Sunday, July 29, 2012


Happy Monday to all!  Can you believe that is almost the end of July already? Where does the time go? IS time for another Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge!  This week, we want to know what you think or feel as expressed through sentiments.  

Check out the amazing projects my Design Teammates have created for you this week.  Such wonderfully different styles yet all tied together through words!

Usually I would have to say that I agree with my very talented teammie, Sarah Engels-Greer that old photographs and sentiments go hand in hand.  That is very much in my comfort zone of creative thought.  But, I wanted to design something totally different than you guys might expect from me.  So ...

I created a very bright, colorful tag in the style of Dyan Reaveley.  The sentiment is one that I totally agree with and was my inspiration for creating this tag.  It comes from Dyan's Say What You Mean stamp set and says,   "CHANGE FOR NO ONE AND BELIEVE IN WHO YOU ARE".  That says so much, doesn't it?

This tag is done on a #8 Manila tag.  I spritzed the tag with a little water and then sprayed several of Dyan Reaveley's fantastic Dylusions Sprays to create this wonderful blended background of vibrant color!  Specifically the colors I used are:  Bubblegum Pink, Lemon Zest, Squeezed Orange and Vibrant Turquoise.  Then I heat set them. 

I then randomly stamped the hearts, leaves and polka dots onto the tag using Dyan's Dylusions Stamp Sets:  Further Round the Edge, Inbetweenies, and Basic Backgrounds.  Rather than laying them on an acrylic block, I just inked the stamps with Jet Black Archival Ink and held them in my hand; allowing them to roll off of my fingers and create some interesting partial stamped images.  I also stamped some of the polka dots by putting Vibrant Turquoise directly on to the stamp and then stamping it onto the tag.  Then heat set all of the stamping.  Next I doodled using a white opaque pen around the polka dots, in some of the hearts and along the edge of the tag.

The basic tag was finished and time to add my character.  I chose to use the large face image from Dyan's Bits of This stamp set.  I stamped her onto Ranger's Specialty Stamping Paper with Jet Black Archival Ink.  I also stamped the flowers from Background Love on the special paper.  Those flowers always make me think of the 60s or early 70s...when hippies, flower power and free love was the mantra. (smile) 

 (Flowers before adding the Stickles)

I colored the flowers and the girl's lips using several Tim Holtz Distress Markers.  The colors I used are: Broken China and Tumbled Glass, Bundled Sage, Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick, Mustard Seed and Dried Marigold.  I colored in between the flowers with a Black Soot Distress Marker so that it would look like this girl had flowers in her black hair.  Then I heat set all of the colors.  Next I cut out around the perimeter of the flowers and set it aside.  I then filled in what would be considered black hair on the top of the stamped head and cut it out.  I glued the flowers on top of the head and I really like the way the two stamps worked so perfectly together! 

(Flowers after adding the stickles)

Next I added complimenting Ranger Stickles to the flowers.  The colors I used are:  Fruit Punch (lips), Yellow, Eucalyptus, Orange Peel, Glam Pink and Waterfall.  I also added Waterfall Stickles to the ends of her lashes.  They look so pretty and they really add a lot of sparkle to this tag.

Finally, I stamped the sentiment on to the Specialty Stamping Paper and heat set it.  Then I cut it out, leaving just a little of the white paper as a border.  Then I glued it into place on the tag.

So...remember my sentiment..."Change for NO ONE and believe in who you are!"  Believe in your ability to create something wonderful using sentiments, too!  Then DO IT and post it to our challenge!

You could be the lucky winner of our most generous sponsor's weekly random gift of a $50.00 credit voucher to the lucky winner.  You could also be voted as one of our TOP THREE works of art for the week!


Good luck!  I can't wait to see your creations!


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Hello again and welcome back to my blog!   This week, Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge is especially for girls!  But hey guys, you can enter the challenge, too!  Just get in touch with your feminine side and create something girly!

I had an unfinished four drawer wooden chest that measures 11" tall x 7 1/4" wide x 5 1/2" deep that I loved but didn't know what to do with it...until I saw Pink Paislee's London Market Collection!  As soon as I saw them, I knew that the Pink Paislee's London Market papers, Collage Sheets and Ephemera pack were destined to create the shabby chic look on my poor little plain wooden chest.

