • Blender, strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Face mold (I used a metal jewelry piece)
  • Scraps of off white, tan & brown paper (think junk mail, etc.)
  • Spice in a brown color (great way to use up those outdated spices and it smells good too!)
  • Beacon QuickGripTM Adhesive
  • Envelopes to fit cards (or make your own with the AG envelope template)
  • Scor-palTM (Love the new 1/8version)
  • BowEasy™
  • Approx. 24” of brown 7/8” Grow Grain ribbon
  • Craft knife and cutting surface
  • Scissors 

  1. Follow the instructions found in any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits to create a face casting. (I always make extra!)
  2. Dry the casting.
  3. Add more brown scrap to the slurry and create a sheet of heavy weight handmade paper (Create more sheets if you are going to make numerous cards. (one sheet will make 2 cards)
  4. Sprinkle the spice onto the damp paper.
  5. When the paper is dry, fold and tear it to make two pieces 5 ½ x 8 ½”.
  6. Score and fold to create a 4 ¼ x 5 ½” cards.
  7. Use the craft knife to cut a slit wide enough for the ribbon to fit at the left fold of the card.
  8. Insert the ribbon, overlap the ends a tiny bit, cut it and adhere the ribbon to the card.
  9. Use the BowEasy™ to tie a bow.
  10. Attach the bow to the ribbon.
  11. Attach the casting to the front right of the card with the QuickGrip™ adhesive.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tool Stache

 I love the Trash-to-Treasure book cause it's just full of awesome ideas to get you jump started to your next project. The section on "Bonded for Life" p. 118 got me thinking about re-cycling a tin can into a tool holder for my desk to keep all those pesky tools contained somehow.

No glue, tape or adhesive was used to hold this handmade black sheet of paper that I created using my Papermill Kit to the can itself. That is amazing! I removed the water from the sheet of paper per the instructions and then wrapped it around the can using my fingers to fold the top and bottom of the paper over the edges of the can. Even the ends of the paper which overlapped when wrapped around the can are simply couched together and left to dry...
and it holds together beautifully.

 I actually wrapped this can over a year ago and just kept my eye on it as I was using it ( because I wanted to see how well it would hold up under  use ) ...and can I say it was a huge success!! So much so that I decided to decorate it even further by adding the mustache and words to the front of the can. ( The key to adding a stiff plastic element to a concave surface is Helmars Liquid Scrap Dots as it will create a flat surface for your embellishment to sit on. )

This has to be the easiest way to decorate a tin can...seriously worth trying if you are into recycling like I am!

Friday, January 1, 2016

“The Knot’s Prayer Book”

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2016

This is one of my all time favorite handmade books. I make a least a dozen a year to give as gifts to loved ones who need something special to remind them that they are loved. I like to use handmade paper for the pages to make them even more special. You can make these any size; mine are 4 ¾ x 6”, only because I had matboard scrap pieces that size - and so that each folded page will be ¼ of a sheet of handmade paper. 


·        Any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits
·        A sunny window, heat gun or microwave oven
·        Blender, small strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
·        Scraps of off white or cream paper (think junk mail, etc.)
·        SpellbindersTM Grand Calabur™ cutting and embossing machine
·        Embossing plate or folder with an abstract design
·        Merc ArtTM black embossing metal: 4 ¾ x 6”
·        Mat board: 4 ¾ x 6”
·        Two scraps of black card stock 4 ¾ x 6”,  4 ¾ x 3” and piece for the title
·        Sheets of handmade paper: 4 ¼ x 11” folded in half
·        Scor-palTM
·        WestcottTM paper trimmer & scissors
·        Japanese screw punch & 1/8” bit
·        Arnold GrummerTM Cotton Linter
·        Beacon QuickGripTM and Beacon ZipDryTM
·        Old credit card to use for spreading the ZipDry™ adhesive
·        Heavy black thread for binding, large eyed needle
·        Various black and or white beads
·        Computer generated verbiage (see below)
·        Wide Scor-tapeTM or sheets
·        ColorBoxTM Chalk charcoal and white ink pads
Alphabet stamp set


1.      Follow the direction for paper making found in any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits or books to make slurry from the white scraps.
2.      Create numerous sheets of medium weight handmade paper.
3.      When the paper is dry cut or tear it into two long sheets 4 1/2 x 11”.
4.      Score and fold the sheets in half. Repeat for as many sheets as you want in your book.
5.      Attach the folded pages to each other (back of one page to the front of the next page) with ZipDry™ adhesive.
6.      Score and fold the 4 ¼ x 3” spine piece of black card stock to accommodate the stack of folded pages.
7.      Attach the front and back cover pieces to the spine with QuickGrip™ adhesive.
8.      Use the Japanese screw punch to make holes in the book spine ½ “ from the top & bottom and on the edge of the title piece.
9.      Remove one side of the release paper from the Scor-Tape™ or sheet and place it on the back side of the black metal.
10.   Emboss the metal with a folder or plate using the Grand Calibur™.
11.   Remove the second piece of release paper from the Scor-Tape™ or sheet and attach the metal to the front cover.
12.   Stamp the title onto the scrap of black card stock with white ink.
13.   Computer generate and print the verbiage.
14.   Cut the verbiage pieces, ink the edges and attach each to a separate page of the book.
15.   Attach the pages to the book spine and cover with a piece of the heavy black thread.
16.   Place to thread in the middle of the pages and insert each end of the thread through the two holes in the spine.
17.   Tie the binding thread into a knot.
18.   Add more threads with lots of beads attached.

Note: The Knots Prayer:

Dear God: Please untie the Knots that are in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase all the will nots  and might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots and would nots that obstruct my life.
And most of all dear God;
I ask that you remove fom my mind, my heart and my life all the “am nots” that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought, that I am not good enough!

Author know by God.