Holiday key safety

Welcome to week three of my stint as guest designer with Dreamweaver Stencils. We’ve also teamed up with Beacon Adhesives this month to create a variety of holiday projects or gift items.
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Be sure to visit each of our designers below for so many great holiday ideas!

This key holder box has been in my garage for about three years. I picked it up at a dollar store several years ago with good intentions that never materialized. Fast forward several years and I’m in the middle of a Dreamweaver/Beacon Blog Hop for holiday projects and gifts. I remember the box and decide it’s finally time to use it.

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I kept this project very simple. The box was black and it opens to hold keys so bring it out during the holiday and use it to house car keys of your visitors. It has a paper picture of roosters on it so I primed the picture and left it to dry.

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Once dry, I taped down Dreamweaver’s Stencil LX 7003 Ornate Xmas Tree and spread with Dreamweaver’s Embossing Paste. The more I use this stuff the more I’m liking it. I removed the tapes, leaving one to use as a hinge to remove the stencil and placed it in water. I left it to dry for a bit then came back and painted the door and over the stenciled area with a white latex paint and left that to dry.

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I wanted to highlight the tree with gold so used a bit of Ranger’s Adirondack Metallic Gold Paint Dabber; just lightly dabbing the gold onto the tree.

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Then I liked the gold so much that I decided to do a gold paint wash over the entire lid. Loved the way that turned out! I wanted to frame in the tree and did this by slicing some Heidi Swapp’s Believe Peppermint Stix paper into 1/2-inch strips. The edges are inked with Ranger’s black Archival Ink. I simply laid the strips on the lid where I was going to place them and cut the edges at an angle.

I used Beacon’s Fast Finish Decoupage medium to adhere the strips. I also sealed them with the medium.

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Then I decided to add some gold glaze to the Fast Finish Decoupage medium and brushed it over the entire box cover and lightly wiped it off, leaving a hint of gold shimmer.

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I left a heavier gold color around the inside edges of the lid to help highlight the tree even more. The detail I get with these stencils and paste is amazing!

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Up against the wall …

Linda_Neff_mug_shot_2013I’ve been dying to share this project with you all since I finished it the other day! It is so not-my-style, but I love it just the same!

It’s the week of projects created from the partnership between Xyron’s Design Team and Little Yellow Bicycle. I have always loved Little Yellow Bicycle products and was so excited to receive my generous packet of supplies with their newest collection – Acorn Hollow. As much as I love mini books I wanted to do something different with the canvas mini book I received. I wasn’t sure what, but after discovering the sticker collection with the title “5 Things I am thankful for” I decided six book pages would be perfect to work with – one for the title and five more for the 5 things.

I started decorating the book’s pages individually using the 6-by-6-inch papers with no focus in mind really other than I would have six finished squares. Using the Xryon Creatopia made it so easy-peazy to cover the pages. I was able to line two 6-by-6 inch papers side-by-side and run them through the machine. After all six were sticky back I just needed to peel-and-stick the papers to the pages.

They needed a finished edge and I originally inked them with Ranger Black Soot Distress Ink but it didn’t feel right. A lot of the embellies with this collection are highlighted with copper so I dug out my Ranger Adirondack Metallic Copper Paint Dabber and gave that a shot. It was perfect! After all, Fall is all about the glow!

To make the paper leaves and flowers more dimensional I rolled them gently with a stylus on a mouse pad until they curled and then outlined them with the copper paint. The Acorn Hollow collection has so many different embellishments that were just so darn cute that I just kept layering and layering! I layered the chipboard embellies with the paper ones and ran the clear acetate embellies through the Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker Maker to hold them flat and in place. This project was just so much fun!

    

So, I have the six squares finished and I experimented with laying them out and hanging them like a banner. I really liked them stacked and thought they would look nice framed and on a wall. Went to the garage and rummaged around for different pieces of junque to mount them to and came across an old photo collage frame pained in country blue – yes, you remember the style. Wasn’t sure what I was going to place inside the frame for the background but proceeded to take the frame apart to paint it and clean the glass.

I settled on a black frame (Ranger Adirondack Pitch Black Paint Dabber) and highlighted with touches here and there using the Copper Paint Dabber that I edged the pages in. I really like the way it was going. I decided on a plain black background so painted the corrugated cardboard backing and turned it to the inside. While, when I was replacing the glass I broke it so was left with just the painted cardboard. That actually worked out well because it gives it a more rustic feel which I like. I mounted the finished squares with dimensional foam tape to pop them up just a bit. It looks really nice! It’s big. It measures 17-inches by 22-inches.

I wanted to make a scrapbook layout too because I had papers and embellies left over – there’s still enough left to make several cards – so chose some pictures from my favorite place to visit, Sunset Shores in Clare. The photos worked well with the papers and embellies. This layout is a bit more my style. A little torn up and distressed. I stamped on the tan background paper with Archival Jet Black ink, heat set, and then spritzed it with a homemade concoction of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold and water.

Hope you like and be sure to visit the Xyron and Little Yellow Bicycle blog all week long to see what my other team members are up to!

Krafting an envelope mini book

I’ve always said you can’t go wrong with the classic color combination of tan and black so when I seen Graphic 45’s Kraft Reflections Collection I knew I wanted to use it. I just had to wait for the right project to come along. And it did!

This week we’re blog hopping with Xyron and Globecraft Memories! I’m on design teams for both these companies so it was fun to incorporate both my favorite products into one project using one of my favorite paper collections. I started with the Bubble Brag Book Kit from Globecraft Memories, some Piccolo Decorative Accents and the papers. The bubble frame for the book cover has three layers and I decided I wanted the same paper on each layer. I picked Bed of Roses for them and set that aside to think about how to fill the bubble itself. For this I selected a quote from the Quote…Unquote Kraft Reflections Collection. I cut it out, distressed and inked the edges then made some paper flowers with Sizzix Flowers, 3D die. I hand cut the leaves and embossed them with clear embossing powder. I arranged all the pieces and tested it to make sure it all fit inside the bubble. You gotta love these bubble frames because you can build a dimensional scene that is totally protected.

Once it was arranged to where I liked it and it all fit within the bubble I glued the bubble over the scene and clamped it with my clothespins and binder clips.

Then I set to work to cut, trim, ink and adhere my papers to the three-layer frame which is the book cover.The papers are adhered to the chipboard frames with Xyron Glue Stick then I sanded the outer and inner edges and inked them all with Black Soot Distress Ink.All of the pages are actually made from regular white envelopes that showed up at the local recycle center. They’ve been in a bin in my garage for about two years waiting for the perfect project to come along – yeah! I used a method similar to what Stephanie at http://withagrin.blogspot.com/ shows in this video http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20611252. I can’t even tell you how I found her, but I watched her video the other night  and figured I could use my envelopes and achieve a similar effect for the book’s pages. I glued the papers to the envelopes with the Xyron Glue Stick and used the Xyron’s peel-off waxed paper as a protector.I assembled five pages for the book. The book’s pages are all sliced open on the end so I made five large tags that slide into these and are great for photos, journaling or more quotes! The tags are all hand-cut and put through the Xyron 5″ Creative Station. I’m often asked why I use my Xyron machines so often – here’s my answer. I love using my Xyron machines because the adhesive is clean and neat and holds really well – it’s also so very quick! I have books I’ve made more than eight years ago using my Xyron and the pages have held up really, really well. I’ve calculated my cost and it usually runs $1 a foot to use my larger machines. I’m careful how I run my papers through and have very little waste. I can process a lot of pieces in a foot of adhesive and if I buy my refills on sale it costs even less!Large eyelets are so hard to find nowadays and I like to reinforce my tags before adding a ribbon so I make my own coordinating reinforcers using a 1/2 inch circle punch and a 1/4 inch circle punch. I run the 1/2-inch circles through the Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker and adhere to the tag tops then punch the center opening with the 1/4-inch punch.

I proceeded to decorate the pages using several Globecraft Memories Piccolo Decorative Accents (Small Flourishes, Butterfly Flurry Flourishes, Kitty Loves a Birdie Necklace, and Vintage Hearts Charm Set) and the remaining quotes from the paper collection. It made for a really cute book and the quotes, Piccolos and other hand-made embellies were really easy to work with and the retain the color scheme of tan and black.These are small compressed book board pieces that are just loaded with tons of detail and they’re so tiny so are perfect to use as embellies or charms. I painted all my Piccolos black and then dipped them in clear embossing powder and heat set. Take a look at the book’s cover and pages to see all the Piccolo pieces. Those are little Piccolo flourishes from a set that sit on either side of the globe.

Hope you enjoyed this little project and can put some of these tips to good use! Be sure to stop by the Xyron and Globecraft Memories blogs each day this week for loads of great projects and ideas! All your Globecraft Memories products can now be purchased through my blog by clicking on Globecraft Memories Piccolo box to the right. It will take you directly to the store where you can purchase any items I used in this project.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the projects from the rest of the design team members!

Project-packed weekend retreat sends ’em home happy, glittery & de-stressed!

