Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday thank you

Here's the card I created to thank those who gave us gifts over the holidays.  I like to have them coordinate with my holiday cards.

Bazzill cardstocks (white, red)
Core'dinations cardstock (brown)
Sizzix Birch Trees embossing folder, mini movers & shapers cardinal
Stampers Anonymous 'thank you' stamp
Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink, Diamond Stickles

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

As soon as I saw the Birch Trees thinlits die in Tim's latest release I knew it would be the star of both my holiday (Chanukah and Christmas) cards this year.  While I love the grungy look on the sample in the package, the fresh, crisp white look was preferred for these cards.

Sizzix mini cardinal, Birch Trees; Stampers Anonymous Simple Sayings CMS156; Ranger Jet Black, Vermillion Archival Inks, Adirondack Stonewashed Ink, Diamond Stickles; Bazzill cardstocks (white, red, blue)

I edged some of the trees with the Diamond Stickles but they don't really show up in this photo.  In real life it adds just a hint of sparkle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What's 1"x1.25"x1.5"

A very mini village dwelling made from shrink plastic!

Once the plastic had been cut I removed all tabs and cut each piece apart.  I.e. the two house pieces became four, the roof was cut in half as was the front porch roof.  The crossbars on the end windows didn't hold up nor did the open front door.  The roof section that had a gap on one edge had to be enlarged with an emery board so it would fit better. 

I created a square from a narrow strip of clear packaging so I could adhere each side of the house to it using Glossy Accents.  Now shrink plastic doesn't shrink evenly so there were gaps that I really couldn't live with.  I used some modeling stucco to cover the house.  A bit of Black Soot distress paint was added to a bit more modeling stucco for the roof.

This certainly was not the easiest construction project I've tackled.  And I'm not sure I'd do it again but it was one of those things I just had to try for myself to see if I could and how it would look.  I do enjoy using shrink plastic with many of Tim's dies.  I just have to remember that if there's a delicate piece it's most likely not going to be stable and might break off during the cutting or it will warp horribly.

Monday, December 14, 2015

It takes a village

I wasn't going to fall in love with Tim Holtz's village dwelling.  I wasn't.  Too much money for me, I said.  Too limited in creativity, I said.  Boy, was I ever wrong!  I'll show you what I mean.

Brick house


Winter house

House of worship

I've tried to list everything I used but I didn't keep track of the colors of anything...I just kept grabbing and playing until I was satisfied.

Dies:  Village Dwelling, Village Bell Tower, Village Winter, Brick Wall, Cobblestone, cross
Ranger:  alcohol inks, archival inks, distress inks, distress paints, distress stains, distress markers, watercolor distress paper, Distress Stickles Clear Rock Candy Dry Glitter, Texture Paste
Extras: Frosted, Studio 490 Embossing Paste, clear packaging, mica, 110# cardstock, Kraft Core, Adirondack Core, bells, mini fasteners, wood toothpicks, shrink plastic, graphite pencil, Burlap Texture Fade

Brick house:  IRL the door isn't quite that yellow.  The lines were made with distress paint smeared on my craft sheet and a square wood toothpick placed in it then on the door to create the pattern.  Mini fastener = doorknob.  I created a stencil using the Brick Wall die and smeared embossing paste through it.  Let dry then added color.  The house was first painted with Hickory Smoke distress paint to simulate the mortar.  The front stoop was painted with HS dp then splattered with Black Soot d. stain (love that spatter brush!) to look like marble.  Mica is behind each window.  Wood toothpicks are the pillars.

School:  wood toothpicks around white sign.  Hand-wrote the name of the school.

House of worship:  shrink plastic and mini movers & shapers cross for the front door.  Used the Cobblestone die to create a stencil and smeared various d. inks through the stencil.  Randomly drew around some of the stones with the graphite pencil.  Upon completion I smeared a light brown d. ink all over the pieces (before construction!) to smudge the look.  The roof shingles were drawn with the graphite pencil then smudged with my fingertip.  Alcohol ink on clear packaging is behind the windows.

Winter house:  Frosted behind the windows;  Frosted for the snow and icicles - covered all with MultiMedium then sprinkled DS Clear Rock Candy dry glitter over all (did this post-construction).  Added Texture Paste and DSCRCDG to windows and stoop.  Mini fastener for door knob.

I still have plenty of ideas in my head and know that with the release of more dies next year I won't get bored creating a village...or two.  Maybe I'll make one for each season...time will tell!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Floral themed pocket letter

ala Studio 490.

Studio 490 stamp sets by number:  11, 20, 35, 53, 89, 92, 101
Studio 490 background stamp:  Vintage Pricing Chart
Studio 490 stencils:  Borders, Basically Bricks, Checkmate, Alphabets, Old Ledger

Ranger:  manila cardstock, archival inks (all Studio 490 + Jet Black), distress inks, distress markers, embossing paste, embossing powder

**Hand sanitizer (middle row, left and right) 

**Smear archival inks on your nonstick craft sheet and squirt hand sanitizer over them.  Mix gently with a palette knife.  Because of the gelatinous nature of the hand sanitizer you are left with streaks of darker color.  If you use all reds, the look of blood is quite real.  I don't notice the lingering odor of alcohol like I do when I use regular alcohol.  The hand sanitizer also doesn't bleed through the manila cardstock.

Happy birthday, Wendy!  Hope your day is extra special!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's December!

And you know what that means...yep, time for another Tim 'The Distress Man' Holtz tag!  The last for 2015...gasp!  I do hope he continues this monthly event next year.  I've been keeping up since he started them..what, back in 2007 or so?

Once again I thought outside the box on this Christmas wreath for me.  But I did use Tim's Christmas greenery dies to create the underwater plant life that surrounds the seahorse.

I do like the way Tim gives his supply list so I'm going to copy it.

Surfaces:  #8 manila tag, kraft core, sticky back canvas
Distress inks:  Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch, Ground Espresso
Distress spray stains: Twisted Citron, Mermaid Lagoon, Blueprint Sketch
Distress paint:  Black Soot
Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist
Dies:  Festive Greenery, Bow-Tied, Seahorse, Holiday Greens
Layering stencil: Bubble
Embellishments:  sand paper, Small Talk chit chat stickers

I love looking back at all the tags I've created over the years.  I can see how my art has evolved and what themes and color schemes I used the most.  Lots of lessons learned and new ideas added to my repertoire.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Chanukah!

As soon as I saw the Birch Trees thinlits die in Tim's latest release I knew it would be the star of both my holiday (Chanukah and Christmas) cards this year.  While I love the grungy look on the sample in the package, the fresh, crisp white look was preferred for these cards.

Sizzix mini cardinal, Birch Trees; Stampers Anonymous Simple Sayings CMS156; Ranger Jet Black, Vermillion Archival Inks, Adirondack Stonewashed Ink, Diamond Stickles; Bazzill cardstocks (white, red, blue)

I edged some of the trees with the Diamond Stickles but they don't really show up in this photo.  In real life it adds just a hint of sparkle.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy 30th birthday!

My oldest niece is 30 today...gasp!  How can that be?  Just last week I held her in my arms and gazed into her large blue eyes.  Today she's a delightful young adult teaching art in a blue-collar middle school in a very blue-collar community.  She loves it and the faculty and students love her for her...enthusiasm, knowledge, personality, and sharing & caring nature.

The base card is light blue Bazzill cardstock, the next layer is gray Bazzill cardstock that has distressed edges.  The top layer is watercolor distress cardstock that was dipped in Antique Linen and Pumice Stone Distress Paint (one of my favorite color combos!!!) then heated until dry.

The snowflakes are from an experiment using hand sanitizer and archival inks (Sky Blue, Hydrangea, and Cornflower Blue) on manila cardstock.  I used Tim's Paper Snowflakes Sizzix die to cut them out.

The top layer was overstamped with Artful Tools; 'celebrate' was stamped in Encore's Silver Metallic ink then heat embossed with Ranger's Detail Silver embossing powder.  The bird was stamped (Watering Can Archival ink) on watercolor distress cardstock twice and colored with distress markers and a waterbrush.  Love the coordinating die!  The additional words (Crazy Talk) were stamped in Jet Black Archival ink.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Facebook challenge

An internet friend was having trouble creating cards from the backgrounds she had made.  She asked if any of the group would like to take a background and show her what they would do with it.  I spoke up first and asked for the woodgrain sheet.  I neglected to get a photo of it first but I think enough of it shows up that it really wasn't necessary for you to see it after all.  It's a beautiful background; the photo doesn't do the bronze shimmer on it any justice.  In real life it's absolutely gorgeous.

The tag was cut from thin watercolor paper.  I smeared distress paints (antique linen and pumice stone) on my craft sheet, spritzed with water, then plopped my tag on to the puddles.  Heat set and did the process over and over until I was satisfied with the color placement.  I smeared Antiqued Bronze distress paint on my craft sheet, spritzed it with water then moved it around with my new TH splatter brush.  I picked up enough paint to flick on the tag to bring out the same color on the background.  The sentiment (Stampers Anonymous Clear Stamps - Phrases 2 - HC006) was stamped in Jet Black archival ink.  The bottom of the tag was torn and the edges touched up with brown distress inks.

I had some EKSuccess Deep Bronze sheet metal 12 x 12 sheets that I've not used since I purchased them many moons ago.  They were perfect for this card.  I cut a strip and ran it through my Big Shot Plus using Sizzix Festive Greenery decorative strip die.  Now it didn't cut cleanly but enough so that I could get the pieces out without too much tearing.  I used a small sanding block to lightly scuff up the pieces before gluing them down with Glossy Accents.

You probably recognize the Sizzix mini movers & shapers deer.  It was cut from grungeboard and painted with several brown distress paints.  Once dry I sanded it then went over it with brown distress ink (whatever was on my tool). 

Silk ribbon and fabric strips created the bow on the tag as well as the deer.  Both were from past projects; I just hate throwing stuff away!  One look in my craft room and you'll know I'm not lying!

The base card and green layer are both Bazzill but I don't know what colors.  I'm running low on my favorites so I need to find a new source but looking at tiny photos on the internet don't always give the true color.

This sentiment is perfect when you need to hear some encouraging words.  I'm so glad it's in the set and in my collection. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Veterans Day thank you

My oldest niece asked for photos of veterans to share with her classrooms on Veterans Day.  Even though she teaches art she wanted to incorporate the special day with her regular lessons.  I sent her photos of my husband and her great-grandfather.  Walt was quite surprised to receive an envelope full of handmade thank you cards from her students.  In turn, he felt we needed to let them know how much he appreciated the recognition.  Here is the card I made to say 'thank you'.

This stamp set of Tim's was perfect...not just for the first day of college for my youngest niece (the only one left in school).  The base card is white with a layer of red Bazzill cardstock.  All images were stamped in Jet Black archival ink on distress watercolor paper and colored with distress markers.  They were backed with blue Bazzill cardstock.  The sentiment came from the Crazy Talk set (also stamped in JBAI).
Love the Sizzix flag many uses!  This was cut from distress watercolor cardstock...make sure you let each color dry before going to the next or you'll have some icky bleedovers.  I did put some tape on the back so the white stripes (left natural) would stay put.  The flag was placed atop a blue Bazzill oval (Spellbinders).

He included a heart-felt message to the students and my niece that I hope resonates with them for a long, long time.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm grateful for all the support I've received over the years from my artistic friends.  Because of them this blog was created...and today is my 800th post!  It's been a fun journey thus far and I look forward to many, many more posts sharing my creativity with you.
The base is orange cardstock (unknown manufacturer) and the black/orange layer is Core'dinations Black Magic cardstock.  After sanding down the embossed portions (Sizzix Thankful background embossing folder) I went over them with a bit of brown distress ink to darken the orange.

From watercolor distress paper I die cut Sizzix Layered Leaf.  I smeared several distress inks on my nonstick craft sheet, misted the ink, then carefully placed my leaf into the ink and water drops.  I dried the piece then kept dipping it in the ink drops until I was satisfied with the color placement.  Love the coordinating texture fade...I smeared the inside with brown distress ink first before running it through my Big Shot Plus.  When it came out I misted it with a bit of water and dried it with a towel before hitting it with the heat gun.  The brown was a bit too strong for my liking.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Warm soup

I needed to send some Campbell's Soup Labels for Education to a friend but didn't want to just dump them in an envelope and post them.  Fall is a wonderful time for soup and my 'Autumn Type' Provocraft embossing folder happened to be at my fingertips...perfect for the occasion!  And I knew I had a tin can stamp (doesn't everybody???) from Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers that I use to celebrate Tin Can Day on January 18.  A card was born!
The base card is black Bazzill cardstock, the embossed layer gray, the tin can on white with silver embossing powder.  I highlighted 'warm soup' with a silver metallic marker.  The card fits into a small business-sized envelope (...maybe 3.5" x 6.25"?).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


we'll be attending local Veterans Day services at our grade school and the outdoor community service in the evening (weather permitting...strong storms and tornadoes possible).  I haven't been able to get a poppy from the local veterans group so I made my own using Stampers Anonymous 'Flower Garden' CMS215 stamp set. 

The poppy-looking stamp was inked with Jet Black Archival Ink and stamped on crinoline several times.  Various red and orange distress inks were used to color the images.  I cut them all apart so I would have layers to stack and make the flower dimensional.  The center was colored with green and black distress markers.

From more crinoline (added a layer of paper for support) I punched out 2 oak leaves and inked them up with green distress markers.  On white card stock I stamped the word 'remember' from an old Uptown Rubber Stamp sentiment in Jet Black Archival Ink.  I went around the edge of the banner with a bit of brown distress ink. 

Hot glue keeps it all together on top of a paper base and will be pinned to my sweater. 

Let us never forget anyone who has served 
is currently serving 
their country. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 of a kind

and nature's colorful version of snowflakes.  This month Tim Holtz' tag featured the pumpkin blueprint stamp and the word 'autumn'.  You know me, I try very hard not to copy his but go my own way.  While I followed along for the 'how to' I chose a different image and word but still kept to the general theme of celebrating fall, my favorite time of year.

My stamps came from CMS126 and 133 (oak leaf and woodgrain background).  I replaced the arrow and twine with a token (genuine) and a long fastener.  My distress ink color palette was similar.  Instead of a cork sheet I used a real leaf I had picked up on a morning walk and pressed dry.  My Alphanumeric thinlits die is the 1" version.  I also added a rub-on (one of a kind).

While I love the riot of color that fall brings to the trees in east central Illinois, I certainly do NOT enjoy raking them or bagging them.  Hope fall is or has been pretty in your neck of the woods!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Celebrate fall

with a pocket letter!  There's a Facebook group for Studio 490 called 'Making Art' and this month's challenge theme is 'celebrate fall'.  I had a number of ideas but finally settled on creating a pocket letter using only Studio 490 stamps, many of Wendy's archival inks and embossing powders and a few stencils.

A pocket letter is basically 9 ATCs (can be a pre-determined theme) that are enclosed into a page-style sleeveholder and extra elements or embellishments are included behind each ATC.  In the last one you would include a brief note about Pocket Letters.  If you're doing this for a penpal your note would also include a bit about yourself. 

Studio 490 stamp sets:  008, 009, 010, 012, 013, 022, 023, 041, 043, 055, 059, 081, 089

Studio 490 stencils: Classic Words, Layered Tree

Ranger:  distress markers, distress inks, Snow Cap pigment ink, archival inks and powders (Buttercup, Tiger Lily, Red Geranium, Tree Branch, Orange Blossom, Potting Soil, Fern Green, Sky Blue, Jet Black), Black Fude Ball Pen, shrink plastic

The center ATC features Wendy's faux graniteware technique which I HAD to it!!!  The bottom middle ATC has a real leaf that I picked up on one of my morning walks.  Lower left I used Tim's splatter brush to create the this tool!  Middle right features a leaf stamped onto paper toweling that was used to catch oversprays from stains and mists.  On the center panel I used the Sizzix Alphanumeric die to cut the theme title.

So, how are you celebrating fall?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pocket letters

Have you heard of Pocket Letters?  You can search YouTube, Pinterest, and plenty of other sources to learn more about them.  Basically you're creating 9 ATCs and adding some goodies along with a brief note about yourself.  Perhaps you'll strike up a penpal relationship with a like-minded soul.  Here's the first one I created.

The second photo shows the goodies I sent.   Ephemera of any sort is quite acceptable.  You can also send brads, buttons, eyelets, etc.  Since hers arrived before Halloween that was her theme.  I love fall so I chose the brilliantly colored leaves as mine.

So what are you waiting for?  Find a new friend and send your own Pocket Letter!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Starry night

I recently lost a friend to breast cancer.  She had fought long and hard for over 11 years, nearly 5 of them at Stage 4.  The cancer ravaged her body but she didn't let it take her spirit.  She was a huge Mickey Mouse fan so when I found this eyelet in my stash I knew I had to incorporate it.

The sentiment was stamped on white cardstock using Jet Black Archival Ink and edged with a silver pen.  The glittery dark blue paper was run through the Starry Night Texture Fade; silver sequins were glued on using MultiMedium.  The next layer is more white cardstock edged with a silver pen.  The base card is also white cardstock.

Rest in peace, MickeyDee.  You've earned your ears!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

More leaves to rake

After yesterday's rain and moderate winds, more leaves have fallen.  Guess I'd better get started on raking before I become overwhelmed by the chore.  The sentiment on this card illustrates my feelings.

Ann-ticipation stamp; kraft cardstock, handmade paper, brown cardstock; Studio 490 Layered Tree stencil; distress inks, Jet Black Archival Ink; Impression-Obsession die 201-K

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's that time of year again!

Yep, time to rake the leaves!  While we only have 3 trees in the yard (pin oak, tulip tree, and shagbark hickory) they certainly produce more than their fair share of leaves.  I end up making numerous trips to the brush drop-off facility outside of town.  So when I saw this Impression Obsession die (rake with leaves) I just had to get it because it coordinated with an old Ann-ticipation stamp in my collection.
I had previously purchased the IO squirrel dies (but hadn't used it yet) so now I can recreate the scene out my front window any time I want.  I think these dies will be seeing a lot of use this fall!  Maybe the next scene will have a bare tree in the background.  Hmmmm....

Thursday, October 15, 2015


NOT your traditional anniversary card!  Every once in a while I get a wild hair and make something totally unexpected for my sister's anniversary.  She and her husband know to never guess what type of card I might send.  Good thing, huh?

Mini Halloween 2; Provocraft Heartblocks embossing folder; archival inks (Red Geranium, Jet Black, Watering Can); Love thinlits and Shape Strip thinlits; Bazzill cardstock; core'dinations cardstock; heart stamp (Good Stamps Stamp Goods); MultiMedium

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thank you!

Recently a State of Illinois employee helped us with a small problem we had.  Even though she was just doing her job we wanted to let her know how much we appreciated all her efforts.

Sizzix Layered Leaf die and texture fade; Celebrate thinlits; kraft cardstock; green cardstock; watercolor paper; distress inks (Fossilized Amber, Ground Espresso, Dried Marigold); black pen; Scattered Straw Distress Stickles

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October...bats crazy

Halloween is just around the corner and Tim chose to feature one of his new Halloween 3D mask dies on his tag for October.  I don't have the mask so searched my stash for something I could turn into a 3D object.  Aha!  How about the cage from the Caged Bird Bigz die and the bats from the Bewitching Hour Bigz die?  It was fun getting the bats to dangle upside down from the top of the cage!

Items used:  Seasonal Paper Stash, long fasteners, silk ribbon; #8 tag; Batground stencil; dies (above) and Shape Strips; manilla cardstock; black cardstock; spider punch; distress inks (Ground Espresso, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot, Rusty Hinge, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber); 'invisible' thread

Fell in love with the 2 backgrounds I created...really hated to cut them up!

Hope you have fun creating a 3D tag!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Another sympathy card

Sadly I had the need to create another sympathy card.  The woman worked for a florist at one time so I thought watercoloring some of Tim's stamps from 'Flower Garden' CS215 would be perfect.

Jet Black Archival Ink was used to stamp the coneflower image on to watercolor paper.  I created a mask onto a scrap piece of paper so I could add additional flowers.  Distress markers (Hickory Smoke, Aged Mahogany, Victorian Veltet, Spun Sugar, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso) were used to color the flowers...LOVE this look!  I always use at least 3 shades of the color for plenty of dimension.

The floral layer is on a layer of green Bazzill cardstock which is on top of another green Bazzill cardstock base card.  I found an old Sizzix die to create my tag out of watercolor paper.  A bit of pink silk ribbon finishes the tag.  With a flick of the wrist and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and water I created spatters for a softer look.  A bit of shading (more Hickory Smoke d. i. and water) finishes the card.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I'm sorry

Sympathy cards can be quite difficult.  Do you create a card that speaks of the individual?  Religious?  Masculine or feminine?  Generic?  I try to incorporate something about the deceased if I can.  If not, then at least something that speaks to me so that making the card is not a dreadful chore.

It's a gray, dreary fall day here in east central Illinois.  The leaves have started turning yellow so not much in the way of color just yet.  I had a lovely background (distress inks in yellows, oranges, bit of brown and Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold) created on watercolor paper that I've been anxious to use.  When I received Tim's Fall Foliage thinlits dies they seem to reach out for this background. 

The base card is kraft and stenciled using Tim's Doily Stencil and Gathered Twigs Distress Ink.  I added a torn layer of corrugated cardboard as a band.  I cut two sets of leaves and branches, embossed and folded them and used Glossy Accents to adhere them on top of a dyed silk ribbon (from my stash that coordinated perfectly).  

A small tag with "I'm Sorry" in Jet Black Archival Ink was tucked into the arrangement.  I used another piece of the silk ribbon to create a bow for the center.  While not a typical sympathy card that would be found in a retail store, this speaks more to the heart as far as I am concerned.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A little birdie told me....

it's your birthday!  Oh my, can you stand another Bird Crazy card???  I made several of these but varied the color palette slightly.  A local resident is turning 100 and my brother-in-law and step-dad are also celebrating special birthdays this month.

Stampers Anonymous:  Bird Crazy CS212, Crazy Talk CMS236, Crazy Things CMS237

Ranger:  glossy cardstock, distress inks, Jet Black Archival Ink, watercolor paper, Posh Impressions inks

Sizzix: Bird Crazy thinlits dies 660954

Miscellaneous:  foam tape, string, green cardstock

I think it would be really neat if crazy cat and dog images were available, don't you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Artfully autumn

It's finally here...the autumnal equinox!  My favorite time of year...the colors of nature as she sheds her layers to make way for winter, the smells of walking on brittle leaves, apples fresh picked from the orchard, pumpkin pie cooling on the counter.  Bring it all on!  I am ready!!!

Tim's September tag was a bit colorful for me so I toned it down to match my style and my love for fall.  Although butterflies currently abound in my flowers I'm ready to concentrate on raking leaves.

Here are some of the items I used to create my version of this month's tag.  #8 manila tag, glossy card stock, black paper, frosted film; Fossilized Amber and Ground Espresso distress spray stains; Copper Mixative, Butterscotch, Ginger, Red Pepper, Denim, Pesto and Stream alcohol inks; Potting Soil and Jet Black archival inks; translucent embossing paste; woodgrain stencil; Falling Leaves CMS097 stamp set; token, long fasteners, copper beading wire, Glossy Accents, Black Soot distress marker, silk ribbon

Tim introduced some fun ideas that I hope to incorporate into some seasonal cards for shut-ins in my community.  I am now officially ready to decorate my home for the season.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Celebrating an anniversary

Oh, Tim...I can't thank you enough for bringing these crazy bird images into your collection!  They are helping me recognize anniversaries and birthdays in such special ways!

Using the small hearts from Crazy Talk, I created a background with Watermark Resist Ink.  The plaid layer is from a piece of glossy cardstock and Dee Gruenig's Posh Impressions Magical Sponge and inks.  (Remember this technique????)

The birds were stamped twice on watercolor paper and colored with distress inks and markers.  The second image allowed me to cut out the wings and facial features separately.

The accessories were also stamped on watercolor paper and colored with distress inks and markers.   The sentiment was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.  Bits of foam tape elevate the birds; their wings are adhered only at the edge or top so that they appear to give movement.  Can't wait for the matching thinlits dies for the accessories...lots of fussy cutting I'd rather let Sizzix do! 

I drew over the lace ribbon on her hat with a Sakura Gelly Roll Glitter Pen.  The three hearts were coated with Glossy Accents.

Stampers Anonymous:  Bird Crazy CS212, Crazy Talk CMS236, Crazy Things CMS237

Ranger:  watercolor paper, glossy cardstock, Glossy Accents, distress inks, Jet Black Archival Ink, Posh Impressions inks

Sizzix:  Bird Crazy 660954

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thinking of you

I've been wanting to use this ribbon on a card for a long, long time.  I got it about 20 years ago and put it aside in a drawer so the colors are still gorgeous...I love the art of it.  The brown layer picks up the brown in the ribbon and it was easy to use a Sizzix word dies to cut out my message.  The yellow base card brings it all together.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

At the movies

Happy birthday to my youngest niece!  She's currently enrolled as a freshman at SIU Carbondale and hopes to major in film production.  Thought these Stampsmith stamps of veteran movie stars was perfect.  Add some filmstrip ribbon and a Sizzix camera die and it was perfect!

For the background I copied info about the 3 Hollywood legends (Clark Gable, Louise Brooks and Shirley Temple) from Wikipedia and printed it out on white cardstock.  The images were stamped in Adirondack ink on vellum; I think I like the look better than the suggested archival/permanent ink on glossy paper. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Merry & Bright

For those of you who know me, this will seem extremely bright and out of character.  But that's what the title is all about...being merry and bright!

Gotta love those new Crazy Birds by Tim Holtz!!!!  And the Sizzix thinlits dies to match are super duper!

I first placed Tim's poinsettia stencil over my tag and drew the floral outlines of all the cutouts using Sakura glaze pens in red.  Once dry, I filled in the images using the Sakura glaze pen in pink.  The holly leaves got the same treatment but in green.  It took another layer of each color to really make them pop up and out and give me the look I was trying to achieve.  Once the second layer of color was dry I used various distress inks and water spritzes to age the tag.  Yellow and orange permanent markers created the poinsettia centers.

Not many sample or trial & error tags make it to my trash; hence, I had the perfect one for my ticket die and sentiment (Mini Holidays Handwritten).  I stamped it in red archival ink then wrote over it several times using the Sakura glaze pens.  The scribbly border was handdrawn.

The bird was stamped twice in Jet Black Archival Ink on watercolor paper colored with distress markers and inks.  From 'Crazy Talk' I stamped and cut out Santa's hat and the candy canes.  Both were colored using the Sakura glaze pens in pink and red.  The fur trim and pom pom were created using Stampendous Fuzzy Fun Flock in white.

The Charlie Brown Christmas tree (Holiday Greens thinlits dies) was fashioned from the tag used for the ticket; tiny pink gems are the ornaments.  Another scrap tag was used to die cut the mini poinsettia 3 times.  I colored it with the pink Sakura glaze pen (two layers) and outlined the leaves using the red Sakura glaze pen (again, two layers).  More tiny gems were added to the center.  I smeared brown distress inks over the front and back, wiping off where it didn't stick to the glazed portions.  Now it's aged like the rest of the tag.  A bit of silk ribbon tied at the top completes the tag.

Hey, about some Crazy Cats and Dogs to accompany the birds?????  Pretty please???

Friday, August 21, 2015


apple gourd

Pear gourd

These are gourds that I bought one fall and let dry for over a year in my garage.  A bit of washing and they looked pretty good.  Amazing how all the mold comes off so easy.  Wish I had taken photos so you could see how nasty they looked.  The discoloration lends a bit of flair to the dried gourds.  However, I knew that ultimately I wanted to seal them and maybe paint, stain or alter them in some way.  Using Ranger inks, paints and clear embossing powder, these are my finished gourds.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Owl I want to do is say 'thank you'

I just can't get enough of Tim Holtz' Bird Crazy stamps!  Here I used one (like to think this one's an owl) to send a thank you card to a very dear friend.
The base card is white Bazzil cardstock.  The blue layer is thin watercolor paper on which I've stamped the coneflower stamp several times in Watermark Resist Ink.  Several blue distress ink sprays were used to saturate the paper (along with some water sprays).  I let this air dry; watch the watermark images come to life!

The bird and coneflower were stamped numerous times on more watercolor paper; distress inks were used to color them.  Love the Sizzix die that coordinates with the bird images; soo much easier to fussy cut them now.  Thank you, Tim and Sizzix!  For the flower and stem I left the stamp in place and traced around it lightly with pencil; cut out the images. 

Foam tape was used to elevate the flower, wings and eyes.  The stem was tucked under the wing.  The edges of the leaves were folded up for more dimension.

'Thank you' was stamped in Jet Black Archival Ink.  This font is quirky enough to not be serious or too playful.

Stampers Anonymous:  Flower Garden CMS215, Bird Crazy CMS212, Handwritten Sentiments CMS219

Sizzix: Bird Crazy thinlits dies

Ranger:  Watermark Resist Ink, Jet Black Archival Ink, watercolor paper, distress inks, distress sprays, Glossy Accents

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy birthday to my bestest friend...

soulmate, life's partner...Walt.  Together we're a bit crazy so using Tim's 'Bird Crazy' stamps are perfect for today's birthday card.  I can not wait for the coordinating die to get here.  Cutting out between the legs and around the tail feathers is very fiddly and I'm not too steady with my hands.
Stampers Anonymous (Bird Crazy CMS212, Documented CMS226, Handwritten Sentiments CMS219), Splotches stencil THS037

Sizzix Alterations Birthday Blueprint 659882

Idea-ology: Rub-ons 'Numbers'

Ranger (Distress Watercolor cardstock, distress inks, archival inks, embossing ink, Superfine Black Detail Embossing Powder)

Watercolor pencils; extra fine black marker, vellum

Friday, August 14, 2015

Wild thing

My Brazilian grandson (his mother was an exchange student with us in the latter part of the '90s) turns 3 today.  I don't have many children-related stamps but thought wild animals might be to his liking. 

Stampin' Up 'In The Wild'; Hampton Art Stamps 'Vintage Alpha'; Jet Black, Watering Can, Sepia Archival Inks; black mulberry paper; miscellaneous cardstocks

Happy birthday, Lucas!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Are you a fan of Wendy Vecchi and her Studio 490 line of stamps, stencils, inks, etc.?  I am and follow a MakeART group on Facebook.  This month's challenge is to use at least one of Wendy's products on a monochromatic artwork.  Uh oh.  The hostess chose brown for her theme; I don't want to copy her. red...wonder what I have in my stash that would work?????  Ah ha!  Art Parts! 

Ingredients:  gesso, distress inks, distress paints, Adirondack markers, Crackle Embossing Paste, clear embossing ink, clear embossing powder, gold foliage pieces, Clearly For Art (white), Art Parts (Birds With Wings, fence section), stencils (Basically Bricks, Dots & Stripes Borders), Vintage Mesh background stamp, stamp sets (All About Art, Dimensional Rose Art, Daisy Art), Sizzix Easter Elements (bow), Suze Weinberg's Mini Mosaics, Glossy Accents, alcohol inks, red gem, Vintaj Patina

I can't step-by-step this process because I just kept playing and layering until I was happy but I did use EVERY red/pink available in the mediums above.  The bird, wings, and legs were coated with gesso first so that anything else I added would not soak in and be a more true color.  I love the striped leggings...inked, stenciled and stamped.

Fredbird will be residing in one of the many windows on my porch.  Birds frequently slam into them thinking they can go through my house instead of flying around or over it. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Birthday wishes

Sometimes I just 'shop' from my own shelves and drawers...I certainly have plenty of things tucked away and need to use them, not hold onto them for that 'perfect' project.

Bride's flowers (Michaels); unknown stamp layers over the flowers; Archival ink (Hydrangea, Cornflower Blue, Deep Purple, Violet, Watering Can); Stickles (yellow, lavender); Stampin' Up stamp (don't know what set...picked up loose at a re-sale shop); Sizzix (Gridlock Texture Fade, Garden Greens die); miscellaneous cardstock

Monday, August 10, 2015

All you need is love

Hey, have you had a chance to check out Tim Holtz's August tag?  I love the technique he used and I can see myself using it again in the near future.  Here's my version of his tag:

Ingredients I used:  2 #8 manilla tags, Seasonal Paper Stash; Christmas Nostalgia CMS207 (used the snowflake background as stars); Celebration Words: Block die; distress inks (Hickory Smoke, Abandoned Coral, Fossilized Amber, Twisted Citron); distress marker (Hickory Smoke); distress paints (Hickory Smoke, Brushed Pewter); archival inks (Rose Madder, Dandelion); chit chat stickers, vial label, rub-ons, paper doily, typed token, calendar page, fabric hearts, button heart, hearts lace, silk ribbon, spinner, long fastener, found relatives, gesso, MultiMedium

I opted to use Hickory Smoke instead of Black Soot; it was a better fit for my color palette and theme.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Anniversary wishes

While the card may look very wedding-ish to you I don't see why it can't be for anniversaries as well.  I saw this card on Pinterest and made some minor changes.  I used a rubber stamp to create the letters; the original used alphabet and shape beads.  Not sure what they used for the ring but I coiled wire into a circle and used a heavy duty glue dot to keep it in place.

White cardstock and ribbon; Sizzix Swirls embossing folder; Hampton Art Stamps - Vintage Alpha; Jet Black Archival Ink; wire

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Altered puzzle - the last pieces

I can't believe another challenge has ended.  This one was for altered puzzle pieces.


--Ranger:  distress paints (Dusty Concord, Milled Lavender, Shaded Lilac), archival inks (Jet Black, Potting Soil, Deep Purple), Glossy Accents
--misc.: cork paper, white cardstock scrap, Krylon 18kt Gold Leafing Pen
--Stamps: wine varieties background, cork (Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers), wine! (Ann-ticipations 9845E)

--Ranger:  distress paints (Fossilized Amber, Abandoned Coral, Mermaid Lagoon), archival inks (Jet Black), watercolor paper, Glossy Accents
--stamps:  books (Anita's), text (Art Impressions P-2125)
--Martha Stewart: butterfly punch
--misc.:  white cardstock scrap, vellum, foam tape

My puzzle had 25 pieces so I used it as my title page.  On the last piece (lower right hand corner) I painted it with several coats of Antique Linen Distress Paint.  Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink was lightly applied around the edges then spritzed with water and dried.  Potting Soil Archival Ink was added around the edge and heat sealed.  I found an old Stampendous clear stamp (Journal Border SSC605) and stamped it in Cornflower Blue Archival Ink.  'Favorite', from an old Inque Boutique stamp set, was inked in Jet Black Archival Ink.  The rest of my title was handwritten using a Sakura Micron Black pen, #05.

It also came with its own frame so I altered it as well.  I applied a generous coat of gesso to seal in the bright, colorful colors then covered that with lots of brown distress paints (Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye, and Gathered Twigs).  I used Tim Holtz' Woodgrain stamp and Potting Soil and Tree Branch Archival Inks to make the frame look like it was real wood.  IRL you'd think it was!  Success!
Finished puzzle

Before alterations