Monday, September 28, 2015

How About A Banner?

One of the most fun parts of being creative is that you never run out of fresh home décor! You can make whatever you want with anything you have in all the colors you want and in the size that is just right for an odd corner or an empty space on the wall where nothing else you have will fit. Like this tiny banner...  
There were a few packs of canvas pieces - pennants, flower petals, leaves. There was a piece of ribbon from forever ago. And of course, there were colors, a few buttons, some thread and a needle.

When I got a few minutes off, I colored the canvas pieces with Gelatos colors. Stacked the layers of flowers and leaves together and stitched them together with buttons in the center. Stitched the flowers to the banner pieces and quickly handlettered the greeting with a Stamper's Big Brush pen. Doodled around a bit and stitched the pieces onto that from-forever-ago piece of ribbon to finish.
The little banner now adds color to a library ledge!
Quick, easy and FUN!  

Monday, September 21, 2015

A play on textures, colors and handlettering

As my oldest is getting closer to turning into a teenager, I hear about a lot of peer pressure for conformity, generic expectations and stress over acceptance vs. being true to yourself. From her choices of clothing to friends, after-school activities, choice of music and the list goes on while she weighs her options and balances authenticity with social acceptance. We have all been there and we know that at times it's hard to say 'no' to popular choices in favor of what we know to be right for us in the long run. It's the dilemma of fitting in and standing out. As she enters this realm of choices that she has to be responsible for, I try to encourage and remind her that it's important to remain true to herself and that these choices might alienate some people but not those who are truly meant to be her friends, I also try to validate that it is easier said than done and the pressure is real but it get easier as she grows older, wiser and more confident of her choices. From all those conversations with her, sprung this art journal page.
It is somewhat symbolic to me. The little triangles are like little obstacles that surround all of us. But they are not so big that we can't overcome or work around them. To translate that feeling into tangible texture, I applied Whipped Spackle through a triangle stencil. I used a heat tool to dry the texture medium and to introduce a few bubbles into it to create a bumpy texture.

From another perspective, the triangles are arrows pointing a certain way to look forward to. They are also like stepping stones guiding the way once you can rise above the small stuff and take a look at the bigger picture! The colors all around are using Gelatos colors.

Then there's the quote that says it all! I handlettered it with Stamper's Big Brush pen BLACK to make it stand out on a busy background.
Supplies used:
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Textural Accents and Tools:
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gelatos®: Gelatos Designer Colors - 50's Diner 
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stamper's Big Brush Pen BLACK
Others: Art journal, heat tool

What is inspiring your art journal pages these days? Please share in the comments!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ghosts and Ghouls and Frankenstein

What do YOU love about Halloween? Dressing up? Candies? Decorations? Carving pumpkins? Telling spooky tales? Taking kids trick or treating?
Around here, my son loves carving jack-o-lanterns. My daughter loves dressing up. They both love candies. And we all dislike freaky movies.
As for me, I love the colors of Halloween a lot! I love crafting Halloween décor and greetings. And I am always on the lookout for new Halloween products. Which brings me to this Tim Holtz Alterations Falloween Collection from Sizzix. So many possibilities!

Trim various Halloween themed colors of Core'dinations cardstock to diecut the shapes and words out.
To diecut the Halloween Block Words, create the following Sizzix sandwich: lay a Sizzix Accessory Standard Cutting Pad on another Sizzix Accessory Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer Thin Dies. Lay cardstock pieces down on the Standard Cutting Pad and lay the Halloween Block Words Thinlits dies blade side down on the cardstock. Cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad. Pass the whole sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine. The powerful magnets of the Magnetic Platform will hold the dies in place allowing for precision cuts.

Repeat the Sizzix sandwich described above to diecut the Handwritten Halloween words

and the Monster.

To give the Monster whom I want to call, Frankenstein, some depth and dimension, sand some of the diecut pieces. Ink the Monster face pieces with Distress Ink pads and Ink blending tool. Assemble the face of the Monster with adhesive.

Ink your chosen words/ phrases diecut from cardstock using Handwritten Halloween words and Halloween Block Words.

The final pieces look like these.
Attach the inked pieces to a card base made out of black cardstock.

Here's a close-up of the Monster card.
Supplies used: 
Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (Powder Blue and Teal)
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Mint)
Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies
Others: Core'dinations cardstock, Ranger Distress ink pads and ink blending tools, adhesive

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

An Autumn Birthday Gift

Hello, hello... it's September and the temperatures are already falling below 45 degrees here in Chester! Sweater weather for sure. The leaves are starting to change colors and falling. The shapes and colors of these leaves are really inspiring my creativity. Such as with this birthday gift wrapping I created with Brenda Walton dies from Sizzix. I think it fits an autumn birthday very well, don't you? Whether you want to use dies to create the whole ensemble or just the embellishments or simply take the inspiration and make it your own, read on for the whole pictorial!

To make this gift ensemble, I diecut all the pieces first out of pretty patterned papers. I used Anna Griffin patterned cardstock for they have these sweet subtle patterns on them and are just the right thickness/weight of paper for a project like this. I'm going to walk you through the process, one step at a time.

Let's start with the Sweet Treat Bag. To make the Sweet Treat Bag, you will need to diecut two pieces using the same die. Trim two pieces of patterned cardstock to about 9" x 6". For diecutting the  bag, start with this Sizzix sandwich: Lay the papers on the blade side of the Sizzix Movers and Shapers L die Sweet Treat Bag. Place these between a Sizzix Accessory Standard Cutting Pad and another Sizzix Accessory Standard Premium Crease Pad. Pass the Sizzix sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine to diecut the Sweet Treat Bag. Using the Premium Crease Pad will ensure you get creases for crisp folds when you assemble the Sweet Treat Bag in the next step.

Fold along the crease lines and put a strip of strong adhesive on the tabs. Follow this helpful PDF of instructions to assemble the Sweet Treat Bag. Again, you could use a bag you have already. But this die gives you the freedom to make a bag out of your favorite papers to suit any theme or occasion. This being a Movers and Shapers die, you could even cut out windows to personalize your Sweet Treat Bag.

Next, to diecut the Mini Correspondence Inserts & Envelopes, trim papers to size. These are pretty tiny as their name suggests and you could use scrap paper stash here. Create a Sizzix sandwich by laying papers on the blade side of the Sizzix XL die Mini Correspondence Inserts & Envelopes. Place these between a pair of Sizzix Accessory Extended Cutting Pads and pass through the Sizzix Big Shot machine. Fold and glue the flaps of the envelope. Write your note on the insert and pop it in its very own tiny envelope. 
Now, here's another detail you can add. To keep the envelope closed and note secure inside, I used one of the Classic Icons. To diecut the cameo silhouette, place paper on the blade side of the Sizzix Bigz Die Classic Icons. Place these between a pair of Sizzix Accessory Standard Cutting Pads and pass through the Sizzix Big Shot machine. Attach the cameo with repositionable adhesive to seal the envelope . You'll see how mine turned out in a few steps.

To diecut the Summer Florals... well, they work just as well as Autumn florals... create this Sizzix sandwich. Lay strip of paper on the blade side of the Sizzix Decorative Strips die Summer Florals. Place these between a pair of  Sizzix Accessory Decorative Strip Cutting Pads on a Sizzix Accessory Extended Multipurpose Platform and pass the whole sandwich through the Big Shot machine. Repeat this with a few different strips of patterned papers for stacking. Fold some of the flowers in quarters to add volume. Stack several layers of Summer Florals diecuts together and secure with a brad. I found one in my stash that says 'Make a Wish!' Perfect for a birthday!

Your Sweet Treat Bag can be used for more than just sweets, of course! I am using mine for a set of bracelets.
Wrap your gift with some fall colored tissues. Put it in the Sweet Treat Bag.

To diecut the Leaves, create a Sizzix sandwich by placing the papers on the blade side of the Sizzix Bigz L die Leaves and putting them between a pair of Standard Cutting Pads. Pass it through the Big Shot machine. Fold the Leaves along the mid vein and reopen. 
Now to embellish your Sweet Treat Bag... staple your three diecut Leaves onto the bag. This step doubles to close the bag as well.

We don't want the staples to show. To hide the staples and embellish the Sweet Treat Bag, attach the Summer Florals flower you created above with a bit of glue right over the staples. 
Remember the cameo from the Classic Icons die that we diecut above to use as an envelope seal? Here's what it looks like.
I like how this turned out and I think my daughter would love it too. There are lots of different elements to this project. I hope you will be inspired by some of them. You could do this without the dies too. But using these Sizzix dies made it SO much easier, quicker and nicer. And of course, you get unlimited use out of these sturdy and beautiful products.
If you want to make it exactly like mine, here are the supplies I used to create this gift ensemble:
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Mint)
Others: Patterned Cardstock (Anna Griffin Inc.), Adhesives (Scotch 3M), Brad (October Afternoon), stapler 
Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Happy Autumn

I'm celebrating the beginning of autumn! Are you? If you are, you might be interested in the full step-by-step tutorial for making this Harvest Pumpkin card. Check out the Sizzix blog for all the details!

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Monday, September 07, 2015

Take the Challenge with Mou, September 2015 at the Design Memory Craft blog

Hi everyone, Mou here! I'm back with Take the Challenge with Mou with the September 2015 edition.

If you are new to this blog, let me fill you in about Take the Challenge. Every month, on the first Monday, I'll post a challenge and my take on it. You'll have 12 days to take this on. Leave a comment to the challenge post with a link to your creation based on that challenge. We will pick TWO winners from among the readers who participated in that month's challenge. And the winners will get a prize from Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft®.

For September, my challenge for you is to alter something, anything you already have.
During our move, a lot of forgotten items were rediscovered. One was this wooden letter "M". I had some paper stuck on it but nothing special. With my stash of mixed media supplies, I decided to alter that letter to suit my current aesthetics. Here's the final result.
Here are the supplies I used to alter my wooden monogram.
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Textural Accents & Tools: Gesso, Gel Medium, Whipped Spackle, Texture Luxe™ Gold, Texture Gems™ 3ct Metallics, Stencils 10 ct. 101  and 10 ct. 201 collections,  Gelatos Tool set
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Gelatos®: RED set, BLUE set
Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stamper's Big Brush pens: BLACK
Others: wooden letter, patterned paper, tissue, string, stamps.

Here's how you can go about altering your letter.
Cover the letter with a layer of patterned papers and seal it off with Gel Medium.
Whitewash with Gesso.
Add texture with circles stencil from Stencils 10 ct. 101 set using Whipped Spackle.
When dry, color with Gelatos®. Blend colors with water. Let some colors drip down.
When dry, rub some Texture Luxe™ Gold to accentuate the texture.

Ink up stamps with BLACK Stamper's Big Brush pen. Stamp all around.
Tie some string to the letter.
Attach some tissue paper here and there to add interest to the wooden letter with Gel Medium. Also attach some patterned paper cutouts.

Choose a bird from the birds stencil from 10 ct. 201 set and apply Whipped Spackle through it. You can choose your favorite stencil that fits the look you are going for.
Using Texture Gems™ 3ct Metallics GOLD, create small dots to embellish the bird. Let dry thoroughly.

Attach a favorite saying to the letter to finish.
Don't forget to share your challenge creations with us... just leave a comment to this challenge post with link to your project image(s) by Sunday, 9/20 and we will pick TWO winners randomly to win these.

The prize for this challenge is: One pack of Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Stencils 201 Collection.

Don't forget to check back on Monday, 9/21 to see if YOU won! Good luck to all!