Monday, May 30, 2011

All wrapped into one

Huh? fave flowers, fave stamp (Wendy Vecchi's background plaid), fave saying...just lots of faves today...Memorial Day.  Remembering those who have served and thankful for those who are currently serving our country.

What a challenge posted by the Simon Says Stamp & Blog...use your fave stamp?  What?  One? You've got to be kidding!  My faves seem to be the ones I'm currently using but I really am in love with this background stamp...embossed, watercolored, subtle, bold...doesn't matter.

This time I inked it up with Denim and Frayed Burlap Distress inks, stamped, then misted the paper for a slight runoff.  I overstamped the stars in Scattered Straw and Wild Honey Distress Inks; ditto for the alpha chart.  The text was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.  Whatever brown distress ink was on my blending tool was run around the edge of the page for my garden journal.

This patriotic planter graces my front walk.  The red flowers are begonias and impatiens.  The blues are Wishbone Flower and Lobelia while the white ones are Scaevola and Snowstorm Giant Snowflake.  I really didn't want to write all this down so look at the idea I had to help me remember it all.

I glued down a small envelope to hold all the plant markers.  One was too large so I adhered it to the back of the photo.  I hinged the photo so I could get to the info easily and quickly.  Think how fast this would have come to me if I had had a V-8!  lol

Stamp sets used:  Be Inspired...Make Art, Evidence of Art, Celestial Art, Well Worn Art

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time began in a garden

We have severe weather again and plenty, plenty of least another 2" after 4" the other day.  My backyard is beginning to look like a swamp and some of my garden statuary has even floated to a different location within the rock bed.  Raging river...a river runs through name it.  But, it's a perfect day to Make Art!

Over on the EWV Yahoo group we've been challenged to create a piece using Wendy's art from Book One, Page 26.  Specifically, we need to include a horizontal ATC and a chipboard circle and use at least one of Wendy's stamps.  I decided to create a page for my garden journal (you can see the cover in my post from May 15). 

I covered a 5 1/2" x 5 3/4" piece of chipboard with some cardstock, distressed the edges with distress ink and added black penstitching.  From my pressed flowers box I found what I'm guessing to be a Black-eyed Susan, or something similar, and made my own slide to house it.  Wendy's leaves were stamped in Gold Paint Dabber onto black shrink plastic. 

The ATC is more chipboard on which I stamped a background image in Snow Cap pigment ink, heat set then rubbed the Peeled Paint Distress Stain across the surface.  More distress inks are on the edge.

The chipboard circle was painted with the Gold Paint Dabber before I stamped Wendy's clock face in Jet Black Archival Ink.  Tim's Idea-ology spinner works well for the clock hands.  More chipboard was colored and stamped with Wendy's belt for the watch band.

An EKSuccess Photo Labels punch was cut out of chipboard, distressed with green ink then stamped Wendy's text in Sepia Archival Ink.  The leafy stem is by Sizzix and was distressed with plenty of green and brown inks.  Love the Dymo Caption Maker for creating interesting text spots! 

Wendy's stamp sets:  Rose Art Part 2, Let Your Art Have Wings, Gentleman's Art, A Form of Art

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Show your Vecchian style

Hey, one of my fave challengers (Simon Says Stamp & Show, doncha know) posted a theme of 'Show some Wendy Vecchi style'!  How could I not participate?  How could I think outside the box?  I don't need more art for my walls or any other flat surface and I don't need more tags.  Could make a card I suppose but I needed another avenue to travel.  Hmmmm...

How about a DIY hummingbird feeder from a room service bottle of mustard???????  I saw the article in a craft magazine some time ago; the artist used clay flower layers whereas I used Clearly for Art.  Flowers (3) and leaves (2) from Dimensional Rose Art, Rose Art Part 2 and Let Your Art Have Wings were stamped in Crimson and Olive Archival Inks.  Boy, with this humidity they didn't want to dry at all.

I tried stamping different background stamps on the Clearly for Art but they got lost while cutting, heating, etc.  I ended up using different red and green alcohol inks to color my CFA. 

Some wire and a red bead finish off the feeder.  Once we're out of the serious storm fronts passing through today and tomorrow this will go out on the shepherd's hook and hopefully entice a ruby-throated hummingbird to stick around for some photos!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of season

Right about now many of you have put away your cooler weather clothes and are sporting warm weather attire.  I decided to think out of the season for this Grungy Monday tag that features the technique Tim Holtz showed back in September 2008.  I love how the inks bleed when misted with water, especially on watercolor paper! 

Tim Holtz:  Falling Leaves, web from Trick-or-Treat, Odds-n-Ends ticket, Raven & Scaredy Cat  Sizzix die, Typeset strip die

Ranger:  Rust, Caramel, Currant, Lettuce, Butterscotch, Eggplant Adirondack inks; Jet Black Archival Ink

Misc:  Sakura glaze pen, EKSuccess spider punch, fibers, buttons

We do have a lot of leaves falling today but it's because of the high winds, severe t-storms and tornado watches and warnings in effect.  Hope everyone is able to stay and sound if you're in the path of nasty weather!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moving on

May...a month of graduations for our family.  One nephew graduated from the University of IL (cellular & molecular biology) and will be taking his MCATs in a few weeks.  Another nephew graduated from Blackburn (pre-med) and will be off to Southern IL University for med school.  His sister graduated from Benedictine with an associate's degree in forensic science.  She'll continue her education in Colorado.  My youngest niece will be entering high school this fall.

I have 7 nieces and nephews - lucky me!  When they've finished middle school we've brought the first 6 to NJ to spend about a week with us (from their IL homes).  We take them to see the Atlantic Ocean, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  The highlight of the trip is the stretch limo ride into NYC where we spend the day walking around seeing as many tourist sites we can before taking in a matinee.  The matinee we've chosen is Wicked.  Now that we've moved to IL the trip is a bit different...more hotels.  However, we're able to lodge with friends for a few nights so that will be a nice visit and change.

Thought I'd share the cards I made the kids and the insert for the youngest one...the others got $...guess you know what that looks like.  All the cards were stamped with symbols of graduation on an embossing folder (thank you, Tim Holtz, for a wonderful idea!) then embossed.  Everything is in school colors and the embellishments are also from the Tim Holtz line (numbers, tickets, rosette).  The insert is Tim's witch and ticket.  All inks are by Ranger.

U of I



Monticello Middle School


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Distress inks, water and NO paint brush

Hey, would love to see more Wendy Vecchi fans join our Yahoo group!  We're having lots of fun with weekly (usuallyart challenges and periodic swaps.  This week the challenge is to create art using the card that can be found in Wendy's first book on page 22.  Wendy used the brushless water color technique.  There are several ways you can achieve this look...all fun and easy.

I smeared Crushed Olive and Forest Moss Distress Inks on Wendy's background stamp from Rose Art Part 2.  Stamped on watercolor paper the white was too stark a contrast for me so I added blue distress ink (whatever was on my blending tool) around the edges then gently misted.  Love this!  A bit of purple distress ink (again, whatever was on my blending tool) around the edges and I was happy.

Next I stamped the words (Just Word Art) in Jet Black Archival Ink then went over them with Glossy Accents (you can't tell it in the photo) and added some black pen stitching around the edges before layering the art on some ATC-sized black cardstock.

So simple, even a caveman could do it!  lol

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Old wives' tales

When I first read the title on the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog I was completely taken aback.  How in the world was I going to come up with something that would fit the theme as well as incorporate the products I use most often?  Well, it didn't take too long after I started scouring the internet for some old wives' tales when I came up with ... hang a horsehoe over your door for good luck but don't put the flat bits pointing down or all your luck will fall out.
I started out with a 6x6 piece of chipboard and colored the sky and grass using the Distress Ink color blocking technique Tim has shown on the Ranger site.

Tim's dies: Branch tree, Rickety House, On the Fence, Mini Paper RosettesSmall Easel (holds it upright and is a-w-e-s-o-m-e!!!);  Tim's embossing folders:  Wood Grain, Bricked;  Tim's stamps:  Birds (Lost & Found)

Ranger:  Blues, Greens, Pumice Stone, Fired Brick, Walnut Stain, Broken China, Vintage Photo Distress Inks; Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint; Pebble Paint Dabber

Misc: Horseshoe punch, green Flower Soft, lace

So much angst for nothing!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blocks of color

Who knew a rectangle of ink could take on a life of its own?  The lovely Linda, hostess of Grungy Monday, has kindly challenged us to make use of Tim's Distress Ink color blocking technique that can be found over on the Ranger site.  This technique could easily become my favorite!

I used all the colors in the rainbow for this one, including brown and black.  Tim's new stamp set, Haberdashery, and die (Sewing Room), as well as a new Texture Fade (Pattern & Stitches) - that was used as another stamp - all got used.  There's also some Sticky Back Canvas from Claudine Hellmuth and a snippet of Martha Stewart Ribbon.

Can't wait to read all about the new challenge on Monday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow...

nah, no rainbow today but some filtered sun and warmer temps.  Just nice enough to powerwash the deck and screened in patio so they're ready to use when we do get some nice weather.

Over on the EWV I hosted an Over the Rainbow ATC swap and assigned each participant a color.  I did a cover ATC and added 2 more colors to the rainbow...brown and black.  My ATCs are off-white or white and layered onto a black ATC.  The brown one is actually on a canvas ATC.  The collection will be put into a tag booklet but haven't had an opportunity to get that done.

All stamps are by Wendy Vecchi (except the date stamp), all inks are by Ranger and the Typeset die is one of Tim's (love it!!!).  I bought an old typewriter at a flea market and thought this was the perfect time to use it.  Yes, there are typos, and no, I don't care.  They add to the uniqueness of my art.  The pen nib is also a flea market find.

I'm off to enjoy my outdoor canvas...finished planting all annuals, perennials and last minute additions to my herb and veggie garden.  I love making art outdoors as much as I do indoors!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Wendy art

Just finished my 12th challenge art for the EWV Yahoo group.  This time we're looking to Wendy's inspiration piece that can be found in her first book on page 32...stamping on patterned paper and using a bookplate with a message inside.
I started out with a 6x6 sheet of paper from an old K & Company stash pack glued onto chipboard (the cover for my new gardening journal) and altered to my heart's content.  Before applying any additional color to the page I stamped Wendy' solid flower (Art-fully Said) in clear embossing ink, used clear embossing powder, then heat set.  Now comes the color!

Have you ever used the Nick Bantock collection by Ranger?  Whoa...awesome colors but they can be pretty intense.  At the bottom of the page (grassy area) I used Chartreuse Leaf.  Oh no, so NOT what I wanted.  Off to my Distress Inks to save the day!  Thank goodness for Peeled Paint and Forest Moss -whew!  Butterscotch Dimensional Pearls was smeared across the top of the page for a bit of color with shine.  Walnut Stain Distress Ink covers the entire book cover. 

A fine line black pen outlines part of the flower image.  Tim's Ornate Frame has Wendy's 'My Journal' inside (stamped as 2 lines, not one) with mica covering the opening in the frame.  A Spellbinder's butterfly was cut from acrylic packaging (first covered with TH tissue tape) (no this doesn't work very well but enough so I could use the lines to cut with scissors) then smooshed into the Fired Brick DI pad. A scrap of TH fence was white-washed and crackled and aged with more DI.  Hero Arts numbers in Jet Black Archival provide the year; same ink on Wendy's sentiment.  A Martha Stewart punch gave me the blackbird that I covered in Glossy Accents.  Last, but not least, I ran the Gold Paint Dabber around the edge.

And speaking of Wendy, I was able to gather with like-minded friends (some from the EWV Yahoo group) and take her techniques class yesterday in Moline, IL.  Lots of fun, always something new to learn, made new friends!  A perfect way to spend a very rainy, windy Saturday!

