Sunday, December 11, 2022

Christmas Greetings!


I can't let 2022 end without wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! 

I challenged myself to make all of my Christmas cards in one sitting using just a few of my newest acquired crafty goodies and some of my leftover bits and pieces to add to the shimmery backgrounds.

 This was my first time using Distress Mica Stains, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with the outcomes and had some inky fun making a bunch of prints with the sprays and my stencils. Photos don't do it justice, especially these that were just quickly snapped and uploaded just so I could remember the cards. But since Simon Says stamp was having a Holiday Cheer challenge, I thought I would play along.

For this simple background, I used Fresh Balsam Mica Stain Spray and the old Poinsettia Layering stencil. I did get the more recently released, but this is still my favorite Christmas stencil. The die cut greeting was already in my stash, but I cut the bursts from card sprayed with Tart Cranberry Mica Stain Spray.

That's all for me! Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Hello, My Friend(s)

Hello, my friends! It's been a while, hasn't it? It seems everyone has moved onto Instagram, and blogging has fallen out of favor. I'm still an Instagram holdout, and am probably missing all the fun there.

 I have been doing a little making when I get a chance or inclination, just not producing a finished product. This is the first card (or anything crafty) I've actually completed since my last post. Time for fun is sparse these days and along with that comes a huge lack of creative juice. Fall is a favorite time for making, and I'm inspired by the beauty of nature.

One of my friends is very fond of the fall season, just as I am, so I decided to make her a card. I had to pull out the old stuff, as new craft stash has taken a financial back seat. But no worries! The background is stamped in various Distress inks on watercolor paper using Nature's Wonder--my go-to fall favorite. I blended the color with a water brush to bring the leaves to life (or end of life as the case may be).  I could sit and color these leaves all day long (and in fact I did--I've got plenty of these panels ready to go!). I blended the panel with Hickory Smoke, splashed with water and dried.

I tortured myself trying to thread my sewing machine and eventually got some stitching done on the background and on the little panel stamped with my greeting. Love these sumac leaves (Skeleton Leaves) cut from Kraft Metallic in Copper and subtly colored with archival inks and Distress crayons. Heated with my heat gun to bake in the color, with the added bonus of the leaves curling under the heat. 

For contrast, I backed the stamped Bold Sayings panel with a kraft 3D embossed panel (Intertwine) touched with Antique Linen paint and rubbed with Ground Espresso ink pads-- regular Distress and archival.

So good to get something done and share it here no matter how simple. This card is on it's way to a special friend. And it fits right in with the current challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog--Celebrate Friendship! Hello to all my friends there, too! Sara Emily

 Other challenges I'd like to play along with:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Emboss It

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Anything Goes

Friday, May 27, 2022

Scientific-It's All Just Junk!


Hello friends and visitors! Today I want to share an accordion folder with you, made from lots of things others might think to be trash. But us frugal crafters know that although it's all just a bunch of junk, something really great could come out of it. This all started with some waste packaging I've been saving up. The theme of the folder ended up being dictated by some pretty Nature's Wonders leaves from my stash, already inked and fussy cut. I actually had planned to use my Funky Insects and cut them from some silver foil cannister and peanut butter jar liners, but I got distracted by the leaves when I was looking at my saved scraps. 

Please don't tell me I'm the only one who saves these! I found five identical sized ones to use to make the base of my folder. Below are photos of other "trash" I used in the making of this folder;


I rarely pay full price for watercolor paper. It seems there are a lot of people out there who use one or two sheets out of a pad or block and give up on their artistic endeavors. I swoop in to save the pads from going into the landfill at various yard sales. This particular artist was into pen and ink line drawing. I just used the back side of one of the used sheets; it is exactly the size I needed to cover my waste packaging.

Paula (see below) used Tim's Fabric Tape shown in the top of the photo to adhere her tags, but in keeping with the 'trash/upclycle' theme, I chose to use a badly soiled adhesive medical tape. I picked up a bag of this at an estate sale just for crafting, and I'm pretty sure the people there must have thought I was out of my mind.

