Monday, 29 July 2013

christmas in july, a trio of tags

There's something enchanting about designing and creating winter holiday tags while sipping iced tea in the sun on the porch as Alex runs around in his shark bathing suit blowing bubbles.

I'm celebrating CHRISTMAS in July for Anything But a Card's Challenge #24.  I have to admit there was some brain resist to crafting winter anything in the middle of July but once I dug out the holiday stamps and embellishments the struggle gave in to delight.  Out of all of the stamps that I own, Alex selected these three (stocking, magen david and door stamp).  I, in fact, just landed the door and wreath stamp from a friend and was very happy to use it in this project.

Tag one: stocking and chimney tag.  All of the over-sized tags are from the Prima collection.  This one was distressed with Tim Holtz's distress inks (black soot, fire brick red) and layered with some bits and pieces I had lying around to give it some oomph.  

The bricks were textured on with a mini brick stencil and some modelling paste to which I added a mixture of red and brown acrylic paint.  I've started making my own modelling paste. If you don't mind the making-it-yourself part and the cleaning-all-the-materials afterward bit I recommend it.  The bricks were then highlighted in metallic paint and viva decor pearl pen.  The stocking is from the Stampin' Up collection.  I love the stretched out image.  Something very fun about a very long stocking.  Perhaps I can imagine all the gifts that are hiding inside.  Although a stocking with that shape would mean that the gifts would have to be really long and thin like golf clubs (don't need them) or an umbrella (don't want one) or a hockey stick (not my thing).  It wouldn't fit a Cricut.  So as cute as it is I'm hoping this year my stocking comes in a regular shape the size of a Cricut box.  And so you've also noticed that I'm not much of a hint-er (yes, mr. everythingshetouches reads my blog).  All you romantics can stop rolling your eyes. 

My aunt Anna, who is a seamstress by hobby and a teacher by trade, had given me a bag of sequins to use in my projects and it seemed fitting for the trio of winter tags.

I added the cotton from a cotton swab at the top of the chimney and filled in the cracks between the bricks with black soot used as a watercolour.

I love this ribbon which looks like Santa's belt buckle and the red and white washi tape.

mr. everythingshetouches recommended that I turn the strip of washi at the bottom of the tag into a gift.  He's filled with great design ideas!  I had already taken the photos of the tags without the washi tape-turned-gift and so you might notice the gift missing from the first two photos.  We could have played a short game of can you find the error in these photos!

My family is a blend of folks from around the world and so we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas every year.  Alex had made some beautiful ornaments at school last year and informed me that we now needed to purchase a Christmas tree to display his art.  We didn't buy a tree but we did create something special in the sun room and in the hallway where we could exhibit all of our crafts, ornaments and cards.  I'll try to remember to take photos this year to post.

Tag two: Magen David Chanukah.

The tag was distressed with Tim Holtz distress ink (broken china) and decorated with viva decor pearl pen pearls.

The Stampin' up Magen David was a gift from a friend.  The Magen Davids were stamped onto 90lbs watercolour paper (love love love this paper) and I coloured each one in with a marker.  The paper was distressed with black soot and a few of the stars were highlighted with liquid glass.  I splattered on some broken china to add dimension.

Tag three: Coming home.  The tag was distressed with Tim Holtz's distress inks (painted door, tea dye).  I am really thrilled with the way the distressing turned out on this tag.  I love using distress inks as a background and this session really turned out spectacular.  It is so fun laying your medium (in this case watercolour paper) down on the inks and pulling it up to see what beautiful creation awaits.  And it changes each time to you lay it down.  No two pieces are alike.

The door was painted with markers and distress inks used as watercolours.  I added sequins and viva decor pearl pen pearls as highlights and a bit of jute for some whimsy.

My dear friend who gave me the door and wreath stamp also turned me onto Memory Box die cuts found at Urban Scrapbook I used the Tall Birch and Forget-Me-Not branches for this project. I'm hooked on die cuts now.  It's my newest muse.

Before distressing the tag I embossed branches across the bottom.  The effect is subtle but really very nice especially with the distress inks following the embossed lines.

I had so much fun designing and creating these tags and I wish all of you loads of warm winter wishes in July.

ETA:  I am adding my holiday tag trio to the Moxie Fab World Holiday Gift Tag Challenge to be eligible to participate in the challenge.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

bill's confectionary, fort edmonton park august 2012

Alex and I went to Fort Edmonton Park last summer and spent the day with friends wandering through the four historical periods between 1846 and 1920.  I wondered how Alex would respond to the live presentations of the historical relics being only three years old at the time but I was a very proud mama with his behaviour, stamina and maturity.  He asked the staff some very poignant questions about their work and managed to walk around the park for the better part of five hours stopping only for a 30-minute movie and lunch.

Although our friends were ready to pack it in after five hours, Alex asked me if we could play a game of mini-putt, get some ice cream and ride the ferris wheel.  I have some great photos from the entire day that I will likely work into a couple of layouts so consider this post as the teaser.

I found the cherry washi tape, 50's diner paper, ice cream float chipboard and Basicgrey Hipster embellishments at The Inked Stamper all which inspired the one-page layout.  I love the concept of having multiple elements, each with their own design, coming together to create a greater picture.  Gestalt psychology
is a theory developed from the principle that our brains are capable of perceiving whole objects out of incomplete elements. Kurt Koffka had coined the phrase "the whole is other than the sum of the parts".  Each section of the layout is outlined with assorted washi tapes.  My favourites: cherry washi, camera washi and mustache washi.  It's going to be a sad day when I run out of those three.  I'm pretty sure I'll look back on this time fondly knowing that I had a great adoration for cherry, camera and stash as every project will have as least just a hint of each tape included.  Or almost every project. 

I'm on a collage kick lately and found some really fun ice cream shoppe images to incorporate into the layout which was first sprayed with Ranger Dylusions Ink (squeezed orange and bubblegum pink).  I added white bubbles with bubble wrap and Tim Holtz Distress Stain Ink (picket fence) and some random ink blotches.  There is a great stamp set which has circles or bubbles included (which I don't own) but for some reason I just had to try making my own bubbles with the wrap.  It worked like a charm and I'm completely hooked.  Now I have to figure out how to include my used bubble wrap into my projects.  I'm sure it'll look really fun on an art journal layout.  Friends expect a card or two with bubbles and/or bubble wrap.  The ink splotches and bubbles represent some controlled chaos: ice cream can be messy.  The Ford Model Ts are from Tim Holtz's Visual Collection: The Journey.

mr. click, print, scrapbook and I spent a day together planning out our layouts and painting our ice cream float chipboards with acrylic paints.  We highlighted some of the float details with Tim Holtz's Distress Marker (picket fence) and outlined the glasses and cherries with gelly roll pens to give them some definition.

Our trip to Fort Edmonton Park last summer is one of my favourite outings of the summer.  I look forward to sharing the other photos, layouts and memories from that day with you.


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

a prima parisian birthday card

I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace
― Natalie Lloyd

I created this birthday card for one of my colleagues. I wanted something elegant and yet not too girly.  Aren't the Prima Doll stamps really nice to work with?  They're like a great little blouse that you can dress up to wear out to that very chic restaurant or dress down to wear to Starbucks for your skinny vanilla latte fix.  The Swing Dress Prima Doll stamp offers the same versatility.  For today's card she is wearing an original Recollections: Tattered and Worn cardstock dress on a Prima tag set against a Recollections: Tattered and Worn cardstock background.  Work it little Ms. Swing Dress.

The tag was sprayed (dirty martini, calypso teal), distressed (tea dye, dusty concord) and collaged before I stamped on Tim Holtz's Eiffel Tower, decorative border and argyle images.  For Ms. Swing Dress' hair I used vintage photo distressing ink as a watercolour and for her shoes I used worn lipstick.  I'm not a huge pink fan, although I do admit it definitely has its place, but I couldn't resist buying worn lipstick for the name alone.  Many years ago, one of my Montréal friends had pointed out the sometimes fantastic names of nail polish and lip gloss and I was hooked.  I will at times indulge in a lip gloss if I think the name is uber adorable or if I'm debating between two colours the name will become the deciding factor.  Seriously.  Worn Lipstick.  Adorable.  Inspirational.


I layered the dress on top of Ms. Swing Dress' first newspaper print paper layer and then doodled the edges and frill with my distress marker picket fence.  I absolutely love the way the stamp is made.  Without any additional materials the dress appears as it should on top of the doll's body giving the illusion of a doll wearing a dress.  No pop-ups, no fussing.  I love working with these stamps.

I thought the banner added dimension and a touch of sweetness and colour to the top of the tag.  I had hand-drawn the banner attachments (do you see the tiny "x"s?) and the ribbon or string tying them together.  I also added some hint of washi tape for a bit of layering and fun.

I really like using more than one ribbon and for this piece I varied the colour and the texture of the ribbon although both are elegant and pretty simplistic.

I'm entering my Ms. Swing Dress birthday card in the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Celebrate.  Congratulations on three successful years and the new location move.

ETA: I've edited this post so that it may be eligible in the Moxie Fab World Challenge.
Ms. Swing Dress is now entered to participate in the Birthday Card Challenge in the Moxie Fab World. It would be wonderful if she was the belle of the ball.

Happy birthday dear colleague.  I wish you many years of laughter, joy and love.

And thank you everythingshetouches-blogsters for viewing my work over 1000 times!  I  love when you stop in, relax, have a coffee and drop me a line or two!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success - Henry Ford

I've tried my hand at using modelling paste in my under the sea layout and I decided to use the technique again but with a bit of a twist for this card.  My in-laws are celebrating their anniversary at the end of the month.  They have a charming story how in peony-scarce Belarus my father-in-law brought my mother-in-law a bouquet of peonies to the hospital the day my husband was born. That's love.  I thought this poppy and peony mask was perfect for their card.

I wanted to design a transition from one medium to another and one colour to another across the card.  I used white modelling paste and the poppy and peony mask to create the base of the card and distressed it with Tim Holtz vintage photo distressing  ink.  I then white embossed the poppies and peonies over tea dye, broken china and peacock feathers and used my Ranger Archival Ink Jet Black to create the top layer.

It was mr. everythingshetouches who suggested adding a message to the front of the card (I had intended to leave the messaging for the interior - an almost nearly slightly conservative move which is a bit of a shock).  I played around with some designs and thought the final product had the right feel and flow.  And you know I couldn't stop there.  I prettied it all up with some clear gems.

My in-laws are incredibly amazing loving people.  mr. everythingshetouches and I are very fortunate to have them in our lives to send us good marriage vibes, give us advice and to love and adore Alex with grandparent abandon (and cookies and milk before bed).

Monday, 15 July 2013

Montréal October 2009 troisième page

As I expected, page three of the layout took a slightly different turn.  I pulled in some of the same embellishments from the first and second pages to maintain continuity.

Alex was eight months old when we took our first trip to Montréal and our timing couldn't have been more perfect.  My dad and my brother were also visiting from Thailand and we spent a good part of the week together.   

Montréal has a very European vibe.  The Parisian quality is pervasive and creates a very elegant, charming and French city.  I combined the delicateness of Montréal with the messiness and unpredictability of the inks.  I sprayed the background with Ranger Dylusions Ink Sprays (dirty martini, calypso teal) and filled in some of the missed spots with Tim Holtz Distressed Inks (vintage photo, dusty concord) creating highlights and lowlights.

Using the pennants and bottle cap from the first two pages, I added some of Tim Holtz's Stampers Anonymous stamps (Carte Postale, Eiffel Tower).

And some washi tape.

I found the poppy and rose washi tape on sale at Michaels It was one of those moments when you realise that without great restraint entire projects could be covered in poppy and rose washi tape.  I'm crazy about this washi.  Crazy.  I nearly bought a second spool the other day.

There's such a sense of satisfaction when you cross a project off your list (and what a list it is).
Merci et à bientôt (thank you and come again soon)!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

getting messy - a waterpark under the sea layout

I've been meaning to take a class for the longest time and as soon as I had an opportunity I signed up for one of Dawn's mixed media classes (The Inked Stamper) and wondered why I waited so long.

Dawn loves to get messy with her layouts and art journal and I followed suit.  I went home with blue/green/black fingers and, as a result, this layout fits in perfectly with Anything But a Card Challenge #22 "Getting Messy".

I'm also entering two other challenges: (1) A Blog Named Hero Challenge #27: Fave Stamp.  As you know one of my ultimate favourite stamps is my music note stamp but who can resist Igor/Scuba Diver?  He's quite the adorable versatile stamp. (2) Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge: Anything Goes. 

The under the sea layout theme complemented some photos I took from one of our trips to West Edmonton Mall's Waterpark. We had gone to the Waterpark with Grandpa and Alex's uncle that day.  My little shark had a blast.

WEM Waterpark November 2011
The backdrop of the layout was created with Ranger Dylusions Ink Sprays (dirty martini, calypso teal, london blue).  The characters were stamped onto white paper, coloured with different techniques and glued onto the background.  And that's when the real fun began - we doodled (even the word is fun to say, don't you agree?) and as Dawn says, the doodling really elevates the images from simply being glued on to the page to being anchored, and part of, the page.

I'm particularly fond of the neon fish lips which were coloured in using Heidi Swapp's Day Glow Neon Gel Pens.  The Heidi Swapp website warns you to use them sparingly.  It does pack quite the wallop and is surprisingly addictive.


I doodled with black and white Gelly Rolls, Viva Decor's Pearl Pen, Stewart Gill Pearlise pearlescent acrylic paint, Tim Holtz Distress Paint (picket fence), modelling paste and my faithful Picket Fence Ranger Distress Marker (cue ethereal sounds of blissful happiness).

I absolutely adore the little scuba diver.  He looks like he ran into an electric eel.

Thank you for stopping in!  Grab a coffee, look around and drop me a line.