Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 7

Here is my tag for Day 7 of Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas challenge. My tag was inspired by this tag of Tim's.

I have to say the part I worked on the hardest was the background. Tim used this woodgrain texture fade embossing folder, and I didn't have one. So I coated my tag with four layers of clear UTEE and one layer of glittery embossing powder, loaded VersaMark onto a woodgrain background stamp, heated the tag so the EP was warm, and pressed the stamp into the surface of the tag. Nothing. Tried it again. Nothing. The problem was the surface of the tag was so big that I couldn't get the entire thing hot enough at one time to take an impression from a rubber stamp.

So Bob and I went to dinner instead. I happened to pick a restaurant close to Archivers and we just happened to stop by there after dinner so I could buy: 1) the woodgrain texture fade embossing folder; 2) some rock candy distress stickles; and 3) some more clear UTEE because I had just used up my last bit putting four layers onto a tag.

Can you believe that Archivers didn't have ANY of these items tonight. I had to go home and rethink my plan.

I took the tag and a craft sheet and my heat gun into the kitchen and turned the stove burner on low. I have one of those electric flat-top stoves so I figured it would heat pretty evenly. I went ahead and re-melted the embossing powder with the heat gun, and the heat from the stove was keeping it warm, and I pressed my stamp hard onto the tag. I took the whole thing, craft mat and all off the stove and peeled the rubber away from the tag. VOILA! It worked like a charm! I took the tag back to the stamp room and rubbed brown StazOn ink over the whole thing, and it looked very much like sparkly wood.

Later I covered up almost all of the background, but if you were to come to my house and peel everything off that tag, you would be impressed.

I also didn't have Tim Holtz sticky-backed canvas, but I did have some neutral-colored fabric. I used a Humungo Killer Tape Sheet to stick the fabric to some colored art metal. Then I colored the fabric with some Radiant Rain paint and Glimmer Mists and dried them with my heat gun. I cut the fabric/metal with three sizes of Spellbinders' dahlia dies. Just like Tim instructed, I cut the flowers and flipped them around. Because my flower petals are backed with metal, they hold their shape even better than Tim's flowers do. I totally LOVE my giant poinsettia!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 6

Here is my tag for Day 6, inspired by this Tag made by Tim Holtz. Again, lots of substitutions, but I really like this tag. It looks kind of elegant (except in this photo, I don't really like the reindeer. It's way more reindeer-y in real life.)

The deer I used was one of the shapes in a holiday grungeboard set I bought several years ago. I embossed the deer like Tim said to do, painted it purple to reflect the sky, and then ran a StazOn pad over it. I tried sponging distress ink on it first, but the StazOn worked much better for me.

I like the technique Tim used of stamping directly onto an embossing folder and then running it through a die cutter. I have done this before with great success. Unfortunately the only embossing folder I have that would have worked for this tag is a bamboo folder, and that's not very Christmas-y. So I heat embossed this tree from Stampin' Up's "Lovely as a Tree Set" (a perennial favorite of mine).

I first loaded the pine tree stamp with VersaMark and then put Garden Green and Always Artichoke ink onto it. I stamped it three times without reinking so that I could get some depth and make it look like there were several trees. (The third tree looks more like a ghost tree though.) Then I embossed with clear embossing powder.

The garland around the deer's neck started out gold and silver. I dyed it with alcohol reinkers. I really worked the ink into the garland with my fingers. I hope my fingers eventually return to being finger-colored.

Oh, I dyed the ribbon, too, but that was much easier. I pulled a ribbon between a distress ink pad and a sponge, and then I ironed it to heat set it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 5

Today's tag is inspired by this tag made by Tim Holtz. The first thing I like about this tag is that it's not blue. I really loved the first four tags I made, but I was getting a little tired of using the same colors.

Tim had this incredible way of making enamel numbers using his Ideology "numerals" which is great, except I don't have any of those. My friend Shelly Hickox solved that problem by finding a font she liked, running off large versions on copy paper, taping the paper to soft art metal, and then cutting the
m out. I loved that idea, so I did that. Then Shelly combined white embossing powder and clear UTEE, so I did that too. Shelly came up with wonderful-looking numbers, and I did too. Shelly stopped there and added them to her tag. Not me, I decided to try and put holes in them and attach them to the tag with brads. BIG MISTAKE! All the embossing powder cracked and came off.

Alternatively, I had a metal "Believe" stashed away, and it seemed to fit with my Inkadinkado Santa Claus. So I got out my white embossing powder and clear UTEE and started over. It looked all white and like porcelain, but it didn't pop against the weathered
slice of sheet music, so I added a final layer of "red tinsel" embossing powder, and now it pops for me.

The flocking on the beard looks totally awesome! I am in love with Santa's facial hair!

One final note: Stickles take forever to dry. I realize some people were waiting all day for me to put this on my blog, but I couldn't assemble it until it had dried. I hope it was worth the wait.

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 4

It's almost 1 a.m.! You would think I could get a tag finished earlier on a Saturday . . . and now it's Sunday! This will be a very short post.

I was really enjoying how all my tags coordinate with one another, but I am getting really tired of blue tags. This tag based on Tim Holtz' Day 4 tag, was really fun to do. I actually went to Archiver
s and bought the facets, but I had a hard time getting the alcohol inks to behave correctly on the back. See Tim's Steps 3 - 5. Instead I used an Azure StazOn pad, and it worked like a charm.

THE NEXT MORNING: Okay, now that I've had a good night's sleep, I feel much better, and I'm ready to give a few more details.
I started with some pretty blue background paper with "Seasons Greetings" printed all over it and added some funky Stampin' Up snowflakes embossed with white embossing powder heavily fortified with glitter. The ice skaters, "Post Card," and the label are also from Stampin' Up, and the skaters were colored (quickly, not well) with Copic markers.

The lace at the bottom didn't get added until this morning. I woke up and remembered that a year or so ago I bought ribbon with blue beads in it. It was perfect!

The gems, obviously, were placed in a free-form manner to compliment the tag.

Now I'm off to check out Tim's tag for today! Oh . . . and go to church. Places to go, deities to see . . .

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 3

Well Mr. Tim Holtz put out another beautiful tag yesterday in his 12 Tags of Christmas challenge (he put out another today, too, but I haven't gotten to that one yet). Of course, I don't have Ranger studios at my home, so I had to substitute some of Tim's stuff for stuff in my poorly furnished studio.

The first thing I substituted was his red bird. You may notice that my bird looks somewhat like a butterfly. I tried using a bird punch, but the
bird punch I have is so small that two strips of tissue tape covered the whole thing. The tissue tape works really well. I tried to add Stickles to it after I had it cut out and colored, but the glitter didn't look evenly distributed and the glue wasn't so smooth. So I wiped it all off, dried it with my heat gun and put three coats of sparky embossing powder on it instead. It looks really pretty.

Since I was going with a
butterfly instead of a bird, I substituted the green tag with a blue tag, and then added flourishes instead of a tree. But it didn't look Christmasy at ALL, so I stamped my snowflakes with VersaMark and brushed on some silver Perfect Pearls.

I did make a flower out of the tissue tape, and then I sprayed it green and put a beaded centerpiece in the middle. The Santa Claus was stamped with a Fancy Pants stamp, colored with Copic markers, and then distressed with distress ink and

My one regret is that I didn't put more white paint around the edges. I think my acrylic paint may have been thinner than Tim's paint or my stamp had finer dots, but I would have liked to have had more "snow" around the sides.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 2

Well, just like yesterday, let me show you Tim Holtz' tag that inspired my tag. Pretty, huh? And as you can see, my tag is closer to Tim's today. Not dead-on, but closer.

The OnyxXpressions snowflakes were stamped first and embossed with clear embossing powder (EP). I used a coated white paper for this tag, and that's going to be important to know in a minute. I sponged some blue distress inks on the tag, then took a heated craft iron, put some copy paper over the tag, and ironed off the embossing powder from the snowflakes. The copy paper absorbed all of the EP like magic, leaving me with white snowflakes on a blue background, but it's all very smooth. You don't need a craft iron to do this technique--the one that you iron your clothes with will work fine.

I embossed the pine cone (Stampin Up) and the pine branches (Penny Black) and the "NOEL" (Anna Griffin) . . . yadda, yadda, yadda, not very interesting, whatever.

Here's the interesting thing: On the edges where there were no pine branches, I stamped some Fancy Pants flourishes with VersaFine sepia ink. I know, you can't see any brown flourishes. That's because I wiped them off and it took the distress ink off with it! I wish my tag had been a little larger to start with, because these "ghost flourishes" are very cool, and I am going to try to incorporate them into my next tag a little bigger, because this is definitely something I want to play with. I wonder whether the heat setting of the ink (from ironing off the clear EP from the snowflakes) contributed to this technique--something to explore.

