Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Covered bridge

Art Impressions:  Flower Set 4052, Foliage Set 4051, Covered Bridge 4808

Marvy Markers:  15, 20, 29, 45, 86

Cardstock:  watercolor, fuschia, white

Sunday, July 16, 2017

It's your day...down on the farm

Blue, green, watercolor cardstocks

Marvy markers

Jet Black archival ink

Art Impressions: Foliage Set, 4807 Old Barn Mini Set

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It's your day...at the lake

VAP Scrap sentiment

Blue, green, watercolor cardstocks

Art Impressions: Watercolor Structures, Foliage set

Marvy markers; Jet Black archival ink

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cat in a basket

Art Impressions:  4052 Flower Set, 4871 Rustic Container Set, 4867 Watercolor Foliage Set 2, 4873 Watercolor Cats

Stampendous: Thinking of You

Jet Black archival ink; Marvy markers

Pink, purple, watercolor cardstock

Scallop border punch

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A rose for you

Gold and white vellum; white cardstock; watercolor cardstock

Krylon gold webbing spray, gold leaf marker

Unknown rose die (cut 3 and layered for dimension) then covered with Glossy Accents

Distress oxide inks: Worn Lipstick, Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint

Martha Stewart border punch

Sunday, July 9, 2017

I'm sorry

Art Impressions: Flowering Mailbox 4607, Clay Pot 4701

Marvy Markers

Jody Poesy: sentiment

Black Soot archival ink

watercolor, white cardstocks; blue vellum

Thursday, July 6, 2017

In the garden

Maraschino Bazzill cardstock, watercolor cardstock

Marvy markers; Jet Black archival ink

Sizzix punches: 660168, 660172

Art Impressions: 4583 With A Friend Window

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy birthday!

Piglet Bazzill cardstock, watercolor cardstock, green cardstock

Art Impressions: 4701 Clay Pot, 4051 Foliage Set

Misc.: border punch, Marvy markers

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

You're how old???

White, blue vellum cardstocks

Stampers Anonymous:  CMS266 Newsprint & Type, CMS288 Hipster

Ranger:  archival inks (Shadow Grey, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot); distress inks (Walnut Stain, Frayed Burlap, Tumbled Glass, Abandoned Coral, Antique Linen); distress markers (Abandoned Coral, Faded Jeans)

Sizzix: Hipster Goat 662249, 3/4" circle punch 661852

Monday, June 26, 2017

Thinking of you

watercolor, blue, white, purple cardstocks

Art Impressions images (Garden Wagon Mini - 4875, Flower Set 2 - 4868, Foliage Set 1 - 4051) (colored with Tombow markers and a waterbrush)

Sizzix: Lattice on the edge die

Stampers Anonymous: Leaf Prints CMS273

Stampendous: sentiment

Finnabair: text stamp (over the lattice die)

Ranger:  archival inks (Sky Blue, Leaf Green, Black Soot)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's all about the happy

Parakeet Bazzill cardstock; watercolor, black cardstocks

Art Impressions 3323 image (colored with watercolor pencils and a waterbrush)

Hope your days are happy and life is good & all is well in your neighborhood.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Happy 5th birthday!

Mixed media, white cardstocks

Packaging insert as brown layer; candle punch

Sizzix:  Layering stencil 072; Framelits 661593

Stampers Anonymous:  CMS 271 Crazy Dogs

Ranger:  distress inks; distress oxide inks (Vintage Photo, Broken China); Espresso, Hickory Smoke archival inks; Glossy Accents

Charlie is an uber-active chocolate lab that I know.  The layering stencil pattern fits his personality...crazy and all over the place!   lol

Monday, June 12, 2017

Living room makeover - showing off my creativity and colorful spirit

This month marks the 10th anniversary of being in this house and our 30th wedding anniversary.  Sadly, Walt passed away the end of March and didn't get to be a part of our gift to each other.  We figured this was the perfect year to makeover the living room. 

The carpet was oatmeal and from the previous owner.  Our furniture was from the early 90s.  All looked okay but the carpet color wouldn't have been our choice and the furniture was breaking down internally.  The carpet, sofa, chair, recliner and 2 end tables were given away. 

I wish I had been able to take before photos of the room and furniture but because of Walt's health and the need to make room for a hospital bed, etc., I didn't.  Afterwards I was too grief stricken to think of photos.  But after a few weeks I decided to continue with our plan.  It was the first time in over 30 years I had to make important decisions on my own. 

I'll start the tour outside as that was part of the plan.  New pillow and entry mat.

Hard to see the true color with the storm door closed. 

Hotel St. Francis Spirit Blue by Valspar

Front door, south end of living room, hall

Window wall: Ivory Brown by Valspar
Hallway: Stone Manor by Valspar
North end of living room

Warm Putty by Valspar
Flooring is 7" wide hickory by Bruce (Flooring Surfaces in Champaign)

Casey is checking out the new smells.

Pine bookcase.  I cut baseboard, quarter round molding and crown molding myself (seated on the floor of the garage using a dull -sheesh- saw.  From drab to...
...to fab!

Chalky Paint, Sealing Wax, Dark Antique Wax system by Valspar (tinted Stone Manor)
School desk I picked up for $15.  Had been royal blue and red.  I sanded the desk top and the rough bits on the metal frame.  Dark walnut stain and a clear sating sealer (both Minwax) for the wood top.  Red spray paint as a base coat oversprayed with orange spray paint then another misting with the red spray paint.  The red was too pinkish-red and the orange too yellow on their own. 
I sanded this down a bit; I was afraid 2 coats of the top color wouldn't cover the stenciled areas.
Chalky Paint, Sealing Wax, Dark Antique Wax system by Valspar.  The legs are the same as the shelf unit (tinted Stone Manor) while the top was tinted Fire Orange by Valspar.

The northern end of the room at night.  The lamp base is walnut and was made by my dad.

The northern end of the room at night.
The reading corner...furniture from Stahl's in Mount Pulaski.  LOVE the fun fabrics!

The relaxing station...sofa is Flexsteel and also from Stahl's.  Love the denim blue fabric with off-white nubbins on it.  I'm using a toolbox tray on top of a strip of burlap to hold the tv remote, a pair of glasses, etc.  Sheers from Lowe's and less expensive than Bed Bath & Beyond - with a coupon - (also in the size I wanted).

I am extremely happy, pleased, satisfied, etc. with the way the room has come together.  I will take my time adding wall art and putting things on the shelf unit.  Lots of sweat equity but worth every ache.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Black, white cardstocks; twine

Ranger:  woodgrain cardstock; Hickory Smoke archival ink; distress crayons; distress oxide inks (Walnut Stain, Iced Spruce, Vintage Photo)

Sizzix: Handwritten Love 660218; Feather Duo (die & embossing folder) 660237

Vellum (used negative as stencil on envelope - right photo).  Did the same for the word.  I don't send out naked envelopes.

Monday, June 5, 2017

She's a bulldog now!

My niece/goddaughter just landed a new position...teaching art at a local high school.  She had been teaching the younger students at another area grade/middle school but with insurance costs sky-rocketing and not as much of a challenge she found a super spot here in Mahomet.  Not only that, but her commute will be much, much shorter.  A complete win-win situation for her.  Yay!!!

Mixed media, navy, white cardstocks

White Sharpie; Chit Chat Stickers

Ranger:  white enamel accents; Spiced Marmalade distress oxide ink; adhesive-backed fabric; distress inks; Jet Black archival ink

Stampers Anonymous: Crazy Dogs CMS271

Sizzix Crazy Dogs thinlits dies 661593; mini scallop/pinking on the edge die

Friday, June 2, 2017

Out in the barn

Art Impressions (all images: Old Barn Mini Set - 4807) and colored with Tombow markers

Sentiment by Jody Poesy and stamped in Black Soot archival ink

White, purple, watercolor cardstocks

Thursday, June 1, 2017

With sympathy

All images are from the Art Impressions watercolor series (Foliage Set - 4051, WC Series 6 Set 1 - 3497, Blooming Birdhouse - 4603, WC Foliage Set 2 New - 4867) (colored with Tombow markers and a waterbrush)

Sentiment is from Jody Poesy (Black Soot archival ink - Ranger)

Watercolor, purple, white cardstocks

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Unknown dark pink patterned cardstock, black cardstock, watercolor cardstock

Art Impressions watercolor series of stamps

Jody Poesy sentiment

Marvy markers

Next month I hope my creations will be posted in a more timely manner.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Recognizing the local school nurse

I know, I know I'm late but better late than never.  Life just hasn't been the same since I lost my husband 2 months ago.  My brain is cloudy and my schedule not what it was...or even will be.

Nurses Week was May 7-13; school nurses were recognized on the 10th.  My sister is the school nurse for our district (3 elementary schools, a middle school and a high school).  Did you know that school nurses are also educators?  She often gives talks to students and staff on health issues and safety matters.

Her husband always asks me to create a special card for her.  Lacking mojo and any more nursing-related stamps that I had, I opted to just let things happen.

Again, no specific details but plenty of Sizzix (Stampers Anonymous-Tim Holtz) stencils and dies were used as well as Ranger-Tim Holtz distress inks and distress oxide inks.  The tiny birds are from punch (unknown manufacturer).  The flower centers were colored with Wendy Vecchi's new enamel accents (brown and yellow).

I also created a pocket tag for my brother-in-law (family practice physician) to wear.  The bottom is magnetized so that it would stay closed in his pocket.  He loved it as did everyone else.

Black and white cardstocks, Sizzix-Stampers Anonymous-Tim Holtz decorative strip die (white cardstock ran through Xyron first for easier application)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Hello friend

Ranger:  heavy duty mixed media cardstock; Distress oxides (Cracked Pistachio, Worn Lipstick, Broken China); Vintage Photo distress ink; Glossy Accents; Jet Black archival ink; distress markers

Stampers Anonymous CMS236 Crazy Talk, CMS288 Hipster

Sizzix 662250 Hipster Ostrich, 661497 Doily, 661822 Flourish texture fade

Washi tape; stained coffee filter

After creating my distress oxides background I ran the cardstock through the texture fade that had been coated with VP distress ink so more detail shows up.

Distress markers were used to color the old bird then she was cut out with the coordinating die (thank you! I am not a fussy cutter!).
Glossy accents were used to coat the glasses.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mastering the art

My oldest niece recently received her master's degree in art education.  She teaches middle school children in a blue collar community and loves it.  And they love her.  Here's the tag I created to acknowledge her recent accomplishment.

#8 tag loaded with distress oxides, stencils, die cuts, and stamps (all by Ranger and Stampers Anonymous except for the star and sentiment)

I'm sorry but I neglected to write down any info as to the exact items and colors used.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy anniversary

Ranger:  Distress oxides (Tumbled Glass); Distress inks (Tumbled Glass, Old Paper); heavy duty mixed media cardstock; Distress collage medium-crazing; Jet Black archival ink

Stamp Zia: oriental bamboo chop

watercolor pencils; Molotow Grafx Art Masking Liquid; blue cardstock; EKSuccess border punch; stained coffee filter

Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy birthday

White cardstock, peach cardstock

Ranger: Distress oxides (Cracked Pistachio, Broken China, Iced Spruce); archival inks (Jet Black, Venetian Orange); Dried Marigold distress ink; heavy duty mixed media cardstock

Ichiyo Art Center - cat, present

Sizzix texture fade 'Retro Circles'

Monday, May 1, 2017

Jumping rope

Boy, it sure has been hard finding my mojo again after the loss of my husband.  Not sure I really have found her but it was high time I created some cards so the search was on. 

White cardstock, Bazzill light blue cardstock

Marvy punches (oval, scalloped oval)

Sweet Impressions 'Betsy Jumping Rope'

Jet Black archival ink

Distress inks: Tattered Rose, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain

Stampers Anonymous CMS266 'Newsprint & Type'

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thank you

to all who sent expressions of sympathy, whether it be comforting words, memorial donations, food, or time.  There are hardly any words to express my heartfelt thanks for the sympathy you have extended me during this difficult time.  I realize how truly blessed I am to have such wonderful family and friends during times like these.  It's still so very hard to think that he's been gone a month.

White cardstock

Stampers Anonymous 001 - Nature's Moments, Mini Slate layering stencil THS085

Hero Arts C3964-Thank you

Ranger: Pumice Stone distress ink, Jet Black archival ink

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April wishes

the month is nearly over but wanted to share the card I had made back in mid-March.  I try to make all my cards 4-6 weeks in advance so that I don't have to worry about getting them out on time.  This time I'm so very glad I did as my husband's cancers became very aggressive requiring a short stay in the hospital before going home under full hospice care.  A week later he passed away.  Since then I've been pre-occupied with the responsibilities that come with the loss of a loved one and had no mojo to be creative. 

White cardstock, Cherry Vanilla Bazzill cardstock, White Bazzill cardstock, heavy duty mixed media cardstock (Ranger)

Sizzix Mixed Media #2, Celebration Words: Script

Hero Arts C3895-April

Distress oxide inks: Worn Lipstick, Fossilized Amber, Cracked Pistachio, Broken China

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Birthday blossoms

This card is full of dimension and texture and will soon be winging its way across the U.S. to wish a very special friend a happy 60th birthday.  It was inspired by the one seen here.

To the green card base I added Studio 490 translucent embossing paste through TH stencil 061.  Once dry I smudged various brown distress inks over the paste to make it pop.

The doily was die cut from inexpensive watercolor paper using Sizzix 661497.  LOVE the new tool that helps get out the little paper bits left in the die!  I was hesitant to order it as the denture brush I've been using works okay but on these more intricate dies this tool is awesome!  Antique Linen and Old Paper distress inks were smushed onto my work surface and misted so I could drag the doily through them.  Once dry I adhered it to the card front using Multi Medium - but only in the center so the edges would be free.

I applied silver metal foil tape (from the heating and air conditioning aisle at the local home improvement store) to a scrap of chip board.  Die cut using Sizzix Watering Can 660235.  Alcohol inks (Pebble, Slate, Mushroom, Rust, Pitch Black) and blending solution were pounced over the pieces.

Using a tiny label I pressed it into the rest of the doily ink mix, scrunched it up, unscrunched and let it dry.  The numbers were in my 'tovers jar, colored with Black Soot archival ink and glued down before the tag was wrapped around the handle of the watering can.

The flowers (Stampers Anonymous  CMS269) were stamped in Jet Black archival ink on mixed media cardstock and colored with distress markers (Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet, Dusty Concord, Broken China, Tumbled Glass, Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron, Crushed Olive, Forest Moss, Wild Honey, Carved Pumpkin, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso).  So glad there's a matching die (Sizzix 661613) as I am not fond of fussy cutting!

I fiddled with placement of the flowers then added several very narrow upright strips of green cardstock behind them.  Multi Medium was used to glue down the flowers and foam tape was added to the back for more dimension. 

From another scrap of green cardstock I stamped 'happy birthday' using Ground Espresso and Black Soot (just at the edges of the letters) archival inks.  More brown distress ink was wiped along the edges of the banner.  A smaller scrap was added to the back to raise it up.

Happy 60th birthday, MB!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Remember this

New stamps from Studio 490!  New enamel accents that I won on Wendy's blog!  New Studio 490 stencils!

The top layer of the card is a #8 manila tag cut down.  The images (SISI Leaves & Berries) were stamped in Watering Can archival ink.  Whatever colors (green, orange) were on my blending foam worked perfectly for the green-colored base card.  The pinked layer is watercolor cardstock colored with Wild Honey distress ink.

The message (Trademark Art SCS132) was stamped in Jet Black archival ink.  Through the Square Grate stencil I added random squares using Tumbled Glass distress ink.  The border stamp was inked with Wild Honey and randomly placed on the card.  Scattered across the small stripes are tiny dots of Forget Me Not enamel accents.

This birthday card is headed to Rio de Janeiro where our first exchange student lives with her husband and 2 children.  Happy birthday, Dani!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sending a special card...

Here's an example of the Distress Oxide inks (Peeled Paint, Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick) on lesser quality watercolor paper over a background image (Studio 490 Just Say It WVBG026) that had been stamped in Ranger's Watermark ink.  I used a plastic canvas to guide the black dots (Sakura black gelly pen) surrounding the card front.

The floral image (Studio 490 Flowers For Art SCS136) was stamped in Jet Black archival ink on mixed media card stock and colored with distress markers (Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Candied Apple, Twisted Citron, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint) using a waterbrush.

A bit of black replacement window screen provide a nice backdrop for the flower (which I cut out leaving a tiny white border for better visibility).  I punched out a bow (Sizzix 660163) and a narrow strip from mixed media cardstock and colored them using the distress markers and waterbrush. 

Studio 490 enamel accents (Sunflower, Potting Soil) were added to the flower's center for dimension and interest.

Happy birthday, my friend!

I have found that this inexpensive watercolor paper is only good for backgrounds and such as any detailed coloring is lost to bleeding.  Distress Oxide inks are terrific on Ranger's heavy duty cardstock.  I've also tried them on glassine (remember that?) and was pleased with the results. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I'm here fur you!

cardstock (gray, tan, mixed media)

distress ink (Hickory Smoke, Pumice Stone, Weathered Wood)

archival ink (Shadow Grey)

distress markers

uniball silver pen, Pitt artist pen - black

Stampers Anonymous stencil THMS003

Stampers Anonymous stamps (Sideshow CMS263, Crazy Dogs CS271)

Sizzix die (Crazy Dogs 661593)

I hand-lettered the message.  Inside I wrote 'rain or shine' and used the Stampers Anonymous rays stencil above the message.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hello friend

Distress oxides on heavy duty cardstock make up the gorgeous (I think!) card front.  I used Fired Brick, Fossilized Amber, Vintage Photo and Spiced Marmalade.  The piece was run through an embossing folder (Notebook Paper by The Paper Studio) then slightly sanded so the lines would show up better.  The edge was punched using an EKSuccess border punch (Binding Edge PL8002).

The next layer is the reverse side of the package insert from a Studio 490 stencil.  Two laurel branches (Sizzix) were cut from the same layer.  The peach mini label (Sizzix 657214) was edged with Vintage Photo distress ink and overstamped with a text stamp (unknown manufacturer). 

The bird was stamped on mixed media cardstock in Black Soot archival ink and colored with distress markers (Twisted Citron, Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Worn Lipstick).  The sentiment is from Sizzix 561218 (framelits/texture fade w/ stamps) and stamped (BSai) on a scrap from the same larger D-ox/m-m cardstock piece.  It, too, is on a scrap of stencil insert.  The card base is Bazzil cardstock.

I have quite a few advertising magnets that were just begging to be repurposed.  This one was covered in glassine paper (remember it?) that had been treated to a range of Distress Oxide inks before being wadded up.  At this point I smeared Vintage Photo archival ink over the wrinkles then smoothed it out and heat set.  Double stick tape was used to adhere the glassine to the magnet.  IRL it looks like real stone.  (YAY!)  The stamp (one of Tim's new ones) was stamped in Jet Black archial ink and heat set.

Happy birthday to a California girl!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I won a full set of Enamel Accents!!!

Not long ago I won a full set of enamel accents on Wendy Vecchi's blog, Studio 490.  I created this card to say 'thank you'.  These are so much fun to play with and I have so many ideas floating in my head...can't wait to try them all!

The base and blue-green layer are Bazzill cardstocks.  The top layer is mixed media cardstock and was just a 'playing around with ink and paints' kind of background.  I ran it through a Sizzix checkerboard embossing folder.  At this point I tried Wendy's Embossed Foil Technique...cool!  You'll have to check out her blog to see how it's done.

I used a scrap of the same background and die cut a heart (Sizzix Heart Wings) and stamped the sentiment (Stampers Anonymous SCS110 Art Comforts) in Black Soot archival ink.  Around the edges I dotted enamel accents (Sunflower, Cactus Flower, Garden Patina).

Additional ingredients not listed above: unknown roll of foil sheets, gold mesh, Studio 490 tag art stencil (on base card - Garden Patina, Sunflower archival inks)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Using 140# watercolor cardstock I created my own plaid with flat paint brushes and distress inks and stains (Forest Moss, Shabby Shutters, Mustard Seed, Hickory Smoke).  I didn't always dry each color thoroughly before moving on to the next but I think that added to the look.  When I had the page completely covered in plaid, I misted it lightly and let it dry overnight.

I squished Black Soot distress stain on my non-stick craft sheet and added plenty of water.  Using my splatter brush I picked up enough color to randomly flick across the page.

I cut the cardstock to size and used a corner punch for the four corners.  The next layer is green and both rest upon a white A-2 card base.  More of the green cardstock was die cut using an old Sizzix shamrock die (38-0702) then misted with Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold.

The sentiment (My Sentiments Exactly O295) was stamped slightly left of center in Jet Black archival ink. 

May your troubles be less,
and your blessings be more,
and nothing but happiness
come through your door.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A bouquet of pretty posies

Friends recently sent me a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers.  This was the card I sent each of them to acknowledge their lovely gesture of support*. 

watercolor cardstock, green, blue-green cardstock

distress inks (Spiced Marmalade, Iced Spruce, Abandoned Coral, Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn)

enamel accents (Leaf Green, Sunflower, Potting Soil)

Rubber Stamp Tapestry: Creekside Garden FAB 3608

Sizzix: Celebration Words: Script 660223

*On the home front, we're facing new challenges.  A few days ago my husband decided to stop all cancer treatments and accept palliative (supportive health) care to make his remaining time here on earth as best he could.  While we've discussed it over the years almost to ad nauseum, saying it out loud and publicly made it real.  Kind of like getting hit in the face with a 2x4.  Wham!