Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ladies and gents hold the phone

Hello everyone, it's hard to believe that August is here already. I know that during these summer months it can be very busy, so today I am on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Blog sharing a fairly simple project that makes a big impact. I have been meaning to make up one of these tablet/iPad/phone holders since I received it in my DT box. I often put my phone down while I am working and when it is time to snap a quick progress photo, it is buried beneath all of my supplies. I hope to alleviate this issue with this steampunk inspired phone holder. Since I have two of these in my stash, I thought it would be fun to create a his and hers version.
The sturdy chipboard tablet/iPad/phone holder arrives flat in three separate pieces.
I want the finished pieces to have a steampunk/industrial look, and since I will be making a his and hers version, I think the Steampunk Lady and Steampunk Gentleman will be the perfect addition to each holder. Both of these GSLC pieces are fabulous. Each comes in a pack of two, this project only uses one so I will put the second lady and the second gentleman away for another day.
 I paint the side of the heads that will be showing on the front of the holder with distress paint in walnut stain and allow to dry. Once dry, the back side of each head is painted with black soot distress paint and set aside. I select some pattern papers from the French Industrial paper Stash that coordinate with my theme. I choose to combine different patterns for each of the planes of the holder. This could also be made with a large sheet of single pattern paper if you prefer. I like the interest of having different patterns, yet keeping them all within the same color family. I measure the pieces to be covered and cut the paper to size. It is alright if the paper overhangs a bit when you adhere it to the chipboard, this can easily be cut off with a craft knife. The most important thing to remember is not to adhere paper to the tabs of the pieces that will be secured into the base. The papers are adhered to the chipboard with collage medium. I add a layer of grunge to the surfaces as well as the edges with distress inks.
Since the front stop pieces are now complete, I go ahead and secure these into the base with a multi-purpose adhesive. These are set aside to dry while I complete the uprights for each holder.

To give the heads a more vintage feel, I add a layer of black soot distress paint on the walnut stain colored side and gently wipe it off before it dries. Knowing that the holders will be serving a function, I want to ensure that the embellishments I add are not too invasive, thus keeping things clean and simple. I decide to add a few additional cogs and gears to adorn the lady and gentleman. Using one of my favorite GSLC sets, the Steampunk Shape Set, I select a few pieces for each head that work well with the scale. I also select two clock hands to add under my titles on each holder. I emboss all of these pieces with charred gold embossing powder and secure them in place.
Each holder has a title. The words "LADIES" and "GENTS" are made with alpha parts. Beneath each title I adhered and embossed clock hand.
Once each upright was completely dry, I secured it into place by adding multi-purpose adhesive to the bottom edge of the pieces and the tabs, then inserting them into the respective slots in the base. The lady and gent are standing tall and the phone holder is ready to be put to use.
I hope that during these busy days you are able to make some time to get creative. Perhaps this simple steampunk project has got your gears moving and inspired you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.

I am entering this project in:
 SanDee & Amelie's Steampunk Challenge: Summer Special
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes

Materials Used:
Emerald Creek Craft Supplies: charred gold embossing powder
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts:
Tablet/iPad/Phone Holder, Steampunk Gentleman, Steampunk LadySteampunk Shape Set
Ranger Distress collage medium: matte
Ranger Distress Inks: black soot, walnut stain
Ranger Distress Paint: black soot, walnut stain
Tim Holtz Ideaology: alpha parts-signmaker
Tim Holtz Paper Stash: French Industrial
Versamark embossing ink

Saturday, July 21, 2018

americana accordion tag book

Hi everyone, today I am sharing some extra details for an americana accordion tag book that I created for the Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog. My post on their blog contains all the details for creating the tag book. You can read that post here.  

I created my americana accordion tag book using two sets of large chipboard tags from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. Knowing that my book will have an americana theme, I use some of my favorite papers  from Tim Holtz Correspondence Paper Stash. The tag book is made up of six tags. Each follows the common theme yet has its own unique presence within the book. The tags are covered with paper and inked with antique linen distress ink to give more of a vintage feel. I also add gathered twigs distress ink around the edges. After the base tags are done, I lay out my "pages" by manipulating different elements. The tags are hinged according to the distance required between tags to accommodate overhanging elements. Binding ribbon is adhered with glue in the correct location, allowed to dry and then the eyelets are set into place. The larger design elements are adhered after the hinges are intact.
Once all of the interior hinges are secured, I do a final check on the accordion fold and attach the hinge pieces for the first and last tags. The final step in creating my accordion tag book is to attach all of the remaining design elements and embellishments to the tags.
I use Ideaology foam type stamps inked in cobalt archival ink and clear embossed,
 to form the title of the book. The decorative trim piece along the edge is created 
by layering distress cardstock, metal kraft card stock, and a scalloped impresslet. The impresslet piece is cut from Correspondence paper, inked, and then rubbed with pewter distress crayon to highlight  the embossed design.
The interior of the front and back covers feature images from vintage military ads. I love the look and graphics of days gone by and include ads from various branches of the military.
I create a medal of honor using an eagle charm found in my stash, some wide ribbon and a piece of metallic kraft card stock. I know right away that the Tim Holtz experience stamp is the perfect statement to go along with it. 
A pocket of coordinating paper holds a mini tag featuring an americana blueprint stamp colored with distress inks.
A photo booth picture of a navy sailor is showcased on a primitive star cut from metallic kraft card. The metallic kraft card has been sanded and inked with gathered twigs distress ink.
One of my all time favorite Tim Holtz stamps inked in cobalt blue archival is the focus of this tag. I also included a "thank you" from Tim's glorious bouquet stamp set. Every day is a good day to thank our service men and women for their dedication to our country.
More vintage military ads, these are from the army and air force recruitment services.
I use alphanumeric dies and cut the words "sweet land of liberty" to surround a shield charm. 
   A patriotic rosette is cut from paper ribbon and inked to give it a vintage feel. This sits below a stamped and embossed USA.
Funky florals cut from correspondence papers and distress cardstock fill a tarnished trophy to celebrate the red, white, and blue.
Faded jeans distress ink stenciled stars form the background for a treasured patriotic paper doll. Her responsibility: raising old glory for the pledge of allegiance.
I love the way the facing pages complement each other when the tag book is folded together and "read".

As I worked on this project, I was constantly reminded of and humbled by the servicemen and women who are always working to keep our beautiful country safe and our liberties and freedoms intact. My book is a tribute to all of those who serve or have served. I come from a very long line of patriots and have always had a huge amount of respect and gratitude for the dedication and loyalty of these fine souls.

I hope that you are inspired to create a tag book of your own and submit it to the Mini Album Makers Challenge. It's always inspiring to browse among the submissions and admire the creativity.
 I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a guest designer on their blog. I would love for you to stop by to see my tutorial on how to create this accordion tag book, you can click HERE to visit that post.


Materials Used
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: Chipboard Decorative Tags Large
Ranger Archival Inks: carnation red, cobalt
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress inks: antique linen, faded jeans, gathered twigs
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress collage medium: matte
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Alterations:
alphanumeric (3/4"), labels, funky florals 1 & 3, rosette set, shape strips, tag collection
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Bigz:
 crescent moon and stars, tarnished trophies
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Impresslets: 3-D scallop
Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz:
americana mini blueprints, glorious bouquet, simple sayings, stars stencil,
 stuff to say, the impossible, uncle sam silhouette
Tim Holtz Ideaology:
adornments arrows, adornments stars, chit chat seasonal, flashcards elementary, paper dolls,
paper string airmail, shield charms
Tim Holtz IdeaologyFoam Stamps: type lower
Tim Holtz Ideaology Paper Stash:
Correspondence, Distress Cardstock, Metallic Kraft Cardstock

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"catchy" cards

Hi everyone, today I am sharing a couple of handmade cards featuring a fun fishing set from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. These cards are fairly simple to make and would be perfect for anyone that loves to fish or even someone embarking on their retirement.
The Best Fishes Set (coming soon from GSLC) contains a sentiment, an image of a fisherman with reel and fish, as well as a boat with a pair of oars. These pieces can be used together or separately. I chose to split them up to make multiple cards. Be sure to use care when removing the laser cut pieces as they are somewhat fragile.
For my first card, I use the fisherman and sentiment pieces. I envision a scene at dusk where the figure would be in silhouette form against an evening sky. To achieve this look I emboss the piece with oil rubbed bronze embossing powder. I love the bronze highlights that give the silhouette even more character than a simple shadow. The sentiment is embossed with oil rubbed bronze as well.  I use a green patina embossing powder for the catch at the end of the fishing line. 
Once the embossing is complete I set it aside and work on the sky. Using distress oxide ink, I create a background in grey and blues. I add tiny flecks of white paint to mimic the flickering stars and also a splatter of shimmer. I cut a deckle edge on a strip of grey paper for the waters edge and add a bit of ink to help it stand out from the sky, then arrange the pieces and adhere them in place with a multipurpose adhesive. I will be using this as a birthday card for a favorite fisherman of mine so I die cut and emboss a Happy Birthday sentiment and add it to the top of the card. This entire piece is layered over a silver piece of cardstock and attached to the easel portion of the card. I went with an easel card format to play up the rising aspect. As the card is set into its propped position, it reveals a fish patterned paper and the Best Fishes sentiment from the set.
 My second card uses the boat and oars pieces from the best fishes set as well as a sentiment from the Words & Phrases 1 set from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. This set contains 15 different pieces and can be used in so many different ways. As you can see, I have used a number of these pieces on previous projects.
I want this card to have a rustic, "at the lake" feel and the flexibility to be used for many purposes. I plan to use the same fish pattern paper as a background, so I mix up some acrylic paint for the boat in a color that coordinates.  
The oars and Enjoy the Moment sentiment are both painted to look like wood. When all of the pain has dried all of the pieces are layered onto a square card base and adhered with a multipurpose adhesive. I really like the look of this card and can't wait to have a reason to send it to someone.
Each of these cards was fairly simple to put together. There are many tutorials for creating easel cards on Pintrest if you have never made one before. One of the positives for these types of cards is that they are freestanding and easy to display.
I hope you are able to find some time during these busy days to get creative,
I find it's the best way to relax and find peace of mind.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to stop by.

 List of products used:
Emerald Creek Craft Supplies - oil rubbed bronze embossing powder
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts - Best Fishes Set (coming soon), Words & Phrases 1
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Ink - faded jeans, hickory smoke, broken china, antique linen
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Alterations - celebration words: script
The Paper Studio papers - texture: slate blue, small fish on blue
Tim Holtz Ideaology - Distress cardstock

I truly appreciate all your wonderful comments, and do try to respond to each and every one; you may not always be notified, but please know that it means a lot to me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

