Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Yes, I do realize that it is way past Sunday.  Sorry 'bout that.  Heidi has been renovating her blog, switching over to wordpress, working with a blog designer, and the new blog wasn't quite ready on Sunday.  Hope you'll agree that this week's sketch was worth the wait.
Here is Marty's adorable ringing in the new year sketch:

I do have champagne glass stamps.  I was tempted to be literal. often happens when I look at a sketch, something crazy creeps into my head and I have to go there.  Instead of  seeing glasses touching, I kept envisioning paint brushes crossing.  And an artistic wish for 2010. is my offering:

Don't forget you can click on it to see detail.  I covered the tips of the brushes with crystal effects to make them look wet, and used some flourishes to represent paint swirls.

The words inside my clock say what I wish for all of you in artful year!
(Don't forget to visit Heidi's new blog to see what the rest of the Gotham City Stampers did with this theme).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tote Bag and Note Cards

Sometimes when I sign up for a class at Heidi's it is because I want to do the project.  Sometimes it is because I just feel like hanging with my artsy friends, and don't much care what we'll be doing.  Last night started out as just wanting to hang, but I really wound up loving the project as well.
First I had a great meal with Corris and Gayle at Bleu, which is right around the corner from Heidi's.
Then I got to sit and craft with them, and Rocker Jen and Yvonne and RosieB and Kahena, and great new member, Caroline.
The photo above is a little dark, but it is an adorable little tote bag, decorated with Bella Bleu designer paper from Stampin' Up.  When the bag opens, you see:

Inside are two holders, one for the envelopes and one for the notecards.  All coordinate with the tote.  The four cards we made are here:

Just so you know, Heidi got her inspiration for this project from Patty Bennett's blog.  Sorry I didn't have this one in my arsenal before the holidays!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Little Bit of Inspiration

This plaque is for a mingle.....won't say which group, and don't know yet who is getting it, so it can remain a secret.  Had fun making flowers from grungepaper.  They were all done with different sizzix dies.  The dragonflies and flourishes are from grungeboard. The sentiment is from a Wendy Vecchi set. The background paper is SU, and I paid attention to my friend Sherry and got some platinum stickles for highlights here are there.  You were right, Sherry.  The platinum stickles rock!
This shot is a little dark, but shows some of the dimensionality.
  The plaque is supposed to inspire and motivate.  I find the colors soothing.  Is that the same as inspiring? 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Blog Look

I love the new look of my blog, and want to give a great big shout out to my good online buddy Penny Duncan for this awesome design.  I know nothing about this sort of thing, but do know when I'm looking at something beautiful.  Thank you Penny.  You rock!
And if you're into files to use with your Cricut, (something else I know nothing about),  Penny creates the best ones.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Merry Un-Christmas Christmas

Huh?  Let me explain.  The Everything Wendy Vecchi (EWV) yahoo group has been having a challenge.  Create some Christmas art that uses any of Wendy's non Christmas stamps.  Hence the un-Christmas Christmas greeting.  I wasn't being a grinch.
I'd like to share two little wall hangings I did.
First, look at this picture of one of Wendy's flower stamps:

I stamped it many times in shades of green, then cut the petals apart and made a tree:

It is mounted on chipboard covered with sheet music and paper which has been embossed and sanded.
For my next piece, I stamped a flourish MANY times, curled one end of each and formed a wreath.  Technically, this wasn't for the un-Christmas challenge (it was another challenge), but since I made a Christmas piece with a non Christmas stamp, I'm saying it is.

Well, in case I'm not back here in the next two days, I want to wish you all a very very happy and healthy Christmas with your family and friends.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

For this week's challenge, Marty did this cityscape sketch:

Don't ask me why, but as I looked at it, all I could see were trees and birds, not skyscrapers and stars.

Maybe I just needed one more excuse to use my all time favorite SU set, "Lovely As A Tree."  And threw in the great tree from "Pendant Park" as well.  I added the sentiment because I plan on sending this card to a friend who is going through a rough patch.

Now, head on over to Heidi's blog to see how the rest of the Gotham City Stampers design team interpreted Marty's sketch.  I think you'll be surprised at the variety.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One World One Heart 2010 Is Coming!

Last year I participated in OWOH for the first time, and it was an amazing experience.  It introduced me to creative bloggers all over the world, and also introduced them to me!
I met some people whose blogs I still follow, and many of the kind folks who regularly visit my blog and leave me nice comments first found me during the OWOH event.
OWOH 2010 will be here before you know it.  I urge all you bloggers to participate.  If you don't have a blog of your own, you can still be part of it.  Just visit as many of the listed blogs as you can, leave comments, and you'll have a very good chance of winning some cool stuff.
All the details regarding the 2010 event can be found here.
Now all I have to do is figure out what MY giveaway(s) will be and start creating!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stamping With Bleach

I was organizing one of my technique journals, and came across these two cards I did in one of Heidi's classes:

In both, the focal images were done by stamping with bleach.  What is most interesting about this technique is that you really never know exactly what the bleached out image is going to look like in advance.  Different colored cardstocks react differently to the bleach.  And you may not even get the same result each time you use the same cardstock.
If you look at the card directly above, you can see that even within the one stamp, the flowers are not uniformly bleached out.  And I love that!
How to do it?  Couldn't be easier.  Just make a stamp pad by putting a couple of layers of paper toweling in a shallow container and wet them down with the bleach.  Press your stamp into the pad and then onto your paper.  Silhouette stamps work particularly well with this technique, but try a variety of stamps on different papers and see the results.   How much bleach you use and how hard you press will also affect the outcome.  Have some fun and experiement!
Just remember to clean your stamps afterwards.  And work in a well ventilated room!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Angelic ATC and a link to a cool technique

Every week I participate in a challenge at the Paper Imagery Designs yahoo group.  And every week I post the technique I used on the PID blog.
This week's theme is "angels," and here is the ATC I did:

The background was done with mesh drywall tape.  Check out the tutorial on the PID blog for complete details and several variations.
Now, go raid the hardware store and make art!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Is this week 7 already?  Marty had a nice simple graphic sketch for us to work on this week.  And as soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what my card would look like.  Now that doesn't happen often!
Here is the sketch:

Marty may have drawn flowers, but considering the season, I saw snowflakes.

Everything was stamped in white and embossed.  They don't really show up in the photo, but there is a little sparkly sticker in the center of each flake.
To see what the rest of the Gotham City Stampers DT did with the sketch, click here to visit Heidi's blog.  Everyone interpreted Marty's sketch so differently, and I think you'll enjoy them all.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Through The Eyes of An Artist

Can it be?  No more tags!  Fortunately I have plenty of other projects so I didn't have withdrawal.  Much.  The first item on my non-tag to do list was pages for Sue's TTEOAA journal.
I realized today that what I am calling the "background" is really the piece.  I get so involved in it, and put so much into it, there really isn't much to add at the end.
I began with fabriano paper which was sprayed heavily with various colors of homemade shimmer mist, then collaged with various scraps.
I cut long strips from the leftovers of another project and attached them over the collage.  Some inking, stamping and then the addition of the clip art (which I colored with water soluble oil pastels) and text.
Thanks to Valerie!  I raided her awesome collection of images for this one.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 12

Should I call this one my favorite?  Shouldn't my favorite be the one that I learned the most from, or was challenged the most by?  Today's tag features a technique I'm very familiar with, the grungepaper rose.  Oh, how I love these flowers!  I taught myself how to do them by reading Wendy's tutorial on her blog.  Then I "perfected" them on the cruise.  Now I even teach classes in making grungepaper rose bracelets.
All that aside, I adore this tag, yet wanted to make it my own.  Before I get into that, here is Tim's thing of beauty:

Click on it to see all the glimmery wonderfulness up close.  Stunning, isn't it?  So where do I get off wanting to change anything?  LOL.  Tim would probably be the first to say, go and play with the technique and make it yours.  Glad to, Tim.
On the cruise, Wendy showed us how to cover the rose with patterned paper as an alternative to stamping and/or inking.  Tim did some inking and then sprayed one of his perfect pearls/reinker/water concoctions over top.  I used some of the beautiful Jenni Bowlin mini papers that I saw first in one of Wendy's classes on the ship.  Here is my finished tag, followed by what else I changed:

Since I mostly make roses for bracelets, I came up with an idea for attaching them, and I used this trick here. Before adding the additional layers, poke a brad through the first (the largest) layer, then glue all the other layers as per the directions on Tim's blog.  When it is time to assemble your tag, all you have to do is put a little hole where you want the rose, push the brad through, and it is glue, no waiting for glue to dry!
After my roses were fully assembled I did give them a quick spritz of spray....I used gold perfect pearls and water; no reinker because I only wanted to add sparkle to the paper, not change the colors.
Here is a closer view of my roses.


I did add an additional layer (using part of the large flower from Wendy's Flower Art set) to the red rose.  I also added a third rose.  I use Wendy's flower from the Rose Art set to make my roses, and it is smaller than the flower that Tim uses.  So I thought I'd need to either beef up my roses or add another.  I guess I wound up doing both, though I don't love that added layer on the red rose.  However, you can't really see the petals, and it does make the rose a bit larger, so it's OK.
I continued my Wendy theme by using the leaf from Rose Art and one of the flourishes from Flower Art; both are stamped on grungepaper, inked and cut out.
The tag is finished off with some bling as Tim did, and done!
Oh, I decided not to add the ticket.  I just loved the tag as it was.
I'm really a process person.  The doing is what turns me on.  So I don't usually get over excited by the product.  This time, though.....I really do love my tag. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 11

Ah, Tim just had to introduce us to a new tool in today's tag....a custom brad maker!  Yikes!  Before I go into my song and dance routine about how I made mine without the gadget, here is Tim's sweet and nostalgic tag:

Here is my list of what I didn't have:  the reindeer stamp, the flourish stamp, the snowflakes stamp, the custom brad maker.  I managed, and this is the result:

I had the reindeer grungeboard shape from the seasonal pack, so I ran him through a floral embossing folder, swiped over the embossed areas with embossing ink, added black embossing powder and heat set.  Then I sponged over the whole thing with red ink, as Tim did.
As usual I just used other flourish and snowflake stamps.  No biggie.  The real challenge was the custom brads.  I did have the sticky back canvas paper, and I do have sweet images from Paper Imagery Designs, so first of all  I printed some on the canvas.  Then I found some really butt-ugly resin button stickers in my stash that I don't know why I bought (except they were only 39c a  pack at the discount store). 
I cut the images in a circle about 1/2 inch larger than the buttons, and stuck them on.  Then I just cut slits around and folded the sections over onto the back.  Not an actual brad, so I used glue to attach them to the flowers.
Speaking of the flowers, I had some primas with patterns that went with the tag, so I used them and skipped the inking/stickling part of Tim's design.  Here's a closer look at my "brads."

They didn't print as dark as I'd have liked, though the lightness does add to the vintage look I guess.
Other changes I made:  I stamped my flourishes and snowflakes in both peeled paint and aged mahogany.  I liked the little white snowflakes that were part of the rub on sheet I used (you'll have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see those), and added more of them in other parts of the tag.  I thought the top of the tag needed more white to balance the lightness of the faux brads.
That's it.  Only one tag to go!  Waaaaaaaaaah!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 10

I was thrilled when I saw Tim's tag this morning.  It involves metal, and thanks to my friend Lori, I recently scored some when Ten Seconds Studio was having a 50% off sale.
This is Tim's gorgeous creation:

The words are formed by gluing grungeboard letters and shapes to the tag, covering them with a thin metal sheet, then using a paper stump to work around the letters and shapes until they pop.  Tim used pieces from the mini set, which I don't have, so my letters are larger.  All that means is I had room for one less word.
This is how mine came out:

Tim used the very thin metal that comes with an adhesive backing.  I don't have that, so I used a regular sheet of metal (which I suspect is a wee bit thicker) and sticky tape on the back.  It took a bit of elbow grease to get the letters to stand out, but I think it worked well.
Alcohol inks are applied to the tag in sections.  Tim used the refillable pens, but I only have one, so I dabbed on the colors with a piece of felt.  Then a light sanding across the tops, followed by a very light coat of black paint, which was almost immediately wiped off and also sanded a bit.
To accent the sections, the Tiny Attacher was used as though the staples were hand sewn stitches.  Some straight, some cross stitches, some zig zag.  Very cool.
Tim added a metal snowflake; I used his technique of painting foliage pieces to resemble a poinsettia and placed that on the bottom:

I glued a snowflake on my tag before adding the metal, and just had to put a little bling in the center.  You can also see the staple "stitches" in this close up:

Are we really up to Tag 10?  Only two to go?  How sad I'll be!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

And I do mean different.   I signed up for a swap that involves making a "hanglie danglie" for Valentine's Day.  So, I took a break from all the Christmas oriented stuff and worked on it.  For those who don't know....a hanglie danglie is something with things dangling from it AND something on top so it can be hung up.  Clever, huh?
OK, is anyone besides me thinking, "over the top?"
It's so far over, it went way past the point where I would have hated it's fussiness, and into the land of "so bad it's good."  At least in my opinion.
So, here is the front, and then the back, which doesn't have to be decorated much. 

Have you OD'd on the sugar yet?  LOL!  You know, sometimes it's OK to work outside of your comfort zone.  Or am I just being too apologetic?  I await (with some dread) the comments.  Oh, and did I mention the most amazing thing of all?   I  like it!

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 9

We started out with snow, which has turned to freezing rain.  A perfect day to stay indoors and make a Tim tag!  Tag 9 uses two of my favorite new supplies:  the film strip ribbon and the tiny attacher.  Tim's tag is very nostalgic, and he used black and white vintage photos with a Christmas theme.  Here it is:

As soon as I saw this tag, I knew exactly how I was going to do it.  No B&W vintage photos, but rather, some colorful vintage clip art from PID.  I filled my film strip ribbon with different pictures of Santa, and.....well, take a look at mine first, then I'll go into the details:

My larger focal image is also from PID, and I kept with the Santa theme.  I don't have a dyno label maker, but fortunately PID has a collage sheet full of words done on one.  You can't even tell they're not the real deal.
For some reason, the large silver numbers weren't talking to me, but the smaller old game pieces I had in my stash were not only talking, they were singing!  I couldn't believe my luck in finding a 2 and a 5.  I just dabbed over them with some of the green alcohol inks.  My foliage poinsettia is pretty much done like Tim's.  I haven't punched a hole in the brad (yet)'s just too early in the morning for hammering.
With all the color, I thought the type charms Tim used (and which I dearly love) were too busy on my already busy tag, so I just left them out.
I continued the color scheme with red and green ribbon.
What I love most about this tag is the way Tim used the film strip ribbon.  Though I don't scrap as much as I once did, I am still a scrapper, and I know eventually this technique will find its way into some of my layouts.  What a great way to use those little index prints of your photos.
I'll have a second post in a bit.  I worked on something COMPLETELY different that I want to share with you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 8

Another lovely tag today, with a new (for me) technique:  aging vellum so it resembles old parchment paper.
This is Tim's inspiration piece:

I have vellum, I have the inks, I have a music stamp.  One element down, several to go.  No lamp post stamp, again, not the same flourish stamp.  I have hitch fasteners for the key, but can't use them (need them for an upcoming class). Oh, and where oh where did my scratch tool go?  I just saw it recently, but it was MIA today.  So I scratched up the background with a coarse sanding block.  Not that you really see the scratches when all is said and done.   Lots of changes and adaptations today.  Here is what I came up with:

I had the fancy grungeboard lamp, and cut the post from some plain board, inked them up with embossing ink and applied the black embossing powder.  I inked up a little piece of vellum, as long as it was there staring at me, glued it to the back of the lamp and then plopped in some antique linen distress stickles:

Although I do have the word key that Tim used, it looked too clunky on my tag (my lamp post is much smaller than the stamped version), so I used one of the old keys I had in my stash.  I dabbed some copper/gold rub-n-buff on it and then some black alcohol ink.  I found a little metal tag that says "sing," and gave it the same treatment and attached it to the key. While I was at it, and already had a copper/gold finger, I toned down the gold of the bells with the same rub-n-buff treatment.   Instead of using the hitch fastener, I threaded the key through the ribbon with a jump ring.

I also curled the vellum differently, not because I had this great artistic vision of how it should be on my tag.  But because I JUST DON'T FOLLOW DIRECTIONS  very well.
All in all, I'm very pleased with how I adapted the tag and think it is a cheery, musical one.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 7

I've been waiting for a tag that used masking, but never imagined I'd be asked to make my own mask.  More on that later.  Here is Tim's fabulous tag (love the vintage Santa!):

Tim used his mask sheet to create the Santa mask.  Since I never thought I'd need that it's not in my supply stash.  I stamped my Santa (different stamp) onto an inkjet transparency sheet, which worked well, though it has no adhesive to hold it in place.  I used painter's tape instead.  If you're already confused, please go to Tim's blog first to get all the detailed directions.

Here is my finished tag, followed by a few more explanations (and don't forget, you can click on an image to get a much larger view):

I would have liked my white paint flourishes to be a bit bolder, but I think I didn't have enough paint on my stamp.  I used a word stick instead of a philosophy tag.  I just highlighted the word with black paint then rubbed gold rub n buff on it.

