A little birdie told me

My Art Journal sessions are broken up into four weeks. Each four-week session is themed. These cute little birds are from Art Journal-Fly Away where we worked with creatures that had wings.

These background pages started out with just a few stripes of acrylic paint colors and some water. Pretty darn boring! But we learned to work it into a beautiful background to display our winged birds on.

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DecoArt acrylic paints spritzed with water.

Combining other mixed–media products with stamps, stencils and more, we were able to create the most beautiful backgrounds.

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Die-but bird added to background.

It’s just so much fun and very relaxing to just sit and play with no end-game in sight. Your page may never be done or it can feel complete in a quick 10 minutes.

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Die-cut birds stacked atop each other create a colorful scene.

Art Journaling requires no art background, just a willingness to express yourself while playing with paper and paints.

Artful tag

1379285_10201160006777115_1053883481_nWelcome to the Xyron and Core’dinations blog hop! We’ve been hopping all week so if you missed any, please click this link to catch up on all the other fantastic projects.

I had a grand time playing with the Core’dinations cardstocks in creating this tag.

I started by cutting the tag using dot textured tan cardstock from the Core Essentials Collection by Core’dinations and the Tim Holtz Tag & Bookplates die by Sizzix.

The pinecone and greenery are cut from Core’dinations Tim Holtz & Ranger Distress Collection using the Tim Holtz Tattered Pinecone die by Sizzix.

Coredinations_Xyron_Tag_linda_neffI inked the edges of all the pieces with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and edged with Black Soot. The pieces really started to shape up when I lightly sanded them all with the Core’dinations Sand It Set sanding block and wiped the dust away with the kits’ cleaning cloth. I loved the way the sandpaper squares stick to the loops on the sanding block. It is so easy to switch out to a new sandpaper! Some Ranger Clear Crackle Paint is spread across the greenery and set aside to dry and crack.

Coredinations_Xyron_Tag_linda_neff_2The pinecones assemble so easily. I rolled them as directed and sealed them shut with the Xyron’s Clear Hold Adhesive from the Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit. I also put a small amount of the glue on my non-stick craft sheet and used my finger to spread in on the pinecone tips and then sprinkled on a bit of gold glitter for some sparkle.

Coredinations_Xyron_Tag_linda_neff_3Once the pieces were assembled and dry, the sentiment stamped onto a scrap of manilla tag, I was able to construct the tag. The small flat pieces were processed through the Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker.

Coredinations_Xyron_Tag_linda_neff_4Once assembled, I tied a pretty piece of May Arts wrinkle ribbon to the top so it could hang and it looks great hanging from this burlap wreath!

Coredinations_Xyron_Tag_linda_neff_5Thanks for visiting my blog and be sure to hop over to all the others!

Wicked watering cans

I had so much fun creating these adorable little watering can boxes for our Xyron, Graphic 45 and Petaloo blog hop. I received a ton of fantastic products to play with and just had a great time going crazy embellishing these little packages. Thanks to Xyron, Graphic 45 and Petaloo!

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I’ve been wanting to play with Eileen Hull’s Watering Can die from Sizzix so decided to see what I could do in a Fall/Halloween theme. They would be so adorable as place holders for a table setting or fill them with treats to share at a Halloween party.

I started by cutting the shapes from chipboard and the papers from Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells Collection.

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I wanted the insides of the boxes and all the edges to be black to give the boxes a finished look so I painted, what would be the insides, with Ranger’s Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Pitch Black. I also painted the edges about a quarter inch all the way around so no grey chipboard would show.

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While the paint was drying I processed all the die-cut paper through my Xyron Creatopia with Permanent Adhesive.

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I peeled the paper shapes from the Xyron backing and laid back-to-back to the unpainted side of the chipboard shapes. I’m often asked why I use Xyron rather than a glue stick for an application like this, “isn’t it cheaper to use a glue stick?” My thoughts are that it depends on your way of thinking. It took less than 3 feet of Xyron 12″ Creatopia adhesive for these pieces; that’s about $3 worth at full price (less if you find it on sale or use a coupon). But here’s the kicker – for that $3 it saved me probably an hour or more in time and I didn’t have sticky fingers. I peeled and stuck these five boxes in less than 7 minutes (yep, I timed it). There’s no way I could peel and stick with a glue stick and keep it so neat and clean in anywhere near 7 minutes.

