"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Friday, November 30, 2007

New Product - Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint

I finally found the new Tim Holtz Crackle Paint and bought a jar. This comes in a 1.1 oz. plastic jar and is a thick water-based paint in colors to match the Tim Holtz Distress Inks. The cap has an attached applicator for no mess, no fuss. It's a one-step crackle process - just paint on and wait for it to dry and crackle.

I tested this on a plain shipping tag. The directions say to paint a medium coat for fine cracks and a thick coat for heavier cracks, so I painted thickly on the top portion of the tag and a thinner coat on the bottom to see any differences. I apologize for the poor photos - this was very hard to get a closeup without glare.

The first photo shows the tag just after painting (with glare). The second photo shows the dry paint crackled.

I was disappointed in this product and doubt I will purchase more. It is expensive and does not produce a nice crackle finish as I expected. The thinner coat of paint hardly crackled and the thicker coat looks more like parched ground rather than cracks. I think a regular crackle product produces a better effect. You can also crackle by painting over any white glue while wet - using Elmers glue and inexpensive craft paint would do the trick more cheaply than this product. One amazing thing about this paint, though, is it's self-leveling - you paint it on very thickly and messy and it levels out to a rather smooth application.

Countdown to Christmas

It's time once again for Lisa Vollrath's seasonal countdown. Starting tomorrow (Dec. 1) through Christmas, she will post downloads on her site: http://countdown.tentwostudios.com
She always offers wonderful images and only asks that to download you first link her site on a message board, website or blog. Save it to your favorites and check it out every day until Christmas! (Be sure to read the "fine print" on what you can and can't do with these downloads.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Cone

This is a cone I just finished for friend Diann in an online swap. The gold paper at the top is not part of the cone - just in there for holding some little goodies.
I used a heavy chipboard-type cone I found at Michael's - looks much like the old thread cones. I spray-painted the inside gold and covered the outside with some Anna Griffin Xmas paper, then cut and glued a gold paper doily around the top and bottom.
The bottom of the cone was open, which posed a problem - how to make the cone come to a point? I found a little door hanger at the dollar store which had ribbons, bells, etc. hanging from a gold and red ring. I bought this thinking that I could use the bells for the bottom of the cone, but that didn't work. Serendipity - the ring fit the cone opening perfectly!! I took the top gold rim off one of the jingle bells, glued it in the hole in the bottom of the cone and added a tiny red glittery bell upside down to form the cone point.
I punched holes on either side of the cone with my trusty Crop-d-dile (love that tool for punching holes!) and knotted sheer ribbon through the holes for a hanger. I added rosettes made with the same ribbon to the sides and Stickles "jewels" to some of the snowflakes and the doily.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

3D Advent Calendar

We haven't put up an Advent Calendar since the kids were all young, but I saw this darling Making Memories kit - in Target of all places! - and just had to have it. The kit comes complete with the heavy chipboard red box with 25 little drawers, all precut papers for the drawer fronts, rub-ons, chipboard buttons, poinsettias, ribbon and holly and brads. The only things I added were Xyron adhesive for the papers (these fit the X-box sticker maker exactly), three brads for the flower centers and tiny ribbons for the buttons. I would have loved this when the kids were little for special little prizes or candies each day - maybe I'll put some tiny embellishments in each drawer for my own private Advent calendar!
Sidenote: I used my tiny Heidi Swapp iron to straighten the ribbon - you know, the itty bitty pink and black one that looks like it's made for Barbie. Well, I forgot it and left it plugged in all last night and all day today while at work! The good news is that I didn't melt my cutting mat, burn down the house or fry my iron! It still works! So that's a good endorsement for that little iron.

All About Inks

Confused about the variety of stamping inks on the market and what each is used for? Here's some information I compiled for my stamping classes.


Inkpads fit into three basic categories, although there is some crossover and a few “exceptions.” The most important thing to remember is to first select the material you will be stamping on and then choose an appropriate inkpad for that application.

Water-based and washable (semi-permanent once dry)
Dry quickly (and, thus, not used for heat embossing)
Best for detailed stamps
Usually dry on all papers, including glossy, though may need to be heat-set
May fade over time

Slow drying (used for heat-embossing)
Smears easily until dry
Cannot be used on non-porous surfaces (glossy or matte papers) unless embossed
Fade resistant
Resist and embossing inks are included in this category
* Note: Brilliance pigment ink is the only ink that will dry on vellum!

Either water-soluble or solvent-based
Dry quickly
Can be used on non-porous surfaces, including glossy paper, transparencies,
shrink plastic
Use when coloring image with water-soluble media
Special cleaner may be needed


Rich, opaque colors with matte finish
Blend easily
Can be embossed
Permanent when heat-set
Some brands juicier than others (ie. Colorbox)

Actually a pigment ink but “in a class by itself”
Can be used for resist technique, heat-embossing, watermark background

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Moo Cards

I have no idea why these are called "moo" cards, but they are similar to business cards only about half the size - approximately 1" x 2 3/4". They are available through Flickr and come in sets of 100. They are made from any combination of photos you have stored on Flickr and can have up to 6 lines of text on the back.
I ordered mine a few weeks ago with ten copies of my collages and they came in Friday's mail. It is so fun to see your own art and name on cards! And the artwork looks so different in miniature! I am loving these - makes me feel almost "professional!" I am hoping to give them to my fellow store employees as well as our customers so we can keep in touch after Recollections closes.

Crazy, busy weekend

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. We only expected one daughter from Albuquerque, but Thanksgiving afternoon our daughter from Chicago (flight attendant for Southwest) called to say she would arrive at 5:30 since the airlines didn't call her for a trip. So, we put a hold on the cooking dinner and had a later feast with the two of them. They both left early Saturday so it was a quick visit!

There's a saying in Texas that if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change. Well, change it did. Early in the week we had 80 degrees and the air conditioner running. Thanksgiving morning turned COLD and it actually snowed big flakes in the afternoon. It's back up in the 50's and raining now.

I did manage to find some time for art. I finished twelve 12x12 layouts for a calendar class at Recollections. It was designed by the corporate office but still took hours to put together. Sorry I don't have photos!

I also finished two birthday/anniversary books this weekend. These are tab board books, covered with coordinating patterned papers, with a metal title frame and ribbon tie closure. Each inside page is stamped with a month and has a cardstock block with 31 spaces for writing names for the birthdays and anniversaries that month. These will be Christmas gifts for my Mom and SIL. Hope they're not reading this!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Take time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives and enjoy this special time with family and friends. We are expecting a quiet and relaxing day since only one of our five children will be here this year. I may even make some art!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tag Card

Despite a full week of work, I am managing to get caught up with swaps and mingles that are due. One of my online groups does a "mingle" every month where a photo of some random object is posted and you make something inspired by that object. This month;s challenge was this photo of three little pots (or bowls?). I liked the bright, cheery mix of green and red and white which are also Christmasy colors.

I made a tag and pocket using an Accucut die and embellished with the polka dot patterned paper. The dots on the back of the pocket were stamped with a brand new pencil eraser!

Here's the tag out of the pocket. I used my new large corner punch and added Diamond Glaze for shine. The striped ribbon mimics the striped bowls and adds contrast to all the dots. This is going to Teresa - hope she likes it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New stamps

I love a bargain! Michael's and Joann's have started selling some wood-mounted and clear stamps for only $1.00 each. I have purchased some in the past and they are decent quality. The rubber is deeply etched and stamps well. The clear sets are mostly tiny images but still a good deal.

I found these Christmas stamps at Michael's last week - too cute to pass up, especially for $1 each!

And two more from Joann's. Now, why in the world do I "need" this many Christmas stamps!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

4 x 4 Swap

This week has been very hectic - my "part-time" job has morphed into over 30 hours this week with no days off. And I'm trying to finish a few swaps before the deadlines. I did manage to finish the Circus 4x4

I collaged different circus images I found on the Internet with part of a circus ad in our newspaper. The pages are copies of the original with additions of Stickles on the elephant and the "tent" border, a Bingo marker for the ball and a tiny red pompom for the clown's nose. I also used a new "make-your-own-rubons" product for the circus title. This is made by Grafix - you can draw, rubber stamp or print a design with your computer on this film, apply the special adhesive sheet included and then remove the liner and use as a regular rubon. It was the first time I'd used this and I like it. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

The backs of these were supposed to be decorated as well. I used real popcorn bags from the dollar store for the backs, folding over about half an inch on the top front to simulate a "bigtop." The ticket stamp is from Invoke Arts.

Now all I need to do is get these in the mail!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Holiday Card Make 'n Take

We had an after-hours private party at the store last night. About 50 ladies from all over the country were in town for a scrapbook retreat and came to the store to shop and party. I did a "make 'n take" project - the above holiday card using alcohol inks, Twinkling H2Os, glitter and the new Tag Curler. It's a matchbook fold on glossy paper and is actually more red than the scan shows. Everyone had a great time and stayed until almost midnight!