Sunday, December 15, 2013

12 Tags of 2013 - December

I was inspired to feature the bear, stars, and map paper by several Native American legends I have read that have to do with a how a bear comes down from the sky and returns to the sky.

I used the techniques as shown on Tim Holtz's blog.  Peace on Earth is my wish every year for Christmas, and I had this lovely word stamp from Inkadinkado.  I cut my own tag shape from Kraft Resist paper. After coloring the tag with Distress Inks, I coated the whole thing with Tsukineko Opalite Nordic Ice ink. It gave it a shimmer that unfortunately is not seen well in picture.  The polar bear is a shape I traced onto plastic with a stencil and used alcohol inks on the reverse to color, with Tim Holtz idea-ology Frosted Film on top.  The ice is a scrap piece of Frosted Film covered plastic with Glossy accents and Ranger Distress Rock Candy Dry Glitter sprinkled on top.  A Swarovski Aurora Borealis Crystal is under the words.  The yellow stars were applied by inking through a stencil.  Also, I used a brass washer and applied a technique I learned in Creative Chemistry 102.

I wasn't able to complete a tag each month this year, but I do want to give a try to going back to the pages for the months I missed out on to give some of those techniques a try as well.  Hopefully, there will be tags of 2014 and I will be giving that a try as well.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Creative Chemistry Day 2 Technique Tags

In real time it is Day 4 of Creative Chemistry and I am working on Day 2 techniques.  These are two tags I made with the Embossing through a stencil technique.

The one on the right is done with the Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous stencil called Stripes. I used an embossing powder called Enamelware that I bought years ago.  It is a Ranger product and is a combination of clear embossing and white embossing, so it gives a flecked look like on enamelware tins.

The one on the left was made by using stencil material and the Sizzix Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves die cut to cut my own stencil.  In order to make the tag, I used the same leaf on that stencil to color and emboss three separate times. I inked the rest of the tag and splattered after I had embossed the leaf three times.

I will be adding the leaf one to my book ring of technique tags, but think I will save the striped one for use as a Halloween tag and get to decorating it and adding embellishments some time soon.

Thanks for looking!  Comments are always appreciated if you have the time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 Industrial tag

This is my technique tag for the Industrial technique.  Awesome looking technique, but hard to photograph.  I have a detail closeup adjusted somewhat for the glare.

Really loved trying this one out.

I also had some small tags left over from a project I did before where I embossed tag and applied alcohol inks to give a metal look.  I took one of them and tried this technique over that to see what would happen.  Comparison shot below shows tag on left has this Industrial technique over alcohol inks and the one on the right is the original just embossed and alcohol inks applied.  I really am liking the one on left better as it looks even cooler and more like an aged metal. 

Hope to be getting to try day 2 techniques as in real time we are actually on day 3 already!  Lots and lots to learn and try out.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 1 Creative Chemistry 102

Loving all the great techniques I am learning in class!  The tags for class are mainly meant to be a reference point for the technique, but I got carried away with my idea for this one.  Love this particular look of Ranger Clear Rock Candy Crackle on die cut leaves.  I cut mine from Grunge paper and followed the technique for class.  Same technique is used on chipboard "L" and corner chipboard pieces.  The saying was one I found online and printed onto a handmade paper that has gold flecks embedded in it.  The line that inspired me was "the wind is wild with leaves".   I added a spritz of Wonderwash gold over both the chipboard "L" and the leaves.  The background tag is actually one I made in CC101 last year and was a "reject".  I think it fit nicely with this idea, so was able to use it. That just goes to show that something you made one day and was not your favorite may turn out to be just right for another project.  On to day two!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

More Halloween Postcards and a Sparkly Transfer Technique

Here are the other two Halloween postcards I did for swap. 

This one is done using die-cuts and specialty papers.  The crow is a decoration from Martha Stewart's Halloween products.  The swirl is a Grunge board die cut that has been painted with Distress Picket Fence paint and then coated with Clear Distress Crackle paint.  The tattered roses on the bottom are Tim Holtz Ideaology Trimmings inked with Distress ink.

Here is the back of the card:

I stamped the Happy Halloween from Martha Stewart as well as the candelabra.  The postage stamp is a shadow stamp from Hero Arts and the "post card" words are the same as used on prior postcard.

My final one for this swap uses lots of techniques including stenciling over a Graphic 45 die-cut frame from Times Nouveau collection with the new Tim Holtz Clockwork stencil, but I came up with one of my own that is going to be my favorite to use I think for a while:

Here is a detail of the decoration in the corner:

I learned some terrific transfer techniques in the Technique Toolbox online class at Big Picture from Claudine Hellmuth.  It was an excellent class and I highly recommend it if it becomes available again on their website.  My transfer technique began based on an idea from that class. 

First, I stamped the word "October" and the number 31 onto a pattern scrapbook paper using Ranger Black Archival Ink.  I used Glossy Accents to glue down a clear acrylic tag shape from the Idea-ology Fragments line onto the paper.  I let this dry.  I then used water and my fingers to rub off the paper.  This left my stamping and the pattern from the paper on the back of the Fragment.  From the front I now had a see-through Fragment that also had a design on it. It looked just fine like that and I could have used that...but, I like things that sparkle.

Years ago, this company Stubby had marvelous events locally where they would show all the latest and greatest products and some terrific new techniques.  I am talking before everything was so available everywhere on the internet.  They are still in business and have a great online website so check them out.  They used to show a technique where you stamp your image with permanent ink onto a clear plastic sheet and use glue and glitter on the reverse side to get some gorgeous glittery images that are smooth on the front. 

That idea, plus a paperweight my mother made years ago with Mica underneath a transfer image, gave me the idea to try Stickles glitter glue on the reverse side of my Fragment.

To do this, you have to flip the fragment over so the side you had glued down to the paper is facing you.  Spread the Stickles evenly over the entire back of the Fragment.  I used Stickles "Icicle".  You have to let it dry totally which takes a while (no using heat gun for this.) 

Meanwhile, I also coated a black paper flower with the same color Stickles.  The larger flower is a kraft color one that I inked with Distress.

Once your Fragment is totally dry, flip it over and admire the sparkles.  I tried several different colors of Stickles and find that the lightest colors work best for this.  I would stick with Crystal or Icicle if you are going to try it.  Sadly, glitter does not photograph very well, but it really looks pretty in person.

Here is the back of my Skeleton postcard: 

Give the Sparkly Transfer Technique a try and let me know if you like it!  I will be posting some more Halloween items as I have some ATC swaps I have joined as well.  Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All Things Tim Yahoo Group Halloween Postcard Swap

This is the first of 3 postcards I made for the ATT Yahoo Group Halloween Postcard Swap.  I will be posting the others on the 26th and 27th.  This is a card I actually started during the class I took online about collage techniques (taught by Claudine Hellmuth). 

Techniques to make this postcard include - The little girl is a digital image printed on an iridescent specialty paper which was torn to make interesting edge. Hat is cut from a paper with ribbon trim and rhinestone star.  Her buttons are also rhinestone stars. Pumpkin is stamped out on cardstock, trimmed, colored, and then covered with Ranger Glossy Accents. Trim underneath girl is ribbon, topped with glow-in-the-dark rick rack, sewn down with two black mini-buttons.  The word "candy" on background made with Tim Holtz Sizzix embossing folder and my wax paper resist technique is highlighted with Ranger Glossy Accents and then further highlighted by going around the letters using Picket Fence Distress Marker.

The back is made to look like a postcard using "Postcard" stamp from Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous The Journey collection.  Candies are stamps from Martha Stewart Halloween collection and are covered in Ranger Glossy Accents.  The fake stamp is a Hero Arts Shadow stamp which I then stamped a little witch's hat from Studio G ($1 set) and some numbers.  The "Trick or Treat" is also from a Martha Stewart set and I highlighted it with Ranger Glossy Accents as well as some Sakura Gelly Roll glitter pens.  Here is a closeup of that...

Hope you enjoyed looking and come back to see my other two postcards in the next few day.  Thanks.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

June Tag and Indian Summer

This is a tag I did for All Things Tim August Indian Summer Challenge.  It is also going to stand as my June tag for the 12 tags of 2013 as it uses some of the same techniques as the June tag on Tim Holtz's blog.  I stamped the tree image and colored in a water-color technique with Distress Markers.  It is mounted on a piece of Coredinations cardstock cut and embossed with a Spellbinders die. The tag itself is actually a background paper I made using Gelli plate technique with acrylic paints. I cut the paper and glued it to a regular manila tag to make it the right thickness. It is hard to see it is overstamped with an Inkadinkado background stamp.  The challenge for the month was to make an item using red, orange, yellow, and black.  You also can't really see that some of the acrylic paint I used is a metallic red, so the background does actually have a shimmer. I am trying to catch up to this month's techniques for the tags of 2013 and also have some ATC swaps I joined that I will be doing, so will be posting again soon.  Life just seems to get in my way alot for stamping and creating time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Claudine Hellmuth's online Technique Toolbox class

I haven't been able to do much creating lately, but have fortunately been able to follow along with Claudine Hellmuth's online class, Technique Toolbox.  Well worth the money, she provides a cute little recipe box to make along with all the techniques for each week in easy to print recipe card format.  The purpose of the class is not necessarily to have a finished project each day, but to give each technique a try and have that idea handy for the future when inspired to make something.  Guest artists provide some gorgeous examples using the featured technique, and Claudine Hellmuth does a instructional video for each day.  Also, the class is through which allows the student access to log in long after class is over to refresh your memory on what was taught.  The classes were 1 daily for five weeks!  Can't beat the price and all the great ideas that will spark future creativity.

Monday, May 27, 2013

12 Tags of 2013 - May

I am still playing along with the 12 Tags of 2013 on Tim Holtz's wonderful blog.  This month, he is featuring a technique using Idea-ology Remnant Rubs.  I didn't have any of those on hand, but did have a stack of alphabet rub-ons from DCWV gathering dust in my stash of crafting things, so I decided to try those to see if it gives a similar effect.  I started off by applying some letters randomly around a tag, and also added some lines of periods so they just look like random dots.  I used Distress Stains in the same technique per the blog and was happy to see it did give a similar effect of resisting the stains.

I did not have the enamel tags from Idea-ology either, so used white Architexture Stone piece from EK Success.  After I applied a white rub-on letter to it, I stained around the letter with Ranger Alcohol Inks.

Another techique I tried which was not on the blog, was to apply Alcohol Ink and then Clear Distress Crackle to the back of the Idea-ology Film Strip Ribbon.  I wanted to add more red/purple to that side of the tag as it was mostly yellow and orange on that side.  Instead of trying to add it to the tag itself with more stain, I added color via the layer on top (the plastic ribbon).  You have to be careful to apply the Crackle only down the middle of the plastic ribbon and leave the edges clean so you can then use double-stick tape to attach it as per the blog.  Also, I cut it slightly larger than I needed so I could have clean ends with which to hold it down flat with weight on each end until it totally dried.  I then trimmed that part off before adhering it to tag.  I feel the crackle gives the film strip ribbon an interesting layer of texture, while it remains smooth to the touch on top.

Once I had stamped a portion of my Inkadinkado Illuminata stamp, I wanted to highlight the center image of the hands to make them more important than the rest of the image, so used Distress Markers in Picket Fence (white).  For anyone who may not catch it, the hands are from the portion of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting called The Creation of Adam, depicting God reaching out to give Adam the spark of life.  I had also stamped a honeycomb image from BoBunny Geometric Patterns stamp set around the edges and highlighted portions of that with the Picket Fence marker.

I applied the saying "possibility begins with imagination" from the Idea-ology Metal Decorative Bands pack with some brads I had on hand and then added a selection of decorative fibers.

I do like how it turned out and will definitely be using this technique again.  After I had finished this, I found out that my local Michaels crafting store now carries the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Word Remnant Rubs, so I got a pack of those to use on other tags, ATCs, and cards.  Can't wait to do that same technique again.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Taking Print Candy printing/mixed media class online

I had been hearing about Gelli plates everywhere and saw this artist offering online class. Have started the class and really love it.  For first class, we made our own print block with lino cutting.  I haven't done that since highschool, but really enjoyed it. 

I printed out an image I liked (having flipped it via printing software).  I then traced a rough outline onto the Speedy-Cut material.  You can use carbon paper or just rub a soft-lead pencil across the back of image to be able to do the transfer.

I had a Speedball Lino Cutter and carefully cut out the image.
Once I inked it to test it out to be sure I liked it,
it looked like this...

I then used it
to make this tag...

It was fun to try this out.  However, I own lots and lots of stamps that I have purchased through the years, so don't really see myself getting into lino cutting.  That being said, it is always good to know you can make your own custom image if you don't have an appropriate image on hand.

The next class involves monoprinting with Gelli Plate from Gelli Arts.  I did not have a Gelli plate, so made a gelatin plate via directions from this excellent printing artist...

I have already tried it and liked it so much, that I went ahead and bought a Gelli plate from my local scrapbooking store.  The advantage of the Gelli plate is that it does not have to be stored in fridge and will last much longer than a gelatin one.  I will be posting what I made with the gelatin and the Gelli plate for my next post.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March - 12 Tags of 2013

My Tag for March.  Based on the tag Tim Holtz posted on his blog, I used Cricut instead of die cuts.  I have a Cricut Mini and love it.  It does not take up lots of space to store, attaches to computer, and does everything the larger stand-alone machines do.  It can use all the same blades (scoring, cutting, and deep cut) and I have not had any problems cutting any type of material I have tried so far.

Cricut gives access to several free images through their online Cricut Craft Room.They had several different types of bunnies, doilies, phrases, and other images free to use from their Easter 2010 Cartridge.  In the Craft Room program, I dropped the bunny into the middle of the doily and used the "weld" feature to get it to cut the silhouette in the middle.  This doily with a bunny-shaped hole in the middle was then placed over a circle of a white glitter paper.  The glitter paper gives it some bling and also a touch of the old-fashioned Easter decorations.  The "Happy Easter" is also from the same cartridge.  Using the Craft Room Program, you can change the size of images to fit what you are making and I find it simpler than the way the stand-alone machines work.

My flowers are left overs from the Tattered Floral Challenge.  They are made using Grunge paper covered with a layer of tissue paper, then coated with acrylic paints.  For these cute flowers I just layered first a brad, then a purchased paper flower, with my larger acrylic painted flower.

Going to try to make my April tag and get it posted in time to add to the pics on Tim Holtz's blog as I missed out for March.

I think my next post will be about stencils.  Everyone seems to be using them!  There are great ones available to buy, but I cut a few of my own using designs from my Cricut cartridges.  I am making some examples, so check back soon as I will be showing them off.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ATC Swap - In the Park

This card is an ATC (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) that I just did for a swap.  Although it is very simply done, I was trying for the look of old-fashioned picture postcards...the kind they made for souvenir shops.  I have a collection of postcards that my mother started when she was young and I have continued to add to it over the years.  Without Facebook, emails, or cell phones, this was the way people used to give a short message to let everyone know they were thinking of them.  I even have a card my mother sent to her family when she went on a trip to visit relatives just to let them know she had arrived safely.  She had gone a whopping 80 miles away, a trip that would take about 2 hours now in a car if you were taking your time seeing the sights.  Back then it would take a train trip or a very long car ride (because there wasn't the Interstate with 70 mph speed limits). 

I printed a photo from City Park in reduced size to fit the ATC in black and white only onto watercolor paper.  I then used Tim Holtz Distress Re-Inkers and a water brush to add the color.  It is mounted to a manila cardstock that I sent through the printer to add the text.  This is then edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tattered Florals Challenge

My Tattered Florals Challenge piece also doubles as one of my Birthday Club Cards I am sending off.  I used a brad with the letter K for the first letter of the name of the recipient.  The flower is made using (of course) the Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Floral die.  I used the technique of acrylic paints scraped over manila folder paper with a palatte knife.  As well, I also used water-color paper for some parts of the flower, some Idea-ology Kraft Glassine and some regular white cardstock sent through an embossing folder after die-cutting the flower shape.

I did not have the Distress Paints, so made my own version.  Using some small plastic cups (about 2 oz size) I filled it half full (so about 1 oz) with white acrylic Gesso and one dropper full of the Distress Re-inker.  When this is wetted with water after it dries, some of the color lifts off and leaves lighter areas.  You can see this well on the pink/red flower.  This uses quite a lot of Re-Inker, so I do plan on getting the Distress Paints.  In addition, the Distress Paints when dry are supposed to stay as they are meaning they don't rewet.  This mix I made does rewet and you can continue to lift color off when you spray it with water.

The little frame around the word "celebrate" is a Grunge-board piece from the Idea-ology Elements set.  I painted it with Jacquard Lumiere fabric paint in silver.

Now to catch up on my other cards that need making.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Birthday Club Cards 3 and 4

Two more cards I did for the ATT Birthday Club. 

In my effort to make cards with only the stuff I already have, I think I did well with this one.  I used one stamp on the pink paper, from PSX Clear by Design Travel Journal.  PSX is not in business anymore, but their stamps still show up on eBay. 

This particular set I bought back in 2005.  The reason I remember so well is because they were one of the only "unnecessary" things I bought during Hurricane Katrina evacuation.  I had not brought any of my hobby things with me due to needing valuable space in the car for people and pets!  I had an order in I had placed before knowing we would need to leave for inks and papers.  The company I ordered from was able to reroute my order to where I then was instead.  So I bought this set at a store just to be able to try out my new inks.

I made the tag with the woman's face using the Idea-ology Fragment (acrylic shapes).  The woman's face is from a preprinted paper.  You simply apply a thin coat of Ranger Glossy Accents to the back of the acrylic shape and press down over the image you want to use.  When dry, trim around the image.  I love how it turned out.  I also like how the ribbon and spiral paper clips look over that gray specialty paper. 

My second card is for a gentleman in the Birthday Club, so wanted it to be more masculine looking.

The small frame is from Idea-ology Harlequin Elements Grungeboard pack, painted with a brass Jacquard Lumiere paint.  The paper is from the Idea-ology Kraft Resist Paper Stash, inked with Distress Inks, overstamped with Studio G clear acrylic stamps, and then spattered with LuminArte Twinkling H20s Radiant Rain.  I attached aged copper brads at each corner and then mounted these two panels on pop-dots.  The metal coils are copper spiral paper clips.  The bottom strip attached to the base paper rather than mounted.

Monday, February 18, 2013

My 12 Tags of 2013 February Tag

Thrilled to be able to get this one finished in time to add my picture to Tim Holtz's blog.  I used the same design and colors and from his example, but made it using an Uptown Rubber Stamps David Walker "Love Cats on Fence" stamp, as well as the "You're Purr-fect" saying from a Studio G acrylic set stamped onto the Idea-ology Vial Label.  I used two different embossing folders, a border from Cricut combined with the Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fade Swirl design on Core'dinations Core Color paper using a tan/kraft sheet.  The tag was done with Barn Door Ranger Distress Stain rather than the colors used in the example, edged with Black Soot Ranger Distress Ink.  The "ribbon" is the Idea-ology Hobgoblin Tissue Tape and the heart charm from Idea-ology Adornments set.  The stamp was done on watercolor paper with Ranger Archival Ink and then colored with the terrific Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Markers.

In using the Core'dinations paper to emboss and sand to reveal the design, I discovered that you actually can get a couple different looks using the same paper and embossing folder.  The first look would be if you just emboss and sand to hit the high-points of the embossed design. 

With the second look, I actually debossed (put the paper in the reverse of the normal way).  That means I put the paper in with the black front facing the side of the embossing folder with the design that feels raised.  I then sanded the paper as usual.  At this point, I reinserted the paper into the embossing folder with the black front now facing the normal side of embossing folder and embossed.  This then raised the design as it normally does when you emboss.  Sorry if I am not explaining it well.  Please note that this only works with symmetrical designs, otherwise, when you flip the paper over, it won't line up with the designs of the embossing folder.  Clear as mud?

Love it when you can get different looks out of the same products!  Examples above are done with three Cricut embossing borders.  Sorry picture is a little blurry - will have to retake and update post soon.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Birthday Club Card 2

Another card I did for the ATT 2013 Birthday Club.  The background is done taking 3 strips of different coordinating scrapbook papers. I cut them to size, positioned them on removable adhesive paper, did my inking and stamping, and when I was ready to place them on the card, removed them from the adhesive paper to adhere in place.  The sentiment is from a chipboard set.  I covered it with Ranger Glossy Accents to give it dimension and used Distress Stickles (Vintage Photo) around the edges.  The lovely flourish is also dimensional and from Tim Holtz Idea-ology Harlequin Grunge Board pack and painted with Jacquard Lumiere paints.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

12 Tags of 2013 January Tag

I am working on 12 Tags of 2013 as started by Tim Holtz on his blog.  I don't have all the same products, so will be doing my own interpretation of his gorgeous tags.  My January tag is below.  Since it is already February, I am playing catch up on this one.

I especially liked how he showed that the Idea-ology Trimmings ribbon can be not only dyed with ink, but also stamped.  That makes it so easy to coordinate it with any project.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

This is another project I had done for my stamping club.  I saw the template and directions for this shadow box in probably a 2006 issue of Somerset Studio  All the measurements and a how-to were included in that magazine.  The box is made of chipboard and covered with a preprinted paper that I inked and sanded.  I included buttons, beads, clock parts, charms, postage stamps, a stamped mini domino, and even a tag from Tazo tea and a diamond shape punched out of chocolate candy wrappers. 

All the items included represent things I like that have a personal meaning to me.  Some of the charms and beads I used I had been hanging onto for quite a while waiting for the perfect time to use them (like the Egyptian cat bead upper left and cat mask lower right).  The inside background of the box is lined with a plain white paper that I stamped a script text stamp on just to give more interest to the background.  The actual size of the box is only 6 1/4  x 5 1/4 inches.

Something very similar could be done easily with premade boxes like the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Configurations sets or even the 7 Gypsies Letterblock Printer Trays

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ATC Storage, Re-Covered Recipe Card Box

Just thought I'd post a quick picture of something I made several years ago.  This is a recipe box I found in the $1 aisle of the craft store.  It was an avocado green color (not my favorite), but I knew I could re-cover it and use it for storing ATCs I have made for swapping.

I bought a bunch of these and used this as a make-and-take project for a round-robin crafting event with my local club.  Each person had to bring all the makings for something easy to assemble with instructions.  Everyone would sit around the table and each be working on a quick and easy project until they were done and then switch out for another one when someone else finished as well. 

I prepared all the boxes ahead of time with the edges painted with gesso and precut all the strips of papers (of various styles and colors) to size.  It was a little more complicated for everyone to do quickly than I had anticipated.  Everyone in the club did attempt to finish and if they did not, they finished at home and brought it to the next meeting for show-and-tell!  No two boxes turned out the same and each one reflected the taste of the person who made it as I had provided variety of preprinted papers and coordinating alphabets.

For the detail on the top, I used precut and preprinted alphabets from a scrapbooking stack.  I coated them with ultra-thick embossing powder and while still hot used a scrollwork stamp to press a design into them, leaving the stamp in place until everything cooled.  I only use actual rubber stamps for that kind of technique (not vinyl as I am not sure it can take the heat without melting the stamp itself).  Once cool, you can easily pull the letter off.  I used some Vintage Photo Distress Ink to make the embossed design show up a little more.  The embossing powder will resist the ink which will only be taken up on the bare areas of paper exposed by the scrollwork design.  Decorations are brads and paper flowers.  Letters are mounted on pop dots on another piece of preprinted paper rectangle trimmed at each corner with a punch over an ivory textured paper.

It has held up quite well over the years.  The gesso at the edges has chipped slightly here and there, but I feel that gives the whole thing a well-loved look that adds character.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Birthday Club

I am also participating in a year-long swap in which each person makes a birthday card for every other member.  Some months have more birthdays than others, so how many I have to make in a month will vary.  I thought this was a good way to get back in the habit of doing greeting cards and may actually even send out some to family members for a change!  It brings me back to the "brilliant" reason I started stamping...I would save sooooo much money on greeting cards.....who has been there, thought that?

My first effort was very simply done as I had not been doing cards in a while.  Fortunately, I started getting a grip on organizing my stuff at the end of 2012 and into this month, so most of my supplies were readily handy.  Going through things also gave me a chance to see all the things I bought because I loved the colors or thought they were cool and I would use them on some project some day. My goal for this year is to only use things I already own in making all these birthday cards.

This first one was done based around the color of the circular sticker I used (and inspired by the colors and shapes in the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Retro Grunge paper stash).

I used a piece of waxed-paper resist embossing I had already made a while back (see my other blog post about that), some coordinating ribbons, paper punch, pop-dots, and some cute charms I had of an old-fashioned rubber stamp with an ink pad.  I heat embossed a birthday saying on the inside of the card as well, just a simple "Best Wishes for a Wonderful Birthday" a PSX stamp.

I don't mind using stickers in my creations, especially when they are the more intricate ones that are now made for scrapbooking and not just the neon color cutesy ones for kids to collect.

This color combination (yellow, red, and orange with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink) was definitely one I would not normally pick, but I liked the saying on the sticker - "Another year older, another year better" - so tried to coordinate my papers and ribbon to all work together.

Whew...two blog posts in one day.  Now onto working on more birthday cards.  Check back if you like my creations as I will be posting more often as I get each card made and mailed off to its recipient.

ATT Christmas Ornament Exchange

I participated during the 2012 holiday season in a Christmas Ornament exchange.  I used a lightweight small wooden birdhouse from the craft store (from the $1 bin) and decided to cover it with papers.  This was for the All Things Tim Yahoo Group, so use of Tim Holtz products, techniques, and/or stamps was encouraged.  Here is a picture of what I made...

I used ArtQuest Perfect Paper Adhesive to attach a preprinted tissue to the house.  The roof panels are the technique I will describe below. 

1. Take a strip of metallic tape (hardware store purchase) and attach to a lightweight cardstock (either a tag or piece of  manila folder).

2.  Using Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks and a felt applicator tool, apply three colors of alcohol inks in layers to each tag.

 The uncut and unembossed sheets looked like this...

3. Using Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Tiny Tabs and Tags die cut, cut tag shape. Cut enough tags so that they slightly overlap around the circumference of the roof. 

4.  Using Sizzix Texture Fades Riveted Metal embossing folder, send each tag through your embossing machine (two at a time can fit in the folder).

5  I drew a straight line about 1/4 inch from the bottom of tag to use as a guideline for decorative scissors.  This gave it a nice edge, and trimmed up the length of the tag as it was hanging a little too much over the edge of the roof.  I used the leftover edge pieces to glue around bottom ledge of birdhouse.

This is what the tags looked like before I glued them on...

5.  To apply tags around the roof of house, use ArtQuest Perfect Paper Adhesive.  I applied one tag at a time, keeping pressure on the tag by hand until the glue set (very fast, maybe 1 minute), and waited about 5 to 10 minutes before gluing down another.  This allowed me to be sure each tag had conformed to the shape of the roof and had no loose ends.

For finishing touches that I did not get a picture of (unfortunately), I bought a piece of fake floral pine, berries, and tiny real pinecones and I force the stems of that into the hole at the top of birdhouse where the rope for hanging is coming out.  I also used Ranger Stickles (Stardust) in a light coat over the preprinted tissue to add some sparkle.  I was very happy at how it turned out and my swap partner told me she really liked it.