ScrappyShak Design Team: Halloween Curio Clock

This was so much fun! I was actually overwhelmed with ideas for this… candy, creepy, floral… and then there are those wonderful Mischievous Cat dies this year from Sizzix! I started going through what I had in my Halloween stash, selecting things that I was drawn to. The problem was that my pile of cool stuff was way too big! It was never going to fit inside the curio clock! Then I thought, what could I do that was different? In my last Idea-ology project, I had drilled holes in the candy corn, and put them on the tiny lights. I loved how that turned out. Wouldn’t it be cool to drill holes in the little Idea-ology skulls, to light up their eyes? However, the candy corn is a soft material, and the skulls are a hard resin. I was definitely going to leave this up to the expert (my husband!). I had no expectations at all of his success with this tiny, hard, roundish skull, but he was able to drill the holes for me, using a 1/8 inch drill bit. I was so excited! Of course I had to stick lights in the sockets and test it out right away! The skull with the lights in the eyes became my inspiration!

The curio clock is all ready to go, straight out of the box. The back comes separate, and has to be glued on. The silver ring in the front comes off so you can add color to it separate from the body of the clock if you wish. My first challange was to figure out where I going to hide my tiny light battery pack. How was I going to run the wire inside? I wanted to put the tiny lights underneath the base. There are two small screws, attaching the base to the round clock shell. I decided to use one of the screw holes to run my lights through, leaving the switch and the battery pack under the base. This worked out great. One screw seemed like enough to hold the base on the clock. It’s not like I was going to be tossing it around the family room! The finish on the clock is very nice, in my opinion. You don’t have to cover it up or alter the finish if you don’t want to. They are also coming out with a red one for Christmas. But, I have the Skulls embossing folder, and since I decided to go with the skull theme, I was looking for other things to use. I recalled Tim Holtz had made a heart vignette a few years back, using Alcohol Ink Foil Tape in an embossing folder. I think that’s when I probably bought my foil tape, but never used it. The foil tape is great because it comes adhesive backed already. All you need to do is run it through with the embossing folder, peel and stick!

I covered the base of the clock first, while it was apart. I wanted to add some black to the foil to tone it down. I didn’t have any dark alcohol ink. I thought Tim had used Distress Crayon, so I applied it to the base, and worked it around a bit with a brush. This is where I figured out this should be another step done at the end… the crayon takes a while to cure, so I got it all over myself!

The tape is very flexible, but it does hold its shape farily well. Just be careful not to press down too hard, or you’ll loose the texture of the embossing folder. I cut slits in the tape so I could mold it around the front of the clock. You don’t notice it when the project is done. Then it was time to screw the base to the clock, with the one screw, and string the lights up through the other screw hole. I attached the battery pack underneath the base with a double sided foam square.

During this next part, I kind of got lost in the creative process, and forgot to take pictures! I wanted the focal point of the display to be raised up, so I constructed a curved shelf out of foam board, and covered it with brown kraftstock paper. The shelf is a rectangular piece of foam board, with a front and a back piece made to fit the curve of the curio clock on the bottom, and flat across the top. The text on the tombstone is from Idea-ology Remnant Rubs. I added Crypt Grit Paste, and a little Black Soot crayon. The bones also have Crypt Grit Paste. I used hot glue to attach them. They’re easy to cut with scissors if you want to make them look like they’re coming out of the ground.

Next I created the background scene. I used the technique that Tim demonstrated in his 2022 YouTube live Halloween DIstress launch, using mica sprays and the moon mask. After it dried, I cut it to fit inside of the back panel. I thought it would be cool to have some ghosts hovering about, so this is where I used the Vault Series Halloween 2021 dies. The ghosts were cut out of a piece of frosted acetate. I used foam squares to add them to the back, adding dimension.

I finished arranging the tiny lights so they would light up the skull’s eyes, and then run up the side of the clock where the moon would be. They were secured in place with more foam squares. The ground around the skull and bones was decorated with tiny gravel I found at the craft store with the model train stuff, and dried moss from the floral section. I finished the outside of the back of the clock in the embossed foil tape, and secured the back on with hot glue.

Lastly, I added the baseboard sentiment, and the trick-or-treater onlookers. This turned out really cute, in my opinion, and looks good both with the lights on or off. Give it a try with whatever you have in your craft space! The curio clock is a great vessel to hold anything that makes you smile! It doesn’t have to be idea-ology trinkets, it could be any small collection you have that you want to display. I can also remove the inside display if i want, and try another theme next year (candy corn!).

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Supplies used available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Curio Clock
Idea-ology Skulls
Idea-ology Boneyard
Idea-ology Tombstones
Idea-ology Remnant Rubs – Halloween
Idea-ology Baseboards – Halloween
Idea-ology droplets – Halloween
Distress Crayons – Black Soot
Distress Grit Paste Crypt
Distress Mica Sprays – Halloween
Alcohol Ink Black cardstock
Tim Holtz DIstress Kraftstock Neutral

Also used:
SIzzix Tim Holtz dies Vault Series: Halloween 2021

ScrappyShak Design Team: Tim Holtz Exquisite Stamp

I know, it’s really fun to get the latest and greatest products, especially if you are a lover of everything Tim Holtz. Along with the new Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Exquisite stamp set, I was fortunate to have been able to purchase Set 1 and Set 2 of the new Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. I also have a small stash of the Distress Crayons which I’ve collected. I wanted to see for myself what the big deal was about the new pencils. Were they really going to be that different than the crayons? I know each of the Distress products were designed for differnet applications, and I wanted to compare these two. I know you can color a rubber stamp (before stamping) with various mediums to achieve different results, so that’s what I decided to do with the pencils and the crayons, and compare the results. While I was at it, I also got out my Copic Sketch markers.

I’m using the new Stampers Anonymous Exquisite set, and my Misti Stamp Positioner stamping platform. I tried to use the same colors in the crayons and pencils, when I had both, and similar colors with my Copic Sketch Markers. I started with the crayons first. I colored the stamp with differnet crayons, and then lightly sprayed the stamp with 3 pumps of water. I wanted to make sure I had the same process with the pencils. After I stamped the first image, I spritzed with 3 pumps of water again, and stamped a second time, without applying any more crayon. This is often referred to as a “second generation” stamping. The second generation stamping came out very light. I decided to overstamp it in Hickory Smoke Archival Ink. First I dried the image with my heat tool, leaving it in my stamp platform. Then I cleaned my stamp really well with water and a scrubber, again, leaving it in place in my stamp positioner platform. I inked the stamp with archival rather than distress ink or oxide, so it wouldn’t react in case the image wasn’t completely dry. Here are my results with the distress crayons:

I really liked both of these. The first stamping will be beautiful as a background, possibly as a sympathy card. The second stamping, with the Hickory Smoke, came out very vintage looking to me. This technique would look really pretty with flowers done in an analogous color scheme (like pinks and reds, or blues and purples). I’m planning on trying this technique on a cream colored paper. You can change up the color you overstamp with. I’d love to see what you try!

Next I cleaned my stamp again really well with Archival Cleaner and then water, and then dried it. Using colors of Distress pencils from Set #1 and Set #2 that were the same as the crayons, or similar, I colored the stamp again. The pencils need to be slightly wet to apply color to the stamp. I spritzed water on my craft mat, and scribbled in the water with the pencils until it started releasing color, then I colored the stamp. I was so excited to get started, I didn’t even think of sharpening the pencils to get a finer tip, but I didn’t have any problems coloring this particular stamp with the pencils right out of the box. From time to time I would have to rewet the pencil if I was coloring a larger flower. As with the crayons, once I was done coloring, I spritzed the stamp 3 times, and then stamped onto Distress watercolor cardstock. Wow! Seedless Preserves! So beautiful! I got a nice impression of the stamp with the first stamping. I then spritzed with water 3 times, and stamped a second generation print onto smooth white cardstock, and then repeated to get a third generation. These pencils have a lot of pigment! My wheels are turning as to how I can use these with the Christmas stamps that I have. What a time saver! Three images from one coloring! I tried a forth generation, and I felt it just wasn’t really recognizable anymore, but I might use it for something else, like die cutting. It turns out at the end of this experiment, my favorite is the second generation on smooth white cardstock. I like the vibrant colors, and I like that you can see some of the details of the stamp, while some of the details are more diffuse. I feel like if I would have used more water on the first stamping, it may have been more vibrant, which is ultimately what I have in mind with all of this! I guess you just have to play with it to get the results you want. Since it was still in my Misti, I could have rewetted and stamped onto the first image again, but then it would have messed up my experiment!

From Left to right, first stamping with Distress Pencils, second stamping (favorite), third (top) and fourth (bottom).

The next process I wanted to try was to stamp the image in Archival ink, color it with pencils, and then overstamp in archival again. I used watercolor paper for this. Again, this has a vintage look to it, to me. I will definitely use this technique again, with different colors. I don’t particularly like the pink flower, and I think there is too much yellow. My color choices began with what Distress Crayons I had! I will definitely crop this one down and make something beautiful I’m sure.

The final experiment was to color the stamp with my alcohol markers. I’m glad I started with only using half of the stamp. This was hard! I should have looked to see if anyone had tips for doing this. I thought I could color the purple flower first, stamp it, and then move on to the next flower. I found that the alcohol markers dried a lot quicker than I thought, and I didn’t know what to rehydrate them with (alcohol?). Maybe watercolor markers would have worked better, but I don’t have any. What I ended up doing was to color part of the purple flower, stamp, color more of the purple flower, stamp, etc. Even then, it was difficult to get the color to transfer from the stamp to the paper. I was just about to toss is in the trash, so I figured, what the heck… try to overstamp in black and see if that helps. I think it did. I think this produced a dramatic image that can be a focal point. It would look nice with a fancy, larger sentiment die in white cardstock with a black shadow.

This was all a great learning experiment for me! For my actual card, I used the technique of coloring the stamp with Distress Pencils, spritzing 4 or 5 times with water. I looked more closely at how much water was on the stamp. If I thought it was just about right, I spritzed one more time! Before I stamped the flowers, I used the other stamps in the set to add some interest to the background. I stamped part of the stamp in opposite corners of the card, using Distress Watercolor paper. I decided to only use the Set #1 pencils for the card, and selected my colored from that package only. Tim talked about how he tried to get a full compliment of colors in each set, so you didn’t have to get them all to have a great selection. I’m very partial to the colors in Set #1 too.

After my stamping was done, I rifled through all of my stuff to try to find a sentiment that worked. This card made me happy, and lifted my spirits. When I was putting it together, the world had just lost Queen Elizabeth II. I was thinking of how her grace and strength will always live on in the hearts of her countrymen and women. In the darkness of grief, there is always hope for the light to come again, with time and healing.

I die cut the hope circle die into my cardfront, added a small gold circle cut from the same die set, and then popped up the cardfront onto a gold metallic kraftstock panel. I added a metallic sentiment strip, and attached the cardfront to a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 top fold card base, made with Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something, or at least were inspired to play with what you have, see what different effects you can produce, and find inspiration to use what you create! Now I have a whole stack of “Exquisite” pieces to use in future projects!

Products used, available at Scrappyshak:
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Exquisite Stamp set
Tim Holtz Distress Pencils, set #1 and #2
Distress Crayons in Seedless Preserves, Festive Berries, Crackling Campfire, Peeled Paint, Rustic Wilderness, Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber, Rusty Hinge
Misti Stamp Positioner
Foam tape
Distress Sprayer
Distress Oxide Ink Pad Antique Linen
Distress Watercolor Cardstock
Distress Metallic Kraftstock

also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix CIrcle Words Christmas dies
Copic Sketch Markers
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metallic Phrases stickers
DMC gold thread
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue with precision tip
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock

Scrappy Shak Design Team: Happy Fall Pumpkin Duo

Me: Does this look like a gourd?
Him: No.
Me: (tries yet another color combo) Does this look like a gourd?
Him: Well… that’s better…
Me: (finishes card)
Him: Now that looks like a gourd.

I had a bit of a time trying to get the colors “right” for the green gourd/pumpkin. I wanted to make one of those cool blueish green gourds you see at the pumpkin patches. I was thinking a hazy, blue green, grey… I didn’t quite accomplish that, but I think I’m okay with my green gourd, which may not exist in real life, but that looks good next to my orange pumpkin!

The colors I settled on were Rustic Wilderness and Bundled Sage. To get the four different paper colors for the colorize pumpkin die, I ink blended Rustic Wilderness on watercolor paper, using a heavy hand, and then did another piece using a light touch. I used Bundled Sage on another piece of paper, and Antique Linen for the small diecut on top which will be the highlight piece. After blending, I flicked water on all of the pieces, and dried. Then I splattered with Antique Linen, Rustic Wilderness, and Vintage Photo.

The pumpkin colors were much easier for me to choose: Crackling Campfire, Carved Pumpkin (surprise!) and Spiced Marmalade. I flicked and splattered again with the same colors I used for blending. I used Carved Pumpkin distress oxide spray for splattering, which gave a different look, but that was just a “use what you have”, not a planned happening. I like how it came out. By the way, when I splatter, I go from the lightest color to the darkest, and dry between layers. If I want tiny splatters, I will use a #4 fan brush. If I want small splatters, the distress splatter brush works for me. Otherwise, and if I’m being lazy, I’ll just splatter with the tube of the sprayer from the bottle of spray stain. Then I’ll curse myself for being lazy, because the splatters are too big!

The only part of the base layer dies (labeled A-Green-1 and B-Green-1) that you’ll see is the middle part of the stem. The rest of it gets covered up by the pumpkin, and the small accent stem pieces. I used spray stain in Peeled Paint for this. I used Rustic Wilderness to color the paper to use for the small stem accents.

After I finished my pumpkins, I worked on the background. I was thinking blue, so I blended Tumbled Glass and Prize Ribbon on watercolor paper, then flicked on some water, and dried. While I thought the intensity of the background matched the pumpkins, I decided it was too distracting, as I wanted the pumpkins to be the focal point. So the blue background went into my “use for something else” pile. Something else in my “use for something else” pile was a piece of tan paper that I had embossed with the Quilted embossing folder. But now, it looked better with the pumpkins. I’m glad I have that pile! I colored a piece of watercolor paper with Bundled Sage, and used it to cut out some leaves from the Garden Greens die set that kinda sorta could pass for squash leaves.

When I assembled everything on the card base, it seemed like the pumpkins needed a little more… grounding… so I cut a piece of picket fence from my Village Cottage Bigz die, using the Tim Holtz white wood grain paper. I blended Antique Linen onto the wood grain paper, then added Vintage Photo. I used Bearly Art glue with a precision tip to stick everything down, except for the pumpkin. For those, I used Scrapbook Adhesive Foam Squares: thin for the green one, regular thickness for the orange one.

For the sentiment, I used the new Alphanumeric Theory dies. I cut the sentiment out of brown textured paper from Sizzix, and then cut two more of each letter from kraftstock. I’m not sure how anyone with porkchop fingers can manage those little pieces, but I was able to glue the three layers together, to give it more dimension. It was difficult lining them up on the card, even using a T-square ruler. Too much caffeine for me I guess! Sometimes I will apply double sided adhesive to the back of the paper before I cut it, but with something this small, I knew I wanted to use liquid glue so I would have some “wiggle time” to line them up.

Happy Fall y’all, and thanks for stopping by!

Products available from ScrappyShak include:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Pumpkin Duo dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Quilted embossing folder
Tim Holtz Sizzix Alphanumeric Theory dies
Distress Ink Pads
Distress Spray Stains
Tim Holtz Wood Grain cardstock
Tim Holtz watercolor paper
Tim Holtz Distress Splatter brush

Simon Says Stamp: STAMPtember!

Oh my, a month-long stamping party! Yes, please! The fabulous online retailer, Simon Says Stamp, created this celebration wonderful event that features special products, inspiration, and collaborations all month long. STAMPtember started early this year, when they made a call out on social media, looking for people to help promote their event. They gave out a super secret previously unreleased stamp set for free to the first 100 people to respond. Talk about generous! I was lucky enough to see the offer and get in on it. I received my stamp set a couple days ago, and have been playing with it every since. We promised to not put our projects out until the release at 12:01am ET September 1st. There will be special events all month long, so you want to be sure to follow their blog at Most of the special collaboration products get posted on this site at midnight, and in the past some have sold out before most of us are awake in the morning! So if you see something you like, don’t hesitate to purchase it. When it’s gone, it’s gone! Remember, there’s no crying in cardmaking!

So, without any further ado, here it is!

Simon Says Stamp Printmaking Birds, sss202550c

This set is so cute! It’s a group of 8 little birds. There’s an outline stamp that stamps the set of birds. There are 3 layering stamps which add the body, the wings, and the belly, all in one shot for all of the birds. It comes with a few sentiments, including birthday, miss you, and encouragement verses. I especially love “hope is the thing with feathers…”, as I love that lyric by Emily Dickinson. I immediately thought of bluebirds (of happiness) and feathers of course.

I used Tim Holtz kraft cardstock, for kind of a “folk art” look. I played around with some blue oxide inks, and decided on Salvaged Patina for the body of the bird. I tried Uncharted Mariner for the wings, as well as a few browns, and didn’t love any of them. I don’t have Peacock Feathers in the Oxide formula, but I thought that would look the best. I just didn’t like the way the Distress Ink looked on the kraft stock. I thought “use what you have”, and I know that the oxides have white pigment in them, which my Distress Ink pad was missing. What I did was to understamp white Picket Fence Ink, and then stamp the Peacock Feathers on top of it. That gave me the look I wanted. I tried a few colors for the belly, and settled on Wild Honey.

It would have been much more difficult to do this without my stamping platform. I planned to stamp the outline so I could see where the fill in stamps go, and then stamp the outline again at the end to get a crisp outline. To do that with my stamping platform (regulation size), I was able the use half of the platform with the outline, and leave it there in the same position on the cover, and then use the other half of my platform to add the other layers.

I added a sentiment on vellum, and added a strip of cardstock to match to fill out the rest of the cardfront. I really wanted to add a feather, and I had just gotten the fabulous die set from Gina K Designs, Fancy Feathers. It still looked like it needed something, so I added a few black sequins.

I really liked the colors that I used for the birds, and wanted to make a similar card on white cardstock. For the second card, I used a stencil by Picket Fence called Mermaid Scales, SC-171. I purposefully blended Salvaged Patina Distress Oxide with a blending brush to be inconsistent, with some darker areas and some lighter. I thought it would add the appearance of texture. I stamped the sentiment in Versafine black ink, and embossed it with detail clear embossing powder.

Which one is your favorite? I hope you got some ideas for your own projects with this fun set. And guess what? There are coordinating dies available!! How cute will it be to sprinkle these cute little birds all over the place! Thanks for looking. Be sure to check out all the fabulous fun Simon Says Stamp has in store for us this STAMPtember!

Products featured:
Simon Says Stamp Printmaking Birds

Gina K Designs Fancy Feathers

Picket Fence Mermaid Scales

Misti Stamping Tool

ScrappyShak Design Team: Idea-ology Halloween Perspective

Here’s a link to the video on YouTube.

I went “out of the box” for myself on this one, and actually ordered the whole box! I ordered the “I want it all” Halloween Idea-ology August bundle from ScrappyShak! I’ve always admired the other makes from people who seem to have all of the new products, and I wanted to challenge myself to see what I could do if I had all the stuff. I knew I would want to make some kind of lighted holiday display, so I also ordered the square vignette boxes, the vignette display panel, and tiny lights. Other than that, I had no idea what I was going to do.

When my box arrived and I opened it up, I was totally overwhelmed! What have I done?!? I walked away for a bit… When I came back, I just started going through all of the packages, and picking out things that I liked. It seemed like I had 3 different themes going on… candy, bones/potions, and bats/spiders. I started playing with my vignette boxes, and came up with a three sided design that I would attached to the upside down display panel, using it as a base. I made a template so I could remember where I wanted the boxes, but didn’t attached them to the display panel yet. I covered each square with worn wallpaper, and covered the base with collage paper that I had from last year. I liked the darker colors in the paper from last year better for this project.

As I started to gather more stuff for each of my themes, I thought it would be great to have an extra shelf in each vignette box. For the first one, I cut down a piece of wood that had come with a different vignette tray with removable dividers that I used on another project last year. I only had one of those extra pieces, and being slightly lazy and not-so-slightly stubborn as I am, I cut it down with a pair of wire snips, and kinda made a mess! But it worked. For the second shelf, I found a piece of black foam board that I cut down much more easily with scissors and an X-Acto knife. I’d certainly recommend that route. The shelf doesn’t have to be super sturdy just to hold small items. I used hotglue to glue them in to the vignette boxes, then used the thinnest design tape to cover up the edges all the way around the box fronts.

I began by picking out more pieces that I liked, and playing. I had a pile for each “side” of my project. I started with the fun stuff, like finding things to color with alcohol inks that would look like candy, to go in some of the clear glass vials I had. I also used some colored seed beads I had. Then I got distracted with the laboratory beaker. What can I put in there? It should be green. I know people use resin, and I didn’t have any. I do have hand sanitizer to clean my media mat. That’s clear, pourable, and alcohol based. I wonder if alcohol ink will color it? Yes, it does! Just a couple drops is all I needed. So it kind of went like that… I’d be working on one thing, and it’d trigger an idea for a different “side”, and I’d go do that.

I wanted to do something special with the new confections candy corn. While I was working on this, there was a Tim Holtz live YouTube, showing makes for these products. I purposefully didn’t watch it, because I didn’t want to be influenced or distracted by the beautiful makes from his Design Team. However, I did hear about how he used the candy corn with tiny lights. I just had to go peak at that part of the replay! He made it sound so easy! Just drill holes in these teeny tiny plasticy candy corn! If you try this yourself, I’d recommend being very careful. Make sure you hold the corn with pliers, not your fingers! You might want to make a starting point for the drill with an awl or something. Otherwise the drill bit can move. Watch his video here. It’s at the end, around 3:19 timestamp. The corn is only slightly bigger than the 1/8″ drill bit that Tim recommended. I’m glad I added the corn this way, but it wasn’t easy. I messed up as many as I was successful with, but I got enough for my project, and I’m happy with how they look.

