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 8 adorable grandkids whom I love to make things for.

Check out my Etsy Digi Shop!

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.

Jan 3, 2017

Just Elfin' Around

Happy New Year!!

I hope you've all made it through Christmas without a hitch! As for me, I was SO SICK. I'm mostly better now. Still wheezing and coughing now and then, but able to function. 

I started working on these around the time I got sick and what a cute pattern this is! I found it on Ravelry, made by Beth Cranshaw. 

These super cute little Elf Boots come in sizes for a baby to an adult. It's a well written pattern that I really enjoyed making up. I would say you need some crocheting experience before trying these.



My biggest hurdle is taking good pictures of my items. I really need to take some lessons. I do have an old Canon camera, oh but for the learning curve -- I need more time!

Here's a few more pictures with a link to the pattern below. 


I just got the bell on the toe here but hadn't completed it yet.




These ones were the toddler size. I really want to make some in the baby sizes and with different colors. I was thinking medium pink, white and an aqua blue. You could do so many different color combinations and get them to wear them all year around. I'll post them when I make them.

You'll always know where your baby is -- jingle jingle. 

Here's the link to this adorable pattern. It's a paid pattern, but worth every penny. 


As you can see when you check out the link, Beth knows how to take good pictures. Sigh.

I'm going to be making some warm fuzzy blankets soon. I made some for two of my younger grandkids and got orders for a few more. They really are comfy little blankets, and so easy to make. The cold weather is here to stay for a few more months, so I've got time. 

Have a good week,

Blessings, 
Carmen 

Dec 31, 2016

My Little List of Possibilities


I confess, I’ve never been much into New Years’ Resolutions. How about you? Do you make a list, check it twice and forget about it?

Why do we take the time to write out a list of things we wish we would accomplish that we haven’t done up to this moment, and then try to hold ourselves to it? It seems like a lot of pressure... 

I’m just not doing it. (stomping proverbial foot down)

I’ve decided I don't want to focus on myself as much. That only makes me miserable, to be honest.  I’m already doing the best I can and it still ain’t always pretty. However, here are some things I know I can achieve.

My Little List of Possibilities 

I can focus on the good, the honest, the just, the pure, the lovely and things of good report.

I can help whenever the opportunity presents itself and do it with humility.

I believe it’s possible for me to be a little kinder.

I will be a little blinder to the faults of those around me. If I need a break, so do they.

I believe I can keep a watch over the doors of my mouth when necessary. It just hurts others when I don't, and there's usually more to it than I realize anyway.

Ditto for gossip – It’s a tasty morsel, but full of destruction and extremely harmful to the victim.

I’m going to be content and appreciate the beauty of all that is around me. That benefits everyone.

I will practise thankfulness, come what may. There's always something to be thankful for.

Most importantly, I will trust in God alone. No one else has the perspective He does, nor the understanding.

Lastly, if I fall short in any way, I will not hold it against myself, but remember how blessed I am in so many ways. It is by grace we are saved, not by what we do. It is a gift of God.

I believe this little list of possibilities is more than achievable for me, and maybe for you too?

With the climate in the world at the passing of 2016, these are the things that will make a positive impact in my life and those around me, no matter if we go to the gym, read more books, or climb Mount Everest.

Be excellent to each other!

Happy New Year my friends!


Blessings,
Carmen



Dec 21, 2016

Things That Go Bumpy and a Grinch

How are you all doing with your Christmas plans? Almost there? 

I've actually done quite well this year, but I did take it easy on myself by purchasing a few gift cards. However, I do love to make things, so when I saw this extremely cheerful, whymsical, gorgeously textured hat - I was sold!


I. Just. Love. It

I completed this hat early yesterday and I've worn it out twice and received multiple compliments on it, mostly from complete strangers. This hat makes me feel happy and cheerful and colorful. It's comfy and warm and that's great for this time of year. 

I just hope no one mistakes me for a real elf! It's definitely a possibility.

And, I know you want to make one too, because who wouldn't?

Get your copy of the pattern from Frenchie Leigh (don'tcha love her name?) at one of the links I've provided -

OR, she might even make one for you. :-)


Yup, this hat definitely made me feel cheerful! But unfortunately I have a confession to make! 

I've been a bit of a Grinch lately. Yes, it's true. This was never truer than last night when I went to our annual family Christmas party. My daughter in law and her sister do a wonderful job of these events. Food, games and fun for all! 

This year Santa, aka 'Boompah Claus', read a story and we had to pass the gifts right or left according to the story line. When the story was done, we opened the gift we ended up with. I got the rosehips in a burlap sack. Turns out it went well with my Christmas sign when I got it home.

Later, we separated into 3 large groups and picked names out of a bag. Each group had names from a Christmas movie. As it turned out, I got --- you guessed it --- the Grinch! Haha!It's been a year. Let me tell ya!  

We searched through baskets of crafts, clothing, etc. and made our costumes. Then the other groups had to guess who we were dressed as, and we had to guess theirs. Quite a lot of fun. Thankfully I don't have a good picture of my costume. However, they guessed quite easily. The green feathers on my fingers and eyebrows must have given me away.

Ya, no picture for you! I have to keep my dignity intact.

However, here's a cute one of a couple of the kids. Can you guess who they are?


Well, I guess you've made it to the end of this blog post.


Thank you all for coming by my little blog on the web this year! I really do enjoy seeing your comments and interacting with you either here or on my Facebook page!

I hope you all have a VERY Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in 2017! Remember to hug your loved ones every day, just because!

Snow Angels and Mistletoe Kisses to you all,

Carmen

Dec 10, 2016

Are You Ready for Christmas?


Happy Saturday!

I hope you all got a chance to enter in to win a pile of yarn from Yarn Canada! If not, scroll down to the last post and enter. I did! 

Since Christmas is within sight, I've been doing a lot of creating lately. It seems that the cooler the weather gets, the more I'm into yarn crafts and that is what I seem to share this time of year. I had a few special requests this year. The first was for matching headbands for my DIL and my 4 yr old granddaughter. 

                             



Then I saw this free pattern for Poppy hat on FB, by Tawnya Myers. Well, when my granddaughter saw it, it became apparent I'd be making one. I have to warn you - it's never taken me so long to make a hat. The hair is strands of yarn, split by hand and then combed out with a metal brush (like a dog brush). It took For-E-ver, but it's done and here is the final result. I love it! 

                                         

                                                  

Apparently it was very sunny when I took these photos. All the pics are a bit overexposed ~ Sorry!

I couldn't make this hat for my granddaughter and not make one for her little brother. He loves Paw Patrol, so Paw Patrol hat it is! This pattern I bought from Katarina Page. Here is my hat: 


I lined both hats with fleece using a blanket stitch. These two live in the frozen north, after all. 

It seems most of our kids and their kids are born around Christmas time. I make my own cards when I have time, so I recently found a FB page called Little Scraps of Heaven Designs, where she sells her cut files for $1.00 each, and they are adorable, especially for kids. She also provides print and cut pages, so that if you don't have a cutter, you can still use them.  I recommend that you check her out. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the card I made. I do that a lot. 

Well, time to get back to some gift making. 

Have a happy weekend everyone,

Carmen

Nov 24, 2016

Noro Kureyon Wool, plus an Amazing Giveaway!!

Happy Friday Everyone!

It's always fun when I can share something I've made with all of you, but today is extra special because now YOU also have a chance to WIN a GREAT GIVEAWAY!

I guarantee that if you like to knit or crochet or work with wool in any way, you will LOVE this post!

But I'm getting way ahead of myself here -- have a look for yourself. This is what I was pleasantly surprised to receive last week from Yarn Canada. Look at these luxuriously gorgeous colors.

Oh Lordy! I'm not sure the photo even does them justice! The hues are deep and penetrating.

Noro Yarns & Wools are world famous for a reason. They are uniquely hand-spun to create a colorful, striped look with that all-natural goodness.

Working with this wool was reminiscent of a night spent by a cozy fire in a warm, woodsy home. I love that feeling! The wool strands are quite strong, yet soft and I found it a pleasure to work with. It's absolutely lovely to use and the projects turned out beautiful! I used my wooden hook and had no problem working the stitches through at all. 

For my first project I decided to make myself some fingerless gloves. The weather is feeling quite winter-y here in the northwest, and my steering wheel is so cold when I first start up my car. These should come in handy and still give me the agility I need with my fingers exposed. 




They are so warm and thick and I adore that the colors are not matched. I purposely let them lay where they will because I love that 'indie' look.

I may be a hippie at heart....

These ones were made with Noro Kureyon wool color #310.

The pattern was a free pattern from Two Little C's.  I wanted a plain pattern that would bring out the beauty of this wool. I love my new, warm, unique looking fingerless gloves


Then, -- when I wasn't looking, Morris the Mouse fell off my hook! He's a bit naughty in that way.

The second picture points out the button joining detail on the arms and legs. This was a free pattern by Janice Cyr off Ravelry. 

I was pleasantly surprised how well this project worked up since I used a 3.5 hook, which is quite small.  It turned out great though and this wool was definitely up for the task.

The wool color I used for Morris was Noro Kureyon #362.

Many thanks to Yarn Canada for introducing me to this beautiful wool

Oh Morris, BEHAVE



NOW, for the really GREAT NEWS!

Win Socks for Life! Well the yarn, you’re on your own after that.

