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!

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!

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: 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:

Pumpkin Spice

It’s September! Fall is in the air! At least, for the northern hemisphere. If you’re anything like me, the US holiday of Labor Day marks the last day of summer, and the day after Labor Day is the first day of Halloween. Halloween is my very favorite holiday… not that I celebrate it very much. I just like the spookiness of the season.

I’ve been on a staycation-vacation for the past 10 days, and while I didn’t do any Halloween crafting (I like to wait until October to really get into the mood), I did decide to get my autumn on by creating an altered pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Spice mixed media altered pumpkin

I started by painting a Papier-mâché pumpkin I got from Michael’s with Heavy White Gesso. I then decoupaged some printed tissue paper onto the “humps” of the pumpkin using Mod Podge. After letting that dry, I painted over the whole pumpkin with some watered down Ginger Magic Sparks paint by Prima. It gives the pumpkin a lovely metallic shine. I also painted the stem with Rustic Brown Metallique Paint.

After letting the paint set for a little while, it was time to start laying my elements on the top of the pumpkin. I used flowers from Prima’s Amber Moon collection, along with some silk and plastic flowers from the craft store. I also used some sisal fiber and pinecones for a little more texture. I then capped the whole thing off with a Prima jewel vine.

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For finishing touches, I dripped some Glossy Accents into the creases of the pumpkin and sprinkled some Gold Rush Glass Glitter over the top. I also added some crystal gems from the Amber Moon collection.

Upcoming projects will include my September Julie Nutting layout and an altered masquerade mask. Thanks for stopping by!

Tag Swap: Autumn and Halloween

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.

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Amber Moon

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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Witches’ Brew

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

Onto the next Halloween project!

Pocker Letter #2: Autumn Bliss

I’ve never been much of a fan of fall-themed decorations or craft supplies. But when Prima announced their new Amber Moon paper collection, I fell in love and my inner pumpkin spice demon was set free. So when I signed up to participate in the September pocket letter swap on my craft forum, I knew I wanted to do an autumn-themed project using these gorgeous papers.

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Autumn Bliss

Every pocket uses a different paper from the 8×8 paper pad. I cut all my bases using the Memory Box Pin Point Rectangles die, as it is the perfect size for pocket letters and ATCs, plus it gives each card a nice stitched design.

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The first pocket I created was the centerpiece. In preparation for this pocket letter, I hopped on eBay and purchased a set of fall-themed Jolee’s Boutique sticker packs. The wreath was in one of those sticker sets and I wanted to use it in the center. The little sign that says “Autumn” originally hung in the center of the wreath, but I snipped it off and added it beneath. I had a gorgeous brown cameo I felt would be perfect to put in the middle of the wreath.

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The next pocket I worked on was the bottom center pocket. The paper pad features a sheet with 12 different designs on it you can cut apart to use as smaller cards. I cut out the panel with the butterflies that says “Blessed,” distressed the edges and adhered it to my base panel with foam tape. I added a few autumn leaf stickers around the edges, then slid it inside. I then fussy cut the same butterflies from another sheet and hot glued them onto the outside of the pocket, giving them some dimension. I also added some Wink of Stella brush pen to the wings.

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I have a pretty Wheat Stalks die by Cottage Cutz that I had used in my Indigo Skies canvas that I wanted to use in this pocket letter. I chose the middle left pocket. I die cut a few and colored them with various shades of distress ink and glued them down in a cluster. I also added some sparkling black washi tape, gems and a chipboard quote sticker, all from the Amber Moon collection.

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For the bottom left pocket, I didn’t want to do too much to it since the paper was already so pretty. So I just glued down some brown moss and added a chipboard sticker and a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk Occasions pad.

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The bottom right pocket was also one I didn’t want to do too much to cover the background. I had a cute little pumpkin cart sticker I thought would look great. I also added the Pumpkin Patch sticker to go with it. I glued the cart to the outside of the pocket as it was slightly too wide for the inside.

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For the top center pocket, I used a birdhouse sticker from the gorgeous Photo Play Falling Leaves collection. I added a little bird from the Amber Moon ephemera pack with foam tape and the pumpkins are stickers from Jolee’s.

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In the top left pocket, I took some leftover wheat stalks I hadn’t used earlier and layered them behind a glittery red leaf from Paper House Productions. I also cut a strip from the Amber Moon paper pad that said “Hello Autumn” to lie across the bottom.

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For the top right pocket, I used the Memory Box Small Forest Archway die and the Cottage Cutz Deer Petites die to make a quick little woodland scene. Both die cuts were colored with Distress Inks and I added a couple of gold leaf stickers and a Tim Holtz quote sticker to finish.

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In the final pocket, I had a gorgeous gold pumpkin sticker by Jolee’s I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate. Finally I decided to stamp some stitching along the edges with VersaMark ink and heat embossed some gold embossing powder onto the base. I added a final Tim Holtz quote sticker before gluing down the pumpkin.

I finished the pocket letter by adding some Amber Moon washi tape down the binder edge and added some twine to each hole tied in a bow. For my tag, I die cut a the pumpkin and a leaf using the Lawn Fawn Fall Tiny Tag dies and tied them on. I stuffed each pocket with a few craft goodies and sent it to its new home.

My partner loved it. I’m so glad! It was one of the first things I’d made that I really wished I could keep! 😀