Welcome September

September quote w a branch of bittersweet to the right

September is happily welcomed into my life with a smile and looking forward to my favorite month of the year, October. Perhaps it’s because I was born in the fall that I embrace the days of autumn. Cooler weather, an earthy fragrance, and the subtle changes mother nature invokes brings me joy. This September will be one to remember. My children and grandchildren will be here at the end of the month…just in time for marshmallows toasting over a wood burning fire in the ring, a celebration of fall, and hugs galore.

Friday KISS logo

This week we’ll celebrate September and Friday KISS No.13 with 3 charming papers.

3 8.5 in x 11 in papers in cream and golden yellow

Welcome September papers are 8.5 in x 11 in with a golden yellow and cream stripe and gingham patterns with images from old garden catalogs that hale from the late 1800s. The rustic cart image began as an advertisement in a farm magazine from the early 1900s. The script on the middle page are the notes from a naturalists field journal, also from the late 1800s.

Click to download: SotC Welcome September papers

Papers are handy for so many things, big projects like creating beautiful, stuffed-full journals, making lovely boxes to hold everything from paper scraps to luxurious gifts or a card. I used the 3 papers to collage an autumn card.

A card made using the 3 papers in the Friday KISS No.13 freebie.

Let’s make a list of ways to use papers :

  1. Journals
  2. Scrapbooking
  3. Cards
  4. Stationery
  5. Collage wall art
  6. Invitations
  7. Tags and Labels
  8. Wire twists
  9. Party decorations
  10. Pinwheels
  11. Accordion pinwheels
  12. Cupcake papers and wrappers
  13. Cupcake toppers
  14. Tablescape decorations
  15. Mobiles
  16. Treat Bags
  17. Party Favors
  18. Fans
  19. Banners
  20. Paper Beads
  21. Planners
  22. Organizers
  23. Envelopes
  24. Use in altered books
  25. Straw FLags
  26. Recycle, upcycle cans into desk accessories
  27. Recipe cards, tabbed dividers
  28. Cover an old recipe box
  29. Napkin rings

The list could go on and on, but we’l leave there for now because I’m sure you get the picture. I’m running late so that’s it for today. Happy creating. . .

Have a lovely day/evening!



cat in the bowler hat facing forward

There are days when the creative juices do not flow. A blank page, screen, or canvas stares back at you waiting. . . waiting for you to pick up your pen, brush, stylist or mouse and begin. You may have several projects started that need to be finished and yet nothing comes to you. So what do you do?

TAKE A WALK Get out into the great outdoors where every sense comes into play. Notice the rust on a wire fence, listen to the chatter of squirrels in the trees above, the musky smell of wet earth, pick up an acorn and feel the textured top and the smooth bulb below, taste a raindrop on your lips.

READ FROM YOUR FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL BOOK. Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way is my go to. She offers so many ideas for moving forward within a creative life. From her book I began morning pages 20 years ago. Look it up…you may find writing every morning before you do anything except brew a cup of coffee or tea to be so helpful.

Isabel Allende quote with man in the moon image

DO NOTHING Have you ever taken the time to just be? Turn off the phone, the TV, the lap top, and computer. Walk away and find a quiet place to just sit and be. Meditate, if that’s your jam or not, but being still for even a short time can begin to refill your creative well.

TAKE A DAY TRIP Move beyond your studio, workroom, corner or table. Go somewhere with a friend to a place you enjoy or may be out of your comfort zone. My favorite places to go are the Toledo Symphony, a play especially one in which my grandson and/or daughter are involved, sitting and slowly sipping a coffee or tea with a friend at a bistro and finally a day visiting one of the Great Lakes. Water has a way of bringing vast contentment and inspiration to me.

I have tried each of these. One or several usually works, but there are times when the creative block just needs to run its course. Today, I’m taking Isabel Allende’s advice and showing up. The motivation is just not there today but I’m going to soldier on and see what I can accomplish.

What do you do when you have creative block?

Resource: New York Public Library digital Collections

I have a resource to share: The New York Public Library digital collections. Just scroll down through the featured themes and click away. Or you can add a few keywords into the search box. Click on an image and discover details about the image such as who created the image, the year, and if it is in the public domain. You may come across images that are NOT in the public domain… just enjoy the image where it is and if you love it, check back later to see if it is yet in the public domain.

Happy Creating and have a lovely day!

FK No.12 Index It

Happy Friday! It’s a cloudy day here in my own little corner, but that’s ok. As soon as I wrote the first sentence a tune from my childhood popped into my head. Funny how that happens.

How very true those words are. When sitting at my farmhouse table I can be a fairy creating whimsical papers. The next day I’m on a romp as a flapper in the 1920s gathering fashions that were all the rage and designing tags. Most days are magical to me when I’m in my own little world of digital designing, playing with paper, and (whispering) needle felting.

My old address book is in a sad state and I’ve been meaning to create something for the addresses I need to keep. My thoughts have been to take an old recipe box, decorate it anew and use an index card for each address. Now I’m pondering creating my own box and using mixed collage to decorate it. If you recall, 2 weeks ago (Friday KISS No.9) the freebie was a template for 3-in x 5-in index cards. This week’s Friday KISS is the companion to index cards, tabbed dividers.

Scissors, brushes in an old canning jar, 3 tabbed dividers, and sheets of uncut tabbed dividers and an old table.

Download Friday KISS No.12 (< click to download)

You will receive 3- 11 in x 8.5 in sheets. Each sheet has 4 tabbed dividers, 3 inches x 5 inches, on it. One sheet with the tab to the left, one with the tab in the middle, and one with the tab to the right. These are outlined templates formatted as PNGs. This allows digital designers to use the template in Photoshop or whatever editing program is used.

Get creative with your tabbed dividers.

A decorated tabbed divider using mixed media to create an aged, vintage look and another divider simply printed on  paper with a cut out circle

The above photo shows 2 tabbed decorated dividers. The bottom divider is a no fuss, no muss way to create. I used 110 lb, off-white card stock and printed the no. 6 paper, from the In the Past paper pack that you can find in my Etsy shop, on the card. Just turn your printed paper over and print the divider outlines on the back side. Add an identifying tag in the tab, if you wish. I cut out a circle and wrote a B on it. Easy-peasy.

My plan is to create a mixed-media aged, vintage look tabbed dividers and alphabetize. Decide how you want your tabbed dividers to look, what paper, ephemera, fussy cuts and colors you want to use. My dividers will all be created from Studio on the Corner’s Nature Notebook Papers. I also used Tim Holtz stencil and stamp along with his Ranger Distress Oxide in black soot and vintage photo Distress Ink. Colors: aquamarine, Tuscan teal, and Flamenco red ( all purchased for a buck each at a big box store)

Directions for a tabbed divider

  1. Using the template, print on 110 lb card stock
  2. Tear up pages from an old book, magazine, whatever works for you and Mod Podge them on to the cut out dividers. This step creates a super sturdy divider. I did this to both sides.
  3. Once you have all the paper attached, give the entire divider a good brushing of Mod Podge on top. Let dry.
  4. Using a dry rag I added acrylic paint to the front of the card by swiping and rubbing.
  5. Adhere torn bits of paper from SotC Nature Notebook using Mod Podge.
  6. Stamp a flower, leaves, or whatever you wish. In the lower right corner I stamped a wild rose and a couple leaves.
  7. Create a layout using a butterfly, ephemera, or whatever you fancy.
  8. After each layer I added acrylic paint where needed.
  9. I stenciled a few gradient dots
  10. I do not like to see any white so I added Distress ink on spots that I thought didn’t look old enough and before it dried I spritzed water on it so the ink would spot and run.
  11. The qwerty A was added and grunged a bit
  12. The last thing I did was dip a fan shaped brush into water, then red acrylic paint and splattered it all over the divider. Voila!

Some of the items/ephemera I used on tabbed divider is not yet available at Studio on the Corner, but it will be along with fun kits for fall, Halloween and every day. So here’s a peek into the future:

Have a lovely weekend!

Avocado Dreams in Pink

I would add to the beautiful poem penned by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) And avocado dyed papers whispering in shades of pink. Truth is…I could never add anything to The Great Lover because it is perfect as written and one of loveliest poems I know. But I am absolutely smitten with avocado dyed paper, fabrics, and whatever will take the dye. I’m not ashamed to say, I love the color pink in all it’s derivatives from deep rose to the palest pink.

