Sunday, September 20, 2020

Making a Mess

Over at Shopping Our Stash they have a challenge going entitled “Make a Mess”. Basically I feel like that’s every single card I ever make. All I have to do is look sideways at a white space on a card and boom! an only smudge appears. It’s like being King Midas, but sadly nothing turns to gold- only to smudge. 

Mixed media bird card using Tim Holtz stamps

But this card upped the mess ante even for me! In my last blog post I shared a card using the dregs of a cleanup from a pretty horrendous spill of a brand spanking new bottle of Crackling Campfire Distress Oxide Spray Stain. I was going a splatter effect on a card so unscrewed the cap. Enter elbow and a giant spill. *facepalm*

Backgrounds made from a spill of Crackling Campfire Distress Oxide

What is a girl to do besides frantically mop up the mess? However, even if my card doesn’t win the competition, I’ve already won by creating some gorgeous backgrounds and a well-earned red stain on my craft table. 

But I didn’t want to rest on my accidental mess laurels for this challenge. Au contraire! I decided to pull out my messiest products and up the ante. 

Gold Metallic Embossing paste through a dot stencil for card making background

For my  next act, I pulled out some Dreamweaver metallic gold embossing paste and slopped that through the STAMPlorations Dots All Over stencil. 

Mixed media card background, red blue and gold using Distress Oxide spray stain and embossing paste

The texture! In case you’re wondering about the added colors, they are Mermaid Lagoon Distress Oxide and a gold shimmer by Heidi Swapp. 

Using brown gelatos along the edge of a background

Next up on the messy agenda, I scribbled some brown gelatos along the edges of the pieces I was going to use and smudged them to soften the lines with my fingers. 

Also, you can see I stamped an image over the background and used Distress Glaze. 

So let me talk about my focal bird. I’m ashamed to say I’ve probably had this Tim Holtz stamp set for close to 10 years and never used it. >insert head hanging here<  I knew I had to get messy with the bird, too, so he wouldn’t take a backseat to my background. We had a little messy experimental play together. 

Blue Distress Oxide and Tim Holtz Spray Stain for card making

I sprayed some Oxides and stains and dried them on a paper. Then I stamped a blue layer and brown layer of Distress Inks, and while the ink was still wet from stamping, I applied Distress Glaze over it. It gave it an antique glassy feel. 

Mixed Media Card using Tim Holtz stamps and Distress products

I adore the way this card turned out and I think I’ve sufficiently risen to the Make a Mess challenge. To finish off my card, I mounted it to some Hambly patterned acetate. 

I’m also going link this up to the NBUS challenge, as I finally gave this 10-year-old bird some wings AND tried out Distress Glaze for the first time. 

This one is also going over to Creative Artiste’s Anything Mixed Media goes. 


  1. Love it so much ... and how you were able to turn your mess into one-of-a-kind amazing art.

  2. Love the style! The colors are so vibrant and appealing.

  3. Looks fabulous! So good to have you back in Blogland, Becca! Jo x

  4. wow messiness at it's artistic best. Love the colour combo :)

  5. How can one not get messy! I love this card and never think of making one like this but it looks so good. I am thinking you used a sticker for the edges but coloured them with the gelatos? Very artistic card.

    1. Close! Metal sticker for the edges then applied a small amount of teal acrylic paint, using my fingertips, to give them an oxidized look.

  6. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh ms becca! this is just so amazingly glorious! i love that you took accidental mess and added purposeful mess and came up with a beautiful piece of art. YOWZA!!! so honored to have this beauty in the "make a mess" gallery at SOS!

  7. Such a wonderful mess! The colours are amazing and what you made with unexpected project is gorgeous. Thanks for joining us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media challenge!

  8. Look at you turning an OOOOPS into a WOW!!!
    So amazing!!! The end result is stunningly gorgeous!!
    Thanks for getting messy with the crew from SHOPPING OUR STASH!!

  9. There's such a lot to love about your creation, making what you call a mess is only a small part of it, it's called creativity and what a beautiful creation it is. I'm very glad you brought that bird out to play, it's a marvellous focal. Many thanks for joining us over @ Creative Artiste. Creative wishes Tracey (DT)

  10. You really took 'make a mess' literally, Becca, but not for long! You know you always leave me in awe because I'm barely beginning to add a stencil and maybe a couple of items on my card base, lol! If I tried what you create, truly it would not turn out like it was intentional. Well, unless 'dog's dinner' were the prompt! (No offense to dogs!) Thank you for sharing with everyone at NBUS! Keep well! Hugs, Darnell

  11. Oh... this gorgeous mess! All the inky process pix got me wanting to craft RIGHT NOW! Beautiful results! Thanks for joining at SOS!