Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Some New Spring Treats

I’m going to share with you one of my sneaky secrets to buying things at craft stores.  I get my hair done at student salons.  You think you might spend $150 and up when you go to an average salon, but by going to an academy you’ll walk out with the same services, but pay like half.  That means you have money to go spend on crafty crap!  Or put into your savings account if you are feeling responsible…

So here’s what I got at Scrappin in the City, a local scrapbooking store just north of downtown Knoxville:

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (1)

Some new Authentique and Echo Park 6x6 papers.  I am more of an ink nut, while my bff is more of a paper hoarder.  I can’t remember the last time I bought paper – I still have stuff from when I was in high school – omg I’m just now realizing that I graduated almost 10 years ago.  SOB!

Anyway…I wanted to freshen up my stash with some new releases.  They fall under the category of “I like it when I see someone else’s project with it, but not something I would by for myself”.  I know that’s a really long category name but that’s exactly how I feel about it.  So on a whim I bought it, and I’m happy I did because the papers are really pretty and high quality.  I also love how they’re only 6x6 pages, so I don’t feel like I’m using the same paper over and over.

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (6)

Another ‘kind of’ rule that I have is that I almost never ever buy single sheets of paper – they are usually too expensive for just a single sheet.  But this was too cute.  I wish you guys could see how insanely glittery this pink and silver houndstooth pattern paper is – and the best part is that the glitter doesn’t flake off.

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (7)

This super cute cloud paper is actually vellum.  I have very little vellum in my stash, but just had to have these clouds – won’t they go perfect with my My Cute Stamps?

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (8)

This was actually the first single paper I bought.  As soon as I saw it I thought it was so cute and springy.  I showed Jeff and he said it looks like his grandma’s wallpaper.  What does he know anyway.

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (9)

This paper is the only chevron/zig zag print I now have in my stash.  It matches the floral paper really well and looks so retro and fun!

2PIAB Michaels A Xmas Present (2)

I also made a quick stop at Michael’s, I needed some white paper (that’s really what I use the most; I want to try some Neenah paper but it’s pricey).  I snagged that Memento Tuxedo Black ink on 40% off because it’s the best for Copics.  Believe it or not those Distress Stickles are the first of my Distress Stickles collection.  They never go on sale but they were this time, so I had to scoop those up too.  That Distress Crackle Pain in Brushed Pewter was also on clearance, so I grabbed that.

Inquiring minds need to know: do you have spring fever?  Any new items you’ve added to your stash, or any must haves that I should put on my wish list??

Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Use Glitter – Glitter 101

This post is all about the basics, after all, what isn’t better without glitter on it? (The carpet doesn’t count!)  Just about everything is much more awesome with glitter, but it’s easy to forget that there is more than one type of glitter out there.  I’m going to talk about different types of glitter, as well as best practices for how to use glitter.  (Yes I can already feel myself succumbing to corporate America.  “best practices!?”  le sigh…)

How to Use Glitter

The main type of glitter is loose glitter.  This is the most common, and many brands carry some collection of glitter in their craft repertoire.  Similar to this is PK Glitz brand glitter, which is a well-renowned micro-glitter.  This just means that the pieces of glitter are very fine and excellent for use in detail work.  The photo on the left is just regular glitter, the photo on the right is PK Glitz micro-glitter.

Glitter 001   PK Glitz

Another type of glitter is called German glass.  This glitter is actually made of glass and is very high quality, no dollar store stuff here.  Meyer Imports is one of the most well known companies to carry this, just be prepared to shell out some $ for it. 

Meyer Imports German Glass Glitter

Vintage leaf glitter is a style that resembles flakes or shards, kind of like fish food, but…ooh shiny!  It is not quite as shimmery as regular glitter, but is definitely very unique looking on projects.

Martha Stewart Vintage Leaf GlitterGlitter 003

Tinsel glitter is more like lines, than the traditional flecks of regular glitter or the flakes of vintage leaf.  Think of the tinsel on a Christmas tree garland; very metallic looking.

Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter                       Glitter 004

Flocking with glitter is just that – flocking powder (that fuzzy soft stuff, I did a post on it not too long ago, check that out for ideas on How to Use Flocking Powder) + glitter.  Sparkle N Soft is a brand that has several colors.

Sparkle N Soft

These are the main types of glitter, and they can be applied with several types of glue.  I happen to be a huge fan of Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents.  If you don’t have a bottle of this stuff in your craft supplies you are seriously missing out.  It is clear and dries quickly, with a fine applicator tip for precision.

Glossy Accents

Many people avoid using glitter because it is messy, and inconvenient.  The easiest way to apply is to keep glitter in Tupperware and use a spoon to apply to your project.  Unfortunately if you have a lot of different colors of glitter, this may not be the best solution as this will eventually start to take up lots of space.  Another common method is to apply the glitter to your project over a piece of paper, then fold the paper and pour the remainder back into the original container.  Some crafters choose to use coffee filters instead of paper.  If all of this sounds like too much of a hassle, don’t worry – there’s more options to get that shimmery look to your projects!

Glitter Spoon

In addition to loose glitter, there are several other mediums it comes in.  Hands down my favorite is the famous Stickles, another wonderful Ranger product.  Stickles is a glitter glue – but not just any glitter glue.  It has a higher concentration of glitter to glue, so you use less and your projects are more concentrated.  Stickles currently has 4 lines: (regular) Stickles, (Tim Holtz) Distress Stickles, Ice Stickles, and (Suze Weinberg) Glitz Stickles.

Stickles  Distress Stickles
On the left: regular Stickles     On the right: ‘Designer Series’ Tim Holtz Distress Stickles

Ice Stickles  Glitz Stickles

On the left: Ice Stickles     On the right:  ‘Designer Series’ Suze Weinberg Glitz Stickles
Regular Stickles have very bright glitter, and I use them all. the. time.  I mean, on almost everything.  They are the perfect addition to pretty much anything you can think of.  Tim’s Distress Stickles are part of the ‘designer series’, and were created to coordinate with his famous Distress Inks.  The glitter in these are more chunky, and vintage looking with a much more muted tone than the original Stickles.  If glitter could be masculine, the Distress Stickles are definitely it.  The Ice Stickles are contained in larger bottles (if anyone knows why, please let me know, this drives me crazy) and have large chunks of holographic glitter pieces in them.  This year Ranger has released 12 new colors that are from the original Stickles line to be introduced with the Ice Stickles line.  Last but not least is another set of ‘designer series’, which feature another Ranger artist, Suze Weinberg.  Her 6 Stickles are mostly one tone containing similar colors within that tone.

Another great option for adding glitter is to use it in your embossing powder.  Zing! is a company that has some embossing powders that have glitter in them, but the original messiness of regular glitter still applies.  For a tutorial on How to Use Embossing Powder, click on the link.

Zing Powders

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists are a great way to get an all-over faint glittery look.  They come in tons of colors and are a lot of fun to work with. 

Glimmer Mists

Microbeads are not actually a glitter but can be applied with the same concept.  I did a post on How to Use Martha Stewart Microbeads which may be helpful.

Martha Stewart Microbeads

Lastly, you could always just purchase papers, ribbons, and embellishments with glitter already on them.  But where’s the fun in that!? Winking smile  Let me know if I’ve forgotten any glitter types or if you have any questions on how to use it.  Congratulations if you’ve made it to the end, it’s hard not to get distracted…ooh shiny!!

Linking up to:

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 - February

This year Tim Holtz has decided not to do his 12 Tags of Christmas.  At first, I was like “WHAT!?  How can you do this to me!?”  But then I continued reading and learned that he is doing 12 tags still, but now throughout the year.  I think this is a great idea; I mean how many tags for one holiday can one make?  This will give him great creative license for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, the seasons in general, or maybe just whatever he feels like doing. 

Check out his February Tag first, and read more about what Tim is up to, then check out my tag!

TimTag2012Feb 001

I love how this turned out!  So fun!  If you were here when I did 12 tags, you know that I have only one rule:  Absolutely NO buying anything new to complete the tags.  So if I don’t already own something that Tim has used in his tag, then I just have to make do with what I got.  My goal is to copy his as close as possible.  I know others may just get inspiration from his tag, but I find it actually very challenging to use what I have on hand to mimic his design. 

We started out similarly, using the Valentine’s Day background by Tim Holtz’ collection from Stampers Anonymous.  He used Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Snow Cap, where I simply embossed with white Zing! powder.  We both inked in the following Distress Inks: Worn Lipstick, Barn Door, Fired Brick, Aged Mahogany, and Festive Berries.  Both tags are distressed along the sides and inked in Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.  I skipped the step of dry embossing the background as I don’t have that folder.

He used dies for the hearts and cupid; I stamped them from the same Stampers Anonymous set and hand cut out.  Both are inked in Barn Door Distress Ink.  I don’t have Barn Door Distress Stickles, so I used Xmas Red regular Stickles instead.  I also don’t have the honeycomb paper or tissue tape, so I just used hearts of varying sizes to make a ‘3D’ heart and regular red tissue paper folded up. 

I don’t have the lace border he used on the bottom, so I used actual lace instead, inked in Frayed Burlap.  For the letters I used some small letter stamps, cut into squares then inked every other in Frayed Burlap and posted up on foam tape.  I already had some pink ribbon so I didn’t need to ink any with Spun Sugar Distress Stain.  I added some blingy bits of beads and added some feathers behind the cupid for fun.

Some close-ups:
TimTag2012Feb 002
View from the top, showing the beads and ‘3D’ heart

TimTag2012Feb 003
The lace near the bottom with the letter tiles popped up on foam tape

TimTag2012Feb 004
My glittery cupid with feathers

So are you going to be ‘tagging along’ and creating some tags of 2012 with Tim?  I hope you do, it is so much fun!  How do you think mine turned out?  I’m pretty darn pleased myself!

If you're new here, please take a looky-loo around.  If you like what you see, consider becoming a follower; I've got lots of fun crafty bits to share!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paper Smooches Challenge I Forgot to Enter…Derp

No real reason that I didn’t enter this challenge, other than the simple fact that to enter a Paper Smooches Challenge you actually have to use Paper Smooches stamps.  Seems like a fair and reasonable request; however, currently I have no Paper Smooches other than 2 free digis.  Me and my printer don’t have the best of relationships; in fact we are often on the rocks…but neither of us have the courage to break it off completely.  We happened to be fighting recently and it didn’t feel like printing my digi stamp.  Therefore, I did not enter but what they hey I’ll share my card with you guys anyway.

Here’s the inspiration image:

PS 1.26-2.8.12

Here’s my crazy creation:

Paper Smooches Inspiration

All the while I was creating this it felt demented to me, but the end result is quirky and fun.  I threw some Pumice Stone Distress Ink on some gray cardstock, and stamped that Hero Arts sentiment where I was going to put a Paper Smooches digi.  I drew a bunch of lines using my Bic Mark It markers, then punched them out with a McGill birch leaf punch.  I inked up some white cardstock with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink, and randomly stamped another Hero Arts sentiment, “friends forever”, and punched those out too.  If you’re wondering, yes, those are Q-Tips, cut down and colored brown.  I curled up some of the punched leaves to make a flower, and sporadically assembled with foam squares and Glossy Accents..

If you think it’s demented too, go ahead and tell me, it won’t hurt my feelings I promise! ;-P

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy and Sad Cards

Two quick cards today.  One happy for a coworker’s birthday tomorrow.  The other sad for a death in the family for another coworker.

Happy Birthday (1)

Red card base with watercolor paper, sprayed with water and inked with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.  A swatch of watercolor also sprayed with water, inked with Mustard Seed Distress Ink.  The sentiment is from Hero Arts, with a couple buttons to finish.

Sorry For Your Loss

This was a flat purple card base, inked with Hero Arts Soft Purple Shadow Ink in a background by Stampers Anonymous.  I adhered a strip of cardstock with a Hero Arts sentiment.  The butterflies are also by Stampers Anonymous, embossed in a yellow Zing! powder.  I trimmed the side with a Fiskars decorative scissor called Majestic.  Some Prima flowers to finish with Yellow Stickles and Grape Glitz Stickles.

I find birthday cards much easier to make than sympathy cards, is that the case for you too?  I always worry that I might say the wrong thing or upset the receiver of the card.  But maybe they appreciate the thought, I’m not sure.  Birthday cards are much easier!  Although, I suppose you could upset the receiver with a birthday card also – reminding them that they’re old! Ha!  As my mom says, “One foot in the grave, another on the banana peel!”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Double Stencil Technique Tutorial

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t exactly sure what to call this.  I’m sure it’s been done before like everything else on the internet, but who cares I had requests for a tutorial from before I did the Stampers Anonymous swag post, so I’m gonna do one.  I’m calling it ‘double stencil technique’ so here goes!

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 004

Start with a blank piece of paper and stamp your image that you want to ‘fill’ on it.  It doesn’t matter what color this is stamped in, because you will be cutting it anyway.  Make sure to pick an image that has lots of open space in it for this technique to work.  Also, make sure you stamp in the middle of your paper so you can do both parts of this technique.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 005

Cut out the main part of your image that you want to ‘fill’.  Notice I only cut out the balloon part and not the whole image.  I recommend cutting just slightly inside your outline.  It also helps to use a stamp that has a thick outline.  You’ll thank me later.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 006

Next, adhere with some temporary adhesive onto your main paper.  I am using watercolor paper in this case.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 008

Fill your image in with whatever you want.  Here I spritzed a bit of water, then filled in with Milled Lavender Distress Ink.  I stamped a Stampers Anonymous background with Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Soft Lilac.  I then dusted over with Jacquard Pigments in Misty Lavender and Interference Violet.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 009

Remove your stencil, and you should be left with a relatively clean image.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 010

Cover over your image with the cut out from earlier using temporary adhesive.  Line it up as best you can.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 011

Fill it with whatever you want, then remove the second stencil.  In this case, I blended Victorian Velvet, Bundled Sage, Mustard Seed, Dried Marigold, and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks.  Don’t worry about that white line, hopefully we will stamp accurately over that in a second.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 012

Re-stamp your original image, lining up as best you can.  I recommend Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink (especially as in this case I used watercolor paper, and that water will make most other inks run).

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 013

You might end up with a slight discrepancy between your two stenciled backgrounds.  If this is the case, try to blend your background colors up to your stamped image to hide the white spots.  I had a white line in the upper right corner of the balloon, so I inked more Victorian Velvet up against the stamped part.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 016

To add a bit more shimmer, I continued with the Jacquard pigment powders.  I dusted Turquoise, Flamingo Pink, Duo Green-Yellow, Brilliant Yellow, and Aztec Gold.  I wish I could show you the shimmer in this card, in real life it is really stunning.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 015

Here is the finished card, I added a couple buttons, colored in the flag/basket/sandbags with Copics, and stamped out a Hero Arts sentiment.  Hope you guys enjoyed this technique, I’ve really been having fun with it.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!  Let me know if you give this technique a try!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!

When I was playing around with my new stamps from Stampers Anonymous, I invited my hubby to craft with me.  I’m always spending time in his garage while he messes around, so it seemed only fair that he should hang out with me in my craft room.  Plus, I considered that he is really creative, loves tools (I consider a Sizzix Texture Boutique a tool, don’t you?), understands color, and easily picks up technique.  I thought he might even enjoy it!  So here are the simple valentines we created for each other:

Valentines 002

This is his card he made, isn’t it cute?  I love the colors and how he used two inks on the cherish/adore stamp.

Valentines 001

Here’s my valentine, just a simple background from Stampers Anonymous in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks with a bit of Burgundy Stickles.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stampers Anonymous + Twitter + Unbelievable Amount of Luck =

I am so excited to share today’s post with y’all.  Something I definitely I am now a believer in – if there’s a contest going on, enter it no matter the odds.  After all, someone has to win, right!?  This post is meant to be a ginormous THANK YOU to Ted Cutts of Stampers Anonymous stamps.

Ted had a Twitter contest to bump up his followers (follow him! @tedcutts), which was RT (re-tweeted) by Mario (Tim Holtz’ business manager, @mariojrossi) whom I was already following.  I didn’t know Ted/Stampers Anonymous had a Twitter so of course I followed!  I was tweeting and up late..probably working on the 12 tags…and went to bed.

I woke up the next morning with a ton of tweets in my feed saying ‘congrats Twitter winner’.  I was like…huh what!?  And found out that I won not one, but ALL of Tim Holtz’ new 2012 Stampers Anonymous releases!!!!!!

Twitter Prize Haul

*picks jaw off floor*

So they came in about a week ago and I’ve hardly wanted to touch them they are just so perfect.  So I wanted to make a card to express my gratitude, and what better way than to use the stamps I received!  I’ll be honest, I was really intimidated to create this and send to him.  I mean, it’s Stampers Anonymous stamps…such high quality amazing images…designed in conjunction with THE Tim Holtz himself…okay I have to stop thinking about it or I will be embarrassed about it.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 001

I started with the super fun hot-air balloon stamp from Remnants CMS130.  I stamped it on a scrap sheet of paper and cut it out.  Using the negative of the balloon image, I used temporary adhesive to stick it on watercolor paper.  Using a background stamp from Mixed Media CMS125, I inked it in Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Inks.  Then I spritzed some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists in Scarlett and Gold.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 003

After taking the negative of the cut out balloon image off, I replaced it with the positive cut of the balloon.  I spritzed the paper with some water, and inked up the background with Tumbled Glass, Broken China, and Stormy Sky Distress Inks followed by a spray of TAGM in Electric Blue.  After a quick blast with my heat tool, I took off the positive cut of the balloon.  I re-inked the balloon stamp with Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink (make sure to use archival so it doesn’t run).  I carefully lined it up as best I could and stamped it over the pre done design.  I will be doing a tutorial in the near future describing this technique in further detail.

Stampers Anonymous Balloons 002

The quote says, “the world of reality has its limits; but the world of imagination is boundless’, and the inside quote says, “every possibility begins with the courage to imagine”, which are both from Warehouse District CMS124.  I thought these quotes were so perfect, because I honestly never thought I could win such an amazing and generous prize.  I really hope Ted and the rest of the Stampers Anonymous team likes it, I had a lot of fun making it and using my new stamps.

Thank you Ted, from the bottom of my crafty little heart.