Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Playing with Perfect Pearls

I gave the St Augustine Stamp Club a challenge: to play with Perfect Pearls and bring in the results to share at our next meeting. I took time out from working on my next year's December Journals to play - because I am running out of time to meet my own challenge.

This first tag is made using a blending tool for the background (preserves); drying it thoroughly (because distress inks work great for grabbing onto the mica); brushing on the PP (pearl, plum and violet); brushing off the excess PP and finally setting the PP by misting the air and wafting the tag through the mist.

The purple tag is done the same way, but I went for a tone-on-tone effect. I stamped the background with versamark; pounced on violet PP; brushed off the excess mica and set it with a mist of water. The edges were inked in either distress (left side) or versa and then pearl PP was brushed over the edge.
For the next tag (on the left and on the top of the right), I used a blending tool to add distress ink to the tag (mahognay) and then brushed on PP (heirloom) all over the tag. Next I inks a background (Hero Arts) with VersaMark and stamped the tag. This "kissed" the tag and the versamark removed the PP.

The second tag (on the bottom of the right) came about because I now had PP on my background stamp. When I went to clean the stamp with spritzes of water, I reconsidered and decided to stamp with it first-so I again blended Mahogany distress all over the background of another tag; stamped the wet stamp onto the tag and dried it with my heat tool. Not as sparkly, but I love the bleach look.

For the blue/green tag on the left, I blended the background with jeans and peeled paint. I swiped honey onto a craft sheet along with some gold PP. After misting the craft sheet with water (so the ink beaded up and blended with the PP), I inked the background stamp with this mixture, stamped the tag and dried it.

The stamp was still full of mixture so I misted it with water and stamped it on a tag that had been blended with honey (and photo on the edges). For good measure, I swiped the tag through the mess on the sheet before I dried it for some extra glitz.

I still had lots of mixture on my sheet, so I blended denim and stormy sky on a tag, dipped a brush into the mixture and flicked the mixture onto the tag. There was still stuff left, but I  was done with gold so I just wiped it away.

The next tag had a thin colorwash background from peeled paint. It was dried thoroughly and then I stamped the image with moss and then brushed on kiwi PP over parts of the image. After brushing off the excess, I sprayed it with water to encourage the moss to run out from under the pearl. I want to play with this technique some more - I am not real excited with the look. I am thinking to use more color contrast between the ink and PP to achieve a more exciting look.

I tried for the faux enamel look on my next project. I started with a die cut piece of chipboard that I lightly painted with a black dauber and let dry. I used versamark and PP (blue and green patina) and set it with a mist of water. I went back to the versamark (use an older pad - some PP did transfer to the pad) and then covered the pieces with a thick coating of Utee. I began the melting process from about 10-12 in away to prevent the loose pieces  from blowing away and then came closer with the heat gun as the utee melted. This process was repeated again until I had enough depth of PP color and achieved the rounded look. I love how the mica seems to float in the utee.

The tag for this die cut happened because I had leftover PP on my craft sheet from the enameling project. I blended china and honey on a tag, misted the leftover PP with water and dragged the tag through the mixture. (It sparkles nicely in real life.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A nice long weekend

I can't believe how fast time is flying; it feels like break was forever ago although I just finished putting away the last of the Christmas decorations. I also just uploaded the rest of the pictures from our cult progressinve holiday party. Check out my Friendship page to see the slide show.

Saturday, my daughter, Cait, came over to play. She started making wirework jewelry (ironic if you know Cait - she never wears jewelry and doesn't have pierced ears) for presents and is now selling pieces. I wish I had taken pictures of her "Golden Snitch." She is a Harry Potter fan and works at the attraction at Universal. For my upcoming birthday she made me this pair of earrings to match our new "Cult" shirts.  She came up this weekend to use my toys to work out some packaging for her work. We played (and ate at Thai) and played and came up with two designs that she liked. I started cranking them out on my Vagabond, and then it jammed. We can't get it unstuck and it made a horrible noise (gears stripping). I ordered a new machine yesterday - I love using that machine and can't live without it so it's a good think my birthday is around the corner. I will be more careful about how I sandwich dies.

I spent yesterday working on December journals for Christmas presents for 2012 because I enjoyed working on mine so much. I had bought paper pads on sale right after the holiday for 70% off and have cut the pages and covers for 8 books. I got numbers embossed for two sets (a real struggle since my dog hates the noise of the heat gun). I plan to die cut glitter numbers for another set - soon :(  It's a good thing that I have such a large craft table - it's covered in pages in various stages of being spritzed. I've used my a bottle of the white perfect pearls mist. I've got to add it to my Stamp Fest shopping list.

Joyce gave me my charm swaps from some of the other girls so check out the Charm Swap page; scroll down to the January entry.  She is still waiting for two more sets which I will post as soon as they arrive. Today is for catch-up: laundry, bill, grocery shopping, reading in the sunshine by the pool, journaling, taking pictures and posting - just enjoying slices of life.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Finishing up 2011

I wanted to share the other three tags that I completed as part of the Tim Holtz inspiration from his 12 Tags of Christmas. I have learned so much from him and love his generous sharing of his time and talent.
This first one was done using the three new winter colors on craft resist with a whitewash of picket fence. You wouldn't believe how ugly it was before the picket fence. The greenery is one of my new purchases this season - I love how it adds to the image. Stains were used to dye the lace. I drilled a hole in the metal star using the drill press from Tim. It works like magic.
.This tag was made from a self-inked pad specifc for this stamp. It didn't look as I wanted - but that's what picket fence stain is for. I just love how it makes the backgrounds more interesting and how it softens the colors. The ribbon was dyed with stains. More greenery - this time with "snow" added. The berries were white pearls and rhinestones dyed with alcohol inks (red pepper)

This tag is another one done with a self=inked pad for the background stamp - that also didn't work the way I envisioned so picket fence came to the rescue again. I have used the crackle on grunge before - but this time I painted the grunge board with white acrylic daubers first. Mirror paper is used behing the word cut out. Hard to see, but at the bottom is die cut snowflake border cut from packaging plastic and attached with diamond stickles.  
I also updated pictures of my December Daily Journal / Smash book. I really enjoyed working on this project and can't wait to continue journaling in the new year. Jan and I hit the after Christmas sales at all the craft stores to buy Christmas scrapbook paper on sale - I plan to make several of these journals as gifts for next year. I love the excuse to work on Christmas all year.  A slideshow of this journal can be found on the Smash book page. Also,  check out a journal that I made for my friend Jeanne found on the Scrapbook/Journal page.  Be sure to check out the Quilt page too; I am posting a slideshow of my new winter class at the quilt shop. I has such a good time making these notebook covers for friends that I decided to write up the directions for a class.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I can't believe that it's been so long since my last posting. I have been busy visiting and creating, just not posting. Since school has been out, I have been finishing up several tags from Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas; making Christmas presents (I can't post them til next week because we aren't exchanging til Saturday); visiting our son and girlfriend in south Florida;  playing with Grace who was home for a few days and spending time with Cait and Tony (They loved their quilt and it looks great on their bed). I finished my December daily journal. (I plan to take more picture and update the slideshow) I really looked forward to writing in it each evening and I am trying to decide how I want to continue journaling in the new year. I think I am going to add a diary or calendar section to my smash journal - which still needs a cover and binding. I bought more Christmas scrapbook paper to make journals for presents next year when Jan and I spent a whole day shopping all the craft, bead and quilt shops for sales. I even broke down and ordered the "Noel" and "reindeer" dies from Blue Moon Scrapbooking.

For the past few days I have spent lots of time preparing for a new class at the quilt shop: it's for a fabric covered notebook. I have had a great time making book covers for everyone. I will post a slideshow as soon as I finish the last one and take the last picture.

It's charm deadline time again: I finished mine last week. This month's theme was "Oz" and it was a challenge for me. I like the finished look. All the components are Holtz influenced: the green globe (florist marble) is glued to a Holtz charm; the picture is a fragment; the shoe is shrink plastic that was shrunk in a melting pot of utee. Holtz does a great video for this technique as part of one of his tags. Ellen Hudson took his technique a bit further: she puts the charm back into a hot, empty pot and sprinkles on glitter when the utee softens. It worked great - the whole house sparkles. I love how the packaging came out: the Holtz brick wall embossing folder is perfect and of course I had to use blue gingham ribbon.

Now I have to get my brain to settle on a floral expression for the next exchange.