Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Legend of the Christmas Spider ala Studio 490

Ah, the 4th and final part of the last challenge for this year over on the EverthingWendyVecchi Yahoo group.  The month-long challenge was fun...4 chances to win a prize...just for entering holiday artwork featuring Studio 490 products.  This could be stamps, stencils, embossing paste, Blossom Bucket pieces, Clearly For Art or Art Parts.  Can't get any easier to make great art!

Last week I shared with you the Legend of the Christmas Spider ala Tim Holtz.  Here's a similar idea ala Studio 490.

Hmmm...this kind of looks like an old-fashioned hearth, doesn't it?  Using Tim/Sizzix Vintage Cabinet and Mini Cabinet dies I cut out several layers from thin corrugated board.  All were covered with the Picket Fence distress stain.

The text (Art of Making It Merry) insert was stamped in Iced Spruce distress ink.  I stamped the spiders (Botanical Art) using the gold and silver paint dabbers.  The main text was stamped using embossing ink and super fine black detail embossing powder.

On the top frame I used Wendy's new embossing paste.  Once dry I swabbed some distress stains over the bricks, even adding a touch of the newer brass stain for just a bit of glimmer.

I colored a scrap of sticky back canvas with Iced Spruce, Pine Needles, Bundled Sage, and Evergreen Bough distress inks.  Once dry I pressed it onto a scrap of grungeboard, distressing the edges with a scratchy tool.  I sprayed Krylon gold and silver webbing spray all over the tree to create the spider web/tinsel.  Xmas Red Stickles ornaments and a gold star brad decorate the tree.

The legend (refer back to the 17th) was printed out, rolled up and tied with red twine.  I scruffed up the edges with my fingers and brown distress ink.  Two black cardstock spider punches were covered with Glossy Accents to finish the piece.  I do have an easel back (Sizzix/Tim) on this piece so it's free standing.

I hope you can keep the spirit of the holiday alive in your heart each and every day!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Here are two more tissue box covers I was asked to make by my neighbor as Christmas gifts.  The tops are the same and the sides similar but different.  All Ranger inks, Tim Holtz/Sizzix dies and embossing folders, white wash core'dinations (this stuff is really, really cool!), Bazzill cardstock, grungepaper, grungeboard and buttons.  The photo order keeps getting messed up; I give up trying to rearrange them.

Are you ready for Christmas?????

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday dominoes

Over on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group Lori gave us a month-long challenge.  Each week that you add some Studio 490 holiday artwork to the challenge album, your name will go into a drawing.  Wait, it gets better!  She'll leave the names in the drawing each week so the more times you enter means you increase your chances of winning.  How about that?!!!!??  I won last week..woot woot! 

Here are the dominoes I created for the 3rd week of the challenge.  The words from 'Just Word Art' were stamped in Jet Black archival ink.  The blue domino was colored with Adirondack markers (blues, purples) then overstamped with a tiny pine branch from Rubber Stamps Tapestry.  I removed the ink and left a ghostly image.  Cool, huh? I admit, it's a bit hard to see in this photo.  The domino was edged with the silver paint dabber.  The gold domino was colored using Butterscotch and Gold Mixative alcohol inks.  Once both dominoes were thoroughly dry I sprayed several light coats of Krylon clear gloss to seal them.

These are the perfect things to leave where you'd least expect to find art...a friend's window sill, on a counter at the doctor's office, etc.

Wait until you see what I did for the 4th and final week of this challenge!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Legend of the Christmas Spider ala Tim Holtz

The 2nd compendium challenges are winding down...I wonder what Linda over at Studio L3 has in store for the next challenge theme?  Challenge #33 can be found on page 36....Tissue Tape.  Simon Says Stamp is the sponsor and will be giving away a $25.00 gift certificate for their store to one randomly chosen winner.  I have a shopping list ready to go...just saying!  lol

Do you know the Legend of the Christmas Spider

Long, long ago, on one Christmas Eve, the spiders were banished from homes while the houses were cleaned for Christmas and their webs were broken. They just managed to survive and had to move to the farthest corner of the attic for the time being. However, some of the young spiders longed to see the decorated Christmas trees and the little Christ child that came to bless the homes in the midnight. The elders tried to make them understand that they were not allowed inside the rooms but the young spiders were quite curious and adamant. Finally, the oldest and wisest spider came up with a solution and suggested that in the night, when everybody went to bed, perhaps they could creep out of their corners and get a closer look of the magical Christmas tree.

Even the adult spiders felt the thrill of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them and in midnight, when the house of a noble family was dark and silent and everybody was fast asleep, spiders crept out of their hiding place and slowly reached the Christmas tree. They were so captivated by the ethereal beauty that they spent all night in the tree, crawling up and down and examining its beautiful ornaments. They could not curb their urge to weave pretty and delicate spider webs all over the tree as they danced on its branches. In the wee hours of the morning, the little Christ child came to bless the house. He was surprised to find little spiders and their webs on the tree.

He knew that every creature was made by God and yet he knew how the mother who had worked hard all day to make everything perfect would be dismayed to find the spider webs on its tree. Thus, with a heart full of love and a lovely bewitching smile on his lips, the Christ child gently touched the spider webs and set them sparkling and shining in silver and golden colors that made the Christmas tree look even more beautiful than before. It is said that this is how tinsel was introduced to decorate Christmas trees. Some people also hang a plastic spider in remembrance of the devoted little spiders who worked hard that Christmas Eve.

The tissue tape is on the grungeboard spider, grungepaper star as well as the pleats at the bottom of the #11 (3.75x7.5) tag.   I did some wrinkle free distress on the tag then randomly stamped the evergreen branch (Mini Holidays) in Iced Spruce and Pine Needles distress inks.  'Believe' was stamped in Festive Berries distress ink and covered with clear embossing powder; heat set.

I cut the Pine Tree (Sizzix/Tim) from dark green kraft core and sanded it before removing the scraps around it.  Using Crayola Spider Writers (yes, that's really what they're called!) I created webbing on the tree.  Black Soot distress stickles was smeared over the spider.  Once I printed the legend on white paper, I tore it out, edged with brown and black distress inks, then sprayed with Perfect Pearl Perfect Pearls Mist.  A crinkly red ribbon was added to the top of the tag.

Next week I'll share the Studio 490 version...stay tuned!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stained glass

I love looking at stained glass projects!  It takes a true craftsman/woman to figure out all the glass puzzle pieces to cut and make them fit but you also need to have an eye for composition and color.  I don't have what it takes to work with stained glass in my art room but I do in my kitchen.  And it's completely edible!
I found the recipe in a recent Country Woman magazine.  Sharon Hoffman, of Donna, TX, submitted the recipe.  The note says this cake will turn you into a fruitcake lover if you aren't already.  I made some substitutions and I wasn't disappointed.  The recipe makes 4 mini loaves.  I gave 1 loaf to neighbors who don't normally care for fruitcake but could become lovers if all recipes turned out like this one. 

To buy a small loaf of fruitcake can cost between $7-10.  This version may be just as pricey but I got 4 loaves and I know what's in it.  LOTS of deliciousness!

Thankfully holiday calories and carbohydrates don't count!  lol

Meowy Christmas!

I just ordered these really cute peg stamps from Rubber Stamp Tapestry and couldn't wait to use them on the holiday card for our local animal hospital.  Our cats are 'frequent flyers' there...or seem to be.

Jet Black and Sepia Archival Inks were used to color the cats (Casey is a tiger stripe, Amber is our tortie).  Numerous green and red distress inks were used to stamp the wreath.  All the stamps are from Rubber Stamp Tapestry.

Spellbinders circle dies were used to cut out the 2 circles while Tim's mini bow die was used to punch the ribbon for the wreath.

The embossing layer was done with a Cuttlebug folder.

I hope Santa Paws is good to all the staff at the Animal Hospital of Monticello!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last of the 2012 tags

Tim recently posted the December 2012 tag and the delayed January 2012 tag.  I'm sad to see this end but hope he'll be able to do it again next year.  This schedule worked better for me than trying to do one a day for 12 days. 

Ranger: distress stains, distress inks, distress markers, archival ink, Stickles
Stampers Anonymous:  Autumn Blueprint
Sizzix:  Wordplay die
tissue tape, ribbon, crochet trim, watercolor paper, kraft core

Fall, my absolute favorite time of the year.  We have a large pin oak in our front yard so this leaf is perfect for the card.
Ranger: distress stains, distress inks, distress markers, Stickles,
Sizzix:  Stacked Words (Christmas), mini cardinal and branch dies, tree line (on the edge) die
Stampers Anonymous:  Mini Holidays 3
Journaling ticket, ribbon, tissue wrap, grungepaper, kraft core, DCWV

I used DCWV white core paper for the trees...once sanded the edges are immediately white, negating the need for additional snow on the branches.

Can you see 'memory' on the cardinal?  I had to finagle the die on the tissue wrap but it's there to celebrate the memory of my grandmother who loved cardinals. 

Thank you, Tim, for challenging us each month to recreate a tag in your style.  Sometimes I followed your lead quite closely, other times I took a different path.  I've learned a lot of new techniques along the way and found new ideas I hope to use in the future.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Horsing around

In a recent Martha Stewart magazine she shared some bracelets and tassels she'd made from her horse's hair.  Her horse is very much alive and well but the idea reminded me of mourning jewelry made from human hair (victorian times?).  A friend of ours has a riding stable in NJ and I thought the idea might appeal to her for several reasons.  She's an aggressive recyclist/repurposer, she LOVES horses, and some day might want to remember a special horse in a unique way.

Here's the card I sent that includes the article and pictures.  I created my own faux wood background and added the Sizzix Door.  Obviously this has some extras included that aren't found on the original die.  I had to figure out my own barn door configuration; the bottom half of the dutch door is sealed shut.  I didn't have any horse stamps that would work so I used the photo of Martha's horse, Rutger.  The hinges are from the Sizzix Flagpole with Lantern & Sign die.

Rutger looking out

Closed barn door

Ranger inks and stains were used to create the wood and grain.  What would I do without Ranger????

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday thanks

This is an A2 card..leftover scraps of holiday paper cut into banner strips and outlined with a gold pen.  The mini baroque label, flourish and mini pine tree are courtesy of Sizzix and Tim Holtz.  They, too, are outlined with the gold pen.  The sentiment is from Stampin' Up and was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.

Thank you all for reading/following my blog!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Read the fine print

Time for part 2 of the 4-part challenge Lori has issued on the EWV Yahoo group.  Any holiday item using Studio 490 stamps and products qualifies.  And the entries will work in each succeeding week so the chances of winning a weekly prize package grow.

I first stamped the grid background from Art Gone Postal in clear embossing ink, covered it with gold embossing powder, heat set.  Antique Linen Distress Stain was wiped across the #8 tag, edged with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and Gold Paint Dabber.  I inked up the cancelled post in Festive Berries and Evergreen Bough Distress Inks and rolled the stamp carelessly (yes, didn't want a full image anywhere) on the tag.

Using Tim/Sizzix Tattered Poinsettia die I cut out numerous petal layers from clear Clearly For Art.  Numerous red and green alcohol inks were used to color the layers; heated to shape; edged with the gold Paint Dabber.  A gold brad holds the layers together; it was covered with Clear Rock Candy Distress Dry Glitter (cuts down on the brassiness of the brad).

I cut a small label (Tim/Sizzix mini baroque die) out of manilla cardstock, edged in gold and stamped the sentiments in Jet Black Archival Ink.  There is foam tape behind the label for dimension.  The brads are for looks only.

The Martha Stewart silk ribbons were spritzed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist, crumpled then dried with the heat tool.

I sure wish there was a way to photograph clear or shiny materials better.  All that glare is just awful!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Joy bell pull

Didn't realize until after I'd taken the photo that this project will qualify for 2 challenges.  The first is over at Studio L3, the 2nd compendium challenge using paper rosettes, and at Inspiration Emporium, 'joyful creations'. 

The bell pull is about 18" long.  I used the Sizzix Mini Paper Rosettes die with green Bazzill cardstock.  The edges of the rosettes and ribbons were all touched by Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  Maya Road chipboard letters were covered with Picket Fence Distress Crackle Paint and Aged Mahogany Distress Ink and Aged Mahogany Distress Stickles.

The buttons are Jenni Bowlin and tied with cranberry twine.  Don't know who makes the word tiles (Greetings, Joy, and Happy Holidays), ribbons, brads or d-ring.

The day is so overcast and the bell pull so long...hence terrible photograph.  I'm sure I can also blame the operator.  lol

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and we're already licking our chops for the latkes!  My mother-in-law's old cast iron skillets will be called into action once again to put a yummy crunch on the 'taters.  Bring on the sour cream and applesauce...

On the front of the card I've highlighted the 8 nights of Hanukkah with a silver pen.  The embossing was created using one of Tim/Sizzix's embossing folders on white cardstock.  The base card is dark blue. 

The inside was cut using a Karen Burniston/Sizzix Pop 'N Cut die.  I don't remember who manufactures the stamps I used; stamped in Cobalt archival ink.  The inside label and ribbon strips are part of the add-on die by Sizzix.  The dreidel is an older Sizzlit die.  The edges of interior card were cut with Tim/Sizzix's on-the-edge die.

Isn't it time for dinner yet????????????

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday test

Here's a test run with some new dies and a new way of displaying the finished pieces.

The frame for the woven scraps is a 20" bicycle wheel.  The bells are vintage cookie cutters.  Tim and Sizzix teamed up for the gingerbread men (folded so they can hold hands), tattered poinsettias, holly and branch, cardinal and branch and Noel Bigz dies.  The Noel kinda looks like faux mercury glass (up close).  All these pieces were cut from a discarded chipboard box.  Hey, it's going on the front of my house (somewhat protected stoop) and I don't expect it to last more than one season so why not?  And it's a very inexpensive way to test run a die, color combo, stability, etc.

I used plenty of distress stains and inks and liquid pearls to color everything.  Because I know I'll be changing things out as the seasons change I didn't want to glue anything down.  And you can't really wire paper to the spokes.  Hmmmm....velcro to the rescue! 

Sorry I'm not a good photographer but the images do look really amazing up close.  My neighbor was caught speechless when I told, then showed, her the backside to prove this was plain old chipboard from a soda case. 

Off to see what other items I can repurpose for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Holiday cheer

Lori has issued a rather unique challenge over on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group.  Throughout the month of December any holiday items we make that have Studio 490 stamps or products can be entered into the challenge.  Each week a name will be drawn randomly for a goodie package.  Your entry is also good for the rest of the month so your chances grow to get that weekly goodie package.  I don't do much decorating for the holidays but having a few items scattered about is just fine for us.  How about finding one of these gems on a bedside table?  Or by your dinner plate?  Maybe leave one at the neighbor's?

Guess what they're made from?  Give up?  Dominoes!  I applied red, gold and green alcohol inks to them before stamping.  The red one I stamped the flourish from the poinsettia stamp in Jet Black archival ink then carefully wiped the ink off before it dried.  See how it looks white?  Then I stamped the message in JBAI.  Around the top edge of the domino is a gold rim.  On the green one I stamped the holiday background stamp but didn't wipe off the ink since the font was so small.  The tree was stamped on white shrink plastic, colored with distress inks and markers.  The message was stamped in JBAI.  To preserve the inks I have lightly sprayed the dominoes with a Krylon sealer.

Hope your holidays are the merriest and best ever!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm beside myself with worry (update at the end of the post)

Today we find out the results of my husband's lung biopsy.  Hence, the 'towel' I've been wringing and the need to handle me with care as I'm quite fragile right now.  I need to stay strong for both of us.

This poor woman, I really do like to use her a lot.  She fits a lot of my situations.  All the images are by Studio 490 (My Kind Of Art, Graffiti Art, She Spoke Of Art).  Distress markers, inks and stains were used to color everything.  All images were stamped on watercolor paper using Jet Black Archival Ink.

I've added a hinge to the top of the brick wall and underneath I've written a 'Dear Diary' message about my fears, etc. 

Que sera sera

Update:  My husband does have lung cancer.  Further tests and appointments this month will determine the next steps to be taken and in what time frame.  Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, hugs, etc.  They are greatly appreciated by both of us.

Monday, December 3, 2012

All aboard!

This weekend our local train museum started it's rides on 'The Polar Express' (trademarked from the original book, movie) after the Christmas parade Saturday morning.  This #10 tag is a tribute to the train ride and was colored using the Ink Palette: Distress that's the challenge over at Studio L3 following along in Tim's 2nd compendium.
The images come from Stampers Anonymous (On The Railroad, Mini Holidays 2, and Odds & Ends).  They were stamped in Jet Black and French Ultramarine archival inks.  The snowflakes were stamped using the Pearl paint dabber as was the snowflake border (on the edge die); both were sprinkled with Distress Stickles Dry Glitter (clear rock candy).  The silk ribbons were crumpled and spritzed with Perfect Pearls Pearl Mist.  Too many distress inks and stains were used to list them all.  To achieve the brass on the train I first colored the areas with a yellow then the complementing metallic stain.  The billowing steam I shaded with Shaded Lilac, thick glue and more DSDG.

Can't you just see this steam engine coming around the tracks en route to the North Pole?  In reality, our tracks do come around the bend before entering our vintage station...very cool to see the steam billowing above the tree tops as you listen to the chugging sound approaching the station house!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Winter tag box

I attempted to create a winter tag box but I am afraid I do a lot better with fall colors and themes than I do Christmas and winter.

The box is created from 4 #8 tags.  Here's what I used on the finished box:
Ranger:  Gold, Pearl Paint Dabbers; blue, purple, green, brown distress inks; Jet Black archival ink; Distress Stickles Dry Glitter (clear rock candy); distress markers; Crackle Accents

Sizzix:  deer, branch, cardinal, poinsettia, flourish, holly mini dies; Vintage Noel Bigz die; Paper Rosette, Stacked Words: Christmas decorative strip dies; Holiday Words, Seasonal Stuff, Christmas Background 3 embossing folders

Stampers Anonymous:  Mini Holidays 3 Tim Holtz stamps

Dylusions:  Let It Snow stencil

Sakura:  white gel pen

Miscellaneous:  Seasonal Paper Stash, Vintage Shabby Paper Stash, Kraft core'dinations scraps; vellum, shrink plastic, chipboard, Martha Stewart Chestnut Flocking Powder, modeling paste, pinecones, berries, greenery

I'll keep trying my hand at winter art...it isn't here yet so I have some time to perfect my techniques.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Looking for snow

Don't know why I have this fixation for snow lately.  Maybe it's because the long range weather forecast is for below normal temps with normal snow fall this winter.  Unlike last year's virtually no snow and milder temps; guess it won't happen two years in a row.

Here's my #8 tag...Frosty looking for more flakes to fall.  The 30th challenge over at Studio L3 is to use Tim's Reflective Imagery technique that can be found on page 55 of his 2nd book.  The tag on the bag of snowflakes features the technique.

I ran the tag through the embossing folder twice; water colored the trees and background.  Torn paper gives Frosty a snow mound to lean on...but you can't see much of  it.

Studio 490:  black and white embossing paste

Sizzix/TH:  Tall Pines embossing folder, Winter Wonder die

Ranger:  Glossy Accents, Multi-Medium, distress markers, distress stickles dry glitter (clear rock candy), meadow alcohol ink, sticky back metal sheets

Idea-ology:  Seasonal paper stash

Advantus:  fragment

Miscellaneous:  ribbon, small bag of mica flakes

They say there is a 40% chance of snow tonight...I'm keeping my fingers crossed but if it does happen I doubt it will stick around for very long.  Sigh.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chipboard & metal birthday greetings

Haven't done a two-fer in a long time and this one just 'happened' so I'll take advantage of it.  A recently issued challenge on Frilly and Funkie is to use chipboard and metal on your project.  You have two chances to win; one winner will get a $25 gift certificate to the store (random draw) and the other will be given a blog badge (chosen by the design team).  Over on the EverythingWendyVecchi Yahoo group site you are challenged to create a birthday card (or whatever) for Wendy, who has a mid-December birthday.  Talk about a challenge! 

So, all that's left now is to show you the card I created and tell you a bit about it.

Behind the door

This is an A-2 card with a top layer that has been bricked with Wendy's stencil and embossing paste; colored with distress markers, distress inks and a water brush.  The Sizzix door (new die!) was cut from chipboard and run through the Sizzix Woodgrain embossing folder (inked up first) then inked afterwards.  The hinges (older Sizzix die), door knob, and wreath were cut from metal adhesive sheets that were stuck on chipboard. 

A Sizzix candle die (older die) provides the birthday candles as well as holiday lighting.  They're also made of chipboard and colored with distress inks.  The flames have Crackle Accents on them with Gathered Twigs distress stain splashed into the cracks.  The center swirl and wick were colored with a white Sharpie.

One of Wendy's background stamps was inked with Scattered Straw and is the wall behind the open door.  I carefully stamped Wendy's sentiment 1-2 words at a time down the center.  Inside the card is her birthday sentiment.

Bet this door die gets a lot of use in 2013!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Monochromatic sympathy card

I saw a card on Pinterest and knew that it was something I wanted to recreate, not necessarily as a sympathy card but perhaps a wedding or anniversary card.  Unfortunately the need for a sympathy card came first.  Here's my version of the card.

The base card is white Bazzill.  I embossed a piece of white vellum in a Cuttlebug folder.  Martha Stewart punches (fern-branch, flower) and Hero Arts flat-backed pearls add a decidedly elegant touch.  Narrow white gauzy ribbon finishes the card.  I opted for no words on the outside; not really room with this embossing folder. 

RIP, my friend.  Cancer took you away from us too soon.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's snowing!

No, not really.  In fact, it's supposed to be quite warm this week...mid 60s for Thanksgiving.  Oh well, I can dream.  It's challenge #29 over on the CCCc2 challenge hosted by Linda of StudioL3.  You'll find the instructions for using Tim's Texture Fade embossing folders to create 2 techniques on page 64 of his 2nd book.. 

I've used both methods on this #8 tag.  I wanted to see if I preferred one over the other...and I think I do.  The first one he describes was used on the large tag and tag topper.  The second idea is on the snowman inset.

To create my art I used the following items:

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz:  Mini Holidays 3 stamps set

Sizzix/Tim Holtz Texture Fades: Christmas Background, Snowflurries, Snowman 3

Ranger:  Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Dry Glitter, paint dabbers (Snow Cap, Sunset Orange, Mushroom, Pitch Black); distress inks (browns, Pumice Stone, Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire) and the black Distress Marker

Misc.:  brad, ribbons, 2 #8 tags

This challenge ends 11/22 at 8 p.m. MTD...hope you'll have a few moments to try this technique.  I know it's a busy, busy week.  Do you prefer one method over the other?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Snowflakes for Christmas

I think we'd all like to have snow on Christmas...even if it's just for the day.  Sometimes you just need a little Rockwell in your life.  We've been waking up to frosted yards, roofs and car windows so it's easy to think that snow isn't far away. 

Here's my take on Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of 2012 for November.  The focus on the tag is the Faux Batik technique; I've used it on the snowflakes.

Ingredients from Ranger:  #8 tag, distress ink (Weathered Wood, Chipped Sapphire, Gathered Twigs), distress stain (Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Weathered Wood, Milled Lavender), Cobalt archival ink, white paint dabber, clear embossing ink and powder

Tim's line:  Season's Silhouettes, Grunge Flakes (stamps), Festive Greenery strip die, Tattered Pinecone die, mini snowflake movers & shapers die, token, jump ring, mini pin, Kraft and distress core'dinations

From my stash:  miscellaneous fibers, clear packaging, beads

Guess it's time to get started on my holiday cards marathon.  December will be here before you know it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Oh, nuts

I can't begin to tell you how many of these things I scoop up on a daily basis on our drive and sidewalk.  But the messier the tree, the prettier, or so I've been told.  I've made them the focal point of my tag, or at least they are fashionably framed on it.

