A bookmark for my birthday

Today is my birthday.

I was also due for a post for Linnie Blooms today.

So, I decided to make something only for me — trying a few techniques to see if they would work along the way.

Here’s what I created …

Linnie Blooms Bookmark by Candy Spiegel

 

Head over to Linnie Blooms to find out how I made this wonderful bookmark.

One-of-a-Kind knobs from Home Depot

barn tree 7 candy spiegelSo you can’t really BUY one-of-a-kind knobs at Home Depot, but you can buy plain wooden knobs and make them one of a kind.

That’s what I did for some of the knobs on my tree.

Wooden knobs sell for less than $1 each and I used paper-crafting products I already had on hand, so these knobs were practically free, as well as being unique.

knob4_candy_spiegelI coated the first two knobs with Globecraft & Piccolo Embossing Powder. I popped the top on the dabber adhesive and used a paintbrush to coat the wooden knobs with Globecraft & Piccolo Embossing Adhesive. Then I dumped the powder on them and then heated them.

This one I did in Mermaid Tears …

001I found that my Ranger Heat Gun was taking forever to melt the powder, so I pulled out my traditional heat gun on these. I had a lot of bubbling as I heated them — caused by the amount of adhesive that was painted on and the intense heat of the gun. I just let them cool for a minute and then hit with heat again until I got a somewhat smooth finish. There are still some bubbles, but since this is such a rustic piece, I thought they fit right in.

This one is done in Vintage Silver.

002Next I turned to paint … I painted two additional knobs with Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio white paint. I screwed the knobs through a box to hold the knobs in place while I worked on them.

knob_candy_spiegel

Once dry, I added some of the new rub-ons designed by Tim Holtz to one of them (I was surprised at home easy these went on and how well they adhered!) Then I coated it with Glastique.

knob_candy_spiegel (2)For the other one, I used Wendy Vecchi’s new Red Geranium Archival Ink and one of her stamps to create a background. I thought the red would match some of the red in the barn wood. Then I added a few more rub ons. Next, I coated the entire thing with Glastique and while it was still wet, I sprinkled clear Vintage Glass Glitter from Art Glitter over the top.

knob_candy_spiegel3It came out a little more orange than I had hoped, but I still love it. I sparkles as the light hits it!

Finally, I had one black knob that I also got for practically nothing at Home Depot. I painted a bit of white paint across the top and then wiped off the very top with a towel and came up with this …

knob_candy_spiegel4So, the next time you need a few new knobs, consider making them one of a kind with your paper-crafting supplies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap It with Stencils!

This month’s challenge at Scrap It Girl is to work with stencils.

I have been a fan of stencils for years, but I fell in love with them all over again after Wendy Vecchi showed me all of the cool things you can do with embossing paste. I took a stencil, embossing paste and a bit of Glimmer Mist to create this 10×10 canvas …

stencil_candy_spiegelClick on the image for a closer look …

I sprayed the mist on the canvas first. After it was dry, I applied Wendy Vecchi’s embossing paste with the stencil. As it dries, it absorbs some of the color from the Glimmer Mists. Very cool!

i then added papers by Bo Bunny, stamps by Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi, a wreath by Memory Box, buttons by 7 Gypsies, washi tape, lace and feathers (from my chickens). I love it … what do you think?

Want to play with stencils? Create a card, project or scrapbook layout showcasing your use of stencils and enter it into this month’s challenge at Scrap It Girl. You could win a great prize package!

A box for chickens

My idea for this project came from Arlene Cuevas, one of the amazing members of the Graphic 45 team. As soon as I saw her creation, I fell in love and wanted to do something similar. Check out this blog for a link to the two step-by-step videos that show you how to make it.

6a011570479cdc970b019102f22107970c-500wiI was merely waiting for something to decorate to copy her technique. And, when my mom gave me an embroidered doily with chickens on it, I knew it was the perfect thing to frame.

Naturally, I put my own spin on it and went through a little trial and error, but eventually my project came out looking like this:

Box_Candy_Spiegel_8

I started with a plain black shadow box I got on sale at Michaels.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_1

I coated the entire box with white gesso.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_2

Then, I used Wendy Vecchi’s white embossing paste and a stencil from Christy Tomlinson Designs to cover the entire frame and provide some texture.

This is where my project took a turn …

Box_Candy_Spiegel_3I wanted to see what would happen if I used Piccolo 3D Enamel Gels to help provide some background color. I started with Dark Green.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_4And then added Clementine.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_5Then I glued on a bunch of random flowers, metal pieces, ribbon, keys, buttons and more to the front of the box and coated everything with gesso. This covered up all of the odd colors … my flowers were navy, hot pink, gray and peach! I kept the gesso light on the sides so the colors would show through.

Box_Candy_Spiegel_6Next I added a bit of Bright Yellow …

Box_Candy_Spiegel_7And some more green and orange … I taped off the glass front (it couldn’t be removed from the frame) and sprayed it with blue Glimmer Mist. It came out darker than I wanted, but it looked OK. (I don’t have any photos of that stage because it was a bit of a disaster).

Needless to say, Glimmer Mist does not dry on top of 3D Enamel Gel. Ever.

I tried heating.

I tried sitting it in the sun.

After a week, I was still getting blue on my hands every time I picked up the piece. I really didn’t want to start over since I had quite a bit of time and money invested in this, but I knew I couldn’t hang it on the wall as it was.

Deciding I couldn’t hurt it anymore than I already had, I ran it under the faucet. The water washed most of the Glimmer Mist off — at least the parts that refused to dry.

And I ended up with this:

Box_Candy_Spiegel_8The perfect box to showcase the doily my mom gave me!

Here are a few close-ups …

Box_Candy_Spiegel_11

The flowers took on the look of molded plastic. Very cool when you think of it …,Box_Candy_Spiegel_10

 

The front is pretty, but the sides are amazing … I love the patina I got.Box_Candy_Spiegel_9

Thanks Arlene for the inspiration! I still plan to follow your instructions to do another one that more closely resembles yours!

 

Tour the National Parks

np_book_Candy_Spiegel Wow! Time sure does fly!

Between deadlines, not feeling well, starting up a business, teaching and working on projects I cannot share right now, I have not only neglected my blog, but I forgot to share the mini book I made for my mother in law on Mother’s Day!

My mother in law loves to travel and she enjoys visiting National Parks all over the country. So, I thought it would be fun for her to have a book that listed all of them so she could record when she visited.

The process took a little longer than I anticipated, since I couldn’t find a list of all of the parks online. So, I went through the National Park Service’s website and copied each state’s parks into a Word document. That ended up being 500+ pages long!

So, I deleted photos and descriptions and formatted all of the text, which took me down to around 200+ pages.

Obviously, I was not creating a book that long, so I deleted all of the National Monuments, Historic Trails, National Lakeshores and other things included and focused only on National Parks. Then my book was a manageable 13 pages long and I could cope with that!

Then, I went through and grouped each of the parks by the area they were located in. So, all of the parks in the Pacific Northwest were together and those in New England were together, etc.

My final lists looked like this …

np_book4_Candy_SpiegelI then went through and created an index page with a tab on it for each section. I used a variety of stamps and quotes with a travel theme to decorate each one. Here are a few examples:

np_book3_Candy_Spiegel

 

Most of the stamps I used were from Studio 490 (Wendy Vecchi) or Tim Holtz. They both have great sayings and the images were perfect.

np_book6_Candy_Spiegel

On this one, I also included a die cut tag from Tim Holtz.

np_book5_Candy_Spiegel

Each index page lists the states that are included in that section.

np_book2_Candy_SpiegelI covered the insides of the cover with map paper from My Little Yellow Bicycle. the index pages, cover and accents were all made with a very old line of paper that I love from Cloud 9.

I used the Cinch to bind the book and then added ribbon to the bindings.

Here is the cover again.

np_book_Candy_SpiegelIt turned out great and she loved it.

Should you decide to make a similar book, I am more than happy to send you the Word document I created. Just drop me a line with your e-mail address.

 

 

 

Star-struck weekend

It has been quite a week. In fact, I have been working so hard, I forgot to post!

Of course, my blog isn’t the only thing that has been neglected. I think every surface of my home is piled with clutter and the laundry hamper is overflowing. I am sure I will get to all of that in time …

I have several projects to share with you over the coming days, but first I wanted to share my weekend fun. I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Great Lakes Mega Meet (and spent Sunday recovering from the lack of sleep, 10 hours of standing on concrete each day, caffeine and the stress of driving, or sitting, in rush-hour traffic each day). It was wonderful to see people I hadn’t seen in a while, get tons of ideas and meet some paper-crafting celebrities. While most of my time was spent working in the Globecraft & Piccolo booth, I did escape for a few minutes to see Melissa Frances.

She has launched a new line of rubber stamps (I bought one, of course).

melissa_frances

Melissa showed me how to make these amazing flowers (although I neglected to get a photo of her)
melissa_frances2And I bought some of these beautiful embellishments to experiment with (I have an idea)
melissa_frances3

 

Then I found time to visit with Wendy Vecchi

wendy_vecchi3

I learn so many new ideas and great tips every time I watch her …wendy_vecchi2 These are a few of her samples … I can’t wait to order a few more of her stamps and stencils (they sold out at the show)wendy_vecchiTim Holtz was there, too …

tim_holtzHere are a few samples from him …

tim_holtz2

tim_holtz3And, I got to meet Mario! He was so nice and made me feel like it was an honor for him to meet me!

049I also spent some time in the Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine booth. One of my friends insisted on getting my autograph, which cracked me up so much I had to take a photo … here is Carol with the autographed copy of my article in this month’s magazine.

carol

 

This year’s Mega Meet was one of the best ever. Thanks for letting me share some of my excitement! (if you have e-mailed me a question, I am getting to it. I had 295 e-mails when I got back and I am still working my way through them all!)

 

 

 

 

Stamping Shrink Plastic

It is Thursday (or will be in the morning) and time for another technique.

This week, we are returning to shrink plastic to learn a few additional ways to decorate it — namely with rubber stamps and Copic Sketch markers. (If you would like to learn how shrink plastic works, click here to read the last Technique Thursday post.)

Many recommend lightly sanding the plastic so it accepts ink. Personally, I never have good luck with this method. I’m not sure if I sand too much or not enough, but I always end up with scratches on my plastic that are visible after shrinking and through my ink.

Instead, I like to work with products that easily adhere to the plastic. StazOn is perfect for these techniques, but Ranger Archival Ink in black will also work if it is heat set. The trick is to heat the ink enough to make it permanent, but not enough to shrink the plastic. Usually, if you hold the heat gun farther from the plastic, you can accomplish this. Of course, if you don’t plan to color the image, you can set it and shrink it at the same time!

The ability to use rubber stamps on shrink plastic opens up a whole new world of options to add to your cards, scrapbook pages and jewelry. You may wish to practice stamping on a piece of packaging plastic or similar smooth surface before stamping on shrink plastic. The surface is slippery and your stamp will want to dance along the plastic, which will create a blurry image. So, I brace my elbows on the table and very carefully place the stamp on the plastic and then just as carefully lift it back off without allowing it to move sideways. You do not have to push on the stamp the way you do when stamping on paper.

For this card, I used a background stamp by Wendy Vecchi of Studio 490 to decorate the tag I cut out of shrink plastic with a Tim Holtz/Sizzix die. The image remains clear while shrinking and can add the perfect embellishment to a card. Here’s a closer look at the tag:

I used a similar technique here, using a butterfly die cut from Sizzix and a background stamp from Studio 490. I love how tiny the pattern gets when it shrinks.

You can also stamp an image and then color it with Copic Sketch markers, although there are a few “rules” to keep in mind for this technique. First, the plastic will not allow you to blend your colors like you can on paper. Simply choose a color and use long strokes, preferably from one side of the image to the other without stopping. If you want more color, let it dry for a few minutes and then go over it again. Otherwise, you will continually smear, puddle and remove your ink.

Second, keep in mind that StazOn and Copic inks do not like each other and using them together could ruin your Copic markers. However, if you use clear shrink plastic, you can stamp on one side and color on the other. That way, your inks never touch, but you get beautiful charms like this:

This is an image from Flower Soft. If you click on the image so you can see it larger, you will see some streaks in color. That happens and you just have to accept it as part of the charm of this technique.

Here’s another I did using a Riley stamp. With the addition of a swivel clasp by Tim Holtz, this will make an adorable zipper pull for my nephew.

But, there is more than one way to color with Copics. One of my favorite techniques is to use the Copic Airbrush System to spray on the color.

On this card, I used Tim Holtz/Sizzix dies to cut out the images, airbrushed them and then shrank them. But, since Copic inks are transparent, you could also stamp an image in black and it will be visible after airbrushing it.

Then, I got a bit carried away and came up with this …

Since I wanted a varied color, I sprayed the plastic with three different yellow/orange hues. Then, I used a template by The Crafters Workshop to airbrush the leaves and bugs in place. I didn’t do anything fancy — just held the template where I wanted it and sprayed it in green. I wasn’t worried if I had any overspray — I figured it would add to the organic nature. Then, I shrunk the plastic and added a strip of cardstock to make a mini book.

I did have a bit of an issue … when I put an acrylic block on top of the heated image to flatten it, some of the ink stuck to the block. When I did the back piece, I tried it upside down. I didn’t get any ink on my block, but I did get some on my nonstick craft sheet. You can see the little speckles where the ink was removed in the photo above, but I think it adds to the earthiness of the piece, don’t you?

Now, it is time for you to try these techniques for yourself. I will be at Capture A Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. Thursday so you can try rubber stamping, coloring or air brushing on shrink plastic for yourself. I’ll also have all of these samples, and a few more, with me, so you can get a closer look and ask any questions you may have. Hope to see you there!

Easter Tubes

I absolutely love Easter paper. Those little bunnies and chicks are just so cute!

Unfortunately, I never seem to have really good Easter photos to scrapbook. So, I have learned to improvise.

Instead of scrapbooking Easter photos, I used the Easter papers to make these adorable little holiday gifts:

Aren’t they adorable filled with Starburst Jelly Beans?!

I used papers by Three Bugs in a Rug and Best Creation Inc. to make them. Then, I added some My Mind’s Eye Twine, ribbon and little Peeps cutouts made with a Lifestyle Crafts die. (Click on the photo for a larger version).

For the tops, I used the Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers die. Before I cut out the flowers, I used a Wendy Vecchi technique and Ranger’s Glue and Seal to adhere the papers to Clearly for Art by Studio 490. Then, I cut them out and heated them with a heat tool. While warm, they can be molded in any way you desire and when they cool, they retain their shape no matter what. It’s a really neat technique that I have used a lot recently. Check out Wendy’s blog for more information.

Here’s one of the flower tops: 

I used a bit of Distress Ink and a brad for the center.

Up in the Air

The newest release from Riley and Company features Riley in a hot-air balloon.

As everyone knows, I am crazy for hot-air balloons, so I had to have this stamp.

One thing I love about it is that the envelope of the balloon (the colored part at the top) is completely blank, so you can put in words or images or design it however you like.

For this card, I used two stamps from Wendy Vecchi, Studio 490. I stamped Riley twice … on one image, I colored and cut him out. I used a few colors in the BG family to coincide with this week’s challenge at iCopic.

On the second, I stamped the envelope, colored it, and added it to the top of the first image with pop dots. Then, I attached the entire thing with additional pop dots, so it has lots of dimension.

The background is Tim Holtz Distress Ink Coredinations embossed with one of his textured folders. I then sanded the top and then went back in with Distress Ink to color some of the sanded areas. This gave me a variety of colors and textures on the background.

The hills were cut by hand and then inked in Distress Ink.

The saying stamp is from Stampin’ Up.

As a final touch, I added a bit of Liquid Pearls.

The entire card is much brighter than it is showing … I’ve tried scanning and taking a picture and it just isn’t working. Normally my husband photographs these for me, so I apologize for the dull colors. It really is bright and cheerful in person!