Sunday, December 27, 2009

January Swirlydoos Kit - Rubs on the Letters

I hope everyone had a Wonderful Christmas!! I thought I would show off a couple of pages I have completed using the main Winter Wonderland January kit from Swirlydoos along with some of the add-ons that can be purchased with that.

The top layout that was originally featured in this post is now out for publication!
I didn't take any close ups of this page because I was having some lighting issues, however, the main photo turned out ok. This was my take on the sketch that Begahunna does every month for Swirlydoos. This is a picture of my family in 2007 right after a light dusting of snow. The only thing not from Swirlydoos was the blue butterfly I added from my own stash. For the letters on these I did the same as above except without the rub ons.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

~*~ Thank You ~*~

I just wanted to thank everyone for all of your great comments during my 12 days of distressing event. I also wanted to welcome all of my new followers. I hope to bring more tips and techniques to you very soon. Most importantly I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and fruitful New Year!! Blessings to all!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 12 of 12 Days of Distressing - Photo Distressing

Day 12 Photo Distressing - This is it! The last day is here and my newest and my most favorite distressing technique is the subject for today. I love distressing photos and even though it isn't practical for most layouts, it's sure fun to do when you get the chance.
First off when distressing a photo I 100% recommend using matte photo paper. Using matte paper is like using regular paper and you can write on it with anything without it smearing. On my 'She' layout I placed the photo before distressing it, so I could blend it in with the existing layout. I placed it down and used an exacto knife using the shredding technique.
This photo I distressed before placing it on the layout. First off I took it to the laundry room and took out my bleach. My bottle of bleach has these dried up bleach crystals that tend to accumulate around the lid. I took a few little crystals and rubbed them around the corner of the photo. It just rubbed the photo raw and white. After that I cleaned off the bleach and took some rust colored alcohol ink and dropped it on the corners and went around the entire photo. I really think the photo is the best part of this layout.

So again I 100% recommend using a matte photo!! Otherwise you may not be happy with the results or you may even find that the product you are using doesn't work with glossy photo paper. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment area and I will be happy to respond there as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 11 of 12 Days of Distressing - Paints & More

Day 11 Paints and More - I might be pushing towards a little mixed media here but you can really do some amazing distressed layouts by mixing things such as paints, glitter glue, etc. There is no real directions to do this except for experiment with it. Again don't try to be perfect, but slop it on and put your fingers into it. This first layout was done using inks and acrylic paints all over it. I used a clear acrylic background and started with alcohol inks and went from there.
This layout has some blue crackle paint in the corners just for that extra something. Also around the journaling I smeared some golden dristress stickles. After inking the edges the stickles really brought it out that much more.
These types of accents are really just for those finishing touches. If you are stairing at a layout forever and not sure what it needs, try adding some shimmer or paint. On my layout called Bug I finished it and then thought there was something it needed. Instead of adding more embellishments, I just used some Shimmerz brand iridescent paint and painted it on the exposed background paper. I didn't do a ton of distressing on this layout, but I thought it was a good example.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 10 of 12 Days of Distressing - Embellishments

Day 10 Distressing Embellishments - Ok so we can basically use almost every technique I have gone over this far on embellishments. We can sand, ink, shred, paint and more to a lot of different embellishments. This particular layout I did some work on the flower, scroll, and title. I hand drew the letters for the title then cut them out and took an exacto to the edges to fluff them up a bit, then I inked them mildly. The flower on the other hand I inked, added a tiny bit of acrylic paint that I smeared on the petals. Then I misted it with some Smooch Spritz silver spray. Then to my little scroll that is at the bottom of the layout; I sanded, inked, and dropped some red alcohol ink on it. I was just plain black when I started.
On this layout I did what I did on my Soar layout featured in one of the early distressing posts. I used my diecutter to cut both chipboard flowers and paper flowers. I glued the paper on to the chipboard and sanded the tops and edges of it. You can take these further and ink them too. The raw chipboard circle I used the Tim Holtz edge distresser on.

