featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, May 31, 2010


Today I have something a bit different for all you crafts and mystery lovers.  Author Joanna Campbell Slan is our guest crafter.  Joanna is the author of the Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-N-Craft Mystery Series.  Kiki is a scrapbooking amateur sleuth, and Joanna includes scrapbooking projects and tips in each book, along with a coupon for a special offer for crafters. The first book in the Scrap-N-Craft series—Paper, Scissors, Death—was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Mystery. The third book in the series—Photo, Snap, Shot—has just been released. Publisher’s Weekly has praised it as “a cut above the usual craft-themed cozy.”

Joanna has graciously offered a copy of
Photo, Snap, Shot.  So be sure to post a comment this week to be eligible for the drawing.

Joanna also teaches projects at scrapbook stores and scrapbooking conventions around the country and has written for most of the scrapbooking magazines. Visit her at www.JoannaSlan.com where you can sign up for her free newsletter.  You can also catch her weekly blog at http://www.KillerHobbies.blogspot.com and her personal blog at http://JoannaSlan.blogspot.com
-- AP            


By Joanna Campbell Slan

Readers tell me they love Kiki’s down-to-earth personality. She’s a lot like most of us. She loves too much, worries too much, and eats too much. But when someone she loves is in danger, Kiki rises to the occasion. Recently Kiki became part-owner of Time in a Bottle, the store where she works. While she’s always been very creative, the fact she’s financially responsible for the store’s success has made Kiki even more creative about her craft.

Lately Kiki and I have both noticed that glitter is HOT!

If you love the look of bling—and who doesn’t?—here’s an inexpensive way to put a bit of glitz in any hum-drum project. It’s easy to make your cards, invitations, and scrapbook pages sparkle!

Supplies: A stamp, an inkpad, and paper to create an image OR a piece of patterned paper OR a ready-made embellishment. A piece of typing or copy paper to catch the excess glitter. Some clear drying glue, a few toothpicks, a small watercolor brush, and glitter.

1. Stamp your image and color it in.
 * Tip 1: I don’t worry about coloring outside of the lines when I plan to cut out my image.
 * Tip 2: Blend your pencil colors together expertly by overlaying your colored image with a lighter shade. After I finished coloring, I went over the entire tea cup with a white lead pencil. The layer of white blended my colors and brought a smoother, more finished look to the final image.

Alternately, choose a patterned paper or a ready-made embellishment and skip to Step #2 below:

2. Using a toothpick, spread clear-drying glue on the portion of the image you want to sparkle. I spread the glue inside the flower on the teacup.
* Tip 1: A toothpick dispenser built like a salt shaker is perfect for scrapbookers. The holes in the top allow you to shake out one or two toothpicks as needed, using one hand!
* Tip 2: Always test your glue to be sure it dries clear. Some of those glue makers lie!

3. Sprinkle the glitter onto your project. Lightly tamp the glitter down with the tip of your finger.
* Tip 1: Fold a plain piece of typing paper in half and put it under your project. That way when you are done, you can tap the project against the typing paper, tap the glitter into the fold, and return the extra glitter to its container. Replace the glitter one color at a time so you don’t dilute the colors.
* Tip 2: The smaller the image, the finer the flake size of the glitter you’ll want to use. On this project, a large flake glitter would have obscured the borders of the flower.

4. Before the glue dries, use a clean toothpick to “clean up” the edges of your stamped and glittered image. You can wipe away any excess glitter with the tip of the toothpick.
* Tip: Use a small watercolor paint brush to brush away stray bits of glitter.
5. Let your project dry thoroughly before you cut it out. (How many times have I hurried through this step and messed up? You don’t want to know!)

6. Adhere your new and improved embellishment to your project.

And that’s what I call, putting on the glitz! It couldn’t be easier!

Thanks for stopping by, Joanna!  So, readers, have you glittered up anything lately?  Tell us about it.  You may be the luck winner of Photo, Snap, Shot.  Remember, anyone who posts a comment this week is entered to win.  Check back Saturday to see if you’re the lucky winner. -- AP


Anonymous said...

