Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treating with Tim ... Holtz 12 Tags of 2016 -- October

My apologies for a short post.  I'm just going to get this in under the wire.  Here is my take on Tim Holtz's October tag for 2016.  Tim is doing a remix of various techniques from previous years tags.  This month it is the mash up of Patchwork Collage and Sizzix Monster.  I was so excited to do this tag.  I didn't get to do the original collage tag and my Frankenstein Sizzix Monster die is absolutely one of favorites.  My take on this month's tag is nothing near the amazing tag that Tim did.  Please check out his tag here and the great step-by-step tutorial that he has on his blog. 

I'm going to leave you with some close ups of my tag.  No details tonight.

 Happy Halloween! -- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dia de Muertos

I was overjoyed to be chosen as one of the 12 Tags of 2016 winners on Tim Holtz's blog.  I was absolutely over the moon when I got my prize!  It contained Tim's Day of the Dead #1 Stamps!!  These stamps were at the top of my "I want those!" list.  Although I have a million and one things going on in my life right now, I just had to stop and create a project that highlighted these amazing stamps.

I started with a 7 Gypsies Triptych that I had in my stash.  I covered the three panels with some printed paper from Tim's Idea-ology Materialize paper pad.  I added some extra detail to the left and right panels by stamping with one of Tim's great flourish stamps.  After I had colored my focal skeletal figures, I realized that those panels needed a little more black.  I grabbed some Gothic Remnant Rubs and randomly applied bits and pieces in "blank" spots around the flourish until I felt like I had enough black.   I used a great tip from Paula Cheney to "get rid of" the faint outlines that you can see on remnant rubs after you have applied them to a project.  I gave the panels a light coat of Distress Collage Medium (matte).  The stamped flourish and remnant rubs all have the same level of black luster on now.  Finally, the panels were embellished with Idea-ology tape, decorative ribbon, Carved Pumpkin Distress Stained flowers, and some Tattered Flower Garland die cut flowers.

I absolutely love these Tim Holtz hinges.  I added some Black Soot Distress Marker around the edges to look like they were tarnishing.

And now for the stars of this show.  I stamped each of my Day of the Dead images about three times on Glossy Cardstock.  For the suave señor above, I fussy cut the entire image out.  On one of the duplicate stamped images, I fussy cut the brim of the hat and the roses on the right side of the stamped image.  On a third copy of the stamped image, I cut out the just the skull.  I colored them with Distress Crayons and a Fine Tip Water Brush.  Wow!!!!  Love the vibrant colors.  I scribbled all of my crayons on my craft mat and used my water brush to add layers of color onto the stamped images.  When I finished coloring (oh ... I could seriously color these stamped images for hours), I layered all my pieces together using foam squares.  This gave me more of a 3-dimensional image.  For the long-stemmed rose in my Senor's teeth, I added some lime green wire for the stem.

I did the same treatment for the lovely Señorita (or señora) above.  Don't you love her trendy purple-streaked hair?  The layers I fussy cut for her were the garland of flowers at the bottom, her hands, the heart, and her skull. When you put them all together with foam squares, the effect is just too cool!!!

Last but now least is my Day of the Dead sign.  Once again, I used some of Tim's Halloween paper.  I used an On the Edge Bracket die to scallop the top and bottom of the sign.  A Black Soot Distress Marker along with Tarnished Silver and Seedless Preserves Distress Paints were used to age the edges.  The Dia de Muertos letters came from Tim's Sign Maker Alpha Parts.  I painted them with Seedless Preserves and Ripe Persimmon Distress Paint.  The painted letters were given a little "distress love" with a towel while the  paint was still tacky. After the letters were applied to the sign, I used a silver pen to add some "drop shadows". Some of Tim's Tattered Flower Garland flowers were layered (and edged with silver pen) to give the sign a focal point.  I added some Crypt Cameos from Tim Holtz's amazing Halloween line and the sign was complete.

I'm going to enter my Dia de Muertos triptych in

Emerald Creek Dares: Falling Into Celebration  for my Day of the Dead celebration piece
Country View Challenges: All Things Spooky
A Vintage Journey's Make It Spooky Challenge
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Frilly and Funkie's:  A Very Vintage Halloween Challenge
Anything But Cute Challenge:  An Autumn Day

Thanks for dropping by.   I hope you've found a fall season crafting muse as well!  Now if I can only get my work done :)  -- Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tales of Poirot -- Guest Design Team Piece for Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog!

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be this week's Guest Designer over at The Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog.  I nearly fell over when the lovely Linda Coughlin (the funkie junkie) asked me to design a project for this month's challenge.  What an honor.  Thanks Linda!!

I was truly inspired by Suzz's Author, Author Challenge.    Suzz said,

I have a great love for reading and was a permanent fixture at the library growing up. I decided it would be fun to host a challenge inspired by books.
There are so many wonderful books that inspire the mind to imagine the worlds created within them. Think fairy tales, mysteries, romances or even science fiction and use that to inspire your art. Your challenge it so create a shabby chic or vintage styled project inspired by a book. Provide an explanation of how the book and author inspired your project.

I was so inspired that I chose and entire series of books!  I absolutely love Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot Books.  I started reading them a few years ago and just couldn't stop :)  Dame Christie first introduced us to Monsieur Hercule Poirot in 1920 through the pages of The Mysterious Affair at Styles and bid him adieu in her 1975 Curtain.  Although Agatha Christie was not always fond of him (referring to Poirot as "a detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep"), much of the world loved him.  He even had his obituary published on the front page of the New York Times.  

My project is dedicated to the many tales of Hercule Poirot is a Paper Mache Book Box.  To go along with the 1920's introduction to Poirot, I decided to give my book cover an Art Deco feel.  I painted the cover in a semi gloss black paint.  The spine is decorated with Tim Holtz's Gilded Accent Remnant Rubs.  I just love how they sparkle on the black background.  I stamped Agatha Christie's initials with some Hampton Art alphabet stamps and gold embossed them.

Unfortunately, the cover of my paper mache book started to crack while I was working on it.  I taped reinforced it with some of Tim Holtz's Gothic Tissue Tape.  The front cover is decorated with more remnant rubs and a great Art Deco shape stamp (in the upper and lower corners) by Inkadinkado.  I filled in the shapes with Glossy Accents to really make the black pop.  I've got to say ... I really love the title of my book.  I used some of Tim's Deco Type Industrious Stickers as a mask and pounced over them with Gold Alcohol Ink Mixative applied with a Alcohol Ink Applicator.  I then removed the stickers and filled in the letters with Glossy Accents.

I wanted to make this box look like a real book, so I grabbed some Tarnished Brass Distress Paint to create my gold "page edges".  I used a stiff-bristled paint brush to drag through the paint to make it look like I have several pages in my book.  I added more tissue tape to create a decorative background for my inside front and back "covers". The tissue tape was given a light coat of Tim Holtz Distress Vintage Collage Medium.   

What really inspired me to do this project was Tim Holtz's Evolution Stamp Set.  Every time I saw this profile stamp, it reminded me of Hercule Poirot!  So this stamp graces the inside front cover of my Book Box.

I began with a piece of Glossy Paper and created a stamp collage background with images related to Poirot stories (images related to England, France, tea cups, trains, 1920's females, etc).  The background images were stamped in Tea Dye Distress Ink.  To give the white paper a more vintage look, I went over the background images with Antique Linen Distress Ink and an Ink Blending Tool.  I also added an "evidence" remnant rub to the background.

I tried stamping the Evolution image on the paper in various archival inks and it just did not look right.  I then used Walnut Stain Distress Ink and it turned out amazing!  It gave the stamped collage an amazing vintage feel.  Some of the Tea Dye stamped images came through the Walnut Stain ink.  I was not expecting that!  In fact that, "bleed through" effect was much more pronounced until I glued the Glossy Paper onto my inside front cover (with Distress Matte Collage Medium).  The moisture in the glue may have caused the water-reactive distress inks to mix more after it was glued into the book. Anyway, I love my "Poirot" image.  It turned out so much better than I expected it would.

Of course, to pay homage to the author, I cut out her signature off of one my paperback bookcovers.  I also added one of Tim Holtz's Mover and Shapers typewriter die cuts.  It was painted with the black semi-gloss paint and I added silver accents with gel pen.  The typewriter keys were given a coat of Glossy Accents.  I stamped the word Murder with Martha Stewart's Your Own Stamp Set Alphabet stamps and added it to my typewriter.  I also die cut a pen (from Sizzix's Sewing and Writing Set) out of chipboard.  The handle was painted black and covered in Glossy Accents  The nib was covered in Perfect Medium and gold embossed.  To create my "blood" on this writer's murder weapon, I mixed Glossy Accents with Barn Door Distress Stain

As for the interior of my box, I really added several details from some of my favorite Poirot books.  I used foam squares and foam blocks to put pieces at different levels. 

The background is a collage of various Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash papers.  You can see an advertisement for a Cairo hotel (Death on the Nile).  Also I have the blueprint from a train's dining car (Murder on the Orient Express).  I stamped one of Tim's trains on Glossy Paper and colored it with Distress Markers (Fired Brick, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain, and Mustard Seed).  From The Mysterious Affair at Styles, I have some added a tea cup and some "poison" glitter in one of Tim's Corked Vials.  To make sure we know it is poison, I added a Poison remnant rub to the vial. 

Poirot is often called "the little Frenchman" by people that he meets; however, he was not from France.  He actually had flee Belgium during the war.  He was a Belgium Policeman.  I created my own version of a Belgium Police Shield with a Sizzix die, paint, Distress Markers, Glossy Accents and some gold embossing powder.  The British flag makes an appearance for Poirot's adopted home.  You will notice a lost button in the middle of the flag (a clue from Murder on the Orient Express).

Although many of Poirot's cases take place abroad, he does not travel well.  He gets a bit air sick in Death in the Clouds.  I added a plane and some layered clouds from Tim's Mini Airplane & Cloud Movers and Shapers dies.  Here you can see several words I associate with Monsieur Poirot ("little gray cells", "mon ami Hastings" for his friend Arthur Hastings, "mystery", and "method").  I used a Black Soot Distress Crayon to highlight these words and some of my other images in the collage background.

Thanks again Linda for inviting me to be a guest designer this week.  If you get a chance, drop by Linda's store, The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  I just got some new Distress Crayons to play with from there!  I can't wait to break them in!

Thanks for dropping by!  Mary Elizabeth