Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Amy's Tag

This is my next attempt at getting Holtzy, and I have to say, I absolutely LOVE this tag, not only because I think it's very pretty, but because I have spent the last couple of weeks in a real funk feeling like I don't have a creative bone in my body. and to finally come up with something I really like feels great. I am going to give this to my niece, Amy, for her birthday, specifically because Amy is one of the few members of my family who truly appreciates not only the effort that goes into making a tag, but also the beauty of it. She's a fashionista with a Silhouette Cameo, and I adore her!

 I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use My Mind's Eye's Breeze papers for the flowers, and so to match the colors, I made my own glimmer mists out of Distress Ink Reinkers (Broken China, Bundled Sage and Mustard Seed). I added some Irridescent Medium (found in the paint supplies at the craft store) to the mists, which added a lovely sparkle.

However, what really made the colors work was Tim Holtz's Distress Ink Stain Picket Fence. I love that stuff, because if your colors are too bright, you need only swipe a little Picket Fence over them and they're toned down. If they're not bright enough, swipe a little over them and reapply your color, which now pops out better because of the white background. In fact, I feel like I succeeded in attaining a translucent effect only because of the Picket Fence. Love it!

Heartland Creations Bella Rose stamp
Tim Holtz The Moment stamp
My Mind's Eye Lost & Found 2 Breeze papers
Spellbinders dies: Donna Salazar Rose Creations
Prima Say it in Pearls flower centers
Sizzix Sizzlet Lear Die
Distress Inks for color wash: Broken China, Bundled Sage, Mustard Seed
Irridescent Medium (mixed in colorwash)
Distress Ink Stain: Picket Fence
Sakura Souffle pen
Stampendous dark blue and dark green Pearlescent embossing powders


Divas By Design--anything goes
Flutterby Wednesday--Open, must have a butterfly (there are three tiny butterflies on the tag)
Gingersnap Creations--Words of Wisdom
The House that Stamps Built--heat embossing (the words and stamped leaves are heat embossed)
Whimsy Stamps~~Make your own flowers.
Party Time Tuesdays--anything goes
Hook on Crafts~~something bright
Incy Wincy Designs~~flowers
Make My Monday--butterflies and/or dragonflies
My Craft Spot--anything goes

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Accident

I just discovered a lovely blog called Enjoying Life. Barb is very talented at making simple yet stunning cards, something I am NOT good at at all. And I'm really impressed with how she uses color on her more complicated cards. 

I was inspired to try a technique Barb described called "watercolor blocking" where you put distress stains on your craft mat, spritz it with Perfect Pearls mist, and then smoosh your acrylic block into the color and stamp it on paper. When I tried it, I was delighted to discover the grid lines on my block transferred to the paper, something I had not expected. I'm making tags for everyone's birthdays this year, and think this will make a wonderful background!

I made quite a few using different colors, but they weren't photographing well. I thought the pic above would give you the general idea, though. I just love happy accidents. Thanks, Barb!

By the way, Barb is giving away some fabulous blog candy, pictured to the right. Click on the link to her blog, located above, to enter.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Doug's Tag

 My next  Tags for Twenty-Twelve (see sidebar) is for my brother-in-law Doug. Once again I tried to make it Holtzy, and actually quite like how it turned out. 

I wonder, though, if any of you feel as conflicted as I do about using Tim's trinkets. Don't get me wrong, I think they are wonderfully unique and full of character. But, I've always had issues with using pre-made embellishments because I feel like it's cheating. If I can't make it myself, I don't use it. Obviously, though, given so many of Tim's embellishments are metal, it's not possible for me to make them myself. But I really struggle with just slapping something pre-made on the card, even when it works, because I feel like it's the designer's work, not mine. 

Yes, there are so many really awful things to worry about in life, and this is stupid! But, there it is. :)

I recycled a paper bag for the tag's envelope. Because the bag was already a kraft color, the Distress Inks do not look as vibrant, but I thought it was cute anyway.

I picked up the My Mind's Eye burlap on sale at my LSS, thinking I had no idea what I could possibly use it on, and it's actually one of my favorite parts of this ensemble.


Tim Holtz products:
   Texture Fade Clock and Steampunk 
   Memo Pins
   Filmstrip Ribbon
   Adornments Classic (crown)
   Type Charms
   Harliquen stamp
   Alphabet Soup Grungeboard (the "5" and "6")
Spellbinders Labels One 
Stampin' Up Circles of Friendship stamp
Distress Inks
Stampendous Kaleidoscope embossing powder
My Mind's Eye burlap


Splendiferous--Elements of Time
Raise the Bar Challenges~~circles
C.R.A.F.T. Challenges~~use numbers
Simon Says Stamp~~anything but a card

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Tags of Twenty-Twelve

I actually had a bit of inspiration last night, which you might want to mark on your calendar because it happens so rarely. I have decided that, instead of making everyone cards for their birthdays this year, I am going to make everyone a tag, and then for Christmas I will make each family a mini album with slots for their tags, giving them a remembrance of “The Tags of Twenty-Twelve.” I think this will be especially poignant for the four young families who are having babies this year.

The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to politely, and appropriately, insist that everyone put their tags somewhere where they’ll be able to find them come Christmas. I am disabled and am not responsible for taking care of anyone but myself, and I know how hard that would be for me to do. Everyone else has families and jobs, and I'm sure they don't need one more thing they have to do. So, if anyone reading this has any ideas of how to word a request that the tag's recipients keep their tags somewhere where they can retrieve them at the end of the year, I would be mighty grateful.

My favorite part of this tag is the pretty heart with my niece's age on it, shown above. I decided that, in keeping with "The Birthdays of Twenty-Twelve," I would add every person's age to their respective card. Here I cut the heart out of white chip board, stamped the "28" on it, then embossed it twice with Metal Art's UTEE. Once it was cold, I made cracks in the enamel, and it looks like old china with cracks in it. Unfortunately, I could not get a picture that shows the tiny cracks, just the large ones, but you still should get the idea. 

01-11-12: Edited to add: Lots of happy dancin' going on here because my tag made it into the top three at Tuesday Throwdown! This is my first time ever making it into a top three, and I am both excited, and honored.


Melissa Frances 5th Avenue paper
Stampabilities Wire Dress Form stamp
Foam stamps for the number "28," but I don't know who made them
Martha Stewart Small Flower punch
My Mind's Eye Lost and Found trim
Spellbinders Ribbon Banner die
Melt Art Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Tissue Tape
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Trinket Pins
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metal Charm -- bird
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Chain Tassels
Mubbleberry Bear paper mini-rosebuds and flowers
Bling and ribbon from stash


CES Challenges~~anything goes
Simply Create Too--more than two layers
Fab 'n'Funky Challenges~~use something new you got for Christmas (Tim Holtz Chain Tassels)
My Mum's Craft Shop~~use something new (Tim Holtz Chain Tassels)
Simon Says Stamp~~use something new (Tim Holtz Chain Tassels)
Ladybug Crafts Inc.~~-anything goes using your new stash (Tim Holtz Chain Tassels)
Party Time Tuesdays~~anything new (Tim Holtz Tassels)
Tuesday Throwdown~~something shiny (bling and the embossed heart)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Celebrate 26 Tim Holtz Style

 It's been a very long time since I've posted any new projects. I actually made quite a few Christmas cards as well as some really beautiful monogrammed card kits for gifts. But, to be honest, my heart really wasn't in it, and for some reason that translated into not wanting to post them on my blog. 

In an attempt to get my mojo back I had asked for anything Tim Holtz for Christmas, because his style is not something I'd previously been good at and wanted a challenge. So, I decided to try Tim's style for my nephew's upcoming 26th birthday card, and to be honest, it didn't work, at least not the first three attempts. I wish I had taken pics of those first three cards because they were so butt ugly it was hilarious. Finally, on my fourth try I was singing to myself "I think I've got it!" because not only do I think it works well, it is also one of my all-time favorites.

What finally did it for me was to stop trying to make my own background paper with Distress Inks and giving in to the gorgeous that is My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Two: Breeze. I LOVE OLVE VELO OLEV LEVO VOLE LOVE that paper! My favorite part of the card, shown below, is where I stamped and embossed Tim's Weathered Clock  in white in the bottom left corner, centered the circle of Stampin' Up's Circle of Friendship over the clock stamp, and then added those yummy Spinners for clock hands. I swear MME's designers are psychic and designed and placed that beautiful flourish just so I could make that clock! So, I am really really happy to start the New York with a card that I really really love.


My Mind's Eye Lost & Found Breeze paper
Colorbox black and sky blue pigment inks
Stampendous White Opaque embossing powder
Stampendous Kaleidoscope embossing powder
Versamark Watermark ink
Ribbon from stash
From Tim Holtz:
  Crackle Paint Picket Fence
  Distressed Inks: Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Broken China, Concord Grape
  Alterations Die Weathered Clock
  Grungle Blocks
  Wordsticks "Time"
  Game Spinners
  Ornate Plates
  Muse Tokens
  Trinket Pins
  Texture Frame: Postal


Top Tip Tuesday--anything goes
Cupcake Craftroom--anything goes
Cards for Men--recycling (I cut the Weathered Clock out of the three layers of cardboard backing that comes with paper packs. I had been saving them for quite a while, and they were starting to take up a lot of space, so I was glad to use them to make the clock.)
Craft Your Passion~~anything goes, distress
Crafty Boots~~celebrations
House of Gilli--anything goes
Kaboodle Doodles~~anything goes
The Pink Elephant~~anything goes
Truly Madly Crafty--anything goes
Fashionable Stamping Challenge~~-use something from new stash received at Christmas. All of my Tim Holtz products, with the exception of the Weathered Clock die, were Christmas presents.
Robyn's Fetish ~~ anything goes
Paper Sundaes ~~ something old and something new (Weathered Clock die is old, all other Tim Holtz items are new.)
Sparkles Forum Challenge~~anything goes
The Squirrel and the Fox~~use something new (Tim Holtz products)
The Secret Crafter ~~ anything goes
Splendiferous Creations--Celebration
Card Crafter's Circle--anything goes (I withdrew my entry because I failed to read the rules, which stipulated you could only enter 10 or fewer challenges. I HATE when I do that because I know it causes others more work. But I decided to leave the link in case it directed someone else to enter their challenge.)
Clearly Inspired~~birthday
Delicious Doodles~~something new
Stampin' for the Weekend~~anything goes
Chocolate, Coffee and Cards~~sketch

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Win Webster's Pages gorgeous new "Sunday Picnic" Collection

 I am so in love with this new collection by Webster's Pages called "Sunday Picnic." And if you go to its blog and explain what you love best about the collection, you have a chance to win it! I don't really get any traffic on my blog, but if someone happens to chance on this post, and wins the prize as a result, then YAY for you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I apologize in advance for such a long-winded post. I warn you it contains quite a bit of poor poor pitiful me, with, hopefully, a glimmer of hope at the end. But it's also a bit boring, so if you don't read all this, believe me, I will NOT be offended. :)

My first Finally! is because I have finally made THE card. You know the one. The one that you've wanted to make since you'd discovered the art of making cards, but have never quite achieved. The one that makes your heart skip just looking at it because all of the pieces, inside and out, are dancing together in perfect harmony. The one that is your Starry Night, Cherubs and Mona Lisa all rolled into one. 

I have finally made that card. Okay, it's not the Mona Lisa, but the card that I am absolutely satisfied with has eluded me for so long, it comes awfully damn close!

Honestly, clever does not come easy to me and I'm not really very creative. What I am good at, however, is being able to look at something and know whether or not it works. I say this because the things I love most about this card were actually ideas I saw elsewhere, and I am very grateful to those who generously put their ideas out there to inspire the unspired masses, like me.

 For example, I got the idea for this little birthday circle from My Mind's Eye. I had bought some embellishments from its Lost and Found Christmas collection, which contained something almost exactly like this one. It was incredibly easy, and I think it's cute as can be, but it's not something I would have thought of on my own. (Yeah, I know MME makes a profit from putting their ideas out there, but I LOVE the ideas, so I am still grateful.)
My second Finally! is that I finally got all of my glitter--gobs and gobs of glitter--to stick where I wanted it to! Well, except for the glitter that's in my hair, my diet soda, and the dog's poop, that is. :) 

I absolutely LOVE glitter, but rarely use it because I've never been able to make it stick, especially when I want it to adhere to a stamped image. But I recently discovered the stupendous Scrap Happy Sheer Glue. It is the crack cocaine of glue in that it thinks it is ALL POWERFUL and can lift vst amounts of powdery substances with its little finger. Well, guess what? It can! That's because it dries sticky and stays that way until you stick something to it--like the tons of glitter I used on this card. Seriously, I've spent a small fortune on adhesives just for glittering purposes, including Sticky Stuff and glue pads, with very limited success. With the discovery of the Scrap Happy glue, my next project will be huge, gorgeous swirls of glitter--all over my bedroom walls!

In keeping with how others inspired me, my third Finally! is because I finally distressed a card, and it worked! I've tried distressing a number of times, but for some reason, it's always just looked like someone took a pair of scissors to the paper and then shoved it in mud, so I'd given up. But then I got very, very lucky and  happened upon  Clare's Creations. Seriously, my jaw is out of joint because I spent so many hours with it stuck to the floor while taking in one gorgeous work of art after another. Eventually, I began to see how I could combine the way Clare distressed her cards with some of my ideas, and voila! No more mud! I really think this took my card to the next level, and I am so grateful to Clare. If you're looking for inspiration, drop by her blog. You may not be able to chew for a while afterwards, but it will have been worth it.

My fourth Finally! is because I was able to finally stitch something close to a straight line!. I stitch by hand, and have thrown away a gazillion cards because the stitching always looks wonky. But this time, while the stitches aren't perfect, the overall effect is of straight lines, and I am ecstatic about that! :)

My fifth Finally! is that I finally decorated all sides of the card, inside and out. I utilized stamping techniques I've always been to nervous to try, like stamping layers of multiple images, and though it's hard to tell from my poor photos, they turned out very pretty. I also made a ton of embellishments and stuck them everywhere. (I purposely placed the black frame off-center, but it's not as out of kilter as it appears in the photo.) There are even flowers on the back of the card, which is probably a bit weird, but it works. The thing is, I've decorated the inside of cards before, but it wasn't until I saw how Clare did it that I realized I needed to step it up a notch. This is yet another example of how inspired I was by others who so graciously share their talents with peons like me.

My last, and most important Finally! is that I finally feel like I've gotten some of my Mojo back. I am disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia, both of which are extremely debilitating. I lead a very lonely, isolated life because I am unable to get out and about like normal people. I've been ill for eleven years this month, with the vast majority of that time spent full of despair and depression, and obsessing about how to end it all.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I discovered paper crafts, and for the first time, in literally a decade, I felt enthusiastic about something. Even though I had to craft from my bed, it was just so much freakin' fun I happily slept with the glitter, scraps of paper, ribbon, ink pads, more scraps of paper, punches, markers, and yet more scraps of paper, not caring a bit. All I knew is that I had finally found something to do other than being stuck inside my head feeling dead, and I was content.

Then a couple of months ago my illness got much worse. Other things happened as well that dragged me down that I won't go in to. But the pain has been unbearable, so much so that all I am is "pain." One of the symptoms of FM/CFS is a severe reduction in cognitive abilities, and I always struggle with that. But when my illness gets as bad as its been these last few months, I can't think at all--it's just one huge black fog of pain. This led to the loss of my enthusiasm for crafting, and I crashed. Bad. Scary bad. Suicidal bad. I know that sounds ridiculous, but making cards has been my life for over a year, and if I can't do that, I don't know what I'll do.

So, when I was able to pull this card together, and actually enjoy doing it, that was HUGE. I was very afraid I'd lost my love of creating permanently, and frankly, I'm still worried. Perhaps that giddy enthusiasm for it is gone, forever, which was probably inevitable. But I felt exuberant again as I watched this beautiful card come together in my hands, and that encourages me that I will again.

I have no illusions that things are fine. They're not, and I'm grasping at something to hang onto every moment. But the fact that I spent an entire day outside of my head, happily getting glitter everywhere, means something, and I just want to shout Finally!


My Mind's Eye Lost and Found Union Square papers
My Mind's Eye Princess stamps (birdcage)
Heartfelt Creations Bella Rose stamp
Fiskars Make a Wish (Lincoln quote)
Stampin' Up Circles of Friendship "Sending You Birthday Wishes" stamp
Stampin' Up Bliss stamp
Autumn Leaves Cling Rubber Stamp (Vintage Birdcages)
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One dies
Spellbinders Donna Salazar flowers
Spellbinders Heartfelt Creations Bella Rose die
My Mind's Eye Lost and Found Christmas brads
Scrap Happy Sheer Glue
Lots and lots of red glitter
Black Pearl Cotton Floss


Anything Goes~anything goes
Cards and More--red, brown and cream
Scrap Creations~anything goes
Die Cut Dreams~at least five flowers 
Incy Wincy Designs~distressing
Kaboodle Doodles~lots of layers
Nettie's Digital Gems--anything goes
Ooh La La Creations--punches/dies
Pollycraft Monday Challenges--swirls and pearls 
Stamp with Fun~anything goes
Stamps & Fun = Creativity--shapes and/or die cuts
There She Goes~Birthday with Pizzaz 
Corrosive Challenges~punches and/or dies
CES Challenges~Use at least four different types of embellishment.
Di's Digi Designs~anything goes
Easy Craft Projects~at least six different patterned papers
Crafty Ann's Challenge Blog~something out of your comfort zone (Mine was distressing and stitching.)
Cute Card Thursday~anything goes
Paper Play Challenges~punches/dies cuts
Ruby's Rainbow~for a girl