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: 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: Be Jolly

Good morning! I’m back on the WOW! Embossing Powder blog today with an altered MDF ornament. I’ve used several different embossing powders along with Finnabair paints and the Prima Santa Baby collection to create this delightful little holiday piece. Head on over to the WOW! blog for more details and photos!

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Guest Designer: All is Calm, All is Bright

Hello, everyone! I am so excited and amazed that I was asked to be a guest designer for WOW! Embossing Powder for November. Since the theme was Christmas this month, I’ve created a little altered embroidery hoop using several different powders and Tim Holtz die cuts. Head on over to the WOW! blog for more photos and details for this project!

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All is Calm, All is Bright

Guest Designer: Make a Wish challenge inspiration

Happy November, everyone! I had hoped to have posted something before now, but I’ve been busy working away on several projects for WOW! Embossing Powder. I was asked to be their guest designer this month, so I’ll have several things to post this month!

My first project was to create something as inspiration for WOW’s monthly Facebook challenge/contest. Their theme this month is Sparkles/Christmas. I don’t have many of their Sparkles glitters, but I do have plenty of sparkly embossing powders!

I thought to make a sparkling Christmas card as my inspiration piece, but I had a slight accident which messed up the bottom of the card, so I just turned it into a mini art journal layout instead!

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I first cut a mask using the Memory Box Flurry Snowflake Frame die. I used the mask to ink the background with various shades of Distress Oxide inks: Victorian Velvet, Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord, Tumbled Glass and Chipped Sapphire. While the mask was still on, I stamped my tree using a Lavinia stamp onto my background with embossing ink, then sprinkled the WOW! Blue Glitz embossing glitter on top, setting it with my heat gun. Taking the mask off, I stamped my Lavinia fairies using Versafine Clair Purple Delight ink.

I wanted to add some glittery snowflakes, so I carefully replaced the mask and embossed my snowflakes with WOW! Cloud 9 embossing glitter. These embossing glitters sparkle and shine delightfully in the light!

I added a few gems to my tree and gave one of the fairies and star to place on top. It was at this point I accidentally tore the bottom of my card, so I trimmed it down into a square shape. I took my Joggles mini art journal and ink smushed Dusty Concord and Chipped Sapphire onto one of the pages, then sprayed the entire page with Tsukineko Shimmer Spray.

I distressed the edges of my card and inked it with Chipped Sapphire. I attached it to my background and added a couple of holiday sentiments to the page.

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I’m rather glad it turned out this way. It’s a reminder to me that even mistakes can be a good things sometimes.

I’ll be back next week with two new projects featuring WOW! Embossing Powders. Thanks for stopping by!

Santa Baby altered embroidery hoop

Happy Christmas… In July! I was all set to work on my July Julie Nutting layout this weekend, but it just wasn’t happening. Instead, the Prima Marketing Santa Baby collection was just begging to be played with. Many of my online craft stores and craft companies have started having Christmas in July sales or releasing their holiday lines. And this weekend, I just felt like playing, too.

I also wanted to make something relatively easy so if you’re just starting out into this crazy world of mixed media, this should be something a beginner can do without too much trouble! 

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I decided to create an altered embroidery hoop so I could showcase the lovely flowers from the collection, which I just fell in love with. I used a 6-inch hoop for my project, which I first painted with a thin coat of gesso. Not enough to coat the entire hoop, as I wanted it to look a little distressed. 

I wanted to add a little color, so I took a bush with very stiff bristles and not-very-carefully painted the hoop with a bit of watered-down Pink Blush Metallique paint. 

I liked the effect, but I felt the pink was a little too in-your-face so I dry brushed just a little bit more white gesso onto my hoop to tone it down.

I used the hoop to trace a circle from a piece of paper from the Santa Baby 12×12 pad and cut it out. I painted a coat of clear gesso on top first, as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the background at that point. 

I ended up using Snowflake Paste through a Kaisercraft stencil to add texture. But I felt the white paste looked a little lost against the pale background, so I sprinkled on some Rose Gold embossing powder from WOW and heat set it. So sparkly! I then glued the background to the back of the hoop. 

After letting the paper dry for a while, it was time to start layering my elements! For my first layer, I added three green paper straws with the ends cut at angles. They match the colors of the Santa Baby collection perfectly!

Next, I took a piece of swirly chipboard and heat embossed it with WOW Spring Breeze embossing powder. I lay the chipboard in the hoop while I played with arranging the flowers, but as you’ll see, I ended up cutting it in half and changing the position later.

I took a tag from the Santa Baby ephemera collection and tied some pink twine to the top before gluing it on top of the straws. Then I begin layering my flowers.

At this point, I decided too much of the chipboard piece was being covered up, so I cut it in half and rearranged it on the background. More flowers were added.

Finally, it was just a matter of finishing touches. I added the chipboard round candy piece from the chipboard stickers along with the chipboard ribbon to the top of the hoop. A few more ephemera pieces were added, along with some gems from the Santa Baby collection and some smaller ones from my stash. The final touch was the white chipboard shooting stars in the center which I’d gone over with my Spectrum Noir glitter pen first, and my project was complete!


A piece of ribbon will be added so the hoop can hang, but I think it looks good displayed on a little stand, as well.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I have inspired you to do something a little Christmasy before July is over!