Perfect Peacock Journal

Perfect Peacock Detail

Hello and welcome back!


I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t love and admire the beauty of Peacocks. Their colors and plumed fan like feathers are absolutely magnificent.  When I saw the Stampin’ Up!’s Perfect Peacock stamp I knew I had to have it. I stamped and colored it many, many times and was never satisfied with the results. I couldn’t capture the brilliant colors, until I designed this Perfect Peacock Journal for one of my workshops. I did what I’m calling, “The Block Watercolor Technique!”

Perfect Peacock Journal Final

The journal I used can be found at any local craft store. These I found at Michael’s and they were on clearance, which made them even more attractive. This journal measures 5″ x 7″ and the measurements I’m providing are for a 5″ x 7″ journal. If your journal measurements are bigger or smaller you’ll have to adjust them. If you need help figuring out the measurements for a different sized journal, just leave me a comment and I’ll figure it out for you. So, let’s get started.




Ink Pads pn Acrylic Block

1. To begin this technique you’ll need a Stampin’ Up! Clear Block “A”  The block will work as a stamp and you need to ink it up, by  adding the color straight from the ink pads. To do this simply drag the Ink Pads across the block. For the featured peacock I used, Tempting Turquoise, Bermuda Bay and Old Olive Ink Pads. The photo to the left shows another color combination. In this combination, I used Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive, and Perfect Plum.


Perfect Peacock Watercolor Sample 1


2.  Before you stamp from the block, spray a few squirts of water on to the block using a  Stampin’ Spritzer. Now this can get a bit messy. You now will stamp directly from the inked up block to a piece of Watercolor Paper. You can either flip the inked up block or you can leave the block facing up and lay the piece of Watercolor Paper directly over the block. I like to flip the block, because the colors run and blend nicely this way.


3. Let the stamped Watercolor Paper dry for a few hours or overnight.





1. Tempting Turquoise~ 4-5/8″ x 7″ (Cut two)


2. Night of Navy~ 4″ x 6-3/8″


3. Very Vanilla~ 3-5/8″ x 6″


If your journal has any rounded corners like the sample does, round off the corners with the Corner Punch.





Now you might think this peacock took hours to color and it probably does if you had to color each individual feather. Well, now it’s time to use that Watercolor Paper that was stamped with the block and waiting.

Perfect Peacock Practice


1. Ink up the Perfect Peacock stamp in Memento Ink. With the stamp facing up, lay the Watercolor Paper ink~side down. Lay it over the stamped peacock stamp carefully and with a Bone Folder rub across the back. Now, pull the Watercolor Paper straight up. You can stamp the traditional way by stamping on to the paper, but this way works better because of all the dimples in the Watercolor Paper.


2. Color in to add some depth and details. No need to color everything, because it’s already done. The inked up block took care of that.


3. Once you’re happy with the coloring, carefully cut out the peacock. Cut the peacock away from the flowers. Cut the peacock’s head plume off as well. Put aside.


4. On the piece of Very Vanilla Cardstock, stamp the peacock in Memento Ink. Color in the flowers with colored pencils or Blendabilities or other alcohol makers, such as Copics.




Perfect Peacock Detail 1


1. Layer and adhere all the cut cardstock with Multi~Purpose Glue. The glue will hold everything together best. Use the second piece of Tempting Turquoise Cardstock on the back of the journal.


2. Add glue to the back of the cut out colored peacock and place it over the stamped image on the Very Vanilla Layer.


And, now you truly have a Perfect Peacock!


Check back later this week when I’ll share a card project using this Block Watercolor Technique!


Thanks for stopping by and check out the product carousel at the bottom of this post to order the materials used to create this Perfect Peacock Journal.


Embrace the day,




Mixed Media: Beautiful Butterfly

Once again I’m excited to share this post with you. This is a Mixed Media piece we did at my “Mixed Media Workshop.” The workshop took place in July, but I’m just now getting around to post it. Most everything used for this canvas can be Stampin’ Up! I had detailed photos, but my Grandson got hold of my camera and reformatted all the pictures I had. When I went to up-load them they couldn’t be read by my computer. He’s a genius! haha  I know this is a very loooooong blog post, but there’s a lot of information here for you.

Butterfly Mixed Media Canvas

These mixed media pieces are a lot of fun to make, because ANYTHING GOES! There’s no right or wrong way of creating them. There are a few things to keep in mind and please note these are general guidelines.  Your piece even following these instructions will look completely different. And, that’s the way it should be. After all it’s your work of art and it should reflect you.


The first thing to remember in creating this mixed media canvas piece is to use a variety of inks, paints, rub-ons, stamps and textures. After all that’s what mixed media is. You want lots of layers. There are a few things to keep in mind and please note these are general guidelines. Another thing to remember is to either use Acrylic Spray or Mod Podge between each layer.


Items you’ll need: Stamps:  Swallowtail, Papillon Potpourri, Ink Refills, StazOn or Momento Ink Pads, Designer Series Paper, Spritzers,  Sponges, 1″ Paint Brush, Gesso, Acrylic Spray or Mod Podge, Stencils or Masks, Computer Generated Art, Decorative Tissues, Ribbon, Rub-Ons and any other Embellishments you that work with your idea


This Beautiful Butterfly canvas was created in the following way:


1.  Buy a Pre-Stretched Canvas from your local craft store. They frequent;y run sales on 5 to 10 in a pack.  Believe me you’ll want a pack, because you’ll want to make more then just one.  That’s only my opinion though.



2.   Once you have your canvas You’ll want to brush or sponge on Gesso* or White Acrylic Paint. Either material works well to prepare the canvas. Think of these as a primer that will enable you to use less of all your pretty colors. Let the gesso or paint dry completely.


*Gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment or any combination of these. It is used in artwork as a preparation on any number of surfaces as a base for paint or other materials that are applied over it.


3. Once the Gesso  has dried, give your canvas a light coat of Acrylic Spray. The Acrylic Spray will hold the Gesso in place so it doesn’t pull up when you do your other layers over it.


4.   Once the Acrylic Spray has dried the fun really begins. The choice is yours for this layer. You can use any ink refill of choice in a spritzer and just spritz  on this layer.  You need to be careful that you don’t make gray, by mixing too many colors. I try to go with two or three colors and a white to really pop certain areas. Let the colors dry and if you want more intensity, spritz again.


5.   When the last layer is dry, spray another coat of Acrylic Spray over the whole canvas. This will protect this water based layer from pulling up when you work on top layers.



6.   Next, take some stencils such as the Stampin’ Up!’s Dots & Stripes or the Hearts & Stars Masks or what I love to use is Punchinella.  Punchinella is fun plastic ribbon that is left over after sequins are punched out, often called “sequin waste” or “sequin scrim.”  I love to use it as a stencil for creating backgrounds.



7.   You can layer on textured fabric, lace ribbon such as Stampin’ Up!’s Venetian Crochet Trim.  Mod Podge® can be used on this layer. Mod Podge®, is an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish! Apply the Mod Podge® with a soft brush or sponge.


8.  When most of your underlying layers are done move on to the saying or words and the butterfly images. For the saying simply computer generate one of your favorites and print it out on your home computer.  Cut it close to the type and adhere it with the Mod Podge®


9.   The large butterfly image is the Stampin’ Up! Swallowtail Stamp.  Stamp out the butterfly on some white tissue paper in StazOn Ink if you’re using colored pencils. I used StazOn and colored pencils on this piece.  Stamp out smaller butterflies on the tissue paper as well. Once colored, roughly cut ou the images. You don’t need to be exact with the cutting, because the edges of the tissue paper will blend into the canvas when you Mod Podge® them down.  You can also use magazine pictures.  If you want to use the Blenabilities Markers stamp the butterfly in Momento Ink. Here’s the difference in ink types and when to use them:


Memento Ink Pad (132708):_____________________________________________________

The Memento Ink Pad is a dye based ink pad which dries quickly and is perfect for all kinds of paper. The reason Memento Ink dries quickly, like all of Stampin’ Up! classic ink pads, is the ink literally dyes the paper or cardstock. The color gets soaked into the fibers of the paper. The Memento Ink Pad is water based which means it is not waterproof, so you can’t color images with water-colors or other water-based mediums, because the ink will run together. However, since the new Stampin’ Up! Blendabilities are alcohol based it is safe to use Momento Ink with these, because the two different ink types won’t bleed together. Since Memento Ink is water-based clean up can be done using Stampin’ Mist (102394).


Staz-On Ink Pad (101406):_______________________________________________________

Staz-On is a solvent based ink and once dried Staz-On is permanent on almost any surface, including plastic, glass, ceramic, metal, wood and card-stock. Since Staz-On, unlike Memento Ink, does not get soaked up by paper fibers, rather it dries on the surface. Staz-On is a permanent ink; use it to stamp images to watercolor, because the watercolor won’t make the Staz-On bleed. Use the Staz-On with Stampin’ Up! Markers (131264). Clean your stamps with Staz-On Cleaner (109196)


10.   Step back and look your canvas over.  It’s not too late to add more color, rub-ons or images if needed.


11.   Give everything one last good coat of Acrylic Spray or Mod Podge®


Here are some of the Mixed Media pieces the class made.




For another step by step tutorial with photos of my avian canvas, go to My Avian Mixed Media Project 


Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you learned something new. Now it’s your turn. Sit down and see what you can come up with. If you live in the Westchester, Putnam County, New York areas I’ll be offering more classes in Mixed Media. To find out where and when sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar of this blog.


As always hugs,

Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator



Stamped Silk Pillows…

Once again I had the honor of being a guest speaker and teacher for the November monthly meeting of the Handweavers Guild of Westchester County, NY.


My stamping and artistic abilities pale compared to this wonderful and talented group of ladies. The meetings take place at the beautiful Marymount College. Within the college, is a weavers room where the meetings are held.


In our age of the quick purchase, the impulse to weave seems almost inconceivable. I mean we can go into any store or on-line and buy any serviceable wall hanging, throw or table runner. Who has the time to become tangled in yarn, adjusting tension and counting threads? Apparently, an increasing number of people do as indicated by the weary refugees from the high stress work place, straggle in to learn and do the ancient craft of weaving.


Here are some pictures of the Guild Ladies with their Hand Stamped Silk Pillows:


Textile Guild

Textile Guild 2


Daphne Silk Pillow Stamping

Jean Silk Pillow

Liz Silk Pillow Staping




Peggy Silk Pillow Stamping Raye Silk Pillow Stamping





Wendy-Silk Pillow Stamping Wendy's Silk Pillow














Stamped Silk Pillow









How to Hand Stamp a Silk Pillow:


1. Wherever you get your pillow cover from, chances are it will have wrinkles. Iron the wrinkles away by, damping the pillow cover, place a folded piece of muslin or another fabric on top of the silk cover and press on the iron’s lowest warm setting.


2. Once ironed, on the inside of the pillow cover, place a piece of wax or freezer paper, cut to size, to prevent ink from going through to the back.


3. Using Stampin’ Craft Ink Spots, stamp up the images as you would on card stock, randomly and in a pleasing manner.


4. After all the images are stamped, take a Sponge Dauber and your choice of Craft Ink and in horizontal strokes fill in the white background. Heat set with an iron.

Thank you Erika and ladies for inviting me as a guest speaker.

You have convinced me to take up weaving!!

Thanks for stopping by…

Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


A Razzle Dazzle Gardener’s Journal…


How many of you have these journals floating around the house from your local craft or dollar store? I have had these for over 6 months and forgot about them until I was planning for Friday’s class. I’m glad remembered I had them because they came out great. The class had such a good time making these. They really are too nice to give away but, who wouldn’t want to receive one of these for Mother’s Day or as a garden journal for that gardener in your life. That’s exactly what I am going to use mine for. I’ll post what I put inside of it and maybe all of this will inspire you to make some of your very own. Here it is:

DSC_0451  I was lucky enough to have journals with the pretty purple border. I used colors that I thought complimented the purple. For the cover I used Certainly Celery Card Stock. I measured the journal and added 3/4″ on the three sides. Then I scored the Certainly Celery on the 3/4″ line and cut out the two squares the score lines formed in the upper and lower right corners so, when it was wrapped around the journal there wouldn’t be too much card stock underneath. On the cover I stamp the swirl image from the Priceless Stamp Set in Certainly Celery Ink. This added a little dimension to the paper. Along the top and bottom edges in Lovely Lilac Ink  (soon to be retired) I stamped the large flower motif from the Razzle Dazzle Stamp Set.

For the cover label I cut a scallop oval with my Big Shot and the Scallop Bigz Die in So Saffron Card Stock. I then stamped the same large flower motif in Lovely Lilac Ink. ALong the edge of the scallop I sponged Lovely Lilac. I repeated the same for the back cover omitting the label.


For the inside cover I made a pocket envelope by measuring and cutting a 12″ x 4-1/8″ piece of So Saffron Card Stock. I then scored it at 6-5/8″ and 10″ to form a pocket and an outside flap. Along one edge of the flap I used my Scallop Edge Punch to make a pretty edge. I sponged the scallop edge with Lovely Lilac and once again, with the large flower motif I stamped it as shown.








This is the bookmark I made and tucked into the pocket of the journal. Out of a piece of Certainly Celery I cut a tag with the Big Shot and Two Tags Bigz Die. I stamped it  randomly in Lovely Lilac with the flower motif.  At the top I stamped the butterfly from the Priceless Stamp Set onto a piece of So Saffron Card Stock, punched out a 1- 3/8″ Circle and layered it on a Scallop Circle made from Lovely Lilac Card Stock.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope this inspired you to try this on your own. After all, Stampin’ Up! motto is Inspire, Create and Share. Please send me your samples and don’t forget to leave me a comment or two. Make it a GREAT day!


HUGS & stamps,







DSC_0456 STAMP SET: Priceless (105052), Razzle Dazzle (116119)

PAPER: Certainly Celery (105125), So Saffron (105118), Lovely Lilac (100427)

INK: Lovely Lilac (102894)

TOOLS: Big Shot (109043), Scallop Circle Punch (109043), Scallop Edge Punch (112091), Two-Tags Bigz DIe (114954), 1-3/8″ Circle Punch (104401), Framed Scallop Bigz Die (114521)


Father’s Day Pad and Pen Tin…

This is a CD Holder Tin which happens to hold a pad and pen inside. Below is the inside of the tin. On the inside cover I added a few pockets for business cards.

Soot Technique 5-27-09
The “Soot” technique was used on the front image. I explain that technique HERE.

Stamp Set:   Happiness is a Journey 
                       Alphabet Set ( Mine is not SU)
Ink:               Versa Mark Pad
Paper:           Glossy White large enough for your image
                       Delicate Dots DSP (5″ x 4-1/2″) and (5″ x 3-1/2″) for inside pocket
                       Black Textured Card Stock (5″ x 2-1/2″) 
                       Bravo Burgundy (1″ punched circle) and (5″ x 2-1/2″) for inside pocket
                       DSP Strip for top of pad (1/2″ x 5″)
Accessories: Candle, white embossing powder, hodgepodge silver hardware, basic black and bravo burgundy ribbon, photo corner and 1″ circle punches, brads, sticky tape.

1. Choose an image and use the “Soot” technique.  Trim around the image. 


2. Tape together the Delicate Dots DSP ( 5″ x 4-1/2″) and the Black Textured card stock (5″ x 2-1/2″) papers and round the corners with the Corner Rounder Punch.
Father's Day Pad & Pen 5-09


3.  Using VersaMark stamp an initial onto a piece of Bravo Burgundy, heat emboss and punch out a 1″ Circle. Place initial into the hardware and secure onto the Black Textured card stock with two brads.


4. Cut both ribbons, layer and wrap around seam where both papers meet.


5. Adhere the two paper, ribbon and hardware piece to the tin using Sticky Strip.


6. Adhere the glossy piece with the soot image to the tin and using the Photo Corner Punch, punch four corners and adhere to image corners.


7. Layer in pockets on the inside cover and adhere strip of burgundy to the top of the pad.

I hope whoever you make this for they totally enjoy and appreciate it.



“Soot” Technique

Soot Technique 5-27-09



For the image on this pad and pen tin the “Soot” technique was used. 


Here’s what you need:

Glossy Card Stock

Candle (A tapered candles works faster then a pillar candle)

Rubber Stamp

Matte Spray Sealer


Please do this technique using caution. Over a sink is a good place in case paper catches on fire, although I have never had it happen.






Here’s What to Do:

1.  Light the candle.

2.  Using tweezers hold the card stock’s edge and touch the flame with the card stock, glossy side to the flame, and keep moving card stock through the flame until soot accumulates on card stock. Experiment how dark you want the card stock to become.

3.   Hold the card stock  by the edge and place with the glossy side up on the counter taking care not to touch the soot.

4.  Use an un-inked rubber stamp and stamp image onto the soot covered card stock. The stamp will pull off the soot and the image will appear. If you’re not happy with the image repeat the process.

5.  Spray lightly with a matte sealer.




Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


Decorative Sewing Kit in an Altoid Tin

Altoids Tin Sewing BoxThis is an idea I saw somewhere on the internet awhile ago and scheduled it for my Mother’s Day Class.


I had the tins and decided to use the retired Ginger Blossom DSP because I have soooo much of it. I also knew if any of the attendees wanted some I had plenty to sell them. I measured the tin and cut my card stock and DSP to fit. I used the corner rounder punch so the corners would match up with the tin. From there I just had fun designing and using whatever colors and stamps would make it unique. Try one of these as they’re really fun to make.  



The class LOVED them!


Diane Caro, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator


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