Friday, April 30, 2010

spring layout (in hopes of spring)

hello all! I hope you have had a great Friday!
Yesterday, I was kinda in a down mood.... I was stress about several things, and to make everything worse, I woke up to a thin layer of snow covering everything and more falling from the sky. It's almost MAY for goodness sake! I want spring!!! While in this not-so-great mood, I braved the snow and walked down to the mailbox, and what should I find??? A box of happy glittering yumminess! So my library of Creative Inspirations paint has grown, and I am so loving it! If you don't know what these little jars of amazement are, check out here and here.
*sigh* Aren't they just gorgeous colors?!!!
Now onto today's project. I was given a Gypsy for my birthday *squeal*, and have been loving it!!!
Paper: Bazzill, Coredinations, My Minds eye, cheap white cardstock
Stamps: SEI "Mimosa"
Fancy Pants "Pollen Dust", "From the Garden", "Fresh Mod"
Ink: Distress, Powder Puff, Designer Ink, VersaMark, Staz-on, Archival, acrylic paint
Cricut: Gypsy Wandering, Preserves
Cuttlebug: Swiss Dots
CI paint: Winter Frost, Tutu Pink
Other: Perfect Pearl w/water, Clear Embossing Powder
The flower was cut out of plain white cardstock, inked around the edges with dye ink, then covered with Tutu Pink CI. By using dye ink, and working quickly, the waterbase paint blends the color of the ink out and into paint giving some soft beautiful effects.
For the grass, I cut strips of paper in different widths with shaped scissors, then inked with distress ink. On the bottom layer, I stamped an image with VersaMark and embossed with clear embossing powder. This acts as a resist, so when I covered the piece with distress ink, it let the original color of the paper show through. Cool, huh?
My very fave. Cuttlebug folder... Swiss Dots. It seriously works for everything!
The sun was stamped with acrylic paint. It gives a different feel than stamping with ink. Simply pounce some paint on the stamp in a thin layer (I use a make up sponge) then stamp like normal. *wash stamp IMMEDIATELY* If you put too much paint on your stamp, you will lose detail in your stamp, but I think it looks kinda cool that way. You also need to work fast. The paint dries quickly when in thin layers.

As I have been typing, my dinner has been sitting untouched on the table... I think I will go eat now. Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

recognize me?

Well, you should, if you own a Cricut!
Yup. This fancy dancy box had it's humble beginnings here...
I don't store my cartridges in their boxes, and these boxes are VERY well made and a great size, so I hate to throw them out. Instead, I cover them with fabric and use them to store all sorts of tiny treasures.
I usually start by covering the box with a thin batting (like for quilting), than, using hot glue, attach the fabric. For this one, I finished the edges with ribbon, then glued a red ribbon around it to accent the black and white as well as ensure the box stays closed *although I usually don't go so extravagant... I usually use a small ribbon if I add one at all..* A little bling in strategic places, and it's done.
So, I was having fun with this one *since I was already all fancy with the ribbon and bling...* and decided to paint some of the flowers with Fairy Dust CI paint *this one if fab!!!! it dries clear, leaving you with a layer of shimmery goodness over anything!*
There you have it. A great way to repurpose those cart boxes to match any room or decor!
Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

life is good

Today has been a blast! I spent the morning at the zoo *I used to go there every year for my b-day...ahh the memories...* I finished cutting out the images for the cookbooks *YAY!* and, it is supposed to rain. Life is good.
meet baby Zuri. love baby animals!

