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!
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.
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.
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!
My next project was inspired by a Tiffany Solorio video where she altered a papier mache star box. I wanted to try something like that, so I asked my mother, who was heading out of town to Hobby Lobby (our town is too small for its own craft store) to pick me up a similar box. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a larger one, so she brought home several tiny boxed in various shapes for me to play with. I was immediately inspired by the hexagon box and wanted to do a bee-themed alteration.
My first step was to cover the entire box in black gesso. Even the insides, because I didn’t care for the brown color with what I had planned for the box.
At this point, I had planned to stencil some flowers on top and add my bee charm to the flowers, but as you’ll see, I ended up covering most of the stenciled area up when I decided to add more height to the top of the box. I used the Tim Holtz Floral Layering Stencil and some Pumice Stone Effect Paste by Prima/Finnabair to add flowers to the top of the box and three sides. For the other sides, I simply dabbed just a bit of pumice paste here and there, giving it just a little bit of texture. (Basically, I cleaned my palette knife off on the bare sides.)
It was at this point that I realized I wanted just a bit more to the top of my box, so I found a resin flower in my stash from Melissa Frances and I die cut some leaves using the Prima Forest Leaves die set. I also die cut a honeycomb piece using the Memory Box Honeycomb Corner die. To give the honeycomb pieces a little more depth, I die cut it three times and glued the die cuts on top of one another.
I repainted my box and embellishments with black gesso. I added a little round metal button from Prima to the center of the flower and a bee charm I had in my stash.
I also added three smaller bee charms to the sides of the box with the stenciled flowers. On the other three sides, I added pieces from the Honeycomb Corner I had cut apart. All of my embellishments were glued down with Heavy Body Gel by Prima/Finnabair.
I painted over the bee charms on the side with black gesso, and when everything was dry, I painted the whole box with Midnight Sky Metallique paint by Prima/Finnabair. It is a lovely deep blue color with a metallic sheen.
When that was dry, I took the Art Alchemy Metallique Wax in Antique Gold and went over the whole box to highlight all the textures.
I then took some matte medium and added Gold Rush glass glitter by Prima/Finnabair here and there for some extra shine.
My final step was to add Swarovski crystals in a delicious honey color to each of the bees.
This was a really fun project that I managed to complete in one afternoon. Sometimes working on smaller projects can be the most enjoyable!
I’m on vacation next week, so I hope to do some spring-themed projects while I’m off. I’m heartily sick of winter. Bring on the flowers!
Someday, someone will explain to me why time passes so slowly during the work week, yet flies by in the blink of an eye on the weekends. Here it is, the middle of March, and I haven’t even posted my February Julie Nutting art journal layout.
Of course, being February, I wanted to do a Valentine’s themed layout. I apologize for not having a step-by-step photo process, but I had intended to make this project into my first video. However, my camera angles were all wonky, so I scrapped the video and will try again on a future project.
To begin, I glued down some tissue paper printed with keys onto my cardstock base with Mod Podge. I then took some Dylusions paint in Periwinkle Blue and lightly painted over the top to create my sky. After it dried, I felt it was a little too blue so I lightly brushed some white gesso over the top.
I used the Julie Nutting Mindy stamp with the JN Wings stamp to create my lady. I stamped the outfit several times onto Valentine-themed papers to paper piece them onto the doll. I was also able to extend the skirt using this method. I colored her hair with pink Copic markers and added streaks onto the wings using a Wink of Stella pen to simulate sparkly feathers.
I cut hillsides using my Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside borders and colored with Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks. The clouds are also by Lawn Fawn.
The scripty Love and tree are by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I glued down some little hearts onto the ends of the branches and went over them with the Wink of Stella brush pen to give them some shimmer.
I also managed to do one set of ATCs for the February swap over on Scrapbook.com. I wish I could have done more, but the first quarter at work is always busy and I just didn’t have time to fit more creative play into my days.
The theme I chose was St. Patrick’s Day (as if you couldn’t tell!). I also did paper-pieced Julie Nutting dolls for my ATCs, though I used some of the smaller dolls that were closer in ATC size: Party Girl, Love Day and Mama’s Day. I cut my backgrounds from a St. Patrick’s Day paper pad by Authentique, as well as my little quotes and the dolls’ dresses. I die cut some small shamrocks using a die by Poppystamps and tucked them in along the sides. I added some green sequins and a small silver charm to complete the cards.
My next two projects are totally Finnabair-inspired, an altered paintbrush and a canvas. I hope to have posts about these up soon.
This month, I joined a second ATC swap on another forum, Splitcoaststampers.com. It’s hosted by the same lady who hosts the one on Scrapbook.com and she invited me to participate in both. Since the swap on Splitcoast is every other month, and since I could work in another set of Halloween cards, I decided to take the plunge.
The four categories for August/September were Anything Associated with September or October, Anything That Flies, Coffee/Tea and Artist’s Choice. I chose to do all four categories.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail as to how these cards were made, like I do on my other monthly ATCs, but I will list what I used.
I really wanted to make an interactive ATC, and I got the idea of having a little ghost rise from behind some gravestones. Let me tell you… these were such a PAIN IN THE ASS to make. I had the worst time trying to get them to work and making all the elements stay in place. But I did prevail. I just need to remind myself not to try anything this complicated again… at least not when I’m on a deadline.
The main gravestone is from MFT Stamps while the smaller gravestones are from the latest Tim Holtz Halloween release. The ghost, pumpkin and trees are by Memory Box. The grass is from Lawn Fawn.
For my Anything That Flies cards, I knew I wanted to do a twist on the theme. The first thing that came to mind with this category was time, and I had the perfect stamp set to use! I heat embossed the unwinding clock from the Visible Image “Ahead of Our Time” stamps in gold over a base that I’d prepared using Prima Color Bloom sprays. I also embossed the falling girl from the same set and fussy cut her out. You can’t tell from the photo, but the whole card is very shimmery and shiny.
For my coffee cards, I don’t drink coffee or tea, so I didn’t have a lot to work with. But I did have some cute dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps with which I could create a little cafe scene. My base was a piece of printed music, which I overlaid with a piece of vellum. I die cut all my elements and glued them down on top, then added a little quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk pad.
The sky was the limit with the Artist’s Choice category, so I chose to commemorate the recent total solar eclipse that happened last month. Where I live, we got a little over 2 and a half minutes of totality, and it was simply an amazing experience.
I made these very similarly to how I made my ‘Scorch’ cards back in the summer, only instead of using silvers and golds, I used black paints for the background and the “moon.” The girl and quote are heat embossed in silver from the August My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts.
Christmas is sneaking up on us, but I’m not quite ready to let Halloween pass by without a couple more projects. Thanks for stopping by!
This month I joined a second ATC swap over on the Splitcoaststampers forum. I ended up doing 9 sets total, so I’ll split my monthly ATC post into two posts.
First up are my ATCs for the Scrapbook.com forums. The themes this month were Halloween, an ATC based on a fall photo, Sweets and Ancestors. I chose all but the Ancestors theme. I really had no inspiration for it.
I actually ended up doing three Halloween sets. For my first set, I inked up my cards with Carved Pumpkin, Crushed Olive and Seedless Preserves Distress inks, then spritzed with a little water. I inked up the Tim Holtz X-Ray ATC stamp with VersaMark and applied Midnight Copper embossing powder from Lindy’s Stamp Gang. I was having problems with the stamp, so the embossing powder didn’t stick in random places, but I think they turned out OK. I added some Prima flowers, a Tim Holtz metal skull and a quote from the Small Talk Occasions pad to finish.
For my second set of Halloween ATCs, I had planned these for months. I bought the free-standing ATC tombstone bases from Retro Cafe Art months ago, and was glad to finally get to play with them! I started by gluing down a piece of paper from the Pink Paislee Spellcast paper pad on both sides of the base. (Since these were free-standing, I wanted to do both sides… though I don’t have a photo of the back, since it’s just plain.)
I inked the edges with some Black Soot Distress ink and added a bit of texture with a text stamp on top. (For the tombstone with the spiderweb, I painted the base with black gesso first.) I then added the black chipboard frame and the skeleton cameo with heavy gel medium and set it aside to dry overnight.
I added the metal spiders with hot glue the next day, as well as the epitaphs from the new Tim Holtz Halloween Clippings stickers.
For the bases, I simply used hot glue with some brown moss and added a skull bead and a tiny mushroom.
Thinking I was done with my Halloween cards, I moved on to my Sweets ATCs. A week before I started these, we had gotten the (not really) surprising news that one of my dear cousins, while on a trip to Norway with her beau of over a decade, had eloped while there! So in honor of their marriage, I decided to do wedding cakes as my “sweet.”
I used the Cottage Cutz Tiered Wedding Cake die to make all three. The die comes with a lot of options for paper cake decorating! I inked the edges of the cakes with Antique Linen Distress Oxides and used various shades of blues, pinks and greens for the decorations. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the decorations to give the cakes some glimmer. I attached them to the background using foam tape. The sentiments were from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad. I glued on some crystal gems for the final touch.
Our swap hostess had posted a photo of a fall scene for us to draw inspiration from for the Photo Inspired cards. It was a photo of a cabin on a lake surrounded by fall leaves with deer in the yard. I went a little literal with my interpretation!
I used Distress Oxides in Fossilized Amber, Fired Brick and Spiced Marmalade on the base to give my cards a kind of sunset background. I then added a pieces of vellum to the lower half of the card to simulate my lake.
I die cut my scene using various dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps (listed below) and inked them with Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo Distress Oxides. I tried the bridge in brown at first, but decided I rather preferred the white bridge instead. I did add a little texture to the bridge with a text stamp though.
The tree frame is a die by Cottage Cutz called Tree Frame. It’s the perfect size for ATCs. I added some dots of glue to the branches and sprinkled on some autumn-colored FlowerSoft. I added the frame with some foam tape and glued the deer in front. I added spots on the fawn with a white Sharpie paint pen.
• Memory Box Country Hills Oval Frame
• Memory Box Little Pines
• Memory Box Little Bridge
• Memory Box Mama and Baby Deer
• Cottage Cutz Tree Frame
At this point I thought I was done with my September ATCs. And then my new Hero Arts stamps arrived…
I just had to play with this stamp set, Luna the Halloween Cat, as soon as I opened my package. I had been inspired by a Halloween card on the Hero Arts blog for these ATCs. I taped off the bottom and the top of the ATC base and sponged on some Faded Jeans and Wilted Violets Distress Oxides. Then I taped the cards into my MISTI and spritzed the Hero Arts Starry Night background stamp with a shimmer spray. The water in the spray reacted with the Distress Oxides, leaving a beautiful shimmer behind in the shape of the background stamp.
After drying, I stamped the cats and sentiment with VersaMark and heat embossed them with some black embossing powder. I added a few sequins to the background and a star sequin on the cats’ butts, because why not? 😀
I had to make myself mail my September cards the day after I finished my last set, because I was sorely tempted to make more for Halloween! (And I did for my other set of ATCs for Splitcoast… but that’s a post for another day!)
I can’t believe how quickly August has come… and now almost gone! I knew August was going to be a busy month for me at work, so I ended up doing most of my August ATCs before July was over. This month’s themes wereSchool Days, Monthly Celebrations, Music, and a category I chose, Mermaids and Other Mythical Sea Creatures. I ended up not doing the School Days category, as I don’t have kids and don’t have any school-related supplies.
Since my category of Mermaids was chosen this month, I decided to start with those, as I absolutely adore mermaids and have tons of stamps and dies. However, when I was looking through my stamps to decide which mermaids to use, I came across the Enjoy the Journey stamp set from Hero Arts that I had recently purchased, but hadn’t had a chance to use… and since my category also included “Other Mythical Sea Creatures,” I wanted to release the kraken.
First I stamped out the ship from the Enjoy the Journey stamp set, along with the “Oh, Ship!” sentiment. I colored the ship with my alcohol markers and die cut both the ship and sentiment with the coordinating dies. The tentacles of the kraken are from a wood-mounted stamp also by Hero Arts, appropriately called “Tentacles.” I stamped the tentacles onto my ATC base, and also onto a separate piece of cardstock. Colored all the tentacles with alcohol markers, adding details with my white gel pen, then cut out the ones on the separate piece of cardstock. This process took… a while. I was so sick of tentacles by the time I was done!
Next I cut out the waves using the Lawn Fawn Ocean Hillside Pop-up Add-On die. I inked them with Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide Inks and spritzed them with water to give it some texture. I glued one onto my ATC base and trimmed off the excess. I added the ship and sentiment to the ATC base with pop dots, then glued my cut-out tentacles on top of the ship before adding the second wave on top. I colored in the sky with a light blue alcohol marker and stamped the seagulls using a stamp from the Enjoy the Journey stamp set. For a final touch, I added some Wink of Stella to the tentacles to make them sparkly.
Finally, I got around to doing some actual mermaids! I knew I wanted to use my favorite mermaid stamps from the May 2017 My Monthly Hero kit from Hero Arts. I had already stamped, colored and cut a bunch of mermaids and fish when the kit arrived, so these didn’t take me long at all to assemble. For the background I used Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Broken China Distress Oxide inks, using the ‘smooshing’ technique. I pressed the ink pads to my craft mat, spritzed with water and ran the watercolor cardstock through the puddle, heat setting between layers to build up all that lovely color. I stamped some bubbles on top using archival black ink, then spritzed the entire background with a shimmer spray.
For the foreground, I die cut the opening using the Memory Box Seaweed Collage die into a piece of white cardstock. I colored the seaweed using Seedless Preserves and Twisted Citron Distress Oxide inks. I added it to the background using foam tape and tucked in some die cut seaweed and corals using the My Monthly Hero kit dies behind the opening. I then glued on the mermaids and fishes to the top, added a few sequins and my cards were done!
Taking a break from mermaids, I decided to tackle the music category next. I love music, having been involved in school marching and concert bands, mixed choir and musical theater during my school years. But I didn’t have a lot of music themed crafty items. So I had to be a bit creative.
I decided on simplicity. I took a “splotch” stamp from the MFT Stamps Distressed Patterns stamp set. Using rainbow colors of Distress Oxides, I overlaid the stamping onto the ATC card base. I love how the Distress Oxides can stamp over the top of one another!
Using a ruler and a black fineline marker, I drew in my musical staff. I did have a small treble clef die to use, but I wanted something different than musical notes, so I die cut some small birds using the Memory Box Resting Birds die set. I glued these onto my staff to act as the “notes” of my music.
On the bottom of the ATC, I stamped the word “Sing” using the Concord and 9th Perfectly Penned stamp set and added another splotch stamp. Finally I added a small sentiment using the Tim Holtz Clippings sticker set.
For the monthly celebrations category (or as I liked to call it, Weird August Holidays), our swap boss gave us a link to all the celebrations in August from which we could choose. I had a hard time decided, and I ended up doing two for this theme.
For my first, I chose National Honey Bee Awareness Day, Aug. 19. I used the “smooshing” technique for the ATC base using Distress Oxides in Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber. I then added some splashes of Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst sprays in Mission Bell Brown and Yellow Rose of Texas to give it some shimmer.
I die cut the bees using the Itty Bitty Bumblebee die from Memory Box in both cardstock and vellum. I colored the card stock with the Yellow Rose of Texas spray for the under piece and Black Soot Distress ink for the overlay. I used the vellum for the bee wings.
I felt the background needed a little something, so I broke out my Stampendous Honeycomb Wishes stamp set and stamped a few honeycomb shapes as well as the bee image onto the background using Vintage Photo Distress Oxide ink.
I die cut the honeycomb from the Memory Box Honeycomb Corner die and glued it down. I added some glue to some of the shapes and sprinkled on some gold and copper micro beads for texture. I also added Glossy Accents to some of the blank honeycomb shapes, though it’s hard to see in the photos.
I then stamped on my sentiment from the Honeycomb Wishes stamp set and glued on my bees to finish the cards.
When I saw that Aug. 5 was National Underwear Day, I knew I had the perfect stamp to use. This gorgeous stamp is called “Wear Confidence” by the Unity Stamp Company and is the perfect size for ATCs.
For the background, I cut a piece of paper from the Kaisercraft Boho Dreams paper pad into ATC sized cards. I stamped a floral flourish using the Inkadinkado Mod Flower Flourish stamp set in VersaMark ink and heat embossed it using Ranger gold embossing powder. I did the same with the sentiment from the Wear Confidence stamp.
For the tulle shaker window, I partially die cut a flower using the Umbrella Crafts Nested Flowers die set into both the ATC base and a piece of ATC-sized white card stock. I used double sided tape all around the die cut shape and taped down one side of a piece of tulle. I added the sequins, folded the tulle over and sandwiched it in between the case and the white back board. There’s a wonderful Youtube tutorial here that shows this technique in detail.
I stamped my girls out on a piece of scrap cardstock and colored with alcohol markers before fussy cutting her out. Instead of coloring her flower crown, I glued down some flower-shaped sequins onto her hair before attaching her to the ATC base to finish.
I though I was done with my August ATCs after the last one, but I still wanted to play with my mermaid stamps. So I broke out my Little Mermaids stamp set by The Greeting Farm. I stamped the mermaids and fish onto cardstock and colored them with my markers before using the coordinating dies to cut them out. I used Broken China, Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers for the ATC background, and flicked some water on top to create the bubbly effect. I also stamped a bubble stamp onto the background with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some iridescent embossing powder onto the base. You can’t see it in the photos, but it’s pretty in person. I also heat embossed the “sand” onto the bottom, using the Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside die. I then glued down my mermaids, seaweed and fish, using pop dots to raise some of them up.
I felt the cards still needed something, so I decided to turn them into shakers. I made the frame from the Memory Box Pinpoint Rectangle die set and taped some acetate to the back. I also used the same dies to cut a rectangle from craft foam to pop the acetate window up. I added some seed beads and sequins and a couple more fish to the frame to finish the cards off.
We’ve already got our categories for September and one of them is my very favorite… HALLOWEEN! Can’t wait to see what kind of cards I can come up with for next month. 🙂
If you’d like to join the ATC swap, head on over to the forums on Scrapbook.com! Sign-ups are taken through the 20th of each month and new folks are always welcome!
Several people has asked me if I do videos of my crafting, and while I’m not there yet, I am working on it. My brother, tech guru, will be helping me set up for video in the near future. Until then, I will do my best to explain, in photos, my processes.
For my group’s July ATC swap, one of the themes we could choose from was Red, While and Blue. A crafty friend had recently sent me a star-shaped die that she couldn’t use and I had the idea to make a patriotic ATC.
I cut my ATC bases from thick white cardstock and taped them into a Tim Holtz Stars & Swirls embossing folder.
Then I used the die, from Simon Says Stamp to cut my design into the card stock.
Next I cut some craft foam the same size as my ATCs and die cut the star in approximately the same spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s not exact. You can adjust the foam layer and trim off any overhang later.
Using a red pen, I marked the two strips I didn’t want to cut in the foam. Using some sharp craft scissors, I carefully cut the rest of the strips to make the wells for my shaker elements.
I picked out a piece of Doodlebug paper from the Yankee Doodle collection and cut my ATC sized backgrounds.
The next step was to adhere a piece of acetate to the wrong side of the card front using double sided tape. Then I used Glossy Accents on the foam piece and carefully positioned it onto the acetate, being careful to line the shapes up.
And at this point my camera died, of course, but all I did was fill the wells with red, white and blue microbeads and tape down the background.
I left the card for a little while to make sure everything was adhered down well (and to charge my phone). After a little bit, I put on my finishing touches, some red and blue Nuvo drops and a piece of red, white and blue twine in the shape of a bow. And my first set of July ATCs were done!
I’ll be back in a few days with my next set of ATCs for July!