Thursday, January 31, 2008

Purse Cards

The following cards were all made using Stampers Sampler's Tempting Template Purse Card. If you've never seen their templates, you should really check them out. They will definately help kick your creative muse into gear.

The first two cards were published in the October/November 07 issue of Stampers Sampler. I was surprised, I thought out of any of the cards the last would have been the one they used. Just goes to show you never know what they will be looking for! Anyway...on to the cards....

"I'm so glad..." - Supplies: Denim Adirondack Ink (flowers & foliage); Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink (edges); Jet Black Archival Ink (sentiment); Liquid Pearls (all flower centers) all Ranger. Flowers & Foliage stamp - Autumn Leaves; Senitment stamp - Wordsworth; Cardstock - Club Scrap; Flowers - Prima. The inside of the card reads... "....we're friends!"

"Bon Voyage" - Supplies: Adirondack Inks; Archival Inks; Perfect Ink Refresher; Pearfect Pearls; - Ranger; Stamps - Hero Arts & Impression Obession.

Special Technique - Faux Leather Paper - I wish you could feel/see the brown paper. It looks and feels like leather in person. I am planning on a tutorial of this technique in the near future. It is well worth the time it takes to do this technique. It truely is an amazing finished product!

"Always & Forever" - Supplies: Big & Bossy 2-tone Embossing Pad, Black Sparkle Embossing Powders; Black Soot Distress Ink. Flourish stamps - Fancy Pants; Bird & Sentiment stamps - Autumn Leaves.
Dispite the fact that red scares me (it's so very bold and I'm so not - LOL!!) I LOVE this card. I don't know what it is about it but I really liked it. I should know that the stuff I REALLY like never gets published - LOL!! Ah well...

So, there you have it...
a Tempting Template
some examples to get you started!!
Hope they help to inspire you to create today :)

Ink On My Friends...Ink ON!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Valentines Day Cards with a Twist!

I've you noticed recently that things have "cleared" a bit with regards to scrapbooking as well as stamping you'd be right! Acetate, acrylic and everything clear is the hottest trend.

Why not give that trend a try while making some cute Valentines day cards?

Here are a few ideas to get you moving in that direction!

Basic Supplies:
Adirondack Acrylic Dabber - Ranger
Ink Blending Tool & Foam - Ranger
Rub-ons - Die Cuts With a View
Harlequin Stamp - Stampers Anonymous
Disposable Paint Brush
Faux Gem Stones
Chipboard "R" Letter - Making Memories
Chipboard U - Handcut
Sequins Applique - unknown
Transparencies/Acetate Sheets - Office Depot
Bone Folder
General Instructions:
Trim transparency to desired size, fold to make a card.

Note - you will have to run a bone folder over the crease several times as some transparencies are very thick and don't hold the fold well.

To stamp on transparencies simply apply the paint to the rubber stamp and press gently onto the inside of the card front. Dry time will vary.

You must be very careful if you attempt to speed dry time with your heat tool. It may warp the card permanently.

To create the paint "swish" apply 2-3 colors of paint side by side on a fresh piece of Ink Blending Foam. On the inside of the card front in one swift motion draw an "S" with the Ink Blending Tool.

The painted lines are made in the same fashion as the swish. The only difference is you will make 2 parallel lines in one direction then make a 3rd line in the opposite direction.

You will be able to make several cards with one application of paint to the Ink Blending Foam. I was able to make 6 cards with one application. The 6th card is pictured below.
Paint around the edge of the card may be applied directly from the bottle or using the Ink Blending Tool.

You may also apply paint from the bottle using a small disposable paint brush or other instrument. I made the dot edge around the "XO XO" card by using a pencil eraser!

All rub-ons and other embellishments were added after the paints had completely dried.

Hopefully this will spark your creativity and inspire you to try your hand at some "clearly" cool Valentines Day Cards :)

Happy Stamping!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fragments Family Bracelet

I want to share a project I made using Tim Holtz's new Fragments. If you've never heard of them before, Fragments are acrylic pieces in various sizes that can be used for a variety of crafts. They are tough little pieces that can be inked, painted, stamped on, etc. They come in a box of 48 ranging in squares from about 5/8" to one up to 3 1/2". Also included in the same package are various smaller sizes of rectangles.

The project I want to share today is my "Family" bracelet.


Fragments - 5 - 5/8"squares

Glossy Accents - Ranger

Bracelet Blank - Sky Blue Pink

Vintage photos sized approx to 1/2"

Metal Letter Squares - Hobby Lobby



1. Adhere "Family" letter tiles to alternating blanks using E-6000 and set aside to cure.

2. Print out desired photos. You will need to size your photos to approx 5/8" or a bit larger. You will notice that some of my photos appear larger than the tiles. This is so I could decide how I wanted to crop the photo after I had the tile down.

3. Cover the back side of each Fragment with Glossy Accents. Position the Fragment over the image Glossy Accent side down. With your finger press & swirl the Fragment down over the image making sure that all air bubbles are out and there is good contact between the photo and tile. (check out this video by Tim Holtz demonstrating this technique). Let dry.

4. Once the tiles are dry, cut them out.

5. Decide in what order you would like your tiles to be on the finished bracelet. Cover the back of each tile with E-6000 adhesive and attach to the blanks in desired order. Let cure. Note: Cure time varies depending on humidity and temperature. Even though it appears to be dry, I like to let jewelery cure for 2 - 3 days before it is worn.


This project can be tailored to virtually any theme desired.
Instead of "family" use another word or even someones name.

Makes a great personalized gift for everyone on your gift list!
A great idea for any occassion.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Retro & Tattoo Stamp Site

I was messing around looking for various stamp companies and I found this WAY cool site chock full of retro stamps - it's called... Sideshow Stamps - Retro... Cool-ish... Hip... & Ghoulish Rubber Art Stamps! With a name like that how could you not check it out - LOL!! It's got lots of 50's - 70's & some 80's style stamps. Very cool and hard to find stuff. I highly recommend checking them out :)

This next stamp site is all about retro Tattoos from the 40's and 50's! They have some great artwork from dice, to a naughty looking devil to several pin-up girls in various poses. Very cool stuff!!! This web-site is called - Bombshell Stamps - Vintage Art with Attitude!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dabber Door Hanger

Here is a fun project that you can make with your Acrylic Dabber Door Hanger!

You can find these wooden door hangers at dollar tree/stores, craft chains, department stores, etc. Some stores sell them individually and some have package deals. If you keep your eye open, large craft chains will sometimes put packages of pre-printed (has a black line drawing printed on the wooden door hanger) on clearance for a fraction of the original cost. That's how I got this one. The original package had 6 hangers (printed w/girly themes), paint (that was very old & dried up) and instructions for $0.50!!! Can't pass up a bargain like that!!

To make this hanger I painted the entire hanger with a coat of Pink Sherbet Acrylic Dabber. I then stamped the flowers & butterflies (Font Werks) using Espresso Acrylic Dabber. I added Coffee Ice Stickles to the flower centers and the butterfly wings. To finish it off I tied on a piece of sheer ribbon.

It only takes a very short time to make these hangers as the Acrylic Dabber paints dry very quickly. The Ice Stickles do take a bit longer to dry depending on how thick the Stickles are applied, temperature and humidity (30-60 minutes). They are the perfect project for a snowy (in this area) or rainy afternoon.

Here's to a Crafty Weekend!!

Mrs. 3000!!!

Yep, there have been over 3,000 page views of my site since I started keeping track of it on the 30th of Nov :)
How cool is that!!!
Thanks to everyone out in blogger land checking it out. I hope you're enjoying the various projects, techniques and ideas I'm posting.
If you've got any requests, challenges for me or projects you'd like to see, please let me know. I'm always ready to try something new and have never passed up a challenge!
Have a very inky day!!

WOOOHOOOOOO!!!! A Place To Bark....

CHECK IT OUT, A Place To Bark has reached the $25,000.00 goal in only a couple weeks time!!! What a wonderful achievement!! That amount will be doubled by a very generous corporation. Now Bernie will be able to save just that many more poor unwanted pets!
Thanks everyone for your support :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

CD Calendar

Here is a fun little project for yourself, friends or family. It's a CD Calendar using stamps from Purple Onion Designs and Autumn Leaves, Ranger Distress Inks and Ink Blending Tool.

If you've never seen Purple Onions Calendar stamps you'll definitely want to check them out. They are very cool. I'm sure you've seen those expensive little 1 1/2" x 2" pre-printed calendars...well, Purple Onion makes rubber stamps of each month in that same size!! You will be able to churn out your own little calendars at a fraction of the cost! Purple Onion also offers a larger "Year at a Glance" type stamp that has the entire year on one 3" x 3 1/2" stamp.

Now, on to the calendar....


Calendar Stamps - Purple Onion Designs (pre-printed or computer generated calendars will work as well.)
Flourish Stamps - Autumn Leaves
Distress Inks - Ranger
Ink Blending Tool - Ranger
Archival Ink - Jet Black - Ranger
Double Sided Printed Cardstock or Pattern Paper
CD Case
Exacto Knife

1. Check your cd case and make sure it will open as shown in the photo. I have noticed that some cases have a lip that will prevent them from opening up to this degree. To correct this problem, just take your exacto knife and trim off the little lip. BE CAREFUL!!! I sliced the side of my knuckle doing this on one this past weekend.
2. Cut all pattern paper to size. I like to use some of the printed cardstock type pattern papers. It is sturdy enough to be able to use both sides. The paper pictured is from Paper Loft. I used 3 coordinating sheets of paper yielding 6 different patterns. Cut 4 large sheets and 9 smaller squares.

3. Stamp months on the scraps using Archival Ink.
4. Assemble the individual pages - mount smaller squares onto large squares. Note one page will only have a small piece on one side. This will be the last page of the calendar with the Year at a Glance Calendar.
5. Take the 3 double sided pages and apply Broken China (blue) Distress Ink using the Ink Blending Tool to the edges on one side. Flip the 3 pages over and apply Peeled Paint (green) Distress Ink to the other side.
6. Stamp flourishes again using Broken China & Peeled Paint Distress Inks to each side where desired.
7. Mount stamped calendar pieces. January & February on the front of the first page, March & April to the front of the second page and May & June to the final sheet. Flip all pages over keeping them in correct order and finish mounting the months in the same fashion.
8. Mount the Year at a Glance Calendar to the back of the 4th sheet as shown.
9. Slide all of the pages into the CD case! You're have your very own flip top desk calendar. These make very nice gifts and are great to use up all of your scrap pattern papers.

These little calendar stamp gems are also great for cards, scrapbook pages, etc. I will have some additional examples using them for you in the near future :)

A Place To Bark Update...

WOW!!! Have you checked out the total for A Place To Bark lately?
It's almost hit the $25,000.00 goal!!! How wonderful is that :)
Thanks to everyone who has supported Bernie and her animals!!! I'm sure she (and they) really appreciate it!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bottle Cap Winners!!!

Well as promised I randomly drew 3 names of people to win some bottle caps so they could try their crafty hand at some of their own bottle cap art :)

I entered all of the names from the "Accents" posts at and the lucky winners are....





Congrats ladies!

I will be sending out your bottle caps soon :)

Thanks for all of your great comments everyone!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

ATC's with Bling!

Bling Bling....

If you know me, you'd never suspect I'm into bling! I'm a vintage, shabby, distressed girl at heart! Bling is so not the usual me.

Well, let me tell you once I got a few bottles to play with I absolutely fell in love with this stuff! It was soooooooo much fun and easy to use. WAY better than the powder glitter from when I was a kid. It wasn't even messy....o.k., it's not unless you stick your finger in it while it's still wet like I happen to do from time to time ;) lol!!

A bit about Stickles & Ice Stickles...

Stickles Glitter Glue and Ice Stickles can be used just like any liquid adhesive. The only difference between this glue and other liquid adhesives is that Stickles has glitter and in some instances a bit of color to added to the glue. I like to use it to attach gem stones to flowers, cards or other projects. I love to use it alone though as you can see by the ATC's.

Stickles and Ice Stickles can be used for the same applications. Basically they are the same except that Stickles is made using a smaller size glitter and the colors are more intense. The bottles both have a handy needle nose tip for exact application of the glues.

Besides having a larger sized glitter Ice Stickles tend to be more pastel in color than the regular Stickles colors. Ice Stickles also contains "Aurora Borealis highlights". I think from a glitter that is in all of the various shades of Ice Stickles but don't quote me on that. It's only my personal observation.

On to the ATC's...

All of these cards were made using original Stickles and Ice Stickles in various shades.

For the first 3 cards I stamped the images (The Angel Company) using Archival Inks as they are water-proof. That is a must when using these glues because the moisture in the glue will cause regular dye inks to bleed.

Once the cards were stamped I applied the glitter glue directly to the images. Some people prefer to apply one color at a time and let it dry before moving on to the next. I don't like to wait that long so I just apply one right after another. Set aside to let dry and you're done! Easy as that but the results are spectacular!!

"It's a Girl Thing" (my favorite of the bunch) was made a bit differently. The dresses (Wildflower Stamps) were all stamped again using Archival Ink onto a clear transparency or acetate sheet (sometimes referred to as clear canvas). Once dry I cut each dress out and applied the Stickles to the back side of the stamped image. I immediately placed the dresses onto the ATC.'s also a glue so no additional adhesive was necessary! The card background is made using Pearl Acrylic Dabber which was then stamped with the sentiment.

A few helpful tips to keep in mind when using Stickles or Ice Stickles....

~ If you don't use a particular color often you might notice that the hole becomes plugged. No worries, it's still usable, simply push a T-pin or Straight Pin down in the hole to unplug it :) Good as new!
~ It is best if you apply the stickles to a heavier cardstock. Due to the moisture it does tend to curl lighter paper when it drys.
~ If you are using Stickles on a non-porous surface and the item will be handled frequently you should seal the finished product to prevent damage to the stickles.
~ Always use a water-proof ink as the moisture will cause dye inks to bleed.
I have several more Stickles projects to share with you in the future but for now I hope these ATC's entice and inspire you to add a little bling to your life even if it's not really you're thing. You never might bring out a little something that you didn't know you had in ya ;)
Till then...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bottle Cap & Accents Frame

As promised, here is the project that brings all 4 of the Accents together on one project. If you missed it, Friday I talked a bit about each of the different 3 dimensional glaze accents from Ranger ~ Glossy, Sepia, Matte & Crackle. I also mentioned a chance to win some bottle caps so you too can make a Bottle Cap/Accent frame of your sure to check out below just how to be entered for a chance to win!
Grandpa Bottle Cap/Accent Frame
Roni Johnson

Sepia Accents - Ranger
Glossy Accents - Ranger
Crackle Accents - Ranger
Matte Accents - Ranger
Archival Ink - Jet Black - Ranger
Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber - Denim - Ranger
Pattern Paper - My Minds Eye
Bottle Caps - Brewers Art (their web-site is having issues right now)
Black Letters - Jo Ann Crafts
Blank Frame - Walnut Hollow
Circle Paper Punch
E-600 or other strong adhesive
Sand Paper


1. Stamp images onto pattern paper using Archival Ink. Note: It is very important that you use Archival Ink or another waterproof ink. If you do not, your images could bleed or worse after they have been covered with the accents. Regular dye inks will NOT work for this application.
2. Using a circle paper punch the correct size for your bottle caps punch out stamped images and pattern paper.
3. Adhere stamped & pattern paper circles to the inside well of each bottle cap using a dab of one of the Accents (remember all 4 may be used as a liquid adhesive!).
4. Fill each bottle cap with various Accents. Set aside and let dry. Remember dry times will vary depending on amount of Accents used, temperature and humidity. I like to leave my bottle caps over night so I'm sure not to mess them me on this, I was in a hurry, stuck my finger in one to test it after just a couple hours and had to make another because of it ;) LOL!!!
5. While your bottle caps are drying you can prepare your frame. If it is unfinished you're ready to go. If you are re purposing an old or painted frame it's a good idea to give it a good sanding. Paint the edges (both inside the frame and out) with Acrylic Dabbers. For this example I used Denim. You may also choose to paint one half of the frame as I did in the example. Let dry.
6. Once the paint has dried, it's time to attach the pattern paper to the face of the frame. Apply one of the Accents mediums to the section of the frame that you would like covered in pattern paper. For the example I put pattern paper on the left & bottom sides of the paper leaving the top & right side paint exposed. To attach, place the frame on the wrong side of your pattern paper. Flip the frame over and smooth out any air bubbles. Let dry.
7. After the adhesive has dried, take an exacto knife and rough trim around the inside and outside edges of the frame. Don't worry if it's not perfect, we're going to take care of that in the next step.
8. Using a medium grit sand paper, sand all edges of the frame/pattern paper. Next sand any exposed painted areas. This step helps cover any cutting issues and adds a worn, well-loved feel to the finished product.
9. Time to map out the bottle caps. This is very important. You will want to determine the position of each bottle cap before you begin to attach the caps to the frame. If you are using multiple pattern paper designs, stamps & Accents, it could get tricky.
10. Once you are satisfied with your bottle cap lay-out attach each bottle cap to the frame using E-6000 or your favorite adhesive. Attach letters at this time as well and let dry!
Contest time!!
So, now that you've seen how to make the frame here is your chance to win some bottle caps to make your own Bottle Cap/Accent frame! To win, all you have to do is post a comment here or on Friday's post all about Accents and I will choose a random winner on Wednesday!
Good Luck & Happy Stampin!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Project 365

Hey guys!!

Woo Hoo!!! I finally figured out how to get a slide show going ~ ALL BY MYSELF - LOL!! I usually have to bug Mindy to make something like that for me but not this time :) I'm just so tickled!!

The slide show at the right is my photos for my Project 365 ;) I hope you're all keeping up with the challenge! If you want to, please feel free to post a link to your Project 365 album.

Hope you're having a great weekend!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Accents by Ranger

Today I wanted to share a project I made using the Accents line from Ranger which includes Glossy, Matte, Sepia and Crackle types. All of which are non-toxic, acid free, dry to a hard, transparent finish and work for loads of different applications. Something you may not know is all 4 of the accents can be used as an adhesive in addition to their other applications!

Today I want to introduce you to all 4 of the Accents. Next week I will show you how all of these bottle caps came together on one finished project. You might be thinking all four accents on one project?!?!? You'll see, it all comes together in the end ;)

Now, some of you may be familiar with Glossy Accents, the original three dimensional gloss medium offered by Ranger. Like the name states it dries to a high gloss finish. Unlike some other gloss mediums Glossy Accents is a thicker formula holds it's height quite well. Additional coats may be added after previous coats have dried if desired but one application usually works well for most situations.

Dry times vary depending on how thick your coating, humidity & temperatures. Usually 2 - 3 hours for a single layer application. The bottle caps took a bit longer because I get a little Accent Happy and squeeze out quite a bit. LOL!!

Another cool thing about the accents is that you can embed items in your projects. Here I have embedded Beaddazzle's beads into one of the bottle caps. I like to do this a couple ways.

The first is after you're done filling the bottle cap with the desired accents, sprinkle the beads (or other embellishments) right on top. Let dry. When it's completely dry you can shake off any excess beads.

The other way is a bit more time consuming but it yields amazing results! Place your background image down first, add a thin layer of accents and let dry. Now, add a 2nd element to the design. This could be a piece of ephemera, photo piece, etc. again, cover with a layer of accents & let dry. Continue to build alternating layers of design elements and accents. When you are finished the piece will have amazing depth that will be worth the time it took to put it together! I like to use this technique with frames or larger bottle caps that will accommodate the layers of accents. Just something to keep in mind ~ the accents do build up quickly once you get 3 or 4 layers.

The next accents I'd like to share with you is Matte Accents. If you're used to Glossy Accents this is going to be a huge shock to your system - LOL!! Matte Accents when dry looks like the object has been dry embossed. Check out the bottle cap to the right. It is the exact same line of paper used in the other bottle caps but the Matte Accents totally changes the look. It reminds me of pattern paper that has been layered under a sheet of vellum! Oh just think of the possibilities!!!

If you like the vintage look then you are going to LOVE Sepia Accents!!! This accent gives a brown aged look to whatever you apply it on AND has the same glossy finish as the original Glossy Accents!! The best of both worlds :) If you know me, you know how much I LOVE vintage things so this is probably my favorite of all the accents.

One thing I really love about Sepia Accents is the thicker the layer the deeper the color. You can apply a very thin layer for an almost honey finish. Add a bit more for amber, sepia, even a weak coffee tone may be achieved! I used several different bottle caps with this accent on the finished project showing a few of the various tones you can achieve.

The last of the Accent family is Crackle Accents. I have posted about this particular accent before. If you would like to check it out it can be found here: Crackle Accents. Another very fun accent to experiment with. The results are amazing and you never get the same look twice which is the really fun part about it. It's always a mystery to see the finished crackle.

So, now that you've seen them individually what do you think? Fun huh? Well, just wait till you see the finished project when they all come together. I promise you'll want to check out Monday's addition to the project I'm going to hold a little posting prize for a few lucky people. You could win some of your own bottle caps!!

Till then, take some time to ink, scrap, craft or just relax!
BTW, are you remembering to take a photo a day? We're on day 18 you know!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Valentines Day & Love Sentiments

Yes, Valentine's Day is quickly approaching ~ less than a month now so here are several quotes and sentiments to add to your crafty Valentines creations :) Enjoy!!

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” Plato

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” Robert B. Browing

How do I love thee, let me count the ways…

“If I had a rose for every time I thought of you, I'd be picking roses for a lifetime.” Swedish Proverb

“If music be the food of love, play on.” William Shakespeare

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” Winnie-the-Pooh / A. A. Milne

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” Agatha Christie

“It’s never too late to fall in love.” Sandy Wilson

“It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men!” Mae West

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones

“Love is a friendship set to music.” E. Joseph Crossman

“Love is the enchanted dawn of every heart.” Lamartine

Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.

Meeting you was fate,
becoming your friend was a choice,
but falling in love with you I had no control over. Unknown

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you.

“True love stories never have endings.” Richard Bach

You Made My Day Award

I was nominated for the "You Make My Day Award" by Connie over at Altered Route ~ Thank you Connie! It was such a nice to surpise!!
Now it's my turn to nominate 10 bloggers who have made my day with their amazing art, awesome attitudes, humor, etc. It's hard to choose just 10 but here goes (in no particular order)....
1. Kriss - she is always making fun cards and inking up a storm :)
2. Lauren - she is just too funny for words and she always wow's with her creations!
3. Robin - The Inky Goddess ~ can't say any more than that!
4. Lisa - amazing ideas and she is always posting fun challenges to get your creative juices flowing!

5. Jill - a mixed media artist who shares her passions with everyone. Her jewlery is especially beautiful!! You have got to check out her Peas in a Pod necklace!!
6. Rebecca - a story teller like no other...she will have you rolling around on the ground laughing! And she's my sis!!

7. Kathy - very cool altered art creations!!
8. Sue - mixed media artist who's not afraid of color!! Beautiful stuff :)

9. Carol - altered artist from across the pond! Be sure to check out her gallery!!!
10. Tim - of course my list wouldn't be complete with out Tim! He's the man!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Faux Mosaic Kit - Part II

As promised, here are more ideas for using the Faux Mosaic Kit from Ranger!
You don't have to just use pattern paper as your tiles, you can use whatever your heart desires as you will see in the following examples!
This first project is a wooded serving tray from Walnut Hollow. They can be found at most craft stores and discount chains. I painted the tray both inside and out using Ranger Adirondack Acrylic Dabbers. (Espresso & Lettuce) I then stamped the outside of the tray with Autumn Leaves flourish stamps & Lettuce Acrylic Dabber.

As you can see, instead of pattern paper I used vintage postage stamps for tiles!
In addition to the postage stamps I embedded dried flowers in the grout as well.

Here is a fun project that is totally different from the other examples! This is one of those wooden tic-tac-toe boards you can find in the dollar stores. Very inexpensive game jazzed up with a twist!

I call this game...
The Birds & The Bees
To make this game I painted the entire game board using Lettuce Acrylic Dabber. Stamped birds & bees onto shrink plastic using archival ink and shrunk according to mfg. directions. Alcohol ink was applied to the backs of each piece of shrink plastic after it was shrunk.
I placed a small amount of grout into 2 disposable cups, added a bit of Acrylic Dabber Paints (Lemonade & Sail Boat Blue) and mixed. You can continue to add paint a little at a time until you get the color you're looking for.
I applied the tinted grout to each wood piece and embedded each piece of shrink plastic right into the grout. Set aside & let dry.
Once the grout is dry, check to make sure that each piece is secure in the grout. If one comes loose attach it using Glossy Accents or other clear drying liquid adhesive.
After all pieces are secure, apply the Faux Mosaic Glaze ~ skipping the step 2 Faux Mosaic Glue.
I mixed the left-over yellow & blue grout to get the green grout I applied to the grid lines on the board!
The final example is one I just LOVE!!! This is another inexpensive dollar store find ~ it was on clearance for only .49!!! It is a wooden frame mirror that had a really awful paint job...I wasn't sure if my idea would work or not but for .49 what did it matter, it was worth a shot - LOL!!
I again mixed the grout with Acrylic Dabber Paints and applied it over the entire surface of the mirror frame. Then using buttons from the Autumn Leaves Collection I pushed various sizes & shapes of buttons into the grout.
I found that some of the buttons were shallow and the grout would push right up through the holes. If that happens, you can just take a Q-tip and wipe away the excess while it is still wet.
Once the grout is dry check for loose buttons & attach using Glossy Accents or another clear adhesive.

Skip the Part 2 Faux Mosaic Glue and go right to the Faux Mosaic Glaze. Apply a layer to each button. If you would like you can add a 2nd layer on the smaller buttons.
For a finishing touch I attached velvet ribbon to the edge of the mirror :)

I hope these ideas and the ones I posted yesterday spark your creativity!
Have a wonderful day
Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Faux Mosaic Tiles

Today I want to talk about a product that is relatively unknown but SO very much fun to play with. It's the Faux Mosaic Kit by Tera Leigh which is made by Ranger.

Faux Mosaic Tiles you might be asking...why not just use real ones and what would I use them for anyway?!?! Well, trust me ~ this is a fun and very easy to use product. You can turn plain everyday items into amazing pieces of faux tiled creations! It is light weight, easy to work with and all you need is the kit, some paper and something to tile! This project does take a bit of time because you will have dry times to contend with the end product is well worth the effort!

A little bit about the kit it's self. Each kit comes with 3 components, the faux "grout", faux mosaic glue & faux mosaic glaze. If you've ever tiled a floor or worked with tile mosaics you know you adhere the tiles first then grout. With this kit you will be working backwards. You will start with the grout, lay your tiles and finally glaze each tile. Don't need to remember which jar you use first. Each jar is marked 1, 2 or 3 for each step.

Here is a finished example of a frame* made for a friend using the kit. It was a plain wooden frame that can be found at any craft store but it doesn't necessarily. have to be an unfinished frame. You can take virtually any wood frame to tile.

*Tomorrow I will share additional examples of items that can be tiled as well ;)

Let's begin....


Faux Mosaic Tile Kit - Ranger
2 Brushes ~ at least one disposable.
Pattern Paper - for the example I used paper from the Heidi Grace Collection
Wood Frame (or other object)
Paint (optional)
Protected Work Surface


1. You will need to cover & protect your work surface. If you're like me once you get into the project you get a little wild and forget about being careful where you lay down your brush. I have found more than one brush stuck to my desk...or me for that matter ;)

2. Prepare your frame. Prepare it how? Well, if you are using an unfinished frame you will need to initially paint any surface that you don't want to tile. If you are using a finished frame and no additional color is desired you can skip this step.

For the frame in the example, I painted the edges Denim using Ranger Acrylic Paint Dabbers. The great thing about the Dabbers is there is no need for a brush! Simply dab it on :) Set aside to dry.

3. Once the paint has dried it's time to Grout! Open the jar of grout, it is marked #1. With a disposable brush pick up a good amount of grout and plop it onto the surface to be tiled. Now, start spreading out the grout. You want to make sure you have a good layer on your project. As the grout dries and the moisture evaporates you will end up with a thinner coat so this is the time to make sure you have enough on the surface.

As you are applying the grout, no need to be dainty. Just push it around until the surface to be tiled is completely covered. No need to smooth it out, a more textured look is what you're going for. To ensure a natural look on your finished project I like to pounce my brush up and down over the grout as I'm working. This helps add interest and gives a bit more texture.

When you're satisfied with how the grout looks set it aside to dry. Depending on the temperature and humidity in your particular area it could take 2+ hours to dry. I normally toss the brush that I used for this step. You will notice that the grout has worked it's way through all of the bristles and it's virtually impossible to get it all out.

4. Now it is time to chop up your paper! When choosing the paper to cut your tiles keep in mind a couple things.... Try to stick with a few color choices....unless you're going for a really wild random look stick with 2-3 main colors. I like using coordinating pattern papers from a collection. That way I know it will all look great on the finished product. Be mindful of your pattern...I was cutting up paper I thought I wanted to use for a project but as I was cutting I noticed a foot here, a piece of a head there...well, you get the idea ~ it would have made a very odd looking finished project ;) Just something to keep in mind - LOL!!!

You will want to make sure you have lots of "tiles" cut so you don't have to take the time when you're adding the tiles to your project. It always bugs me to have to stop right in the middle of a project to cut more tiles.

When you're cutting your "tiles" it's totally up to you if you want a more random edge as shown here or you may choose to cut the paper in squares, circles, etc. What ever shape you decide on just make sure you cut various sizes. You will need to piece them together in the area you are working on and it's best to have your options open on sizes**.

5. Once the faux mosaic grout is completely dry and you have a good amount of paper "tiles" cut you're ready for the next step. Using another brush (disposable or washable) you are going to start adhering the tiles onto the mosaic. This step is preformed basically like you would if you were going to decopage. Working in small areas (appox. 2"x 2"), apply a coat of the faux mosaic glue. Arrange your paper tiles and apply another coat of glue over the top. Continue to work over the entire surface until it has been covered with "tiles".

Note - some paper has a tendency to curl when it is you're working on applying the tiles, you will want to look back over the areas you have already applied the paper tiles and press down any tiles that may have a corner lifted off of the surface.

After you have covered your entire project with adhesive, set aside to dry.

6. You're ready for the last step in the process. Using the bottle of faux mosaic glaze, cover each tile completely. I find it easier if you outline the tile then fill in the center. Cover each tile with the glaze and set aside to dry.

Note: It is important not to pick up the tip applicator from the tile once you have started to apply the glaze. If you do you will most likely get air bubbles in the glaze. If this does happen you can take a pin and pop the air bubble or at the very least drag it off to the side. Trust me, those little buggers are at times hard to pop so it's best if you try to prevent it from happening. You'll save yourself alot of frustrations if you do ;)

You're done! Time to enjoy your handy work :)
With a little time and the faux mosaic kit you can create an amazing tiled piece of art without all the weight or work of real tiles!

These projects make great gifts for family or friends too!!

Here is another example to try. This is a Walnut Hollow plaque that can be found at most craft stores and some discount department stores. I painted the edge and the "Friends" Making Memories chipboard letters using Ranger Adirondack Acrylic Dabbers. The tiles in this case are actually bits of glossy cardstock that I had colored using Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Archival Jet Black Ink and Autumn Leaves Acrylic Stamps. I added Stickles Glitter Glue to the edges of the plaque and the chipboard letters for a little added bling.

Additional tips & ideas:

**You don't just have to use random cut pieces for your tiles, geometric shapes work well but think beyond that...pull out all those paper punches you've had in the bottom of your drawer for years! Try sprinkling various shapes in among your tiles! Better yet, maybe you could use punchies for your entire project!

Tomorrow I will show additional ideas of items that can be used as tiles with the kit.

- Try using hand made paper for your tiles. It will give an added dimension of texture to the tiles that you won't get using pattern paper. Maybe you could use a variety of papers to add interest!

Remember....experiment, have fun and enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Place To Bark

You will notice a new widget to the right. It's a donation button for "A Place To Bark" set up by Bernie Berlin. She is a mixed media artist who runs a shelter for unwanted hard to place animals. Please watch her video and donate if you can...

Any donations made from now through the end of the month will be matched by the Zoline Foundation up to $25,000.00!!

If you'd like, Tim Holtz and Bernie herself are holding raffles of art items they made if you donate through their buttons. Be sure to check them out...Tim's raffling off an amazing 9 piece canvas creation that is absolutely beautiful!! Bernie is going to raffle off 5 books/ATC cards.

I normally don't promote donation type things but this is a very worth while cause and she can't do it alone.

Thanks for checking it out!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ranger Crackle Accents

The use of the Distress Crackle Paint on yesterday's project brought up a question about Ranger's Crackle Accents. Here is a bit of information to help clear up it's uses and some examples of projects made using the Crackle Accents.

The family of "Accents" includes the original Glossy Accents, Matte, Sepia and Crackle Accents. The first 3 types of Accents can be used on virtually any surface desired such as porous (wood, canvas), non-porous slick surfaces (glass, metal, shrink material, UTEE) or semi-porous (paper, chipboard, or painted surfaces).

Crackle Accents are different however. In order for them to crackle it needs a surface to grip. Glass, metals, shrink materials, UTEE are all too slick as there is nothing for the Crackle to "grab" as it's drying.

Crackle Accents & Various Surfaces ~

Crackle Accents does not work well on porous surfaces either as they have a somewhat long drying time (2-4+ hours) during which the cracks take shape. Highly porous items such as unfinished wood or canvas absorb much of the Crackle Accents before it has a chance to work it's magic.

Crackle Accents do however work WONDERFULLY on semi-porous surfaces!!! The results are simply amazing as you will see.

How to Apply Crackle Accents ~

You can apply the Crackle Accents in various manors. The two I like most are direct from the bottle or with a paint brush.

Bottle Application ~ If you've used one of the other Accent products you will notice immediately that Crackle Accents are much thicker than the rest. Because of this I have found that if I snip off about 1/2 of the needle tip applicator it comes out of the bottle MUCH easier.

The story about how I came to this conclusion goes something like this....late at night, everyone asleep, me sitting at my desk trying to fill bottle caps with Crackle Accents....being a bit on the weary side I can't figure out why the accents won't come out of the's an almost new bottle so I KNOW there is more than enough in there....I squeeze and squeeze but still nothing! I take both hands and really put a strangle hold on that sucker...Yep, That did it...the whole end of the bottle shot off across the room like a jack - rabbit being chased by a coyote!!! I guess it was a bit loud as well cause it woke up the dogs who in a barking fit woke everyone else up....OOPS! Like the Rocketman I protested......Wasn't Me!! Anyway, after cleaning up the mess I had made I snipped off the end and it worked without shooting Crackle Accents all over everything! Now when I get a new bottle even before I think about using it that end gets snipped off ;)

O.K., Back to bottle application ~ As you can see in the bottle cap example above, by applying the accents in this way (direct from the bottle) you will get a thicker coating which in turn will produce larger more defined cracks. Simply squeeze the accents covering your entire project. Set aside to dry. For smaller cracks but still very visable squeeze out a large puddle of the accents onto your project but thin it out a bit by moving it around with a paint brush.

Brush Application ~

Another method to apply accents is with a brush. Squeeze a small amount out and paint the accents onto your project. You will get a much finer crackle look and it will cut the dry time down immensely. This paper mache frame was made using a brush to apply the accents. You can see how small and close together the cracks are.

You just have to decide what look you're going for before you start applying the Accents to your project.

Dry Time ~

Dry time will of course vary because of temperature and humidity but generally it will be "set" within the first 30-45 minutes. "Set" only means that there is a thin skin over the puddle of accents...DO NOT - I repeat DO NOT stick your finger in to test it! I learned that lesson the hard way! You could ruin your project and come out with a crackled finger ;) It doesn't start to crackle however until 1-2 hours later. It will continue to crackle as it dries. I like to leave my projects set over night to ensure that it has completely dried out and is finished cracking before I move on with whatever I'm working on.

Additional Tips & Info ~

~ If you are going to be applying the Crackle Accents over a stamped or colored image be sure to use a permanent, water-proof ink such as Archival Ink. The moisture associated with any of the Accents line will pull the ink out of the paper into the Accents as it dries. (The paper mache frame is a good example of this.) The inks will feather and color the Accents which does produce a cool effect but not always desired.

~ When the Crackle Accents have dried completely, try applying acrylic paint or dye/distress inks over them. Wipe off the excess. The paint/ink left behind will highlight and accentuate the cracks for an awesome finished project!

~ Keep in mind that when Crackle Accents dry they tend to pull the paper with them. What does this mean? Well thinner light weight paper if not secured to a more substantial cardstock or chipboard will have a tendency to curl as it's drying. If I want to use the Crackle Accents over a light weight stamped or printed paper I always secure it either temporarily or permanently to a heavier piece of material.

~ Crackle Accents retain their flexibility when dried so they are safe to use in scrapbooks or on cards. No need to worry about them flaking off.

~ Crackle Accents can also be used as a glue as can the rest of the Accents family.

I hope that this sheds some light on Crackle Accents and helps to clear up some of the mystery about this fun and exciting product :)

Now....go get inky people!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Crackle Paint & Distress Inks

If you haven't tried the new Crackle Paints from Ranger, here is a little trick that might entice you to give them a try ;)

Now, I've not seen this technique anywhere, it's just something I've been messing with. While it's not main stream, it is still way cool. You never get the same results twice because you can't control the saturation of the inks vs. the paints. I've only used this technique on chipboard and canvases so I can't say if it will work on paper or not. It seems as if it would but until I try it I wouldn't give you any guarantee.
How to:
1. Ink your entire piece with distress ink. You can use the Ink Blending Tool or you can apply the ink directly from the pad, whatever works best for you. Let dry at least a minute or two so the ink isn't too wet (Important - if the ink is too wet you could contaminate your bottle of crackle paint.)
2. Apply Crackle Paint over your piece. Remember, this is not like normal paint. You need to apply a thicker layer then you would acrylic or other paints. (**Note: IF you don't apply enough paint you will get little or no cracks!!) Remember, the more paint the larger the cracks.
3. Let Dry! This is when the magic happens! The moisture of the paint will react with the Distress Inks and pull it up through some sections of the paint, blending together creating a totally unique look.
A great aspect of the paints is they match the Distress Ink colors! On the first flower I used Worn Lipstick paint and ink. You don't have to stick with the same colors though....mix it up a bit and try various colors of each. An example is the second flower. I used Broken China Distress Ink paired with Shabby Shutters Crackle Paints. Way cool effect :)
Something to keep in mind when using the Crackle Paints, for a more natural distressed look don't cover the entire piece with paint. You will notice on the pink flower that some sections have been left unpainted. Gives it a well worn effect. You can also take a dull object such as a spoon, edge of a bone folder or if you're very careful the edge of an exacto knife and scrape off sections of the paint once completely dry. It comes off in tiny chips just like really old paint does. Another great look!
So there you go....a little bit of inspiration to give those Crackle Paints a try :)
Have you Crackled something today?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Burnt Edge Technique - Ink Blending Tool

As of my favorite techniques using the Ink Blending Tool . The Burnt Edge Technique!
This technique is so very easy to accomplish with very few common tools you may already have in your stash. What I really love about the Burnt Edge technique is that with the very same tools by simply using various color combinations you can create such a wide variety of looks! You'll see what I mean when you take a look at the 2 examples below using this technique.

Supplies Needed to Begin:


Distress Inks - Ranger (other inks will work but these are my fav's.)

Distress Tool - Tonic Studios

(*Note: I am using Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany and Black Soot for the example. More information on stamps used following each example.)


1. Always work on a protected work surface. You need to start off the paper to keep from getting a large rectangle of ink in any given area. I like to work on the Non Stick Craft Sheet by Ranger as it does not absorb the inks so you can go back and pick up the inks left when you start off the paper.

2. Begin by pouncing the Ink Blending Tool & Foam onto your lightest color several times. I know it doesn't look like much ink but trust me, the foam/tool helps the ink go a long way. Start off the edge of the paper and working in circular, swirl motions, move the blending tool onto the paper and begin applying the ink.

3. Concentrate the lightest color of ink where you would like your focal point image to be. I want the image to be slightly off center to the right in the example.

4. Continue by layering additional colors of ink. Here I have added Worn Lipstick and am working on Fired Brick.

5. Finish up adding Aged Mahogany to the outer edges. I like to apply a heavy coat of my finish colors to the corners as shown in the example. This adds alot of character to the finished Burnt Edge look.

6. Now it is time to switch gears and pull out the Black Soot Ink. Working one edge at a time, you will apply the ink "direct to paper" by running an edge across the ink pad. Place the piece of paper down on the Craft Sheet. Swipe the inked edge inward pulling the ink along with the Ink Blending Tool. You will do this in one swift motion. This produces the feathered look to the edge. Continue until all edges have been inked.

7. Using your favorite paper distress tool, you will distress all edges. I like to work the distress tool in both directions. By going back and forth you will get a more random distressed look to the finished product. I have found that if you pull the distress tool in one direction it looks artificial as all of the tearing is in the same direction.

8. This step is totally optional for the finished look you are trying to achieve. You will notice that after you distress the paper you will have alot of white showing where the paper has been torn. I like to go back over each edge with the Ink Blending Tool and Black Soot ink to cover this up. Again, this is totally optional.

You're finished! Your "Burnt" paper is now ready to be stamped and used on cards, scrapbooks, or on an altered project!

Love Conquers All
by Roni Johnson

Supplies: Ranger Distress Ink - Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany, Black Soot & Brushed Corduroy; Ink Blending Tool & Foams - Ranger; Heart Flourish Stamp - Fancy Pants; Love Conquers All - Autumn Leaves; Wings - Stampers Anonymous; Script - Inkadinkado; Glossy Accents & Micro Beads - Ranger; Couple Rub-On - Royal & Langnickel; Cardstock - Bazzill; Free-hand Jeans Heart

Create Yourself Altered Journal
by Roni Johnson
Supplies: Distress Inks, Ink Blending Tool & Foams - Ranger; Large Fashion Pattern & Sentiment - Stampers Anonymous; Dress Pattern & Acme - B-Line Designs; Vintage Buttons & Sewing Ephemera - my personal collection.

So, now that you see how easy it is why don't you give the Burnt Edge Technique a try :) I'm sure you'll enjoy the results immensely!
Happy Stamping!!