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.

Sep 24, 2015

Autumn DIY Ideas

It's safe to say that Autumn is here. The hot summer weather has died off and in it's place the cooler mornings and cloudy afternoons are settling in. I love the Fall for many reasons. Yes, it's cold sometimes and it's going to get colder as winter follows, but it's a much more reasonable season (than our blazing hot summers!) that somehow leaves me feeling warm and secure.

Perhaps it was the trip to Davison Farms the other day, or the flyer I received by email featuring some lovely Fall centerpieces, that got me thinking about Autumn DIY's. This is an area where I truly fall short. I love it when someone takes the time to make their tables and homes look inviting. This year I am going to do that. I've been scouring the web looking for easy ideas that tie in with the Fall.

So here's some fun and easy ideas I've found to share with you!

This Fall Craft must smell Amazing! You can do one, or stack them and you'd have a nice looking, wonderful smelling table basket! Get the instructions to make your own at Better Homes and Gardens. 

I love this one, found on Shanty2Chic. A spray painted pumpkin with letters and some burlap roses. Plus a cute little glass vase with pumpkins and cones, etc. So adorable and kind of Chic.

Look at this creative idea! Mini Pumpkin Centerpieces. Some mini pumpkins, ribbon, spray paint, clothes pins, flowers, florist foam, skewers and you're done! 

For you knitting and crochet enthusiasts, check out these Yarn Pumpkins I found on DIY Show Off. So adorable and would look great on a side table - maybe in a leaf bowl!

These autumn leaf bowls are simple to make and functional, from Design Rulz The instructions to make your own are on her website, just follow the link!

Now I'm not much of a drinker, but I do enjoy a little nip now and then, so while you're making something lovely, wouldn't it be nice to sip on some Spiced Pear Vodka, or perhaps a Spiced Pear Hot Tody? YUMMMM!! Last year I made coffee liquer, maybe this recipe will be good enough to make for Christmas?

DIY Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka Ingredients - BoulderLocavore.com          Homemade Spiced Pear Vodka

To make your own, go to Boulder Locavore for the recipe! Look around that site as she has some really good sounding recipes and some gluten free ones as well.

caramel pear 4

I love me a caramel apple! Not the red candy ones, the actual caramel ones, and they're  much better made at home. Then I saw these! Why not? Looks wonderful and there's a recipe and some suggestions on how to decorate them. Go to Kayley's Blog Just Between Friends for the recipe.

I may do another post with some more Autumn ideas in the near future, but for now I'm on to something with tulle and satin for my granddaughters. A gramma's work is never done! 

Have a good weekend,

Sep 15, 2015

A is for Apple & Artistic Flair

School has started and there are mom's sighing with relief all over the Net. Although they'll rarely admit it, I believe the kids are feeling the same way! My DIL sent me a photo of my two local grandbeans. I chuckled as they stood in military fashion, hands by their sides, smiles on their faces. I laughed when I found out they fought just before that. One wanted them to be arm in arm, the other was all 'don't touch me! I would have liked to see a photo of THAT right beside the military one, Hahaha. I won't post a photo here as I'm sure you've seen dozens of cute 'first day of school' pictures on FB, Twitter and Instagram already.

I found out that permanent Sharpie's work great for writing on fabric. I love that. I've decided to incorporate it into some of my bags and pouches for a little artistic flair. Only I discovered that I'm so used to typing, that my fingers are sore from writing. It'll be a night time project while hubby watches TV. I've incorporated Scripture, songs, encouraging sayings and a science one. I'm having fun with this.

I don't know what it is, but when the Fall comes around, I start to feel more like coloring, crocheting and sewing. I spend all my summers studying for my Fall classes, and enjoying the weather and getting out (when it's not too hot), but I always love the Fall. I went out in the rain today. Loved it, even though my hair went a bit frizzy. Sometimes you just have to let go! 

On my Facebook page I posted a little gem. It reminded me of when we used to take crayons and black paint, then when it dried we'd scratch some of it off -- remember? This guy (Yeonsang Ruppert) is trying to raise money to make these and sell them. Right now for a $16 pledge, he'll send you one. These have gold toned backgrounds. It's a nice idea but it's been done before.  I'm not trying to promote him, but I'm using his photos, so have to link. They are pretty though, don't you think?

