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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



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Being Thankful


Hi all,

I'm back with the first of three posts.  We are quickly closing in on the Thanksgiving holiday here in the States.  For me, it's a time to get to spend time with my family.  There never seems enough time to spend with them these days.  I started with a card celebrating how thankful I am for my family and it morphed into two other projects.  So here is the piece that started it all.



I seem to being doing several collage pieces these days.  I need to replenish my Distress Collage Medium!  I began with a kraft card. I created my collage on a piece of black cardstock.  The papers are from various Tim Holtz's Ideaology paper stashes and some other pieces of scrap paper in the same vintage "brown" color scheme.  The star of the show is a paper from Tim's Seasonal stash that has all sorts of Thanksgiving recipes on it.  Our family get-togethers revolve around really good food.  So I thought this was extremely appropriate for this card.  Again, Matte Distress Collage Medium was used to adhere the paper and apply a top coat (to prime the paper for use of a Black Soot Distress Crayon around the seams)


Sorry for the sad photo of this card. It was a bit "front heavy" by the time I finished it and it got a bit of a bend to it when a I stood it vertically for a quick pic.  I should have photographed it flat ... hindsight is 20/20.  Here is why it was so "front heavy".  I decided to play with Tim's Distress Woodgrain cardstock.  I die cut it and and a piece of chipboard using Tim's Pumpkin Jack die.  I cut the woodgrain diecut into strips (like slats of wood).   These strips were colored with Rusty Hinge, Carved Pumpkin, Spiced Marmalade, Walnut Stain and Ground Espresso Distress Crayons (using a waterbrush to spread the layers of color).  Then I distressed the edges of the strips of woodgrain paper with sandpaper.  I adhered the strips of paper to the my chipboard pumpikin die cut and distressed the edges of the entire  pumpkin with sandpaper.  Now, I grabbed my Ground Espresso Distress Marker and went over the sanded edges.  Love the distressed wood look!!  I added a few Ideaology Tiny Attachers in spots to look like the  wood slats had been nailed or screwed to a backing board.  Brown Alcohol ink was used to make it look like the screws had rusted.  The stem of the pumpkin was given a similar treatment. 


The pumpkin was adhered to the collaged background with Ranger Matte Multi Medium.  Some foam squares, gave the stem some support.  I embellished the pumpkin with a Little Yellow Bicycle wood leaf (stained with Peeled Paint Distress Stain, d1istressed with sandpaper and edged with Walnut Stain Distress Marker ) and some brown wire that wound around a pencil and swiped with Peeled Paint Distress Paint.


A simple  "thankful" chitchat sticker, backed on a small black cardstock rectangle, was mounted on the pumpkin with foam squares.  And I called it a day!


This week I'm playing along with 

Let's Craft and Create Challenge #131 - ANYTHING GOES + option FALL COLOURS/THANKFUL
Simon Says Stamp Thanks/Thanksgiving Challenge
Frilly and Funkie's Timeworn Challenge
Words 2 Craft By Abundance Challenge 

Well, I will be back soon with some home decor pieces that were inspired by this card.  Have a great weekend!  Mary Elizabeth

 



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Textures

I love fall.  I created a tag to try to capture just a fraction of the beautiful colors and textures of this wonderful season.


The background of my tag is a #12 Ranger Manila Tag.  This was colored with Frayed Burlap and Tarnished Brass Distress Stain spritzed with water to spread the color.  Ground Espresso Distress Ink was used to go around the edges of the tag and  filigree metal corner stickers were added to give the background more of a frame.

 

I had the pleasure of catching up with our favorite crafting butterfly, Alison Bomber, in New York this summer.  As you can imagine, our conversation turned to inks, paints, and paper.  At the time, I did not have a great deal of time to keep up with all the new techniques and tools.   Alison was playing with Distress Oxide Inks.  I asked her what she thought was so special about them.  Although they are amazing in their own new properties, Alison said that she thought they would show how incredible they are when we start integrating them with other Distress products.  So ... that is what I used to get the gorgeous fall colors on the next layer of my tag. 


I began with applying Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, and Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide Ink on a craft sheet.  I spritzed it with water and started dipping my heavy mixed media paper into it in layers (spritzing and drying in between layers). You can see the Scrap Time video where Tim does this technique at Creativation.    Next I blended some regular Wild Honey Distress Ink over the entire Distress Oxide creation. (I wish I had thought to take pics at each stage!)  I spritzed that with water and dried it with a heat tool.  The edges were then inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.


