Saturday, May 18, 2013

More Pretty Tags Using Tim's Rub Ons

These are the last two tags that I made using the Tim Holtz rub on technique for the May 12 TAgs of 2013. You can find my other tags here and here or check out Tim's step out tutorial here.
I adore this version but it looks more like a Halloween version.  I strayed from Tim's directions by adding Silver Metallic Distress Stain and because it landed in the middle of the tag.   When I stamped the image of the man it gave him an ethereal ghost-like effect. Looks cool but doesn't photograph well and is a frankly out of season. 
I have been working on lots of projects for my friend's wedding and I cannot wait to show them to you.  I completed an awesome wall piece made from Rosettes.  It will grace the barn door on the outside to welcome guests and set the mood for the reception.  It is unlike anything you have seen before and I'm so pleased at the outcome.  I will show you all of  the projects after the wedding which is mid June.   I also completed two wreaths and some rosettes that will be placed randomly around the space.  I designed several components of the centerpiece but am still working on the completed look.  I also have the escort cards and some sewing projects which includes a sash for the bride to complete.  So much to do but I am finally seeing things completed and that is a great feeling.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Be Fearless Tag: Idea-ology Rub Ons.

I made a total of 5 tags using the rub on technique Tim Holtz used on his May 12 Tags of 2013.  As I mentioned before, Tim's rub ons are awesome.  I'm a rub on junkie and I know that it stems from the fact that I can't draw.  Not being able to draw led me to rubber stamping and while I love rubber stamps, I also love the look of a rub on.  Rub ons give me detailed images with crisp lines that just can't be acheived in a rubber stamp.  Mixed media is all about the texture and using rub ons along with rubber stamp images give my work the depth that is lacking from simply sticking to one medium.

While it is true that I've never met a rub on I didn't like, it is also true that all rub ons are not created equal and I love some more than others.  Some rub ons are flimsy and some rub ons are strong and thick...and some are just right (I just gave myself a Goldilocks and the 3 Bears feel there).  Flimsy rub ons are difficult to remove form the backing paper without ripping them to shreds and while sometimes I intend to only put down a partial design, flimsy rub ons make it hard to control how much or what part of the design ends up on the tag.  I also find that sometimes flimsy rub ons end up coming off-or partially coming off- on the silicon release paper.  This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.

Tim's new rub ons are high-quality, have some stickiness to them which makes it easy to rub them exactly where I want them, and are easy to remove from the backing paper.  In fact they are so well-made and thick that I found it hard to put down a partial design.  I found if I cut the design apart first I had better results.  I also found it impossible to rub on the desired design directly from the entire sheet (as Tim shows himself doing in his step-out tutorial) because the other rub ons on the sheet would end up sticking to my work.  This is a downfall of sticky, thick images.  I finally ended up cutting out each design before I began to rub it on.  My favorite brands of rub ons: Basic Grey, Idea-ology, Hambly, and Kaisercraft.
Toss a Handful of Glitter in the Air. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

12 Tags of 2013: May Edition

It's May and time to play along with Tim Holtz and his 12 Tags of 2013.  Tim's AWESOME rub ons are the featured technique in this month's tag and the entire thing is paper crafting perfection. 

As always I like to start with showing Tim's tag.
Tim Holtz's tag Source: Tim Holtz
I love Tim's tag so much; the colors themselves as well as the saturation of color are eye catching;  the rub ons; the awesome Idea-ology trinkets; and the stamping all add to the dimension and texture of this tag.  For more information about the specifics of how to make this look, check out Tim's post.

My tag:
The Idea-ology Enameled Tags are amazing by themselves but add a rub on or two and it easily becomes one of my favorite embellishments.  It is easy to age or change the color of the tags using alcohol inks as I did on this tag.  On the rainbow tag-below- I didn't color the Enameled Tag; they look great either way. 
For months I have envied the gorgeous ribbons that Paula Cheney makes using Distress Stains.  My ribbons always looked washed out compared to hers and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong...until last week.  It all boiled down to the fact that I was being cheap.  I was spraying the tag with water to saturate it and then I wasn't using enough stain.  This time I misted the ribbon with only a little water- just to help the stain spread easily.  I LOVE the way these look.  Especially the rainbow ribbon below.
The first tag I made I did pretty close to the way Tim did. While I love the colors I do think the pink/green tag is more interesting.  My central stamp just isn't that interesting on top off all that color.
But oh, that ribbon.....

I do have two more to share so be sure to come back tomorrow.

Toss some glitter in the air.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wedding: Poms Tutorial

Source: Pom Love
Tissue poms are all the rage on the party circuit.  The paper poofs are showing up at weddings, birthday parties, showers, and holiday celebrations.  It's easy to see why- they are beautiful, relatively inexpensive, and fill a space nicely.  Martha Stewart was the first to mass market poms through her line

at Michael's but now that the trend has caught on there are many companies and individual Etsy stores offer their versions.  Martha sells 5 poms for $20 (available in an array of beautiful colors) while Michael's sells a store-brand set of 6 white poms (zzzzzzzz…boring) for around the same price.  Google "poms" and you will no doubt find many websites offering poms. If you would rather go homemade but without all of the work, I recommend the Etsy shop Pom Love.  Pom Love is Run by Kirsten Hadley.  I ordered a few Poms from her and was very impressed; the product was fabulous, the color selection vast, and Kirsten is so AWESOME to work with.  After you purchase one of her poms she provides access to a video showing you how to open the tissue paper correctly and how to hang the paper poofs.

Pom Love sells more than just poms.  They sell:
Tissue paper (remember she has a terrific color selection), 
Tissue Poms Sticks:
Tissue Pom Garlands:
Tissue Tassle Garlands:

 And even confetti.

For the DIYers poms are super easy to make. 
You will need tissue paper, paddle wire, and wire cutters.
I use full sheets of tissue and 6-10 sheets per pom depending on full you want your poms to be.  I found the tissue I bought come in 20 sheet folds so I used 10 per pom.
Fold 1 1/2 inch accordion folds.
This process is forgiving and you don't have to be exact but I do like the edges to be crisp so do recommend you run your hand or a bone folder every so often along the folds as you go.
Cut a piece of wire about 10 inches long and either fold the pom in half or measure to the midpoint
Wrap the wire around and twist
Store them until you are ready to decorate for the party because once they are open they will get smashed easily.

Trim the ends either rounded or spiked with scissors.  
Sprinkle some Glitter.....
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Wedding: Large Rosettes Part 3... A Tutorial

The beautiful weather continues in Michigan.  The trees are leafing out, the dogwoods are blooming, and the hyacinths have emerged bring with them the most gorgeous fragrance.  Last night the women- and teen girls- in my little family went to enjoy a fun Taylor Swift show in Detroit.   I posted the photos and a video at the end of this post for those who are interested.  A little tease... there were fireworks inside Ford Field.  Fireworks....INSIDE Ford Field.  My sister and I go to a lot of shows- in the last 6 months alone we've seen fun., P!nk, and Madonna.  I've seen some amazing shows in my life- Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Indigo Girls... but never have I seen actual fireworks.  Lots of pyro of course, but not shoot-into-the-sky fireworks.  Scroll to the end to see photos and video from last night.

This is Part 2 of the Wedding Large Rosette Post and a Tutorial.  Part 1 is here and to see a few of the completed embellished rosettes here.
Armed with my new ream stacks of cardstock from, I grabbed my Cricut Expression, setting it up right next to me on my work space.  I used the Cricut Ribbons & Rosettes cartridge to make all the large rosettes.  Sitting down to craft anything also meant feeding paper-covered cutting mats into the Cricut.  This made it relatively painless to crank out the bajillion pieces needed to make a gazillion rosettes.  The fact that I needed many,  many, rosette and because it takes 5 lengths to make a full rosette means a lot of 12x12 pieces of cardstock needed to pass through the cutting machine.  Depending on the design and the size it can take as little as 1 sheet or as many as 5 sheets of 12x12 cardstock to make 1 rosette.  This makes that budget-friendly $0.10/sheet cardstock a MUST HAVE.  Nobody wants BUDGET BUSTER ROSETTES.  I tossed the leftover cardstock scraps into a box to use later when I embellish the rosettes.
There was little rhyme or reason to how I chose the designs- basically I wanted a mix of size and designs so I just jumped around.  The designs on the Ribbons &  Rosettes cartridge run from simple and basic to intricately detailed and I will admit that in the begining I stayed away from the complex designs; too chicken to deal with all the tiny details and itty bitty pieces of cardstock that would inevitably need to be cleaned up- and removed from the cutting mat.  Over time I tentatively put a proverbial toe in a water and did cut a few of the more complicated designs.  I quickly learned that cutting them wasn't as much of a disaster as I imagined and they do look spectacular.  In the end, there were still a select few that were simply too scary and best left for another day.  I will be sure to show them if and when I do cut them out.
Large Rosette Tutorial
  • 5 sections of a design cut from Ribbons & Rosettes or scored on Scoring Board.
  • Scrap cardstock
  • 2 or 3 inch Circle Punch
  • Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue
  •  Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive or other quick dry paper adhesive

1. PUNCH: Begin by punching a bunch of circles from scrap cardstock.  You will use these on the BACK of the rosette so it doesn't matter what they look like.

2.  GLUE: If you used the Ribbons & Rosettes you need to connect 5 individual pieces together and accordion fold them.  Whether you glue all the pieces together first or accordion fold them first really doesn't matter.  I did it both ways and really there isn't a best way.  If you forced me to choose one I would probably recommend gluing them first and then folding.

Each section has a tab on one end that is glued to the back of the next section.  Pay close attention to where you are gluing the tab- you want all the tabs to be on the back or they will show on the completed rosette.  It sounds obvious, but as you go along it is easy to make a mistake...she she learned the hard way.

I used, and highly recommend, Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.  I love how fast it dries and the tip is small enough it is easy to control the glue.  The cap holds the glue with the tip down ensuring that the glue is always at the tip and flows easily.

***If you are making rosettes without a Cricut, aka hand-scoring the paper- there is a good tutorial at The Paper Source.  Once you get the pieces scored and folded you can refer back to this tutorial to finish the rosette.

4.  CLEAN UP: Now would be a good time to remove all the hanging chad (a 2000 election joke!); all those tiny, pesky pieces of paper hanging in the little lacy details.
5.  FOLD:  Accordian-or fan-fold the entire length of cardstock.  When I put together the first few rosettes, I actually scored them all on a Martha Stewart Score Board.  What? Wha? Huh?  I know. D.U.M.B.  The cartridge cuts two small notches on each fold line  making the paper weak and therefore easy to fold.  Thankfully it didn't take me long to realize my error,  summon some courage, and toss away the scoring board.  I'm all about fewer steps, less complicated, and faster because I have to make a LOT of these babies.
All 5 pieces of each rosette connected awaiting the last connection to form the circle. 
6.  BONE FOLDER:  I like to use a Bone Folder to ensure crisp folds...NO, not on every fold, that would be ridiculous.  After the entire piece is folded into a small stack, run the bone folder down the length, turn the stack over and repeat on the other side...Perfect.  It isn't even a necessary step but it does give you crisp folds which look more professional.  Who exactly is a professional rosette maker and where does one get such credentials?  Is there an academy involved?

Tip/Hint: The rosettes are pretty forgiving so you don't have to be super precise in gluing or folding.  Just be sure that all of the tabs are glued to the same (back) side of the paper so you don't end up with visible panty lines and try to keep the bottom edges in line.  I found if I glued the tab to the back of the next piece and then folded the tab so the new piece is on top of the tabbed piece,  I could line up the bottom edges and make adjustments before the glue dries.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

I found that no matter how precise and careful I was sometimes, sometimes the fold-line notches simply aren't in the correct place- maybe it is within the acceptable margin of error or maybe the mat moves a tad while in the Cricut, I don't know, but sometimes one folded section ends up larger or smaller than the others.  If you find the folds are skewing kiddywampus, first go back and be sure to check that the fold is actually on the notches.  If the fold lines are simply in the wrong place, I simply used my bone folder- and a dominating attitude- to force the folded stack in a straighter- but not perfect- alignment.  Remember in the end the rosette won't show these little imperfections so don't sweat it.

7. COMPLETE THE CIRCLE:  Glue the tab of the last length to the edge of the first length; this completes the circle.

8. FORM THE ROSETTE:  It is time to beat the paper circle into submission to form the rosette.  I will be honest, when you first start it can sometimes feel like the paper is winning.   Just like anything, once you get a few under your belt it will be easier and you wonder why it was ever difficult.

Here you have to make a choice:  The rosette is formed by gluing a structural paper circle to the center.  The circle can be secured to either the front or the back of the rosette- it's your choice.
Secure the structural circle to the front:
  • gives you a completed rosette
  • ends with a simple, uncomplicated looking rosette
  • works best on smaller rosettes since you have to add hot glue to the circle and then pick it up.  Picking up a large, 3 inch circle covered in hot glue isn't not my idea of fun
  • difficult to further embellish the front of the rosette
Secure the structural circle on the back:
  • works well even with a large rosette/large hot glue-covered circle
  • allows you to add hot glue to center to add structural stability
  • allows you to embellish the front to your hearts content 
  • back can be a sloppy mess 
Give the rosette a trial run before you touch the hot glue-well don't TOUCH the hot glue that would be stupid.  The trial run can be a frustration-saver as sometimes a fold or two decide to be difficult and you have to fiddle with them to get it to play nice.   You don't want the pressure of quickly cooling hot glue to tip you over the edge into migraine territory.

A.  Start by placing the rosette on the table like this.

B.  Push all the sides of the circle toward the center as you press down forming a flat circle.  Sounds SUPER easy but it can be tricky with large rosettes because you end up having conquer a lot of paper and many folds.  Some rosettes will let go with nary a whimper and some will make you want to throw it across the room.  Patience.

C.  Once you have it looking like this, hold the rosette near the center.  Grab you hot glue gun with the other hand and add a LOT of hot glue to one of the scrap circles you already cut.

***If you can't do this one-handed, let go of the rosette, add the glue to the circle and then reform the rosette.

I find it best to add a lot of glue.  You will only be glue the tip of each fold to the circle so you need good coverage to ensure the best bond.  

D.  Pinch as many folds together as you can on opposite sides of the center (use both hands, here I needed one to take the picture) as you carefully lift the rosette off the table just enough to get it up and over top of the glue-covered circle.

E. Place the center of the rosette as close to the center of the glue-covered circle as you can and drop the rosette onto the circle.  You will probably not get it centered but it's the back so it doesn't really matter.  

**You can cover this mess later with a larger circle if you want the back to be clean and neat. 

F.  Fill the center hole with hot glue- it doesn't have to be filled completely but the larger rosettes need the structural integrity of the added hot glue. 

G. I have no patience so I added a heavy weight to the center for a few minutes while the glue cools enough to keep the rosette shape.  You can skip this step if you hold it.  Of course, don't crush the folds with your weight.

You can always push the intended outside edge toward the center of the rosette to get a different look.  
A pile of Rosettes awaiting their make up. 

The center rosette has a simple embellishment on the front.  No, it's not done!  Have you met me?  Please!!  The other two have simply been secured with a structural circle on the back and are awaiting further embellishment. 
I adore this style- I added gold tulle gathered around the large center circle.  It needs MORE more.

This one may get a hit of glitter.  I used Martha's Fringing Sheers on simple, but gorgeous, tissue paper.

The smaller rosettes like these are made a little differently.  I will post a short tutorial on this technique soon.

I will be posting more specifics tutorials AFTER the wedding-end of June- on exactly how I embellished all of the rosettes.  
Taylor Swift RED Tour

This video show is the closing song- We Are Never Getting Back Together.  Very high energy with fireworks, dancers, light show and Taylor.  So much fun.  
The blast of fire on the left side stage is a firework.  iPhones never take good photos at concerts but you get the idea. 
More Fireworks
Though it isn't a great picture it gives you an idea what 50,000 with flashlight apps and light sticks looks like. It was so magical and beautiful.
Darren Criss at Taylor Swift Concert.  Not my photo
Summer 2013 is "The Summer of Concerts".  We have tickets to see Justin Timberlake and JayZ, P!nk (again) and fun. (again).  The next show I'm going to is the gentleman above-Darren Criss.  I'm dragging my husband to see him in Chicago in June.  Darren was at Taylor's show Friday night and though I didn't know until after I got home, we did see Taylor stop and hug someone as she walked from a satellite stage back to the main stage.  We wondered why who it was....
Taylor Hugs Darren.  Not my photo either
hmmm...mystery solved.  He was just hanging out amongst the common folk on the floor.

Finally, I am now posting to Vine.  So far the videos are all of Taylor's concert but I will be adding craft related videos and short- hey they have to be less than 6 seconds- tutorials.  Vine can only be watched from their app or through Twitter.   You can find me as Danee Kaplan or ItsRainingJellyBeans.

Make life pretty....toss a handful of GLITTER in the air.

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