Friday, 30 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry - day 10

Well, it was the last day of class today!  And rock candy distress stickles - a little bit of vintage sugar sparkles!
the whole tag sparkles in the light - I just couldn't photograph it too well!
all my sample technique tags - now just waiting for a cover!
 A great way to end this fantastic class!  And as well as all our technique tags (25 plus) we've got lifetime access to all the materials as well!!  So, no excuses there then!
... and there's still time to join in - see here
Tim has been the most amazing & supportive teacher, so hard working and enthusiastic about the products that he (and we) love; producing all the materials and answering everyone's questions (including mine!).  I really have learnt so much and been so inspired from this class!!  But I do know you never stop learning - there's definitely more to learn!  (I do hope Tim does another, and another, and ... - roll on Creative Chemistry 102!!)

So now it's a case of putting everything into practice that I've learnt - and there comes the daunting part! Wish me luck! 

Back soon, educated and inspired (fingers crossed)!  Kay

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - day 9

Perfect Pearls today - I really hadn't realised how versatile they are!  (I was very tempted by the sets at the craft shop this afternoon, but I did resist!!) - I already had 3 perfect pearls, & a set of 6 Cosmic Shimmer iridescent mica pigments (which I must try out with these techniques soon!).  I love the depth you can get with multiple layers of inks & pearls - they almost look like some of those amazing enhanced photographs of galaxies & nebulas in deep space...(!)

So, I had a great play with the perfect pearls... here's my first attempts...

(from left)
Perfect Distress Mist - I made up 3 mists - heirloom gold in dried marigold, pewter in tumbled glass, forever violet in dusty concord - even the first layer was amazing -

& it got better as I went on!

Perfect Distress - I used tattered rose stain for the tag, then inked the stamp in milled lavender, broken china & iced spruce with pewter perfect pearls over & then distressed the edges with same inks.  The wicking from under the pewter wasn't very noticeable though - perhaps it was the colours I used?

Perfect Splatter Distress - I used my 3 perfect pearls with distress inks in vintage photo, spiced marmalade, mustard seed, broken china, dusty concord, and aged mahogany, which took over!!!

perfect splatter distress before inking, with glossy paper coloured with remaining inks
the tag improved after I'd inked over it in places!!

& here are my second attempts...

(again from left)
Perfect Distress Mist - I used same mists as before, but on a Kraft tag, which gives a totally different effect!  I think they must be made from a thinner cardstock, as it really warped, but I loved the effect, & I'm thinking if I sprayed a whole sheet of Kraft paper, I could then die-cut lacy borders from it - I think it would look rather 'cool'!!

Perfect Distress - this time, the inks (mustard seed, wild honey & spiced marmalade, over antique linen stain) originally wicked too much under the heirloom gold perfect pearls!!  So after much playing around (which meant that the perfect pearls spread over the tag as well!) I restamped the quote with wild honey, & tried again, just on this - it did work better this time!

Perfect Splatter Distress - I used roughly the same colours as before, only missing out the aged mahogany!!

So yet again, I've had such great fun today, thanks to Tim!! and learnt so much!!!  And I know I've only just scratched the surface with all these techniques, so more playing over the weekend, methinks!

And by the way, my shattered stains butterfly from yesterday has alighted on my Vagabond, & seems quite happy & settled there!

Back soon!  Kay

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 8

Day 8 ... waiting for paint to dry!!! - but on the plus side, I had time to sort out most (some!!) of my supplies which had spread out in the dining (craft!) room over the past week or so!!!

1) Dabber resist,on canvas & inks with distress stains - I liked the effect, not sure about my colours though, I think I want some different ones (see below though)!

2) Crackle paint resist - I love the effect of crackle paint!  I diluted dried marigold & tumbled glass re-inker (1 drop re-inker to a spritz or two of water) to use instead of distress stains, along with tattered rose, antique linen & a little peeled paint stains.  I wanted a pale background, & I loved how it turned out - not sure about the placing of the stamps though!!  Oh well!! ...

3) Shattered stains - I love rock candy crackle!!!  I decided to try out different ways of colouring the dry crackle.  From the bottom  ...
a) distress markers
b) distress stains, with a little left-over diluted re-inker
c) dylusions ink spray, spritzed into a palette, and painted onto the bird with a brush, with a little left-over diluted re-inker as above

I also used the distress markers on a butterfly...

I can't believe there's only 2 technique days left!  I'll have to make sure that I now use everything I've learnt from Tim!!!

Back soon,   Kay

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - day 7

It's day 7 today - heat embossing, & I've done my "homework"!!

1) Nostalgic Batik - I stamped the elephant with mustard seed & the 'trim' with wild honey & heat embossed clear over the top.  Then I inked the background with various colours of distress ink & overstamped the 'weeds' with black soot.  It was looking a bit dark, so I quite heavily misted & flicked the tag with water, until I was happy with the background.

2) Rusted Enamel - colours used were broken china, spun sugar & shabby shutters.  I decided to add stamps with jet black archival ink on the 3rd tag before I embossed it.  (I tried with the 2nd tag with sepia archival, but it didn't show up too well! & I still need to practice in swiping some of the embossing powder off!!

3) Distress Powder Resist - I inked the stamps with distress scattered straw & embossed with dried marigold distress powder.  The stamp is maybe a little too fine-detailed for distress powder? - but it did work!!  The quote would have worked great, except I didn't stamp it too well, so the right hand side didn't emboss much!  So I 'embraced my imperfection' & after I'd added distress inks to the tag, I overstamped the quote with vintage photo - slightly 'off centre', but it's given a 3D effect to the left-hand side of the quote which I like!! I think I'll  use this 'mistake' again!!!

I enjoyed playing with the embossing powders today - I've got quite a few, different makes & colours, so I'm off to try out all of them on light & dark cardstock (to see if they're translucent or opaque!) & so I've got a reference for them!!

Looking forward to paints tomorrow!!!  Have I said I'm loving this class??  Well I certainly am!!  And I'm learning so much - Tim is one amazing teacher!!! 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 6

So day 6 is working with distress markers - I've been lucky enough to get 3 of the colours, and they are just great!  I had a very happy morning practicing the various techniques...

I love how they blend together - I think,luckily (!) Fired Brick, Crushed Olive & Stormy Sky make a great range of colours!  Of course I'd like to get my hands on a few more (especially Picket Fence!), but meanwhile, I've been having great fun playing & experimenting!  They even (sort of!) worked on a kraft tag! 

1st stamping on kraft, 2nd stamping with misting the stamp, on watercolour paper

trial blending with markers
3rd generation, on watercolour paper - I'm amazed how vibrant the colours are, 3rd time round!
A bit slpodgy (lots of misting!) but I love the effect! 

 I followed Tim's advice & example & made notes by the side, so my tags today really are samples!  I especially love the effects on watercolour paper.  I loved Day 2's brushless watercolour technique, but I love using the markers,  a different effect, as you can put the colours exactly where you want them to be!
first 4 trial pieces

Back soon!  Kay

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry - Day 5

So it's the end of the first week, & the weekend to relax, take a breather & keep on playing with what I've learnt so far!!!
So Day 5 was all about distress stains.

1) stained 'kraft resist' (left)
2) stamping with stains (top right)
3) marbled stains (bottom right)
 1) Stained Kraft Resist - well, Kraft Resist is still on my wishlist, so I heat embossed a kraft tag with enamel embossing powder - luckily this didn't melt again when I dried the distress stains with my heat tool!  I think the kraft tag is slightly darker than the Kraft Resist paper, & the black archival ink darker than the black printing on the Kraft Resist, so my final stamping at the end didn't show up as much ...  * see below for my other attempts!

2) Stamping with stains - I've only had 1 attempt at this so far - fairly please except that I must have 'flooded' the stamp with the picket fence, or pressed down too hard or for too long, as it is very 'splotchy'!!

3) Marbled stains - well, it worked after a fashion, but I definitely need more practice!!!

my first 3 attempts at 'stained kraft resist  - I finally went with my 1st one for my sample tag!
I tried another tag using sepia archival, buit this time I lightened the tag with picket fence, so it hardly showed up at all!  For a third tag, I went back to firstly stamping with jet black but using picket fence - although this did lighten the background stamping, it still showed up too much when the final stamp was added.  So I need to do a bit more practice on this technique - and if I made my own, make sure the background stamping isn't where I want my final stamping to be (or get some Kraft Resist paper, which would be much easier!!)

I'm going to play a bit more tonight (& I've got a few ideas to go with!) and then another whole week with Tim - I can't wait!!

Back soon! Kay

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 4

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad!!

Day 4 was about techniques with distress re-inkers.

1) watercolour with reinkers (left)
(2) - messed up & not shown!)
3) custom stamp pad (right)

1) Watercolouring with re-inkers - I enjoyed this one!  I layered a PaperArtsy stamp behind the Crafty Individuals girl stamp, & then got to work watercolouring.  I've just got 4 re-inkers, but I was pleased with the colours & how I could blend them together to make other colours and lighten them - the 'brown' is a mixture of dried marigold & dusty concord and the girl's fair hair is a very very pale wash of dried marigold!

2) Layered misting - I love Tim's example, but I really couldn't get on with this one at all - I think I need a lot more practice!! I wasn't sure why the final spray seeped under the stencil (& I also tried it with an adhesive mask - same problem!)  Tim has kindly answered my question about it so I'll have to have another play ... * (see update below)

3) Custom stamp pad - I really enjoyed this one as well & loved how it turned out!!  I couldn't wait for the Cut N Dry felt I ordered (its come now!), so I used double-sided adhesive to stick a piece of felt onto the grey side of some Cut N Dry foam.  I only used 3 of my re-inkers - dusty concord, tumbled glass & dried marigold & I was surprised how colourful the bird stamped out.  I also used the same custom pad to randomly ink up the sprigs at the bottom.  Really pleased!!   Hopefully the custom pad will last for a while... I made one last December for one of Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas 2011 (Day 3) & kept it in a sealable plastic bag - the custom random pad is still full of ink!

Thanks to Tim's advice (light mist, allow to soak in, another light mist) & his advice to another misting question to mist from further away, I have managed a passable attempt at layered misting ... thanks Tim!

Back soon with day 5!  Kay

Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 - Day 3

So, it's been a catch-up weekend for me!  Loving it!
Day 3 was all about Archival Inks.  And this almost totally the day of umbrellas (I don't know why - it wasn't raining, we've actually had some lovely sunny days!!)

1) Alcohol Ink Agates (left)
2) Archival Resist (centre)
3) stamping with reflections (right)
 1) Alcohol Ink Agates
For the background, I used a mix of six inks, Gold Mixative & Blending solution.  Then I stamped Art Journey's "Umbrella Girl" in Black Archival over the top.  I love alcohol inks!

2) Archival Resist
So the other day I bought a couple of 'bright' archival inks (I'd only got black & sepia) and used these (Magenta Hue & Aquamarine) together with StazOn mustard & pumpkin for the "resist" (Stampington stamps, & actual bubble wrap!).  Then I added distress stains & finally the images in black archival.

3) Stamping with reflections
OK, so most of my texture fades are all-over patterns, apart from Tim's small set.  And with my first attempt using - yes, you've guessed, Umbrella Man - this didn't cover the whole of the tag!  And I haven't got any reflections stamps - so this is my take on it!  I stamped a PaperArtsy image in black archival onto the texture fade using a small tag, from which I then ripped off the top & bottom & inked with distress.  For the 'background' tag, I just inked up the texture fade with Aquamarine archival & then went over with distress. (I haven't yet dared to cut a slit in any of my texture fades!!)

So I've finally got my day 3's sample tags!  But these weren't my first attempts! I definitely learnt from my first three! 

1) Alcohol ink agates - after I'd stamped with black archival, I decided it should have a bit more blue, so I started over the tag with another layer of alcohol ink - wrong!!!  - the alcohol ink started to dissolve the archival!!! Oops!!
2) Archival resist - when you've got two inks in plum (dark) & amythyst (bright) with similar lids (Ancient Page archival), pick up the correct one! My 1st attempt was going OK until I used the plum!!! Oops!!
3) Stamping with reflections - if you're using a small texture fade, do this on a separate piece & add to a background as the embossing folder tends to mark at the bottom & at the sides!  And I discovered I haven't got many 'background' stamps (or any reflections stamps)!!  Oh well!!

Back soon with days 4 & 5!! Kay

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tim Holtz's Creative Chemistry Day 2

I am thrilled to be taking Tim Holtz's online course (details here) "Creative Chemistry"... handouts, videos, forums & galleries & loads of support from Tim himself!  He's going into details of the "chemistry" behind products, so we understand why some things work & why others don't & showing us lots of techniques ... I've learnt so much already!!

So day 2 was on distress inks ... he showed us 3 different techniques, which I've been playing around with, on tags ...  I'll be creating a "tag book" for the techniques (we also get mini technique reminders to stick on the back of the tags) ... 

Blended distress (& flicking with water)

Brushless Watercolour 

Wrinkle-free distress

And I've been trying them out on lots of tags, making notes on the back of what colours I've used, in case I want to do them again!  I'm also writing what I did on other bits & pieces that didn't make tags!  And I'm hoping to stamp on some of today's not so successful tags later to improve them a bit (or a spray of perfect pearls mist may do the trick!)

For the tag on the right here, I used a limited colour palette - mainly browns with spiced marmalade, on a kraft tag, I quite like the way this one turned out (I think wrinkle-free distress is probably the most difficult of the day's techniques, for me, anyway!)
Mind you, dealing with inks & water is rather imprecise -that's one of the things I like about it, even if you do the same thing with the same colours, the next tag will turn out quite different!! And its amazing how different surfaces can create quite major differences in the appearance!

And lots more to come - I can see I'll be buying some more tags before the fortnight's out!  And I'm loving the opportunity to learn & play at the same time - "homework" has never been so fun & inspiring!!!

Back soon!  Kay

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tim's tags of 2012 - March

Well, I'd started the March tag a couple of weeks ago, with Tim's background wallpaper stamp (as I haven't got a woodgrain stamp), I'd diecut the butterflies with Tim's mosaic technique (embossed with distress embossing powder in tattered rose), stamped the quote "it's the little things that make life big", and then ...  how to embellish?  I couldn't decide, & it had been sitting around for a week or two, waiting for inspiration!!

Meanwhile, I had diecut some tiny flowers out of alcohol-inked glossy paper for my "inspire" canvas for May Flaum's "Curious Scrapbooker's Field Guide" class.  I had some of the flowers left over, they were sitting around with a few unused buttons & other bits & pieces from the project...

So the other morning, I saw the flowers and the butterflies together - that's it, I thought - add the flowers & buttons to the March tag!!  Which I did!

I did think of redoing the quote, as I've got Tim's "disorderly" stamp - "one of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries", which I though was very appropriate and as an (extremely) disorderly crafter, so true!

But in the end I went with the original... bits & pieces attached, tag done - eventually!!

Back soon! Kay

curious scrapbookers field guide (2) !

Another project I've completed...

A bit of a 'sidetrack' this one, May had given us the link to Anna's (Finnabair's) website - her work is a m a z i n g !!! I found a 1 1/2 hour 'video' where she created a layout & I was inspired to try similar (it took me much longer than 1 1/2 hours though!).  I had such fun doing this!!  I'm hoping to do one of my Dad as well, sometime!  (Photo is of Mum as a little girl).

And some other finished projects...

2nd scrapbook page - I roughly painted the background paper, which was a bit too vivid for the photos.

A tiny altered 'birdhouse'... the house itself is only about 2 1/2" high & the 'tree' is actually a small diecut leaf!

And finally ...

A simple card with faux stitching...

I'm now working on a canvas... I've got as far as this at the moment...

Basic texture & colours done, flowers etc to add (not sure how I'm going to do them yet though!) we should be getting more ideas from May in the next couple of weeks!

Loving this class!!

Back soon!  Kay

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Where in the World is my Vagabond?!

Hi there,
Sizzix are wanting to discover where in the world their (amazing) Tim Holtz Vagabond diecut machines have ended up (with a chance to get a set of new Gauge Keys & new limited edition Vagabond travel stickers!!!) thanks Tim for mentioning the Sizzix promotion on your blog!

So, one's ended up here, in Watford, UK.  (I was lucky enough to get the UK 2011 Tim Holtz Vagabond sticker last year when I went to his PaperArtsy workshop!)

Location is roughly where the Tim-inspired mosaic butterfly (Tim's March 2012 tag) is on the map...  At least it would have been here a couple of hundred years or more ago!  Of course Watford's grown a bit since then, & what were fields have become an area of small Victorian/Edwardian terraced houses!

So for a while now my Vagabond has been sitting in it's box, & the dies have been stored under other boxes of stash, so it's been a hassle getting everything out, although of course that hasn't stopped me!

But a couple of weeks ago I had a brainwave!!!  I craft in our dining room, (I said our house was small, didn't I!) and there was a small table next to the computer, just sitting there, with piles of CDs, floppy disks (!) & other bits & pieces; so I cleared it up & found other places (!) for the bits we kept, and purloined it for my 'craft area'.  

Of course my Vagabond has pride of place - there's a power socket on the wall below, space on the floor for cutting pads etc, and space on an even tinier table to the right for a couple of storage boxes for my dies - sorted!  It's just brilliant having everything to hand!!!  And a massive thanks to my husband & daughter who have allowed me to take over this table!!!!!