Friday, April 17, 2015

Playing With Matches

Happy Friday everyone, hope you've had a great week.  We are finally getting some warm weather here in B.C., it's really feeling like Spring now, woo-hoo!

I got the Graphic 45 newsletter in my inbox yesterday morning and in it they linked to a matchbook notebook tutorial on Snapguide by Ginny Nemchak.  I popped over to take a peek at Ginny's tutorial and decided to make a couple, they are so quick and easy and what a great little gift for someone special!

I used kraft cardstock as the base for these matchbook notebooks and used some Graphic 45 'Botanical Tea' papers to make the one on the left and some Tim Holtz 'Destination' papers to make the one on the right.

They are just small little notebooks, measuring 3" by 3" so the perfect size to tuck in purse or pocket.

I just used some patterned paper for the inside pages but you can also stamp them as Ginny did on hers.

And the very best thing about them is that they are refillable!  Once you've used up all the pages, just untie the ribbon or string, remove the remnants of your old pages and add some new ones.  Love that!

I added some perforations to my pages by running them through my sewing machine (unthreaded of course :O).  I'm sure it's not great for your sewing machine needle but it worked well.

Wouldn't these make great little stocking stuffers for Christmas?  Just change the papers up and you can make them masculine, feminine, for kids or for any season.  Thanks to Ginny and to Graphic 45 for this great tutorial, think I will be making many more of these little guys!  I am going to link these up to the current challenge at Country View Challenges 'Use Kraft Card' since I used some kraft cardstock as the base for these matchbook notebooks.

I finished up the big project I've been working on (sorry, no previews until May!) and now have more time to play so I will be posting a couple of more new projects in the next few days.  Have a great weekend everyone and hope you will be able to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather.  See you soon and happy creating!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Showers

Hello, hope everyone had a great week.  It's been lovely and sunny here but darn cold, we've even had a flurry of snow or two which fortunately has been short lived and hasn't stuck around.  They are forecasting warmer temperatures starting next week, hope they will be right!

I realized the other day that I hadn't shared the April door banner I made for the ongoing swap in our Mixed Media Studio group.  I was inspired by the saying 'April showers bring May flowers' and this is the banner I made for my swap partner.

I made the umbrella pattern and cut it from some cheery yellow floral print material I had in my stash and then cut some coordinating yellow and blue 'May' flowers to go underneath it using the Sizzix Tim Holtz 'Tattered Florals' die.  The raindrops were cut free hand from the same fabric as the umbrella handle and, once they were in place, I covered them with a thick coat of Glossy Accents glue to give them some shine.  They turned out great, love the effect!  I then outlined the umbrella, the edges of the banner and the centers of the flowers with some glitter glue and mounted the whole thing onto a backing of Warm 'n Natural quilt batting that I cut with pinking shears.  Hope that my swap partner will like it.

I have to admit that I've been in a bit of a slump over the last week creatively speaking, I have been puttering away on a couple of projects but don't have a heck of a lot to show for it!  Hopefully a return to warm weather will charge up my creative mojo, it's a bit frozen at the moment.  Hope that your muse has been inspiring you to create and I will try to get back on track and get some new makes posted soon.  Have a great week everyone and happy creating!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Birthday Best Wishes

Hello!  Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend with family and friends and that the Easter bunny brought you lots of delicious goodies.

I have another card to share with you today (I seem to be in major card making mode at the moment!) and this card was made to link up with Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog's 'Simon Says Happy Birthday' celebration.  They are celebrating their 6th year as a challenge blog, happy birthday Simon Says Stamp!  And since this card has a kraft paper background, I'm also going to link it up with the current challenge at Country View Challenges,'Use Kraft Paper'.  Here's the card I made:

I embossed a piece of kraft cardstock with Tim Holtz's 'Postal' texture fades embossing folder and then highlighted the raised areas with some 'Broken China' distress ink.  Since it is Simon Says Stamp's birthday celebration I decided to use their 'Butterfly Friends' die and stamp set for the butterflies and coloured them with some 'Wild Honey' and 'Broken China' distress inks.  The 'Birthday Best Wishes' sentiment (from a Crafty Secrets stamp set) was heat embossed onto black cardstock using white fine line embossing powder.  I gently bent up the wings of the lattice butterflies and glued them to the circular sentiment and also bent the wings of the largest butterfly and mounted it on some foam.  You can see a bit of the dimension in this photograph.

Happy birthday to Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog and thanks for a fun challenge!

I promise to be back shortly with some new makes, I am currently working on a big project which shall have to remain a secret for the time being, but I will try to squeeze in a couple of other projects as I work.  With the start of the new month there are all kinds of new challenges to take part in and then there is always Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2015 to work on, the April tag is so pretty, go take a peek!  Have a great week everyone and thanks as always for stopping by.  Happy creating!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sing Along With The Jingle Belles

Happy April!  Hope that you didn't get too many April Fool's jokes played on you today.  So far, so good here but as there are still a couple of hours until the 'fooling' time is up, I'm not safe quite yet!

I made another Christmas card to play along with the Jingle Belles challenge the other day, their current prompt is 'Fa-La-La-La-La' and we were to incorporate music, a holiday song or holiday lyrics into our card.  I kind of get my lyrics mixed up and ended up incorporating two songs into my card but the more the merrier, right?!

I coloured the background of the card with distress inks and added some spritz and flick and some Heidi Swap Color Shine spray in white.  The large snowflake was cut from a Paper Smooches 'Large Snowflakes' die and embossed with some Stampendous 'Winter Wonderland' embossing powder (appropriate, right? :O)  The 'Let It Snow' snowflake (from a Recollections 'Christmas' clear stamp set) was stamped and embossed with the same powder.  I used some clear pearl embossing powder to add some smaller stamped snowflakes here and there.  The 'Winter Wonderland' sentiment was cut with my Tim Holtz 'Holiday Words:Block' die from a fragment of scrapbooking paper and backed with some white cardstock.  Finally, I added some $1 store snowflake stickers.

The month of March has unfortunately gone out like a lion here in B.C., we have been getting snow flurries and cold temperatures for the last few days, and the end is nowhere in sight.  So I've left the bird feeders out and snapped this picture of some Evening Grosbeak's chowing down.

When these guys arrive, everyone else scatters since one nip from that big beak would hurt a wee bit I think!  They are a bit piggy, hunkering down on the feeder and chasing everyone else off (including their buddies!) so I usually shoo them away after they've had a chance to feed for awhile so everyone else can get a chance.  Hopefully the weather will smarten up soon, I'm coming to the end of my last 40 lb bag of black sunflower seeds and hope not to have to buy another one this year.

Thanks as always for stopping by and hope that April has brought with it lots of sunshine and warmth wherever you may be.  Have a great day and happy creating!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two, Two, Two Cards In One!

Hello, hope this finds you all well.  I promised to show you a few of the cards that I made in the 'Stretch Your Dies' online class I was taking, so here they are.

This first congratulations card uses both the negative and the positive images that you get after cutting your dies.  You can, in effect, make two cards at the same time that have two very different looks.  I've used my negative images from my die cuts as stencils before but hadn't thought to make a card from them, it's a great idea!

I used Tim Holtz's 'Shape Strips' dies for the chevrons and the stars and used Tim's 'Alphanumeric' die set for the letters.

For the negative die cut card, I backed the black card stock with some silver embossed cardstock behind the chevrons and some gold embossed card stock behind the stars. The word 'congrats' just has some plain white cardstock behind to make the word pop.  I edged the card with a little silver glitter glue for some sparkle after mounting it onto the card blank.

For the positive die cut card, I made the background by layering several colours of yellow distress ink (Squeezed Lemonade, Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed and Wild Honey) then did a little spritz and flick and sprinkled on some Tarnished Brass distress spray and some Heidi Swapp Color Shine Tinsel spray.  I then VERY carefully picked up the positive die cuts out of the dies (hint: use a piece of micro-pore tape, works like a charm!) and glued them to the background.  I edged this card with some copper glitter glue after adding the background to the card blank.  I won't lie, this version of the card was more than a bit fiddly to do but I really like the end result.

I also made this thank you card that combined a couple of the techniques we were taught.

I colored some watercolour paper with distress inks (Festive Berries and Picked Raspberry for the flowers and Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce for the tendrils), sprinkled some Biscotti Perfect Pearls spray over top and then die cut the flowers with Tim Holtz's 'Tattered Florals' die and the tendrils with the Sizzix Sizzlits 'Decorative Flourishes' set.  I arranged the flowers and tendrils and then taped them all together (micropore tape again!) and cut out the flowers and tendrils with a Spellbinders Nestabilities 'Labels Eight' die.  The shaped flowers were glued onto a blank card and I then cut out the next largest size of the 'Labels Eight' die from black card stock and glued it around the flowers to make a frame. The sentiment was embossed with white embossing powder onto another piece of black cardstock and mounted on pop dots over the flowers.  I added a dollop of silver glitter glue to the centers of the smaller flowers and some stick on gems to the centers of the larger flowers.  Love how it turned out!

That's it for now, thanks as always for stopping by and have a great evening everyone!  Happy creating,


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life Possibilities

Happy hump day everyone, it's rainy and chilly here today but despite that, look who I found just outside the back door.

Despite the weather, he was singing his little heart out!

Spring tends to bring that joy out in all of us, doesn't it?  No matter how gloomy the day, we feel that life is full of possibilities now that the season of renewal and rebirth is here.

And so to celebrate Spring and all she represents, I made this mixed media shadow box that I'm calling 'Life Possibilities'.

I was inspired by Tim Holtz's 'Bird Feather' stamp set and I wanted to gets lots of dimension in the piece, so decided to use the reverse side of an 8x6 stretched artists canvas.

I stamped the bird, nest, eggs and feather from Tim's stamp set onto Ranger Specialty stamping paper, embossed them with clear embossing powder after coloring them with distress inks and fussy cut them all.

Many layers of gesso, acrylic paint, torn strips of scrapbooking paper and antiquing medium were applied to the canvas along with some stamping with black archival ink using stamps by Ellen Vargo and Wendy Vecchi.

I cut some greens from Tim Holtz's 'Holiday Greens' die set and colored them with distress ink and the Sizzix 'Arbor' leaves were die cut and colored with distress inks as well.  I layered the greens and leaves onto the inside of the canvas, mounting some on pop dots.  I also die cut the branch from Tim Holtz's 'Bird Branch' die to give my little bird a place to perch and to build her nest and mounted the branch and the bird onto a double layer of fun foam over top of the leaves and greens.

I used the 'life' Typed Token and highlighted it with some 'Old Paper' distress paint for the top of the shadow box.

The 'Life Possibilities' label was created by painting a blank wooden tag white and gluing on the words that I typed out on the computer.  I then laid down a thick coat of Glossy Accents over the whole tag to give it the look of an old porcelain label.

I snipped the edges of the feather from Tim's 'Bird Feather' stamp set after fussy cutting it and gently folded it down the middle for a little dimension.

I am linking this mixed media shadow box up with these challenge blogs:

A Vintage Journey - 'Anything Tim' (Happy birthday AVJ!)
Mixed Media Monthly - 'Birds Of A Feather'
Mixed Media World - 'Anything Goes'
The Mirror Crack'd - 'Wings'

Thanks as always for stopping by and hope that Spring has filled you with the joy of life's possibilities too!  Happy creating,