Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Taylored Expressions May Studio Challenge

Hello! It's time for the May Taylored Expressions Baker's Dozen Studio Challenge. This is a monthly opportunity for us to share what makes our stamping studios hum. Each month we have a fun, crafty question so we can share our favorites, some tips and tricks, stamping advice and more.

The question for May is:

What is your favorite time of the year? Some of us love the sunshine and heat and summer, while some of us long for the crisp cool air of fall. Do spring flowers make your heart sing or is it snow and the smell of pine needles that makes you jolly? Tell us about your favorite month or season and also tell us about your favorite time of year to stamp.

Living in Arizona, I don't really give a lot of thought to our seasons since it is sunny and warm/hot for most of the year. I think my answer might be different if I lived in a place that had a change of seasons... ;) I'd have to say, though, that despite having terrible allergies, Spring is one of my favorite seasons. I love to see plants and trees that have been dormant suddenly come to life and bloom. Whenever I think of Spring, I think of soft pastels, so to begin with, I made a 6x6 layout and hung it off of the Frame Your Imagination Vertical Stand. This wooden stand was designed to be used with TE calendar inserts, but it can also be used to display scrapbook layouts, recipes, etc. The possibilities are endless!

To start, I made my background paper using a Gelli Arts gel printing plate. I'll be the first to admit that mixed media has never really interested me (likely because it involves paints and I've never been very adept at painting). I've seen Mona create gorgeous backgrounds using the gel printing plate and decided to give it a try. I can honestly say that I am hooked! I started by brayering on a few different colors of paint onto my gel plate, then I randomly stamped parts of the Hexagon Big Background stamp (this removes some of the paint from my plate). Next I placed a sheet of watercolor paper over the plate to get my print. Once it dried, I cut out a 6 x 6 square which became the background for my layout. I adhered this to a 6 x 6 piece of acid free chipboard to make my layout more sturdy.

I didn't want to take the focus away from my background, so I added some simple stitching around, a few flourishes (using the new Curly Swirlies and a sentiment from Moka Morgana around the photo of my ballerina. To embellish, I added a few Swarovski crystals to my swirls.

A few {several?} years ago, my niece, Evie, asked me if I would make her a perpetual calendar. Of course, I said yes, but then I got busy and never got around to making one for her. I decided to start on hers and try to add to it little by little. I used the Perpetual Occasions Calendar. Since Spring is my favorite season, I completed April and May in her calendar.

I created my background paper with my gel printing plate. I added very subtle stamping using one of the background images (looks like cheesecloth) from It's in the Bag. There's no stamping on this 4 x 4 square. I used the Windy Tree die and added the silhouette of the tree and the stitched on the word "dream".

For May, I used some leftover paper from my layout (you can see the detail from the Hexagon Big Background stamp). I used Silhouette Stems 1 for my flowers and the sentiment is from Friendship Blooms.

Calendars, especially homemade calendars, make great gifts! And, as I've shown you in my first project, some of the products can be used for non-calendar projects. Be sure to check out the TE store to see more calendar products, here.

Please visit the rest of the Baker's Dozen for more Studio Challenge inspiration:

Stephanie Kraft (you are here)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

6 x 6 Layout | Supplies from the TE store:

Stamps: Hexagon Big Background, Moka Morgana (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Choice Snow White (Taylored Expressions), Pink, Watercolor, Chipboard
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Taylored Dies: Banner Stacklets 1, Curly Swirlies (Taylored Expressions); Swarovski crystals, Brads (WRMK), Acrylic paint, Frame Your Imagination Stand, Thread, Sewing machine.

April 4 x 4 Calendar Layout | Supplies from the TE store:

Paper: Choice Snow White (Taylored Expressions), Smokey Shadow (PTI), Watercolor
Accessories: Taylored Dies: Windy Tree (Taylored Expressions), Perpetual Occasions Calendar, Acrylic paint, Thread, Sewing machine.

May 4 x 4 Calendar Layout | Supplies from the TE store:

Stamps: Friendship Blooms, Hexagon Big Background (Taylored Expressions)
Paper Choice Snow White (Taylored Expressions), Watercolor
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Taylored Dies: Silhouette Stems 1 (Taylored Expressions), Perpetual Occasions Calendar, Acrylic paint, Thread, Sewing machine.


  1. Hi Stephanie! Your projects are so pretty and elegant and classy! Love the scrap page of your sweet daughter. Have a wonderful day.

  2. Wow, Stephanie, where do I start? Your scrap page is gorgeous, I love the soft colors! I feel the same about mixed media but I have to say that you did a beautiful job with it. Sabrina looks so graceful and elegant, simply beautiful! Your niece will love her calendar too!

  3. OH Wow Stephanie! These are all so Soft and definitely springy and just Gorgeous Lady! I would be totally intimidated with attempting mixed Media! And I so Agree with Shelly, you did a Beautiful Job with it! Love the Wonderful pic of Sabrina! And I know you niece is Sooo going to love her calendar! 8-)


  4. So beautiful Stephanie! Such a sweet photo of Sabrina! Love the soft beautiful background that you created!

  5. Wow...just wow! Stephanie, you rock with Mixed Media! I've never been into it before either, but after seeing your gorgeous projects, I might have to try my hand at it. Beautiful!

  6. WOW!!! Stephanie you are amazing - you make mixed media look so easy - the way you created the backgrounds - so soft and dreamy! The layout with your daughter is just so special and gorgeous and the calendar layouts are so dreamy and soft and beautiful!! So inspiring!!! Big hugs!

  7. These are so pretty! The perpetual calendar is a great gift idea!


  8. Love the subtle mixed media backgrounds. Beautifully done!!

  9. Really wonderful what you did with this calendar project! Love the photos. The pale blue colors remind me of winter which is a favorite time of year for me, since I get to do more crafting then!

  10. more great ideas to oogle over! So nice, thank you for them! My favorite season is the fall. I love the cooler days and nites with the windows open!! I love to stamp in any season...in a house with a mouse, in a tree with a bee, anytime just my stamps and me!

  11. Absolutely stunning creations. I love the month of June when it's still not to hot and the school year is winding down--looking ahead to lazy summer days with my kids. I love to stamp in any season:-)


Thanks so much for stopping by!