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.

Oct 23, 2016

Old Buttons and Mom's Musings


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, 


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

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!!


Sep 1, 2016

Happy Flower!

Good Morning! 

What's good about today? Well, lots of things, but mostly I'm just happy it's not hot today. I have plans to paint my upstairs hallway today. Pray I don't fall down the stairs! 

A couple of things today. First, here's the last painting I made. I decided to try acrylic paints and followed a demo on youtube. It turned out okay, don't you think? I'm really enjoying the process and hope I will become really good. I love the oils, and I also like acrylics for different reasons. If you're a painter, you'll understand. 

Here's my last painting. It's on a smaller canvas, and I think I may do another one on a bigger canvas. This one was fun to do up. 

It has a whispy feel that I like! 

I also wanted to mention that I updated my Etsy Shop today. All my Fall and Winter images are available for purchase. There are pumpkins, some rubber boots, a wonky house and a silhouette of a group of wonky houses, snowmen and winter birds on a branch. Have a peek! 

I haven't made up any digital images in quite some time because this year has been an incredibly busy and somewhat trying year for me. Doing up digital images can be quite time consuming and a bit frustrating at times. I haven't been up to it. 

Well, that's it for today! I hope you have a wonderful day!


Prov. 17:22 "A merry heart does good like a medicine!"

Aug 18, 2016

First attempt on Black Canvas

A few days ago I posted my first painting on black canvas. I wasn't going to share it here, but was surprised at the positive comments I received when I posted it on my personal profile page.  I love my painting of the lady in red and also the purple and white flowers, but this one, I thought, was just ok. 

I guess everyone likes different things, so here's my latest. Love it or hate it, I'm just learning.

My husband says it looks like it's taken just under the bridge at Cayoosh Creek in Lillooet. My daughter in law thought it was a waterfall. Whatever - I'm just painting here! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It's a cool 30C here today, with 36-38C in the forecast. It's going to be hot for the next couple of weeks! 


Aug 14, 2016

Ahoy Matey, it's Another Quick Card!

Well, it's a hot one up here in the interior of BC! Currently we're at 32C and going higher! I'm hiding inside and trying to keep cool, even though I love the sunshine. Unfortunately I can't handle the heat as much anymore.

Today we're celebrating my husbands' upcoming birthday, and I didn't get to it until today, so I made him a quick card. I know he'll like it because I used one of the images he did up himself. Haha! It's available for purchase in my Etsy Shop.

I often call him Mr. Gamble, not because he gambles, but because that's his name. 

Glad I cleared that up, lol

I made up the knot myself by looking at another similar knot I'd used before. The little compass was purchased online from B'Sue Boutique on Etsy. 

Oh, and the bottle I recently found and shared on my Facebook page. It's a free digital. Go have a look. The link to my FB page is also listed in the sidebar of this blog. 

I just know you want to see the cupcakes I'm serving. They're from Sweet Spot Cupcakes in Kamloops. They also make gluten free ones, so I got two of them for my grandkids. I left them plain so they could add sprinkles. There was only one chocolate one left, and I know from experience not to go there, so 2 vanilla it is!! 

Here's a sampling of the flavours: We got Lemon, Cherry, Espresso, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, and I think that last one is Mango? Anyway, they have fancy names, but I'm a no nonsense kind of person. 

Just put them in my mouth!!

A few balloons, some pizza and I'm done! It's a small party, but that's what happens when your family is spread out all over the place. They'll be missed, but it's still going to be fun

As for Mr. Gamble? - He's getting closer to retirement every year! Lol! 

Have a good day!

Jun 29, 2016

Brush and Palette Knife Attempts


One of the interesting things about learning how to paint is that I'm also learning to slow down and enjoy the process. 

I actually had no idea how hurried my mind was and it's an amazing feeling to take time and immerse myself in the now! 

It's been freeing!

Here are the next three paintings I've done. The first is a Modern Abstract. It is my third painting.

I absolutely loved making this one. Definitely a style I love and I will make more! 

The next one is Modern Impressionism. This is my fourth painting.

I'm not sure if I'm overly happy with this one, but I'm just learning. 

I also tried a different technique on a 5x7 canvas. I'm not happy with this one, but wanted to try. Technically though, it's my fifth painting.

The hardest part of painting is knowing when you're done. So I played a bit more with the last one. Not sure if it's better, but I prefer it!

Well, that's all for now! Hope you're enjoying my creative journey!


While I'm learning, I've copied as my inspiration from:
Painting with Jane, A Walk in the Rain / Osnat, Reflection / Robert Jurisich, layering technique

Jun 13, 2016

The Eye of the Storm

Peace is my destination, but all around me chaos stirs. I long to break-away. To a place where my mind can rest from the journey of life and my heart can pour itself out.

It doesn't matter what or how. I have to let it flow out of me.

I've been putting it on canvas. I'm a novice, but I don't care. I love the colors, the new techniques, the occupied mind. It's like a little detour -- just for a while. 

I need to rejuvenate and feel new, fresh, alive again. 

These were the first two offerings in the eye of my storm.

My first time with oils, and my first time with the palette knives. They're not perfect, but they're not bad for a newbie. 

Maybe painting will become my retreat like the classical guitar used to be. My heart would escape through the movement of the strings and stir the soul.

In the mean time I will practise painting some more. 

Have a good week everyone!

Leonid Afremov: pallette knife techniques

May 30, 2016

2016 HRV Honda Lemon. Who Cares? Not Honda!


Unfortunately today's post is not a happy post, but one that is of concern to all of us who drive a vehicle. In this case it is a Honda, purchased at Honda Kamloops, by my son. He purchased a 2016 HRV about a week into April. Two weeks from purchase it literally fell apart inwardly while on the road doing around 40 km/hr,  tossing him around violently. It had to be flatbedded back to Kamloops. Two major repair incidents later, and today a third incident in which they refused to provide a rental until someone from Honda Canada could diagnose it,  making him drive the 45 minutes on the highway home, totally placing his life at risk. Below is a follow up of his Facebook post, which is almost at 2000 shares. 

Please Share this FACEBOOK LINK on Facebook and set the post setting on 'public'

2 weeks and 1000 km later this #HRV almost kills me while driving down the road due to a failed part. Now Honda Canada won't replace the vehicle, they will only repair it. Haven't even made a single payment and there is already thousands of dollars in damage on title. There is no way I am putting my 6 month old daughter in this vehicle again. #itsyoursnowhonda


Honda Canada Just called and basically told me they are under no legal obligation to replace my vehicle. He acted as if my concerns for my family's safety were unjust. He also didn't care about the value of my brand new vehicle plummeting due to the damages on title two weeks after buying it. The time has come to contact a lawyer and do this the hard way. This is the last vehicle I will ever purchase from Kamloops Honda and it is the last vehicle I will purchase from Honda in general. For the record Honda Canada, this is the fourth Honda I have owned, but never again will I own one. When you don't care about the safety of others, you shouldn't be in an industry that requires it!!!! CBC News CBC Vancouver CFJC Today Kamloops CFJC-TV Global News Global BC CTV News CBC News: Marketplace CBC Radio Consumer Protection BC Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan Kamloops This Week


Kamloops Honda Confirmed that Honda Canada's manufacturing plant "forgot" to tighten a bunch of bolts on my 2016 #HRV. This is what caused the major mechanical failure in my brand new vehicle. Honda Canada's justification during this last call for not replacing my vehicle was, and I quote, "how do you know that your replacement vehicle you want us to give you won't have the same problem with the loose bolts". REALLY?!?!?!? Honda Canada that is your way of justifying not replacing this vehicle??? That the NEW one might have the same problem? I sure hope that your manufacturing standards and quality control are higher than that! This is why I will never own another Honda vehicle. 

Please Share this post so everyone knows that Honda Canada doesn't care about the safety of anyone, they only want your money.

I know I posted a final update, but unfortunately the saga continues! :(


Honda Canada is saying it is Kamloops Honda's responsibility to make me whole, but Kamloops Honda is saying the opposite.

Anyways, all that aside for 2 minutes just to update everyone. The HRV is back into Kamloops Honda for yet another mechanical failure. I was originally told that the new transfer case that they put in was broken already, but I have now been told that this is the first time that the transfer case has been replaced. This vehicle is a month old and Honda Canada and Kamloops Honda both do not care that it has had two major mechanical failures resulting in a loss of use that totals 2 weeks!!!! This is actually getting to the ridiculous stage and I hope my experience is a major eye opener for everybody. Government of British Columbia or the Canadian government need to do something to protect consumers in this kind of case. I had a meeting with the Kamloops Honda owner, but they seem to down play the whole situation. 

Please be careful out there everyone and thanks to all of those that are sharing this story.

Much Love.

As unbelievable as this sounds, my HRV is heading back into Kamloops for a third warranty repair. This time the vehicle is shaking at highway speeds and periodically won't start. I am overly discouraged at this point...

Canada has no lemon laws and will only deal with issues like this through an Arbitration Board. We have a lawyer who has asked to take on the case and believes it could be a class action law suit. We are considering that. So if you've bought a new Honda, and especially if your VIN# begins with a 3 (identifying it as made in Mexico), and you are having problems with it, feel free to private message me with your name.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post. I will link the FACEBOOK post again:



May 9, 2016

It's Life!

Good Morning!!

So, it's been a while since I've posted, and this is going to be a quick post! Since the end of last year my life has been increasingly busy, but I know that things will eventually slow down to a resting phase. Here are 'just a few' of the things that have happened in the last while.

As you know I lost my mom just before Christmas last year. That in itself has been difficult. Since then, both my in-laws have been in hospital and then put into a home because of their health conditions. My mother in law then broke her arm in two places and re-fractured her hip which was replaced last year. She is still in hospital while her husband is in the home.

My brother in law had a major heart attack without warning and a major seizure just a couple of weeks ago. They had to jump him 4 different times; he was without oxygen about 10 minutes total, but amazingly he is making a 100% recovery. This, I believe, has come through the many prayers offered up for him. He is only 50 years old. My brother in law lives in the closest proximity to our parents and was taking care of all their needs. However, with him in hospital and out of commission for a while, my husband and I drove about seven hours (incl. the Ferry) and cleaned out their place in a few days time. We were not the only ones, but it was a huge job just the same. The house now has to be sold. We have made several trips back and forth in the last while.

Then, just this past week my son and his family (7) were evacuated from Fort McMurray, Alberta because of the wildfires. They are now safe with us in British Columbia, 16 hours from their home. The good news is that their house is okay (as far as we know). However, life will be quite different for them once they go back. Right now, my home is busy, but happy and full of love!

All of this, although it hasn't all happened to me directly, has impacted my life in one way or another. So you see, although I care about you all, writing on the blog couldn't be a priority in the midst of the happenings of life. Things will get back to our normal someday soon! 

In the mean time, remember 'what's' most important in life, and make sure you 'let them know' how important they are, each and every day. It's never too soon to say "I love you!" You'll regret it if you don't! 

Have a good week!