Monday 14 May 2018

When In Doubt, Vacation...

Hello friends!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and ready for the week ahead. Of course, the start of a brand new week means the start of a brand new challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog and this week our theme is called STENCIL IT! So, whether it's card making, mixed media or home decor, it's time to break out those stencils and show us what you can do with them!

For my project, I went with using the stencils to create a background for my vacation themed tag and combined three Tim Holtz Layering Stencils to add depth and layering to this vintage style piece full of textures, dimension and of course, the star of the show ~ those wonderful die cut seashells.
So, let's get started because it's time for the new challenge!
To begin with I primed the surface of my medium sized Etcetera tag using white gesso. Once the medium is dry, I then started to add my colour and for this I wanted to capture a crystal turquoise colour of the ocean and used Evergreen Bough Distress Paint as a started and then layered Picket Fence, Bundled Sage and Pumice Stone DP over the top. For this project, I applied the paint using a brayer as it gives a smoother finish than using a paint brush and it also allows me to layer the paints without adding too much extra colour.

Once I was happy with the colour, I then dried the surface and applied torn pieces of tissue tape to the central area of the painted tag. I then used the brayer to apply some more paint over the top of the taped section, adding the same colours of paint as before.

Now that I have my background, I moved onto the stencilling and started by adding gesso through the Dotted Layering Stencil using a blending tool. Be careful not to overload the foam with too much paint as you don't want it to seep underneath the stencil.

Heat dry to set the paint and then, placing the Dotted stencil over different areas of the background to before, I applied Grit Paste.

Let the paste dry before dry brushing gold paint over the paste to accentuate the raised areas.

Finally, I added some more paste through the Speckles Layering Stencil and and added some random stamping to the background using the script stamp from the Entomology set before adding some doodling around the edges with a white pen and some shading with the Black Soot Distress Crayon.
To complete the tag, I painted the hole reinforcer piece with Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Paint, attached it to the hole and added some crinkle ribbon, dyed with Tattered Rose and Pumice Stone Distress Spray Stain before attaching the Story Stick and bird from the Milagros set.
Now for the beautiful shells and for this, I used the Seashell die by Tim Holtz (this die is amazing, the detail is just fabulous and if you love creating beach or sea themed pieces, this is definitely the one for you) and cut two of the same shell from Mixed Media card. I then applied gesso over the card, dried the medium and placed it into the texture fade to emboss both die cuts.

To create the lustre and shine of the shell, I used a combination of paints ~ Spun Sugar Distress Paint as my base and adding some Unicorn's Hair and Ginger Magic Sparks Paint from Prima over the top. You can just see in the photo below just how much shimmer there is to these die cuts but it was so hard to capture it properly on camera.
To complete the shells, I inked the edges with Ground Espresso Distress Ink and added a few flicks of white paint over the top.

To create the dimension and shape of the shells, I used foam pads on the reverse and added more pads to the central area to give the domed shape before attaching the seashells over layers of various Ephemera pieces including those from the Collector's Ephemera set, which are all adhered to the background with Matte Collage Medium.
To add the step, I used two pieces of driftwood that I placed together and attached with Collage Medium, adding them over a bed of cheesecloth dyed with Pumice Stone Distress Spray Stain. To create the look of sand on the wood, I used Prima/Finnabair Art Stones and sprinkled the stones over some 3D Gel. Once the stones are dry and set into place, I added some more of the Unicorn's Hair paint, together with a touch of White Alchemy Paint.
I now have the base for my figures and I'm ready to add the finishing touches to complete this scene. I lightly colour tinted the Paper Doll, creating the look of 'foxing' ~ an age related process of deterioration on a photo before attaching it with foam pads, that I've discreetly hidden at the back so that I can achieve the dimension to the couple...

I attached some curly moss behind the figures, allowing it to cascade out over the edges of the tag and placed a different variety of moss onto the driftwood step before attaching a Snarky Sticker below.
As the finishing touches, I added some metal hardware and a Clippings Sticker, 'Play On The Beach'...
...and placed some Melange Pebbles into the arrangement. These acrylic pebbles are great accents and for this particular project I painted them with Magical Pond Sparks Paint and White Pearl Alchemy Paint to create a little more shimmer.
So that completes this week's project and I hope you love this piece and all the techniques I've used to build up layers and dimension.
Don't forget, you can find more inspiration from my talented teamies over on the challenge blog and every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $50 gift voucher from Simon Says StampYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for stopping by today and I'll see you very soon!

Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous Stamp Sets: Entomology
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Dies: Seashells Die and Texture Fade
Tim Holtz Layering Stencil: Dotted, Speckles
Distress Ink: Ground Espresso
Heat Gun
Cheesecloth and driftwood from my own stash


  1. Emma, such a beautiful tag you have created! The shells make a wonderful backdrop with all the other details you have added. I love your meticulous design, as always something to be admired over and over again, you are so talented! xx

  2. Gorgeous tag Emma :-) the vintage couple are so handsome and I love the browns and teals together, such a pretty combo, the textures and details are all stunning! :-)

    Lols x x x

  3. It’s really cool tag Emma. Love the shells background and all the texture.

  4. Emma, all of your recent pieces have just been so stunning!!! And this one is no exception, I just love all the layers and textural elements, absolutely fabulous piece!!

  5. oh, I love everything about this Emma!!!

  6. Beautiful tag! Love the colours! And the layers!

  7. Absolutely fabulous tag!!!
    So well done and beautiful.
    Thank you Emma for the detailed how-to
    Crafty hugs, Corinne xox

  8. Gorgeous tag Emma! Love the detailed pictures!

  9. Such a pretty project I especially love the delicate colours and the shells are perfect.

  10. Fabulous in every way and detail! LOVE the color scheme!

  11. Simply glorious - from the sunbleached teal in the background to the incredible beachcombing embellishing to the cluster of worn ribbon strands at the top this is a masterpiece. Amazing and beautiful.
    Alison x

  12. Absolutely stunning tag, Emma! I love the colors, textures, and the cool shells as a backdrop for the couple!

    Simon Says Stamp!

  13. Beautiful tag and amazing colors and details.

  14. May I just say, this is a masterpiece tag, Emma! I adore it! I love how you have framed the couple with the sea shells, the gorgeous colors and wonderful details. Beautiful!!! xx Maura

  15. another amazing project Emma, I love how you used the seashells as a backdrop for your cute vacationing couple, hugs kath xxx

  16. Beautiful scene, so lovely and romantic. I love the huge mussels behind the couple and all the hundred layers you placed. Love your 3D projects and as always the colors are more than perfect. Hugs, Macarena

  17. This is such a gorgeous artwork! Emma. The colors and texture on the background you created are amazing. Love all the fabulous details. :)

  18. As I've said before, you are such a master of the little things! I always look forward to how you use embellishments in such new and refreshing ways. I especially like the pin detail on this one and every touch is lovely and perfect!

  19. Such a gorgeous tag, Emma! Love the shells against the blue background! The embellishments are amazing like always! Like the art stones are stunning. Hugs, Sandra

  20. Stunning project! the shells are fabulous, the colors you used to paint them is fabulous and the details.... you're the Queen of detail! Great piece! Barbara

  21. Your creativity always steals my heart, Emma, and yes you stole it again with this exquisitely stunning tag! Faultless composition and execution with exceptional attention to detail .

    Apologies for my late arrival - my words still remain genuinely sincere .
    Big hugs x


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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