Monday's with Carol Heppner - Learning to Craft

 Looking for some great Holiday crafts?  Check out all my December posts.

The Gift of Creativity
On our way to see Santa, my five-year-old niece turned to me and said, “I know what you want Santa to bring to you, Aunt Carol.”  Surprised, I asked what she thought I would like.  Her eyes, filled with wonder, grew even brighter as she whispered, “Art supplies.” We both giggle.

This year, my niece decided to surprise us with ornaments.  She traced and colored her hand onto paper and then cut out her hand.   It’s not the making of the ornament that was important, but the fact that this is the first project that she designed and executed all by herself.   

My niece started kindergarten this September and enjoys using scissors and glue.  To her, a blank piece of paper holds countless possibilities.   So, we always spend time creating.  Like me, she has a passion for paper arts.  I am the recipient of a number of her collages.

At this age, they are learning to color within lines, learning to cut with scissors, and getting glue on everything.  As adults, it is easy to want to give advice so their work looks more professional.  However, this is the time to nurture their creativity rather than technique.  

When my niece is around, I work on a table that is at her level.  She has her own set of art supplies so she can work along side of me.  I will ask for her thoughts on the colors I am using or the designs on which I am working.   Of course, I answer her questions as well.

The more they are allowed to create, the more creative they become.  And, their creativity will go beyond crafting and follow them into their everyday life.  Being creative allows you to find multiple solutions to life’s challenges. 

This weekend, we made gluten-free Christmas cookies.  Some of the stocking-shaped or tree-shaped cookies have smiley faces.  Other cookies are decorated slightly less traditional.  These are not how I would have decorated the cookies, but they are how a creative and happy five year old will decorate cookies.  

To the happy five year old inside of you –

Merry Christmas!

Mondays in December

Mondays in December
Join me every Monday in December as we get ready to celebrate Christmas. 
This Monday it’s all about the Sock Monkey.

Make sure to read about the great giveaway below! 

Sock Monkey Blog Hop
Sock monkeys are a very big trend this Christmas season and you can find them everywhere.  They are making appearances in toys, ornaments, on clothing and more.   Join in the fun and add a sock monkey to your holiday season.

Monkey Adventures with Noelle Monkey
Instructions below

Noelle Monkey is getting ready for the Annual Sock Monkey Christmas Party.  This year it is sponsored by When Creativity Knocks™.  

A noted socialite and party animal, Noelle wants to make sure she looks her very best, so Noelle hired designer, Carol Heppner, to create the perfect cocktail dress.  Of course, Velcro® Fabric Fusion is used as the dress’s closure so Noelle can change her outfits throughout the year.

Ape Couture
The chimply marvelous back velvet bodice is trimmed in gold.  The underskirt is a bright purple lace and is followed with a black polka dot sheer skirt.  The upper skirt is a gold-glittered, red fabric with a green-glittered belt. 

Noelle’s bracelet and necklace were custom made by Carol using jewelry supplies from Cousin® Corporation of America 

The Party
Noelle’s party invitations are custom made using JudiKin’s Sock Monkey rubber stamp to decorate an office tag.  All the party information is place on the back of the tag.
Of course, she is serving Banana Daiquiris and Christmas-Monkey Bread.  

You’ll go bananas when you join the Sock Monkey fun by making your own monkey.   Grab the When Creativity Knocks™ video book “Sock Monkeys Go Bananas”  to see how easy these monkeys are to make.  The video book also comes with patterns for the monkey and clothes.  

Make sure to visit all the blogs in our Designer Crafts Blog Hop to see just how many different looks you can create with this pattern.  

Noelle’s body was made from The Original Rockford Red Heel® socks and dyed with Rit® purple dye.  The red flower in Noelle’s hair was white but dyed red.   Noelle is the inspiration for the Sock Monkey tag that was made with Judikin’s Sock-Monkey Rubber Stamp. 

Monkey Instructions 
To make this monkey, the sock is dyed purple and then allowed to dry.  Cut out the monkey’s torso, head, ears, arms, legs and tail and then sew the individual pieces.
Sew the pieces together.
Apply fun buttons on the face for eyes
Use white faux fur to create the monkey’s hair.
Cut a black velvet bodice and then trim the bodice with gold fabric.
Use three different fabrics (in this case, purple, black polka dot, and red) to make the skirt.
Attach the skirt to the bodice.
Follow the directions on the Velcro® Fabric Fusion package to apply the Fabric Fusion to the back of the dress.  
Place the dress onto the monkey  

Bracelet Instructions
Braid the ribbon and then thread a bead onto the ribbon.  Sew the bracelet onto the monkey’s arm.

Necklace Instructions 
Thread the green and red beads onto elastic jewelry cording.  Make sure the red beads are in the center of the beaded strand.  Place the strand around the monkey’s neck and then tie the ends of the elastic together.   Remove the excess elastic.  Use a jump ring to attach the pendant in the center of the necklace.

Your Invitations

  • Enter to win a sock monkey prize valued at over $40.00 from When Creativity Knocks.  Giveaway ends December 19, 2011.

   1. Go to When Creativity Knocks
   2. While in the Member Log inbox, click on “Create An Account”
   3. Make sure to enter the code: Sock Monkey
NOTE: There is also a discount coupon to purchase the
WCK VideoBook: Sock Monkey Goes BanAnas 
  • Have some fun Monkey/Banana puns that you would like to share?  Add it to my comments below.
  •  Make sure to visit the rest of the blogs in the hop to see the friends who will be attending Noelle’s party.  Just click on the Designer Craft Connections Blog Hop link in the side column of this blog.

Sock Monkey Blog Hop is sponsored by:

Gifts that last a lifetime!
Give the gift of learning a new craft and you give a gift that lasts a lifetime. 

My craft articles appear in many national craft magazines. National craft manufacturers hire me to create craft projects using their products. Now, you can get my craft tutorials with a click of a computer mouse.

Simple instructions, many with step-by-step photographs, along with the main project helps you to learn more about the techniques used in the projects. Learning new craft techniques allows you to broaden your crafting skills.  Once you learn those skills, you can apply them to your other craft projects. 

My craft tutorials can be purchase in printed format and mailed directly to your home or downloaded to your digital device. They come directly to you from They are priced low for the holidays, so make sure to pick them up now. 

November Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop

Can you believe that it is November already?  To celebrate the season, Julie McGuffee had a great giveaway and you can find the winners of the Sizzix Sidekick with 2 sets of Sizzlets alphabet dies at her blog.  Also, learn all about the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner and giveaway announcement on her blog as well.  You can find out more about it by visiting Julie McGuffee’s Blog.  

Facebook Connection
Be part of an exclusive group of crafters! Our Designer Craft Connections Blog Hop now has a page on Facebook.  Do you want to be the first to hear about giveaways, challenges, and other details of our blog hop?   LIKE us on facebook and then share our page with your family and friends so they can join in on the fun!   

My project for the November DCC Blog Hop is an altered napkin ring.

The multi-colored napkin ring is fading and out of date.  It needs a new look.  So gold paint is my answer to recycle and upcycle these wooden rings. 

While it looks great with the gold paint, I want more.  The holidays are coming, and I want one set of napkin rings to take me from Thanksgiving to Christmas and beyond.  But, I want different looks.  What’s a professional craft designer to do? Turn to Velcro®, of course.

Ultra-Mate® by Velcro® allows me to change the look of my napkin ring in a twinkle of an eye. 

This heavy duty, thin fastener has a low profile making it perfect for this eligant design.  The gold napkin ring serves as a base for different embellishments which I design. 
I place the hook oval on the napkin ring and the loop oval on my flowers.  I use gold flowers for Thanksgiving and red ribbon roses for Christmas.  

Some families use paper napkins around the holidays.  If you are one of those families, coordinate the top embellishment of the napkin ring with your paper napkins.

Have fun creating your own napkin rings for the holidays!  

Like this project?  Make sure to let me know by leaving your comment below.  I love hearing from you.

Make sure to visit all the great blogs in our blog hop.  Just click on the “Hop Forward” link the Designer Craft Connection icon in the right-hand column.  You will love all the great creative ideas you will find!

Craft Secrets Newspaper 
with Carol Heppner

Make sure to visit my new Craft Secrets Newspaper - published every morning and night.   

You will find creative stories from across the web for your reading pleasure.  Be your creative informed best when you read Craft Secrets with Carol Heppner.  

Golden Coin Chic

Make this  fashionable necklace for the holidays by following these simple to follow instructions. You will love the looks you will get when you tell them that the golden coins and pendant frame was created with paper and Viva Decor products.

There is another surprise with this necklace and is in the center of the frame.  You'll have to read the instructions to know the surprise! 

Pasquale Lopetrone
I would like to introduce you to my cousin, Pasquale Lopetrone.  

Pasquale lives in the same town in which my great grandparents lived before they moved to the USA.   My great grandparents passed down their love of San Giovanni in Fiore, Italy, to their son, John (Giovanni).  John passed the love of SGF to my mom, Anna May, and my  mom, to me.

Pasquale and I are very close cousins.  We share the same passions for art, photography, and genealogy.  

My Italian "brother" and I have spent years working on our Universal Lopetrone Family Tree.  We were joined by others in the Lopetrone family to document many family members.   This is easier to do since the Lopetrone family is a very small family.  There have only been about a thousand Lopetrones from the 1600s (from our first documented Lopetrone "grandfather") to present times.

Thanks to Pasquale's help, my branch of the Lopetrone Tree is the only one to be complete from 1535 to present.  I am very proud of Pasquale and his accomplishments and would love to share his professional life with you.  

Pasquale is a Historic Architect and has overseen many restoration projects for Calabria, Italy.  Pasquale has created a website and I would love you to pay it a visit.  There, you will find his restoration projects, discoveries, and publications.  The website is in Italian, but you can use free translation tools (Google Chrome  will automatically translate it for you) to read the text.  

Just Steampunk - Quantum Love

Just Steampunk, a new magazine, is jam packed with over 300 great steampunk projects by fantastic artists.  You will find three of my steampunk jewelry projects in this issue.  The photograph shows part of my necklace, Quantum Love.

My husband is a scientist, so I wanted to create a necklace that paid homage to science.  While he is a meteorologist, I decided to celebrate Quantum Physics.  

The beads represent the protons and neutrons.  The crystals symbolize light, while the wing and firefly stand for the wave function.  The watch and protractor parts speak to the measurement of time.  And, the string used for the beads?  Why, String Theory, of course.

Check out Just Steampunk now! 

Share Your Love of Crafting!

The holidays are fast approaching.  Share your love of crafting by giving one of my tutorials as a gift.  

The tutorials contain simple-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photographs.  Each tutorial is printed on quality paper and comes directly to you from Magcloud.  They are priced low so you can pick up a few different tutorials for the crafters in your life.

The tutorials make great gifts for teachers, scout leaders, students, or for you.  

You can use the instructions to create an activity for your party and give them as party favors for your guest to take home with them.   

You know how much you enjoy crafting, share that love with your family and friends. Pick up a tutorial today! 

Sizzix (r) Fresh Vintage Blog Hop Projects

Fresh-Vintage Blog-Hop Collage and Christmas Angels 
Words that are in blue are links to corresponding websites.

Eileen Hull’s  Fresh Vintage flower die creates wonderful paper flowers, but I had vintage fabric that was just screaming to be use.  I just had to oblige.

The Sizzix© dies cut fabric just as great as they do paper, which allowed me to make these fabulous soft cream flowers with bead centers. 

Not only did I have the honor of working with Eileen’s die, I had the additional pleasure of working with the products of Melissa Frances.   Combining the products of these two great designers allowed me to create a beautiful art piece that is soft, feminine and evokes a feeling of youthful softness.

Once I cut out the floral shapes, I used Cotton Candy #26552
Tulips© Fabric Spray Paint™ by ILoveToCreate® on the tips of each petal.   I applied the paint with a soft paint brush which gave the flowers a delicate look.

Each elements, Eileen's floral die cuts, pink and white tissue garland, the pomp-pomp trim, the gorgeous twisted satin rose, winged resin appliqué and crystals embellishments come together to make this an outstanding piece worthy of the photograph it contains.

Yes, I know we only had to create one project.  When I saw all these wonderful products, two projects immediately flooded my mind and I needed to share both with you.

If you think outside the box, you will find that Eileen’s die can also create these fun little angels. The large flower part becomes the body and the smaller flower section becomes the wings.  I created the first set of wings out of the beautiful Melissa Frances scrapbooking paper and then white velum paper.  

Of course, I use Aleene’s® Original Tacky Glue™ to glue everything together.  The yellow and white tissue garland acts as an underskirt for the angels. 

Please make sure to visit the blogs of the members of this hop. They have some great projects to share.  And now that you know all the great items you can create with Eileen’s die, make sure to pick it up today.

Make sure to visit Eileen's blog and leave a comment 
to be entered the a giveaway for a die.  Link is below.
Scroll down to the end of this post and click on the 
Fresh Vintage Blog Hop Logo 
to visit the other great blogs in this hop. 
The link to the giveaway is below the logo.

Halloween Projects

 Halloween is coming soon so make sure to visit my Velcro (R) page to see some great Halloween ideas.

Make sure to visit my friend’s new site to see her great creations for young girls.

Girlzclub™  was created to top off all of the sugar and spice of being a girl. 
Whether you're doing serious damage on the soccer field, 
cheering for the home team, 
or being the most dramatic queen of them all,
 Girlzclub™ offers a variety of hair accessories to add a punch to your everyday.

These designs were handmade exclusively for girls who are fantastic at all times.  

Visit Girlzclub™ now!

 Designer Crafts Blog-Hop Connection
The Designer Crafts Blog Connection is a group of professional Arts and Crafts industry designers, who are linked together to share their love of crafts with you. We post projects and giveaways on the First Monday of each month. Look for the logo (above) on your favorite craft blogs then hop around for inspiration.  You can find the logo on the right column of my blog.  

Join our group on Facebook to make sure you are the first to learn about giveaways, special events and hops going on throughout the year. You'll be glad you did!

Visit the other blogs in the Sizzix® Vintage Blog Hop by clicking on the following logo.

Eileen Hull's Fresh Vintage Blog Hop GIVEAWAY - Click HERE
You Must leave a comment on her page.

Westcott Challenge Giveaway

Will you be the lucky winner that wins 
this fantastic giveaway by Westcott?  

A few years ago, I was given some of their scissors with which to work, and I fell in love with them.  Their cutting tools are THE best tools I have ever used. 

Westcott scissors are known for their ability to cut through sticky materials without getting that sticky build up on the blades.  They live up to that promise.  They also cut fabric really well.  They are my go-to cutting tools and I know they will be yours too.

Westcott is giving away the Westcott Brand® Cutting Tools that you see in this photo.  To win, click on the link at the end of this post.

The challenge this month was to create something with Westcott Brand® Cutting Tools, The Duct Brand® Decorator Tape Rolls, and Velcro USA® Sticky Back Hook and Loop Fasteners.

Duct Tape Evening Bag
by Carol Heppner

So, I decided to create an evening bag made from the black Duct Brand® Decorator Tape Roll and use the Pink and Gold Duct Brand® Decorator Tape Rolls as accents on the purse.  I wanted to create a project that was functional and no one would believe was made with Duct Brand® Decorator Tape.  

Yes, that’s right, the outside of the evening bag is made from Duct Tape.

One Bag - Different Looks! 

Under all that Duct Brand® Decorator Tape is a Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Gluten Free box.  Yes, this formal evening bag is also “green”.  The box served as the base on which I built my evening bag.

I also applied a thin coat of Ranger Industries Black Alcohol Ink over the tape. The ink dulled the shine of the tape and increased that leather look.

Cutting the tape was made super easy by using the Westcott Brand® Cutting Tools.  While the tape wouldn’t stick to the scissors, it loved sticking to my fingers!

I used the Velcro USA® Sticky Back Hook and Loop Fasteners for the evening bag’s closure and for the tape embellishments for the evening bag.  

I used the Velcro USA® Sticky Back Hook and Loop Fasteners for the evening bag’s closure and for the tape embellishments for the evening bag.  

When I show my evening bag to friends and tell them it’s made from Duct Brand® Decorator Tape they focus on the pink and gold flowers.  They are a bit shocked when I tell them it’s the entire evening bag.

Make sure to visit other blogs in this hop to see all the great projects they designed using Westcott's tools with Duct Tape and Velcro. Leave a comment on the Westcott Blog for your chance to win. 
(USA only)

For an extra chance,  visit Westcott’s Facebook page and leave a comment about the blog hop and you may win Westcott Brand® Cutting Tools 
(USA only).  

Also, please take some time and visit the charity auction  associated with the Westcott Hop. 

NEW Tutorial on sale - get your copy now before prices increase!
Carol's Chronicles
8 pages, published 23 SEP 2011
This paper-arts tutorial, Polyester Fiberfill 101 by Carol Heppner, is a great guide to show you how to use Polyester Fiberfill to apply pigment ink to your paper-arts projects. Yes, the same material that is used in stuffing pillows is a wonderful tool to apply ink. In this tutorial, you will learn the tricks that will allow you to color all sizes of paper with ease. Take plain white paper and turn it into your own, customized background …

Join me on October 13 
to see my two projects 
the Fresh Vintage Sizzix® Blog Hop.  

Delicate Ribbon Bracelet

This fun bracelet is easy to create.  Children of all ages will love wearing this pretty bracelet and you will love making it.  It also makes a great party or group activity.  

Beads in a Bottle™ and gems by Tulip®, ILoveToCreate® on shimmering ribbon for a very delicate look.   With the wide-range of ribbons in stores, you can alter the look of this project to fit any colored outfit need. 

