Monday, February 3, 2020

For a great friend!

Hi all!  I am running out of time this morning and I have to go to work.  I am going to put up a card that I made over the weekend.  No commentary.  Just pictures.  Hope you got inky this weekend as well!  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Spreading Some Sunshine

Over the last year, my Mom kept me going.  She travelled with me to see doctors in NY three times and nursed me through two surgeries.   To say thanks, I wanted to create her something special.  Mom's kitchen is sunny yellow and blue.  It's decorated with sunflowers, my mom's favorite flowers.  Recently, I went junkin' in my Dad's old workbench.  My family was trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away.  I found tons of rusty goodness.   One of the things that I found was my grandmother's coal shovel.  Instead of ending up in the metal scrap pile to be recycled, I knew I wanted to do something special with it.  I still remember the warmth of that coal stove in my grandmother's kitchen.  It was the feeling of love and home.

After brushing off all the dirt and giving the shovel a matte clear coat of spray acrylic paint,  I decided to create a wall hanging for my mother's kitchen.  It had to have some sunny sunflowers and   a blue and white checked ribbon.  As I rummaged through my craft supplies, I found Tim Holtz's Rosette dies.  I used decided to use it to create my sunflowers.  There are three different patterns.  I created the a small sunflower for the coal shovel handle from the diamond cutout rosette.  I used some printed yellow printed paper for the petals.  I colored it with Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Ink and grunged the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Walnut Stain was used to ink one of the die cut rosette centers.  Then I covered it with these really incredible light gold translucent sequins that I found in my stash.  I adhered them with Ranger Glossy Accents.   Wow!  They really catch the light.

I created a larger sunflower by making two of the diamond cutout rosette and taping them end-to-end.  I chose another rosette die with teardrop cutouts to make the second layer of "petals" out of printed paper.  I used Walnut Stain and Ground Espresso Distess Ink on a patterned grunged board circle for the large sunflower's center.  Some of Tim's grunge board Flourishes, painted with Peeled Paint Distress Paint, we added to the large sunflower in lieu of leaves.   I added some Peeled Paint Distress Stickles (you can't really see them in these pictures) to give a little more sparkle.

A hot glue gun was used to adhere the sunflowers to the shovel.

The rustic look of this project needed some jute twine to go along with my blue gingham bow.  So cute.

 As I stood back and looked at the project, I felt like it needed one more pop of sparkle and blue.   My mom loves butterflies (yes, there are butterflies in the kitchen too).  I used one of Tim Holtz's Detailed Butterflies dies to do just that.  The background is Distress Ink-ed card stock.  The detailed overlay is black card stock.  The sparkle comes from Deco Art Perfect Crackle.  I added some dots with a white Sharpie Oil-based paint pen.

Perfect.  This added a bit of sunshine to my mom's life after a pretty tough year.   Thanks Mom!  You are the best!!!! I love you.

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:

The Funkie Junkie Boutique "Repeat Performance" Challenge
Simon Says Stamps Monday Challenge -- "Home Decor"

I am so glad you joined me on this special creative journey.  -- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, January 23, 2020

2020 -- Celebrating a New Start

It has been over a year since I posted something on my blog.  I am so excited to be back.  It has been quite a challenging year.  I had two major neurosurgeries in NY in 2019, one in May and one in December.  I had to work the surgeries into breaks between university semesters since I used up my medical leave during my 2012 and 2014 neurosurgeries.  So 2019 took quite the toll on me physically, emotionally, financially, and all the "-ly"s that go along with dealing with pain, major surgeries, and perseverance through crises.

Fortunately the surgeries went well and I do feel better.  I'll talk more about that later this year.  To celebrate an optimistic beginning of 2020, I resolved to make time for creativity and sharing in this wonderfully crafty community.  I've missed you all!

To collect some of my 2020 creative treasures, I decided to augment one of Tim Holtz's Idea-ology Small Collection Folios.  Oh ... this was so much fun!

I needed a background for the front of my folio.  I started with a 12 by 12 "newsprint" piece of scrapbook paper.  To mute the print a little, I gave the paper a "wash" with watered down Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I cut out some small domino cards from one of Tim's paper stashes and adhered them to the scrapbook paper with Distress Collage Medium.  The whole piece got another light wash of Distress Paint.  After that dried, I added some Idea-ology Remnant Rubs.   I was really happy with the background and so I finished it off with a coat of Distress Collage Medium.  I grunged the edges of the paper and the edges of the domino cards with Black Soot Distress Crayon.

The front of the folio is smaller than this 12 by 12 piece of paper, so I cut the background paper down to fit.  I didn't want this paper to go to the top and bottom edges of the front cover.  I wanted a little color to relieve the neutral background of the print paper.  So I used Broken China Distress Paint to over the top and bottom inch of the folio front.  I adhered my collaged print paper background so that just a sliver of this blue paint showed at the top and bottom edges.  I grunged that top and bottom edges with sand paper and Walnut Stain Distress Crayon.

I accessorized the front folio panel went some Idea-ology Grunge Board 2020 numerals from my stash.  They were painted with Candied Apple Distress Paint then grunged with sandpaper and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I added some Idea-ology Mini Attachers to make it look like the numbers were screwed into the front folio panel.  Other embellishments on the from panel included Idea-ology Snippets, an Idea-ology Journaling Ticket stamped with Tim Holtz's "Live the Life You've Imagined" sentiment stamp, and some of Tim's Designed Tape. The closing flap was collaged with some Graphic 45 Craft  paper roll.

The back panel of the folio was given a similar treatment.  I used a piece of Tim Holtz's paper stash and gave it a wash of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I used several of Tim's stamps (from a variety of collections) to stamp this paper.  I used Ranger Jet Black and Sepia Archival Ink, as well as Ground Espresso Distress Archival Ink to stamp these images.  The fold bindings of the outside fo the folio were covered with some of Tim's cigar wrapper Design Tape.  The top and bottom edges of the back panel have some Tim's Halloween periodic table Design Tape (I love this stuff!).

Now on to the interior of the folio ...

There are two flaps that enclose your creative genius in this folio.  I covered both with more of the black and cream Graphic 45 Craft Paper roll.  This paper is two-sided, so on the reverse side of these flaps, I put some of the dictionary print that was on the reverse side of the Graph 45 Craft Paper roll.  It made my heart swell to see some geometry terms in the definitions!

The majority of the folio's interior was collaged with Tim Holtz Idea-ology Documented Collage Paper.  I gave the interior a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I splattered with some Frayed Burlap Distress Paint.  Then on with the collage paper.  Here is here you can see that I have turned over a new crafting leaf.  I'm usually very hard on myself when things don't turn out exactly the way I want them to be.  If you look in the image below, you will see where I tore a hole in the Collage Paper as I was applying it over the collage medium.  Instead of ripping it off and using a new section of collage paper, I just left the hole and grunged it with Walnut Stain Distress Crayons.  It definitely goes with vintage vibe I was going for with this folio.  I also recycled some of the remnants from my 12 by 12 background used on the from cover of the folio.  If you look at the bottom, you will see a black ink smudge next the "explore life" remnant rub.  I had a bit of mishap as I was putting the lid on some archival ink one-handed.  The pad flipped and dropped on my project.  I could have collaged over it; but once again, I embraced the imperfection.  It was a rather big smudge and almost too dark in its entirety for this interior.  So I covered the middle of the splotch with a Idea-ology Snippet and life was good!

Once I got the hang of handling the Collage Paper, the rest of the interior was a breeze.  It's such a great product for large surfaces.  I painted the "waterfall" folders  with Antique Linen and Candied Apple Distress Paint.  Of course they were grunged with sand paper and Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

I added a reminder to myself in the folder the this is just the beginning of a year of creative possibilities.  I put in a card that I inked with a variety of Distress Inks and spritzed with water.  I added one of Tim's Quote Chips that reminds me to create and "Collect Beautiful Moments" in this folio!

And so this Journey is TO BE CONTINUED ...

I would like to enter my 2020 Folio into following challenge:

A Vintage Journey's "We're All Getting Older!" January Challenge

 I hope to stop by and visit with you all soon.  I'm back at school and the semester is ramping up.  Happy 2020 to you all!  -- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Two for the Price of One -- Alcohol Lift-Ink!

Oh I have been waiting to try this all summer!!   I am so excited to experiment with Tim Holtz's Alcohol Lift-Ink.  If you are interested in playing with this ink yourself, check on out Tim's Alcohol Lift Ink and Yupo YouTube video.  Such a great resource for making backgrounds, understanding properties of the alcohol lift-ink, and how it reacts with different paper.  While experimenting with these new products,  I used some Avery Removable ID Labels and my take on Jennifer McGuire's Framed Stamping technique to create a stamped collage (Check out Jennifer's blogpost and video here to see how you can make amazing one-layer cards!) .  I created a couple of cards for some friends who just returned from their first cruise.  Ooooooo!  So much crafty fun!

I used Tim's Stamp Platform to make both stamped versions of the card.  Wow!  It really makes duplicate stamping a breeze.   The alcohol ink background version is on Yupo Cardstock.  I really like this paper better than just the regular Yupo paper.  I found that regular paper rolled up or bowed up on me at times.  The Distress Ink and Distress Marker colored background is on watercolor paper.

So ... in my first attempt at a stamped collage with alcohol lift-ink, I really thought the alcohol ink background was a little too light.  So, for this version, I went for a darker one.  Some of my alcohol ink was a little too thick in places.  For example, when I lifted the cruise ship off in the bottom right-hand corner, I had some alcohol ink remnants where the ink sort of puddled.  I actually like it.  As Tim says ... embrace your imperfections.  It really gave the ship hull more of a grungy look.  Cool.  

I didn't do a step by step on this version.  I just keep forgetting when I get caught up in creating something new.  Anyway, you can see my first efforts at a stamped collage below and see the lighter version of the alcohol ink background.  You can also see the mask that I made with the Avery Removable ID Label. I also included a picture of my finished collage.

At the same time that I lifted the alcohol ink off of the alcohol ink background, I stamped it on the watercolor paper.  After I finished the stamping, I used Distress Ink and Distress Markers to color the background images (making them sort of fade away).  Tim's Time Traveler was colored with Distress Markers and a waterbrush.  The cabin class stateroom and cruise ship stamped images were colored with Distress Markers and outlined with a Ground Espresso Distress Marker to really bring those images to the foreground.

I embellished both cards with some of Tim's Ideaology stickers and tape.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I can't wait to keep playing with these products.  Seriously, they seem to just unleash your creativity. 

I think these cards are a perfect way to celebrate Stamptember!  I am entering them in Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge -- Stamp It On.  Hope you are stamping your way through the month as well :).

Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Birthday Wishes for a Nephew

Hi all!  I am back with a quick birthday tag for one of my nephews.  I must confess that I am late with his birthday present.  Sigh...  Hopefully, he will like the tag enough to forgive me for the belated gift. 

I started with a manila tag that I colored with Vintage Photo Distress Oxide Ink (applied with a blending tool).  I spritzed the background tag with water to give it that great bleached look.  I added some Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the edges.  My nephew is going back to school and so I thought I would use some of Tim Holtz's School Desk stamps for this tag.  You can see some of the great columns of numbers on the background tag (stamped with Coffee Archival Ink) and the alphabet stamp (stamped with Back Soot Archival Ink) used on the bow tie embellishment (Tim Holtz Bow Tied Sizzlet on Distress Cardstock edged with Black Soot Distress Ink). 

On top of the background tag, I layered one of Tim's Salvaged Baseboards with one of his Frame Baseboards.  In the frame, I put some printed scrapbook paper that I stamped the word "celebrate" and embellished with a small star and a couple of buttons.  I wanted it to look like a vintage print shirt with the bow tie on top.   I added my nephew's initial (grunged Tim Holtz letter ... sorry can't remember exactly what these letters were called) to the frame.

Some of Tim's Ideaology Design Tape (from the Travel set, Elementary set, and Dapper set) can be found on the frame and background image.  The final embellishment is Tim's "moments" die cut (from his Handwritten Journey thinlits set).  I die cut it on black cardstock and coated it with Glossy Accents.

 I used a "leather" cord tag tie to finish the tag and now I can mail off my nephew's birthday present this week.  Whew! 

I am entering this in

Allsorts Challenge Blog From Boys to Men Challenge
Love to Scrap Old School Challenge

This was so much fun to make.  Hope you are finding joy in crafting this week as well. -- Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Christmas in July

This is one of those projects that sort of took on a life of its own.  I was thinking, "Hey, I should make a Christmas card for Simon Says Stamp Monday Christmas in July Blog Hop Challenge", and I ended up with a Christmas canvas.   Hmmmmmmmm.  Ever had one of those kinds of projects?

The SSS DT featured Tim Holtz products in their projects.  Of course, that was right down my alley.  I will tell you in advance that there are several pictures.  Some of the pictures were taken outside in the sunshine and some inside my house (due to the fact that the metal parts of my canvas reflected in the sunshine and left me with less-than-desirable outdoor images).  So here is my Christmas in July canvas using Tim Holtz products.

I started with a canvas board.   I gave it a coat of gesso.  Then I grabbed my Ranger Texture Paste.  It was almost dried up.  I had to rehydrate it with some water.  I ended up having to get a new canister anyway to cover the entire board.  I wanted more texture, so I grabbed some Wendy Vecchi Crackle Texture Paste and applied it around the edges.  Once this was all dry, I applied a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  I gave everything a wash of watered-down Frayed Burlap Distress Stain.   I then gave the background a coat of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Now I grabbed my Walnut Stain and Frayed Burlap Distress Crayons to get in all those lovely nooks and crannies.  Oh the grungy goodness!

Oh, before I forget, while the Texture Paste was still wet, I used a Tim Holtz Laurel 3D Impresslits die cut to make an impression at the top right corner of the background.  I knew I was going to use some of these Laurel die cuts to embellish this canvas and wanted to see if I could use one in a different way.  Not bad!

Let's talk about embellishments.  I used a Black Soot and Rusty Hinge Distress Ink and blending tool to color a Distress Mixed Media Heavy Cardstock tag.  I used a piece of Tim's Ideaology paper to stamp the wreath and "Merry Christmas" (from Tim's Mini Holiday 5 stamp set).  I used Peeled Paint Distress Ink for the wreath and Aged Mahogany Distress Ink for the Merry Christmas (embossed with clear embossing powder and a gold glitter pen was used to create a drop shadow).  This was edged with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. I colored a Joyful Christmas Muse Token with Rusty Hinge and Salty Ocean Distress Paint and Latte Alcohol Ink.  I tied it with a bit of grunge twine.  Layered on top of this tag a piece of stripe printed paper (that I stamped with various stamps in brown inks and edged with a bit of lace) and a copy of "Joy to the World" from Tim's paper stash.  This layer was raised a bit with some foam adhesive squares.  A distressed paper doily and an ephemera advertisement from Tim's paper stash peek out from under this layer.

As for the two 3D Laurel die cuts, I cut them out of gold foil cardstock.  I colored them with Latte, Caramel, Ginger and Rust alcohol inks.  Then I used Black Soot, Rusty Hinge and Salty Ocean Distress Paints (spritzed with some water) and dried with a heat tool to create the rusty patina finish on the die cuts.  I used the same treatment on the key hole and keys on the canvas.

I added several Tim Holtz die cuts.  In the pic of the key above you will find holly (from Tim's Holiday Greens Thinlits set) that I adhered to the background, covered with a thin layer of texture paste and Matte Collage Medium, and colored with Walnut Stain and Peeled Paint Distress Crayons.  these lovely leaves were highlighted with a little DecoArt Orange Flicker Metallic Lustre.   In the picture below you will find more holly die cuts (from Tim's Mixed Media Christmas Thinlits set).  This time I colored the leaves with Peeled Paint Distress Paint and Walnut Stain Distress Crayons and sanded the edges.  I then colored the stems with Walnut Stain Distress Crayons.  Just the leaves and stems were given a layer of Matte Collage Medium and splattered with Antique Linen Distress Paint.   The berries were colored with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and a water brush.  I covered the berries with glossy accents.  Love them!

One of my favorite parts of this canvas are the roses.  I used Tim's pine cone die to make these.  (see a YouTube video on how to use this die to make roses and other flowers) This why I love Tim Holtz products.  They are so versatile! All you have to do is follow the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Christmas in July Blog Hop to see how versatile they are.  A shout out to the amazingly creative DT team there.  They are true artists.  His products really fit my grungy aesthetic. And ... if you follow Tim's demo videos (he has several on his Tim Holtz YouTube channel), his products work as advertised.  Not all crafting products are like that.

Anyway, back to the roses.  I die cut the roses from Distress Mixed Media Heavy Cardstock.  I then used one of Tim's new products, Distress Resist Spray, and spritzed on the die cut and let it dry.  I then applied Aged Mahogany and Walnut Stain Distress Ink on the die cut with a blending tool.  I misted this with a little water to activate the ink.  Next I used dry paper towel and wiped off the excess ink off of the Resist area.  I sanded to "petal edges" and assembled the die cut as directed for a rose nd voila ... it looks like a snow covered rose!

That's it for now.  Thanks for dropping by.  Maybe I'll get into the craft room today and actually make that Christmas card!  Hope you get your hands inky too.

Hugs to you all.

Mary Elizabeth