Many years ago, my sister (-in-law), Judy, Retired2stamp, invited me to a Stampin' Up Party. I was drawn to the 6X6 recipe card swap our local group was doing and had wanted to scrapbook too. I wasn't really interested in card making because I had witnessed my brother (in-law) Ed fold up a handmade card and put it in his pocket. I almost fainted and I didn't even make the card. But after a few parties, I was hooked and now make more cards than I had ever thought I would. My most recent passions are ATCs, tags & altered art. As you look through my blog I hope you can see how I've grown in my crafting ability!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Monster's Mask - Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2016 Technique Remix - October

Time for Tim's tag & I got together with a group of friends at The Craft Shack to make our versions! His October remix consisted of Patchwork Collage from February 2015 & Dimensional Monsters from October 2015.  I don't own the monster dies so I made my own monster,..well it's more like a monster's mask!

I also didn't have the new Halloween ephemera so I used snippets from his new materialize 8x8 paper-pack & some from an old paper pack my friend, Lisa had in her stash.  I found a page with words so I used "costume".  I love how the smudged crayons look over the the crazing medium.  I think I went a little crazy with the tiny attacher but the look is so cool.  I distressed the edges then blended them with black soot ink,  Instead of spattering the tag, I sprayed it with hickory smoke spray stain to finish the 1st part of the tag.

In place of the monster die, I decided to make a spooky mask by cuting 2 leaves from Tim's Big Z Tattered Leaves Die.  I should have used foil tape sheets over a piece of cardstock but goofed up & cut them from a mirrored sheet.  The mirrored sheet is thicker so when I tried to punch a 1/2" hole for the eyes, I only got an impression.  I finished cutting them out using scissors & decided to slant the eyes.   Then I embossed them using the diamond plate texture fade & did the faux metal look with black soot paint. I shaped it a little by bending them & added feathers I had in my stash.  I only had 1 green eye so I put the wicked adornment spider on a wire & place it in the other eye.  I added hex fasteners on each side then adhered it to my tag using black 3d foam squares.  I'm pretty proud of my "masked monster"!   

To finish it off I added "curiosities" from Tim's incantation word bands with wire & stapled it on.  The film strip ribbon was stapled on showing a hand.  The final touch was black string at the top.

Since there are so many stapes I decided to put a back on using paper from the materialize paper pack.  It wasn't long enough so I added a strip of materialize design tape at the bottom.   

I have to say this tag is one of my favorites!!  Hmmm, I think I've said that before...LOL!  TFL!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fright Night Birthday Wishes

I was honored to be asked by Georgia Lydic to demo a technique for Distressed Ink Techniques on Facebook!  I decided to try stamping in embossing paste on a tag for my friend, Mary Ann.   She's one of the Giggler's who has an October birthday & loves Halloween.  I watched a video but it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  I tried several different thickness of embossing paste & several different stamps. First I tried using a stamp with an image of a skull but I just couldn't get the image to appear.  When I removed the stamp it just formed peaks.  The good news is I had time to smooth it out & try again.  I found that using an image of dots or lines worked best and believe it or not words. I do love this technique & it just took a little practice.  I also made this tag interactive so there's a spider that can scurry up it's web!

First I blended the background with twisted citron, wilted violet & carved pumpkin.  I then placed Tim's cobweb stencil in the corner & blended with fired brick.  I love how the color shows through the cobweb.

I really didn't have a plan so I spread a light coat of embossing paste in the center of the tag.  I pressed a stamp from Tim Holtz's Mixed Media Set into the paste.  I wasn't happy with my first attempt so I smoothed it out, pressed the stamp into the paste & gently peeled the stamp off.  This time it worked & I think turned out really cool!  You need to clean the stamps right away so the paste doesn't dry on them.  I used warm water & an old toothbrush to get it out of the crevices.

I also decided to try coloring the embossing paste.  I placed a small amount on my craft sheet & added a drop of ink from a black soot re-inker.  I mixed it up with my palette knife & it was perfect. So many options using the re-inkers!

This time I spread a thicker layer of embossing paste above the white.  I had a wooden stamp I'd never used that said "Fright Night" so I pressed it into the black paste.  I was so surprised that the colors showed through the stamping so well especially the twisted citron through the black soot!!  I let it dry for a few hour then blended twisted citron over the white embossing paste.

I used the skull from Tim Holtz's Mini Halloween 3 Stamp Set & stamped the image with distress embossing ink then embossed it using WOW embossing powder.  I blended a little pumice stone over the image which made the skull show up better.  I think the skull has a cool grungy look & the twisted citron shows through...he almost glows.  

The trick or treaters are stamped in black soot at the bottom of the tag.  The bottom of the image ended up a little crooked (that's why I'm called Crooked Stamper) so I covered it up with Tim Holtz's materialize design tape.  Remember mistakes are just an opportunity to embellish

Next I began adding details & cover up the straight edge of the stenciled cobweb, I stamped "Happy" from a stamp that says "Happy Halloween" in black soot & added a line of black lace from Tim's Gothic remnant rubs.  Below "Happy" I placed "October" from  Tim's seasonal chitchat stickers & distressed it with twisted citron & carved pumpkin ink.  Next to that is "26" from Tim's materialize 8x8 paper pack which is Mary Ann's birth date.  So her birthday greeting is "Happy October 26 Fright Night"! To the right & left of the trick or treaters I stamped part of a small script stamped in fired brick.  The "witching hour" is from Tim's occasions small talk stickers.  At the top is an "advertisement" cut from the same paper pack, inked & distressed by crumpling it up.  The "26" & "advertisement" were added using Tim's tiny attacher.  Below that is another rub, "orders attended to day or night" which describes Mary Ann to a T.  There were some small blank spaces so Tim's splatters stencil was perfect to fill them in using several colors of ink.  It's hard to see but I also sprayed the entire tag with brushed pewter mica spray.

The spider from wicked adornments is interactive & can climb it's web!  But first I added a back to the tag from the paper pack to cover the inky mess.  The spider is tied to the middle of a piece of floss.  Then the floss is threaded through a small hole punched in the web & the hole at the top of the tag. It's tied in a knot at the back of the tag by the top hole.  There's a little video at the end showing how the spider works but remember I'm not a videographer!

I applied wilted violet paint to the beware Halloween typed tokens, rubbed it around with my fingers & let it dry.

The black jute string was wound around my hand five times then tied to the tag with another piece.  I added the token with a loop pins.

Here's a short video showing how the spider works.

Hope you try stamping in embossing paste, I know I'll be using this technique gain!  TFL!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Autumn Vines Birthday

Time to make cards for the Giggler's October birthday's!. This month there are 2 birthdays & I decided to make Tina's birthday card first.  Tina had shown me a few cards she made from sketches she found on pinterest so I decided to check them out.  I found this card sketch by Yolande (I think) & fell in love with all the layers.

The top two layers were cut in SU DSP Autumn Vines & SU Really Rust using one of my favorite dies, Spellbinders Pierced Rectangles. There are 6 dies in the set. I used 4 of the largest dies, nesting 2 together the outside die will cut & the inside die will pierce. They don't fit tight together so there is a small gap. Once they were in position I held them in place using Masquerade Art Masking Tape. I love this tape because it's low tack & doesn't leave any residue.  Once those 2 layers were adhered together I added a 4" paper doily & trimmed it at the edge.  I then added the 2 1/2 X 1 1/2 banner which was cut from the same DSP.

The IO open scroll leaf die is cut from SU Sage Shadow & adhered using a glue pen.   For a little bling, I added peel off silver glitter stickers to the leafy scroll.

Instead of a ribbon, I cut the Elizabeth Craft Jewels Die Set from SU Sage Shadow. There are 3 dies in this set & they are so cool.  This one has a small curve & I cut it in half so it doesn't go all the way under the tag.  It needed a little more bling so more peel off silver glitter stickers were just the ticket!

The tag was cut 2 X 1 1/4 in SU Whisper White then I used a SU corner punch to form the tag.  The sentiment is from SU Happiest Birthday Wishes set & stamped in Coffee Archival Ink.  I also added a brad then used dimensionals to pop the tag up. A small key added a finishing touch!  Then the card front was added to the SU Chocolate Chip base which is a standard A2 card.

Hope you enjoyed my project & I'm sure Tina will too!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I love doing ATCs & if it's interactive I love it even more!  I saw a video by Craftin Desert Divas Happy Halloween for an interactive card.  It inspired me to do this floating ghost inlaid card for this month's ATC Club at The Craft Shack.  I did make several prototypes before I was happy with the inlaid tree so if you try this I hope it saves you a little time & maybe frustration!

There's a short video at the end, it's not very good but it shows how the ghost floats & swirls around!

I used 3 pieces of cardstock-Georgia Pacific White for a backer, Neenah Premium 110lb Extra Heavy CS for the ATC front & SU Early Espresso.  I used thicker CS to make sure the Impression Obsession's Bare Tree would lay flat when inlaid so the ghost would glide up the ATC smoothly. The backer made the inside smooth once the tree was inlaid.  The CS is cut 4 1/2 X 4 1/2.  It sounds big for an ATC but it was easier to inlay the tree so I didn't have so many tiny pieces to add.  You 'll see why later.

I started with the thick CS. I laid the tree die on the CS as far to the right as it would go without being off the edge, decided where to place the moon then removed the die. I blended scattered straw ink in that area for the moon.  

Then I blended walnut stain at the base of the tree, chipped sapphire around the moon & a little dusty concord at the bottom of the sky.  To distress the moon, I went over it slightly with chipped sapphire.

I used the same inks on the backer CS so when the tree was inlaid the white CS wouldn't be seen if it didn't fit perfect.  The tree was die cut from the early espresso & the thick CS (as far to the right without going off the edge).  I used the brown tree & the negative of the background. When removing the tree from the inked background CS I saved the 4 tiny pieces in the black box.  Also this die isn't really made to be inlaid & it cuts a small hole towards the top left which I made sure stayed in the background CS.  I covered the hole with an embellishment later. 

In the next step I wet my brush slightly & applied a thin coat of liquid glue over the entire backer. This is where it gets a little tricky, working quickly I put the ATC front over the backer, making sure the branch areas are laying straight & didn't get pushed to the side.  The first time I had a little trouble & that's when I decided to ink the backer CS.  Then I inserted the tree & the 4 tiny pieces I saved from the background.  I really like how the moon appears from "behind" the tree!

Once the glue dried, I cut the piece into a 3 3/8 X 2 3/8 for the ATC front & inked the edges.

After cutting the tombstone from SU Going Gray with the smallest die from Spellbinder's Labels 11, I cut it off at an angle, distressed it with pumice stone ink then with a Sharpie fine point pen hand wrote the epitaph. 

I added the tombstone to the left side of the ATC front using 2 layers of small pieces of  1/2" black adhesive foam tape.  They are only on the left side, bottom & lower half of the right.  This will allow the ghost to "hide" behind the tombstone.

The slider is made from chipboard cut approx. 4" long & 1/2" wide.  I sanded the edges smooth & inked it with chipped sapphire.  Then I added a tiny thin magnet to the end.  The slider will be sealed between the ATC front & back.

This ATC is thick because of the magnet on the chipboard slider & I didn't want a lot of white showing on the edges so I used 1/2" black adhesive foam tape down the sides & across the bottom.  I measured & cut each piece then cut it in half & stacked it so it ended up being 1/4" wide.  The channel is at an angle & it starts behind the tombstone.  I used 1/2" white foam mounting tape, cut it in half & stacked it.  I made sure when I put the tape down that the factory edge faced the inside of the channel so there were no rough edges & the slider fit between the 2 rows of tape.  At the top of the channel, I stacked 2 foam squares to act as a stopper.  The stopper does not have the top backing removed or the slider would stick & not move over top of it.  I added more black tape & foam squares along the top.  

I cut a small piece from a Darice sticky back magnet sheet & adhered it to the back of one of the small ghosts.  The other ghost was adhered to the tree.  I punched 2 bats from Martha Stewart's Vampire & Bats in SU Basic Black.  The small one was adhered to the left of the tree to cover the hole from the tree die. The bigger bat is adhere to the end of the slider after it was trimmed so it would barely be above the ATC. I decided it need something else so I die cut a Poppy Stamp Walking Cat in black & he's walking through the graveyard.

Now that all the embellishments are on, I removed the adhesive backing (except the slider stopper), put the magnetic slider in place & put it on the SU Elegant Eggplant ATC base.  Now all you have to do is gently pull on the bat at the top of the slider & watch the ghost come out from behind the tombstone & swirl up the tree.  Push the slider down & he goes back behind the tombstone.  Of course he may need a little help getting back home every now & then!


Hope you enjoyed my project as much as I did making it!  TFL!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Frightful Observations

I joined a Halloween tag swap in a Facebook group called Love Paper Crafts. I usually only participate in a swap if I'm going to an event or with the Gigglers but what attracted me to this was I only had to make one. We had to post a pic of the front, back or small part of the tag before the deadline to prove we had done it.  I think there were 8 of us & not all from the US.  My partner was Elizabeth from Massachusetts, who generously sent me TWO fabulous tags & a cute bag of goodies.

I decided to use a #8 manila tag & started by stamping the witch in black archival ink.  She has a ring around her for the moon which I didn't want in black so I wiped it off & inked it using a mustard seed marker.  I then blended mustard seed over top for a bright noon.  The rest of the tag is blended using hickory smokefired brickfrayed burlap & black soot & the edges are distressed.

The devils are by Sugarland & stamped in vermilion.

The tree is cut in SU Early Expresso & I didn't ink the edges because the manila made it look like a shadow (plus it was too hard...LOL).

I cut 2 Memory Box fences in SU Basic Black then I wiggled it around so it wasn't straight. Both are adhered using a glue pen.

