A Sparkly Christmas Banner

christmas_garland_Candy_Spiegel11Today is my first post as a guest designer for Linnie Blooms. I created this adorable mixed-media banner using blank canvas shapes and my Copic Airbrushing System.


Then, I added a bit of glitter, Stickles, jingle bells, flock and more. I even attempted to sew a bit — OK, I cheated and taped the threads on the backside, but I did use a needle and thread.

Here’s the completed garland …



Head over to Linnie Blooms blog for a step-by-step tutorial, including a few tips I learned along the way!

Under the Mistletoe

Well, not really UNDER the Mistletoe, but that was the first thing I thought of when I heard Bo Bunny’s new Christmas line was named Mistletoe.

Before you start thinking of kissing or anything romantic, let me tell you that this new line from Bo Bunny is young, childish, whimsical and fun in traditional Christmas colors and a beautiful light blue.

Here’s one sample page I made for Capture-A-Memory:


This is the last portrait of my family before my son left for bootcamp in the U.S. Navy. I added a bit of black cardstock, some ribbon and a few Maya Road pins. The flowers were cut out of Bo Bunny paper using the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Tattered Flowers die.

This one features a much older photo … for a $5 donation to a pet-rescue organization, we got this Polaroid of my children and my cat with Santa. Cute, huh? The Bo Bunny paper made this layout so easy. Everything — title, patterned paper, tree, “stamping” is all part of one sheet of paper. I used some others to make a photo mat, added a bit of ribbon and cut the journaling block (cut from another sheet of paper) and it’s done. It took all of about 5 minutes, yet looks like I spent hours. Thank you, Bo Bunny!

With a piece of leftover Bo Bunny paper, I made this quick little card. It uses two stamps from Stamps by Judith, Copic Markers and a bit of Stickles for some sparkle and shine. The base of the snow globe is colored in Y28 and then AtYou Spica pen in gold. It is the closest look to actual metal I have been able to achieve with Copic markers.



Technique Thursday: Distress Stickles

This week for Technique Thursday, we are playing with Distress Stickles.

Yes, these match the inks, stains and markers that are part of the Distress line by Tim Holtz and Ranger, but they also behave much differently than regular Stickles.

While Stickles are dimensional and filled with bright, sparkly glitter, Distress Stickles are more subtle. They have larger particles of glitter, are not as shiny and are not dimensional. When dry, the liquid that suspends the glitter becomes almost clear, leaving only the bits of glitter behind.

With Distress Stickles, less is definitely more. They are perfect to accent a portion of a stamped image or patterned paper or to give a little life to a die cut or tag. Think dew drops on a leaf or the shine on an antique Christmas ornament and you will have the sort of subtlety that comes with Distress Stickles.

They are easy to apply with your finger … just squirt some out and smear it around. Be careful … the tip is larger than regular Stickles and it comes out fast.

Of course, those of us who are impatient love that Distress Stickles can be dried quickly with a heat gun — Do NOT do this with regular Stickles. They will burn and you will not be happy.

Here’s a quick little ATC card I made using Distress Stickles.

I used Distress Stickles in Scattered Straw and Fired Brick to add to the fireworks on this piece of Tim Holtz paper, which I attached with dimensional foam. The card is made with Specialty Stamping Paper and inked with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and Black Soot. I added a few eyelets for something a little different and then topped it off with stickers from Tim Holtz. I think it took all of 10 minutes — not bad, eh!?

Ready to try Distress Stickles out for yourself? Head over to Capture A Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 Thursday and check them out. I can’t wait to see you there.

Shrink Plastic & Alcohol Inks

Technique Thursday is finally here!

Technique Thursday is a joint effort between Capture A Memory in Flint Township and myself. Each Thursday, I will share a new technique with you — along with instructions, tips and ideas. Then, from 2-6 p.m. I will be at the store with all of the supplies waiting to help you try it out for yourself — for free! I hope you stop by and try out this week’s technique: Shrink Plastic and Alcohol Inks.

I love to play with shrink plastic. Like the Shrinky Dinks we had when we were kids, shrink plastic is a thin plastic that comes in clear, black and white. It can be stamped, inked, painted, punched, colored, cut and more to create adorable pieces of jewelry, charms or accents for your card, scrapbook or altered art. Since there are so many options with shrink plastic, I’m going to take all four Thursdays in April to share techniques with you.

This week, we’ll be talking about using punches and dies to create a charm or accent piece. Then, we’ll use Adirondack Alcohol Ink to color them.

To start, cut out the image you desire. Here, I used a 1″ square punch and Mini Gears dies from Tim Holtz/Sizzix. Notice how thin the shrink plastic is … If you want to turn your design into a charm, be sure to cut a hole in it at this point … you won’t be able to after it shrinks. The Crop-A-Dile works well. Use the smaller punch for jewelry and the larger punch for hanging things with jump rings, twine or floss.

At this point, you have two options. You can heat it and then color it or color it and then heat it. The butterfly on the left was colored with Alcohol Ink after heating. The butterfly on the right was colored before heating using the exact same colors of ink. Notice how much more intense the color gets when it shrinks.

To shrink, set the plastic on your Nonstick Craft Sheet (this will help protect your table from the heat) and shrink it with a heat tool. You’ll need tweezers to help keep the image in place. It will curl as is shrinks and flatten back out when it is finished. Sometimes it’s helpful to flip the image over a few times as you heat it, too. Once it is done shrinking, turn off the heat and immediately place something on top of it to flatten it out completely. (I normally use an acrylic block, but I have been known to use a stamp pad or the back of a wooden stamp, too.)

Here is another before and after to show you … The image on the left is before heating. The one on the right is after heating. As the plastic shrinks, it thickens up, making a perfect plastic accent. You can also see how much the image shrinks and how intense the color gets.

These are some jewelry pieces I made. The squares are with a 1″ square punch. The charm is from the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Tiny Tabs & Tags die. For the circles, I punched a small circle first, then punched a 1″ circle around it. Then, I used the Crop-A-Dile to punch a 1/8″ hole in each piece. I then colored them with alcohol inks and heated them. The holes are tiny … too small for a jump ring, but perfect for a piece of wire. I strung them with some beads to make this quick bracelet:

Don’t you love the translucent colors created?!

One more tip: Alcohol inks will fade in the sun. To make sure these pieces last, you will want to spray them with a non-alcohol-based UV sealer before making your bracelet.

I also created this little card with a Studio 490 background stamp and word stamp and the Tattered Flowers die by Tim Holtz/Sizzix. These were white and I used Sunshine Yellow alcohol ink to color them. After shrinking, I adhered them to the card (Art Glitter’s Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and Glue Dots both work well for this) and then added some Stickles for an extra punch.

And this is what I did with the little gears, Tim Holtz paper and a KaiserCraft stamp.

So, are you ready to try shrink plastic? Stop by the store today from 2-6 p.m. to create your own little charm or accent.

Check back next Thursday for some more shrinking fun — we’ll use stamps and Copic Sketch markers to color and airbrush some designs. Just wait until you see how cute those stamped images are when they are shrunk!

I love Riley

I love Riley, this adorable moose originally created by Hannah Stamps. Riley is now created (and sold) by Riley & Company.

Riley does everything — he drives, swims, plays Santa and more. I have dozens of Riley stamps and I always want more.

This week on Riley’s blog, there is a challenge to create a project using Riley in Love. And, on the iCopic blog, there is a challenge to use a heart on your creation. So, I decided to combine the two and I came up with this:

This is one of my favorite Riley stamps because a friend gave it to me.

Since I planned to give this card to my husband, I wanted to make it extra special, so I combined several techniques.

I used one of the Tim Holtz/Sizzix texture folders to emboss the red cardstock. Then, I used Fired Brick Distress Ink to highlight the texture.

I stamped Riley on X-Press It Blending Card with Memento Ink and colored him in with Copic Sketch Markers. Then, I matted both the textured background and Riley in black cardstock.

Next, I used Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive to attach black ric-rac ribbon and some pleated black ribbon from Maya Road to the front of the card. Then, with the Tiny Attacher, I stapled on this awesome beaded ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.

Since the staples really stood out, I colored them with N9, which helps disguise them in the ribbon.

I cut the heart out of red cardstock with a Lifestyle Crafts die and stamped I Love You on it. I used Pop Dots to attach it.

Finally, I covered the heart in Rock Candy Distress Stickles and the card and center of the flower in Fired Brick Distress Stickles.

Here are the supplies I used …

My husband loved the card … what do you think?

Fairy Magic

I decided to try my hand at one of the newer trends in cardmaking: 3×3 cards.

And, since the new challenge at the CMC Copic Challenge Group is winged things, I thought a tiny fairy would be perfect on a mini card. Here’s what I did:

The card is made with cardstock from American Crafts. The patterned paper is from Tim Holtz.

All four stamps are from Crafty Secrets — the fairy is attached with dimensional foam.

I colored the images in with Copic markers and added a few Liquid Pearl dots to the corners.

But, since fairies, in my mind, should sparkle, I added Distress Stickles to her hair, Stickles to her wings and Copic’s At You Spica pen to her dress.

She’s so cute, I just want to pick her up and hug her!

For a friend …

The new CMC Copic Challenge is to create a card showcasing friendship, using Copic to color the embellishments.

As someone relatively new to Copic, I found this challenge to be quite a bit of fun. You should have seen me attempting to color nearly everything that came along. Fortunately my cats stayed out of site, so I still don’t know if it is possible to color a cat with a Copic, but I do know you can color this cat …

This stamp is from Penny Black. I stamped it on Cryogen paper, that I had cut out with a die from Dies Direct. After coloring the image, I added Stickles to the insides of the flowers and the kitty’s nose for a bit of sparkle. Then, I added Distress Ink around the edges to soften the white color.

I layered some papers (from Bo Bunny and Basic Grey) that I had edged in Distress Ink and then the REAL fun began …

I started with a plain white ribbon, which I knew would take the color well, and colored it gray.

Then, I tried Tissue Tape from Tim Holtz. I was thrilled with how well it took the color. (I put a strip on a piece of scrap paper and colored it in long, even strokes. When dry, I gently pulled it up and attached it to the card.)

Finally, I pulled out some white flower-shaped buttons from Pebbles. I colored them in yellow, then edged them in orange. While they colored OK, the color seemed to come off as I worked with them, so I actually colored them again once they were attached to the card. I’ll have to look for some sort of sealer to see if that works …

Anyhow, with the addition of a saying from Northwoods, the Tiny Attachers, floss from We R Memory Keepers and a few Glue Dots, I came up with this …

Check out the other amazing samples from this challenge, here.

Love, love, love

When I saw this collection from Little Yellow Bicycle, I knew it would be perfect for the photo I took at Christmas of my daughter and her boyfriend.

First, I cut a sheet of LYB paper at an angle and attached it to another sheet with Memory Book Glue Dots®.

Then, I layered a few pieces of cardstock and added the photo and a doily and chipboard accents by LYB.

I used a heart punch by Creative Memories to make a journaling block.

Finally, I added Stickles on the mat and around the doily for a bit of extra sparkle.

Beyond pink and blue

In the scrapbooking world, nearly everything made for babies seems to be either blue or pink. I suppose that is fine in some cases, but I would imagine a new mommy would get tired of opening dozens of cards in pink or blue. So, I challenged myself to make a card that didn’t use either of those colors.

This is what I came up with …

I used an embossing background die by Dies Direct and then inked it with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink.

I added Stickles in some of the flowers and mounted it on green and then put on a white card.

I used brads and a button from Bo Bunny, a strip of paper ribbon by Basic Grey and a flower “button” made with a die by Dies Direct to finish it off. The mini font used to write A Baby is also from Dies Direct.

Embellish, embellish, embellish

It only takes a few minutes to take your die cuts from OK to amazing by adding shading, Stickles, and markers.

Since it is 100 degrees outside, I thought I would stay cool by playing with something that reminds me of cooler weather — like a little gingerbread man.

First, I cut out the gingerbread man out of a thin sheet of magnet and cardstock. Both the die and the magnet sheet are available from Dies Direct.
I glued the two pieces together and then, to add a little dimension, I inked the edges with Distress Ink.

I cut the bow out of a scrap of paper and highlighted it with a gold metallic pen. The remaining pieces I cut out of white cardstock and attached. I added Stickles to the frosting pieces to help them sparkle. And, dressed up the eyes with a black marker.

Rather than using the little dots on the die, I found some Making Memories brads that look like tiny buttons. Had I been thinking ahead, I could have attached the brads to the cardstock before I glued it onto the magnet. But, since I never think like that, I just cut the prongs off and used a Mini Glue Dot to attach them.

I think he’s adorable!