Well That Was Unexpected!

Yesterday afternoon, as I was trying to get back in the swing of not being on the cruise ship anymore (my inner ears have yet to get the message…makes for interesting times) my phone rang and it was Paul, my contact at the Big Distributor, the one that was so helpful getting the Pebbles papers to me in time for our last launch, and he was just checking in, making sure things were going well, and wanted to chat about some art journaling trends that they’ve noticed.

So, first, my question to you is: Do you art journal or do you even know what that is? (If not, watch this space come January because there’ll be more on that to come.)

Art journaling is pretty big in the art world right now, and has been for a while, with people using everything from sketchbooks, to old text books to journal in. It’s fun, messy, and super-expressive. I think it’s pretty awesome (if you couldn’t already tell).

While I’ve often said that anything can become a canvas, there are some things that I’ve refrained from altering or upcycling for various reasons. Top of the list? The books of various religions. Empirically I know that these are mass-produced words on paper, just like any other book. But I also know and respect that others see them as far more than the sum of their parts, so while I’ve contemplated turning them into creative canvases in the past, I’ve always shelved the idea in favor of less controversial foundation materials.

See what I did there?

But apparently, not everyone shares my reticence, because Paul tells me they’ve had to start stocking The Bible because bible-as-art-journal has recently exploded!

So my next question is: would you alter a religious book, be it the Christian Bible, the Koran, Torah, Book of Mormon or other works of note? And if you did, would you show it to anyone? Would you show me, because I’d love to see it!

I’m still not sure I would alter a Bible when I have so many other options before me, but it’ll be interesting to see where this trend leads. And anything that gets people tapping into their creativity is something I’m definitely in favor of, so there’s that!

Accessing that creative spirit is what the Creative Mischief Kits are all about, after all. If you’re still exploring you options for this year’s holiday cards, check out a recent post on my blog on just that topic and, of course, there’s still time to get your order in for our CPR Holiday Card Kits.


Here are 2o cards made with the Classic Christmas kit and the first cutting diagrams.


And here are 20 cards made from the Winter Whimsy kit and the second cutting diagrams.

Eleventh Hour Save!

Thanks to the efforts of my contact at the distributor, the final pieces of the kit puzzle arrived last night, just in the Nick of time!

See what I did there? It’ll be more apparent in a minute…

The time has come, friends, to let you see the next kit, or should I say kits, available from The Crafty Branch!

CPR (standing for Cards Prepared and Ready) is a program I thought up way back in my Close to My Heart days (~2003ish) and the idea is to help us keep on top of things, get cards made so that we always have one on hand when the need arises. Now, with the Creative Mischief Kits, I finally have a way to offer it that makes sense. At least I hope it does!

This first CPR kit (I’m thinking these will be quarterly, depending on interest) is all about holiday cards–both the traditional Christmas variety and a more modern, non-secular holiday style–and simplifying the process of putting together a batch of cards so that’s one less thing you have to worry about as the holiday hurtle towards us. The technique for these kits is three ways with stencils: using vellum and a stylus to dry emboss, using texture paste and palette knives to create raised designs, and the more traditional ink and dauber method to reproduce the design (or part of the design) of the stencil onto your paper or medium of choice.

The Winter Whimsy kit, pictured above, has cute snow people, mittens and snowflakes on the patterned paper (with different patterns on the back–2 stripes and one sweater ribbed) in shades of blue with other bright accents.


Meanwhile, the Classic Christmas kit works with the usual palette of red and green and has paper with poinsettia, stripes, and quotes from A Christmas Carol (with, again, more designs on the back).

The cutting diagrams included in the kit will show you how to use 3 sheets of paper (either the printed ones, or some of the solid card stock–2 sheets of each color–or some combination of both) to create 20 cards with no waste. There are 20 card blanks and 20 envelopes included in the kit. Of course, you’ll have at least enough paper to do another 20 cards on your own or create some cute tags or scrapbook layouts with the rest. The stencil and the different tools mean that your cards won’t look like anyone else’s, even if you follow my cutting diagrams to the letter, because you’ll apply your own creative spark to the finished product!