Sunday, January 30, 2011

A friend for all seasons

When I made the birthday card using the Rubber Stamp Tapestry stamps last week I was asked about the value of the sets, my thoughts on them, etc.  I own nearly 4 shoeboxes of their sets but am embarrassed and ashamed to say some of them haven't met an ink pad yet and many haven't been used in a long, long time.  So I set out to remedy that situation.  I created 4 ATCs, one for each season, trying to fit a set for each that would be different and not do a wreath on all of them. 

Susan Walton, Rubber Stamp Tapestry owner, recommends using Versacolor pigment inks but most of my pads are dry and I don't have all the re-inkers.  I use the Ranger inks so much that I reach for them first, only using others when I 'have' to because of color or properties.

Spring features the Cherry Blossoms set (SFL34068), a PSX sentiment (F-3292) stamped with Black Archival ink, EKSuccess Scalloped Punch, Stickles:  Diamond, Lavender, Baby Blue and Lime Green.  Distress inks used: Antique Linen, Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Peeled Paint, Brushed Corduroy.  Tombow markers:  blue, green and purple.

Summer features the Sand Dollar & Starfish Border (AQU00003), My Sentiments Exactly (H179) stamped with Black Archival ink, sandpaper, charm and fishing line.  Distress inks used: Bundled Sage, Tattered Rose, Stormy Sky, Pumice Stone, Tea Dye, Weathered Wood.  Wild Honey Distress Stickles was used on the sandpaper.  The birds are from Tim Holtz' Lost & Found.

Fall features the Pumpkin Border (SFV10004).  The tree is Wendy Vecchi's from Mail Art, stamped in Coffee Archival ink. Tim Holtz' Halloween ticket (Odds & Ends) was stamped in Black Archival ink and distressed with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  The bats were punched using an EKSuccess punch.  Distress inks used: Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.

Winter features the Winter Pine Border (SBR04004) and Designer
Block Prints (UNM6202).  The pine tree was punched from a Sizzix die.  Santa was cut from Tim Holtz' Seasonal Stash paper and covered with Glossy Accents.  Distress inks used: Pine Needle, Walnut Stain and Frayed Burlap.  A gold marker decorated the tree along with a gold star brad.

The ATCs coordinate with this card that uses all Hero Arts stamps, a Tim Holtz fragment charm and some black embroidery floss.  I used Ranger dye and pigment inks in Lettuce, Butterscotch, Terra Cotta and Denim. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Halloween revisited

If you don't like the cold/snow, why not think about another holiday?  Okay, so I'm outside the norm today.  So what else is new???  The Compendium of Curiosities challenge is winding down.  We're at week 29 with Weathered Wood Grunge.  I chose Sunset Orange, Terra Cotta and Walnut Stain for my color palette.  The technique was done one one of Tim's Styled Labels with the ends cut off and his Halloween Words embossing folder.

Behind the label is grosgrain ribbon strips in walnut and orange.  Tim's Cobwebs EF was clear embossed on the tag before rubbing Weathered Wood and Pumice Stone distress inks over it to make them show up.  Using PS after WW tones down the blue in the WW so it looks grayer.

Tim's birds (Lost & Found) were stamped across the top of the tag in Black Archival Ink as was Wendy's spider (Botanical Art).  I cut out Tim's Scaredy Cat using black shrink plastic...lots of narrow bits so this was quite tricky and still couldn't get it to come out exactly right.  Sizzix Primitive Stars were cut from a tag that had a previous tech done to it (more leftovers put to use!).  The 31 sticker was adhered to black presentation board and distressed with the sanding grip and ink.  Black Enamel Accent dots were added to the bottom of the tag.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Child's play

The theme for this week's challenge on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog is to show a childhood memory.  I thought long and hard and tried out various ideas in my head but none were satisfying my inner self.  Then it dawned on me that I was making this much harder than it should be. 

One of my favorite memories as a young child was sitting down with a container filled with paper, fabric scraps, glue, tape, scissors, needle & thread, snippets of lace, buttons, etc....whatever might be left over from a handsewn garment (thank you mom and grandma!) or a school project.  In other words, creating something from what was on running to the store or going on-line for that special embellishment, paper or die.

I started out with a 5" chipboard circle, taken from a ring of 'pages' that were in the $1 bin at Michaels.  From there I added beads, Sizzix Swirly Heart die, Ranger Distress Inks, Ranger Acrylic Paints, Tim Holtz tissue tape, Prima flowers, soda can (butterfly), Wendy Vecchi background text stamp, Sharpies, paper, vellum, Distress embossing powders, Ritz cracker wax liner (flowers and leaves), Ranger Archival inks, vintage buttons and snaps, air dry clay flower and heart, grungeboard letters, coffee-stained tag, white heart-shaped lace stained with Ranger Colorwash, Tim Holtz Bingo embossing folder and Martha Stewart fern punch pieces.  Whew!  I feel as content with it as I would have as a child. 
I've proven to myself that I don't have to have all the new toys, bells and whistles to make art...but it sure is fun adding a few here and there!  Hope you're enjoing the sneak peaks that are coming out of CHA - wow!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Petite posies

It's been awhile since I used any of my Rubber Stamp Tapestry sets.  If you're not familiar with them, they're mostly small peg stamps although they do have some larger sentiments and now fabric stamps.  I have 4 shoe boxes full and they do work up into nice, easy cards that take no time.  A friend has a birthday near Valentine's Day so thought this heart-shaped wreath in pinky-corals was fitting.  RST promotes using Versacolor cubes and I do have quite a few but decided to try distress inks for a different look.
This set is called Cherry Blossoms.  Isn't it dainty?  I used Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive and Frayed Burlap instead of the 4 colors they suggested.  There are some Diamond Stickles scattered about the flower centers.  The sentiment is also by RST.

I love this Doily Lace Trim punch by Martha Stewart.  I just have to remember to punch all the way down as it seems to almost be like a 2-step punch.  Either that or the Bazzill is a bit thicker to punch than some of my other cardstock.

One of the tricks to getting a nicely shaped wreath is to draw a light pencil line first.  This time I cut a foam heart using a Sizzix die then stamped it with Antique Linen on the paper first.  You can barely see it in the actual card but it gave me lines to follow. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

In the eye of the beholder

It's Week 28 of the Compendium challenge - Colorful Layered Fragments - you can find the details for creating this look on page 57.  Remember me posting about my numerous attempts to master the Scribble Stain Distress?  Well, this tag was one of the ones I didn't like.  Not one to throw away possible background pieces I kept it knowing one day it would come in handy - either as a whole tag or one that could be punched because of the color combo on it.  When I saw it I thought of eye colors (blue, green and brown) and pink telling where this mind will wander!

So I chose Tim's Oddities and City Central sets for the background and the larger of the 3 eyes; Wendy's An Eye for Art gave me the small and medium eyes.  After very carefully applying the Glossy Accents to the outer edge of the fragments, I dropped the large one and smeared the GA.  Hence, the caption of 'evil eye' since it looks creepy and just plain weird.

I used the Dymo Caption Maker (as seen used by Tim on Tag 8/2010) to create my sentiments.  The largest one I got from Wendy's set Art Begins.

As you can see, the 'eyes' have it and this tag is complete.  Okay, I'll give up the play on words and poor pun.  But somebody has to do it so why not me?!!?!? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seeing spots

The challenge this week on the Simon Says Stamp & Blog is to show some polka dots.  Boy, the design team were really seeing spots!  I knew right away I wanted to use Wendy's tulip (Art From The Heart) and put it into play on shrink plastic.  I colored it with several distress inks in the red and green families.  I left the one leaf curled since the stem was already stressed to the breaking point.  It adds extra dimension.

Next I stamped Tim's rabbit (Spring Sprung) and masked it on an ATC.  I overstamped the weeds in Olive Archival then rubbed green and blue distress inks at the bottom and top (grass and sky).  I removed the mask and added the black & white polka dotted ribbon and made a charm, suspending it with Tim's tiny pin.  The ATC was layered onto black, dotted paper, more black, then solid cardstock. 

A few Easter eggs at the bottom got distressed in the shadow area.  It's a gray day here with snow falling periodically.  Maybe this will brighten things up a bit in my art room.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Art is...

Here's another Wendy-style card.  I only used 3 sets for this one...mainly Art Inspiration.  The wood fragment was stamped in Pumice Stone and with multiple images becomes the background.

The letter 't' and smallest of Tim's Tattered Florals die cuts were treated to the same Faux Tarnished Metal technique I told you about yesterday but this time I used gold instead of silver.  The bottle and label were stamped on shrink plastic and colored subtly with colored pencils on the back side then shrunk. 

Wendy's rose was made from thin cardstock.  I took the larger flower and stamped 3, cutting 2 of them apart to make the 3 layers.  The polka dots were darkened with Black Enamel Accents.  A gold button forms the flower center.  The snap is an antique that came from my neighbor's collection we found in the old family barn.

Chipboard photo corners were inked green then given BEA polka dots.     A chipboard bracket was inked in green, cut in half and forms the stem for the 3 flowers.  There's a clear button up by the bottle that was stamped in Black Archival ink on Wendy's bingo background.  Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint is on the that stuff!!!

Well, back to my room where lots of creativity is about to take place...I hope!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dream big!

I used stamps from 8* of Wendy's sets on this one 4"x6" card!  Six on the outside and two on the inside.  Lots of chipboard, grungeboard, grungepaper and cardstock and plenty of Ranger ink products (distress and archival) as well as Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  One flower was even embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  A few buttons became flower centers, one went from gold to silver with the help of a Sharpie.  There are also a few flowers cut from Tim's Tattered Florals die.

See that silver flourish?  IRL it does look like tarnished silver.  Cool!  I saw Shelly Hickox post about a Faux Tarnished Metal treatment she gave to a birdcage die - beautiful! 

This cards heads to the UK Tuesday so hopefully the recipient will receive it before her birthday on the 5th. 

*Alphabetically Art, Dimensional Rose Art, Let Your Art Have Wings, Art Parts, Forever Art, Love to Make Art, Card Art Essentials, and Be Inspired...Make Art

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thinking of you and more

Sympathy cards or cards that are meant as support during a difficult illness are often hard to create.  We don't feel they look as good as store-bought ones.  However, I beg to differ.  If you've taken the time to make a card for me, in my time of need, I truly appreciate your generosity of time and thought.  The simple, hand-written words, 'I'm thinking of you' or 'I'm here for you', mean the world to me.  You took time to do more than just sign the card after a stamped sentiment. 

When I come across a design that I like and will work for these occasions, I try to have several on hand...seems like you need one when you're least prepared.  This card looks quite involved but really it's not.  It can be done in any color combo, on any color, and still look great.

The base layer is off-white cardstock with Hero Arts butterflies stamped all over it in a taupe ink.  The top layer is also off-white but stippled with several shades of yellow, peach and orange dye inks.  More butterflies are stamped in taupe, then overstamped, slightly offsetting the image, with white pigment ink.  This creates a shadow effect and I use the technique frequently.  The sentiment is from Endless Creations and was stamped in archival ink that matches the middle layer.  A bit of ribbon between the layers brings out the peachy-orange color in the card.

I hope you'll remember that it's the thought that counts.  You never know when your words will bring comfort to a troubled soul.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Have you checked out the weekly challenges over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog?  They're really fun!  This week they're into masking.  Well, I did more than just mask...I multi-masked!

Using Tim's Tattered Leaves die I created a mask of each leaf.  I laid down a light coat of Mustard Seed DI over the entire tag.  I positioned my leaves then stippled Wild Honey DI around them.  After repositioning them I stippled Rusty Hinge DI then did it again but used Barn Door DI.  There's a bit of Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo DIs around the edges of the tag.  I should have taken photos of each step so you could see the different layers.  Hindsight is always 20-20!

The background stamp is from Wendy's Artfully Noted set and was stamped in Coffee Archival Ink.  'Collections', from Collectible Art, was stamped in Black AI.  'Autumn' is by Stamp Camp and was also stamped in BkAI.

Wendy's leaf (Life and Art) was stamped in Olive Archival Ink on grungepaper and colored with Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge and Barn Door DIs and edged with Vintage Photo DI.  Mustard Seed, Dried Marmalade, and Worn Lipstick Distress Stickles were smeared over the respectively colored leaves.  Hey, Tim & Ranger, we sure could use Distress Stickles to match the last series of Distress Inks!!!!  These colors actually worked out well as they just gave a bit of color; the same colors might have been darker than I wanted.

I pen-stitched around the tag, added some fibers and a metal tag that I coated with the Black Paint Dabber then sanded it so you could see the words, 'Happy Fall Y'all'.  Even though we're currently in a very deep freeze I really needed to make something colorful and fall is my favorite time of year - so very colorful if Mother Nature is in a good mood.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seeing Red

No, I'm not angry or mad.  It's the title I am using for my EWV Yahoo group ATC swap.  I encouraged the group to use Wendy's stamps to make an ATC using red as the predominant color and it didn't have to be Valentine related.  Easy?  Yes and no.  Sometimes ideas just don't translate to paper very well from what they were inside your head. 

All my stamps were from Wendy's Dream of Art set.  I wanted to use the scalloped border but was lazy so I used Tim's border die and the same paper I used for the flower. 

First I stamped the background lines using Fired Brick DI but I didn't fully ink the image.  The text was also stamped in FB DI but it was clear embossed.

The cardstock for the leaf, flower and border are from a Sizzix pad.  Nice selection of colors and were very inexpensive on a close out sale.  After stamping the flowers and leaf (Black Archival) I cut them out and wadded them up for texture.  Once dry I misted them with Forever Red Perfect Pearls (not the leaf!)  The leaf has some Bundled Sage Distress Stickles smeared on it.

Tim's flower parts are in the center and were treated with Watermelon Alcohol Ink.  The leaf part (somewhat hidden) was colored with Meadow AI.

Have you checked out Wendy's releases for this winter CHA?  Oh-my-gosh!  I can see I'll be in the poor house but at least I'll have something to do while I'm there! 

A very frigid day here in east central IL so I'm headed to my room to follow Wendy's direction...make art!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The weekly countdown is really short now for using Tim's techniques from his book.  Can't believe we're on week 27; Distress Misting Masks, which can be found on page 60.  This is a technique I do quite often...saves on layers of paper, especially if your card might need extra postage due to thickness or weight.

I started off by stamping row upon row of 'Let it snow' (Hero Arts) in Weathered Wood DI.  Let it dry thoroughly.  Using Tim's Snow Flurries On the Edge die and Carnivale alphabet die I made my own masks.  My color palette for the mini mister was Stormy Sky DI and Blue Patina PP.  This mixture was also used on the word 'snow'. 

The snowman and snowflake (Tim's Winter Wonder die) were cut from chipboard that had been painted with Claudine's Canvas White and Traditional Tan paints.  They got a misting of Pearl PP with just a fine mist of the blue mix at the left edge give the appearance of a shadow.  Let dry, then coated the snowflake with Diamond Stickles.  Frosty's scarf was turquoise and white but I darkened it with Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans DIs.

'Snow' looked kind of blah left just as a mask so I offset the mask letters and it brought everything together.  A bit of Weathered Wood and Faded Jeans DIs around the edges completed my wintry tag.

We got 5" of fluffy white snow today so I guess you know where I got my inspiration.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New stamps on the block

Simon Says Stamp and Show blog has issued a challenge to create a piece of art using your newest stamps.  That in  itself was a challenge but I remembered one a friend gave me recently that dealt with friendship.  I came up with quite a few ideas for the stamp but they quickly went into the vertical file on the floor. I was about to give up when I remembered seeing a shrine created using a microscope slide holder in an old magazine.  Hmmm - this could work. 

The chipboard holder was covered with Shell Pink pigment pink and overstamped with the background from Wendy's 'It's More Flower Art' in Victorian Velvet distress ink then clear embossed.  Wendy's flourish from 'Residential Art' was stamped in Weathered Wood distress ink in the upper right hand and lower left hand corners.  I added additional Weathered Wood distress ink around the edges. 

The mauve velvet ribbon is from Maya Road and really works well with Victorian Velvet.  Tim's 'Regal Crest' die gave me the shield and leafy garland.  The shield was painted with Brushed Pewter Distress Crackle Paint; a Black Soot distress ink pad was smushed into the cracks.  The leaves are several shades of green distress ink; I only used the end portions of the die.  The flower was cut with the smallest die on Tim's 'Tattered Floral' die.  It's multi layers are really a very deep mauve-burgundy, not black-ish.  The '2' is a Sizzix die cut from grungepaper.  Victorian Velvet and Weathered Wood distress inks were smushed into the number.

The inside has the same ink colors and background stamped on it.  I also stamped Wendy's long lace strip (In Love With Art) over the slide area and smushed in more Weathered Wood.  Beneath the slides is Tim's tissue tape, the photos of the girls (my maternal grandmother on the left), then the slides.  A small gray heart button is between the photos; Wendy's 'heritage' (Residential Art) was stamped in Weathered Wood and clear embossed.  Green and pink distress inks were added around the edges so it wasn't so stark white.  The photo corners are actually one that was cut in half with Tim's scissors.  The slide holder was too thick to use one on each corner.

The new stamp on the block is on the left side; 'Friends' from Magenta. It was stamped in Victorian Velvet d. i. and clear embossed.  A bookplate from Tim's Tag & Bookplate die was cut and treated to Brushed Pewter distress crackle paint and layered over the word 'friends'.

I have more slides and slide holders - this could be the start of something....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rusted Grunge

Time for another Tim technique out of his latest book 'Compendium of Curiosities'.  Linda chose 'Rusted Grunge' and the deets can be found on page 45.

Tim's Gadget Gears got the royal treatment while I did another cool one on the background, courtesy of Wendy.  First I inked Tim's Grunge Alphabet with Espresso pigment ink but wiped most of it off before I stamped it on the tag.  Then I laid down rows of Japanese paper tape and smeared Butterscotch and Terra Cotta pigment inks over them*.  With the TC I barely touched the tag, trying to make it streaky like fabric strands.  I smeared some Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain DIs over all the tag.  Love it!

The keys (nasty big punch that is a PIN to use) were punched from a paint chip and outlined with a black gel pen to give some dimension.  Tim's alpha numbers were cut from black cardstock then Glossy Accents was applied to give shine and sex appeal (just checking to see how much you read! lol).  The numbers were leftover from another project and just happened to be on my work surface.  Obviously I was meant to use them to mark Week 26.

My brother turns 50 in a few months and I'm making him a scrapbook of his life thus far.  Do you think I'd be carrying the age thing too far if I used this technique on the album?!?!!? 

* I'm sure these strips will be showing up in a future project

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's in the mail

Over on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group we're swapping 4"x6" postcards.  Of course, this means NO dimensional stuff 'cuz the good ole USPS will just kick it out of the system and charge a letter rate (or higher!) to send this piece of art. 

So, what to do, what to do?  Naturally Wendy's stamps must be prominently featured.  First I stamped the bubble background (Fashion Style & Art) in Antique Linen & Brushed Corduroy.  Over the top is the flower (Be Happy...Make Art) in Bundled Sage and Stormy Sky.  The butterfly (Make Mine Mini Art) was stamped in Wild Honey.  You know that little piece of foam that comes between Tim's 2 texture fades?  It makes a great solid stamp (Wild Honey) for the text - in Stormy Sky - (Flower Art) to sit on!

Need some dimension so I tore a piece of paper, placed it over the central image and stippled Bundled Sage around the edges.  From the outside edges inward I stippled Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy.  Next I cut several lengths of Tim's On the Edge Postage border and made a piece that I could place over most of the card.  Walnut Stain was stippled around the edges to frame the entire postcard.

The final step was to apply Microglaze to the entire front so that if it does go out in the mail, the artwork is protected.  Distress Inks and water would NOT mix in this case!  LOL

Oh, and on the reverse side is a 'Postcard' stamp in archival ink.  In the lower corner is a writing hand  (Collectible Art) where the message would go (also archival ink).  Hmmm...let's see if the recipient really will send this through the mail.  Hope so!

P.S.  I'm pumped up!  My 1882 art piece (Dec. 28) just earned me another Top 3 blinkie award over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog.  Woohoo!  I feel honored and flattered to have had my work chosen because there have been so many wonderful projects produced by many, many artists.