Monday, December 18, 2023

The Bauble Tree goes Modern

Hello Friends!

Can you believe it is only one week till Christmas? The month has flown by and I am kinda sad about it! I wish the Christmas season was two months long because I enjoy it so much. I love the decorations and preparing the house for any guest that might arrive. However my guest room is currently being used as a staging ground for Christmas decoration tubs, rolls of wrapping paper and presents waiting to be wrapped. There is "no room in the inn" sorta speak!
Today I am revisiting an old project I created back in 2017.  This time with a modern twist that even my friend Cherion would be proud of! I am sure many of you will remember the original "traditional" version of the project (I will link it late in the post).  I made this one a little more simple than the last, but both ways of creating it work. This one uses a pencil line instead of the template, but admittedly the template from the original made adding the glue much easier and faster.  That being said, check out both tutorials and see which one you want to go with before starting.

I chose 4 colors of Alcohol Ink to color the Baubles + Mushroom for aging, Moss, Pink Sherbet, Cranberry and Citrus.  I also have added some 97% Isopropyl Alcohol to a Mister to even out the Alcohol Ink after is added to the Baubles. This is totally optional, as the technique works fine without it.
I use 2oz portion cups (I buy these in bulk at Smart 'n Final for $3.69 for 125 count) to sort and then color the Baubles.  Just a few drops of a color works.

I used 2 packages of Baubles for this project.  I removed the largest size from the package and set aside. I did end up using one of these for the "trunk" of the tree. The rest of the package I split into 4 portion cups. This photo shows ONE PACKAGE of Baubles. When these were done, I did a second round with the second package. I find is much easier to do two smaller amounts.
1. Separate the Baubles into portion cups.
2. Drip Alcohol Ink into cups (maybe 3-4 drops)
3. Put another portion cup on top to enclose, then shake the cups to coat the Baubles.
4. Mist with Isopropyl Alcohol, then dry Baubles for 15 seconds with heat tool.
6. Drip 2-3 drops of Mushroom Alcohol Ink into cup.
7. Put the top back on and shake to coat Baubles.
8.  Mist with Isopropyl Alcohol then dry Baubles for 15 seconds with heat tool.
(tip - when the cups are empty, the Alcohol Ink can easily be removed with Isopropyl and a paper towel)
I cut three pieces of thick chipboard: two at 6" and one at 4 1/2"
Then taped them together to create the tree shape.
Next is the Framed Panel.  This is a discontinued item that is hard to find except on Ebay these days. So if you don't have one in your stash, Ebay is your best bet. An alternative is to use a Panel from the Etcetera line - really anything that will give you a flat surface to work on!
I added Scor-tape to the back, but you could also use Collage Medium.

Next I painted the entire surface with black paint and let it dry.
I used my chipboard triangle I made as a template to draw the tree shape. Be sure to leave enough room at the top for your words.
Working quickly, add a thick layer of Collage Medium. This is the part when a tree template would come in handy (see original post here for that idea).
Add the chipboard triangle back to the panel, then start adding the Baubles (you must work quickly so your glue does not dry up).
I added as many Baubles as I could fit in the triangle without moving it. It is interesting how just by pouring them from your hand, a little at a time, they come out very random!
So compare the next two photos.  Here I have lifted the chipboard.  The top is fine, but...
I removed the pink Bauble at the top to add a slightly larger one that was in Cranberry. on my original tree I added a tree topper but we don't have that metal element anymore so I went with just the larger red Bauble.
There is still glue showing so I sprinkled Rock Candy in the open areas. I did go over the entire surface with a heat tool.
For words, I used the sizzix set, BOLD TEXT CHRISTMAS - one of my favorite dies sets. 
Solving a problem:
So I wanted my words to go across the top, but after I cut them I realized the Merry and Bright were two different size fonts (on purpose).  That looked weird when the letters ran across the panel (stacked on top of each other it makes perfect sense). 
My solution was to mix up the letters so the two sizes would look like the were meant to be that way.  To do this, I switched the R's, then cut Winter Wishes to get a small I, H, and T.  I used my Favorite Alcohol Ink Black Cardstock because of the velvety black finish. I also added a Sizzix Adhesive Sheet to the back before cutting, so it was easy to peel and stick the letters to the panel.
To get a straight line at the top of the panel, I cut a skinny piece of chipboard and adhered it to the panel with repositionable dot tape, so it can be easily removed once my letters are in place. I spaced out the letters to get the right placement side to side.
Then just peeled off the protective paper before permanently added them to the panel.

I also colored and added one of the large Baubles I had saved at the beginning to create a trunk for my tree - totally different idea than the traditional trunk from the original Bauble Tree. I thought it was perfect for a modern tree!
You can also go back and add any small Baubles you have left. I added a few that sit in some of the small holes.  Collage Medium will allow you to move things as long as you do it right away.  Once 24 hours has past, they aren't going anywhere.
I am beyond happy with my modern tree! I hope you will give this a go. The entire project can be done in just a few hours with such great results!

Now carry on,

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Christmas Greetings

Hello Friends,

Hope you have been getting ready for Christmas like I have! I finally have the house decorated the way I wanted and have stored away all the bins in the garage. I sure am enjoying the decorations and the lights each night.

Today I have an fun project for you, using a 9 x 9" Vignette Panel and the Etcetera Mosaic Tiles. So lets get started!
I covered the Vignette Panel with paper from the idea-ology Christmas Backdrops. I have more than one pack of paper so I was able to use two of the same paper to cover the inside. The seam where the paper meets will mostly be covered up so no worries about that.
I also covered the sides and back with more paper, then added the green Design Tape Trim on the lip edge. Now we are ready to start the inside of the Panel.
Using Collage Medium, I covered Etcetera Mosaic Tiles with paper and ephemera. I did lay out a basic design before I started covered the tiles.  I always add a layer of Collage Medium over paper, so I did that before drying the tiles and moving on to the next step.
Time to PAINT!
I love our Christmas adornments this year so I decided to just paint them all up and use what I need, then save anything that is left for another project. 
Next is the large toy soldier from the Salvaged Figures pack. I used Foundry Wax on his chest for a great shine!
I rubbed him with steel wool to age the paint, then used a damp paint brush to add Walnut Stain Distress Crayon.
I thought he need a little extra for the holidays so I added Scor-tape to his shoulders...
Added a bit of metallic trim I found in a drawer. I cut twice the size of the tape and doubled it on the shoulder so the two cut ends are at his neck. I also added a plume to his hat. I used my heat tool (on purpose) to melt a bit of the plume, so it is not as tall as in this photo.
Okay, time to add the Mosaic Tiles and an Etcetera trim piece (two pieces from the 'Pinked' package). 
To make sure the trim is straight - I cut a piece of chipboard 1 1/8 x 8". I added the Collage Medium to the back of the Etcetera Trim piece I had previously painted black and set it above the chipboard. Once it was secure I could remove the chipboard then add the tiles above.
You can see here that five of the tiles are doubled to give dimension to the project.
Before I stared add my embellishments, I needed to color a Christmas tree. I used the small tree from the Alpine pack. After spraying it with Rustic Wilderness and drying it with the heat tool, I sprayed it with water and squeezed it to remove a bit of the green, but keeping the rich color. After drying it again, I wiped Opaque Texture Paste over the tree to mimic snow. You can dry the Texture Paste with a heat tool to quicken the process.
So I started adding the embellishments with Collage Medium. First my toy solider the the tree with a big dollop of Texture Paste underneath.
*The Alpine tree was the only thing I used my hot glue gun on. I find it is much easier to get it to stay in place with hot glue, rather than the CM. I always hold it in place till the hot glue cools.
I added Texture Paste to the trim shelf...
Then just added a bunch of things to the paste. The pine pieces are plastic. They are the very tip of a longer pieces from a wreath I bought at Hobby Lobby. The snowballs also came from Hobby Lobby and the candy and bells are from idea-ology.
Lots of ephemera pieces and more the metals I painted. The star seal is from the Word Plaques and Tags set.  I covered it with Foundry Wax, then added a bit of Mushroom Alcohol Ink and Rock Candy.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this project.  It is always fun to make stuff using the Etcetera Tiles because anything within arms reach is up for grabs.  This make is no exception!  Now back to the making table!
Now carry on,

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Holiday Advent Calendar

Hello Friends,

I was wondering through Target about a week ago and spotted this wood Advent calendar in the Dollar Spot (for $5 of course). I loved the wood tags with the big numbers so I decided to grab it and see what I could do to transform it into my vintage style. 

I started with the house.  
Our Christmas Backdrops paper has a brick wall image that will be perfect for the chimney.  I used my Tonic Precision Trimmer to cut the paper. I love how smooth it is and the fact that the "arm" has a spring-lift, so it is always at the ready to accept the paper. No more flipping the arm up and down like my old trimmer.
Add the paper to the chimney with Collage Medium.
Cut more patterned paper for the body of the house.
I decided that it would be easier to punch a hole in a small piece of paper (the hole is for the hook) and add it to the house individually rather than trying to match up a larger piece of paper. 
See what I mean? I only had to guess at where the hole should be and shimmy the paper to fit, then cut away the excess that hung over the edges.  From here, I can build around these two squares.
You might notice that I also painted the eaves black and added paper to the roof line. Painting it black helped to disguise any bad cuts along that diagonal edge.
Here it is with all the paper filled in.  As you can see, any configuration will work! I added a layer of Collage Medium over the paper to seal.
NOTE: If I was using another substrate, I would have drilled the holes, added the paper and then added each hook.  That would be easier than navigating the hooks.
Once the Collage Medium was dry, then add Distress Crayon over the seams to give the paper more depth.
I wanted to use one of the Festive Marquee word strips but I wanted it raised from the house.  I thought Etcetera Trims would work to do just that! I use the Sizzix Decorative Trims die to cut 2 matching shapes from red plaid paper then added them to the Scallop Trims with Collage Medium (the bottom two pieces in this photo)
I added the two pieces to the House with Collage Medium.
The connection point will not show too much in the end.
I also added pieces from the Christmas Layers Pack to the front of the house.
I decided I wanted a solid background behind the Festive Marquee so I painted another piece of trim (this is the narrower version of the scallop I used earlier) and added it right above the previous trim.
So now to paint the Festive Marquee.  I painted both phrases just to see which one I liked better for this project.  The red is Candied Apple and the green is Rustic Wilderness Distress Paint.  It really does not take long to dry (especially if you are impatient and use a heat tool).  Once it was dry, I rubbed the paint with steel wool to get the perfect aged appearance.
I decided on the green but both worked really well with the patterned paper. I used Collage Medium to add the Festive Marquee, leaving it to dry for about an hour while I cleaned up my work table.
Adding a splatter of white paint over the house really made the colors pop and of course, looked like snow!
While I waited for the paint to dry, I painted 2 holly leaves and 1 poinsettia (Christmas Adornments pack) to add to the Trim piece. I LOVE this holly!
On the left side, I added the poinsettia, then chose to add paper holly from the Christmas Layers pack...leaving them to dry while I worked on the numbers.
The package came with these wood tags. Just for reference, they are about 2 1/8 x 5" long.
I decided to stamp on the wood, but was unsure if the ink would bleed, since some wood is very porous (especially cheap wood).  I knew I could seal the wood with Collage Medium to counteract any bleeding, but this would force me to use StazOn Ink over the sealed surface. Not a problem at all, as I have StazOn in my stash for stamping on transparencies. 
So I gathered the supplies I needed for the task, using StazOn ink in Blazing Red.
It worked perfectly! The wood tags fit under the large background stamp!
The polka dots look so good!
The last thing I did was to add Grit Paste Snowfall to the Adornments and Festive Marquee. Super easy to just wipe it on with your fingertip, then just leave to dry.

I kist love how it turned out!  Thank you Target for a fun substrate to decorate for the holiday season!
On a side note...if you wanted to make your own numbered tags, I would suggest the CMS161 Numeric stamp set for the numbers. The numbers on that set measure 3 1/4" tall.  Taller than the Target numbers, but they would still fit on a wood tag of this size.

And...after a quick search on Amazon, I can see there are lots of wood tags available.  Here is a link to one that is the same size as the Target tags (2 1/8 x 5"). I am sure there are plenty of the tags to choose from in the size you would need depending on your substrate.  I would also venture to bet that your local craft store might have some too! 
Now carry on...