On craftier matters...
As anyone who knows me will attest, I am very prone to injury... especially head injuries. So, this is probably the card I would give myself... if I were to give myself a card.
I fell in love with the little monster all bandaged up, *isn't he just adorable!!!* and I just had to use him in a card.
Paper: white cardstock, Watercolor paper, scrap of patterned paper
Stamps: Artful Inkables "Monster Medical"
Ink: distress, VersaMark, memento
CI paint: Autumn Wheat
Other: black embossing powder, white ribbon
This super cutie was stamped with VersaMark ink then embossed on watercolor paper. I then water colored him in with Distress ink. To add some dimension, I stamped the image again, and just cut out the bandage. Using a little foam, I popped it up. And though you can't really see the shimmer in the pict, the bandage is painted with CI paint, and in real life it sparkles!
Yes, this ribbon used to be white. *and surprise, surprise, I didn't use CI paints this time.... I didn't have the right blue...* I used distress reinker and water to get that beautiful blue to match perfectly with the eyes. *we all know I am a sucker for things that match perfectly...*
Well, I have a big mess to clean up in my studio. Then I think I'll go eat some ice cream cake... it is totally calling my name from the freezer down the hall.....

Monday, April 26, 2010

grunge makeover

Good evening everyone! I have spent most of the day working on cutting images with my cricut to decorate pages of cook books. (yes, it is plural.... we are talking 40 books...wow!) I had hoped that I would be able to multi-task enough to complete a project or two while the machine was cutting.... after all, I just had to push a few buttons and keep feeding it paper... yeah right!!!
So, I will share a project I did a little while ago. You may recognize the design.... It matches the card I posted a while ago. However, I went grungy with the note book instead of clean and classy. Kinda fun to see how the same products and designs work in different styles.
The covers of the notebook are chipboard that was covered in old book paper, than partially torn off with masking tape. The stamps are Basic Grey and Artful Inkables. I used distress ink and distress crackle paint as well. The flowers and ribbon were again painted with Creative Inspirations Paint.
I heat embossed the quote on a Tim Holtz Fragment, than sanded the backside to make it look frosted. This is a fun way to help the top image stand out a little.
Yup, here is that delicious sparkly CI paint.... I love this stuff!!!!!
the ribbon is painted as well, but I didn't feel like posting another close up of painted ribbon as I do that a lot... *I am thinking that my next B2B will be altering ribbon.... shhhh... it's a surprise. =) *
the distress crackle paint gives great texture, and by rubbing distress ink into it after it has dried, the cracks really stand out!
Finally, I used my Bind-it-all to bind the book.
Well, I still got lots of paper to cut....
Have a fabulous night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

authentic energy

Hello all!!!! I have been busy putting the finishing touches on a project (that I'm not going to show yet.... but it will come!). In the mean time... here is a page I did for my nephew *ain't he sweet?*
Paper: My Mind's Eye, Bazzill, acetate
Stamps: Fancy Pants "Fresh Mod" and "In My Words"
Autumn Leaves "Swirls" *this was used as a template*
Ink: Powder Puff, Alcohol Ink, Memento
Cricut: Graphically Speaking
Other: Fiskar edger, gem stones, Mark-it pen

Some details.....
*don't get overwhelmed- I am planing on getting these into my B2B tutorials*

Using acetate and my cricut, I made a temporary mask/stencil and using a blending tool and distress ink, inked the "Authentic" part of the title.. This makes it look like it was printed on the page. You can make this as dark or as light as you want, as well as using however many colors you want. Notice how the pattern of the paper shows through while the letters are still easily readable? luv it!
I also cut out "energy" with my cricut out of acetate. This I inked with alcohol ink and gold mixative. This is a fun and simple way to get a "ghost" image and add some "wow factor" to your page. This is also a great way to "go green". Many scrapbook products come in clam shells, or have pieces of acetate in them... repurpose! YAY!
These gems were clear, but I colored them with alcohol ink to match my project. (love altering to match!!!) I then stamped the swirl onto a scrap piece of paper and figured out my gem placement. I carefully removed the gems and poked holes where every gem went. Then I laid my "template" over my project, marked each hole with pencil. When the "template" is removed you can simply glue the gems in place.... *not as hard as it sounds, promise.*

make a pledge to craft green here. after all, it's Earth day!
see sparkly goodness here.
see cute baby kitties here.

Have a fabulous day everyone! I'm off to work some more in my studio!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ask and you receive

My sister is in need of some tutorials for techniques that those of us who have been crafting for a while use without even thinking.... so, I am happy to introduce:

Back 2 Basics

This will be techniques and tutorials of things that I have learned on my creative journey. I know that these are nothing new to some of us, and I certainly didn't come up with these, but it will be a place to learn and refresh our memories.

Altering brads and buttons
I love taking ordinary things and customizing them to match my project.

for embossing on brads, you will need:
brads
embossing ink pad
embossing powder
heat gun
tweezers

using tweezers, tap your brad into the embossing ink
dip in the embossing powder

heat brad with heat gun. (this is why you use tweezers... the metal brads get HOT)
you may need more than one layer of embossing for a smooth coverage. simply dip the brad (while still hot) in the powder and heat again
now you have a customized brad!

you can also cover brads in glue (I like glue dots, or Glossy Accents) and dip in glitter... let dry

oohhh sparkly!

want fuzzy? add glue then dip in flocking!

Creative Inspirations Paint also works well... simply brush it on. (again, more than one layer will result in smoother coverage)
want a custom button? all of these techniques work on buttons!
try stamping an image on your button...
use embossing ink and stamp directly on button (rock your stamp to help cover the rounded surface, and be careful.. stamps like to slip on slick surfaces.)
cover with embossing powder and heat (make sure you use tweezers!)
when cooled...
Hope this gives you some ideas to try!


PS: let me know if there is anything YOU want to see here on the Back2Basics segments, and I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

happy spring!


So the weather here has been fabulous!!!! I have been enjoying being outside. My head has still been giving me troubles (remember how I smashed it over a week ago.... yeah.) so I haven't gotten a whole lot done. I will, however, have more projects to share with you soon. Promise.
I've been responsible, and finished my real work, so I'm now off to enjoy the day!
Have a good one!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

sketchin' fun


Hey everyone! Time for another Creative Inspiration DT challenge! *I know I did one last week, but I am filling in for another member who has life hitting her hard all at once. Wishing you the best hun!!!*

This week's challenge is a sketch challenge...

The thing I like about sketches, is that they are basically jumping off points. A basic layout that you can make your own. So this is my interpretation of the sketch:

Paper: Coredinations, white cardstock
Ink: Memento, VersaMark
Stamps: Basic Grey "Aviary", "Filigree", "Swirlie"
Artful Inkables "A Bird's Song
Fancy Pants "Fresh Mod"
CI Paint: Rose Quartz, Evergreen
Other: white satin ribbon

The birdcage, chain, and vines were all stamped using black Memento ink. The vines are actually only two stamps that I have stamped overlapping the ends. *one reason I love working with clear stamps is how easy it is to perfectly line the end of one stamp up with the next*
I wanted to add just a hint of color and sparkle to some of the flowers and leaves, so I painted them in with CI paint. (quick tip: for very fine detail/small spaces, use a tooth pick or wooden skewer to paint with... just like you do when you want tiny dots or lines when you are painting your fingernails.)
One of my favorite uses of this fabulous paint is matching my cheap white ribbon perfectly to my project while adding a subtle shine. To keep the color very soft, I spritzed the ribbon with water, and mixed some water into the paint before brushing it on. (and it still has sparkle!!! love it!)
for the inside, I kept it simple as well. The swirls were stamped with VersaMark and Memento ink. (quick tip: when using clear stamps, some times the dye inks tend to bead up leaving you with a splotchy image. To fix this, you can lightly file the stamp with a nail file or rub it with an eraser. You can also use a VersaMark pad. Simply ink your stamp with the VersaMark, then with your dye ink. This will not hurt your dye ink pads, and it gives the stamp enough stick to hold the ink)
The bird was stamped using the CI paints. YES, you can stamp with sparkly paint!!! I get a small amount of paint on a finger dauber, then pounce the paint onto the stamp... Stamp like usual. Ta-Da!!! A beautiful colored image with intense shine factor! (quick tip: work FAST. The paint dries quick! Also, after using any kind of paint on stamps, quickly and thoroughly wash them. Dried paint on stamps = BAD NEWS!)
Another fun way to add color and sparkle to your page is to make a puddle of CI paint mixed with water (your water to paint ratio will alter how intense or subtle your color) then drag the edge of your paper through it. You can change how much of your paper gets wet by changing the angle of your paper- the more you tip your paper towards your puddle, the wider your edge of color will be. And YES, it will still sparkle... even watered down. Play around with this... different paper wick differently... try misting your edge before dragging it through to help the wicking... Basically, just have fun with it!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

boring fabric?


