Aug 6 2014

August Monthly Challenge

Good morning, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and taking full advantage of the sun and nice weather.  I know for me since our summers are so short I have been and loving every minute of it.  With that being said, it cuts down on our time to be creative with our stamps and paper but I am sure our gardens look amazing. There is just something about being out in the fresh air and enjoying what we have been blessed with in our very own backyards.  Yesterday I was able to get up close and personal with some incredible graceful humpback whales.  I wanted to share a photo today but the cord for my card reader is MIA, hopefully I can share next week as it was truly an amazing experience right in my back yard.


This month’s challenge is going to be up to you because ‘Everything Goes’ for August.  This is a great time to challenge yourself to try something different or enjoy all of the new releases that are coming out now.  We can’t wait to see where your creativity is taking you now and we are happy to be included in your journey.  By submitting your link below to your blog and project you will have a chance to win $50 to spend with Us online.  The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2014.


To get your creativity going Lisa Hoel wants to share what she is working on.  A great paper sketch challenge with a beautiful result.


Inspiration Emporium would like to congrat the winner of July’s monthly challenge…

that crazy chick #15

Please contact and we will arrange for your prize.

Thank you to everyone that shared their projects with us and our readers and be sure to keep them coming! h

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Jul 30 2014

Weekly Inspiration

There is lots more inspiration coming your way this week so lets get right to it.  Make sure you take a few minutes to visit the blogs of our design team to check out their incredible projects up close and leave them a comment to show you stopped by.


Summer is the time for new releases from designers and companies as they are gearing up for fall and the holiday season.  Shelly Hickox has used some of the newly released stamps from Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous in this great Halloween card.



Danielle Lounds has created this great canvas keepsake that would be a perfect way to display a captured memory from years gone by or today.



Lisa Hoel shares with us her version for Tim’s Tag challenge but as you can see from the second photo, keeps the idea going.  The tag and birthday cards fit perfectly with IE’s Monthly Challenge of Summer fun.  You still have time to get your submissions in for a chance to win a great prize.




We are always amazed with the journal pages created by Pam Hooten.  This double page is stunning! So colorful and cheery with the Dylusions and the little quote is so true, I have never seen an unhappy skipper.




Up next is an embellishment masterpiece by our very own Linda Cain.  It is great placement of so many different pieces to create a whole mixed media piece.  Great job, Linda!

Prima Tag 030sm


Switching gears(no pun intended), Linda has created this beautiful layout from her Nebraska memories.  What a cherished piece to create and have and remember those beautiful summer skies with.  The use of the black, white and bright colors is gorgeous!Farm Journal Page 005


Over at Studio L3  our sweet Linda Ledbetter has put out the Painted Industrial challenge as part of the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge.  This is Lisa Hoel’s steampunk birthday card using this very technique. Comendium-of-Curiosities-3-chall#7_Painted-Industrial

Don’t forget to submit your monthly challenge project for your chance to win! There is still time.

Thank you for stopping by and making us a part of your day today.  h

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Jul 22 2014

Summer Inspiration

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and that you are all receiving great weather.  When the weather is nice the activity list can be endless with trips to the beach, camping, road trips, some beautiful hikes on your favorite trails, biking, picnics…you get the idea.  All of these activities keep us outside and busy which limits the time we spend creating in the summer.  If this is your case make sure you are remembering to capture the outings with photos, journaling or collecting momentos of your special time so you are able to document on that rainy day or once the weather turns cooler.  Our incredible team members have fit in a little creating while enjoying their summers and would love to share them with you.

I wanted to start off with this amazing creation by Shelly Hickox.  What an genius garden tote using Sizzix’s 3D blocks and a great gift idea! This is perfect for our July Challenge of Summer Fun.  Make sure you check out the details HERE as the deadline to submit is July 31.

shelly hickox sizzix cube garden tote

Lisa Hoel crafted this beautiful timeless treasure for her Compendium of Curiosities III challenge piece.  This showcases the photo of her grand grandfather perfectly.



In preparation for 4th of July, Lisa Hoel created this bold and beautiful decor piece showcasing red, white and blue so proudly.  Make sure you check out her blog post  HERE to see all four sides



Next up is this fun altered canvas by Danielle Lounds.  There is so much texture and dimension included in this cheery watercolored piece.  Great job Danielle!


This gorgeous tag by Linda Cain showcases her talent for color and layering.  Make sure you take a few minutes to take it all in because there is so much detail involved.

Capture Memories Tag 004smb


Shelly Hickox is chiseling away at her holiday cards which is a very smart thing to do before all the hustle and bustle of the season.  Love, love, love this card created using Tim Holtz stamps and the Evergreen Pivot Card dies by Karen Burniston.  Be sure to check out Shelly’s blog to see how she made this as well as for a video showing the entire card.


shelly hickox pop it ups xmas card


This month so many of the design team members are putting their creativity into projects other than the simple card structure.  Linda Cain has created this adorable colorful trinket box.  I great way to give a gift because this little box is a gift within itself.

Matchbox 009sm


Lastly for this week, Pam Hooten has created this summery journal page, again perfect for our monthly challenge.  Make sure you check our her blog HERE for the up close detail and as well another fun project she has created that is perfect for a nice summer tea with friends.


Enjoy your week! h

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Jul 16 2014

Tissue Tape Masking Tutorial by Chelle Fowler

Hi there, it’s Chelle here today to share a tutorial for a fun tissue tape masking technique to have your stamped image have a little on your card.


I love the look of this background with the clean area as a focal point for your stamped image in an interesting way.  Let’s get started…


Stamp images on manila card stock in archival ink, quickly heat set to prepare for watercoloring.


Begin coloring image with a detail water brush and distress markers…build color in thin layers.


I like to add a dark area on the images as I color to make them pop.  I only added shading to the sea horse since the other images will be cut out.


Use tissue tape (you can also use painters tape, washi tape or any other tape that will remove easily from your image…I recommend you test your tape on a scrap piece of card stock before covering your colored image) to cover your image.  I like to tear my tape and have the edges have some interest once we peel it off.


Cover as much of the image and surrounding area as you like…it’s fun to play with the shape of your mask.


Now we are ready to ink! I love using the mini ink blending tool for this…it doesn’t leave any square edges and works perfectly with my super convenient mini distress ink pads!


Start inking your image along the edges, be sure to smooth over the tape gently so it doesn’t peel up as you ink.


Continue inking in the colors of your choosing…I like to use 3 colors, but have fun with it and do what you like!


Use the spritz & flick technique (literally spritz water in your hand and flick it on to the paper) to add some water spots. Use a towel to mop up the extra water, and dry with your heat tool.  Be careful not to over heat the tape or it will be harder to remove!


Using burlap stencil, walnut stain ink, and blending tool, ink randon spots on the image through the stencil. I use light pressure on the inside toward the image and heavier pressure along the edges.


Remove your tape gently…I like to peel it back onto itself and go slow, it usually peels up easily.  I think this just looks cool…it gives the image a clean area that grabs the eye with a unique edge to it.


Cut out your smaller images as close to the black edge as you can.


Ink the edges using gathered twigs and ink blending tool…this helps them pop and covers any areas where the edges aren’t perfect.


Stamp sentiment on kraft card stock and trim into banner shape.


Layer your pieces onto the card.  I adhered the image onto kraft core card stock and sanded the edges.  Then added the rest of the images with foam tape to pop them up.  I cut two pieces of linen ribbon, inked and stretched them to make them look more like netting and added them under the images.


I added a little bow of jute sting and lastly, I spirtzed some gathered twigs ink onto the card as a finishing touch.


Here is another look at the finished project…I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial! I have a video of this technique that I shared on my blog if you want to check it out and see it used on another project.

Happy Creating!




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Jul 7 2014

The Challenge is On!

Wow, it is hard to believe we are onto a new month which also means a new challenge but before we get to that, I just wanted to thank all of those that took part in last month’s challenge.  Some of you were able to get into the festive mood and do a little holiday creating.  Trust me when I say you will thank us when it comes December and you are all set for holiday cards.  We have randomly selected a winner from those submissions submitting last month for $50 in Emporium Dollars to spend in our online store.  A big congratulations goes out to…



Please contact me at to claim your prize.

This month’s challenge is all about working in the now and that involves Summer Fun!  We can set aside our snowmen, and Santa stamps and get out the vacation, beach and BBQ stamps, papers, and photos.  I am sure we have many fond summer memories we are wanting to capture or a special project we have been thinking about creating so why not share your project here with us for your chance to win some retail therapy over at the Inspiration Emporium Online store.  Contest will run until midnight, July 31, 2014.  From all the submissions linked below, a random winner will be chosen and awarded $50 Emporium Dollars.  Remember, you may enter as many times as you wish so share, share, share! We can’t wait to see what everyone is creating.

Before you head off to your craft table, here is a little inspiration to get you started thinking.  Shelly Hickox created this gorgeous Fouth of July card using the ever so popular Pop it Ups.  Loving the boldness and all the detail she put into this card…check out the cute little burlap banner.

shelly hickox pop it ups patriotic card

The Challenge is On, we can’t wait to see all of your creations!  Have a great week! h


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Jun 29 2014

It’s Not Too Late!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend and have taken time for themselves.  This is a busy time of year with schools getting out, summer vacations, and weddings to name a few so it is important to stop and take a deep breath.  Hopefully this time includes getting a little creative.  Our design team have certainly done just that and have shared their projects for all of us to see for lots of inspiration.  It’s also not too late to include your project link for a chance to win 50 Emporium Dollars to spend in the IE store.  All details can be found HERE as well as where you can attach your project link.


Linda Cain has been busy traveling the country this month but took some time also to be creative.  This colorful tag has so dimension and layers which is such a signature for Linda which we love!

Creativity Tag 006


Next, Linda created this beautiful birdhouse perfect for any yard that I am sure will make a great home for some little birdies.  If I was a bird, I would pick this one to build my nest! Bird House 002


So many kids and adults alike have their favorite superhero.  Lisa Hoel created this gorgeous card for her nephew which I am positive he would have loved.  Make sure you check out her blog to see the inside. SO FUN Lisa!



Pam Hooten is getting ready for the holidays and playing along with our monthly challenge with this colorful, fun, and festive tag perfect for any girlie girl.



Danielle Lounds has been busy creating this month. Her projects are always fresh and colorful.  This card is a perfect example of both of these  elements…fresh and colorful!  Great job Danielle!



Even more color with this project from Danielle along with lots of texture!


There is just something about this card that I love.  Danielle has the ability to not overdo and to add just the perfect amount of embellishments.  Stunning card Danielle!


Also for the monthly challenge of Christmas in June, Danielle has created this great home decor piece using the ever so popular artist trading blocks.


Do you have your ATB dies yet?  After seeing these great projects, you are going to want to head HERE to get yours if you don’t already have them.  Shelly Hickox created this gorgeous birthday cake using them.  I love how Shelly used the top box to put her gift to her daughter.  Beautiful job!

shelly hickox birthday cake ATB tower

Next up, Shelly works her magic with the pop it ups dies this month with this creative photo album.  What a perfect home for those cherished memories of a daughter’s wedding.


That is some crazy great inspiration wouldn’t you say?  Hopefully they help to with your creativity.  Remember, it’s not too late to get in on this month’s festive challenge.  You never know you just might be the winner this month but you can’t win if you don’t link your project here.  Have a great week! h


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Jun 16 2014

Inspiration Monday

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all were able to celebrate those special people in your life yesterday filling that father role.  Hopefully you did so with a little creativity and whipped them up something extra special to show how very much you truly appreciate them.  Our design team certainly did this with their inspirational projects this month.

Seriously love this Father’s Day card from Lisa Hoel! Love the colors, love the layers, love it all! Beautiful job Lisa!



Shelly Hickox has created this great Father’s Day gift with this grungy caddy and travel-themed mini album.  I am sure this gift was a huge hit!

shelly hickox tim holtz mini book and sizzix caddy


Shelly continues to wow us with her mixed media talent and this canvas is a fine example.  Check out her tutorial HERE.  So much texture!shelly hickox mixed media challenge


Jingle bells, jingle bells…Whoa, thank goodness we have many months before Christmas but there is no better time to get a head start on your Christmas that right now.  I hope you will join us in this month’s monthly challenge which is Christmas in June.  Find all the details HERE as well as where to find the link for submitting your artwork.  Sue Kment has created this bright and cheery piece, perfect for the challenge. SO cute Sue!1-pb christmas 003


Keeping with the holiday spirit, Lisa Hoel created this beautiful vintage holiday card perfect for anyone.  (note to self…forward Lisa my address)  Stunning card!Victorian-Carolers-Christmas-card


Linda Cain has shared some amazing ATB’s in the past but here is her latest incredible colorful watercolor creation.  I can see how these beauties can be addictive to make.


watercolor atbs 015sm


The queen of color has struck again with this bold and colorful tag  that is sure to brighten everyone’s day!  Linda Cain, you know color!  Black Tag 001


Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will take some time and visit the blogs of our design team members and leave them a comment.  We all love to hear and see that people have visited and your comments show your appreciation for what we all have in common.  Have a great week! h


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Jun 11 2014

Watercolor Background Tutorial by Alice Wertz

Hello! It’s Alice Wertz here and I am sharing a super easy watercolor background with you today.
Here is what you need. Watercolor (I used Sakura’s Koi Watercolor Pocket Field Sketch Book 24 Color set, but you can use whatever you have on hand, even distress ink pads and/or reinkers.), paint brushes, watercolor paper and some water. I have a Copic colored image from The Greeting Farm here as a guide as to what color I want to use for my piece.
Image 1
To get a nice wash, I saturated the part of watercolor paper that I am going to add color to first. If you look hard enough, you can kind of see a wet stripe. =)
Image 2
Pick up some color, put it on the palette and add lots of water to get a really soft color.
Image 3
Apply that onto the watercolor paper. I intended to use this as the background with the colored image, so I wanted a very soft, almost pastel color scheme so that it doesn’t overpower the image. You can use as much pigment as you want and make a vibrant piece, really, there is no rules!
Image 4
Here is a look after adding a couple more colors.
Image 5
And the finished piece. I usually just let mine air dry a little then put it under a few heavy books/objects to dry overnight to prevent the paper from warping.
Image 6
This is the card that I made using the watercolor background and the Copic colored image. This is a super easy and fun way to make one of a kind backgrounds, hope you will give it a try!
That’s all from me. Thanks so much for stopping by! =)

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Jun 5 2014

June’s Monthly Challenge / Winner announced

Hi all! I hope you are having a productive creative week.  Before we get to announcing the winner of last month’s challenge and this month’s new challenge I would like to share a few more pieces created by our team in the past month.

Pam Hooten has created the perfect card Father’s Day to go along with her paperweight shown in our last post.  Great job Pam, I know he is going to love them.



Keeping with the Celebrating theme, Danielle Lounds has created this fun and colorful Birthday Card ideal for anyone.



Lastly, Lisa Hoel has been crazy busy in the art department which we always love to see.  Certainly completing your MBA is something to celebrate and Lisa has done this in stunning fashion.



Do you ever find you are scrambling last minute to come up with a card or homemade gift for the special someone?  I always enjoyed making handmade Christmas cards every year but I have found that int he last couple of years I have left things too late and Christmas was here before I knew it and NO cards made.  Well, this year is going to be different because we are starting early without all the pressure.  This month our monthly challenge is Christmas in June!  Leave behind all the pressure and the frenzy and starting creating for the holiday season.  This is the perfect time to take time and figure out what you would like to send to loved ones.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with so be sure to share your link with us below.  A randomly selected link will be the winner of 50 Emporium Dollars to spend HERE.  We love seeing your creations so feel free to submit as many projects as you wish as the more entries, the greater the chances of winning.  The challenge is open from now until June 30, 2014.


Now without further delay, the winner of May’s Monthly Challenge is…

41…Cathy Parlitsis

Congratulations Cathy!  Please contact me at to arrange for your prize.

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Jun 2 2014

Inspiration Part Deux

I hope you all enjoyed the inspiration shared so far yesterday because we have lots more where that came from.  Our inspiration team has been hard at work or should I say play this month with all the incredible creations.  Let’s get started…

In keeping with our theme for the May monthly challenge of Celebrate, Sue Kment is preparing for the graduating season with this great bold graduation card!

1-inspiration 013


I am in love with this super cute Pop n’ Cuts robot card Lisa Hoel has created to celebrate the adoption of a friend’s child.  SO darn cute, I tell ya! I am sure he loved this card and hope for many happy years spent together.




Linda Cain has two more projects to share with us.  The possibilities are endless with Tim Holtz’s Eclectic Elements fabric and Linda changed things up from paper to fabric with this great patchwork pillow.   What a great accent piece for any room in the house.

Eclectic Elements Pillow 001


Next up, Linda works with a 5×5 canvas and creates this colorful piece using the new stamp sets by Dina Wakley.  Great dimension in this piece with the different layers.

Dina Collage Canvas 005

This month our design team is thinking outside the box and getting creative with all kinds of supplies.  Pam Hooten has created this vintage paperweight giving it a renewed life.  It is amazing to see what people create with things that some may have discarded.  I am certain her Mr is going to treasure this piece for even more years to come.




Keeping with our Celebration theme Pam has created this ‘Because I love YOU’ Pop It Ups card that anyone would love to receive.  There really is nothing like receiving a card ‘just because’ because it shows somebody has taken that moment out of their busy day to think of you.



Danielle Lounds has been getting her glitter on this month and this is her submission for the Distress Glitter technique in the Compendium of Curiosities 3 Challenge over with our sweet Linda Ledbetter.


Kaz Hall is showing her love for all things Tim Holtz with her newest piece of artwork.  The colors are beautiful and the stitching just adds the prefect touch!


If yesterdays inspiration didn’t get your creative mojo going, I am sure today will.  Our design team has done an incredible job with their projects so I hope you will visit them through the links and leave them a comment.  Also, make sure you check back Thursday for the winner of May’s monthly challenge as well as the announcement of June’s challenge.  See you soon! H



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