Saturday, January 31, 2015


Good morning friends and welcome back to my blog and to another new challenge over at Compendium of Curiosities III!   
This is the 21st out of 34 challenges already!  I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing.  Thanks to all of you for allowing all of us on the Curiosity Crew to share our love of all things Tim Holtz and his products and techniques with you.  And thank you for the beautiful art we have been seeing from YOU on every challenge. So inspiring!!!

This challenge is found on page 55 of Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III book.  It is Rock Candy Distress Glitter.

I have created this #8 Manila tag using Tim's technique.  While I can't divulge the actual technique with you, I will tell you was SO MUCH FUN to do!  I am really not a "glitzy" girl and seldom will you see a lot of "bling" on anything I make, but the subtle sparkle you achieve from this technique is well within my comfort zone. (smile)

I will also be very happy to tell you all of the products and the steps I did in creating this tag.  This is one of those projects that literally just came together pretty effortlessly. (Don't you LOVE it when that happens?) 
I began with a plain #8 Manila tag.  I distressed the basic tag using Mustard Seed and Wild Honey Distress Inks. 

I swiped both of those colors onto my main "have to have" craft supply, my non stick craft sheet, and then spritzed the colorful swipes with water until little colorful beads appeared.  I then swiped my tag through the beads, heat set it (very important in between layers) and repeated this process; also blotting up the tiny excess droplets of colored water until my craft sheet was dry. 

Here is the tag after distressing with just the Mustard Seed and Wild Honey plus a little Gathered Twigs added to the edges using my Ink Blending Tool.  Then I decided that I might like to add another layer of color using the Gathered Twigs.  So, I swiped the ink pad onto my craft mat, spritzed it with water and repeated the process above until all of the colored droplets were gone.

Here is the the richer more dramatic tag after adding the Gathered Twigs. 

Next I did Tim's technique using the Distress Rock Candy Glitter.  The ink color I used on this beautiful background stamp (from Tim Holtz' Distress Damask stamp set) is Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Notice the little bits of sparkle left behind?  Love that! I later decided to add little accents of Peacock Feathers on the outer edges of the tag for what I was planning next....
Since the technique was done, it was time to add embellishments to the tag.  I had already decided to use the beautiful vintage image of an ink bottle from Tim's Typography stamp set on this tag.  An ink bottle needs an ink pen...right?  So, I decided to construct one out of a wooden skewer, one of Tim's Pen Nibs, some feathers and whatever else came to mind.

I began by stamping the ink bottle image onto a piece of manila cardstock and coloring it using Tim's Detailer Water Brush and Distress Inks.  I used Peacock Feathers for the glass section of the bottle, Scattered Straw for the majority of the labels on the bottle and a Tattered Rose Distress Marker to fill in "writing fluid" on the label. I fussy cut around the bottle and colored the edge with Scattered Straw.  Finally, I matted the bottle onto some black cardstock to really make it pop against the tag background. 

Next I colored some of Tim's Tissue Tape with an Espresso Paint Dabber. This would cover my wooden skewer and also help hold the feathers in place at the top of the pen. 

I had some lovely little teal-ish and brown (my favorite colors together) feathers and glued them to the backside of the skewer using Glossy Accents. To help hold them in place, I added a 1/4" piece of adhesive silver tape and wrapped around the end of the pen. Then I added Tim's Pen Nib to the bottom of the pen and toned down the bright silver surface with a Pitch Paint Dabber that was added then wiped off to leave a more antiqued finish. I dipped the tip of the nib in the black paint to look like dried ink. (You will see more of the pen in a minute). 

Next I distressed one of Tim's Word Bands with Broken China Distress Paint.  I simply wiped the dabber across the word band, filling up the letters and then wiping the excess paint off of the smooth surface, leaving it in the letters to highlight them. 

Finally I decided to add one of Tim's beautiful butterflies from his Papillon stamp set to my tag...flying out of the ink bottle.  So I stamped the image onto a piece of Specialty Stamping Paper using Jet Black Archival Ink.  I then colored the butterfly with Wild Honey and Peacock Feathers using Tim's Detailer Water Brush.  I cut out around the butterfly, colored the border with a Scattered Straw Distress Marker and edged it with a Black Soot Distress Marker. I added some wire to the backside to create antenna and also a cork screwy bottom piece to represent the butterflies flight pattern as it rose from the ink bottle. 


Now it was time to put everything together. But as I was starting to layout my design, I decided that my ink pen needed something else at the top.  

So, I wrapped some wire around the silver tape and added one of Tim's Type Charms to dangle from the pen.  I like that little bit of detail that such a simple step adds.
Next I used some of Tim's Trimmings to attach the Word Band in place at the bottom of the tag.  

I used Glossy Accents to glue the pen onto the tag but since it is pretty dimensional, I also wired it in place.  The ink bottle would cover up the wiring. I really love that pen going diagonally across the tag.  I love the airiness of the feathers, and the grunginess of  the wire, the pen body and antiqued nib in contrast to the softness and feminine quality of the Rock Candy Glittered damask image. 

I attached the butterfly to the bottle using the quirky wire and then I added three layers of black pop dots to pop the bottle over the pen.  It took that many layers of pop dots to "clear" the height of the pen wired onto the tag.  So, you can tell that this tag has some dimension, unlike last challenge's watercoloring technique tag that was relatively flat. 
And here again is the finished project. Simple and fun!

Now it's time for you to try your hand at this Rock Candy Glitter technique and enter our challenge. You have TWO chances to win some fabulous prizes.

Our sponsor for this challenge is 

that fabulous online store ... INSPIRATION EMPORIUM. They are giving away a $50.00 gift certificate to shop in their store!  Thank you to Inspiration Emporium for you continued support!
And, of course, Tim and Mario have donated tons of Tim's wonderful products to be given away in prize packages for each challenge. A very generous selection of these products have already been given to 20 previous winners!  Will you be the 21st?
If you are not clear on our simple rules to follow, just check them out at Linda's blog

Have a great couple of weeks and get inky!

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!!!