Ready to Shrink some stuff?

I have used shrinky dinks in the past, both from my childhood and early in my card making. I was familiar with the typical shrink plastic but never really dabbled into the printable shrinky dink paper. On a recent trip to Michaels; coupon in hand, I ran across some shrinky dink paper in the stamping isle, but this was for ink jet printers. I thought, I have been meaning to shrink some stuff, so…. let me give this a try. I knew I had the typical stuff at home, which was lovely, because this allowed me to compare the two. Keep in mind, I don’t own an ink jet printer, I only have a laser printer. One might think this was an unwise purchase but it turns out, it was meant to be!

To use your stamps with the old school shrink plastic you have to use Staz-On ink or draw with a sharpie marker. After you get your outline, you can color in with colored pencils or alcohol markers. If you try to stamp dye inks on the clear (original) shrink plastic it bleeds and really does not turn out nicely.

I have several wonderful layered stamp sets from The Ton, so I decided to see how it went using my dye based inks on the Inkjet printable Shrinky Dink paper. I started with the wave stamp set because this is SUPER easy to line up. I figured it would be the best way to quickly stamp something out to and see how the results faired. The white shrinky dink paper took the color beautifully. Keep in mind, after I stamped each color, I did not go and try to rub the color off, it looked like some of the ink was sitting on top of the paper, so I did not want to mess up the image. I used slightly lighter colors than I would have normally used because the shrinking will make the color more intense. After stamping I broke out my heat tool (I use for setting embossing powders) and zapped the plastic. This inkjet paper really likes to curl and not release like the original paper does. That is okay, just grab it while it is hot and smash it flat with any heavy surface near by (I used a pot). My first attempted turned out okay, but I was curious if the rolling of the material was because I was using my heat tool. I broke out the toaster oven, set it at 275 degrees and let it warm up. For my second wave, it again curled unbelievably, but easily flattened while warm, however I found it more consistent and just and overall better result in the toaster over as opposed to the heat tool.



Top wave was placed in toaster oven and lower wave was done with the heat gun.







Now that I was done testing, it was time to work on a project. I wanted little beers glass embellishments for a card. So I stamped out several beer mugs from The Ton Beer stamp set. I even stamped one in the same colors on the original plastic to give a good comparison. I trimmed the mugs down before popping them in the oven. The package said 3 minutes but I found they were done more quickly than that. And they were curled into little balls, so I took one of the oven a time, uncurled and placed just for a few seconds under a clean, heavy pan. The plastic was not overly hot that I burnt my fingers, but I might just have tough fingers? I don’t know???

So, maybe play it safe when grabbing hot items out of the oven. Maybe it is from all the times I have burnt my fingers while embossing?Here is a side by side comparison of the two types of plastic and stamping on them with dye based ink. You can clearly see that the ink jet one is much more vivid and the other is really fuzzy. Also note the difference in size. I thought maybe that was because I did not heat the ink jet paper long enough, but I did leave one in longer to see if it would eventually uncurl, flatten out and shrink a bit but that did not happen.

Onto my card project!

To add dimension to the cute little beer mugs I used Puffy Velvet (in white), which is a puff paint pen. After you apply it, you let it dry for just a bit and add some heat from a heat tool and the paint begins to puff. It is really awesome. The directions on the pen say to let it fully dry before applying heat for an even puff, but I wanted and uneven puff, so I only let it dry for a few minutes before applying the heat. I also colored the base of the mug with yellow wink of Stella to add shimmer.














For my card background, I found a masculine paper in Fancy Pants Be Different paper pad. I used my anti-static powder tool prior to laying down the Cheers image with versa mark ink. The embossing powder I used was in a monthly kit from Hero Art, is is gold with glitter and I love it it! I want to say it was in the December 2016 kit. I trimmed that background piece down to 5.25″ wide but left the height at 4.25″. My card base was made into a top folding card our of primitive cardstock from MFT. I place some gold crackle looking washi tape by Little B (it was in a very cute Fox pack that I found at JoAnn’s recently) on each edge of the card to fill in the slight gap. I covered the entire back of the background panel with foam adhesive and adhered to card base. Finally, I adhered three beer mug embellishments on an angel along the bottom with large glue dots.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my adventures! Happy crafting!



Chameleon Color Tops – making blends

A few weeks ago I found myself in Hobby Lobby.  Surprised?  I was.  I had sometime to kill in between errands and, well, honestly, I had to go to the little girl’s room.

On my way out of the bathrooms, I walk right past the markers and colored pencils.  I usually don’t shop over there (I am not much of a colorist).  I saw the Chameleon pens, was surprised to see them there and on closer inspection saw the the color tops!  I was very excited! I really didn’t not think that big box stores would be carrying them until mid August.  I had been watching the Chameleon website and Amazon, I knew I could preorder, but didn’t want to do that yet.  Here, right in front of me they had four different packs with 5 color tops in each.  I picked up the pinks, greens, blues and reds (and quite frankly I had to grab all four just in case they sold out, even though the 40% off coupon worked on one set – I could have saved money if I was patient and went back a few more times and utilized my 40% off coupon each trip).
Here is a little back history of the Chameloen pens, in case you are not familiar.  They are a set of markers (granted they are not cheap) that allow you to change the tone of the marker with the attached color tone chamber.  This allows for a good alignment to place the tip of the colored bed top a blending solution, therefore reducing the richness of the color and allowing to you to color in various tones of that shade.  They started out with a small 22 pen set (which I was lucky enough to get as a gift from my parents), this included a detail pen, separate blender pen and 20 different colors.  In 2016 they released 30 more colors, so a full set of colors is 50 with the additional blender pen and fine line black detail pen.  The idea behind the product was to allow individuals to color without needing hundreds of markers to get the perfect blend.  I have never used copic markers, I don’t find that I am a good colorist, I just like to color (I can stay in the lines if I pay close attention – lol).  The Chameleons have been a great product for me, I find I am able to achieve the results I like with these pens.  It does take a big of time to get into the swing of it.  And yes, holding the pen into the blending chamber for 5 to 10 seconds, while trying to get that perfect blend does seem daunting, but I think it is well worth it compared to the variety I have in the minimum amount of product needed (i.e. I don’t need 100+ markers and a place to store them all).

Onto the color tops.  What are these?  Well, this is really quite cool.  It allows you to add one or two colors on top of your base color.  Instead of attaching the blending chamber that is full of blending solution, these chambers in the color tops are filled with the colors from the pen palette.  Depending on how long you leave the color chamber attached to the pen will determine the length of the variation.  I found it is best to start with the lightest color and then add the additional colors onto it.  Keep in mind the color blending works best in medium to small color areas.  Don’t expect to get this color variation if you are coloring a very large piece, but for me, as a card maker, these work wonderfully.  As with the original chambers it is very important to keep the pen completely vertical when on the color chamber.

I just saw on Facebook that chameleon has a kickstart for Chameleon Kidz pens that are on a cheaper price point for kids.  These markers I don’t believe will be refillable, like the pen set I have pictured in this blog.  It is a fun way,  I think, for your kids to experience color blending because they provide you with the blending chamber so the nips won’t get mashed and they will be successful in their blending.  Please keep in mind, these pens are not magic, you can color blend most markers and not contaminate the nib, they just have a wonderful color chamber that allows you to line things up, to keep the nibs safe and enjoy the process.
I am looking forwards to adding to my color top collection and I can.  I think there are 10 sets of 5, making 50 color tops, available.  I am looking forward to coloring fall leaves with the blend between reds, oranges and greens.

Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you so much for stopping by and reading :). Have a wonderful day!

P-touch Embellish

I recently was able to get my hands on the new Brother P-touch Embellish, which seems to only be available at Michaels at this time.  The Embellish machine was introduced by Brother at CHA 2017 in Phoenix Arizona back in January and just recently released.  I called my local Michaels store the weekend after it was released, luckily the woman on the line was very helpful, but really did not know much about the new product.  She was able to locate on their computer system that they had 3 machines but after looking at the store could not find them.  She did take down my name and number in the hopes of calling me once she located the item.  A week later I found myself at Michaels again, surprised??? This time I asked an associate, she was kind enough to ask the manager although she told me she didn’t think they had anything that printed on ribbon.  Not 2 minutes later the manager walks out of the office with the prized item in his hands.  I am giddy at this moment but then pose another difficult question, do you happen to have the additional ribbons/tapes?  That was another search, after about 5 minutes they found them, still in the shipping box up at the front of the store along with two other machines.  I found the tapes I wanted, paid and went home with my treasures (along with my son’s treasures too!  He loves Michaels – odd his name is Michael, right?).

Sorry to bore you with all the hunting details, but I really encourage you to ASK someone at Michaels where they have the machine.  By the way, the Michaels I shop from is located in Davenport, IA.  Now onto my review.  I want to compare this new Embellish machine to my old P-touch PT-D200.  Both machines are great for anyone who wants to create labels to organize their office, home, hobby or children – so this is not just a craft machine.

I will start with similarities.  They both have a full key board, take the same TZe size tapes, take 6 AAA batteries (although I highly recommend purchasing the power cord – which is NOT included when you purchase the machine) and test they both can print on the new ribbon TZe-R…. tapes.  Currently the ribbon tapes come in 5 different styles (black on white ribbons, gold on pink ribbon, gold on navy blue ribbon, gold on red ribbon and gold on white ribbon).  They are relatively the same size with the same size display screen and same features.



Let me make it clear, yes, the PT-D200 can print on ribbons.  The TZe-R tapes fit just fine in the machine (and I would assume they also print just fine in any machine that takes the TZe sized tapes) and print beautifully but the Embellish machine has additional features that make printing on the ribbon very easy.  On the keyboard you will notice a ribbon button, on this it will take you step by step through printing a ribbon.





  1. You pick the style you would like (repeating sentiment, having the same sentiment on the end of each ribbon, having two different sentiments (one on each end of the ribbon), having the same sentiment on the end of each ribbon but one being upside down, and typing vertically along the ribbon)
  2. You type your text
  3. You select the length of your ribbon

Other than the ribbon button the machine is pretty much the same and has the same feature.  Maybe some are a bit clearer on the Embellish machine (i.e.  The PT-D200 has a magnifying glass image which is actually the preview button but on the Embellish it clearly states “Preview” on that button).  THe PT-D200 does have additional basic symbols, like for electrical labeling and the Greek alphabet.  I could not find those symbols on the Embellish.  The embellish machine allows you to align you label either left, center, right or justified.  Other than that, I really don’t see many major difference.


Notes from my research

Along with the new machine, new ribbon tapes, they also have 9 new pattern tapes.  These tapes are not glossy like normal TZe tapes, they are matte and resemble washi tape.  After searching www. I found that only a handful of these tapes are currently available and only at Michaels at this time.  They have a pink and blue stripe, doggie prints, stars, chevron, gingham, heart, and scrolls (they all start with TZe-MP…..).


Example of new tapes (left is wash type tape, right is ribbon)


Colors available in new tapes (left washi tape like and right ribbon)

I really hope this has helped you out with deciding if you need the latest and greatest.  Please feel free to comment or leave questions.  I would be happy to help.  I did purchase the Embellish from my own funds, I was not asked to do a review or comparison.




I do have my Ptouch PT-D200 for sale, as I don’t need two labelers.  The machine come with all original docuementation and I just realized I still have the protective screen film on the display!  This machine does not come with the power adapter (check out Amazon to grab that).  If interest in the PT-D200 please leave a comment with your e-mail or message me on instagram @BarbaraAnnCrafts.

Inlay w/in an Inlay

This might not be a new technique but I was excited to work through it and create this end result.

My creations come to me usually in the evening.  I have purchased a notebook but I find it disrespectful to try to jot something down in the middle of the night and disturb my sleeping husband.  I try to get them down first thing in the morning or even start creating, but sometimes this does not happen.  I had this idea a few nights ago and last night I started working on it.

Here are the supplies I used:

First cut down the spearmint and primitive cream cardstock to 4 1/4 by 4 1/4. Then take two of the hexagon shapes (the second a d third largest dies) that fit into the cut squares with some room to spare, tape these two independent dies together with post it tape to create a frame as seen below:

Now center these dies and cut the frame out of both the spearmint and cream cardstock.  Place pieces of cardstock back together with green outer area, cream frame and green center.  Use strips of post it tape to hold image together and then adhere to a thin piece of computer paper (I just grabbed something from my recycling bin from the office.)

Adhere these pieces using Stick It, this is super thin and nice to use for this project because you have to put good pressure on your item to get it to adhere, you have a bit of time to get things in the right place as long as you don’t put too much pressure on it right away.

Now align other image to dies cut on top of your newly formed paper.  I know I have to cut this swag twice to form a circle. Place it and cut it and then carefully remove the die and then the actual cut.  This die is great for this project because it cuts in one piece, although intricate it does not have little middle pieces you would have to piece together.  Now position the die a second time and follow the same process. Carefully remove the die cut swags trying hard not to bend or mangle the negative area (aka our background). .  Run the swag die through twice on a piece of gold foil cardstock (or other contrasting paper of your choice). Carefully place die cuts into the background cardstock using post it tape on top to hold into place.  Mount your background piece to another sheet of typing paper covered with Stick It but don’t press paper down hard, you might need to adjust some paper when filing in the die cuteof the wreath swags.  Once everything is in place like a puzzle, smooth down all pieces with some pressure, I use my bone folder. 

Finally, stamped a sentimentality in the middle of the wreath; I used “Happy Holidays” from Hero Arts September kit.

Thank you for visiting my blog! Comments are welcomed!

**Forgive me, I can’t figure out how to delete this last duplicate image.

Route 66



I first want to apologize for using so many different products from so many different companies in this card.  When you have a vision of what you want, you have the tools, you need to use them, so please don’t feel you need all these tools.  This card can definitely be adapted to the material you have at hand.  So let’s start with the list of supplies I used.




The first thing I do when I create a new card, with moving parts or questionable elements is make a “rough draft.”  This is usually out of white cardstock to see if all the elements will work.  I did this, I was happy so I pressed on.


You will want on piece of heavy card stock for the 4×8 card base, then another piece of cardstock that is 8×8 which you will score at 4 inches to give you a very long card that measures 4×8 with a top fold.  Then I cut all the other simple elements I needed for the design.  The cross stitched squares out of green and blue cardstock, I cut the tag holder out of Gravel Gray, the pull tab from MFT was cut once out of heavy white cardstock and also out of Gravel Gray to camouflage the slider element that will be cut later to make the car move.


Onto some of the more complicated elements.  The Route 66 Highway sign was an image I googled (in fact it says Cartersville Route 66).  I printed on my printer and used my ScanNCut with the photo mat to scan the image in, saving to my USB stick.  Once on the stick I was able to open it up in Canvas and manipulate the image, the image did not come out crisp so there was a bit of editing I had to do.  Please check out my past post on the Brother ScanNCut for tips on doing this and working in Canvas.  Once I was satisfied with the basic shape (keep in mind, I only needed the basic shape) I brought my USB stick to the ScanNCut, loaded the image and my cutting mat along with white cardstock.  I added a test triangle to make sure my blade was at the correct cutting depth and cut.  (Note: I always add the test triangle to newly cutting images or after I have not used the machine in a while.  This way I can check that I have the cutting depth set correctly because who know what could have happened to my blade depth while it was sitting unused.)  After I was sure the cutting depth was correct I continued to cut the highway sign out.

The car from Sunny Studio’s City Streets was facing the wrong way for my layout.  So I did mirror stamping using my MISITI and TSOL palette4mirror.  Since the car is small you could use the technique I described in a previous post on mirror stamping.  Mirror stamping is not always a perfect image, but I really just needed to get the lines so I could carry on.  So you place the item you want to stamp on a piece of acetate (or flat clear plastic packaging) and place inside your MISTI aligning it in the corner.  You place your solid image clear stamp (in my case the palette4mirror) on the MISTI acrylic door (where you would normally place your clear stamp).  Ink up the image that is on the piece of acetate, ensure it is nested in the corner of the MISTI, close the door, the image will have transferred onto the solid image clear stamp.  Now remove the piece of acetate along with the clear stamp, replace that with your card stock, nesting it right in the corner of the MISTI and close the lid again.  This can be done several time to get a sharp image but I only did it once.

Finally I cut letters out of a piece of scrap black cardstock with adhesive already on the back the MFT Happy Birthday To You –  You don’t need the entire sentiment, just Birthday To You, because you want ROUTE (however, you cut the B to create an E).  This is a great way to use your dies for more than what they were intended.  Look at what you have in your stash and see what you can use.  I did have the MFT stitched ABCs but I did not want the stitch line in my street sign.



Now we have all the elements cut, it is time to color!  I colored the car and background card base with my Chameleon Pens.  I am not pretending to be an artist, but I did use multiple colors to get the gravel on the road and sand to what I liked.  On the car I used Nuvo Crystal Drops in Morning Dew of the windows and a very thin line of Liquid Mercury for the bumpers and bottom railing (not sure the technical term for that… dad?).  For the city scape on the card base, I created a random wavy mask out of Post-It tape, laid it on my panel and stamped the Vogue Skies right above the street line.  I was hoping this would make the city scape look far away because it did not have a crisp straight line.  I stamped this using the MISTI and had to re-stamp several times to get a full black image.

For the highway sign, I first outlined my die cut with a black marker, then used a T ruler to make a straight line across the top portion of the sign.  I then lined up the lettering “ROUTE” above a stripe of Post-It tape.  This was to help me keep my letters lined up (not sure it actually worked – oh well).  I started with the U, placing it in the middle and then worked towards the left and then the right placing the other letters.  For the 66, I drew it free hand.  I used a light pencil first to draw the placement of the numbers and when I was happy, traced and filled in to make bolder.

Great, now the coloring is done!  Onto assembly!!!!

Easy part.  Layer the two cross-stitched squares together, adhering with your favorite adhesive, I use Scotch ATG acid free tape, and then the Route 66 on top of the two squares.  I also attach the car to the end half circle tab on the gift card tab with a glue dot.  Followed by adhering the MFT oval plastic slider piece with Ranger Multi Matte Medium (this take a few minute to dry. The last die cut needs to be made now.  You need to position everything in place and get an idea where your channel for the slider piece should start and end.  Horizontally it is easy to determine because you want it to be in the center of the road.  After this is figured out, use Post-It tape to hold die from MFT gift card grooves into place.  The die that came with the Twice the Wishes Card Kit was not long enough to allow for the majority of the gift card to be revealed and the pocket die slits (from the gift card grooves) work great for this!  Run through your die cutting machine.

Now the highway sign and cross-stitched squares can be adhered to colored card panel.  This needs to be raised up with foam tape and you need to leave area for the gift card panel to slide in and out.  I used a half of a width of Scotch Foam Tape for the far left side and one full row and a half row both on bottom and on top.  I wanted to make sure this element was securely fastened and would not buckle by being skimpy with the foam tape.  Now slide the gift card in place and the gift card panel with car and slider piece into place.  Flip card over, secure pull tab (I placed a layer of gravel gray onto of heavy white cardstock to give stability and the color cardstock to blend) using Rangers Multi Matte Medium and aligning so that pull tab just over hangs the right side of the card.  Allow to dry for a few minutes.  Finally align the entire card panel with foam tape, making a channel when the slider element moves.  Again, use plenty of foam tape to hold this sturdy.  Carefully align onto your card base.

That brings use to the end of this project.  A video of this card can be found on my Instagram @BarbaraAnnCrafts.


Thank you for reading, please let me know if you have any questions or feel free to comment.  I appreciate your time!