Has it really been over two months since I last updated my blog?? Well, all I can say is the past couple of months have been ridiculously crazy. First, there were the holidays to get ready for. My very pregnant friend/coworker was just miserable in her last month of pregnancy, so I tried to help out by wrapping her gifts for her. My craft room was turned into wrapping central! Her baby made a surprise entrance on Christmas night, a week early, so we’ve been muddling along without her at work while she’s been on maternity leave. And work has been so busy, all I want to do when I get home is eat dinner and go to bed!
Hopefully things will begin to get back to normal a bit when she gets back in a couple of weeks!
I do have a couple of things to share. My parents’ 50th anniversary was Dec. 13, 2019. I made them a special card to commemorate the occasion.
I used the Spellbinders Grand Cabinet die set with the Happily Ever After add-on to celebrate their golden anniversary.
Then I was able to make a couple of shaker tags for my friend’s Christmas presents.
Of course, since the girls are crazy about unicorns, I used two unicorn stamps from Lawn Fawn. I heard later they loved them!
Finally, in an effort to get my crafty mojo flowing, I watched some videos on YouTube. A video by Nuneka sparked the creative juices and I was able to create this mixed media altered embroidery hoop:
No tutorial this time, but I used a lot of the same techniques as in the video.
Of course, I wasn’t completely idle over the holidays. Even though I couldn’t use my craft room because of the Christmas chaos, I was able to make some jewelry, as my jewelry-making supplies aren’t kept in that room. I have several new pieces in my Etsy shop, CarolineByDesignTN. Stop by if you have a chance and have a look!
I’ll have a Valentine’s pocket letter for my next post! Thanks for stopping by!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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!
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!
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!