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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Two for the Price of One -- Alcohol Lift-Ink!

Oh I have been waiting to try this all summer!!   I am so excited to experiment with Tim Holtz's Alcohol Lift-Ink.  If you are interested in playing with this ink yourself, check on out Tim's Alcohol Lift Ink and Yupo YouTube video.  Such a great resource for making backgrounds, understanding properties of the alcohol lift-ink, and how it reacts with different paper.  While experimenting with these new products,  I used some Avery Removable ID Labels and my take on Jennifer McGuire's Framed Stamping technique to create a stamped collage (Check out Jennifer's blogpost and video here to see how you can make amazing one-layer cards!) .  I created a couple of cards for some friends who just returned from their first cruise.  Ooooooo!  So much crafty fun!


I used Tim's Stamp Platform to make both stamped versions of the card.  Wow!  It really makes duplicate stamping a breeze.   The alcohol ink background version is on Yupo Cardstock.  I really like this paper better than just the regular Yupo paper.  I found that regular paper rolled up or bowed up on me at times.  The Distress Ink and Distress Marker colored background is on watercolor paper.




So ... in my first attempt at a stamped collage with alcohol lift-ink, I really thought the alcohol ink background was a little too light.  So, for this version, I went for a darker one.  Some of my alcohol ink was a little too thick in places.  For example, when I lifted the cruise ship off in the bottom right-hand corner, I had some alcohol ink remnants where the ink sort of puddled.  I actually like it.  As Tim says ... embrace your imperfections.  It really gave the ship hull more of a grungy look.  Cool.  

I didn't do a step by step on this version.  I just keep forgetting when I get caught up in creating something new.  Anyway, you can see my first efforts at a stamped collage below and see the lighter version of the alcohol ink background.  You can also see the mask that I made with the Avery Removable ID Label. I also included a picture of my finished collage.






At the same time that I lifted the alcohol ink off of the alcohol ink background, I stamped it on the watercolor paper.  After I finished the stamping, I used Distress Ink and Distress Markers to color the background images (making them sort of fade away).  Tim's Time Traveler was colored with Distress Markers and a waterbrush.  The cabin class stateroom and cruise ship stamped images were colored with Distress Markers and outlined with a Ground Espresso Distress Marker to really bring those images to the foreground.


I embellished both cards with some of Tim's Ideaology stickers and tape.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I can't wait to keep playing with these products.  Seriously, they seem to just unleash your creativity. 


I think these cards are a perfect way to celebrate Stamptember!  I am entering them in Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge -- Stamp It On.  Hope you are stamping your way through the month as well :).

Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Birthday Wishes for a Nephew

Hi all!  I am back with a quick birthday tag for one of my nephews.  I must confess that I am late with his birthday present.  Sigh...  Hopefully, he will like the tag enough to forgive me for the belated gift. 



I started with a manila tag that I colored with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Ink (applied with a blending tool).  I spritzed the background tag with water to give it that great bleached look.  I added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the edges.  My nephew is going back to school and so I thought I would use some of Tim Holtz's School Desk stamps for this tag.  You can see some of the great columns of numbers on the background tag (stamped with Coffee Archival Ink) and the alphabet stamp (stamped with Back Soot Archival Ink) used on the bow tie embellishment (Tim Holtz Bow Tied Sizzlet on Distress Cardstock edged with Black Soot Distress Ink). 



On top of the background tag, I layered one of Tim's Salvaged Baseboards with one of his Frame Baseboards.  In the frame, I put some printed scrapbook paper that I stamped the word "celebrate" and embellished with a small star and a couple of buttons.  I wanted it to look like a vintage print shirt with the bow tie on top.   I added my nephew's initial (grunged Tim Holtz letter ... sorry can't remember exactly what these letters were called) to the frame.


Some of Tim's Ideaology Design Tape (from the Travel set, Elementary set, and Dapper set) can be found on the frame and background image.  The final embellishment is Tim's "moments" die cut (from his Handwritten Journey thinlits set).  I die cut it on black cardstock and coated it with Glossy Accents.



 I used a "leather" cord tag tie to finish the tag and now I can mail off my nephew's birthday present this week.  Whew! 

I am entering this in

Allsorts Challenge Blog From Boys to Men Challenge
Love to Scrap Old School Challenge

This was so much fun to make.  Hope you are finding joy in crafting this week as well. -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Christmas in July

This is one of those projects that sort of took on a life of its own.  I was thinking, "Hey, I should make a Christmas card for Simon Says Stamp Monday Christmas in July Blog Hop Challenge", and I ended up with a Christmas canvas.   Hmmmmmmmm.  Ever had one of those kinds of projects?


The SSS DT featured Tim Holtz products in their projects.  Of course, that was right down my alley.  I will tell you in advance that there are several pictures.  Some of the pictures were taken outside in the sunshine and some inside my house (due to the fact that the metal parts of my canvas reflected in the sunshine and left me with less-than-desirable outdoor images).  So here is my Christmas in July canvas using Tim Holtz products.



I started with a canvas board.   I gave it a coat of gesso.  Then I grabbed my Ranger Texture Paste.  It was almost dried up.  I had to rehydrate it with some water.  I ended up having to get a new canister anyway to cover the entire board.  I wanted more texture, so I grabbed some Wendy Vecchi Crackle Texture Paste and applied it around the edges.  Once this was all dry, I applied a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I gave everything a wash of watered-down Frayed Burlap Distress Stain.   I then gave the background a coat of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Now I grabbed my Walnut Stain and Frayed Burlap Distress Crayons to get in all those lovely nooks and crannies.  Oh the grungy goodness!




Oh, before I forget, while the Texture Paste was still wet, I used a Tim Holtz Laurel 3D Impresslits die cut to make an impression at the top right corner of the background.  I knew I was going to use some of these Laurel die cuts to embellish this canvas and wanted to see if I could use one in a different way.  Not bad!




Let's talk about embellishments.  I used a Black Soot and Rusty Hinge Distress Ink and blending tool to color a Distress Mixed Media Heavy Cardstock tag.  I used a piece of Tim's Ideaology paper to stamp the wreath and "Merry Christmas" (from Tim's Mini Holiday 5 stamp set).  I used Peeled Paint Distress Ink for the wreath and Aged Mahogany Distress Ink for the Merry Christmas (embossed with clear embossing powder and a gold glitter pen was used to create a drop shadow).  This was edged with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. I colored a Joyful Christmas Muse Token with Rusty Hinge and Salty Ocean Distress Paint and Latte Alcohol Ink.  I tied it with a bit of grunge twine.  Layered on top of this tag a piece of stripe printed paper (that I stamped with various stamps in brown inks and edged with a bit of lace) and a copy of "Joy to the World" from Tim's paper stash.  This layer was raised a bit with some foam adhesive squares.  A distressed paper doily and an ephemera advertisement from Tim's paper stash peek out from under this layer.



As for the two 3D Laurel die cuts, I cut them out of gold foil cardstock.  I colored them with Latte, Caramel, Ginger and Rust alcohol inks.  Then I used Black Soot, Rusty Hinge and Salty Ocean Distress Paints (spritzed with some water) and dried with a heat tool to create the rusty patina finish on the die cuts.  I used the same treatment on the key hole and keys on the canvas.





I added several Tim Holtz die cuts.  In the pic of the key above you will find holly (from Tim's Holiday Greens Thinlits set) that I adhered to the background, covered with a thin layer of texture paste and Matte Collage Medium, and colored with Walnut Stain and Peeled Paint Distress Crayons.  these lovely leaves were highlighted with a little DecoArt Orange Flicker Metallic Lustre.   In the picture below you will find more holly die cuts (from Tim's Mixed Media Christmas Thinlits set).  This time I colored the leaves with Peeled Paint Distress Paint and Walnut Stain Distress Crayons and sanded the edges.  I then colored the stems with Walnut Stain Distress Crayons.  Just the leaves and stems were given a layer of Matte Collage Medium and splattered with Antique Linen Distress Paint.   The berries were colored with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and a water brush.  I covered the berries with glossy accents.  Love them!





One of my favorite parts of this canvas are the roses.  I used Tim's pine cone die to make these.  (see a YouTube video on how to use this die to make roses and other flowers) This why I love Tim Holtz products.  They are so versatile! All you have to do is follow the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Christmas in July Blog Hop to see how versatile they are.  A shout out to the amazingly creative DT team there.  They are true artists.  His products really fit my grungy aesthetic. And ... if you follow Tim's demo videos (he has several on his Tim Holtz YouTube channel), his products work as advertised.  Not all crafting products are like that.


Anyway, back to the roses.  I die cut the roses from Distress Mixed Media Heavy Cardstock.  I then used one of Tim's new products, Distress Resist Spray, and spritzed on the die cut and let it dry.  I then applied Aged Mahogany and Walnut Stain Distress Ink on the die cut with a blending tool.  I misted this with a little water to activate the ink.  Next I used dry paper towel and wiped off the excess ink off of the Resist area.  I sanded to "petal edges" and assembled the die cut as directed for a rose nd voila ... it looks like a snow covered rose!


That's it for now.  Thanks for dropping by.  Maybe I'll get into the craft room today and actually make that Christmas card!  Hope you get your hands inky too.

Hugs to you all.

Mary Elizabeth




Sunday, July 15, 2018

Trying Something New

Hi all.  I've been playing around with some stamping this week and wanted to share with you the results.


This experiment started with me clearing off my crafting table from my last project.  Like everything else I do, I am a very messy crafter.  Paper, paints, stamps, dies, die cuts, inks, brushes, fibers, and all things crafty just end up everywhere and anywhere.  As I was picking everything up and sorting, I saw a clear plastic cover piece for a clear stamp set lying on top of one of my stamped tags.  The plastic cover had the images of the stamps printed on it.  It was such a neat overlay for my stamped tag.  I wondered if I could simulate that clear transparency overlay look with stamps.  I think I came up with something close to the look that I wanted.  Here is how I  made it work:


I started with a piece of Tim Holtz's Mixed Media Heavyweight Cardstock.  I used several of Tim's stamps (ok ... too many sets to remember -- you can see a Tiny Things 2 butterfly, a Fabulous Flourish, Floral Border, Floral Swirl, and I'm sure you will find others in there) and Texture - Iron Orchid Designs from Prima in Sepia and Jet Black archival ink to create my background.  I then muted all of those images by given them a wash of watered down gesso.


 Next I used Heidi Swapp's Butterfly Stencil set to create my "transparent overlay".  (This stencil was really important because it has a lot of "open space" to do my next stamping layer.  I tried this technique with other less open stencils and the end result looked really chaotic and indecipherable.  Another nice thing about this stencil set is that you get the butterfly stencil and its corresponding butterfly mask in the same package.  Cool ... right?).  I applied Ranger's Transparent Gloss Texture Paste through the butterfly stencil with one of my local hardware store's putty knifes.  The putty knife really was the tool that gave me the smoothest (but not perfect) finish.  After it completely dried, (it took awhile) I put the mask over the stenciled butterfly and inked the paper with Distress Oxide Inks (Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber, Walnut Stain).  Some of these inks were applied with a water brush and some were applied with a blending tool and then spritzed.   I used a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to create drop shadows for my butterfly.


Next came my second stamping layer on top of the dried transparent paste.  I removed the mask that I had over my stenciled butterfly and put the stencil back over it (to protect my background as I added this next layer of stamping).  To further differentiate the stamped layers, I went for stamping on the transparent butterfly in some bright colors.  The ones used here are from Ranger Inks' Archival Mini Ink Pad Kits-Kit 3 (love these mini archival inks ... perfect for when I travel).  Again, more Tim Holtz stamps (another tiny things butterfly, some stars, a Flourish stamp, the "Out of Limitation Comes Creativity" sentiment stamp, and some from his Floral Tattoo set) were used for this second layer.  I absolutely *love*❤️ 💕 💗 💖 the effect!  I think its one of my favorite stamping experiments to date.



I had a little more space on the left side of the paper, so I added some crackle paste through Tim's Numeric Layering Stencil.  I gave the crackled paste a wash of Antique Linen Distress Ink with a water brush.  I then used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to add more drop shadows.


I used Tim's Paper Distresser around the edges of the cardtock.  I backed it with a layer of Distress Stain and Inked (Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain) recycled corrugated cardboard and a canvas board.  The canvas board was given a Distress Paint treatment (Peeled Paint, Walnut Stain, Antique Linen) then covered with Tissue Tape.  I used finger to really burnish the tissue tape so that we can still see the canvas underneath.  I even gave it a bit of sanding with sandpaper.  Then I mixed a little Walnut Stain Distress Ink with Matte Distress Collage Medium and covered all of the Tissue tape.  Tim Holtz Ideaology Corners were covered in a layer of Black Soot Distress Paint.  I sanded the edges of these metal corners and took off some of the black paint.  then I used Rust Alcohol Ink to cover the exposed metal.



I found some awesome Ideaology Chit Chat sentiments to put on my canvas board background to celebrate the way that creating this lovely winged beauty made me feel.  I gotta say, the "out of limitations comes creativity" sentiment also was perfect for this experiment as well.   On the right side, I embellished with a few Remnant Rubs, Design Tape, a Little Yellow Bicycle "happy" (so true) die cut (topped with Glossy Accents).  .  But I needed something to balance the left side.




I die cut some Distress card stock with Tim's Trellis die and sanded the edges.  I then applied Rusty Hinge Distress Ink to the sanded edges.  I added some inked Tattered Garland die cuts and flourishes from Tim's Festive Garland Strip die.  I alcohol inked some pearls and a metal bumble bee embellishment (no idea where this guy came from, but he's awesome!) for the finishing touches!



 Thanks for letting me share this creative experiment with you.  I am going to enter it in

Frilly and Funkie's "B" Happy Challenge
Craft Stamper's Take It Make It July Challenge: Inspiration
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Summer Fun! and
A Vintage Journey's Get Sentimental Challenge.

Hope you all have a great week!  Mary Elizabeth


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wow! Time has flown

I cannot believe how many months I have been away from my blog.  It's amazing how many activities I can find to fill the hours when I'm feeling well.  Fortunately, crafting is still one of those things.  However, being an active member in the crafty blogiverse has had to take a backseat to a bunch of projects from work.  Sigh. Just know that I have missed you all so very much.  Well, I am back right now while I have some time over the summer.  I am looking forward to catching up on all of your amazing creations and posting a little of my work as well.  Let's get started ...


As usual, I was very inspired by our Independence Day celebration.  This week I wanted to try to create something with paper that evoked the feeling of a vintage quilt while also adding some embellishments with different textures.  I started cutting some patterned paper with Tim Holtz's Petal Drop die.  I used some red, white and blue paper from DCWV's Nantucket Stack.  I arranged the petals in a pinwheel around a central point.  The red petal drops were mounted on cardboard to give a little dimensional difference between the red and blue layers.  I used Matte Distress Collage Medium to adhere the petals to one of Tim Holtz's Destinations Ideaology papers.  


I added a sale price and merchandise embellishment Tim's Ephemera Snippets.  I then gave the entire project a topcoat of Matte Distress Collage Medium and grunged around the petals and ephemera with a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon and water brush.


























To add a little texture to the piece.  I grabbed Tim's Regal Crest die and die cut the pieces out of a Diet Coke box that I was going to recycle.  Below you can see the "laurel" die cut.  I covered the bare cardboard with Deco Art One Step Crackle.   When it dried, I used a Walnut Stain Distress Marker to go over the top of the crackles and rubbed in the marker with my finger.  Wow!  The effect turned out pretty great!  I used some tiny foam dots to adhere the laurel to a couple of the petal drops.  I used Ranger's Matte Multi Medium to adhere one of Tim's large Ideaology Adornment Stars right in the middle of the "laurel" die cut.  




I took the "shield" part of the Regal Crest pieces and backed it with a thin piece of cork board for added heft.  I  brushed on some Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint.  When it dried, I covered the whole shield (painted and unpainted sections) with a watered down version of Walnut Stain Distress Stain.  It soaked into the cracks.  I wiped the excess stain mixture off of the paint.  Loved it.  I added some Walnut Stain Distress Crayon around the edges of the shield to give it a little more grunginess (of course).  For the piece-de-resistance, I colored one of Tim's Ideaology Mirrored Stars with Indigo (great color!) Alcohol Ink and used Glossy Accents to adhere it to center of my shield.  I used foam squares to mount the shield on the petal drops.




Finally, I took the "banner" piece from the Regal Crest die cuts and covered it in Range Perfect Medium.  I then coated it in Iced Enamels Relique in German Silver.  When you apply the heat tool, you get an oxidized metal look.  I used a Black Soot Distress Marker to go around the edges and add a little more "oxidization".  One of Tim's Ideology "FEARLESS" Quotations Metallic Paperie Stickers was adhered to the banner and it was ready for prime time on the project.  The project was finished off with a couple of Tim's medium Star Adornments and I called it a day!


I absolutely fell in love with the finished project!  The background paper started to curl on me a little at the end.  (I don't blame with it.  I would too if I had that much glue  on me.) I'm going to mount the whole thing on plywood and hang it in my den.  


Well that was fun!  I am going to enter my red, white and blue vintage decor piece in



I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I certainly am now that I have had a moment to stop and breathe.  Hope to visit you all soon.  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holding Christmas in My Heart Throughout the Year

 I am honored to have the opportunity to be a Words 2 Craft By Guest I-Teamer.  

This month's inspiration quote is from Charles Dickens:   

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.


As I thought about this quote, it hit me how much better this world would be if we held the ideas of "Peace on earth and good will toward men" throughout the entire year.  To represent this idea, I thought about creating an iconic Christmas image using some vintage monthly calendar pages that I printed from the internet.  And that is how my vintage calendar Christmas tree came to be. 


The calendar pages were distressed with Tim Holtz's Paper Distresser.  I layered them using foam squares to add dimensionality to my Christmas tree.


My vintage calendar Christmas tree ended up on a wooden plaque for my living room.  The face of the plaque was painted with a light coats of Bundled Sage, Hickory Smoke and Weathered Wood Distress Paint.  I did a light wash of Vintage Photo Stain over this painted wood (rubbing off the excess stain with a paper towel).  I added some  Black Soot Distress around the edges to accent some of the wood grain (and add some trademark grunginess to my piece).  The edges of the plaque got a generous amount of Vintage Photo Distress Stain.  I added a wash of Distress Paint over around the edges on top of the stain.


Tim Holtz's new Christmas Alphabet foam stamps (I *love* these stamps!!!) were used to stamp "christmas" at the bottom of the plaque.  I used black archival ink and did the first stamping of the word on scrap paper and then did a second stamping on the plaque to give the word a more faded, timeworn feel.  The "Merry" is a die cut from Tim's Home for the Holidays die set.  I cut it from red card stock and then used Tim's Paper Mosaic Glaze.


I used a sheet of Tim's gorgeous vintage Ideaology Christmas paper for my Christmas tree's background.   Reflections washi tape was used frame the paper on my plaque.


Some red alcohol ink, an Ideaology faceted star, and a few "pearls" created some simple ornaments for my Christmas tree.


Here is a closer photo of the completed version.


Well, I am going to have to leave you with this quick post.  I am in the middle of final exams.  I hope this post doesn't have too many typos.  Merry Christmas to you all -- Mary Elizabeth
















Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Being Thankful -- Part II

I promised a three-post series.  Well ... that has unfortunately been compressed to a two-post series.  Life has a way of taking over my plans.  So, I am back to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving from the US with my 2nd post on being thankful. 


As I said in my previous post, I was inspired by my family.  It is my biggest blessing and I thank God for them.  The techniques and materials that I used for my "thankful" card sort of spilled over onto some Thanksgiving-themed decor pieces for our upcoming Thanksgiving get-together.  The first piece is a a decorated grapevine wreath.  I started with some grunged flowers made Tim Holtz's Tattered Pinecone die and Tattered Flower Garland strip.  I began with some mixed media paper that I stained with a mixture of Ripe Persimmon and Spiced Marmalade Distress Stain.  This was cut with the pinecone die and distressed with sandpaper and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.   The centers are just yellow cardstock cut from the tattered flower garland strip.  Tim Holtz Ideaology Gum Drops, colored with yellow and Caramel Alcohol ink, were adhered with Matte Multi Medium in the middle.  At the bottom of the wreath, these flowers were accessorized with raffia, lace, and some tattered "greenery" from the aforementioned dies.


Tim's Family Die amazingly fit right in the middle of this grapevine wreath!  I used the die to cut two thin chipboard sheets.  I then cut the Tim Holtz Woodgrain cardstock that I wanted to use.  I lined up the die cut images and glued together the three layers (the two chipboard pieces on bottom and the Woodgrain piece on top).  I trimmed the layered piece to the rectangular sign shape that I wanted in the center of my wreath.  The edges of the die cut "FAMILY" were colored with Ground Espresso Distress Marker.  I colored the woodgrain cardstock with Distress Crayons in a variety of  brown hues and Black Soot. A thin layer of Gloss Multi Medium was used to give the "wood" a varnished look.  The sign was completed with a piece of dictionary-print scrapbook paper (I can't remember who made the paper ... sorry!  It was in a remnants box that I keep.)  I used the distress marker to outline the Die Cut on the paper.  Another cardstock tattered flower was added to the top of the sign and I was finished with the sign.  I hot glued it to the back of the wreath.


The top of the wreath was adorned with more pinecone flowers, including a rose made from the same die and multi media paper stained with a mixture of Ripe Persimmon and Abandoned Coral Distress Stain.  More laces, other trimmings, pine "branches" made from mercury glass printed paper, and a chitchat "blessing" sticker were added.  I wanted a little more movement on the piece. I grabbed my wire again; this time it was swiped with Walnut Stain, Barn Door and Mustard Seed Distress Paint.


Now let's talk about the second decor piece that I made.  My mother's favorite animal is an owl.  I found a lovely wood and metal figurine at Michaels.  I knew it would make wonderful Thanksgiving piece for her kitchen.  I used the left over Tim Holtz recipe-printed paper from my card and covered the face of the owl.  This time I used Distress Crazing Collage Medium.  Love this stuff!  Of course this was grunged with sand paper and Distress Crayons in various brown hues!


I was trying to think of what to use to embellish the owl's face.  I found some vintage bottle caps for the eyes.  Sunflowers and black-eyed susans are my mom's favorite flowers.  So I used some Jolie floral embellishments colored to look like these lovely fall flowers to be the irises of the eyes.  The beak was more of a challenge.  And then I found the guitar pick in my stash.  My dad, who is no longer with us, loved to play the guitar.  I colored it with orange alcohol ink and we had a beak!  More raffia and orange twine set off the cutest pumpkin charm (that came free in an order from the Funkie Junkie Boutique last year -- Thanks Linda!) around the neck of this adorably grunged owl.


The back was covered with more Ideaology paper and stickers that spelled out my mom's initials.


Here is a final project of the entire owl.  So cute.


Well, that's it before I hit the road for Thanksgiving.  I am going to enter my decor efforts in Frilly and Funkie's Give Thanks! Challenge

I have so much to be thankful for and you, dear crafty friends, are up there at the top of my list!  -- Mary Elizabeth