Archive for December, 2012


Monday, December 31st, 2012

Christmas has come and in this house it is still here. December 24th, 25th and 26th went by sooooo fast. If I could have one Christmas wish it would be that on those very special 3 days we could slow time down to a snail’s pace so we could lavishly enjoy each and every moment longer. The house was “spectacularly full” with my grown children, husbands and loved ones, my grandchildren and my grand dogs … oh, it was Christmas chaos at it’s best.

 I actually am going to make this a very short blog post. I had promised to share, this,  my “life’s love”, Brian’s, tag. Of course, it bears a photo like all the rest because next year this tag will be on “our” tree. I actually loved the simple design & the colors in this tag so much that I altered it and recreated it for some very special friends and neighbors … will they get them this year???? I am being positive  and saying “yes” BUT if it all gets crazy and my “window of time” disappears … well, I bet they will like them next year (lol).

This card/tag/ornament sports a wonderful pine sprig from “The Stamp Barn” which of course “Frog Whisker’s Ink, manufactures. The color palette is the alchemy, pigment petal point from Clearsnap. This amazing array of metallic colors was “fabulous” for me all season long and I think you may find me using this color combo in some upcoming projects for some upcoming classes. I am over the top in love with my “blue, blood red” embossed frame … oh, yeah … this is a fabulous combo of colors that I will be using over and over again. The die cuts are from “In the Making” …. thank you “Deanna” for creating these for us. They graced so many projects this year and I know they will be used over and over again next year too. Great dies are like great stamps … timeless.

Brian loves the card and it is on his desk on his hutch with his birthday card from this year. I love that he leaves my cards that I make for him, up for extended … sometimes wayyyy extended amounts of time. He fills my “Christmas heart” with so much joy …. can you see the tenderness I cherish in this man?

The inside of his tag/card/ornament … is simple but continues the flavour of the front panel. I cropped out my personal message to this man who stole my heart 18 1/2 years ago and continues to steal it every day but let it be known that he “fills” my Christmas heart.



Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

We are less than a week from Christmas and  I am so blessed to be able to share with you my 4 month old, “grandeversocute son’s” tag with you. In sharing this tag with you I am also sharing the fact that “by the grace of God”, our children are here and safe with us for this wonderful Christmas that is just around the corner. My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to those that will not have that, this year. I pray that those who are trying to survive the horror of what happened in Newtown Connecticut will be able to find peace, somehow. I have lost “loved ones” in my life and I still struggle but ALL my children are safe and I am so grateful for that. I actually thought of not posting “another tag” but I think in honour of the “angels” this world lost on that “earth shattering, tragic” day, I will continue with these “happy posts” of precious children for they bring so much meaning, love and joy into our lives. No words can ease the pain  but I hope by continuing to celebrate the “joy of children” we can honour all those who were lost,  the children and teachers that tried to protect them.


This tag was created using a solid little holly stamp that comes in a set  numbered CRS051 CU from “The Stamp Barn” that is now manufactured by “Frog’s Whisker’s Ink“. This “go to” little stamp has created the backgrounds for more projects than I can count …. it paid for itself years ago and now I actually think I owe “it” money (lol). I used my smack down technique to create the background which you will find all stepped out in both Vol. #6 of Canadian Scrapbook Basics and many, many articles that I have written for both Scrap & Stamp Arts & Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine. The colors I used were Clearsnap’s, ice blue, Fluid Chalk and Wisteria. Do NOT forget to get re-inkers for all  your stamp pads! Without the re-inker you are simply limited to what you can achieve. The snowflake die and the “mini tag” die’s are from “Impression Obsession”. I used moonlight, “Smooch” from Clearsnap and their frost, “Smooch Glitz” to alter my snowflakes … love, love that these products dry sooo quickly (and yet you know we can mess with that).

