Saturday, July 26, 2014


The newest Compendium of Curiosities, Vol. 3 challenge comes from p. 46 called Painted Industrial.  I'm guessing that usually brings to mind steampunk types of things or perhaps picture or mirror frames.  As usual, I went outside the box.
Don't forget there is a Curiosity Crew winner of an awesome prize package from Tim & Mario but also a $50 gift certificate donated by Inspiration Emporium that will go to a randomly chosen winner.  But you must also leave a comment on all the blogs of the Curiosity Crew to be eligible.  What are you waiting for?  This challenge ends August 1st.

Sizzix:  Layered Butterfly & Embossing Folder, Birch Trees Embossing Folder, decorative strip dies (Tattered Floral Garland, Spring Greenery, Tattered Banners, Typeset)

Idea-ology:  Tissue Tape

Ranger:  distress paints, distress stains, distress markers, distress inks, Glossy Accents, Inkssentials Black Enamel Accents

Miscellaneous:  #8 tag, watercolor paper, metal foil tape, Kaisercraft pearls, black wire

I love this technique and can't wait to try it again with other folders and different colors.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Have you tried the new shadowpress embossing folders by Tim Holtz?  They are lots of fun!  I have them all (so far) and have used them with watercolor paper, kraft core core'dinations and now transparency film. 

The base of the card is the tranparency film.  I lined up the shadowpress embossing folder and ran it through my Big Shot.  There's white cardstock attached to the inside back (for the message).  On top of that is a black layer that is hinged (to cover the message).  The layer on top features the Honeycomb stencil (and plenty of Ranger distress inks).

This is the new Layered Bee Sizzix die and coordinating Texture Fade out of white vellum.   More distress inks were used to color the bee.  I used Glossy Accents to attach him to the transparency film.

The 'explore' didn't show up quite as well as I wanted so I v-e-r-y c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y ran a small emery board across the embossed portions and tried not to scratch the rest of the film.  I smudged Black Soot Distress Ink into the abraded bits and wiped it off with a clean cloth.  Now the letters pop with just a hint of gray to them to enhance the shadow effect. Yay!

And here's the envelope that coordinates with the card.

I took more transparency film and cut out another bee.  I now have a positive and negative stencil.  Using Black Soot Distress Ink I inked up the bee.  Removed the stencil and put the bee image on top with temporary tape so I could ink up the Honeycomb Stencil over it.  Love the look!  Since distress inks aren't waterproof I smeared MicroGlaze over the inks and 'set them' with a paper towel to remove the excess. 

Now to go play with the Layered Butterfly and Layered Dragonfly!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Christmas in July

I refused to use the same, or even similar, items that Tim Holtz used on his July tag for this year.  So, what else could I use?  I'd seen that somebody had already created a tag using sand in a bottle so I wasn't going there, either.  Hmmm...last year's snow (what little we had) was quite granular and didn't take long to get that dirty, nasty look of gray. 

Ranger:  distress paints, distress inks, distress stains, distress glitter, distress embossing powder, distress crackle paint, distress markers, and archival inks

Sizzix:  Festive Greenery, Tree Line, Tag & Bookplate dies, Flurries embossing folder, Pine tree mini mover & shaper

Stampers Anonymous:  Mini Holidays 3

Idea-ology:  word band

Miscellaneous:  vellum, buttons, fabric strips, clear plastic packaging, watercolor paper

After die cutting the holly leaves I used a ball stylus to create veining.  Darker green and brown distress inks were applied on the back.  A small hole punch created the red vellum berries; used a ball stylus to make them more round in shape.

I really enjoyed creating the background on the tag as well as the trees.  I know I'll be making more of those in the days to come.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Still cozy

Unknown black & blue* cardstock, watercolor paper; Art Impressions folks; My Sentiments Exactly sentiment; Ranger's Jet Black Archival Ink & distress markers; Sizzix mini movers & shapers heart die

Happy anniversary to my brother-in-law and his wife!

* sounds more like one of my bruises!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First time home owner

Recently my oldest niece purchased her first home.  Guess that means she's all grown up now, doesn't it?  Oh heavy sigh.  I remember when she was little and the only one.  Now I'm the proud aunt of 7.  One just got his masters, one is in med school (4th year), one is working on her masters, two are art teachers, one is in banking and the youngest will be a senior in high school this fall.

White Bazzill cardstock, misc. scraps of colored cardstock

Sizzix window die; Die-Namites 'Leafy Flourish' die (cut apart); Martha Stewart punches (border = window treatment, flower, ice cream cone - cone = flower pot)

Jody Poesy sentiment (no longer in business)

Jet Black Archival Ink by Ranger

I helped my niece move from her rental home.  Never let it be said that red-headed sisters, 4 daughters/nieces can't move an entire house full of furniture and stuff (lots and lots of this!!) by themselves in a mini van, trailer and SUV.  We rock!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Listen honey...

I just LOVE the American Art Stamp people stamps!  This one was stamped on watercolor paper and colored with distress markers.  The background color strip was fun.  Wendy Vecchi (Studio 490) shared it on her blog not too long ago.   Smear distress inks across the grid side of Tim's gridblock; mist and stamp.  When dry you can see the lines of the gridblock appear.  I hastily drew black lines on the edges.

Do you try to coordinate hair color with the recipients of your cards?  I do...or favorite colors.  Something to make it more personal.  Doesn't always work or happen, but fun trying!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Happy birthday, mom! (Part 2)

So when you turn 80 yesterday's floral wall display just doesn't seem enough.  At least not for me.  Months ago I had asked her for ALL the family photos so I could start a pictorial timeline for myself.  Kind of like writing my autobiography except with photos.  I also wanted them so I could find enough to make a scrapbook for my mom.  I have made one for my siblings on their special birthdays over the past few years.  But she didn't comply so I had to use images I had in my own collection.  I also went to her public library and took photos of her yearbook pages.  (Sure couldn't ask her for her copies!)  And this is the result.
 Do you typically put something on the cover?  This has a protective vinyl sleeve so it couldn't be 3-D.  Rather than not be happy with a stamped image on the royal blue fabric cover, I left it blank and hope her baby picture will suffice.  I can always add something later.
 The pages are 8"x8" white or orange cardstock.  All journaling was computer-generated.  I know handwritten pieces are lovely but mine is more like chicken scratching and I wanted it to be legible for a long, long time.
 If you put the baby pictures of my grandma, mom and me side by side you'd be hard pressed to know who is who...except for the vintage, and less so, backgrounds.

 Isn't she a cutie?  She's always smiling!
 Except for this one smile.  Hmmm.
 The page layouts are my own efforts, ditto for the embellishments.  I wanted this to be as original as my mom.

 Like the pen nib cut outs pointing to mom?  Look at the lower right hand photo...she had an 18" waist when she was a senior!!! 

 My mom will just flip when she sees that bottom piece.  She'll be asking right away how I came to have that info. 

 Love that debossing folder!  The chain represents the family members and how we'll always be together, forever linked.  I'll have to tell her about that; she may not get that right away.

 These tags are from an old Provocraft die set.  I thought they made great journaling prompts.

Top photo: her 7 grandchildren

Bottom photo:  my youngest sister, her husband and daughter were unable to be here with us

 Mom's the clown on the left...Jesters for Jesus.
She racked up a lot of road miles when she worked for the State of Illinois...making sure schools followed the guidelines for the lunch program. 

Now she and my step-dad (but he's more like a dad!) travel extensively...I think Africa and Antarctica are the only continents they haven't visited.

Here they are on my sister's pond.  Don't you like how the shadow of the tree points to them?  That was an aftersight.

I didn't want the pages to be too fussy with embellishments.  The scrapbook is all about the photos, not the extras.  I also wanted it to be something she could use later in life recalling special moments, people, etc.  Maybe it would be the only thing that would help her connect to reality or in the here & now.  No matter, it's made with love and I hope it brings her much joy, both now and later.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy 80th birthday, mom! Part 1

Not too long ago my mom asked me to make a floral piece to go over the headboard of her bed.  She brought me the one that I had made years ago (for another house); it was in extremely sad shape.  Fortunately I had a photo of it so I could remake it.  The colors were perfect for the wallpaper border in her bedroom.  I hemmed and hawed and didn't really feel up to working with artificial flowers.  Her birthday was coming up so I decided to use this for her gift.  Might as well use some of the dies, cardstock and a frame I had sitting in my happy space.
The unfinished frame (approximately 12"x14") I had picked up at a thrift store for 50 cents; the butterfly came from an old floral arrangement. 

On chipboard I applied 2 coats of gesso, not evenly.  Once dry I smeared brown distress inks and stains to accentuate the texture.  The 6"x6" stencil is by The Crafters Workshop (didn't use the flower on the left side of the stencil); Studio 490 white embossing paste was colored with Watering Can archival re-inker.  The dies are by Sizzix (Bird Branch, Tattered Florals, Garden Greens, Hexagon Strip, and Jumbo Tattered Florals).  The leafy fern punch is by Martha Stewart.  I used Bazzill card stock and textured handmade paper by Sizzix (o-l-d stuff!).  Plenty of distress inks, distress stains and alcohol inks were used as well.

Some of the flower centers were created using buttons while others are some of the berries from the picks seen at the top and bottom of the floral swag.  I texturized the flowers and leaves to make them more realistic by dampening them, using a ball stylus, my fingertips or a tweezers, or even crumpling them.

Even though this isn't a replica of what she had before, I hope it works in the same space and that she loves it.  (Isn't there a rule about a mother having to love every piece of art her child creates???)