So, I removed the cheapy little black metal handles, sanded down all of the box and gave it a base coat of Vintage Lace Paper Artsy Fresco Paint.  When dry, I added some Gathered Twig Distress Ink to distress the edges and the little wooden knobs that would later become "feet" for my chest. 

Next was the task of choosing between all of the beautiful designs and images of those gorgeous papers to cover my chest.  Here is the chest front with the four drawers and one of the sides with the papers glued in place and distressed around the edged using the Gathered Twig.  I also added some Spun Sugar, Tattered Rose and Vintage Photo Distress Inks to the papers to further distress and pull the colors from the papers.

Here is the back of the chest, covered in the Fresco Paint and London Market paper.

Aging paper is fun!  This is a comparison of one of the wonderful collage sheets that come in the London Market Collage Sheet package.  The sheet on the left is the sheet after I aged it through the use of Vintage Photo, Gathered Twig, Spun Sugar, Tattered Rose and Black Soot Distress Inks.  I inked the paper to add color and depth using Tim Holtz' "walk on" method of adding the ink.  Then I used his "spritz and flick" technique from his Compendium of Curiosities~Volume II.  This added the random spots on the paper.  I also tore and bent up some of the edges and applied the Black Soot Distress Ink to those edges.  I then lightly added a little Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Powder to give a subtle sparkle to the collage sheet.  Then I added another stamped bird cage image to this paper courtesy of the wonder Kaisercraft Bird Cage stamp.  Do you not LOVE that stamp?! This piece of paper was now ready to add to the side of my chest.

Here is a closeup of the collage sheet on the side of my chest.  I also added a London Market Button with a little flower glued on to it, a little metal bird cage hanging from a metal crown hot glued on to an Shabby Accoutrement Button.  The butterfly is one of the butterflies in the Ephemera pack.  I distressed it with the above mentioned distress ink colors and added the Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls.  The butterfly's body is a Pen Nib that has been colored using a Gold Paint Dabber to alter the silver metal and a Juniper Paint Dabber to patina the finish.  I added a little wire for the antenna and glued it into place using Glossy Accents

Below the collage sheet, I stamped this sentiment and birds onto another of the pieces from the Ephemera pack.  I colored the birds using Tumbled Glass and Spun Sugar Distress Inks swiped onto a craft sheet.  I picked up the color with a Small Sakura Water Brush and colored in the birds.

I also added another Ephemera butterfly with a Word Key as a body and two 7 Gypsies Antique Brass Corners to two opposite corners on this side.

Here is a picture of the entire side of the chest.  

The opposite side of the chest features a 7 Gypsies Optical Lens Charm that has a Tim Holtz crown from his Mini Ornates stamp set.  The charm is dangling from a 7 Gypsies Antique Brass Hook that is covered with a shabby bow (white seam tape colored with Tattered Rose and Spun Sugar Distress Ink & lightly spritzed with Perfect Pearls Sunflower Sparkle Mist).   The Ferris Wheel Post Card is from Glitz Afternoon Muse Epmehera Pack.  I distressed and added the photo corners to this and some other ephemera on the chest.

More beautiful ephemera is found at the bottom of this side...distressed with Vintage Photo, Spun Sugar and edged with Gathered Twig.

Here is a picture of the right side of the chest.

The back of the chest is probably my favorite!  I love all of the detail!

"Fairy Whispers" is from a paper layers pack I had left over from Glitz Afternoon Muse.  I think it is so precious. I have added a Tim Holtz crown from Regal Adornments that has been altered with a Gold Paint Dabber.  I have also added more colored seam tape and little flowers; some sprayed with Vanilla Breeze and Vintage Pink Glimmer Mist Sprays.  Holding the ribbon and tulle on the right is a Tim Holtz bird from his Adornments Ideaology.  It, too, has been altered with Gold and Juniper Paint Dabbers.  The other side of the ribbon is being held with two buttons; one from Shabby Accoutrements, the other from Fanciful Buttons and an attached Tim Holtz Bauble.

The bottom detail includes some London Market Buttons, Tim Holtz Vials filled with "fairy dust" also know as glitter (smile), more little flowers and some antique laces.  In the corners of "Fairy Whispers" are some smaller 7 Gypsies Antique Brass Corners.

Here is the finished view of the back.

The top of the chest features more ephemera, a stamped bird colored in Distress Inks and a water brush:  Tumbled Glass and Scattered Straw.  The Time Piece sits atop an Ornate Plate and another metal embellishment; all altered with a Gold and Juniper Paint Dabber. 

The front of the chest is embellished with more ephemera and buttons from the London Market collection.  The drawer pulls are crystal knobs from Tim Holtz' Curio Knobs.  "LOVE" and "DREAM" are from Tim Holtz' Stuff To Say stamp set. 

Here is a closeup of two of the drawers.

The drawers are also lined with London Market paper and they are deep enough to store laces, trinkets, etc.

I even found some little metal tins at a local craft store that fit perfectly inside a drawer.  I plan on putting little charms in them.

So...there is my girly, shabby chic piece and I love it!  Think PINK and let's see what you can come up with for this challenge...something for the girls!  Then post your project to our blog at Simon Says Stamp and Show. While you're there...check out all of the ideas our very talented Design Team has waiting for you! 

You could be the lucky winner of our sponsor's $50.00 credit voucher!

You could also receive special recognition for being one of our TOP THREE entries for the week!  

Good luck and I can't wait to see what you create!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


It's time for another "ANYTHING GOES" week over at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  Hop on over and check out the really cool and unique projects that my Design Teammates have created for you.

Since this is an "Anything Goes" week, I decided to make an album to display my grand children's school pictures.  Even though they are not even in Kindergarten yet, they still have pictures made at their preschools.

Front cover of my album 

You probably know by now that I love all things vintage.  So, I ask this there any paper more perfect for creating a childhood school album that Graphic 45's ABC Primer papers?  I bought both the 12x12 and the 8x8 pads to do this project.  I also used a couple of papers from Graphic 45's Playtimes Past and Communique collection.  Graphic 45 papers seem to always coordinate with most of their collections from year to year.

This is a thick album with TONS of pull ups, pop outs, pockets and pages.  The pattern is The "Glam Girl" Album from Kathy Orta of Paper Phenomenon.  Here is a picture of the outside covers of the album.  The chipboard spine in the center measures 3 1/4" across.  The chipboard covers are 8" tall x 6" wide.  So, you can see that this is a substantial album.  I love it!

In this picture, you can see the inside covers and the inside pages that are attached using a hidden hinge system.  There are 6 interactive pages.  Each page has a different pattern for pops, pull outs and pockets.  I created the entire basic book out of Kraft Cardstock.  Then I distressed all of the corners, creases, pages and pull outs using Gathered Twig Distress Ink followed with a touch of Black Soot Distress Ink.  Once that was complete, I began covering each piece with the images from the Graphic 45 papers.  This took a lot of time but the end results are worth it! 

Most of the gluing was done with 1/4" Double Sided Scor Tape.  I LOVE this stuff!!!  The backing comes off so easily!  It's easy to work with; not as messy as liquid glue or glue sticks.  It's quick, easy and always dry!  I inked all of my edges of my matted pieces of paper with a Black or Chestnut Roan Cats Eye Ink Pad to give them more of a vintage feeling.

Here are all of the inserts that fit in the top slots of the 6 pages.  They are matted on both sides.  I punched the top edge of the inserts with an EK Success Binding Edge Punch for added detail.  

Here is a closer up picture of the first page.  You can see the flip up that is in the red polka dot.  Underneath it is a pocket.  You can mat photographs on these pages and then stick little memoirs inside of the pocket. The top flap (in red polka dot) also houses a slit in the side that is holding a tabbed insert made out of kraft paper.  This will be great for either adding more pictures or for journaling. 

Flip over to the next page and you will see this.  On this photograph, the flap on the right hand side is down. 

This is the same page as above but the flap is pulled up and opened out to extend the page even further. There is a big pocket in the center.  The other pages are perfect for matting photographs.  See what I mean about this album being so interactive and loaded with all sorts of pockets and pull outs?

On this set of inside pages, the flash cards on the left are also a pocket.  And the graphic of the girl on the right is also a large pocket.  Behind the pocket on the right is a hidden pocket with a tabbed insert peeking out.

More inside pages.  On the left...just a page to mount a photograph on.  The page on the far right is actually a folded out and flipped up extension of the right side page.  There is a pocket at the bottom of the far right.  In the center, the ruler is right at the top of a pocket that is decorated by images from the Graphic 45 Playtimes Past collection.  I love how those papers work so well with the ABC Primer papers.

Still another set of pages.  This time, the left side of the page is folded out to reveal the "ABCD" panel.  There are two pockets on the other side of this fold out.  The little boy on the right side is actually the top of a flap that is attached to a pocket underneath it.

As you can see, this is a really wonderful book; full of all sorts of interactive features.  I think that it one of the reasons I love it so much!  As my family is looking at all of the pictures that will someday cover this book, they will be surprised to find all sort of little pockets and pull ups hiding little "treasures" and journaled memories.

Now it's YOUR turn to create anything your heart desires and post it to our challenge.  You could be the winner of Simon Says Stamp's

This is drawn randomly each week.  We also pick the TOP THREE entries for the week for special recognition.  This is quite special as we have some wonderfully talented artists that play our challenge each week!  

So, get your creative juices flowing and let's see what you come up with!


Sunday, July 8, 2012


Don't you just LOVE Mondays so you can see what Simon Says Stamp and Show has for your challenge this week?  Well...without further adieu ... this week is all about layers.  

Last week I focused on Dyan Reaveley and her wonderful Dylusions line of products.  This week ... I chose to focus on someone who I think is a creative genius.  I totally love his products.  From his die cuts to his stamps and every piece of Ideaology and ink colors in between; I admire and respect the creative vision of TIM HOLTZ.  

I had a bit of a dilemma because I've been dying to try out my new Tim Holtz In The Bag die cut.  But, I could not load it up with a bunch of layers of "stuff" because it would fall over.  But, I R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted to use the die cut!  So ... I decided to make my layers out of things like inks, markers and stamping rather than lots of dimensional elements.

   Front view

So, this is what I ended up with ... a really cute little paper bag that is the perfect size to hold ATCs among other small things.  The finished size of this bag is 3x4 and approximately 3/4" deep.  The size is so stinkin' cute!

I started out using a piece of paper from Tim Holtz' Kraft Resist Paper Stash.  It was the perfect base for creating more and more layers.

Here is just the basic paper bag cut from the die cut...folds are already scored for you.  LOVE IT!

I used Broken China and Wild Honey Distress Inks as my background colors to create my first layer.  Next, I wiped off the excess ink, exposing the resist pattern that is already printed on the paper pad.  How is THAT for a cool texture and layer?  Next I added another subtle layer by spraying Blue Patina Perfect Pearls Mist over the bag.  It adds a subtle shimmer to the surface and gives it a beautiful iridescent quality.Then I ran a black cats eye ink pad along the score lines and edges to make them pop.  It's much easier to create your design for your paper bag while it is still flat ... so that is what I did.

   Background before and after other layers have been added.

Ready for my next layer!  I pulled out my Tim Holtz Stamps and gathered up a few of them that I wanted to use to begin buuilding the background.  His Ultimate Grunge stamp set has so many wonderful little background snippets on it.  I used three images off of it .. .the random polka dot, the checkerboard and the mesh.  They are all stamped using Jet Black Archival Ink.  Instead of placing them on an acrylic block, I just held the the stamp in my fingers and randomly rolled it onto the paper bag to pick up portions of the design, not all of it.

When I was happy with the background, I worked on each side.  This is the front of the paper bag.  I used more of Tim's amazing stamps to create my design.  The optical glasses are from his The Countdown stamp set.  Next I stamped the man with the funky birdcage hat onto a piece of manila cardstock.  That image is from Tim's Pen and Pencil stamp set.  I colorized him using several Distress Markers:  Antique Linen, Tumbled Glass, Tea Dye, Worn Lipstick, Tattered Rose, Spiced Marmalade and a touch of Picket Fence.  I cut him out and lined the edges of the paper using the Black Soot Distress Marker.  Then I stamped the image right onto the paper bag front because I wanted the black squiggly lines on either side of the man to appear on the bag.  Then I cut out the man I had stamped and colored and glued him right on top of the stamped image on the bag.  On top of the checkerboard pattern, I heat embossed "POST CARD" from Tim's Postcards stamp set out of Copper Embossing Powder.  I also added a Mini Gear in the middle of one of the optic lenses.  I can't stand to not have metal SOMEWHERE no a project! (smile)  

Here is a closeup of the backside of the paper tag.  I'm sure you recognize Tim's steampunk gentlemen.  I used the smaller version of them from his Warehouse District stamp set.  They are stamped on manila cardstock and colored with Distress Markers then cut out and glued on top of the distressed and gathered doily.  The hot air balloon behind the gentlemen is from Oxford Impressions.  It was the perfect size for this little bag.  It was also stamped on manila cardstock and colored using Broken China and Barn Door Distress Inks and then Distress Markers of the same colors to shade and blend.  Then I heat embossed "Let Yourself Fly" on top of the balloon, creating yet another layer.  I glued them all together and the bag now looked like this ...

The last step was to fold the paper bag into it's shape and place the back end over the piece of double sided tape.  Then you just work the bottom tab into the slot that is made for it and it's all done!  Just one piece of tape connects the whole thing!

 Front of the finished bag.

 Back of the finished bag.

Finally, to really add a little bit of dimension and "glitz", I added one more layer to the front and back.  I added some squiggles of Glossy Accents to the left of my steampunk gentleman on the front, just to the left of his shoulder and also at the opposite top corner.  Then I sprinkled some crushed Tea Stained Mica Fragments over them.  On the back, I did the same thing, to the upper left side and the lower right corner of the bag.  I had never used that stuff before but I LOVE it! The picture really doens't pick up the cool texture and shine the mica flakes create.

Layers, layers and more layers ... but very little dimension! Now it's time for you to have a go at layering!

Post your entry to our challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  You could be the winner of our  wonderfully generous weekly prize ....

You might also be honored as one of our TOP THREE artists for the week! 

I can't wait to see you creations!!!  Good luck!


Happy Sunday everybody!

I received some adorable ATCs from a recent "New Members Swap" at through my Yahoo VPI Group.  I wanted to share them with you...

Our theme was completely open ... so they could be about ANYTHING! I love them!

Thanks to April Dudko for hosting the event.  Her beautiful card is the one on the far left.  The center vintage card was made my Mandy Chilvers and the adorable card on the right was created by Jan Larson. I am so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful and talented group of artists who inspire me through their incredible ATCs.

Have a great rest of your Sunday, everybody!  I hope you've had some time to get inky this weekend!  Remember to take time to play!  It's SOUL FOOD!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


What glorious fun ... the Three S's!  This week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is all about creating with Spritz, Sprays or Stencils!  Whether it be an art journal page, a tag, a background for a card...whatever your heart long as it's involving spritzing, spraying or stenciling.

Yikes!!!  Back to the "out of my comfort zone"...bright color and an art journaling style.  But, you know what...that is one of the things I love about challenges.  They challenge you to step outside of that comfort zone and experiment.  And THAT is usually where a lot of really cool things are "born". I go, diving into the world of art journaling.  It's like a Forrest Gump's box of chocolates ... you never know what you're gonna get!

I absolutely adore Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions line from Ranger.  She is quite a colorful character and her personality definitely carries over into her products.  Her Dylusions Sprays are bright and fun.  Her Stamp Sets are quirky, original pieces of magic.  Her Stencils are great complimentary pieces for her sprays and stamps.

I have created two art journal pages using pretty much everything Dylusional!  The right side, I have purposely left unfinished.  I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it yet and I wanted you to be able to see a completed page as opposed to one still in progress.

The left page colorful background was achieved with sprays, Claudine Hellmuth's White Gesso, and Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls Mist.  The Sunflower Sparkle doesn't really show up well in this picture, but in person, it shimmers and gives a really cool iridescent effect when exposed to light.  I started by spraying the Dylusions Spray colors of: Bubblegum Pink, Lemon Zest, Vibrant Turquoise, Pure Sunshine and Fresh Lime.

Next I laid down Dyan's 5x8 Diamond Of A Border Stencil and spritzed the Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls Mist onto the page.  Then I picked up the stencil with the remnants of the mist still on it and pressed onto the right side of the journal pages.  This is a technique that Dyan does and it's a great way not to waste any of your products. It also makes really cool negative prints.  You can see all sorts of Dyan Reaveley techniques HERE.  Check her out.  She's AMAZING!!!

Anyway...back to the page.  After I spritzed the Sunflower Sparkle, I heat set it onto the page.  You can see the harlequin shaped bits of golden sparkle accenting the page.  Next I laid down another 5x8 stencil called Dotted Flowers and scraped a bit of Claudine Hellumth's White Gesso over it using an old hotel room key card.  Don't EVER throw away your old cards!  They are GREAT for applying texture to your work!  I randomly placed some of the flowers and polka dots onto the page then heat set them.  This adds some nice texture as well as contrast.  Then I started stamping my images onto the page.  

I love Dyan's leaves.  I have used two different sets to create the leaf perimeter on this page.  The more vine-y leaves are from Dyan's Further Round The Edge stamp set and the black leaves that I have doodled in are from her Doodle Parts stamp set.  I colored in the leaves using her Vibrant Turquoise Spray (sprayed onto my Non Stick Craft Sheet) and my water brush.  I picked up just a bit of the color onto the water brush and quickly filled in the leaves.  When dry, I added some white highlights and doodles with my Posca pen sent to me by my dear friend....the mahoosively talented and creative mustached beauty Kaz Hall.  She is on Dyan Reaveley's Design Team and her work is just simply AMAZING!  

My character that I've added to this page is actually a combination of THREE of Dyan's stamp set:  Background Love (the hair), Ruby Rainbow (the body) and Bits of This (the face).  She is stamped onto Ranger's Specialty Stamping Paper using Jet Black Archival Ink.  I used the same Dylusions Sprays to color her as I did to create my background.  I colored her in the same way I colored in the leaves; by spritzing just a touch of the color onto my craft sheet and then picking up the color with a water brush and brushing it on.  I added just a hint of color to her cheeks and eye lids by adding more water to my brush.

I colored in the black hair with my Black Soot Distress Marker.  Then I added the flowers that are cut out and stacked on top of the black hair.  (I colored in between the flowers with the black marker).  I finished her off with a bit of "bling"...using Lagoon Stickles on her eye lash edges.

The sentiment is from Quintessential Quotes and I thought it perfect for this page and for my "fear" of getting out of my comfort zone.  "UNTIL YOU SPREAD YOUR WINGS, YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW FAR YOU'LL FLY".

The right journal page is left unfinished so you can see more of the background.  I did this background pretty much the same as the left side only I've used some different stamps and a different stencil to spritz some Sunflower Sparkle through.

On this portion of the page, you might be able to pick up the Sunflower Sparkle.  I spritzed it through the Dotted Flowers Stencil that I used with the Gesso on the opposite page.  The cute border across the top is from Further Round The Edge.  The hanging spider and bugs are part of the Bits of This stamp set.  The white polka dots are courtesy of my white Posca Pen and the Dotted Flowers Stencil.  I colored in the dots with the pen and then took a fine tip black pen and circled some of them.

The images on the right bottom are all courtesy of the Bits of This stamp set.  Dyan's stamps are so versatile! I LOVE them!  The fun stripe running down the left side is from Further Round The Edge....a GREAT borders stamp set!

So that's spritzed, sprayed and stenciled piece for this week's challenge.

Head on over the the blog to see the really cool pieces that my Design Team buddies have waiting for you.  Then jump right in to create your own masterpiece and post it to our challenge.   You could be the lucky winner of our generous sponsor's ...

$50.00 credit voucher!  Imagine the FUN you could have with THAT!
And...if your work is chosen as on of the TOP will receive special recognition for that.  This is quite an honor if you've noticed all of the really wonderful entries we have every week.  We are so proud of our followers....a very creative and talented crew!

Good luck!  I can't wait to see you work!