Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life is...

all about making time for another Compendium challenge!  This week we're playing with metal and alcohol inks. 

I started off with a tag that I had stained with coffee grounds.  The tag almost looks burnt in some places - a really cool effect!  I stamped Tim's image (Just Thoughts) in Black archival ink and colored in some of the letters with permanent markers.  Glossy Accents was applied over those letters.  Along the edge I stamped a mini harlequin border (Artful Things) with Versamark.  I brushed Capuccino Perfect Pearls over the border and brushed off the extra, making sure to wipe off heavier in some spots.

The house is air dry clay that I cut with a cookie cutter then pressed into an embossing folder.  I distressed the edges with Black Soot then added Black Soot and silver Rub & Buff to the embossed portion.  The edges of the tag were also distressed with Black Soot.  The pen nibs (a neat find at an antique store) were treated to the technique that can be found on page 56.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's a boy!

No, NOT for me!!!  Gasp!  That's all I need at my age!  lol  Nope, my baby bro is turning 50 in April so I'm creating a scrapbook (8"x8") for him.  It will be a complete surprise and some of the pics he may wish I didn't share but they are so darned cute.  Oh, we'll see.  Anyway, on with the share.

Stripes are the 'in' thing over on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog this week.  Seems like this just played into my hands.  I already had the paper in mind for the scrapbook so not only am I able to enter it for the challenge I get 2 pages done.  Woohoo!

Don't know the manufacturer of any of the paper but the stamp set is Soft & Sweet by Stampin' Up, the hand & foot prints are Stampcraft, the oval dies are Spellbinders, the block, lettering and photo corners are Sizzix and the green edging is a Fiskars border punch. 

Wonder how many other challenges I'll be able to use by the end of March to complete the album????

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The heart can hold a multiple of dreams

Fortunately the 3rd challenge on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group is for 2 weeks because I certainly needed more than the usual one week to come up with a plan and then execute it.  Never knew incorporating a heart and costume jewelry onto a hanging piece of art would cause me such consternation and  I don't like to look at the inspiration piece until I'm done and have posted my version. 

I started out with a chipboard tag covered with scrapbook paper (unknown manufacturer).  I quickly dispatched with the clean look by sanding, not cutting, around the edges and applying plenty of Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain distress inks.

Six of Wendy's stamps sets came into play.  The sentiment comes from In Love With Art; the heart is from Love To Make Art; one of the leaves, the medium and the large flower are from Dimensional Rose Art;  Rose Art Part 2 provided one of the backgrounds on the flower layers as well as the small flower; Let Your Art Have Wings provided another background on a flower layer as well as the 2nd leaf; while another background layer and the scroll/flourish came from Art By The Number.

I stamped the 3 sizes of flowers in Black archival ink onto a sheet of reddish scrapbook paper by Carolee's Creations.  A different background stamp was used on each layer (Crimson arch ink).  The edges were distressed with Vintage Photo distress ink then crumpled up.  The flower center is an old earring. 

Using the same paper as from the flowers, I stamped the heart in Blk Arch Ink and distressed with Vintage Photo distress ink.  The leaves were stamped in Blk arch ink on green cardstock, a background stamped over them in Olive arch ink, distressed with Walnut Stain and cut out before running an embossing tool around the edges and along the veins to create dimension.

The scroll/flourish was stamped at the bottom in Blk arch ink.  I stamped the sentiment on white cardstock, glued it to chipboard, cut apart the words then distressed each with Walnut Stain.  I also stamped 'dreams' onto the red paper and cut out just the 'D' for another elevation.

The heart, scroll/flourish and leaves were highlighted using a gold ballpoint pen.  The hanger is a Christmas ornament hanger that I found on clearance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cherry blossoms

While those in Washington, DC and similar areas may be seeing the cherry blossoms soon, we here in central IL sure won't.  Though the weather has been quite mild of late it is still February.  And since these don't look like cherry blossoms, it doesn't really matter anyway. 

I'm trying to put ink to a more of my stamps that haven't been used in quite a while...or not ever.  Gasp!  This is a set from Rubber Stamp Tapestry (maker of peg stamps) called Cherry Blossoms that I enjoy using.  Not only did I not use the suggested colors I didn't use the suggested type of ink (pigment).  Distress inks being my favorite 'go to' ink that's what I used in Peeled Paint, Walnut Stain, Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge.  A bit of Diamond Stickles and you've got a dynamite card.  The center lace panel was cutth a Martha Stewart punch.  The vellum butterfly, also a Martha Stewart 'anywhere on the page' punch, was run through a script embossing folder (Provocraft).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dancing in the rain

Okay, so once again the weather forecasters were wrong.  But our snow is melting rapidly with the above average temperatures.  Oh well.

Hey, the Compendium of Curiosities challenge is winding down.  At week 32 we are playing with inking and stamping masks that can be found in full detail on page 59 of the book. 

Umbrella Man was still out on my table so I decided to work with him again.  The tag background was created with distress inks and water...plop, smear and spritz.  Yes, all technical terms.  I used some sequin waste to create the dots at the upper left and lower right.  The bird was stamped in Coffee & Black archival inks on grungeboard and is carrying a tiny tag with the page number of this technique.  All stamps are Tim's and Wendy's (rock on, Stampers Anonymous!!!).

Playing along with so many others from around the world, this challenge has helped me see outside my comfort zone and get to know the properties of the various items used.  I'll be sad to see it end but I'm sure Linda has something equally challenging up her sleeve to keep us on our toes and get us to spread our wings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rain, rain

Well, our forecast says a chance of light rain.  It will probably take away the last remnants of our snow, except for the really big piles.  :(

Over on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog this week's theme is to create a tag.  Now, if you've been following my blog you know this is NOT a problem.  In fact, I love this size & shape and have even been using them on card fronts.

While rummaging through a drawer, I found the waterproof tag from a garment or footwear, don't remember, not important.  Hmmm...that could work with Umbrella Man.  And I just happened to find a piece of sheet music entitled 'Umbrella Man' so I was off and running with my idea. 

First I made a mess on my craft sheet with ink pads and sprays then dipped my tag into it.  Umbrella Man was heat embossed onto black cardstock.  The sheet music was scanned, shrunk, distressed.  The Sizzix cloud was cut out of shrink plastic; the sentiment was created using a label maker. 

Tomorrow you'll see another take on Umbrella Man on my tag for the CCC challenge, Inking and Stamping Masks.  Sure can't wait for this new die to appear on the retail market.  Cutting him out isn't always the easiest thing to do, as many of you know.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sharing inspiration from others

Last week it was my birthday and I showed you a display rack I'd created from a large picture frame that I found in the clearance aisle at Michaels.  I drilled holes through the sides and ran fishing line back and forth, giving the cards someplace to hang.  I've been told that more cards are on their way but I thought I'd better share the inspiration and good wishes I've received thus far so you wouldn't think me ungrateful. 

I've also uploaded the handmade cards individually into my PictureTrail album (nimblefingers) if you want to see any of them up close.

Thank you to all who sent me birthday greetings.  You made my day so special and brought me much joy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To my Valentine

who is definitely one of a kind!  I stamped Wendy's tree (Mail Art) in Black archival ink then overstamped some of the berries with a small heart stamp in Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar, and one (of a kind) in Milled Lavender distress inks.  Coordinating Stickles were randomly applied to a few of the hearts.  I don't know the manufacturer of the sentiment; the '1' has purple Stickles on it.  We don't do mushy stuff to celebrate our love and affection for each candy (he's diabetic and I'm not fond of it), no flowers (cat toys) and no dinner out (I'm a good cook and it's much less expensive)...sigh...sounds like we're boring but we're very happy and that's all that matters!  You do what makes you happy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Imagine a chipboard flower with Wendy's pigment resist technique...

well, here it is!  This is the 2nd challenge that's been issued over at the EverythingWendyVecchi yahoo group.  Our list mom is choosing projects from Wendy's first 3 books as inspiration for all who want to play along.  No copying of Wendy's projects is allowed but it sure is fun taking the basic idea and turning it into our own creation!  Last week Wendy even gave away a copy of Book 4!!!!!  There may be periodic prizes for randomly chosen winners but I do it for the sheer pleasure of using Wendy's stamps.
I covered a piece of chipboard with some leftover scrapbook paper then stamped Wendy's alphabet background (Art-fully Said) in Sepia archival ink on it.  After smearing White Picket Fence crackle paint over the background I inked Old Paper distress ink over the entire piece, wiping off the excess.  Silver paint was applied to the edges of the chipboard along with a little bit of Black Soot distress ink.

Wendy's pigment resist technique was used on the three flowers.  And I got the technique to work the first time!  Must have had quite a few muses sitting on my shoulders!  Ha ha!  The purple ones use her dots background stamp (All About Art) and Milled Lavender and Dusty Concord distress inks while the larger flower has the gridded flowers background (Alphabetically Art) and Scattered Straw, Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge distress inks.  A Bazzill bosher provides a center layer on the larger flower.  Gold brads became white enamel ones by patting them with Snow Cap pigment ink then dunking them in white embossing powder before heat setting them (twice). 

The chipboard leaf flourish was stamped first with the background stamp (Art Fit For A Queen) in Espresso pigment ink .  Shabby Shutters and Forest Moss distress inks were applied over that.  I pen stitched on the flowers and leaf flourish with a black pen.  The small hand I made with air dry clay using some molds that I've had sitting around for a l-o-n-g time.

I tried Tim's Rusted Enamel technique on the label holder using Weathered Wood and Vintage Photo distress inks.  Oh my, I was tickled pink with the results!  In real life it really does look like rusty enamel!  The word 'imagine' is from Wendy's Alphabetically Art set.  I stamped it on scrap paper in Black archival ink but purposely ran my finger across it immediately to slightly smear the image, making it appear aged or distressed.  I smashed the brads so they'd be distressed, too.  Better them than me!

Hope my take on this challenge encourages you to play along with us.  If you want to see the inspiration piece it can be found on page 23 of Book One.  I purposely haven't looked at it...yet...because I didn't want to be swayed by Wendy's version.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love notes

Whew!  So much embossing (heat x 3 and dry x 2) on this project...but that's what the theme is over on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog this week.  I started out with a white mailbox from the Dollar Spot at Target and 2 tags.
I sanded the mailbox, added distress inks and silver embossed 'Love' from Tim's Urban Grunge set on the end; 'Listen to your heart' was stamped in Black archival ink on the side then distressed again with sandpaper and more ink.

The larger tag was stained with coffee grounds then had numerous stamps inked onto it using Coffee archival ink(duh!).  'Passion' is by Impression Obsession, 'Love definition' is by Objet d'art, and 'Love' is by Inkadinkado. 

The smaller tag came to me as a gift and already had Wendy's heart stamp (Love To Make Art) on it in Black archival ink.  I spritzed it with Raisin, Butterscotch, and Wild Plum color washes, then ran it through the Allegro embossing folder  by Provocraft, then hit the highlighted areas with Walnut Stain distress ink. 

Embellishing the tag is rick rack, a tune sticker, a gold music bosher, 2 gold rings (Maya Road chipboard letters that have been black heat embossed), and 2 air-dry clay pieces.  The '14' was pressed into the Bingo embossing folder while the clock was pressed into the Patchwork embossing folder (both TH).  They each had plenty of pigment and dye inks smeared on them in Butterscotch, Currant/Raisin and Wild Plum.

There's a play on the title...Love Notes...notes can be mailed and notes can be sung.  Not only will this Valentine tag not be mailed to my sweetie, but it will definitely not be sung to him!  lol

Friday, February 11, 2011

And the answer is... in the moment.  Ah, something we often forget in our hurry-up lives today.  I really struggled with this tag for the Compendium of Curiosities challenge featuring Rusted Enamel.  Love the technique but found it hard to figure out what I was going to do with it.  I was very tempted to leave it bare but thought that wouldn't cut it.
I chose the color (Crushed Olive and Walnut Stain) for my technique without any thought of what it might inspire.  Because it's such a cool technique I wanted to use something that wouldn't hide it so I stamped Tim's sheet of paper (School Desk) in black archival ink onto a plastic scrap of packaging.   
The photograph stamp in the background is by Rubber Moon.  The ink bottle (Peddler's Pack) was stamped in black on grungeboard and covered with Glossy Accents.  The pen nib was purchased at an antique store...quite a lot of them for not much money.

Life is short...please make the most of it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

They say it's your birthday....

Yes, they are correct.  Having passed the old speed limit I am now eligible for a senior discount in some establishments!  lol 

So, the cards are arriving and will be displayed prominently in our home .  I created a unique display using a frame that I found in the clearance department for very little money at Michaels .  I'll share a picture with my cards on it in a few days.

I drilled holes along the edges (not as easy as I thought it would be!) and ran fishing line back and forth to hold the cards.  I die cut the letters using Sizzix dies and adhered them to a strip of black paper.  It can easily be changed to read 'Happy Holidays' or 'Merry Christmas' or whatever.  I can also use it as a drying rack when making layered cards.

To everyone who has sent me birthday wishes...thank you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Live the simple life

Hey, if you're a fan of Wendy Vecchi (Stampers Anonymous and Ranger Sr. Educator) have you checked out the Yahoo group devoted to her art?  If not, think about joining...please!  We've had some cool swaps and are now working on Making Art! challenges that start every Wednesday.  There will even be prizes awarded periodically from the magical woman herself!  And she pops in with sneak peaks before they hit her blog.  How cool is that??!?!?

Our first challenge was issued Wednesday.  I haven't looked at the inspiration piece (yet...didn't want any undue influence!) but it can be found in her first book on page 16.  We're to make an ATC that includes a scallop and a butterfly.  Needless to say, the style should be Wendy's and we have to use at least one of her stamps. 

