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.

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. 


Feb 1, 2016

Upcycling Jeans into Craft Aprons

Good morning! 

Happy February 1st people! Say whaaat? I know, I can't believe it either! I'm looking forward to spring but love these cooler months because I stay inside and craft!

I've had about four pairs of old jeans hanging around for months wondering what to do with them. Then I found a post on Pinterest from Happy Hooligans called "denim pant leg craft aprons" and thought, "yes!" 

Yup, that's all I thought. 

There's a tutorial there if you want to check it out.

So here's mine. 

This first one is for my little 2 yr old grandson. Adorable hey? All I had to buy was double fold bias tape. It has the look of leather and denim with the added double stitching. The little inner pocket and a belt loop made for cute little functional holders,  and because this denim has spandex in it, it was soft enough for a comfy stretchy neck band.

This one is much like the original post. Why change up something that looks great? So cute for my little granddaughter. You can't tell from the photo unless you look closely, but the heart is made from a glittery red fleece.

I used the free apron template from Tiny Chef Toddler Apron from Craftsy for these, although you could just make up your own. The pattern comes with cute little oven mitts, like the ones I showed at the bottom of this POST.

Well, hope your February is fabulous!!

Have a great day,

Jan 17, 2016

Hey Baby, It's Time For a Shower!

Hey there!

What a fun day I've had today! A bunch of us planned a baby shower for my daughter in law and baby Addison. I'm grateful my other DIL has the space for a party because our house isn't large enough. I made the cupcakes and a Diaper Cake! We also had a bunch of other food - vegies and dip, fruit and cheese, chips and salsa, popcorn, etc.

Instead of doing a traditional baby shower, we opted for an Open House with both guys and girls invited. There was a hockey game on, so there were people upstairs and downstairs. We decided not to have any Baby Shower games or contests (I know for some people that's a lot of fun but our time was limited). Instead, it was just a good time to visit, enjoy the baby and watch Mandy open presents. Laid back and fun! 

For the cupcakes I used recipes from Sally's Baking Addiction that I saved on my "Let's Eat" Pinterest Board. The first batch were Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes, and the second were "Death By Chocolate Cupcakes. Now these were not quick to make, they were a bit of work, but both types of cupcakes were so flavorful.  Really, really tasty. I'm glad I ditched the boxed cupcakes and spent the extra time making these.

I made them ahead of time and froze them; then put frosting on them this morning after thawing them overnight. It was so worth it! YUM-MY!

The BEST Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes: My Favorite Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting - chocolate lovers only! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

I wanted to do something a bit different for a diaper cake. I saw this one first....A Carousel Diaper Cake.   It's a youtube video, and I fell in love with it, but then I realized I just didn't have the time. This is an adorable diaper cake, but sooo much work. I thought I'd share it here anyway, because maybe you want to make one some day?  It actually moves!

I did manage to make a Princess Palace Diaper Cake for this party though. A little less work but still adorable. There's tons of these diaper cakes on Google with instructions. Here's some pictures of mine. 
The sign Julie made

The diaper cake before we added little gifts to it. Love the drawbridge.

Left side, Baby Einstein CD's, Bibs, etc.

Right side

Front - cute little finger puppets.

Top Tower

Our little princess! 

She was so well behaved at the party. She slept for most of it. She got some cute little outfits and other beautiful gifts. Definitely spoiled! 

This was my 3rd or 4th diaper cake. Have you ever made a diaper cake? If so, what type? What did you put in it? 

Have a good week everyone! 


Jan 10, 2016

Valentine Freebies on the Blog

Good Morning!

Valentine's Day is a month away!

I have quite a few freebies on this blog and you can find a list of links on the "Freebies" page just below the header. However, I have gone through and am listing all the Valentine's Day type of freebies I have. Just click on the link and it will bring you to the right page. 



Heart Trees  (Red, Blue, Pink, Purple, Yellow, Green, Multicolored, Blank)



Blogger Offers an 'Improved' Experience.

Hey there! 

Apparently there have been some policy changes afoot in Blogger. How this is helpful to me as a Blogger, or you as a follower, is beyond me. Their reasons for the change are weak, in my opinion. Anyway, here it is in all its glory. 

In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs. (So, 2 steps instead of 1 - how is that streamlined? OoOh, it's just streamlined for Blogger.)

As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count. (how is this helpful to us?)

We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow. (Yes, we all love more mail and more work - tic).

We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers. (Really? How so?)

Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer

Sorry for the attitude, but I am disappointed. I'm not sure what my next step will be, but I do feel as if they are complicating things. So far I've only lost 4 followers, but who knows what the next week will bring? Anyway, they wanted me to let you know, so there it is. 


Jan 8, 2016

Quick Cards and Vintage/Steampunk MM Art Pieces.

I had some birthdays coming up in January. These cards came together very quickly and were easy to make. I have decided that there's value in making quick cards for those who don't have enough love for handmade items to keep them. They still get a nice handmade card, but I haven't spend hours on it! It's a win - win situation!

This card was made with Bo Bunny Enchanted Collection. The Orange papers came from MME Haunted. I had some little frames that I haven't used, so I decided to use one for the sentiment, just for something different.  I was in a hurry so I just wrote the sentiment in by hand. As you can see, I also put some flags on the envelope. The extra little touches make it look like a little more thought was put into it.

This next card is for a grandson in his tweens. It's another quick card I threw together. I used Bo Bunny Timepiece Collection for all the papers.

The little timepiece in the corner came from B'Sue Boutiques. It's actually a vintage jewelry supply type of place, but they had some neat stuff and some of it would make up great steampunk or mixed media art.  I'm only sharing because I like this stuff and I thought maybe you'd be interested in it too. Check it out...

I love these little bottles with dice in them!! Great on a little necklace, or ?

The middle timepiece is the one I used on the card above.
The spinners spin!

The little compasses move! The clock is actually a button.

So you can get an idea of the size....I bought these some time ago, but I'm sure she'll have a lot of them in her shop today as these things are timeless. 

That's all for today. 

Jan 2, 2016

Sewing is Therapeutic!

Welcome 2016!

I welcome 2016 because 2015 was a difficult year culminating in the death of my mother a few weeks before Christmas. As a result I haven't posted much in the last year. Unfortunately, I lost my mom little by little as dementia robbed her of her memory, her abilities and her understanding. It was hard for all of us, especially my dear Dad who was her sole care giver for at least the last 5 years. All of us live in different cities and towns, so the travel was just too much to do on a continual basis. She's good now, but we have to learn to navigate this world without her. She is missed! As you can imagine, December was pretty much a write off for us, but I did manage to get a few things done in between all the funeral arrangements. 

On a happier note, my son Mike and his wife had a baby girl on November 9th. That was also a very busy time, but in a good way. We are blessed! Her name is Addison and she's a sweetie. Also, my youngest son Tony is getting married this year to a wonderful girl who has been so easy for us all to fall in love with. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these two. It's a match made in heaven! 

Anyway, I'll show you what I made in the last while. Sewing is therapeutic for me! I love it. I actually made 6 of these but forgot to take pictures of most of them. The pouches are made of canvas and a variety of cotton poly fabrics. The messy sewing is intentional on the applique. I love the look. The petals and flags are backed with interfacing. I also added quilt batting to the backs of each side for a fuller sturdier pouch. The pouches are lined with colorful fabric.


Completed pouch, front side. Note the cool zipper pull I made up.

Back side

This is the other one. I love birdhouses and apparently so does my sister. She also loves giraffes, so I added one to the zipper. Photos are of the front and back. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy.

With all that had to be done, I just bought gift cards for Christmas, but wanted something to put them into for the girls. I also gave a pouch to my sister and sister in law after Christmas. We don't exchange gifts, but it was just because I love them. These came together in a couple of hours and were fun to do. It kept my mind off of other things. 

Well, that's all I have for you. I hope I will feel like posting again soon. I'm making some clothes for Addison with free patterns I found online. I do love to sew, but I need to make some cards up again soon as there's 3 birthdays in January. We had 4 birthdays in December as well, but I bought cards for them as there wasn't time. 

Well, have a good week everyone, and thanks for listening to my sad tale. It's okay, Mom had a good life, but she'll be missed. We were very close and I know she's in a good place! 


Nov 29, 2015

What's a Wet Bag?

On November 9th, 2015, Addison Michaela joined our family. After many hours of labor, she finally made an appearance at an even 8 lbs and a head full of hair! She won our hearts and filled them with more love than we realized they could contain.

Over a week later, Sullivan Terry Kevin was also born to our niece on my husband's side. So, with a couple of new babies in the family, I guess it's no surprise that I am working on baby things! I recently made these wet bags I'd like to show you. 

What's a Wet Bag, you ask?

These are made with PUL, a waterproof Polyurethane Laminate fabric. This stuff is priced like gold! $28- $32 a metre . I waited and bought it all at 55% off -- because that's just crazy pricing. Why do we have to pay so much in Canada? I don't get it. Anyhoo....a wet bag is just a waterproof bag that's made to carry soiled garments, used diapers (usually cloth), and things like wet bathing suits. 

Some people use them as snack bags, laundry bags while travelling, toiletry bags, bags for markers or as a pencil case, etc. You can use them for anything, really. They're quick and easy to make!

I used a 16" zipper for this bag. I didn't actually measure the size of the bag itself. I just went ahead and made it. 

I sewed my tag on the little loop on the side. I just thought it made it look more professional somehow. 

I probably should have used red thread on the bottom of the zipper, but I wasn't overly concerned about it. This bag wasn't lined, but it doesn't actually need to be. I threw it on tumble dry low for 20 minutes to seal the holes that the stitching made. Should be good to go! 

I'll add it to the other little items I bought for him and send it all with my hubby, who is heading their way soon. 

I made this little Wet Bag too. It's quite a bit smaller than the first one, but it's also lined with PUL, unlike the other.

I made it to fit these breast pads that I found a tutorial for on the DIY Mommy. Mine were constructed of white PUL, terry cloth, and 2 layers of flannelette. They were supposed to be super absorbent with the terry cloth in the center, but they didn't hold up as well as I'd hoped. The thing is, they are 4 layers thick and you could see them when worn, so adding more layers isn't an option. 

They were fun to make though, and the wet bag can still be used for other things, such as soothers, soiled bibs, baby wipes, etc.  In the meantime, I plan on making a bigger wet bag for her in case there's an accident. Isn't it funny how newborn baby 'explosions' don't usually amount to much? Just a lot of noise going on. Hahaha...

Working with PUL Fabric:

I've used the PUL fabric for a few different projects now. Remember the little apron I made for my other granddaughter? Now I've made these breast pads and the wet bags too, so I must be an expert. (tic) 

I think the most frustrating thing about this fabric is that it doesn't glide through the machine smoothly but has a tendency to pull a bit, and usually on one layer. You can easily end up with a skewed square. 

Just take it a bit slow while stitching this fabric together and make sure everything is square as you go along. You don't want to have to restitch, as that creates additional unnecessary holes in the fabric, which is truly counterproductive. Also, I recommend you to throw it in the dryer (tumble dry low, 20 minutes) when completed to close up the holes that the stitching has made. Well, if you want it to be waterproof, which is really kind of the point. :)

Well, that's it for today! I can't believe that Christmas is almost upon us. I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping, baking or decorating. I am SO behind this year. How about you? Share some of your Christmas to do's and done's with me in the comments below! :)

Have a wonderful week!