Friday, September 27, 2013

black shimmer...

Happy Friday!

I feel like I'm going slightly crazy right about now.

I've got SO many projects in various stages of completion right now. Everything from can't post yet (dt), pieces in haphazard piles (killing me in my OCD world!!!!), to deadlines over the next few months.

And I've had a migraine for 2+ weeks, so I've just been falling farther behind. grrrrrr!

Last night/way too early this morning (like 1-5 am) I was in a super-charged-creative-dance-your-heart-out-while-belting-songs-from-your-favorite-ipod-playlists kind of zone, and after cleaning my house, I needed to do a project that was totally NOT design team related.

I feel bad though... I didn't get a tutorial done to go with it. I really do need to get back to work. So many things to get off my desk to get caught up! Sorry peeps!

hope you like me anyway. :)

The shimmer on the black was made by stamping with VersaMark embossing ink, then covering with Perfect Pearls.  You can do this on any color, but I LOVE how the color of the Perfect Pearls pops on the black!
(the polka dots stamp is from Unity's "Love in Return" kit... I love that stamp!)

 For the white, I used an embossing folder to emboss some white paper, then I used some Creative Inspirations paint to highlight the raised areas.

The trim is a really cool thing called Diamond Mesh (link in my supply list). It is a mesh of plastic "reverse" rhinestones things... I reverse because they are indented like sequins rather than domed like rhinestones, but they have the bulk of rhinestones... Anyway, they are hooked together with thread, and they come on these 4"x12" sheets... and they can be die cut. Super fun, easy to cut, lines are a breeze.... I glue them on with a drop of Glossy Accents on the back of the stones.

 And no, I'm not paid to advertise those. I picked some up at the Scrapbook USA Expo last spring in UT, and I used them a once, then forgot about them... I dug them out last night for DT project, and remembered why I was so excited about them when I bought them, so I thought I would share.  :)


Supplies Used:
Paper: card stock (unknown)
Stamps: Unity "Blossom Stackers", "Love in Return", & "Best Wishes and Blooms"
Ink: VersaMark
Silhouette: Feather
Embossing folder: Darice "Fall Leaf Background"
Creative Inspirations Paint: Autumn Wheat
Other: Perfect Pearls, diamond mesh, acrylic paint

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ok, we can be friends...

Generally speaking, I'm not a tag person. 

I know, they are the rage, they just aren't my preferred canvas. 

Sometimes though, I have to step out of my comfort zone and do something different to allow myself to grow.  Ok, so I LOVE pushing the boundaries and trying different things!  I find I like some things, and don't like other things. 

And sometimes it pays to go back and revisit something you didn't really like after you have done some growing. 

Unity is having a week long tag a day challenge on FB this week, and since I have some tags just sitting around gathering dust (and probably would forever more--until they TURN to dust), I decided I needed to at least revisit tags once during the week. 

Guess what...

I really don't mind doing tags!

Ok, so they still aren't my favorite-go-to canvas of choice, but I'm no longer going to avoid them. For whatever reason, this time around, tags and me--- well, we made friends. 

I didn't really have any specific technique I was focusing on. Basically, I pulled out my Creative Chemistry 101 (Tim Holtz class) project book and flipped through it. I used some of the ideas from that as a jumping point and made it up as I went. I made the pink one first, then made the blue one so I could take pictures. =)

Stamp a background onto your tag using a waterproof ink. I like to use Archival ink by Ranger. 

Squeezed some Distress Stain onto a nonstick craft sheet. Lightly mist the tag with water (this just helps the stain blend more smoothly on the tag), and drag the tag through the pool of stain. Let it drip around the tag and dry it with a heat gun. 

I dipped and dragged it through the stain another time or two- drying between each layer- until I had the look I wanted

Stamp an image with a clear embossing ink. 

Cover with clear embossing powder and heat with a heat gun.

Swipe over your tag with some Distress paint. I left bits of the edges unpainted for a nice distressed look. You want to make sure your stamped image is covered though. This is what is going to make the clear embossing pop. 

Before the paint dries completely, gently wipe over the tag with a rag to remove the paint from the embossed image. The embossing acts as a resist, and the paint should come right off.

Add ink over your tag. The color will appear different on the paint than it does on the unpainted areas of the tag.

In between colors, you can blend the ink with a rag. Working on the paint is a lot different than working on paper. It is a lot of fun, and the ink really blends beautifully!

this also works the ink into the thinner areas of the paint... it almost gives it a weathered wood kind of look. 

Flick droplets of water on your tag using your fingers and let them dry. 

I like to go around the edges with a darker color... I think it gives it a nice finish and helps bring you eye in towards the center. 

Stamp another image (or in this case a sentiment) in Archival (or StazOn) ink. Either of those inks will stamp over the clear embossing and dry. Other inks are not formulated to be permanent on non-porous surfaces. 

Use a palette knife to smear on some Rock Candy crackle paint. Don't go stingy on this. To get good cracks, you need to put on a good layer of paint. I like to have various thicknesses throughout for visual  interest, so I let it get thin in a few places. 

Set it aside to dry on it's own--- it will crackle best this way. 

I love the layers! And the crackle paint... *sigh*

Anyone else taking Creative Chemistry 102 with Tim Holtz? I'm SO excited! 101 was so much FUN, and I still look at my projects for inspiration.


Supplies Used:
Paper: Tag from Unity
Ink: Distress Stain, Distress ink, VersaMark, Archival Ink
Stamps: Unity "Chicken Wire", "Insightful Meadows" & "Blossom Stackers"
Other: Ranger "Rock Candy Crackle Paint", clear embossing powder, jute, crinkle ribbon

Monday, September 23, 2013

the journey...

When I post a design team call, emails start filling my mailbox. The ding that signals "you have mail" seems to be always going off. It is exciting!

And then the call ends, and the true journey begins.

Each person who sends in an application has essentially opened a door to their artistic heart, and invited me to come in and look around. They let me peek through the windows of their life through their blog. They share their story. They share their hopes. I see pictures of them. I see their ART.

It is truly amazing.

I am grateful and blessed to be allowed the honor of meeting YOU. 

I have to be honest though. 

These journeys are the HARDEST part of being DT lead because I know that at the end of the journey, I have to make a choice. I have to choose which of you to invite into our team. 

My heart aches knowing I must face this decision. 

I have been in your shoes. I have opened my door, sent out my hopes in applications. I have waited. I have felt the elation of making a team, and the pain of rejection. Ok, since I'm being honest, I've cried over the letters of rejection. I've felt like giving up, and had to be reminded by those I love that I'm stronger than that. 

There are SO many talented people who apply for any given Design Team. Making the decisions of who to accept, and who not to is far from cut and dry. So many things factor in. In the end, talent is only a PORTION of the decision.

Please know how grateful I am that you applied. That you let me into your life, and shared with me your story, and your art. You are all SO talented. Continue to share your gifts with the world. You bring joy to all those around you. Even if you don't make our team this time around, we still need you. The world needs you, your talents, and your art!

Creative Inspirations Paint- Design Team Lead

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Hello my fabulous friends!

I bought a magazine yesterday.

ok... so I really only got it for the super cute free stamps. 

I'm a super big sucker for stamps!

However, as I did my obligatory flip through of the magazine, I noticed they featured a technique I haven't done in a while... wax paper resist.  The way that they were doing it, really didn't make much sense, and honestly, didn't work very well for me. I admit, it was probably user error.. aka: me not doing something right, but I really couldn't get it to work. 

Luckily, I already know how to do the wax paper resist technique in a way that actually WORKS FOR ME.  

So, for those of you who want to learn, here it is, step by step... 

(plus another resist technique that you can use together as I did, or as a stand-alone technique... 2 for 1 today!)

Does that make up for the fact I haven't been  blogging all week because I've been sick?

Step 1: Put a piece or regular wax paper from your kitchen in an embossing folder and run it through your embossing machine.

When you take it out, it will look something like this... a crazy mess! Don't worry, it's perfect!

Step 2: Build a sandwich... 
-scratch paper
-card stock (for a card front)
-embossed wax paper
-card stock (for a card front)
-scratch paper

(you will want to stack them right on top of each other... I just wanted you to be able to see all the pieces in the photo to make sure it was clear)

Step 3: Using a dry iron (no steam) set on high, iron your sandwich. Don't over iron it, just run your iron over it a time or two.

(little honesty here... I um... never iron my clothes. I iron my crafts.)

Step 4: Remove both pieces of card stock, and ink the sides that were touching the wax paper to reveal the pattern.  I like using Distress ink for this because it blends beautifully.

You will get two different patterns out of each piece of embossed wax paper. How cool is that!

Step 5: If you want to make the pattern pop more, spritz with a little water. The wet ink will basically run off the wax.  You can see the difference. The picture above is the same piece as the the one on the left in the side by side photo. 

I used water mixed with some gold Perfect Pearls, so mine also shimmers. :)

Ok... Now that is the first technique.  In making this card, I ended up doing another resist technique involving the iron, so here it is..

Step 1: Stamp your image with clear embossing ink.

Step 2: Cover with clear embossing powder, and heat.

Step 3: Cover you whole card with a dark ink or acrylic paint.  Scary, yes, but just trust me. 
I used acrylic paint. I wanted a really nice coverage. Notice, you can still see the wax paper resist pattern behind it though. LOVE.

Step 4: Once the paint is dry, you can use a damp paper rag to wipe off the paint from the embossed image!  

You may find that it is kinda dingy though. 

Back to the iron!

Step 5: Place a pice of scrap paper over your card and, with your dry iron still on high, iron your image. This time you want to give it some heat. Don't let it burn, but  you want the embossing powder to melt, and absorb into the scrap paper. You will see the image appear as you iron.  When it is completely transferred, you should be able to easily peel the two pieces of paper apart.

Look.. a bright image on a dark background, and a transferred image on your scrap paper... If you wanted to use a not-so-scrap paper.... like say a piece of old book paper, it would be a great piece to use in another project!

I love the double resist! 

Happy little randomness... I decided to tear the edge of my blue paper, and look what happened... the blue tore at a slightly different angle than the rest, leaving a layer of the of the orange before the white core. Never would have guessed that would happen. I like it though!


