Friday, December 13, 2013

Artist Trading Blocks

I have something special to share with you today. I've got the "Block" buzz! 
I'm so excited that I have had a chance to create something with the new "Artist Trading Blocks" or ATBs for Sizzix by Eileen Hull.  These will get an official release at CHA in January and I'm honored that I got to play with them a little early thanks to the wonderful Amy Bowerman.

I knew I wanted to make a bold statement with these so I started by painting my pieces with Tim Holtz distress paint

(I'm showing all my steps with the green block but I used the same steps for the red one)

I also painted some letters of chipboard and grungeboard shapes that I will be using

I will be using Tim Holtz tissue paper but I wanted a crumpled effect so I just crunched it up into a big wad, I will be cutting this up to match the sides of the block

Next I added some shapes and letters to each side of the block
(forgot to take a photo of this step but I used glossy accents to adhere the shapes and letters)

Next I took some Claudine Hellmuth matte medium and used it to apply my tissue paper to each section of my block. I simply pushed the tissue around each shape to create crumples and giving each shape a 3D effect

Once that was dry, I used the paints again, I dabbed the paint here and there and used a paper towel to smooth it out. This gives the paint a bit of a transparent look so that you can still see the tissue paper underneath it but also makes the color more vibrant

Once that was all dry, I then took black paint and did the same thing but this time I only used it on the raised shapes under the tissue, this really made them pop

 I then used various stencils here and there on each block and also added a few more shapes, that I had previously painted,  over top the tissue

Lastly, I edged each section with black paint and added some white touches here and there. I went around numbers, shapes and letters with white paint for enhancement 

That's it, my ATB's are complete, take a look

On side 3 I added my name and blog and one of my favorite sayings, "Spread your wings and create", I have put it on several of my projects over the years and I just love it!

This is the view from the top of the boxes 

I hope you like the tutorial and I hope that you will grab up the die for these great ATBs once they are available. They are so fun to work with!! I am very excited about this adventure!

You can visit the Artist Trading Block website here:

Make sure to follow them on social media
Twitter: @ArtTheBlock 


  1. WOW Claudine -- these are amazing as usually -- your art takes on a life of it's own and is truly an inspiration to me. Jeannie

  2. Oh my word Claudine these are Fabulous! Such a cool technique with the tissue wrap and all of the cool chipboard embellishments! I knew you would "rock the block" in your most awesomely, creative way!

    Thanks for sharing the ATB love!


  3. Claudine- your blocks are super cool- great techniques and tutorial! Amy just forwarded me an email from you and I can't believe you lived in Herndon! And now you are gone :-( Booo. But maybe you will come back someday? Thanks for using the blocks- you rock! Hope to meet up somewhere along the line- you never know!

  4. First time I am hearing about ATBs, but, I am quite sure, it will not be the last time! What a clever, clever idea! Very clever to have added the scrunched up tissue paper *after* you adhered your clipboard and grunge pieces. It just give it a more interesting character. Well done, Claudine!

  5. Those blocks are pretty cool. I like the way it looks with the tissue paper on top of the chipboard. Thanks for sharing.

  6. These look like SO much fun :) Awesome job with them & I can't wait to play ~

  7. I read your post yesterday but had forgotten to place a comment. Just because I hopt over to ATB. I didn't hear of this before but it's so nice! Love your tut, thank you for the inspiration!

  8. Great blocks, Claudine - love your embedded chippies!

  9. Love these, thanks for your comment, I saw these last night on the dash board whilst starting to write my post and thought how funny,Great minds and all that. They are such great fun to alter and so many possibilities Really cool how you have layered your shapes x

  10. Great technique and it looks wonderful and lovely on the boxes.

  11. Wonderful attention to detail. You also showed us many options to personalize to our own needs, or gifts for friends. Awesome!