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!

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!

Thankful

Hello! I hope everyone in the northern hemisphere is surviving the sweltering summer temperatures we’ve been having lately! Remember to take breaks and stay hydrated when out and about!

As much as I look forward to warmer weather after a cold winter, these hot summer days have me longing for the cool crispness of autumn. I thought I’d try to channel that into my latest project, featuring Prima’s Autumn Sunset collection.

I started off with an MDF base in the shape of a leaf from Diverse Woodworking.

Using a piece of paper from the Autumn Sunset collection, I traced the leaf, cut it out and glued it onto my base using Mod Podge. I then sanded the sides to take care of any overhang. I spread some crackle paste through the Woven stencil by Prima and left it to dry overnight, so the cracks could appear naturally. I prefer to let crackle paste dry naturally as opposed to using a heat gun.

The next day, I used some Lindy’s Starburst sprays in Autumn Maple Crimson, Steampunk Sepia, Red Hot Poker Orange and Cattail Copper Brown to create splatters of colorful shimmer on my leaf.

My next step was to use a Prima text stamp with Archival Black ink to add some more texture to the leaf.

I set my leaf base aside to work on my centerpiece. I took a chipboard frame from Scrapiniec and heat embossed it with WOW Oyster Glintz embossing powder. I also cut the gold foil sheet music out of another piece of paper from the Autumn Sunset collection, distressed and inked the edges and glued it to the back of the frame.

My next step was to play with flowers and leaves from the Autumn Sunset collection, along with some sisal, layering them into a composition I liked.

To finish my piece off, I added some pieces from the Autumn Sunset ephemera pack, some of the coordinating gems, and a butterfly from one of the flower packs. I also splattered white gesso over the piece as well as using some Vintage Gold wax here and there. My final addition was a resin lady which I painted with Hazelnut Metallique paint and highlighted with the Vintage Gold wax.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this little tutorial was helpful. If you have any questions, just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Stay cool out there!

A Whale of a Tale

Happy Official Start of Summer! Summer always makes me think of the beach and the ocean… which is  a bit odd since I live nowhere near either. But those few times I’ve been, I’ve loved every minute of it. So to celebrate the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d create an ocean-themed project.

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I’ve had this MDF fish tail from Darice for a little while, which I’ve been wanting to use. So to begin with, I painted the whole thing with white gesso for a base coat, then I mixed white gesso with Finnabair Victorian Green Impasto paint to lighten the color a bit, and painted all sides with this mixture. (Of course, you don’t have to paint the front if you use paper like I did, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at first, so the front was painted as well.)

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I chose a piece of paper from the Blue Fern Studios Seaside Cottage collection (sadly, not available anymore) and traced the tail so that the drawing of a ship would be visible on the bottom right corner of the tail. I cut the paper out and glued it down to the front of my project with Mod Podge. I then sanded the edges to get rid of any overhang.

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Next I took the Mermaid Stencil from StencilGirl and heat embossed fish scales in various places using Azure Mist embossing powder from WOW.

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Next I began to arrange my composition. I used a chipboard seahorse, anchor and netting, flowers from 49 and Market, resin ship cast from a mould and seashells from my stash.

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I heat embossed the seahorse using WOW’s Sparkling Snow and the net and anchor with Earthtone Honey and Chocolate Caramel Pearl. I glued everything down using a combination of 3D Matte Gel and hot glue. To finish I added some Finnabair Art Stones and splattered some Azure Sea Asters spray from Lindy’s for “splashes.” I also added a small starfish as well before finally rubbing Finnabair Vintage Silk wax over everything. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it gives everything a really nice shine.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope my little project inspired cool ocean breezes and salty sea scents!

Tag swap: Go Deep

The mixed media box I made for the last swap on the Scrapbook.com forums was well received, so when the summer tag swap opened, I hopped at the chance to participate. Since the theme was summer, my mind immediately goes to the ocean. I haven’t taken a trip since my last cruise in 2016, but I’ll always associate summer with the beach and the cool ocean depths. So that’s what I went with for my partner’s tag.

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Go Deep

I wanted my tag to have a semi-transparent look, so I started with a clear acrylic sheet that I cut down to a 6×8 inch tag. For texture I added some torn drywall tape in various places.

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I then added some heavy white gesso to the bottom half of the tag, and clear gesso to the top half. The clear gesso doesn’t dry totally clear on the acrylic sheet, but gives a nice semi-transparent cloudy look.

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When dry, I added some limestone texture paste to the bottom of the tag, then added various sizes of art stones to create my ocean bottom. While that dried, I got my embellishments ready — chipboard pieces, seashells, a starfish and a resin mermaid — by painting them with white gesso. I attached some fish net to the tag and arranged my composition before gluing everything down.

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To add color to my tag, I used Lindy’s sprays in Whale Watch Blue, Ponderosa Pines Olive and Opal Sea Oats. I then dry brushed gesso over the top to tone down the colors.

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After I was mostly satisfied with the color, I decided the mermaid needed just a touch more. I painted her with Fairy Wings Sparks paint, then added Vintage Gold wax to highlight certain areas. I then used Verdigris embossing powder by Ranger to heat emboss a Dusty Attic sea dragon chipboard piece to add to my tag. The quote is from the Prima Art Daily Planner collection sentiment sticker pad. As a final touch, I added a touch of Peacock wax here and there.

Thanks for stopping by! This was my last swap I’d signed up for, so I don’t know what I’ll create next. But I’m sure I’ll have fun doing it!

Lost in the Darkness

Last month, I wrote about decorating shaped MDF pieces from an amazing little company I’d found online, Diverse Woodworking. I had so much fun doing up one of their swans that I wanted to do a second, companion piece to it. As my first swan was white and pink, I wanted to make my second black and maroon. A white swan and a black swan. My very own Swan Lake, if you will.

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I pretty much did the exact same thing with my black swan as I did with my white. I used Prima Marketing’s Midnight Garden collection to decorate my swan. I adhered a piece of the paper collection to the swan using Mod Podge, and layered it with some heat embossed chipboard pieces, Midnight Garden Flowers and ephemera. My final touch was to add one of the new Parisian Hat Pins from Prima and a Halloween quote chip by Tim Holtz.

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I am absolutely loving these MDF shapes! So much so, my next project-in-progress is a steampunk octopus. Hopefully he will be finished soon!