Thursday, October 28, 2010

YET ANOTHER USE FOR CUT 'N DRY FOAM...A MATTRESS AND PILLOW! read that right! You can use Cut N' Dry Foam for a mattress and pillow! Maybe not for yourself...but for a matchbox mouse!  Maybe I better explain ...

After making the Halloween and Christmas Configurations boxes in Tim Holtz' classes at Absolutely Everything last weekend, I had some left over compartments.  Six to be exact. Tim told us not to throw them away because there were all sorts of uses for those little leftovers. He was so right! USE YOUR IMAGINATION WITH YOUR CONFIGURATIONS!
I took one of my large squares and one of my large rectangular boxes and turned them into Santa with a shadowbox tummy and Matchbox Mouse.

My vintage Santa is a retro Christmas card that I sized to fix the box. I printed it out on cardstock and backed it with chipboard for strength. Then I lined the back and bottom (thanks Tim) of the inside of the Configurations Box with little snippets of Tim's wonderful seasonal paper. Now, Santa had a shadow box tummy! I added Tim's rosette, stuck a little "Merry Christmas" on it, cut off the edges of the rosette to make it fit in the box where I wanted it and glued it in place. Next, I added some "ornaments" to the little bottle brush tree. I had to cut the bottom of the tree off to make it fit, but no worries. It hot glued in place just fine. I added a little sled with a package stuck on top next to the tree. Then I glued some vintage silver tinsel garland around the outer edge of the box and added three vintage corsage bells and a thin piece of metallic candy cane striped ribbon to the upper corner. I painted two wooden spools black and glued them to the bottom of the box to represent Santa's boots.
A top view of Santa shows how I cut his arm away from the rest of his body and laid it on the top of the box, partially to hide the pipecleaner ends on the bells and partially for added interest to the top of the box. I popped the "A Merry Merry Christmas" ornament with a pop dot for added dimension. Finally, I added a little gold glitter snowflake with a wooden train on top.  Santa was stickled with Tim's Distress Stickles: Peeled Paint, Fired Brick and Picket Fence.
The Matchbox Mouse was made using a large rectangular Configurations box. I love "The Night Before Christmas". 
"...not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!" I found my little mouse on the internet and sized him to fit my box. I printed him out, stickled his hat with Distress Fired Brick and the rest of him with regular Stickles; Fruit Punch, Stardust and a little Platinum.  I sized the vintage book cover to fit the box. I printed it out, leaving enough paper on the sides to wrap around the box, forming a matchbox cover. I inked inside and outside with Tim's Distress Inks: Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Black Soot and glued the outer cover together around the Configurations box, leaving enough space so the cover can slide off and on the box. I used Rock Candy Stickles all over the top of the book for a really cool understated glittery vintage look.

Here's where the Cut N' Foam pad comes in. I cut it to fit into the box. I used two layers of Cut N' Foam for the mattress. I covered the "mattress with a scrap of fabric and put it into place using double sided tape. I made the pillow the same way...just using one Cut N' Foam layer. Next, I stuck a little piece of Cut N' Foam in the middle of the bed to look like Mr. Mouse's tiny little body.  I covered him up with a different scrap of fabric and held it into place with double sided tape.
These little boxes can now be little cha-cheese to sit around or add a little hanger of some sort and they can be Christmas ornaments! The possibilities are endless!
Have fun and take time to play!  It's SOUL food!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I just got back from probably the closest thing to an "out of body "experience I could ever imagine! I spent the weekend at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, Massachusetts, taking all four classes that Tim Holtz offered. They should not be called "classes". They should be called "events". For anyone who has never experienced a Tim Holtz class, you are really missing something! He truly is a creative genius when it comes to not only creating these wonderful classes but also in developing so many wonderful products that work so perfectly together.
Tim's team of Mario and Michelle did so much of the preparation for these classes and let me tell you, there was A LOT of preparation. Kate, a dear person and the owner of Absolutely Everything, acquired help not only from her wonderful staff but also from other store owners across the nation who jumped right in to help her. The classes were nothing short of AMAZING! The projects we made were incredible. I learned so much about the mechanics of product and technique. But, Tim made it so much fun! It was more like playing than it was a learning experience...although it was BOTH!
This was my first time to meet Tim in person. I have to say, he did not disappoint! There is just an aura about him. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. A perfect example of this is when he was autographing something for me, he smiled and said something to the effect, "You know, I will never understand why people want me to do this! Why would anyone want me to sign something for them?" I found him to be very witty and charming.  He was fully engaged with his students throughout the entire class.  His instruction and presentation was just perfection! I am so happy that I had this opportunity. It is another dream come true for me!
This is a picture of Tim and I the first morning of classes.
He is holding a spool doll that I made especially for him.

An Experience I Will NEVER Forget! 


Thursday, October 21, 2010


I recently taught a couple of classes of "The Witching Hour" book (see earlier posts). We all had such a great time and everyone's books turned out amazing! But, I had not finished the back cover of my book and that had been bugging me! So, last night, I had this "epiphany" of what I wanted to do on the back cover. Here are the finished covers of my display book.  NOW...I'm finally happy with it!

I sprayed some black webbing on the orange cardstock background. Then I had a little piece of fencing that I spray painted with a flat black spray paint. I used some black chipboard and cut out the flying witch and scaredy cat Tim Holtz dies. I cut out Tim's wonderful rosette die, using a scrap piece of Halloween paper. I stuck a little raffia on the top of the rosette. My center is a funny little man in the moon stamp I have. I left a little of the orange cardstock around the stamp and inked it with Black Soot Distress Ink. Then I made it look a little more vintage by fringing up those edges. I laid it all out, glued it all down and added a little bit of Antique Gold Rub N' Buff to the fence, the cat and the flying witch as if the man in the moon was shining his weird little Halloween wisps of light on them.
For the finishing touch, I added some torn and tied scruffy black netting and a scary skeleton. Now this book will definitely be a display and not just laying on a table. 
If you have not purchased any of Tim Holtz' new seasonal papers, dies, or texture fades, you really need to check them out! They are amazing and so much fun to work with! And as get great results with anything Tim's name is on. 

Friday, October 8, 2010


Recently, I posted a witch hat that I was going to make with some art buddies. We made them and had a wonderful time! I had some extra 12" x 16" paper mache witch hats. They are an awesome size because you can put lots of "stuff" on them! When you're finished, you have a really fun Halloween decoration...great for table centerpieces!
Instead of completely spray painting the hat black, this time, I opted to cover the main portion of the hat in text out of an old book. That way, I could have a lighter background to work with and also be able to colorize it with Distress Inks. Then I added some headlines or partial headlines out of our local paper I had seen yesterday morning as I was thumbing through the paper. I thought they added a humorous touch.
I am a HUGE Tim Holtz FANatic! So, I wanted to use some of my new Tim Halloween Stamps as well as some of my other favorites from his Ideaology and Alterations lines as well as some appropriate Distress Inks and Stickles.
I LOVE Tim's new Halloween stamps and his new rosette die. Here, I am combined the two with a little bit of orange tinsel thrown in for good measure. This witch is actually placed on the backside of the hat.

Here is the rosette die again on the front brim of the hat with a "31" stamped on the center piece and then inked around the edges with Black Soot. The black cat just behind the rosette was stamped onto orange card stock. I left an orange edge around the stamp when cutting it out and then edged it in Black Soot. Although the cat is not jointed, the two little brads give it that appearance.
This spooky skeleton was also done exactly the same way as the black cat. I tucked him onto the side of the hat among some really cute orange flocked Halloween fabric I used to make a cute sash on the brim of the hat. I also made some vintage looking "attic flowers" out of blackish ribbon, black netting and some spooky green pearls as the center of the flower. The bats flying all around the hat were made from a Fiskars bat punch, fishing wire spray painted black, Rock Candy Stickles on the front sides of the bat and little orange eyes painted with orange puff paint.
I used Tim's Tattered Flowers die to create these Halloweenish flowers made out of natural duck cloth. I cut them out, colored them with Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, Wild Honey, Walnut Stain and Black Soot for a spooky edging. Next I stamped them with a couple of Wendy Vecchi's stamps. I glued them together and added an old vintage black button as the center of each one. They are on the front of the hat, nestled into the orange sash and some black netting as well as the flying bats. You will also see Tim's new Halloween ticket stamp tucked into the flowers.
Mr. Skeleton decided to hitch a ride on the witch's brim.  He's a Dollar General find. He's resting on the back side of the hat.
I added some of my own little concoctions of a "Twisted Twigs" bottle and a Memory Frame with a portion of an old vintage postcard in it with a little owl charm attached to the top. I love things that dangle and move on my pieces. I found the "Twisted Twigs" label on the Internet, sized it to fit my bottle, glued it on with Glossy Accents and then put Rock Candy Stickles on the label to add color and dimension to it. I filled the bottle with little grape vine twisted sticks and glued the top on with Glossy Accents. The "Trick or Treat" metal hanger on the front of the hat was a JoAnn's Fabric find after Halloween last year. It was flat black and orange so I added Black Diamond and Orange Peel Stickles for that "zing" it needed to really set it off against the text background.
Then I added a top knot made out of more of the orange flocked Halloween fabric and stuck a few flying bats coming out of it. Wha-lah.......a new Halloween witch hat!
 Have fun being creative and making your own art!  It's "soul food".