Sunday, July 31, 2016

Moroccan Tile-inspired Birthday Card

I'm here with another birthday card today.   I actually had this piece in mind, with all its bright colors, when I first came up with idea to try to replicate Moroccan Tile.  My last project, Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016: Week 8 -- Embossing (with a little Moroccan inspiration), showed me what not to do with shrink plastic and alcohol ink when trying to replicate the look and feel of glass tile.  This time, I was able to control the color on the tiles, sealing them with the Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze, before grouting them with the texture paste.  My experimenting turned out much better for my 2nd project.

The card background is mixed media paper.  I gave it a slight ombre effect by starting with a light coat of Candied Apple Distress Ink, applied with a blending tool, over then entire background. Then applied  more coats of Candy Apple to the top third of the card (until I had a very intense red at the top) which then blended into Abandoned Coral in the middle third, which then blended into Carved Pumpkin.  Really gorgeous colors!!!!!

After drying the ink with a heat tool, I grabbed one of my favor Tim Holtz stamps of all times( the scrollwork) and applied it to the top and bottom with Distress Embossing Ink.  I embossed the scroll work border with Ranger's Enchanted Gold embossing powder.   I absolutely loved the vibrant background, but it was almost too vivid to work on (I needed sunglasses).  So I toned it down a bit with Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the edges and lightly over the top of the entire background.  This made the embossed scrollwork pop a little more. I embossed another of Tim's classics stamps, with regular gold embossing powder, on a separate piece of mixed media paper.  I colored the diamonds with a Candied Apple Distress Marker.  I fussy cut the diamonds and adhered them to the background with Distress Collage Medium (matte).

I trimmed the card out with a piece of gorgeous gold fiber ribbon that I got in an after-Christmas clearance bin.  The sentiment is another Tim Holtz stamp.  I used a piece of black card stock embossed with gold embossing powder.  I added some gold remnant rubs on the sides of the sentiment and then gave it a coat of Glossy Accents.  Finally the entire background got a the "spritz and flick" with water treatment.

Now a little more info about my Moroccan-inspired "glass" tile center piece.

  The tiles were made from shrink plastic that I die cut with Tim Holtz's Trellis die.  These pieces are the insert pieces left over from the shrink plastic lattice that I used to create the "Moroccan Tiled" texture in my last project.  I stamped these left over pieces with a variety of Tim Holtz stamps prior to putting them in oven.  After the pieces did their "shrink thing" in the oven, I let them cool.  I applied a variety of colors of alcohol ink (on the opposite sides) by just dripping the ink on the side opposite of the stamped image. I used a cotton swab to mop of a little ink if it was too dark or spread ink out evenly.

I thought about adhering the tiles inside a large bezel, but then decided to try another experiment.  I die cut one of Tim's labels out of his White substrate sheets.  I laid out my tile pattern on it and decided I needed something to cover the edges of the label.  I covered the edges with Ranger's Perfect Medium and then heat embossed Turquoise Iced Enamels Relique.  Love the metallic and black flecks in it!  I edged the embossed label with Ginger alcohol ink to give it some definition.

Next I I covered the interior of the label with about a one-eighth inch thick coat of gloss Transparent Texture Paste.  I was able to apply all of my tiles at once and continue to move them around if they weren't lined up the way that I wanted them.  Applying the layer of texture paste instead of just using it as a glue (like I did with the Glossy Accents in my last project) allowed for a longer drying time of the medium.  It worked like a dream!  I let this dry for an hour before coming back to grout it.

The grout is a mixture of Ranger Texture Paste (opaque white) and Dylusions Vibrant Turquoise Spray Ink.  I managed to get just about the same hue as the turquoise Iced Enamels.   I applied it over the tiles with a palette knife and then used a water-dampened paper towel to wipe away the excess ground from the top of tiles.  I used my finger tips and a little water to smooth the texture past out in between the tiles and along the edges.  The grout cracked a little bit when flexed the substrate to flatten it out (a more rigid surface like chipboard will be my choice next time).  I then added a coat of Glossy Accents to the top of all the tiles.   After all of this dried, I adhered the center piece to my card front with foam squares.

I'm going to enter this in Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge -- Anything Goes Challenge because just about everything went on this project :)  Thanks for dropping by.  Hugs to you all!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer of Creative Chemistry 2016: Week 8 -- Embossing (with a little Moroccan inspiration)

I cannot believe we are in week 8 of Summer of Creative Chemistry.  I have had such a blast!  Thanks again Tim!  This week we are using some of the embossing techniques that we have learned about in Creative Chemistry 102.  For my project below, I used the Tarnished Silver technique (a technique created by Shelly Hickox but shared by Tim in CC102) on my scrollwork frame.  I started with Tim's new substrate (in white) and diecut the right and left side of this substrate with Tim's Scrollwork On the Edge die.  This created the background for my project.  Next I cut a second piece of white substrate with the Scrollwork die to create two additional scrollwork pieces.  I applied the Tarnished Silver technique on these two pieces and adhered them to the left and right side of my background piece of substrate. 

So, I had a lot of inspiration for this project.  Along with participating in Tim Holtz's Summer of Creative Chemistry, I've also been able to watch some TV over the summer.  I'm not teaching classes this summer and this gives me more time to relax and enjoy life.  One of my guilty pleasures is watching home improvement television shows.  I saw one where they tiled a bathroom shower with Moroccan style pattern with glass tile.  I loved it!  I wondered if there was anyway I could create a  similar Moroccan glass tile pattern with my craft supplies.

 I thought about using Tim's Ideology Fragments; but, then I remembered that I had some shrink plastic.  I knew I could stamp on that and color it with alcohol inks.  After some trial and error, it worked!  I used parts of some Tim Holtz Classics Stamp sets stamps for the images on the glass tile.  Always stamp on the bottom of the clear tile (with archival ink) and color with alcohol ink on the top of the tile.  The alcohol ink will mess up the stamped image if you apply it on top of the archival stamped image.  Also ... use rubber stamps.  Much better image than using clear stamps!

Ok ... It's not perfect.  Those square tiles are somewhat warped.  This happens when the shrink plastic is heated, even if you die cut the squares. The alcohol ink wiped off some of the tiles when I "grouted" them with Ranger Texture Paste.  As I wiped the Ranger Texture Paste off with a water-dampened paper towel, the alcohol ink came off as well.  I ended up having to reapply the ink after the tiles were adhered to the project (Messy!!).  I learned (a little too late) that you can seal the alcohol ink on top by using Krylon Triple-Thick Crystal Clear Glaze.  I sprayed this on the tiles before I coated them with Glossy Accents and it kept the reapplied alcohol ink from "melting" off my tiles with the wet Glossy Accents.

Another influence I had this week was Simon Says Stamps Monday Challenge: Add Some Texture.   Wow!  You should really visit and see all the amazing DT pieces.  I was sooooo inspired by them this week.  I'm not much for adding Texture Pastes to projects, but I thought I'd give it shot this week with all my other experimentation.  I thought it would be cool to continue the Moroccan theme and embed my glass tiles in a plaster wall with more Moroccan-influenced imagery.  So, out comes the Texture Paste again to give me a crumbled plaster wall.  It was so fun to try to figure out how to get my Moroccan designs in the plaster.  I ended up using a Inkadinkado stamp (Background Clings Large Ornamental Tile) to impress the patterns above the "glass" tiles.  I love using Distress Crayons (neutral colors with a water brush and smudging) to color the Texture Paste.  Amazing!  It worked so much better than anything else to get that old painted "plaster" wall feel.

