Friday, August 30, 2013

My New Website!!! Bright and Merry Designs

Hello all!
I am so excited to announce that I FINALLY have a website!  I have been wanting to do something like this for a VERY long time but just have not had the confidence to go for it.  Well, I WENT for it and Bright and Merry Designs was born!
You can visit me on Facebook at and also on Pinterest at  I hope you would be kind enough to "like" my Facebook page and to pin some of my Pinterest pins to help me get the word out.

Some of the fun things you will find on my website currently are card sets that are prints made from my original art.  Last year I made the set below at the encouragement of my sweet husband after making small paintings for 5 of my girlfriends that I sing in an ensemble with.  Well, they were a big hit and sold really well.  My friends encouraged me to create more cards this year and boy did I!  I now have a total of 3 Christmas card sets and a Birthday card set.
 This set is called Christmas Portraits.  I imagined what it might be like if Christmas characters had to sit down for school portraits!  The thought kind of cracked me up :)
 This set is called Christmas Whimsy - more portraits really but I threw in a Christmas tree!
This set is my favorite, it is called Christmas Nativity.  I used words from Christmas songs and one of my favorites of all time is "Mary Did You Know?"  Just the thought of how Mary would have felt if she only knew what all Jesus would do and what all He would go through just for us.
Then there is my cheerful Birthday set.  I love this one!  It makes me smile. :)

Eventually I will be offering small prints of each of these little gems on the website also.  Some other things I will be offering are 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 prints from some of my larger original paintings.  Here are just a few, you can see more on the website.
 Beatitudes - This was inspired by my pastor who recently preached a whole series on the Beatitudes out of Matthew 5.  All of the qualities God wants us to possess are in white with all the blessings you will receive written in the background.
 Bless This House - just a little fun and funky painting to help us remember God's grace and that He wants us to seek His blessings.
 Me and My House - Joshua 24:15 - One of my all time favorite verses.  We have had this verse in our home in one form another for most of our 24 years of marriage.
Have Faith in How You Serve - this one was inspired by my dear daughters.  They are volleyball players but God's faithful followers first and I wanted it to be a reminder to them that they are to be a light for Jesus in all they do.

Thanks for checking in, I hope you will share my post, Facebook page and do some pinning for me.  I would feel blessed to be able to make someone smile with my art!
Many blessings to YOU!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Cake Box!

Hello everyone!  Looks like I am becoming a once a month blogger. :(  I need to work on posting more often as I am actually creating more often!  I will try to do better!
Today I bring you a project that I am most proud of.  The cut file comes from  I purchased this months ago knowing it would take a while to put together along with many other projects I have on going.  My wonderful oldest daughter turned 16 last week and I wanted to make it special.  Don't misunderstand, we are not the "My Sweet 16" reality TV kinda folk.  No-No!  She invited 3 friends over, we went to see Monsters University (a must see if you like Monsters Inc.) then came home and went moonlight swimming, had cake and ice cream and then they watched TV til they couldn't keep their eyes open.  So, the paper cake was a special treat for my girl!

There are 20 boxes that make up the cake.  I printed the papers on my Imagine machine from the Blast Off cartridge and the Mr. Frosty cartridge.  I used paper by Colorbok from Walmart.  It cuts really nice.

 Each layer was very unstable so I tied each one up with some cute bakers twine and it made it nice and round.  One warning, slip a cardboard square under the entire cake to pick it up and move it, if not the pieces slip down and the lids come off easy and after you have tied the twine around them it is hard to get the lids back on.  Just an FYI!
 What would a sweet 16 cake be with out a bit of sparkle?  So I used my go to Stickles, Fruit Punch, Diamond and Yellow to add a bit of sugary sweetness.

She is a real girly girl, so in each box she found bracelets, fingernail polish, lip gloss, chewing gum (she is a bit gum crazy) earrings, etc.  Anything that would fit.  You could add gift cards, money, special notes from friends and family, etc.  THEN...her daddy came home, AFTER I had it all stuffed and tied up, with a very special present.  So it got wrapped in the tiny box below.
A very sweet pair of white 14K gold diamond earrings.  Her first "real" diamonds were from her daddy.  That's the way it should be. :)
So to add it to the gift cake, I wrapped it in matching paper and tucked it under the cake topper.  It made a real nice surprise.  Sorry for the blurry picture but I realized I never photographed the little box ON the cake so I found this one from the party.

I try to teach my children that although gifts are nice and can be really special, there is no gift better than the gift of eternal life they have received from their Holy Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ.  That is the best gift any person can ever be offered.  All you have to do is pray to receive it and it will NEVER be taken away.
Many blessings,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Long time-no see!  I have been busy as a bee with end of school activities, going to the Great American Scrapbook Convention and now preparing for my yearly scrapbooking retreat that I host every June with 19 of my closest friends and family.
Today I wanted to show you the card that I made for my dad for Father's Day.  I got this precious file from Treasure Box Designs.  It is so stinkin' cute and went together pretty easy.
I used my Make the Cut software and did the whole thing, except the green base by doing a print and cut.  Luckily, the designer colors each piece the color she wants them to be so all I did was set it up as a print and cut, put textured white cardstock in my printer, printed out the pieces and then I put the paper in my Zing and it cut it all out!  I was so excited to be able to do this instead of putting 10 different pieces of cardstock on the mat for all of the pieces. It was very reminiscent of what the Cricut Imagine is SUPPOSED to do but quit doing after I ran an update on it.  With the Zing and MTC you aren't tied to cartridges!!!  FREEDOM!!!!
So all the tiny pieces that you see, including the little letters spelling "dad" and the # we printed on my printer, then cut on my Zing!  I even imported the red and white gingham paper into MTC, applied it to the panels and then print and cut them also!  I love MTC and the amaZing Zing!!!
Here are a few up close views of the card.  My dad really loved it.  My mom makes cards all the time so he can appreciate my efforts :)

My prayer for you is that God has blessed you with a wonderful father.  Not everyone is so fortunate.  When I was growing up I dreamed of meeting a man like my father to marry and God gave me my wonderful husband of 24 years at a time in my life when I needed him most.  Our heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy with the men we choose, so I always say, be careful, take your time and choose wisely because God has put that person in our path, we just need to be patient until we run into him.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Late Happy Mother's Day

(I wrote this post ON Mother's Day, saved it to add pictures, then just plain ole forgot to post it!  So, here is a belated post!)

Happy Mother's Day to all my wonderful followers and any visitors that have popped in!  Today I wanted to share with you the two cards that I made for my mother and my mother-in-law.  I could go on and on about how wonderful both of these women are but I won't.  I will say that I have been blessed beyond measure with having both of them in my life to guide me, love me and help me be a better mother to my own children. Blessed beyond belief!
The cards I made are not my own design, at all, not even the decision to what paper to use! :)  I just love the files from  Mary does such a great job and I just love her taste in design and papers that I decided to keep it simple and just copy what she had created.  I even ordered the paper kit she used because I loved it so much.  So the kit from is called "Cards for Moms" and can be found by clicking on the image below.
Cards For Moms SVG Kit

The paper kit that she and I both used was called "Farm Girl" from October afternoon and I got mine from, I think.  You can google it and find it in many forms, kits, papers, embellishments, 8x8 and 12 x 12.  I got the 12 x 12 kit below.

There were many cards to choose from in Mary's kit so I decided to make the "I Love Mom - See through card" and the "Love You Mom Card".  The kit didn't come with all of the embellishments that Mary used so I change them up a bit.  Here is the card I made for MY mom:

 I LOVE buttons!  So I included them just like Mary.  Mary, Mary, Mary, I sound a bit obsessed????
 The cardstock stickers on the front came with the kit and I had the red buttons in my stash.  One thing I love about the svg kit that Mary created is that she has a cut for an insert for the interior of the card which is nice when using double sided paper.  That way you can stamp a sentiment inside and write a message also.

This is the card I made for my sweet mother-in-law:
LOVE the double wedding ring paper!!
Can you use too many pop dots??  I think NOT!!!  you can never have too much dimension, unless you are going to mail it, then I have to reluctantly back off on the popping but I am hand delivering this one!  Late, as usual.  I preferred a red shadow for my letters over the soft pink in the sample, I think it ties it in with the background paper and makes the letters pop more.
I didn't have the cute bottle cap like in the sample so I just used one of the cardstock stickers from the paper kit and then used my diamond glaze to make it look like an epoxy embellishment then added a bow from my stash.  Easy peasy, both cards.  Of course, I have to ink the edges of everything so I used the Vintage Photo ink pad from Tim Holtz.  I hope you like my creations and that you will stop by and check out all of Mary's wonderful files.
Oh! and Mary also included envelopes in the files to fit each card so I had to cute them up a bit with the stickers from the paper kit :)

I also wanted to add before leaving, I have changed the way my comments work so that if you ask me a question, I can hit the reply button and answer your question.  I hope it works :)

So I leave you with this verse, something I have pondered upon much this past year.  What is it God wants from me as a mother?  Many blessings to all the mothers out there!

Who can find a virtuous woman? She is far more precious than jewels... 
Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. 
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and loving instruction is on her tongue. 
She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. 
Her sons rise up and call her blessed. 
He husband also praises her: 
Many women are capable, but you surpass them all! 
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. 
~Proverbs 31:10, 25-30

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Water Bottle Drink Mix Holder

OK, I know this is not new to everyone but I think these little doo-dads are so clever.  My cousin's wife gave me one as a gift on a retreat a few years ago and so I am going to give my version of one this year for retreat gifts.  But I want you to know that I did not come up with this particular pattern.  I found it on this cute blog called "Blue Eyed Blessings".  I did tweak it a little bit and personalized it with an initial like my cousin did.  Also I created a Make the Cut file for it and will also post it as an SVG file at the bottom of the post. If you do not have a cutting machine for MTC or SVG files then feel free to hop over to Blue Eyed Blessings for the cutting dimension.  She just used circle punches to make the embellishments.

Oh yea!  I almost forgot to mention that on the second page of the MTC file I also shared the cute alphabet letters that I used.  It is a font from 2peas that I cleaned up for cutting.  It is not included in the SVG file, sorry.

 One of the things I like about this is the only thing that will need gluing is the scalloped collar around the bottle neck and the patterned paper.  The rest is the two brads.  You could just glue around the pocket if you wanted to.
After gluing the initial on I just used my doodle pen to dress it up a bit :)
So, here are the links to the files I created.  Here is the MTC file:
Water Bottle Drink Mix Holder MTC
Here is a MTC file for making multiple holders.  The files is set up so you can cut 20 of them and save as much paper as possible.
Water Bottle Drink Mix Holder Mulitple MTC
Here is the SVG file for a single holder.  I haven't learned yet to convert an entire file to SVG for the multiple holders file, sorry!
Water Bottle Drink Mix Holder SVG
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the little project!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Giving Smooth Cardstock a Texture

I am SO excited about this post.  It may be nothing new because I came up with this on my own but never Googled it, so who knows.
I have lately discovered that when using my cutter that the Recollections smooth cardstock from Michael's is the BEST for cutting tiny and very detailed pieces.  I have also been using Bazzil Basics also but like the Recollections better.  I purchased a TON of it when the packs went on sale 4 for $10.  I began making paper piecings and discovered that although the cuts were wonderful, I missed the texture found in other cardstocks and began to worry that I had a LOT of paper I wasn't going to use.  Well, that wasn't OK with me so I began to think how I could make that smooth cardstock textured. Let me clarify - textured, NOT embossed.
My hubby and I had just finished a building project and we bought some course sandpaper and I woke in the middle of the night with the idea that it would be cool if I could use that sandpaper to texturize my smooth cardstock.
Flash forward 4 very busy weeks.  I tried it this morning and I really like the results.  So here is a picture description of how I did it.
Here is the sandpaper I used.  I really like the no slip grip because it doesn't move around in my Cuttlebug.  The 60 course works really well, I think any number higher wouldn't give you any texture.
Here is what it looks like on the rough side.
This is the crazy sandwich used, from the bottom up:
1. A plate (the thick white one)
2. a rubber embossing pad (the squishy one used with Spellbinders dies and such)
3. the paper you want to texturize.
4.  Sandpaper
5. B plate
6. Shim - I used 3 pieces of cardstock (more or less determines the depth of the texture)
7. B plate

Then you just run the whole sandwich through your Cuttlebug (or which ever machine you have) and here is what the paper looks like when it comes out!  If you use another machine you will need to experiment with your sandwich making.
The left side is the textured side and the right side is the smooth side.  The back side offers even a bit different texture.
This is a title shadow that I had already cut and really wanted it to have texture so I sent it through the Cuttlebug and now it looks GREAT!  I am thinking that I will texturize the pieces AFTER cutting them, so it does not compromise the machine's ability to get really clean cuts.

Now my brain wouldn't stop thinking of other things I could use to get texture.  I am a mixed media artist so I have a drawer FULL of things I use to create texture on canvases.  Here are a few other items I found to send through the Cuttlebug.
From left to right - some kind of metal mesh, it is super thin, I got it at the hardware store years ago (don't remember why??), then the next piece is the stuff you use when taping seams on drywall (it is sticky on one side, make sure that side isn't next to your paper).  The blue piece is called "Magic Mesh" I got it at scrapbook convention - Google it, and lastly the gold piece is punchonella (sp), it is the waste left from making sequins.  You will notice most of the pieces have paint on them, that did affect the texture, so if I wanted a clean look I would want to use a clean piece.  Here is the result on the paper.
I know it is a bit difficult to see but the idea is that it looks textured, not embossed.  This isn't as deep as embossing.  I also realized that I switched the seem tape with the magic mesh in the photos.

Take a look around the house, you might find something cool to give your paper texture!

I hope this will be useful to you.  I love the fact that the Recollections papers are nice and crispy for cutting, come in MANY wonderful shades and it goes on sale often!  It comes in many sizes also.  Let me know your thoughts on the process and if you have something you think will work better.  As I said before, this was born from my own brain so there may be something better and easier.  I know, just purchasing textured paper solves the problem BUT it just doesn't cut as clean :)
Have a blessed day!

I just kept digging around my house for more texture ideas and found a package of Shade-Tex texture plates and tried them.  They are GREAT!  I purchased these online from an art supply source.  Can't remember which but it was probably either United Arts, Dick Blick or Sax.  Anyway here is what they look like:
And here is what a couple of the papers looked like after using the texture plates.  LOVE IT!!!!!
OK I'll quit tearing my house apart for textures but what do you think about window screening ????? ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Distress Ink Pads and Copic Marker Match Up

I hope all is well with everyone.  Today I have something for you that I hope you will find helpful.  I searched all over the internet for a chart or a list that has copic markers matched up with the Tim Holtz Distressed Ink Pads.  There was not one anywhere that I could find.  So I had to make my own!
 I finally completed my collection of the inks and started thinking it would be nice to have matching markers.  The problem was, I have over 300 Copic markers, I DO NOT need to buy any other markers.  So the easy fix for this problem would be to purchase the Tim Holtz Distressed Markers but I can never seem to do what is easy!!  :)
Another advantage of making this chart, for me, is that when I travel to scrapbook (which is almost always) I won't feel the need to take all 300 of my Copics.  I can take the 48 that match my ink pads, surely that will be enough!
Here is the chart that I came up with.  If you want to right click and copy it you can. It is a JPEG file, so if you want me to email it to me then just leave a comment and I will do that.  Please read the information below the chart for more details.
Here is the link to the PDF:
One of the things you might notice is some of the matches are not perfect.  Well, that is because the Copics are not made with the same inks as Ranger uses for the Distress Inks.  Distress inks are a water based ink and Copics are alcohol based, so if they are a perfect match then lucky us! :)
Some of the colors, no matter how many colors of Copics I have, still don't really match in my opinion but I think you would be able to get away with using them together.  I am afraid that one thing that might have affected some of the matching was the florescent lights in my studio.  PLEASE!  If you know of a better match than what I have then please share it with me as I will be tweaking this chart to get it as close to perfect as possible.
Another thing to consider - if a Copic is a good match but is a lighter shade, it might take a few overlapping strokes to get the copic to the shade of the ink pad.
There are a few of the colors, you will notice, that have two Copic numbers listed.  That is because neither are a perfect match but both were too close not to list.  I have put an asterisk * next to the one of the two that is used in the sample.
You will also notice that there are 3 colors at the bottom of the column farthest on the right that have a square sample for the ink pad and a number sign #.  I do not own these colors so I found sample off the internet to match them with so the actual inks may vary, so a better match may exist.
This was a time consuming process! I went through several charts before I came to this one and I am sure I will be second guessing the colors on this one.  So, if I make changes, I will post the newest version.  Also, I will try and figure out how to post it as a PDF.  That will probably make it easier to download.  If you know anyone else that might be able to make use of it then please send them to my blog!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Whimsy Side of Easter

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Christ's resurrection is certainly the real Easter celebration but I am in the mood for spring and all that it brings along with the renewal of life that Christ's resurrection brings.  It was 84 degrees here yesterday and all the birds (and bugs) came out to see what was going on.  The chirping and scurrying about of critters is giving me a bad case of spring fever!  So I decided I wanted to do a little decorating in anticipation of Easter.
Thanks to the amazing talents of Mary at SVG I was able to create this adorable little Easter village.  It is from the set "Cottontail Village."  I have really been in the mood to "build" so this really caught my eye.  You can find the cutting files and a video on how to assemble each little house at  They even have a special going on this week, purchase at least 9.98 of other cuts, add the Cottontail Village and then add FREEGIFT to your shopping cart and you get 6.99 discount!  It was not hard to purchase another $9.98, I got some other Easter things as well.
So, enough babbling, here is the cute little village:
I am no photographer so forgive the bad lighting and blurry images :)  Each of these is not only a cute little house, but a box as well.  It could be filled with Easter goodies and given to a child or even one of your trues! (that would be a bestie, if you don't know what a true is)  I will be using mine as decoration on my dining room table, I think. 
The Mushroom House.  I am pretty sure a darling little field mouse lives here and it stores food for winter up in the cap of the mushroom to help get it through winter so it doesn't have to come into my pantry :)
I was trying to think of another critter to build this one for then I realized, I live in the country...there needs to be plenty of housing for mice to keep them out of mine :)
The Egg House. It is obvious, (isn't it) who lives here.  The Easter Bunny!  Can't you see the little bunny over the door? If not it's because of my blurry picture, sorry)  This bunny has been spiffing up it's house in preparation for the big day.  It will be dropping by your house giving you eggs and chocolates. What a small gesture considering all that Jesus has given us.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Distressed Ink Holder Cover

If your a traveling scrapper like myself, everything has to have a cover to protect it on the road.  So, as I told you in my last post, I created a cover for my distressed ink holder that I made.  Check out my previous post to see how I made it.  Here is what the cover looks like while on the unit.
See how the ribbon handle pops up through the top?  The cover is about a 7" square and it is about 12 1/2" inches tall, so it isn't really big.  It just slides down over the top of the unit.  I made it this way so it wouldn't have to be made super sturdy to hold the weight of the unit.
Just an FYI for anyone wanting to make one, I used medium weight chipboard I purchased in the art department at Hobby Lobby and when I mod podged the paper to the outside it made the sides bough and that drove me nuts so I took some heavy chipboard 6" squares I had and used Aileen's Turbo Tack glue and put then on the inside and now the walls are a perfect square! Well as close to perfect as I could get :)
Here is the cover and the storage unit side-by-side.  I love it!  Now I am afraid I am going to feel the need to fill all the slots with distressed inks!  Lol!