The "31" was cut in Tim's new Halloween black deco sheet.  I love these sheets because the glitter doesn't come off & they're very soft.

The sentiment & spider are from Tim's new Gothic remnant rubs.  I used a fine line Sharpie to draw a line so the spider was hanging from the "31".  I dabbed a small amount of picket fence around for a little fog then added black jute at the top.

I thought it need some dimension & knew I had a skull jewelry charm in my stash.  It was very shiny so I applied a coat of gesso then sponged it with frayed burlap.  It just happened that one of Tim's small arrows fit through the charm!  I also distressed the arrow with mushroom alcohol ink then adhered them with mini glue dots.

The back of the tag was pretty much a mess so I decided to add a paper backing & Tim's new materialize paper pack was perfect. It gave the tag the finished look it needed. I also printed my info, tore it & inked it in fired brick & black soot then adhered it using liquid glue.

I've never done a lot of Halloween projects except for a friend's birthday & a few tags but I did enjoy making this. I so happy Elizabeth enjoyed my creation as much as I enjoyed her's!  One fun fact about our swap...she has the same devil stamp!!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Susan's Happy Birthday Tag

At the September Giggler's birthday dinner we celebrated Susan's special day.  She loves everything Tim Holtz so I decided to make a tag instead of the traditional card.

I started by blending picked raspberry & abandoned coral on a #10 tag. Then the edges are distressed & inked with vintage photo.

Using candied apple ink, I stamped the September calendar towards the top left corner, the diamond pattern from Classic #3 stamp set across the bottom & portions of several images from Mixed Media stamp set randomly on the tag.

Happy birthday was stamped over the diamond pattern with peeled paint then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.

The crazy bird & balloon were stamped with black archival ink & I drew a "string" from the balloon to the crazy bird with a fine tip sharpie. Using my finger, I went over the bird with crazing medium so when I spritzed the tag with water the bird wouldn't have spots.

The "26" (which is Susan's birth date) was put on with embossing paste then inked with peeled paint after it dried.

Everything was going great until I decided I wanted to add some speckles & sparkle. It's hard to see but I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Biscotti for the sparkle...OK so far. BUT then I spritzed it with picket fence spray stain & it came out in a big blob! I have a feeling the last time I used it I didn't clean the nozzle! Tim says to wipe them off plus when you spray, commit...don't do a half spray or you get big drops. No time to start over so I was lucky I was able to dab it off but that's why the center looks a tad white!

The gift was colored with Copics BV02, BV11 & R29. The party hat was colored using squeezed lemonade, abandoned coral & picked raspberry distress markers. Both were fussy cut out & adhered using liquid glue.

I was so happy my fluffy bow came out so well. I couldn't have accomplished this without the help of Frédérique Sleijpen-Mommers! Make sure you check out her fluffy bow is awesome! Using a loop pin I added a Christmas typed token "wish" (which is turned around in the photo...oops!).

Well that's it!  Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Road Trip - Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2016 Technique Remix - September

My friends & I are just lovin' Tim Holtz's 12 tags of 2016 & we look forward to getting together every month to make our versions!  For Tim's September remix he used his distress paint patina technique from April 2013 and his alcohol ink resist technique from September 2014.

I closely followed Tim's distress patina technique & it was the easiest part of the tag for me.  I used cracked pistachiopeeled paintmermaid lagoon, broken china & tarnished brass. Mine looks different because I didn't dragged it through the paint one way.  I kind of dragged it then rubbed it around so I didn't get the "streaks" of color but thought it took on a patina look.

I also used the same paints on the alpha parts, key, arrow & gears.

On the right of the tag I added a vial label with a rub from botanical set.

The alcohol ink resist technique was quite a challenge for me & it took several tries before I was happy.  I have to say the yupo cardstock is really cool & I was pleasantly surprised that combining pitch black & mushroom alcohol inks together would turn such a beautiful color! I decided to use the car & several other stamps from Visual Artistry's Here and There set & the script from French Memories...don't know why I used that script stamp because I can't drive to Paris...LOL!  Now this is where I had the problem.  Once I stamped the images in black archival ink & wiped the ink off, it seemed to wipe away the details.  I finally decided to wipe from the outer edge of the image inward & it seemed to work better.  Around the small details I dabbed.  I was surprised that I had less problem with the script.  I really liked using the blending solution with the stencils & I used speckledarrows & splatters.  Another boo boo I made was forgetting to mat the yupo so I used a Sharpie marker to make it appear like it was matted.

At the top, I hung the key from various colors of jute string jute string with a loop pin & added a few gears.

To finish up I used a small talk sticker at the bottom, nailheads to the left & more gears.

Thanks for looking & I hope you enjoyed my version of Tim's tag!