Altenew Academy: All About Layering 3

Hello crafty friends! This is the first of a series of cards that I will be making as a participant in the Altenew Academy Educator Certification Program. I’ve been honored to be selected to participate in this program, however I believe anyone can sign up and purchase any of these classes. This card was made after taking the Layering 3 course, my first one in this program. Each stamped flower and leaf are layered using the different stamps in the set, but the course also focused on layering the components of your card. The course is divided up into several lessons which focus on specific techniques. I’ve really enjoyed the courses so far. The instructors are wonderful, and they often share their own tips and helpful hints.

Since this was my first course, I decided to use the first stamp set that I had ever purchased from Altenew – the Peony Bouquet set. I just love peonies, and I thought this was a beautiful set when I purchased it. Thank goodness I was smart enough to buy the coordinating die set at the time. It turns out I don’t like to fussy cut! At the time, I didn’t have any Altenew ink pads, so I tried to use what I had, with lots of frustration, and mixed results. Recently I’ve invested in some of the Altenew Crisp Dye Mini ink pad sets, and I’ll tell you, it’s made a huge difference! The colors in the coordinating sets are brilliantly designed to work together with these layering stamp sets. The results are just perfect in my opinion, especially compared to my results previously, not using Altenew inks. If you are going to invest in an Altenew layering stamp set, I strongly encourage you to purchase a set or two of the Altenew inks. It made a world of difference for me in being able to create beautiful cards that I’m pleased with.

I was inspired to make this card for my sister-in-law’s birthday. She’s elegant but down to earth, and is an interior designer. I knew she would appreciate these lovely flowers, and I wanted the card to be elegant and detailed. I chose purple because it was an accent color in a room she helped me decorate. Some of the techniques that I used from this course was to arrange the leaves in a triangle around the flowers, and to use an odd number of flowers in the arrangement. While there are two large peonies and two buds, I used the purple berry clusters to achieve this odd number of flowers. Another technique that was highlighted in the course was to use a large die cut shape in the background for a white-on-white effect. Instead, I used the Playful Circles 3D embossing folder. I was mindful in layering the pieces before adhering anything to the card, another point which was emphasized in the course.

Altenew products used:
Peony Bouquet stamps and dies
Playful Circles 3D embossing folder
Fancy For You die
Crisp Dye Ink mini cube set in Sugarplums, Summer Afternoon, and Green Fields

ScrappyShak Design Team: Department Store Bells

Hello again crafty friends! I wanted to share this card with you that I made for the ScrappyShak Design Team. The main element was the new Tim Holtz Stamper’s Anonymous Department Store stamp set. I wanted to share my process with you in case you would like to replicate this card. I ended up changing a few colors, so the leaves and the bow are actually layered – distress oxide first, then painted with mica stain.

I think I put too much pressure on. myself with this, because I really wanted to do something different. I had seen a lot of makes by other people on social media, and I wanted to do something different, in my own style, whatever that means. I knew I wanted silver bells. I started playing around with stamping on silver metallic cardstock. I used Archival ink, embossed with clear embossing powder. I liked the bells, but I didn’t like the rest of the stamp on the metallic paper. I wasn’t sure how the inks would work on the metallic paper. I thought about fussy cutting the bell part, and then stamping the bow and leaves on watercolor, and piecing them together. But, I also didn’t want this card to be so complicated that you would say “that’s nice, but too much work”. Everyone is so busy this time of year!

The stamp is beautiful. Very intricate, and very detailed. Trying to keep the beautiful detail of the stamp, I stamped on smooth Neenah Classic Crest Solar White. Because I didn’t use watercolor paper, I knew I’d have to use water or spray stains sparingly. I stamped with Archival Jet Black ink, and embossed with detail clear embossing powder. I though this would help keep the color where I wanted it, and keep the lines of the stamped image clean. It worked well when I was using oxide ink, but it didn’t resist the brushed pewter as well as I wanted it to. It’s still lovely in my opinion!

My first coloring was using Distress oxide ink pads. I smooshed them on my craft mat, and then used my smallest Ranger paint brush to apply the color to the stamped image. I used Lumberjack Plaid and Pine Needles. For the berries and bells, I sprayed a bit of Winterfrost Mica spray stain on my craft mat, and painted it on the berries. I did the same with the Brushed Pewter for the bells. Several thin layers are best with this paper. TIP: If you’re painting on inks or sprays like this, the embossing powder will resist the medium, and sit on top of it. So as not to smear everything, paint one color and one area at a time, then carefully blot the excess off with a clean paper towel before moving to the next section.

I fussy cut the stamped image. Here’s another TIP: If you’re not leaving a white border when cutting out a stamped image, use a marker in the same color as the stamped image around the edge of the paper. This will cover up and imperfections in your cutting, and also give it a more finished look. After I finished (my first round) of coloring, I decided on the background colors. I went for blues to match the berries. I wanted the card to have a lighter blue behind the bells, gradually incerasing in intensity to the edge of the card panel. I used Distress Watercolor cardstock, and started with Tumbled Glass Oxide in the middle of the card panel, applied with a blending brush. Then I switched to Stormy Sky, which I only had in a Distress Ink pad. I would later add Faded Jeans Oxide around the edges. Use what you have! The Inks and Oxides blend well together. I think blending foam would work just as well if you don’t have brushes.

I stamped my sentiment in Archival Jet Black, and embossed with clear embossing powder. I added some splatter with the Winterfrost Mica Spray. To add some texture, I used Snowfall grit paste through the Snowflake stencil, THS050, moving the stencil and placing the snowflakes all over the background. Once I got the background done, I decided I wasn’t really happy with the pine needle coloring on the leaves, so I rummaged through my mica stains, and found Tree Lot Mica Spray from last year’s Christmas collection. I spritzed some on my craft mat, and colored in the leaves. After that, well, the bow just looked like it needed some sparkle too. I used Tart Cranberry over the Lumberjack Plaid. I suppose if you are reproducing this card, you could just use the mica sprays to paint the image, but I’m not sure if it would look exactly the same, since the oxide inks add a base layer underneath the sprays. If I were to make this card again, I would definitely try it with the mica sprays first, and skip the coloring with the oxides first. I just wanted to be clear explaining my process in case your card doesn’t look exactly as you expected. I also wanted to share that as long as the ink is dry, you can change the color by layering something else over the top if you’re not happy, especially if it’s in the same color family.

To visually “anchor” the bells to the card, I used a strip of garland from the Darling Christmas stamp set. You could make a garland out of any small pine stamps you have, or skip this part. I positioned the garland strip in my stamping tool in a curved shape, using the bells to position the garland, and stamped in Archival Jet Black, and then colored by painting on Tree Lot mica stain. I attached my bells to the card using dimensional foam squares. I blended Faded Jeans oxide around the edge of the panel, and added 3 blue Christmas Droplets.

I tried to show the shine of the mica sprays… the photos don’t really do the justice. To finish the card, I layered the panel onto shiny black cardstock and then attached it to an A2 cardbase made with Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 110 lb. cardstock. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and happy making season to you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Department Store stamp set
Tim Holtz Darling Christmas stamp set
Distress Oxide Ink – Tumbled Glass, Faded Jeans, Lumberjack Plaid, Pine Needles
Distress Mica Stain – Tart Cranberry, Tree Lot, Winterfrost, Empty Tomb
Distress Spray Stain – Brushed Pewter
Distress Grit Paste – Snowfall
Distress Watercolor Cardstock
Ranger Archival Jet Black ink pad
Idea-ology Droplets – Christmas

Also used:
Tim Holtz Stencil THS050 Snowflakes

ScrappyShak Design Team: Holiday Brushstroke #3

Hello fellow makers! Today I’m sharing a card I created for the ScrappyShak Design Team with the new Tim Holtz Holiday Brushstroke #3 die set. I know… how many poinsettia dies do I need? Well, whatever you already have plus one more! I love the artsy brushstroke design of this one, and it goes together so easily. The greens that are included are beautiful. You don’t even have to use the layering pieces if you are short on time or want to simplify your card. Just start with an interesting piece of paper colored with multiple inks, and that will give you a beautiful result as well as the layers will.

I started by coloring my flowers. At first I thought about going with more subdued pinks. I die cut the flower die out of watercolor paper, and colored the base of the flower with Distress Oxide Spray in Spun Sugar. Then I saw my new Mica Sprays… so much for a subdued color scheme! Cocktail Party Mica Stain spray was calling to me! It’s such a pretty, sparkly pink! All of the layering pieces were still left in my cardstock piece that I had die cut, so I popped out the center flower piece (which would be sprayed with Harvest Moon Mica Spray) and sprayed the little layering pieces while they were still in the piece of cardstock I ran through my machine. This held them in place while I sprayed (see photo) and dried them with my heat tool. I popped them out when they were mostly dry, and layered them onto the flower base. I then splattered my flower (without the yellow center) with more Cocktail Party.

Do you ever get into “the zone” when you’re making? I can get so focused on what I’m doing, I lose track of time, what’s going on around me, and what I’m supposed to be doing… like taking photos of my process! Sorry! As I said, this flower is an easy one to put together, so the photos wouldn’t have been super interesting anyways! The one thing that I did play around with was how to get some sparkle on my flower. First I experimented with Distress Glitter, but I didn’t like the mess. I tried some on a scrap piece of paper, using collage medium to adhere the glitter. I thought about using clear embossing powder over that, but again, thought through the mess and decided not to. My next thought was to use some transparent texture paste, and mix in some glitter. Then I realized I already had a product just like that – the Distress Snowfall Grit Paste! Okay, problem solved. I added a light coat of the snowfall grit paste over the top of my flower with a palette knife, and set it aside to dry. I also used my fingers to move it around a little, and then used my die pick to get it out of the holes in the petals.

TIP: One thing to be aware of is that the Distress Inks, Oxides, and Mica Sprays will react when they get wet, even with the grit paste. You need to be careful how you apply the grit paste so that you don’t make your colors run together. I got a little yellow from the flower center onto the pink, and vice versa, but I was able to mostly wipe it away and fix it. It’s not a bad look, just not what I was going for.

Now on to the foliage… I picked some greens that I thought went together and complimented the pinks… Forest Moss and Bundled Sage Distress Inks, and Fresh Balsam Mica Stain. I colored different pieces of watercolor cardstock with each one of them, and splattered the Mica Stain on the Bundled Sage and Forest Moss pieces. I diecut the leaves out of the Fresh Balsam and Bundled Sage. I used the Forest Moss piece for the evergreen looking dies. I found a small piece of white textured paper in my stash that I thought would be prefect for the little berries. By the way, there’s no real guide as to where to place the berries on the die cut that is shown on the packaging. There aren’t any score lines or anything. Just wing it. I even scattered some of the berries on my final card front.

I went with tone on tone for the background. I started by coloring a piece of watercolor paper with Distress Ink in Old Paper. I smooshed some ink onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, swiped, dried, pounced, dried, etc. They I used two of the large stamps from the Stamper’s Anonymous Festive Collage set. I put them both in my Misti, side by side, and stamped at one time onto my background. You could of course use any combination of stamps to achieve the same look. I just wanted some more interest for the background. I cut the background down to 4 x 5.25 inches, and applied a bit of Vintage Photo around the edges.

After playing with my arrangement for what seemed like HOURS, I was happy enough with it to start finishing my card. Before I glued anything down, I added a sentiment from Stamper’s Anonymous Holiday Sketchbook, using Forest Moss Distress Ink. I wanted to emboss the sentiment, but I didn’t have an Oxide ink pad in Forest Moss. Instead, I used my Misti, stamping first in Forest Moss Distress Ink, then cleaned the stamp and stamped in VersaMark so the clear embossing powder would stick. I used some foam behind the Poinsettias, and added some of the small berries around my floral arrangement. Lastly, I attached my card front to an A2 sized base made from Distress Kraft Heavystock.

I hope you enjoyed my card, and that you got some ideas or learned something. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Please head on over to ScrappyShak to pick up your supplies!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Holiday Brushstroke #3 dies
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Festive Collage Stamps
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Holiday Sketchbook Stamps
Distress Ink Pads – Bundled Sage, Forest Moss, Old Paper
Distress Oxide Spray – Spun Sugar
Distress Mica Stain Spray – Cocktail Party Holiday Set 4, Harvest Moon Halloween Set 3, Fresh Balsam Holiday Set 3
Distress Grit Paste Snowfall
Misti Stamping Tool

ScrappyShak Design Team: Harvey

Hello my crafty friend! Thank you for joining me today. I’m sharing my process of assembling the new Tim Holtz Harvey colorize die. I hope you see that it’s not as intimidating as it looks, as long as you have good eyes (or glasses, maybe a microscope) tweezers, and a fine tip bottle of glue! He’s just so darn cute!

WIth many of the colorize dies, I think, I don’t have 4 different papers of the same color, and then I get stuck. They’re not the right shade of … whatever. Analysis paralysis as they say! I came up with an idea that I’ll hope you try. If you want to make a red Harvey, you’ll need 3 different shades of red for his top, and 3 different shades of gray for his pants. What I did was to start with white watercolor cardstock, two different red inks, and one gray, and simply use a blending tool to get the colors I needed.

For the red, I started blending the lighter red on one end of the paper, and the darker on the other end. In the middle, I overlapped them until I got a medium shade between the two. I used Fired Brick Distress Ink, and Aged Mahogany. You could even go with a lighter red, like Festive Berries to get more of a contrast. The point is that you only need two different colors of red ink pads to make this work, a lighter one and a darker one, and then blend them together for the middle shade.

It’s kind of hard to tell in this photo, and clearer to see with the gray. I only have one gray ink, Hickory Smoke, so I just applied it to the cardstock lightly, darker, and darkest, to get the three shades I needed for his pants. Some of the colorize dies need 4 different shades of the same color family. I have a bit of a paper stash, but I just never seem to have the “right” colors. Starting with white paper and making my own shades seemed to make it a bit easier for me. I used black alcohol ink paper for his boots, and gold metallic kraftstock for some of the accents. I didn’t really have any skin color tone paper at all, so I just used Antique Linen.

Once I had all of the pieces diecut, I played around with different color choices for the cuffs and shoulders. I had to cut more cuffs and shoulders out of white. It seems like Harvey goes together better with either the cross piece OR the shoulder pieces. But I wanted to use both, so I did! You could use the shoulder pieces and the belt. I just glued the shoulders on where I wanted them, even though they don’t sit flat.

I was going for more of a toy soldier look, so I didn’t use some of the pieces, like the feather plume, and I really am not a fan of facial hair, even on my cards, so no mustache on this guy!

Here’s Harvey! All put together. Since he’s so thick, I went around the edges of his boots and hat with a black Copic marker. Yes, there’s a glue smudge or two. I’m hoping it’s less noticable on the final card!

There’s a helpful video on sizzix.com as to the order to assemble him. They start with the pants, which I did as well. When you get to the shirt, you’ll see that it overlaps the top of the pants, so the shirt doesn’t sit flat on his body. This wasn’t clear in the video, but that’s the only way it fits. I convinced myself that was the way it was supposed to be, but it bothered me a little. I guess he’s more of an “untucked” guy!

I knew I wanted to use the Pine Branches 3-D embossing folder. I embossed a piece of white Neenah Classic Crest 110lb Solar White cardstock with the folder, spritzing the back of the paper, and running it through my die cut machine 3 times. I colored the raised branches with Pine Needles Distress Ink and a domed foam blending tool. I then added a little Rustic Wilderness, and went over the branch parts with a Vintage Photo Distress Pencil. A marker would work just as well, or you could skip that part.

I wanted the rest of the background to be something light, like Antique Linen, but it had to be different, because I used Antique Linen for his face. I applied Tattered Rose (which I happened to have in an Oxide ink pad) with a blending brush, and then added some splatters of Iced Spruce.

Now what to do with Harvey? Is he just going to be standing under the tree? Should he have something else around him, like presents? Toys? Santa? This card had the potential to get really complicated! I decided to make him into an ornament. I used the ornament top and hanger from an older die set, Circle Words Christmas. You could easily shape a little piece of wire, or (I just thought of this now) use a real ornament hanger! To have it look right, I had to use a 5×7 cardbase so he would fit with the hanger.

For the sentiment, I stamped and embossed Merry Christmas from an older stamp set I had in my stash on a piece of vellum, and wrapped that around the card front. I attached Harvey to the card with foam squares for dimension. I layered that onto black alcohol ink paper (I love that stuff), and added some metallic droplets to complete the card. I really wanted Harvey to stand out on this card, and I think I accoplished that. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Please leave a comment if you are so inclined. I love answering your questions and hearing your feedback and comments!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Harvey Colorize die set
Tim Holtz Pine Branches 3-D Texture Fades Embossing Folder
Idea-ology Black Alcohol Ink cardstock
Distress Watercolor Cardstock
Metallic Kraft Cardstock
Idea-ology Metallic Droplets
Distress Ink Pads (Aged Mahogany, Fired Brick, Hickory Smoke, Pine Needles, Rustic Wilderness, Antique Linen, Iced Spruce)
Distress Oxide Ink Pads (Tattered Rose)
Distress Watercolor Pencils

Also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Circle Words, Christmas #664205

Church of the Outcats

This is a Halloween home decor piece I made mostly just for myself, just because. I love to make paper houses, especially for holidays. I thought about this for a while. I actually put the house together a couple months ago before I decided how to finish up the display. Again, I kind of collected a lot of stuff, and then got an idea, and added more stuff until I got enough stuff that seemed to go together. I never really am comfortable stopping when I’m creating something like this. Today I stopped because it was time to feed the dog, and, I was generally happy with it.

Here’s the story…
Once upon a time, there was a snooty little town somewhere. The townspeople were very snooty, especially when it came to their church. They didn’t want anyone in their church who looked different, or sounded different, or wore different clothes. So they built another church, for the “outcasts”. Anyone they didn’t want in “their” church were sent to the Church of the Outcasts. Time went on, and the townspeople saw the error of their ways. Everyone was welcomed back into the big church, and everyone was very happy. The Church of the Outcasts was deserted, and fell into disarray. Along came Fluffy, one of the most intelligent cats in the town. She said to her friends, “Look, there’s a sign on that church for the out cats! That’s us!”. “What are out cats?”, said Blacky. Their friend Kitty said “Out cats are just cats that get to go outside and explore, like we do”. So Fluffy, Blacky, and Kitty started attending the Church of the Outcats every Sunday, and they were very happy.

I used:

Bigz Village Brownstone, Bell Tower, and Rooftops

Thinlits Garden Greens, Mischievous, Vault Series Halloween 2021, Bat Crazy

Cobblestone embossing folder

Idea-ology pumpkins, metal gates, backdrops, tiny bell

This projects took me… I don’t know… weeks. I did not take any process photos, because I was really doing this just for fun. I was kind of “in the zone”, especially when making the house, and the walkway.

For the walkway, I didn’t want to have to piece it together. I used one large piece of watercolor paper (9 x 12). My first attempt was using spray stains. First I cut out what looked like a walkway, then embossed it using the Cobblestone folder. I had to get creative to get the whole walkway through my machine. I chose spray stains to color it in browns and greys. While it was the easiest way to color a large piece, I just didn’t like how it turned out. So I tossed it, and started over. This time I used antique linen to give some color to the whole piece, and then used ink pads smooshed on my mat and a waterbrush to add color to each stone. That was much better, but not quite what I wanted. Then I added a thin layer of Crypt Grit Paste over the whole walkway. Perfect!

One thing I did that was different for me is the fall colored leaves. I wanted something to decorate the ground, and I thought of adding leaves. I wanted something light that would look crinkly, like dried leaves. I had a tube of white collage paper, and decided to use that. I cut two pieces, about the size of a half sheet of paper towel, because that’s what I put it on when I’m using spray stains. One piece I colored with fall colors… orange, yellow, red. Another piece I did in browns. When it dried, I decided to spray the back of the collage paper as well to match the colors on the front. To cut out the leaf shapes, I used the Garden Greens die set. Since the collage paper is so thin, kind of like tissue paper, I layered a piece of scrap cardstock under the collage paper when I die cut it.

The Mischievous cats were cut out of different specialty papers. The black cat was a flocked black paper. I layered a piece of fun foam between two diecuts to make the cat thicker so I could get it to stand up. The brownish cat was a woven metallic paper that was in my scrap box. I have no idea where I got that. For the white cat, I used white paper, and then applied white Fun Flock by Stampendous with collage medium.

Add a comment or send me an email if you have any specific questions about this make. I could literally write pages and pages on it! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a Happy Halloween!

ScrappyShak Design Team: Maker Forte Ink Pads

Hello fellow paper lovers! Today I’m sharing a card I made while playing with some fabulous new (to me) ink pads by Maker Forte, all of which are available here at ScrappyShak! Not to be overly dramatic, but I really love these ink pads! I have been considering adding a new set of ink pads to my craftroom, and I think I’ve found just what I was looking for with the Maker Forte ink pads. These pads are so inky, and the colors are vibrant and crisp. They are dye based, so they clean up easily with water. Full disclosure: the red stained my fingernails, but I shouldn’t have gotten so messy! Since getting back into cardmaking after a 15 year (or so) hiatus, I have been focusing on collecting the Tim Holtz Distress inks and oxides. But occassionally, I want something that is not “distressed”. As I prepare to get ready for Christmas card making, I wanted to decide upon a new ink line to have on hand. Coincidentally, ScrappyShak just started carrying the full line of Maker Forte Color Hive ink pads. It’s a match made in crafty heaven for me! They are also the same width as the Distress ink pads, so they’ll fit nicely into my homemade storage shelves! I started with the basics: red (Telephone Box), yellow (English Mustard), and blue (Blue Raspberry), and added a pine green (Everglades), orangy red (Grand Canyon) and a neutral (Frappe). Of course I can blend the 3 primary colors to get the secondary colors, and that’s what I did here.

I had no idea where I was going to go with this, but I knew I wanted to blend some fall colors. I started with watercolor paper, and started blending with the Telephone Box red using a foam applicator and blending tool. Maybe I was too heavy handed, or maybe that’s just not the right tool to use with these ink silicone ink pads, because there was SO MUCH INK! The more I tried to blend it out, the more the watercolor paper just sucked it up! I was never going to get it to blend into orange by adding yellow, so I set that aside, and switched to plan B. I used Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb cardstock, and a blending brush. More importantly, I started with a really light application of ink, and then added a little at a time. For me, I found the blending brushes much easier to use with these ink pads. If you only have the foam applicators, I would suggest to just start with a very light application of ink onto the foam, and do more layers until you reach the coverage that you desire. I mostly used the blending brushes now with all of my Distress ink, but still use the foam at times, like for adding shadows to edges of backgrounds or dies.

Here I show blending the red, blue, and then adding yellow to make orange and green. This ink is also water reactive, and I decided to spritz my background with a bit of water. I kind of wish I hadn’t, because I don’t really like the splotches on the finished card. But that was before I had really figured out what the finished card would be!

As the ink dried, the colors appeared to blend into each other better. Now that I had this beautiful background, I looked through my dies to see what I had that was kind of fall-like. I picked the Tim Holtz Sizzix Countryside Die that I had just picked up on clearance. The Countryside die is the same size as an A2 cardfront. There are lots of other dies out there that you could use instead. Nordic Winter by Tim Holtz is similar. The new Tim Holtz Layered Plaid would be fun to try, or the Sizzix Botanic Scene by Lisa Jones. There are other Tim Holtz dies that are A2 sized, like Leafy Twigs, Arctic, Bouquet, Doodle Art #1 and #2, and Folk Flowers.

I ran the Countryside die through my die cutting machine with my blended background. Before I poked out all of the pieces, I thought about leaving some in place, like maybe the trees. While I was poking out the houses, I realized some of them looked the same. I put them back in a different place, and thought it looked pretty cool. I wonder if the trees work like that? Yes, they do! So I poked out the trees, and then popped them back in to a different spot. How cool is that?!?! Moving them around made them appear to stay more in the background, but definitely let them stand out and be seen as trees. Now I’m having fun!

Before I started gluing the pieces in, I glued the background onto a piece of white cardstock, so I could start gluing in the pieces. I decided to leave the little circle holes empty, showing the white cardstock that I mounted the background on. You could of course use a color if you prefer to not piece back in some of the cutouts, like the birds or the stars.

I figured the houses should stand out a little more than the trees, but I didn’t want to add another color, so I went with gold metallic paper, to go with the warmer fall colors. I punched the windows and doors out of the houses, so the white behind would show through as well. As I was piecing everything back in to the background, in the gold, I was thinking of making the card more Halloween-y, and thinking of adding bats.

That gave me the idea to make some of the birds into black crows. Crows are creepy, in my opinion. I cut out the die again with black paper. I had to use my embellishment wand to pick up the tiny pieces and fit them into the background. I also used my Bearly Arts glue, with the precision tip, which has become my favorite glue.

The sentiment is from an acrylic Tim Holtz set I got at Joann Fabrics. It’s the one with the pumpkins from a few years back. I loved how the Telephone Box Maker Forte ink stamped so crisp and clean with just one impression. I attached the sentiment to the card with foam mounting squares, and used a couple more tiny bats to embellish it. I mounted the front panel onto an A2 card base made with Neenah Solar White cardstock.

I hope you like my Halloween card. This design can also be used for a fall card, minus the bats maybe. It was so fun to put together. I am definitely using a similar design to make some Christmas cards this year, probably with different, more wintery colors, but definitely with the Maker Forte ink pads! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a happy, crafty day!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Maker Forte Color Hive ink pads (Telephone Box, English Mustard, Blue Raspberry)
Blending tool with foam
Idea-ology Kraft Stack cardstock paper – Metallic Classics

Also used:
Blending brushes
Tim Holtz Gate Keeper dies (bats)
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb cardstock

ScrappyShak Design Team: Playing with Pencils

My Great Great Grandfather James Somerville was an artist. I… am not! Fun facts: He worked mostly in watercolors, designed the back of a Canadian bank note, and hardly ever painted people in his work. Although he did his self-portrait in oils. I am lucky to have a few of his paintings. I am unlucky in that I did not inherit any of his artistic genes! However, these new Distress Watercolor Pencils by Tim Holtz and Ranger, along with a stamp from Stampers Anonymous, let me express my own version of art. I wonder what Grandpa Somerville would have thought of these pencils? I’m sure he would have been amazed at the advancement in watercolor pencil technology! The pigment in these pencils is unreal. My takeaway message is that a little goes a long way, and that several lighter layers are better.

I chose the Floral Elements stamp set from Stampers Anonymous, because the flowers and greenery had a lot of open space that I could apply color to. The elements are separate, allowing you to create your own bouquet. I wasn’t quite sure what the final card was going to look like, or even if it would end up being a card. I started with a large (5×7) piece of watercolor paper to give myself more options, and laid out a rough arrangement of the stamps in the center of the paper, before I began stamping with Jet Black Archival ink.

After I got the main flowers arranged, I added some leaves. For my pencils, I picked fall colors. Coincidentally, at this point, I got a text from my son who said he was going to call shortly. So I just grabbed my pencils, a waterbrush, and my stamped image, and relocated to the kitchen so my husband could be on the call as well. No boys allowed in the craftroom! So easy and portable! I colored while we were on the phone. I can definitely see these pencils traveling well. Working with the pencils, I think the one thing I discovered is that it’s better to start with a light layer of color and add more. The pigment moves really easily with a little bit of water and the waterbrush, so I found it easy to push it where I wanted it.

When I had finished coloring, I decided to cut the panel down with the largest Tim Holtz Sizzix Stacked Deckle Die. I ended up changing the orientation of how I thought I wanted it, so every time I look at the finished card, I feel like it’s upside down! But I’m glad I started with a larger piece of paper so I could make the decision of how to crop it after it was done. Before I die cut, I chose a sentiment to add, and made sure it would fit. This sentiment is from Catherine Pooler’s Notable and Quotable Sentiment Stamp set. I diecut the panel, then stamped the image in Jet Black Archival ink, and embossed with detail clear embossing powder.

To finish up the card, I splattered with Picket Fence and Antique Linen Spray Stains, and distressed around the panel with Old Paper Distress ink. I layered this onto a piece of kraft stock from the neutral Kraft Stock Stack, and then layered that onto a Peeled Paint background I had leftover from another project. I tied some string on to balance the sentiment.

These Distress Watercolor Pencils are super easy to use, and produce great results. It almost looks like I knew what I was doing! All you need is a waterbrush, or even just a regular paint brush (the waterbrush is easier). If you have a Santa in your life, or are looking for a special gift to give to yourself, put these pencils on your list. You’ll be happy you did! Please consider supporting my Design Team sponsor, Melanie at ScrappyShak! She’s a wonderful woman, stands behind her company, and truly cares about each and every customer. Most of the products I used are available at ScrappyShak!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils
Stampers Anonymous Floral Elements 2 Stamp Set
Idea-ology Kraft Stock Stack – neutrals
Distress Spray Stains – Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Picket Fence
Distress Ink Pad – Old Paper

Also used:
Sizzix Stacked Deckle Dies, or use Deckle Trimmer
Catherine Pooler Noteable and Quotable Sentiments Stamp Set

Thank you for stopping by my blog, and have a beautiful day!

ScrappyShak Design Team: Halloween Curio Clock

This was so much fun! I was actually overwhelmed with ideas for this… candy, creepy, floral… and then there are those wonderful Mischievous Cat dies this year from Sizzix! I started going through what I had in my Halloween stash, selecting things that I was drawn to. The problem was that my pile of cool stuff was way too big! It was never going to fit inside the curio clock! Then I thought, what could I do that was different? In my last Idea-ology project, I had drilled holes in the candy corn, and put them on the tiny lights. I loved how that turned out. Wouldn’t it be cool to drill holes in the little Idea-ology skulls, to light up their eyes? However, the candy corn is a soft material, and the skulls are a hard resin. I was definitely going to leave this up to the expert (my husband!). I had no expectations at all of his success with this tiny, hard, roundish skull, but he was able to drill the holes for me, using a 1/8 inch drill bit. I was so excited! Of course I had to stick lights in the sockets and test it out right away! The skull with the lights in the eyes became my inspiration!

The curio clock is all ready to go, straight out of the box. The back comes separate, and has to be glued on. The silver ring in the front comes off so you can add color to it separate from the body of the clock if you wish. My first challange was to figure out where I going to hide my tiny light battery pack. How was I going to run the wire inside? I wanted to put the tiny lights underneath the base. There are two small screws, attaching the base to the round clock shell. I decided to use one of the screw holes to run my lights through, leaving the switch and the battery pack under the base. This worked out great. One screw seemed like enough to hold the base on the clock. It’s not like I was going to be tossing it around the family room! The finish on the clock is very nice, in my opinion. You don’t have to cover it up or alter the finish if you don’t want to. They are also coming out with a red one for Christmas. But, I have the Skulls embossing folder, and since I decided to go with the skull theme, I was looking for other things to use. I recalled Tim Holtz had made a heart vignette a few years back, using Alcohol Ink Foil Tape in an embossing folder. I think that’s when I probably bought my foil tape, but never used it. The foil tape is great because it comes adhesive backed already. All you need to do is run it through with the embossing folder, peel and stick!

I covered the base of the clock first, while it was apart. I wanted to add some black to the foil to tone it down. I didn’t have any dark alcohol ink. I thought Tim had used Distress Crayon, so I applied it to the base, and worked it around a bit with a brush. This is where I figured out this should be another step done at the end… the crayon takes a while to cure, so I got it all over myself!

The tape is very flexible, but it does hold its shape farily well. Just be careful not to press down too hard, or you’ll loose the texture of the embossing folder. I cut slits in the tape so I could mold it around the front of the clock. You don’t notice it when the project is done. Then it was time to screw the base to the clock, with the one screw, and string the lights up through the other screw hole. I attached the battery pack underneath the base with a double sided foam square.

During this next part, I kind of got lost in the creative process, and forgot to take pictures! I wanted the focal point of the display to be raised up, so I constructed a curved shelf out of foam board, and covered it with brown kraftstock paper. The shelf is a rectangular piece of foam board, with a front and a back piece made to fit the curve of the curio clock on the bottom, and flat across the top. The text on the tombstone is from Idea-ology Remnant Rubs. I added Crypt Grit Paste, and a little Black Soot crayon. The bones also have Crypt Grit Paste. I used hot glue to attach them. They’re easy to cut with scissors if you want to make them look like they’re coming out of the ground.

Next I created the background scene. I used the technique that Tim demonstrated in his 2022 YouTube live Halloween DIstress launch, using mica sprays and the moon mask. After it dried, I cut it to fit inside of the back panel. I thought it would be cool to have some ghosts hovering about, so this is where I used the Vault Series Halloween 2021 dies. The ghosts were cut out of a piece of frosted acetate. I used foam squares to add them to the back, adding dimension.

I finished arranging the tiny lights so they would light up the skull’s eyes, and then run up the side of the clock where the moon would be. They were secured in place with more foam squares. The ground around the skull and bones was decorated with tiny gravel I found at the craft store with the model train stuff, and dried moss from the floral section. I finished the outside of the back of the clock in the embossed foil tape, and secured the back on with hot glue.

Lastly, I added the baseboard sentiment, and the trick-or-treater onlookers. This turned out really cute, in my opinion, and looks good both with the lights on or off. Give it a try with whatever you have in your craft space! The curio clock is a great vessel to hold anything that makes you smile! It doesn’t have to be idea-ology trinkets, it could be any small collection you have that you want to display. I can also remove the inside display if i want, and try another theme next year (candy corn!).

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Supplies used available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Curio Clock
Idea-ology Skulls
Idea-ology Boneyard
Idea-ology Tombstones
Idea-ology Remnant Rubs – Halloween
Idea-ology Baseboards – Halloween
Idea-ology droplets – Halloween
Distress Crayons – Black Soot
Distress Grit Paste Crypt
Distress Mica Sprays – Halloween
Alcohol Ink Black cardstock
Tim Holtz DIstress Kraftstock Neutral

Also used:
SIzzix Tim Holtz dies Vault Series: Halloween 2021

ScrappyShak Design Team: Tim Holtz Exquisite Stamp

I know, it’s really fun to get the latest and greatest products, especially if you are a lover of everything Tim Holtz. Along with the new Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Exquisite stamp set, I was fortunate to have been able to purchase Set 1 and Set 2 of the new Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Pencils. I also have a small stash of the Distress Crayons which I’ve collected. I wanted to see for myself what the big deal was about the new pencils. Were they really going to be that different than the crayons? I know each of the Distress products were designed for differnet applications, and I wanted to compare these two. I know you can color a rubber stamp (before stamping) with various mediums to achieve different results, so that’s what I decided to do with the pencils and the crayons, and compare the results. While I was at it, I also got out my Copic Sketch markers.

I’m using the new Stampers Anonymous Exquisite set, and my Misti Stamp Positioner stamping platform. I tried to use the same colors in the crayons and pencils, when I had both, and similar colors with my Copic Sketch Markers. I started with the crayons first. I colored the stamp with differnet crayons, and then lightly sprayed the stamp with 3 pumps of water. I wanted to make sure I had the same process with the pencils. After I stamped the first image, I spritzed with 3 pumps of water again, and stamped a second time, without applying any more crayon. This is often referred to as a “second generation” stamping. The second generation stamping came out very light. I decided to overstamp it in Hickory Smoke Archival Ink. First I dried the image with my heat tool, leaving it in my stamp platform. Then I cleaned my stamp really well with water and a scrubber, again, leaving it in place in my stamp positioner platform. I inked the stamp with archival rather than distress ink or oxide, so it wouldn’t react in case the image wasn’t completely dry. Here are my results with the distress crayons:

I really liked both of these. The first stamping will be beautiful as a background, possibly as a sympathy card. The second stamping, with the Hickory Smoke, came out very vintage looking to me. This technique would look really pretty with flowers done in an analogous color scheme (like pinks and reds, or blues and purples). I’m planning on trying this technique on a cream colored paper. You can change up the color you overstamp with. I’d love to see what you try!

Next I cleaned my stamp again really well with Archival Cleaner and then water, and then dried it. Using colors of Distress pencils from Set #1 and Set #2 that were the same as the crayons, or similar, I colored the stamp again. The pencils need to be slightly wet to apply color to the stamp. I spritzed water on my craft mat, and scribbled in the water with the pencils until it started releasing color, then I colored the stamp. I was so excited to get started, I didn’t even think of sharpening the pencils to get a finer tip, but I didn’t have any problems coloring this particular stamp with the pencils right out of the box. From time to time I would have to rewet the pencil if I was coloring a larger flower. As with the crayons, once I was done coloring, I spritzed the stamp 3 times, and then stamped onto Distress watercolor cardstock. Wow! Seedless Preserves! So beautiful! I got a nice impression of the stamp with the first stamping. I then spritzed with water 3 times, and stamped a second generation print onto smooth white cardstock, and then repeated to get a third generation. These pencils have a lot of pigment! My wheels are turning as to how I can use these with the Christmas stamps that I have. What a time saver! Three images from one coloring! I tried a forth generation, and I felt it just wasn’t really recognizable anymore, but I might use it for something else, like die cutting. It turns out at the end of this experiment, my favorite is the second generation on smooth white cardstock. I like the vibrant colors, and I like that you can see some of the details of the stamp, while some of the details are more diffuse. I feel like if I would have used more water on the first stamping, it may have been more vibrant, which is ultimately what I have in mind with all of this! I guess you just have to play with it to get the results you want. Since it was still in my Misti, I could have rewetted and stamped onto the first image again, but then it would have messed up my experiment!

From Left to right, first stamping with Distress Pencils, second stamping (favorite), third (top) and fourth (bottom).

The next process I wanted to try was to stamp the image in Archival ink, color it with pencils, and then overstamp in archival again. I used watercolor paper for this. Again, this has a vintage look to it, to me. I will definitely use this technique again, with different colors. I don’t particularly like the pink flower, and I think there is too much yellow. My color choices began with what Distress Crayons I had! I will definitely crop this one down and make something beautiful I’m sure.

The final experiment was to color the stamp with my alcohol markers. I’m glad I started with only using half of the stamp. This was hard! I should have looked to see if anyone had tips for doing this. I thought I could color the purple flower first, stamp it, and then move on to the next flower. I found that the alcohol markers dried a lot quicker than I thought, and I didn’t know what to rehydrate them with (alcohol?). Maybe watercolor markers would have worked better, but I don’t have any. What I ended up doing was to color part of the purple flower, stamp, color more of the purple flower, stamp, etc. Even then, it was difficult to get the color to transfer from the stamp to the paper. I was just about to toss is in the trash, so I figured, what the heck… try to overstamp in black and see if that helps. I think it did. I think this produced a dramatic image that can be a focal point. It would look nice with a fancy, larger sentiment die in white cardstock with a black shadow.

This was all a great learning experiment for me! For my actual card, I used the technique of coloring the stamp with Distress Pencils, spritzing 4 or 5 times with water. I looked more closely at how much water was on the stamp. If I thought it was just about right, I spritzed one more time! Before I stamped the flowers, I used the other stamps in the set to add some interest to the background. I stamped part of the stamp in opposite corners of the card, using Distress Watercolor paper. I decided to only use the Set #1 pencils for the card, and selected my colored from that package only. Tim talked about how he tried to get a full compliment of colors in each set, so you didn’t have to get them all to have a great selection. I’m very partial to the colors in Set #1 too.

After my stamping was done, I rifled through all of my stuff to try to find a sentiment that worked. This card made me happy, and lifted my spirits. When I was putting it together, the world had just lost Queen Elizabeth II. I was thinking of how her grace and strength will always live on in the hearts of her countrymen and women. In the darkness of grief, there is always hope for the light to come again, with time and healing.

I die cut the hope circle die into my cardfront, added a small gold circle cut from the same die set, and then popped up the cardfront onto a gold metallic kraftstock panel. I added a metallic sentiment strip, and attached the cardfront to a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 top fold card base, made with Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you learned something, or at least were inspired to play with what you have, see what different effects you can produce, and find inspiration to use what you create! Now I have a whole stack of “Exquisite” pieces to use in future projects!

Products used, available at Scrappyshak:
Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Exquisite Stamp set
Tim Holtz Distress Pencils, set #1 and #2
Distress Crayons in Seedless Preserves, Festive Berries, Crackling Campfire, Peeled Paint, Rustic Wilderness, Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber, Rusty Hinge
Misti Stamp Positioner
Foam tape
Distress Sprayer
Distress Oxide Ink Pad Antique Linen
Distress Watercolor Cardstock
Distress Metallic Kraftstock

also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix CIrcle Words Christmas dies
Copic Sketch Markers
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Metallic Phrases stickers
DMC gold thread
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue with precision tip
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock

Scrappy Shak Design Team: Happy Fall Pumpkin Duo

Me: Does this look like a gourd?
Him: No.
Me: (tries yet another color combo) Does this look like a gourd?
Him: Well… that’s better…
Me: (finishes card)
Him: Now that looks like a gourd.

I had a bit of a time trying to get the colors “right” for the green gourd/pumpkin. I wanted to make one of those cool blueish green gourds you see at the pumpkin patches. I was thinking a hazy, blue green, grey… I didn’t quite accomplish that, but I think I’m okay with my green gourd, which may not exist in real life, but that looks good next to my orange pumpkin!

The colors I settled on were Rustic Wilderness and Bundled Sage. To get the four different paper colors for the colorize pumpkin die, I ink blended Rustic Wilderness on watercolor paper, using a heavy hand, and then did another piece using a light touch. I used Bundled Sage on another piece of paper, and Antique Linen for the small diecut on top which will be the highlight piece. After blending, I flicked water on all of the pieces, and dried. Then I splattered with Antique Linen, Rustic Wilderness, and Vintage Photo.

The pumpkin colors were much easier for me to choose: Crackling Campfire, Carved Pumpkin (surprise!) and Spiced Marmalade. I flicked and splattered again with the same colors I used for blending. I used Carved Pumpkin distress oxide spray for splattering, which gave a different look, but that was just a “use what you have”, not a planned happening. I like how it came out. By the way, when I splatter, I go from the lightest color to the darkest, and dry between layers. If I want tiny splatters, I will use a #4 fan brush. If I want small splatters, the distress splatter brush works for me. Otherwise, and if I’m being lazy, I’ll just splatter with the tube of the sprayer from the bottle of spray stain. Then I’ll curse myself for being lazy, because the splatters are too big!

The only part of the base layer dies (labeled A-Green-1 and B-Green-1) that you’ll see is the middle part of the stem. The rest of it gets covered up by the pumpkin, and the small accent stem pieces. I used spray stain in Peeled Paint for this. I used Rustic Wilderness to color the paper to use for the small stem accents.

After I finished my pumpkins, I worked on the background. I was thinking blue, so I blended Tumbled Glass and Prize Ribbon on watercolor paper, then flicked on some water, and dried. While I thought the intensity of the background matched the pumpkins, I decided it was too distracting, as I wanted the pumpkins to be the focal point. So the blue background went into my “use for something else” pile. Something else in my “use for something else” pile was a piece of tan paper that I had embossed with the Quilted embossing folder. But now, it looked better with the pumpkins. I’m glad I have that pile! I colored a piece of watercolor paper with Bundled Sage, and used it to cut out some leaves from the Garden Greens die set that kinda sorta could pass for squash leaves.

When I assembled everything on the card base, it seemed like the pumpkins needed a little more… grounding… so I cut a piece of picket fence from my Village Cottage Bigz die, using the Tim Holtz white wood grain paper. I blended Antique Linen onto the wood grain paper, then added Vintage Photo. I used Bearly Art glue with a precision tip to stick everything down, except for the pumpkin. For those, I used Scrapbook Adhesive Foam Squares: thin for the green one, regular thickness for the orange one.

For the sentiment, I used the new Alphanumeric Theory dies. I cut the sentiment out of brown textured paper from Sizzix, and then cut two more of each letter from kraftstock. I’m not sure how anyone with porkchop fingers can manage those little pieces, but I was able to glue the three layers together, to give it more dimension. It was difficult lining them up on the card, even using a T-square ruler. Too much caffeine for me I guess! Sometimes I will apply double sided adhesive to the back of the paper before I cut it, but with something this small, I knew I wanted to use liquid glue so I would have some “wiggle time” to line them up.

Happy Fall y’all, and thanks for stopping by!

Products available from ScrappyShak include:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Pumpkin Duo dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Quilted embossing folder
Tim Holtz Sizzix Alphanumeric Theory dies
Distress Ink Pads
Distress Spray Stains
Tim Holtz Wood Grain cardstock
Tim Holtz watercolor paper
Tim Holtz Distress Splatter brush