Wednesday, November 30, 2011

25 Gifts & Ornaments #4 - TH Double Felt Pine Cones

As promised, here is a new twist on making the Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Alterations Pine Cone....  These cones are giant size - 2-3" long!!!  A perfect addition for the tree, mantel, gift, or more!

25 Gifts & Ornaments
#4 - Double Felt Pine Cones!


Cut Felt Pine Cones in 2 shades of brown
Coffee Stirrer
Double Stick Tape


1. Cut the pine cones from two shades of brown felt. 

2. Wrap the stirrer with double stick tape approx 2-3" up the stirrer.

3. Begin by adding the light color felt to the very tip of the stirrer.  Now attach the darker felt approx. 1/8" - 1/4" staggered as shown.  By staggering the colors you will be able to see both the dark and light petals up the cone.
TH Double PC 1

4. Wrap both colors of felt around the stirrer - one at a time.  Now what do I mean by that?  Well, you will need to wrap the light felt one revolution around the stirrer until you meet the dark felt.  Then wrap the dark felt one revolution around the stirrer until you meet the light felt. 

Continue wrapping alternating colors of felt all the way up the stirrer.

TH Double PC 2

5. Finish off the pine cone by adding a glue dot to secure the final dark petal to the pine cone.

TH Double PC 3

Here is a second cone using a couple different colors of felt.

TH Double PC 4

Pretty cool looking huh?

TH Double PC 5

and here they are shown next to the #3 Suede Pine Cones...

TH Double Pine Cone 6

You can of course add Stickles/Glitter
and/or use the same bundling w/wire technique shown in #3 instructions if desired.

Now in addition to felt you could use two colors of cardstock, pattern paper, suede/leather; fabric, etc.  Keep in mind the thickness of the material used will determine how large the pine cones finish out at.  Since felt is a bit bulkier than most other materials (with the exception of leather/suede) your finished pine cone most likely won't be as large as the felt cones.

Adds a whole new dimension to these little gems huh? 

25 Gifts & Ornaments #3 - TH Suede Pinecones

Several people have e-mailed asking if I've ever made any and/or have any hints for making the pine cones from the Tim Holtz Sizzix Alterations Pine cone Die because they have such a time making them.

The answer to both is yes..... Today I will show you how to make different sizes from 1/2" to 1 1/2"  pine cones and a nifty base for your pine cones that will open up a variety of uses for them.  I will share an extra idea on how to really kick your pine cones up 2-3 notches!!  I can't's so cool!

So here you go ~

25 Gifts & Ornaments
#3 Suede Pine cones


Suede or Cardstock, Grunge board/paper, Pattern Paper, etc.
Sizzix Pine cone Die
Coffee Stirrer
Double Stick Tape
Glue Dot
(Optional) Wire, Bead, Ribbon


1. Cut desired number of pine cones from whatever material you'd like to use.  I am using a bit of suede dh got for me. 

2. Remember those coffee stirrers I told you about on Monday...they're back!  Wrap one end of the stirrer about 1"-2" up (depending on what size you want to make) with double stick tape.  Be sure to remove the line as you wind your way up the stirrer.

!! - By doing this you won't have to fight with the various layers of your pine cone trying to make them stay in place.  Simply wrap them and go.  Makes the whole process soooo much easier!


3. Start wrapping the pine cone with the outside end by pinching it around the very bottom of the stirrer.  You'll want the tip to extend a bit from the end of the stirrer as shown.

4. Now comes the various sizes...  Depending on how closely you wrap each layer and how many layers you add to the stirrer you can vary your pine cone from anywhere from 1/2" to 1 1/2" long!   For this particular pine cone I wrapped just a few layers for a tiny "new" cone.

5. Cut the remainder of the material from the wound pine cone and snip off the stirrer leaving about 1/4" extra for the stem.


Here are a few different sizes.  The center cone is the one shown above, the top cone was made with the remainder of that cone and the bottom is a full sized cone in the process of being wrapped.

6. Once you reach the very last layer of the pine cone you can use a glue-dot to secure the final petal.

7. If you've wrapped too much double stick tape you can now unwind it and snip it off as shown below.


8. (optional) If you'd like to add a bit of sparkle you can add Stickles or glitter to the edges of each layer. 


9. (Optional) Since we used the coffee stirrer for the base of the pine cone I have an nifty way to create a bunch of pine cones that could be used as an ornament for a tree, package, garland, etc. 

You need to first cut a 3-4" length of wire and put a little knot in one end. 
Thread on a bead....I'm using a vintage "faux" pearl for this example.


Thread the wire though the stirrer. 
Do so for each pine cone you'd like to add to your bunch. 
You can cut the wire to various lengths if you're making larger bunches.

TH PC 10

Gather all of your pine cones for the bunch and twist the wires together.

TH PC 11

Next, snip one of the evergreen sprigs (cut from the same die using felt) in half.
TH PC 12

Attach one to each side of the pine cone bunch using a glue dot.

TH PC 13

Add a ribbon and you're set to go!!

TH PC 14

Now, these are so much fun to make and use I thought it would be a nice idea to share the makin's for a few of your own pine cones!

TH PC Give-A-Way

If you'd like a chance to win this assortment of pine cone makin's simple post a comment telling us how you'd use the pine cones you can make with this little kit.

You have until 12-9-11 to post your comment!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

25 Gifts & Ornaments - #2 - Vintage Christmas Light Bulb Ornaments

Before I share today's ornaments I have to tell you how lucky I am to live in a rural area of Indiana.  Now you won't always hear me say this because sometimes living an hour from everywhere sucks BUT it does have it's little bright spots.  One of those bright spots is you sometimes find unexpected goodness somewhere you normally wouldn't.  I know, you're thinkin - ?!?!? 

Well, today's ornament was made using some vintage Christmas light bulbs which I found by accident a couple of months ago.   We have several small towns in our area, many of the business that still survive usually serve more than one set of clientele.  Back in September youngest ds was interested in a vintage VW van that was located about 15 miles from here in a small town called Wolf Lake.  Dh wasn't home in time to go with him and his girlfriend to look at it so I went along with my list of questions I was supposed to ask.  As it turned out it was a better trip for me than ds. 

The business that was selling the used cars was also a small hardware store, a lawn & garden store, the local farmer dive (is there something lower than a dive?) - literally it had an assortment of old kitchen chairs scattered around a coffee pot, microwave and mini fridge!  This same store also sold an assortment of new "flea market" items (mostly resin statues and sport team related items) AND it also had a small corner set aside for "antiques".  We were there a bit early so I decided to scope out the goodies in the junk corner.  I found a box which contained a few strands of old Christmas lights and two partial boxes of ornaments which had some great graphics.  The guy wanted 10.00 for it all but I got it for 7.00 :)  (Ds didn't get the van).

You know how much I love to take someone elses junk and turn it into a treasure so of course I have several ideas on how to spruce up these bulbs so I'll be sharing more projects incorporating these little gems.

Today however I wanted to pair vintage and not so vintage Christmas light bulbs with glitter!!!  I've got a couple different looks to share with you but I'm sure you could experiment and come up with several more looks using the same basic supplies.

25 Ornaments & Gifts -
#2 - Vintage Christmas
Light Bulb Ornaments


Glass Christmas Light Bulbs (old or new)
Stickles Glitter Glue or Glue & Glitter
Double Stick Tape
Ribbon, Fiber, Pipe Cleaners, etc. (for the hanger)
Paper Tape, Pattern Paper, etc.

1. Starting at the metal base, drip the glue or Stickles down towards the tip of the bulb.  Vary the length of each little spike continuing around the entire bulb.  Set it aside to dry.

2. Wrap a piece of double stick tape around the exposed metal base.  Attach one end of the ribbon (or other hanger material) to one side of the base and the other end to the opposite side of the metal base.  Continue to wrap the double stick tape around the base one more revolution. 
Christmas Bulb Ornament 1

3. Cover the adhesive tape with your choice of ribbon, paper tape, pattern paper, fabric, etc. 

Christmas Bulb Ornament 2

And you're done!!! 
These are just a few of the ornaments I whipped up in a matter of 30 minutes.  It took more time for the glue to dry than it did to finish them off.
You could make enough to cover your entire tree in a day if you had enough bulbs. 

Don't ya just love the look of these gems!

Christmas Bulb Ornament 3


Glitter Christmas Light Bulbs


New Christmas Light Bulbs
Double Stick Tape
Ribbon, Fiber, Paper Tape, Pattern Paper, Pipe Cleaner, etc.

1. Cover one side of the light bulb with a thick liquid clear drying glue. 

Glitter Bulb Ornament 1

2. Smooth out the glue so there is an even coat over this half of the bulb.

Glitter Bulb Ornament 2

3. Sprinkle the glitter over the glue and set it aside for a few minutes to dry.
Glitter Bulb Ornament 3

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the second half of the bulb.

5. Attach the hanger and cover the metal base as instructed for the vintage light bulbs.

And here are a few of my Glittery Christmas Bulb Ornaments!

You'll notice how the color of the glitter can vary from one bulb to another depending on the original color of the bulb....  The ornament on the left and the one laying down were covered with the same glitter.  The difference ~ one started out red and the other green.   
Glitter Bulb Ornament 4

EXTRA BONUS IDEA.....Wrap the bulb with some of the double stick tape, remove the liner and sprinkle glitter on the tape.  Finish off using the same type of hanger as mentioned above.  You'll end up with a nifty glittery design!

So, if you have some old strands of lights hiding in your attic ~
for petes sake, DON'T toss them!!!

Pull 'em out,
dust 'em off
give them some new life!

Monday, November 28, 2011

25 Gifts & Ornaments - #1 - Rosette Christmas Tree!

Today I am starting something that has become a bit of a tradition here at Ink Stains...  It started out as 25 days of Ornaments then I the next year I added gifts as many people requested.  This year, several people have e-mailed asking about ideas for creating Christmas charms so I'm going to be tossing a few in here and there as we go.  I think they will fall under the gifts but of course you could always keep them for yourself ;)

I left off the "Days" part as I may squeeze in a couple ideas in on one day and skip another day.  Just be assured, each idea will be numbered so if you think you've missed something, because you missed a day all you have to do is check the numbered list if you're keeping track of 'em.

To kick off the 25 G&O I thought I would start with something I knew I wanted to include the minute I saw how popular the folded rosettes have become ~ rosette Christmas trees!  There are 2-3 mfg. with dies on the market to create rosettes but you are somewhat limited on the sizes.  Rather than spend $20.00+ on the dies I prefer to keep that money (to spend on other goodies of course) and make them the old fashion way....cut, score & fold.  It's really very easy - nothing complicated at all about it and I'll even share my secret on how to cut your time in half when working with rosettes!

25 Gifts & Ornaments
#1 - Rosette Christmas Tree Decoration/Ornament


1 - 12x12" sheets of green cardstock (or other color/pattern paper)
Trimmer (with ruler)
Score blade or Bone Folder or similar
Hot Glue* or Thick Glue  (*I'll explain why below)
Red Line Tape (or other double sided extra sticky type tape)
Coffee Stirrer**
Metallic Pipe Cleaner or Wired Mini Garland
Pick or other sharp instrument (scissor tips work too)
(optional) Glass Glitter, Wire, Stretch Cord, Fiber, Ribbon, Bead, circle punch

1. Cut the cardstock into the following size strips - (1) 12" x 2" strip; (1) 12" x  1 3/4" strips; (1) 12" x 2 3/4" strips.

2. Score each strip every 1/4".  I have a blade that fits into my rotary trimmer that will score but if yours doesn't come with a score blade you can use a bone folder instead.

Rosette Tree 001

3. Accordion fold each strip along the score marks.   Now comes the real time are going to cut the strips down so you can make the 8 rosettes you will need to make each tree. 

Cut the 2" strip in half to make (2) 1" strips.
Cut 1/2" off of both of the 1 3/4" strips so you end up with - (2) 1/2" strips & (2) 1 1/4" strips.
Cut 1 1/2" from the 2 3/4" strip so you end up with (1) 1 1/4" strip and (1) 1 1/2" strip.

You should now have the following: (2) 1/2" strips; (2) 1" strips; (3) 1 1/4" strips and (1) 1 1/2" strip.   These are all the strips you need an you already have all of the scoring and folding done!  Instead of scoring and folding 8 separate strips you only had to score and fold 4 cutting your time in half.

Rosette Tree 002

4. Place a piece of double stick tape on one end of each strip, remove the liner paper and join this end with the other end of the strip.  You'll have 8 accordion circles now.  You might be thinkin' .... how am I going to get a Christmas tree shape when I only have 4 different sized strips?  Well the great thing about rosettes is that by varying how tightly you pack them you can vary the width of the finished rosette greatly.

Here is what I'm talking about.....

This is a 1 1/4" strip compressed pretty tight.  It measures at just about 2 3/4"
rosette christmas tree 005

This is the same exact 1 1/4" strip packed very loosely - notice the wide open hole in the center - the rosette now measures a whopping 3 1/2" in diameter!  So you can see by using a few sizes of strips you can vary the finished rosette greatly.
rosette christmas tree 004

5.  Cut several circles ranging in size from 1/2" - 1" in diameter.  These will be our caps we use to glue the rosettes so they are the proper size.  I punch the ones I have paper punches for and draw/cut the other sizes I need.

6. Apply hot glue to one of the caps, compress the rosette strip to the desired size and place the cap over the center of the rosette. 

*NOTE - Hot glue is the best for this process.  It has a very strong hold and provides an instant bond.  When you work with cardstock for rosettes the cardstock tends to pop out of the compressed state VERY easily.  I tried all sorts of adhesives before I finally dug out my hot glue gun.  It was the only thing that really held the caps in place keeping the rosettes the sizes I needed.

The finished rosette sizes are pretty open ~ I didn't measure anything.  Basically I started out by making the smallest rosette very tight, glued a cap to it's top & bottom hen moved to rosette #2.  I placed #1 by #2 to determine how large #2 had to be.  Once I was satisfied with it's size I glued a cap to it's top and bottom. 

I then placed #2 by #3 to determine it's size, glued it's caps on and continued until all 8 rosettes were finished.

rosette christmas tree 006

7. After I finished all of the rosettes I then poked holes through the center of each rosette/caps with my pick.  If you don't have a pick or paper piercer you could use the tip of your scissors but be careful.  You only want a small hole in the center.

8. Next, gather 1 coffee stirrer**, wired garland or pipe cleaner and all of your rosettes.   Slide the largest rosette onto the stirrer, wrap a short length of metallic pipe cleaner or wired garland around the stirrer.  This garland will be your spacer.  Slide the next rosette on the stirrer, garland spacer, rosette, etc....  Continue until all of the rosettes have been added to the straw and top it off with a bit of garland.  I used a bit of glue to secure this final piece of garland to the straw.

Remember, you don't have to use 8 tiers for your trees....especially if you're going to be making a grouping of them. I like odd numbers myself so I'd try a 3, 5 and 7 tier tree grouped together. 

Rosette Tree 003

**NOTE - I found a package of brown coffee stirrers at Wal-Mart ($0.97 for 100) and I have to tell you I LOVE these things!  You will be seeing them pop for several of the projects I want to share with you in the coming days.  These things ROCK! 

9. (optional) if desired you can add a bit of glue to the edges of each rosette and add regular or glass glitter for a bit of extra holiday sparkle.  You could at this time also add a ribbon to the top or add whatever else you might like to help finish off your tree.

You now have a couple choices for display.  Since we used the coffee stirrer as the base you can thread a piece of wire, stretch cord, ribbon, fiber, etc. through the straw - secure it to the bottom of the tree, make a loop at the top of the tree and use it for hanging on your tree, from a mantel, doorway, window, etc.    OR  since the bottom of the tree is flat you might choose to simply make a few trees to adorn your table top, mantel, side table, etc. 

