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!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here in the United States, today is Thanksgiving, a day set aside to give thanks for everything that we are grateful about. Me, I am grateful for my fantastic, supportive husband, my family, my dog, and my opportunities with the Dreamweaver Design Team. It seems appropriate that the challenge this week is to create a Thanksgiving card. This is mine:

This card uses three different stencil techniques: metals through the machine, paste, and a foiled version of the double glitter technique. I finished this a little too late to take a decent photo, so I had to scan it. Sadly, there was a little color shifting. I wish that you can see how really pretty the shiny foil, glitter, metallic paste and metals are. Anyway, the metal in the background is all a light gold in color. I used the Herringbone Stencil LJ 819 through the Cuttlebug with a rubber mat. It was quite simple. Then, I used the Gold Metallic Embossing paste with the Happy Thanksgiving LM 251 on dark brown cardstock. I trimmed around it and seperated the words. The leaves were LG 728 Blowing Leaves. I soaped up the back of the stencil and attached it to Double Sided Adhesive Paper. I then pressed into the stencil leaves with foil in fall colors--red, gold, orange, copper, and brown. The small end of a dry embossing stylus helped me get into some of the smaller areas. I used the fine brown glitter over everything to create the swirls and the brown edges of the leaves. Then, I brushed off all of the excess with a large stencil brush. I flipped the whole thing over and peeled up the edge of the adhesive paper. I "walked" my hands along the back, being careful not to damage the stencil. After it was off the background, I covered the entire thing in Crystal Glitter by the Art Institute. When that was done, I assembled the card.

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I also hope that you are inspired to make a little something of your own. Link it to the Dreamweaver Blog. ALSO, if you enjoy creating with the Dreamweaver Stencils, you should try out for the newest design team. You will get lots of free products and stencils in exchange for samples. My time with the team has been just fantasic! Here is the information. In the meantime, check out the blogs from the rest of the team. Get inspired!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreamweaver Sketch Week

Here is this week's sketch, courtesy of the fantastic Wendy Jordan. Sorry Wendy, but I really changed it up a little this time. I turned it on its end--literally! I eliminated the embellishments on the bottom--uh, side.

Once I had it all sorted out, I used a few different techniques and stencils. First off, on the background I used stencil LJ 914 Herringbone with a textured carstock. I ran it through my Cuttlebug. Then, I sanded it to add depth of color.

For the snowflake strip, I used a technique that was fairly new to me. I sprayed Meomory Mists in Stormy Sky, Blueberry Milkshake and Blue Lagoon directly on the Snowflake Background Stencil LJ 819. I left it blotchy, because I liked the look. I then layed it on some paper towels and ran it through my Cuttlebug. I decorated the snowflakes a little with Diamond Stickles.

The single snowflake layer was created with the Antler Snowflake Stencil LL 399 and, yes, metals. This time I used the dark blue aluminum. I embossed it, filled it and sanded it.

The last technique I used was embossing with regular paste and the Ice Skates Stencil LL 3016. When it was dry, I used a Versamarker and added silver embossing powder to the blades and the eyelets. I then enhanced these with Sitckles as well.

That was it. One thing that I have discovered on this team is that it is often the projects that I struggle with that are the ones I like the best when they are done. I wasn't excited about this sketch, but once I actually started it, I really enjoyed it. It sort of reminds me of a scrapbook page. Ultimately, it is the challenges that I enjoy most about the team.

Do you think that you would like to rise to the challenges of being on a Design Team? If you give it a try, you won"t regret it. Check out the link on the Dreamweaver Blog and give yourself the chance to be inspired all year long. Try out the other Dreamweaver links for some great ideas. I'll see you next week...........

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Week--An Upcoming Class

It's free week again. I hope that you are not all tired of seeing the metal projects that I have been making. I can't help it--I am addicted. This week, I am bringing you four cards. They are the ones that I will be teaching in my upcoming Dreamweaver Stencils and Metals Class. I am actually teaching specifically metals at two different stores--The Stamp Peddler in Northville, MI and My Craft Room in Troy, MI. These are from the first of the two classes, the Stamp Peddler class. I am teaching this one on Thursday, November 17th. These cards are very different than the ones from My Craft Room, which I will post at my next available time. Anyway, the top card that I featured (the skates card) was created with black coated aluminum and a Mercart metal tool kit. It was made with the LL 3016, Ice Skates stencil. After I pushed the metal through the stencil with the Mercart Teflon Tool and filled it with the Mercart Filling paste, I sanded it to bring out the details. The background is Core'dinations Cardstock that has been run through my Cuttlebug with the Snowflakes Background Stencil LJ 819.I then sanded it to show the snowflakes.
The candy cane card was also made with the Mercart Teflon Tool. I used red coated aluminum and debossed it into the LL 555 Candy Cane Stencil. I was very careful about this. I then sanded it to show the silver aluminum in the background.

The poinsettia card was made by machine embossing plain silver aluminum through my Revolution Machine with the Large Poinsettia Stencil LG 700. I then enhanced the embossing just a little with my teflon tool. I used alcohol inks generously over the metal with the stencil still in place. I then removed the stencil, cleaned it up a little, and added some green alcohol ink to the background.

The last card was made with the Season's Greetings LS stencil and the discontinued Mistletoe Stencil. Both were embossed using the Revolution. After removing the stencils, they were colored using alcohol inks. When the inks were dry (which took almost no time), they were sanded to bring out the embossing. How could you get a hold of one of these Mistletoe Stencils?

You could ask your LSS if they could order it for you--OR you could take my class if you live in Michigan. I will be giving this Mistletoe Stencil out for free at any of my stencil classes this November or December. Look me up and take a class. I would love to see you. Meanwhile, you should check out all of the other Dream Team members posts. Get inspired and try out for yourself. It has been a wonderful experience, which I highly recommend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Black and White Challenge (Almost)

This week's Dreamweaver challenge is black and white. I followed it...well, sort of. See, this Teresa Collins paper goes perfectly with one of my absolute favorite stencils, LL 3005 Holly and Swirls. Sadly, the paper is not EXACTLY just black and white. It is sort of ivory, black, and white with some red berries thrown in. I hope my Dream Team members will forgive me.
This particular card is also very much like one of the cards that I will be teaching at Capture A Memory in Flint on November 27th. In this case, I used that gorgeous Holly and Swirls stencil with black coated aluminum. First, I placed the stencil upside down on a hard acrylic block. (It didn't have to be an acrylic block, just something hard and smooth and my old kitchen table no longer qualifies.) I then laid the aluminum face down on top of the stencil. I lightly rubbed over the back of the aluminum with a large blending stump (an inexpensive paper art supply). This showed the edges of the stencil beneath. I then pulled out my metal tools. All of the tools I used, with the exception of one (which I will name specifically) are from the Mercart Basic Tool Kit. The first one I used was the Teflon tipped outliner. I rubbed the back of the metal with it around all the edges of the stencil. I removed the stencil and then put the metal face down on a piece of suede. I used the very small ball tipped tool in all of the "vine" areas. I then used the "ball" side of the ball and cup tool to push out the berries and the leaves. As you can see, I tried to create a lined look on the leaves. I accomplished this by pushing the metal out from the leaf tips to the center, stopping right in the middle. After I got all the way around the leaf, I had a veined look. I flipped the metal over again, placed it on the acrylic block, and used the "deer foot" side of the teflon tools to refine and flatten the background areas. When I was satisfied with the look, I put Mercart Filling past into the raised areas and let it dry. Once it was dry, I got the suede out again and placed the metals face up on top. I then used the "tile roller" tie all around the edges. This tool is not included in the Mercart basic kit. I used the smaller wheel, which is included in the kit, to make the edges stand out more. I then took a sanding block to the whole thing. I sanded through the black coating on the top of the raised bits. I attached everything together, and was finished! I really liked the look. If you are in my area, you can create something like this at Capture a Memory, so take a look at their classes.
Something EVERYONE should look at is the Dreamweaver Design Team call. The requirements are on the Dreamweaver Stencils blog. I have had such a fantastic experience on this team! I highly recommend you check out everyone's sites, get inspired, and audition for this team. You won't regret it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sketch Challenge

So, it is sketch week again. These are always a little bit of a challenge for me, because they cause me to think of a card in a very different way. Of course, all of the challenges are creativity expanding, because they are made to get you out of the proverbial "box". It somehow seems easier for me to do the other challenges than the sketches though. This sketch, however, was a little easier for me. It is actually a format that I use quite often. (At least a modified version of it.) In this case, I chose to highlight a couple of the new Dreamweaver Christmas stencils, Joseph and Mary LL 3019 and Prince of Peace LX 7004. (I used just the bottom line of this last one.)

Both of the stencils used the Double Glitter Technique. First, I soaped the back of the stencil with the Dreamweaver Soap. (The soap acts as a release agent so that the stencil doesn't bend when you take the adhesive paper off of it.) I brushed off all the little "crumblies" with a large Dreamweaver Stencil Brush. Then, I attched the stencil to the Double Sided Mounting Paper. I used the Microfine Art Glitter in gold, to get into all of the little details. Because it is Microfine, I used my finger to rub it in well. After I was sure that it was all rubbed down, I used the large Dreamweaver Stencil Brush to brush off ALL the excess glitter. When I thought it was done, I brushed it again. I then placed the whole thing stencil side down and very carefully peeled the adhesive paper off of the stencil. I "walked" my fingers along the plain stencil as I peeled off this paper. This keeps it down and unbent. I then poured Crystal Art Glitter over the top of the paper.

This project was simple and fun! The rest of it was even easier, as I just had to assemble the card.

It has been great this week. Check out everyone else's interpretation of this sketch. You should play along with us. If you get a chance, go link to the Dreamweaver Blog so that we can see what you have been up to.
Until next week--stay inspired!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Week--Pandora's Box?

Alright, I am going to be completely honest. I absolutely LOVE working with metals on Dreamweaver Stencils. I adore it so much that I could easily and happily do metals for almost every post (alternating, of course, with all the variations of Double Glitter). It is SO addicting. I am really excited that I am going to be teaching classes in working with metals and stencils at a couple of different stores. Anyway, on to this week's post.
The Greek legend of Pandora says that Pandora was given a box (actually a jar) and told not to open it. Being a curious woman (I can relate), she opened the box and all the bad things in the world came pouring out. When it was hastily closed, the only thing that remained was Hope. I love this legend. It explores human nature, sure, but I love it because I have learned, the hard way, that when all else is truly lost, there is ALWAYS hope. Never give it up. In fact, the first time my mother had Sepsis, and we were told that she could never live, my cousin gave me one of those rubber bracelets that said "hope". I wore it, never taking it off, until my mother actually passed, several months later--months after RECOVERING from the Sepsis. It reminded me that hope is the one thing that can never be taken from you. You have to agree to give it up.
How do Greek legends and my personal experience relate to this project? Well, that image embossed image is the character for "Hope", LS 1008. Of course, the image is Chinese, I think. Hope has no native tongue, however, even if the Pandora legend does. The stencil I used was the small version of it. I placed the stencil face down on a hard, smooth surface. I then placed the red side of my colored aluminum on top of it. I used the Mercart Teflon Tool to press it down into the cut out parts. I removed the aluminum from the stencil, placed it face up on a hard surface, and refined it with that Teflon Tool. I flipped it back over and placed it on suede. I used the small Mercart "Ball" tool to push out the design. I once again flipped it right side up and refined it for the final time on a hard surface with that Teflon Tool. I filled the raised design with Mercart Filling Paste. After it was dry, I finished this part by sanding the raised portions to highlight them.
I had purchased this box for a dollar, yes, just a dollar, at Michaels. It was natural colored when I purchased it, so I painted it black. I then used the Koi Stencil LG 613, well, the edging of that stencil anyway, to deboss the metal for the edges. This was even easier than the embossing on the lid. I simply placed the stencil right side up on a hard surface and laid the red aluminum, also right side up, on top. I rubbed lightly with a blending stump over it so that I can tell where the edges were. I then used the tip of that Teflon Tool to press in all the details. I sanded it while the aluminum was still on the stencil. I removed it from the stencil and placed it on Double Sided Adhesive Paper to help me attach it to the box. I bent the aluminum over the edges where appropriate, and had to trim it just a little on the top corners. Then, I was done.
This project was SO much easier than it looks. It really was. If you haven't tried Metals with Dreamweaver Stencils, I encourage you to do so. Please--you won't regret it. If you are in the Michigan area, look up one of my classes. I will be teaching metals (not precisely this project) at Stamp Peddler in Northville, My Craft Room in Troy, Capture A Memory in Flint, and Altered Art Addicts in Jackson. Check their calendars online for dates. As a reminder, EVERY one of these classes has different projects, so check the photos and find out which class interests you the most.
So, what do you think about this project? Leave a message and let me know. I had so much fun making it. I find it very appropriate to October, breast cancer month. It was breast cancer that taught me one very important lesson: even if things look bleak, it is hope that remains in the box, and hope that remains in your heart.
Until next week, I hope you are inspired!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Dream Scheme Color Sketch--Pink and Black

When I first saw this Umbrellas Stencil, LJ 908, I remembered an image of a gathering in the rain. I couldn't tell you what it was from, of course. Everyone there had a black umbrella except for one person, who had a red one. That single pop of color really stood out because of its uniqueness. It was a little bit of brightness and enthusiasm in the staid black landscape of umbrellas.
When I decided to recreate the image on a card, I opted for the accent color of pink and, for an added bit of whimsy, a leopard print. I started by using matte black paste through the Leopard Skin Stencil LJ 817 on bright pink cardstock. As that dried, I cleaned the stencil and used it on white cardstock with pink pigment ink and a stencil brush. I then stamped this white cardstock with the sentiment. I pasted the Umbrellas Stencil LJ 908 on shimmery dove gray Wausau carstock, using the glossy black paste. As that dried, I flipped the pink leopard print over, and using the back side of the umbrella stencil, outlined the highlighted umbrella pieces with a pencil. I hand cut them, only slightly larger than the outlines. I put some glue on the back and situtated the pieces to create my focal point umbrella. A couple of scraps of the bright pink leopard skin print created the borders on the sentiment. I added ribbon, and I was done. Aside from the drying time, it may have taken me longer to write this blog post. You should give some of this paper "piecing" yourself. It is fun, dramatic and easy. When you finish, you should link to the Dreamweaver Site. We would love to see your stuff. Check out the pink and black on the other Dreamweaver team members sites. Get inspired. I will see you next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Challenge Week

Well, here it is, October. It is a glorious month here in Michigan, as the nights are cool, the days are warm and (usually) sunny, and the air is crisp and smells of apples and crackling bonfires. Personally, it was one of my favorites in childhood, being that it contained both my birthday and Halloween, which meant gifts, cake, costumes and candy. Later, it also held my husband's birthday and our anniversary. It was the king of months for me. The past few years, however, it has been a difficult month. It is breast cancer awareness month, and my mother passed due to complications of breast cancer. Now, October is often a month of as many tears as smiles for me. Not only do I miss my mom at the important events of my life, but I also get the "treat" of shopping at stores filled with pink ribbons on one side of the aisle and tombstones on the other. I have to wonder why no one ever foresaw this disturbing imagery when they chose October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
You may wonder what all of this has to do with this week's card. Well, this card symbolizes a lot for me, and I thought it wholly appropriate to include it as my first October post. First, the background, the beautiful Opto Checkerboard, LJ 915 which reminds me of MC Escher, art school and a lesson plan I once taught in a previous career. To me, it also relates to October, because it is an unexpected checkerboard. It is just a little "off", like all things in October, especially at the end of the month. I pasted this one with black paste.
The butterfly is absolutely one of my favorite new stencils. It is LJ 916. If you followed my Art Glitter blogs over the summer, you have seen this one before on a straw bag. I just love it. It looks its absolute best, I think, when it is double glittered, like it is here. In this case, I used the Double Sided adhesive paper and soaped the back of the stencil before I attached it. I then filled the holes with stunning autumnal (also Monarch colored) Art Institure Glitter, and black Stampendous Fun Flock (in the body). I removed the stencil and poured black glitter over the whole thing. This is a very large stencil, and it runs over the boundaries set forth by the card. I liked this. It seems like the butterfly's will to fly is so strong that it breaks away from its world. My mother and I used to go to butterfly houses where ever we could find them. She loved the idea and feeling of flight, so I imagine that she would have really loved this strong willed butterfly.
Finally, the Make a Wish sentiment. This one I did with Black Adirondack Pigment Ink and a stencil brush. It is from the Birthday Words stencil LG 704. I chose this one for many reasons. Most of all, it is because my mother and I went to Disneyworld after her cancer metastisized. We saw the fireworks display Wishes for the very first time. During the show, the narrator tells us to all "make a wish". Mom and I both started crying, because we both knew what we were wishing for. Anyway, that is what this phrase reminds me of.
So now, here it is, some years later. Sometimes, especially in October, it seems like yesterday, and I feel like an open wound. Most Octobers, I try to just "lay low" to escape all of those pink ribbons and tombstones in the stores. This year, I am opting to face it head on. That is what this posting really represents. While the butterfly reminds me of my mother, it also brings up the sayings that I have been so fond of lately, "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly" and, of course, "Without change, there would be no butterflies." I can't undo this change in my life, so I guess that it is time for me to try and become the butterfly. So, maybe this post was a little less lighthearted than others, and for that, I guess, I am sorry. Sometimes a card is just a card, but sometimes it is a catalyst for thought. I would love it if you could leave me a comment. Check out the other Dream Team designs for this week and play along if you are so inspired. Link it to the Dreamweaver Blog. I hope I didn't bring anyone down. Just remember, try to become the butterfly. It is never too late. Start now.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Stampendous September Challenge

So, here is my response to this Stampendous Sketch Challenge. I really wanted to enter it the moment that I saw the sketch. The idea of a charm bracelet of sorts sprung right into my head. My challenge was to find the right stamps. It took me forever. Then, one day, when I was shopping at Stamp Peddler in Northville, MI, I stumbled upon lots of new Stampendous Products. This acrylic set was perfect for the job--it was even called Charm Collection!

Initially, I was using the new and gorgeous Stampendous Aged Gold Embossing Enamel, but because the stamps are so detailed and the Enamel so thick, I had to switch to regular silver embossing powder. The paper I used, Lost and Found by My Mind's Eye, was perfect with these stamps for a vintage charm look.

Of course, life got in the way a little this month, so I am really posting this at the last minute. I am thinking since Stampendous is in California I am going with Pacific Time?? Even if that doesn't work for me, I still have a great stamp set and a pretty new card, so that's a good thing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Dream Schemes--Sketch Challenge

I followed this week's sketch exactly. I used only one stencil--the beautiful Black Eyed Susan LJ902. Here is my result:

I pasted both the lighter and darker versions on Bo Bunny Paper from an older release. I pasted on the lighter paper with the Original Matte White Paste and the darker paper with the Matte Yellow Paste.

After the paste was dry, I replaced the stencil on the lighter color and used Distress Inks to color it. Those inks do not soak in right away, and leave a lighter, more faded look on the white paste. This was exactly the look I wanted so that the background image would remain subordinate to the foreground.

On the darker paper, I used just a little Distress Ink on the flower. Then, I glued green Fun Flock on the leaves and vines. Finally, I used Art Glitter Glue on the flower center to glue small brown beads in the center as seeds.

I cut the lighter flowers into fourths, aged them with Distress Inks in Denim, rounded the edges and glued them onto the AC cardstock. I then cut a square from the darker flowers, matted it in yellow AC cardstock, roughed up the edges and popped it up on top. Finally, I used a pretty little eyelet and yellow gingham to complete my country look (and inadvertantly honor my team, the Michigan Wolverines with the colors maize and blue).

I had some fun with this one. You should check out the other Dream Team member blogs and give it a try yourself. Then, link your creation to the Dreamweaver Blog, so we can all check it out. Oh yeah, and leave a comment--we all love comments!

If you could do me a giant favor, become a follower here, too. I don't keep track of your email or send anything out, but I am thinking of trying out for another design team (in addition to this one) and they would really like me to have one hundred followers.

In the meantime, have an inspired week, and I will see you back here next Thursday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday Dream Schemes--Free Week

For this week's free challenge, I decided to use this card that I recently sent to Lynell. We were given these two Kanji character stencils. They are both the same symbols, but in two different sizes. They mean hope. I have used the smaller of the two a couple of weeks ago with the red maple stencil. In this card, I am using both of them, LL3018 and LS1008, the fan LJ903 and the ginger jar, LG 626. I also use a few different techniques. I am going to break them down into steps:
1) Use regular paste on black cardstock with ginger jar.
2) When the paste dries, replace the stencil and use a large stencil brush and Weathered Wood Distress Inks to create shading.
3) Place the Large Hope Stencil over the jar and use a stencil brush and Cranberry Adirondack Pigment Inks to stencil.
4) When all is dry, replace the jar stencil and lightly dab with Versamark. Toss clear embossing powder over the top and heat it.
1) Use red cardstock and a dry embossing stylus to create the outline shape of the fan. Don't worry too much about accuracy on the bottom, as this won't show.
1) Using the Mercart Teflon tool and black covered aluminum, emboss the outline of the fan, including the blades on the bottom. Emboss from the back.
2) Remove the stencil. "Poof" out the fan from the back using the largest Mercart ball tool you have.
3) Place the small Kanji figure on the fan and lightly tape with removable tape. Emboss with the teflon tool from the back.
4) Flip the fan over. Working from the front, place a ruler to attach the blades from the bottom to the raised parts on the top of the fan. Very LIGHTLY draw a line along the ruler. Avoid the section with the raised figure.
5) Use Mercart filler in the back of the fan.
6) When filler is dry, sand on black side of the aluminum. Trim around edge.

I think at this point, that you can assemble the card. I hope I have been able to inspire you to use these stencils or this technique to make a creation of your own. Go check out the blogs of the other Dreamweaver Team members. Leave a comment, get inspired, and link your creations to the Dreamweaver Blog. Come back again next week and check out the sketch challenge. See you then!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Color Challenge--Lime and Gray (sort of)

Okay, so I guess it is true confessions time: I was really afraid of this week's challenge. Yep, I will boldly jump into multi layered painted boxes, use shrink plastic with abandon, and am not anxious about adding ANYTHING on top of flat white paste--yet, I was so afraid of a color challenge that it took literally all day. I procrastinated and procrastinated. I just had NO idea what I could do with lime green and gray.
Finally, when it became really, really late, I sorted through my stencils to look for something that is supposed to be green. I wound up with a stack of butterflies, a frog, a turtle and some really cute lizards. I decided on the lizard LM 2004. I have always liked this one with a southwest vibe. In fact, it is the one that I used to demonstrate this very technique at The Cottage Stamper in Illinois this past June. I soaped up the back of the stencil, brushed off the crumbs and adhered it to the Double Sided Adhesive Paper. Then, I found a lime(ish) foil from Creative Imaginations and laid it over the top of the stencil. I pressed the foil into the stencil "holes" with the smaller of the embossing tools. I did the eyes the same way with red. Before removing the stencil, I rubbed in some Stampendous Flock in Olive You. I brushed off the excess and carefully removed the paper from the stencil. Then, I poured Crystal Art Glitter over the whole thing. I cut around the shape, adhered it to the green cardstock and cut again. The Friend stencil (which is, apparentl unavailable, but has been replaced by the almost identical Friends stencil LM 210) was done the same way, but I left a border of the adhesive paper around the outside which I covered in the foil as well. I also did not attach the cardstock to it.

The background was done by placing black coated aluminum over the the Mosaic Swirls LJ 901 stencil. I rubbed it all over with a thick drawing blending stump. With the stencil still in place, I sanded lightly over the top of the aluminum, removing the black coating on the raised areas. I am calling this aluminum "gray" for purposes of the challenge. Finally, I attached it all, using a gray patterned paper from Little Yellow Bicycle and gray and white twine from My Mind's Eye.

Once I decided what to do, this challenge wasn't all that hard. Like everything, I just had to set my mind to it and get started. I hope you feel inspired to get started on some stencilling of your own. Leave a comment, visit the other Dream Teamers, then get to work. Make your own and link it to the Dreamweaver Blog. It'll be fun! Oh, and don't forget to come back next week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dream Scheme Thursday--Free Week

After all of the great blog hopping last week, it sure is nice to have a free week now. By the way, if you are Nikkib or Marijane, look at my last post for a way to get in touch. You won the blog candy from my site!

Anyway, back to this week. I chose to do a masculine card.
This card was made using three different stencils: LJ 911 Gears, LJ 912 Triangle Weave and LG 704 Birthday Words. I used textured brown cardstock as the gear base. Before I stencilled it, I roughed it up a little and then rubbed some Distress Ink in Walnut Stain over it. I placed the Gears Stencil on it (which I love, by the way) and used Silver Embossing paste over it. I did the same with a smaller piece and the Triangle Weave Stencil. While the pastings were WET, I sprinkled Distress Embossing Powder in Vintage Photo over parts of the paste. I then heated it with my Heat It tool. You can see what it did. I got a fantastic bubbled look. Also, where it bubbled, it looks shinier. The effect was perfect. Rusty gears. I then pasted some cork paper with Birthday Words in Glossy Black. I stacked it all and used my Big Bite to add holes for brads. I put it all on a black card and viola! Super easy, but it looks hard.
So, if you would like to play along, with ANY stencilled project at all, go to the Dreamweaver Blog and link your project. Otherwise, be sure to check out the list of my Dreamweaver Sisters on the links at the side of my blog. Get inspired and stencil something! Oh, and don't forget to come back next week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Across the Pond Blog Hop Winners

Well, I went to and generated some winners. For the first post I did on the International Blog Hop, the hair clips, the winner is number 20, or Nikkib. The second post, the celtic treasure chest, generated number 8--Marijane. Congratualtions winners. (Everyone is a winner, of course, but only those two were generated by Nikkib and Marijane should email me at with their snail mail addresses so that I can make sure you get your stencils. Thanks so much to EVERYONE who commented. Come back again!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog Hop--Treasure Box

For some time, I have been thinking about using stencils and metals to make a treasure chest. I only had to decide what theme to use. I have always loved Celtic Knots, so when I realized how many wonderful Celtic Knot stencils Dreamweaver had available, I knew I was on the right track.
I began by purchasing a wooden chest shaped box at my local craft store. It already had brass hardware, which I wasn't crazy about, so I sanded it. I also painted the box green to go with my Irish theme. The first coat was actually black and painted with a foam brush. I then put a few layers on of two different colors of green paint with a sea sponge.
Most of the metal was done with black coated aluminum. The part around the latch was with regular aluminum and alcohol inks because I very much wanted it to blend with the latch. The technique was a lot like the butterfly technique that I used on Monday, except that I pushed on the opposite side of the metal. In this case, I put the stencil face down on my hard surface. Then, I placed the metal on top, black side down. I used the teflon tool from Mercart (also available through Dreamweaver) to push the metal into the holes on the stencil. Then, I removed the stencil. This is a big difference from the previous post. I put the metal black side down on a piece of suede. I then used a "ball" ended tool (also in the beginner set) to push the metal into the suede on the parts that were already indented. When that was done, I flipped the metal over and laid it back on the hard surface. I used the teflon tool to "clean up" the lines. When I was satisfied with the embossing, I filled the back with the Mercart filler (also through Dreamweaver) and let it dry. After it was dry, I sanded it down to the aluminum on the embossed sections and cut around the piece with a regular pair of fine tipped scrapbooking scissors. I attached the pieces to the box with a thick, tacky glue (actually a product here in the States called Tacky Glue). I don't think that the glue is going to hold it in place permanently, so as soon as I can find a very fine hammer, I am planning on nailing them into place with metal tacks.
So, on to those fantastic stencils that I used. The lock was created with LL 540 Heartweave. This one was done on plain aluminum and inked later. The really fun bit on this was when I cut out the insides of the bottom loop to fit it over the latch. I then cut off the loop all together so that I could put it on the bottom of the latch. The emblem on the top is LL 345 Square Knot. Celtic Hexagon LL 381 is on both sides up near the top. I used LL 380 New Age Celtic as a decoration on the back by cutting it in half and putting one half on the lid and one half on the back. I positioned it to slightly overlap the hinges.
Probably my favorite to use on this was the Triangle Knot LM 180. I made four of them. After they were prepared, I merely folded each in half and used them on the corners. I just loved the look that they gave the finished piece.
So, now that you have finished here, don't forget to leave a comment. You will want to win wonderful stencils! (Oh, and you could always sign up as a follower--I love followers!) Then, be sure to hop on over to Louises blog here. She always has great projects. Have a great time hopping, and don't forget to come back again some time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bonus Hop Post

Let me start by saying, this is NOT the post to reply to if you are looking for blog candy. If that is your reason to comment, scroll down two posts until you see the hair clips with my cute niece models. Post on THAT one for blog candy.
This is a bonus post for a couple of reasons. First, I just COULDN'T stop making the cute metal butterflies. Second, the photos just would not post to the right spot when I was posting the hair clip post. Finally, I entered a Reminisce contest (using a Dreamweaver stencil, mind you) with a blog post and then I realized that it knocked my hop post down a post. It occured to me that perhaps it wasn't the best week to move my non-card metal post down one, so I thought maybe I should make a post out of my bonus metal piece. It is a pin.

I made this piece in much the same way that I made the hair clips. I started with blue coated aluminum. I placed it over the Dreamweaver Scallop Butterfly Stencil LM 255. I used a large blending stump (an art supply material) and ran it over the top of the stencil to get a rough idea of where everything was. Then, I used the Mercart Metal teflon tool (also available from Dreamweaver Stencils) to push the metal deep into all of the crevices in the stencil. I used a sanding block while the stencil was still under the metal to sand off the blue from the raised areas. I removed the metal from the stencil. I attached the backing aluminum to a piece of chipboard. I then measured and marked hole spots from a purchased pin back. I used my Big Bite to make the appropriate holes. I then used brads to attach the pin back. I adhered the metal butterfly to the pin and trimmed around it. Finally, I used Ranger Glossy accents in the holes that I wanted to add glitter. I threw Woodware glitter in the areas. After it dried a little, I covered some of the glitter with a top coat of Glossy Accents. Then, I let it dry completely.

Once again, this piece is NOT part of the hop. That blog post is two down and includes girl models. If you would like to comment anyway, fantastic--I love comments! You won't win blog candy for it, but you would make me feel good. Stop by again on Thursday for more ways to win and more posts for the hop. See you then. Oh yeah--I love to get followers, too!

Reminisce Card Challenge

I had a little fun this week entering the Reminisce Card Challenge. The sketch is here
And my take, horizontal, and with the beautiful Harvest line by Reminisce is here:

For my Dreamweaver Stencils fans, you will notice that the Sentiment is LM 251. It was pasted with Matte Orange Embossing Paste. The other thing that I had tons of fun with was the turkey image. I cut three of them out of the paper. Then, I layered pieces with 3D Dots in between the layers. I occasionally added a little bit of regular adhesive to parts (like the head) and squeezed it down to the previous layer, so that I had a couple of different layers. I also used the top portions of the papers to make the smaller stripes. This is something that I really appreciate about the recent Reminisce papers--the part that holds the scan bars on one side has patterned bits on the other so that it is still useful paper.

I hope you enjoyed this cute, fast card. I will have lots more Dreamweaver goodies when I hop again on Thursday, but for now, think about cool crisp weather and changing leaves......

Sunday, August 28, 2011

BLOG HOP--Butterflies in your hair!

Welcome to day one in the Dreamweaver/Woodware Blog Hop. I was so excited that I wanted to sign up on today, the very first day. A special shout out to everyone that I may have met while at the Stitches show in Birmingham last February. You were all so wonderful to me, and I had the best time in your country! I hope to visit again some day.
As you know by now, this hop is going to feature NON card projects. For the first of my hop posts (I signed up for Thursday, too, because I just can't pass on my habit of posting on Dream Scheme Thursdays) I have decided to make hair jewelry out of Dreamweaver Stencils and metals.The first two pieces that I am going to post are both hair clips. All of the "findings" that I will be mentioning (the actual clips and pins that I used) were purchased without anything on them from a local craft store. The tool that I used was a double sided teflon tool from Mercart Metals that is available in a kit from Dreamweaver Stencils as well.
For this blue butterfly, I used aluminum that was coated with a blue coating. I placed the blue aluminum on top of Dreamweaver LM 255 Scallop Butterfly stencil. Working on an acrylic block, I used a very large blending stump (used in fine art drawing) to gently rub across the entire stencil. This caused the edges of the stencil to show up. I then used the teflon tool to press the metal down into all of the openings on the stencil. Then, with the stencil still attached, I rubbed the top with a sanding block, removing the blue color. Then, I took the metal from the stencil. I adhered it to chipboard, and the back of the chipboard to plain aluminum. I trimmed around the butterfly with a pair of sharp, fine tipped scissors. I adhered the premade hair clip to the butterfly with glue dots and I was done. My niece, Victoria is posing here so that you can see how it looks when it is worn.
My next piece was made very much the same way, with a couple of small exceptions. Here it is modelled by another niece, Evelyn. This was made with pink coated metal on stencil LM 257 Heliconia Butterfly. Everything was done the same way on this one except for the addition of the glitter. This was done after the entire piece was assembled. I filled the areas that I wanted glitter in with Ranger Glossy Accents. Then, I added Woodware Glitter in a magenta color. I really liked using this glitter. In addition to being a high quality, fine glitter, it comes with a great dispenser. It has a small opening on the top and you can squeeze the container to get out the amount that you want. There is a little less mess and waste this way.
My final piece for this post was done in a slightly different way. I used a new stencil, LJ 916 Butterfly. This stencil is unique because, instead of being on a square, it is the actual shape of the butterfly. I was able to work around the edges as well. I used a black coated aluminum. Instead of sanding off the top, I used rubbing alcohol in the shapes. For my UK friends, rubbing alcohol is actually called isopropyl alcohol and is sold as a cleaning supply for electronics. I just put a little on a cotton swab, and used it to clean out those holes. Then, I used the Glossy Accents and Woodware Glitter to create the glittering colors. This one was actually a large hair clip, and I attached it by using brads in the hole on both sides. I put them through the backing and the chipboard that was on the bottom layer. I used a second piece of chipboard under the butterfly. You can see it worn by yet another niece, Natalie.
So, now you have seen my first Blog Hop Posting. You should definitely leave a comment, then proceed to my very talented Dream Team Sister, Pam's blog. You can find it here. Have a wonderful week. Don't forget to stop by again on Thursday. (Stop by every Thursday for plenty of additional Dreamweaver ideas!). Also, I love followers!