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

I am a mother of 4 boys and grandmother of 7 adorable grandkids with 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 Shops!

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.

Jun 30, 2015

Rain, Hail, Mud and Rainbows!

I know that talking about the weather is technically considered a boring subject, but honestly, the weather has been crazy around here the last couple of days!

We just came through the second heatwave of the year (over 40-42C -- that's 104-107F y'all), then yesterday the thunder and lightning was so loud that it actually threw one of the breakers in my house! Suddenly I had no internet, phone or cable! Right now I'm listening to an intense hailstorm while the news is reporting flooding and mudslides in the area. 

Not to make light of a bad situation (200 evacuated from their homes), but I decided I needed a little color in my life while the storms were raging about me. So I made a rainbow tutu for my granddaughter. This was such an easy little project. There's no sewing required. All I used was tulle, ribbon, a cutting mat and a pair of scissors. Soooo easy!!

I had no idea how much tulle I would need, so it was hit and miss. I will go through my process with you, in case you'd like to make your own. First some pictures:

Six metres of tulle, one metre each color and some white satin ribbon.

To be honest I'm not terribly happy with the white satin ribbon, but I only had so much to choose from and the white seemed like a choice I couldn't go wrong with. Should have gone with the red! 

Oh well, I hope my 4 yr old granddaughter will like it anyway. 

So here's what I did: 

I measured her waist: 20 1/2" and from her waist to her knees: 14"

Ribbon Length: waist measurement, plus 18" X 2. 
(So for me that was  18" + 20 1/2" + 18" = 56 1/2")

Place a knot 18" into the ribbon...then measure out the waist measurement (for me 20 1/2") and place another knot there. There should be 18" of ribbon left on the other side. You will be adding the tulle in between the two knots.

Each piece of tulle will be 3" wide and TWICE the measurement of the waist to the knee. 
(For me that was 14" X 2, or 28")

If you're using the tulle that comes as a ribbon (6" wide), you'll have to cut each piece in the length you need (for me that was 28") and then fold them in half a few times so that it's easy to cut each piece 3" wide. 

If you are using tulle per metre, you'll have to measure and cut out the length and then fold it in half a few times to make it easy to cut it into 3" chunks. Each piece of tulle should be 3" X the length.

I used 3 pieces on top of each other for each color wrap I attached. I had 40 wraps (each 3 strips) for my 20 1/2" waist. 

I completely used up a metre of each color of tulle (6 colors). In fact, I squeaked by with a few 26" pieces because I came up a bit short. I have nothing but a few scraps left and I'm not even sure it'll make a tutu for her seahorse...I don't think so. 

Anyway, here's how it goes together. You place 3 strips of the pre-cut tulle together, fold them over in half and make a loop (so now you have 6 strips altogether). Slip this loop under your ribbon and then pull the tails up through the loop so that it attaches to the ribbon. Pull the strips taut. That's it! Just keep doing that and you will soon have a tutu. 

The extra 18" on each end of the ribbon is to tie it all together into a bow.

It was really quite an easy project. However, if you need something to look at, here's the video I used to make mine, by Just Add A Bow.

I hope you're all having much more reliable weather than we are.

In any case, I have a beautiful rainbow to look at.

Have a good week, :)

Jun 14, 2015

Just In Time for Father's Day, Free Digital Stamps

Hi there,

Well, it seems Father's Day is just around the corner, so if you haven't made up your cards yet, here is a compilation of a few of my free masculine digi stamps.  

It's short and sweet today! 


Steampunk Snowman, Etsy

Hi there,

Just popping in to give you a peek of the next image I will be offering for sale in my Etsy shop soon. (see sidebar)

This little steampunk snowman was inspired by a clay figure I saw a while back. I love steampunk images -- I don't know why because I'm really a pretty traditional type of girl...I just like the look of them I guess. 

So if you're into steampunk maybe this image will fit the bill for Christmas.

The downloaded image will be darker than shown here.

Hope your kids all had fun collecting candy last night! I went over to my DIL's place for dinner while she handed out candy. She got so excited every time someone came to the door. She was more entertaining than the kids costumes were. 

Most original costume? A dill pickle. Lol....


Jun 9, 2015

Freezie Holders for Little Fingers!

Somebody throw a bucket of water on me! Please!! 

Well, maybe I'll just take a cold shower.

Seriously though, it is 83 - 85F in here the last few days. I have two portable AC units running all day, the blinds are all closed and it's still hot in here. Cooking is not happening this week. We are in the middle of a heat wave and without central air, we have to deal with the heat. 

So what do I do? I crochet, of course. Too hot to do anything else! Lol --

My DIL in Ft. McMurray sent me a photo of some adorable freezie pop holders/covers/cozies - whatever you'd like to call them. They're made to keep little fingers from freezing while sucking back a freezie. So I looked at a few and then went about making my own. Well, they're for the grandkids, of course.

So far I've made a minion, minnie mouse, an owl, a zombie and a frankenstein. I only had little freezies to put in them today, but these are open ended so that you can slide the bigger ones up as you eat them.

And yes, I'm sucking back a freezie as I type! 

The older kids like the zombie but they haven't seen Frankenstein yet. I'm working on a Mickey Mouse and a Ninja Turtle. I also plan on making a few others. These are fun and they work up in an hour or so. Great while watching TV or listening to music. Plus they'll keep those little fingers from freezing up in this heat! Freezing up in this heat? Us humans are a conundrum, aren't we?

Gotta say I'm looking forward to this -- especially the heat part right now:
"They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat -"
Rev 7:16

Have a good day!

Jun 5, 2015

Save Money!

                                                                        Source: Cliparts.com

I have a friend. Actually, I have several friends, but this particular friend loves to go to Garage sales. I've watched in fascination as she supplied her daughter with a hope chest filled to the brim with almost new stuff from garage sales for pennies on the dollar. Her other daughter received many items in almost new condition to fill her baby room. It's amazing how well she does at these sales. She says that she often finds things that people received duplicates of that are in brand new condition. Toasters for $2, for example.

Since I've been in the mood to simplify (so far I haven't missed a thing), I've given away or got rid of a lot of things. However, there's something to be said for garage sales, as long as you're buying what you actually need!

The other day my pregnant DIL and I went to some local garage sales. I could not believe the deals she found; a baby swing in almost new condition for $5; a milk pumping kit (these are $200 and up new) for $20, plus quite a few other things.

I found a 12 place setting of dishes in almost new condition. I needed them and I was looking at about $100 for an 8 place setting, but bought these for $15. I'm happy and I don't care that they're not brand new. I threw them in the dishwasher and they're ready to use.

Yes, I'm SOLD on garage sales. I'm starting a list of things I need and will be looking now that garage sale season is in full swing. Getting a great deal makes me feel good and saves me money. What's not to like about that?

Have you ever gone to garage sales? Do you find good stuff and do you save lots of money? I'd love to hear.

Anyway --

Here's a little BONUS video tip I found. I love using binders for my stickers, handmade cards I've received, even stamps!

Have a good weekend everyone!


May 29, 2015

Letter to Myah and a Free Digi.

I love Face-timing with my family in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but in spite of that I still feel it's hard to truly keep in touch with my sons' youngest children, who are both under 4 years of age. I want them to know me, to look forward to seeing me, to love me as I love them. So I decided that one way to do that is to send them letters. I am starting with the oldest of the two, Myah. 

At first I was a bit lost about what to write, so I looked it up on Google and found Grandma's Briefs, a site about all things Grandma! I'm not a stranger to this site as I was a Grilled Grandma once! Here's the link "Grilled Grandma, Carmen" if you're new and haven't seen it. It needs updating, but that's okay.

Anyway, back to my story. So I read her article on 'How to Write a Keepsake Letter to a Grandchild' and found it very helpful. Do check it out if you have grandchildren that live out of town or country! It was a good introduction about how to write to a grandchild no matter what their age. 

I found some paper that I had bought on sale ages ago and wrote a letter out. I used different colors of ink because she's young and it's fun. 

I also made up a cute little kitten for Myah and called her 'Myah's Kitten' -- she's a digital stamp. I'm sure Myah won't mind if I share her with you all! She's a sweetheart! :)

Myah's kitty just wants to play. She will be a good little digi for a grandchild to color, so I ran her off on white cardstock and added her to the letter along with some colorful glittery stickers. What little granddaughter wouldn't love that? 

I used lined cardstock for the letter because I thought it would last longer and maybe even be kept as a keepsake. All that's left to do is find an age appropriate postage stamp and leave it in the care of our postal service. Since it's going to Ft. McMurray, AB, it'll take about 10 days to get there. I know - unbelievable, but so worth it anyway!  

I hope she loves getting mail! I personally still enjoy getting something in the mail, particularly a letter or a card from a loved one! 

Have a wonderful day! 

May 27, 2015

Is It Really An Empty Nest?

Okay, so we officially have an empty nest!

To be truthful I feel a bit misleading calling it an empty nest, as we have hardly seen my youngest son Tony in the last few years. So the nest was usually empty, as long as we were awake anyway.

Let me explain; in addition to school and work (through the summers) he did a considerable amount of volunteer work with St. John's Ambulance, Big Brothers, Homeless Youth, Science Camp, etc. He even did a year of youth pastoring at the church where he also led worship many Sunday's.  I'm not sure how he fit it all in, but he was gone first thing in the morning and back late at night. He was either just heading out, or just getting home and tired, or we were already in bed. 

Time flies. After 4 years of university and 2 years of Respiratory Therapy (plus 1 yr through the summer), my baby has left home. Only he's 25 -- and he's not a baby anymore. Now he's starting his practicum in Kelowna, B.C. and will be finishing it in Vancouver, B.C. 

It was a bittersweet moment watching him leave here with his girlfriend Katie by his side. Now they're heading into a long distance relationship, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I love this girl. She is the sweetest, smartest, happiest, kindest girl!! She is perfect for him! She's no slacker either and has a good future planned. I'm happy for both of them.

See that look on his face? My boys do that. They like to tease me by refusing to smile or hug since I'm so needy. So you know, I just steal hugs whenever I can, plus the girls get after them..."Hug your mother!" Hehehe -- I love my daughters! 

                                      She's adorable, right? Enough said!

Yeah, I couldn't help myself. I ran down the driveway to try to get another picture, but I was too late. Kind of sad, isn't it? Of course, it was raining that day.

Then I walked back up the driveway and was faced with this. So I took a picture. Sigh....silly girl.

So here I am a few days later. It's quiet and I can hear the clock ticking the moments away. That's okay. I have a granddaughter to write a letter to, and some leggings to fix for my other granddaughter. There's always something to do and someone to make happy. Life is good and though he will be missed, there's a bright future awaiting him.

So in answer to my Title, yes, it's an empty nest, but it has felt that way for a while. He will still be here in spirit, as are all my boys. The house may feel a little bigger, but only for the little bit of time that no one is here. Now we have 4 boys, 4 girls, 3 grandsons, 4 granddaughters and one more on the way! That's right, my son Mike and his wife Mandy are pregnant! They were in Mexico when they announced it on Facebook. Of course, we knew ahead of time.

Life is full! We are blessed indeed!


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!