Saturday, September 27, 2014


Happy Saturday everyone and Happy Fall. Welcome to my blog and another new challenge from Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge over at Studio L3.

This is already our TWELFTH in the Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities Challenges.  Can you believe it? Time flies so quickly and as the holidays are fast approaching, I fear that the ol' hands on the clock will spin even faster; counting down the days until Christmas.

The entries we received for our Effect Powders challenge were amazing! It is always so hard for the Curiosity Crew to pick one best project because there are SO MANY special ones. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and art with all of us and thank you for your continuing positive and uplifting comments.

** I would just like to take a second to remind everyone that there are a few simple rules to be followed for this challenge. If you have any questions about them, click here. There have been a few entries that have failed to link up to our sponsor and/or link to our Compendium of Curiosities Challenge on your individual blogs. We also respectfully request that everyone please participate in this challenge with how it is intended to be ... a community to share our "take" on Tim's techniques and products, not as a means to advertise and promote your own business or organization. 

We don't want ANYONE to miss out on the wonderful prizes that are awarded to TWO lucky winners each challenge. You guys work so hard to create such lovely and worthy projects. Please take the extra couple of minutes in your blog posts to be sure you're in compliance.

Now, time for the FUN!  Turn to page 41 in your Compendium of Curiosities Books and check out the technique for Distress Photo Tinting.  I love this technique because it can take any black and white photograph and through the magic of Tim's technique, it can be transformed into a vintage looking keepsake.

Because this technique really does lend itself to vintage work, I decided to start thinking about Christmas and create something that I can use long after this challenge as a home decor piece.  

Using an inexpensive wooden frame from a chain craft store, Tim's Merriment Paper Stash, some of his Woodlands Bottle Brush Christmas Trees and Wreaths, Tim's Mirrored Stars, some ephemera from Tim's new Christmas Ephemera Pack and a few other little "goodies" I had in my Christmas stash, this sweet little frame came to life.

I began by painting the edges and the peg stand of the 8 1/2" x 6 3/4" wooden frame with Tim's Barn Door Distress Paint. Once dry, I distressed it using Aged Mahogony Distress Ink to deepen the red and match the polka dot paper I used as my background from Tim's Merriment Paper Stash. 

I traced around the wooden frame, cut out the paper and glued it in place on the frame.  I sanded all of the edges so that the paper and the wood were better fused together.  Then I added Antique Linen to the paper front to soften the stark white to a more antiqued linen look. That was set to the side so that I could start working on my embellishments.

My inspiration for this vintage Christmas frame originated with a simple snow globe type of stamp that you will see in a moment. I thought it would be a wonderful way to showcase Tim's Distress Photo Tinting Technique by placing a vintage photograph in the globe.  For me, what makes this technique even more appealing is when you just pick out one or two things to emphasis through color, leaving the rest black and white. 

Look at this sweet little face!!! I found this sweet vintage photograph in one of my saved images on my computer and sized it to fit my snow globe. The expression on this little child's face is what Christmas morning is all about; wonder, surprise and the magic of Christmas! I will not divulge Tim's technique for photo tinting but I will share with you the colors I used: Milled Lavender on the cheeks and Tumbled Glass on the gown.

One thing I will say about this technique is I found that when using the Distress Markers, the color they give off is pretty vivid. I wanted my colors to be very soft.  So, I dipped the point of my Distress Marker in water to dilute the ink and then applied it.  I also had a Detailer Water Brush handy to also dilute and smooth out the colors.


Next I stamped the snow globe twice onto Specialty Stamping Paper using Coffee Archival Ink and then sprinkling just a little Queens Gold Embossing Powder over the ink while it was still wet.  I removed the excess powder and then heat set it and colored it using Pine Needles, Aged Mahogany and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks and a Detailer Water Brush. Once that was dry, I added some Texture Paste to represent snow on the pine cones and then sprinkled some fine glitter on top of the wet Texture Paste for even more of a freshly fallen snow look. (I would later add more snow to the top of the globe after I put it together). 

Next I colored just the globe portion of the second image I had stamped out and cut it out. I fussy cut around the globe and colored it with a Scattered Straw Distress Marker. Next I cut out a piece of clear transparency film and glued it to the underside of my top globe to represent "glass". I glued the vintage colorized photograph underneath the original globe. Then I pop dotted the "glass" globe on top of the entire image. 

 The snow globe all put together with snow added to the top.

I also added a piece of kraft cardstock to what would be the exposed half of the back of the snow globe. Then it was time to add the snow on top, the glitter and set it to the side to dry.  I think the snow on top is cute and I carried the freshly fallen snow theme throughout the entire frame ... because it was on top of the pine cones on the original stamp.

The trees have snow on them in later pictures.

I have not received my new packages of Tim's Bottle Brush Christmas Trees yet, so I pulled out the smaller one and two wreaths from a couple of my Woodlands packages that I had on hand. The trees and wreaths are an ivory color, allowing you to spray them whatever color you want them to be.  I chose to use Peeled Paint Distress Spray as my base and a light top coat of Pine Needles to vary the green color of the needles. I cut the back sides of the trees off as I knew they would be glued onto my frame and I needed them to be flat. Then I hot glued some little "glass" ornaments ( beads from some old Christmas garlands I had) into the trees and wreaths. I also hot glued two Mirrored Stars that had been lightly painted with a Silver Paint Dabber on the tops of the trees. 

Finally, I added some more Texture Paste and glitter to the trees and wreaths let them dry. 
I love ALL of Tim's ephemera from his new Christmas Ephemera Pack. So many nostalgic images!  It was hard to decided which ones would be perfect for my frame but I managed to narrow it down to the red "Icicles for decorating Christmas Trees" banner going across the top of the frame, the "Shiny Brite" ornament box end underneath the Icicles banner, the "25" tag that I added jingles bells and candy canes behind, the sweet little gift tag (that I added Patina, Eucalyptus and Candy Cane Stickles accents to) attached to the right wreath, and MY FAVORITE PIECE FOR THIS FRAME ... the wonderful Tinsel Rain Icicles box lid.

This was so stinkin' cute that I just had to make it more of a dimensional piece and made a box for it, complete with "tinsel" inside.  To do this, I simply laid down the image, drew around it, added 1/2" all the way around it, cut it out and folded it on the pencil lines.  Then I just clipped the ends and made two box lids. One would be the bottom, the other would be the top.  

I cut out the green Christmas tree on the image because I wanted the top to be a see through box lid, showing the silver tinsel inside. I also cut away the kraft top underneath the cut out Christmas tree on the image.  Then I placed a piece of transparency film on the underside of Tim's image and glued it in place. Then I glued the ensemble on top of the kraft box lid and inked the edges first with Gathered Twigs and then Black Soot. 

I created the "tinsel" out of the silver Foil Tape Sheets cut into thin strips long enough to attach to the top and bottom of a piece of kraft paper cut to fit inside of the box.  I left the backing on the strips except for the two ends that were joined to the backside of the kraft paper insert. Then I added a little Glossy Accents to the interior ends of the box and glued the lid onto the bottom.  

Now it was time to put everything together, mainly using hot glue to attach everything. I found a cute little string of lights and wound it through the weaths and across the top of the frame.  Here you see the Icicles and Shiny Brite Christmas Ephemera. I also added a thin line of Platinum Stickles around the Shiny Brite strip.

I added more Texture Paste and glitter to carry on with the snow theme on the top of the frame and on top of the Tinsel Rain Icicles box.  Then I set the frame aside to try. Here you can also see the sweet little vintage gift tag highlighted in Stickles from Tim's Christmas Ephemera Pack.

Now for more of Tim's Distressed Photo Tinting on another very sweet picture that I will put in the frame.  This is a 4" x 6" photograph that will probably be replaced with a photograph of my grandchildren each Christmas ... but I may make their photo black and white and do this photo tinting technique on it!!

The colors I used to colorize the clothes are Tattered Rose and Tumbled Glass.  But, you will need to check the technique on page 41 of the Compendium Of Curiosities book because there is more to the technique than this!  One more thing that I added to this photo which is NOT a part of Tim's technique is the silver "tinsel" I added to the Christmas tree branches in the foreground of the picture.  I lightly dabbed the photograph with Silver Stickles in areas where garland or tinsel was hanging. I love the little bit of "glitz" it adds without being overpowering.

Finally, I added the photo tinted vintage photograph to the frame. I love how the two little Distress Photo Tinted photographs compliment each other. And ...

I love how they look in the vintage frame!

Now it's YOUR turn to find the Distress Photo Tinting Technique on page 41 of your Compendium of Curiosities Book and then create something vintage-ly wonderful. Link it up to our challenge and you could be the lucky winner of one of our two very generous prize packages.

Our sponsor for this challenge is the the lovely Linda Coughlin of the ...

She is offering a $25.00 gift certificate.  She has an incredible store with GREAT prices!

We also have a mountain of prizes donated by Tim and Mario especially for our challenge participants. You won't believe the wonderful prize packages Linda send out each challenge.

So, good luck!  I can't wait to see the photographs you choose and your tinting techniques.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Happy Saturday and welcome to my blog!

I hope everyone is having a good week. The temperatures here are turning more fall like ... something I am really looking forward to!

It's time for another new Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge over at Linda's Studio L3. The challenges are based on the wonderful books featuring techniques and products of our favorite Vintage/Grunge/Distress Guy, Tim Holtz. How DO you describe him?

You guys are rockin' these challenges with some really amazing art! I truly mean that and THANK YOU for all of the very positive and complimentary comments!

Your Assemblage Clocks from the last challenge totally blew me away! I've never seen so many beautifully done clocks in one place ... EVER!  They are all so original and beautifully done! Choosing a winner is always so tough for the Curiosity Crew! You guys have NO IDEA! The effort that everyone is putting into your creations each week really inspires all of us.  It is so fun to share all of this amazing art!

That being said, turn to page 52 of your Compendium of Curiosities III book and check out this week's theme; "Effect Powders".  

My creation for this week is a 6" x 12" Halloween themed canvas. My inspiration for the canvas came from this sentiment that I saw on a plain little Halloween plaque at a store.  It "toadily" cracked me up and I knew that I wanted to make something fun with it.  
So ... here it is!

I will give you as many details as I can without "toadily" giving away the Effect Powders technique. I did several variations of the technique on my canvas.

This is where I began ... with Tim Holtz' spooky Iron Work Gate die cut on a piece of textured black cardstock. I swiped my Silver Paint Dabber over the entire surface to give the fence more of a metallic effect.  Here you see the fence half way completed. What a difference the swiped paint makes!

Next I added Distress Embossing Ink and Antiquities Verdigris Embossing Powder to give my fence a more aged and patina look.

Here is the finished fence. Love it!

Next I created Tim's creepy Headstone die cut from Plain Grungeboard and Weathered Wood Distress Embossing Powder.  Weathered Wood really is a pretty cool stone looking color and mixed with Black Soot Distress Ink, I think it came out looking like old weathered stone or concrete headstone.  I also added a touch of the Verdigris Embossing Powder over the Effect Powders technique to give a bit of a mossy, patina look to the headstone. I added the Mini Bat to the center of the headstone using the same techniques that I did on the headstone. Finally, I gently rubbed just a touch of Amber Green Treasure Gold Guilding Wax on some edges of the headstone and the bat. 

I was not sure where this canvas would end up when I started, so I also used the Effect Powders technique on these other Mini Bats and the dangling Spider I thought might come in handy.  I used Weathered Wood Distress Embossing Powder coupled with Black Soot Distress Ink on all of these. 

Now that most of my embellishments were finished, it was time to move on to creating the canvas.

I began with a 6" x 12" canvas. I covered it with Tim's Terminology Tissue Wrap and Matte Multi Medium. Once that was dry, I randomly added some "stones" to the perimeter using Wendy Vecchi's Brick Wall Stencil and her Crackle Texture Paste.  I love those things!  When that was dry, I added Tim's spooky Halloween themed Tissue Tape all around the edge of the canvas, completely securing it in place with 1/2" Scor Tape underneath.

By now, I was REALLY into the project and I wanted to get my hands all inky or painty.  So, I spritzed the canvas with water and mixed some Wild Honey Distress Paint and a little water on my Non Stick Craft Sheet. Let the finger painting begin!  I had so much fun covering the entire canvas, smearing the paint and water mixture all over it with my fingers.  When that was dry, I added some Rusty Hinge Distress Ink around the perimeter to deepen that orange-ish color and give more of a vintage feeling to the canvas.

Next I colored the "stones" with my Weathered Wood Distress Marker and gently tapped them with my Distress Embossing Ink Pad.  Then I pinched some Weathered Wood Embossing Powder between my fingers and sprinkled it over the stones. I brushed away any excess powder with a small paint brush.  Then I heat set it in place to give a rougher more stone like feeling.

I also added a bit of Embossing Ink around the edges of the canvas, sprinkled a little Weathered Wood Embossing Powder, brushed away any excess and heat set it in place. Then I added some Black Soot Distress Ink accents to all. I love the gritty, stone like look and feel of the edges.

Next I cut out all of the letters for my sentiment using Tim's Spooktacular alphabet die cut. I cut all of the letters out of textured black cardstock and set them to the side until I was ready to glue them in place.

 I LOVE my frog!  He's got some serious personality going on! I found him on the internet and sized him to fit behind the headstone. I backed him with kraft cardstock and then cut him out. I edged him with a Black Soot Distress Marker and gently covered him with Antique Linen Distress Ink to soften his pearly whites into a softer more vintage off white.  Before I glued him in place behind the headstone, I created a dimensional witch hat pattern out of the textured black cardstock and fashioned it for him. I added a bit of torn black tulle as a hat band.  I also added some Stardust Stickles to his "sparkle" of his smile.  Then I glued him in place behind the headstone and glued the headstone in place on the canvas.

Next I glued my little spooky dimensional tree that I found at the Dollar Store to the far left of my canvas. After gluing it in place, I could figure out the spacing for my letters.  The "13" is created from Tim's Mini Numerals that were heat embossed with Black Soot Distress Embossing Powder.  Once cool, I added some little black pop dots to the back. I laid out all of my letters and then systematically glued them all in place. Then I added the die cut Mini Bats. To make the letters even more dimensional, I added Glossy Accents over all of the letters. It didn't take them long to dry.

I added several layers of black pop dots behind sections of my fence and popped it into place in front of the tree and the headstone. The pop dots gave it added dimension.

After getting all of the canvas completed, I knew that I wanted to add a broom.  Therefore, I would need a place for broom to "park".  So, I hot glued these little skeleton hands that I have had for some time. I found them at Michaels. I added a bit of some mossy stuff that I found at the Dollar Store and glued the skull out on to the hands enough so that the broom handle would fit behind it.  The skull is a little plastic one that I had from Michaels.  I painted over it with an ivory acrylic paint and then washed it with a Burnt Umber and water mixture.

My broom was made from a stem of a flowering stem thing I had on hand.  The broom part of the broom were thin twigs that I actually cut off of a bigger broom looking thing that I had.  I hot glued the twigs around the stem and then wrapped them first with some twine and then with some orange raffia. Done! ... and so easy!

My little tree looked a little "naked" so I added a scrap of tea dyed cheesecloth I had laying around. Better!

Here is a closeup of my funny violating frog, stylin' in his witch's hat with his crafty little grin.  He seems to be getting a chuckle out of the sentiment, too!

Here is my finished canvas with no broom in place. I love the skeleton hands! They add a lot of dimension and fun to the canvas.

And here is the canvas with the broom resting securely in the skeleton hands. I better hurry up and finish this blog post!  I only have 13 minutes and then I may be "toad"!

Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me share this tutorial with you.  I hope that I've inspired you to jump into your Compendium of Curiosities book and check out the Effect Powders technique.  IT'S NOT HARD AT ALL!  Then create something wonderful using the technique and link it up to the challenge. You could be our lucky winner of either a very generous ...

or a treasure trove of Tim Holtz products donated by the man himself!  

Have fun with this challenge!  
I can't wait to see everyone comes up with this time around.



Monday, September 1, 2014


Hello and welcome to my blog on this beautiful Monday! I hope everyone in the good ol' USA is enjoying an extended Labor Day weekend.

Today, I am not sharing a project or a tutorial with you. Rather, I have been asked by Kim Young to be a part of an ongoing Creative Blog Hop that shares a little about ourselves and other blogging artists and friends. Unfortunately, everyone I asked to participate had either already done one of these or for various reasons were unable to participate.  But, I am happy to fulfill my commitment to Kim and join in on the fun, sharing information about myself with you. I hope I don't bore you to tears!! 

As I said earlier, I was nominated by Kim Young of Kim's Creations, a really sweet and talented artist I met and have become friends with through The Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges. Kim and I not only share a love of all things Tim Holtz

but we are also HUGE Big Bang Theory nerds! LOVE THAT SHOW!!

I was given four questions to answer for this Creative Blog Hop in hopes that you might learn something interesting about me and how and why I do what I do.  I was also asked to include some pictures with the answers to my questions. So, are you ready?  Here goes ....

1.  What am I working on now?  I just completed a vintage Christmas Assemblage Clock for the next Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge. I am a member of their Curiosity Crew and have so much fun creating things with them. If you're not familiar with the challenge blog, you should check it out!  It is a place where artists who love Tim Holtz and his products and techniques join together to share our art. The challenges are based on the Compendium of Curiosities Volumes by Tim. They are filled with his techniques, products and beautiful examples of finished art using these things. 

I am also working on a couple of projects for an upcoming guest designer spot at Gloria Stengel's Craft Hoarders Anonymous.  Although I cannot divulge what the themes or the challenges are, I will give you this sneak peak of just one of the many elements in one of the pieces that I am creating.

Curious?  Hmm... guess you will just have to stay tuned to Craft Hoarders Anonymous in October!  'Nuff said.  (smile)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?  This is a tough question for me to answer. I really don't like to compare my work to others because art is such a personal form of self expression. I consider myself a mixed media artist and that covers such a broad range of art. I will share some of my art with you while I am attempting to answer this question ...
 Canvas created for Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge while I was on their Design Team.

My work tends to be strongly influenced by the vintage and shabby chic genre. I guess that is where I am always drawn and the most comfortable. I am also heavily influenced by Tim Holtz. I love his style, his techniques and his very industrial, grungy yet vintage, sometimes retro-ish style of artWhile I love Tim's style, I don't want to create something that looks like he made it. So therefore, I love to learn about the products and techniques and then use that knowledge, apply it to my style and create my own kind of art.  

 Mini Configuration Book Created for A Vintage Journey while I was on their Design Team.

A lot of people have told me over the years that they can tell my work because of all of the small details. So, possibly that might be one thing that is different about my work. Not that other people don't pay attention to the little details, too. But, that is one thing that I love to do...add little things that in my opinion make any piece more interactive and interesting. It is like a challenge for me. The more interactive and detailed it is, the better! I like to try to create something or use something in such a different way that someone will think, "Oh! That is such a cool idea! I never would have thought of that." I also try to be very diverse in what I know, change it up and make it more fun!

 "The Witching Hour" Book I created and taught as a class in Springfield, Missouri. On this page, the witch's skirt is actually a black honeycomb bell that opens out to be 3 dimensional.

I don't like to be pigeon-holed into a category of strictly a paper crafter, a card maker, a tag maker, an art journalist, etc. I love to mix it up and try my hand at all sorts of things. 
 Memory Frame created for the Frillly and Funkie Challenge as a Guest Designer.

I think that is what pushes all of us to become better artists, more creative and more confident in our work. When we explore the unknown, try new things and take the fear out of crafting, that is when it becomes much more free flowing, your true self comes out through you work and it's a lot more fun!

"Words" Mini Book made from three manila folders created for A Vintage Journey Design Team.

 Card made for the Frilly and Funkie Challenges.

3. Why do I create what I do?  I create what I do because I LOVE the process!  I have been on several design teams and much of my work has been theme or challenge oriented.  Challenges can be really fun because they give you a "prompt" or a theme and from there, it is up to you to interpret any way you choose.  I always try to think of something different to create; take the less obvious path when it comes to a challenge theme. When I'm not doing design work for other people, I adore creating home decor pieces for myself and my family. Christmas and Halloween are my favorite holidays to create vintage pieces. I love the fact that these things could possibly become family heirlooms.  So in a sense, part of me could potentially "live on" through my art long after I am gone. 

 Vintage Christmas Star that sits atop my Grandchildrens' Vintage Christmas Tree in my entry foyer.

I love the romance and the feminine quality of shabby chic pieces. I also find them to be very calming not only to create but also to display in a room. When I'm working on a vintage piece, I am drawn into the past; my past and I pull from my own experiences and memories. I remember sights, sounds, smells and some things that you just don't see anymore except in flea markets or something that is a reproduction. I don't think "vintage" is something that will go out of style because all of us have a past.  Vintage typically is about familygives us that feeling of comfort and belonging and sometimes a yearning for a more simplistic lifestyle from the past. It reminds us of our childhoods and makes us remember those wonderful "days gone by".  

4.  How does my creative process work?  My creative process is really a simple one.  If I am working on a themed project for a design team or a challenge, there is usually a prompt involved, so the subject is given to me. 

  A London themed canvas made for Simon Says Stamp Design Team.

If I am creating for myself, I usually have something in mind that I want as my subject.  I figure out if I want to make a canvas, a book, a configuration box; whatever form I want my project to take. My studio has a great work area with most of my basic tools at my fingertips.  So, I simply sit down and start playing. 

 The Old Curiosity Shop Cabinet created from a plain wooden box with glass doors, turned upside down so that the base became the top and I added Tim's Pulley Wheels to create a rolling bottom.

I rarely lay everything out and design it ahead of time.  I like to create as I go.  More often than not, the piece that I am working on tells me where it wants to go as I am working on it. It rarely finishes out the way I sort of envision it when I start.  For me, that is the adventure and the fun of creating. Just letting it flow as I go, not stressing over every quarter of an inch or if the shade of green isn't absolutely perfect. 

Canvas that was published in Just Steampunk Magazine

I make mistakes all the time but lots of them really aren't mistakes. They are "happy accidents" that turn out to be a really neat new discovery of how to do something differently.

Well, I guess that brings us to the end of the questions. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I do and learning a little bit about what motivates me to do what I do. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I hope you have a wonderful week!  I'd also like to thank Kim again for including me in the Creative Blog Hop!

Bye for now!!