Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


Please take a moment to remember why today is a holiday.

Let us never forget those that have sacrificed so much for

these United States Of America.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stamped Walls

Walls stamped with Vine and Berry by Stampin' Up!
using acrylic craft paints

Stamping on walls is basically the same process as stamping on furniture (see my previous blog posts).

It is best to practice first on a piece of heavy weight mat board or drywall scrap, something sturdy enough to paint a base coat on (preferably the same paint as your wall) then to stand upright. You want to "feel" how the stamp and paint are going to react to stamping vertically, how much paint you will need and how much pressure to use to create a nice image. Bold, solid stamp images work best.

A felt scrap on a plastic lid "inked" with acrylic craft paint makes a great stamp pad. You could also use foam paint brushes dipped in the paint, lightly dabbing it onto the stamp. By using foam brushes, you can add multiple colors to your stamp. For example, you could create a multi toned flower.

Using a level and chalk or pencil, mark very lightly on the wall where you want to stamp a border. If you want a circular design, trace around a large platter, etc.

Keep several old damp rags nearby because sometimes the stamp may slip and smudge. It will wipe off from semi gloss painted walls right away with a damp rag then you can try again. The rags are also useful to clean the stamps regularly. The paint will dry quickly on the stamp, building up and creating a gunky mess on it. Be sure to keep it cleaned off otherwise you may end up with odd stamped impressions. Clean off your stamps as soon as you are done!

I painted the faux finish on the wall after stamping in the bedroom. The finish was created with interior house paint mixed with glaze, swiped on then immediately "ragged off" with brown packing paper that came in my shipment from Stampin' Up!. I used the now retired stamp set DD Vine and Berry from Stampin' Up! . I bought it specifically for this project and used it unmounted to make it easier to line up the images while stamping on the walls. Once I finished the wall stamping project, I mounted the stamps to their wood blocks and I don't think I have used that set since stamping those walls !

The Americana stairwell wall uses DD Old Glory from Stampin' Up!; it too is retired. I taped off the section I wanted to make the border in then sponge painted with a sea sponge on the wall before stamping.

I submitted my stamped walls to a contest at, but did not win.

Thanks for looking !

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Red/White/Blue Wreath

Super easy (and oh so '80s!) project. I enjoyed making different versions of these years ago. You need a straw wreath, lots of fabric squares and a screwdriver. Put the screwdriver head into the center of the fabric square then shove into the straw wreath. There is no need to glue the fabric in place, but you certainly could to make sure the fabric pieces stay. Mine has held up just fine, only losing a few pieces over the years that were easy enough to shove back in.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Faux Painted/Stamped Cabinet

This is the first piece of furniture I stamped with rubber stamps and acrylic craft paint, 6 years ago. It was a brand new, bright white microwave storage cabinet. I stamped and "distressed" it to make it look "vintage". I needed a storage option for linens in the old farmhouse we bought since there is no linen closet. There is a sort of nook at the end of the staircase that the cabinet fit in perfectly, giving me just enough space to store a set of extra sheets for each of our beds. I decided to stamp roses on the cabinet because I found a pretty set of rose patterned curtains to hang opposite the cabinet.

 acrylic craft paint
 wood furniture sealant
 foam brush
 small artists paint brush if you want to add details
 old toothbrush
 old rags
 scrap of felt on a plastic lid (or foam plate)
 bold image stamp set (I used Stampin' Up! DD Cottage Rose, retired)

Sand the painted cabinet then remove the dust before starting ! I did not take it to bare wood. I wanted to remove some of the super glossy, slick surface paint/varnish off to create some "tooth" for my paint to adhere to.

I brushed paint lightly over the cabinet with a large foam brush, working it with rags to lighten/darken in areas. I brushed or ragged on additional layers in areas. TIP: Glazing medium will "water down" the paint somewhat; keeping it wet a little longer. It is meant to prolong the workability time with the paint. However, on this particular project I think all I did was water down the paint with tap water and work quickly before it dried.

The felt scrap on a plastic lid or foam plate becomes a stamp pad when you add acrylic craft paint to it. Don't get the felt too wet with paint otherwise it will get too goopy on your stamp when you smoosh the stamp into the felt "stamp pad" which will then make your stamped images undefined. You could also brush paint onto the rubber stamp with a foam brush; I prefer making a felt "stamp pad".
TIP: Use bold, solid images such as the Stampin' Up! Definitely Decorative line for this technique; finely detailed stamps do not work well with paint.

Press the rubber stamp into the felt "stamp pad", make sure you have good paint coverage on the stamp then quickly - but carefully!- stamp the image onto your project. You will want to practice first because stamping vertically with slippery paint on a slippery object will tend to make the stamp slide a bit. It may take some practice and patience to get the feel for stamping this way. TIP: Keep old damp rags nearby so you can quickly wipe off any mistakes before the paint dries.

After stamping my images, I "fly specked" with an old toothbrush dipped in paint. Aim the toothbrush at your project then run your thumb across the bristles to flick paint onto the project. TIP: Be sure to do this in an area that doesn't matter if you get paint speckles elsewhere - and wear old clothes because you could accidentally speckle nearby objects as well as yourself!

After all my paint techniques/layers were dry, I sealed the project with a couple layers of wood furniture sealant.

I entered photos of this project (as well as my stamp storage dresser) on scrapbook pages to Stampin' Up! for a Demonstrator contest several years ago. They did not win.

Thanks for looking !

Monday, May 24, 2010

Repurposed Chair

I like to try to reuse things rather than throw them away whenever I can. The webbing on this old chair started to unravel. It wasn't worth it to me to try to redo it. Oh, I like to try to repair things, learn new crafts and so on, but this really wasn't going to be worth it in the long run because the chair was also wobbly and didn't have a use inside the house any longer sooooooooooooo......... I painted it and widened out the webbing enough to drop in a potted plant ! I think it is kinda cute and colorful sitting on my front porch.

The "flower pot" in the seat was found in an old barn that was being sold for the wood; I still have a few pieces of wood to make something out of some day..........

To start with, I sanded quite a bit of the old white paint off of the wood. I then washed and dried it well. As it was drying, I stamped the roses and leaves with a retired Stampin' Up! stamp set, Cottage Rose, using acrylic craft paint on heavyweight white tissue paper. I carefully trimmed out the roses after they dried. I adhered the stamped tissue paper roses onto the chair with Modge Podge ( any clear drying white glue would surely work). I then used small crafters paintbrushes to hand paint the "plaid" with acrylic craft paint. The green I custom mixed out of some colors I already had on hand, I was trying to recreate the Kiwi Kiss color from Stampin' Up! Polka dots were easily created with white craft paint and the unused eraser end of a pencil. After everything was painted and decoupaged, I gave the chair a couple coats of sealant.

It does sit on a covered porch during the summer months only, somewhat protected from the elements so it still looks great two years after I made it.
The above chair is the first I made; it sits on a covered porch summer months only at my parents home. I made it basically the same way as the Bella Rose chair except I stamped/painted the flowers directly onto this chair with acrylic paint. I used a paintbrush and hand lettered Welcome.

I think this project was entered in a contest....

Thanks for looking !

Friday, May 21, 2010


Our field is flooding due to the rising river, creating a pond for ducks to visit ! They are in the shallow part of the field pond in this photo; it is a deep enough for them to paddle around in farther towards the creek. It's been fun watching them !

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wedding Gown Card

This is the "wedding gown" card I made for a bridal shower. I saw a beautiful card in an old Anna Griffin advertisement in a magazine. After much fiddling, I was able to make my own version. I have no idea how the project in the ad was made, I just folded paper - and added fractions! - until I came up with the write score lines/folds.

You will need a piece of card stock /decorative paper 5 1/2" x 11".
Score along the 11" side; start measuring from the left side:
4 1/4" ; 6 1/8" ; 6 3/4" ; 8 1/2" ; 9 1/8"
The 4 1/4" score becomes the main fold on your card.
The next score, 6 1/8" is folded the same way, "down" (I think it is called a mountain fold)
The 6 3/4" score is folded the opposite way, "up" (I think this is called a valley fold)
The 8 1/2" score is folded "up" (valley)
The final score is 9 1/8", folded "down" (mountain)

I am not very good at trying to write instructions, here is a sad attempt at a diagram. The l signify scores that you fold "up"; the ' signify scores that are folded "down"

back - pleated front -

Stamp as you like before proceeding to lace up. I used Whisper White card stock, Versamark ink, Dazzling Diamonds glitter mixed with Clear embossing powder and the old retired Stampin' Up! background stamp Filigree. The ribbon is 3/8" wide organdy.

Once you have all of the folds, you will need to decide how many holes to punch along the two front "pleats" to lace up the card with ribbon. I don't recall how much ribbon I used or the distance between the holes, sorry. Like so many of my projects I make them as I go along and don't write things down. I didn't expect several people asking how to make this card ! I imagine you could find other versions online and perhaps they will have dimensions given with step by step photos. All I have is this photograph of the completed project. I honestly made this years ago. I had to refigure the dimensions after the requests ! Thank you for looking and for your interest in recreating this project !

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teeny Tiny Roses - How To

I thought I ought to try to describe how I made the teeny tiny roses on the pop up wedding cake explosion box.

