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

I am happiest when making arts & crafts of all kinds and this blog will reflect that. In addition, I create digital stamps and offer vintage graphics, many for free. Please check out my Digital Stamps page for my terms of use and some information on digital stamps.

Jan 18, 2015

Free Valentine Digital Stamps

Good Morning!

Since I've been able to lower my price point in my Etsy shop, I've made quite a few sales. Here are some of the more popular images people have been buying lately:





That last image is kind of a Valentine's image. I also have some free Valentine images. 







And I have a bunch of these heart trees in different colors HERE





I just came by to let you know! Valentine's Day is less than a month away!!

Blessings, 
Carmen




Jan 15, 2015

Good News!

Hello All! 

How are you braving your winters? It's been pretty mild here since our major dump, although my front yard still looks like a snow mountain. My house actually shook a bit when they were piling some more of it up there this week.  

At least I can craft. That always makes me happy, rain or shine. 

Snow mountain or brown grass...because when it isn't snowing here, it's hot, hot, hot.

Okay, well let's get on with it. I have some bad news and some good news for you today! First the bad news. 

Squigglefly is closing it's virtual doors thanks to the new European VAT which makes sellers collect taxes from anyone who resides in the EU.  Most websites are not set up like eBay, where you can choose who you sell to according to country. This causes problems for some smaller sites who do not want to put out the money to have someone set all of that infrastructure up for them. I've heard of a few craft based sites who have closed or are closing their doors. It's sad and I still can't figure out how they can do that in a world that is not yet global, though that is their intent. Their second reason was the amount of freebies available, which is true, but sometimes people just want something specific.

The good news is, now that I am no longer obligated to charge what Squigglefly charged for my digitals, I am now setting my own pricing in my Etsy shop, which means my prices have gone down.  YAY !!

Unfortunately, I have also had to add a shop announcement to the top of my Etsy page stating that...
'I cannot sell to anyone who resides in EU countries'

I'm sorry. I am just a small entity, and I make very little off my digitals. I really just do it for the fun of it. So having to fill out tax forms for another country really doesn't sit well with me. I hope you understand why I had to do this. Etsy will be putting something in place for the sellers soon - probably something along the lines of what eBay has done. 

Well, that's my news. Have a look and see if there's anything there you'd like.

Here's the Link:  Carmensplace on Etsy

I put some of my pouches up on my FB profile and now I have a bunch of orders to fill. What a nice surprise. :)

Also, I'm in the process of updating my kitchen. It's way, way overdue and I'm excited about how it's going to look. I may post some of it here in the future. Right now the walls are blue, the cupboards are a cream color and the hinges are old, old, old. The counter...I don't even want to talk about it. The pantry door is one of those accordian doors. I'm so embarrassed about that piece of design that I'm not even going to show you. Maybe at the 'after reno' post. Maybe.

I'm limited by funds, so I'll do what I can. Hopefully it'll turn out good. Fingers crossed. 

So I'm going to say good bye here, but post some pics below. 

Blessings! 
Carmen

Before pics:

Jan 11, 2015

Who Likes Giraffe's? Izzy Does!

If you live where I do, you have been seeing a whole lot of snow lately! We had at least 3 feet of snow in front of our home. It started up a week ago last Saturday night and didn't stop until Tuesday after midnight sometime. There was a mountain of snow in my front yard because that's where the 'plow guy' dumped the snow from out of our cul-de-sac.

Ya, thanks for that!

Was I annoyed? Well, not really. He didn't leave too much in front of the driveway so we could still get out if we wanted to plow snow with our cars until we reached an arterial road. (It kept snowing, so the plowing helped, but only so much).

Was I concerned? Well, a little. We were expecting freezing rain and then sun. I thought we might need a boat, or an inflatable should we choose to go for a walk float, or perhaps some skates to slide on the ice. 

Anyway, that's not why I'm here with you today. I wanted to show you the Pouch I made for my sister. Her birthday is coming up, and although we don't exchange gifts anymore, I thought she might like one of these. She loves giraffe's so much she wears one on her shoulder, so that was the fabric theme of this bag. (She doesn't actually wear a giraffe ~ it's a large Giraffe Tattoo).


Here it is with the zippered pockets open. Some more animal print and some color inside for interest.

