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.




  1. WWWWOOOOOWWWW! This is an awesome card! First I love the front and second I love the inside! It looks like colored glass. Very cool. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. You are hilarious! Yay for the alteration spirit! ;)

  2. Oh wow this is amazing. I really thought the iron gate die was real metal until I read further down your post. So very Cool.
    :) Chris / CS Designs

  3. Wow! Soooo utterly brilliant, whimsical and gorgeous! Perfect use of your treasures!
    Claudia x

  4. This piece is truly inspirational! I'm going to break into my artful dwellings die and have a go. I love the use of colour - it reminds me of your beautiful country. Deep bright and colourful! Going to have me a go with the salty technique too!!! Love it. Jean.x

  5. What a joy of a project and what a joy of a post! The paper string woodgrain effect is genius, and the hammered metal effect of the hinges is brilliant (must remember the salt!!). And as for your artful dwellings - they are just magical... fabulous colours, embossing, creativity in every single one. Love, love, love this!!
    Alison xx

  6. Thank you for the words you said about my work! I'm glad you like my style, I am a super fan of Tim Holtz and like you "collect" everything possible!
    I liked this project very much, absolutely deserved to be pinned! BArbarayaya

  7. Wow girl!!! This is awesome! Your card is not just a is really a work of art! I so love your cover of the card with it's very whimsical and colorful dwellings! And the "metallic" hinges you've created to help "frame" your dwellings....they are magic! You've incorporated several wonderful techniques to really bring this card to life. I love it and just keep oogling over it! <3 Candy

  8. I loved reading your post and I love that you cracked open the artful dwellings die to make this wonderful whimsical creation. It is fabulous! You have inspired me to get out my die and have a go too. I, like many others, share your love of collecting all things Tim........ I wonder if he appreciates what a change he has made to many crafter's lives........ Anne xx

  9. OH wow this absolutely stunning. A little piece of art in itself. Just love the colours.
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

  10. Hey girl! You are so welcome for the comments I left on your artful dwellings because they are so awesome! I truly love your "go for it" style! You turn out some amazing art! I also wanted to thank you for the very uplifting comments that you left on my blog!! <3 Candy

  11. I would get all excited after "handyman" put up my shelves and have the need to work out some energy on some creating ;)
    I Love Love Love this card. It is a piece of art. The colours are so bright and vivid.
    Love all the texture, colour and use of these products.
    Can you tell I love this.
    I also enjoy reading your blog, you have a fun way of explaining your process ;)

  12. Absolutely captivating art, I just love the rich colours, the wonderful textures and your very creative design. Brilliant xx

  13. The colours in this and the extraordinarily beautiful frame are amazing. I echo what Brenda said - brilliant! Jenny x

  14. Love your rich colors and all that texture... fantastic design!


It makes me happy when you stop by the Tincan deli - I love interacting with other bloggers, crafters and anyone else who is up for a chat. If you leave a comment I am going to come over to your blog and visit there for a while!!!>