If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be able to make pretty pieces of art… pretty enough I’d want to hang on my walls… I would have laughed in their face. I thought I wasn’t crafty. I’d always wanted to be able to create, but believed I never had the talent for it.
Then I found YouTube.
I really am quite thankful for those who take the time to record their creative processes and explain, step by step, how their beautiful creations were made. They’ve helped me believe that, hey, I could do that too!
My recent forays into YouTube introduced me to altered embroidery hoops. As I used to be a prolific cross-stitcher, I have several old hoops lying around. I figured I’d give it a shot…
I’m not going to go into detail as to how I made this wall hanging. Instead, I’ll just link to the video that inspired me to make it. Many thanks to the artist, Ola Khomenok, a member of the Prima Marketing design team. Her video is a really neat process to watch, and I hope it will inspire you, too. 🙂
Because the holidays were crazy hectic for me and I didn’t get a chance to blog my projects, I thought I’d quickly go through some of my holiday-themed makes. I abstained from the usual ATC swap for a couple of months in order to get other things done, but I did sign up for a Christmas-themed tag swap and pocket letter swap, and made something just for me.
My first project of the season was a holiday sled. I fell in love with the Kaisercraft Beyond the Page sled when I first saw it, so I bought it on a whim, even though I hadn’t really done anything like it before. I also decided the Mint Wishes collection, also from Kaisercraft, would be perfect to decorate the sled with.
First I broke apart the sled pieces and sanded down the tabs. I also painted the edges with white gesso, but not very carefully, as I wanted to leave a bit of a distressed look. I took several pieces of the “Cabin” paper from the Mint Wishes collection and traced the pieces onto the back before cutting them out. I adhered the paper with Mod Podge and set it aside to dry.
Next, I sanded the edges to take off any excess paper. I also decided to give the sled a snowy feel by splattering the pieces with white ink before I assembled the sled with a strong glue. I set the sled aside to let the glue dry while I assembled my embellishments.
I found a pretty white flower made of vellum in my stash, so I added some Cool Mint Stickles to some of the petals for some sparkle. I also chose several pieces from the Mint Wishes ephemera pack, as well as some sparkly leaves by Prima and a flair button by My Mind’s Eye. I layered these pieces on top of a piece of sparkly tulle at the base of the sled.
I felt it was missing a little something, so I die cut some pine branches using a die by Impression Obsession and colored them with Evergreen Bough Distress Ink. I took a wood flourish from the Mint Wishes collection and painted it with white gesso and layered these together at the top of the sled. I also added some sparkly gems to represent berries as well. Finally, I took a piece of sheer green ribbon and looped it through the runners to hang it with. It looks great hanging on the wall!
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My first swap of the Christmas season was a tag swap. I knew I wanted to do something in non-tradition Christmas colors… I just wasn’t sure what. I had recently purchased the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die, so I thought I’d make a pink poinsettia for the top half of the tag. I die cut the petals from some patterned paper with music notes on it and inked them with Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide ink. While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled on some Judikins Iridescent Sparkle embossing powder. When heated, the powder becomes transparent, leaving behind the most beautiful sparkle. The leaves were die cut from plain cardstock and inked with Peeled Paint Distress ink. I ran them through with the coordinating embossing folder for added texture.
After assembling the flower layers and adding a few extra leaves, I made the center of the poinsettia by adhering yellow and gold seed beads with Glossy Accents. I also added a wood flourish word painted with white gesso, to add a bit of “joy” to my tag.
While the glue was drying, I made the base of my tag. I adhered a piece of paper from the now-retired Sugar Plum collection by My Mind’s Eye to the tag base and sanded the edges to distress it a little. I glued down a bit of sisal and added the poinsettia to the top of the tag.
The bottom half vexed me for days. I just wasn’t sure what to do with it. Finally, the background paper I used gave me an idea. The sparkle on the paper reminded me of stars, so I thought I’d do a snowy scene with die cuts at the bottom of the tag.
The die cut village at the very back is by Your Next Stamp. All the other dies are by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I layered my scene with adhesive foam squares and added some sparkling snow with Crystal Stickles glitter glue. I thought my scene needed just a pop of color, so I added a green tree with little sparkling red dots as well. The sentiment sticker is from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad. Finally, I die cut a Christmas star from silver paper to “hang” over my village.
I then tied a piece of pink ribbon onto the top and my Christmas tag was done and ready to be sent to my swap partner.
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My final swap of 2017 was a pocket letter. I had fallen in love with my non-traditional color scheme I’d used in my tag, so I continued it through my pocket letter.
