Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Top 10 Favorite Craft Products Of 2013

It's New Year's Eve, and I am sure most of you are gearing up for a festive evening, so I'll try and make this quick! 
This year has brought many happy and joyous times for me, creatively speaking. I was able to visit Europe twice, and I got to travel and teach at marvelous places...all for the love of crafting and art. This blogging and teaching thing has made my life so much richer, and I am truly thankful for all these new creative opportunities and especially for all of you, my blogging friends. Thank you to EVERYONE who follows, comments, emails, pins, tweets, likes, and watches! You have made this year the very best yet!
I am continuing on with my tradition of listing my favorite genius creative products that I used throughout the year.   Again, some of these may have been around longer, but I just started using them this year. Please tell me yours in a comment, just in case I haven't tried it and need to.

In no particular order:
1. Tim's Idea-ology Remnant Rubs...makes designs so much easier!
2. Wendy's Studio 490 Embossing Paste in Metallics...love them!
3. Tim's Stamper's Anonymous Numeric Stamps...LOVE!
 4. Ranger's Vintaj Metal-pressions in Copper...now I need gold!
5. Eileen Hull's Sizzix Baby Booty and Artist Trading Block Dies.
6. Wendy's Ranger Archival Inks...I love all the colors!
7. Wooden Embellishments from Kaiser Kraft, Maya Road, Close To My Heart....I LOVE wood!
8. Ranger's Silver Foil Cardstock...love this stuff!
9. Tim's Distress Paint....can't live without it!
10. Tsukineko's Goose Bumps Spray.

Happy Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope you have the greatest 2014, and that you get to kiss the lips of the one or ones you love at midnight! See you next year!

I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

20 Years of Marriage!

Last week, the hubs and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been that long already, and harder to believe that I love him more and more each with each passing year! Here's the tag I made for him.
I added the Vintaj Copper Metal-pressions to a manila tag, dry embossed it with Tim's Sizzix Pocket Watch Texture Fade, and then covered the whole thing with Claudine Hellmuth's Gesso.
A covered the tag with Ranger's Pitch Black Alcohol Ink, sanded it, and then covered it with Glue N Seal. The rest was just basically embellishing it with lots of metal.


I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

12 Tags of 2013 - December

Merry Merry Merry Christmas everyone!  I wish you each a joyful and love filled holiday!
I don't want to take up too much of your time at such an important part of the year, but quickly here is my December tag for Tim's 12 Tags of 2013. I appreciate all the comments left on the last couple of posts as well! You all are a blessing to me!
I stamped Wendy's Clearly For Art first, and then backed it with mulberry paper. Remember that stuff?
I wanted some more texture on the poinsettias, so I embossed them with Tim's Sizzix Poinsettia Pattern Texture Fade.

I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Buon Natale!

Yes...I STILL have Italy on the brain! I just can't help it, as it was a FANTASTIC place, and it had a big impact on me. So much so, that when I first tasted Limoncello, I knew I had to try and make some, and the first time I saw a wall with crumbled and deteriorated stucco revealing blackened old bricks, I knew I wanted to try and make the same look on a tag. So, here are my attempts at both, which happen to be my Christmas presents this year to close friends and family. Cin cin!!!
Lots of lemon peel and vodka, mixed with vanilla beans to lighten the taste a bit, were combined and put away in my dark pantry for about 25 days. Then, I added a simple syrup after it cooled along with a little more lemon juice, and put the mixture back in it's dark place to sit for 10 more days. This normally takes a lot longer, but I was running out of time.
I strained away all the solids from the mixture several times, but I still never got a completely clear liquid...oh well. I funneled the pungent liquor into Italian glass bottles, and added a label I made on the computer.
I purchased a wax seal emblem and all the goods to go with it while in Italy, but I've never done it before. After a few internet inquiries, I gave it a go. I was hooked! I want to put a wax seal on everything now! Sadly, I discovered that I sort of like playing with fire, and I never even pee'd the bed afterward!;0)
I had not used my Rome images that Tim sketched out and had produced for us through Stamper's Anonymous, so I thought they would be great for this project. I love the images so much! He really did an uber fantastic job with both sets of the limited edition Italy stamps.
Broken China and Antique Linen Distress Stain were used for the sky and images, followed by a good splattering of misted water. I also inked the edges of the tag with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.
I love the new Christmas stamps Tim put out this year, and there are many different scripts for holiday sayings, and this mini one is my favorite. I embossed it with Ranger's Gold Embossing Powder.  Then, the tag received a light coat of Perfect Pearls Mist!
I embossed manila tags with Tim's Sizzix Bricked Texture Fade, and then lightly spray them with Espresso Color Wash. I removed the excess color to vary up the shades, dried them, and rubbed Vermillion Archival Ink over the top to highlight the raised portions. I loved the look. I wanted the tag to be tough and a little shiny, so I gave it a coating of Glue N Seal, and to my surprise, a little of the color wash blended in and made even better shadowing!
I mixed up some Vintage Photo ReInker with Wendy's White Embossing Paste, and smeared it on portions of the tags to try to look like Stucco. It sort of looks like snow, but it's not supposed to.
I gave the raised areas a rubbing of Snow Cap Pigment Ink and Walnut Stain too. I am telling you, I felt like I was there again! I was even singing all the Italian songs I knew! This tag made me happy!
I heat embossed Santa, and colored him up with Distress Markers and Stickles.

I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh Deer!!! An Ornament Tutorial

I just love corrugated paper, and there are a million and one uses for it! Agree? 
I saw some cute cardstock 3D reindeer and a sleigh in a magazine...that I can't remember the name of now...and I wanted to make some ornaments like them but use corrugated instead. These went together in a flash, and would be a great project to make with the kids and/or grandkids! Enjoy the tutorial, and if you make some too, send me some pics!
It's difficult to see all the details while they are on the tree, so I thought this might help.
Fold two pieces of 6x12 inch corrugated paper in half short ways, with the corrugated on the outside, and folded so the lines are going vertically. Die cut each folded piece with Tim Holtz's Sizzix Reindeer Flight Die, fold side up and going vertically...you know, to make your deer appear thinner...;0)!!! You will have eight deer, four of each design, and pairs that match up correctly with corrugated paper on the outside...make sense? Open each scrap paper up, and place the middle part on the Tim's Branch Tree Die to cover most of the tree up. Die cut both pieces. These will be for your antlers.
Rub a Walnut Stain Distress Ink Pad over all the raised corrugated areas of all the pieces. Ink the edges of one set of each of the deer (a set being the back and front) using Vintage Photo.
The pairs that are not inked with Vintage Photo are for cutting up to make the 3D areas. Each outside leg and the ear will need to be cut. You just need to wing it with your scissors, as I don't have a pattern. You can do it. After the pieces are cut, ink the edges with Vintage Photo.
Adhere the legs and ears on each respective deer...I used Ranger's Glue N Seal. They have now come to life!
Cut pieces for the Tree Branch for the antlers, ink them with Vintage Photo, and attach. Apply dots of a black and red Stickles for the nose and eye. Let these dry, and find the scrap pieces of corrugated. Cut two 1/2 inch strips about 3 1/2 inches long. Fold each strip...corrugated side in...at 1/2 inch, then 1 inch, then another 1/2 inch, and then another inch. What is left will be the part you glue. You will make two 3D rectangle pieces like those shown. These will be the spacer pieces that go between the deer pair.
Since I had left over deer scraps, I used the neck and bodies of the scrap deer to make fur tufts...like you see on elk. I just like this look, but it's optional. I rubbed the Snow Cap Pigment Ink pad over the fur parts, and inked the edges in Vintage Photo. I attached the fur to the necks of each deer. The Snow Cap can also be used to add a little white color to the tails and bellies of each deer. I like the look.
Adhere the rectangle spacers to the backs of each deer, and match up the deer as best as you can. Use wired evergreen pieces to make wreaths for each deer. Wrap one around each deer's neck, and glue on a ribbon bow. Use the same ribbon to loop around the wreath, and tie a knot at the end, so you have something to hang on a tree branch. Easy!!!!

I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Melt Art - Christmas Style

Ho Ho Ho and a big welcome crafters! I'm so sorry it's been a while...again. Life can sure get crazy sometimes!
Well, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around my house! All of the decor is up, and I am in the process of making gift after gift, and project after project. One of the projects I've made for the entry way of my house, as well as for a gift, is featured on the Ranger Ink Blog with a full tutorial for constructing some yourself. The techniques used in this project are meant to be used for any theme and not just Christmas. Here are some more photos for you to peruse.
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate! And, I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!