Blended Paper Backgrounds

Greetings and salutations! Scraps, here, with a fantastic technique two-fer from Alchemist Jo!

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Jo: One of my favorite backgrounds is a blended paper background.  I learned the basic technique from Mary Green when I took her online classes–“Your Vintage Gluebook” and “Collage Coterie”–and have further developed it to suit my style.  I’ve prepared two 4″x6″ postcards to show two variations on the theme.

Firstly, I covered both postcards with pieces of book pages, torn and randomly stuck to the postcards with a gluestick.

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Map pages are good, and handwritten letters, receipts, and postage stamps add interest, too. Gauche Alchemy has fab packs of  foreign text paper which would be perfect for a project like this!

For the White Gesso Background

Over the basic blended paper background I added a coating of white gesso.  This can be thinner in some places than others and it’s great to allow some of the background paper to show through.  Remove any excess gesso with a paper towel.  While the gesso is still wet, stick on some pieces of masking tape, making sure it’s well adhered by smoothing down with a bone folder or similar tool.

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Allow to dry.  No, don’t just count to 30 and then carry on–walk away and go to bed.  It’s best to leave it overnight otherwise when you try and remove the tape it’ll take all the collaged paper with it, which is NOT the effect I think you’ll want!  So, once totally dry, peel off the masking tape which will remove some of the gesso and, hopefully, the top layer of some the paper.  Don’t be too gentle when removing the masking tape, think of it as taking a plaster off a cut knee! [Scraps: That's a band-aid to those of us in the States ;-) ]

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Mmmm, this looks so scrummy, I love it!  I then roughly smeared Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Where the gesso has been removed by the masking tape, the Distress Ink will be a much stronger colour.

Using your normal everyday inkjet printer print out your chosen image.  I often use The Graphics Fairy, who has a wonderful selection of images which are free to use.  For this postcard I chose a wonderful moth image.  Remember to flip the image because when it is transferred it will be a mirror image.  Especially remember this if there is writing or numbers on the image that you want to be the right way round.  Allow the ink on the copy to totally dry, not overnight this time but I would allow about half an hour.  Cut out the image and, using a paint brush, coat the IMAGE SIDE of the paper with matte Mod Podge (or similar).  Stick this face down onto your background, making sure there are no air bubbles and, if possible, brayer firmly to totally stick it.  Try and avoid getting the Mod Podge on the back of the paper as this will make it harder to remove later (actually, virtually impossible!).

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IMPORTANT: ALLOW THIS TO DRY OVERNIGHT!

Now comes the magic bit!  Wet the back of the image with clean water (I use a wet paintbrush).  With your finger, gently rub in a circular action.  The image’s paper backing will start to lift in small rolls of paper.  It’s quite messy, but keep with it, adding more water if it starts to feel a bit dry.  Even though you are being careful, some of the image may lift with the backing paper.  That’s OK!  If you wanted a perfect image you’d have simply stuck down the picture, right?  Leave it a few minutes; if there is a white fuzz on your image, then just wet the image again and rub gently, more backing will be removed.

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As you can see I lost a bit of the moth’s wing, but I’m quite happy about that :o)

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I used a quote by Sara Teasdale, rubber stamped onto old book paper and edged with Distress Inks.

For the Clear Gesso Background

Taking the basic blended paper background, I brushed on a coat of clear gesso to seal the background and to provide a decent ‘key’ for the image to adhere to.  The background will, this way, show through clearly.  I dragged Distress Inks round the edges (Dusty Concord and Peeled Paint).  Once dry I cut out my chosen printer copied image (again from The Graphics Fairy), brushed a coat of matte Mod Podge onto the image and put the image face down onto the blended paper background.  Ensure good adhesion by firmly brayering it.

LEAVE IT TO DRY OVERNIGHT.

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Wet the image with clean water and gently rub the image backing.

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The background is clearly seen through the image, giving rather a dreamy,vintage and/or ghostly effect.

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I drew with a charcoal pencil round the image, smudging it with my finger – this adds some depth (another tip learnt from Mary Green‘s classes).  I also used the charcoal pencil around the edge of the postcard and around the title, taken from an old book.  I used rusty wire to attach the old rusty key to the card.

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I usually go for the instant gratification projects, myself, but this techniques shows that the old saying is true: good things come to those who wait!

~Scraps~

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Life is Beautiful

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share with you a canvas I recently completed. Lately, instead of having a plan of what I want to make, I just start slinging and gluing stuff around to see what sticks. While not always successful, it definitely yields interesting results. :P

Mixed Media Altered Canvas

I started with an 11×14 canvas and Mod Podged a sheet of scrapbook paper to it. BTW, I’ve always used gloss Mod Podge in the past but decided to give matte a whirl and holy crap, it is AWESOME and I’m not using gloss like, ever again. Once you go matte, you never go back!

Misting on canvas

Anyhoo, after that was done I added some Dylusions Ink Sprays (these are so fantastic) in various colors and decided to play around with multiple styles of our Washi Tape. I really wanted to use this glittery ornament I got on clearance after Christmas so he made a home in the bottom corner there.

Christmas ornament on canvas

Next I decided to use some modeling paste with a circle stencil and didn’t feel like that showed up enough so I added some Pearlex powders to it. Once I added the title, “Life is Beautiful”, I felt that it and the washi tape was sort of fading into the background so I outlined all of it with a black pen. Done and done!

Neon letters outlined in black pen

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi :D

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Neon Cuteness in a Tutu (or madness and a camera)

Good Morning Everyone!  Marilyn here with a layout from Alchemist Michelle that is stunning in it’s creative cleverness & just so darn cute to boot.  Michelle, show us what you’ve got…………………………………………..

Mutant Robots Kit

My daughter actually napped today!!! For 2 hours!!!  I got to do some work in actual DAYLIGHT!!!  Using the same basic page design I always use, I slapped on some  washi tape, (including some triangles which I am now officially obsessed with) and incorporated the Gauche Alchemy Neon Color Kit and the Mutant Robots Kit (for the Alice In Wonderland quote, rabbit, word bubble and pink frame).  I wanted to include some journaling but I ran out of space, so here’s the story:

I had a very elaborate “Alice In Wonderland” theme birthday party planned for my 1 year old daughter.  That should tell you everything about how it went right there.  Elaborate and 1 year old do NOT mix.  The disaster alarm started ringing from the first step – a photoshoot with a handmade tutu and apron set I thought was “adorable”.  Well first of all, she hated the tutu.  She also hated the insane Carmen Miranda flower tiara I made for her (I was the Red Queen for the party but obviously Mad Hatter was a more appropriate choice).  I took Miss Thang out 7 times over the space of 4 weeks to get 1 cute baby smiling at the camera shot.  I didn’t even manage 1!!!  I was shooting with a brand spanking new point and shoot camera on auto.  Ok – straight talk from the chick who wasted 4 years and 60 thousand dollars on a photo degree.  DO NOT SHOOT TODDLERS IN SCRATCHY TUTUS USING AUTO FOCUS!!!!  Learn to use your new camera on manual setting or pay K-Mart to shoot the darned photo for you.  WHY?  Because your adorable kidlet in a tutu will look at the camera and smile for exactly 3 seconds no matter how long you spend trying to shoot.  The rest of the time the child in question will move around – a camera on auto focus will spend all it’s time refocusing and you will slowly go MAD.  But you knew this, didn’t you?

Closeup Word Elements

Journaling – 173 images.  Yup, you read right, 173 images – well, it’s actually around 300 but 173 is my final edit from all 7 shoots.  I SQUEALED when I saw the page from Alice in Wonderland in my Mutant Robots Kit!  It’s one of my all time favorite books and it fit the theme I had been struggling to capture for a while now.  I altered the grey American Crafts Thickers using some acrylic paint, yellow marker and a fine line pen.  The neon yarn is from the Neon Color Kit.  The background paper is my favorite print from Basic Grey’s AWESOME “Out of Print” collection.

Washi Tape Stripes

TRIANGLES AND STRIPES!!!!  LOOOVE!  Washi tape is so great – cut it up and stick it on – that’s all you need to create all kinds of cool patterns on your paper.  My favorite combos are diagonal stripe, grid and lace scallops.

Washi String Color

I don’t know if anyone else does this but I like adding cream or white mist droplets to my photos for a “Bokeh” effect without all the fancy in-camera technical footwork.  It’s easier than trying to get the right amount of “out of focus” and I really don’t like random messy effects digital “Bokeh” filters add to photos.

Graffitti Inspiration

Let me leave you with this quote:  If you are silent, the walls speak. Please do not forget me they plead.

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Don’t you love it when you can take several different Gauche Alchemy Kits, pull elements out of each, and then watch things “fall” into place (especially when you spot THE piece that you need for your project”?  Even if it does take umpteen shots to get the perfect (or not so perfect) shot?  My eyes are crossing just thinking about looking through a camera that many times!  Michelle, you rock!

Until later……………………..
Smiles~
Marilyn

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Swimming With the Gumballs

Hi there! Scraps, here, with a bit of altered art for the home courtesy of Alchemist Misty!

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diy bubble gum machine fish bowl

Misty: I found this idea on the Oh! Crafts blog, via Pinterest.

Supplies Needed:

Terre Cotta pot, with base
Wooden dolls and pins
A round bubble bowl

Instead of spray painting my bubble gum machine, I decided to cover it in a collage of papers from Foreign text for mixed media art and collage. Also instead of using the wooden doll for the handle on the lid I used a little wooden knob I found in the Its All Gravy, Baby! Brown Mixed Media Color Kit. Then I added aqua punchinella around the pot with Mod Podge.

Unfortunately, because of the shape of the pot, I couldn’t put the punchinella on very evenly.  In the end, after the Mod Podge had already dried, I decided I didn’t like the way the punchinella looked and tried ripping it off.  Of course, since it was glued on it wouldn’t come off entirely and left a layer of the punchinella behind.  Luckily, I kind of like the way it looked and decided not to cover it.

punchinella top

From there, I misted the lid and base with color.  Then added trim and gems around the pot, both came from the green with envy color kit. From that same kit I also added some black and green metallic looking flowers towards the top of the pot. Then to top it off I added gold beads from the banana hammock yellow kit, around the lid.

My kids absolutely love these and luckily, they are a lot of fun to make. This particular one holds my son’s betta fish!  Unfortunately, he didn’t like having his picture taken so he’s a little hard to see!

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That looks like such a fun project!

Unfortunately, we’re received news that the fabulous fish bowl might have finally been too fabulous for the family fish. Guess he just couldn’t take all that sparkle.

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~~In Memoriam~~
Blue the Betta Fish
~~2009-2012~~

~Scraps~

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Neon Diva

Good morning everyone.  Marilyn here with another awesome layout from Alchemist Michelle.  She has worked wonders once again and given us another bright, colorful, happy layout, using our totally cool Neon Color Kit.  Michelle, show us what we can create…………………………………..

Neon Kit Chevron

My daughter astounded me the other day by running up against a corner on the street and posing like a model.  I love how she looked moodily off to the right and stalked off when she saw me press the button on my iPod to take the shot.  This page was a complete fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants experiment.  I knew I wanted to try out the chevron pattern trend but I don’t have the patience to measure out perfect angles so I did this close up version to simplify the process.  The materials I used were just lying around on my table.  I had to machine stitch everything because the washi tape kept peeling up – word to the wise – use glue or stitch it down if you want permanent adhesion on tapes sold through American manufacturers like American Crafts.  (Oh, hey, did you know we have killer deals on washi tape in our shop now?)

Chevron Stripes Punchinella

The stripes were made using neon pink washi tape, Peacock punchinella, yellow embroidery floss and then machine stitching everything into place.

Neon Layered

So you like the “neon” trend but REALLY don’t want to splurge on new items that cost a fortune only to find out OOOPS you hate the look?  I used older materials for this page that were already in my stash – here the alphas are from Pink Paislee 2011, Crate Paper Paper Hearts, Gauch Alchemy’s AWESOME Neon Color Kit, Hambly, and American Crafts (the tropical inspired Margarita line).  I also bought some cheap neon acrylic paint, price stickers from the dime store, and used gel pens from Sakura which can help you achieve the look for minimal price.

Grafitti Hipstamatic

Just a fun photo you can use to close the page with.  “Neon” photo taken with Hipstamatic’s Ben Watts lens and Big UP film and then altered further using Camera+ app.

Pinwheel Neon Punchinella

Why buy embellishments when you can make your own?  Here I punched out a simple square, cut into each corner, folded in one of the triangles for each corner, and wham – instant pin wheel!  I used a half pearl and a pop dot to secure the middle.  Are there any hand made embellishments you prefer to make?  Leave a comment or a link to your blog and we’ll swing by to check it out!

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Thanks for sharing this inspiring layout (& your model is totally adoreable) with us.  Just goes to show that you can create great and wonderful things without breaking the ol’ piggy bank.  A little ingenuity and a treasure hunt through you stash is all that’s needed.

Until the next time…………….
Smiles~
Marilyn


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Romancing the Layout

Hi everyone! Maggi here with a dreamy romantical (What? It’s a word!) new layout by Alchemist Misty!

Romantic Mixed Media Scrapbook Layout

Misty says:
This time I created a layout of my husband and I. The picture was taken at a homecoming dinner for our soldiers who had been deployed. I kind of like this picture considering it was taken only a couple of weeks after having my baby girl. Unfortunately, neither of my kids ever slept and having two non sleeping kids at that time, meant that this mommy literally looked like a WALKING ZOMBIE most of the time! It was so bad I started getting optical migraines, which left me slightly blinded at times…but wait, I’m supposed to be talking about my layout not the trials of motherhood! ;) Back to the subject now…

Mixed Media Flowers

To make this layout I took a piece of cardstock, cut out the “tears” and distressed the edges. Then I took each piece and Gesso’d them (Gesso’d it IS a word in my dictionary) and added some DIY mists in pink, yellow, and brown. Once the pieces were dry, I glued some yellow punchinella to the back of the middle piece.

(Originally, I thought I would add just enough punchinella to “peek” out from each side of the torn pieces but when I gave it a try, the results were kind of boring, so I decided to take a larger piece of the punchinella and ruffle it from one side…I decided that this made more of an impact.) At that point, I knew the lacing I intended to do would ruin the look of the punchinella so I decided to add some brads instead.

Ruffles Made from Punchinella

Then for the top pieces I added eyelets and wire lacing. I need a little more practice with this because the curve threw me off… Don’t look too closely because you will notice some wonky looking laces! Then I added scraps of Ouchless Cardboard under the tears.

From that point I knew I wanted to add some soft touches, so I pulled out a piece of pale pink lace and misted it in the three colors on the layout. By the way, if you haven’t purchased the Lace and Ribbon Variety Pack you really should! There are so many gorgeous and unique lace designs in that pack. I’ve not used them as much as I should because I’ve been hoarding them for those “perfect” projects. So I finally broke a piece out and added it to the middle of the background.
Vintage Lace for Scrapbooking
Then it was time to embellish! I embellished my frame with some pink crystals from the Pink Parts Mixed Media Color Kit and used white mesh from the Wedding Night White Mixed Media Color Kit. I added the wordlet, flourish, and frame from Scrap Fx. Then I topped it off with flowers. Most of them are handmade from book pages out of the Acme Kit, but I did sneak in a couple of petaloo flowers as well. I had tons of fun making this page!

Book Page Flowers

Great job Misty! A beautiful layout to remember romance and sleep deprivation! :D

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi :D

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Behind the Scenes of Misty’s Show Stoppers Mini Album

Hi there! Scraps back with a closer look into some of the details of the mini-album from Alchemist Misty!

Last week we took a page-by-page peek into the mini-album Misty created with the new Show Stoppers Mixed Media Paper Craft Kit. Now we’re going to take a look at 2 of the techniques she used inside the book.

Collaged & Distressed Background Pages

collaged base page
You’ll need:

Show Stoppers Kit
Gesso
Mod Podge
Mists
Sovent ink pad
A straight-edged tool of some sort

Misty: Prepare the backgrounds for all of the inside pages (Sav[ing] the front cover for the last step).

collage

To prepare the pages, cover with Mod Podge, then create a collage by gluing down random sections from the magazine pages.  Then top off with another coat of Mod Podge.

distress gesso

Once the glue has dried, use a straight edge tool like an old room card or credit/gift card and distress the collage by scraping bits of gesso over the top.

distress stamp

After that has dried, ink up your ticket stamp with a solvent ink like Stazon, and then randomly add stamping.  Since we are using this as a distress technique try not to get a perfect stamped image.

close up stamp distress

A close-up of the distressed and stamped background.

Paper and Fabric Flowers

You’ll Need:

Show Stoppers Kit
Scissors
Paint Brush
Glue
Mists
Heat Gun
Fabric
Button

The flower is made out of large heart shapes cut from the pattern paper in the kit.

heart flower supplies

First, I cut out the heart shapes, and then with the end of a small paint brush I curled the edges under.

Scraps: When I first learned to make these sorts of flowers, I had a bobby pin handy and used that on the petal ends, sort of like a quilling tool. It makes awesome, tight curls and then slips right out without having to uncurl the petals!

heart flower petals

Once that was finished I started to assemble the flower by gluing the hearts together at the ends, slightly overlapping each other.

flower assembly

Keep adding layers until your flower looks nice and full.  Then mist in your color choice, scrunching the flowers slightly towards the middle (you may have to curl some of your edges again).  Then use the heat gun to dry…this will urge the “petals” to curl up a little more.

paper ribbon flower

Then add a middle.  Here I used a bloom from a rose ribbon and added an elegant button that came in the kit.

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You know, I’ve always started my paper flowers from the center and worked outward. That way does make it easy to stop when you’ve got a full-enough flower, but you end up with the problem of a stem end to deal with if you’re not making a bouquet. I think it’s pretty genius to work from the bottom up if you’re planning to place them on a page, what about you?

~Scraps~

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Technicolor Life

Good morning, Marilyn here with another terrific layout from Alchemist Michelle.  She’s used bright, happy, neon colors to make her layout really pop.  Here she is to explain how she did it.  Michelle, take it away………..

Neon Color Kit

Two years ago I saw this advert for an Alexander McQueen collection showing a close-up profile of a Mohawked model looking down.  I didn’t realize how deeply ingrained that image was till I shot this photo and realized I’ve been DYING to recreate that photo for 2 years.  The recent advert for the American version of “Girl With A Dragon Tattoo” is a direct “lift” of  that campaign as well.  I’m loving teal stripes, black thread and hexagons right now so they all got incorporated into my final page (the red border is a shellacked table in my apartment).  I used punchinella, die cuts and that AWESOME peacock eraser (which I cut in half to use twice!) from the Neon Color Kit, kraft paper from The Paper Company, Fancy Pants tape, Scrap FX chipboard, and the nail polish is a local store brand.

Nail Polish Neon

Some of the techniques I used on this page prove why joining social networks is essential for artistic development.  I got the nail polish painting technique from JamaicaMakes.com – she posted a photo on Instagram and I knew right away I would be trying this technique out.  Nail polish is GREAT for embellishments like chipboard or alphabets. It has deep color, dimension, and sheen so no extra treatments are necessary.  I added glossy accents to cover up the gel pen “doodling” I did on the heart.  (Doodling in quotes because all I did was outline the shape.)

Polish Paint Chipboard

I have neon purple and pink nail polish I will never use on myself since it chips literally minutes later, but it works beautifully on chipboard! WOOO HOOO!  The Hipstamatic Ben Watts lens adds high contrast to photos so my purple heart went black – there’s poetry there somewhere I’m sure.  I also used the totally AWESOMESAUCE Lablebox app to add writing to my photo.

Scoring Board Kraft Embossing

I’ve had to move all hobby activities to late night since my daughter turned 2 so this is me scoring paper at 2am using a table knife because I couldn’t find my bone folder quietly.  (If you are imagining avalanches of paper, yes, that’s why.)

Scoring Lines

I LOVE this detail shot. I know it’s random but I really like the abstract look of it.  Here you can really see the embossed lines I made using my score board.  Again, this was a technique I found on Twitter from Melissa Mann who designs for Green Frog Studios (amongst other brands).

Chipboard Stitch Hexagon

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with acrylic paint; but when I first started scrapbooking, I used pre-printed paper and embellishments because I felt couldn’t paint or draw, so it’s a little Alanis-type ironic.   Here I watered down some 79 cent acrylic paint in “Citron” and literally spilled it on the kraft paper.  I used a heat gun to dry the paper before it got too warped.

Chipboard Neon

I used neon gel pens to color in the chipboard letters.  I also used neon pastel crayons on the chipboard swirl and scratched a sort of border on them – another technique I found using social media networking.

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Thanks Michelle.  The layout is totally awesome and the bright, happy colors lift the spirits.  Never would have thought social networking could be another tool for us to use in our art.  Hmmmm, think I’d better get on the ‘net & see what tips I can unearth.  Until next time……………

Smiles~
Marilyn

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Show Stoppers Mini Album with Major Vintage Appeal

Hi there! Scraps, here, with a fabulous project using the new Showstoppers Kit courtesy of Alchemist Misty!

gauche_alchemy_show_stoppers_mini

That is one stuffed-with-awesome mini-album, right there! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Mini_album_cover

Using the included project sheet from the Showstoppers Kit, Misty created a touching testament to her grandparents with the cover inspiration coming from Grandma, herself!

Misty:  the Marquee [comment] totally sparked my interest! So I decided to stick with the “show stoppers” theme and make the cover a marquee introducing my grandma and grandpa and their love story.

I used my Big Bite [to create the holes] and just kept biting away until my holes were big enough to fit the lightbulb. Then I painted it in with glossy black paint ( I cheated and used spray paint) and once the paint was dry, I added my bulbs.  I printed the now showing from my printer and matted it to a rectangular piece of chipboard then I dressed it up a bit by adding rhinestones to the sides.  I also printed out my movie title from my computer and matted it onto a piece of sequined material that was in the kit to add more sparkle.   One of the magazine pages in the kit was an image of a nurse feeding a wounded soldier, so I cut out her arm and hand, scanned it into my computer so that I could flip the image, allowing me to have a right and left hand.  To the left hand I added flowers that came in the kit, and to the right hand I added tickets that also came in the kit.

charms

The first page introduces our “Leading Man.” Now how brilliant is this? Though she covered some of the “bulb butts” with her framed picture, she used the others to anchor the charm garland topping the page. And, oh, I’m a sucker for a man in uniform–especially a vintage uniform!

IMG_6056_edited-1

Sometimes you get an embellishment and you just don’t know what to do with it. Misty ran into this with the Groucho Marx patch from the Showstoppers Kit.

Misty: That smoker had me stumped?!  Then my grandma said “why don’t you make a marquee with him on it?”

I eventually decided to use smokie as a perfect image for a play on words by adding smoke to the cig and stating that my grandpa was “smokin hot”(…ok, its a little creepy when I’m explaining it that way).

A man in uniform is always smokin’ hot. End of story.

Mini_album_flower

Our leading lady gets her time in the spotlight with a gorgeous patterned paper and fabric rose embellished with a button from the kit–see it sparkle in the very center! This page also used silver punchinella, feathers, ticket stubs and–another genius move–little jewelry bells as picture corners.

mini_album_arrow

Misty: I misted the background in a purple and turquoise then randomly went over it with distress ink.  I cut out an arrow pointing to the previous page, then outlined the arrow with gold beads from the kit.  I also cut out the “nerves of steel” from the g45 paper in the kit, and matted it with some aluminum tape (embossed with my Sizzix). I also cut a star out of the aluminum tape and embossed it.  To the right, lower corner I used the black feather from the kit and placed it under the flower.  The eyelet and gem in the center of the flower were both part of the kit as well.  I added the butterfly from the lady marmalade orange mixed media kit. Then I added a key charm hanging from under the flower.

post_card

Among the pleated filmstrip border, punchinella-overlaid background and gems, there’s a darling story that goes with that charming postcard.

Misty: Shortly after my grandpa passed away my grandma and I were looking through her keepsakes and I stumbled upon the postcard.  I think she probably would have hid it if I hadn’t found it first. lol  The front of the card is a groom in bed waiting for his “busty” bride to come to bed for “snuggle time” and she is sitting at a desk writing out the thank you letters.  It was funny enough to know that my grandpa, who was away in the airforce somewhere, sent this…but the sentiment on the back of the card was even cuter.  He says “Of course, I’m only kidding! I hope its not like that when we get married.  What do you think?”

I thought it was so cute (and a little uncomfortable). Just kidding, I loved seeing this side of him.  After seeing their long relationship where they knew each other so well, I liked being able to see this sort of awkward side to him, when he was still getting to know grandma.

happilyeverafter

Every love story should have a happily ever after. Our couple gets their send-off decorated with a mist-over-modelling paste background (stenciled through heart punchinella), flower-and-fabric flounce and a sweet, to-the-point title whose torched edges give it an instant aging. The dove punctuates the hope of the moment while also balancing an over-torched edge.

Does that just make you want to dig up some old photos?

~Scraps~

Affirmation Inspiration Strikes!

Good morning!  Marilyn here saying Hello from sunny, warm South Louisiana.  Today I have an amazing project to share with you from Alchemist Jo, one of our magnificent designers.  So, without further ado, here she is.  Jo, take it away……..

Inspiration strikes at the strangest times, don’t you find?  Not necessarily when I need it to and usually when I haven’t got a pen or scrap of paper to note it down.  By the time I get home the idea has often gone only to be replaced by a totally useless fact about the number of polar bears left in the world or what type of milk can be put in the freezer  :o  My brain has only so much room and as one thought goes in another gets shoved out!  Anyway, inspiration struck for me when I was paying for my groceries and handed over my loyalty card (loyalty card? Who am I kidding?  I’m loyal to no one hence I’ve got a stack of the darned things stuffed in my handbag).  I keep my loyalty cards on a ring (sent to me by the lovely Suzanne from Privet and Holly).  Keeping the ring in my hand until I got home ensured the idea stayed in my head!

Affirmation Card

I knew I wanted to have some fun with paint, sprays, punchinella, rubber stamps and collage (who doesn’t, eh?!) and decided to create a few different backgrounds on credit card sized cards.

Blank Affirmation Cards

I drew round a loyalty card onto watercolour paper (140lb) because the paper is strong and less prone to buckling.  Once I’d cut them out I smooshed, sprayed, stuck, stamped and painted!  I used loads of different punchinella patterns to create great effects with acrylic paint and sprays.  Gauche Alchemy offer a great punchinella variety pack  to play with.  It’s such FUN!

Note to self: do not use dribbly spray ink bottle when going out for a romantic meal with husband in an hour’s time.  It won’t wash off and apparently having a wife with blue hands is rather a passion killer ;D

Napkin Art

Paper napkin is an easy and effective background, and can be further painted, rubber stamped etc.  The Paper Napkin Art Kit  offers a brilliant variety of colours and styles.

Once I’d finished the backgrounds I added affirmations for me to focus on – some I rubber stamped, others I wrote by hand.  Affirmations allow you to consciously harness the power of positive thinking and direct it to whatever part of your life, body or spirit that needs attention.  I have yet to find one about blue hands.

Punchinella Mask

A couple of coats of Mod Podge or similar will seal and protect the cards.

I used both sides of the cards, so having made 11 cards I ended up with 22 different backgrounds and 22 different affirmations.  I added eyelets and put them on a large book ring, along with a little charm.  You could add ribbons and more charms.  The beauty of this little project is that I can go back and add more cards as I learn new techniques so it’s a techniques sample ring too.

Punchinella Mask Acrylic Paint

I had a blast putting this together but I’d better try and get that blue ink off my hands now……..!

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Awesome Jo!  Now we know what to do with those pocket-full of cards we all carry around. What a wonderful way to make something so useful and life-affirming.

Smiles~
Marilyn

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