Adding the texture on the lower part of the wall was fun.  I used Tim's Trellis to die cut shrink plastic.  After I heated the trellis, I pressed the "shrunken" plastic trellis t in the Texture Paste (below the "glass" tiles) to make the Moroccan tile effect in "plaster".  I used Dylusions Vibrant Turquoise Ink Spray, Tumbled Glass Distress Ink, and Peacock Feathers and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Crayons to get the blue-green hue.  I added some Chipped Sapphire Distress Crayon on the tiles at the very top of that pattern.  I then grunged it (can't help myself!) with Walnut Stain, Black Soot, and Hickory Smoke Distress Crayons.  To lighten it up, I grabbed some gesso to swipe lightly over the texture at the at the bottom.

I added the "discover beauty" remnant rub to the piece because that's what I saw in the shower tile that started this whole creative process.  (Isn't it amazing where you get inspiration?)  And then the piece was done!  With all my texture experiments, I'm definitely entering it into SSS Monday challenge this week.  What fun!  Well, thanks for coming along this crazy creative journey with me.  Hope you are having some time to create during these warm summer days as well!  Hugs to you all -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stars and Stripes All in a Row

As I mentioned earlier, I was unable to finish my Tim Holtz June 2016 tag due to some hospital hopping (very sick friends ... not for myself). Frilly and Funkie's July Challenge:  All Lined Up gave me the nudge to go back and finish that tag.  I love all things Americana.  I really wanted to do something for the June tag that would fit in with our July 4th Independence Day celebration as well.  So I had played around with some ideas about stars and stripes.

I ended up changing some of Tim's original design ideas.  First of all ... no sewing.  Yes, I have a sewing machine.  No, I do not know how to use it.  I must stop and figure it out some day.  Another change was that I used Distress Paint (Chipped Sapphire and Picket Fence) to do my stamping and coloring on the tissue wrap.  I also did not use the Distress Collage Medium.  I wanted to Distress Ink and Distress Markers to color the background.  Their water reactive properties would have just made the ink smear around under the Collage Medium.
I gotta say ... I love Tim Holtz's new Substrates (the surface that the I stamped the Blue Print Stars on and die cut out the two columns of stars.  I can see myself having lots of fun with these new surfaces.  I love texture and my ability to grunge them.  It was quite the problem solving exercise to find a way to get these stars die cut into that substrate.  After the painted stars were added to a medium brown substrate, I used Tim's #8 Tag thinlit to cut out my tag shape around the painted stars.  Now the column of stars die is part of Tim's Old Glory Die (see to the right).  The picture basically shows where these stars lie in connection to the flag on the steel die.  So the question was, " how can I use these on my tag?"  I ended up cutting my tag into two pieces.  Tim's Industrial Sticker (with the stars on it), covers the cut (see above).  I was able to do some very careful measuring and die cutting once on the painted stars face up on the die and once with painted stars face down on the die.  Whew!  I definitely worked hard to get things "all lined up" (had to put that pun in there for you F&F folks :) ).

The stripes were applied with the Stripes layering stencil using Aged Mahogany Distress Ink (per Tim's instructions on his June Tag tutorial).   This background is one of Tim's Textile Surfaces.  Love this new product as well.  I tried doing this technique on Sticky Back Canvas.  It just bled too much.  These textile finishes are great with Distress products.  

I added my ode to Stars and Stripes with chit chat stickers.  The tag topper is made of Carousel Clips and a dowel stick.  The clips were aged with alcohol ink and "rusted" using a technique revisited in Tim's Summer of Creative Chemistry.

Time to go hang this up with some of my Americana projects.  I absolutely love how it turned out ... so much better than I imagined.  Thanks Tim Holtz for continuing to inspire us to create!  Thanks to Frilly and Funkie for their monthly challenges.  I'm not sure I would have finished this tag if it hadn't been for your inspiration.  If you haven't visited the Frilly and Funkie blog or played along with their challenges, I would encourage you to do so.  Linda Coughin, from the Funkie Junkie Boutique, very generously sponsors the challenge and her Design Team is freakin' awesome.   I'm looking forward to getting back to some challenge play in  the weeks to come.  Hope to see you all at some of the other wonderful challenge blogs in the near future.

Have a great weekend!  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth