Merry Christmas!

The Christmas season is upon us! I’ve been busy making cards and gifts for the loved ones in my life, but I had a few moments during my last week off work to make an altered Christmas embroidery hoop to commemorate this year’s holiday season.

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I started off with an 6-inch hoop that I painted white with Finnabair’s Snow White Impasto Paint. I gave it several coats until I was happy with the color.

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After the paint had dried, I took a sanding block and went over the paint in a few places, to give it a more distressed look.

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To make my Christmas trees, I used an old Sizzix die called Trees, Three, but free-cutting triangles would work just as well. I also used up some old scraps of Christmas paper from Photoplay. Any paper with a small pattern would work.

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I cut several trees and bases, and inked the edges with Distress inks in Candied Apple and Peeled Paint for the trees and Vintage Photo for the bases. I then glued the bases to the trees.

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While waiting for the glue on my trees to dry, I mounted a piece of lace-covered burlap into my embroidery hoop. I trimmed the excess fabric away on the back, and glued what remained to the back of the hoop using hot glue.

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When my embroidery hoop was ready, I arranged my trees and glued them onto the burlap. I took a length of gold twine and wrapped it around the bottom, tying a knot at the base of the trees. For added security I also applied a little bit of glue to the back to hold the twine in place.

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For decoration, I added a few small buttons in red and green…

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…and a chipboard “Merry Christmas” heat embossed with an opaque white embossing powder.

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The final touch was to add a bow to the top and a piece of ribbon to hang my hoop from.

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I had so much fun making this embroidery hoop, I made a second as well.

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I didn’t do step-by-step photos for this one, but it’s a 4-inch hoop decorated with a poinsettia using the Tim Holtz Layered Tattered Poinsettia Die. I used gold seed beads for the center of the flower, and a chipboard “Joy” heat embossed with a sparkly gold embossing powder.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

Halloween pocket letter/ATC

Happy Halloween! It’s been a busy, busy month at work, so I’m just popping in today to post my Halloween-themed pocket letter and ATCs!

I never turn down the opportunity to do a Halloween-themed pocket letter!

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The bottom row features a spooky graveyard scene. The background was made with Distress Oxides. The haunted house and ghosts are from Memory Box/Poppystamps and the skeleton is Tim Holtz colored with a bit of Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink. The graveyard border is a chipboard piece from Creative Embellishments that I’ve heat embossed with black embossing powder to give it a shiny look. The sentiment is from the Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings.

In the center, I have a SnipArt chipboard skull frame heat embossed with Oyster Glintz embossing powder from WOW. The raven, bats and creepy eye are Tim Holtz, as is the sentiment. The black cat is a sticker from Michaels.

On the top row, I’ve mounted three ephemera pieces from a Michaels ephemera pack on different pieces of Halloween paper and accented with sequins. I’ve tied little bows with purple and black twine and added Tim Holtz Halloween quote chips on the spine to finish the project.

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For my Halloween ATCs, I’ve again used Distress Oxide inks to create my background, masking off a small strip along the bottom for my sentiment, along with the moon. The black die cuts are from the Impression Obsession Halloween Hill border die. The sentiment is stamped from the Poppystamps Halloween Fun stamp set. The ghosts are stamped from the Mama Elephant Little Boo Agenda stamp set, colored with Copic markers and die cut using the coordinating dies.

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I also made a set of autumn-themed ATCs for my monthly swap. For my base, I used a set of pumpkin die cut pieces from Joggles that I trimmed just a bit to adhere to the standard ATC size of 3.5 by 2.5 inches. I used the ink squishing technique using Distress Oxides to color them, inking the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for definition. I glued down some gold thread, then placed a sprig of flowers from Prima in autumn colors on top. I added some puffy stickers from the Autumn Sunset collection from Prima, as well as gems from the same collection. The sentiment is from the Small Talk Occasions sticker collection from Tim Holtz.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to start on Christmas projects! Let the holiday season begin!

An Unfortunate Ending

I know I’ve mentioned my doll collection on this blog a time or two. One of my favorite doll lines was the Evangeline Ghastly line from Tonner/Wilde Imagination. I love the spooky, gothiness of this particular doll, and she’s perfect for this time of year.

That’s why, when I saw a tombstone tutorial using one of the Tim Holtz Etcetera tags that was posted last year, I knew I wanted to create my own little tombstone prop for my Evangeline dolls. Of course, I didn’t get to it right away, and then I kept putting it off until a year had passed. But this year, as the Halloween season approached, I decided to finally dig out my supplies and work on it.

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I’ll not go into detail about how I made this. I will instead point you in the direction of the tutorial I used to make my own tombstone. But I used a lot of the same techniques. And this little prop will look fabulous amongst my spooky Evangeline collection.

Next week I’ll have a Halloween pocket letter and some ATCs to share. Thanks for stopping by!

My Etsy adventure begins

The past month or so has been extremely chaotic for my family. We had a death in the extended family, I had some health concerns that, thankfully, turned out to be minor, and work has been crazy busy with churning out content for several specials, including a month-long breast cancer awareness campaign. (Ladies, make sure to schedule your yearly mammograms!) And in between everything, I have started something rather scary… opening my own Etsy shop.

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Right now, I’ve just listed some of the jewelry I’ve made. I do enjoy making jewelry, but I don’t wear much of it myself, so otherwise, it would just sit in a box. I hope to soon add some crafting supplies such as resin pieces made from the various moulds I’ve collected, destash supplies, fairy artwork and handmade cards. But for now, it’s just jewelry.

I had an Etsy shop several years ago, selling cross stitch patterns. It was a bit successful, but I had to close it when Etsy changed their policies. I’ve revamped and renamed my shop to sell physical items now.

If you’d like to stop by, please visit my shop, CarolineByDesignTN. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I should be back to crafting in the next few weeks! 🙂

The Witching Hour

For most, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. For me, it marks the first weekend of Halloween!

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. For someone who can’t stand watching horror movies, I love the creepy, spooky trappings that are associated with the holiday, and Halloween crafts are my favorite to make.

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I’ve had this idea in mind since I bought the Julie Nutting Altered Dollhouse a couple of years ago. I told myself this year was the year I was finally going to sit down and create my very own haunted house. I’ve been collecting Halloween themed stickers, embellishments and trinkets for this project for a couple of years, so it came together pretty easily. I even have enough left over to do a second project like this in the future.

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I painted the dollhouse black and lined each of the trays with Halloween scrapbook paper or Worn Wallpaper remnants by Tim Holtz.

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After that, it was just a matter of filling the trays with bits and pieces of spooky embellishments. Some of my favorite things to work with a dimensional stickers from Jolee’s Boutique.

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For the center tray, I used a piece of Graphic 45 paper with a quote by Edgar Allan Poe. I also used Poe’s portrait in the space beneath, adding a raven as well. The candles I made myself using rolled up paper and hot glue and painted with Distress Paints.

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For the largest space, I knew I wanted to use the witch paper dolls from Tim Holtz. I also had a Beautiful Board spider clock from Reneabouquets that I heat embossed with black powder. It was a perfect addition to my haunted house.

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A couple of the miniatures I used are from Michaels. They have some of the best Halloween decor every year!

Thanks for stopping by. May your Halloween season be spooky!

Art journal playtime

I had a week off work recently, and I spent the time not only cleaning my craft room, but playing in my art journal. I have two art journals to share with you today.

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It’s All Perspective

I’d had this idea in mind for a while, of greenery spouting from the Tim Holtz skull die cut. My original plan was to have butterflies dancing among the plants, but as I was going through my dies, looking for my butterflies, I came across some lovely koi fish dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. So I went a little abstract and had fish “flying” between the greenery. I even added an octopus and tentacle coming from the eye socket. I kind of love how it turned out.

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Think Different

My second layout, I used some elements from Maremi’s Small Art Design that I fussy cut and adhered to my abstract background. Not my favorite page I’ve ever done, but I do love the colors, and Marta’s designs and sentiment stickers are just gorgeous and fun to play with.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be showcasing my first Halloween project later in the week!

Adventure Awaits

Hello again! I’m sharing today a project created for a beach-themed Reneabouquet swap on the forums of Scrapbook.com. I decided to do a reverse canvas for my partner, featuring the Golden Coast collection from Prima Marketing.

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I had planned on doing step-by-step photos with this one, but the project went wrong in the beginning and by the time I had salvaged it to my liking, I had missed a whole bunch of steps, and some photos I thought I had taken, I couldn’t find. So I will just have to do my best to describe the process.

I started with an 8×10 canvas, working on the back side. At first, I glued down some printed tissue paper, spraying it with Lindy’s sprays, but after leaving it to dry overnight, I decided I just didn’t like how it came out. So I covered the edges with white crackle paste, which covered most of the color. I glued down a piece of Prima scrapbooking paper on the inside of the canvas, and applied a bit more crackle paste and some art stones around the inside edges.

I also stamped on top of the crackle paste with a text stamp, using a brown Archival ink.

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On the lower right-hand corner, I layered flowers from the Golden Coast collection, along with a few seashells and a flamingo from the Golden Coast ephemera pack. Another seashell was glued in the top right corner.

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On the left side of the canvas, I glued down a piece of cheese cloth before adding two chipboard pieces from Kaisercraft at the bottom. They were heat embossed with Opaque Pastel Blue and Oyster Glintz embossing powders from WOW! Embossing Powders. A couple of seashells were added to the “shelf.” In the top left corner, I added some more flowers, the balloon ephemera piece from the Golden Coast collection, and a butterfly from Reneabouquets.

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In the center, I painted a resin frame from my stash with Dusty Rose Impasto paint, then high lighted with Vintage Gold wax from Prima. On top of the frame, I glued a Beautiful Board compass from Reneabouquet, heat embossed with Oyster Glintz embossing powder. A resin seahorse was painted with Manor Blue Impasto paint, also highlighted with the gold wax. The sentiment is a Tim Holtz quote chip colored with Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and edged with gold wax. I used a scrap styrofoam piece to pop it up.

Finishing touches included dry brushing the flowers with white gesso; adding a bit of gold wax here and there, especially around the edges of the frame; adding mini art stones for a sandy look; and adding Beautiful Beads in Bronzed Teal here in there for some “pearls.”

I hope my swap partner likes the project! I’ve got another mixed media piece started, and I’ve been careful to take photos of the process so I’ll have another tutorial up soon. Thanks for stopping by!