Monday, October 31, 2011

A Serendipitous Simon Says Stamp Challenge

A couple weeks ago, the theme for the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge was 'stripes'. I had seen a very cool little paper house on Pinterest, and decided to create a Fall-themed house, using an embossing folder for stripes. Well, it took forever, my stripes weren't very stripey, and I ended up setting it aside, even though I loved it. Imagine my surprise when I checked to see what this week's challenge was and saw it was 'Houses'! Yay! A few finishing touches and my little birdhouse was ready to go.

After Googling my heart out trying to find a house pattern, I came across the perfect template, generously offered for download by a wonderful artist named Inger Harding. Be sure and check out her blog - it's fantastic!

Using her pattern, I cut my pieces from light chipboard. I painted the house pieces using a Lettuce Dabber and colored the roof using an Espresso Dabber. After the pieces were dry, I ran them through my Vagabond and embossed them using a Cuttlebug folder. After embossing them, I sanded the raised areas with my Idea-ology Sanding Grip.

Maybe I'm weird, but I really wanted to do something glittery for Fall! I decided to glitz up my birdhouse by applying a light coating of Rock Candy Distress Stickles to just about everything. While it was wet, I sprinkled on a little additional clear glitter from Martha Stewart.

I wanted to give the bottom of the house a finished look, and I thought the Sizzix On the Fence die would be perfect. I cut it out of chipboard and painted it with Picket Fence Distress Crackle paint, adding a light coating of Rock Candy Distress Stickles after it was dry.

Of course, I'm still addicted to my Faux Crazed Porcelain technique - had to fit it in somewhere! The number 2 is from Artistic Outpost's Whimsical Melange collection and was stamped using a Pitch Black Dabber.

I was a little uncertain as to how I should cut the hole in the house; I didn't have a hole punch that would reach, or was the right size, and I didn't want to do a sloppy job with an exacto knife. I spotted my set of Nestabilities Circles and was like - aha! I centered my die and cut through the house. It looked a little boring, so I used a scalloped circle with the plain circle and created a little frame from chipboard. Much better!

My birdhouse definitely needed a bird, and this sweet one (no idea what kind it is!) from Artistic Outpost's Birds of a Feather set was perfect. On the right side of the house, I created a little sign by tracing an Idea-ology Addage Ticket onto cream cardstock. I cut it out, and stamped a portion of a sentiment from Artistic Outpost's Typography set onto it. The ticket was covered with Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint (I'm falling in love with that stuff!) and attached using an Idea-ology Memo Pin.

Now, for my favorite bit - the leaves!! I basically created this whole project just to use the leaves, lol! I cut them out of  Tim's Kraft Core'dinations paper with my new Sizzix Autumn Gatherings die. After cutting my leaves and branches, I sanded them using my Idea-ology Sanding Grip, gave them a little Rock Candy treatment, and adhered them to the bottom of the house. Finally, I added a Kraft Glassine flower that was cut using the Tattered Florals die, to the center.

I bought this little silver pedestal at an antique mall a month or so ago and it seemed like a perfect way to showcase my little birdhouse. Apologies for the slightly blurry pic!

Thanks so much for stopping by! And special thanks to Inger for sharing her wonderful template. :-) Don't forget, you can get all of the supplies I used at Inspiration Emporium. AND if you use my code - stamptramp - you'll save 10% off your entire order! BTW, you can pre-order the new Tim Holtz Limited Edition Winter Distress inks there too. If they're as popular as the Fall set, you will want to jump on these FAST!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Boo! It's Grungy Monday!

One reason I love participating in challenges is that it gives me a great excuse to try something new. This week's Grungy Monday challenge is the perfect example. We are exploring Tim Holtz's Perfect Distress technique, using Distress ink and Perfect Pearls. For some reason I had never tried this technique - and it's fantastic!

I decided to make a chunky tag for my challenge piece. First, I covered my block in vintage paper and inked it with the new Seedless Preserves Distress ink. Next, my tag was inked with the new Ripe Persimmon ink (gorgeous!) and then stamped with the script stamp from Tim's Mini Ornates collection, using the same ink.

The minute I saw the Gothic Boo die, I knew I HAD to have it. Isn't it gorgeous??? I cut it out of chipboard and then painted it with a Pitch Black Dabber. When it was dry, I covered it with a combination of Black Soot Distress Stickles and a bit of Martha Stewart black glitter. I love it!

For the Perfect Distress technique, I stamped the flourish from the Reindeer Flight set using Black Soot Distress ink and then covered it with white Perfect Pearls. I think the effect is just gorgeous! I almost forgot the spritzing step and I'm so glad I remembered - the bleeding ink really adds a whole other layer of coolness. To finish off my tag I stamped the cat from Tim's Halloween Silhouettes collection and attached an Idea-ology Plaquette.

Don't forget! You still have time to enter the Inspiration Journal monthly challenge. This month we are challenging you to use orange, purple, and black in your creations. And you know what? I just checked and there are only THREE entries so far! Seriously? You could win a $50 gift certificate - get thyself to thine studio/craft room/kitchen table and get to work!

Oh! And if you need a few supplies, Inspiration Emporium has a new coupon code for you. Until October 31st, enter the coupon code - newstuff - and you will save 15% off your order. Wicked!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tim in 10 for Grungy Monday + a New Challenge

This week's Grungy Monday challenge is to create something inspired by Tim Holtz in 10 minutes or less. Sounds easy, huh? Ha! Not for me! I am the queen of tinkering and playing and time management is definitely not my strong suit. To make things a little easier, I turned to the latest Technique Junkie newsletter. I loved Nancy Judd's Antique Bookplate technique from the latest issue and thought it would be a quick and easy way to make a card that was simple, but still had impact.

I thought Tim Holtz's Halloween Mini 2 stamps would be perfect for this technique and I love how they worked with the technique! All the stamps I used are from that set except for the script, which is from his Mini Ornates collection. I used my favorite new Fall Distress inks for all the stamping and highlighted the 31 with Spiced Marmalade Distress Stickles. I almost didn't use the Stickles for fear it wouldn't dry in time (10 minute time limit!), but I just zapped it with the heat gun and I was good to go!

To make the skeleton stand out a bit, I used an Inkssentials white pen to highlight him. The bookplate panel is mounted on Kraft Core'dinations cardstock (love that stuff!). Finally, I added an Idea-ology Halloween Muse Token at the top.

The colors I used in this card - orange, black, and purple - are the colors for this month's challenge over at the Inspiration Journal blog. You definitely need to submit could win a $50 shopping spree at the Inspiration Emporium store. Remember, you can save 10% on your purchase right now by using my coupon code - stamptramp - when you check out. Go forth and shop! :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sardines for Lunch!

For the past month or so, I've been trying to eat healthier. It's been great - I've lost a little over five pounds so far! Today I had some sardines for lunch (great source of omega-3s!) and decided the tin was the perfect inspiration for a little Halloween shrine. It just so happens that Halloween is the theme for this week's Grungy Monday (where we celebrate all things Tim Holtz) AND Things With Wings is what we're showing off for the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge - perfect!

My first step was to cover all the shiny silver and print. A coat of black spray paint did the trick, but wasn't very interesting. I decided to try a little experimenting with my Dabbers. I gave the tin random coats of Pitch Black, Espresso,  and Terra Cotta Dabbers, which gave it a nice vintage look. A little Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress embossing powder added the look of rust - very cool!

The inside was covered with paper that I'd sponged with the new Halloween Distress inks - aren't they gorgeous?! The inked piece was adhered to the back of the tin using Claudine Hellmuth Studio Matte Medium. I used the Medium on top of the paper too - it seals in the color and really makes it pop! The sentiment is from Artistic Outpost's Vintage Halloween stamp collection (one of my faves!) and was stamped onto tissue paper and then adhered with more Matte Medium (love that trick!). To add a little texture, I dipped a brush into a puddle of Black Soot Distress Stain and flicked it over the background.

I glued Spanish moss around the inside and then added a chipboard fence which was cut using Tim Holtz's On the Fence die, and then painted with Pitch Black and Silver Dabbers. Next, I embossed the crow from Tim's Mini Halloween 2 stamp set on chipboard with Adirondack black embossing powder and glued him to the fence.

I just got the new Sizzix//Tim Holtz Autumn Gatherings die and I was dying to use it! To give my leaves a spooky feel, I sponged white paper with the new Halloween inks, crumpled the paper, and then cut it with the die. I can't believe how realistic these leaves look! My spooky branches were cut out of black cardstock (using the same die) and then sponged with the Dabbers a bit and attached to the sides of the tin.

Finally, I added some little 'pumpkins' (actually putka pods that I bought at Michaels), a glass Idea-ology Curio Knob to the top and a little unfinished wood candlestick that was stained using Distress Stains.

I am now totally in the mood for Halloween - are you?! If you're looking for some treats (no tricks!), make sure you check out Inspiration Emporium for, well....inspiration! If you use my coupon code - stamptramp - you will save 10% off your order. Also, be on the lookout for this month's IE challenge, coming soon to the Inspiration Journal blog!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Artistic Outpost Scrap Book For Sunday Stampers

This week's theme for Sunday Stampers is Mojo - as in, what do you do when yours has abandoned you? I am intimately familiar with this state, that's for sure! About a week ago, I knew I wanted to make something with some new stamps from Artistic Outpost, namely the Typography collection, but I couldn't figure out where to start. I decided to gather up all the scraps on my table, grab some old Technique Junkie backgrounds I'd been saving, and just start gluing. What an easy way to get the mojo flowing!

This is what I ended up with - a 'scrap' book of sorts. The pages are all made from chipboard covered with either Basic Grey or Tim Holtz papers as a base. To tone them down I used the Altered Designer Paper technique from the Apr/May '09 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter.

The metal butterfly was made using the AI Foil tech from the Aug/Sep '09 TJ newsletter - it's embellished with an Idea-ololgy Trinket Pin. Idea-olgy Tissue Tape makes a nice border for the bottom of the page.

The sentiment (which seems so appropriate for this book!) is from Artistic Outpost's Typography collection, the little shrine frame is from their Whimsical Melange set. The embellishment across the top of the shrine was totally inspired by Tracy Evans - I thought her use of Idea-ology Jump Rings was so brilliant! I couldn't figure out how to glue mine on and then I spotted my bottle of Crackle Accents. Perfect! A Snow Cap Dabber was used to give everything a whitewashed look. The ribbon on the side was one of my Distress Stain experiments from a few months ago - who knew that diluted Wild Honey Distress Stain would make such a pretty yellow?

I love these kids from Artistic Outpost's Think and Wonder collection. The large quote is from their Typography collection and is mounted on a panel that was created using the Brayered Impressions technique from the Dec/Jan '10 issue of the TJ newsletter. The ruler is from AO's Whimsical Melange collection. 'Dream' is from their Huck Finn collection. It's layered onto a tag that was cut using the Sizzix Tiny Tabs and Tags die (the tab on the front page was also cut using this die - it's awesome!), and attached to the page using an Idea-ology Long Fastener and an Idea-ology Foliage flower.

This page features a quote from the Typography collection, a little bird that was cut using the Sizzix Mini Bird and Cage die, and an Idea-ology Ornate Plate.

I've been saving this piece for awhile. It was left over when I cut the Baroque label for my daughter's graduation card. I thought it was too pretty to throw away! Behind it, I placed another Cuttlebug Stamps piece. The woman and sentiment are both from Artistic Outpost's Paris Exposition stamp collection (one of my all-time favorites!)

I love this page! The base is a vintage flash card. On the top, I adhered a scrap that was left over from cutting a label from the Styled Labels die. Over that, I've added a rosette cut using the Sizzix Rosette die and Idea-ology Kraft Resist paper. The men are from Artistic Outpost's Generation Redux collection.

The bottom of the card is wrapped with string from a bag of chicken feed (I seriously save everything). Over the top of it is an Idea-ology Adage Ticket and a watch face that was created using my Faux Crazed Porcelain technique. The ticket was attached using Tim's Tiny Attacher.

The back side of the card is embellished with an old checker that my husband found in the garden (I have him trained!), and an old slide mount. Behind them is a piece created using Antique Wallpaper technique from the Jun/July '10 issue of the TJ newsletter.

Another favorite page! The little boy is from the Think and Wonder stamp collection by Artistic Outpost. The left side is embellished with a piece of Idea-ology Film Ribbon that's attached using the Tiny Attacher.

This page is embellished with Idea-ology Lavish Trimmings, another tag cut using the Tiny Tabs and Tags die that I attached using an Idea-ology Charm Clip, and a scrap of the new Kraft Core'dinations that was embossed using the Sizzix Postal Texture Fade and then sanded with the Idea-ology Sanding Grip.

This little page was created using a watercolor Distress tag that is stamped with a sentiment from Artistic Outpost's Typography collection.

The flip side of the tag is embellished with a frame from Tim's Tag and Bookplates die that's been painted with a silver Adirondack Dabber. The flower in the center was cut from French book pages using the Tattered Florals die.

Whew! Finally we're to the last page. This one features two of my favorite stamps - the house from the Whimsical Melange set, which was stamped with a Stream Adirondack Dabber, and the sentiment, which is from the Typography set. A ripped Idea-ology Journaling Ticket that's been stapled on three sides with the Tiny Attacher make the perfect little pocket for an Idea-ology Philosophy Tag.

I hope you enjoyed my little book of scraps! It really is a great way to clean off your table and use up all the bits and pieces you've been saving. Don't forget, you can find lots of the materials I used at Inspiration Emporium. Be sure and use my coupon code - stamptramp - to receive 10% off your order!