Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sing out loud

Hey, are you up for another series of challenges from the lovely Linda Ledbetter over at Studio L3?  You know the one...the former hostess extraordinaire of the Tim Holtz 'Compendium of Curiosities' weekly challenge?  This time she'll be pulling themes from some of Tim's videos, blogposts, and Christmas tags.

So, Grungy Monday is starting off using the Day 10 Christmas tag from 2008.  You can find a link to the tags on a sidebar on Tim's blog.  How cool is that for easy reference???  I used Tim's music mask, his bird from Artful Flight, the smallest flower from Tattered Florals, a Sizzix leafy vine, and the word from his Grunge Alphabet. 

Ranger products:  Scattered Straw, Fired Brick, Old Paper, Antique Linen, Walnut Stain, Tumbled Glass, Broken China Distress Inks,  Blue Patina, Mandarin, Gold Perfect Pearls, Sunshine Yellow Alcohol Ink

My workspace has a window beside it allowing me to see outside and hear the birds sing.  We have robins year round so why not make one the center of attention on my tag?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In her Easter bonnet

I just LOVE shopping at thrift stores!!!  We have one that's recently opened and it appears that business is booming.  I've certainly tried to do my fair!  Yesterday I felt the urge to go visit them to see what was new. I hadn't been in a while and they've already expanded within their space - holy moly!  On a previous trip I landed a book about Queen Bess that I'm going to alter for my niece, Bess, some jewelry parts, craft items including wood eggs, trays for inky messes, etc. 

Here's a gander at what I scored yesterday for less than $3.00: miscellaneous sewing items (vintage snaps, hooks & eyes, googly eyes, trims, seam binding), about 100 silk leaves, 6 different styles of silk flowers (12-18 flowers per style), 25 1/2" wood blocks, 100+ 3 1/2" craft picks, and 50 7" upholstery/drapery fabric squares.

So how does this play into an Easter bonnet?  Look and many items can you spot that are from my thrift store shopping extravaganza?

The background is a fabric square, flowers I dyed with Spun Sugar Distress Ink, leaves and the wood eggs.  This 5"x7" framed piece is being entered into the Simon Says Stamp & Show challenge featuring hats.  If you haven't checked out the design team artwork and the other entries, you're really in for a treat - wow!

The memo pin marks the Easter finery from 1960.  I'm the oldest, on the right.  Mom made our outfits and I remember how much I loved that dress...loaded with butterflies and the fabric was kind of shiny.  It's hard to see our hats but they were edged with plenty of lace and flowers. 

I framed the photo using cardstock from a Sizzix pad - found on clearance (yes!) and cut using an old red die by Sizzix.  I did add the pink frame as a mat since the frame's opening was just a bit larger than I needed.

The butterflies were punched out of some pansy vellum (Martha Stewart punches); their bodies are a TH game spinner and mini safety pin.  That's also a MS bunny punch using white cardstock and white flocking.  The 1/2 wood eggs were pressed into the Sailboat Blue and Purple Twilight ink pads and the Raspberry Paint Dabber then quickly wiped dry.  I spelled out 'Easter' on white cardstock using Hero Arts Vintage Alphabet stamps and Nick Bantok's Chartreuse Leaf ink that were punched out, edged with Antique Linen Distress Ink then glued to the blocks.

So if you haven't had a chance to support your local thrift stores or garage sales lately, do so asap!  You just never know what you're going to find...but you do need to keep an open mind.  Happy shopping!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blue by you

Thought I'd share a birthday card I recently made.  The inspiration piece was made by Terry over on the TechniqueJunkies group.  I changed out the image and added a few things there and there.

All images are by Wendy Vecchi...Rose Art Part 2, Art Rules, Make Mini Art, and Art Parts.  The butterfly was stamped on Wendy's Clearly for Art. 

Ranger products: Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Worn Lipstick, Walnut Stain, Black Soot distress inks, Coffee, Black, Olive archival inks, Broken China, Scattered Straw distress stickles, Butterscotch, Sunshine Yellow pigment inks, Watermark Resist ink

I did scratch off some of the pigment ink on the butterfly to give it more of a worn look.  The head flower was stamped twice on grungepaper; one had the petal insides removed.  Source of the trim and snap - unknown.  Several cardstock layers bring this card up to a 1/2 sheet size.

Another birthday celebrated Vecchian style!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Scallop frame and a grungepaper flower

That's the theme for the latest challenge on the EWV Yahoo group.  Took me awhile to get going on this; I don't know why but it did.  I was wanting to use a set that hadn't seen ink in quite some time.  This set gets to me.  I think it's the flower only being a partial image and it has polka dots.  I'm not a fan of polka dots but will use them on occasion.

The scallop frame was sent to me; I just inked up the sueded surface with Pumice Stone DI and added some dots along the edge.  The blue-toned backing is from Tim's 'Shabby Chic' paper stash and has the background image from Wendy's Funky Flower Art stamped in Coffee Archival ink over it.

The grungepaper flower (same set) was colored with Broken China but I didn't like that so I added Sunshine Yellow and Butterscotch pigment inks as well as a shimmery spray. 

The chipboard key was painted black then covered with Peeled Paint Distress Crackle Paint and hit again with black ink.  The leaves are a set of wings that are now blue and turquoise.  I think it was a drunken technique from last year.  Makes a great set of leaves when you're trying to use some pre-made items that you haven't thrown away because they're too good for that.  lol 

The sentiment (same set) was stamped in Black Archival ink on a coffee stained tag.  I think the little blackbird is a Martha Stewart punch.

I was really wanting something brighter and cheerier to match the daffodils blooming outside but that obviously didn't happen.  Seeing any sort of blooming flowers right now makes me happy.  Grungepaper ones will have to do for now. 

By the way, I was quite skeptical that this would work but after much effort (even developing a blister) of adding hot water and stirring, I was finally able to get all my (old style) paint dabbers reconstituted.  Some were rock hard so I was surprised at those the most.  Of course, my favorite colors were the most affected by the drying out.  I can only think that time and lack of use caused them to harden or dry up.  All is well now, that's all that matters. 

Friday, March 25, 2011


Got to spend some time in my creative space today so I'm working on some challenge pieces.  This one is for the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog.  The theme is to feature a word.  I chose the word 'art' and made faux letterblocks to start off my piece. 

I started out with a Li'l Davis canvas frame that I distressed with several brown inks.  Over that is stamped the polka dot background (Wendy's All About Art) in Coffee Archival ink. 

On a scrap piece of cream cardstock I used Scattered Straw, Wild Honey and Vintage Photo distress inks before stamping the grid background in Sepia Archival ink (Wendy's Flower Art) and the leafy background (Wendy's Rose Art 2) in Olive Archival ink.

The leafy vine is a Sizzix die that got lots of TLC from several brown distress inks as well as a red one.  The butterfly (Wendy's Make Mini Art) was stamped on a scrap of acetate in Black Archival ink.  Using Sharpie markers and a Sepia Copic marker I colored the wings on the reverse side.  With a little bit of heat I was able to bend the wings forward, as if in flight.  The sentiment is from Hampton Arts.

Well, back to my creative space so I can make more art...this time for the EWV challenge.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Celestial Art


Shooting Stars


Over on the EWV Yahoo group this week's challenge theme is to create a tag using only O-N-E of Wendy's stamp sets.  We can use stamps from other designers to augment our tag.  Wow!  I wasn't sure how easy or difficult this was going to be but I guess the set you chose would determine just how creative your juices could flow.

I sat down and challenged myself to come up with more than one idea for this set (Celestial Art, from her latest release).  Actually, I've decided to make at least one project for each Wendy set I own.  I want to see how creative I can be and not always rely on what Wendy has done.  Face it, I'm not Wendy and my art should be a reflection of me using her style and techniques for inspiration.

I've used paint dabbers, distress inks, adirondack and archival inks to create the looks you see here.  Some of the techniques I tried were the smoosh & spritz technique, stamp kissing, Perfect Pearls +, and some resist techniques.    Two of Tim's on the edge dies show up (more leftovers from earlier projects) as well as some punches and die cuts.

If you have stamps that haven't been used, ever or in a long time, I challenge you to get them out and start playing with them.  Be creative: use a technique you hadn't tried before, dabble in another style, just do it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The stars at night, are big & bright...

Yes indeedy, the stars are shining on my latest creation.  It's for the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog challenge 'Stars'.  There's a lot happening on this tag so I'll just list what I used.  I did start off with a chipboard tag that I covered with a a neutral cardstock.  Wendy's tissue tape & color wash technique was used but once everything else was added you wouldn't know that.  The inspiration for this piece can be found on Wendy's blogAll the parts were leftovers from earlier pieces - more gone from my stash!

Stamps from Wendy's collection:  Celestial Art, Mail Art, All About Art, Live & Make Art; Make Art, It's More Flower Art, It's Face Art, Art Rules, Residential Art 
Ranger Inks +: Snow Cap White Pigment, Black & Coffee Archival inks, Gold Paint Dabber, Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Fired Brick, Faded Jeans, Forest Moss, Old Paper, Worn Lipstick, Broken China and Wild Honey Distress Inks, Black Enamel Accents, Black Soot Distress Stickles, Inkssentials pen, Sunflower Gold Perfect Pearls

Tim Holtz: Townscape, Scallop on the edge dies, Regal Crest & Banner die, Tattered Florals die, grungepaper and grungeboard

Misc.:  Maya Road star stick pin, vintage seam binding, Sakura Glaze Pen, chipboard, unknown star with 's', unknown '2'

And to think I got all this in a 4"x6" space!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There are always flowers

Whew - just got this one done in time!  Over on the EWV Yahoo group we're doing periodic challenges from Wendy's books.  The themes are based on a technique, embellishment, a stamp image...whatever floats the boat of our fearless leader, Lori.  This week we were to use chipboard letters and a flourish/scroll, based on a card Wendy made in Book One on page 18.

My mojo had left the building for this challenge until today; the deadline is tonight.  What was she thinking????  I decided it was past time to use some of the items I've kept from previous projects because my container was getting quite full.

I started off with a #8 tag that had been colored with Pumice Stone DI over the entire tag, then layered with Bundled Sage and Tumbled Glass DIs.  Sunflower Sparkle PP+water was misted over the entire tag.  The chipboard letter had been gesso'd but void of color.  I did add very small dots around the perimeter which you probably can't see except close-up.  The flowers were made (textbook paper adhered to grungepaper) but not colored in any way.

I used the following stamp sets that Wendy designed:  Residential Art (flourish), Flower Art (sentiment, background and  Celestial Art (background on flowers).  The leafy stem is a Sizzix die that was also distressed with inks and my fingers.

Ranger products:  Olive, Sepia, Coffee and Black archival inks; Pumice Stone, Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass, Faded Jeans, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo distress inks; Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls; Butterscotch and Lettuce pigment inks; Rock Candy crackle paint and the Craft Scrubbie for some very inky fingers.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Find your style

Finding your style.  Hmmm...wouldn't say mine is metal mania, more dressy distress.  lol  But the theme on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog this week is metal.  I just got some Ten Seconds Studio metal sheets so this was the perfect time to play with them.

I found the purse template on-line (a long time ago) but I can no longer access the address to share it with you.  The art name was d0npen.  She had made it in the A2 size as well as an ATC version.  The shoe pattern was featured in Stampington magazine, maybe F/M of 2009.  I had no instructions so I made it work for me.  The Hat Box template was shown by Janine Tinklenberg (a long, long time ago).  And a girl just has to have a spring bouquet!  I saw this idea at an antiques & craft mall.  That's a salt shaker from room service. dh brought it home from a business trip.

Ingredients:  miscellaneous buttons, paper crimper, Sizzix texture plates (leather, fabric), Sizzix die for the flower, Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die, Martha Stewart punches (vine, hydrangea, fern, scalloped border), Ten Seconds Studio metal (Poison Ivy, Barn Red and BRRBlue), and Provocraft embossing folders (Divine Swirl and Herringbone).  The sentiment is  from Wendy's Fashion Style & Art and the alpha snap is by All My Memories. Of course, my projects wouldn't be complete without some distress ink (Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Black Soot).

Looks like I'm ready for spring with my new fashion accessories!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's gonna be a muddy spring

by the looks of my last tag for the CCC challenge.  My Espresso Color Wash Sprayer was blocked but I didn't know it...that stuff goes everywhere if you're not careful (*1)!  Hence, almost all my components got splashed.  (Heavy sigh.)

First I colorized the tag with lots of yellow, orange and brown distress inks.  Plopped on some water droplets then that ECW thing happened.  I cut one of the seed packets from Tim's Seasonal Stash, distressed the edges then crumpled it before doing the technique that can be found on page 67...Design Details.  Say it isn't so...the last technique in the book!!!! 