I use the Flower Trio Punch and 1/8" punch from Stampin' Up!

Punch a small hole in the center of each flower.

Snip in from the edge to the center hole.

Use tweezers to hold the center of the flower, starting at one end of the snipped flower. Twirl around itself. One done this way makes a tiny bud; two wrapped around each other make a fuller "rose".

I use a tiny amount of tacky glue - and lots of patience! - to hold them together.

Yes, it would be much easier using premade flowers ! Or even dying tiny white silk or paper flowers with our reinkers would be quicker. I wanted teeny tiny flowers to match the card stock I used on the box so I made my own since I didn't have anything in my craft stash that would work.

Thanks for looking !

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Explosion Box / Scrapbook In A Box

closeup of cake topper

box open, there are tags inserted between the yellow and navy layers for journaling

closeup of paper crafted flower and tag

Baby's First Birthday - a fun way to keep photos from her fist year of life

I know that there are numerous web sites out there with instructions for explosion boxes or scrapbook in a box. I had several requests for instructions for my creation that I shared on Stampin' Connection (the website for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators), so I decided to try my hand at posting to a blog.


For the box base and sides you will need 3 pieces of 12 x 12 card stock trimmed to :

12" x 12" (outermost layer)
11 1/4" x 11 1/4" (middle layer)

10 1/2" x 10 1/2" (innermost layer)
6 1/8" square piece of card stock for the lid

Be sure to do any stamping, embossing, inking, distressing, corner rounding, etc before assembling !
Use patterned card stocks to save time.

Score the 12x12" piece at 4" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 4" squares.

Score the 11 1/4" x 11 1/4" piece at 3 3/4" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 3 3/4" squares.

Score the 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" piece at 3 1/2" horizontally and vertically. You will have nine 3 1/2" squares.

Cut the corner piece from the three large scored pieces of card stock. You will remove 4 corner pieces from each leaving three "plus" shaped pieces of card stock. These will become your box base/sides.

Score the 6 1/8" piece at 1" along each side.
Fold in; use your favorite adhesive to stick in place creating the lid.

If you want to add extra layers to the sides for photo mats, journaling, decoration :

Cut 4 pieces at 3 3/4" square (outermost layer)
Cut 4 pieces at 3 1/2" square (middle layer)

Cut 4 pieces at 3 1/4" square (innermost layer)

You could cut 8 of each size to make more photo mats; the box would have photos on each side of the piece of card stock side piece. My project has photos on the front side only, the backs are blank. I didn't want to take a chance on photos sticking to each other or other embellishments. This is also why I made tags for journaling rather than writing on the sides themselves. I wasn't going to risk having ink transfer to a photograph (especially since I made these for gifts and the recipient may not have a photo safe/permanent pen)

Layer the squares onto the scored/cut "plus" shaped card stock pieces. I use adhesive on the two sides and bottom leaving the top open so I can slide in a tag for journaling.

The 3D cake is created with the Sizzix / Stampin' Up! Bigz XL Pop Up Cake Die. After I cut out the pieces I run them through embossing folders or Texturz plates, stamp, spray with shimmer mist, paint, etc before assembling the cake.

I assemble the cake next and adhere it to the middle of the smallest "plus" piece, the 10 1/2" square piece. After the cake is totally decorated with ribbon, punches, glitter, etc I carefully adhere this layer to the other two. I do it this way so I have less of a chance of accidentally ruining all three layers of the box if something happens as I am decorating the cake.

Thank you for looking !

More details about the wedding cake box that I didn't think to add to my initial post:
I ran the side cake pieces through the Sizzix/Stampin' Up! Finial Press Textured Impressions embossing folder.
The tops of the cake layers (die cut pieces) were run through the small polka dot Sizzix/Stampin' Up! Texturz plate.
I painted the raised portions with Lumiere paint (made by Jacquard, sold by Stampin' Up! years ago, now we have shimmer paints that should work the same).
The bride and groom were detailed with Stampin' Write markers, teeny circle pieces punched out from the eyelet border punch, tissue paper, mulberry paper, dimensional paper paint (not from Stampin' Up!; something I bought years ago).
All stamped images on the project were made with retired Stampin' Up stamps and Night Of Navy classic ink.
The large yellow rose was made with the new Large Fancy Flower Punch from Stampin' Up! There are hundreds of tutorials online that show how to make paper roses.

A few details about the baby cake:
I  used various punches, card stocks and inks; Sizzix pop up cake die, retired Dots background stamp, retired alphabet set Brushstroke, Texturz plate, ribbon, glitters, homemade shimmer mist spray - all Stampin' Up!

Thanks for looking !