Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Final Holiday Decorations...and a tip for Making Medallions...

Maya Road has these great oversized bottle caps, which seem to me just the right size for creating something fun inside. Here I used a few of our punches--the dove and the holly, and laid them on top of a medallion (see below.) In the other one, I made a Grungepaper rose, added rock Candy Distress Stickles to it, after inking and stamping, and laid down a vintage image and some silver glass glitter under the flower. Oh, yeah, threw in a few inked leaves...
I've been making medallions lately, and have found a way to make them so that they do not break or fall apart as you are trying to get them together. I know many people are already successful without this tip...but I have heard from lots of people who have had the medallion tear or come apart, as they are trying to get it together. I cut the medallion with the Tim Holtz Sizzix die, which perforates the strip. Then I put some of the Tim Holtz tissue tape on one or both sides.
This will reinforce the paper so there is no separating at any of the perforations, but also, it adds a design element by making a border appear around the edges. I especially like the music tape...I also really like to dip the outer edges in Glossy Accents or a fluid matte medium like Ranger's Studio matte medium, and roll the whole thing on its edge through the medium grit pure silver glass glitter...gives it a nice vintage look. On the white one below, I added a glittered chipboard snowflake, from Melissa Frances, and one of the Tim Holtz buttons..You could very easily ink the tissue tape, too, to keep the medallion all red, for example...
The one below has a vintage button in the center, and in the last photo, I just went plain crazy making medallions...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Making Duplicates of your Cool Embellishments

As I am making my versions of the 12 Tags of Christmas, as developed by Tim Holtz, and available for learning and viewing on his blog-and, seriously, for technique and style, these are not to be missed! (http://www.timholtz.typepad.com/) ...it occurs to me that I would like to have multiples of a lot of the items that are used...especially if I am doing some sort of swap......so I am turning to the Mold-n-Pour material ( a Ranger product) from which one can make multiples of any dimensional item...within reason, of course. The first thing to do is to make a little glob of each color, the same size, with each glob being about half the size of your item. (Thus, when mixed, it is the size of your item...I always go a tad bigger.) Then gently mix the two colors together, not crazy rubbing, just gently mixing, until you get all the same, light purple color. (pictures 1, 2, 3)

I took a bird charm, removed the ring at the top with the Tonic Tim Holtz scissors, and pressed the bird charm into the ball of mold-n-pour, nice and deeply, and drew the purple stuff up around the edges to form walls...you will want the bottom to be flat so the heated liquid doesn't go anywhere...usually I will make it on the back of a wood stamp, so I can set it aside for the seven minutes it usually takes to cure. You can tell it is done if you press your fingernail into the side and it doesn't leave a permanent impression. See the next three photos.

While it is curing, this is a good time to get out your melting pot, and, for this silver bird, I am using the platinum Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel (now to be known as UTEE). Place it in the melting pot, at the highest temperature, and see it melt, as in the photos below. Once it is liquid, carefully pour into the mold. The pan itself is hot--be sure to be safe and use the handles on the outer edges. Let this sit until is is really set. Do NOT touch it with your fingers to test it...it could burn. Setting will take a minute or so...it always depends on the thickness of the item. The mold is rubbery, so it pulls away from the new charm easily, and the charm pops out, and is now fairly flat on the bottom, so it can be glued onto a project very easily.
The platinum UTEE makes a duller silver than I wanted, so I added a bit of Viva InkaGold in silver ---it just rubs on. The difference can be seen in the two photos.
I went on to play some more, now with the numerals from the metal number set. Make the mold, pour, in this case, white UTEE in. UTEE can be brittle, so for thinner pieces you can add a product called UTEE Flex (directions on jar.) When you remove the items from the mold, it is still possible to trim off unwanted pieces on the edges.

Go play! I will answer any questions you have...just leave a comment and I will check them each day. Melting pots, Viva products, UTEE, and Mold-n-Pour are available here and they may even be up on the web shop by now!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Check our two new exciting packs of "Little Bits of AbsolutelyEverything." We have loaded these packages full of cool elements, especially for tag making, having been inspired by Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas. We know everyone doesn't own every single die (YET!!) so we have made two different packs. One has the old house and the picket fence, cut from Grungeboard. The other has the snowman and either a reindeer, or a row of houses...also cut from Grungeboard. In addition to these items, there are also the following in the packages:
bingo card, vintage music paper, vintage stickers, christmas rub-ons, vintage green punchinella in sticker form, christmas postage prints, prima flowers, 10 inches of green glitter garland, 6 inches of vintage silver garland , 6 inches each of red, green and gold bead trim (like mardi gras necklaces,) Tim Holtz watch face, 2 memo pins,2 facets with jump rings, a few jingle bells, a tiny brush tree, a christmas die-cut tag, a piece of vintage measuring tape, silver glitter snowflake embellishment, gold dresden scrap christmas tree and santa in sled with reindeer, tiny liberty bells, tiny sled, vintage numers "2" ands "5" from old price labels, metal star, and two collage image circles, about 1 1/2 inch each. In addition, there is a very vintage floral piece from my personal collection, as well as a yard of vintage 6-inch wide lace, that we used in wrapping it all together. Consequently, each box is a tiny bit different from the others, but, believe me, they are all very cool. Right now, we have this as a web shop exclusive. It will be available in the store by Friday, and we have 6 of the "house" version, and 8 of the "snowman" version. If you are interested, Patti will have these listed on the store sometime today. Right now, they are available only through the online store. (see scrolling images above this post.) Price is $15.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It Has Been a Great November

...we have been the "vendor-of-the-month" for the "All Things Tim" (as in Holtz) yahoo group, also known as ATT...and we have had lots of fun getting to know so many of you great people. Thank you so much for all the support and orders. We will continue with our great service through December and next year....and every now and then we will post a special or two. I do encourage anyone who is a fan of the whole Tim Holtz Distress style, and vintage look, to join this group...you will get lots of tips...they answer all sorts of technique questions...and you will get to see the wonderful art that they create. So, I am ending the month with a few pieces of inspiration for the coming season. This past weekend, I spent quite a bit of time putting mini art pieces onto wood blocks, of assorted sizes, so that I can stand them on my mantle and switch them, back to front, to change the look up a bit. In fact, we will have a class on this style of display as we do some of the 12 Tags of Christmas, using Tim's work as inspiration, and putting our own spin on it...
The first four tags are from last year, or even before that...and I have painted the blocks, added some Viva Inka Gold rub on paint, or some Distress ink. We have cut the wood blocks to 6 1/2 inches (they are 2 x 4s, so they are just the right width for the tag.) I have attached the tags to the wood with Zip Dry. The first block was painted blue, with silver inkagold, and the second block is red with gold inkagold...
In this next set of photos, the blue block is a work in progress...the red is shown, both sides, using multiple dies from the Tim Holtz Sizzix line.
This pair, below, is a mini block, only measuring about 1 1/2 x 3 inches, again, I am showing both sides...

The following six pictures show both sides of three different blocks, which are 1 inch wide, and about 4 x 5 inches in area...this gives me a bit of room to play with....however, I find that I prefer a wider block so that there is more ease in balancing to stand...this stands, but i like it a little wider...live and learn...

This last set of blocks was cut to 3 1/2 x 5 inches, and done up sideways...
Sometimes I paint the blocks...other times I use Maya mists, which have terrific coverage. I also used the new Color Washes from Ranger .In some cases I papered the sides, or just the front...really, you can do anything...
I will use these around my house just to add that little sparkle of holiday to a shelf, a table, the mantle...and i can switch them from front to back so it looks like I made twice as many! I have a feeling that more than a few of these will make their way into the homes of a bunch of my friends.
Anyway, I hope you are inspired by this little project...I would love to hear from you if you give it a try. Also, if you leave a question in the "comment" area, I will answer as best I can..
One more thing...here is a little St. Nick in a jar, with a bit of snow (mica flakes)..the label is a Hero Arts stamp, and we sell the bottle! I plan to add ribbon and flowers around the neck of the bottle..would love to hear your ideas of what else to put into the bottle!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What Fits into the Configurations Boxes??

I took some photos of some of the items we have gotten in to the store that we thought would be fun to use with the configurations boxes. Today, I will focus on holiday items. I will post other theme-related items a little later. We have glittered reindeer, small and large trees, extras"ornaments" (pieces from a garland) for the trees, a sweet little bird on its nest, a few different wreaths, a cool santa (there is a photo showing him hiding behind a tree, in the box I was taught to make in a Tim Holtz class here at the store,) silver glass house ornaments, tiny glass vintage-like ornaments, candy canes, and a neat, color-changing tea light...In the first few photos, you can see how, with any of the trees, to make them fit in, you will need to trim half of the back off. Don't worry...none of this trimmed part is visible. As you can see in the photo, it allows the tree to sit back into the box.

It just depends on the size of the item you want to place in the configurations. Just remove some of the boxes. Other uses for the boxes that are removed??...add them to the outside of the configuration piece somewhere, or use as a separate ornament...anyway, its all fun. The tea-light isn't shown, but it will sit beneath one of the glass houses and cause cool reflections on the ornament. You can also hide the tea-light with a piece of garland, or even a photo printed on vellum or a transparency sheet (all things I learned from Tim Holtz.)