Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Memorial Day

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe

Memorial Day!

Enjoy your friends and family

and take a bit of time to remember


thank those who have made it possible!

Will be back tomorrow with another Ink Blending Tool Technique...

See You All Then!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Own Stamps!!!

I'm sure some of you know I have been designing stamps for QKD's Get Inked Kit since the beginning of the year....well check this out ~ she is going to start selling my designs as a regular part of the store!

Woo Hoo!!! Right now there are 2 sets available that were from Jan/Feb kits but I'll be creating several new stamp designs that are seperate from the kit. I'm so excited! I can hardly wait :) I've got so many ideas swirling around in my head! Where to begin?!?!?

Vintage Postcard Sunday... Thanks to Our Vets!

Yes, since tomorrow is Memorial Day here in the States I decided to dig through my collection to see if I couldn't find something to honor our military veterans. I did come up with a here you go ~

Vintage Postcard - 5-30-2010 001

Vintage Postcard - 5-30-2010 002

Vintage Postcard - 5-30-2010 005

Vintage Postcard - 5-30-2010 006

Vintage Postcard - 5-30-2010 007

Enjoy and have a safe and fun Memorial Day!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Glass Tile Charm Winners & Art Book Winner

I have the winners of the Glass Tile Charms (both finished & unfinished) as well as the Art Book Winner to share with you all!!!

Please, PLEASE ~ Remember ~ if you are a winner please e-mail me your snail mail addy...

Much of the time I don't have any way to contact you directly (all I have is the name under which you posted your message) and now that my computer is on the fritz I don't have as much time as I'd like to hunt people down. Consequently, I have several goodies sitting around here that are looking for their homes but w/o addies they are left feeling alone and unloved!

Glass Tile Charm Winners...

Finished Tile WINNERS -
Denise B
Wanda H

Glass Tile WINNERS -

Grandma Lee

Do Be Do Bead Do



Distress Crackle Paint Art Book Winner...

Calamity Jane

calamity jane said... I absolutely love this book! I come here everyday and you never fail to impress me. Thanks for offering up your creations! And the instructions to make my own IF I don't win this one, of course~ May 18, 2010 11:06 AM

Congratulations Everyone!!

Please e-mail me your snail mail addies so I can get your goodies in the mail!

Ink Stained Sketch 5-29-10

Happy Memorial Day Friends!
Yes, I know it's a couple days away but hey...let's get the party started early ;)
I'm doing a bit of re-arranging...Since I have the JFF Color Challenge on Friday's I'm going to move the Ink Stained Sketch to Saturdays.

Today I have the first Saturday Sketch...

It's chock full of little extras for those fellow lumpy embellishment lovers like myself :) I chose to use brads but you can use what ever your heart desires! I'd love to see your interpretation if you decide to play along!

ink stained sketch 5-28-10 001

And in honor of Memorial Day weekend I of course used the ol' Red White & Blue!

The main stamp image is Queen's Dresser Drawer, alpha is Making Memories and the embossed paper is a Cuttlebug embossing folder.

ink stained sketch 5-28-10 003

Speaking of the ol' Red, White and Blue.....

Vintage Image Craft has posted their next great Creative Challenge ~ it's theme...Patriotic of course! Your challenge ~ to make anything ~tag, scrapbook page, card, altered art piece, collage item, etc ~ using a VIC Patriotic Image! Post an image of your creation on the contest page to be entered to win!

VIC will be giving away several free Vintage patriotic images on the VIC Facebook page! There are several available already so if you're up for the challenge be sure to check it out!!

You have until June 16th's to submit your entry at which time the judges will award 3 prizes to three lucky participants!
I'd love to see the name of an Ink Stained Friend posted in the winner circle!

Ink Blending Tool Cleaning Tip

I know there are many people out there who use Ink Blending Tools and keep the same pad on one handle all the time. I don't have the space for that so I usually have 3-4 I use at one time and just change out the foams when needed.

After time fuzz builds up in the little white Velcro hooks (the material on the handle). making it a real pain to keep your foams secure.

Here is a quick and easy way to clean out all the debris and make your IBT like new again!

(NOTE: this also works for the Alcohol Ink Applicators & Felts as the felts can cause build up over time as well!)

You can see how much has collected on the handle.

crafty IBT tip 002

All you need is a Craft Pick -

Simply run the point of the pick between each row of "teeth" in the Velcro and lift up. This will dislodge any fuzzy bits which has built up over time.

crafty IBT tip 001

After you have lifted all of the bits from between the teeth simply pluck it off and you're IBT will be set to go! You can see just how clean the Velcro is after the cleaning...and that pile of fuzz came from only one IBT!

crafty IBT tip 003

So if you're having difficulties keeping your IBT Foam or AI Felts stuck to the handle maybe it's time for a bit of Spring Cleaning IBT style ;)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Just For Fun Color Challenge #13

Woo Hoo!!


You know what that means...

Just For Fun's Color Challenge!!

We're up to color challenge # 13 and here are the colors for this week....

JFF 13

A bit of a challenge for me because the first thing that instantly pops into my head is Halloween - LOL!! Well, I did some rummaging around in my stamps and was Asian inspired!

JFF CC #13 - Roni

It doesn't show up very well in the photo but the darker petals of the flower are painted with Rusty Hinge DI then topped with Orange Stickles. It adds a nice depth in person that you just can't capture in photos.


JFF Stamps - E1867 - Asian Spider Mum, AA2122 - Asian Motif 5, AA2118 - Asian Motif 2, H1883 - Bamboo Bkg.

Distress Crackle Paint - Picket Fence, Dried Marigold

Distress Inks - Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge

Ink Blending Tool

Archival Ink - Black

Stickles Glitter Glue - Black Diamond, Orange

Niji Waterbrush

Pop-It Dots

Now be sure to check out the

as well as the other

Just For Fun Design Team Members to see what they have come up with!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mystery Designer - Nikki Sivils!!

If you recall last week I posted a card that I had made using products from a mystery designer... Well that designer is Nikki Sivils!! The creator of Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker line of pattern paper, stickers, embellishments and rubber stamps!

I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nikki and ask her a few questions about herself and her passion...scrapbooking!

IS - How long have you been scrapbooking?
NS - I started scrapbooking in High School, so over 20 years!

IS - How did your company get started designing their own line of products?
NS - I had wanted to design scrapbooking products for a long time. I’ve always kept a couple of notebooks with ideas, pictures, sketches and notes…all “for one day…” and I’d referred to these notebooks many times. Then once my husband, Dan, retired from his law practice (after 16 years), we decided that it was now or never! We jumped in with both feet!

IS - Where does your inspiration from for your designs?
NS - EVERYWHERE!! I sometimes see a pattern or get an idea for an entire collection from the smallest object or design. My Sweet Cherry Pie was inspired by a pair of pajama bottoms – the horseshoes I just threw in because I wanted to! Flaming Butterfly was inspired from a man’s pants I saw on an airplane. So, really, from everything I see!!

IS - What line is your favorite?
NS - It’s so hard to pick, they all mean something different to me or are special to me in some way. I guess, if pressed, I’d say My Sweet Cherry Pie and Will He B the 1. (I'd have to agree with her on the My Sweet Cherry Pie! It's one of my fav's as well!!)

IS - How often do you come out with new lines?
NS - Every six months. We reveal our latest lines at the CHA summer and winter shows.

IS - Anything special you’d like the readers to know about your designs/company?
NS - Everything I design comes from the heart. I put a lot of thought into every single detail – even down to the name of each collection and the papers within. I really am passionate about his hobby, not only because I am a scrapbooker, but because I want my designs to spark a memory that you can record for later generations to read. It is also important to me that my designs bring out that inner artist in all of us!

IS - Are you an Angel Company?
NS - We are currently not an Angel Company. We’ve only just started learning about what it means to be an Angel Company. We’re still so young!

IS - Do you sell direct from your website and if so what forms of payments do you take? If you don’t sell direct, do you have a list of retailers who sell your products.
NS - We only sell to retailers. We are currently in over 300 stores across the US and overseas. Here are a few online stores in which you can find our products: A Cherry on Top; Addicted to Rubber Stamps, and Sarah’s Cards Ltd (UK). We are also working on a store locator for our website so you will know where to find us! Until then, feel free to contact us ( and we can let you know where there is a store close to you that carries Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your local scrapbook store to carry us!

IS - Are your products available internationally?
NS - We ship internationally to retail stores. We also have 9 international design team girls!

When you look around her site, you'll see just how much in love with scrapping she is. I always like to start on the "About Us" page because it reveals alot about not only the company but the people involved in it as well. The thing that spoke volumes to me while I was reading this page was family and friendship. Their Mission Statement says it all.... "Our mission is to create wonderfully original scrapbook paper and embellishments by focusing on our imagination and love for crafting. We are a company that retailers can count on to provide new and distinctive paper and embellishments that will excite their customers." I believe they have accomplished what they set out to do!

Nikki was generous enough to send me a box FULL of papers, stamps and embellishments to create with and share with you!

Mystery Designer 011

Mystery Designer 012

It was difficult but I choose three of the nine lines to craft with.... "Willow Bee" (my fav.); My Sweet Cherry Pie (2nd fav.) and Ellie's Day Out (it's just so girly and fun...what's not to love!).

Willow Bee -

I had so much fun with line ~ it is so bright and cheerful...with it's sunflower & bees. Reminds me of sunny summer days! And that little bee flitting around here and there on the papers is just darling! To start off I created a fun tag and pocket. The pocket is actually the packaging for the cardstock stickers which is fun as well as functional!

Stickers + Paper =

Mystery Designer 001

= FUN!!

I used some of the Cardstock Stickers to decorate the front of the pocket, added a bit of Distress Ink to the pocket, inked up a Craft Flag and there you go...

Mystery Designer 002

Mystery Designer 003

They also have these really great Canvas Buttons which I incorporated into this card...I added dabs of Stickles here and there to really make the patterns pop!

Mystery Designer 004

And finally this card was a bit of inky fun! I again used some of the Cardstock Stickers and added a nice plump Cord Brad for the center of the sunflower.

Mystery Designer 005

Next was Elli's Day Out ... Makes me want to go shopping with my Mom - LOL!!

This was the card I originally shared (teased you with)...

Mystery Designer

I also created this fun scrapbook page.... Don't you just love those purse stamps!!

Mystery Designer 006

and this fun card...

Mystery Designer 007

Finally another of my favorites - My Sweet Cherry Pie. Now I normally am not attracted to bright pattern papers but this just screams FUN! I LOVE these papers and the stamps are just darling...

Here was the first card I created. The sentiment stamps included in this set are a hoot... "Life is a bowl of cherries.... Cherry Up!"

Mystery Designer 010

The stamp set also includes who, what, where, when, and Remember stamps. The vintage distressed feel of this yellow paper just called out for something of a time past so I decided to create this scrapbook page of these two cuties in their finest!

Mystery Designer 009

And finally a stamped cherry tree with a blue bird on top ;)

Mystery Designer 008

As you can see I had lots of fun with all of the nifty papers, stamps and embellishments. Not to keep all the fun for myself I am going to share several sets of goodies with some of my Ink Stained Friends!

I have 6 assorted sets of goodies to share with you pictured below.....

Will He B the 1

Mystery Designer 014

Bella Blue & Oscar Too

Mystery Designer 015

Dan the Record Man

Mystery Designer 017

Victoria's Street

Mystery Designer 018

Flaming Butterfly

Mystery Designer 019


Henry's Brilliance

Mystery Designer 020

To be entered to win one of these wonderful prize packages is tell me which Nikki Sivils line is your favorite and why. Maybe you're in love with the little owl in Henry's Brilliance or you love Dan the Record Man because of your love of music, or possibly even Sweet Cherry Pie because they are your favorite summer time treat. Whatever your favorite be sure to check them out and tell us all for your chance to win!

You will have until June 6th to enter to win!

Good Luck Friends!!

BFF Altered Book/Mini Album - Inkspiration

Hi Everyone!
On the spiral binding I mentioned a heavy guage wire...that is basically any wire that will hold it's shape w/o bending or buckling under use.
Green Tip: Coat hangers would work if you don't have any wire in your stash that is heavy enough.

Since we just finished up the BFF Album yesterday I wanted to share some Inkspiration from a few Ink Stained Friends who were kind enough to share their creations.

Be sure to check out Kim's Challenge #10 page set that she shared on her blog. If you look back you can see her other pages as well...all were created with a cowgirl theme! Very cool :)


Judith was so kind to share a couple of page spreads from her BFF book as well...

judith BFF 1

Judith Bff 2

I want to thank you all for playing along


I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Altered Book/ Mini Album Binding Options

If you're like me, you probably started the BFF Altered Book/Mini Album Challenge with some ideas on how you wanted to finish off the book in the binding department.

AND again if you're like me by now you have figured out that your original idea is out the window because the stack of pages has long past exceeded what your binding will handle.

So I wanted to touch on several different options for binding this or any other altered book, mini album or other multi page project you might be working on.

Hand Stitching - Now I'm only touching on this briefly because it's a world onto it's self. There are countless variations and examples on how to create a hand stitched binding. In the future I do plan on sharing a few specific examples but for now I'm just putting it out there as one option of many. If you are seriously interested in stitched bindings then I would suggest looking into one or more of the books on the market that is dedicated solely to hand stitched bindings.

Binding Machines - If available these machines make binding books a breeze! Spiral, comb, wire, tape and even glue binding are options Usually the machine will punch and bind the pages together. There are many binders on the market most notably in the craft area is Bind it All by Zutter. I love my BIA and use it quite frequently. Actually, this was how I originally intended to bind my book but I didn't have any O Wire large enough to accommodate the bulk of my finished pages.

Book Rings - These are a great option because they come in a wide variety of sizes and they allow you to add and remove pages at will. There is also a nice freedom to add as many book rings to your project you might need or desire. One or two rings (placed in each corner) make a nice flip book, three or more placed along the side of your project yield a more "book" feel. Of course, you can always cover the rings with ribbons, fibers or other materials which is a very popular look.

NOTE: If you do add/remove pages often though after time some book rings do tend to loose their holding power and will pop open randomly usually at the most in opportune times. I have had this happen more than once ;) But in general they are a wonderful way to bind all sorts of projects.

Alternative Bindings...

Now in the past I have also used some bindings that aren't as widely used as those mentioned above. Several of these offer inexpensive and easy to use alternatives.

Ball Chain - Yep, it works perfectly for binding books. You can add one, two, or more to your project.

Ribbon or Fiber - Another popular easy fix binding that allows you to color coordinate to your project!

Jewelry Chain - Yes, I said Jewelry Chain! With the explosion of jewelry making in the recent months there is a treasure trove of new and vintage jewelry chain perfectly suitable for binding books available. You will need to make sure you have a chain sturdy enough to hold up to rigours use ~ after all your project is going to be admired by the masses ;) Another cool option with using jewelry chain ... you can add all sorts of charms using jump rings!!

Leather Straps or Hinges - I love this type of binding. It adds a very rustic feel to your finished project.

Screw Posts - These are the long silvery posts that are most commonly found in scrapbooks. They are available in 1/4", 1/2", 1" on up. The longest posts I've found have been 3" in length but you can always add 1/4" or 1/2" extenders if needed.

NOTE: Since these are usually made out of aluminium the threads are easily crossed or misaligned making the extensions a bear to work with at times. It's always best to buy the length needed if at all possible.

Wire - This is a very versatile option as I have use wire in a couple different ways.

You can simply cut lengths of wire, thread your pages onto each wire and twist it closed. Very secure and easy fix but sometimes not the look you're going for.

You can also create your own wire spirals which is what I'm going to share with you today!

Hand Crafted Wire Spiral Binding

Yes, you can have the professional finished look of wire spiral bindings in a few simple steps.

It's a perfect alternative when you need a custom binding.


Heavy Gauge Wire


Cut Off Tool or Heavy Duty Utility Scissors

Cylindrical Object (to wrap the wire around)


1. You will need to determine how large your spiral needs to be to accommodate your project. To do so stack your pages and measure how tall the pile is. You will need to locate a round cylindrical object a bit larger than your project. This could be anything from a glass bottle, spray can, spice jar, tube of lipstick, etc. Anything round and sturdy enough to wrap with wire.

I am using one of those orange/amber pharmaceutical bottles that medicine comes in.

2. Determine the number of holes you are going to put in your pages. This will determine how many spirals you need to wrap. I have 6 holes in my pages so I will need to wrap 7 spirals. My holes were originally punched with my Bind It All before I began the book. I "knew" that was how I wanted to bind my book ;) If you don't have a BIA available my next best suggestion would be to measure and mark where your holes need to be punched. Punch the holes using a Crop-a-Dial (cuts like butter!) or other hand hole punch.

BFF Album Challenge #10 003

3. Bend a 1/2" long piece of the wire back onto it's self on the leading end of the wire. Now bend this "hook" in a 90 degree turn. This will be used to secure your pages later on.

BFF Binding 004

4. Wrap the wire tightly around your cylinder keeping an even spacing between the wires as shown. You are going to wrap enough spirals for each hole in your page plus at LEAST one extra. If you have extra in the end you can always trim the excess.

*Remember - more is always better ~ you can always cut off excess but you can't add more loops once cut!

BFF Binding 001

5. Now that you have your spiral made it's time to start threading it through your pages. Ensure that all of the pages are in correct order. Flip the stack over so you're working from the back of the book to the front of the book. Thread the wire through each page feeding it through one hole at a time.

BFF Binding 002

You will continue to do so until the wire has been fed through each hole on every page.... It really doesn't take as long as it sounds.

BFF Binding 003

6. After all the pages have been added you will now "Lock" your binding. Open the hook we made in the beginning and capture the second spiral in this loop. Close the loop and now that end of the binding is locked.

Cut off any excess wire on the other end ~ create a hook on that end and loop it through the second to last spiral. Close the loop around that wire and secure as you did the other end.

Your pages are now secure!

Now flip open each page and adjust the wires if necessary bending so each page opens freely.

You're all set to go.

BFF Binding 004


You've just created your first Custom Hand Crafted Spiral Bound project!

BFF Binding 005

So there you go...

Several alterantives to binding any project you might be working on.

Hope this helps give you ideas on current projects and those yet to be.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BFF Altered Book/Mini Album #10

Yes today we finish up with our final challenge in the BFF Altered Book/Mini Album. I know I had promised to post a few binding options as well but I haven't had time to get them around yet...I have to go sew today but I'm going to try to work on them tonite and possibly get them posted this evening as well.

On to today's BFF Altered Book/Mini Album Challenge #10

Today's sentiment is:

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only YOU Can feel the True warmth...

And your challenge is....

What else could it be...incorporate the color yellow into your design! LOL ~ sorry just couldn't resist! As a secondary challenge if you are up to it ~ Use at least one stamp on this set of pages that you haven't used in any of the previous challenges.

Here is how my page came together...

I started off by adding a single coat of Butterscotch Acrylic Dabber. I wanted a bit of the coaster to show through.

BFF Album #10 003

Since it looked a bit too "clean" for the feel of my book I distressed it a bit with Espresso Dabber.

BFF Album #10 004

Next I stamped my leaves (JFF) on both pages using Library Green Archival Ink.

BFF Album #10 005

I added a layer of Scattered Straw Distress Stickles to both pages and finished them off by adding my image and sentiment.

(The Stickles made it REALLY hard to get good pics)

BFF Album Challenge #10 001

BFF Album Challenge #10 002

BFF Album Challenge #10 003

Well, that's all she wrote!

Both literally and figuratively...

We've finished with the challenges and now all we have left is the binding.

Later tonite I'll try to get a few different ideas around and I have a few pages to share with you that were sent to me by a couple Ink Stained Friends :)

See You Then!

IBT - Faux Wood Grain Cards

As promised today I have a couple card to share that I incorporated the background paper made yesterday using the Ink Blending Tool ~ "Faux Wood Grain" Technique.

I was in the mood to make birthday cards so I thought I'd make one for the girls and one for the guys....

My girl B-day card...

Stamps are JFF & The image was colored with distress inks.

IBT - Faux Wood Grain Cards 002

And here is one for the guys....

Again, all stamps are JJF and images colored w/distress inks.

IBT - Faux Wood Grain Cards 003

Now I know a few people had some questions about what they were doing wrong as far as not getting a smooth color with their IBT/ink.

I'll be more than happy to try and help you out but to really help I'd need to see a piece that you feel has issues and tell me a bit about what you're doing.

For example if you keep getting lines in your ink, colors aren't smooth, not enough color, etc.

If you'd like to e-mail me privately that's fine or you can post here.

I'm going to be getting a common mistake post around very soon and if you have a particular problem or question you'd like addressed, please feel free to let me know!