Monday, August 26, 2013

Barbara's Creative Paperclay® August Tips and Techniques

Hi everyone. Barbara here with my monthly tips and techniques to share with you. Today's tip is also a bit of a technique, and I actually made this discovery while trying to fix a boo boo. Funny, but I think a lot of ideas come from the need to fix something that did not quite work out. Reminds me of that old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention".

 So, here is what happened. I was teaching a group of ladies how to use Creative Paperclay®, and we were using all different sorts of things, like molds, texture sheets, stamps, or our own creative imaginations. I opened a brand new package of Creative Paperclay®, which was very moist. We were rolling out bits of Paperclay® onto various texture sheets and removing the clay to air dry. Some of the texture sheets were finer than others, such as this honeycomb texture plate. Needless to say, one person got overly anxious and did not wait until the clay had time to dry out a bit before removing it from the mold. What happened next? Well, she pulled up the clay and left the design in the texture plate.

 Here is where necessity took over, in my mind. The way I saw it, I had two choices: 1) take the texture plate and a stiff brush to the sink and, under running water, scrub away the clay; or 2) roll another piece of clay over the same area and see if it will stick to the clay already "stuck" in the texture plate. I chose to try number 2. Because the clay was so moist, it worked. (If the clay was a bit more dried out, then I would have added, or spritzed, a bit of water between the two layers to get the same effect. Remember, water is like glue to Creative Paperclay®.)  Well, much to my surprise, it worked!!!
However, I made yet another discovery during this process. As I said, I left the clay to dry in the mold and, where I had not covered the "stuck" clay, some of the open design from the texture plate pulled off, too. Here is the result, shown in a couple of close-ups.  I was so amazed to see that even the open parts of the clay came up, too.

 Now, guess what I want to do next? I want to see if I can get an open honeycomb design by spreading a thin layer even with the surface of the texture plate. After allowing it to dry thoroughly on the plate, I want to see if I can remove it without breaking it into a million pieces.  You can see in the photo below that it is thinner in some spots than in others, but you can see the texture of the plate coming through.  I knew it was not going to be completely open, but it is all about experimenting.
Oh my goodness!  It worked again.  You can see in the photo below where I was able to get more open design area from a much thinner application.  And much to my surprise, it is very durable, and even more exciting, it is extremely flexible, unlike my piece above, where I spread it about 1/4" thick.  After all, it is paper in clay form.  How cool is that?
Well, you can imagine the ideas running through my head with my new discovery.  I know, some of you more experienced Paperclay® artists may already know this, but, just in case, I had to pass it on.  I am so excited to share this with anyone out there who does not know this.  I can see so many possibilities and cannot wait to see what else I can discover about this wonderful product.

So, please stay tuned to see what I have in mind for all these honeycomb pieces.  It should "bee" a real treat.  In the meantime, I hope you will visit the Creative Paperclay® online store and blog for products, updates, and more inspiration from the rest of the Design Team.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful end of Summer!

Barbara Rankin
Creative Paperclay® Design Team Member

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tunnel Card with Classic Glitter Swirls

Hello again, Robin's Nest fans, and welcome back.  I am so glad you stopped by today because the Robin's Nest Design Team continues to showcase the beautiful Classic Glitter Swirl papers this month.  I have been making cards for almost two decades now, so I have a plethora of card ideas stored away in the recesses of my mind.  I have always been extra fond of interactive cards, cards with different types of folds, dimensional cards, moving cards, etc.  So, I want to share with you a fun card that really is easy to make, but looks like you spent days working on it.   It is often referred to as a tunnel card, and here is my finished piece, inside and out.

Supplies Used:

The Robin's Nest:  Black Glitter Swirl on White CSSilver Glitter Swirl on Black CSPink Glitter Swirl on Pink CSSummer Pink Classic Glitter CSBlack Classic Glitter CS
Classified Mini Dew Drops
Spellbinders die (S5-041-Floral Doily Motifs)(Classic Circles)
1-3/4" circle punch
Black India Ink (Stewart Superior)
Flower Stamp and die (My Favorite Things)
Decorative edge punch (Martha Stewart)


Cut Black Classic Glitter CS and Black Glitter Swirl on White CS to 5-1/2" x 8-1/2".
Fold Black Classic Glitter CS in half to form card front that measures 5-1/2" x 4-1/4".  Make score lines on the Black Glitter Swirl on White CS  at , 2-1/8", 4-1/4", and 6-3/8".  Set card front aside.
 Reverse side of Black Glitter Swirl on White CS
Center circle die over the center (4-1/4") score line and cut out an opening.

Reverse side of Black Glitter Swirl on White CS

Fold along score lines as follows:  valley folds on both outer scores, mountain fold on center score.
It should look like a "W" when folded properly.
Cut a circle frame in Pink Glitter Swirl on Pink CS with the floral motif doily, then center the same size circle die used before and center it over the doily to make a frame.  Set the circle aside.  We will use it later.
Glue the pink frame to the card inside, as shown.
Open card front and lay flat, open this inisde card front a lay flat.  Adhere both pieces, wrong sides together, only along the outer edges and up to the first fold on each side.
When you close the card, the center will pop up, like this.
Adhere circle die cut through frame opening, as shown.
When you open the card, you can still see the circle piece through the frame, just like you are looking through a tunnel.

A view from above
Next, I cut 2" x 5-1/2" strips of Pink Glitter Swirl on Pink CS and used the decorative edge punch along each edge.  Adhere strips to each side, as shown.  
Figure 1
I thought the design got lost a bit, so I took a strip of the Summer Pink Classic Glitter CS and place beneath the strip as far as it will go.
Mark through one of the design's openings that is furthest out but will still allow you to cut a straight line.  In this case, you will not be able to include the scallops unless you fussy cut a scallop shape.  This really is not necessary.  Let's keep it simple.
My strips measure 3/4" wide to accomplish this.  I placed a strip beneath the decorative border and glued it in place.  Then I cut off the excess on either end.
This allows your eye to see the design a little bit better.  You can compare this photo to Figure 1 above.  I also added 1/4" strips of Black Classic Glitter CS to the outer edge on both sides.  She finished photo above.
Stamp sentiment onto scrap of Summer Pink Classic Glitter CS.  Punch out with 1-3/4" circle punch.  
Open card and adhere die cut piece through opening.
Cut Silver Glitter Swirl on Black CS to 4" x 5-1/4" and layer onto card front.  Punch another strip of the Summer Pink Classic Glitter CS with the decorative edge punch and layer across the top of the card.  This time, I added a 3/4" strip of the Black Classic Glitter CS and adhered it beneath the pink strip.  Now this color really stands out.  I wanted to show you the difference you can achieve by using darker, lighter, or similar colors of card stock strips.
I had a tiny strip of the Black Classic Glitter CS left, so I punched it once again.  The strip was thinner and did not give me the whole design, but I like it.  It is going to be perfect for my next step.
Dew Drops, of course.  I added silver metallic mini dew drops from the Classified Mini Dew Drops collection along the black decorative strip.  It really pulls out the beautiful silver flourishes in the paper.
To finish off the front, I still need a focal point.  I stamped the daisy flower twice on Summer Pink Classic Glitter CS with black ink.
A little trick I learned along the way.  Not sure who to give credit to, but an easy way to align your die to cut out a stamped image is to first tape the die to a scrap of paper, forming a "hinge", and die cut the scrap.  You can then swing the die up without removing it and align the opening in the scrap over the stamped image.

 You can then tape the scrap down, and swing the die back down over the opening and stamped image, and proceed to die cut as usual.  This gives you a nice, close cut to your stamping.

I glued a second die cut frame to the front, inserting the stems of the two flowers beneath the frame.
To keep it dimensional, I added a few foam dots to the back of each flower head.  The picture below is from the side to show you some of the dimension.  
So,  I hope you enjoyed my tunnel card today and will give this gloriously scrumptious glitter swirl paper a try.  It is on sale for 20% off through the end of August.  Needless to say, these papers are so beautiful and elegant, and they work so well together.  I have really enjoyed working with them.  So go ahead, check out the Robin's Nest online store, and be sure to come back to the Chattering Robin's blog for more inspiration from the Design Team using these fabulous papers!    

As always, thanks tons for stopping by, and have a wonderfully creative week!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Altered CD Wall Hanging with Sin City Stamps

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog.  I am so glad you stopped by today because I have a really fun project to share with you.  If you are like me, you have a stockpile of blank or old CDs just waiting to be altered.  If you are intimidated by large canvases or art boards, then this is a good place to start because your "canvas" (CD) is small and easy to finish in a day or two, depending on drying time for your mediums used.  So let's get started.

Supplies Used:

Sin City Stamps:  Art Journaling with Terri Sproul,  A Wing Above the RestArt Journaling with Terri Sproul 2

Blank or used CD
Map Collage print paper (Paper Studio)
Rebel Teal Distressed print paper (Glitz Design)
Kraft-Core Nostalgic Collection card stock (Tim Holtz)
White Gesso
Twinkling H20's (Mustard Green, Cranberry, Snap Dragon, Irish Mist)
Black India Ink pad (Stewart Superior)
VersaMark ink pad (Tsukineko)
Gold detail embossing powder
Distress Paint (Wild Honey, Broken China, Fired Brick, Vintage Photo)
Distress Ink (Black Soot, Vintage Photo)
Workable Fixatif (Krylon)
Grunge Paste (PaperArtsy)
8" black nickel fine cable chain (Hobby Lobby)
7/8" circle punch
Fast Grab Tacky Glue (Aleene's)
Embellishments (Tim Holtz Idea-ology)


Trim a piece of map collage print paper to fit over the CD.

Adhere paper to CD using gel medium or your favorite wet glue.  Trim around CD, and use a piece of sandpaper or nail file to sand edges smooth.

Apply a thin coat of gesso over paper, leaving some of the image showing through.

Stamp focal image (A Wing Above the Rest) onto CD using Black India Ink or any archival, waterproof ink.  You do not want your stamped images to bleed.

To make a mask, stamp the same image onto a piece of notebook or plain paper, cut out, and apply a removable glue to the back.  (I used Zig 2-way glue for this.  If you let the glue dry first, it becomes removable.)  Use the mask to cover the image and protect it from further stamping.  This also allows it to remain in the foreground.  All images stamped over the mask will appear to be behind this image.

Begin stamping images on the CD and over the masked image.  I used the honeycomb ( Art Journaling with Terri Sproul), the bricks and flourishes (Art Journaling with Terri Sproul 2) and STEAM (A Wing Above the Rest), in Black India Ink.

Spread a bit of grunge paste or heavy gel medium along the edges and stamp into the wet paste with the honeycomb image.  Immediately wash off your stamp under running water and use a soft brush to remove all of the medium.  Remove the mask and color the focal image with Twinkling H20's.

Spray CD with a workable fixative and allow to dry to protect what you have done so far.  The Twinkling H20's are water-based, and my next step will make them run.

Replace the mask over the focal image, but cut away the wire dress form beneath the bodice so that your background colors will show through this section.

Dab wild honey distress paint over the honeycomb images, spritz with water and allow to drip a bit.  Lightly dab some paint off and heat set.  These paints react with water until you heat set, then they become permanent.

Dab broken china and fired brick over the remaining portions of the CD and spritz with water.

Lightly dab some of the paint again and heat set.  Dab vintage photo distress paint around the edges of the CD and heat set.  Gently remove your mask.  I will tell you that I found the Zig 2-way glue became more stubborn to remove after heat-setting the paints.  In this picture, you can see where it removed some of my image, but there are a few ways to fix this.  Yay, isn't that good to know?

One way to fix this is to re-paint the wing with the Twinkling H20's.  I decided to repaint the whole image to bring it back to life.  I want my winged dress form to really stand out.

If you don't like this (because it did remove some of the stamped detail in the wing) you can always stamp the wings onto another piece of paper, cut them out, color them, and glue them over the original wings.  You see, no sweat.  There is always a way to fix things, and sometimes you like the "fix" better than the original.

I decided to leave it the way it is because I like the distressing in the wing, and to make it pop even more, I used a technique I learned from Terri Sproul in her art journaling videos about using black and white around an image to bring it to the forefront.  To do this, I replaced my mask, including the bottom  part I previously cut off, and lightly dabbed black soot distress ink around the dress form and wings.  Start the inked sponge on top of the mask and pull outwards away from the masked image.  I also used my finger to feather some of the ink out.

Now, that looks better, but I think it needs a bit of refining.

So, if you have a charcoal pencil, you can run the point along the outline and feather the charcoal more.  I decided to use my black Pitt pen and feather it with my fingers before it dried.

If you want to bring back some light on one side, you can then run a white Pitt pen along one side and feather it before it dries.  Determine where your "light source" is coming from and color only on that side.

Now, these colors are a bit bright for me, so I sponged vintage photo distress ink over the whole CD, which brought out the dimensional honeycomb.  I really like this look better.

Now let's embellish the CD.  It first needs a hanger, so punch two holes in the top of the CD.  A crop-a-dile works really well for this.  Set eyelets if you like.  I think it finishes it off.

At this point, I decided to cover the back of my CD with the rebel teal distressed print paper, just to finish it off.  That way, I could punch my hanger holes before inserting the chain, and my CD will be flat when I do it.  Once I add my dimensional embellishments, it won't be so easy.

Thread the fine cable chain through the holes, front to back, and close ends with a small jump ring.

Stamped winged clock (A Wing Above the Rest) onto a scrap of aqua and tan Kraft-Core card stock using Versamark ink and gold detail embossing powder.

Fussy cut the entire aqua image, and only the tan pocket watch image.  Save those tan wings for another project.

Adhere tan pocket watch over aqua image, using foam dots for added dimension.

Use a quick grab tacky glue to adhere winged clock to hanging chain.

Punch a 7/8" hole from the same tan card stock and cover the glue and hanger with the circle.

Dab tarnished brass distress ink and broken china distress paint over the number "3", let dry.  Glue embellishments to the front, as shown.

I hope I have inspired you to dig out those old CDs and make some wonderful art with them.  You can make a wall hanging, as I did, or mini book covers for a mini album, or even an entire book using them.  There is no limit, except your imagination.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you will take some time to visit the blog to see more creative works from the fab design team.  Also, be sure to check out the newest stamp releases this month, as well as the special promotion going on now over at the  Sin City Stamps store.  They have the most wonderful stamp images that I know you are going to love, and coupons to boot.  All you need to do is visit the coupon page and scratch off the blocks to reveal a random discount code.

August promotion the customer will go to the coupon page and scratch off the blocks to reveal a random discount code.

Have a wonderful, creative weekend, and go do some SCS shopping!!