Friday, July 6, 2012

More Cards for OWH

On my last post I had a link to the  Operation Write Home blog hop this week. You can still join it here. You can post comments through July 7th and still be entered into the drawings. It's been a while since I sent any cards to OWH and the blog hop inspired me to get busy. Here are 2 more cards I designed to send into Operation Write home to send to our troops.

OWH Midweek Throw Down
The first card I made is for the OWH Midweek Throw Down. The theme is Anniversary cards. After searching through all my stamps I found I did not have ANY Anniversary sentiments so I printed a sentiment on velum using a pretty script. By setting my word document to 4 columns and using some column breaks, I worked it out where I could print the sentiment 6 times on one sheet of vellum with the spacing I needed. Once cut into strips, I trimmed the left side with Fiskars Threading Water border punch and cut a dove tail in the right hand side.

The card base is Bazzill Bling cardstock in one of their lovely pinks. I inked up one side of a Tim Holtz texture fade folder with Close To My Heart White Daisy Ink pad. I really like the contrast of the dull white ink on this shimmery paper. The textured Bazzill weave really shows up. I heat set the ink with my heat tool to help it dry.

The rose stamp is one of my favorite flower stamps. It is a Anna Griffin stamp from the Roses Collection by All Night Media. I colored it with Berol Prisma Color pencils. I punched a scallop oval with a McGill punch and colored with Spun Sugar Distress Stain and placed it behind the pink rose to frame it and separate it from the background.

Stars and Stamps Sketch #01
I made the second card using a OWH Stars and Stamps Sketch and another one of the stamp sets Hero Arts designed for OWH. This one is called "All The Time" CL584.  This set has 2 different clock faces, two watch hands and 7 sentiments. I used Distress Inks to stamp the clocks in the background. Some are seasonal colors: Squeezed Lemons, Picked Raspberries and Salty Ocean. I also used Dried Marigold. These colors really go well with the bright pattern paper which is from my paper scraps. I used a water brush and Tumbled Glass Distress Marker to add a little blue wash to the big clock face. The sentiment is embossed with Zing White embossing powder on red cardstock. I only made 2 of these cards because that is all of this pattern paper I have. I think I may go through my scraps and look and see if I have any other papers in these colors. I really like the bright cheerful look. OWH accepts up to 30 multiples of each design. You can find out more about the 3 sets and how they help OWH here

Since I used Hero Arts stamps on this one I will also upload this one to the Hero Arts Flickr group as well.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th

Happy 4th of July!
Operation Write Home is having a blog hop this week and you can join it here. They have joined forces with Operation Skriv Hjem their sister organization in Denmark. Alternating between the two countries you will see a beautiful selection of Red, White and Blue from OWH and Red and White cards from OSH.

To show my support for the bog hop and spread the word I have made my own Red, White and Blue card to send to OWH for our troops. I have been working on a batch to send in and hope to get it mailed by the end of the week. Once OWH receives them they will add them to the box filled with handmade cards from other card makers and send them to our troops so they card use them to write home to their friends and family. OSH does the same for Danish troops. The OSH blog are bilingual for the hop so you can read right along. I hope you join the hop!

For my card I used some of my favorite products. From Tim Holtz I used the Rays and Retro Circles Texture Fades embossing folder, Styled Labels Alterations dye and Red Barn and Blue Jean Distress Markers and Tumbled Glass and Bundled Sage Distress Stains, from Ranger Archival Jet Black ink and from Hero Arts one of the stamp sets designed especially for Operation Write Home. This one is called Right at Home and you can find out more about the 3 sets and how they help OWH here.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tissue Flower Challenge from Studio L3

Tim Holtz idea-ology Tissue Wrap Flower
Well I thought I might miss the deadline for this week's challenge at Studio L3 but lucky for me the challenge has been extended for another week. Linda Ledbetter is the hostess. She always creates a great piece to inspire us. There are other 48 entries so far, so if you want to see more Tim Holtz inspired artwork check out her blog at

The sponsor for this week is The Funkie Junkie Boutique (  

For the challenge I followed Tim Holtz's instructions on page 37 of "A Compendium of Curiosities Volume II" and made a tissue flower. Of course I wanted to use it as an embellishment for a tag so I could also use my new summer seasonal distress inks. These flowers are super easy to make and I love working with Tim's idea-ology Tissue Wrap. It is sheer and silky and so durable.

I used distress ink and perfect pearl spray on the tissue flower and tag. The butterflies are embossed with Distress Embossing Powder which works as a resist to the Distress inks. I used alcohol ink on the idea-ology wing. The black ink is Archival Jet Black.

I have both "A Compendium of Curiosities Volume I and Volume II". These books are a great reference for Tim's products. Great information on what they are and what they do. Both volumes have a great technique section with step by step photos, a great Gallery of Ideas and the final page is a list of suppliers. With beautiful photos and gorgeous design I find these volumes to be compendiums of inspiration.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge

My Curiosity Pocket Watch
Linda Ledbetter's Compendium of Curiosities 2, Challenge 9  is to check out Tim Holtz's A Compendium of Curiosities, Vol II on page 35 and then use his instructions on how to embellish the pocket watch and make your own little masterpiece.

Linda has been hosting a new challenge each Friday since Tim's Creative Chemistry Class ended. This is the first one I have made time to participate in and I did have fun working with Tim's Pocket Watch. Of course I love working with all of Tim's products. I even used his ball chain for the butterfly's body.

This weeks challenge was sponsored by Simon Says Stamp

So if you'd like to give this a try check out Tim's book. You can also check out Linda's site to see the other submissions and Tim even has a video on the video page of his blog.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I've Graduated and I can post!

Yea! My internet is finally back up and running. Now I can finally post my tags from the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 Online Card Class I took. Yes, I completed all 25 tags in time to upload them by the April 9th deadline and my modem crashes. It is a long story I won't go into but now I have a brand new modem and my high speed internet connection back! Yea!

Day 1 was Discovery and Understanding. Great information on the understanding the properties of inks and paints. The actual tag techniques started on Day 2. So here are my tags and if you want to see how it's done consider taking the "Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101". You can check it out here, and check out the other classes offered by Online Card Classes here.

Graduated - All 25 Technique Tags!
Day 2 - Distress Ink Intro
Day 3 - Archival Ink Uses
Day 4 - Re-inkers and Maintenance

Day 5 - Spray Inks and Stains

Day 6 - Distress Markers
Day 7 - Embossing Basics
Day 8 - Paint Primer

Day 9 - Perfect Pearl

Day- 10 - Dimensional Mediums

Monday, April 9, 2012

I've Graduated!

Yes! I've completed my 25 Tags for the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry online class from! It has been an amazing journey and quite a challenge for me. I have all the tags posted here but if you want to learn amazing techniques you should sign up for the class. It is probably the closest I will ever come to taking one of Tim's live classes. One thing I was not expecting was a final pdf file with 30 gorgeous cards created by some pretty amazing artists using the techniques we learned in class. Now I have more inspiration than I know what to do with.

unfortunatly, half way through writing this post, my internet went down. I have been trying to finish this post on my phone without success. I will have to add the photos tomorrow from some public wifi.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101-It's never too late.

If you want to learn more about Tim Holtz or his products and techniques there are a few things you can do. You can visit his blog, you can buy a copy of his book or take one of his classes. Now you can even sign up for his online class "Creative Chemistry 101"

I signed up and have enjoyed every minute. You can work at your own pace and you learn so much about how these amazing products work.  Great videos and print outs. I have watched all the videos and started working on the tags.

I've only completed 6 of the 25 so far but when I finish I will have a great swatch book filled with wonderful techniques. You can even print out labels to attach to the back of your tags that Tell what the technique is and how to achieve it. These are the first 3 from day 2. "Blended Spritz and Flick", "Brushless Watercolor" and "Wrinkle Free Distress". One thing I really like about this class is that whether you are a beginner to the world of distress or have been learning from Tim for a while (like me) you are going to learn something each day.

Even though the last lesson for the class was Friday and the final post with more examples was yesterday you can still sign up for the class and work at your own pace. Once you sign up you have a lifetime membership and can access the site at any time to review info or watch the videos.

You'll be seeing some more tags from between now and April 9th because that's how long I can post them to the class gallery. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Love the new Tim Holtz Distress Markers!
I love the new Distress Markers from Tim Holtz. This is the first card I've made with the few I have. I only have 3 so far but plan on buying more.

You can find an excellent video from here showing Tim demo the Distress Markers.

I inked Tim's texture fades embossing folder with a Chipped Sapphire distress ink pad before embossing some white cardstock. Then I used the blending tool with Faded Jeans to add more dimension to the embossed paper. I used the new specialty paper from Ranger Inkessentials for the stamped surfaces. Using Distress Markers in Chipped Sapphire, Tumbled Glass and Wild Honey to color the butterfly stamp, I was able to get 3 impressions after huffing on the stamp between each stamping. You can see each impression is a little lighter. I used the blending tool to add Faded Jeans and Peeled Paint to the edges and it does not disturb the images stamped with the Distress Markers. The ric rac ribbon is from my stash and is wrapped around the white card and threaded through the center of the foliage flower (also Tim's) and tied in a knot to hold it on the card. The "You're the Best" Is a Hero Arts stamp but the Butterfly and Floral Sprig are from Tim Holtz collections. Everything is then mounted on a piece of Kraft cardstock and distressed then inked with Walnut Stain distress Ink.

I made this card for someone who did something kind for me but didn't want me to know who they were. I couldn't thank them in person so I made them this card and gave it to someone who knew who it was. They said they would deliver it for me. If it was you and you're reading this post, Thanks again! What you did was really kind and I appreciate it.

Oh Yeah, Did I say that I Really Love My New Tim Holtz Markers!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year 2012

Today is the last day of February in a leap year. One extra day to take advantage of all those extra hours we've been accumulating each year since the last leap year. For me it's one extra day to enter Tim Holtz monthly challenge for February 2012. So here's my tag. You can see Tim's original tag here

I usually follow Tim's tutorial when I can so I can learn the techniques. I usually have to modify the tag somewhat when I don't have something he uses.

For this month's tag Tim used a stamp with matching embossing folder and it is a great technique. Since I did not have an appropriate set, I used one of his embossing folders and a Snowcap paint dabber  to go over the raised area. Once dried the paint works as a resist to the distress inks. I applied the distress inks with  a blend tool and then spritzed a paper towel with water and removed the ink from the raised areas.

The Cherub and hearts are from Tim's Seasonal Grungeboard package. The Be Mine is cut from paper in his Seasonal Paper Stash. The rosette is diecut from his tissue paper with an added layer of tissue tape and foil tape. The button at the top was part of a give a way that I won the first year of 12 Tags of Christmas.

I was sad to read that Tim has "decided to officially retire the "12 tags of christmas" as we know it, and begin the 12 tags of the year." He discussed the new direction he has decided to take along with the monthly challenge for February.

I do want to say I support him fully. Tim has given so much time to us not only with the 12 Tags of Christmas, but everything he does on his blog, at Ranger Industries and no telling what all behind the scenes. Before he releases a new product, he takes time to make sure it is a quality product. Then he takes time to promote it by sharing with us his wonderful videos and tutorials showing all the amazing things it will do. He is constantly traveling (I love his travel videos) giving classes and keeping us up to date on his class projects. I have seen him promote fellow artists and often refers us to other blogs to see what others are doing. Not only that but he enjoys randomly giving away product to those who post on his blog.

I will miss the Christmas tags and getting up every morning and with half open eyes, stumbling to the computer to see what magic Tim did overnight. But I follow Tim's blog and I'm not about to miss anything he shares, whenever he decides to share it. And as always I will still be able to ask all my friends "Did you see what Tim did on his blog?"

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grungy Monday 35

Linda Ledbetter's  Grungy Monday 35 challenge this week is to create a Holtz-ian ATC card. I had a lot of fun and created 2 ATCs. I started with Tim's Vintage Shabby Paper Stash. Tim's paper stash pads have a page with the various pattern papers reduced to ATC size. Once I quickly trimmed out the ATC cards I then moved on to some of Tim's Texture Trades embossing folders. I selected the Wing for one card and the Umbrella Man for the other. These smaller embossing folders are the perfect size for ATCs.

I blended some distress inks onto the cards and then added Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint. I first heard about this technique when Tim posted about it on his blog. He directed us all to Tammy Tutterow's blog and of course I loved what she did. She calls it Frosty De-boss and has a great tutorial here.

Another favorite of mine is Tim's Vintage Lace Alterations die. I used it to diecut lace from the pink Vintage Shabby paper. I painted  2 different lace patterns with Brushed Pewter Distress Crackle Paint. It gave it a nice finely crackled shimmer.

The pink and blue cogs were die cut from grungeboard using movers and shapers dies and then painted with Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint and inked with Worn Lipstick and Faded Jeans Distress Ink. I used Jet Black Archival Ink for stamping, it works great on the Rock Candy Distress Ink. Then I added the Idea-ology elements for embellishments.

I also used the Frosty De-boss technique for my second ATC. I blended Dusty Concord Distress Ink at the top and Shabby Shutters at the bottom. The middle blue is from the Vintage Shabby Paper. "RAIN" is die cut from Chip Block Alterations, inked with Chipped Sapphire, water splashed, heat set and then covered with glossy accents.  The letters for "Singing in the" are from my stash. I glued the letters to printer paper and punched them out with a basic hole punch. You may recognize the music notes from the Stampers Anonymous Feative Sounds DMS 048 stamp set. It's the one with the lamp post. Tim shared a "ghost stamp" technique with us during the 12 Tags of Christmas 2011. I used the idea and rolled the stamp on the ink pad so I had just enough ink for the area I wanted to stamp.

I really like the glossy shine on my ATCs. You can't really see it in my pictures, but I wanted to capture the color. Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint is a wonderful product. My little jar has lasted a long time and adorn many projects, but it is almost empty now. It is definitely on my shopping list for next time I buy supplies.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Distress Ink Storage

front and back view of my distress ink case.

I started working on a project for Linda Ledbetter's Studio L3 Grungy Monday 34 challenge but didn't get it finished in time for the challenge deadline. It is still a work in progress but here it is so far.

Drawer with foam pads                          Handle
I had made a small storage box for my distress inks but I outgrew it. This is my new storage case. I made it from chipboard and covered it with paper from Tim Holtz's Vintage Shabby paper stash. I've used crackle distress paint (see Tim's video here), distress inks, grungeboard for flowers and flourishes, fragments, acetate with alcohol inks, stampers anonymous stamps, tissue paper, glassine, idea-ology, an embossing folder and Alterations die cuts. While the challenge was to use the Distress Crackle Paint after watching Tim's video, I wanted to decorate my case using much more of my favorite Tim Holtz products and techniques so it would be a reminder of all the different techniques I have learned from Tim's blog over the years. My reminder to be curious and try new things.

The drawer holds a foam pad for each of my Distress Inks. The shelves have a felt strip to help hold the inks snuggly  in place. I made a handle using Tim's ball chain and grungeboard to make it is easy to take with me when I go crop. The case is not a deep as the ink pads. I designed it so the pads stick out about 3/4" which makes it easy to grip the ink pads to slide them out of the case.

I don't have all the colors available in the pads but I also have quite a few of the Distress Stains. Between the two I do have a pretty good selection. I love my Tim Holtz Distress Inks!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Miss Trixie

I miss Trixie. Trixie was very loving. She was really very smart, but if she didn't want to do something she acted like she didn't understand you, or didn't hear you or even completely ignore you. My daughter said she acted more like a cat than a dog. She was best buds with Betsy who we lost a year ago. Trixie and Betsy would take turns sitting beside me on the couch at night while I read or watched TV. We loved Trixie for 15 years. She passed away last Wednesday night as I comforted her.

My daughter wrote a wonderful memorandum for her. You can read Valerie's post here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

OWH Scketch Challenge 104

Sketch 104 along with inside of card
I was inspired by this week's Challenge sketch for OWH  Their mid week throw down was a color challenge to make a black and white card with a splash of color. I decided to combine the two. I've used another one of the OWH set by Hero Arts. CL583 "Right at Home". It's a sweet set with great sentiments, a house, a kite, a cloud and even a little picket fence along with a couple of little hearts. I also used one of the little outline hearts from CL 582 "Year Round Sentiments".

The black and white pattern paper was from the KI Memories value pack I used on last week's cards.

First I colored in the hearts with my red Zig Millennium pen and then I used glossy accents to add shine and dimension to them. On the inside of the card I also stamped another image in the lower left corner. The "You are my Home" adds a nice touch when you open the card. The little heart in the center of the O is part of the stamp. I stamped the image once in black and then once separately just coloring the heart with the red pen and then cut it out and glued it in place.

Now that my card is complete I'll upload a picture to the challenge page. A new sketch is posted each Sunday. Here is a copy of sketch 104. Here's the link to the sketch. If you are really up for a challenge they have a pdf file you can download that has their first 100 sketches. They also have a checklist and you can check off when you complete each sketch. Be forewarned that the list has boxes for 160 checkmarks. It's the OWH
2012. Here's the link to the sketch collection page.

A quick note. If you've been thinking about sending some cards to OWH now would be a great time. I just saw this message from Sandy on the Stars and Stamps blog:
"Through November and December, there was a small drop in cards, which was expected, and totally fine - but usually things start to pick up up more in January when the holidays wear off. Not so this year! I checked just this morning and we're at 9,633 cards as of today...which is a fraction of what normally would be coming in - to compare, last January saw 39,665 cards!"
You can see the whole message here.

More cards for the box to go out on Monday!
I was excited to received my free little Operation Write Home stamp in the mail today. I'll use it to stamp the back of my cards with the OWH logo. Since I don't work tomorrow I plan on making some more cards. Then I'll be heading to the post office on Monday to send off all my cards. Every card sent in helps!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Operation Write Home and Hero Arts

Sketch Challenge 103 for Operation Write Home
OWH Sketch # 103
Here is my entry for Operation Write Home Sketch Challenge # 103. I wanted to make some more cards for Operation Write Home with one of the stamp sets Hero Arts designed for them. I had actually won the stamps during the Veteran's Day blog hop but Hero Arts couldn't send them to me until they were released.  Now that I have them I hope to put them to good use.

When I saw the two stripes on the OWH sketch for this week, I knew I wanted to try the chevron border technique I had seen on Jennifer McGuire's blog a while back. She made a beautiful card with a chevron border running horizontally across the bottom of her card. She also has a video showing how she made it You can check it out here.

I really enjoy working from the sketches at OWH. They are simple and a great way to use your left over scrap paper. The paper you see here is from a KI Memories scrapbook value kit I have had for some time.  To check out the OWH challenge go here.

The Hero Arts Stamp set is CL582 Year Round Sentiments. Not only does it have "I thank my lucky stars for you" it has other great sentiments like "Hello Handsome" and "You're so Special to me" along with some classics such at "Happy Birthday", "I love you", "I miss you", "Thinking of you" and more along with hearts and of course Stars. It is a great set if you are looking for a good year round sentiment set. Guess that's where they got the title from.

In case you didn't know, Hero Arts has been having a blog hop each day this week. Yes, it started on Monday. If you want to see some beautiful card and leave comments for chances to win go here for the first day. Winners will be announced on the Hero Arts blog Monday January 16.
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