Monday, 10 May 2021

Do Not Crush...

Hello there everyone...

As another week begins, it's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is all about THINGS WITH WINGS and whether you choose to use butterflies and insects, birds, planes or even angels ~ we can't wait for you to join us and play along!

For my project, I chose to continue my love affair with the Tim Holtz Funky Insects and I following on from my Funky Insects Vignette Tray, which you can see here ~ I created another box that will work alongside the larger one, using just one of the dies...the bee and in the future, time allowing I'm hoping to make one box for each of the insects and display them all side by side!

 So, let's get started and here's what I did...

To begin with I'll start with how I covered and decorated the box itself...


I used the largest in the set of four Tim Holtz vignette boxes and began by covering teh raw edges on the front of the box using Design Tape. Any of Tim's tapes will work for this project, and if you're like me ~ I have a huge collection to choose from. I applied the tape on each of the four front edges and to make sure it stuck, I applied a small amount of Matte Collage Medium.

Moving onto the back and the sides on the inside of the box and for the back panel I chose the graph paper and for the sides, I chose one of the plainer designs, with no pattern ~ both papers come from the Backdrops Volume 2 paper set.

Beginning with the back, I cut the graph paper to size and adhered it inside the box using Matte Collage Medium. I then cut the sides, which I once again I adhered inside the box using the medium.

For the outside of the box, I chose one of the marbled papers from the same Backdrops Volume 2 set and once all my pieces for the sides and one for the back of the box were cut, I adhered them onto the box with the medium.

I gave the whole box a coat of the medium to seal the papers.

To create the ripped torn edges of paper that you can see I've applied in, and around the outside of the box, I used some offcuts of paper from the pack. Basically I just ripped small pieces of the papers to reveal the core which I then inked with Walnut Stain DI. I curled the torn edges slightly to give them more of a vintage feel before attaching these small pieces of paper to the inside, and the outside of the box, allowing that curled edge to appear as if it's peeling away from the surface.

I then applied some Crackle Paste around the outside of the box and on the inside, paying particular attention to where I'd placed the peeling paper.

I allowed for the medium to dry and for the crackles to appear before I used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to add colour over the top, blending out pigment to accentuate the crackles, using a damp waterbrush.

On top of the box, I placed a handle and a tiny Clippings Sticker with the number 232. 

The handle is taken from the Mini Hardware Knobs and Handle set and to alter the colour of the handle, I applied a coat of Picket Fence Distress Paint, allowed for this to dry and then applied a coverage of Salvaged Patina over the top. I allowed some of the white to show through from underneath and once the paint was dry, I attached the handle to the top of the box with Matte Collage Medium and placed Hardware Heads into the two small holes either side.

To add a touch of rust to the handle, I used Crackling Campfire Distress Paint, and applied the paint using a fine detail brush. I just add small amounts of the paint and gradually build the colour up. I then added a layer of Black Soot Distress Paint to knock back the intensity of the Crackling Campfire and create more of that rusty, crusty feel.

The box is now ready to decorate on the inside.


The first step was to add a faux back to my box as I didn't want it to be quite as deep as it was. To do this, I cut a panel of paper from the Backdrops Volume 1 paper set, 7.5 x 11cm, which is slightly smaller in size than the back wall of the box. I ripped and tore the edge of the paper before inking it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and then machine stitched a border around the outside, leaving some of the threads to hang loose.

I then adhered my paper to a panel of Sizzix Mixed Media Board and added foam pads to the back of the matted panel before attaching the board onto the inside of the box to form the first layer.

For the second layer I cut a panel of silver metallic kraft cardstock, 6.2 x 10.3cm and used the 3D Circuit Texture Fade to emboss the panel.

I then added some colour to create more of a rusty, tarnished look by adding a layer of Ground Espresso Distress Paint over the entire embossed panel. I allowed for the paint to become slightly tacky before I took a soft cloth to wipe away the excess paint. Some paint will remain and the metallic card will change colour. Once this paint layer is dry, I attached the panel to another piece of the Sizzix Mixed Media Board and using foam pads, I placed this inside my box to form the second layer.

For the next layer, I used a Tin Top. These little tin tops are fabulous for adding dimension to a project and  to let you know! Note: When you buy these tins, they are the lids only, they don't come with a bottom.

I battered the lid slightly with a hammer and then to add a touch of rust, I used the same colours of Distress Paint, as I used on the outside of the box; Crackling Campfire, Black Soot, Antiqued Bronze, Ground Espresso and Rusty Hinge. I layered the paints to create the rust effect I was happy with and then allowed it to dry throughly before attaching the tin top over the top of my embossed panel.

I then used some more of the paint colours above to add the rust effect to my panel, concentrating on the areas around the tin lid and the corners of the panel. If you want to create any rusty drips, I just add water to my paint to make it more fluid, apply it to the surface and then move it around, allowing for the paint to run.

Underneath the tin top, I attached an Urban Layers label, "DO NOT CRUSH". After sanding the edges, I placed this on foam pads and attached it to the embossed panel.


As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I love the Funky Insects die set from Tim Holtz and in this particular project, I used the bee from the set.

I cut the all the pieces from Distress Watercolour Card. I then inked each piece with Distress Inks;

Base section ~ Black Soot

Body ~ Mustard Seed and Fossilized Amber

Wings ~ Speckled Egg and Antique Linen

Once all my pieces were inked, I added some Distress Embossing Glaze over the top of the body and wings. I applied the embossing dabber over the inked surface of the body before sprinkling Fossilized Amber Glaze over the top. Tap away the excess and then heat emboss the powder. To add some gold highlights over the top, I used the embossing dabber to just catch the edges not to create a solid coverage. I then sprinkled the gold embossing powder over the top and heat embossed this layer.

I repeated the process on the wings but this time used Speckled Egg Glaze, with a touch of the gold embossing powder on the ends.

I then layered the die cut pieces over the top of one another to create the bee and attached this with foam pads over the top of my tin lid.

To complete the bee, I added a Hardware Head in the centre of the body, which I coloured with Salvaged Patina Distress Paint.

For the finishing details, I added a Star Adornment painted with Candied Apple Distress Paint, which I attached to overlap the bottom edge of the Do Not Crush level.

Finally I added four of the larger Hardware Heads again painted with Salvaged Patina and placed two on the bottom corners of the embossed panel and the final two on the base of the box.

To complete the project, I took a Field Notes Typed Token, altered with Distress Paints, to add colour to the surface and also accentuate the writing on the metal token. I then attached the painted token to my handle using twine and a Loop Pin to secure it in place.

So that's my project finished for today and I hope you've enjoyed the step by step of how I made it.

As always, if you make anything, or been inspired by anything that you've seen here on my blog ~ then please, let me know by tagging me on social media or leaving a comment here and I will be right over to take a look!

Don't forget that 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 keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Sizzix/Tim Holtz Dies: Funky InsectsCircuit 3D Texture Fade
Distress Paint: Salvaged Patina, Antiqued Bronze, Black Soot, Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso, Picket Fence and Crackling Campfire
Distress Embossing Glaze - Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber
Embossing Powder: Simon Says Stamp Gold
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Mustard Seed, Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber, Black Soot and Antique Linen

Thursday, 6 May 2021


Hello everyone...

Hope you're all having a good week and wherever you are, I hope the sun is shining!

Today, I'm sharing the second project that I created for Tim Holtz's Sizzix Chapter 2 live. If you missed the live, then you can catch up on replay and see all the wonderful projects from the makers HERE, together with the full collection of dies that are available within this launch!

I have received quite a few emails and messages about this piece and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to let me know how much you've loved it! The inspiration behind this particular project was all to do with those numbers and I wanted to really make them shine and be the hero of the piece and that's how it really came to life, what better way than to create a year plaque that would become the focal point!

So, let's get started and this is how I created the project and if you want to enlarge and see the details on any of the photos, just click on the image!

This project has three main techniques, the background and ticket shaped plaque, the enamelled plaque with the numbers and the rust technique and I will break this tutorial down into the three sections so it should be easy to follow, starting with the background and then we just need to add the details.

For the base of this project, I used a small Etcetera Tag. This size tag comes in a set of three and to create the shape, I took one of the tags but I used a second tag as my template.

Placing the first tag with the corners cut away on the right hand side, place the second tag over the top but this time with the corners on the left hand side. This shows you where you will need to cut away those corners on the tag underneath to form your ticket shape. Use a pencil to mark out where the cut line will be, follow the line of the 2nd tag on the top, remove the tag. I then took my craft knife and I use the Tonic/Tim Holtz Craft Knife simply because it really is the best knife I've used and I wouldn't use any other, and cut away the corners. PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU'RE DOING THIS and you will need to keep drawing the knife across the surface to cut through the thickness of the tag. It does take some patience but you get there in the end.

Once both corners are cut away the and tag now resembles a ticket shape, I used a sanding tool to smooth any rough edges.

With the surface ready, it's time to move onto the next stage, the embossed surface.

For this I cut and embossed three panels of Mixed Media Heavystock card. I cut the panels fixed onto the left and right hand sides, slightly larger in size than the central panel but the size you use is entirely up to you.
Using the Circuit 3D Texture Fade, run each of the three panels of card through a machine, I use the Sizzix Big Shot.

I adhered each of the three panels onto my ticket shaped tag, using Matte Collage medium and placing two on either side and the third down the centre, cutting away the excess card from the corners.

I then started to apply the paint. I used a combination of Speckled Egg, Frayed Burlap and Picket Fence. I applied a good coverage of Speckled Egg over the entire panel and allowed this to dry. I then used the dry brushing technique to add the next two colours. Apply a dot of Picket Fence Distress paint to your glass mat, and using a paint brush, pick up a small amount of colour. Remove the excess paint from the brush so that hardly any paint is remaining and then gently apply the paint across the surface of the tag, just allowing the brush to kiss the surface and accentuate the raised areas. Allow to dry and then repeat with the Frayed Burlap paint.

To conceal the joins where the panels are attached ~ I added some design tape down each of the joins. Any design tape will work, you don't really see much once you've finished the plaque.

The surface is now ready for the next step.

For the rust effect, I started by applying some Distress Translucent Grit Paste around the edges of my tag, leaving gaps and spaces in-between. I usually use either a palette knife or just my finger as I find there's more control. I paid particular attention to where I've added the tapes and the panels join.

Allow for the paste to dry before then adding some Crackle Paste over the top of the previously pasted areas and dragging it down along the edges. Again I use my fingers to smear the paste over the surface.

Once the paste is dry and the crackles appear, I started adding the paint to create the rusty effect.
For this I used a combination of the following Distress Paints; Ground Espresso, Crackling Campfire, Rusty Hinge, Black Soot, Vintage Photo, and Antiqued Bronze.

I apply the paints in the order listed and use a very fine tipped paint brush. After applying a coverage of the Ground Espresso, I then build up the colours by adding each layer, heat drying between each application. To create the drips and the various shades, I add a touch of water to the paint and by moving the tag around, I just allow the paint to flow. If you need more water, just spritz it over the top and if you need more paint, just add another layer ~ it's all about layering to create the effect you want. You'll also notice that I left some of the crackle paste unpainted.
Once I was happy, I then added a layer of Black Soot Distress Crayon over the top, blending out any harsh colour with my fingertip that I dampened with a little water.

So, now we have the surface ready, and it's time for the panel.

The base of the panel is made from Sizzix Mixed Media board and I cut two rectangular panels which I then stuck together to form one panel. I haven't got the size to hand, as I forgot to write it down before I sent the package but as soon as I know it, I'll add it to this post.

I then painted the panel with clear gesso to prime it. Once the gesso is dry, I applied a good layer of embossing ink, using the Embossing Dabber. With the ink still wet, I sprinkled a good layer of Emerald Creek White Gesso Embossing Powder over the top. Tap away the excess and heat emboss until molten. To build up the layers to create the enamelled effect, I repeated this process a further couple of times. I then added a final layer of the Embossing Dabber over the top, and sprinkled with Blizzard Baked Texture Embossing Powder. You don't want a solid coverage of this powder, just a hint of it here and there.

To create the edges of the panel, I used black embossing powder. I applied the Embossing Dabber around the edges, and then sprinkled the powder over the top. You'll see the little stray specks of powder, which I love as they give more texture to the enamelling. Heat emboss and then finally, I added two more layers of powder but this time, I used Embossing Glazes ~ Walnut Stain and Rusty Hinge. Again, I applied these powders over the top of the ink and heated them until molten.
I buffed the enamelled panel to remove any residue before mounting it onto silver metallic kraft card which I cut slightly larger in size to create a border. I then sanded the metallic card.
After applying foam pads to the back of the enamelled panel, I attached this to my tag, layering it over the top of some Typography Collage Tissue which I tore from the roll and adhered to my tag surface with Matte Collage Medium. You can see the collage tissue just poking out from either side, underneath the plaque.
Around the edges of the enamelled plaque, I applied the rusty paint effect using very small amounts of the colours I used around the edge of the plaque. Ground Espresso, Crackling Campfire, Rusty Hinge, Black Soot, Vintage Photo, and Antiqued Bronze.

I completed the plaque with hardware heads in each corner, again altered to create a rust effect with the Distress Paints.

Now for the numbers and if you follow me, and loved my Insect Vignette Tray that I shared a couple of weeks ago, you'll be familiar with this technique.

I cut the numbers using the Countdown Thinlits Die Set from silver metallic kraft cardstock, and then cut them another couple of times from Mixed Media Heavystock, I layered them over the top of one another to form the four numbers, 1927.

I inked the surface of each number using the Embossing Dabber and then sprinkled the following Distress Embossing Glazes over the top ~ Speckled Egg, Hickory Smoke, Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain. I layer the glazes, one by one over the top of each other, heating each layer of the glaze with a heat gun before adding the next. Also, each time I reduce the amount of glaze, so that the last colour, Walnut Stain is really just a sprinkle over the top. Practicing this technique really does make perfect and there's no rights, or wrongs ~ it's up to you how you want the finished look of these numbers to be!

Once I was happy with the way my numbers looked, I attached them to the enamelled chipboard panel. (NOTE: If any of the card layers have slightly lifted due to the heat gun, just add a dab of Matte Collage Medium between to reattach).

I overlapped the numbers, attaching the 1, & the number 2 directly onto the plaque itself, and then lifting the 9 and 7 with foam pads added to the back.

On either side of the plaque, I've added the hole reinforcer pieces that come with the set of Etcetera Tags. I always have a few of these left from previous projects where I haven't used them, so I keep them in a box ready to use for another time, and this was the perfect occasion. I've used two of the pieces from the small sized Etcetera tags, and two of the pieces from the Mini sized tags. I've layered the small ones over the top of the larger size and applied a coat of Clear Gesso to prime the surface. I then applied a coat of the Embossing Dabber over the top and sprinkled a base layer of Speckled Egg Embossing Glaze. Heat until molten, before adding the next layer of Walnut Stain and Rusty Hinge. You only need a sprinkle of these over the top, not full coverage as you want the blue to show through from underneath.

As a final layer, I sprinkled a minimal amount of the Emerald Creek Gesso Embossing Powder over the top...and when I say minimal, you are talking grains, that's all! I just want a speckle of white over the surface. Heat emboss the final layer of powder.

From the photo below, you can see how much I've used on the pieces either side.
I attached the enamelled hole reinforcers to either side of the central panel and then added a Hardware Head, altered with a little Rusty Hinge, Crackling Campfire, and Ground Espresso Distress Paints to create the rusty look, and I adhered these above and below each of the hole reinforcer pieces.
So now everything is in place and it's time to add some more Distress Paint to create the rusty finish around the numbers, around the hole reinforcers.
I used the same colours of Distress Paint, as I used around the outside edge of the plaque and applied each layer with a very fine pointed paintbrush. You may need to add more water to the paint to create the drips, and by adding the water, it will create a more fluid paint, therefore allowing you to move the paint around easier and create the rust effect. It's really all about playing and creating the effect you want with the colours of Distress Paint that I've suggested!
We're nearly there and all that's left is to add the Solo Paper Doll, which I colour tinted using Distress Crayons and a waterbrush.

I placed the paper doll onto a 'seat' of a ruler piece, that I broke, hammered and then coloured with a wash of Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I attached the ruler over the top of a Pinked Etcetera Trimming. I applied a layer of Crackle Paste over the top of the trimming, allowed for this to dry and then applied Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over the top, followed by a mist of water, which allows the colour to sink into the crackles to accentuate them.

I adhered the paper doll using foam pads, and placed him onto the ledge, sitting on a bed of Mummy Cloth, from the Halloween Trimmings set, that I inked with Frayed Burlap and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stains.

Finally, I added the Display Hanger, which I clipped onto the plaque before applying a Remnant Rub, "Tell Your Story".
...and that's my plaque complete.

I hope you've enjoyed following along with the tutorial and if you do use any of the techniques I've shared, I'd love to see your makes ~ just message me or tag me on any social media platform, or you can leave a comment on my blog, and I'll be right over to take a look!

 Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Distress PaintAntiqued Bronze, Black Soot, Crackling Campfire, Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso, Speckled Egg, Picket Fence and Vintage Photo
Distress Spray Stain: Frayed BurlapAntique Linen
Distress Embossing Glaze - Speckled Egg, Hickory Smoke and Walnut Stain.
Embossing Powder: Simon Says Stamp White
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain

Monday, 3 May 2021

The Wonder of You....

Hello friends and Happy Monday...

As another week flies by, it's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week we'd love for you to join us and play along with our fun theme which is all about embracing our FEMININE side, and with Mother's Day just around the corner in so many countries, this is just perfect timing to start making those cards for all those special Moms. The DT are also showcasing our very own Simon Says Stamp products within our projects!

I chose to make a tag and this was actually inspired by the Art Deco period and from the clothes to the architecture, I just love everything about it and for me this era was one of the most feminine of all time and in turn, this style was ideal to replicate for this challenge. So, with all my bits and pieces in front of me,  a combination of Simon Says Stamp and various Tim Holtz products, the tag started to come to life and I started with the background which is actually a Simon Says Stamp die that I cut to create a stencil.

So, let's get started and here's what I did...

To begin with I used a Size 8 Tim Holtz Distress Tag for my base and this is how I created the background on that tag.

I cut a panel of acetate, 12 x 17cm but you can also use scrap card, as long as it's it's fairly thick and will stand up to being used as a template.

Taking the SSS Spring Blooms Corner die, I placed the die in the bottom left hand corner and ran it through my machine. To cut through acetate, you might need to do this two or three times, dependent on pressure of your machine. I then placed the die in the opposite corner and once again, ran it through the machine. I now have a stencil to be used for the background and placed this over the top of my tag.

I spritzed through the stencil design with Tim Holtz Resist Spray, and then carefully lifted the stencil and removed it from the tag.

Allowing for the resist spray to dry, I then spritzed colour over the top of the tag, which I had already misted with a little water and the colours I used were a combination of Distress Spray Stains; Speckled Egg, Stormy Sky, Salvaged Patina, Frayed Burlap and Crackling Campfire. I also used Speckled Egg Oxide Spray.

After gradually building up the colour using the various sprays, which I dried in between layers, I had my background which has shown up the beautiful pattern of the die, which I'd used as a stencil.

I machine stitched a border around the outside of the tag and then adhered it to a size 8 Etcetera Tag using Matte Collage Medium before inking the edge of the tag with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Moving onto the die cut leaves that surround the photo. For these I used the Sizzix Skeleton Leaves Die set by Tim Holtz and cut three sets of leaves from Mixed Media Heavystock card.

With the leaves on my glass mat, I added colour using Speckled Egg and Bundled Sage Distress Spray Stains. I throughly dried the leaves before the next step of adding the gold flakes.

I used Prima Marketing Vintage Metallic Flakes and applied the flakes to approx half of the leaves using Prima's Gilding Glue. I applied the glue to the surface of each leaf, and once the glue is ready, I applied the beautiful flakes over the top. At this stage, it might look a mess but don't worry all you do is use a brush to brush away the excess flakes, which can be popped back into the tub and you are left with the most gorgeous gilded leaves.

Cut the stems into pieces, and set them to one side.

Now for the framed image, which is the perfect Deco shape. I used one of the dies in the Sizzix Geo Frame Dies by Tim Holtz. I cut the frame three times from Mixed Media Heavystock card, keeping the inner piece because I will place that back inside once I've finished. I layered each die cut over one another to create one thick frame. Once the adhesive was dry, I then inked the frame with Salvaged Patina Distress Ink before applying the Embossing Dabber over the surface. After sprinkling Salvaged Patina Embossing Glaze over the top, I heat embossed the frame until the glaze was molten. I then applied another layer of Embossing Dabber before applying a very light sprinkling of Walnut Stain Embossing Glaze over the frame. You don't want a solid covering, so it really is as if you're sprinkling sugar over the top of a doughnut, that's all you need. Heat emboss and then place the inner section, which I covered with linen from my stash, back inside the frame.

For the next layer, I added some Mica from my stash before attaching the Photo Booth image over the top. I colour tinted the image with Distress Crayons and a waterbrush, and then machine stitched a border around the outside before using Matte Collage Medium to attach the image over the top of the frame layers.

I placed a Mini Paper Clip in the top right hand corner of the photo.

I attached my completed frame onto the tag, attaching the leaves to cascade around it. I also added some ephemera snippets, a button from my stash and a Remnant Rub around the arrangement of the frame and leaves.

Now for the finishing details and to add that touch of femininity, I added the tiny pink Bouquet flowers. I coloured the flowers with Kitsch Flamingo and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stains and once they were dry, I cut each individual flower from the stem and placed them in, and around the photo. In the centres of the flowers, I added Platinum Stickles Glitter Glue to each of the stamens and allowed for these to dry.

To complete the photo, I added the 'squiggle' that runs down the left hand side. For this I used the Sizzix Media Marks Die by Tim Holtz and cut the piece from a scrap of previously inked card. I think it was inked with Antique Linen, Speckled Egg and Old Paper. I then attached the die cut mark directly onto the photo.

I also added one of the new Flair Quotes "Full of Wonder" in the bottom right hand corner.

Underneath the frame, I placed a Metallic Quote Sticker ~ Limited Edition and also attached a Stitched Scrap, which I coiled around and stitched to form a loop, placing this on the left hand side of the frame.

Finally, at the top of the tag, I attached the hole reinforcer piece, which also have a touch of Vintage Metallic Flakes added to the surface.

All that's needed now is the Mummy Cloth, (from the halloween trimmings set) tie that I coloured with Speckled Egg and Antique Linen Distress Spray Stains and once it was dry, I looped it through the hole reinforcer and placed a Heart Charm on the end of the cloth, just painting the tiny heart in the centre with a little Kitsch Flamingo Distress paint.

So that completes my project for this week's challenge and I hope you've been inspired by the ideas I've used. 

As always, if you make anything, or been inspired by anything that you've seen here on my blog ~ then please, let me know by tagging me on social media or leaving a comment here and I will be right over to take a look!

Don't forget that 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 keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Stampers Anonymous: Size 8 Etcetera Tag
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain
Distress Spray Stains; Kitsch Flamingo, Antique Linen, Speckled Egg, Salvaged Patina, Stormy Sky, Frayed Burlap and Crackling Campfire
Distress Oxide Spray: Speckled Egg
Distress Embossing Glaze: Salvaged Patina, Walnut sTain
Distress Crayons; Aged Mahogany, Stormy Sky, Fossilized Amber, Gathered Twigs
Distress Paints: Mustard Seed

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