Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart

Hi, and welcome to my blog! Today marks the kick-off of the One World One Heart event. This worldwide event is sponsored by Lisa Swifka, of A Whimsical Bohemian. It was created to give bloggers a chance to "meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world." Each blogger will give away some sort of door prize to a lucky reader!

For my prize, I'm giving away a chunky tag I made recently, using my Faux Tarnished Silver technique. If you'd like to read more about it, click here. To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment on this post. I will choose the winner using a random number generator on February 17th.You do not need to have a blog to enter, but please be sure and leave your name and an email address where you can be reached. If I can't find you, I won't be able to let you know you've won! Here is what you'll receive:

  • 1 handmade chunky tag that features my Faux Tarnished Metal technique
  • 1 chunky wood tag (to make your own!)
  • 10 sheets of French text
  • 10 large manila tags
  • 1 yard of vintage lace seam binding
  • 1 yard of vintage rayon seam binding
  • 1 yard of hand dyed ribbon
  • 4 die cut bird cages
  • 4 die cut birds.
  • a variety of die cut fabric
 Thanks so much for stopping by, and good luck!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #29

This week at the CCC Challenge, we're trying the Weathered Wood Grunge Technique from Tim Holtz's fantastic Compendium of Curiosities book. I had high hopes for mine....unfortunately, I couldn't get the outcome to match the image that was in my mind. Oh well, at least I tried it!

My Weathered Wood piece is Grunge Paper that was embossed using the Bingo Texture Fade embossing folder. The focal point of this card is the little clown girl - I love this image so much! She's a little photo-realistic rubber stamp from the Playful collection by Oxford Impressions (It's hard to believe that's a rubber stamp!). I highlighted her costume with small dots of Fired Brick Distress Stickles. This is the perfect example of how the Distress Stickles work so well with a vintage-look card. They give a nice, subtle sparkle.

The flower was created by cutting a paper-covered piece of Grungeboard and crepe paper using the Tattered Florals die. The pieces were layered and topped with a circle punched from Tim Holtz's Lost and Found paper. The bottom of the card is trimmed with a strip from the same paper, along with Tissue Tape and an Adage Ticket tied with waxed linen thread.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I can't wait to see what my fellow Challengeers (yes, that's a word, I just made it up) come up with!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #28

This week's CCC challenge - Colorful Layered Fragments - was a tough one for me. I am down to my last few Fragments and all I had to choose from was a bunch of tiny ones or one giant piece. I chose the giant one, but had a hard time figuring out how to fill it up! I decided to stamp it with images from one of Tim Holtz's clear stamp sets. I think these are such pretty stamps! I don't have the AI pens, so I just painted on various Adirondack alcohol inks with a paintbrush.

This was such a giant piece, I wasn't sure what to do with it. I ended up covering a piece of wood with French pages, gesso-ing over it, and then stamping it with the flourish from Tim Holtz's Reindeer Flight collection. I wanted a bit of a frame, so I inked some Tissue Tape with black ink and applied it around the edges. Love how it stays somewhat transparent and you can still see the print. Very cool! To finish it, I added Idea-ology corners and an Ornate Frame holding an Adage Ticket.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you are all having a wonderful, arty weekend! :-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Art Creations Friday + Some Very Exciting News!

So....which should I do first - the news or the tag? Hmmm...I will make you wait for the surprise, I think! ;-)

I have definitely been out of the loop as far as design challenges go. One of my resolutions (yes, I do make them!) for this year was to participate more. I am always inspired by the themes and the fantastic artwork that everyone comes up with.

 This week, over at Art Creations Friday, we were asked to create something using a vintage Coke calendar image. Since I'm still on a Steampunk bender, of course I had to find a way to 'punk it up! I took the image into a photo editing program, cropped it, and then change the color to sepia. After I printed it, I added color back to the flowers using Distress inks and a water brush. I added a stamped top hat from Oxford Impressions and a wing (also OI) that I stamped and embossed using my Vintage Tarnished Metal tech (you can tell I'm obsessed with that one, I'm sure). While it was still hot, I stamped again, adding back the wing texture, which I highlighted with black Stazon.

 I embellished with plenty of idea-ology gears and a little faux rust Grungeboard flower. The background is a combination of Newsprint Reveal + Faux Designer Paper techniques, both from the Technique Junkie newsletter. I used a foam stamp cut from Tim's Gadget Gears die, a flourish from his Reindeer Flight stamp set, and a text stamp from Oxford Impressions. To finish it off, I made a little ruffle using Tissue Tape.

Ok....the NEWS! Yesterday, I was invited to join the extremely talented Design Team over at Inspiration Emporium. I'm sure the ink was barely dry on the offer before I screamed, "Yes!" How could I not? If you haven't before, make sure you check out this fantastic store. They have everything you could possibly need! Also make sure you check out their blog - Inspiration Journal - and meet all the other wonderful designers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Altered Mini Mister Holder ::or:: The Day I Fell in Love with Glossy Accents

Or...the day I made a thing that looks kind of like a pinball machine, or the day I was really bored and had a lot of new Tim Holtz idea-ology stuff to play with. Or the day I channeled Martha Stewart - remember how she was always obsessed with decanting dish soap and mouthwash into 'pretty' containers? That's pretty much what I did!

It all started with this. A very functional, handy Mini Mister Organizer that a kind friend gifted me with. Super useful, but not at all pretty! I had been using this:

 It's a vintage flower frog. Insanely cool, but I'll be's a pain to use. So I sez to myself, I sez.....couldn't you tart that Mini Mister thingy up a bit? A little TH paper to cover it? A few do dads here and there? A bit of stamping? Why not?

So, that's what I did! I first created a base by covering the edges of a thin piece of craft wood with Tissue Tape. I 'stained' some unfinished wood pieces with Vintage Photo Distress ink and attached them to the bottom, as feet. I wish I'd had the new Ranger Distress Stain - it would have been so much easier!

The back was made using the same wood. To decorate it, I stamped a panel of Tim's paper with the quote from his Life's Possibilities clear stamp set. I wanted it to stand out more so I highlighted the letters with Glossy Accents. The umbrella man - from the same stamp set - was stamped on Grungeboard, cut out, and attached using Glossy Accents. Various idea-ology pieces were also added using Glossy Accents. Sense a theme yet?

The block was sanded and then covered with paper (using Glossy Accents) from one of Tim's pads. It's hard to tell, but there's some stamping underneath the letters. Speaking of which...they are all Grungeboard and have been inked with various distress inks and adhered with - you guessed it - Glossy Accents. The idea-ology pieces were also attached with Glossy Accents.

On the other side, I added more Grunge letters and a couple flowers cut from Tim's Tattered Florals die. I also added a Grungeboard flourish that I used my Faux Tarnished Metal technique on. I love the effect on Grungeboard! A vintage Bingo piece and an idea-ology gear were added to the center of the flower using Glossy Accents. Indeed, EVERYTHING on this entire piece was attached, adhered, and just plain glued using GA. I actually tried another type of glue and it didn't hold. So, I tried the GA and it held like cement!

After the individual pieces were finished, I glued the whole thing together (GA) as shown. A gorgeous idea-ology Ornate Plate holding an Adage Ticket completes the piece.

Ok, I crazy....or inspired? You be the judge. All I can say is this looks pretty cool sitting on my table!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tagging Along with Wednesday Stamper

My Wednesday Stamper submission is a birthday card I made for someone on the All Things Tim Yahoo group. The tag background was created using the Pulled Glimmers technique from the June/July '10 issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. I also tried out a little bleach stamping on top of my background. I haven't done much of that - it's a great technique.

All stamps are from a Tim Holtz clear stamp set. The layered flower was cut from vintage French book pages using the Tattered Florals die, also from TH....of course. I mean....seriously....who else is there? ;-)

p.s. Be sure and come back tomorrow - I have something SO cool to share!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Very Cool iPhone App!

After seeing Elizabeth's amazing picture that she edited using an iPhone app called Photo Studio, I had to download it and try it out. The first picture I played with was one I'd taken awhile ago. It's one of our chickens - Buttercup - hanging out on the picnic table. I think I used the 'Ancona' effect on this one.

Yesterday, I was on my way home from stamp club and visiting a friend (tell Henry thanks for the checkup, Robyn. I saved my $20 copay!), and the sunset was gorgeous! I whipped off the road into the cemetery (good unobstructed views) and took a few quick photos with my camera. Last night I played around with it using the 'Ancient Canvas' effect and came up with the above. I'm so impressed with this app! It's only $1.99 to boot. Thanks so much, Elizabeth, for sharing this app with me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tag Tuesday - Fabric, Wednesday Stamper - Music, Plus a Tut!

Back when I first used my Faux Tarnished Metal technique, I promised that I would post a tutorial, and I've finally gotten around to doing it! My ATT friend, Mary-Beth, graciously offered to send me some birdcage and bird die cuts so I could recreate the metal cage. Thanks so much Mary-Beth! :-) Here we go:

Supplies: Versamark watermark ink pad; brown (not pictured), bronze/copper, black acrylic paint; Ranger silver embossing powder; Ranger Ultra Thick embossing powder; birdcage or other die; heat gun; sponge or sponge brush. Tip: the plastic from an Idea-ology package makes a great palette!

Step 1: Paint birdcage with a combination of brown and copper acrylic paint. This color will peek through your melted embossing powder in the end.

Step 2: Cover entire die cut with Versamark, or other clear pigment ink.

Step 3: Cover entire piece in silver embossing powder. Tap off excess.

Step 4: Emboss using a heat gun. Let cool.

 Step 5: Reapply Versamark, covering silver embossing. It's ok to leave some un-inked areas, if you like.

Step 6: Cover with Ultra Thick embossing powder. Tap off excess.

Step 7: Emboss UTEE using heat gun. You'll notice the UTEE causes the silver embossing powder to dissipate, creating little 'windows' through to the base color. Very cool!! At this point, you can decide if you want more silver, more UTEE, etc. I added another layer of silver and another layer of UTEE, proceeding as shown above.

This is my piece after I was done with embossing. Don't you love the way the silver embossing is broken up? It's really starting to look like tarnished metal!

Step 8: Using a cosmetic sponge or sponge brush (one of Tim's Dabbers would be great for this!) cover the entire piece with black acrylic paint. Be generous.

Step 9: Wipe paint from birdcage using a tissue or paper towel. You can leave on as little or as much paint as you like. If it dries too soon, dampen your tissue and re-wipe.


My tag background was a second generation Antiqued Glimmers (Technique Junkie Newsletter) 'swipe' after making my tag for Day 1 of Tim's Christmas tags. I spotted it on my work table and decided it would be perfect with the bird cage. My bird was stamped with a flourish from one of Tim's clear stamp sets, and then clear embossed. I sponged Faded Jeans and Bundled Sage over the top. Love that technique!

To give some contrast to the tag, I added a scrap of music from an old hymnal. Since the Wednesday Stamper theme was 'Music', it works perfectly for that challenge. I used Elmer's large glue dots raise the birdcage slightly, to give some dimension, and the thin glue dots hold the bird securely.

To fit the 'A Bit of Fabric' theme over at Tag Tuesday, I created a fabric flower using a technique my friend Debi Vincent taught at our stamp club. It's so cool! Maybe I'll see if she minds me posting a tut for that one of these days. Finally, I edged both the tag and bird with some of Martha's glitter and then mounted it to a French text covered wood block, just like I did for all my Christmas tags. The stamps I used are all from Tim Holtz. Whew!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and try it for yourself. There are lots of different ways this could be used, and endless variations and combinations you could try. I would really appreciate you crediting me with the technique if you post it anywhere. :-)

**Be sure and click on any image to see a large version and more detail.

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #27

This week's CCC challenge is Distress Misting Masks, which can be found on page 60 of Tim Holtz's book. As you can see, I'm still on a bit of a Steampunk kick! 

For my masks, I used cardstock gears that I made using the Double Cog punch from Stampin' Up (Yikes! Glad I borrowed that one from a friend, it's expensive!). I also used the smallest gear from Tim's die.  Since they weren't stuck down, they ended having a soft edge, which I really like! I misted first with red Perfect Pearls mist and then brown homemade PP mist. I thought the red would be stronger, but it all combined to make a rusty color (you can see a bit of the red shimmer in my pic). Again, a nice happy accident!

The stamps are all from Artistic Outpost's SteamPunk collection. The vintage paper is from an old math book a friend gave me. A strip of cloth measuring tape is attached using Tim's tiny attacher. Tip: I always color my staples before I load them by inking them with black and brown StazOn ink (just press down onto them directly using the pad). I think it gives them a nice rusty look. Oh, one more thing....I created the clock by cutting out a clock face from one of Tim's paper packs and layering it onto a gear, along with a spinner. The whole thing is held together and attached to the tag with a long fastener. I love how it came out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #26

This week's CCC challenge - Rusty Grunge - is very cool! I combined my rusty pieces with the always fabulous Faux Designer Paper technique from the Technique Junkies newsletter. I used stamps from Oxford Impressions to create paper similar to one of my favorites from Graphic 45. Who needs to buy paper when you can make your own?

My card pic is a little dim (and my colors are a little off - I hate that!), but here is a close-up that shows the true color of the gear. Pretty dang rusty, isn't it? That Tim Holtz is a genius!

On my way from my studio to the house, I snapped this pic of my kitty, Thor. He's so weird, but looks perfectly normal in the photo. Cats are tricky that way.....