Archive for the Tutorial Category

Aug 26 2015

Bird Crazy Gift Box Tutorial by Kath Stewart


Hi everyone…it’s my turn to share a tutorial on Inspiration Journal . Unless you’ve been abducted by aliens and are now living on another planet you’ll know that the craft world has been invaded by flocks of CRAZY BIRDS

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my team mates have been rocking all the new BIRD CRAZY products from Tim Holtz inspiring us all with their beautiful Distress Marker Colour work but I thought I would try something a little bit different…why not delve into that box of little bits of scrap papers that we all have to make an upcycled Gift Box filled with Bird Crazy All Occasion cards…a fun gift for a non-crafting friend…

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I stamped the Bird Crazy images with Black Archival Ink on to a selection of scraps from the Correspondence and Wallflower Paper Stash Pads.

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Repeated on scraps of contrasting paper and white card for the wings beak and eyes

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I matched each image with the corresponding die from the Bird Crazy Thinlits set of dies and used the Sizzix Magnetic Plate to hold the dies in place but just to make doubly sure these little dudes didn’t fly off I fixed each one down with washi tape before running them through my Big Shot

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I used Glossy Accents to attach the wings beaks and eyes and lightly coloured the edges of each bird with Hickory Smoke using the Mini Blending Tool

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Now it’s time to have a little fun with the Crazy Things  Stamp Set…accessories for every occasion and what every well dressed bird should be wearing.

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The cards I used measured 4.½” square and I kept the background fairly simple…a little bit of paint spritzing and splattering here and there before stamping the sentiments from the Crazy Thoughts Stamp Set with Black Archival Ink

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I already had the perfect box to hold the cards but it didn’t have a lid …instead I created a sleeve from white card that would slide over the box. I cut card to measure 11.¼” x  8.¾” and on the long side scored at 4.½” 5.½” 10” and 11” and covered the front and sides with paper from the Correspondence Paper Stash Pad.  I found it easier to leave the sleeve flat until I had finished decorating the front of the box.

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I coloured the Crinkle ribbon by spritzing with Fossilized Amber Distress Spray Stain and fixed to the front and sides of the box with Double Sided Tape.

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I added a cute Crazy Bird…lots of balloons from the Crazy Things Stamp Set coloured with the Fossilized Amber Distress Marker and words cut from the Small Talk Sticker Collection

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before sliding the finished  box of cute CRAZY BIRD cards into the sleeve

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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial

Hugs Kath xxx

Aug 12 2015

Customizing Your Copic Markers Tutorial by Karin Akesdotter

Hi Everyone!

It’s my turn to share some tips on the Inspiration Journal where I and my super talened Inspiration Emporium teamies post new inspiration for you evey week. If you haven’t been already make sure to visit right away  – lots of amazing and inspiring projects !

If you don’t do this already I thought I’d inspire you to start customizing your copics. I often feel that I don’t have exact the tone of copics color that I need but settle with something close and good enough, but what I’ve done a lot lately is to mix my own colors using my refill bottles. It’s perfect because I can get exactly he colors I need. Copics has empty markers to buy but it works fine to use dried out markers in the same colorrange.

This is how I figure out how to refill my markers to get the color I want;

I use a metal palette and pour in one drop in one cup, two in the next and then three in the third. 

What I do next is that I take out the color I want to mix it with – This time I wanted some new shades of grayish turqoise so I poured in 3 drops in the first cup, then 2 in the second and onle one in the last one.

I then use a brush and try my new colors on a piece of paper; (I acutally added one cup while I was doing this ) and this is the result: You have to be fairly quick because the ink dries quite quickly.

I just love all of these new shades, but decided I wanted to work with no 1 and 3 so when I refilled my copics marker I took the drops times 5 = 20 drops of G00 and 5 drops of B93 for the first color. For the second color I refilled 10 drops of G00 and 15 drops of B93. If you aren’t satisfied you acn always add one of the colors afterwards to get it the way you want it.

If you have never refilled your copics before there are lots of tutorials out there. Here’s one from the copics homepage;

Next I wanted to share how I make my own sprinkles.

I start out by collecting some different sizes of diecut small cirkles. These are insides of O’s, , eyes and sequins dies. If you go through your diecollection I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how many different sized dots you can actually cut. When I have the diecuts I want I tape some post-it tape to a piece of sturdy cardstock with the sticky side up and place the die-cuts face up on this. This will keep your dots in place when you color them and add the glossy accent.

I then color them. After coloring some I realized I wanted some darker ones too and added some B97 to my mixes. Just make sure you clean your mixing bowls right away so it doesn’t get too difficult to clean them out.

After I’ve colored the dots the shades I want them I add Glossy accent to each one of them. I then store them in a safe place to dry.

Let them dry completely before you start adding them to your projects. I use gluedots to adhere them safely. This is also a great way to store the dots you don’t use (-:

Here’s another example of where I used these sprinkles:


Most of the supplies I used for this card can be found at  ;  Inspiration Emporium.

Follow the links below and use my code peppermint to save 10% .

Post-it tape 

Glossy accent

Tim Holtz design tape 

Paper:    Echo Park  

Dies: Lawn Fawn   (stitched rectangles)

Stamps:  Paper Smooches 

Ink; Memento Ink

Paints or markers;  Copic Markers Copics refills G00, B91, B97, BG

Adhesive; Plus Glue tape  Glue Dots   Scotch Double-Sided Foam Mounting Tape

I also want to point out that US shipping is always just $5 and international shipping is ONLY $10! I just LOVE that!!!!


Have a great day, hugs, Karin
Aug 5 2015

Bird Crazy Hello Friend Card Tutorial by Danielle Lounds

Hello, crafty friends. It is Danielle popping in with a card featuring some fun new products from the Tim Holtz line. I’m a big fan of the CMS212 – Bird Crazy stamp set and was delighted when it was announced that there would be coordinating dies and sentiments. So for my tutorial today I thought I would use them and a few of my favorite new items to make this friend card:
To start, I decided that a custom background was in order so I pulled out one of the new stencils, THS047 Zigzag Stencil, and the recently released Twisted Citron Distress Paint(this is my one of my favorite colors!). To keep everything in place I use a bit of tissue tape to hold the watercolor paper and stencil in place.
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Then I mixed a bit of the paint with a few drops of water and used a paintbrush to apply the paint to the paper using the stencil as a guide.
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Once the paint dried, I cut the panel to size. But it needed a bit more texture so I pulled out my Glossy Accents and Antique Linen Distress Glitter. I drew a line along the bottom of every other zigzig with the Glossy Accents and then coated with the distress glitter.
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I kept repeating the process until the entire background panel was complete. And then I set the panel aside to dry. This requires patience so while I waited I decided to create another background piece.
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This time I used Gold embossing powder, a Clear Emboss It ink pad, and the mesh stamp from CMS221 – Mesh & Linen stamp set to heat emboss a piece of light blue cardstock. I intentionally left a few spots of the cardstock bare. Once cooled after embossing, I used a stitched circle die to cut out a piece from the panel.
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More fun ahead! I stamped a couple of the one bird from CMS212 – Bird Crazy in Memento Tuxedo Black ink on white cardstock. After coloring with Copic markers I used the new Bird Crazy Thinlits Die Set to cut out the bird and bird parts.
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I finished the bird by assembling the pieces together, using Glossy Accents to adhere the wings, the one eye, and beak in place. I did twist the wings a bit so they would stick out and then I used a couple of glue dots to adhere the larger eye in place so it was popped up just a tiny bit.
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Once of the pieces were complete, I stamped a sentiment from CMS236 – Crazy Talk on white cardstock and assembled the card using a LOT of foam tape. Heh heh. I also added a small strip of polka dot designer paper and a few orange enamel dots.
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Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed today’s project! – Danielle
Jun 25 2015

Waste Not, Want Not Tutorial by Anne Redfern

Hello everyone, I am sure we have all been there, you spend time creating something and it just does not work out the way you had in your mind.  I was following a tutorial, on line, for a weathered paint background but several coats of paint and Vaseline later, it just was not happening.  It went away in a cupboard and I only found it again after a clear out.  Here’s what I made.

