Sunday, June 24, 2012


Simon Says Show some DEPTHS OF DISTRESS!  Who can think of this challenge theme without thinking of that "Duke of Distress"...Tim Holtz?  After all, he is the man who brought us Distress Inks, Distress Stains, Distress Markers ... if it's "Distress"'s synonymous with Tim Holtz  So, my creation for this challenge is all about Tim, all about distress and all about fun!  I hope you like it!

If you've not yet seen the incredible examples of Distress, stop by Simon Says Stamp and Show!  My Design Teammates have rocked this challenge with some really creative, unique ideas!

I just recently got my Matchbook Set Movers and Shapers and I've been dying to try it.  So, I used some Tim Holtz techniques from his A Compendium of Curiosities ~ Volume II in the creation of this piece.

This is the larger of the two matchbooks in the set.  I cannot tell you how fun this was to make!

I started out with a plain piece of manila card stock and cut my matchbooks using my Vagabond.  That die cut machine is just THE BEST!  It make die cutting so effortless.

Next I cut two pieces from a Metal Foil Sheet to cover my manila matchbook.  Then I used Tim's new Subway and Stencil Texture Fade to emboss the foil.  That new texture fade is soooo cool!  I love it!  

Since this challenge is "THE DEPTHS OF DISTRESS"; I did not want the metal to be shiny.  I wanted it grungy and distressed.  So, I used black paint from a Pitch Black Paint Dabber and rubbed it all over the embossed metal foil.  Then I used a paper towel to remove most of the black paint, leaving behind this look....

I instantly achieved that grunge, distressed "Tim" look I wanted.  But...not done yet!  I wanted an even more distressed look; like weathered, pitted, patina metal.

So, I dabbed some Gold Paint Dabber onto a Non Stick Craft Sheet (gotta have one of those!) and lightly rubbed the gold randomly over the embossed image.  Still not done....

I repeated the process; adding highlights from a Juniper Paint Dabber to give it that patina look.  NOW...I had achieved that DEPTH OF DISTRESS that I was looking for for the exterior of my matchbook!

So, this is what my matchbook looked like before I did anything to the interior of the matchbook and before I assembled the exterior onto the manila card stock.

I am quite sure that it is not by accident that the larger matchbook cover is the perfect size for a pad of Post It Notes!  THAT TIM!!!  He's a genius!  You could make some really cool note pads either for yourself or as gifts using this Matchbook Set Die Cut! 

I wanted to finish out my interior with more I chose not attach a note pad to this cover.  But, I can assure you....I WILL be making some really cool and unique note pads!!  If you wanted to simply add a Post It Note pad, you could do so right after inking and adding a design to the interior.

I used the Faded Layers Technique from Tim Holtz' Compendium of Curiosities Book ~ Volume II to create the background for my interior.  It's a neat technique and I really like the results.  For this background, I used two of Tim Holtz' Mini Mask Sets: the Flourish and Crown and also the Mini Mask Compass.  The Distress Ink colors I used are:  Vintage Photo, Brushed Corduroy and Broken China

After applying the inks over the mask and before removing the masks, I used the large french script stamp from Tim Holtz' Papillon stamp set and randomly stamped parts of it onto the background using Jet Black Archival lnk.  Then I stamped the small version of those wonderful butterflies of Tim's from his Attic Treasures stamp set.  The numbers across the bottom of the interior of the strike plate are from Tim's Stuff To Say stamp set. 

The five cent symbol in the center of the compass at the top of the matchbook interior is from Tim's Remnants stamp set.  After I finished all of my stamping and heat setting it, I misted the interior with water to let the inks blend and lesser define the masked edges.  Then I heat set it.

I loved the result but it looked just a bit plain.  So, to further add a distressed look, I tore a piece of corrugated paper into a long strip and distressed it with a Juniper Paint Dabber and rubbed the edges with a black cats eye ink pad.  

Then I found a really cool little piece of rusted metal mesh and added a piece of that on top of the corrugated strip.  SINCE I HAD NOT YET ATTACHED THE METAL EXTERIOR TO THE MANILA DIE CUT, I used my Tiny Attacher to add the distressed corrugated strip to my matchbook interior.

Next, I stamped one of Tim's sentiments from his Warehouse District stamp set onto a piece of scrap manila cardstock.  I bent it all up, distressed the edges with Brushed Corduroy and a touch of Black Soot Distress Ink at the edges and popped on top of the strip.  I then added two of Tim's Mini Gears on the top and bottom of the wire mesh piece.  I love the dimension and the distressed feeling it added to the interior. is the finished interior.  And now to assemble the exterior....

I first applied the adhesive backed Metal Foil strips to the top crease and the bottom strike plate.  I cut them a little larger on that the edges would be underneath the back and front pieces of the matchbook and the cut edges would not be butting up against each other.  **Since the strike plate will be folded up, I needed to be sure that my metal strip was facing the correct direction!  Next, I added the front and back of the exterior matchbook; lining up the straight edges of the metal to the straight edges of the folded areas and overlapping the metal strips I'd already put in place.  Then trimmed away any excess.  I rubbed my fingers over all of the edges to make sure that they grabbed the manila cardstock base.

Here is the exterior of my matchbook.  I love the DEPTH OF DISTRESS!

When it is all folded properly, this is the matchbook cover.  I used one of Tim's Ornate Plates and Numerals to embellish the cover.  The Ornate Plate is covered a Juniper Paint Dabber.  The Numeral is painted with a basecoat of Paper Artsy's Sky Fresco Paint followed by a layer of their amazing effective Crackle Glaze and then followed by a coat of Haystack Fresco Paint.  Within minutes, I got this wonderfully distress and crackled "2".  I lightly inked the edges with a black cats eye ink pad and then glued it onto the Ornate Plate using Glossy Accents.  I then glued the Ornate Plate onto the cover using Glossy Accents.  All done!

I hope that I have inspired you to try the Depth of Distress challenge! Just post your entry to our blog and YOU could be the lucky winner of our random drawing for a 

... Yep ... that's right ... FIFTY DOLLAR CREDIT VOUCHER at Simon Says Stamp!

You could also be chosen as one of our TOP THREE entries!  So, good luck and don't BE DISTRESSED ... just GET to distressing! 


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Imagine my surprise when my postman rang my doorbell this afternoon and I had a package from the UK waiting for me!!  I opened it to find this beautiful chunky ATC that my friend, VPI comrade and Design Team buddy at Simon Says Stamp and Show, TRACY EVANS, sent to me!!

This is a "RAK" ~ Random Act of Kindess!!!  She also sent me a cute little stamp set of flowers, two darling little stamped clothespins and a little set of three frames that look sort of like slide casings.  I love it all!!!

Tracy, I LOVE it!  Your work is always so inspired and beautifully crafted!  I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I treasure it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Yep....that's right!!!  One of THE most pretigious challenge blogs ... Simon Says Stamp and Show is now looking for new Design Team Members!  Hop on over to the challenge blog and check out all of the details!  

 I know I speak for not only myself but also for my other Design Team buddies, Tracy, Dan, Terry, Sarah when I say that we are excited about having some new teammies on board! Simon Says Stamp is an incredible company and we so love designing for them!  The challenges are always fun and inspiring! 

This Design Team call is ending Wednesday, June 27th; so don't delay in submitting your project!  We all wish you the very best of luck and hopefully, YOU will be the newest member of our creative community!!! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I LOVE BROWN!  When I think of brown, I think of Tim Holtz!  If you are a Tim Holtz fan, you already know that his original claim to fame is convincing Ranger to introduce a few shades of brown ink; the beginnings of the Distress Ink line, at CHA (after he became part of the Ranger family.)'s to Tim and his vision!  It all began with BROWN! 

This is my creation for Simon Says Stamp and Show this week...and also Tim's 12 Tags of 2012 - June Tag challenge.  The baby on this tag is very special to me.  It's a picture of my Dad when he was a baby.  He has passed on now...but I still wanted to honor his memory on a (belated) Father's Day type of tag.

I started with a blank manila #8 tag.  I used Wild Honey, Vintage Photo and Picket Fence Distress Stains to create my marbleized background.  Then I spritzed it with a touch of water to create the mottled effect.  Next I used Jet Black Archival Ink to randomly stamp portions of the larger flourish from Tim Holtz' Fabulous Flourish stamp set.

I added a piece of vintage lace to the bottom using 1/8" Wonder Tape and little mesh metal screening with my Tiny Attacher.  That little tool is soooo handy!  This is the base of my tag.

I sized the vintage portrait of my Dad and printed it out on Semi Gloss Photo Paper.  The original picture had a lot more sepia tones in it, so I photo edited the picture to be more black and white.  I think Tim's colorizing technique looks better on a more black and white picture.  I used Ranger's Craft Nibs and Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to create the light blue romper. The little bit of blush in his cheeks was achieved using Spun Sugar Distress Ink.  You color by lightly rubbing the nib onto the Distress Ink pad and then gently rubbing the nib over the area you want to color.  For me, the key is to just color a couple of things, not the entire picture.  This really creates a beautiful old vintage look and really brings the picture to life!  After you've finished coloring, lightly rub a pad of Antique Linen Distress Ink over the entire picture and let it dry.  This really gives those golden, aged tones to the photograph. 

I then tore some corrugated paper, distressed it with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and rubbed the edges with a Black Cats Eye Ink Pad.  That would serve as the base for my vintage photograph and later be added to the tag.  All of the added Ideaology has some symbolism behind it. 

 I added the Mini Numeral "1" to the tag because my Dad was about a year old in this picture.  The little Adornment Star is attached to a Gem Clip.  This symbolizes my Dad's military service.  The little File Tab displays the letter "C".  My Dad's first name was "Calvin".  The Adornment Wing hanging from the Hinge Clip also refers to my Dad's military service.  He was a Navy radioman and gunner during during World War II, stationed in the Philippines. 

The wing, as well as the other metal pieces, have been altered.  They started out as a silver metal.  I lightly alcohol inked parts of the metal with Gold Alcohol Ink.  Next I rubbed just a touch of Pool Paint Dabber over the metal with my fingers to give it a more patina look.  The Pool blue also coordinated with the light blue in my Dad's romper.

Next, I added Pool to fill in the lettering of the Word Band.  It reads "Dream As If You'll Live Forever".  I loved that sentiment coupled with this portrait.  I attached the Word Band with a piece of crochet thread that I braided and wrapped around the tag.  Finally, I added a few light blue buttons and the orangeish-brown ribbon at the top.

Stop by Simon Says Stamp and Show's blog and check out the amazing idea that my Design Team buddies have waiting for you!  Then, enter your Bit of Brown piece to our challenge.  You could be the lucky winner of our most generous sponsors ...

$50.00 credit voucher.  You could also be named as one of our TOP THREE entries for the week! So....put your creative thinking caps on and let's see what you can come up with!
Good luck!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I recently received my Gone With the Wind ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) from the VPI Swap.  I shared with you a few weeks ago the ATCs that I had made for the swap on THIS POST.  In the VPI group, all ATCs must have a vintage image on them.  I totally LOVE that because I am so intrigued and in love with all things vintage.

Today, I am sharing the ATCs that I received in return.  I love them!

These beautiful creations were made by:  (left to right) Jan Larson, Terri Daugherty
 and Gina Peake

And these were created by:  Kris Dickinson and Connie Koutsourelis

So, THANK YOU ladies for such lovely little works of art!  If you've never tried making Artist Trading Cards, I suggest you give it a try.  They are fun and very addictive!  Get involved in a swap group!  It's SO MUCH FUN to see other people's interpretations of a theme.  I am just blown away by the beautiful art that I have received.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Hello friends! It's another glorious Monday and time for another Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge.  This week....Anything Goes!

I had so much FUN with this one! I took an unfinished wooden box, turned it upside down, added Tim Holtz' amazing Pulley Wheels, covered it in Graphic 45's fabulous The Old Curiosity Shoppe Papers and filled it with all sorts of "curiosities". 

Here is a picture of the completed cabinet with the embossed glass door closed.

Here is a picture of the original wooden box, before I did anything to it, including turning it upside down and having to also turn the handles upside down.

I sanded the box and then washed it in a mixture of Raw Sienna Acrylic paint and water.  Then I began covering the box in those amazing Graphic 45 The Old Curiosity Shoppe papers plus one very cool lady from Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante 12 x 12 paper.  I used both 12x12 and 8x8 papers on this box.

The right side of the box features the lady from Steampunk Debutante.  I created a pocket in the lower portion to hold yet more "curiosities".  This is how I did that....

I scanned the globe portion of the lady on my computer so that I would have an exact copy of the image.  I printed it onto white cardstock.   Then I cut it out and cut out another shape of the globe out of Kraft Paper (to later use as a backing for my pocket.)  I also left a tab of kraft paper on the bottom of the globe that I could use to attach the bottom of the globe to the lady already glued on to the side of the box.  This would create the bottom of my pocket.  I took a piece of black milliner's netting from an old hat and covered the globe with it. It almost matched the cross hatch pattern in the paper perfectly. I attached the netting to the back side of the globe using 1/4" Wonder Tape.  Then I placed the kraft paper backing over the loose netting ends.  That gave the inside of my pocket a nice, finished look.

Next I made little bows out of black organza ribbon to glue onto the globe.  I also made two little accordion sides for my pocket out of kraft paper.  I inked just the edges using a Black Cats Eye Ink Pad.  Next I used the Wonder Tape to secure the bottom tab to the cabinet.  Then I secured the sides of the pockets to both the globe pocket and to the side of my cabinet. I hot glued the little bows in place on the globe.

Here is a view of the finished pocket before I added ephemera.

This side also features an embellishment that I learned to make in Tim Holtz last summer.  It is made from a Copper 1x3 Memory Frame, an Ideaology Corner, the bird and heart from Tim's Ideaology Adornments, Sketchbook Tissue Tape as the interior of the frame, an Ideaology Time Piece, two Game Spinners and a Jump Ring.  I have given them a patina look by using a Juniper Paint Dabber.

The left side of the box features a victorian lady from The Old Curiosity Shoppe papers.  I love dimension and pieces that are free to move.  So, I added a patina key to her back and a metal butterfly hanging from a chain.  It is able to swing freely.  There is also a larger patina butterfly hot glued onto the upper left corner of this side. I had a little metal crown charm that I thought my proper lady should be wearing.  I added a piece of vintage lace and three little roses to the side. The lady is holding a small mirror charm in her hand.  I found the OLD MAID playing cards online.  So, I sized them to fit my cabinet and added them for fun.

In both of the side pictures, you can also see embossing on the glass doors.  I found out the hard way that when you're embossing on glass, be careful not to let the glass get too hot or it can crack.  If you look closely, you can see the crack on this door.  I added a little Glossy Accents along the wooden frame edge to hold the glass in place and prevent it from slipping.  It dries clear and worked perfectly! I actually like the crack ~ a happy accident!  The steampunk man's image on this glass is from Tim Holtz' Pen and Pencil stamp set.  It is heat embossed using Black Embossing PowderThe flourish used on both windows is a smaller version from Tim's Artiful Artifacts stamp set.  It is embossed using Queens Gold Embossing Powder.  

The back of the box is quite intricate as well.  I scanned the skate, and popped it on top of the original skate after adding some feathers for more dimension.

Here is a view of the back of the box with all of the "curiosities" on top.

Here is a closeup view of the left side of the back of the cabinet exterior.  I gave a patina look to Tim Holtz' Faucet Knob and an Ornate Plate that serve as a hanger for a little butterfly girl inside of an optical lens.  Tim Holtz' Vials came in handy.  One sits in the corner, holding more feathers while another smaller one holds a tiny lightbulb and is sprouting a "flower" made from a Memo Pin, Foliage and Glossy Accents.  A little Bottle Cap rests on the bottom lip of the cabinet along with a Pen Nib.  I used Butterscotch and Stream Alcohol Inks to create the background on the domino and stamped a sentiment on it.  I also added a little crown from Tim Holtz' Adornments.

As I stated earlier, I pop dotted the skate on top of the original skate on the paper.  I filled it with feathers and used Graphic 45's Brad Metal Staples for the wheels.  All of the bottle images on the bookshelf are filled in with Glossy Accents to give them a bit more dimension.

The interior of the box was so much fun to put together.  It's filled with stuff I've collected or some stuff I altered especially for this box. 

Here is a better look at the upper shelf.

Here is a closeup of the lower shelf.

I think the top of the cabinet is my favorite.  Remember...this was actually the bottom of the wooden box and I turned it upside down to add the wheels. also created the perfect top shelf to add more "stuff".

My favorite is "Petunia", inspired by the "When Pigs Fly" paper in the Old Curiosity Shoppe pad.  I bought this pig at a craft store and "gussied" her all up with butterfly wings left over from Pink Paislee's Butterfly Garden collection.  I added the pink tutu and ribbon sash.  I added the little crown on her head, the magic wand in her hoof and the rose she's grasping in her teeth.  She is hysterical when you see her in person.

She is perched on a little stand made out of unfinished wood pieces (two sized of tires and a little post with a small wooden disk at the top).  I painted these wooden pieces with Paper Artsy's Haystack Fresco Paint.  I then crackled the pieces using Paper Artsy's Crackle Glaze.  It's AWESOME stuff...crackles within minutes!  I then antiqued it further with Gathered Twig.

And here is Petunia's "little one" sitting high atop his high chair...spouting his baby wings.

Here is a closeup of the left side of the top of the box.

And here is the right side of the top.  As you can see, it's quite a conglomeration of "stuff".

I found these labels on the internet, sized them to fit the bottles and then distressed them and glued them in place.  I rubbed Rock Candy Stickles on the labels for more interest.  I also added more feathers to the one bottle and made a little dangling charm out Swarovski crystals.

I purchased the mannequin at a craft store and sprayed it with a honey colored stain.  The wings are stamped and then colorized with Tim Holtz' Distress Markers.  I added a little time piece and hanging key to his front and gave them a patina look.

You can see more detail from the back of the top of the box.

The ABC book is from a collage sheet I purchased at Alpha Stamps.  I sized it to the size I wanted and made a little book out of it, using chipboard, masking tape stained with Fired Brick Distress Stain and the book cover that I distressed with Gathered Twig and Black Soot Distress Inks.

Sorry for the extra long blog today.  There is just so much of this piece that I wanted to share with you.  It's such fun and it makes me smile just to look at it.

So...ANYTHING GOES!!!  Join the fun at Simon Says Stamp and Show and enter our challenge. You could be chosen as the lucky winner of our weekly prize of 

Your art could also be chosen as one of our TOP THREE for the week.  We have such gifted artists who follow and enter our challenges.  So..this is quite an honor! 

Have fun with your ANYTHING GOES! I can't wait to see your creations!