Posts Tagged ‘Tim Holtz’

Ready for 2019

August 27, 2018

Until last year, I always made my own yearly junk journal/smash book, usually in the late summer or fall, so it was long ready to go by the time the new year rolled around.

Last year, for whatever reason, I fell down on the job! While shopping at Tuesday Morning late in December, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t even thought about, much less plan and make, a journal for 2018. At that moment, my eye fell on a 9″x12″ spiral bound sketchbook with covers depicting several tubes of paint and a well-used palette. Serendipity! I’ve been filling it up all year with photos, ticket stubs, labels, hang tags, greeting cards, notes, stickers, copies of magazine pages, etc., plus lots of writing about the various events in my life.

I was doing some straightening up in my extremely cluttered studio yesterday and ran across a set of book covers and book rings I’d bought at Michael’s a few years ago. The covers are about 1/8″ thick, made of a dense foamy substance with a solid layer on each side. Printed on the white covers were two different floral patterns that were designed to resist ink, the idea being that you can spray them whatever color you desire. Since I dislike spray ink or dye (huge mess, hard to control), I opted to rub the colors on directly from my Tim Holtz ink pads and blend the colors with a wet wipe. The front cover was colored with Cracked Pistachio, Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint; the back is Victorian Velvet, Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry. I ran a thick black Sharpie along the edges to add definition (as I do with pretty much everything).

2019 journal open

I quickly decorated the front cover with a few things that were lying within arm’s reach. (Have I mentioned my studio is extremely cluttered?) The bird image is a Cavallini & Company glittered postcard; the Paris sticker is also by Cavallini, and the clear plastic number circles are from a collection of Maya Road calendar embellishments. A few buttons from my stash and recycled sari silk ribbon were the perfect finishing touches.

2019 journal front

The pages are a mix of solid cardstock and patterned papers from Webster’s Pages “Color Crush” collection, which I cut down to size. This collection really spoke to me with its fun patterns and favorite colors of pink, aqua and chartreuse.

color crush

Unlike previous years’ books, which were handbound, I can rearrange and add pages as I go along, which will be very convenient. Looking forward to 2019!

They’re Not Just for Guacamole

July 16, 2018

So my BFF, Terri, recently pointed me to an article about using avocado pits to dye fabric, paper, yarn, etc. Whaaaat, really? It looked easy enough, but often the techniques that look easiest turn out to be the biggest failures. (Don’t ever ask me about Gelli plate transfers, thank you very much.)

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to try it anyway. And, wonder of wonders, it not only worked, but was super easy, practically foolproof, and the results were awesome!

This is how easy:

Step 1: Buy avocados.

Step 2: Open avocados, remove pits.

Step 3: Rinse slimy goo off pits, place in large saucepan with a good amount of water.

Step 4: Put saucepan on stove over medium heat, walk away and forget about it. Literally.

Step 5: Run across saucepan while getting a snack a few hours later and notice, with some surprise, that the water has turned a beautiful shade of deep pink.

Step 6: Proceed to gather pretty much every white material in the house (fabric, lace, seam binding, Bristol paper, book pages, etc.) and dump it in the water.

Step 7: Stop short of dunking white cat.

merlin goin nuts


Step 8: Success!

One caveat: Anything that starts out white will turn a beautiful shade of blush pink. Things that are ivory, off-white, etc. will not be quite as lovely. Some ecru lace I had turned a rather unpleasant 80’s shade of mauve, and a length of unbleached muslin came out considerably less bright and pretty than a white cotton.

I was so happy with the results that I immediately sat down and started to work on a romantic, shabby-chic, girly, frou-frou, fussy, fluffy book. Using scrapbook paper that resembles old ledger pages as the base, I created nine 9″x18″ spreads, which resulted in a fat little 6″x9″ book. Each page features at least one element that has been avocado dyed. I’m still stoked that this worked so well, and the best part is, you don’t have to worry about caustic chemicals!

The cover is heavy chipboard wrapped in the avocado-dyed cotton fabric, and I’ve added ribbons to the binding threads, made from avocado-dyed seam binding. The seam binding is polyester, so it didn’t take on the dye as easily as natural materials do, but I think the subtle pink is quite lovely!

blush cover

blush p 1

blush p 2

I tend to throw everything plus the kitchen sink on my pages. Every time I came back to a spread that I thought was “done,” I would  reconsider and then add yet another element. (Sometimes it got out of hand.)

blush p 3

Everything was “grunged up” with Tim Holtz Distress Ink to add to the vintage flair.

blush p 4

Many of the pages have scraps of tissue printed with sheet music, which is also a Tim Holtz product. I usually create with whatever is close at hand, and I had a lot of this stuff close at hand.

blush p 5

blush p 6

blush p 7


blush p 9

When I showed this spread to Dude, he didn’t even notice at first that the woman on the left is holding a fluffy white cat. I told him the “story” I made up for this page was that the woman had commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of her cat, which is depicted on the right. Dude said, “Those two cats look nothing alike.” I said, “Of course they do; they’re both white fluffy cats!” After considering for a few moments, he said, “The one on the left isn’t as fluffy.”

blush p 9

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #29!

May 31, 2015

Can’t believe we’re up to 29 challenges already over at Linda Ledbetter’s! It has been so much fun to follow along in Tim Holtz’s third Compendium of Curiosities book, and while I’ve missed a few due to not having the right supplies or life just getting in the way (as it tends to do!), I feel like I’ve gotten so much out of this book, thanks to Linda, and gotten to know so many great gals in the “Curiosity Crew” through their stories and artwork.

This time we’re turning to page 44 and learning the “Eroded Metallic” technique. There are several steps to the process, and the end result is awesome!

I did the technique on a tag using the new Cracked Pistachio Distress Paint, which is a gorgeous color. I had a wee bit of trouble with the final step in the process until I changed up the way I was using the “tool” and then I really loved the results. Want to know more? Check out the technique in Tim’s book!

The balloon image is from Stampington; it’s one of my favorites. I mounted it on corrugated cardboard which I’d painted and swiped with black ink. Then used my favorite metallic Distress Paint, Antiqued Bronze, on some black Dresden, and stained a bit of white lace with Mermaid Lagoon and Stormy Sky Distress inks and added this to the bottom along with some tissue tape. I stamped the background with a “fairy dust” stamp (which is basically just random dots in various sizes) and then finished it off with copper colored metal corners.

balloon tag

You can join in the challenges at any time and there’s always a ton of inspiration, as Linda’s “Curiosity Crew” each creates their own version of the technique. And prizes are waiting to be won! Wouldn’t you love a gift certificate to spend at The Inspiration Emporium? Of course you would. 🙂

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #28

May 14, 2015

Have you been following along with the challenges over at Linda Ledbetter’s blog? We’ve been working our way through Tim Holtz’s Compendium of Curiosities III book; there is fun to be had and prizes to be won! This time we’re turning to page 57 and learning how to do Alcohol Ink Ombre.

This challenge is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique and wouldn’t it be great to win a gift certificate? All you have to do is create something with the Alcohol Ink Ombre technique. Check out the Curiosity Crew’s great examples on Linda’s blog for inspiration. They always do amazing work!

Admittedly I had some trouble with this technique at first. It came down to my reading the instructions and then, in my silly mind, replacing one simple three-letter word with another. Note to self: “tap” is NOT the same as “rub”!

Once I re-read the directions and figuratively slapped myself upside the head for doing it wrong, I was able to achieve a very nice ombre effect. I made three pieces; one brown, one teal, one orange, and decided to use them all in one project. I pulled out one of my favorite Tim Holtz stamp sets; stamped one image on each color and colored one of the images with markers.

tim butterfly 1

The brown piece was attached to a black card and the others were adhered on top with foam tape for added dimension. A couple of metal corners rubbed with Mermaid Lagoon Distress Paint completed the card.

tim butterfly 2

Once I figured out what I was doing, this was really fun and I love the ombre effect!

Compendium Challenge #21

February 13, 2015

I can’t believe there have been 21 challenges already! Linda Ledbetter’s doing a great job putting these challenges together, and the Curiosity Crew always makes such pretty examples of each technique from Tim Holtz’s Compendium of Curiosities III.So much inspiration! You can join in any time; and why wouldn’t you when there are prizes to be won! This time the sponsor is The Inspiration Emporium, and coincidentally, I am getting ready to place an order. It’s so much fun shopping there; if you’re a Tim Holtz fan, they’ve got just about everything you’d ever want!

This time we are turning to page 55 and learning a technique using Rock Candy Distress Glitter. I can’t tell you exactly what we did, but it was fun and easy and of course, sparkly! (I always love sparkly.)

My take on this was as a background and I used this particular image, stamped a few times onto a tag which had been colored with Distress Ink:

valentine vine stamp

This is a close-up; the whole stamp is about 5″ long. I’m showing you the stamp because there’s no way you can tell what this image is in the final product! But it does make a great sparkly background.

Like 99% of everyone else, I’m thinking of Valentine’s Day this week, so I went with that theme.

valentine tag closeup

Hopefully this closeup shows the sparkle at least a little bit. Rock Candy Distress Glitter is very chunky! I sprinkled a bit of “regular” glitter on as well to make sure all the areas were well covered. The round stickers are by Bo Bunny.

