Hi, my name is Carmen. Welcome to Beyond The Fringe!

I love sewing, crocheting, paper crafts, drawing, doodling and more. I also like to create digital stamps and sometimes offer vintage graphics, many for free. I am a mom and a grandmother of 8 adorable grandkids whom I love to make things for.

Check out my Etsy Digi Shop!

Please see my Digital Stamps page for terms of use on freebies and some helpful information on digital stamps. My Freebies page has a list of the freebies on this blog.

Jun 29, 2016

Brush and Palette Knife Attempts


One of the interesting things about learning how to paint is that I'm also learning to slow down and enjoy the process. 

I actually had no idea how hurried my mind was and it's an amazing feeling to take time and immerse myself in the now! 

It's been freeing!

Here are the next three paintings I've done. The first is a Modern Abstract. It is my third painting.

I absolutely loved making this one. Definitely a style I love and I will make more! 

The next one is Modern Impressionism. This is my fourth painting.

I'm not sure if I'm overly happy with this one, but I'm just learning. 

I also tried a different technique on a 5x7 canvas. I'm not happy with this one, but wanted to try. Technically though, it's my fifth painting.

The hardest part of painting is knowing when you're done. So I played a bit more with the last one. Not sure if it's better, but I prefer it!

Well, that's all for now! Hope you're enjoying my creative journey!


While I'm learning, I've copied as my inspiration from:
Painting with Jane, A Walk in the Rain / Osnat, Reflection / Robert Jurisich, layering technique

Jun 13, 2016

The Eye of the Storm

Peace is my destination, but all around me chaos stirs. I long to break-away. To a place where my mind can rest from the journey of life and my heart can pour itself out.

It doesn't matter what or how. I have to let it flow out of me.

I've been putting it on canvas. I'm a novice, but I don't care. I love the colors, the new techniques, the occupied mind. It's like a little detour -- just for a while. 

I need to rejuvenate and feel new, fresh, alive again. 

These were the first two offerings in the eye of my storm.

My first time with oils, and my first time with the palette knives. They're not perfect, but they're not bad for a newbie. 

Maybe painting will become my retreat like the classical guitar used to be. My heart would escape through the movement of the strings and stir the soul.

In the mean time I will practise painting some more. 

Have a good week everyone!

Leonid Afremov: pallette knife techniques

May 30, 2016

2016 HRV Honda Lemon. Who Cares? Not Honda!


Unfortunately today's post is not a happy post, but one that is of concern to all of us who drive a vehicle. In this case it is a Honda, purchased at Honda Kamloops, by my son. He purchased a 2016 HRV about a week into April. Two weeks from purchase it literally fell apart inwardly while on the road doing around 40 km/hr,  tossing him around violently. It had to be flatbedded back to Kamloops. Two major repair incidents later, and today a third incident in which they refused to provide a rental until someone from Honda Canada could diagnose it,  making him drive the 45 minutes on the highway home, totally placing his life at risk. Below is a follow up of his Facebook post, which is almost at 2000 shares. 

Please Share this FACEBOOK LINK on Facebook and set the post setting on 'public'

2 weeks and 1000 km later this #HRV almost kills me while driving down the road due to a failed part. Now Honda Canada won't replace the vehicle, they will only repair it. Haven't even made a single payment and there is already thousands of dollars in damage on title. There is no way I am putting my 6 month old daughter in this vehicle again. #itsyoursnowhonda


Honda Canada Just called and basically told me they are under no legal obligation to replace my vehicle. He acted as if my concerns for my family's safety were unjust. He also didn't care about the value of my brand new vehicle plummeting due to the damages on title two weeks after buying it. The time has come to contact a lawyer and do this the hard way. This is the last vehicle I will ever purchase from Kamloops Honda and it is the last vehicle I will purchase from Honda in general. For the record Honda Canada, this is the fourth Honda I have owned, but never again will I own one. When you don't care about the safety of others, you shouldn't be in an industry that requires it!!!! CBC News CBC Vancouver CFJC Today Kamloops CFJC-TV Global News Global BC CTV News CBC News: Marketplace CBC Radio Consumer Protection BC Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan Kamloops This Week


Kamloops Honda Confirmed that Honda Canada's manufacturing plant "forgot" to tighten a bunch of bolts on my 2016 #HRV. This is what caused the major mechanical failure in my brand new vehicle. Honda Canada's justification during this last call for not replacing my vehicle was, and I quote, "how do you know that your replacement vehicle you want us to give you won't have the same problem with the loose bolts". REALLY?!?!?!? Honda Canada that is your way of justifying not replacing this vehicle??? That the NEW one might have the same problem? I sure hope that your manufacturing standards and quality control are higher than that! This is why I will never own another Honda vehicle. 

Please Share this post so everyone knows that Honda Canada doesn't care about the safety of anyone, they only want your money.

I know I posted a final update, but unfortunately the saga continues! :(


Honda Canada is saying it is Kamloops Honda's responsibility to make me whole, but Kamloops Honda is saying the opposite.

Anyways, all that aside for 2 minutes just to update everyone. The HRV is back into Kamloops Honda for yet another mechanical failure. I was originally told that the new transfer case that they put in was broken already, but I have now been told that this is the first time that the transfer case has been replaced. This vehicle is a month old and Honda Canada and Kamloops Honda both do not care that it has had two major mechanical failures resulting in a loss of use that totals 2 weeks!!!! This is actually getting to the ridiculous stage and I hope my experience is a major eye opener for everybody. Government of British Columbia or the Canadian government need to do something to protect consumers in this kind of case. I had a meeting with the Kamloops Honda owner, but they seem to down play the whole situation. 

Please be careful out there everyone and thanks to all of those that are sharing this story.

Much Love.

As unbelievable as this sounds, my HRV is heading back into Kamloops for a third warranty repair. This time the vehicle is shaking at highway speeds and periodically won't start. I am overly discouraged at this point...

Canada has no lemon laws and will only deal with issues like this through an Arbitration Board. We have a lawyer who has asked to take on the case and believes it could be a class action law suit. We are considering that. So if you've bought a new Honda, and especially if your VIN# begins with a 3 (identifying it as made in Mexico), and you are having problems with it, feel free to private message me with your name.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post. I will link the FACEBOOK post again:



May 9, 2016

It's Life!

Good Morning!!

So, it's been a while since I've posted, and this is going to be a quick post! Since the end of last year my life has been increasingly busy, but I know that things will eventually slow down to a resting phase. Here are 'just a few' of the things that have happened in the last while.

As you know I lost my mom just before Christmas last year. That in itself has been difficult. Since then, both my in-laws have been in hospital and then put into a home because of their health conditions. My mother in law then broke her arm in two places and re-fractured her hip which was replaced last year. She is still in hospital while her husband is in the home.

My brother in law had a major heart attack without warning and a major seizure just a couple of weeks ago. They had to jump him 4 different times; he was without oxygen about 10 minutes total, but amazingly he is making a 100% recovery. This, I believe, has come through the many prayers offered up for him. He is only 50 years old. My brother in law lives in the closest proximity to our parents and was taking care of all their needs. However, with him in hospital and out of commission for a while, my husband and I drove about seven hours (incl. the Ferry) and cleaned out their place in a few days time. We were not the only ones, but it was a huge job just the same. The house now has to be sold. We have made several trips back and forth in the last while.

Then, just this past week my son and his family (7) were evacuated from Fort McMurray, Alberta because of the wildfires. They are now safe with us in British Columbia, 16 hours from their home. The good news is that their house is okay (as far as we know). However, life will be quite different for them once they go back. Right now, my home is busy, but happy and full of love!

All of this, although it hasn't all happened to me directly, has impacted my life in one way or another. So you see, although I care about you all, writing on the blog couldn't be a priority in the midst of the happenings of life. Things will get back to our normal someday soon! 

In the mean time, remember 'what's' most important in life, and make sure you 'let them know' how important they are, each and every day. It's never too soon to say "I love you!" You'll regret it if you don't! 

Have a good week!

Mar 29, 2016

Some Free Digital Stamp Links!

Good morning!

I hope you all had a good Easter! Unlike most years, it was just my hubby and me this year! This year all my boys were in different cities, except one who had family over and celebrated with the wife's family. No matter! I picked up a couple of turkey legs and made an Easter dinner for the two of us. It was quick, easy and enjoyable. It was actually a nice change, though I love having my kids here!

If you don't follow my Facebook page, here are a few free digital images I found and posted recently. You'll have to go to the Blogs to download them, and please make sure you thank the artist when possible!

This one is mine! Enjoy!

The Stamping Boutique  (Three Freebies)

Gilbert Berois (Fashion Girls Freebie)

Zenspirations  (Road Map to Happiness and others)

Just click on the links above to see the freebies.

Have a wonderful week everyone!


Mar 20, 2016

Scratch Play!

Hi there!

Do you want to play?

I do!

On my Facebook page I recently shared a new blog called Daisy Yellow that features an ICAD Challenge. ICAD stands for 'Index-Card-a-Day.'  It's about getting your creative juices flowing and it's coming up soon. I think some of you may enjoy this idea! You can do whatever you want with your index card. Maybe it's drawing, coloring, inking , stapling, sewing or writing a poem or a thought. There are no steadfast rules on what you can do, because art is individual. They do recommend using index cards, as 'simple materials push you to think in new ways.'

I think it's a fun idea.

You aren't required to do it every day, but if you want to, you are challenged to do it for 60 days beginning this June 2016. 

Although I can't play along every day,  here's the index card I did make up. Some of you may remember this technique from your childhood days. I like simple and I used to love doing this when I was young. It's fun and it's rewarding.

Here's a close up

I thought I'd color a few more cards with crayons, and maybe I'll paint them black and scratch play some more later.


I'm looking forward to making up some other index cards as well. It seems therapeutic to me, not just creative. I love to write and sew - maybe I can combine a few mediums and have a little fun with it. Especially since they're so small. This is going to be fun!

Anyway, that's it for today! I hope you have a nice week!


Mar 15, 2016

A Little Birdie Told Me...

It's a beautiful day here in the Loops, sunny but fresh. A lovely combination for this time of year. Today is my Mom's birthday and I decided to do something she would have thought was fun. So I made a card for a good friend.

Here's the front of the card, with a few pictures of the process. The bright spots are reflections from the glitter.

First I weaved a bunch of paper together

I trimmed them and gave them a wash of white gesso, then used a template and gessoed over top. I added a bit of Glitter Ritz to the Gesso design.

When it was dry, I used purple, red and blue Glimmer Mist on top. 

At this point I glued down some of the ends a bit and allowed everything to dry again. Then I took some Adirondack ink and inked up the sides on the fronts, inside and on the back. 

I had some lace, a bird and some flowers in my stash that I used to complete this card. 

I used a rub-on on the back and filled in my name and the date. 

I love a mixed media look on cards. Another thing I love is sewn or appliqued cards. I hope to share some of that here soon! 

Life seems to be full of firsts this year. Every 6th of the month is another anniversary of my mom's death. March 6th I shared a Charcoal drawing on Facebook that my Mom made while she was alive. This was a drawing of me when I was three.

Today is her birthday, so I made something pretty that she would have appreciated. Had she been alive, this card may have gone to her. I know she won't mind sharing it with my best friend. I want her memories to be good ones, and I'm determined to celebrate her life the same way she always celebrated mine, with nothing but love and happiness! 

Miss you Mom!


Mar 13, 2016

Free Digi

Good morning! I'm offering a free digi on my Facebook page! Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/beyondthefringecrafts/

Have a good weekend! 

Mar 5, 2016

Jamberry Nails and Peanut

I've been spending quite some time looking over the Jamberry site this morning. Jamberry Nails are wraps that go on your nails with heat and pressure. It's quick and easy. Those that have tried them say they last at least 2 weeks without chipping or fading.

A friend of the family has started selling these and I decided to give them a try. I rarely wear nail polish on my fingers because it's almost always chipped by the next day - no matter how careful I am. It's frustrating because I LOVE beautiful looking nails. Why not just get a gel manicure? Well, again, because I don't want to ruin my nails. I've had gel nails and in addition to not liking the feel, I find the upkeep too much of a hassle and kind of expensive. I'm a simple girl at heart and I want to do it myself. Lol. 

All the wrap designs are really gorgeous, which made it SO HARD to make up my mind!! Here's one of the nail sets I bought. Some sheets are with one design, some up to 3 designs. I like the variety.  I'll show you the rest when I get them. :) Here's a set of 3 designs I bought.
                                   Jamberry Nails: From the Heart

Did I mention they also come in junior sizes? They have the cutest little nail wraps with adorable names. Pandamonium (little panda bears), Coney Island (ice cream cones) and Disney ones as well, to name a few. I bought some for my little granddaughter. Anyway, I can't wait to try them. I'll let you know what I think of them after I've tried them. 

In other news --

My grandson asked me to make a sleeping bag for his stuffed animals for when he goes camping this summer. A strange request, but reasonable enough. I had everything I needed except a couple of separating zippers. He specifically wanted the zipper to go around both sides, 'like a real sleeping bag.' Well, okay then. Lol...

The left one is Kai's, and the right one is Lauryn's. The chicken is mine. His name is Peanut. Everyone should have a chicken of their own. Just sayin'

Have a good weekend! :)


Feb 23, 2016

Ink & Charcoal Cards

Hello Everyone,

I recently saw some cards on Pinterest, made with stamps and charcoal pencils. My mother, who was very creative, used to employ charcoal as a medium. She made up a picture of me wearing a ballet outfit (when I was 3) with a 2 x 2 photo as her guide. She also did some other canvases in charcoal, and also in oils, but I particularly loved to watch her working in charcoal. 

I thought it would be fun to try this, just because it reminds me of my mom. It's nowhere near the calibre she did, but I enjoyed the process.

I used a black charcoal pencil and a white charcoal pencil for this look.

Note how the white makes the images pop.

Background shading also makes the images pop.

These were fairly quick and easy to make, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the charcoal. It's also nice to have some random cards made up for giving. 

That's all I have for you today! 

Have a good week!