Please let me know if you need any tips or advice on making one.  I would be glad to help but just a reminder that I used the wonderful pattern from this blog - Jen's Joint.  She has very generously provided PDF's you can print with the instructions, pictures and labels for your ink pads.  If you make one be sure to tell her thanks!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Distressed Ink Holder

Well, it's been almost 2 months since my last post.  I've been busy!!  As my dad used to say, "You have too many irons in the fire."  Or "far" as he would say :)

Anyway this week I made this totally cool, spinning distressed ink pad holder!  I am so pumped at how great it turned out.  I didn't come up with any of it myself.  My sister-in-law actually pinned it on Pinterest and I repinned it and couldn't stop thinking about it so I started on it Tuesday night and finished it the next night.  I would say that all in all it probably took about 6 hours to build and cover with paper.

Here is the link to the original poster - Jens Joint.  There you can find a PDF with all the measurements, a PDF for the labels she created for the ink pads themselves and a link to her Ustream video where she is making it.  The video is an hour long and she mostly talks with people that had joined her for the live stream but I found it helpful to see the type of cardstock she was using and how to hinge each of the boxes.
I built it just as she did except I covered it with my decorative paper after I completed building it.  As I looked in her pictures I think she wrapped the side panels and the top pieces before adhering them to the unit-not sure.  I waited to wrap mine so I could wrap the paper from the side panels into each slot as to make them a bit stronger. My side panel pieces are cut at 5" wide x 12" tall.  I glued the paper to the side panel, laid the unit on it's side and used an Exacto knife to cut slits so they would wrap into the shelves. I also cut pieces of the black polka dot at 3 2/8 x 1 1/2 so that I could cover each little shelf.  I didn't like being able to see the chipboard layers and I thought this would also strengthen it more.  It is super strong!
I added a ribbon handle to the top so I could easily pick it up if needed.  I used a 6 1/2" square layered with a 6" square to make it stronger.  I used my Cropadile to punch holes through both layers and ran the ribbon through and glued it underneath then used LOTS of Aileens tacky glue to adhere the top securely.
The coolest part of this is that it will spin!!  But I can't show you that part because I had to order the spinner from  It was $8.50 for the plastic spinner.  I can't wait for it to arrive!

After completing the unit I printed off the PDF for the labels from Jen's blog.  They are cool because they wrap around all 4 sides of the ink pad case.  I cut them into strips and then inked each one with the matching color.  After inking, I ran them through my 9" Xyron using the one sided lamination and permanent adhesive them cut then into strips again.  Here is a little tip.  The strips will not wrap smoothly around the ink pad as the side edge of the ink pads are not flat, they are ever so slightly angled so the top is a bit smaller than the bottom.  Because of this, I cut a slit on each corner so the strip would overlap and line up straight around each edge.
You can see the tiny slit on the corner.  I then burnished it down and it stuck well.  I also wanted to add that the words didn't come out centered on each of the 4 sides of the pad and that made me a bit buggy but by the time I realized it I wasn't about to start again.
You will also notice I stuck them on upside down.  Storing them this way keeps the surface on the ink pad nice and juicy.
Another helpful hint: I use velcro stickies to adhere my inking pads to the back of each ink pad to keep them organized.  I didn't come up with this either :)

So now I am pondering a cover of sorts so that I can take my ink pad unit with me when I go to crops.  I am quite the traveling scrapbooker and crafter.  Stay tuned.  I will post the cover and directions when I am finished along with the unit on the spinner!
May you be blessed with many days filled with stress-free crafting,