Monday, March 24, 2014

Xyron Shadow Box with Tutorial

I am so excited to begin my journey with Xyron!  For this assignment we were asked to recreate a project that was "Not Xyron, but should be."  This framed scrabble tile sentiment was a great inspiration for my little shadowbox.  I loved the simple graphic in the background paper, as well as the re purposed use for the scrabble tiles.

How darling!

And here is what I ended up with:

Supply List:
Scrabble Tiles
Xyron 1.5" Sticker Maker
Xyron Mega Runner
Xyron 3/8" High Tack Adhesive Dots
Xyron 1/4" Double-Sided High Tack Tape
Xyron Glue Stick For Corners
 Graphic 45 Paper

The inspiration project had a simple frame without glass, however, I could not find something along those lines in my stash, so I committed to trying to use what I had.  I find that this can be so rewarding, and it can save you money too.

Since I had a deep inset with not too much planned for the inside I decided to use some decorative tape to add interest to the inside of the frame.

Be sure to burnish down your tape.  Many of these are very low tack (not very sticky.)  I used a ruler to push down each edge and smooth over my tape.

Next up I added a piece of scrapbook paper to the back of my box.  I used my Mega Runner for this, and it made really quick work of the task.  Here I chose a pattern with a similar flair as the inspiration project.

Here you can see I started to play with layout.  I decided after a few trials to matte my letters in order to add more grounding to the text.  Because of the depth of the frame, I decided this was best.

The Xyron Glue Stick for corners worked perfect to create the small mattes.  I went to my scrap box and found a few bits of Couture I had left over.  I am always so happy to utilize those small scraps!

I must admit, this part was fun.  I simply added the tiles to the Xyron Adhesive dots and I had my letters all lined up and ready to go in no time.

The double sided tape was used to hold each word element down to the background.

A note on my embellishment.  I made it from scratch.  It is a bit of burlap that I coated in gesso and let dry. Then I free form cut out my heart and wings.  The bits were then altered with all kinds of stuff until I liked the look: stain, ink, gilders paste, marker...I finished it off with a few old transistors to give it that industrial touch I like so much.

Once I put my piece together I realized it needed just a little something more.    I added tape to the outside of the box.

Then I decided to use some Dresden I had on hand.  I must say that the Xyron Sticker Maker worked great to stick this down.  I always struggle with glue showing when I use wet glue on Dresden.

One trick though:  rub down lots and peel slow in order to ensure that the adhesive comes up with the Dresden.

And that is it.  Simple and fun and using the stuff I had on hand!

I love how the decorative tape adds so much texture to the whole piece.

Here is a close up of the fun heart embellishment I was able to create from scratch.

I hope you enjoyed!  Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Peace with Graphic 45

The inspiration for this project stems from the tumultuous times happening in the Ukraine right now.  One of our fellow design team members on Graphic 45Olga, lives there and this project is made with loving and peaceful thoughts for her and her people.

I knew I wanted to make a peace sign with flowers in the classic hippy style.  Bohemian Bazaar and Mother Goose made for a perfect mash up for this theme.  My origional plan was to glue them on canvas.  I found that it really did not work when I was auditioning it.  Perhaps it was the background, or the scale of the canvas, but I knew I was not getting the effect I wanted.

A free form structure was my next thought and I managed to find a press board wreath ring on hand.  The middle portions of the peace sign were simply added with additional chipboard strips.  I used a heavy craft glue to attach all the flowers.  Those were made previously, and I gave them time to dry.

Then it was easy, I just glued my flowers to my frame, layering lots of them.  I made way to many flowers, so this is actually double sided.  Since I had them done, I figured why not!  The ribbon holder was glued in as I was assembling the piece.  Easy Peasy.

Now I must say, I know this project was a hit because my favorite eight year old took it home for room decor.  Melts my heart.  



Friday, March 21, 2014

Anna Griffin Good ol' Sport Book

This project came together quickly as the Anna Griffin For the Boys Die Cuts went seamlessly with Good ol' Sport by Graphic 45.  It is so fun to be able to put together samples to promote new stuff.  These die cuts are hot off the press!  They will be featured on Home Shopping Networks 24 hour craft event on March 24th.  Be sure to tune in to see lots of goodies from our crafty leader Beth Kingston as well!

Supply List:
Chip board
Tim Holtz Tissue Tape

When I make chunky books I love to edge the pages with tissue tape to cover up any miss aligning pages and to add a layer of texture.

It would be really easy to replace some of this ephemera with photos from vacations or sporting events, if you are into scrapbooking more than altered art.  

I love how the themes from the die cuts match so well with the papers.  This little book really has an All American feel.  It was super easy to glue everything down with my Creative Station.  I can tell I am going to have a deep love affair with this new tool!

I could not resist adding a few more bit and pieces to the back of the project.  It is these tiny details that can really elevate your work.

Thanks for tuning in to see what I have been up too!  I can tell that working with Xyron is going to be an absolute blast!



Friday, March 14, 2014

Sweet Sentiments of Spring

This project is a slight departure from my usual style.  I was inspired to make this little book when I scored the Matchbook die at a local crafty outlet.  I decided to use Graphic 45's Sweet Sentiments as the theme, since I could really use a dose of spring!  It has been a tough winter in Kalamazoo, Michigan!

Happy National Craft Month:  There is a full tutorial for this project over here on the Graphic 45 blog.  

Inside I affixed my pages with ribbon.  The holes were reinforced with eyelets to give it a finished look. 

My love of tissue tape shines through again.  I framed each of my pages with the trusty tape I love so much.

Here is a better picture of the eyelets.   I always find vintage ones at garage sales and I love them.  

I can't wait until the spring weather heralds in the garage sale season, it has been a while since I have been junking.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Romantic Steampunk Triptich

What a fun project this turned out to be, and I started with pretty much nothing.  I decided to up cycle the chipboard pieces that Alpha Stamps always sends along when you order printed collage sheets.  I turned them into this lovely triptych by using Tim Holtz's arch die, along with the movers and shapers.  You can see all the supplies I used here.

In order to get the plain old cardboard to look like metal, I used metallic stains, ink and gilders paste.  I think it is in the layering of different media that you really get good "faux" results.

In order to create a mystical look, I added a few sheets of mica over each of my images.  I love how this instantly ages the picture.

I added some of Tim Holtz's numeric rub ons through out the project to add a bit of whimsy.  I chose these because they echo the patter in the paper I chose.  I like to use rub ons because they are more dependable than stamping.

The heavy hinges also add a nice weight to this little trifold.  Adding in metal elements to my paper projects is one of my favorite things to do.

I hope you found a little bit of inspiration in the blog post today!



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Graphic 45 Design Team 2014 Audition

It is hard to believe it has been a year since my first art dream came true and I landed a coveted slot on the highly esteemed Graphic 45 design team.  The journey has been spectacular, but I am not quite ready for it to end.  I am going to apply again and hope that I can continue to be a brand ambassador for this amazing company and serve a second term

First off I am going to show off my recently published Steampunk Mail piece.  Here I used one of my favorite lines,  Steampunk Spells, to make this little treasure.  There are also metal staples incorporated as well.

Inside this tiny mail sorter is all sorts of fun postal themed ephemera.  I used lots of distress techniques along with embossing to create lots of texture and an aged look.  

Yet another project made with the delightful Steampunk Spells paper was this fun piece of home decor made with Xyron and more Petaloo.

I adore all the metal elements and texture.

The fact that I could emboss this butterfly to match my theme was a perfect touch.  Notice the use of lots more Staples.  Graphic 45 seriously spoiled us with the hugest bag of metal stuff in our first design team kit. I remember shaking with joy as I made this discovery.  You can see that video here.

Next up I want to show off my favorite shadow box created this year, featuring Typography.  Those of you who follow me know that I adore making these easy assemblages.  They really appeal to all the crazy embellishing I like to do on my projects.

What I really enjoy about this paper line is all the great creative quotes and sayings that are included in the snippets. Finding ways to make my projects very thoughtful and unique is important to me.

A little nod to the company name.  I was amazed to find that little G on an old pen nib scored at an estate sale.

I even took the typing theme to the next level by adding a few bits of actual typewriters.  The gear and rollers above still move, and I love that.

A few more detail shots so you can see what I have stashed inside.  Lots of old vintage junk, right along side newly made embellishments, but they blend seamlessly together.

Another project done in Typography that I just adored is this cute Inspiration box.  My favorite element of this project has to be the clever use of ornate key holes for feet. 

All the lovely ribbon was sent to us in our initial Graphic 45 package from product partner, May Arts Ribbon.

I was surprised at how much I fell in love with this project using Sweet Sentiments.  This is not my usual color palate or style, but I absolutely love how it turned out, super sweet and romantic.  

All the dimension created from sewing the hearts together really makes this project special.

The clever trick of dying ribbons to match the vintage look, also helped to add those extra details.

Yet another project that is not my typical style is this up cycled box I created with Bohemian Bazaar.  The rich colors of this line reminds me of the tropics, a place most of us in the Midwest would rather be after a most challenging winter!  Both of these projects highlight how I am able to extend my typical style to encompass new directions and still produce quality work.  

The box itself matched the paper so I left the hot pink edges exposed.  The lime green ribbon was also existing to the box and worked perfectly.  You can check out the entire tutorial if you choose here.

I predict that the Botanical Tea line is going to be one of the most popular releases Graphic 45 has to date. The colors are perfect and the theme of the paper is so spot on, again, making me long for spring.

I have a few other projects from this line up my sleeve, but they are still top secret! Stay tuned this month to see what I have made and in the meantime, you can take a peek to see what is inside this easel book.

Inside I did several two page layouts, adding lots of flowers and embellishments that fit with the natural theme.

I love all the Petaloo flowers I was able to incorporate.  It almost looks as if they are real flowers pressed in the book.

Isn't it amazing the range of colors you can choose from the same package of paper.  By simply choosing coordinating versus contrasting papers, a whole different look can be achieved.

Well, that was a fun peek at my work over the past year in partnership with Graphic 45.  I can only hope the team was pleased enough with my work to invite me aboard once again.  Stay tuned to see how that all plays out!  

P.S. If your the crafty type, think about giving it a go and applying yourself, you just never know what will happen.