I will take you through some of the steps that show how I reached this end result.
I started with a 5″ x 7″ thin, hard back canvas and covered it in strips of book pages and some of Tim Holtz’s Correspondence papers.
Many layers of paint and Vaseline later – it just wasn’t working.  I know people say, oh it’s only a piece of card / canvas, just throw it away and start again….  As a ‘thrifty’ crafter I couldn’t throw it away…… and now I am glad I didn’t….
A couple of coats of Gesso and a little stencilling using Tim’s Flourish Stencil and Ranger Embossing Paste and it is starting to look a little better.
I gave the base a coat of Bundled Sage Distress Paint and left it to dry naturally.   I dry brushed some Vintage Photo Distress Paint around the edges and across the raised areas of the flourish stencilling.
I cut some Tattered Florals from the Bigz Tattered die using some white (fairly thick) card and soaked these by giving them a heavy spray of water and letting them sit for a few minutes.  I scrunched them up tight whilst wet.  Again, whilst wet, I gently unravelled them.  While still wet (and working carefully so as not to rip the card) I layered the flower up, shaped the petal until I was happy with them and left it to dry naturally.  Once dry I carefully dis-assembled the flower and glued each layer together and once the glue was dry I sprayed the flower with Abandoned Coral Distress Spray Stain.  You could colour the flower at the point where you initially wet it, by using a mix of water and Distress Stain, but apart from staining your hands, the colour does not seem as vibrant once dry.  It is just a matter of personal choice – either way works.
I cut some of Tim’s Garden Green leaves from white card and sprayed them with Mowed Lawn Distress Spray Stain to go behind the flower.
The butterfly was die cut from Tim’s Butterfly Duo set, embossed and coloured with Broken China Distress Ink and Edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I added an Idea-ology pin which says Memento on it.  The ‘this is life’ is one of Tim’s Framed Alpha Parts which has been lightly dabbed with Vintage Photo Distress Paint to tone in with the background.
So there we have it, one rescued canvas, I hope you like it and thanks for looking!
Jun 10 2015

ATB Tutorial by Lisa Hoel

Hello everyone, Lisa here with an ATB tutorial for you! ATB stands for Artist Trading Block and these are like three dimensional ATCs and so much fun to make. The possibilities are really endless! Mine is called Button Love, and as you can see I really do love buttons and have quite a stash.

Let’s get started (or in other words, Step 1!) I knew I wanted a crackled heart for a topper and crackle paste take a while to dry so I started with that. Cut a heart out of matboard and basecoat both sides with dark brown paint. When it is dry I cover a side (you have to do one side at a time of course) with Wendy Vecchi’s Crackle Paste and let it dry. A medium think layer gives you some nice crackle – thicker paste equals bigger cracks. When both sides are dry and crackled I paint it with Barn Door and Aged Mahogany Distress Paint. While the paint is wet, lightly mist it with water to get it to marble together.

Step 2 – Cut two panels out of matboard using the Sizzix ATB Block Die. Working one panel at a time, cover it with a coat of Multi Medium and lightly lay torn pieces of sewing pattern tissue over it. Tap down onto the surface and scrunch it to get the wrinkles into it for texture. Press it down firmly then to get it all to adhere to the matboard surface. Cover it with another layer of Multi Medium to seal it and let everything dry, then trim the excess tissue off.


Step 3 – Paint over the surfaces with Walnut Stain Distress Paint, making sure to get it into the nooks and crannies. Wipe off the paint with a baby wipe before it dries, leaving it in the textured parts. You can remove paint to your taste – leave a little or a lot! When the paint is dry, you will need to lightly score through the tissue with a craft knife at the block fold lines. Otherwise the tissue will tear and look messy when you fold the box up.

Step 4 – Cut four 2.5 inch squares out of quilt batting and fabric. I used Tim Holtz fabric for mine. I love the vintage look of the patterns. Sew around the edges, leaving about 1/8 inch border. Use a craft pick or distressing tool to fray the edges.

Step 5 – Now comes the really fun part! Arranging the buttons! (I fussed around with them until I got them laid out in pleasing arrangements on each fabric panel.) Then lightly glue the buttons down with a strong, quick grabbing glue. Just a few dots (and not blocking the holes!) will do the job. You just need to hold them in place while sewing them on.

Step 6 – After sewing the buttons, which admittedly does take a while but I think the effect is worth it, glue the fabric panels in place on the matboard side panels. Sometimes I assemble the ATB before decorating it, other times I do everything while it is flat and assembling is the last step. It just depends on what you are doing. Fold on all the score lines.

