Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday Stamper - I Can Fly/GC 92 - Jewel Colors Plus Gold

The Wednesday Stamper and Gingersnap Creations challenges gave me the perfect opportunities to use the backgrounds I created using my Gessoed AIs technique that I posted last week on the GC blog. The first piece is a tag I created using Tim Holtz's tag die. I cut one tag from chipboard and another from one of the papers in Tim's Shabby Chic paper stash and adhered them together. I layered the blue technique piece on top of that.

The little girl is from TH's Winged Things 1 stamp set. Her wings were stamped on acetate using Stazon. I replaced her hat with the crown from the other little girl in the Winged Things set. It's colored with Pine Needles Distress ink and a water brush. I added a little dimension by covering it with Glossy Accents and then added a few rhinestones for sparkle. Her dress was colored using a water brush and Faded Jeans Distress ink.

To give her something to sit on, I cut a piece of chipboard using my new Iron Gate die (love this die so much!), and embossed it using my Faux Tarnished Metal technique. It's attached to the tag with Mini Fasteners. I wanted a little matching crepe paper ruffle, but I didn't have any green crepe paper. No problem! I mixed up a batch of homemade glimmer mist in a Mini Mister using Pine Needles Distress reinker and Perfect Pearls, and misted it onto white crepe paper. It seemed a bit boring, so I embossed it using Ranger silver embossing powder and the flourish from TH's Reindeer Flight stamp set.

The next piece was created for the Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge: Jewel Colors Plus Gold. I'm still not sure if I like this - it's not typically 'me'. I asked my husband what he thought and he said it was 'different'. I was like, different good or different weird? He said it was just not my usual style. That seemed like a very safe answer! I guess he's gotten wise about these things....

Since the monthly theme at GC is Royalty, I knew I wanted to create something in that theme and I've also been wanting to use the Castle Keep stamps from Oxford Impressions. I found a really cool castle card template that I thought was perfect. The original is so sweet and I just noticed she made little flags. Dang! Wish I'd done that!

Make sure you check out all the wonderful submissions at both the Gingersnap Creations and Wednesday Stamper blogs and consider playing along!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #32

I am sneaking this week's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge in just under the wire! This past week was a very difficult one for me. Our youngest, Luke, left for Air Force basic training on Tuesday and it's been a difficult adjustment to say the least.

We are so very proud of him, but I had no idea how much I would miss him! He's such a fantastic person and so much fun to have around - it is going to take a long time to get used to him not being here. At least I'm down to just tearing up and not full on sobbing...... ;-)

Ok, back to this wonderful challenge - Inking and Stamping Masks! I just got the Tim Holtz Winged Things rubber stamp set last week from Inspiration Emporium and have been dying to use it. I absolutely LOVE this little girl! She was stamped with Jet Black Archival ink on a tag I cut using my TH Sizzix Tag die (love this die so much!). I masked her and then sponged on Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, and Wild Honey Distress inks. While the mask was in place, I stamped the flourish from Tim Holtz's Reindeer Flight stamp set, the postmark stamp from his clear set, and the sentiment, which is also part of the Winged Things collection.

To finish it off, I added a Philosophy Tag attached to ribbon using a Trinket Pin, and one of my coffee filter flowers. Whew! Make sure you check out all the wonderful artwork created for this challenge here. I have to say, having challenges like this really help to relieve the stress I'm feeling right now. Thanks so much, Linda! :-)

Friday, February 18, 2011

OWOH Winner!

I left my comments open all day yesterday to give everyone a chance to enter. I had 262 comments and the random number generator chose number 225, which is Paula of Paula's Serendipity! Congrats to her and thanks so much for all the lovely comments everyone left. I treasure all of your kind words and appreciate anyone who chose to follow my blog during this time!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Theme Thursday + A Tutorial (are you getting sick of these yet?)

Yesterday, I posted a Valentine's Day hanging (that sounds weird) and a tutorial for Faux French Enamel letters. I embellished it with a flower that was made from coffee filters, and credited two of my favorite artists - Angie Hall Haviland and Penny Bennington - with inspiring me to make one. Jann commented that she enjoyed the blogs, but no one really mentioned the steps to making the flowers. I Googled it and couldn't find any process that was quite what I used, so I went ahead and did a quick tutorial. Thanks again to Angie and Penny for the inspiration!

For my flowers, I'm using store brand cone filters. No reason other than that's what kind our coffee maker takes!

Begin by cutting off the bound edges on the side and bottom. I did mine in a stack of three just because I wanted a good supply.

Open the filters and smooth flat.

Spray filter using shimmer mists or other color mists. I made my own using Cranberry Adirondack color wash, Perfect Pearls, and a few drops of Worn Lipstick reinker. After misting with color washes, mist again with water, to spread the ink and saturate the whole filter with color.

Crumple filter into small ball (you're adding wrinkles) and then smooth out.

Dry with heat gun.

When dry, cut filter into flower shapes using a die (I used Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals die) or paper punch. You could even freehand them if you'd like!

Separate your flowers and crumple them up.

Open them up and begin stacking, using a dot of Glossy Accents or other glue to hold them together. 

You can use a popsicle stick or other pointy tool to hold the center while it dries.

Here's my finished flower. I added a pearl bead and silver jewelry finding for my center. So easy! There are endless variations too. Try mixing in some flowers cut out of French (or other) text, metal or fabric - go crazy!

After stepping out the tutorial, I figured I might as well make something with my flower. I decided to have a work table clean-up and use what was lying around. The first thing I spotted was a piece of French text that was about tag-sized, so I thought I do a tag. I found a frame I'd tried to do this technique with, but hated the outcome. I held it up to the tag and it looked great (never throw anything away!). It was stamped using a stamp from the new Songbirds collection from Artistic Outpost. Love these stamps - they're so perfect for Spring. The theme for today's Theme Thursday challenge is 'Words' and since I have a few on there I'm submitting it for that challenge!

I hope you're inspired to try these...they're quite addicting (right, Angie?!) and very fun to do!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

GC90 Charms + Wednesday Stamper + a Tutorial!

This piece was originally inspired by the supply challenge over at the Gingersnaps Creations blog. We're supposed to pull out those charms that we've been hoarding and put them to good use! Since the ongoing monthly theme is 'Royalty', I thought a crown would be appropriate. Amazing that such a tiny thing could inspire a whole piece! In addition, the romantic feel fits perfectly with today's Wednesday Stamper theme: Expressions of Love.

My flower above was inspired by two artists: Penny Bennington, who did a fantastic tutorial on color-washed coffee filters, and Angie Hall Haviland, who makes the prettiest coffee filter flowers. I am now hooked on combining these two techniques!

If you are ever unsure of what color Distress Crackle Paint to buy - get Picket Fence! After it dries, you can use your Distress inks to make it any color you want. My bird was cut from chipboard using Tim Holtz's Caged Bird die. I painted it with Picket Fence Crackle Paint (didn't the crackle come out great?!). When it was dry, I inked it with Chipped Sapphire Distress ink.  If you check out the picture above this one, you can see that I also used PF over the Lettuce paint on the edge of the piece - I love the peeled, vintage-looking paint effect.

Ok, this is my favorite part of all - Faux Enamel Number Tag!! If you read my last post, you'll remember that I stumbled upon a fantastic blog - Can't Stop Making Things - where I found a very cool technique for creating French enamel tags. I didn't have most of what she used, so I decided to adapt it to what I had on hand. With many thanks to the originator of this technique, here is my version (apologies for the pic quality, this was a quickie iPhone shoot!):

Step one: cut out tag from chipboard. If you don't have a die, you could also use a circle punch (or whatever you desire) and add a hole with a smaller punch. Note:  Do you ever buy something because it's a great deal, even though you have no idea what you're going to do with it (I know you're all saying, "YES!")? Well, that's where this little die came from. Our local scrapbook/stamp store was getting rid of a lot of items and I snagged this tag die and a round one (used on yesterday's tag) for only $1 each! My good friend Cyndi assured me that they would work in my Cuttlebug and they do.

Step two: Paint piece using white acrylic paint. You may need several coats. Let dry completely.

Step three: When completely dry, stamp your numbers or letters using permanent black ink. The original tut called for Stazon. I tried it and mine ended up bleeding after I started embossing (this might have been because the original tech didn't use Versamark). I used Memories, which worked perfectly.

Step four: Coat entire piece with Versamark and cover with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE). Emboss using your heat gun. Repeat this process about three times. You want a nice thick coating, to give it the look of enamel.

Here you have it! Your own French enamel tag - and it probably didn't cost you a dime! As you can see, mine's a bit dirty looking. I grabbed the wrong Versamark pad and it had all kinds of goobers on it. I didn't realize that until my piece was already embossed the first time. I actually think it adds to the look of it! If you want, you can ink around the edges with black or brown ink to give it more of a grungy look.

Thanks so much for stopping by - I hope you're inspired by all of these artists as I was. Make sure you visit their blogs and give them some love. :-)

Supplies used: Lettuce Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber, Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint, Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink, Worn Lipstick Distress Ink, Pumice Stone Distress Ink, Tim Holtz Caged Bird Die, Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Die, Tim Holtz Styled Labels Die, Tim Holtz Paper - Lost and Found, Tim Holtz Stamps - Reindeer Flight, Idea-ology Philosophy Tags, Idea-ology Swivel Clasp, Idea-ology Hitch Fasteners.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tag Tuesday + Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #31

First of all, let me just say, "YAY for embossing!" I am a huge fan of embossing powder - it can be used in so many different ways to achieve vastly different effects. On my tag today, I've used it two different ways and they couldn't be more different.

Before I get to that, though, don't you love these stamps?! They are from the new Regency Fashion collection from Oxford Impressions. So romantic and pretty! Since the CCC challenge this week is Rusted Enamel (first way I used ep), I thought I'd try to find a way to work these stamps into the technique. I decided to try using Worn Lipstick and Spun Sugar for my background colors, to give it a feminine look. Normally, I would probably try to go all rusty and grungy with a technique like this, but I thought I'd challenge myself! I'm still not totally sure if I love it, but it's starting to grow on me. ;-)

Louise's Tag Tuesday theme this week is 'A Tag on a Tag'. I decided that my tag was going to be my idea of what a Haute Couture sample maker would have on hand for ladies to order from. On the left side, I've stamped a small tag and attached swatches of ribbon and lace. The dress model is stamped on cardstock and colored using a water brush and the same Distress inks that I used on the background. She is mounted on a French text-covered piece that was cut using Tim Holtz's Styled Labels die. The picture above this one shows a closeup of the buttons they could choose from, mounted over a piece of Tissue Tape.

Ok, here's my favorite bit. Recently, I found a tutorial on making faux French enameled number tags. How cool is that?! Ack! I seriously freaked out when I saw it! Her blog is pretty awesome. Anyway, (of course) I didn't have what she had, so I had to come up with my own method (second way I used ep). Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a quick tutorial!

I would love to have you enter my One World One Heart giveaway, if you haven't already. Just click here and leave me a comment. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Faux Copper Verdigris

Today I posted a new tutorial on the Gingersnaps Creations blog - Faux Copper Verdigris. I'm not sure what inspired me to try this...I guess it's a combination of all the things I love. First of all, I am addicted to my Cuttlebug and embossing with it. Next, I really enjoy working with paint to achieve faux effects. Finally, I love the look of metal - especially aged copper. But, where exactly does one find nice panels of perfectly aged copper? Necessity is truly the mother of invention!

Doesn't this look exactly like real copper? I love the patina. Who would think it started out as a piece of plain white cardstock?

I thought these stamps from I Brake for Stamps/Time to Stamp were perfect for the monthly theme - Royalty - and also fit the whole look I was going for. His wings were stamped on mica and adhered with Glossy Accents. The base is a piece of chipboard that was painted, collaged with various papers, and stamped.

Make sure you go check out the tutorial at Gingernap Creations and then give it a try yourself!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #30 + Tag Tuesday Circles

This was a really fun tag to make because I got to combine all the things I love on one piece! My tag was created using the Bohemian Layers technique from the latest Technique Junkie newsletter. I added stamps from one of my favorite stamp companies - Artistic Outpost. I used images from their new Think & Wonder and Ephemeral Backgrounds collections, and also a stamp from their Generation Redux plate. My Tag Tuesday Circle element is a Coke cap that I dipped in red paint and then stamped randomly.

My CCC challenge element - Altered Metal With Paint - is very simple, yet very effective. I used a silver Philosophy tag and added red paint. I love the way it ties it all together! It's hard to tell, but I continued my obsession with Glossy Accents by highlighting the hat and scarf on the kids and also the stamped sentiment. It add such a nice bit of shine and texture...I can't believe I'm so late to the party with this stuff, lol!

GC89: Chestnut Theme Challenge - Kings and Queens

This month I'm thrilled to be featured as the Monthly Muse over at the Gingersnap Creations blog. They have a lot of great things planned for the weeks ahead, so be sure and check it out!

This week's challenge theme is Kings and Queens. I had several stamps that I considered using, but when I pulled out the Marie Antoinette stamps from Oxford Impressions, I knew they were the winners! I paired them with one of the new techniques - Bohemian Layers - from the latest issue of the Technique Junkie newsletter. My silver frame was created using my Faux Tarnished Silver technique you can find here. The frame is from the Tag and Bookplates die from Tim Holtz. It was cut from thick mat board, which makes for a very sturdy base.

The frame was cut using a Nesties (?) die I borrowed from a friend. It's covered with a ridiculous amount of Martha's glitter - I was obviously feeling VERY girly when I made this! ;-) I created a little insignia by embossing Marie's initials with Ranger's silver embossing powder and then antiquing it with black paint. Finally, I colored my image using Black Soot and Worn Lipstick Distress inks and a water pen. It's hard to see, but her dress and bow are highlighted with Cotton Candy Stickles and Rock Candy Distress Stickles.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please be sure and check out all the wonderful creations on the Gingersnap blog. Also, if you haven't entered my One World One Heart giveaway, please do! You can find it here.