Thursday, September 14, 2017

Halloween Bookmarks

The Sizzix Alterations die set Mini Halloween Things by Tim Holtz, gave me an idea for making bookmarks for Halloween.  In this day and age of technology, I know a lot of reading is done online, but there is something to be said for holding an actual paper and ink book in your hands and interacting with the written word.  So the educator in me wants to do everything I can to encourage people, and especially the kiddos to read books. I hope these bright, cute Halloween themed bookmarks might help a little.
Another thing you might have heard of is the Teal Pumpkin Project. It is when a house that has alternative Halloween goodies to offer that are not candy/sugar/food related, posts a teal pumpkin in the window, on the door, or has an actual teal pumpkin on the porch to signify that for those kiddos who need or would prefer a non food item you have them available.  I thought these book marks might be a fun thing to have for them to choose or they could be part of a goodie bag that you give to special children in your family or neighborhood, maybe paired with a book, toy, etc.
I noticed this year that Target has teal pumpkins in their $1 spot and they also have some offerings online for toys and give aways as well as the Oriental Trading Company has some offerings. Pinterest is loaded with lists of things you can offer as well if you are interested.

How did I make these bookmarks? They're really fairly simple. More time consuming than they are difficult. 

First cut some Distress Mixed Media Heavystock 8.5x11 into 2"x 7" Then color each one with a blending tool and Distress Oxide. Spritz with water, dry and then stamp different Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous background stamps onto them in the same color. 

I used my hand as the stamping block so I had more control and could stamp on the corners leaving spots without a stamp. Mat them, then cut the corners. I used a We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper. Punch a hole and then cut and adhere some reinforcers.

Each bookmark is different to showcase the different dies in the Mini Halloween Things. I found some of the sayings online and then brainstormed the rest.  The fonts are all different Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations fonts in either the Sizzlits Strip dies or the new fonts in the Thinlits, like Alphanumeric Thin 3/8, Alphanumeric Script 1", Alphanumeric 3/4 Tall. Just use what you have and feel free to mix and match.

I did add one book mark using the Scarecrow die. He fits on the bookmark if you fold his arms over.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys—and there be plunderin’ pirates lurkin’ in every cove, waitin’ to board...And mark well me words, mateys: “Dead men tell no tales!”
How can you not immediately think of Pirates of the Caribbean when you see this stamp from the Monstrous CMS307 Halloween stamp set by Tim Holtz? It's just a fantastic image.

I used a die from one of my favorite Sizzix Alterations sets called Labels 660060 as the base for the stamp. I stamped the image in Ground Espresso Archival Ink, then aged the edges of the die by blending Antique Linen, and various brown Distress Inks around the edges and then lightly rubbing the Ground Espresso Mini Distress Ink lightly around the edges to give some texture.
For the background on the card I colored a piece of Distress Mixed Media Heavystock with Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and edged it in Ground Espresso Distress Ink. Then I stamped the Skulls CMS306 background stamp in Ground Espresso Distress Ink, purposefully leaving spots that weren't inked so it looks old and worn. This is one of my favorite ways to stamp the background stamps. Often times I use my hand as the stamping block so it really looks imperfect and worn.  Cover the stamped image in gold embossing powder and heat. You want it to look like old brocade fabric.
My inspiration for this background was the captain's headboard in the cave scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.  Just a little Disney trivia here: It is rumored that there used to be several human skulls within the attraction, but now the only one actually remaining is the skull on the headboard in the Disneyland version of the ride. I don't know if this is fact or not, but it's creepy and definitely part of my inspiration.
For the title on this card I used a stamp from last year's Halloween release, Regions Beyond CMS274, which was one of my favorites from last year, so it seemed only appropriate to pair it with one of my favorites from this year.
I place it on some half in strips of Distress Woodgrain Cardstock colored with Distress Inks and hand cut to look like planks.
Lastly, in keeping with the pirate theme, I put the background on a piece of linen from the Ideaology Textile Surfaces.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Special Delivery

Vintage Silver and Gold Christmas stuff is my favorite so when I saw this vintage Santa I felt like I really needed to give him a vintage metallic card.

It's actually a really easy look to create with the amazing background stamps Tim designs.  This card features my favorite from this release, Sparkles CMS324 background stamp and the Santa from Christmas Classic CMS322
To make the background you need the following supplies:
Stamping Platform, a background stamp (I used Sparkles CMS324), Metallic Kraft Stock, Ground Espresso Archival Ink, Ranger Super Fine Silver EPJ37415, a heat tool and Distress Crayons.
Place a piece of silver Metallic Kraft Stock in the stamping platform and stamp the sparkles background with Ground Espresso Archival Ink.
Pretty amazing how detailed this stamp is!
Remove the paper, and cover with Ranger Silver Super Fine Detail embossing powder. You need fine detail so it melts into a smooth finish and it maintains as much of the stamped detail as possible. Also there will be a few areas where you might get a little clump of embossing powder. I left that because I liked the imperfection of it.
Using the Ranger Heat Tool, heat emboss the powder.  The heat not only embosses, but it crinkles the metallic color in the kraft stock and it gives it a really cool vintagey aged look. I love it!
 Can you see the added crinkles?
The last step is to use one of the brown and the Black Soot Distress Crayons and scribble some of the crayon around the edges.
Then rub it around with your fingers trying to get it into the crevices.
With a very lightly wet finger, just the tiniest little bit of moisture, rub it into the background again. This smooths out the crayon color.
Then go over the whole thing with a dry cloth, lightly rubbing away a little more or less in areas so the color isn't too uniform.
Do this twice in two places on a piece of silver Metallic Kraft Stock.

Four of my must-have die cuts are the stitched dies - Stitched Rectangles, Stitched Squares, Stitched Circles, and Stitched Ovals.  Two of these sets, the ovals and the rectangles both have a few border dies in the sets.
To make this card I used the largest rectangle, second largest square, and the small scalloped border die from the ovals set. I also added a small tag from the Tag Framelits die set.
Cut four of the scalloped borders. Trim one or two scallops off the ends as needed to fit onto the card base.  To form the corner, cut one scallop's edges straight back. Use that one piece to cover a corner, as seen in the photo. Do that four times so you cover each corner.
To make the window border, put the square die inside the rectangle die and cut the window and the outside border at the same time. I use decor tape to hold the dies in place when I'm cutting them.
Pop the window border up with foam, dimensional adhesive or bits of chipboard. Whatever you have on hand.

Before stamping Santa, you want to age some Distress Mixed Media Heavystock.  Blend some Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap Distress Inks on to the Heavystock, then spritz with some water and dry. Stamp the Santa image onto the background with Ground Espresso Archival Ink.  I used the Stamping Platform so that if it didn't stamp as dark as I wanted I could stamp it again. Cut the piece slightly larger than the square opening and adhere to the back of the frame, centering the Santa behind the window.  Attach the image and frame to the card base.
You will have some left over aged Heavystock so cut a small tag from the Tags Framelits die set and stamp a sentiment on it.  I used a sentiment from the Watercolor Trees CMS317 set. Such a nice font.  It's difficult to see, but I did stamp some postage pieces from the Holiday Postmarks CMS323 in Antique Linen on the tag for a tiny detail.

Age some metallic ribbon from the Ideaology Metallic Trimmings by applying some Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and then wetting and drying. Tie a fluffy bow.
I wanted to add some metallic Christmas greenery, so I made some. This is a technique I learned from one of Tim's tutorials.  You need the Festive TH029 stencil, some texture paste, silver Metallic Kraft Stock, and silver embossing powder.
Spread some of the texture paste through the parts of the stencil you want to use. Repeat on different areas of the Metallic Kraft Stock. Cover texture paste with silver embossing powder and then set aside to dry while you work on other parts of the card.
Once it is dry, heat emboss until the powder is shiny.  Then give it a bit of an antique look by rubbing some Distress Crayons over it.
Fussy cut the shapes out, ink the edges and then adhere them into place.  For this card I just used the holly leaves and then added some of the bells from the Ideaology Jingle Brads as holly berries.

Although there are a lot of steps to this card, it really isn't difficult to make, it just takes a little patience to get out all the supplies and then take it step by step.

Have fun with this technique and I hope to see some Vintage Tin cards soon!