Saturday, April 25, 2015

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 27 - Embossing Diffusers

Welcome once again to another fun Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge!
The current challenge is "Embossing Diffusers" and can be found on page 61 in the book 
A Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III.


The Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge is hosted by our lovely hostess Linda Ledbetter on her blog. Each challenge comes from the wonderful book A Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III featuring amazing products and techniques by non-other than Tim Holtz.


Join us with your creation based on the featured technique and your project could win you an awesome prize pack from Tim and Mario and you also have a chance to win the random draw from our generous sponsor this time: Inspiration Emporium. That's a whopping $50 gift certificate! All the details, rules and links are at the end of my post so be sure to keep reading all the way through.


Now, back to the challenge! I have to admit, this was a new one for me. I didn't have any embossing diffusers and honestly didn't know this product even existed. (Shame on me, right?) Luckily I already had a Sizzix crease pad which worked beautifully in the sandwich as Tim describes it in the book.  He actually used the silicone rubber pad, but I found I got a better impression with the crease pad. You'll have to test it out and see what works best for you.


With me and my hubby's 23rd anniversary just around the corner (May 9th), I thought I'd make his card early so I wouldn't forget. My style may be vintage feminine, but I do love switching into masculine mode when creating projects for a change. Don't you? Let me share how it came together.



This shows the Embossing Diffuser in action, without giving away too much from the book. I used the smallest heart in the set as well as the Airmail & Compass texture fades.



I used dark blue Kraft Core card stock and sanded the raised areas.



Onto some Correspondence Paper Stash, I traced the small heart onto an area of the 3 x 4 sheet and cut it out a little smaller than the traced line.



I grabbed some other supplies, and cut more papers. I also gathered a few ephemera pieces from the Expedition pack.



I wanted to pull some red into all the small metal pieces, so I dabbed on some Fired Brick Distress Paint, then followed up with a touch of Mushroom Alcohol Ink.



Onto the blue card stock, I started to layer some of my elements, wrapping some May Arts red-white-and blue baker's twine around the unit a few times. Notice the ephemera piece tucked behind the striped paper at the top? It's a postage stamp from the ephemera pack that reads U.S. Air Mail, but I tucked it behind the strip so it looked more like "US."



I attached the heart with a brad through this layer too.



Then I flipped it over and put plenty of black foam tape to pop up this unit on my card base.



My card base is kraft and the next layer is a deep red. I added a Typed Token and more baker's twine to the top of my card.


I layered more ephemera pieces and adhered a Pen Nib and the number tiles 2 and 3 (Spare Parts, Hobby Lobby). The Admit One ticket next to the heart? Well, there's only one place in my heart and it's for Paul. (Corny, right?)


And let's not forget the inside of the card. More Correspondence paper and some embossing for added texture. Now to write a sweet message to my best pal...


*   *   *   *   *


Do you have the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III book by Tim Holtz? (the master of all things vintage and distressed.) If not, you can find one at your local craft store, scrapbook store, or you can get a signed copy by Tim himself by going here. 

You can find all the CC3 Challenge details and FAQs here.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is our hostess of this fun series of challenges, and all you have to do to participate is create your project, and upload to her site. Be sure, though, to read through all the FAQs so you're eligible to win...

We're working our way through this fantastic book of techniques and tips, and challenging you to join in the fun. This round's challenge is sponsored by the great folks at Inspiration Emporium who have a fabulous gift voucher to give away to one lucky random winner. Also, the Curiosity Crew's Choice scores a giant prize pack of goodies straight from Tim and Mario!

And don't forget, you can find many of these great products I've used today at Inspiration Emporium's online store

Thursday, April 23, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - My April Journal Pages

Hello everyone! Are you participating in Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2015? Tim makes a cool new tag every month, showcasing new products, tips and techniques that are designed to kick off our creativity and inspire us to try something new.



Here's a look at Tim's April Tag inspiration and a link to his step-by-step tutorial.


If you've already been following me, you know that I've been creating art journal pages rather than tags. I so desperately want to learn more in the way of art journaling, and what better way than to challenge myself with Tim's techniques on my pages each month? Sometimes it's tricky, because Tim uses metal embellishments and ribbon and such, which don't necessarily work in my journal, but his techniques certainly inspire, and that's what it's all about! So here we go with my April pages...



I didn't have some of the dies Tim used on his tag (still waiting on my order) so I improvised with stuff in my stash.


Let me take you through my process. Keep in mind I'm no art journaling expert. Just a dabbler at this point.


I started with my practice journal which is the small art journal from Ranger by Dyan Reaveley. I stamped randomly (School Desk) with black archival ink across both pages. I don't cling the stamp to a block, just pick up the rubber in my hands and sort of roll it onto the page.


I left a little open space to stamp the dragonfly in the lower right corner.


Then I stamped the compass in the upper left corner in an open space. See the big black blob below the compass? That's where I masked out the bottom portion of the compass stamp with some scotch tape, inked the stamp up, then forgot to peel off the tape before stamping in my journal. Doh! Thank goodness this is my practice journal. And this is precisely WHY I have a practice journal. No need to freak out over little mistakes. I can always learn from those and make another set of pages in my real journal. Or perhaps fix it later. I then spritzed my pages like Tim did with the marker spritzer and some water.


After drying the pages, I blended Antique Linen Distress Ink toward the inside of the pages first.


Then some Old Paper, working my way outward.


Vintage Photo around the outer edges.


Then a final rubbing of Walnut Stain. Such depth this creates! I finished this step with a big ol' spritz-and-flick of water around the pages.


I was curious to see how the watercolor effect would take straight onto my journal pages. No gesso, just the pages. It worked out pretty well, but just not the same effect as with watercolor paper.


Overall, I'm happy with it though.


Initially, I took a Gathered Twigs marker and traced the outlines of the circles in Tim's Splotches stencil. Just the lines were okay, but I decided they needed filling in, so I swirled Vintage Photo Distress Ink with blender into the stencil. I really like how the outline and the fill in are slightly different shades of brown. Gives it a cool effect.


After examining my pages, I decided I needed a bit more red pulled in to my design, so I grabbed some Red Geranium archival ink and stamped some harlequin patterns randomly. I also stamped some flourishes and postscripts (French Market) with Potting Soil archival ink.


I love Tim's new Big Chat stickers, so I decided to work them into my message on the right page. I created the Life Is on the left page with die-cut letters and black cardstock to sort of mimic the Big Chat stickers. I added a soft shadow with Pumice Stone around the stickers and my pages are complete!


So the question is, do I even need to recreate these pages in my "real" journal? I'm pretty happy with these, and as you can see, I covered up my boo-boo with the LIFE sticker. I think I've answered my own question.


Thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate all my blog followers and your lovely comments. You are what keep me creating! 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Home Sweet Home Friendship Layout

Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by. And speaking of friends, I've got a scrapbook layout on the Graphic 45 blog today featuring the Home Sweet Home collection with photos of some of my dear friends, Ellen and Patty. More on them in a minute... Be sure to hop over there and check out more photos and close-ups and my complete supply list.


Here's my layout that was featured in the Graphic 45 booth at CHA this year.


I used the 12 x 12 papers and some of the card stock stickers from the Home Sweet Home collection. And those little oven mitts in the lower right corner were cut from a Cricut cartridge. There's plenty of fussy cuts and some machine stitching for a finishing touch. Perfect with this collection.


My friends Ellen and Patty were also my neighbors for quite some time. Since this photo, they have both moved away, sadly. I was hoping for this holiday cookie-making to be a yearly tradition. We had such a great day sharing each other's recipes, baking them together while enjoying a glass of wine. 


If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see our cute aprons. I ordered these from Cafe Press for the girls as an early holiday gift. They seemed to really like them. Now, even though we aren't together to bake during Christmas, I still pull out my apron when making my own holiday cookies. I'm so happy to have preserved the memory of this day because, like so many moments in life, they are fleeting and often forgotten unless we take the time to take a quick photo. Now I can look back and cherish what we had and that memory will last forever.


Here's to good friends!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Winner's Tag with Once Upon A Springtime

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Mary Werner was randomly selected as the winner of a personalized tag using her favorite Graphic 45 collection. She mentioned in her kind comment that Once Upon A Springtime had special meaning to her, not only from her own childhood, but as a grandmother as well.

