Tuesday, December 31, 2013




To start the new year off at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, we are ringing in the new year by dividing the Design Team up with some glitz and glitter projects or some of our old favorites!  Since I am not what I would consider a real "glitzy girl", I opted to share some of my old favorites.

I created this 6x6 board in a steampunk style using some of my old Tim Holtz favorites: his hot air balloon from Remnants and Tiny Things stamps, some Rubons, the Weathered Clock die cut, Grungeboard, his Riveted Metal Texture Fade, Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint, my trusty Gold Paint Dabber, Ideaology Mini Gears and of course, Distress Inks! 

 I particularly love the hot air balloon on this piece.  I gave it a really fun twist....by creating the balloon with Cream Honeycomb paper so that it can ...

Open up and attach to the other side of the balloon with the small paper clip to look like ....

This ... creating a fun interactive element and more dimension.  I'll get more into how I created this element in second.  But first, let's start at the beginning.

I began with some Neenah Cream Paper and stamped Tim's hot air balloon (twice) from his Remnants stamp set and some images from his Tiny Things stamp set using Jet Black Archival Ink.  I then cut one of the balloons in half (a little smaller than the halves should be) so that I could cut half of the balloon out of the Cream Honeycomb Paper.  You only need to cut out half of an image. When it folds out, it will be the complete image.  Then I colored the balloon halves with a Detailer Water Brush and some Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I glued them onto a piece of kraft cardstock and cut them out again, leaving a small edge of the kraft cardstock showing around the balloons.  I then glued a half to each side of the Honeycomb Paper.  As as after thought, I decided it might look really cool to add some Gold Embossing to the edges of the kraft cardstock and also randomly on the honeycomb of the balloon, so I inked the edges of the kraft cardstock with Embossing Ink, sprinkled them with Queen's Gold Embossing Ink (a great vintage gold) and heat set the powder.  

Then I lightly wiped the ink pad onto the honeycomb paper that was still being loosely held together (not opened out) and sprinkled it with the gold powder.  I brushed off some excess with my finger and gently heat set it.  When the balloon opens out, it is a very cool effect and certainly gives my steampunk balloon not only a vintage feeling but also a touch of a metallic look on the honeycombed paper.

I apologize for not having taken more pictures during this process.  As with almost all of my work, I experiment and play as I go with ideas.  This was totally experimentation ... but it worked and I love the end result!

After loving the honeycomb balloon, I decided that the hot air balloon itself should be partially gold embossed, so I stamped out another hot air balloon using Jet Black Archival Ink only this time, I sprinkled Queen's Gold Embossing Powder over it while it was still wet.  I removed the excess powder and then heat set it.  I really like the added gold and it will certainly tie in better with the partially gold embossed honeycomb balloon. 

The next step was decorating half of the balloon so that when I wanted the balloon folded up, there would still be something very vintage, very steampunkish and very cool to look at.

So I lightly colored several of the Tiny Things images and cut out around them.  I added Glossy Accents to the wings and body of the bee and to the typewriter keys.  I made my own little banner and stamped "FLY" onto it.  I had distressed the manila cardstock with Vintage Photo Distress Ink (on both sides of the paper because when the balloon is opened out, the backside of the banner will be exposed) and edged it with a Black Soot Distress Marker.  Then I coated it with Rock Candy Distress Crackle.  When dry, I attached it to the typewriter.  I then pop dotted those images on top of the balloon half.  On the other side, I had created "INSPIRE" letter blocks out of manila card stock, distressed with Vintage Photo and edged with the Black Soot Marker.  I painted over the blocks with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  When dry, I glued the blocks in place with Glossy Accents.  I used a black Stabilo Pencil to go around them, smearing the ink with a Q-Tip.  I like the little bit of dimension it added to that exposed side of the balloon.

Again, I apologize that I got so carried away with the creating process that I did not take a bunch of pictures of the construction!  But, it was so much fun to just keep coming up with more ideas as the balloon was evolving!

Next I decided that it would be really neat if something would spread across the balloon as it opened out.  So, I created a little "SOAR" banner out of manila cardstock and a piece of black elastic cording.  It doesn't show up in this photo very well, but I distressed the banner with Broken China and then Vintage Photo around the sides and a Black Soot Distress Marker on the edges.  Then I brushed over everything with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  When dry, I then secured the banners in place on the elastic cording with 1/4" Scor Tape and glued the little back tabs in place with Glossy Accents.  I then figured out how much of the cord it would take to comfortably go across the balloon when the balloon was folded out.  So I cut that piece and then hot glued each side to the balloon edges.  As it worked out, the one edge of the cording perfectly fit right under the typewriter on the front of the balloon....so no raw edges of the cording show.  Yay!  Happy Accident!

Next, I added three more tiny images to the exterior of the balloon by attaching them to long coiled pieces of wire.  I attached one end of the wire to the basket of the balloon with hot glue.  The other end of the wire is attached to the tiny images:  at top hat, a clock and a butterfly.  All of the images are colored using a Detailer Water Brush and Distress Ink.  I also used Glossy Accents on the top hat and the clock face.  In the photo above, you can see all of these pieces and the wire attaching them.  The clock face wire was purposely placed beneath the cording so that the clock face can become part of the balloon when it is opened out.  When the balloon is closed, the clock face looks just like the butterfly and top hat; sort of floating on their own.  I had stamped and embossed another basket that I cut out and pop dotted on top of the original, hiding all of the "construction" underneath.

My balloon assemblage was finished.  Now what was I going to make to go along with it?

I covered a piece of 6x6 chipboard with Tim's Riveted Metal Texture Fade design that has been dry embossed onto Metal Foil Sheets.  I had to piece portions of it to completely cover the 6x6 chipboard.  Then I covered the whole board with black paint mixed with a little water and dabbed off the excess.  I then added touches of gold paint dabber over the seams and rivets and finally added a little Juniper Paint Dabber to add a patina effect. (This photo is just of the bare silver metal covering the chipboard).

I cut a Weathered Clock out of Plain Grungeboard and covered it with Wendy Vecchi's Gold Embossing Paste.  I blotched it in some places because I wanted an uneven, "weathered" look.

I kept the center portion of the Weathered Clock and covered it with Manila Cardstock.  I distressed it with Broken China and edged it with Vintage Photo and Black Soot Distress Inks.  I stamped "DISCOVER YOUR PASSION" from Indigo Blu's Discover Your Passion" stamp set using Jet Black Archival.  (You can also see the distressed metal background much better in this picture).  I then figured out where I wanted the clock to be, hot glued the center in place.  Next I wired a few of the Mini Gears onto the clock so that they would stand up off of the Grungeboard.  Then added 1/2 pop dots around the underside of the clock and popped it into place.  Next I added a few more Mini Gears with Glossy Accents.

Next I hot glued my hot air balloon in place on the right side of the board.  It was really starting to take shape now.  I just needed a few things here and there to finish it off!

I stamped this very cool light bulb stamp from Donna Salazar onto some Manila Cardstock with Jet Black Archival.  I decided to add some gold embossed highlights on this as well.  So, I used my Inkessentials Embossing Pen to allow me to add gold to the filament, at the bottom and lightly on the top of the bulb.  Once this was done, I distressed the bulb with Broken China and covered it with Rock Candy Distress Crackle.  When dry, I added "JUST FOLLOW YOUR HEART" from Tim Holtz' Words Remnants Rubs. 

I added a strip of metallic stars (originally antique silver, turned gold with a Gold Paint Dabber) across the bottom of the board.  I then added some chain to the light bulb and trailed it over to a heart locket that I had in my stash.  I hot glued the tiny light bulb on top of the heart and attached it to the chain using a small Jump Ring.  

Above the balloon, I added another dimensional butterfly from the IndioBlu stamp set.  I gave it acetate wings and attached them to the body with Glossy Accents.  I fashioned wire antenna and glued them underneath.  The wings are distressed with Broken China Distress Ink.  This butterfly is also attached to the balloon with a coiled wire so that it can look more "free floating".  I then hot glued one of Tim's Light Bulbs above the hot air balloon and my piece was finished!

And here is the finished piece ... balloon closed

Balloon open!  

I hope this has inspired you to take some time over this New Years' holiday to pull out some of your old favorites and PLAY!  Don't forget, just because we're not having a challenge this week, Simon Says Stamp is always open to satisfy all of your crafting wants and needs!

Below is a list of all of the products available at Simon Says Stamp that were used in this Steampunk Style Board:

Tim Holtz Remnants Stamp Set, Tim Holtz Tiny Things Stamp Set, Tim Holtz Diamond Plate & Riveted Metal Texture Fade, Tim Holtz Weathered Clock Die Cut, Tim Holtz Elements Rubons, Tim Holtz Words Rubons, Rock Candy Distress Crackle, Ideaology Mini Gears, Gold Paint Dabber, Inky Antics Ivory Honeycomb, Neenah Smooth Classic Cream Paper, Detailer Water Brush, Jet Black Archival, Broken China Distress Ink, Vintage Photo Distress Ink, Black Soot Distress Ink, Black Soot Distress Marker, Wendy Vecchi Gold Embossing Paste, Queen's Gold Embossing Powder, VersaMark Embossing Ink, Emboss It Ink Pen, Discover Your Passion IndigoBlu Stamp Set, Glossy Accents, Pitch Black Paint Dabber,
Juniper Paint Dabber, Ideaology Light Bulb, Ideaology Jump Ring, Ideaology Mini Paper Clip, Plain Grungeboard, Metal Foil Sheets, Tim Holtz Industrious Borders,1/4" Scor Tape,IndigoBlue Discover Your Passion


Sunday, December 22, 2013


Ho Ho Ho!!  Only TWO more days until Christmas Day!  Can you believe it?  

One of my most favorite days of the year is Christmas Eve.  We have always had a family tradition of celebrating with a big family dinner on Christmas Eve evening and opening a few presents.  Even as a child, I always looked forward to family dinners and getting to open some presents with my cousins.  Now, I am so fortunate to have all of my grandchildren close by so I get to relive memories of my childhood Christmases through them.

Last year and again this year, we will have a very special guest at our home on Christmas Eve.  Santa will come to visit; in all of his absolute glory.  He is such a beautiful Santa and it brought tears to everyone's eyes as our grandchildren sat around him, memorized as he read "The Night Before Christmas" to them.  I BELIEVE!  

And of course, Santa visits our houses on Christmas Eve night, after everyone has gone home and is "snug in their beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads".  Christmas morning, all of the grandkids and our children come back over to our house and it's utter chaos with squeals of delight and paper flying everywhere while the presents are being opened.  But, ahhhhh....what a wonderful time it is!  I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING in the world!

This week at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, we are not actually having a challenge but more inspirational posts for you....hopefully our projects will give you some good ideas on something different you can do with products you may already have or inspire you to add to your Christmas "wish list".  Or, just bring you some Christmas joy.

I have been posting Christmas projects since Halloween.  I hope that some of the things that I've posted have given you the Christmas spirit or inspired you to maybe use a product you have in a different way to create something wonderful.  The project I am sharing with you today is made from a giant Manila tag.  I'm not sure what you'd call it; a tag card, a mini book...not sure.  But, whatever it is, it was fun to make and I played around with Tim's Blueprint Christmas Tree stamp to create these layered Christmas trees.

I had absolutely no idea what I was going to make when I sat down at my work table.  I just knew that I wanted to play around with Tim's tree blueprint stamp and also Tim's new Old Fashioned Christmas stamp set.  It is such a wonderful set not only because of the beautiful vintage Santa but also because of the gorgeous sentiments included on the set.  I've used one of them on this tag..."All Good Wishes For Christmas".  It also has a beautiful vintage style "Merry Christmas" plus a lovely greenery wreath and the ice skates advertisement that I have used behind my Santa on this tag.  

This is the tag that I covered with Tim's Melange Tissue.  I used primarily the musical notes on that paper because they remind me of Christmas.  I adhered it in place on the tag using Glue 'N Seal.  Then I used some Fired Brick, Evergreen Bough and then some Pine Needles Distress Inks to color the tag.  Over that, I added some Tarnished Brass Distress Stain that I had mixed with a little bit of water and smeared over the tag with my fingers.  (It's not worth doing if you don't be messy!)  You can see the stain on the tag...I love it's added subtle shine.  Then I folded the tag in half, trimmed off the corners of the bottom of the tag and added a hole to the bottom of the tag so that I could add a ribbon and close the tag if I wanted to.

Here is the inspiration for the entire tag...Tim's Blueprint Christmas Tree.  I stamped it onto a piece of distress manila cardstock.  I had previously distressed the cardstock with Vintage Photo and a touch of Gathered Twigs.  Then I flicked water on it to mottle the background. Next I tore some of the edges and scuffed them up.  I added Walnut Stain and a little black around the edges to further age them.  Then I wadded up the paper to crinkle it up and soften it.  Next I rolled up some of the edges and it now looks like an old blue print.  I figured that this would be on the front of my tag/card/book ... whatever ... so I put it to the side and carried on to my next idea; stamping out the tree again so that I could make a pattern and create several stacked trees from the blueprint.

I found some really pretty deep green with a bit of a gold fleck cardstock in my stash of stuff.  So, I pulled it out and dry embossed it with Tim Holtz' Springtime Texture Fade.  

Then I tapped a Gold Paint Dabber onto my Non Stick Craft Sheet and using a makeup sponge, I lightly touched the raised areas of the embossing.  I love this!

Then I began cutting out the different layers of my tree from the embossed green cardstock.  I thought it would make really pretty Christmas trees.  I even added an extra couple of layers on a couple of the trees to alter their appearance from original three tier drawing into even taller trees.  You just need the stamped tree (I stamped it onto Kraft Cardstock) as your base.  Then glue the bottom section right on top of the bottom of the tree.  For the next layer, add pop dots to the next tree section and then stack it (staggered) on top of the cardstock base and the first tree section.  Continue to add layers, with pop dots stacked on top of each other for each layer as well, to make each layer more dimensional until you reach the top of the tree.  When I finished my trees, I laid them to the side so that I could create the exterior of my card.  That needed to be done before I could start working on the much more dimensional interior.

I mixed some Pine Needles Distress Ink with Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste to create a green paste I would use with my brand new Tim Holtz Holly Bough Stencil.  It's a beautiful stencil!

First I added some Tim Holtz Cardstock from the backside of his Seasonal Paper Stash and then lightly distressed it with some Pine Needles Distress Ink around the perimeter.  I also smeared some Gold Dabber mixed with water over the paper using my fingers.  Then I ran the Paint Dabber around all of the edges and down the middle of the tag.  Next I added some Mercury Glass Stickles to the front of the tag that I knew would be exposed.  (The rest of the front would be underneath my Christmas Tree Blue Print.

I added some gold tinsel trim under the right side of the blueprint, a piece of green twine and a label from Tim Holtz' Simple Sayings stamp set to the blueprint.  The "TRIM THE TREE" was stamped with some little letter stamps that I had.  All of the black was stamped with Jet Black Archival Ink.  Finally I lightly filled in the star and the bulbs with Mercury Glass Stickles.  I added a gold ribbon up the middle of the card as well.  I wanted the outside to be super simple...not all that embellished. 

Open up the card and .....

You will see the "All Good Wishes For Christmas" embossed in Gold Embossing Powder.  Such a pretty vintage script! I loved the Gold Embossing so much that I swiped the Embossing Ink Pad around all of the edges of the interior, sprinkled some Gold Embossing Powder, wiped off the excess that I did not want to heat and then heat set the remaining powder.  I love the randomness of the edges! 

The Christmas trees are stacked, edged with Mercury Glass Stickles, topped with various sizes of Mirrored Stars and glued into their proper places on the card.

I must have a "thing" for Tim's ice skates this season!  Last week I created a tag using Tim's die cut ice skates.  This week, I am using a vintage ice skates ad from his Old Fashioned Christmas stamp set and Santa is holding some of Tim's Ideaology Ice Skates Charms.  The gorgeous Santa is from Tim's Old Fashioned Christmas stamp set as well.  I colored him with Distress Inks and added White Flocking to his beard and hat and coat cuffs.  I also added some highlights to Santa and his tree using Mercury Glass Stickles. The little tree he is holding is from Melissa Frances.  I tied the Skates together with twine and hot glued a bow right under the tree.

Once I glued everything in place, I added the little ornaments.  They were stamped onto a piece of Manila Cardstock that had been distressed with Fired Brick and Barn Door Distress Inks.  I then brushed Rock Candy Distress Crackle over all of them and let them dry.  Once dry, I cut them out, glued them to the trees and then lightly added Mercury Glass Stickles to the tops of the bulbs and around the perimeter of each one.

Ho! Ho! Ho!  M-E-R-R-Y  C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S!!!

I wish you and yours a truly blessed Christmas; full of love and family and traditions.  May God keep you safe during the holiday season and in the coming New Year!

Peace and Joy!

Even though this is not a challenge week, you're still invited to shop for all of your crafting needs or provide a "wish list" to all who are still wanting to know what to get you for Christmas from Simon Says Stamp!  


Saturday, December 21, 2013


Merry Christmas Everyone!! 

It's almost here....
That most wonderful time of the year!

I am so excited to share another Christmas project with you!  My very vintage "NOEL" Christmas frame made using Christmas Tissue and Beeswax is now being featured on RANGER'S BLOGThere is a complete tutorial and a list of all of the Ranger Products needed to create this vintage look. It's a fun and easy project to do and a wonderful hand crafted, inexpensive gift. You've probably already got a lot of the materials in your craft rooms.  Enjoy your last weekend before Christmas and take some time to soak in the joy of the season! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Be sure to hop on over to Ranger's blog for some really beautiful Christmas crafting ideas! 


Sunday, December 15, 2013


With just a little over a week away until Christmas and our last challenge of the year, I wanted to dedicate this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of "STAMP OUT" to ... you guessed it ... another vintage Christmas project.

I started with a manila #10 tag and my new favorite brown permanent ink ... Wendy Vecchi's Potting Soil.  Such a lush, rich deep brown.  I had no clue what I was going to do other than create a collage of vintage Christmas stamps that I love on this tag.  

So, using only Potting Soil to stamp all of my images, I started with Mr. Snowman from Tim Holtz' Winter Wonder stamp set.  That is such a neat collage stamp in and of itself! I placed him in the lower right corner.  From there, I wanted to add the vintage Santa from Tim Holtz' new Old Fashioned Christmas stamp set on the opposite side of my tag to balance out the snowman image.  I masked part of the tag to leave off the bottom half of Santa's body and make room for more collaged stamps to come.

Next, I masked off Santa and added Tim's gorgeous collage stamp from Holidays Past.  This stamp has all sorts of vintage images from ornament boxes to tinsel icicles to holiday lights.  I love it and Santa looks wonderful encircles with those wonderful images.  Next I inked up one side of the same Holidays Past stamp and added it to the lower left side of my tag.  I finished off with some spruce branches from Tim Holtz' Letters To Santa stamps set along the upper right side of the tag and here and there to fill in black spots. 

This is the finished collaged tag before inking. Love the way it turned out!  I got so "involved" that I forgot to take photos as I was inking the tag! Since I love traditional red and green at Christmas, I used Fired Brick and Pine Needles to fill in the tag.  I masked off my Santa and Snowman because I thought it would look really neat for the manila tag to pop out those two characters among all of the red and green.  I really like the results!

I still didn't know where the tag was going from here but I knew that it needed some little accents here and there.  So, I colored in "Christmas SNOW" behind the snowman with my white Signo Pen to pop it a little.  Then I went over the letters with Stardust Stickles to resemble glistening freshly fallen snow.  I also added some Frosted Lace Stickles to the top of "SNOW" to look like snow resting on the letters.  I also added some Mercury Glass Stickles highlights to the tag, around Santa and along the sunlight ray lines around "PARAMOUNT".  

I liked the snow theme that was starting to take shape so I decided to die cut some Mini Snowflakes and Tim Holtz' On The Edge Winter Flurries out of Plain Grungeboard.  I added Picket Fence Distress Paint and then covered them with Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste to add depth.  While the paste was still wet, I sprinkled Rock Candy Distress Glitter over the paste and let it dry.  

But then the top of the tag was going to look plain, so I added some more Embossing Paste to the top of the tag using a brush. I also added the Distress Glitter and let it dry.  When all of my "snow" pieces were dry, I lightly sprayed some Honey Stain over them to gently "age" them, adding a very light sepia tone to the snow. 

Hmm...what to do next?  It needed something with a little bit of dimension in the center of the tag.  I thought about adding something like a die cut label and stamp "Merry Christmas" on it but that would cover up a lot of the pretty collaged stamping.  

Then it hit me ... Tim's new Ice Skates die cut!  Let them just hang freely from the tag!  So, I die cut them from Plain Grungeboard and painted them with Picket Fence Distress Paint.  I added a metallic look to the skate blades by first covering them with Brushed Pewter Distress Stain and then wiping on some Tarnished Brass Distress Stain over it with my finger.  When dry, I added the brown distressing with a Q-Tip and Potting Soil Archival Ink.  LOVE THAT BROWN!!

I laced the skates with some Natural Hemp Twine.  Yes, you can lace the skates because the die cut actually has slits already in the die!  That Tim thinks of everything!!!  I started at the top of the skate and went in and out of each slit using the twine.  Then on the way back up the skate, I came back through the slit and went UNDER the lace that I added when coming down the skate and then took the twine behind the skate and came up through the hole from the back side.  That way, the laces cross.  When I reached the top, I just tied a bow on the skates.  So stinkin' cute!  

I added a piece of Tim's brown and white Paper String behind the top laces of each skate so that they could freely dangle as if being held by a strap. I sewed a couple of little jingle bells together and then sewed them onto the top lace of each skate.

I think they look really cool on top of the tag.  They are so vintage looking and added the dimension that the center of the tag needed.  But ....

they also swing freely, so as not to cover up the really cool vintage images underneath.  And the little swinging jingles bells add sound effects while they "jingle all the way!"  

To finish off my tag, I wrapped the Paper String tail left from the top of the skates through the hole and top of the tag a few times to secure it.  Then I added a small Paper String bow and sewed it to the wrapped string.  Finally, I hot glued a piece of vintage Melissa Frances tinsel garland to the bow.   

I HO HO HOPE that my vintage Christmas tag has inspired you to do some stamping ... any type of stamping and enter it into our challenge at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.  You could be the lucky winner of our 

$50.00 credit voucher drawing just for entering and following the challenge rules.

If your piece is extraordinary, you could be featured in our 

Quite a nice feature for those artists whose work goes above and beyond! 

So, join the fun and enter our challenge today!
Good luck!

Here is a list of all of the supplies available at Simon Says Stamp that were used in
creating this vintage Christmas tag:

Ranger #10 Manila Tag, Potting Soil Archival Ink, Pine Needles Distress Ink, Fired Brick Distress Ink, Gathered Twigs Distress Ink, Sizzix Skates, Snow Flurries On The Edge, Mini Snowflakes Movers and Shapers, Distress Rock Candy Glitter, Frosted Lace Stickles, Mercury Glass Stickles, Stardust Stickles, Letter To Santa, Winter Wonder, Old Fashioned Christmas, Holidays Past, White Embossing Paste, Gold Paint Dabber, Uni Ball Signo White Gel Pen, Brushed Pewter Distress Stain, Tarnished Brass Distress Stain, Hemptique Thick Natural Cord  Twine, Stripes Paper String, Picket Fence Distress Paint, Plain Grungeboard, Vagabond