Sunday, May 24, 2015


Are y'all having a great weekend?  
Happy Memorial Day to those friends of mine in the United States.

I am about to POP to share some amazing, exciting FANTABULOUS news with all of you!


Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints - Mixed Media Workshops in Costa Rica 2016

Jim West of CRAFT TOURS is announcing a fantastic crafting adventure to CoStA RiCa in September of 2016. 

 "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints", featuring many of my " art sisters" you've come to know and love from the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges are the featured artists for this crafting adventure! We're like a box of chocolates - except you DO know what you're going to get! 

Yvonne Blair

We all have our own distinct styles and creativity to share with you.  From shabby chic to steampunk and everything in between, you will be in for a crafting experience that will be like a week long party with your friends!

Click HERE to be magically whisked away to the Craft Tours site where you can read all about this wonderful opportunity to visit beautiful COSTA RICA and share a week with some of your favorite crafting buddies. 

This trip included seven different projects and workshops, mixed media exhibits by all of the instructors, painting, photography, lectures, sightseeing tour of the Doka Coffee Plantation including the Butterfly Sanctuary and Craft Village of Sarchi, special dinners and a lot more!

This tour and workshops getaway is personally escorted and organized by Craftours founder, Jim West. 

Your package includes FIRST CLASS hotel accommodations, airport transfers, daily breakfast, lunch and special dinners, workshops with all of the educators and for a limited time, airfare is FREE! Visit to book your space TODAY!  

All questions related to this trip need to be addressed to Craftours.

Are you currently subscribed to Craftposium Magazine? If not, you need to be! It is a beautiful FREE online crafting magazine.  

Check out Craftposium's Current Issue (May 2015). 
The "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Paints" has a beautiful color spread announcing our COSTA RICA trip on pages 6 -7.  This issue also features a fabulous article on Tim Holtz; the man and his magic. Be sure to check that out!

Have a fabulous weekend everybody and start dreaming about COSTA RICA!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Hello and welcome to challenge number 29 in the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges!  We are clipping them off, aren't we?  Only FIVE left after this challenge.  Hopefully you've been learning some new techniques and ways to use the fabulous products of Tim Holtz

The Curiosity Crew has been busy creating projects for our newest challenge technique:  Eroded Metallic.  Every project is so unique!  Isn't is amazing how everyone's "takes" on the technique are as unique as each member of the crew?  That is what we, The Curiosity Crew, LOVE about seeing all of our entries each challenge.  Be sure to visit the Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge site to check out all of the projects and the rules for entering the challenge.

Okay ... turn to page 44 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and check out Tim's Eroded Metallic technique. This is a FUN one!  It's so easy and you get GREAT textural results!

I created this very textural little mini clipboard from the multi-talented Wendy Vecchi's Art Parts collection using Tim's Eroded Metallic technique. I truly LOVE the way it turned out and I am sure that I will use this little gem.  These would make really cool little gifts and they are easy to make. 

While I can't divulge the actual Eroded Metallic technique, I can tell you all of my other steps in creating this piece.  And the best part ... from start to finish, I did it in less than 3 hours!  And I didn't have a clue what I was going to make when I entered my craft room!

Here are all of the items you will need to create this project:
  • Matte Medium
  • White Gesso
  • Distress Paint - I used Cracked Pistachio, Abandoned Coral and Tarnished Brass
  • Adirondak Paint - Espresso (or any dark brown acrylic paint), Pitch Black
  • Heavyweight Cardstock
  • Tim Holtz' Playing Games Texture Trades (embossing folders)
  • Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs - Numbers
  • Tim Holtz Remnant Rub Tool
  • Tim Holtz Clipboard Clip
  • Wendy Vecchi Art Parts Clipboard
  • Tim Holtz Ideaology Ball Chain
  • Tim Holtz Ideaology Philosophy Tag
  • Glossy Accents
  • Two Large Brads
  • Paint Brush to apply Matte Medium and Gesso
  • Vagabond or Sizzix Big Shot for embossing heavyweight cardstock

Begin by embossing the rays and "admit one" ticket from the Playing Games Texture Trades onto heavyweight cardstock.  Give a light coat of gesso over the entire surface of Wendy Vecchi's Art Parts Clipboard.  (This clipboad measures 3 1/2" x 6"). Heat set to dry.

Apply Matte Medium to the top of the clipboard.  Apply Matte Medium to the underside of the heavyweight cardstock embossed with the rays image. (If you apply Matte Medium to both surfaces, you will get a more secure bond). Lay the embossed rays piece in place. Now repeat this step for the bottom of the clipboard and the admit one ticket image.  Put in place and heat set. Cut off the excess cardstock around the edges of the Clipboard and sand the edges to mesh them better with the surface of the Clipboard.

Paint over the surface of the embossed Clipboard with a light coat of White Gesso. Heat set.

Now to begin the Eroded Metallic Technique ...  

Before I tried it on the embossed clipboard, I wanted to be sure I totally understood the technique so I practiced it on a #8 manila tag first. I used Abandoned Coral, Cracked Pistachio and Tarnished Brass as my Distress Paint Colors to experiment with.

I will say this about the technique, as I was experimenting, I found that only drying the metallic paint a tiny bit and then pulling it up worked much better than drying for any real length of time.  And THAT is all I am saying about the technique.  Anymore than that and I think I would be saying TOO MUCH!  But, I think this tip will be helpful to you. 

Here are two tags in the above photo. The bottom tag (with the paint bottles sitting on it) is the a tag before the Eroded Metallic technique is tried. The tag standing on it's side behind the Distress Paint bottles is the after effect.

And here are my two tags after the Eroded Metallic technique has been done.  Isn't the color and the texture amazing?  So simple to do and so fast!  Now that I was happy with my results, I went back to my project ...

I want to share with you how the Clipboard looked after each color that I added.  
Tim's Distress Paints are perfect for this technique because of their matte finish when they are dry.  You can manipulate the paint and make it run as it is drying simply by spraying the paint with water and moving the Clipboard around.  But you don't have to spritz the paint with water.  (That was just my personal preference on how I wanted the paint to look.) 

Here is my Clipboard base after applying the Abandoned Coral layer. I swished some onto the tag, spritzed the tag with water and moved the clipboard all around to let the paint move and run as it was drying.  Finally, I heat set the remaining paint as it was naturally drying to speed up the process. 

Next I added Cracked Pistachio in the same manner that I had done on the Abandoned Coral layer.  Don't you LOVE the randomness of the color here? Again, I heated up the natural drying process by heat setting the paint after it had had a chance to run.

Finally, here is my Tarnished Brass layer AFTER I completed the Eroded Metallic technique.  I totally LOVE the randomness of the metallic paint.  It definitely looks eroded and chipped. With the shine and the texture of the metallic layer, this Clipboard really looks awesome in person.  And I'm not finished with the background quite yet.  But first, I wanted to alter Tim's Clipboard Clip so that it would better blend with my grungy embossed Clipboard.

Using a small paint brush, I applied some Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint to the surface of the entire Clipboard Clip. When you first apply the paint, it has a tendency to want to bubble up as shown in the picture. No worries, just keep working with the paint with a brush or your finger.  As it starts to dry, it magically blends into the metal and gives you that wonderful shabby, chalky finish. I covered the Clipboard Clip with the Cracked Pistachio paint so that no silver metal was showing.

To better define my edges and give more depth to the clipboard, I added some Espresso Adirondak paint to the clipboard and the "admit one" letters. Any dark brown paint would work. I also added some dark brown paint to the Clipboard Clip to age it. 

I drilled two holes into the Clipboard so that I could secure the Clip in place with glue and two large brads. I used Glossy Accents on the backside of the Clipboard Clip, pressed it in place and held it for a minute or two.  It was still not completely sealed in place so I added my two large brads and that seemed to hold the Clip in place to finish adhering to the Clipboard.

I decided to add some Remnant Rub images from Tim's Numbers set.  So easy to apply.  I just used my Tim Holtz Remnant Rub Tool and the images easily transferred to the metal surface.

Here is the Clipboard Clip in place with the Remnant Rubs attached.  They give the piece even more of a grungy personality.

Here is a closeup of the lower portion of the grungy Clipboard.  See the pitted metal look that the eroded metallic technique gives?  I added a bit of Pitch Black paint around the edge of the Clipboard to define the edges and to pull the black from the Remnant Rub images.

Finally I added a small piece of Ball Chain and a Philosophy Tag.  I added Cracked Pistachio Paint over the entire surface of the tag and then wiped away the paint from the flat surface area of the tag, leaving the paint in the grooves of the letters and numbers. It's a very effective way of adding a bit of color to a Philosophy Tag and pulling color from the Clipboard.

Now it's your turn to create something grungy and fun using Tim's Eroded Metallic technique.  Then join us at The Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge. Link up to our site and you could possibly be one of two lucky winners!

Our sponsor for this challenge are the wonderful people at Inspiration Emporium! They are generously donating a $50.00 gift certificate to our lucky randomly drawn winner! Thank you Inspiration Emporium for your generous support!

And our other winner, chosen by the Curiosity Crew for the most impressive project using the technique will be awarded with a huge prize package from none other than Tim Holtz and Mario!  These guys have provided us with a plethora of amazing Tim Holtz products. We can't ever thank them enough for all they have done for us!

So, what are you waiting for???  Have fun with this technique! It's amazing!

Good luck!

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Hello friends!

Can you believe it's already time for a new Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge?  Time is slipping away so fast! We have already completed 28 of the 34 challenges!  

I cannot tell you how much fun I have had on this creative journey; flipping through the pictorial pages of Tim Holtz'  amazing techniques and products.    

I hope that you are having a lot of fun experimenting with different ideas and most of all, I hope that The Curiosity Crew has been able to help you take the "fear factor" out of trying something new.  Creating should be fun...not dreaded or completely put off because you're not sure how it will turn out.  Just GO FOR IT!!

This challenge is all about Alcohol Ink Ombre.  Turn to page 57 in your Compendium of Curiosities books and check out the technique.  Even though I cannot share a tutorial of this technique with you because that is what Tim's book is for ... I will tell you a little something that I found to be helpful in working with the alcohol inks for this challenge.  The book does not say to add a little touch of Blending Solution to each layer of color as you are adding it, but I did.  I liked the results better.  

Here is my finished vintage masculine card using the Alcohol Ink Ombre technique for my background. LOVE the results and the feel and texture of the finished card.

Let me take you through the steps I did in making this card ...

First I used Butterscotch (light), Caramel (bright or medium) and Ginger (dark) Alcohol Ink colors to do my Alcohol Ink Ombre effect.  I did this on Glossy Cardstock.

Alcohol Ink dries in around 7 seconds and is permanent once it dries (other than being able to manipulate it a little bit with Blending Solution for a short time). Because the surface is glossy, I chose to use the PERMANENT Jet Black Archival Ink to age the edges of my Glossy Cardstock rather than the NOT PERMANENT Black Soot Distress Ink. Jet Black Archival works well with the Alcohol Inks and Glossy Cardstock to age edges.  Using Distress Inks doesn't work well on this surface as they are not permanent and are easily wiped away.

I began layering on my background.  Here are the steps in adding the layers above:

  • I tore some of Tim's Terminology Tissue Wrap and glued it in place. I brushed Matte Medium onto the BACKSIDE of the Tissue Wrap but DID NOT brush over the top of it. The Matte finish of the Matte Medium would not blend well with the glossy surface of the background, so don't brush over the glossy surface with the matte medium. (You could also use a glue stick on the underside of the Tissue Wrap).
  • I cut around my dapper gentleman from Tim's Found Relatives cards and inked the edges with a Chestnut Roan and Black Cats Eye Ink Pad. You don't want white clipped edges showing! Then, I laid him on the background to get a placement where he would be located but I did not glue him down at this time.
  • Using the Photographic Studio stamp from Tim's Going Somewhere stamp set, I carefully stamped the image using Jet Black Archival Ink onto the background. When stamping on Glossy Cardstock, you need to be careful because even the slightest movement of the stamp can easily smear. Heat set the image.
  • Glue the gentleman in his place on the card front.
  • Add the metallic trim from Tim's Industrious Stickers Frames and Trims set down the left side only at this time.  The trim on the right side will be added later, after the placement of the mini cabinet card album.


After I thought about it, I decided that some of Tim's Rub On images would work really nicely on the card front.  So, I laid a piece of scrap paper over my gentleman's shoulder (to protect it from receiving any of the rub on image) and added the upper portion of the clock to appear behind him. I then added remaining piece of the clock that did not stick to the paper in the upper right corner.

I also just added partial rub on images rather than using entire images. It's fun to do and adds interest. I did this simply by laying down the image and randomly rubbing it with only my finger.  I pulled up the backing and whatever came off onto the card was randomly added to the card background. I love it!

I got so "into" working on the card, I forgot to take a picture of the background at this point.  Sorry about that!

On to the next step ... adding a mini cabinet card folder made out of one of the cabinet card images from Tim's French Industrial Salvage Stickers, some scrap cardstock, some Kraft Cardstock and a small piece of Tim's Tissue Tape.

The cabinet card image from the Salvage Stickers is 2" x 3". I cut my Kraft cardstock (the base for my mini cabinet card holder) 2" x 6" and folded it in the center. The other two cardstock panels are also cut 2" x 3". I inked all of the edges first with brown and then black to age them.

I added a piece of Tim's Tissue Tape to strengthen and decorate the spine. Even though the Tissue Tape has a sticky background, I glued the tape in place using the Collage Glue Stick for better hold.  

Working on the interior of the mini cabinet card, I glued the scrap cardstock in place on top of the cardstock. This gives a nice "finished" look to the interior of the cabinet card when it is opened.

To further "age" the cabinet card folder, I distressed the edges with a Tonic Paper Distresser. Then I inked the edges again first with brown and then black.

I sized a vintage photograph of a lovely woman, cut it out, inked the edges to remove the white clipped edges and glued it in place on the right side of the cabinet card folder.  I added the silver metallic corners from the Industrious Stickers.

Then I added a partial flourish that I took from Tim's Elements Remnant Rubons. I actually created my own design out of Rubons by adding a butterfly at the lower end and a sentiment in the center.

Here is the finished interior of the mini cabinet card folder that will be added to my card front.  I think it looks pretty elegant and a perfect compliment for the dapper gentleman.

And here is the exterior of the mini cabinet card folder minus the string that I added later that I ran through the little vintage lace loops so that the card would be tied together with a bow.

Next it was time to add one more little element to the card front to put under my gentleman and hide that empty space between where the Found Relatives card ended and the bottom of my card front.

I decided to give my card even more dimension by adding one of Tim's Ideaology metal Drawer Pulls.  But the Drawer Pull is shiny silver metal and that's a problem on a vintage piece.  So, here are the simple steps I did to alter its appearance into an aged piece.

I sanded the metal to scratch up the surface and give it some "tooth". Next I added some glue from a Collage Glue Stick right onto the surface of the metal and let it dry or heat set it into the metal. This will also provide a surface that will "grab" paint.

Using my pointer finger, I applied Pitch Black Paint to the Drawer Pull, covering most of the metal but not a real heavy coat of paint. After heat setting it, I added just a touch of Tarnished Brass (using my finger) randomly onto the Drawer Pull for variance of metallic color. Then I added a little more black paint and heat set it. Then, using my finger, I added small touches of Juniper Paint to represent a patina finish.  I just kept playing with these layers until I got the exact look I wanted.  Then heat set one final time. Also distress the two Long Fasteners that you will run through the holes in the Drawer Pull.

I chose a sentiment from Tim's Small Talk Stickers.  I stuck the sticker onto a scrap piece of  plain cardstock because the length of the opening in the Drawer Pull was larger than the Small Talk sentiment. Since this Small Talk Sticker was on a white surface, I used a small amount of Tea Dye and Antique Linen Distress Inks to age the paper.  Then using Glossy Accents, I glued the sentiment in place on the back side of the Drawer Pull, poked two holes into the card background and secured the Drawer Pull using Glossy Accents and the Long Fasteners. 

Next I glued the strip of metal trim to the upper right side of the card.  Then I attached the mini cabinet card folder in place using 1/4" Scor Tape. I also added two stacked metal pieces of trim from Tim's Borders Industrious Stickers to the top of the card. Finally, to tie in a bit more of the patina look, I gently added some Juniper paint randomly on the metal Industrious Stickers pieces. Here is the card front with the mini cabinet card closed. The sentiment ...
"come what may ..."

"light the way" ... with the mini cabinet card folder open.

Now it's YOUR turn to experiment with the Alcohol Ink Ombre technique. Follow the simple rules to be eligible and then enter our challenge over at Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge.

You could be one of our lucky winners!  Yes, I said ONE of our lucky winners.  We have TWO winners at every challenge.

This time, the wonderful Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique is our sponsor.  She has a fabulous online store and is offering a $25.00 gift certificate to our randomly chosen winner. Click on The Funkie Junkie banner below to be whisked away to her online store. 

Our other prize package is FULL of wonderful products from the one and only Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi.  Each challenge, we have an armful of "goodies" generously donated by Tim and Mario to be awarded to the project that the Curiosity Crew chooses as the most inspiring, unique or best example of the technique or product for the challenge. 

As we are winding down the challenges, I hope you will take a few minutes out of your day to play, try Tim's Alcohol Ink Ombre techniuqe and then join us.

Good luck! 

Friday, May 8, 2015


Happy Friday everyone!

It's a little bit vintage, a little bit steampunk and a whole lot mixed media!!

Did you think that DecoArt's Matte Medium is just for gluing and sealing? It works great for photo transfers and creating "skins" as well. 

I invite you to click HERE and visit the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog for the pictorial step by step in creating this very fun, very dimensional canvas.    

Have a fun weekend and give yourself some time to be creative and play!