Yarn Canada is giving away a 25 year supply of yarn and wool ($1000 worth)! WOWIE!!


The prize will go to whomever can show how their life will most be changed by winning and what you will do with the prize. Let them know why your knitting or crocheting hobby is important to you and how a lifetime supply of sock yarn would change your life.


Look at that colorful goodness, oh my!

How GREAT is this??? To enter for YOUR chance to win, the entry detail page is here: 

Also, in case you're wondering, this is open to everyone in the US and Canada

PHEW

This is one long post, but if one of you wins it, I'd be a very happy camper. So go and fill out the entry page and keep your fingers crossed.

Good luck everyone!

Blessings,
Carmen

Nov 21, 2016

First Amigurumi My Little Pony

Good Morning everyone,

I hope you all had a nice weekend. We made yet another trip to Vancouver Island for a family birthday for my granddaughter. It was good to see everyone. In addition to the My Little Pony hat I showed you in an earlier post. Today I have the stuffy I made to match it. 



The pattern is a free pattern that came from Knit One Awesome by Ceefax. It comes in a standard size, like I made and also a school-age pony size, which is a bit smaller. You can also make a unicorn with it or a pony with wings. There are several different hair styles as well. Below is a photo of my granddaughter wearing it. Unfortunately it just barely fits, so her mom is going to add a couple of rows to the bottom. 

My son looks impressed, doesn't he? Lol.

I made her a card from a cut file I bought off Facebook from Little Scraps of Heaven Designs. All her cut files are a dollar each, and they are adorable. Just click on the Shop bar near the top of the page to see them all.  

What I like about these is that they come in several formats. As fate would have it, I had quite a bit of trouble getting my Black Cat Lynx Cutter working, so I had to cut everything out by hand. This is where the SVG files came in so handy. I didn't have to trace anything over, I just had to cut the pieces out of cardstock once I'd printed them off. 


I left the card fairly simple because you get so much in these files. I had to put the balloons on the inside of the card.


I covered up our wishes to her because it was personal. The file came with the paper strings, but I opted to use yarn. 

My cutter still isn't working properly with SCAL, but hopefully we can figure it out this weekend.

Well, that's all for today! 
Blessings,
Carmen

Nov 3, 2016

The North Wind Calls

Hello, 

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Around here trees are slowly shedding their leaves and turning our lawns a medley of golden yellow, rusty orange and bright red leaves. A truly gorgeous sight that makes you want to run inside and enjoy a huge mug of apple cider or soothing hot chocolate. The air, although still lovely, sometimes has a little nip in it lately. I know winter is just around the corner but I still appreciate this weather.  How I love Autumn!

Have you ever watched the movie "Chocolat"? Remember how the north wind called her and she would follow it where'ere it led? This time of year I hear similar callings, but for me it's my crochet hooks, sewing machine and now my palette knives as well. My kids have put in orders for hats and headbands already. So I've been buried in soft colorful yarn, creating something wonderful. 

This hat is for my littlest grandchild, Addison. I posted this picture on my Facebook page first. It's a peek into the hat before assembly. 


I'll bet you know what kind of hat this is going to be. That's right, it's My Little Pony. This is my second attempt at this hat and both have turned out nice. The pattern is by BriAbby Designs and I absolutely love this one. It's well written with enough photos to help you through if necessary. This pattern can also be made into a unicorn when following directions. It's magic! 

Here is the hat completed. Now it would have been easier to place the eyes, ears, etc. if I'd had a baby head foam shape, but a mini watermelon had to do!

A wine goblet for display. Not too shabby! ;-)

As you can see, it's a sunny day here in the 'Loops!

And a close up of the eye lashes. 

I wish I had a photo of Addison wearing the hat, but her birthday party is a couple of weeks away yet. In any case, I can strike this one off my list.

Done and ready!

I'm still purging as well. I recently took another load to the Salvation Army, and a few sleeping bags and sheets for my DIL, who asked for them. Having had four children, I know how nice it is to have extras on hand, but it's just me and the mister these days, with the exception of family and friends that visit...but I have enough.

Next I'm onto some headbands. 

Have a good weekend everyone,
Blessings,
Carmen

Luke 12:15
And he said to them, "Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Oct 23, 2016

Old Buttons and Mom's Musings

Hello!

On my FB page I shared a printable for Bingo Cards and said I would be doing something with them and showing you on my blog. 

Earlier this year we made several trips to the Island and cleaned out my in-laws house so they could sell it. On one of those trips I somehow inherited an old sewing box. It hadn't been used in years and smelled musty so I almost threw it all away. I decided to go through it and found a cache of old buttons. I washed them all several times and this is what I did with them.

When reading up on them they are either bakelite, celluloid, or casein buttons. Definitely vintage.

Some of these are Art Deco type buttons. I wish I had more of those. I just have to sew them all onto the cards. Fun to do while watching a bit of TV. I might sell them. I kinda love them though.********************************************Now for something a bit different! I came across a musing I wrote quite some time ago when my kids were younger. I decided to re-write some of it and share it with you in two parts. 
There is no title, it's really just the musings of a mom. 

********************************************

I grew up in a European home, the eldest of three; one sister and one brother. As a child I remember crossing the street if a man or boy walked towards me, as I was quite shy. Maybe that is why God chose to bless me with a husband and four sons. Since then, my shyness of men is non-existent and I enjoy their company. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about men (boys) on the way

1. It’s okay to laugh when you’re not sure what to do. Some days it's the only thing to do,
2. It's better to take the small things with a grain of salt. 
3. You’ll never please everyone…EVER.
4. Boys like to fight, and there is a pecking order.
5. My husband is still a boy.
6. Tuning out noise is a practiced art.
7. If that doesn’t work there’s always the bathroom to escape to.
8, Bedroom floors are for dirty laundry. Laundry hampers are for decoration.
9, The front passenger seat of the car is a coveted throne.
10, Farting is entertainment, and an ongoing contest,
11. Bedtime….what’s that?
12, Dirt is an aphrodisiac for the body, although boys do like bubble baths…sometimes.
13. There’s always a girl who will fall for their ‘boyish’ charms.
14. With #13 in mind, someday I might have some female company.

In spite of the fact that I was a minority in my home, I had been victorious in one area. The toilet seat stayed down. That's right.

A girl has to have her priorities and falling into the toilet is not nice.

                                                                                                           Second bit soon…

That's all I have for you today. Hope you enjoyed my button cards. 

Talk soon, 

Carmen

Oct 12, 2016

Fun with Ink, Straws and Stamps

Two posts in one week! I'm on a roll, haha....

I'm back to show you what I did with the photo papers with blown inks. Remember these? Of course you do! It was only yesterday, after all.


Here are the cards I made with some of them. I love quick cards.


I used a metal frame for my sentiment on this one.


A silver clock brad with real clock hands finished off this card.


To be honest, I took some markers to touch up the inks on this card.

In hindsight I would not spray the shimmer mist on top of the ink to make it more fluid, as it doesn't work well on photo paper at all. It leaves a film on top, especially noticeable if you use too much. Since I used a stamp over some of the cards, it didn't show, which is lucky for me.

I think they turned out okay - what do you think? 

Have a good weekend
Blessings,
Carmen


Oct 8, 2016

How to Get Out of a Rut

Whew! What a month it's been, but I feel so good.

We've been renovating my bedroom, ensuite and the stairs and hallway. We painted the ceilings, walls, and put in new carpeting and flooring. It looks so new and fresh and clean. I'm in heaven!

There's no way I'm putting everything that was in that room back. So I'm purging. I've gone through all our clothing and other belongings, and donated a ton of stuff to either missions or the Salvation Army. There are some personal things like photos to go through. That's going to be tough.

After losing my Mom, and helping my in-laws with their home, I've realized I just don't want to leave a lot of stuff for my kids to have to deal with. Not that I'm planning on dying anytime soon, but why wait?

I like a clean home, but I feel like I'm just cleaning stuff that I don't need, or storing stuff I don't use. How silly is that? Have any of you been doing that too? I think we just get into a rut. Well I'm getting out!

As you know, I love to do all sorts of crafts, so in keeping with my purge, I've decided that I need to pick a few crafts I love to do, and let the rest go. I know, shocking!  I can't believe I am actually following through.

With that in mind, I took part in a "De-Stash the Stash" Garage Sale and made some money. I didn't sell everything, but I got rid of a lot of the big stuff and made more room in my house. It feels so good. I'm not 'there' yet, but I'm getting closer.

So if you're in a rut in whatever areas of your life, do what I did! You'll love yourself for it. It feels so much better, easier, less demanding. We are so busy these days, but I wonder how much of that busyness we create ourselves. Even with things like our online presence! I want to simplify my life and spend time doing things I love and being with people I care about. I want to use my time wisely!

Finally, I have about 5 birthdays coming up, so I am making some cards, quick cards!

Below are 5x7 photo paper with distress ink blown with a straw. I spritzed it with shimmer mist to help it spread out a bit. I intend to stamp them but am still waiting for them to dry. I'm not sure how this will work out, but hopefully it'll work. A girl can play.


These last ones are two very quick cards I made using some Upsy Daisy Designer Cardstock. I still have to add a sentiment to the last one and complete the insides, but they're almost done. I may add a bit of glitter to them too...they look a bit dull to me. 


Very plain and simple cards, but still homemade!

Well, that's all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and for those in Canada, a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Blessings,
Carmen