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,


Friday, March 20, 2015

Believe On The Edge

Hello and happy, happy, happy first day of Spring, woo-hoo!  Tulips, daffodils, robins and green growing things ... I can't wait for it all to get started.

I mentioned in my last post that I was taking an online class called 'Stretch Your Dies' and that I'd share my homework with you as I went along.  The first class was on different ways to use your word dies and one technique really intrigued me.  It is called 'On The Edge' (taught by Julie Ebersole) and involves cutting your word die in such a way that it acts as the place to 'tuck' your tuck and fold card.  I am woefully bereft of word dies, the only ones I have are some Tim Holtz Holiday Words: Block dies, but I made a card using the word 'Believe' from that set and here it is:

 I have to admit I really struggled with this, I am embarrassed to tell you how many times I tried to make this card because I kept cutting the word in the wrong spot or upside down or on the wrong flap .... and it wasn't because the instructions weren't clear, they were wonderful, I just was having a MAJOR brain cramp LOL!  But it turned out pretty well in the end.  Here's a side shot so you can see how the top flap of the card tucks under the word 'Believe'.

I used some $1 Store scrapbooking paper to cover the white cardstock and the butterflies were cut with an EK Success butterfly layering punch.  The white hearts are actually metal studs, I just tucked the prongs underneath and glued them on.  I embossed the word 'Believe' and stamped 'in you' with Tim Holtz Worn Text stamps.  This technique has so many possibilities and you can change the dimensions of the card to suit the size of your word dies.  I can see it also as a closure method for a small folio or journal, it would be wonderful.

I am discovering that while I do have quite a few dies, I don't have nearly as many as I need LOL!  All of the wonderful techniques they are sharing in the classes involve types of dies that I don't really have in my stash (probably because I am not a card maker) so I have added a fair few things to my wish list at Simon Says Stamp :O)  I do have more cards in the works though, using the dies that I have, so I'll be back in a bit to show you a few more.

Thanks as always for stopping by and have a wonderful first day of Spring (or Fall for those of you Down Under) and happy creating!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Oh The Emboss-ibilities!

Hello everyone, hope you had a great weekend.  We had some sun, some rain, a few snow flakes and a terrifying wind storm that brought trees down all around us.  Fortunately none of them fell on the house or our vehicles but it was a scary few hours as the winds roared and the trees bent nearly double.  We were without power for awhile but full credit to our local B.C. Hydro crews, they were out and restored our power within a very short period of time.  We've lots of clean up to do around the property, bucking up the trees that came down and cleaning up branches, but we were very lucky that that is all we have to deal with!

Before I share my project with you, I have some amazing news to tell you!  I was incredibly honoured to be chosen as one of the Pinworthy mentions at A Vintage Journey for their  'Special Numbers' challenge!  (Click here for a link to my 'You're The One' postcard in case you missed it.)  Thanks so much to Brenda and the team at A Vintage Journey for choosing my project and congratulations as well to the other 'Pinworthies', Suzz and Nicole, and a great big hand to Pamellia for her incredible winning entry.  If you haven't joined in with any challenges at A Vintage Journey, I encourage you to give them a try and to follow this wonderful blog for endless inspirations that celebrate the style of Tim Holtz.

So, in amongst power outages, I managed to get another Christmas card made to link up with the Jingle Belles current challenge which is 'Mission EMBOSS-ible'!  Cue the Mission Impossible music:

and mental images of Peter Graves accepting the current mission and tape recordings going up in smoke LOL! (For you young 'uns who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a link to where you can see episodes from the original TV series:  :O)

As the name of the challenge implies, we were to make a Christmas card using either dry embossing or heat embossing or both and so I decided to embrace the challenge whole-heartedly and embossed each and every surface that I added to my card (other than the brads in the centers of the poinsettias that is!).

I used the Tim Holtz 'Tattered Poinsettia' die and dry embossed the flower in the back with a Spellbinders 'Circles' Impressabilities die before overstamping it with a musical score stamp.

The poinsettia in the foreground was stamped alternately with a script background stamp and the same musical score stamp and all of the stamped images were heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  The sprig of greenery (die cut with Tim Holtz's 'Holiday Greens' die set) peeking out from behind the poinsettias was also heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

I then dry embossed a frame using Tim Holtz's 'Distressed Frame' Texture Fades folder and heat embossed the edge of the frame with some Stampendous 'Winter Wonderland' embossing powder.

The sentiment was die cut from some scrapbooking paper using Tim Holtz's 'Holiday Words: Block' die cutting set and all of the letters were heat embossed with clear embossing powder (note to self: it would have been much easier to have heat embossed the piece of scrapbooking paper BEFORE you die cut the words rather than heat embossing each and every little letter!!).

I mounted everything onto a kraft coloured card and then edged the frame with some silver glitter glue and added wee dots of the same glitter glue to the letters and to the centers of the brads on the poinsettias.  There you go, a Christmas card embossed within an inch of it's life, Mission Emboss-ibility accomplished!

I am going to have lots of fun this week as I am taking an on-line class called 'Stretch Your Dies' with Jennifer McGuire and Kristina Werner.

Really looking forward to learning new ways to use my die cuts and I've already learned lots on Day 1 in the class about word dies.  I have some homework to do for the class so I'll post some pictures as I get my projects completed.  All of the word dies I have right now are Christmas related but I have some of Tim Holtz's new word dies heading my way from the The Funky Junkie Boutique so hopefully they will get here soon so I can use them in my 'homework'.

Thanks as always for stopping by and have a great week everyone, happy creating!


Friday, March 13, 2015

In Flight

Happy Friday the 13th ... again!  Didn't we just have a Friday the 13th last month?  It seems to be highly unusual to have two in a row, although I am sure there is a very smart mathematician out there who will tell me I am wrong LOL!

After all the colourful projects I've been working on lately, I had to go back to my tried and true colour palette for a wee break :O)  It felt so good to get back to all these lovely blues and browns LOL!  My first project was a hang tag to link up with Dragons Dream Tag It On Challenge #186 - 'White and a number'.  I spied the lovely swallow from Tim Holtz's 'Bird Feather' stamp set and decided to make this tag:

I grabbed a mop up tag from my stash and overstamped it using the Dyan Reaveley Dylusions Alphabet Border stencil with some 'Old Paper' distress paint.  I used the alphabet on one side of the tag and the numbers from the same stencil on the other and then added some 'clouds' to the top using a $1 store stencil and Wendy Vecchi Crackle texture paste.

I stamped the swallow onto some cardstock with Jet Black Archival ink and clear embossed it, then colored it here and there with some scrapbooking pens.  The swallow was fussy cut and mounted on pop dots onto the tag.

The 'In flight..' sentiment (from a Tattered Angels 'Nature In Flight' stamp set) was stamped on some tissue paper and then mod-podged over top of the crackled clouds.  I added a wire pin and a number 3 brad (both Tim Holtz Idea-ology) to the crinkle ribbon that I coloured with some Salty Ocean and Broken China Distress ink.

Simple but effective, I do love that swallow stamp!  And since this tag has a bird on it, I am also going to link it up with the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge 'B is for ...' (in this case, a bird :O).

I then made an accordian storage box to keep all of my Christmas cards organized that I am making along with the Jingle Belles.  I used a tutorial that I found on YouTube by The Paper Boutique and it was quick and easy to do.  I used some Christmas scrapbooking paper that I had in my stash (Homemade Holiday by Craft Smith), don't you love that lovely kraft print paper?

Now all my Christmas cards that I make over the course of the coming year will have a home where they will be safe and sound until they hit the mail in December!

Hope that you have a great weekend and that Spring is starting to make an appearance wherever you may be (unless of course you are on the other side of the equator, where I hope Fall is NOT making an appearance for you quite yet!).  Thanks as always for stopping by and happy creating!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

My March Tag And Lessons Learned

Happy Thursday everyone, hope this finds you well.  It's a blustery day here today, the wind is swooping and swirling in amongst the trees but it is still warm so I am not complaining!  The snow and ice are rapidly disappearing with the warmer temperatures and the wind will only speed the process so it's all good :O)

I finally have completed my March tag for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags Of 2015 challenge.  This month's tag was a struggle for me, I didn't have any of the Distress Paint colours that Tim used (click here to see his full tutorial), so I had to do some experimenting and learned some lessons along the way.  Here is my finished March tag;

I used Distress Stains for my background and ended up stamping some images onto the background with Jet Black Archival ink rather than using tissue tape (I'll explain why below!).

I didn't have a butterfly stamp that was the right size so I decided to keep with the 'winged' theme and used this lovely little bird instead.  The only texture paste I had was Wendy Vecchi's Crackle Embossing paste so I ended up with a crackled enamel effect around the little bird (which I rather like!) and as I didn't have an alphabet stencil like Tim used, I used a background stencil by Dyan Reaveley.

I kept with the general composition of Tim's tag but added some different embellishments;  I added the stamped and embossed number '3' (for the month of March) and used the 'Inspire' Philosophy tag on a wire pin on the top.

I wrapped the bottom of the tag with a piece of coffee stained twine and colored the winged heart with some Alcohol Ink and hung it off the twine with a little piece of rusty wire.  The sentiment was stamped and embossed onto a piece of cardstock, edged with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and mounted on some pop dots for a little dimension.

This tag was take number four, I had more than a few disasters and unexpected results as I worked on the March tag, and here are the lessons I learned along the way.

1)  'Regular' acrylic paint does NOT blend like Distress Paint.  No matter how much I'd love to use up my enormous stash of acrylic paints, the 'regular' acrylic paints do not have the consistency or blend-ability of Distress.  I tried to make it work but ended up spraying the painted tag with so much water that the poor thing disintegrated and still the acrylic paint would not blend.

2)  Embossing powder sticks to tissue tape that has not been sealed with paint!  This was why I ended up stamping my background images onto the tag rather than using tissue tape as Tim had.  It was disaster city on the second tag I made because the gold embossing powder was not only sticking to the texture paste background but was also clinging to all of the tissue tape.  At first I was a little ticked but then I began to see possibilities for future projects - clear embossing powder over top of tissue tape might be pretty darn effective!

3) Sealing the tissue tape with a thin layer of gesso will, to some extent, keep the embossing powder from sticking to the tape but it also dulls the colours of the Distress Stain.  Again, while not the look I was going for for the March Tim tag, it was something I will probably come back to as I quite like the end result.  Here's a picture of a tag I ended up making with the gesso'ed background;

The colours are quite muted but since that is definitely my comfort zone where colour is concerned I love it LOL!

Thanks as always for stopping by today and hope that you too will make some wonderful and unexpected discoveries as you play in your studio.  Happy creating!