Hello Sizzix friends! I'm delighted to be coming to you with a project for the Sizzix blog, featuring the delightful Gertrude. It is said that Giraffes represent confidence, peace and power. I wanted an art piece that would show that bit of inspiration as well as to highlight Gertrude, who exudes peaceful confidence. Here is a tutorial for this Stand Tall and Rise Above project.

You will need:

How to Make:

1. Paint the frame, back and sides of a Vignette Frame with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Once dry, lightly sand the frame. Then scribble some of the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon over raised areas on the frame and rub it in with a damp finger.

2. Spray the frame with Ground Espresso Distress Spray Stain. Set aside to dry.

3. Cut a 12x12 piece of patterned paper to fit the size of the back of the Vignette Frame. About 6x8. Out of the remaining piece of the paper, cut two of the Doodle Art 2.

4. Take a few minutes to look at the patterns on the Doodle Art pieces and determine an area on each that you want to trim to fit in opposite corners of the frame. In this picture you can see where I trimmed some scrap paper pieces first and I have them laying over the two cut from the patterned paper.

5. Then using some detail scissors, carefully cut away portions to make two corner décor pieces. You can see I have one that is larger than the other.

6. Adhere the solid piece of paper to the back of the frame with Distress Collage Medium. Use a brayer or bone folder to press it onto the panel and to remove any air pockets.

7. Then apply a nice layer of Collage Medium across one corner of the paper on the panel, and press one of the Doodle Art corners into it. Then do the same in the opposite corner.

8. Cover the entire piece with a thin layer of Collage Medium. You will notice that there will be some brush strokes. These will dry into the background and if you like them, you can leave them to dry as part of the texture.

9. But if you would prefer, use your hands to smooth the Collage Medium gently using circular motions and as you can see, it will smooth the surface.

10. While that is completely drying, take a piece of Distress Woodgrain Cardstock, color it with Ground Espresso Distress Stain so that it looks like dark brown wood. Dry it with a heat tool. Using your finger, pick up a little bit of Crushed Olive Distress Paint, then run the paint on your finger across the surface of the Woodgrain cardstock. This should bring out some of the woodgrain.

11. Do the same thing with Peacock Feathers Distress Paint and you should have a piece of paper that looks a little like old, Distressed Wood. Use this paper to cut out the sentiment you want. I chose the phrase Stand Tall and Rise Above which I cut from the Hand Cut Lower Case Alphanumeric. I cut all of the letters a second time from heavy black cardstock and adhered them together to make the sentiment letters a little thicker making them stand out when adhered to the background.

12. I used the same technique to smear some Scattered Straw Distress Paint on a piece of Distress Cracked Leather Cardstock. Then sprayed it with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain. Once dry I cut it into 1/8" strips to form a frame inside the wooden frame later on.

13. At this point the panel should be completely dry. Pull some Distress crayons in colors you want to use to form a blended background. I used Peeled Paint, Weathered Wood, Peacock Feathers, Fossilized Amber and Crushed Olive.

14. Begin by scribbling some of one of the colors over parts of the Doodle Art. Just start in a small area at a time.

15. Then using one of your fingers, push the crayon around and into the indentions. Continue this in a few different places around the panel.

16. Continue adding different colors and blending them as you go until the entire background is covered.

17. Using a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon, go around the outside of the piece and blend it in to add depth to the colors around the edge of the piece and also the edges of the Doodle Art pieces so they stand out.

18. Using the Weathered Wood Distress Crayon, scribble it onto various areas of the frame and rubbing it in to add interest to the brown frame and to tie it in to the background. Then put some Collage Medium onto the back of the frame and put it onto the panel. This takes time to dry, and needs to be held in place, so I set it aside and put books or something heavy on top while it dries.

19. While it is drying, it is time to put together Gertrude. Sizzix already has a great video for assembling her here, https://youtu.be/IQNZWe8FfGI so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. The only thing I will say is that I used Distress Mixed Media Heavystock and I colored several pieces with different colors of gold and brown and then cut them out and adhered them together according to the video directions.

20. At this point the frame should be dry. Use the thin Cracked Leather Cardstock strips to form a frame about ½ - ¾ " from the inside edge of the panel frame.

21. Adhere Gertrude along the right side of the frame. I added a bit of chipboard underneath her to give a little dimension.

22. Before adhering the Woodgrain Cardstock sentiment, lay it out inside the Cracked Leather frame to get the spacing correct, then adhere once it all fits.

Thank you so much for sticking with me on this rather long tutorial. I just love Gertrude and her sense of self-confidence, so I wanted a project that would celebrate that. I hope you are inspired to give Gertrude and Doodle Art 2 a try on a project soon.