Friday, December 30, 2011

merry and bright

hello gypsies and happy almost new year!

it's been a whirlwind of craftiness this month, but i wanted to sneak in one last holiday project. i'm really proud of this one and it features my number one gypsy herself. this is a xmas canvas, but just change up the colors and it can be any holiday, birthday, or any day at all!

grunge letters, chunky sparkle paint, and stickles combined

paper curls create a festive tree
paper doll with a cutey face! 
accordian-folded paper arms and legs, free-hand cut mittens and boots, button trimmed festive hat!

i hope you all have a festive and happy new year! see you back at the caravan in 2012 for more creating, more fun, and more gypsiness! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

alterered jeans

today's project started out with a little pair of jeans i couldn't get rid of. they were my daughter's, and they were just too cute to part with. but i didn't know what i wanted to actually do with them. and then i thought "ALBUM COVER" and so gypsies, here we go!

i used a combination of paper collections for this albumn - "uncommon", "gathering", "journey", "blissful", and "splendid" as well as some pieces from our "freebird" papers. i also used some cardboard from a xmas box for the inside covers, and miscellaneous buttons, flowers, and sparkly bits. i left the pockets intact and the make great extra little tag and keepsake pockets.

Monday, December 19, 2011

tim tag mania #4

welcome back authentique fans!suburbngypsy here with inspiration for the holiday season and beyond. today i'm going to introduce just one of the many techniques i used for this tag. upcoming blogs will highlight others including using "acrylic paint dabbers" to create a release, and creating gilt leaves with "glycerine paper".

so are you ready gypsies? well then away we go!

it's been an amazingly creative month. so many company challenges, so many incredible blog hops. and what would the season be without tim's "12 tags of christmas". after totally immersing myself in craftiness, i started to try putting everything i'd seen and learned into some sort of order. and i found myself wondering what would happen when i took two inspiring techniques and put them together. the result? tiny crystal roses!

these delicate little beauties are made with our "wonder" collection, but any of our papers would do. the heavier the paper the better the results, and the more white on the paper the more translucent your flower.

these first steps are inspired by tag #10 from tim holtz's "12 tags of christmas"

the first thing you need is some very clear packing tape - yep! packing tape. and some paper - for these i used pieces from our "wonder" collection..
adhere the tape to your paper, burnish it down, then cut it out.

next dip the strip in very warm water. the warmer the water, the easier the next step is.

once the strip is completely wet, take it out and turn it over so the paper side is facing up. then rub rub rub away the paper. keep rubbing until no paper is left on the tape - you'll have an imprint left from the ink though, that creates a translucent strip.

pat the strip dry with a paper towel - don't use a heat gun! once dry, take a second piece of packing tape and tape the backside of the strip, creating a two-sided glossy strip of translucent paper.

now we're ready to make the roses. this is inspired by christina colon at the twisted muse.

next, cut 2" squares, then cut each square down to a circle. you can use a punch, but hand cutting will give your rose a more organic look. take your circles and cut them into spirals, leaving a round circle in the center.
now use tweezers, and starting at the end, twirl the paper around the tweezer tip. you'll see the paper curl into a cone shape, and once you've reached that little circle you left in the center, stop and pull the paper cone off the tweezers. keeping a good hold on the cone, let it open up and relax a little so you can see the "petals" start to form. use the tweezers and your fingers to loosen or tighten the layers. once you're close to a shape your like, dab a little hot glue on the circle you left at the end of your spiral, and press the flower gently onto it. you can continue to shape the petals while the glue sets.
once the hot glue has set, the final touch comes by applying a little bit of glossy accent along the edges of the petals, and dipping the flower in diamond dust.
by creating your own transparent "paper", the roses become luminous in a way paper can't match. you can vary the roses - buds to full blooms - by playing with how tightly you wrap the spirals. you can also play with the size of the petals by how thickly you cut your spiral - the wider the spiral the bigger the petals.

i hope you enjoyed today's technique tutorial. the tag i created to highlight the crystal roses is a compilation of lots of techniques - too many for one blog! so be sure to come back on december 22 for the "gilt leaves" tutorial!

materials used
"wonder" - authentique papers
glossy accents
diamond dust
special thanks to tim holtz and christina colon for their inspiring work.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

tim tag mania #3

hello gypsies!
well tim may have wrapped up his 12 tags of christmas, but that doesn't mean the fun has to stop! presenting...tag #3! this one is inspired by techniques from a couple of tim's tags this year. so are you ready? well hold onto your sleigh bells 'cause here we go!

so the inspiration for tag #3 came from

so i created the rugged metal following tim's technique. first i used a texture folder on a piece of crafting metal and ran it through the sizzix. the i gently painted over the embossed metal with a "snow cap" paint dabber. once the paint dried i lightly sanded it and then rubbed "walnut stain" over the surface and around the edges to create a vintage patina. final touch was to sprinkle embossing powder over the whole piece and hit it with the heat gun to seal in the ink and add a shiny finish.

next i cut letters to spell "i believe" from idea-ology "alpha parts" and dabbed them with the "gold" metallic paint dabber. after the paint dried i covered each letter with a thick layer of glossy accent and set them aside to dry.

to create the background of the tag i first stamped it a couple of times with a stamp covered in "snow cap" acrylic paint. the paint creates a resist for step 2 - dying the paper. to do that, i dribbled distress stain directly onto my craft mat, spritzed the tag with water and swirled it around in the distress stain. i used a heat gun to speed up the dry time because it was so exciting!

once all of the separate elements were dry, i assembled the tag. note the santa face embossed on my "homemade" kraft paper, and the tissue tape banner. the ribbons and lace are all dyed using distress ink pads - tim's seasonal color set was great! i sanded the finish off the "believe" washer to brighten it up, and finished the tag off with a bell, ala "the polar express", because i believe!

coming soon - steampunk xmas! and a happy elf for giving!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

tim tag mania #2

welcome back gypsies! day two/tag two. i was very inspired by this tag from tim
now, the tag itself didn't do much for me. in fact i refer to it as the "license plate tag" - sorry tim!
but the technique is what turned me on and inspired me to create this -
i was really stoked when i figured out how to do this. so are you ready gypsies? then away we go!

i created the tag itself by cutting it out of a sheet of metal, using tim's big tag die. 
one trip through the sizzix and we were ready for action. 

then i cut a bunch of leaves out of chipboard - tim's leaf die of course - and arranged them on the backside of the metal tag. then i sandwiched everyone together with cutting pads, and one trip through the sizzix!

leaving the leaves in place i then burnished around the edges with one of those big paper "thumbs" to really sharpen the edges.

then i broke out the alcohol inks and painted the leaves. i used a paint dabber on the background then rubbed it off and burnished it. next i used a point to create the veining down the centers. the final step was applying glossy accent and diamond dust to the leaf edges.

while the tag dried, i took those chipboard leaves i used to emboss the tag, and saturated them with "pine needles" distress stain. after they dried i sanded the edges and then rubbed them with "walnut stain" distress ink, using the sponge blending tool. the final effect was distressed layers of colors. final snowy touches of white paint dabber and the leaves were good to go. 

but i had too many leaves, so i cut the stems down and part of the leaf off, and ta-daah! instant tiny trees!

i also played with embossing and created the ticket and lightpost - tim stamps of course. for these i actually did the embossing on white cardstock, then rubbed "walnut stain" distress ink over the paper to create a subtle kraft paper. and of course i inked the edges after cutting them out.

final touches included velvet ribbon "berries" - tie a tiny knot then cut very close so there's no ribbon hanging out. some more ribbon and trims and we're done!

i really enjoyed this tag - thanks for the inspiration tim! or should i say, "timspiration"?

materials used
metal - 10 seconds studio
"tattered leaf" and "tag" dies - alterations, sizzix
"walnut stain" - distress ink pad
"pine needles" - distress stain
"snow cap" and "espresso" acrylic paint dabbers

Friday, December 9, 2011

tim tag mania! #1

so it's xmas, and evidently that means that tim holtz creates his "12 tags of christmas", and everyone else goes crazy. it's really amazing to watch. every day mario rossi starts tweeting behind the scenes shots and commentaries on that day's tag. we get peeks and teasers of what the tag will look like, and we build up to the big reveal at midnight. people challenge each other to post first on the tim blog, and this year we're able to post our own tags on tim's blog, to show off our own inspired spin on his idea.

it's a friggin party every night!

i didn't realize how crazy devoted tim fans are, and since i'm one of them, i think it only fair that i coin a new "gypsy jargon".

timaniacs - n. a person who stays up until midnight to get the first look at a tim tag, after spending several hours following on twitter, making shopping lists for the next day, and trying to be the first to post a comment when the tag goes live at midnight.

bonus jargon:

timania - n. state of being one with the timaniacs

i'm not saying i do all those things....ok, maybe i am just a little.

so in the spirit of timania i am starting my own set of tim inspired tags. i'm not doing a literal one-for-one, but rather creating tags that might be inspired by techniques from a couple of tim's tags. so are you ready gypsies? well here we go!

timaniac tag #1 - inspired by tim's day #1 tag
so my first decision was to not copy the tag, as copying is boring

 so, i started off with one of my newest and most fun techniques - i made sweater letters out of the "noel". for those of you who visited during my "so knotty" tutorials, you'll remember my sweater letters, and i hope you're as excited as i am with the result.
next i added my other favorite new technique - homemade icicles
then i created some paper flowers from tim's cool tape. next i die cut some leaves and then crumpled and inked them for extra gypsiness.
final bits were the reindeer, which cut from a ribbon of them, and the lace at the bottom that i misted with water and then inked with "walnut stain" distress ink. some dabs of gold stickles and we're almost done!
to finish off the tag, i misted and inked some plain white ribbon with "iced spruce" and "festive berries", added some twine and sparkle charms and tied everything together around a glittered twig i stole from a decoration  found around the house.

i really had a lot of fun with this one, and i hope you're now inspired to try your own tag! don't forget to join the party on twitter tonight as we all await tim's #8 tag. and come back tomorrow for my timspired tag #2!

materials used:
"wonder" collection paper - authentique
"maraccinno" twine - the twinery
"iced spruce" and "festive berries" inks - tim's seasonal ink set
tim tape, bits and pieces, this and that
caffeine - starbucks

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

smash this!

take one K&Company SMASHjournal, a box of Echo Park papers and some bits and pieces and what do you get? an awesome vintage journal to die for. i received the journal and papers in my design team project box from scrapbook island. never paid much attention to them in the store but now...

this is actually the "pretty style" SMASHjournal with the bright pink spine and pen holder. the inside papers are muted and vintage,  so to coordinate better with the mood of the pages, and the Echo Park papers, I covered the spine first thing. then i used "worn lipstick" and "iced spruce" distress inks to bring out the beautiful embossing on the cover. a spritz with "cappuccino" pearl mist add just a little bit of glam - vintage glam that is.
next i divided the book into sections. since this is a project destined to become a store sample, i focused on embellishing the divider pages, instead of trying to make over the whole book. and frankly the papers inside are so cool, it would have been a shame to cover them up. i used SMASHpockets, and SMASHpad notes, and papers, stickers and paper bits from the Echo Park "Times&Seasons" collection. the sticker sheet comes with number flags, which made perfect section dividers.
the final touch was replacing the flamingo pink elastic pen holder with a loop of cream ribbon instead. the pen is a combo pen and glue pen - sweet!

after wrapping up the book, i have to say i'm thinking of getting one for myself! i wasn't impressed with them on the shelf in the store, but after having a chance to play with one i can definitely see the potential for fun, especially for tween and teen girls. this seems custom-made for younger scrappers who want to journal and save keepsakes without the heavy time and craft investment of more traditional scrapbook.

**gypsy disclaimer - i was not compensated for expressing my opinions on this product. and i wasn't invited to offer my opinions either. as always, the gypsy calls it like she sees it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"wonder"ful shadow box

hello gypsies!
i hope you've enjoyed following the "so knotty" tutorials as much as i've enjoyed making them. and now the reason for today's post.

our "so knotty winner" is - "debb"
congratulations! email me your shipping info at

and now for the first oh-so-jolly xmas project!

it is officially the xmas season - i love the nip of cold in the air, the smokey smell of wood fires, the twinkly lights in the neighbors' trees. i also love the feeling of nostalgia i get, reminiscing as i unwrap the ornaments and trinkets i've collected through the years. to celebrate my warm fuzzy side, i would like to share this little shadow box with you. so hold on to your sleigh bells, and away we go!

a timeless shaker in a snowbank, hanging icicles and snow-tipped trees.
a happy santa, greenery, and a tiny strip of film - do you remember film?
a tiny bottle of captured winter - snow, branches, and a jingle bell - snow flakes and snow drifts.
"dear santa" just started, grandpa's pen nib, and jolly santa - do you still write to old saint nick?
i hope this inspires you to make magic this xmas.
stop by again to learn how to make your own icicles and snow drifts!

materials used
papers and elements ~ authentique's "wonder" collection
paper tray ~ 7 Gypsies
trinkets and what-nots ~ idea-ology, 7 Gypsies, Theresa Collins, and random keep-sakes