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.

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! 

Feb 19, 2016

Baby Circle Skirt, Round Hem Sewing Tip

Wow, half way through February already! Are your days passing as fast as mine? Valentine's is over and I seem to have pretty much ignored it on this blog, save the upcycled craft jean apron with the glittery red heart on it.

I have been keeping busy though. I've had company most of the past week and now I'm trying very hard to finish writing course material for my class, which is coming up in April. I did manage to get a couple of little circle skirts and a pair of leggings made for my newest granddaughter who is just over 3 months old now.

I used a free Baby Circle Skirt pattern by Danamadeit. She also has the pattern in a larger size here! This little circle skirt was so easy to make as her instructions were simple to follow. I've added a little bow to this pink houndstooth skirt. Adorable, no?

Sewing up a couple of straps, and criss-crossing them at the back 
gave this little zebra striped piece some more interest.
How cute will this be with little black leggings and a onesie?

I made up my own buttons with a button kit. Note the zebra striped buttons above. :)

This last one is actually the first one I made. It's made with a knit jersey.

I used to sew professionally for a company called Rainbowear some time ago. I'd like to show you a little photo tip tutorial for sewing hems in the round.

Move the stitch length to 1.75 on your serger. This is a gathering stitch. Don't worry, it's all good. 

When you're done, it should look like this, with the edges turned up just slightly. 

Now grab your hot iron and press all the way around using your fingers to hold the hem in place. 
Trust me, it's way easier than trying to press the hem down without the gather.

The finished edge.

I also made a couple pairs of leggings using a free pattern called Baby Go To Leggings by Andrea Pannell on Sewtorials. 

My son and his wife are both very tall people, so 3 month old baby Addison is long and thin! I had to use the 6-9 month pattern , and widen the ankles a bit and cut the waist elastic for the 3-6 month for the stretch jean leggings that I am currently working on. The flowery leggings were made in the 3-6 month size but are a bit tight and short in bum length, lol. 

As you can see, it's a pretty easy pattern. Everyone should make their own leggings! It's just getting the pattern down right for your size and shape (to some extent -- even though they're stretchy).

Have a good week everyone

Feb 9, 2016

Masculine Quick Card


I can't believe we're already into February this year! Trust me, I'm not complaining - the sooner spring comes, the happier this girl will be. 

I love the Spring and Fall the most out of all the seasons. However, it's been a mild winter and I hope spring is just around the corner. The groundhogs even seem to be confused this year, so we will see what happens.

In the meantime, I've been working on more recycled aprons and I made a quick card. I say quick because I basically lifted it from a Pinterest Post. I had the same papers, and although I made a few little changes, I kept it mostly the same because I was in a hurry. A parcel had to be sent, and the card had to be with it.  See the original by Sherri Gilson at Papercraft Creations.

Sometimes I look for store bought cards, but I can never find one I like. So I usually end up making one anyway. 

Here's the card:

Here's the process in putting it together: The basic pieces, some matted in black.

First I added a couple of brads onto the matted rectangle and then taped it into place.

The flags were added onto the rear side of the top flag and then taped into place. I scored them first for a bit more texture.

Then the circular piece was taped on top.

The sentiment was hand written, then the last flag was taped underneath. All of it was taped on top.

It was a nice, quick, easy card to make and great for guys! 

Have a good week! 


Feb 5, 2016

Spinner Card Tutorial

Hey there!

I made a Penny Spinner card for my grandson, so I thought I'd take photos along the way and show you how I put it together. It's a bit busy, but he's only 2 and I'm trying to get his attention with the spinner feature. Lol...we live 16 hours away, so you know....

"A gramma's gotta do what a gramma's gotta do!"

I went with a car theme because he likes cars. I decided to go blue for the backgrounds because I always use black and I just wanted something different. 


Mini pop dots
Foam tape
Double sided tape
Tab punch
Foam Number
2 pennies

Recollections card base: 5" x 6 1/2 "
Layer 1, Blue cardstock: 6 1/4" x 4 3/4" 
Layer 2, Jillibean Soup: 6" x 4 1/2" 
Layer 3, Blue cardstock: 5 3/4" x 2 3/4" This is your spinner template base
Layer 4, Jillibean soup: 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" spinner card template

Attach layer 2 to layer 1 and tape to card base using double sided tape.

Make a template for the spinner base. Note that I marked off the center and then the sides so that the tab space is evenly placed on the cardstock. It's a good idea to make a template because then you don't have to worry about ruining your expensive designer cardstock.  Use the dimensions for layer 4 above.

Trace your tab opening on your designer cardstock using the template. (layer 4). 

Take your punch and punch out the left side, the right side and then the middle. 

Do the same for your blue cardstock base (layer 3). I just positioned layer 4 on top, taped it in place then punched it out carefully.

Attach two pennies together with a pop dot. (The extra weight will make the spinner spin better).

Next, place about 3 mini pop dots in the center of one penny. 

Place the penny unederneath the spinner portion of the card (showing through the tab opening, and with the pop dots facing up). The penny is not secured to anything - do not tape it onto the spinner card.

Okay, now put whatever you're spinning on top of the penny, making sure to center it as best as possible. I used one of these little cars. I have used a heart in the past, and I've seen owls and plenty of other cute things. I don't have the right sized circle punch so I had to fussy cut it. Sigh.

**So in the photo below is where I messed up the first time. This was the back of my template. 


What you have to do is put 2 layers of foam tape all the way around the perimeter of this rectangle. 


Your penny will not spin properly if you don't do this. Luckily the foam tape all came up without a problem. Your foam tape on the sides should be cut thin to leave space for the penny to roll back and forth without it getting stuck to the tape. 

Can you see the double layers? The area with the spaces kind of bent into the card and the penny spinner got caught up in those spaces. So make sure you put foam tape the length and width of the card all the way around. 

If you've done that, you can now attach the spinner onto the card. It looks kind of sad here. I had to play with it a bit and give it some tender loving care after all it had been through. 

Now comes the fun part. You get to embellish it anyway you like. I fussy cut a bunch of cars and trucks out of the designer cardstock and attached them in different spots with double sided tape.


I added a stamped sentiment, and cut out a tow truck towing a truck with a foam "2" on it. 

That's about it! I added a "stamp" to my envelope just for fun. I often decorate my envelopes. This was all I could muster today. Did I tell you I'm just getting over the flu? 

It's all packaged up in a box with Valentine Candy and a couple of craft aprons that I made up the other day for the little ones - "Upcycling Jeans into Craft Aprons." 

Yup, I'm hitting two birds with one stone! Three actually; two birthdays and Valentine's Day. I cut out a big heart with a sentiment on it, and put it on top of everything, 

It feels good to be ahead of the game for a change. 

Have a good week. I'll be posting Darren's card soon.