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.

May 7, 2017

The Chunkier the Better, or Just Wrap it Up!

Good morning,

And it's a beautiful morning here in the 'Loops! We have clear blue skies, and it looks like spring is well on its way. My lilacs are starting to sweeten the air around here, and my tree is almost ready to blossom. I love this time of year! 

So it seems the crochet bug never really left me. I am really loving the bulky crochet and decided to whip up a hat and some boot cuffs yesterday. I know it's spring and summer is coming, but that doesn't worry me so much. I just like to make things.  I also custom made a wrap which I have written up a pattern for. I think I'll be putting it up on Ravelry when it's been edited and tested.

First the hat; I call it a Chunky Flapper Hat with Bulky Flower. This was a fun one to do up. I love working the bulkier yarns, and I love the big flowers! 


It's a bit overexposed, but I either lost the brown or the white depending on the background.

Then these twisted their way off my hook. I love these because they're so thick and rich and cozy looking. Plus you can dress them up a bunch of different ways; a big button, a bow, some pom poms....it's endlessly fun! 


I'm not sure which buttons to use. Should I go natural, black, or retro?


Finally, last but not least, the wrap I made. This is a special wrap because it was made for someone who cannot wear many of the new man made fibres. This one had to be made of 100% cotton in a smoke free, pet free home. She requested a navy blue, which makes it a bit hard to see, but I will include a few pictures. 

This is the wrap folded up. You could use a bigger button on this, but this one was made to fit into a Triple Crochet space, which I enforced for strength.


Here's a close up of the button. It's kind of pretty! 


This is Diane, aka 'Di'. She has her arm up in this photo, but the wrap sits quite nicely normally. She was smiling so sweetly in this photo that I wanted to use this picture.


This wrap is about 20" wide by 52" long. I thought it would be too small, but it fits well. She claims the stitch I used caused the wrap to sit nicely without stretching out. My DIL (who brought it to her) said she absolutely loved it! Sigh of relief! 

Well, that's it for today. I hope you're all having a sunny day too! 

Handmade Blessings,
Carmen





May 4, 2017

Ink Pad Stamped Card

I'm back for my second post today.

I really had fun making this card, and it was super easy. I'll write up a tutorial for you, so you can make your own. 

First, here's the card:

And here's how I did it. 

First I took out my Distress Ink Pads in Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Green. 

Using a piece of cardstock I'd cut to size, I took the Pink Pad and rubbed it across the top of the cardstock. 

I repeated this for the Orange, Yellow, Blue and Green, using a piece of paper to mask the rest of the cardstock.

I didn't get a strong swipe initially on the blue, but decided to leave it. Then I made up another mask with paper to cover the blue portion and create a different shape for the lake bottom. Then I inked the green below that and filled in any exposed cardstock with color. (either green for grass or blue for water)

Then I sat there and looked at it wondering what on earth I was doing. Lol --

Here's the stamp set I used put out by IndigoBlu. I don't think this set is still available, but you can still get the stamps as singles, or in other sets. 


I used the bottom strip of this one, and I used a Tim Holtz stamp for the birds. I use Staz On ink a lot, so my rubber stamps look black. As you can see, I've used these a lot.

First I stamped the 'greenery' across the bottom of the Cardstock using Black Staz-On Ink.

Then I inked the stamp, but covered up a part of the stamp, and stamped on the back side of the blue lake portion to about 2/3 of the way across the card, I re-inked and stamped the last bit a little offset.

Oops.

Okay, so that was a happy accident. 

I did the same on the front side of the blue portion (masking the portions of the stamp I did not want to use), being careful not to get too much of the stamp in the center. I used the stamp on each side, then used a black fine tip pen to fill in the rest of the grass in the center by hand. 

Finally, with a white fine tip pen I carefully touched up the top of the blue water where the grass meets the water, to give more of a watery effect, and to clean up the offset 'greenery.' I used a black fine point pen as well.

I finished it up with a bird stamp by Tim Holtz. 

It kind of looks like a runny painted sky. I may have moved the pad around a bit, but I like the effect. I also have a few streaks of blue in the sky. 


Pretty easy though hey? I'd like to try something similar with other stamps I have. 

I got the idea from Stampscapes. They create stamps that are perfect for scenery cards. I think he uses a brush with the ink pads, and felts, etc. to add color. Anyway, they look gorgeous. You should definitely check them out.  Here's a link: Stampscapes

Hope you'll try it out~

Blessings,
Carmen

Sew Together Bag, Fix Those Pocket Sides.

Hello there!

It is a warm day out here in the 'Loops! I went for a walk in the park and the flowers are starting to bloom, trees are pushing out some buds and will soon be pink and white with blossoms. The park is just beautiful this time of year.

I've been sewing, crocheting and making cards. I took pictures, but didn't get around to posting anything until today. The last thing I shared with you was my Fabric Post Card. It was kind of an aside project. I was actually making a Sew Together Bag out of that fabric. I'll probably put them together. So that is what I am sharing today.


 These bags are almost 10" long and have several pockets inside. Three are zippered, and four are open pockets.


I made a change to this bag that I haven't done to any of the others I have made. People noticed that sometimes things fell out of the outer open pockets. How annoying!

So, I corrected that in this bag by creating elasticized sides on those outer pockets. s


Well, that's my first post for today.

Enjoy the sun!
Carmen

Apr 26, 2017

Want to Use Up Those Fabric Scraps?

Hello!

So what have you all been up to lately? Doing any projects of your own? I found something new to try the other day!

I guess these have been around for a while, but I just came across them recently and decided to give them a try. I am not new to quilting, having made a few quilts in the past. It's just not something I find fun on a large scale. However, this was fun! A little peek....


Now the big reveal...lol


If you're still wondering what it is - - here's the back


These are super simple to make and are a bit unique, which I love. Here's a picture tutorial of some of the steps. 

I cut out a piece of scrap fabric a bit larger than 4 X 6 inches. Then I cut a piece of quilt batting and a piece of interfacing at 4 X 6 inches. I used the thick interfacing you can use for purses. It's got a pliable but firm texture and is perfect for this. I think Peltex or Timtex would work.


The interfacing is the base layer of the postcard, the batting goes on top and then the fabric.

*The image below shows it from the back side. So the fabric is face down. (naturally that's the way I decided to photograph it, just to confuse you).


I just pinned it together in a couple of spots to hold it in place and began sewing by following the lines in the pattern. Once I was done stitching, I turned it upside down and cut off the excess fabric. Here it is right side up.


At this point you can either put a tight zigzag stitch around the outside of the postcard, or put a fabric border around it. Some people stitch around the card first - I don't think there's a wrong way to do it.

I used a strip of fabric around the whole postcard. 

It's about an inch and a half wide to start, then folded in half (to 3/4") and then I turned one half under once again (3/8") and pressed it well. Then I stitched it all in place.


The postcard back template was a printable that I found on the net. It was actually a bit bigger than 4 X 6, but it was easy to cut down. 


I used embellishment tape to put it in place, but honestly, it's not really the best option. You could write on fabric with a fabric pen and create your own back and just stitch it on.

Some people send these as a postcard, but if I were sending it, I would opt to use an envelope. You should also be mindful of how thick you make it if it's going in the mail. 

I'll add mine to a gift as a unique gift card. I'll leave it blank so they can regift it to someone. 

It's like a gift within a gift. :) 

I will be trying some with patchwork quilting on them for something a little different. Here's a few that others have made:








Pet on Flicker: 




Well, it looks like the options are many! Whether you want to make simple fabric cards or spend a little more time on them, they would be so appreciated! Have some fun and try a few today! 

Blessings,
Carmen

Apr 8, 2017

Free Digital Stamps!

Good Morning!

It's been a while since I've posted because I've been working on custom orders lately. I did come across some free digital stamps and images I'd like to share with you. 

First, here's one of mine that I'm thinking of putting in my shop soon...so available for a limited time: 



Here is a cute fox image from Digital Graphics Cafe: Cute Fox Image

These two little bunnies are timely! Add little pompoms for the tails! From Cutie Pie Scrap: Bunnies

This is more of a coloring page, but I love the girl with the umbrella, from Until You Become It. Girl with Umbrella

Spring Showers bring May Flowers by Starry Nights Studio. Daffodils and Daisies

I love this image from Saturated Canary! Hippie Girl

Beccy's Place is always a great place for freebies! Cluster of Grapes

For Vintage image lovers, The Sum of All Crafts has some adorable dressing table treasures! Vintage Perfume Bottles

Dearie Dolls has a Swinging Girl for free!

Well, that's all I have time for today. I hope you enjoy these! Remember to thank the artists! 

Blessings,
Carmen

Mar 25, 2017

Etsy Shop Tips


Hello everyone! 

Giving away many of my images for free over the years was fun, but eventually I decided to start an Etsy Shop and try to sell some of them. I listed a bunch of items and that's where I left things until just recently. Everything is such a learning curve, and it takes a while to get it right. 

I hadn't been making very many sales and after a while my shop seemed almost stagnant. You could literally hear the flies buzzing around. If you're having a similar problems or are new to Etsy, this post may be for you! 

Here are some changes I've made.

1) Labeling your listing with appropriate keywords is the best way to get buyers to find your item when they are searching on Etsy or Google and other search engines. The first thing I did was go through all my listings and review my tags for each one. This is an incredible important step that I hadn't given enough thought to. 

