Stampin’ Up! Pretties Kit

Several people have asked questions about the stick pin on one of the cards in my previous entry (the “Adore” card). It was actually made by me using a Stampin’ Up! kit that is highly underrated, yet offers so many opportunities to enhance your crafting projects. It is called the “Pretties Kit” and the item number is #109114.

I have to admit that I love jewelry–both design and collecting. Stick pins have always been a favorite even though they are not as popular as they once were. Stick pins are the perfect accessory to add to a card or scrapbook page. They add immense sparkle and visual interest with very little additional bulk. Of course, you don’t really want to use vintage stickpins for such purposes. That is where this kit comes in handy.

Included in the Stampin’ Up! Pretties kit are the following:

■ White fabric flowers: 50 (5 sizes, 10 each)
■ Halfback White pearls: 60 (30 small, 20 medium, 10 large)
■ Halfback Cream pearls: 60 (30 small, 20 medium, 10 large)
■ Round White pearls with holes: 45 (30 small, 15 large)
■ Round Cream pearls with holes: 45 (30 small, 15 large)
■ Clear beads: 40 (10 round beads with center hole, 10 round beads with side hole, 20 tear drop beads)
■ Round Rhinestone brads: 50 (20 small, 15 medium, 15 large)
■ Hat pins with clutches: 10
■ Spacer beads: 30

All of the items come packaged in a handy storage tin. The ten (10) hat pins and clutches allow you to create your own stickpins using either the pearls and crystals that come in the kit–or using your own favorite or special beads. I have to admit, playing with this kit is almost as fun as actually making a finished project. The Pretties Kit (#109114) is available from your favorite Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator for $ 29.95. (You are also more than welcome to shop my on-line boutique–a link to which can be found under the “Contact Me” link on the right sidebar of my website).

As always, have fun playing and crafting!

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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.)







    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.