The birds are punched with that really good Martha Stewart sparrow punch and embossed with three coats of pewter EP. Finally, I finished by adding some ribbon and red "nailhead" stickers. I was going to make some baubles and attach them to the ribbon like Tim had done, but I really undersized the tag and thought they would be overwhelming. Plus I wanted something red in the lower right-hand corner to balance the red ribbon, so I went with the nailheads instead of the baubles.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tim's Tag Challenge--Tag No. 1

I don't know if any of you follow Tim Holtz, but every December he has a tag challenge. Click here to see his tag for Day 1.

My tag is somewhat different from Tim's. He uses a house die cut; I stamped a train station. Tim used distress ink on a craft sheet, spritzed it, and applied it to the tag and then dried it; I had choir practice tonight and didn't have time for anything that fancy so I just dry-sponged the ink onto the tag. Tim used a white picket fence die cut; I have it on good authority that the man in the foreground buys and sells stolen watches.

Get it . . . he's a "fence."

The train station and the fellow in front of it are from Artistic Outpost's Steampunk plate. The gears are from Oxford Impressions' Steampunk Elements plate. The snowflakes are from OnyxXpressions (they're my favorite snowflake stamps of all time). The watch face is a retired Stampin' Up stamp.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Canvas Piece

Shelby and I made something that's not a card! Its a canvas piece with a really cool tag. The technique I used for the tag is called Controlled Squish and you can find step-by-step details on Lin's blog. Now, Lin lives in England, and I didn't have access to all her products. I just used plain spackle and cheap acrylic paint. Instead of finishing with Precious Metal Paint, I rubbed with metallic rub-ons. I think it turned out pretty cool.

Tell how you stamped the words on the canvas.

First I painted the canvas with yellows, and a little blue, and some copper acrylic paint. Then I stamped the sentiment onto a big piece of tissue paper. The tissue paper was big enough to cover the entire canvas, even the sides. I painted the whole canvas with Mod Podge and put the tissue paper over it. Then I added another coat of Mod Podge. I added more paint everywhere, except over the words, and then I inked the edges with Ranger's new distress ink, Rusty Hinge.

While she was painting the canvas, I colored the butterfly with Copic markers, and made antennae out of wire. Then I shaped it's little wings and painted it with Mod Podge so it would stay that way.

The butterfly (moth?) is by OnyxXpressions, and the sentiment is from Penny Black.

Be very careful clicking the OnyxXpressions link.

What's wrong with the link? Is it broken?

Nope, it's just that you need to have lots of money set aside before you visit. Trust me on this.

It sounds like we might have some new rubber coming to the house!

Actually, I'm having it shipped to my new apartment!

What . . . NO . . . I have no idea what to say . . . What? . . . You're moving out? (I'm not getting new OnyxXpressions stamps?) . . . When did this happen? Why . . . didn't you say anything? When?

I didn't want to get you upset if it didn't work out. Let's get off the blog and we'll talk about it over a glass of wine. In the meantime, everyone else can reminisce about when I first came to live with you.

Until next time,
If there is a next time,

Cyndi and Shelby

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Copic Storage

Okay, so Shelby and I have started investing all our hard-earned money in Copic markers, and the issue of storage has come up. Since we like to take our Copics with us sometimes, we wanted our storage to be portable as well. Our need became painfully apparent last Friday night, didn't it, Shelby?

I believe I was doing you a favor by carrying them at all. And I thought we weren't going to talk about this. Focus on the project!

Back a few months ago when we only had 72 Copics, it was easy . . . keep them in the box they came in. But then Shelby got her income tax refund . . .


. . . and bought us some more Copics. So I started looking at other people's websites for how they were storing their markers, and I really liked how Cheryl Horton was keeping hers. But I didn't have a caddy like hers, and I really like keeping them organized in the Copic boxes. So I bought an extra Copic storage box, took some chipboard, and made my own Copic caddy.

You're probably going to want to give them more detail on this, Cyndi.

Okay, Shelby, here goes (I wish I had taken photos while I was making it, but I didn't so try and visualize). I took some chipboard and cut strips to 12" X 2-7/8". These were used as spacers between the bottoms of the two Copic boxes (use as many as you need to make sure the boxes sit flat together and the tops can be put back on comfortably). I made sure everything was taped very securely with clear packing tape.

The I took a piece of chipboard and cut it to 12" wide X 9" high. I marked 3" from each end of the 12" top edge AND I marked 3" down from each of the top corners. I used these marks, a ruler, and my craft knife to remove the triangle from each side of the chipboard, thus giving me a good shape for the handle of the caddy.

Then she cut a rectangle for the finger hole.

After I covered the chipboard with paper, I taped the chipboard handle to one of the boxes very securely with packing tape, then I taped the other box to the first box so that the handle was in the middle. Then I put packing tape on the bottom so that the boxes are taped together very well. Then I covered the bottom of the Copic boxes with scrapbook paper to make it look like one box.

Then I put all the markers in, by number, according to each color family!

And we still have room for more markers!

So Friday I was at my church's stamping/scrapbooking event, and Shelby had put all the markers in an envelope box.

Where they fit quite nicely, but you couldn't pick out just the right colors conveniently.

I dig through the box to get just the right marker from the bottom, and I notice there's something on the markers! Do you want to tell the nice people what was on our Copic markers?


Shelby had not only put stamping supplies in her bag, but a loaf of cinnamon bread to share with everyone and a stick of butter . . . and left it in the car all day.

You didn't see most of the mess the butter left in the bag. It was disgusting. I do feel really bad about that. I'll buy you some more Copics to make up for it.

You're on!

Until next time,

Cyndi and Shelby

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alice With Critters

I think I may well be addicted to making triptychs. Y'all this is the easiest layout. I cut a piece of black cardstock to 11 X 5-1/2 and score it at 3-1/2 at each end. This leaves a 4-inch wide section in the middle. This Spellbinders dies works perfectly.

The stamps are from the new Alice Illustrated plate from Oxford Impressions. I thought these went together well because, obviously, they all have animals in them.

This is my background before I put the Alice images on. On the triptych I did two posts ago, I sponged distress ink onto cream colored cardstock. This time, I coated black cardstock with VersaMark ink and brushed on Perfect Pearls. Then I embossed and sanded. You can't tell it from this picture, but the embossed and sanded paper looks and feels like flocking in real life.

Until next time,


Birthday in Wonderland

Here is a birthday card I made for a dear friend using an image from the Oxford Impressions' Illustrated Alice collection.

What does that say? "A very merry un-unbirthday"? Why can't you just say "Happy Birthday"?

Because, Shelby, that would not be funny or clever. Remember back to when we were children and watched the Disney version of the movie, and the Mad Hatter and the March Hare and the Dormous were singing when Alice first came upon them? They were singing about having a "Very Merry Unbirthday." But it really was Suzanne's birthday, so I wrote "A Very Merry Un-Unbirthday." Get it?

I didn't hear any singing about this in the "Alice in Wonderland" movie we just saw.

No, that was all about Johnny Depp.


Until next time,

Cynd and Shelby

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All About Balloons

The first time I saw these new stamps from Artistic Outpost along with these new stamps from Artistic Outpost, I immediately knew I was going to have to do something like this:

The lines of the birdcage coordinated so perfectly with the lines of the balloons, I couldn't help myself. I thought to myself, "This would be perfect for my Party-Themed artwork for Artistic Outpost's March Referral Program!" Check it out!

Oh my gosh! Cyndi, you made something other than a card!

Hey, Shelby. Yes, I made a "triptych".

It's pretty trippy, alright. I didn't know you knew how to make anything but cards.

So not true, Shelby. I've made two or three things that weren't cards. Anyway, you may have seen this new cardstock out there called Coredinations which is designed to be embossed and then sanded to show a contrasting (but coordinating) color underneath.

We have a bunch of it at Archiver's, where I work. It's very popular.

Well, don't tell your corporate office, Shelby, but I made "Faux Coredinations--with a twist." I sponged a lot of ink onto cream colored cardstock, embossed in my Cuttlebug folder, and then sanded off the ink on the raised portions. The "twist" is I used more than one color of ink. But you could totally use just one color, or two colors for a more subtle look.

I have to admit, that is pretty gorgeous.

Thanks! That's high praise coming from you, Shelby. The beauty of this background is that it's really easy to do if you have the embossing equipment. And if I want black or another dark color to come through instead of white, I can start with dark cardstock and use acrylic paint.

Hey, I bet even I could do that!

You are not to touch the acrylic paint until I get home! I don't want a repeat of what happened last time. (Some people require supervision, but you, dear blog reader, should have no trouble with this technique at all.)

Check out some of the detail:

Until next time,

Cyndi and Shelby

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Goofing Off?

I think not!