Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

This week's blog post is a card celebrating the New Year. Mine combines two of my very favorite techniques--Double Glitter and Metals. The background was made using the Confetti Stencil LJ 854. This was the first time that I had used this stencil, but I purchased it knowing that I would use it for New Year's and for birthdays throughout the year. I soaped up the back and brushed off the little "crumblies" that accumulated in the holes of the stencil. Then I laid it soaped side down on a piece of Double Sided Adhesive Paper. I used small amounts of Holographic Art Glitter in the holes and rubbed it in a little. (To see it in person, the confetti is extremely sparkly.) I then put the whole thing stencil side down and very carefully peeled the adhesive paper off of the stencil. I "walked" my fingers along the stencil as I did this, so that I could keep the stencil flat. I poured an older, slightly golden clear glitter on top of it to created the background. I mounted this on something called Holographic Tissue Paper, purchased from the dollar store, and wrinkled the paper a little around the edges. This was then attached to a glittery cardstock from Core'dinations.

The numbers were all created with red coated aluminum. I debossed them by hand, mostly because it wasn't too difficult and I was being a little lazy about pulling out the Cuttlebug. I used the teflon tool from the Mercart Basic Tool kit and placed the metal red side up on top of the stencils, pushing it into the holes. Then, with the metal still in the stencil, I sanded the top. They were then all cut with the Lifestyle Crafts (previously Quickutz) Diesel font. I mounted them on adhesive chipboard and then on a dark gold metal, which I trimmed about an eighth of an inch from the number all the way around it. The stencils I used were LJ 909 Cathedral Windows Small, 912 Triangle Weave, LJ 913 Houndstooth, and LJ 914 Herringbone.

Well, I had a great time with this one. I hope you enjoy it. Check out the other blogs, too. Leave a message if you can, because everyone likes messages. Get inspired! Be ready for more inspiration and a few changes in the New Year. Most of all, I am wishing you happiness, health and love in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Burgundy and Gold Dreamweaver Christmas

This week's challenge was burgundy and gold. I knew from the start which stencils I would be using--two of my favorite Christmas ones--I just didn't realize that I was going to be sassy and add a little green until yesterday. This particular holly was created as a sample pasting during a class. I used the Holly and Swirls Stencil LL 3005. The paste was the Green Glossy Embossing Paste and, as part of the demonstration, I sprinkled on Ivy Garden and Kiwi Metallic FX. Once the paste was dry, I used a Swiffer to remove the excess powder. I found the sample later when rummaging for the stencil, and it was just so pretty with the Metallic FX that I decided to use it, despite the burgundy and gold mandate. I also used the Metallic FX, in Goldfinch and Gold Dust on the Metallic Gold Embossing Paste for the word. I used the Christmas Stencil LL 3009 for that one.

The only other stencil that I used was the Plaid Stencil LX 7002. This was used with velvet paper and my Cuttlebug Machine. I just ran the stencil through the machine with the velvet paper and a rubber embossing mat. The actual color of the paper is almost identical to the cardstock, but velvet paper does not photograph very well, so there is a slight color shift. The berries are Queen and Company pearls, and almost an exact match as well. I raised the holly up just a little with 3D Dots and added a gold mat and ribbon. I was very pleased with the results. Here is another photo of the card. It shows the raised holly, dimension on the pearls and shimmer on the word just a little better than the previous picture.
So, Merry Christmas all, and a hearty "welcome" to the newest design team members, Cherylynn and Cyndi! I didn't have Cherylynn's blog info yet, but link on over to Cyndi's blog and check it out when you get the chance. Don't forget to check out all of the other Dream Team blogs, get inspired, and leave a comment if you can--we all like comments!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dreamweaver Sketch Challenge

This week was initially supposed to be not only a sketch theme, but a vintage theme. I was thrilled when Pam opted to remove the vinatge requirement, because ever since I initally saw this sketch, I have been thinking that I needed to use these stencils, some metals and the Color Solution Inks. Those alcohol inks were my primary problem. The colors that I had to use--Blue Velvet and Sugar Plum were neither shy colors nor vintage. I kept trying to use another idea, yet this take off of the Tim Holtz pumpkin technique just wouldn't allow me to move on. I kept thinking that perhaps the sanding would allow this to work with the theme-but a vintage purple, silver and black Christmas card? Happily, it worked out in the end.
This project was much easier than it looks. First, I used my Lifestyle Crafts metal through my Cuttlebug with the Snowflake Background stencil LJ 819. The sandwich was B plate, A Plate, stencil, metal, a soft embossing mat, a shim and another B Plate. I used my Mercart Metals basic kit to lightly enhance parts of the snowflakes. Then, I removed the stencil and put my metal face up on my craft sheet. This is where I drew inspiration from the Tim Holtz pumpkin: I dripped the Color Solution Inks on top of the metals. I used both Sugar Plum and Blue Velvet. With such intense colors, I didn't need very much. Instead of using a regular paint brush, I swirled the colors around with a Q-Tip. Then, because they were still quite bright, I used a little paper towel to dab off some of the color. Then, I used regular isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in a Mini Mister and spritzed the top of the background piece to create the splotches. Finally, I lightly sanded over the top of the snowflakes to bring out the silver color.
The individual snowflake was done roughly the same way. The stencil I used was the Gothic Snowflake LL 396. I ran this one through the Cuttlebug as well. I then placed it stencil side down and used the metal tools to push the metal forward into the stencil. The Color Solution was applied the same way, but was never sprayed with the alcohol, because I wanted that foreground snowflake to appear a little brighter than the background. I then lightly sanded the snowflake, cut it out, and mounted it on a piece of white glossy. After that, it was a simple matter of assembly, including cutting the snowflake background into strips.

So, with the help of this very interesting sketch, I was able to do a card with only two stencils and one technique. You should try and play along this week (if you have any time). Go to everyone's blogs, post yours and link it on the Dreamweaver Stencils blog. At least check out the blogs and get inspired. Oh, and leave comments if you can. We all love comments. See you next week!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Free Week--Upcoming Jackson Class

This week, I have decided to post a card preview for the class that I am teaching at Altered Art Addicts in Jackson, Michigan this Sunday. So here it is, all four cards. These techniques are a little easier than they are in my average post.
The first card I have featured is made with a simple pasting technique. I put the brown paper down on my craft sheet, texture side up. Then, I laid the Christmas Script Stencil LL 3009 on top of it, right side up, and taped it all the way around, directly to the craft sheet, with Scotch Removable tape. I used the back end of my spatula to get Gold Embossing Paste from the container and place it on one of the short sides of the stencil. Finally, holding my spatula at a 45 degree angle to the stencil, I pulled the embossing paste across it. I let the spatula scrape gently on the stencil as I did it so that the paste was level with the top of the stencil. I removed the stencil immediately, and then let the paste completely dry before I added Christmas Red Stickles to the "berries" on the image. I just love this stencil, especially with that gold paste.

The second card here is also created with paste, and the basic technique is the same as the first. I used the Holly and Swirls Stencil LL 3005. Instead of the Gold Embossing Paste, I used the Glossy Green Embossing Paste. After I removed the stencil, I sprinkled Metallic FX in Kiwi and Ivy Garden over the top. I was able to sprinkle just a little on while the paste was still wet using cut straws to get the powder out of the containers. After the paste dried, I used a Swiffer refill to remove all of the excess mica powders. I like to use the micas in colors that are similar to the glossy paste color. I think the look is almost like a patina. When the paste was dry and the project swiffered, I used the Christams Red Stickles again for the berries.
The third card was created with the "double glitter" technique. First, I soaped the back of the Mistletoe Stencil until it had a "cloudy" look to the metal. (This stencil is discontinued, but will be yours if you sign up for the class.) The soap "crumblies" had to be removed with a clean stencil brush before I could proceed. Then, I peeled the paper off one side of the Double Sided Adhesive Paper and put the soaped side of the stencil down on the exposed adhesive. I put some small pearls into the "berry" holes of the stencil. I then used green flock in the plant portion and white flock on the square section. When I used flock on this project, I put a generous amount on the area that I needed filled, then I pressed it in vigoruosly with my thumb. After that, I brushed it off well, and, when I thought I was done, I brushed it again. Afterwards, I put the whole thing stencil side down and carefully peeled the adhesive paper off of the stencil, while "walking" my fingers along the stencil to keep it flat. Then, I flipped the paper over and poured Jadestone Art Glitter over it. I have used this stencil many times lately, as it is my giveaway for the holiday season, and I have to admit that this was probably my favorite technique with it.
Finally, I used the Holly Flourish Stencil LG 731 through my Revolution. (I could have used the Cuttlebug, but I like that the Revolution has a magnetic base.) First, I put the stencil face down on the plate. Then, I spritzed the back of the cardstock with a little rubbing alcohol and placed it on top of the stencil. Then, I used the rubber embossing mat, a couple of shims (this is determined by a little practice with your own machine, as they all vary a little) and my embossing mat. When the embossing was done, I left the paper on the stencil and flipped the whole thing over. I used Fantstix and Distress Inks in Peeled Paint and Pine Needles to add a little color. Then, I removed the stencil and colored the berries with Burgundy Stickles.
So, pick your favorite card and give it a try. Better yet, if you are in Michigan, call Altered Art Addicts and come out to take the class. Go to everyone's blogs and check out other things you can do with these fabulous stencils. Be inspired, and come back again next week, when we will have a sketch AND theme challenge.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turquoise and Silver Challenge

Hello all my Dreamweaver friends! It is time for another Dreamweaver Challenge. This week it is a color challenge--turquoise and silver. When I think of these two colors together, especially this time of year, I always think about snowflakes. It was quite the coincidence that in my area of Michigan, we just experienced out first big snowfall of the season. We got over 5 inches. I can tell you that this card looks very much like early morning in the snow.

At any rate, I should get to telling you how it is made. On this card, I used only two techniques, my two favorites, in fact: Double Glitter and Metals. The background, which is very subtle (more subtle than I am used to anyway) was made with the double glitter technique. I first soaped up the back of stencil LJ 819, snowflakes. I brushed off the excess soap and pressed the soaped side of the stencil onto double sided adhesive paper. I then pressed some silver Stampee foil into the larger exposed areas of the snowflakes. I used a dry embossing stylus to push it down well. I then put Art Glitter Microfine Silver Moon glitter over the top and rubbed it in with my finger. I had to make sure to rub it in because this Microfine is so light weight that it needs to be coaxed into place. I then brushed it off well and, when I thought it was good enough, brushed it again. I placed the whole thing stencil side down on the table and carefully removed the paper while running my fingers along the stencil to keep it flat. I poured Ultrafine Opaque Art Glitter in Sky and Blue Hawaii over the top. In real life, you can see that there are two different colors of blue on this card.

The metal was done with plain aluminum and the Gothic Snowflake stencil LL396. I placed the stencil down on a flat, smooth surface and put the metal, plain aluminum side down, on top of the stencil. I rubbed a drawing stump over the top to outline the edges of the stencil. Then, I used the Mercart Telfon tool to push the metal down into the stencil. I flipped the whole thing and carefully removed the stencil. I used the telfon tool to define the outline of the snowflake. Then, I flipped it back again and laid it on a piece of suede. I used a ball tool to push the design out and make it "pouffy". Flipping it back and laying it back on the smooth surface, I once again used the teflon tool to define the edges. Then, I used turquoise alcohol inks over the top and sanded it to show the snowflake. After that, it was a simple matter of assembling the card.

This card, while it certainly uses my favorite techniques and appeals to the "magpie" glam collector in me, is also a very different style than I am used to. It lacks my usual contrast level and, because of that and the turquoise color, feels almost "retro" to me. It is one of the things that I love so much about being on a design team--I am challenged to try something new. Check out all the Dream Team blogs and feel challenged to try something a little different. Maybe even take a class. If you are in Michigan, I will be teaching a lot this week. You can catch me tonight, Thursday, December 1 at Stamp Peddler in Northville (I think there is one spot left), where I will be teaching various uses of double sided adhesive paper. On Friday, December 2, I will be at Capture a Memory in Flint, where I will teach a little of everything. There were two spots left for that on Wednesday afternoon. If you like metals, catch me at My Craft Room in Troy on Saturday, December 3. That is where I will be teaching everyone how to play with metals and stencils. There are a few spots left there. On December 11, I will be at Altered Art Addicts in Jackson, MI. I will be teaching a variety of things there.

So, I will be busy for a little while. If you aren't too busy, take a little time to view all our blogs and get inspired. We check out anything you link to the Dreamweaver Stencil blog, so let us take a look. (I love to read your comments, too, so leave one if you have a chance). I'll see you next week!