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 7 adorable grandkids (almost 8) whom I love to make things for.

Check out my Etsy Digi Shop and Craftblooms!

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.

Nov 14, 2015

Choose Happy! Free Digi

Life can get us down! 

Even when many of the events in our lives are wonderful, happy events, our problems seem to have the ability to overwhelm us. This is where I found myself the other day, but after talking with an old friend, she gave me some advice I really needed to hear. It came in the form of an email. Here is a portion of it: 

The Black Dot

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. Once he handed them all out, he asked the students to turn over the papers. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions – just a black dot in the center of the sheet of paper.

The professor told them the following: “I want you to write about what you see there.” The students, confused, got started o the inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the exams and started reading each one of them out loud, in front of all the students. All of them with no exception defined the black dot, trying to explain its position in the center of the sheet. After all had been read; the classroom silent, the professor began to explain.

No one wrote about the white part of the paper! Everyone focused on the black dot – the same happens in our lives. We have a white piece of paper to observe and enjoy, but we focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see every day. However - we insist on focusing only on the dark spot – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend.

The dark spots are very small when compared to everything we have in our lives, but they’re the ones that pollute our mind. Take your eyes away from the black dots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life filled with love! 

Life may get us down, but our problems do not have to rule out thoughts.  A little perspective helps!  So I drew out the advice she gave me, and I hope you can use it to bless someone dear to you one day.

Life will be hard, but we can still choose to be happy! 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Oct 30, 2015

Birthday Card for Mandy ~ Inspired by Kath

I was scouring Pinterest for some good card ideas since it's my DIL's birthday today and I wanted to make her a card (It's my granddaughter's birthday too, but I left a card behind for her). It seems the majority of the birthdays happen around this time of year. Is it like that with you too? I was running out of time to make one for her, so I find Pinterest is usually a great source of inspiration.

After about 20 or more minutes of looking I finally found the one I liked -- and it was under my own Pinterest Cards & Tags category. I really should look there more often. Anyone else done that? Lol.

So here's my version of it, and then I'll show you Kath's card. 

Here is Kath's project. Kath's Blog is called Diary of the Everyday Life of a Crafter. Her 'card' is actually a canvas mixed media piece. She has some nice pieces on there, go check her out!

So let me tell you how I made this card. 

First I took a piece of white cardstock and stamped it with a text stamp. I then drew some flowers on the back of that and cut them out. 

I inked the sides and front of the flowers (Used about 3 different inks) and added a button with adhesive and an embellishment from Prima on top. 

Using paper out of my stash, I stamped it with a music note stamp and a dripping water stamp. I also went over parts of it with an off yellow chalk to subdue the music stamp a bit. Using a white pen I filled in areas of the water stamp to pop it out a bit and make it look 3D. I then cut it to size and inked the sides.

I stamped a sentiment on another piece of white cardstock. Then I messy inked the sides of it. 

I pierced the background paper in two spots and ran some twine over the front and to the back where I taped it on both sides. This formed the stem of the flower. I tied some bows and attached them to the 'stem.' Then I placed the flower at the top of the twine with a pop up dot. 

I had some white fencing that I got at the Dollar Store some time ago. I placed pop up dots on the back of it in a few spots and attached it to the bottom of the paper. I used pop up dots to place the second flower on top of the fence.

The sentiment was then added and attached with pop up dots. 

I like the look of items extending beyond the actual background paper, and that's what I've done with the flower on the right side. It just makes it pop a bit more. 
If you're wondering about some of the items I used:

My old music note stamp I got at the Dollar store. It works great for mixed media stuff. It looks nasty so you don't get to see it.

The dripping water stamps are from Designs by Ryn. Check out the water stamp HERE; she has some interesting stamps and a few templates as well. 

The sentiment is from Our Daily Bread Designs. My sets were found under 'stamps' and then 'scripture,' but there's a lot of nice stamps on this site. 

Anyway, that's pretty much it. I am giving the card to her tonight. Yes, we will be enjoying Chocolate Angel Food Cake with fluffy white icing and Gluten free Brownies with a decadent chocolate icing. YUM! :) 

Have a GREAT weekend :)

Oct 25, 2015

Birthday's, Baby Showers and Dancing Bags

It's always nice when we can visit our son and his family in Fort McMurray, Alberta. It was our granddaughter's third birthday. I can't believe she's three already and I'm grateful for the times we can spend with this family of seven. We took a plane this time which shortens the trip considerably. It's a 14-16 hour drive from our place which we can no longer do in a day. Flying is stressful but a whole lot quicker.

This adorable cake was made by a good friend of theirs. Isn't it amazing!! It was a Sofia the First Birthday Party theme.

They are such a fun, loving and happy family! We thoroughly enjoy the time we have with them and spend lots of time relaxing. Often we played in the little kitchen my son made for her. Yes, we went to the (pretend) grocery store with her little shopping cart. I stocked shelves (chairs and tables) and she picked up her groceries. Then we put them away in the kitchen and she started cooking. We pretend ate everything. It was yummy and a lot of fun. I made her a little apron with oven mitts to add to her gift. 

It's not a great picture, but you get the just of it. I made it using this free pattern: "Toddler Apron & Toy Oven Mitt" by Peekaboo Pages. It was an easy pattern to put together and I love the elastic gathered neckstrap. I also used waterproof PUL fabric. Here's some photos of her wearing it.

When we got back home, my other son and his pregnant wife were here. She is due the third week of November, but her mom was early with her babies, and the Doc said she may be too. Anyway, she had been to a Baby Shower on the Island and was looking for some thank you cards. I pulled out some extra pages we made for a baby album (Special Delivery Baby Album by Laura Dennison). and we decided they worked great as cards as well. 

The one on the right opens up and it fits in the baby sleeping bag it's lying on top of (See below). I also had some fancy envelopes lying around. Perfect! Cute thank you cards! 

I just realized that I had another item to show you that I made this summer for my other granddaughter. She takes dance lessons, so I made her a dance bag with My Little Pony fabric.

I used the Bon Voyage Duffel Bag pattern and Tutorial by Cheryl from Sew Can Do. It was a fairly easy pattern as well and fun to make! 

You can tell by comparing it to my ironing board that it's fairly large. She's four years old, and although she's quite tall, she looks pretty cute hauling it around. 

Well, that's about all I have for you today. If you'd like to check out my Facebook Page, I just added a cute little freebie on there that would be great for Christmas cards. Click on Beyond The Fringe FB.

Also, if you're into the End Times, check out my last post on the Bubbling Springs Blog, The Four Horsemen of Revelation, Color Study.

Have a good week! 


Oct 7, 2015

It's Autumn! Celebrate with some Free Digi's!

I love Autumn! I'd say it's my favorite time of year. I love the cool crisp Autumn air, especially on a sunny day. The trees with their beautifully colored leaves and the Fall leaves all over the ground is a feast for sore eyes. I love pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving and the fact that everything seems well with the world this time of year. 

The only thing I'm not especially fond of is Halloween. Oh, I love the cute little kids dressed like princesses, cowboys, clowns and such, but I'm not so impressed with the big kids in their ghoulish costumes (if any costume at all). I still give them candy, but honestly! I struggle with Halloween because of the origins of the holiday. Anyway, all of that to say that I've compiled a few digi's that I've made up, as I thought you may find one you can use. Enjoy! 

Below is a template for bats to cut out and hang on the tree limb digi. For instructions and more free digi's click HERE

Here's a little Foxy Pal Trick or Treater with her sly little puppy fox! 

For more Autumn freebies, click HERE and HERE

Visit my Digital Shop, Carmensplace on Etsy! 

Have a great day! 


