Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Giving Thanks

Hi Friends,

I was inspired by my friend Michele H. who posted her 'Thanksgiving Tree' on Facebook last week. To be honest I had never heard of a Thanksgiving tree...I guess I'm always so busy this time of year that Halloween seems to melt into Christmas around here!  Anyway, I just kept thinking about it all weekend and how I could create something with that theme and frame of mind...giving thanks.  Follow along as I share what I made.
For my "Thanksgiving Tree", I chose to use a Woodland Half Tree.  The Half Tree is a large 7" sisal tree that has been shaved at the back so it can be placed on a flat surface such as the Divided Box.  The tree fits beautifully into the box space once the dividers have been removed.  So now I've got my substrate to work with.
I decided to use a gilding technique over the sides of the wood box.  To do that you will need a few die cuts.  I chose Organic which gives you a nice big piece to work with.  It is also important to use heavy weight paper like Distress Heavystock which can hold up to the paint layers.  I found I could get two strips from each cut rectangle.  I promise it will make sense as you read along.
Paint the outside of the box with Media Acrylic Paint in Gilt (a beautiful metallic gold color).  Once the paint is dry, adhere the Organic die cut to three sides of the Divided Box (no need to add to the bottom).  To do this, I added Collage Medium over the painted side, then placed the die cut into the glue and added a thin layer over the top to seal.  Don't worry too much about any build up of Collage Medium in the die cut shapes.  Collage Medium shrinks when it dries and it also dries clear.  I let the first piece dry while I worked on adding the next one.  Then once a piece was secure, I cut away the excess paper.
Repeat on each of the three sides until all are covered.
Now take the Media Gilt paint and paint all three sides once more.  
Set aside to dry completely.
Add Mushroom Alcohol Ink to a Blending Tool.  Pounce the Blending Tool over the die cut shapes to add the Alcohol Ink.  Add in layers to allow the Alcohol Ink to build up in intensity in random places.
You can see here that I not only added the AI to the raised surface but also some of the background where there were more open spaces.
I love the look of this technique over the wood of the Divided Box.  It has such great texture under the die cut shapes - looks like old carved wood.  This technique also works over a paper surface like paper mâché.
I added the plaid paper from the Christmas Paper Stash to the inside of the box.  Why does my paper have a missing strip?  Well I cut the paper the wrong size and I was unwilling to use another one so i'll fix it later as soon as I figure out how, lol.  Everyone makes mistakes, right? I always see it a a challenge rather than a mistake and my mind just starts working to figure out how to best fix it.

Next up is to disguise the lip edge of the box.  I chose the matching plaid Design Tape to add to the edge.  The tape is much wider than I need so I placed it on the lip edge, pressing it into place, then cutting it with a sharp knife.  Sounds hard but I was surprised how easy it was to get the perfect size (if the knife is sharp - it cuts like butter).
And there you have it - the perfect size I needed for the lip edge.
So this is the box so far.  I know I still have a SPACE in my box, lol!
On to the Woodland Half Tree I talked about at the beginning...
We all know Baubles + Alcohol Ink are pure magic together.  Here I split one package of Baubles into three random piles and colored each with a different Alcohol Ink: Oregano, Honeycomb and Cloudy Blue.  Once coated in the main color, I pounced Mushroom Alcohol Ink to add more depth.
I love these Half Trees because they are so fluffy!!  I sprayed the tree with Gathered Twigs Oxide Spray and then finished it with just a touch of Old Paper Oxide Spray.  Normally I would not choose Oxide Spray since it's opaque but for this "thanksgiving" tree it seemed the perfect choice for a warm wintery feeling.
I used a hot glue gun to add the Baubles.  I like to add the glue to the tree and then push the Baubles up into it.

Two more layers to go...the first being Distress Mica Flakes which were added with Collage medium. Remember, once dry, the glue is clear and the Mica will look very natural.
I waited till the tree was in the box to add the last layer, which was Mercury Glass Stickles on the tips of the branches.  Don't skip this step because the Stickles gives the needed sparkle - even in daylight.
In the end, this was the most beautiful tree.  The colors and layers worked beautiful together for this fall scene.
One more item for the center of the box: a #8 Etcetera Tag.  It's the perfect size for the box and what I want to do with it.  But first I painted it black, sanded the edges and sealed it with Collage Medium.
I spelled the word, GIVE using the Christmas Stencil Chips which are silver.  The Stencil Chips do come in gold in the regular idea-ology line so that could make a good substitution.  NOTE: I did have to trim both the V and the E to make them the same width as the G and I.  Once they are the right size, I glued them to the tag with Collage Medium.  I also took a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon a scribbled around each rectangle.
I rubbed the crayon to blur the lines I had drawn then added Hardware Heads to the corners.

I decided not to use the reinforcer that comes with the tag but instead use one of the Vintage Clips.
I added Iced Spruce Distress Paint to the Vintage Clip as well as a Metal Star.  The paint and brown crayon make the two different metal pieces look like they were meant to be together.
I added foam tape to the back of the #8 Etcetera Tag and added it to the box.  Hot glue was added to the back of the tree to secure in place.
Notice I filled in the small space on the right of the letter E?  No more gap in the paper.
The bottom of the tray was filled in cheesecloth, some that I literally shredded into strings.  I also added Wood Slices, a glittered pinecone, and some greenery made with the Large Funky Festive die and of course more Distress Mica.
  (this is our last year for Wood Slices so if you like them you might buy a few packages - I know I have my stash!)

 "For we carry the heavens with us" is from the Clippings Sticker pack.  A nod to a heartwarming Christmas movie I recently watched called, "The Christmas Candle".  We can often be the answer to someone else's prayer or hope if we just look to help or serve others in our neighborhoods or community.


I hope you liked my Thanksgiving Tree and I'm grateful to Michele for posting hers. I hope that you'll try something like this - using a different color than you are used to, to create something unique!

now carry on,

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Thankful Tag

I have a tutorial for this easy Thankful Tag over on the Ranger Blog today.  Hope you will pop by to view the tutorial!
now carry on,

Monday, November 4, 2019

Cathedral Window Tray

Hi Friends,

One of my favorite projects I've created this season is my Vignette Tray using the new Cathedral Windows from Stamper Anonymous.  I have had so many questions about this project that I thought I better post a tutorial to show how I made it.  Enjoy!
This is what the windows look like right out of the package.  I used two large windows to construct the background in todays project.    
Cathedral Windows come in a package that contains two large windows (4" x 6 1/2"), and four small windows (2 5/8" x 4 1/4"). 

I painted the window with Opaque Crackle Texture Paste.  The Texture Paster dries very fast so you have to work fast!  It takes a bit of patience to get the brush in and out of the small areas at the top.  No matter, it will be fine in the end.

 Once dry, it has such great texture!  I really looks like paint peeling off an old window.
The second window I painted with white acrylic paint (one coat coverage of an acrylic paint is best in this case).  I also cut a piece of Collage Paper to fit the window.
Starting with the painted window on the bottom.  Use Collage Medium to not only glue the Collage Paper to the window, but also add a thin layer over the Collage Paper to strengthen.  Don't worry about the patch job at the top (where the paper did not reach), when you add the window to the top you will never see the patch.
Use a Heat It Tool to dry the Collage Medium.  This step is important because the heat shrinks the Collage paper as it dries and it becomes taut across the window frame.
 Cut away the excess paper.
I used College Medium and clips to hold the frames together while they dry.
Once dry, remove the clips and wash over the parts of the frame with Distress Crayon and a wet brush to age.
I built a shelf using Etcetera Trims: two 5" scallops to make a thick top and two bracket pieces (4" + 5").  I glued everything together then painted with Picket Fence Distress Paint and let it dry.  I came back and added Opaque Crackle and let it dry again.
Just like the window, I came back a used a wash of Distress Crayon over the crackle to age the finish.
I am using a large Vignette Tray as my substrate so I used an awl and hammer to create the needed a hole in the tray for the lights.  Make sure you have a a piece of wood or a self-healing mat board underneath so the awl does not damage what is underneath when you are hammering.
Next up is the paint - I love the "Ancient" color that Dina has in her Media paint line.  The paint is thick, with one coat coverage and leaves a wonderful metallic glow.  I painted the inside edges before I put the paper into the tray.
Add Design Tape to the edge of the tray.  I picked this cute houndstooth that I thought went well with the pine/holly paper from the Christmas Paper Pad.
I threaded the new Tiny Lights from the back of the tray to the front.  From there I wound them around in a circle and used scotch tape to adhere them to the tray.
You will need 5 bingo chips (or some kind of riser) for the window and shelf.  Three of the five bingo chips were added to the back of the window frame and set aside to dry.
Once dry, adhere the window over the lights.  Add the last two bingo chips to the back of the shelf made from Etcetera Trim and add it to the tray. This does create a gap between the tray and the shelf that is easy disguised with some batting.
Next up is the Woodland Tree!   What you can't see here is that I gave the tree a bit of a haircut on the back side so it would sit on the shelf better.  Test your tree placement before you move onto the next step.  Once it was the right size, I sprayed the tree with Bundled Sage Distress Spray Stain and dried it with the Heat It Tool.

To color the Baubles, I placed a variety of sizes into a small plastic bag.  I dripped Crimson Alcohol Ink into the bag and rolled the Baubles around.  Once I could see they were all coated in ink, I dumped them out into a disposable plastic tray and threw away the plastic bag.  I added Mushroom Alcohol Ink to a Blending Tool with a felt pad, then pounced over the red Baubles to age.
Use a hot glue to add the Baubles to the tree.  I like to add the glue into the tree and then push the Bauble into the glue/branches. 
A small Collage Brush works perfectly to paint on Collage Medium.  Start at the top of the tree and pull down the tree with the brush so the glue stays on the top portion of the ornaments.  When the Mica goes on it will only stick to the glue portion, leaving the bottom half of each ornament red (like snow has fallen from the sky).
 Sprinkle Distress Mica over the tree (do not press down) and let dry.
Adhere the tree to the shelf/window with hot glue.  Use a Tonic Craft Scratcher to fluff up the batting around the tree.
Use Distress Crayons to color a Paper Doll.  Because the girl I chose has a dark jacket on you cannot color her with the method I normally use.  In this case take a dark color and rub the crayon directly onto the dark surface (her coat) to color.  For the cheeks, hat and muff you can use the water brush to color.
 Add a small block or some other kind of riser to help the Paper Doll stand out from the back.
 Then simply glue her to the block next to the tree.
 I did add a bit of glue at the bottom of the tray for some added Distress Mica.
Thank you for taking the time to read my tutorial.  This has been a favorite project when people see it displayed in my classes so I hope you like it too!  I love the Cathedral Windows - such a beautiful addition to the Etcetera line of tags and trims!
Now carry on,