Sunday, January 12, 2014


Hello all of my friends and fellow bloggers!

Before I get into my post for today's Anything Goes Challenge at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, I have a bit of news to share with you...

This will be my last post as a member of the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Design Team. I am so proud to have been a part of such an amazing Design Team for a wonderful company for almost three years!

 Saying goodbye feels very strange and the unknown is a bit scary but also very exciting!  Change is a good thing. It helps you to grow as an artist and who knows what lies ahead on this creative journey that I am on?! 

One thing that I DO know is that my husband and I are hopefully going to start construction on our new home; something that we have planned and been working towards ever since we bought our property almost two years ago. It is such a tranquil place; almost 8 acres of huge mature trees and open fields, divided by a picturesque creek.  We've been doing lots of improvements since we bought the property.  We've cleared several trees, added a quaint french country style cabin, fire pit and patio area down by the creek. We've added a big, beautiful arched stone bridge that crosses the creek and now we've staked out where our home will set in this gorgeous setting. 

We are so excited about this new adventure...almost like a couple of school kids again!  But there is lots to be done and I need to devote more of my time to the huge changes that are coming as we build our new home and say goodbye to the home we built here over 18 years ago.

However, being in my craft room is almost like breathing...I need it to survive!  So, I will still be creating and blogging lots of ideas and things that I make. I will also still be teaching classes and hopefully encouraging everyone to stay curious and not be afraid to try new things.

Finally to all of the amazingly kind and creative people I have met through blogging; particularly through my tenure at Simon Says Stamp's Challenge, I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for inspiring me with your entries each week and encouraging me with your sweet comments that you leave on my weekly posts.  I read them all and I truly feel blessed to have gotten to know so many wonderfully creative and talented people...from all over the world!  It really IS a small world after all! 

And now....let's get on to today's challenge theme....ANYTHING GOES!

I know, Christmas is barely over with and I'm already posting a Halloween piece!  Maybe I'm just trying to get a jump on all of the department and craft stores who seem to be putting out Halloween and Christmas decor earlier and earlier each year! (smile)

But, I have been wanting to make one of these roll top desks FOREVER and I finally took the time to do it with my Graphic 45 Steampunk papers that I purchased before Halloween last year!

The basic construction of this roll top desk included black chipboard, black cardstock (used as support or structure strips), 1/4" and 1/2" Scor Tape, and Graphic 45's Steampunk Spells Halloween 12 x 12 and 8 x 8 paper pads, 4 small wooden blocks (for legs), a Graphic 45 antique drawer pull and Tim Holtz Curio Knobs, a Keyhole, 2 Hitch Fasteners, 2 Hinges, Grungepaper, and 1 Ornate Plate, some compartments out of Tim Holtz' Configuration Boxes, a piece of kraft mailing paper

 The Roll Top Desk pattern is from Jim The Gentleman Crafter.  He is such an incredibly gifted, creative guy!  And even more importantly...he's soooo nice! Totally unaffected by how GOOD he is!   

The second I saw that pattern, I knew that it was going to be one of three things: a Halloween desk, a Christmas desk or a Steampunk desk.  As you can see, Halloween won out. BUT ... there WILL be a Christmas desk and probably a Steampunk desk to follow! 
This was so much fun to make.

The basic desk consists of seven drawers and a roll top that actually works!  I love all of the patterns and images of Graphic 45's Steampunk Spells.  Some of the drawers are completely made.  Others are merely painted inside compartments from some of Tim Holtz' Configuration Boxes.  The fronts are covered with paper and the Curio Knobs are added.

 Exterior Right Side
Exterior Left Side

Tim Holtz' Mini Cat and Raven, Ironwork Gates, Mini Spider, and Ironwork Gates dies cut out of black cardstock create such cute scenes for the sides.  The combination of Tim's Ribbon Flags, attached to orange Color Infusions Memory Thread and the Upon A Time "BOO" letters made adorable little BOO Banners! They are accented with Platinum and Paprika Stickles with BOO cut out of orange patterned cardstock paper and covered with Glossy Accents for some dimension. Graphic 45 postcard images also work so well with the exterior sides.

 Interior sides

The cats and spiders have a light coating of Black Diamond Stickles on them to give a hint of that gorgeous black sparkle, very reminiscent of vintage pieces. 

When the front flap of the desk is up, it is decoratively held in place by attaching (painted black) Grungepaper straps to Hitch Fastener sides and Graphic 45 Metal Brads on the front. The keyhole is actually an Ornate plate underneath with a Locket Keys Keyhole glued on top. 

Here is a closer look at the decorative Tim Holtz' Hitches.  

When the front flap is down, it reveals a sweet little vintage scene using Tim's Ironwork Gates as a background with Crafty Secrets vintage images of children and pumpkins gaily decorating the lowered front. 

The roll top mechanism really does work and is stored underneath this top tray and front piece above the drawers.

Up or down, this roll top is pretty cool!  I added the decorative orange-ish metallic Dresden trim down both sides to cover the plain black track that supports the roll top.  

Now all I need to do is add some little books and embellishments made from some of the other amazing images of the Steampunk Spells papers.  And of course, I may have to add a few skeletons or other fun little vintage pieces sitting on the shelf at the top
 of this desk.

So, there you have Halloween roll top desk in the middle of January!  I hope you like it and maybe it will inspire you to pull out a project you've been procrastinating about and get it going! 

Taking a walk down memory lane....

Here is the first piece I made for Simon Says Stamp's Design Team when it was called Simon Says Stamp and Show. It's been A LOT of FUN over the years!!  Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your weekly blog hopping.  

  Now...join us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. You could be the lucky winner of their weekly random drawing of a $50.00 credit voucher!

Your art might also receive one of our highest honors by being voted to be showcased in 

our Designer Spotlight!  So, have fun with this Anything Goes week!

Thanks for sharing part of your day with me and have a great week!  Below are all of the items available at Simon Says Stamp that were used to create this roll top desk:

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Happy Monday and again, Happy New Year!

Have you got the "blues" after all of the joys of Christmas and ringing in the new year?  This time of year is sort of a "let down" to a lot of people.  The holidays are over and the cold of winter is upon us.  

So, at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, we're helping you beat the holiday blues by challenging you to create something using BLUE!

Now that the Christmas rush is through, I've had some time to pull out my new Tim Holtz Luminary die cut and have some wintry fun!

I've created this sweet little luminary, complete with tea light to give off the warmth of a candle's flame flickering through the "frosty" windows.

I began by cutting the pieces of the luminary out of manila cardstock that had been covered with metal foil sheets.  That not only gave them strength but also gave a bit of a metallic look peering out through the Fresco Finish paints I would later dab on top.

Next I ran all of the pieces through my Vagabond using one of Tim Holtz' Textured Fade designs.  I love the texture that it gave to the luminary frame.  I did not want this to be a metallic luminary frame but wanted bits of the silver to peek out.  So, I used my finger to lightly smear some of Wendy Vecchi's White Embossing Paste all over the pieces; not filling in the low areas but just giving a light covering of the paste.  This gave the frame some "tooth" so that the paints I would add on top would better stick and it also gave a bit of a pottery look to the finished piece. 

Next I dabbed a mixture of Fresco Finish Mermaid, Snowflake and a bit of water over all of the pieces to create a soft blue finish. When I had transformed all of the pieces into a wintry, frosty blue, I laid them to the side to dry while I created my frosty windows.  As a final touch on all of the blue pieces, I add some Silver Stickles around the windows and randomly smeared them lightly over the surface of each piece.  The addition of the shimmer those little silver glittery pieces from the Silver Stickles adds is amazing! 

I began with strip cut from a Wendy Vecchi's Clearly For Art Clear sheet.  Then I painted Glue 'N Seal over the strip.  It only took a few minutes for that to dry.  

Then I gave a generous coating of Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint to the surface by dabbing the brush onto the surface.  I wanted the windows to have a fairly heavy "frosty" appearance and you can better achieve that by dabbing the brush over the surface rather than smoothly brushing it on.  When the windows were dry, it was time to add them to my luminary.

Here you can see that I added the windows using Glossy Accents to hold them in place. This also gives you a look at how using Glue 'N Seal followed by Rock Candy Distress Crackle creates that very cool frosty effect.  I'd love to take credit for this technique but the first time I actually saw it was from a very talented and creative Wendy Vecchi of Studio 490.
You can also see that I've added 1/8" Scor Tape to the "tabs" on the luminary to attach it together. I also added 1/4" Scor Tape on the inside of where those tabs would be placed, just for double "stickability" and holding everything together.

Each side of the luminary is scored so that you can fold it into its proper position before attaching them together. In this photo, you see a better look at the layers of texture, metal, color and stickles that create the exterior of my luminary.  I love the frosty windows, too!

Once my luminary was all put together, it was time to do some embellishing! 

I used Kraft cardstock to die cut several pinecones using Tim Holtz' Tattered Pinecone die cut.  It also has a wonderful pine branch that I used.  I die cut those out of Manila cardstock that was first painted with a Silver Paint Dabber.  I sprayed the Kraft pinecones with a Walnut Ink Spray.  If you don't have the spray, you can make your own using the Walnut Ink Crystals and mix them with a little bit of water.  Love the deep, rich pinecone brown!

I formed the pinecones and edged them with Silver Stickles.  Then I smeared Silver Stickles on the already painted silver pine branches to give them that extra sparkle when the light catches them. Finally, I had a little piece of white snowflake plastic trim that I transformed into silver by adding Silver Paint Dabber to it.  These piece would be all I needed to decorate my little luminary.

And here is a closer view of the assembled top; in all of it's glistening frosty goodness.
Now it's your turn to kick the post holiday blues and create something fun using BLUE!  Then enter our challenge.  You could be the lucky winner of our

$50.00 credit voucher give away.  If your entry is voted one of the best of the week, you could be showcased in our 

Designer Spotlight ... a very nice recognition for all of your creativity and hard work!

So good luck and shake those blues with us!

Here is a list of all of the products I used available at Simon Says Stamp to create this sweet little snowy luminary: