Birds & Words

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fall of 2016 - Costa Rica!!!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints - mixed media workshops in Costa Rica 2016

Is this happening??  Yep.  September 25 - October 1, 2016 you can join the Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints for a creative week of exploration and experience in beautiful Costa Rica!

Join Craftours with special guest educators, ANNETTE GREEN, CANDY COLWELL, CHERYL GRIGSBY, HELS SHERIDAN, LINDA LEDBETTER, MARJIE KEMPER and YVONNE BLAIR for an extraordinary event in one of the most beautiful countries in Central America.

The package includes first class hotel accommodations, airport transfers, daily breakfast, lunch and special dinners, workshops with all the educators and for a limited time airfare is FREE! Visit to book your space today!

Jim West has established Crafttours as the premier experience for crafters who want to combine their passion for art with the inspiration of the sounds and colors of exotic locations.  And what better location than Costa Rica for mixed media artists?

The lush greenery in Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop to the brilliant colors you will see all over the place, from the handcrafted art you'll see on your tour to the village of Sarchi and to the incredible and unique natural environment.

This trip includes seven different projects and workshops, mixed media exhibits by all the instructors, painting, photography, lectures, sightseeing tour of the Doka Coffee plantation including the butterfly sanctuary and the craft village of Sarchi, special dinners and a lot more! This tour and workshops getaway is personally escorted and organized by Craftours founder, Jim West.

Visit these blogs often to be informed as more class details become available.  Also visit the Craftours website for information about this amazing opportunity!!

Is this happening????  It sure is!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Eroded Metallic Altered Box

Hey CC3C artists!  I have been WAITING for this challenge.  I absolutely love this technique and I know you will, too.  There is real artistry here, a technique you can just play and play with, figuring out your timing for the steps, the amounts and methods for applying your medium, and where you are placing your effects.  So much fun!!

Turn to page 44 of Compendium of Curiosities Volume III to learn the Eroded Metallic technique.  You probably already have what you need to do it right in your studio!

As per the guidelines for our challenges, I won't give you any of the details of the technique here, but I will give you tips that helped me as I prepared the project for this challenge.  Tip #1:  There is a learning curve.  Determine to have fun with this and just play!  I knew I'd be creating an altered box, but I got myself a stack of manila tags and practiced the technique till I was comfortable with it.  I've got a bunch of tags ready to go for a future project, as well.
Am I the only one who has trouble throwing away the FABULOUS boxes that iPhones come in?  I went through my "Ready to Alter" stash and grabbed this for my project.
I cut black card stock to fit my box top.  The box measurements were kind of weird (6 15/16 long????) so I had to play with it a bit to cut a template that fit.
Ta da!  Eroded Metal.  I used Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Faded Jeans, and Tarnished Brass Distress Paints.  Tip #2:  After working the technique, I rubbed some of the "undercooked" areas with a paper towel and got just a bit more erosion.  That may or may not help, depending on the result you have after you have done the technique yourself.  
Score tape around the edges of my iPhone box, ready to apply my Eroded Metallic cut out template.
I prepared some copper tape with Distress Paints and a little Pitch Black alcohol ink and Blending Solution. for the corners and unfinished edges of the Eroded Metallic template.
I think I went slightly crazy using Distress Paints and alcohol ink together.  Love it on these metal surfaces (copper tape and the metal corners).  Very interesting colors and texture combinations.
Here I'm working with the layout of the embellishments for the top of the box.  I've used some vintage ephemera I bought from my sweet friend, Lisa Pace.  Love her beautiful art!!  The collection she sent me included these vintage doilies and this gorgeous miniature silver spoon from Italy.  I don't know how she could bear to part with it.  Its laid on my desk for the longest time, waiting to be included in a mixed media piece.  It was a joy to add it to this one, giving it meaning.

The little Heirloom Roses are so pretty.  Here's a video from CHA 2015 with Tim showing a lot of the new Ideology releases and a demo coloring these little resin roses.
So there it is.  All you need to know to enter and win CC3C challenges is here on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  Be sure to:

Speaking of our sponsor, this time its our good friends at Inspiration Emporium.  They've got a truly generous $50 gift certificate for a random winner!  Our Curiosity Crew choice wins a super special prize from Tim Holtz himself, and his Logistics Director, Mario Rossi.  

You've got two full weeks to create and enter and the Crew will be watching eagerly for all your creative entries!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Alcohol Ink Ombre

Who loves technique challenges?  I do! I do!
This is one of those that you are sure to be able to participate in because you are sure to already have what you need.  Do you have a bottle of alcohol ink?  Do you have a piece of felt and an applicator tool?  Some glossy card stock?  You're all set.
My niece's birthday was April 30 and I wanted a card that would be sassy enough for a 20 year old.  Thank you, Dina Wakley  LOVE her silouhette stamps and this one had the particular attitude I was going for.  I used the whole ombre piece for my background.  I added a bit of stenciling with Tim's Typography stencil.  I used some Indigo Alcohol Ink at first but it wasn't quite rich enough for me.  So I repositioned the stencil and stenciled the letters again with "Night", from Dina's Media paint.
I differed from Tim's technique in Compendium of Curiosities III by using different colors, but other than that the technique is the same.  I chose Willow, Meadow and Stream.
I gave my girlie some interesting wings using Stamper's Anonymous Classic #17 stamp set.  Love that mariposa collage.  I cut out the butterfly wings and colored them with Broken China and Mustard Seed Distress Inks, blending the color with a blending tool.
Tiny butterflies from the same stamp supply two points at the bottom right of my card.  

This challenge is sponsored by the lovely Linda Couglin at Funkie Junkie.  A random winner will receive a $25 dollar gift certificate to her website for a shopping spree!  Our Curiosity Crew choice will go to their mailbox and find a cache of Tim Holtz treasure, donated by Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi.    SO very cool!!  Find the few simple rules and guidelines on Linda Ledbetter's blog here.  Don't forget to leave some love on the Curiosity Crew blogs:

Cheryl Grigsby (that's me, do it below!!)

Grab you copy of Compendium of Curiosities and create!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Embossing Diffusers

Happy Spring, CC3Cer's!!  The weather is warming up and things are turning green and I'm thinking travel!  We've got a couple of family trips planned soon that we're really looking forward to and I took that theme for my challenge today.

I'm a big fan of dimension and texture and I love the look of embossed paper.  Embossing Diffusers are such a cool addition to this look!!  This year is all about frames for me, I see them everywhere and the "diffused" area creates a fantastic frame for your featured images.
I embossed a panel of watercolor paper using Tim's Regal Flourish Texture Fade embossing folder.  I picked up some Cracked Pistachio and Old Paper Distress Inks with a Detail Nib water brush and touched the high embossed areas.  I used Vintage Photo blended over the whole thing, leaving the center oval mostly white.

I used the following sandwich in my Vagabond, which would also work in the Big Shot:
Solo or Multipurpose Platform
Embossing Diffuser Plate
Embossing folder containing watercolor paper
Acrylic cutting plate

After running this sandwich through and getting my embossed area, I ran the paper back through with with following sandwich to get the inner oval frame to emboss:
Solo or Multipurpose Platform
2 Spellbinders Rubber Tan mats (you need to use rubber matting to equal the thickness of the acrylic cutting plate)
Watercolor paper with oval cutout placed over diffused oval area
Acrylic cutting plate

This is a bit different than what you'll read in Compendium of Curiosities III, but its what worked for me.  The point of this challenge is to use the Embossing Diffusers in your project, but you will need your own copy of the book, as always.  Hopefully, this will not confuse you, but will simplify things.  Tim's book, which I'm SURE you own!!, will add step by step photos and details to help you get your very best, successful result. 
We live in Colorado and Tim's Tall Trees stamp is a very worn, well loved stamp in my collection.  I traced the oval from the Embossing Diffuser on some paper and cut the oval out to create a mask, then stamped the Tall Trees through the mask.   I can really relate to the little jalopy bumping over mountain roads through the trees as we begin our journey. 
A little spiral of white wire tells you our jalopy is chugging along.  I've got a big bag of old car keys I got from an estate sale.  This one went with a 1969 white Ford of some kind.  4 door.  ;-)
 Some bits of Tim's Expedition Ephemera.  Planes, trains, and automobiles, baby.
When I was a little girl, wanted to go see all the places I saw on my View Master. Sequoia trees in California, Niagara Falls, Mt. Rushmore, all of it.  This Picture Wheel has always meant travel to me.  I put some alcohol ink on acetate and then cut an extra picture wheel, just for the little window cutouts.

How are you going to diffuse?  There are more ways to use this one and I KNOW you guys are going to find them!!!

Our sponsor this challenge is Inspiration Emporium.  A FABulous $50 gift certificate for a randomly chosen winner.  Just by entering your art!!  You oughta do it.  Just follow some simple guidelines on Linda Ledbetter's blog and you've got a chance for this cool prize.  The Curiosity Crew Choice wins an outrageous bundle of goodies from Tim Holtz himself!!  

Alrighty, then.  Go explore your world! 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Smudge Stamping

Greetings, CC3Cer's!!  Thanks to all of you for all the beauty and inspiration you are creating.  I can't tell you how many times I look at your art and think to myself "I want to redo mine!"  Truly, you guys are all so awesome.  Your blogs are a joy to read and your art is a joy to view.  What a cool challenge to get to be a part of.  I am blessed.  YOU are blessing me!

This challenge is just super easy and I promise you, if you are a Timaholic at ALL, you have everything you need for this technique.  You can take off on this one a thousand different ways.  Let your creativity FLY.  I love the ebb and flow of these challenges.  Sometimes, there are very specific things you need to do creatively and sometimes the choices are wide open.  Find the technique on page 42 of your very own copy of Compendium of Curiosities III and GO!!

This time our challenge is sponsored by the good folks at Funkie Junkie, where Linda keeps Holtzie stuff stocked deep and wide.  Pay her a visit and do some shopping, she'll take good care of you!!  Our random winner gets an awesome $25 gift certificate from Funkie Junkie!!

Our Curiosity Crew choice will, after they stop jumping up and down and screaming, will win a bundle of fabulosity from Professor Holtz and his able teaching assistant, Mario Rossi.  Trouble is, they may not stop screaming for a while.  Its kind of an exciting thing.
Of course, I cannot explain the technique upon pain of death, but so I've just included some close ups of the details of my tag.  My "thing" that I wanted to build my project around was the stamp from Wendy Vecchi, "rules to live by".  So simple, I think I'm gonna get a tattoo.  My frame kind of covered up the stars on the sides of the first line of the text, so I stamped them again, cut them out and popped them out.  The text of this stamp, including the stars, are embossed with Wendy's Watering Can embossing powder.
Ranger just announced today NEW colors from Wendy in Archival Ink Pads and Embossing Powders.  Pink Peony, Tiger Lily, and Violet.  That Wendy is a flower girl.  ;-)
 I stamped Wendy's bee on her Art Parts.  Such a cool dimensional statement.  I've big plans for Art Parts this summer, I'll be blogging what I'm doing with them!!  My tag layer is out of my "starter" basket, which is full of tags and bits that are just things with a bit of ink or embossing paste, or whatever, that I like for whatever reason and don't want to throw away.  I love that basket.
 Here's where I'm committing blogging blasphemy, I think.  I'm not sure I remember how I created this frame.  I picked up a frame I'd done several months ago and I'm not sure how I did it.  BUT!!  I'm pretty sure I cut the frame from Tim's Ornate Frame  Sizzix Bigz Die, painted over it with black gesso and then applied Picket Fence Distress Stain.  If I didn't, that's darn sure what I'm going to do the next time I need one of these suckers.
Ain't it, though?

For this project I used Wendy's Art-fully Said and Art for You stamp sets, Tim's Special Delivery Remnant Rubs and Typo Layering Stencil, Vintage Photo, Wild Honey and Walnut Stain Distress Inks, Wendy's Watering Can Embossing Powder, and Tim's NEW Handwritten Journey Thinlits dies by Sizzix.  I've been dying to use those dies!

Please visit all the Curiosity Crew blogs and leave them a little love, I know they love YOU!

Thanks for enjoying the journey with us.  I am, aren't you??

Saturday, March 28, 2015

One Word: Frameworks!!

I LOVED this challenge.  Frameworks.  One word, that's all, just use a Frameworks die any way you like!!  I needed a simple challenge this time due to all the stuff going on in my life (can I get an amen???).  Besides this one just gave me joy.  I like joy.

This is sort of a personal message for me as I'm going through some changes personally and professionally that are exciting and a tiny bit scary.  I'm really jazzed about the future "and so the adventure begins...."
I cut a couple of sections of Tim's Trellis Frameworks die out of Grungeboard.  I glued that down the lateral border of a #10 tag.  I like #10 tags.  I used some sewing pattern tissue and tore sections of it and glued them down over the Frameworks.  I took a stiff paint brush (Dina Wakley's brushes work nicely) and used them like a stencil brush, working the tissue down into and around the Frameworks shape.  This idea came from a tech Candy Colwell uses brushing gesso over dimensional shapes and then painting or spraying.  I can't remember where I got the idea of adding the layers of tissue.  If I remember, I'll edit this post.  My poor brain.....
 I thought it was kind of cool that the word "vogue" was just where I was was tearing tissue, so that HAD to go down on my tag.
 I painted over all the tag with Dina Wakley's Turquoise paint.  Then I painted over all that with Gesso and then painted over with Turquoise paint again.  I don't know why I painted with the first coat of Turquoise.  #dontjudgeme  I just did.
Then I spritzed over the Frameworks area with Antiqued Bronze Distress Spray Stain.  I used a little rubbing alcohol (surgical spirits) on a cotton cloth and rubbed over the high areas where the Frameworks die is raised.
These are the things I used to create just the background of the tag.  I used Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the edges of the tag and over the Frameworks, rubbing the high areas with rubbing alcohol again.

After the love affair with Remnant Rubs last challenge, I simply had to add a few here.  This was really fun.  I used them on the Frameworks which meant that only some of the Rubs would connect, giving me kind of a partial application.  LOVE.  Really, in love with that.

 I pressed and pushed the Remnant Rubs in the recessed areas to make them conform to the shape.
I used the "untransferred" Rubs onto a spare tag, giving me a head start on a future project.
I used a B Line Designs "Annabelle" stamp for my focal point.  Love this lady, so elegant.  My little signature bird (another B Line stamp) sits on her shoulder.  Tim's sentiment is PERFECT for me now.  The belt, which binds, is now loosened and my lady is ready to fly.
  • Visit Linda's awesome blog (it really is awesome, have you bookmarked it???) to get the lowdown on all the CC3C guidelines
  • Go to your stash and grab that Frameworks die (or order one from Inspiration Emporium)
  • Check your copy of Compendium of Curiosities III (or order it here from The Duke of Distress Hizzelf)  You gotta have your own copy.  You WANT your own copy!!
  • Link your project on Linda's still awesome blog
  • COMMENT on the Curiosity Crew blogs, and be eligible to win fabulous prizes!!!

SOOPER loot from Professor Holtz and his Teaching Assistant, Mario Rossi, for the Curiosity Crew choice
A generous gift certificate from Inspiration Emporium for our random winner!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

CC3C #24 - Remnant Rub Resist

Hey there CC3Cer's!!  I just have to start by saying congratulations to all of you who entered the Collection Folio challenge.  The Curiosity Crew was just bowled over by how cool everyone's projects were.  Even if you didn't enter, I really encourage you to work with one of these.  I can't wait to get some time in a few weeks to work on my next one.  What an inspiring way to create!

And we're off on a new challenge.  Remnant Rub Resist is an easy technique with dramatic results.  I own a scrapbooking and paper arts store and I can tell you all rub ons are not created equal.  I didn't know that and maybe that was one of those things that everybody but me knew.  But I didn't know.  I've bought rub ons because I liked the images but when I tried to use them, they sort of fell apart and didn't transfer well.  Tim's Remnant Rubs are like buttah.  Awesome.  You can position them and just sort of press with your finger and they stay put.  The transfer is complete.  I used his new Remnant Rub Tool and, more buttah.  You must have one of these if you care for Remnant Rubs at all.  Which you will, if you ever try them.  Which you will.

I've had this quote from Hans Christian Anderson in my design notes for a while.  I knew it would shortly make its way into some art and this challenge really lent itself to use it.  You'll want to check Tim's book, Compendium of Curiosities III, to get the low down on the tech, but I've included some details from the other parts of my design for this tag that I hope will be fun to check out.
 I wanted to use the best stamping paper ever, Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper, for the focal point.  I also wanted to use a Wendy Vecchi tech for coloring the butterfly, but I needed to "precolor" as the alcohol would blur the black ink.  I came up with a way to stamp a mask of the butterfly and lay on the SSP.  I used a pin and punched tiny holes to create a general shape.
 I used Cornflower Blue and Chrome Yellow Archival reinkers.  Put 3 or 4 drops of reinker on your craft sheet or in a cup and then add about a 1/2 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol.  I mixed that and then picked up with a pipette and dropped color on my templated butterfly shape.   I did yellow first, then blue, then went back and dropped a little more yellow on the line between the two colors.  I used very little color and dried it, building up layers.
 After I was satisfied with the colors, I stamped the butterfly from Tim's Perspective set with Jet Black Archival ink.  Magic.  This is the reason I wanted to use this paper.  Nothing takes ink like it.
 I cut out the butterfly and then stamped the same imagine on the back.  It just helps with images with any "lift" to have something on the back to make them look finished.
Edges of the butterfly inked with Vintage Photo, as everything everywhere should be.
 A couple of other details.  I used Tim's new Flourish Layered Stencil with Wendy Vecchi Crackle Embossing Paste.  Once dry, I blended some Distress Inks over the whole tag (Broken China, Tattered Rose, Tea Dye) and then I mixed a little Tea Dye Distress Stain with water and used a pipette to add color right on the crackle embossing paste.  I liked how it filled in the cracks and added a grungy shadow on the flourish.
One must have a little flower!  In a Tim Holtz glass vial, filled with microbeads and tied with a little organza ribbon.  One must have all these things.  Oh!!  Good news, you can add Remnant Rubs on tope of Remnant Rubs.  The little touch of harlequin on the dictionary text helped balance out this piece.

What say you?  Perfect challenge to just add this one technique to anything that is inspiring you these days.  It is going to be a BLAST to see what you come up with!!  Be sure and check out Linda Ledbetter's blog for the guidelines, and give all my Curiosity Crew sisters some love.  We are prepared to be blown away by your talent.  We're getting used to your awesomeness!!

Our challenge is sponsored by the lovely Linda Coughlin at The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  A random draw will win you a $25 gift certificate to go crazy there!  The Curiosity Crew Choice will win a groovy prize package donated by Hizzoner Tim Holtz and his Logistics Director Mario Rossi.  Very generous, and how cool to win a prize directly from Tim!!!  Would you like that?  Would you?  That's what I thought.  

Go for it, why shouldn't you be the next winner??!!