After all that I feel some creative juices beginning to flow, but first, dinner. Time to go!

Have a good week!


Sep 2, 2015

Five Bucks and a Smile

Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait
                                                                                                                                                       image source: #hackthemenu

Let me start by saying that I love a good Peanut Buster Parfait. It's my one  ONE of my guilty pleasures. I just love chocolate with nuts in it. Chocolate gives me a headache if I have more than a couple of bites, yet somehow the ooey gooey chocolatey fudge (ooh Lord) in a Peanut Buster Parfait, doesn't bother me at all (but oh the calories).

Imagine my dismay when I went to a Dairy Queen in another town, ordered my delightful treat - only to find it substandard. Soooo disappointing!! I ate a bit of the ice cream and threw the rest out. I have no idea what they did to that chocolate sauce, but it was horrible. I'm not one to complain, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that someone needed to know.

I phoned their Customer Service department about a week later and talked to a very nice lady. It all ended on an upbeat note. I really didn't call to complain so much as I called to question the quality control of their franchises. Shouldn't I be able to rely on the fact that all DQ's had the same quality products? She agreed.

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail and a gift card for $5.00. It was a nice gesture, I didn't expect anything.  

Just in case you all are wondering, you're not a customer at Dairy Queen. Nope!

You're a FAN!

... and the nice lady I spoke with, she's not a customer service representative, she's a Fan Relations Specialist

In fact, when I looked it up, they even have a Blizzard Fan Club and they call their food 'FAN food' not 'FAST food.' You may have known this, but I didn't.

Lolol - Something about that just tickled my funny bone! 

Five bucks and a smile, who could complain?

Have a good day, and do go visit  Dairy Queen one more time before the weather starts to get chilly again! I'm sure you'll get a wave and a smile. 

You are their fan, after all! 

Aug 27, 2015

Blank Cup Stack Free Digi


I'm working on a digital stamp for my shop that someone asked for. I have a digi available in my shop that is a stack of cups with some random designs on them, but she requested something with a Christmas theme. So while I was working on that, I thought that it was about time for a free digi again. 

I decided to make a small stack of blank cups. You can leave them blank and color them, or you can add words or designs yourself. It's just a simple digi, but I think it will be versatile. Hope you like it! 

Have a good weekend! 

Aug 19, 2015

Faith, Family, Friends Digitals

Good Morning,

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer! We just got back from a trip to the Island and stayed at the Sooke Harbor House. It was an awesome rustic getaway! Here's a few pics!

This was a lookout. On the other side was a bench in an opening overlooking the Bay.

One misty morning.

This is a lit up passageway made of driftwood!

Maybe a little creepy, but interesting nonetheless. Lol..

These little guys were all over the place! This one found some berries outside our doors.

A rustic, vintage charm. The fireplace was so nice too!

Who could argue with this view outside your door? Wish I could retire here!

As promised, some digitals --

Have a great day! 

Aug 11, 2015

Pouches. For Craftblooms

I've been busy making pouches to sell in time for Christmas. I've been sticking with this particular pattern because it makes a handy bag with lots of pockets and it has ample room for whatever you want to use it for. 

The feedback from those who have one has been so positive! Recently I found some fabric I absolutely fell in love with, and the "Charlie Bag' was born. This one was made with men in mind!



Guys use toiletries too, plus it could be used as a shaving kit, for camera accessories, and any necessities such as pills, etc.

Here's another couple I made. The pink one is already gone!





Hopefully I'll have something new to show you after life slows down a bit. Summers are always so busy!! 

Have a good week,

Jul 24, 2015

Sew There's This Baby Coming...

Another four months or so and there will be another member added to our family. These are exciting times and it's a good excuse to make more things. Right? Lol...Well I think so anyway

A couple of weeks ago my son and daughter in law came to stay with us a couple of nights so she and I worked on some baby projects. First we had to go to the fabric store and buy some flannelette for a baby blanket. 

You know, I have a lot of craft stuff and sometimes I feel a smidgen of guilt over that (sound familiar?). It sure comes in handy though! We grabbed my cutter and quilt mat and cut the flannelette into squares. 

About 160 of them! 

She was going to cut them all out by hand....by HAND! Can you imagine? So, you know, I'm so glad I have these tools especially since I still use them for cutting up sewing projects. 

After that we went into my closet and pulled out a bunch of wool felt that I have. Again -- so glad I have craft supplies because you can't get wool felt locally. She looked online and found some cute pictures, and we turned them into little woodland animals. 

Wanna seeee? 

Aren't they adorable?

She took them home and sewed them all by hand. Wait until you see what she made with them. In case you're wondering, the top right is a medley of leaves, and the bottom right is an acorn.

I used freezer paper and carbon paper....remember that stuff? It worked great for this project. I just traced the pictures onto the back of the freezer paper, then I cut them out about a quarter inch outside the lines, and then she ironed them waxy side down onto the felt. This makes it easy to cut and won't stretch the felt while cutting it. Each pattern piece really only sticks once on the felt.

She also picked up a wreath and tied some fishing line onto it. Can you see the fishing line in the middle of the wreath? Are you wondering what it is yet?

Then she picked up some of these. Confused?

Okay, I'll stop teasing you now! She is going with a Woodlands Animal theme for her nursery. So this mobile will fit in perfectly. She tied the animals on to face a bit downward so that the baby can see them.

I think it's adorable! 

Now onto the blanket --

We had some cutting to do, about 1 1/2 hours worth. We're very exact! That's the top 4 colors, and for the back we cut some striped fabric. Then she took it home and put it all together. Lots of sewing and cutting.

Here's the front of the blanket. Looks great doesn't it? 

And a photo with the backside showing -- see the stripes. She did an amazing job! I love it.

As an aside, we also made up a new removable cover for a nursing pillow her friend gave her. We did find a free pattern online but ended up having to alter it quite a bit, and it's still kind of tight. We'll probably make another cover or two for it. 

I felt like we accomplished a lot over the weekend.

And if you're wondering where I've been the last while, I went for holidays to Victoria. Always a great time!

Since then I've been studying...I have a bible study to put together for the middle of September and it's finally just coming together. It's lots of work and there's much more to do, but it's so worth it!

Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!!


Jul 10, 2015

Tall Sew Together Bag and a Tip!

The other day my grandson was over and happened to see the Sew Together Bags I have in my sewing room. I made his mother one last Christmas that she uses as a medical bag. He really liked that one and so he asked if I would make one for him, only bigger and made out of transformer material.

We live in Kamloops, B.C., so I didn't know if I would be able to find that type of fabric. We are a small city with a population of about 80,000 but sometimes it's still hard to find exactly what you want.

I used Tonka Truck fabric for the inside and Spiderman fabric for the sides. Quite appropriate for a 6 yr. old, don't you think?

Here we have the zippered pockets in blue, yellow and red.

I love the red accent on this bag; here's the side piece completed.

Lucked out! Transformer fabric!!

The completed bag.
 It looks different than the other bags because it's 2 inches taller, but it's still  the same width as the original bag. All my measurements worked out just fine. I surprised myself! The other side has a couple of the transformers pictured.

Here's an idea of how much taller Kai's bag is. See the zippers in the orange bag on the right? Match them with the zippers in Kai's bag and you'll see how much taller it actually is. 

Kai's bag isn't completed in this photo, so it's even taller than it looks here. Sure is roomy too. The pockets are about 5 1/4" deep instead of 3 1/4". I'm happy with the way it turned out and so was Kai.


Here's a little sewing tip! Well, it's actually a threading tip. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be so I have quite a time threading my machine needle. The other day I figured out a very easy, no cost tip that makes it so much easier. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it sooner! If you're like me, you may appreciate this little tip.

Notice all the shiny silver? Pretty, but I can hardly see the hole in the needle, even with my glasses on. Okay the truth is I can barely even see the needle with all this shiny silver stuff going on.

Here's my fix. I ripped off a piece of used white card stock I had sitting around and put it behind the needle. It takes away the sheen of the silver and allows me to see the hole in the needle. Yay.

I threaded this sucker first time I tried. :) I can't believe how much easier it was. 

So, nothing too exciting here, but it sure does make threading and re-threading my needle easier, quicker and definitely less frustrating. A win, win, win situation!

My DIL came over last weekend and we prepared some things for her next few projects. I helped her with some of the prep work, so I'll be showing some of that on my blog in the near future. They'll be baby themed! 

Have a good weekend!