Saturday, January 17, 2015


Hello all and welcome for another Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge technique.  The lovely Linda Ledbetter is hosting these challenges at her Studio L3 blog. Check out her blog for the challenge details and come join us on our journey as we learn about Tim Holtz products and techniques based on his Compendium of Curiosities III book. 

Most of the Curiosity Crew were able to get together in Anaheim, California for this year's CHA.  We had THE MOST amazing time ever!  We saw some fabulous new products and samples from all over the show.  I will be sharing more of those with you on a future post so you that hopefully you can get just as excited as we are about what lies ahead for 2015 in the way of new products and ideas yet to be conceived!


Left to right:  Annette Green, Susan Mostek, Yvonne Blair, Me, Marjie Kemper, Linda Ledbetter, Cheryl Grigsby  Missing from the crew this time:  Anita Houston and Hels Sheridan

Turn to page 40 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and check out Distress Watercoloring, Part 2.  We did Distress Watercoloring, Part 1 on the fifth challenge back in late June.  While I cannot give away the technique, I can share with you the products I used in creating this very fun layered tag.

I have no clue what happened to the earliest pictures of the process in creating this tag.  I took them, I promise!  But my camera evidently didn't like me during the early stages of my layering the tag and decided NOT to capture the images.  So ... I will describe the process and then pick up with the photographs as we proceed.
  • I began with a piece of watercolor paper that I cut into the size of a large # 10 Manila tag.
  • I stamped the winged girl (from Tim's Winged Things I stamp set) onto the tag using Jet Black Archival Ink. I then stamped her again onto a piece of scrap paper and cut her out, to create a mask. Using re-positionable tape, I covered the stamped girl on the tag with the mask image of her. 
  • I stamped the BINGO card (from Tim's Game of Life stamp set) in place on the tag as if the girl was sitting on it. I also stamped a duplicate image of the BINGO card onto a piece of scrap paper and cut it out, to create a mask.
  • I colored the winged girl and the BINGO card using various Distress Inks and Tim's Fine Detail Waterbrush. The colors used are:  Scattered Straw and Tattered Rose for the skin and cheeks, Broken China for the dress and hat, Wild Honey for the wings, Antique Linen for the collar, socks and text boxes, and lighter tones on the BINGO card, Gathered Twigs for the hair and darker tones and shadowing on the BINGO card.
  • I covered the winged girl and the BINGO card with their masks and proceeded to add Distress Inks to the white watercolor tag.
  • Using Tim's Ink Blending Tools, I first applied Mustard Seed followed by Broken China Distress Inks.  I further blended those colors around my masked images by using a little water on a brush to feather out the yellow and soften the edges where it transitioned into the Broken China, creating a beautiful soft green color.
  • I used Tim's Latticework stencil in conjunction with Peacock Feathers to randomly add that lacy pattern to my background. 
  • I added more layering with Tim's Bubble stencil and Rusty Hinge Distress Stain. 

Here you can see all of the previous steps above completed on the tag.

For more interest and layers on my background, I chose a random numbers stamp from Tim's Ultimate Grunge stamp set.  I used Jet Black Archival ink and partially inked the stamp but I did not use an acrylic block when stamping. This gives a more random look and the black ink will compliment the already stamped images of the winged girl and BINGO card once the masks are removed.
Here the masks are removed and you can see the random stamped black numbers on the layered tag.
Now to add the shadowing effect using Tim's Distress Watercolor, Part 2 technique.
All done!  See the difference this technique makes?  It gives even more depth and warmth to the stamped images!  Love it!  I also added Black Soot Distress Ink to the outside edges of the tag to better define the edges of the tag and pull in yet even more black.

One more step in completing the Distress Watercolor, Part 2 technique.  I put the mask back in place and added the subtle and lightly sprayed blotches of Black Soot.  Again, check out the Compendium of Curiosities III book to see how that was done.  But, compare the two pictures above ... you can see the difference that this technique makes; adding even more layers of color and depth to the tag. 

Now that the inking was pretty much done, it was time to add all of my embellishments.

I stamped this sentiment from Tim's Game of Life stamp set onto a piece of tea dyed muslin fabric and frayed the edges, taught in our last challenge.  I then attached the muslin to a piece of scrap cardstock using Scor Tape.  This would later be attached to the bottom of the tag using Scor Tape.

This is a fun technique I learned from a super nice guy and a very talented mixed media artist, Seth Apter.  The numbers rubons are from Tim's Numbers Remnant Rubs.  Instead of just rubbing them onto the tag, I first scratched off some of the black numbers using my Tim Holtz Craft Knife.  THEN I rubbed them in place on the tag ...

 The result is a very cool, random distressed look.  What a neat and simple way to alter the appearance of any rubon and give them a different look!

I machine stitched around the tag using black thread and then continued to randomly add some more of Tim's Rubons.  The stars are from his Elements Rubons and "LOVE" is from his Botanical Rubons set. 

I then added a piece of black seam binding to the bottom of my tag and layered the frayed muslin piece on top of it.  Finally I added a shabby black bow with a Tim Holtz Heart Charm attached to the center using a Jump Ring.

 Now it's YOUR turn to color a tag using Tim's watercolor technique and then apply Distress Watercoloring, Part 2 to your work.  Then enter your art in our challenge where you have TWO opportunities to win some very nice prizes.

Thank you to our wonderful friend and supporter, Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique for sponsoring every other challenge here at The Compendium of Curiosities III!  Her online store carries a vast assortment of unusual and hard to find products as well as the ones we all know and love.  This winner for this prize is chosen by the Curiosity Crew.

And of course, Tim and Mario have graciously "kicked in" a huge amount of goodies to be given away at each challenge to a randomly selected winner.  So, get your creative thinking caps on and have some fun with this one!  

I can't wait to see your entries!

Friday, January 16, 2015

CHA 2015

I think I sort of have a "craft crush" going on here.

I have been a fan of Andy Skinner's for some time.  I've taken a couple of his amazing online workshops and I was thrilled beyond words when I was able to get into his "Antiquated Appliques" workshop at CHA.

Here is my finished project we did in his workshop.  Out of respect to Andy, I will not divulge what all of the pieces are die cut from and the techniques he taught us in that workshop.  But I WILL tell you that all of the products are from DecoArt's new Media Line.  They are amazing products!

(My own little collage of images showing Andy's new Media Line through DecoArt.) 

Andy also has a line of stencils and stamps that are very different and very much his own distinctive style.  Click on the links to check those out.

One of my Ranger sisters and fellow Curiosity Crew member, Cheryl Grigsby and I took Andy's workshop together.  We had so much fun and learned some really cool techniques. 

I am always fascinated with mixed media art.  Andy's techniques for manipulating acrylic paints into things that look like pitted enamel, bone, old rust and weathered metal, to name a few of his techniques, is just ASTONISHING to me.  It's PAINT for crying out loud!

Here are a few of the samples that Andy had at the DecoArt booth. I wanted to share because it would be a shame to have such gorgeous pieces go unseen unless you were at the show. 

More amazing pieces ...

... and still more. 

I will share more photos from CHA soon.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing my excitement with me.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 3, 2015



I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and you're now looking forward to a happily creative New Year filled with love, personal peace and joy.

We're kicking off the new year at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge using Tim Holtz' Frayed Fabric technique on page 66 in his book.  So turn to page 66 and check it out!!

Since Tim's birthday is fast approaching (the 7th of this month), I decided to take this opportunity to make a handmade frayed fabric birthday card for him.  I used some of Tim's Eclectic Elements Fabric as my background.

I have to apologize for the lack of photographs during the creative process of this card.  I had actually taken step by steps using my Iphone for a change.  But, before I had a chance to write up this blog post, my Iphone's battery died ... yep, DEAD AS A DOORNAIL ! I am NOT happy about that but thankfully my much anticipated NEW Iphone arrived before I go to CHA next week.  So, a happy ending.  But, I was not able to retrieve my step by step photos, so I'll just "wing it" with photographs I took of all of the elements for the card before I glued them in place.  I will share what I did to create each piece.

Word to the wise, if you have not backed up the information on your Iphone in a while, you might want to do that.  You never know when the ol' battery could go kaput!

So, here are the photos I managed to take and let's get started!!!

First of all ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TIM!!!  

This is the finished card.  It measures approximately 7 1/2" x  6".  The background for the cover is from Tim's Eclectic Elements material pad.  There are some really cool patterned swatches of fabric in these pads.  If you love his vintage papers from his paper stashes, then you will LOVE these fabrics! The piece I chose to use is a collage of all sorts of numbers ... something I thought appropriate for a birthday card.  

I softened the number images and the colors by white washing the material with several light coats of Picket Fence and then tinting the material with some lightly watered down Broken China Distress Paint that I smeared on to the fabric using my fingers.  When dry, I clipped around the background with pinking sheers and after adding some machine stitching for more interest, I frayed the edges.

I heat embossed (using Ranger's Embossing Ink and Fine Detail Black Embossing Powder) Tim's Blueprint Birthday Cupcake stamped onto a piece of muslin using Jet Black Archival Ink.  I layered a piece of thin batting between two layers of the muslin and using black thread, I machine stitched around the cupcake.  I then cut out around it and frayed the edges.  Check out Tim's frayed fabric technique to see exactly how I frayed the fabric...I can't give that away!

Then I colored the cupcake with Broken China, Festive Berries and Mustard Seed Distress Inks and a Water Brush.  Once set, I lightly added some Pink Bubblegum, Blue Raspberry and Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls and a bit of water on a Water Brush to highlight colored areas of the cupcake. 

** When you pick up some dry Perfect Pearls Powders onto the end of a water brush, you create a shimmery sort of semi opaque paint. It's wonderful for create little subtle highlights!

Next it was time to make "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to add to the card.  I used black cardstock and Tim's Alphanumeric thin die cuts to create the festive banners.  I simply laid the letters onto my Vagabond platform, added the black cardstock over them, carefully covered them with the plastic top and ran them through.  Then I glued pieces of muslin onto a couple of pieces of cardstock, cut out around them, leaving a bit of a border so I could fray the material and then glued the cut out banners on top of each piece of cardstock backed muslin.  I then machine stitched around the black banners and frayed the edges. Fun!!!

Next I created the large metal numeral "2" and the Alpha Parts "U" to finish out the phrase "HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 U" for the front of the card.

I used Tim's chipped enamel technique on the "2" and I love how it turned out.  I began by coating the metal number with black gesso and letting it dry.  Once dry, I added a coat of White Crackle Paste on top of it (using my finger). Once that was dry, I lightly added some Black Soot Distress Ink to the edges of the "2".  I coated the "2" with Embossing Ink, sprinkled it with Clear UTEE and heat set it to create that chipped enamel effect.

The "U" was sanded to give it some "tooth" and then I added a light coat of Black Gesso.  When dry, I added a light coat of White Crackle Paste (using my finger).  When dry, I added a light coat of watered down Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, heat set it and added a tint of Broken China Distress Ink with my finger.  I sprayed the "U" with a sealer to keep the crackle from possibly flaking off.

The original Philosophy Tag to the left is a copper color.  I altered the tag using a Gold Paint Dabber.  When dry, I smeared Pitch Black Paint into the letters and numbers and wiped off the excess.  ( I had also darkened the letters and numbers earlier to the tag on the left to give them greater definition).  Then I added little touches of a Pool Paint Dabber (using my finger) to give the tag and also the Game Spinner and Long Fastener head a patina look. This photograph does not do justice to the real patina look that the tag has.  I assembled the Ideaology pieces and hot glued them together.

I used Tim's Chevron Stencil and Jet Black Archival Ink to add some random chevron patterns to the upper right of the background.  

Next I laid all of my finished elements onto the background and figured out my spacing.  I glued the "HAPPY" and "BIRTHDAY" banners in place and added the small Mirrored Star above the "I" in "BIRTHDAY".  Using Tim's Tonic Craft Pick, I punched holes and added Long Fasteners into the "2" to hold it in place.  Then I used Tim's Hammer to distress the heads of the Long Fasteners.  I hot glued the birthday cupcake in place followed by the "U". 

There seemed to be a blank space on the cover to the right of the cupcake that bothered me so I decided to add one more element ... a combination Tag Label and Heart Charm wired around the candle. I added "here and now" Remnant Rubons from Tim's Life Quotes Set onto the Tag Label.  

Again, I pierced a hole using Tim's Craft Pick on either side of the candle and wired the Tag Label and Heart Charm, joined together by a small Jump Ring, in place.  They are free to dangle and the heart charm does that.  But, the Tag Label is pretty much held in place by the wire. 

I then added the card front onto a card base cut from a 7 1/2" x 6" piece of kraft cardstock.  To hold the card front in place, I added several strips of 1/2" Scor Tape to the surface of the kraft cardstock.  A little Black Soot Distress Ink was also added to the edges and the center fold line of the card for a more distressed look.

Open the card and I have added "ENJOY YOUR SPECIAL DAY".  These letters are also cut from Tim's Alphanumeric thin die cuts.  Don't they look really different when using them like this instead of using them to create a cardstock banner?  I glued the letters in place using Glossy Accents and then added a coat of Glossy Accents to the tops of each letter to give them a shiny, more dimensional look.

Happy Birthday, Tim!  I hope you have the most special birthday yet.  And I hope that all of you enjoyed reading about the process in bringing this card together.

Now it's YOUR turn to start the New Year off right and join us at Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge.  Create something really fun using Tim's frayed fabric technique and enter our challenge.  If you are chosen as one of our two lucky winners, you could win a fabulous ....

$50.00 gift certificate from the generous folks at Inspiration Emporium! A huge thank you to them for their continued support of our challenge!

Or ... you might be our lucky winner of an amazingly generous prize package donated by Tim and Mario especially for our challenges! Take a look at THIS ....

All this goodness from those wonderful guys .. Tim and Mario!  So come join us and get in on the fun and the camaraderie of artists who love sharing Tim's techniques, his products and their own individual ideas on some absolutely gorgeous entries.

Good luck!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014



Santa Claus will be making his rounds in just FIVE nights!  I am so excited for his yearly visit and I know four little ones, namely my grandchildren, who are about to POP with the anticipation of Santa and his reindeer!

We are officially halfway through the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges!  Can you believe that?  I hope that you've been playing along with us and have learned some new techniques or things about Tim Holtz products that you may not have already known. The entries have been so above and beyond amazing!  
Keep 'em coming!! 

Challenge 18 is not a technique challenge.  It is a product challenge so I will be able to share some techniques and ideas with you in creating Christmas tags and fold outs you can use with your POCKET PAGES.  Turn to page 36 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and let's get started ...

I created these special vintage Christmas tags to celebrate my grand daugher's visits with Santa since her birth in 2011. I think that Tim's Christmas Wishes Worn Cover book and his Pocket Pages are the absolute perfect choice for creating and storing these little keepsakes for her. 

The pocket pages are so versatile.  You can use them as individual pocket pages or you can combine them together to create fold outs. You can also create tabbed tags or paper flaps that really create lots of extra interest as you thumb through the pages.  For this project, I combined two pocket pages where you see Tim's Merriment Tissue Tape.  But there is more to combining pages than just be sure to check out Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III book for more details! I also made a flip up that you can see here.  I will explain more about that later.

I used #8 manila tags as my pattern to cut tags out of Tim's Merriment Christmas Paper Stash. They are vintage double sided papers primarily in reds and white and I love them! I also used several of Tim's die cuts with plain grungeboard to create "frames" for my pictures. Glitters, Stickles, Tissue Tape, Tinsel Twine, Gesso and Glossy Accents provide that extra festive glitz and dimension that takes your tags from flat to WOW ... yet they can still easily fit inside the pockets.

