October 26, 2017


A manila tag, a Halloween stamp set from last year (Tim Holtz), a vintage photo (reduced), Distress Oxide Walnut Stain and Versafine Onyx Black inks were used to create a monochromatic scheme as prompted by Simon's Monday Challenge Blog this week.

I found this to be quite challenging to make. First, I'm still getting used to the oxide ink used for the background's first layer. Then it took several stamping attempts to manage an arrangement of the single house stamp into the fortress you see before you. The Versafine ink is the best for bringing out the details of this really terrific stamp.

A poison label stamp (also from the set) was used for the base of the tag and I varied the degree of shading with a light wash of transparent black and even some diagonal scratching to create more depth and delineation between the two foreground planes.

The ladies came from a terrific vintage photo (source: Vintage Everyday) that I reduced in size before printing. Granted, the scale isn't accurate but I didn't want to lose too many details by making them super small.

I have to say working with a monochrome theme wasn't easy and creating a balance of light and darks in the same color meant thinking outside the box. But, I always appreciate the Monday Challenge prompts as I end up trying things I wouldn't have otherwise--so thank you, Simon!

October 22, 2017


A journal page to share today made with a technique that I'll definitely try again--a combination of Distress Oxide inks using a Gelli Plate, stencils with white paint and creating negative space with colored pencils.

I embellished my background with an image transfer of a shodo (Japanese calligraphy) for the word shoshin which means "beginner's mind" along with my own handwriting to further explain the concept.

The oxides provide a worthwhile alternative to acrylics when working with the Gelli because of the slow dry time.

Using white paint with stencils while the ink was still wet provided variegations and more subtle shades than just pure white.

I carved out some negative shapes here and there and darkened a few areas with colored pencils for further variety.

October 21, 2017


Abbreviations: Paper Dolls, backing paper from a Found Relative, Clippings Sticker, and text from a book pasted onto one manila tag.

October 19, 2017

Best in Show

Most collage artists have a habit of collecting images that might be useful for a future project. I like to collect people and the image I used here was found and saved to my stash six years ago.

I thought the spotted theme clever but had no way of knowing when I'd use it--until now.

This week's theme at Simon's Monday Challenge Blog is "Man's Best Friend" and became the perfect opportunity to use it.

The background is a page from the Tim Holtz Etcetera paper stash, an 8" x 8" collection of papers that are sized just right for tags.

I added polka dots using Tim's Dots & Floral stamp set, the label is from one of his Ephemera collections and most of the tinting was done with colored pencils.

October 15, 2017

Kept Her Word

I've been experimenting lately with image transfers over stenciled texture paste using large, solid designs so I thought it was time to try the technique over a more intricate stencil (Tim Holtz Floral).

I used one side of a page from Tim's Memoranda Paper Stash to cover the stencil and another page from the same collection was used for the tag's background.

The little miss is also an image transfer, Remnant Rubs were used to cover the red-bordered labels and a Clippings Sticker became the sentiment.

I consider my experiment a success although it was a little harder and more time-consuming but doable just the same.

And, because this is Not a Card, I'm linking it to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog where the theme this week is to make anything but. Two entries in one week will double my chances of winning and I'm itching to buy some Christmas goodies. Wish me luck!

October 10, 2017

Field Notes

Tinted mostly with water-soluble oil pastels, an image transfer, some stamped images, Tissue Wrap and Quote Chips came together on a support made from an old textbook cover. I've got step-out photos if you'd like to see the particulars.

(Click on the photos for a larger, lightbox view.)

I stripped the cover of a textbook which left me with a sturdy gray board that I covered with Tim Holtz Postale Tissue Wrap using Modge Podge.

I edited an image (coincidently, also a book cover) and then transferred it to the board using Golden Polymer Medium (Gloss). You can read about my technique in this post.

I used dilute gesso to obscure the background details and this also provided a good surface for applying color.

I stamped the keyboard image (Tim Holtz) on tissue paper using archival ink, tore the edges and pasted it on my support. I added a border detail/frame using a dark brown Pitt Artist Pen. They are made with india ink and waterproof with almost all mediums.

The Quote Chips (Tim Holtz Idea-ology) were delaminated because I wanted the text but not the thickness. They were later stained and distressed to blend in with the background.

The snail (Carabelle Studio) was also stamped on paper, which I tinted then cut-out and pasted on.

Most of the coloring was done with water-soluble oil pastels. I like that they are transparent, easily blended with your fingers and can be diluted and spread with a water brush for thinner coverage.

I made this to link-up with Simon's Monday Challenge Blog, this week's theme is to make anything except a card. This may be out of the box for some but if the challenge was just the opposite, I'd expect to struggle a bit as I haven't made a card in quite some time.

October 08, 2017

Choose Joy

Still keeping with the "dark" theme (only this time with a more positive bent), I'm sharing a tag made with an interesting technique that may be new to you.

Using a clay-coated paper (like Ranger's Specialty Stamping Paper) and Createx Pure Pigment Colors, a background is created that, once dry, can be scratched into to make a design.

I found a tutorial here that describes a variation of this process in more detail. If you've ever tried Scratchboard, you'll see that this technique is a close-cousin made better because the surface has color.

I used a Tim Holtz Halloween stamp (from last year) for the bird image then used the point of my Exacto knife to scratch-in the details and added shading over the marks with watered-down ink and a paint brush.

I'm linking to Simon's Monday Challenge Blog where it seems the "Walk on the Dark Side" theme was just what the doctor ordered to get me out of my recent creative slump. Go figure!

October 07, 2017

One of Many

A walk on the dark side (Simon's Monday challenge for this week) prompted a tag made from Tim Holtz ephemera and a Clippings Sticker.

Why one of many? Well, let's see:

  1. One of many tags that I make.
  2. One of many from the popular technique of attaching butterfly wings to something.
  3. One of many bones in our bodies.
  4. One of many letters in the alphabet.
  5. One of many flowers in our garden.
  6. One of many elements in the periodic tables.
  7. One of many who perished this week by the hands of a mad man.
  8. One of many prayers said for an end to this insanity.

September 18, 2017

Sunday Night at the Goodspeed

I went to the theater last night. Or rather, I printed, cut-out and pasted together a theater last night. It took a few hours, it was something I always wanted to try and I was thoroughly entertained.

Perhaps you have also been intrigued by the vintage paper theaters posted on Pinterest and elsewhere? I came across a page for one section, then scrambled around to find the rest (a total of six pages) and I've put the links below if you'd also like to give it a go.

I printed the images on white lightweight cardstock but if I had to do it over again, I would use ivory to give it a more aged appearance. The instructions are printed on the pages and it was a bit like working a puzzle.  The only hard part was the fussy-cutting but that has never stopped me before.

I admire the person who designed this, the artwork is nice and I learned a few theater terms in the process. Do you know what a proscenium is?

September 16, 2017


Back in 2011, Tim Holtz introduced a paper stash called Kraft Resist--it's printed on pure kraft cardstock in black with an accent image printed in a clear raised enamel which resists inks, paints, and sprays.

One of the page designs features a map of the world with a resist design of a star-shaped compass and that's what I used to create this tag for Simon's Monday Challenge Blog. This week's theme is "It's Written in the Stars."

I used Seedless Preserves and Mowed Lawn distress stains for tint and embellished it with dots of three different 3D paints in off-white, rose and copper.

The face is a stamp from Paper Artsy and the text was clipped from an old dictionary.

September 10, 2017

Beyond Measure

Mother Nature is reminding us, once again, how important family and friends are and that we must watch out for one another especially during the hard times.

The tag was made with Sideshow stamp, Chatter design tape, Distress Oxide inks, and Correspondence paper stash.

I'm linking to the Monday challenge blog at Simon Says Stamp where they are celebrating Stamptember and this week's theme is Stamp It.

September 04, 2017

Deacon Blues

A two-page (large Dylusions) journal page to share with you today, made on a badly needed day off appropriately called Labor Day (a national holiday here in the States).

While working, I listened to a band I haven't tuned into for many years, these songs of my youth, my oldies but goodies; they are called Steely Dan.

Click on Photo for Larger, Lightbox View

The page was made with paper scraps and stamped tissue paper, some Paper Dolls, and a cut-out from the Wallflower paper stash.

This is the day of the expanding man
That shape is my shade
There where I used to stand
It seems like only yesterday
I gazed through the glass
At ramblers, wild gamblers
That's all in the past

Rest in peace, Walter Becker, this journal page is for you.

August 25, 2017


This is an artist trading card (ATC) and it's the size of a standard playing card. It was made (along with three others) for this week's theme at Simon's Monday Challenge Blog.

I'd never made an ATC before but it's not much different than a tag size-wise and I like working small. Mine became a series rather naturally as a result of using a group photo fussy-cut from a book.

Below is a view of the four of them together but you'll have to open the light-box view (just click on the photo) to get the full effect.

Here's what the original photo looked like before I began to assemble the collages. The children (students) were all lined up in front of their rather impressive school building.

It was my intention to use materials/design elements that best reflect my current style: The fussy-cut figures, Distress Ink stains, stamped tissue paper, Remnant Rubs (Gilded Accents), postage stamps, polka dots (washi tape) and machine stitching.

The children's manner of dress (some without shoes), the mix of age groups and their expressions (perhaps being photographed for the very first time?) are all very endearing and illustrate perfectly why I like working with vintage photos so very much.

August 12, 2017

B. terrestris

Coloring. That's what my husband calls it when I'm working in my craft room. Today his description is very accurate.

I took a vintage image (Graphics Fairy), transferred it to kraft-colored card stock with gel medium (an image transfer) then used colored pencils and distress inks to give it some color.

For me, the biggest challenge when working on kraft-colored paper is making sure I have enough value changes (lights and darks). In this case, the addition of white on some of the long grasses helped.

July 31, 2017

Dinner Party

The Monday challenge over at Simon Says Stamp is Food and/or Drink and I thought I'd do something with Idea-ology Silverware.

Well, one place setting led to another and the result was a dinner party in an altered Idea-ology Vignette Box filed with silverware, an ornate plate and a salvaged doll with adornments.

Click to Enlarge Photo

All of this covered in tissue paper stamped with tiny text and black dots plus two altered vintage light bulbs (not to be confused with ice cream cones). The large text is an altered quote chip and the roulette wheel is an Idea-ology Collector Layer.

The outside of the box was "pickled" with a white stain. The crown and scepter were tinted with alcohol ink. Red paper was used in the back of the box. Clear crackle medium and walnut ink helped to age some of the surfaces.

My tiny little box will find it's way to a shelf in my studio and remind me that, in art (and also in cooking), all the things we make are as unique as we are. Bon app├ętit!


It's been a real privilege to participate as a guest designer this month. I am so proud to be a part of a community that fosters so much creativity and joy.

Why don't you join us for this week's challenge?

If you upload your creation to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog you'll have a chance to win a $50 voucher at the Simon Says Stamp store!

Here are links to the supplies I used for this project: