Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tim Holtz Mini Distress Ink Play--A Tutorial

I don't even know where to start this post, because it was one of those work (scratch that--creative play) days that ended up totally different than where I started out.  The hearts above were one example of the very happy end results.
I wanted to get some samples ready for my class this Tuesday, 11/18/14 "Make Your Own Embellishments" where we'll be making alphabet stickers and clay embellishments in this session.  I wanted to start by creating some watercolor backgrounds using Tim's Mini Distress Inks.  I had seen a few videos where people were using the small square size to lay down the ink direct to paper.  These videos were just some of the reasons why I just HAD to have ALL of Tim's minis!  So, here's a picture tutorial of how my day went:

I began by taping my 5-1/2" x 4-1/4" piece of watercolor paper to a wooden pizza peel (I was inspired to make this wonderful purchase by Jennifer McGuire--she uses a wooden cutting board with a handle--pizza peel was less expensive!).  The purpose of this is so I can easily lift the board and turn my project to and fro to get great blending drips when it's wet.

I stamped down each color of ink until the page was full.  I actually went off track here, because I couldn't decide which set of colors I wanted to choose.  I decided to make one of each set so I have them for my color swatch book. 

I misted water over the entire sheet and let it sit for a few moments to do it's thing.

I tilted the pizza peel back & forth, slowly, to get some awesome drips & blending of colors.

I added more water, and tilted again until satisfied.  I stopped here, because I didn't want to lose all the yellow.
Look at that beautiful bleeding!
Dried with a heat tool...
...removed the tape, and voila!  I repeated this process for all 12 sets of Tim's Mini Distress Inks.

I trimmed all four edges of each piece so they ended up 5-1/4" x 4".


When finished, I mounted each card onto a sheet of white cardstock.  On my computer, I made a sheet of which colors were in each set.  I printed out one for my book ...

... and another on vellum to attach to each card.
While cleaning up, I scooped together all the trimmed edges.  Hmmmmm.  What if I ...
... run these through one of my Xyron machines ...

... making them sticky ...

... and adhere them to a piece of cardstock?  Very cool!  Now, what to do with this gorgeous piece of new art?  Die cut it of course!

I wasn't sure if the framelit would work because of the thickness of the watercolor paper on top of the white cardstock, but never fear ...

... success!

I didn't want to waste any of this precious paper, so I squeezed out two more smaller hearts.

Not done there.  I made this paper using the 4-1/4" shorter trimmed pieces.  Since my experiment worked, I did the same with all the longer, 5-1/2" pieces.

Using the Xyron machine can get very messy, especially with such thin strips.  There was extra adhesive all over the top.

I used the adhesive remover from Stampin' Up!

and easily cleaned off all the excess adhesive.

Since it worked so well cutting the hearts, I wanted to use my new script word dies.  Love these things, and I started collecting a few.

Well, no matter how many times I passed through my Big Shot machine, these just wouldn't cut all the way through (next time, adhere to copy paper instead of white cardstock).  I tried adding shims and everything.  I couldn't let this go to waste, so I spent the next hour carefully fussy cutting these pieces out.

I had a few rips and tears, but I wasn't going to waste this paper!  I carefully glued them together, and cut each word out again from white cardstock.  I glued the white to the bottom of each piece to make them more secure, and it worked!

I added some Close to My Heart Liquid Glass (works the same as Ranger's Glossy Accents or Stampin' Up! Crystal Effects--just happened to be the one I grabbed) to add a clear & dimensional top.  *I also used this as the glue to repair & layer them.

And, after all that work, this is what I got.  The word "fabulous" was a 2-piece die.  I just did the background layer, left it matte, and added the word on top using textured black cardstock.

Love 'em!  Can't wait to use these on my next project, a card, or scrapbook layout!

After all that experimental play, I realized I still hadn't cut any alphabets.  lol  I made an extra sheet of watercolored background paper using Set #12, same process as above, and then die-cut the letters as samples for my class.  And, this was only one of my ideas!  Today, more play!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bloglovin' link and new classes!

I'm now on Bloglovin'!  You can follow my blog with Bloglovin' and get all my latest posts sent right to your inbox!  You can view most of your favorite blogs with Bloglovin' ... give it a try!


Since I began working as a Crossing Guard last year, I slowly stopped teaching my classes.  I haven't just been laying around between my shifts ... I've been taking lots of classes and exploring my own creative projects and techniques.  I've been doing the usual, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, mixed media, but I've also been learning art w/acrylics, watercolors, working with wire & metal, enameling, and so much more!  I've been having a blast, but I've also been exploding with ideas to share with all of you!  Many people have asked me when I'll be starting again, and also what they'd like to learn.  Well, I'm finally ready to get back into teaching again, and here's a rundown of what to expect:

Technique Class:  Create 3 cards while learning new techniques

Scrapbooking:  Create a 2-page layout

Stamp-a-Stack:  Create 12 cards + matching envelopes

Make Your Own Embellishments(New!)  Ever buy new stickers, only to find they never quite match the project you're working on?  Tired of wasting money on embellishments you aren't using?  I'll show you lots of great techniques and new products to create your own custom embellishments!  I've got lots of tricks up my sleeves!  *This class is not project based.

Scrapbook Techniques(New!)  Learn lots of new (& old) tips & techniques to use in your scrapbooking.  I've got lots of tricks up my sleeves!  *This class is not project based.

I'm kicking off my new schedule with one of my brand new classes.  Sign up now for Make Your Own Embellishments, Tuesday, Nov. 25th from 7-9pm.  In this session, we'll be exploring different ways to create your own alphabet stickers, and paper clay embellishments.  ALL supplies are included, and you'll be going home with lots of information and embellishments to get you going, all for only $20!

Contact me at if you'd like to sign up, and don't forget to sign up to receive my posts on Bloglovin'!

Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 Christmas Card Class

I'm not doing my Christmas card sessions anymore, and it's been over a year since I've taught a class here.  This is my 2nd year working as a Crossing Guard, and I just needed some time off.  I've been taking a lot of online classes for myself (Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101 & 102, Online Card Classes Watercolor for Cardmakers, Britta Swiderski's Design Principles, and many more!), and taking a lot of classes with some favorite instructors (Wendy Vecchi, Marjie Kemper, Jessica Sporn, Jean Van Brederode, Erin Keck to name a few).
Even when you're very comfortable with all your knowledge, creativity, and skill level, there's always so much more to learn!  Plus, it was nice just being a student and letting my creative juices flow!
Anyway, I've been dying to start teaching my classes again, and these Christmas Card Kits from Stampin' Up! were just perfect to get my feet wet again!
Since these were kits, I set a deadline of Oct. 30th to register because I had to order them.  I got the shipping confirmation last Wednesday, and got a good scare since the packages don't arrive until about 5 business days after shipment date.  Luckily, they arrived late Friday afternoon, and I was able to prepare one of each as samples for our class tonight.  I think they came out awesome!  Enjoy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall in Italy

I've been very busy scrapbooking lately since we've been able to use the classroom at the new Michaels in Paramus.  We've been there almost every week!  Lovin' it!

My nephew's wife posted these fabulous professional pics of their last fall while living in Italy, and this new page kit from Quick Quotes screamed for them.  It's very hard to get a good pic of the layouts without getting a glare on the pics.  Hopefully the photos below show how beautiful this little (and growing!) family really is!