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Anything… And maybe, in this case, Everything Goes

This next card was created for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Anything Goes. The featured items were from Tim Holtz, and while that wasn’t required for the challenge, it seemed like a wonderful excuse to break out some of his signature techniques that I’ve been wanting to try. It’s “anything goes”, but I feel like I made it more “everything goes” into this card!

The background for this card was made by swiping a regular A7 card front through some weathered wood Distress ink that was rubbed onto my craft sheet and spritzed with water. This card was actually the test page and mop-up for the recently finished snowman piece. No reason to waste inked paper though!

After drying this, I went for the “Perfect Distress” technique from Compendium of Curiosities I. I stamped on a snowflake using Faded Denim Distress, then hit it with Perfect Pearls in Pewter. I spritzed with water to both set the pearls powder and wick out the ink from beneath. When I had it where I wanted it, I dried it with my heat gun. I did have to iron this card afterward, the basic card stock card was super warped from all the wet techniques.

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Next I took a piece of transparency, cut it down to fit the card front, and put it in my bathtub. Yes. My bathtub! I figured the bathtub would be a great place to contain the mess of my first attempt at splatter painting. This is another idea I’ve picked up from the work of Mr. Holtz, from his December 2013 tag project. So I splattered basic white craft paint on the transparency, then rinsed the tub clean! Gotta love easy peasy cleanup!

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Once the paint dried, I stamped on the transparency with Archival ink. Now, I’m looking forward to picking up some fancy Staz-On ink, which is supposed to be the thing for stamping on plastic. BUT, the Archival ink didactually work, it just took forever to dry. Once all was dry, I used Glossy Accents to adhere the transparency above the card. This is my first use of Glossy Accents, and it’s got me wanting to try some experiments to see how best to use my various adhesives, because I feel like I have several dozen kinds! But that is an adventure for another time.

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Ingredients: Distress ink, Archival ink, Perfect Pearls, an old transparency, white craft paint, Blueprint stamp, Inkadinkado stamp (sentiment), Glossy Accents

Learning and Improving: There wasn’t any one thing about this card that really bugs me, but I do feel like there are tweaks I would try if I did it again. First, I’d like to try it with Dimensional Glue Dots, or bigger dots of Glossy Accents, just to give more depth to the piece. I had tried to make the Glossy Accent drops very small so they wouldn’t distract and would look like tiny melted snowflakes. I’d also like to experiment with a thin glitter glue layer, either instead of the splatter, or maybe on the reverse side from the splatter. Last, with everything else going on in this card, I’m not sure that the Pearls make a big enough impact to be worth the extra step. The Pearls seem mostly obscured by the reflectiveness of the transparency.

Loving it: Even though I don’t think this card concept was the best way to use the “Perfect Distress” technique, I do think it will be a good technique to use elsewhere. It was fun to do, and the effect is pretty unique. I also just loved the splatter! Playing with transparencies was pretty cool too. With less and less call for transparencies in presentations, you might be able to score some from your workplace! Well worth the trouble of searching a back supply room, or offering to help organize. Just be sure to ask your supply keeper first!

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Picking a layout

When I first saw the “Pick a Sketch” Timeless Tuesday challenge at Flourishes, I assumed they were talking about using something that looked hand drawn, in addition to using one of the example layouts but none of the examples reflected that. I finally figured out that they were referring to what I thought of as a layout as the “sketch”.

Regardless of my confusion over the jargon, the idea of trying a suggested layout seemed like a terrific way to get my creative juices going. That’s a major reason that these challenge blogs are so appealing to me right now – I want to make all my own holiday cards this year, and the challenges are keeping me from having a creative block.

Oh, and I’ve also recently won “Designer Spotlight” accolades over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog, and I won a random drawing for commenting on a mystery blogger over at Flourishes winning one of the stamp set called Friendship and Flowers from their November release. So praise and prizes are also good motivators to keep me crafting and posting!

Back to the “sketch”: two layouts were offered, and I picked the more square one, since they are quicker to cut without a die. It does make me want to pick up square and circle nested dies, though. I think they’d be a bit of a time saver. Doing a predefined layout was really fun, since it let me focus more on color and textures. It was also instructive, because it got me to work with a lot more layers than I previously have. It will be interesting to see how much variation there is among the final products.

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Ingredients: sizzix Christmas tree die, Recollections ribbon, rhinestone and Rustic Luxe paper, Inkadinkado stamp, My Mind’s Eye Lost and Found Christmas paper, Stickles

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Cozy with candles

Today’s challenge almost didn’t happen, as baby was sniffly and fussy for most of the evening and wouldn’t nap.  But just before bed, I got my inspiration.  For this challenge, “Grab a Cup” at Flourishes, my brain made a few creative leaps.  The challenge was to be inspired by a photo of a coffee cup and some little cookies.  My brain fast forwarded to “cozy”, and “cozy” made me think of candles and looking out at winter snow.  What’s funny is that until I looked at the challenge again, I completely forgot that the starting point had been a mug of coffee!  Now of course, I want a latte…

I just love the retro candle paper!  It reminds me of when I was a kid, putting up the holiday decorations with my parents, siblings, and some hot cocoa!

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Ingredients:  Core’dinations cardstock, Tim Holtz seasonal paper and seasonal salvage stickers, distress inks, stickles, a Sizzix Christmas tree die… I think that’s it, I was pretty tired when I finished!