Assembly tips: Use a strong tape like Wonder Tape or a super strong fast tacky glue. (My favorite is Api’s Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate! glue.) Once it’s all together you can add feet, the topper and other embellishments. Whew, that was a long tutorial but I hope you are inspired to try some of these techniques or make your own ATB. You can search for ATB on my blog and see others that I’ve done or search in Pinterest and you’ll get an eyeful. =) Be sure to stop back soon to check out the new Inspiration Journal challenge for June. We’d love to see your projects.

May 20 2015

Precious Things Textured Canvas Tutorial by Bobbi Smith

Hi everyone, Bobbi here!  Today I’m sharing a textured canvas panel tutorial that’s perfect for gift giving or a home decor piece.  We are right in the middle of our “Pasted” Challenge with all things  textured/embossing pasted, so I thought we would work with that medium.

FriendsTextured Canvas

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The base is an 8×8 flat back canvas, but you could just as easily adapt to a heavy cardstock.  Apply Antique Linen Distress Paint over entire surface of canvas spreading with paint brush.  Now apply a little Pumice Stone Distress Paint sporadically over canvas and move color around with baby wipe, making sure not to cover the first color completely.  We’re looking for streaks of color from the Antique Linen and Pumice Stone.  Then dry with heat tool to make the Distress Paint permanent before going onto the next color.  Now we’re really going to add some depth to the canvas with a little Black Soot Distress Paint.   Apply very sparingly to each corner (a little goes a long way) then move around the color with a baby wipe until you’re happy with the level of depth.  Then dry with a heat tool.  I marked about an 1 1/4 line all the way around the square canvas with a black fine line sharpie.  This is going to serve as a guide for my texture paste because there’s no need to put the paste in the center because it won’t be seen.  Lay the Bricked Stencil on canvas and tack down with tissue tape or low tack tape.  Apply texture paste with a palette knife sporadically here and there over the canvas surface, then let bricks air dry.  Make sure to wash the stencil immediately when done.  After the paste was completely dry, I colored bricks with Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Paint.  To insure the pattern stayed crisp, I laid the stencil back over the dried bricks and applied the paint very dry.  I started with Gathered Twigs  applying with a blending tool, then added a little Rusty Hinge, then Walnut Stain.  Wipe up any excess paint with a baby wipe while wet.  When you’re happy with your brick color, remove stencil and dry with a heat tool.  To finish, apply a little Black Soot with finger just skimming across the top here and there sparingly to the bricks, then dry with heat tool.

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Cut a piece of corrugated cardstock 6 1/4 squared.  Apply and even coat of Ranger Multi Medium with a paintbrush making sure to get into the groves and dry with a heat tool.  This is going to make the paint glide across the surface and blend beautifully.  Apply Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Paint  to the corrugated card stock.  Move the color around with a baby wipe until your happy with the shading.  Dry with a heat tool.  Distress edges with a bone folder.  Apply foam squares to back (making sure to leave space for Ornate Plate we will add later) and attach to canvas base.

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Using the Wildflower Stencil, apply texture paste with a palette knife to a #8 Manila tag.  Lift stencil and let tag air dry.  Make sure to wash stencil immediately.  Apply and even coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint to tag and flowers, making sure to get in groves and cracks.  Dry with tool. You want the initial color to become permanent and waterproof before going to the next color.  Apply and even coat of Pumice Stone Distress Paint to entire tag surface making sure to get into the groove thing cracks.  While the paint is still wet, start removing excess paint with baby wipe trying to leave some color up next to the flowers and stems.  You want streaks with a hint of first color (there are no mistakes as long as the paint is still wet, you can always remove excess color with a baby wipe). Dry with heat tool.  For the final color on tag apply Gathered Twig Distress Paint to surface making sure to get into the groove and cracks next to the flowers and stems.  Wipe away excess color with baby wipe until you achieve the shading you desire.  Dry with heat tool.

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Distress tag edges with the bone folder.  Apply some Remant Rubs using the Remant Rub Tool to the tag.  I applied the butterfly and bee from the Botanicals collection.  Shade a piece of vintage sheet music with Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink using a blending tool.

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Apply a little Antique Linen Distress Paint to the Heirloom Rose, Typed Token, Heart Charm, Mini Paper Clip, Ornate Plate and Loop Pin (some are not in the picture) and dry with heat tool.  Apply a little Mushroom Alcohol Ink with an alcohol ink blending applicator to the Heirloom Rose, Typed Token, Heart Charm, Mini Paper Clip, Ornate Plate and Loop Pin (some are not in the picture).  The small patterned paper is from the Correspondence Paper Stash the ATC size.  Shade edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and blending tool.  Flick a little water onto paper surface and dried with a heat tool.  Then distressed edges with a bone folder.  Flat glue the sheet music, the patterned paper and the Manila tag onto the corrugated cardstock.

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Die cut the word “friends” from the Thinlits Handwritten Love Collection out of black #24 Kraft Core and the Correspondence Paper Stash.  Sand the black Kraft Core word “friends” lightly while still in cut out.  Gently shade the wording with Walnut Stain Distress Ink in a blending tool.  Glue the two cut out “friends” wording together but slightly offset them, using a little Glossy Accents and some twezzers.  Darker color on bottom and lighter color on top.

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Using the outer part of the Heart Charm sticker, make a template and cut out a small heart from scrap of Correspondence Paper.  I can not tell you how happy, happy, happy I’m going to be when I get my hands on those new Tim Holtz Punches!!! :)  Shade heart with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and blending tool.  Then add a Remnant Rub, I choose a small set of numbers from the Special Delivery Remnant Rubs Collection.  Adhere heart cutout to Heart Charm with a dot of Glossy Accents.  Apply heart bauble to charm.  Now for the tattered bow.  I never throw my scrap pieces of ribbon away, I use them to make scrap bows.  I had several short pieces of a similar color ( I believe five).  I stacked them altogether and tied it off with a longer piece of scrap ribbon.  So there you have it, don’t throw your scraps away :)  I trimmed off any excess and used the scratcher tool to tatter the edges.  Attach Loop Pin and Heart Charm to bow then glue bow to top of the tag.


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Glue a layer of Manila cardstock and the blue patterned paper from the Correspondence Paper Stash together and cut out the bird using the Bird Silhouette die.  Apply an even layer of Ranger Multi Media in over the surface of the bird cut out.  Dry with heat tool.  Very sparingly with a dry brush, apply a very thin layer of Ranger Gesso to the surface of the bird not completely covering the pattern.  Dry with heat tool.   Protecting your nonstick craft mat with a scratch piece of paper, sand the surface of the bird with sanding grip to expose some of the underlaying white paper, being careful not to sand off too much of the pattern.  shade bird with walnut stain and vintage photo distress ink in a blending tool.  The ink is really going to adhere to the exposed sanded paper.


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Glue a layer of Manila cardstock and the blue diamond patterned paper from the Correspondence Paper Stash together and cut out the saucer from the Tea Time die.  Apply an even layer of Ranger Multi Medium to patterned paper of saucer and dry with heat tool.  Apply very sparingly with a dry brush very little Ranger Gesso to saucer, being careful not to cover too much of the patterned paper.  Dry with a heat tool. Protecting your nonstick craft mat with a scratch piece of paper, sand the surface of the saucer with sanding grip to expose some of the underlaying white paper, being careful not to sand off too much of the pattern.  Shade with Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and blending tool.  Adhere saucer to canvas using foam squares.

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Glue a layer of Manila cardstock and the cream/orange and the blue/white flower patterned paper from the Correspondence Paper Stash together and cut out the cup and tag from the Tea Time die.  Apply an even layer of Ranger Multi Medium to cup and tag then dry with heat tool.  Apply very sparingly with a dry brush very little Ranger Gesso to saucer, being careful not to cover too much of the patterned paper.  Dry with a heat tool. Protecting your nonstick craft mat with a scratch piece of paper, sand the surface of the cup and tag with sanding grip to expose some of the underlaying white paper, being careful not to sand off too much of the pattern.  Shade with Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress Ink and blending tool.  Attach a cotton string to tag using the Tiny Attacher, then tuck into slit in cup and tape down on back of cup.  Adhere cup to saucer using foam squares, but only on lower part of cup.  Secure top half of cup to tag, with liquid adhesive.



Attach Ornate Plate, Typed Token and Heirloom Rose with Glossy Accents.  Attach Tiny Paper Clip to vintage sheet music.  I ended up adding a few more Remnant Rubs from the Special Delivery and Botanicals Collections to my Textured Canvas…it’s hard for me to quit with those little gems once I start!

