Saturday, April 30, 2011

Butterflies, Blossoms, a Bow and a Button

Humm, how do you like that title?  I should be able to play in a lot of challenges with all that going on, right?  Oh, and I could probably have thrown in babies too.  I actually did make this card to play in several challenges.  It's my DT card for Our Creative Corner today, plus The Shabby Tea Room has a butterfly inspiration photo challenge and CCEE Stampers are asking us to add a butterfly this week.  So butterflies it was.  Our hostess this week at the OCC is Jen Rzasa from Our Change of Art and she wants to see embroidery floss on our projects this week.  Not only does she want to see it, she wants it to be used in a fun new way.  Well, I guess I didn't nail this challenge because I couldn't think of any fun new way so I embroidered with it.  You can't see it too well, but I pierced a flourish into the card and then sewed through it with the embroidery floss to simulate the path of the butterflies.  

I had some more fun with PhotoShop Elements with this card.  The designer paper is digital and I wanted a washed out look so I faded it out.  Then I took the bird nest vintage image and removed the background, layered it over the DP and then reduced the opacity to fade it.  I really love the look of the new improved DP I created!  Then on to the image.  It was pretty bright.  The bright pink and blue grated on me so I changed it over to a sepia tone again in PSE.  Then I colorized it just a tad with my Copics.  What an amazing improvement for that image!  I felt kind of bad piercing holes in that pretty image.  I made some itty bitty flowers this time out of crinoline and topped them off with a tiny white prima bud.  I used two stamps - the butterflies are from the Papllion set by Tim Holtz and the Thanks a Bunch is from Crafty Secrets Sweet Kids set.  I used a small Sizzix die for the leaves, which I cut twice - once in matching CS (Bravo Burgundy and a page from an old book) and layered them together but offset them just a bit for effect.  This seam binding was scrunched  around in a puddle of water and one tiny drop of Creamy Caramel ink.  The crinoline was tea stained.  The butterflies were also tea stained.  All of these embellishments are available in my Etsy shop.  

I think that's about it for the details on this one.  Thanks so much for stopping over this morning.  Please do stop by Our Creative Corner to see more creative uses of embroidery floss.

Challenges Entered:
The Shabby Tea Room - Photo Inspiration
Crafts and Me - Vintage
Flutterby Wednesdays - 3 flowers, 2 papers and a button
CCEE Stampers - Add a butterfly
If the Shoe Fits - Things with Wings
Just Add Ink - Just Add a Flower
Stamp Something - Something With Wings
Totally Gorjuss - 1-2-3 (1 button, 2 butterflies and 3 flowers)
One Stop Craft Challenge - Stitching

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From the Heart

I was browsing challenges this morning and was really struck by the colors of the CR84FN challenge - red, turquoise and white.  That color palette is totally out of my comfort zone but I was attracted to it for some reason and wanted to give it a go.  So I searched for a sketch to get me started.  I was going to try the Mojo Monday sketch but couldn't get it laid out with these elements in a pleasing way so I looked again and came up with the Waltzing Mouse sketch.  I love their work over there, but never seem to be able to fit their challenge in.  So I was really delighted to be able to combine both challenges.

For some reason when I use a lot of white, I can't bring myself to stitch on it or distress it.  So here you have a card that is about as CAS as I can manage!  I like the clean lines here, but really had to sit on my hands to keep from adding things...a little more lace here, more embellies there, you know how it goes.  But I restrained myself but still have doubts - it feels a little unfinished.

Not too many details to share today.  The white card stock is from Flourishes and the red is Real Red from SU.  I used the Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy embossing folder and the DP is from Raspberry Road.  The lace is from my new Etsy shop and I dyed it with the SU Tempting Turquoise reinker watered down considerably.  Also I made a Tim Holtz style rosette out of the paper lace from my Etsy shop.  Unfortunately I don't own the rosette die so I had to score and fold it by hand.  I really like the way it looks with the doily.  I used two Spellbinders dies to cut the hearts and the sweet red rosebuds are also from my Etsy shop.  The pretty sentiment is from Verve.

And just a note about my Etsy shop.  When I ordered my first supply of the Venise lace appliques, I only ordered small quantities because I wasn't sure how the quality would be.  I'm happy to say that I was totally thrilled with everything and a lot of the appliques are sold out already.  I have reordered and am expecting my new stock in about a week.  But I still have a number of pretties in the shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Challenges Entered:
CR84FN Color Challenge:  Red, White, Aqua
Waltzing Mouse Sketch Challenge - Sketch
Crafty Cardmakers - A Royal Wedding (use the colors red, white and blue or something inspired by the royal wedding
Crafty Creations - White Space

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What the Heck is Fiber Paste?

For my altered box project that I posted on Monday, I used a product called Fiber Paste made by Golden.  I've had a number of questions about it so I thought I would share what I know - which ain't all that much - LOL!  I used it for the very first time on that project.  

I picked up two exceeding ugly boxes at Tuesday Morning a few months back with the intent of altering them.  They were cheap which is one of my main decision factors when making mixed media art.  I had never heard of this stuff until I joined the Simon Says Stamp and Show design team.   One of my team mates, Lynne Forsythe, has used it several times on her DT projects.  It caught my attention and I was interested in trying it out.  I purchased it at Michael's with my 40% off coupon.  It's a bit pricey to buy it for full price - around $14 a jar.  I used about a third of a jar on this box.  

You just slather it on and smooth it out or not depending on the look you are going for.  I needed 3 coats on my box top.  I applied it with one of those sponge paint brush thingies and left the surface rough by design.  
Looking at it from this angle, I think I need to lightly sand along where the fiber paste meets the tissue tape and then maybe ink the edge with Vintage Photo.  It looks a little raw the way it is.  I hadn't noticed that before.  The brown flecks you see are where I misted it with my homemade glimmer mist - water, vintage photo reinker and a couple of small scoops of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls shaken well in a mini mister.  

That's it, folks.  No experience necessary.  I just jumped in and played around with it.  Had a blast and was pretty satisfied with the way my box came out.  I will definitely be using the stuff again!

Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any questions. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Vintage Sewing Find

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a joyous Easter for those of you who celebrate the Resurrection.  I attended a beautiful Mass and then had a relaxing family day.

Thank you for starting your week out with me this week.  I have a fun project I did for this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge.  This week we want you to show us Buttons.  Can't go wrong with a button project, right?  Above you can see the end product of Saturday's crafting session.  I decided to alter a wooden box below that I picked up at Tuesday Morning quite some time ago.  It's been calling out to me, but just the right project hadn't come along.  I thought I'd alter it into a box for my desk that I would just dump all my buttons into.
I have to warn you, this is a long post.  If you really want to know how I made this project, it's all here.  If not, skip the text and skim the photos!

The first thing I did was to give the top of the box a good coat of Golden Fiber Paste.  Ever since I saw my team mate Lynne's box that she altered with fiber paste, I have wanted to give it a go.  This box actually took three coats of the stuff before it really disguised the original top.  Between coats of fiber paste, I covered the sides of the lid with Tim Holtz Tissue Tape.  The lower sides were covered with the new Kraft Resist designer paper, glued on with Claudine Hellmuth Multi-Medium Matte.  After the third coat of fiber past was dry I gave the entire box a nice color wash with a reinker blend and water, and then a little spritz of my homemade glimmer mist.

To get the stamped image on the rough texture left by the fiber paste, I stamped onto tissue paper (a la a sewing pattern) and then adhered it to the fiber paste with plenty of the Multi-Medium Matte.  Since I seem to be totally hooked on hand-dying everything, yes, I did dye the jumbo ric rac.  It was a sky blue to which I added a bit of aqua reinker and a nice squirt or two of the homemade glimmer mist.  I also dyed a strip of crinoline which I gathered to make a ruffle and then layered a piece of Tim Holtz's Ruler Ribbon over top.

The Haberdashery stamp set has a needle book cover stamp and I couldn't resist making an actual needle book with it.  I cut Grunge Paper and muslin with Spellbinders Mega Curved Rectangles, layered them together and did a bit of distressing with Vintage Photo distress ink to both the muslin and the baker's twine.  Oh, and on the inside of the needle book cover the Grunge Paper was swiped liberally with Vintage Photo Distress Stain (if you haven't tried it, you should!).  And I also stamped a couple of other Tim Holtz stamps in the inside to make it look a little more authentically vintage (from Curiosities and Mini Holidays).

The Haberdashery set also includes two thread spool label stamps which I stamped in Gold Encore ink on black CS - love the vintage feel of those stamps!  And of course, I have to have a Tattered Florals Die cut flower on all my creations lately so I cut a number of layers of crinoline and then tea stained them for this project and topped it off with a button,

And now for what I'll be storing in this box.   A couple of months ago, I was browsing in our one and only junk/antique shop and found an old sewing basket.  Inside were some awesome vintage sewing products including a few wooden spools of thread, snaps, hooks and eyes, a couple of crunched up vintage button cards, a paper tape measure and that metal needle threader thingy that I put on the top with the needle book.  And there was even a little glass vial of teeny brass buttons.  All in all, a very cool find that I got for about $5.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my Simon Says Stamp and Show project.  I love to hear from my visitors and any constructive criticism is more than welcome - especially on my mixed media projects.  

I hope you will stop by the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog to see what my team mates have created for this challenge - always truly amazing stuff over there!  And how about showing us your Buttons this week?  You just might win a $50 shopping spree randomly given to our of our players this week by our lovely sponsor Simon Says Stamp.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

An Easel Card Challenge

Welcome back to my weekly Saturday morning post for Our Creative Corner.  This week our hostess, Vicki Burdick, is challenging us to make easel cards.  I know for the past year everyone has been wild for easel cards, but for some reason, they are not a favorite of mine.  I think it has to do with the fact that I can NEVER get a decent picture of one.  To get the entire card in the photo, you have to move back a bit farther than normal and with my little point and shoot camera, I seem to lose details.  But ever a challenge trooper, I plunged in and here is the result.  I actually like the card, but dislike the photos.  I'll give you a few close ups to help you see the details.

Where to start...that was the problem, I didn't have a clue as to what I could make when I sat down to get started.  Usually I have some nugget of an idea when the time comes to start, but not this time - no idea of colors, images, stamps, themes - nothin'...well, maybe not quite nothin' - I did have that bit of lace running across the bottom.  So with my lace in hand, I started scrolling through my vintage image digital files and came up with this sweet image of two little girls whom I envision are sisters sharing secrets.  I drew my colors from the image - a sweet blush pink and aqua/teal highlights with a bit of vintage brown tones thrown in.  That revved up my mojo and I was off and running.

The CS colors are kraft and Blush Blossom and the DP is from the same SU pack I used yesterday - retired and don't know the name.  I threw in a couple of strips of my vintage songbook, some SU glass glitter on the Spellbinders frame and then I hand dyed the applique posies and fan.  Hand dyed also are a small scrap of shabby seam binding and a crinoline/tulle flower.

What do you think?  Too much teal or a nice accent? I'm on the fence.  I like the teal, but am thinking maybe I have bit too much of that color - it really does jazz it up though, don't you think?  Whatever, I did have a sweet time dying all those fibers.  If you are looking for any of these dy-able products, hop over to my Etsy shop

I hope you will make an easel card and join in the fun with us this week at Our Creative Corner. Be sure to stop by the blog and see the easel cards created by the rest of the design team.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and for any comment you care to leave.  

Post Update:  A reader kindly critiqued my card and suggested that I replace the deal seam binding on the tag with a neutral.  I thought it was a great suggestion so here is the modified card.  Now what do you think?  Thanks Sue, I appreciate your input!

Hand Dying Shabby Seam Binding
More Crinoline Flowers
Easy Apple Blossoms

Challenges Entered:
Gingersnap Creations: GC99 Random Redhead Challenge - Fans

Friday, April 22, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Here we are on the brink of the Easter weekend.  It's finally spring all over.  The sun is shinning (I hope) and the April showers are about to give way to May flowers.  And that's our challenge this fortnight over at Fairy Fun Fridays.  I could have gone the April showers route, but for my card I chose flowers and used this delightful lily image from The Prairie Fairy.  I was going to try to make it white so it was an Easter lily, but felt the card needed the color.  So I just have a pretty spring lily.  I was inspired to use the Mojo Monday sketch as a starting point.  Everything else is pretty simple - no special techniques here, just a pretty shabby chic style card using paper lace and sweet posy appliques from my new Etsy shop.  And you can get some undyed seam binding there to.  Great stuff and so fun to custom dye to match your project.  I dyed this seam binding with my So Saffron reinker. I have a tutorial here on dying the crinkly seam binding.  All the card stock (Bordering Blue and Whisper White) and designer papers are from SU.  Sorry, but I don't remember the name of the designer paper pack, but it's from a couple of years ago and it's retired now.

That's the scoop on this one.  Hope you will play along with a April Showers or May Flowers themed project this fortnight at Fairy Fun Fridays.  Thanks again for stopping by and heartfelt thanks for your lovely comments.  It so inspires me to hear that you like my work.

Challenges Entered:
Mojo Monday - Sketch
C. R. A. F. T. Challenge - Flowers
Pixie Dust Studio - Spring Forward
Paper Romance - Tag It
ABC Challenge - Y is for Yellow
Fussy and Fancy - Springtime

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love at First Sight

Yes, it was love at first sight when I was blog surfing a few weeks ago and saw these sweet Venise lace appliques.  I knew then that I had to have some for myself and tracked down a wholesaler to buy from.  Now I'm in lace heaven!  I'm surrounded by beautiful Venise lace - both sweet little appliques and lace trim.  And I've opened an Etsy shop to sell my Funkie Findings - things that I love and want to make available to my blog friends so they can use them in their crafting too.

There are still a number of Easter challenges running this week and I couldn't resist one more vintage piece for Easter.  This image is from a LunaGirl vintage holiday set CD and I matched it up with some Raspberry Road digital DP plus some ancient Creative Memories gingham paper.  The Hello and My Friend stamps are from the Sweet Kids set from Crafty Secrets.  I took a white lace heart and tea stained it.  When dry, using an empty aqua painter and a bit of Lavender Lace reinker mixed with a drop or two of water, I hand painted the lace heart and the tiny tri-bud appliques (the buds were white to start with).  I then added a bit more water and reinker to the puddle on my craft sheet and dyed the seam binding to match.  You know I'm hooked on custom dying everything to match, right?  
Here you have it - easy peasy!  And if you don't have reinkers, just pick a stamp pad, tip it over and mash it down on your craft sheet.  Mist or otherwise add water and mix up a dye puddle to use to dye your embellishments.  Let me know if you have any questions.  

Thanks so much for stopping by today and for whatever comments you care to leave.  I love knowing who is visiting me!

Challenges Entered:
Paper Sundaes - Texture
Sentimental Sundays - Easter/Spring
The Shabby Tea Room - Egg-cellent
Creative Beli - Eggs/Bunnies & Old and Forgotten (Creative Memories paper)
Pixie Cottage - Sketch and/or Happy Birthday
Truly Scrumptious - Vintage
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Easter
Stampin' for the Weekend- Easter
Craft Your Days Away - Easter
Secret Crafter - Stitching

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mini Vintage Easter Triptych

Good morning and thanks for starting your week off with my Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge sample.   This week our challenge to you is to use a Tim Holtz technique.  I used two - on the front of my mini triptych (right panel) I used the Rock Candy Distress Stickles technique (rubbed the stuff all over with my finger) and the Painted Metal technique.  You can learn all about these two techniques and plenty more in Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities.  

Now, about my make.  Do you sometimes start a project that just doesn't work out?  That's what happened here - now, make no mistake, I am happy with the way it turned out but I had planned to alter a small tin and tuck this little gem inside.  The tin was about the size of an Altiod's tin.  I painstakingly measured the paper, carefully cut it, rounded the corners (several times until I had a template).  I cut three and laid them in the tin - they fit like a glove.  Haha!  I then cut six like-sized pieces of the Tim Holtz Vintage Shabby paper, ink distressed them, created hinges out of seam binding and then glued everthing together.  Well, poor inexperienced me - I found out when they were together in a stack, they wouldn't drop down into the tin. what?  I had already invested over an hour, probably more like two because I am a super slow crafter, plus I used some of my hoarded stash of TH paper.  So the altered tin got jettisoned and the project became merely a spring triptych.  I had had thoughts of making this project sort of a greeting card and putting it with the tussy mussy I made on Saturday for a nice Easter gift for a friend or family member.  Will have to re-engineer that too!

So after I got over my mad, I did have fun making this.  Lots of mini vintage yumminess here.  I never do ATCs because I didn't think I would enjoy working on such a small canvas.  But I made one a few weeks ago for a challenge and loved it.  This project is almost the same dimensions as ATCs and I had a great time working on it.  On the front "cover", I used a scrap of an Easter vintage image, some vintage songbook pages and the TH Vintage Market Die that I finally invested in and also a small scrap of Venise lace.  I had misted the letters with my homemade Vintage Photo glimmer mist and you can see that it bled a little when I put the Rock Candy Distress Stickles on it.  I sort of liked the effect.

When you open the inside, you see the first half of the quote which I printed on my home printer.  

More vintage images and on the first panel a TH Type Charm, a small Spellbinder flourish and a Tattered Floral die cut piece of acetate that I treated with Cranberry alcohol ink.

The middle panel made due with just a piece of filigree metal and a feather.  

The end panel features a Spellbinder's tag die cut treated with Vintage Photo distress ink and more of the glimmer mist.  The flower is a Sizzix die that cut the song sheet and a piece of crinoline.  Here is the other side with the rest of the quote.

Not too much here - another vintage image, a couple of small floral appliques and a metal frame.

Another applique and a scrap of pink seam binding with a white metal piece.  All the vintage images are from LunaGirl.  I purchased a CD a couple of years ago with vintage holiday images.  

That's it for my make this week, but I gotta tell you, it's another stellar week of DT samples over at Simon Says Stamp and Show.  Be sure to stop by to take them all in.  And how about showing us what you can do with a Tim Holtz technique?  Our ever generous sponsor, Simon Says Stamp, has a $50 shopping spree for the lucky random winner!  Can't go wrong with that.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Vintage Easter Project

Welcome back to my post for Our Creative Corner.  We're kicking the weekend off with an Easter project.  I've been looking forward to this challenge.  I knew I wanted to do something vintage and thought it would be an opportunity for one last springtime blast of crinoline flowers.  Then this week I received some Melissa Frances vintage crepe paper and thought it would be so perfect to work into an Easter project.  I decided to make a tussie mussie, using some of the vintage songbook paper I picked up recently.  I have to tell you, this was a blast to make.  It was a little tricky and I had to improvise as I went along.  I knew what outcome I as looking for so I just kept at it changing this and that and the final result was pretty much as I pictured it. 

I started by rolling a page of the songbook and spritzed it with my homemade glimmer mist (Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls, a couple of drops of Vintage Photo Reinker and water in a mini mister).  I printed a few vintage Easter images in a fairly small size, cut them out, ink distressed them and glued them down.  About a 1 inch strip of the crepe paper was cut and sewed with a basting stitch down the middle and then gathered.  Then I folded the crepe paper strip in half along the line of basting and affixed it to top inside rim.  You can't see it too well, but I love the double ruffle it made.  The vintage crepe paper is very stiff and nice to work it.  It has almost a crisp feel to it.  

Next I created 12 crinoline flowers, 3 of each type/color.  (If you are new to my blog, I have two tutorials on making flowers from crinoline - here and here.)  Most of them have a brad for the center so I took a wire and wrapped it around the base of the brad on the underside of the flower.  I wrapped the other end of the wire around a toothpick to create a floral pick effect.  Once all 12 flowers were finished I arranged them together in bunch and then wired all the stems together for stability.  The inside of the cone is filled with shredded paper so I pushed the pick ends of the flowers down into it and arranged it to  sit up the way I wanted it.  

The handle is a 1/4 inch satin ribbon.  I repeated the same steps with the crepe paper again and glued the ribbon to the underside along the basting line.  I cut a few strips of pastel card stock and ran them through my crimper, then wound them into a spirals so they would curl nicely.  I added a little Venise lace and some darling Venise lace tri-florals.  Watch for these and more yummy Venise lace for sale on my Funkie's Junk blog.  I just received a shipment and will be getting pictures and prices uploaded over the weekend.  

I think that's all the details but if you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me privately.  Thanks for stopping by today and for your lovely comments.  Be sure to stop by Our Creative Corner to see the Easter projects that the rest of the team have made.  

Challenges Entered:

Die Cut Dreams - It's Eastertime
Oh La La - Happy Easter
The Pink Elephant - Easter
Flourishes - Show Us Your Best Floral Creations
Papertake Weekly - Truly Dimensional
Little Red Wagon - Easter
Truly Scrumptious - Vintage
Creative Inspirations - Easter
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Easter
Pals Paper Arts - Flowers
Stampin' for the Weekend - Flowers
Crazy4Challenges - Make an Easter Gift
Craft Your Days Away - Easter

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet and Simple

I made this sweet little card for this week's challenge at Do it With Digis.  I get to be a guest Digi Diva over there occasionally.  The theme this week is fairies/pixies so I used one of the Prairie Fairy images -  Tippy Toe Fairy.  She's one of my favorite fairy images from the Prairie Fairy.  Her skin and hair were colored with Copics and I took a bottle of Liquid Pearls and an aqua painter and painted her dress and wings with Liquid Pearls.  It looks so pretty IRL.  Special Birthday Wishes are going out to Kirsty Vittetoe and the gang over at the City Crafter Challenge Blog.  The blog is celebrating its first birthday this week.  Congratulations on a fabulous first year and wishing you many more!

A little about what I have going on with this card.  The lovely DP is from the Ever After pack by Cosmo Cricket and miracle of miracles, I even managed to let some of it show through!  How do you like the doily lace?  I found a few packs of it and snatched them up to sell in my new Etsy shop.  It comes in strips three inches wide and 40 inches long.  It will work lovely for card making and scrapbooking!  You'll definitely be seeing more of it on upcoming cards!  And I had to add another of my fluffy crinoline flowers (tutorial) to which I added a hand folded seam binding rose as a center - I love the pop of color the pink gave.  In fact, I liked the pink so much I added a small seam binding bow and found some tiny paper flowers of the same color in my stash that worked perfectly to add a bit of decoration to the doily.  

The heart is from an old SU set - Gentler Times.  I stamped it on black CS with versamark and embossed it in white.  To finish the card off, I added a few black Kaiser pearls and a metal filigree butterfly.  I love using metal in my art so I've added metal filigree findings to what I am selling on my Funkie's Junk blog.  This sweet butterfly started life as an antique bronze.  But I wanted it black to coordinate with my card so I applied Adirondack Alcohol ink in Pitch Black with a felt pad.  I think it's so cool to be able to use  the alcohol inks to change the color of metals.  

That about wraps it up.  I hope you will stop over to the Do it With Digis blog and check out what the design team has created.  Thanks ever so much for stopping by today!

Challenges Entered:
City Crafter Challenge - Happy Birthday City Crafter
Charisma Cardz - Pink, Black and Green

Monday, April 11, 2011

This Challenge is Not Too Distressing

Greetings! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the week ahead.  I can't believe it is Monday already and time for another Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge.  We have an easy peasy challenge for you this week.  We want you to show us some distressing.  For all the vintage lovers who play with us week after week, that is probably not even a challenge.  I can't think of anything I have made in the last few years that didn't have some sort of distressing on it and I'm sure it's the same with many of you!  So why not join in this week with our challenge.  You might just win a $50 shopping spree from our awesome sponsor Simon Says Stamp!

I guess you want to hear about my sample for this week's challenge.  I've acquired a few Tim Holtz stamp sets recently and they have been floating around lose, looking messy and difficult to grab when I wanted them.  I decided to make a binder for them.  I am so fortunate that I recently got my hands on a couple of new Tim Holtz products - the Kraft Resist Paper Stash and the Papillon stamp set.  I thought that together they would make the perfect distressed project.  And after working with the Kraft Resist paper, I am thrilled to report that it is AWESOME!!  I also got my first bottle of the new Vintage Photo Distress Stain and am very pleased with the results of that product also.  I was hesitant about it.  I really couldn't see what difference it would make from the inks, but it works super and doesn't get a watered down effect that you would get trying to mix the reinkers with water.  I had a wonderful Saturday playing around with all the new goodies and now present to you the outcome.  
I took the plastic sheet that the stamps come on and used it to trace a cover on thin cardboard.  I cut the cardboard and the Kraft Resist paper by hand, just about a quarter inch larger than the stamp sheet.  With my craft knife, I cut four diamonds in the paper, peeled back the edges and distressed them.  I also distressed a page from a vintage music book I purchased recently and glued it behind the openings.  Then I cut small squares with the Spellbinders scalloped square die from Ten Seconds Studio metal  and ran the squares through the Tim Holtz Patchwork texture fade.  The metal was a bit too purple for me so I blunted the color a bit by applying Slate alcohol ink and then affixed them to offset the diamonds.  

I decided to top off my pyramid with a few more diamonds in the form of Fragments.  I went to the vintage music page again, this time preping it with Snow Cap Acrylic Paint Dabber, then stamping the butterflies from the Papillon set with Jet Black Archival Ink.  After sponging the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink, I affixed the Fragments with Glossy Accents.  Next I found some ancient muslin in my sewing box (really, it has probably been there 30 years - am I giving my age away???), ripped some strips and stamped it with Jet Black Archival Ink and the large text stamp from the Papillon set.  After stamping it, I sprayed it with my home made glimmer mist of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls, 3 drops of Vintage Photo Reinker and water in a Mini Mister.  

The muslin was used for bows and to make the fabric flower.  I cut a flourish out of Grungeboard and  treated with the Distress Stain, then stamped it with the small text stamp from the same set.  That about wrapped it up.  I breathed a happy sigh and cleaned my very inky fingers.  Nothing I like more in crafting than taking something new and making it look old and worn out.  

What are you going to distress this week?  The Simon Says Stamp and Show design team has some great samples to get your mojo started.  We can't wait to see where it will lead you!  And don't forget about that fabulous prize - a $50 shopping spree.  Just think of all the goodies that would get for you!
Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I always love to read your comments and of course am happy to share any tips with you on how I made what I am showing.  Have a crafty week.
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