It’s In The Box…

Today’s project is a bit different. What originally started as a plain aluminum tin box that was supposed to hold a card–i.e, a metal envelope–morphed into a project of its own. As I finished up the card that was going to go inside of it, I decided to take a different approach. My plan was to put the card I made and a gift card inside of the tin and ribbon on the outside of the tin for a bit more presentation value. But, then I wondered why I didn’t just make the tin the card itself.

This was an easy project in that most of the artwork for it (besides a few paper elements) came in the form of rub-on art. I used a package of Fancy Pants rub-ons that I’ve had sitting around forever. I particularly liked that the artwork I used in the corners of the front of the tin were already distressed–adding that vintage, worn look. I used a bit of Stampin’ Up! designer series paper on the inside and a heart shaped journaling tag. I like that the inside echoes the elements of the cover. The inside cover was another rub-on piece from Creative Imaginations. Half the fun with a piece like this is deciding what goes where in the layout of your designs. It’s akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle–and a fun way to use up some of the rub-on artwork you may have lying around your workspace.






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Tim Holtz Fragments

Last week, I highlighted a card (‘Where You Are…’) that featured a new technique I’ve been playing around with. For the sentiment on that card, I used a solid Tim Holtz Fragment (basically an oval piece of clear acrylic plastic) to create a stamped plaque for the card. The basic process was stamping a greeting on a piece of decorative paper with StazOn Jet Black ink and then adhering the stamped paper to the Fragment with the use of Ranger Glossy Accents medium.

Since I made that card, I’ve been working on making some jewelry pieces–pendants and the like–with Tim Holtz Fragment charms. These acrylic charms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They’re easy to adapt into necklaces, earrings, brooches–virtually anything your mind can think up. The mediums you can use are just as wide-ranging. You can use photographs, decorative papers, personal mementos and other memorabilia to create personal miniature works of art.

For the three pendants I created, I used the following materials:

  • PAPER: Tim Holtz “Lost And Found” Idea-ology paper stack;

  • TOOLS: Tim Holtz Fragments charms, Ranger Glossy Accents medium, decorative clear packing tape, Tim Holtz jump rings, Tim Holtz bead and ball chain, scissors, paper piercer, brayer or rub-on tool;

  • The basic process involves choosing your charm shape and size. Then you want to use a piece of square decorative paper larger than the charm size you chose. You apply the Ranger Glossy Accents directly to the backside of your Tim Holtz Fragment. Use the applicator tip of the bottle to make small even circular motions all over the charm back. Then you carefully set the Fragment on top of the area you want to appear on your charm. Press firmly to disperse the Glossy Accents medium across your piece. Then you want to turn your piece over and use a generous piece of decorative packing tape (or just a plain clear tape that you’ve stamped a design on) across the back of your charm. This protects the paper backing as well as helps to contain the Glossy Accents properly. Now that your “sandwich” is created, you can go back and use a brayer or rub-on tool to press the top and bottom of your charm together. If some of the Glossy Accents runs out the sides, don’t worry about it. After the piece is completely dry, you want to use scissors to cut around the excess paper and tape–as close to the sides of the Fragment as you can. Use a paper piercer to open the hole on your fragment to add a jump ring or other attachment. I went back over the edges of the charm with a Basic Grey precision file to make sure all the edges were even and any excess paper or medium was removed. Now, you’re ready to make your finished jewelry piece. I will warn you that these become very addictive to make–and are terrific gift items. (I should also note that all the directions can be found in Tim Holtz’s ‘Compendium of Curiosities’ book as well.)







    Fanciful Flight

    Yesterday, I received an order of some of the new Sizzix dies in Tim Holtz’s new Alterations line. I only had time to play around with one of the dies, but I can already tell that I’m going to love exploring the possibilities with these highly versatile cutting tools. Most of the dies introduced are comparable to the Sizzix Bigz line of steel rule dies. (Only the new “On The Edge” dies–which I will explore in a later post–are a completely new size to the Sizzix range.) The casings are a nice tan color with the Tim Holtz imprint on the top (as well as the label) of the dies.


    The ‘Fanciful Flight’ die cuts five individual pieces in one pass through your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. You get: (2) solid wing shapes, (2) cutout wing shapes, and (1) body piece. To construct a four-winged butterfly, you will have to cut your pieces twice. I chose to use a piece of decorative paper from the Tim Holtz Shabby Chic paper stack for my solid pieces and a piece of Stampin’ Up! textured cardstock in Chocolate Chip for my cutout pieces.


    I used a Zig 2-Way glue pen to assemble my wing pieces. Simply apply the adhesive to the backs of your cutout wing designs and adhere to the solid decorative paper pieces. A rub-on tool or brayer comes in handy for smoothing your layers together.

    To assemble the actual butterfly, I found it helpful to use a small piece of Scotch tape on the reverse side to hold all of your pieces together until you get them positioned just how you’d like them to lay.

    I glued one layer of the body piece in the decorative paper to the top of solid cardstock piece to give it added dimension. I used Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the body piece to the wing assembly. I found some black waxed cording in my stash and cut off small pieces to make antennae for my creature. A knot at one end and I glued the stings to the back of the head layer.
    For my A2 sized card, I chose to use a piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″). The decorative mat is a piece of SEI cardstock from the Poppy collection (4″ x 5″, corners snipped with 1/2″ rounder).







    Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a one-note die. For instance, you can use just the large wings at the middle of the body piece to create a dragonfly. Or use one large and one small wing to create a side profile of a fluttering butterfly. The wings can be used alone to create faeries or accent photographs. Beyond the capabilities of the die itself, explore your materials. Try using grungeboard, grungepaper, clear transparencies and alcohol inks, fabrics, sandpaper, and other materials. When you getting around to playing, you’ll quickly realize these investment pieces are well-worth the addition to your collection. They’ll last for years and the only limit is your imagination.

    Until next time, Keep Crafting!

    A Compendium Of Curiosities

    Yesterday was all about Mr. Tim Holtz for me (and my pocketbook). First, I received my copy of Mr. Holtz’s new book, “A Compendium Of Curiosities”–which I’ll get to in a moment. Secondly, I ordered nearly $200 of his new Alterations line. I am in awe of the versatility of some of the new Sizzix Bigz dies and edge dies he’s come up with. If you haven’t visited Tim Holtz’s blog as of late, I highly recommend you take a look at the set of new videos he posted describing his intentions and examples of the new Alterations line of products. Needless to say, I’m hooked (line and sinker). I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Holtz’s tools and products (a fact my craft stash would attest to in a court of law). I suppose his aesthetic may not appeal to all crafters, but I have to say I love the grunge look of his style and his methods of repurposing objects and trinkets. It’s also one of the few craft lines that is very male and teen friendly (in my opinion). Among the dies I am eagerly awaiting: Caged Bird, Fanciful Flight, Gadget Gears, Tattered Florals, Hanging Sign, Ornamental, Keyholes, Styled Labels, Three Hole Punch, and File Tabs. (The sad part is there are still a few more I want–but they weren’t in stock at the moment. So, I’m sure I’ll be placing another order on down the road.)

    But enough about my shopping habits…and on to the book. Can I just say right up front that this book belongs in every crafter’s library. Whether you are a Tim Holtz fan like me or just interested in new methods, techniques, and ideas, this book is for you. The hardcover book (with interior spiral binding) measures approximately 8 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ and has 77 pages. But don’t be fooled by that number. The book is bursting with information and wonderfully rendered color photographs presented with Mr. Holtz’s usual panache and flair.

    Beginning with a brief introduction to the man and his studio–as well as a list of products he has developed or helped to develop and their intended uses–the book wastes no time getting to its essential core. It’s broken down into three major sections: Ideas, Techniques, and a Gallery.

