Friday, December 25, 2009

Distressing paper tutorial ~ December 25, 2009

Hello and Merry Christmas to all of our followers! Whatever your faith or family traditions, we hope that you have had time to set aside and be with those you love.   We look forward to all that 2010 will bring!

Okay, let's talk about distressing paper. If you haven't embraced this technique yet, I hope that you will give it a try! It is a fun and inexpensive way to make your layouts, cards and altered objects uniquely yours.  There really is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you achieve results that you like.

 Below is a photo of some of my favorite chalks, inks and stain. I usually like to use the chalk or ink along the edges of my paper before I start distressing them with any kind of tool.  However, you can do it before or after, depending on the look you like. I usually do both before AND after!  Leah and Nanne have both talked about chalks and ink recently and their tutorials are still available if you would like to refresh your memory. I will share that my ColorBox Chestnut Roan inkpad is one of my faves.  I use it to darken my paper edges (instead of using it for stamping) and love the really dark, rich color it adds ... even more so than my catseye chalk.

There are a number of distressing tools on the market like the Heidi Swapp edge distresser and the Tim Holtz paper distresser.  However, My favorite tools are ones that most of you have right there in your home. First, the edge of your craft scissor blade, sandpaper, emory board,  craft knife, or steel wool. Other favorites are my seam ripper, a serrated knife from the kitchen and my fingernail.

 You can do your edge distressing with your paper dry .. or you can moisten it with a spray bottle or something like a baby wipe. If you're doing a wet technique, you can get more curling and it's perfect for using your fingernail to do the tearing. I recommend trying your hand at this on scrap paper before using some of your favorites! Get comfortable with it and experiment with different weights of paper as they will respond differently. Also, wet paper is more limber so you will distress more lightly acrosss a moistened edge.

Here is photo from the Internet of the Tim Holtz distresser.  Mine seems to be MIA at the moment. My craft room is full of Christmas gifts and wrap at the moment and my scrapping tools are buried  :)

Below is s photo of my project BEFORE I did any distressing.  See how crisp the edges of the red are
against the green.

My all time favorite way to dry distress paper (at the moment) is with the edge of my scissors or a serrated knife.  I try to hold the blade at a 90 degreee angle to my paper. This will give you a very "fluffy" edge and can even be used on letters, mats, and embellishments.   Of course, you will want to be careful that you not cut yourself as you work.  This process stirs up alot of paper dust, so I usually work over my trash can or dust myself off afterward.

Notice how the red now has a white edge to it, as well as the patterned paper which also has been distressed and chalked.  I just love the character it adds.

Here I am going back over the edges with my Chestnut Roan catseye chalk. Then I distressed it some more.

Another way to distress paper is by tearing it. There are tearing tools on the market like the Fiskars one below or you can just do it by hand tearing towards you with the pattern on top.  This will reveal your white or colored core.

You see the navy blue cardstock which I tore working with my right hand and tearing towards my body. This is one that I just did by hand with no special tool.  The beauty of this is that you can really do as much or as little as you like. Next to the torn paper is a sample of "crumpled" paper.  I love to crumple my paper by hand, then flatten it out and sand over it.  The sanding really brings out the lines and gives your paper a very aged look. If I'm using a lighter color, I will often spray my paper with the Walnut Stain to age it even more.

Leah talked last week about embossing .. another of my favorite ways to distress your paper. So, I won't elaborate on that but thought I'd mention a tool you might already have but don't pull out too often .. your paper crimper.  It's handy for an even, corrugated look.  This is a photo of mine in case you don't know what one looks like.

And this is a sample of what your paper looks like after crinkling it.  Wonderful way to achieve the "in" look of corrugated cardboard but maintain your photo safety with archival products.

Well, hopefully this tutorial gets your mind thinking about how you can incorporate distressing into your work.  I thought I would close with my finished project as my way of saying Merry Christmas!  Leave me a comment if you have any questions. I'd be happy to help. Have a great week!

Hugs, Sandi

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cuttlebug and Inking Tutorial Part 1

We are well onto our way to Christmas day and I could not be anymore excited! I just adore this time of year! This year being so exciting for me because my family is complete as this is my baby's first Christmas!
Part of my holiday happiness can be explained by being a part of this wonderful blog and its community of friends! So...
Happy Holidays!
I hope you like this 3 part tutorial!

We all love our Cricut machine but where would we be without our Cuttlebug? I thought it would be fun to show you some ideas to use with your embossing folders. In these tutorials you will find many different inking ideas to use with the same embossing folder...all to achieve totally different looks! I have mainly used Tim Holtz distress inks as well as metallic Color Box pigment brush pads (aka Cat Eyes).
I also want to add that I used the same hand made paper for each example.

Here is a picture of the Christmas ornament embossing folder which will be the main one used in all my examples. Along with Swiss Dots to show you a bit of Double Embossing.

Now one of the main things I have learned is that you can not Double Emboss with 2 busy least one needs to be a simple design with generous spacing between images.

This photo shows an example of embossing first with the ornament folder and then with swiss dots. See how the ornament embossing is almost like a background texture where the dots are more in the forefront?
This time I just reversed it. Embossing first with swiss dots and the with the ornament folder. I really like this look as it seems like the image was dusted with snow! Something I like you could do with most of the Christmas folders!

Now lets get to the inking!
This was embossing first with the ornament folder then swiss dots. I inked with Red Brick only (using my Tim Holtz inking tool, the one with foam not felt which is for alcohol inks). I pulled the color swirling off of the page onto the page to the inside of the paper. Then I re-inked and hit just the edges for more definition. This is where I played...I misted this with my mini mister. I thought I would have had water spots but all it did was blend the color, so in person this looks like watercolor! A mistake turning into something with all its own possibilities! Then I took it a little bit further and dusted it with yellow Pearl Ex powders. Unfortunetly you can not see it but the page as the most beautiful shimmer to it, something you can not achieve in any other way but with the Pearl Ex powders.

This was embossing in the opposite manner, swiss dots and then the ornament folder.
I inked outside to the inside of the page with Shabby Shutters (light lime green) and hit the edges with Peeled Paint (dark green). I then used both Gold and Copper Color Box inks to highlight some of the ornaments, I used paint brushes to do this. Dust the paint brush across the ink and then dust onto the paper. This only adds a bit of color so you just reapply until you have achieved the desired color.

I have more to show you so....scroll on down! LOL!

Cuttlebug and Inking Tutorial Part 3

Lastly I would like to show you some variations of inking ideas.

Here I inked the surface of the embossing folder using the ink tool. With regular inks you can do directly onto the folder but because these pads are harder they don't seem to transfer enough color. Tea Dye was applied to the folder and then Vintage Photo to the edges only.
Here is the same technique but using only a single color. Red Brick was applied to the folder which helped bring out the embossed design and then was applied afterward to the edges. This was double embossed and I like how the second time using the ink brought out the dots around the edges.

Here I kept in the same color scheme but used different colors. Shabby Shutters was brought far into the paper while Peeled Paint was used only along the edges. Then I used Copper and Gold Color Box pads to accent some of the ornaments.
Ok here is where I learned that inking directly onto the folders did not deliver enough color. I inked directly on with Faded Denim and Weathered Wood, it added only a small amount of color. I then rubbed directly onto the surface with Silver Color Box ink. I still felt it needed something so I added more Faded Denim around the edges.
And last but not least here is an example of adding different colors. I started with Shabby Shutters swirling the color well into the paper. I brushed the edges with Red Brick and then added Gold Color Box ink (which I did rub directly onto the paper).

I hope that you enjoyed these tutorials and that they in
spire you to get out your inks and start adding more color to your projects!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Poinsettias -Christmas Tutorial

TGIF everyone.. and that means its another Tutorial reveal..
I hope you ladies get a good kick out of this Poinsettia for the holidays.. Its great for layouts, cards and anything else you can think of to stick it on.. I even thought about making a wreath with it..
I have made several different sizes with a little more added detail on the big one..

First of all.. I cut the leaves that I used for this flower with the "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge..
This is the biggest of the poinsettias, which was the easiest to put to together..

Supplies needed:
Stretch your imagination cartridge "Autumn leaf stretched shadow cut"
and "Walk In My Garden" cartridge for the little star shaped flower centers.
red cardstock
green cardstock
yellow cardstock
red, green and yellow stickles
pop dots and glue pen
embossing tool (looks like a double ended pen)
Chalk: Green and Yellow
Ink: brown, black and green

First step:
Cut the GREEN cardstock: 3 X 3" leaves and 3 X 2" leaves (all shadow cut)
Then cut the little star shaped flower from "Walking in my Garden" cartridge also using the green cardstock at 1.5".(also shadow cut)
Cut the RED cardstock: 3 X 3" leaves and 3 X 2.5" leaves (all shadow cut)
and then using YELLOW cardstock cut the little star shaped flower from Walking in my Garden cartridge at 1"..(also shadow cut)

Now for creating a realistic look and assembly:
Using your embossing tool, run a straight line across the back of the leaves.. turn them back over and then bend at the seams. The little star looking flowers need their petals turned upright..
You can at this point add more lines to your leaves if you wish.. I added more detail to the bigger flower by using the embossing tool and running more lines to make the leaves seam more realistic..


Using the inks, rub the seems and edges of the leaves.. Green leaves should be rubbed with green ink, red leaves with black and then yellow star flowers edges with brown.. just slightly..
I made small soft circular movements so the ink didn't splot on, but instead added just enough shadow..

and then:
Using the chalks, add a little green chalk to the edges of the green leaves..just run in a circular motion for softness..

Not a big difference, but you can see it once its done.. You don't have to chalk then, but the leaves will look extra great if you do.!!
after wards you will be bending the leaves and petals..

Using your fingers, bend the leaves and the petals so that they are shaped liked the photo above..
you can turn the very tip upwards.. I wrapped the leaves in between my two pointers and bent them that way..

Now for assembly:

I normally would not have assembled them onto a small circle, but for this tute I did.. The big flower is assembled right onto the layout.. it was much easier to guess the portions and how I wanted the leaves placed..not to cover photos, etc....
so, add you pop dots to the backs of the leaves..
and place them as follows.. and then take the red petals and add them next, in between the leaves..

Like this... and keep layering till your happy with your end result..

and then for the final touches:
add your star shaped flowers on top, layering green on the bottom and yellow on top..
and last but not not least, add your Stickles anyway you want..
I actually made two poinsettias with this flower that I made for the tutorial.. I really didnt' need so many layers..
Here is the bottom of the finished layout that I used the Poinsettias on..

These aren't very quick to make, but they sure do pack a punch!! LOL
You can click on the image to make it bigger.. You can see the difference in the leaves of the big flower and little flowers.. I wanted to show you how different a little bit of extra detail can make..

Ok then ladies... Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on making Poinsettias using leaves from the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge..
We thank you so much for looking!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Flower Tutorial

As promised the first of our tutorials for the holiday season. This flower is made with the leaf cut from A Child's Year. I used the 2 1/2 inch leaf stretched to 3 inches at the widest point in DS. I cut 12 leaves on double sided paper because I was not sure which side I wanted to use, I decided to use the patterned side. This is a Martha Stewart stack I purchased at WM....I loved the metallic papers for the holiday season.

Using Folkart metallic gold and a foam brush I dry brushed the edges and tips of each leaf.....

Using the dry brush technique I was able to achieve a look that I liked....

Using pop dots I attached 6 of the leaves to make the center of the flower....the pop dots are on the edge of the leaf and I simply made a circle with them.....

This is what your center will look like when all six leaves are in place.....
Now add a pop dot to the bottom of the 6 remaining leaves......

Place them behind the flower center.....

Using a wooden spoon or dowel curl the tip of each leaf under.....

I chose a snowflake button to accent the center of this flower as I plan to use it on a holiday layout....

These flowers are quite large and would make great accents for gifts as well....and could certainly be used on a layout when wrapping up your holiday packages think of your scrappy friends and add a flower instead of a bow for them to use on a special layout.....Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are having a fabulous holiday season....and don't forget....we will be posting tutorials throughout the month of December!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nov 27 challenge

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have another wonderful sketch by our dear friend Amy Gandy aka Southernbellescrapper. Thank you for the privilege to use your sketch. Please check out her HERE and her sketch blog HERE!

We have an announcement to make regarding the month of December (starting Dec 4th)...As so many of us are extra busy this month we have decided not to do any sketches until the new year and instead will be bringing you tutorials by each one of our designers. We hope that you will enjoy these and feel inspired by them!

Without further a do, here is our sketch and our interpretations........

Aymee Gandy sketch

"Profiles of 3 Generations"
Sandi Clarkson

Sandy Windsor

Leah Schaeffer

Nanné Harry