Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everything's coming up roses

After 2+ weeks of no sunshine, I felt I had to make my own. I wish I could remember who created the video I first saw that showed watercoloring this beautiful rose stamp from Stampin' Up (Fifth Avenue Floral). After heat embossing the stamp with white ink & powder, I spritzed the image lightly with water. Sparingly I dipped my paint brush into drops of reinker (yellow, orange & red) as I layered the color to suit me. The water helps it move around to create a natural look. The leaves are from a Spellbinders set (sunflowers, I think).

I've used many color combos on this stamp for other cards; they always turn out so pretty, imho. I don't grow roses - too many Japanese beetles - so this is the next best technique to approximate the colors found in real life.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Yesterday I showed you the library pocket I sent Wanda in the EWV Valentine swap. Here's the wonderful heart hanging that Wanda sent me. I love everything about this heart...the layout, colors and embellishments used. She also sent me a bag full of extra goodies...designer paper clips, chipboad birds, felt birds, wood pieces, bingo discs, chipboard pieces, and all sorts of hearts. I love getting surprise mail like this! Wanda has challenged me to create something special with the extra goodies. Time to put on my thinking cap and start playing!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Make Art in a pocket

I found this golden yellow Library File Pocket (Office Werks) by Creek Bank Creations, Inc. in my drawer. It was just calling out to be decorated Wendy-style. All stamps are Wendy's, all inks are Ranger, and the Idea-ology pieces are Tim's. This was in the Valentine package I sent to my friend, Wanda, on the EWV group.

There has to be a better way to share multiple photos and keep them in a specific order. Oh well, another lesson for another day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

Well, it IS very cold out but that has nothing to do with this precious (IMHO) card recognizing the birth of a new family member. I used 2 white layers on the white base. Sue Nelson (Heart Prints)uses this a lot and always looks stunning.

First I printed the baby's name (Hawaiian) on the top layer, embossed a line above and below that on my Scor-It board, then embossed the top portion with Provocraft Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy embossing folder and the bottom with P-C Swiss Dots embossing folder. The 2 hearts are also from P-C. I cut a pink one and a white one, embossing the white one. The narrow pink ribbon anchors the slightly off-set hearts. A beautiful card for a precious little girl.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let it snow

Well, it's not snowing but is raining and washing away the snow. How sad.

This card is all about using my Wizard. It cut & embossed the snowflake (Spellbinders Snowflake Wonder S4-085) and embossed the bottom portion of the top layer (Provocraft Large Snowflake Embossing Folder). The sentiment is Hero Arts. Like that silver tape it's stamped on? It's a cool new product I found in my LSS called Kamoi Paper 'Washi' Adhesive Tape. The package I got has 10 autumnal rolls of tape - really yummy looking and just up my color alley.

By the way, I'd much rather it be snowing than raining.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Calm down

The skies aren't so gray today so I've calmed down...and so has today's art. This is an anniversary card I made for an aunt & uncle who will be celebrating their 50th on Valentine's Day. I was one of the flower girls and still have my white velveteen dress with the red bow, red & white heart-shaped head piece and white muff.

Out of all the 2010 new stamp releases from Hero Arts this was my favorite. I was inspired by the card Gerrie Johnnic, a fellow TechniqueJunkie, made using the image. My background is Distressed Inks and the image was stamped using them as well. The butterfly is a Martha Stewart punch, ribbons unknown. A bit of Stickles on the butterfly and scattered on the grasses finishes off the piece. I have quite a few ideas for this stamp running around in my head. Sure hope they turn out as pleasing as this one.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bold and bright

Still seriously gray here with rain falling...I need more COLOR! in my life!!!

An on-line friend was recently in a motorcycle accident - sure hope he doesn't read my blog (yet!) so this will be a surprise in the mail for him. I don't have any motorcycle related stamps so took a Tim Holtz car, stamped it on bright orange cardstock and crumpled the front end.

The bright yellow jumbo rickrack trim is the road (attached using Tim's tiny stapler) and the bright orange ticket stub is for a motorcyle show. The base card and matching envelope are from a line by Hampton Art Stamps called 'Simply Brilliant'. Don't know if they're still available but they sure are BRIGHT!

Top card layer: I placed one of Tim's masks on my craft sheet and spritzed color all over the place before pressing my cardstock onto the dampened craft sheet. I dried and replaced the cardstock until I was content with the color saturation & placement. All the black images were stamped using Ranger Archival Black Ink. Card base: I stamped the large flourish using Fired Brick Distress Ink.

All stamps are from Tim Holtz, all ink is by Ranger.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All things bright and beautiful...

Another dreary, freezing rain day in east central IL. I'm wondering if I have a touch of S.A.D. so decided it was time to bring out some bright colors to lift my mood.

This is a flower magnet for my refrigerator. The scalloped base is about 4" across and is from a Spellbinders Octagon Scalloped Die cut sprayed with various yellows, oranges, and pinks. The multi-layered flower is Spellbinders' Scalloped Circles using maps, dictionary pages and tissue paper. I did scrunch and spray each layer before assembly. Old buttons bring the layers together. The floral sprays were a find at a floral arts store that was closing; the leaves are fabric and cut using one of Wendy's stamps. I preferred the back side of the fabric for one leaf and added ink to the other fabric leaf to make the white not so bright.

Tomorrow I'll post the card I made using more of the same colors. It is definitely bright!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Take a moment

This tag uses the 3rd grungepaper rose from the EWV swap that I received from Eileen. The background is another Pigments (Bottle, Butterscotch, Sunset Orange) & Pearls (Gold). The stamps are all Wendy's (Art Parts, Art-fully Said, Make Mini Art, All About Art). The ribbons are from the Martha Stewart collection. The butterfly has Dusty Concord and Spiced Marmalade Distress Stickles on the reverse side of the acetate. The base image was stamped with Pine Needles & Spiced Marmalade Distress Inks. I smudged Pine Needles & Dusty Concord DI around the edges before deciding that Tim's Idea-ology Corner Frames were just the pieces I needed to complete this project.

The grungepaper rose swap was hosted by Lori and is a 2-part swap. The first part you send 3 roses to your partner. The 2nd part will be to use one (or more) of those roses in a project for a new partner. How fun is that?!?!? Lori has her project on her blog (more explanation there).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's all in the details

Coincidence or incidental? I posted on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group that I had found 2 stamps that seemed to work together like magic. Had Wendy planned this? Dunno. Look at the finial border stamp from 'Art from the Heart' and the row of flowers from 'Art Rules'. In a trial I made the finials as flower stems (stamped twice, the 2nd time moving the stamp over so that the images were behind the 1st ones) and put the flowers on top of the finials. Truthfully it didn't come out quite as I had planned as the greens were fine (dark in front, lighter in back) but the flowers were all the same intensity.

I stamped the Dotted Swiss background (All About Art set) in Snow Cap (Ranger Pigment Ink) then quickly poured white embossing powder over that. Heat set. Back to the Pigment Inks & Perfect Pearls background - I used Shell Pink, Peach Bellini & Watermelon Ranger Pigment Inks and Blush Perfect Pearls. I chose these colors to complement one of the grungepaper roses I got from EileenB in our swap on EWV.

Who says the flower stems have to be green? Stamped in Ranger Archival black they also remind me of a fence. Layered over a scalloped border (Dreams of the Heart) in Ranger Archival coffee worked. This made the images seem better blended. The flowers were stamped in Fired Brick Distress Ink. Yuk, too intense. Overstamped these in Coffee. Much better. Added tiny clear gems to the flower centers. Nope, does nothing for me. Colored them with a brown Sharpie. Much better.

I left the left end of the tag devoid of all stamping. I used the 3 different ribbons to disguise this fact. Went around the edges with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. Added 2 grungepaper leaves (Dreams of the Heart) colored with Peeled Paint & Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks. Added a tiny bit of Brushed Corduroy Distress Stickles to the edges. Glued them down, topped them with Eileen's rose. Hmmm, needs some text. Stamped 'It's all in the details' (Ranger Black Archival Ink, stamp from 'Art Parts') and the tag is complete!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pigments & Pearls - in the beginning

I was questioning my purchase of all the Ranger pigment ink pads because I don't find myself using them very much, if at all. Wendy Vecchi wrote to the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group and reminded us of a video she'd made for Ranger called 'Pigments & Pearls'. I watched it then started playing with some color combos.

On this tag I used Terra Cotta and Lettuce pigment pads and Bronze Perfect Pearls. Essentially you smoosh the inks onto your craft sheet then spritz with the PP & water you mixed in a Mini Mister. Press the tag into the mixture, dry with your heat gun. Continue layering the colors as desired, drying between layers so the colors don't get muddy.

The bird, flourish stem and flowers are Sizzix (655961-Bird w/ Branch). I punched them out of craft cardstock and colored with Distress Inks (Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Black Soot, Walnut Stain). I also sanded the edges to further the distressed look. I added a rusty snap and some metal flower findings to the flowers. Distress Stickles (PP, SM, FB, and BS) were added in a few spots. I did wad up the tag and smear it a little bit with Vintage Photo Distress Ink - it's okay but not quite there. I ironed it from the back side so the elements would lay down better. Hmmm...I inked up the tag's edges with Walnut Stain DI, distressed the edges, and then added some Black Soot DI around the edges again.

After doing a trial layout I felt the background still wasn't layered enough so I stamped Wendy's background stamp from 'Ticket to Art'. Now I'm getting somewhere. The bird, flourish and flowers were elevated using foam tape. I stamped the sentiment (Invoke Arts) in the lower left corner but messed it up. Grrr. I found the red paper doily heart but of course it was way too red and shiny. Espresso Pigment Ink to the rescue! Sanded it a bit with Tim's sanding block. Love it! I stamped the sentiment again using a stamp positioner. Whew! Now I can glue the heart down strategically covering my blotch. I'm quite satisfied with the end result. Thank you, Wendy!

Davinci's quote really says it all for me...I need my muse to make art!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Into the kitchen

I saw a recipe page holder at my local stamp store (Prairie Art Stamps in Springfield, IL) and decided to make one myself. I loved the paper they used for their sample (Graphic 45 Domestic Goddess collection) and knew it would be perfect for my Cornhusk Green kitchen with oak cabinets and red accents. The sample was on a piece of sheet metal that was formed by hand. I don't have that ability so I purchased a pair of tall metal bookends from Staples.

I made a filler piece for the center opening then layered another piece of thin chipboard on the back to hold it in place. I pieced the papers together and adhered to the bookend. Using some of the border pieces or smaller elements, I glued magnetic strips onto them and a decorative button to use as recipe card/page holders. On the base of the bookend I punched out a small set of flatware from adhesive-backed foil tape. It adds the perfect touch! I did carefully bend the bookend back so that the recipe would be easier to read.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Still so bitterly cold

No sense turning the heater on in my vehicle...I'm not in it long enough to get it warm enough to make any difference! We're supposed to be having a much warmer week (mid-upper 20s or even low 30s) but time will tell.

Thought I'd share an ATC I made recently for a Gingerwood sketch swap. Unfortunately you can't see the glitter on the snowflakes. Scanning just doesn't pick up glitz. No snow flurries today but still plenty on the ground.

I've finished a few projects but can't share them yet. My head was actually hurting this morning with all the ideas inside churning. Unfortunately other things needed my attention (family, breakfast, etc.) so I couldn't get them all put to paper. Maybe over the next few days I can at least get some more projects started before my next round of cards and ATC swaps are due.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Looks like we got about 8" of the white stuff yesterday. Shoveling wasn't easy as the wind kept blowing it back into place - very dry and fluffy. Another chilly day - the actual temp is 15 but with 19 mph winds it feels like -1. No school again today. Brrrr!

This snowfall doesn't lend itself well for building snowmen so I'll have to resort to the paper kind. He'll be right at home for at least the next few days. I pulled out my '12 Days of Christmas Tags' that Tim Holtz did back in 2007. The background and idea came from Day 2. Snowman and snowflake stamps are Tim's, 'snowy days' came from Jody Poesy, all inks and embossing powders by Ranger, other materials sources are unknown.

If you have to go careful! If you're in...keep warm! It's another perfect day to be creative with paper and ink.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In a winter wonderland

Snow has been falling since last night. It's beautiful looking out the window; I feel like I'm living inside a snowglobe. This guy fits right in with the weather outside.

Did you know that a snowflake is just winter's butterfly? The tag was made during Tim Holtz's 12 Days of Christmas tags for 2009. All the stamps are from Tim's collections except for the sentiment and that's by Hero Arts. All inks are from Ranger. The brads, ribbons and glitter are from unknown sources.

No school today for the local children and I bought groceries yesterday so I can stay inside and PLAY all day! It may be white outside but it sure won't be inside. LOL I won't worry about shoveling until later in case I have to go out tomorrow.

Stay safe and warm!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Keep the home fires burning

Our weather radio alerted us earlier today that the winter storm advisory was no longer in effect but a winter storm warning had taken its place. Depending on the weather forecaster, we could see 3"-8". Temps will plummet (how much lower???) and the winds will be increasingly stronger. Sounds like we won't see dry, fluffy flakes falling lazily to the ground.

Thought I'd better be prepared for possible electrical outages (not likely but you never know!) by getting out candles. Why look at a plain one when it can be jazzed it up in Wendy Vecchi style? Wendy's tutorial for this project can be found in her blog entry on Dec. 3, 2009. Hope your day is brightened by my light!

Keep the home fires burning

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A true angel

Wendy Vecchi, a true angel in the art world, has my angel on her blog today!

Lori Hassler, one of the moderators for the EverythingWendyVecchi group, posted a challenge and this was my entry. The art chick angel is nearly a foot tall. Her body is chipboard but her head is grungepaper. She's adorned with brads, gems, and vellum. All inks and paints are by Ranger.

Monday, January 4, 2010

An honor and a privilege

I was just chosen to be the homepage artist for the month of January on the EverythingWendyVecchi yahoo group! I'm very flattered - all the entries were super. I'm so glad I didn't have to choose a winner. This rose topiary will be what members see when they go to the homepage.

The 11" topiary has 36 grungepaper roses (stamp from Wendy Vecchi's Dimensional Rose Art set) and quite a few gold-toned buttons that I altered using Ranger's alcohol inks. The roses were colored using Ranger's Distress Inks, Perfect Pearls and Colorwash Sprays. At first I didn't care for the Distress Ink (too flat). Then I didn't care for the Perfect Pearls (too shiny). After spraying with the Colorwash Sprays I was doing the happy dance. The colors are rich; just perfect! I tend to layer my color on all my cards, why should this 3-D project be any different?

As Wendy Vecchi says, 'Hope this piece inspires you to make art!'

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year (better late than never)!

Hope your new year has started out splendidly! I'll be away this weekend and next week I need to do some maintenance in my stamp room before I can get back into my groove. Now that I belong to more groups I need to prioritize my time and figure out which swaps, challenges, etc. that I want to complete. Never mind that I still am trying to read a murder mystery weekly and squeeze in more genealogy research.

This card was inspired by one that Hetty Sanders ( has in her blog entry from Feb. 10, 2009. I really liked the way she did her circles around her image. Mine is a self portrait - NOT! Well, the hair coloring is a bit similar but that's all.

The main image is a Mark Towner stamp (Stampassions); HNY is Jody Poesy, 2010 is Hero Arts, and the rest are Wendy Vecchi (Stampers Anonymous). All inks are Ranger (distress and black permanent) except for the gold (Encore). The image was colored using Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol. A few smatterings of Orange, Sunflower Gold and Cinnamon Stickles (Ranger) add a bit of pizzazz to celebrate the new year.