I 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 –
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 – 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 going 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.