PS: make sure you clean your iron before using it on your clothes... you know... for those of you who are good, and iron your clothes. :)

Supplies Used:
Paper: card stock
Ink: Distress Ink, VersaMark
Stamps: Unity "Bold Butterfly" & "Blossom Stackers"
Other: Darcie "Damask Background" embossing folder, Perfect Pearls, acrylic paint, clear embossing powder

Saturday, September 14, 2013

wrapped in burlap...

Hello my wonderful and creative friends! 

Burlap is quite the trend right now in home decor.. have you noticed that? I'm not complaining. I really like it actually. 

One of the best parts is that it is inexpensive, and very DYI!
Ready to try your hand?

Step 1: Cut your burlap to the size you want it, both in width and length. If you want frayed edges, pull a few of the strings out along both the top and bottom edges.

Step 2: (optional) To keep the burlap from fraying farther, run it through your sewing machine with a small zigzag stitch. Since we are just wrapping a candle, it really isn't overly necessary, but if you want to be on the safe side, that's how you do it. 
(thanks mom! She's the sewer, not me! LOL)

Step 3: If your burlap is not the color you want, go ahead and change the color by spraying it with ink. I use All Purpose Ink by Tsukineko because if you heat set it, it is permanent in fabric. 

Step 4: Lay a stencil over your burlap. I cut mine out of acetate using my silhouette.  Keep the shapes fairly simple. Burlap has a fairly large weave. Any detail too fine will get lost in the weave.

Step 5: Sponge on some white acrylic paint. This will give you a base coat to paint over since the background is dark. If I had left my burlap white, I could skip this step.

Step 6: Sponge on some Creative Inspirations Paint. I'm using Gold. I thought it fit well for the season. 
I could have used many different tools to sponge on the paint. I chose to use a cotton ball because I like the distressed look not all the acrylic paint getting covered up. Personal preference for this project. Feel free to experiment with how you like to apply your paint, and how much paint you apply. I tend to go light, again because I like the white to show through and accentuate the weave of the fabric.

Step 7: Now it's time to personalize...

Try stamping... Simply load up you stamp with Creative Inspirations Paint using a makeup wedge...

...and stamp onto your painted burlap.

You can also use a paintbrush to doodle...

Whatever makes your heart sing. :)

Step 8: Once it is all finished and dry, wrap it around your candle, and use a needle and thread to sew the back shut. 

Here's a closeup of mine. I wrapped some heavy twine around it

 An acetate leaf colored with alcohol inks strung on the knot, and it is done! From start to finish this project really didn't take much time at all. It could be a fun gift... or a great project for the kiddos to help with. :)


PS:  Don't forget the Creative Inspirations Design Team Call!  There is still time to get your application in.. and let's face it, the application requirements this time are EASY! No new projects required. So there really isn't any reason to put it off. :)  Here's the link to the info>>>DT CALL

Friday, September 13, 2013

doubled up...

Happy Friday the 13th my fabulous friends!

Well, ok, so it's getting really close to Saturday for some of you, but some times I'm a little late to the party. LOL!

Today I wanted to play with a double stenciling technique.

What got me thinking about this was the new challenge over at Unity. Technically these aren't the right colors, nor does it follow the card sketch... but since they are really relaxed on their rules, I was more inspired by their scrapbook LO sketch... I hope that counts. LOL!

I actually had quite a bit of fun with this card... it "evolved" from a simple concept to what you see here as I was going.  So, if you want to give this technique a go, remember, you don't have to do every step... do the ones you like, and skip the ones you don't. 

Double stenciling:

Step 1: Tape your first stencil down over your paper. This one should be a fairly simple shape. I just die cut a circle out of a sheet of transparency. 

Step 2: Place your second stencil over top of your first stencil, and tape that down. This stencil should be more detailed. This one I cut out of transparency as well using my Silhouette... It is a cut file I made by welding { } together over and over to form a screen. Simple, but effective. 

Step 3: Apply your ink/paint/spray.

Now, remove your stencils...

Simple as that!

I used Distress Ink... if you want similar results as mine, that is the key for the next few steps to work.

Step 4: Since Distress inks have some open time (they stay wet long enough to put powders on them) you can brush on Perfect Pearls for a beautiful shimmer. To set the pearls, VERY lightly mist them with water. 

Step 5: Once you have lightly misted them, and let it dry... give you paper a bit heavier of a misting. I like to work on a watercolor paper for this because it can take the water, and the colors will run nicely, but manila tags are also fabulous!

When the Distress ink has run and blended to your liking, dry with a heat tool. 

Step 6: Which I forgot to take a picture of.... if you want to add some visual dimension to it, get your basic stencil back out, and go around just the edge with a darker color.... you can see it this photo.

Finally... No matter what ink/paint/spray you use for your stenciling, you can use the inside of your basic shape as a mask to protect your stenciled area as you color and stamp around the outside of it. 


Supplies Used:
Paper: watercolor paper, kraft 
Ink: Distress Ink, Memento
Stamps: Unity "Insightful Meadows" & "Vintage Handwritten"
Other: Perfect Pearls