Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Color Journal and Embossed Tags

Once upon a time, I did a page for Daisy's Journal of Dreams.  Gina saw it, and ever since has been  hinting
begging  asking for a similar page in one of  her journals.  Well, you know, we don't repeat ourselves, but I felt I could create something new and still give Gina what she wanted.
Here is the page I did for Daisy, a long, long time ago:
And here are the two pages for Gina.....her colors are sepia, yellow, orange, red, black and gold.
First page:
And the second:

The background is colorwash, collaged papers, more colorwash, oil pastels.  The fantasy city is kind of a mix of NY and Moscow, created from photos, clip art, postcards and my own drawings.

By the way, Gina is very pleased with them.  (Me too!)

Stephen at ATT is hosting a tag swap.  Only rule....we have to use Tim's new embossing folders (called texture fades) somewhere on the tags.  Now, I'd ordered the folders ages ago, and have been waiting not so patiently for them to arrive.  I really thought I'd have to drop out of the swap, but they came yesterday, and I was so excited, I got right to it.  We were to make 6 tags (and we'll get 6 back), and mine are mostly alike.  I did use a different texture fade on each one (simply so I could play with them), but other than a few other minor differences, if you've seen one, you've seen them all.  Having said that, I'm still going to show you three.  See if you can spot the differences.  

I used Core'dinations paper....very cool stuff.  The core of the paper is a different color than the outside, which makes for some interesting effects.  After embossing, I sanded the raised areas so the core color shows through.
The heart and wings are cut with Tim's die called (oddly enough), Heart Wings.  I stamped the eye with embossing ink and embossed it with black detail embossing powder.  The crown is chipboard from Maya Road, and I used a glittery EP called African Gold.  It turned out a bit too glittery, so I toned it down (yep, this is the toned down version) with some olive Stazon ink.
The tag is edged with a gold pen, and under the flying heart is a criss cross of black and gold ribbon.  Some gold trim on the bottom finishes it off.
The sentiment (which I pretty much chose because size wise it fit on the tag, and it contains the word heart, and I do like it) is from Invoke Arts.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Week Three

 Alcohol Ink Monoprints

We were instructed to turn to page 51 in Tim's book, and have at it.  Well, I just cut up the paper we're to use and made a whole bunch of samples.  First I did some monochromatic ones.

Then I just started using some colors randomly.
I left most of them as is for my technique book, but decided to turn one into an ATC.
The border is some paper from the Lost and Found stack, cut with Tim's scallop On The Edge die.  I embossed the chipboard butterflies with some bright EPs, and wrote "fly" with an embossing pen and then used one of the same EPs on that.

This is a very cool technique that (believe it or not) I don't think I've used before.   Check out Linda's blog for all the details, and join in.  Still lots more prizes to be won.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Journal of Dreams -- Thinking of Days Long Gone

I received Heather's JOD last week and as sometimes happens, had an immediate idea for my pages, so got right to it.  I've been using old family photos in my altered book, and continued that theme on these pages.
This is the front.  The background is watercolor paper with distress inks and colorwash, then stamped with clear ink on a fabulous flourish stamp, embossed with clear EP, then inked some more.
The vintage pens are from a Graphic 45 sheet.
The gate is a die cut I found in my stash; the leaves are also cut from a die.....but this one I can identify.  It's on Tim's Regal Crest die.
The photo is of (in order of appearance), me and two cousins, Jack and Sandi.  It was taken one summer in the yard of my grandmother's beach house, and I have VERY fond memories of those times.  I highlighted the little faces with tiny grommets.  
And, on the flip side:
The background is a used dryer sheet, sprayed with homemade mica spray and glued to a previously colorwashed piece of watercolor paper.  You can see a few sprays of leaves peeking out from behind the journaling tag.....they were made with what was left when I cut the leaves from the TH die.  I used this negative as a stencil and pounced some Vintage Photo distress ink over them.
The strip on the left is made of bits of leftover papers from a page in the TH Lost and Found stack.
The photo is of my father and his two younger brothers.  I get a kick out of it.....they all look so solemn, and I can't help wondering how the photographer got three little guys to stay so still and appear so serious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Four Tags, Six Canvases and Two Journal Pages