Good afternoon all! I have a fun technique to share with you... using your cricut (or other die cutting machine) to mask fabric! This technique is commonly used to decorate t-shirts, but I thought I would work on a smaller piece that could then be appliqued onto a pillow, or anything else you want... Let your imagination guide you on the many ways to use this technique.

*please know that I did not invent this idea, nor is it the only way to do it... just how I do it*

WARNING: this can become highly addictive to some people. You have been warned. ;)

You will need:
fabric to be painted
paint
fabric medium (if using acrylics)
paint brush
vinyl
cricut (or other die cutting device)
a craft sheet/cardboard (something to put behind your fabric to keep the paint from seeping through to other layers of fabric or work surface)

Like I said, I decided to do a smaller scale applique piece instead of a shirt, so I cut it out using Spellbinders "Label 6"
Now is a good time to put your protective sheet/board behind the layer of fabric you want to paint. I also suggest taping the fabric in place over it to prevent things moving and getting paint where you don't want it.

Decide on the size of your design and cut it out of your vinyl. Make sure to leave a good border of blank vinyl around all sides of your design to help protect from paint. *I used the black out "cherish" cut from "Calligraphy Collection" Cricut cart*

Roughly cut out around your image (again remembering to leave your protective border). For this technique, you will be using the "negative" spaces. (in other words, the part that is normally thrown away when you cut something out). You will be using this as a stencil. Peel and stick on your fabric. Don't forget to put in all the inside pieces (like inside "e", "o", "d", etc.)
Make sure everything is well pressed down. Work out all air bubbles. I like to run my fingers all along the edges of my design to ensure everything is sealed.

You should have something like this:
Now for the paints. You can use fabric paint if you have it, or you can use ordinary acrylic paint. I have a lot of acrylic paint, so I use that. If you are using regular acrylic paint, you need to add in a Fabric Painting Medium/Textile Medium. (mine is DecoArt, and was found right next to all the acrylic paints). Read the directions on your bottle to know ratios of paint to medium.

Carefully paint in your image. Now, when I say "carefully", I am not saying stay in the lines... that is why we left our protective border! What you have to look out for is pieces of the vinyl getting pulled up slightly (letting the paint get where it shouldn't) The more intricate your design, the more likely this is to happen. Just keep an eye on it.
It should now look something like this:
Let the paint dry to touch. Carefully peel off the vinyl. Again follow the directions on you bottle of paint or fabric medium... they usually have to be heat set. For mine, it is supposed to air dry for 24-48 hours, then heat set.
*because I am doing an applique piece, I decide to give it a little rougher look by fraying the edges. this makes a fun patch with personality =) *
It should look like this:
You can stop here, or you can bling it... The heat set crystal gems that are made for fabric are a fun way to add a little extra to your design, and because they are made for fabric, your shirt is still washable. YAY!
I decided to paint my heart in with "Fairy Dust" Creative Inspirations Paint. (keep in mind, although you can use the inspirations paint on fabric, the sparkle will not last in the washing machine... *I am trying to figure out a way to fix that.... there must be a way... there's just got to be a way.... hmmm............ I digress. Sorry*
Here is the sparkly heart:
OK..... Now it is your turn to dip your brushes in some paint and personalize the fabric in your life! Have fun!

Monday, April 12, 2010

square dancing...

Happy Monday everyone!
Today's card is something I put together a while ago for a couple of challenges, then didn't actually get it posted in time for either... oops!
Sis, this is for you... nice and simple. Not requiring a list of a million and one tools and techniques... ;) *When my sister came to visit, she told me I needed more things on my blog for those of you who don't have every scrapbook tool on hand. see, I listened.*
Paper: Bazzill, Coredinations
Cricut: A Child's Year
Ink: Distress Ink
Stamps: Autumn Leaves "Build-a-flower"
Other: "skittles"
I stuck with simple plain colors. The brown background was stamped using a slightly darker brown to give a soft tone-on-tone look while still maintaining the simplicity of the card. The Coredinations paper was torn to again leave a soft tone-on-tone look. Round your corners, do si do, add some glue and off you go! *I hit my head on Saturday.... there may be more damage than I thought.... Hehehe*
As a side note... Just because you see certain paper, stamps, etc. used on my projects, doesn't mean you can't make what you have on hand work for you on your projects... I am in the process of putting together some tutorials on techniques. I hope you will enjoy them, and be able to adapt them to your own uses.
Now, on to getting creative and productive (a VERY good combination in my book!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

first official CI DT challenge

Can I say I am excited!!! The Creative Inspirations DT went live as of April 1, and today is my day to share my first official DT project. *yes, I realize I have been playing with these sparkling gems for a while now, but this is an "official" project*
The challenge that was given was "green, yellow, and lavender"
Paper: watercolor paper, Sharron Ann Collection
Stamps: Clear Dollar "Cute Critters", 3 Bugs in a Rug "Bloom and Grow" and "Flower Patch"
Ink: VersaMark, Designer Ink, Memento
CI Paint: Plum, Buttercup
Other: Glaze gel pen, black embossing powder, flock, buttons
*I chose to use watercolor paper although, this works just as well on regular cardstock*
I stamped my image with VersaMark on the watercolor paper, and embossed with black embossing powder. The stem of the flower was colored in using designer ink and water. The flower and skunk were then painted in with the CI paints. To add a little texture, I used flock for the white stripe.
One thing I love about these paints is the versatility... they work on so many different surfaces. The little buttons started out as white. I simply stuck them to the sticky part of a post it note (this is just an easy way to hold small objects without touching them) and brushed on buttercup CI paint. A perfect match!
Check out the fabulous work of other DT members by going to the Creative Inspirations Blog here
If you want to join in this sparkling goodness you can get them here. Don't let the size of the jars fool you. a little can go a long way with these.
Have a fabulously sparkly day!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

spring style

here is to wishing the snow would stop and the sun would return....
This is a simple and quick project that I made to match my niece's Easter dress. I didn't think to take pictures in the making... but here it is in the end result...

I started with two white Prima flowers of different sizes. I inked the edges of the big one with a dark pink dye ink.
The color and sparkle come in one step. *How fantastic is that???* I mixed some Creative Inspirations Paint (Rose Quarts) with water in a mini mister and spritzed the flower until it was the color I wanted... (then because I was don't like to wait, I hit it with the heat gun)
The smaller flower was inked with a light pink dye ink, than, to give it more contrast, I painted on some Fairy Dust CI paint. (fairy dust is a clear paint with all the sparkle of the CI paint line)
*notice how both the water mix version and the painted on version have the same amount of glitz... Love that!!!*
A little glue to layer the flowers and attach a flower gem in the center, and we are almost done.
Using hot glue, I attached my flower to one of those alligator clips. *I got a big box of them at a beauty supply store in town*
With 50+ colors of the CI paints to choose from, plus the clear fairy dust, you can make flower clips to match any and all of your clothes. Because it is on an alligator clip, it is easy to add to most any hair style, clip on to a headband, decorate a bag.... Tons of possibilities.
Hope you like it! Have a fabulously spring filled day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

mia

Well, I have been MIA... sorry. My home has been invaded the last little while with family. *when my niece was playing with her cousins, she said "let's hold hands so we don't get lost in family!" Totally fun, but CRAZY!* I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend, and I will hopefully be back up and posting projects tomorrow....
Have a fabulous day