Most people use one-word keywords. For example, if I had a masculine card image, I might have used tags like masculine, cards or stamps. This is a poor way to use this tool. 

To take full advantage of your tag tool, phrases like: 'masculine stamp' or 'Vintage Car Digi' are better to use. You have to think like the buyer.  Use tags as if you are searching for your item. You have 13 different tags per listing, and 20 characters per tag, so use them well. 

2) I live in Canada and I want my images to be affordable for my Canadian buyers. The difference in the US and CAD dollar is currently quite substantial, so I decided to offer more competitive pricing. I could do this because I am providing digital images, which are different ducks as I can sell them over and over again. I am in no way suggesting everyone should lower their prices. If I were offering handmade physical items, my pricing would reflect cost and time as well and I would happily charge accordingly. However, for digitals you can sell them in quantity and offer a good price.

3) Opting into Etsy's Direct Checkout provided more purchasing options for my buyers.  It is affordable, easy and will give your buyers a variety of purchasing options that work for them. Etsy then deposits the money into your bank account at regular intervals. Easy peasy. 

4) In the past I would post a number of digital stamp in one day. They would all expire on the same day a few months later and I would then renew them all at once. Now I post or renew 1 or 2 items every day or two. This keeps my listings in the public eye on a regular basis. 

Since I've made these specific changes (Keyword phrases, Competitive Pricing, Purchasing Options and Regular Listings),  I've seen much more activity and sales. It's been a pleasant eye opener. All 4 of these tips have made a ton of difference. My sales are up and I'm so pleased that I'm considering making up more images. 

So if your shop feels like it's going nowhere fast, try some of these tips and see how they work for you. Good luck! 

My shop: Carmensplace

Blessings,
Carmen

Mar 5, 2017

Splish Splash It's a Mermaid Tail

With that Splish Splash Title you'd think there'd be some water around. Instead, can you believe it snowed again today? I was so happy it was just about all gone. I certainly hope that was the last hurrah for snow this season because I know I'm not alone when I say --

"Enough already!"

Ah well, at least it's warm and dry inside. 

My craft interests tend to change every couple of months, but I've stuck with the crochet quite a while this time around. Maybe because we've had such a long bout of snow this year. In any case, I did finally make a Mermaid Tail. It was a request by one of my granddaughters, and I seldom say no. 

Okay -- I never say no.

My other granddaughter saw it today. I may be making another one. This pattern is called 
It's only $4.00 US, on Ravelry. I loved the tail on this one and actually got it as a free pattern around Christmas time when some of the designers were having awesome discounts and freebies. 

This photo is not the best, but you get the just of it. 


I wish I'd taken a photo when my other granddaughter tried it on for size. She's such a cutie! 


Next on the list is a wrap for a lady that needs one of 100% cotton because of allergies. I'm looking forward to starting that one soon. It's nice to get paid for some of my work. I'm also working on some slippers for some family members. I'll probably show them to you some time in the near future. 

Just a reminder that I have a couple of patterns on Ravelry right now for Freezie Holders. Something to keep little fingers from freezing. There's an Owl, a penguin and a Pirate Parrot in one set, and a Mummy, Zombie and Frankenstein in the other set. There's also a free Ninja Freezie holder featured. 

These fit large freezies, and also those yogurt pkgs. My DIL puts the yogurt packs in the freezer and they use the freezie holders for them too because they're a perfect fit. 

One of my testers told me how her granddaughter loved them, but insisted they were finger puppets. Lol. These only take an hour or so to make, so why not make them to play with? 

I have some more designs in mind, so will probably be making more. I'm also looking into making other items for sale, so I guess I'll be doing the crochet a bit longer. Although my fabric stash is calling to me -----stay tuned! 

Blessings,

Feb 24, 2017

New Crochet Patterns by me!

Hello!

I am so excited! Today I posted my first written crochet pattern for Freezie Holders, for sale on Ravelry. There are currently 2 patterns available for sale, and 1 free pattern. Check these out!

The first pattern includes a Hootie Owl, a Pirate Parrot and a Chilly little Penguin,

The second pattern features a Zombie, a Mummy and a Frankenstein! 
Get your 'thrills' while enjoying your 'chills!'

And here's the Free Ninja Pattern available on this Blog and on Ravelry.

The above two patterns will be available in my Etsy Shop soon and I am in the process of getting Direct Checkout so you don't have to use Paypal if your prefer not to.

Thanks for stopping by! 
Blessings,
Carmen

Feb 17, 2017

Free, Cute little Freezie Holders Pattern

Hello,

One of my readers got a hold of me and asked me if I had a pattern for some freezie holders I featured on this blog some time ago. They were originally made for my grandkids at the request of their mother, who wanted something to keep their little fingers from freezing while enjoying their freezies.

