Thursday, May 19, 2022

Enjoy Today

Hey, again! Wow, two posts within a week! I saw the challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog is Reuse and Upcycle, and that's my thing! And Simon Says Stamp encourages us to use texture on our makes, so I have that going on, too on the card I made for my Mom's birthday.

I save every little scrap I make, even after I've die cut from it or if it's a sample I've made to try out different mediums and substrates. A couple months ago, I purged boxes of it, but I have a little saved in one little shoe box.

My mom loves purple, so I pulled all the purple things out of my bits box which wasn't much, but I found a nice mis-stamped panel which I trimmed down and some dyed tissue paper scraps and a small card that I had mopped up some blue/green/yellow inks with. I have a drawer full of white/neutral scraps that I always dip into my leftover ink puddles. I have a little box of die cut and stamped butterflies that I raided and found the crinoline butterfly and a butterfly cut from clear waste packaging.

The butterfly is colored with Perfect Pearls over matte medium and wrapped with an old spring. The threads were on my worktop from dyed Mummy Cloth from my last project. I started to throw them out when I was cleaning up, but decided at the last minute they may come in handy.

The only 'new' thing on my card is the Metallic Quote. I was really pleased to see the perfectly placed word Celebrate on the poorly stamped purple background panel--serendipity! I just blended the trimmed stamped panel with Salvaged Patina ink.

This card took no time at all, and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out considering it was made  almost 100% with stuff that would have gone into the trash (if you weren't me).

I'm sharing with these challenges:


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

"Collect" -- A Mixed Media Tag


Hello friends and visitors! I haven't had much time to play with my crafty goodies for quite some time, but I saw the challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog was 'Sunday in the Park' this time around, and last night an idea popped into my head. So I spent a little bit of time in the Closet after work today and put those ideas into my over sized tag. Please enjoy lots of closeups with a few captions. At the end of my post I've provided a few step out photos of my process in creating the background for my favorite pair of Tim Holtz' Paper Dolls Portraits. You can click on any photo to enlarge.

First let me explain the connection to Sunday in the Park. When my kiddos were little we would take a patchwork quilt my Mom made for me when I was a teenager to the park or sometimes just out in the back or front yard and have a picnic. I still have the quilt, and it is made of scraps from all different clothes I had growing up. I would point to each patch and tell a story about it to my children.  These two remind me of my own children, yet they are a little too well dressed for a picnic in the backyard, don't you think?

I tried to make my background look like a patchwork quilt and used ephemera from several Tim Holtz packs including Field Notes. So fitting, because while we were picnic-ing, we would search for wildflowers, bugs and anything else we could find. The all time highlight of our adventures was watching a butterfly emerge from it's cocoon.

I have a couple repeat photos, because some are taken in my Closet, while others are in the natural light of my dining room. I prefer the natural light; how about you? Check out the Abandoned Paper Stash scraps that offer some contrast.

It was not an accident that the fly ephemera's words lined up with the Collect ticket. We should always strive to collect knowledge in general. 

I love the crazing on this!  Simon Says Stamps says to add texture, and so chose to add crazing--tiny cracks. 

(This bug ephemera reminds me of a school project when my kids had to find 100 different insects and display them on a board with their real name and any interesting facts. We had to collect 200 bugs since both of my kids were in the same class. Our freezer was filled with them until it was time to mount them on the board. I still remember Diptera and Neuroptera.)


If you look over the boys left shoulder you will see tags poking out from a hidden pocket.

When the tags are removed, you get a glimpse of trail diagrams. When I think of parks, I think of large state parks with hiking trails, because hiking is our family's favorite collective pastime. One of our favorite local state parks has a great wooded trail that runs along the intracoastal waterway. At the end is a huge sand dune perfect for some summer skiing and the best live oaks for climbing.

These little tags are a great way to use up smaller scraps.

We can't leave the back unattended. I found the perfect scrap to use on the back, and along with a short one, was able to create another pocket.

The graph paper scraps are great for drawing diagrams of nature's treasures found in the field. The butterfly was on a gift tag in my stash, and I fussy cut him and wrapped him around the tag. I forgot to take photos of the reverse sides of my tags, but they, too are decorated.

This was one of those ideas that popped in my head when I read TFJB challenge prompt. The park in the middle of the city on Tim Holtz old paper stash. I was surprised I found it so quickly...I guess I'm more organized than I thought I was.

So if you're interested in learning how the background came together, here's the lowdown...

Stamp Tim Holtz newsprint stamp in Archival ink using the stamp platform. I knew I would have some bare areas behind my patchwork ephemera/scraps.

I stamped an old (real) library card pocket with green archival and another TH background stamp.

I adhered my ephemera, scraps and library pocket with Distress collage medium matte. When dry, I smeared Crazing on with my fingers, emphasizing areas I knew would show on the completed tag. When that was completely dry, I smudged with Walnut Stain crayon. I scribbled with the crayon and smeared with a damp finger.

Before adhering the ephemera, I removed the hole reinforcer and replaced it when the altering was complete.

In the photo above you see where the pocket is. And below, a final look at the completed tag. That is another Sunday in the Park or rather a Tuesday afternoon in the Closet.

I would like to share this with the following challenges:

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Adventure Awaits - Spring Renewal

Hello! I'm excited to be guest designing at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog for Lisa's "A Study in Contrasts" challenge. I chose to create a dimensional spring canvas for my contribution. Here are some closeups of my project and following those, I provide a step by step on how my background came together.

At the heart of my canvas, I used a piece of thick bark I found in my yard. It's dark, rough texture contrasts with those soft  fresh colorful spring flowers I handmade and had stashed for years. I think these were made using the old Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Bigz die, or it could be another die I used to have. Either way, I have so many in my drawer and it feels good to finally use them. That gorgeous stamped butterfly was also in my stash, and I just fussy cut him and edged in Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink to offer contrast to his black and white image and the neutral wood he perches on. Adding the yellow ink was also inspired by an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly I spotted yesterday while I was working in the garden--the first of the season! I used the non business end of my awl to shape him in my palm.

In keeping with the challenge theme, behind the floral display you see black geometric numbers on the left and the colorful natural design of the birds nest on the opposing side. The brightly colored foliage unfurls over and around the black, grey and brown decaying leaves and wood.

I die cut the leaves from inky scraps in my stash with Tim Holtz Leaf Fragments. And to differ from the dried rotted leaves, I die cut some other foliage and inked them with Twisted Citron spray stain. I used Bigz L Large Stems (closed leaf at the top) and Skeleton Leaves Thinlits (open leaf design at the bottom). There's also a couple of those long thin stems from the Wildflower Stems #1 set. They remind me of pussy willows. I had the black and bright green smaller foliage pieces in my stash and tucked them in at the last minute.

A Quote Chip embossed with Broken China Embossing Glaze and blended with Squeezed Lemonade ink completes my canvas. 

So let's get started with the how-to: (click on any photo to enlarge)

 I start with a primed canvas, and adhere Tim Holtz Ideaology Collage Wrap with Distress Collage Medium. The best way to get just the prints you want is to outline them with a paint brush wet with water, and then gently pull the pieces apart. This eliminates the harsh edges. I've chosen two contrasting black and white prints; one is an organic design, and the other is an inanimate design. I filled in some areas  with colored scraps to offer contrast to the black and white.

When the papers are in place, and the glue dried, I trim excess with scissors and sand the edges.

I give it a wash of watered down Speckled Egg paint, removing the paint from the colored areas with a damp paper towel. You can see I came back in later and added another scrap of colored collage wrap to the bottom right corner to provide balance to the colorful robin at the top.

To complete my canvas base, I apply Distress Crackle paste through a couple of stencils-one graceful and flowy, the other geometric and linear for contrast. I used TCW's Mini Labyrinth and Tim Holtz Flourish stencils. After the paste was dry and crackled, I applied Walnut Stain crayon with my finger to the cracked areas, rubbing it into the cracks to define them further. I also smeared some of the crayon randomly around the edges. I find it easiest to work this way by scribbling the crayon onto my craft mat and spritzing a little bit of water separately. I dip my finger into the water to moisten it and then into the scribbled crayon.

Thanks for hanging in there with me! I hope you enjoyed my spring renewal canvas. Thanks, again, to the ladies over at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog for having me join them as their Guest Designer this week! Hugs! Sara Emily

I would like to include my canvas in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Wild and Wonderful Wild about Wonderful Nature!

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Anything Goes

Country View Challenges April 2022 - Spring is Coming (it's here!)


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Hello again, (spring) peeps! There's nothing like spring sunshine and spring flowers to bring out the creative juice! I pulled this old background from the depths of my stash to back some pretty flowers and a bunny hopping down the bunny trail. I can't tell you much about how I created this, but it's just a the back off an old greeting card that I recycled. I think I was experimenting with some Perfect Pearls mixed with a clear medium (perhaps collage medium) over an ink blended surface, but I wouldn't swear to it. I more recently blended it with Walnut stain. I wish I knew what I did, because I would like to make another. The embossing folder is an old one, too, from Lifestyle Crafts (?), more than likely picked up at a yard sale at some point. Just gorgeous shimmer when tipped to the sunlight.

The Tim Holtz Wildflowers (die cut with sets #1 and #2) are painted with Distress Oxides and the bunny's ( Tim's Bunny Hop) tail is a Christmas pom pom cut in half. So easy, but oh, so cute! I'd like to share this with...

Right now I've got to go try and recreate this background. Crafty hugs! Sara Emily