Monday, January 9

Simon Says: Be Square!

Hello Friends! Yes, it's Monday and that means we have a new challenge at Simon Says Stamp! Our challenge theme this week is "Be Square", so pull out your square stuff and please join in with us this week. 

My project is full of inspiration from Seth Apter. I had the wonderful opportunity to take some classes with him and wanted to play with some of his cool products, like the Robo Square die which is what jumpstarted my creative process. 

Sometimes, I just wonder if I am a "Square Peg in a Round Hole?"
(little gift box photo prop is from a friend, but since it was square I wanted to use it) 

So, it really all starts with a piece of junk mail which I liked the way it folded out, so I cut it into two pieces.

Then I used black gesso on all sides.

Next step using a piece of canvas and a brayer, I began to layer on the paint.

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what colors I want to use, but once I started working on the black background, I started thinking night sky and headed into mostly blues and purples.

I used a number of Seth Apter stencils and sponged different paints to work on creating layers. After the stenciling was finished, I went in with my Seth Apter stamps to build the design. 

The die cuts are all from the Robo Square die. I not only used the die cut, but all the pieces in-between also. Hey, there were all squares!

Next step was to add some detail with permanent black and white pens.

Final step - sew in some fun detail on several pages and sew the small section into the larger one.

A new year means I have to try new things, right? So, I've tried making a video to show my book rather than a ton of photos.

And a few close ups of some of the squares in action...

On the cover, I used my label maker to add my title.

squares within squares...

a bit of checkerboard doodling...

Now it's your turn to "be square"! I do wonder how you will interpret our challenge this week, so be sure to share with us. 

Simon Says Stamp generously offers a $50 voucher each week! 



A great place to shop!! 

Simon is on Instagram - use #sssmchallenge

Wondering how our design team is expressing themselves in squares? So am I, so let's head over there and check it out!


  1. Gorgeous project Maura and fabulous recycling! I love the colours and details, the textures and whole design of this is awesome! :-)

    Lols x x x

  2. You had me at black gesso. Wonderful images and color.

  3. This is the best way to use up junk mail, Maura. Love your backgrounds and all the texture.

    Cathie ♥

  4. Cool sci-fi feel! I enjoy this! The pops of pink are excellent additions!

  5. Cool project, Maura! The color combo reminds me of the 80's! :)

    Simon Says Stamp!

  6. So artistic & beautifully crafted!

  7. Fabulous project! I love the background and the mix of colors is awesome! So inspiring!
    Sherrie K

  8. Such a beautiful creation, Maura. Love the fabulous colors and fantastic patterns. :)

  9. SOOOOOO much square goodness here! And holy cow! I would've never guessed how you created that cool background effect of the brayering over the black Gesso! It looks like fabric and I've never seen anything quite like it before! I also loved seeing all the clever ways you incorporated squares. You know I love me some Seth Apter and you totally did justice to his products in every way! Kudos and a double kudos to your VIDEO!! That is a whole new world and I'm proud of you for giving it a go!

  10. The background is fantastic, so many layers and colors one over another. Love all the squares you used. Hugs, Marzena

  11. MAura......... really I'm speechless! love love love your project and your video! Seth's dies are fabulous and I have to buy some of them!wonderful! Barbara

  12. what an amazing junk mail transformation Maura...I'm loving all the detail and textures my wonderful square peg in a round hole friend...hugs kath xxx

  13. Your background is A M A Z I N G !!!!My favorite!!!

  14. What a fantastic use of junk mail and an amazing transformation...this is fabulous Maura and there is just so much detail to take in! Love it... xx

  15. Wow Maura, this is amazing!! So many layers and wonderful colours and what a great idea to use junk mail like that. I love how interactive it is and all the pages.

  16. This looks so pretty, Maura! It has the feel of grafitti, really cool! Hugs, Sandra

  17. Just love the handmade book. I went through a phase of making handmade books and need to get back into it. Starting with junk mail is such a great idea. I've used old greeting cards before and boxes for the covers.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, it is so appreciated, and I love reading each and every one!


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