Monday, 24 June 2019

The Stars Are Always Shining...

Hello friends....

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge! This week our theme is called Stars & Stripes and we hope you'll join us and play along, creating something that features this fun theme within your project.

For my piece, I thought ahead to the 4th of July and inspired by Jasper Johns, I used Tim Holtz Distress Paints to create the stars and stripes as the background for my tag. I also added some embellishments to tell the story, including the Liberty Bell that hangs proudly above the head of the Paper Doll.
So, let's get started and here's how I created this tag...

To start I primed my Etcetera Tag with gesso and allowing it to dry.

I then masked off the top section of the tag using low tack masking tape. This is where I will be adding the blue and I chose Chipped Sapphire Distress Paint to add colour. I applied the paint to this section using a brush and then heat dried it before dry brushing Black Soot Distress Paint over the top. When dry brushing, always remove as much paint from your brush as possible, leaving a minimal amount to brush over the surface. Allow for the paint to dry thoroughly and then remove the masking tape, reapplying it along the edge of the blue paint.

I then measured across the tag, ensuring I had three equal sections to form the vertical stripes down the tag. Place the masking tape vertically onto the tag and then apply Candied Apple Distress Paint onto the left and right hand stripe, leaving the centre white.

Once the Candied Apple paint is dry, dry brush Black Soot over the top. If you feel that you need to add more red paint, or if you've added too much Black Soot, just use the same technique to dry brush the colour over the top but ALWAYS DRY THE PAINT BETWEEN LAYERS!

After removing the tape, I reapplied it back onto the tag, placing it directly down the edges of each of the red panels, showing the white area.

Apply Antique Linen Distress Paint, dry the paint and then dry brush over the top with Pumice Stone Distress Paint and once again, dry thoroughly.

I now have my background, but needed to add some ageing and for this I lightly sanded the edges of the tag, not a lot ~ just very gently to reveal some of the original tag. I then splattered some Black Soot Distress Paint over the surface, heat dried the paint and splattered again with a small amount of Picket Fence.
Now to create the stars and for this I used the Star Shifter Stencil but I didn't 'shift'. I just laid the stencil down over the blue area and used a palette knife to apply my Grit Paste through the stencil.

Remove the stencil and then let the paste dry. Whilst the paste is drying, I painted my hole reinforcer piece using Candied Apple and then dry brushing the Black Soot Distress Paint over the top. Attach this piece to the hole using Matte Collage Medium.
To create the ledge that the paper dolls stands on, I used Scallop Etcetera Trims ~ the largest and widest, together with the next size down. I absolutely LOVE these trims ~ they are just so useful when creating these dimensional projects and when you want to 'ground' your paper dolls. I wanted to continue the stripes on my ledge so taking the larger of the two, I applied a coat of gesso over the surface and then attached some more masking tape to give me three equal section. I applied Candied Apple to the two outer sections before dry brushing them with Black Soot. I removed the masking tape once dry, replaced the tape to mask off the red areas and then painted the central section with a combination of Antique Linen and Pumice Stone Distress Paints.
Attach the trim to your tag, aligning the stripes.

For the ledge, I took the smaller trim and applied a layer of Crackle Paste over the top. Once dry and the crackles have appeared, I accentuated them by scribbling a small amount of Hickory Smoke Distress Crayon over the surface and then used a water brush to move the colour around, allowing it to sink into the crackles.

Attach the second, smaller trim to create a ledge for the paper doll.
Now to build up the story and add those embellishments...

I started by attaching the map of the USA taken from the Keepsakes Ephemera set and aged the edges with a little Walnut Stain Distress Ink before adhering it directly onto the tag, using Matte Collage Medium. In the corner of the tag, i added a small stamp and in the opposite corner, I placed a number from the Clippings Stickers.
To create my blue star, I used the Dimensional Stars die from Tim Holtz and die cut some card taken from the Classic Kraft Stash. I assembled the star by folding along the scorelines, and then sanded along those lines before adding a touch of gold gilding wax to accentuate the folds.

I attached the star onto my tag using Matte Collage Medium and just held it in place until the medium had worked it's magic.
The Paper Doll I used is of course, the girl holding the US flag and I colour tinted her with Distress Marker Pens, adding a small pearl onto her sash. The girl is then attached onto the project using foam pads and I also placed some Mummy Cloth along the ledge, which I dyed with Antique Linen and Pumice Stone Distress Spray Stain.

Around the base of the girl's feet, I added some moss.
I then took four of the Bauble Adornments and coloured two of them using Smolder Alcohol Pearls and the remaining two with Deceptive Alcohol pearls. I placed these onto the ledge, together with some small flowers, cut from the stems of the Bouquet Findings and coloured with Tumbled Glass Distress Spray Stain.
To complete the ledge, I added some dried grass from my own stash.
As decoration, I placed one of the Ribbons & Bows adornments that I coloured with Antiqued Bronze and Rusty Hinge Distress Paint and then attached two small Hardware Heads to either side of the Scallop Etcetera Trim.

Taking four of the star adornments, a large Hinge clip, a Tiny Bell and the Typed Token ~ I 'rusted these up' with a combo of Evergreen Bough, Rusty Hinge, Antiqued Bronze and Picket Fence Distress Paint and once I was happy with the rusty crusty look, I attached the four stars, two on either side of the map....
...and clipped the Hinge Clip, complete with Typed Token onto the side of the tag.
Now for the Liberty Bell, which hangs above the head of my paper doll. I placed the rusty tiny bell onto some chain and then attached this to a screw eye fixing from the Vignette Hardware Findings set. I then screwed the screw eye into the board, allowing the bell to hang down.
Finally, I added the Clippings Sticker, 'The Stars Are Always Shining' across the paper doll...
...and finished with a combination of hand dyed red and ivory ribbons threaded through the reinforcer hole.
So, that's my project for this week and I hope it's inspired you with some ideas of your own  ~ is sure was fun to create my flag on the background of this tag and something I hope you'll try out. If you do, I would love to see your projects, so please drop me a line via social media...Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Have fun creating your projects and 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 taking the time to stop by today and hope to see you again soon, love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:


  1. I love your version of the "flag girl!" I really like the step-by-step tutorial and directions to achieve a similar project. The "story" your tag tells is outstanding and really captures the sentiment for the holiday. Thanks so much for the inspiration and beautiful rendition!

  2. What a beautiful rendition of the 4th of July.... so much eye candy here! Love the dry brushing - I'll have to remember that as the depth it adds is stunning. Your eye for detail is fabulous.... great make! Have a great week - xx Lynn

  3. Red, white and Cool !! Yep ... ' The Stars are always shining '... you my Product Queen are shinning brightly !!! Details are beautifully done ( girlfriend, girlfriend GIRLFRIEND !! )... Your ledge with baubles and stars <3 ; the tiny bell at top, the background OMG amazing !! #GiddyQueendoinpatrioticshuffle

  4. I don´t know how you do this??? I´m not able to understand! It is UNBELIEVEABLE ... doesn´t matter what kind of material or Stamp or Die you use: always different and ALWAYS PERFEKT! You ar one of my most favorite Crafter! THANK YOU!

  5. Emma, I have to tell you how much this lovely piece of artwork choked me up. I am a proud American, and your details are spot on--the gorgeous stars and stripes background, the Liberty Bell, stars, the postage stamp--all perfectly chosen representations. And perfectly made...

  6. Oh my goodness Emma!! this is absolutely FAB-U-LOUS!!! the whole design is brilliant!! :-)

    hope you have a great weekend!
    Lols x x x

  7. Fabulous RWB tag for the 4th! Love it! hugs, Maura

  8. You totally nailed the theme, Emma . This is absolutely 'spot on' , totally faultless and flawless!
    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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