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!

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!

The Beauty of Becoming

Spring has sprung, and over on the Scrapbook.com forums, a spring secret partner tag swap was held. We were all given a secret partner and had to create a spring-themed tag, but we weren’t allowed to say who our partner was. They would find out when the tag arrived.

I decided to use the Tim Holtz Funky Florals dies to create a spring flower scene.

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I cut my tag base out of chipboard (5×7 in.) and glued down some background paper from my stash. (I believe both pieces used were Kaisercraft.)

I cut out a bunch of blooms and greenery from the Tim Holtz Funky Florals 2, Funky Florals 3, Funky Foliage, Wildflower Stems 1 and Garden Greens from various colors of Lawn Fawn card stock. I used Distress Inks to give the flowers and stems some shading.

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The watering can is a Tim Holtz Bigz die. The big piece was colored with Pumice Stone and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, and the band was colored with Black Soot Distress Ink. I also sprayed the watering can with some silver sparkle spray so it glitters in the light.

I adhered the watering can to the tag base using foam tape, then tucked in the greenery and flowers behind using liquid glue to adhere them.

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I added a couple of flowers to the bottom of the can, along with a fussy cut butterfly from my stash. The sentiment is from the Prima Finnabair Art Daily Sentiments sticker book that I inked with some green Distress Ink.

When everything was glued down, I felt the tag needed a little something, so I added “shading” all around the tag by using three tiny greenery stamps from Lavinia Stamps in various shades of green VersaFine Clair inks. The final touch was the green ribbon at the top of the tag.

My partner loved it, which made me happy! Thanks for stopping by!

Art journal: November and December

Hope everyone had a great Christmas/holiday season! This will probably be my last post for 2018, but I wanted to get my final two Julie Nutting art journal layouts posted before ringing in the new year. I’m honestly surprised that I managed to complete this art journal that started all the way back in January. I don’t always finish long-term projects. One of my many faults. But I managed to finish this one and it will be my first completed art journal. Well… the inside is complete. I hope to decorate the cover sometime in the new year.

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For my November layout, I wanted to do an autumn theme. I used a piece of scrapbook paper for my background to set the scene. I paper pieced the Julie Nutting Doll with Pocket Dress using Prima’s Amber Moon papers. I decorated my little scene using stickers from Paper House Productions (Autumn Woods) and Carta Bella (Fall Break). My sentiment wreath is from the Amber Moon ephemera pack.

To finish off the scene, I used some small leaf stamps by Lavinia Stamps around the edges in autumn colors. I don’t care much for reds and oranges, but I love the way this turned out!

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For my December layout, I again used a pretty piece of scrapbook paper for the background, this time from Ella & Viv. I used my new Merry Julie Nutting doll, paper pieced with papers from the Christmas Jewel collection from Kaisercraft. I die cut the Westbridge Christmas Tree die and the Village Lamp Post die from Poppystamps to add to my scene. I inked the lamp post with Black Soot Distress Ink and used Daytona Sands embossing powder from WOW! for the lamp light. I also heat embossed the tree using WOW! Metalline Greengage embossing powder. The sentiment is from the Merry stamp set, heat embossed with WOW! Blue Glitz powder.

I added some leftover animal stickers from the Paper House Productions Autumn Woods collections. I also added a poinsettia sticker to the lamp post and some purple gems to both the tree and the doll. My final touch was to add some sparkly snowflake stickers from Doodlebug.

I’m not planning on doing a monthly art journal next year… trying to keep up with this one was tough at times! But I’m not giving up art journaling altogether. I’m just going to do it when the mood strikes me next year.

And speaking of year-end wrap-ups, I’d just like to share my Top Nine favorite projects of 2018. I think I’ve improved a little over my creations in 2017, so I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

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Happy New Year!

Guest Designer: The WOW! Factor

I like making cards because I just like making things. I don’t have a lot of use for cards, as I don’t really have anyone to send them to, but I still like making them. I still feel like a novice compared to many I’ve seen online, but it’s fun and relaxing and if you’ve ever wanted to give card making a try, I say go for it!

One of the first things I learned about card making was how to take an ordinary card design and make it pop. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add embossing powder to your design. Embossing powder, especially the metallics and sparkly ones, can give your card that “Wow” factor. (Pun intended, heh.)

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Today, for my second social media guest post for WOW! Embossing Powder, I thought I’d take three cards I’d made in the past and jazz them up with EPs. It’s amazing what a little sparkle can do for your design.

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Lawn Fawn card — before

For my first card, I’d made a cute little scene using the Lawn Fawn I Scream for Ice Cream dies. I used the following Lawn Fawn cardstock to create my sweet little treats: Ballet Slippers, Vanilla Malt, Chili Pepper, Paper Bag, Chocolate Bar, Noble Fir and Black Licorice. I glued all my parts together and mounted them on a background using Lawn Fawn’s quilted backdrop. For my sentiment, I used a stamp from LF’s Bannertastic in Ballet Slippers ink with the sentiment from the Sweet Treats stamp set.

It’s a cute card, but it can so easily be taken up a notch by adding embossing powders.

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Lawn Fawn card — after

For this one, I made the card the same way, but for the vanilla cone, I used Sparkling Snow embossing powder to create some pretty shimmer. I also used Red Glitz to make both the cherry and heart sparkle. And finally, I used In the Pink embossing glitter to turn my strawberry cone into strawberry swirl using a flourish stamp. The sentiment I embossed using Metalline Greengage and I finished the card off with some Nuvo Crystal Glaze to give the chocolate topping some shine.

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For my next card, I thought I’d play with Concord and 9th’s Wreath Turnabout stamp.

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Concord & 9th card — before

A simple, pretty card, right? I stamped each turn with the following Versafine Clair inks: Verdant, Green Oasis, Shady Lane and Summertime. The sentiment was also stamped with Green Oasis ink.

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Concord & 9th card — after

To make the card extra special, I used the green Versafine Clair inks for the first three turns of the stamp. But for the final turn, instead of the Summertime ink, I used the WOW Clear Ultra Slow Drying Embossing Pad to stamp with embossing ink. I sprinkled Metallic Gold Sparkle over the card and heat set it, giving it that extra special touch. I also used Metalline Greengage to emboss the sentiment in the center before finishing the card with a few sequins.

(Tip: Make sure the ink is completely dry before using the embossing powder for the last turn!)

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With my last card, I wanted to play with color layering stamps. I used the Hero Arts Color Layering Seahorse along with a few elements from the Color Layering Goldfish set.

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Hero Arts card — before

Color layering stamps create a beautiful layering effect when used with different color inks. For my seahorse card, I used Lawn Fawn inks in the following colors:

• Seahorse: Grape Sode, Juice Box, Sugarplum

• Starfish: Peace fuzz, Pumpkin Spice

• Turret shell: Ballet Slippers, Wild Rose

• Scallop shell: Moonstone, Peacock

•Seaweed: Freshly Cut Grass, Jalapeno

I used the coordinating dies to cut out my stamped images and adhered them onto a die-cut stitched circle from Lawn Fawn using tacky glue and foam squares. For the background, I used the Tim Holtz Waves embossing folder on some blue cardstock. The sentiment was stamped using Fish Tank ink.

Now, it’s a pretty card by itself, but when you add embossing powder as the last layer of the stamp, it adds that extra special touch for your recipient.

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Hero Arts card — after

I restamped my images using the same inks, but instead of the last ink, I used the following embossing powders:

• Seahorse: Persian Indigo

• Starfish: Golden Flame

• Turret shell: Coral Reef

• Scallop shell: Calypso

The card simply glitters in the light!

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Thanks for stopping by and again, my thanks to the WOW Embossing Powder team for allowing me to play with them this month!

Supplies used: 

WOW! embossing powders:

Guest Designer: Nature’s Sketchbook

Hello again, everyone! I’m back this week with another project for WOW! Embossing Powder. I wanted to do a variety of projects for my tenure as guest designer, so I knew I had to create an art journal layout as one of my projects!

I had thought, at first, to do an autumn-inspired layout, since we are so close to Thanksgiving here in the U.S. But like so many of my plans, they changed as I progressed. Still, I wanted to challenge myself by using some autumn colors — reds and oranges — two colors I am just not comfortable working with. I think it turned out OK in the end!

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I decided to work in my Moleskin journal. I wanted to add a bit of texture in the background, so I grabbed some washi tape — which turned out to be Halloween tape, but it worked! — and added some strips here and there until I was happy.

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I then covered the pages and tape with a thin layer of white gesso.

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After that dried, it was time to create my background! First, I added some Botanical remnant rubs from Tim Holtz.

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I then used Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst sprays for the colors — Autumn Maple Crimson, Sea Mint Green, Yellow Rose of Texas, Hag’s Wart Orange and Rudolph’s Nose Red. The rub-ons left a nice white halo around themselves as I sprayed. I then took the Travel Journal background stamp from Carta Bella and stamped randomly over the pages with embossing ink. I used Perissa embossing powder to add texture and shine to the stamped images. Finally, I used the Honeycomb stamp from Stampendous to add a little bit of texture using Acorn Versafine Clair ink.

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I stamped out a few bugs using the Tim Holtz Entomology stamp set. I colored them with Distress Markers and added some Nuvo Crystal Glaze on top to make them shiny. I also die cut some flowers and leaves. I colored some with Distress Inks and some with embossing powders in Metalline Greengage, Kiwi Krush and Metalline Flame. I used papers from the Graphic 45 Nature’s Sketchbook collection that I distressed to create “boxes” for my bugs and layered the die cuts and a bit of linen behind them. A large butterfly from my stash was the finishing touch!

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have another fun project for you next week!

WOW Embossing Powders:

Other supplies: