Sunday, July 15, 2018

Trying Something New

Hi all.  I've been playing around with some stamping this week and wanted to share with you the results.

This experiment started with me clearing off my crafting table from my last project.  Like everything else I do, I am a very messy crafter.  Paper, paints, stamps, dies, die cuts, inks, brushes, fibers, and all things crafty just end up everywhere and anywhere.  As I was picking everything up and sorting, I saw a clear plastic cover piece for a clear stamp set lying on top of one of my stamped tags.  The plastic cover had the images of the stamps printed on it.  It was such a neat overlay for my stamped tag.  I wondered if I could simulate that clear transparency overlay look with stamps.  I think I came up with something close to the look that I wanted.  Here is how I  made it work:

I started with a piece of Tim Holtz's Mixed Media Heavyweight Cardstock.  I used several of Tim's stamps (ok ... too many sets to remember -- you can see a Tiny Things 2 butterfly, a Fabulous Flourish, Floral Border, Floral Swirl, and I'm sure you will find others in there) and Texture - Iron Orchid Designs from Prima in Sepia and Jet Black archival ink to create my background.  I then muted all of those images by given them a wash of watered down gesso.

 Next I used Heidi Swapp's Butterfly Stencil set to create my "transparent overlay".  (This stencil was really important because it has a lot of "open space" to do my next stamping layer.  I tried this technique with other less open stencils and the end result looked really chaotic and indecipherable.  Another nice thing about this stencil set is that you get the butterfly stencil and its corresponding butterfly mask in the same package.  Cool ... right?).  I applied Ranger's Transparent Gloss Texture Paste through the butterfly stencil with one of my local hardware store's putty knifes.  The putty knife really was the tool that gave me the smoothest (but not perfect) finish.  After it completely dried, (it took awhile) I put the mask over the stenciled butterfly and inked the paper with Distress Oxide Inks (Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber, Walnut Stain).  Some of these inks were applied with a water brush and some were applied with a blending tool and then spritzed.   I used a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to create drop shadows for my butterfly.

Next came my second stamping layer on top of the dried transparent paste.  I removed the mask that I had over my stenciled butterfly and put the stencil back over it (to protect my background as I added this next layer of stamping).  To further differentiate the stamped layers, I went for stamping on the transparent butterfly in some bright colors.  The ones used here are from Ranger Inks' Archival Mini Ink Pad Kits-Kit 3 (love these mini archival inks ... perfect for when I travel).  Again, more Tim Holtz stamps (another tiny things butterfly, some stars, a Flourish stamp, the "Out of Limitation Comes Creativity" sentiment stamp, and some from his Floral Tattoo set) were used for this second layer.  I absolutely *love*❤️ 💕 💗 💖 the effect!  I think its one of my favorite stamping experiments to date.

I had a little more space on the left side of the paper, so I added some crackle paste through Tim's Numeric Layering Stencil.  I gave the crackled paste a wash of Antique Linen Distress Ink with a water brush.  I then used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to add more drop shadows.

I used Tim's Paper Distresser around the edges of the cardtock.  I backed it with a layer of Distress Stain and Inked (Rusty Hinge and Walnut Stain) recycled corrugated cardboard and a canvas board.  The canvas board was given a Distress Paint treatment (Peeled Paint, Walnut Stain, Antique Linen) then covered with Tissue Tape.  I used finger to really burnish the tissue tape so that we can still see the canvas underneath.  I even gave it a bit of sanding with sandpaper.  Then I mixed a little Walnut Stain Distress Ink with Matte Distress Collage Medium and covered all of the Tissue tape.  Tim Holtz Ideaology Corners were covered in a layer of Black Soot Distress Paint.  I sanded the edges of these metal corners and took off some of the black paint.  then I used Rust Alcohol Ink to cover the exposed metal.

I found some awesome Ideaology Chit Chat sentiments to put on my canvas board background to celebrate the way that creating this lovely winged beauty made me feel.  I gotta say, the "out of limitations comes creativity" sentiment also was perfect for this experiment as well.   On the right side, I embellished with a few Remnant Rubs, Design Tape, a Little Yellow Bicycle "happy" (so true) die cut (topped with Glossy Accents).  .  But I needed something to balance the left side.

I die cut some Distress card stock with Tim's Trellis die and sanded the edges.  I then applied Rusty Hinge Distress Ink to the sanded edges.  I added some inked Tattered Garland die cuts and flourishes from Tim's Festive Garland Strip die.  I alcohol inked some pearls and a metal bumble bee embellishment (no idea where this guy came from, but he's awesome!) for the finishing touches!

