Sunday, December 3, 2006

A Little INTRO

collage of my life

Hi Gals & Guys!

Welcome! I'm Mel and I'm so happy that you've found my blog! The crafting world & all the fabulous people in it always make me feel so grateful and just plain glad. I'm excited to be able to share with all of You.

This 'about me' page is very wordy & wandering (just like my conversational style). ;)

Set the craftiness free! (my crafty story)

The greatest passion of the blog-side of my life, is to share things for free. Commercially made supplies are lovely & I'm glad there are such beautiful things on offer. I covet my fair share, but I like to think that you can make projects for next to nothing. (Though I do try to support crafting companies, especially small companies and artists, as well.)

You will find these free things on my blog:

Free digital papers:

free printable Christmas papers (set #1) printable Christmas paper set #2 preview

& overlays or digital masks:

over 100 free digital overlays for making DIY printable papers (some commercial uses ok)

... Free printables, templates & cut files: pieced butterflies REGULAR CUT in silhouette studio copy

Techniques and card-making tutorials 
(including digital or hybrid tricks): 

Some miscellaneous 3D paper craft projects:

Amber Ink polaroid box...PCP 3Dround challenge - faux ribbon spool with hidden compartment - mel stampz copy...MFT Loveosaurus diorama INSIDE

And in older posts, you'll find the odd little
 digital image freebie that I've doodled... 

I also post link-lists or round-ups of fab free things that others share online:

 washi tape collage mel stampz 

On a personal note:

I'm sort of a very shy people-person (if that makes any sense) so I find it difficult to talk about myself... but this 'about me' page used to be very one-dimensional with only the craft chat. I figured I should open up a little and add some things about my life!

My name is Melissa, but for some very strange reason I have grown to much prefer Mel. :)
I live in Canada in Port Moody, BC (near Vancouver). Such a beautiful place to live:

I am lucky enough to live with the-love-of-my-life, my husband Charles,
and our 'fur-daughter' Mouse the cat. She was a kitten born to a stray. 
When my sister-in-law saved the litter, we added wee Mouse to our family:

I'm new to being 40ish (but a part of me refuses to grow up):

I'm completely, shamelessly addicted to crafting and blogging. 
Mouse helps me blog. She works very hard at it, as you can see:

I also adore reading, and trying to cook allergy-free foods... playing video games,
drawing, creative writing, listening to music, hiking, swimming outdoors, and gardening.

Actually, right now, the major-hobby-love in our life is organic veggie gardening:
Playing in the dirt at our community garden is something my hubby & 
I share a passion for. It's amazing to watch things spring to life every year.

I inherited a relatively green thumb from my lovely Bam-Bam (grandma) 
who was a farmer her whole life and my lovely Nana, who surely has
the very greenest thumbs on earth.
Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my incredible family.


In the interest of opening up, I thought I might share a little about my beliefs as well...

Living as green or eco-conscious as possible is incredibly dear to my heart.

I have a fervent belief in human rights of all kinds, and though it might sound corny, I have a deep profound love for in people in general. I don't belong to one particular religion, but I do feel that spirituality is an important part of my life, and I honour the roll that faith of all varieties plays in the world.

Deeper Life Challenges & Lessons:

I have always struggled with chronic depression and social anxiety and/or agoraphobia. I am finding that things are so much better now than they ever have been. I mention it here, because I want to help tear down the stigma that can come with these struggles. And especially because I've often read things on other blogs and that has made me realize I am not alone.

Other things that make life more interesting are a struggle with severe food allergies. I find this has caused me to look at life more intricately and I've learned so very much.

Blogging & my adventures in paper crafts:

I started to blog, because I so enjoyed reading the blogs of the many talented people who share online. I wanted to be a part of that community.

from Scrapbooking to Stamping to Hybrid

A little about my meandering path following this crafty obsession
: I love anything made with hands. It's amazing what people can do with paper, yarn, clay... the contents of the recycling bin!
Personally, I mostly play around with hybrid crafting now (mixing traditional stamps & supplies with digital ones).