Sep 24, 2015

Autumn DIY Ideas

It's safe to say that Autumn is here. The hot summer weather has died off and in it's place the cooler mornings and cloudy afternoons are settling in. I love the Fall for many reasons. Yes, it's cold sometimes and it's going to get colder as winter follows, but it's a much more reasonable season (than our blazing hot summers!) that somehow leaves me feeling warm and secure.

Perhaps it was the trip to Davison Farms the other day, or the flyer I received by email featuring some lovely Fall centerpieces, that got me thinking about Autumn DIY's. This is an area where I truly fall short. I love it when someone takes the time to make their tables and homes look inviting. This year I am going to do that. I've been scouring the web looking for easy ideas that tie in with the Fall.

So here's some fun and easy ideas I've found to share with you!

This Fall Craft must smell Amazing! You can do one, or stack them and you'd have a nice looking, wonderful smelling table basket! Get the instructions to make your own at Better Homes and Gardens. 

I love this one, found on Shanty2Chic. A spray painted pumpkin with letters and some burlap roses. Plus a cute little glass vase with pumpkins and cones, etc. So adorable and kind of Chic.

Look at this creative idea! Mini Pumpkin Centerpieces. Some mini pumpkins, ribbon, spray paint, clothes pins, flowers, florist foam, skewers and you're done! 

For you knitting and crochet enthusiasts, check out these Yarn Pumpkins I found on DIY Show Off. So adorable and would look great on a side table - maybe in a leaf bowl!

These autumn leaf bowls are simple to make and functional, from Design Rulz The instructions to make your own are on her website, just follow the link!

Now I'm not much of a drinker, but I do enjoy a little nip now and then, so while you're making something lovely, wouldn't it be nice to sip on some Spiced Pear Vodka, or perhaps a Spiced Pear Hot Tody? YUMMMM!! Last year I made coffee liquer, maybe this recipe will be good enough to make for Christmas?

DIY Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka Ingredients - BoulderLocavore.com          Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka

To make your own, go to Boulder Locavore for the recipe! Look around that site as she has some really good sounding recipes and some gluten free ones as well.

caramel pear 4

I love me a caramel apple! Not the red candy ones, the actual caramel ones, and they're  much better made at home. Then I saw these! Why not? Looks wonderful and there's a recipe and some suggestions on how to decorate them. Go to Kayley's Blog Just Between Friends for the recipe.

I may do another post with some more Autumn ideas in the near future, but for now I'm on to something with tulle and satin for my granddaughters. A gramma's work is never done! 

Have a good weekend,

Sep 15, 2015

A is for Apple & Artistic Flair

School has started and there are mom's sighing with relief all over the Net. Although they'll rarely admit it, I believe the kids are feeling the same way! My DIL sent me a photo of my two local grandbeans. I chuckled as they stood in military fashion, hands by their sides, smiles on their faces. I laughed when I found out they fought just before that. One wanted them to be arm in arm, the other was all 'don't touch me! I would have liked to see a photo of THAT right beside the military one, Hahaha. I won't post a photo here as I'm sure you've seen dozens of cute 'first day of school' pictures on FB, Twitter and Instagram already.

I found out that permanent Sharpie's work great for writing on fabric. I love that. I've decided to incorporate it into some of my bags and pouches for a little artistic flair. Only I discovered that I'm so used to typing, that my fingers are sore from writing. It'll be a night time project while hubby watches TV. I've incorporated Scripture, songs, encouraging sayings and a science one. I'm having fun with this.

I don't know what it is, but when the Fall comes around, I start to feel more like coloring, crocheting and sewing. I spend all my summers studying for my Fall classes, and enjoying the weather and getting out (when it's not too hot), but I always love the Fall. I went out in the rain today. Loved it, even though my hair went a bit frizzy. Sometimes you just have to let go! 

On my Facebook page I posted a little gem. It reminded me of when we used to take crayons and black paint, then when it dried we'd scratch some of it off -- remember? This guy (Yeonsang Ruppert) is trying to raise money to make these and sell them. Right now for a $16 pledge, he'll send you one. These have gold toned backgrounds. It's a nice idea but it's been done before.  I'm not trying to promote him, but I'm using his photos, so have to link. They are pretty though, don't you think?

After all that I feel some creative juices beginning to flow, but first, dinner. Time to go!

Have a good week!


Sep 2, 2015

Five Bucks and a Smile

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait
                                                                                                                                                       image source: #hackthemenu

Let me start by saying that I love a good Peanut Buster Parfait. It's my one  ONE of my guilty pleasures. I just love chocolate with nuts in it. Chocolate gives me a headache if I have more than a couple of bites, yet somehow the ooey gooey chocolatey fudge (ooh Lord) in a Peanut Buster Parfait, doesn't bother me at all (but oh the calories).

Imagine my dismay when I went to a Dairy Queen in another town, ordered my delightful treat - only to find it substandard. Soooo disappointing!! I ate a bit of the ice cream and threw the rest out. I have no idea what they did to that chocolate sauce, but it was horrible. I'm not one to complain, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that someone needed to know.

I phoned their Customer Service department about a week later and talked to a very nice lady. It all ended on an upbeat note. I really didn't call to complain so much as I called to question the quality control of their franchises. Shouldn't I be able to rely on the fact that all DQ's had the same quality products? She agreed.

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail and a gift card for $5.00. It was a nice gesture, I didn't expect anything.  

Just in case you all are wondering, you're not a customer at Dairy Queen. Nope!

You're a FAN!

... and the nice lady I spoke with, she's not a customer service representative, she's a Fan Relations Specialist

In fact, when I looked it up, they even have a Blizzard Fan Club and they call their food 'FAN food' not 'FAST food.' You may have known this, but I didn't.

Lolol - Something about that just tickled my funny bone! 

Five bucks and a smile, who could complain?

Have a good day, and do go visit  Dairy Queen one more time before the weather starts to get chilly again! I'm sure you'll get a wave and a smile. 

You are their fan, after all! 

Aug 27, 2015

Blank Cup Stack Free Digi


I'm working on a digital stamp for my shop that someone asked for. I have a digi available in my shop that is a stack of cups with some random designs on them, but she requested something with a Christmas theme. So while I was working on that, I thought that it was about time for a free digi again. 

I decided to make a small stack of blank cups. You can leave them blank and color them, or you can add words or designs yourself. It's just a simple digi, but I think it will be versatile. Hope you like it! 

Have a good weekend! 

Aug 19, 2015

Faith, Family, Friends Digitals

Good Morning,

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer! We just got back from a trip to the Island and stayed at the Sooke Harbor House. It was an awesome rustic getaway! Here's a few pics!

This was a lookout. On the other side was a bench in an opening overlooking the Bay.

One misty morning.

This is a lit up passageway made of driftwood!

Maybe a little creepy, but interesting nonetheless. Lol..

These little guys were all over the place! This one found some berries outside our doors.

A rustic, vintage charm. The fireplace was so nice too!

Who could argue with this view outside your door? Wish I could retire here!

As promised, some digitals --

Have a great day! 

Aug 11, 2015

Pouches. For Craftblooms

I've been busy making pouches to sell in time for Christmas. I've been sticking with this particular pattern because it makes a handy bag with lots of pockets and it has ample room for whatever you want to use it for. 

The feedback from those who have one has been so positive! Recently I found some fabric I absolutely fell in love with, and the "Charlie Bag' was born. This one was made with men in mind!



Guys use toiletries too, plus it could be used as a shaving kit, for camera accessories, and any necessities such as pills, etc.

Here's another couple I made. The pink one is already gone!





Hopefully I'll have something new to show you after life slows down a bit. Summers are always so busy!! 

Have a good week,