I have never tried scrapbooking but this might get me started. It is great to include ideas in the mystery book.

Helen Kiker

Lynn said...

Glitter and bling is big in clothes now too, even the business causal environment I work at. I just feel like I'm sixteen again when I pull on the gold sparkle dress shirt.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Helen, I hope you'll give scrapbooking a try. It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. Start with one of those kits that are all-inclusive. Get a coupon from JoAnn's (formerly JoAnn's Fabrics), or Michael's, or A.C. Moore, or Archivers. You can google them online and have the coupons emailed to you. Then buy a kit. But that said, the BEST place to learn to scrap is at your local independent scrapbook store. They'll give you lots of time and attention so you can quickly feel confident.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Lynn, everything goes better with a touch of glitter. Doesn't it? nI love how it brings up life.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

OOps. Make that: "I love how it brightens up life." I had to pause and scratch my dog's belly!

Joy said...

Great blog!! I started reading craft mystery books late last year and I do enjoy them. This is my first visit, but I will be back to discover new authors and great craft tips. Thanks for blogging!!

Kathye Quick said...

Haven't done scrapbooking, but do love bling!! As messy asn I am when tryng any craft, I'd imagine I'd be all glittered out too. But that could also be my signature!

Happy Memorial DAy.

Crystal said...

Looking forward to more great tips and hints. Thanks.

Kathy said...

I don't do scrapbooking but I do make greeting cards. Mostly anything you can do for a scrapbook page, you can do on a greeting card. This tip is timely because I went to a scrap book expo in Somerset, NJ, last week and bought for sets of fine glitter.

shirley said...

Great tips! The book sounds interesting, will have to read it.

boots9k at wowway dot com

Anonymous said...

Well, I didn't expect a craft project when I came to this blog, but thanks. I need to slow down and accept the simple pleasure of doing a craft.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Okay, the blog ate my comments. ARGH.

If you use a bristled brush like a paint brush, you can quickly brush away stray glitter. If you wipe down surfaces with a fabric softener sheet (like Bounce), the glitter is less likely to cling.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

That said, and the blog behaving properly, who can't use a bit of glitter in life? Glitter is like a smile, it's wonderful to share and everyone should wear one.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Kathy, you are right. Anything you can do on a scrapbook page, you can do on a card. And vice versa. In fact, cardmaking is a great "sister" activity for scrapbookers. So is making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and other paper projects.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Marilynne, we all move too fast. We don't take time to create. Instead, we get caught up buying and pursuing and chasing our tails. (Or at least, I do.)

That's a shame.

Life's short.

Handmade lasts forever.


What great comments and suggestions! Marilynne, Joanna is so right about how we need to take time to create. Scroll back and read last Monday's column about how crafting just might save the world.

Sharyn said...

What a wonderful blog, Anastasia! I just found you through Bab's blog and I have definitely bookmarked you! Love the idea of scrapbooking and mysteries! I want to try Joanna's idea of glittering with my DGDs! One esp, Kelsey, adores anything with glitter, she's my Glitter Queen!

Sharyn :-)


Welcome, Sharyn! Glad you found us and hope to see you here often. The other editors and I have lots of fun stuff planned, and we've got some fabulous guest authors and crafters lined up.

Malena said...

I'm not a scrapbooker (yet), but I do love crafts and crafting mysteries. I am so happy the sub-genre of crafting mysteries is still going strong.
It's strange but I get the same sort of calming satisfaction from reading a crafting mystery as I do making crafts. Of course, you have nothing solid to show for your reading as you do with your craft.
Love the blog, keep up the good work.
Malena in Santa Rosa, CA


Welcome, Malena! Glad you love the blog. Hope we'll see you back often.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Malena, I firmly believe that most of us are serial crafters. We move from craft to craft. I hope you'll give scrapbooking a go. (That's how the Brits would say it!) You really can't do it wrong.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Anastasia, thanks so much for having me. Now...I think I'd better sweep up all this glitter. (And Sharyn, I hope Kelsey sparkles for a long, long time. Girls should NEVER lose their glitter.)