Christmas Tag using Grunge Mirror Stamp

January 13, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

I was in the Christmas spirit when I sat down to make some tags for a friend’s party. They would go on the bottle we were bringing as a Hostess gift. Since I had been experimenting with inked backgrounds, I used the results of that play session to make the background for one of the tags.

I then used the “Grunge Mirror” from one of our Easy Scraps stamp sets (see our rubber stamps at if you are interested in buying this set). I stamped the image onto a background I had cut using the Cricut. See below for more information on this. I used VersaMark ink and then embossed with black embossing powder. I decided that I wanted the circle to look like a wreath, so I cut a piece of the left over background using the reinforcer circle shape from Tim Holtz’s tag die. I glued it to the frame and decided it needed a ribbon. I had a tiny piece of hardware cloth sitting on my table, so I snipped a piece, folded it in half and used that as the ribbon, gluing it to the wreath with Zip Dry glue. This glue dries super fast and strong. We carry this glue on our site in the products section. I embellished the wreath with “berries” using Liquid Pearls. I love this stuff- it is super glitzy/shiny and it dries REALLY fast.

I had an image of Thomas Nast’s Santa that I framed with the embossed “Grunge Mirror”. I glued all of that to the tag. The flower at the bottom was cut using the Tim Holtz die, Tattered Florals. I stamped it using a stamp I had created. Look for this stamp to be available soon on our web site!! The bottom border is a strip of paper stamped with that same background and then covered with a strip of Tissue Tape, another Tim Holtz product. I then glued all of that over a strip of Hardware Cloth onto the bottom of the tag. I then cut a very thin piece of the Hardware cloth to also use with the ribbon on the tag.

I love Hardware cloth- it is one of my favorite materials- I stamp with it, use it to create texture on my projects and I embellish with it in lots of different ways. Look for more ideas in future blog posts.

So here is the finished tag- Hope you enjoy it ….


Note that those who buy the stamp set containing the “Grunge Mirror” will have access to the .jpg that can be used in “Make The Cut” or other software that works with the Cricut and allows creation of cutting files from an imported jpg. Or for those who don’t have a Cricut, you can just use it to trace and cut out by hand. You must register thru our gallery and once you buy the stamp we will add you to the proper group. If you have ordered the stamp set before you registered, please send an email to with your email address you used to order with, along with your your gallery id and we will update you into the proper group.

Using Gel Medium on Tags

January 13, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Like most stampers I know, I love all things Tim Holtz. I love his products, his ideas, his techniques, everything. (Plus he is a really nice guy!!) He also thinks a lot like me, or I think a lot like him- either way I tend to do things pretty much the same ways he does, from the modifications to products (marking up dies, cutting embossing folders, cutting stamps) to the love of all things grunge, but with some glitz added in for good measure. I have been using Distress inks since they first came out, but one thing that used to annoy me is the way that they never splotched for me the way they did for Tim when he spritzes with water. It occurred to me when his annual 12 tags of Christmas came out this year, that maybe the reason his inks “splotch” better is because of the material he uses- those cool tags themselves :idea:

I decided to put it to the test, and sure enough, there was a difference between the Ranger tags and just plain card stock. The inks, when spritzed with water on the Ranger tags, had much more defined spots where the water droplets hit. So I decided to try to make my regular card stock do the same thing. The answer was pretty simple- adding a thin layer of gel medium to the card stock. I just swiped the card stock with a very thin layer of gel medium- I tried Claudine Helmuth’s matte medium and Golden’s Soft Gel medium and both worked equally well. You can use a paint brush, foam brush, or as in my case I just used my fingers. Because the layer was extremely thin, it dried in no time, and I was able to try my experiment. I used the Distress ink pad and swiped it on my gel’d paper and then spritzed with water. And voila! The inks showed the water spots much better on the gel’d tags than on the plain card stock ones.

See the picture comparisons below. The first picture shows a tag made with plain card stock. The second shows the results when gel medium was applied first.
Inked tag spritzed with water on regular card stock

Inked tag spritzed with water on gel’d card stock

I also think that using poster board instead of card stock might work a bit better as well. I will post a comment when I determine the answer to that experiment.

Easy Scraps Gallery is coming along…

January 13, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

We are starting to write documents and upload pictures to the Easy Scraps web site. Look for more content coming soon!!

New Easy Scraps Stamps!

January 13, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Just sent off a new batch of stamps!!

I just got done designing three new stamp sheets. They are off to Jim Marcus ( to be made. Can’t wait to use them!  The scribbles and flowers you see in this blog theme will be on one of the sheets. I have three more sheets waiting in the wings too :D

Introduction- Ursula

January 13, 2011 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

My name is Ursula and I am co-owner of Easy Scraps. I am the crazy art lady.  I am the one with all the pie in the sky ideas, which my partner, Heidi, has to reign in sometimes in order to make me be more realistic. I call Heidi “She Who Knows All” because she is super smart and can run an office, a home, a fund-raiser, you name it, like nobody’s business! We make a pretty good team, I think.

I have two beautiful children and a wonderful husband who is smart, funny, handsome, and cooks great!! That is a lucky thing for the family since my creativity does NOT spill over into my culinary exploits. Quite the opposite, in fact! I have been know to burn parts of my kitchen. Sigh.

My real profession is software engineering, but I absolutely adore stamping and scrapbooking. I love to teach both, and do so at Ink About It, in Westford, MA. Being a busy working Mom leaves little time for scrapbooking, and so that was how Heidi and I first started thinking about the kit idea. Most of the kits we saw on the market were just not what we were looking for- stamped, inked, die cut etc, and super fast to put together. So, why not make kits the way we would like to use them? And thus, Easy Scraps was born. It has been a ton of work, but very rewarding! We hope you enjoy our site, our blogs and our products!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!