Saturday, June 21, 2014


Hello all of you Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge lovers! It's Saturday and time for a new challenge from Tim's Compendium of Curiosities III. If you are one of the very few who have not received your autographed copy of Tim's book, you can click HERE to order it now!

I totally LOVE doing these challenges with Linda and the rest of the Curiosity Crew. I want to thank EVERYONE who leaves such uplifting and sweet comments on my blog. You make my day with your thoughts! So, thank you so much!!

This challenge is taken from page 39.  It is all about Distress Watercoloring, Part 1.  The Curiosity Crew has some amazing art to share with you using this technique but we won't give away the actual technique. That is what this challenge is all about ... teaching you to use Tim's book as your reference guide to all sorts of fun techniques and use of his products.  So, get out your books, turn to page 39 for the actual technique instructions and we're off!

I created this 6x6 board that evolved into ...

into this wall hanging. 

 I began by stamping this beautiful nest from Tim's Bird Feather stamp set using a combination of mainly Coffee but with touches of Jet Black Archival Inks in the lower left hand corner of a piece of 6x6 Manila Cardstock. I used a secondary stamp of just the nest portion as a mask over the original one stamped onto the cardstock. Then I began creating the cloudy sky background using some cut out cloud patterns, some Broken China and Stormy Sky Distress Ink and my ink blending tools. I began at the top and one by one, randomly placed some cloud patterns and inked around each of them using the blue tones and my ink blending tools. The result is a pretty cool looking fluffy cloudy sky.

Next I added the three branch to the other side of my 6x6 background using the branch minus the bird from Tim's Urban Tapestry stamp set. Again, I stamped the image with Coffee Archival Ink. 

I created my own leaves on the bird branch using a Micro Pen in brown permanent ink and colored in all of the leaves on both stamped images using Tim's Detailer Water Brush and various shades of green Distress Ink: Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters and a little Forest Moss. Then I heat set those.  Next I added some random black speckles to add some more depth to the piece by flicking a little watered down Pitch Black Paint Dabber paint onto the paper.  I used an old toothbrush to pick up the paint and then flicked it with my finger to create the random splattered pattern.

Here you see the end results of my adding the leaves to the branch on the right and then coloring all of them in using Tim's watercolor technique. I then sprayed this background with some Workable Fixative spray (clear sealer) to seal my work.  Distress Inks are water reactive so if I wanted my background to stay looking exactly like this, no matter what other layers of inks or fabric or whatever I might choose to add, I needed to seal it.

Next I stamped this sweet little winged girl from Tim's Winged Things stamp set onto a piece of Specialty Stamping Paper and using Tim's watercolor technique, I brought her to life. The colors of Distress Ink I used on her are:  Wild Honey, Peeled Paint, Tattered Rose, Scattered Straw, Antique Linen, and Worn Lipstick.  She is stamped with Jet Black Archival Ink.  After coloring her, I lightly went over her with Antique Linen and my ink applicator.  I love the way that Antique Linen seems to "set" the colors and give them a more soft, vintage look. Then I cut her out and edged all of my cut edges with a Gathered Twigs Distress Marker.

I cut a slit in the nest, using my Tim Holtz Tonic Craft Knife and slipped the winged girl in place in the nest. When I permamently put her in place, I glued her legs on the underside of the 6x6 paper and I used pop dots on her upper body to give her more dimension.

Next I stamped some of these lovely birds from Tim's Nature Walk stamp set onto a piece of Specialty Stamping Paper.  I combined predominantly Coffee Archival Ink with a touch of Jet Black onto the stamp before stamping the images.  The first bird on the lower left has too much Coffee Ink on the stamp and I lost some of the fine details of the bird's body.  So, I stamped two more images and I ended up using the bird at the center top in my piece. I used Tim's watercolor technique to color in the bird's body using Wild Honey and Worn Lipstick Distress Inks.  I cut him out and added him to the bird branch using pop dots on his upper body to give him more dimension.

Next I added a little more textural interest to the piece with a trick that Andrea Ockey Parr taught me.  She is the queen of using fabric in her art. I added some strips of black and white fabric to the 6x6 board using Matte Multi Medium.  Then I painted over them with white Gesso so that I could stamp a sentiment onto them and it would be seen easily. When the Gesso was dry, I stamped my sentiment from Tim's Just Thoughts stamp set onto a piece of white tissue paper and then tore around it.  I added the sentiment on top of the fabric strips using Matte Multi Medium.  The torn edges of the tissue paper just melt into the background. 

After the Matte Medium dried, I added some dark shadows around the sentiment using Black Soot Distress Ink and my Detailer Water Brush.  Here is the background before I permanently added my little winged girl to the nest. Once I had added the winged girl, I glued this background on top of a 6x6 piece of chipboard and distressed around the edges with Gathered Twigs and Black Soot Distress Inks. 

Then I added Tim's Symphony Tissue Tape in various places on the canvas. I love how all of the different black patterns work together in the background. Next I added the Word Band using a sort of twine like piece and finally I added to two Ideaology metal Foliage flowers.  I painted them with Scattered Straw (outer petals), Spiced Marmalade (inner petals) and Picked Raspberry (center) Distress Paints and let them dry before stacking them and adding them to the branch. I really liked this 6x6 board but I felt like it needed something else to really complete it.  So ...

I dug out an 8x8 stretched canvas, painted it with white Gesso, let it dry and repeated the cloudy background I'd originally done on the 6x6 Manila Cardstock background.  I added a little Antique Linen to the cloudy background to soften the white clouds.  Then I sprayed the canvas with Workable Fixative to seal the Distress Inks colors.

Next I added some random harlequin patterns from Tim's Harlequin Stencil using Wendy Vecchi's Black Embossing Paste. Then I distressed around all of the edges of the canvas using Gathered Twigs and Black Soot. 

I added the predominantly black Tissue Tape from Tim's Commute Tissue Tape collection around all of the sides of the canvas.

I wanted my 6x6 board to pop off of the 8x8 canvas so I added bottle caps underneath the 6x6 board and hot glued it in place on the center of the 8x8 canvas.

I found this 6" sort of rusty metal hanger in my stash of "stuff" and thought it would finish off my canvas perfectly.  So, I screwed two large metal eye screws, centered in the top of my canvas in place so that the hanging clamps could fit right over them. is my finished Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor, Part 1 project. I hope you enjoyed seeing the step by step and that something here or that one of the other Curiosity Crew has made has inspired you to join in on our challenge. 

You could win a VERY generous prize package of all sorts of Tim Holtz goodies donated by Tim and Mario or win a

$50.00 gift certificate that the lovely people at Inspiration Emporium have waiting for you. Just create your art and link it up at the lovely Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge Blog

GOOD LUCK!!  I can't wait to see your watercolor wonders!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


It's every other Saturday and that means it's time for a new Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge!  This week, turn to page 49 in your books and check out the technique and products used in Layering Stencil: Texture Paste.  This is such a fun technique and adds some very cool dimension to your art.  The Curiosity Crew has some really amazing samples of this technique waiting for you; so be sure to check them out!

My inspiration for this project was a little Tim Holtz Ruler Binding that I had laying around.  I think these are so cute and are interesting bindings for mini books.  So, I created this mini journal out of chipboard, manila cardstock and various Tim Holtz products.

Here is a list of items I used to create this little mini journal:

 Two 3 3/8" x  6 1/2" black chipboard pieces, two 3 3/8" x 6 1/2" manila cardstock, two 3 3/8" x 6 1/2" scrap pieces (from French Industrial Paper Stash), Distress Inks: Peacock Feathers, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Scattered Straw, Pumice Stone, Black Soot, Gathered Twigs, Embossing Pastes: Crackled Paste, White Paste and Silver Paste, Remnant Rubons - Words, Stamp Sets:  Purveyor, Typography and Mercantile, Ideaology:  Long Fasteners, Texture Hammer, Ruler Binding, Philosophy Tag "Imagine", Heart Charm, Link Chain, Swivel Clasp, Jump Rings, Hinge Clip, Silver Eyelet, Stencils:  Arrows, Clockwork, Dot Fade, Stars, Splatters, Latticework, Harlequin, Borders Industrious Stickers, Collage Glue Stick, White Fire Treasure Gold, Old paper cut into 6  3 1/4" x 1/4" pieces, Crop A Dile, Big Bite Crop A Dile, French Industrial Paper Stash, Tim Holtz Marker Spritzer

To begin, I cut my black chipboard and then I cut two pieces of manila cardstock to cover the chipboard and create the outside covers for my journal. I began by layering various Tim Holtz Stencils:  first Clockworks using Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo Distress Inks.  Then I layered the Dot Fade Stencil on top of that and applied Pumice Stone Distress Ink. 

I added even more stencils to the background.  First Splatters using Pumice Stone.  Next I stamped the gentleman from Tim's Purveyor stamp set followed by the little starlike images next to the man from Tim's Mercantile stamp set.  These are stamped with Jet Black Archival.  I then added the stencil letters from Tim's Cargo Stencil with Black Soot.  

I have to be honest here ... after I added the stenciled letters, I didn't really like them.  So, I decided to cover them up.  I love Tim's style of art because typically, there are no mistakes, only "happy accidents!" In this case, I decided to cover up the letters with torn and distress paper. Sometimes torn papers layered on top of each other create the coolest vintage look! So, that is what I decided to do here and I really love the way the project finished out!  Here's how I did it ... 

I distressed a manila tag by tearing the edges, adding Vintage Photo and lightly stamping the background letters from Tim's Typography stamp set. Next I added more stenciled Splatters with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.  I stamped the writing fluid bottle on a separate piece of manila cardstock and colorized it using a Detailer Water Brush and Distress Inks.  Then I glued the bottle in place (allowing room for the ruler binding) and added some of Tim's Words "JOURNAL" and "curiosity" (on the man's forehead) from Remnant Rubons. 

Finally I added the little Long Fasteners and banged them with Tim's Texture Hammer and I added the Embossed Silver Arrow using Wendy Vecchi's Silver Embossing Paste and Tim's Arrows Stencil. One thing I will caution you on here is that Wendy's metallic embossing pastes are a tad bit thinner than her white embossing paste.  So, you don't need to use as much of the metallic pastes when working with stencils.  Remember a little goes a long way and you won't have the paste oozing out from underneath the stencil if you use it sparingly.

I added some shadowing around the man's head and some journaling thoughts on the perimeter of his head and shoulders using a fine point black permanent pen.  The embossing adds even more dimension to several already layered stages.  Very cool! I really like this cover much better than the one with the black letters!

Here is the back after adding a strip of torn and distressed Manila cardstock to cover the letters.  I first distressed the cardstock with Vintage Photo and Peacock Feathers Distress Inks.  Then I added some Dot Fade Stenciling to the strip using Peacock Feathers.  The stars are added thanks to Tim's Stars Stencil and Wendy Vecchi's Crackled Texture Paste.

I added some Peacock Feathers Distress Ink to the stars after they dried using a Detailer Water Brush.  Then I lightly created a shadow effect around them using a Stabilo Black Pencil and the Water Brush. I also added two more arrows using Tim's Arrows Stencil and the Silver Embossing Paste.  When dry, I added more Words Rubons; "OBSERVATIONS" and "DESTINATION" to the back as well as a metallic trim strip from Tim's Borders Industrious Stickers.

So here are the front and back covers; all layered with stencils and embossing paste added.  The specific techniques for this are on page 49 of Tim's Compendium of Curiosities Book. 

Now that the outside covers were almost finished, it was time to create the inside for the covers.

I began with these two pieces of cardstock cut from Tim's French Industrial Paper Stash. 

The first layer consists of distressing with Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo.  Next I added some more Splatters using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.  

Through the magic of Tim's layered stencil and embossing paste technique, these plain cardstock pieces are transformed into a more artistic and interesting look. 

Here you can see the richness of color, the many subtle patterns and the texture.  As a finishing touch, I also added some White Fire Treasure Gold Guilding Wax over the embossed harlequins and around the edges. I also added White Fire Treasure Gold to the exterior covers around the edges. 

Here are the finished interior papers once I attached them to the outside covers.

Now that the covers were ready, I needed to line them up according to the holes in the ruler binding and punch the holes using my Crop A Dile.  Then I cut lots of papers to fill the journal with. These papers have a vintage feel to them. 

You simply stack the back ruler binding, the back cover, add the long screws, stack the inside paper, add the top cover, add the washers then the top wing nuts. Here is the interior of the journal after it is assembled.  See the little jump ring on the back cover?  I will explain that next.

I wanted to add a closure to my book.  So, I used an idea that I originally saw on a Kathy Orta book; an assemblage of several Tim Holtz products:  a Hinge Clip attached to a Swivel Clasp and a silver eyelet. 

 Here is the closure assemblage from the back.  I used my Big Bite Crop A Dile to punch a hole inside of the back cover and added the silver eyelet.  Next I removed the jump ring from the Swivel Clasp and threaded the chain through the eyelet and then added the Jump Ring back in place, anchoring the chain. I then added two charms using Tim's Link Chain and some Jump Rings.  The charms are a Heart Charm and ... 

A Philosophy Tag.  I swiped Spiced Marmalade Distress Paint over the entire surface of the Philosophy Tag and then wiped the paint off of the tag surface, leaving it down in the letters and numbers. 

Here is the closure from the front, charms hanging from the Hinge Clip thanks to the Link Chain and the Jump Rings.

Here is the finished back of the mini journal.  Don't you love all of the layers of stencils pattern and the added embossed images?  

And again ... here is the finished front. I think the added torn paper to cover my mistake and extra stamping and stenciling really added some character to this cover. Happy accidents are the best, aren't they??  

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it has inspired you to join in our challenge. Remember to share what inspired you to create your piece and be sure to mention our challenge with a link on your blog post.  Then link up to our challenge and you could be the lucky winner of our fabulous prize packages from Tim and Mario and also our very generous sponsors, Inspiration Emporium and The Funkie Junkie Boutique.   

This week our prize is a $25.00 gift certificate from ...

and a generous prize package full of Tim Holtz products from Tim and Mario!!

Good luck and have fun with this challenge! It's lots of fun!