Author Archives: Design Team

Happy Thanksgiving

Amanda here

Today on this Grateful Holiday I get to share a banner made from our wonderful embellishment line.

you will need:

Large Pennant Embellishments,paper,ribbon, adhesive, and some fun brads,random letters

these need not match ..I just happened to have this many that did “P I used a 1-1/2″ & 1-1/4” circle punch with glue dots to raise letters.

Cover your embellishment pieces with your patterned paper then double layer with the canvas and felt embellishment pieces. This really give this sweet, little banner dimensional pop!


IMG_6975_edited-1IMG_6976_edited-1 Come visit me at the above link for more fun details on this FUN banner!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Gonna Be Funky !

Amanda HERE again!

I can not wait to show you this fun little travel book I worked on this weekend!

I Love using my stash! This week I am using the fun and

Funky Findings Album

Funky 1

This fun little album with all its pockets and tabbed pages is a perfect fit for your purse.  I love having a little book like this with me during travels..I can keep receipts/ticket stubs and it even has a little chain to hold trinkets.  Jot down your little notes and memories with ease allowing you to go home and simply add pictures!

Funky 2Funky 3
Funky 6Funky 7
 Funky 5
Funky 4

My Journey Journal Page #4

Good Morning!

Amanda HERE  , Today I am bringing what will be my final show for the large

8 1/2 x  11″ Artful Binder 

This has been a fun project and the truth is we could go on and on. We have so many wonderful refills in so many wonderful textures. I hope maybe you will share with us what you have done with your artful binder “)

My Journal pg 4 My Journal pg 4-1This last page includes pockets full of messages written on chalk board paper with a chalkboard pen.  I also added the canvas hearts from our amazing embellishment line!


My Basically Bare Journey pg 3

Hello Again!!

Wow we are already at #3 and I can not wait to show you.

Again I hope whatever size you have chosen of our Artful Binders that you find my designs easy to adjust to your book.

Journal pg 3

The Basically Bare tags along with random bingo cards are adhered in steps so as to add notes pictures whatever you feel as long as there is creative expression”) please click on picture to see closer view. My camera is a unhappy guy lately and the doc is out of town”(

You can find our wonderful tags as well as the Artful Binder 8 1/2x 11 refill pages here.

I have found this paper in polka dots just about everywhere and I love it!  As always please come see me over at the link below.

Amanda Phillips here,

Page #2

My Journal pg 2

I am so happy to begin my journey here as a Basically Bare Design team member. It’s true,  I am a  hokie crafting geek with a whole lotta bohemian artist thrown in. “)

So lets throw on some Jim Croce or maybe some  Carol King to get  in our artsy groove and begin.  Inspiring one another along the way displaying and sharing our Basically Bare creations.

My very first share will be an on -going  thing. Every month I will display another page that shows the tips and techniques used.

Supplies so far:  8 1/2 – 11 Artful Binder, Celestial Shapes, Fanciful Frames , Happy Little Trees, Standard Rounded Tags.

Misc. Papers, Letters, Ribbon, distress ink and embellishments of your choosing. If it feels good…”Use It”!

My Journal AlbumWhen I began this album I wasn’t sure where it would go, sometimes that is how it just have to start.  Most of us have many supplies in our arsenal that we are not sure if we will use again ie. letters by the millions and these metal framed tags…I have married them and placed them on my center strip, My Son that is included in the Celestial Shapes was covered with a pretty fabric, I ran my sun through my sticker maker and stuck it directly to the fabric, trimming after and using distress ink to highlight. I used a straight distress ink to color the frame tag on the bottom right corner and I took my brand label and created a eyelet tag out of it! To pay me a little visit drop by HERE. I would love to hear your thoughts.

MJA Album Cover 1Have A Great Week!


Halloween Easel Card

I realized that with commissions and design team deadlines stacking up faster than Abe Lincoln could split logs, if I was going to make Hallowe’en cards for my sister and mother I had better step to it now.


Last year my sister lost her husband, and my mother is getting on in years, so they decided my mother would move in with sister, who was tired of rattling around her large home alone after only a year.

Now this is great – because ONE card can do for both of them! No need to send two cards to the same address!

So the first thing I do is rush off to my Basically Bare stash to see what I might be able to come up with to start. That’s the great thing about always having a stash of Basically Bare supplies on hand … when you need something you can come up with a clever idea and you don’t have to start ‘building’ a substrate…you’ll have something to build off of and it will be incredibly reasonable, so you can have several things to choose from!

I decided on using the “Easel” from the Mixed-Media Spiral-Bound section of the catalog. I have several terrific Hallowe’en vintage postcard images from Alpha Stamps and Altered Pages, so I knew I could have a super cool card in no time.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 5.47.54 AM

The first thing to do is gently bend back the binding rings so you can remove the pages and easel parts from the binding. You don’t HAVE to do this – but I find working on a flat surface so much easier.


Next, paint the easel ‘legs’ both front and back, and punch a hole about1 1/2 inches from the top of the arc. Put these aside to dry … and start working on the fun stuff!

Here are the pages that I decorated to go onto my Hallowe’en easel greeting card…

Flip04 Flip05

Flip07 Flip06

Flip08 Flip09

Flip10 Flip11

Flip12 Flip13

Flip14 Flip15

Now, you can put all the pages and easel backs on the binding ring and gently squeeze closed … this is really easy – the rings are lightweight, so you won’t have to struggle or call for help!

The final step is to take a piece of twine and thread it through the holes you punched into the easel legs. Spread the legs of the easel to the angle that best accommodates your mini-masterpieces and tie off the twine so that the easel legs will stay in that position. I tied mine onto buttons – but you could use anything that is just larger than the punched hole.

Flip02                      Flip03

I hope you’ll give the easel a try on your own … there are so many ways to utilize this terrific little piece of Basically Bare substrates…it would be great for special Christmas or Valentine cards – or a way to display an array of your favorite photos!


For Basically Bare, the Basically Bare Catalog, and the  BadicallyBare Basically Bare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off until the next time. Enjoy!

Its A Good Morning Inchies & Twinchies Kinda Day!!! 2.0

Artful Binder 2.0 

I am sprucing the place up a bit and since I showed you what you can do with the refill pages to our amazing


Look what you can do to add fun and interest to your binder!

Inchies center Inchies front Inchies back

I used 3 yards of my favorite seam binding in {peacock} color.

I punched equal holes on each front and back piece of my previous cover. Strung the piece leaving it very loose, then glued the strung pages to front and back of the Binder itself.  Tightened up my laces .  And Wha La!

Below is the original post so as you may remember how to do your new Artful Binder.

Welcome to Basically Bare Blog.

Today we have a album to help you with your inchies and twinchies collection.  Inchies and twinchies are 1×1 or 2×2 little pieces of art. As crafters we pretty much will do anything for art  and putting it in a teeny weeny space because who doesn’t like to look at something little and cute and do the “AWWWWEEE”

My Supply List:

Basically Bare Window Diecut, permanent black ink, distress inks to match your paper choices, stamps, Basically Bare 8×8 Artful binder, 3 yards of ribbon, bobbles of choice and last but not least your inchies/twinchies !

Inchies album

inchies album 2inchies album3

The page here is using our lovely window die cut making those slots little homes for our inchies and twinchies!

inchies album 5 Inchies album 6 inchies album 7

Stamping on acrylic can be tricky..but as long as you have a really great flat surface and a good permanent ink you should be fine. I tried to use all my little butterfly stamps…you know how each package you buy now seems to have a butterfly…well I gathered them and made a butterfly garden of sorts “)

IMG_6795_edited-1 IMG_6804_edited-1

And of course this lovely canvas page too

inchies album4The amazing and fun part about our albums is that you can add more pages…as large and thick and full of your wonderful treasures as you want it to get.

I hope you have a wonderful flutterby day and come visit me over at

Amanda’s Blog

And see what other little surprises I have hidden .

Dressing Up a Journal Cover So It Has Somewhere To Go!


I needed a new journal. Now, journaling can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, a journal is a diary. For some, it’s a place to write down not-to-be-forgotten phone numbers, addresses, and shopping list. For some it’s a place to experiment with media productions and how they react with other products. My journaling is a sort of crossbreed of a diary and media experimentation. It’s certainly not meant to be shown to anybody, as nothing in it really a complete piece of work, but just the smallest sniggling of an idea.

As I always do, when I need a new notebook or journal or album, I go to my Basically Bare stash  and found this perfect sized journal for me. It’s called, quite simply, Art Journal and I chose the 5″x7″ size. You can find the art journals in the “Surface Essentials” section of the catalog here.

To embellish the covers, I start by taking the two hard chipboard covers off the ring binder and giving them a good coat of white gesso. I use Faber Castelle Gesso – but any gesso is fine. This will just keep my paint and inks and sprays from soaking into the chipboard – it also gives a white surface which will keep the colors used more true than the ‘cardboard brown’ color of chipboard.


Next I crumple up a piece of tissue paper and roll it into a ball – then I unwrap it and glue it to the the cover using PPA (Perfect Paper Adhesive). I glue down a lot of wrinkles and bumps. Also, because I wanted this to have an aged look to it – and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time distressing it, instead of white tissue, I used a vintage dress pattern piece which gives it that nice aged look. Then I added a couple pieces of crumpled Tim Holtz tissue paper. And set it all aside to dry … make sure each ‘layer’ of your cover is dry before moving forward. If you lay too many wet layers on top of each other (of different mediums) you have a good chance of not having it ever dry properly, and perhaps mildew.


Next, I used two stencils and embossing paste to add texture and additional pattern to the back ground. I used the text across the top of the journal and the brocade pattern across the bottom


From there, I take all the embellishments that I know I want to use and daub on white gesso. I like to use a foam brush for this so I can kind of ‘pounce’ the gesso on and I don’s have to struggle to get all the little pieces and cut outs covered with gesso.


While those are drying, glue a piece of lace across the top of the page. I adhere it down with Golden Gel Medium – but any clear drying glue will work. You will want to make sure all parts of the lace have glue – you don’t want to have anything lift on you after you’re finished with the cover!


Now it’s time to layout your embellishment pieces as you want them to be on your cover. Have fun – play around – see what combination and composition pleases your eye the most. When you have made your decision, glue everything down with a strong adhesive (I use E6000 glue). The embellishments I chose were Gears from the “Mixed Media Embellishments” section of the Basically Bare catalog here. I also used pieces from Blue Fern, Leaky Shed, Prima’s “Relics and Artifacts” (the angel head), a TIm Holtz metal clock, some Wild Orchid mini-roses, and a lightbulb charm and brass corners from who-knows-where. I like using brass corners on art journals, as they get a good workout usually, and the corners keep the cover from getting dogeared. Now dry brush gesso onto everything you have that isn’t already gessoed…and, yes, that includes the lace! Make sure your brush is pretty dry if you have detailed embellishments that you don’t want obscured (such as the metal time piece below. You’re just giving something for the final sprays and inks to grab onto.


Now is my favorite part … painting, misting spraying. I started out using heavily pigmented water colors for the light blue and green center of the piece – added Tim Holtz Espresso Distress Ink spray and then Tim Holtz Hickory Smoke Distress Ink spray in the corners. I also use a paper towel to blot anyplace I think I’ve sprayed too heavily, or that I want to remove a little color before it dries. There are no rules – play, have fun, experiment – it’s your journal!

Finally, with some water, I mix up some ColourArtes Inklingz in the “Miner Miner 49er” color, and highlight all the raised areas that I want to stand out – usually that means most of the highest parts of the composition.

In this photo you can see how the colors look while wet – they may seem garish, but they will tone down as they dry…so don’t be too shy about using color … these water based products will dull down a bit when dry!

Most often, I simply spray some pretty colors on the back with water based inks and spray some water and let the colors blend together and do what they want to. I dont’ want to add any embellishment because I want the book to lie totally flat while I’m working in it. If you’ve never used Ken Oliver’s “Colorburst” color pigments before, this is a great time to experiment and play with them!

DSC00009Once everything is dry (I always let mine sit overnight, just in case there’s some dampness left that I can’t feel with my hands), slip the covers back on the wire ring binding and press the ring tightly closed so they don’t slip out (this does not require Hercules – the bindings bend quite easily). And, voilà! A new journal to write, make art, make holiday card lists or just doodle while talking on the phone!

img119For Basically Bare, the Basically Bare catalog, and the Basically Bare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off until next time!

Basically Bare Steampunk Album – Part 2

I have finished embellishing my Basically Bare Steampunk Album and I can’t wait to show it to you! I know steampunk isn’t everybody’s cup of tea … but I hope you get some ideas about how to use some of the embellishments that are available from Basically Bare!

If you remember from my last post, I used the Delightful Doors from the Mixed Media Spiral Bound Albums.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.00.57 AM

Here are the pages and some of the techniques I used to embellish the album.

DSC00008The cover of the album got a good ‘roughing up’ with an emery board, distress stain, and some light misting of a golden tan color. To the right side I added some flowers and a winged key with some crystal foliage for some bling.

On the left side I used two sizes (small and medium) of the Gears embellishments from the Mixed Media Embellishments category in the catalog. I inked the medium gear with a brown distress ink and heat embossed it with antique gold powder – these cardboard pieces are pretty tough and can take quite a bit of heat so I was able to get a good melt. Over the antique gold powder, I applied a thin coat of copper embossing powder so that both colors were blended and became a unified color. I used the same technique on the two smaller gears, using different colors of powders. Then I layered on a “real” metal gear to the top of the upper small gear and added a few faux gem ‘bolts’ to finish it off. The chipboard embellishment in the upper left corner was a piece I had in my stash and I thought it worked great with the Basically Bare gears.

DSC00007When the gate fold cover opens, there is a large illustration with text and two side panels. I used the same techniques on some of the Basically Bare gears as on the cover and added a few steampunk treasures from my stash.

DSC00005For the next pages, I used a variety of materials. On the left side, I used the blank from the inside of a Fanciful Frames II in the Embellishment category in the catalog and used red flocking powder to create a textured mat for the image of the Statue of Liberty talking on the phone.

I used two of the stars from the Celestial Shapes embellishments and inked them with red distress ink and gave them a light dusting of red glitter. I layered two wooden gear shapes on top of them and put them on the tag envelope. I also added a vintage button the flap of the envelope.

On the left side I used more of the medium sized Gears embellishments, and after used my original technique of embossing powders – then I added an extra two coats of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. It gave the gears a truly grungy industrial factory look – when seeing them in real life it’s almost impossible to tell that they’re simple die cut cardboard! The nice wide cogs on these gears really allow a lot of medium to be added without clogging up the space between.

Here is the same tag envelopes with their tags. They were only embellished with paper images and mica sheets. You can find these wonderful shaped tags in the catalog in the New Products for 2015 section (Scalloped Tag Set).

DSC00006The next page is embellished with things from my steampunk stash and a small tag that I used from Happy Little Houses embellishments – I used the smallest house die cut and snipped off the peak of the roof to make the tag shape – then distressed and inked it and stamped the word ‘dream’ on it. The tie is simple jute cord.



I found it impossible to photograph the transparent acrylic page in the album, so I put a sheet of white cardstock behind it to acquire the photo. The acrylic has been layered with several thicknesses of mica, stamped with a fun image. I’m sure you’ll have fun playing with this acrylic page – there are so many opportunities to try new things! Next time I know I want to try alcohol inks and make a translucent background on an acrylic page! Options are endless.

DSC00002On the left side of the next spread, I used a frame from the Fanciful Frames II collection and gave it a good thick coating of gold and UTEE embossing powders after inking it with black distress ink. All the other embellishments I were either from my stash or I made (the rosette).

DSC00001On the last page, I used gold embossing paste on a script text stencil and added some ‘real’ metal gears and chain. Then I took a large Gear from the Gears collection and cut it into quarters, using them as corner decorations, after inking them with orange ink and lightly dusting them with red distress glitter.

So, there we have it. It took me several days to complete this project – each page had a lot of drying time required before the next step. But I think the result was well worth the time – and using the Basically Bare products made it not not only beautiful, but made the various elements so easy to pull together!

Thanks for stopping by … hope you enjoyed the little tour of my finished Basically Bare Steampunk Album!

For the BadicallyBare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off … and see  you again soon!



Basically Bare Steampunk Album – Part 1

I have some wonderful steampunk images that I’ve been saving for the longest time. I decided it was finally time to get them into some kind of book where I could actually see (read: find) them!

I found the perfect substrate for my product at Basically Bare – natually!Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.00.57 AM

I chose the Delightful Doors gatefold album from the Mixed Media Spiral Bound Albums section of the catalog.

I started with taking the book out of the O-Ring binding wire, so it would easier to work on the page alone without the whole book getting in the way. Also, it means that I could run my papers all the way to the edge of the paper. Of course you have to punch the holes back in the page after you’ve covered them with paper. I use a Zutter Bind-It-All to make the punches … but you could use a round or square paper punch, as long as you lined up each one.  Special tip! After putting paper on one side of a page, punch the holes while you can still see the holes on the reverse side. When you paper the other side, the original holes show so you can repunch! Easy peasy!

If the idea of taking the album apart scares you, just run your paper as far as the binding will allow. There will be a strip of the cardboard showing – but that’s okay. OR, you could color spritz the binding edge of the page before you put the paper on.

Here are the beginnings of my Steampunk gatefold album. I’ve already distressed and inked them.


The front of my album has two papers – a basic background and the steampunk design I really wanted to use. It wasn’t large enough to cover the entire front cover, so I cut it in half and layered in on the background papers of the cover gatefold pages.


Once you open the album covers, you will discover a wonderful array of materials and sizes of pages to work with and make your album really special. The first small piece in the photo above is really a sideways envelope – a great place for a tag! And the page under it is a nice large page for decorating or making mixed media collage.

DSC00003Here we see the reverse side of the tag pocket, another full envelope, and I know exactly what I’m putting in there, and the reverse side of the large page we saw in the photo just before this one.


One of the pages is a sheet of acrylic plastic. Instead of using paper I layers large strips of mica on it, so that it remains transparent, but still has a distressed aged look. It worked terrifically! You can also see the next page direction behind it.


The next page set – another nice large page for collaging, or journaling or the background for a photo. We also see the harlequin pattern with typography which is the reverse side of the page you can see behind the transparent mica page above.


And the final page which is also a terrific space for collaging or using as a backround for a photograph or piece of memorabilia.

Once you’ve finished inking and distressing the edges of the pages, you can put them back in the O-Ring binder wires and squeeze them shut so the pages can’t fall out. I use my Zutter Bind-it-All for this, too – but you can just use your hands to squeeze the wires. Since I have the machine I use it!

Check back in a few days, when I’ll show you the completed, decorated album using lots of Basically Bare embellishments and diecuts!

Thanks for stopping by – please leave a message so I know you visited! And be sure to stop back for Part 2 of this album post!

For the Basically Bare Design Team, this is Tristan signing off! Have a swell day!