Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Flower Cards With One Terrific Stencil

This is the last post for the Dreamweaver Flowers Challenge, and I had a little dilemma.  I had two cards with one of my FAVORITE stencils (LL 3023 Tall Poppy) and couldn't decide which to post.  So, I decided to post both of them.  Two techniques with the same stencil and even the same colors.  Here is how they are done.
CARD 1:  The Metal Look
1)  Run the stencil LL 3023 through your manual die cutting machine with Mercart Green Coated Aluminum.  You are DEBOSSING, so the metal goes on top of the stencil with the green side up.  Here is my Cuttlebug sandwich:  Plate A, Plate B, Stencil face up, Metal green side up, Dreamweaver Details Embossing Mat, Plate B.  Leave the metal on the stencil and set aside.
2) Follow step one again, but with white cardstock (spritzed lightly with rubbing alcohol on the back) and Stencil LX 7002 Plaid.  Be careful to run this one through with the stripes perpendicular to the opening and right in the middle of the plate.  This one will sometimes bend if you are not careful.
3) Go back to the metal piece.  Use a Mercart Double Teflon Tool to refine the interior edges of the metal, pressing them against the stencil.  Use a couple of drops of Alcohol or Alcohol Blending Solution inside the main parts of the flower to remove the green from those areas.  Dab lightly with a paper towel.
4)  Drop Alcohol Inks into the wells that should be relatively clean of the green.  Use whatever colors you like.  Let dry for a few moments.  With the stencil still attached, sand all the color from the background. 
5)  Assemble the card.

CARD 2: Foils and Metallic
1)  Place Stencil LL 3023 Tall Poppies on a piece of ivory cardstock.  Tape down with removable tape all the way around the stencil.
2)  Using the Paste Spreader LM 2010 and the Green Glossy Embossing Paste, emboss the image. 
3)  Remove the stencil and sprinkle with Metallic FX in 10 Kiwi and 11 Ivy Garden.  Set aside to dry.  Do NOT wipe clean until it is completely dry.
4)  Soap the back of the Thank You Stencil LS 1009 to create a resist.  I use the Dreamweaver Handmade Hawaiian Soap because I can just apply it dry and do not have to adjust the amount of water that I add. 
5)  Brush the "Crumblies" off of the stencil (this part you will know when you see).  Attach to the Double Sided Adhesive Paper soaped side down.
6)  Pour glitter on the words.  I used Art Institute Glitter in Microfine 500 Ruby Red.  I love using the Microfine Glitter on detailed portions, because it makes them look so beautifully crisp.  Rub it in with your finger, then use a large, clean stencil brush to remove any excess glitter.  Brush it a couple of times just to be sure.
7)  Place the whole thing stencil side down and carefully remove the adhesive paper from the stencil.  Leave the stencil on a flat surface and walk your fingers along it to make sure that the stencil lays flat.
8) Pour glitter over the top.  I used Art Institute Ultrafine Transparent in 197 Flax, which created a lovely light ecru color.
9)  When the paste is dry, rub it with a Swiffer Refill Sheet to remove all of the excess Metallic FX Powder.
10)  Place glue over the parts that you want to be red.  You should apply it lightly and carefully.  I used Art Institute Designer Dries Clear Glue with the Ultrafine Metal Tip.  Wait for it to dry until it looks clear.
11)  Once glue is clear and still tacky, place red Stampee Foil over the top of it.  Be sure to lay it dull side down.  Give it a slight rub and pull it off.
12)  Squeeze Buttercup Liquid Pearls on top of the seed area of the flower.  Let dry.
13)   Assemble the card.
Both cards done!  Which was your favorite?  I am not sure which I like better.  I can tell you though that you should definitely enter the Dreamweaver Flowers Challenge.  You have until the end of the month to make a floral card and post it somewhere online.  Then, just link it to the Mr. Linky in the Dream It Up Blog.  Too complicated?  Email a picture.  You can find the info on that blog as well.  If you do, you are eligible to win wonderful stencilling prizes! 
In the meantime, check out the other blogs this week.  Also, if you scroll down a little, you will find the Connie Crystal Post which also uses a Dreamweaver Stencil AND last week's post which was scheduled to go on time, but somehow got messed up by Blogger.  Get inspired.  Enter the flower competition.  You have nothing to lose!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My First Connie Crystal Post!

For anyone who saw my Connie Crystal Design Team Audition (the Crystal Egg and Mermaid Box), I made it!  It is so exciting!  I must admit that I enter this team with just a little trepidation.  After all, while I have done some jewelry work in the past, I now consider myself more of a mixed media or papercraft artist.  This new team should open up some wonderful new artistic challenges for me, but enough of my thoughts for now.  Lets take a look at the project.
This box started as a small, premade wooden box at Michael's.  It's original price was one dollar, but being that the mesh covering the open hole in the top was ripped, I purchased it for only twenty five cents.
Original box and Connie Crystals
While I enjoy a price as much as anyone else, the broken mesh discount was not required for my purchase of this box.  It did, however make the project slightly easier, as you can see in step one.
1)  Remove the mesh from the top of the box.  If you push down hard on the screen, it is a great way to initially break it out of the frame.  You can also cut it with wire cutters.  The most important part, though, is to make sure that you remove all of the wires from the frame of the lid by pulling them out with jewelry pliers.  You need to leave the wooden frame intact while completely removing the wire.
2)  Paint the entire box silver.  I used the Tim Holtz paint, but any acrylic paint should do the trick.  The silver on the inside of the box will reflect a little light and make the crystals sparkle a little more.  On the outside, it will show silver through any of the mistakes you make with the metal, making them less obvious.  Don't paint the hardware.  Leave the box open to dry.

Top showing "tile" sections, crystal units and placement

3)  Place a piece of Mercart Blue Coated Aluminum (blue side up) over the top of the box.  It should be slightly larger than that top.  Use an artist blending stump to press lightly around the outside and the opening.
4)  Remove the aluminum and put it face down on a piece of suede.  Use a small Mercart Ball Tool (on the back of the Refiner Tool) to outline the rectangle and the inside opening.  This should be easy to do, because you have just defined them with that blending stump.  Cut out the inside rectangle with small, pointed scissors. 5)  Using the same ball tool, divide the remaining metal into squarish "tile" shapes.
6)  Flip aluminum back over and place on a hard smooth surface, like an acrylic stamping block.  Define the edges of those "tiles" by using the Mercart Teflon Tool to flatten the areas around them. 
Machine embossed metal on back
7)  Flip the aluminum back over and fill in the raised edges of the tiles with Mercart Embossed Metal Backing Paste.  Let dry.
8)  Using your manual die cut machine and the appropriate "sandwich" run Dreamweaver Mosaic Swirls Stencil LJ901 with Blue Coated Aluminum twice.  You will want to deboss the insides of the tile like shapes, so make sure that the center of the "sandwich" is stencil, metal (blue side up) and soft embossing mat.  I use a Cuttlebug, so my layers go: A plate, B plate, stencil, metal, Dreamweaver Details Embossing Mat and B plate.
9)  Using 22 Gauge blue wire and Connie Crystals in square and in blue, create the crystal inserts. Make a "hook" with the wire and put it through the square crystal.  Then, twist the end around   for one side.  On the other, do the same thing, then add the blue crystal.  Make a small loop and then pass the wire end through, creating a "knot".  For both sides, leave a sizable tail, maybe about 1/2" of wire. Make 3 units.
10)  Bend the tail of the crystal units.  Stay close to the wrapped ends.  Bend the two different sides in opposite directions.  Place the crystal into the frame and push the tail wire into the groove in the wood.  Once you have placed all three units, use a small drop of glue to seal it into place.  I used my favorite Art Institute Designer Dries Clear.
11)  Go back to the metal.  Sand all three pieces.  Sometimes it is easier to put the metal embossed pieces back on the stencil before sanding.
12)  Place the embossed pieces up against the box to measure and cut around them.  Cut around each side of the box seperately.  You should have plenty of embossed metal for this portion. Then, place the metal against the side with the box opened and cut along the opening.  You should have 9 pieces of metal total (one for the lid).
13)  Select random "wells" in your tiled areas and fill them with Gloss Glastique by Globecraft Memories.  Then throw on some Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent in 270 Chesapeake.  Use the same process to fill wells with Ultrafine Transparent 100 Sea Shell.  To create this effect, you must use transparent glitter.  It will reflect the background color and beautifully modulate the color.  Do this to all the metal pieces.  Let dry.
14) Glue your metal pieces where they belong.  I used just a little of the Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear.  It takes a little while to dry on metal, so press the metal down and be patient.  This is admittedly not my strong suit.
So, you are done.  I know it looks like a lot of steps, but it really isn't too difficult. It also wasn't very expensive, because Connie Crystals are reasonably priced.  This box is pretty, shiney, and yet not too feminine.  Best of all, it really shines.  Sparkle on folks, and enjoy your day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dreamweaver Flower Challenge Month

Wow!  Wasn't last week's Dreamweaver and Stampendous Blog Hop a blast?!  I know that I had fun.  It caused me to stretch artistically.  While I am sure that I will create that assembled look again, and soon, this week is very CAS. I will be teaching this card in a class on Sunday at Capture A Memory in Flint, Michigan.  The Spring Stencil is actually retired, and only available as your free stencil when you take the class.  If you like this look, however, the Spring Stencil LM 293 is the same but just a little smaller than this one.  I also used the Cherry Blossom Shape Stencil LL3024.  I both debossed and embossed the Mercart Blue Coated Aluminum.  It really sounds a lot harder than it is.  I started both on the Cuttlebug.  Here is how to do it:
1)  Cut the blue coated aluminum so that you have two pieces that are each a little larger than the corresponding stencil.
2)  Run the Spring Stencil through your manual die cutting machine using the recommended sandwich.  Make sure for this one that the stencil is face up with the metal blue side up on top of it and the soft embossing pad on top of that.  After you run it through, leave the metal on the stencil.
3) Now run the cherry blossom stencil through the machine with the same sandwich.  For this one, place the stencil face down with the metal blue side down on top of it.  Then comes the soft embossing mat and the top mat.  You don't need to leave this one on top of the stencil.
4)  Get out your Mercart Teflon Tool.  You should see the word spring debossed into the stencil.  Just run the pointy tip of the teflon tool around the inside of the edges to make them crisp.  Then, with the metal still attached to the stencil, sand it.  This will remove the blue from around the outside of the word. 
5)  For the flower, you should see all of the raised portions easily from the back.  Place the metal blue side down on a piece of suede.  Use the Mercart Ball tools to push the metal down into the suede.  Use a small one for the lines and the small dots, and a larger one for the center dot.
6)  Flip the flower over and place on a hard, flat surface.  Use only the Mercart Teflon Tool to flatten the parts that raised up when you worked on the back. 
7)  Flip it over and add Mercart Filling Paste.  Let it dry, then flip it and sand it.
8)  Trim around both of the metal pieces with an ordinary pair of scissors and adhere.

You are done!  I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it probably took me longer to type these steps than it did to create the card.  Go check out the other blogs today and get inspired.
Now it is your turn.  Create a project that uses the theme of May Flowers, put it online somewhere (even Flickr) and link it with the Mr. Linky on the Dreamweaver.  You could win wonderful prizes!

If you get a chance, stop by again on Sunday for my very first post for one of my newest ventures, the Connie Crystal Design Team!  See you then!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dreamweaver and Stampendous Blog Hop

Get ready to be inked, pasted, encrusted, stenciled and stamped! All of this week the Dreamweaver Stencils' Dream Team and the Stampendous Design Teams will be providing some "Dream-pendous" inspiration for you, with multiple opportunities to win some fabulous prizes from both companies. Each day this week, you will be directed from both the Stampendous Impressions' blog or the Dream It Up! blog to the players du jour for your oohing and aaahing pleasure. Everyone will be playing on Saturday, the 14th with our final hop for the week. This is your opportunity to see how to mix and mingle your creativity...if you are a stenciler, you will be fascinated at combining stamps with your first love. If you are a stamper, you will be wowed at how stencils can add to your impressions.

Here is my creation.  I started by pasting Dreamweaver Stencils Branch and Berries LJ900 with Dreamweaver Embossing Paste.  While it was still wet, I sprinkled on Stampendous Aged Copper Embossing Enamel.  Then, I heat embossed it.  Next, I stamped the new Stampendous Cling Bird Manor Stamp CRW073 on the cereal bag that I used on Monday's post.  I used black Stayzon ink.  I let it dry for a little while I created the flowers using the double glitter technique.  With the stencil LG 644 Cherry Blossoms attached to the double sided adhesive paper, I placed pinches of three colors of Stampendous Fun Flock:  Think Pink FL816, Pixie Pink FL803 and Raspberry Tart FL 817 around the flowers.  I pushed the flock down hard and in towards the flower centers to blend the colors.  I then brushed it off well and removed the adhesive paper from the stencil.  I covered the exposed adhesive with Stampendous Multi Ultra Fine Crystal Glitter.  I cut around the flowers and set them aside.  When the stamped image was dry, I flipped it over and put a very small amount of Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear on all the parts of the stamp that I wanted to be opaque silver.  I covered these areas with Stampendous Pearlized Mica Fragments.  I also covered the backs of the birds with glue and added Stampendous Neon Yellow Glitter.  As this dried, I used gold covered aluminum and my Mercart Metal Tools with Dreamweaver Stencil LG 646 Bird & Blossoms to deboss the bird.  I did this by placing the metal face up on top of the stencil, rubbing it down with a fine art blending tool, and pushing it into the stencil with the Mercart Teflon Tool.  When I had the bird, branches, some leaves and a flower debossed, I sanded the top of the metal.  I then used the Designer Dries Clear in the wells that I created to add Aged Copper Embossing Enamel in the branches and heat emboss it.  I also used the glue in the wells to color the eye with Plain Ol' Black Flock, the leaves with Sour Apple Green Flock and the flower with the remaining flock from the double glitter flowers.  I then assembled the card, placed the cage on it with a mix of Glue Dots and Designer Dries Clear, and peeled the backs off of the flowers, placing them on some of the "berries" in the background.  Finally, I put some double sided adhesive on the back of the bird, trimmed it close with an ordinary pair of scissors, and attached it to the card.

Be sure to leave comments as you tour the blogs (with your email addy!) for a chance to win* one of three combined sets of these Dreamweaver and Stampendous goodies:

Leave me some love before you "gear up" for the next player:

Dream It Up!
Stampendous Impressions!
Kristine Reynolds
Cherylynn Moser
Susie Moore
Lynn Mercurio
Laura Drahozal
Pam Hornschu
Terrece Siddoway
Wendy Price
Liz Martin
Taylor Usry
Jessie Hurley
Krissy Fossmeyer
Jennifer Ingle
Lee Kellogg
Janelle Stollfus
Jennifer Dove

*For shipping and handling purposes, USA/APO/FPO/Canada winners only.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dreamweaver and Stampendous Blog Hop Day One!

Get ready to be inked, pasted, encrusted, stenciled and stamped! All of this week the Dreamweaver Stencils' Dream Team and the Stampendous Design Teams will be providing some "Dream-pendous" inspiration for you, with multiple opportunities to win some fabulous prizes from both companies. Each day this week, you will be directed from both the Stampendous Impressions' blog or the Dream It Up! blog to the players du jour for your oohing and aaahing pleasure. Everyone will be playing on Saturday, the 14th with our final hop for the week. This is your opportunity to see how to mix and mingle your creativity...if you are a stenciler, you will be fascinated at combining stamps with your first love. If you are a stamper, you will be wowed at how stencils can add to your impressions.
Here is my creation.  It is an unusual style for me to be using.  It reminds me a bit more of my friend, Linda's style. I really enjoyed the stretch for this one.  Although I didn't realize it at the time, this card would probably qualify for the Stampendous Challenge on recylcing that is going on right now.  Let me explain.
I started this card with an encyclopedia that I found at the Salvation Army.  I knew that I had this lovely Stampendous Vintage Birdcage Stamp CRV266, so I found the page on Sound and ripped it out, ripped it up and distressed it with Tim Holtz Distress Brushed Corduroy Ink. I had two pieces when I was done, so I put them both on Double Sided Adhesive Paper to make my new "paper".  Then, I used that lovely stamp to stamp a couple of images in the background with the Distress Ink.  I also used that ink and stencilled just the musical staff portion of stencil LM 149 Music.  Using Versamark, I stamped the center birdcage and embossed it with Aged Gold Embossing Enamel.  This embossing powder is a little chunkier and creates a vintagey look, but don't expect it to show all the beautiful fine lines of a stamp like this.  This is why I stamped the black image.  I wanted to use something transparent for both this birdcage and the pasted bird's nest, but I did NOT want that overly shiney look of acetate.  That seemed too modern for my theme.  Fortunately for me, I had just finished a box of cereal that morning.  Well, I washed out the lining and used it here.  Clear, but not too modern looking.  I needed to use the Stayzon on the birdcage.  The Pearlescent Dreamweaver Embossing Paste was perfect on it with the LL 587 Nest Flourish Stencil.  I felt that both of these items could use a little extra "oomph", so I glued Mica Fragments on the reverse side with Art Glitter Dries Clear Designer Glue. The birdcage stamp was enhanced with FRM01-Pearlized Mica Fragments behind the bottom and top screw of the cage.  The bird was enhanced with FRM04-R Tea Stained, and the stencilled nest got FRM03-R Tarnished Mica Fragments.  I pasted the "Sing Your Song" off of the LG 734 Bird Words stencil with Dreamweaver Matte Black Paste. Finally, I used a modified Double Glitter Technique with stencil LS 94 Bird on Branch, Stampee Foil, Stampendous Plain Ol' Black Fun Flock and Stampendous Multi Fine Crystal Glitter.  The papers were edged with Versamark and Aged Copper Embossing Enamel.
Whew!  There was a LOT going on here.  (Quite the contrast with last month).  If you like these assemblages, definitely check back with me on Saturday this week (no, not Thursday this week) for another Stampendous Blog Hop Day.  Better yet, check in with the team daily--we will be hopping all week with Stampendous!

Be sure to leave comments as you tour the blogs (with your email addy!) for a chance to win* one of three combined sets of these Dreamweaver and Stampendous goodies:

Leave me some love before you "gear up" for the next player:

Stampendous Impressions!
Dream It Up!
Cherylynn Moser
Lynn Mercurio
Laura Drahozal
Kristine Reynolds
Pam Hornschu
Taylor Usry
*For shipping and handling purposes, USA/APO/FPO/Canada winners only.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April is Dreamweaver Flower Month!

The challenge for April at Dreamweaver is flowers.  Here is a very CAS version of that challenge. I started with this older piece of Basic Grey paper.  I think it was from the Green at Heart Collection.  I immediately noticed the similarity between the flowers on the paper and the Dreamweaver LL 3024 Cherry Blossom.  I knew immediately what I needed to do.
Here are the very simple instructions:
1) Soap up the back of Dreamweaver Cherry Blossom Stencil LL 3024.  There should be a cloudiness over the back of the stencil when you are finished.
2) Using a large stencil brush, brush off any "crumblies" of soap that are attached to the stencil.
3) Reveal one of the two stickly sides of the Double Sided Adhesive Paper.  Place stencil soap side down on it.
4) Trim the adhesive paper a little closer to the stencil so as not to use too much glitter.
5) Pour glitter over stencil and rub in lightly with finger. I used Art Glitter Ultrafine Opaque #58 Brown, which is a beautiful brown with some reddish brown undertones.  It was perfect for this project.  It is important to use an opaque glitter on this step to provide contrast with the background.
6) Using large stencil brush again, gently brush excess glitter off.  When you think it is clean, brush it one more time to be sure.
7) Turn the project stencil side down on your table.  Carefully peel the paper off of the stencil.  Walk your fingers along the stencil as you remove the paper to keep the stencil flat, so it doesn't bend.
8) Put the glitter over the newly revealed adhesive. I used two different colors:  Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent #196 Lion's Mane and Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent #304 Petal Pink.  I put a small pinch of each color in different areas to keep it pure there.  Then, I used my finger to push the colors towards each other.  While it is difficult to see in the photo, using the two colors of transparent gives it a beautifully modulated, delicate effect.
9) Trim around the design, leaving an outline of the original color.
10) Remove the backing and adhere to card.

So, there it is.  Clean and simple as well as floral.  Yours doesn't have to be CAS, but should be floral.  First, check out the other blogs this week, and get inspired.  Then, make something with a flower, take a photo, get it online, and link it up to the Dreamweaver Stencil blog.  You could win wonderful prizes.
Oh, and speaking of wonderful prizes, there will be some extra ones given out next week.  The Dreamweaver Team is SO excited to be playing with Stampendous Products for a special week long extravaganza!  It will culminate in a huge hop next Saturday.  Come check it all out starting on Monday!