Archive for April, 2014

Apr 30 2014

Distress Reinker Background Tutorial by Danielle Lounds

Hello – It is Danielle here with a fun tutorial on making an inky background using Distress Ink Reinkers. This is a technique that I love to use when I want a very vibrant background.

Supplies to create background:

Paintbrushes, Inkssentials Pipette, Glass of Water, Inkssentials Mister, paper towels, Inkssentials Non-Stick Craft Mat, Distress Ink Reinkers (Worn Lipstick, Festive Berries, Frayed Burlap Peacock Feathers), watercolor paper (2 pieces), heat tool, ink palette.

First step – add a couple drops of each color to an ink palette and dilute each with a couple of drops of water. I do about half ink and half water. Mist watercolor paper with water.

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Second step – Using a paintbrush, paint small circles using the first color (Work Lipstick).


Third step – Using a clean paintbrush, paint more circles using the second color (Festive Berries), beginning to fill in the open areas.

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Fourth step – Using a clean paintbrush, add the third color (Frayed Burlap), filling in the final areas without color. I also painted the edges of the cardstock with this color. I did leave a few spots bare.

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Fifth step – to soften the colors a bit and blend them together I mist the cardstock with a bit more water. I then take a second piece of water color paper and smoosh it over the first to pick up the excess ink

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Sixth step – use a heat tool to dry the water color paper. Notice that there is still some lovely ink on the craft mat – it would be a shame to waste that.

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Seventh step – Smoosh the watercolor paper back into the leftover ink adding more blobs of color to the paper.

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Eighth step – Heat set. Repeat until you are happy with the final look. I did this for both pieces of water color paper, adding more ink from the palette to the craft sheet when I ran out.

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Ninth step – For more color, use a pipette to splash the background with the fourth color of ink (Peacock Feathers). Heat set – using a paper towel to soak up the excess ink if necessary. Note – this can be very messy – the pipette tends to send the ink in every direction so don’t wear your favorite shirt. 😉

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Tenth step – sit back and enjoy your finished backgrounds and decide how you will turn them into a piece of artwork.

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Supplies to decorate card:

Paper Smooches Bold Buzzwords stamp set, Idea-ology Mirrored Stars, Idea-ology Label Letters, Ranger Clear Emboss-It ink pad, Ranger Light Blue embossing powder, heavy duty white thread and sewing machine, card stock.

I used one of the backgrounds to create a quick card. I heat embossed the “thanks” from Bold Buzzwords using Clear Emboss-it ink and light blue embossing powder. I finished the sentiment by spelling out “so much” using Label Letters.

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I then rounded a couple of corners, matted on Faded Jeans Distress cardstock, and added stitching using heavy duty white thread and a sewing machine. Added a few mirrored stars and finished by adhering the panel to a white card base using foam dimensional tape.

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Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Apr 28 2014

Inspiration Monday

Hopefully Spring is showing its beautiful face and helping things blossom and bloom.  Here at the Inspiration Emporium amazing art is being created by our design team that we can’t wait to share with you.  Before we get to that I have to say how excited we are that so many people are taking part in our monthly challenges.  It is a great way to see what everyone is creating and also a way to discover new talent and blogs to follow.  I hope you will all take some time to check out the submissions and leave a comment on their respective sites.  If you haven’t already linked your project HERE, you have until midnight April 30.  This month’s challenge is ‘A Few of my Favorite Things‘ so don’t miss out, you could be our randomly selected winner of $50 Emporium Dollars that you can spend in the IE Online Store.

With Spring here we are seeing lighter and brighter colors being used and Lisa Hoel has created this beautiful Artist Trading Block in stunning white with a touch of color and tonnes of texture.


Pam Hooten does incredible work with her artist journal and these pages are amazing using some of her favorite things…stencils.


Next up, we have this adorable card from Danielle Lounds that uses a cute idea to create her jar.  Super cute card Danielle!


Shelly Hickox is all ready for Mother’s Day with this beautiful layered Pop It Up card.

shelly hickox pop it ups butterfly pivot card

Before we go for this week I wanted to invite you to check out our sweet Social Media Coordinator(guru) – Linda Ledbetter who has begun the very popular Compendium of Curiosities 3 Challenge.  This oh so fun challenge works through the techniques included in the newest Compendium of Curiosities 3 Book by Tim Holtz so make sure you check it out and join in on the fun.  Have fun creating! H

Apr 24 2014

Weekly Inspiration and Winners Announced

Inspiration Emporium would like to start out with a big thank you to all of you for making the Easter Hunt a huge success.  We have received many kind emails on how much fun each of you had and not to mention the great comments left behind along the way.  Our hope is that you have gained some new inspirational sites through the hunt that you will continue to visit in the future.

Before we get to announcing the winners, we would like to share even more inspiration from our incredible team.


Shelly Hickox has created this stunning tag with beautiful colors that just draw you in.

shelly hickox tim holtz distress ink tag

Danielle Lounds has been busy getting inky.  Her first project is this colorful creation and any brother would be tickled pink to receive this.


Next up, Danielle continued with incredible color in this Hello card! So vibrant!


And finally, Danielle made this sweet bunny card for a friend. So cute!


Kaz Hall always creates stunning grungy pieces and this is no exception.  Beautiful work!


Artist Trading Blocks have become a popular way to share art and Linda Cain has joined in the fun by creating this great set.

Collage ATBx 001

All of these pieces share with you some of our favorite things.  These might be inks, embellishments, dies…you name it, we love them.  Make sure you take some time to share YOUR favorite things with us on our Monthly Challenge post.  It is great to see so many people sharing their incredible talent and there is still time for you! Deadline is April 30th at midnight.


Hopefully you have all gotten your name in after completing the Easter Hunt and finding PAINT THE WORLD WITH COLOR because it is now time to announce the winners of the spots for the online watercolor class for cardmakers.  Make sure that you sign up HERE even if you haven’t won a spot because I ensure you, it is going to be a great one with incredible talent.  The winners are…..

Denise Byrant

Carol Watson

We also drew a name from those readers that took the time to leave comments along the trail and that winner is:

Retta Fox Skiff

(all winners please contact me at to claim your prize)

The Emporium has decided to deliver a few Easter eggs of their own.  For those of you who took part in the hunt and submitted your answer, please find a token of our appreciation in your inbox shortly.  Also, some of our participants in the hunt are doing giveaways of their own so make sure you check back with them because you might just be a winner on their site. Have a great week! H







Apr 21 2014

The Finish Line Is in Sight

Happy Monday everyone and I hope you all had a great family-filled holiday weekend.  We are on the last leg of our Easter Hunt and would like to thank everyone who participated.  It was amazing to see how so many people came together in such a short period of time to create this fun journey.  A huge thank you to each of YOU!  Make sure if you are just joining us and want to get in on the fun you visit HERE to get started, its not too late to get in on the winning.

I have to admit that in all the craziness of yesterday I made a boo-boo.  I am sure those that are playing along are scratching your heads a wee bit with your letters. Well, that could be because of me! In all the hub-bub of the holiday I posted this as your first letter for the day yesterday…


This is where the confusion may have entered stage right.  I am not sure what I was thinking but that definitely was NOT correct.  It wasn’t some trickery or foolery, it was complete human error! What is the correct letter you ask???  It just so happens to be…



Now that we have that blunder fixed up lets move with the Easter Hunt.  I hope you are all leaving your mark when visiting the sites you are visiting.  We all love seeing that someone was there with their comments, likes, shares and follows so I encourage you take some time to do so.  Our first letter for the day will be (and it really is)…






If you are someone that hates when people ruin the end of a show or movie by telling the ending, you will want to head NOW to visit Pam Hooten on her Instagram  at 



 (elevator music inserted here)




So, you have made your rounds and gathered your letters and surprise…you have been brought back to us for your final letter.  (No, no, no if you are reading this hoping that the answer was going to be given and you could take a short cut, its not happening ;))  Hopefully you all had a little fun with this and got to visit some really great sites that I hope you will continue to visit.   Our final letter in this Easter Hunt is…



because we R glad you joined in our Easter hunt.

Now that you have all of your letters, it is time to email them to us at  All submissions before midnight Wednesday night will be entered in to win seats in the wonderful Watercolor for Cardmakers class offered HERE.  Make sure you check back on Thursday when we announce the winners.  H

Apr 20 2014

The Easter Hunt Continues

Welcome back!!!! Hopefully you are here because of your clue from last evening.  If so, Congratulations!!!! If not, and you are just joining us and have no idea about our little Easter Hunt, we have some fun for you! Make sure  you check out yesterday’s post that you can find HERE that will explain everything to you and get you started.

Before we continue on the trail,  I would like to share with you what our incredible design team has been created this month.


