Archive for December, 2014

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 30 2014

Inspiration Carries on…

Happy Tuesday to you! We are back again to share the last of the inspiration for 2014 with the exception of our final tutorial tomorrow.

What a way to finish out the year…just like the incredible fireworks display at midnight!

Lisa Hoel created this beautiful nativity lantern for her mother which will look fabulous as part of any holiday display.  Its a great way to bring to life those seemingly ordinary pieces we all have.


Shelly Hickox creates beautiful masterpieces and you need to check this one out.  So much intricate detail around every corner in this piece getting ready for the special days to come in 2015.

shelly hickox pop it ups tunnel card

It is never to early for a little Halloween fun with Graghic 45 as Shelly Hickox creates this cool Pop it Up card.

shelly hickox graphic 45 eerie tale card

We love how Yvonne Blair looks at things one might normally pass by and see the possibility to make it her own! She did just that with the cute Photo Holder.

Yvonne Blair photo2

Lastly for evening, Anne Redfern shares her version for Tim’s December tag Challenge.  Beautiful job Anne!


Thank you for a being a part of this great celebration and Happy New Year from Inspiration Emporium!

from the entire Inspiration Emporium family

Dec 29 2014

Closing out the Year of Inspiration

It is hard to believe we are almost to 2015.  All of our Inspiration Emporium family hopes that you had a wonderful holiday season enjoying time with family and friends and taking time to reflect on all that we are grateful for this year.  When we look at what is truly important we find it is not the materialistic things we can touch but it is the feeling we get from being around loved ones, watching the little ones interacting with Santa or carrying on traditions that have been going on for years.  That is the true magic!  With only a few days left in 2014 we would like to fill it with inspiration from our incredible design team capping it off  with a tutorial on New Years Eve.  We hope you have enjoyed all the fantastic artwork this year and continue to visit through 2015.  We all create for ourselves because it just feels great but we also create to share and show others because it is the kind of people artists are…what kind of industry would we have if no one shared their talent?  Thankfully we do not need to worry about that because we have amazing inspiration to share with you so be sure to check back over the next few days to see even more.

Shelly Hickox did a fabulous job with her 12 Days of Ornaments and these are days 9, 11 and 12.  Be sure to check them all out if you haven’t already.  This is a great tradition to start Shelly, I hope we can see more next year!



Kath Stewart has created this beautiful masterpiece perfect to hold all of her holiday memories.  Kath, I love your style and how you pull everything together…stunning piece!

Project 4


Be sure to check out Anne Redfern’s blog to see more photos of this piece and how she used the cabinet card dies to craft this home decor piece.  Can you guess what Anne’s favorite Christmas Carol is?


A walk down memory lane for Lisa Hoel in this piece using many pieces from her childhood.  What a great piece to have on display during the Christmas season to help remember the years gone by.Lisa-Hoel_Christmas-Configurations-Box_main

What a cute card by Alice Wertz using the Alpine Carolers stamp set by Mama Elephant. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!


There are some really great monthly challenge ideas from our design team and it is not too late for you to link your submission HERE for your chance to win with Inspiration Emporium.  Deadline is midnight December 31. Thanks for visiting and see you tomorrow! h

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.

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

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”

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

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

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! =)
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