Friday, August 31, 2012


Hi Everybody!  Happy Friday!  It's raining A LOT here today ... the remnants from Hurricane Isaac that is pushing its way up through the Midwest.  It's a great day to be indoors, in the craft room and getting inky!

I am so proud and happy that my "Glitter Girl" tag  
(that I created for Ranger for this past Summer's CHA) is now being featured on


This tag is featuring Ranger's NEW Fine Glitter, available in all of the Stickles colors that we all know and love!  I coupled it with some Distress Ink Colors and those really fun stamps from Dyan Reaveley.  

Hop on over to Ranger's blog for all of the deets!  Have a great weekend and remember to take time to PLAY!!!  It's SOUL FOOD!



Sunday, August 26, 2012


We're into the dog days of summer...but not to worry!  With the heat and humidity outside, this is the perfect time to settle into the air conditioning of your craft room and do some serious creating with Tim Holtz' new Summer Distress Seasonal Pack Inks.  Check out Tim's blog post introducing these three new, bright colors:  Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean and Picked Raspberry.

The Simon Says Stamp and Show Design Team has created some beautiful Summer Distress projects to wet your creative appetite!  So please be sure to check out the challenge blog to see those amazing ideas. 

I have used the new Summer Distress colors to create this vintage tag.  I think this is a good example of how you can "calm down" the bright colors if you're like me and are more prone to use the more traditional hues of the Distress Inks line.  

I created the basic tag using Tim Holtz' faded layers technique outlined in his Compendium of Curiosities~Volume II.  That is a really cool technique and gives interesting results.

I began by just using Tim's "walk on" method to lightly apply the three shades of ink to the tag.  Next, I placed Tim's Flourish Mask on top of the tag and the applied more ink over the top of the mask.  That really popped the flourish image into the background.  But....don't remove the mask just yet!  Next, I used that beautiful script background stamp from Tim's Papillon stamp set and randomly stamped parts of that image onto the tag (over the mask).  I did not put the stamp onto an acrylic block.  I just inked it up using Jet Black Archival Ink and randomly rolled and stamped the image onto the tag.  Then I removed the mask, cleaned it up and put it back in the packaging to use again later.

Next I stamped the dress form from Tim's Haberdashery stamp set directly onto the tag and I stamped another bodice of the dress form along with the spool labels onto a piece of manila cardstock. 

I cut the bodice out, leaving just a hint of the manila cardstock showing around the edges so that it would pop against the blended background colors of the tag.  I tied the ribbon (more about the ribbon in sec) around the waist, scruffed up the edges of the ribbon using a Tim Holtz Craft Scratcher Tool and let the other end of the ribbon flow; as I had an idea of how to use the rest of the ribbon.  Then I popped the bodice into place using black pop dots.  

I colored the spool labels with the new Summer Distress colors, too.  How did I do that?  Those new colors aren't available in Distress Markers yet!  Well, I just rubbed each of the ink pads onto my Non Stick Craft Sheet and then picked up the color using my Small Sakura Water Brush.  Then I just brushed the color onto my labels.  I love the way you can control how much color you apply simply by blending the color with the water and adding more ink in areas you want darker.  I also added just a touch of a goldish yellow and black using Black Soot and Scattered Straw using the Distress Markers.  Then I added a little Vintage Photo Distress Ink and the labels were ready to go!  For the faux spool tops, I simply glued the labels onto a piece of chipboard that I had distressed with Gathered Twig Distress Ink.  I cut out around the label, leaving a margin that would look like the top of a wooden spool.  I inked the cut edges with the Gathered Twig and a touch of Black Soot Distress Ink.  They really do look like the tops of spools and give a nice little dimensional touch.  

Next, I colorized some white seam tape using the Picked Raspberry and Salty Ocean.  To do this, I simply laid the piece of white seam tape on my craft sheet then I randomly rubbed the ink pad over sections of the dry seam tape.  Then I spritzed the seam tape with water and let the colors begin to run together.  I gathered up the seam tape and wiped it into the droplets of water still left on my craft sheet.  Then I crumpled up the seam tape in my hand and laid it on the craft sheet where I dried it with a heat tool.  I love the blending of the colors and an almost tie dyed effect if gives to the seam tape.  When I added the seam tape to the tag, it was fun to tie it around the waist of the bodice and then let it flow in and out of the spools.

I created the image inside of my "frame" by stamping a portion of the girl's face and shoulders onto a piece of manila cardstock, using Jet Black Archival.  The image is Tim Holtz' Girls Rule.  Here are the colors I used on the girl:  Salty Ocean and a water brush on the dress and bow; Milled Lavender and a water brush on the face.  (I have found that Milled Lavender and a water brush make a great flesh tone on manila cardstock).    Then I added just a touch of Spun Sugar and a water brush on her cheeks.  The background was colored in using a Scattered Straw Distress Marker.  

I made the little frame on the tag by cutting a Tim Holtz Book Plate out of a piece of Grungeboard and painting it with a Snow Cap Paint Dabber.  Then I heat tooled it dry.  That creates a nice, opaque base color for you to work with. 

Next, I rubbed a Scattered Straw Distress Ink pad onto my craft sheet gently spritzed it with water.  I picked up the color with my finger and rubbed it onto the "frame" until I achieved the look I was going for.  I colored all of the edges of the frame by running the brush side of a Black Soot Distress Marker all around it.  It works great for getting into all of those little hard to reach places.  

Next, I glued the image of the girl under the frame and then added Crackle Accents on top of the frame. When it was dry, I rubbed Gathered Twig all over the frame and wiped off the excess.  The Gathered Twig got down into the crack and really accentuates them.  I ran the ribbon coming from the dress form through the hole in the bottom of the book plate and then glued the frame into place; adding the long fastener at the top to cover the other hole.

Then I wound my ribbon in and out of the spools, gluing it into place and then gluing the spools on top.  All done!

Now it's YOUR turn to create something fun with new Summer Distress Inks.  Then post it to our blog for your chance to win not only our most generous sponsor's weekly random drawing of a  $50.00 credit voucher at Simon Says Stamp ....

but also a chance to be named to our TOP THREE challenge pieces for the week.  This is quite an honor as we have some amazingly talented followers.  

So, good luck...stay cool and have fun with this one!!! 

Here are the Simon Says Stamp products I used on this tag:


Sunday, August 19, 2012


Hi everybody! It's another Monday at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  This week is a "NO RULES, JUST CRAFT" challenge.  Hop on over to the blog and see the amazing ideas that my Design Teammates have waiting for you!   Then let your creative juices start flowing and post an entry to our blog.

I recently participated in a fabulous online course by Andy Skinner called "Timeworn Techniques".  I found it a challenge and fascinating.  The course was all about technique and the amazing things you can do with acrylic paint.

Halloween will be here before we know it.  I thought I'd get a jump on it by incorporating some of the products I love with the techniques I've just learned. 

Here is my finished piece. 

I started out with a plain paper mache coffin.  Not very interesting!  (smile)
In order for the new techniques I'd learned to really be effective, I needed to create texture and detail on the coffin.  
Enter Tim Holtz' die cuts....
Movers and Shapers Mini Ticket, Alphetical Decorative Strip, On The Edge Ornate and On The Edge Iron Gate.  I cut the shapes out of Plain Grungeboard and then attached them to the coffin.  The "RIP" was cut out of cardstock three times and then layered on top of each other for more dimension.

Here is the coffin with the Iron Gate added around the base before painting.


 I built up the top and bottom of the headstone by adding layers of the On The Edge Ornate Grungeboard pieces.  I glued them together with Glossy Accents.  On either side of the headstone is a piece of ornate wood trim that I purchased at a craft store.  I also added two Melissa Frances half pearls from her Trinkets and Baubles at the bottom.  As you will see in the finished piece, those turn into rivets.

This is the headstone portion of the coffin before painting.  

I also added the pearls around the top of the coffin lid.  They will also look like rivets in the finished piece.

So here are the pieces before they are painted.  The skull is a plastic one that I bought at a craft store last Halloween.  I cut it in half so that the skull would lay flat on the coffin headstone.

Next step, all of the pieces (except the skull) are painted black to give them a good base coat to work from.  Even just the black is a dramatic difference.  The skull is painted with an off white paint base coast.

Out of respect to Andy Skinner, I will not give the specific paint colors or the details of the techniques I used on this piece.  But, if you are fascinated with this, I encourage you to visit his website and check out his online classes.

Again ..... coffin lid before

Coffin lid painted black.  See the difference in those "rivets" already?

And here is the finished coffin lid...using a technique to make it appear rusted.

Coffin painted black.

Coffin with rust technique added.  Don't those Melissa Frances pearls and Tim's Iron Gate piece just POP?  Love it!

Plain headstone painted black.

Plain headstone after the rust technique.  Again, see how the wood trim, the pearl "rivets" and the built up On The Edge Ornate die cut really pop? 

Now all I needed to do is add all of the embellishments.

 The skulls and the "RIP" are all done using an aged ivory technique.  I added some Crackle Accents to the top of "RIP" for even more dimension and aging.

The skull in the center is hot glued in place.  The two skulls on either side have red glowing eyes courtesy of Hero Arts Red Gemstones that are held in place with Glossy Accents.  I added the chain, the little keys and the little door knocker and hot glued them all into place.  Since I love interactive stuff, the chains and keys hang freely.

The RIP plate is done using Tim Holtz' Mini Tickets die cut.  I glued it on top of plain Grungeboard and cut out a slightly larger ticket behind it.  I then added two more little pearls for rivets on either side.  The plate is then aged using a burnt copper technique.  I love this effect and there is actually a rough texture where it looks like the copper has oxidized on the plate.  

There is a "resident" inside the coffin.

He was a sort of yellowy plastic little fellow that I purchased last Halloween.  I replaced the head on him with a larger one.  I think it gives him much more character than the little boring head he had before.  (smile)  And...after taking Andy's classes, this is exactly how MY head's it's exploding with all of the techniques I learned in his classes.  (smile) 
So that's rules this week!  Only crafting for the sake of crafting and loving every minute of it!  I hope you'll join in on the fun at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  Post your entry to the blog and you could be the lucky winner of our most generous sponsor's 

$50.00 voucher to spend any way you like in their store!  Now ... I warn you ... with all of the wonderful products at Simon Says Stamp and Show and with all of the new products being released after Summer CHA, you're probably going to spend more than $50.00!  But, what a great start!!!

You may also be chosen as one of our TOP THREE entries for the week.  That is quite an honor, considering the level of entries we receive each week.  Beautiful work from so many talented people!  

Good luck!  I can't wait to be inspired by your entry this week.

 Here are the products from Simon Says Stamp that I used in the creation of this piece: