Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time for class!

All right, so most people are out of school now but art classes are on-going at your local stamp/scrap stores and even some on-line ones.  Yesterday I took a neat class at Prairie Art Stamps in Springfield, IL.  My good friend, Judy Hauffe taught it.  The class was one of the first to be offered during the week day so I was psyched.  I don't like to drive at night and the store is 1+ hours away for me so a 6-8 class is hard.  There were 10 of us enjoying the creative session.  We had lots of fun getting inky and plenty of laughs.

The project was an adaptation of one that was in the Design Originals book 'Trends & Trinkets'.  Shari Carroll's project was 'Love' Canvas.  Ours was 'Tattered Rose' Canvas because most of us used Tattered Rose distress ink and crackle paint as the base color.  My canvas is 8"x10" and was primed (by Judy - thank you!!!) with Gesso.  We used Tim's masks and distressed around them before adhering bits of paper wherever we wanted.  More distress ink and crackle paint formed the base.  Gaffer's tape, lace, flowers, and Idea-ology items filled in the rest of the canvas.  The sentiment on the center piece is Wendy's.  I use it on a lot of my artwork.  My chipboard letters were covered with Shabby Shutters crackle paint; I smeared  brown distress ink over them.  I think I distressed every element, including the ribbon.  Since I moved away from the Tattered Rose it was too pink for me.  I just kept adding oranges and browns until I was happy.

I can see me making more of these, especially in a smaller format like 6"x6" or even smaller.  Time to go make more art since I'm behind schedule on several projects!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrate today

Recently I made a few more banners instead of cards for some special events.  I wasn't keen on the background paper (too cutesy, not vintage enough but the overall color was okay) so I smeared some pearl paint dabber over them.  The chipboard frame was run through an embossing folder, inked up, pearlized, inked up, wiped off, etc. to mimic the new background pieces.  There's some old film behind the frame.  The little girl was sent to me so I don't know anything about her (except that she was printed using an inkjet printer and didn't like Glossy Accents!).  I stamped Wendy's 'Celebrate today' on a fragment, there's deco paper behind it, glitzy black eyelet fibers finished it off.  The heart is a ribbon slider but I just stamped out the initial and glued it behind the heart.  A few Prima flowers and pearls, MS punch front and the banner was complete.  Oh, in case you're wondering, the banner is 3.5" wide by 5" long.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy anniversary to my dh of 23 years!

The chipboard heart book came from the $1 section at Michaels last year. I didn't like the papers that came with it so I turned them over and distressed them to my heart's content. Distressing can take me out of my mind and onto a happier plane, no doubt about it!  The calendar page was distressed  as were the backs of the puzzle pieces and the chipboard letters.  The text stamps are Wendy's (Black Archival Ink) and the flourishes (top and bottom of heart) are also hers but I used the gold paint dabber on them.  There's a bit of Stickles on the monogram, don't know if you can see it.  Well, better for my art to be distressed than my marriage!  Here's to many, many more years with this special guy!   

Monday, June 21, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities 2nd challenge - fragments basics

If I hadn't felt the compelling need to run out to a local stamp/scrap/craft/antique store this morning I would have posted much earlier today.  I also might have made a different tag.  :)  However, I had a 30% off coupon (that was good on most merchandise in the store!) and just couldn't pass up the opportunity to add to my stash of art stuff.  LOL  I did get the last 3 of Tim's embossing folders that I didn't own and scored big time on a 10' roll of Xyron magnet/laminate refill...$3.50!!!  I don't own the machine but figured I could still use the refill - somehow.

Lots about this tag that was changed from my original idea.  Sigh.  The background is blue and purple distress inks with a bit of Worn Lipstick to make it more plum in color.  The notebook paper was stamped on kraft paper using Plum Archival Ink.  WW Distress Ink was rubbed onto the paper after I tore off the bottom portion.  The pen nibs were stamped using Black Archival Ink - too bad I didn't notice until aferwards that they were upside down.  Another sigh.  The alpha background was also stamped using PAI.  I edged the tag with the black paint dabber.  I tried to add a spiral using Black Enamel Accents but it looked goofy so I added the dial (reverse side out because I liked the color better) and spinner.  I stamped my initials from Tim's Grunge Alphabet onto a scrap of tag.  Smushed blue and purple distress inks over them; Glossy Accents adhered the fragments to the letters.  Let dry.  Cut out.  Edged the fragments with the black paint dabber. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Remembering dad

As I mentioned the other day, my dad has been gone nearly 2 years now.  Even though we didn't have a Norman Rockwellian relationship I still miss what we did have.  One of dad's favorite activities when he was younger was hunting.  I clearly remember him taking us on a pheasant hunting trip; hence, this card.  I think the trip was more to teach us about being quiet, listening, watching, etc., not about hunting per se.  I can't imagine having 4 youngsters hunting with you would have provided much game. 

The large background piece was created by stamping TH flourish stamp in white pigment ink, heat setting, then rubbing Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint, Weathered Wood, Vintage Photo and Black Soot distress inks over the cardstock.  With a slightly damp towel I carefully wiped off the white so that it would show up better. 

The other stamps are from SU's 'Pheasant Thoughts'.  The cardstock with the pheasant image uses the Camouflage technique that can be found in the Oct/Nov 2008 TechniqueJunkie newsletter.  I thought this was a perfect combo.

The hanging sign is from TH; I used his rusted grunge technique (see his book Compendium of Curiosities for details) on the grungeboard.  Flattening the brads added to the rustic look.  Spellbinders Labels 4 and Ma Vinci Graven Tiny alpha in Sepia Archival ink were used to create the date embellishment.  I had a piece of wood from my mulch pile that was just the right for this card.  Two wire Christmas ornament hangers were wound around the piece to complete the card.

Mood when done?  Happy with the card, sad otherwise.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A dream...Africa

Over on the ATT group there's a Texture Fades tag swap.  A trip to Africa is on my bucket list and a win for the US Soccer team would be another dream come true.  I know the US goalie (Tim Howard), watched him play all through high school, so this tag idea really spoke to me.

I chose Tim's Rays texture fade embossing folder.  First I inked up the tag with distress inks (Mustard Seed, Rusty Hinge, Barn Door, Fired Brick, Mahogany, Walnut Stain and Black Soot - yes, all of them!).  Then I ran the tag through my Wizard.  I heat embossed clear powder over the rays; stamped 'dream' (TH) with StazOn Jet Black over the rays.  The flower, mask (100 Proof Press), and grass are part of a pack of papers called Eco Africa by Provocraft.  The postcard was stamped in Sepia Archival, distressed around the edges then I curled one corner.  The elephant was black heat embossed on gray paper (both stamps TH - Purely Random set).  Miscellaneous beads threaded onto hemp and an alpha tile complete the tag.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage meets Contemporary

I needed a thank you card but didn't want anything too sappy.  I've always enjoyed these vintage images so I paired them up with a contemporary layout and color scheme.  Clean, simple and the card makes me smile.  I have no idea who makes the images; they are on odd-sized blocks, the red rubber is thin with virtually no cushion behind it.  I also have a set of vintage air machines (planes, balloons, etc.).  'Thank you' is from a Stampin' Up set. 

'Thank you' for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities 1st challenge - waterstamping

My ATT friend Linda, of StudioL3, is hosting a weekly challenge using the techniques from Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities book.  You can check out her blog for all the details.  Prizes will be awarded throughout the challenge - all chosen by a random number generator.  A new challenge will be posted each Monday.  Sounds like fun?  You can join in any time - please do!

After using the darkest red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet distress inks all over my tag I then blended them with one of the browns.  I think the colors look better...imo.  I chose the dots background stamp from Psychedelic Grunge for my waterstamp.  I overstamped the foliage from Nature's Moments in olive Archival ink and the sentiment in black Archival ink.  The bird was stamped with distress embossing ink, then heated up Tea Dye distress powder.  Cool, rub off a bit, then cut out before inking up with black distress ink.  I darkened the eye with a black Sakura Glaze pen.  I added some grungeboard behind him to lift him off the page and added a piece of twine so he wasn't floating in mid-air.  I know, birds do that but artistically I think you know what I mean.  'Hope' was stamped on a scrap of paper, inked orange-brown then put behind a distressed label holder.  Using Tim's Scallop edge die I whacked off the end and backed it with black cardstock.  Added a few dots of black, again with the glaze pen.  I would have used my new Ranger enamel inks but they haven't arrived yet.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thinking of Father's Day

Father's Day is Sunday.  My father passed away 2 years ago but I will have a tribute piece to his memory on my blog.  My grandfathers have also passed away; my husband and I had no children of our own.  I've made cards in the past for many fathers that I know...brothers-in-law, uncles, friends, etc.  This year I made just one special one...for my step-dad.  He has a full plate with children of his own, 4 step-kids and plenty of grandhchildren.  There won't be the typical Father's Day gift-giving or gathering but I wanted to let him know how much his presence has meant to me.

The stamp is from the Seaside Sketches (Stampin' Up) set that I stamped on watercolor paper and colored with dye-based markers that had been scribbled on my craft sheet.  Bordered in black I layered it onto one of Tim's Texture Fades embossing folders.  I rubbed Broken China Distress Ink across the embossed portion - makes it look more like a sheet of notebook paper.  The sentiment, also SU, fit on the page perfectly, thanks to a positioner.  I colored white photo corners with Sunset Orange pigment ink then smudged some brown distress ink over them and around the base card.

Mood when done?  Pleased.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Here's the card!

This is the card I made that will accompany yesterday's wall art for my mom.  The background was created by following the Antique Wallpaper tutorial that is in the June/July 2010 Technique Junkies newsletter.  I chose the Cuttlebug Victoria embossing folder; Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Stormy Sky, and Old Paper Distress Inks.  The green layer has been severely distressed around the edges before it was placed on the white base.

The Sizzix Floral with Leaves Flourish (656520) was cut out of grungeboard.  I covered it with Espresso Pigment Ink then brushed Distress Crackle Paint (Broken China, Peeled Paint, Mustard Seed) over the pieces and let air dry.  I smudged Tea Dye Distress Ink over the cracks to make them more visible.

I stamped '76' on cardstock then punched it out using a handheld punch (5/16").  Put it on my craft sheet then placed Tim's memo pin over it and filled the opening with Glossy Accents (recently seen on Wendy Vecchi's blog - thank you!).  I edged one of Tim's tickets with Broken China Distress Ink, ran the pin through it.  There is mounting foam to raise it up for dimension.  The ribbon is from Michaels (long ago purchase).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My bffs...Wendy, Tim and Maya

My mom is always coveting my 3-d work so now she'll have a piece of her own.  She has a mid-July birthday but I'll be seeing her in a few weeks and would rather hand-deliver this gift.

I picked up a bunch of these wire cages at Michaels after a class with Wendy Vecchi several months ago.  They make great gifts when you ask your bfs to help you! 

The stamps are Wendy's, the bottle cap is Maya Road (love how Wendy's milk bottle label fit inside perfectly!) and the rest is Tim or Sizzix.  I also distressed a paper doily, added a paperclip ring, glitter, beaded feather and some chipboard to round out the embellishments.  The flowers, leaves, bird, and sign are either grungepaper or grungeboard.  I love this medium because it is so versatile!  Wendy's just let out a tease she has a new stamping surface coming out at CHA in July.  Will this be my new fave???

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Loving Tim's texture fades!

The background was created using a technique from Tim's Compendium book.  Cool, huh?  I used grungepaper but then adhered it to grungeboard for sturdiness.  The baby wipes flower was cut using the Tattered Florals die.  I smooshed Distress inks onto my craft sheet, spritzed with water then let the flower layers fall where they may, pushing them down to absorb the color.  Some I spritzed with more water to get better color.  Other than the fern punch (Martha) and the gear/sun (Sizzix) everything else is by Tim. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's about time

My neighbor retired Friday afternoon. I hadn't given his retirement card or gift much thought. Didn't take long and the idea was formulated and executed. The brown cardstock base was run through the new Cuttlebug Clockworks embossing folder. Distress ink pads were rubbed over the embossed areas. The stamped image is by Art Impression (P-1557); colored with Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol. Again, Distress inks were rubbed along the edges. I adhered the image to black cardstock then tore it for another layer of distress. In a bag of old watch faces I found one from a Rolex watch. Doesn't everyone deserve a Rolex when they retire???? LOL

I couldn't do a traditional type gift for the guy. Thanks to Vippies, I still have some matchbooks with plain paper inside. I stamped tiny lines inside for a 'to do' pad. The outside was stamped with Wendy's houndstooth stamp in clear resist - oops, the stamp was still dirty from a previous use. Oh well, too late now. Smudged green distress inks all over...more distress. The title uses several Hero Arts alphabet stamps. I made the tiny pencil from a round toothpick broken in half. Colored it with Sharpies, even added his name in a very fine Sharpie (yes, I wrote extremely small!!!). Punched 2 holes and tied the pencil to the pad with a bit of black embroidery floss. If someone can write with that pencil on the tiny lines then I think he really should perform the task requested. LOL

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Stamp conventions

The stamp convention in W. Springfield, MA is this weekend. I miss it! I miss the road trip from central NJ with my friends. We'd shop going up, shop the convention, and shop all the way back. I don't think we left any store in NJ, CT, or MA untouched. LOL Then we started helping a local NJ stamp company (Another Stamp Company) set up their booth and man it as necessary. I have lots of good memories of those days. It was fun meeting up with fellow TJers, including Pat, to shop, share ideas, and swap ATCs, pins, or whatever.

This morning my friends from ASC called from the convention floor. We got to chat briefly before the phone was handed off to Pat, TJ queen herself! It was so much fun talking with her again. What an enabler she is! If you go shopping with her, beware! LOL Seriously, she finds great stuff and does amazing things with it. I hope some of that has rubbed off on me. I miss all my east coast friends but thankfully through blogs, facebook and emails we can keep in touch.

When you have the opportunity to attend a convention, make sure you look up others from your on-line groups. Great photo op and a chance to share your ideas, etc.
CHA in Chicago and Novi are coming up - maybe I'll see some of you there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Penscore Magic Foam Stamps

Remember these? I got some at the 1st convention I attended eons ago. I got mine as individual blocks but you can purchase them as 4/pkg or in 8"x10" sheets.

You heat the moldable foam up with your heat tool then press the foam into the object of your choice. Color with dye based ink and stamp. If you color with any other medium it could be there permanently (affects the looks, not the use). Wipe off on a damp towel and the block is ready to be reheated and used again.

Here I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder so that I could coordinate my mailing envelope with my ATCs that are going to be swapped out later this month. The stamp is TH, all inks by Ranger, and the ATC is edged with the copper paint dabber. Behind the postmark is also a splat of copper paint dabber.

The ATC white cardstock was double-bugged. I ran the ATC through the Distressed Stripes folder and lightly ran red ink over the raised portion. I then ran the ATC through the Fleur De Lis folder 3 times before running blue ink over the embossed portion.

Note to self: figure out how I can have the photos going across the top of the entry, not in a columnn. Blogger needs better photo placement options or this user needs to become better informed on how to use this feature.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


On the EWV Yahoo group Lori is hosting a Twinchie (not Twinkie!) swap. I had lots of ideas but none of them worked out the way I had hoped. Sigh. Then a challenge was issued on the ATT Yahoo group using the techniques from TH's Compendium book. I really liked the brick texture fade and saw it used in the book. Finally, an 'aha!' moment. These flowers remind me of the poppies we have growing next to our brick home.

I ran grungepaper through the brick texture fade embossing folder and inked it up via the book (exactly as the directions say - a first for me!) I stamped one of Wendy's stems with leaves then stamped the leaves again on grungepaper and cut them out. Need dimension. I stamped out more flowers and overstamped them with several background stamps. Colored the flowers with the yellow & orange families of distress inks. I also sprayed the finished flowers with Sunflower PP mist. A few bit of sequins and gems topped them off. The word 'flowers' is from a longer sentiment that I stamped on a fragment using black StazOn ink. I edged the fragment with a gold paint dabber. I had already glued my background onto some grungeboard so adding the dragonfly brad was a bit of a challenge...until I used my TH scissors to cut off the brad legs and glue it down using Glossy Accents.

For a small piece of work this certainly took me longer to complete than I expected. Guess you just can't rush creativity!