Saturday, May 23, 2015

CAS Retirement Card

Here is a quick retirement card.  This idea could be used for all kinds of things...all you need is a short word that fits the occasion...thanks, congrats, wish, cheers, could even use someone's name if it isn't too long!!  All you have to do is cut the word out twice, once with white or whatever color you are using for your background card and then with a coordinating color or small print, for my card I used a small multicolor stripe pattern.  The dies that I used are a set from My Favorite Things.  I didn't keep the name of the set so I'm not exactly sure which one it is, but they have lots that would work.  Here's my card...

Sequins were perfect to add a little pizzaz!  I used some that I got from Stampin Up.  It's a great assortment of sequins, hearts and stars in lots of pretty colors! They are on sale right now for 50% off so if you act quick you can get a great deal!!  Here's a close -up...

If you make this card, I'd love to see what you came up with so leave a comment and a link for me.  Thanks for visiting :)  


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cracked Crazy Birds

I find making masculine cards a challenge.  I tend to buy cute or pretty stamps and they don't work on "guy" cards.  This week, I needed two thank you cards for men that I don't know very well.  I had been thinking about a technique using my Crazy Bird stamps and Pan Pastels and I had one of those "Aha"moments...I realized that the Crazy Bird stamps would be perfect for the thank you cards!!  Everyone loves them and they are definitely not feminine!!  The technique I wanted to try was to use Versamark Ink and Pan Pastels to add some texture to the birds while coloring them. I got out a bunch of texture stamps...crackle, numbers, swirls, harlequin, chicken wire and a word stamp.  First, I stamped the birds with Ranger Archival black ink, then I masked the eyes and beaks and stamped a pattern/texture onto each bird with Versamark Ink.  I took my brightest Pan Pastels and colored the birds.  When you color over Versamark with Pan Pastels, the stamped areas get much darker so the patterns although subtle, looked great!  Here are the two cards that I made.

I didn't want the sentiment too mushy because like I said, they are guys and I don't know them very well so the outside says, "Life is tough..." and on the inside, it says, ...Kindness matters.  Thank you".  Short and to the point!  You can see the crackle texture on the blue bird much better than on the red bird but it is on both of them.  Here's a close up of the red bird card.  You can see the crackle a little better here...

I wanted to make a little scene for the bird to stand in, so I used the new MFT die-namics called Rolling Hills.  I love how you cut the fence and then cut another fence out of green and use the waste for the grass to glue below the fence!  It is so cool.  I know I'll be using this die a lot!

I used Pan Pastels to color the sky.  I used Pthalo Blue Tint and Violet Tint.  The leaves are another one of MFT's Die-namics called Wild Greenery.   Here are some of the texture stamps I used.  I found that I got the best results when using stamps with smaller less dense textures...although I really like how the bird with the numbers came out.  Here is a sampling of the texture stamps...

I put Crystal Laquer on the birds eyes to make them shiny.  I love how the shiny eyes catch the light...I just love these birds, they make me laugh!

I hope my cards inspire you to get out your stamps and play!  
Thanks for stopping by to take a look :)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - May

I couldn't wait to see what Tim Holtz had in store for us this month!  It's only the 2nd of the month and my tag is already finished!  Making these tags is really fun!  When I saw the one for this month my first thought was, Yikes...there's a lot of stuff on this one!  As usual though, once I got started it wasn't bad at all.  I didn't have any old timey photos so I found one on Pinterest and printed it out and I didn't have any craft colored burlap so used the  white burlap that I had and stained it with with Ranger Old Paper Stain.  Here is how my tag came out...

I followed Tim's directions as best I could with what I had.  What do you think?  I never would have thought this one up myself.  It's busy but I really like it!  Here's a close up...

I printed the girl's picture onto white card stock and it didn't look right but once I distressed the edges and put some Brushed Corduroy ink on them, it looked much better.  The cancellation stamp and signature made it look more authentic, too!  Love that :)  The expense list was cut from an old receipt page that my friend Wynema gave me.  I sure wish I'd collected this kind of ephemera in the past, it is so cool!  The Bliss disc came from another friend.  I distressed it with some Ranger alcohol ink. The arrow is made from a Stampin' Up punch.  I punched it out of black card stock 5 times and silver metallic card stock once and then glued them together.

I wanted the flowers to be small and soft looking so I cut 4 layers of white tissue paper all at once with the MFT small rolled roses die.  It was kind of a pain to roll and glue because the layers separated but it was worth the effort. I sponged some color on the edge with Tattered Rose Distress Ink.  

I LOVE the buttons on the pin!!  Leave it to TH to think of doing that!  It's a wonderful embellishment!  The zig zag stitching is fun too!

I have another tag to show you because my friend Alita made one and let me take pictures of it!  I can't give you all the particulars because I wasn't paying close attention to the colors she was using and exactly what she was doing but it is gorgeous and I'm so happy she let me share it with you!  Here's her tag...

And here are a few close ups...  

I hope you enjoyed seeing our attempts at this month's tag.  If you haven't tried this challenge, you should.  I think you would really like it!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mixed Media Canvas #1

Doing the Tim Holtz tags is definitely reducing my anxiety about mixed media.  It's working...hooray!!  I got together with some friends to make this canvas.  Everyone in the group had a different theme.  Wynema and Vicki did ephemera collages using lots of things from their relationship with their husbands, Wynema let me post hers so make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post so you don't miss it!  Carolyn's canvas had a beach theme and I decided on a botanical theme.  We had boxes full of stuff EVERYWHERE, which gave us a lot to choose from when embellishing!  Our canvases were 9 x 12 and were painted black with acrylic paint.  We used Adirondack sprays to put color onto the small cards and then began using our imagination to add ephemera for texture and interest.  Oh what fun!!

Here is my canvas...

I was a little worried that the background colors on my card pieces were too bright, but I was going for garden colors and pink, fuchsia, and greens are my favorite garden colors. I went for it and I'm happy with how it turned out.  I think Tim Holtz has some amazing ephemera and I used some of it on my canvas, but to me just using that isn't enough.  I think it's so much more interesting to use found objects, vintage papers, and embellishments made from combining this and that so that is what I focused on while making my canvas.  It was a challenge to place the cards so that my completed piece was well balanced and pleasing to the eye.  I feel like I made one mistake but once it was all glued down it was too late to change it.  What do you think?  Do you notice something?

I'm not going to bore you with a close up of each little piece of my collage, but here are a few of my favorites...

I loved doing this so much that I'm going to make one more, with a beach theme next time!

Below is Wynema's gorgeous ephemera canvas!  I just love the combination of the teals and blues with the orange and rusty color...gorgeous!  You can see more of Wynema's work on her Pinterest page here.  Make sure to check out her jewelry and painting boards.  She is a very talented lady!!  I'm still waiting to see Vickie and Carolyn's work.  Once they get them finished, I'm hoping they will let me share them here :)

Thanks for visiting.  I'd love to hear what you think of this project so if you have a minute, please leave a comment!


Supplies used:
The basic supplies were a 9x12 canvas, black acrylic paint, watercolor paper and assorted Adirondack and Dylusions sprays.  Some of the other things we used are wire, encaustic wax, cheesecloth, metal sheets, embossing powder, slide frames, stamps, plaster tape, twine and fibers. Just about anything will work on this project!

Monday, April 6, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - April

I am really having fun making these tags!  For April, I made two versions.  I think I did it because I had to use my new Bird Crazy stamps!  For my other tag I used a Stampin' Up background stamp called Pleasant Poppies.  When I first looked at Tim's April tag I didn't think I was going to learn very much.  I've done lots of watercoloring and that's all I saw when I looked at the tag.  It's when you sit down and try to duplicate what he's done that you realize there are lots of little things that make it look like it does.  Here are my tags...

I just love the background.  It was made by spraying lots of water on the watercolor paper and then using a spritzer to spray little dots of color into the water.  When the ink hits the water it floats and moves and does weird things and as the water evaporates it sinks down onto the paper where it is.  You really don't have any control of where it goes or how it lands.  It is subtle but really gorgeous when it dries!  Here is a close-up of the poppy tag.

And the Bird Crazy tag!  Everyone has been talking about how much fun the birds are to color and they are right!  You can use any wild combination of colors and they look amazing!  I'm so glad that I got them!  The birds needed something so I added some Brushed Corduroy dots around them using one of Tim's layering stencils called Bubble

Here are some other things that I learned while making these tags.

I learned that I've missed using markers and a water brush to color stamped images on watercolor paper.  If you are like me, you've put your watercolors away and you're using your Copic markers instead.  I also learned that my Pumice Stone reinker is the perfect color to add a shadow around the edges of my images to give them a more 3-D look.  It worked well for both the poppies and the birds!

Another thing that I learned is that you don't have to always use another layer.  You can make slits in the original and slide something underneath!!  Love this idea!  This tag reminded me that distressing around the edges and sponging on some darker color adds texture and interest.  I really need to make a list of these things and keep it close they will be in my face and I will use them more often! 

I didn't have the word blocks dies so I used Emmit Alphabet from My Favorite Things!  I laid the letters down how I wanted them and then used a piece of Post-it tape to hold them together and in place while I ran the tag through my Big Shot.  It's a bit crooked, but not bad at all!  I really love the new Adventure Words Script dies from Tim Holtz and Sizzix!  They are small enough for all of us card/tag makers to use...and the font is gorgeous!  There are a few more sets of these and I think I "need" them!! 

Oh and one more thing...I used my markers to color on satin ribbon and it is beautiful!  We all have lots of that in our stash, but who knew it would take dye and you can even blend two or 3 different colors to give it a variegated effect!!  So cool.  

Thanks so much for visiting.  Stay plan is working and making these tags is decreasing my mixed media anxiety. I just finished a botanical mixed media canvas and had a ball making it!!!!  I'll post pictures soon :)


Supplies Used:

Card Stock:  Canson Aquarelle Watercolor paper, Ranger Kraft tags
Ink:  Ranger Archival black, Distress Brushed Corduroy & Pumice stone reinker
Stamps: Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Stampin' Up Pleasant Poppies
Markers: Tombo 025, 126, 173, 177, 335, 397, 725 845, 847, & 885; Stampin' Up Early Expresso marker
Dies:  Sizzix/Tim Holtz Adventure Words Script, MFT Emmit Alphabet
Miscellaneous: Tim Holtz Spritzer, Idea-ology Philosophy tags & Mirrored stars and his Bubble layering stencil & dauber, satin ribbon, Janome sewing machine, white thread

Friday, April 3, 2015

Happy Easter

I found the most beautiful die on a recent trip to Violette's in Lakeland!  It is an Impression Obsession die called Easter Cutout Square.  It is so delicate and pretty that I knew I needed it to make Easter cards this year.  I got out a bunch of pastel card stock and had a great time mixing and matching them to make my cards!  I kept them simple because I wanted the die cut image to stand out...

I was a little bit nervous because we all know how tricky intricate dies can be and I was cutting out a lot of them.  I decided to use folded dryer sheets underneath the die and card stock to help in removing all of the tiny little pieces.  It worked great.  I still had to poke some of the pieces out but lots came out on the dryer sheet too.  Here's a close-up of the pink version... 

I used a bunch of different colors of card stock and I honestly can't decide which one I like best!  I wanted the die raised off the surface of the card so I put foam tape behind the larger areas and used dots of silicone glue on the tinier ones.  Once the glue dried, the square was very sturdy!

Supplies used:

Stamps: none
Dies:  Impression Obsession Easter Cutout Square
Cardstock: Stampin' Up: Almost Amythest, Pixie Pink, Mint Melody and Coastal Cabana and    
White Cougar Opaque

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful weekend and a happy holiday!

Friday, March 27, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - March

Sorry for the delay, sometimes life gets in the way of my best intentions!  I am loving doing these tags!  The March tag brought some new challenges, e.g. using paint to make a swirly multi-colored background without getting mud!  I didn't have any Tim Holtz Distress paints but I have almost 100 bottles of acrylic paint that I used years ago for tole painting.  Since Distress paints are described as very fluid water based acrylic paints, I thought my tole paints would work just as well.  What I found out is that although they did work and looked very nice, they weren't anywhere near as vibrant as Distress Paints.  Here is my March tag...

See what I mean?  Very pretty, but not as vibrant.  Actually this photo makes the colors look brighter than they really are.  I started by putting some pieces of Tim Holtz tissue tape here and there on the tag.  Then I dropped random acrylic paint drops onto my craft mat.  I spritzed with a lot of water and then mixed them a bit with my finger and dropped my tag on top.  When I picked up my tag, there were some bare spots so I put those back down in the paint until the entire tag was covered.  Once the paint was dry, I stamped the butterfly in black ink.  The butterfly is from Art Institute Glitter.  I used a stencil from called Numbers and Dreamweaver stencil paste to add the numbers.  I sprinkled gold glitter over the paste and embossed it before the paste was dry.  I know TH said to wait for it to dry, but I couldn't!  I was very happy when it came out ok!  The next step was to add embellishments.  I used a pin that I had in my stash and a key, a Heidi Swapp Ghost Letter M for March, a butterfly wishes ticket that I found as a printable on-line and a butterfly image in a tiny frame that I've had in my stash forever!  I collect quotes and decided to add one to my tag.  I thought the blue that I used around the edges matched when I made it but it isn't right.  Despite that, I'm happy with how my tag turned out.

Here are some close up pictures...

Isn't the little frame cute?

You can see from this picture that the Dreamweaver texture paste works just fine when heated before drying.  It didn't bubble up or distort at all.  It may have something to do with the fact that my paste is a few years old.  It was kind of stiff but still worked very well through the stencil.  

A friend who was doing the tags with me used Distress Paints and the colors were much clearer, more vibrant and more transparent than the acrylic paints that I used.  I bet you know what happened when I found that out.   If you guessed that I needed are right!!  It was a no-brainer, especially when I found out that Joanne's had all of their paper crafting supplies 1/2 off that day!!  Yikes, that was serendipitous!!  I was a very happy girl!  Once the tag was finished and everything was cleaned up, I went directly to Joanne's to take advantage of the great sale!  Can you blame me??  I "needed" them right?  

On this tag I learned how to make another beautiful background, this time using multiple colors and my craft mat...the color combinations are endless!  I also learned that using texture paste with a stencil adds a lot of texture and dimension and that you can make it any color by using different embossing powders.  Embellishing is my biggest sticky wicket.  I never know what to use or how to combine things but doing the tags is teaching me to let go of the anxiety and just try things that I have on hand and that eventually...if I keep rearranging them, I come up with something that is OK!  

If you have any suggestions or ideas on mixed media or collage that might help me or others, I sure would appreciate hearing about them!!  I like blogging, but it would be so much better to be able to sit together with some coffee and have a long chat with you about all of the things we love!!

Thanks for visiting,