What do you think of my faux hydrangea flowers?  They started out as a tea-stained coffee filter (*2).  Hmm, but more oranges, browns and some purple distress inks were added for color variation.  Wetted, wadded up and dried numerous TH Tattered Flowers (the smaller 2 sizes).  If you stack the layers off-kilter then hold them down with a skewer, the heat gun will automatically curl them upwards.  Cool!  Of course, I had to further crumple them for more lift.  I tried to color some purple gems with a brown marker to get them to be a plum color...nope, you get a lovely shade of garnet (*3).  Not going to work with these flowers so I raided my brad drawer and popped in some tiny ones as well as a larger one with a washer.

A M(artha) S(tewart) punch and a Sizzix die created the greenery.  Yup, more ECW, distress inks, wetted, wadded and dried.  Like the faux enamel tag?  Sure matches the tag background better than I could have ever expected; it started out white.  That's some MS silk ribbon that I stamped some text with Black Archival Ink, wetted, wadded and dried.  Down at the bottom I stamped the sentiment in BAI.  It's from a larger piece that I found on Tim's 'Just Thoughts' set.

So, 3 important things I learned while making today's art...(1) use a very large spray box with the Color Wash sprays and wear plenty of protective covering, (2) coffee filters make wonderful flowers and (3) brown + red = garnet .

Guess I'll pause now as I wait for the rains to stop, the sun to come out, and the gardens to dry.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dressed for spring

It is so blasted gray and rainy that I had to break out some flower stamps and brighter colors of ink.  Hopefully we'll get some sun over the weekend but until then I'll have to create my own sunshine.

Like that little black dress we should all have in our closets, this concept will take me through the seasons, I can see that now.  A change of stamps (fall leaves, etc.) and a change in position (just the hem, neckline, sleeve) and I'll be the best dressed lady around!  : )

I first saw this idea back in the March/April 2009 Paper Crafts Magazine.  The templates are called 'Sugar & Spice' dress card and 'Celebrate' dress card.  The difference is the shape of the apron.  I don't have decorative papers that would work so I combined what I saw recently on the Rubber Stamp Tapestry blog with the PCM template. 

The RST sets I used are Itsy Florals and Basket of Flowers.  As before, I didn't use Versamark inks but distress inks (Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Worn Lipstick, Wild Honey, Black Soot, Faded Jeans, Milled Lavender and Dusty Concord).  I did add some sparkle to the flower centers with a Sakura glaze pen but the camera didn't pick that up.

The vellum apron was run through a Provocraft embossing folder (Swiss Dots).  A bit of green lace seam binding forms the bodice and bow.  I cut out a tiny round tag (Sizzlits die) and stamped the sentiment (The Missing Link Stamp Company) in Peeled Paint.

If I had any dresses they certainly wouldn't fit in an A2 envelope but this little pretty will.  The envelope was decorated along the bottom using the same stamps and colors.  Kind of like looking at a flower garden.  That makes me happy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Believe all things are possible

Boy, does this ever fit the challenge I had making this tag.  Over on the EWV Yahoo group we're doing periodic challenges based on Wendy's books, much like the ATT Yahoo group did using Tim's Compendium of Curiosities

Challenge #4 was all about using Wendy's 'perfect stamping' technique which can be found in her blog posts here and here.  Well, I could possibly believe this technique works with the stamps I chose...maybe if I used other colors?  Oh well, it is what it is.

I did use blues for my background with some vintage photo.  It's hard to see the technique used on the two outside flowers but I did use them differently.  The center flower was stamped and heat embossed with black soot distress powder.  The flower didn't take so I stamped out 2 of Wendy's small roses using some scrap cardstock, crumpled, distressed, etc. and made them the new flower.  An old button and some white heart lace that was colorized with various distress inks and sprays add some dimension and hopefully make it all look put together and finished.  lol  All stamps are from 'Art-fully Said'.

Friday, March 4, 2011

'Time' to try making Dimensional Collage Fragments

Hard to believe it's week 34 of the Compendium of Curiosities challenges!  Just doesn't seem possible that 34 weeks have gone by...actually a bit more since we had a brief break over the holidays.