Whew, are you still with me…I hope so!  This was a really fun piece to create and I hope you give texture/embossing paste a try!  Thanks so much for stopping by :)

Feb 26 2015

It’s All About Words Tutorial by Kath Stewart

It’s All About Words…

I’m sharing a tutorial today on how to get more bang for your buck when it comes to sentiment and small icon stamps…not just using them occasionally for a sentiment on  a card, so I decided to make an “All About Words”  journal/planner

Journal 1

Cut thick chipboard to the size you require for the covers and place them on Sticky Back Canvas leaving a generous border around the edge.  Trim the corners and fold in to neaten the edges

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Dab the Pumice Stone Distress Paint on to a non stick craft sheet…dilute with a little water and paint on to the canvas cover, when dry decorate with Remnant Rubs and repeat for the back cover

Pic 3

Leave the Worn Text stamps on their carrier and dab with the Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap Distress Paint.  Place the covers face down on to the stamps and press down well to transfer the image.  Now you need a break from the creativity and thoroughly clean the paint from your stamps.  I use a toothbrush to get down into all the crevices.

Pic 4

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Repeat on pieces of white card for the inside of the covers.

Now it’s time to look out a selection of sentiment and small icon stamps from your stash

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and stamp randomly over the covers using Black Archival ink, adding some film strip ribbon and extra Remnant Rubs if required

Pic 7

Colour a sheet of white card with a wash of Frayed Burlap Distress Paint and stamp the Odds and Ends and Sentiment Stamps with Black Archival

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Cut out individual words and add to the covers.  Colour some of the wording and icons with the Cracked Pistachio Distress Marker


Cut card slightly smaller than the cover to create the inside pages.


Add die cut Pocket Envelopes and adhesive labels and decorate with stamping

Journal 2

I used a binding machine to hold my journal together but you could punch holes and use Click Rings

Colour Crinkle Ribbon with Cracked Pistachio and Frayed Burlap Distress Stains


Tie the Crinkle and Linen Ribbon to the binding wires


Jan 21 2015

Super Easy Watercolor Card Tutorial by Karin Akesdotter

Hi Everyone!

Karin here to inspire you to use your watercolors to create some fast, and easy (yet beautiful ) cards!


A lot of people think watercolor is a difficult media and even though I paint quite a lot I totally agree (-: – but it doesn’t have to be difficult. I’ll show how easy it is to create a landscape scene that I think will be appreciated by the reciever no matter what age or gender.

I start out by wetting my watercolor paper – if you use a 140 lb paper there is no need to stretch it, but if your paper is thinner than that you might want to tape it to a cardboard before you start to prevent it from bulging while you’re painting.


When the paper is still wet I  add the sky/cloud colors so they spred on the wet paper and create realistic looking cloudes; I like Ultramarine mixed with a little bit of paynes grey or burt sienna for this. I let that dry completely  before I go on with the next step.

Then I simply paint stripes of different colors to create mountains, hills, fields and grass, making sure I use cool colors for the mountains and hills and warmer colors for the grass and fields that are closer. This is an easy way to create distance in a painting and especially important in a simple scene like this where there isn’t much else to guide the eye.

I used mixes of ultamarine and viridian for the distat hillsa and then raw sienna, burnt sienna and burnt umber for the fields and grass. For the very darks I mix ultramarine with burnt umber. You can of course choose any colors you like but try to stick to a limited number of colors – that way it is easier to create harmony in your painting.


I then spatter some darker colors (ultramarine mixed with burnt umber)  to the bottom to create a bit of texture.  Make sure you protect the rest of the painting with a piece of scrap paper before doing this!


You can of course also use stamps to create leaves or plants. In this example I’ve used Paper Smooches Botanicals 2.


When I’m happy with my painting it is time to “frame” it. I used Lawn Fawn’s wonderful stitched rectangles for this. I put a smaller die inside a larger one and use washi tape to keep them in place like that when I diecut them.


I then adhere my little painting to a cardbase, stamp a sentiment underneath and then adhere the frame using foam adhesive.


