Friday, December 31, 2010

Relish Ginspiration!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!  Sorry I've been AWOL for so long, but I have had No. Time. To. Craft.  It's been all good - seeing family and friends, going to some exciting events, shopping, etc.  But it's certainly time for me to get back in my craftroom and rejoin the blogging civilization.

For some inspiration, I turned to a favorite stamp set, Relish Reading, and to the latest "Blue Moon" Challenge over at Gingersnap Creations.  If you are like me and trying to recapture your mojo after the holidays, this Gingersnap Challenge is just the ticket.  Several of the DT have each come up with their own challenge - so there are 6 to choose from! You can do just one, or do them all.  I'm going to treat it sort of like Tim's 12 Tags, and try to work my way through each and every one.

Today, I'm joining in Petra's fabulous challenge to Use Your Paper Scraps.  She has a gorgeous example at Gingersnap, and you can catch the details on *Her Blog*.  I particularly loved how Petra used vintage text scraps in her background.  She added many beautiful details that I just didn't have the time for today (but I am sooo going to try after the holidays!!), like weaving and then stitching her patterned papers into a gorgeous flower garden.  For mine, I cut some stray scraps of text, music, and patterned papers into strips, then layered them onto cardstock.  I cut the panel down to size and mounted it onto my card base.  That fine-looking lad and the sentiment are from Rogue Redhead Designs' Relish Reading plate, and the gears are by Tim Holtz.

I hope you'll get a chance to play along.  There are tons of great ideas over at Gingersnap Creations.  Thanks for the Ginspiration, Gingers! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge GC84

It's time for another Color Challenge over at Gingersnap Creations, and this week's colors to inspire you are Snow, Pine and Mahogany.  For my card I pulled out Artistic Outpost's Sleigh Ride stamp set and my Copics for the main image.  I also stamped a pine branch from AO's Snowy Woods set all around the edges and added a few Stickles "berries."  I finished it off with a felt poinsettia created using Tim Holtz's Alterations dies (Tattered Florals and Tattered Leaves).

I hope you'll have time to play along with us!!  The good news is that the challenge runs through January 23rd, so even if you can't play before Christmas, it's a great palette to use for getting a jump on next year's cards after the holidays are over.   It's also a great one to use for all those holiday thank yous. ;)

Stay warm and stay safe!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guest Blogger Meghan

Hi! I'm Meghan and I'm eleven years old. I made these cards to send out to my relatives. My mom gave me card bases, slips of paper for borders, stamped images, embellishments, and other neat scraps, then she left me to work my magic. I colored the stamped images with colored pencils. For the card on the bottom row in the middle, I thought the Santa was the woodsy sort, so I placed him going into a snowy forest. I wanted to do something that celebrated the wintery chill in the air, so I crafted a snowy card. The card on the top row on the right says 'Let it Snow', but we don't get much snow down here. :( I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas cards. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Visions of Sugarplums at Rogue Redhead Designs

Edited to add:  I've had a few questions regarding this ribbon.  This particular ribbon (crinkled seam binding) is from an Etsy shop, Bluebird Lane (no relation, LOL!).  However, lately I've been getting Hug Snug seam binding from  I buy some in colors and crinkle it myself, and I also buy the white and dye it by hand.  

Just popping in to say that I have this card posted over at the Rogue Redhead Designs blog - all the details can be found there. :)

Gotta go try to catch up with all things holiday.... why am I always behind this time of year - it isn't like Christmas occurs *unexpectedly* every December 25th - we've got lots of advanced notice, LOL!  Happy Friday, friends!

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas Day 12

Wooohooo, I'm done! A day late and a dollar short (okay, maybe I'm out a few dollars, LOL, but I didn't go out and buy anything.... just was hoarding it all in my stash!).  For this one, I had the December stamp and the grungeboard ornaments from an old seasonal pack.  So, I covered one ornament in some vintage text (from Little Women - a Christmas portion.... see the "Merry Christmas"... tee hee!) and put strips of red glitter on it.  The other ornament I completely glittered, then put in a medallion from My Mind's Eye - sort of reminds me of those old WWII ornaments with the indentations in the center.  A bit of tinsel, a few berry sprigs - this was fun and fairly stress free.  Of course, I didn't really do anything that Tim demonstrated, other than glittering the ornament and stamping the month.  Oh, and I used some crackle paint on the tops of the ornaments.  Ah well, I like it.

So.... are you done? Are you going to finish? Which tag did you enjoy most? The least?  I think I had the most fun with the first one (very time intensive, but back then we were just chomping at the bit, weren't we?).  I really liked how my Day 5 turned out because I didn't actually *expect* to like it, but I do, probably because I love that Santa image.  Ditto with Day 2.  I think my least favorite was Day 4 with the facets and the bling.... cool technique, but my overall tag left me a bit "blah."  And you know of my love/hate relationship with the Day 11 tree, LOL!

I'd love to hear about your overall impressions of the big Tim Tag Ride. Hope your holidays are going along happily. :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas Day 11

Needless to say, this one did not go well for me.  I of course didn't have any of the ingredients, so I tried creating a tree from a Martha Stewart pine branch punch.  I ran the little pieces through my Xyron, but you know all those sticky bits that stay on after you pull off the punched out shapes? Yep, well, they don't play nice with flocking.  I was hoping for this nice snowy effect, but instead it just looked like my cat had lain on it for days.  So I had to go over some areas with liquid applique, then tried flocking again..... aaackk!  Oh well, live and learn.

The upside: I found this cool page from a vintage French dictionary that contained images of St. Nicholas.  I made it black and white, because the original is quite brown, and my scanner thought it was orange!  I'm going to try to paste it in here so that it is full size if you click on it (about 5 x 7 inches).  Crossing my fingers.....
Have fun crafting and enjoying the season this weekend! Time for me to go cook dinner.... :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas Day 10

Oh what fun, it is to craft, a snowman tag to-daaaaay!  Loved this one.  Didn't have the snowman die, but I had the snowflake and snowman texture fades.  So, I embossed grungepaper twice with the snowman texture fade and cut it out along the embossing lines.  This snowman seems to be smaller than the die, but that's okay, I just stamped and embossed a little "let it snow" sentiment in the upper right corner.  As you can see, my plastic frosted a bit around the snowflakes when I embossed it - it's kinda busy, but I like it IRL.  I used some copper, uh, "thingies" that I found at a flea market this summer in place of the washers - I think they're rather festive.  The only thing I might change, is that I'm thinking maybe I should white-wash that little word charm so that it shows up better - it says "believe." Yep.  Gonna.

Have a fabulous Friday my friends.  Only two days left of tags.... I think I might go into withdrawal after that, LOL!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas Day 9

Okay, I meant to be good, I really did.  I had almost all of the ingredients.  I was just going to switch it to be more creamy whites than honeyed browns.  And then I was going to put a little angel in the center of the rosette, but found this cute little acetate bird by K and Company on the way to the angel.  Slippery slope!

The background is a page from a vintage hymnal, sprayed with Wheatfields Glimmer Mist (also sprayed the lace at the bottom, the rosette, and one of the ribbons - love that stuff!).  The rosette is paper from gcd studios, with a little antique crocheted rose at the center, and Prima bling.  Along with the tinsel, I also added some copper trim along the bottom and some blingy berries.  Once again, since I didn't want to obscure the title of the carol, I omitted the danglies at the top.

I am having So Much Fun!!!  Hopefully tonight I'll have some time to hop along to all of your beautiful blogs.  You inspire me just as much as - actually, more than - Tim, and I am waaay inspired by Tim.  So you know how much your artwork means to me.  Stay creative, my friends. :) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas Day 8

I'm caught up!!!  I just love this blogging community of ours.  I was truly stumped on this one.  Then I started blurfing and found many creative suggestions, including the method I eventually used.  Several people suggested using clipart as a model for a homemade stencil.  I could find a Santa and sleigh, I could find a reindeer, but nothing with the two together that really worked.  Finally, I used two separate images, played around in Paintshop and, using Tim's as a guide, came up with something pretty close.  I used a very specialized material for my mask - printer paper - which worked lots better than I expected, LOL!  You'll see I did get some white "shadow" around the antlers, but I'm okay with that.  The houses I free-handed on some corrugated paper from some lightbulb packaging.  I had the Dymo, a watch front, the spinners.  I added a little rusty jingle bell to the ribbon (hard to see, since I photographed this at night - I wanted to get it done!!!).  The corners are silver embossed using  a stamp from Elusive Images.

And for those of you who were wondering what on earth I was going on about with the tissue box.... it was this.  I thought I might use this silhouette image, since I love ice skating.  However, I realized the design would have been too intricate, and I would have lost the skating effect.  Cool little scene though, isn't it, LOL?!?

12 Tags of Christmas Day 7

Yippee, I'm caught up, not counting today of course, which we won't mention, since I have no idea what to do (although I'm thinking it might involve cutting up a tissue box, LOL!).

Anyway, I didn't have the woodgrain texture fade, so I used a piece of real wood cardstock by Creative Imaginations that I've been hoarding forever.  Did the canvas flower thing just like Tim's, although mine came out quite a bit larger, so I didn't really have room for a trinket.  I spelled out NOEL because that's what fit with my grunge letters.  I added a little frosted lace Stickles along the tops and crannies of the letters to get a frosty snow effect.  This tag is much more rustic than the rest, especially since I don't have quite as much bling going on.  It's earthy and peaceful.

Whew, that was a marathon.  I'm taking a break before tackling Day 8, which will be my own personal biggest challenge yet, since I have nothing, nada, zilch from his "recipe."

12 Tags of Christmas Day 6

Moving right along to Day 6.  I didn't have the tree texture fade, or the reindeer die.  I made several very, very bad attempts with other texture fades, then scrapped them all - I got the idea, so maybe someday.  This grungeboard reindeer was in a seasonal pack from several years ago, and I did manage to run him through the snowflake texture fade.  Did the dabber, the sanding, the distress inking (in red, for a little more color).  The background was stamped with trees from Artistic Outpost's Sleigh Ride set, along with some gold-embossed snowflakes from that same set as well as their Snowy Woods set.  Had the journaling tag, the tissue tape, and a similar greeting.  I'm glad this one is done!

12 Tags of Christmas - Catch Up!

Hello, friends!  I've got much to catch up on, after spending a wonderful, snow-filled weekend in Pennsylvania with family.  Here are my takes on Tim's Tags from Days 3, 4, and 5.

Day 3 - This is one of my favorites.  Tim created a red bird, but I had just done that in Day 1, so of course, I had to make this little guy a bluebird.  I followed Tim's instructions pretty closely on this one.  I used tissue tape from 7Gypsies because it had red and green ledger print on it.  I must admit this little flower was easier than I anticipated, although the Gypsy tape is stickier, so maybe that helped.  Anyone else have a hard time trying to get Tim's tape to stay stuck on the grunge?  My tree branch is stamped using Peeled Paint Distress Emboss for a little texture.

Day 4 - Definitely not my favorite.  Had to improvise the entire thing.  The facet technique was cool (I used a charm fragment), but I can't see myself doing it again.  I don't buy those expensive bling swirls unless they are seriously discounted, so I had to make my own, which was quite tedious.  The paper is some ancient Melissa Frances that I had been hoarding.

Day 5 - Well, I didn't have any UTEE, so I enameled the metal numbers with.... Enamel Accents.  Seemed like a no-brainer, LOL.  I actually didn't have much from the recipe for this tag either, but it was still lots of fun to make.  I am discovering during this little party that if you buy Distress Crackle Paint, you'd better use it up fast, or it will turn to dust!  Bummer!  The background for the numbers was cut out with Nestabilities Labels Four.  As you can see, I used one of Tim's Santa ATC collages for the main image.  The "Be Jolly" is ancient - might even be a $1 bin stamp.  Rather fun, this one.

I'm working on the next two already, so hopefully I'll get caught up soon.  I gotta say, though, that today's tag (Day 8) has me stumped so far..... I don't have anything even close for a mask, or even a similar stamped image to make a mask, don't have all that hardware... I'll have to seriously put my thinking cap on (or maybe borrow someone else's.... anyone???)

White Glitter Supply Challenge at Gingersnap Creations

It's time for a new Spicy Supply Challenge over at Gingersnap Creations, and this time we're using White Glitter.  What a perfect accent for the season!  Of course, I also find it perfectly impossible to photograph, so I'll have to talk you through what I did....

I started out stamping a frosty scene on some ledger-patterned paper that I had cut into a tag.  I accented the scene with a little watercoloring in blues and grays.  Next, I applied some white Liquid Applique onto the snowballs the kids were throwing, the giant snow balls, and both ends of the tag.  While the liquid applique was still wet, I sprinkled it with a mixture of white glitter and clear microbeads, and set it aside to dry.  You end up with very dimensional, sparkly snow accents.

The snowflake is a grungeboard shape that I painted white.  I spread some craft glue over the entire thing and sprinkled on my mixture of white glitter and microbeads. (You could also try some mica flakes, chunky glitter, glitter glass... whatever you have on hand.)  I tied it to the tag with some sparkly embroidery thread.  Quick and easy - you just need to set it aside for a bit to dry.

I hope you can join us in some glittery fun. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Relish Reading Christmas Card

Crazy quick post today, with just a little close-up.....  the details of my Booklover's Gift Kit can be found at Rogue Redhead Designs.  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas Day 2 and A Sneak Peek

My version of Day 2.  This tag went much more quickly, although as you can see, I didn't have many of the ingredients.  I had the Distress Inks and the Enamel, and a Tim Holtz Christmas sentiment.  All else is improvised....

I had a bird charm.... somewhere.... in my stash.  It is still hiding from me. I have to thank the creative and talented Louise at Kard Krazy for her fabulous improvised birdie idea.  I embossed a Stampin' Up! bird in copper embossing powder, rubbed DI over it, and cut it out.  I love the way it looks.... Louise is brilliant!  My foliage is some ancient PSX and Hero Arts, the swirl is Stampington, the music is I-don't-know-whose, and the blue dangly thing is 7Gypsies.  I really didn't have high hopes for myself on this one.... but now I rather like it.

I'd like to give a big shout out and many thanks to Sioux over at Artyjen - she's hosting a "Tim's Splinter Group" for everyone to link up their Tim Tag creations and share some inspiration and improvisation.  What a great idea! I think you'll want to take a look....

And now for the peek - I have a little "Gift Kit for Booklovers" tutorial over on the Rogue Redhead Designs blog, using Shar's "Relish Reading" plate.  I'd love for you to go over and have a look.  Here's the kit all packed up:
I will be AWOL for the next few days, and will sadly be missing at least four Tim Tags.  It's all good though - a big family gathering in honor of my uncle's 75th birthday, my cousin's 50th, and just plain old family time for the holidays.  Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas Day 1

I know what you're thinking.... "She's been gone from her blog for a week and gone totally bonkers! That doesn't look anything like Tim's tag!!" ROFL!!  It's all about "improvising" peeps!! So I present my first Tim Holtz Christmas Tag, Day 1!

Okay, I was a bit dismayed when I first saw Tim's tag... I didn't have the rickety house, I didn't have the fence.... what to do?  But if Tim can use his Halloween house for Christmas, then I can use the birdcage as my house. Right? Right???? LOL!

So, if you'd like to hear it, here's the lowdown on what I had, what I didn't have, and what I used in its place....

For the base of the tag, I was pretty much set - had the tag, the Distress Inks, the snowflake stamps.  Didn't have a Ranger mist, so just used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Pearl.  So far so good.

Ah, the house.  Well, as you can see, I used a grungepaper birdcage.  I had the notebook texture fade, so ran it through that, then used regular old white acrylic paint since I didn't have the Dabber.  Sanded, distressed, misted.  So far, so good.  Now about those mica windows... didn't seem right to "glass in" a birdcage, so I used mica flakes on top of Liquid Applique to bring in the mica sparkle and also to add the snowy icicles that Tim created.

Obviously, didn't have the fence, either, but I still wanted to have something that was distress-crackled.  So, I crackled the bird.  (Kind of a long story there... didn't have any red crackle so used Picket Fence, then had to color birdie with Red Pepper Dabber - too orange - went over it with lots of other red inks till I got what I wanted.)  Since I was also lacking the dimension that was given by the fence, I had to improvise again.... by giving the little bird cage some tinsel garland, woven through the holes at the bottom.

Okay, next.... I actually had the mini holly garland (gasp!!), so could make the wreath.  Also gave the birdie a few leaves to chew on.  I did not have a Prima tree branch, so it was out to mother nature.... a little twig, holding up the bird cage, is what serves as my "tree."  Are ya with me?  Added some liquid applique and mica to that, too.

The ticket I had - wooo hooo! And I made an attempt at what I *thought* Tim might have done - used three different colors of embossing powder, which I tapped on using a plastic spoon.  Here's a close-up:
 We'll see what he has to say tomorrow.... Also had the mini paper clip (love those things!).

Finally, I had the seam binding, which I dyed just as Tim said.  But that star charm.... nope.  What I *did* have was some of Tim's foliage, and one of the pieces looks just like a sprig of holly.  The top of my tag was getting a bit busy, so I chose to hang the holly from the bottom of the cage.  I colored it with alcohol ink first ("Meadow"), but you can't really see it in the photo.  It could also look like a bit of mistletoe hanging from the bottom, if you have a glass of wine or two and squint, LOL!!!

So, there's my extremely improvised take on Day 1.  I know I won't be able to do them all (big family gathering this weekend, so I may go AWOL again for a bit), but this one was definitely fun.  I think not having the required elements actually made it a bit *more* fun, because there's more creativity to it.  Hopefully tomorrow's tag won't require so much "drying time" - if you're playing along, you know what I mean. :)

Ta for now!