Just measure the wrist and add one inch to that dimension.  Cut the ribbon to that measurement and create ½” folds in the ribbon edges.  

Slip a tiny hair elastic onto one side of the folded edge and use Aleene's® Fabric Fusion® Permanent Dry Cleanable Fabric Adhesive Pen to glue the folded end of the ribbon.  I like to cover the area with waxed paper and then a clothes pin to hold the ribbon firmly.  Let this in place until the glue is dry.

Sew a decorative button on the opposite folded end of the ribbon.  Then, decorate the ribbon with your favorite Beads in a Bottle™ paint and gems.  The gems are glued to the ribbon with the bead paint.      

To wear, just place the ribbon on your wrist and then slip the hair tie over the button.

New Paper-Arts Tutorial - Polyester Fiberfill 101

Announcing a brand new paper-arts tutorial called Polyester Fiberfill 101 by Carol Heppner.

Learn how to use Polyester Fiberfill to apply pigment ink to your paper-arts projects. Do you like the grunge look or want to give your paper an old-world feel? Want to create a romantic looking card?  This technique will help you apply ink to your paper with ease.

In this tutorial, you will learn the tricks that will allow you to color all sizes of paper.  Take plain white paper and turn it into your own, customized background paper.  This is a great technique for all your paper-arts projects.

The tutorial also contains instructions for creating easy, yet gorgeous greeting cards using the Polyester Fiberfill 101 techniques.
Carol's Chronicles
8 pages, published 23 SEP 2011
This paper-arts tutorial, Polyester Fiberfill 101 by Carol Heppner, is a great guide to show you how to use Polyester Fiberfill to apply pigment ink to your paper-arts projects. Yes, the same material that is used in stuffing pillows is a wonderful tool to apply ink. In this tutorial, you will learn the tricks that will allow you to color all sizes of paper with ease. Take plain white paper and turn it into your own, customized background …

Fellow Craft and Hobby Association Designer, Brenda Pinnick, will be on the Home Shopping Network on September 26, 2011.

During the first hour she will sell her Sizzix® Textured Impressions and an XL BIGZ stationery die with a decorative edge.  Her second hour will be her own new stamp line.

I was hired me to  to create a few samples for her appearance.  
This is a quick look at some of those samples. 

Cards can take on a whole new dimension when you add texture. Brenda's textures are elegant and festive.  My bird-house card can be used for all types of events such as garden parties, announcing a move to a new home, birthday greetings, get well wishes, or just saying hello . 

 I wanted to create two sophisticated cards for Halloween...avoiding the cute ghouls and goblins for my fang-fest celebration and so Brenda’s die and rubber stamps were used for haunting-couture cards that drip with elegance. 

Feather’s are this season’s big trend. 
Try adding a few to your creations.

You can add texture to cards,  embellishments, and altered-art projects easily with the textured dies.  I loved the sophisticated style which works great with my style.  I also found the dies and rubber stamps to be great quality and easy to use.   


 On many of the samples I used my Polyester Fiberfill technique which adds more interest to designs by giving it added color or an aged look.  Check out my Carol's Chronicles to learn more this fun technique.  It can be found on  the left column of this blog. 

Beads in a Bottle (tm) to the Rescue

 I love wearing sandals and when my favorite grey sandals started to get a bit scuffed, I was disappointed.  The upper grey material was showing its white lining and the sandals were looking old after a few days wear. 

Normally, I would grab markers to hide nicks and scrapes.  But, I wanted something that would provide some protection from water as well.  That’s when I spotted the metallic Beads in a Bottle™ by Tulip®, ILoveToCreate®.   I applied a thin coat of the blue-silver colored product over the white fabric on the sandal and it matched perfectly.

Since no one is getting up close and personal to the edges of my sandals, I didn’t build up coats of Beads in a Bottle™ to completely hide the scrapes.  However, at the end of summer, I’ll do a better repair on the sandals so they are refreshed for next summer.  

Then, as faith would have it. I lost one of the stones in the center of the sandals.  Even that could not get me to part with my “loves”.  So, I just grabbed the silver metallic Beads in a Bottle™ and kept filling in the empty spot until I created my own pearl bead in the center of the sandal.  I also added extra pearls around the tops of the sandals to let the pearl in the center blend in better.
Yes, I could toss them away and just find new sandals next year.  But, where’s the fun in that?

Have you ever used your craft materials to repair something you loved to extend its usefulness?  I would love to hear about it in the comment area under this post.