Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blue Jay Distractions

This is the post I did for ScrapbooksPlus-enjoy!
Outside my scrapbook window lies my backyard & a forest. It is lovely & I get to watch all the flora & fauna & animals who scurry about. Lately I have inadvertently become a bird watcher. I put seed on my deck & watch their antics. I have not perfected the photos as I am usually taking them through a window which is not ideal... I bought some bird feed that is specifically for blue jays & cardinals- the Princess Dianna's of the bird world as they are soooooo beautiful. Yes this is also before I found out they are the bullies of the bird world blablabla.

Ok so the layout- using the new & fabulous Tim Holtz stains I stained book paper & tore pieces of it then added it the background paper. Use a Martha Stewart fancy scallop border punch for the bottom of the photo mat, I love these punches-they add a wonderful layer & add dimension to your layouts. The title was done with American Craft puffy stickers that are very cool & slick looking.

For the second page I cut a branch using Cricut, & stained it with the easy to use THoltz stains. The leaves were cut from the paper-they look so great with the different background designs that are on them. The other embellishments are stickers from the collection. That is one of the great things about Twig, there are so many components to it. The last step was to add one of the cool new metal accents #14, from his maestro Monsieur Holtz -yes I do get sick of myself saying his name but come on- genus.

Next step-go to ScrapbooksPlus & buy some Twig & distress stains & play!

Supplies Used
Paper by My Little Yellow Bicycle Twig collection
-leaf a note, woods, pleased plaid, bird song.
-stickers by MLYB Twig collection
- Tim Holtz Distress Stains by Ranger
-scallop punch by Martha Stewart
-Letters by American Crafts
-metal plaquette, Tim Holtz for Advantus
-TPC studios, journal stamp.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Embossing Technique

This has become one of my favorite techniques to use. It can be very dramatic looking & I have just begun to experiment with different colors of Utee... See the jeweled looking swirl, that is what this tutorial is about. I got this idea from a gal named Rachael in the UK & it is a lot of fun to do!

It starts with a piece of chipboard. I painted the chipboard black to help hide any potential blemishes. Once dry I covered the piece in embossing ink & covered it with black Utee (ultra thick embossing enamel), heat set until it is smooth. Once cool , repeat this step 2 more times for a total of 3 embossing sessions. I find 3 works best- 4 gives you a deeper impression but you lose the integrity of the shape. Next ready the perfect pearls (Ranger) you want by simply taking the lid off-careful the words will be on the bottom! Yes I have opened them upside down & surprise powder spills out. On this piece I chose forever blue, forever green, and forever violet. Using a small paint brush dab the powders on randomly. Once you are happy with their placement get your stamps ready. Using Archival Brilliance ink (gold) ink your stamps up. Next heat emboss the piece again until the surface is smooth & starts to move looking almost fluid. Push stamp down onto piece using good pressure to emboss image into it. You can use different stamps just move quickly so piece doesn't cool. You can reheat but be careful not to heat the parts that are already stamped so you don't lose the previous image.

Here is another example, using Tim Holtz's Alterations die I first painted the branch brown & the bird white using acrylic paint. I used clear utee which is more difficult to use but has a very pretty & more subtle effect. The perfect pearls are blue patina & turquoise. The stamps are Tholtz & the Archival Brilliance is platinum. As you can see changing the colors makes it a completely different piece. Experiment on your own to see what you can come up with & have fun! Send me what you come up with!

Monday, March 21, 2011

To the Beach!

Here is another very simple page-again totally uncharacteristic of me but I think this line from Little Yellow Bicycle lend themselves well to this style. This layout is the page map & if you look I stayed pretty true to the page map except I turned the 4 photos into one 5x7 picture. There are no hard & fast rules when it comes to page maps just a design tool to give you inspiration.
I really like this photo of my kids at the beach & wanted it to be the focus point. It was the end of the day & they had finally stopped moving & were just enjoying the tide & the waves coming in. T
his Twig paper is so well designed & the elements go very well together, so I didn't have to do much. After doubling matting the photo the outside mat was distressed with broken china. The photo/mat is adhered to the background paper & the other elements just put down also. As I said very simple page. The faux flower is a stamp with one of the kit stickers in the middle. That's it

Monday, March 14, 2011

It Started with a Tag

This was the first project I made for the Graphic 45 tryouts & although I am not going to go in order, I wanted to start here. As promised I will be going through some of the techniques I used during this process of craziness! That is while I catch up on the unending loads of laundry that needs to be done! Ah sadly life marches on while we are locked in our studios-brings you right smashing down to reality!

This tag was made using the wrinkle technique which is great for achieving that totally grungy look.
Step 1: Completely crinkle up your tag & then smooth it flat.
2: Swipe your distress ink pad across the surface of the tag, picking up the creases you have created. Here I used fired brick.
3: Spray tag generously with water & allow to dry or heat set. If you like once dry you can iron your tag flat. You will notice the texture of the tag has changed & is smooth & fabric like-most cool!
4. Distress ink your tag liberally with multiple colors. I used wild honey, spiced marmalade, mustard seed, broken china, & chipped sapphire.
5. Stamp tag in layers using tone on tone with like colors & graduate to darker colors-have fun & just slap them on. Don't worry if the image isn't perfect this is grunge! I like to use stazon or archival ink for my text or quotes to get a crisper darker image. In this case I used "applause" from Graphic 45. Use a distress tool to distress the edges of the tag to give it that wonderful worn look & swipe black soot along this edge.

6. Time to add embellishments. The thing I love about G45 is all the tags, postal images...they make great additions to your projects. In this case I put the circus lady postage cut-out under a fragment using glossy accents & adhered it with a brad.
7. Cut a keyhole from grunge paper. Heat distress it with fired brick distress powder & when cool distress with black soot. Attach with brads. Slip the trapeze tag & clip in a hinge clip to the side.
8. Charms are my favorite to add a little something-in this case the silver key was too bright so I toned it down using espresso bean g.glaze. & attached it with a mini pin.

What to do with all the fabulous tags you create? I have a Holtzed-up tin that I put them in or you can add them to a layout, give with a gift as the tag, or even mail as a card. If you have any questions or comments-let me know! Have a good one!

Graphic 45-paper-Le Cirque.
Tim Holtz-Hardware Findings Sizzix die, fragment, hinge clip, mini pins (Advantus Corp).
Brads-Making Memories, & My Minds Eye
Stamps-Hampton Arts for Graphic 45, Tim Holtz by Stampers Anon.
Ranger: Tag, distress inks, distress powder.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Playing with Twigs

This months DT kit for ScrapbooksPlus is the fun & whimsical Twig by Little Yellow Bicycle. This layout was super simple but I love it! I created a frame with the back ground paper (Twig) & mounted it over the light leafy paper (leaf a note-hee hee). Next I added eyelets to the photo in the corners & ran lace through to make it look like a hanging picture. Add stickers & journaling & voila-done!
Stop by ScrapbooksPlus & check out this beautiful collection & the design team wall to see what these talented girls have done this month. We have tons of new product for you to play with.
Have a great day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I Am A Finalist!!!!

It was with batted breath I viewed the Graphic 45 list scanning to see if my name was there-Lisa my friend/co-worker saw it first-"ahhh I you are on the list". My stress level was just coming down from all the frantic work getting in under the deadline-specially when my marathon blog post refused to actually post, "this is the perfect time to panic"-Armageddon. Now what? A card, a layout & an altered item to be mailed to Graphic 45 for live viewing. Congratulations to all those who also made the list especially Robin Shakoor-my design teammate from ScrapbooksPlus.

A big good job to those who tried hard but did not make the list-we have no idea what Graphic 45 is looking for so know that you are all creative talented scrappers, just keep up the great work & stay inspired. Here is a copy of the G45 post. Good luck to all the finalists-lets go get em!


Okay, here it is! The 25 finalists (in no particular order) of the Graphic 45 Design Team are...

1. Amanda Phillips - Goose Creek, SC
2. Laura Denison - Maple Valley, WA
3. Jane Tregenza - Australia
4. Karen Wilson - Prescott Valley, AZ
5. Gloria Stengel - Oceanside, CA
6. Tara Orr - Canada
7. Michael Jack Putman and Lesley Fisher - Mesa, AZ
8. Sherry Cheever - Jeffersonville, IN
9. Jamie Dougherty - Ramona, CA
10. Hilde Janbroers - The Netherlands
11. Tracey Locher - Escondido, CA
12. Leica Forrest - Canada
13. Karen Bearse - Fairfax, VA
14. Lynette Carroll - Braintree, MA
15. Natalie Dever - Sheboygan Falls, WI
16. Nicole Eccles - Springboro, OH
17. Robin L. Shakoor - Fredericksburg, VA
18. Melanie Forbes - Australia
19. Nancy Wethington - St. Louis, MO
20. Jade Moore - Belleville, Il
21. Tonya A. Gibbs - Keystone Heights, FL
22. Tomoko Takahashi - Japan
23. Jason Jones - Whitesboro, TX
24. Jenny Svensson - Brakne-Hoby, Sweden
25. Yuka Hino - Japan

We want to give our deepest gratitude to everyone who applied for our Design Team this year. We know it required a lot of hard work and we truly appreciate all the effort that went in to each and every one of your applications. Your submissions were all so beautiful and they literally brought us to tears. We had hundreds of submissions this year and it was very difficult to narrow it down to our 25 finalists. Thank you all so much for being such stunning, creative individuals. We hope to continue inspiring you with gorgeous papers and project ideas in the future and we are so fortunate to have such a wonderful crafting community cheering us on. Thank you all so, so much.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Graphic 45 Design Team Call!

I did it!!! 2 weeks, 15 projects-gallons of coffee, lbs of chocolate, endless pandora music streaming & literally a few seasons of Supernatural in the background. I love Graphic 45 & all their beautiful papers & have been buying for years but most of the time can't bring myself to cut into it. Well I cured that! I sliced & diced, throwing myself head first into scrapbook chaos. I had a blast doing it & although a few cool projects did not get made due to the clock, I am happy with the results. Check back as I will be going into detail the techniques that were used in the coming weeks. So with out further delay... here they are. Hope you like them!

Circus Tag!
The beautiful & vibrant Le Cirque line was the inspiration for this tag. I used the distress ink wrinkle technique with fired brick, distressed the edges & added layers of stamping. A postage cut out was put under a fragment charm & attached with a brad. A lock was cut from chipboard, & embossed with distress powder to give it that aged look. This was attached with brads & used to hold the circus tag cut out.

A key charm painted with glimmer glam was added with a tiny safety pin to hemp cord & looped through the tag hole. Finally a hinge clip was added to help hold the circus tag in place. This was a fun tag to make & the grungy look of it helps the bright circus colors pop.

Moulin Rouge Canvas:

A seriously fun project to make, & one of the altered arts that I am enjoying learning about. My canvas started by laying down one of my favorite pieces of Graphic 45 paper-Mechanical Mind from the Steampunk Debutante line (you can see her peeking out from the Moulin Rouge). This canvas has layer upon layer of technique, paint, stamps, & paper. I will do a tutorial on this over the next few weeks. I tried to capture "the wild bohemian" feeling from the movie Moulin Rouge starring Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman.

I used bright, vibrant metallic colors, like those in the movie. Most of the paper is from the Curtain Call collection & was of course the inspiration for this canvas. The elephant is hand tooled in metal & colored with glam & glaze. I used a cutout from cricut as my template-yes this opens the door for endless possible metal die shapes.
My art can sometimes seem busy & overwhelming but it is actually part of my planning! I want your eye to discover new things every time you look at the piece. Just as you notice new things when you see a movie for the second time. I want your eye to be roaming & discovering the subtle layers after you get the initial -yes- bombardment of images.
*photo credit to Fox Films

Fun Tag!

Steam Punk Debutant was the inspiration for this tag. The photo does not due the tag justice as in real life it is vibrant, shimmery & metallic. I sprayed the tag with multiple layers of Glimmer Mist until it was dark with multiple color areas & super shimmery. Next it was embossed with a texture fade & the high points were hit using my finger & a small amount of Golden paint to give it that rich copper look.

Once the basis of the tag was complete the Graphic 45 tags & letters were added. I used Prima packaging for the words. Gotta love the ability to recycle! Some metal charms, ribbon & flower & voila-a small piece of art that can be added to a scrap page or attached to a present as the card.
I love, love making tags & this one was no exception!!!

Steampunk Purse or Altered Box
*look at the cool acetate peacock feather using G45's awesome new stamps from Hampton Arts-I NEED all of these!
This was a fun project although I am not quite finished, I intend to use it as a purse. Still debating on the handles. This is one of my favorite Graphic 45 collections-Steampunk Debutante. So I will tell you a bit about how I made this. I started with gluing down some grunge sprockets that had been embossed. I added book text on top, working the paper around the shapes so they popped up. Next came stamps & adhering cut outs & tags from the collection.

I made the ribbon flower & added some feathers & a canvas brad, as well as 2 altered Graphic 45 flowers.

The bird cage was cut from grunge paper & embossed with distress powder & inked. I added the charms that were made from the Steampunk tag sheet (love these) with jump rings & some baubles. The "time flies" was cut out & covered with glossy accents, as were the butterflies. I made the "time flies" look as though it was escaping from the cage-what does this mean one ponders? Attaching a hinge fastener to the corner & having a chain hang down to the bird cage just looked plain cool.
This cool metal flower was made using Graphic45 metal staples-love these too!!! I stamped in different StazOn ink colors, & bent the metal petals, putting it together with a fab brad than attaching the flower in the center of a Tim Holtz ornate plate. The plate had been painted with glam.
The edges of the box were covered with various metal & grunge pieces using gel medium. Crumbled foil tape was put on top & than painted in 2 shades of teal paint. I will add a highlight-copper paint on the high points to this to finish it off. I found this cool technique on youtube from a gal named Christina. This was one of my favorite projects I made for this design team call-I can hardly wait to find or make a cute wallet to go with it!

Next up: Travel Album Extraordinaire! The black policy envelope from Graphic 45 has all kinds of room for hidden tags. The album below shows just some of the pages & pulled out tags-all "8x4" -now that is a tag!

Paris in a Day:

The wonderful collection Curtain Call has a portion of it dedicated to Paris. These papers were perfect to use in the Graphic 45 black policy envelope. In 1987 I had my first trip to Paris. I was only there for the day enroute to Denmark. It was wonderful & filled with all those great monuments we see in ads, movies & magazines but to experience it live was awesome.

This was a technique jammed project & in the interest of the design call I may briefly mention the various techniques but I will teach them in future postings. ....the cover is jammed with papers from Graphic 45-even the flower is made from paper, that is misted, glammed... The chipboard swirl adds a splash of peacock color to the cover & is done with Utee, perfect pearls & stamps-a very stunning look is achieved at the end of the process.
Lots of various embossing techniques were used throughout the album but for now I will let the pictures do the talking as I talk a lot further down!

While in Paris-a journal for your trip!

Ok so the minute I saw Curtain Call at CHA I knew a journal must be made. This line is dark & mysterious & sexy just like the "City of Lights" that it represents (we'll get to the jazz in a bit). As you are beginning to see I am a bit of a technique junky. I love taking classes & learning new techniques or just playing with new product to see what it can do. The base of this book is just a regular spiral journal. Starting out black & beige, a little Glimmer Mist & now it has dark rich purple colors, everyone needs some purple in their life.

I hand made the flower using embossed fabrics (again tutorials to follow). Added tickets & tags from this fabulous new Graphic 45 line. A bit of bling, some metal & I am ready for my flight-now where did my ticket go?

Clowns-run, hide!

This layout was inspired by the fantastic Le Cirque Collection. I wanted to show you can use these papers for more than just Ringling Bros. My son is freaked out by clowns & always has been mysteriously-no idea where it came from but this line was the perfect way to get a story into my scrapbook. I started with the photo. I had to "create the memory" & my son was most willing to oblige. Don't be afraid to take a photo after the event if you missed the opportunity. If you make it fun most family members will be keen to ham it up on film. I am planning on getting that Christmas card photo done as soon as it warms up!

I made this layout on corrugated cardboard-no, not acid free (you can spray it with archival mist if you wish) but very environmentally friendly. I wanted to portray the circus atmosphere even if we weren't at the event. The Graphic 45 papers certainly helped inspire the crazy, all over the place feeling I wanted. Those postage stamp sheets are a great way to add embellishments- a little card stock, maybe a pop dot & wham you are good to go.
Again I was in an artsy mode today & did some cardboard tearing to reveal that great texture, paint, crackle paint, dictionary paper with a gesso white wash, & stamp, stamp, stamp. Did you know that Graphic 45 now has a matching stamp collection with Hampton Arts-can't wait to get my hands on those!!! Even better they go with their paper lines-genius!

Another thing I love about Graphic 45 is all the images that beg to be cut out. I know-some of you don't like to, or like me suddenly discover you need reading glasses. Well it gets easier & fun the more you do it so run out & buy a cool outrageous pair of glasses reserved for your scrap room, a good pair of fine cutting scissors & go for it. You can mount them on card stock, chip board, pop dot them, add some glitter or glam-the possibilities are endless. Come on you know you want to!

While We're at the Circus...

Did I mention I love tags? Well this is a really cool one. I used the Graphic 45 packaging as the base-do you think they put in that nice big eyelet on purpose? It is just screaming "tag me!" The backing is slick but I wanted to keep it, so I used some glimmer glam to create a surface & stamped with StazOn. Than came the stunning & intricately designed tag from Le Cirque collection & yet another postage stamp-I love those things. I covered the round punch out clown with a clear epoxy sticker & pop dotted it onto the tag-an inexpensive, expensive looking embelly. I used the Graphic 45 lace ribbon & dyed it using glimmer mist to make it a sunny yellow that matched the images on the tag. This is a great way to custom make your ribbons & fibers.

The key is a cool technique to be discussed later but I will say that the acrylic, embossed, stamped, glammed wings look fabulous live. I ran into technical difficulties that left me with a large part of the tag-naked. I added a gathered tissue tape ribbon that I alcohol inked & placed over a piece of ribbon with dangle beads (I am sure there is a proper name for those). My accident ended up taking this tag from good to fantastic. It looks so cool now!

Imagine all the Fairies.

This was one of those rare moments when my daughter stopped moving & was just looking up enjoying nature & I had my camera & I got the shot! The layout is inspired (don't you love when paper inspires you) by the stunningly ethereal Once Upon A Springtime collection by, yes you guessed it-Graphic 45. This is a technique heavy page with stencils, inks, glimmer mists, glam, acrylic which is embossed, & glitzed up. I love the soft flow of this page that continues the feel of the photo.

A Beautiful Box for the Fairies:
I am scrambling to post this so check back for details in a little bit!

Follow the Fairies into the Garden.

Ok not really but the title sounds good. This layout is showcases the medieval feel of the Renaissance Faire collection. This paper proved to be a challenge because I just didn't want to cut it up or cover it up. I do think it just needs to be framed but that wouldn't make for a good tryout layout so out came the scissors. I tried to keep the image intact & incorporate it in the layout. In the end the paper dictated the layout which the garden photo was perfect for. I was still in the glimmer mist mood which shows off the bird stencil well.
I had a spot in above the girl that was just right for a tag so here is an example of using your tags on a layout. I I had some stamps that I wanted to use & the tag adds that extra bit of space & also makes the page interactive. If this was in an album I would simply cut the page protector to allow the tag to be pulled out.

The tag has a number of techniques including misting, stamp layering, clear embossing & coloring acrylic. Not to mention a sweet hummingbird that is looking for that garden.

Halloween Fun:

Ok so the genius that is Graphic 45 releases the most unique, beautiful Halloween paper ever. Timed with the movie starring Johnny Depp-we may never know. Here are some pics of my mini 2 page layout that will go in my ongoing album...

Postcard or Card??

All That Jazz...

Thanks for looking! As I said I will be following up this post in a few days -must sleep 1st! My upcoming posts will highlight some of the techniques used to make these projects. And to all a good night!


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