Using a Tim Holtz die, I made a pretty pink rosette to compliment the pretty fluttery lady.

valentine tag rosette

I punched the center from red glitter paper and added Stickles to the rosette edges.  A bit of lace, ruffly trim and a sheer ribbon for the top, and this tag is ready for its Valentine debut!

valentine tag

Compendium Challenge #20

January 31, 2015

Once again I find myself getting a project done at the last minute! We’re having a blast at Linda Ledbetter’s fun and fancy blog for challenges based on Tim Holtz’s newest book, Compendium of Curiosities III. This time the sponsor is The Funkie Junkie Boutique, and what a great place to get all your newest artistic accouterments!

We have turned to page 40 in our Compendiums and learned some useful additions to the watercolor technique. I love Tim’s version of watercoloring and don’t do it nearly often enough. It was fun to pick out a stamp that would look great being colored in this fashion, and I quickly settled on one of the many mermaid stamps I have owned for many years. Unfortunately I can’t remember who makes this stamp (and forgot to write it down when I first bought it, as I usually do), but I just love her; she’s such a pretty lady of the sea!

mermaid tag 3

I used the technique as described in the book, adding some of my own special touches. When it came time for the spritzing, I masked off the mermaid’s face and most of her body, as I didn’t want any speckles there. After tearing the watercolor paper around her, I decided she was a good size for a tag, so I made the background on a tag with my favorite Tim Holtz background technique: cover it with various shades of Distress Ink and then spritz with water. I just love the look!

mermaid tag 2

I departed from my usual “everything is lined up and centered and straight” approach this time; which was so much fun! The paper had curled up a little from the water, so I left it that way and just glued the center down. The lace, flowers, mulberry paper and crepe paper were added in the same way; a little off-kilter and not quite firmly glued down. I need a lot more practice before I can do this kind of thing with skill, but I’ve always loved that “thrown-together without a care” look that some talented artists can achieve. (Of course, we all know it takes a very long time to make something look like it took a minute!)

mermaid tag 1

As usual, the final touches had to be Stickles. (I have all the new colors on their way to me as we speak! I’m a Stickles hoarder/junkie/collector!) I mixed Persimmon Stickles with Ranger Glossy Accents to embellish the floral lace, and made a couple of flourishes with True Blue covered with Diamond to tone down the color a little.

There are plenty of challenges left to go and loads of inspiration from the Curiosity Crew! You have two entire weeks to finish each challenge, so won’t you join us?

Sewing Journal, Part Two (or possibly Part One)

January 16, 2015

Little did I know when I made a sewing journal for the Compendium of Curiosities challenge, that my comment about Challenge #13 being “lucky” was prophetic! For, as it turned out, I won the random drawing in that challenge for a $50 gift card to Inspiration Emporium, whereupon I immediately purchased a whole bunch of Tim Holtz fabric. It’s still waiting in my fabric stash to be made into an amazing rag quilt.

I made a sewing journal (here) because I knew I’d need another one soon. I was quickly filling up a blank book I’d found at the thrift store with photos, stories and fabric swatches and knew I’d need to expand into a second volume (at the very least). Last evening I decorated the cover and now my first journal is complete!

As with the first journal cover, which is going to be the second journal (yes, I’m confused), I used a photo of a pretty lady at her vintage sewing machine and added the word “SEW.” These puffy vinyl stickers started out glittery white; I used alcohol inks to help them match the rest of the embellishments.

1st sewing journal 3

I left part of the background of the original book cover showing; it depicted an ancient Greek scene of two lovers (pretty people in togas!) with metallic silver swirls around the edges. I liked the edges and so left them bare. Along with the image of the lady at her sewing machine, I added stamped pink tissue paper, wide gingham ribbon, satiny ribbon yarn, lace, a beautiful silk flower, some Stickles swirls and a paper butterfly that I colored with chalk.

1st sewing journal 4

I had trouble getting good pictures; it’s been overcast and rainy the past two days, so the photos came out a little “gloomy.” But you can still get an idea of the design, even if the colors are a bit muted.

1st sewing journal 1

I love how “fat” this book is. The inside pages are heavy cardstock folded over double with slits in each corner to accommodate photos. I had a great time filling it up with journaling and pictures of my rag quilts and rag bags and can’t wait to get started on the first one I made (which will be the second one)!

1st sewing journal 2

Compendium Challenge #17

December 12, 2014

I haven’t been able to participate in the last couple of challenges over at the incredible Linda Ledbetter’s blog (long stories, none interesting!), but I definitely had to make time for the newest, to use Tim Holtz’s Woodlands trees and/or Tinsel Twine in a project.

For some time now, I’ve been collecting vintage porcelain/ceramic vases, planters and ashtrays in the shape of swans, cherubs, deer and other pretty little creatures in sweet pastel colors. I love the look of shabby chic for Christmas, so I decided to fill some of the vessels with bottle brush trees with bead garland and mica-topped cotton batting for snow.

For this challenge, I picked three of my favorite swan-shaped pretties and used the Woodlands trees.

I can’t share how I colorized them (check out the directions on page 60 of Tim’s excellent Compendium of Curiosities, Vol. III), but it was fun and quite satisfying!

swan 1

The stars are from a pack of confetti; just the right size for the top of the tiny trees.

swan 2

I typed up the banners and cut them out, then outlined with Stickles. (Because everything’s better with Stickles!) On this next one, I also added Stickles to the star.

swan 3

This particular swan had a little chip on his neck, so I wrapped some tinsel around to disguise it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find Tim’s tinsel in my local stores, so I made do with a fancy yarn from my stash that kind of looks like tinsel!

So much inspiration over at Linda’s; the Curiosity Crew does Christmas so well! There’s plenty of time to join in the fun, and you can even win a wonderful prize from the sponsor, Inspiration Emporium! I was overjoyed to win this prize for Challenge #13 and had the BEST time shopping there. They have an amazing array of Tim’s (and other) products; I was thrilled to get some of his beautiful fabric and can’t wait to use it in my next quilt!

3 swans

Compendium Challenge 13: Part Deux

October 25, 2014

At the last minute, I went ahead and made another album while I waited for the laundry to wash and dry. Our fluffy lil’ Junipurr has a lot of sparkle and sass, so I added lots of Distress Stickles to sparkle things up. The flourishes are grungeboard colored with Tea Dye Distress ink and enhanced with Tarnished Brass Distress Stickles. The letters are a stick-on alphabet that used to be striped green and yellow; I dyed them with Espresso alcohol ink and added Shabby Shutters Distress Stickles.

junipurr journal 1

Unfortunately these photos aren’t the best; it was dark when I finished and I had to use my Daylight lamp instead of the real daylight to photograph. I look forward to filling it with pictures of cute lil’ Junipurr!

Don’t forget to join us over at Linda’s for these fun challenges; you can win a prize from one of the great sponsors (this time it’s Inspiration Emporium), and get so much inspiration from the Curiosity Crew!

junipurr journal 2

Compendium Challenge: Lucky 13!

October 24, 2014

Over at Linda Ledbetter’s, we’re continuing the fun bi-weekly challenges of creating every project in Tim Holtz’s latest book Compendium of Curiosities 3. Each challenge is sponsored and prizes are to be won! This time we are decorating Tim’s “worn cover” and the sponsor is Inspiration Emporium, with a very generous prize for the winner and a nice discount for anyone who participates!

I learned to make rag quilts last month and once I knew it was going to become somewhat of an obsession (::ahem:: – WHAT giant fabric stash?), I decided to make a sewing journal to document all my projects. It’s almost full already, with fabric swatches, photos and journaling, so I decided a second volume is in order.

Enter Tim’s Worn Cover and ring binder system. I just love the small size and thickness of these covers and that you can either add the ring binding piece or sew the pages in.

I found two images of the same pretty lady sitting at her sewing machine that I just fell in love with. This one is slated to grace the cover of my first sewing journal as soon as I have the insides done:


Isn’t she just gorgeous? I love the flowers strewn about and the excited expression on her face. Probably I don’t have the same expression while I’m sewing (have to concentrate so I don’t stab myself too awfully much with pins), but I certainly feel it!

She looks a little less thrilled  in her second pose (maybe a pin got her already), but just as lovely. This is the image I decided to use on my worn cover:

sewing woman

I started by tearing and distressing a corrugated cardboard piece for the background layer, then painted it pink with mint green streaks. I used Walnut Stain Distress ink to color two grungeboard flourishes and letters. All that was needed then was a bit of lace and a flower. I tied the ring binder into the book with a length of seam binding that I’d colored with Vintage Photo and Worn Lipstick Distress Inks. Everything then got a good few swipes of the Walnut Stain ink to tie it all together and make it look well-used and grungy.

sewing journal 1

The ribbon was still a little damp when I took the photos; it has since dried to a beautiful soft pink color.

I have two different worn covers left to play with; I think the next one is going to be a photo album to hold pictures of our newest little feline friend, Junipurr. (It’s only fair, since I already have an album devoted to Taz!)

sewing journal 2