Monday 28 July 2014

Destination Inspiration - Using Distress Stains

Hello everyone, this is just a quick post with a sneak peek of a tutorial I am sharing over at A Vintage Journey today on using Distress Stains to create tag bases.

Our current challenge HERE, as many of you know, is hosted by the very talented Jenny (Buttons) who has chosen 'Just Stain It' as her challenge.  Distress Stains are really versatile and fun to use and the Creative Guides have used the stains in lots of creative ways.

If you are new to Distress Stains or have some stashed away that you never use, I hope you will feel inspired to get them out, use them and even join in our current Tim inspired challenge!

I really hope you will pop over to A Vintage Journey for a closer look.  Hugs, Anne xx

Saturday 26 July 2014

Compendium of Curiosities III - Challenge 7 - Painted Industrial

The latest challenge at Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities is Tim's Painted Industrial technique which you can find illustrated on Page 46 of the Compendium of Curiosities III.

The Curiosity Crew will choose one winner who will receive a spectacular assortment of Tim's products, courtesy of Tim himself and Mario Rossi, his business manager.

As this is an odd numbered challenge the sponsor this time will be Inspiration Emporium who are offering a fantastic $50 Gift Certificate to one lucky CC3C entrant.

As I have just received my fantastic new Tim Holtz large butterfly die and Gothic stencil I was keen to do something which combined both.  The butterfly is huge and the stencil is one of the most beautiful ones that Tim has created (in my opinion)!

I cannot of course, tell you how I achieved the finish on the butterfly, you will need to read Tim's book to find out how, but here is what I created.

To create the background I coloured through the Gothic stencil with Pumice Stone Distress Ink and then used the same Distress Ink to colour around the edges of the card.  I matted this onto a piece of black card before adding it a white 7" x 5" card.

Here is a close up of the gorgeous butterfly, the detail on this butterfly is created by the embossing folder that comes with the butterfly die.

To finish off I used an Idea-ology arrow and charm and I added the word 'fly' from the Alpha parts Newsprint set of letters.

While you are here and if you have the time it is worth a visit to see the entry that Belinda Basson has added to this challenge, it is absolutely stunning!  Belinda has covered a whole dressmaker's dummy (yes, really!) with the Painted Industrial technique.... it is incredibly beautiful!

Thanks for your visit and I hope to see you again soon!  Hugs, Anne xx

Friday 25 July 2014

Just Stain It for A Vintage Journey

This fortnight at A Vintage Journey, it is the turn of the super talented Jenny who has chosen 'Just Stain It' as her challenge.  I was really pleased that Jenny chose stains as I love using them and they are my 'go to product' for watercolouring.

As always, our wonderful sponsors, Country View Crafts are offering a £10 voucher to spend in store, to one winner, chosen by the Creative Guides (DT).  Please do read the the rules (Travelling Instructions) to be sure that you will be considered for the prize.

The base card is black card from my stash and I matted some red Coredinations cardstock on top and then another layer of black.  Both have been distressed.  The final layer is from Tim's French Industrial paper pad which again I distressed and ripped in places, before edging it with Black Soot DI.

I used Tim's star stencil and applied Festive Berries Distress Stain through just parts of the stencil to create some interest and bring out the red of the background.

Using Tim's mini blueprints 6 set I stamped the four images onto Ranger watercolour card and coloured each of the images with Distress Stain, applied to my craft mat and picked up with a water brush.

I hope you can see how beautifully the stains colour, you can even achieve light and shade when using the stains and a good quality card, like this Ranger watercolour card.

I used several colours of stains to colour the bubblegum.  I edged each of the coloured images with Black Soot Distress Ink and mounted these directly.  I added a strip of Tim's film reel, attaching this with my Tiny Attacher stapler.

I hope you will head over to A Vintage Journey to see the fabulous projects that my Creative Guide Sisters have made, you will not be disappointed.  I also hope you will feel inspired to get your Stains out and join in this fortnight with your Tim inspired projects.

As always, thank for looking and enjoy your creative journey!  Anne xx

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Tim Tag July and Birthday Indulgence

Tim's tag for July, which you can see HERE, has gone to the top of my all time favourites list, it uses my beloved seahorse, but not the stamp this time, the die!!  I got the die a week ago and  loved it so much I stayed up late making my tag, along with one for my friend Ali.  Ali has her tag now so I can show mine.

I used a mix of dies and stamps and I followed Tim's techniques pretty much as he shows HERE, so I will not repeat the method as you can see it in full on Tim's blog.  My only read difference is the colour of my seahorse.

I coloured my seahorse with a mix of Distress Paints - Festive Berries, Picked Raspberry and a touch of Gathered Twigs, before running over it with Gathered Twigs Distress Stain and a touch of gold pen using the spritzer tool.

I used the sand dollar stamp and the star fish die to create my embellishments.  Each was partially coated in Distress Embossing Powder as shown by Tim.  My favourite part was making the lovely sand, this was great fun.  As Tim says, some can become brittle and fall away but it just needs gluing back again, so no problem.

It is hard to believe that we are seven tags down for this year........where does time go.... sigh...


I hope you will not mind my slight indulgence now, but last Sunday was my birthday and I was overwhelmed by the handcrafted cards and gifts I received from friends I met through blogging and craft, so I would like to show just some of them here, all the handmade ones,  they are in no particular order but all of these ladies are hugely talented and cherished friends, I have linked each of them so you can visit them if you would like to see more of their work (if you do not know them already!).

From Mo (Almo)

From Jenny (Jenny's beautiful gift will be shown in a few days time - it is beautiful)

From Rita - yes, the bear is handmade by Rita -  really!

From Rachel and Annie

From Angela, Darnell and Lynn

From Sandy, Lottie and Susan (who does not have a blog)

I have not shown everything but I would be here for ages if I did!  Thank you so much again, for your kindness and wonderful wishes, I truly do appreciate each and every one of you.


Thanks for looking, I hope to see you soon.  Hugs, Anne x

Monday 21 July 2014

Alternative Storage for Mini Spritzers

Those of you who know me well, know how much I love using Artist Trading Blocks (designed by Eileen Hull) in slightly different ways.  I wanted to make my lovely and very talented friend Jenny (Buttons) something for her birthday that was actually useful.  Jenny and I share the same birthday, except that I was born many, many years before!!

I am always inspired by the way Shelly Hickox thinks outside the box (or block in this case) with her wonderful creations (see her latest HERE) and also Anna Karin who makes the most amazing creations with lots of Eileen Hull's dies (see one HERE) so I decided to make my own mini mister storage system.   I do love the ready made ones but I don't really have enough bottles yet to fill one and whenever I try to buy one they are always out of stock, so this is my D-I-Y version.

So I created these and they are very quick and easy to make with this very versatile die:

I used the largest of Eileen Hull's ATB dies and cut the boxes from very heavyweight card (I could not use Mat Board because I needed to punch some holes and Mat Board is a little too thick for my punches), in this case I used black card which is 480 gram weight.  It is a very sturdy card.

Like me, Jenny loves all things Tim Holtz and so I covered Jenny's box with Tim Holtz's gorgeous Wallflower papers.  Before I sealed up the top of the ATB I measured out the placement for six holes (there is space for nine holes but I don't have a punch deep enough to cut a middle row.  I used a 5/8" punch to cut the 6 holes.  It is a perfect fit for the little spritzer bottles!  I added little spools for the feet, these are painted in Black Soot Distress Paint.  I added an Ideaology pull on the front with a stamp from Tim's hashtag set.

I covered the two other boxes in a similar way, one of the blocks has gone to my wonderful 'adopted sister' Mo and I have kept one for myself.  I will show you the amazing gifts that Mo, Jenny and lots of other very special and talented crafty friends made for me for my birthday, another day.

So there we are, a simple and very stylish storage system for mini spritzers!  I hope that you will try creating some storage of your own with one of Eileen's very clever dies.  I have another idea but that will need to wait for another time.

Thanks for looking, I hope to see you soon.  Hugs, Anne xx

Thursday 17 July 2014

The Artists on the Block - A Money Box

Hello everyone, as it is the third Thursday in the month, I am back with my Design Team piece for The Artists on the Block.  This time I have kept it fairly simple as it is a gift for a young man called Logan, who is absolutely dotty about buses.  He has recently had a few days in London with his Grandma and I thought it would be nice for him to have a money box to save up for his next trip.

My London themed money box also follows Eileen Hull's monthly challenge (HERE) which is red, white and blue.  Eileen has a fantastic prize on offer and you don't need to create an ATB to enter, so why not give it a try!  You have got to be in it to win it.

I started my project by cutting the largest of Eileen's Artist Trading Block (ATB) from Sizzix Mountboard.  As this was going to be a money box I also used Eileen's fabulous Money Slot Movers & Shapers die.  I used masking tape to hold it in place on my ATB base and cut it.  With hindsight I should have attached my paper to the box first and then cut it.........

I also used the die to cut through my patterned paper.  The paper is a recent release from Craftwork Cards and this pad is simply called London.  They do a Paris theme too which is also lovely. You can see the money slot in the top of the box.

I cut my pieces of card slightly smaller than the base and glued these in place.  You need to be careful and glue the papers on - the right way up for your box - ask me how I know that !....  Once assembled I decided to make a rosette to decorate one side.  I used a Darkroom Door London stamp set on one side of the box but the rest was decorated using the same paper pad.

Rosettes are easy to make.  Ideally you need a piece of paper that is 12" long but the paper pad I used was 8" x 8".  I took  a full sheet and scored the whole sheet at 1/4" intervals. and then cut two strips about 1.1/2" wide.  I added an extension to one piece to make it up to 12", concertina folded the whole piece and glued the two ends to form a 'circle' which you can see below.

Cut a circle of card or paper, take the concertina piece, place it over the circle which you should cover with strong glue or use a glue gun. Press the concertina circle down from the middle, onto the glue covered circle and hold for a few minutes.  Place another circle on the top, this will hide the centre, again using strong glue and if necessary place a weight on top until the glue has dried.

In this case I added the letter 'L' to signify London and also Logan, the young man's name.

This is a view of the top of the money box and you can clearly see the money box slot opening, which easily takes the largest of coins, and is big enough for paper money too.  I just had to add a bit of Tim Holtz in the form of the lettering for Logan's name. 

This really was the easiest of boxes to make and I do love the idea of a money box, they would make wonderful gifts for Christmas for people of all ages.  They can be sealed as in this case, or left with the lid unsealed - for easy access!

Thanks for looking and I hope to see you soon.  Take care.  Hugs, Anne xx

Saturday 12 July 2014

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 6 - Burlap Panel

I know, I know, I don't blog for two weeks and then two posts in two days!  Sorry but I have been completely mojo-less for a couple of weeks,  but I cannot miss an opportunity to enter something into Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge.

Challenge #6 requires us to use one of Tim's Burlap Panels and to use the Altered Burlap Panel Technique.  You can find full details on page 37 of  A Compendium of Curiosities III.

As always, the Curiosity Crew will choose a winner who will receive a fantastic collection of Tim’s products, courtesy of Tim himself and Mario Rossi, his business manager.

In addition, the Challenge is sponsored by the lovely Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique, who is offering a fabulous $25 voucher to spend in the boutique, to one very lucky CC3C entrant.

So, on to my entry.  Mr Mojo finally made an appearance when Tim's fabulous dragonfly die and embossing folder dropped through my letterbox this week, I could not wait to get inky and have a go!  I used one of Tim's 4" x 6" bare panels that comes in a pack of two.

I started by using the technique Tim used on Page 37 and then I applied some Wendy Vecchi embossing paste (which I tinted with Fired Brick Distress Paint) through a stencil, trying to achieve a fairly random pattern.  I outlined the bricks with a charcoal pencil and used a damp paper stump to rub it in.  I rubbed a little onto the bricks too, with my fingers, to give an aged look.

I cut some Grunge board with Tim's Honeycomb Frameworks die,  This was distressed using Distress Paints and sanded back, to age it and this was added to the brickwork to give the appearance of a trellis.

Now, on to the star of the show - the beautiful dragonfly (although it looks more like a Damselfly with the colours I have given the wings.

 I took a tip from Tim's tag for July and cut the dragonfly in clear shrink plastic and embossed it using the folder that comes with the die (I love it).  I coloured the plastic with Alcohol inks in blues and greens.  The embossing was very deep and had a white ghostly appearance in places.  I wanted the colour to be more intense so that it would show up against my background (and plastic/acetate is notoriously difficult to photograph).  I cut the dragonfly again from cream card, embossed it and then coloured it with Distress Stains in Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint and Chipped Sapphire and then coated it with Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  I glued the two together and I loved the vibrancy of the colour showing through the shrink plastic.

Finally, I added a little spritzing with a black Distress Marker and the Distress Tool to the background before adding the word FLY from the Elementary set of Alpha Chips.

Should you need some inspiration, just pop over HERE and see what the CC3C 's Curiosity Crew have made - you won't be disappointed! 

Thanks so much for looking, I hope to see you again soon.  Hugs, Anne xx  

Friday 11 July 2014

Dies and Distress for A Vintage Journey

This fortnight at A Vintage Journey the wonderful and very talented Annie is the host and the challenge is Dies and Distress.  In Annie's own words:

"You can create any type of project i.e tags, canvas, cards, altered long as you include dies and distress products such as inks, paints, stains, embossing powders and markers.
Dies can be distressed, embossed, stamped.................the creativity is yours.

We are a Tim Holtz inspired challenge, however, its about Tim's style so the dies you use do not have to be from Tim's Sizzix range. Please check out our Travelling Instructions for more details."


Those of you who have followed me for a while know how much I love using the Accordion Die by Sizzix, together with Tim Holtz's fabulous Butterfly Frenzy Die, which if you love butterflies as much as I do, is a must have!

I started by cutting the base using quite thick acetate and the Sizzix Accordion die.  I cut covers for the base from some beautiful Maja Design papers for the front and I cut the front mat and butterflies using the same papers.

I used Broken China Distress Marker to go around the edge of every butterfly to get rid of those white edges.  I edged all of the accordion pieces with Broken China Distress Ink and glued them over the acetate.  The sentiment is from Tim's Good Thoughts stamp set.  I added a few spare butterflies to the frame and sentiment and I still have plenty left over - it really is a wonderful die with lots of different sizes and shapes of butterfly.

I tried to get a close-up of the front but it is not easy to photograph acetate.  I hope you can see how the butterflies appear to be flying.  I think this is one of those things that looks better in real life.......  I went around he edges of the whole frame with just a touch of Tumbled Glass Distress Paint.

For the back I used plain white card which I embossed with an embossing folder and then coloured the card with Broken China Distress Ink.  The sentiment is from Tim's Random Quotes stamp set.  To secure the butterflies I used a tiny dab of Ranger Glossy Accents which does not show at all on the back, so the card looks OK front or the back.

I hope you will head over to A Vintage Journey to see the fabulous projects that my Creative Guide Sisters have made, you will not be disappointed.  I also hope you will feel inspired to join in this fortnight with your Tim inspired projects.

Our wonderful sponsors, Country View Crafts are offering a £10 voucher to spend in store, to one winner, chosen by the Creative Guides (DT).  Please do read the the rules (Travelling Instructions) to be sure that you will be considered for the prize.

As always, thanks so much for looking and huge thanks to my latest followers, it is a pleasure to have you along on my creative journey.   I hope to see you all again soon.  Big hugs, Anne xx

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