Primitive Nativity

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In the spirit of the season, today I’m sharing a nativity project that I have noticed on several crafting sites in the last few years, and wanted to create for myself.

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The fun thing about this full nativity project is that it can be scaled back to a few key pieces if you are short on time, and I’m sure I can think of a few new pieces to add next year. It’s the perfect gift for a friendship where small items are exchanged each season – start with Mary, Joseph and the manger. Add the angel, wisemen, shepherds, animals, etc. in future years.

I’m thankful for my friend Darcie who helped in anticipation of Christmas, and we created three full nativity sets in just 2 hours (plus a 24-hour rest for glue to cure!).  Supplies from Tommy ART, Thibra and Better Ultimate Adhesive take this project from simple to striking, and the first-rate quality of the supplies means the sets will be enjoyed for years to come.

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Directions for Creating the People

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Step 1: Cut your character pieces from the 2×2 lumber and quickly sand to smooth any rough edges, especially at cuts on each end. We used a circular saw. Please be sure to wear your safety glasses – a great idea when snipping dies, too! (Ask me how I know!) 

You have some flexibility, but these measurements seemed to work well with proportion of the 1 ½” knob heads. The measurements and colors of this set as shown this set are:

  • Joseph – Tommy ART Petroleum – 6 ¾”
  • Mary – Tommy ART Pale Blue – 6”
  • Angel – Tommy ART Metallic Pearl – 8”
  • Manger – Tommy ART Brown Black – 3”
  • Shepherd 1 – Tommy ART Dove Grey – 5”
  • Shepherd 2 – Tommy ART Wheat  – 6”
  • 3 Wiseman – Tommy ART Avocado, Plum and Navy Blue – 7” each
  • Donkey – Tommy ART Dove Grey – 2”
  • Sheep (cut 2) – Tommy ART Cashmere – 1 ½” each  
  • Cow – Milk and Dark Brown – 3”

The stable shown here is made entirely of scrap wood. My friend Darcie whipped this together for me – in 10 minutes, and I do not have a pattern or angles for the mitered cuts. The base is 6” x 20”. The sides are 7.5” tall on the left and 9.75” tall on the right. The roof pieces are 19.75” and 11.25” long. The pieces were glued with Better Ultimate Adhesive and secured with finishing tacks. The stable was painted with Dark Walnut and Honey Tommy ART Mineral Color.

Step 2: Use a natural bristle brush (these are super affordable at your local craft or discount store!) and apply thin swipes of Tommy ART neutral wax to all of the edges of each 2×2 pieces. Allow the wax to rest about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Paint each of the pieces and allow to dry.  Again, the colors shown here are:

Tip: If painting animal heads, glue heads to the animal bodies before painting. (Better Ultimate Adhesive gluing instructions in step 5)

Step 4: Gently wipe edges with sandpaper to remove hints of paint for a slight distress look.

Tip: A damp cloth to wipe dust from pieces is helpful. Use a clean corner of cloth for each different color of paint.

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Step 5: To apply heads:

  • gently sand the top of each body and apply thin layer of Better Ultimate Adhesive AND
  • also apply a thin layer of glue to the flat base of the round knob.

(A special spreading tool is included with each tube of Better Ultimate Adhesive sold, but if that isn’t with your tube, a craft stick works great!) Allow the adhesive to rest on each piece for 1 minute and then apply pressure to match each head with a body. Stand upright and allow glue dry/cure. Adhesive will “set” firm in 2-3 minutes (this gives you a little bit of work time for perfect placement!) and will cure in 24 hours.

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Better Ultimate Adhesive is a all-purpose super glue. It’s great for the garage, home, craft, office, hardware and more. Bonds in 1-2 minutes, NO ODOR, won’t glue your fingers together, incredible hold, and you CANNOT glue the lid to the tube! Use 100% of the product.

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Step 6: Accessorize your wisemen with easy Thibra gifts.

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Thibra is a sheet of thermoplastic that can be shaped and molded with hot water or a low-temp heat tool. It is easy-to-use, and can be molded, shaped, sculpted and slumped. It paints easily without sanding or priming. Here we’ve used it with a Prima decorative silicone mold and Tommy ART Metallic Color – bronze, gold and copper.  Learn how to mold the Thibra and paint the finished pieces with metallic color this short video:

Holds detail beautifully. Super fun.

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Glue gifts to the front of the wise men with Better Ultimate Adhesive and tie with jute belts.

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Step 7: The angel shimmers with Tommy Art Pearl Metallic paint and halo. To make the halo, wrap wire around a cylinder (I used the lid of a shampoo bottle), leave a 1-2” wire tail and secure to the back of angel head with Better Ultimate Adhesive.   

Tip: Secure halo in place with the wire stem down the back of the body using painter’s tape the head and the body before applying glue. Allow glue to rest and cure with angel face down on table.

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Step 8: Wrap burlap scrap around Mary. Also tie a piece of jute around a scrap of burlap for the swaddled baby. Glue a small ½” knob to swaddling for baby’s head.

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Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday season.

Merry!

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At a weekend retreat a few days ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Taylor… and in her bag of tricks was the brand new Taylored Expressions release that is available today. I immediately swooped up this Big Ornament stamp and die combo, started stamping and painting away!

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My image is stamped on Sugar Cube cardstock and embossed with White Embossing Powder. Then I set to watercolor all of the beautiful detail on this bulb. I worked from the top of the bulb to color, and it was surprisingly easy, just alternating colors as I worked toward the bottom.  Love the rich, watercolors.

The bulb was popped with X-Press It High Tack double-sided foam tape on a Confetti Cake cardstock layer, stamped with a new holiday background frame called Twiggy.  Plenty of versatility with this one!

The sweet MERRY sentiment is a new large die with a Merry Mixed Media Script background – that I cut from Vellum. For the vellum adhesive, I used X-Press It 2-way Glue Pen. Added bling was a gift from Studio Katia! Love the glimmer and shimmer!

So many pretty things in the Taylored Expressions release today – I’m especially looking forward to a deer head die that I saw peeking from Taylor’s stash! I know I’ll be shopping…

Hope you have a beautiful Thursday!

To the Moon and Back

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It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited about colorful new stamping mediums, but this is the actual day! Our Splitcoaststampers Product Focus team was asked to work with a new ink line from Clearsnap called Dyestress Blendable Dye Inks.

I was a little bit nervous about working with the Dyestress Inks. Personally, I’ve never had good luck with other blendable inks — I drool over other stamper’s backgrounds and blending that I see on the internet, but no matter how hard I tried, I would always have foam or brush marks on my finished projects… I could never achieve the beautifully smooth blends.

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I could not believe how rich and smooth the colors blended for me on Bristol Smooth Cardstock to create this galaxy background. These inks stay wet long enough to dab with a papertowel or rag for texture, and they lift beautifully with drops of water that is spritzed and dripped and then picked up from the cardstock with a paper towel. When the cardstock was dry, I flicked drops of Ph Martin’s Hydrus Titanium White all over the blended inks. When that was dry, I shot the whole thing with a spritz of Imagine Crafts Sheer Shimmer Spritz that I borrowed from Kelly Lunceford at a retreat last weekend.

My images are from Reverse Confetti’s set Moon Men and color with Copic Markers. I do love how this turned out… I may even send this card! LOL

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The second card I made for this project was a simpler blend of color and the same water lift of drops and spritz of water to absorb the color on Bristol Smooth Cardstock.(Yes, the paper makes a difference!) The colors of blendable ink I used for the background were Moonstone, and Heather, the rainbow was created with Salmon, Citronella, Shamrock, Scuba and Pansy.

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I used the Rainbow Die from Waffle Flower (so sweet and perfect!) and a sweet sentiment, Ridiculously Happy from Honey Bee Stamps.  Sequins from Studio Katia – super bling! Love.

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One more little Dyestress Ink project to share today… The colors I used were Heather and Pansy, again on Bristol Smooth Cardstock. The same water lifting technique and when the cardstock was dry, I flicked drops of Ph Martin’s Hydrus Titanium White all over the the purple background. Adorable Pick a Pumpkin die is from Newton’s Nook. Sequins from Studio Katia.

I love these inks, and so did the Product Focus review team. Take a look at their reviews here, and an inspiring project gallery here.

I stamped a lot over the weekend, and I’ll have projects to share over the next few days! Thanks for stopping by!

Getting Technical

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A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend the fabulous UNWIND retreat with Lydia Fiedler. The retreat was so fun because I was able to try a lot of new-to-me-techniques. I was most excited about using my Gel Press because I’ve had it for a longtime, but was super intimidated to bring it out in my craft room!

I needed some “purple” cards in a pinch this week. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for! The Gel Press comes clean with your lift prints and the brayer is easy to rinse and wipe off.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. rolled a very thin layer of white acrylic paint onto my Gel Press with a brayer.
  2. dropped Copic Various Ink refills over the white paint and rolled again with my brayer – you have to work quickly with the alcohol inks
  3. stack a stencil over both the white acrylic and alcohol ink onto the Gel Press – here I’ve used Chevon Arrow Stencil from Taylored Expressions
  4. applied cardstock over the stack on the Gel Press and lift – the first print I used for the card on the left
  5. lift the first print and then the stencil – and press a second piece of cardstock to the Gel Press – this is the print I used for the card on the right
  6. applied both prints to cardstock bases and added sentiments

My sentiments were made with Thanks Script in Plum Punch cardstock and Thanks Script Backer in vellum – both from Taylored Expressions.

Love how quick and easy these were to make!

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Happy 10th Birthday to Taylored Expressions!

 

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Can you even believe it?! Celebrating 10 CRAZY FUN BEAUTIFUL YEARS for Taylored Expressions today! Almost 40 designers celebrating today, and the fun starts HERE.

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I am so honored to share with you today and say, ‘Happy 10th Birthday’ to my friends at Taylored Expressions!  10 amazing years of papercrafting with adorable, adorable stamps – back before we even had coordinating dies to match our stamps! Can you even believe that travesty? We use to fussy cut the layers!

I have been stamping with Taylored Expressions from the very first release, and last night I took a trip down memory lane – through 10 years of favorite projects. I remember seeing the very first stamp concepts while sharing dessert with Taylor at Summer CHA in Chicago – 2008.  The excitement over her opening her very own stamp company was so strong!

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Between my top card and this one, I was able to get 10 candles from the adorable Make a Wish set on my card fronts in honor of this incredible milestone. For this card, I cut the candle dies from watercolor paper and applied watercolor. Fast and easy! On all three of my cards for today, I’ve also used Frame in Frame Cutting Plate 2. – it’s pretty much my favorite. Here I’ve paired it with Dotted Lattice embossing folder, and kraft cardstock.

I can’t imagine a birthday party without surprises, so take a minute to see the fun new stamps for the BIRTHDAY RELEASE! 

Usually milestone parties call for slideshows of old pictures, so I’ve dug up a few! 😉

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Taylor and I with Tosha Leyendekker and Cindy Lawrence

in the Taylored Expressions booth at CHA Phoenix, AZ January 2017

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Celebrating an awesome Copic class in the TE Studio • June 2016

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a fabulously fun class in the TE Studio space in Ankeny, IA

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This photo was likely taken with a Blackberry… bawaahh. Remember those?  Chicago Summer CHA 2011-ish?

Taylor and I – Waxahachie, TX get-together with friends – November 2008

Taylor and her sweet mom, Linda – Summer CHA 2009 – Orlando, FL

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Taylor and Linda hitching a ride in the back of the smallest little hatchback you’ve ever seen! Summer CHA 2009 – Orlando, FL

When the TE Store was in Taylor and Jon’s basement! Stamping Get-Away to TE in March 2010! Sankari Wegman, Sharon Harnist, Jami Sibly, Taylor and I. <3

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Definitely a Blackberry photo – Taylor’s baby shower in Chicago • July 2011

Splitcoast Cupcake Reception Winter CHA Anaheim, CA – January  2009

Debbie Olson, Taylor, me, Jami Sibley and Sharon Harnist

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Where I first “met” my sweet Splitcoaststampers friend …

SoCal Stamp Mania in May 2007 … the good ole days!

Since we are well over the 10 year mark, I’ll say, ‘love you long-time, T… you and your cute shoes!”

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And because it can’t be a party without balloons! I have one final card to share with you using the awesome Bold Balloons stamps and dies with Taylored Expressions inks: Guava, Pink Champagne, Pineapple and Candy Corn on my favorite Sugar Cube cardstock. with a Chevron Arrow Stencil Accent.

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One more thing I wanted to mention, is the touching TE Mission to SHARE JOY with handcrafted cards. I hope you join in the celebration! Here’s a message from Taylor,

At the heart of Taylored Expressions is a mission to share joy through the gift of handmade cards. As part of their 10th birthday TE is continuing that mission with the launch of a special Share Joy campaign focused on providing birthday cards to those in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the U.S. To make as deep an impact as possible TE is inviting card makers everywhere to join the campaign. Will you join us? Find out how to participate by viewing their Share Joy page here: https://www.tayloredexpressions.com/share-joy-birthday-2018

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing the TE excitement with me! I hope you enjoy the party as much as I already have!

Happy Birthday, Taylored Expressions

Hello There, Beautiful!

Lori Craig Winnie and Walter Tag April2018

If there is one thing I appreciate in a good stamp set, it is versatility!  Can you believe this tag was created with a Winnie and Walter beauty that masquerades as a Christmas stamp set? You can see Victoria’s Very Merry  stamp set HERE.

This was created with Fresh Ink from Impress – and beautiful blooms are layered on scalloped tag from Papertrey Ink.  I’ve been adding the Fresh Inks to my collection after using them several times at retreats and events… they make a beautiful, crisp impression, and they are not soupy or runny… at all.

The sentiment is from another Winnie and Walter beauty, Ashlee’s Rosie Posies set, and embossed with Ranger Princess Gold – I’ve been using that powder a lot because it’s a beautiful, soft gold – not as brassy as it shows in this photo.

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Another Winnie and Walter beauty – with the stamp set, Julie’s Roses. This set was a gift from Winnie and Walter – thank you, Shay!

One of the keys to beautiful clean and simple stamping is precision – I wouldn’t dream of attempting the alignment on this card without my MISTI the most important stamp tool invented. The fill image for the flower and leaves were stamped with Fresh Ink and then embossed over with Princess Gold Embossing Powder.

Speaking of MISTI – save 25% on Studio Bags through the 7th with code: SCSSTUDIOBAG

I loved this design for mass-production – with a sentiment no one wants to send.

And, that is a wrap on this week, friends. I hope your Friday is short and your weekend long! Thanks for looking!

SO MATCHA!

Lori Craig So Matcha April2018

Can you even with this little kimono girl? So sweet!

The first time I heard the word matcha I was under my midwest rock, in the glory days of Pinterest, looking for a copy-cat wine-slush recipe (of all things) for a product I’d bought at a tradeshow.. that magically turns bottles of best-enjoyed-in-winter wines into glorious summer slush.

I found what looked to be a great recipe, except that it called for adding this fine green powder called matcha. I remember asking Lydia (she’s like the crystal ball of everything) about matcha, and two days later I received a package in the mail. I promise that was good because not a single store in my little town carried matcha… Don’t you love saying that word?

At any rate, that was probably about 4 or 5 years ago, and I’ve been making this tasty summer slush ever since – always with dry reds, and it’s is beautiful when it’s served. A few tips: I use about half of the suggested sugar, and I grind it in my food processor so that it is very fine. Also, I’ve had a few of the freezer bags leak, so I put it in a flat tupperware container now. You will LOVE IT SO MATCHA!

Adorable This Matcha is from a set that I received as a gift from Ellen Hutson – designed by the amazing Julie Ebersole. Thank you! My little gal was colored with Copics several weeks ago and popped up on a scalloped panel from Mama Elephant!

Thank you so matcha for stopping by!

My hope is built…

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May your hope be solid with the gift of Easter… 

It’s feeling anything but spring today in the midwest, sunny and 60 yesterday – feels like 19 today. Picked this card out of my finished pile this afternoon, and it surely brought a spring smile!

I made this card at a retreat several weeks ago. This sentiment is from Taylored Expressions, Words of Faith… LOVE IT. I embossed on Sugar Cube cardstock with Gold Embossing Powder, and I’ve paired it here with accents from the Fresh Florals stamp and die combo with the Ornate Frame Cutting Plate on Kraft card stock.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day, resting and trusting in the promise of Jesus’ resurrection this Easter Sunday, and always.  Blessings ~

 

It’s Magic!

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Stopping in today with a fun new-to-me product from Splitcoaststampers sponsor Clearsnap! It’s called the Magic Stamp, and apparently I have been under a stamping rock for 10 years because I’ve never known of this product before! Basically, it is the specially formulated blue foam block you see in photo above that lets you make your own stamp impressions from anything around you!

It’s March Madness, and in Kansas – where basketball was born (#truth) it’s always crazy – most often it’s crazy fun! SO, I grabbed the mini basketball off of my treasures’ shelf – it was signed by Perry Ellis that time my friend Karla and I got to meet several players at a Wichita meet-and-greet.  Fun to create with a real basketball texture.

You can see Lydia’s video and read the full Splitcoast Product Focus review HERE. And, keep scrolling for more of my sample cards. :)

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For my next stamp, I picked up a wood-carved trivet that I’ve been painting. Look at the detail that the Magic Stamp picked up:

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This was my first attempt with the Magic Stamp, and that was CRAZY impressive to me! For all of my samples, I’m using Impress Fresh Ink – my new found ink  love! After two recent retreats, I’ve ordered a whole slew of beautiful, rich ink pads.

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Finally, I opened a jar of buttons and created this blue buttons card. I was super impressed (no pun intended) that the Magic Stamp was a breeze to clean up.

I had thought it would be full of inky-ink residue after an impression or two, but it basically cleans up beautifully and heats back to original form. Use it over and over and over.

The fun thing about this product is that the backgrounds you create are easy to form into cute and quick cards with a personal flair. I have a slew of sample impression samples on my desk waiting for card stock bases to love.

affiliate link used in this post – never at additional charge or fee to you.

 

 

 

MFT: Valentine Wishes

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Sharing a cheery MFT Valentine Wishes card today with the Jumbo Fishtail Banner and Be Mine Banner dienamics! My sentiment was stamped in Ranger Embossing Ink and heat embossed with Princess Gold Embossing Powder from Ranger. It’s all set up on pretty pink background stamped with the Marble Background stamp. So fun!

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I made this pretty the same day with the Hearts in a Row Horizontal dienamics and the Black and White Stripes paper pack. This card is for a special golden anniversary, so I used X-Press It Glitter Deco Tape in the third window. I love how I can piece two bits of this glitter tape together without a seam to fill up the heart window. The sentiment Today, Tomorrow & Forever from From the Heart is embossed in Princess Gold Embossing Powder on the black banner.

I made these cards a few weeks ago during a fun Saturday crafting with my friend Laurie.. before I had the flu. That’s how I’m gauging most things this month: before and after I had the flu. Mercy. I was down for almost a week, and it is taking a while to bounce back to my normal routines.  I am much better and really hoping none of you have had it. I’m so happy to be back to the things I enjoy most.

Keep the germs at bay, friends! Stay well!