Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I am thrilled to have a turn to host the Stampotique Designers' Challenge this week!  What might seem like a simple challenge to most, for some, whose work is generally full of color, it really will be a challenge.  But, for all of us, it's good to try something different. I have been on a black'n'white artistic kick lately because I love the crisp freshness it can bring to a card, journal page or ATC. Whatever you decide to do, keep it black and white with just a pop of color!  Get creative this week and join us!  The directions and rules for submission can be found here

To inspire you, I have made a card. The "technical details" are below, if you are interested.

I used a black card blank and scraps of patterned paper and black card stock to create the card.  I trimmed the patterned paper just a bit smaller than the card blank so the card blank serves as matting.  I used one of the new Tim Holtz Frameworks dies (Honeycomb) to create a bit of interest on the left.  I used an oval punch to create the "rug" to ground my image.  That delightful image is from Stampotique Originals, and is by one of their newest stamp designers, Linda Peterson.  This image is called "Hazelheart," and you can find all of Linda's stamps (most with coordinating text stamps) here.  For my sentiment, I used a Stampotique text stamp called "You are in my prayers."

Thanks so much for stopping by today, as well as for your comments.  Both mean a lot to me!  Between my blog followers and networked blog followers, I am nearing that 200 mark!  If you have not yet joined as a follower, please do so.  I would love to see you back again!  


Thursday, July 24, 2014


If you are looking for my post for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge, it is immediately below.

I am thrilled to have been asked to host today's challenge on the Tag Along Blog!  I created this tag for my step-daughter's high school graduation last month. A personal note was included on the back. I love steampunk, but with a "softer" edge, so I took great latitude here with the steampunk theme.  

If you are interested in the process, the details are below.

For the tag base, I chose Strathmore Mixed Media 140 lb. paper. Using the "gears" stencil from The Crafters Workshop (TCW262), I applied a very thick layer of Liquitex Modeling Paste.  I let the paste dry naturally for several days.  Next, I randomly pounced (yes, I did say pounced!) color onto the surface by using Ranger's Distress Paints in Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, and Wild Honey.  Without allowing the paint to dry, I tilted my tag up on its base and began spraying water along the top.  I added more paint, then sprayed again, repeating until I was happy with the coverage and "drippage." To add a bit more color and interest, I rubbed on some Inka-Gold in orange, then diluted a few drops of Golden's fluid acrylic in Teal and sparingly added that.

Both my stamp and sentiment are from Stampotique Originals, the image being "Single Tear," and the sentiment, "Aborigine." The finishing touches include a Tim Holtz' Idea-ology Fastener, jump ring, and Crinkle Ribbon (colored on my craft mat with Dylusions spray inks), as well as some random trinkets found in my stash.

I am happy that you visited today, and would love it if you left a comment so that I will know you were here.  If you have not already done so, please sign up as a follower (above and to the right).  Then, sign up to "follow by e-mail" so that you don't miss an update!

Please take some time this week to get crafty and create a tag for my steampunk challenge on the Tag Along Blog!  You can add your artwork here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The weather in New England during the month of July has reached 90 degrees on numerous days, so it has been hard for me to think of "Christmas in July," which is what my ├╝ber-talented teammate Gez Butterworth is asking us to do for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge!  

Hi Gez here, I am delighted to be your hostess for this week’s challenge. 
It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas right?!! ;-) I thought it would be nice for us to spread a wave of festive cheer throughout Blogland! 
Every year I set out with good intentions and imagine a great big stack of handmade Christmas cards all ready to send out nice and early in December, in reality I think it's happened once! So, let’s do it together! Dig deep and crack open the Christmas stash box early!! 
This is a fun challenge, I hope you enjoy it too!

I have a niece (who shall remain nameless, Mandi) who is so into Christmas that she actually does celebrate Christmas in July.  She is an obstetrics nurse at a local hospital, and has been known to involve her co-workers in this (now yearly) tradition!

My answer to this challenge is a simple one, but tells the story perfectly from my stance.  Enjoy it!

That snowman is one of the Stampotique Originals' "funnest" stamps, and is called "Global Warming?" He was my inspiration for this July calendar page which I printed from the internet.

