Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Tag

My first Halloween swap with the All Things Tim (that's Tim Holtz) Yahoo Group.  I made five of these and am expecting back 5 different ones from other participants.  Sure hope it gets to the swap hostess in time.  I had lots of fun doing this and tried out some things I had not done before, but had learned in Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101 class.

One of my own ideas for a different technique was to take the Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations folder that has lots of Halloween words and the number 31 and just use that number.  I embossed it onto Coredinations paper (black with a purple core), sanded it so the purple would show, and put Ranger Glossy Accents over the inside of each number just so the inside is shiny.  The edges of the paper are torn to reveal the purple core.  To make the number really stand out you can send it through the embossing machine again after it is sanded, but before you apply any Glossy Accents to it. 

Making more Halloween items and hoping to be posting again soon.

Tip:  I have found that any time I use the Coredinations with embossing folders, it is better to send it through a second time once you have sanded it, as it brings back the sharpness of the outlines that the pressure from sanding takes away.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hurricane Isaac 2012

I am very fortunate to have been in an area that did well surviving this storm.  I think the worst part of it is not only sitting through the high winds and driving rains, but worrying about if a tornado should hit or if the street starts flooding.  It is also not fun having various members of your family have to go off in different directions and not being able to get to them to help if they need it.  Losing electricity for several days is also not fun (food in the fridge spoils if you don't have enough ice and coolers) and temperatures can get uncomfortably high.  Additionally, high heat and high humidity are not a good combination for the elderly as A/C pulls moisture of the air.  When you don't have that and have breathing problems, it is not a good combination and can be life threatening.

Unfortunately, many people nearby my area did not do well.  The suffered the same nasty surprise in Plaquemines Parish as the people of the 9th Ward (where I grew up) and other parts of New Orleans did in Katrina, in that houses that have never flooded before now have 8 feet of water or more, with some water up to rooftops.  I can't imagine anything more scary than having to climb out on a roof when water is rising and the high winds and driving rains are still battering the area as many of these people did.

When the house my family owned in the 9th Ward flooded, volunteers from Catholic Charities came to help us clean it out of all the thing that could not be saved.  I hope to be able to find an organization that is accepting volunteers, either to help clean out houses or to help take care of pets of people who cannot house them due to having lost their homes.  Anyone who reads this, please consider donating to an organization that is helping the people of Lousiana or to any state (Florida and Mississippi as well) affected by this very damaging storm.

Below is an ATC I made for a swap about angels back in 2006, after the Catholic Charities volunteers came to clean out the house.  I don't even know many of their names, but their hard work and willingness to help really made a difference that I will never forget.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Taking Claudine Hellmuth's Class

I am fortunate to be able to take another online class, this time by Claudine Hellmuth via .  The class is entitled Composition for Collage.  My first piece for homework for the class is below, entitled Hearts and Flowers.  I used canvas inked with Distress Stains for the background, the woman image is from Claudine Hellmuth and I printed it out on iridescent paper, the flowers are iridescent brads on paper flowers with ribbon stems, and the bottom border is a preprinted paper from my stash.  

Thanks for checking out my blog.  Comments are always welcome and appreciated!

A Wax Paper Resist Embossing Technique

I saw a video on Tim Holtz's website ( where he uses his stamps that coordinate with his embossing folders to create a raised, stamped background image.  I then watched a video at a later point from in which a wax resist technique was done.  I liked both techniques and thought of a way to incorporate parts of both into my own wax resist embossing.  So many people are out there trying techniques and making videos and blog posts, I can't claim to be the first one to try this; but, I can honestly say I have not seen it anywhere before.  I taught it to my local stamp club members when I was in charge of leading the class for our meeting and they really seemed to like it.

I used cardstock cut to size to fit in embossing folder, wax paper cut to size to fit in embossing folder, Distress Inks and Tim Holtz ink applicator from Ranger, embossing folder, craft iron, heat-resistant ironing surface/teflon craft sheet (I used a folded towel to protect surface as well). 

My steps for getting the wax onto the cardstock are the ones as shown on StampTV, so please go to YouTube and look at her excellent wax resist video if you want to know how that is done.  Her videos are very well done and there are lots of great things to learn there!

Once I have the two pieces of cardstock with a wax pattern now melted into them, I then used the Tim Holtz Distress inks to color my paper as I like, and I got something like this below.  Please note the background paper is made using a Provo Craft Cuttlebug embossing folder, however, the image is not raised at all because the cardstock did not go through the embossing machine, only the wax paper used to make the pattern did. 

Taking this to the next level, I then used part of the idea from Tim Holtz's video and sent an inked image through the embossing machine so the image is raised.  By taking my cardstock that has been heated so the wax melts and creates a pattern, then inking it with Distress Inks, I could then line up the cardstock with the pattern in the embossing folder so that when I sent it through the machine, it looked something like this...

What is the benefit to this, you may ask?  In my opinion, the wax paper is giving an entirely different texture to the image by creating areas of voids where the ink does not absorb into the paper (resist).  I really like that it gives me an entirely different look from my embossing folders.

I then swiped a darker Distress ink over the surface of my embossed and inked cardstock, just to hit the high points.  This example uses same embossing folder, but colored with different Distress Inks.

And, finally, I tried one where I did not line up the pattern when I embossed it and swiped a black ink over the raised portions.  This one is probably my favorite!

I think it really adds a level of complexity and interest to what already is a very interesting embossing folder pattern. 

Tip:  When using embossing folders with words or numbers, you are going to get a reverse image on your second piece of cardstock as in the below example.  If you notice the numbers on the bottom are backwards on the cardstock on the left.  That can still be something you can use somewhere and isn't necessarily a throw away.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Virtual Summer CHA

Another one of my interests is anything Fantasy/Sci-Fi.  Spent this weekend attending virtual Comic Con by following attendees on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and through various news articles posted.  Found out about the latest on the upcoming Hobbit movie!  I have done art inspired by the Hobbit/LotR before and will have to post a pic.  Just now found out I will be able to have a virtual CHA as well this week, by following Tim Holtz's blog (have to track him down on Twitter as well), as well as other great stamping artists including the wonderful ScrapTime blog.  They always have great video of CHA and going to their site to see if they will be attending again this year.  They can also be found through iTunes for downloading for free. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dictionary page ATCs

Some of those reading may never have heard of Artist Trading Cards.  The size of traditional sports trading cards (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches), they are made in any medium the artist prefers.  Here is a Wikipedia link about ATCs and here is a link to a site in Switzerland about the history of ATCs as well  Rules for ATCs are only regarding the size and the fact that the cards are freely traded with other artists and are never sold.  I have belonged to two online groups for swapping ATCs via mail for many years and have been fortunate to swap with many very talented people all over the United States and all over the world.  Sometimes a swap can have a theme proposed by the host or hostess and how your art fits that theme is up to you.  The above cards are ones I made for a swap where the theme is to use a page from a book as your background.  I used pages from a very old dictionary that was falling apart.  Normally, I would cringe at destroying any kind of book.  This book was pretty much disintegrating anyway.  I salvaged the pages in the best shape and have them in my stash of interesting-things-to-do-something-with-someday.  For these particular pages, today was the day!  Below are two close up pics of two of my favorites.  Very soon, they will be making their way through the mail to the swap hostess and from there off to other trading card artists who could live anywhere.  I can't wait to see the ones from the other participants.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Watercolor Tag

This is yet another Creative Chemistry 101 Technique.  Although the class is over since last week, I am still catching up in dribs and drabs on tags I was not able to do.  I still have one done to post (Mardi Gras) and one more to do.  When I am done, though, there will still be 4 - count em' 4 - techniques I was not able to try as I did not have those supplies or a substitute!  It was certainly jam packed with ideas and techniques!

The main image on the above tag is done using Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Re-Inkers in a watercolor technique.  I am not at all a fan of coloring by hand, but this technique allows for filling in large areas quickly.  I picked a very simple (but lovely) image from a stamp company in Guam called Vivid Jungle Designs.  They have some gorgeous beach/Guam culture theme stamps.  You can find them at  These are great quality stamps.  I made my most recent purchase from them several years ago, but all the ones I got were unmounted and already on nice, thick cushion and trimmed closely. 

The tag the image is mounted on is done with Ranger Distress Stains.  It is easy to see how well the Distress Re-Inkers work in coordination with the Distress Stains

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Distress Stain techniques from Creative Chemistry 101

Was able to do these tags today using techniques from Creative Chemistry 101 class.  First tag is marbling technique using Ranger's Tim Holtz Distress Stains.  The image is a stamp from  I stamped in in black ink over the marbled tag.  I stamped it again on a sheet of white sticker paper, cut out the outer circle with words and then placed that over what was orginally stamped to isolate the image from the rest of the tag.

Second tag is again using Ranger's Tim Holtz Distress Stains.  Background stamp is a word stamp with sayings about friendship from Inkadinkado ( and overstamped in black are three stamps from Studio G (

Here are more technique tags I have done trying to finish up all the techniques in the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 Class at  Believe it or not there are still some techniques I was not able to do.  Some of them use Distress Markers which I don't have (they are fairly new item) and even some Rock Candy Distress Stickles I don't have (but will be getting from local scrapbook store soon I hope). 

The first tag above uses Distress Embossing powder.  I only had the color of embossing powder- Vintage Photo- which is a brown, but did stamp the image from Stubby Stampers ( in several different inks and noticed the tone of the embossing powder changes depending on what ink is underneath it. 

The second tag is Rusted Enamel Technique and uses inks and clear embossing powder.  Very cool to see in person as it really does not look like it can just be paper.

Third tag is a technique using embossing powder and them removing the embossing powder later.  I did not intially see the value in that since I was thinking why not just emboss and leave it that way?  The nifty thing is, though, once you remove embossing, the card is smooth to the touch again rather than bumpy from embossing powder.  The floral stamp on here again is from Stubby Stampers, and the swirl stamp is from a clear stamp set from a company called Autumn Leaves.

I do have one more tag I did, a Mardi Gras theme, but need some feathers as a final touch.  So, I will be posting that one as soon as I can find my purple, green, and gold feathers that I have stashed around here somewhere. 

Thanks for viewing and please leave comment if you like.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Creative Chemistry ended this past Monday with a wonderful wrap-up showing some examples of great cards.  I actually still have some techniques to try out, having gone ahead and ordered more colors of different types of inks I did not have on hand.  Waiting anxiously for those to arrive and will be posting more of my works soon.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Distress Crackle Paint - Creative Chemistry Day 8

To me, any day is a good day to make a Halloween theme item!  Both the cat and bird are Grungeboard cutouts from Tim Holtz's idea-ology line (cat from the Seasonal pack and raven from the Nature pack)  The technique here was using the Ranger Distress Crackle paints.  I had that piece of quartz sitting on my desk and it struck me that the pattern of the quartz crystals as they form was very like the effect the Ranger Distress Crackle gives.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 8 of Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101

Skipping ahead to day 8 - playing catchup on the different techniques.  The class is giving us at least three techniques a day to try out and lots of great information about different stamping products from Ranger.  This particular stamp used is a Ginko leaf from and the leaf is #3374.  It is stamped on fabric, Rangers Inkssentials Sticky Back Canvas Cards that come in trading card size.  I used two, cutting one of them in half for the leaf at the bottom of the card.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 5 of Creative Chemistry

This tag is made with techniques learned on day 5 of Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry.  It is the Stained Kraft Resist Technique.  So many more techniques still to try!  This is already approching Friday of the final week of class, and I am just getting around to posting last week's homework.

Day 4 of Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry

I was able to do one of the techniques for this class, called Layered Misting.  Very simple and pretty technique, but one I probably would not have thought of all by myself.  This class is very inspiring.  It is making me think of not only the ways I can use supplies  I already have, but also what I would like to try out next.  : )

Friday, March 23, 2012

My tags done for Creative Chemistry 101

So far, I have been able to keep up with only some of the stamping techniques. Lots of great information is being given by our teacher (Yay, Tim Holtz!) that it is much to absorb and try out.  The idea of these tags is to be able to practice learning the techniques being taught.  Another whole week of techniques yet to come as well.  As well as learning new stamping techniques, now I guess I am going to have to learn how to blog.


Starting this blog as a way to post my stamping creations.  Have been a stamper for many years and currently am participating in the Creative Chemistry 101 class being taught by Tim Holtz on  I also belong to a local stamping group and participate in ATC swaps.