The elves are from my collection of “Printworks” stamps that I have from years back … I don’t know if they are still available but I have this entire set of elves that I have treasured for years. They were just soooo perfect for this tag that I HAD to use them. My ribbon of course was custom “sparkled” with Glitter Ritz, glitter and of course my “Be Creative” tape holds the glitter to the ribbon “perfectly”, this technique is also stepped out in “Vol. #6. So please enjoy my “Elias’s tag and know that this Grammom is hugging ALL her children and grandsweethearts each and every time she can.


Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Rowan is my 4 year old, grandhandsome son who makes my heart smile with his “non stop” chatting abilities. This little man did not even say “one word” until he was 2 & 1/2 and now of course he is making up for it. Papa (Brian) and I have spoiled “this one” too this year (so much fun) and here is the tag that will go on his “major” present. Of course, this tag will also be placed on “his very purple Christmas tree” (there IS a story here) as soon as they get home. I love this photo. It is Rowan early in the morning and comes with “bed head” (I love 4 year old “bed head”) and his amazing “cheese” smile. I do have a professional photo of Rowan that I could have used …. but this one was just “more Rowan”.

Here are the tools I used to create this tag/ornament. There should be a Clearsnap stylus in there too as that is what I used to create the plaid background on the tag. I hand cut a stencil from window plastic and if you look to the right of the photo it is there. I used my stylus to apply these amazing pigmented colors from Clearsnap ( I went for lightfast) to make my “white tag” not white, anymore. Two of my pads are in the “new format” that I love from Clearsnap. The updated lid tells you right on top that it is “pigment ink” and states the color. This makes my inky heart very happy. These are such important adjectives. Remember you need to know “what kind” of ink you are using when you stamp. It is like going to a paint store and asking for “indoor, semi gloss” paint as opposed to “deck stain”. Therefore “the style” of ink printed right on the top of the lid gives you the information that you need.  My “Merry Christmas” stamp came from this set from “Impression Obsession”. Clear sets are wonderful because of their price point and if you stay away from solvent based inks, store them hidden from light, they will last you a long time. I still have some of my very first clear stamp images and they are in great shape.

My die cut images are from the “wreath maker” set from “In the Making Enterprises”. Dee’s Distinctively Dies are built with a 3D eye and here I applied my favourite two-sided, thin adhesive, “Be Creative” tape and added “Glitter Ritz”, micro fine glitter. Sculpt and adhere with your favourite 3D paste (mine is “Yes” glue for oh! so many reasons) and your die cuts are transformed to embellishments that will make your creative heart “shine” (lol).The ribbons started out white too and then they were altered with my pigment ink colours and “Be Creative” tape combined with “Glitter Ritz” glitter. Custom coloured everything makes so much sense to me … I simply buy “white ribbon” …. no hunting for the perfect colour of ribbon I simply “make it”. By the way when you use pigment ink to create custom coloured ribbon it will stay soft. These techniques are taught in my book, Vol. #6 of Canadian Scrapbooker Basics that you will may want to place under your Christmas tree, “for you from you” & make a tag “for you” too while you are at it, for “you” need to be on your tree too. I love our memory trees. I love looking at all the tags from years past and seeing these wonderful grandchildren grow from year to year. Hmmmmm, for some reason their is “no tag” with my face on it …. I guess I should get on “that” so …off I go to buy me a present to put a special “me” tag on it (lol)!

I thought I would add a shot of the back of the tag for it needs to have the flavour of the tag carried thru. And this is a “Sizzix” die that I used for the “bracket”. It is a frame but I cut it in two to create a very cool, bracket. ENJOY!





Thursday, December 6th, 2012

As promised here is my grandson’s tag for his present from Brian and I. These tags I am making this year ARE over sized … why …. cause it’s more fun! The background on this one is the “rollersmoosh” technique I shared with you in the chapter “3D Abilities” in Vol. #6 of “Canadian Scrapbooker Basics”. I actually used the same roller stamp that I used in those projects. The colors I choose were yellow cadmium, amber clay, olive pastel (all of which are available in the autumn pastels, Fluid Chalk, petal point from Clearsnap) and then I added maroon, Fluid Chalk. I added more stamping with a spectacular, funky snowflake from Stampendous and of course the Judi-Kins, peace and love stamps brought the whole think together. The pine bough came from Dee’s Distinctively dies and the mini tag die that is so perfect for all my tags is from Impression Obsession. What a combo.

