Cathie’s 5 Fun Faves on Friday

Hello again, friends! It’s almost time for The Paperie’s Fall Retreat and I can hardly wait. To help get you started with your packing, Sara and I are sharing our 5 fun favorites – things we just have to take to The Retreat.  Last week, Sara shared her 5 and this week I’m sharing my 5. 

1. Washi tape.

It’s no surprise that washi tape is on my list. It’s colorful, easy to use, incredibly versatile and repositionable. I rarely make a page without it.  Sara and I have both chosen washi as past Paperie Picks and you can read mine here and Sara’s here.

 2. Baker’s Twine.

I love twine.  It’s another easy way to add color and texture.  And for those of you who don’t like to get messy, twine is about as mess-free as it gets! I’m quite happy to tie bows and knots with my twine but you can create lots of different embellishments, too. Check out this list of 25+ ways to use baker’s twine.

 3. Spray inks. 


I have a vast and varied collection of spray inks. I use them a lot so I’m bringing all of them. They might be messy they’re easy to use and few spritzes and splats makes a big impact. My favorites right now are Studio Calico’s Mister Huey White and Shine.  

4. Tags.  

I know tags have been popular for ages but I’ve only realized their appeal recently. You can do a lot with tags. They are great for adding layers to your pages and for practicing techniques. I like to write my journaling on a tag and tuck it behind my picture.  Ranger makes tags of all sizes from different materials but plain manila is my favorite.

5. Dylusions Journal. 

I don’t have mine yet but I can hardly wait to get it. It is made by Ranger to work with their Dylusions spray inks. This book is getting rave reviews and I know I’m going to have fun with it.  If you’re not into art journaling, you could use the Dylusions Journal like a Smashbook or simply tear out the pages to use on your other projects. The pages alternate between white and manilla, and there is an envelope pocket at the front to  hold bits and bobs.

I’ll have my 5 and many other wonderful treasures with me at The Retreat.  If you have any questions or want to try something come on over to my table, I’m easy to find. I’m the one with the cup of coffee and inky fingers. 

I hope to see you at The Retreat! 

Thanks for stopping by! 


Cathie is a coffee fiend, work-from-home-mom, blogger, scrapbooker and art journaling enthusiast. She is also a creative team member and guest instructor for The Paperie. Cathie happily neglects the laundry and cleaning to spend time in her “space” creating with her beloved paper, ink and paint.  A huge fan of “flopporunities” and “happy accidents”, Cathie is forever inspired to try new techniques, products and projects all of which she shares on her blog, with coffee in hand.  

Cathie and our other Designers and Instructors will be hosting quick, fun demos out at the Retreat next weekend. Be sure to stop by the demo’s to learn lots of fun new things!

Find Cathie online:
Twitter: @cathiereed

Sara’s 5 Fave Tools

Hi everyone! Sara here again and I have a question for you: If you could have only 5 tools, what would they be? I’ve been thinking about that and let me tell you, it’s hard to narrow it down! 

The reason this question popped into my head is that I went on a little vacation last month and although I had to bring some crafty supplies, they had to be very limited. So what are my must haves? This list has been revamped several times but I think, for me, it’s the best 5 tools I could need. Are they your top 5 too? Maybe. I think this is a pretty good generic list but you may have a tool that is your be-all and end-all that I simply don’t use or have not yet discovered. Feel free to share in the comments!

I hope this will help you if you ever need to pack up some supplies with limited space and maybe it will introduce you to a new favourite tool!

In no particular order: 

1. My personal paper trimmer. 

I use a Cutterpede by EK Success and no matter what new trimmers are released, I still stand by this one. Here are my reasons:

  • When I first started scrapbooking, this was my initial purchase and I had that first trimmer for years. Probably….. 6 years. And then a little person in my life threw it on the floor and broke the arm. Bye bye, paper trimmer. So I bought another one, plus I bought the mini one they have for cards and paper scraps. A trimmer that lasts that long? Worth every penny!
  • It’s small. Although the measurements go up to 13” x 15”, the footprint is only 15” x 5.5”. Easy to take anywhere and lightweight. Plus, the swing out arm bends to do a perfect 6”x6” cut.
  • It has a rotary blade. Every other trimmer I know doesn’t and people are always replacing blades and complaining about the tattered cuts. I have never replaced a blade; I actually have my original blade on my new trimmer. I replace the cutting mats occasionally but that’s it. And the cutting mats are $3.59 for two. I may use a pack in a year, but not always. It doesn’t get more budget conscious than that!
  • It has a guide so you can cut in the middle of the page precisely. Love that!

 2. My Fiskars fingertip knife

I like to do a lot of intricate cutting. And I like to cut out pieces in the middle of bigger pieces. And I like to make hills and snowbanks and waves. This knife gives me the sharp blade plus the control I need for all those things. It’s designed to fit over your index finger so that it acts like an extension of your hand rather than a separate tool. I tell everyone I know to buy them and I’ve only ever had one person come back and say they weren’t a huge fan. Plus, they have a safety cover, standard size blades so you easily replace them, and again, they’re small! 

3. My Ranger nonstick craft sheet

Whatever I do, I do on my craft sheet. Nothing sticks to this thing, no matter how long you leave it on there to dry and set. Everything can be scraped and cleaned off. With the mess I make, this is a very good thing! My husband frowns on ink and glue stuck to the kitchen table (go ahead, ask me how I know that!) My only complaint is that you can’t cut on it (see tool #2) as evidenced by the two I have sliced through! 

4. My Honey Bee scissors. 

These are also made by EK Success and are super sharp and non-stick. Plus they’re tiny for that intricate detail cutting I like. And they have a safety cover. Enough said! 

5. Jet Black Archival Ink

At first I was just going to say ink but I thought that might be cheating so I listed my favourite ink – Jet Black Archival. Now, for all those people that know of my obsession for Distress I have to say that I love, love, love my Distress Inks but I would need to bring them all, not just one. So, if faced with the challenge of only having one, it would have to be Archival. Here’s why: 

  • Jet Black is really, really black. If I’m going to use black ink then darn it, I want it to be black!
  • It’s an oil based permanent ink so no matter what I stamp it over, like Distress, it will stay. And it’s totally waterproof once set, which is important since I mist and spray a lot.
  • Jet Black because it will work with everything. No matter what I’m making, it will ink the edges and stamp a sentiment and never look out of place. And when used with a bunch of colour, it stands out while popping the colour. 

So here they all are. 

I’m happy with the final five because when I really think about what tools I use on almost every project, it’s these five. In a pinch, I can make it through with no other tools, given that paper and adhesive was supplied. In my next post I’ll tell you all about my favourite adhesive by GlueArts!

What are your five faves? Let us know – maybe I’ll change my mind about some of mine! And if you want to see these tools in action, check out my blog, more specifically, check out this post where I used all but the paper trimmer on one index card!

Sneak Peek of February Make’n’Take

Hello Everyone! We thought we’d share the three cards we made today in our monthly TGIF Make’n’Take. We used one very basic sketch to demonstrate how you can get three different looks simply by using a small variety of stamps.

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Our new lunch-time make’n’takes will always be designed with the Clean & Simple philosophy in mind. Using a sketch you can easily create three cards in less than 60 minutes. You’ll have to sign up to see for yourself, but by using this blueprint and allotting 20 minutes per card, you can achieve amazing results! Here are the three cards we made today:

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We used our AccuCut Die of the Week: Butterfly #8 to cut out and layer six double-sided butterflies with the Authentique Freebird 6×6 papers. The ivory card base was stamped with the Hero Arts Zig Zag background stamp in Antique Linen Distress Ink, and the birthday sentiment is from Memory Box.

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The Kraft card showcases the Hero Arts Dandelion, stamp of the week in our One Little Stamp feature. The panel was stamped with the new Hero Arts Newsprint background stamp in Rich Cocoa Memento ink, then the Dandelion image was stamped over the top with VersaMark and embossed with white embossing powder. A simple sentiment was added with a circle punch.

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Don’t you love the Spiced Marmalade and Fired Brick distress inks on that poppy Hello card? The panel started out ivory with white embossing, and ended up a lovely blend of pale orange and brick. We used the Hero Arts Delicate Blossoms stamp and one of their Hello sentiments.

If you are inspired by any of these cards, we’d love to see any of your creations pop up in the Paperie Community on Facebook, or link to your blog if you have one! 🙂 With a new greeting, any of these cards would be good for a variety of occasions. To try something different, take the sketch and rotate it 90 degrees to get a whole new look for your card.

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Feature Friday: Guest Blogger Krista Wells!

Happy Friday everyone! It’s Krista Wells here, part of The Paperie’s monthly kit design team, popping in for a guest blogging spot today.

I hope some of you were lucky enough to get your hands on our January kit but even if you weren’t, you can certainly benefit from my tips today using any chipboard letters you have in your stash.

For the January kit I made this layout of my adorable godson Liam. I wanted a simple title but I wanted something that stood out against the white and gold-misted background without being too much. So, I grabbed my American Crafts pen and a set of letters that I had punched out using some cardstock and the Accucut machine at The Paperie and set to work.

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I lined up my letters, starting on the right to make sure I had enough room for the words that I wanted. Then I traced them with the blue American Crafts pen. Any pen will do really! Now, if you are a perfectionist like me you might hate when you trace a line and it’s a little ‘off’ or a little wobbly. Well, I’ve mastered the “perfectionist way” of fixing this. When I’m done all my letters I simply take away the chipboard letters and retrace my lines, letting them be a little ‘imperfect’. I’m not usually a doodler but I like this technique a lot. It’s an ‘imperfect’ perfect for me.

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Of course this is a great technique for the doodler too. If you like doodling you’ll love this technique, which can be used with any die-cut shapes you’ve purchased or cut out yourself.

This is a great way to make titles when you runn out of certain letters. I am always short an ‘e’ when I create layouts. For the same reason, this technique is great for long titles because you don’t need the physical letters.

It’s also a good way to keep a layout from being too bulky. In fact, this would be perfect for titles for a project life album or Smash Book to prevent your album from getting too chunky.

I hope I’ve given you some motivation to try this technique. You just might find that you like it! If you try this technique and want to share, upload your layout to The Paperie Community page on Facebook!

Have a wonderful weekend!


For more of Krista’s work please visit her blog ‘Confessions of a Twenty Something Artist’.