Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spooky Skeleton Shadow Box ~ Autumn Magic with Anything But a Card

The current challenge over at Anything But a Card is a seasonal one; you can choose between "Autumn Magic" and "Spring Wonder".  Since fall is my very favorite time of year, with my very favorite holiday smack in the middle of the season, I chose to work with "Autumn Magic".  What is more magical than Halloween?  How about a skeleton in a cemetery? OK, so not exactly magical, but I had so much fun making my Skeleton Cemetery Shadow Box that I had to share it!
The cool stand with the skeleton heads isn't part of the box - but it's awesome isn't it?
What I used to Make this Project:
Tim Holtz Configurations Box - 5 3/4 x 5 3/4, TH92883
Big Shot machine
Tim Holtz Mover & Shakers Die, Vintage Cabinet Card Mini, 657206
Scraps of Grey (various shades) & White cardstock
Scrap of Chipboard
Skeleton (Dollar Store)
Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink in Potting Soil
Somerset Studio paper "Dark Woods"
Distress Paint in Gatherd Twigs
Tim Holtz Mover & Shakers Die, Mini Bat & Skull Set, 657458
Pumpkins (I got mine from Alpha Stamps)
2 Small Red Gems
Dresden "Arch" - black
Crafters Pick The Ultimate Glue

Almost looks like wood
First, take all the little boxes out of the configuration box and set aside. You won't be needing them now but won't they make cute Holiday Ornaments?  Then paint your box with Distress Paint in Gathered Twigs, I just used the sponge dauber on the bottle and rubbed it all over the box, both inside and out.  I took the Somerset Studio paper and cut  it to size so it would fit in the box, covering the back wall and the sides.    

The Mini Cab Card Die
I discovered the tombstones by messing about with the Mini Vintage Cabinet Card die.  I noticed if you trim down the sides of the die cut you can make some pretty cool tombstones.  So that is what I did.  I actually made 3 to use, but I ended up using only 2.  The white stone was to be my focal point because the skeleton fit nicely behind it.  I made the tombstone names in Word and printed them on cardstock and trimmed them to size, as well as the
other shade of grey I used behind the names (in case you can't read them, the white tombstone says  "Eve L. Minion" and the grey reads "Reid N. Weep").  I also drew some cracks into the grey tombstone using a Micron Pen and aged the white one using Wendy Vecchi's Potting Soil ink (truthfully, I wanted the white one to stay white, but I got a bit of the Gathered Twigs paint on it after it was all ready to go and there was no way I was making another one. Don't tell anyone).

Next I fixed the tombstones so they'd be sturdy enough not to bend.  I had already cut them out of cardstock, and I considered re-cutting them out of chipboard, but then I decided to make chipboard "brackets" to glue on the back of them that would be fine.  At the bottom of each tombstone I bent a small lip and attached the bent strip of chipboard to the back of the stone so the
bottom was a longer lip (and stronger) part of the chipboard was available to glue to the scene (picture a long L made of chipboard). Shockingly, it worked like a charm! No one was going to be poking or touching the stones, so they didn't need to be seriously anchored down.  Next was attaching the skeleton to the white tombstone.

 Since the skeleton was too tall, I snapped his legs off and daubed him with the Gathered Twigs paint to age him a bit more. I really wanted to get some dirt and roll him in that but I wasn't about to go out in the freezing cold yard and try to dig some up - plus it was late (after midnight) and we have a sensor light in the back of the house.  So I settled for some Gathered Twigs paint and dried him with my heat gun (the paint didn't really dry on the plastic, so be careful! You don't want a situation like I had above).  I also glued some little red gems in his eyes, reminiscent of the skeleton I used here.  I draped him behind the tombstone and set him up to dry overnight.

I already had the bat cut out - it was cut out of chipboard and painted black with acrylic paint.  The pumpkins, black cat, cameo and leaves are from my stash. I do have to tell you about these leaves. I am not sure where I bought them, but they were made for people who make those elaborate railroad displays and this bag has lasted me many, many seasons.  The Dresden arch came from a sheet I had gotten many, many moons ago.  I was tempted to hang a Happy Halloween" banner of some sort on the bottom of the box, but, after consideration (and the fact that somebody wants to display it all year long in his room) I decided to leave it off.

And another look.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!
So there we go - my first ever Configurations box! I have been pinning them and drooling over how amazingly creative people have been using them, but I haven't had the occasion to actually use one (and I have a few more in the stash).  I had a blast making it and the weight is so light compared to wood.  And, as I said, those little divider boxes that I didn't use will make cute ornaments, in fact, the top and the acrylic cover will make a nice frame. . .hmmm.  Better go write this down!   There is still time to enter the "Autumn Magic/Spring Wonder" challenge at Anything But a Card - even if you don't want to enter, pop over and check out the amazing creations my teamies have made.  We recently had a DT call and now we have so many creative people on board that you will want to check the blog at least once a week - trust me! Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by.  If not for you. my followers, I would have no reason to do this.  Blessings to you & yours, Christi 

I am happily entering my Spooky Skeleton Shadow Box in the following challenges:
Delicious Darkness - #3 (October Challenge), Anything Goes, optional Halloween Twist
Buckwells Crafty Challenge - #1 (October Challenge), Anything Goes 
Altered Eclectics - (October Challenge), Anything Goes
Crafting at the Weekend - #6, (October Challenge), Anything Goes
Stuck on U Sketches - Die Cut Challenge, Anything Autumn
Open Minded Crafting Fun - #21, Pumpkins/Jack 'O Lanterns
Punk You Girl - (October Challenge), Anything Goes with an optional Halloween Twist

On another note, we are looking for some help over at Challenges for Days - it's really simple to help us keep the lists updated, you only need about an hour a week.  Why not help others (and yourself) find some awesome challenges to enter? If you think you can help us out, please drop an email to our wonderful founder, Zoe (  Even if you can't help right now, please take a look at all the exciting challenges we have listed and don't forget to bookmark us - we update the list daily and we are always adding new challenges!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Your Own Background for Craft-Room Challenges

The most recent theme over at Craft-Room Challenge  has been chosen by the talented Mervi and she decided to challenge us with making our own background.   Knowing that Halloween is right around the corner I knew I wanted to make a card pertaining to the holiday, so I dug into my stash of alcohol ink backgrounds and this is the result.
You can't really see the little stars, but they are there!
What I Used to Make my Card:
Alcohol Ink Background (pre-made using blues, purple and Silver Leaf Pen)
White Card Base, square, 5 ¼ x 5 ¼
Round Punch, 2 inches
Witch Cut File
Silhouette Cameo
Black Cardstock
Happy Halloween from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous “Simple Sayings”, CMS155
Silver Paper Scrap
Silver Sequin Stars (tiny)
Silver Ink from Colorbox Pinwheel “Alchemy”
Silver Siam Embossing Powder from Globecraft & Piccolo
Glue (I use Crafters Pick The Ultimate)

If you don’t have your alcohol ink background made, do that first.  I made this using the old Polished Stone method, you can search for it, I searched “polished stone technique” and came up with quite a few options, and even videos, to show you how to achieve the effect.

Once your background is done, trim it down to fit on the front of your  base card.  I trimmed a ¼” on each side so I could leave a bit of the white cardstock showing.  But I found it easier to build the card on the background before I glued it to the card base.
She reminds me of Bewitched!
I searched my cut files and found this cute witch. I like her because she isn’t your typical scary looking witch with a wart on her nose and a scowl on her face.  I cut her out using my Silhouette Cameo machine and black cardstock.  I punched the moon out of silver cardstock using a circle punch.

I used a scrap of white cardstock for the sentiment.  I stamped the Happy Halloween in silver ink and then embossed it with silver embossing powder.  At that point I felt the card was done.  I put it aside so I could write this post.
Something is missing. . .
When I looked at the card the next day I wasn’t as happy with it as I was at first.  It needed a little something more. Since my desk was an absolute mess, covered with everything and anything Halloween related I spied the little silver stars and I thought that since the witch is riding her broom at night, so little stars were in order.  After I put the stars on the card, in no particular order, I was happy with the card again. I wish they showed up in the photograph better but Mew was happy to pose for all of you!
My own little black cat, Mew, and the card.  You can actually see the stars!
So there you have my second Halloween card this season.  I am very far behind, and honestly, I doubt I’ll be sending any out, but I just LOVE the holiday so much, I know I will make more cards, most likely when I should be making winter holiday cards to send out.  I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and there is still 2 weeks to get in on the Craft-Room Challenge “Make Your Own Background Theme” (challenge #87) – hope to see you there! Christi

I would like to enter my Witch Card in the following challenges:
Artistic Inspirations -(w) #113,  Make Your Own Background
Craftin' Desert Divas - (2w) #42, Halloween
Bloggers Challenge - (2w) Halloween
Addicted to Stamps - (m) #116, Anything Goes
One Crazy Stamper - October Challenge, Christmas/Halloween (I chose Halloween)
Die Cut Divas - October Challenge, Change of Seasons, Spring/Autumn (I chose to go with Autumn)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumn or Spring Seasonal Colors at Craft-Room Challenges!

For this fortnight the challenge at Craft-Room Challenges is to use the seasonal colors of Autumn or Spring.  Zoe has provided us with some beautiful inspirational color pallets to use: 
Spring Colors

Autumn Colors
Autumn Card on the left, Spring on the right

In response to this challenge I made 2 cards because I could not decide what colors to use.   First I am going to show you my spring watercolor card.

This is what I used to Make my Spring Watercolor Card:
White Card Base
Penny Black wood mounted rubber stamp, "Rhyme", #2959K
Distress Markers in Dusty Concord,  Faded Jeans and Seedless Preserves
Distress Ink in Milled Lavender
Watercolor paper
Spritzer filled with Water
Remnant Rub, Life Quotes, "hello friend"
Blue & Purple Cardstock
Stipple Brush

No pictures of the process today because it is SO easy.  First you want to pick out a rubber stamp that isn't intricate - the more "block style" the design is the better this will work.  Scribble your markers directly onto the stamp (have your watercolor paper ready and have enough to make at least 2 prints) then lightly spritz the colored stamp with water.  Flip the stamp over quickly (try not to muddy the colors) and stamp and stamp again.  The beauty of this technique is you get a different result each time you use it and it's fun!  I took one of the images I made and trimmed it down, trimmer the blue & purple cardstock to layer the image and then used a Tim Holtz Remnant Rub that says "hello friend" down on the lower corner.  After the card was assembled I felt the white watercolor paper was a bit stark, so I stippled it with Milled Lavender - I think it warmed the card up a bit.

For my Autumn Colors card this is what I used:
Tim Holtz Dried Flower Stamp from Flights of Fancy Set, 
Cream (vanilla) Cardstock
Ranger Adirondack Ink in Caramel, Currant, Terra Cotta & Pesto
Clear fine (detail) Embossing Powder
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Small Alphabet (sorry I don't who made it)
Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy 

Embossing Close up
I used a piece of cream cardstock, stamped the Dried Flower in Caramel first and embossed it with the clear powder, the ink is wet so you don't need embossing fluid. Completed the same steps using the Currant, Terra Cotta & Pesto inks.  I stamped thankful, not really worrying about if they were straight. as long as I could tell all the letters were in the same word it worked for me, on a scrap of cream using the Jet Black ink.  I edged the saying with Brushed Corduroy to make it pop a bit.  Glued the Dried Flower quartet onto a moss green card I had then glued the sentiment onto the corner. 

I have to share a short story with you.  I moved a few years back and ended up living in a one room apartment once I got to Colorado.  There was absolutely NO room for any craft stuff.  So my stuff sat in storage for almost 9 months.  Lots of it dried out, but the Adirondack pads stayed juicy.  I did not have to reink a single one!  I find that amazing! Keep in mind, these ink pads are about 13 years old - I got them when I first began stamping - so it wasn't as if they'd never been opened. 

I am trying to get a little clean and simple - I hope you think these cards fit the criteria!  Hope you enjoyed checking out my latest post and you still have 2 weeks to enter the Craft-Room Challenge!  Thank you ~ Christi

I would like to enter my Autumn Colors card in the following challenges:
Again, here is my Autumn Colors Card - the challenges I am entering with my Spring Watercolor Card will follow:
Little Red Wagon - #256, Anything Fall Themed
Red Rubber Inspirationals -  #139, Stay Focused on Stamping, Anything Goes
Addicted to Stamps & More - #114, CAS
Wednesday's Creative Inspirations - #282, Autumn Colors
The House That Stamps Built -  Repeat Impressions DCC924 ~ Fall

Now I would like to enter my Spring Watercolor card in the following challenges:
Treasured Times Rubber Stamp Challenge - #25, Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - #76, Anything Goes
 Addicted to Stamps & More - #114, CAS

~ Thank you for stopping by!! ~

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Steampunk Sweetheart for Anything But A Card #39

** This post is full of photos so it may take a bit to load - you should be able to click a photo to see it larger if you'd like, please let me know if you have trouble with this ~ thank you :) 

The whole set
I have had the stamp set I used as a base for this project for years and it turned into one of those sets that you adore, but can't bring yourself to actually use, until that one project comes along and BAM! This entire project was literally built around one stamp from a set called French Laundry #11.  I remember seeing an ad for the sets in a stamping publication and I immediately went to the web site called Character Constructions, made by the talented Catherine Moore, and drooled at them all (and now she even has custom dies to coordinate with some of the sets!).  I don’t remember why I chose this particular set but I have been wanting to use her for the longest time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get her inked. I introduce my Steampunk Sweetheart for challenge #39 at Anything But A Card:
My Steampunk Sweetheart
What I Used in My Project:
9 x 12 piece of frame board
Tea Dyed Coffee Filters (I dyed about 8, I think I used 5 or 6)
Tim Holtz Idea-ology File Tabs w/ gear sticker (on her hat)
Tim Holtz Grungeboard Wings (mine are embossed with the Harlequin design)
Tim Holtz Grungeboard Letters Mixed Minis
Darice Gears Embossing Folder
Brown “velvet” Paper
Brown Cardstock Scrap
Corset Card Cutfile
Silhouette Cameo
White Cardstock
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy
Distress Paint in Gathered Twigs
Krylon Leafing Pen in Red Shimmer
Butterfly Sticker (stash)
Stampin’ Up! Paper for Background (discontinued)
Star Punches (various sizes)
Scraps of Metallic Papers
Stickles in Star Dust
Miscellaneous Embellishments
Crafters’ Pick The Ultimate Glue

First thing I did was dye the coffee filters (the round ones) in tea for 2 full days and dried them.  I have wanted to make a frilly something out of coffee filters ever since I saw some demos online about coffee filter flowers and I felt they’d make a wonderful skirt.  I stamped the woman from the French Laundry #11 set using the Jet Black ink and fussy cut her out, leaving her arms separate.
  I set her and the skirt aside and gessoed the wings.  I was hoping to obscure some of the Harlequin pattern that was embossed in them already; it worked a bit and set the stage for using the gears embossing folder.  A tip: I have a Sizzix Big Shot and I found that the wings (and I figure all Grungeboard) is too thick to run through the machine the way you are supposed to when using an embossing folder, but I found that when I used the 2 clear cutting plates with the thick platform (I think it is called the Universal Platform?), but without the shim, it worked fine.  Took a bit of muscle, but nothing broke. So I ran the wings through and then lightly swept the Distress Ink Pad in Brushed Corduroy on the top and sides just to pop out the gear embossing a bit more.  I covered my board with the decorative paper from Stampin’ Up! like I was wrapping a gift so I wouldn’t have to fuss with trying to cut the paper and then glue it perfectly. 

I knew I wanted my Steampunk Sweetheart to have a corset.  I have a few corset stamps, but none of them fit her the way I wanted, so I went to my Silhouette Cameo and found a corset card.  I choose what pieces of the card I wanted to use and I cut the outer layer using some old brown “velvet” paper I had as well as some brown fiber as the lace up. I also cut out one under layer using white cardstock and that just peeks out the very top of her corset.  The corset it a bit big for her but I think it flows nicely with the skirt.  Her boots are just hand cut. 

I tackled the lettering next.  I used Grungeboard Mixed Mini letters and I painted them all using Distress Paint in Gathered Twigs, I painted all the letters twice to ensure really good coverage.  I liked the matte color of the paint, but I also wanted to jazz the letters up just a bit so I took my seldom used Krylon Leaf Pen in Red Simmer and outlined the letters with that.  Now previous experience has taught me that Grungeboard is flexible, so I knew I’d make some “mistakes” while outlining the letters but that is precisely what I wanted.  I wanted some of the shimmer to show on the top of the letters but I didn’t want it to be overwhelming.  It was nice not having to be careful when doing the outline, especially since I had to make the pen really juicy so the ink would flow into parts of the letters the nib couldn’t reach.

Finally she was ready to be put together.  I wasn’t exactly positive how I was going to pose her, so I attached her arms with 2 small black brads I had.  The arm holding the clock is stationary, but her right arm does move. I hand cut her top hat and attached the Idea-ology File Tab with the gear in it onto her hat.  I colored the cat eye glasses silver with another Krylon Leafing Pen, took some loose gears and attached them to her wings.  I crumpled up the tea dyed coffee filters and arranged them to appear like a layered skirt. 

I attached the body to the skirt, the corset over the skirt and body, glued the wings to the back of that and finished up with all the embellishments, which included stars punched out of various metallic papers and coated with Stickles placed randomly about (oh and I glued her boots to her skirt).  I held her in place with temporary tape and glued all the letters in place, attaching her last. 

Head Shot
And there you have it – my Steampunk Sweetheart wall hanging.  I worked on her for quite a while, once
my initial idea started to become a reality, in between other projects and it was SO much fun! I have admired Steampunk at since it burst on the scene and it was a pleasure to create something I feel is worthy of being called Steampunk.  I hope you enjoyed my long tutorial and perhaps gained a bit of inspiration to get your own Steampunk creation and enter at Anything But A Card ~ Christi

Another View

I would like to enter my Steampunk Sweetheart in the following challenges:
Divas By Design - Anything But a Card
Stamping Sensations - September Challenge, Things with Wings
Inky Chicks - #38, Anything Goes
Ruby's Rainbow - #88, Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly  - Punch it Out (used star punches)