Sunday, August 25, 2013

12 Tags of 2013: August

Sorry I have been absent again.  Not feeling super great...or good at all.  But I did managed to get a few projects done including the August tag for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags.  I cannot believe it is the end of August already.  The kids head back to school after Labor Day here in Michigan- my oldest to HIGH SCHOOL....How did that happen?   No really...HOW. DID. THAT. HAPPEN?  Just yesterday she was talking about Coco-daddy (Coca-Cola) and hoop-da-loops (hoola hoops) and the remote-kemote (remote control).  It's also hard to believe that it is time to start thinking about fall crafting projects to decorate for Halloween and the holidays.  I don't think I like getting older because it just seems to make life speed by that much faster.  And the way I have felt this past isn't because I am having so much fun.

As my kid would say "so.....yeah...."

First Tim's tag:
 And mine:
Since I had the stamp set to make the airplane tag and since I am married to a pilot, I decided to make that one pretty much exactly as Tim did and then go from there.
This month's tag was all about using a mask and I have to admit...whispering that I had the mask the exact same Tim product....and I have had it for EONS...and never even used Shhhh.
Gotta say, it was fun to actually use this technique and product.
I have used masks in the past but it was always a hastily cut out piece of typing paper, sorta held in place-or at least "in the vicinity"- as I went to ink town.  This is much easier.  Check out Tim's post for the specific tutorial.
I love the way the tags look real.  By using the markers to color the stamps it is possible to give it a realistic shipping tag feel (detail below).  And I love how distressed they are.
 I had the hot air balloon set and I used the same map from the airplane set and did another tag.
For my last tag this month I decided to go for it.  I Adore this new Paris Memories set.  Maybe because that pilot husband of mine loves Paris? I used the same techniques to get a French tag.
 Using the mask gives it so much depth.  It makes this tag so much more visually interesting even though I only used ink.  Can you believe it?  I didn't use one. single. embellishment.  What the What? 
It's true.  
 Hope your day is filled with Sunshine and GLITTER.

This post was linked to the following Linky Parties:
Home Stories A to Z
Ninth Street Notions
i am priiincess
The DIYers
Craft It Up and Link It Up

Friday, August 16, 2013

More 50 Anniversary Projects: Rosette Garland

The last item that I made to decorate the party for my friends' 50th Anniversary party is a garland of prize-ribbon rosettes.  There are still two project that I made as gifts as well and I will post those later as tutorials.  

As much as I LOVE rosettes...and you know I DO love rosettes....I'm head-over-heels for the prize-ribbon rosettes.  Maybe I showed horses in another life?  Yeah but that doesn't explain why horses scare me a little bit.  For whatever some reason, I love the shape of these ribbons and I love making them.  So many cool things can be added to the ribbons themselves.  Come...let me show you.
I made all the rosettes at home and glued them to the seam binding at the party, hence the glue gun...
 The first thing I did was wrap a few around this candle holder.
I used a vintage French Book page and some gold metallic paper as the ribbons.
The gold glitter "ribbon" adds a perfect amount of sparkle.  I added Idea-ology Remanent Rub Ons on the other two ribbons. there are hot glue webs all over this one.....I know....I'm sorry.... I LOATH hot glue webs...and usually I am so careful to be sure they are GONE before I finish a project but
  1. I was rushing around right before the party and 
  2. I was glueing outside where it was VERY sunny and bright and I
  3. Just didn't see the little suckers and 
  4. I can't retake the photos now that I see the problem because
  5. That would entail 50 some odd people (50-ish people... not 50 ODD people...come on work with me here people) coming back to celebrate a fake party just so I could stage some photos.
  6. So I have to ignore the glue webs.
More book page and rub ons.

I took the rest of the garland inside and hung some of it on this focal-point hutch that sits directly across from the dessert set up I showed you here.
I took this panoramic with my iPhone- the color is a tad off

Another rub on and decorative paper
I am suddenly in love with using 3 "ribbons" (wait, you know this is all paper, right?  No actual ribbons were used on the rosettes) rather than the more traditional 2, and I even used a small tag as one of the ribbons.
I used Washi tape to hang the garland- perfect because it won't hurt the paint.  This is actually a product from Scotch tape.
 I wrapped a small section around the stone vase as well.
You may have noticed that I used maroon and gold rhinestones.  I simply used alcohol inks to color the regular clear ones I always have on hand.  I did several coats until I built the color up to what I wanted.

