My $100 Leaf

My quest for the $100 leaf began after reading a blog from Linda Cain, who is on the Tim Holtz design team.

Linda made this amazing wreath using packaging from Idea-ology products and Tim’s Alterations Tattered Leaves die, alcohol ink, Paint Dabbers and some other fun products.

I loved the idea and wanted to try it for my “Make Art: Wendy Vecchi Style” submission for a contest at Scrap Tales. (check back tomorrow for that project)

Of course, several days had passed between the time I read Linda’s instructions and made my own, and since I do not have a photographic memory, mine came out very different, but equally lovely.

I used leftover packaging and the same die to make the leaves. I then used Wendy Vecchi’s Studio 490 background stamp of fly poop and Ranger Archival Ink to provide the leaves some style. I heated the ink to dry it, then flipped the leaf over and applied several shades of green alcohol ink. I added gold Paint Dabber to the edges, because that’s what Wendy would do. To make the veins, I used a black Copic pen and then heated and molded the leaf.

Here’s the result:

Nice, but not quite right. I also noticed the ink didn’t really dry completely. So, I went back to the drawing board.

It turns out Wendy has a Studio 490 leaf stamp that is really close to the size and shape of the die leaf. It doesn’t match completely and curves the wrong direction, but when you’re making transparent plastic leaves, perfection is not a requirement, so I went with it.

I stamped them with Ranger Archival Olive Ink and then heated it to dry somewhat. I then used the fly poop stamp again, in Coffee Archival Ink. To make them both permanent, I used a translucent gold embossing powder by Stamp-n-Stuff. (It stuck just fine, even after heating the ink. I suppose you could use Staz-On, but I don’t have appropriate colors in that ink …)

Then I turned the leaf over and applied Alcohol Ink in a couple of shades of green and trimmed the edges in gold Paint Dabber.

Once that was complete, I heated the leaf with my Ranger Heat Gun and molded it as desired.

You can see my completed leaf in the photo at top (click on it for a bigger version) and here …

I glued them on with Art Institute Glitter Glue in clear. I absolutely love that stuff!

So, I figure the leaf was completely free, since I already had all of the inks and tools needed to make it and the base is made from packaging, which would otherwise have graced a landfill.

Of course, my husband wanted to know how much it would cost if I didn’t already have all of that stuff … so I added up the cost of the inks, stamps, heat gun, die, embossing powder and paint and came up somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 — not including my Nonstick Craft Mat or Cuttlebug.

Whether you choose to use the free or $100 method of accounting, you have to admit the end result is priceless!

Making cards

I am card challenged.

I know it sounds odd, but I can whip out a 12×12 scrapbook page, a mini album or a home decor project without trouble, but a simple card can kick my butt.

But whenever I am challenged by something, I continue to push myself, trying again and again and again. I’ve discovered its not too hard with beautiful papers, like those from Graphic 45.

These are for my upcoming class at Scrap Tales. We’ll learn how to work with acetate to make unique cards with Graphic 45 paper, alcohol ink, Dies Direct dies, and more.

Contact the store for details … hope to see you there!

One-eyed Spiders

I am not a big fan of Halloween. I don’t like blood, ghosts and things that go bump in the night.  So, when asked to create a Halloween project for my first Design Team submission for Glue Dots®, I was more than a little challenged — not just in what to make, but what to do with it after I make it!

A friend suggested I use the Glue Dots® to make little spiders. I latched onto the idea and after several attempts, I created these adorable fuzzy one-eyed spiders.

Even someone like me who runs from the room screaming when they see a spider, has to agree that these little guys are cute! Of course, the best part is that they are super easy to make with Glue Dots®, Sparkly Fluff by OurCraftLounge,net, Dew Drops by Robin’s Nest and my newest favorite tool — Glaze Pen.

Here are the instructions for both the spiders and the little treat jar I made. The Glue Dots® give the spider dimension and the Sparkly Fluff makes him both fuzzy and just a little glittery. Too cute!

One-eyed Spiders Treat Jar

1. Ink the lid of a small, plastic jar with Slate Alcohol Ink. (I used an inexpensive jar from Meijer found in the kitchenware section of the store.)

2. Cut out a circle of paper (I used some Cloud 9 Design paper) to fit the top. Ink the edges with Black Soot Distress Ink and adhere to the lid with Glue Dots®. You will want to use one of the flat varieties — I used Mini Glue Dots®.

3. Apply a Pop Up Glue Dots® where you would like your spider to be. This serves as his body.

4. Cover in Sparkly Fluff (I used Coffee Bean Brown). Push in slightly to adhere well, being careful not to squish the spider. Tap off excess.

5. Use a Mini Glue Dots® to adhere a Dew Drop as the giant eye.

6. Create a dimensional circle in the center and legs with the black Glaze Pen to complete the look.

7. For the jar portion, cut a strip of paper to the desired width and ink the edges (it covers up the white edges you get from cutting patterned paper.)

8. Apply several Glue Dots® to one edge of the paper, make sure it is centered and straight and then press down. The Glue Dots® will provide an immediate hold. Then, wrap the paper around the jar until it starts to overlap. Trim. Apply another row of Glue Dots® and adhere.

9. The cobwebs are just a piece of May Arts ribbon, inked with Black Soot Distress Ink to match (they were a buttery cream color) and wrapped and adhered with Mini Glue Dots®. Only a few are needed this time.

10. The fence is made from American Crafts white cardstock and the Picket Fence Border die by Dies Direct. I inked it with Pumice Stone Distress Ink to add dimension and make it not quite so white. I used several Glue Dots® to adhere the first portion and then wrapped it just like the background paper and ribbon. However, I added Glue Dots® here and there on some of the posts. This makes the paper bend in and out and provides some added dimension. At the end, I added several Glue Dots® to finish it off.

11. The tag is made from the new Tim Holtz stamp set by Stampers Anonymous and the ticket strip die by Tim Holtz from Sizzix. I used the same white cardstock and then inked it with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and adhered with two more Glue Dots®. Be sure to ink the backside, as well, if you want it to stick out like mine does.

12. Finally, add a few more spiders — they are fun to make so stopping might be a problem.

13. Fill with your favorite treat (mine is filled with Candy Corn) and give to a teacher, co-worker or special child for Halloween!

(I wrote this blog while participating on the Glue Dots® Design Team)

Fun with Alcohol

I have been wanting this stamp by Judi Kins for months and finally broke down and bought it. I imagined it warm, sunny and sparkly.

So, for the next challenge for Scrap Wars, I created a special tag to go with this special stamp.

Our challenge was to make a standard tag and use acetate somewhere on the tag. I decided just to make the tag from acetate.

I used Judi Kins Embossable Window Plastic to make the tag and added Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink to the back side. I then stamped the image on the front and heat embossed it with Zing embossing powder.

When I got done, I decided I didn’t like the fairy’s flesh colored in yellow and orange, so I used a Q-Tip and some blending solution to remove the color. In retrospect, an Alcohol Ink Pen filled with blending solution probably would have worked better.

I then added glitter to the backside, so it didn’t get in the way of the details. I used glitter and clear glue by Art Glitter.

Some eyelets and beads (by Maya Road) at the bottom and a ribbon up top completed the look.