Thursday, October 12, 2017

Autumn Blessings

It has been a very warm Autumn day here in the North Carolina mountains.  I've had the day off and spent some time crafting.  Here is one of my latest projects.  A very special family member has her birthday in October.  I created this charming acorn gift box to hold her present.

My gift box started off rather plain.  I found these adorable Martha Stewart boxes at my local Tuesday Morning store and knew it would be perfect for a fall birthday keepsake.

I began with the interior of the box.  I stamped this lovely leaf background with an Inkadinkadoo clear stamp on Tim Holtz plain tissue wrap with black archival ink.  I adhered it, in strips, to the interior of the box with Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  The outer band of the box interior was painted with Walnut Stain Distress Paint.

The exterior painting and images was all trial and error.  I painted the exterior shell part of the acorn with a variety of brown Distress and acrylic paints.   I stamped it with a variety of fall-themed Inkadinkadoo clear stamps and a rubber "blessed" stamp (that I cannot for the life of me remember  its manufacturer).  Stamping a rounded 3D object is not for the faint of heart!  I don't think I made too much of a mess of the stamping.  I must confess that I used an archival pen to clean up a leaf that smeared on the front of the box.  I gave the shell a light coat of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Then I decided to try to get a little more texture.  I used some Crazing Distress Collage Medium.  I put on a pretty thick coat.  I got a little impatient and dried it with a heat gun.  I know better, but did it anyway.  I did not get all the amazing crackles that I typically get with this product, but I did get the texture that I wanted for the shell.   I used a Ground Espresso Distress Crayon to fill in the nooks and crannies (wiping off the excess with a baby wipe).  I love the final effect.

I mixed Antique Linen Distress Paint with Brushed Corduroy Distress Stain to cover the acorn cap of my box.  Once that dried, I covered it with a layer of Vintage Distress Collage Medium.  Then I worked in some Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to detail texture on the cap (once again wiping off excess crayon with a baby wipe).

Finally, Tim Holtz's Autumn Gatherings die strip was used to die cut leaves from printed paper.  I colored them with Distress Ink in autumn colors.  Some chit chat stickers were adhered to the leaves and outlined with a marker.  The leaves were glued together with collage medium and embellished with some wire and a decorative brad. I put the whole fall medley on the acorn cap with Ranger Matte Multi Medium.

Well, that's it for my fall-themed gift box.  I think I will have to make one for myself!

In the mean time, I am submitting this gift box to the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge:  Not a Card (I thought this one was funny.  I tell my family that they either get a gift or a card from me, but not both.  So since this project was a gift, I definitely did not make a card for this challenge :) )

A Vintage Journey's: Crazy for Autumn Color

Country View Challenges: Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues

Craft Stamper's Take It Make It October Anything Goes Challenge

Hope you were able to get your hands inky this week.  Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fighter ... Chiari Awareness Month

Ah ... my friends ... it has been way too long.  I kept hoping to blog more over the summer and my time just got away from me.  My job has kept me extremely busy and my presence in crafty blogland suffered as a result.  I have missed you all so very much.

However, I am back with a special project that I really want to share with you.  I planned to post it yesterday, the last day of September (but my computer had other plans for me).  Yesterday was my 50th birthday.  While that may not be a very good day for many people, it was an amazing milestone for me.  You see, I once thought I would not make it past my 30th birthday.  Many of you know that I have a condition called Chiari Malformation and that it took me a very long time to figure out why I suffered from some serious and often debilitating symptoms.  Chiari Malformation Type I is an abnormality in the lower part of the brain called the cerebellum.  The bottom part of the cerebellum is called the cerebellar tonsils.  In Chiari I, the tonsils hang or are pushed through the opening at the base of the skull into the spinal canal. This can often slow or stop the flow of spinal fluid from the spine to the brain and back again and cause horrible headaches.  It can also impinge on nerves and other vital structures that can cause a variety of symptoms all over the body.  This often makes Chiari very difficult to diagnose.  We all present with different symptoms, depending on the position, length, thickness of the tonsils.  Each September, I try to raise awareness for this condition since so many go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.  If you are interested in my story, you can follow it via the posts below:

This September, I have been working on a very special project.  Last year, I introduced you to one my "Chiari Sisters", Elizabeth.  What a blessing it has been to have a fellow Chiari patient to talk to and understand the issues related to our conditions.  As much as our family and friends care about us and try to understand, it is so very hard to understand the variety of bizarre things we experience on a daily basis.  Elizabeth has been a rock for me and encouraged me.  This year, she presented me with a water color painting of boxing gloves that she painted for me.  (See above image)  Isn't it fantastic!!!  The gloves represent the fact that I've taken up boxing (non-sparring) as a way to increase flexibility, core strength and strength in my shoulder, arm and neck muscles in my continuing fight against the impacts of Chiari on my body. 

This painting touched me so very much.  I wanted to create a special frame for it.  The frame began as an Easter shadowbox frame purchased on clearance at Big Lots.  I knew I wanted to create a very grungy frame, taking my inspiration from old city boxing gyms (with old brick, rusty metal, grungy paint, etc.)  And here is how the rest played out in my craft room ...

The top, bottom, left and right outside surfaces of the frame were sanded and then some areas were given a some swipes of Vintage Photo Distress Crackle Paint.  This added some texture and color.  Then I gave all of these surfaces a light overall coat of Weathered Wood Distress Paint.  Then I mixed in a little Antique Linen Distress Paint to lighten it up.  The edges were sanded again and then I began added Black Soot and Walnut Stain Distress Crayon (rubbing into the  crevices made by the crackle paint and paint brush strokes), then wiping some of it off with a damp baby wipe. 

Then it was time to embellish.  I was so touched  by Elizabeth's gift that I wanted to decorate the piece with words ... all the words that I associate with our friendship and journey together through this thing called Chiari.  Out came the Tim Holtz's Remnant Rubs. I used a light coat of Matte Distress Collage Medium to reduce the "white edges" around the remnant rubs and make them look like they have always been on the frame.  (Thanks for the tip Paula Cheney!)  Then I grabbed Tim's Alpha Parts "This is Life" and "Remember".  They were painted with Rusty Hinge, Antique Linen and Broken China Distress Paint.  Now to add some metal!  I knew I wanted to hang the frame on my wall, so I used a Hobby Lobby Spare Parts Drawer Pull (colored with Silver Mixative, Mushroom, and Black alcohol ink) as my frame "hook".    I used some jute to tie on a 45 cent tag (made with Tim's Ephemera collection) and a Tim Holtz Muse Token ("knowledge" since Elizabeth and I have learned a great deal about Chiari through this journey).  I added another Muse Token (memories) and a Type Token (story) that were colored with distress paint and/or alcohol ink.  I use an old Distress Black Soot Marker to grunge around the 3-D parts and add shadows.

The front face of the frame was given the same Distress paint/crayon treatment.  I used another TH ephemera piece "special delivery" and a chit chat sticker "kind" to say just how much I think of this painting!  I had some chip board letters from Hobby Lobby that I painted with a base layer of Rusty Hinge Distress Paint.  I sanded them and inked them Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I wanted them to look like rusty metal, so I added a little Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powder and then dipped them in Broken China Distress Oxide Ink that I had applied to and spritzed with water on my craft sheet.  Not a bad rusty metal look for paper!

 At the bottom for the front face of the frame, I wanted to highlight the word "FIGHTER".  I had some of Tim's Grungeboard letters.  I knew I wanted a metallic look, but nothing too bright and shiny.  I wanted something that looked like it had been beaten up a bit and weathered.  I covered the letters with some Ranger Matte Multi Medium. I used it like embossing ink.  I covered the wet medium with silver embossing power and heat embossed the letters with a heat gun.   It made the medium "bubble" and created this "hammered" metal look on the letters.  I used my Black Soot Distress Crayon to grunge the nook and crannies of the letters and wiped off excess with a wet baby wipe.  I loved it!!

 Next came more TH Chit Chat stickers.  This was an amazing process.  Elizabeth and I have been through so very much together.  We truly have become like sisters.  I was in NY with her when she had her surgery.  We have added other "Chiari Sisters" (from right here in our local town and across the country) to our family.  We supported each other when we both found out in December 2016 that we both may have more surgeries in our future.  It's been a relationship forged through trials, laughter, faith, and friendship.

Since this was a shadow box frame, I wanted to make the most of the 3-dimensional aspect of it.  I used Tim's Brick Texture Fade on some light colored card stock (colored with Fired Brick, Black Soot, Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain Distress Crayons).  I pasted these pieces of card stock onto the back panel of the shadow box frame.  This gave me the exposed brick wall feeling of an old boxing gym.   Alcohol ink was used to "rust" some Hobby Lobby "chicken wire" (yes, you really can get just about anything there).  I used wire cutters to cut a piece big enough to insert in the frame and glued it (using Matte Multi Medium) inside the right and left side of the frame.  This later allowed me to insert watercolor in at the top and bottom of the frame where the wire was not glued.  I used the remnant rubs "breathe" and "brave" on the tiny wooden clothespins (stained with Weathered Wood Distress Stain) to attach the painting to the wire.

I grunged some of Tim's linen ribbon with Walnut Stain and Rusty Hinge Distress stain and ran it through the wire to attach the perfect Tim Holtz Quote Band (colored with Candied Apple Distress Crayon) on top of the painting.

 I am going to enter this piece in the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey's Altered Art Challenge
Simon Says Stamps Monday Challenge:  Heavy Metal (for both the metal embellishment and the paper embellishments made to look like metal)
Mixed Media World -- Anything Goes

Thanks for sharing this special blog post with me.  And a very special thank you to Elizabeth for this amazing painting, your friendship, and getting me through some very tough times! 

Elizabeth was with me in December when I found out that along with Chiari and Ehler's Danlos Syndrome, I have another condition called Eagle's Syndrome.  There seems to be a tendency for some complex Chiari patients to have all three of these conditions.  I am now part of an ongoing medical study to investigate this phenomenon.  And the journey continues ...

Mary Elizabeth

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Returning from Adventure

I know ... it has been too long since my last visit to Crafty Blogland.  I apologize to you all my friends.  The last few months have been full of adventure, busyness, and some challenges.  But I have continued to craft and I'm back to see what you all have been doing.   I have missed you all.

I am going to share some of my adventure with you.  In January, I spent a week in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.  My university has established a partnership with a university in South Africa and my dean sent me there to meet some new colleagues and hammer out  details of this partnership.   The trip was made on relatively short notice and I missed the first week of classes here.   Needless to say, it had taken a great deal energy and time out of my schedule to prepare for the trip and work out post-trip reports and plans.  I have loved the whole process (even the 32 hour one-way travel time) and the people that I met and with whom I now work.   To celebrate this adventure,  I created a special crafty tribute to South Africa.

The piece started with playing around with Tim Holtz's Life Adventure stamp set  (devoted to South African imagery).  I created a stamped (with Jet Black Archival Ink) collage on one of Tim's Mixed Media Heavystock Tags.  Oh ... I love this surface!  I used some of the Distress Crayons and a Water Brush to color the tag.  It's amazing how well this tag surface holds up to water.  Wow!  I used Pumice Stone and  Hickory Smoke on the lovely elephant.  (I must confess.  I did not see any elephants while in South Africa.  Sigh!  I saw monkeys though šŸ™Š. )  The "sun" images were colored with Mustard Seed.  I used Antique Linen, Carved Pumpkin, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke and Ground Espresso to color the background of the tag.  So easy to play with water and color on it without ruining the tag. I do think the postcard address stamps make a wonderful background for the tag.  I added a jute tag tie and backed the tag with black cardstock. 

I decided to make a stylized South African flag to be the background for my tag.  I grabbed an 8.5 in x 11 in piece of Tim's Mixed Media Heavystock paper.  Now I wanted to play with Distress Ink on this surface.  I started by sketching out the outline of the South African flag on this paper.  I cut out the pieces that would later be colored green, red, blue and black.  I think chose several stamps to create background images on these pieces.  These stamps were stamped first stamped with with Colorsnaps' Top Boss embossing ink and then covered with American Crafts' Zing! Brown Sugar Embossing Powder.  After heat embossing the stamped image, I used Distress Inks to color over the stamp images.  Oh ... this paper takes Distress Inks so very well.  For the top red piece of my flag, I used Inkadinkado's Ornamental tile stamps.  I colored it with Barn Door, Festive Berries, and Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.  I edged the piece with Ground Espresso.  I spritzed it with water.  Gorgeous!  I used a stamp from Tim's Floral Tattoo stamp set for the black piece of the flag.  It was colored with Black Soot and Ground Expresso Distress Ink.   I was thrilled to find the perfect sentiment for this piece in Tim Holtz's Small Talk stickers ... "life was meant for a great adventure."

The middle piece of the flag (colored green) was stamped with the "Africa" stamp from 7Gypsies Legend stamp set along with one of Tim's amazing flourish stamps.  I used Peeled Paint, Mown Lawn, Frayed Burlap and Ground Espresso to color this piece of the flag.  The blue piece of the flag was stamped with another of Tim's Floral Tattoo stamps and colored with Faded Denim, Blueprint Sketch, Faded Burlap and Ground Espress Distress Ink. 

I then used Collage Medium to glue the pieces of the flag on an 8.5 in x 11 in piece of cream cardstock.  I painted, with a water brush), the cardstock background stripes of the flag with Fossilized Amber Distress Crayon (for the yellow stripe) and Picket Fence (for the white stripe).  I added a Ground Espresso Disress Marker outline around all the mixed media heavystock pieces.

 To celebrate my return to the online crafting world, I would like to enter this piece in:

Simon Says: Make Your Own background at Simon Says Stamps Monday Challenge

A Vintage Journey's All Aboard Challenge (Happy Birthday AVJ!  -- love your challenges)

This piece just does not do justice the beauty and richness of my South African experiences.  I just found out that I will be heading back to South Africa for a month this summer.  I am so excited to continue my adventure there.  In the meantime, I am on spring break and trying to catch up on grading.  I fear that I've not quite caught up from missing the first week of classes.  I've been running and running this semester, but always behind in this race called life.  However, I sincerely hope to catch up with you all as well this week.  Hugs!!!  Mary Elizabeth

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treating with Tim ... Holtz 12 Tags of 2016 -- October

My apologies for a short post.  I'm just going to get this in under the wire.  Here is my take on Tim Holtz's October tag for 2016.  Tim is doing a remix of various techniques from previous years tags.  This month it is the mash up of Patchwork Collage and Sizzix Monster.  I was so excited to do this tag.  I didn't get to do the original collage tag and my Frankenstein Sizzix Monster die is absolutely one of favorites.  My take on this month's tag is nothing near the amazing tag that Tim did.  Please check out his tag here and the great step-by-step tutorial that he has on his blog. 

I'm going to leave you with some close ups of my tag.  No details tonight.

 Happy Halloween! -- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dia de Muertos

I was overjoyed to be chosen as one of the 12 Tags of 2016 winners on Tim Holtz's blog.  I was absolutely over the moon when I got my prize!  It contained Tim's Day of the Dead #1 Stamps!!  These stamps were at the top of my "I want those!" list.  Although I have a million and one things going on in my life right now, I just had to stop and create a project that highlighted these amazing stamps.

I started with a 7 Gypsies Triptych that I had in my stash.  I covered the three panels with some printed paper from Tim's Idea-ology Materialize paper pad.  I added some extra detail to the left and right panels by stamping with one of Tim's great flourish stamps.  After I had colored my focal skeletal figures, I realized that those panels needed a little more black.  I grabbed some Gothic Remnant Rubs and randomly applied bits and pieces in "blank" spots around the flourish until I felt like I had enough black.   I used a great tip from Paula Cheney to "get rid of" the faint outlines that you can see on remnant rubs after you have applied them to a project.  I gave the panels a light coat of Distress Collage Medium (matte).  The stamped flourish and remnant rubs all have the same level of black luster on now.  Finally, the panels were embellished with Idea-ology tape, decorative ribbon, Carved Pumpkin Distress Stained flowers, and some Tattered Flower Garland die cut flowers.

I absolutely love these Tim Holtz hinges.  I added some Black Soot Distress Marker around the edges to look like they were tarnishing.

And now for the stars of this show.  I stamped each of my Day of the Dead images about three times on Glossy Cardstock.  For the suave seƱor above, I fussy cut the entire image out.  On one of the duplicate stamped images, I fussy cut the brim of the hat and the roses on the right side of the stamped image.  On a third copy of the stamped image, I cut out the just the skull.  I colored them with Distress Crayons and a Fine Tip Water Brush.  Wow!!!!  Love the vibrant colors.  I scribbled all of my crayons on my craft mat and used my water brush to add layers of color onto the stamped images.  When I finished coloring (oh ... I could seriously color these stamped images for hours), I layered all my pieces together using foam squares.  This gave me more of a 3-dimensional image.  For the long-stemmed rose in my Senor's teeth, I added some lime green wire for the stem.

I did the same treatment for the lovely SeƱorita (or seƱora) above.  Don't you love her trendy purple-streaked hair?  The layers I fussy cut for her were the garland of flowers at the bottom, her hands, the heart, and her skull. When you put them all together with foam squares, the effect is just too cool!!!

Last but now least is my Day of the Dead sign.  Once again, I used some of Tim's Halloween paper.  I used an On the Edge Bracket die to scallop the top and bottom of the sign.  A Black Soot Distress Marker along with Tarnished Silver and Seedless Preserves Distress Paints were used to age the edges.  The Dia de Muertos letters came from Tim's Sign Maker Alpha Parts.  I painted them with Seedless Preserves and Ripe Persimmon Distress Paint.  The painted letters were given a little "distress love" with a towel while the  paint was still tacky. After the letters were applied to the sign, I used a silver pen to add some "drop shadows". Some of Tim's Tattered Flower Garland flowers were layered (and edged with silver pen) to give the sign a focal point.  I added some Crypt Cameos from Tim Holtz's amazing Halloween line and the sign was complete.

I'm going to enter my Dia de Muertos triptych in

Emerald Creek Dares: Falling Into Celebration  for my Day of the Dead celebration piece
Country View Challenges: All Things Spooky
A Vintage Journey's Make It Spooky Challenge
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Frilly and Funkie's:  A Very Vintage Halloween Challenge
Anything But Cute Challenge:  An Autumn Day

Thanks for dropping by.   I hope you've found a fall season crafting muse as well!  Now if I can only get my work done :)  -- Mary Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Tales of Poirot -- Guest Design Team Piece for Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog!

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to be this week's Guest Designer over at The Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog.  I nearly fell over when the lovely Linda Coughlin (the funkie junkie) asked me to design a project for this month's challenge.  What an honor.  Thanks Linda!!

I was truly inspired by Suzz's Author, Author Challenge.    Suzz said,

I have a great love for reading and was a permanent fixture at the library growing up. I decided it would be fun to host a challenge inspired by books.
There are so many wonderful books that inspire the mind to imagine the worlds created within them. Think fairy tales, mysteries, romances or even science fiction and use that to inspire your art. Your challenge it so create a shabby chic or vintage styled project inspired by a book. Provide an explanation of how the book and author inspired your project.

I was so inspired that I chose and entire series of books!  I absolutely love Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot Books.  I started reading them a few years ago and just couldn't stop :)  Dame Christie first introduced us to Monsieur Hercule Poirot in 1920 through the pages of The Mysterious Affair at Styles and bid him adieu in her 1975 Curtain.  Although Agatha Christie was not always fond of him (referring to Poirot as "a detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep"), much of the world loved him.  He even had his obituary published on the front page of the New York Times.  

My project is dedicated to the many tales of Hercule Poirot is a Paper Mache Book Box.  To go along with the 1920's introduction to Poirot, I decided to give my book cover an Art Deco feel.  I painted the cover in a semi gloss black paint.  The spine is decorated with Tim Holtz's Gilded Accent Remnant Rubs.  I just love how they sparkle on the black background.  I stamped Agatha Christie's initials with some Hampton Art alphabet stamps and gold embossed them.

Unfortunately, the cover of my paper mache book started to crack while I was working on it.  I taped reinforced it with some of Tim Holtz's Gothic Tissue Tape.  The front cover is decorated with more remnant rubs and a great Art Deco shape stamp (in the upper and lower corners) by Inkadinkado.  I filled in the shapes with Glossy Accents to really make the black pop.  I've got to say ... I really love the title of my book.  I used some of Tim's Deco Type Industrious Stickers as a mask and pounced over them with Gold Alcohol Ink Mixative applied with a Alcohol Ink Applicator.  I then removed the stickers and filled in the letters with Glossy Accents.

I wanted to make this box look like a real book, so I grabbed some Tarnished Brass Distress Paint to create my gold "page edges".  I used a stiff-bristled paint brush to drag through the paint to make it look like I have several pages in my book.  I added more tissue tape to create a decorative background for my inside front and back "covers". The tissue tape was given a light coat of Tim Holtz Distress Vintage Collage Medium.   

What really inspired me to do this project was Tim Holtz's Evolution Stamp Set.  Every time I saw this profile stamp, it reminded me of Hercule Poirot!  So this stamp graces the inside front cover of my Book Box.

I began with a piece of Glossy Paper and created a stamp collage background with images related to Poirot stories (images related to England, France, tea cups, trains, 1920's females, etc).  The background images were stamped in Tea Dye Distress Ink.  To give the white paper a more vintage look, I went over the background images with Antique Linen Distress Ink and an Ink Blending Tool.  I also added an "evidence" remnant rub to the background.

I tried stamping the Evolution image on the paper in various archival inks and it just did not look right.  I then used Walnut Stain Distress Ink and it turned out amazing!  It gave the stamped collage an amazing vintage feel.  Some of the Tea Dye stamped images came through the Walnut Stain ink.  I was not expecting that!  In fact that, "bleed through" effect was much more pronounced until I glued the Glossy Paper onto my inside front cover (with Distress Matte Collage Medium).  The moisture in the glue may have caused the water-reactive distress inks to mix more after it was glued into the book. Anyway, I love my "Poirot" image.  It turned out so much better than I expected it would.

Of course, to pay homage to the author, I cut out her signature off of one my paperback bookcovers.  I also added one of Tim Holtz's Mover and Shapers typewriter die cuts.  It was painted with the black semi-gloss paint and I added silver accents with gel pen.  The typewriter keys were given a coat of Glossy Accents.  I stamped the word Murder with Martha Stewart's Your Own Stamp Set Alphabet stamps and added it to my typewriter.  I also die cut a pen (from Sizzix's Sewing and Writing Set) out of chipboard.  The handle was painted black and covered in Glossy Accents  The nib was covered in Perfect Medium and gold embossed.  To create my "blood" on this writer's murder weapon, I mixed Glossy Accents with Barn Door Distress Stain

As for the interior of my box, I really added several details from some of my favorite Poirot books.  I used foam squares and foam blocks to put pieces at different levels. 

The background is a collage of various Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash papers.  You can see an advertisement for a Cairo hotel (Death on the Nile).  Also I have the blueprint from a train's dining car (Murder on the Orient Express).  I stamped one of Tim's trains on Glossy Paper and colored it with Distress Markers (Fired Brick, Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain, and Mustard Seed).  From The Mysterious Affair at Styles, I have some added a tea cup and some "poison" glitter in one of Tim's Corked Vials.  To make sure we know it is poison, I added a Poison remnant rub to the vial. 

Poirot is often called "the little Frenchman" by people that he meets; however, he was not from France.  He actually had flee Belgium during the war.  He was a Belgium Policeman.  I created my own version of a Belgium Police Shield with a Sizzix die, paint, Distress Markers, Glossy Accents and some gold embossing powder.  The British flag makes an appearance for Poirot's adopted home.  You will notice a lost button in the middle of the flag (a clue from Murder on the Orient Express).

Although many of Poirot's cases take place abroad, he does not travel well.  He gets a bit air sick in Death in the Clouds.  I added a plane and some layered clouds from Tim's Mini Airplane & Cloud Movers and Shapers dies.  Here you can see several words I associate with Monsieur Poirot ("little gray cells", "mon ami Hastings" for his friend Arthur Hastings, "mystery", and "method").  I used a Black Soot Distress Crayon to highlight these words and some of my other images in the collage background.

Thanks again Linda for inviting me to be a guest designer this week.  If you get a chance, drop by Linda's store, The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  I just got some new Distress Crayons to play with from there!  I can't wait to break them in!

Thanks for dropping by!  Mary Elizabeth

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Getting a Little Spooky with Tim ... Holtz 12 Tags of 2016 -- September

Hi everyone!  I'm back this weekend with my take on Tim Holtz's September Tag for 2016.  Tim has been doing a Remix series this year where does a "mash up" of two different crafting techniques.  This month's techniques are Paint Petina (for the tag background) and Alcohol Ink Resist (for the focal image).  I absolutely love Tim's Evolution stamp that he used for his tag, but I just purchased some of his great Halloween items (Batground Layering Stencil, word bands, Gothic Remnant Rubs, etc).  So I ended up with a Halloween-themed September tag.

I pretty much followed Tim's techniques with the exception of using some of his ric rac trim instead of sewing.  I also used a little tip he mentioned in one of the Creative Chemistry courses (can't remember which one) on how to use Ranger Ink's Cut and Dry Foam to get the reverse image of a stamp.  I found a You Tube video from The Gentleman Crafter (Ranger U grad) on this Cut & Dry Foam Reverse Stamp technique .  Check it out if you are interested.   Anyway, I used this reverse stamp technique on the skull stamp from Tim Holtz's Apothecary set.  This foam stamp created the focal image used in the alcohol ink resist technique.

I used Black Soot Archival Ink on a script stamp from one of Tim's Halloween stamp/stencil sets (one of my new purchases form Michaels this fall) to get the script image on the skull.   Notice how I used the resist technique on the right part of the script stamped image that went into the alcohol ink background.  So cool!!  I used the resist technique with other script stamps around the skull image.  I also grabbed Tim's Splatter stencil and Batground stencil to use with Alcohol Ink blending solution. Love that effect.

Several Idea-ology Halloween embellishments (some new and some from previous seasons) were added to round out the entire tag. 

Oops ... I almost forgot to telly you about my background.  My paint patina background has a whole kitchen sink of colors:  Ripe Persimmon, Blueprint Sketch, Lucky Clover, Rusty Hinge, Broken China and Antique Bronze Distress Paint, as well as Candied Apple, Walnut Stain, Broken China and Ground Espresso Distress Ink.  As with Tim's tag, the paint patina was carried over to my Alpha Parts "Spooky".  Since my background a was a little dark, I added some Ripe Persimmon Distress Paint around the edges of my "Spooky" embellishment to make it pop a little more. 

This was so fun!  Since the official first day of fall was this past week, I'm feeling in the Halloween mood.  The temperatures were in the 80's (degrees F) that day and way too warm.  I'm looking forward to cooler fall days ahead.  I hope you are finding something to inspire you to get your hands inky!    Hugs to you all -- Mary Elizabeth