Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing out the Old Year with Tim ... Holtz December 2013 Tag

Hi everyone!!  It has been some time since my last post.  I have had a few substantial health issues that have made it necessary to pare down my activities to the essentials:  work and sleep (even housekeeping was marked off the to-do list.)  I am a faculty member at a local university and I just barely made it to the end of the semester.  I really have to thank my students and colleagues for their understanding and support. They were awesome!!  Also, I never would have survived without my Mom.  She came and took care of me while I finished things up.  Then we packed things up and flew to NY for a week so I could have some tests run and see the fabulous nurses and doctors at The Chiari Institute.  I literally posted grades at 30000 feet while on the plane!  Anyway, it seems my new year will contain another surgery.  More on that in a later post.  Right now ... I need to use my energy for more important things ... getting my December 2013 Tag posted before the end of the year!

I have returned to Craftyblogland just in time ring out the year with my take on Tim Holtz's December Tag for 2013. This month, Tim has highlighted a way to use his Frosted Film over Wendy Vecchi's Clearly for Art. His December tag is soooooo gorgeous!! Check out all the step-by-step details on Tim's Blog here

I absolutely adore the luminescence of Tim's frosted film.  The detail photos are taken on my craft table.  I hope these photos capture some of the subtle sparkle.


I did a few things different from Tim's tutorial.  First, I didn't have Clearly for Art.  I tried several different types of clear plastic (shrink plastic, overhead transparencies for presentations, etc).  I finally opted for a recycled page protector insert from one of my many notebooks.  It worked pretty well when I applied heat and curled the leaves of the poinsettia.  Another difference is that I didn't do the white paint splatter at the end.  Honestly, I forgot to do this.  I really like the end result as it is.  And finally, I did a different treatment on the poinsettia leaves. 

Check this out ... I did a little stamping!


I used some of Tim Holtz's Classic Favorites stamps (Classic #3) along with vintage text stamps on my Frosted Film covered die cuts.  Like Tim, I used archival ink.  I was really surprised how well the Frosted Film took the stamped images.  After I completed my stamping on the leaves and petals.  I used a ink blending tool and edged each die cut with archival ink (I used one of the colors of the stamped images for the blended edging).  Then I added heat to bend the petals or leaves.

Here is a shot of my completed tattered poinsettia.  The poinsettia is backed by a wooded ornament that I painted with silver acrylic paint.  When the paint dried, I used a ink blending tool and added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  This was then covered with Rock Candy Crackle Paint. 

I used Distress Markers (Evergreen Bough and Festive Berries) to outline my embossed stamping at the bottom of the tag.  (The vintage text tape was added to cover up a blood stain from a paper cut that I didn't realize I had until it was too late.)

Finally I added a "25" charm from Industrial Chic and a tiny tag with a sentiment for you all ... good cheer throughout the new year!

I wish you all a very blessed and happy New Year.  My 2013 has truly been blessed and enriched by the new friends I have made through this crafting community.  Thanks so very much for your visits, comments, and support.  Most of all, thanks for adding color and beauty to this world through your art.  I am so looking forward to seeing where your creativity takes you in 2014.  -- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Count Down to Christmas with 25 Ornaments

This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is Countdown to the Holidays.  What a great theme!  I decided to play along with the 25 paper ornament gift tags (which will be bundled and given to friends as a part of early Christmas gifts) that I've made over the last few weeks.  Here is a picture of all the ornaments together.  I didn't put numbers on them, but you can count them for yourself ... there are 25 :) 

Forgive the photo intensive post and the terrible photography.    I am including individual shots of the 25 different ornaments.  Each of the ornaments started out as die cuts from Tim Holtz's Sizzix Movers and Shapers Carved Ornaments #1 or Carved Ornaments #2.   Most of them have a base that was cut out of pattern paper.  I used Distress Ink, Distress Paint, Distress Markers, Stickles, Multi-Medium, paint pens, alcohol ink markers, embossing folders, embellishment stickers, other die cuts, etc to decorate them.  If you have any questions about how one was made, drop me a line or leave me a question in the Comments section. 

 Well, it looks my Christmas season has started off Merry and Bright.   I hope you are enjoying the creativity of the season as well :)  -- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Do You See What I See? Another November Tag for Tim's 12 Tags of 2013

Most months, I barely have enough time to get one tag completed for Tim's 12 Tags of 2013.  However, this month's technique is pretty quick to do. So here I am to share another tag using Tim's chalkboard technique.  For  those of you who are new to my blog or new to Tim's 12 Tags of 2013, go check out Tim Holtz's step-by-step tutorial (and gorgeous fall tag) for his November Tag of 2013. 

I started this tag with a black cardstock background.  I used Distress Embossing Ink to stamp the three Wise Men (from Tim Holtz's Joyful Song stamps set) and a partial miniature blueprint star (from Tim's Mini Blueprints 2 stamp set) on the background.  I then used a Perfect Medium pen to create some "rays" shining out from the blueprint star image.  I could do this all at one time because the Distress Embossing Ink doesn't dry as fast as other inks.  I then added Ranger's Antiquities embossing powder (per Tim's tutorial) to all the images.  I then grabbed my chalk and went to town!!  So much fun :)  I took a small damp paint brush and went around some of the edges of the Wise Men image to emphasize some of the amazing details you can still get with this technique.  I also used some extra chalk to shade in some sand dunes in the background.  

I took another small piece of black cardstock and stamped the mini blueprint star with Distress Embossing Ink.  I repeated the chalk process and then cut out the star.  I adhered it to the tag (on top of the partial star already on the tag, offsetting the image just a little) with adhesive foam squares.

Next I used some of Tim's Chitchat Stickers to say "do you see what I see", which refers to the Christmas carol of the same title.  Since this is a question, I decided to add a stamped question mark at the end with black archival ink.  I was surprised how well it turned out considering I stamped on chalk.  Just a note, the chalk does make it a little difficult to add stickers to a tag, so I used a little extra glue to put on the chitchat stickers.  You can see that some of them are lifting up a little around the edges.

 I wanted to add a gauzy tag tie, but didn't have exactly what I wanted in my stash.  Then I remembered a few fellow crafters used dryer sheets for various projects.  I found one up in my laundry room, cut it in short strips, and added these strips to my tag through a Joy ring charm.  I attached a crown charm (in honor of the King that the Wise Men were seeking) to the tag tie with a brad.

Here is one more shot of the tag.  I'm sorry the tag is a little curled at the end.  I was trying to take advantage of the sun today for this photo; however, it was very cold this morning (14 degrees F when I looked at 8:30 a.m.).  I'm afraid I gripped the tag a little hard as I came out the door.  It was too cold to take the time to straighten out the tag any more.  BRRRRR!!! 

Hope you hope you have a warm and restful Sunday.  Thanks for  dropping by!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Friday, November 22, 2013

Merry Christmas to All ..

Another Christmas tag to share with you all.   For this tag, I tried a technique shared by Anna-Karin a few weeks ago.  Take a look at the  Wax Paper Resist Tutorial she did on her Layers of Ink blog.

I started by die-cutting a tag out of some vintage newsprint cardstock (using Tim Holtz's Tag and Bookplates die).  I then die cut some wax paper using Tim's Townscape On the Edge die.  I followed Anna-Karin's directions and ironed the wax paper die cut onto my tag (thus transfering wax on to the tag in the shape of the townscape).

Instead of going over the tag with Distress Ink, I used some watered down Black Soot Distress Paint.  I wanted a night scene and used the paint to get a little more opacity.   I then misted water of the wet paint and used a soft paint brush to brush the paint off of the waxed townscape image.  I dried the paint with a heat tool and outlined the townscape image with an archival ink pen.  I painted the windows with a paint pen and then went back over them with a Martha Stewart gold glitter pen.

In the sky above my not-so-sleepy little town, I used Distress Embossing Ink to stamp Santa and his sleigh.  I embossed the image with American Crafts ZING embossing powder in Brown Sugar.  This really looked boring, so I grabbed all my glitter, paint, alcohol ink, and gel pens and went to work coloring over some of the embossed image.  I think it turned out pretty great.  I added some tiny paint dots and tiny star embellishments to create a starry sky for Santa.

On another piece of vintage script pattern paper, I stamped a small Christmas tree with Pine Needles Distress Ink.  I then clear embossed the tree.  I fussy cut the tree and edged it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I added some gem embellishments for lights and another star gem on top.   The tree was adhered with to the tag with a foam adhesive square.

Finally I cut out a banner from the left over vintage newsprint pattern paper and gave it a paint wash using Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I stamped it with Santa's "Merry Christmas to All" salutation.  This was edged with Barn Door Distress Paint and added to the tag using more adhesive foam squares.  The tag was topped with a candy cane ribbon bow and voila ... I have another Christmas tag!! I'm leaving you with another shot of the completed tag (this one without all the glitter glare :)). One more Christmas tag completed ... and now "to all a Good Night!"  -- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Christmas Card

Here is a short post to share a Christmas card with you all.  I'm normally not a card person.   But I wanted to make some for my family this year.   Here is my first attempt:

I used a cream cardstock for the card itself.  Then a I took a piece of green patterned paper that had white flourishes and floral designs and used Antique Linen Distress Ink to make the white elements match the cream color of my cardstock card.  I then used Walnut Stain DI to age the edges.  The next layer is made from Tim Holtz (and Ranger) Watercolor cardstock.  I used favorite wood block stamps of a post card and winter scene collage to create this gorgeous focal image for the card.  It was colored with Distress Markers and a Water Brush.  I added a strip of pattern paper to look like it binding all the paper elements together.

I think took some vintage newsprint paper and glued it to a piece of cardstock and die cut some holly accents for my card (using Sizzix Sizzlits Die - Holly w/Berries #5).  This die cut comes out in one piece.  I cut the holly leaves off the berries so that I cut reposition them later.  I colored them berries and leaves with Distress Markers and a water brush.  I then added some outlines with some alcohol ink markers.  Next I inked the surface of berries and holly leaves with Distress Embossing Ink and dipped the pieces in some Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE).  I melted the UTEE with heat tool.  When the pieces cooled, I glued them on the paper strip with Glossy Accents (which you will see got a little out of hand if you look close enough :) ).

And that is my very first blog Christmas card.  I am proud of myself.  I think I'll make another one ;)  -- Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chalk One up for Tim ... Holtz 12 Tags of 2013 -- November

It's time to a new tag, or in this case tags, inspired by Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013.  For the month of November, Tim is showcasing his technique for reproducing the feel a schoolroom chalkboard on paper.  I was blown away by this technique in Creative Chemistry 102 and I am so excited Tim included it in one of 2013 tags.  Please take a moment to check out Tim's step by step tutorial for his November 2013 Tag.

 My first tag is my nod to the schoolroom slate boards, all dressed up for Christmas.  I used Tim's chalkboard technique on a tag of black cardstock.  I then covered some chipboard with a specialty paper that I found at Michaels craft store.  It's a paper covered with a thin cherry wood veneer.  I cut strips to make my slate board frame.  I used Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Ink to give the wood a deeper color.

I used some wire cutters to cut a piece of a paper clip to make the hook for my chalked Christmas tree ornament.  Some holly leaves were die cut with Tim Holtz's Holiday Garland Sizzlits out of Core'Dinations cardstock.  The leaves were distressed with sandpaper, inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and adhered with foam squares.  Some pearls were colored with alcohol ink and glued on to the tag with Glossy Accents.  To go along with the vintage school look, I added some simple twine for the tag tie. 

I created second tag out of Tim Holtz Core 'Dination cardstock that painted black (I had already used the black in the pack -- sigh).  I wanted a heavier cardstock because I wanted to dry emboss it with an embossing folder, in this case, Tim's Alterations Texture Fade Snowman. I used a small paintbrush to "paint on" the Distress Embossing Ink on the embossed snowman to apply the Antiquities embossing powder.  I stamped the other images as per Tim's original instructions.  After applying the chalk, I added some Crackle Accent in the debossed snowflakes.

The tag was topped with some silver cord and white ribbon.  I embellished this with a lovely silver Merry Christmas charm.

I'm going to leave you with a couple pics of the two tags together.  I hope you get a chance to try this for yourself before the month is over.  It's so much fun to play with chalk :)  -- Mary Elizabeth