Monday, December 29, 2008

Bamboo Place mat Tiles

Several people have been asking about the bamboo tile place mats I posted about last week...instead of e-mailing everyone I thought I'd go ahead and make a few things up and post them in the next couple days.

In the mean time...Yes, these can be used just like dominoes.

I have beige/tan color and a lighter brown (you could still see stamped images on them).

They have two holes going through them length ways so you can thread them for a necklace, key chain, bracelet, earrings, etc. Way drilling - YEAH!!

Alcohol inks WILL work on them. They are sealed to resist foods and drink spills since they are place mats so the glossy surface works well with AI's. They can also be painted, decoupaged, stamped (with Archival or Staz-On) and more!

These little puppies are just way cool!

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever else you celebrate :) We had a nice but busy time of it with 5 different celebrations to go to.

I have a few things to share with you ~

First and foremost...I have finished the majority of writing on the book!!! I got on a roll last week and ended up finishing chapters 8-10! Now, the only writing I have left is the gallery information (which will be easy) and the appendix (easy but VERY time consuming - I have to write up supply lists for EVERY photo in the book - which at this time is several hundred pics!) I am working on examples for chapters 5-10 now so if I miss a day or so you'll know why...I have to make the examples for all of those pics.

a few other tid-bits of news....
I have a card in the newest issue of Crafts & Things!
It's a valentines card called "The Kiss" :)


I am going to be written up in our local paper!!
The guy e-mailed me on Christmas Eve.
He wants to set up a time to talk to me and get some pics :)
How cool is that...pretty wild I must say.

So, that's what's been up with me...what's up with you all?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Everything -

It's me again...while the net is up I'm posting - LOL!!

I just wanted to take a bit of time and send out a few greetings to everyone out there....

Happy Hanukkah
(a few days late)

Summer CHA 08005

Warm Winter Wishes.....


Merry Christmas To All

Summer CHA 08017

And To All A Good Night!!!

Metallic Crackle Paint011

I hope you all have a very safe and enjoyable holiday!!!

Take care Friends!!

I'm Back!!! Catchin' Up! Gift Ideas 22-25

Oh my, it's been wild around here...we had one heck of an ice storm last week which knocked out power in the surrounding area. Luckily we never lost power ~ Dad's kept flickering on and off though but he never lost it completely. Our Internet has been having difficulties though ~ it kept going on and off...every time I tried to post it would loose contact and consequently I'd loose what I was typing or my photos wouldn't upload or would freeze half way through :( Sooooo I just took that as a sign to get my butt in gear and write.

Good news on the book front ~ I've just finished chapter 9 (the writing portion)!! Only 2 more chapters plus the appendix to write. Of course I have examples and step by steps to actually make for chapters 5-11 soooooo, still alot of work ahead of me but hey, it's rollin' along! I'm so excited about it all.

Since I still have 4 more gift ideas to go for my 25 I'm going to post them all right here, right now...

Gift Idea #22 - Stamped Tiles
This goes right along with the idea of stamping on the giant mug...think of all of the rubber stamps you have in your stash ~ now translate those into themes! The possibilities are just endless!! Here are a couple sets I've made....



Gift Idea #23 - Beeswax Family Plaque
Another idea to put that beeswax to use! I know I still have to post the directions...those were partly what I was having trouble posting. I am planning on adding those Friday :) Everything on the plaque was added using only beeswax! It is actually hanging on my wall and I haven't had a thing fall off or come lose ~ it's great stuff!


Gift Idea #24 - Remember When Frame
O.k....HERE is a classic weathered and distressed frame - quite a difference from the mirror huh? The background paper is decoupaged onto the frame, sanded, distressed and then for added texture I used distress embossing powder on a good portion. Other collage embellishments were added after it had cooled. The photo btw is my mom's family (not as blurry in person).



Gift Idea #25 - Stamped Candles
These are such a fun and easy gift idea...just stamp on tissue paper, melt into the candle using your embossing/heat tool; add a few embellishments and you're done! It's a great way to get the kids involved too...they can stamp the heck out of the tissue paper and you can help melt it into the candle. Let the kids have at it for the finish decorations. They make great gifts for just about anyone on your list :)

Stamped_Candles was that for ideas???

Sorry they are all coming so late but I guess it's better late than never :)

Maybe you can use them for an upcoming birthday or shoot ~

Valentine's Day is just around the corner - LOL!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gift Idea #21 - Distressed Mirror

25 Days of Gifts

#21 - Distressed Mirror

Now, I know what you're thinking...

sand paper;

Distress Inks;

worn and weathered








This is a fun and funky mirror that I embossed with Distress Embossing Powders!!!

Now, I don't think it looks worn and weathered in the least. By using a variety of powders and adding the gemstones I think it's pretty cool!

Distress EP's - Hanging Mirror

This was a small metal mirror that I bought at Hobby Lobby. Inked the entire frame with Distress Embossing Ink, sprinkled a variety of powders over the whole thing and heated. I went back and added walnut stain Distress EP's around the edge. After it was all cooled I sanded off the high spots where the metal was embossed; added the ribbon & gems. Way easy and neat results.

So, are you all ready for Christmas?

We went shopping for a few more goodies today. Just need to get some treats for the stockings and I think I'll be done :)

I'm planning on writing up the instructions for the beeswax collage that I shared earlier and should have them posted tomorrow for anyone interested.

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Bamboo Tiles

O.k....I can't share the examples I have here because they are going in the book but to answer some of the questions -

Why do I like them? - These tiles are pre-drilled on both sides - long and short. Because of this you don't have to worry about trying to drill through the front which leaves them open for lots of cool projects. They are light weight, colors are awesome and they take a variety of mediums very well.

What can you do with them? - OH MY!! Loads of things - again since they are pre-drilled they are excellent for jewelry - necklaces; pendants; charms; bracelets; necklaces. If you want you could even make a belt - strung horizontal or vertical; key chains; magnets; hang-y down embellishments for canvas; altered books or gift cones. You can make ornaments; card, scrapbook or other types of embellishments. They are excellent for stamping and coloring. You can use a variety of image transfers; and so much more! They are just WAY cool!!

HTH :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Enabler Alert - Bamboo Tiles - CHEAP!!!!

Bamboo Tiles

O.k...a few people have asked me about bamboo tiles - you know the ones that are actually place mats and are SOOOOOO popular but nobody can find....let me correct can find them on e-bay but the person selling them is charging $12.00 for ONE place mat - 140 tiles!

Well, a few months ago I found them for a great price ~ a steal actually but I could not remember for the life of me WHERE I saw them. I have searched and searched because I needed some for the book. I FINALLY found them today!!!

I was so tickled and couldn't wait to share em with you.

It's another e-bay seller but this store has them

4 (YES THAT IS F-O-U-R) full place mats for get this...

How freakin awesome is that?!?!?

Not only that but they have it in beige (the link above) but they also have it in...


Just in case you're wondering ~ I'm not affiliated with them in any way ~

well, other than being a new customer - LOL!!

Also, I checked out their rating - 100% positive!

The store is called Linen R Us so you can add them to your favorites :)

Gosh I love it when you get a bargain like that...

Gift Idea #20 - Forever Friends Necklace

25 Days of Gifts

#20 - Friends Forever Wire & UTEE Necklace

This is a bit of a twist on #19's Glaze Filled Necklace which you could actually do with this one but I used UTEE instead. No wait time since the UTEE cools really quick (compared to glaze).

I placed the frames over various collage images/words and poured the UTEE into the frame. Once the frames had cooled (like 2-3 minutes since it's such a small amount) I took my craft knife and cut around the outside edges removing it from the collage sheet. I used E-6000 to assemble the frames and beads and then strung it on 3 pieces of jewelry wire.

Forever Friends Necklace 2  UTEE

Forever Friends Necklace - UTEE

Have a wonderful day Friends!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gift Ideas # 18 & 19

Man, things are wild here...missed yesterday totally and getting late tonite! Anyway, here is yesterdays and today's ideas...

25 Days of Gifts

# 18 - Stamped Suede

If you've never worked with suede before you should really give it a try. It's really amazing stuff - soft and supple yet very durable. Easy to work with - cuts like butter in die cut machines, is easily stamped (using a fabric ink or acrylic paint) and can be easily attached to a variety of projects without special adhesives.


#19 - Glazed Pendant

This is another favorite of mine BUT it is a bit of a pain when you hate waiting like I do. It is a glaze filled pendant. I love the fact that you can take a pendant jewelry blank, create a "cool" little collage in a short amount of time. The glaze (Diamond Glaze; Glossy Accent; Etc) makes a GREAT finished project but it takes FOREVER to dry. It never fails...I usually get impatient and end up touching at least one (to check if it's dry) before it's all the way dry OR I inadvertently move it and stick a finger in by accident. So if you can stand to wait for the finished product they are great little gems to make as gifts or even keep for yourself ;)


Hope you're all staying safe and warm...we're supposed to get a big ice storm tonight/tomorrow so if we still have electricity I'll see you with idea #20...if not ~ we'll I'll catch everyone up when it comes back on.

Till next we meet....

Stay Safe and have a Great Friday!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gift Idea #17 - Crackle Paint Frames

25 Days of Gifts

# 17 - Crackle Paint Frames!!!

Hey there Peeps!

Hope the week has been treatin you nice so far :) It's snowin to beat the band here...looks like Christmas!! Today I wanted to share a couple of my favorite frames with you. They are both coated in crackle paints :) I just LOVE them!!

Each has been embellished with some fun goodies from my stash.

crackle frame


Have a great evening!!

Beeswax Collage Questions

Hey Everyone!

I've had lots of requests for the instructions on making the canvas beeswax collage. I am trying to finish up a couple chapters for my next deadline but I will try and get them written up for you by this weekend. I promise it's really easy and WAY fun once you get started!!

I wanted to answer a couple of the questions right now though....

Is it messy?

No, not really...well, now let me correct myself, it's as messy as you want it to be - LOL!! If you're careful you won't have any mess at all. If you're not well then yes, you can make a huge mess out of it but it's all fixable so no worries!

What tools do I use?

First and foremost I use a melt pot with a project pan. The project pan is a must because once you get wax in it you'll have it forever. It's just always there no matter how much you clean.

Next I use a heat gun/embossing gun. It helps prolong the working time when you're adding embellishments or other goodies to your collage.

Old paint brush is a must! I have a couple I keep for just this purpose. I keep one for white wax, one for natural. I made some green wax once and still have that brush as well. Some people say you have to throw the brushes away but I keep mine and they work fine even after 4-5 years!

How long does it take for the wax to dry?

It's almost instantaneous! The wax has a very short open time where you can manipulate it so you need to work quickly or use a heat gun to keep the wax melted on your project.

Do you coat it with anything after you're done?

Yes, I like to use Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder over the entire piece when I'm finished. I then buff the wax. These two steps add great shimmer and shine to the collage. If you want a more muted look, I've heard people use cornstarch to remove the sticky but I don't know what it actually looks like when you're finished. I've only ever used PP's.

Hope this helps for now :)

I promise to post more this weekend!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gift Idea #16 - Beeswax Canvas

25 Days of Gifts

Gift Idea #16 -Beeswax Canvas

Hey there everyone!
I hope you all had wonderful weekends! It was good here...busy but good.
Today I have another of my favorite gift ideas to share with you ~ a beeswax collage on canvas. It is so much fun and despite what alot of people think beeswax is very forgiving. It can easily be heated up and removed if you make a mistake :)
I have added some stamped UTEE pieces as well as a few mica pieces with their edges dipped into the hot UTEE.
Both canvases were inked with Distress Inks prior to adding the beeswax.




I wanted to answer a couple of questions I got on the blue jean frames.
The stitches were real - I just free-handed it but if you want to be more precise you can always use tailors chalk and a measuring stick before you stitch. You could easily hand stitch them as well but I suck at it so I wouldn't attempt it myself - LOL!!
I double over the edges and adhered them just to the front. I couldn't figure out a good way to attach the material to the back, cover it up and still have the photo hole accessible without alot of extra work. I also am going to try one with frayed edges! My plan...I'm going to cut a patch of denim out approx. 3-4" larger than I need. I am going to partially fray it then wash & dry it which should fray it even further. Attach it to the frame and ta-da! A worn looking denim frame :)
Hope that helps and if I've missed a question please let me know...I'd be happy to help however I can!
Have a wonderful evening friends!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gift Idea #15 - Puzzle Piece Mini Album

25 Days of Gifts

#15 - Puzzle Piece Mini Album

I hope you're all having a wonderful I have a mini album to share with you that I made out of those giant floor puzzles.


This piece is approx. 5-6" across but the actual pages inside are about 3 1/2" square which is tucked in the upper left corner of the puzzle piece.

To make this book you will need 2 pieces of the puzzle that are exactly the same. I have found that there are usually there are 4-5 of each shape in one of those floor puzzles so it shouldn't be any trouble.

I used ribbon as the closure but you can use whatever you have on hand...string; fiber; torn strip of's a very versatile design.

The best thing about using the puzzle pieces is they are so easy to alter. They take paints; ink and other mediums very well. I have used alcohol inks, gesso, crackle paints, and so much more!

Extra Idea!

If you're giving an album like this as a gift,

consider assembling a small section of a regular sized puzzle,

decorate it in the same fashion for the tag!

Take care and have a wonderful Saturday everyone!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift Idea #14 - Blue Jean Frames

25 Days of Gifts

#34 - Blue Jean Frames

Hey Everyone!

I hope you've had a great week!

Today I have a fun project to share which incorporates one of my favorite articles of clothing...Blue Jeans!! Just gotta love the comfortable feeling you get when you slip your favorite pair on :)

Here you go ~


Obviously I started with a square frame and covered it with denim - for these I actually bought new denim because they were quite large and I wanted them to look the same. Old jeans would be perfect for it though...I've actually got 3 pairs (various shades) in a pile waiting to be used for just this purpose!

Adhere the denim to the frame using your favorite adhesive, decorate and you're all set. I used pinks and purples for these but denim is such a versatile starting point that your project could go in many directions for both girls and guys!



Take care everyone ~ have a great weekend and be sure to keep checking back as we work our way through 25 days of gifts!

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for your wonderful posts and e-mails about the gifts posted so far :) I'm so glad that you're enjoying the ideas!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gift Idea #13 - Stamped Memory Glass Collage

25 Days of Gifts

#13 - Stamped Memory Glass Collage

I had a request for more Memory Glass ideas so here you go ~ this collage is made up entirely of stamped and alcohol inked Memory Glass!

Family - Stamped Memory Glass Collage 001

You will need a pretty deep frame - the one I used actually had several mats included which would set that photo back about 1 1/2" from the glass. It doesn't nec. have to be that deep but you will need some working room for the layer of glass and micro beads.

Once you have your frame picked out you will need to arrange the glass pieces to see what will be where. This determines what and where you stamp on each section.

After you have a workable design, make a hand drawn diagram, take a photo or something so you can remember how they should be arranged.... Trust me on this ~ it's very easy to forget exactly how they are all supposed to fit back together!

Next, apply alcohol ink to the back of each piece ~ you could use a couple colors or a whole array. Whatever floats your boat :)

Once they are dry, flip them over and stamp a variety of image onto the front of each piece. The themes here could vary from family, animals, seasons, or just geometric designs. You're only limited by the stamps you have on hand. I used Archival Ink but Staz-on works as well.

Next, adhere each piece of Memory Glass to the backing board with a fast set glue. Only place dabs of glue along the edges in case it reacts with the AI.

After these pieces are set, squeeze Glossy Accents around each of the pieces and all of the edges. You basically want just about the entire area covered. Sprinkle micro beads over the GA and let dry.

NOTE: this may take up to a day or two for it to dry completely since there is so much used...don't go pokin' your finger in it for at least a day ;)

Family - Memory Glass

Place it in the frame and it's ready to go!

Fun huh? And easy too!

Well, we're over half way through the list ~ I hope you're enjoying these ideas and maybe give one or two of them a try!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift Idea #12 - Perfect Pearl Ornaments

25 Days of Gifts

#12 - Perfect Pearl Ornaments

Here is another favorite gift of ornaments which have been decorated with perfect pearls on the inside and glitzy goodies on the outside! I've actually got 3 different examples to share with you.

Basic Ball Instructions:

The inside of the balls were all made in the same fashion....first let me say this isn't the same instructions that I've seen lots of places. These are what I did and it worked well for me - if you want you can always google for the other directions but there are some extra steps that I just don't find necessary.

1. Remove the ornament stopper and set it aside for now.

2. Squirt your favorite liquid adhesive into the ball and add a 1 or 2 drops of water. I use the old Magic Scraps glue because I love that stuff but you can use whatever you're comfortable with.

3. Now, shake the heck out of it...with your finger over the hole of course ;) LOL!!! You're mixing the glue/water as well as coating the entire inside of the ball.

4. Once the inside has been completely coated, place the ball hole down in an egg carton (you can work on several balls at one time this way) and let the excess drain for a couple minutes. (it's not nec. for the glue to dry)

5. After most of the liquid has drained out, add a couple scoops of Perfect Pearls - I sometimes add one color at a time or I may add 2 or 3 colors at once. I have these handy dandy little scoopers I use but ice cream sticks work great for this as well.

6. Now, shake the heck out of it want to coat the entire inside of the ball with PP's. If you need more powder add it. After it's been coated, turn it upside down in the egg carton to dry.

That's it... If you notice spots of the ball that weren't covered with PP's the first time you can always add a bit more where needed.

Now for the outside - you can add a bit of bling! Guys even like some bling in their life so don't leave them out!

Here you go....

This one reminds me of the retro ornaments that have glitter drizzled along the top edge but instead of glitter, I added dimension by using Glossy Accents and Mirco Beads!

Summer CHA 08009

Summer CHA 08008

I know, you don't have a tree for Hanukkah BUT who says you have to hang it on a can hang them from a window, in a door way, or where ever.

I know someone sells lines of crystals but I did this the old fashion way and glued them on one by one...yes it was time consuming but it looks so cool.

Summer CHA 08006

Summer CHA 08007

This one took a bit of time as well...I drew the lines on the ball free hand with a Sharpie then went back over them with Stickles. I think I added 2 or 3 lines, let them dry and continued adding 2 or 3 at a time until the entire ball was covered. After it was completely dry I added the feathers which were left-over Valentines Day trim I bought on clearance at some point.

Summer CHA 08010

Summer CHA 08011

Of course you can personalize these balls for anyone on your gift list and you're not limited to sparkles for the outside decor...I've seen people add collage images; stickers; charms and more. Just take a stroll through your stash and see what you come up with. You might be surprised at all of the goodies you have lurking that could be used on one of these great little gifts!

Have a stupendous day people!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gift #11 - Hand Crafted Dreidel

25 Days of Gifts

#11 - Hand Crafted Dreidel

I believe I shared this with you several months ago but I decided to share it hand crafted Dreidel.

I used a pattern that I found on-line...there are several so just look until you find a design you like. I printed it out twice once onto a heavy cardstock, the second onto glossy cardstock. I painted the first template with silver Distress Crackle Paint and set it aside to dry. I cut out the image details from the glossy template and applied alcohol inks. I then went back over the images with a Sharpie so they would really pop off the AI's.

Once the crackle paint was dry I cut out the Dreidel and assembled it. I used Aleene's Fast Tack Tacky Glue to hold all the parts together quickly...since it's 3D you'll want a really quick set glue. Next I attached the images and trim.

Finally I added a good squeeze of E-6000 down the hole for the handle and pushed in my painted dowel. Added a bit of ribbon and it's ready to be used or given away.

It was a fun project and I love how it turned out...

Metallic Crackle Paint001

Metallic Crackle Paint003

Metallic Crackle Paint004

Metallic Crackle Paint002

So there you have another fun gift idea to make and give this holiday season!

TTFN Friends!

OH! and btw ~ 100,000 was reached last night at approx. 10:52 PM EST ;)

Thanks Everyone!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gift Idea #10 - Memory Glass Ornament

25 Days of Gifts

#10 - Stamped Memory Glass Ornament!

Here is a fun gift idea that many of you will be able to create without having to purchase any new supplies! It's a Memory Glass ornament that has been colored, stamped & embossed then wired up with a few beads.



Memory Glass - Ranger

Adirondack Alcohol Inks & Metallic Mixatives - Ranger

Distress Embossing Ink - Ranger

Distress EP's - Ranger

White Pigment Ink - Ranger

Rubber Stamp - TAC

Stipple Brush

Wire & Beads - Unknown


1. Apply desired colors of AI on the back side of the Memory Glass. If you choose to use Metallic Mixatives use only a very small amount. Since we will be turning the piece over and Metallic Mixatives sink to the bottom if you use a large qty. that's all you're going to see on the flip side.

2. Once the AI's have dried completely, flip the Memory Glass over. Stamp the image with the white pigment ink. Let dry or speed drying w/heat tool.

3. Pounce Distress Embossing Ink around the edges of the Memory Glass using a stipple brush. Sprinkle Distress EP's (color(s) of your choice) over the wet embossing ink. Heat to set. Let cool completely.

4. Once the Distress EP has cooled, rub off release crystals.

5. Wrap wire around ornament as desired...add beads or baubles that match your color scheme as you go.

Now, just think of your stamp collection and all of the amazing designs you can come up with!! The really cool thing is there are several sizes of Memory Glass available as well. I like the 2x2 size but it's also ava. in 1x1; 1.5x1.5; and 1x3. I have used actual microscope slides for this project as well. Besides the 1x3 they are available in 2x3 and now 3x3!! Way cool possibilities!

What fun!!

100,000 Here I Come!!


I just noticed that either today or tomorrow Ink Stains will hit 100,000 page views as well as approaching 60,000 hits. All in just a little over 1 year!!

Totally amazing!

To celebrate, I'm going to be giving away a little goodie bag full of fun stuff!

Not sure what all it will contain but I know it will be fun stuff - a stamp set, something for color, embellishments and who knows what else.

To be entered to win all you have to do is pop in to say hi!

I'll choose one lucky winner on Wednesday 12-10!

Good Luck Friends



Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gift Idea #9 - Telephone/Address Book!

25 Days of Gifts

#9 - Telephone/Address Book

Here is a fun gift idea for that busy person on your gift list...a telephone/address book. I made this one for a friend hence the "F". It was assembled using beeswax! If you've never played with beeswax before I highly recommend it. It's loads of fun and very versatile. You can use it as an adhesive for just about anything, stamp in it, it can be tinted, and best of all it waterproofs your work instantly!

I heat mine up in the Melt Pot and a project pan. You'll need a paint brush that you can dedicate to beeswax because once it's saturated with the wax it will never come out completely. Some people say you have to use a new disposable brush each time because the wax will destroy the brush. I personally think it's a load of bull....I have used the same brush for about 5 years now. When I'm finished with a project I just let the brush/wax harden and the next time I go to use it I simply lay the brush in the hot wax until the wax in the bristles has melted. It's good to go for another round. It's up to you but you can't use the brush for painting after it's had wax on it.

It's a very quick process because the beeswax dries almost instantly. If you need more time to work with your embellishments and papers you may use a heat gun to keep the wax fluid until you have your items positioned.


I was in a hurry so I just used pre printed address pages I bought from an office supply store for the center. You can however print off a variety of pages off the net and cut them out yourself if you'd like.

Cost for this project is very will have the price of the beeswax but most embellishments and ephemera can be found in your existing collection. If you purchase a set of pages for the inside it may cost $3.00-5.00 or you can print your own and save that expense as well. All in all a very cool project for a little bit of nothing!

So there you have it...another fun and quick gift idea :)

Happy Day!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gift Idea #8 - Altered Journals/Composition Books

25 Days of Gifts

#8 - Altered Journals

(or Composition Books)

I am so excited about today's gift idea...these are one of my favorite things to create because you can do sooooooo much with them....Altered Journals. Some people refer to them as altered comp or composition books but it's all the same to me. Whatever you want to call them they are loads of fun.

I like to buy the cheapest books I can find because it really doesn't make a difference who makes them...they are basically all the same. I was recently working on a project for the book and had 2 Meads & a couple no-namers....once they were altered I couldn't tell the difference and I'll bet nobody else will be able to either. Usually you can purchase a package of 2 for a dollar or so at the discount/dollar tree type places.

NOW, what you do with them is only limited by your imagination! You can cover them with fabric; cardstock; pattern papers; decoupage them, stamp them, emboss, paint, cut, well, you get the picture...there are just no limits!

Another thing I really enjoy about altered journals is you can personalize them for each person as you will see could be a particular thought, color scheme, favorite past time, anything really!

So here you go....these are a few of the journals I've made over the last few years. I tried to choose a variety of themes and techniques to show you what you can do with them. I have more pics around here somewhere of others I've made and if I can find the CD's they are on I'll share those as well...


Made for a friend a couple years ago. The background is painted & distressed and the frame is made from Paper Perfect then distressed.



One of the first journals I made...the background is painted and when it was dry I sprayed webbing spray over the red area.


Thoughts of You

I made this for my niece when she was pregnant. Cardstock that I stamped & applied Perfect Pearls to each side.



I made this one recently for myself - top cardstock, bottom collaged w/3D and 2D embellishments.


Enjoy the Journey

LOVE this one...stamped & embossed with Distress EP's. One of my favorites :)


Fun huh?

Told you so :)

It's a really fun gift to make for anyone, young or old! Speaking of young...I found these cool comp books made for little kids - the top of the pages were blank and the bottom half of the page had the large lines for them to print/write on. WAY cool for really little ones on your list!

SO there you go ~ another idea to tuck into your crafty arsenal of gift ideas!

Have a Super Saturday!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gift Idea #7 - Photo Blocks

25 Days of Gifts

#7 - Photo Blocks

Today I want to share a great gift for parents and grandparents blocks! My dad actually made the wood box and blocks for me but there are several sets available. If you can't find a plain set of blocks children's ABC blocks work just as well!


You can actually use as many or as few blocks as desired. This set has 25 blocks...too many for your first time but I have seen smaller sets with 9 or 16 blocks that also look great. You will have to do a bit of math when figuring out what size to print your photos and how to cut them but the most important thing to remember....measure twice cut once! To be safe it's good to have 2 copies of your photo on hand just in case.


I used Mod Podge to apply each photo tile to the blocks. It worked great but I did spray all sides with an acrylic sealer just to be safe since they will be handled quite a bit. Now you have a couple options on how you adhere the photo tiles to the blocks...if you want to be nice, you can apply the photos so you just turn each block the same way and it will make a complete photo - so all of picture A's tiles are on one side of the block and all of picture B's tiles are on the reverse OR you could be a bit mean (like I was) and mix it all turns out like a real puzzle that way ;) Makes 'em work for it!


You will also want to have a "guide" showing all of the photos contained on the blocks...a cheat sheet just in case they have a tough time of it - LOL!! Don't want to make it toooo tough.

Time to complete will vary depending on the number of blocks but it could take several days to a couple weeks because you have to allow for dry time for each side of the block plus any additional coats of decoupage medium and/or sealer. Just keep that in mind when you are thinking about gift'll need to plan it in advance.


Hope you all have a great weekend!

Be sure to keep checking back for new gift ideas each day!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gift Idea # 6 - Mini Mason Jar Collage

25 Days of Gifts

#6 - Mini Mason Jar Collage

Yep, you read that correctly ~ Mason (or Ball) Jar lid collages!! Now, this is something I stumbled upon by accident. One of my boys was honked off about something (I'm sure it was because I'm such a mean parent!) and slammed the door on one of my Hoosier Cabinets ~ in the process knocking off one of my soybean candles. These particular candles are made in jelly jars. Of course the glass jar didn't hold up well in the crash so while I was cleaning up the mess I set the ring/lid on the cabinet and finished what I was doing. When I was done I noticed the way the lid and ring were setting looked like a little shadow box!!! Well of course I had to give it a try and this is what I came up with!

Grandma's Mason Jar Lid Collage


I made it for my French grandma - hence all of the french looking accents.

Her fav. color is red btw (the ring is actually more red in person...).

Initially I traced the lid onto a piece of acrylic/transparency (old packaging is great for this!) (this step is optional btw). The lid & ring were then inked with Cranberry AI's. I created the collage on the inside of the lid leaving about 1/8" space around the outer edge (you'll see why later). You can't really tell by the photo but there are dimensional tiles and raised pieces (using foam). There is plenty of room for 3-D goodies in this collage.

**Optional - cut the traced piece of transparency and attach it to the ring. This is going to be a faux piece of glass to protect your collage.

Next, I took foam tape and line the inside of the ring. Despite the foam being double sided I used E-6000 to attach it. I needed to make sure it stays in place. This foam tape is what will hold the collaged lid creating the shadow box effect. Just apply a dab of E-6000 around the rim of the tape and place the collage in the ring. Let it dry completely. Last, affix a metal picture hanger on to the back of the collage with E-6000.

That's it!
You have you're very own mason jar lid collage!

Fun huh? I love making's fun to see what you can do with such a small size. The wide-mouth ring/lids are much easier to work with though because of their larger size. Either work great though :)

Have a great day friends!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Distress Stickles Winner!!

Oh my, totally forgot to post the winner of the Distress Stickles! I did the thing, got ready to post and then we had unexpected company show up....needless to say it totally slipped my mind.

Anyway, without further delays...

the winner of the Distressed Stickles is.....


Hels said...
Hey Roni, Happy Thanksgiving hun - hope you having the most wonderful day. Just popped in to say hi and tell you that I just love what you have done with the Stickles and Grunge, tis amazing as always :O)) I cannot wait for the Stickles to get over to the UK....Need them all ... now!!!! Hugs hun x
November 26, 2008 8:19 PM

Congrats lady!

Please send me your snail mail addy and I'll get these out to you :)

To the rest of the Blog Bash Winners...I've been behind on mailing but everything I had addies for went out on Monday :) You should be receiving your goodies soon!

Gift Idea #5 - Stamped Mug & Coaster

25 Days of Gifts

#5 - Rubber Stamped Mug & Coaster Set

Today I have another quick and easy gift idea for anyone on your gift list...

A mug and coaster set!


I found these awesome GIANT mugs at Dollar General for yes, 1.00! For those of you who don't live by one of these stores, Dollar General is similar to the Dollar Tree but not everything is a dollar but still inexpensive. The coaster is a tumbled floor tile which can be bought for between $1.00 - 2.00, sometimes less if they are on sale.

Stamping on curved surfaces can be tricky because you have to roll the stamp around the edge of the mug. Sometimes the stamp will skid across the surface....if this happens, just wipe and re-stamp. It took me a few tries before I figured out the pressure and curl but it doesn't take long. I used staz-on inks since they dried fairly quickly but there are ceramic/glass inks that work just as well. I sealed each of the items with acrylic spray sealer to protect the images. Some people say they don't seal their glass items and they stay nice so I guess you'll just have to give it a try and see which you prefer.

5 down...20 to go :)

Hope you're enjoying the ideas!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gift Idea #4 - Monogram Letters

25 Days of Gifts

#4 - Monogram Letters

Monogram letters make PERFECT gifts - they can be personalized obviously by the letters or words you choose but you can personalize them further by using the recipients favorite colors, themes and more!


Don't let yourself get tied down to just covering them with pattern paper either. You can incorporate many different mediums with a bit of planning before you begin. For example on the "B" I knew I wanted to use Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Distress Crackle Paints and Dimensional Pearls so I had to do a bit of prep work first. The upper sections where the AI's were going to be used was covered with Glossy Paper, the center where the crackle paints were applied was first painted with a coordinating acrylic dabber and the bottom was left as is (no special prep needed for the dimensional pearls.).


On this example I used a combination of pattern papers (love this paper!!!) and Distress Crackle Paints. I made a few altered bottle caps incorporating paper from the same line, stamped images and Sepia, Crackle & Glossy Accents.


And finally these were painted with Dimensional Pearls. Yes, you can use them as paint as well as in dimensional applications. Trust me, you will NOT be disappointed! It doesn't show up in the photo but IRL these letters have a wonderful pearly shimmer that regular acrylic paint just can't top.

SIWL - Jen

So there you have a few more ideas to kick your gift muse in gear ;)

Have a great day!!