Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thank you

We don't exchange Christmas gifts any more, preferring to donate that money to charity.  But sometimes a small token is given with a note about the charity chosen.  This is the card I made to say 'thank you' for those gifts of love.

The base card is white card stock.  Another piece of white card stock was run through Tim's 'Holiday Words' texture fade and smudged with red, green, and brown distress inks.  With his 'Packages & Bows' bigz die I cut out several sets from Authentique's 'Festive' collection of 6x6 paper.  I used a gray pencil to add shadow and dimension on the packages and bows.

And a very big 'thank you' to those who visit my blog.  Maybe I've inspired you or encouraged you in some way.  I hope so.  You may not leave a comment but I do appreciate your visit.

May 2014 bring all of us just what we need...whatever that may be!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the merriest of Christmases!

Nearly 100 of these dies were cut out of metal sheeting that had been run through a Xyron.  Near the end I remembered about using wax paper between the intricate die and the metal sheeting.  It made things easier and I was able to better maintain the circular shape when adhering it to the card.  The evergreens and balls were not stuck down, only their connecting stems, so that the image would be more dimensional.

Bazzill card stock; green and white card stock; Hero Arts alpha stamp; metal sheeting; Die-namites die; Ranger Fern Green Archival Ink

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday tokens

My family will be here Sunday for our holiday luncheon.  We don't exchange gifts but I usually create a token to remember the day for each of them.  This year I loved a Tissue paper Ornament I found here.  Claudine has some great ideas and I am always anxious to see what she has up next to share on her blog.

I didn't have nearly enough fragments but did have plenty of Inkssentials 2" glass slides and frames (silver and copper).  Then I thought about another surface that could be used...dominoes.  In the end I made 6 slide ornaments and 7 dominoes (not ornaments). 

But how to package them?  Sizzix to the rescue!  I used their Candy Drawer Box die and Bazzill cardstock to create a gift box.  I punched holes in the outside layer so I could run the ribbon through the holes and through the jingle bell name tag.  The jingle bells were cut from chipboard, painted with pewter distress paint.  Once dry I drizzled some Glossy Accents across the top and sprinkled Clear Rock Candy Dry Distress Glitter over the top for a bit of added charm.  Ta da!

Items used:  Ranger - Inkssentials glass slides and frames, archival inks, Glue N'Seal, Multi-Medium, Adirondack Butterscotch marker, Glossy Accents, distress paint, dry distress glitter; Sizzix:  mini jingle bell die, Candy Box Drawer die; Stampers Anonymous:  Mini Holidays CMS066, Odds & Ends CMS100, Mini Holidays 3 CMS114, Mini Blueprints 5 CMS170, Mini Holidays 5 CMS177; Idea-ology tissue wrap; Bazzill cardstock; gold & silver sharpies; ribbon; chipboard

Time is getting tight to make gifts but perhaps one of these could be added to a stocking or even the top of a gift.  Letting the adhesives dry took the longest time and even that wasn't very long.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Refrigerator art - it's not just for kids!

A number of years ago I purchased a cartridge of laminate/magnetic material that would fit in a Xyron 1200.  I didn't own that size but felt the price of $5, originally retailed at >$80, was too good to pass up.  One way or another I was going to be able to use the cartridge.  The magnetic material is quite thin so it's not that great for holding things up.

I often make holiday magnets to use as decor.  How about using Tim Holtz (by Sizzix) Bigz & mini movers & shapers dies to create a scene...or 2? I adhered black cardstock to the sticky side of the magnetic sheet (pulled some off the cartridge) so I could color the images if I chose.  Most I left as black...looks sharp on my white refrigerator. 

I took a small piece of cellophane and colored it with Sunshine Yellow alcohol ink and adhered it to the back of the lamp post.  The holly leaves and berries were colored with distress paints.

'Joy', 'Wish', and 'Noel' were painted with Tarnished Brass, Distressed Pewter and Antiqued Bronze distress paints.  I wasn't too careful about painting them as I wanted some of the black to show through.  I also left the texture for more dimension.  A bit of brown and black archival inks around the edges and smeared across the ornaments and word help created more patina and age.  In person you'd be hard pressed to know they weren't actually old metal pieces.  The smaller bells got the same treatment but I added Pumice Stone and Antique Linen distress glitters over the top of the paint (acts just like a liquid adhesive!).

On our side-by-side refrigerator...the lamppost, victorian carolers, snowflake, cardinal, branch, 'wish' and 'joy' are on the left side.  The deer, trees, snowflake, 'Noel' on the right.  The smaller bells are below the handle on the freezer (bottom of the refrigerator) as if they were dangling.  It's difficult taking a photo of all the magnets in place because of the glare but I did my best.

You still have time to create your own display...or maybe make some for gifts...they work up so quick and easy. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gingerbread treats

I LOVE gingerbread...cookies, bread, muffins...doesn't matter. So making a gingerbread man cookie would be perfect for the 12 tags of 2013.  If you haven't tried Clearly For Art by Studio 490, you're missing out!  Add Tim's Frosted Film and your art takes on a new look.  Using both, my cookie takes on dimension and a slight shimmer as if sprinkled with sugar. 

I had a dickens of a time getting the 'icing' to stick to the colored Frosted Film.  Multi-medium finally took hold.  Then I covered the paper icing with Enamel Accents for dimension and shine.  The brads were colored with white distress paint and glossy accents.  The metal sticker strip made me think of the cookie sheet he would be baked on.  The Cropadile was used to create the bite out of his head.  Yummy!

Here's what I used to create my #8 tag..the last of 2013.

Sizzix: Gingerbread Bigz die, movers & shapers heart

Stampers Anonymous:  Holly Bough stencil, Mini Holidays 5 stamp set

Studio 490:  Clearly For Art (clear)

Ranger: Antique Linen Distress Stain, Superfine Detail Black Embossing Powder, embossing ink, distress inks, distress paints, Enamel Accents (white), Jet Black, Potting Soil, Red Geranium Archival Inks, Glossy Accents

Idea-ology: Frosted Film, metal stickers

Miscellaneous:  ribbon scrap, brads, Hero Arts alphabet stamps

Time to go bake some holiday treats!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas is coming!

Have you seen this Merry Christmas Configuration Book by Jan Hobbins?  While perusing the aisles of my local Michaels recently I found a lone configuration book on the shelf.  Hmmm...why not give it a try?  I did use a lot of Jan's ideas but added quite a few of my own, including making my own candles.

I'll list the items I used but not the colors; I couldn't keep track of all that I pulled out and used.


close up of upper left

close up of upper right
close up of center

close up of lower left
Sizzix:  Window & Window Box, Pine Tree, Packages & Bows, Christmas Bells, Tattered Poinsettia, Tattered Pinecone, Holly Branch, Victorian Carolers (Bigz); Stacked Words-Christmas, Holly, Beaded & Snowflake Garland, Festive Greenery (dec. strip); Branch, Bow, Deer, Cardinal, Pine Tree, Snowflakes (mini m &S); Snow Flurries, December Calendar, Textured Poinsettia (Alterations)

Idea-ology: Holidays Past Paper Stash, Seasonal Salvage Stickers, Grunge Board, Grunge Paper, Christmastime Remnant Rubs, Christmas Tissue Tape, Configuration Book, metal word bands, glass vial

Stampers Anonymous: Mini Holidays 5 (shrink plastic Santa)

Ranger:  Glossy Accents, Multi-Medium (glossy & matte), Rock Candy Distress Stickles, Clear Rock Candy Dry Glitter, distress paint, distress ink, distress stickles

Core'dinations: Adirondack, Kraft Core, Distress

Miscellaneous:  shrink plastic, wreath (bleached), made my own candles from tiny dowels & flame punch, Darice tiny silver bottle cap, Deco Art Glistening Snow Writer & Snow Writer & Snow-Tex, Floracraft Diamond Dust Twinklets, silk ribbon, button, metal sheet, fence (painted white), gold beads, brads, Provocraft embossing folder - Tartan

Now that my Frosted Film has arrived I can start work on my version of Tim's December tag for 2013.  And maybe participate in more challenges now that I have proper reading glasses (just 1.25 magnification...lower than the doc suggested but working just fine!) and can see what I'm doing.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving thanks

Today I'm giving thanks for all that I have.  I am not a Black Friday shopper, not even from my computer.  We don't exchange gifts so that helps.  But there's nothing I really need or want so sales haven't even tempted me.  Boy, is my husband surprised!  But pleased!

I still am struggling with cheaters (cheap reading glasses) so it took several days to make this adorable little milk carton that showcases Tim's efforts with Sizzix that embrace fall and Ranger's awesome coloring mediums.  Thank you!!!!

The unadorned milk carton is about 1 1/2" square and 3 1/2" tall.

 Sizzix (Tim Holtz) dies: Tattered Leaves mini movers & shapers, Autumn Gatherings decorative strip die, Typeset decorative strip die

Sizzix Milk Carton Box thinlits die

Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz) Mini Blueprints 5 (Wheat)

Ranger:  distress inks, distress stains, distress markers, Jet Black Archival Innk

Miscellaneous:  watercolor paper, Bazzill card stock, raffia

My eye exam is next Friday.  I can't wait to hear what my new vision is in the terms of numbers.  And I hope he can prescribe reading glasses that will be better for me than using discount store plastic lenses.  These are okay for quick reads, but not a long term solution.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Supplies:  Tim Holtz/Sizzix Alterations (Framelits 659373), Tim Holtz/Sizzix Texture Fades (Thankful background); Ranger (Paprika Stickles), Gathered Twigs Distress Ink, Jet Black Archival Ink, red, orange & yellow alcohol inks; leftover very thin clear packaging; olive green baby rickrack trim; Candlelight Bazzill cardstock
May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy 
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize.
May your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Chanukah!

I can't believe how early Chanukah is this year!  There aren't a lot of Jewish stamps out many are so similar.  It gets harder and harder to use them so they don't look the same year after year.  But this time I took a unique approach.  When I saw this Triangle Swirl Tile set (SCO28003) on the Rubber Stamp Tapestry site it screamed Star of David to me.

After some fiddling around with the layout I finally got a satisfactory image...that I had to recreate 10 more times.  So I took the easy way out and used vellum so I could place the original underneath and stamp over it.  I found that archival inks bled too much but distress inks were perfect.

Underneath the white vellum is a layer of gold vellum.  These are layered onto Avalanche Bazzill cardstock.  On the right hand side I smudged more distress ink through Tim Holtz' Stripes stencil for a random look.  I didn't want true stripes, just a suggestion of a faded striped ribbon.  On top of this I stamped the phrase (also RST) in distress ink.

I wish all my Jewish family and friends 
a season of light and warmth 
with peace and joy 
for you and your family.

Bazzill: Avalanche cardstock
Rubber Stamp Tapestry:  Triangle Swirl Tile SCO28003, Menorah mini SPO20070M, Happy Hanukkah mini WOR38224M
Ranger:  Faded Jeans, Wild Honey distress inks
Tim Holtz: Stripes stencil
Misc:  white, gold vellum, vellum tape

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yum, pumpkin pie!

It's November....time for Tim's 11th tag of 2013.  While I have the framelits/stamp set he used, I opted to not use it so I could be more creative with another idea I had in mind.

I took a 4"x8" tag and dipped it in various distress inks and stains to make it look very autumnal.  It was so pretty I really hated to cover it up.  On the 'net I found a recipe for Classic Pumpkin Pie that I copied and shrank to fit on the tag.  I tore the edges and using brown and black distress inks made them look burnt.  A bit of wadding up and a spritz of water helped age the recipe.

Using the chalk art technique Tim shared, I chose the pumpkin from Halloween Blueprints 2 and the label and text from Simple Sayings.  The pumpkin was attached with Tim's tiny staples; the label was elevated with foam tape.

From black cardstock I die cut some ivy using an old Sizzix die.  I pounced distress paint on the die cuts in a haphazard manner.  They were tucked around the various elements.  A word stick finishes off the piece; a bit of distress paint was worked into the letters.  Scraps of silk ribbon were stained, misted, wadded and dried.

Yes, is good when it's time for pumpkin pie!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First artistic attempt

Not sure how this looks to everyone else but considering my vision is still skewed, I'm pretty pleased with my interpretation of the sketch.  I'll be entering this card in the October challenge over on the Die-Namites Dies blog.  Your entry should feature at least one Die-Namites die and the dare is to include a tag somewhere somehow.  A random winner will be chosen to win a $25 gift certificate to the Die-Namites store. 

The base card is Avalanche Bazzill cardstock folded to an A2 card.  I don't remember where the green layer came from as it has been in my stash for quite some time.  The edges were run along the blades of my scissors to distress them.  The top white layer was run through a texture fade that Tim Holtz and Sizzix have  called 'Candy Stripes'.  I lightly rubbed brown distress ink over the stripes to show them off.

On this card I am using the Die-namites Pine Wreath die (DN-1059) that I cut from watercolor paper.  It took several passes and next time I would use lighter weight watercolor paper.  The die cut was colored using distress markers (too many to name) and a water brush.  Once dry I put a bit of Glossy Accents on the red berries then sprinkled on Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter.  I did the same on parts of the pines but used CRCDG that had been colored with Meadow alcohol ink.  Glitter just does not photo well.

I turned a scrap of cardstock into a tag, tore the bottom and smeared distress inks on it.  A few splatters of water and the colors melded together.  More brown distress ink around the edges makes it pop.  I stamped the sentiment (from Tim's 'Winter Sketchbook' CMS094) in Jet Black Archival Ink.  A snippet of ribbon finishes the tag.

For the next few days I'll be too occupied with my folks to create any more art but these eyes need a rest so the timing is perfect. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

First cataract surgery

The procedure went well; first post-op and the doctor was pleased.  2nd post-op appointment will be 10/31 and the next surgery will be 11/7.  I definitely will be needing reading and/or computer glasses.  Larger fonts aren't bad but small stuff and close up work is actually worse than before my eye was corrected.  But they couldn't do both and I'd much rather wear glasses when I need to, not 24/7.  I'm one that has to have glasses to find my glasses and not having them on for even a short period of time gives me eye strain that makes my stomach queasy.  I can't focus for too long on any one thing; television watching seems to be the easiest yet it's my least favorite activity.  At least I can watch football okay.  Even if I am wearing dark glasses because bright lights bother my eyes. 

I'm quite surprised at how much I remember of the procedure.  I shared my experience with a patient who's surgery immediately followed mine.  She saw marshmallows; I saw flashing saber lasers.  Go figure.  As long as the procedure works, I don't care what I saw!  lol

I was extremely sick after the procedure due to the anesthesia.  I've already ready requested medication to alleviate or halt that for next time.  Once the left lens was popped out of my glasses the signals my eyes were sending to my brain weren't so muddled.  The frames still give me a sense of limited peripheral vision.  I'm so happy to be able to see the alarm clock during the night WITHOUT my specs!!!

With my propensity towards vertigo with the slightest bending over movements I really wish both eyes could have been done at the same time.  I also would advise that if you are having toric lenses implanted because of your astigmatisms that you have the lens removed from your glasses just prior to surgery so you're not fighting looking out of your 'new' eye through old lenses.  Certainly caused a lot of imbalance issues for me.

My step-father is having major surgery Halloween so don't expect to hear much from me until I am post-operative after 11/7.  Art is probably out of the question but I am going to attempt to do some die cutting this afternoon just to try it. 

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and well wishes!  They are most appreciated and very welcomed. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mixed Media Tag Art Journal

Saturday I took the most amazing class taught by Wendy Vecchi up at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL.  Using Wendy's new archival ink colors, distress paints, distress inks, distress stains, distress markers, Clearly For Art, art parts, Blossom Bucket pieces, Idea-ology, Studio 490 stamps and stencils we created these luscious tags.  I learned a number of new techniques that I'm anxious to apply to cards and tags in the future.

Front cover - exterior
Front cover - interior

Back cover - interior
Back cover - exterior

It was a long day (9-6) with an hour's drive each way but well worth it.  Over the lunch break I did a bit of retail therapy and did my part to stimulate the economy.  There are still some things on my wish list...the first night of Chanukah is November 27....aka Thanksgiving eve.  Eight nights of gift giving should complete my list.  Or maybe not.  lol

Thursday afternoon is my first cataract surgery.  Hopefully Friday afternoon I'll be able to post after my first post-op appointment without too much difficulty.  But if you don't see me posting right away, don't worry.  It might take a few days to see clearly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Plaid inspiration

Just the other day Wendy Vecchi posted a tutorial using distress paints to create a faux plaid background.  I won't re-invent the wheel by telling you how I created my piece; just to go her blog post for all the details.
Studio 490 stamp sets: Dressed For Art, Original Art, Vintage Mesh Background
Studio 490 stencils:  Layered Tree, Create A Wreath, 2 Fancy Flowers, Lovely Leaves, Yikes...Stripes, Honeycomb
Studio 490 embossing paste: translucent
Ranger:  distress paints (Barn Door, Wild Honey, Crushed Olive, Rusty Hinge, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Iced Spruce, Scattered Straw), archival inks (Watering Can, Fern, Cornflower Blue, Potting Soil, Red Geranium, Jet Black),  distress inks (reds, oranges and yellows), gesso, Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Dry Glitter
Misc: white pearl button, Idea-ology word stick, ribbons, white and black Sharpies, 6" square of watercolor paper, gray and blue cardstock

So why not try to create your own version of plaid?  I admit mine looks more like a regular old quilt...but I know what I did and I'm still saying it's plaid!  lol

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reality has its limits

but the world of imagination is boundless.  This stamp comes from Stuff to Say by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous.  My imagination seems to more bounded than others but by looking to others for inspiration I seem to do alright.  Have you seen what Vivien Keh creates using core'dinations cardstock?  Oh my's spectacular!  Using several pieces of hers as inspiration I put them together and created this floral framed sentiment.

