Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First artistic attempt

Not sure how this looks to everyone else but considering my vision is still skewed, I'm pretty pleased with my interpretation of the sketch.  I'll be entering this card in the October challenge over on the Die-Namites Dies blog.  Your entry should feature at least one Die-Namites die and the dare is to include a tag somewhere somehow.  A random winner will be chosen to win a $25 gift certificate to the Die-Namites store. 

The base card is Avalanche Bazzill cardstock folded to an A2 card.  I don't remember where the green layer came from as it has been in my stash for quite some time.  The edges were run along the blades of my scissors to distress them.  The top white layer was run through a texture fade that Tim Holtz and Sizzix have  called 'Candy Stripes'.  I lightly rubbed brown distress ink over the stripes to show them off.

On this card I am using the Die-namites Pine Wreath die (DN-1059) that I cut from watercolor paper.  It took several passes and next time I would use lighter weight watercolor paper.  The die cut was colored using distress markers (too many to name) and a water brush.  Once dry I put a bit of Glossy Accents on the red berries then sprinkled on Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter.  I did the same on parts of the pines but used CRCDG that had been colored with Meadow alcohol ink.  Glitter just does not photo well.

I turned a scrap of cardstock into a tag, tore the bottom and smeared distress inks on it.  A few splatters of water and the colors melded together.  More brown distress ink around the edges makes it pop.  I stamped the sentiment (from Tim's 'Winter Sketchbook' CMS094) in Jet Black Archival Ink.  A snippet of ribbon finishes the tag.

For the next few days I'll be too occupied with my folks to create any more art but these eyes need a rest so the timing is perfect. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

First cataract surgery

The procedure went well; first post-op and the doctor was pleased.  2nd post-op appointment will be 10/31 and the next surgery will be 11/7.  I definitely will be needing reading and/or computer glasses.  Larger fonts aren't bad but small stuff and close up work is actually worse than before my eye was corrected.  But they couldn't do both and I'd much rather wear glasses when I need to, not 24/7.  I'm one that has to have glasses to find my glasses and not having them on for even a short period of time gives me eye strain that makes my stomach queasy.  I can't focus for too long on any one thing; television watching seems to be the easiest yet it's my least favorite activity.  At least I can watch football okay.  Even if I am wearing dark glasses because bright lights bother my eyes. 

I'm quite surprised at how much I remember of the procedure.  I shared my experience with a patient who's surgery immediately followed mine.  She saw marshmallows; I saw flashing saber lasers.  Go figure.  As long as the procedure works, I don't care what I saw!  lol

I was extremely sick after the procedure due to the anesthesia.  I've already ready requested medication to alleviate or halt that for next time.  Once the left lens was popped out of my glasses the signals my eyes were sending to my brain weren't so muddled.  The frames still give me a sense of limited peripheral vision.  I'm so happy to be able to see the alarm clock during the night WITHOUT my specs!!!

With my propensity towards vertigo with the slightest bending over movements I really wish both eyes could have been done at the same time.  I also would advise that if you are having toric lenses implanted because of your astigmatisms that you have the lens removed from your glasses just prior to surgery so you're not fighting looking out of your 'new' eye through old lenses.  Certainly caused a lot of imbalance issues for me.

My step-father is having major surgery Halloween so don't expect to hear much from me until I am post-operative after 11/7.  Art is probably out of the question but I am going to attempt to do some die cutting this afternoon just to try it. 

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and well wishes!  They are most appreciated and very welcomed. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mixed Media Tag Art Journal

Saturday I took the most amazing class taught by Wendy Vecchi up at The Scrapbooking Studio in Bloomington, IL.  Using Wendy's new archival ink colors, distress paints, distress inks, distress stains, distress markers, Clearly For Art, art parts, Blossom Bucket pieces, Idea-ology, Studio 490 stamps and stencils we created these luscious tags.  I learned a number of new techniques that I'm anxious to apply to cards and tags in the future.

Front cover - exterior
Front cover - interior

Back cover - interior
Back cover - exterior

It was a long day (9-6) with an hour's drive each way but well worth it.  Over the lunch break I did a bit of retail therapy and did my part to stimulate the economy.  There are still some things on my wish list...the first night of Chanukah is November 27....aka Thanksgiving eve.  Eight nights of gift giving should complete my list.  Or maybe not.  lol

Thursday afternoon is my first cataract surgery.  Hopefully Friday afternoon I'll be able to post after my first post-op appointment without too much difficulty.  But if you don't see me posting right away, don't worry.  It might take a few days to see clearly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Plaid inspiration

Just the other day Wendy Vecchi posted a tutorial using distress paints to create a faux plaid background.  I won't re-invent the wheel by telling you how I created my piece; just to go her blog post for all the details.
Studio 490 stamp sets: Dressed For Art, Original Art, Vintage Mesh Background
Studio 490 stencils:  Layered Tree, Create A Wreath, 2 Fancy Flowers, Lovely Leaves, Yikes...Stripes, Honeycomb
Studio 490 embossing paste: translucent
Ranger:  distress paints (Barn Door, Wild Honey, Crushed Olive, Rusty Hinge, Salty Ocean, Broken China, Iced Spruce, Scattered Straw), archival inks (Watering Can, Fern, Cornflower Blue, Potting Soil, Red Geranium, Jet Black),  distress inks (reds, oranges and yellows), gesso, Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Dry Glitter
Misc: white pearl button, Idea-ology word stick, ribbons, white and black Sharpies, 6" square of watercolor paper, gray and blue cardstock

So why not try to create your own version of plaid?  I admit mine looks more like a regular old quilt...but I know what I did and I'm still saying it's plaid!  lol

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reality has its limits

but the world of imagination is boundless.  This stamp comes from Stuff to Say by Tim Holtz and Stampers Anonymous.  My imagination seems to more bounded than others but by looking to others for inspiration I seem to do alright.  Have you seen what Vivien Keh creates using core'dinations cardstock?  Oh my gosh....it's spectacular!  Using several pieces of hers as inspiration I put them together and created this floral framed sentiment.

I chose to use kraft core core'dinations cardstock for the frame which was run through the Sizizx/Tim Holtz embossing folder Book Cover 1.  Using the sanding block I removed some of the black to reveal the kraft core.  A bit of brown distress ink was rubbed into the sanded portions to further age the paper.

The central portion is a scap of chipboard that had been covered with various distress paints and stains.  It was die cut using a Sizzix/Tim Holtz  Oval movers & shapers die set.  The sentiment was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink then covered with Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint.  Once that was dry I added Pumice Stone and  Vintage Photo distress inks into the cracks followed by Walnut Stain distress stain.  Some of the crackle paint flaked off but I think that adds to the character of the piece.

The flowers and leaves were cut from black core core'dinations using the Sizzix/Tim Holtz Autumn Gatherings and  Tattered Floral Garland strip dies.  I sanded the pieces before and after I removed them from the strip of cardstock.  Using a ball roller I shaped them into more realistic pieces.  Antique Linen distress glitter is in the flower centers.

From corrugated cardboard I cut a branch from Sizzix/Tim Holtz  Bird Branch Bigz die and colored it with brown distress inks.

A strip of stretched burlap is under the bow of brown silk ribbon that was misted and wadded up before being rubbed across a brown and jet black distress ink pad.  The wood button was included with one of my orders from The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  From chipboard I die cut a Sizzix/Tim Holtz easel so the piece would stand up.

****  My cataract surgeries are just around the corner (10/24 and 11/7) so if I don't create and share much art work for awhile you'll know why.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October tag

Are you following along with Tim Holtz as he creates his 12 tags of 2013?  Here's my version which features the new distress glitter.  I only have black soot, antique linen and pumice stone so I had to figure out what theme would work best for them.  Halloween is perfect!

Ingredients:  #12 tag (4"x8"); black core core'dinations; Stampers Anonymous stamp sets (skeleton from Trick-or-Treat, ticket from Odds & Ends, text, spiderweb and spider from Mini Halloween 3, and barbed wire and bats from Mini Halloween); Sizzix dies (Caged Bird, Ticket Strip, Autumn Gatherings); Idea-ology (grungeboard, black tinsel twine); Ranger distress glitter (pumice stone, black soot), distress inks (crushed olive, pumice stone, black soot, walnut stain), distress paints (scattered straw, crushed olive, ripe persimmon, seedless preserves), archival inks (jet black, russet)

Now that the temperatures have dropped slightly so are the leaves.  I can finally get into the groove of creating Halloween art.  Before you know it the temperatures will have dropped even more and it will be time (or past time!) to create holiday cards.  Time just flies by too fast!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


One of my nieces is getting married today in Colorado.  We're not able to attend the wedding but here's the card I sent via my folks.

I used Stardream Silver paper with a coordinating bankers' #10 envelope.  Can't remember when I got them, but probably from Marco's Paper at one of my very first conventions (and that was eons ago!).  This seemed like the perfect occasion to break open the cellophane.

The word and block (Endless Creations, Inc.) on the front were stamped in silver and had silver embossing powder heat set over the ink.  The 2 hearts were cut from a scrap of the same silver cardstock using Tim's mini heart die.

The interior sentiment was computer generated using Bernie 18 font.  I edged the white on white layer with a silver Sharpie.

Best wishes to Hannah and Erin!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 5 - embossable you

Today I feel I had mixed results with the techniques.  Some will take a bit more practice while others may benefit from more or less heat or a different color scheme.  But it was still fun creating tags using the techniques Tim shared.

 Here's a list of the products and colors I used (in no particular order):

*Archival inks:  Jet Black, Sepia, Potting Soil, Red Geranium
*Distress inks:  Black Soot, Picked Raspberry, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Gathered Twigs, Seedless Preserves, various greens, embossing, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo
Distress stains:  Spun Sugar, Tea Dye, various greens
*Distress paints:  Bundled Sage, Black Soot
*Stamp sets:  Artful Things, Nature's Elements, Papillon, Season's Silhouettes, Mixed Media, Thankful Silhouettes, Halloween Blueprint 2, Mini Blueprint 2, Simple Sayings, Mini Holidays 3
*Sizzix: Styled Labels, mini m&s deer, mini m&s lock & key, Carved Ornament
*Misc. Ranger products: Distress Glitter, Sticky Embossing Powder, Vintage Photo distress embossing powder, Enchanted Gold embossing powder, Frosted Crystals embossing powder, watermark resist ink, silver embossing powder, clear embossing powder, UTEE
*kraft core'dinations cardstock

This week I've learned that I need to use my paints more so they don't dry out, keep trying new things, and that glittery things are still not my style.  And to close the window by my desk and turn off the overhead fan when working with leafing.  But I sure do look pretty now!  lol

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 4 - Alcohol inks

It's a gorgeous fall day so the windows are wide open so I don't fall into a drunken stupor while playing with the alcohol inks and blending solution.  You definitely need good ventilation when using these products!

The one technique I used more blending solution than I should have but I actually like the results but I'll know better for next time.  Less really is more.

Here are the ingredients I used but not in any particular order.

*Stencils:  Burlap, Schoolhouse
*Alcohol inks:  Butterscotch, Caramel, Latte, Meadow, Stonewashed, Sunshine Yellow, Sailboat Blue, Raspberry, Gold Mixative, Peach Bellini, Sunset Orange, Terra Cotta
*Stamp sets:  Attic Treasures, Mini Holidays, School Desk, Captured Moments, Artful Flight, Lost & Found, Papillon, Mini Halloween 2, Warehouse District, Worn Text
*Archival inks:  Jet Black, Monarch Orange, Saffron, Watering Can, Cornflower Blue, Potting Soil, Red Geranium, Orange Blossom
*Adirondack ink:  Slate
*Watermark resist ink
*Distress inks:  Tea Dye, Weathered Wood
*Distress stains: Shaded Lilac, Tumbled Glass, Weathered Wood
*Idea-ology:  tinsel twine, adornments, fragment

If you haven't looked into taking this amazing class, please do so.  The price is right, the material will always be available for review and referral, there is a student gallery and a forum for questions and discussion.  You do need Creative Chemistry 101 as a prerequisite but again, you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 3 - I'm so distressed!


Today we're experimenting with lots of distress products.  I think these have been my most successful attempts at following directions...but using my own ideas.  Some I don't like as much as others but it's all about the learning process.  I still had fun and will definitely be trying some of these techniques again in the near future.  Can't wait to see what's on tap for tomorrow!

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 2....stencil mania!

Another busy day attending Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry 102 classes!  Finally got the 2nd day's samples made and photo'd.  I'll share them with you...some are better than others but at least I tried.  I know practice makes perfect and sometimes it's the stencil and coloring medium than can make or break your idea.  Sigh.

Good ole blogger...a mind of it's own when it comes to arranging photos and text. 

This lesson features stencils and using distress inks, distress paints over them, through them, and on them.  And another technique that I'd not thought about because I thought they'd be too thin to make this work.  But it does if you have what it takes to make it happen.  Curious?  Then you need to be taking the class if you haven't signed up already.

I used plenty of distress inks, paints and stains, not to mention archival inks, Glossy Accents, distress glitter, some Sizzix dies, an embossing folder or 2, and some rub-ons.  I'm learning a lot from the videos and thankfully they'll always be there for me should my rememberer need refreshing!

Like the lens with the 'no' tag on it?  That's in recognition of my upcoming cataract surgeries; hopefully I won't have to wear glasses at all once the 2 procedures are done.  But readers may be in my future.  Oh well.  Better than what I've had for the past 50 years.

On to see what's on tap for Day 3!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Creative Chemistry 102 - Day 1 samples

Oh my gosh!  I've just finished the Day 1 sample tags and am already overwhelmed with inspiration!  It was so much fun to watch the videos then apply what I learned using my own ideas.  Day 1 is all about ways to use the new distress paints.  Some of the methods I'd tried before; some were more successful than others.
Distress Paint Marbling

Altered Surface

Eroded Metallic

Stamping Resist


Colored Crackle

I'm not going to try to figure out why Blogger is being so difficult with positioning.  Sheesh.

Distress Paint Marbling: distress paints, distress inks, Remnant Rubs, Remnants stamp set, Playful Journey stamp set, Air Travel stamp set, archival inks

Colored Crackle:  grungepaper, Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint, distress paints, distress stain, Oval Diffuser, Jack-o-lantern silly face die, burlap texture fade, distress ink

Altered Surface:  Thankful Silhouettes stamp set, Mini Blueprints 5 stamp set, Jet Black Archival Ink, distress inks, distress paints, Idea-ology fragment

Eroded Metallic:  distress paints, mini snowflakes & 25 dies, Rock Candy distress stickles, Mini Holidays 3 stamp set, Jet Black Archival Ink

Stamping Resist:  Sizzix mini spider, black soot distress glitter, Trick-Or-Treat stamp set, distress inks, distress paint, Halloween Silhouettes stamp set

Industrial technique:  collage embossing folder, mini telephone die, distress paints, Good Thoughts stamp set, fiber, trim, Jet Black Archival Ink

Off to watch the Day 2 videos!