Friday, November 27, 2009

A Technique & A Shameless Plug!

I have a lot of sticker letters. A. LOT. But sometimes, I just don't have the right colour, or more importantly, I don't have enough of the right colour. This tutorial will give you a tip or two on customizing the colour of your finished chipboard letters.

You will need:

- white (or another light colour) chipboard or paper sticker letters
- ink (Staz On, Distress Ink, etc.) it needs to be a pigment ink, or one that fairly durable so the colour transfers properly and it doesn't rub off right away.
- a blending tool, like a piece of high-density foam (Ranger/Tim Holtz sells these in many forms, or you can just use a makeup sponge)

I'm using American Crafts Thickers because I had some on hand! Keep them on the backing sheet while you ink's much easier this way! Then, when you've finished colouring them you can pull them off and stick them on your layout.

Get some ink on your blender of choice. I'm using the foam sheets by Ranger. Just cut them down to a workable size.

Now you want to blend the ink right onto the letter. I didn't do any prep to the letters before, but if they are very glossy or have a really slick surface give them a quick rub with some sandpaper.

And that's pretty much it. The colour doesn't show up very well in these pictures, but it's the idea that I really wanted to showcase. They have a really neat vintage-y, distressed, aged kind of look to them because the ink is naturally darker in some areas than others.

You could also try:

- using Glimmer Mist, but you will need to sand the letters first
- Crackle Paint
- Alcohol inks...the glossy surface of a finished chipboard letter is perfect for alcohol inks. Just add a couple of drops and let it dry.
- Embossing powder...takes a little more time, and remember to hold onto those little letters with tweezers or something!

And now it's time for the shamless plug! I put these fabby new letters on one of the layouts in my fabulous Calendar Workshop! It is a super-fun class/workshop/kit, filled with twelve awesome layouts and lots of product at a great price!

Here is October's layout, with the new letters on it!

You can find pictures of each layout on the TM Classes Blog (tonight they will be up...I promise!) and I'm doing up a post for the main TM Blog as well. The classes were scheduled to start in November, but if you want to sign up we can still cover a lot in the remaining classes in December (the 2nd and 9th).

The kit itself will be for sale next week, filled with all the instructions and full colour pictures you will need to complete each layout on your own time. There are a lot of fun techniques in the calendar, and by coming to the store to complete it, you'll be able to use some fun product as well. Stuff you might not have at home!

I am really excited about this workshop...a lot of my blood, sweat and tears went into this calendar! And I hope that y'all can get a little inspired by this project and maybe tackle something similar for yourself this season. It not only makes a great Christmas present, it's a great reminder of the wonderful year you had and all the memories you will be making next year!

happy creating!

Friday, November 20, 2009

TOTW - Feathers

Awhile back, on a whim, the Saturday girls made a special Craft Store Field Trip and bought a whole whack load of feathers to make some hair clips. And when I say whack load, I sure mean it! I have a tonne left...and I thought I would put them to good use on a scrapbooking layout or two!

You will need:
- feathers, which you can purchase at Michael's for sure, but probably at other crafty type stores, or fabric stores.
- liquid glue, which I find is the best to attach them nice and good! Glue dots would also work.

Layout #1: Feathers & Chipboard
Adding some feathers to the back of a chipboard shape, finished or raw, is a great way to add some texture and dimension to an otherwise flat shape.
Turn your shape over, so the back side is facing up, lay down some liquid glue and start pressing your feathers down. Every once and a while, check out the right side of the shape so you know they are going in the right place

I really like how the feathers look behind this Riff Raff leaf. You could try adding flocking powder to your shape before adding the feathers for a different look altogether.

Layout #2: On their own...

A couple of feathers in a little bunch looks super great on any page! And in any colour. Tie some ribbon around the stems and call it a day!

You could also try:
- using larger feathers as a border along a photo
- putting a circle of feathers behind a flower
- using feathers as an embellishment on a layout about birds, or bird watching

Happy Creating!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I couldn't get my hands on the metal tools this week, so I decided to give you some simple ideas to use product in a way you might not have considered.

You will need:
- Hambly transparency
- found items
- pattern paper

A new way to think about Hambly transparencies...

Hambly transparencies are great to use as a whole, but they can also be cut apart to create movement and interest on your layout. I used the fall leaves transparency to add a little bit of colour and to reinforce the lovely fall colours in the photo, but I didn't want to use the whole thing. So I cut some of the leaves apart, "scattered" them along the layout as if they were falling down the page. I also added one to the centre of the letter "o" to bring some of that bright yellow colour to that side of the layout.

A new way to think about "found items"...

"Found items" are anything that wasn't originally designed to be a scrapbooking embellishment. For example, clothing tags, stamps, pop can tabs, etc. etc. etc. The list goes on forever! It's always fun to add some memorabilia to your layout, but you can also add things that have a great colour or texture that might not fit the "theme" of your layout. The gold and black strip down the middle of the layout is the spine off the outside of a kid's "Golden Book". I love the shine and the pattern, so I kept it once it fell off the book and I think it adds a nice sparkle to this layout.

A new way to think about lettering...
The letters for the word "joy" are the leftovers from a banner I made out of pattern paper. If you go back a couple of technique posts, you'll see one I did with the word "Autumn". I drew big letters on my pattern paper, then cut them out to make the banner. But I hate to throw things away, so the words get repurposed on layouts. If you have a die-cut machine, it would make this much more exact, and potentially much quicker. And it adds a lot of fun colour, without having to use a lot of busy paper!
I hope these little tips give you something new to think about the next time you play with your supplies. Try using things in a different way than you normally do, and see what happens!

And I would like to say HI to Electra, and thank her for the fun time I had on our "play date"
today! I hope you really enjoyed the class and make use of some of the techniques at home!

I'll be running the "Unleash the Artist Within" class again in the new year. If you like the techniques I demonstrate here, but don't have the supplies or the confidence to try them in the privacy of your own home, you should come to the class! You can use the store's supplies - we have lots to choose from - and let loose in a no pressure, everything goes environment! Keep watching the blogs for more details.
later skater alligator...

Friday, November 6, 2009

*new stuff*

So when I'm in a Technique rut, so-to-speak, and I can't think of anything new to show you, I usually just grab some new product and play! And that's totally what happened this week.

I have been waiting so patiently for the new Hambly to come...and now that it's here I am so happy to finally sit down and play with it.

The doilie rub-ons are so beautiful. The pictures don't do the colour justice! It's the perfect Hambly turquoise...I think it would go great with the Frozen Lake or Turquoise Blue Glimmer Mist.

Other new stuff on the page:
-Making Memories Vintage Findings...those gold thingys. This new line is unlike anything I've seen from them before. Lots of paper ephmera, vintage buttons, hat pins, ribbon, post cards and more. There are big and small packages with a variety of fun things inside, or you can buy packs of the same labels, buttons, or tags. The price point on everything is pretty decent, and Making Memories has some vintage paper lines that make for great scrapbooking and paper crafting.

- Making Memories Halloween Line...the litte word stickers. I love little words like this, and the Halloween line not only has some fun Halloween words - ghosts, monsters, boo - it also has some normal words like girls, buddies, fun, etc.

- Sassafras paper...the letters. The new Sassafras paper is all very awesome, a little quirky, and so very colourful! Each page is double sided, and has a decorative edge where the bar code lives.

- The other paper on the layout is Hambly (blue lace) and Basic Grey (grey spiders). Both of these are from new lines from each company. The Basic Grey halloween line is great...lots of neutral grey, black & ivory, with some punches of colour throughout. And the embellishments are fun as well. The Hambly lace paper comes in a bunch of colours and there are overlays to match. Other patterns include snowflakes, leaves, swirls and dress forms.
This layout is about how I had a really cool costume for Halloween but didn't actually get a real picture of myself wearing it! I went as the Nursery Rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock...I had a painted clock face and a handmade stuffed mouse on my vest. It was very clever, if I do say so myself. I'm going to add some journaling, once I figure out where it can go, and call it a day!

See you back next week...maybe I'll have an actual technique for you! If I can get my hands on some metal tools, I'm going to do a little 10 Second Studio project!

I have a couple of fun classes coming up, if you're interested in learning first hand some of the rad techniques I feature here. Altered Canvas runs on Tuesday, November 17th from 6-9pm. We'll be painting, using gel medium and gesso, Glimmer Mist and creating a cute collage for your house! The first time this class ran, it was a lot of fun!

Unleash Your Inner Artist runs next Saturday, the 14th from 10am to 1pm. This is the one I'm really looking forward to! We will be playing with paint, Glimmer Mist, colour washes, masks and stamps to create a whole bunch of fun and artistic backgrounds for future layouts or paper crafting projects! It is going to be a free form, go at your own pace class, and I hope every body becomes a little more adventurous in their scrapbooking and crafting afterwards.

To sign up for any classes, to reserve one of my rad new kits, or just to chat, give the store a ring: (780) 414-1540.

later skater alligator

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the new kits are here! the new kits are here!!

This month we have three kits again, put together by K.C., Victoria and myself. And they are so lovely! And there are still some in stock...hoorah!

I've already finished a bunch of layouts with my kit, and K.C. has for sure started on hers, I have the pictures to prove it!

So I'm going to post some here for a little inspiration...have fun!

Lisa's Kit: The Sky's the Limit

K.C.'s Kit, Yellow Brick Road

There are "ingredient" lists on the main TM blog, along with lovely pictures of all the contents of each kit. Call the store to have one put aside for you, or we can ship one or two or all three to you, anywhere you want! that's service! Unfortunately, we draw the line at doing the layouts for you! HA!

Regularly scheduled programming will be back tomorrow...I've already completed my TOTW layout! That's crazy! It's nothing special this week, but hopefully it will whet your tastebuds for yummy things to come!

later skater alligator