My first tag is Katie's first Christmas.  The basic tag is Tim's vintage red bells on white paper from his Merriment Paper Stash.  I added Pine Needles Distress Ink to give more of that traditional holiday green and red look.  I accented the edges with a Gold Paint Dabber and set it to the side while I created my photo and frame piece. 

I glued Tim's red and white polka dot paper to a piece of plain grungeboard using Matte Medium.  Then I die cut the Mini Cabinet Card and distressed the cut edges using of the grungeboard and also the paper edges with Wendy Vecchi's Vermillion Archival Ink.

Next I sized my photograph to fit on the Cabinet Card and backed it with a slightly larger piece of kraft paper.  I added the lacy metallic photo corners to the picture and then added Platinum Stickles on top of the kraft paper border.  I added pop dots to the underside so that when I attached the photo to the Cabinet Card, it would have just a little more dimension.  I later punched a hole in the center top and added a piece of left over Tinsel Twine to add some more vintage sparkle to the top of this tag.

I added bits of Tim's Holiday Greens cut out of various green cardstock underneath where the photograph would go.  Then I popped the photograph in place. I die cut "Merry Christmas" (from Tim's Holiday Words Script) out of red cardstock and dabbed over it with my Gold Paint Dabber.  I ended up not using "Merry" because I didn't have enough room for it. "Christmas" got a little lost in the patterned background of the paper so I decided to add a strip of torn dictionary paper slightly distressed with Picket Fence (to soften the text) then Scattered Straw to age the paper and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks at the torn edges.  

 I glued it into place and using Glossy Accents, I glued "Christmas" on top of the paper. The dictionary paper provides a nice contrast and helps "Christmas" pop.  I also added a Mirrored Star to dot the "i".  I added Tim's Alpha Parts "2011" numbers at the bottom using Glossy Accents.  They are dabbed on the top with a Gold Paint Dabber and then given a light coat of Glossy Accents to add even more dimension. 

And here is the finished 2011 tag.  As you can see in this picture, Katie wasn't sure what to think of that bearded man in the red suit. 

The next year is 2012.  Katie absolutely wanted no part of Santa Claus this year as you will see on the finished tag picture. I found the beautiful Victorian "Santa Claus" text on one of Tim's Merriment papers and decided that would be the perfect background for this tag.  Again I distressed the tag with Scattered Straw and Pine Needles Distress Ink and edged the tag using a Gold Paint Dabber.  I later added Platinum Stickles to some of the art work at the top of the tag to add more sparkle (as you will see in the final pictures).

The frame for this tag is cut from Tim's Mini Baroque die cut and embossed with his Demask embossing folder.  I then painted the plain grungeboard with Red Pepper Adirondak Paint and when dry, I lightly touched over the frame with gold paint on my finger.

I used more of the die cut Holiday Greens behind the frame only this time, I also added white Gesso and a tiny bit of Stickles Fine Diamond Glitter and glued them in place onto the tag background. Then I glued the picture and frame in place. 

I die cut a Tattered Curvy Banner out of cardstock and distressed is using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and black just at the cut edges.  I stamped "2012" using Wendy Vecchi's Potting Soil Archival Ink and gave the banner a 3D effect by bending up the edges and gluing them together. 

Next I die cut a small reindeer and painted the plain grungeboard with Espresso Adirondak Paint. I scuffed up the surface using sand paper and distressed him with Gathered Twigs. I added a tiny little wreath using 2" of Tim's Tinsel Twine that was glued together and to the back of his neck using Glossy Accents. Next I added "snow" using a tooth brush and white Gesso on the reindeer and the wreath and then I added a tiny bit of the Diamond Glitter while the Gesso was still wet.  

And here is Katie's tag for 2012.  See what I mean about wanting no part of Santa?  On to 2013's tag ...

I created a fold up with this tag by adding more length to the tag when cutting it out.  That way, I could create a tab at the top that can fold under and be glued in place. The tag background is the story of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas in red and white.  

The beautiful Victorian looking frame is Tim's Ornate Frame die cut on plain grungeboard.  It is painted with Antique Linen Distress Paint.

 When dry, I covered the frame with Matte Medium and then sprinkled Stickles Diamond Fine Glitter over the entire frame.  If there is any Matte Medium that clogs a little in the intricate die cut, you can simply pick it out using Tim's Craft Knife.  It comes right off.

After removing the excess glitter, I gently heat set the glitter and the Matte Medium and then I lightly sprayed over the frame with Workable Fixative (as a sealer) so that the glitter won't continue to drop off.  It works really well and can be found at most craft stores and also at Walmart in their craft section.    

Then I glued the photograph in place under the frame and added some Silver Tinsel Twine that was lightly sprayed with Scattered Straw Distress Spray to take some of the sparkle off of the silver and add a goldish tint to the Tinsel Twine. 

Next I die cut "believe" from Tim's Holiday Words Script in red and also in an off white cardstock.  Then I added Platinum Stickles to the off white cardstock and let it dry.  Once dry, I used Glossy Accents to combine the red and stickled "believe" together.  I used two die cut stars; one painted in Red Pepper Paint, the other covered in Platinum Stickles and glued it in place to dot the "i" in "believe". I added "2013" from Tim's Alpha Parts and dabbed the tops with a Gold Paint Dabber across the top of the tag. 

Across the bottom, I added a piece of Tim's Silver Industrial border that I altered by using gold paint and my finger.  I wanted an antiqued gold look on that edging and the gold paint worked perfectly.  Across the top, where I scored the tag to create a tab, I added a piece of Christmas Tissue Tape.

And here is the finished 2013 tag.  As you can see in this picture, Katie, while still a bit guarded, managed to give Santa a hug when he came to our house to visit and read the Christmas Story to the grandchildren last Christmas Eve.

Here is the beginnings of the backside of the 2013 tag which is also my fold up. (This backside was actually completed before I created the other more dimensional side of this tag). I added several layers of Picket Fence Distress Paint to soften the images of the paper.  Then I used Scattered Straw to age the tag and added Gathered Twigs around the edges.

I created my own background using Tim's Festive Stencil and a combination of Pine Needles, Festive Berries and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks to create the leaves, berries and pine cone design.  I think it looks like vintage Christmas wrapping paper!  I love it!  I also added Glossy Accents to the berries and pine cones to add a little shiny dimension and I used a dark brown permanent marker to add the "stems" of the berries.

I also added more vintage looking Christmas Tissue Tape and painted the backsides of the ornate frame and metallic border with the Gold Paint Dabber. The Tissue Tape that I've added on both sides of this flip up tag at the score line helps provide stability to that score line as the flap will be opened and closed.

It IS the most wonderful time of the year and a combination of Tim's Framed Alpha Parts (wonderful) and a label maker spells that out on this tag. I love the simplicity of this tag and yet how vintage it looks.

Once the back side of the fold up was complete, I simply added Scor Tape to the back side of my 2012 tag and attached them together. 

Here's a better look ...

And here is a look at the flip up in the down position.  You can also see Tim's Tissue Tape where I have joined the two pocket pages together.  The pocket pages can fold over to fit nicely into the Worn Covers Book yet be very interactive when you open the book.  

The Lovely Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique is hosting this challenge.

Be sure to click on the link or her logo to visit her store! She is generously donating a $25.00 gift certificate to the winner of this challenge.  THANK YOU LINDA!  

And as always, Tim and Mario have so graciously donated lots and lots of Tim Holtz products that are given away in generous prize packages each challenge.  

Thanks for stopping by my blog! 

My Christmas wish for you is that you take time from all of the hustle and bustle to give thanks for all of your Christmases, past, present and future.  It is truly a gift to be surrounded by those you love.  Seek joy in the smallest of things and create beautiful and lasting memories!

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!!