My clear ink pad didn't seem juicy enough, so I stamped my sentiment in gold ink and used gold EP.  Just wish I had a larger bolder stamp, like the one Tim used.  Uh oh, that to-buy list is lengthening.

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Wow, week 6 already!  This is the sketch the Gotham City Stampers Design Team had to work with:

Where does Marty get these ideas?
This is my take (I was suffering from Christmas/Chanukah overload and wanted totally different colors):

Now if you head over to Heidi's blog, you'll see what the rest of the DT did.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 6

People were wondering what materials Tim would use on today's tag.  Who would have guessed sparkly fluff?  I'm not sure what it is, but know I don't have any.  My fifth grade teacher made us memorize a proverb a day, so I'm thinking....necessity is the mother of invention.  Anyway........... here is Tim's wonderful, nostalgic tag (the sparkly fluff is what makes the snow on the tree):

I have the car stamp, though a smaller version of it, and I have a beautiful and similar tree stamp from Stampin' Up.  Don't have that greeting stamp, don't have any jute, and again don't have that flourish stamp Tim uses almost every day.  No problem.  Remember the proverb.   Here is my version, followed by some explanation:

Tim covered his tag with dictionary paper and showed us a cool technique for pulling off some of the text with masking tape.  I do have old dictionary sheets, but decided to go with an old music sheet instead.  And I did use the masking tape technique.
Instead of the sparkly fluff, I mixed together some white flock and glitter shards for my snow.  I doubt if the sparkle shows up in the photo, but it is very nice soft fluffy and glittery snow.
I did find an old game piece, but opted not to use it.  My car is smaller than Tim's and the piece was just out of proportion.
Instead of the jute, I used plain old string, the kind you keep around the house to tie up stacks of newspapers.  Except mine is in the studio for art projects.  Oh, I do recycle, but get my news from TV and the internet.
So, here it is, all of 8:00AM, and Tag 6 is done!  On to other projects.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 5

I loved doing this tag, and of all five, this is the one I'm most pleased with.  Maybe because Tim used the charm fragments, which I fell in love with on the cruise.  (Yep, I'm not going to stop referring to that artful voyage!) Here is the tag that Tim did:

I had most of the supplies on hand, but really not very many stamps small enough to use with the charms.  Then I remembered.....I have some GREAT vintage Christmas images from Paper Imagery Designs, and the sizes are just right.  So that's what I used.  Here is my tag:

Click on the photo for a larger view.  I didn't have the colors of distress embossing powder that Tim used (remember, I only have black), so I used regular EP.  I toned down the brightness of them by dabbing the embossed areas with some brown stazon ink.
Other differences:  I added the little red ribbons atop each ornament.  Just thought they should be there.  I have a lot of German scrap, so finished my tag off with both gold and red scrap.
You can barely see the gold paint used on the flourishes, but that doesn't bother me.  Just wanted to let you know that is it there.  Somewhere.
On to other projects.  Hours and hours to go before Tag 6.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 4

This is the tag Tim designed for today.  I thought it would be a fast one, since I was bypassing the whole "make your own custom inkpad" portion.  I had some jump ring trauma and bow making disasters.  One of those days.  Also, whatever sparkly stuff I used in my memory capsule (don't know what it looked like what Tim used, but it sticks to the capsule, so you can barely see what's underneath) wasn't the best choice.  Anyway......all that aside, I do like my tag.  I saw there was the number 25 on the bingo card stamp, so I highlighted it in red and added rock candy distress stickles.  Also some other stickles on the berry stamps.  You can't really see the charm I used....didn't have any I liked for this tag, so made one from Tim's type charms.  It is a star.  Trust me on that.  OK, enough is my tag:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The 12 Tags of Christmas, Day 3

Love the background technique on today's tag.....alcohol ink stripes!  Here's what Tim made:

What great tags, and so far, this was the easiest.  I had an 8am appointment, and managed to get some backgrounds done before I left the house:

In the true spirit of being a copy cat, I decided to make two tags also.  I used some really nice SU tree stamps for the first one, and the background with the light greens:

I didn't have any jute, but think the twill works nicely too.

For the Santa tag, I went with the traditional red and green:

I like the way the lace looks, so used that in place of my non-existent jute.  Haven't decided what to do with the other two backgrounds, but they'll show up somewhere.

Bring on Tag 4!