Sunday, December 30, 2012


Let me be one of the first to wish you and yours a very happy, safe and prosperous 2013!  Can you believe that another year has come and gone so quickly?

Let's get this new year started off with a party!  A Mad Hatter's Party!  This week at Simon Says Stamp and Show, it's all about having fun creating your challenge piece!  

I chose to take the theme literally and create this adorable little vintage suitcase.  I'd originally seen this Sizzix Suitcase Bag on a fellow Design Team member, Anna Karin's blog and loved it.   The basic suitcase measures approximately 4 1/2" x 3" and it about 1" deep.  

It is very easy to put together.  It's done with 8 little brads total (four on either side) and a couple of pieces of 1/4" Scor Tape to hold the handle and the cover to the rest of the suitcase.  Here is a picture of my basic suitcase, all distressed and ready to go!

The handle is colored with Antique Bronze Distress Stain.  I distressed the Core-Dinations Vintage Collection brown cardstock with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink followed by a black cats eye ink pad at the edges.  I then randomly swiped the Antique Bronze Distress Stain over the suitcase.

I began to design the cover, using some amazingly cool vintage images from my TJ's Design Mad Hatter Tea Party stamp set.  This set is amazing! There were so many stamps that I wanted to use.  I ended up making an extra interior flap so that I could do just that!

Cover in progress

On the cover of my suitcase, I decided to create a scene using White Rabbit telling us to hurry up because we're late ... for a very important date with the Mad Hatter!  The background is manila cardstock that has been colorized first with Essentials Water Color Pencils and gone over with a Sakura Water Brush.  Then I added a bit of Tumbled Glass (sky) and Bundled Sage (grass) Distress Inks.  After I created that background, I inked the rabbit stamp with Jet Black Archival just on the bunny and a combination of Peeled Paint and Pine Needles Distress Inks on the grass around him.  I stamped that image once and cleaned off my stamp.  I then reinked just sections of the grass images and randomly stamped them to create the field and path.  I stamped another rabbit onto manila cardstock and colorized him using the water color pencils.  I cut him out and popped him on top of the image already stamped onto the scene.  Next, I added some metallic gold Dresden trim using 1/8" Scor Tape to hold it in place.  After that was complete, I added some Glam Pink Stickles flowers to bring in some color.

The scene was coming together but it needed a dimensional "something".  Then I decided to add this little "medallion"; made from manila cardstock and colorized with the colored pencils.  I made another circle (a tad larger) to go underneath the colorized circle.  I added Tim Holtz' Black Tinsel Twine using Glossy Accents to hold it in place.  Then I added a pop dot and placed the colored medallion on top.

Add the sentiment and the front cover is complete.  I glued this scene onto the cover of my suitcase and moved on to the interior ...

As you open the suitcase, I wanted it to feel like the playing cards that attacked Alice in the classic tale were jumping out of the suitcase.  So, I used some adorable little playing cards from Kaisercraft that I recently purchased through Simon Says Stamp.  THEY ARE SO CUTE!!  If you follow my work, you know that I LOVE dimension and interactive parts.  

So, in order for the cards to have some movement, I made little springs that I stuck on the backside of some of the cards so that they could move.  I inked the edges of all of the cards with a Black Soot Distress Marker and glued the springs on with Scor Tape.  Then on to the interior flap that I added ...

As I said, I loved all of these vintage style stamps so much, I wanted to use more than just what I used on the exterior of the suitcase.  So, I added an extra interior flap.

It is actually the same die cut as the cover for the suitcase and then I just cut down the sides and top so that it would fit inside of the suitcase.  I used manila cardstock and distressed the edges with Gathered Twigs and black cats eye ink pad.  Then I stamped the tea party image onto the cardstock.  I stamped out an additional image that I would later use as a mask when I added my background.

For this flap, I wanted to create the illusion that the characters were actually coming to life; out of the pages of the classic tale.  So, I laid the mask over the tea party scene and stamped a script stamp over it; reminiscent of a written manuscript.  Then, leaving the mask in place, I inked around the scene first with Tumbled Glass and then with a little Broken China Distress Inks.  Then I lightly spritzed the background with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist for a little sheen.  I colored in the characters with various water color pencils and then highlighted some of the character's clothes with Waterfall, Glam Pink and Black Diamond Stickles.  I added the teal metalic Dresdan foil trim using 1/8" Scor Tape and lightly wiped over it with a Chestnut Roan Cats Eye Ink Pad.  Then I added the sentiment and that side of the interior flap was finished.

Here is the completed interior flap as it appears once I attached it to the suitcase.  I also added the little clock that has a Glossy Accents "crystal" and the "FREE" space.

Here is how the suitcase appears when you open the cover.  Now, onto the back side of the flap...

