Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gifts.....Given and Received

I was the host for a special gift exchange for the Gotham City Stampers, and this past Friday at our quarterly meeting, we exchanged gifts.
If you remember the inspiration board I made in Wendy Vecchi's class on the cruise, that was MY inspiration in making my gift.  I was very happy when I drew JennyB's name, as I knew for sure she'd appreciate it.
Here it is, with some (fuzzy....sorry!) closeups:
Heidi altered a journal and lucky me!  She picked my name.  Here I am holding up that beauty:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Background Techniques

Every Tuesday I post a background technique on the Paper Imagery Designs blog.  I don't think I've ever mentioned that before, so I'm telling you now.  Take a trip over there and check it out.  On the sidebar you'll see a list under the word "Labels."  If you click on "Technique Tuesday,"  you'll see all of them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge - Week 13

This week's sketch from Marty:

I had just gotten a box of new Stampin' Up supplies, and enjoyed using the Sweet Pea felt pieces on my card. Very springy!

I have very much enjoyed being on the Gotham City Stampers design team, and look forward to more challenges in the future.  My upline Heidi is taking a little break from some team activities so she can concentrate on her upcoming wedding to Marty.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by each week to see how I interpreted the sketches.  Don't forget to visit Heidi's blog to see what the others did.

Tomorrow.......very exciting......the start of One World One Heart.  Make sure you come back to see my giveaways and learn more about this event.

Grungepaper Rose Swap

I signed up for a grungepaper rose swap on the Everything Wendy Vecchi yahoo group (from now on and forever to be known as EWV), and it recently concluded.  A very ingenious swap, thanks to my pal Lori.

Part one (Lori calls it Phase One, which actually sounds much more important), was making three GP roses and sending them to our assigned partner.  My partner for this phase was Susan from Illinois, and our roses reached one another without incident.  Unfortunately, I did not think to take a photo of any of them.  The one above is a stand in from another project.  But trust me, all of Susan's roses were lovely!

Phase Two:  take one of the roses received, use it in the project of your choice and send that to a newly assigned partner.  So, I decided to make one of my GP wallets/business card holder/gift card holder/ATC holder.  All purpose, no adhesive needed holder.  I'm proud of it; it is my design.  Others have copied it with my blessings, and I'm happy whenever I see one pop up on someone's blog.  So, here it is, adorned with one of Susan's roses, and now in its new home with Barbara from Oklahoma.  My piece from Barbara is en route.

After I cut the GP I inked it, ran it through an embossing folder, inked it again to highlight the embossing, attached the rose and the beaded danglies.  It closes with a Tim Holtz idea-ology hitch fastener.  There are wings that tuck in on the sides so nothing will fall out.  Look ma!  No glue! Here's a picture of some plainer ones I did for a different swap back in June....shows how they close up and hold everything inside:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Altered Notebooks, Faux Metal, and one other thing.....

I've been altering very plain mini notebooks, the kind you get in the office supply stores for very little money...the ones that start out in life looking like this:

You could emboss some thin metal, embellish it and attach it to the covers. could glue some aluminum foil to a piece of cardstock and emboss that instead.  Which is what I did here, running the cardstock through an embossing folder and coloring it with different shades of Stazon ink:

and here, where I also added a grungeboard bird and some Tim Holtz embellishments:

If you follow Wendy Vecchi's blog (and you really should), you know how she is always so happy when "things work together."  A stamp from one designer works well with an embellishment from another.  Stuff like that.  I feel the same, and am also very excited when I can get something to do double duty.  Check out the closeup of the bird:

I used one of Tim Holtz's foliage flowers for the birdie's head feathers, attaching it from behind so you only see the top of it.  But look at how the brad that attaches it also forms the eye!  I really thought this was waaaaay cool. I know, it doesn't take much to excite me.

Speaking of Tim, he has been posting sneak peeks on his blog of all the new products that will be making their debut at CHA this weekend.  Everything is wonderful, as expected, but one stamp from one stamp set really took my breath away.

Do you see the name of the movie being advertised in the stamp on the left?  "My Sister Eileen."  Not only one of my favorite old movies, but it's MY NAME!!
If that isn't enough to cause heart palpitations, the name of the movie theater right below that is The Biltmore.  Which, just so happens to be the name of the theater that was right across the street from the house I grew up in, in Brooklyn, New York.
In my little fantasy world, Tim designed this stamp with me in mind.  Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  LOL!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Yes, I do have a calendar, and no, I don't think it is Sunday.  Sorry for the delay.  Here is the sketch Marty sent:

I really like bird images and have lots of them.  For this sketch I decided to use a bird from a Tim Holtz collection.  Then I saw the cage....had to put them together:

The bird in the cage looked so sad to me that I felt I just had to put a humorous twist on the card....hence the sentiment.
The birds on a wire that I used instead of a ribbon is from I Brake For Stamps.  The sparkle on them comes from Platinum Stickles, my new favorite.
Check out Heidi's blog to see what the rest of the DT did with the sketch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gorgeous Technique!

Every week I post a technique on the PID blog.  It has the totally unoriginal name of Technique Tuesday.  Today I wrote about one I've seen variations of all over the place.  I think it usually goes by the name of "Joseph's Coat."  In this month's issue of the Technique Junkie Newsletter, there is a great variation that eliminates one of the steps,  and that is the version I presented. You can check it out here.
This is what the background looks like:

And this is an ATC I did for the weekly PID challenge (the theme was Hearts & Flowers):

I've done two more backgrounds with this technique, using different papers, stamps, and inks:

I think I'm addicted!  Gotta go make some more......

