Birds & Words

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Worn Cover CC3C #13

Another fortnight, another challenge.  (I'm infatuated by all things British.)  I want to begin this one by a heartfelt thank you for all the kind things you guys say on my blog.  You humble me and encourage me.  I feel so honored to be on this creative journey with all of you.  YOUR talent amazes and inspires me.  Wish we could have CC3C party!!

Well, let's just have our CC3C party here online!  This challenge is a set-your-Tim-Holtz-self-free project!  Use Tim's Worn Cover binder and go crazy.  Embellishment it, alter it, paint it, ink it, spray it, just go for it!  Page 35 of Compendium of Curiosities III will give you some starting pointers, and I'll share things I've learned doing my project, too.  Remember to get your own copy of Tim's book to work from.  I think he should have called it World Crafting Encyclopedia.  Fabulous source to go back to over & over.
I loved the idea of a place to collect all those tags we make.  In keeping with that idea, I altered the cover of my "Worn Cover".  I started by spraying the whole thing over with Tim's new Distress Spray Stain in Antique Linen.  LOVE  LOVE  LOVE!!!!  Yip yip yippee!!  I was THRILLED when I first learned about these and ordered them about 10 seconds (maybe 8?) after I knew they existed.  Only 24 colors so far, but experience and my optimistic personality tell me the others will soon follow.  (I NEED Stormy Sky.  Need, truly need.)

I stamped and sprayed a piece of Sticky Back Canvas with Distress Spray Stain in Antique Linen.  I wanted to use Hitch Fasteners to affix the inner binder rings.  This is not my idea, but I don't know where I saw it, so I'm sorry I can't give credit.  The stem on the Hitch Fastener is not very long so I had to remove the eyelets that are prepared on the spine of the Worn Cover.  Then I was able to screw the things together.
 The cover features a frame cut from Grungeboard and then sprayed with Distress Spray Stain in Broken China.  I added some stamping and then popped it out with strips cut from Grungeboard scraps.  The front is embellished with a Layered Bee cut from Sticky Back Canvas and embossed.  The embossing on this was a little tricky because those bee legs don't want to stay where they're supposed to in the embossing folder.  Just tape them down.
The bee is sprayed with Iced Spruce Distress Spray Stain and then I sprayed just the wings with Perfect Pearls Mist.

The tag slides in and out of the frame.  I love Dina Wakley's new stamp set and this stamp especially. I decided I stamp this on everything I work on now because that little stamp kept prompting me to carry on.  Stay brave, girl!!


A few charms, a little embossing paste and its done.  I hope you guys have as much fun with this as I did.  I am a notebook hoarder.  I've got several I've made with nothing in them!!  I just like them.  I'll add this to my collection, but will fill it with tags for sure.  Be sure and visit the CC3C website on Linda Ledbetter's blog so you fill all the Ts and Cs for this challenge.  (Anyone know what Ts & Cs are??)  :-)  Inspiration Emporium is our generous sponsor for the challenge for a lucky random winner and Tim and Mario's crazy donation will be awarded for the Curiosity Crew Choice.  Be sure to leave your comment on all host blogs.  Doncha wanna win?  I know you do.   Remember, just....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Distress Photo Tinting

Meet Mollie.  Well, her name is Mary Margaret Brooks, but all her friends call her Mollie.  She was born in 1870 and saw the world change during her lifetime.  She grew up with her mother and 5 sisters in rural east Texas, and grew up without her father who never came back from the Civil War.  She was the baby of the family.

She worked hard all her life, loved her friends and family stubbornly, and laughed loudly.  She could tell a joke better than anyone but that didn't stop her from wanting to hear everyone else's funny stories.  At 94 she still had a mischievous sparkle in her eye.

She died just a few years after this photo was taken.  Strong to the end, she left this life suddenly.  But that's how she would have wanted it.  Strong to the end.
And.....  that whole story is made up.  This photograph came to me a few years ago from a friend who gave me a whole collection of vintage photos.  (Maybe that's why that's my favorite Distress color!!)  I've always been fascinated by this old girl.  I knew this is the picture I'd want to use for this challenge and my respect for "Mollie" has only grown as I've worked with her beautiful face.
This is a FABULOUS technique.  You can add such interest and life to these pictures.  Here's a before & after.  Amazing.  I promise you, I'll be doing this one again and again.  SO much fun. Learn this technique from page 41 of Compendium of Curiosities III.  
Note:
1.  I had best success taking my photograph to a copy store and having them print the photos on glossy paper.
2.  Using a tip from the talented Lady Ledbetter, I picked up just a pin dot of water with my color source and then tinted the photo.  That's all I'll say so as to not reveal Tim's technique, but this made all the difference in a good result for me.
 I used Tim's NEW Alphanumeric die set which is a "GOT-to-have-it".  I laid out the letters and then placed a piece of tape over the line of dies.  I picked them up and laid onto the tag,  cutting out the lettering and used the negative spaces on my tag for interest.
The wording came from the back of the photograph.  No name, sadly.
I used Tim's Remnant Rubs on Enamel Tags to create my messaging.  It made me think about myself and how much time and energy I give to coloring my hair, trying to keep fit, moisturizing my aging skin.  How relatively little time I give attending to timeless beauty.  Thank you, Mollie.  You've reminded me and encouraged me to be more deliberate to develop inner qualities of the soul.
I smile to think of the fun you'll have with this delicious technique!  Enter your art and gain a chance to win a Funkie Junkie gift certificate or a treasure trove of goodies from Tim Holtz!   Best thing to do is go to Linda Ledbetter's blog and get the game plan for entering and being eligible to win.  If you enter, it would be a SHAME not to be eligible to win, no?  Do this:
  • Include a link to CC3C
  • Include a link to the current sponsor, which is Funkie Junkie for this challenge
  • Comment on each of the Curiosity Crew blogs
  • Work from your own copy of Compendium of Curiosities III; don't reveal the technique in your write up; direct your readers to Tim's book, Compendium of Curiosities III instead
  • Don't use these challenges to promote your business or organization.  This is a celebration of Tim's book and techniques.


Follow the Guidelines - We Want You to Win!!

Can't wait to see all your beautiful art!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Effect Powders

Well, you guys continue to blow minds.   Seriously, CC3C #10 Assemblage Clocks may have been the best ever.  It is a JOY to view all the imaginative ways you come up with altering and tricking out these awesome clocks.  THANK you for continuing on this creative journey with us and challenging yourself more and more, time after time.  These are such good exercises, taking us creative places we might not otherwise have gone.  That's true for me, at least.  I'm learning more and more and loving taking this ride with all of you.

I've had this box I picked up at a garage sale which looked to me like it wanted to be altered.  This was the challenge to bring it out and give it its wish!
 I began by staining the box with Peeled Paint Distress Stain.  For some reason, the stain came off really bright, probably because of the color of the wood.  I used Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Paint to tone it down.  I just rubbed it on with my fingers.

I cut a stencil from a Plaid stencil blank with Tim's Tonic Craft Knife.  Very simple line of dashes to look like faux stitching.  Really big stitching.  ;-)  Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste in black.  Love.  It.

I wanted to use that AWESOME new Wallflower Vellum so I applied some of the 6 x 6 sections to Sticky Back Canvas and die cut Tattered Flowers.  Then I stamped the backs of the flowers and painted them with Ranger Matte Medium to give them some body.  They REALLY curled up when I did that so I flipped them over and lay them on the craft sheet to set up.

Now for our featured technique, finally!!  I used Fabulous Flourishes and Caged Bird die cut grungeboard for my effect powders.  Check out this awesome technique on page 52 of Compendium of Curiosities III, which can magically appear in your mailbox when you click here.  Well, you'll have to do a couple of other things, too.


Oh my grungy goodness, I love this technique.  It really creates a worn, weathered texture.  Yummy!!  When I layered up my flowers, I got stumped on what to use for the center.  Stuck.  Really???  I can't make flowers?  I guess my creative brain just got tired, but I settled on Tim's Hitch Fasteners which were, for just a brief, frightening time, discontinued.  No more!!  Love it that he brought them back.
I added a couple of metal flowers by using effect powders on some mini bottle caps from Maya Road that I snipped with wire cutters and then flattened.  Distress Embossing Powder works beautifully on metal.

I wanted to give you an idea of the scale of this piece.  I really love how it turned out.  I didn't do anything to alter inside, except with color, because I want to use it for storage in my studio.  Not quite sure what will live in it yet.  I'll think of something.  ;-)
Well, there you are.  Ready to break out those Effect Powders?  I'm going to be SO excited to see all the beautiful things you create with this technique.  Remember, don't describe it in your write up, visit all the Curiosity Crew blogs and leave your comment.  Get all the guidelines for CC3C here.  We are all watching eagerly to see some of the best creative talent on the scene today go to work.  Seriously, y'all are awesome.

Inspiration Emporium reeeeeally wants you to win their $50 gift certificate this time!!  Tim and Mario have offered up an abundance of of signature Tim Holtz products which will be awarded to the Curiosity Crew choice.  You've got two ways to win.  You still reading this blog??  Go make art!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Assemblage Clock

This challenge was opportune because I can't believe how time is flying by!  We're already on CC3C #10 and summer is just about gone!  Its already the end of August and here in Colorado the air is cool, the leaves are beginning to turn and the elk are bugling.  I've seen two bears in the past week!  So an assemblage clock is just the thing.  You can find out all about the clock on page 33 of Compendium of Curiosities III.  Don't have a copy?  Click here and get a signed volume from Tim Holtz!
I opted for a simpler design this time.  I colored the clock with Teakwood and Snow Cap white alcohol ink.  I absolutely love the Snow Cap with almost any color.  Its got a chalky finish and pairs nicely with the gloss of alcohol inks.  I took the clock apart and used a tiny bit of felt on tweezers so I could get into all the little spaces.
The cavity in the clock is very deep so I used some foam core and layered behind my surface to pop it forward a little.  I covered a chipboard circle with old piano music.  I couldn't believe I found a page that said "the clock goes tick! tock!"  That had to go front and center!  I added Remnant Rubs and an Ideology Metal Bird Cage with some roses inside.
I painted Tim's metal numbers and with Walnut Stain and Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint and used a technique I called Fried Paint.  Very complicated.  Paint the numbers, take your heat tool and fry them.  Ha!  The paint kind of bubbles up and I love the look.  I used the numbers 10, 2 and 4.  Anybody know what that means?  ;-)
Of course, I had to add a bird so I used Tim's Nature Adornments for the bird and the floral swag at the bottom.  I colored the bird with alcohol markers. 

Off you go to create!  Check out all the inspiring projects from the Curiosity Crew and leave a comment on the blogs.  Other guidelines you'll want to follow to be eligible for prizes are on Linda Ledbetter's blog


The Altered Clock challenge is sponsored by Funkie Junkie Boutique with a $25 gift certificate for a lucky random winner!  The Curiosity Crew will vote for a second winner who will receive a crazy-awesome bundle of goodies donated by Tim Holtz, himself!!

I can't wait to see what all you creative geniuses are going to do with this one!



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stamps and Framelits

Are you a fussy cutter?  Do you love cutting out lots and lots of really small, super extra tiny detailed bits and pieces of paper?  That are really tiny and small and little????  It can get tedious and take time from other details you want to add to your crafting projects.  Tim's stamps and coordinating Framelits can help.

Our challenge this week is a simple one: incorporate Stamps and Framelits into your art.  The sky's the limit, right?  You guys have proved to be insanely creative and I cannot WAIT to see what you do with this one!  You'll find instructions and Tim's example on page 63 of Compendium of Curiosities Volume III, available at your local stamp store or from Tim's website or from Inspiration Emporium.

Here's my challenge tag:

I chose to use Tim's butterfly Framelits.  With that beginning, I wanted to incorporate wood grain, flowers, a garden fence and this sweet girl from Found Relatives.  Ornate Frames are EASY to work in to almost any project (LOVE them!) and I painted and distressed this one for a shabby chic look.  Here's the process.

Using a #10 tag from Ranger (crazy about these oversized tags!!!), I embossed with Tim's woodgrain Texture Fade.  These tags are so big I had to run it through twice to emboss the whole thing.  You can see the break in the image, but I didn't care because I knew I'd be adding embellishments.
I used a technique we learned at Ranger U and which is included on page 50 of the first Compendium of Curiosities book, which I'm sure all of you already have!!

After the tag was prepared I just layered on my embellishments.  I can't get enough of these Ornate Frames!  I think they're perfect.  Covered with Distress Paint, dried for just a bit till the paint is tacky and then rub away the high places.
I just had to include one close shot of this pretty little one.  Such a sweet expression.  I just have to believe she would have LoVeD butterflies, don't you think?  Found Relatives is an awesome collection of interesting historic images, waiting for their stories to be told by YOU.  ;-)
Ready to play along?  Two ways to win!!  One lucky winner will be chosen randomly and will be awarded a $50 gift certificate to Inspiration Emporium.  The Curiosity Crew winner gets a awesome prize package donated by Tim and Mario.  Create your project and enter according to the guidelines set out on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  There are just a few requirements to be eligible to win, so read carefully and follow along.  We want you to win!  But to win you have to play. 

Alright soldiers.  Put on your boots, strap on your equipment and go make pretty things!!!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

Faded Layers

Incredible, incredible showing for the Painted Industrial CC3C!!  You guys continue to amaze.  The artistry just keeps ramping up.  Be proud of yourself, keep creating and keep entering!!  We've got a lot of challenges to go and a lot of chances for you to win.

Faded layers is a fun technique to play with.  Learn it from Compendium of Curiosities III on page 58.  You can get your signed copy from Tim's blog.  I enjoyed this one because, for me, it took some working with it to achieve the result I wanted.  It always seems the art I have to work for is the art I find most satisfying.  My project this week was inspired my dinner with life-friends of ours who were updating us on some of the work they do with people who have some pretty difficult life challenges.  I was picking through some of my Ideology and saw the word banner "Salvaged" and thought of how my friends were working to salvage the lives of people who are incredibly valuable human beings, but can't see it.  Thanks for all you do, Mark, Brooke and Bekah.  I love you.
I decided to do an art journal page on Specialty Stamping Paper.  If you haven't played with this surface, you must!  It takes ink like nothing else.  I dragged Victorian Velvet and Vintage Photo ink pads down the paper vertically to create some strips.  I think it sort of looks like woodgrain.
Here's a detail shot of the Faded Layers technique.  It lends a very cool texture to a flat surface.  Give it a go!!  Here I've used Tim's Harlequin and Eye Chart stencils.

I used a favorite stamp from Tim to add text to the foundation layer, as well as stamping the same text on Mr. Umbrella Man. It made me think how powerful words are, how they can tear down or build up, salvaging one's heart and spirit.  Both for the speaker and the listener.
Our friend Mark works with homeless people in the shelter's bike shop to raise money for the shelter and to build marketable skills for people who need some encouragement.
 Another close shot of the Faded Layers technique with some pieces layered against it. 
This quote makes me think about who I think I am, who I think I'm not, and of the things I don't even try because I don't think I can make a difference.  The challenge made me think a lot this time.  Art journal pages are that way sometimes!!

This challenge is hosted by the Funkie Junkie Boutique.  A generous $25 gift certificate goes to our randomly drawn winner.  The Curiosity Crew Choice will receive a REEEdiculous amount of Tim's signature product, donated by the Duke of Distress himself (credit to Hels Sheridan for that title).  Maybe you are following the challenges, but haven't entered yet?  Maybe it's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you are not.  I just made that up.  No I didn't.  But maybe you ought to be brave and enter!!  All the details are on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  Be sure and comment on all the Curiosity Crew host blogs so you'll be eligible to win.


Ready, set, create!!!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Painted Industrial

Why do we love Tim Holtz?  One reason is he comes up with techniques that create the look we love. And this technique and this look is fabulous.  Easy to achieve and easy to alter to fit YOUR style!

This weeks challenge is Painted Industrial on page 46 of Compendium of Curiosities III.  Rich, elegant and grungy all in one technique, can you believe it?  Here's my offering.
 I did a card this week featuring a vintage photo.  I love the way this technique frames and makes the sepia elements pop.
 The embossed metal areas are polished to the degree that makes you happy.  I used a couple of colors, Chipped Saphire and Mustard Seed, my current favorite duo.
 I have this thing lately where I think the word "collections" needs butterflies.  So they appear!
The photo is a picture of my sweet mother when she was a little girl.  She was the first child of my grandmother, married at age 27 to my grandfather when he was 47.  He was a widower with grown children.  My mother was born into a pretty adult world with a father nearly 50, adult sibilings and a mother who, by the standards of the day, married very late.  She's a nurturing soul to this day and seeing her cradle this kitty is in keeping with the mother and the mother's heart I know.
The photo is an image transfer onto Sticky Back Canvas.  I absolutely love doing this for a focal point that has a unique texture in its context, but is still very earthy and organic.  You can see a video tutorial to do this on my website here or from Claudine Hellmuth here, who taught me.

If this is your first time to check out CC3C, start by getting educated on the procedure from Linda Ledbetter's blog.  There is much to be gained, Grasshopper.  You have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Inspiration Emporium.  Seriously, you can select a LOT of Tim Holtziness for fifty bucks.  AND!!!  AND Tim has donated a ridiculous amount of signature product for you to go creative crazy with.  A vote for your art from the Curiosity Crew will win you this sweet prize.  See all the deets on Linda's blog, she explains better than I ever could!

Good luck, CC3Cers.  Go forth and create!