I used pages from the Sugar Plum 6×6 paper pad by My Mind’s Eye for the backgrounds of all my pockets. In most the pockets, I simply added some ephemera from the same collection, die cuts or quote stickers from Tim Holtz.
I knew I wanted to add a Julie Nutting doll to my pocket letter, so I chose Marisol, as I wanted to make her dress using JN Haute Couture die set, which I’d had for a while but hadn’t gotten around to using yet. The bottom layer of her dress was cut from a festive piece of patterned paper, while the overlay was die cut using metallic green paper. I also added some holly die cuts to her hair.
For the center pocket, I wanted to make a wreath. I took a pair of twig dies from one of my Impression Obsession sets and die cut them into green cardstock… over and over and over. I’m not sure how many I ended up with. Fifty or more, I’d say. I die cut a circle about the width of the pocket, then layered all those twigs on top, using Glossy Accents to glue them down to make it look nice and leafy.
The poinsettias are also from an Impression Obsession set, which I die cut into pink cardstock. I layered the petals together and added a small yellow gem to the center. Finally, I took a small pink ribbon and adhered it to the bottom of the wreath.
I had such fun with my Christmas projects, I can hardly wait until next year to make more. Though, truth be told… I may not wait that long. I may have to do some Christmas in July projects!
First, let me apologize for the lack of posts for the past few months. My various illnesses coupled with a stressful quarter at work, the holidays and my little dog getting sick over Christmas really didn’t leave me with much energy to blog my crafts. I’ve been posting my makes on Instagram, but I’m afraid I left my blog hanging while dealing with everything else. But my goal for 2018 is more posts as well as giving making video tutorials a shot! I’ve ordered a tripod for my camera, so wish me luck!
Because I’ve been so busy and stresses, I’ve taken a break from the various swaps I’d been a part of last year. I found I’d been spending all my crafty time working on swaps, and not enough to time working for me. I’ve taken up painting dot mandalas (a topic for a later post) and I want to get back to art journaling. Which brings me to today’s make.
I had an idea last year to do at least one art journal layout a month using the Julie Nutting doll stamps, but I wanted to start with January. So I waited, and planned, and today, I finished my very first one.
I’m using the Julie Nutting Dollhouse Album as my journal. To start this layout, I cut two pieces of grey paper to tape down onto the journal pages. I cut it slightly smaller than the page itself in order to leave a border, but I’m not sure I will do this in the future.
My first step was to heat emboss the Hero Arts Garland Bold Prints background stamp with silver embossing powder, to give my little scene a festive atmosphere. I then taped off a small strip at the bottom of the page and added Black Soot Distress Ink for the “floor.”
To make my window scene, I first die cut two windows from the Julie Nutting Parisian View die set. I distressed it using the Carta Bella Traveler’s Journal text stamp using grey ink. I glued the two die cuts together to make one window in order to make it fit on the page.
Next, I used Broken China, Salty Ocean and Faded Jeans Distress Oxide Inks onto some white cardstock for my night sky. I spritzed the background with a bit of water for texture.
I used the Impression Obsession City Landscape dies to cut out my cityscape and added some highlights with a white gel pen.
I then took my Stylized Fireworks stencil from StencilGirl and added some New Year’s fi reworked with Nuvo Mousse in Pure Platinum and Incan Gold.
When everything was dry, I layered the window and cityscape dies together and glued them down onto the background.
For the right side of my layout, I decided to go with the Julie Nutting Tasha doll stamp. I paper pieced her dress together using some shiny Kaisercraft paper I had in my leftover stash. I used the top hat stamp from the Hero Arts Happy New Year stamp set to make her hat, adding a small piece of pink glitter paper as the band.
Finally, I stamped the year and sentiment using the Hero Arts Happy New Year stamp set. The final touch was to add the clock from the same stamp set heat embossed in gold.
I already have ideas for February and March’s layout so I’m looking forward to creating them in the months ahead!
TIme for another tag! I had told myself that I was going to go easy in October with signing up for swaps since Christmas is fast approaching and I have cards to make for the baby cousins! But, when ReneaBouquets announced they were hosting a fairy-themed tag swap, I knew I couldn’t resist. I adore fairies and I had so many ideas! Really, it was hard to narrow down what to make!
In the end, I went uber-girlie fairytale.
I started with a chipboard tag base that measures about 8 x 3.75 inches. I chose a pretty piece of paper from the Die Cuts WIth a View Once Upon a Time paper stack for my background. I glued it to both the front and back, because I like the backs of my projects to look neat. I then took the Storybook Background stamp by Echo park and randomly stamped the text onto the tag with a grey archival ink. To add just a little bit of contract, I then sprinkled on some drops of Prima Donna Purple Starburst spray by Lindy’s Stamp Gang all over the tag. To finish the background I took the Dragonflies stencil by Dusty Attic and spread some Nuvo Moonstone Glimmer paste for a sparkly effect.
I let it all dry overnight and then… Stared at it for a good while the next day, because the background was as far as I’d gotten in the planning process. Sometimes the muses are fickle creatures! But, in the end, I dug through my chipboard stash and found a pretty piece of Floral Lattice by Blue Fern. I dabbed on some white gesso and glued it down to the center right of the tag.
I wasn’t even sure of which fairies to use on the tag either. I had some pretty chipboard fairies and an adorable resin fairy that was curled up asleep, but neither was really detailed enough, so I chose a piece of scrapbook paper by 49 and Market that featured the Flower Fairies and fussy cut two of the fairies from the page.
I picked out a selection of pink and purple flowers from my stash and clustered them on top the the lattice chipboard. I felt it still needed a little something, so I added a chipboard clock from the Rossibelle ephemera pack by Prima. I tucked in one of the fairies behind the flowers and added some purple crystal droplets.
At the bottom of the tag, I took a piece of the Boheme Borders chipboard from Wycinanka, dabbed with white gesso, and glued it along the bottom edge. I attached the second fairy using foam tape, along with another flower, and added my sentiment, “Be Enchanted,” from 7 Dots Studio. I also glued on a couple of Swarovski crystals for added bling.
Because this was a ReneaBouquets swap, I wanted to add an item from Renea’s shop to the tag, so I chose one of her beautiful dragonflies to perch upon the flowers. Check out her shop to see all the beautiful butterflies, dragonflies, chipboards and other crafting goodies!
To finish, I used my clear Wink of Stella brush pen on the fairies’ wings and glued on two more Swarovski crystals to the wings of the upper fairy. I then sprinkled on some Spun Sugar Distress Glitter to the flower petals and added a few drops of Glossy Accents to simulate dew drops.
The final touch was a piece of sheer green ribbon strung through a pretty pink bead, and a little dragonfly charm. My mom, who loves fairies, tried to claim the tag as hers when she saw it, but I had to be firm… And promise I’d make a similar one just for her!
It’s Halloween season! As everyone knows, I mark my calendar as such: Aug. 31 — last day of summer; Sept. 1 — first day of Halloween. It is my very favorite holiday, and as Oct. 31 draws closer, you can almost feel the magic in the air.
So of course when the Halloween swaps started popping up on my various forums, I signed up! I had a lot of fun making the four sets of Halloween ATCs, so I jumped at the chance to make a Halloween tag when the swap opened.
But sometimes, things don’t always go quite as expected. The swap was for either a Halloween or Fall tag, for those who weren’t into Halloween. When the swap opened, the group was short one partner, so the Swap Boss asked for a volunteer to make a second tag. I am a masochist at heart, apparently, so I volunteered to make a fall tag as well as a Halloween one. I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, as I had just finished my autumn-inspired pocket letter and had some autumn themed papers and embellies left over. I was still letting my idea for the Halloween tag stew in my head, so I started work on the fall tag first.
I started by taking a chipboard tag base by Prima and adhering a piece of paper from the Amber Moon collection to both the front and back, as I try to make the backs of my pieces look nice. I cut another piece of paper from the collection slightly smaller and distressed the edges before adhering it to the front of the tag using foam tape. To add a little interest, I spritzed the layered piece with Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays Autumn Leaf Crimson and Milk Chocolate Brown and let them run down the paper.
Next I die cut some autumn leaves using the Tim Holtz Fall Foliage die set. I used Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber and Peeled Paint Distress inks to color them. I smooshed the colors onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, then dragged the leaves through the colors. I dried them just a little with my heat tool, then used the Milk Chocolate Brown spray to sprinkle little dots of brown over the leaves. Where the leaves were still a bit damp, the brown spread out, giving the leaves a mottled look. Where it was dry, the Lindy’s spray left little brown sparkly drops. Finally, I inked all the edges with Vintage Photo ink.
While letting the leaves dry completely, I cut some thin strips of the Amber Moon paper and layered them on the right side of the tag, bending the top ends just a bit for some dimension. I also cut one of the little cards out of the paper and a background for it to act as my main focal point. I distressed the edges of the background paper and added a Tim Holtz sticker from the Small Talk Occasions pad to the card. Before adhering them in the center of the tag, I wrapped some ecru colored string around the tag for a bit more interest.
When the die cut leaves were completely dry, I shaped them a bit with my fingers, making them look a bit more natural. I adhered a few in the top left corner, along with some small flowers and picks, also from the Amber Moon collection.
I did the same in the bottom right corner and added a small pine cone as well. I also added a chipboard sticker that said, “Gather” to the bottom for balance. I then tucked some of the smaller leaves around the center focal point. For my final touches, I added a bit of metallic gold paint to the rose at the top and to the edges of the pine cone and added three copper sequins to the tag.
I still felt it needed a little something, so I added a beautiful butterfly from Reneabouquet to the top left. Finally, I tied on a bit of orange gingham ribbon and my fall tag was done!
As for my Halloween tag…
Ugh. I had such problems with this one! I think my biggest problem was too many ideas in my head. I’d wanted to do a spooky outdoors scene with a castle and some tombstones, but I couldn’t get it to lie the way I wanted to on the Prima tag base. In the end I ended up flipping through my dies to get ideas, when I came across the Poppystamps Grand Madison Fireplace die… and immediately thought of a bubbling cauldron being stirred by witches. And so my idea was born.
To give the fireplace some dimension, I die cut it 6 times and layered them together. I inked the top-most layer with Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke and Tea Dye Distress Inks. It didn’t give me quite the dimension I was looking for so I added a bit of foam tape to the back as well.
For the back of the fireplace, I inked a panel of white cardstock with Pumice Stone, then ran it through my Big Shot inside the Tim Holtz Bricked embossing folder that had been inked with Hickory Smoke before adhering it to the back of the fireplace.
For my tag, I first glued down a piece of Halloween paper I had in my stash that has long since been discontinued on both the front and back of the tag. I inked the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink, then stamped all over with the Witch’s Chant stamp from Stampendous for texture. (It’s a lovely text stamp that uses the witches’ scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth… great for Halloween projects!)
After gluing down the fireplace, I die cut the Memory Box Pot of Gold to use as my cauldron. I turned the “gold” die cut into a green witch’s brew with Twisted Citron ink and a bit of white gel pen before gluing it into the fireplace. I also added a Trick or Treat chipboard sticker from the Pink Paislee Spellcast collection and a die-cut hanging bat from the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree die set.
For my mantle, I fussy cut some bottles from a piece of Rare Oddities paper from Graphic 45 and hot glue a Tim Holtz skull on top for some spooky decorations. The witches are from the Tim Holtz Ancestor paper dolls ephemera collection and just worked perfectly with this tag! I also added the chipboard cat from the Spellcast collection, because every witch needs a familiar!
For the top part of the tag, I used the Tim Holtz Cobweb die for a bit of creepy background for my window. The window frame was cut using the Poppystamps Small Gothic Window die. I also die cut the Cheery Lynn Twisted Tree and used the moon and a couple of bats from the Tim Holtz Haunted House die to use in the window. The back side of the paper I used on my tag base was a lovely shade of blue, which I thought would work well as the night sky. I glued down the moon, tree and bats before gluing the window frame on top, then trimmed off any excess. I added the window to the tag with foam tape.
To finish off the tag, I took a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad and cut it into 4 little pieces to glue onto the window frame. I also added a pretty spider charm and a piece of orange ribbon to tie the whole thing together.
I was super happy with the way it turned out, so I hope my swap partner likes it!
I’ve never been much of a fan of fall-themed decorations or craft supplies. But when Prima announced their new Amber Moon paper collection, I fell in love and my inner pumpkin spice demon was set free. So when I signed up to participate in the September pocket letter swap on my craft forum, I knew I wanted to do an autumn-themed project using these gorgeous papers.
Every pocket uses a different paper from the 8×8 paper pad. I cut all my bases using the Memory Box Pin Point Rectangles die, as it is the perfect size for pocket letters and ATCs, plus it gives each card a nice stitched design.
The first pocket I created was the centerpiece. In preparation for this pocket letter, I hopped on eBay and purchased a set of fall-themed Jolee’s Boutique sticker packs. The wreath was in one of those sticker sets and I wanted to use it in the center. The little sign that says “Autumn” originally hung in the center of the wreath, but I snipped it off and added it beneath. I had a gorgeous brown cameo I felt would be perfect to put in the middle of the wreath.
The next pocket I worked on was the bottom center pocket. The paper pad features a sheet with 12 different designs on it you can cut apart to use as smaller cards. I cut out the panel with the butterflies that says “Blessed,” distressed the edges and adhered it to my base panel with foam tape. I added a few autumn leaf stickers around the edges, then slid it inside. I then fussy cut the same butterflies from another sheet and hot glued them onto the outside of the pocket, giving them some dimension. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the wings.
I have a pretty Wheat Stalks die by Cottage Cutz that I had used in my Indigo Skies canvas that I wanted to use in this pocket letter. I chose the middle left pocket. I die cut a few and colored them with various shades of distress ink and glued them down in a cluster. I also added some sparkling black washi tape, gems and a chipboard quote sticker, all from the Amber Moon collection.
For the bottom left pocket, I didn’t want to do too much to it since the paper was already so pretty. So I just glued down some brown moss and added a chipboard sticker and a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad.
The bottom right pocket was also one I didn’t want to do too much to cover the background. I had a cute little pumpkin cart sticker I thought would look great. I also added the Pumpkin Patch sticker to go with it. I glued the cart to the outside of the pocket as it was slightly too wide for the inside.
For the top center pocket, I used a birdhouse sticker from the gorgeous Photo Play Falling Leaves collection. I added a little bird from the Amber Moon ephemera pack with foam tape and the pumpkins are stickers from Jolee’s.
In the top left pocket, I took some leftover wheat stalks I hadn’t used earlier and layered them behind a glittery red leaf from Paper House Productions. I also cut a strip from the Amber Moon paper pad that said “Hello Autumn” to lie across the bottom.
For the top right pocket, I used the Memory Box Small Forest Archway die and the Cottage Cutz Deer Petites die to make a quick little woodland scene. Both die cuts were colored with Distress Inks and I added a couple of gold leaf stickers and a Tim Holtz quote sticker to finish.
In the final pocket, I had a gorgeous gold pumpkin sticker by Jolee’s I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate. Finally I decided to stamp some stitching along the edges with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some gold embossing powder onto the base. I added a final Tim Holtz quote sticker before gluing down the pumpkin.
I finished the pocket letter by adding some Amber Moon washi tape down the binder edge and added some twine to each hole tied in a bow. For my tag, I die cut a the pumpkin and a leaf using the Lawn Fawn Fall Tiny Tag dies and tied them on. I stuffed each pocket with a few craft goodies and sent it to its new home.
My partner loved it. I’m so glad! It was one of the first things I’d made that I really wished I could keep! 😀
This month, I joined a second ATC swap on another forum, Splitcoaststampers.com. It’s hosted by the same lady who hosts the one on Scrapbook.com and she invited me to participate in both. Since the swap on Splitcoast is every other month, and since I could work in another set of Halloween cards, I decided to take the plunge.
The four categories for August/September were Anything Associated with September or October, Anything That Flies, Coffee/Tea and Artist’s Choice. I chose to do all four categories.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail as to how these cards were made, like I do on my other monthly ATCs, but I will list what I used.
I really wanted to make an interactive ATC, and I got the idea of having a little ghost rise from behind some gravestones. Let me tell you… these were such a PAIN IN THE ASS to make. I had the worst time trying to get them to work and making all the elements stay in place. But I did prevail. I just need to remind myself not to try anything this complicated again… at least not when I’m on a deadline.
The main gravestone is from MFT Stamps while the smaller gravestones are from the latest Tim Holtz Halloween release. The ghost, pumpkin and trees are by Memory Box. The grass is from Lawn Fawn.
For my Anything That Flies cards, I knew I wanted to do a twist on the theme. The first thing that came to mind with this category was time, and I had the perfect stamp set to use! I heat embossed the unwinding clock from the Visible Image “Ahead of Our Time” stamps in gold over a base that I’d prepared using Prima Color Bloom sprays. I also embossed the falling girl from the same set and fussy cut her out. You can’t tell from the photo, but the whole card is very shimmery and shiny.
For my coffee cards, I don’t drink coffee or tea, so I didn’t have a lot to work with. But I did have some cute dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps with which I could create a little cafe scene. My base was a piece of printed music, which I overlaid with a piece of vellum. I die cut all my elements and glued them down on top, then added a little quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk pad.
The sky was the limit with the Artist’s Choice category, so I chose to commemorate the recent total solar eclipse that happened last month. Where I live, we got a little over 2 and a half minutes of totality, and it was simply an amazing experience.
I made these very similarly to how I made my ‘Scorch’ cards back in the summer, only instead of using silvers and golds, I used black paints for the background and the “moon.” The girl and quote are heat embossed in silver from the August My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts.
Christmas is sneaking up on us, but I’m not quite ready to let Halloween pass by without a couple more projects. Thanks for stopping by!