My ATC is actually quite simple; I used a technique I call 'Spotlighting'.  Once you've stamped your image you then take a shape and color only what will fit within that shape.  Cool, huh?

The butterfly is from Make Mine Mini Art; the flower from Be Happy...Make Art, and the sentiment is from Residential Art.  I smushed Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint and Tumbled Glass Distress Ink pads onto my craft sheet then watercolored with them. 

I took the silver frame and etched 'fly' and a flight path around the perimeter using the Inscriblio.  I blackened the writing with Ranger's Archival Black ink pad.  The butterfly body has one of Tim's game spinners and a brad that were covered with Black Diamond Stickles.  The colored rectangles were covered with Glossy Accents.

The challenge period is over Tuesday night.  Wendy is awarding a randomly chosen ATC creator to receive her newest book!  Woohoo!  There have been some awesome ATCs already added to the photo album.  After all, how can you make bad art with such great stamps, art parts and clearly for art?!!?!?!??

Friday, February 4, 2011

Then the little bird said...

be confident ... find your wings and FLY!  Yes, it's time for another Compendium challenge.  It's Week 30 and we're playing with Altered Metal with Paint (page 48). 

I started out with a tag leftover from a wrinkle-free distress playing day (page 33).  The blue distress inks and Perfect Pearls set me to thinking about bluebirds, lovebirds, etc.  The rest just fell into place.

Tim's Caged Bird die - cage has brushed pewter crackle with black soot distress ink; the bird was cut from blue paper...gee, looks like Pool to me.  :)  So, my technique pieces fell into the to speak.  :)

I used an ornament hanger (thank goodness for holiday clearance sales!) to suspend my birdcage.  Both sentiments are Wendy Vecchi's - Let Your Art Have Wings and Art Parts.  One of the sentiments is attached using Tim's Tiny Attacher.  The metal tag I stamped myself with some metal stamping tools that get very little use.  Need to remedy that!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

That's Mandarin for 'Happy New Year!'This is the year of the Rabbit so I chose to use Haiku Bunny as the main focus on my card.   Haiku bunny was stamped on white with black ink, cut out then raise-layered onto the same image stamped on purple.  The Chinese symbol for luck, confetti & swirls and Happy New Year were all stamped in gold pigment ink.  All the stamps are from Hero Arts.
Red is the color of choice for Chinese, even down to your undergarments.  Red envelopes containing small gift (usually monetary) are often given to children.  We plan to eat at our local (authentic) Chinese restaurant tonight.  They don't speak much English so dinner is always interesting.  It becomes a case of pointing at the menu item very carefully and hoping the server has good eyesight. 

I wish you a prosperous new year...filled with lots of everything wonderful!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I do

Written in a child's hand on the back of this 1893 photo of my paternal great-grandparents' wedding day photo is a description of the clothing and colors.  Hence, my going 'green' with this show some love project for the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog.  Catherine's dress was green, as were the flowers on the bow at the neckline.

Somewhere along the way, I snapped up this very inexpensive blonde wood frame with a high gloss finish.  Ick!  So not me! Let's get down to business.  I attacked it with sandpaper, Lettuce pigment ink, Peeled Paint crackle paint, Pesto color wash, and a wash of Espresso paint and water.  Voila! 

I made my own mat which also helped determine the color scheme of coral, brick, gray and denim.  I used some Maya Road chipboard letters and colored them with Mountain Rose Adirondack ink, Rock Candy Crackle Paint and Walnut Stain distress ink.

Using a P22 Cezanne font (purchased on a CD, not the one that comes with Microsoft), I created standard wedding vows (bottom of frame) and tags that note the date and place of the wedding (upper left hand corner).  Both were treated to brown distress inks, water and crumpling in my hand.  A Maya Road pin secures the tags to the chipboard flourish.  They were treated with Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, and Frayed Burlap distress inks and the gold paint dabber.

After punching many flowers and leaves (all Martha Stewart) I edged them with brown distress inks and shaped each one with a ball-shaped stylus or my fingers.  Several sizes of flat-backed gold rhinestone stickers from Recollections form the flower centers.  Some got an overspray of gold perfect pearls.

The heart is air-dry clay, finger shaped, and coated with brown distress inks and the gold paint dabber.  The rings I found in the clearance aisle at Michaels.  Ditto for the wedding bells; I stained the ribbon with Butterscotch, Terra Cotta and Espresso color washes.

Here are 2 close-ups of the upper left hand and lower right hand corners.  I love how the stem of tiny buds on the right came out.