This is my entry for the 28th Compendium of Curiosities Volume 2 challenge hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter of Studio L3Simon Says Stamp is sponsoring the challenge and offering a $25 gift certificate to one lucky, randomly chosen artist.  All you have to do is follow a few simple rules while creating your art piece and who knows, you might just be the lucky winner of a shopping trip to a store like no other.

I've used the technique on the tag as well as the leaves and acorns which means I opted for both methods.  Lots of fun, especially if it turns out like you'd planned!

Here are the items I used on my tag.  From Tim Holtz & Sizzix comes the Thankful embossing folder, mini leaves, branch and acorn dies as well as the tag and label from the Tag & Bookplate die.

Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz provided the Thankful Silhouettes stamp set.  Idea-ology brings the trinket pin and token.

From Ranger there's Jet Black archival ink, distress inks too numerous to mention, clear embossing ink and powder, gold and copper embossing powders as well as UTEE.  There's also Lettuce and Gold paint dabbers at work and some distress stickles.

I created the veins in the leaves using a water-soluble graphite pencil.

I hope the high winds we've been having the past few days take away the remaining leaves so I don't have to collect them!

Monday, November 12, 2012

An interesting and unique card front

I took Wendy Vecchi's art journal class last Saturday at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL.  It was a lot of fun to create the covers and pages using her Art Parts, stencils and stamps.  One of the top tips I learned was how to not fear the blank page.  Don't you just hate looking at that naked page and try to figure out what you're going to do?  Enter Wendy's advice...just get some base color(s) on it first then let the page speak to you.

Using Ranger's Specialty Paper (oh my gosh, this stuff is totally amazing!!!) I misted it then applied distress stain.  I pressed another sheet onto it...two pages for the effort of 1!  I don't remember the order I did things but here's what I used on my card front.  Studio 490 stamp sets (Original Art and 3 Cheers For Art), stencils (Dots & Stripes Borders, Large Heart, Funky Words, Brick Wall).  The tree was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.  Too many distress inks and markers were used for me to remember them - sorry!  A white Sharpie was used as well as a water soluble graphite pencil by General.  We used a Stabilo graphite pencil in class but this is what I found in a local big box store and wanted to compare them.

I sure wish I knew how I created the depth of light on that tree.  I bet that won't happen again any time soon.  Everything about this card front pleases me.  A big 'thank you' to the creative gods who were sitting on my shoulders while this came together!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The artist and the gift

Hey, hey...about some texture today?  The latest MakingArtChallenge, #54, features gesso to create texture, as can be seen in Wendy Vecchi's fourth book on page 30.  I won Wendy's brick wall stencil on her blog and am so happy I did.  I use it quite a bit...with the coordinating stamp you can create some pretty cool bricks depending on the colors you use.

I started out with Ranger's #8 black tag and applied Golden's Gesso over the stencil.  With my palette knife I dabbed the surface to create some texture.  Once dry, I smeared various distress inks over the bricks.

The flowers and leafy stems were stamped on white paper (Olive  and Blue Violet Archival Inks) then colored with distress inks (Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Black Soot).  I used a roller ball/stylus to curl the edges.  In the center of the top flower (2 large, 1 small - slightly offset from each other) are Beadies (nasty little micro tiny marbly beads that flew everywhere on my desk).

I cut Tim's ticket from manilla cardstock and stamped the message using Jet Black Archival Ink.  The inner frame was lined with a gold marker; the exterior of the ticket was rimmed using Ranger's Black Enamel Accents.  The Ranger Gold Paint Dabber was run around the edges of the tag to finish it.

The following stamp sets were used to create my tag:  Art Works, Ticket To Art, and Art On Her Mind.  

Hope you enjoy your gift and use it today!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winter wishes

Where does the time go?  I almost forgot about the 27th CCC v2 challenge...alcohol inks using the ink palette.  The instructions can be found on pg. 52...as indicated by the hostess with the mostess, Linda at Studio L3.

I opted to create an ATC...was pawing through my stash and had an 'ah ha' moment. 

As soon as I spotted this scrap from the Seasonal Stash of cardstock, I knew I wanted to run it through the embossing folder (Seasonal Stuff 2).  Green and brown distress inks were used to color the trees.  See, you don't really notice the writing, do you? 

A scrap of kraft resist gave me Tim's mini branch; it was inked up with brown distress inks.  From a scrap of red kraft-core core'dinations the mini cardinal was born.  DecoArt Snow Writer and some Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Dry Glitter gussy up my wintry branch.

A snippet of red silk ribbon, courtesy of Martha Stewart, got some brown distress stain on it, misted it, wadded it up, then heat set. It is threaded through an Advantus holiday token (here's where the technique comes in - Clover and Espresso alcohol inks).

This piece of work came together so quickly I couldn't believe it.  And now I'm really glad I don't get rid of scraps until they are very small!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thanksgiving table dressing

Do you dress up your table for the holidays?  We do, even if it's just the 2 of us.  In fact, my table is always dressed and we always use cloth napkins.  There's a challenge this month over at Inspiration Emporium to celebrate gratitude.  You can make a card, tag, table decor or gifts for your dinner guests.  I won't be giving these napkins and wine glass charms to my guests because I'll want to use them all season.

Here's the group of 4and they are shown individually below.

I made my own muslin napkins (12" square).  Freezer paper was ironed to the corner where I stamped the images from Tim's Autumn Blueprint stamp set in Jet Black Archival Ink.  I heat set the images using a dry iron.  Using Ranger's Adirondack Liquid Pearls (Bottle, Lettuce, Pesto, Butterscotch, Terra Cotta, Espresso, Raisin, and Cranberry) I made a color wash and colored the leaves and acorn.  I LOVE the colors of fall!  Once the napkins were dry I heat set them again with my dry iron (no steam heat).  It's hard to see the pearlescent sheen on the images but IRL it's very pretty.

The wine glass charms were made with shrink plastic.  Again, I used Ranger's Jet Black Archival Ink to stamp my images.  I used the Distress Markers to color the leaves and acorn.  I let them air dry before shrinking.  A few beads and wire rings and my glasses will be looking spiffy!

So how about joining in the challenge?  You never know, you might just win $50 in Emporium money to spend in the shop!  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter wishes

It may not be winter yet but it sure feels wintry outside.  We have an 18% chance of snow today - it can stay away since I haven't finished collecting all the leaves from my yard. 

Have you seen the Pop 'N Cuts system that Karen Burniston designed for Sizzix?  Oh my...I can see it ending a lot of my card frustrations!  Endless ideas for year 'round. Over on the Sizzix blog the design team has a lot of stupendous art that uses this divine system.  I'm adding this card to the gallery with the hopes of winning a prize package...but I'd enter the challenge without this added incentive because I LOVE the whole idea of making one cut and being done.  Here's what I came up with for my entry:

My card base is white card stock; the top layer is also white cardstock cut slightly smaller.  I inked up Tim's Snow Flurries Sizzix embossing folder with Ranger's Cloudy Blue ink then embossed it in my Big Shot.  Tim's Pine Tree die (Sizzix) was cut from dark green kraft core core'dinations; his Reindeer Flight Sizzix die was cut from ProvoCraft's Eco Africa paper.  The tree was outlined with a white Sharpie marker to mimic a light snowfall.  Winter Wishes is an old Sizzlits die; cut from red cardstock.  I don't know the manufacturer of the inside decorative paper, sorry.  Using another older Sizzix Gifts die, the packages were cut from white cardstock, colored the box tops blue, and added red cardstock bows.

My inside greeting reads 'A friend is a gift you give yourself'.  This is a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson and is very fitting for the recipients of this card.