Remember…

Today’s project continues my exploration with Glübers. I can’t stop playing with this little glue discs. The more materials I use with them–and the more I practice technique–I think my flower making skill is progressing nicely.

I used Papertrey Ink’s Lavender Moon cardstock for the card base. The card mat is Stampin’ Up! Whisper White. The background image comes from the Stampin’ Up! set called “Printed Petals” and was stamped in SU! Cherry Cobbler ink. The ribbon I used with the Glüber is also from Stampin’ Up! The floral center is a Webster’s Pages Sparkler button. I also used another piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain to set off the boutonniére effect of the flower. The sentiment is from Teresa Collins “Notations” collection.






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Spring (Wishful Thinking)…

The weather is nothing if not a strange mistress. From the horrible tornadoes and massive flooding in the East, to the unpredictable whirling winds and fluctuating temperatures in my neck of the woods, it would seem Mother Nature is having a bit of an identity crisis. I hope wherever today finds you, that you are safe and sound (and warm) in your crafting cocoon.

Today’s card project involves materials and/or techniques that are relatively new in my wheelhouse. I thought perhaps a card celebrating Spring would remind Mother Nature that Spring has indeed sprung…at least in theory. The birds have indeed returned to the trees around my home to start their nests and produce the next generation. Their morning song is a welcome replacement to a dreary alarm clock. The trees, themselves, are a bit confused by the fluctuating temperatures–debating whether it’s time to unveil their new blooms and buds. Yet, the nippy winds send a whirl of cold wind around my back, tapping my neck to remind me that they are not ready to make their depart.

I recently acquired two paper pads from Core’dinations recent partnership with Tim Holtz and Ranger Industries: a 36 sheet collection Distress Collection with a palette derived from the popular distressed ink line, and a 24 sheet collection of the Adirondack alcohol ink line colors. I have to confess that I have not worked very much with Core’dinations cardstock, so I was looking forward to playing with this cardstock.

The mat of this card is a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Core’dinations cardstock from the Adirondack Collection in Stream. The card base is a piece of Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Amethyst. The artwork is from the Cricut Imagine Art Cartridge called “Enjoy The Seasons” and was printed and cut using Bazzill textured cardstock.

To work with the Core’dinations cardstock, I decided to use my Cuttlebug and a Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fades embossing folder, “Rays”. I liked this image as it reminded me of streams of sunlight against a deep blue sky. After I ran it through the Cuttlebug, I used Tim Holtz’s Idea-ology Sanding Grip to sand areas of the top layer of the embossed impression to allow the lighter inner core color to bleed through. I suppose how much and where to sand is a matter of personal taste and preference. I just experimented with different amounts of pressure on different areas–and I stopped when I liked the look I had achieved.

After I layered the pieces of my Spring banner, I attached the artwork to the front of my newly sanded card front using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals. After staring at the card for a bit, I felt it needed a little bit of a pick-me-up to convey the promise of Spring. The first thing I added was a Webster’s Pages flat back pearl button to the center of the large yellow flower at the bottom of the banner. The second thing I added was something I’ve had in mind to use on a card for a long while–but never quite mastered the logistics of how I wanted to use it (or how to attach it). I used a piece of Swarovski crystal chatelaine chain from my jewelry craft kit to add a bit of Spring bling.

After I played around with the chain and how to drape it perfectly with the Spring banner, I used two secret things to attach the chain to my card. Because you are all such close friends, I’m going to let you in on the secret: Scotch tape and Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher. I love the look and effect of the crystal chain. As it has moveable joints between each cup set crystal, it drapes and moves along the card as you move the card around. (I’ve told you before that I’m a sucker for the shiny and sparkly.) I really think it’s the perfect addition to this particular card.

The last addition to the card was an inside journaling block that was cut from a piece of Pink Paislee decorative paper. Overall, the card is deceptively simple–and yet has a lot of work and little touches that make a memorable one to make and eventually give (if I can bear to do it).





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.)







    Caged Bird

    For my second exploration with Tim Holtz’s new Alterations line, I decided to use the Sizzix Bigz die entitled “Caged Bird”. I also wanted to make a home décor piece instead of my usual card. I have to confess that I’m actually not through with this project, but I was so excited with the results thus far that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I will be framing this in a thick dark wood frame as it is meant to be a small wall hanging.

    The “Caged Bird” steel rule die will cut three pieces when run through your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. You will get the birdcage frame, the bird’s body on a branch, and a bird wing. Instead of working with cardstock (and since this was intended to be a home décor piece and needed to be a bit sturdier), I chose to use a piece of thick chipboard as my base and Tim Holtz Grungeboard to cut my pieces from. The chipboard is a very sturdy piece from a Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) assorted chip board stack. The 4″ x 6″ chipboard is covered on both sides with a textured cardstock in a dusty rose color. The Grungeboard was a 4″ x 6″ sheet as well, though it had a “dots” texture to it. I would have preferred a plain piece when I started, but in the end, the texture added some nice highlights to the elements.

    With my Grungeboard pieces cut out via my trusty Cuttlebug, I used some Tim Holtz Distress Inks and my applicator to color the pieces. The cage was colored with Black Soot distress ink. The bird body and wing were colored with Mustard Seed; The legs and branch were colored with Walnut Stain. I was pleased with the look of the cage. The Black Soot gave it the look of an ornamental iron piece that had seen some use and wear. The bird’s body, however, just didn’t pop enough for me with just the inking. I decided my caged bird needed to be a focal point. I used some adhesive and canary yellow glitter to coat the body and wing. After they were completely dry, I used some Smooch ink to accent his eye and his beak.

    One of the main reasons I chose to use Grungeboard was for the pliability and dimension of the material. All along, my theme was to have the bird “breaking out” of his cage to leap to his magical flight. That’s why I sort of threaded his body through some of the bars of the cage and made sure his wing was exposed from captivity. This type of manipulation would have been difficult without a material that had some give to it and did not permanently bend or crease. The wing and the cage are attached to the backdrop chipboard using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals–which again emphasizes the dimensionality of the project.

    The die for “Caged Bird” punches out five holes on the bottom of the cage as a decorative detail. In my mind, I had already pictured hanging some crystal chandelier drops from the holes. But as I worked on the project and developed the theme of the bird breaking out of his cage, I though some Tim Holtz typewriter key charms might be a better bet. With the sentiment of “FLY” in mind, I chose three charm backings and used the circular alphabet stickers for my word. Originally, I wanted all of the charms to be the creme color. However, I couldn’t find a “Y” in that coloration and had to use a black sticker. At first, I was disappointed with the look. But upon further study, I really like the off-kilter lettering. Not only does it tie into the cage color, but it sort of identifies that “breaking out” theme by achieving your goal no matter what it takes (like the wrong color letter). Once you place the letters in the charm frames, you use an adhesive acrylic bubble to cover the charm. I used some Tim Holtz jump rings to attach the charms to the cage. For the two holes that did not have dangles, I covered them with rhinestones.


    The final touch on the project was the hanging chain atop the cage. Again, the chain is from Tim Holtz. I attached it to the cage with another jump ring. To anchor the chain, I chose a fabric and crystal covered brad from K & Co. to complete the look. I pierced a hole through the chipboard and inserted the brad. I think once I mount this piece in a frame, it’s really going to set off the look. I will try to remember to photograph the finished piece and share it with you later.