Dec 17 2014

Quick and Easy Gift Bags Tutorial by Anne Redfern

I don’t know about you but in the run up to Christmas, I run out of time, so I always make a few gift bags to hold small Christmas presents – just in case I forget someone!  This is a style I have been using for years now so it is tried and tested and will make a gift bag that is approx. 5.1/2″ tall and 2″ deep.


I made these bags with papers and die cuts that I had left over after making my Christmas cards – waste not, want not!


Take some lightweight card and cut to 8.1/2″ x 11.1/2″ (A4 for UK crafters is a perfect size) and score as shown.  I used plain white card to show the measurements but patterned card looks amazing too and needs less decoration (as in the two small bags in the first photo!


Turn the card and score at 2″ and then 1″ in from the other side, as shown.


Cut as shown.


Make mountain and valley folds as shown.


Glue the small edge as shown and pin together for a few minutes to ensure the glue is dry.  You can use score tape here but wet glue always seems stronger to me.


Fold in the two ends but do not glue yet.


Fold in the tapered ends to form the base and use wet glue to secure them.  I find it helps to put your hand inside the bag and press it down onto a firm surface.  This ensure that the bag will stand level.  You can if you wish, put a liner in the very bottom of the bag to give it even more strength.


Your bag should now stand up as shown, with the small flap at the top folded over.  If you wish to have a straight bag at the top (as you will see with the reindeer bag) then just omit the score line at the top.


Now, decorate to your heart’s content – for me this is the fun bit!  This bag has a flap, which I have folded over to the back of the bag and I used a set of magnets to keep the flap closed but a decorated clothes peg or paperclip would be fine too.

This bag was made omitting the flap at the top, I simply punched holes in and threaded the ribbon through – very quick and easy!


I made this bag using some larger card (16.1/2 x 11.1/2″  (or A3 Size in the UK) and just made some slight adjustments to the measurements for scoring.  I wanted you to see that if you do have larger card you can make quite a good sized bag.

I hope you feel inspired to make some bags yourself, they do not have to just be for Christmas.  The majority of products used can be purchased from Inspiration Emporium.

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Dec 15 2014

Weekly Inspiration

Just 10 more days until Christmas!  I am sure everyone is busily getting ready for this festive time of year.  The season brings with it some pretty amazing traditions…ones pretty traditional while other totally crazy but fabulous in their own rite.  Personally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas for me without trimming the tree, a couple great feasts with family and a  little dose of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  I hope you will share some our your traditons with us and let us know what makes your holidays special.

Even during this busy time of year, our design team has been doing an amazing job on their inspiration to share with all of you. 


Kath Stewart has created this stunning card. What a work of art Kath! I am sure the recipient of this card is going to LOVE it!



Need an idea on how to wrap that perfect gift?  Lisa Hoel has created this beautiful gift box that can also be used as a home decor piece after the gift giving. 



Alice Wertz is stirring things up with this cute vintage looking one layer card using Paper Smooches



Make sure you check out Yvonne Blair‘s tutorial on the Ranger Blog showing just how she made this wintery delight!



Carolers singing…can you hear them?  What a incredible piece by Anne Redfern, so much detail!



Lastly for this week, we wanted to share with you Shelly Hickox’s 12 Days of ornaments.  The first two were shared in our last inspiration post and one as the tutorial but if you haven’t been following along(which are a must see) here are days 3 to 8. Each and every one are amazing and so different.  These are going to make for one beautiful tree!



There are some amazing submissions for this month’s challenge of Sing, Sing it Loud but there is still time for you to link HERE your creation for a chance to win $50 to spend at Inspiration Emporium.  What a perfect thing to work on while taking some time for yourself during this busy Christmas season.  Enjoy the week! h

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Dec 10 2014

Handmade Ornament by Shelly Hickox

Hi all! Those of you who follow my blog know that I decided to do a special ’12 Days of Ornaments’ project on my blog this month. Today is day 10 and I’m excited to be sharing today’s handmade ornament with all of you on the Inspiration Journal blog.

shelly hickox tree ornament

Eileen Hull has a new collection of dies with Sizzix called Vintage Kitchen. These dies are so much fun! I had an idea to use the Cookie Box in a slightly unusual way – as a shadowbox. Follow along to see how I created this sweet woodland ornament.

shelly project 1

Begin by cutting the box pieces from chipboard. You’ll only need the side piece and the bottom.

shelly project 2

Assemble box using glue of choice. Set aside to dry

shelly project 3

Next, emboss a piece of manila cardstock using Tim Holtz’s wood grain Texture Fade. Spray with Vintage Photo Distress Stain Spray. When dry, ink with Gathered Twigs Distress ink and cut into 1 ½” strips. Emboss another piece and color in the same manner. Use the cookie box die to cut a bottom panel section from it. This will cover the back of the box.

shelly project 4

Cut strips of thin wood sheets (these are bbq wrappers) to fit the inside of the box. Using the cookie box die, cut another bottom piece out of idea-ology Mirrored. This will cover the inside of the box.

shelly project 5

Adhere the wood grain cardstock strips to the outside of the box.  Notch the excess and fold over as shown.

shelly project 6

Glue the back panel onto the box, covering the edges.

shelly project 7

Seal project with gloss Multi Medium or varnish. Let dry.

shelly project 8

Adhere the Mirrored piece to the inside of the box. Line the inside edges with the wood sheets. Color an idea-ology Woodland tree with Peeled Paint Distress Stain Spray.

shelly project 9

Cut holly leaves from green Kraft Core’dinations cardstock. Adhere to top of box, along with a length of Red and Cream Trimmings and some pine cones and berries.  Glue a length of twine around the edge of the box.

shelly project 10

Create the scene inside with  miniature deer and fake snow.

shelly hickox eileen hull shadowbox

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tutorial and are inspired to make one of your own. Check out all of Eileen’s dies in the Inspiration Emporium store – I know you’ll love them!



Eileen Hull Cookie Box

Tim Holtz Strip Die – Festive Greenery

Tim Holtz Drapery and Woodgrain Texture Fades

Idea-ology Mini Trees

Ranger Distress Stain Spray – Peeled Paint

Ranger Distress Stain Spray – Vintage Photo

Idea-ology Mirrored

Idea-ology Trimmings – Red and Cream

Ranger Multi Medium – Glossy

Ranger Gathered Twigs Distress Ink

Core’dinations Kraft Core #13

Ranger Manila Cardstock 8 ½” x 11”

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Dec 8 2014

Weekly Inspiration

Happy Monday everyone!  We hope you enjoyed your weekend and took some time for yourself during this busy time of the year.  It is important to enjoy the now and being present in whatever you are doing and not thinking about all the things you may have coming up or worrying about things outside of your control.  Before you know it the Christmas season will be behind us so we need to slow things down and enjoy it as it is not all about the gifts we get or give.  Its about spending time with those we love and feeling blessed about the those we have in our lives.  Don’t get lost in the material things this Christmas season and enjoy the things that are priceless and do not cost a penny.

This week we have incredible talent shared once again from our fantastic design team.  We are so grateful for this amazingly talented group of ladies that share with us each week.  They always amaze us with their projects and artwork!


Karin Akesdotter’s clean and simple lines in this adorable Christmas card are perfect and oh so cute!



Keeping with the cute factor Karin Akesdotter shares with us this ‘lovely’ card using Mama Elephant.  Look at that little turtle!



Shelly Hickox has challenged herself to create ornaments for the Twelve Days of Christmas! Be sure to check out her blog and follow along, they are all fabulous and she shares how she made each one.  Can’t get any better than that! Incredible job Shelly!  This is day 1 and 2 and the rest are just as stunning!

shelly hickox tim holtz lantern ornament

shelly hickox pop it ups owl ornament


Wait until to you see this piece from Lisa Hoel.  What an incredible home decor centerpiece and Lisa is a master of creating them time and time again.  WOW…WOW…WOW!



Kath Stewart has created a beautiful piece playing along with our Monthly Challenge of Sing, Sing it Loud!  Loving the gold and all the layers!

Project 2


Layering Stencil Embossing was the challenge over at CC3 and Bobbi Smith created this fantastic tag with so much texture and dimension.  This is a gift in itself Bobbi, love this and the bold red bow just sets everything off!

IMG_8082_Snapseed2 copy



We finish up this week with a little dreaming of a pink Christmas by Yvonne Blair.  So glad this came to you in your dreams!

Yvonne Blair CC3C 17c

Be sure to get your projects linked for our December Challenge HERE as you have until December 31 at midnight.

Have a great week and remember to live in the now and enjoy the present! h

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Dec 4 2014

December’s Monthly Challenge

I can’t believe we are nearly to the weekend again! Where has this week gone?  I hope you are enjoying the talents of our amazing design team and are visiting them on their blogs as well.  We cannot say enough about the incredible talents of our team as they continue to amaze us each and every week with their artwork.  We are not only enjoying what we are seeing from them but also YOU!  Thank you all for participating in our monthly challenges and sharing with us what you have been working on.  Let’s finish off this year with a bang or a tune as we announce December’s monthly challenge as Sing, Sing it Loud!  This month’s challenge should include anything involving music, whether is it sheet music, stamps, patterned paper, diecuts,….It is a great time of year with all of the Christmas carols being sung but is not limited at all to simply Christmas.  The ideas are endless so turn up your favorite music and start creating.  You have until December 31, 2014 to attach your link to the bottom of this post for your chance to win a $50 Shopping spree with us at Inspiration Emporium.  To get your creativity going here are some great examples for our challenge.

Lisa Hoel has created this beautiful piece perfect for the challenge!


Bobbi Smith WOWS us with her pretty gift gifting pieces!

IMG_3475 copy

Can’t wait to see your masterpieces and just maybe you will be this month’s winner! Have a great weekend! h

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Dec 3 2014

Inked Bokeh Tutorial by Alice Wertz

Hello! It’s Alice here. =) I am sharing a fun and simple inking technique with you today.

Bokeh has been a popular look this year and here is how I created the Bokeh look on the tag.
First, gather up ink colors of your liking. I have Peacock FeathersPicked Raspberry and Squeezed Lemonade distress inks here. I ended up not using the Peacock Feathers, but hey, that’s why we experiment with colors, right? =) I have a full Unicorn white ink pad from Hero Arts here, but you can find the cube version of it in the Blackboard 4 Color Cubes Set. Of course you will need those Mini Ink Blending Tool, too! My tag is cut using a die from Mama Elephant’s Tags a Lot die set. And the heart dies are from Paper Smooches Hearts set and Instalove from Mama Elephant.
All you need to do is pick a color to start inking. Picked Raspberry was inked first here.
Add another color. I used Squeezed Lemonade here.
Layer on the colors to your liking. I really love blending colors with Squeezed Lemonade,it really softened the bright pink here.
I cut three sizes of hearts out of some scrap paper as my stencils for inking the white pigment ink.
And started inking the hearts on random places on the tag.
I found that one dabbing of the sponge from the ink pad lasts a good few hearts. So just keep moving the heart stencils and let the differences of the ink intensity add to the depth of the look.
Here is the final tag and one more look of my card below.
The couples are from Mama Elephant’s Alpine Carolers set, colored with Copic markers then cut using the matching dies.
Hope you will give this technique a try! =)

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Dec 3 2014

November Inspiration Wrap Up and Winner

Good Morning all!  I wanted to make sure we got all of November’s inspiration posted because there are some super awesome ideas you can take into your own holiday creating.  Hopefully they have inspired you to look at your supplies in a little different way in how you might already use them and create beautiful art.

Sue Kment has created this fantastic gift bag using her Silhouette and lawn fawn die cuts and stamps.  This is adorable Sue!

sue nov2

How cute is this card by Sue Kment also using Lawn Fawn!?



Merry and Bright and everything nice! This cute cute shaker card is certain to be loved by anyone receiving it this holiday season from Karin Akesdotter.  Karin, I can send you an address that sure would enjoy it!IMG_0399a

It is a treat to get to see Yvonne Blair‘s page from her Inky Artist Journal.  In the last inspiration post we saw her cover which was stunning.  This journal will be amazing as a finished piece! Thank you for sharing Yvonne.

Yvonne Blair Journey 1(1)


Alice Wertz creates cute like no other in her own little way!  This Chubby Chums set from Paper Smooches is SO cute and the label maker addition is perfect!


We just wanted to say a huge thank you and WOW to all of those that participated in our monthly challenge for November.  There were 104 amazing submissions so if you haven’t taken some time to check them out and visit the blogs they have come from, I encourage you to do so.  We are so grateful that you have chosen to share your art with us and all of our readers.  This craft truly brings some incredible people together and in touch with one another creating lifetime friendships while doing what we all love.  We can’t ask for anything better than that so thank you for being a part of our Inspiration Emporium family!  We want to congratulate the random winner of November’s monthly Challenge – Happy Holidays…


Congratulations ZOE HILLMAN!!!!

please contact to claim your prize.

Please check back tomorrow for the announcement of the December challenge.  Enjoy your day today! h

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Dec 1 2014

Weekly Inspiration Catch Up

Today we are playing a little inspiration catch up as last week was a little crazy to say the least.  There is lots of fantastic artwork coming in from our design team as well as all of you for the monthly challenge.  Be sure to check back tomorrow evening for the announcement of the November challenge winner, December’s challenge and more inspiration.  We hope that you enjoyed the weekend with friends and family and took time to count the  blessings in your life.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday always brings with them great sales and savings and it is not too late to pick up some incredible deals with Inspiration Emporium.

We hope you have a nice mug of something warm so you are able to spend some time with us checking out the incredible talents.


Kath Stewart  has been getting into the holiday spirit and has created these two beauties for our monthly challenge. A two for one deal!

November Project 3


 Are you looking to make some fun and cute tags or cards to attach to your gifts this year?  Pamela Ho has done a beautiful job on these ‘cool’ dudes.

Project 2 November(1)

Project 1 November(1)

Alice Wertz is wishing you a cozy Christmas with these adorable stamps from Mama Elephant


 Be sure to check out Lisa Hoel‘s blog for all of the detail in this amazing fish tank using the Artist trading block dies.  Ingenious Lisa!


Danielle Lounds has been busy working on increasing her holiday card reserves.  Stunning work Danielle!



Colour is a trademark of Danielle Lounds  and she does it beautifully!



Lots of layered goodness in this piece by Danielle Lounds


Danielle Lounds knows how to use embellishments.  Perfect placement Danielle and great card!



Anne Redfern shares with us her piece using the Layering Stencil Embossing Technique.  Be sure to check out our sweet Linda Ledbetter’s CCC3 #16 Challenge to get in on the fun yourself.


 Pamela Ho has me starting to think how nice a warm hot chocolate with marshmallows would be on this cool evening.  Perfect holiday card or notecard for that special someone.

Project 4 November(1)

 Hmmmm…Can I have a little kiss under my mistletoe???? Please???? Adorable Pamela!



Kath Stewart has created this fantastic series of cards using the ‘Tis the Season’ Collection kit.  A perfect gift idea for that favorite teacher or friend!

Tis The Season(1)


We can’t wait to see what  Yvonne Blair does in her Inky Artist Journal if her cover is this amazing!

Yvonne Blair Truth 1(1)

 A serious case of Inspiration overload Right???  See you tomorrow! h

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Dec 1 2014

Cyber Monday 2014

I hope all of the IE family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We all have so much to be thankful for. Taking a few moments to just sit back and reflect on all of our blessings is a must, and being able to share these moments with your loved ones is something special…


This year for the family was a little different… We were short two loved ones, as mama n papa were out of the country in the Philippines celebrating a cousin’s wedding. But nonetheless the family gathered and we had a wonderful feast. We ate, we laughed, we told some hilarious stories from our past. We all hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was as enjoyable as ours.

Another tradition we partook of… Black Friday shopping! Joy and Joyce hit up the stores and had a great time with the crowds, finding deals, and receiving great discounts!

Speaking of great discounts, today is known as Cyber Monday! We are offering 40% off all items in our Cyber Monday category. There are thousands of items to choose from.  Please enter code “cybermonday2014″ during checkout.  Hurry…. sale is ends at midnight (PST).


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Nov 24 2014

November to Remember


Hi Family!

In this circle, November is definitely a month to Remember!  So many activities, so many special events, so much fun!


Last week, November 17 as we’ve noted in the past… well… that is a day we celebrate.  Our very own Anthoni Arevalo’s special day! Well, a special day that he shares with our other own Pop Malit Lopez that is.  These two share a very special bond, and not just because they’re nephew and aunt and spend countless hours together in the warehouse, they share the same birthday!  If that isn’t ironic enough, Pop’s grandfather (Anthoni’s great-grandfather) also
shares the same exact birthday!  Yes, all three were born on the same day, so much to celebrate!  Wait, that’s not all… if that isn’t enough, our other cousin Thirdy Malit is also a Scorpio and his birthday is… you guessed it, November 17. We noted this great day last year in our newsletter, but nevertheless, this coincidence is still A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!



Joy was able to check off another astonishing item on her bucket list.  Last Sunday, Joy and Joyce ran the inaugural Avengers ½ Marathon at Disneyland!  The girls were dressed in their super hero garb with Joy decked out as Iron Man, and Joyce sporting her Captain America gear!  They were joined by a few of our other cousins who were also donning super hero costumes! Several thousand participants lined up the streets of Disneyland as they ran through the Magic Kingdom as well as areas of Anaheim including having the opportunity to run through Angels Stadium.  The marathon was a huge hit, and aside from a few blisters and sore feet, all family members completed the race happily and successfully.


With all the special events and the special birthdays, we want you to help us celebrate!  Our main man Anthoni turns the big deuce-deuce this year.  So you, our extended family, will have savings of 22% off of your entire purchase.  This sale starts now and goes on through Wednesday, November 26, 2014.  Please enter code “bday22″ during checkout. 


Thank you,


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