I first read about dying paper with boiled avocado pits in the Victoria Bliss magazine. Do you think I can find that article to share with you? Nope…but there are loads of tutorials out there and enchanting photos of people using the green, guacamole ingredient to turn paper, fabric, lace, ribbon and whatever you wish into a charming array of pinks.

Since first reading about this magical, natural dye I’ve dyed numerous plain, white papers and was delighted when they came out in so many different pinkish hues with texture, spots, and interest. Then I thought why not scan these lovely papers and offer them for sale at Studio on the Corner Etsy shop? So I did.

Avocado Dreams Paper Pack

These papers create wonderful backgrounds for junk journals, planners, greeting cards, and any paperie craft. One of the finest things to do is to use them as stationery and write a letter to your favorite long-distance friend. You can find the Avocado Dreams pink paper pack at Studio on the Corner Etsy shop.

DIY Avocado Pink

It’s super easy to dye paper. Just pick up a couple avocados, make a delicious guacamole. Set aside those big, beautiful pits. I dyed with just the pits the first time. The second time I tossed in the peels and pits into about 2 cups of boiling water. I’ll be honest I was not very scientific. Let the pits and peels simmer in the water for…. well I don’t know. Every once in a while I’d take a piece of paper and dip it into the avocado water. From my experimentations the longer you let the avocados simmer the darker the water becomes.

I layed a couple papers in an old cookie sheet (some people call it a jelly roll pan) and poured the deep colored water over the papers. No I did not let it cool, I was just too excited to see what would come of my haphazard dying method.

You can do a quick dip for a hint of pink or leave the papers linger in the water. The longer they linger, the deeper the pink, is what I discovered. One batch of papers came out a lovely peach color instead of pink…no matter I think the color is ever so lovely.

What kind of paper should you use? I experimented with different weights and tried dying watercolor paper. They all turned out beautifully. I think I’ll dye some ribbon next and maybe some lace, definitely more papers.

Happy Creating!

Friday KISS No.11

Happy Friday, dear friends. Did you have a lovely week? August in my corner of the world is hot and humid one week, followed by glorious weather with blue skies and white, fluffy clouds floating over head. It’s on those soft seventies days that I long to grab a book, spread a blanket beneath a tree, and get lost in a book.

Reading is a sensory thing for me; in an instant I am transported to faraway places with all five senses on high alert forgetting the worries of the day, the pressure of getting it done. It only takes a first line to grab me and hold me . . .

Open book with book mark lying on page

“It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.”

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Oh how Love in the Time of Cholera pulled me into the world of Marquez. I hope reading is a treasured past time for you, too. I don’t spend nearly enough time reading these days, so let’s make time. Create tranquility for yourself with a cup of tea or glass of wine, a cozy nook, and words taking flight in your being.

I wish we could all pick up a book and not put it down until we’re finished, but unless it’s a quick, thin-book read we must set it aside and that’s where Friday KISS No.11 comes in. You need a bookmark so you don’t lose your place.

A sheet of bookmarks with finished bookmarks lying on top

A dear friend mentioned how she needed bookmarks for the books she’s currently reading and that people always need a bookmark, sooo. . . I thought well that’s a great idea for a Friday KISS. Bookmarks make fine gift tags or insert one into a book you’re giving as a gift.
Making a bookmark is quick and easy. Just download Friday KISS No. 11, print on 65 – 110 lb card stock, and cut out. You can also get creative or add details.

  • Print the back of the sheet of tags with the paper file included to give the bookmark a finished look
  • Punch a hole in the top
  • Thread ribbon, baker’s twine, jute, or whatever you wish through the hole.
  • Glue a bow at the top or add a dangle like a charm
  • Use embroidery floss to make a tassel and thread the tassel through the hole. These were my favorites.
  • Get super artsy with mixed media on the back.
  • Add grunge with distress inks, paint, pens etc
  • Create a teeny-tiny pocket pocket and tuck a teeny-tiny note inside or inspirational word on a slip of paper

As aways the possibilities are as wide as your imagination!

Download Friday KISS No.11 from Studio on the Corner

Script writing that says, what you get
  • 1 8.5 in x 11 in sheet of 6 bookmarks that measure 3.75 in long x 1.5 in width. Each bookmark is decorated with an image from Combinaisons Ornementales, a collaboration between 3 artists.
  • 1 solid color paper that measures 8.5 in x 11 in to print on the back of the bookmarks

I can’t recall what I was searching for when I came upon Combinaisons Ornementales in the New York Public Library Digital Collections, but what a happy accident! Published in 1901 the beautiful art nouveau designs showcase the talents of three artists: Maurice Verneuil, George Auriol, and Alphonse Mucha. Oh the lovely things that can be created using their designs. . . dreamy sigh. If you love old and well-loved you will so enjoy the stunning designs. Once you’ve downloaded the bookmarks come back and click on the links above and you too can sigh over wonderful art from the early 1900s.

Happy creating and have a lovely Friday!

Friday KISS No.10

Friday KISS logo w lips pursed for a kiss

Good Friday KISS day! I look forward each week to creating, posting and sharing with you on this day. This week we’re back to handy-dandy templates. These creations aren’t lovely to look at because they’re the foundation of a creation whether it’s a digital/printable or paper craft. The template allows you loads of freedom to create something that is totally you, but are so convenient. You never have to remake a sheet of 3 inch x 5 inch index cards because they’re all ready tucked into the folder where you keep all your templates. Don’t forget you can print the sheets on heavy card stock, cut them out and use them to trace around.

If you’re wondering what you can do with index cards well…..

  • Send as a post card
  • Use as a journal spot
  • Create a pocket with the index card
  • Use as an invitation
  • Keep track of information
  • Everyone’s favorite: a recipe card
  • Create an address “book”
  • Create a banner using individual index cards
  • Use index cards in mixed media art
  • Make fun flash cards
  • Use this PNG template of 3 in x 5 in index cards to create digitals in Photoshop, Canva or your choice of programs.

That’s 11 ideas to get you started.

what you get in friday Kiss no.10

A photo of 3 inch x 5 inch index cards  with lines on a sheet, 3 cards unlined and cut out, and one index card decorated with bits of ephemera from the soon to be listed kit, Fall into Autumn
  • 1 sheet of 4 – 3 inch x 5 inch, outlined index cards with lines
  • 1 sheet of 4 – 3 inch x 5 inch, outlined index cards with no lines

Download the index cards

Just print on whatever paper you wish depending on what you’re doing with the cards. I think 110 lb card stock works best. I used one of the index cards I printed on cream card stock for the mixed media index above.

How did I get that look on the cream no lines index card? I began by tearing strip of text from an old book and gluing to the index card.Next I mod podged over the entire index card, then on went white tissue paper dyed in strong tea. I wrinkled the paper with my fingers as I pressed it to the index card. Another layer of Mod Podge and time to dry were the next steps. Now I brushed on burnt sienna watercolor and Tim Holtz’s Ranger Distress Ink, walnut and vintage photo to add a look of grunge. I also used the distres ink on all the edges, no white showing please. By the way, you can find inks and so much more under the Tim Holtz section at Michael’s, Joann Fabrics and online or head for Tim Holtz’s website. I laid a small piece of lace from my ribbon scrap bag. The elements on the card are from Studio on the Corner Etsy shop soon-to-be-listed kit, Fall into Autumn. I’ll let you know the moment it’s listed by updating this post. Next, I picked through one of my button jars and found a rustic, old button to glue on. Finally, I added spatters with lamp black watercolor. I like the way my index card turned out, I think it looks rather fall festive.

Have a spectacular weekend and make something beautiful!

Color it with Coffee

Quote by Mary Oliver, "Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable."

Using tea and coffee to stain paper is an old trick for adding grunge, age, and fun to paper. If you love the look of old and grungy dying papers in coffee may be your thing. My first go at coffee dying paper was 2016. Since then I’ve dyed a lot of paper and was intrigued by every piece. From the look to the sound It’s so fun to use.

A photo of paper soaking in coffee

I wish I could recall the YouTube video I used the first time I made coffee-dyed papers, but even after a search on YouTube I cannot find the very one. I don’t know that theres one way to coffee dye. I’ve never followed a particular formula, but did my share of experimenting. I tend to use left over coffee in the pot. I never add water but sometimes add the grounds or rub them into the paper. I’ve tried dipping, laying and pouring coffee over papers. I’ve used a brush, splattered with my fingers or a brush, and placed things on top like a paper doily. I would love to hang papers and pour coffee down the papers so there would be long drips running the length. This is a project for outdoors on a nice sunny, but not hot and humid, day.

I use a metal cookie sheet, pour enough coffee to cover a couple sheets and let it sit in the brew for a bit. The longer it lays in the coffee the darker the paper will be. Using metal, especially old beat up with a bit of rust, creates black speckles on the paper that adds another level of grunge and age. Once I’m satisfied, I let the papers air dry or dry in the oven on the lowest possible heat with the oven door open. It takes only a few minutes for paper to dry in the oven, so keep a close eye and check the paper often.

Can you dye colored paper? Absolutely, coffee dying as a worn patina to colored and patterned paper. Just like dyed fabric runs if not color fast, paper does the same. I’ve had much better luck dying white paper and printing after the paper is dried. I tried dying purchased scrapbook paper and that ink did not run. In fact, most of the papers looked beautifully aged.

I dyed both plain papers and purchased pattern ones for my grandson’s junk journal/baby book that I created in 2017. The blue paper had a beige cast that softened the color and turned it from sparkling blue and bright to time-worn.

Because many of the images I used in this adorable baby book were taken from my grandson’s great-grandfather’s baby book (1916) I wanted to keep with the old look.

Images from 1916 baby book of a mother hugging her child, a baby leaning over, a page with a frame that declares "Announcement" and a baby sleeping.

A true labor of love, the junk journal/baby book sits on my 5 year old grandson’s bookshelf in Colorado.

The other day I watched a video on YouTube by 49dragonflies. Oh my goodness, she creates wonderful videos that inspire and delight. Her video How to Make DIY Bubble Art for Junk Journals inspired me to give it a try. So this morning I poured the leftover coffee into a 2 cup measure, added dish soap, got out a straw and blew a few bubbles.

My coffee mixture of leftover coffee and bubbles wasn’t strong enough to create the effect I was hoping it would so I decided to brush the bubbles on instead. You can see the looks I achieved on the still very wet papers. I used various weights of paper: inexpensive 20 lb, 65 lb, 110 lb card stock, and watercolor paper. In her video, Pimping Up Your Coffee Dyed Papers, Barbara suggested spattering pages with distress ink or watercolors. I have a good number of tubes of watercolor paint so I went that direction. She also showed how sprinkling salt over the wet papers can add texture. I tried both Kosher salt and table salt. The next time I do this, I’m going to use cheap instant coffee and make sure the mixture is dark enough. Nonetheless, I do like what I created today. I did not iron my papers because I don’t necessarily want my papers to be flat, in fact, I often wad the paper up before dying to create a wrinkled look and dark lines where the coffee settles into the creases. I suppose if I want to create a package of my coffee dyed papers for Studio on the Corner Etsy shop I’ll have to iron them so they scan well.

It’s such fun creating! I get excited, impatient to see the final results, and then the imagination takes over when considering what I’ll make with these DIY coffee-dyed papers. Do check out 49dragonflies YouTube channel and her shop. Try coffee dying yourself, you will find that no two papers are ever alike and there truly is nothing quite like dyed papers added to journals, planners, and paperie crafts of all kinds.

Have a lovely day/evening,

Friday KISS No.9

Quote, sunflower, and butterfly
Quote, butterfly and sunflower

Let’s write a letter and send it through the mail. I’ve created a little package of stationery with the hopes that just a couple people will be encouraged to write a letter to someone special. I don’t know about you, but I miss the days when I went to the mailbox and discovered recognizable handwriting on an envelope. I just knew a story awaited me, with bits of comings and goings, and life moments that would catch me up. There is something so very special about opening a letter, sitting in a rocking chair and reading the latest news from someone you love. Oh how I wish we would embrace letter writing again, not because it’s the only form of communication, but because it is wonderful to send and receive a letter.

Friday KISS No.9: Sunflower stationery

The Sunflower stationery package includes:

  • 4 pieces of stationery, 2 lined and 2 no lines
  • 1 lined paper to print on the back of your stationery if you wish
  • at the bottom of each page you’ll find either 3 butterflies or 3 sunflower images to fussy cut and use to close your envelope

I hope you are encouraged to write someone special a letter. Or use the stationery as an invitation, in a journal, a planner or whatever your creative imagination conjures up. Click on the link below to download.

SotC Friday KISS No.9

Have a lovely weekend!

Inspiration & Treasures

Hello August. . . the time of the year when robins become quiet and the cicadas sing to their heart’s content. In this corner it’s hot, a bit humid, and quite green. Yet, there is a subtle foreshadowing when corn tassels show and the white-tailed deer seem to disappear. For most of my life I was led by the rhythmic dance of the seasons. Living on a farm demands you pay attention to changes in weather and nature. It was a 25 year lesson that has served me well. at times, I miss those dog-day summers of August respite. A bit of rest from straw and hay making, long days and evenings doing what must be done, meals in fields, and late nights waiting. And then there was my garden…my beautiful never finished garden where change occurred on a daily basis. So what does all this have to do with inspiration and treasures? I’m not sure except that every day is a treasure trove of inspiration found in unexpected places.

An old Notebook with writing inside, a list of spelling words written by a child in the 1920s, and an adorable 1921 Primer.
Old ephemera and a primer book from my stash of goodies

This morning I decided to work on an Etsy listing that was added to Studio on the Corner Etsy shop in 2015. It’s a digital scrapbooking kit called School Days. The kit is my own art with some vintage images added. This kit was listed before I decided to keep the focus of SotC to be old, vintage, retro. The digital kit will remain, but a printable package will be added for those who want to download and print. Because I want this package to be larger the search for school type items began. One of my favorite bits of ephemera is the old Note Book. The pages are so very fragile. A student from long ago took notes, wrote a poem, and worked on arithmetic leaving behind a touching look into this then young man’s life. The list of spelling words was the work of a little girl and the primer belonged to 2 sisters who left behind a legacy of love. So you see, these items are not just ephemera, but family treasures that keep the past alive.

Then there was the McGuffey Reader. When I opened it, the book fell open to a page with a blue feather.

Old McGuffey Reader with a small blue feather tucked inside.
McGuffey Reader with blue feather tucked inside.

The charm of the feather carefully tucked inside touched me to the point of tears. I don’t know why tears except that my mind creates stories with with each discovery and I wonder who placed that feather between the pages? That someone must have been as enchanted by the feather as I was. These small moments become my inspiration for creating.

Where is inspiration found? For me, it’s found everywhere, but we must be open to it with eyes wide like a child. It’s fleeting, it’s random and it’s absolutely wonderful!

See you on Friday KISS day with another freebie! Have a lovely day and keep creating!

Friday KISS No.8

I keep reminding myself, “Keep it simple, silly!” I tend to over-complicate my creations, ideas, and even my life. Friday KISS is suppose to be about useful and simple. I ponder what we, as paper crafters and digital creators, need. It’s my goal to pay it forward with freebies of value. That value, may at times, be something frivolous and fun.

Friday KISS No.8 is 4 super simple, blank notecards that should fit into an A-6 envelope (4.75 in x 6.5 in) Each card features an illustration from the late 1800s or the early 1900s.

A photo of four note cards with illustrations of a high bicycle, a lizard, a crabby cat and a late Victorian lady lying on black and beige checks and stripe papers from Studio on the Corner Etsy shop.


Keeping with the simplicity theme:

  • Print the blank cards. I used a 110 lb cream and soft gray color card stock
  • Fold in half
  • A pocket inside holds a bit of birthday money, a gift card, bookmarks, or tuck a letter inside. The Studio on the Corner Farmhouse Halloween papers worked great for creating pockets and adding a side accent when I didn’t get the fold centered. After printing papers #3 and #9, decide what style of pocket to create. A simple triangle, a rectangle, or square.
  • Decorate these plain cards as much or as little as you like.
  • Cards always add a bit of fun and mystery to your paper crafting, junk journals, planners, scrapbooking, mixed media art or whatever is the project of the day.

Download Friday KISS No.8

I’m still working on making a video that I can share on YouTube. I’m getting one step closer to making this endeavor a reality. Believe me, when I get it all figured out and have my first video up you’ll be the first to know!

Have a lovely day/evening and keep creating!