Basically anything you put on a page you can distress in some way. It's fun to play around with. Letters are probably the easiest embellishment to distress by either sanding, inking, or roughing up the edges. Just have fun with it and try different things.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 9 of 12 Days of Distressing - Stitching

Day 9 Distressed Stitching - I think that stitching can add a lot to a layout even if it's just a little bit. It's another one of those techniques that I feel people think is too perfect for a distressed layout. I think it can take a distressed layout to a whole new level. Ok so what is distressed stitching? To best sum it up, it's imperfect, destroyed, non uniformed, etc. Here are a couple of examples of some distressed stitching. This first layout was done with a machine. I stitched in white around the photo mat. I would stitch forward then reverse, then repeat a couple more times. I then went over the corners doing the same thing. I didn't worry about straight lines and that is honestly more difficult to do then straight stitching lol.
This particular layout I hand stitched with some cream colored twine. I punched little holes here and there along where I wanted to stitch and just went to town. I tied a couple of knots into other sections of the twine just to really throw off the lines.

There is so many ways to distress your stitching. Another way is to slightly tear apart or loosen some of the stitches. Ink a section of it to give it a stained look. Have fun with it! If you have a question feel free to leave it in the comments area and I will answer you back there as well. Thanks for looking!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 8 of 12 Days of Distressing - Shredding

Day 8 Shredding - Shredding is another way to destroy your papers surface and create a distressed look. This first layout was done using a solid black piece of cardstock. I first used silver alcohol ink on almost the entire thing. Then I used my Cutterbee exacto knife that I featured in my 1st day of distressing post. I drug it from side to side on this entire page and even sliced some of the sections.
This particular layout I used the same knife and used it on the green textured cardstock. I fluffed it up and gave it some really nice texture. As you can see this technique can be very thrashed looking or very pretty and neat. Either way it's very easy to do and helps give a layout that something extra.

This layout is temporarily out for publication!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 7 of 12 Days of Distressing - Trim Distressing

Day 7 Ribbon, Fiber, & Trim Distressing - I wanted to have this the day after staining because they pretty much go hand in hand. However, I didn't want to post them the same day, because this is a step beyond actually staining. Adding texture to your layouts is very common, but I notice that it seems to get left out on distressed layouts because unless you mess it up a bit it looks to clean. On the canvas layout I did below I used a couple of different ribbons and actual chain. I distressed all threse items in some way. The black ribbon I took some scissors and cut off a fine strip off the edge of the whole ribbon and frayed up the sides just a little. On the larger red ribbon I used my blending tool with some dark ink and ran it over the ribbon a couple of times. Then I cut the ribbon and frayed the ends to give it a torn apart look. As for the chain, that was easy, I just broke the link :).
Basically any ribbon, trim, or fiber can be distressed. Twine is really easy to fray up by lightly running it back and forth over some blades. Yarn can be unraveled and ribbon frayed. Lace can be torn and shredded. Just have fun with it.

The last couple of posts have some great examples of distressing trim as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 6 of 12 Days of Distressing - Staining

Day 6 Staining and Dying - I LOVE working with natural colored lace because you can buy it in bulk and turn it into any color imagineable. So you can use the same style of lace on multiple layouts and nobody is going to know the difference. Notice these two layouts below. The green lace at the top of the photo mat o the 1st layout is exactly the same lace that is to the left of the photo on the 2nd layout. I just used two different colors of alcohol inks. You can use items like tea or coffee to stain your lace or trim, but you are stuck with just a couple of colors. When you use alcohol inks you can have so many more choices. I have also used distress ink from ink reinkers, but the drying time and mess is a lot worse, so I would avoid it when possible.

When I dye my lace I will lay my lace down on my crafting mat and just run my ink down the lace letting drops fall as I go. The color will naturally spread out into your lace. I like to use a little more in some areas and a little less in others, so that it has a non uniformed look. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section and I will respond in the comments as well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 5 of 12 Days of Distressing - Bleaching

Day 5 Bleaching - This could be a bit damaging, so I recommend being extra careful while using bleach not only for what you are bleaching, but for your clothes and things around you. However, with that said, it looks AWESOME!!! I don't like keeping bleach around my desk so I literally take my project with me to my laundry room when I want to bleach something. In this layout below I used some plain dark green cardstock. I tried sticking to the left side for the bleach. Now you can do a splatter look or a rub look. For this layout I wanted a rubbed look and so I used an old rag and put a small amount of bleach on that then wiped a couple of areas and the edge that I wanted bleached. To do a splatter you can use a dropper or something to that effect to drip and splatter onto your paper.
I even used bleach on the picture of this layout, but it a much different way. I will touch on photo distressing in a few days, so check back for the how to's on distressing your photo!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 4 of 12 Days of Distressing - Cardboard

Day 4 Corrugated Cardboard - Corrugated cardboard can be a real pain if it doesn't want to cooperate. I have seen ladies have this full sheet of 12x12 cardboard sheet and have so many issues with it they just throw it out and vow never to use it again. Ok I have a few tips to help simplify using cardboard. This first layout has a full sheet of cardboard for the background. Now the most frustrating part is peeling that top layer off your cardboard. The easiest way that I have found to do this is by spraying water all over the side you want to peel, but don't saturate it, just spray it so it soaks into that top layer. Let it soak in and then peel away. Try to peel it first because once in a while I get this awesome piece that peels really easily, but most of the time I use water. Now you can either leave it raw or use a number of things to decorate it. I used pink acrylic paint on this layout and I didn't apply it evenly, but painted heavier in some areas and kept some of the raw cardboard exposed. This layout I wanted to jazz up my cardboard even more. I used crackle paint and some purple stickles. I would spread it over unevenly and don't worry about getting every spot. Do the crackle first and let it dry, then use some stickles and rub it around all over. Crackle paint is my favorite thing to use on cardboard because you get this really neat vintage look.

This layout is currently out for publication!

The nice thing about corrugated cardboard is you can get it for free on any box that gets delivered to your house or where ever. You can try doing different things to it without throwing away too much money. You can tear it, ink it, paint it, color it and the list goes on. Just have fun with it. I have noticed some ladies using it in their title work and it makes really cute letters. I haven't tried this yet, but I am wanting too. Feel free to ask questions by leaving them in my comment section and I will answer you there as well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 3 of 12 Days of Distressing - Sanding

Day 3 Sanding or Filing - Again I am using layouts I have featured on here in the past, but I want to show you the best examples that I have. Sanding is a great way to get that worn out look in your paper or embellishments. This first one I did for Harlee Quinnz Designs and I decided to make my own flower embellishments using their paper. I cut some flower shapes out with my diecutter in both chipboard and pattern paper. I glued the pattern paper to the chipboard and then took my sanding tool and began going over the hole flower sanding heavier on the edges. It whitened the edges and gave them a really great worn out and distressed look. This particular layout is done using some embossed stickers and a sanding tool. I placed my pattern paper on top of the stickers I wanted to use and sanded on the pattern paper. The sticker images will start to come through the paper. See along the edges and the corners of this layout. That was all done using this particular technique.
One more quick and awesome way to sand is by crinkling up the paper you want to use into a wad. Then flatten it out again and take a sander to it. The wrinkles will turn white in color. You can ink it for added color or leave it plain. I chose to just ink around the edges of the blue circle below. This layout has around 11 techniques of distressing on it, so you will most likely be seeing it again in future how to's :).
I will tend to use a generic brand block sander or sand paper that I steal from my husband's shop :). I have come across this one from Tim Holtz in the scrapbook store as well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 2 of 12 Days of Distressing - Masking

Day 2 Masking - Masking is such a cool way to add to your pages without creating bulky layouts. I love masking and you don't just have to use a product made for masking. You can use just about anything that is flat in shape. I have used chipboard shapes, letters, stencils, you name it!! On this first layout I used a Tim Holtz mask in the upper left corner. Tim Holtz masks have a sticky side to prevent slipping, but I reuse mine over an over weather they are sticky or not! I just applied my mask and sprayed some glitter mist, in this case, some Smooch Spritz over the area of the mask. Here is a layout I did just using some Maya Road acrylic letters. Smaller shapes can be trickier but just use some repositional adhesive on them to help hold them in place and that should work just fine. I have used shapes like butterflies, such as the large masked image in my Day 1 "Discover" lo. Another fun trick is creating your own shapes by using your Cricut or using stencils for a reverse masking look. I used a blending tool and inked over the top of the letters.
I normally will use either a glitter mist or just ink over the mask using a blending tool like the one I have pictured below. Sometimes I use both mist and ink to get a more multicolored sparkly look. I will mist first and then ink over all of it using my blending tool. When you use the blending tool, don't stamp it down, but smoosh it around in a circular fashion to help blend nicely.
When I use inks over masks I will tend to spread my ink over a larger area of my paper. Then I will mist over it a little. It looks neat when you have some over spray of mist that gets over the masked area. Check out my "You" layout in my pre-12 Days of Christmas post, because it has a great example of this.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 1 of 12 Days of Distressing - Edge Distressing

Day 1 Edge Distressing - There are several ways to distress the edges of your paper. Weather you own tools for it or not, it's super easy to do. I have a couple of examples of paper distressing below along with how to achieve that look and what tools you can use to get it.

This layout below has what I call nice and neat edge distressing. For the most part it has straight lines with roughness just on the edges.
A couple of tools you can use to get the above look are this Tim Holtz paper distresser or an exacto knife such as the Cutterbee. Some people use the blade on scissors as well, just as long as they are sharp enough. Now the Tim Holtz has directions included, but when you use and exacto knife or scissors you want to run the blade sideways along the edges. You will then begin to see the paper fray up a bit. The more you run the blade across the paper the more it will fray.

Below is a non uniform way to distress your edges. This layout below has been featured on my blog in the past for the flower, but it is also a great example of a very distressed edge. To do this I just run my scissors around the edge of my paper, cutting like you would wrapping paper, just let the scissors glide. If it tears a little, no big deal, it will only enhance the look more. You can decide to have more control with your lines like the photo mat or just go wild like the background paper.
Enhancing your edges isn't hard either. You can use inks and water. For example if you want an inked edge that looks like it's curling up, you can simply ink it then spray your paper with water around the edges and crinkle them up or roll them up. When it drys it looks really neat, because the ink runs just a little and the paper dries rolled and crinkled. I will generally use Ranger Distress Inks and Blending Tool when inking.

I did say several ways to distress your edges didn't I? Don't forget simply tearing your edges. That's a great way to create a neat look including a burned look. Make sure you are tearing the paper so that you can see the layers torn. Then I use Black or Dark Brown inks on the torn areas. Another way to get a burned look is by actually burning the edges lol. I've done that too, but I don't like the ashes that fall off the edges.

One more way to distress your edges just a little, but not actually all the way around. Just take scissors and make little 1/8" to 1/4" snips here and there around the edges of your paper. Then fray up the snips just a little. I did this around the background paper on this layout. I did make two large tears at the top and just cut some different pattern paper to stick behind it. I had to go back and actually correct this layout because I put the wrong year on it lol. That happens sometimes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12 Days of Distressing!!

I was planning on actually starting this on the 1st, then I got caught up in this really fun 12 Days of Christmas challenge over at and forgot all about this. Well the funny thing is yesterday was day 8 and our challenge was to distress our layout at least 3 different ways and the person who distressed the most wins extra points. Well that day inspired me to start a 12 Days of Distressing on my blog even though it's late!! So tomorrow on the 10th, I will post my 1st form of distressing. Some of my entries will already be things that you may know, but I will try to get a little creative and show some different techniques for distressing your pages. Oh and by the way, here is my entry for Day 8 of the challenge. This is a pic of my daughter Tyler when she was 1 1/2. I distressed almost every part of this layout. I will be going over a lot of the techniques you see on this layout. Can you see the cute kitty in the background? That was our Persian cat named Tequila. We got her from an older lady that had a large amount of cats and needed to get rid of some. The funny thing is they were all named after some form of alcoholic beverage. My sister took a white cat named Chardonnay.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Working With Canvas

Canvas..... LOVE IT!! I bought these two 12x12 canvases a few months ago and they have been sitting on my shelf the whole time. I just didn't get the inspiration until today. I am doing this challenge over at and it is 12 Days of Christmas challenge that involves a sketch a day. My canvas layout called "him" was my take on the sketch. The heart symbolizes our love and the broken chain and ribbon symbolized the things we have overcome and broke through in our relationship. Here's a quick how to on what I did. I started with using red alcohol ink and covered the entire canvas with it using a blending tool. Then I went over it with some gesso and red acrylic paint and just did some finger painting. Gesso helps to add some nice thick texture.

The black and white polka dot paper was severely distressed by crumpling it first then running over the top of it with a sanding tool. Then I tore and inked the edges on both the red and polka dot paper.

The title was a total accident. I used Bo Bunny chipboard letters in cream. I stuck the word 'him' on a white piece of scrap paper and then sanded the color out a bit and did a couple of swoops with some black soot ink. I liked it so much I just left it like it is on the scrap paper and stuck it on here.

The heart I smothered in glue and poured red glitter on that. I distress both the polka dot ribbon and the red ribbon, by shredding the edges of the polka dot ribbon and inking the red ribbon and shredding the ends for the break.

Thanks for stopping by and looking. I highly recommend trying out a canvas. They are a lot of fun.


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