Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lighted Christmas Mixed Media Box Display

Hello all, and thanks for stopping in. Today I wanted to share another holiday home decor project and tutorial with you. It's a sweet Christmas display that actually lights up. I created something similar to this for Graphic 45 to teach this past September, shown above.

Tim Holtz "Reindeer Flight" die has been cut from Grungeboard and painted with Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint. A bit of Picket Fence Distress Paint adds a snowy effect on the deer's body.

This mixed media box is 5" x 5", so it's a sweet little decor piece which doesn't take up a lot of space.

This one has a battery-operated lantern by Tim Holtz inside as well as a little tree. Aren't those little gift boxes cute? I'll share how to make those in a bit. 

Lots of the papers are frosted around the edges. This was achieved by dabbing Picket Fence Distress Paint on the edges and quickly sprinkling Distress Glitter over it.

Other papers, like this fussy-cut holly cluster, was brushed with a thin layer of Glue & Seal then sprinkled with glitter for a frosty coating, reminiscent of vintage Christmas cards.

The same was done on the pattern paper that covers the front of the box.

Pinecones and more holly cover up the hole punched through the top to accommodate the battery pack and cord.

Okay, since we can all figure out how to cover a box with paper, I thought I'd share how I made the little Christmas presents inside the box.

Inside each Graphic 45 Mixed Media Box are six thick card stock inserts with rounded corners like the one shown on the left in this photo. You can use these for photos, to create a mini album, cards, whatever you like. I decided to use three of them to create the Christmas presents bases. For mine, I cut and scored the inserts as follows:

Small: Cut 2 1/2" square, then score 7/8" all the way around
Medium: Cut 3" square and score 1" all the way around
Large: Cut 3 3/4" square and score 1 1/4" all the way around

Once you've scored, cut away the four corners of each square and discard. Easy so far?

Now you can fold on the scores and tape the card stock boxes at the corners to hold them in place to get them ready for paper. You'll simply cut strips and wrap them around the boxes. I like to use my Xyron sticker maker so the strips are good and sticky. My strips measure:

Small: 3 1/2" x 7/8"
Medium: 4 1/2" x 1"
Large: 5 1/2" x 1 1/4"

I gave a little extra length for overlap.

For the lids, you'll follow the same basic assembly, but first the measures for each are:

Small: 2 3/8" square
Medium: 2 5/8" square
Large: 2 7/8" square

Score each piece at 3/8" all the way around, then again at 3/4" all the way around.
Watching your score lines, make a snip at each corner (as shown above on the right) across two scores, then rotate the paper and do the next snip. Do this all the way around, in a pinwheel fashion.

Now you'll cut the outer corners away as shown in the far left photo above. After that's done, I find it helpful to trim about 1/16" off the outer flaps, then give them a slight diagonal cut to reduce bulk when folding them inward later.

Put a small square of sticky tape on those little square tabs, but don't peel them up yet. Flip the lid to the inside and put more sticky tape on the outer flaps as shown in the middle photo. 

Now you can peel up one of the small square's sticky tape and bring that square tab inward and attach to the lid as shown in the far right photo. Do the same with each of the little square corners until you achieve the same look as in the photo. Now you can peel and stick the outer flaps down. 

These make nice secure lids to the packages. They should fit snugly. Now you can add some ribbon. 

I attached them from the top down. I don't care how the bottom looks because I'll be hot-gluing them into my box. But if you were making them for another use and might see the bottom, simply work from the bottom up and cover the raw edges with something decorative.

You can add brads, buttons, pinecones, bows, chipboard, or whatever you have on hand.

Here's another look at the inside of the box with the Christmas presents and lantern.

I hope you enjoyed the project. Let me know what you think. And since I won't be posting again until after Thanksgiving, here's wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day. I hope you're sharing it with those you love and enjoy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Compendium of Curiosities #16 - Layering Stencil: Embossing

Good Saturday morning to ya. I hope this finds you well. It's another challenge in the Compendium of Curiosities Vol. III series, hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter, featuring techniques and products from the master of distress Tim Holtz. We're working our way through his fabulous book and the new challenge is Layering Stencil: Embossing and can be found on page 50.

We invite you to join us by creating your own project using the technique or product featured, upload it to Linda's site here, and thus be entered to win one of two fabulous prizes! We LOVE being inspired by you! You can read all the details at the end of my post, and remember, there ARE rules so read those carefully.

OKAY, on to my creations for the challenge...

Christmas tags. I know I could have spent days on some masterpiece, but the truth is I NEED TAGS and Christmas cards for the fast-approaching season. And I'm all about necessity and function. These are small but not tiny. I used the Tag & Tie die, so that means they're 4 3/4 inches tall. I love this size because they can easily be added to a card front, or the perfect size for a gift, bottle of wine, or to affix a gift card to the back side. (Great idea for my high schooler's teachers!)

While I can't give away the technique here (that's for you to explore on your own) I can share one additional step I took before the technique, and that was stamping on the tags first. I cut the tags out of Ranger's manila card stock, then stamped with archival inks. This music note background is stamped with Watering Can by Wendy Vecchi for Ranger. I pulled out all my Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz holiday stamp sets I own and used a few images for backgrounds.

After stamping backgrounds, I did the "Layering Stencil: Embossing" technique. (I eventually re-stamped the fourth tag with brown ink instead of gray and re-stenciled it with Fired Brick instead of Festive Berries.)

Then I inked the edges first with Vintage Photo generously, then just the outer edges with Walnut Stain. I always edge distress with this combination. (Click to view this close up.)

I cut some die-cut images from various Movers & Shapers dies in my stash. I used the same manila card stock, but you could use grungeboard, grungepaper, chipboard, etc. I decided to use Distress Glitter to cover them. Glitter just has a vintage Christmas feel, doesn't it? And it goes so well with the shiny embossing.

Okay, so I usually ink the die-cut with the same color as my glitter first, but I was in a hurry and forgot, so this is what sometimes happens, right? You have those open spaces with no glitter, and if you try to go back in and fill them with glitter, then you get weird blobby, irregular spots.

So instead I grabbed my Vintage Photo Distress Stain spray and gave it a few blasts over the whole thing. Worked beautifully! And the combination of the glitter with the stain sprays give it a cool, variegated look.

I adhered the glittered pieces onto my tags, stamped a sentiment on the "bread tie" as I call it (using various Close To My Heart stamps in my stash) and adhered those close to the hole in each tag.

My tags each got some colored seam-binding ribbon at the top; colored of course with more Distress Stains.

And just 'cause I've been taught to be frugal with the leftover stains on my non-stick craft sheet, I swiped some regular-sized tags through them and put these aside for later. Double-duty, baby!

Shimmery and shiny, just like the holidays.

Remember to try stains with your glitter. It's pretty cool.

Now it's YOUR turn to give this technique a try... GO!

*   *   *   *   *

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!

And don't forget, you can find many of these great products I've used today at The Funkie Junkie online store. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's a Blog Hop with Core'dinations!

Hello everyone! Hope you've had a great week. It's been a fun one over on the Graphic 45 blog, as they've been having a Blog Hop with Core'dinations.

Designers were asked to create a project/tutorial featuring the great Core'dinations card stock. Did you know that they offer a Signature Series pallet just for Graphic 45? I love that I can always count on their card stock colors coordinating with my Graphic 45 papers!

My project is featured on the blog today with a YouTube video sharing how I made a realistic poinsettia flower with Core'dinations card stock to create this holiday home decor piece JOY.

Here's a peek at the project, but be sure to go on the HOP so you can be entered to win! Start here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Prancing Deer Christmas Card

Hello and happy Hump Day everyone. It's a chilly day here in Florida, but I'm not complaining. Just need a little extra coffee today to stay warm.

I've been in the holiday spirit lately, making tons of different Christmas projects: tags, cards and altered stuff. Today I wanted to share an easy tutorial for a delightful holiday card this season. I love the new Prancing Deer Sizzix die (Tim Holtz/Alterations) and the Knit Set Texture Fades. They work beautifully together.

My card measures 5" x 7" and features Close To My Heart's Yuletide Carol Workshop on the Go kit, which includes a stamp set that I utilized on the inside of my card, plus embellishments like gold sequins, sparkly gems and more. The stamped phrase on the front of the card is from PaperTrey Ink's "Season's Greeting" set.

Here's how easy this card was to make...

Cut a piece of pattern paper from Yuletide Carol at 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" and run through the Knit Set texture fade. Ink over the raised surfaces with Antique Linen Distress Ink. You can do this by using a Ink Blending Tool or for a stronger look, you can rub the stamp pad directly over the surface. I used the blending tool. 

Using another ink blending tool, rub Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the outside edges and on top of select areas of the embossed images.

Do the same to other select areas with Fired Brick Distress Ink. Here I used a small fingertip-style sponge dauber to get into smaller spaces.

To add a bit of glimmer, spray Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls spray over the surface. A few spritzes will do.

Cut the upper left area of the pattern paper from Yuletide Carol at 4 3/4" x 6 3/4". Distress the edges and ink them with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.

Cut the green pattern paper from Yuletide Carol at 4 7/8" x 6 7/8". Punch a tag from the pattern paper. I used this note tag punch from Stampin' Up. Adhere a piece of pattern paper to a piece of grungepaper (or thin chipboard, if you prefer) measuring 4" x 5 1/4" and run through the Prancing Deer die. This gives the deer a little more body and sturdiness.

Ink the edges of the tag and the deer first with Vintage Photo, then with Walnut Stain ink. After stamping the sentiment, affix a sparkle gem to the tag. This gem comes in the Yuletide Carol Workshop kit as well. Tie a snowflake charm around the deer's neck. I used red waxed twine.

Brush some Tarnished Brass Distress Paint over a Christmas Word Band, then quickly swipe a paper towel over it to remove most of the paint and leave a thin layer. Once the paint is fully dry, add two pieces of ribbon trim. I used the rick rack from Tim Holtz's Red/Cream Trimmings. It's helpful to use some Fabri-Tac glue to adhere the folded over ends together.

Now you can assemble the card. I made sure to build the entire card onto the green pattern paper so I could fold over the rick rack edges to the back side (rather than snip them off) for a cleaner look. Then I adhered the entire unit to the card base. I used Cashmere card stock from CTMH.

For the inside of my card, I cut more of the pattern paper from Yuletide Carol, then used the stamp set in the kit to stamp the pine, pinecones, and mailing seal in the corners. 

Here's a look at the completed card once again. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will give it a try. All products used are linked to sources where you can purchase them yourself, like InspirationEmporium.com, PaperTreyInk.com, my CTMH site, and my friend Grace's Stampin' Up site.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creative Blogger Award

It's always such an honor to receive fellow artists' sweet comments on my blog about my creations and then to get nominated for the Creative Blogger Award by one of my peers? Awesome! Thank you, Nicole Robinson. Nicole is a talented Close To My Heart consultant who makes gorgeous creations not only with their wonderful products, but with their Cricut cartridges as well. Check her out here.

The Creative Blogger Award entitles you to join a group of talented people and share your personal thoughts and secrets on your creative endeavors and hopefully you'll find some inspiration along the way. We are asked to answer the following questions...

What are you currently working on?

It's a super busy time. I literally have about 10 projects in the works right now. Many are for Graphic 45, for whom I am a Design Team member. Two will be taught as classes at the upcoming Winter CHA 2015 show in Anaheim, California. Another big project will be used in a video series for Scrapbook.com. and I'm working on a calendar project with the new Time To Flourish collection. I'm also designing CHA projects for the Hampton Art booth featuring Graphic 45's new upcoming stamp sets, and I'm creating my next project for the Compendium of Curiosities Crew, not to mention a few others on the back burner.

What is your signature style?

If I had to name it specifically, I'd have to say it's Feminine Vintage Grunge. I adore flowers, nature, animals and feminine themes like clothing, baking, sewing all with a vintage twist. Lace, buttons and doilies are some of my favorite embellishments. I'm not much of a pastel girl at all. If I'm working with pastels, you'll always find me inking the edges and grunging it up. If I had to pick one project that represents my personal style best, it would be my Creativity piece shown above. Lots of Tim Holtz products with my own feminine twist.

How do you get inspired and stay inspired?

I am constantly inspired by amazing artists through blogs, Pinterest, and YouTube although I honestly don't spend lots of time on the computer doing so. If I have a bit of (rare) spare time, I'll indulge myself an hour or two per week to really look around online. But mainly it comes from people I connect with on a daily basis through a quick look at Facebook and Instagram in the morning while having coffee. If I see something I like, I pin it and move on. Then when it's time to create and I'm feeling the need for outward inspiration, I'll take a look at my pins. Otherwise, if I'm feeling in the creative zone (which I luckily seem to find my way into without too much constraint) then I just start to envision ideas and play with them until I see something come together. Staying inspired is not difficult at all to do. I'm exposed to so many amazing, creative people online, all I have to do is hop on the computer for a few minutes and boom!

How does your creative process work?

It may be hard to believe, but I envision and develop most of my creative ideas for projects while I'm out on an early morning run. Usually I'm out the door by 5:30 a.m. while it's still dark. It's such a peaceful quiet time and I'm definitely an early bird kinda girl. It's pretty magical how things come together as I let my mind wander while I'm running along. The same happens when I'm on my Stairmaster. I put the music in my ears, put the TV on a music video channel, and my mind just takes off. Then once I'm in my craft room, I start playing with products to make my vision come together.

My goal, especially when designing projects for the Graphic 45 Design Team, is to share projects that most everyone can do. I'm not out to show off or to create masterpieces that no one would even bother to try to recreate. I hope to inspire, to teach through my videos and tutorials, and to enable others to try my techniques and projects on their own. The best feeling is when someone writes me and tells me that they made something of their own inspired by one of my projects. I love that.

Now it's my turn to nominate two artists who inspire me. Two very talented ladies who I've been watching and learning from for years now are Jan Hobbins and Shelly Hickox. If you like my style, you'll LOVE theirs. Be sure to check them out. I promise you'll be as inspired by them as I am.

Thanks for visiting today. I always appreciate that. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Unique Pop-up Christmas Cards

I love pop-up style dies for card making. They transform an ordinary card into a unique, impressive one that always gets a "Wow!" when you open it. Today I'm sharing a stand-up card on the Graphic 45 blog using a Sizzix Regal Stand-Ups die by Stephanie Barnard plus Graphic 45's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" collection. Be sure to hop over there and check it out. I've provided a step-by-step tutorial showing how easy it was to make. Here's a sneak peek...

I saw a pop-up card on Pinterest not long ago that had a pretty Christmas house inside. I hunted down the dies so I could make my own version, then made an interesting discovery...

But first, here's the card I created. Again, using Twas the Night Before Christmas plus some punches and stamps. The card base is a retired Sizzix die. The bracket shape at the bottom looks nice, but doesn't stand up well on its own (you have to tilt it) so maybe that's why it's no longer sold.

The inside features the Sizzix Pop 'n Cuts House die insert by Karen Burniston. The house and its cute little parts is from another one of Karen's dies, but not through Sizzix, but rather Elizabeth Craft Designs called Holiday House. Here's the discovery part: I hadn't known that Karen Burniston is no longer with Sizzix and thought these dies went together. While the fit is close, it's not the same. So I had to do just a little bit of adjusting. The top roofline of snow was the main thing that was off. Everything else seemed to fit just fine. 

The stamped sentiments on the outside and inside are both from the PaperTrey Ink set called "Stylish Sentiments - Holiday." Their stamps are wonderful, and I especially love their sentiments.

I have SO many dies, which I use more than any other design tool in my craft room. They are so versatile, easy and quick! The 25 is from a Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations Movers & Shaper die called Mini Reindeer & 25 set, the ornament is an older QuicKutz die. And the little bough twigs are a Martha Stewart punch. The ribbon, of course, is from May Arts. They have the BEST ribbon.

This cute layered Christmas tree is another Elizabeth Craft Designs die, called 5 Part Pine. I used the 6 x 6 paper pad of Twas the Night Before Christmas and I inked the edges with Picket Fence Distress Paint for a snowy effect.

I added some Glossy Accents to the lights on the house to make them shiny.

I'm so happy you came by to visit today. I hope this has inspired you to create some unique style greetings for the holidays this year. Don't forget to go to the Graphic 45 blog to check out my tutorial for the stand-up card.

Have a great day!