Monday, April 2, 2012

Completed Display & Craft Room Pics

Hello again!  I'm now officially a Creative Chemistry Graduate!  I'm sad that the class is over, but so glad that I was able to participate!  It sure was a fun-filled two weeks.  Now I can get back to a normal (okay, normal for me...) sleep schedule since I won't be waiting up until midnight to start the new lessons.

Tim taught me so many helpful things and beautiful techniques.  Many of the techniques were things that I'd seen before in one form or another, but it was the detail that he went into and the explanations behind why things work the way they do, that I will most take with me in the future.  I feel like I am much more knowledgeable about Ranger products and inks and stamping in general. 

I got my degree in Studio Art just about 3 years ago.  I loved studying art full-time, but I know that I can never go back to that time in my life.  This experience has helped me relive that a little and to realize once again that we NEVER stop learning.  I hope that Tim will teach many more of these types of classes (after he recovers from this one!) because I can't wait to do this again!

Below are pictures of my completed butterfly display & some pictures of my craft room.  I'll do a better tour sometime soon:

All 25 Techniques that we learned in class are represented and labeled in this display, so I'll just be able to look up above my work space and get inspiration!
I added a little hook on the wall to hang my tags so that I can just reach up and grab them whenever I feel like it.  I figured if I put them in a drawer they might get damaged and used less often.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 10!

Tonight we got received our very last technique from Tim Holtz for Creative Chemistry 101.  The lesson was all about adhesives, sealers & dimensionals.  The technique taught us a little bit about Distress Stickles.  I have to admit.  Even though I have about 9 different Distress Stickles colors from a big lot of stuff I bought on eBay, I've never used them before...  or rather...  never known how to use them correctly before.  I tried to use them like regular stickles once and didn't like how it turned out, so I never tried them again.  Now I know...  you need to spread them out in a thin layer and they look beautiful!

Here are my last tag and square:

y) Distress Stickles Technique
This has been such an amazing journey!  I'll be finishing up my butterfly display with all the squares over the weekend (hopefully...  it's Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week, so I'm swamped with work this weekend) and will post pictures soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 9

Today we learned about Perfect Pearls. 

I had a LOT of difficulty with my homework, specifically with the Perfect Distress Technique.  I've seen Tim do this technique before and not gotten it right.  For whatever reason, when I mist the water over top of the distress ink and pearls, the pearls just spread out and the distress ink doesn't wick right.  I'm going to have to keep working on it.

That being said, I really love the way all my mists combined.  It's so cool to see the glimmer that you can get with perfect pearls.  Right now I have only the metallic set, but I just ordered two new sets and I can't wait for them to arrive.

I wish that my pictures did a better job of showing off the pearlescence of the tags!  They're really beautiful in person.

v) Perfect Distress Mist, w) Perfect Distress, x) Perfect Splatter Distress
See you tomorrow for the LAST DAY of new lessons from Creative Chemistry 101.  I don't know what I'll do...  I'm going to miss this!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 8

Well, today is Day 8 of Creative Chemistry.  Only 2 lessons left.  :-(  Our lesson today was about paint.  We learned the properties of Studio Paint, Paint Dabbers & Crackle Paint.  I think this may have been one of my very favorite lessons so far.

Here are my tags & display squares:

s) Dabber Resist, t) Crackle Paint Resist, u) Shattered Stains

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 7

Welcome to Day 7!  Today we learned a little something about heat embossing.  This was definitely a helpful lesson for me and I was immediately able to identify a few things I've been doing wrong for a long time (flicking the back of tags to get excess powder off, and trying to use UTEE to emboss images).

Here are my tags:

p) Nostalgic Batik, q) Rusted Enamel, r) Distress Powder Resist
 I really had a lot of fun with all of these techniques and was pleased with my color pallet today.   I wish the vibrant colors showed up better in the pictures.  I already ordered 2 new colors of Distress Powder and I can't wait to use them with the last technique.

Hope all my classmates had fun today, too!  See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 6

 Creative Chemistry Day 6: Distress Markers.

Today we learned about the newest addition to the Distress Line...  Distress Markers!  As soon as I heard about them from watching the CHA 2012 new releases on, I knew that I HAD to have them.  I've got a few sets of permanent markers already (no copics, though), but no water based markers.  I also felt like it was a good opportunity to get the entire set without buying all the ink pads (even though I hope to collect all the ink pads eventually).  I ordered my set on Ebay and got them about a month ago.  It seems that they are rather hard to get right now and I got very lucky to get them so quickly.

Here are my creations:


m) Watercolor with markers, n) Stamping with Markers, o) Blending with Markers

 Here is my O-ring with all the tags I've created since starting this class!  It's starting to be quite the collection and I'm very excited about it:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 5

Day 5!  So tired...  will be very brief until the morning.  just want to get my pictures on the forum.  promise to add more soon...  don't know how Tim is doing it...  I'm exhausted and we're only half done...  can you believe we're half done already?  Kinda sad.

Left is Marbled Stains, Middle is Stained Kraft Resist, Right is Stamping with Stains.

j) Stained Kraft Resist, k) Marbled Stains, l) Stamping with Stains.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creative Chemistry Day 4

Hello there!  Day 4 is finally here!  They had some technical difficulties, so the class wasn't available until around 10 am!  I was being manic about checking the page to see if it was loaded last night until I gave up and went to bed (thankfully!) and then this morning until I finally saw that beautiful "Day 4" logo.

Today we learned about caring for out stamp pads and Reinkers.  I bought 4 reinkers especially for this class, so I'm new to it all.  My oldest stamp pads are only a year old, so I didn't think I needed them yet...  But now I'm hooked and want more, more, more!

Here are all of my creations from this lesson:

Left is the Custom Stamp Pad, Middle is the Layered Misting, and Right is the Watercolor with Reinkers.

These 2 1/4 inch squares are for a display to put on my wall that I'm making of all the techniques.  g) Layered Misting, h) Custom Stamp Pad, i) Watercolor with Reinkers.

Once again, had some supply issues, which I was very nervous about, but I worked through it!  With the 4 limited colors, I wasn't sure how varied my looks would be, but you can see, each technique does something very different.  I also wasn't sure if they would work well together...  but I need not have worried...  like Tim says...  pretty much all his colors work together.

My biggest issue was that I don't have any Cut N Dry felt.  It's been on my wish list for months (since I saw another video where Tim made a custom stamp pad).  I found a hint on youtube from Stampin' Up demonstrators (don't do any Stampin' Up products, but sometimes I watch their videos to get ideas) to use baby wipes.  So I built up a little pile of about 8 to 12 layers of wipes (just folded and stacked) and followed the directions that Tim gave us.  It worked very well.  I'm sure the Cut N Dry felt would be much more precise, the ink spread out on the wipes a little more, and the felt pad would last much longer...  but as a way to do it cheaply and quickly, the wipes were wonderful!  I even saved them in little baggies and will try to use them another day and see how it goes.  Here's a picture (taken about 5 hours after I made them:

I didn't have nearly enough mini-misters, (only 3 and 2 are in use already) so I used travel sized squirt bottles from the dollar store.  They did the job, but man-oh-man, now I see why the mini-misters are so much better.  I used a mini-mister to measure out my water and pour it into the squirt bottle.  It only went about a 1/4 of an inch up the side of the bottle, but I wanted to keep the same measurements that Tim used.  Then I sprayed it on the tag...  and it covered almost everything else on my work station, too...  It was WAY more liquid than a mini-mister and less precise.  I used paper towels to build a little wall on all my subsequent squirts.

I loved the watercoloring with reinkers!  I've never been big on watercolor before, but it was a lot of fun and I loved the varied tones that I could get without much effort.  I bought the pallet and waterbrushes ahead of time and enjoyed working with them a lot.  [edit:  just realized that I was supposed to use watercolor paper and I just watercolored right on the manilla tag...  worked great anyway, but now I'll try some watercolor paper, too!  ooops]

Alright, well, that wraps things up for today!  See you tomorrow for Stains!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Creative Chemistry Display Beginnings

I decided that I need to have a way to display all the techniques that we're learning so that I'll have inspiration whenever I look up from my workspace.

In addition to the tags with the technique instructions listed on the back, I'm going to make a smaller version of each one in a 2.25 inch square and then I'll mount them all to a background.  I used a hole punch on labels and stamped the letters a through f (so far) on them and affixed them to the lower right corner.  Then I stamped the letters onto the back of the tags with the instructions.  That way, when I look at the display, I'll just have to look up which letter it is to get the instructions.  I also decided to use a butterfly theme on the squares so that the finished piece will look unified despite all the different techniques and colors.

a) Blended Spritz & Flick, b) Wrinkle-Free Distress, c) Brushless Watercolor, d) Archival Resist,         e) Alcohol Ink Agates, f) Reflections Stamping

If you are interested in learning any of these techniques (Plus a whole lot more!), it's not to late to sign up for Creative Chemistry 101 with Tim Holtz!  Go to

I'd love to hear about how my classmates plan 
to display the things they are learning!

Alright, now back to my regularly scheduled posts...

Creative Chemistry Day 3

Creative Chemistry Day 3!  I stayed up late to learn the lesson and try out the techniques.  It's 2 am right now...  so I'll keep it brief.  Maybe I'll be back later to add some more!  Then again...  maybe I'll take a nap after work instead. :-P

On the left is the Alcohol Ink Agate Technique, the center is the Reflections Texture Fade Technique and the right is the Archival Resist Technique.

Had some supply issues that really prevented me from rocking this lesson the way I'd like to have.  I only had soft gloss paper instead of glossy cardstock for the two techniques that are on black backgrounds.  I also only have 2 colors of Archival ink...  black and green.  This was the first time I've ever tried Archival ink at all.  I've added more colors of Archival and Glossy cardstock to my wish list.  But despite all that...  I'm pretty pleased with how all 3 tags turned out and I know I'll use all these techniques again in the future.

Here are some individual shots:
I've tried this technique on soft gloss paper before and the effect is still pretty nice.  The alcohol inks still do all the blending effects that happen on glossy, but the finish is much more subtly shiny.

No idea what happened to the color in this photo!  It's the same green background as the others.  The colors are much more vibrant orange in real life.

See you for Day 4!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creative Chemistry Days 1 & 2

Yesterday I started the Creative Chemistry 101 Class with Tim Holtz from  This is a class that covers the science behind a lot of Ranger products, especially the Distress line, and gives techniques for how to use them.  You can still sign up at any time.  I'd definitely recommend it if you want to know more about a lot of the techniques that you may have seen Tim use in other blogs and videos.

On Day 1, we learned about terminology, inks and surfaces.  It was very helpful information for anybody who works with inks, even if they don't use Ranger products.

Today, Day 2, we began the first product, Distress Ink Pads, and learned some techniques to use them.

Here are my tags with the 3 techniques and an extra tag that has all of the techniques combined on it:

For the 3 Technique Tags: The left-most tag is the Blended Distress/Spritz & Flick, the center is Wrinkle-Free Distress, and the right tag is the Brushless Watercolor.  I wanted to make sure that I didn't do a lot more to the tags so that I can use them for inspiration in the future, since Tim has provided us with a PDF with instructions to glue on the back of the tag.

Here are some individual shots:

Had some trouble with the Wrinkle-Free Tags...  or maybe I did them right and just don't really love the technique.  I've tried this technique (where you push your tag into ink on your mat sprayed with water) before and had just as murky results.  Tim's always looks so great, though!

That's all for now!  I'll let you know tomorrow how Day 3 goes--it's about Archival Ink!