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.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Through the looking glass and more clean up

There's been quite a bit of focus on Wendy Vecchi and her line of Studio 490 products recently.  And it's about time!  That woman has some really cool ideas, stamps, Art Parts, stencils and so much more.  I decided to pay homage to my fave lady by creating a looking glass using Art Parts.

A small piece was removed from the watch part base so the lamp post would fit inside like a handle and be more stable.  The lamp post and pocket watch (frame and base) were colored with distress markers.  Then I did a Faux Tarnished Silver technique to the frame, ala Shelly Hickox.  She's posted the instructions at Splitcoaststampers

The base of the watch part was colored with Picket Fence and Pewter Distress Stains.  Heat set.  The eye (An Eye For Art) was stamped in Jet Black Archival.  I g-e-n-t-l-y colored the eye using distress markers.  Note:  since the base color and the markers are dye based, they will bleed.  Yes, they will.  I had to go over a few lines with a Micron pen.  I added distress stickles to the colored part of the eye and a black flat-back gem to the pupil.  Let dry.  GOBS of Glossy Accents was added to the watch.  While it was drying I added some Beadazzles by Suze Weinberg to the handle.  Oops...some went into the glass.  Drats.  Okay, so add a few more so it looks like I did it on purpose.  Please note, I did NOT place the gold one directly in the center of the pupil.  That was purely coincidence!  A bit of gold marker on the handle and here's looking at you, Wendy!

And for the clean up portion of the post...I still had a remnant of the Halloween Shadows strip die (Tim and Sizzix) on my desk.  Hey, it fits perfectly around a battery-operated tea light!  NOW my desk is clean...at least for the moment.  lol
From the front

From the top

I'm taking an Art Journaling class under the tutelage of Wendy on Saturday at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL.  While I've dabbled with this medium just a tiny bit, I'm so excited to be learning more about it from one of the masters.  AND she has something new to share...can't wait!!!