As it turns out, I hadn't written a pattern for them, but decided, why not do it now? I made up 7 different freezie holders and am offering a pattern for one of them for free on this blog today.

I am in the process of setting up a Ravelry page for selling, but in the meantime, here is a photo of some of the patterns I've made.


As you can see, there's an Owl, Minion, Boy and Girl Mouse, Frankenstein and a Zombie. The older grandkids love halloween, so that's why the last two were created. These will fit a large size freezie and a regular size freezie. Some of these will be offered for free.







Hopefully I will be able to get the paid pattern onto Ravelry and into my Etsy shop soon. I will let you know when I do, and also when the free patterns are up.

And here's the FREE pattern I promised for today:


G Hook
Impeccable: Black, White and Dk Red yarn.
2 small black buttons or beads, thread or embroidery thread.

Row 1: Foundation HDC 18 and slip stitch to join. (18)
(or -Chain 19, HDC in 2nd chain from hook and 1 HDC in remaining chains. Join with slip stitch to first chain being careful not to twist the chain. Chain 1.  Work a row with 1 HDC in chain 1 space and 1 HDC in each remaining stitch. Slip stitch to join. Chain 1. This is your first row. Now go on to the rest of the pattern)

Row 2 to 14: 1 HDC in chain 1 space and 1 HDC in each stitch. Slip stitch to join. Chain 1. (18)
At the end of row 13, fasten off and work in ends.

Eyes
You will be crocheting in the round (oval)

Row 1: Make a slip knot and chain 7

Row 2: SC in 2nd chain from hook, then SC 1 in next 4, 3 SC in last chain. Turn to work along the bottom of your starting chain. Now SC 1 along the bottom of your chain for 4 chains, 2 SC in last chain. Do not join. (14) 

Use a stitch marker to keep your count correct.

Row 3: 2 SC in first stitch of previous round, SC 1 in next 4, 2 SC in each of the next 3 stitches, SC 1 in next 4 sts, 2 SC in next 2 sts. (20) Slipt stitch to join.

Fasten Off, leaving a tail to sew in place.

Place the white oval bordering the bottom of the second row from the top. Sew in place. Sew 2 small buttons on white oval.  Use photo above for reference.

                  **Optional: make angry eyebrows with a bit of black embroidery thread.

Belts:

Using Red yarn, make your slip knot about 8” up from the end of your yarn.  

On the right side of the body (3 rows up from the bottom) pick up a stitch and slip stitch the red yarn in place and pull chain tight. 

Chain about 13 (how many will depend on how tightly you crochet), pick up a stitch from the left side of body (3 rows up) and slip stitch to attach. Chain 13 and slip stitch where you started the belt. (You now have a belt going around the body on the 3rd row up from the bottom).

Continuing on - Chain 13, come around front of body and pick up a stitch from the left side just below the eyes (about 9 rows up from the bottom). Slip stitch to body to attach.

Chain 12, wrap around back of body and slip stitch to attach to starting point. Leave a tail.

With a darning needle, pick up both pieces of tail (one from the beginning of the chain, and the one you just left). Bring each one to the inside of the body and tie them together several times. Clip ends.

Now go grab a freezie, slip it in the holder and enjoy while keeping your fingers cozy! 


If you are unfamiliar with the Foundation HDC (and how to join it in a circle), and the Magic Circle, please go to Youtube, where there are many great instructional videos that show you how to make them. Here are two good ones...

Magic Circle:

Foundation HDC


Hope you enjoyed making this pattern and that the instructions were easy to read. 

UPDATE: NEW Freezie Holder Patterns available on Ravelry and Etsy. These are quick and easy to make, and your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews will love them and you!


Have a good weekend! 
Blessings,
Carmen

Feb 4, 2017

Valentine's Freebies (LTO) and Ideas

Good Morning!


Valentine's Day is 10 days 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. Some of these are LTO (Limited Time Only!) and will be available in my Etsy Shop (see right bar).

Enjoy! 

VALENTINE DIGI STAMPS









VALENTINE SENTIMENTS






Music is the Language of Love

There are so many cute ideas out there for Valentine's Day, so thought I'd share a few of them.

This quick to make card is Stampin' Up's Sunshine Wishes Love Card.


And look at these cute little Pencil Valentine's. Perfect for school kids and super easy to make.


I also found these little Crocheted Heart Baskets from My Poppet. Adorableness!


Last, but definitely not least, these Funky Hearts by Lella Boutique
Super Cute and a fun little snowy day project.


Well, that should keep you busy for a while. Have a wonderful weekend.

Blessings! 
Carmen