Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Wendy house

Have you ever heard of a Wendy house?  If you're British you're probably quite familiar with them.  If you have no clue as to what I'm talking about check out this link that explains a Wendy house.  Seeing as how I am such a huge Wendy fan and delight in all things Wendy, I thought it only fitting to make a Wendy house.

From the base of the spool to the top of the tree, this little display stands about 6" high.  I made the spool from scratch and used some architectural scrapbook paper I had tucked away (for the scrapbook I need to make showing all our home improvements).  The 'create' acts as a signpost in the front yard and is attached to a square toothpick.  The heart is a brad.  Do you like that hammer and its near perfect scale to the piece?  I got lucky there.  I traced around a cookie cutter onto black shrink plastic, shrank it, then put drywall tape on the handle.  On top of the spool is a Dutch Boy paint chip. 

Wendy's house stamp is not symmetrical so it was a bit fiddly measuring the walls and roof but it is truly a 3-D chipboard house.  The red door I just love!  The roof is also chipboard that I smeared with Distress Embossing Ink before mixing up several colors of Distress Embossing Powder that were sprinkled over the wet ink.  I drew lines through the powder with a stylus to create shingles then heat embossed it. 

Wendy's tree was stamped on acetate with olive and sepia archival inks.  I glued it to some blue cloud paper that I had in my remnants drawer.  The Glossy Accents caused some of the ink to smear but I think it just enhanced the look I was hoping to achieve.  After cutting around the tree I adhered it to the back of the house so it could stand tall and proud.  I don't know if the scale of the house and tree were planned but they sure work well together, don't you think?

Don't you think a village would be just over the top with both sizes of houses????

Friday, July 30, 2010

Awesome, awesome day!

At the last minute I was given the opportunity to attend CHA in Chicago on Wednesday.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go (3+ hour drive, expenses, etc.).  Then I decided it was a chance I shouldn't pass up.  Oh my, what a super day and awesome experience!  Not only did I get to rub elbows with the those I would call elite in our world (Wendy Vecchi, Claudine Hellmuth, Teresa Collins, Lisa Pavelka, Judy Watanabe, and Tim Holtz to name a few) but got to see them in action doing what they do best and doing it with the newest toys on the market.  There were lots of 'oohs' and 'aahs' upon seeing the products first hand and screams of delight as giveaways were drawn for some of the new items. 

I was told this show was 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the winter show.  It was still overwhelming to me; I don't think I got to visit every booth.  Many of the vendors offered make & takes and/or gave away freebies.  I participated as much as I could - what sensory overload!  Thank goodness I took a lot of photos to remind me of what I'd seen.  Sure hope my rememberer works when I try to recall all I learned!

The show was minutes from closing when I was at the Ranger booth watching Tim Holtz demo several products.  I asked about the new rosette Sizzlits die and he said he couldn't tell me about it but he'd show it to me.  Even though there was a small group gathered I felt as if it was a private lesson.  Unbeknownst to me Daisy from Eclectic Paperie had her camera in hand.  If you watch the youtube video (episode 6 from CHA) I'm on the left (blue denim shirt).  My full face (chipmunk cheeks and all!) is shown about seconds 12-17, then only my hair (now that it's longer you can see it!  I've always worn it super short until now).  And I got the finished rosette!

Probably the highlight of the day was seeing Tim (maybe one day I'll get to take a class with him!) and having our photo taken.  For once it's a great shot of me (I'm not photogenic at all!) so I don't mind sharing it with you.

I made new friends and met some old friends when I ran into Sue and Pat from Scrappers Cove in NJ - my LSS when I lived nearby.

I won't bore you with photos of all the displays. The vendors and many stores have put them on their blogs or websites.  Their pictures are probably much better than mine anyway. 

If you ever have the opportunity to attend CHA, please take it!  Just think, it will be one item you can cross off your bucket list!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ride 'em cowboy!

This week's Compendium of Curiosities challenge uses the Tinted Vision Fragments tutorial found on page 55 of Tim's book.  I didn't have any photos I could use, didn't want to use a stamped image, so, what's a girl to do?  Hey, I have some clip art books on my shelf (definitely need to do a re-org!) and one is Suze Weinberg's and it's chock full of all sizes of artwork that you can use behind memory why not fragments?  Cool!  I didn't want to make a truly vintage tag so when I saw the cowboy I knew I was onto something different. 

The top layer of the tag uses Wendy' plaid background stamped in Crimson Archival Ink.  Tore the top and bottom then distressed the edges - of course!  The edges were distressed with Barn Door, Vintage Photo and Black Soot.  'Genuine' was stamped with Distress Embossing Ink then Vintage Photo Distressed Powder on top.  A gold pen filled in some of the filigree.  The tag itself was distressed with Vintage Photo and Black Soot then paisley stamps all around the edges (Black Archival Ink).  The Innksentials pen gave them the bandana look.  Cool, huh?  The rest of the stamps are from Stampin' Up (Wanted and Bronc Buster).  A piece of twine to mimic a lariat completes the piece.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Live the life you've imagined

Hels' song of choice for this week's challenge (#113) is from Queen.  I'm not familiar with the song but it has to do with loving and living; I think it's called 'Love of My Life'.  I smudged several pink, blue and purple distress inks (light colors) all over my #8 tag.  The large 'Live' is a Sizzix die.  I cut it out then placed it on the tag and smudged more ink through the letters; stamped some of Tim's flowers on the 'L' with Plum Archival Ink.  With the negative portion still in place I faux stitched around each letter with an ultra fine point black Sharpie.  A strip of torn paper was added to one end, Tim's calendar tissue tape to the other; the edges were distressed further with darker distress inks (same color families).  Tim's umbrella man was stamped in Dusty Concord on manila card stock, cut out (what a pain to cut between his arm and body and around the brolly!), pop dots elevate his stature.  Tim's sentiment was stamped in Plum Archival Ink and Dusty Concord Distress Ink for a shadowed effect.  Tim's line of birds sit on top of the smaller letters while a Martha Stewart bird punch (black with Dusty Concord Distress Stickles) sits at the end.  Ta da!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spools rule!

Okay, so Wendy has new spool-like structures on the way.  Seems like this type of thing is one of the new rages because Linda Cain has spools featured on her blog of 7/22 that were inspired by kits that Julie Van Oosten from down under sells.  You can check out her blog here.  Once there you can click on the video of her making these guys - so easy and lots of fun.  I'm sure her kits are sturdier than what I made but since I'm not known for my patience and like to use what's on hand these will do for now.

The flower was made from kraft paper, Tim's tattered floral die and Wendy's new stamps.  The leaf is one that Japanese beetles made lacy just for me!  LOL 
The scrolls are Jenni Bowlin mini papers and a QuicKutz die with Wendy's word.

The sewing spool has muslin, old trim for a ribbon, an old snap, Wendy's stamps (shirt and measure) and the QuicKutz die.

The scrapbook papers are leftovers from other projects so I don't know who makes them.  Brown distress inks were used on the spool tops & bottoms.

I do have a large collection of antique spools in my sewing room but am afraid of altering them.  If I were to sell them later I don't want to affect their re-sale value.  I've sewn most of my life and come from a family of advanced sewers so these items are of special interest to me.  I've acquired much fabric, lace, trims, etc. from my dh's side of the family (old button makers) because no one was interested.  Gee, too bad, because I AM!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Wendy stamps are in!

I got my inky fingers on the first 4 sets of Wendy's new stamp release and couldn't wait to play.  I've only just begun...remember the Carpenters???...and can see these new ones are going to be lots of fun.  I made 2 tags so far, the red one is a medium sized tag, #5  (4 3/4"x2 3/8") and the green one is a large tag, #8 (6 1/4"x3 1/8"). The red tag uses 5 of the new stamps and the green one 9 new pieces of red rubber.

The green one has my new favorite color combo of scattered straw, bundled sage and weathered wood.

So many steps went into each one that you'd spend the better part of your day reading them.  I won't do that to you.

I will say that the red one uses the new circle background with distress ink spritzed with water while the green one has the same circles but with pigment ink.  Distress ink over that creates a resist.

I tried to make the fella appear as if he was looking up at the portrait of his true love.  She definitely needed a Maya Road crown so I gave him one, too.

Spiders are wild and felt this little guy was perfect for the sentiment.  It takes a very brave person to walk on a spider's web!  It's hard to see the Sakura glaze pen on the web but it looks as if the morning dew is on it (irl).  The other 2 sentiments just seemed to go hand-in-hand with my idea.

So, with Wendy's new stamps and help from Ranger (distress, pigment, archival inks, paint dabbers, Crackle Accents, Black Enamel Accents), Tim Holtz (game spinner, fragments, grungepaper and grungeboard heart), Maya Road (crowns), and Spellbinders (chipboard scalloped square and squares)  these are today's 'Make Art' entries.  I can't wait for the rest of the sets to be released so I can incorporate them and the new Art Parts into my work!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy birthday, Becky!

Becky's birthday is Sunday and I needed to get her present wrapped (see blog entry of 7/11) and didn't have a box.  Well, since I'm all about using what's on hand and recycling, I opted to wrap her birdcage art piece in tissue paper then carefully place it in a brown paper bag that I decorated with one of Tim's masks and a 3-d flower made from a Spellbinders scalloped circle and different papers (maps, tissue paper, book pages, etc.) and old buttons.  (Becky LOVES buttons!)  I was going to add some grungepaper leaves but found some real ones that Becky had collected and given to me just the other day that were quite lacy (a special 'thanks' to the local Japanese beetle population!).  I added some green distress inks to them and think they're just right for this project.  Two holes were punched in the top of the folded over bag, a length of twine for the bow, added the tag/card and I'm done!

Seeing Tim's new stamp release and projects helped me realize I didn't want to make a regular birthday card.  I love using all sizes of tags and really liked his post card idea so I took a #8 tag and stamped the 'post card' (source unknown) in black archival ink on the front side.  I used a calligraphy marker to write her name and address.  Brown distress ink finishes the edges. 

The back side has numerous stamps from Tim and Wendy.  The large scroll also has distress embossing powder on it.  I used a mixture of weathered wood and a brown (or 2), and maybe even a green.  I was just in a combining sort of mood playing around with what was on my table from an earlier project.  The sentiment (Wendy's) was stamped with black archival ink.  Again, more brown and black distress inks finish the edges.

Becky loves anything that looks old, is grungy and rusty.  I think she'll be quite happy with the gift, wrapping and tag/card.  If you hear any unexplainable squeals Sunday morning you'll know where they came from!  lol

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Halloween meets Claudine

This week's Compendium of Curiosities challenge uses Claudine Hellmuth's Multi-Medium.  (Instructions can be found on page 66.)  This stuff is great as a glue cuz paper stuff doesn't curl or warp (unless it's really thin or you've used too much medium).  First I punched a circle from Eclipse tape for my moon.  I didn't want it to be distressed just yet.  On the tag I used the following distress inks to create a spooky sky:  Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Brushed Corduroy, Milled Lavender, Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire, Walnut Stain and Black Soot.  Snow Cap Pigment Ink was used on the cloud stamp then I spritzed the whole tag with H2O.  The edges were further distressed with brown and black. 

The bare tree is a Sizzix die as is the ghost.  The skull and crossbones are a small grungeboard element.  These items got the multi-medium touch with some pages from the phone book and an encyclopedia.  The tree has some brown distress ink on it then was run through the TH Woodgrain embossing folder.  More distress inks were smushed over the raised areas.  The ghost was distressed with Weathered Wood after a thin layer of Rock Candy Crackle paint dried; the arms have been pulled forward.  The skull was touched up with Snow Cap Pigment Ink then also received a light coat of RCCP. 

The fence was something I found in the clearance aisle after the holidays.  It's meant to be for the Christmas villages but works well for fall.  '31' is from The Paper Studio.  The witch is a Martha Stewart punch.  The moon has a bit of yellow, orange and red distress inks on it to make it resemble a harvest moon.

So, if the Christmas-themed art wasn't bringing on cooler temps, perhaps this fall one will?!?  And if that's the case I will patent the idea!  LOL

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Don't Stop Believing

Egads, it's Sunday already and Hels' challenge was posted so that I actually saw it Saturday night very late.  Oh, the ideas just coursed through my head all night.  However, what came out of them was nothing like what I had envisioned.  Samuel Adams evolved into Santa Claus!  Personally I prefer Sam Adams!

Mushroom pigment ink was swiped across the front several (!!!) times to cover up all the advertising.  Snowcap White pigment ink was used on the snowflakes; Black Archival ink on the text.  Made sure everything was dry then distressed the edges with several brown and the Black Soot distress inks.  Rock Candy Crackle Paint was wiped over the whole piece.  I smeared Snowcap White p.i. sparingly over some of the cracks.  Gold paint dabber was used to edge the piece.

Santa was also stamped in black archival but on 13 pt. tag card stock.  Fired Brick and Peeled Paint distress inks gave Santa his color.  Several layers of grungeboard scrap elevate him from the base.  The trees were stamped in Olive Archival on harlequin grungeboard; Peeled Paint and Pine Needles d.i. were layered on with the edges touched with Brushed Corduroy d. i.  Peeled Paint Distress Stickles were rubbed over the tree for a bit of glitz.  More grungeboard scrap lift them up.  Maya Road provided the star.

The copper believe idea-ology charm was edged with the Gold Paint dabber then scratched with a sanding block.  Just happened to look at Tim's keys and one says 'journey'.  Serendipity?  The Maya Road bingo number adds just the right touch.  Sandpaper roughed up a red bulldog binder clip before I applied brown, green and black archival inks to it. 

All stamps are Tim's.  But why have I been gravitating towards Christmasy things?  The heat?  Christmas in July????  I've learned to not question, just go with the flow. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blue Mountain Coffee

I'm going to kill 2 birds with one stone here.  (No, birds were not harmed in the making of this art piece!) My friend Hels from across the pond issues a Sunday Stampers challenge every week.  Check out her blog - she makes lots of cool art!  I've not done any of her challenges yet but this week I thought I'd give it a try.  The theme is 'Blue'.  Now, my oldest niece is teaching some bookbinding classes through the local arts council and I'm taking them.  They're quite basic but the others in class haven't done this type of thing before so I offered to bring in samples of more types of books.  This one was made using coffee filters for the inside pages.  Hence, 'Blue Mountain Coffee' seemed an appropriate title.  FYI, Blue Mountain coffee is found in Jamaica.  Delish, but on the expensive side!

The covers are actually a cereal box cut that have been treated to a bath of distress inks, pigment ink, archival ink, and crackle paint - all blue (natch!).  Over the top I've stamped text (Hero Arts) and numbers (Wendy Vecchi).  The flourish is a Sizzix die, ditto for the flowers and leaves.  Distress stickles (2 blues) form the flower's center while Ranger Dimensional Pearls in Denim was drawn around parts of the flourish.  You can't really see the shadow line formed by a Ranger Adirondack marker )Stonewash Blue) around the rest of the flourish.  The eyelets are blue and the gold jump rings were colored with Denim Alcohol Ink.  3 different snips of blue ribbons tie it all together.

Don't think I can sing the blues any longer!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Christmas in July

Today's Compendium of Curiosities challenge is Distress Powder, page 43 from Tim Holtz's book.  I've already seen some of the art others have done and the pieces are wonderful.  If you haven't been able to play along, it's never too late to catch up.  Just having the samples at hand is a nice way to remember to use what you know.

'Christmas Carols' is the image that uses the Distress Powder technique (a combo of Black Soot, Weathered Wood & Walnut Stain).  Around the tag edges I distressed with several browns before scraping the edges for texture.  A bit of black on the very edges and I was content.  The reindeer were stamped in a combo of Sepia & Coffee Archival inks; the music in Black Archival ink.  All the stamps are Tim's.

Love how this tissue tape calendar fits on the fragment; not perfect but close enough.  I ran the Gold Paint Dabber around the edge.  The brown & white ribbon has Fired Brick DI run over it and a touch of GPD.  The Bazzill poinsettia was white but colored with FBDI, Mahogany DI and a touch of Walnut DI with the edges tipped in GPD.  The Bazzill holly leaves have some Peeled Paint DI on them and are also tipped in gold.  A tiny gold brad anchors the two.  The Maya Road chipboard letters have FBDI and PPDI on them.  I ran the FBDI from top to bottom and the PPDI from bottom to top...kind a fade into each other look.  Again, I added GPD to the top and bottom edges. 

It's too hot to contemplate Christmas today but perhaps I can sing (or not!) and get my art spirit to help me along with my next project. 

Hope you have an artistic week!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Believe and imagine

Sure hope you aren't tired of seeing these altered metal birdcages cuz I have quite a few more to make!  I found them late spring at Michaels for a really good price so I couldn't resist getting more than I needed.

Believe it or not many of the grungeboard and grungepaper elements were naked leftovers from previous projects.  All I had to do was color them.  There's no way I can list the colors used on the individual pieces as I ended up trying out almost every DI color, quite a few pigment ink colors as well as numerous DI embossing powder colors on them.  Some combos I wouldn't have thought about trying but when you're just messing around sometimes it all just works out right.  Crackle paint and a paint dabber or 2 were even used on the grunge elements. 

All the stamps are Wendy's (I think I used 11), lots of TH stuff (die cuts, idea-ology pieces, fragments, jump rings and tissue tape).  The Prima flower (bottom) I've been holding onto for a very long time, wanting to use it on the 'perfect' project.   The fragment with the calendar tissue tape was the last element to be added.  I wasn't sure what the piece needed but when I spotted the new tissue tape roll on the floor I knew I had found it; especially when the month of July was staring me in the face.

I wanted the bird's wing to look more realistic than just adding a bit of grungeboard behind it to elevate it from the body.  I did that but instead of gluing the centered piece of grungeboard behind the wing to the body I glued the blunt end of the wing - more like a hinge but it won't flap. 

Bet my neighbor will be making a real flap when she receives this in 2 weeks for her birthday. Thank you for taking the time to read all the way to the bottom...if you did!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shabby Chic

This week's Compendium of Curiosities challenge hosted by Linda Ledbetter is Shabby Chic.  On grungeboard is stamped the Grunge Alphabet.  I smeared Butterscotch and Terra Cotta paint dabbers.  The tag was colored with Tumbled Glass DI, edged with Walnut Stain DI.   Tim's floral spray with stamped using Broken China DI.  Grungepaper leaves were colored with Lettuce & Clover PI and Brushed Corduroy & Peeled Paint DI before being crumpled.  The nattily attired grungepaper robin is wearing Fired Brick, Brushed Corduroy, and Black Soot DI as well some Terra Cotta paint dabber.  The fragment was edged with the Juniper paint dabber.  All die cuts and stamps are Tim's.  'i', 'r' and 'd' are bubble monograms by Li'l Davis Designs.

I clearly need to use my paint dabbers more often.  Many of them are nearly solid.  Some I can spritz with water and revive them; others are in dire need of a complete reconstitution.  Using pigment inks with the distress inks is fun and often results in some fabulous new colors.

If you aren't participating in the challenge, you should!  You can click on Tim's book cover to take you to Linda's blog for all the details.  Not only is this a great learning experience but the work that has been shared is really cool!  And the prizes have been quite awesome too so a big "Thank you!" to all the sponsors!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Play time

This tag came about because Wanda posted her CCC#3 tag using similar colors.  I couldn't believe how much her sample looked like the one I had lying on my work surface.  I issued myself a challenge to use my piece on another tag.  I'm pretty sure I used Wild Plum, Silver Metallic Alcohol Inks but not sure what other colors.  I used Tim's border dies on each end then stamped one of his foliage images at the bottom using Weathered Wood Distress Ink and Juniper Pigment Ink.  A Sakura black glaze pen made the pen-stitching and Ranger's new white and black enamel accents are on the ends.  The tag was colored using Bundled Sage DI with Cloudy Blue and Juniper Pigment Ink over that.  I stamped one of Tim's flourishes using Wild Plum Pigment Ink then drew around some of the design with Ranger's Inkssentials Pen.  I edged the tag with a black Sharpie for more definition; the ribbon finishes it off.  This is why I don't throw anything away.  You never know when it will be the inspiration for another piece of art.  
Now I'm off for more playtime as I try my hand at CCC #4 - Shabby Chic!  Have fun!

PS - I tried to be artsy-fartsy with my sample being off-kilter but in the photo here it really looks off-kilter.  Oh well.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Thought I'd make a simple patriotic card but it looked too plain so I bumped it up by making some red, white and blue posies (Tattered Florals die cuts).  Perhaps they are too large for this display but just think of them as floral fireworks...those are always big!  The technique used on the watercolor paper is called Bingo Blast (from a TechniqueJunkies newsletter).  The stamps are old and I don't remember who makes them (archival ink).  You may not be able to see the gold (Brilliance) fireworks scattered across the U.S.  I didn't care for the silver star brads but Sharpie markers changed them.  The white flower I left white and sprayed it with Perfect Pearl PPs.  The blue was colored with Faded Denim DI, edged with Chipped Sapphire DI, sprayed with Forever Blue PPs.  The red posie has Worn Lipstick DI, edged with Fired Brick DI, then sprayed with Forever Red PPs.

Our community celebrated Independence Day yesterday with festivities around the town square, a parade, and culminated with a splendid fireworks display at one of our city parks.  Check your cameras for a fireworks setting.  On the Nikon Coolpix it worked great!  I got lots of neat photos.

I've now seen Wendy and Tim's new stamp releases.  All of Wendy's are on my 'want' list, not the case with Tim's but I'm sure he'll have new artsy toys that I'll want.  Can't wait to see what he and Wendy have in store for us with add-ons. 

Hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Go for the gold!

This week has been 'golden' for me.  Sunday I attended my dad's family reunion and saw 2 cousins I hadn't seen in over 40 years.  Twin girls have been born into the family and we have another new family member due to arrive in a few months.  I got a chance to sit down with my good friend, Lori, and chat about all sorts of things.  We've been picking a few tomatoes and fresh herbs and have baby toads and frogs on our deck and enclosed patio.  Unfortunately some of those didn't make it but my daily count goes up and down so obviously there are more than I thought.  The weather has been in the mornings (50s), not hot (upper 70's-low 80s), low humidity, blue skies, gentle breezes.  After the past week or so it was a welcome relief from the heat, humidity and storms.  I have finally got all the violets out of the yard; now to work on the crabgrass. 

I thought I'd share a bit more gold with you.  You probably don't know it but I am not a jewelry person at all.  Hardly wear my wedding ring (fingers swell too much), never liked how I looked in necklaces of any length, and the earrings I wear are very small.  That being said, this brooch really caught my eye in a recent magazine.  I'm really enjoying making Wendy's roses and flowers using Tim's Tattered Florals and wondered if I could recreate this piece and still do it justice.

With some grungepaper, heavy gold foil, gold paint dabber, archival ink, Tim's die cuts, Wendy's stamps and a few rhinestones - here's my interpretation of the brooch. 

Look around you, you just never know what will inspire you to make art!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Alcohol Ink Monoprint

Time for another week's Compendium of Curiosities challenge on Linda's blog.  This week we're trying the Alcohol Ink Monoprint.  I chose Juniper, Cloudy Blue, Cool Peri and Silver Mixative alcohol inks.  The stamp is Tim's and I just happen to have these silver numbers that fit right over his image.  I colored the boy's hat and tie with Ranger Adirondack markers (Rust and Meadow).  Added a strip of sheet music that was distressed with Bundled Sage and Milled Lavender.  The same colors were applied to the tag base.  I'm so glad Linda gave us this challenge.  Like so many others I've read the book and thumbed through it numerous times but never sat down and worked through it step by step.  My tag collection is growing slowly but I'm really glad I bought a really large ring for them all!