Some GeckoGalz projects to share

The Valentines above are from the fabulous collage sheets from January 2012. The Christmas box below was a gift, and uses the Postal collage sheets from December 2011.  These are just a sampling of the great images and papers offered with new ones coming each and every month.  Working on some ideas for the beautiful products for February to share soon. (Didn’t fall off the face of the Earth. The family, all four of us, have some sort of angry respiratory bug that we’ve been fighting since the first of the year. Hoping this round of antibiotics kicks it to the curb!) Happy, healthy crafting all ;)! –P


Gecko Galz ornament!!

Gecko Galz ornament featuring November collage images

Here’s an ornament I created using a GeckoGalz image available in the November collage sheets collection.  I printed, cut them out & selectively accented the image with glitter glue and Distress stickles.  The base is a silver cardstock with a plaid background added.  The hanger was purchased at Lowes (aren’t they pretty??) but if you’re jewelry crafty, you probably have some goodies to make one similar.  The flower is Prima with a little extra Distress stickles (it had a little glitter out of the box).  The ribbon says, “Merry Christmas”.  It’s about 4×4 inches finished–a little bigger than I would usually make an ornament so it’s a wall hanging now–that and my tree still isn’t up just yet.  Hope you enjoy!!

Smeared Ink: Bone to Pick with you challenge

Undead Hotties Catfight brewing

It’s Monday again (I know, UGH!!) but that means a new challenge at the Smudgy Antics and this week, it’s Bone to Pick with you.  You can use the link to head on over to the blog and check out the wonderful inspiration pieces created by the design team.  Then pull out your favorite Smeared Ink stamp(s), rubber or digi, make something & link back to it on the blog (all the challenge details are listed in the blog post). You can win the Reaper digi, absolutely free, that I used in the Halloween Release blog hop on Friday.  NOW… Here’s how I made mine :).  Lindsay Weirich of Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff shared the Gothic Arch Template in the October 2011 Scrap and Stamp Arts magazine.  I photocopied that at original size on white cardstock, cut it out and traced it onto blue cardstock that I cut and adhered for stability.  BUT before I cut the blue cardstock, I flipped over onto the blank side and stamped with Ranger Distress inks Vintage photo and Broken China, and Archival Jet Black using a Stampscapes leafy branch stamp.  I used the distress ink tool to add Vintage Photo along the bottom of the arch to imply the ground/horizon.  Just a hint of white sketch pencil was added to the right edge of the main panel to imply moonlight.  All the digi images were printed on Georgia Pacific white cardstock with HP printers and ink.  All images were from the Glam Vamps Smeared Ink set, except for the Prissie Zombie (also Smeared Ink) down in front.  The Light Cross was printed as a contact page size, the Vampires were printed wallet size, and the Zombie was printed Passport (I think its 31×45 mm).  The cross was cut out and colored with the inks used on the back ground.  The images were colored with Staedtler Noris Colored pencils and Sargeant colored pencils for hair and complexions.  Each was carefully cut out with the Cutterbee scissors and adhered with Elmer’s gluestick or pop dots for dimension.  Aleene’s quick dry tacky glue was used to adhere decorative moss as well.

The sentiment was written using Staedtler 1/4″ stencil and 0.3 fineliner in black.  It reads “We have a BONE to pick with you SISTAH.  THIS is our turf!” (Since I’ve learned from Disney’s ‘My Babysitter is a Vampire’ that vampires are VERY territorial–and according to them, the pesky sunlight problem is readily solved by slapping on some awesome sunglasses ;). ) Have some fun with it!!

Hope that you will give this challenge a try and share your results.  Thanks for stopping by! Would love your feedback.  Happy Crafting and have a great week!!!

GeckoGalz MAKE THIS September Sample

GeckoGalz Gibson Girls fashion show mockup card

I’m the featured Design Team member at GeckoGalz this month!!! Be sure to visit and click on the “Learn how to make this card” butterfly emblem on the left for instructions. For this card, I used the new September releases of the Gibson Girls ephemera page and the Spooky Sentiments Alphabet Soup collection. There’s also some clear translucent paper (think vellum)—not sure where?? Check out the instructions at for deets and other supplies. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!! – P

Smeared Ink Metal Mania Challenge

Fangs are Fabulous---Smeared Ink Metal Mania Challenge

It’s time for a new weekly challenge at the Smeared and Smudged Ink Forum. Have you been playing along? If not, this is the perfect time to hop right on in!!! Each week a new challenge is posted on the Smudgy Antics blog—grab your favorite or newest Smeared Ink image (rubber or digi) and crank out something awesome to share. There are prizes and lots of fun.
I started with a 4×4 chipboard coaster and painted it with Golden Fluid Acrylics in Quinacridone Gold—a fabulous color!! I have to get my glazing medium out and really have some fun soon. I then used Stazon Jet Black ink and a Flourish roller doodle to add a border. The self-adhesive “frame” is from Pressed Petals & is called Monday’s Metal. It was black with white highlights but the white seemed a bit intense so I drybrushed over it with the Quin Gold too. I printed Courtney from the Mistresses of the Dark digi set as a 2×2 passport photo setting on Georgia Pacific white cardstock, colored her with Marvy Uchida LePlume markers (I think they are earth tones.), trimmed it to fit the indentation on the frame and adhered with an Elmer’s acidfree gluestick. I adhered the frame caddy-cornered. The flowers are Offray sheer petals. The hair ornament and sentiment are dimensional stickers bought in the bargain section at Target. The brown in the background is just a piece of cardstock, unless I decide to retake the picture ;). (You can click on the Courtney link to buy her as a single digi or the Mistresses of the Dark link to buy the entire set, that includes two more ladies and some great coordinating sentiments, including Shelby & “tasty” as featured in this post.)
Happy Crafting!! P

Altered trinket box–Marsha’s Craft Therapy Challenge of the Week

Hope this finds everyone safe following weather & other strange happenings.

Altered Box for Craft Therapy Challenge of the week

Here’s a little papier mache box, round, about 3″, that I altered for Marsha’s Challenge at the Facebook Group–Craft Therapy. The image on top is Gecko Galz from a collage sheet for August (Crazy Mannequins). I painted the box with Liquitex Basics acrylics in black. The square images (three on top and several around the sides) are from Hampton Art Paris Montage stamp (think about a dozen inchies of Parisian goodies) –stamped them with Jet Black Stazon on Georgia Pacific white cardstock, colored them (some) with Prismacolor & Cretacolor pencils, cut them out & adhered all the images with Gloss Mod Podge applied to the box & the back of the images. The cameo came in an Art-C ephemera ATC pack (904). The pink trim is from JoAnn’s bargain bins & it & the cameo were adhered with superglue. Hope you like! Have a great week!

I’m adding this to the Try it Tuesday Alter It challenge for this week where the sponsor is The Craft Barn (


Gecko Galz DT–Asian Art Jewelry/Trinket box

AsIan Art Trinket Box (GECKO GALZ image)Side view of Asian Art Trinket box

It’s time again for some beautiful collage sheets, stamps & papers from GeckoGalz!!! There’s loads of magnificent images in the collage sheets alone, that had me changing my mind a couple hundred times.  Ultimately, I took my inspiration from a beautiful lacquered photo album my grandmother had that one of my uncles brought home from his military service days.  It was black with a beautiful inlay of Asian images and highly polished & absolutely gorgeous.

I want to apologize for the quality of this image—the finish is difficultly reflective.
I began with a papier mache’ lidded round box, approximately 3″ in diameter, from Darice. Trace the lid on the image (GECKO GALZ Asian Art Collage sheet, Aug 2011) & cut out image.  I painted the entire outside of it & the lid with Liquitex Basics Mars Black acrylic paint & let it dry.  I then added Gloss acrylic medium/sealant to the entire outer surfaces.  While the top was wet, I added the image & smoothed it out.  Dry. Seal again, including image.  Dry.  With a paint brush & Liquid Leafing in Antique gold, I painted the edge of the image & picked up a few highlights in the screen & the geisha’s robes.  I painted a line around the rim of the lid & the bottom of the box. ( I have a stencil here SOMEWHERE!!! that I want to use & will go back in later with the liquid leaf again to add Asian sentiments on top & the wall of the box.)  Let dry.  Then coat all once again with the gel medium.  The image has a lovely, soft, ethereal feel.  I plan to keep earrings in the box for now but reserve the right to place it into service in my studio later.  😉
I hope you enjoy!!  I welcome your feedback & suggestions!!!! And, if you are so inspired, I’d love to see your lovely creations.
Also at Gecko Galz this month, Zen garden papers, In Stitches collage, In Vogue collage, Asian Art collage, Crazy Mannequins collage, Parasols and Fans collage, sentiments & alphabets——–head on over & check it out for yourself!!
Happy Crafting, Paula

Quick Tutorial for my experimental art journal

VOILA'!! Lying open on its belly

BIND: Knot over center cord & trim ends.

BIND: Tails on both sides of center cord!!!

Starting to BIND

SPINE: 2.5"by 6.5". Place 3 parallel columns of 3 holes, matched to those in signatures to use for binding.

Punch 3 holes in middle fold of signatures thru all layers

Making Signatures: Trim the ends off 12 paper sacks just above their fold

trim the corners

The original project

You may remember about a month ago, I completed this “experimental art journal” for a DT project for Smeared Ink. I had some interest in how I assembled it, so I have tried to create a tutorial here. I am hoping the pics will place where I want them to be ;). NOTE:: I think if you look at the pics in REVERSE order, they will make more sense.  LOL
I began with a corrugated cardboard piece that a book shipped in & today I am using newspaper, rather than the textured paper towel. Terra did a great tutorial at SmearedandSmudged group site under Mixed Media University so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. The quickie version is: aluminum foil, coat with gesso, add paper towel, coat with gesso, DRY. Crumple, flatten, dry brush with acrylics as desired, dry & adhere.
1. Cut two pieces of corrugated cardboard to size (mine are about 6.5″ squared). I am using 8 lb. paper grocery sacks as my pages, so you will need to size to your pages, adding at least 1/2 inch to height and width over page size. Also cut a spine from the cardboard, same height as your covers & mine is 2.5″ wide. (If you think in metric, there are 2.54 cm to each inch.)
2. Adhere “skin” to front & back cover (newspaper here) with your fave adhesive–I used ModPodge but a xyron or even spray adhesive might work better. Smooth & trim to about 1″ extra all around, maybe a bit extra on the spine side edge to help assembly. Let adhesive dry, trim the corners on an angle so that the “skin” only extends about 1/2″ past each corner on a diagonal. Add adhesive to the outside edge and fold over to inside, smooth & secure. Add adhesive to the top & bottom corners, fold to inside, smooth & secure. Add adhesive to top overlap, fold to inside & smooth & secure. Leave spine edge free. Repeat for “back” cover.
I made a book with 3 signatures of 16 pages ( 8 sheets). To do this, take 12 paper sacks & cut the ends off (you don’t have to—you can use them to make pockets or extensions but I wanted my pages to be flat). (SEE PIC) Layer 4 paper sacks to make one signature, fold in half & poke/punch 3 holes in the fold for binding. (Repeat twice more). (SEE PIC) You will attach the signatures directly to the spine as you bind so poke a series of 3 columns of 3 holes to attach the signatures to.
Take thread equal to 2-3 times the length of the signature’s height (I am using Mason’s twine here to demonstrate) (waxed linen is recommended, I have used waxed dental floss & crochet thread as well). Layer spine & one signature (set of 4 punched bags), aligning holes. Insert thread in center hole (numbered 2 here) & pull thru all 4 bags & spine, leaving a 2-3″ tail for tying later. Come up thru hole 1 (or hole 3, it doesn’t really matter) and then down thru hole 3 (or 1, you get the idea), then back up thru hole 2, taking the thread to the opposite side of the long thread from the tail you left earlier. Trim, leaving a 2-3″ tail & knot tails over the center cord/thread. (NOTE: This will make my binding & knot show on the inside of my signature. If you want it to go on the outside, you just go out/up where I asked you to go in/down and so on.) SEE PICS. Repeat for 2 other signatures.
Take spine with attached signatures & front cover, placing them side by side. leaving about 1/8 inch between. Adhere tab left on front cover to back of spine. Repeat with back cover to spine. Here I added two more layers of newspaper running from front cover across spine to back cover for strength, then layered another piece of newspaper over the whole thing by opening the book flat & adhering. Use paper trimmed to about 6″ square to cover insides of front & back cover.
I used some red & blue acrylic craft paints to drybrush over the covers & spine. WIll go back in later & add my Mad Scientist & label. Considering taking Duct Tape to cover the spine for strength & fun effect.
1. The covering is newspaper vs. the paper towel surface, which seemed sturdier. Remember too that I had layered two paper towels, rotating the second 90 degrees before & with the gesso, it was much sturdier.
2. The covers & spine are now corrugated cardboard where the other was chipboard, which seems to make this one a bit sturdier, but I might layer the two next time to see what happens.
3. The decorative elements which I will add later.
Clear as mud, huh?? Hope this is helpful. I can’t get the pics in the order I want them, so I am trying, esp. with the later ones, to label the captions to help, maybe. Please—I welcome your feedback & suggestions. Would love to see what happens when you try this.
Happy Crafting!! Paula

PS> Be sure to head to Smeared & Smudged Ink forum for SMUDGEFEST happening this week—a week of daily challenges to kick off the new DT challenges format that starts next week!!!! There are prizes to be won—a mega prize!!

Missing You Mermaid postcard

Wish you were here

Today I created a “wish you were here” type of postcard using the Smeared Ink Carnies unmounted stamp set. The base is a Daniel Smith 140# coldpress watercolor postcard. The sea items were cut from Bazzilll cardstock using a Slice with the Under the Sea cartridge. The background was colored with dry Karat Aquarell watercolor crayons blended with water. The wave and felt bits in the lower front were from the a Simplicity Complete Craft Studio set. The lovely lady was colored with Plaid Keepsake Colors gel paints and her necklace was colored with a gold gel pen. This left everything too vibrant to suit me so I mixed some Denim Posh Impressions dye ink with a bit of water and sprayed it over everything, except the rickrack, and dabbed off a bit here and there for texture.
Happy Crafting!

P.S. Next week, Smeared Ink will have a new release blog hop featuring Halloween digis.  I should have some other stuff to share before then and I have a tutorial coming this month to show you how I made my experimental art journal.  As always your comments are welcome and I hope to see you back soon!!

Under the Sea ATC

This is the disappearing post from last summer ;).  This was published in Scrapbook News and Review in August 2010.  Something I whipped up, forcing myself to add dimension to an ATC. See I usually store my ATCs in trading card pages and so I tend to make them flat but wanted to start adding dimension. This one was a fun experiment. I used Glimmermist Copper & Periwinkle and a teal one I made on some recycled Tyvek envelope. Stamping was with Ranger Vintage ink in Licorice. The mermaid stamp was from Big Lots and then fussy cut out. Used Perfect Pearls in Forever blue on her scales & forever purple on her comb & mirror. Forever red on her hair—all these were applied with water, then layered with Worn Lipstick Distress Stickles. The seahorse and shell are die cut with Cuttlebug Under the Sea (2×6). Then there are fibers and dried lavendar to simulate seaweed, etc. Just in front of the shell, that’s gold tissue paper punched with a Martha Stewart punch, crumpled & layered.  Still not quite what I wanted but definitely dimensional LOL. Thanks for looking & Happy Crafting! P.

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GeckoGalz Design Team Member July 2011-July 2012

Smeared Ink Design Team