Making new paint look old

I love the look of old, aged and worn. It shows in my scrapbooking and mixed-media projects and I’ve managed to carry it over to my furniture pieces that I redesign.

I’ve tried to do clean and neat – honest I have. It just doesn’t work for me. It never feels finished. So even though this vintage cabinet looked so dang cute once the paint was done I knew I was going to distress it and add some age to that new paint and stain.

This little guy was pretty darn sturdy but the back flap was loose and when I removed the door from the cubby the framing on that was loose as well so I realigned everything and glued, screwed and clamped all the pieces back together.

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The next day everything was tight and good to go. After a good sanding and cleaning the piece was ready for paint. I used a mix of Behr and my Pixie Dust Paint Company additive to mix my own chalk-type paint.

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I painted the entire cabinet in the green paint and used white stain on the drawers and door.

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To get that aged, worn look on the new paint I apply Dark Umber furniture wax, which is a dark wax from Vintage Market & Design. I do not use clear wax first. I apply the dark wax directly to the new paint and you can see how in my video.

This vintage cabinet is solid and sturdy and has years of life to give to somebody. It’s available and you can find the info in our Etsy shop and on our Facebook page: facebook.com/gdoorstudio.

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Wrapping up with Shades of Blue

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotAs you may already know, I’m participating in a Blog Hop this week with Xyron and Kaisercraft. I received beautiful papers and embellies from Kaisercraft’s 75 Cents collection and I’m in love! The papers are so pretty and delicate-looking and the shades of blue mixed with light golds, greens and black just really inspired me for several projects. This is the final project for the Hop but I’m sure you’ll be seeing me use this collection again. I want to try a few more tags and maybe some cards and I think it would come together nicely for a cd mini book.

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This project is a small pocket-page mini book made from toilet paper rolls. I started by gathering five rolls all the same size and flattening the rolls before painting the ends with Adirondack Pitch Black Paint Dabber.

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Kaisercraft 75 Cents collection 6 1/2-inch by 6 1/2-inch paper pad and empty tubes.

Excuse this next step because I was so excited to see the paper on the painted tubes that I totally forgot to take photos! But here’s what I did: I cut the paper a hair under the width of the tubes and processed them through my Xyron 9″ Creative Station side-by-side and face-up. This puts a solid coating of permanent adhesive on the paper backing. Peel the protective cellophane from the top and peel the tacky paper from the backing – one sheet at a time. Lay the paper down – tacky side up – and place the tube in the middle; wrap the paper around the tube. You’ll have about a 1/2 inch of so of overlap which is perfect! Flatten again with a bone folder.

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Painted tubes (left); 75 Cents papers adhered to tubes with Xyron 9″ Creative Station (right).

Once all tubes are wrapped it’s time to remember to punch your binding holes. I use the Zutter Bind-it-All so really try to remember to punch my slots early on in the project before I start adding embellishments. As you can see below – I forgot once again – it’s the excitement of a project coming together, I just forget! I used the Kaisercraft 75 Cents Collectables for embellishing. The pack is chock full of assorted die-cuts for embellishing. All the edges are inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and some are heat embossed with the Perfect Medium Pen and UTEE technique from the Round Shadow Frame.

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Book pages decorated with 75 Cents from Kaisercraft, Xyron 9″ Creative Station and Xyron Glue Stick.

I made tags to slide in the tube pages by cutting rectangles that easily slide in and out from more of the papers. The upper corners are trimmed out to look like a shipping tag then processed through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station and stuck back-to-back to create the tag.

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Handmade paper tags processed through Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

I like to make my own reinforcers so they match the tags. A 1/2-inch circle punch and Crop-a-Dile, combined with Xyron 1.5″ Create a Sticker are perfect for this part.

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Easily make your own reinforcers to match your project; Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker and punches.

I’ve had people tell me this book is too small for photos so wanted to add photos to show how it’s a great size for photos. I located photos I wanted to use on my computer and resized them to fit the pages and tags. They’re all printed out on matte photo paper, trimmed and edged with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Inks. Then I simply run them through my Xyron for full coverage. I determine which Xyron to use by the amount of photos I will be using. I had a lot of photos for this book so ran them face-up through my Xyron 5″ Creative Station. I just pack them in nice and tight and it uses very little adhesive. I’ve calculated the price out before and have discovered even at full price it only costs about $1 per foot of adhesive to use my Xyron which gives me a nice clean way to adhere papers and photos. My fingers don’t get all gooped up and my projects remain sticky, messy-free and I don’t have to wait for dry time.

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Sized-to-fit photos processed through Xyron 5″ Creative Station for full coverage.

I also like to make my own captions for my little books so write and print them out on ivory cardstock. I trim them out, ink the edges and again run through one of my Xyron machines. These captions fit perfectly through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker. I love the fact that I can adhere over the photo if I want or anywhere on the page and that they are personalized. I can also make the font fit the theme and style of book.

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Create your own photo caption stickers by printing and running through Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker.

This book just turned out so much nicer than I anticipated and it would make a lovely family gift, but I may just have to keep this one for myself!

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Be sure to visit Xyron’s blog to check out projects by the other design team members as well. Check my calendar to see where this class is being taught.

Cousins share pages in Tiny Tabs mini …

There’s nothing I enjoy more than looking through old family photos. I have this wonderful cousin (Tammy), who for our past two family reunions has gone way overboard in bugging all of us for old family photos. She’ll call and say something like “I’m coming over tomorrow with my computer at 2 o’clock to scan photos so have them ready.” And, she doesn’t take ‘no’ or any other excuse! For someone like me, that’s most likely the only way she’d ever get those pictures. I’m glad she plays the drill sergeant in the family or we wouldn’t have access to all the wonderful old photos she’s managed to collect in just two years. She burns a stack of cds so we can all take one when we attend the reunion. I always scan mine in and peruse the photos as soon as I get home.

So when I found out Xyron was hopping with Basically Bare I couldn’t wait! I love mini albums and I love acrylic just about as much so a book that combines all my favorite things was something I couldn’t wait to play with! I already knew what I would do with my book before my shipment from Xyron even arrived. I was thrilled with my Basically Bare Tiny Tabs mini book that I received so I grabbed my latest cd and downloaded and printed photos of siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents.

I started with the Tiny Tabs mini book and a jar of Claudine Hellmuth’s gesso. The acrylic pages in this Tiny Tabs book come with a protective covering which I left in place till I was ready to work with them. It really helps to protect them from the slob that I am!

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I went through the entire book and painted all the pages on one side and let it sit to dry a bit then went through and painted the backside of every page. I do this to cover the kraft color of the pages as well as to reinforce them. The gesso adds to the thickness and durability of the pages and it enables paints and inks to stick as well. Notice I didn’t worry about painting around the binding wires. I love a vintage, distress style and this just adds to that look. I left the book to sit and dry while I readied the papers for the pages.

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I used my Xyron Creatopia with the Scallop Cutz Cartridge to cut several 12-inch by 2 3/4-inch strips from Prima’s Nature Garden collection. This gave me a cute scallop edge for the bottoms of the pages. The pages were trimmed to fit just inside the Tiny Tabs chipboard pages, edges were inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink, then the three straight sides were distressed with the Distrezz-it-all. They were all put through the Xyron 9″ Creative Station to apply adhesive to the backs. I use a Xyron with permanent adhesive for all my mini books. I love that the paper adheres solidly and never lifts and the fact that it is so clean and neat – can’t be beat for mini books!

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Once the gesso on the pages was dry enough to work with I readied my supplies for the acrylic pages; there are four in this book. Because of the vintage and distressed style and the colors in the paper I used Staz-on opaque ink in Butter Cream to stamp on three of the acrylic pages (Staz-on ink is made for slick surfaces so is perfect for stamping on acrylic, glass, etc.).

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On the fourth acrylic page I tried my hand with a stencil. I used painters tape to hold the stencil in place and spread a thin coat of gesso across the stencil; carefully lifted the stencil and stood the book to dry once again.

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While that was drying I put together some embellies for the inside pages and cover. Then it was time for assembly. I stuck all the pretty pattern papers down, making the determination on which would be my cover and back cover first. With the pages already being passed through the Xyron it is so quick-any-easy to stick them down that you can move right on to the fun part of dressing the book and adding photos (did I mention that I love my Xyron 2.5″ Create-a-Sticker for this)!

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For an accent on the cover I used a Basically Bare Small Pennant to simulate a tab closure. It is covered with scraps of the Nature Garden, inked and edged with a Gold Dabber from Ranger’s Adirondack line. In fact, I edged all the page edges with this gold paint – a little tip I picked up from Wendy Vecchi a few years ago.

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I also punched some punctuation marks, inked the edges, ran them through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker, dipped them in Art Glitter Poupon Microfine glitter then ran them through the Xyron again so they would adhere to an acrylic page (see below).

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As you can see above, there is stamping on the acrylic page as well as the inked, glittered and Xyron-d punctuation. This is so cool because when you lift or lay down the page the elements give you a sneak peek of the page either below or above it. For this instance it is important to place your photos first so you can tell where the punctuation marks will fall on the photos (see below). I love to play with acrylic peek-a-boo pages!

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This is the acrylic page with the stenciled design on the left and I added three punched tags to one side of the page and a punch ticket stub to the other.

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There are so many pages is this cute Tiny Tags book that I actually stapled a couple of them together to make pockets and tucked in some tags to journal on. Enjoy some more pages here – just because!

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This little book will be the perfect gift for a close family member (if I can stand to part with it). I may add a few more photos and something to the tabs on the acrylic pages yet. I believe you can never have too many photos or embellies in a mini book; the chunkier the better!

Using minimal supplies to create one-of-a-kind gifts…

This old-fashioned looking tag came about because of a special gift I received from my friend Robin at Cracker Jack Stampers the other night. Robin made us all beautiful gift tags and adorable little wrapped packages of chocolate – love chocolate! The gift inspired me to create hand-made tags to add to the home-made peanut brittle I make and give each Christmas. The peanut brittle has become a cooking tradition for me and something I really enjoy making and giving.

So using some basic stamping supplies and a stack of manila shipping tags I set out to create a collection of individually-designed tags. I also proceeded to make one giant mess! It’s just the way I work, but I had such a good time. It’s so relaxing just to take the time to sit and play and see what materializes.

The supplies were minimal: Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Perfect Pearls in a mini mister, some holiday stamps (a combination of Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi from Stamper’s Anonymous), pretty ribbons and some steel-rule dies, my Vagabond and some little embellishments.

I started with tags I had stamped recently using the milk-resist technique. I really like the way the milk-resist leaves mottled designs in the background. My style is more prone to earthy, old-fashioned, classic Christmas style so the tags are kept pretty basic with minimal embellishments.

I swiped two colors of Distress Inks side-by-side on a non-stick craft sheet and spritzed them with water and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mixed in a mini mister, dragged the tag through the concoction then dried it with a heat tool. I dipped and dried the tag several more times, flicked with water and heat dried. The pine boughs, music notes and sentiment were stamped on after the tag was dry. I then added the rusty star, lace trim and button threaded with a tiny gingham ribbon. It seemed a little plain so I wrapped the gold bells around the star and added the gold ribbon topper.

It reminds me a little of a quaint, country Christmas. I just really love the mottled colors and hope the recipient will too!

Preserving memories in the round …

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and tomorrow is a day when families will sit around the table while reflecting on all they have to be thankful for and sharing memories. How do you preserve your favorite memories? Scrapbook, photo album, digital books, photo boxes? I can honestly say I have a little of all the above but I also look for interesting and odd little ways to share those memories with family and friends. One of my favorites is an altered cd mini book.

I have made several of these over the years and it seems the more I make the more creative they become. “Memories in the Round” has become one of my favorites. In it I used a variety of techniques with Ranger inks, Perfect Pearls and embossing powder but I also added some walnut-dyed muslin, glitter and some interesting flower-making techniques.

The altered cd minis are just the perfect size for gift-giving and I hope to make several for family members this year. They’re quick to cover and easy to decorate because of the limited surface space. This Vintage style is perfect for old generation family photos as well as modern-day photos or fill it with inspirational quotes and sayings.

Catch this class before the end of the year at Capture-a-Memory in Flint Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There’s still time to create this very special one-of-a-kind gift for your holiday giving.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! And, if you’ll be in those crowds of early-bird shoppers Friday – have fun! As for me, I’ll be on the back roads to Sunset Shores in Clare for a quiet weekend getaway!