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Assembly is so easy. I used the Clear Hold Adhesive in the squeeze tube from my Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit by Xyron. I ran a thin line of glue along the scored edges and pinched together for a few seconds until the glue set up. Then it was time for the fun stuff!

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I used punched pieces from the Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells Collection and the gorgeous, colorful distressed flowers and leaves from Petaloo to embellish all the boxes. The smaller strips and paper pieces processed so easily through the 1″ Xyron Sticker Maker that was in the Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit.

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I also used the black Foam Squares from the Teresa Collins Adhesive Kit. These were perfect to pop up some of the strips and punch out pieces. The Clear Hold Adhesive worked well to tuck in bits and pieces here and there.

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I had so much fun I found it difficult to stop! I fell in love with that Clear Hold Adhesive. The nozzle didn’t clog and I just kept gluing and tucking!

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Techniques to add glam to your next layout

We’ve been challenged this month to create a scrapbook background paper using our Globecraft & Piccolo embossing powders. Sometimes I’m surprised and delighted as to how these challenges evolve and what I am able to learn by working to meet them.

Click on the link to hop over to the Globecraft & Piccolo Blog to see a few ideas you can use to glam up your next scrapbook layout.

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Glittered ornamentations for anytime …

Hey there! It’s been a crazy week or so around here – more about that next time; today I want to show you these adorable little glittered ornaments I made using cardboard, Art Glitter and Xyron!

Xyron is updating photos on its Web site  and so design team members selected ‘old’ projects and gave them ‘new’ life. I drew the “Glittered Ornaments.”

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I just couldn’t get my senses into Christmas mode so opted to make Patriotic ornaments that can be displayed from Memorial Day, which is right around the corner, through the Fourth of July. I was actually inspired by the events that took place recently in Boston. I wanted to somehow pay homage to those who worked so hard to bring the criminals to justice and to all those citizens who pulled together to help each other during the tragic events and I’ll think about how we all pull together in time of crisis each time I look at these.

I cut the hearts from corrugated cardboard using the Sizzix Stars, Primitive die on my Vagabond die cutting machine.

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After punching them all out I spritz them with water to make it easier to rough them up a bit. I just use my fingernails for this or a pick or piercing tool work too.

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I use a heat tool to dry them before finger painting them with Claudine Hellmuth Gesso to provide a nice white background for the glitters.

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The gesso can also be quick-dried with a heat tool. To easily coat these pieces with glitter I run them through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station using re-positional adhesive. I put them in face-down so the adhesive goes on the side with the gesso.

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I peel the cellophane backing off and discard. Because I do not want a good solid coverage on these (other wise they won’t look distressed!) I quickly peel the stars off the Xyron adhesive strip so some of the adhesive strings and comes off. I love this technique – it just cannot be perfected any other way. I find that just quickly peeling them off always gives me the kind of coverage I want for this technique. Then, the fun begins! I lay them on a creased piece of office paper and sprinkle them with beautiful shades of Art Glitter that stick very nicely to the Xyron adhesive.

For the patriotic look here, I used Art Glitter No. 27 Navy Ultrafine Opaque, No. 500 Ruby Red Microfine Opaque and No. 533 Mini Pearl Microfine Pearlescent. I just love the way the Xyron adhesive has pulled away from the body of the star so the beautiful Art Glitter colors coat the stars in a random, vintage style exposing some of the gesso and corrugated parts.

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Once the glitter is in place I pierced holes on each side of the stars to attach wire for hanging. I tied some tulle and scrap muslin around some and left the others plain. I printed a few patriotic words to adhere to the stars using my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker with permanent adhesive, lightly inked the edges and stuck them down.

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I added a few embellies here and there: buttons, threads, clear beads, stick pins and an old rusty star that I treated with gesso, Art Glitter No. 533 Mini Pearl Microfine Pearlescent and then just a light sprinkle of the Art Glitter No. 27 Navy Ultrafine Opaque. I’m happy with the way they turned out and I’m going to enjoy seeing them hanging here-and-there around the house.

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These are so easy and quick to create – have a go!

To see other great projects from my Xyron and Art Glitter design team members, please click on the links to visit our blogs and enjoy!

Little birdy sings double-glitter praise …

Welcome to the Art Glitter/Dreamweaver Stencil Cross promotion month. We have paired up with this wonderful company to show you how our glitter can be used with these beautiful and detailed stencils. All of our designers will be using the Double Glitter Technique! Make sure and check out Dreamweaver Designers every Thursday!

You can find all their designers  at http://dreamweaverstencils.blogspot.com/
Play along all month with this fun challenge. Make sure and LINK to the Dreamweaver site to be eligible for 1-of-4 prize packages featuring stencils and glitter! You may even get your creation featured on Art Glitter’s Blog!

Hope everyone will play along with this fun challenge. If you don’t know how to do the Double Glitter Technique please head over to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Foyo09lKpw4 to see Lynell Harlow demonstrate.

Read on to see how I used the double-glitter technique on this tag –

I’m working through my Dreamweaver Stencils that I ordered for this Art Glitter/Dreamweaver Double-Glitter technique and came to the birdcage. Wasn’t sure how I was going to use it but here’s what I ended up with. I used the double-glitter technique with lots of masking. You can learn more about masking by hopping over to my post on the Art Glitter Blog today. What I’m going to do here is walk through the process of making the completed tag.

After glittering my birdcage using Dreamweaver Stencil LL3012 Birdcage I tried to use it as a card element but it was too stuffy. I debated for about an hour  – or more – whether to cut it out or not and just use it on a tag. I decided to pick up the scissors and have a go at it. I was so happy I did!

I inked a tag with Milled Lavender and Tea Dye Distress Inks from Ranger then mist  it with my homemade concoction of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls and water mixed in a Mini Mister. Let the colors run a bit and heat set to stop the action.

The flourishes are Clear Art Stamps set No. SM29 Birds at Home from Crafty Secrets and stamped with Ranger’s Sepia Archival Ink. Then I over-stamped with a script stamp from Wendy Vecchi, LCS038 Live and Make Art using a dry pad of Jet Black Archival Ink to get a faint stamping of the words.

To create even more texture and depth (it was still too flat for me), I inked Cuttlebug A2 Victoria embossing folder with the Milled Lavender Distress Ink, placed my tag inside and embossed it. Tell me you don’t love the results!

There’s also a small piece of deep purple cardstock in here that is embossed with Cuttlebug A2 Script Texture embossing folder then inked slightly with a Staz-on Opaque White ink pad. I played around a bit (several hours) with the layout before it finally started to come together. The 1/2 is from Tim Holtz Idea-ology and it’s painted with Ranger’s Adirondack Snow Cap White, Cranberry, Eggplant and Gold paint dabbers to create the nice patina.


Because it’s a birdcage it needed a bird in there somewhere. The bird charms were not working for me so this guy is cut from chipboard with the Tim Holtz Mini Bird and Bird Cage die. His eye is a gem that is glued on first, then to bring in the several colors of glitter on his body I painted sections with Designer Dries Clear and just dipped him into the glitter jars of Tree Bark Microfine Opaque (524), Juicy Fruit Ultrafine Transparent (99) and Nirvana Transparent (97). There is Wisteria (106) and Boysenberry (257) Ultrafine Transparents and Red Velvet (155) Ultrafine Opaque and Iris (710) Microfine Transparent used for the bird cage.

The cage is popped up with dimensional foam squares and hangs from a beaded chain by 7 Gypsies; the words are printed then outlined and inked lightly with Milled Lavender and Tea Dye Distress Inks. I added some buttons at the bottom and used Karen Foster Floss in them. They’re glued on with Designer Dries Clear. I finished it off with a beautiful piece of gold ribbon. The color in this tag is just amazing and the photo just doesn’t do it justice. Don’t forget to hop on over to my post on Art Glitter’s Blog today to see how the double-glitter technique is done with masking.

Thanks for hanging out with me!