Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Biggest Fan and his Christmas Clock

My biggest fan is 4 years old and just goes crazy over my houses. It won't always be so - he's 4 and he's a boy which means that sometime, too soon, he will outgrow his fascination with the little houses, I fear. In the meantime I will share the photo his mother sent me where he is showing off his Christmas clock house. She gave me permission to share it and noted that he wanted to make sure that his smile was perfect so in a way he approved the photo as well.

My biggest fan
Here is a close up of the house. I decided to do a clock house because I saw one on the Cardboard Christmas forum that I really liked. Before long the design had evolved.


The pattern is original - just a simple gable front and a gable roof on the sides. I made a cubbyhole for the Santa with a background printed in vellum so that light would show through the hole in the back. I tried to use gold bunting around the cubbyhole, but I didn't glue it down right so I had to rip it off and find something to cover it up. I stamped some greenery and cut it out to cover up that mistake. 

The color is too yellow here, but you can see the background lit up behind the Santa. 
The Santa, Snowman and the clock are all stamps from Papertrey ink. The reindeer are from Memory Box Christmas Delights die and stamps. The roof, as is almost always true, is from the Village Dwelling Rooftops. I think the trees are from Richard Gray Great Outdoors dies. 

The snow on the base is Grit paste from Ranger Ink and then everything was coated with Martha Stewart's fine transparent glitter. 

Things like this make Christmas for me. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope you have a joyous new year. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Make it Sparkle - Sparkly Gifts

I made some little gifts to take to work today for the staff that has to work in the Emergency department on Christmas day.



These earrings were inspired by the new Tim Holtz Thinlits dies - Mini Snowflakes. I occurred to me some of the snowflakes could be easily converted into earrings by punching a hole in them and hooking them to ear wire. So that's what I did.



I cut out 3 snowflakes per earring from heavy weight paper and glued them together. Then they were glittered and I punched a hole for the jump ring (the connecting ring to the ear wire which allows then to dangle and swing better), inserted the jump ring and the ear wire and ta dah!! - Snowflake earrings.   I also used an old Martha Stewart punch to make a Christmas dove for earrings as well.



The Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge this week is "Make It Sparkle" so I decided to add more sparkle with the packaging. I used a Papertrey ink matchbox die to make the packages and some shiny striped glitter paper for the outside of the box. I tied a Merry Christmas ticket on the package with red baker's twine.



The background for the earrings is stamped with Hero Arts Christmas stamps for a simple "Merry Christmas to you and yours".

I hope to bring a little Christmas cheer to the ladies I work with today. And I hope you have a lovely day as well. Have a very Merry Christmas.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Another Christmas House as a Gift

Here is another little glitter house that I've made as a gift for a friend of mine. Believe it or not, I tried NOT to make it so pink, but it kept evolving into a pink house.

This is a new pattern that I've made that I really like. I think the steep roof pitch makes an attractive little house.

The green base is green cardstock that I sprayed with some Distress stains to give it a little more depth and richness of color. I love how the green turned out.

The roof is made with a snowflake embossing folder. I highlighted the snowflakes a little bit by using Picket fence distress paint around the snowflakes.

Everything is coated with a fine transparent Martha Stewart glitter that is no longer available. I have to find a replacement because this glitter works on anything. It doesn't obscure the color, just adds shine.

 

The fence consists of 4 pillars with white cardboard in between. I meant to punch some holes in the fence like old time putz houses have, but I forgot to do that before I glued it in place. As a result the fence is a little bland.



I didn't put snow on the roof because I like the snowflakes themselves so much. I did glue the house down in the some snow partly because there was a little gap in the front and I had to cover it up.

I have one more house for Christmas. It's actually drying the oven right now. Well, in a barely warm oven, that is.

Addendum - I posted this late last night and meant to enter it in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge blog. This week's challenge is "Make It Sparkle" and this little house really does sparkle. I hope it is not "illegal" according to the rules of the challenge to include it now. And yes, once again it is a little house because that's what I make 90% of the time.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tea Time Tim Tag Number Two


This is my second attempt at a 12 Tags of 2016 December tag. Just as the first tag I was inspired by the patterned teapot. The teapot was cut out free hand and stenciled with Festive Berries stain through the Tim Holtz Poinsettia stencil.

The background is the Tim Holtz Layering Stencil - Christmas Festive with Mowed Lawn spray stain on a linen background.



The embellishments include a tattered poinsettia with a bell for the stamens, Be Joyful drop shadow embossed in gold, Holiday greens cut from green cardstock stained with mowed lawn and forest moss, Idea-ology Silverware, Happy typed token, and a tiny tea time stamp from Papertrey ink.


I've enjoyed this month's tag largely because I was able to play around with the techniques and actually get the concept. I also like how the tags look. Oh, I cut out the tag the same size as the regular layering stencil so the elements on the teapots were not way out of proportion.

That's it for this month in terms of tags. I wonder what new things will be coming in January. It's always interesting to find out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Evolution of the Tim Tag 12.16

I don't really have trouble making things. I can almost always think of something to make and come up with a way to make it. BUT making Tim Tags is a challenge for me, appropriately so. It's using craft items that I am new to and using them in very different ways.

The first tag I did in January was a failure from the technique standpoint so much so that I never even entered it. I'd hardly ever stamped anything in my life at that time - this one was the embossed
powder with chalk. I got better at it and actually made tags in March and April that I liked. Then my bike trip intervened and I missed a few months, but now I am inspired. I worked really hard on this tag as you will see below when you see the many iterations I went through to come up with the tag.

I will enter this tag in 2 challenges - the December edition of tags of 2016 and in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - "Let there be Snow".



1. Choosing a Theme
When making a tag, I like to have a theme. I have trouble just combining decorative elements. I have to have a story of some kind for me to choose what elements to include. This theme is based on my mother's love of tea, teapots, and snow. She loved it when it snowed here. She wasn't very mobile for many years of her life so she had to enjoy the snow from her comfortable chair in the den. She also loved tea and had a wonderful collection of teapots. That's the inspiration behind the tag.

2. Background Image
So I wanted a background with blue snowflakes, but I didn't have any blue spray stain. What to do? Why make some, of course. I put some blueprint sketch paint in a mini-mister and diluted it, then tried it, then diluted it again and again until I was able to spray it like I wanted. It worked!! I washed out the mini-mister right after I was done so it wouldn't clog up the nozzle.

Next challenge was that I didn't have any burlap. Well, I did have burlap but it is very coarse and would not work at all. I've purchased so many stamps and dies and papers recently I just didn't want to make another order before making the tag. That's why I had to come up with a different fabric.

This tag uses leftover fabric from a cotton drop cloth. My homemade stain worked beautifully. What didn't work great was that the glue I used to adhere it to cardstock bled through the fabric and looks dirty. Since the plan was to distress everything anyway, I figured it was just pre-distressed.

1. Tag stained using gauze as the fabric with mowed lawn stain
2. Gauze sprayed through the holiday green stencil, smeared red stain on it - oops.
3. Snowflake stencil with blueprint sketch spray
4. Holiday greens with mowed lawn stain on linen
5. Holiday greens with forest moss on leftover sheet fabric

When I used a paper towel to lift the stain from the stencil, I noticed that it made a beautiful negative of the stencil so I decided to use watercolor paper to absorb the excess strain for a later project.

Most of these are negatives printed from the spray on the stencil. I also wanted to make a teapot look like transferware or delft, two of those teapots samples are included. I've got one other tag in the works using the poinsetta teapot above.

3. Shadow Press Embossing
The next challenge was embossing with the shadow press which I had just ordered. Unfortunately I neglected to order any debossing folders. I don't know what I was thinking. So off to order some debossing folders. I also finally realized that the technique would work with a embossing pattern that didn't have words on it even if I didn't have any specific drop shadow debossing folders. 

Teapot variations along with embossing samples. There are more somewhere in a pile of papers. I wanted to make a brown transferware teapot with the Scribble Woodland stamp, but the proportions are too big for a tag teapot. I really like the fleur de lis gold embossing. 
4. Putting it all together
Finally, I have elements I like and the tag remix techniques done - embossed teapot, embossed drop shadow "Let it snow", the background tag and my theme. I put "let it snow" on a gold edged tile. The teapot is placed on holly trivet tile. I used glittered snowflakes from the new Tim Holtz mini paper snowflakes thinlet dies as tiles for the other embellishments. After all of that, you have it - the December 2016 Tim Tag. 






That's how this month's tag evolved. Kind of convoluted, I know. But fun and it worked and I learned some cool new techniques. So the 2 challenges are the December Tim Holtz tag and Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which is "Let there be Snow".

I hope you are having a joyous and creative holiday season. 




Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Gift Box - Monday Challenge

I am kind of a "One Trick Pony" meaning most of the things I make are related to little houses. It's just my current obsession. I promised one of my friends that I would make a Christmas house for her daughter who loved her Easter house so much because it had a storage area. I made them out of the cardboard rolls from stickers and made the tops so they came off so a child could put a treasure in there. Well, apparently her daughter thinks it is just the greatest thing so I made a Christmas one for her. I also made the base larger for even more treasure storage.






































I try to make my houses really sturdy with double layer cardboard walls and coat them with Mod Podge to make them somewhat impervious to elements so I think this one will survive several Christmases.



I placed the house in a bed of glue underneath the house and "snow" made of Ranger texture paste and then sprinkled on some glitter. I also covered it with Mod Podge to try to prevent the glitter from falling off.



The main embellishments are the snowman which is a cupcake topper and the deer from Poppy stamps Christmas delights die and stamps. Again I cut out several layers and glued them together to make things sturdier.

The house itself is from one of my designs where I had some offcuts and just glued them to a cardboard rectangle and then covered it with Christmas scrapbook paper.

To make the box from the cardboard roll I glue several layers of cardboard circles together. These are 5" sizzix circles and I use the Eileen Cookie box die to adhere the bottom circle to the cardboard roll.

The top is made by cutting a strip of cardboard that goes loosely around the roll and gluing it to the top circular cardboard base the same way. I find this makes a very substantial container. It's a fair amount of work, but I really like making the bases rather than buying them.

For the edging on this house I used some ribbon left over from last year. I love all 3 of these ribbons. I think they work very well with the house.

I am usually pretty happy with the projects I post here, but sometimes a project makes me happier than others. This little house makes me very happy. I think the young lady who gets the house will be pretty tickled with it. At least I hope so.

Once again I am going to enter a challenge with the house. This week's Monday Simon Says Stamp challenge is Christmas gifts so the little house fits the challenge.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Christmas Songs Shadowbox


On one of my favorite challenges, Creative Carte Blanche, the challenge this month is Song Lyrics. I had just found some Christmas paper that would be perfect for this challenge. In addition, I bought a tripod that came in a very interesting box with a little door on it. I had to use that as well.

I searched through all my Christmas dies and stamps and picked out some that I thought would work and this is what I came up with.

This is the cover of the box. The lyrics on the scrapbook paper are for Jingle Bells so I included bells on the cover.  As always whenever I try to make a book or a cover to open, I have trouble. That's why there is a funny flange on the edge of the cover so it can open adequately. One of these days I will make a cover that both looks good and opens easily. 

The shadowbox portion of the project
Inside cover of the Christmas Songs Shadowbox
I used a ton of dies and stamps from many different companies. I will try to list them below:

Sizzix Tim Holtz Ornate frame #2 
Sizzix Tim Holtz Block Letters - Alterations Collection Holiday Thinlets
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Collection Christmas Prancing Deer
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Holiday Greens Thinlets
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Mini Paper Snowflakes Thinlets
Martha Stewart Label Punch
Martha Stewart Icicle Edge Punch
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Scribble Woodland Stamp Set
Tim Holtz Idea-ologu Mini Plaquettes
Hero Arts Lia Griffith Gingerbread House Die
Hero Arts Vintages Wishes Stamp and Die Set
Papertrey Ink In the Meadow Stamp and Die Set
Papertrey Ink Tiny Town Scallop Shingles Die


I used a generic tree die to make the 3-D die on the upper right hand corner of the shadowbox. The gold yarn tree I made like I made the sisal trees. I glued it in a green wooden cup I found at one of the craft stores.

All of the snowflakes are glittered with a fine glitter from Martha Stewart. I also glittered the Holiday greens as well. The prancing deer is painted with a gold mother of pearl paint from Martha Stewart. It's a lovely color.

The snow around the one horse sleigh and the house is a combination of Ranger texture paste and Snowtex. Washi tape lines the inside of the shadowbox.

I'm pretty happy with this shadowbox, but I find that always learn with each project.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Little Cabin in the Woods

The Christmas stamps and dies arrived! I was so happy to get my packages yesterday. Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge - O' Christmas Tree - is perfect for what I ordered.

Here is my project called the "Little Cabin in the Woods".



I covered a small box with distressed scrapbook paper and painted the background a light blue. I made 2 cardboard copies of the new Tim Holtz Tree Line on the edge die, glued them together and painted the trees a dark evergreen color. Then I used Snowtex on the limbs and sprinkled fine glitter on top.

The cabin is made from Tim Holtz' new stamp called Scribble Woodland. Seriously great stamps in that set. I cut out out 3 layers of the cabin to give it a little more dimension. I also cut out the cabin from the stamp's background so the tree line would provide the background. I glittered the snow on the roof and the ground with more fine glitter. I made a slope for the foreground and drew some lines similar to the ones on the Scribble Woodland stamp. That slope was also lightly glittered. To cover up the seam at the bottom I applied some more snow and glittered that. I used a Hero Arts deer stamp and die in the front. The large tree is the Tim Holtz Pine Tree Bigz die. As usual, I cut out 3 layers of the tree to make it more sturdy. On the top tree layer I cut off the trunk because I wanted the tree to have more depth. I also offset the top layer of the tree just a little bit to give a little shadow to the limbs. Then I added snow and more glitter and glued it to the front.

I will enter this in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. This was a fun, quick project for me. Now I have to figure out who to give it to.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas 2016 Little Houses

I decided to make some little glitter houses for some friends who were very encouraging when I was on my bike tour. I did 2 quickie houses using various dies to make it easier. One thing I did not do which really sped up the process is fences. I basically omitted fences. Fences take me a long time because I sandwich so many layers together to make them stable and more long lasting.

This first house is for my friend, Alison. I modified my custom house template from Accucuts by cutting off one of the front gables to make a smaller house. The roof is from the Tim Holtz Village Dwelling roof dies. The puppy is a Hagen Renaker miniature. Alison's family loves doggies. The tree is one of the sisal bottlebrush trees that I made. I used the windows from an Elizabeth Craft design pop-up house. The wreath is from that same set.



The next house is modified from the Tim Holtz Village Bungalow with a gable added to the front. I used 3 different Tim Holtz dies for this house (this is important to know to enter a specific online craft challenge) - the Village Bungalow, the Village Dwelling roof and the windows from the Village Manor. I was bolder about my colors in this house than I usually am. I used 3 shades of blue as well - Martha Stewart Sea Lavender and Greek Tile as well as an acrylic Phthalocyanine blue. The little doggie is the same one from Hagen Renaker. This is for my friend, Kelli, who also loves dogs.











I will enter these houses in the Simon Says stamp challenges. Both houses will be entered in the Wednesday Simon Says: Christmas To Die For challenge.

The second house made of 3 different Tim Holtz dies and 3 different blue paints will be entered in the   Monday Simon Says: Trio-tastic challenge.

I am so glad to be home making things again. So many ideas, so little time. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Inspirational Houses on Tour

As you know, I just finished a bike tour of the Cascade mountains in Washington and Oregon and the Sierras in California. What a grand trip it was, too.

I took a few pictures of buildings, houses that I thought had potential as a pattern for little glitter houses. I was not able to share them on my iPad during the trip, so now I will post them. I can't wait to get back to making things again. I missed that.

First, the Parkdale Bed and Breakfast. I am going to make one of these to send to the owners of the B&B because they are so nice and I enjoyed staying there so much.

You can see my bike and handlebar bag as well as Ben's bike in this view.
Ben's bike is visible here. 
It's a great house. I love the hipped roof. Our room was the one on the second floor on the right. The view from the room - Mt. Hood.

I took this photo from the front yard of the Parkdale B&B.
Two other houses in Parkdale, Oregon were remarkable as well.



Isn't this a wonderful house with the dormers, the steep roof, chimneys and the entrance. I also like the shakes on the outside and the matching garage. 
This cottage below belongs in a storybook. What do you think?

I just love the sloping roof. I think it would be a bit challenging to make though. 
I have a few other houses that I will include in another post. I am so happy to be home.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bike Tour Update

I've tried to post pictures from my trip here using my iPad but I can't seem to do so. I will posting photos on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Bike Tour 2016 - A Downhill Tour of the Sierra Cascades

I am getting ready to go on my bike trip. I leave Thursday morning and start the ride proper the next day.

I would be able to be very crafty for a couple of months so I will have to content myself with creative imaginings. I did get an iPad pro with a pencil so I can draw at least.

The journal I keep will be on the website - Crazyguyonabike.com. My title is "A Downhill Tour of the Sierra Cascades" so named because if you look at the map and ride from North to South it looks downhill. Of course, that is not the reality. This route - the Sierra Cascades - is actually the hilliest route that the Adventure Cycling Association has mapped. That's ok. I can handle it, slowly no doubt, but I will plod along and finish. This route goes from the US-Canadian border at Sumas, Washington to the US-Mexico border at Tecate. From there I will ride to San Diego and then take a train back to SC.

My specific journal on crazy guy can be found on this link - A "Downhill" Tour of the Sierra Cascades.

I have a lot to do. Talk to you later.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Haunted Houses for Halloween 2016

Well, the Halloween houses are done for this year. I am pretty happy with the collection. I always hope to do more, but every house takes so long. I think I did one house that took only 2 days, but most take 2 weeks or more.

I

I really enjoyed experimenting with the Tim Holtz Village dwelling house dies. I learned how to modify them and I absolutely love the roof dies. That really helps with the personality of the houses and makes the roofs so much easier.




I'm selling some non-Halloween houses as well that I will include in a different post.

Have fun creating, ok?

Friday, September 2, 2016

Possessed? No Re-Possessed - The Haunted Manor #2

I've just finished my second Haunted Manor using the Tim Holtz Village Manor die by Sizzix. I decided (as I always do) to make it a little different from the first Haunted Manor. I made a Clock Manor and it evolved from there.


I turned the rectangular base that the mansard roof sits out so that the wide face is forward. That leaves more room for the 13 hour clock. I had to cut out a v-shaped section for the gable front to fit it. I just used the same angle as the ones on the sides since the pitch of the roof is the same.

See where I cut the v-shape for the gable front
I struggle with using color. I am so much more comfortable with black and grey and dark colors. My choice for this house is Ranger's Distress Stain in Peeled Paint over my drawing of random boards. 


One unintentional detail you may notice here is that I didn't exactly glue it on straight. That's ok - it's a haunted house anyway. 

Because I turned the upper part sideways, there was no room for a chimney on the roof so I made a chimney that goes on the side. I colored it with Distress Fired Brick color which was a little too pink for my liking. In order to tone that down I distressed it seriously with Black Soot which is appropriate for the chimney.


Since this Village Manor has come out there are more and more projects that you can find on Pinterest or Instagram. I will truthfully say I borrowed some ideas from what I found. One idea was not on the house, but on the new die "Lost Zombie" also by Tim Holtz and Sizzix. Nicole Wright on her blog, Canadiannickelscrapn.blogspot.ca made a project called "Zombie Walk". The zombie has chains on his wrists. I thought it was a seriously cool detail. Since I mostly make houses I wondered how I could add a chain to the house. Also her Village Manor house had lots of boarded up windows. That got me thinking as well - what if I chain the door closed? I had to experiment for a while to get the tiny chain to drape around the little brad doorknobs, but I was finally able to do it.


Then the other really cool die that has come out is the Gothic Gate die - which lead me to think about chaining that gate shut as well. Finally the idea evolved into not a "possessed" house, but a "re-possessed" house. Kind of funny for a haunted house to my way of thinking.

The other idea I borrowed was from Annette Green's Whimsical Haunted Village. She made 3 adorable houses with Graphic 45 papers and the Village Dwelling sets of dies. On her Manor house she used the shutters under the Manor window piece which I really liked as a detail. I was only able to do it on 3 windows because the front windows are too small and one side of windows my haunted manor is obscured by the chimney, but it looks really good on the side where it is visible. You can see it on the photo above. Annette is teaching a class called Whimsical Haunted Village in September in Florida - not even very far away from me. If I wasn't riding my bike, I would be heading that way. I bet the class will be a blast.



Well, I am just about done with my crafting before my trip. I plan on taking all my little houses to the hospital tomorrow to start selling them. It's kind of a pain getting all that together, but I really need to get it done.

Oh, here are some updated photos of the first Haunted Manor - I added a bat and an owl. I think it helps the house from looking so stark.







Ya'll take care.