Rosette Tree 007

So there you are...
a Rosette Christmas Tree
to start your holiday season off right...
#1 down, 24 to go!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ink Stains is 4!!!

Yes, you read that right...
Today is Ink Stains 4th Birthday!

and no,
it's not an anniversary...
it's a birthday. 

I consider this place my baby,
 I put a lot of hard work into it so it's like a child to me...
I figure that's a good enough reason to call it a birthday :)

Since it's #4 I thought I'd share 4 of my favorite things on the blog....

#1 - Quotes, sayings, sentiments....   I have collected quotes for a long long time...I have slowly been sorting through the scraps of paper and compiling the lists here.  It's taken a while but they are starting to add up.  I have quite a few more to go through but eventually I hope to have them all listed at some point.  I hope you all find as much enjoyment in them as I do.

#2 - Anything to do with the Ink Blending Tool.....  If you visit here very much you know how much I love that thing!

#3 - Collage projects....  One of my favorite forms of art...  Collage, altered arts, mixed media....whatever you want to call it, I love it!  You'll find lots and lots of examples here on the blog and in my book - Teach Yourself Visually Collage & Altered Arts!

#4 - techniques, Techniques, TECHNIQUES!!  I love to play, experiment and share my results with you.

Now another thing I like about the blog is that I can share my love of arts with you and what a better way to do so than to give away some of my favorite goodies!!!

So if you'd like a shot at winning the
HUGE pile of goodies
(shown below)

The prize package assortment of Tim Holtz Holiday papers, a set of Christmas embossing folders, a 5.5x5.5" Configurations Box...
ink stains 4th 001

A Tim Holtz Paper Stash (from the attic), a set of holiday Stencils, a couple Fractured Dolls...

ink stains 4th 002

An assortment of rubber stamps from various mfg....

ink stains 4th 004

A set of BOTH Limited Edition Distress Ink Pads by Tim Holtz/Ranger; the new white - Picket Fence Distress Stain, a few cream and black tags, a couple wonderful smelling "melts" (like candles but meant to be melted in a hot pot) and a few other surprises!
ink stains 4th 005

all you have to do is tell me what your favorite part of
Ink Stains is
what you'd like to see in the future!
(Please be sure to leave some sort of contact e-mail addy)

You have until 12-10-11 to post your comment to be entered to win!!!
Good Luck Everyone!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

25 Days of Gifts & Ornaments Coming Soon!!!

To continue the tradition I will be starting the
25 Days of Gifts and Ornaments
Monday 11-28
again this year. 
I've been gathering ideas and supplies all year long
so I hope you stop by,
check 'em out
if you're so inclined
give 'em a try yourself!!

See you there!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with friends and family...
Here's to lots of good food,
 great conversation
even better memories to cherish!

These are the vintage postcards I found when dh took me to Grabill for my b-day....
Thanksgiving Postcards 002

Thanksgiving Postcards 004

Thanksgiving Postcards 005

Have a wonderful day!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank you winners!!!

Trying to catch up, I have several winners for lots of goodies....

The winner of Ranger's set of Winter LE Distress Ink is.....

Carolyn Phillips!!!

That is a nice way of showing the colours, alongside the colour families. I'm with other people, had thought I liked Iced Spruce best, but having seen them here may prefer Evergreen Spruce.
Hey Roni! I love your art!!! I would love to see more Steampunk! Maybe steampunk women...
I love Nov. My birthday month! This year special one 11-11-11. My Favorite is Alzheimers as my Grandma died from that. And of course Sundaes. Gotta love ice cream.

Vintage Crepe Paper - Storage???

Hi All ~

I have to tell you about an awesome buy I got last week.  Ds, his girlfriend and I went to a not so local antique mall.  Much of it is hand made craft items, figurines, plates, etc. with a few real antiques sprinkled in here and there.  There is a section though that is called their flea market which actually has more antiques than the rest of it.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon a box FULL of vintage crepe paper.  Most of it is Dennison crepe paper with a few other mfg. thrown in.  (Dennison is the maker of those vintage red/white labels everyone is crazy for).    Check out the awesome art deco package in the center...there are several like this with different color flowers (the flowers are the color of the crepe paper inside!).  VERY cool...  The color name is actually dry embossed into the bottom of the package.

Vintage Crepe Paper 005

Some of this stuff is REALLY old...I'm thinkin the 20's - 30's by the graphics.  What amazes me is that it is still in perfect usable condition!  The colors haven't faded, it's not brittle, etc.  I am so excited because I finally had a chance to go though it and not only did I find tons of crepe paper,

Vintage Crepe Paper 006

I found bits of vintage colored cellophane....

Vintage Crepe Paper 002

Something termed Velvet Crepe Paper...  I've never seen any crepe paper that compares to this.  It is so tightly compressed it actually feels like velvet.  It's amazing, I wish they still sold it.

Vintage Crepe Paper 004

I also found three completed vintage flowers and a few patterns!  I don't want to take them apart but I am going to try to come up with my own flowers using these as inspiration.  Hopefully you'll see them in the near future.

Vintage Crepe Paper 001

I now have a nice big pile of the wrappers/packages.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them.  The really old ones with the art deco graphics would be cool framed and the others are just too cool not to use for something.  I just have to figure out what that something is.
Vintage Crepe Paper 007

I do need to figure out how to store this stuff though. 
The crepe paper is 20" long so it's a bit larger than average.
Any ideas?

So, as a result of my way cool find, in the near future you'll probably be seeing quite a few crepe paper projects :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Faux Suede Rubber Stamping Technique

I am so excited to share this new technique with you.... You know how I love to experiment and play with things I already have in my stash, well this is something I've been perfecting for a bit now trying to get just the right look and I think I've nailed it!

Now covering embossing with paint is nothing new but I've come upon just the right combination of materials to make it work perfect!

Faux Suede
Rubber Stamping Technique


Terra Cotta & Espresso Adirondack Acrylic Dabber
Black Cardstock
Clear Embossing Powder
Clear Embossing Ink
Heat Tool
Damp Tissue (like a kleenex - not the wrapping type)
Rubber Stamp (Pheasant - Third Coast; Swirl - Fancy Pants)

It's very important that you use the supplies listed to get the exact look.  You can experiment with different colors of paint or paper but it just won't turn out the same... I've tried.


1. Stamp and emboss image onto black cardstock using clear ink/ep.

Faux Suede Tech 003

2. After the embossing has cooled dab on several dots of each - Terra Cotta and Espresso Adirondack Acrylic Paint.  I'd give you a number of dots but since every image is a different size I can't....just dot enough to cover the image similar to the second photo....

Faux Suede Tech 004

Faux Suede Tech 005

3. For this step you'll need a damp tissue.  When I say damp I mean 2-3 squirts of a regular water squirt bottle.  You want it fairly wet but not dripping. 

Take your damp tissue and begin dabbing the paint and blending as you go.  Don't smear the paint around just dab it.  Your tissue will become covered in paint but that's o.k...  just keep going.  The dabbing motion will create a textured look in the paint as it dries.

Faux Suede Tech 006

Eventually you'll get something that looks like this....  If you feel it's too orange or too brown you can add one or two more dabs of paint for fine tuning at this time.
Faux Suede Tech 007

Your image will look similar to this....

Faux Suede Tech 008

4. Finally take your same damp tissue that will be somewhat drier by now, find a clean area and gently wipe off the paint from the embossed areas...

Faux Suede Tech 009

And here is your faux suede image.... 

Faux Suede Tech 010

How do I know it looks like real suede?

Check it out.....

Pretty darn close huh?

Faux Suede Tech 019

And here is another image...sorry for the glare ~ I changed the lighting in my room and I'm still trying to get used to it. 

Faux Suede Tech 002

So there you go...

A great new technique for you to play with over this very long holiday weekend
(here in the states that is...)

What do you think? 
Gonna give it a try?
I'd love to hear what you think!

Have fun playing!!!