Lisa Hoel has created this beautiful Easter luminary display. Amazing job Lisa!


Pam Hooten has added this colorful addition to her art journal.  What great pages just in time for Spring.


Finally for today, we have this gorgeous Easter basket  and card from Shelly Hickox that would be perfect for any Easter gathering.

shelly hickox graphic 45 artist trading block easter basket(1)


Now that we have got our creativity going, its time to continue on with our fun Easter Hunt.  As you move through, make sure to take a little time to visit.  It might be someone you haven’t visited before so check out what they have been up and leave a comment, they are always appreciated and loved to be read.  Also, don’t forget to follow them if it is someone you don’t already.  Hopefully, everyone is having a bit of Easter fun this  weekend with our hunt! Without further delay your next letter is…




With your H added to your letters it is now time to visit our very Joy Kennedy’s blog HERE for your next clue. Happy trails and Happy Easter everyone!!


Apr 19 2014

A fun Easter Hunt and Giveaway


I hope everyone is having a beautiful Easter weekend and are able to spend some time with family and friends. As a child I always loved Easter for all the colors, egg hunts and that new little toy to kick off spring. Seeing kids searching for those elusive eggs still puts a smile on my face and seeing the joy in their eyes is priceless. This is also a time to reflect on the blessings we all have in our lives and just be thankful.

The Emporium wanted to have a little Easter fun so what better way than a Easter Hunt. How does it work you ask…well, the details are as follows:

Starting here on this blog post you will receive your first letter (let’s call it your Easter egg). Along with this ‘egg’ you will be directed to your next stop in the hunt. At each stop along the way you will not only gather ‘eggs’ (letters) that will spell out a phrase but, you will see some of our creative ways to share them with you. We will be using blogs, Twitter, and Instagram through our hunt so if you are not already a part of these forms of social media it is a perfect time to get connected. Our links should take you to the sites whether you are signed up to that social media or not so don’t fret, all are welcome!   (Clicking on the photo when in instagram will display the caption for where to go next if you are not already signed up on Instagram).  Many of us use these forms to reach our readers and love your comments, likes, retweets, and follows.   By joining these media forms it is way you are always able to see what we are up to and are sharing.  Easy peasy huh?  Nothing better than an Easter hunt everyone can take part in.

This fun Easter Hunt will continue through until Monday with lots of stops along the way. Once you have gathered all of your eggs and have put them together to complete the phrase, please forward your answer to me at by midnight on Wednesday, April 23th, 2014(Do not include your final phrase in the comments but would love to hear how you are making there).  From these submissions we will be drawing for what you ask… Well, Jennifer McGuire has generously given the Inspiration Emporium three spots to attend what sounds like an incredible online class…


Watercolor Peek

You don’t have to be an Impressionist painter to create watercolor masterpieces! Explore the many different (and easy!) ways to create beautiful watercolor effects in Online Card Classes’ Watercolor for Cardmakers.

Join Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire, Jennifer Rsaza, and friends for a fun-filled, all-video, two-week course packed with inspiring, approachable techniques. Starting with easy soft sky washes and progressing to darling hand-painted images, this class is tailor-made for the both the aspiring artist and the cardmaker who wants to add to her go-to collection of on-trend techniques.
Class includes over 30 videos and even more card ideas from top artists with a variety of styles. Visit Online Card Classes to sign up for Watercolor for Cardmakers today, and discover for yourself the fantastic looks you can create with watercolors! (Class begins May 5 but you will have lifetime access to the content.)

I personally, can’t wait for this class to learn new tips and techniques from some incredible teachers in the industry.  Check out their WEBSITE for more information on this class and others.


So, are we ready to start the hunt…Ready…Set………..GO!

The first letter on your hunt is…


 Oops…I think I might have gotten caught! They were just too tempting because they are my favorite Easter candy. So LOVE Reese’s mini eggs! Ok, you are off and running with P as your first letter!


Now for your next stop, make sure you check out what our very own Chelle Fowler has been up to on her BLOG.  We hope you all have a little fun with this and also enjoy your Easter weekend!  Hop on! H

Apr 16 2014

Springtime/Easter Artist Trading Block Tutorial by Linda Cain

Linda Cain is kicking us off on our new feature here on the journal: Wednesday Tutorials. Linda received so many questions and great comments on her Springtime/Easter Artist Trading Block Project she posted on her blog on April 6th that she decided to do this tutorial…thank you, Linda!!

Hi there, Linda Cain here with a tutorial you can use for a springtime or Easter Artist Trading Block – aka ATB.

I cut 6 pieces from white Specialty Stamping paper about 3 1/2 inches square. You can cut them to the finished size if you want (2 3/8″). I just had these cut, so I used them. Then I started adding lots of layers of Distress Inks to each square. I always use Mustard Seed and Squeezed Lemonade in the centers and build from there. By using larger pieces of paper, you can decide what areas you like the best before trimming down.

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Then I bring out the bright colors and add to the corners carefully overlapping and blending. I add Ripe Raspberry, Fired Brick, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves, and Mowed Grass first. I randomly applied the colors with the Blending Tools.

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Go back and blend in different shades of the same color to build up the layers.

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Now add some darker colors like Barn Door, Rusty Hinge, and Aged Mahogany to the edges.

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When you like the rich, dark colors spritz water into your hands with the Mister and let the water drop onto your paper. Clap some smaller dots of water, and let it sit for a few seconds to soak down into the inks. Then blot with a paper towel. This should reveal fantastic layers of your colors and create wonderful contrast.

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Dry with a Heat it Tool. Trim the squares to 2 3/8” as you like. Now haul out your stash of Tissue Tapes and add them to your squares as shown.

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I really have fun with the Artist Trading Blocks using the 3D ScoreBoard XL Die. I cut just 2 pieces of black mat board for this Block. (This shows 4).

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I started with the Mini Blue Prints 2 stamp set and the Easter egg with Jet Black Archival Ink. Each square has a row of Metal Studs or Pearls and is edged with tiny stamps from the Prima Mixed Media Doll Stamp set.

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Then I stamped the Butterfly on the next square with Laboratorie and Elements Tissue Tape, edged with the small flower edge stamp, added some white Sharpie Poster Paint dots, a tiny Prima paper flower and gold metal studs. All the squares have white pen marks added for contrast.

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The Nest with Eggs stamp is next on the piece where I used March and April from Traveler Tissue Tape. Journeyman, and Nostalgic tapes are on this side as well.

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The top has the Bird from Natures Moments with Symphony and Market Place Tissue Tapes. I added a tiny Pink Petaloo flower and Rhinestone flowers.

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The last side with the little Bunny is so nice and bright with the Picked Raspberry and Seedless Preserves. The water created little spots on him. This side needed just a bit more of something, so I added a piece of fancy black trim.

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Glue your little squares to the block as you like. Be mindful of how your block will go together as far as pictures going in the right direction. Now all you have to do is fold up your mat board cutouts and add the Wondertape to the tabs to secure it together. Easy Peasy. I added one to the bottom without stamping, and just signed my name in the square. Set it on your desk or raise it up with a little wooden pedestal. The choice is yours.

Apr 2 2014

April’s Monthly Challenge and March’s Winner

WOW is all I can say about the participation in March’s challenge.  Thank you for sharing what each of you do with us and our readers because you all make this Emporium family that much more special!  By using the random number generator, the winner of March’s monthly challenge is (drum roll please…..)


#8 Marjie Kemper.  Congratulations Marjie!!

Please contact me Marjie at and I can arrange for you to receive your prize.

I think April is going to bring out even more amazing artists because this month’s theme is ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’.  The sky is the limit with no real restrictions…using supplies that you really love can make for a super creative crafting time so we are hoping you will all take us up on this month’s challenge.  Let’s beat last month’s submissions of 65, I know we can do it so why not take on the challenge in your craft groups, crops and get-togethers.

To get us started, Linda Cain has created this gorgeous journal page using so many of our favorite Tim Holtz products.   The newly released Found Relatives collection is perfect and I find myself just flipping through them and creating my own little story about each of them.  I am sure we all have these beloved photos in our families that we look at often that conjure up great memories but never want to use them in a project. Now we have ones we can use and Linda has done an amazing job, as always, with this project.

The Boys 017sm

We can’t wait to see what incredible projects are submitted this month for your chance to win $50 in Emporium Dollars to spend in the store.  Just add a link to your submission below (your link does not have to be to a blog, it can also be to your SCS gallery…use code IEMC32 or other gallery online!!!)…and, remember, you can enter as many times as you wish so the more times the greater the chances for winning!!! Contest begins today and ends midnight April 30, 2014.  So, what are a few of YOUR favorite things?