I hope you will play along this week and create something for this challenge!  You can find the directions and rules for submitting your artwork here.  At the end of the month, two winners are randomly selected to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."  Who can say no to that?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Yep!  It's Wednesday, and that means the Stampotique Designers' Challenge has been posted.  France Papillon is our lovely hostess this week, and she has challenged us all to create artwork which is inspired by our favorite book.  But, I will let France challenge you:
Hi! My name is France and I'm a bookworm.  No doubt there are a lot of other bookworms among our lovely Stampotiquers.  I would like to know about your favorite books.  So my challenge for you, should you accept it, is to create a piece, inspired by your favorite book.  Let the story, the title, the cover, a quote inspire you!  Now you might have a problem choosing your all time favorite book, don't worry, it's not like you are writing it in stone, just pick one.  Or maybe your problem is that you don't like reading at all.  Here is how to cheat: go for your favorite film based on a book, we won't tell ;)))
Long before I ever read "The Notebook," I fell in love with a quote from the book.  I was so impacted by this quote because I felt it perfectly described how my husband felt about his love for me.  Although I believe both my former husbands loved me (each in his own way), no man, since my father, has loved me immeasurably, as Russ does.  The quote reads...
I am nothing special; of this I am sure.  I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life.  There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
While I do believe that Russ is, indeed, something very special, I used this quote when creating the scrapbook of our wedding photos.  This month, we will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, although we have been together much longer than that.  Here is the card I have created to give him tomorrow!

Thank you so much for visiting today.  Please do leave a comment so that I will know you were here.  I hope you will take some time this week to create something inspired by your favorite book.  The directions and rules for submitting your work can be found here.  


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


If you are looking for my post for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge, it is immediately below.

I was intrigued by the Tag Along Blog Challenge theme this week, so decided I wanted to participate.  The theme is "Nature's Glory," so I set out looking at all my floral stamps.  Stampotique Originals has a lot of them, but I chose something that is, by some, considered a weed because it most often grows naturally.  It's called "Spidergrass."  I also have a text stamp that I love, but hadn't had a chance to use.  It's called "Wildflower Verse," so is just perfect!  

I began by applying a few drops of two of Ranger's Archival ink reinkers on my craft mat, and added a bit of copper mixative.  I smeared these around with a palette knife, then pressed my tag into the ink and smeared it around.  I did this a few times until I had good coverage.  Once dried, I added a bit of washi tape at the bottom to ground my flowers, then stamped my text below it.   I stamped my floral image once on the left side.  I then created a mask of the stamp, and stamped my image a second time over the mask on the right side, just a bit lower than the first impression.  A ribbon, and done!  Take a look:

If you like tags, I hope you will participate and create something fun today!



This week, the Stampotique Designers' Challenge is hosted by Magda Polakow, one of the newest stamp designers for Stampotique Originals.  Magda is asking us to incorporate something from a newspaper or magazine into our art:
Hello everyone! It's Magda. I'm back to work after my holidays but still have time for some relaxing. I'm sitting surrounded by books and magazines. Today I would like to ask you to use a newspaper or magazine in your project. It can be a small piece, some images from magazine to make a collage or you can use whole page as a background. Have fun! Can't wait to see your creations!
Each time I visit my sister on Cape Cod, we visit her local transfer station, aka "the dump," to check out what's in the Swap Shop, a free-standing building where one can deposit reusable goods no longer wanted, or snatch up someone else's discard.  I have accumulated quite a collection of magazines this way, so I chose a National Geographic from December 2012, and started thumbing through it.  This picture immediately caught my eye because of the bright colors.  What you see are multi-colored cloth strips used by Mongolian shamans--those called by spirits to heal bodies, minds and souls.

I trimmed the magazine photo to the size of an ATC (2-1/2" x 3-1/2") and adhered it to an ATC blank for strengthing.  I chose "Head" from my growing number of Stampotique stamps, and stamped him on white card stock.  For sharp contrast against all this color, both Head and my sentiment remained in black and white.  Take a look:

I hope you will join me in creating something for this week's challenge.  The rules for submitting your work can be found here.  At the end of each month, two lucky artists will be randomly chosen to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."


Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Thanks for stopping by today!  What does the camel say?  Yep, it's Hump Day!  What he doesn't say is that it is also the day when the new Stampotique Designers' Challenge is posted.  He leaves that to me!  My teammate Kathi Rerek is at the helm today, and here's her challenge:
It's the summer here, which means it's the perfect time for a break from your everyday activities, like school or work! My challenge this week is Vacation and/or Travel! 
There's a lot of latitude (pun intended) with this challenge! I can't wait to see what you all create!
Since I am retired, it already seems as though I am on a permanent vacation, but travel?  That's another story!  I love it and don't seem to ever get enough of it!!  

Now, to the task at hand!  Linda Peterson is one of the newest stamp designers to arrive on the scene at Stampotique Originals.  She has introduced us to "Hazel," who is now the rage with the Design Team members.  There are several Hazel characters (many with coordinating text stamps), and you can find them all here.  But, let me personally introduce you to "Find Your Happy," my travel mate today:

Although Hazel is perfect for paper piecing and coloring, today my artwork is about her message and not so much the art!  This piece was actually created on printer paper as a "test drive" for what I wanted to do, but it ended up being just what I wanted. Hazel slides nicely into a 5x7 clear acrylic "box frame" for either hanging or display (it has an "easel" back).  

