Monday, April 15, 2013

Challenge: Background

It is no secret that I am an avid collector, lover, and user of background stamps. Beyond using them for backgrounds, I use parts of them to edge projects, with paint to add some texture and contrast to my mixed media pieces, to decorate punched or die cut shapes, to add some interest and perhaps embossing onto alphabet stickers - and so very much more.

Your challenge this week is to use a background stamp in some way, shape, or form on a project. You could also use any stamp you’ve got to create a clever background design as well - the possibilities are endless!
Anna-Karin loves background stamps because they are so very versatile.
I wanted to use lots of background stamps on my card and ended up using twenty different stamps, most from Hero Arts. Small squares were die cut from a variety of inked and watercoloured scrap papers. I stamped each one with a different background stamp using a slightly darker Distress Ink, for a tone-on-tone effect. Maya Road canvas butterflies flutter over the card and I used the Simon Says Stamp exclusive Mini Hearts Set to die cut the tiny hearts. The sentiment was stamped with Simon Says Stamp Music 2 My Ears set.
Sarah was in a freestyle mood and thought it was the ideal time to experiment with her new Distress Paints...
I love playing around with using just sections of my larger stamps to create new images and today I did that with both Tim's Classic #5 and Grunge Alphabet sets. I love how the eyes just fade away... I had great fun playing with the Distress Paints, letting them run and swirl on Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper - yet still retaining such vivid colours! You will love them! I experimented with the Alphabet stamp on scrap paper first to determine now much I needed for contrast in the background. I was tempted to go for more stamping but I liked the watery detail in the paints and decided it was a butterfly I was missing for that extra dimension and focus.

Candy really enjoyed creating different stamped backgrounds for her vintage journal/album.
Creating my own design for this vintage album/journal was so much fun. The interior pages are all made with Tim Holtz' new set of Cabinet Cards. I love Tim Holtz' new Picture Wheel die cut and I think it worked perfectly with his Distress Doily On The Edge die.  I used Tim Holtz' larger Fabulous Flourish stamp to create my first stamped background behind the very vintage looking Picture Wheel.  The second background stamped is the striped album cover using Vermillion Archival Ink on cream cardstock and Wendy Vecchi's fabulous stripe background stamp from her new Busy Making Art stamp set. Just wait until you see the finished vintage cover now hidden behind the flap!

Background stamps make up the majority of Trace's stamp stash!
I could not live without my background stamps! This Impression-Obsession CC027 Flourishes rubber cling stamp is probably one of the most used stamps in my possession. It is so versatile, I use it on so many different projects of mine. What I really like about this flourish stamp is that although it is very pretty, it is also strong enough to be paired with other elements such these pretty Simon Says Stamp Fresh Daisies dies; and a busy handmade background like the one I created with watercolour paper, water, and Rangers Alcohol inks.

Tracy dusted off the wallpaper background stamp from the Stampers Anonymous Wallpaper and Wood stamp set to create a wonderful backdrop to showcase all her sewing ephemera.
I have so many stamps in my stamp collection that this wallpaper background stamp has been neglected for some time, however, it took the leading role in this sewing themed piece, embossed with clear embossing powder and coloured with barn door Distress Ink. The Sewing Blueprint stamp set and the Mini Blueprints 3 accessorize my accordion perfectly along with sewing embellishments from Maya Road.

Ashli decided to use one of her new favorite stamp sets to create a custom background for her page.
I am so in love with the Simon Says Stamp Exclusive Plenty of Hearts Stamp and Die Cut set! Instead of using each little heart individually, I decided to just leave them on their packaging, ink them up, and create my background. Custom stamp = custom paper. Love that. Once all my stamping was done, I put those die cuts to good use to create some embellishments. A Crate Paper Heart Chipboard Piece adds the perfect spot of pink while some Amy Tangerine Yes Please Stickers help to pull it all together. To finish things off, I simply journaled with my beloved Signo Pen and added some Maggie Holmes Thickers. A page full of custom patterns, embellishments, and heart? Captivating!

Dan decided to re-examine a well-known saying from the past while also indulging his love of background stamps...
I love this guy, don't you think he looks just like a detective from the Pinkerton Detective Agency? When I started on this tag, I was going aiming for a representation of "behind every great man is a great woman" but as I worked I got to thinking that was a bit sexist and old fashioned, after all, why should she be in the background if she's as great as he's supposed to be? My first thought was to make it "Behind every great woman..." but that still kinda gave him more of the credit than I wanted to give him. Finally I came up with it - can you guess how I finished off my amended saying? I used the Darkroom Door Woodgrain stamp but it was almost the Corrugated Iron, I love that one too!

It is for sure no secret that Anita loves stamps, and using them in wild ways!
This was such a fun challenge, and I am so glad that there was a certain friend having a birthday, who would love and appreciate this wild western themed card! I salvaged this kraft portfolio card from an invitation that had expired, and I took it down to it's bare bones and began patterning a whole background that would leave this card needing nothing else but a fastener. I used Tim's whole Wild West Stamp Set from Stamper's Anonymous, along with Unity Stamp's Brave Boots as the main images of the background, and Wendy's Art For You background.

I (May) used my stamp set to make a few background details on this card.
I love finding ways to make the most of a stamp set, and with this set by Tim Holtz I managed to make two different backgrounds. My favorite part about this card (aside from the short supply list) is how I used the flag as a background with distress stain, but in fact the stamped "London" was the first thing done on that piece. It reminds me to play more with my stamps, and that sometimes the background can be the last thing you work on.

Suzz loves using the background stamps to create texture behind her main image.
One of my favorite things to do is to add background stamps behind other images. I love the effect of the text behind other images which adds a depth to the project. I used the Hero Arts Old French Writing to the background with white embossing powder.  I then brought in the beautiful blossoms from Hero Arts on the right side to bring the eye up and across the background.  I finished the design with the lovely Stampendous butterfly as the main focal image.  

Although Sandra Mouwen loves the background stamps she has, she wanted to make her own.
I wanted to try something different and made my own background stamp. It's so easy, fast, and you only need three things to do it. Darice Foam Sheet, an object you want the imprint of, in my case I used the Gears Embossing Folder and a Heat tool. To bring the Remnants Hot Air Balloon stamp to the foreground, I masked it before I stamped with my own background stamp. I so love the new Label Letters, I can use them on any project! The big letters are from the Word Play die, also a favorite of mine.

There are so many ways to be inspired by this challenge, and so many directions to run with it! For more inspiration click on our design team's blog links so you can see more photos (and full supply lists) for their projects.
As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 gift voucher that will go to a random entry chosen by Random Generator. To qualify all you need to do is create a new project that ties in (in any way!) with our theme and post it, along with a link back to this challenge, and add a link here. This challenge will end at 11:59pm on Sunday  April 21st EST.

For the full rules, read the "challenge rules" posted in the side-bar here on our blog.


  1. What a great challenge! I love Background stamps and creating my own designer papers, too!
    You always do great jobs, love it to surf around on your site!
    Thanks for all you do for us!
    Hugs Edith

  2. What a beautiful array of stunning cards. Good ideas and inspiration there too.
    jo x

  3. Oh those are some fun projects, love how each one used their stamps... lots of inspiration here... gonna go play now !

  4. Thank you for this nice challenge !! So beautiful samples once again... As I love making backgrounds with my stamps, I'm happy to enter the SSS&S challenge today and share with you my new banner. Best wishes everybody, Coco x

  5. Fabulous inspiration from your talented DT and thank you so much for a great challenge hugs Karen

  6. Beautiful inspiration once again - you guys amaze me!!

  7. This was a FUN challenge, with great inspirational pieces by the team, as usual. Blessings!

  8. Always great design team samples. Always so inspiring. Thanks for the "backgrounds" challenge!

  9. Great theme this week! And amazing creations from the DT!

  10. Thanks for a great challenge that helped me think "outside the box". Beautiful samples from the dt, as always!

  11. A bit late this time as not had long to partake but i managed it after being inspired by all the wonderful DT pieces.

  12. Great fun challenge. Great inspiration from the DT.

  13. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration! Thanks so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show :)


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