Had to do some tags with a wedding theme, and decided to use the Graphic 45 Romantique papers I've been hoarding saving.  Except for the bride image in the scallop circles, they're all the same, and here's a closer look at one:
I ran some Core'dinations paper (dark brown with a coral core) through my Big Kick, using a new SU! embossing folder called Vintage Wallpaper.  Very pretty.  Sanded the raised areas.  The bow on top is one of those bright brassy cheapo charms, and I toned them down with some shell pink and espresso alcohol inks,  The little bride and groom image inside the oval charm blank is from the Graphic 45 pad, and I covered it with glossy accents. 
I punched the bride image using the SU! scallop circle punch, and layered it with foam dots on top of two more scallops, these punched with the new SU 2 3/8" scallop circle punch.
The sentiment is from Wendy Vecchi's Homemade Art set, and I stamped it on the coral side of some Core'dinations scraps.
One of the swaps I recently joined is a 5x7" canvas swap at ATT.  I have to make 6, and Sharona, the host, will assemble collages for all participants, similar to the chaos swap.....except that all the canvases are the same size and done in landscape orientation.  I started working on this a while ago, and finished this past weekend.  
I love these collaborative projects, and tried to include many techniques and products in my creations.
The background is a collage of dictionary pages, lightly inked.  The large label was cut from grungepaper, using Tim's Styled Labels die.  There are two designs on the die, and I used them both.  I inked the labels with vintage photo distress ink, covered them with vintage photo embossing powder, and heat set.  Then, to add a little patina, I dabbed the pieces randomly with the distress embossing ink pad, drizzled some Ranger verdigris embossing powder from the Antiquities line over top, tapped off the excess, and re-heated the piece.
I topped it with a keyhole (with a tiny picture under the hole).  The label isn't really attached to the canvas with those tiny staples (I used sticky tape); they're just there for effect.
Over to the right....grungepaper border cut with Tim's Brackets on the edge die, embossed with Diamonds in the Rough Cuttlebug embossing folder, and inked with wild honey  and vintage photo distress inks. Next to it, a strip from one of Tim's Lost and Found papers.
Other embellishments:  two tiny bottles wrapped together with wire and decorated with a resistor, attached with sticky tape.  A key given a rust treatment with distress ink and distress embossing powder, and another key from my stash.
The leaves are cut from Tim's Regal Crest die....I just cut them apart into different lengths.
Under the four fragments on the bottom are elements from Lost and Found again, except for the largest fragment, which covers the eye from Tim's Oddities stamp set.
Finished it off with a corner in the upper left hand......well, corner!
Oh, and I attached a bit of chain underneath the large label.  I thought I'd have a charm dangling from it, but I think I'm going to just leave it as is.

My Frida Kahlo journal group got off to an on-time start, and the first one I received was Elena's.  I have a month to complete her pages and send it on, but as sometimes happens, I had an idea, and ran with it.  I've found when I don't do that, I usually just lose the whole thing.
I was thinking about the haphazard way we sometimes save the little bits and pieces that we call memorabilia. Some are stuck into a picture frame or around the edges of a mirror.  Some are in a box, maybe a vintage cigar box, and we open it up, we see a collage of photos, ticket stubs, dried flowers, postcards, documents.  I wanted the pages I did for Elena to have that look.  Here is my two page spread:
And each page separately:

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Week Two


Wow, we're in week two of the challenge...where did the last 7 days go?
If you're new to this, check out Linda's blog for all the details.
This week the challenge technique is "Fragments Basics," found on page 62 of Tim's book.  I was feeling a little whimsical, and used the technique to create my "fragmented traveling man":

I got a little more practice in the water stamping from last week's challenge on my background paper.  Sneaky me.  Used some Heidi Swapp clear extras as well as paper from Tim's Lost and Found stack.  Finished it off with some travel stamps.
Congrats to the prize winners from week 1, and my fingers are crossed for this week's giveaways on both Linda's blog and the ATT group.  Yep, more prizes, so go create something!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friends, Food, and Fathers

So, yesterday I met some friends on Arthur Avenue, the heart of the Little Italy of the Bronx.  There's nothing I can say in words that would be more descriptive than a few pictures.
 And today is Father's Day.  Mine has been gone for almost 17 years, and I miss him and still think about him every day.  Here's two of my favorite shots, both taken before I was even born.
The first was taken in our backyard in Brooklyn, the second on the boardwalk in Rockaway Beach.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.
And Happy Father's Day to all you other dads out there. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm A Glutton For Chaos

Creative chaos, that is.  Everyone involved was so in love with the Chaos project at ATT, that it didn't take long for someone to suggest doing it at EWV, this time using mostly Wendy's stamps and her style.  So, of course, I signed up.
This time I was assigned a small tag...only 2 3/4" x 1 3/8".  I love a good challenge, and this was one in the sense that though I do own many Wendy stamp sets, most have images way too large to use on such a small tag.  Ultimately I wound up using one of her background stamps and a border stamp.  Everything else I did falls under the Wendy style category.
Above, my pile of 12 finished tags.  I'm very happy with the way they turned out.  Here are the deets for the tag:
  • tag inked with wild honey distress ink, then run through my big kick in the victoria cuttlebug folder.
  • hit the raised areas with stormy sky distress ink, which came out looking green instead of blue.  duh!  yellow(wild honey) + blue(stormy sky) = green.
  • stamped the left side with the flower border from Wendy's art rules set, and the right side with one of the tiny design elements from Tim's mini cirque alphabet, both with black archival ink.
  • filled in the center of the flowers with broken china distress stickles.
  • drew some dashes next to the floral border with a dark blue glaze pen.
As for the star of the tag, the cheerful little birdie:

  • he was cut with a stampin' up punch from some of the manila paper left over after cutting the tag down to size; believe it or not, no grungepaper was used in this project.
  • the birds were stamped with the herringbone background stamp from Wendy's well worn art set, using black archival ink, then inked all over with broken china distress ink.
  • the wing was inked with faded jeans distress ink, and both the body and wing were edged with black soot distress ink.
  • the wing was attached to the body with a Tim snap, and the eye is one of Tim's mini fasteners (AKA, a brad).
OK...drumroll please.....what tickles me most, what I am most proud of....what sits atop said birdie's head.  I really wanted him to have a crown, but alas, none of my blingy crowns, grungeboard crowns, chipboard crowns, die cut crowns, or rubber stamp crowns were small enough.  Even the maya road mini crowns weren't mini enough.  Can you guess what I used?  Take a look:
That tacky little sun charm sitting next to the penny to show scale became my bird's top feathers.  First I flattened the charms in my big kick, then I cut them in half (with a plain old scissors -- they are cheap and thin in addition to being tacky).  I put a little bit of wadded up super sticky tape on the face part of the charm half and positioned it behind the bird's head.  It's OK if you're not as impressed with this as I am.  Cause I am impressed enough for all of us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge

I love a good challenge.  I love Tim's book.  Put the two together and you have the CCC -- Compendium of Curiosities Challenge.
Linda from Studio L3 had this great idea....present a weekly challenge to try one of the many techniques from the book.  No, we're not going in order.  You have to check out Linda's blog every Monday to see what we're doing.
There will be random drawings for cool gifts.  Linda got us a sponsor!  Gloria, the list mom from ATT will also be doing giveaways.
Are you excited yet?
Most people seem to be using their techniques as backgrounds for cards, etc.  I'm going really basic here.  I have a little moleskin journal and I'm doing my techniques in it.  No embellishments, no stamped sentiments, just my experiments with the weekly challenges.
Our first challenge:  Water Stamping.  I used tumbled glass, stormy sky, chipped sapphire and pumice stone, and a fabulous flourish stamp.
Hey, I told you I was keeping it simple!  No tutorial here....sorry, but that really wouldn't be fair to Tim or for that matter, to everyone who has bought the book.  If you want to learn more about this do yourself a favor and get the book!  It is wonderful and you will love it.  Besides, you'll need it to be a part of this challenge, and it's too much fun to pass up.  And remember, I mentioned sponsors, giveaways.....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chaos and Chunkiness

Remember the Chaos project I was involved with?  No?  Don't feel badly, I definitely suffer from CRS myself.  Just click HERE to be reminded.   Anyway.......I received my completed canvas over a week ago, and finally figured out how to display it, which explains my delay in blogging about it.....because it is absolutely fantastic, and know ahead of time, the photgraph won't do it justice.
Pam and Nancy spent the entire Memorial Day weekend assembling the 12x12 canvases for everyone in groups 1 and 2, not merely arranging the tags artfully, but adding so many touches to pull it all together.  And then the monumental task of carefully packaging everything, toting boxes and getting it all in the mail.  Bravo Pam and Nancy!
I couldn't frame the piece traditionally; I didn't want it under glass and I wanted to preserve the title on the top and the danglies on the bottom.  Oh, I could have hung it as it was for sure, but felt it deserved a grander presentation.
I found an unfinished 17x17 wood frame with a perfectly flat surface and NO GLASS.  I sanded it, applied a coat of gesso, then just went at it with various glazes and distress inks and my distressing tools.  The canvas fit nicely over the opening, (attached with some super sticky tape)  and it is on a wall where I can see and appreciate it daily.
I've also been busy doing some chunky ATCs (blocks of wood cut to ATC size, 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 AND 1 1/2" thick) in a very vintage style.  What's so cool about these chunkies is how you get to decorate so many sides....5 to be exact.  Yes, I do know that they have 6 sides, but the bottoms where they rest on a shelf are embellishment free.
Just about everything I used to make them is from Tim Holtz, unless otherwise noted.   Here's a one side at a time view.

(Photos inside Filmstrip Frames die cut from PID)

(Photos from Tim's Lost & Found paper stack, covered with rock candy distress crackle paint)

(words done with my old style Dymo label maker. All sides
were first wrapped with Tim's tissue tape.)

(How could I resist using a part of Tim's At The Movies stamp set? As I commented months ago when the set was released, not only is Eileen my name, but the movie theater across the street from the house I grew up in was The Biltmore.  Was I meant to own this stamp or what?)

I plan to spend a good part of this gray and dismal Sunday working on some canvases for yet another ATT swap, and getting this week's Technique Tuesday ready.   What artful things are you doing today?