a stylish surprise

I often hear how difficult it can be to create masculine things, whether it's a simple card for a special occasion or even a gift. In our family, June is a month full of celebrations. In addition to Father's day, there are many birthdays, a few of which are masculine. I am always trying to come up with new ideas for the guys, and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my stylish surprise. 
I use the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts double explosion box as a base for the project. This set is comprised of five pieces that arrive flat, ready for assembly. 
Each piece has pre-scored lines for ease of assembly. Once I have laid out the pieces, I like to fold along the score lines to get an idea of how the piece will take shape.
As always, the first step in my creative process is to generate ideas and get a feel for the theme I would like my project to follow. Because of the nature of the exploding box, this piece could go in so many directions; it's good to have a solid idea before getting started. The person I plan on giving this to is quite style savvy. I decide it will be fun to use Tim Holtz papers from the Dapper collection that I have in my stash. The next step is to begin thinking about what types of elements will be appropriate for the theme. I envision pockets and plackets, leather and linen, and buttons and zippers. 
Since I am using papers to cover the different faces of the piece, before I begin to glue the flaps of the lids and the smaller inner box portion, I trace an outline of these flattened pieces on the papers I will be using. This will serve as a template and facilitate the process. All of the flat panels are measured and the paper pieces are cut. When creating pieces that have multiple levels, I tend to work one layer at a time. I find this easier to know which papers go where and also to keep it in a manageable format. This project has so many flat planes to be covered and embellished, it could easily become overwhelming. I found it easiest to add the base papers to each tier/level before moving onto the next. Then, once all of the base papers are in place, I add the embellishments, one level at time.
Working my way from the outermost box inwards, I cut the squares that will be adhered to the outside. The squares are all 3 inches. I select coordinating but different patterns for the insides and outsides and a different pattern altogether for the interior base square. Before the papers are adhered, I run a piece of design tape along all of the folds. Each square is inked along the edges and attached to the chipboard with collage medium and then the piece is set aside to dry. 
While that is drying, I consider the box top. I want this to coordinate with the pattern paper I use on the outside, yet give a glimpse of what is to come. I decide to die cut a floral pattern that will mimic the floral of the sides. I cover the middle flat of the box top with a piece of linen. This will show through the openings where the negative space of the flower is. The paper is trimmed and scored, then adhered to the outer portion of the main box lid.
Before embellishing the large box flaps, I cut the squares for the next tier. I add design tape along the folds, ink the paper edges and adhere them. This second tier can be attached to the first, larger piece; however, I decide not to. Therefore, I cover all sides and panels of each piece. If you want the layers to be attached to each other, the bottommost square of this (inner) tier does not need to be covered. 
While I have all of my papers out, I select the coordinating pieces for the small box that will be located inside both tiers. This small box and its lid are covered in the same manner as the main lid. I trace the outline of the flattened pieces, cut out, score and fold and ink all the edges. I the use a quick dry glue on the box flaps and secure in place, creating a 3-D box. Once the box form is dry, it is ready to accept the paper covering. Make sure that it fits correctly before gluing onto the chipboard piece into a 3-D form, you may need to make a few adjustments; these are much easier to do while the paper can lay flat. follow the same steps to complete the small box lid. I like to cover the inside of the lids as well as the outside. This is not necessary, I feel it makes for a much better presentation.
Depending on the theme you choose for your double explosion box, there are many ways to embellish the flaps. Keep in mind that the inner tier, when open, rests on the outer tier flaps. Try not to add anything that could be crushed or alternatively, anything that would be so heavy that it would crush what is underneath. With this in mind, it is a good idea to keep placing the tiers into their respective locations as you go, so that you can easily see how they interact.  Each of my outermost flaps focuses on elements that can be found on an outer garment. 
I emboss a Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts zipper and pull with oil rubbed bronze embossing powder. After it is cool, I cut a piece of denim patterned paper to fit the void and adhere it to one of the panels. 
I create a pocket with denim paper trim, then die cut a square of linen with the stitched square die. The decorative edges are painted with faded jeans distress oxide ink. This square is folded like a handkerchief and stuck into the pocket.
Using the base paper, I create a collar element that is trimmed with the denim paper and attached to the top of another interior square. 
Using a stitched ovals die, I cut a piece of faux leather paper and ink around the edges to give it a broken-in feel. This is attached to the last panel to mimic an elbow patch found on a jacket sleeve.
In order to keep the second tier/layer from opening immediately when the main lid is lifted, I sew buttons on two outside corner edges and use a piece of elastic cord on the adjacent flaps to create a fastener that secures around the sewn buttons. I also later add a paper lid (not part of the laser cut set) to prevent the inside from being seen and to add to the "surprise" element when opening the box. 
The inner tier panels of my box focused on the finer details of mens dress shirts. 
I create a diagonal pocket to hold collar stays on one panel. 
Another panel has a "scrap" cut of linen covered by a faux leather piece that rotates on a jeweled "cuff link". This might be the perfect spot for a hidden message to the recipient. 
Another diagonal pocket holds an extra piece of "scrap" linen as well as a button card. 
The last panel of this tier contains a coordinating shield/logo. This may be a nice location to add a monogram for a personalized touch.
The "piece de resistance" is, of course, the inner gift box. I created this box with the thought that it may be used to house special mementos, cufflinks, or perhaps an heirloom pocket watch. 
Here are a few pictures of the pieces when they are stacked inside one another:

Once I decided upon a theme, this "stylish surprise" came to life. Knowing the likes (or dislikes) of the recipient can make such a difference when coming up with creative ideas, regardless of gender. I  have a feeling that this set may need to be a staple among my crafting supplies; I already have ideas for an entirely different theme.

I hope that you can savor each moment, the days pass quickly. 
 Don't forget to make time to explore your creative side.
Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Materials Used
Emerald Creek Allure embossing powder: oil rubbed bronze
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts: Double Explosion Box, Zippers
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress inks: ground expresso, brushed corduroy
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress Oxide: faded jeans
Ranger/Tim Holtz Distress collage medium: matte
Sizzix/Tim Holtz Alterations:
gift tags, labels, mixed media #5, stacked postage, stitched ovals, stitched squares
Sizzix/Tim Holtz 1" circle punch
Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements: thread
Tim Holtz Ideaology:
design tapes, mini pocket watch, found relatives, textile surfaces,  thrift shop vellum ephemera
Tim Holtz Paper Stash: Dapper

I am entering this project in:
Mixed Media Monthly Challenge: June 2018-Wrap it Up
(the surprise box inside is wrapped in papers as well as "wrapped up" by the outer exploding boxes)

I truly appreciate all your wonderful comments, and do try to respond to each and every one; you may not always be notified, but please know that it means a lot to me.