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

I am a mother of 4 boys and grandmother of 7 adorable grandkids who has a passion to create. 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.

Check out my Etsy Shop for Digital Stamps.

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.

May 21, 2015

Time to Relax!


Sometimes I just want to grab something to do that involves a couple of small tools rather than pulling out a sewing machine, cutting machine, or a bunch of different supplies. Do you sometimes feel that way too? 

Drawing is such a peaceful, relaxing medium while watching TV or listening to music. In fact, I love doing that with just quiet all around me. I crave quietness and simplicity. Anyone else out there relate?

My last few weeks have been wonderful, but busy. We've had company from Holland and gone on a short holiday to Harrison Hot Springs where we enjoyed the pools, went on short walks and then also rented a boat one day. Fun! Since then I've been babysitting grandkids and cleaning away yard waste that was left out last winter. Plus I've been to the dump with a big load of wood, metal, and more. 

My husband had a couple of bad days one of those weeks, which unfortunately involved one trip to emergency. My husband has some serious medical issues, but trips like that take up a whole day and are usually stressful. In between all of that I've been having coffee dates with friends that keep me sane! Lol...thank goodness for my wonderful friends and family! I am definitely blessed.

The bible study I was teaching is over for the Spring. I wasn't actually finished, so we pulled in another day to complete it, covering the last 3 chapters in that time. Now I'm taking a little break and then I'll be getting ready to teach the Fall study.

I am currently attempting to get that whole study onto my inspirational blog as a teaching tool for other teachers out there. We covered Genesis 1 - 11 and most of the information was from The Genesis Record by Henry Morris. It was an incredibly interesting study, but not really geared for beginners. Anyways, I'll let you know when I start posting them so you can have a look if you're interested. 

In the mean time I have been doodling a bit for relaxation.  I really just do these for fun. 

I don't know why, but for as long as I can remember, I've always loved to draw eyes. The left one, specifically.  I'm not sure if that is quirky or what, but that's what I seem to do.This one is a bit dark. I'm having to use an old iphone for pictures right now. :(

So, that's been my last little while. What have you been up to? I'd love to hear.


PS: Genesis Chapter One is on the Bubbling Springs blog, The hand outs will be there soon too! :)

May 5, 2015

Snappy Bags and Craftblooms!


I'm taking a little break from sewing at the moment, but I have some Bags that are finished now, and some Snappy Bags to show you.

My youngest son's girlfriend 'Katie' has been coming to do some sewing with me. We made that Book Bag that I showed you a few posts back- pattern by Renske. Remember? The nice and sturdy one made of canvas!

Then the other day she came and we made Snappy Bags together. This time she made all of it herself (except one line of stitching) since I kind of took over last time.

She loved her Snappy Bag, and I learned to sew with a metal measuring tape! 

Aaaand, here they are!

The fun thing about these is that the top just snaps back together after it's been opened and filled. and it holds all your little lipsticks, kleenex, candies, or whatever. Snap!

As well, I promised you I'd show you the last few bags I made, so here they are:

Grey Bag with colorful lining and pockets (SOLD)

Music Notes with newsprint lining and colorful zippered pockets

Sail Print with Blue lining and colored pockets

Red and Black with quilted bottoms, colorful lining and pockets

Zebra print with coffee bean type lining and colored pockets (SOLD)

Whymsical Bag, newsprint lining and colored pockets (SOLD)

I have one of these posted in my Craftblooms Etsy Shop and will be posting 2 others. The rest are sold. :) I decided to ask $40 CAD, which is about $34 US...probably the cheapest you'll find these for online. Then there's the actual cost of packaging and shipping. Still a good deal! 

I'm going to be doing some doodling again soon. I love the Bible Journalling I'm seeing all over Pinterest. I do mark up my Bible a lot, but I don't want to do doodling on my pages. Maybe if I get a Journalling Bible. In the meantime I hope to make some canvases up soon. 

Anyway, that's all for today!  Thanks for stopping by and see you again soon! 


Apr 26, 2015

I Can't Believe the Kitchen is Done!!!

Remember me? 

Lol, It's been about 3 weeks since I've blogged. Life is full and enjoyable, and that's a good thing, right?  

Do you remember my kitchen reno? I ordered my counters in the first week of January, and they were finally completed about a week ago. That's a long way from 5 weeks, but at this point I'm just glad it's done! 

Since the counter back splashes were shorter than my previous ones, I had to do some additional painting to complete it. I also did some painting on the new pantry door. To be honest, it's not a big change. I painted all my cupboards, put on new hinges and knobs. The cupboard color looks similar to the old one but it is much lighter and brighter. Everything feels clean and new again. The biggest change is the counter, which I am very happy with. 

Some before and after pictures:

-Note the holes in the counter fronts. They were so bad that they'd put holes in my tops over by the sink. So I used duct tape. Yes, even duct tape is not beneath me!

-The top of the counter was actually noticeably worn, although you can't see it in these photos. 

-The blue walls were good for a time, but depending on the light, they looked purple sometimes. That wasn't what I was going for in my kitchen. 

-Note the hinges. Very old and rusty looking. Most of them were at the breaking point as well. I threw out the photo of the hinges...it was gross.

-We used to have very old fashioned looking door knobs, so the last time we renovated we opted for new drawer handles, but never did get new knobs. It's so nice to have knobs again!

-Note that stove hood. Blech! Couldn't wait to dump that thing!

-Did you check out that accordian door? Eeeek.  I actually showed you one of the other ones in the house because the one in the kitchen was half broken and I was too embarrassed to take a photo of it.

Here's what we got the first time the counters were put in. These are two different spots.

It was so disheartening to realize it had to be done again.

Here's the kitchen now. I turned the blinds up a bit, but needed the natural light, so it's a bit bright by the window. 
Note the new Stove Hood. Aaaaah. The new hinges are silver, and not as noticeable.

We drink so much coffee in this house, we have a Tassimo and a coffee pot!

Don't mind the mess....I have some decluttering to do.

I would say this is the true color of the wall paint.

I also picked up a few signs at Real Deals on Home DecorThey have the best signs and I absolutely LOVE their clocks and their mirrors, and well everything really. Check out their page and you'll see what I mean.  I would love to have a clock wall. 

Call me nuts...I don't mind. ;-)

Yup! Pass the coffee....

My husband picked this next one out.

Then I saw this little cutie at a Dollar Store for $3.00

Anyway --

There's some more decorating to do, but all in good time. I had all kinds of other renovations planned in addition to the kitchen, but I'm realizing I need to keep it down to one major, or two small renos a year. 

Now I am working on some de-cluttering and organizing. There's so many good resources on Pinterest to help with this. My husband loves his 'stuff' and has a hard time letting go of any of it, so I've really been working on my stuff and any other things I can purge.
But, I totally get it.  It is truly hard to let go of things. I have been decluttering for a while and find that I will keep things the first round that I throw out or pass on the second round. Then I do a third round, for good measure. Really, if you're not using things, what's the point in hanging on to them? 

No, the kids are not going to want most of your old stuff, neither are the grandkids. If you haven't used it in the last 10 years, guess what? You are probably creating a junk museum in your basement (that no one would pay to see). 

Wanna buy some tickets to my junk museum? Anyone? 

Please, do yourself a favor and get rid of it. Now if I could only get the Mr.  to see my reasoning! So, I will continue to work at it. Someday I will be junk free!

Lol...thanks for stopping by and have a good day!


Apr 6, 2015

How to Add Leather Bottoms to Crocheted Slippers


As you may know, I love to crochet! Well, I love to make many things, but today I want to show you how I add leather bottoms to my crocheted slippers. 

This post came about because I found that after making slippers, they didn't last as long as I'd like. After a few months the bottoms would get a hole which just became larger and larger.

My thought is, after all the time and trouble it takes to make your beautiful fabric or crocheted slippers, you want them to last as long as possible. Right?

This was the answer I came up with and it definitely makes the slippers last longer, plus it's really quite easy to do! Believe it or not, it didn't cost that much extra either! 

So are you ready? Here we go!

Here are the slippers we're putting bottoms on. 

This pattern comes from Two Girls Patterns. I love their patterns and have several of them because the more you buy, the cheaper they are! Yay! Plus, they have super adorable patterns. There's honestly some incredible talent between these two girls! :) Another thing I particularly like about the slippers is that they have 2 crocheted bottom layers so the leather layer is actually the 3rd layer.

That means you end up with some super comfy slippers when you're done ! 

For this project, you will need: 

Sewing Chalk or Fabric Marker
Hole punch
Sewing needle

*The leather I used came from Michael's. They sell packages of remnants for $11 CAD. I got lucky with some large pieces in mine. I've made 3 pairs of slipper bottoms and have enough for more. Pretty good value if you ask me. 

*The sinew also came from Michael's. It was in the same section. I used the dark one for this project.


1) The first thing I did was outline the slipper bottom on a piece of cardstock. I cut this out and used it to trace onto the leather. I don't have a photo of this part of the process, but I don't think you'll have a problem with this.

2) After I traced the pattern onto the leather, I cut it out with my Tim Holtz scissors because they're awesome. Then, I used a hole punch that I had in my scrapbooking stash. It's on the right in the picture below...it's a 1/16th inch hole punch.

3) I made holes in the leather using the hole punch as a spacer.

 It isn't an exact science, but in the end it doesn't really matter because it won't be very noticeable. See? Oops.

4) Next, I used two arm breadths and a half of the sinew (measuring from hand to outstretched hand - plus a half) and put it through the eye of a needle. Also, I used the 'suede' side of the leather for the bottom of the slipper (the side showing) because I figured it wouldn't be as slippery to walk on. I just pinned this to the bottom of the slipper. Easy peasy.

5) I used a blanket stitch to attach the leather to the slipper. The sinew is a bit sticky and a little stiffer to work with, but it will last longer than yarn or thread. Since making it last is the whole point of this exercise, you want to stitch it on with something that is strong and durable as well.

Check out this video if you need a tutorial on the blanket stitch.

I just realized I do my blanket stitch working the other way from the girl in the video. Always doing things differently - but I end up with the same results. :)

Here's the finished product. 

 So now you know how! :) 

Let me know if you found this little tutorial at all helpful, okay? 

Have a great week,

Apr 1, 2015

Trendy Book Tote by Renske

Hi there,

I know it hasn't been long, but I'm here to share my latest project with you. My youngest son has a girlfriend he's been dating for over a year now. She's the sweetest little thing you ever met and I think she'll be around a long, long time. :) 

A little while ago she asked me if I would teach her how to sew. I thought that would be fun, so we set a couple of dates to do that and I suggested she look online for a free pattern. Well, she found the best pattern ever. She was looking for a sturdy book bag as she's attending University. 

We downloaded the pattern and I drew it up (it was a pattern with measurements that you had to make up yourself). The nice thing about this pattern is that it's made of canvas. I had a bunch in my stash that we used and she chose some black fabric for the bottom of the bag from my stash as well. The canvas is perfect for this project as it's strong and sturdy. 

We followed the pattern pretty much to the tee, except for a few changes. This bag is lined inside as well. 

She found the original pattern on Design Sponge. It's a DIY project called Renske's Minimalist Tote Bag, with full instructions included. If you like it, go and check it out!

I immediately fell in love with this pattern because of the way the bag closes. How innovative is that?! It's a great closure and it adds a fun and trendy uniqueness to the tote. I thought it was genius on Renske's part!
Some of the changes we made: 

We made the handles out of canvas. Pretty much winged it, actually. Katie decided she wanted shorter handles so that the tote sat right at her side. 

The handles in the pattern are attached with rivets, but we used heavy duty snaps. Since the handles were a bit shorter, this worked well just in case she had a larger book to put inside it.

We changed the height of the bottom portion of the bag so that it would be more noticeable. Because it's a black fabric, this gave the illusion that the bag is skinnier than it truly is, which we didn't think about at the time, but which doesn't take away from it at all. It's kind of cute.

We also put a row of stitching around the top of the bag to hold the lining in place better. It just finishes everything off better in my opinion. 

Well, thanks so much for a great pattern, Renske. I absolutely love it and I plan to make more. I already have something in mind for the next one. :) 


I'm cutting back on a lot of my craft supplies, but with all the orders I have for my cosmetic and sewing bags, I have had to buy some current fabrics that will work for those projects. Don't worry, I will use all of this up. No more hoarding. Promise.

Ahhhhh....I LOVE looking at these colors and designs! I also got some darker colors...feels so good!

Here's a few cut up and ready to go...2 of them are almost finished already.

I've been busy. 

Well, I think I'll end the post here. In the next while I'll be sewing up about 8 of the cosmetic /sewing /crocheting /jewelry bags and will post them here when they're done. 

See you then!

Mar 27, 2015

Multi-Fruit Tree Digital Stamp Freebie!

I have a freebie for you today~ 

First an update:

I've been sewing quite a few pouches lately, but I've sold all of them plus received numerous orders for more. I've also sold some crocheted items.  Yay! :)

I really want to make up some patterns, but I just haven't had a chance. 

When you consider-

(1) The kitchen reno (btw, I just found out my 1 week rush order will be a total of 5 weeks in coming. How do these guys stay in business?) How I wish my kitchen were done already. :)

(2) My ankle and knees (still hurting and swollen). I'm moving a whole lot slower now--it's quite frustrating for me.

(3) My orders, which are piling up at the moment (these absolutely take priority).

When you consider all that, I guess I can understand why things are moving slower than I'd like. I am still smiling though, and I've been able to play with some digitals and do some posting in my "foot raising" times.

I also washed and cut some of my fabrics which are ready to sew up now. I just found out that I can wash fusible woven interfacing too. I had no idea. Someone also said I should wash zippers, but I cannot find info on that. I guess it depends on what they're made of - information I do not have, so I have an email into the company. 

In the meantime, life is zipping along quite happily and I'll just stop chatting already and get on with it. 

Here's the freebie:



Mar 26, 2015

Confessions of a Craft Supply Hoarder

I try so hard to be practical, resistant to good sales and self-controlling, but the truth is -- I've slipped up. 

Anyone that has been following this blog for a while knows that I love to make cards, crochet and sew. If you've been around a really long time, you know I've made lots of soap, digitals, some mixed media and altered projects. Did I mention my clays, canvases and teacups? I'm sure I've still left something out. Ah yes, my felted dolls....see what I mean?

I've been very good at storing all of my supplies neatly. Which really just gives the impression of having less. 

So, recently I sold off most of my soaping supplies because I realized that I had to cut back some where. My husband dislikes the strong scents when I make soap, so it was the obvious loser. I love a good bar of homemade soap though! I saved a few basic supplies and I know I can always use Crisco and Olive Oil to make soap. You may think I'm fooling myself, but honestly it's about not having hoards of supplies around 'just in case.' I will use them. 

I guess I've been thinking that way for a while when I came upon a post by Cheryl at "Sew Can Do." Her post about fabric hoarding certainly related to my situation.  If you're having the same problem, check out her post - you may find something helpful there! 

The good news is that I have been doing some of what she mentioned to get my stash under control. 

The bad news? I have a long, long way to go because I have so many crafts I love to do. I still have at least 6 large containers of fabric, at least 8 drawers full of paper, 2 large containers full of yarn, tools and supplies and well, I'll stop there. 

In all fairness, I have given a lot of supplies away, donated some things I've made and sold others. I'm trying, really I am. However, I will not leave myself short. I do plan on creating for the rest of my life! I'm keeping what I truly love and making sure I use it! 

Do any of you find yourself in the same situation? Are you doing anything about it or are you happy with what you have? Do you give it away as gifts? Donate it? 

Anyway, I hope you all have a good weekend! 

FYI, I'm working on a digital right now. It should be available for free soon! 


Mar 22, 2015

Quilting Memories

It's always such a treat and so refreshing when we can get away for a little while. We drove down to the coast and took a Ferry over to the Island to visit my in-laws. It was a much needed break and it was great to see everyone again, especially my mother in law who was released from the hospital following a month-and-a-half stay after breaking her hip. We are so happy she is doing well and so pleased at the level of care she received.

We stayed with Auntie Lucy. One night she showed us a lovely quilt her daughter Cheryl had made her. It was beautiful in itself, but I loved how she incorporated her free hand quilting. The feel of this quilt has a vintage charm to me, even though it's new and modern.

Cheryl added words that described her mother, qualities her mom exhibits (which she no doubt admires) and the names of all her grandchildren. She also dated the quilt in the quilting itself.

 Honest, funny, courage...


 Grandma Lucy, Sweet

 Friend, Caring


 Thoughtful, Capable

 Christmas 2008

Lucas, a grandson

There were many other words and names that I didn't photograph. The lighting wasn't great, but you get the just of it.

In my opinion, this is truly a wonderful keepsake. The time and effort that must have gone into this? It's just an amazing quilt. 

As for me, I've been busy too. I made more bags and they are all sold already.  Here's a couple of the latest bags. I'm kicking myself because I particularly liked one of them which I'd pieced together -- yellows and oranges and reds -- beautiful, but forgot to take a photo of it.

 Oh well! Snooze ya Looze! :) Here's a brown and blue one. It's pretty straightforward, but the fabric is beautiful. It has a sheen to it.

I'm loving the Batiks as well. I've bought some that are very colorful. I can't wait to play with them.

So what's on your work desk this week? 

I'm looking at some pairs of crocheted slippers with leather bottoms, some studying on Genesis 6,  a bunch of lunch dates, teaching some sewing -- and I have more bags to make.  I hope to get some digi's made for my shop, and possibly a freebie soon, but that will have to wait a couple of weeks. I think I have my hands full for this week!

See you soon!