I chose to use kraft core core'dinations cardstock for the frame which was run through the Sizizx/Tim Holtz embossing folder Book Cover 1.  Using the sanding block I removed some of the black to reveal the kraft core.  A bit of brown distress ink was rubbed into the sanded portions to further age the paper.

The central portion is a scap of chipboard that had been covered with various distress paints and stains.  It was die cut using a Sizzix/Tim Holtz  Oval movers & shapers die set.  The sentiment was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink then covered with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  Once that was dry I added Pumice Stone and  Vintage Photo distress inks into the cracks followed by Walnut Stain distress stain.  Some of the crackle paint flaked off but I think that adds to the character of the piece.

The flowers and leaves were cut from black core core'dinations using the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Autumn Gatherings and  Tattered Floral Garland strip dies.  I sanded the pieces before and after I removed them from the strip of cardstock.  Using a ball roller I shaped them into more realistic pieces.  Antique Linen distress glitter is in the flower centers.

From corrugated cardboard I cut a branch from Sizzix/Tim Holtz  Bird Branch Bigz die and colored it with brown distress inks.

A strip of stretched burlap is under the bow of brown silk ribbon that was misted and wadded up before being rubbed across a brown and jet black distress ink pad.  The wood button was included with one of my orders from The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  From chipboard I die cut a Sizzix/Tim Holtz easel so the piece would stand up.

****  My cataract surgeries are just around the corner (10/24 and 11/7) so if I don't create and share much art work for awhile you'll know why.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October tag

Are you following along with Tim Holtz as he creates his 12 tags of 2013?  Here's my version which features the new distress glitter.  I only have black soot, antique linen and pumice stone so I had to figure out what theme would work best for them.  Halloween is perfect!

Ingredients:  #12 tag (4"x8"); black core core'dinations; Stampers Anonymous stamp sets (skeleton from Trick-or-Treat, ticket from Odds & Ends, text, spiderweb and spider from Mini Halloween 3, and barbed wire and bats from Mini Halloween); Sizzix dies (Caged Bird, Ticket Strip, Autumn Gatherings); Idea-ology (grungeboard, black tinsel twine); Ranger distress glitter (pumice stone, black soot), distress inks (crushed olive, pumice stone, black soot, walnut stain), distress paints (scattered straw, crushed olive, ripe persimmon, seedless preserves), archival inks (jet black, russet)

Now that the temperatures have dropped slightly so are the leaves.  I can finally get into the groove of creating Halloween art.  Before you know it the temperatures will have dropped even more and it will be time (or past time!) to create holiday cards.  Time just flies by too fast!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


One of my nieces is getting married today in Colorado.  We're not able to attend the wedding but here's the card I sent via my folks.

I used Stardream Silver paper with a coordinating bankers' #10 envelope.  Can't remember when I got them, but probably from Marco's Paper at one of my very first conventions (and that was eons ago!).  This seemed like the perfect occasion to break open the cellophane.

The word and block (Endless Creations, Inc.) on the front were stamped in silver and had silver embossing powder heat set over the ink.  The 2 hearts were cut from a scrap of the same silver cardstock using Tim's mini heart die.

The interior sentiment was computer generated using Bernie 18 font.  I edged the white on white layer with a silver Sharpie.

Best wishes to Hannah and Erin!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 5 - embossable you

Today I feel I had mixed results with the techniques.  Some will take a bit more practice while others may benefit from more or less heat or a different color scheme.  But it was still fun creating tags using the techniques Tim shared.

 Here's a list of the products and colors I used (in no particular order):

*Archival inks:  Jet Black, Sepia, Potting Soil, Red Geranium
*Distress inks:  Black Soot, Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Gathered Twigs, Seedless Preserves, various greens, embossing, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo
Distress stains:  Spun Sugar, Tea Dye, various greens
*Distress paints:  Bundled Sage, Black Soot
*Stamp sets:  Artful Things, Nature's Elements, Papillon, Season's Silhouettes, Mixed Media, Thankful Silhouettes, Halloween Blueprint 2, Mini Blueprint 2, Simple Sayings, Mini Holidays 3
*Sizzix: Styled Labels, mini m&s deer, mini m&s lock & key, Carved Ornament
*Misc. Ranger products: Distress Glitter, Sticky Embossing Powder, Vintage Photo distress embossing powder, Enchanted Gold embossing powder, Frosted Crystals embossing powder, watermark resist ink, silver embossing powder, clear embossing powder, UTEE
*kraft core'dinations cardstock

This week I've learned that I need to use my paints more so they don't dry out, keep trying new things, and that glittery things are still not my style.  And to close the window by my desk and turn off the overhead fan when working with leafing.  But I sure do look pretty now!  lol