Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Halloween Clock

 Hello friends,

Just popping in today to share the Halloween clock I created for the Live event.  I didn't take too make step-out photos as I was working, so I hope you will be able to piece it together.  What I did do was take some photos of the centerpiece of the girl on the pumpkin - because if you can create her, then quite literally everything else is just glued in around her.

The clock ring comes separate from the clock, so you can paint it (or the clock) without coloring both. I decided to use Mushroom Alcohol Ink on the ring - It was easy and gave a hint of Halloween. Once you create the finish you want, just glue it into the clock. Simple as that.
I added paper to the inside of the clock using Collage Medium and Halloween Backdrops.  It's just three pieces, one circle for the back and two strips that go around the inside edge.  Love this marble paper!

To create the centerpiece, I started by adding the witch hat (Halloween Sticker Book) to the sitting girl (Halloween Paper Dolls).  I used a craft knife to slit the hat so her head would just slide in, like she was actually wearing it.  Her mask is also from the Sticker Book.

CANDY: Wipe Collage Medium over the candy and roll in Rock Candy Glitter - let dry before adding to the Pumpkin (you can use a heat tool on the candy to speed up the drying). Seriously, aren't the Candy Corn's cute??? I can't get enough of the them!

So you might notice the wood block glued to the bottom of the pumpkin.  I used the 1/2" wood block to raise the pumpkin from the base of the clock.  I painted it black so it would just disappear into the bottom of the clock.
After filling the pumpkin with the candy sticks I had to add the Paper Doll.  She has a secret behind her that helps with stability...what is it?
Another 1/2" wood block!
The block is glued to the pumpkin, the handle and then the girl. You will never see it in the finished piece, but she will remain stable over time.  All candy was glued in with Collage Medium.
There are a few things I would point out on the background.
There are green Halloween Tiny Lights inside the clock. The light pack is hidden behind the Flashcard, Curious.  The wires are bunched up behind the girl.  To turn the lights on, you just put your finger to the side of her face and the switch is right there.  On the Live, Tim turned the lights on so you could see it light up.  Super easy and no need to drill a hole in the clock since everything is inside!

I colored Bubbles (clear Baubles) with Lettuce Alcohol Ink, then added them to the Test Tube.  When the lights are turned on, the green glows into the glass so the Bubbles appear to glow inside.

This year we have crepe paper Fringe.  I just cut a piece about 6-8"long, rolled it up into a ball and rolled it between my hands to create a fluffy Fringe.  I added Collage Medium to the bottom of the clock, then shoved the Fringe in covering everything at the bottom (including the wood block holding up the pumpkin). 
Add any other embellishments you might want to make this Halloween clock really shine.  
Hope you will try one of these clocks - they are really fin to make and so much easier since there is no glass to deal with!

Let me know if you give it a go!
now carry on,

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Curious Things Journal

Hello Friends,

Happy to be here today sharing my Halloween Accordion Folio with you.  I know many have been asking to see the photos so I'm glad I can finally share with you.

First, I thought it might help to see what the Accordion Folio looks like before I get started.  The book is 6 x 4.5" when closed. The accordion in the center is removable, which is helpful when adding paper and other embellishments.  The folder can be used with or without the accordion which opens the door for so much innovation.

I covered the outside of the Folio with Halloween Collage Paper.  Collage Medium makes it very easy to add the paper with maximum sticking power once dry.  I always add a layer over the top of the Collage Paper for added strength.  
You might notice that I added faux hinges from the Halloween Sticker book to the left side.  They look like metal but they are just stickers.

I used a Curio Frame for the focal point on the cover.  They look like this when you buy them (that's not the look I'm going for) so I need to make a change.
I just used my finger to wipe black acrylic paint over the top.  Once dry, I sanded it with a file. Done deal.

I added the spiderweb transparency to the back of the frame, as well as Bouquet paper flowers that have been sprayed with Distress Spray Stain and Decayed Mica Stain. The black dots in the top corners are new this year, from the Halloween Pearl Droplets pack.
Don't forget the smallest of details like a bit of Mummy Cloth or small snippets from the ephemera pack.  Details matter.
The black seam binding ribbon was also sprayed with Decayed Mica Stain and dried with a heat tool.  I love the hints of metallic over the ribbon...really makes it look like ribbon for a Halloween project!

When you open the inside of the Accordion Folio, you can see (if you compare the first photo) that I have cut off the fold-over on the front left side to make it squared off.  I wanted it to be the same height as the card with the vase of flowers.  I also wanted to create, what I call a "peek-a-boo" with only the mans eyes showing over the top of the door.
You can see the peek-a-boo much better here!
Loving the new Halloween Remnant Rubs too.  Super easy to use along the top of the photo card, even over Distress Oxide background. 

I also added a piece from the Stitched Scraps pack to the side (another small detail).
And yes, I did color that bouquet of flowers with a small brush and Distress Crayon. Worked perfectly.
Open the fold-out to reveal the man.
If you remove the butterfly from the pocket, you can see the mans face.
For the right side, I kept it very simple and just used a flashcard from the ephemera pack.
Okay, I did add the legs I cut off a paper doll.  I mean they were on my desk and I thought, why not?
I like how the right side does not go all the way across so you see a little of what's coming on the inside.

On the right, I kept the pocket the same size, I just added an eyelet at the top and stitched it closed at the bottom.  All the people , words, skull face, and masks are from the Sticker Book.  
The very cool moon and stars are from the Remnant Rubs.  I added them to a small tag I had in my stash.
I love making cards using the Paper Dolls and Distress Crayons.  The dark colors work so well over the dark clothing and really bring her to life.
I mean really, who does not need a giant bird as a pet?
Back to the center of the book, I just added a few things from the Ephemera and Layers pack.  Super easy!
Then when you open the folder, it reveals the accordion...well it WAS an accordion, but I changed it up and made it a book that can be removed from the folder.
I did that by adding a small piece of blue paper to the side to make the accordion into a book with 2 pockets.
This is what the back looks like - the blue paper wraps around the edge to the back side, making it open like a book.  
NOTE: The stitching seen here is from a card that I stitched to the back page, it has nothing to do with the way I closed the accordion.

All the Paper Dolls were colored with Distress Crayons.  I did use a black marker to add stripes and dots. The witches hat is from the sticker book (a great addition to the masks).
Each page was layered with Ephemera and Paper Dolls. Really, anything that was on my desk at the moment.
I made 2 "cards", one for each pocket I created.  Layers are heavier weight pieces of ephemera.  They are an easy background for ephemera and stickers.  Nice and sturdy, so the card can easily be removed from the pocket.
I love this page of the book.  Everyone needs a skull balloon on a string, right?
Now you can see where the "legs"came from.

This is the card from the second pocket behind the boy.  Everything is just layered up.
And the sewn card on the last page of the book.  My homage to Wicked.  Elphaba never looked better.  I knew there was a sticker in the Metallic Sticker book that said, FOR GOOD, so I had to use it here. (Peeled Paint Distress Crayon worked brilliantly for her green skin!)
I hope I gave you some insight into this little book today.  For me the key was the Collage Paper over the folio.  It was so easy and quick to add and does not buckle when the folio closes (sometimes a problem when you add thick paper).  I also think the pattern of the Halloween Collage Paper is a great background for all the ephemera and people. Hope sure you will give it a go!

Now carry on,

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Night Shift Kit

Introducing the new idea-ology Halloween kit, "The Night Shift".
Kits will begin shipping on Tuesday, September 13th.

The Night Shift
$85 + $12 shipping 
within the continental USA

Please contact me directly for international shipping.  
There is an added cost to ship internationally 
(any other taxes or customs duties are the sole responsibility of the buyer).

Click on the link below if you wish to purchase.  The link will take you directly to PayPal.  
If you wish to pay with debit or credit card, click on the box at the bottom of the PayPal login page 
(you do not need a PP account). 

Instant Purchase Link:

Standing 9 1/2” tall, the Vignette Shrine is the perfect structure to show off this eerie Halloween scene. The Shrine is pre-drilled for Tiny Lights to add a mysterious glow for night-time viewing.  Personalize your scene by adding the Paper Doll and sentiment of your choice.
The kit comes with everything you will need + plus plenty of extra Halloween goodness from idea-ology.  Kit includes a list of Ranger Mediums and basic supplies you will need, plus comprehensive written instructions, and four pages of color step-out photos.  
As always, delightfully packaged with care.

Kit includes full packages of:
Paper Dolls Halloween
Baseboards Halloween
Design Tape Halloween
Collage Tiles Halloween
Ephemera Pack Halloween
Sticker Book Halloween
Tiny Lights Halloween
and Ornate Gates

If you have any questions, please email me at
And thank you for supporting my small business.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Distress Watercolor Pencils and Paper Dolls

Hello Friends,

Since they were released last week, Distress Watercolor Pencils have been the talk of the town!  I love when Tim adds to the Distress line because it always inspires me to try new things.  Today is no exception as I test-drive the new Distress Watercolor Pencils on Paper Dolls.  Warning, this post is long because there are so many way to test them out!  I hope reading it will give you some tips to using the new pencils and maybe inspire you to try using them on your Paper Dolls.

For todays test-drive, I'm utilizing a pack of Halloween Paper Dolls, a Detailer Water Brush, and Distress Sprayer.  I like to control the water by spritzing my glass media mat and picking up the water, rather than dispensing the water though the chamber of the Water Brush.  This is a personal choice since either method works.


Right out of the gate, I colored in the background with the pencils, then used the Detailer Water Bush over the surface. The pencil quickly becomes liquid so it was easy to move the color around the photo background.

The pencils are easy to use directly on a Paper Doll. I like the fact that you can easily layer/build up color, like I did on the collars of the costumes.  The pigment went on easy and it was easy to manipulate.  Lighter colors are sometimes challenging over the dark clothing but here, Villainous Potion and Spiced Marmalade worked beautifully.  FYI: I'll talk more about pencils over dark clothing later in the post.


Using the same method, I colored the dress of a Paper Doll (purposefully chosen for the stripe pattern in her dress).  It was easy to color the dress with the darker Seedless Preserves, and easy to watercolor it out and blend into the bottom of the dress.
I used the Twisted Citron pencil to draw directly on the stripe pattern.  You could easily keep the color in the lines with a pencil (you could not do that with a crayon).
Then blending more with the water brush over the stripes to seamlessly pull the color down the dress.  The pencil easily re-wets after being dried with a heat tool and allowed the color to move.

I chose a bright color to scribble directly over the dark dress of the Paper Doll.  The pencil goes on as expected...with little bits of pigment remaining.
I could easily watercolor the scribble lines away, leaving an overall blue color.  In person, you do not notice the lines that are left (the photo is exaggerating the texture), it just looks like an overall color, appearing very smooth in person.
I did pull pigment from the tip of the pencil to dot buttons down the front of the dress (very little water was used).  I liked that the pigment stays put.  When you use crayon to do this, it is sometimes hard to get the color to stay in place so this is a real plus for me.

So this time, I dipped the tip of the pencil into water (maybe 10-15 seconds) to liquify the outside of the tip.  This allowed me to use the stiff bristles of the water brush to pick up the color directly from the tip of the crayon.  When painted over the dark dress of the Paper Doll, it sort of blends and hovers over the surface.
Once dried with a heat tool, the color becomes chalky in appearance (kinda like an Oxide).  It retained the color in the drying process yet still allowed the dress details to come through.
When I pick the doll up, it does feel a bit chalky, but "smooth" chalky.  And after rubbing it, only a slight orange color was left on my thumb. NOTE: when I rubbed the same surface the next day, there was NO transfer of color.
I wanted to add some detail to the dress.  I found it was best to do that by touching the wet water brush to the tip of the pencil and adding it that way.  Coloring directly over the orange with a dry pencil was not successful.
So what if I want to remove color, will that work?  I used a damp cotton swab and it does remove the color but I suspect the heavily pigmented pencil leaves a slight tint to the Paper Doll surface, whereas Distress Crayons come off cleanly. All in all, the removal worked, but color may be more noticeable if the dress was white and not black.

I'm using a Kitsch Flamingo pencil for her dress.  This is the first wash and it was lighter than expected after drying.
Now compare this photo with the last.  I was able to add a second wash over the first and get a deeper pink.  The skirt in this photo does not have the second wash and I am beginning to build a floral skirt.  I used the water brush to pick up pigment from the tip of the pencil to make the dark dots.  I dried with a heat tool after each color was applied.
Peeled Paint
Fossilized Amber
and Salvaged Patina
Now the wash of the pink around the flowers (sounds hard, but it wasn't).
with added Hickory Smoke for detail on the back of the skirt, sleeves and waistline.  
THOUGHTS: I like how it turned out and how I could add layers of Kitsch Flamingo.  When I use crayon, with this method, I always tap with my fingertip over flowers to blend the colors.  Pencils did not work with this method, since the added water/pigment was removed when tapping.  More on that later.

I started off by scribbling color over the background the using the Water Brush to smooth it out.
After drying with a heat tool, I scribbled on more colors.
Then dispersed the color with the water brush (that looks bad but stick with me here)
Using one of the new Halloween Mini Layering Stencils, lay stencil over the top of the card and rub away the pencil with the wet wipe.  The technique works, but know that the pigment of the pencils will stain the background.  When you do this with crayons, almost 100% of the color can be wiped away with the wet wipe.  I think the pencils give it a softer look than crayons and since both mediums work, it will just depend on what look you are going for.

I embossed Frosted Crystal over the Paper Dolls before beginning.  If you have done this before, you know that the Frosted Crystal gives the surface a textural quality (thats why it looks like its snowing on their pants - its just the light capturing the texture).
I was easily able to color over the Frosted Crystal with the pencil and use the water brush to smooth it all out. 
I like the way it looks once the water brush has been used over the pencil.  It colors out very easily and you can even work in some shading depending on how much water you have on your brush.  I like this method  (it looks much better in person).

I coated the Paper Doll with Collage Medium.  Not usually something you need to do as the Paper Doll already has a slick surface but I thought I would give it a go.
As you can see, I could not get a light color like Speckled Egg to even make an appearance over the CM.  
So I tried with Faded Jeans, a much more pigmented color.  I used the method of pick up the color from the tip of the pencil and brushing it on.  That did give me great color, but I did not like the way it went on and it was hard to dry, even with a heat tool as the water just sat on the surface.  I see no need to add the extra step of the Collage Medium since the result was a fail in my opinion.  Moving on...

I decided to see if you could (or would even want to) combine Distress Pencils and Distress Crayons.  One thing I love about crayons is the rich color you can build up over dark clothing by coloring directly over the clothing until you have a thick layer.
Then rubbing the surface with your finger tip (not the cotton swab pictured - that was used to get the crayon off her hands) until you can see the details of the clothing again.
I used the contrasting Crushed Olive pencil to create detail on the dress.
Here is what I learned: 
Distress Pencils do not like to go over crayon.  I found I had to use the water brush to create the stripes. Removing the crayon from the stripes allowed me to go back and add in the Crushed Olive pencil.  The tiny dots were done with the tip of the water brush pulling pigment from the tip of the pencil.

So I wasn't so happy with the previous floral dress so I decided to use a pencil/crayon combo to try it again.  I stared with the pencil, adding a Speckled Egg wash to the dress.
Then I started adding crayon like I normally do.  That means I make a palette on my glass mat and pick up the color with the water brush.  I started with Picked Raspberry.
Then Fossilized Amber...
Then Rustic Wilderness...
Then Broken China...
Because its crayon, this time I could tap my finger over the bright colors to muddle them.  It did not move as much as if it was crayon over crayon, but I still liked the results.
Now add in her hat (I bet you thought that was a big beehive on her head didn't you?), and cheeks and a little Posca pen work on her umbrella and we are done.  I kept her light but I could have easily added more color if I wanted.  I am sure she will show up in a project soon, lol!
  • I found that because I was using the pencils by dipping or adding water to the tips, that the pigment was still wet when I put the pencil down causing the pigment to transfer to the glass mat or to other pencils.  That led me to finding a mug in my craft room to place them in (tip up) so the pencil could dry.  At first I thought I would be keeping them in the cool tins they come in, but after much use, the mug might be the way to go for me.  But you do you.
  • I love the deep colors of the Distress line so that is a plus for me.  Being familiar with the colors already, helps when choosing what colors to use on what Paper Doll.  I admit, some colors surprised me so it is still a bit of trial and error till I can see how every color works over the slick surface.
  • Will I still use Distress Crayons for Paper Dolls?  Absolutely.  But I can see myself using Distress Pencils too.  I think they are quick and easy, especially for washes and backgrounds.  I also love how smooth they feel to the touch. 
  • As for sealing (because people always ask). As a rule, I do not seal Paper Dolls because I just don't think it's necessary since once dry, neither medium comes off on your hands.  If you feel the need to seal - then I would use a spray fixative that you can find in the art/painting department of any craft store.  One quick spray over the top will do the trick.
  • Fading...another question I get a lot.  Distress Crayons don't fade (one of the reasons I like them) and Pencils, I do not believe they will fade due to the pigment sitting on the surface, but I guess only time will tell.
So there you have it. A test-drive of the new Distress Watercolor Pencils over Paper Dolls. I hope I was able to convey how this medium works to easily color a doll. I think the more pigmented the color, the easier it is to use. The same applies to Crayons.  I think as I work more with them that I will find even more ways to use.  I promise to share that information as I discover it.

Thanks for making it to the end!
now carry on,