Welcome to my NEW BLOG!

Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations is now Cindi McGee - Behind These Eyes™. Since I've been on this creative journey for over 18 years - I have a LOT of project links out there in cyberworld! If you are looking for a particular project you have found on Pinterest, Facebook, FaveCrafts, HomeTalk, Twitter, etc. and the link is not working for you, please feel free to email me at cdjb11@yahoo.com and I'll be sure to get you the new link to the instructions. Have a creative day and remember to DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Hope everyone survived the holidays!   Things are in high creative gear here in my studio - I've cleaned and reorganized and am now busy preparing for the upcoming CHA in LA where I'll be doing a make & take project at Makin's Clay, my project for the Designer Craft Studio, and especially preparing for all the awesome things When Creativity Knocks has up it's sleeve for the event!   I'm also working on a piece for donation to the charity auction to be held at CHA.  Mix in my weekly Simple Solutions articles and Product Reviews, and you have creative madness :0). My recent Simple Solutions articles include creative holiday tablescape displays and lots of mini hand-made tree options.  New Product Reviews include Teresa Collin's Noel Collection, Graphic 45's Christmas Past Collection, Scor-Buddy, and Creative Beading, Vol. 5.   View them all at http://www.whencreativityknocks.com/

The two most recent episodes of When Creativity Knocks offer creative holdiay fun - but SantAna's Caramel Corn is so delicious it would be a crime to limit it to the holidays!  Check them out here:

SantAna's Caramel Corn:  http://tinyurl.com/3aepfxk
SantAna's Clever Ornaments:  http://tinyurl.com/35s9dl8

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Balls!

My latest appearance on When Creativity Knocks is in this week's Cindi's Holiday Balls episode!  Learn the thrifty secret to creating decorative balls for almost any season......http://tinyurl.com/34z74f8

In Simple Solutions this week I share another idea for creating "natural" holiday mini-trees, and my product review is of Teresa Collins Noel Collection! http://www.whencreativityknocks.com/

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week #7 - Eileen Hull's Treat Bag Toppers

I, like all the other designers participating in this amazing Sizzix Triple-Play Blog Hop, can’t believe it’s over! Our last challenge was to create something using Eileen Hull's Sizzix ScoreBoards XL Die - 656774 - Treat Bag Toppers - http://www.sizzix.com/product/2484 

I know these are supposed to be treat bag toppers, but my mind, (gee, what a surprise) went a bit out of the box on a couple of them! The first project is a card for a friend – I saw this piece and my muse instantly thought – PURSE! Gift card holder! Oh boy! Steampunk Debutante papers from Graphic 45, combined with some tan snake-skinned textured paper used to cover the “purse” inside and out (and beneath the verse on the front), and a few buttons – were all it took to transform this into a silly card to surprise a friend. I mounted the back portion of the die (without the handle) to the back top inside of the card, which allowed the front (with the handle) to flip up to reveal a pocket for the gift card.

Next, I created an “almost” treat bag……The scalloped edge and overall shape of this reminded me of a rooftop – which lead to this folded cardstock gingerbread house, embellished with colorful candy-toned papers from Junkitz.  This fun card is a easy way to create a unique holiday greeting using just the treat bag topper, cardstock, patterned papers and just a few minutes of your time.  It flips open in an upside down matchbook style to reveal a hand made gingerbread dough ornament (but you could also include a real gingerbread man inside a baggy instead!).

Lastly – my muse was thinking of animals again…. At least this time it wasn’t FEET – it was the whole animal…… when I saw this little oval with the “scalloped” edges, the absolute first thing that came to mind was MOUSE! It looks like a MOUSE! I cut off the left pointed/scalloped edges to created a rounded mouse butt (yes, I said mouse butt). I covered the mattboard die with gray glitter cardstock from DCWV, and popped up the ears a bit using Elmer’s foam tape. A glitter cardstock nose, thread whiskers, giggly eyes, a red yarn tail, and a Santa hat made from fabric scraps finished him off. He matches this adorable paper from Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker North Pole Nights collection just perfectly! I used a Sakura gel pen to write “Merry Christ-Mouse” on the front and layered the patterned papers with green glitter cardstock. Absolutely silly, I know – but I couldn’t resist!   (Especially when I photographed the card next to this little Christ-Mouse ornament I made when I was about 10 years old!)

There were more great pieces included in this set of dies – but I’ve horded those away to save for future projects……. If you need even more creative inspiration visit the other 60 designers participating in this blog by following the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop link in the upper right of my home page. Thanks for stopping by each week to view my versions of these dies – and THANKS to the amazing designers of the dies themselves – Eileen Hull, Karen Burniston, Brenda Pinnick, and of course, SIZZIX, for offering such an amazing opportunity to experiment with these dies and share our projects with the creative world!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week #6: Brenda Pinnick's Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Album, Brackets

Another fun die to experiment with courtesy of Brenda Pinnick and Sizzix! 


656053 Brenda Pinnick Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Album, Brackets - http://www.sizzix.com/product/1548
Felt from National Non-Woven - www.nationalnonwovens.com
Patterned Papers from Harmonie Loisirs Creatifs www.loisirsharmonie.ca/
Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive - http://www.elmers.com/
Cropodile Punch from We R Memory Keepers - http://www.weronthenet.com/
Blumenthal Lansing Buttons - http://www.blumenthallansing.com/
I completed three projects for this die from Brenda Pinnick - but I have another 3 still awaiting completion!  At first, I was stumped - probably because I had not LOOKED online at Sizzix.com to see exactly what this little assortment of dies was supposed to be.  I just opened the bag, pulled them out and let my creative muse run free.   The first thing I designed was a collapsable Christmas tree ornament/Christmas card - 6 of the smaller, inside "squares" cut in half diagnonally, and reattached using adhesive tape to create the individual flaps on the ornament.  Each side of each flap was covered with additional squares cut in half diagonally, made from coordinating patterns of beautiful holiday paper from a wonderful new company I discovered at CHA - Harmonie Lois Creatifs.  A stamped greeting, golden flourish stickers and decorative faux gemstone metal brads also from Harmonie were used to embellish each side of the pages.  A Cropodile was used to punch a hole in the top, and a length of gold cording serves as the hanger for the ornament. The flaps fold flat so the card can be mailed in a regular sized envelope - then the recipient can unfold the flaps for a 3-D card/tree ornament.

While creating this, I noticed that the shape of the die itself was an almost perfect match to the shape of some of the vast array of patterns of scrapbook paper available from Harmonie!  So I began cutting photo mats using the larger squares from coordinating papers to create layouts.....

A small felt inner square was used as pocket to hold "Thankful Strips" on this Thanksgiving layout (also made with Harmonie papers!) 

Then I actually went to the Sizzix site to see what this die was originally intended for - and I discovered it was an amazing mini book!  I used two felt shapes as covers for a mini book, filled with winter snow themed papers from Harmonie to create a mini book that tucks into a pocket on this layout (which also features the same shaped on the background paper!). A few Blumenthal Lansing buttons were the finishing accents.  

For lots more inspiring ideas using this fun die from Brenda Pinnick & Sizzix - view the blogs of the 60 participating designers via the link in the upper right corner of my page.   Thanks for stopping by! 

Newest holiday episode of When Creativity Knocks is here!
In this fun episode shot on site at Maker Faire in NY, Ana Araujo shows you how to create fun ornaments using DIY Bangles!  http://tinyurl.com/25moom8

This week, Ana also shares a fun way to make tiny tinsel trees, Laura Bray shares a great way to repurpose those plastic cookie & fruit boxes you get from the grocery store,  in Simple Solutions I share the next installment of my Tree Time series featuring pine cone trees from mini to unexpectly large..... and my Product Review is about a great Creative Beading book published by Kalmbach Publishing.    Check them all out via the links on our home page:  http://www.whencreativityknocks.com/

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week #5: Karen Burniston's Gift Card Holder w/Phrase, For You 3-D

My twist for this clever pop-up give card holder designed by the ever kinetically-creative Karen Burniston is this masculine "tool time" Birthday card.  I turned the pop up gift card holder in to a red tool box which holds a gift card to a popular home building supply chain.....

The card itself is accordian style, it folds down to fit inside an envelope, then opens to stand on a table, etc.  Sizzix alphabet dies used to cut the stand up "Birthday Wishes" on the top edge.  The "For You" tool box pops-out from the last panel to present the gift card to the recipient :0).   Stamped tools on real sandpaper mats add a little texture.


Karen Burniston's Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Gift Card Holder w/Phrase, For You 3-D (Pop-Up) - 656740 -
Sizzix Alphabet Set - (Another of my trusty favorites....although not available currently, sorry!)
Assorted cardstock, tool patterned paper (brands unknown)
Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive
Stampin Up! Tool Stamp Sets
Stewart Superior Noir Black Palette Inkpad
X-Acto Scissors
Don't forget to check out over 60 other amazing versions of this pop-up die by clicking on the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop link in the upper right corner!
The latest episode of When Creativity Knocks is this adorable MAILABLE Christmas stocking!     Here's the link to see how Ana Araujo created this fun option for your holiday greetings:    http://tinyurl.com/2wo8wzv

A four week series on home-made holiday trees started this week too.  See my weekly Simple Solutions article for each new installment (and learn the secret inside on December 10th!)   http://tinyurl.com/32nwsk5

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry by Sue Ripsch is the latest installment in my Product Reviews category:  http://tinyurl.com/366kahb  I  also shared a set of copper chain mail earrings I created following the instructions in this book.

Until next week........ keep creating!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop - Week #4 - Eileen Hull's Frame & Frame Back w/Stand

While stretching my creative imagination this week I decided to stretch this single set of dies to create a frame into two totally different frames. 


Eileen Hull's Sizzix ScoreBoards Pro Die - # 656835 - Frame & Frame Back w/Stand http://www.sizzix.com/product/2352
Sizzix 38-0218 Leaf #1 die (sorry but this one's an oldy but goody - not on the current Sizzix website).
Makin's Clay, Makin's Ultimate Clay Machine, Makin's Texture Sheet
Judikin's Diamond Glaze
Pebbles, Inc.           http://www.pebblesinc.com/
Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive - http://www.elmers.com/
White ribbon, tiny glass marbles, Bedazzles, white texture paint, Blumenthal Lansing button

The first features Makin's Clay "tiles" - clay was rolled into thin sheets, then textured with Makin's Texture Sheets.  Once dry, they were die cut using the Sizzix Leaf #1 die.  The individual leaves were cut into pieces and reassembled to resemble tile on the backing board.  Judikins Diamond Glaze was applied over each leaf and allowed to dry.  White texture paint was applied over the entire piece to fill in the cracks like grout - and then wiped off the leaves themselves before it dried.  The top frame on the piece was covered with another sheet of brown Makin's Clay rolled and textured, then the Judikins Diamond Glaze was applied.  This top frame was mounted so it is raised off of the base approximately 1/4" adding more depth to the finished piece.  Lastly, 3 more clay leaves and a bit of brown clay around the outer edge finished off the frame. 

On to Annabelle & Larry!  Pretty coordinating papers from Pebbles, Inc. were used to cover these two pieces of the frame die.  The flower components were covered with Judikins Diamond Glaze and tiny glass marbles & Bedazzles were applied.  A Blumenthal Lansing button is the center of this dimensional flower accent.  The flower was mounted to the back of the TOP frame, and the photo is mounted to the back of the base frame, adding more depth & dimension to the finished project.  A bit of white ribbon with a little bow on top serves as a hanger.

Don't forget to click on the link in the upper right to check out 60 amazing designs created with this frame.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sizzix Triple-Play Blog Hop Week #3 - Brenda Pinnick's "Beauty Bloom"

Here it is Hop day again!  This week we were challenged with individual bags of pre cut flowers made with Brenda  Pinnick's Beauty Bloom die.  My package included flowers cut in white and yellow cardstock, and yellow felt.  I wanted to challenge myself to try to stick to the materials as close to the way I received them as possible - so I didn't experiment with other mediums like fabric or patterned papers - I kept to the yellow and white.   With a few added bits and pieces, and a little shimmer.... these were my results.

Sorry Brenda, I know this is a FLOWER die - but when I opened my bag of flowers and the two yellow felt single flower petals fell out - I immediately saw FEET.  Duck feet, or in this case, penguin feet :0).  I just had to whip up this quick little felt friend and give him some petal feet.

Next I layered three of the yellow flower centers and stitched them together, allowing them to bunch here and there, then added a few seed beads.  This one was used as an accent on a Thanksgiving place setting card.

While I was in the stitching mood, I gathered 5 of the yellow felt petals together and also stitched them to create this "bud".  A few green felt leaves, and some simple embroidered accents finished it off.  I think this would make a cute little broach, or a fun accent to a gift.

Next came the paper challenge...... I cut several of the white petals in half vertically, placed them overlapping each other slightly, and stitched them together at the base.  I then fanned them out and glued the two end pieces together to create a "morning glory" cone shaped flower.  Blue and lavendar Pearl Ex Pigment Watercolor Paint was used to give it a lovely shimmering morning glory blue tone. 
Two of the white 3 petal sets were layered and folded slightly forward.  A yellow three petal set was folded up, overlapped, and glued together to create the center "trumpet" for this faux narcissus.  White and gold Pearl Ex Pigment Watercolor Paint added a bit of shimmer, and a cardstock stem and leaves were quick finishing touches.

Materials used: 
Sizzix Originals Die - Flower, Beauty Bloom -#655455 - http://www.sizzix.com/product/939
Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die Cutting Machine - http://www.sizzix.com/product/1711
Felt – http://www.nationalnonwovens.com/
Cardstock - white, yellow, green, brown
US Artquest Pearl-Ex Pigment Watercolor Paints - http://www.usartquest.com/
Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive - http://www.elmers.com/
Needle, embroidery floss
Seed beads
Harmonie patterned paper used on place card - http://www.loisirsharmonie.ca/

Follow the clickable link in the upper right corner of the page to see the creative interpretations of this fun die from the over 60 other participating designers - You're sure to find lots of inspiration!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Sizzix Triple-Play Blog Hop Continues!

Karen Burniston's Sizzix Twist 3-D Cube

Once again it seems like my creative muse was out to get me. She wouldn’t just let me assemble this nifty twist cube and decorate it in some creative way. She challenged me to stretch my imagination (and I admit, my patience!) and create something even more interactive. The result: a mailable, still twist-able, “snow globe” snowman diorama ornament.  Don't forget to use the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop clickable link in the upper right of my blog to hop to see the over 60 amazing versions of this cube created by the blog hop designers!


Karen Burniston's Sizzix Bigz XL Die - Cube, Twist 3-D (Pop-Up) - #656739 http://www.sizzix.com/product/2381
Sizzix Big Shot Pro -  http://www.sizzix.com/product/1711  die cutting machine. snowflake patterned scrapbook paper, white cardstock, faux gemstone snowflakes and brad, Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive, 1/4" white satin ribbon, EK Success Snowflake punches, McGill square punch, transparent tape, plastic sandwich bags, artificial snow

Since my original cube was black cardstock, I needed to cover the outside so snowflake patterned paper was cut and mounted on each side of the cube. Before assembling the cube, EK Success snowflake punches were used to punch snowflake ‘windows’ through the left and right sides. A large McGill square punch was used to punch the square ‘window’ in the front. Since it still had to be “twistable” to collapse for mailing, regular transparency film would not have worked for the windows. Instead, I cut pieces from a plastic sandwich bag and mounted them to the bag side of the cube. A cardstock snowman was created and mounted to the inside bottom of the cube, with a piece of white ribbon looped, sent through the hole in the top and finished off with a gemstone brad, then mounted to the back of the snowman’s hat to pull and hold him up when the cube is un-twisted. ¼” White ribbon was used to cover all seams/edges of the cube. Faux gemstone snowflakes were added for a bit of bling (be sure to mount them where they will not affect the twisting portions of the cube). Artificial snow was tucked inside through the opening in the back of the cube. The result is a little winter diorama ornament which can be twisted, tied with a ribbon for mailing, then popped up to bring a bit of holiday cheer to the recipient.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Let It Roll!

This week Creative Designer Extraordinaire Sarah Hodgden shows Ana Araujo an interesting use for rolling caster wheels on When Creativity Knocks:


This week's Product Review features The Documentary Collection by Studio Calico - http://tinyurl.com/366kahb

Cindi's Simple Solutions shows you how to create a whimiscal cat themed bracelet by wood burning a DIY Bangle - http://tinyurl.com/32nwsk5

Come back this Thursday for the next post in the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop to see what the 60 participating designers have up their creative sleeves! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop is HERE!

It's time for the first entry into the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop!   Our challenge this week was to work with Eileen Hull's Scoreboard Pro House 3D #656836 - http://www.sizzix.com/product/2353.  Additional Sizzix materials used include:  Sizzix 12x12 matboard  http://www.sizzix.com/product/2354, white, and Sizzix Big Shot Pro http://www.sizzix.com/product/1711 die cutting machine. 

Additional materials sponsored by: 

Makins Clay® - http://www.makins-usa.com/
Judikins® - http://www.judikins.com/
Elmer's® - http://www.elmers.com/
Plaid® - http://www.plaidonline.com/

Makin's Clay® was used to transform the paper house into a "good enough to eat" Gingerbread House which is illuminated using tiny Christmas tree lights.   The roof pieces were hand covered with white Makin's Clay® to resemble white frosting.  Individual "gum drops" were then made from Makin's Clay®, allowed to dry overnight and then mounted to the frosting roof using Elmer's Craft Bond Adhesive.  Once the glue was set, each was dry brushed with more Craft Bond Adhesive and sprinkled with tiny clear glass beads for a sugared effect.    The main walls of the house were covered with Terra Cotta Makin's Clay rolled thin on the Ultimate Clay Machine®.  The house itself was used as a cutting template, and once the clay was applied to t he chipboard, it was textured with a Makin's Texture Sheet from Set A to resemble gingerbread.   Once the house was assembled and the roof mounted, it was time to begin completing the decorations.  The frosting trim on all edges was created with white Makin's Clay® using the Ultimate Clay Extruder®.  The tiny peppermint candies for the trim and roof of the entry were created by extruding two thin ropes of red clay and white clay, alternating them together to form a cane, then cutting into tiny slices.  Once dry, they were applied to the gingerbread walls and coated with Judikins Diamond Glaze™ for a bit of shine.  The same twisted canes were used to create the candy canes, which were also coated with Judikins Diamond Glaze. The lollypops were created with primary colors of clay and natural clay sticks.  Once dry, they were mounted to the gingerbread walls and then coated with Plaid Mod Podge® Dimensional Magic for a dimensional glassy shine like a real lollypop (dries clear - shown wet in photo).  Faux Life Saver Candy wreaths were created with green and red clay and mounted to the roof peaks.  Clay gumball accents over the door finished the


Take the time this week to visit each of the participating designers sites - all linkable through the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop block at the top right.  Each design is unique and they are all truly inspiring!  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BB Puzzle Game

The newest episode of When Creativity Knocks is a fun BB Puzzle Game!  See Ana Araujo demonstrate how to use a variety of products from Elmer's & X-Acto into an interactive game perfect for a Scout troop, Sunday School class, birthday parties, or classroom project.  See it here:   http://tinyurl.com/2g7mqsx

While you are at the site, be sure to check out the latest Product Review and Cindi's Simple Solution.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular!

The WCK Halloween Spooktacular episode is now live..... (cue the "It's Alive...... It's
Alive......Frankenstein music....").    Three clever projects from Ana Araujo and I to inspire your spooky creativity.   Check it out here!

Also, add a bit of creepy fun to your paper crafts with these creepy fun Soot Backgrounds: 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Week's "Stuff"!

The theme for this week's When Creativity Knocks Creative Journal theme was "You've Been Framed!"    I included a product review on Eileen Hull's Sizzix Scoreboards XL Easle Frame - along with several samples of completed frames to inspire you.  Check out the WCK home page or follow this direct link:  http://tinyurl.com/366kahb 

My Simple Solution for this week is a BEACH Memory Frame project - and there's even a kit available if you want to create your own!    http://tinyurl.com/32nwsk5 

Ana Araujo's Creative Chaos blog features ideas for Printed Inspirations on a Photo. 

The latest Episode of When Creativity Knocks is "Secret Tips from Crafty Designers!"   Watch a variety of creative designers share their tips with you -  there's something here for almost everyone to learn :0)  - including another use for one of those Magic Erasers!  http://tinyurl.com/3a8okkk

Saturday, October 9, 2010

NY Maker Faire!

The WCK Team visited NY and participated in the World Maker Faire!  For a review of the event including lots of photos of some of the creativity - including Thundersteeds, creative clothing, robots & more....check out my article here:  http://tinyurl.com/32nwsk5

We taped several episodes to share in the coming weeks, and also assisted attendees in about a zillion fabulous make & takes sponsored by Elmer's, Plaid Industries, Blumenthal Lansing, and DIYBangles!  Attendees commented that ours was the best booth there and our make & takes were better than any others offered - which was a huge complement especially since the competition was full of creative greats like Martha Stewart Living