Can you believe it, this Friday marks December 1! It also starts the first day of the Advent Calendar! As a kid I always had the chocolate candy filled Advent Calendars. Peeling back that perforated door for a piece of candy was a highlight of my holiday season.
Did you know that the first Advent Calendars were used by German Lutherans in the 19th and 20th Centuries, but are now ubiquitous among groups of all faiths and beliefs.
This year as part of my family’s holiday season celebration I decided to create an “Activity Advent Calendar” instead of a "treat" calendar (although, I do like treats too!). I brainstormed 25 activities that could be done in the evening/weekend for 25 days of December. They range from the super simple activities like “Eat dinner by the light of the Christmas Tree” or “Drink Hot Cocoa for dessert” to things like “Take a walk/drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas Lights” or “Take 2 books to the free library at the park”.
I gathered inspiration for our activities by perusing Pinterest. Here are some of my favorite lists (click on the image to see it larger).
Since this is the first year of doing an Advent Calendar I went with simple little numbered sacks that I bought post-Christmas last year. I hung them with some washi tape and ribbon on a large mirror we have in our entry way.
However, I am soaking up some major inspiration for our Advent Calendar 2.0! I mean, just look at these gorgeous examples!
How do you celebrate the holiday season? Have you made an Avent Calendar? Will you be keeping a December Daily/Memory Album? Reminder: there is still time to sign up for the Daily Memory Album for December with Brandi workshop tomorrow evening. Details and registration link are here!
Tim Holtz creates amazing products and projects for year-round events and festivities, but the aesthetic of his Halloween stuff really fits with the vibe of the holiday. We should really start calling the holiday Holtz-oween. #amiright
Since we are in the first week of October now, that means Halloween is only 26 days away! It is time to decorate (if you haven't already) and to get busy creating Halloween, I mean Holtz-oween yumminess!
Speaking of the awesome aesthetic of Tim Holtz paper, ephemera, trinkets and more, here is a peek at just some of the Halloween themed items we have in stock in our Holiday Room.
To get your creative juices flowing, below is an eye candy gallery of Holtz-oween crafts and paper art fun!
Amazing creations! We hope to see you in the Shoppe soon, or perhaps you have signed up for this Saturday's World Card Making Day (a wide variety of 12 cards to be made throughout the day, plus lunch! Sign up here) so we will see you then. Don't forget we have added Monday and Tuesday hours for the holiday season and we will be offering a Make 'n Take this Monday, October 9 and other Mondays. More details here.
We shared the picture below on our Instagram a couple of weeks ago and had an inquiry about a tutorial. The technique is super simple, but we wanted to share the step-by-step with you today.
First, gather up your supplies. You will need Distress Oxide Ink Pads (available in 24 colors!), ink blending tools, stencil(s), washi tape, spray bottle of water, watercolor paper/cardstock and a craft sheet (not pictured). All of these items are available at Palette & Paper!
I like to put a little tape on the back of my cardstock and stick it to my craft mat so it doesn't move around. After choosing a stencil, I also use washi tape to tape the stencil down over my piece of cardstock.
Using my ink blending tool and assortment of Distress Oxide Inks I fill in the areas of the stencil. It's important to go into this knowing that it isn't going to be perfect. You will have color overlap a bit and that's okay!
After you are done coloring in the stencil, you can spray with water or spray some water into your palm to "flick" on the cardstock. This will add to the distressed look.
Using a piece of paper towel blot the cardstock to absorb the excess water and remove the stencil. Craft Confession: I sprayed a little too much water and let it sit a little too long for the look I was going for. Taking pictures while crafting of all the steps is hard work and threw off my timing! As you can see my image was a little "soft" looking (see the picture below on the right). That's the great thing about crafting though. You can keep adding and layering on your project to get a look that makes you happy.
I realigned my stencil and went back and added more color as you can see below. I was much happier with the overall look of the project after reapplying some inks.
I also did this same technique with an "abstract" stencil. For this project I didn't tape my stencil down though because I kept moving it, using various Distress Oxide colors through the stencil and layering the colors (one of the coolest things about the Distress Oxide Inks is they don't make mud - they layer on top of each other vs. mixing together). After finishing with the color I sprayed, flicked and blotted. I love how this turned out.
I love both of these and they will make for great bases for the front of cards! I also can't wait to do something similar to the second project as a background in my art journal.
If you haven't tried Distress Oxide Inks through a stencil yet I highly recommend it! You can create gorgeousness with limited supplies and time! #winnerwinner
If you have any questions about this post or Distress Oxide Inks feel free to leave a comment below!
If you follow Palette & Paper on Instagram and/or Facebook you saw that the new Tim Holtz’s Distress Oxide Ink Pads are in stock!
So, what is a Distress Oxide? How does it differ from Tim’s other distress products?
Distress Oxide Ink Pads are a water-reactive dye and pigment fusion. They create an oxidized effect when sprayed with water. They come in 12 colors including Tim’s gorgeous colors of “Worn Lipstick”, “Cracked Pistachio”, “Vintage Photo” and more.
Since they have pigment in them they work well on darker paper also. Check out the various colors on white, kraft and black paper.
When it comes to stamping, Distress Oxides work better for stamping giving an opaquer look vs. Distress Inks that tend to be “blotchy” when stamping.
You can check out Tim demoing the Distress Oxide Ink Pads while at Creativation here:
Want to be inspired on how to use the new Distress Oxide Ink Pads? Check these projects out:
You need all 12 colors, rights? Be sure to tag us on Instagram and/or Facebook if you share what you have created with Distress Oxide Inks!
Yupo Paper is tree-free synthetic paper that offers a super smooth surface that is durable, water-proof and bright white in color. The Tim Holtz Yupo Paper is 86 lb. weight that resists buckling. It is perfect for experimenting with alcohol inks on and other mixed media techniques on.
Alcohol Inks can be used on a multitude of surfaces including metal, plastic, glass, glossy paper and more. They are fast drying and blend together to make gorgeous and unique backgrounds.
Now, when Yupo Paper and Alcohol Inks come together magic happens! After last week’s blog post talking about “one little words”, I knew I wanted to make a small wall hanging with my word for the year to hang in my craft area.
I decided to make the background using yupo paper and alcohol inks. I dropped a few colors of alcohol inks on my yupo paper (be sure protect your work surface as alcohol inks are permanent. As you add more and more drops they will “dance” together to create a one-of-a-kind background. Go slow adding your drops as they will continue to mix for a few minutes.
Click through this slideshow to see how the drops mix together.
Next I cut my word from black and white cardstock with a Silhouette machine. I used a Spellbinders Tool ‘n One to loosen the cut-out word from the sticky mat. This tool makes it so easy with its spatula end to loosen cut items from the mat without tearing them.
I wanted to mount the yupo paper on a small canvas to give it stability for hanging. I knew a small amount of the canvas around the edges would be visible, so I added some Inka-Gold around the edges to add a gorgeous colorful, metallic shine.
Next I glued the black cut-out word on top of the white cut-out slightly skewed to give it a nice shadow effect that makes the word pop.
I love the way it turned out and can’t wait to hang it!
For another idea on what to do with this amazing craft pairing, check out the awesome card that our friends at CardMaker magazine shared using yupo paper and alcohol inks here and in their last Spring issue.
Have you used yupo paper and/or alcohol inks before? What did you make?
Palette & Paper's blog is written by various creative team members.
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