Originally, I started out doing a few scrapbook pages, ended up in a stamp club, then I started blogging. I thought no one but my family and friends would ever read my blog, so to find such wonderful crafty friends online has been sheer delight.

Though I still constantly work with the stamps and traditional materials that I started out with, I have also fallen madly in love with the open-ended possibilities of hybrid crafting.

Hero Arts Sew Crafty window card mel stampz   make coloured image into an outline image

There is just so much you can do with graphics programs & a printer
and all the crafty supplies in our stashes, isn't there?

Cheap Tricks:

You may notice the category "cheap tricks" in the blog labels (in the sidebar). Cheap is my middle name. "Use it up! Wear it out! Make it do, or do without!" has always been a family motto. How about you? You know that special little thrill you get when people dream up something out of nothing?

Another favourite element of crafting is that there is always something new. Now, that can make it expensive, but it also makes expansive! :0) Isn't it crazy how there are hundreds of new things to learn--or make up as you go along--every day?

Want to Chat?

If you have any questions at all (or if you just want to chat) please just drop me a line. I'm delighted share resources and ideas. You can email me at:

Thank You for stopping in; I really really really appreciate it! :0)


Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your site and i love it! I can't believe how much information you have gathered and how great it will be for me to use! I have only been stamping about a year and this will be a great resource for me! Thanks so much! Laurie

Steph said...

OMG!! your site is amazing!!! Thank u soooo much for all the wonderful info u provide!! It must take forever to keep this up!! I am a hobby demo with SU so this site really inspires me!! Thanks again for such great ideas, tech, and insight!! Keep up the beautiful work!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel (I'm emailing all the way from Australia). I stumbled across your site one night when I was lacking inspiration in my cardmaking & looking for new ideas. Wow - I am no longer stuck for ideas. You are incredibly talented & I love looking at each step of making your cards & what you write - it's so helpful. I have been cardmaking for 12 years, yet I am constantly amazed & delighted at the different products that we can use to make a beautiful card. Thanks heaps - don't stop the Blog! Jocelyn

Rose S said...

What a great site you have and so much information. I am hoping to get lots of inspiration and learn some new things.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love your blog Mel!
It´s one of the greatest blogs on stamping for me!

Thank you so much for sharing your art with us!

Hughs from Susan, from Vienna Austria

Anonymous said...

You are talented, classy and you are so very generous! Thank you for the best site I've yet encountered and I am one serious surfer.

Dani said...

I just want to thank you for your awesome blog... it is not only crafting informational, but just personally to know that I am not the only one who surfs the net looking at all the fun blogs... I only wish I had one and could make it as nice as yours! Keep posting, we are all reading.... but don't stress out about it... relax and enjoy the world!

Jeanne said...

I just found your site and I am thrilled beyond belief!! Your Blog is great and I love all the things you have on there to keep the creative ideas flowing! I can't wait to just be able to sit down with a cup of joe and totally explore! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your creations, ideas and information with us! Fabulous stuff Mel!

rk said...

I don't know how I got here but I am so glad to be here! You have an amazing resource of information. You definitely think outside the box and I have much to learn from your amazing techniques! Thanks so much from a fellow Canadian now living in the US of A! said...

Hi Mel. I just blogged about you. Love your list of freebies.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for the awesome "collections" of craftiness. Your blog is just the kick in the pants I need to get busy in my craft room! I have subscribed, pinned and stalked you thoroughly! (kidding about the stalking part). Thank you so very much for sharing!

joanne said...

What a fabulous site! I love everything PAPER!!! Thank you for all of your hard work and sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

wuff... I try carefully to select words to describe how I feel about your work, but find it hard to write in brief... if there is chance that I can go to Canada, I would like to meet you, more than Niagara, and expecting you are still in love with your work, and nothing stop you.. my name Wirianto, from Indonesia. Wish to know you someday... If you come to Jakarta or Bali, please let me know.. and I agree with Dany... enjoy!!

susanne said...

What a lovely blog you have here ... so much to see!! I had to become a follower so that I could come back again and again. Thank you so much for sharing! Susanne

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Mel, thanks so much for your comment on my Sketchbook project Post on Julie balzer's blog -it's great to meet you! Lenna

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel, I am looking for someone to create a box template based on this Are you abel to do this? Many thanks, Zena

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Hi Zena, Thank You so much for stopping by. I hope you get this reply to your question since you are 'no reply' on blogger. :-) I'd love to help you with your template dilemma, but I try not to duplicate ultra unique templates in case of copyright and so forth... But you could fashion one quite easily out of a milk carton template or cut file, add a roof and a window. Hope that helps some. Warmly, Mel

Angie S. said...

Like a few other comments I read, I too just happened to stumble upon your blog. I am very excited to dust off my cuttlebug and use some of my embossing folders I have collected, but rarely used, based on some of your ideas. There are so many more ideas and links to so many others that I'm not sure where to start, or where to end. THANKS!

Sim said...

I love your blog, all what you do & your sweet heart too!
Everything is perfect & I thank you a lot for all your beautiful gifts!

Joe said...

Hi Mel,

chanced upon your blog when looking for material. LOVE your blog!

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography said...

Just stumbled on your blog looking for digital designs--wow, you have so many great papers! Thank you from one blogger to another;)

Mel Makes said...

Hi Mel,

Your blog is great and you have really cool ideas! I have just bought some stamps... and now I can't wait to get started.

With admiration from the UK
Mel Makes :)

Christine said...

Hello Mel! I found you via Pinterest with this project:

I would like to create something like this for a frieze along a beam in my home. Unfortunately, never having been a stamper, I have no idea what a few things are, that you use and talk about.

For example. Embossed paper. I know what it is, but how/where did you get it and how do you make the gesso follow those gorgeous curves?

You talk about your "square" and it getting cloudy. What kind of square? and different mediums I think might be manufacturers, but can't tell.

In the hours of spare time I know you pull out of your ear, would you consider a glossary? I'm bookmarking this project because I find it elegant and beautiful and want to copy you shamelessly.

Any referrals or explanations you could point me to would be so great.

Thank you so much for all your hard work!

Maryrose Gurica said...

happy wednesday Mel stamper!

Missha said...

I was wondering if you could do a tutorial on how to make your own overlays. I absolutely LOVE the ones you created but would also like to learn how to make my own. And if you would be so kind as to show how to do it in GIMP as well that would be fab. Thanks!!

helene martin said...

Bonjour Mel,

Un grand merci pour le partage de votre travail, vos papiers sont magnifique, j'ai créé à partir de ceux ci un mini, que vous pouvez voir à partir de ce lien

Je vous souhaite une très bonne journée.

robin said...

A soaper gave your site to help with labeling ideas for soaps but methinks I will be visiting for this site rest of my days for the plethera of ideas you have!! Thank you for all your efforts! Wishing you all the best!

Pauline S said...

I can't believe I haven't found your site before! Thanks so much for sharing your free papers, tutorials etc. My (very nearly) 21 year old cat Thea Jay sends her love to Miss Mouse.

Billie said...

I also just stumbled on your blog through pinterest when i was looking for cards for men (saw your suit card).

I am very impressed (and at the same time humbled) by your generosity in sharing your templates and patterns for free as some people would have tried to make a buck by selling theirs.

You see I live all the way from the Philippines. And although there are scrapbook suppliers here and there, there are a lot of supplies not available here. Plus the fact that I do it only as a hobby (I have a regular job and I am a single mom and do handmade cards only for my friends), I try not to spend to much on it as I have to prioritize on how I spend my money.

This is why I am so happy on discovering your blog. Many many thanks and I hope you continue with this blog!


Guldara Kirwan said...

I don't have enough words to describe how thankful I am for everything you do, Mel! You are so talented and generous!
Again, million thanks to you!