Ive had a few requests to share pictures of the projects I taught at my first Fall Art Retreat held at Cottages at Sunset Shores. I was so pleased with the comments and feedback I received from the students. Everyone had a wonderful time, Vivian fed us so very well, the cottages are adorable and the craft room offered us plenty of space. Best of all – everyone completed their projects! Of course, we all know there are certain projects that are ever-changing. We add a little something here, change a little something there; but for the most part the projects went home complete!

I planned three projects to keep everyone busy throughout the weekend but still allow a wee bit of down time for Saturday afternoon. They really had no clue as to what the projects were. They trusted me and signed up sight-unseen. I dropped little hints every now and then, but no major announcements. They were given a supply list to bring (mostly consisting of tools) and I supplied the rest.

We started Friday evening with the beginnings to a Vintage/Shabby Chic coin envelope mini book with tags. This project would teach a plethora of techniques and carry into Saturday to finish up. We worked on that till nearly 11:30 p.m. then did some stenciling on their Vintage window frames so it would be dry in the morning. I had a selection of different sizes of Vintage window frames so they were able to select a style and size best suited to fit their space at home.

The window project also taught several techniques using gesso, stencils, acrylic paints, ultra-thick embossing enamels, dry embossing, tissue printing and using manly tools like power drills and screwdrivers! I must say, the group took their windows up a notch! They all turned out so beautifully. I love when students have enough time during class to experiment with techniques and the freedom to play and that’s what this retreat weekend was all about – time to experiment and play.

It took all of Saturday to finish up the windows and coin envelope books and we tossed in a make-n-take provided by Globecraft Memories using Piccolo Charms and Piccolo Enamels.

We finished the weekend off by making an ornament from Globecraft Memories using Art Glitter, Crafty Secrets, Piccolo Enamel Powders and some beads.

I don’t know who had a better time – the students or myself! I’ve already selected the dates for the Altered Vintage Winter Mystery Retreat to be held at Sunset Shores Feb. 22-24. Watch for more info to come.

Here’s the pics: click on any them for a closer view.

   

  

   

Candy Spiegel tells you all about her altered window on her blog. Hop on over and see what she has to say!

Savoring every page …

So I come in the back door like I do every day from work, drop the keys in the watermelon dish, empty the lunch bag and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and then look to see if there is any mail on the counter for me. There usually isn’t. But today there’s a large manilla envelope along with a bill. I’m opening the bill and see the large envelope is from Stampington and I’m thinking it’s a catalog from CHA and then … the flutters start in the stomach. I realize I didn’t order any catalog and I remember the company sends a free copy of the magazine your art work is published in.

I let the envelope sit there until I made my cup of coffee, grabbed my glasses, and could sit in peace to open the envelope, all the time wondering … “did a piece of my work really get published?” It was late winter/early spring when I submitted several pieces for review and haven’t heard anything since. And, if a piece is published, which piece is it? The anticipation was killing me; I couldn’t take it any longer. I took my coffee outside and sat in my favorite spot as I gently peeled up the flap on the envelope, read the letter of congratulations and pulled the magazine out. Sommerset Studio – my favorite. I started with page one and slowly turned each page in anticipation of seeing my work in color print – and which piece would it be? What would it look like in the magazine and where would it be?

I was totally excited to see my large “Beauty” piece is the one they opted to publish. And, it’s on page 14! and page 15! and page 16! OMG! I’m not one to get overly excited but I’ll tell you I was jumping up and down screaming inside! Now, to all you previously published artists I may seem a little silly, but I don’t care – I love Sommerset Studio and to share my art work in this magazine is a dream-come-true!

I haven’t shared this piece earlier, I’ve been keeping it under wraps but I’ll show it to you now! It’s a favorite of mine – a piece I created just for me, not a class, not for submission. A friend suggested I submit it, but it was so large I wasn’t sure I wanted to box it up and send it but I did – and I’m so glad (I’ll share details of how I created it in a later post)!

The magazine is Sommerset Studio for Sept/Oct 2012. Run out and get your copy when it hits the newsstands. And, oh yeah, I am so totally doing autographs!

Fall workshops are just around the corner …

Even though temps are still pretty high around here my attention is focused on Fall – Fall workshops that is. I’ve been working on several projects this summer that will be offered this Fall as workshops and I wanted to share some sneak peeks with you all. My calendar is being updated as workshops get confirmed so check back often.

The first is this Christmas-themed configurations tray using Graphic 45 papers, Art Glitter, Globecraft Memories and Xyron. Go figure! I managed to work them all into one project that I think you’ll love to display each year during the holiday season. We’ll work with acrylic paints, inks, embossing powders, fussy-cutting, glitters and so much more! I’ve titled it “Compliments of the Season.”

This next workshop, “Glimmers of Hope,” came about as I was designing a project for the Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Want2Scrap Blog Hop recently. The project received so many nice compliments (thank you to all of you for those!), and is able to work so nicely into a workshop. I’ll teach you how to turn a Graphic 45 plain craft-paper box and accordion book into a beautiful keepsake. Once again, we’ll use those gotta-have-’em papers from Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Ranger products – more technique!

Who doesn’t love hand-made ornaments? These cute little globe ornaments from Globecraft Memories are so much fun to create with. You can put just about anything inside them – they’re not just for the holiday season! This workshop will really get into fussy-cutting using some Crafty Secrets cut-out sheets. We’ll add some bling, by way of Art Glitter and Want2Scrap and you’ll be able to play with the new Piccolo embossing enamels from Globecraft Memories too! Join me in this “Victorian Gewgaw” workshop.

There are a couple more in the works still. As soon as the samples are done you’ll find them here so check back often! Any of these workshops can also be scheduled for private groups of six of more in your home or other location. Contact me via my email: lneffscraps@gmail.com  to make arrangements.

This blog-hop is in the box!

Graphic 45, Art Glitter and Want2Scrap are teaming up this week to bring you tons of inspiration using our products!

 

After you check out my project be sure to head on over to the Art Glitter, Want2Scrap and Graphic 45 blogs to find out what the talented members of these Design Teams have in store for you today! Art glitter will be giving away 4 prizes! Just leave a comment on Art Glitter Blog by Sunday July 29th!**********
 

I was so excited when we got word about the Art Glitter, Want2Scrap, and Graphic 45 Blog Hop! It took awhile to decide what project I was going to attempt but settled on using the cute little Graphic 45 Staples Kraftboard Altered Art Box. The box comes complete with  an accordian-type book inside and a magnetic closure on the cover. At first I was going to cover it with Graphic 45 papers so I painted all the corners and edges with Pitch Black Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber. The more it dried, the more I liked the look so scratched the paper-covering idea and painted the entire box – inside and out! Love the elegant black finish!

I made the three-layer medallion (Tim Holtz Paper Rosettes, Alterations by Sizzix) for the box center from Graphic 45 papers Forgotten City and Joyous Noel (I wanted a black base for the medallion and had this paper handy; it worked out well); Joyous Noel for the base, Forgotten City in the middle and the backside (Kraft-color) for the top.  The outer edges and the upper creases are all inked with black ink, stacked and a large Want2Scrap gem added to the top center.

The beautiful sparkly gems on top are Want2Scrap, Beautiful Bling Borders by Nina Brackett – Fancy Waves. I was able to cut the two borders to fit the perimeter of the cover. Don’t they look pretty against that black finish?

The side panels are double-sided sticky tape and Art Glitter Fawn No. 728 and Tree Bark No. 524, both microfine glitters, using the double-glitter technique with a strip of lace. These colors closely fit the color scheme and I just love the look of the faux lace.

   

For the book I cut Forgotten City and Mechanical Mind to fit just inside the book’s pages. The edges were all distressed using Zutter’s Distrezz-it-all; inked them all with black ink and the edges of the book too.

I tried a new technique on the papers that I watched ‘Blanche’ from La Blanche Stamps use at CHA last week. Using Ranger’s Perfect Medium Pen I colored some areas in and sprinkled with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) then heat set. It really adds a lot of dimension and texture. The Ornate Plate (Tim Holtz Idea-ology) is painted with Pitch Black Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber, then sprinkled with UTEE and heat set. I love the shiny look this achieves!

A few of the elements on the papers were cut out, UTEE added and popped up for added effects. The ribbon is laid down prior to the papers being adhered to the book pages. I was so pleased with the results of this project – especially going into the project without a clear vision! What do you think?

 
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Be sure to check the Art Glitter Blog every day this week for more project inspiration! We have Blog Candy to give away to 4 lucky commenters! Visit us, as well as our friends over at Want2Scrap and Graphic 45, each day this week; prizes and lots of wonderful inspiration coming your way!Also, make sure you stop by the Want2Scrap Facebook Page and Graphic 45 Facebook page this week and tell them Art Glitter sent you! Check out my cohorts on the Art Glitter Design Team and see the wonderful projects they’ve created for this blog hop. They’ll be posting for Art Glitter this week! Be sure to leave them a comment as well as on Art Glitter’s Blog for your chance to win BLOG CANDY!
Monday the 23rd Trudy & Carrie
Tuesday Emily & KC
Wednesday Linda & Cherie
Thursday Karen
Friday Laura & Kristi