Several of us feel this pic needs some serious photo shop editing but we were there to learn, not make fashion statements!  lol 

Debby, Sandi, Lori (list mom), Wendy, me

Friday, May 13, 2011

By the numbers...2, 4, 3x3

A twofer!!!  Thank goodness Simon Says Stamp & Show Blog and the Grungy Monday 06 challenges would work out for a two-fer because I've been plenty busy this week.  A funeral took me out of town for 2 days, I've spread 6 cubic yards of mulch, finished planting my veggie & herb garden, planted a lot of perennials and quite a few hanging baskets and planters, attended an out-of-town college graduation and have another one this weekend as well as a class with Wendy Vecchi (yes!).  I'll be heading to nw IL shortly for some stops along the way before reaching my destination.  Oh, my entry?  Sure, guess I'd better share now before I bog you down with any more details you don't really care to hear.  Sorry!

My 3x3 Sticky notepad cover started out as a 8 1/2"x  4 1/8" tag.  The weathered wood technique in greens and browns is the background (inside and out), then added more Tim stamps, foliage and Maya Road flower to decorate inside and out.

Ranger products:  Lettuce, Gold Pigment Ink; Pumice Stone, Tea Dye, Walnut Stain Distress Inks; Walnut Stain Distress Embossing Powder; Sepia, Coffee, Jet Black Archival Inks

Tim stamps:  Nature's Elements, Nature's Moments

Now maybe I won't have to search so hard for paper when I need to jot down an idea or add to my shopping wish list!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tickets, tickets please

We're on our 11th challenge over on the EWV Yahoo group.  This time we're to use a ticket (or ticket-like item) as shown in Wendy's second book on  page 19.  My #8 tag has the following stamps on it:  hand from Art Fit For A Queen and the rest are from Well Worn Art.  Archival inks used:  Olive, Jet Black, Sepia and Coffee.  Distress Inks:  Scattered Straw, Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, and Forest Moss.  Distress Stickles:  Forest Moss, Old Paper, Rock Candy.  The flower was cut from Tim's Tattered Florals die and sprayed with Kiwi Perfect Pearls & water.  A snippet of ribbon and the button finish off my entry.

I've never been to an opera house but have seen "Phantom of the "Opera"....would that count?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Whether you're a mom to a 2-legged human or a 2+ legged, finned, feathered, or furry critter, enjoy your day!

Here's the card I made my accompanied the decorated frame and photo from my blog post of 'Grungy Grandma'.  She thought the card was a painting and the frame brought tears to her eyes.

The stamp set (grasses, flowers, sentiment) are by Stampin' Up.  All Ranger inks and embossing powder.

None of us kids will be with mom today but 3 of the 4 were together yesterday for a nephew's graduation from college.  You have to take the time when you can get it. 

Motherhood...a lot of sacrifices, love, hugs, kisses, mishaps, learning, smiles...make the most of it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I know why the caged bird sings

No, I don't really but I know why the 2 are singing and perhaps the other 3 aren't...they're outside the cage!

The fab LindaE is hosting another Grungy Monday challenge.  This time she's chosen an older technique from Tim's blog...back in May of 2008.  It's all about creating a new dimension. 

I cut out 3 tags using Tim's trusty Tag & Bookplate die.  Two tags were from cardstock found in the Lost & Found Paper Stash and the 3rd was from thick chipboard.  I adhered the top tag and the chipboard using Claudine Hellmuth's Multi Medium.  That stuff is da bomb!  I carefully positioned the tag on the Caged Bird die and ran it through my Big Shot.  Not only do I have a birdcage niche on my tag but a birdcage to use for a future project!  I glued the 3rd tag on the back, this time the patterned side of the paper is showing.  The tag is a bit large so a small bit was taken out of the side (part of the bird) so I covered it up with a slightly altered Adage ticket.

Using shrink plastic I cut out the bird and colored it with blue, orange and brown distress inks.  A pain in the patoot to shrink and I ended up cutting off the branch.  Like the twist in the tail feathers?  Poor birdy is probably saying 'ouch'!  The other birds are Martha Stewart punches that I used on some canvas-y type of ribbon.  Square toothpicks were cut to fit the cage so the birds would have a perch...or two.  The perches were stained with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and glued in place. 

The cage is hanging from Tim's new Mini Leaf & Branch set.  The branch was cut from chipboard then I smeared Walnut Stain Distress Crackle Paint over it to make it look more like wood.  The leaves were cut from some green scraps before I drew in some veins and ran more Walnut Stain over the leaves for dimension.

I didn't need the tag reinforcements so I used them at the bottom of the tag so I wouldn't thrown them out and be considered wasteful.  :) 

Plenty of birds are singing outside my window so I guess I should go out and join them but I'll be working in my gardens...weeding, planting, and installing rabbit fencing to keep out critters.  Hope your day will be filled with lots of productivity!  We seem to have 1 dry day then 3-4 wet ones so I need to take advantage of the situation and 'make hay while the sun shines'...or at least it isn't raining!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let's see your hands!

Raise your hand if you're participating in the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog this week.  Super!  The more, the merrier!

I had all sorts of ideas run through my head but this is the one that worked best (remember see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?).  I think the hardest part was creating the background and waiting for all the inks and adhesives to dry!  My tryptych (first ever!) uses 3 #8 tags that I hinged with gold wire.  Note to self:  use a larger dowel to coil the wire! 

The background's first layer is Distress Ink (Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade) and water.  Layer 2 is a smear of Snow Cap Pigment Ink.  For Layer 3 I smushed Broken China & Pine Needles DI onto my craft sheet, lightly misted with water but picked up the color with a dampened sea sponge.  Love the mottled effect!  Tim's sentiment (Stuff to Say) was stamped in Sepia Archival Ink.  Around the edges with Vintage Photo and Black Soot DI then around again with the Gold Paint Dabber.  The tags were then misted with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls.

The face (Wendy's Art Rules) was stamped on white sticky backed canvas in Jet Black Archival Ink and colored with a light watery wash of Tattered Rose DI; cheeks and lips got a touch (okay, a heavy handed one!) with Fired Brick and a nib.  All the hands (Wendy's Art Fit For A Queen) were stamped on grungepaper and embossed with Antique Gold EP by Ranger.  No, she doesn't have stamps of both the left and right hand, I just turned the grungepaper over.

The scrolls and letters (Maya Road Jonathan Mini) were coated with Watermelon Pigment Ink, edged with Walnut Stain DI (a bit heavier on the lower left side for depth/shadow), then edged the same area with the Gold Paint Dabber.

The flowers are Table Confetti (bridal aisle at Michaels) that have been colored with Bottle and Stream Alcohol Inks.  The centers are Hero Arts Metallic Decor gold dots.  The trim was sent from a friend.

So, you can have hands across America, offer a friendly hand, play the hand you're dealt, hand-to-hand combat, Second Hand Rose, and so many more but my fave is 'Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.'  Thank you, Leonardo da Vinci!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Button, button, who's got the button?

Remember that childhood game?  No matter, but you can still trot on over to the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog where they're challenging participants to use buttons in their art.  I've had this idea brewing in my head for awhile and now seemed the perfect time to try it out. 

Using Wendy Vecchi's new Clearly For Art (clear) I created a bracelet cuff.  I stamped Wendy's floral stamp (Make Mine Mini Art) in Sepia and Olive Archival Inks.  I heat set the inks before punching holes for the buttons and forming the cuff. 

I created a plaid pattern on manilla cardstock (Fired Brick, Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo) then overstamped with Wendy's alphabet background stamp (Art-fully Said) in Sepia Archival Ink.  A bit of Glossy Accents between the Hero Arts button blanks and the cardstock held the 2 layers together.  Let dry; punch the button holes and sand off the cardstock using an emery board.  The buttons are sewn to the cuff with gold cord.  The final touch was the Gold Paint Dabber applied to the edges of the cuff. 

Since I'm not a big jewelry wearer this lightweight bracelet cuff is just my style.  With 3 college graduations and 1 8th grade promotion this month, I'm sure this will be seen on my wrist at least once!