Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dreaming of Spring with Tim ... Holtz March Tag for 2014

Alas, more snow fell last night.  If you caught my post from yesterday, you will know that I am quite tired of snow.  So, my March tag for Tim's 12 Tags of  2014 is all about my dreams for spring!

This month, Tim Holtz used a "smudged stamping" technique that is pretty awesome.  I did okay with the stamping part; however, I really got carried away with the bright colors when using the Distress Markers. 

To somewhat ground the color, I grabbed some of Tim's tissue paper and added it to the bottom of the tag with some Matte Multi Medium.  I love being able to see the stamping underneath the tissue paper.

  I also added the wonderful tissue tape on the edges.

Two tags in one weekend has pushed my creative and energy limits :)  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Happy, blessed weekend.  -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Scraps of Words

Have you ever created one of those tags that you didn't plan to make; however, it just kept screaming at you until you made it?  Well ... this is one of those tags!

In a wild frenzy of die cutting, I managed to misalign the cutting pads (on more than one occasion) and Tim's Tattered Flower Garland die strip.  Alas ... poor Jane Austin ended up with several of her lovely pages of Sense and Sensibility partially cut with flowers.  As usual, I laid them off to the side and plunged on with my pursuit of perfect blossoms and leaves. And there they lay for days.  And each day as I entered my craft room, these lovely scraps of words cried out, 'do something with me'!  Perhaps, it was not the paper crying, but the voice of a quite peevish Jane.  Regardless, this week ... I picked them up.

I grabbed a tag and began to push the strips around the borders of the tag.  I liked what I saw.  Now to create a background.  On that day, this was the view outside of my window:

Spring is slow in coming to the mountains of NC and I long for the sunshine and clear blue skies!  So I went to my Distress Paints and picked out Mowed Lawn, Broken China, and Salty Ocean.  I dabbed each on my craft sheet, spritzed with water and dragged my tag (sans Jane's lovely words) through the watered-paint.  I spritzed the tag with a little more water to let the colors mix and drip a little more.  Then it was time for the heat tool!  When the paint was dry, I went over the entire tag background with Peacock Feather Distress Ink.  I flicked it with some water to add some distressed water spots to my bright and cheerful background.

I used some Matte Multi Medium to adhere my scraps of flowery words (or wordy flowers) to  the borders of my tag and cut off the excess.  I first used an Antique Linen Distress Marker a fine-tip water brush to go over the petals.  Then I came back with Brushed Corduroy to add some shadowing.  I distressed the edges of the tag with sandpaper and added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink.   The right bottom corner, looked a little anemic, so I found this lovely sticker from K & Company to go on it.   The entire tag was covered with a layer of  Matte Multi Medium.  It gave the paint and ink the look of a fresh spring rain shower (rather than the blustery snow storm that raged outside).

Now for a little movement!  I stamped this wonderfully wordy butterfly from one of Tim's sets onto Specialty stamping paper.  I colored it with some Ripe Persimmon, Antique Linen Distress and Vintage Photo Markers.  I let it fly above the tag with some adhesive foam squares.

I topped it off the tag with some raffia, a couple of blossoms and yet another word mounted on a bit of Jane's manuscript ... Hope (which is what I still have for a spring here in NC).  And thus bringing life out of these scraps of words, I am entering this tag into Alison's Say It With Words Challenge over at A Vintage Journey

 And that is how this lovely tag came to be.  I bet you have some similar stories to tell.  I look forward to reading about how your art speaks to you!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Tim Holtz Fan in King Arthur's Court: A Medieval Take on Vintage

In January, I spent a great deal of time working with Ranger Inkssentials Foil Tape Sheet-covered grungeboard for my Looking Ahead with Tim ... Holtz January 2014 Tag project.  I had some scraps that had been embossed with Tim's embossing folders and wondered what they would look like if I painted and distressed them.  That was the beginning of this fanciful and fun project.

After playing around with foil-taped grungeboard, I decided to try embossing foil-taped Distress Core'dinations Cardstock.  This held up much better to the Distress Paint treatment and all of the sanding and scratching other distressing techniques I threw at it.  I absolutely loved the vintage metal effect.

My next question was which embossing folder I wanted to use.  I tried several, but when I tried the one with the Lion from Tim's Sizzix London Icons and Union Jack Set, I knew this was the one!  And then ... I found the new challenge blog, A Vintage Journey  that is devoted to vintage projects that are strongly influenced by the works of Tim Holtz.  (Sooooooo excited about this new blog.)  With the first challenge being Anything Tim, this project took wing and a medieval book was born.

So, I used some Tim products to distress the heck out of this embossed piece. I used Barn Door Distress Paint to coat all of the metal.  I sanded off some of the paint and added some scratches.  Then I used a Black Soot Distress Marker  and black Sharpie to add outlines and smudges of black as if the metal had tarnished.

Here are a couple of photos in different light to see how the painted metal looks with all the embellishments. For those of you familiar with Tim Holtz products, you might recognize some of the embellishments.  First, edged the entire embossed Lion with Ranger metal foil tape that has been embossed with Tim's Dot Matrix Texture Fades folder.  I painted it with Black Soot Distress Paint and sanded it.  To dull the bright sanded metal look, I went back over it with a Black Soot Distress Marker and wiped off most of it.  It almost looks like small nail heads around the border.

I looked at some charms, but went back to my embossing folders for additional embellishments. I went to an usual one ... one of Tim's Halloween folders.  Again, I used the metal foil covered cardstock and a spooky fence Texture Fade.  I cut it into pieces and created "crowns" on the corners.

Then I grabbed Tim's Patchwork Texture Fade and grabbed two copies of the flourish panet made a great surround for the clasp closure.  Oh and that closure too is from Tim Holtz.  It's a grungeboard hinge that I embossed with silver embossing powder and sanded.  I used some Black Soot Distress Ink to bring out that tarnished look.  A tiny brad completed the working closure.

The cover is made out of some textured paper that I bought at Michaels.  I ran it through the "stripes" textures fade from Tim's Americana pack for the closure and binding and the Damask Texture Fade for the middle part of the cover.

I used some of Tim's Linen Ribbon to detail the spine!  Black alcohol ink was used to dye the ribbon.  I cut slits in paper binding and inserted the ends.  The ends were taped on the interior of the binding.

And here is the back of the cover:

 So what's on the inside?  Good question!  The answer: A lot of Tim Holtz stamping and Distress Markers and Distress Ink.  I even included some photocopies of actual medieval manuscript snippets (thoroughly grunged) as well.  The pages were taped with fabric tape (colored with black alcohol ink) along the spine side.  It created a great edge for my Mom to hand sew the pages together.

I'm running out of energy to type all of this, so I will let pictures tell the rest of my medieval time traveling story.

 I loved creating this project.  I hope you find time to create a project you love as well!

-- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

 As usual, I'm running a little behind with my family gifts:).  My mom's birthday was February 23rd and I'm finally finished with her birthday present.  I created a configuration to celebrate the life of this amazing woman.  I apologize for the picture heavy blogpost, but there's a lot to this labor-of-love project.

I started this project with a 7 Gypsies Mini Library Drawer.  This was the perfect backdrop for my mom's birthday present.  She started our church library when I was in high school and is still working as our church librarian.  My mom is never without a book nearby.  She instilled in me the love of reading and has always been the biggest champion of education.  It's no wonder that all four of her children ended up involved in education:  PTO presidents, tutors, teachers and administrators. So you will see words, book pages, and letters as an integral part of this project.   With that in mind, I'm entering this in Country View Challenges Paper Chase Challenge and  The Artistic Stamper's March Challenge ~ Letters, Words and Numbers

 I covered the exterior of the drawer with a fairly thick layer of gesso.  I love the texture you can get from the brush strokes.   I then painted it with a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I adhered some strips of  Tim Holtz tissue wrap (memory definitions) with Ranger Matte Multi Medium.  I added some grunge with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I finished the top with a bookplate die cut from gesso-covered cardstock.  I used some alcohol ink to give the bookplate a teal color.  Then I sanded the edges, added some Walnut Stain Distress ink, and then covered the whole think with multi medium.

The front facing was painted with Antique Linen and covered with Tim's Tissue Tape (love this stuff!)  Some of the drawer's was covered with grunged pattern paper and a "library" die cut.  Mom loved that!  I also did some stenciling with Antique Linen Paint using Tim's Schoolhouse stencil!

 At the very top is my one wish for my mom ... "know in your heart your are loved". 

The top shelf of the drawer is devoted to my older brothers (aren't they cute!).  I found these great "library-card" style journal pockets and fell in love with them.  I cut one to fit the top shelf and added my brothers' pic.  You can see their initials added to the shelf along with a button, light bulb and nut.  I used some more Tim Holtz paper on this shelf and his hexagon stencil(with a thin layer of modeling paste) to cover this top shelf.

The next shelf is my favorite.  I found a great locket from Industrial Chic and added my mom and dad's wedding photo (from over 60 years ago).  Along with the locket is an owl pendant suspended in a Tim Holtz bird cage, some pearls that my mom strung for my senior prom dress, and metal heart.  The shelf is covered from the February 23rd devotion from "Streams in the Desert" devotion book (one of my Mom's favorite books). 

 Yes, the next shelf belongs to me and my youngest brother.  Our initials are displayed as well.    You will see the shelf is covered with some library information and definitions tape.

 The bottom shelf is devoted to the library and books.  She used an old typewriter to type up the library cards and accession numbers for the books.  I love this die cut from Tim Holtz and Sizzix!  The background is actually and old library card pocket from a church library discarded book.  I lightly stamped it with a Tim Holtz classic stamp.

I added some Tim Holtz Idea-ology metal feet.  I used Caramel alcohol ink and Broken China Distress Paint to add some color to the feet.

I seriously have to thank Sizzix for major help with the exterior sides and back of this project.  I glued together three copies of each die cut that was adhered to the sides and back.  After all of the die cuts were glued into place on the drawer, I covered everything with a thick coat of gesso.  Since I was up to my eyeballs in paste at times, I am entering this in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Paste Challenge . I then used Antique Linen and Broken China Distress Paints, various colors of distress ink and multi medium to add color.  I also did some stamping, covered surfaces with paper, tape and remnant rubs, and used some altered metal embellishments to decorate the exterior.

This side was devoted to my Mom's love of music.  Before she married my dad, my mom sang in a gospel trio and she continues to sing in the church choir today. 

The back is devoted to my mom's love of birds.  She has several bird feeders that she watches from her kitchen window.   The heart on this side says "good life".  That is what my mom (and Dad) made for our family. 

 The final exterior side is devoted to my mom's sewing.  She made most of my clothes when I was a child.  Although she doesn't consider herself an artist, I think I get a great deal of my creativity from her.

 One of Tim's On the Edge Dies is the focal point of this side.  I decorated the scissors to look like the metal pair that my mom used for years in her sewing room.  I covered these with some of Tim's paper that has dress patterns on it. 

My mom used her creativity everyday to make our home a great place to be a kid.  We really were blessed.

I'm going to leave you with one last photo of the front of this project and a very heartfelt "Happy Birthday Mom!  I love you!!"  -- Mary Elizabeth