Monday, April 21, 2014

Tim Holtz - 12 Tags of 2014- April entry

DSC01744Well hello bloggerkins’

I am 10 days shy of the deadline again.  I have excuses but more about that later.  Let me show you my April 2014 entry.

There are only a few tags and pieces that I have created that have escaped my habit of excessive judgement and catapulted straight into my ideal of awesomeness. This tag is definitely going to be one of them. It was so fun to make and it turned out so beautifully that even though I made it as the front of a card – I dont think that I am going to give it away, I dont actually know what I am going to do with it – but I am going to keep it all for my selfsome.

 It involved glossy and crackle accents, splashing paint, and some Macguyvering.  I think I might have also unintentionally developed a concerning crush on washi tape in the process. 


Anyway, my interpretation of the Mr Tim’s inspired work this month, took flight from this one simple image from the line of stamps that was featured in last month’s tag challenge. 

I stamped it onto stamping paper cut to 1/3rd of an A4 sheet, I am all about those tall trifolds right now.  Ranger Inkssentials Specialty Stamping Paper is my new favourite medium to work on.  It kind of looks and feels like shoe-filler board.  But don’t be fooled - this stuff is bloody awesome and will make you buy shoes just to see if you can get the same effects from the shoe-filler (ask me how I can vouch for that?). I swear on every Sizzix die that I own, right from your juicy stamp not sliding at all, to how it reacts with dyes, chalks and paint to get fantastic textural and special colour effects, I have never met any undesirable moments with these sheets of pure brilliance.  DSC01748

I don’t love the Pinecone die as much as I love my other ones.  Firstly, I think I have a defective die cos it doesnt cut all the way through on the last 3 outside petals of the spiral. There unfortunately was a stupid thought that I could remedy the no-cut woes by “tempering” the die with one of my Spellbinders Tan embossing mats.  BAD MACGUYVER MOMENT!!!  I now have a curious tan siliconey rubber pinecone spiral.

DSC01752Eventually, I realised that shimming in just the right outside petal spots with folded newspaper pieces makes the die even enough to cut a perfect die-cut.  

Secondly, have you ever met anyone with infinite amounts of  patience to roll up loads of those pine-rones (Yes I just made up that word – work it out – you’ll want to say pine-rones too, I promise, seriously, do it, do it now……see……)?  Having said that – I forced myself to engage with the die and made a whole lotta pine-rones! Look there on the right and below that on the left – you know why?  Cos I ‘rone like that!!

DSC01756I bought these Idea-ology tag fragment thingies ages ago and never got around to using them, so even though I have those metal word tag token thingies – I decided that the sentimespiration (Yup, invented that one too)would be this month’s test of “use-your-holtzings-in-different-ways” personal challenge.  Love how this turned out darlings…. I love Ranger’s Archival Ink to stamp on anything – more than I love that other brand that promises to stick on anything, you know the one, the ones where they dry up real quick and stays on things you dont want it to stay on, and stays off the things you want it to stay on.


I think making the branch look all gnarly and dimensional was defo a highlight for me too.

I had fun with the Frameworks die-cuts too. DSC01750Some Macguyvering there too, but good Macguyver had come out as the dominant personality this time.  Did I say that I loved making this tag yet?

I confess that I haven’t been around to everyone’s of late.  In my real-life I sometimes have to put in extra attention to my work at my day job.  Recently I presented a paper at the UJ Phenomenology and Naturalism conference in Johannesburg and I kind of got distracted with getting that into shape. 

I do not like Jo’burg city in general, whenever I am there I always feel like I am looking in on the set of some kind of Dystopian Novel turned into a movie-set.  But I may be biased because I grew up on one of the Tropical Coasts of my country, and I way prefer my lush part of the world with minimal concrete and it’s natural beauty to the concrete jungle of the Goldmine City.   What I do love about Jo’burg though is it’s amazing twilight and dusk sky. Check this picture out that I took from the balcony of the place that I was bunking in for the duration of the conference.  Isn’t that just a Distress Ink Palette?  Going to have to do something with this skyline and colours soon.  That’s it for me today – catch you soon…ish!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Artful Dwellings Altered!!!


DSC01715I collect them you see, like a sick collector.  I buy them and then I get like all precious about them.  So you know how like Comic book collectors have comics from the 1950’s still in their original packaging?  I get that anal and holy about my Tim Holtz stuff. 

To be fair to myself, it’s not entirely all nerdy-geek sacrosanctity.  There is a legitimate economic consideration – owing to the Rand/Dollar exchange I pretty much have to drink cabbage soup for the rest of the month whenever I do a little “Holtzbinging” which then make these items the more financially valuable items I own.  Seriously, they are on the same level of parity to bottles of perfume and 14K jewelry.  There are large appliances in my house that are worth less than my Holtz collection.   

But I digress.  Back to the story – I noticed the other day, after Chairman Mau had installed some shelves in my office, and I felt the need to put stuff on them, that I had all these lovely virgin dies. 

See, I would bring them home, but I would feel like using them right away to cut through hard cardstock and vividly busy patterned paper would just be wrong – like an insult, an affront to their dignity, a blatant disrespect for their reverent selves.  So they would sit, I would feel like when the time was right, I would have that devout conviction in my heart that it was time.   Chairman Mau had spent the whole week doing major house alterations in my dwelling and turned it into something artful.  The time had come. All the signs were there. That for me was the unchallengeable silent whisper that it was time to use the Artful Dwellings die.  

But like when you go on some insane juice only detox cleanse and then when it comes to the day you get to eat solids – you binge on all the cake, cheese, biscuits and icecream in the store – I went a little nuts and overcompensated for my asceticsim regarding the dies – I even altered the die-cuts.  I cut out all the lovely whole shapes, then I wanted to turn them into little houses, so (“gasp, shock, horror”) I cut them up, and then cut those pieces up even more so that the roofs looked like roofs and the walls looked like walls.  To add insult to this irreverence – I even went in and inked those bits up in loud, loud colours.  I inked all over Mr Tims lovely designer paper, I stamped on them, I even embossed them -----Lord have mercy!!! 

You would have thought my insolence would have stopped there – but no – posessed by a demonic alteration spirit, I went and busted out the Hanging Sign and Hardware Findings Dies. I freakin’ cut those up too!   I was watching Once Upon a Time while all of this was happening – which may or may not explain why the design turned out like the cover of a storybook.

A few things that I discovered along the way apart from the fact that “magic always comes with a price” and that when the Chairman Mau calls me “dearie” I want to call him “Rumpel”.  If you unravel bits of paper rope, stick it down in all its unravelled but crinklyness, and your distress ink it madly with a bunch of different colours, you might end up with a cool woodgrain texture –

TRUE STORY – look here on the right –>

I wanted the wrought iron to look wrought and hammered and like it is about to break out into orangey rust song. So I sprinkled some medium grain salt into some distress embossing powder.  I mean if I am going to be altering the integrity of products – I am going big, nothing in small, controlled measures for me baby!  I love the regular distress embossing powder – but the salt addition just made it ever so slightly distress-ier.  Liked that – got to remember to do that again.


For the inside of the card –DSC01723 the sentiment is related to the spirit of the house alterations the Chairman has been doing and the gentle way he has encouraged me to  mentally/spiritually “evolve”,let go and faith forward toward love and living. 

My new favourite distress effect thing to do is to stamp stuff in Archival Ink in the same tone as the that which I am DSC01724going to blend around it.  I then roughly paint over that in clear gel medium – trying to get in as much brushstroke around the edges as possible.  Then I go all out with some serious Distress Staining, Inking and spatter brushing.  I really love this effect.

For the personal message part that I was writing on, I got a little philosophically artsy- fartsy. The idea was to distress ink in happy, bright, contrasty colours, the “Cracked glass”  Stencil from the Holtz line (YEAY – Still so excited that I got me some Stencils) to signify the moment of moving from broken toward brighter, happier things.