Saturday, October 26, 2013

Experimental Halloween Tags

Once a week I spend my lunch hour playing with the dies, inks, stains, paints, etc. in the art room at work. It is definitely one of the perks to working at a crafting company.

I have been experimenting with painting and inking a lot of tags and decided to use a couple of them to create some Halloween projects.

The Happy Halloween tag began with lots of Distress Paints and Stains in a variety of layers and techniques. Once I was happy with the look of the tag I used a thin sheet of scrap cardstock and die cut the word "Boo" using the Gothic Boo die by Sizzix. I sprayed the back lightly with adhesive to temporarily hold it in place on the tag. Next, I sprayed Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold using the die cut shape as a stencil.
I wanted to experiment with Tim Holtz's new Framelits and Stamps so I used the Retro Halloween Set {the Owl} and Cobweb Blueprint Set {words "Happy Halloween"}. My only suggestion would be to use very dark ink if you are going to stamp on colored paper. Other than that these were super fun and easy.
Other shapes I used include the Bird Branch {I trimmed off the bird} and the Mini Owl and Crescent Moon {Moon only}. I adhered everything to the tag and love how the subtle shimmer of the Perfect Pearls makes it look like moon beams.

My next tag is a Pumpkin tag which began with a thick layer of Distress Paint so there would be brush strokes visible once it dried. I used Distress Stains and Distress Inks in a variety of Autumn colors and techniques on top of the paint. The darker colors made the texture stand out nicely.
I also splattered water to create droplets which is my favorite Tim Holtz technique.
After I was satisfied with the colors and textures of the tag I die cut the eyes using only the triangle eyes from the Sizzix Mini Scary Jack-o-Lantern Set and using the Base Tray.

The next part was an experiment that happily worked out as I had hoped. I cut the mouth by using the same Mini Scary Jack-o-Lantern die and Tray but instead of using a regular Cutting Pad, I used the Embossing Diffuser Set #2 so that I could control exactly where the die would cut.

I began with a regular Cutting Pad on the bottom, then the Base Tray with the Jack-o-Lantern mouth die only, next I placed my tag and finally an Embossing Diffuser insert piece placed over the upper part of the mouth die. I ran this through the Big Shot so that it only cut where the Embossing Diffuser insert piece was and this created a single jagged mouth cut across my tag.
To reassemble the two pieces, I tilted the bottom piece and stapled them together on one side.
As a final detail, I used Distress Inks to age a piece of green ribbon to use as a stem for my Pumpkin Tag.

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504 MainCommon Ground, HomeworkJust Us Four, Kathe With an E, Ladybug BlessingsMad in Crafts, Sew Much AdoSimply DesigningTatertots and Jello, The Crafty Blog StalkerThe DIY Dreamer and Whipperberry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easy Halloween Lanterns

This is always a very busy time of year at work so I don't usually spend time decorating my workspace. But this year I thrifted a decorative lantern string with the perfect, quick and easy project in mind.
I began by die cutting cobweb strips using the Tim Holtz Cobwebs Decorative Strip by Sizzix. There are a ton of little pieces to punch out but the final effect is awesome.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Recycled Crow

Sometimes a creative thrifter has a vision of an object's potential that only they can see. Such is the case with my Recycled Crow.

I am working on my Halloween display and added my recycled crow. I first found the tattered crow at Goodwill back in March. The original photo below shows that it was kind of sad looking. The wings looked really bad and it was missing its tail but it had Halloween potential.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Awesome Thrifting Haul

I haven't had the opportunity to go thrifting for a few weeks due to a variety of reasons but this weekend's haul made up for lost time.

My favorite find was an old hat box full of vintage, velvet millinery flowers. The seller was the original owner and told me that she had collected these when they were in fashion. I told her that I would take good care of them. The colors are amazing!
I love vintage buttons and sewing notions so this was a great treasure hunt. I couldn't buy everything I wanted but I did buy some nice pieces. I found a big box of buttons and a bag of Lucite buttons. I can't wait to sort through the box.

I also found these old Bias Tape cards with cute animals. The cards have the front and back of animals printed on them. You can cut them out and glue them to both ends of a thread spool to create the animals. Cute and thrifty!
This is a set of wooden curtain tie-backs with sweet red cherries.
Another exciting find was this stack of old Japanese Paper Lanterns. I was thrilled to find these in such good condition.
I also bought a box lot of vintage Christmas treasures.
The bottlebrush tree in front is flat on the back so I assume it was meant as a wall display. The bottlebrush wreath has three strands of mercury beads hanging with green paper bells hanging below. Lots of vintage Christmas tags and stickers as well as old West Germany and Shiny Brite ornaments in the box.
A box of old Mazda/General Electric Christmas lights missing a few bulbs but the box is in good condition.
My favorite surprise in the box were these small Chinese paper lantern ornaments. So fragile and sweet. The poinsettias are made from chenille sticks.

The last thing I found was this little figurine of a doe and her fawn. After my stare-down with an angry mother doe during my recent vacation I thought this was an appropriate find. Don't let that sweet doe's face fool you. But the fawn sure looks cute. This is actually an old souvenir from Las Vegas. When did Las Vegas have deer?

I'm on a Thrifting high! Hope everyone had a great day of thrifting.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Haunted Country Cottage

Recently I was talking to the oh-so-talented designer Brenda Walton which got me thinking about her sweet and beautiful Sizzix dies. Brenda's style is very delicate and feminine with lots of pretty colors but with Halloween just around the corner I started thinking about how I could use her dies in a different way.
What could be better than using her beautiful Country Cottage, 3-D die to create a distressed Haunted Cottage. I began by cutting out the house shapes from a regular manila folder.

Next I used Distress Inks and Distress Stains to add colors to the various pieces. I wanted the walls to look like they were old and mossy.
I cut the roof shingles out of very fine sand paper which gave it a wonderful texture. I added a little Distress Ink to highlight the edges.
I cut the shutters out of a used corrugated coffee cup sleeve/holder. I seem to repurpose or recycle everything. Because this is a haunted house I didn't put shutters on all of the windows so that it would look unkept.
To give the Cottage a little more haunted feel, I die cut a couple of Ghosts using the clear plastic die packaging and glued them floating out of the top and front of the Cottage. I also added some Cobwebs under the eaves.
The final accent was some thrifted Spanish Moss around the base and an electric tea light for added character.

It was fun to turn Brenda's sweet and feminine Country Cottage into something creepy enough for Halloween.
Things are getting a little creepy around here.

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