I added some script stamping in Ground Espresso Archival Ink.  I thought I might add more imagery with additional stamping, but remembered that I had some of Tim Holtz's Vellum Ephemera (I think from the Thrift Shop pack).  The vellum pieces were adhered to my inked panel with Matte Distress Collage Medium.  I wasn't sure what would happen if I added a coat of Distress Collage Medium over the entire panel, but I said "what the heck" and experimented.  Wow!  It really brought out the incredible color.  So gorgeous!!!!


My next layer was a kraft paper doily that I think I found at Hobby Lobby.  I gave it a thick coat of Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  When the crackle was dry, I inked it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink (on a blending foam) and then Spritzed it with water.  The color seeped into the cracks!  Really lovely.  I adore what it looks like in the sun!  Another Filigree metal sticker went on top the doily.   It gave it added some additional color with a Spiced Marmalade Distress Crayon.  Yellow and orange alcohol ink gave autumnal hues to one of Tim's Ideaology roses as well.  That went on top of the filigree metal embellishment.


 My final layer is a natural canvas tag that I got at Michaels.  I stamped Tim's Mini Blueprint Pumpkin on it in Coffee archival ink.  I colored it with Distress Crayons and a water brush. Some fall vines were stamped around the edges.  The edges of the fabric tag were grunged with some Old Paper Distress Stain.  The tag was embellished with a jute bow (held to the tag with an alcohol-inked Halloween fastener), some fall-colored trim, and one of Tim's word bands (alcohol-inked and Black Soot Distress Crayon used on the word "REMNANTS").


 Before I assembled all the layers of my tag, I attached a burlap ribbon. Tim's Tattered Leaves, die cut from mixed media paper, were covered in Wendy Vecchi Crackle Paste and spritzed with Ground Expresso and Black Soot Distress Stain Sprays.   The color was diluted with water and left to dry.   The leaves were adhered with Matte Multi Medium.  Finally all of my layers were assembled and more trimmings were used a tag tie.


 I am entering this in

A Vintage Journey's: Crazy for Autumn Color Challenge
Country View Challenges: Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues
Words 2 Craft By: Autumn Challenge
Let's Craft and Create Anything Goes with Witchy/Autumn Colors Challenge 

I thought I had better get this homage to fall posted soon.  We had our first snow flurries flying today.  Brr ... winter's chill is here.  Warm wishes to you all! -- Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Happy Halloween

Will wonders never cease?  Two posts in two days!  I'm back for just a quick Halloween tag post.  I have several Halloween stamps that I rarely get a chance to use.  I had a blast stamping and coloring.


I started with a Tim Holtz Distress Mixed Media Heavystock tag.  Oh ... I love this surface!!!  It works so well Distress products.  I began by stamping the Jack-o-lantern, vines, leaves and bat with black archival ink.  I used Distress markers to color each. and Coffee archival ink to stamp the text script in various places around the tag.


Then it was off to coloring the background.  I used various Distress Ink browns applied with an ink blending foam.  I spritzed the background with water. 



I finally added some Halloween Remnant Rubs, a "haunted" text sticker (outlined with an archival pen), some Halloween bat washi tape and jeweled brad. 


I am going to enter this in Frilly and Funkie's 'Tis Near Halloween Challenge.  Thanks for dropping by.  Hope you have a chance to get your hands inky this week.

Mary Elizabeth


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Enjoying the Journey with Man's Best Friend

Hello everyone!  I'm back with a project for this week's Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge: It's a Dogs Life.   In fact, I was inspired by SSS Design Team member, Zoey, and her "Mr. Tibbitts and his traveling companion" tag.  I decided to document Mr. Tibbitts and his faithful companion's journey.  They took a cross-country road trip in Mr. Tibbitts' old jalopy.   This project celebrates the fact that you can always enjoy the journey as long as you have your best friends along for the ride.
 

 The background of this project is a chipboard insert for a scrapbook album. I covered it with a page containing a map of the US from Tim Holtz's Idea-ology Correspondence Paper Stash.  Ground Espresso Archival Ink was used to add a few more travel-related stamps from own considerable stash.  Once I was happy with the images in the background, I decided to mute them with a wash of Antique Linen Distress Paint and water.  When that dried, I added some washy tape printed to look like a rode to help frame the project.  Black crackle paint was added along the edges of the chip board and also on the border of the background paper to create a "worn and torn" look for the edges of my map.


 Next I wanted to highlight the friendship between Mr. Tibbitts and his dog.  To go along with my travel documentation, I grabbed some of my Tim Holtz Idea-ology stickers that include the entire alphabet made out of piece of old license plates.  I spelled the word "FRIENDS" using these cool letters.


 Next came Mr. Tibbitts, his dog, and his jalopy.  I've made quite a few projects with Tim Holtz's Old Jalopy dies (both the large one and movers and shapers version).  I think this one has to be one of my favorites.  I cut just the body of the car out of heavy duty mixed media paper.  The die cut was stamped with Tim's Gears Blueprint stamp and then one of his stamps that has text & images from a catalog of bicycle gears and parts.  I watercolored the stamped jalopy with Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain, and Black Soot Distress Crayons. I adhered the jalopy to the background with Distress Matte Collage Medium.  The cracked windows were made with Ranger's Crackle Accents.  Once dry and cracked, I used a Walnut Stain Distress Marker and water brush to bring out the crackle texture even more.  Then Mr Tibbitts and his dog made their appearance.  They are from Tim's Idea-ology Paper Dolls Paperie pack. 


I stamped and heat embossed Tim's Enjoy the Journey stamp on more mixed media paper.  The "N" license plate letter inspired its Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink coloring. The left side of my project looked a little bare, so I added Tim's Enjoy the Journey die (Stacked Artful Words Sizzlet Die Strip) cut from some vintage script Paper Stash paper.  After all of my paper embellishments had added to the project, I gave the entire thing a coat of Distress Matte Collage Medium.  Once this dries, you can grunge to your heart's content with Distress Crayons.  The medium allows the crayon to glide on and makes it "smudgeable".  I went to town with Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress Crayons to add "grunginess", outlines and shadows.  When I needed more control, like with the Enjoy the Journey die cut outline, I used a detailing paint brush and water with the Distress Crayons.


Et Voila, the project is complete.  I had a great weekend playing in paper.  Thanks for the inspiration SSS Design Team.  What a fun challenge!

Since I stamped myself all around this project, I'm also going to enter it in

Craft Stamper Take It Make October Challenge: Anything Goes Stamping Challenge

I have to say, it is awesome to be back in the craft room again :)  Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Autumn Blessings

It has been a very warm Autumn day here in the North Carolina mountains.  I've had the day off and spent some time crafting.  Here is one of my latest projects.  A very special family member has her birthday in October.  I created this charming acorn gift box to hold her present.


My gift box started off rather plain.  I found these adorable Martha Stewart boxes at my local Tuesday Morning store and knew it would be perfect for a fall birthday keepsake.


I began with the interior of the box.  I stamped this lovely leaf background with an Inkadinkadoo clear stamp on Tim Holtz plain tissue wrap with black archival ink.  I adhered it, in strips, to the interior of the box with Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  The outer band of the box interior was painted with Walnut Stain Distress Paint.


The exterior painting and images was all trial and error.  I painted the exterior shell part of the acorn with a variety of brown Distress and acrylic paints.   I stamped it with a variety of fall-themed Inkadinkadoo clear stamps and a rubber "blessed" stamp (that I cannot for the life of me remember  its manufacturer).  Stamping a rounded 3D object is not for the faint of heart!  I don't think I made too much of a mess of the stamping.  I must confess that I used an archival pen to clean up a leaf that smeared on the front of the box.  I gave the shell a light coat of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Then I decided to try to get a little more texture.  I used some Crazing Distress Collage Medium.  I put on a pretty thick coat.  I got a little impatient and dried it with a heat gun.  I know better, but did it anyway.  I did not get all the amazing crackles that I typically get with this product, but I did get the texture that I wanted for the shell.   I used a Ground Espresso Distress Crayon to fill in the nooks and crannies (wiping off the excess with a baby wipe).  I love the final effect.


I mixed Antique Linen Distress Paint with Brushed Corduroy Distress Stain to cover the acorn cap of my box.  Once that dried, I covered it with a layer of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Then I worked in some Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to detail texture on the cap (once again wiping off excess crayon with a baby wipe).


Finally, Tim Holtz's Autumn Gatherings die strip was used to die cut leaves from printed paper.  I colored them with Distress Ink in autumn colors.  Some chit chat stickers were adhered to the leaves and outlined with a marker.  The leaves were glued together with collage medium and embellished with some wire and a decorative brad. I put the whole fall medley on the acorn cap with Ranger Matte Multi Medium.

Well, that's it for my fall-themed gift box.  I think I will have to make one for myself!

In the mean time, I am submitting this gift box to the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge:  Not a Card (I thought this one was funny.  I tell my family that they either get a gift or a card from me, but not both.  So since this project was a gift, I definitely did not make a card for this challenge :) )

A Vintage Journey's: Crazy for Autumn Color

Country View Challenges: Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues

Craft Stamper's Take It Make It October Anything Goes Challenge

Hope you were able to get your hands inky this week.  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth