A Simple Thank You

As we officially head into the holiday season, the Dream Team are challenging all of our followers to be especially “Thankful and Thoughtful” during the month of November. Link your creations with this theme on the Dream It Up! blog using the Inlinkz tool and the end of this post. Our “thanks” to you is providing you with the opportunity to win the stencil of your choice, and a bonus stencil of our choosing could be yours for using Dreamweaver product(s) in your artwork.
I hope you enjoy my post today. There are times I tend to over-think a project or struggle to come up with a new idea when all that is required is clean-and-simple. I struggled to come up with a creative approach to use this Dreamweaver Pine Cones Embossing Folder and finally settled on clean-and-simple and love it!
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I used some Fall-colored card stock as matting for the embossed tag. I tore some of the tag bottom off so it fit on the card better then placed it in the embossing folder and ran it through the Vagabond. It embossed so beautifully on the manilla tag that it required nothing else but a little “Thank You” to go with this month’s theme.
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The detail that comes out in the embossing is amazing!
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I layered up the mats on the card front and wrapped a piece of May Arts ribbon around the top mat and inserted the tag with adhesive on the back to hold it in place.
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I love the simplicity of this card – how about making a set of four or five and wrap as a gift for a special someone? They make cute little Thank You notes.
I thought you might like a flashback to one of my Dreamweaver guest designer posts from last year. I came across this adorable little Christmas decoration when unpacking holiday decorations this week. Here’s the link for the how-to information: Quick and Easy.
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By the way, the Dream Team are very thankful when our followers are thoughtful enough to leave us a nice comment on our posts! Here’s the “A” team lineup for this week.
Don’t forget to link your creations with this theme on the Dream It Up! blog here: An InLinkz Link-up

Christmas is a coming!

linda_neff_dream_weaver_art_journal_6Howdy again! I’m back again as guest designer with Dream Weaver this month and looking forward to sharing with you some ideas I have for using Dream Weaver products. This is my second post this month for the theme Thankful and Thoughtful.
Link your creations, using the Thankful and Thoughtful theme on the Dream It Up! blog using the Inlinkz tool at the end of this post – you could win the stencil of your choice and a bonus stencil of our choosing could be yours for using Dreamweaver products in your artwork. Be sure to stop by the blogs of the regular Dream Team members as well – loads of great ideas out there!
I have another Art Journal page for you this week and an ATC (Artist Trading Card). I love to give credit where credit is due but, honestly, I was on my phone either reading emails or Pinterest and I seen something similar to this technique but my phone wouldn’t let me bookmark it and I haven’t been able to find it again! Don’t you just hate that?
*A friend found the link for me – yippee! This technique was done on Julie Fei-Fan Balzar’s blog by guest designer Melita Bloomer.*
The end result is such a bold and dramatic effect. I just love it!
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I began with watercolor paper and used the smoosh and spritz technique with Fired Brick, Peeled Paint and Mustard Seed Distress Inks – Christmas colors. Stamped with a Christmas script stamp using black Archival Ink then laid Dream Weaver’s stencil, LX7007 Leaves, in the center of my page and traced all the inside openings with a black journal marker.
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I worked out from the center after that till the entire page had traced openings on it.
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After that it’s all hand-painted with black gesso and that creates that very dramatic effect.
It was time to make some ATC’s for my stamp group and I had this cute little Nested Stocking Die DG692 from Dream Weaver along with an adorable embossing folder, FJ922 Christmas Borders. I made the background similar to the art journal page then cut it to ATC size (2 1/2″ X 3 1/2″) then ran it through my Vagabond in the embossing folder. All the edges are inked with Peeled Paint and I also rubbed Peeled Paint across the ATC’s to bring out the embossed areas. I used Dream Weaver’s white embossing paste to make the rim of the stocking look fluffy.
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I actually cut two each of the stocking rim so I could stack them and make them dimensional. I glued a small piece of chipboard in-between then assembled the stocking, added it to the ATC and finished it off with some printed words and cute little gold jingle bell.
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I think these will be a hit with my exchange group. I’m thankful I’ve been able to have this opportunity to challenge myself with my craft using these Dream Weaver products this month!
Be sure to visit the other designers to see what they’ve been up to this week.

Art journal with Dream Weaver

Hey there, thanks for visiting! I’m guest designer with Dream Weaver this month and looking forward to sharing with you some ideas I have for using Dream Weaver products.
The Dream Team is challenging its followers to be especially Thankful and Thoughtful during the month of November. Link your creations, using the Thankful and Thoughtful theme on the Dream It Up! blog using the Inlinkz tool at the end of my post – you could win the stencil of your choice and a bonus stencil of our choosing could be yours for using Dreamweaver products in your artwork.
I couldn’t resist trying out the new Chevron Background Stencil LX7026 and the Pinwheel Checkerboard LX7013 in my Art Journal recently. I wanted to honor the beautiful colors of Autumn – a time to be thankful and a time for change.
I started by stamping a script stamp over my entire background pages (140 lb mixed-media paper) with a waterproof ink, then heat set it.
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Then I painted a wash of yellow acrylic paint over the pages, heat set that and placed little re-positionable sticky labels randomly over the pages. These remain on until the very end so make sure to press them down firmly to prevent any leakage.
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Next I made washes of red, orange and purple and randomly slapped them across the pages at different intervals making sure to dry between each layer. I used a mixture of acrylic paint colors and lightly brushed it onto my leaf stamps and stamped the pages. To bring more texture and dimension to some of the bare spots between the leaves I used Dream Weaver’s Pinwheel Checkerboard LX7013, Worn Lipstick Distress Ink with an ink applicator. I love the shape of the design.
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 I love the shape of the design and look how it fills in the bare spaces and blends so nicely.
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 Once I got the background just so, I added a border strip across the two pages with the Dream Weaver Chevron Background Stencil LX7026, Dusty Concord Distress Ink and an applicator. I used painter’s tape to tape off the rows I didn’t want to use to prevent over-spill.
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 I lightly dabbed some embossing ink around the page and sprinkled some copper-colored embossing powder on it. A happy accident – some of the powder dust spilled over onto the wet distress ink on the Chevron design.
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 When all the layers are finished, the little re-positionable labels are removed to reveal some of the bright yellow below – every little step adds another layer of texture or dimension to the page.  The journal pages turned out even better than I anticipated.
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 Members of the Dream Team are very thankful when you leave a comment. I’m joining the “A” team lineup for this week – enjoy!

Out in the wilds

The Xyron Design Team is hopping with Paper House Productions this week. I really enjoyed working with the paper and embellishments I received from Paper House.

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The paper pad is “In the Wild.” The papers have everything to do with the outdoors, camping, hiking and fishing.

I created this scrapbook layout using a photo I had just taken from a recent trip to Ludington – the paper was just perfect!

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After my border strips were cut and punched I ran them through my Xyron 5” Creative Station to adhere them to the background paper. The little corrugated hearts were mussed up and painted slightly then adhered with the Xyron Adhesive Dots.

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I typed my journaling and printed it on white cardstock, cut it out, inked the edges then run them through the Xyron 1.5″ Sticker Maker.

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I love the way this page turned out, especially with the punched leaves along the border – perfect for a Fall-themed layout!

I also made a little tag book from the same paper pad, lots of Paper House Productions dimensional embellishments along with some Coordinations Cardstock. It’s a great little book to take along on a weekend camping/hiking trip so you can journal your adventures.

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I processed all the tag pages through my Xyron Creatopia and adhered them back-to-back to create a nice, strong page.

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Adding a little Vintage Photo Distress Ink around the edges just helps to enhance the outdoorsy look of the book.

The embellishments were so easy to add to each little page – just peel and stick!

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I bound the pages together with the Zutter Bind-it-all system then added some beautiful fibers to each page to complete the look.

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Supplies used:

Xyron Creatopia with Stickz Adhesive
Xyron 5” Create-a-Station with permanent adhesive
Xyron 1.5” Create-a-Sticker maker with permanent adhesive
Xyron Adhesive Dots
Xyron Mega Runner with ½” adhesive
Paper House Productions “In The Wild” paper stack
Paper House Productions “Roughin’ It” 3-D sticker
Paper House Productions “In the Woods” 3-D sticker
Paper House Productions “Outdoors Diecut Sticker Pack”
Paper House Productions “Camping 2 Cardstock Stickers”
Coor’dinations Tim Holtz Distress Collection

Let’s make faux pallet art!

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotXyron has teamed with Core’dinations and Petaloo International this week to share some inspiration with you. I’ll have to admit these projects came together extremely easily because of the products we used.

Between running all my pieces through a Xyron, quickly creating distress with Core’dinations ColorCore Cardstock and picking Petaloo flowers from a package and sticking them on with Xyron’s Adhesive Dots, I almost feel guilty.

 

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Let me walk you through how easy this project can be. I created this with a young girl in mind – maybe 8-11 years old; it measures 12″X14″.

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Pallet art is so hot right now, but not everyone has access to pallets and the tools required to make a simple sign. I started with four strips of chipboard, 3 1/2″X12″ and three strips of Core’dinations ColorCore Cardstock. I was going for a hombre effect with the colors I chose. I used Xyron’s heart-shaped die to cut three hearts in different sizes. The chipboard letters are from my stash.

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I embossed the hearts and letters then gently sanded the hearts and cardstock strips with the Core’dinations Sanding Gadget and cleared away the dust with their Dust Buddy. The letters are white-washed with a dry brush then glazed with clear glaze.

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Process the cardstock strips through your Xyon Creative Station or use the Xyron Mega runner; adhere strips to chipboard (I used my Xyron Creatopia).

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Adhere strips together by adding two additional strips on chipboard running the opposite direction to hold the four strips together. Run the Petaloo International Fancy Trims through the Xyron 1 1/2″ Sticker Maker or use Xyron’s Adhesive Dots; these flowers are from the Darjeeling Collection. Place the ribbon where you like and add the hearts. I popped the middle heart up with homemade pop dots (Chipboard scraps cut into small squares, run through Sticker Maker and stack them together).

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Letters and flowers are adhered with Xyron’s 3/8″ Adhesive Dots. And now you have created a faux pallet art sign!

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For the box I used:

Supplies:

Xyron 5″ Creative Station with permanent adhesive
Xyron 3/8″ Adhesive Dots
Core’dinations ColorCore Cardstock (Tim Holtz Distress Collection)
Petaloo Fancy Trims
Petaloo Premier Dahlia & Mini Mix (Darjeeling Collection)
embossing folder
Vagabond
border punch
glitter
Balsa wood box

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Make sure to check out the rest of the Xryon Design Team, as well as the Petaloo Design Team and Core’dinations Design Team for a whole lot of inspiration. Be sure to enter for chances to win some crafty goodness!

Sharing friends on the Creative Blog Hop

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotI’ve been asked by fellow artist, Tracy Alden, to participate in a different kind of blog hop – no special product or technique, no particular manufacturer – just a Creative Blog Hop where I share a little info about myself (I answer the same four questions posed to each hop participant) and introduce you to other creatives you might enjoy. I’ve followed this Creative Blog Hop back through several months and have discovered so many talented artists involved in so many different genres. You can do the same. Just follow this link back through the blogs starting with Tracy Alden who blogs at Art Resurrected.

Tracy and I have actually never met face-to-face; it’s one of those cyber-relationships. We met while working together for Globecraft & Piccolo a couple years ago. I admire her attention to detail in the makings of her jewelry – it’s truly amazing what this woman creates using resin. She also has a passion for science. Check out her blog posts to see how amazing her work is.

So let the questioning begin!

1. What am I working on?

This week I’ve actually been working on an art journal spread for an upcoming class. It’s a class I offer each month in my Studio and I really enjoy the challenge of creating a new spread each month. I challenge myself to use just a few products and limited color palette. This month being October, and the fact I live in the mid-West (Michigan), I wanted to focus on the beautiful colors of our Fall season – over the top of all these words.

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2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I don’t know that it does really.  A lot of us play around with the same techniques and products but our goal is to develop our own style and that’s what I aim to do. I have friends and students who tell me they can pick my projects out of a lineup because they’re familiar with my work so I’ve developed a style known to me but I wouldn’t say it is all that unique and different from others – just personalized to my taste and likes.

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3. Why do I write/create what I do?

There are days I wonder the same thing! Crafting keeps me sane. There’s nothing more relaxing than rolling paper flowers, spreading Distress Inks on tags, or painting with glue to add glitter to a tiny, intricate piece. It’s the mundane repetitive tasks of the crafting process that I find so relaxing; the mind can just go blank and release all worries, cares and bad thoughts. It’s the combination of those same mundane tasks that push me to add more – more technique, more product, more texture, more dimension to create a final piece that is pleasing to my eye.

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4. How does your writing/creative process work?

That’s a tough question. Lately it seems my creative process is taking a vacation. I hadn’t been inspired. I attribute some of that to the fact that most of our local scrapbook and stamp stores have closed over the past three years. I used to draw inspiration with a visit to my local craft store while looking at all the pretty papers and embellies. The ability to touch them, pick them up, turn them over – physically and in my mind – would inspire and start the creative process flowing. Seems much harder now to find inspiration from product that can only be seen on the Internet and not held in my hands.

Then out of blue I hear from Tracy Alden. When I asked why she chose me, this is what she had to say: “Linda has the amazing talent to take the most ordinary paper, wire, frames and old objects and turn them into heirlooms to be treasured for years.” So that was my answer – get back to my roots. Go dig up some old junk or leftovers and play with them a bit and turn them into something pretty! Thanks, Tracy! I needed that little reminder.

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Now, I’d like to introduce you to my friend, Laura Drahozal who blogs at Remembering Life’s Moments. Laura and I actually met when working in the same local scrapbook store several years ago. I’m in awe of her talent when it comes to Dreamweaver Stencils and metal work and her work with the Silhouette cutting machine. Take a trip through her blog and relish in all the beauty.

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Sweet Dreams – A banner idea

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotWhen you’re not much of a card maker it’s often a challenge to figure out how to use products made for card makers in a different way. That was my challenge for my new Spellbinder’s die I received recently.

This is the new Spellbinder’s Die Labels Thirty-Six, S4-418. They’re really cute labels! I used them to create an adorable banner. I love banners – don’t you? They just look so cute hanging across a window, cabinet, on the wall – just about anywhere! I started by cutting the shapes from a DCWV Stack titled Dark Romance. I chose several coordinating papers and cut each size out of different designs for stacking.

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The title ‘DREAM’ is made from chipboard letters. I placed them in the Xyron 2.5″ Create-A-Sticker face-down then sprinkled with a pretty pinkish glitter – Tea Rose Ultrafine Opaque from Art Glitter.

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I like to gently press the glitter into the adhesive to ensure it stays put. While the chipboard was out I ran some scraps through the Xyron as well to make dimensional squares for stacking the labels.

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The two bottom layers of the larger flags are layered on top of one another, stuck together with Xyron 5″ Creative Station and permanent adhesive. The top layer is popped up with the home-made dimensional squares.

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After stacking the three large labels together I then stacked the three smaller labels together to use as filler between the larger flags on the banner and added a little fussy-cut butterfly and moth.

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After the letters are glittered they’re put through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-A-Sticker face up and then centered on the larger flag.

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I used a 1/16″ Fiskars hole punch to make small holes near the tops of all the flags and threaded May Arts Solid Wrinkle Ribbon through them.

I’m happy with the results and think it looks very nice hanging on this old cabinet I’ve been working on lately. I think it would look very cute in a little girls room. I can see it hanging on the wall above the bed so send her off to slumber land with thoughts of sweet dreams.

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To see even more great ideas for Xyron and Spellbinders check out their Facebook pages.

 

 

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