Friday, March 30, 2012

makeup chemistry...

Ok, I've totally gotten behind on my class projects, so today's post is going to be packed!  

Ready to jump in?

Day 5 was about ink sprays and stains... (and Day 8)

This is packed with texture! There's tons of paint, canvas, embossing, crackle paint... Yeah, I had fun. =)
The background paper is a kraft resist paper by Idea-ology, and it looks so awesome with the Picket Fence Distress Stain! Fun stuff!

I finally got a great result with Rock Candy Crackle Paint... I bought some when it first came out, but I wasn't so impressed... Turns out I just wasn't putting it on thick enough. This is seriously cool stuff! (and I've been playing with some ideas.... you know what that means... tutorials coming!)
(technically, this technique is from day 8, but I have a different sample for that.)

Day 7 was about embossing powders...
(yes, I skipped day 6... I don't have the distress markers yet...)

Another favorite technique that you've seen me use before. It uses a lot of clear embossing powder, but the effect is fabulous!  And it has a great orange peel texture IRL, and you all know how I like texture! =)

Day 8 was all about paint... (which I totally LOVE!!!)
The background for this card is actually Sticky Back Canvas... I'd never used this before, but I'm in love!  It is SO much easier than trying to glue on the canvas!

 Using the stains to cover the background was so nice! It was a ton faster than using the blending tool! 
The polka dots are stamped with acrylic paint and act as a resist... You've seen me do that in the past... It's a fun way to add resist and texture. I don't have paint dabbers, so I just use a makeup wedge to dab on a thin layer of paint. Works for me.

Day 9 is about Perfect Pearls...
 This is another one of those products I really fell in love with.... I've generally only used them in sprays before because I just didn't like the results of any other technique (at least when I did them).  

However, I've figured out what I've been doing wrong, and now I'm totally in love! Isn't that gold just beautiful when it hits the light??? Yeah, I'm thinking I need to broaden my color collection of these babies!

Whew! I think I'm caught up now. =)

If you are liking the techniques, you can still sign up for this class! It is a lifetime access to the info, and it is totally worth it!!!

Have a wonderful day!


Supplies used:
Paper: Sticky Back Canvas, Idea-ology, Coredinations, white cardstock, kraft, watercolor paper, chipboard
Ink: Distress, Archival, VersaMark, MarkIt
Stamps: Penny Black "Make a Wish", Prima Music, Fiskars "Polka Dots", Tattered Angels "Sea Side" & "Tattered Travelers Compass", Great Impressions "Simple Elegance", Fancy Pants "Delight", Inspired by Stamping "The Skys the Limit", Sweet Stamps "Cherie", Inkadinkado "Letter"
Creative Inspirations Paint: Rustic Red, Fairy Dust
Dies: Quickutz "Nesting Ovals", Spellbinders "Labels 18"
Other: Perfect Pearls, Rock Candy Crackle Paint, acrylic paint, faux pearls, ribbon, brad, eyelet, wraphia, embossing powder

Saturday, March 24, 2012

branching out...

Hello all my wonderful friends!  

You know, using flowers on cards and LOs is super popular right now... They add color, style, texture, and dimension. They are awesome embellishments!  Sometime, I want to add some flowers, but don't want the visual weight of a cluster, or need a larger area embellished that would look too crowded with lots of flowers... A fun way to fix this design problem is to use branches. They keep the flowers connected, draw the eye, and visually weigh a lot less than clusters. They are very elegant too!

 Now, I know that some companies make branches, but I like mine to match perfectly. (yes, this is my OCD talking. lol!)  My solution is to make my own. I can match colors, styles, and custom design it to perfectly accent my project. It's not hard either!  

So let's get our pixie dust ready, and make some flowers bloom!

What you need:
Craft wire (gauge is up to you)
Wire cutters
Paper tape*
Paint brushes

*paper tapes include things like Washi tape, tissue tape, floral tape, even masking tape. I like using tissue tape just because it has a printed pattern, colorizes well, and is super easy to work with.*
**You can use pre-flowers, or make your own. You will want a stem on them, so if they don't come with a stem, you will need to add one.

 Step 1: cut wires of various lengths.

 Step 2: wrap paper tape around your longest wire (this will be your main branch).

 Step 3: wrap a smaller branch with paper tape, leaving a tail of tape at the end.

Step 4: wrap the tape tail of your small branch around your main branch to hold it in the desired place and at desired angle.

 Step 5: repeat steps 3-4 until all your smaller branches are atached

 Step 6: paint your branch with Creative Inspirations paint. This gives it color and shimmer. Also, because CI are translucent, you will see any printed design on the tape through the paint. Awesome!

 Step 6: using more paper tape, attach desired flowers or leaves by wrapping a little bit of tape around the branch and the end of the stem. (to see how I made these particular flowers, click HERE)

 Step 7: go in with a small paint brush and carefully do touch ups where you added the flowers.

Once dry, you are ready to add to any LO, card, home decor, or altered project you want!

Just think how pretty this would look with fall leaves, or snowflakes dangling down... so many possibilities! And because you are making your own, you can design it to fit your project perfectly!


Friday, March 23, 2012

the chemistry of painting...

Oh what a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the weather is fair, and I have my windows in my studio open to tempt in the fresh air! My sweet puppy has completely worn herself out running around outside, and is fast asleep on my rug. And my fingers are itching to get inky! LOL!

So, before I dive into my chemistry homework for today, I want to share my homework for yesterday. Yesterday was all about reinkers. I love those things! I use them all the time for a whole lot of things.. and occasionally I even reink my ink pads with them. =)

 I absolutely love watercoloring with Distress inks. Those and watercolor crayons are basically what I use to color images. They are so easy to work with, and very forgiving. I find it very relaxing to color...  Maybe it brings back the simpler days of childhood where the biggest problems in life revolved around which coloring book to color in, and who has my purple crayon. =)

The background is a white on white resist made with white embossing powder and stamps. Then sprayed with a couple different sprays. You can't see it in the photo, but I also sprayed on some Perfect Pearls mixed with water in Patina Blue... It is a new color to me, and I love it!  

Well, I'm off to enjoy the sunshine streaming onto my desk. Have a wonderful day!


Supplies Used
Paper: watercolor paper, white cardstock, kraft
Ink: VersaMark, Archival (Jet Black), Distress (lots of colors)
Stamps: Basic Grey "Swirlie", Artful Inkables "Watercolor Series 5"
Other: Perfect Pearls, wire, ribbon, charms

Thursday, March 22, 2012

archival chemistry...

Hi everyone! 

I know it's late, but I wanted to share my project inspired by yesterday's chemistry class... 

I had a really hard time with yesterday's class. Not that the techniques were hard, or that I didn't like them, I just had a really hard time making it mine. I made so many different versions trying to work the techniques into my own personal style. I finally got an end result that felt like me. (which is important, because any technique I learn that I can't work into my style just won't get used!)

The center of the card was made on glossy cardstock (something I haven't played around with much but have fallen in love with!!!).  After working the resist magic for the background, I stamped the butterflies with Archival ink both on the glossy paper and on clear craft plastic. When layering them, I only glue down the body so the wings can float. Love doing this! It gives so much dimension while adding no bulk, so the cards fit in envelopes with no problems!

Ok, off to work on my project for today!


Supplies used:
Paper: Glossy paper, Paper Studio, white cardstock, craft plastic
Ink: VersaMark, Archival (Jet Black), Distress (Dusty Concord, Black Soot)
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Letter", Fancy Pants "From the Garden" & "In my Words", Tim Hotlz "Natures Elements"
Other: faux pearls, acrylic paint

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Really quick post before I make dinner...

No, I'm not going to talk about chemistry... I'm surprised I made it through all my science classes in High School. LOL!

I'm take in the Creative Chemistry 101 online class that Tim Holtz is teaching right now. Lots of fun! (so much better than HS.. I actually understand what he's talking about. LOL!) Anyway, I wanted to get a project done inspired by today's lesson, so here it is...

Lots of fun playing with Distress inks and their reactions to water.  Did you know that if you tint Gesso with Distress reinker, once it is dry, the color will still react to water?  Yeah, I discovered that by accident while I was working on a DT project a while ago. I was frustrated at first because that wasn't what I had been expecting to happen, but now it is one of my favorite fall back techniques. =)

It pays to just play! You learn lots of fun stuff that way... although my dad says I should write a book called "1001 Things that Don't Work" because I feel like some days all I do is find out what doesn't work. I'd probably be on Vol. 2 or 3 by now. LOL! oh well, no better way to learn, right?


Supplies Used
Paper: watercolor paper, kraft, craft plastic
Ink: Archival Ink (Jet Black), StazOn (Jet Black), Distress ink (Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Worn Lipstick, Forest Moss, Iced Spruce, Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans)
Stamps: Kaisercraft "Grid", Sassafrass "Freshly Picked", Great Impressions "Simple Elegance", Hero Arts "Antique Engravings", Three Bugs in a Rug "Flower Patch"
Other: gesso, ribbon

Monday, March 19, 2012

better than onions...

Hello my wonderful friends! 
How about a tutorial to get our Tuesday going?  Last week I shared a LO using these flowers...

They are absolutely beautiful, and so easy to make!
So, let's get started!

what you need:
tissue paper
flower dies
water mister
stamin (centers for flowers found in cake decorating isles)
hot glue
water based ink (like Distress)

 Step 1: cut folded tissue paper into strips that fit your die cut machine. Tissue paper is thin, so you can take it right out of the package and cut it while it's all folded up. This makes things not only faster, but easier!

 Step 2: Keep your tissue paper folded, and die cut your flowers. I'm using Spellbinders "Rose Creations" dies in the 3 smallest sizes.  Each die will now have a whole bunch of flowers all in one cut!

Step 3: remove the paper from the dies and crumple the whole stack. 
After they are crumpled it is nice and easy to separate the layers... kinda like peeling an onion, only you don't cry near as much! LOL. If you have really thin tissue paper and it is being stubborn, you can dampen your finger tips very slightly, and it will help.

 Step 4: The stamen you get for making flowers for cakes are double ended. Since we don't need both ends finished, just cut them in half... they'll go twice as far this way!

 Step 5: Layer your flower how you like, and thread the stamen through the center.
Use a little bit of glue on both the top side, and the underside of the flower to keep the layers from shifting. Hot glue works really well for this!

 Step 5: Rub your water based ink pad on a non porous surface (like a nonstick craft sheet, piece of glass, or acrylic). 

 Step 6: Mist your flower. Getting the perfect amount of water takes a little practice, however, a general rule to keep in mind is that the more water you put on, the more your ink will wick (spread).  Play around with it to decide how much water you like. 

 Step 7: GENTLY touch the tips of the flower to the ink and twirl. (this part kind of reminds me of those crime shows when they are dusting for prints. lol...) Holding the flower at different angles while twirling will help get different petals. The idea is to only let the tips of the petals touch the ink, and let the ink wick up the petals for a very natural blended look.

Step 8:If you want the ink to blend a little more, you can spritz on more water... if you want to add a little shine, spritz on some shimmer spray.  

Step 9: Allow to dry. You can use a heat gun to speed the process, just be careful not to heat the glue too much, or it will remelt. 


Saturday, March 17, 2012


Hello all my fabulous friends! 
Today I have another LO to share... This one I was trying to really focus on some of the principles of design, but found it really hampered my creative processes... since I have studied the principles of design, I had to try, right? I guess I'll go back to letting the creative juices take over rather than over thinking it. LOL!

 I started out by spraying ands splattering on Acrylic paint and CI paint. It is a fun way to add a little something "hand made" to patterned paper. (however, I strongly suggest covering anything in a 3 foot area that you don't want splattered... I'm amazed at where I find paint after a project like this. LOL!)

 I cut the title out of chipboard using my Cricut. For the (self) part, I made a mix of Fairy Dust CI paint and Tattered Rose Distress reinker to paint it. After it had dried, I painted on some glue and covered it with glitter. Now I hate the way glitter seems to end up on EVERYTHING when you use it on a page, and eventually you end up with a sheet protector full of glitter instead of a pretty page... To solve this, I cover each glittered letter with Glossy Accents. It give it a beautiful glossy finish while encasing the glitter to ensure it NEVER flakes off! 

lots of die cuts and punches going on for layers... I also used my ancient label maker to create some accent words. Fun stuff!

Have a wonderfully lucky day!


Supplies Used
Paper: My Minds Eye, K&Co, Coredinations, chipboard, white cardstock
Stamps: Autumn Leaves "Messy Dates", Great Impressions "Simple Elegance"
Ink: Powder Puff (Mocha Mama, Midnight Confessions), StazOn (Cotton White, Jet Black), Archival Ink (Jet Black), MarkIt (Tuxedo Black), Distress (Tattered Rose)
Creative Inspirations: Paint (Burgundy, Fairy Dust, Antique Copper, Coal, Ivory), Metallic Inspirations (Matt Purple), Resplendence (Burgundy, Angel Dust)
Dies: Spellbinders "Labels 18"
Cricut: Serenade, Storybook, Accents Essentials, Lyrical Letters, Calligraphy Collection
Other: Tim Holtz Adornments, Martha Stewart punch, EK Success punch, Glossy Accents, embossing powder, acrylic paint, gesso

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

touch of spring...

Seeing as it is now well into March, I am of the opinion that it should no longer be snowing!  Too bad the weather outside doesn't seem to agree. lol!

I guess I shouldn't complain... it gives me a great reason to stay snuggly tucked inside my studio. =)

 Since it sure isn't acting like spring outside, I decide to bring spring inside!  I had tons of fun with this page... 

 This bird was cut out of acetate using my Cricut and Indie Art cart. Instead of cutting out a shadow, I used the negative acetate as a stencil for some paint and stamps. I then colored the acetate with Alcohol ink.  The layered wing piece was also colored with Alcohol ink, but I also sponged on a thin layer of Winter Frost CI paint on the back to give it a lighter color with some shimmer. It's much easier to see IRL as it is a subtle effect, but it is effective!

 I decided I wanted a tall flowery something along the one side of the photo... I considered cutting something out of paper, but the page felt so flat, I wanted a little more dimension. So, I made a flowering branch out of wire and tissue tape. Worked great! (full tutorial on that coming soon!)

The flowers were made out of tissue paper and cut with the "Rose Creations" Spellbinders die. (love this die!!!). After layering and gluing, I misted them with water and swirled them in some distress ink. This left the edges dark, and wicked the color in for a beautiful soft look! I then misted them with a mixture of water and Pink Highlights CI paint. In the right light, it has just a hint of pink sparkle. Lovely!

Sigh... ok, it's now raining. I can accept rain. =) 
Off to get creative!


Supplies Used:
Paper: K&Co, glossy paper, tissue paper, acetate
Stamps: Fancy Pants "In My Words", Glitz "Distressing", Clear Art Stamps "Frame It"
Ink: Archival (Coffee), MarkIt (Tuxedo Black), Alcohol ink (Latte), StazOn (Timber Brown), Distress (Victorian Velvet Tattered Rose, Vintage Photo)
Creative Inspirations Paint: Winter Frost, Chocolate, Pink Highlights
Cricut: Wall Decor, Indie Art
Dies: Spellbinders "Rose Creations" & "Labels 18"
Other: Tim Holtz tissue tape, Glossy Accents, Tiny Attacher, acrylic paint, embossing powder, ribbon

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Hello all my wonderfully creative friends! 

In honor of the CI & GI blog hop happening this weekend I thought it would be a great time to take a look at using stamps and Creative Inspirations Paint together in a different way....custom stencils!

 ready to play?

(If you are here for the hop, scroll down past this tutorial to get started... don't forget you have until Sunday 8pm EST to enter to win a fabulous prize of 5 jars of CI paint and $25 gift certificate to GI!!!)

Ok, lets get started!

what you need:
StazOn ink
acetate sheet
Permanent marker
Craft knife 
Pane of glass (like what you get in a picture frame)
Temporary glue (optional)
Waterproof ink
CI paint
Makeup wedges

Step 1: Stamp you image onto an acetate sheet. 
I'm using "Simple Elegance" from GI for this

*tip: When you stamp on acetate, sometimes the stamp slides. If that happens, you can "erase" the ink using alcohol based hand sanitizer, and try again.*

Step 2: Use a permanent maker to mark where you want to cut

 Step 3: Use a sharp craft knife to cut out your custom stencil. Use a pane of glass underneath instead of a cutting mat to allow the blade to glide easier.

 Step 4: (optional) cover back of stencil with a temporary adhesive.

 Step 5: (if you did step 4) when glue is dry, pat with your fingers, or clothes to de-sticky it slightly.

 Step 6: Use a waterproof ink to stamp on your project

 Step 7: Aline your stencil over your stamped image

 Step 8: Start applying CI paint using a make up wedge in a pouncing motion

 Step 9: Continue adding and blending the CI paints.
(I've used Sky Blue, Amethyst, Rustic Red, and Fuchsia)

 Step 10: Remove the stencil and store it for the next time.

 Isn't that a fun way to add color and shimmer?

wanna take it to the next level?

Advanced version (or at least the "advanced patience" version):

now that you have the basics down, let's try doing a more complex stencil, or I guess I should say set of stencils.

I made 7 different stencils for this one image.  
Each stencil had different areas cut out.

(I suggest starting by stamping the image on a scrap piece of paper, and mapping out what you want to cut before you start cutting the stencils so you know what you're doing)

The stencils make blending color for individual flowers easy. And after the initial time investment of making the stencils, you have them to use over and over!