Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Letterpress Christmas Decor

Hello friends!
I'm here today with an addition to the Tim Holtz Inspirations Series.  This time I'm creating a fun shadow box that can be personalized with your favorite words (think family, Christmas, dates, family names, etc.).
I used TWO sets of Letterpress to create the box shown here.  If you have leftover letters from other projects, this is perfect project to use them up!
I started by creating some Christmas words...so many different word possibilities!  You are really only limited by the amount of vowels and double letters!
Because I wanted to stick to two sets of Letterpress for this project I had to "stretch" my vowels!  That means I cut off the bits of a Q to get a 3rd O and I used two ampersands as E's.  I arranged it in the large Vignette Tray to make sure everything fit nicely.
 Once my arrangement was complete, I painted out the Tray with Black Soot Distress Paint.
 I used Collage Medium Matte to add paper from the Mini Stash Christmas to the back of the tray (don't worry, that break in the paper will be hidden in the end).
I knew I wanted the 25 to be glittered so I used my finger to tap on Collage Medium and then pressed the number into the jar of Distress Glitter Dust - Vintage Platinum.  I find that tapping over any letter or number is the best way to add the glue and NOT get the glue down the sides or in the crevices.
Here you are going to see the evolution of my decision making...lol (in other words I changed my mind).  I started by painting the words with Picket Fence Distress Paint.
 I was unsure of the color so I added Clear Rock Candy to every other word.
Then I painted the rest of the words with Pine Needles, let them dry and added the Clear Rock Candy over the green.  I used Collage Medium to glue the words together (it was way easier to move them from the craft sheet to the tray that way).
 I added Design Tape to the edge of the Vignette Tray.
I still needed a star for the top so I cut three stars using the Stacked Stars Bigz Die then glued them together to make one thick star.
 Collage Medium works great to add the Vintage Platinum Glitter Dust.
One by one I added the words to the tray with Collage Medium. You will have plenty of open time to add all the words and adjust as you go.  I used a foam square to add the star at the top so it was raised up off the back of the tray.
And just for a little added detail, I sugared a few juniper pieces I punched out.  They are not dry in the photo so they look a little white.  You can see how they change (once they are dry) in the close-up shot below.
 A couple jungle bells (red pepper alcohol ink) and some red and white string and we're done.  I love this shot because you can see the Clear Rock Candy up close!

 I hope you will try this idea!  Remember, you can use whatever words you like...family names, Christmas words or important dates.
now carry on,

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Presence of Wonder

Hi everyone,

You can find me today over on the Ranger blog!   I have a vintage themed project using the new metallic Distress Crayons to create a fun background.  Don't miss it!
now carry on,

Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Believe" Count Down Calendar

Hi everyone!  Glad to be back here on the blog with an easy Count Down Calendar for the Tim Holtz Holiday Inspiration series.  Follow along and I'll show you what I made!

Start with the small size Vignette Tray (they come two in a pack - one large one small).  Turn it over and paint the sides and up onto the back with black soot Distress Paint.  Let dry.
Adhere paper from the idea-ology Mini Paper Stash Christmas (8 x 8") with Collage Medium.  The paper is cut smaller than the wood front because I wanted the black edge to create a faux "frame" for the pretty paper.  A brayer ALWAYS helps to smooth out the paper on a hard surface.
I used a stencil from the Stampers Anonymous Mini Set #31 and Distress Grit-Paste to create a great pattern for the background. 
I also wanted to give the Grit-Paste a little shine, so while it was still wet I poured Distress Glitter Dust over the top.  You have to work fast since the paste dries rather quickly!
It leaves a bit of shine over each star which I thought was fun.  Remember to leave it to dry for at least 30 minutes (and do not use a heat tool).
While the Grit-Paste is drying I thought I'd work on the numbers for the count down calendar.  I'm using the Transparent Tiles Christmas for this project.  They come in a pack of 48 pieces - alpha and numeric.  The pack has two sets of numbers, which is perfect since you need two of the number 1 and 2 for a calendar.  The pack also has a star card I thought could used on single digit days (you will see later). 
To turn them gold, I pounced gold Mixative Alcohol Ink over the BACK of each card and let it dry.  Again, do not use a heat tool as it is VERY easy to overheat the plastic card, which in turn will curl up like a Pringle potato chip...and we don't want that to happen!  Just walk away for 10 minutes to let completely them dry!
You may not of seen this great little pack of hardware that was released in the summer.  It is called the Vignette Hardware pack and it's like one stop shopping for the hardware we all need when working with Vignette Boxes or Trays.  The pack comes with screw eyes, hooks, nails, and long screws (long screws are used to convert idea-ology wheels and knobs so they can be used with Vignette Trays and Boxes).

I decided the small hooks would work perfectly for this project.
I placed the numbers on the tray to get the spacing needed, then used a nail to start the hole (I just tapped it a couple times with a small hammer).  I pulled out the nail and inserted the hook, screwing it into place.  Super simple.
 This is how it looks from the side.
To hang the numbers they need to have a hole.  Just mark the center point (easy to do with Tim's ruler) and punch a small hole.  I made sure I kept the hole near the edge since my hooks are small.
I guess you could hang all the numbers on the hooks, but realistically if you are going to count down, I'd rather keep them in dish nearby or in a envelope on the back of the tray.
To build the focal point of the tray, I started with the Quote Chip "Believe", adding it to the bottom of the green Baseboard.  Foam squares were added to the back and it was added to the tray front.
I thought a Small Woodland Tree would be cute in the center of the Baseboard, but before you can add the tree... you need to give it a haircut so it can sit flat against the surface.
Using your fingertip, tap Collage Medium on all the bristles.  Sprinkle Clear Rock Candy over the tree to create faux snow.  Let dry.
My tree needs some ornaments!  I picked the smallest beads from the Baubles pack, coloring them with Mushroom Alcohol ink.  Using a Blending Tool with felt allows you to pounce over the bead to get different tones of brown and thereby creating a great vintage look.  Quite the difference in the before and after!
I like to squirt a little Glossy Accents directly into the tree, then push the bead into the glue.
I also wanted to add some color and texture to the Baseboard so I cut a few pieces using the Festive Greens Thinlit and the new little Sidekick machine.  These are the perfect kind of dies for this machine - thin and small in scale!  I can set the small machine on my work surface, lower the lever that creates suction to my table top and I'm ready to die cut these tiny pieces.  Just that simple.
 I added Clear Rock Candy over the bow and the tips of the berries for a little sparkle.
NOTE: I cut the bow twice and glued it together to give it a bit more weight before adding the Clear Rock Candy.

I used hot glue to add the tree to the Baseboard.  I also tucked a bit of Warm and Natural batting right above the Quote Chip to mimic as snow below the tree.  I added one of my favorite Christmas embellishments, a Fluted Star to the top of the tree (it's really right behind the tree - glued to the Baseboard).
I wiped some red paint onto the Mini Hardware knob and let it dry.  I took out the screw that comes with the knob and replaced it with the longer one from the Hardware pack.   I used a drill to create a hole at the top of the tray and add the knob.
I love the way it turned out!  Definitely a project that could be done in just a few hours once all the supplies are at hand.

I think my favorite part is the way the Transparent Tiles turned out with the gold Alcohol Ink.  The gold really did transform them into something special.
Hope you will give this project a go! 

Carry on,

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A New Cast of Characters

Hi everyone!
I'm excited to be here today sharing a fun project using one of my favorite products, Found Relatives.  Many of you might notice something just a bit different about the pack I'm using today.  Can you figure it out?  
Well, about a year ago we started collecting new pictures to update our cast of characters...15 new cards have been added to the pack of 24!  Of course we kept the lady with the red lips, the boy with his dog and the sailor boy and his sister.  So how do you know if it's a new pack?  It has a new cover (seen below).  If you have a pack of Found Relatives with the lady with red lips, then it is the original pack. 
Here are just a few of the new photos included in the box -
Now on to the project...
I am using a small size Etcetera tag as the base for today's project.  It is 5 1/2 x 10" (three tags come in each package).  I used College Medium to adhere paper from the French Industrial Paper Stash.  I added a thin coat over the top of the paper as well (don't skip this step).
I used the new stencil Crossed, which came out in the Halloween release, but really you could use this one any darn day! Distress Grit-Paste was pulled across the stencil with a palette knife and just like that, great texture!  Now to let it dry.
About 30 minutes later I came back and rubbed the surface with Distress Collage Medium "Vintage".  This creamy goop will add a vintage vibe to any surface.  My one word of warning is that like regular Collage Medium, it dries fast so once you start rubbing it over the surface don't stop. 
I finished off the surface by using my Gathered Twigs Distress Crayon that is part of set 10.  I scribbled it on the edges of the tag, then rubbed it with my finger.  This is one of the reasons I sealed the surface with the Collage Medium at the beginning.  Distress Crayons need a slick surface and a touch of water to move freely.  Sometimes as little as just touching your finger tip on a wet wipe will help move the crayon around.
I love letterpress.
Today I decided to paint the top of the letters Antique Linen Distress Paint.  Once dry, I used the Gathered Twigs to add a bit of grunge to each letter.
Now to start putting everything together...
I covered a large Vignette panel with paper from the Memoranda Paper Stash.  I decided to use this panel because it is the exact same size as the Letterpress word.  A perfect fit!
Now for Found Relative (don't you just love her?)...   I like to add a VERY thin coat of Media Clear Gesso over the card to create "tooth" which will allow the Distress Marker ink to adhere to the card.  This technique works well but is not without it's challenges.  The biggest being "streaks" if you leave too much of the Clear Gesso on the card...never a good thing if you are wanting to have smooth color.  I would also mention that the Clear Gesso holds the color much more than if you tint the photo without it.  On one hand I think the color lasts longer but on the other it is not quite as realistic of a tint.  Anyway, something to think about and try.

Before I added the photo I needed to get some metal ready.  My trusty go-to technique for metal is Picket Fence paint wiped on and left to dry, then Mushroom Alcohol Ink pounced over the top.  Tried and true!
I also sprayed some Bouquet flowers with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain.
I tied the flowers to the key with Craft String that has been dyed with Distress Ink.
You will need a double stack of foam squares to hold up the top of the key.
Clippings Stickers are great for finding the perfect secondary sentiment.  Can't get enough of these.
I added some vintage lace to the Hinge Clip and added it to the top of the Vignette Panel.

I love the way this piece turned out and I love the new Found Relatives.  I hope you check out the new cast of characters and that you find a few projects to use them on.
How do you find a pack?  
Call a local retailer and ask them to order it for you!  If you don't have a local retailer, you can click on the link below.  Just remember, it has to have the right packaging to be the new set of cards.  Either way, this new cast of characters is a definite must have!

carry on,