 Thanks for letting me share this creative experiment with you.  I am going to enter it in

Frilly and Funkie's "B" Happy Challenge
Craft Stamper's Take It Make It July Challenge: Inspiration
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Summer Fun! and
A Vintage Journey's Get Sentimental Challenge.

Hope you all have a great week!  Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wow! Time has flown

I cannot believe how many months I have been away from my blog.  It's amazing how many activities I can find to fill the hours when I'm feeling well.  Fortunately, crafting is still one of those things.  However, being an active member in the crafty blogiverse has had to take a backseat to a bunch of projects from work.  Sigh. Just know that I have missed you all so very much.  Well, I am back right now while I have some time over the summer.  I am looking forward to catching up on all of your amazing creations and posting a little of my work as well.  Let's get started ...

As usual, I was very inspired by our Independence Day celebration.  This week I wanted to try to create something with paper that evoked the feeling of a vintage quilt while also adding some embellishments with different textures.  I started cutting some patterned paper with Tim Holtz's Petal Drop die.  I used some red, white and blue paper from DCWV's Nantucket Stack.  I arranged the petals in a pinwheel around a central point.  The red petal drops were mounted on cardboard to give a little dimensional difference between the red and blue layers.  I used Matte Distress Collage Medium to adhere the petals to one of Tim Holtz's Destinations Ideaology papers.  

I added a sale price and merchandise embellishment Tim's Ephemera Snippets.  I then gave the entire project a topcoat of Matte Distress Collage Medium and grunged around the petals and ephemera with a Walnut Stain Distress Crayon and water brush.

To add a little texture to the piece.  I grabbed Tim's Regal Crest die and die cut the pieces out of a Diet Coke box that I was going to recycle.  Below you can see the "laurel" die cut.  I covered the bare cardboard with Deco Art One Step Crackle.   When it dried, I used a Walnut Stain Distress Marker to go over the top of the crackles and rubbed in the marker with my finger.  Wow!  The effect turned out pretty great!  I used some tiny foam dots to adhere the laurel to a couple of the petal drops.  I used Ranger's Matte Multi Medium to adhere one of Tim's large Ideaology Adornment Stars right in the middle of the "laurel" die cut.  

I took the "shield" part of the Regal Crest pieces and backed it with a thin piece of cork board for added heft.  I  brushed on some Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint.  When it dried, I covered the whole shield (painted and unpainted sections) with a watered down version of Walnut Stain Distress Stain.  It soaked into the cracks.  I wiped the excess stain mixture off of the paint.  Loved it.  I added some Walnut Stain Distress Crayon around the edges of the shield to give it a little more grunginess (of course).  For the piece-de-resistance, I colored one of Tim's Ideaology Mirrored Stars with Indigo (great color!) Alcohol Ink and used Glossy Accents to adhere it to center of my shield.  I used foam squares to mount the shield on the petal drops.

Finally, I took the "banner" piece from the Regal Crest die cuts and covered it in Range Perfect Medium.  I then coated it in Iced Enamels Relique in German Silver.  When you apply the heat tool, you get an oxidized metal look.  I used a Black Soot Distress Marker to go around the edges and add a little more "oxidization".  One of Tim's Ideology "FEARLESS" Quotations Metallic Paperie Stickers was adhered to the banner and it was ready for prime time on the project.  The project was finished off with a couple of Tim's medium Star Adornments and I called it a day!

I absolutely fell in love with the finished project!  The background paper started to curl on me a little at the end.  (I don't blame with it.  I would too if I had that much glue  on me.) I'm going to mount the whole thing on plywood and hang it in my den.  

Well that was fun!  I am going to enter my red, white and blue vintage decor piece in

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I certainly am now that I have had a moment to stop and breathe.  Hope to visit you all soon.  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holding Christmas in My Heart Throughout the Year

 I am honored to have the opportunity to be a Words 2 Craft By Guest I-Teamer.  

This month's inspiration quote is from Charles Dickens:   

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

As I thought about this quote, it hit me how much better this world would be if we held the ideas of "Peace on earth and good will toward men" throughout the entire year.  To represent this idea, I thought about creating an iconic Christmas image using some vintage monthly calendar pages that I printed from the internet.  And that is how my vintage calendar Christmas tree came to be. 

The calendar pages were distressed with Tim Holtz's Paper Distresser.  I layered them using foam squares to add dimensionality to my Christmas tree.

My vintage calendar Christmas tree ended up on a wooden plaque for my living room.  The face of the plaque was painted with a light coats of Bundled Sage, Hickory Smoke and Weathered Wood Distress Paint.  I did a light wash of Vintage Photo Stain over this painted wood (rubbing off the excess stain with a paper towel).  I added some  Black Soot Distress around the edges to accent some of the wood grain (and add some trademark grunginess to my piece).  The edges of the plaque got a generous amount of Vintage Photo Distress Stain.  I added a wash of Distress Paint over around the edges on top of the stain.

Tim Holtz's new Christmas Alphabet foam stamps (I *love* these stamps!!!) were used to stamp "christmas" at the bottom of the plaque.  I used black archival ink and did the first stamping of the word on scrap paper and then did a second stamping on the plaque to give the word a more faded, timeworn feel.  The "Merry" is a die cut from Tim's Home for the Holidays die set.  I cut it from red card stock and then used Tim's Paper Mosaic Glaze.

I used a sheet of Tim's gorgeous vintage Ideaology Christmas paper for my Christmas tree's background.   Reflections washi tape was used frame the paper on my plaque.

Some red alcohol ink, an Ideaology faceted star, and a few "pearls" created some simple ornaments for my Christmas tree.

Here is a closer photo of the completed version.

Well, I am going to have to leave you with this quick post.  I am in the middle of final exams.  I hope this post doesn't have too many typos.  Merry Christmas to you all -- Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Being Thankful -- Part II

I promised a three-post series.  Well ... that has unfortunately been compressed to a two-post series.  Life has a way of taking over my plans.  So, I am back to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving from the US with my 2nd post on being thankful. 

As I said in my previous post, I was inspired by my family.  It is my biggest blessing and I thank God for them.  The techniques and materials that I used for my "thankful" card sort of spilled over onto some Thanksgiving-themed decor pieces for our upcoming Thanksgiving get-together.  The first piece is a a decorated grapevine wreath.  I started with some grunged flowers made Tim Holtz's Tattered Pinecone die and Tattered Flower Garland strip.  I began with some mixed media paper that I stained with a mixture of Ripe Persimmon and Spiced Marmalade Distress Stain.  This was cut with the pinecone die and distressed with sandpaper and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.   The centers are just yellow cardstock cut from the tattered flower garland strip.  Tim Holtz Ideaology Gum Drops, colored with yellow and Caramel Alcohol ink, were adhered with Matte Multi Medium in the middle.  At the bottom of the wreath, these flowers were accessorized with raffia, lace, and some tattered "greenery" from the aforementioned dies.

Tim's Family Die amazingly fit right in the middle of this grapevine wreath!  I used the die to cut two thin chipboard sheets.  I then cut the Tim Holtz Woodgrain cardstock that I wanted to use.  I lined up the die cut images and glued together the three layers (the two chipboard pieces on bottom and the Woodgrain piece on top).  I trimmed the layered piece to the rectangular sign shape that I wanted in the center of my wreath.  The edges of the die cut "FAMILY" were colored with Ground Espresso Distress Marker.  I colored the woodgrain cardstock with Distress Crayons in a variety of  brown hues and Black Soot. A thin layer of Gloss Multi Medium was used to give the "wood" a varnished look.  The sign was completed with a piece of dictionary-print scrapbook paper (I can't remember who made the paper ... sorry!  It was in a remnants box that I keep.)  I used the distress marker to outline the Die Cut on the paper.  Another cardstock tattered flower was added to the top of the sign and I was finished with the sign.  I hot glued it to the back of the wreath.

The top of the wreath was adorned with more pinecone flowers, including a rose made from the same die and multi media paper stained with a mixture of Ripe Persimmon and Abandoned Coral Distress Stain.  More laces, other trimmings, pine "branches" made from mercury glass printed paper, and a chitchat "blessing" sticker were added.  I wanted a little more movement on the piece. I grabbed my wire again; this time it was swiped with Walnut Stain, Barn Door and Mustard Seed Distress Paint.

Now let's talk about the second decor piece that I made.  My mother's favorite animal is an owl.  I found a lovely wood and metal figurine at Michaels.  I knew it would make wonderful Thanksgiving piece for her kitchen.  I used the left over Tim Holtz recipe-printed paper from my card and covered the face of the owl.  This time I used Distress Crazing Collage Medium.  Love this stuff!  Of course this was grunged with sand paper and Distress Crayons in various brown hues!

I was trying to think of what to use to embellish the owl's face.  I found some vintage bottle caps for the eyes.  Sunflowers and black-eyed susans are my mom's favorite flowers.  So I used some Jolie floral embellishments colored to look like these lovely fall flowers to be the irises of the eyes.  The beak was more of a challenge.  And then I found the guitar pick in my stash.  My dad, who is no longer with us, loved to play the guitar.  I colored it with orange alcohol ink and we had a beak!  More raffia and orange twine set off the cutest pumpkin charm (that came free in an order from the Funkie Junkie Boutique last year -- Thanks Linda!) around the neck of this adorably grunged owl.

The back was covered with more Ideaology paper and stickers that spelled out my mom's initials.

Here is a final project of the entire owl.  So cute.

Well, that's it before I hit the road for Thanksgiving.  I am going to enter my decor efforts in Frilly and Funkie's Give Thanks! Challenge

I have so much to be thankful for and you, dear crafty friends, are up there at the top of my list!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Being Thankful

Hi all,

I'm back with the first of three posts.  We are quickly closing in on the Thanksgiving holiday here in the States.  For me, it's a time to get to spend time with my family.  There never seems enough time to spend with them these days.  I started with a card celebrating how thankful I am for my family and it morphed into two other projects.  So here is the piece that started it all.

I seem to being doing several collage pieces these days.  I need to replenish my Distress Collage Medium!  I began with a kraft card. I created my collage on a piece of black cardstock.  The papers are from various Tim Holtz's Ideaology paper stashes and some other pieces of scrap paper in the same vintage "brown" color scheme.  The star of the show is a paper from Tim's Seasonal stash that has all sorts of Thanksgiving recipes on it.  Our family get-togethers revolve around really good food.  So I thought this was extremely appropriate for this card.  Again, Matte Distress Collage Medium was used to adhere the paper and apply a top coat (to prime the paper for use of a Black Soot Distress Crayon around the seams)

Sorry for the sad photo of this card. It was a bit "front heavy" by the time I finished it and it got a bit of a bend to it when a I stood it vertically for a quick pic.  I should have photographed it flat ... hindsight is 20/20.  Here is why it was so "front heavy".  I decided to play with Tim's Distress Woodgrain cardstock.  I die cut it and and a piece of chipboard using Tim's Pumpkin Jack die.  I cut the woodgrain diecut into strips (like slats of wood).   These strips were colored with Rusty Hinge, Carved Pumpkin, Spiced Marmalade, Walnut Stain and Ground Espresso Distress Crayons (using a waterbrush to spread the layers of color).  Then I distressed the edges of the strips of woodgrain paper with sandpaper.  I adhered the strips of paper to the my chipboard pumpikin die cut and distressed the edges of the entire  pumpkin with sandpaper.  Now, I grabbed my Ground Espresso Distress Marker and went over the sanded edges.  Love the distressed wood look!!  I added a few Ideaology Tiny Attachers in spots to look like the  wood slats had been nailed or screwed to a backing board.  Brown Alcohol ink was used to make it look like the screws had rusted.  The stem of the pumpkin was given a similar treatment. 

The pumpkin was adhered to the collaged background with Ranger Matte Multi Medium.  Some foam squares, gave the stem some support.  I embellished the pumpkin with a Little Yellow Bicycle wood leaf (stained with Peeled Paint Distress Stain, d1istressed with sandpaper and edged with Walnut Stain Distress Marker ) and some brown wire that wound around a pencil and swiped with Peeled Paint Distress Paint.

A simple  "thankful" chitchat sticker, backed on a small black cardstock rectangle, was mounted on the pumpkin with foam squares.  And I called it a day!

This week I'm playing along with 

Let's Craft and Create Challenge #131 - ANYTHING GOES + option FALL COLOURS/THANKFUL
Simon Says Stamp Thanks/Thanksgiving Challenge
Frilly and Funkie's Timeworn Challenge
Words 2 Craft By Abundance Challenge 

Well, I will be back soon with some home decor pieces that were inspired by this card.  Have a great weekend!  Mary Elizabeth


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall Textures

I love fall.  I created a tag to try to capture just a fraction of the beautiful colors and textures of this wonderful season.

The background of my tag is a #12 Ranger Manila Tag.  This was colored with Frayed Burlap and Tarnished Brass Distress Stain spritzed with water to spread the color.  Ground Espresso Distress Ink was used to go around the edges of the tag and  filigree metal corner stickers were added to give the background more of a frame.


I had the pleasure of catching up with our favorite crafting butterfly, Alison Bomber, in New York this summer.  As you can imagine, our conversation turned to inks, paints, and paper.  At the time, I did not have a great deal of time to keep up with all the new techniques and tools.   Alison was playing with Distress Oxide Inks.  I asked her what she thought was so special about them.  Although they are amazing in their own new properties, Alison said that she thought they would show how incredible they are when we start integrating them with other Distress products.  So ... that is what I used to get the gorgeous fall colors on the next layer of my tag. 

I began with applying Spiced Marmalade, Wild Honey, and Seedless Preserves Distress Oxide Ink on a craft sheet.  I spritzed it with water and started dipping my heavy mixed media paper into it in layers (spritzing and drying in between layers). You can see the Scrap Time video where Tim does this technique at Creativation.    Next I blended some regular Wild Honey Distress Ink over the entire Distress Oxide creation. (I wish I had thought to take pics at each stage!)  I spritzed that with water and dried it with a heat tool.  The edges were then inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

I added some script stamping in Ground Espresso Archival Ink.  I thought I might add more imagery with additional stamping, but remembered that I had some of Tim Holtz's Vellum Ephemera (I think from the Thrift Shop pack).  The vellum pieces were adhered to my inked panel with Matte Distress Collage Medium.  I wasn't sure what would happen if I added a coat of Distress Collage Medium over the entire panel, but I said "what the heck" and experimented.  Wow!  It really brought out the incredible color.  So gorgeous!!!!

My next layer was a kraft paper doily that I think I found at Hobby Lobby.  I gave it a thick coat of Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  When the crackle was dry, I inked it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink (on a blending foam) and then Spritzed it with water.  The color seeped into the cracks!  Really lovely.  I adore what it looks like in the sun!  Another Filigree metal sticker went on top the doily.   It gave it added some additional color with a Spiced Marmalade Distress Crayon.  Yellow and orange alcohol ink gave autumnal hues to one of Tim's Ideaology roses as well.  That went on top of the filigree metal embellishment.

 My final layer is a natural canvas tag that I got at Michaels.  I stamped Tim's Mini Blueprint Pumpkin on it in Coffee archival ink.  I colored it with Distress Crayons and a water brush. Some fall vines were stamped around the edges.  The edges of the fabric tag were grunged with some Old Paper Distress Stain.  The tag was embellished with a jute bow (held to the tag with an alcohol-inked Halloween fastener), some fall-colored trim, and one of Tim's word bands (alcohol-inked and Black Soot Distress Crayon used on the word "REMNANTS").

 Before I assembled all the layers of my tag, I attached a burlap ribbon. Tim's Tattered Leaves, die cut from mixed media paper, were covered in Wendy Vecchi Crackle Paste and spritzed with Ground Expresso and Black Soot Distress Stain Sprays.   The color was diluted with water and left to dry.   The leaves were adhered with Matte Multi Medium.  Finally all of my layers were assembled and more trimmings were used a tag tie.

 I am entering this in

A Vintage Journey's: Crazy for Autumn Color Challenge
Country View Challenges: Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues
Words 2 Craft By: Autumn Challenge
Let's Craft and Create Anything Goes with Witchy/Autumn Colors Challenge 

I thought I had better get this homage to fall posted soon.  We had our first snow flurries flying today.  Brr ... winter's chill is here.  Warm wishes to you all! -- Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Happy Halloween

Will wonders never cease?  Two posts in two days!  I'm back for just a quick Halloween tag post.  I have several Halloween stamps that I rarely get a chance to use.  I had a blast stamping and coloring.

I started with a Tim Holtz Distress Mixed Media Heavystock tag.  Oh ... I love this surface!!!  It works so well Distress products.  I began by stamping the Jack-o-lantern, vines, leaves and bat with black archival ink.  I used Distress markers to color each. and Coffee archival ink to stamp the text script in various places around the tag.

Then it was off to coloring the background.  I used various Distress Ink browns applied with an ink blending foam.  I spritzed the background with water. 

I finally added some Halloween Remnant Rubs, a "haunted" text sticker (outlined with an archival pen), some Halloween bat washi tape and jeweled brad. 

I am going to enter this in Frilly and Funkie's 'Tis Near Halloween Challenge.  Thanks for dropping by.  Hope you have a chance to get your hands inky this week.

Mary Elizabeth