The closed bag. I love the handles and the little taggy thing I made. See how Giraffe-y it looks?


I thought I'd show you a couple of photos of the bag before it was all put together. Now that I have the techniques down, they're lots of fun to make.




The tags were done up on Quick Fuse Iron on Fabric Sheets. Be warned though --these things cost a small fortune. I think they were $13 for 3 sheets (are you kidding me??). So, I used a 40% off coupon. Still too much in my books, but a worthy sacrifice. I love my little tags.


(In case you're wondering, I still haven't made myself one--a Sew Together Bag, that is. Gotta get onto that.)

Since I was snowed in I cleaned up the house, made a turkey dinner, worked on this Pouch and did some doodling. I used to love doodling when I was young, and there's so many sites with good ideas on doodles that I played around a bit. I hope to make something nice soon. 

I'm really into graph paper too for some reason. Don't ask me why. Sometimes I just don't make sense.



I think that's my car under that snow. I've been looking for that. I have to make a trip to Katja's Quilt Shop in Valleyview. She has that fabulous newsprint fabric. Love it. 


Have a good week!

Blessings,
Carmen

Dec 29, 2014

Fine Tuning, Reflections of 2014


Christmas is done! In my area of the world, this is the time when it really begins to get cold! I went out for a little while today, but BRRRR...back inside as soon as I could! So I nestled down in front of my computer and did some fine tuning on my blog.

For the observant eye, you'll notice I now have a 'Page' at the top of my blog (Just below the header and above the welcome message) called 'Freebies.' I have listed all the free digital images I could find on this blog and placed them as links on this page. They are in no particular order, but I think it'll still make it much easier to find a specific image.

It was fun going through and finding images I'd forgotten about, but could still remember doing up 2 years later. I've been so pre-occupied with other concerns that I haven't been able to use some of my own images. I hope to rectify that in the next year and make up some cards, some canvases, etc. 

I can't believe it's just about the end of 2014~~2 more days people!! Crazy.

When the New Year is upon us it causes us to reflect, it seems. This last year was a very hard one for us. My husband has not been well since an operation a few years ago that seems to have affected his central nerve. So many things have gone wrong with him and this year we have begun to realize some of the ways it's going to change things for him and for me. It's been hard to deal with and there have been many trips to the hospital. In addition, we don't have a personal physician anymore, which really complicates everything.

However, we are thankful that we know what is causing the problems. The doctors are hesitant to 'officially' diagnose him, but at least they've told us what is wrong. They're a close group here, and they don't want to implicate each other. We've discovered some ways to help him with the least amount of side effects (many pharmaceuticals have horrible side effects). We are hoping and looking forward to a better year next year. 

I'm also very thankful for good friends, One of my friends put it this way (left out some stuff, but you get the gist of it)....When I look back at this year, I see you as having a lot of pressure, lots of things happening, plus doing things for everyone.  Grahams had a horrific year, and you've had to bear up under that and take care of him as well.  The last 6 months I've never seen anyone so busy as you.   My opinion is that you are going to have to make a decision to slow down, and people are going to have to take care of themselves in some ways, not putting pressure on you so much. I'd say she's right and I have another good friend who has said much the same.  I'm sure you've noticed that I've posted less in the last year, and these are some of the reasons why. I love this little blog and I want to keep it up, so I hope I figure it all out. Some things are going to have to change! Pray for me, will you?

So, I guess this may as well be my last post of the year! I want to wish all of you a Very Happy New Year. I pray you will find the true meaning of life, that you will be surrounded by those you love and that you will impact the world in a positive way in 2015. Cheers!



Blessings,
Carmen


Dec 25, 2014

The Unveiling of my Christmas Gift Project!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas Day. Now, I know that many of you won't even see this post until tomorrow or the next day, but that's okay. :) 

Some time ago I showed you some fabric and told you I was going to make something with it. Since then I've been back and forth to the local quilt shop and made quite a few of these little Christmas gifts for my daughter-in-laws and my granddaughters.

Now maybe I'll have time to make one for myself, because I do love these. 

I found the pattern on the Internet and bought the pattern, but soon realized it was lacking in clear instruction and photos. Luckily I came across a tutorial by Heather at "The Quilt Barn." 

Although I used the supply list from the pattern, I actually followed along at the Quilt Barn to make these. It was sooo easy to follow. Really awesome job of the tutorial. Thank you to Heather.

Also, if you need zippers, I bought some of mine at Zipit, and the rest I bought locally. I paid a bit more for the local zippers, but it was a time crunch situation. 

So, here are my Sew Together Bags. I love this crazy pattern. It reflects a few of my DIL's ~ fun loving, sunshiny, happy and beautiful. These girls are always making things happen.

The granddaughter's pouches were also done in this fabric. It's just fun-loving, sweet and cute like them.


Below are the 3 inside zippered pockets open and showing the colorful insides. The lining is a beautiful blue and makes up the additional 4 open pockets. 

The main zipper wraps around the bag and attaches to both the side bottoms creating handles.

I think the reason these are so popular right now is because of the ample room to hold your items. They're about 9 inches long and about 5 or 6 inches wide when completed. They can be used for make up or toiletries, crocheting supplies, sewing supplies, or anything really. So versatile!!



A close up of the random quilting and my little tag. I had 3 different tags. It's So You!, Lovables! and My Lovelies!


Here's another using the same fabrics......I only have the inside pictured.


The lighting was so bad. I was trying to get natural lighting, but it just wasn't a great day and now they're wrapped, so this is the only photo I have of the pockets open. Sorry for the poor quality.


Aaand another. I forgot to get a photo of the insides of this one. In fact, in this photo the sides aren't even done yet either. I don't know if I'm crazy about the red binding in the photo, but it's darker in real life, and there's quite a lot more shiny on there than you can see in the photo. It's quite pretty.


I actually made 4 similar ones using the fabrics above. Here is the inside of another one in progress. It is the lining and the zipper pockets laid out on my ironing board. That one used different colors for each lining piece and each pocket. Very colorful.


Here's another set of fabrics I've used. Note the different tag. Now this one is for another DIL. She is beautiful, kind, fun, sweet and a busy mom of 5. So it's a little more serious, but still fun. :)



My third trip to the quilting shop brought back some greys (note the third tag). One of my DIL's loves greys, blacks, earth tones and whites. She's beautiful, sweet with a touch of serious, and has great style. She is our female Model/McGyver and nobody's sidekick, I'm told. Lol....yes, this bag suits her perfectly.


Here are the three zippered pockets and the 4 unzipped pockets.

Here are the zippered pockets opened, showing the colorful insides. 


I wouldn't recommend this pattern for a beginner sewer. I have sewn professionally, and although it wasn't difficult for me, there were definitely some moments.

You will end up having a little cry. 

I broke 4 needles while making these pouches. I finally pulled out my denim needles (Yes, it actually took 4 broken needles for me to clue in...sigh). Though you're using cotton, you're going through several layers of cotton, interfacing and sometimes quilt batting as well. In spite of that, it was so worth it and I do recommend you check out the Quilt Barn and then decide if you want to buy the pattern. 

It's easy to mess up on these, so don't try to make them when you have about 2 weeks before Christmas with 6 of these to make and way too much else to do (these things take time.,,lol).

Like I did.

Let's just say the seam ripper and I have become very good friends. 

It's a love hate relationship.

Anyway, I'm glad they're done, and since I'm writing this post up ahead of time, I have no idea if the girls liked them yet. Let's hope so!  I put a few little things in the pockets as well.  Just for fun.

You have probably realized how blessed I am, and there's no denying it. I have the most awesome DIL's in the world and the sweetest granddaughters and let's not forget my awesome grandsons. My boys are pretty great too, as is my husband.

Yes, I'm blessed indeed

Have a Happy Happy Christmas!! 

Blessings, 
Carmen

Dec 22, 2014

Coming Soon...

The Unveiling of my Christmas Gift Project will be on this blog Christmas Day! 

In the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

May you look for the good in each day of 2015 and grow through the rest! 

Blessings to you and yours! 

Carmen

Dec 15, 2014

Peek A Boo's, Handstitched Fun!

With a little more than a week until Christmas, I am scurrying about getting things done. The truth is, my tree isn't decorated, my house isn't decorated and only a few of my gifts are wrapped! 

What have I been doing? Well, mostly just making things. I love to make things! 

Also, I have a tendency to put everything aside when I get company, and I get a lot of company all the time. My motto is 'people first.' 

Yes, that's my motto.   I love my motto.   It's a good motto. BUT...

It makes my life very unpredictable. As a result, I go, go, go just in case I don't get things done, done, done! Somehow it works for me. Honestly though....after Christmas I am taking a bit of a break just to do nothing for as long as I can. Anyone that knows me is rolling their eyes right now and having a little chuckle to themselves and thinking "as if."

I'm still going to try. 

I have 3 more projects to complete before Christmas and I'll show them to you as soon as it's safe to do so. 

I will show you some more of my Peek a Boo Pals by Gingermelon. Since they're for my little granddaughters, I know I don't have to worry about them seeing them ahead of time. 

I didn't actually purchase the pattern for the little ladybug but made my own up using the pattern of 4 that I bought. I've made 6 of these, so after a while you get the just of it. 

I actually love that the pigtails are crooked on my little ladybug.


This little owl one is cute. One of my granddaughters has an owl theme going on in her room. 


Did I mention these are all hand-stitched? They're about 6" high. Adorable!

Here's the whole crew of them. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy....


I found some make up bags at the Dollar Store. I got 2 packs of 3 bags. The inside ones were cute patterned bags. The biggest one held the other two and was clear with a little bow on it. Perfect! 


I still have 4 bags to play with. Maybe I'll make some clothes for these little guys and send them up one day. Just for the fun of it! 

Well, back to cutting, wrapping, decorating, sewing and, well, eating dinner.

Have a good week everyone!

Carmen

Dec 6, 2014

What's On Your Craft Desk?

It's been so busy today! When I wasn't cleaning and shopping, I was sewing. My hands are really hurting. I've never experienced that before, but I guess they can only take so much. Lol...

I came across a sewing pattern that I just fell in love with. It was just a bit pricey, so I hesitated on purchasing it. In the end I gave in and I'm so glad I did. Now unfortunately I can't show you the finished projects as they are gifts for my daughters and granddaughters, but I will show you some of the fabrics I bought for them. :)

I absolutely LOVE this bundle of fabric I put together. The colors in this bundle are based on the first piece of fabric in the photo. I have gorgeous purple, deep red and lime green patterned fabrics to go with this bundle. The red in the photo is actually a deep, deep pink.


Here's a sample of that first piece of fabric. Not a great photo, but you get the idea. I love it.


This second bundle I just picked up today.  I may find some more colors to go with this, but it's a good start. This bundle is for one of my daughter in laws who loves turquoise.

                                     

I've made one and a half and after these 2 are done, I will be making at least 4 more. I love them that much. They are time consuming though. The first one took me hours as I had to figure the pattern out. The second one took slightly less time since I now know the pattern a bit, but there is some quilting involved, which takes time. It also takes a lot of pinning. 

I honestly can't wait to show you the finished projects. I may have several to show you. 

Until then, have a good weekend! 

Blessings,
Carmen

Dec 1, 2014

A Christmas Gift a Grandparent Will Love!!

A few years ago I made up a book for my parents and my inlaws of their grandbabies as a Christmas gift. Both sets of parents just loved them and so every year at Christmas time I add pages to their books.

This year we had two more babies born so I made up three pages. Two for the one set of parents and one for the other set, since one of the babies was my sister's grandson and therefore only applied to my side.

It's an 8X8 book, which is perfect for the size pages I wanted to make, and I usually make them fairly simple. The point is to get all the information in there along with a photo.

Since some of the kids were already teens or young adults at the time, I added a page beside their baby page with a photo of them as teens, and something about them. For example, on one of my sons pages I added his poetry. My nephew was really into Soccer, and his name had that meaning, so I added a soccer themed page for him, etc. So there are quite a few pages.

Here are the pages I did up this week:

This one is of my grandson who was born in the Spring. As you can see, I blanked out the info for this post.


This is my sister's grandson...my 2nd nephew or my great nephew(?). These two are almost a couple of months apart. It's too bad we don't live closer together because these two would've been good friends.


Then I added them to my parents book! As you can see, it's getting rather full!

Blessed indeed. :-)

We will be giving my in-laws theirs when we go to visit this December.

Have a good day!
Carmen