Yes, everything "except for "Mr. Grandhandsomeface" started out as white Superstock. Even the ribbon was simply white when I started. The background was achieved with yellow cadmium, amber clay, olive pastel and maroon Fluid Chalk from Clearsnap. The ribbon and one of the frames was brought to you by Clearsnap's, chianti, pigment ink and the yummy green frame and pine bough is Clearsnap's. silk green from the brocade, petal point. Now, that's a petal point EVERYONE should have ... and re-inkers of course!

My “Spellbinder’s dies, provided the frame and the frame, pine bough and tags are all embossed multiple times. One frame and ribbon were brought to you by chianti, pigment ink from Clearsnap  … yummy color and the green was the silk green from the brocade, metallic petal point …. this is a MUST have stamp pad and the re-inkers too of course! The face … well that is my handsome grandson, the “best embellishment” on the tag. This tag will look awesome on my daughter’s tree cause that’s where they all go! ENJOY!




Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Did you get your winter issue of “Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine” yet? In that particular issue I shared with you my recent twist on a fabulous technique that has been in my “stamping world” since almost the dawn of my stamping days. I have been using stamps and ink for 30 years and I am seeing so many “amazing techniques” become new “again” that I thought I would add to that “new again”. Of course … my version of “Joseph Coat” could not have happened without the original technique and I would love to give credit to the creative soul that came up with it but “that” was so long ago, that my memory of where it came from is not with me anymore. BUT I hope you are loving “my twist” AND if anyone remembers where the original idea came from, I would love to hear from you. I ALWAYS like to give credit where credit is due so a little help in this direction would be much, much appreciated.

In my last blog I shared a tag version, jump off of what was shared in the magazine and with these photos I just wanted to show you what happens when you change up the colors.  I added embellishments that are “jump offs” from ideas that I shared with you in the book that I wrote for the great “series”, The Canadian Scrapbooker Basics. Vol #6  that is now out and on the news stand or you can order directly thru Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine. Anyway, the colors for these tags that of course will be on some very special Christmas presents this year were robin’s egg and three colors from the provence pigment petal point, cerulean, merlot and chestnut. I then used the silver segment from the alchemy, metallic petal point that is of course pigment ink. Gotta love that pigment ink as you know that these colors are going to stay true for years and years and years. I finished up with frost white … yes, Clearsnap’s pigment ink line … ROCKS. Make sure you have re-inkers for your stamp pads because you will have so much fun making these  that I think like myself more  projects will jump off from these ideas and you will NEED ink to continue. Stamp pads  = your car …. re-inkers for your stamp pads = the gas.

The poinsettia of course is that “drop dead jumbo stamp” from Stampendous and the diamond die is from Spellbinders. The multi-level, mini tag die is from Impression Obsession and the “mini-tag” text image is from Impression Obsession too. The background images that I forced into my multi-layers of embossing are from Impression Obsession as well. … they have such cool stuff! If you like the “old world” feel to my “joy” and my frame, I used Clearsnap’s, silver metallic ink in combination with their asparagus embossing powder. Yes, the ink you cover your die cuts with WILL affect your choice of embossing powder and this combo was “old world, yummy”! So have a peek. I’ve included a photo of the original piece of cardstock that will of course become a page in the near future. Love, love how this custom colored piece of Superstock turned out. Remember … what you are looking at WAS all simply pieces of my favourite cardstock, white Superstock. The ribbon too was simply white ribbon and my Clearsnap pigment ink, changed that too. ENJOY!

STAY TUNED … there is more to come. Did you know that making truly special Christmas tags for my family is one of the hi-lights of my season. One day I will share with you a photo of my daughters’s Christmas trees. They truly are “memory filled” as they are covered in years of the tags I have made for them, most of them incorporating photos of them and of course my grandchildren. LOVE THIS!

Yes, Clearsnap pigment ink and a fabulous snowflake image from Stampendous made this white piece of Superstock “not even close” to white, anymore!


The first tag has no photo so it can grace any lucky present under my tree. By adding a beautiful photo of a beautiful, “grandyounglady” not only does it visually tell you who the package is for but Oh! What a keepsake!



Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Yes, it is December 1st and the book that I have been working on all year  with Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine is in the stores now. Canadian Scrapbooker Basics #6 is here  and I have shared with you some of very favourite stamping techniques, “tried & true” and “very new”.  This volume continue’s from where Vol#2 # Vol#3 left off. Those 2 books in this great series sold out in record time. Canadian Scrapbooker received so many requests for these two volumes that we created this, the 6th book in this truly amazing series that will become your “go to” encyclopaedia of stamping, scrapbooking and paper crafting techniques.  For those of you who did not get Vol #1 or Vol #2 (which I wrote with the help of the amazing Canadian Scrapbooker Team) fear not as we included many of my key techniques so you could jump right in.

We started with techniques that I use daily … I guess we’d have to call them “favourites”. “Stamp Smoosh” and “Smack Down” two techniques that build backgrounds, easily and beautifully. They simply “work”, each and every time. Of course when we stepped out “my key techniques” I created new layouts and cards so that even those of you who have my first two books will enjoy the process (again) and then “WE ADDED NEW”. YES! New ideas that have arrived “via my stamps” since we put those first two books out. “Magic Pigment Transfer”, a faux “Cloisonne’ Techinique” achieved with foils, fun altered, glitter techniques and more. PLUS a whole chapter on using my “Cathie Allan Position-it” to do things with your stamps that you could not do before or at least not this easily. Be prepared to get very inky as you play along with all the great step outs. It is fun and like I have heard so many times from so many of you that take my classes, once they try it … they realize just how easy and fun it is to create your own “custom everything” with your rubber stamps.

I truly hope you enjoy this publication and while you are at the news stand you will also want to pick up the winter issue of “Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine”. This magazine may fool you cause it really does have the look and the feel of a book. Created with superior paper and a binding that looks great on any bookshelf, this quarterly magazine (book) builds you a resource library that you will treasure. In the winter issue  you will find more “new” from me in my “It’s All About Rubber” article as I revive a “tried and true”, technique called “Joseph Coat”. Of course, I gave it a “Cathie twist” but that seems to always, just happen. This magazine (book) is always chock full of great stamping, scrapbooking and paper crafting ideas that are  shared by not only the “Canadian Scrapbooking Team” but from readers from all over the country. Everyone share’s from the heart and we all share our  best ideas … no holding back. That is evident from the cover (created by Christy Riopel) to the final page. You NEED this magazine too, so SUBSCRIBE … it will be the “best mail day ever” all year long.

As I have been promising on “Facebook” I am going to put up some photos of the tags that will go on my loved ones presents this year. I love adding photos to their “tags” for my children love hanging these “special tags” on their tree the following year. I love going to see their trees as they are like looking at a virtual, “Christmas memory” tree. Here is the tag for my Leah. If you follow the instructions in the “Winter issue of Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine” you will be able to create one of these over the top tags/card/ Christmas ornaments, only you may want to include a photo of “your” daughter (lol). The ink is all from Clearsnap. Gorgeous metallic pigment over the beautiful Fluid Chalk line and of course their fabulous “Smooch” ink is all over this too. The ribbon was simply white ribbon and using the technique stepped out on page 51 of the book (Vol #6) you can happily make glitter ribbon for your tags to. I used “Glitter Ritz’s”, micro fine, regal red glitter this time and I altered the color of the exposed edges with my alcohol pens. The snowflake & the jumbo poinsettia stamps are from Stampendous and the text is from Frog’s Whisker’s Ink. The journalling lines are from Impression Obsession. The snowflake die is also Impression Obsession and the diamond shape is from Spellbinders. On Monday I will put up a couple more tags that jumped off from this projects. It’s the technique that keeps on giving. Till then, have fun getting inky and sparkly … there is more to come!