Back from hiatus!

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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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I’ll have a Valentine’s pocket letter for my next post! Thanks for stopping by!

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!

Art journal playtime

I had a week off work recently, and I spent the time not only cleaning my craft room, but playing in my art journal. I have two art journals to share with you today.

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It’s All Perspective

I’d had this idea in mind for a while, of greenery spouting from the Tim Holtz skull die cut. My original plan was to have butterflies dancing among the plants, but as I was going through my dies, looking for my butterflies, I came across some lovely koi fish dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. So I went a little abstract and had fish “flying” between the greenery. I even added an octopus and tentacle coming from the eye socket. I kind of love how it turned out.

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Think Different

My second layout, I used some elements from Maremi’s Small Art Design that I fussy cut and adhered to my abstract background. Not my favorite page I’ve ever done, but I do love the colors, and Marta’s designs and sentiment stickers are just gorgeous and fun to play with.

Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be showcasing my first Halloween project later in the week!

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!

Mixed media swap: Believe in Magic

I had such fun with my last mixed media swap, I joined another a few weeks ago. This time I decided to do an altered book box using Prima/Finnabair waxes.

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I found a papier-mâché book box at Hobby Lobby and began by adhering crumpled tissue paper to the front, back and spine for a kind of leathery texture. I then used texture paste through the Prima Manuscript stencil after the glue had dried. Afterwards, I painted the whole book, inside and out, with black gesso.

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I gathered my elements for the front — some chipboard, metal flowers by Prima, a resin frame and resin mask I had made from one of my moulds — and painted them all with black gesso before gluing them in place with 3D Matte Gel Medium. I let everything dry overnight, so everything was nice and secure.

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I used the Finnabair waxes in Peacock, Electric Violet and Firebird to add color to the book and the embellishments. I finished everything off with some Melange pebbles painted with Iris Potion on the flat side, and a few Swarovski crystals.

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And since I’ve been making a lot of jewelry lately, I also included one of my pieces as an extra little gift for inside the box.

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I’ve already signed up for my next fun swap — a summer themed mixed media tag. I hope to start it next week, during my staycation vacation!

The Beauty of Becoming

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.

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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.)

I cut out a bunch of blooms and greenery from the Tim Holtz Funky Florals 2, Funky Florals 3, Funky Foliage, Wildflower Stems 1 and Garden Greens from various colors of Lawn Fawn card stock. I used Distress Inks to give the flowers and stems some shading.

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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.

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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!

Guest Designer: Lavinia Stamps, part 2

As a guest designer for Lavinia Stamps this month, I was asked to create several projects using the April theme of “Buds and Blossoms.” For my mid-month project, I wanted to have a play in my regular Moleskin art journal. I started with the idea of a spring-fairy theme, but during the creation, it changed to an Easter-themed layout, and I actually kind of love it.

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When You Believe

To begin, I sprayed the bottom of the pages with Distress Oxide Peeled Paint spray. When that was dry I used Faded Jeans for the “sky.” (This was a boo-boo on my part. Meant to grab the Mermaid Lagoon, but grabbed the wrong blue. Turns out, I rather liked the darker blue.) After the sprays dried, I sprinkled the pages with water to activate the ink, then I used a brayer to apply some Distress Oxide ink in Tumbled Glass over the “sky.” Sprinkled with a bit more water and flicked on some white ink and let everything dry while I moved on to my stamping.

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I stamped the Lavinia Dragon Pods and Single Fairy Thistle onto some white card stock and colored the pods with various colors of Copic markers. I added some details with a white gel pen and some glitter pens (hard to see in the photos, but the sparkle is nice in person). I cut the round part of the pods out and set them aside.

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I stamped the two flower stamps in random spots on my background. Because I was working in an art journal that was a bit bulky, some of the stamping didn’t turn out so well. But I just colored in the parts I needed with a black pen and moved on. I glued the pods I had cut out onto the stamped pods, some with liquid glue, some with a pop-dot for a bit of dimension. I inked up the Lavinia Fairy Words stamp to add to the background, using second-generation stamping. Then I added a few details with glitter pens and Sharpies.

While coloring the pods, I realized they kind of reminded me of Easter eggs, so instead of using one of my fairy stamps, I grabbed one of the Whimsical Hares and stamped him on the right page. I also added a butterfly and two fallen “eggs” before inking the edges with Distress Oxide Vintage Photo. Finally, I added a Tim Holtz Small Talk sentiment and outlined it in black to finish.

I’d like to thank the staff at Lavinia for having me as a guest this month. It’s been super fun! The April challenge runs through April 25, 2019, so there’s still a few days to enter!