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recent Cards

The projects I've been working on lately are either gifts or for swaps that I want to remain secret, so I haven't been able to show them here (yet).  But I have done a few cards recently, mostly at my upline  Heidi's classes.  So, everything is Stampin' Up, and though I've probably tweaked them a bit, all the original designs are Heidi's.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Beginnings Tag

Now that I know my swap partner has received it, I can post the tag I did in the ATT yahoo group.  Allie hosts a monthly swap called, appropriately enough, the Monthly Mailer.
Each month has a different theme, suggested techniques (Tim-inspired, of course), even suggested color combinations.....great for anyone in a rush or whose mojo has temporarily departed.
Since I'm not so big on reading directions, I didn't get much past the theme part, but Liz (my partner) likes it, I like it, so I guess I'm good.  Being January, the theme had to do with new beginnings, time, all that January jazz.
For the little stamp (Tim's, natch!), I used a technique I learned from the very talented Estrella Bianchi.  It involves reinforcements, clear contact paper, and is easier done than described, so no tutorial on it here.  Sorry!  I think it is really cool.  Click on the photo for a closer look.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Week 11 of the sketch challenge was a joy to do because it has the clean graphic lines I like for a card.  Here is Marty's sketch:

And here is my interpretation (pretty straightforward):

The paper, punch, ribbon, and white pearls are all Stampin' Up.  The metal flowers are Making Memories, and the one blue pearl is just something from my stash...origin, unknown.  I love black, white and gray, but think adding one little pop of an unexpected color makes it more interesting.
The rest of the Gotham City Stampers design team made great cards.  Hop on over to Heidi's blog to see what they did.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Organize Those Stickles!


Today I received the stickles organizer I ordered from Sandy, who is in a couple of my yahoo groups.  Her clever husband makes them, and they are well made, reasonably priced, and an organizational treasure!  Check out Sandy's blog for more information and photos.  The pictures above are of has slots for 52 bottles, and look!  It's almost all filled up already.  There's a new model in the works that I have my eye on.  It's on a lazy susan!  How cool is that?

Marty's Sunday Sketch Challenge

Marty's sketch for week 10 was inspired by a trip he and Heidi took to visit family in PA over the holidays.  It has a charming, folk-art kind of look:

I have to admit, this sketch gave me fits at first.  It was my natural instinct to do a more abstract interpretation of the sketch, and I tried several versions, all of which wound up in the scrap pile.  I finally realized that my "muse" wanted to do a landscape scene.  Go figure!  Once I let go, and stopped trying to force myself to do what I clearly did not want to do,  it came together, and this is the result:

I used some torn scrap paper as masks to create the various hills, and just sponged on many shades of greens and browns.  Added some grassy stamping (some even heat embossed) and the birds in the sky.  The little house was stamped on cardstock, cut out and glued on.  I used a mini alphabet set from SU at the last moment to add the "Home Sweet Home" sentiment because.....I just thought it belonged there, following the curves of the hills.
Don't forget to head over to Heidi's blog to see what the rest of the team did with Marty's sketch.  One thing is for sure.....we all saw it differently!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More Button Fairies

Well, I think I may have gotten these out of my system.  Yep, I'm ready to move on to another project. But, first have three more to show you.  Each one a little different.  This one, maybe more elegant than cute:

And this one more grungey than either cute or elegant:

And last, and maybe least (LOL), is this one.....I couldn't Dia De Los Muertos button fairy, certainly not cute, not elegant, not much of anything but weird maybe.  Well, did you really expect me to stick with cute?????

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Button Fairy

Well, this is a new art form for me....the button fairy.  Someone at the ArtHaven group started a swap of them, and I decided to give it a try.

All it involves is some buttons, maybe a few beads, wings, and a pretty face.  The adorable face I used is from a Paper Imagery Designs collage sheet.  The butterfly wings are from a Tim Holtz grungeboard set.  I covered them with a concoction of glossy accents and perfect pearls.

Most of the ones I've seen have a loop on the top for hanging, but I think a tie tack finding on the back would make these into nice pins.

And a great way to use up some of my hundreds of buttons.
If you'd like to know a little more about this, click here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

I don't like resolutions, but I do like setting goals.  Maybe it is just semantics, but as soon as I resolve to do something, I begin the process of derailing myself.  But setting goals is like making a to-do list, and I am an obsessive list maker.  What did I wish to achieve creatively in 2009?  For one thing, I wanted to see something of mine published in a national magazine.  With the Somerset Studios Winter Gallery issue, this goal was realized.  Yea me!   I wanted to post here more regularly, and I think I've been pretty good about that.  I wanted to take a class with Tim Holtz, and went on a whole cruise, taking classes with him and Wendy Vecchi.  Not bad!

For 2010:
  • more published work
  • de-stash - send unwanted stuff to new homes and be more discriminating in my buying
  • say no when necessary - I really don't have to join every swap, challenge, mingle, etc. out there
  • bind those unbound books, finish those half done scrapbook pages; complete all projects.  No more unfinished symphonies!
What are your artistic goals?  What can you do to help yourself achieve them?  Something to think about.