I wanted to share this heartfelt e-mail Mary wrote me once she learned she had won:

"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw ny name as the winner! Such a happy day and getting your tag will be a really great treat. And getting your tag with Once Upon A Springtime will be magical.

Zoe, my oldest granddaughter, is graduating high school this May. When she was very small and her mom was working (to get her PhD), we built a special bond together through fairies. She would sit in my lap as we looked out the window at the flower garden or sit in the swing and talk about the fairies that lived in the garden. The fairies always had the same "issues" that she had during the day with sharing, not taking naps, arguing with a friend, etc. I would tell her stories about them (she named them all) and I think she learned lessons on how to handle situations through these stories, and I know she became very sympathetic to others in their actions and feelings.

When she was just learning to write, she would leave notes for some of her favorite fairies, Indianna, Molly and Tom. They slept in the roses, would swing on the daisies, and splash each other with water from the tiny pond. In Kindergarten, she had to write a short story and it was about the fairies. When she left notes in the pot outside, I would replace them or add to them with a very short message written with a burnt stick (to make it more believable). I have saved them all these years and made a special scrapbook for holding them and used Once Upon A Springtime. Your tag will go wonderfully with that project.

I'm so very glad to have won this particular prize and especially from you, who can make colors dance and come alive!"


Such an amazing, sweet story. It touched my heart so. I can just picture Mary (even though we've never met) and her little granddaughter sitting together in the sunshine, talking about the fairies, can't you?

I had the most wonderful afternoon creating this special tag for Mary (but really for Zoe, thus the letter Z worked into the design). I put on Classical music for inspiration and got lost in the process, picturing the fairies floating around me as I worked. I certainly hope Mary enjoys it and so does Zoe.





Congratulations once again Mary and thank YOU for the sweet story. The tag is in the mail!




Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother's Day ATC Book Box Display Piece

It's mid-April, so it's time to start thinking about Mother's Day gift ideas. You've got a whole month to plan and create. All week Graphic 45 is showcasing their ATC Book Box. Each of the designers were asked to design their own unique creation and mine is featured there today alongside DT members Ginger and Yumi with their fabulous creations. Ours are all so different, so there's a really great variety of ideas.



I created a table top display piece for my mom for Mother's Day. I used the beautiful Time To Flourish collection and have provided a Snapguide tutorial so you can try one yourself. Remember, even though I did a Mother's Day box, you could simply switch the papers and create all sorts of themes. How about graduation, with gift cards inside? Or, a birthday box with balloons popping up?

If you create one inspired by mine, I'd love it if you share it with me. Email me a photo of your finished project and I'll feature it here on my blog in two weeks. That'll give you time to create. Email me at AnnetteGreen@me.com

Okay, now hop over to the Graphic 45 blog and check out my guide and the other's projects. And thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Smudge Stamping


First of all, I'm so happy that Mary Werner contacted me when she won my give-away earlier this week. I can't wait to make her a personalized tag with Graphic 45's Once Upon A Springtime, her favorite collection. That's what I'll be doing Sunday afternoon. Personalized projects like these make me so happy! I'll be sure to post it when finished and share Mary's sweet e-mail she wrote me.


Okay, on to the next big Compendium of Curiosities Challenge!

The Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge hosted by our lovely hostess Linda Ledbetter on her blog. Each challenge comes from the wonderful book "A Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III" featuring amazing products and techniques by non-other than Tim Holtz.

Join us with your creation based on the featured technique and your project could win you an awesome prize pack from Tim and Mario and you also have a chance to win the random draw from our generous sponsor this time: The Funkie Junkie Boutique. All the details, rules and links are at the end of my post so be sure to keep reading all the way through.

Today's challenge can be found on page 42 in the book, and it's called "Smudge Stamping." The Curiosity Crew is here to provide some inspiration to help kick-start your creativity.

For this challenge I created a 5 x 7 Mother's Day card for my wonderful Mom.

Let me take you through the process...



First is the Smudge Stamping technique itself, which I can't give away. (That's for you to discover in your own copy of the book.) For my background area, I used the Stampers Anonymous "Nature Walk" stamp set on a 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" piece of Ranger's Mixed Media Card Stock.



I remember first learning this fun and easy technique at Ranger University a few years ago. Such a cool effect to background stamping.



I cut eight little squares 1 7/16" each of Wallflower paper (mostly from the 3" x 3" pages) and inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. The perfect medium brown. I will NEVER get tired of the Wallflower collection!



I adhered the squares to my background piece, evenly spaced.



Then I stitched between all the spaces with a tan thread. I love using the sewing machine on my paper craft projects.



Also from the Mixed Media Card Stock, I die-cut and embossed one of the butterflies from the new Butterfly Duo Alterations die and matching Texture Fade. These butterflies are the perfect size for so many projects. And guess where I got them from? The Funkie Junkie Boutique, of course! I used the Water Brush and Distress Markers to color her in, starting with Spiced Marmalade...



and finishing with some Fired Brick and inking the edges with Gathered Twigs. 



Finally, I gave it a shot of Copper Perfect Pearls spray for just a bit of shimmer.



After heat setting the butterfly, she sort of naturally curved her wings forward. Perfect! Then I added some kraft Chit-Chat stickers below.



I found these great little bumblebee charms at Alpha Stamps. I simply snipped the charm loop off and colorized the golden bee with some Sunset Orange alcohol ink. The crinkle ribbon has been spritzed with Fired Brick Distress Stain and a bit of the Copper Perfect Pearls spray. I  tied it around the base piece and attached the whole thing to my card base, which is 5" x 7" (folded) dark brown Kraft Core.

At this point I thought I was done, but there seemed to be something missing...



...So I looked through my stash and found some lovely Martha Stewart filigree embellishments and added two photo corners on the left and a round piece behind the bow. Now it's complete,... almost.



Let's not forget the inside of the card. A little more smudge stamping in there and a stamped phrase for Mom and now the card is really complete.



Now it's YOUR turn. I hope you join us in this cool technique challenge. 


*   *   *   *   *


Do you have the fabulous Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III book by Tim Holtz? (the master of all things vintage and distressed.) If not, you can find one at your local craft store, scrapbook store, or you can get a signed copy by Tim himself by going here. 

You can find all the CC3 Challenge details and FAQs here.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is our hostess of this fun series of challenges, and all you have to do to participate is create your project, and upload to her site. Be sure, though, to read through all the FAQs so you're eligible to win...

We're working our way through this fantastic book of techniques and tips, and challenging you to join in the fun. This round's challenge is sponsored by the great folks at The Funkie Junkie Boutique who have a fabulous gift voucher to give away to one lucky random winner. Also, the Curiosity Crew's Choice scores a giant prize pack of goodies straight from Tim and Mario!





Wednesday, April 8, 2015

And We Have a Winner!

Thank you ALL for your lovely comments, both here and on my Facebook. The tags were so enjoyable to make for my dear team mates. It's what crafting is truly all about for me.

Without further ado, I have randomly drawn our winner of their own personalized, handmade tag and the winner is...

Mary W. who said:

"Once Upon a Springtime brings back so many memories of the best part of my childhood, Dad reading books to me each night. We love when we emotionally connect so, although, picking a favorite Graphic 45 line seems impossible, I went with the one that made me the happiest."


Thank you Mary! Once Upon A Springtime it will be. Now please send me your mailing address to AnnetteGreen@me.com and I'll start creating.


Thanks everyone! Have a great day!!


Monday, April 6, 2015

When Graphic 45 Design Team Members Exchange Swaps

When fellow Graphic 45 Design Team member Nichola Battilana suggested our group do a tag swap, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought a tag banner would make a wonderful keepsake of the past year's team. And it is, after all, my last year on the team...for a while. (Graphic 45 has a two-consecutive-year rule.) So what a great tribute to the fantastic artists and reminder of the great collections we've been creating with all year!

10 of us agreed to participate and today I'd love to share my tags with you. These went out in the mail this morning and should be arriving to team members in the next handful of days. (Spoiler alert, team mates!)

