Challenge: Black, white and one color

April’s challenge at Scrap It Girl is to create a project using only black and white and one additional color.

I decided to stick with mostly white — using black and yellow as an accent — and play with texture. Here’s what I came up with ….


This is one of my new chickens, Emma, an Ameraucana hen. She’ll lay blue eggs when she grows up. Chickens grow so fast and change so quickly, I take lots of pictures and I thought this one would be perfect for this month’s challenge.

I started by ripping a piece of paper (Stampin’ Up), folded the corner, stapled it and then adhered it to white cardstock. Then I used Texture Paste and a Dylusions stencil to add to the background.

April_Candy_Spiegel2I triple matted the photo to make Emma really stand out and cut out a little tag for her name. I also added some white embossed chicken feet to the area under the tag, but they are hard to see.


I also added a few ribbons and some vintage buttons to the page.


Then I added a few fibers and some little pearls.


(I know there is a pink cast to my pages … it was the only way I could get all of the white layers to really show up in the photo).

Now it is your turn. Create a project using only the colors white, black and one other. A project can be anything … a card, scrapbook page, home decor, banner, altered art, mixed media …. whatever you choose. Then share it at Scrap It Girl before the end of April. You could win a great selection of prizes! Good luck!!

A Jar of Gifts

A friend asked me if I would make up a gift certificate for one of her customers. I wanted to make something really special, so I came up with these …

030Aren’t they adorable?!

Here’s how I did them …

017I started with the Canning Jars 3D die from Sizzix. I wanted to make a card with the die, rather than just cut out the jar image. So, I folded and scored a card and positioned it with the fold just inside the left side of the jar, like this…



Because this is a thick, steel-rule die, it will cut through two pieces of heavy cardstock at the same time, making this completely doable!

021Next, I cut out the jar lid out of Ranger’s adhesive-backed foil and attached them to the front of the jar.

022The lid is slightly larger than the card, which left a little bit of sticky on the backside. To fix that, I applied a little bit of baby powder to the edges to eliminate the sticky.

I then inked the edges of the jar with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

023The gift certificate that I made barely fit in the jar so I made a little strip of paper and used the Tiny Attacher to attach the edges to the card. Then, the certificate just slips inside and is held in place. Perfect!

024I added a bit of lace from Stampin’ Up to the front with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive. The trick here is to put the dots of glue on the flowers, set it on the cardstock and leave it be for 5 minutes to allow the glue to work. Then, you can flip it over and trim off the edges to fit the jar.

I tied a bit of bakers twine to the front side of the lid and then created a label. I cut cardstock 2″ x 1″ and then rounded the edges.



Next, I stamped Just For You (from Stampin’ Up) and two dotted stripes from Tami Potter’s stamp from Impression Obsession.



029I added a little ink on the edges and adhered them to the lace.

gift jars_candy_spiegel_2013And, it all fits inside of card-sized envelope.

Who wouldn’t want to receive a gift card like this??!!?








Altered Window Art

My favorite project during the retreat at Sunset Shores was making an altered window.

When I first learned we would be creating these, I will admit that I was a bit skeptical. While I am a country girl and I love antiques, I’m not really into the primitive, paint-peeling, dirty sorts of things that old windows are. But, I figured I would give it a try and see what happens.

As you can see, here, it turned out amazingly wonderful!

My house is a little lake cottage, so I took measurements of the only wall I could think to hang it on before I left. Fortunately, I was able to select a window that fit — just barely — into the space.

I forgot to take a photo of the old window before I started, but here it is after just the first step:

It was plain, devoid of most paint on the inside and came with two tiny nails and a screw where a handle used to be.

The first step was a technique I had not heard of before … gesso and a stencil. We just spread the gesso on like frosting over a home decor stencil and let it dry. It is absolutely amazingly beautiful and I am sure I’ll be trying it on different objects soon … it added just a bit of depth.

Next came the paint. I used Adirondack Paint Dabbers (although I used a brush) in Butterscotch, Hazelnut and White. I kept going over the layers using a dry brush with little paint until I got close to the patina I wanted. Then, I went back with a lot of water and a little paint and created sort of a whitewash effect.

(click on the photos for a better view)

Next came another technique I hadn’t tried before, but loved … printing clip art on tissue paper and then using Glue ‘N Seal to adhere it to the frame. I added another coat of whitewash over the top to tone down the colors a bit.

After that was done, we made a banner. I brought my own paper and modified it a bit (I’m not a fan of rosettes), so I used the Tattered Flowers die from Tim Holtz and two layers of dimensional foam adhesive to make mine. The letters are cut from chipboard and cardstock (adhered together), inked with Distress Ink and then covered with UTEE. It spells out Family, although it is hard to see in the photo.

For the bottom two windows, I glued a piece of chalkboard paper to the front side of one (still have to get some chalk) and then used Glue N Seal to glue a photo of my kids on the back side of the window on the other. The color you see on that pane is the wall.

For this pane, I used Alcohol Inks to alter a piece of chicken wire and stapled it along the edges. Then I used cute little hooks to hang a couple of photos of my chickens on them. The vintage buttons are glued on the front of the window pane. The color behind is the wall.

For the final pane, I taped a piece of printed paper to the back side of the window.

On the frame, I screwed in two screws and wrapped some wire around a tiny glass bottle to hold it in place. The bottle is decorated with Tissue Tape and filled with rye grass. I made a charm with paper, Glastique and a tag from Tim Holtz.


I used the same technique to attach this old insulator the frame. I plan to use it as a chalk dispenser.


These pieces of faux metal hardware began life as corrugated cardboard.


I ran them through an embossing folder and then used Piccolo enamel powders from Globecraft Memories to make them look like metal. They were too shiny for the window, so I sanded them down and applied a bit of Ranger Archival Ink to them. I still didn’t get the look I wanted so I used a friends brown wash to paint them a bit. Eventually, I got the look above, which was perfect.

And, there you have it … one amazing window. I still would like to hang something off of the screw at the bottom, but until I figure out what I want, it’s done …

Now I’m thinking of making another for my living room …











Bunny Water: Updated

UPDATE: I can’t believe I completely forgot the most important part of this project.

Once finished, I coated the all of the paper and stickers with Glue ‘n Seal by Ranger. This product goes on white/semi-clear and dries crystal clear. It comes in either matte or gloss (I used matte). Once dry, it becomes waterproof. I know it is hard to believe, but I did a birdhouse some time ago and coated it in Glue ‘n Seal. It has been sitting outside in the weather ever since and although some of the papers have faded, there is absolutely no deterioration from water. It is amazing.

So, I coated these papers in Glue ‘n Seal, too, since there is no way to continually fill and pour from a pop bottle without dripping a bit of water. Thank you, Ranger, for another great project!


Our rabbits are not located near a water source. So, we fill up a container in the kitchen sink, take it out back and then fill each of the bunny’s water bowls.

My husband decided a 2-liter bottle works best (and he’s right). The cap prevents any spillage along the way and it holds more than enough water to wash out and refill the bowls.

But, looking at an empty pop container in my kitchen was not an option, so I altered it …

I used the Summer Fresh line from Simple Stories. It has that country feel that matches perfectly in my kitchen. (click on the photos for a larger view).

I removed the label off the pop bottle and wrapped it in the navy floral print. Since the circumference of the bottle is longer than 12″, it left a gap on the back side. I created a tag out of another sheet of paper and attached it so it looks like this …

Then I added a bunny I cut out with my Cricut and a variety of stickers to complete the look.

The word water was printed off of my Cricut using my Gyspy. The letters that make “bunny” are just some left over sticker letters from long ago.

I love how it turned out and I think I might be making another … though probably not for the bunnies. I think this is a great idea to create custom labels so the bottles of soda match the decor at your next party.

Technique Thursday: Perfect Pearls Mist

Today’s technique uses homemade sparkly mists, or Perfect Pearls Mist.

They are easy to create and practically free, since they use the Perfect Pearls and Distress Re-Inkers you probably already have at home. Ranger does make a line that you can purchase, but making your own gives you hundreds of color choices.

Since Tim Holtz has a video of this and there is no way I could do it any better, I thought I would just show you how he makes them …

Perfect Pearls Mist

Pretty cool, eh?!

I did this very simple card front using the new Summer Distress Inks …

After applying the ink, I spritzed it with mist made with the Picked Raspberry ink and Biscotti powder. Since Distress Ink reacts with water, the spritz helped to mix the colors and created a little pattern. However, because of the Perfect Pearls, it also sparkles. After it dried (with a heat tool because I am very impatient), I added some Tissue Tape and a stamp. Very cool. Very easy. Very cheap. But very beautiful.

Once you create your ink, what can you do with it?

— color white or cream paper flowers (like those from Prima or KaiserCraft)

— create amazing backgrounds

— use with masks

— use with Crafter’s Workshop templates

— add a bit of sparkle

— and so much more …

Stop by Capture A Memory today from 2-6 p.m., bring an empty Mini Mister (or buy one at the store), and I will help you make a bottle of your very own — free!

I can’t wait to see you!

Technique Thursday: Crackle Paint

It’s Thursday (or nearly Thursday, depending on when you are reading this) and that means it is time to learn a new technique. This week, we are focusing on Distress Crackle Paint.

This is a great product, with the brush attached to the lid and a quick, one-step painting process. And, since all I know I about crackle paint came from the master, Tim Holtz, I thought I would start by sharing a video he made.

Distress Crackle Paint

A few highlights: It should be the consistency of mayo or peanut butter … if you want it thinner, just add water.

Always shake before using.

Apply an even, medium coat of paint and let air dry. Once it starts to crack, you can speed up the process with a heat gun.

One thing I like to use Crackle Paint on is a die cut.

I cut this fence (from QuicKutz) from textured dark brown cardstock and then painted it with Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint. I love the different looks I get by applying the paint thinner in some areas and how some of the brown shows through. (click on the image for a better view)

Another technique, like Tim does in the video, is to use the Crackle Paint as a resist. Since Distress Ink will not stick to it, you can stamp with Distress Ink on the dried Crackle Paint and then wipe it off of the paint portion.

When I tried this technique, I did not have a finished idea in mind. I just started grabbing scraps off of my table, added some paint and then went to work at the scrapbook store. When I came home several hours later, I pulled out my newest Tim Holtz stamp and decided the gas pump would be great to hide behind the paint. As I was inking with Black Soot Distress Ink, I realized the service attendant was also going to be on Crackle Paint. I didn’t think he would appreciate being headless, so I inked his half of the stamp with Ranger Archival Ink and the other half with the Distress Ink. Then, I stamped it and wiped off the pump portion and watched the pump move “behind” the paint, like magic!

Finally, I wanted to share a project I made some time ago in a class with my friend Linda Neff.

It started as a bright red frame from IKEA. I then painted it with Crackle Paint and then sanded some of it off. It created a beautiful patina on the frame. Here’s a closer look:

To see these samples in person and to try the paint out for yourself, stop by Capture A Memory in Flint Township. I’ll be there from 2-6 p.m. Thursday helping you try this new technique. See you there!

Technique Thursday: Liquid Pearls

Time completely got away from me this week … I pulled something in my back, spent time with my daughter, helped out at Capture A Memory, taught a class, wrote a few articles for Michigan Scrapbooker magazine, planted flowers, and helped my husband build a chicken coop for meat chickens and a couple of turkeys. I have to pause here and show you the turkeys because they are so cute …

They remind me of little ostriches.

This is the little turkey showing off and declaring dominance against my husband. He never does it to me, but every time my husband comes by, those feathers come out and he struts about. Hilarious!

Needless to say, there has not been a lot of time for crafting projects that could be placed online. So, I have decided to give in and let Father Time have this past week and I will start fresh this week with an early peek at Technique Thursday — LIQUID PEARLS.

Liquid Pearls are made by Ranger and they come in a little bottle like Stickles. They are a dimensional paint with a pearl finish and are a great economical way to make pearl gems on a page. They can be used on just about any surface, including fabric.

Here is a bottle I altered … it was from IKEA and was filled with some sort of berry juice my husband loves. I liked the shape, so I kept it. I attached an image from Crafty Secrets and then created a design around the bottle with dots of Liquid Pearls. I let it dry between sections so I wouldn’t accidentally ruin something I had already finished (trust me, I do this a lot and it is not pretty). Then, I added a few flowers from KaiserCraft and Prima to finish it off.

Here’s a close-up of the pattern at the bottom …

The lid had a code on it, so I used Liquid Pearls and a paint brush to make a rippled effect on the cap …

Next, I made this card with Basic Grey paper, flowers from KaiserCraft, and a Tim Holtz Die Cut flower.

I love using Liquid Pearls as flower centers.

For the giant center flower, I painted a thin coat of Liquid Pearls onto the cardstock die cut. When dry, I traced the edge with another color and added a bunch of dots to make the flower center.

You can also use Liquid Pearls on fabric …

This is just a piece of muslin. I used a paintbrush to apply Liquid Pearls to a rubber stamp and stamped the flowers on the fabric. Then, I added flower centers, leaves and a little pattern with different colors of Liquid Pearls. Imagine how cute something like this could be on the pocket of an apron or at the top of a baby’s onesie!?!

Come into Capture A Memory on Thursday from 2-6 p.m. and try out Liquid Pearls for yourself.  I know you will love them.

By the way, Capture A Memory is hiring, so if you are looking for a part-time job in the scrapbooking industry, or you know someone who is, please have them call or stop by.

Technique Thursday: Embossing

There are so many amazing rubber stamps on the market these days, I cannot imagine not stamping. I use stamps all of the time in many of my projects and I love them.

A few weeks ago, one of the customers at Capture A Memory in Flint Township asked me about embossing. So, in her honor, we are going to emboss this week for Technique Thursday.

You can use any type of stamp to emboss with. You can also use a variety of inks — an embossing pad, Distress Ink Embossing Pad, Versamark or any pigment ink pad. As long as the ink stays wet long enough to sprinkle powder and heat it, you can use it.

First, you need a heat-resistant surface to work on. You can use your Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet or you can make a surface by covering a clipboard with aluminum foil. This works well because you can clip the corner of your art to the board and protect your fingers from the heat.

Step 1: (optional) Wipe the paper you intend to work on with a dryer sheet or anti-static pad. This helps prevent stray embossing powder from clinging to the paper around your image.

Step 2: Tap the stamp lightly onto the ink pad until the entire image is covered and then press straight down onto your paper. Apply a bit of pressure and then lift straight up. I used Ranger’s embossing pad, which is nice because it is tinted so you can see the image. Notice the light teal image stamped on the right side of the paper below. (click on the image for a larger view)

Step 3: Sprinkle the image with embossing powder. I like to use a tiny metal spoon (it cuts down on the static). I also put the image on top of a coffee filter to collect the excess so I can dump it back into my container. Coffee filters do not hold on to static, so they are great with glitter and embossing powder. Once the image is covered, gently tap off the excess. Do not flick the paper like you do with glitter or you will take too much off.

Step 4: If you have embossing powder outside of where you want it, like I do in the image below, use a small paintbrush to get rid of the excess.

Step 5: Now you are ready to heat it. Place it on a heat-resistant surface and heat it with a heat gun (Ranger’s is my favorite. It’s quiet, it doesn’t blow much and it is hot.) DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WITH A HAIR DRYER. It will just blow your powder all over. Hold the heat gun in one place until you see the powder change. In most cases, it will become shiny. Notice the chicks on the right of this sample … they are finished. The ones on the left are still waiting to be heated.

That’s it! It is really rather simple, once you know how to do it.

Now, for a few more tips …

If you do not want to buy lots of colors of embossing powder, buy clear and use the ink colors you already have. It will give you the same effect.

You can also use your embossing powders to change the colors of brads, frames or even shrink plastic. Just cover the area you want to emboss in embossing ink, sprinkle on some powder and heat.

Not all embossing powders give you a shiny smooth finish. Some are more transparent. Some have glitter. Some have more of a matte finish. I love these by JudiKins because they are a mix of colors. I used Granite on the flamingos.

Some embossing powders retain their bumpy feel even after heating.

This jar was embossed with Ranger’s Antiquities embossing powder in cement. It stays rough even after heating.

Now it is time for you to try your hand at embossing. Stop by Capture A Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. today and give it a try. I’ll see you there!


A One-Paper Card

I love layering patterned paper in both my layouts and cards. However, creating a card with lots of layers can get quite pricey. In this card, for example, I used seven different patterned papers, plus a blank card. If I was to buy those to make just this one card, it would cost me about $8 — before I added the pearls, Distress Stickles and roses.

But, when KaiserCraft makes a single sheet of double-sided paper with multiple patterns on it, I can buy one sheet of paper for about $1 and create this beautiful card! Even better, I have four squares left to make another. Pretty cost-effective, don’t you think!?


Paper, flowers, pearls: KaiserCraft

Card Base: Michael’s

Distress Ink, Distress Stickles: Ranger/Tim Holtz

Die cut: QuicKutz

Pop Dots: EK Success

Technique Thursday: Embossed Foil Tape

When my friend Linda showed me this technique, I fell in love with it.

So, today I am sharing it virtually here and from 2-6 p.m. at Capture A Memory in Flint Township.

The technique uses Inkssentials’ Foil Tape Sheets, an embossing folder, Claudine Hellmuth Studio’s Gesso, Adirondack Alcohol Inks and Ranger Archival Ink.

Here’s Linda’s video …

And here is what I created using the technique:

The gears are made from embossed foil and then die cut with Tim Holtz/Sizzix mini gears die. I added a few other metal embellishments from the Tim Holtz line (and his papers, too)

These papers are also from Tim Holtz. The brad is from my collection.

I used a variety of Tim Holtz/Inkssentials products to turn a piece of embossed foil into a piece of jewelry. The clear beads are from Maya Road and the little gears are from the hardware store.

Of course, with every technique there is always another way … With this card, I skipped the Gesso and just did alcohol ink on embossed foil. I then cut it out with Tim’s Tiny Tabs die. The papers are also from Tim Holtz and the stamp is from Northwoods.

I also like this technique without the black Archival Ink on top. Personally, I like the bright colors!

I hope you’ll stop by the store and see me today to try out this new technique for yourself.