Once again I started off with a tag that I'd stained with coffee grounds.  In the background is Tim's clock mask with yellow, orange and brown distress inks used over it.  Tim's clock (Life's Possibilities) and the longer text (The Journey) were stamped in Black archival ink.  'Tick tock' is a Hero Arts alpha set and the asterisks at the top are from the same set. 

I added a Martha Stewart punch anywhere butterfly in vellum and colored on the reverse side with the Adirondack markers in yellows, oranges and browns.  On the front I used a TH flourish stamp.  Around the edges of the butterfly I dabbed a bit of Orange Peel Stickles.  The word stick and game spinner are part of Tim's creative embellishments from Advantus.

Now that the 2" square fragment has had time to dry fully I see that the watch face has discolored the paper around it.  Kinda looks like it was edged but it wasn't.  Recylcling metal bits is a bit like a box of chocolates, sometimes you don't know what you're going to get.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


What a word...ephemera.  It means all the paper bits and stuff that you'd normally toss, you keep.  I call it recycling.  LOL  Simon Says Stamp & Show wants to see our ephemera.  Sounds kinky, doesn't it?

I took a chipboard tag and covered it with some paper from Tim's Retro Grunge paper stash.  Tim's sheet of paper was stamped in Black archival ink on vellum.  In my paper bits drawer I found a movie ticket stub and the key fob from when I had a car serviced.  They were in the same color scheme..this will work out somehow.  In my drawer of paint chips I found this blue sample that is perfect.  Back down in the paper drawer I found an old calendar page that covers the date I saw the movie.  This looks like it will all work for the perfect 'to do' list!  I wrote on the sheet of paper, added a stamp of Tim's car and a Maya Road chipboard alpha (k) that had been covered with Peeled Paint distress crackle paint.  Voila!  A snapshot of what I did (or could have done) on December 8, 2005!

Elsewhere in my blog world, I was awarded a Stylish Blogger award.  Thank you, Cat! 

I'm now supposed to share 8 things about myself that you don't already know.
1.  I've been to the Falkland Islands.
2.  I've walked among penguins on my birthday.
3.  I've flown in a helicopter over Alaska.
4.  I've flown in a helicopter over Hawaii.
5.  I've been on a cruise ship that had to be evacuated.
6.  I drank water from a glacier - some of the purest and coldest water on earth.
7.  I can kill 13 voles with the whack of one shovel.
8.  I've lived in over 25 places in my life (and I'm not in the military).

The award is now to be passed on to 8 other bloggers.  I know of so many that are deserving of this award that I simply cannot choose among them.  If you'd like the award for yourself, please take it.  You all bring such joy to my life.  Thank you for following me down my artsy path!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Congrats are in order

to my youngest nephew who was recently accepted into the med school of his choice.  Not sure what area of medicine will catch his eye but he's a very good student and I'm sure he'll do well no matter what he chooses.

I cut out Tim's Hanging Sign from cardstock and distressed it with various brown and black inks (can you see a bit of the faux woodgrain look?) before running the sign through a Provocraft folder for the word  'congrats'.  I then added more highlights to the word with darker distress inks.  The background was stamped with Tim's stamps (bet he never thought they'd be used to indicate a profession!) in Black Soot so that when I smooshed brown and black distress inks over it the images smeared, taking away any sharpness.  I really like this look!  A black marker was run around the edges to create a faux layer.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March is

madness if you are a fan of college basketball, the Ides arrive, St. Patrick's Day, 1st day of spring and National Nutrition Month.  Betcha didn't know about that one, did you? 

I have a card-of-the-month program that's been ongoing for a number of years.  Twenty family members and friends, often shut-ins, receive a card every month from me.  The cards are all the same which means I can mass-produce on an assembly line fairly quickly...once I have my idea.  That's usually the hard part.  Thank goodness for funky daily calendars - there's a holiday for every day of the year - gotta love 'em!

The stamps are from a A Stamp in the Hand and were colored using Tombow markers and huffing or breathing heavily onto the stamps to reactivate the ink.  No matter which term you use it still sounds dirty or disgusting!

The front sentiment was computer generated while the inside sentiment was stamped 'Eat your veggies'.  I made it a point to add that catsup was not considered a vegetable.

What???  No Ranger ink or distressing???  Oh yeah, I used Black archival ink to stamp the description of each veggie.  Whew!