Supplies I used to create this card:

Winsor Newton’s watercolor paints

Paper Smooches Botanicals 2

Lawn Fawn Dies; Stiched Rectangles

Lawn Fawn Stamps; # Awesome

Watercolor paper (daler Rowena)

For more of my cards and watercolors, please visit my blog;

Dec 31 2014

Winter Fairy Luminary by Lisa Hoel

Hello Lisa Hoel here! It’s the waning hours of 2014 – I can hardly believe it! To finish out the year strong I have a looong technique packed tutorial for you to enjoy. Better get a beverage because I’m going to step through the techniques I used to make…

this, my Winter Fairy Luminary! If you do a search for “luminary” on my blog, you will see that I am very fond of this die and have made several of them. Here is a better look at the base I created for this one:

Let’s dig into the how to!

1) Background

I was inspired by a technique that Tammy Tutterow shared on her blog. I cut an arched shape out of matboard and inked it with distress inks and stamped it with archival ink. I then used Distress reinkers and a water brush to “watercolor” the stamped image. Following Tammy’s technique, I used a snowflake embossing folder flipped over so it would deboss onto the front of my background panel. I tried to position it within the folder so the castle image would be mostly untouched.

Next I spread a layer of Rock Candy Crackle Paint over the panel and then used a piece of chipboard to scrap away the excess paint. This leaves crackle paint in the debossed areas and a thin glaze of paint on the raised areas. I also sprinkled a little Dry Rock Candy Glitter onto the panel while it was wet for extra sparkle. The crackle paint looks so cool when it dries in the debossed areas!

Here’s another closeup of the back panel in its completed state:

I needed to raise the panel up so it would show behind the luminary so I made a little platform out of scrap matboard and glued it all in place on my foamcore base:

2) Luminary

This die is a bit fussy to put together but once you’ve done it a few times it gets easier. I like to use a quick grab wet glue like 3M Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive. The special technique I used here deals with the window treatment. This is a technique I first tried in my Woodlands Accordion Candle Screen. The first step is to stamp your design using archival ink onto tissue paper. I immediately dry my stamping with a heat tool to reduce ink bleed.

I cut pieces of clear plastic (mine was from old packaging) a little bigger than the window opening and coated one side with Glue ‘n Seal. Then positioned the plastic over the section of image I wanted to show and smoothed it down over the tissue.

I carefully peeled the tissue/plastic off the craft mat and flipped it over to dry. Now comes the fun part – adding a frosty crackle to the “window glass”:

Cool isn’t it? When you put Rock Candy Crackle Paint on a slick surface, you first need to coat it with Glue ‘n Seal or the paint will flake off when it’s dry. I went ahead and put a layer of Glue ‘n Seal on the plastic of my windows. Once it is dry, you can either put a layer of crackle paint on right then or do what I did. I also wanted icy crackle paint on the luminary itself so I planned to do it all in one step. I went ahead and glued the windows into the luminary panels and then assembled it. Make sure the Glue ‘n Seal covered plastic side is facing out!

When the luminary was put together, I applied the crackle paint to the windows and areas around them, setting it aside to dry.

3) Decorate the Setting

Back to the base! I wanted the Woodland Trees to look super frosty so I spritzed them with watered down Picket Fence Distress Paint and then immediately sprinkled them heavily with Dry Rock Candy Glitter. Oh, I love that stuff!

I cut two pieces of white cardstock with the Tree Line die for the back sides of the scene (I needed something to glue snowflakes to!) I covered them with Glue ‘n Seal and coated with more Dry Rock Candy Glitter.

For the fake snow I got the idea from the Tim Holtz July tag’s faux sand. I mixed Glossy Accents with coarse crystal glitter and spread it around the base with a palette knife. Make sure there is a big enough clear area for the luminary to rest on! I sprinkled on more Dry Rock Candy Glitter while it was wet (good thing you can get a big container of that stuff!) I poked the trees into place while the snow was wet also. The snow glued them in place when it dried. I glued on the side tree panels, snowflakes, fairy and trim once the snow was perfectly dry.

Whew! There are quite a few “wintery” tricks here you can use in your projects for the next few months. Thanks for following along and I hope that you’ve been inspired to try some out. Most of the supplies can be purchased at Inspiration Emporium. Be sure to check back in here to find out what the January challenge will be and Happy New Year!! We appreciate you visiting and hope we can continue to provide you with loads of Inspiration in 2015.

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.