Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Glassine Paper Flowers

When recently shopping with Brandy, we happened across a pad of Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine Paper.  Don't ask me why I felt like I needed a pad of this paper.  Don't ask me what I thought I was going to do with it.  I can't explain these things any more.  I find that sometimes it is just about how cheap it is (you better bet that I used a 40% off coupon and the cost was just north of $5).  Sometimes it is because I like it (the texture that is inherent to this paper is fabulous).  Sometimes it is just that you don't want to walk out of the store empty handed (this is particularly true when shopping with friends). 

Either way, I did have occasion to use the paper in a couple of recent cards.  We had the misfortune of losing a close friend earlier this year and a good friend lost her mother in December.  The memorials happened to occur within days of each other and these adorable flowers came in handy for a monochromatic looking sympathy card.

These flowers were cut using Cricut's Mother's Day Bouquet cart.  I worked the ends of the flowers around a thin paint brush handle to curl the edges back and create more of a 3D effect.  The pearl brads were punched through the center of the flower to finish the look.  Although I considered inking the flower, I ultimately decided that the cracking and "wear" of the flowers from the curling provided enough texture and I didn't want the color difference.

The background is the Walnut Stain Distress Re-inker made into a mist (similar to the layered misting technique in my Creative Chemistry 101 class).  The mask is a Tattered Angels snowflake mask I've had for a while.  The cream card was lightly misted creating much variation in color (and adding to the monochromatic color scheme).  The flowers are adhered with a glue dot and the waxed twine tied around the inside of the card.  The tiny flower on the tag was cut with my Quickutz die, shaped and layered with a tiny pearl brad.  The tag is a 1 1/2 inch cut of <tag1> from Cricut's Plantin Schoolbook that was cut from a preprinted sheet of tan cardstock I ran through my printer to print the "In Sympathy" sentiment.  A tiny Tim Holtz bronze paper clip holds the sentiment in place by anchoring the tag to the twine.

This card expressed heartfelt sympathy to our good friend who lost her husband (whom my husband was close with) to ALS earlier this year.  ALS is a devastating disease and as we watched our friend approach the loss of his ability to talk and walk around, he never lost his deep and abiding faith in the God who made all things, including this horrible disease.  His peace at knowing he was still in the hands of a loving God who has wisdom beyond our understand will stand as a testament to me and many others.  Although I still feel sorry for his wife and family (and truly myself), I am comforted by the thought that all his questions can be asked and answered as he spends eternity with his Lord and Savior. 

This next card used many of the same techniques, but the flower was made slightly differently.  The inner 3d portion of the flower was cur from Cricut's Flower Shoppe cart.  The cut was then twisted and adhered to the layered petals cut from Cricut's Mother's Day Bouquet cart.  The petals of the larger flowers were folded in half and then curled around a thin paint brush handle.  The flower was then mounted to the card base with a glue dot. 

This card was given to a friend who lost her mother suddenly and tragically in December.  Although my friend has faced this loss with deep sadness, she has been able to begin the process of working through the layers of grief.  My sympathy is genuine and deep for this friend.  When they held the memorial service in March, my thought was to try to encompass this sympathy and express it to her.  I love how this card turned out.  Even though I love it, I can hardly see how a simple piece of paper can express how my heartfelt sorrow is mixed with encouragement and admiration.  My prayer has been and continues to be that my friend may know how tender and supportive I might feel and that she knows her comfort is on my mind even now.

I really would like to close this post with some deep and comforting wisdom on loss.  As I am middle aged (how in the world did that happen?), I know that the number of losses ahead of me will far outstrip the number behind me.  This is true for both me and for most of the people in my life.  I consider that I am unable to think of anything profound because I am so humbled by loss and sorrow.  So, I will continue to cling to what I know to be true. 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1


Monday, April 2, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Stamping with Embossing Folders

The last technique that I needed to practice involved stamping an image on an embossing folder and transferring that image onto the paper.  This image of a bird and music was done using a borrowed Grand Caliber with a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  Brandy actually put this frame and stamp together and then I inked the image produced with Distress Inks.  The result is lovely.  The twine was spritzed with a bit of Re-inker mist to match the color palette.  A quick and easy card front for any  project and a good use for embossing folders where you can create a different look each time.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101-Distress Stickles Technique

The last technique, the last day of instruction!  How did it end so soon?  Well, all good things and all that...  The last technique shared was using Distress Stickles.  Honestly, I hadn't actually owned Distress Stickles because I tend to only buy Stickles when I have a specific purpose in mind.  I don't use them much as I have glittler in excess and  it's just easier to lay down some clue and glitter when I need it.

When Tim described Distress Stickles and how to use them, I was surprised.  They aren't really meant (though you can) to be used to create dots of glitter or swirls on the page much like I've seen for the remaining Stickles line.  Instead, they are used to create a fine layer of glitter by spreading over the top of the finished product.  I just used my finger to gently rub the stickles directly on the tag surface.  I knew I had to use green on my last tag.  So this one was made with Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo and Shattered Straw.  My intention is to use these techniques in cards and other projects.  Hopefully this inspiration infusion will create a desire to craft regularly.  Crafting is relaxing and stress reducing as it reminds me that I am not the sum total of what I do at work day in and day out. 

Creative Chemistry 101- Perfect Splatter Distress

Perfect Pearls just make everything perfect!  This technique enhances the wrinkle free distress technique that we learned back in day 2 of the class.  How wonderful?!  Just like before, distress ink is pressed out of the pad onto the craft mat.  The difference in this technique is that a small amount of Perfect Pearls is splashed down on the craft mat with the ink.  I would guess the amount is somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 of a teaspoon.  Water is spritzed on the whole thing and then the tag is swipped through the mixture, using the heat tool to dry between layers. 

These two tags were my first try.  I love the coppery look to the first tag (on the right).  I like how it captured the "aged patina" of copper.  The tag on the right was created from the pooled ink left over after the first tag was finished.  Different pallette, but still a cool result. 

The second try worked out just as well, if not doing a better job capturing a patina look.  Again, the tag on the left is the first pass through the unmixed ink and the second tag is made from the left over ink.  Now I have to figure out how to use these tags in a project.  Because the class has to be more that making tags to lay around the room, right?


Creative Chemistry 101- Perfect Distress

The next technique was meant to demonstrate using Perfect Pearls over a stamped image to create an enhanced distress look.  First, we'll review a couple of epic FAILs.

The background was made using the Distress Stains .  The images were stamped with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and dusted with a gold Perfect Pearls.  You can see how the pearls were much too heavy. 

This picture demonstrates that at the right angle, the images aren't bad.  However, the result is far from usable. 

The next tag wasn't such a big fail (other than the poor stamping of the sentiment).  However, it still didn't work quite right. 

This bird in flight was very close to the right technique, except for the heavy handed application of Perfect Pearls.  You can't see it in this image, but the bird is barely discernible if held at the right angle.

Ah, that's pretty much it.  Water was spritzed over the image after the Perfect Pearls was applied.  The water caused the slight bleeding of the red/brown Distress Inks.  This tag looks better in person, but I like the result very much.  Guess it just took a little practice (if you can call four times "a little").


Creative Chemistry 101- Perfect Distress Mists

This technique involves the Distress Stain Mists that we had previously worked with on the layered misting technique.  The Distress Re-inkers are combined in a mini-mister with water and in this case, Perfect Pearls.  The mini-misters are then used to spray color onto the tag. 

Getting a good picture to represent the metallic sheen was difficult.  I caught a couple of pearlized sections in this photo.  The pearls tended to concentrate where the ink pooled.  This "girlifies" the layered misting technique.

Just a note, the tag on the right was made with the left over spray on the craft mat after making the tag on the left.  The colors were more blended and were on the brown side of the spectrum, but still created a beautiful tag.