    In the Ideas section, Holtz explores different elements and embellishments and how they can affect your projects–whether they be layouts, cards, mini-books, etc. Among the topics he discusses and shows examples of:

  • ornate plates
  • foilage
  • corner
  • tags, tokens, & sticks
  • type charms
  • gears, sprockets, & timepieces
  • numerals
  • keys & keyholes
  • adornments & vintage buttons
  • curio knobs & foundations
  • film strip & ruler ribbon
  • fasteners & washers
  • mini clips & pins
  • trinket & memo pins
  • hitch fasteners
  • hinge clips & D-rings
  • swivel clasps
  • ball, bead & link chains
  • tickets & stickers
  • paper stacks
  • grungeboard & grungepaper
  • fragments

    My favorite section has to be the Technique section. In it, Mr. Holtz teaches us to use some of his famous techniques, tips and tricks. What’s clever is that most of them are done is six simple steps with accompanying full-color photographs. Among the techniques highlighted are:

  • wrinkle free distress
  • scribble stain distress
  • water stamping
  • blended batik
  • dabber resist
  • perfect distress
  • inking grunge
  • double distress
  • rusted enamel
  • distress crackle
  • distress powder
  • chipped enamel
  • rusted grunge
  • distress stickles
  • rock candy distress stickles
  • altered metal with paint
  • shabby chic
  • weathered wood grunge
  • alcohol ink monoprint
  • alcohol ink splatter
  • alcohol ink agate on grunge
  • industrial grunge
  • tinted vision fragments
  • altered metal alcohol inks
  • colorful layered fragments
  • masks basics
  • inking and stamping masks
  • distress misting masks
  • extreme masking
  • fragments basics
  • dimensional collage fragments
  • fragment charms
  • grungepaper flowers
  • multi-medium collage
  • design details

    The final section is a wonderful gallery of projects done by Mr. Holtz that incorporate many of the techniques, tools, and examples used throughout the book. What really surprised me was that even someone like myself who has used a lot of Holtz products can still find new information on how to use products that you hadn’t thought of or didn’t realize you could do. I was really excited by the fragments projects (and will be working on some of those in the near future.

    “A Compendium Of Curiosities” retails for $24.99 and, in my opinion, is worth every single penny. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a faint interest in papercrafting.

  • Idea: Putting Those Scraps To Use

    If you are anything like me, you usually find yourself at the end of work session with a pile of odds and ends. I’m going to be honest. I’m not a very good example when it comes to saving scraps, especially paper. It always seems to be more trouble than what it’s worth–and I never actually use what I save. I’m a bit better about saving bits and pieces of embellishments. It’s just too hard to throw a pretty away.

    After working on several cards yesterday, I had a few things left on my work table. I started eyeing them for a bit and became determined to do something with them. The key was finding an empty embellishment tin I had been saving. After a few mintues of playing with my pieces, this is what I came up with: a shadowbox/windowbox on which a card can be attached to the back of the box.





    The material list for this project:

    –empty metal embellishment tin with lid
    –scrap decorative paper for shadowbox background
    –chipboard butterfly from DCWV
    –chipboard flourish from DCWV
    –K & Co. Grand Adhesion flower
    –miscellaneous flower, stem and bee stickers

    So save your miscellaneous pieces and put them to good use!

    Real Men Carry An ATG Gun

    So, here it is.

    A place where I will share my crafting projects. I’m mainly a paper crafter and cardmaker. I do some scrapbooking, altering, decoupage, knitting, needlepoint and other odds and ends. I hope to share my insights and tips, tools and product reviews. I’m also a big fan of Provocraft’s Cricut Expression. You’ll find some of my cut files posted from time to time.

    I’d like to thank Ted (Sir Craftalot) for encouraging me to start this project. This weblog is dedicated to all of my friends and contemporaries who frequent our home-away-from-home, the Cricut Message Boards.

    Happy Crafting!