Monday, 1 June 2020

Make Today Count...

Happy Monday friends...

It's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge to begin and this week our theme is all about MAKING YOUR OWN BACKGROUNDS! Some of the DT will be showcasing Paper Rose products within their projects but due to the ongoing situation in the world, there were a few of us who unfortunately didn't get our packages in time for this particular challenge but do make sure you go and take a look at all the amazing Paper Rose goodies!

For my project, I created a tag all about friendship, I think we're all looking forward to the day when we get to spend time with our friends again and I know that I will definitely make every day count!  Once again I couldn't help but be inspired by Tim Holtz's recent Facebook Lives and as I build up a collection of tags and ideas that I can look back on in those moments when Mr Mojo isn't playing nicely, I chose to create my background using Distress Micro Glaze, together with Spray Stains and Oxide Sprays, which includes the gorgeous new addition to the Distress colour family ~ Speckled Egg!

So, let's get started because the new challenge has begun...

I began by making my background and for this I used a size 8 tag which I will eventually mount onto an Etcetera Tag.

I placed the Gradient Hex Layering Stencil over the top of my tag. I then used a blending tool to apply a small application of the Distress Micro Glaze through the stencil, don't overload your sponge, you only need the tiniest of amounts and just pounce it gently through the stencil ~ I didn't go for full-on coverage, just applied it heavier in some places than others. After removing the stencil, I then added some colour and used Speckled Egg, Bundled Sage, Pumice Stone and Ground Espresso Distress Stains, spritzing each colour onto a tag slightly dampened with a misting of water. I did spritz a little more water over the stains and then watched them blend together seamlessly before drying the tag. To complete the layers of colour, I applied a final spritz of Speckled Egg Oxide Spray ~ I just love how this has oxidised in places, giving a beautiful chalky look to areas of the tag.
I actually made a few backgrounds to see which I liked best ~ all using the same inks but different techniques.
Once dry, I inked around the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and stamped some imagery onto the tag using the Paris Postmark stamp from the Shabby French Stamp Set, the circular ring stamp from the Grunged set and the numbers from the Field Notes stamp set.
To complete the tag, I machine stitched a border around the outside and the mounted it onto the Etcetera Tag.
Now to move onto the focal point and tell the story and for this I'll start with the die cut pieces and I used Media Marks, Funky Florals 3 and the Geo Frames die sets by Tim Holtz for Sizzix...

To make the frame I used the rectangular Geo Frame and cut three layers of card which I then layered together to form one frame. I then used the Embossing Dabber over the top of the die cut and sprinkled the frame with Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder. Heat emboss the powder until molten and then repeat the process a couple more times to give an enamelled look to the frame. For the final layer, I dabbed the frame once more with the Embossing Dabber and then sprinkled some Rusty Hinge Embossing Glaze over the top, only applying it to random areas, not all over the frame. Heat emboss again and you will notice the glaze just melt into the previous layers of the Liquid Platinum, creating a vintage look to the enamel.

Moving onto the decorative elements...my floral spray! The inspiration behind this was from a beautiful vintage brooch that I'd seen at the V&A museum and I thought how cool it would be to replicate it for this project using dies and idea-ology pieces...

So to begin, I took the squiggly die from the Media Marks die set, I die cut three layers of card and layer them over the top of one another to form one die cut before using the exact same technique as on the frame to create the enamelled effect.
Now for the spray of foliage ~ this is cut from watercolour card, coloured with Peeled Paint and Bundled Sage Distress Spray Stains. Once the card is dry and I have the blend of colour I need, I used a couple of dies from the Funky Florals 3 die set to create each individual piece.

I now have all my die cut elements, together with a vintage Photo Booth image that I colour tinted using Distress Marker Pens and then machine stitched a border around the edge before mountingonto a piece of cotton calico fabric, dyed with a little Frayed Burlap, cut with my nan's old Pinking Shears.
Attach the Geo Frame to the tag, adding a piece of torn calico behind the frame. I them mounted the photo booth image over the top.
For my next layer, I used the squiggly die cut, attaching it across the tag but allowing it to slightly overhang the edges before arranging the foliage in the bottom left hand corner of the photo.

In the centre of the foliage, I added a Floral Adornment.
To add a slight hint of colour to this, I applied the Embossing Dabber over the metal and then sprinkled with Fossilized Amber Embossing Glaze. Tap away the excess powder and heat emboss but PLEASE ALLOW FOR THE METAL TO COOL BEFORE TOUCHING, IT IS HOT!

In the centre of the floral adornment, I added a Bauble that I coloured with a little Walnut Stain Crayon.
We're nearly there and all that's left is the details:

I added a postage stamp ephemera piece from the Field Notes Snippets set in the top left hand corner of the tag and then clipped a Hinge Clip to the side. I altered the colour of the clip using a combination of Picket Fence and Speckled Egg Distress Paint before adding a smear of Walnut Stain Distress Crayon.
Finally, I added my wording ~ 'dear friends' taken from the Clippings Stickers set and 'make today count' taken from the Small Talk Sticker set.
As a finishing touch, I placed a small die cut heart, that I had on my desk from a previous project and just attached this onto the photo before threading some rope through the hole of the tag and attaching a vintage style button to the end.
I hope you enjoyed this project and the ideas might have inspired you.
Just before I go, I just wanted to share a tip that I'm using to remember all the techniques ~ on the back of the tags, I've been attaching a note of the colours, inks, stains, etc that I've used to create certain elements of the tag. It really helps me to look back at these notes when Mr Mojo isn't playing nicely and you need some inspiration! Hope it helps you too...
Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....









Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:


Monday, 25 May 2020

You Can Never Have Too Much Happy...

Happy Monday friends...

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and ready for the new week ahead! So, I think you'll agree that last week was a rollercoaster ride of creative goodness and Tim Holtz spoilt us all with the brand new launch and addition to the Distress family!!! Oh my...Speckled Egg, I have so much love in my life for you ~ you are the colour of my dreams!!!! Not only that, we had an amazing FB live from the genius himself and with so many great techniques, I'm sure it will keep us busy for weeks to come and of course, there's no better time to get your crafty cap on because the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge starts today and this week, we're inviting you to join us as we are GOING AROUND IN CIRCLES!

Now, I created this project a couple of weeks ago, I'd watched one of Tim's FB lives and had a bunch of tags and panels made up, ready to use, so I'm going to revisit one of my favourite techniques from Tim, using the Embossing Glazes and combining it with the challenge ~ I just wish I had Speckled Egg at the time, that would have been perfect!

Circles are one of my favourite shapes in paper crafting, but because I love them so much ~ I have used them a lot, so....with this in mind, I wanted to challenge myself to create something that was slightly different to anything I'd done before and came up with the idea that maybe I could build up the circles, to give the appearance and look that they were suspended and what better die to use to create those circles, and the base of my project, than Tim Holtz's Stacked Circles die ~ it was a match made in heaven! I also wanted a background that would be quite subtle but at the same time, have texture and detail and love how inks, Grit Paste and Embossing Glazes can do this.



So, let's get started because the new challenge has begun and here's how I went round in circles to create this piece!


I began by creating a background for my tag and used a Size 8 Mixed Media Heavystock tag as my base and will be using this horizontally. To add colour, I used a combination of Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky Distress Spray Stains, spritzed onto the tag. After heat drying the inked tag, I then spritzed Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky and Tumbled Glass Oxide Sprays over the top, misting the inks with water. At this stage, I layer a little more of the Distress Spray Stains to create some oxidisation and let the inks blend. I also inked a piece of Mixed Media Heavystock card using the same colours and techniques and will use this for my die cut circles.

Once I was happy with the colour, I placed the Floral Layering Stencil over the top of the tag and using a palette knife, applied some Translucent Grit Paste through the stencil. After removing the stencil, I then sprinkled some Peeled Paint and Weathered Wood Embossing Glaze over the top and set the tag aside to dry.
On the separate panel of inked card, repeat the process and again let it dry.

When both pieces of card are set, I then gently heat embossed the glaze ~ as the glaze melts, you will see a slight change in appearance and at that point, move to the next area.

Now both of my pieces are ready to use and after machine stitching a border around the outside of the tag, I mounted it onto a Size 8 Etcetera Tag using Matte Collage Medium to attach it.
Using the separate embossed panel, I used the Stacked Circles Die set to die cut a selection of circles in various sizes. I then layered some of the circles over one another, to create more dimension and give the appearance of small circular frames.

To add some detail and a bit of opulence to the circles, I took a glue stick and run it around the edges of each circle before using gold foil transfer tape, which I placed shiny side uppermost and just pressed onto the sticky areas to transfer the gold foil.
Using all my die cut circles, I then mounted them onto my tag, cascading them down the right hand side of the tag, overlapping the top and bottom of the tag itself...
...and attaching each circle so that they appear to be suspended. Hopefully, you can see this in the photo below...
My tag is now ready to decorate and moving on, I used Shabby Shutters and Bundled Sage Distress Spray Stains to colour one piece of Mixed Media heavystock card and Gathered Twigs and Walnut stain to colour a second piece. Once I'd blended the inks to create the colour I wanted I then used the Funky Wreaths die set to die cut the green wreath, the brown twiggy wreath that sits underneath and a selection of fronds that I will add to build up the frame.
Taking all the separate pieces of both wreaths, I then built up each of the funky wreaths before placing the green wreath over the top of the brown one before attaching the wreath to my tag, placing it over the top of the cascading circles.
I then selected a photo from the Paper Dolls set, this is one of my favourite images from the selection and I used Distress Marker Pens to add a colour tint to the image.

Mount the image onto foam pads and then attach to the centre of the wreath.

To create the sentiment, I used Tim's Tiny Text stamp set and using Ground Espresso Archival Ink, stamped 'you can never have too much happy' onto the strip of card. I usually have plenty of these little strips of card, all offcuts from larger panels inked with Old Paper, Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain Inks, and all ready to go when I need them. I cut the sentiment into a banner shape and attached it over the top of my paper dolls.
To complete this area of the project, I added some tiny cabochon pearls tucked into the arrangement and added a few little berries to the wreaths using Olive Nuvo Crystal Drops.

For the finishing details, I collaged some Field Notes Ephemera pieces in the left hand corner. I then wrapped some thread around a Story Stick, attached that over the ephemera and completed it with a Hardware Head. I also added a hardware head in the top left hand corner.
Finally, I threaded some rope through the hole reinforcer, attached a loop pin, with an Antiqued Gem, and a tiny bird charm, taken from the Milogros idea-ology set and altered with a little Evergreen Bough Distress Paint. I also added a button from my own stash, attaching it over the loop of rope.
So, that's it from me for today and I hope you've enjoyed the creative process of this piece and how I created layers using the Stacked Circles die, adding a little twist to the design for something different!


Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....









Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:


Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous: Mini Etcetera Tag, Floral Layering Stencil, Tiny Text
Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Funky Wreath, Stacked Circles
Distress Spray Stain: Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Bundled Sage, Shabby Shutters, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain
Oxide Spray: Weathered Wood, Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky
Distress Ink: Walnut Stain. Speckled Egg
Embossing Glaze: Weathered WoodPeeled Paint
Distress Marker Set

Monday, 18 May 2020

What's Up Pussycat?

Hello friends...

Thank you for all your visits to last week's post, all your lovely comments and sweet words mean so much to me and I appreciate every single one of them!

Today, we are starting a brand new SSS Monday Challenge and this week our theme is called We're All A-Buzz and we hope you'll join us and play along with our fun theme.

For my project this week, I decided to have some fun and used a few inking and stamping techniques to create a one layer card using everyone's favourite Snarky Cat Stamp set from Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous and combined them with a few older, and much loved stamp sets to build a little scene which has definitely sent this little pussycat into a buzz!!
So, let's get started because the new challenge has begun and I would like to introduce you to Mr Scaredy Cat!



To begin with I started by creating some layers for my main image and cut a card base from brown pearlised card measuring, 20 x 16cm in size. I then cut a piece of blackout card, slightly smaller in size and sanded the edges to reveal the kraft layer before mounting it onto my card. 

Moving onto my scene and I cut a panel of Distress Watercolour Card, 16 x 12.5cm and after choosing my favourite cat of the set, I began by stamping him, or her onto the card panel using Black Soot Archival Ink onto the smooth side of the card. After re-inking the stamp, I then stamped the image again onto a post-it note to create a mask, fussy cut around the outline of the cat and then placed the mask/post-it note over the top of the image stamped onto the card panel. Using the Tiny Toadstools stamp set, I inked up two of the toadstool images and with the mask in place, I stamped these either side of the cat. Remove the mask and hey presto ~ the toadstools will appear behind the cat and I can start building the scene.

I watercolored the toadstools and the cat using Distress Marker Pens and a water brush and then gave it a blast of heat to make sure it's dry. When it came to the grassy verge, I slightly elongated it on either side, just scribbling a few more lines to look like the grass and then added some shades of green. 
At this stage, you can apply a layer of Distress Glaze over the top of the stamped area to protect the images which I do recommend but I will admit, I didn't do this ~ I just replaced the mask over the cat and then using a blending tool, loaded with Stormy Sky Distress Ink, I carefully inked around the sky. Now that I have my base layer of colour, and with the mask still in place, I then applied some Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky Oxide Inks to my glass mat, spritzed with water and then dipped my card into it, picking up the colour on the blue sky area of the card panel.

Just build up the colour to however deep or light you want it to appear and once happy, I would just give it a blast of heat to set it

Now for the base ground area and I created this exactly the same as I created the sky ~ I used a combination of Distress Inks, starting by blending Frayed Burlap and Pumice Stone over the entire area, then adding some more layers of Pumice Stone and Old Paper Oxide Inks over the top.

I inked around the edges of card with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and then machine stitched a border around the outside, leaving strands of cotton loose and hanging down.
I added some shading to the scene, adding shadows and highlights where needed and then taking the little splatter stamp from the Tiny Toadstools set, I inked it with Frayed Burlap Oxide Ink and stamped some texture onto the ground, creating dimension and creating a little path for the pussycat to follow.

To complete the scene, I stamped the 'what if?' quote from the Crazy Talk Stamp Set and placed this just beneath the toadstools on the left. To complete the quote, I added a Small Talk sticker below ~ "never give up".
Matt the completed scene onto silver metallic kraft card, followed by a panel of Fog coloured cardstock, each time leaving a border around the outside. For the final layer of card, I cut a panel of kraft card and then using one of the Mini Media Marks stamps, I stamped some the little circles in white ink to create a pattern that you can just see around the outside. I machine stitched another border and then matted my layers onto the stamped kraft card.
To complete the artwork, I added two index clips to either side and placed Hardware Heads onto them clips. Each metal piece is altered with a little Distress Paint, Evergreen Bough, Picket Fence and a touch of Rusty Hinge before sliding them onto the panel, giving the appearance that the panel is clipped into place. I then mounted the finished scene onto my covered card base using foam tape to create some dimension.
Now to add those important little finishing details...

...I took the bees from the Entomology set and stamped five onto watercolour card. I then watercolored them with the Distress Marker Pens before cutting them using the dies from the corresponding Sizzix Die Set.

After shaping the wings, lifting them slightly to give the appearance the bees are flying around the pussycat, I attached them, by their bodies only onto the panel ~ placing them to swarm around him.
Now with all those bees buzzing around, you can understand that this little pussycat is slightly worried, and because of it, I gave him a few beads of sweat that are flying off him. These are cut from silver metallic kraft card using the Media Marks Die Set and then attached with Matte Collage Medium.
I also added a few stitches, again cut using the Media Marks Die Set but this time cut from blackout card. I added these to the top, and bottom left hand corners and one in the bottom right corner.

Finally, I stamped a label, complete with number and added this to the top right hand corner, stitching it so that it appears to be attached to the panel and then placed a Mini Pin onto the label.
So, that's my card finished and I hope this has bought a smile to your faces, it was definitely a fun piece to create and I loved bringing this little scene to life and telling the story of this cat, who is slightly perplexed at what might happen next....

Don't forget, if you would like to see more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....









Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and well, and see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

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