Birds & Words

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rock Candy Distress Glitter

Hey, kids!!  How about another challenging challenge?  Not a fabric girl, not a glitter girl.  But not a whiner or a quitter, either, so here we go with Rock Candy Distress Glitter!  I actually do like a touch of glitter as an accent on some pieces and this super-favorite-stamp from way back did just that for me.  Dried Flower from one of Tim Holtz earliest collections.  I use it a lot with Distress Inks and a spritz of water for a colorful earthy effect.  It's so lacy, the glitter is just a pretty hint of sparkle on my tag.

Please forgive my lack of photos from the process.   It's just a wrinkle free distress background with Stormy Sky and Tea Dye Distress Inks.


It's subtle, so I've chosen a couple of close ups so you can see a bit of sparkle.  You can also see here silver micobeads sprinkled over some wet Ranger Matte Medium.  I saw something like this at the Prima Booth at CHA and thought it was charming.  My little bees are fussy cut and popped out from the same stamped image.
This movers and shapers mini flourish is another favorite and keeps me buying lots and lots of grungeboard.  Lots.  Cannot remember life before grungeboard, I'm sure it was awful.   Its painted with Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint and then I tapped a little Black Soot Distress Paint in areas, misted with water and tapped that out with a cloth for a tarnished look.

Truly, truly love these little corked vials with a message inside.  This one says "small" and on the other side "journey".  Maybe "small" is my one little word for this year.  I'm finding myself focusing and appreciating the small, the quiet, the still and the simple more and more and more.  Maybe that's the reason that more than the bling that glitter can bring, I'm attracted to just a bit of sparkle.  That's what this challenge has taught me and is one of the reasons I love this artistic journey we're all on together.

Join us?  Follow the guidelines on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  Visit each of the Curiosity Crew blogs below:

Linda Ledbetter
Anita Houston
Annette Green
Candy Colwell
Hels Sheridan
Marjie Kemper
Susan Mostek
Yvonne Blair

......and you're eligible!  Win a random draw and you'll receive a gift certificate from the generous and truly kind people at Inspiration Emporium.  The Curiosity Crew choice wins a FabGrabBag from Tim and Mario, you know you want that one.  If you've noticed a gaping and embarrassing vacancy in your library, its probably a copy of Compendium of Curiosities III, which you must own to participate in the challenges AND which is a simple click away.  So click away.

Signing off in Colorado and let me be among the first to say (today)....

Don't Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dream Everyday - CC3C #20

Hey, CC3Cer's!!  Just home from CHA catching up on chores at home and work, brimming with inspiration and glowing from being with good friends.  It is such an inspirational environment, I can't wait to get home and get in the studio and create.  I had gotten a bit of start before I left for California and finishing up this tag was a blast.
Tim's Distress Watercolor - part 2 tech is the feature for this challenge, found on page 40 of Compendium of Curiosities III.  Awesome technique for those of us who are not watercolor artists, but love the organic look that watercolor brings.  Want to learn the details of how to achieve it?  Here are the details:

^^$^%&  ^*(*&)  *)*)&(*  ^&*&%  &^$^%#  %$@$@.  %$$^&  *&^*&(&  (&(&)(_+((*&^%  ^#@@#$%^&  *(YT$%^?   &*()PKJB  GTYUJ,  HY^ygb  nht^&U  HGFR^  &Yhbn.

And that's all there is to it.*
I covered some of my butterflies with embellishments so I included a close up here so you can see more detail.  I've learned when working with technique challenges to prepare several panels to work with for my learning curve.  I learned on this one to be sure and heat set the ink before I add the last step.
I started my tag background with Wendy Vecchi Crackle Embossing Paste.  I knew where my embellishments and focal point would be so I made sure to add the crackle in the areas where they would show.  I spritzed the whole tag with Iced Spruce Distress Spray Stain.  I need this groovy stuff by the gallon.
I wanted to add some Antique Linen Distress Paint over the cracked areas to tone down the white color.  I picked up my spray bottle of water to thin it and Lo!! it was not water, but Iced Spruce Spray.   Oh, accidental yummy distress joy!!  Mixed it with my finger and rubbed over the tag.
I sprayed my trims with Iced Spruce as well.  I've shown above the color of the teal seam binding I started with and how it changed.
"Everyday"  from Alpha Parts - Framed, backed with a scrap from Wallflowers Paper Stash.  I liked it without any paper backing but it didn't photograph well at all and was difficult to adhere without foam dots showing through.  I tried a couple of other dimensional adhesives but couldn't get that lovin' feeling.  Backing with paper and then building up grungeboard scraps did it for me.  Its a beautiful thing.
LOVE Tim's Gothic stencil and Wendy's Silver Embossing Paste.  LOVE coloring these beautiful metal Ideology roses with alcohol markers.
Loved this sweet little "dream" heart charm so I repeated the word for emphasis with die cut letters and also to balance the visual weight at the bottom of the tag.
Is that Electic Elements fabric I see peaking from behind the butterfly panel?  Why, yes it is.  I officially love fabric now.  I'm converted.  I sprayed this bit with Iced Spruce to unify color in the piece overall.

You have everything you need for this challenge!!  Go for it, super fun technique.  Our sponsor for this challenge is Funkie Junkie Boutique and the lovely Linda Coughlin.  I got to meet her at CHA.  You know that feeling when you finally meet someone and they are as nice as you hoped they'd be?  That's Linda.  Perfectly lovely.  As always. Tim and Mario have a super bundle of crafting candy for the Curiosity Crew Choice.  You know you want to win that one!

Follow simple CC3C guidelines and be eligible for you beautiful art to win.  Ready?  Go!!

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*Some instructional information may be encrypted to protect the copyright and work product of Professor Timothy Q. Holtz.  Please click here for a key to unlock encryption.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Frayed Fabric

Me:  Fabric?  Really???  I do paper, not fabric!
Tim Holtz:  Don't be silly, you can incorporate fabric into your art.
Me:  Well, yeah, but I really love paper and Distress Inks and Paints and Distress Spray Stain and Ideology, and did I mention I don't really sew?
Tim Holtz:  I think you're overreacting.  Eclectic Elements graphics will be very familiar to you and you'll love the textural dimension they bring.
Me:  My sewing machine hates me.
Tim Holtz:  Just grunge it!!  Even an unkind sewing machine can't stop you from using my Eclectic Elements fabric which has a grungy, distressed vibe.
Me:  Well, they are kind of awesome.  And I really do love texture.
Tim Holtz:  Go for it!  Encourage your hopes not your fears!
Me:  Okay.  I'm doing it.

(The preceding is an imaginary conversation with Tim Holtz, Creative Wizard.)

I have always said "If you think you think you see sewing in my work, look closer.  It's probably ink."    So this one is not a natural for me, but wow!  I love this stuff.  I think you're going to love it, too.
My sweet friend Yvonne Blair has designed a new art journal and she sent me one to try out.  I wanted to use the Frayed Fabric technique to make a cover for my art journal.

I was working with 8x8 swatches of fabric, so I sewed 2 together to make a piece large enough to cover the journal.  I misted it with water, wadded it up to wrinkle it and let it dry. 
Check out Compendium of Curiosities page 66 for the Frayed Fabric technique.  I added embellishments, covered the journal.  

I attached the word band and pen nib by sewing onto the cover with black waxed linen.  I ended up having SO much fun with this project.  Just like I was saying to a friend of mine....

Me:  Okay, you were right.  Eclectic Elements are completely cool and I even enjoyed hauling out my sewing machine!
Tim Holtz:  I told you!  They're great for mixed media.
Me:  They are.  I'm loving using some of the scraps on my art journal pages.  I'm loving this fabric more than ANYTHING!!
Tim Holtz:  More than Distress Ink?
Me:  Never.

Sew, are you ready?  Check out Studio L3 to see the Curiosity Crew projects for the 19th CC3C.   Follow a few simple guidelines and share your art with us!  Our sponsor for the challenge is Inspiration Emporium with a generous gift certificate for our randomly chosen winner.  The Curiosity Crew choice will win a stinkin' awesome prize package from Tim and Mario, shown here:
Now that the holidays are over I'm ready to get creative aren't you?  I feel like I say this every challenge, but every challenge it's true:

I can't wait to see what you're going to do with this one!!



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Woodlands & Tinsel Twine

'Tis the season!!  This has snuck up on me, anyone else feel that way?  All of a sudden is Christmastime and next its 2015 and whaaa?? How did this happen??

Our family is doing Christmas very simply this year and that feels very good to me.  Several of us do handmade Christmas and a Simple Christmas makes more time for that.  I've always considered the gift wrapping of gifts under the tree as part of our Christmas decoration.  Simple Christmas makes it possible to create really unique, artful and personal packaging for the simple offerings for friends & family.
The Woodlands & Tinsel Twine challenge is found on page 60 of Tim's book.  I created a tag for this challenge.  I used a vintage photo from Tim's Merriment Paper Stash of a Christmas parade.  This float features Santa and a whole bunch of children, but only one is looking at the camera.  This little girl was the most interesting face to me and I wanted to feature her, even above Santa!!
I used Adirondack Pearl Paint Dabber on the photo on all the areas I wanted to fade or recede, so as to highlight my little girl.  I just dabbed on some paint and then rubbed it with my finger.  I used Stabilo All Pencil around the little girls head and then blended that out with water to create a shadow around her and bring her forward.
I sprayed the Woodlands tree with Iced Spruce and Peeled Paint Distress Spray Stain.  Are you IN LOVE with these sprays??  I want to drink them, which might make me sick, but also might infuse me with limitless creativity.  Mmmmmm.....  what to choose??
A couple of details:   I used some dots of Liquid Pearls on my trim to create faux pearls.  I love little touches like this that create tiny interest, but add to the piece overall.   This stuff is sort of slow to dry, but worth it.
This was an idea that I had that almost worked.    Liquid Pearls is a dimensional pearlescent paint.  I thought if it was dimensional, I could use it to pop out tiny cut out elements.  I should have let it dry a little first, tho.  These little cut out words flattened out the paint.  Next time, I'll let it dry a little and then lay down the  embellishment on top.
I was at a Whole Foods in the bulk bins (LOVE those bins) and saw these little paper bags.  The guy said I could have a couple of extra bags (do you LOVE people who give you paper??) so I used one to attach my tag.  That's the pretty packaging that will wait under the tree until Christmas morning.

This challenge is sponsored by Inspiration Emporium.  Seriously, these guys are so generous with their bi-weekly $50 gift certificate for a random CC3C winner.  You should give them some love by doing a little shopping when you need some CC3C stash.  Why not?  'Tis the season.

The Curiosity Crew choice will receive this amazing prize pack donated by Tim Holtz Hizzelf, how cool is that??
Any questions about how to be eligible for these awesome prizes?  Check out Lovely Lady Linda Ledbetter's blog for all the deets.  Kneed knowledge of Tim's techniques or products to create with for challenges?  Check here to get your very own Tim-signed copy of Compendium of Curiosities III.  And last, but not least, be sure and leave a comment on all Curiosity Crew blogs to maintain your eligibility to win a CC3C prize for the AWESOME art you'll be entering.  We can't wait to see it!  Go for it!  YOU are an artist!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Layering Stencils: Embossing

It is AwEsOmE that we've got a new challenge today because you guys just exploded the Cabinet Card challenge and any more creativity is dangerous!!  Seriously, the Curiosity Crew has a serious job to do and it's not going to be easy.

Our challenge this week uses Tim's Layered Stencils.  The technique can be found on page 50 of Compendium of Curiosities.  Click here to get your own copy if you don't already have it.  We don't describe the techniques on CC3C blogs, but I will say this:  you don't need very much to enter this challenge.  You very well could have all the Tim gear you need right now for this one.  You can go to work today!!




I used strips from a Christmas music page out of Tim's 8 x 8  Seasonal Collage Paper Stash as a layered background.    I love the subtle details of words to familiar Christmas carols.  The snowflakes are a Cherry Lynn die.  I used a mix of white ones and not so white ones cut from a Halloween page out of the Seasonal Collage Paper Stash pad.


I love this sweet little deer.  She (yes, she's a girl) is embossed with Distress Embossing Powder in Tea Dye.  I cut a strip of Grungeboard with the Ornate On the Edge die and covered it with Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste.  Once dry I tapped a little Ranger Multi Medium on the paste and then sprinkled a pinch of Antique Linen Distress Glitter over it.  Stamped Tall Trees are embossed with Peeled Paint Distress Embossing Powder, one topped with a Maya Road trinket pin star snipped away from the pin.

I dabbed some Antique Brass Distress Paint on seam binding and crumpled it.  I love the texture it gives.

More Antique Brass Distress Paint and Antique Linen Distress Glitter combine for a framed "25".  I snipped out an oval backing from my well loved paper stash pad!  I always make my gift tags for gifts under our tree, as I'm sure many of you do.  This challenge was a perfect kick start to get that done.


Our sponsor for our lucky winner this time is Funkie Junkie Boutique, with an awesome $25 gift certificate.  Very cool opportunity to grow your stash for future challenges!!  Tim and Mario are also sponsors for the Curiosity Crew choice with a fabulous prize package.  Check out Linda's blog here to see a pic of the items you could win!  You'll also find the guidelines for challenges here.  Be sure and visit all host blogs and leave a comment so you'll be eligible for all the above.  What a kick to play along!!

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."  Pablo Picasso  Amen to that!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cabinet Cards

What a COOL embellishment!!  I am all about frames this year and these cards give you a lot of possibilities.  I can't wait to see what y'all do with these for this challenge #15.  I'm back in Texas visiting my family and had to prepare this one early so I did a fairly simple project this time, but I've continued to have ideas, so I'll be doing more with these soon.  But there's a story that goes with this one.....


My husband, Rick, has been a St. Louis Cardinal fan since he was a little boy.  He remembers an October when he was in 7th grade, walking to get his lunch in Lawton, Oklahoma, listening to the World Series on a transistor radio.  The Cards won that series in 1967 and Red Schoendienst was the manager of the team.  Red had had his own successful career playing in the major league for the Cards, the Braves, the Giants, and then back to the Cards to finish in 1963.  He was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Cards retired his number "2" in 1996.  Kind of a big deal.

Rick was recently gifted with a baseball which Red Schoensdienst signed, just for him.  It was an incredibly thoughtful gift and couldn't have been given to a more appreciative fan.  I saw that little boy in Rick's eyes as he told me about it.
This is the thank you card I made for Rick to send.  The picture of of Red's 1965 Topps baseball card is slipped into a cabinet card and I added a few embellishments to enhance the cardinals theme.  Tim's embellishments made this SO easy.  The Stencil Mark Metal Clips "2" was just the thing, Vellum Ephemera, Pen Nibs (LOVE those - I can't find a project these don't work on), an "authentic" Word Band and "one of a kind" Remnant Rub.   I layered the cabinet card onto a folded note card.

You've got to get into this challenge!!  The package of Cabinet Cards Frames contains 5 vintage frames and are printed on front & back.  They hold a 4x6 insert and my mind is buzzing with some things I want to put in my next one!!

Our sponsors for this challenge are Inspiration Emporium with a $50 gift certificate and Tim Holtz with a grungy prize package that will make you swoon.
  • Find all the details and challenge rules on Linda Ledbetter's here.
  • You'll need to work from your own copy of Compendium of Curiosities III, so get your copy of Tim's book here.
  • Check out all the challenge hostesses blog's here.  This is important because you must leave a comment on all hostess blog to be eligible to win.  And we want YOU to win!!
Happy creating!!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Colored Crackle

A new technique challenge!!  Don't you love those?  Include this fabulous technique on whatever your creative heart desires.  It's found on page 53 of Compendium of Curiosities III.  Click here to get your own copy signed by T!m Holtz himself or pick one up at your local craft shop.

Sometimes when "the sky's the limit" it makes creating easier, sometimes not.  This project began for me in one place and ended up in quite another.  But that's very cool that I can be okay with my scattered self and follow my imagination wherever it leads me.  This time it led me someplace quite familiar....  Flying Things.  I'm a bird lover.  I think I'm more enamored with the idea of birds rather than those little things flying around outside.  I spend much more time with pictures and symbols than I do the actual creatures.  I'll be changing that, I think.

When I started out I knew I wanted to do a few things for sure.  I would use the Colored Crackle technique on die cut Grungeboard, use an exposed Ring Binder, and include a found turquoise charm.  My initial idea for the Ring Binder didn't work out, so I used a structure learned from Wendy Vecchi (from her Inspiration Station she taught at our store a couple of years ago).
I am having a BLAST with the new Distress Spray Stains.  I can't wait till all colors are available.  I was working from my home studio and didn't have the right color Distress ink pad, so I just sprayed stain onto my blending tool and used it with Tim's Harlequin stencil.  Worked beautifully.  I picked up some overspray on my craft sheet with a dry brush to color my bird (stamped on a scrap of white denim and cut out) on the cover of my piece.  This is powerful stuff, my friends.
On the back side of the cover piece of Grungeboard I used the Paint Marbling technique from our very first CC3Challenge!  I carefully applied the paint so that it looked like a map of the United States and Europe.  NOT!!  Crazy the pictures you can see in this marbled effect!!

Some of the inside pages:
 The butterfly is cut from Tim's tissue wrap.  I cut and tore a lot of stuff from tissue and stamped tissue.  The body of the butterfly is a vintage rusty nail.

 Same page with the Memory Glass charm pushed aside.
All inside pages are cut from various materials using the Ornamental Bigz die.  This one is cut from Sticky Back Canvas adhered to cardstock.  This is a work in progress.  I'll probably add some more flying things to this art journal.  The stamps reminded me of airmail, the birds, butterflies and bugs are more obvious flying things.  What else is a flying thing?  Our imagination? Can our hearts take flight? Does music make our hearts soar?

I really hope you'll jump right in for this challenge!!  Funkie Junkie is our sponsor for this challenge with a generous $25 gift certificate going to a random winner.  Tim and Mario are sponsors for every challenge with a generous prize package going to the Curiosity Crew pick.  YOU can win!!  We can't wait to see what you do with this one!

Find all the details you need to know for entering and winning on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  Be sure make your comments on all the Curiosity Crew blogs, work from your own copy of Compendium of Curiosity, no sharing of the technique on your write up, and include links for the current sponsor (Funkie Junkie this week) and to CC3C.

A note on how we choose our winners:  Our goals for these challenges are 
  • for you to be challenged to create your best art
  • for everyone to feel encouraged and supported
  • for people who are newer to entering challenges to feel that they have a chance to be recognized and to win challenges
  • to reward outstanding creativity
  • to reward those who do their very best no matter what level they may be on in their artistic journey
  • to celebrate Tim Holtz's techniques, signature products and books, AND
  • to enjoy each other's artistic company.  
Please know that we have so many wonderful entrants, sometimes its almost impossible to choose.  Keep creating!  Keep entering the challenges!  We are SO proud of all of you.