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Marjorie Towers

One Little Word 2018

December 31, 2017

in One Little Word

I have chosen PRESENT as my word for 2018.

Since 2008, I have been selecting a word to live with, explore and grow in during the year.

Here is a list of my words:

2008 glorify

2009 joy

2010 hope

2011 story

2012 focus

2013 believe

2014 life

2015 anew

s016 home

2017 roots

I really enjoy taking Ali Edwards’ online class that provides a monthly creative prompt. I find that the process of doing these prompts, which can be writing or photography or an art project, keeps me focused on my word so I don’t forget about it.

I feel like there are probably several words one could choose each year that would be meaningful. Don’t get too hung up on finding exactly the right one. It’s better to just jump in and pick one. Then go with it and see where it takes you.

For me in 2018, I want to explore what it means to be living in the present, not the past, not the future, but here now in the moment. Fully awake to who I am and what I am doing. And hopefully this will give some understanding as to why I am doing what I am doing. Then I can perhaps make the best choice, be the me that is loving well, caring for others, practicing contentment, and present with God.

This can be as little or as big a thing as you want to make it. Where are you trying to grow in 2018? What do you want to see more of or less of in your life? Experiencing life through your word can be quite fulfilling and interesting.  I encourage you to give it a try.

Here’s to another journey around the sun!




Silly Monsters No. 2

October 15, 2017

in Tags

And because I still had a lot of little monsters left over from my cards

And because I can Not not make tags

Here is a variation on a theme using the monsters and a pumpkin patch embossing folder that I lightly rubbed with versa mark ink and then painted with dry pearl ex pigments. I also cut out a moon using a circle punch and the Tessler pearl paper.



The charms (owl, spider) are Tim Holtz embellishments. Happy Halloween friends!




Silly Monsters

October 4, 2017

in Miscellaneous

IMG_1289 (1)


So I bought the Tim Holtz Silly Monsters dies and was wondering what to do with it.


I began by using Distress Oxide Inks on half sheets of Ranger’s mixed media paper. My color choices were fired brick, peeled paint, spiced marmalade, salty ocean and wilted violet. I just rubbed the ink on the paper and sprayed with water to get a nice oxide effect.

Next, I cut out all five monsters from each sheet. That gave me a nice assortment of monsters and some paper leftover to make some small tags.

I decided to add some Tessler pearl paper to the back openings of the monster’s eyes and mouths. I bought this paper at Scrapbook Expo a year ago.



The next step was to add mini google eyes. Love those eyes – a perfect finishing touch!


For the tags, I used a saying from an old (2012) Darcie Halloween set.



To add a little more of the pearl paper, I stamped and die cut a bat and the word “boo!” from the new Elizabeth Craft Halloween stamp and die set using Stazon black ink.


The finished cards look like this:

:IMG_1289 (1)

PS. The card background is another old background stamp, not sure who made it, that I stamped with Versamark ink on black card stock and then covered with Perfect Pearls for a nice shimmer.

I really think these cards are pretty fun! Happy Halloween! And Boo- Yah!




She Sings

March 18, 2017

in Tags

I recently created tags for some gals that I swap cards with. Check it out on Facebook; the group is called Sonia’s fellow stampers. Anyone can join. It was an old tag that I made several years ago.  This is a post on how I created the background.

So here’s the original tag:


This tag is basically created using a resist method. First stamp the frame from the Stampers Anonymous Tattered Elements CMS 018 stamp set. I used Versamark ink. Then sprinkle on Antique Linen Distress Embossing Powder.


Next heat the powder to melt it. Some people have a hard time telling if the distress powder is melted. It is a little harder to tell than regular embossing powder because it does not get shiny. But it does change color a bit. Here’s a picture of the unmelted (on the left) and the melted (on the right):


When it cools rub it a bit and little bits of the powder will come off. That’s what makes it “distress”.  I actually got quite a bit of little flakes as you can see in this picture:


Next I stamped the sentiment using a Brilliance Mineral ink pad. I love this ink because it has three metallic colors in one pad. The sentiment is from the same stamp set as the frame. Next I stamped the flourish from the  Stampers Anonymous Fabulous Flourishes CMS070 stamp set. I used a Brilliance Lightning Black ink pad.  The reason I used Brilliance is because it would act as a resist. Brilliance is a fast drying pigment ink. It is also nice that it dries on non-porous surfaces.  Before Stazon it was our go-to ink for stamping on plastic, metal, etc.



Now with all that lovely resist stamping on the tag, go ahead and sponge on distress ink using an ink applicator. I still use the rectangular pads because I’m used to them but I also use the circles. Use what you like. The colors of Distress Ink I used were Broken China and Antique Linen.



After adding the Distress Ink, wipe off the stamped images with a rag; they will resist the Distress ink. Then Spritz the Distressed ink areas with a little water and let the Distress Ink react to the water. Love it!


There you have it – a quick and easy background. To finish it off, tear a strip of music note designer paper and apply Broken China to the edge of that paper too. Then attach to the left side of the tag.

Now a note about the shrink plastic bird….this is a Sizzix die called Bird Branch. It is kind of difficult to shrink so it is not for the faint at heart. You might have trouble even if you have done lots of shrink plastic and if you’ve never done shrink plastic you will probably get very frustrated. The thin little branches want to curl around and stick to each other. But I love how it looks so it was worth the effort to me. First, die cut the shrink plastic using Bird Branch.


Then color it with these Copic markers (or any alcohol ink marker):


You can also color it afterwards for a softer lighter look. The bird on the left was colored before shrinking, the bird on the right was colored after shrinking.


After putting a liquid adhesive on the back (use one that works on plastic) stick the bird on the tag. Then heat it just a bit so it gets soft and then set a big wooden stamp on top of it for weight. It only takes a few seconds but it will cool flat on the tag.

Hope you enjoyed these instructions. I can see that I need to work on the glare. I used my iPhone and should have turned off the flash. Happy paper crafting my friends!



Grid Layout

April 9, 2016

in Scrapbooking, Stampin Up

Here’s a fun layout that is easy to do. It also uses up scraps of paper and leftover embellishments plus uses quite a few (cropped) photos.  Obviously I’ve got six photos. You could even have more (or less). I literally went to my scrap bag to make this layout.

8 mos layout


I started out by cutting the 9 4×4 white squares. Then I built each grid using scraps of paper. It was fun to challenge myself to use the scraps I had. Each white square was distressed. I used the Zutter distresser that sits on my worktable. I think it’s the first time I’ve used in months. But it sure made it fast and easy and I thought at the time, “I should use this more often!”  I adhered each square to a white 12×12 piece of cardstock. Then I added a few wooden embellishments, a pre-made flower and some journaling which I copied from my daughter’s 8 month blog post. I love grid layouts. They are so fun to do.

Some News: I’ve signed up to sell Stampin’ Up again. If anyone is interested in getting their 2016-2017 catalog just comment below and I’ll have one mailed to you. It comes out in June.




March 2016 tag

March 28, 2016

in Tom Holtz 12 Tags

Hello fellow paper crafters!

Time for my version of the Tim Holtz March 2016 tag.

March 2016 tag

While last month I was all about using what I had available in my stash of crafting supplies, this month I found it impossible to not just use what Tim had used. It was perfection and I loved it!

It was my first time using the new Distress Crayons and I thought they were every bit as wonderful as everyone has said. Very smooth and creamy, super easy to blend just using your finger. Can’t wait to play with these some more.

I also love the contrast between the super grunge look of the cardboard and the bright spring background. We are finally having a no-rain week up here in northern Oregon. I am so excited to see the sun. And this tag just reminded me of what is just around the bend – another gorgeous spring.

By the way, I was finally a winner of Tim’s monthly giveaway (February 12 tags of 2016). I got that email while I was waiting in the airport on one of my layovers on my trip to Israel. Even though it is just by chance, it was fun to win.

Blessings to everyone whether spring has come to your little part of this planet or you are still waiting.




February 2016 Tags

February 19, 2016

in Tom Holtz 12 Tags

IMG_5578So instead of the one, I made 3 tags this time, all the same except the photos and some of the details, like the sayings. I love using personal photos. Who needs “found” relatives when you’ve got so many of your own?

Using Tim’s February 2016 tag as my inspiration, I followed along using the supplies that I had.

First step: quickly cover your tag with Antique Linen distress stain. Flick with water and dry. Super easy way to make tags and paper look vintage.



Next, grab a stencil. I chose a rather intricate floral design by Memory Box since I didn’t have the mini-lace one that Tim used. Press Frayed Burlap distress ink directly on the stencil, mist slightly and press on the tag. The technique is called mono printing. Add some Walnut Stain to the edges of your tag.


Next we’re going to use some texture paste. Again, I found a stencil that would work. It’s by Crafters Warehouse and has a nice big LOVE on it. Spread the paste through the stencil then sprinkle with gold embossing powder.


Now the hard part. You must wait for the paste to dry before you heat emboss. (I hate waiting!!!) But it looks so great when it’s done and if you don’t wait the paste will bubble up and you won’t like that look most likely. So nice and shimmery; I love it.


While you are waiting, go find your photos. I printed some I had on file, reducing them to about 2×2. After embossing I found a heart stencil and added 3 areas of hearts using Candy Apple distress ink. Think about where your photo will be. While you have the Candy Apple ink out, color some rayon. ribbon.


Sand your photos just a bit around the edges and bend a corner or two to make them look older. Gather some embellishments – use what you have. I punched the hearts from card stock and covered with some music paper, then made a little collage with a stamp, a bow and an heirloom rose. Chose words (charm, phrase and rub on) that fit the photo you are using. How do the photos make you feel? Mainly I thought about what an incredible heritage I have received and then was able to pass on. I’m seriously thinking of using these tags to do a 12×12 layout about that.


It makes me happy to look at these tags. I would wish the same for you if you get a chance to make one too.





January 2016 tag

January 2, 2016

in Miscellaneous

january 2016 tag

Feeling really on top of things to have already made my version of Tim’s January 2016 tag. Since I’m planning on doing some traveling later this year, the compass was a good image choice for me. So fun to revisit some old techniques (chalkboard and industrious metal).

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6 Things at 6 Months

September 16, 2015

in Miscellaneous

It’s been awhile since I posted here. Working has definitely put a crimp in my free time.

I have been busy with a number of artful things. And I thought I’d share a layout I completed lately.

6 things layout

6 Things at 6 Months was super fun to do, since I used some Tim Holtz Distress products and you all know how much I enjoy all things distress.

I started by selecting 6 photos of Eva at 6 months. Then I colored 6 tags to match those photos using these Distress paints:


It was the usual technique – squeeze some paint on the craft sheet, mist with a little water, then drag the tag through. Dry and add some Distress ink with an applicator. In this case I used the same color of ink as I had used paint except for the spun sugar and the fired brick; I used a little antique linen distress stain on those to give it a bit of brown goodness. And while you have the inks out, go ahead and color some linen ribbon to match so you will be all ready when you go to add the tags to your background.

Next step was to work on the background papers. Using 12×12 white, I grabbed Distress markers in the same 6 colors as the tags and wrote “6 months” in large script, repeating as I went across the 2 pages and just writing until I got to the bottom. In other words, I filled up the pages. Then I misted them with water so the ink would “react.” So cool. Love this look:


Here’s how it looked with the tags on the background before I added photos:

IMG_4441Finally I added photos and typed up some journaling for each photo. Love all these stories about Eva at 6 months. Most of the writing came from the monthly post that Allison had written.

6 things layout closeup

Putting this together at 14 months, it truly is wonderful to think about some of those details. And I know I would have forgotten a lot of them if  they had not been recorded at the time. And consider that multiplied by years. How much would I remember by the time Eva is 14 years old?


So enjoy the artistic process AND tell your stories!




Here is my version of Tim’s tag for July.  Just about exactly like his, only I was out of star charms so I found one in my stash from Vintaj Brass.

July TH tag

And here is some news for those who haven’t heard yet.  I’m working at Peddler’s Pack in Beaverton, OR.  I didn’t go in there looking for a job.  I WAS enjoying being retired. But when Joyce offered me a position, I thought it would be fun to be teaching classes again. And I miss being with like-minded paper crafters. So if you’re ever up my way, stop by and say, “Hi.”  I work Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for now. And I’ll be teaching this tag in a class August 3rd.

I just finished up Ali Edwards’ TYPE class. I so enjoyed her inspiration and teaching. Here was my Type as Art layout:

Type as artThe Type “Art” was the gigantic Copic colored pumpkin. I added Fall words to the pumpkin sections. Of course the best part of this layout is the photos of Eva.

I hope you are all finding time to take some classes and to tell your stories.


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