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Sunday, April 12, 2015

April tag - Steam Guy

Hi, all!  This is my interpretation of Tim's tag for April.  I've been looking for something to use the Steam Guy from Time Travelers on, and this turned out to be the coolest tag! 

The stamp sets used are Time Travelers (CMS 157) and Simple Sayings (CMS 155) by Stampers Anonymous.  


Monday, March 9, 2015

Steampunk Owl

This A7 size card is a "thank you" I made for my aunt.  Stamps used are "Steampunk Owl" by Stampendous, and Floral Tattoo by Stampers Anonymous.  

Owlie is inked in Memento Tuxedo Black and painted using Derwent Watercolor pencils and a waterbrush.  Background inks are Milled Lavender, Picked Raspberry, Seedless Grape, and Peeled Paint Distress ink.  There's also probably some Walnut Stain Distress ink on there, I can't imagine stamping without it. 

The Background paper is from the Idea-ology "Lost and Found" paper stash, and cut with the largest Nestabilities Label Fourteen die.

The adorable file folder pattern can be downloaded from the Stampendous site: 


Sunday, March 8, 2015

March Tag!

It's March!  Tim has a fun tag for this month, and I have made a version of the tag using the same techniques and my own favorite colors and stamps.
You can check out Tim's blog at 

First, I created a collage on a #8 Manila tag using Idea-ology "Sketchbook" tissue tape.

Next, I smeared Distress Paint onto my craft sheet and misted it with water.  The colors here are: Tarnished Brass (my favorite for the week!), Cracked Pistachio, Peacock Feathers, Pumice Stone, Crushed Olive and Wild Honey.

 Press the tag into the paint, mist again to blend colors, and dry with a heat tool.  

Quick product review:  Cracked Pistachio is a bold green color with a slight blue undertone.  In the Distress palate it is brighter and yellower than Evergreen Bough (deep green-blue) but bluer than Mowed Lawn (bright grass-green).

Here was a chance to use one of my favorite stamps:  the face of Michaelangelo's David from "Artful Artifacts" CMS 080 by Stampers Anonymous.  I'm fond of David stamps because I have a son by that name.  And Michaelangelo was super awesome.   It is stamped in archival black ink and heat set with clear embossing powder over the top.

Mask the main image - I used the old-fashioned technique of stamping the image on blank printer paper and cutting it out.   Then I used the "Dot Fade" layering stencil by Stampers Anonymous (THS 006) and smeared texture paste over it using a palate knife.  The key to this is choosing a stencil that has more negative space (stencil) than positive space (openings).  The look works best with a smaller amount of paste going through so you can see the awesome background color.  Trying this with the clear texture paste could be a fun option, too.

Sprinkle gold embossing powder over the wet texture paste, shake off excess, and allow to dry.  Definitely use lots of embossing powder.  This happens to be Stampin' Up's gold embossing powder.  This takes 15-20 minutes to air dry.   Set it aside and be patient, using a heat tool makes it bubble. 

Once it is dry, you can gently brush off any excess and set with a heat tool. 

For embellishments, I wanted to use some Ideology paper twine, but didn't want it white.  Using a blending tool, I smudged Crushed Olive over the twine.  It works easiest if you load up the tool with ink, place it on top of the twine, and pull the twine through.  It only takes a couple of passes on each side.

A couple wraps of twine secured with the Tiny Attacher, plus some Idea-ology game spinners, a Philolophy Tag, and Foliage finish it off.  The Crinkle Ribbon is dyed with Cracked Pistachio ink and Tarnished Bronze stain. 

Here's the collection thus far!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February Tag

Hello, friends!

Here's a little copy-cat action for February!  Tim Holtz's tag for this month can be found at  Mine's a little different, but the techniques I used were the same, so I'll keep it short and just include a supply list.

By Idea-ology :
Background paper came from the "Lost and Found" and "Crowded Attic" paper stashes. 
Tissue tape is from the "Sketchbook" collection.
Game spinner, fragment, and ring fastener.  

The flower is cut from fun foam with Sizzix Alterations "Tattered Florals" die.  Also used are the "Tag and Bookplates" die for the tag and the bookplate behind the flower; and the "Trellis" Frameworks die.  

Clock stamp is "Clockworks" by Stampin' Up.
Metallic card stock is by DCWV.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cute and Quick Watercolor Card

Hi everyone!

This card was inspired by "duck" tape  (you can see a piece of the tape at the top of my craft mat).  It had such cute and simple elephant designs, I decided to use that as a model to carve my own stamp.  Because the stamp is a solid image, it works really well with the stain-to-stamp method of creating a watercolor look.  ANY solid image stamp will work well for this technique.

First, I liberally applied Ranger's Distress Stain to my stamp. The colors I used were Spiced Marmalade, Peeled Paint, and Broken China. It's best if the colors overlap a little.

 Then I spritzed it with water and stamped it on Stampin' Up's Natural White Card stock.  Choose an absorbent surface texture, you definitely want to use a watercolor paper or a card stock that will wick up the moisture.

Since I'm kind of limited on my palette of stain colors, my balloon stamp I inked all over with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink, and tapped a little Aged Mahogany stain on one side.  Then I spritzed the inked stamp with water, and stamped it on my card stock.  The balloon stamp is from Stampin' Up's Big Bold Birthday set (retired). 

Any part of the image that does not stamp just right can be smoothed out with a water brush.  Using a heat tool to dry the image, you can blow the colors around to give it a mottled effect.

For the string, I used a Copic Multiliner 0.3 felt tip pen and free-handed a little line between the balloon and the elephant's trunk.  

An easy border idea is to draw a border 1/8 of an inch in using a graph ruler.  

This was super easy to do, very quick, and lots of fun. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

Copycat Tag of Tim's January 2015 creation

Hello friends!

Tim Holtz has begun another year of tags, and January's had some fun techniques that I wanted to try and share with you.  The link to Tim's tag is . I love Tim's work, but unless you're independently wealthy, hopelessly obsessed, or work for Ranger Industries, you probably don't have everything that Tim uses on hand.  Sometimes we have to go for the next best thing.

Tim's first step is to cover a #8 manila tag with Idea-ology Tissue Wrap - which is gorgeous but not on my shelf.  My solution was to take a sheet of tracing paper and stamp some background using Staz-on ink.  Staz-on works the best, archival ink works in a pinch but it will smear a little bit.  These stamps are from Stamper's Anonymous: "Artful Artifacts" CMS 080 and "Life Adventure" CMS 077.

To adhere the backround, smear Liquitex Acrylic Matte Medium over the #8 tag, here cut from Stampin' Up "Very Vanilla" card stock using the Sizzix Alterations Bigz Die "Tag and Bookplates." Lay the tracing paper background on top of the wet medium and trim aound the edges.  That's the medium there, I didn't blow my nose on the tag.

Like Tim, give it a bit of sanding - gently - around the edges and finger-paint another layer of matte medium over the top.  Make sure to put some paper between your sanding block and your craft mat - a scuffed craft mat does not work well.

After the matte medium dries, finger-paint with some Distress Paint for color and spritz it with water.  The colors here are Peacock Feathers, Weathered Wood, and Antique Bronze.

After the paint dries, spritz with Distress Spray Stain.  Here, I used the classic recipe of "1 dropper of Distress Re-inker and fill the rest of a mini-mister with water" to make my own "Walnut Stain" Distress Spray Stain.  The whole tag got a generous spritz.

Because I didn't have the cool plastic words and numbers Tim used in his blog, it was time to "fake it" again.  I cut a "15" from black card stock using Sizzix Bigz die set "Serif Essentials,"  covered them with Glossy Accents and poured Martha Stewart's "Citrine" glitter  over the top and set it aside.  Don't deny that those sparkle-y little vials at the craft store haven't found their way into your basket before.  Martha knows marketing.

For the "twenty" I cut black card stock using Sizzix Alterations "Carnivale" decorative strip die, covered it with "Antique Linen" Distress Paint, and followed up with a coat of "Squeezed Lemonade" for a little extra brightness.  Hey, I could have made myself an "age" tag and said "Twenty x2" instead of "Twenty 15"... that'd be a great birthday card, I think I will do that.

Again, making do with what's on hand, I printed my own words out on the computer using "Bookman Old Style" font, 12 pitch.  After sticking them in place with some tape runner, I covered the tag with matte medium again and let it dry.  There was a futile attempt at splattering some "Picket Fence" Distress paint, which got everywhere but the tag.  Following that debacle, I went around each word with a Stampin' Write marker in Basic Black, smudging off as I went.  

To dye the ribbon, take Idea-ology Crinkle Ribbon and smudge "Vintage Photo" Distress Stain all over and spritz it with water.  Crumple and dry with a heat tool. The Crinkle Ribbon is beautiful in person, it has a lovely sheen when it's been 'stained'. 

The Spritzer tool is fun, that's the truth.  My gold pen of choice is a Zig Painty that's been rocking for years.  Finish the tag by gluing the card stock letters and going around them with a black marker to add some depth.  The embellishment in the bottom corner is an Idea-ology Philosophy Tag that says "Simplify."  That seemed like a good resolution for the new year.

Here are the finished tags.  The second one is my "age" tag.  There are a few differences, first is that the "age" tag is sealed with  "Rock Candy" Distress Crackle Paint to cover the tag before adhering the letters and numbers. Also, the "twenty" was cut from black card stock using the Sizzix "Go Go Boots" alphabet.  Each letter was covered with Glossy Accents, for an epoxy look.  The number 2 was traced onto black card stock from the old Idea-ology Grungeboard Numerals, which I saved to use as stencils. The Crinkle Ribbon is dyed with "Broken China" Distress Stain, and the Philosophy Tag is backed with an Idea-ology Vial Label to help it stand out.  

Enjoy, and thanks, Tim!