Sunday, June 30, 2013


Happy Monday everybody!  

This week at Simon Says Stamp and Show it's "Anything Goes".  So, join us by creating anything your heart desires and post it to our blog challenge.  You could be the lucky winner of our random $50.00 credit voucher!  And ... you and your unique work of art could be featured in our new feature at Simon Says Stamp and Show.... "Simon's Spotlight!"

I was digging through some family photos the other day and came across a lovely portrait of my paternal grandmother when she was a young girl.  (The smaller picture in the metal frame is also of my grandmother in her later years).  Her name was Maeme, pronounced "Mame-E".  Her parents immigrated to the United States from Sweden in the late 1800s.  Unfortunately she passed when I was only about 5 years old but I do remember several things about this dear lady.  When I saw her portrait, I was inspired to create something with a vintage feminine quality to showcase what a lovely girl she was.

I transformed a plain paper mache book into this nostalgic and feminine piece that will sit atop a lovely antique dresser. 

I first scanned and printed out the portait onto some semi-gloss photo paper.  I then added the bits of pink to give the photo that old colorized effect.  To do this, I swiped some Tattered Rose Distress Ink onto my Non Stick Craft Sheet, picked up a bit of the color on my Inkssentials Craft Nibs and then added the pink to the rose buds, the bow in her hair, and the detailed folds in the skirt of her dress.  Then I lightly tapped all over the portrait with Antique Linen Distress Ink and an ink applicator.  That not only set the color but gave it an even more vintage appearance.  

Next I prepared the book by completely covering the book with a coat of Claudine Hellmuth's White Gesso because I wanted to seal the somewhat porous finish of the paper mache and also to create a white base coat to apply my colors onto.

When dry, I began layering all of my different textures from vintage laces that I had but being very careful to leave a space for my portrait.  I added a strip Tim Holtz' Brackets On The Edge die cut that I cut from Plain Grungeboard and stacked to the left side of where my portrait would go, some Melissa Frances Pearls that I glued on top of the Brackets Die cut, a large metal key underneath the portrait, a white Mariposa Prima Butterfly and different sizes of Prima Roses in various places.


(Note:  The colors of the flowers, laces, butterflies, etc. makes absolutely no difference because you are going to cover everything with White Gesso.  So, it is more important to be more concerned with the TEXTURE of an item rather than the color.) Then I needed to let that dry.  Next, I brushed over all of the elements with the White Gesso and let that dry; both by air and also my Heat It Craft Tool.  The key is that you need to be sure that everything is completely dry before going to the next step.  

When I was happy with all of my texture and the design of my cover, I randomly sprayed the book (inside and out) with Bubblegum Pink and Squeezed Orange Dylusions Ink Sprays. Again, I had to let them completely dry.  Then I went back and dry brushed the White Gesso over all of the laces, flowers, edges of the die cut, any place that I wanted to highlight and bring out the texture.  

Then, to add even more interest, I used some paint from a Gold Paint Dabber and gently swiped it (with my middle finger) over the high areas of the roses, some of the lace areas and some of the edges of the book.  


I then added the lace frame to my photograph using 1/4" Scor Tape and then placed the photograph in the center of the book. I added the delicate gold dresden trim to really bring out the gold highlights of the gold paint.  Finally, I hot glued some glass buttons and other little metal objects onto the cover after I was finished adding all of the spray color and White Gesso dry brushed high lights.

Here is a picture of a simple piece of lace that I added to the binding of the book.  It's amazing how much just one piece of very textured lace can add!

A book needs pages!  So, I created these old and tattered looking pages using Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste.  I heavily added the paste using a brush and also a palette knife.  Once it was dry, I painted the pages with an off white acrylic paint.  When that was dry, I added a wash of brown using Adirondak Espresso Paint mixed with water.  I also lightly washed the binding, back and interior of the book.  

Finally, I added an interior cover from some left over Glitz pages that I had to finish off the book.  I added some little gold Dresden like corners and a lacy flower at the center top of the page to dress it up just a bit.

So, that is my "Anything Goes" home decor piece.  Stop by the challenge blog to see all of the wonderful creations that the Design Team has for you.  Then enter our challenge.  

Not only do we have the $50.00 credit voucher give away,  but YOU and your creation could be featured in our brand new feature ...

Simon's Spotlight!  Now THAT is exciting!

Here are all of the products available at Simon Says Stamp that were used in creating this vintage book:

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Happy Monday everybody!  Time for a new challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  This week ... it's all about "STRIPES".  

 I created a vintage mini book using Wendy Vecchi's Gatefold Journal Art Parts, Tim Holtz' Large Ring Binder and a Sticky Back Canvas binding.

 Front Cover

Back Cover

 Outside of the book with the Sticky Back Canvas binding 

More about the details of the covers in a minute ...

I wasn't sure where this project wanted to go, so I began by covering the Art Parts pieces with white Gesso.  

I knew that I wanted the exteriors to be dimensional and the interiors would have to be flat to accommodate the pages and dividers I would be attaching to the large ring binder.  

Why this photo went this way, I have no clue...but anyway, I decided to use Wendy Vecchi's Yikes Stripes Stencil for the front cover and Brick Wall for the back cover.  I think the bricks also seem to form a stripe pattern, right? I covered the front cover with Fired Brick Distress Paint to use underneath the stripe pattern I would soon be creating for the front cover.  On the back cover, I knew that I would be using the Brick Wall Stencil to create the dimensional bricks but I needed a cool looking mortar first. So I painted the base with Frayed Burlap Distress Paint followed by some London Night Fresco Finish Paint for that smokey mortar look.

I created the dimension of the random stripes on the front cover by using Wendy Vecchi's Black Embossing Paste. I purposely did not want the stripes on the front to be perfect.  So, when scraping the embossing paste through the stencil, I made sure I left some open areas.  On the back, I mixed a little Fired Brick Distress Ink Refill into some of Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste to create a vintage brick color.  Then, using a palette knife, I scraped the red embossing paste over the brick stencil.  Then using the Heat It Craft Tool, I set the embossing paste.  Then I distressed the brick wall with some Black Soot Distress Ink, a touch of Vintage Photo Distress Paint in the high areas of the brick and a touch of Pumice Distress Ink.  Love it! But, I forgot to leave an area on each side for my Sticky Back Canvas binding to adhere to.  Not a problem!  Using my Tonic Craft Knife, I scraped away a 1/4" area to stick my Sticky Back Canvas binding to.  (I added some highlights of Gold Paint Dabber onto the black stripes right before I embellished the front cover).

Next, I painted the interiors of my book with black paint and then added a piece of scrap stripe paper to each.  Both striped papers are left overs from Graphic 45.

I painted the interior of the Art Part that I would attach the large Ring Binder with Vintage Photo Distress Paint and then added some Black Soot Distress Ink around the edges.  Then I attached the ring binder.  Next, I measured a piece of Sticky Back Canvas 5"x 2 1/2".  Then I stuck it in place and my book was put together.  I then distressed the edges of the canvas with Pumice and Black Soot Distress Inks. 

 Then I stamped "BE YOU" from Wendy Vecchi's Art For You stamp set in Jet Black Archival Ink.  I added the two little bees from Wendy's Busy Making Art stamp set.  They are colorized using Scattered Straw on the body and Broken China on the wings with Tim Holtz' Detailer Water Brush.  I then coated over the bees with Glossy Accents.

The front of the book is a combination of stamps from Busy Making Art (the Busy Bee label and small bee on the flower), Art For You (the big bee), and Daisy Art (the large flower).  The label is stamped onto Specialty Stamping Paper and colored with Fired Brick Distress Ink and a Detailer Water Brush.  Then I added a little Broken China around the beehive.  The Beehive is colored with the water brush and Scattered Straw and a touch of Vintage Photo Distress Inks.  Then I added Glossy Accents to dimensionalize the "BUSY BEE SPOOL COTTON" and the beehive.

 The flower was stamped onto Specialty Stamping Paper and colored with tones of Scattered Straw Distress Ink using the Detailer Brush.  Then I added darker tones with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and the brush.  I stamped the flower three times and cut out various petals as I stacked it to give it more dimension (a pop dot in between each layer).  the center of the flower has Glossy Accents on it.  The bee is also stamped onto Specialty Stamping Paper and colorized with Scattered Straw on the body and Broken China on the wings.  I have also stamped the wings out again on acetate, colored the underside with Broken China and glued them onto the bee with Glossy Accents.  Finally, I coated the body of the bee with Glossy Accents for even more dimension.  It was pop dotted onto the flower.

The larger bee at the bottom was stamped onto Specialty Stamping Paper and colorized the same at the smaller bee.  You can see the dimension that the acetate wings and the Glossy Accents on the body give in this picture.  The ribbon was distressed with Vintage Photo and wound around the small wooden spool and tucked behind the label and underneath the flower.

The dimensional rose, from Wendy Vecchi's My Kind of Art stamp set on the back of the book, was also stamped three times on Specialty Stamping Paper and colored using the Detail Water Brush and Mustard Seed, Scattered Straw and a touch of Gathered Twigs Distress Inks.  The stem and leaves was colored with Shabby Shutters.  

I stacked various groups of petals three times with pop dots between each layer.  The "FRAGILE" sign was stamped onto Specialty Stamping Paper that was distressed with Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs.  It is backed with a scrap of striped paper and glued on top of the rose stem.

The interior of the book also consists of several different stripes.  
The interior of the covers ...

... and for fun, I created little pocket dividers that can be used inside this little book.  On the first divider, I have used the measuring tape background stamp from Tim Holtz' Artful Tools to create stripes running across it.  "LOVE", "WISH" and "DREAM" are from Tim's Stuff To Say" stamp set.  The second pocket divider has vertical stripes that are embossed using Tim Holtz' Stripes Texture Fade.  The manila cardstock was first inked with Peacock Feathers and then run through the Vagabond.  I added touches of a Gold Paint Dabber to highlight the embossed stripes even more. Finally, the third pocket divider is stamped in stripes with a funky image using Dyan Reaveley's Inbetweenies stamp set.  I colored each of circles in with different Distress Ink colors and the Detailer Water Brush and then coated all of them with Glossy Accents.  The tabs on the dividers were cut using Tim Holtz' File Tabs On The Edge die cut.

Here are the reverse sides of the pocket dividers.  All done with various Tim Holtz Tissue Tapes in a stripe pattern and then distressed with Fired Brick and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks.  The dividers each have a little pocket that you can stick little things in.

Finally...I created these little pages with Wendy Vecchi quotes that I love.  This is just an example of what you could do with this little book...make it a "my favorite quotes" book.  The first quote is from Wendy's Fun With Art stamp set.  The flowers are also part of that set.  The second quote comes from Wendy's Heirloom Art stamp set.  The little bee is the same one used on the cover. The third quote is also from Heirloom Art.  The hearts are from Wendy Vecchi's Art From The Heart stamp set.

If you need more inspiration, stop by the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog.  My design teammates have some wonderful creations featuring all sorts of stripes for you to see!  Then enter our challenge.  You could be the lucky winner of our most generous sponsor's

$50.00 credit voucher.  And... SOMETHING NEW AT SIMON SAYS STAMP AND SHOW!!  Instead of the traditional TOP THREE, Simon Says Stamp will now be featuring various artists' work each week in a new feature we call "Simon's Spotlight".  We are looking for entries that are exceptional in many ways; the actual piece itself, or the way it is written up, the unique interpretation of the theme, etc.  So, keep that in mind when as you are working on your projects, YOU could be in our SIMON'S SPOTLIGHT!

Here are all of the products available from Simon Says Stamp that were used in creating this mini book: