Birds & Words

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!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Altered Burlap Panel

Hey, CC3Cers!!  You guys were brilliant on your Distress Watercolor work!  Love this artistic community, I always learn from you.  I think you're going to love this new challenge.  Hopefully it will stretch you a little as you tilt your head, change your perspective, rotate your orientation and color your world.  I know it did for me!!

Wouldn't this be a good day to fly?

I laid down a wide black lace panel I bought at a garage sale years ago.  I've been taking Claudine Hellmuth's online Composition in Collage class and was determined to play with the high horizon structure I learned about.  It is a challenge for me but it was a blast working with it.
I cut out Tim's Sizzix Ornate Frame which I am deeply in love with.  You've got to use Grungeboard, everything else I've tried tears up with you try to get it out of the die.  I embossed it with Stampendous Aged Ivory Embossing Enamel.  It was a little too white, so I used Vintage Photo Distress Paint over the frame and wiped it off while it was still wet.

I knew I wanted to use this Amy Carmichael quote, a favorite of mine.  I hope you can read it 'Let your soul take wings.... resist the downward pull & sing"  I cut a piece of chipboard the same size as the stamp.  I used Ranger's Embossing Dauber (LOVE it) and embossed with Stampendous Aged Taupe Embossing Enamel.  I did three layers of embossing enamel, letting it cool between layers.  On the third layer, while the embossing enamel was still melted, I set the inked stamp down into it.  When that cooled, I painted the whole thing with Distress Black Soot Paint and then wiped off while still wet.  The wet paint settles down into the stamped words.  If there's too much black paint on the surface of this piece, just use a cloth with some rubbing alcohol (Hels, that's "surgical spirits".  :-)  ) and rub away the paint.

I always find it a challenge to glue things down to burlap, but Ranger Matte Medium does the trick.  I just painted in one my elements, laid them out and then used my irons on top for pressure while the glue sets up.

I thought my letters in the word "fly" might get lost against the similar color I cut my Spring Greenery die from.  So I used some Sandal Adirondack Paint to lighten them up just a little.

I used my finger and just touched some wet paint on the letters, taking care not to totally cover the Juniper color.
I fought with my composition a little on this challenge, but I'm learning so much about collage from Claudine it really helped.  Can't wait to see all your brilliance.  Burlap is so earthy with such fabulous texture, its fun to work with!!

I won't repeat the guidelines for these challenges as most of your are familiar by this time.  If you aren't familiar go to Linda Ledbetter's blog and you'll find all the details you need.  I will say briefly that you'll need your own copy of Compendium of Curiosties III and on page 37, you'll find the challenge.  Be sure and comment on all of the host blogs which are linked from Linda's blog on the CC3C Challenge 6 page.  If the name for your comment and the name for your entry are the same, it makes it a lot easier for the Curiosity Crew to view your art and track your comments.  All of us spend a lot of hours each week viewing art and we want you to have the BEST chance to win!

Our sponsors this challenge are The Funkie Junkie Boutique and Mr. Tim Holtz hizzelf.  So much crafty goodness is being delivered each challenge to our winners!!  Its exciting to think of you opening those goodie boxes and squealing at all the yummy prizes. 

Create away, CC3Cers!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Distress Watercolor: Pt. 1

CC3C 5??? Wow, these weeks are flying by, aren't they? So many amazing and inspiring entries, I am just humbled to be among all of you. Thanks for creating along with the Curiosity Crew!

Thanks to Inspiration Emporium, sponsor of this challenge. A lucky winner will receive a $50 gift certificate and, thus, be equipped to stock up for future challenges!!

And, as always, thanks to Tim & Mario for the incredible prize packages Curiosity Crew choices will win. Amazing! I try to imagine going to the mailbox and picking up THAT package. Wowser.

Just a note to all entrants: Be sure to read Linda Ledbetter's post and the FAQ for these challenges. It would be such a shame for a worthy entrant to not be eligible for lack of meeting the simple requirements:
You must not post the technique described in Tim's book.
You must use the product (such as a die or ink) upon which the challenge is based.
You must comment on all Curiosity Crew blogs.
Linda Ledbetter
Candy Colwell
Hels Sheridan
Yvonne Blair
Susan Mostek
Marjie Kemper
Annette Green
Anita Houston
and, of course, here.
You are all so incredible. We are cheering for you!!

And on to this weeks challenge..........

I absolutely love Distress Inks. I believe they have revolutionized the paper crafting and mixed media industry and I don't know how I'd manage without them. SO many things you can do with them. One thing you can do: watercolor.

You must have Tim's Compendium of Curiosities books. All of them, all three. But for this challenge in particular, you must have Volume 3. And you must turn to page 39.


This is my completed tag. The zinnia is from Wendy Vecchi's Framed Art Set. Lovely stamp for this technique. Its stamped on the smooth side of watercolor paper and watercolored using Tim's technique from Compendium of Curiosities, page 39.


I began using a technique I learned from Wendy, tho I tweaked it a bit. I use a Snow Cap Adirondack Pigment reinker and squirt a little onto my craft sheet. I use a blending tool and rub the Snow Cap reinker over the entire tag. Heat set and then repeat. This seals the tag and gives you a FABULOUS base for alcohol ink.


I applied Sailboat Blue and Caramel alcohol inks with a felt applicator, along with a little Ranger Blending Solution. I usually don't use metallics. Just not my preference, I'm not partial to shiny things. :-)


I masked the frame from Wendy's set and used her Honeycomb stencil. I LOVE using Ranger pigment reinker with stencils. They are less fluid than paints and more fluid than inks and work great. I stenciled in some Honeycomb over various areas of the tag.


I am seriously and dangerously infatuated with this stamp set. Also obsessed. I like to create borders with these stamps, alternating upside down and right side up. Here I used Dandelion Archival Ink.


I repeated the zinnia stamp in the top right corner to balance the weight of images on the right side of the tag.


My little signature B Line Designs bird. I never put him away, he lives on top of my desk. Sweet little guy, isn't he? The letters are Chip Block alphabet, a new obsession. Thank you, Marjie Kemper. Just what I needed, another obsession!

Hope you all are enjoying Tim's fabulous Distress Watercolor technique and will reach for it often. We've all got lots of Distress color, right, so how cool for another way to use it! Learn and grow. ;-)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 20, 2014

Final Days!! #artistsfloodrelief

We are in the final 3 days the auction we are hosting to raise money for flood victims.  I hope you'll take a moment to visit the auction site and bid on your favorite pieces.   We've been humbled and amazed at the donations that have come in from:
Tim Holtz
Wendy Vecchi
Ronda Palazzari
Lisa Pace
Jim Hankins
Marjie Kemper
Linda Ledbetter
Yvonne Blair
Candy Colwell
Susan Mostek
Anita Houston
Richard Spinney

You still have a chance to own signed art and or books from these gifted and generous people.  Or, if you prefer, you can make a donation on the website that will go directly Crossroads Ministries Estes Valley Flood Relief.  Thanks to all of you for your care for the people still struggling to rebuild their lives and for considering a bid or a gift.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

CC3C: Layered Stencils

Welcome to CC3C #4!!  I absolutely loved this challenge.  Tim's Layered Stencils are awesome, so convenient to bundle together with a binding ring and are perfect for all things grunge.  I hope all of you are enjoying following along the challenges and are engaging in a little creativity of your own.  We've had unbelievable entries, the talent level rises every week!

Each CC3C will award a winner in one of two ways:
(1) a gift certificate from one of our sponsors; this challenge is sponsored by Funkie Junkie Boutique.  That lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate, which is kind of cool to get stocked up on Tim goodies!! 
OR
(2) a vote from the Curiosity Crew.  That talented winner will receive a treasure trove of Tim Holtz signature products, donated by Tim & Mario.  That prize is a wowser, every challenge, so keep you eyes open for a sneak peak!!

I really loved this challenge because all the inspiration started with the Layered Stencil.  I love the Eye Chart stencil so I decided to use that one.  I also wanted to use Tim's new Wallflower Paper Stash.  I've been DYING to get my hands on it, so here was my chance.  With a "vision" theme from the stencil, a nature theme from the Wallflower paper, I was really inspired to use a sentiment that encouraged everyone to open their eyes and "see" because "beauty is everywhere".  It really is.

I created the background with my all-time favorite spritz & flick technique.  I stamped Tim's Fabulous Flourishes with Walnut Stain.  Then I used the Eye Chart Stencil and Wendy Vecchi  Embossing Paste in white.  I blended Vintage Photo ink over the dry embossing paste and spritzed and flicked again.  I can't decide what I like more, spritzing or flicking.  :-)



The little bit of Wallflower paper was adhered to a Regal Crest die cut bit of Grungeboard and the label was covered with the reverse side of the same page.  I am completely in love with this paper.  I want to eat it.  I added layers of Spring Greenery foliage, the remaining leaves from Regal Crest die, some linen burlap and a little, teeny, tiny daisy from Tattered Floral die on the banner.  I used my much loved Hero Arts alphabet for "beauty is everywhere".



If you haven't taken the plunge and entered your piece of art yet, I really hope you will.  The word "challenge" is perfect, but this does challenge you to do your best, get out of your comfort zone and create in ways you may not have tried before.  You'll want to get Tim Holtz's latest book Compendium of Curiosties III (which you can order here) to learn the techniques for all the challenges.  All the details are available on Linda Ledbetter's blog.  Happy creating!