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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LBH 12 Days of Ornaments - Day #11

Today is Day 11 of the LBH ornaments - my day to share a cute little mixed media paper mache bell ornament I created.

(Since I was out of town for most of the time of this series, I did not post the other ornaments here like I have done in past years.  Please go to the LBH blog to see all the wonderful creations made by the other designers.)

Supplies needed (all except starred items available at the LBH):

1 paper mache ornament (I used bell, but any shape would work)
white tissue paper (regular wrapping kind)*
Tim Holtz tissue tape (I used music)
Mod Podge*
Art Anthologies Sorbet Dimensional Paint - Big Dip O' Ruby
Viva Silver Metallic Modeling Cream
Viva Peridot Lt. Green Glitter Paste
Black Archival Ink
Glossy Accents
Silver Halo Glitter
Kaisercraft Clear Stamp - script
Punchinella* (or one of new TH new stencils which just arrived at LBH)
Small paintbrush
Palette knife*
Sandpaper or sander*
Word stamp of choice*
7" - 3/4" wide silver metallic ribbon
12" thin red with silver stripe ribbon

Let's begin!

1.  Paint inside of ornament with red Sorbet paint with a slightly damp paintbrush (this paint is very thick and a damp paintbrush will help to spread it evenly).  This dries quickly.

2.  Crumple tissue paper (this is a good use for used paper from gifts) and tear into small pieces (approximately 2", not tiny). Apply Mod Podge directly on the outside of the ornament and add tissue paper, smooshing it into Mod Podge. This is one time when wrinkles are good! Continue adding and overlapping paper pieces until ornament is covered. This can hang over bottom edges as shown in photo below. When completely dry, sand edges to remove the excess paper. (Note: I like to use the inexpensive black nail files found at beauty supply or dollar stores for this.)

3.  Tear small pieces of tissue tape and randomly place on ornament.  Burnish well.

4.  Paint the outside of the bell with the same red paint, touching up bottom edge if necessary.  I love this paint as it is translucent and you can still see the tissue tape pattern through it. (Note: clean brush with water immediately as this paint hardens quickly in the brush. If it doesn't come clean, use hand sanitizer to clean it thoroughly.)

5.  Use a script stamp and black Archival ink to randomly and lightly stamp the ornament. We are going for texture here, not a perfect impression. Dry with a heat gun to set the ink which is permanent once dry.

6.  Lay a small piece of punchinella (or use one of the new Tim Holtz layering stencils which just arrived in the LBH!) over the ornament. Use a palette knife to spread small amounts of silver modeling cream randomly in several places.  (Can you tell my knife is well-used?)

The ornament will now look like this.

6.  Stamp word of choice on small piece of tissue paper. Heat to set. Tear around word very closely. If you tear a small piece off (as I did here), it can be fixed later.

7.  Apply Mod Podge directly to ornament where you want to place the word and then gently add tissue paper in place. Tap paper into glue and cover with another coat of Mod Podge.  When completely dry, the paper will be almost invisible and you can touch up any areas with a fine black Sharpie pen. 

8.  Put a small amount of glitter paste on your finger and tap all over the ornament.  This step will make the ornament really sparkle on your tree!

9.  Run a line of Glossy Accents along the bottom edge of the ornament and sprinkle with silver glitter while wet.

10.  Fold the silver ribbon into a bow shape.

11.  Tie the red and silver ribbon in a tight knot at base of gold ornament hanger, then lay silver bow on top of the knot. Tightly tie red and silver ribbon around the middle of the silver bow and tie into a bow.  Trim ends of ribbons.

 You now have a pretty ornament to add to your tree!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as well as the other ornaments we have created for you.  

Hop on over to the LBH blog and leave a comment there telling me when you usually decorate your tree - before Thanksgiving? right after Thanksgiving? or Christmas eve?  One lucky commenter will win my ornament.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LBH "12 Days of Christmas Ornaments" - Day 4

Welcome to Day 4 of this year's "12 Days of Ornaments"! Today I am very excited to share with you a tutorial for an ornament I created for this series!