Thanks so much for your visit today, as well as your kind words. Both are important to me!  I hope you will take some time this week to get creative and make something for this challenge. The rules for submitting your work can be found here.  At the end of the month, there are two $30 gift certificates randomly awarded among all submissions.  Maybe one of them will have your name on it!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Kim Howard, the Stampotique Design Team Coordinator, is our hostess this week on the Stampotique Designers' Challenge.  It remains true today in the U.S. that most marriages take place during the month of June.  It is not then surprising that one might need an anniversary card (or two) at this time of year.  Kim asks us to think about creating art around an anniversary or love theme.  
Happy Wednesday!  It's Kim and I'm excited to be hosting this weeks challenge.  June here in the states is often a time of many anniversaries and weddings and so I challenge you to create with an Anniversary, Wedding or Love theme.  
While you all are busy creating, I'll be celebrating with the love of my life our 18th anniversary so can't wait to see what you all come up with.  Have fun and hope you love every minute creating :-)
I created a clean and simple anniversary card for Kim's challenge.  

I used these Stampotique stamps:

I hope you will find some artsy time this week to create and submit something for this fun challenge.  Details and rules for submission can be found here.  At the end of the month, two winners will be randomly drawn from all submissions to receive a $30 gift certificate from Stampotique Originals for anything in their online store.

Thanks for coming by and for taking the time to leave a comment.  I do appreciate both!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Hello, and thank you for stopping by again today!  Yes, it is Wednesday and that means the Stampotique Designers' Challenge is up!  Sweet Gez Butterworth is our lovely hostess, and she is tugging at our heartstrings and wants to see sentimental words and phrases in our art today.  Here are her own words:

Hi Gez here, I am delighted to be your hostess for this challenge.. I love sentiments and sayings, they really say it all to me!  They make a piece finished!  I'd like you to share some of your favourite words with us this week!  They can be a main focal point or an embellishment, it's your choice!  Say it with words...
A few weeks ago, I finally caved and bought the (relatively) new Finnabair Vintage Vanity Art Journal (by Prima) and am loving it!  I rarely work directly in my journals anymore, so it's easy to create on my craft table, then move the work into my journal. For me, it's much less threatening to work this way.  If I make a mistake or really am not happy with what I have created, well, it's just paper and I can reuse pieces and parts of my project or just recycle it. If I am working directly on a journal page, that's a different story altogether!

So here's what I have created for today's challenge.  For me, this deals with being sentimental about nature, but also about how I spend my time.  I want to remember to take time to breathe!

I used these Stampotique Originals' stamps in this project:

Thanks for stopping by today, and for your supportive comments!  I hope you will get crafty and create something for this great challenge!  You can find the details and submit your artwork here.  Why not grab a chance to win one of the two $30 gift certificates for Stampotique products given away at the end of each month?  


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


It's Wednesday, so the Stampotique Designers' Challenge is up, but, this is a challenge that you will not complete in 15 minutes, that's for sure.  More than once, my back complained about my lack of good posture at my crafting table!  You could have heard me asking (more than once, too), "Arwen!  How could you do this to me?!"  However, in the end, I have a box that is not only beautiful, but functional.  But, first, here's Arwen's challenge all the way from Germany:
What could be better than to give a loved one something?
To present a gift effectively, I make nice boxes to do so.
Be it for jewelry, candy, books, etc. - for all you can make great boxes.
But the box itself is a wonderful gift idea.
Show me your boxes!
As "given away" for something or as preserves things?
I'm curious about your boxes.
I bought a box sold by graphic45 as a "Book Box" at the Eclectic Paperie in Exeter, NH. Covering this box was a tedious procedure, even though I was doing so with paper that I love called "Secret Diary" (Cold Country Series) by 7 Dots Studio.  I didn't want to use stark black ink to edge both my box and the paper edges, so I used Wendy Vecchi's "Watering Can," which is a deep, strong gray.

I hadn't decided a purpose for the box, but was drawn to the following Stampotique Orignals' stamps for this project:

Relaxin' (by Jill Penney & Daniel Torrente)
Peggy (by Jill Penney & Daniel Torrente)
The Crafter (by Jill Penney & Daniel Torrente)
Glimmering Hope (by Jill Penney & Daniel Torrente)
Typewriter Alpha (by France Papillon)

I had recently purchased but not yet used France Papillon's Typewriter Alphabet and, as I tore open the plastic bag containing the small wooden cubes to stamp out the word "art" in several places on the box, I realized I had no idea how I was going to store this alpha set!  It didn't take me long at all to find a purpose for this box!!

I hope you will find some artsy time this week to create and submit something for this fun challenge.  Details and rules for submission can be found here.  At the end of the month, two winners will be randomly drawn from all submissions to receive a $30 gift certificate from Stampotique Originals for anything in their online store.

Thanks for coming by and for taking the time to leave a comment.  I do appreciate both!