Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pretty Purple Tags Brought Me Back

Creative Chemistry 101 has brought the fun back to my creativity.  Specifically, Mr. Tim Holtz and his simple technique of Blend and Flick have changed the way I look at stamping and creating MY art.  It isn't that blending ink is new to me.  In fact, I have been using techniques to make backgrounds for over 10 years.  It isn't even that these techniques were completely new to me.  As Ranger's Creative Director, Tim not only designs the products but he spends a lot of his time educating customers on how to use his products.  A lot of this education is free and readily available on his blog or Ranger's website in fact, he just posted a video on his new Distress Markers.  Tim freely
April Tag.  Source: Tim Holtz
shares written tutorials, how-to videos, and his technique-heavy 12 Tags of 2012 (formerly 12 Tags of Christmas).   You can see the tutorial for April's beautiful bird tag here.

When Tim isn't giving out free how-to information he is working at his day job as an educator for Ranger.   At any given time he is somewhere teaching a huge class of happy paper crafters.  He travels something like 435 days a year and told me that he is booked 5 years out.  Keeping track of his world-wide escapades is more fun than finding Waldo!

Finally, he shares his techniques in the two books he has written; Compendium of Curiosity Vol.1 and Compendium of Curiosity Vol. 2 .  Both books are widely available.   If you purchase them from Tim he will sign them.

When I signed up for Creative Chemistry 101, I made a promise to myself that I would try each technique... even if I thought I knew how to do it or thought I wouldn't like it.  What  I learned from keeping this promise was that  I didn't appreciate how much interest and texture come from some of the most basic techniques .   I also learned that I enjoyed doing all of the techniques…some more than others... but I didn't dislike any of them.  They are messy technique for sure.
Source Tim Holtz
Source Tim Holtz

Speaking of messes…what, we weren't tailing about messes?  We were before I edited this post so just go with it.  True story-last night I was making some very simple cards-yes, totally out of character for me put appropriate for what I was working with.  I was using Claudine Hellmuth's new collection of scrapbook supplies.  I will post pictures of the finished cards, until then you can see (and purchase) the Rub-on and Vinyl Crafts Kit here and the Whimsical Woodworks Kit here.  I used almost all of the 588 rub-ons including the long vertical pieces of "ric rac" which I cut a few millimeters longer than my cards.  After I applied them I was left to deal with the over-hang.  Using the laziest best method I could think of which was to simply rub it off with my thumb and finger.  You can imagine what the two digits looked after doing this 20 or 30 times.  It seems like it should be easy to remove the rub-on but I found they aren't called rub-offs for a reason.  It isn't easy to remove any rub-on but Claudine's rub-ons were especially difficult because they are high quality AKA  thick…AKA harder to remove.  I couldn't even get them off my teflon craft sheet!  Oh well, I thought to myself, they will wear off over time.  As I was preparing to wash my face before bed, I looked in to the mirror and discovered a big wad of mutilated rub-on flotsam on my left eyelid.  And no... it didn't come off my eyelid any easier than it came off my finger or craft sheet.
In the end, this class forced me to realize that I was in a creative rut.  A big, boring creative rut.  I've discussed on earlier posts that I had stopped straight rubber stamping in favor of mixed media, instead using rubber stamps in my mixd media pieces, but never as the focus of the piece.  I used them to simply to create texture in the background.  Somewhere along the line I decided that rubber stamping was simply card making.  I began to think rubber stamping was for card making….the end.  I was limiting what I thought rubber stamping was for and about.  I  had begun to think rubber stamping was a little passé but truthfully it was my skill set that was passé.  Tim made me look outside the little box I had created for my rubber stamps and my passion has been reawakened.  In fact, I can't stop day dreaming rubber stamp designs.

Laters Baby….


  1. purple is my favorite color and these tags are GREAT!

  2. It's very beautiful – I love the colors, Danee! Thanks so much for your recent visit. I'm back from traveling and catching up. Have a great week.


  3. These are beautiful! Had a good chuckle at your eyelid mishap... thanks for sharing!


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