Mini-Starbook Photo Ornament

 Supplies you will need:
5 pieces of Christmas patterned paper - 2"t x 3"w
5 pieces card stock #1 (green in sample) - 2" x 3 1/4"
5 pieces card stock #2 (red in sample) - 2" x 3 1/2"
1 yd baker's twine in coordinating color
1 jump ring 
1 drop crystal
Scor-tape (1/8" or 1/4")
10 photos sized to approximately 1 1/2" x 1"
Optional: ink to match


1.  Fold each paper in half and ink all edges.

 2. Assemble one of each into a stack with patterned paper on top and then the two card stocks according to size - you will have 5 stacks.

3.  Tape vertical outside edges of each of larger card stock pieces (red here).

4. Adhere smaller card stock piece (green here) by aligning outside edges (there will be a gap because the top one is 1/4" smaller). Repeat for each stack.

5. Add tape to top card stock piece on both edges.  Repeat for each stack.

6. Adhere patterned pieces to top of each stack. You will have five little "booklets" like below.

7. Add tape along all four outer edges of one side of the back card stock piece. 

8. Repeat for 4 stacks, just on one red side. On the fifth one, attach tape to both back sides.

 9. Adhere one taped side to one untaped side, lining up edges and making sure the patterned paper is facing in correct direction. Continue until all except first and last sides are connected. 

Before adhering these together, cut twine in half.  Open jump ring and place through hole in crystal bead. Close jump ring and thread twine through. Fold in half and double knot the twine at the jump ring. Lay between last two sides with knot flush with bottom of pages.

10. Adhere last two pages together.  Make another double knot at top of ornament and then one more tying the ends of twine together for a loop.  Cut remaining piece of twine in half and make two bows around the knot at top of the mini-starbook.  Add photos.  

Here is a photo of the bottom of the finished ornament showing the star formed by the pages, hence the name star book!

I hope you enjoyed my ornament. It was such fun to create! I used photos from throughout the year of my two little grandsons to document their growth in 2013.  This would be a great addition to parents' and grandparents' trees!

These instructions are also appearing on The Little Blue House blog today. Be sure to click the link and leave a comment there for a chance to win this ornament (actually you will win a blank ornament as I made two. You probably don't want my pictures on yours!)

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"12 Days of Ornaments" - Day 1

Bom dia!! (That's good morning in Brazilian Portuguese. As many of you know, when you read this I will be in Brazil attending our former exchange student's sister's wedding. I am sure I will have some stories to tell when I return!)

Since I am posting this early and have no photos of today's ornament to show, I direct you to The Little Blue House blog today and every day for the next week to view the ornament-of-the-day. Be sure to comment for a chance to win that ornament!

I have pre-scheduled the post for my ornament both here and on the LBH blog.  It will unveil on Nov. 20 so don't miss it!

I hope you enjoy this special series - a gift from the LBH gals to you during the holiday season!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

LBH presents the 4th Annual "12 Days of Ornaments" Blog Series

Tomorrow is the beginning of the LBH "12 Days of Ornaments" during which we will feature a different handmade ornament created by one of the LBH gals each day until Thanksgiving.  Included in each day's post will be the complete instructions on how to re-create that ornament. Please visit the LBH blog here each day to view the ornaments and leave a comment. One lucky commenter will win that day's ornament!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brazil Here We Come!

We're leaving tomorrow morning for Brazil. We're attending the wedding of our former exchange student's sister and then touring Brazil with his family. This will be interesting as we don't speak Portuguese and they, except for Fabio, don't speak English!

I've scheduled a few posts here for the LBH "12 Days of Ornaments" that starts on Sunday, Nov. 17. Other than that, it will be quiet here for ten days.

So ciao for now! I'll surely have stories to share when I return!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Working with Intricate Dies

I recently purchased this very intricate pumpkin die from Serendipity Stamps that I love. Isn't it gorgeous? One reason I bought it was I saw samples of it used not only flat, but formed into a 3D shape using multiple cuts.  There was also a sample of a 3D apple using the same die so it's quite versatile.  

However, once I was home and tried cutting it, I got terrible results. I have since learned that there are metal shims sold for Cuttlebugs and Big Shots that are a great solution for getting good results from intricate dies. (That saleslady missed a perfect opportunity for an up-sale!!)

Since I don't have a metal shim, I did some research online and some playing around with my own Cuttlebug and wanted to share my findings with you in case you also don't have one.

First (and best) tip: add a piece of waxed paper between the die and paper you are cutting so all the tiny pieces come out easier and don't get stuck in the die.

 Photo 1 above was done with this sandwich: A plate + C plate + cardstock + waxed paper + die face down + 3 CS scraps for shim + B plate (you can see much was not cut through)

Photo 2 was done with this sandwich: A plate + C plate + cardstock + waxed paper + die face down + B plate + 3 CS scraps (more cut, but not all and it was hard getting most of those pieces out; I thought putting CS scraps on top of B would give flatter surface for cutting through)

Photo 3 was done with this sandwich: A + C + CS + waxed paper + spot-shimmed die face down (see tip below) + B + 3 CS scraps.   EUREKA - cut through with very little poking needed!!!

To spot-shim - add pieces of Scotch tape on backside of die where it's not cutting consistently - see the photo above with tape in the center areas on the back of the die 

Depending on your machine (I used my Cuttlebug) you might have to tape and/or shim with more or less CS. With 3 CS it was pretty hard to crank through mine, but it did cut!

My conclusion is that if you only have one or two intricate dies and don't use them often, try out these ideas for getting better cuts. If, however, you have several dies, use them often, or don't want to spend the time figuring out the perfect shims for each die, I would suggest you buy the metal shim. As soon as I find one, I think I will be getting it!  Hope this information was helpful.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Home for the Holidays" Mixed Media Canvas

Here's my latest mixed media canvas class at The Little Blue House. I'll be teaching this through Christmas so call or stop by the House to reserve your place in class.

These canvases are very popular and I so enjoy creating them.  It's a challenge to come up with something different for each new canvas.  This one uses several new (and old favorites) textural products that I can't wait to share.  The Christmas lights and wreath are easily removed so you could continue to display this through the winter season.

If you're local, I hope you'll join me for this fun (and messy) class!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mixed Media Mania Class - Next Week!

This is the project I will be teaching for the Mixed Media Mania class next week at The Little Blue House.  We will be combining assorted papers and fabrics and adding several textural products to make our own "paper cloth" to create a mixed media tree.  Depending on the choices you make along the way, each finished tree will be your own unique piece of art.  Be prepared to get your hands dirty and have some messy fun!

Classes will be Tuesday, November 12:
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Contact The Little Blue House at 817-431-7930 to reserve your seat!  Check out the MMM page on the LBH blog for supply list.

Hope to see you then!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Project Premiere

Our Holiday Project Premiere yesterday was a huge success! Thanks to all who stopped by to see the new products, new class projects and to make the cute little candy boxes at the Make-n-Take. I was busy demoing the new WeR Memory Keepers punch boards for gift bags, candy boxes, square boxes and pillow boxes nonstop all day long!

I managed to snap a few photos of The Little Blue House before we opened the doors. Everything looked so pretty and festive. We even had Christmas music playing and lots of yummy Christmas cookies and punch.

If you happened to miss the special event, do stop by anytime to take a look at the fun class projects  we have created!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tis the Season

It's hard to believe that Christmas is on it's way! Tomorrow we are revealing all the new Christmas class projects at The Little Blue House Project Premiere.  

Here's a sneak peek at one of my projects.  I can't wait to share all of my projects as well as the gorgeous projects created by the rest of the design team!

Stop by and visit The Little Blue House tomorrow

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Free make-n-take, refreshments and prizes!