This is the backside of the flap pictured above before I attached it to the suitcase.  I basically just used Tumbled Glass and a little Gathered Twigs on the manila cardstock to distress it.  Then I used Tim Holtz' spritz and flick method to mottle the background.  Finally, I added just a touch of Biscotti Perfect Pearls for that sheen.  Next, I added a little piece of gold metallic Dresden trim around the edges with 1/8" Scor Tape and then proceeded to stamp and color in yet more of those gorgeous vintage images.  I cut them out and added them onto the background.  The black cardstock around "You're Invited" is edges with Platinum Stickles.  I left just a bit of manila cardstock as an edge around all of the characters.  I colored that area with an Antique Linen Distress Marker and then ran a Black Soot Distress Marker just along the edge.  

Here is the additional flap that I've added once it is taped in place to the suitcase.  

And here is how the little suitcase looks when it's opened to reveal the bags of tea that had been packed away for the party!

As a final touch, I can't believe I found a little white rabbit charm at a local craft store, so I added it with a Tim Holtz jump ring to the handle of my little suitcase.

All packed and ready to go to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party!!!

Now it's YOUR turn to put on your mad hat and create something fun to enter in our challenge.  You could be the winner of Simon Says Stamp's

$50.00 credit voucher!  You could also be chosen as one of our TOP THREE works of art for the week!  Check out the amazing projects our Design Team has waiting for you at the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog

Good luck and Happy New Year!!

Here are the products available through Simon Says Stamp that were used in creating this project:

Sunday, December 23, 2012


 It's that magical time of year when Santa makes his whirlwind tour, leaving presents and spreading joy to all who believe.  My Christmas wish for you is one of JOY ... simply the joy of the season; the memories of Christmases past, the blessings of Christmas present and the hope of Christmases future.  

This week at Simon Says Stamp and Show, it's all about "wishes".  Since it's Christmas Eve, I wanted to share another vintage Christmas home decor piece!  This is my vintage style altered book to reflect Christmases past
and wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

I originally saw this altered book idea on my Design Teammate, Suzz' blog.  I think her work is fabulous.  I particularly loved her altered book and wanted to give it a try.

Here is my completed book I have titled "Christmas Wishes".  

It began with a trip to the Dollar Store where I found what I considered the perfect size hardback book for my project; Janet Evanovich's "To The Nines".  
(Sorry Janet....but it was onlyl $1!)

Next I took the book with my on my recent trip to Southern California ... not to read on the plane but to fold the pages in a pattern.  Actually, it didn't take all that long to fold them.  I began in the center of the book and made my first "peak"; folding two pages in triangles and the folded edges facing in towards each other.  I used 1/4" Scor Tape to tape the peaks together.  From there, I folded the next two sheets of paper (on one side of the peak) in half.  Then I taped them together by placing a piece of 1/4" Scor Tape between the pages, on the outside edge of the page, to form a pocket.  On the next page, I only folded down about 1" of the top of the page and ran a piece of 1/8" tape along the inside bottom edge.  I would later edge punch these pages.  I repeated this pattern on both sided of the book until all the pages were folded.  If the pattern doesn't come out exactly the same on both sides, it's not a big deal.  Mine just happened to work out though.

Next, I edge punched the tops of the pages that I had left sticking out the farthest.  I used a combination of Martha Stewart's Arch Lattice and Snow Flurry edge punches.  They created light and airy edges for my vintage book. 

My next step was to spray the pages with a beautiful vintage-ish Christmas color from Tattered Angels ... Candy Apple Glimmer Mist.  I sprayed all of the pages in sections and let each section dry before spraying more.  I also used latex gloves when doing this, so I could move the pages around and spray down into the crevasses I'd created with the folded paper.

After the pages were dry, I added some highlights of vintage-ness by adding swipes from a Gold Paint Dabber along all of the folded edges.  It added quite a bit of depth and shimmer to my book.

Before I got more carried away with finishing the interior of my book, I felt like I needed to do something with the exterior cover of the book.  It was all black with the book's title going up the center of the spine.  Had it just been all black, I probably would have just left the book cover alone.  But, "To the Nines" running up the spine sort of broke the Christmas spirit ... so I covered the outside of the book with Golden Molding Paste and let it dry.  Once dry, I painted it with Claudine Hellmuth's Dash of Red Studio Paint.  After that dried, washed the book with a mixture of water and Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint.  Then I added highlights on the raised areas left by the Molding Paste by swiping over them with some Gold Paint Dabber that I had wiped onto my finger.  When that was dry, I could continue embellishing my altered interior of my book.

I chose a piece of older Christmas paper that I had from Basic Grey called "Wassil".  It is a predominantly green background with holly leaves and small red berries on it.  I thought it was a perfect contrast for my red pages.  I also added some ornate metallic gold Dresden trim to either side of the paper that I had cut into a 5 1/4" x 8 1/4" rectangle for the interior covers.  I edged the pages with a Gold Paint Dabber, wrapped the Dresden trim over the edges and glued the paper into place.  Then I dabbed the Gold Paint Dabber all around the interior edges of the book to hide any exposed black from the original cover.  

The Tim Holtz Tick Tock clocks on either side of the book are cut from chipboard that was covered in the Wassil paper.  I cut four clocks (front and back for each side of the book).  I edged them with a Gold Paint Dabber and also randomly swiped the paint dabber over the paper.  The Santa in the center is one of my favorite Tim Holtz vintage Santa stamps ... Storytime Santa.  

I inked the stamp using Fired Brick Distress Ink on Santa's hat and coat and Black Soot Distress Ink for all of the other details.  Then I stamped it onto manila cardstock.  Finally, colorized his face, hands and beard and the background with colored pencils.  I cut out a piece of plastic from the packaging (which I save!!) from some of Tim's products and made a "watch crystal" to cover Santa.  Then I cut Santa out.  I first glued on the clear packaging followed by Santa (using Glossy Accents just around the perimeter of the circle).  Then I glued the back side of the clock in place.  I repeated this for the clock that is located on the other side of the book.

I added some Tim Holtz' holly cut out of plain Grungeboard and inked with Evergreen Bough Distress Ink.  Then I smeared Patina Stickles all over the holly leaves to give them that festive shimmer and set them aside to dry.  When dry, I hot glued them onto the clocks, added some red organza ribbon, a few red jingle bells" and a couple of little gold bells.  Finally, I added a little glittery gold snowflake to each clock and they were finished!

Now for all of the goodies that would be adorn the interior pages and pockets of my book ...

I recently purchased a couple of packages of wonderful vintage Christmas ephemera from Fancy Pants' Saint Nick and Kaiser Turtle Dove collections.  Some I added to the book using Tim Holtz' Mini Paperclips and others I either just stuck into the pockets or hot glued them onto little sticks and stuck them out of pockets.  

I also added a couple of older Sizzix die cuts that I love ... a large round ornament that I cut out of plain Grunbeboard, inked with Fired Brick and embossed with Tim Holtz' new Holly Branch Texture Fade.  Then I heat embossed the holly and randomly around the edges of the ornament with Gold Embossing Powder.  I love the vintage looking result!  The top of the ornament was cut twice (front and back).  I covered some Grungeboard with some Metal Foil Tape Sheets and ran them through my Vagabond.  Then I colored the shiny silver metal with my Gold Paint Dabber and glued the tops together (with the ornament sandwiched in between) with Glossy Accents.  I added a little gold wire "ornament hanger". 

I also love my old Sizzix #2 Snowflake die cut.  I cut two big snowflakes out of Grungeboard, painted them white with a Snowcap Paint Dabber.  When dry, I sprayed them lightly with some honey stain spray and then covered them with Icicles Stickles for that old vintage look.  Then I just slid them in place inside of pockets.  The little snowman is from Artistic Outposts' Frosty and Friends stamp set ... very retro and very cute stamps!  I stamped him on to manila cardstock using Jet Black Archival ink and then colored him with colored pencils.  

Here are the snowflake rosettes in various stages of completion.

And finally...what probably "makes" the entire book ... Tim Holtz' Mini Snowflake Rosettes.  I used the four larger ones to spell out "WISH" and added two smaller ones with a little blingy rhinestone in the center on either end.  

The snowflakes began on white cardstock.  I then lightly sprayed them with a honey spray to instantly age them.  Then I made the rosettes and glued them together using Glossy Accents.  Once dry, I added a bit of Chestnut Roan ink to the edges and then I added Icicles Stickles for that very vintage sparkle.  I also added some Platinum Stickles around the edges of the snowflakes for more definition.  

"WISH" is inked with Fired Brick and topped with Fruit Punch Stickles.  They are mounted on small sticks that are stuck inside pockets of the book.  I added a few more little golden glittery snowflakes on the edges of some of the peaks and my little vintage Christmas book is complete!

This is not a challenge week.  It is simply a time for all of us to share with our family and friends.  So, I hope that you have a blessed holiday week.  
Make some wonderful memories.

But...Simon Says Stamp and Show is offering a very nice discount on many of their items!  Be sure to check THAT out!

Click HERE to be taken to a very special section where you can take advantage of their end of the year sale and save 40% off of many many items!

From my home to yours...
 A Very Merry And Blessed Christmas!!!

Here are the products available at Simon Says Stamp that I used in this vintage book: