Sunday, November 6, 2011

We R Memory Keepers: Eyelets



A brand that I've really been enjoying is We R Memory Keepers. I especially love their wide eyelets! While I love the look of eyelets, I do not enjoy setting them. Half the time, I end up crushing the face of the eyelet, and the back-side never looks pretty. WRMK's large eyelets set very cleanly since the eyelet's backing is perforated. They're made beautifully and come in a wide variety of colors. They're available here. The photo is from the WRMK website. I am not affiliated with this brand, I just love their eyelets!

The photo is from the WRMK website: http://www.weronthenet.com/

I Love Kraft Paper!




I love the look, feel and versatility of kraft paper! In the projects shown above, I have embossed the paper to create tags; cut and folded it to make greeting cards; and stamped and distress-inked it to make a charming wedding tag.

Clear, Chunky Glitter!


In my 4th grade, I remember my class making holiday projects out of butcher paper. They were jumbo Christmas-themed items: a giant candy cane, a huge bow, a chubby Santa. We colored them in with markers and used glitter to accent our work. I remember being so incredibly excited to use the glitter, as were the other kids. However, the subsequent mess made by the glitter caused me to hate it. Throughout the rest of the year, we'd find glitter in every corner and and glitter worked deep into the classroom rug by dozens of little feet. My holiday project would shed glitter every time I'd move it from one storage bin in my house to another. My initial infatuation with these metallic sprinkles was replaced with frustration. From then on, I felt like once you used glitter, you'd never be able to escape it.

Fast-forward years later. I am now in my twenties and no-longer possess the clumsiness of a 9-year-old girl. Not to say that I'm no longer clumsy. I saw a couple projects online featuring chunky glitter and I was amazed that something I had learned to despise for so long, something that screamed messiness and gaudiness to me, could look so elegant. A few weeks ago, I purchased a jar of clear chunky glitter from Michael's. It's not iridescent or metallic; It's just plain, colorless glitter. I'm pretty careful and neat when I use it, and am happy to report that I have not inadvertently sprinkled glitter throughout my house this time!

I used it on the wooden snowflake prop in the above photo. I bought the wooden snowflake from Michaels, distressed the edges using Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Tea Die and then applied some glitter with Elmer's glue. The Elmer's glue really gives the glitter a thick base to adhere to (unlike a gluestick) and doesn't allow for much shedding of the glitter once the glue has dried. I love the effect the finished snowflake has and I think it photographed beautifully! 



Working with Copic Markers


I've really gotten into stamping lately, and although I'm not as great a stamper as many crafters out there, I've gotten better at included stamped elements in my crafts. I guess I don't have a natural knack at it, because stamping is actually pretty tricky for me! 

One thing I've noticed on a ton of blogs is the use of Copic Markers to color in stamps. I recently purchased some Copic Sketch Markers at a reduced price online. They are way better for blending than, say, Crayolas, but they do require a bit of practice to get used to using. The above is one of my first projects. I don't think it's bad, but I definitely have some room for improvement! I don't have that many markers (they do get expensive), so I am limited by color choice. I have a few pastels which I'm looking forward to using in the spring, though.



Shabby Chic Christmas Cards!


I've always loved the shabby chic trend in card crafting and scrapbooking and decided to try my hand at it. I wish I was better, since I can't seem to get away from my straight lines, but maybe that's just my style! The above card features embossed kraft paper, die-cut snowflakes sprinked with clear chunky glitter, handmade fabric flowers and seam binding bows in the corner! Very heavily embellished, but hey, it's the holidays and I can get away with it!


Here's another one. Again, it's just my interpretation of the shabby chic trend. This card features patterned paper, a paper embellishment, a handmade flower and a seam-binding bow. And a little jingle bell!

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Tea Dye


Distress Inks have become go-to products in my crafting projects. In the previous post, I discussed Tim Holtz' Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. VP can be a little too dark for more delicate projects, although the nature of the inks does allow you to build up the product on the paper. I purchased Tea Dye for a lighter color option, and used it in the above shabby greeting card. You can see the shading along the central focal panel and along the edges of the card. The photo really doesn't do the card justice!

I find that Tea Dye is a better option for lighter-colored papers and more subtle effects, however, it can be difficult to build this product up on kraft paper or anything lighter than ivory, really. Vintage Photo is a little more versatile since it shows up on darker papers, as well. If you are trying to decide between the two, I'd go for Vintage Photo. These two colors seem to be the most common from all the blogs I've read. However, Ranger and Tim Holtz have really expanded their line, and there are plenty more colors to choose from (36 in all)!

Here's a link to Ranger's website with all the Distress Ink color options: http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_dyeink_distresspads.htm

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo


I've been loving Tim Holtz line of Distress Inks by the parent company Ranger. They're alcohol-based dye inks that are great for blending and allow for creating an "aged" look on paper, shadowing, stamping, etc. I use them primarily to ink around edges and my handful of Distress ink pads have become staples in my crafting! In the above set of cards, I used Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I used Vintage Photo in the card below, as well. 


In order to use the ink to blend along the edges of paper, I use the Ranger Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool and Foam. I used to (and sometimes still do) use a piece of a dry kitchen sponge. It's not as convenient as the blending tool, but it does lend a more rustic-looking and rough effect. All the products mentioned can be found on the Ranger Ink website: http://www.rangerink.com/products.htm

The above image is from www.thecropstop.org
For more information about how to use Distress Ink, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube!