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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!