All of my tags are regular size ones from Graphic 45. I varied from the Ivory, Black and Kraft tags depending on the paper collection I used. Each tag has been created from a different G45 paper collection (or mixture of two) and each one has a monogram of the team member I made it for. Each team member's name and link to their blog is in the right hand column of my blog page if you'd like to visit them and see their unique styles.



The first one is for Nichola herself. I know she is quite fond of Artisan Style so I incorporated some of it in the background. I tried to capture Nichola's whimsical personality with the fairies and the frog fussy cuts from Once Upon A Springtime.



The monogram was a plain white chipboard piece that I inked with bold color, then stamped with one of the Artisan Style stamps. The fairies and frog have slight touches of glimmer using a Gelli-Roll Stardust pen. Petaloo flowers in bold deep colors embellish the rest of the tag.



Next up is my tag for Miranda Edney. Her style is so distinctly shabby and feminine. I used my own style and took inspiration from hers to create this tag with one of my all-time favorite collections Botanical Tea. The wings are laser-cut wood pieces painted with tints of blues and pinks, as are the metal photo corners at the base.



Edges are sanded and painted with ivory paint, and the monogram is stamped then spritzed with Perfect Pearls spray for a bit of shimmer.



This fun one is for Rhea Freitag, a fellow grunge gal. We both love the deeper colors, steampunk, and vintage. In fact, if I were making a tag that fit my style best, this one would be it. Typography is definitely on the very top of my favorites list of G45 collections.



Rhea, as well as Nichola and Miranda and I have shared the past two years on the G45 team together. 



This pretty one is for Nadya Lifa and represents her beautifully soft and feminine style. I used the Deluxe Collector's Edition of Baby 2 Bride, plus some lace, buttons, pearls and shimmer.



Chipboard, Spellbinders dies, Petal flowers, and some sewing pull this tag together. It was a fun one to make, and Jamie says it's her favorite one.



This pet-lovers themed tag is for our guy Andrew Roberts, who I know has dogs way out there in Australia. I bet my Suki would love to meet them! Andrew's clean, balanced style inspired me while making this tag. I used the Raining Cats & Dogs collection.



Banners, chipboard, ribbon and twine, plus a lot of inked black edges make this a masculine tag while not being so literally manly. I hope he likes it.



This bright, bold beauty is for miss Tati Scrap herself, Raquel Martin Fernandez, from Spain. I used Times Nouveau (another Deluxe Collectors Edition). Tati Scrap's style is inspiringly bold and colorful and fun, and I notice she always uses laser cut pieces in her designs, so I incorporated some for her in this tag as well. 



Layer upon layer makes this tag really pop! Whoopee!



And talk about bold and bright, this Bohemian Bazaar tag is for Donna Espiritu from Saudi Arabia and is totally inspired by Donna's wonderful creations. Always using a pop of bright pink in her designs, I mimicked that on her monogram and the ribbon on top.



I loved pulling out my older Bohemian Bazaar scraps and working with them again. And of course, Petaloo flowers match everything Graphic 45 comes out with!



This fun, flowery tag is for Katie Zoey Ho from Singapore. I always remember her whimsical, adorable layout of her little niece that she made with Mother Goose papers. 



Katie's style is so varied and fresh. I hope I did her justice with this bright color combination.




Finally, my last tag is for Ginger Ropp, right here in the USA. (Washington). If I had the time, I would have made her tag into a mini album because that's what Ginger is ALL about: her fantastic minis! 



I chose Home Sweet Home because I felt it was the best collection that tied Ginger and I together. We're both close in age, have similar styles, and I've even been told that I sound like her in my videos! (LOL!) Even though I'm not yet a grandmother, I know Ginger is. This collection brings back wonderful memories of my mom and grandmother pickling, canning, and baking.


I hope my team mates enjoy these monogram tags, and I can't wait to receive mine from them!


Now, how about YOU tell me what your favorite Graphic 45 collection has been over the past two years (my term on the team) and I'll draw a name at random on Wednesday and announce the winner here on my blog. The winner will receive a personalized monogram tag from me using their favorite collection!


Thanks for stopping in! Best of luck to everyone!!