Hope your day is filled with Sunshine and GLITTER. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

50th Anniversary Dessert Buffet with Brian Andreas

More photos from my friends' 50th Anniversary party.  First, I showed you how we staged the tables and decor outside and then I shared the "50 years of FAMILY" garland that I made for them.  Today I will show you what I did inside the cottage for the dessert area.  
It was such a beautiful day, but we had some items that we wanted to showcase that really needed to be inside.  They had found some old family photographs as well as Barb's wedding shoes.  We didn't have a good space to stage these outside and really the photos and cupcakes were better off inside.  There were several framed pictures as well as an album full of old family photos.

For dessert they had 13 dozen baby cupcakes in a variety of flavors-I remember peanut butter and jelly, pina colada, salted cashew, strawberry, traditional white, lemon, peanut butter cup, double chocolate....that is all I can recall.   They arrived from the baker in 2 large and 1 small pizza boxes.   I knew the baby cupcakes would be a huge hit based on the novelty and flavors but I needed to make the display look cool too. We've been through this before's all about the attention to details and presentation is important.
If I didn't have something to display those little suckers on-if I left them in the pizza boxes (Gasp- that would NEVER Happen...but if it did) it was going to be a hot mess of tiny confections as too many kids with too many dirty hands would be grabbing at baby cupcakes (shudders)...ending with frosting EVERYWHERE.  Never fear people...I had a plan.  I used the same 3 cake plates we used for  the pie's at Brandin's wedding. 
And just like at the wedding, I got busy and never took a photo with the actual dessert ON the cake plates.  Sometimes it's hard to be a good blogger!
By displaying the cupcakes on the cake plates I achieved several things.  
  1. Presentation and Details..blah blah blah.  
  2. The plates are different sizes, designs, and heights which all add visual interest. 
  3. It gave me space to separate the cupcakes into 3 groupings which made it easier for everyone to see what they wanted and take them without smearing the frosting on 10 other cupcakes. 
  4. It allowed me to separate them by flavor. 
  5. It elevated the dessert into something Important  AKA it tricked the kids into behaving more responsibly AKA it kept them from just grabbing haphazardly and leaving a path of sweet destruction.  It was all smoke and mirrors but it worked.  
  6. They looked really pretty.   

Along with the decor I made for the space outside, I made a few mixed-media projects using "stories" from the AMAZING Brian Andreas.  I say "stories" because that is what he calls them.  Really, I think of them as poems....really amazing poems...that tell a story.  Oh, I get it!  If you don't know of Brian's work, I suggest you rush over to his website and check it out at  Be prepared to spend some time over there.  He is quirky and philosophical and ridiculous and honest and I can always find a "story" that speaks to the occasion.  

When my father passed away I knew that Brian would have something perfect and he did.  
When I die, he said, I'm coming back as a tree with deep
 roots & I'll wave my leaves at the children every morning on
their way to school & whisper tree songs at night in their
dreams.  Trees with deep roots know about the things children
 need.  -StoryPeople 2013
It was perfect because my father was an elementary school principal for 30-odd years.  He started the year the building was first opened and he remained at the helm until he retired in 2002.  I always think of it as his school.  When he died, I really wanted to plant a tree in his name at the school and this poem would go right along with it.  Perfect right?  Yeah, I thought so too.  Until one of his former teachers told me he had confided in her that she was to make sure no one every planted a stupid tree in his name.  Huh?  Who knew he was so anti-tree?  That's a joke... he loved the outdoors with a passion that I never understood.  The truth is more like maybe there is a scraggly tree growing in Brooklyn in front of the school that maybe had been planted in memory of a teacher when she passed away and it was maybe growing out of control and maybe he didn't love looking at that tree so much.  Maybe.  

So NO tree.  How about a bench?  Nobody had any whispered confidences regarding my dad and any distain for a bench it is.  A group of his former teachers raised the money for a beautiful marble bench that sits in front of the school in his memory.  We had the poem inscribed on it.  
How DARE I commit such an egregious COPYRIGHT violation you ask?  See that is the thing about Mr. Andreas.  I called StoryPeople and they said something to the effect of "no problem, as long as you  give credit to Brian by putting "StoryPeople" and the year below the poem you can use it for something like this".  Seriously... there is a section on his website that talks about using his work.  This man actually allows the use of one of his "stories" on wedding invites for a nominal fee, a copy of the invite for their files and an actual invite to the wedding.  He's very generous with his art.  Although the website does say there is a nominal fee for one-time use of a story, they didn't charge me anything.  I did buy the official print of the story and had it framed to hang in the school next to the principal's office.  Made me feel better about using the story.
I found 3 of Brian's stories that I really loved and made little stand-alone art pieces out of them with no real plan on where I would use them-where have I heard that before?  They are pretty self-explanatory so I will not bore you with details.  If anyone has a question, just send me an email.

I will briefly talk about how I displayed the pieces.  The two rectangle projects are made from a base of chipboard.  They stand up on Tim Holtz Grungeboard easels.  I die cut the Grungeboard with the Tim Holtz Alterations Small Easel die.  I had a lot of trouble with this die when I first got it and I actually ended up emailing Tim about it.  The problem was the score lines would cut right through which made it unstable and useless.  Tim introduced me to the Sizzix crease pad.  Who knew?  Not me.  The crease pad is used with dies that have FOLD or SCORE lines to keep those lines from becoming CUT lines.   Once I got a crease pad I have perfect easels every time.  Note:  The easel is designed so that it folds flat which is genius because it allows you to mail the project in an envelope (padded) or for storing the artwork flat.
I could have used the easel on the one tag project that I did as it would fit behind the large #12 tags, but I wanted to use the vintage flower frog.  Sadly the photo of the tag is blurry- should have checked them before I left town but I didn't.   The little details are awesome on this project and you can't really see them soooooo....I covered the #12 tag with polka dot paper.  LOVELY.  I layered the "story" over a shiny gold metallic paper and placed it below an architectural element I die cut from Grungeboard covered with paper from one of Tim's paper pads (truth time: I forgot which one) using the die Pediments.  I dyed the Idea-ology Gem Clip with Butterscotch Alcohol Ink.  The Idea-ology Enameled Tag is also colored with an Alcohol Ink and then I added a "5" and a "0" from Numbers Remanent Rub.  There is a small Jewlers tag that I die cut from Tabs and Tags using Grungepaper covered in vintage book paper.  I used the same Grungepaper/book paper  combo to die cut the heart.  Both were inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and covered with Rock Candy Dry Stickles     
The "story" is 
In the end, I think that I will like that we were sitting 
on the bed, talking & wondering where the time had 
gone.  -StoryPeople 2013
Could that be any more appropriate for a 50th Anniversary?  No...No it couldn't.
The Shoes.....I couldn't believe when they told me they found the shoes that Barb wore to walk down the aisle.  I think I squealed when they brought them over to my cottage. flippin' 
GORGEOUS are they?  The patina that comes from age just makes them more beautiful.  I wasn't sure what to do with them because there was no way I was going do something permanent that would ruin them.  In the end I went with simple to let their beauty shine through.  I simply grabbed some vintage clip-on rhinestone earrings that I have in my stash, clipped them on, and displayed them on the doily.  Simple but elegant and super cool.  

I realize you probably can't read the other story so here it is for you:
I read once taht the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand
& Eskimos had a hundrend words for snow.  I wish I had a 
thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way 
uyou move against me while you sleep & there are no words for 
that.  StoryPeople, 2013 

If you haven't checked out Brian's website now is the time to grab a coffee (or tea) and head on over...plan on staying a spell...and enjoy his quirky awesome take on life.  You can see his artwork, books and the stories.   Click on "Storyland" on the left side of the screen; there are several ways you can browse through his stories.  You can even get one emailed every day!  I promise you will find something that really speaks to YOU. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

50th Anniversary Garland

Yesterday I posted photos of the gorgeous waterfront property where my dear friends held a small 50th anniversary party.  I made them a garland out of tags that said "50 Years of FAMILY".  The couple were married on the Central Michigan University campus and had the CMU flag flying.  When they asked me to help "stage" the party, they had already purchased plates and napkins in CMU colors so instead of fighting it, I decided to run with it.  According to "tradition" the 50th anniversary is "Gold" so I added touches of metallic gold along with the mustard yellow/gold and maroon that represents CMU.
We interrupt this blog for a special announcement:  I have a laser printer...Yes. I.  Do.  How did you get that you ask?  My husband has sort of become obsessed with a few local auction places that get random, and I mean RANDOM items from business and estates.  It's all online and bidding and 
Ebay-ish.  And like Ebay, one can get some amazing things at a steal.. .IF one is CAREFUL.  We got a beautiful sink and vanity for our cottage for less than $100 and a bunch of surge protectors for $15.  They are old and UGLY, but they work and again the cottage needed them.  A few weeks ago he picked up this beautiful laser printer for $20 (Yes, that is TWENTY dollars) and a big honking typewriter (like every business had right 20 years ago) for $5.  The typewriter needs a ribbon but the laser printer is read to go.  Well, actually it keeps warning me to get more toner because there is only 1700 pages left on the current one.  How many years do you think it will take for me to print 1700 pages?  I'm so thrilled that I can print black and white items and no longer have to worry about my printed pages will run when I add ink.  (I'm doing the happy dance).  You will see in a project later that I was able to get a great patina because I added a lot of ink and wiped it off with a baby wipe- something I would never ever do with an inkjet copy.   

Ok....we now return to our regularly scheduled blog post:  Now that I am sitting down again it is time for a tiny pity party.  We no longer have any local scrapbook stores anywhere near me :(  I do have a Michael's and a JoAnn's that are close and a Hobby Lobby that is a 30-minute drive (lucky me...a brand new Hobby Lobby is opening next Monday, literally between Michael's and JoAnn's so I will at least be able to hit all three at once).  I usually stop in to Tuesday Mornings as well because they often carry Tim Holtz products at KILLER prices.  But Tuesday Mornings is very hit-or-miss and not something you can count on for a specific project.  I'm whining because when one has to accommodate a color scheme like maroon and mustard yellow with only the big chain stores... it is Tough.  A nice local scrapbook store would have had a MUCH better selection.  

Ironically there is a HUGE scrapbook store called Arnie's in Houghton Lake, Michigan, about 30 minutes from our cottages.  If you are EVER anywhere near, you must stop in.  This store is porn for crafters; especially crafters like me who dabble in a lot of different crafts.  Arnie's always has the latest and greatest before it is even late and great.  The store itself is HUGE... I've watched it grow from a small store to overtake the entire strip mall around it.  Literally you walk from store to store to store and you can see exactly where the old store walls were.  In it's current configuration it houses: 
  1. a large yarn section
  2. the biggest selection of basket weaving supply I have seen anywhere
  3. a humungous scrapbooking area with everything you can imagine and rubber stamps and inks
  4. a yummy coffee shop with rustic log furniture so you remember you are "Up North"
  5. a small gift/candle section
  6. a large selection of raw wood; both fine & craft painting supplies as well as leafing and faux finish items
  7. a large hobby area with models and kids craft kits
  8. the biggest custom embroidery and graphics area I have ever seen
  9. a big framing section
  10. smaller but well stocked areas for things like leather crafts; sequins, beading, and felt kits for the church bazaar crowd; candle making supplies; soap making items; felting; latch hooking kits; macrame (which is making a comeback according to home-decor fashionistas and NO, they don't work at Arnie's) and much more.  It's Paradise really.
As I said, Arnie's is a MUST STOP if you are near, but you can also check out their website.

It would have been perfect to shop at Arnie's, but it didn't work out because of timeing-it is on the way home but it takes about 20 minutes to get around Houghton Lake to the actual store.  I don't have any crafting supplies at the cottage so trying to hit the store on the way back up would mean a LOT of preplanning.  I am not good at this at all, I need everything close and make a lot of rash design decisions.  It would also mean a lot of crap to haul up there and my car isn't that big.  My point? Oh, point was I had to use what I could get in my home town and that is Eeeeh, Not Much! 
I used my favorite size tag, a #12.  I LOVE how big they are especially for garlands.  I struggled with what to actually put on the garland.  I didn't want to be cheesy and I wanted to convey what is important to them all in maroon and mustard yellow.  In the end, I went with "50 years of FAMILY" cuz I love what it says and I love what it means.  

To hang it up, I used decorated clothespins (more below) and I tied big tulle and seam binding bows on each end.  I added the two poms on either side of the garland.  I hung it all by the food tables.  
The #12 tags were covered with patterned or colored cardstock.  I used my favorite wet adhesive, 3M Quick Dry to glue the cardstock to the tags.  I often use Tombo Monoadhesive (a dry adhesive) but since it was going to be outside I didn't want the weather/humidity to interfere and sometimes the Monoadhesive doesn't hold up well.  After the glue had a few minutes to set up I trimmed down the cardstock, punched a whole at the top and inked all the edges.  I always use a Distress Ink for inking the edges of cardstock and 99.9% of the time I used Vintage Photo or Walnut Stain but this time I added Black Soot.  Why? Because there is a lot of black in the project and I wanted to keep that graphic look.  Some papers got both brown and black inks while some just the black or just the brown.  There are really no rules here's only paper.
 The letters are all Tim Holtz Grunge letters.  I mixed and matched the sizes and fonts to add a playful element.  I suppose it is no big surprise that I added know how much I am OBSESSED with Rosettes right now.  I am planning on having some to sell in my Etsy shop so stay tuned for that.
It is hard to see but the heart (and some of the other embellishments used throughout the garland) are covered with Dry Stickles Rock Candy Glitter.  It is so gorgeous in person, especially when the edges of the piece have a brown Distress Ink on them.  Something about the brown ink and the glitter itself is just nirvana.  Speaking of glitter....and I am always speaking of glitter....I received my order of Tim's new Distress Glitters.  I bought the entire set because, who are we kidding? My life is all about the GLITTER.  So it is here but I haven't had time to get it out and play...instead it is taunting me from my studio "come down and play with us....come down and play with us..." (read with a scary creepy voice).   Paula Cheney promised I would "love it" so I am excited to get to it.  Hopefully....tomorrow.....

You can see that I made each and every tag unique.  That is me...I like details and I like the challenge.  But you could easily make them all exactly alike or make one design for the "50", one for the "years", another for the "of" and a final one for all of the letters spelling "FAMILY".  Whatever makes you happy.
I painted the letters and numbers with a Gold Paint Dabber but instead of using the dabber, I opened the bottle and used a paint brush.  The edges are distressed with Black Soot.
This "50" is another item that was inked with Vintage Photo Distress and glittered with Distress Rock Candy Dry Stickles.  I used Ranger's Glue N Seal as the wet adhesive to hold the glitter.
I fell in love with the antiqued pearls from Recollections when I used them for Brandin's wedding.  I love the vintage edge they give to everything and I ended up grabbing another box of the multi sized pearls the last time they were 40% off at Michael's- they go on sale a lot so don't pay full price.  They look so perfect on this project.  
The clothes pins were decorated quickly as a last minute project.  I used Inkssentials 1/4" Wondertape  on each clothespin, pulled the red liner off (I grab the edge with my X-acto knife) and added a piece of decorative paper though you could easily use cardstock as well.  Since I used dry adhesive there is no drying time so I immediately added the gold Stickles glitter glue along the edges.  I do this by squirting a small amount- maybe  a 1" line- on the back of my hand and run the edge of the clothespin through the glitter glue trying to get the straightest and thinest line possible on all the edges.  It takes awhile for Stickles to dry so leave overnight if possible.  That's it!  

I have several more things to show you that I made and/or "staged" for the party so come back.