Sunday, December 26, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities #25

For Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, the technique chosen is Scribble Stain Distress. When I tried this technique with multiple colors, my result looked muddy, so I stayed monochromatic and used several blue distress inks. I embellished my skinny tag with snowflakes and a Happy New Year greeting from one of my French Kissed postcards.

The 12 Days of Christmas swap

I received my matchboxes from the 12 Days of Christmas swap just in time for the start of the 12 days and thought I'd share them. Isn't it amazing how you can embellish a simple matchbox? This swap was organized by my friend Penny in the UK (you can see her blog HERE) and the participants included not just the two Pennys who live across the pond from each other, but others in the UK, New Zealand and even Russia! Lots of thanks to Lorraine, Janet, Jo, Lisa, Jan, Kimmie, Julia, Hope, Linda, Pat, and of course to UK Penny :-)

Tag Tuesday - Silver or Gold

Even though it's the day AFTER Christmas, I'm posting my Tag Tuesday submission which is a Christmas themed tag using silver or gold. You can tell that mine is all in gold - embossed gold metal, gold Dresden trim, gold StazOn stamped text, gold crackle paint - ok, it's actually bronze with a gold Krylon pen over the top to brighten it - hey that's even more gold, right?, a rosette made from gold swirl paper, and gold star garland at the top - whew! Hope your Christmas was merry, happy or JOYEUX! Stamp: Oxford Impressions

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I wanted to share with you my Christmas card using the little angel stamp from the newest Oxford Impressions Christmas stamps. I like using lines from Christmas carols in my cards; do you know this one?

Two days ago we had rain that melted our last little bits of snow, and I was becoming sad that we would have a green Christmas, (OK, really it would be a brown Christmas - isn't that reason enough to be sad on Christmas?) and then it snowed overnight and I woke up to this yesterday morning:

Isn't that just so much more like Christmas? The second picture is my drive in to work - I love it when it looks like this!! And no, I was not driving in adverse weather conditions taking photos while driving - I made my husband drive. One of the many perks of working together :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gingersnap Creations: Snow, Pine and Mahogany

It's time again for the Color Challenge at Gingersnap Creations. This month the challenge colors are snow, pine and mahogany - a very Christmas-y combination don't you think? For my piece I started by stamping snowflakes with Versamark onto watercolour paper and then clear embossed them. Then I applied distress inks in pine needles, aged mahogany and some peeled paint and fired brick for color depth directly to my stamp, spritzed with a good amount of water, and stamped over my snowflakes. Just wipe the distress ink off the embossed snowflakes and you have this terrific background! There's plenty of time to join in on the challenge - it runs until Jan.23rd.

Stamp credits: Hero Arts and All Night Media

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas completed!!!

The final two tags - Days 11 and 12 - for the 12 Tags of Christmas. Both of these had diecuts as such a prominent part and I don't have them to use, so I hand cut them using a hand drawn pattern and scissors. And yes, I even cut out "joy" using an x-acto! (a new, sharp blade worked really well). Aside from posting a picture of my final tags for this year, I also really wanted to share a fun book I made to keep them all in. I used 7 Gypsies bookboard covers and created folded pocket pages to the size I needed and tucked a tag into each pocket. The tags are so dimensional that the book pretty much explodes rather than closing, but I still like the look of it.

Here's a picture of how the inside looks. I'm not sure if I'll embellish the pocket pages or not, maybe just put the numbers 1-12 on them or something like that. I like the look of it with all the ribbons sticking out the top - actually, that's the favorite part of my cats, too and I have to make sure I keep the book away from them!

Compendium of Curiosities #24

I've been making a lot of Christmas cards and gift holders this time of year - I suppose many others are, too :-) so for the latest Compendium of Curiosities Challenge I chose a Christmas theme to go along with the challenge technique to use Rock Candy Distress Stickles. I used them on my patterned paper collage and on the gold painted chipboard swirl. As glittery things are so hard to photograph, I've added a close-up photo also.

Stamps: Stampers Anonymous - flourish, Oxford Impressions - sentiment, Inkadinkado - snowflake border

Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Tags of Christmas days 9 and 10

Ahhhh.......a day off from work and Tim Holtz has posted (slightly) quicker to do tags! Here are mine for days 9 and 10. The paper rosette was fun to make. And I stamped lines of music not only onto the tag, but also onto the paper for the rosette and a pearl button. I even added jingle bells to the top so the entire tag is musical! With the day 10 tag it was great to be able to use packaging as a clear tag - I knew I was holding onto that packaging for some reason; there had to be something you could do with it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The 12 Tags of Christmas days 6,7 and 8

I've been keeping up with the 12 Tags of Christmas, but get to do them in the evenings, so I have to wait until daylight to take a picture! Here are the next three for days 6, 7, and 8. For day 6, I didn't have much that he used - no tall trees texture fade, but I had the stamp version, so I embossed them onto the tag to give a little more dimension. Also didn't have the die to cut the reindeer, but did have one left from an old package of seasonal grungeboard die cuts that worked nicely. Now for day 7, though, I was able to do all of that one with the specified supplies and love that one! His idea to create the poinsettia with sticky back canvas and grungepaper is great, and the wood grain textured tag I also really love. Back to day 8 and more improvising is needed. I didn't have a mask to use, but was able to cut a reindeer one using a Slice and Frisket film - it worked really well. I had both the negative and the positive to use, and the film has a repositional adhesive on 1 side to allow for great masking. For my houses, I stamped onto the grungeboard with a Hero Arts stamp of row houses then cut it out and cut a few windows using an x-acto knife. I loved his idea of used curled wire as "smoke" coming from the chimney - a very fun look. Can't believe there are only 4 more days of tags left - the 12 days is definitely going fast.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Spicy Supply Challenge

A new challenge was posted today on the Gingersnap Creations blog and the featured supply in this challenge is white glitter. I wanted to play with the new set of holiday stamps from Oxford Impressions called Sleigh Bells and created a tag background using the snowflake and Joyeux Noel stamps over a wrinkle free distressed tag. The angel was stamped onto glossy cardstock and her wings made sparkly with picket fence distress stickles. I also used frosted lace stickles over the stamped snowflakes for a fun sparkly effect. The tiny tip allowed me to just "draw" over the stamping quite easily.

This close-up gives a slightly better view of all the sparkles. Glittery things are sure hard to photograph!!! This challenge runs until Jan 9th so why not join in and enter your own beautifully sparkly project!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tags 4 and 5

Here are tags 4 and 5 and as you can see, I had to make a lot of substitutions! I didn't have the paper used in the background for tag 4, so I tried the suggestion for a watercolour snowflake effect from day 2. After stamping the snowflakes with 4-5 colors of DI's, I spritzed the tag with water and let the colors bleed. I also tried it on a watercolour paper tag, but the bleeding just made blobs of color and you lost the ability to tell they were snowflakes. A tip that I can add for the alcohol inked piece (mine is on a 7Gypsies journal jewelery piece); if you adhere the paper onto the back with Diamond Glaze instead of just using Glossy Accents on the very edge of the piece, you can retain all the layers of alcohol ink you've placed and the paper sticks better since it's adhered fully. I learned that Glossy Accents over alcohol ink causes it to bleed and destroy any patterns you created, but Diamond Glaze doesn't react with the alcohol ink. With my day 5 tag, I used a Santa stamp and a holly stamp from Oxford Impressions - Suzanne has the best vintage Christmas stamps to play with. I also found that when I looked through what was left of my metal numbers, I only had a 5 - maybe it would've worked for tag #5 on Dec.5th, but that wasn't the intent with the design, so I found other metal numbers to use. Tim's definitely not kidding when he tells you to WAIT before touching the metal you've just melted UTEE onto (and Distress EP also) - a big OUCH if you don't........not that I would know anything about that :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim Holtz and the 12 Tags of Christmas

Tim Holtz has once again started his 12 Tags of Christmas and I had such fun playing along last year that I had to do it again! He's done 3 tags so far and here are my versions. You can see his tags on his blog HERE. I think what is really fun about these tags is when you don't have the same things he uses and have to come up with something from your stash to give a similar feel. It can be a true exercise in creativity! If you're also playing along, I'd love to know about it to be able to visit your blog and see your take on his tags.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Art Creations Friday

LinkThis beautiful picture is from Art Creations Friday for this week's challenge. I had fun creating a collage on a 7 Gypsies book board piece using lace and Glimmer Mists.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Paper Whimsy ATC

I thought I'd share an ATC I made for the November ATC swap at Paper Whimsy. I had the honor of picking this month's theme! I chose "doors" and had an idea I wanted to try..........

Do you ever have ideas in your head and you're not sure how they'll translate into paper, but you start to play around........
and voilĂ  it worked!

Now I found it was a simple thing to cut the doors and open them, but what I fought with, was how to keep the doors somewhat closed with the photo turn once you opened it up to see who was behind the door. Who would've thought that would be difficult?!? By adding a little more adhesive to the left side door I found that it wouldn't open as much and that gave the photo turn a little more weight to do its job when the doors were closed.

Compendium of Curiosities #23

It's challenge #23 from Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge where the technique is "double distress". I had so much fun playing with this technique that I decided to make a quirky wreath out of all my little tags. And because I'm so horrible when it comes to bow tying, I threaded bells onto my ribbons - it actually sounds quite musical when it moves!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Love Letters to Lily - Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge

This is my piece for the Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge along with supplies I used in creating it. "Vintage Hues" is the theme, and I created a Glimmer Mist background on watercolour paper by spraying through table lace with Vintage Pink, Rose Tea, and Sand. I also sprayed the lace with Glimmer Mist - a foolproof way to have coordinating embellishments! I completed my piece with a collage of stamped images: a picture of the English Edwardian actress and singer Lily Elsie from Stampfrancisco, and stamps of letters from Paperbag Studios and Oxford Impressions. The challenge runs until Dec. 19th so you have plenty of time to create a piece and enter!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art

Sunday Postcard Art's theme this week is Thanksgiving. I used my postcard as another chance to play with mixed media techniques I've learned from Roben-Marie Smith's online class Mixed Media Mayhem (you can find out more about it from her blog HERE). The layers are so much fun to create! I used vintage text paper, acrylic paint, gesso and Adirondack colorwash sprays. I added some stamping with inks and with gesso and a typed scrap of paper that reads "with a grateful heart".

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Backgrounds

LinkThis week's Tag Tuesday challenge is to feature a background and use minimal embellishments on your tag. It just so happened that last Saturday I taught a class using Distress Ink techniques for Christmas cards and had 2 backgrounds I created as additional demonstrations. How perfect! The first tag is a double distress background using glossy paper. First, stamp the music background with Versamark and heat dry. Rub and buff tumbled glass DI onto the glossy cardstock. Heat dry, then stamp the snowflake stamp also with Versamark and heat dry once more. Finally rub and buff chipped sapphire DI onto the glossy cardstock. The more layers you add of the darker second color, the more the image pops. Stamp credits: Hero Arts, Stampers Anonymous, Penny Black, and All Night Media.

My second tag is a background done with watercolor stamping. I used 4 distress inks all tapped onto the stamp in spots (shabby shutters, peeled paint, barn door, and aged mahogany) then spritzed with a mini mister before stamping onto watercolor paper. I love how this technique causes all the inks to blend together and mottle. Stamp credits: Hero Arts and Memory Box.

Compendium of Curiosities #22

Here's my 4x4 for this week's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge where the technique is Alcohol Ink Splatter. I know that we're not supposed to say how the technique is done, but I just have to ask if anyone who tried this got frostbitten fingers? Maybe it was just me and my desire to perfect a technique, but I just have to say....OUCH! So if I've got you curious about this technique, check page 52 of Tim's book ;-) Quote stamp: Donna Downey for Unity Stamps.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turn to page 75.......

In my mail I received my Dec/Jan issue of The Stampers' Sampler and excitedly opened it to the heartfelt fabrics pages and found that all 4 of my submitted cards were chosen for publication!!!!! It's always exciting to see something you did in print; I just had to do the happy dance in my kitchen :-)! I always feel so honored to be chosen and to have my work along side of my blog friends - you'll also see cards in this issue from Lynn Stevens (Way to go Lynn!), Louise Granlund of Tag Tuesday fame who I worked with on the Oxford Impressions DT, Audrey Hernandez also on the Oxford Impressions DT, and Joy Northrup who won one of my piano hinge books from a giveaway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Random Redhead Challenge - Stitching

"Stitching" is the theme for this month's Random Redhead Challenge at Gingersnap Creations. On my card I used hand stitching with 2-3 strands of embroidery thread (3 on the french knots to make them fuller). I used a Bazzill stitching template for the flourish and pre-pierced holes for stitching using the stamped words as a guide on the quote. I did machine sew around the card also to frame the center image. Try your hand at stitching on a project and enter it into the challenge - it's open until Dec.12.

Stamp credits: Paperbag Studios and Donna Downey for Unity Stamps

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Bingo

Bingo is Louise's challenge at Tag Tuesday this week and I used a Bingo card I've had for awhile from Ten Two Studios. I like using them in collages because the different words that substitute for Bingo give you a direction to take your collage. Image: Designer Digitals, Stamp: Hero Arts

Compendium of Curiosities #21

Another week of Compendium of Curiosities Challenges - this week it's "perfect distress". I enjoy this technique, but you lose so much in photographing it, so I've added a close-up of the shimmery effect - notice the lovely blue fingers holding the tag! Have you really, truly done a Tim Holtz inspired technique if you don't end up with inky fingers?

Image of the two girls bundled up for a snowy day is from Paper Whimsy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Spicy Supply Challenge

This is my piece for the Spicy Supply Challenge at Gingersnap Creations that is ongoing until Dec.5th where the theme is "notions" I stamped onto muslin using black paint and 8 different stamps of notions combined into a collage. I also stamped onto buttons with StazOn and added an Oxford Impressions photostamp on glossy paper from the Dressmaker plate. Why is it when you think of sewing, grandmother images come to mind? I suppose that's why I chose this vintage image to add to my fabric collage and maybe because my grandmother is a fantastic quilter my piece has a quilt-like appearance. After backing the muslin with thin batting, I machine-sewed it to the blue ticking fabric - yes my stitching is quite wonky - good thing this is a stamping piece and not a sewing piece lol! I wanted to pass along a tip I learned from an online class with Claudine Hellmuth for stamping with paint. A product that she has called Extra Time makes all the difference in the world when stamping with paint. For this entire piece I used a dime-sized bit of black paint with three times the amount of Extra Time mixed together then brayered out very thin onto a piece of waxed paper. Tap your stamp into the brayered paint just like you would tap it onto an ink pad and stamp. It's just that simple. The great thing about it is that the paint will dry slowly giving you plenty of time to stamp. In my piece I used 8 different stamps, even heat dried and masked one section, and didn't have to add any additional paint. If you've ever tried paint stamping before, you'll remember how fast it dries, how quickly you have to stamp, and how quickly you have to clean your stamp to be sure to get all the paint off. Adding in a little bit of Extra Time changes all of that.

Stamp credits: Oxford Impressions, Hero Arts, Prima, Paperbag Studios, Hot Off the Press, Stampendous, Studio G

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gingersnap Creations swap

Just thought I'd share my 4x4's for the recent Winter themed swap held by Gingersnap Creations. I used watercolour paper as my base, masked off a square in the center, and sprayed Glimmer Mists in twilight and moonlight over a snowflake glimmer screen. I added a photostamped image from Oxford Impressions cut from glossy paper, and a silver embossed strip using a stamp by Inkadinkado. Can't wait to see what shows up in my mailbox later this month from other gingersnappers!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lots To Do and Sunday Postcard Art

This is my postcard for 2 challenges - Lots To Do, where the theme is autumnal colors, and Sunday Postcard Art, with a theme of hats and crowns. I used this beautiful girl from a french postcard from Trishia at French Kissed and gave her a crown of flowers, leaves, and jewels fit for a woodland princess. My background is a piece of colored metal embossed with a Cuttlebug folder, sanded, then flattened by running it through the Cuttlebug again on top of the embossing folder. I wrapped the edges with some vintage German book text - I love how the paper frayed and split when wrapped - gave it a nice, worn look.

Tag Tuesday - front and back

For this week's challenge at Tag Tuesday, something from the front of your tag needs to run over onto the back. I used a tree stamp from Paperbag Studios. In my first attempt, when I stamped half of the tree, you really couldn't tell it was a tree - kind of looked like some weird scraggly, messy blob - really, it did! So for my second try on the front, I stamped more of the left side of the stamp, and on the back, I tried to do more of the right side of the stamp. I added some punched leaves - a few tenaciously clinging to their branches, but others falling through the air and laying on the ground - kind of how things look now in my yard. I used an embossing folder on the top and bottom and inked it with forest moss Distress Ink.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Matchbox swap

This is a vintage calling card I've had in my collection. It's funny in a world of emails, texts, and tweets to think that people would have these cards and drive around in their carriages leaving them at people's homes. I remember touring a house that had become a museum that had a small silver tray placed by the entrance door just to collect calling cards. My friend Penny in the UK invited me to join her matchbox swap with a theme of the 12 Days of Christmas. My contribution to the swap was 4 calling birds and I used Miss Edith Catlin's calling card to create my matchboxes. Inside the "drawer" I placed a guinea hen feather and 4 little buttons.

Since I know that they've now made their way across the pond, I thought I'd share them. Can't wait to see what comes back through the post for the other 11 days - such a fun idea for a swap!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities #20

"Industrial Grunge" is the technique for the 20th Compendium of Curiosities Challenge. I thought I'd do a steampunk piece - it seemed like a good fit for the pieces created by this technique - so good and grungy! Image: Collage Visions, Stamps: Oxford Impressions

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Theme Thursday - Blue

This week's theme at Theme Thursday is "blue". My 4x6 postcard is an experiment with some mixed media techniques I'm learning from Roben-Marie Smith's current online workshop Mixed Media Mayhem. (You can check out the class details HERE) I had so much fun playing with text and music scraps, acrylic paint, gesso and spray inks to create my background then added pen doodles and stamping with both ink and gesso. The final touches are a Paper Whimsy girl, Tim Holtz tissue tape and book text.

Gothic Arches - text

This is my arch for the "text" theme at Gothic Arches Challenge Blog. My inspiration came from my box of vintage text scraps with the early 1900's ad on the right side that reads "Each invalid can not go to Germany to drink the Seltzer Water, but he can carry a portable Seltzer Spa with him wherever he goes, in the shape of a bottle of Tarrant's Seltzer Aperient." Well, how about that! Isn't it fun to read ads from vintage magazines? I had to add some German text to that and then created a collage with a masculine theme for my arch. Image: Enchanted Mercantile

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gingersnap Creations Color Challenge

This is my piece for the Color Challenge at Gingersnap Creations with colors of eggplant, avacado, and pumpkin. It's a canvas painted with distress crackle paint and I stamped the leaves on watercolor paper using 3 distress ink colors and water. Want to know the technique?

Tap the ink pads onto the stamp. I used rusty hinge first on the entire leaf, then tapped peeled paint in spots and finally just a little bit of dusty concord on the tips of the leaf.
Spritz the stamp from about 12 inches away with 4 spritzes of water from a mini mister, then stamp onto the watercolor paper and let it air dry. It will give you a terrific blended effect.
This is a close up of the leaf with the first generation stamp. All of the leaves on my piece were stamped this way.
What is really cool about this technique, though is that you can take the same stamp and WITHOUT re-inking, spritz it with a little more water and stamp again. In my picture you can see the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation stampings. I love using this technique on leaves and have used other color combos. I'm sure you'll notice it used on other projects I've posted on my blog this fall - it's so easy and the results are fun and somewhat serendipitous! So if you've got a project in mind using the colors eggplant, pumpkin and avocado submit it to the Color Challenge which runs until Nov.23.