Although I was trying not to spend any more on this project, I felt like I did have to get the amber colored apothecary vials. I’m glad I did. I am not glad that I didn’t take the time to do more to them, like distress them more, but I felt like I had to draw a line in the sand as to how much time I was going to spend on this project! I also had some cards to get out, and regular life stuff to take care of! Some of the vials are empty, some have stuff in them, you can’t really see through the glass. I did have a little bit of a time trying to get the labels to stick that come with the apothecary vials. I first tried them out of the package, and then tried them with collage medium. I heard someone suggest to make sure they were clean before you try to apply the labels, which I will definitely do next time. I will probably wipe them off with alcohol first to make sure the labels stick.

I did most of my embossing powder and glaze at the same time. I’m happiest with the curtain, which is from the layers pack. I wanted the wood part to be an offwhite color, and the curtain part to be a light pink color to match the flowers in the worn wallpaper. I masked off the curtain pieces with bits of masking tape, then applied embossing ink with the dauber top applicator, and embossed the wood part using antique linen embossing glaze. Then I removed the mask, applied embossing ink with a marker, and embossed the curtain with saltwater taffy embossing glaze. I also used wild honey embossing glaze to color the paper doll’s dress, using both the embossing dauber and an embossing marker. Clear embossing powder was used on the bats.

I wasn’t sure what to put on the bottom shelf of the candy shop. I didn’t have anything that said “Confections”, so I went through the layers and ephemera packs, and found something about a florist. Some florists have candy as well, so I figured that would work. I used the paper “bouquet” idea-ology flowers, and sprayed each small cluster with different fall colored spray stains. I let them dry overnight. I played around with trying to display them, then had the idea of putting them in a flower cone, which I made out of a scrap piece of Tim Holtz paper that had a pretty sage green pattern to it.

On the bats and spider side, I used one of the halloween transparencies for the spider web. I cut it down so it would fit in the corner. I also added a small rectangular vignette box, so it would match the other two sides better. I used sewing thread to hang up the spiders, and rubbed white glue on the thread to stiffen it up.

To distress the bones, I added some grit paste. I had some Crypt grit paste leftover from last year’s Halloween release. After the grit paste dried, I rubbed on some vintage photo, antique linen, and peeled paint distress crayons with my fingers. Any grit paste will do, as you can alter the color of the paste with distress crayons after it dries. If you don’t have distress crayons, you could mix a tiny bit of re-inker in with the grit paste before you apply it to the bones, but it won’t have quite the same look. It will still be cool! Sometimes we have to use what we have!

The Sizzix Mischievous cats were fun. I die cut all of the cats using different black paper – shiny, matte, and glitter. My favorite black paper to use is the Tim Holtz black alcohol ink paper. It has almost a suede texture to it. Two of the cats were cut out with the halloween deco sheets. These sheets are very thin, glittered paper, with adhesive on the back. In hindsight, I might have put the deco sheet black paper on cardstock, then cut the cats out, and popped them up with dimensional foam on the back wall of that piece. I think they get a little lost directly adhered to the box. To make the cats stand up in the middle of the box, I used black foam board. I cut a piece the size of the inside bottom of the box, and then cut it in half again the long ways. I glued one piece down towards the back of the box, then stood up my two cats, and then glued the other piece down, holding them up in place. I wanted it to look like a room full of black cats! I glued three of the cats on the front face of the box. The extra one went into the flower/candy shoppe.

I used a little distress spray stain on the mummy cloth, including a little aged mahogany, trying to make it look like dried blood.

I didn’t start gluing everything together until I had my layout and pieces done. I had to figure out where I was going to put the tiny lights. I put the battery packs underneath the display panel, and drilled holes to string the lights up into the back of the boxes. I also ended up with enough extra that I could add drippy candles to the top of one of the boxes, and shape the tiny lights so that the candles look like they were lit.

One of the hardest parts of this project was getting started, and the other hard part was deciding when to stop! I really enjoyed working on this, but probably could have spent another week adding cool things. One of the great things about Tim’s products is that they all coordinate with each other. It’s hard to go wrong. Just start somewhere, and do what makes sense to you. Step away if you run out of ideas. The ideas will come if you try to relax and just enjoy the process. There will be lots of people who will “get” what you create. Some won’t, but it’s not for them, it’s for you! Thank you for stopping by!

Tim Holtz Idea-ology products used include:
vignette boxes (squares)
vignette display panel
halloween baseboards
halloween layers
halloween ephemera pack
halloween worn wallpaper scraps
halloween deco sheets
halloween transparencies
curiosities sticker book
apothecary vials
corked vials
halloween adornments
creepy eyes
halloween confections
halloween confections – candy corn
confections (from 2021 holiday season)
halloween trimmings
halloween design tape
halloween paper dolls
halloween collage paper (from 2021 season)
crypt grit paste (from 2021 season)
black alcohol ink paper
distress embossing glaze in antique linen, saltwater taffy, and wild honey

Sizzix thinlits Mischievous #665996
Scrappy Shak tiny lights – warm white

ScrappyShak Design Team: Feathery Suspect

Hello crafty friends! I was so excited to get two of my new Tim Holtz Sizzix Chapter 3 dies, I wanted to use them both at the same time! I ordered Feathery and Specimen. I love birds, and have been searching for the older Sizzix Bigz feather die that has been retired for a while, so I was very happy that Tim released these new thinlit feather dies. I can see them being used for all kinds of different occasions and holidays, as well as Home Dec projects. I also had to get the Specimen dies, because they seemed like a staple that I would be using time and again, especially when I think about mixed media projects. So there I was… feathers… and files…. what to do? I could make a bunch of feathers, and put them in a file folder, like someone was collecting them to… do what? Then it hit me – evidence! Evidence of something, done by… a Snarky Cat! I have those stamps! Then it all came together.

The words that come with the Specimen set are things like “files”, “series”, “archive”, etc. I figured if I had enough patience, I could cut the teeny tiny letters out and make my own word, “evidence”. It worked, and it fit perfectly on the file folder in the specimen set.

I started by using my Distress Spray stains to color watercolor paper. I used two colors for each different color of feathers, drying in between each color. The colors were Aged Mahogany, Barn Door, Black Soot, Villainous Potion, Salvaged Patina, Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, and Gathered Twigs. After I die cut the feathers, I outlined each one with Vintage Photo and a sponge applicator. I tend to be a little lazy at times, but here’s where you shouldn’t skip a cleaning step. Even if your watercolor paper looks dry, I find some of the color stays on the die after cutting, so I always take time to rinse and dry my dies. Otherwise it might rub off the next time I use it, speaking from experience!

After getting my feathers cut, I cut my file folder. I have some neat paper I got a long time ago. It’s manilla colored, heavier, and has some wrinkles in it. I got it in a cardmaker’s paper pack, so I have no idea what brand it is. You can certainly use whatever you have. I grunged up the edges of this with Vintage Photo as well, and added my “Evidence” word.

Next I stamped my Snarky Cat onto Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock with VersaFine ink in Onyx Black, using my Misti Stamp platform. The speciman die set comes with a die that will cut it out perfectly to fit into the slide cutout. I wanted it to look like a mug shot, so I used a darker yellow paper to layer behind my cutout numbers.

The Specimen set has the right size dies to make the black label, and a smaller die to fit behind it (in yellow). You have to be careful to save the circle in the middle of the letter “o”, and the number “0”, when you die cut “No. 3074”. The negative inside of the “4” was just too tiny to try to save, so I used a fine tip marker to draw in a small triangle so that it would look like a number. Hard to explain, but you’ll understand when you try it. You could of course leave those little pieces out, but I thought they were needed. I cut the slide again from black paper, just to get the little negative circles to pop in the corners of my slide. I’ve seen people use small brads, but I didn’t have any. I used’s Pops of Color in black first, but I smeared one before it was completely dry, so I had to start all over again! If you get a chance, watch Tim’s Youtube for this set. Lots of great ideas! The paper for the slide was from Tim’s kraftstock newer paper packs.

When I was ready to put the card together, I made a 5×7 base from Neenah Dessert Storm cardstock, and picked a piece of paper from the Backdrops paper pack that I thought would pull it together. I thought the file folder needed something else, like a sentiment. I felt there was too nuch white space. I chose one from the Noteworthy stamp set and used VersaFine ink. Poor Snarky Cat. Don’t lose hope! Maybe there isn’t enough evidence for a conviction! Ha ha. I positioned everything the way I wanted it before I glued the folder to the card front, added the feathers (with liquid glue), and then added a tiny clip embellishment. The Snarky Cat slide was popped up with dimensional foam and attached to the card.

I hope this inspires you to play with the Specimen and Feathery sets! It was lots of fun creating this!

Products used, available at

Tim Holtz Sizzix Specimen thinlit dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Feathery thinlit dies
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Snarky Cats stamps
Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains
Misti Stamp platform

ScrappyShak Design Team: Happy Birthday Shaker

Hey paper people! Here’s another shaker card I made using the super simple Sizzix Shaker Panes with coordinating framelit circle dies. You can read my previous post to see more details on how easily these shaker cards go together. Here I used Altenew Square Weave stencil and Spellbinder’s Simply Perfect Layered Blooms dies to add some interest. By the way, these dies are currently on sale at! The stamp is from Stampabilities. The challenge I had with this card was trying to use the acrylic circle that comes with the Sizzix Shaker Panes.

The package insert states that the shaker pane cover is heat resistent, so you are able to stamp on it, use embossing powder, and melt the powder. I had to foresight to do a test run on a sheet of clear acetate that I had in my stash. If you try this, be careful not to apply too much heat, as the acetate will warp and melt, unlike the piece that’s included with the shaker pane kit. I first had a problem trying to get good coverage of ink that would take the embossing powder. I tried using Memento, and then Versafine black ink pads. I like to stamp in black and then emboss in clear. That way, if there is any stray embossing powder, you don’t really see it. I usually do this, rather than stamping in clear embossing ink (like VersaMark) and using black embossing powder. It usually works great on paper. Also, to add complexity to the task, the image that I wanted to use was on a wood mounted rubber stamp. I’ve really gotten used to using a stamping platform (Misti) where you can stamp again if you miss a spot. With a wood block, you only get one chance at a perfect stamping!

Next I tried StayzOn black ink with detail black embossing powder. I used my embossing powder duster first to make sure the embossing powder didn’t cling where it wasn’t supposed to. This is my favorite smelling ink pad for sure! It is an older pad, and I didn’t have a reinker, so the image was too light and dried too fast to get the embossing powder to stick. I then tried VersaMark embossing ink with detail black embossing powder. This gave me the best results in my test run. I was ready to try it on the one piece that comes with the shaker panes. It came out okay, but I am the ultimate perfectionist! I made sure my ink pad was refilled, and nice and juicy… maybe too juicy. The image was a little blurred. I’ll warn you that I find stamping on acetate or anything shiny reminds me of trying to sew slippery fabric. It will move. It’s inevitable! Don’t expect perfection! But do your best to expect movement when you’re stamping liquid ink onto a slippery paper. Use a stamping platform if you can. Be deliberate with your stamping. Make sure your stamp has good ink coverage, but not too much, before you stamp.

The Happy Birthday shaker pane cover was pretty good, so I was going to use it. When I put some sequins in the shaker, I decided that you couldn’t really see the impecfections, but also, you couldn’t really see the sentiment anymore! I changed my mind about my design. I got a piece of white cardstock, stamped in black Versafine ink, embossed in detail clear embossing power, and put it behind the shaker pane. That’s better! That looks good to me!

I turned this quick shaker card, made incredibly easy by the Sizzix Shaker Panes, into a long, drawn out learning experience! But hey, that’s what it’s about some times. You need to experiment to see what works for you, in your environment, with your products. I’ll definitely pick up a StayzOn reinker, and more clear acetate to practice on. I also will get some cling stamp backing foam so I can replace the wood block for this stamp, and turn it into a cling stamp. This will let me use it with my Misti stamping platform.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Stay crafty!

Scrappy Shak products used:
Spellbinders Simply Perfect Layered Blooms
Sizzix Shaker Panes – Circle
Sizzix Framelits Circle Frames

Single layer masculine card with Simon Hurley stamping foam

Hello paper people! Today I have a card using a product I’ve been playing with, and thinking about, for a while. I used the Simon Hurley heart shaped stamping foam. As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of heart shapes, but I really liked this set. For one, it is bigger than the regular rectangular Simon Hurley foam. I liked how I was able to use the large piece to cover the whole front of my card. Also, when you add texture and then stamp the two pieces together, either at the same time or separately, you get a tiny bit of white space around the heart. This automatically gives you the illusion of depth. So even with a single layer card, it looks like there’s more detail, and the heart becomes the focal point. You get two sets (heart and rectangle) of the foam in a package. You can use both sides of the foam, and you can reuse the foam, probably many times. If you’re using dye inks, you can clean the foam after use with water and a lint free cloth.

Simon Hurley has a bunch of Youtube videos demonstrating how to use the foam. It’s super easy to use, and the foam gives you a ton of flexibility to create different patterns for your cardmaking. You can use it to stamp images, like a stamp, or stamp a pattern, like you might have otherwise used a stencil. It can also add the illusion of texture that you would get with an embossing folder, but you have the freedom to cheese your own design! I encourage you to watch his videos, as he has a ton of great ideas! I’m not quite set up yet to make my own videos, however I will describe to you my process! Hopefully you’ll see how unique this product is, how easily you can pull a card together, and it will inspire you to try it yourself. I do have another idea I want to play with soon… I don’t have a lot of masculine stuff… like stamps or dies. So when I have to make a card for a guy, I’m often stumped. My guy relatives and friends get often get flowers on their birthday cards, because… I like flowers! I’m going to play around with using the foam with some tiny tools, like the little throwaway wrench you might get with something you have to assemble yourself, and the wire snips I use to cut apart my dies. Maybe washers, nuts, nails… I’ll have to raid the garage and see what I can come up with!

For this project, I started looking around my house to find something to use to create a pattern with the foam. I had this really cool cut glass dish from my mother, which probably came from my grandmother, or even further back up the family tree. We call it the cranberry dish, because it was what we always put the cranberry sauce in for holidays. I was thinking that I needed something that had a lot of depth in the design to make an impression in the foam, but that’s not the case. I ended up using a bamboo table runner to make the pattern for the background. I imagine lace or anything woven would work just fine as well.

Here’s the bamboo table runner that I used for the background, along with the two pieces of stamping foam. The pattern on the table runner is very fine, and I wasn’t expecting the foam to pick it up, but it did. I did have to apply a bit of pressure to it after I heated the foam. I used a large acrylic block, like Simon suggests, and pressed down while standing up at my work surface. I used Neenah Classic Crest, Solar White, 110 lb cardstock, and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink.

Here’s the cranberry dish! Isn’t it lovely? For this, I left the foam on my work surface after heating it up, and pressed the dish into the foam. The sides of the dish have that pretty circular pattern. After I made this card, I used the side of the dish to get that circle pattern. You can make an impression on the foam with something that is not flat – you just have to roll it onto the foam, but you only get one shot, as I found it was too hard to line it up again to make a second pass. Good thing is if you mess up, you just heat up the foam again, it restores to a flat surface, and you can try again.

Not to get all gloomy, but sometimes cardmaking and life are not all butterflies and rainbows. I was working on this card right after finding out my dog has cancer. I was trying to craft to distract myself from the bad news. Staring at the stupid heart, all I could think was that my heart was blue… I’m heartbroken at her diagnosis. That goes with the cut glass I guess. I picked some of my favorite blue distress oxides to color my heart (Salvaged Patina and Prize Ribbon). I just tapped the ink pads on the foam, gave it a teeny tiny mist of water, and stamped it on my background. It was very easy to line up and get it in the right spot in the middle. I wouId usually stamp onto another piece of paper, fussy cut it out, and add foam tape for dimension. But frankly, I was being lazy. To my surprise, I really like how it came out! It looks to me that there’s a little gap of white space around the heart, and that gives it a little better definition. One other way to stamp the heart in the right place would be to lay a clean piece of the rectangular foam onto the stamped background, and just pop the inked up heart into the hole in the center. That way you would know you’re lining it up perfectly. I’ll try that next time.

To finish off the card I used a label tape sentiment from Tim Holtz, and stamped part of a sentiment from the Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Noteworthy set. I just wanted to use the “you are” part, so I only inked up those words on the stamp. The Noteworthy set is a great set. I find it’s my “goto” set now for sentiments on A2 sized cards. I added a couple silver confetti sequins, and layered it onto a black background. I like this design, because it’s a single layeer design, so it won’t require extra postage, and will go through the mail just fine. You can of course use any color combination, and any textures you can find laying around your house. I would love to see what you create! Please add a photo in the comments! I will definitely be using this come Valentine’s Day, but I also can see using it for sympathy cards and birthdays. I might also try to come up with a Christmas card, because it goes together so quickly, and I make and send a lot of cards for Christmas! Get yourself over to and pick up some Simon Hurley stamping foam to play with!

Color Challenge Get Well Card

The inspiration for this card was a color challenge on a Facebook group I belong to. Someone posted a picture of a cream and black building with a red, orange a yellow logo. When I started thinking about what direction to go with this card, the colors took me to flowers. But most everything takes me to flowers! I also wanted to incorporate the industrial feeling of the building. I also needed a Get Well card!

I had just seen an amazing looking embossing folder, again on social media, and ordered one. It’s from Stampin’ Up, and called Painted Texture. It is even more fantastic in real life! I’m so glad I got it. I really like the whole mixed media aspect of card making, and this folder makes it super easy to get great texture. I haven’t played around yet with adding color to it, but I really just like it as is. I’m going to use this as the background for my card. In hindsight I should have made a larger card, because I hated having to cut this down and lose some of the character.

I chose some colors to work with: Mustard Seed, Orange Marmalade, and Festive Berries in the Distress Oxide ink pads. I blended them on a scrap piece of paper, and decided I wanted a more orangy red, so I picked Barn Door. I only have that in the Distress Ink pad, but it won’t matter much because I plan on using my blending brushes to apply color to my cardstock. For this card, I’m using Canson XL watercolor paper, even though I’m not using water. I like the weight of it, and that it is not as bright white as the Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock. Plus, I think it’s less expensive. I used it when I’m not using a lot of water to move the ink around.

I used the Tim Holtz Brushstroke Flowers #4 dies, cutting them out of the Canson watercolor cardstock. I thought it would be more interesting to blend the colors from lighter to darker on each flower layers, keeping the center of the flower lighter, and having more color towards the outside of the flowers. I used the packaging photo to help decide how to color the layers before gluing them together.

I chose to go with an A2 sized card. After trimming the background, I decided to add a layer of black behind my embossed background layer. This will help to connect the sentiment. The sentiment and sub sentiment are from Waffle Flower, Oversized Prayers. I used the smaller script prayers stamp, embossed with black, and cut out with the coordinating die. The sub sentiment was embossed with white on glossy black card stock. After I got all of my pieces ready and started to lay out the design, I decided I needed a bit more foliage, so I cut another stem and blended it with Mowed Lawn and Rustic WIlderness, like the others. I applied the yellow flower and greens directly to the background with liquid glue, and used thin and thick foam squares for the orange-red flower and sentiments.

I really like how this card came out. I hope it brings lots of good healing energy to the recipient! Thanks for stopping by!

PinkFresh Studio Background

Hello fellow paper lovers! Today I made this card for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. The theme was to make your own background, preferrably using PinkFresh Studio products. Since I only have one PinkFresh stamp so far, the choice was pretty clear!

My idea was to loosely color the flowers on this Folk Garden stamp with sprays. I started with TH watercolor paper on the smooth side, and stamped the Folk Garden stamp using my Misti with VersaMark embossing ink. Unfortunately it seems like it wasn’t completely ink free from the last time I used it, and it didn’t stamp clear. There was a bit of a slight gray, because I had previously used an archival black on it I think. So, instead of embossing with clear, like I planned, I embossed with an opaque white powder that I had in my stash. It came out okay, but definitely on the grungy side, so the idea for the rest of the card shifted a little.

I still used sprays, but just colored the flowers in the vicinity of where they were stamped. First I misted the watercolor cardstock, then used picked raspberry oxiede and seedless preserves spray stain. Why did I use both an oxide and a spray stain? Because that’s what I had in the colors I wanted! I heat set them a little with my heat tool, then added shabby shutters oxide spray, and that’s where the magic began! I love how that color is one of those that separates out a little. There’s some blue green, and yellow. Really fabulous! Another spritz of water, and then moved the paper around a little to get it to blend a little, but avoiding making mud with the help of a paper towel mopping up spots that started to get less then pretty. Then I heatset the whole background. I added a little text for interest here and there, using frayed burlap distress ink, and the script text from my Tim Holtz Entomology set, CMS328. I like small size of that script font. To finish it up, I added splatters of white gouache and seedless preserves with my fan brush, drying between colors.

I was really happy with the way the background came out. I didn’t want to detract too much from it, so I thought just a nice, small, thin sentiment would be great. Yana’s Layered Script Sentiments from Spellbinders came to mind. I quickly colored and dried a piece of watercolor paper, using seedless preserves spray stain. I die cut the word “Thanks”, and three shadows in white heavystock cardstock (to layer for some depth). I didn’t take any in-process photos, because this was just a “fun for me thing”! I hope my directions are clear enough for you to follow along! I added three gold confetti sequins, and called it done! Thanks for stopping by!