Tim Holtz Seahorses

My sister had this really cool embossing folder with seashells around the edges. I embossed a piece of brown cardstock then went over it with a darker brown ink.  Wasn’t sure where to go next, until I remembered that I had the Tim Holtz Sizzix Bigz die – Sand & Sea. Find some paper and cut a seahorse.  Okay, good, only the first seahorse I cut was facing the wrong way. Not a problem, I had also had some Stampin’ Up shells stamped and cut out.  They were placed over some sand colored paper and the seahorse added on top.

Now let’s cut another seahorse, this time the right way round, and cut a sand dollar as well. These were placed onto the embossed background and some brads were added for bubbles.

Later, I pulled out my Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Nautical Blueprint stamps. I chose the seahorse and the shell this time. After coloring, the seahorse was trimmed and placed over cardstock embossed with a Spellbinders folder and some sand and bubble paper scraps.

The shell was colored as well and placed on paper embossed with a Spellbinders folder as well. I used a piece of mottled blue paper for an accent.  The blueprint stamps are large and detailed, so I don’t feel the need to go overboard on the accents.

Tune in again next time to see what I did with Tim’s Laboratorie stamp set.

Elizabeth

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Making Cards in Bulk

So, sometime this year, we will be packing up our house in Arlington, VA (pop about 225,000) and moving to the small town of Forest Home, AL (pop about 1,000). That means I will not have access to my supplies, maybe for quite some time.  So, I decided to create a year’s worth of cards (mostly birthday) while I still had all my stuff available.

Yep, that’s a lot of cards. More than 50 completed.  Most of the time I make cards, I chose the stamps/papers based on who will be receiving the card.  I did some of that, but this time I also chose stamps or stamp sets to play with. I’ll show you some of my favorites over the next few posts.

First up, my sister Susan from OohLookItsaRabbit has the same affliction I have. We are always trying new crafts and techniques.  Last fall, she decided to try hand-carving stamps.  Here are three cards using stamps she made:

A Valentine’s Day card for my husband, who is a bee keeper.

My mom, who likes skunks, will get this for Mother’s Day.

My favorite bird, the flamingo, is double stamped onto this card.

I think Susan did an excellent job on the stamps.  I don’t think she’s selling them yet, but maybe she will in the future.  In the meantime, I have some great additions to my stamp stash.

Elizabeth

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My Take on Tart Tin Ornaments

Metal tart tins are very popular for upcycled Christmas ornament crafts.  I’ve looked at many online and in magazines and knew I had a stack of tins in my studio.  Here’s my take on the tart tin ornament – I used vintage scenic Christmas cards, resin, mini tinsel garland, paper clay, Snow-Tex, glitter, and little bottle brush trees. I made a bunch of these for my annual ornament gift to the women in my Bible study.


Each tart tin is just under 4″ in diameter and about 1 1/4″ deep. I cut the images from vintage Christmas cards, and coated them with several layers of paper sealer. I then glued them into the bottom of the tin and poured a layer of Ice Resin on top.

When the resin was cured, I glued mini tinsel garland around the image to block any gaps that showed. I then took paper clay and shaped it in the front bottom of the tin to make a mound of “snow”.

When the paper clay had dried, I covered it with a layer of Deco-Art’s Snow-Tex dimensional snow product. I quickly poured on some fine glitter, tapped off the excess, then set aside to dry.
Next I  glued in a tiny bottle brush tree. I removed these from their bases and poked a hole into the clay with an awl. To hang the ornaments, I used a metal hole punch to pierce the top, then threaded some beads onto a head pin and finished it with a wrapped loop. A small piece of silver cord tied onto the loop finishes it off.

I hope you enjoy seeing my take on this project. Here’s wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Elizabeth

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More Ice Resin Pendants

I love doing mini collage bezel pendants with Ice Resin.  I learned this technique from Jen Cushman – who was the teacher for the classes at The Queen’s Ink in my last blog post.  Here are some I made in Jen’s class at Bead & Button in Milwaukee as well as a few I made in my studio.parrot

“Green Parrot” – Art Mechanique hobnail bezel, Iced Enamels (chartreuse & torched copper), vintage images and book paper, metal flower (old post earring).

heart

“L’amour Francais” – Art Mechanique large heart hobnail bezel, Iced Enamels (Carnelian & Ivory), Iced Enamels Inclusions German Glass Glitter (sky blue), vintage images  & book paper, vintage watch gears, old jewelry pieces. Links made of black onyx, stone, crystal and paper mache beads made on ParaWire Vintaj Arte Metal black wire.

balloon

“Royal-Vauxhall” – Rue Romatique oval bezel, Iced Enamels (turquoise & ivory), postage stamp image and words, scrapbook transparency image,  vintage watch gears. Attached to knotted leather cord necklace with bronze metal fibers (class taught by Susan Lenart Kazmer).

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bird“Steam Song” – Bird on Branch bezel from The Enchanted Gallery, handmade Indian papers, script scrapbook paper, tiny black onyx bead, vintage watch gears. Necklace made from chunky chain and links of cherry quartz and glass beads.

Check out the Ice Resin blog for inspiration, tips, techniques and tutorials.  I’ve found lots of videos on YouTube as well.

Elizabeth

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Classes with Jen Cushman

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to take three classes taught by Jen Cushman at The Queen’s Ink in Savage, MD.  This wonderful shop is a crafter’s paradise – with loads of rubber stamping, paper crafting and mixed media supplies.  I have taken some Ice Resin classes with Jen before, but they have all been jewelry focused.  This time, two of the classes were art and assemblage creations and I found myself diving into new techniques and loving it.

First on Friday night, we created a journal cover, using paints, stamps, collage papers, grunge board letters and pens. She also taught us to create wire embellishments that we attached to the cover as well. When the collage was completed, we coated the entire cover with Ice Resin. journal1

Here is a close up of the wire embellishment.  We started by using plain paper towels to wipe the paint from our hands – this later became the resin “paper” we attached to the wire form we created.  I added a small bezel with a little face in it to the center of the flower.
journal2

Saturday’s class was a resin heart necklace – I’ve done this type of class before so was more comfortable here. I chose a few bits out of my jewelry stash – a carved wooden bird and a leaf branch – both former pins that had lost their shanks. Iced Enamels in torched copper and carnelian were applied to the bezel, then a collage of papers and dictionary words was added. The bezel was filled with Ice Resin and the bird and leaf were carefully set in.
necklace

After a break for lunch,  Jen taught the class to form metal fibers using a torch; to create clasps with wire;  and to attach jump rings and the fibers to silk ribbon to complete a necklace.  Since the class was full and I had experience with these techniques, I helped out with the instruction, and completed my necklace at home.
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Sunday, we worked on assemblage pieces, learning to use the molding putty to reproduce found objects in resin. Jen also taught techniques for finishing the resin reproductions with paint, Iced Enamels and Gilder’s Paste. Did you know you could use Iced Enamels on cured resin?  And on bare wood as well – I used torched copper in the largest section of my box.
assemblage1

The resin castings I chose for my piece were a hardware piece and a frozen charlotte. The doll had been cast in white resin, so just a touch of gilder’s paste was added. The hardware piece was given a coat of German Silver Iced Enamels and a touch of celtic bronze gilder’s paste.
assemblage2

The bottom sections were done with Iced Resin dripped with alcohol inks and resin tints; some dictionary paper; and resin mixed with glass glitter. In the center section above the dictionary paper, I mounted a little cat chasing a butterfly pin I had in my stash. I added some gilder’s paste to it as well, to bring out the detail and to make the little butterfly blue.

assemblage3

I had such a great time learning from Jen, who is an awesome teacher. I am so excited to have new techniques I can use with Ice Resin and all the Ice Resin family of products.

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Faux Druzy for a Real Friend

Druzy stones are all the rage, but they can be pricey and don’t come in the shapes or colors you may want. How to create the druzy look you want? Combine Ice Resin with glass glitter and you get a stunning focal piece that looks like a druzy. This heart focal was originally created for a contest in which I had to create several pieces using different Ice Resin techniques. Once the contest was over, I wanted to do something different with this piece. And I have a dear friend who loves druzy stones. Why not an original piece just for her?
ouisi1
The pendant was made by mixing an aqua green glass glitter into Ice Resin, then filling a small Art Mechanique hobnail heart bezel with the mixture. The glass glitter is chunky, so when the resin is set, it sticks out of the bezel in all directions, like the crystals in a real druzy.  I added a butterfly cut from an orphan post earring.
ouisi2
The colors were just right to combine with some rectangular African “turquouise” (a type of jasper) I had in my stash as well as some silver mesh covered beads and chunky gunmetal chain. I can’t wait to visit her soon and see her wearing it.

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Girl in an Ivory Heart

Turning a damaged metal costume jewelry component into a one of a kind pendant was easy using Iced Enamels and Ice Resin. The metal heart was discolored but had a nice shape and would be a perfect bezel. New color was applied using Iced Enamels Ivory Relique powder, then a vintage image was placed inside the heart using Ice Resin. The back is covered with mulberry paper, also sealed in resin.

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After attaching a pendant bail, I created a necklace with vintage faux pearls, chain, chunky yarn and a vintage rhinestone clasp. The clasp had been missing all of the large stones, but I found four pink ones in my stash that fit perfectly.

necklace3

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Christmas Swag redo

I made a Christmas swag several years ago and found it in the attic this year. The little boxes were all smushed and the teddy bear bow kind of bedraggled. I took those off and updated it with stuff in my stash.doorswag1

A cool curly peppermint striped pick found at a shop in old Occoquan VA, a wooden heart covered in vintage music paper (a project started and rejected), a vintage elf ornament who had lost one of his skis (but who needs skis?), a rusty snowflake and a “Peace and Joy” charm.  doorswag2

Add in a bit of ribbon found at Goodwill (I believe it was a Container Store sample) and my door looks very inviting now. Merry Christmas everyone!

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Bead and Button Show Part 2

I really wish I had the funds to purchase everything I wanted at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, but I don’t, and I don’t have the space for everything either.  So, although choices were hard, I did make them.

A new artist whom I had not seen before was Anna Chernykh of Russia.  She creates wonderful jewelry findings and pendants works under the name AnnaBronze.  Much of her work is very organic.  I selected two snail pendants and a pair of shell charms. annabronze

She also does wonderful steampunk work and I could not pass up her steamship pendant or the gear charms.annabronze2

I stopped by Green Girl Studios as well. I can’t seem to resist their pewter beads and charms. This trip I snagged charms in the shape of a mushroom, pea pod and dragon. I also purchased a dragon pendant.greengirl

An artist whose work I had heard about but not seen in person was Anne Choi. She does amazing silver work and I could not pass up this grasshopper button.annechoi

I don’t usually buy fancy clasps, but I was intrigued by those made by Jenny Ratcliffe of Hidden Treasures LTD. She creates silver clasps with vintage and antique buttons. I purchased three clasps. Not sure if the bat was originally a button, but isn’t he awesome! These clasps are made to be seen, not hidden at the back of the neck, so will have to design special pieces to showcase them.hidden

I also picked up some older items. The broken frozen charlotte dolls were probably from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.charlottes
The black trilobite, however, is a fossil piece. I have already made a mold of the trilobite and want to cast it in resin or precious metal clay.
trilobite

I tend to be a supply hoarder and always want to save special pieces for a special project, which never seems to get done. I’m hoping to start breaking that habit and be able to show you what I’ve created using these special pieces.

Elizabeth

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Bead and Button Show Part 1

My sister and I had a blast at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee at the beginning of this month.  We each took 5 classes and learned some great new techniques.  We also shopped, and shopped, and shopped.  So many great beads and findings to purchase.  My favorite section features the bead artists.  I always manage to pick up a bead or two from these creative folks.

I wish I could remember who made this lampwork frog bead.  I purchased this from the silent auction during the bead social and didn’t get a card with the box. I LOVE the detail on this bead and look at those eyes.  Can you believe it is only 1 1/2″ tall?

frog

Maureen Henriques of Pumpkin Hill Bead always has wonderful lampwork. I can’t seem to resist her beads. This time I snagged an adorable hermit crab in a purple shell, a pair of tiny penguins and a selection of lampwork round beads.

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Another wonderful artist I purchase from is Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. Her ceramic beads have wonderful natural motifs. This time I found a bee bracelet topper, dragonfly pendant, cranes cabochon and a pair of small starfish beads.

firefly

A new artist I discovered, also working in ceramic, is Andrew Thornton, of Allegory Gallery. I purchased these wonderful seahorse pendants.

andrew

I had seen the beads created by Vladislav and Kremena Ivanova of Golem Design Studio in Bulgaria before, but this is the first time I’ve purchased any pieces. I fell in love with the snail pendant and had to get the little matching ladybug beads. And since they were so well priced, I picked up the flower pendant as well. The color on these ceramic beads is so vibrant!

golem

There is so much more to show you, but I’ll do it in my next post.

Elizabeth

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