Here's a shot of me choosing from my buffet of crafty trash to make my collages after my backgrounds were partially complete.

Let me show you how it all turned out. But first, I need to give credit where credit is due. I was inspired by Paula Cheney at One Lucky Day with her In My Heart of Hearts Tag Book.  Although I did read through her post at one time and studied every beautiful photo, my internet went down throughout the entire time I was making this, and I had to wing it. And of course, the creative process takes me in different directions when I finally sat down to make. I strongly recommend you visit her blog to see her gorgeous folder as well as all of her inspiring work and to see how the folder is constructed. 

Remember to click on any photo to enlarge!

I sprayed my watercolor panel with Old Paper Oxide spray and water, stamped the cut and dried panels with Archival ink and a series of Tim Holtz Background stamps.  I used grit and texture paste with my stencils and after it dried, swiped the raised areas with a Versamark pad. I lightly let embossing glaze powder (Peeled Paint and Weathered Wood) fall over the panel and heated to melt. I used ink and crayon to add more depth and finally splattered with Ground Espresso paint. The panels were adhered to the waste packaging and plain paper applied to the backs.

The little 'frame' on the front cover is waste from a ticket I die cut years ago. The butterfly is fussy cut from a little piece of Tim Holtz' old Fragments. They were a gift from my friend Autumn of Sew Paper Paint, and every once in a while they will show up on one of my makes. I colored this guy and all the butterflies with Chipped Sapphire crayon. There's also a couple of scraps that are leftover parts from pieces used on past projects.

There's another one of those Fragments The honeycomb die cut is a bit from long ago cut from flimsy white paper. To stiffen it and contrast with the blue background, I added layers of embossing glaze (Peeled Paint and Walnut Stain) and gold embossing powder.

This butterfly is from the Field Notes ephemera pack and the circle ephemera from another older pack. There's a portion of a label holder die cut, and you'll see later, I was able to use the other portion, too. It was bright green, but I was able to age it a little for that vintage look I love.

On the fourth panel, I used a blue ticking Fragment and stamped a butterfly from an old acrylic set (7 Gypsies) that was just the right size for the piece, and layered it over another ephemera piece from another pack. The blue ticking stripe was actually what helped me choose my contrasting color for my project.

On the last panel, I used a ticket from the Fragments pieces and the other piece of the die cut label holder. I needed another butterfly, and I found this piece of book page lying on my work top. I stamped it with another butterfly from the 7 Gypsies set. All of my ephemera pieces are swiped with Vintage Photo Matte Medium (which is about ready for the trash). It's really old and goopy, and I was able to spread it really thick in some areas and when dry, scribbled and smudged with Distress crayon (in the color of whatever happened to be left on my finger from highlighting the raised stencil work). I looked around from some punched holes that might work for the label holders, but it looks like they might have actually made it to the trash. Instead, I darkened a pair of orange adhesive rhinestones with Mushroom alcohol ink; I was tickled pink that they closely resembles brass (or is it just my eyes?). The word 'moths' was left from the cover panel's fussy cut Fragment. 

I couldn't leave the back plain, so I attempted to use some small scraps of old Tim Holtz paper stash, but being too heavy a paper, the accordion wouldn't fold properly. Luckily, (I don't throw out trash) I found some bits of handmade papers in my stash (trash) that worked. It wasn't until I was adhering it to the backs of the cards that I noticed it has real leaves pressed into it. I heat embossed some phrases from Nature's Wonders and some of the leaves onto the panels and edged the back with metallic Distress Crayon.

And one final bit of 'trash' is the ribbon, rescued from the neck of a garment and originally pink! I sprayed it down with Chipped Sapphire Oxide Spray and when almost dry, rolled it over a Walnut Stain ink pad to 'age' it. And that's all for me today! Happy making!

I would like to share my folder with the following challenges:

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: