Creative Chemistry 101- Day 2

Here I am again, blogging twice in a week. It’s almost becoming a habit.. Well, actually I’m hoping to blog more than twice a week for the foreseeable, but, that really depends on my lord and mistress AKA Miss Amari Blossom, my 11 month old daughter. She’s a real slave driver I tell you!

Anyways, the final day of Creative Chemistry 101 with HRH Tim Holtz sadly came and went yesterday, so I’m finally ready so share my interpretations of Tim’s techniques. I must say though, it’s a lifetime class so do join up if you haven’t already and you too can have two weeks of Mr Holtz all to yourself.

Now, you’ll notice I have titled this post Day 2. No, I’m not going crazy with sleep deprivation. The first day wasn’t technique so much as knowledge and fascinating information, so no tags to share for Day 1.

Day 2 was Distress techniques, utilising Distress stamp pads to create Blended Distress/Spritz and Flick technique, Brushless watercolour technique and Wrinkle-free Distress technique. Fans of Mr Holtz will already be aware of these techniques, I know I was. But, I now know how to do them better, brighter, distressier.. Ahem.

I made my tags right alongside the videos, and what you see here is the first attempt. Mistakes and ugliness included. However, I then created cards utilising the techniques and hopefully did much better.

Here are my original tags:


I’m really not fond of the watercolour technique one, the watercolour paper I used was cheap, lumpy and just rubbish. It made the technique incredibly difficult, but switching to ordinary white cardstock for the card helped a lot.

I decided to use all three techniques on one card, rather than three cards simply to save time. I started my creating my Blended Distress/Spritz and Flick background. I used Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade and Rusty Hinge Distress inks to create my background, inking the edges with Vintage Photo.


I then created my Brushless Watercolour using Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Evergreen Bough and Walnut Stain Distress Inks, on a stamp from the Nature’s Elements set by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous. Inking the edges again with Vintage Photo.


I used the Wrinkle-Free Distress technique next, using the same Distress ink palette of Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo on the edges.


I then, stamped a quote from Tim Holtz’s Stampers Anonymous Stuff To Say stamp set with Walnut Stain and Black Soot Distress inks. I stamped the quote top and centre of the Wrinkle-Free paper, before embossing it with Ranger clear embossing powder.


I then stamped the dried weed looking things (?) from Tim’s Stampers Anonymous Spring Sprung stamp set along the bottom edge of the page using Walnut Stain and Black Soot distress inks. I then wrapped parcel string around the paper, before matting it onto a piece of Distress Core’dinations (Wiild Honey..sensing a theme here!) that I’d pre-inked around the edges with Vintage Photo Distress ink.


I then wrapped parcel string around the Watercolour piece, again matting it onto Wild Honey Core’dinations that had had the Vintage Photo treatment. I do so love Vintage Photo!


I also matted my Spritz and Flick background onto inked Wild Honey Core’dinations before attaching it to my card base with Ranger’s glue stick. I also added Vintage Photo Core’dinations as corners. I then added a Hinge Clip to the top of my sentiment piece before attaching it to the card using both Matt Multi Medium and foam dots.

I then attached the water colour piece using Ranger’s glue stick before adding two Pen Nibs using Matt Multi Medium.


Do ignore the shiny bits.. I’m impatient and my glue wasn’t dry. I’m also the world’s messiest gluer..

And there you have it, my interpretation of Day Two of Creative Chemistry 101. I hope you like it, and hopefully the mistress will allow me the time to post about Day Three tomorrow. 🙂



It’s Wednesday again. I really don’t know where the weeks are going lately. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but it appears it also flies when you’re zombie like from lack of sleep!

Anyhoo, it’s WOYWW and here’s my desk


And Er.. The floor..


But more fabulous crafty goodies landed this week.


Can you tell I’m trying to be good and keep this picture heavy but text light?!

I’m still absolutely loving Creative Chemistry 101 and I’m preparing blog posts showing what I’ve learned, but until then I’ll leave you with a sneak peek at a few of the technique tags.


Thanks for visiting, see you all soon 🙂

What’s On Your Work Desk Wednesday, again? Already? Really?

How can it possibly be Wednesday again? Wasn’t it Wednesday just a day or two ago? Life just seems to be rushing past at such a speed that I can barely keep a hold on it lately. Still, it’s time for WOYWW yet again.

As always seems to be the way, I have a million and one projects on the go. All in various stages of completion. But I’m finally learning to take pictures as I go, so you can expect plenty of detailed blogs soon. I also bought a memory card reader gadget for my iPad so I can take pictures using the proper camera, and not the blurred iPhone shots I keep treating you all to! Though, I should confess that it’s a DSLR camera rather than a ‘point and click’ so they mightn’t be too much better! I also confess that I forgot to charge it, so for today it’s blurred iPhone shots as usual. Sorry!

As of ten minutes ago, my desk looks like this;


Yes, it’s messy. Again. I really cannot keep it tidy, and I’m trying to make peace with that.

But lookie, I have new and exciting additions to my stash. The beautiful Hero Arts newsprint stamp, and HRH Tim Holtz’s new bird branch die.



I’m also currently learning more than I ever thought possible by taking HRH Tim Holtz’s Creative Chemistry 101. If you haven’t signed up for this, please do. It’s wonderfully informative, easy to follow and can be taken at your own pace.


Obviously I cannot share anything I have made during the class yet, but I’ll show everything once the class ends in two weeks.

Since I’ve shown nothing of any artistic interest, here’s a sneak peek at a background I’m making for a child’s birthday card.


And some storage boxes I’m working on that I bought in the sale. (they were ugly Christmas themed gift boxes)


And finally, in the interests of offering a Wednesday giggle. Another project of mine, is making my hair weird and interesting colours (I steadfastly refuse to grow up and act my 30 year old age!) Three weeks ago I went this colour;


Blue was a complete nightmare that transferred onto everything that even vaguely looked in its direction. Including my lovely children! Blue children are never a good thing, so last Saturday I dyed it this colour;


It gets some stares on the school run, let me tell you! I hope that raised a giggle or a wry smile at least! Right, I’m off to stalk this weeks desks. See you all next week!

When it all goes horribly wrong..

Lookie see! I’m blogging twice in a week! Twice! Although, I’m not entirely sure this one deserves the publicity. I’m not fond of today’s creation, but I decided to blog it anyway to show that sometimes you end up with something that you really dislike!

I wanted to play along with the Grungy Monday challenge. I’ve followed the blog for a while now (you must follow it, it’s wonderful!) and this weeks challenge of using Tim Holtz 12 tags technique seemed like a fun one to start with. It. Was. Not! The technique is easy to do, and fun.. But it all went a little awry for me because of my collection of alcohol inks.

I don’t have very many alcohol inks, simply because I don’t use them very often. Slowly building my collection was not my friend in this instance, because I didn’t have any colours that weren’t BRIGHT. Yes, that deserves capitals. You’ll see why in a minute. Still, onwards I went with my BRIGHT alcohol inks.

I started by adding Raspberry, Butterscotch, Pool and Purple Twilight alcohol inks to my ink tool. I then toned the Raspberry slightly by dripping a little Snow Cap over the top. I then swiped the ink onto Ranger’s inkssentials Glossy Paper using Tim’s Technique. I then dripped a little Alcohol Blending Solution onto my page and set it aside to dry.


Whilst that page was drying. I made another plaid page, this time using Ranger’s new Speciality Stamping Paper and Purple Twilight, Pool, Eggplant and Butterscotch alcohol inks. I love, love LOVE this paper!


I then sprayed a mix of Adirondack Colour wash- Stream and Perfect Pearls – Pink Gumball and Perfect Pearl onto a piece of white card. Drying it with my heat tool. Once dry I stamped it all over with the Cross Hatch pattern from Tim Holtz’s Ultimate Grunge stamp set, with white ink. Heat setting it with my heat tool.


Now it was around this point that a touch of panicky ‘I have no idea what I’m doing and I hate it all’ set in. Does anyone else’s crafting mojo just up and desert them when things run less than smoothly?!

Still, onwards. I then stamped the lovely ‘be yourself’ girlie from Tim Holtz’s Winged Things I stamp set onto Speciality Stamping Paper, then again onto Wendy Vecci’s Clearly For Art modelling film, and finally onto a corner of the pink toned Plaid I’d made earlier, using Archival Ink in Jet Black. I then heat set all three, before cutting the girlie without the wings from the stamping paper, and the wings only from the plaid and modelling film.

I then coloured my girlie using Tim’s Distress Markers in Tumbled Glass, Picket Fence, Tattered Rose, Victorian Velvet, Vintage Photo, Stormy Sky, Fired Brick and Wild Honey. I then used Ranger’s detail water brush to tone the colour down and give it a water colour look.

I then took a tiny doily and coloured it with Forest Moss Distress Marker before spritzing it liberally with perfect pearl mist and during it with my heat tool.

By now, I was very definitely in ‘oh my god, it’s wholly awful and hateful and what am I going to do, I don’t want to start again, it’s so wasteful’ mode. And honestly, I simply thought sod it and decided to assemble it all as a card for an alternative teenager. A cop out, but there you have it.

I decided to stamp the numbers from Tim’s Fairytale Frenzy stamp set, in Jet Black Archival all over the pink toned plaid, to give it a slightly edgy look now I had a recipient in mind. I roughly stamped it, leaving patches and turning the stamp upside down occasionally.


I then assembled it into a card, layering the pink toned plaid under the stream misted card, then adding the purple toned plaid on top. I then added the tiny doily and my girlie, with the plaid wings placed in their normal position then the modelling film wings slightly offset over those.


This was the point where I realised I’d forgotten to distress and colour the edges of my pages. I may have muttered some very bad words.


So there you have it, my gaudy and super BRIGHT attempt at this weeks Grungy Monday Challenge. I think it’s safe to say that I will not be winning anything from Simon Says Stamp. Haha!

In all honesty, it was really difficult for me to post something that went really wrong and that I hated. But I follow so many inspiring blogs where every post is something that is perfect, that it’s almost a little disheartening. Surely everyone makes something they dislike occasionally? Everyone must suffer the lack of craft mojo, or is that only me? Either way, I think it’s important to show the failures to. And oh boy, was this!

I think I need a lie down!

What’s On Your Work Desk Wednesday

I am a bad blog owner.

There, I said it. Rest assured, my head is hanging in shame. It’s been a whole week since I last showed my poor blog any attention. I fully blame this face..


And also, this face..


They are terribly rude and awful children, who actually expect me to attend to their every whim! They care not for my crafting or blogging needs! Can you even contemplate such a controlling regime in your own home?! They use their cheeky smiles and abnormally huge and hypnotically beautiful blue eyes to control my every waking moment. Hah! My babies are awesome!

Anyways, explanations of my neglectful blogging aside. My work desk looks like this right now.


But before you think I’m being all smug and showing off my tidy (ish) space. I must confess that an hour ago it looked like this..


I’m currently working on a couple of Mothers day cards, as it’s mothering Sunday here in the UK this weekend. They’re not yet finished so for now I’ll just show a few sneak peeks. I will admit that one of them is less a mothers day card and more an excuse to try out something from Tim Holtz’s Compendium of Curiosities II. If you haven’t got it yet, buy it! It’s simply wonderful!





Now, I know you’ve all been at the edge of your seats wondering what on earth happened to last weeks jars. Well, the eagle eyed amongst you will notice that they’re currently sitting unfinished on my desk holding all 37 colours of Tim Holtz’s new Distress Markers. Yes, I said all 37! My awesome husband paid (a frankly extortionate sum) for each and every one separately! He earned major brownie points for that! I’m going off on a tangent again aren’t I?

The jars are covered in crackle paint, with varying degrees of success. The brown one was covered in Distress Crackle Rock Candy on a base of Matt Multi Medium. It did not work! It all began to fake off when I added the Vintage Photo Distress stain. I covered it in another layer of Multi Medium which kept it intact but it’s not the best looking thing in the world. Ho-hum. Trial and error.


The green (ish) one was covered in Rock Candy over a base of Ranger’s Glue & Seal. And it worked perfectly. I then covered in in a layer of Shabby Shutters Distress Stain but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.


The terrible looking, runny and patchy silvery one was painted with Pewter Crackle over Glue & Seal base. It looks awful! The pewter didn’t crackle so much as drip then dry in a streaky fashion. I’ll be scraping this one and starting again.


My word, this post is picture heavy! This is what happens when you’re neglectful, in your guilt haze you throw everything at it! Sorry about that!

Let me finish up with one more picture though. My awesome son made me a tag at school! He loves watching me craft, and seems to love my versions of 12 tags of 2012 so he came home with this! Isn’t it great?



If you’ve gotten this far, thank you ever so much for visiting and persevering through my endless waffle and bad photos! Love to you all and happy WOYWW

What’s on your work desk Wednesday.

It’s Wednesday, and my blog is finally online! That means it must be time to lose my WOYWW virginity. True to the cause, it’s embarrassing, clumsy and oh so messy, but here is my desk as it stands today.


I’m an incredibly messy crafter. My desk is pretty big but I always end up working in the teensiest portion of it because I can’t help but have stuff and things everywhere! The desk, the floor, my lap.. I will one day learn to clear as I go. But that day is not today.

I’m currently attempting to upcycle, distress (generally make a mess of) some glass coffee jars. The first one looked amazing until I touched it and all my hard work slid off onto the carpet! So now I’m playing around with ways to add enough ‘tooth’ to the glass so my crackle paint decorates the glass and not the floor. Hopefully I’ll make it work and post about it in the next few days.

12 tags of 2012 – March

Where does the time go? How on earth is it March already?

I’ve been a bit slapdash with crafting of late, I have about a million projects on the go, and not a one completed enough to blog about. Sigh. A bout of man flu and general parenting of a newly mobile and oh so curious 10 month old have also seriously cut into my creating time, but I’m hopeful that things are back on track and that I’ll be posting more work on a regular basis.

Anyways, as it’s March, it’s time for a brand new 12 tags of 2012 from HRH Tim Holtz.

Once again, I didn’t have all of the items Tim used, but this time I was quite pleased about that. Last month I pretty much copied Tim’s version as best I could and where’s the creativity in that? This month, Tim’s tag is rather dark and masculine, so I decided mine should be light and feminine.

I started out by making Tim’s mosaic butterflies. Quickly running into material problems. I didn’t have sheets of wonder tape, only the super thin tape, or the antiquities cement embossing powder. I did have generic double sided sticky sheets though and decided to try heat embossing onto them regardless. I have to say, I worked wonderfully, merely curling the wings slightly, which I would have done anyway! I call success! I made my faux grout by mixing together white, silver and sparkly embossing powders. I have to say, it’s nothing like grout, but I adore it and it really fits my lighter theme perfectly.

I made my butterflies following Tim’s instructions using papers from the vintage shabby pad and a grunge board base. Embossing them with my sparkly mix and finishing them with a fairly thick coat of Glossy Accents on the paper ’tiles’.



I really wish my photos did justice to the sparkle, but I am rubbish and took them on my iPhone again. I promise I’ll hunt down the camera proper at some point!

I then cut two tags from Kraft core, using the pale brown colour and Tim’s Tag and Bookplate die. I distressed the edges of the first tag, on the kraft side, using Tim’s distressing tool and inked the edges with vintage photo distress ink. I then tore the edges of the second tag, on the brown side, inked the edges with vintage photo and matted it onto the Kraft tag.


Now at this point, I inked Tim’s new wood print stamp with aged mahogany distress ink and stamped my tag. And I HATED it. So I tried to tone it by swiping it with picket fence distress stain, but it was too white. Hey ho, thinks I, art is experimentation. So I spritzed the tag with water, and wiped it down with a soft, dry rag. It’s now a lovely muted colour and ready again for the wood print stamp. I then inked up my wood stamp again, this time with vintage photo distress ink, and stamped across the tag as per Tim’s instructions.


Much better! I then spritzed it with a little Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls before heat setting it with my heat tool.

Next, I turned my attentions to the metal foliage. As I wanted a softer look to my tag, I decided to emboss colour my foliage with distress embossing powder. I pressed my flowers into my distress embossing pad then dipped each one into a pot of embossing powder. I then heated them with my craft tool and re-dipped them in the powder once molten. I also sprinkled them with a little Ranger Bridal embossing tinsel for a little glittery sheen. Once cool I stacked them together and fixed them with a long fastener that had also had the embossing treatment.


Next, I inked up my sentiment with Ranger Archival black and stamped.. Or attempted to stamp. My delightful 10 month old suddenly woke from her nap with an unholy racket, so I removed the stamp without having pressed down enough and it wasn’t complete! After settling the madam, I returned to the tag with a resigned thought of starting again. Since I had nothing to lose though, I decided to re-stamp the sentiment directly over the failed version. And wouldn’t you know it, it worked! With only the slightest drop shadow to betray my earlier failure. I decided to try embossing the sentiment to disguise the double image. Which also worked. I had no idea archival ink could be used to emboss! Oh happy days when mistakes work out well!


Next I coloured a length of seam binding ribbon with Victorian velvet and picket fence distress stains, crumpling it and then drying it with my heat tool. Once dry I used the leftover vintage photo ink on my blending tool to dab the ribbon, distressing it. I then attached it to my tag using a strip of wonder tape, using the leftover length at the top of the tag.

I then pierced two holes either side of the ribbon, right through the tag, and attached my embossed foliage. Then affixed my mosaic butterflies and called it done! There you have it, my take on 12 tags of 2012 – March.





To create my tag I used;
Distress inks; Vintage Photo, clear embossing
Distress stains; Picket Fence, Victorian Velvet
Distress embossing powder; Broken China, Tattered Rose, Peeled Paint, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalde
Ranger Archival ink; Jet Black
Ranger Super fine detail embossing powder; Black, White
Ranger embossing tinsel; Bridal.
Cosmic shimmer embossing powder; Silver Shine Metallic
Perfect Pearl Mist; Heirloom Gold
Tim Holtz collection stamps; Stuff To Say, Wallpaper and Wood
Tim Holtz alterations movers & shapers die; Mini Butterflies
Tim holtz alterations Bigz die; Tag and Bookplate
Tim Holtz Kraft Core
Tim Holtz vintage shabby paper collection
Glossy accents
Wonder tape
Heat it craft tool
Tim Holtz grid blocks
Paper distressing tool

I really need to figure out how to just link the stuff used! Thank you so much for visiting, do feel free to leave comments 🙂