Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016: Week 4 -- Archival Inks

This week it's all about Archival Inks for our Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 4 Challenge.  I was looking for a focal image for my Archival Resist Technique tag and found this lovely fellow.  Yes ... pretty early for Halloween, but I just could not resist (pun intended :) ).  I used masking to layer stamped images.  It's a short post (crazy week) but still enjoying this summer crafting journey!

Have a great week!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pinks and Pearls

Hello everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the beginning of a wonderful summer (at least in the northern hemisphere) weekend.  I'm back with a project that was a bit of a stretch for my creative muscles.  It was so much outside my wheelhouse that I might as well have started practicing Zero-Gravity maneuvers.  I really felt like I was in outer space at times.  I think I stressed more over the details on this card than I ever have on any other project.

The inspiration for this card started with some sales purchases that I made at Michaels craft store.  I found the Recollections diecut butterfly/flower tag, Heidi Swapp pink plaid tape, and Wish wood embellishment and thought they would look great on a birthday card.  Also during this time, I was playing with Distress Crackle Paint and Perfect Pearls for Tim Holtz's Summer of Creative Chemistry and here is the result of that  perfect storm :)

I began by giving the non-diecut part of the tag and Wish wood cutout a good coat of Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint.  It pained me to let it dry naturally, but the crackle finish that you get when you don't use the heat tool is wonderful.  While that dried, I worked on the background for my card.  I gave the whole background a coat of Old Paper Distress Ink.  Then I added the Heidi Swapp pink plaid tape at the top.  I stamped the Recollections doily with Weathered Wood, Bundled Sage and Antique Linen Distress Paint.  Once that dried, I used a Wild Honey and Walnut Stain Distress Ink over the entire background.  It was a bit too dark for I wanted.  So I ended up giving the entire background a wash of watered down Antique Linen Paint.   I brought out some of the details of the doilies with a Frayed Burlap Distress Marker.  The edges of the background were distressed and inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Next I grabbed my tag and began to give it some color.  I used Scattered Straw and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Then I used a Waterbrush to mix Gumball Perfect Pearls and Spun Sugar Distress Ink and washed pearly mixture over some areas of my crackled paint.  You can't really see it on the tag in the picture above, but you can see the pearly wash a little better on the Wish wood piece below.  I used a thicker version of this mixture on the butterfly die cut.  I gave it two coats and then went over  the entire butterfly with Glossy Accents.   The butterfly got it's very own flower that I found in my stash.  I mixed Broken China with with a blue Perfect Pearl and applied it to the petals with the waterbrush.  When that dried, I added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink with water brush over the top of all the petals.  The diecut flowers on the tag were treated similarly (see below) with a mixture of Perfect Gold Perfect Pearls and Wild Honey Distress Ink.  Gorgeous sheen!!  Again I used Glossy Accents to cover the diecut flowers and adhere the pearl flower centers.  The entire tag was grunged with some Walnut Stain Distress Paint and Distress Marker.  The tag was finally topped with a sage green velvet ribbon.

I love how the grunged Wish turned out.  The juxtaposition of the pearled pink with with grungy Walnut Stain and white crackle paint is seriously one of my favorite finishes.  The tiny metal butterfly was another stash find.  It was given a layered Distress Paint treatment in Weathered Wood, Bundled Sage and Walnut Stain.  He has a beautiful pearl and rhinestone sticker flight path to follow when he decides to jump off of the "h".

 I found several ribbons an trimmings in my stash (including some pink pearls) to go with my Pinks and Pearls theme.  It really took me forever to figure out where to place things on this piece to keep a balance of texture, color and shape.  Whew!!  Finally ... it's finished!

Thanks for walking along this journey with me.  It was definitely a learning process.  I envy those of you who can create amazingly romantic, layered cards in your sleep.  You guys are rock stars!!!

I'm going to enter this in the following challenges:
Frilly and Funkie's Pastels and Pearls Challenge
Tuesday Throwdown's Tuesday Throwdown 299 Distressing Challenge

Well, back to work.  Have a great weekend!  -- Mary Elizabeth 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 3 -- Perfect Pearls Part 2

Ah ha!  Notice ... no butterfly this time.  If you check out Part 1 of Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 3 post, you will see my favorite Tim Holtz stamp (this week).  However, I went with a train theme for my tag today. 

Again, I'm using Perfect Pearls.  This time I've focused on Tim's Perfect Distress Mist Technique.  color combos were Antique Linen with Perfect Gold, Picked Raspberry with Gumball, and Vintage Photo with Plum.  Here are the background tags that I made.

I made tags with all of the backgrounds; however, I only got around to photographing one of them this afternoon.  Here is the background that I started with.

Next I used Distress Crackle Paint in Vintage Photo with Tim's Clockwork layering stencil.  I gave the cracks more definition with some Black Soot Distress Ink.  I also added some shadowing with a Black Soot Distress Marker.  Next came Tim's "Getting There" train stamps.  Great size for a tag. 

I did some shading with Frayed Burlap, Brushed Corduroy and Hickory Smoke Distress Markers around the stenciling.  Then the whole thing is topped with twine and a clockface fastener.  What fun!!!! 

Well, tomorrow starts a new Week of Summer of Creative Chemistry and Tim's 2nd Live Chat happens tomorrow night.  This experience has been fabulous.  I'm so very inspired by my classmates.  If you haven't had a chance to join in the fun, there is still time. -- Mary Elizabeth

Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 3 -- Perfect Pearls Part 1

So ... if you've been following my blog over the last few weeks, you probably notice that Tim Holtz's butterfly stamp has made several appearances.  It just stays on my craft table.  It's such a great stamp, especially for this Summer of Creative Chemistry.  This beautiful butterfly just wraps itself in color so well.

 For Week 3 of Summer of Creative Chemistry, we are playing with Perfect Pearls and Rock Candy Crackly Paint.  I've already seen so many gorgeous makes from my classmates.  What fun!  So many of us say that we don't use Perfect Pearls very often (true for me as well).  I think one of the reasons is that it just doesn't photograph well and it's so hard to convey the beautiful shimmer Perfect Pearl projects have.  I've tried to capture it here with my photos.

I made another birthday card for one of my projects (hence -- Part 1 of this Week 3 post).  The back ground was made with spritz and flick method using some gorgeous Distress Ink blue hues.  I stamped the butterfly in black archival ink and embossed with black embossing powder.  

Next I stamped some of Tim's "weeds" (his word ... not mine) around the boarder of the card with one of my favorite new products from Tim's line ... Distress Archival Ink in Vintage Photo!!!  Oh yeah ... I'm loving this!  I used the "Paint with Perfect Pearls" method using a sort of "sapphire blue" color (no name on the container), Blue Raspberry, Perfect Gold and Sour Apple Perfect Pearls.   Just love the vivid shimmer (just like a real butterflies wings) of the colors.

 I misted, spritzed and flicked the background with Perfect Pearl Mists in Perfect Pearl.  The wole background has a soft shimmer.  I painted some rick rack with Sour Apple Perfect Pearl and grunged it with a Frayed Burlap Distress Marker.  I embellished that with some extra flowers that I had die cut for a previous project out of old book pages and some gem stickers.  The flower at the top has some petals painted with Perfect Gold Perfect Pearls as well.

I truly like the over all look of this project.  It has a vintage feel with stunning color and shimmer.  I'm so glad Tim is doing a whole summer of playing with previous techniques.  It's amazing how much I've forgotten and how much fun I can have experimenting with paint and ink.  Hope to get back with part 2 tonight.  Until then ... hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am. -- Mary Elizabeth

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 2 -- Take 2

As I promised yesterday, I am back with another technique post that was inspired by Tim Holtz's Marbling with Distress Stains technique.  For those of you who joined Tim's Live Chat on Saturday, you might remember the discussion of how he is sometimes asked "Is it possible to (do something with a given product)?" or "What happens if you (try doing a given product)?"  Tim said that often he doesn't know and so he tells people to go try it and find out what happens.  So here is the result of one of my "What if I try this?" moments in the craftroom.

Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 2 -- Take 2 :  Marbling with Distress Stains AND Matte Multi Medium.

I recreated Tim's Marbling with Distress Stains technique except in place of Picket Fence Distress Stain as the "marbling agent", I used Matte Multi Medium.  You don't have the pigmented effect of the marbling, but you get the same striations and marbling pattern.   Here you can see my first attempt with this technique.

This was done on the back of a previous tag where I didn't like the finished background. (You can see so smudges of purple and back here and there if you look carefully).  Thank goodness I didn't put an "X" on the back of this tag like Tim does since this background technique is translucent and not opaque like the marbling with Picket Fence DS.    I used Ripe Persimmon, Abandoned Coral, Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Stains.  The tag is manilla.  I did Tim's marbling technique exactly only with the substitution of Matte Multi Medium for Picket Fence DS (including spritzing the manilla tag with water prior to adding the stains and spritzing the tag after the stains are added to blend the ink.)  I used a heat tool to gently dry the medium and stain mixture.

Immediately, what I loved was the matte finish but the absolute vibrant color you get for the tag background.  The second thing that I love about this technique is what happens when you stamp on it with archival ink.  I stamped Tim's butterfly on it and was floored by the crisp, dark image that appeared.  Then I added some gorgeous flourish stamping around the edges, a masked butterflies and moth stamped image, and a "Here and Now" remnant rub.  Stunning imagery on this really cool background.

The color palette that I tried first had colors that were very close together on the color wheel.  I wanted to try the same process with colors that were apart on the color wheel -- reds and blues.  I was a little timid with the colors, so I didn't go too heavy with the stains and I used a little more water to soften the colors.  You can't use a rag to mop up excess stain on this technique like you can with Tim's original marbling technique.  It really sticks to the gel medium!

So with this attempt, I first used Weathered Wood Distress Ink and inked a light coat over the entire tag with a blending tool.  I put the red stains on one side and the blues on the other when I did the technique in order to try not to get a blob of "purplish" when they mixed.  Again, I spritzed with water before and after ink was added.  I really got a great color distinction with the technique.  I let the blue marble across (horizontally) the red.  It was great!  I used Walnut Stain Distress Ink to grunge around the edges of the tag after I did my patriotic stamping (for the red and blue colors seemed to call for those stamps).

I tried once more.  Same idea only with more intense stain use.  I again used Weathered Wood DI on the tag prior to the technique.  I also grunged the tag edges with Walnut Stain DI prior to the marbling.

Ok this time I marbled the stains left to right.  I got more red than blue and the red just kind of took over.  Oops ... it looks like blood bath.  I was wanting a memorial day type tag for my dad's navy scrapbook but this was just a little over the top :)

So there you have it ... my very own creative chemistry.  Hope you do a little experimenting on your own today!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry Week 2 -- Take 1

First let me thank Kristina and Jennifer at Online Card Classes for hosting the first-ever Live Chat with Tim Holtz as a part of Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016.  It was a hoot!  Tim answered several of our questions and there was great interaction between Jennifer, Kristina and Tim.   I found myself laughing out loud and in awe of what I learned about Tim, the crafting industry, and finding inspiration.  Thank you Tim for taking the time to do this.  It was really an amazing experience.  I can't wait for the 2nd Live Chat coming up in a couple of weeks.  If you haven't signed up for Summer of Creative Chemistry, there is still time.   I'm loving it!!

Week 2 Challenge is to create something with Distress Stains and stamps.  I went back and looked at some of the Distress Stain Techniques and realized that I needed a refresher on the Marbling technique with Distress Stains.   Here is my first attempt:

Not too bad.  I used Picket Fence, Salty Ocean, Worn Lipstick, Bundled Sage, and Seedless Preserves Distress Stain.  The stamps are from Tim's Mechantile Set.  Still, I just could not seem to get a good contrast in the marbling.  I don't know how many times I watched Tim do this technique on the video.   How did he get the tag in the right position for optimal ink "swipeage" to get that great contrast? 

In the meantime, I wondered if I could do the same technique with a Metallic Stain substituted for the Picket Fence Stain (since both have pigment particles).   Here is my 2nd attempt:

This tag is made with Mustard Seed, Ripe Persimmon, Wild Honey, Abandoned Coral and Antiqued Bronze Distress Stain.  In the photo above, you can see the metallic particles from the Antiqued Bronze glittering in the light.  The stamps are gears from Tim's Time Traveler and Industrial Blueprints sets.  I used Rusty Hinge and Pumice Stone Distress Markers to add some shadowing to the stamps.  I edged the tag with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  The tag is topped with a Gear die cut out of a manilla folder using one of Tim's Movers and Shapers Dies.  The gear was colored with Vintage Photo Distress Stain and Shadowed with a Rusty Hinge Distress Marker.  You may see a little spritz and flick technique here too!

Ok, finally ... Attempt Number 3:

After watching Tim a Million and ONE times do this technique on the video, I finally got the contrast I wanted in this marbling technique.  I used some stamps from his Travel Ways and Classics #1 Stamp sets. 

So, all of this hard work on the marbling stamp happened right before I logged in to Tim's Live Chat on Saturday.  After watching Tim's perfect marbling technique video a Million and ONE time, I wondered which technique video took the most retakes.  I've seen his blooper reels in the CC101 and CC102 classes, so I know he is not perfect.  It made me smile though when he immediately said "the Marbling with Distress Stains technique".  Ok ... Tim Holtz is absolutely amazing ... but he is also human.  Whew!!!  I was honestly wondering there for a minute :)

Check in tomorrow ... I've tried something new with Distress Stains based on this marbling technique.  I hope to have Take 2 online tomorrow.  Hugs to you all.  -- Mary Elizabeth

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016: Week 1

Hi everyone!  It's been a long time since I've been around crafty blogland.  The good news it that I feel great!  My life is so much different than it used to be prior to my surgeries.  The bad news is that with my good health comes a lot more work and occasions.  I was out of town almost every weekend and working hard during the week.  I did get some crafting done.  I just didn't get any of it posted here.  Sorry!!

Ok.  So I'm back for the summer and starting it off with bang.  I'm participating in Tim Holtz's Summer of Creative Chemistry.  I did Creative Chemistry 101 and 102 and I'm eagerly anticipating Tim's Creative Chemistry 103 at the end of the summer.  In the meantime, Tim is offering the Summer of Creative Chemistry participants weekly challenges. 

Week 1 Challenge requires us to use only four colors of Distress Ink and some of the techniques we learned during Creative Chemistry 101.  Here I created an 80th birthday card for my friend Betty.  The four colors that I used were Fired Brick, Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed and Spiced  Marmalade.  I love the bright colors!  What a very happy card to celebrate the "Noteworthy" occasion!

The butterfly was created with Tim's Brushless Watercolor Technique.   Foam squares were used to mount it on my background.

The border of the butterfly was created using Tim's Blended Spritz and Flick Technique.  Thanks to Tim's butterfly framelit (from Sizzix) I was able to mask my beautiful butterfly to do the border technique.  After I completed my spritzing and flicking, I added some sunshine warmth with some additional Mustard Seed DI over the top (thanks for the tip Tim!).  

 The background was made with Tim's Wrinkle Free Distress Technique.  The first and second layers were made with just Picked Raspberry.  The third and final layer added just a hint of Mustard Seed and Fired Brick.  The background was mounted on a kraft paper card.  The colors didn't pop the way that I wanted them too, so I used a Black Soot marker to color the kraft card stock edges.  Then I used Tim's Styled Labelss Die to add even more black accents between the butterfly and the background.  Tim's "Noteworthy" remnant rub and "celebrate" chit chat sticker outlined in black completed the front of the card.


 On the inside of the card, I used a piece of paper that soaked up some extra ink (using the Wrinkle Free Distress technique) to  create the butterfly below.  Tim's butterfly Movers and Shapers die was used with another Styled Label on black cardstock. The "80" was made from more remnant rubs.

I'm so glad to go back and revisit these techniques this summer.  There are so many tips Tim gives in his videos.  Love these classes!!!!  Thanks so much for dropping by.  I'm looking forward to visiting you all in the next couple of days.   Hugs!  -- Mary Elizabeth