April 29, 2013

Family Fun

With all the fun, fresh designs in Penny Black's newest release, Life's Messages, it is easy to create cards for family and friends for any occasion....

Have a Great Day

I loved pairing this large floral background, Glory of Modesty, stamped in Wheat VersaMagic with Penny Black's newest stamp called Fashion Leader.  Since I was doing some dimensional layering, I omitted the stamped leash and substituted a thin black cord.

For more "family & friend" inspiration and Penny Black's newest challenge, be sure to check this out....

Penny Black’s newest collection, Life's Messages, is full of stamps perfect for projects for every member of your family (including those dear friends that we consider family!) and it has us inspired to present to you a SPECIAL challenge and a chance to win NEW stamps!

for family challenge

Create a project for or about your family!  Think Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, grandparents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, dear friends you consider family… the list goes on and on!    Click HERE for all the details.

See you soon with a "big embrace"....


Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock: Storm 01-001, 01-003; Sticks & Stones 02-002 
3M Scotch Dimensional Foam Tape
Copic Markers
Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Wheat VersaMagic, Peanut Brittle Memento, Clear Embossing Powder

April 25, 2013

ATC: Infusing Doodling into Mixed Media

Today I am infusing a little bit of my own doodling into my mixed media.

Art Dreams
ATC:  Finished size 2 1/5 x 3 1/5 
This ATC was so much fun to make.  I think the best part of a mixed media adventure is watching what unfolds during the process.  This little piece started out with a heart that I doodled on a separate piece of cardstock and, as they say, the rest is history.

Sakura's black Micron pens are fabulous for penning art.  They did not bleed or smear when Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus watercolors were added.  Prismacolor pencils were used for added shading.

Tip/Hint:  Use portions of rubber stamps for artsy text.  Segments from Penny Black's Edge to Edge were used to create this message.  

Also infused into this ATC are Penny Black's Tree-mendous (bird) and Flowers & Wishes (postcard).

Tip/Hint:  Stamping on tissue paper allows images to be melded into a design without bulk and gives the added advantage of working in some "ripply" texture if desired.  This process was used for the postcard image.


Tip/Hint:  Don't forget the micro glitter!!  When working with varnishes and matte mediums, sprinkle in a little glitter for a touch of sparkle.

Since I was using watercolors in various stages, I also incorporated matte medium gel and gloss varnish to seal the colors.  

I also like using mat board for a base.  It is very sturdy and helps the piece from tending to bend and curl.

Dream in art.....

For questions and/or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at:  elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com

Elizabeth Allan:  Heart Doodle
Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus Watercolors
Image Crafts/Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Jet Black StazOn, Clear Embossing Powder 
Penny Black Stamps: Edge to Edge 30-164, Tree-mendous 30-165, Flowers & Wishes 30-047
Prismacolor Pencils
Sakura Black Micron Pen
Other: White Acrylic Paint, White Gesso, Clear Gesso, Gloss Varnish, Micro-fine Crystal Glitter, Yellow Crystal Gems  

April 22, 2013

New Penny Black Stamp Release!

Penny Black has a new release and the sneak peeks start today!

April Release Graphic

Plus, a little birdie told me that there are 
chances to win a giveaway.  

Sneak peeks and giveaway details are available "here"!

April 18, 2013

Melt Snow, Melt!

A little something to melt away the snow (in northern Michigan) and encourage summer to head on in...

Fun in the Sun

This was a project I made while on the 2012 AIR Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko Design Team.


Component Preparation

  • Stamp girl, sun and beach pail on watercolor paper with Onyx Black VersaFine and heat emboss with clear powder.  Watercolor the images by applying ink from Memento markers to a plastic (non-porous) surface and then transfer the ink with a paintbrush.  Trim the images and edge the cut sides with a Tuxedo Black Memento marker.  Set aside. 
  • Tip/Hint:  Using Ink Potion No. 9 for the water source to clean and dampen the paintbrush helps encourage migration of water-based inks and resists paper curling when dried. 


  • Tip/Hint:  For a glimmer effect, pour a small amount of Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz on a non-porous surface and use as paint.  This was the final application applied to the inner tube.
  • Tip/Hint:  For a glass effect, small amounts of GooseBumps were applied with a toothpick to the sunglasses.
  • Die cut 3 large Labels Two from white cardstock.  Score one die cut ¾” from the top and set aside.
  • On the second die cut, apply Dandelion, Cantaloupe and Tangelo inks using InkBlushers.  Accent the inked area with dots from a white gel pen.  Set aside.
  • Trim off  1 ¼” from the third die cut and lightly apply Peanut Brittle Memento ink with an InkBlusher to cover the surface.  Apply a thin coat of Duo Embellishing Adhesive and let dry to form a tacky surface.  Sprinkle with crushed velvet flock.  Cut a small slit in the “sand” and insert the beach pail and secure with tape on the reverse side.  Set aside.     
  • Place the same die used in the first step on Blue Lagoon cardstock and lightly trace the perimeter.  Trim with scissors and remove 7/8” from the bottom.  Stamp bubbles in Nautical Blue Memento around the outside edge.  Set aside.
  • From a separate piece of white cardstock punch a segment of Boundary Waters.  Trim the wave so a portion will extend beyond the “beach” element.  Using an InkBlusher, dab the surface with Nautical Blue Memento.  Using the wand from the GooseBumps spray bottle as an applicator, coat the waves then set aside to dry.
Card Assembly
  • Apply double-sided adhesive to the scored tab of the white die-cut card base and adhere it to the back of the Blue Lagoon die cut.  The Blue Lagoon piece is larger and will slightly overhang the base.
  • Attach the yellow highlighted cardstock to the front of the Blue Lagoon cardstock with dimensional foam.
  • Attach the waves with dimensional foam as well as the “sandy beach”.
  • Using different thicknesses of dimensional foam, attach the sun and girl to the front of the prepared card.
Fun Penny Black news to share.....

guest designer banner

Iwona Palamountain is a guest designer for Penny Black this week.  Check out her fabulous work HERE!

Hoping warm sunbeams fill your day!

For questions and/or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at:  elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com

Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko
Inks: Onyx Black VersaFine, Dandelion Memento, Cantaloupe Memento, Tangelo Memento, Nautical Blue Memento, Peanut Brittle Memento
Memento Markers:   Dandelion, Cantaloupe, Tangelo,   Lady Bug, Rhubarb Stalk, Love Letter, Rose Bud, Angel Pink, Bahama Blue, Teal Zeal,   Summer Sky, Nautical Blue, Pear Tart, New Sprout, Rich Cocoa, Peanut Brittle, Desert Sand,  Toffee Crunch, Tuxedo Black  
GooseBumps Clear Texture Spray
Sparkle Sheer Shimmer Spritz
Ink Potion No. 9
Clear Embossing Powder

Beach Day (30-051) by Penny Black, Inc.

Storm (01-001), Blue Lagoon (09-003) Mix & Match Papers by Penny Black, Inc.
120 lb. Watercolor Paper by Canson

Labels Two Nestabilities (S4-162) by Spellbinders
Boundary Waters Border Punch by Fiskars
Duo Embellishing Adhesive by USArtQuest, Inc.
Brown Crushed Velvet Flock by Doodlebug Design, Inc.
White Gel Pen by Sakura
Adhesives: Dimensional Foam & Double-Sided Tape
Scissors, Pencil, Paintbrush, Plastic Palette, Heat Tool

April 15, 2013

Home Sweet Home Address Book

A tiny little address book to give to a friend, tuck in a purse or keep on your desk.

Mini Address Book

Spellbinders Labels Twenty-Two die cuts were altered for the booklet.  The front and back flaps were covered with Madison Paper and edged with Orange PanPastel and a Tangelo Memento Marker.

Elements from Penny Black's Sweet Home were stamped, colored with Copics and fussy cut to create the dimensional scene.


The inside pages were highlighted with a Sofft Art Sponge and Diarylide Yellow PanPastel.  No need to computer generate each page with "info lines" as this cute stamp is from Penny Black's Address Book set.  

For fast color blocking, I created a masking template.  A window was cut into a plain piece of cardstock with a craft knife.  Alignment marks were used on the back for consistent placement on each page when chalking.  Blue painter's tape kept each piece secure during the process.



Penny Black Stamps: Sweet Home (30-170), Address Book (30-169)
Penny Black Madison Paper Pad
3M Scotch: Dimensional Foam
Copic Markers
Canson 140 lb. Watercolor Paper
Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko: Onyx Black VersaFine, Clear Embossing Powder, Tangelo Memento Marker
PanPastels (Colorfin): Diarylide Yellow, Orange; Sofft Art Sponges
Spellbinders: Labels Twenty-Two

For questions and/or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at:  elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com

April 11, 2013

Mini Mixed Media Notebook

Sometimes it is what you don't see that adds up to what you do see.

Mini Mixed Media Notebook
What you don't see.... is that this mini notebook (3.75 x 4.25) started with plain white Canson Mix Media paper covered with blue painter's tape and gesso.

From this back view, you can see all the random numbers stenciled with modeling paste.

After trimming the cover to the desired size, the small leftover strips were used to decorate the inside flaps.  Hardware, such as prong fasteners, make great binding mechanisms for note paper and are easy to refill.

An old olive button was distressed with Ultramarine StazOn and sewn on to the front flap.  A white elastic cord was colored with Black StazOn and used as a stretchy latch closure.

A view from the side shows the elastic cord closure.

This is another "what you don't see" feature....this booklet originally started out covered with Penny Black's Dahlias.  Funny how a creative idea can take an all together different path.  

Random use of Tim Holtz Printed Tissue Paper, Tuxedo Black Fireworks spray and acrylic paints add abstract elements to the design.

Layers really build depth.  Even though you don't see them...you see them! 


April 8, 2013

Dreams Come True (Mixed Media)

More mixed media fun with Penny Black's rubber stamps!
Dreams Come True

Featuring Pin-Striped and Sweet Wishes.


Along with some flourishes for the sides...

Side View

Love those extra decorative pieces tucked in Gratitude.

The dotted landscape was created with a stencil from The Crafter's Workshop (Mini Circle Explosion) and modeling paste. 

Thank you for stopping by!

Have a colorful day,

April 4, 2013

Coffee Filter Flowers

Have fun creating dimensional flowers from coffee filters!

Bouquet of Good Wishes

It's as easy as spritzing coffee filters with Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko's Fireworks and stamping with a flower from Penny Black's Flowers Sweet set. 

  • Create a 3 ¾ x 5 ½-inch side-folded card from white cardstock.  Trim the upper right corner with a rounding punch.
  • Stamp the sentiment in Onyx Black VersaFine ½-inch from the top of the card and heat emboss with clear powder.
  • Stamp the decorative pattern with Spanish Moss VersaFine on a 3 ¾-inch square of Fern Green cardstock.  Lightly distress the edges with the same ink and a jumbo sponge dauber.
  • Attach the stamped cardstock to the front of the prepared card with dimensional foam.  Set aside.
  • Spray coffee filters with Fireworks.  Let dry.  TIP/HINT: A heat tool can be used to speed drying time.
  • Stamp the flower on the sprayed coffee filters with Onyx Black VersaFine. 
  • Trim the flowers.  Using a needle and thread, sew a basting stitch around the center of each flower.  Pull the thread ends to cinch the flower together and tie off the threads.
  • Place a crystal gem in the center of each flower.
  • Adhere the flowers to the top the elevated green mat.
Enjoy "brewing" a bouquet of blooms!


Penny Black Stamps:  Flowers Sweet (30-096), Gratitude (30-105), Puzzle Parts (30-114)
Penny Black Mix & Match Cardstock:  Storm (01-001), Fern Green (05-002)
Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko:  Onyx Black VersaFine (VF-082), Spanish Moss VersaFine (VF-062), Fireworks: Dandelion (FW-100), Cantaloupe (FW-103), Rose Bud (FW-400), Clear Embossing Powder (EB-000-005), Jumbo Sponge Dauber (ST-PKG-002)
Mark Richards, Inc.:  Crystal Sticker Elements (Clear #1609)
Other:  Coffee Filters, Heat Tool, Dimensional Foam Tape, Corner Rounder, Needle & Thread

For questions and/or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at:  elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com

April 1, 2013

Stamped Glass Trivets (Tutorial)

One Penny Black stamp and a colorful array of Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko inks is all it took to make this pair of decorative glass trivets!

Stamped Glass Trivets


Clean glass to remove any oils or residue.

Stamp Penny Black's Mosaic on the glass tile in Ivory Black Opaque StazOn.  Let dry.

Mask off the exterior edges of the glass/design to protect the unstamped surface.

Apply a small amount of Matte GlazOn to a Jumbo Dauber and lightly pounce across the stamped image.  Let dry.

Pull inks directly from the StazOn ink pads with Fantastixs and lightly brush on the color. 

  • To cover large areas, dip the Fantastix directly into StazOn Wide Mouth Bottles of ink.  The wide-mouth bottles are ideal for re-inking pads when the ink is transferred with Ink Droppers.  The inks can also be mixed to create custom colors.
  • Working in small areas at a time can be helpful when blending two colors.
  • Applying a thin coat of GlazOn between colors will keep them from migrating or blending.
After the coloring has been completed and the inks are fully dried, pounce the whole design with another layer of GlazOn.

To finish the design, use a Jumbo Dauber to pounce on Copper Metallic StazOn.  Let dry.  Repeat two more times.

Remove the masking tape and let dry.  (For decorative use only. Not heat resistant.)

Happy April, happy spring, happy everything!

Penny Black Stamps:  Mosaic (40-101)
Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko: Ivory Black Opaque StazOn (SZ-000-182), Vibrant Violet StazOn (SZ-012), Blazing Red StazOn (SZ-021), Cactus Green StazOn (SZ-052), Eden Green (SZ-053)
Hydrangea Blue StazOn (SZ-064), Cherry Pink StazOn (SZ-081), Mustard StazOn (SZ-091), Forest Green StazOn (SZ-099), Royal Purple StazOn (SZ-101), Copper StazOn Metallic (SZ-000-193), GlazOn Matte (GZ-000-003), Fantastix – Brush Tip (FX-100-006), Jumbo Daubers (ST-PKG-002), StazOn All Purpose Cleaner (SC-000-004)
Other:  4 ½ Square Glass Tiles (Cut at my local glass shop), Eclipse Tape by Judi Kins 

For questions and/or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at:  elizabeth.a.allan@gmail.com