October 29, 2010

Gift Box Card Set

Hello Everyone.....

Today’s project is a gift box and card assortment that uses only one set of stamps!  The box and all four cards were made using Penny Black’s “…In A Pear Tree” transparent set.

Here is a sneak peek of the project, which appears (with instructions and an envelope template) in the December 2010 issue of Crafts ‘n Things.

Gift Box

Card #1
Card #2
Card #3

Card #4
There is even enough room that you could include a small pen with the set.  After the gift cards are used, the recipient has the small box to keep for themselves or wrap another holiday gift in.

Great for other year-round occasions – simply switch up the colors and themes!


October 27, 2010

Technique Cards With Videos

Happy Wednesday Friends!

I hope you have been enjoying Technique Week over at the Penny Black Blog and thank you so much for all the kind comments you left regarding my Vintage Enamel Tile Tag.

To keep with this week’s theme of techniques I wanted to share two cards with you that have really quick ideas that create dramatic results.  I find that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and thought you might enjoy seeing tutorial videos for today’s cards.   Click here to view To Follow A Star and Starlit Christmas. 

The first card uses alcohol inks.  I enjoy working with these inks because you always get a terrific result on glossy cardstock.  I paired this technique with Penny Black’s “To Follow A Star” mixed media stamp.  I really like the mottled background effect.  It offers deep, rich color without detracting from the stamp design.  If you are looking for a great “gold” ink you might want to check out Tsukineko’s Gold Metallic StazOn.  It’s a true rich gold and is one of my favorites.  I used it to create the gold matting paper and stamped dots for this design.

Penny Black:  To Follow The Star 4112K, Peace On The Horizon 3988H, Crystalline 30-018

This second card uses Copics to create fast, fun trees.  No fussy coloring needed!  One thing I look for in stamps is versatility.  I like the fact that the “Starlit” rubber stamp is not only a beautiful stand-alone piece, but it can create terrific background patterns too.

Penny Black:  Starlit 4105J, A Wonderful Christmas 4116H, Giving and Receiving 30-007

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you have a day filled with creativity and inspiration.


October 25, 2010

Vintage Enamel Tile Tag

Hello Everyone...

Today kicks off an exciting week of Designer Techniques on the Penny Black Blog.  Each day a different designer will have a stepped-out technique project to share with you.  I have had a sneak peek at the projects that are planned and you will not want to miss a day!

To start out the week, I am sharing this vintage enamel tile tag using Penny Black’s Christmas Text and Pine Avenue.  These new mixed media stamps are gorgeous.       

I went a little crazy and used a little bit of everything:  Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks, Metallic Gold StazOn, Dazzle Frost VersaMark Watermark Ink, Gold Leafing Pen, Metallic Rub-Ons, Glitter and UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel).

It was a little hard to capture the effect of the UTTE in the picture.  This is one of those projects I wish I could share with you in person.  You can see all the stepped-out instructions on the Penny Black Blog, but I wanted to share a few extra little tidbits about the project with you here.

To create a tag that could be used on a gift, but also be sturdy and durable enough to be a piece of displayable art for a Christmas tree or keepsake, I used 6 x 4 card guides purchased from an office supply store.  They are nice and thick and you can work a great amount of ink and paint onto the surface without the paper pilling and warping.  They are the same type of material used to make manila file folders, but a tad thicker.  They are great to create books with too!  Those little tabs make instant book sections. 

To get a fancier “tag top” I cut a rectangle from the card guide and placed it on Tim Holtz’s Styled Label Die.  To hold the paper in place I used a couple pieces of Eclipse Tape by Judi Kins.  I use this so often (tape, masks, etc.) that I bought a whole roll. 

I put a little flower on the end that will become the top of the tag.

I ran it through my Cuttlebug (Plate B, Tim’s die, Plate B) just until I saw the top portion go through the pressured rollers and then reversed it back out.

Here is the cut tag.  You can see I went a wee bit too far when cranking (a little indent on the right side), but that is ok because this is going to be the base of my tag and I am using metallic rub-ons to cover the surface.  To apply the metallic rub-ons I just used my fingers – just be careful not to rub your face before you wash your hands and not check a mirror before leaving the house!

I also used these card guides to back the embossed enamel art.  I found that dimensional foam was too thick and popped it up from the tag higher than I wanted and did not provide an evenly distributed backing.  This piece has two layers of the manila folder material added for backing before it was attached to the tag. 

I find many great items that I incorporate into my crafting at the office supply store.  I would love to hear what some of your favorite places are that you find “crafty” things.

Thank you for sharing a part of your day with me.


October 22, 2010

Christmas Treat Box

I must confess - I am addicted to boxes! 

I love dimensional art and enjoy creating templates and patterns.  Sometimes I draw my own designs and other times I come across a cute box and before I recycle it, I trace it to make a quick template.

This is a quick and simple cube box that I traced.  Even though it is only 1 1/2-inches square it can hold several little pieces of chocolate - Hershey Kisses or Rolos are pretty foiled candies to use.

To dress up the box, I added two windows so you could see the goodies nestled within and decorated the inside of the lid with holiday greeting.

First I traced the template (available under the "Templates" page) then scored all the fold lines.  Since this pattern was fairly small, I placed it on a piece of fun foam and scored the lines using a stylus and ruler.  Then I created two windows with a circle Nestability.

Before assembling and gluing the side flap, I added pieces of acetate to cover the window openings and added the white gel pen dots.  It is easier to do this while the pattern is flat.

Since I added the windows, the side flap needed to be adjusted so it wouldn't interfere with the window opening.  I used a circle punch to remove the unwanted section. 

This tiny bird is from Penny Black's Jolly Friends and was colored with Copics
and the hat was accented with Crystal Stickles.

I punched a 1 1/2-inch circle from white cardstock and added Tumbled Glass Distress ink.  Using the same ink, I over stamped the snowflake for a subtle background.

I used a ribbon punch to make a slot in the top of the box and inserted a piece of ribbon to make a tiny loop.  The ends were glued flat and covered with this sentiment from Penny Black's Giving and Receiving.  I love this set.  It is packed full of great images and sentiments!  First I blended some the same Copic colors on the circle then I stamped the greeting with black ink and heat embossed it with clear powder.

These make great little party favors at the holiday dinner table or even ornaments after the goodies have been enjoyed.

Let me know if you incorporate this pattern into a project.  I would love to see your designs!

Next week is Designer Technique Week over at the Penny Black Blog.  Be sure to stop by every day for a new technique project.  I have had a sneak peek and there are lots of great ideas planned!

Thank you for stopping by the studio today and have a great weekend.


October 20, 2010

Artist & Friend - Angela Kennedy

I was first introduced to Angela when I joined the Penny Black Design Team in 2006.  Although distance has kept us from meeting in person, our friendship has grown over the years.

Angela is talented in so many ways.  She does everything from paint, draw, rubber stamp and create mixed media all while raising two cute energetic young boys!  She is one of those people who can make your heart smile and is extremely generous in sharing her tips, talents and crafty secrets.

Angela recently sent me this beautiful piece of art and I had to share it with you.  This is what she calls a "doodle"!  She has a great eye for color and incorporates so much detail throughout her pieces.  I love all the hand punched little flowers with crystal gem accents.

Thank you Angela for creating such a special treasure for me and being such a wonderful friend.

To see more of Angela's art, check out her blog called Pennystamper or on Esty!

Thank you for visiting,

October 18, 2010

Three Little Flowers All In A Row....

Being Monday, today seemed like a CAS (Clean and Simple) card kind of day and I decided to challenge myself to create today's greeting using the "Salutations" transparent set.

I love this flower from the set and it looks so cute in a little row.  

I inked one row from the hanging dots with black ink to create the three stems.  The flowers were stamped in Turquoise Gem VersaMagic, Persimmon VersaMagic and Pearlescent Orchid Brilliance inks then trimmed.  I colored the little dots on the flowers with a black marker and added some fun little buttons to the centers and topped each one with a crystal gem.  

Thinking of you and hoping your week is starting out happily!


October 15, 2010

Halloween Trio

Happy Friday!

Today is an extra special day for me since I will be picking my husband up at the airport this evening.  He has been out of town for business this past week and I can't wait to see him!

Another reason I am excited is that the sweet girls at Crafts 'n Things (Dawn, Abby and Teresa) said I could share these pictures of projects that were published in their October 2010 issue.  It is always an honor to have artwork selected by them and featured in their magazine. 

(Penny Black:  Frightful Flight 4020K, Spooky 30-041)
 This stamp could also be used for a non-Halloween occasion.  Simply omit inking the pumpkin face inside the balloon.

(Penny Black:  Spooky 30-041)

If you are having a difficult time finding cellophane treat bags here is an alternative.  Many convenience stores have pre-packaged candy corn.  They are usually 2 for $1.  You can purchase a set and cover the existing topper!

This box holds a small Ghiradelli candy bar.  Yum!  Who doesn't like chocolate?!  Although we all have different tastes - this box will also hold a pack of sticky notes.   Just change the theme and colors and it would be a great little "thinking of you" gift.

For complete instructions and patterns or for 288 more fabulous fall ideas, be sure to check out this issue!

Have a great weekend,

October 14, 2010


Today Penny Black is sharing two of my Halloween cards on their blog.  It is such an honor to be on their Design Team.  They are an amazing company to work for and I love the range of stamp designs and products they offer.

The images on this first card were water colored after being stamped with black VersaFine ink and heat embossed with clear powder.  That little spider is so cute.  He would be great with some movable google eyes too!

(Penny Black:  The Horror Team 4089K, Be Very Scared! 30-054)

For this next card, I created a page from the spell book with Nestabilities and stamped Letter Background across the page.  The Robust Lowercase alphabets are great for creating your own chipboard letters, especially if you heat emboss them and add glitter.

(Penny Black:  Spellbound 4022K, Halloween Web 3902K, Robust Lowercase 30-002,
Paisley Swirls 40-011, Letter Background 1999L)
 The decorative green cardstock was created with Paisley Swirls stamped in Memento Pear Tart with a little bit of Antique Linen Distress ink blended on top.

As always, I appreciate your time to visit my blog and enjoy receiving your comments.


October 13, 2010

A Halloween Party Invitation

Hello Everyone.

With Halloween fast approaching, I wanted to share this fun Halloween invitation and treat bag that I created which was published in CardMaker, September 2010.  

(All stamps by Penny Black)

I will have more Halloween "treats" to share with you on
 Thursday and Friday.

Thank you for spending time with me at the studio.


October 11, 2010

Jump Into Fall

Today the Design Team at Penny Black was challenged with a theme - Focus on Fall.  The things I thought of first were the beautiful colors of the season and as little kids how much my brother and I loved jumping into piles of raked leaves.

I decided to alter the "Celebrating Snow" image to fit today's theme and capture my childhood memory.

This is the original stamp image.

This is my finished design.
I made a frame using Spellbinders' Square Nestabilities and stamped the Scroll Pattern with Vintage Photo Distress ink.  Then I rubbed Antique Linen Distress ink on top to blend and soften the image.

I converted three Christmas stamp designs to fit the scene:  Snow Dust was stamped with VersaMagic Niagara Mist ink after a sky background in Tumbled Glass Distress ink was added.  Celebrating Snow was stamped on a separate piece of cardstock, colored with Copic markers and trimmed.  The texture on the grass is from the falling snow on the Here Comes Christmas stamp which was inked with Memento Bamboo Leaves.

The leaves are from Joyful Thanksgiving.  I stamped the leaves with Memento Cantaloupe ink.  I wanted just enough of an outline of the design to trim the images then I added the variegated color with Copic markers.

The sentiment is from Say It In Flowers.  By stamping the greeting with Memento Black ink I was able to add the blue highlighting with a Copic marker and didn't have to worry about the ink smearing.

You can see that I used dimensional foam tape under the frame, hedgehog and grass to give the scene more depth and pop out the images.  The brown polka dot ribbon is from American Crafts.

If you would like to see the other fall designs created by the Penny Black Design Team, you can see them posted here.

If you have any questions about my artwork or need additional information, please feel free to contact me at elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com.

Enjoy your day!



October 9, 2010

More Birthday Wishes

There are so many wonderful images in the Party Time transparent set by Penny Black.     

Yesterday I used the cupcake and sentiment.  Today's card features the cute hedgehog with the flowers and letter.

Here is a look at the full set

(Penny Black:  Party Time 30-039)

Don't forget about the "Octoberfest" contest at Penny Black. 
You could win $100 in Penny Black stamps!  Check out their blog for all the details.

Thank you for visiting the studio this weekend.


This is a very clean and simple card. 

I stamped everything with black VersaFine and heat embossed with clear powder.

The images were watercolored by transferring marker ink that was applied to a plastic palette with a damp paintbrush.

To add a little texture, I ran the thin piece of red cardstock through a paper crimper.

This was a new color combination for me and I was excited about the outcome.

October 8, 2010

Celebrate Your Day

Happy Friday Everyone!

I am looking forward to this weekend as it is Apple Festival in Charlevoix.  For two days, the main street is lined with vendors selling local apples in all varieties and the air is filled with the delicious scent of pumpkin pie and roasted almonds.  The colors are at their peak and the temperatures should be perfect for an afternoon of outdoor activities.

If your calendar is like mine, there are always a few birthdays each month of friends and family that you want to send happy wishes to.  This is a quick and fun card for that special day.

These little cupcakes look so cute in a row just waiting for someone to make a birthday wish.  It was very easy to align the cupcakes and the sentiment using the acrylic set called Party Time from Penny Black.  I stamped all the images with tuxedo black Memento ink and colored with Copic markers.  The larger sentiment is from A Scholar which was stamped with VersaMark Watermark Ink and heat embossed with white powder. 

Wishing you a special day,


October 7, 2010

Poinsettia Possibilities

One of the many things I enjoy about rubber stamping is all the possibilities it offers.  Whether it is using the stamped image in its entirety or creating designs from parts of the image, I like to challenge myself to use my stamps in different ways.    

When I started playing with this poinsettia stamp called Christmas Star from Penny Black, I was flooded with an array of ideas of how to use the image throughout the year.

I know I will have this stamp out during the holidays and thought that would be the perfect time to create some thank you cards.   

The center of the poinsettia is created by coloring a jumbo brad with a Sharpie and coating it with a layer of Glossy Accents and glitter.

 Here I turned it into a palm tree for a summer greeting. 

(Sentiment from Beach Day 30-051)

I was thinking of a water lily when I made this one.  I use this sentiment a lot as it can be a general “happy wish” to brighten someone’s day or used for a birthday greeting.

This is a closer view of how I arranged the leaves to create the flower.

(Sentiment from: Say it in Flowers 20-015)

All the images were colored with Copic markers and highlights were added with a white gel pen.

Enjoy exploring the possibilities of your stamps.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the latest contest at Penny Black make sure to stop by their blog.  They are offering one of their biggest prizes ever - $100 in Penny Black stamps!

Have a great day,

October 5, 2010

A Wish for Peace

Do you ever have one of those days when you start to create a card and it just doesn't flow together?  The other day I had what I thought would be a great idea and it fizzled out.  I wanted to use one of Tim Holtz's Movers & Shapers die-cuts and it just wasn't working with the design so I set the piece aside with a little bit of disappointment.

I came back to my art table a couple of days later and all of a sudden the die-cut took on a whole new shape.  I started envisioning it as an ornament and from that moment on this card came to life.

(Penny Black:  To Follow the Star 4112K, Wherever You Are 4113K, Christmas Text 4115K, Wish for Peach 40-030)
I distressed the die-cut with Antique Linen and Vintage Photo Distress inks and stamped the Christmas Text on top with Vintage Photo.  To add some sparkle, I sprayed the ornament with gold Sheer Shimmer Spritz by Tsukineko.

The medallion was created from the Wherever You Are mixed media stamp and colored with Copic markers.  Glossy Accents were added to the black triangles.  

To make it appear that the tiny scene was inside the ornament, I put dimensional foam under the medallion to elevate it.  

I added decorative dots with a black Glaze pen and embossed the sentiment with clear powder to coordinate with the shiny black triangles.

The red seam binding tape I had was a too bright so I stamped the decorative border from To Follow the Star with Vintage Photo ink on the front and back of the ribbon.  When dry, I over stamped it with some of the text from Wherever You Are with gold StazOn ink.  Very subtle, but it toned down the color of the ribbon and made it appear antique.  While I had the gold StazOn ink pad out, I also created the gold paper mat beneath the white cardstock.  I ran the ink pad along the edges of a piece of French vanilla cardstock and set aside to dry until I was ready to put together the layers of the card.

This card measures 3 1/4 x 5 1/2.

Remember to keep those pieces that at the time seem frustrating.  You never know when they will be the perfect fit!  

Thank you for visiting the studio today.


October 2, 2010

World Card Making Day Celebration!

Today is World Card Making Day and to celebrate I have a "world of thanks” for you.

For everyone, near and far, that has visited the studio – Merci, Grazie, Arigato, Thank you!

(Penny Black: Letter Background 1999L, World Peas 3893H, Say it with Flowers 20-015, Flowers & Wishes 30-047)

I couldn't resist using this stamp called "World Peas".  I added the tiny little envelope to the pea on the left and modified their Christmas hats.

The postage stamps are from the Flowers & Wishes transparent set and the sentiment is from Say it with Flowers.  All the coloring was done with Copic markers.

May each and every one of your days be filled with peace, harmony and love!


October 1, 2010

Blog Candy Winner

Today is an exciting day as I am announcing the winner of my first blog giveaway!!

For today’s drawing I used a random number generator.

True Random Number Generator 10 Powered by RANDOM.ORG 

The selected post number chosen was the 10th comment.

CONGRATULATIONS Eve!!  You are the lucky winner of the Halloween Blog Candy. 

Please contact me at elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com with your mailing information so I can get these goodies to you without delay and you can start inking!

I would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who participated by leaving such warm and welcoming comments on my very first day of blogging.

Also, thank you to Penny Black for providing their wonderful stamps for this event.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to celebrate World Card Making Day so I can share a “world of thanks” with you.

Happy Friday,