Sunday, May 27, 2012

"A woman is like a tea bag;

you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water."  This quote by Eleanor Roosevelt is the theme chosen for the current eclecticPaperie blog hop (inspired by words).  A $25.00 gift voucher from their store is up for grabs.

I started out with a blank page in my journal...and in my mind.  And I thought, 'Silly, start at the beginning!'  I started going through my stamps looking to see what would be appropriate.  The stamps I selected helped  determine the other bits and pieces that on the page.  A length of painters tape was used to keep the inner border clean for challenge info. 

Up on my shelf was a never opened, got on clearance years ago, tube of Country Red Delta Texture Magic.  I slathered it over a Crafters Workshop Mini Tile Texture stencil.  A blast of the heat tool and it was dry.  Over this I stamped a block of words describing women (Lasting Impressions with Panache) in Saffron archival ink.  I drew around the word 'woman' with a Micron black pen.  Through a Dylusions stencil (Luscious Leaves) I rubbed in various green and brown distress inks.  Tea Dye distress ink (appropriate choice) was used all over the page, leaving the center lighter.

I journaled the quote along the left hand side of the page, using an alpha wood tile, part of my stamped image (lucky placement, that's all!), my own handwriting and Maya Road chipboard letters.  The tea bag stamp (Ann-ticipations) makes this like a rebus.  The chipboard letters were inked with yellow, orange and red distress inks (to simulate heat) then covered with Glossy Accents.

The tea cup (Stampington & Company) was stamped with Jet Black archival ink on Studio 490's 'Clearly For Art'.  The reverse side was colored with red alcohol ink then smooshed the Sepia archival ink pad over that.  A bit of heat was applied so I could curve the cup and saucer.

I had to ask a neighbor for a tea bag (removing the tea!) so I could stamp the face (Studio 490's 'Art Fit For A Queen') on it with Jet Black archival ink.  I dampened the tea bag and sprinkled the tea all over it; let dry.  Maya Road chipboard scrolls were colored with Pitch Black and Silver paint dabbers before dripping Caramel alcohol ink on them (Thank you, Shelly Hickox for this idea!*).  I cut them apart and glued them down to simulate steam. 

At the urging of a friend, I have also submitted this journal page to the Frilly & Funkie blog challenge that requires the use of stencils and masks.  I was unaware of this blog but will definitely be following them now.  Frilly, funkie and vintage...just up my alley!

* If you haven't checked out Shelly's blog, please do so!  She is so talented and I love her work! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summertime and the livin' is easy...

Add caption
How much simpler can it be to create a tag that features summer and an easy way to make a background that Tim has in book 2, Brushless Watercolor?  SimonSaysStamp&Show wants you to feature a summer holiday and the 2nd compendium challenge uses the technique found on page 49. 

My favorite part of summer is the unofficial start (Memorial Day) and the 4th of July.  I do believe my blood runs red, white and blue.  My #8 tag uses Americana Silhouettes and Ticket To Art (Stampers Anonymous) stamp sets; Ranger products (Frayed Burlap, Scattered Straw, Fired Brick, Faded Jeans distress inks; Jet Black archival ink; MultiMedium); tissue tape and grungeboard (Advantus) and 3 Sizzix dies (mini flag, star, ticket).

Both challenges have shopping sprees for randomly picked winners.  This week's sponsor at StudioL3 is eclectic Paperie.  Who doesn't like a chance to go shopping?!?!?!?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring has sprung

Okay, beyond sprung but that's the stamp set I used to create my Tim Holtz May tag for the 12 Tags of 2012.  At least today the temperature is what it should be for this time of year.

Word stick, long fastener, film strip ribbon

UTEE; Walnut Stain & Tea Dye distress inks; Monarch Orange, Saffron, Library Green, Olive, Sap Green, Jet Black archival inks; Bundled Sage distress stain; Terra Cotta paint dabber

I restamped the floral border image on the film strip ribbon using Library Green archival ink.  Terra Cotta paint was smushed into the word stick then carefully wiped away the excess paint so the paint would remain in the recessed letters.

With a foil 'cup' I improvised so I could create the porcelain flower technique.   Don't you think that rabbit's paws are just crying out to carry something???

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grungy and cool

Okay, it hit 93 today (3rd day in a row of 90+) and it's not even summer yet!  I am definitely feeling grungy cuz we haven't turned on the a/c yet but the breezes and opening/closing of windows has made it bearable...just.  And I'm definitely not feeling cool!  So I figured maybe some art would help me cool off, or at least forget how warm I felt.  We're in the 6th week of the 2nd Compendium book challenges.  No way!  Linda chose the Tissue Wrap Collage (pg. 38) and she has a new sponsor, The Funkie Junkie.

I chose Winter Sketchbook stamp set, Winter Wonder Sizzix die and Terminology Tissue Wrap as my base ingredients.

Distress Markers:  Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Weathered Wood, Black Soot

Distress Ink:  Shaded Lilac, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain, Chipped Sapphire

Distress Stain:  Picket Fence

Archival Ink:  Jet Black

Dabbers:  Denim, Cloudy Blue


Saturday, May 19, 2012

A most uncommon insect

I seem to have an affinity for discovering critters of all kinds on our property (in town, not rural)...the likes of which the rest of the neighbors apparently don't see.  We've had tree frogs take shelter in the siding & shutters, opossums living in a nearby tree, deer, racoons, groundhogs, silvery salamanders, Dekay's Brownsnake, and a list of birds longer than my arm.  Just this morning a Baltimore Oriole graced our gardens - first time I've seen one here.  But I've never spotted a housefly like this one.  Check it out!

A most uncommon housefly!  lol Look at those gorgeous orange metallic wings (Studio 490's Clearly For Art, alcohol ink and crackle paint).  Her body is blue-ish purple, her eyes amber and green flecked with gold.  She only flew when no one could see...she didn't know that I had spotted her and captured her image for a tag that will be entered in the challenge on the Everything Wendy Vecchi Yahoo group.

I stamped the background plaid using the Picket Fence Distress Stain but rolled it on so I got only partial images; heat set.  I blended in Tim's new seasonal distress inks (Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Shaded Lilac) and Pumice Stone.  A few flicks of water droplets and applied another round of heat.  All stamping was done using Jet Black archival ink.  Any doodling was done using Sakura Glaze pens.

The house was stamped twice on grungeboard; the face once.  Distress inks (already on the blending tools) were used for much of the color; Tim's new Distress Markers were used on the eyes (so easy to use in smaller spaces!).

All stamps are Studio 490 (A Form Of Art, Mail Art, Be Inspired...Make Art, It's Face Art, Homemade Art). 

What will inspire you today to make art?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hot ziggity!

I had one of the winning tickets for National Scrapbooking week at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL.  They also have a lovely store in Moline, IL.  The staff in both locations are great..helpful, friendly and very knowledgeable.  My prize was a beach tote loaded with Sizzix products.  Now you can see why I said 'hot ziggity!'  These are all new products to me and I can't wait to play with them!
A few days earlier my 'Tim technique' entry had been pulled (randomly) to win a set of Tim's Distress Markers at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA.  Here's another store with super staff.  I've not had the opportunity to meet them in person but via the computer and phone they've been marvelous.  If you order from them online, you won't be sorry.  Not only does the order arrive quickly, there is usually an extra goodie or two inside and the items are wrapped neatly and tied up with a pretty ribbon or fiber.  I've only had a moment or two to play with the markers.  Oh my, I didn't think I needed them before but they sure do make life easier when coloring small spaces and having matching colors to all the distress inks I use in so much of my art.

I wouldn't consider myself lucky but you can't win if you don't participate.  The more you participate, the better the chance you'll win something along the way.  Even the experience and challenge is a win-win for me.  I get to try out something new or different and I have a new piece of art to grace my art space or give away.

This weekend it's supposed to be quite warm and humid here.  It's the perfect time to spend in my art space and try out all these wonderful products!  Hope you have time to spend in your art space and try something new!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Come fly with me

The weather is perfect for working in the flower beds, trimming shrubs, etc.  Not hot enough for dragonflies yet but plenty of butterflies and birds are quite at home here.  I'd rather be inside making art but sometimes you need to step back from the table and work on the other parts of your life. 

This week's technique chosen by Linda for the CCCv2 challenge is Shattered Stains, p. 48 in the book.  For your efforts, Simon Says Stamp will be choosing a random winner of a $25 shopping spree in their store.  I'll also be entering the tag in the latest Simon Says challenge in which anything goes.  A $50 gift voucher will be given to a random winner there.  You also have a chance at being one of three artists named to receive a blinkie award.  How can you go wrong with incentives like these?

#8 manilla tag
Sizzix TH Alterations: Cattails
Grungeboard (nature package, no longer available)
Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint
Glossy Accents

I added some ink to the embossing folder before running it through my Big Shot.  More ink and water was added until I was satisfied.  A few droplets of water were thrown onto the sky for interest.

The technique was used on the dragonfly and the word.

Distress inks:  Shaded Lilac, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, Pumice Stone, Rusty Hinge, Forest Moss

Distress stains:  Mustard Seed, Rusty Hinge, Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Shabby Shutters, Tumbled Glass, Dusty Concord, Forest Moss, Black Soot

Tip of the day:  Rusty Hinge + Forest Moss = brown

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is the square card I made for my mom.  I used the Sizzix Tattered Flower Garland die, a Spellbinders Labels One die, Hero Arts sentiment and plenty of Ranger inks.  A few Martha Stewart punches, some gems and pearls and my floral tribute is complete.
The inspiration for my card can be found here.   I didn't follow the tutorial directions but did follow her general idea.  My top layer is elevated with foam tape so it adds another layer of dimension.  All my flowers and leaves started out as white cardstock.  Ranger distress inks brought them to life with a pastel color combo.  

Tip of the day:  a touch of mustard seed + wild honey + worn lipstick = coral or salmon, depending on the amounts used of each color

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Art chick, what's that on your forehead?

After a recent post using Studio 490's eye from An Eye For Art it was mentioned that it might make for an interesting cyclops look on the art chick from Art Rules.  I sort of double-dog dared the commenter but thus far she's not taken me up on the dare.  Since this week's challenge on the EWV yahoo group was to create a Wendy-style ATC I thought why not take the dare myself?
I started out with a black ATC from Ranger.  I stamped the grid background using the Studio 490 stamp from the Art Rules set in clear embossing ink then dumped Zing! embossing powder in Neon Orange over it.  I'm glad I didn't full ink up the stamp; the uninked spots add interest.  Heat set.  Wow, that's rather neon.  So I smeared some Coffee archival ink in places and that toned down the bright just right.

Next I stamped the art chick (Studio 490  Art Rules) in Jet Black archival ink on watercolor paper.  Colored her with distress stains.  Ditto for the eye and text (Studio 490  An Eye For Art).  Her lips were coated with Glossy Accents and the large eye was coated with Crackle Accents.  Once dry I smeared brown and green distress inks into the cracks.  I just LOVE that eye stamp!

On the text stamp I also stamped the word 'vision' (Studio 490 An Eye For Art) in green ink then wrote over it in Glossy Accents.  Once dry I was able to add more color so the single word looks more ghostly. 

I glued the head and eye down, attached the box using Tim's tiny attacher and added some brads which I sanded and pounded to age/distress them.  The sheer ribbon was colored with Coffee archival ink then heat set where it curled and burned a bit. 

Thank you, Lori, for helping me to think outside the box on this challenge!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Nursing Week!

From time to time I'm commissioned by my neighbor to make a card.  But I've never been asked by a family member so I was really nervous about handling this request.  My brother-in-law's wife (my sister) is a school nurse and today school nurses are being recognized for their contributions within the educational community. 

I only had 1 nurse stamp and had used it before during Nursing Week.  I called upon my on-line network of friends and several came to my rescue with ideas and images they stamped and sent me.  Here are a few of the cards I created.  I wasn't sure what my b-i-l had in mind, perhaps he didn't either except that apparently Hallmark doesn't know about this event  and he didn't want a generic 'thank you' card.

The first one has a chalkboard appearance (white gel pen on black cardstock).  Do you see the piece of chalk in the nurse's hand?  It's a toothpick cut to size (sort of) and painted white.

This one uses gauze in place of ribbon.  I colored the image using Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol.

Purple and gold are our school colors.  'Nuff said.  I cut the frame using a Spellbinders oval die.

I colored the mercury bit with red permanent marker then covered the thermometer with Glossy Accents, cut it out and added foam strips to the back for dimension.

This is the inside of the card.  Again, 'nuff said.

So to all my nursing friends, enjoy your week.  You've certainly earned it in my book!  You're an important part of every healthcare team!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


As you know, I'm a firm believer in recycling and not throwing much away....not if it can be re-purposed.  It should come as no surprise that our 2-car garage can only house 1 car.  Here are some items destined for the trash.
Let's start with a child's bicycle wheel that's missing some spokes and painted yellow.  The paint job isn't very good, either.  The old book was just old and smelled musty.  I don't know about you but we get quite a few of those offers with 'get our credit card today'.  In one of the junk drawers I found old hotel room keys left from my husband's business trips.  They're good for spreading glue, gesso, spackle, etc.  But all these items are about to become art.

Sepia, Coffee and Olive archival inks make a big difference, don't they?

I covered the cards with green checked paper then distressed the edges with brown inks.  'Bloom' is stamped in Jet Black archival ink.  The stamp set is called Jersey UC by Making Memories.  Foam blocks, had them for years.  They are super when you need bold letters that aren't strictly linear. Therre are like little bites taken out of the letters.  Small clothespins were inked with brown distress stains.  Kinda reminds you of the days when  kids would attach playing cards to their bicycle wheels, doesn't it?

Quite a few pages were removed from the book and colored with yellow, orange, red and green distress stains.  The posy layers were cut from a set of scalloped circles by Spellbinders.  The center of the flowers are large brads which I used to wrap around the spokes.  Each layer was crumpled once it was stuck on the brad.  The leaves were cut from the Spellbinders set of sunflowers.   The leaves were also crumpled, distressed with brown inks and glued to the backs of the flowers.

Some floral wire was wrapped around an old paint brush then stretched out and wound around the spokes.  Leftover black screen from our enclosed patio windows was cut into narrow strips for the bow (upper left from the top center of the wreath).  Since all the items were destined for the trash, I have no qualms about making changes should the weather damage the wreath or when the seasons change.

I found the inspiration for my bike wreath hereAfter that it was just a matter of time waiting to find a bike rim in someone's trash pile.

So, how do you like my trash-to-treasure project?  I think it will work nicely for this week's challenge over at Simon Says Stamp & Show where you're supposed to use your favorite stamp.  Like so many of you, it's hard to choose just one.  But this alphabet is my favorite when I need large letters.  It works well with so many styles of art.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Faded Layers

This was a fun tag to create and it just kept growing.  Got a chance to use some stamps and masks I hadn't used in quite a while...gotta love a challenge like that!  This is the 4th week (already!) of the Compendium of Curiosities v. 2 challenge.  The technique is called Faded Layers and can be found on p. 43 in the book.  Thank you, Linda, for choosing such a wonderful technique.

Ranger: Picket Fence distress stain; Jet Black archival ink; whatever distress inks were already on my yellow, orange, red, green and brown pads; Glossy Accents
Sizzix:  Tattered Flower Garde, Carnival (leftover letters & numbers)
Advantus: Flourish stencil
Stampers Anonymous: Curiosities (background), Artful Things (diamonds)
Vintage Stash paper (flowers, leaves)
Misc. ingredients:  #8 tag, brads

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dimensional ATCs

I recently participated in a dimensional ATC swap.  I overdid it and should have followed the lead of my fellow swappers but I didn't.  C'est la vie.
Front view
From the side - 1/2"      
As you can see, I've made a mini rolodex.  Inside all the pages are from Tim's Adverts stamp set.  And yes, they are in alpha order.  It was fun finding and adding embellishments for them.  Here's a look at all the cards in the rolodex. 

All stamping was done in Jet Black archival ink.  Plenty of distress ink was used for coloring.  Finally got a chance to use some punches that have been collecting dust in the drawer.

Just a fun little project...something different.

And here are the lovelies my friends created.  I sure wish I'd kept mine like theirs. 
If you've not tried working on a 2.5"x3.5" base, try it.  You'd be amazed at how much creativity you can concoct in this space!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Just be yourself

Sometimes this is a hard thing to do.  But I just let things fly around my head today and this is what came out of my fingertips.  Not sure I'm really this wild but it is what it is.  lol

This tag was one of the Marbled Stains backgrounds (CCCv2 #3 challenge) that didn't work the way I had hoped so I opted to ink it up a bit more and add some Wendyness to it.  Now it's ready for the MakingArt challenge that is hosted by Lori on the EverythingWendyVecchi yahoo group.  It's hard to see it from this angle but the eye is the challenge and uses the cracked glass technique that can be found in Wendy's 3rd book on page 22.

Here's what I used on this tag:

Studio 490: An Eye For Art (eye), A Form Of Art (torso, text), Dreams Of Art (leaf for wings), Tools For Art (stars)

Using Pumice Stone distress ink I stamped some handwriting text but it's so faint you can hardly see it.  The message was stamped on the tag using Jet Black archival ink.  The torso was stamped on Claudine Hellmuth's sticky backed canvas in JBAI, colored with a brown distress ink then stuck to a scrap of grunge board and cut out.  A leftover piece of Tim's Vintage Lace (metal sticky tape on cardstock) was attached to the bottom.  I stamped the stars using the Gold paint dabber, heat set them then stamped over them with JBAI.

The eye was stamped on grunge board and colored with Tumbled Glass distress marker and Tattered Rose distress ink.  Crackle paint was applied to the inside.  Around the frame I dotted some Gold Lame Smooch (Clearsnap).  Behind the eye/head is a leftover piece of a Tattered Floral die that was cut from a soda can and covered with Caramel alcohol ink.

The leaves were leftover bits from when I was playing around with Wendy's Metallic Clearly For Art technique so I don't remember the colors I used.  I did use JBAI to stamp the leaves on the scrap.  Cut out, heated to form with my fingers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A kaleidoscope of color

This week's challenge over at Simon Says Stamp & Show is all about a kaleidoscope of color.  I love color, especially the warm family...reds, oranges, and yellows.  I had been playing around on 140 lb. watercolor paper, just slapping on color using a number of inks, sprays and mediums....with all colors of the rainbow.  And this journaling thing that people keep showing...not sure it's my thing but I figured I'd give it a whirl.  From my large sheet I cut off a 5x8 piece for my journal cover.  Now I can submit this entry for the eclecticPaperie blog hop.  After gesso, stencils, more inks, doodling and embellishments I can safely say I'm pleased with the outcome.

I free-handed some hills on the lower portion and wrote across them :never compare your journey with someone else's.  your journey is YOUR journey, not a competition."  I saw this on a friend's Facebook post and thought it very appropriate for my first art journal cover. 

If you've done this sort of thing before you know there's no way to really keep up with all the steps so I'll just list the items I used.

Ranger:  Fired Brick Distress Crackle Paint, Inkssentials white gel pen, Butterscotch & Terra Cotta pigment inks; Jet Black archival ink; clear & copper embossing powders; Faded Jeans Distress ink; Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mist; mists I made from re-inkers and Perfect Pearls; distress inks (all colors); Claudine Hellmuth gesso, Studio Paint and Multi-medium

Crafters Workshop and All Night media stencils

Studio 490: Gentlemen's Art (let your heart lead the way)

Black, red, green Sharpies

Inkadinkado: my name stamp

Idea-ology:  ornate plate, long fasteners, corners, grungeboard heart

Sizzix:  pennants on-the-edge die (traced around and doodled inside them)

BTW, this was a Strathmore journal I found in the clearance aisle at Michaels for very little money.  So little money I bought 2...just in case I wanted to do another one.  vbg