Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's a wonderful life!

One of my sisters and her husband are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary today.  I didn't want to make a traditional lovey-dovey card as that wouldn't be 'them'.

I stamped the scene in Black Soot distress archival ink (using the mini Misti) onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I then added blue, green and brown distress markers where appropriate, but only one color at a time, used a waterbrush to pull the color in, let dry then do the next color, etc.).  The windows were colored with a yellow distress marker...someone left the home fires burning.

This was placed inside the embossing folder and the oval diffuser was layered over that.  I wanted to keep the center free of stars for my message.  The message was stamped in Black Soot distress archival ink. 

The stars were treated to Grafx Art Masking Liquid (2mm pen); let dry.  I masked off the scene before applying numerous layers of blue and purple distress inks to mimic the night sky.  It was easy to rub off the GAML.  I colored the stars with a glitter pen and also added highlights to the snow and cabin roof and chimney.  The card sits on a navy A2 card base.

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz:  Scribble Woodland CMS282

Sizzix: Starry Night embossing folder, oval diffuser

Ranger:  distress watercolor cardstock; Black Soot distress archival ink; distress markers (Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso, Lucky Clover, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, Mustard Seed); distress inks (Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord)

Misc.:  Sakura:  Glitter Gelly Roll pen, Molotow: Grafx Art Masking Liquid pen 2mm, navy cardstock

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday thank you's

Time to say 'thank you' for those who've given us gifts this holiday season.  I wanted to use some older things in my stash so I pulled out Sizzix diffusers and an earlier texture fade.

A2 base card is red Bazzill card stock.  I didn't have any green that was appropriate so I made my own with distress ink and watercolor paper (same as the top layer).

I placed my watercolor cardstock in the texture fade then the diffuser over the top (no need for a top clear plate) in my Big Shot Plus.  Using a light touch I applied gold metallic ink on the raised portions. 

In the center of the oval I stamped the image that had been colored with distress markers.  Two bows were punched (watercolored cardstock and gold vellum) and adhered to the top of the evergreen bough.

Sizzix texture fade (Holiday Words), bow punch 660163, diffuser plate

Red Bazzill card stock, Royal Langenickel watercolor card stock

Ranger:  distress ink and markers (Pine Needles, Lucky Clover, Candied Apple)

Tsukineko:  Encore Gold Metallic pigment ink

Thank you to all those who made our holiday season bright with your thoughtfulness!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

All good wishes for Christmas

Merry Christmas to the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend!  Although he keeps beating the odds with his health situation we know this could be our last Christmas together. 

When we first established Nimble Fingers many years ago, Walt helped me figure out the message I wanted to portray to my customers...that what I make with my hands comes from my heart.  Using this as my source of inspiration, I wanted to create a very special card for him. 

The A2 base card is Cream Puff Bazzill cardstock.  Around the edge I smudged Antique Linen and Walnut Stain distress crayons.  The next layer is actually bright pink cardstock scrap that I colored the edges with Candied Apple and Fired Brick distress inks.  I haphazardly drew around the edge with a clear glitter Sakura gelly roll pen (my favorite when you need just a touch of bling!).

The top layer is Royal & Langnickel watercolor cardstock, 119 lb. weight.  It's already an off-white color so perfect for the vintage look.  I stamped Santa (Mini Holidays 5 CMS177) in Black Soot archival ink (another vintage look, less harsh than Jet Black) and colored him with distress markers* that had been scribbled onto my nonstick craft sheet.  More from the Sakura glitter pen highlights the edges of the drum, Santa's beard, mustache, buttons and coat cuffs.  I heat set it all before covering with distress micro glaze. 

Using the larger oval diffuser plate I placed the opening over Santa and ran the cardstock through the December Calendar texture fade 656941.  I smooshed Antique Linen distress ink onto my nonstick craft sheet, spritzed with water, then used the mini roller to pick up the ink and roll it across the calendar.  Heat set and repeat the process using Old Paper distress ink.  The edges were treated with Frayed Burlap, Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain distress inks.

From various scraps of green and red (nope! more bright pink cardstock that had been colored as above) cardstock I punched and die cut holiday greenery (punch 660171 and Holiday Greens, mini 661597).  The red berry clusters were turned over so I could use a ball roller on the back side and make the berries more 3-D by rounding them.  I spritzed all the pieces with Picket Fence spray distress stain; let air dry and topped with a blast of Tarnished Brass distress mica spray.  Let all air dry and add a bit of Encore gold metallic pigment ink.

Three lengths of 4mm pure silk brown ribbon by Bucilla was hit with the mica spray and gold metallic ink.  This aged the ribbon and added a bit of vintage glitz at the same time.  One length was tied around the 2 layers of card.  The remaining two were used to create a flat, but full bow (4 loops per side).  A scrap piece of vintage gold mesh/tulle was used to create a slightly larger bow base.  These were attached with small glue dots.

*Pumice Stone, Tattered Rose, Worn Lipstick, Candied Apple, Fired Brick, Wild Honey, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Faded Jeans

The sentiment (Mini Holidays 5 CMS177) was stamped in Encore gold metallic pigment ink.  Heat set.  Slightly offset the image and repeat with Fired Brick distress ink.

Make this your best Christmas ever
by spending quality time with those you love!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Season's Greetings!

Card base is white cardstock; navy layer, same white cardstock for top layer

I created masterboards on 8.5 x 11 sheets of cardstock using distress ink (Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire) and Stampers Anonymous stamp sets Weathered Winter (CMS245 and Mini Weathered Winter (CMS246).  Cut to size. 

The sentiment was die cut using Holiday Words: Block.  Can't begin to say how much easier this was using the extended platform and precision base plate in my Big Shot!  There was some movement from time to time so not all are perfectly aligned.  Heavy sigh.  But when you're making 80-100 of the same design you just have to do your best...and toss the worst offenders!

1st night of Chanukah...I love to see the candles burning in the menorah and taste the latkes straight from the iron skillet!  Yum!!!

Wishing you all the best as you enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Oh deer, time to celebrate again?

I started off with a kraft A2 card base and stamped snowflakes over it using Picket Fence distress ink.  The base was edged with brown distress ink.  Using Black Soot and Hickory Smoke distress inks I pounced the color onto the birch stamp and stamped onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I misted the image to blur the lines.  Once satisfied I tore the image to size and inked around the edges with brown distress ink. 

Mixed media cardstock was treated with distress inks and water splotches, distress stains, distress paint and distress collage medium - both Crazing and Vintage.  I die cut the Ornate Frame and accented the edges with more brown distress ink.  Using the rectangle left over the from the inside I die cut 'celebrate'.  I also cut one from a scrap of gray cardstock for the shadow.

The deer was stamped onto mixed media cardstock using archival ink and my new mini Misti.  Then I stamped the image using distress ink.  I was able to take a watercolor brush and pull the color toward the center yet still have defined lines.  Love that new mini Misti for this technique!  I cut the deer out and placed him in the frame but left his antlers outside the frame.

Sizzix: Handwritten Celebrate 660215, Ornate Frame #2 661195

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz: Birch & Pine CMS280, Scribble Woodland CMS282

Ranger:  distress watercolor cardstock; distress ink (Picket Fence, Gathered Twigs, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke); distress stain (Rusty Hinge, Gathered Twigs--favorite combo!); distress paint (Tarnished Brass); distress collage medium (Crazing, Vintage); archival ink (Ground Espresso)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In symathy

Sympathy cards can often be difficult to create, especially over the holidays.  A friend and neighbor just lost her mom this week and I couldn't just send a message via Facebook.  I pulled out my 'go to' stamps but I wasn't feeling them.  So I pulled out a new background stamp (Halftone & Rings CMS260) and inked it up with Bundled Sage distress ink and stamped it onto mixed media cardstock.  Mist with water and heat set.  Hmmm, I have an idea.  Smoosh Tattered Rose distress ink onto my nonstick craft sheet and mist with more water.  Drag, drop, and pounce the new layer into this heat setting along the way.  I think this will work!

Two more sheets of mixed media to drag through Bundled Sage and water, the other through Tattered Rose and water.  I pulled out the Tattered Poinsettia bigz die (658261) and cut out several layers of the poinsettia from the appropriately colored mixed media cardstock.  The yellow center I cut from another scrap (Scattered Straw).

I inked up the Textured Poinsettia texture fade (658270) using the same 3 inks...but separately running the layers through the Big Shot.  A bit of Old Paper distress ink was added to the edges of the poinsettia layers as well as the top layer of the card.

The pale green layer was also edged in Old Paper distress ink.  Pink Clay silk craft seam binding (Martha Stewart) was wrapped around these layers.  The sentiment (My Sentiments Exactly S146-IO) was inked in Watering Can archival ink.  The A2 base layer is Cream Puff (Bazzill) cardstock.

I really like how the pale palette turned out.  The poinsettia reflects her loss at Christmas.  The medium gray archival ink was perfect and not too overpowering.

My cards always go out in coordinating envelopes.  Not wanting to use a poinsettia stamp and confuse or lessen the reason for the card I used the negative of the die cut to stencil the poinsettia on to the envelope using the same distress inks.  Heat set then apply a light coat of micro glaze to protect it from the elements.  Nothing like having ink run on the envelope, totally destroying the image.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I saw the background for this tag elsewhere but for the life of me can't remember where.  If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due. 

#8 tag cut down, white cardstock, core'dinations (Tim Holtz & Ranger Adirondack collection)

I ran the front of the card through my Big Shot Plus using Tim's Stitched Plaid Texture Fade.  Very lightly I rolled on gold paint that had been spread on my nonstick craft sheet.

Shabby Shutters, Bundled Sage, Abandoned Coral, Aged Mahogany, Candied Apple and Festive Berries distress inks were smeared on my nscs and spritzed with water.  Run tag through until satisfied with the color, drying between swipes.

Run tag through the same embossing folder but rolling on Picket Fence distress paint.  Adhere tag to card front; no, I didn't plan for the plaid layers to line up so perfectly!

Because the die cuts will be fragile, sand the core'dinations cardstocks before cutting out the tree and star from Festive Scribbles (660980).  Add distress stickles (Scattered Straw, Shabby Shutters) to their respective die cuts.

From the tag portion that was cut off, die cut 'noel' from Holiday Words: Script 660058 twice.  The pinker layer will be underneath as a shadow for the green layer on top.

The tag portion would also look great on a Christmas present!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Every year I take a dish of mincemeat bars to older (90+) friends who can't get enough of these and no one in their family likes them.  And I sure don't need to eat the entire pan myself!  But I could!  And have!  Here's the card that will accompany the sweet treat.

The A2 base card is forest green card stock.  The white layer is mixed media card stock.  Using the mini Misti (perfect for this project!) I colored the individual elements of the image from Scribble Woodland CMS282 with various distress markers (one color family at a time) and stamped my image.  This took a minimum of 4 stampings to complete.  Using a water brush I pulled in the color for each of the sections. 

Once dry I applied Pearl Adirondack Metallic Acrylic Paint Dabber through the Speckles THS021 stencil.  Distress Stickles Dry Glitter (Clear Rock Candy) was sprinkled over the paint while it was wet.  I also added some paint and glitter to the roof, chimney, snow mounds and trees.

White Christmases are fine as long as the roads are clean and clear for those who need to be out on them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Merry Christmas, Studio 490 style!

Ingredients:  base card (white cardstock); navy layer, white cardstock on top

Repeating Quilt stencil and Chipped Sapphire distress ink

Overstamp in Chipped Sapphire distress ink with background stamp from Art of Making It Merry (LCS007)

Sentiment (LCS007) stamped in Chipped Sapphire distress ink; overstamped in silver acrylic paint (Paint Dabber) and covered with Ultra Fine Detail silver embossing powder.  Spray lightly with Brushed Pewter Mica Spray.

Holly and berries from Card Art Essentials (LCS020) stamped 3 times on mixed media cardstock (image inked with distress markers).  Pull color towards the center using a waterbrush.  Cut out and layer accordingly.  Glossy Accents and Clear Rock Candy distress glitter were added to the berries.

Absolutely LOVE the versatility of this stencil!  Merry Christmas, Wendy & Rick!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Have a bright bright sunshiny day!

Happy birthday, Wendy!  I tried a different technique using my Studio 490 stamps and stencils.  The stamps were inked with distress markers onto distress watercolor cardstock.  I pulled the color in towards the center using a waterbrush.  I drew inside the fence stencil using a distress marker then pulled the color in to the middle of each picket.  The sentiment was stamped in archival ink, likewise the butterfly (colored with more distress markers).  It's hard to see in the photo but there's a colorwash of light blue for the sky at the top of the card.

The watercolor cardstock layer sits on top of a brownish-green cardstock which is then on top of a Bazzill Hillary green A2 card.

Stampers Anonymous/Studio 490 stamps: Daisy Art LCS101, Wildflower Art LCS089, Card Art Sentiments SCS146

Stampers Anonymous/Studio 490 stencil: Fence & Foliage Stencils for Art

Ranger:  distress markers, archival ink (Jet Black, Fern Green)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Winter sweater

I LOVE this new winter sweater die (#1240)from Elizabeth Craft Designs!  It also comes with a die to make a reindeer head instead of the snowflake.  I can see this for holiday cards as well as any winter birthday or anniversary.

The base card is plain white cardstock.  The top layer is the same cardstock cut a bit smaller.  This layer was run through Sizzix Texture Fade 'Snow Flurries' then spritzed with Sheer Shimmer Spritz by Tsukineko.

I die cut the hanger, sweater, cuffs, neck/waistbands and snowflake from scraps.  A bit of blue-gray pencil added some dimension around the neck and sleeve area. 

Felt adding a message might be too much for this A2 card.  On the inside I added 'winter wishes' cut from the same scrap as the sweater using the Holiday Words: Script (660058) Sizzix thinlits die.

I hope my sweater conveys warm wishes to the recipient who is facing a tough cancer battle.  Chemotherapy seems to remove so much body heat that even a sweater isn't enough, no matter what climate you're in.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What December brings

A silent night, bells ringing o'er the land, peace on earth, the spirit of Christmas.

Here's my December version of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2016.

Base ingredients:  #8 tag, textile surfaces (linen), paper stash (Yuletide), chipboard, core'dinations (Kraft Core, Adirondack), gold vellum, shrink plastic

Ranger:  distress ink (Gathered Twigs, Scattered Straw); gold Paint Dabber; distress embossing ink; Ultra Fine Detail gold embossing powder; distress paint (Picket Fence, Candied Apple); archival ink (Potting Soil)

embellishments:  flashcards (Holiday); rub-ons (Christmastime); token

Sizzix:  stencil (Holiday Script); mini movers & shapers (bell, star); punches (660171, 660163), thinlits (Holiday Greens, Mini); shadowpress (Months)

Will the illustrious Mr. Holtz continue with the 12 tags for next year or does he have something else planned?  Only time will tell but it has been fun, if not challenging at times, to recreate his tags using products on hand, revisiting older products, and trying out new ones.

(original size)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Yappy birthday!

Finally some bright yellow cardstock--thank you, Bazzill!  There's a dark green layer under the distress watercolor cardstock.

I pounced color (evergreen & festive berries distress inks) through the #15 mini stencil and spritzed with water; heat set.  I did the same using the #70 mini stencil and fossilized amber distress ink.  Over this I stamped messages in silver pigment ink that were then covered with silver ultrafine embossing powder and heat set.  Silver paint dabber was run along the edges.

The dog, party hat and balloons were stamped on distress watercolor cardstock, colored with distress markers and a waterbrush then die cut using the matching dies.  To the balloons I added silver thread and tied them to the silk ribbon.

My oldest niece owns a love of a pit bull and this guy gives the same fierce appearance but they are both really just a big hunk of cuddle inside.

Ranger:  archival ink (Jet Black); distress markers (Fossilized Amber, Candied Apple, Evergreen Bough); distress watercolor cardstock; silver ultrafine embossing powder; Silver paint dabber

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz: Crazy Dogs CMS271, Crazy Things CMS237; mini stencils 15 and 70

Sizzix: Crazy Dogs 661593, Crazy Things 660953

Misc.: Encore silver pigment ink, silver cord

Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy birthday!

Stampers Anonymous CMS273 Leaf Prints

Sizzix Tattered Leaves Bigz die

Ranger distress inks, archival inks, Antique Bronze distress crackle paint

Mixed media cardstock, unknown cardstock


Hero Arts Printer's Type Upper and Lower Case

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

All is safely gathered is always a delight for me to see farmers out in the fields bringing in the harvest.  Locally corn and beans are our biggest crops and last year central Illinois had record-breaking yields.  This year's crops seem to be following their lead.

Impression-Obsession: sentiments, cloud background

Stampers Anonymous: CMS116 Thankful Silhouettes

Sizzix:  pumpkin mini movers & shapers die

Bazzill cardstocks, mixed media cardstock

Ranger: archival inks (Sienna/Russet, Tree Branch Sepia); distress inks (Tumbled Glass, Antique Linen); Adirondack ink (Ginger)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy birthday!

My dear CR, I don't know the actual date of your special day but wanted to recognize it all the same.  My heart breaks thinking of your struggle but you are a strong and amazing person and know that you can handle what lies ahead.

The Art Impressions image (4587) was stamped in Black Soot archival ink onto 140 lb. watercolor cardstock.  The image was colored using distress markers and a waterbrush.

I do not know the manufacturer of either the brown layer or the peach card base.  The card base was run through the 'Quilted' Sizzix embossing folder.

May your candles burn brightly now and forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Peace at Christmas

to a special friend who is facing the end of her life way too soon.  She and her family are celebrating Christmas early as well.  I can't even imagine....

The Art Impressions images (4702) were colored with distress markers onto 140 lb. water color card stock.  The color is pulled from these lines using a water brush. To highlight the snow I added Sakura Gelly Roll Pen in clear glitter.  IRL it adds just the perfect touch.

The lighter blue layer is Bazzill Bling; the dark blue cardbase I don't know who makes it.  The snowflakes from Tim's CMS 246 Mini Weathered Winter were stamped in Adirondack Snow Cap Pigment ink.

Peace to you, CR, as the end of your earthly journey draws near. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving early

to a special friend who is facing the end of her life way too soon.

The Art Impressions image (3180) was stamped in Black Soot archival ink onto 140 lb. water color card stock and colored with various distress markers and a water brush.  I ran the bright lime green card base through the Provocraft Autumn Type embossing folder but only got a faint image - which was actually preferable.  I smeared Versamark Ink over it hoping the raised portions would stand out.  They did but not by much.  So I smudged a brown distress ink over the whole thing and was quite pleased with the end result.

To you, CR, I wish you peace and contentment and all the blessings that you can have.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


This time of year I'm busy collecting leaves, hickory nuts and acorns.  I remember the days when I collected them for it's not so much fun raking or blowing, bagging and then transporting them to the landfill so I can re-use the paper bags.  What with the abundance of them on my lawn currently I thought this was a great idea to feature on my version of Tim Holtz's tag of November.

surfaces:  #8 manila tag, distress watercolor cardstock, textured surfaces (cork, corrugate)

colorants: distress spray stain (Fossilized Amber, Carved Pumpkin, Candied Apple, Twisted Citron, Ground Espresso); distress inks (Ground Espresso, Gathered Twigs); distress archival (Black Soot, Ground Espresso); distress markers (Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso, Fossilized Amber); distress paint (Black Soot)

sticking stuff:  foam tape, Glossy Accents, mini staples

embellishments: Remnant Rubs (TH93119)

stamps:  Autumn Blueprint CMS133

dies: Sizzix Alphanumeric 3/4"; Impression-Obsession 213-D

For those of you who prefer a larger image...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Happy birthday ala the Crazy Dogs!

Here are 2 variations on the same idea for friends who are dog lovers.

 Ranger:  distress markers (antique linen, old paper, wild honey, candied apple, faded jeans); distress inks (tea dye, old paper, twisted citron, ground espresso, chipped sapphire); archival inks (potting soil, tree branch, jet black); Gold Liquid Pearls

Sizzix:  lattice on the edge die, crazy things and crazy dogs thinlits dies

Stampers Anonymous:  cms 237 crazy things, cms241 ledger script, cms271 crazy dogs

Misc.: twine, Zing embossing powder/Neon Green, rubber stamps (The Cottage Stamper), Typeset embossing folder/Cuttlebug, Bazzill cardstock, mixed media cardstock

Idea-ology: textured surfaces/burlap

Both stamps were used either on the front or the inside of each card.  I couldn't decide which option I liked better so I created one of each.  One friend has 2 black labs, the other 2 yorkies.  Thought these crazy dogs fit each owner quite well!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I found some downloadable vintage music on Pinterest and when I saw this title of 'Witches Dance' I knew it would be perfect for a Halloween card.  And one will go to a special friend who really is descended from a witch in Salem, MA and was one of the first hung for her practices (the witch, NOT my friend!).

Stampers Anonymous:  Mini Blueprints 7 CMS203

Bazzill cardstock: white, orange

Ranger: Adirondack Lettuce marker; Black Soot, Ground Espresso archival inks; clear superfine embossing powder

Uniball Signo white pen (Mitsubishi)

Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween with lots of treats and no tricks!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gray skies

are just clouds passing over.  Blue skies ahead.  (attributed to Duke Ellington)

light and dark gray Bazzill cardstocks, unknown white cardstock

Stampers Anonymous: #38 Bricked stencil, CMS241 Ledger Script

Ranger:  Snow Cap pigment ink; distress inks (whatever was on the yellow, orange, red and brown foam pads)

Sizzix:  Umbrella Man

I love the random appearance of the brick wall as it fades across the card front.  It's a perfect setting for the Umbrella Man. 

This card is for a friend's high school chum who recently suffered a stroke.  I thought the message (above) was fitting and hope that the recipient soon sees sunnier days.

Friday, October 28, 2016

In sympathy and friendship

Another bad week for friends and family...3 members within my circle have lost loved ones in a space of 4 days.  Here's one of the cards I made for a childhood who lost her father.

Rubber Stamp Tapestry SLE 18008 Fall Leaves and Acorns

Ranger: archival inks (Ground Espresso, Vintage Photo, Sunflower, Fern Green, Monarch Orange, Tiger Lily); distress stains (Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Shaded Lilac)

Unknown cardstocks

My Sentiments Exactly S146-IIO stamp

RIP, Jiggs, you were a good man.  You've rejoined your wife and daughter in heaven.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


the sweet and precious memories that we hold in our minds.  Life's sweet moments from our past, in our memories always last.  (taken from an unmounted stamp but I don't know the origin).  I needed another sympathy card.  Within the last month the house at the end of the street lost a father and a step-father and now the next house towards ours has lost a mother.  All 3 were older and had considerable health issues but it doesn't soften the loss that you feel when losing a loved one.

Bazzill colored cardstock, unknown white cardstock

Worn Lipstick distress ink

Stampers Anonymous 'Stamptember Holiday' (2016 exclusive to Simon Says Stamp)

Sizzix thinlits dies 'Wildflowers' and 'Handwritten Love'

Fiskars corner rounder

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would make a lovely sympathy card.  You'll need to scroll down a ways to see the inspiration card.  The other ideas are simple but equally elegant in their own right.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm so very happy for you!

You've bought a new home!  After years of married life, divorced life and helping out the kids and grandkids you've found a place to call your own.  Which means you can't blame any messes, etc. on anybody else!  lol

Studio 490 (Stampers Anonymous) SCS139 Simply...Art, SCS145 Artful Thoughts, SCS146 Card Art Sentiments

Ranger archival inks (Black Soot, Deep Purple), distress markers

mixed media cardstock, unknown cardstock

Hope you make lots of wonderful memories in your new digs!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Haunted house

front view

 side 1

  side 2

Oh my gosh...what a lot of work...but LOVE the results!!!!!!!!!!!  This is my version of Tim Holtz's Haunted Mansion.  (If you want/need to see larger photos jlmk and I can email them to you.)

I watched Tim's latest video (on today's blog) after I had completed my house and was waiting for everything to set up.  My roof was shingled before I added the tower.  I didn't start out with 110# cardstock but with the black posterboard so I could create texture directly onto the pieces.

The tower was painted in the distress paint colors listed below once I had stamped 'All Cracked Up' in clear embossing ink and heat set with clear powder.  Looks like old stonework, doesn't it?

No mica could I find in my stash so I created 'glass' out of old Sizzix packaging and alcohol inks.  The lower part of the smoke stacks were covered in the stucco, wrapped in gauze then letting it all air dry before I added some Forest Moss, Hickory Smoke and Black Soot distress inks to bring out the texture.

Before assembling the chimneys I traced around the bricks using the white Sharpie then colored them in.  I wanted a base layer so I could add the pigment inks over them.  I was afraid on the black posterboard they wouldn't stand out.  Before the ink could dry I sprinkled clear embossing powder over them; heat set then assembled.

Both roofs were a light green paper that I covered with the distress paints - Forest Moss (let dry), Hickory Smoke (a bit less, let dry) and Milled Lavender (even less, let dry).  IRL this is a really sharp look and rather moss-covered stone work.  Over the lower roof I stamped the reflections (text in Hickory Smoke and numbers in Black Soot distress inks).  Adds interest without really being able to determine what is on the shingles.  The mansard roof was run through the Notebook texture fade then covered with the same paints.  Again, the colors IRL are just really neat looking...IMHO.

The windows and rings around the upper windows were painted with Hickory Smoke distress paint (just dabbed it on unevenly with my fingers) and stamped the Marble Cube using Black Soot distress ink over it.  Up close it really looks like least as real as it gets using paper and paint! 

The doors were covered with distress woodgrain cardstock (distress stains and distress crayons to color them).  The door handles are long fasteners and jump glad the scale was just perfect!

The ghosts I edged with Pumice Stone and Black Soot distress inks then covered with the crazing medium.  Once dry I smooshed Hickory Smoke distress ink all over them.  A flickering tea light was put under the house and voila!  I'm ready for some trick-or-treaters!

Here are the items I used to create my spook-tacular haunted house...

Stampers Anonymous: Studio 490/All Cracked Up WVBG030: Tim Holtz/Reflections CMS111

Idea-ology: long fasteners, jump rings (door handle/knocker)

Ranger:  distress inks (Pumice Stone, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke); distress paint (Hickory Smoke, Forest Moss, Milled Lavender); distress crayons (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain); distress stains (Antique Linen, Walnut Stain); distress embossing ink and clear embossing powder; Texture Paste (Transparent Matte); archival inks (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke); Micro Glaze; Adirondack pigment inks (Sunset Orange, Mushroom, Terra Cotta, Red Pepper); distress woodgrain card stock; distress collage medium (crazing); alcohol inks (Mushroom, Caramel, Blending Solution)

Sizzix: Village Dwelling 660992, Village Manor 661591, Notebook texture fade, Wood Planks texture fade, mini stencil 038 Bricked, ghost trio die cut (courtesy of The Funkie Junkie)

Miscellaneous:  Stampendous Marble Cube stamp TC01, Liquitex Ceramic Stucco, gauze, plastic packaging, black posterboard, white Sharpie pen, skull beads (courtesy of The Funkie Junkie), pumpkins (purchased from The Funkie Junkie)
I sure hope that covers everything!  Both my workspaces are an absolute chaotic mess right now!  lol

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Comfort and sympathy

Another bad week for friends and family...3 members within my circle have lost loved ones in a space of 4 days.  Here's one of the cards I made for a cousin who lost her husband.

Simon Says Stamp: Abstract Triangles

Ranger:  clear embossing ink and powder; distress markers and inks (Scattered Straw, Carved Pumpkin, Rusty Hinge, Peeled Paint); Perfect Pearls Mist (Biscotti); Black Soot archival ink

Sizzix:  Fall Foliage thinlits dies

Watercolor cardstock, unknown cardstocks

DRS Designs: stamp

RIP, Joe.  You were a good man.

Comfort and sympathy

Another bad week for friends and family...3 members within my circle have lost loved ones in a space of 4 days.  Here's one of the cards I made for a cousin who lost her husband.

Simon Says Stamp: Abstract Triangles

Ranger:  clear embossing ink and powder; distress markers and inks (Scattered Straw, Carved Pumpkin, Rusty Hinge, Peeled Paint); Perfect Pearls Mist (Biscotti); Black Soot archival ink

Sizzix:  Fall Foliage thinlits dies

Watercolor cardstock, unknown cardstocks

DRS Designs: stamp

RIP, Joe.  You were a good man.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy anniversary

Celebrating a fall anniversary...or 2...actually 4 this month among my circle of family and friends!

Yes, this is virtually the same card as the 10/12 birthday card post.  I was on a roll, fell in love with it and kept on creating!

Decorative cardstock (base); kraft paper colored with Walnut Stain distress stain for the layer; mixed media cardstock for the top

Stamp Camp "Love" and Hero Arts heart (found in the Sunny Lower Case Letters set) in Ground Espresso archival ink on Recollections cork tape.  The edges were smudged with the same ink.

Washi tape gave me a an area to merge 3 of my favorite fall colors using a blending tool (Wild Honey, Ripe Persimmon and Fired Brick).

Sizzix Fall Foliage thinlits die (leaf) was cut from mixed media cardstock.  Before the die cut was popped out of the die I smeared Tree Branch archival ink onto the veins of the leaf.  I puddled Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Forest Moss distress stains on my nonstick craft sheet, spritzed with water and drug the leaf through the mix.  I let them air dry so the color would be more dramatic.  CMS266 Newsprint & Type was stamped over the dry leaf using Ground Espresso archival ink.

Hint for the color-blending:  if you lightly go over the entire strip with the lightest color (presuming you are using the a range of similar colors) then any 'lines' will be kept to a bare minimum.  They really do gradiate nicely if you go in with a gentle touch.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October tag remix

Have you tried the latest remix of techniques that Tim Holtz shared on his monthly blog post for the 12 tags of 2016?  While the first technique left me feeling kind of 'meh' I had much more fun playing with the second one.

Here's a list of the items I used to create my version of this month's tag.

Stampers Anonymous CMS 236 Crazy Talk, CMS 140 Mini Halloween

Idea-ology: long fasteners, Regions Beyond Paper Stash

Sizzix:  pumpkin mini mover & shaker, Candlelight Bigz 660029, Garden Greens thinlits 661206, Dot-trix texture fade, Rulers texture fade, Swirls texture fade

Ranger:  distress crayons (Black Soot, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo, Picket Fence), distress paint (Forest Moss, Carved Pumpkin, Fossilized Amber, Walnut Stain, Black Soot), distress collage medium (matte), distress embossing ink, Melt Art Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE), Glossy Accents, distress collage medium (crazing), Peeled Paint distress marker (witch's face); Vintaj patina paints

Miscellaneous:  green gem (pupil of large background eye), witch's hat charm, silver foil tape, card stock scraps, ribbon scraps


I didn't have any Halloween ephemera so I took a sheet from the paper stash, cut it up, arranged the small tiles then glued them down and continued with the process.  The UTEE was used to create the faux enamel label.  The charm was all silver but I v-e-r-y carefully painted it using Vintaj patina paints (black, a yellow, a green and an orange).  And it is sized perfectly to fit the woman's head.  I know the candle should also be yellows and oranges instead of the black but it just wasn't showing up very well.  And I didn't care for the drips when I did them in black.

Here's the tag in a slightly larger size.  Maybe you can see the details a bit easier.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy birthday

Celebrating a fall birthday with you!

Decorative cardstock (base); kraft paper colored with Brushed Corduroy distress stain for the layer; mixed media cardstock for the top

Stamp Camp "celebrate" in Ground Espresso archival ink on Recollections cork tape.  The edges were smudged with the same ink.

Washi tape gave me a an area to merge 3 of my favorite fall colors using a blending tool (Wild Honey, Ripe Persimmon and Fired Brick).

Sizzix Fall Foliage thinlits die (leaf) was cut from mixed media cardstock.  Before the die cut was popped out of the die I smeared Tree Branch archival ink onto the veins of the leaf.  I puddled Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Forest Moss distress stains on my nonstick craft sheet, spritzed with water and drug the leaf through the mix.  I let them air dry so the color would be more dramatic.  CMS266 Newsprint & Type was stamped over the dry leaf using Ground Espresso archival ink.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

“Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim”

“May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”   To all my Jewish family and friends, "Happy New Year!"

Ranger: Adirondack acrylic paints (Cranberry, Raisin, Espresso, Butterscotch, Terra Cotta, Pesto, Metallic Pearl); Glossy Accents: Multi Medium-Matte; Texture Paste-Transparent Gloss; Faded Jeans distress ink

Sizzix: alphanumeric 3/4" thinlits dies

Studio 490: Vintage Quilt Stencil

Miscellaneous:  Carta Bella Apple Slice Die set; Floracraft-Diamond Dust; Martha Stewart border punch; Bazzill cardstock-blue; white cardstock

Note 1:  the apple and honey were white cardstock that was painted with the appropriate colored acrylic paints.

Note 2:  Diamond Dust was a bit large and chunky but I hope it looks like real sugar and gets the message to the recipient that they are wished a sweet new year.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Celebrating World Card Making Day!

I haven't always been able to participate but this year I did in a rather large way.  A very good friend retired yesterday from his position as a head librarian from an upstate NJ college.  Since we couldn't be with him to celebrate I created an 8-panel accordion fold card to acknowledge his new status of 'retiree'.  Got this finished just in time to get this in the mail before our local station closed at noon.

The font was computer-generated (AR Christy I think on the Printmaster 15 application). Here's a list of everything I used:  washi tape; fire hydrant stamp (Kathy Davis); watercolor pencils; Strathmore Mixed Media cardstock; distress inks; distress markers; archival inks; Stampers Anonymous mini stencils 003, 013; Stampers Anonymous stamp sets 064, 094, 212, 237, 250, 251, 271, 272; Sizzix dies 660953 Crazy Things, 661593 Crazy Dogs, 661209 Crazy Cats, 660949 Mini Bird Crazy & Things, 661594 Mini Crazy Cats & Dogs, 657469 Holiday Lamppost, 38-0289 Baseball Gear, 658252 Cobblestones; Martha Stewart ice cream punch (aka 'flower pot'); Studio 490 Cracked Brick Wall stamp WVBG031, Card Art Sentiments SCS146

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall friends

Bazzill cardstock - orange, green

Ranger:  Distress watercolor cardstock; clear embossing ink; clear embossing powder; archival inks-coffee, tree branch; distress inks & markers-vintage photo, ground espresso, peeled paint, ripe persimmon, fired brick, wild honey

Stamp Camp - friends stamp

Sizzix:  Tattered Leaves Bigz die

Stampers Anonymous: CMS Falling Leaves 097

Simon Says Stamp: Abstract Triangles 101638

Recollections:  cork tape

This abstract triangles stamp was one of the Stamptember offerings on the Simon Says Stamp website this month and I fell in love with it immediately.  I can see lots of uses for it and numerous ways to color within the triangles.  On this occasion I puddled up fall colored distress inks, spritzed them water, then plopped the cardstock onto them carefully.  Heat set, replop as desired.  Using the markers I made some of the triangles more intense or changed their color entirely creating a new color.