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

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

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!

ScrappyShak Design Team! Sizzix Shaker Panes!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I have been selected to participate in the very first Design Team for ScrappyShak! I have the honor of working with the owner, Melanie, and a fabulous and talented group of women. You can check out the whole Design Team here. This is my first experience being part of a design team, and I hope that I can inspire just one more person to take a leap of faith into letting their artistic juices start to flow! I feel like I’m relatively new to this arena, and would like to honestly share my journey, complete with successes, failures, and tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’m excited to expand my repertoire beyond the world of Tim Holtz, but you’ll probably see a lot of his products here as I continue to discover other brands and styles. I would love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email.

The first assignment for the Design Team was to use the Sizzix Shaker Panes line, products 665451 (hearts), 665448 (circles), and 665452 (squares). There are really neat framelit dies available that are sized to work with these sets, products 665661 (hearts), 665660 (circles), and 665662 (squares). There are three different sizes in each set, so you can be sure to find one that fits your project. The framelits make these so easy to use! I took the photo below after I had used one of each shape, but they do come with three different sizes in each package. They are currently available at ScrappyShak. If you click through on any of the product links, I will earn a small commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you. I appreciate your support. Everything I earn will be used to support my ability to continue to create and share with you!

The shaker panes have adhesive on both sides, and Sizzix includes a heat resistant acetate top sheet that you can emboss on! Don’t forget to remove the protective film that keeps the top sheet clean and scratch free until you’re ready to use it, and make sure to remove any cat or dog hairs before you seal up your shaker pane! (speaking from experience).

We were told that we could use either of the shapes in our design. After I had gone down the “square” road, I was thinking, “I have a great idea for the circle”! Well, then of course I felt I needed to do something with the heart, not wanting the heart to feel left out. That would just be sad. I’ll have to say, hearts aren’t my favorite shape. It’s probably and old counterproductive brain pattern from an ex-boyfriend in high school, but by now I was determined to use all three shapes, including the heart.

I started by choosing a die to work with, Tim Holtz’s Brushstroke Butterflies. Then I picked a bunch of colors I thought would go together: Saltwater Taffy, Orange Marmalade, and Fossilized Amber. I used the smoosh – dry – smoosh – dry – repeat technique on my craft mat with Distress watercolor cardstock to create some colored paper to work with.

I cut out my butterflies, then decided I was a little too heavy handed on my smooshing and coloring with the Saltwater Taffy. I went a little lighter on a new piece of paper, and added some Scattered Straw, and was happier with that. I saved my extra colored paper panels, and ended up using them later on the heart shaker card. Sometimes it takes me a bit to figure out colors, but I usually save the paper that I don’t end up using on the current project for something else. If they sit on my desk for too long, they usually end up in the “circular file”, but hey, it’s only paper! This time it worked out great, because as I went along, I decided to use the same general design and colors for each of the three cards that I ended up making for this project, so I pretty much used up all my extras. Here’s a great resource for you: My new crafty friend and fellow Design Team member, Tracy Fear, created a color wheel for the Distress colors! You can visit her account on Etsy and get one!

After I put my butterflies together, I moved on to thinking about the card front background. When I layed out the butterfles and the medium square shaker pane, I thought it would look better as a 5×7 card, as opposed to an A2 sized card, which I usually make. I tried both the large and the small shaker panes as well, but the medium size let me fit the butterflies where I wanted them on the 5×7 sized card. I wanted to add something to the background for interest and balance, but I didn’t want it to overshadow the butterflies or the shaker element. I thought dry embossing on white cardstock would be nice, but I didn’t have any embossing folders or stencils that would work on a 5×7 card. So I started with a piece of Distress watercolor paper, cut down to 4.75×6.75, so I could layer it against a solid color card base, and house the shaker pane in between. Here’s something I might have done differntly – I tend to layer my card front with 1/8 inch, all the way around. This works out great, in my opinion, on an A2 card. I don’t make as many 5×7 cards. This 1/8 inch border just felt a little too narrow for me. Next time, I might layer with a 1/4 inch edge. I’ll definitely try both. But I didn’t figure this out until I was done with the second card, and figured I would just go with it! We are our own biggest critics!

Looking through my stamps, I decided to use the new Floral Elements stamp (CMS445). I picked out all of the leafy stamps, and used my Misti stamp platform to stamp the smooth side of my cardstock with Twisted Citron. Since it was looking kinda sparse, I used a couple of my favorite stamps from that set to fill in where I wanted more elements, using an acrylic block to stamp more leaf images.

I thought about lightly spritzing this with water before I stamped, but I chose not to, because I wasn’t sure I could get them to all look similar, with some being stamped with my Misti, and some by hand. When I made the circle Goldfish card with the Bubbles stamp, I did mist it very lightly with water before I stamped, and I just love how that one came out. When the background was how I wanted it, I played around with where I wanted to place my butterflies, shaker pane, and a sentiment. For the sentiments on all the cards, I chose the Noteworthy stamp set, CMS 446, and simply stamped the sentiment directly on to my background once I figured out where everything should go. Be sure to do all of your stamping before you add the shaker pane, otherwise it’s a lot more difficult to stamp. I hadn’t yet decided on a color to use for the body of the butterflies. I wanted something softer than black. I tried a couple different browns, and picked Brushed Corduroy, because it seemed to look good with the colors I was using. I decided to use Brushed Corduroy as the base layer for my card to tie it in more. The Brushed Corduroy was ink blended just around the outside of the base for the card, as I wanted it to be white behind the shaker pane window. I began thinking that a plain brown card base might be a bit too plain and brown, and not really go with the sparkly shaker element. I decided to add some gold splatter, using a very pretty Nuvo Mica Mist spray in Aspen Gold. I also added that to where the background of the shaker pane would be. Again, trying to connect the elements of the card so they feel like they belong. It’s like when someone makes a dish on Chopped, and the judges point out one of the basket ingredients is just thrown on the plate and not integrated into the dish. We don’t want that!

The easiest part of this card was adding the shaker element. The dies work perfectly to cut out a window for the shaker pane, and a frame to either highlight the shaker pane if you put the pane in the backside of your paper, or cover up the edge if you put your frame the frontside of your paper. You can do it either way; whatever seems to work for your design. I wanted the front of my card flat, so I could overlap the butterflies a little over the shaker window, so I put the shaker pane in back of my background, on top of my card base. Since the shaker pane is nice and beefy, you can add lots of shakety bits, beads, and charms. I went through my stash to pick colors that would match. I thought about putting something else in the shaker pane, but I didn’t have anything on hand. I used a combination of sequins and small beads, most of which were painstakingly chosen, one by one, because that’s how I roll!

I used Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue with a precision tip to glue on the shaker pane frame and butterflies. The shaker pane comes with it’s own adhesive – just pull off the backing and you’re good to go. It couldn’t be easier. To layer the front of the card onto the base, I used Scrapbook Adhesive double sided tape roll. Since the shaker is 1/8 inch thick, you need to use two layers of the mounting tape. Supposedly, the easy way to do this is to measure or eyeball how much tape you need, then fold it over on itself, sticky side to sticky side, to get an even double layer of tape, then cut it off the roll. It worked better for me to make two shorter pieces for the long sides of the card, instead of one long piece. It was easier to handle. I might go back to putting one layer of mounting tape down perfectly, then adding the second layer of tape on top of that. Folding the tape on itself is not very forgiving, and kind of awkward. Oh, and no, I don’t do my nails like a lot of the people who blog about cards. I have chickens, and I like to do outdoorsy things, and play in the dirt.

My favorite way to attach a base to a blank card is to use my Scotch ATG 700 tape runner, back from the olden days of scrapbooking. I just love that tool. I’m sure the newer tape runners are more affordable, but that thing just feels right in my hand! Here’s the finished card. I hope you heard me say how easy these shaker panes from Sizzix are to use!

Sizzix Shaker Panes 665452, Brushstroke Butterflies, Floral Elements

Here are the other two cards I made for this project. I used the Sizzix circle Shaker Pane with a stamp and die set from Altenew (Goldfish Pond), along with the amazing new Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Bubbles (CMS449). I used the same process as described above, using Saltwater Taffy and Twisted Citron for the lilypads, Orange Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Fossilized Amber for the fish, and Tumbled Glass for the background and frame. The sentiment from Noteworthy was stamped with Prize Ribbon. For the last card using the heart shaker pane, I used Spellbinder’s Simply Perfect Layered Blooms. No, it’s not perfect! Much patience was needed to put together the tiny little pieces with these old eyes, but I did use up all of my leftover papers. The background is stamped with Altenew’s Pattern Play Diamond set. Thanks again for stopping by, and please come back soon. I appreciate you!

Snarky Cat the Artist(e)

Hello fellow paper lovers! Thank you for stopping by my inaugural blog post! Comments and feedback are welcome and appreciated! Today I’d like to share with you a card that I designed for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge. The suggested theme was to use RIley and Company products, but I don’t have any, yet! I saw that they tend to have snarkiness and whimsy, so I chose to use my Tim Holtz Snarky Cats. This guy jumped out at me. I also wanted to use the new Tim Holtz Noteworthy stamp set from Stampers Anonymous. I wanted to have my cat doing something a little crazy, or with a wacky color combination.

I had recently watched a technique video by Nicole Watt Creates. It’s a background technique that she calls “Pollock Style Splatter“. I love how Nicole is so warm and authentic in her video tutorials, and how she does a lot of them in real time. You should definitely check her out.

My supply of sprays is limited, so I used what I had… Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains and Oxides in Festive Berries, Dusty Concord, Spun Sugar, and Carved Pumpkin to match the little bit of orange in my cat. There’s something about orange cats that scream snark, in cartoons and in real life! I used Canson XL watercolor paper for the background.

With the background done, I stamped my cat in Ranger Archival Jet Black onto Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, 110 lb. paper. I stamped it twice using my Misti platform, as I knew I was going to be embossing it, and I wanted to make sure it was wet enough to hold the powder. I like to emboss images if I’m going to be coloring them with markers, because I’m not great at coloring, and it seems to help keep me in the lines! I embossed using some detail clear embossing powder from my stash.

My cat was colored with Copic Sketch markers, but I didn’t take note of the numbers…a couple earth tones, and an orange that seemed to match the Carved Pumkin. I stamped a couple brushes from the Tim Holtz Crazy Things set, and colored them with Copics as well. I’m fortunate to have both sets of framelit dies for the Snarky Cats and Crazy Things, so I used those to diecut my images.

Finishing the card, I decided to use Kraft cardstock as the card base, again from Tim Holtz. That helped me to decide to use Kraft for the sentiment strips. Instead of wasting a sheet of heavyweight Kraft, I stamped the sentiments on the back of a piece of colored kraft cardstock from my scrap bin, using the same black Archival ink and clear emobossing powder. I inked the edged of the sentiment strips with a little Black Soot, and then decided to help my background stand out by layering it on some black cardstock from my stash. The cat, brushes, and sentiment strips were popped up on foam mounting squares. I added a couple lines with a black journaling pen to try to show movement, but they just seem to blend in with the background. Thanks for stopping by! Have a snarky day, but not too snarky!