Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Honey of A Weekend

Beautiful gardens and breathtaking river views might not be the first things you think of when you think of the Bronx (if, in fact, you ever think about the Bronx), but those descriptions surely fit Wave Hill.....fabulous public gardens right in my neighborhood.
Wave Hill has great educational programs including regular art activities, always with a nature related theme.  The "Honey Weekend" just ended, with Saturday devoted to beekeeping and honey, and Sunday all about beeswax and candles.
I went with five friends on Sunday to enjoy the grounds and roll up some beeswax candles.

We were given several sheets of beeswax, and directions. 

This is just what I had leftover and brought home for future candle making......we really were given LOTS.
We also each received little bee pins to decorate our finished candles.  OK, all together now, everyone say, "awww, how cute." 
Watching a demo of how to make candles that look just like beehives.

We stayed for about two hours and we each made several candles. I did a pair of tapers, and one odd little barrel shaped candle.
But my favorites were the ones shaped to look like beehives.  I made a whole family of those.
(Thanks to Amalia who provided the Wave Hill  photographs!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

This Week.....A Threefer!

Monday.....that means another CCC and SSSS.  And....another birthday card off my to-do list.  I had a "duh" moment, and realized that I may as well be creating some cards (that I'd be doing anyway) for these challenges.
CCC this week (Week 12, would you believe???)  is "chipped enamel," which happens to be a favorite of mine, and one I've done often.  At SSSS, the theme is "show us your layers," which we're free to interpret and are encouraged to have many layers to our pieces.
So, here's my multi-layered, chipped enamel birthday card (and I'm not saying for who):
Layer One: the card base
Layer Two: the chipboard shape covered with tissue tape
Layer Three: the birthday greeting
Layer Four: ornate plate and leaves
Layer Five: large flower
Layer Six: small flower
Layer Seven: brad
OK, I may be pushing it, calling the brad a layer, but it is on top of the flowers, isn't it?
What I used:
large flower...........faded jeans DEP (distress embossing powder)
small flower...........broken china DEP
brad in flower center.......................mustard seed DEP
double leaf.............pine needles DEP
single leaf..............peeled paint DEP
brads on ornate plate.....................peeled paint
and, my personal favorite.....the ornate plate, on which I used not one, but THREE DEPs:  shabby shutters, peeled paint, and old paper.
I LOVE the way the three DEPs look together, but it is a bit wasteful since you can't return the excess to their containers.  But I used very little, applying each color randomly.
(I saved the excess anyway, in a separate container.  I'll put all future mixed DEPs there, and someday use it and be surprised.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Of Dreams and Art Angels

Another JOD (Journal of Dreams) arrived  recently, and I finished my pages this week.  Jacquie's journal is a bit larger than most (don't remember the exact measurements, but it was about 9x12).  Dreams of flying are common, and it's a theme I've used many times, though differently in each journal.  I generally prefer to work on a smaller page, but the great thing about one this size, is the ability it gives to use really big images.  

I started with applying inks to the watercolor paper.....I swiped the pads directly on the paper, sprayed water on top, then blended with a paper towel.  I kept doing this until I was happy, and added a torn strip of beautiful paper from the Mariposa stack (DCWV).   That paper suddenly looked a little bright to me, so I toned down some of its glitziness with more ink.  (Don't you love how you can alter patterned paper to suit your needs?)
I drew the bird head on cardstock, cut it out, and covered it with bits of old dress pattern paper (thank you Sherry, for sending my necklace wrapped in this wonderful paper!).  More ink (black and  several browns), and then the whole thing coated with some gel medium to seal it and give it a nice glossy finish.
I had some leftover crayon paper made with a used dryer sheet (click here for a tutorial on that), and tore some wisps of that for the birdie's head feathers.  Since most self-respecting birds in my dreams are regal, I gave this one a nice big crown.
Texture is hard to see in photographs, but the bird and cage on the left have it (texture, that is).
I used the negative left over after cutting Tim's caged bird die as a stencil, and applied some modeling paste.  This left a raised image of  the cage and bird, which dries hard and is firmly attached to the paper.   More ink, some random stamping and doodling, and side one is done.

On the back....the same sort of inking and spraying, and another piece of Mariposa paper, also toned down with ink.   The "fly away home" stamp is ATC-sized, and is from Red Lead.  Dangling from it is a (very distorted) little bird cage, cut from Tim's die on black shrink plastic, shrunk down with my heat tool, and embellished with some beads.  I'll go on record here as saying that the distortion was carefully planned and came out exactly as I wanted.  Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
The journaling was done with my much beloved Sakura glaze pens.

I started making art angels a while back, and have shown you some in the past.  This is one of my favorites, and was sent to my friend Sherry to look over her and protect her while she deals with a serious health issue.  Sherry just blogged about this, so click here to get the info from the source.  Love you, Sherry!
Made with LOVE, a key, a crushed bottlecap, some wings, a stamped image, resistors, and did I say, LOVE? 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mounted And Hung

Did that get your attention?  Hmmm, well get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about mounting the tags I received on poster board, and how the finished product looks when hung on my wall.
Background:  Earlier this year I participated in a tag swap in the ATT yahoo group, organized by the amazing Pam, and received a finished canvas, which I mounted on a large frame.  This one, remember:
Well, not long after thata similar swap was organized on the EWV yahoo group, though this time we'd have to mount the tags ourselves.  I followed the same template, and added some embellishments on the board as well as dangling some charms from the bottom.  I also got the identical frame and finished it, not identically (don't want to be too matchy matchy), but similarly.
So, enough talk, here it is:
BTW, the little tag on the top right is mine.

I hung it near the ATT canvas and think they look fantastic together. This is a hallway wall, so I see these beauties whenever I move from room to room.  Also, both are visible from the kitchen.
I can't wait for the next collaborative project to arrive.....a 5x7" canvas swap, which should be coming any time now.  The completed collaborations I have are amongst my favorite pieces. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Journal of Dreams -- Round and Round We Go

My friend Marita constructed an amazing book for us to use....it is large, and it is round. Marita's pages were all black and white, and many of the artists that came before me kept to that scheme. Sometimes I know ahead of time what I'd like to do in a journal, but I had no plans for this one.
We often discuss where we get inspiration for our projects.   Well, I was listening to music and  heard, for the first time in YEARS, "Legs," by ZZ Top.  And that, boys and girls, is where these pages came from.
Of course I found an excuse to use my new best friend, the sewing machine (for attaching the lace trim).  The background paper is from Stampin' Up, and the legs are from all over the place, but several come from Graphic 45 papers.  There's bling and there's embossing too.
The back of this page continues the theme (and provides some lyrics):
The background paper is Stampin' Up again (inked and distressed a bit), and all the images are Graphic 45.  
This journal is full of amazing pages, and Miz Marita will see it very soon.  It will go to Gina this week, and she will be the last to work in it before it returns home.
Hope you love it as much as I loved working in it my friend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two Challenges, An Etsy Shop and a Tutorial

Ah, how easy it was this week to do another double-duty piece for the CCC and SSSS challenges.  Please click on the respective initials to learn more about each one.  Why do I love these challenges so much?  I find it easier to work with a focus sometimes.  I am an admitted technique junkie, so love the opportunity to try new ones.  I am a sucker when prizes are in the offering.  Though I've not won anything yet, my competitive side lives in hope.
This week's CCC is the blended batik technique, to be found on page 36 of Tim's book.  And at SSSS, we're to do anything Lord Tim of Holtz inspired.  Pretty obvious that I can get two for the price of one here.
So, without further ado, blathering, digressing, here is my Lord Tim of Holtz inspired blended batik tag:
For the technique itself (which is what you see in the background) I used a bunch of neutrals....old paper, vintage photo, tea dye, and antique linen distress inks.  The stamps I used:  Post Card is from Tim's Letter to Santa set, and the script is from his French Marketplace set. Over the technique I stamped the postmark (also from French Marketplace) in walnut stain, and the Eiffel Tower (a Stampin' Up stamp) in black soot.
The ticket and advertisement, tucked under the large grommet are from the 100th Collection set and French Marketplace respectively, and I stamped them on scraps of manilla tags and inked and distressed them with a variety of the same neutral inks used on the large tag.
I finished it off with some lace ribbon on top and bottom, and that made me just have to use the image of the lovely lady, snipped from a Graphic45 sheet.
Now, what's this about an etsy shop?  No, not mine....I still have some issues with selling stuff (and let's just leave my issues out of this blog, thank you very much), but the shop of a good friend with mega talent.  Remember this?
 It is the fabulous one-of-a-kind charm necklace done for me by my friend Val.  Val's necklaces are stunning, and she has opened at etsy shop.  Check it out.....you won't see jewelry like this anywhere else.

As for the last reference in this blogpost title, every other Tuesday I do a technique tutorial on the Paper Imagery Designs blog, and today is that day.  Come and visit me there and see how to make some cool backgrounds with melted crayons!

Monday, August 16, 2010

CCC And SSSS, or A Tale Of Many Initials (and two challenges)

Okay, I hope this isn't perceived as cheating, but I have to find ways to do all I want to do and still have time for other pursuits....like doing the occasional load of laundry or talking to a friend.
So, whenever possible I'm going to see if I can create one piece as my submission for both the Compendium of Curiosities challenge AND the Simon Says Stamp And Show challenge.  Starting now and forever more, to be referred to here (again, saving time) as CCC and SSSS.  Phew....now that that is out of the way, on to the details.
This is week 10 of CCC, and the new challenge theme is:  distress stickles.  Near and dear to my heart.  I love them, have lots of them, and, in fact, spent the weekend on the finishing touches of my cruise swaps....said touches involving the application of much rock candy distress stickles.  But I digress....
The challenge theme at SSSS is to create a piece featuring the stamps and/or style of Wendy Vecchi and her Studio 490 stamps.
Now, if for some reason you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about, please click HERE to learn more about CCC, and HERE to find out what SSSS is all about.
So, without further ramblings, apologies or explanations, here is my double-duty piece:
I'm pretty sure I've stuck to the theme for both challenges.  Here's what I did:
I covered a tag with milled lavender distress ink, then embossed it with Tim's damask folder, and highlighted the raised areas and edges with dusty concord distress ink.  I then rubbed the entire tag with some milled lavender distress stickles.  The top and bottom are wrapped with some tissue tape, and the bottom cut with Tim's ornate die.
I made the flower by first cutting 8 of the smaller of the two six petal flowers on Tim's tattered florals die.  (I used paper from Tim's vintage shabby stack).  Each flower was crumbled up, uncrumbled, stacked and stuck together with a brad.  Then you just have to fuss with each layer a bit to get the look you like.  I hit the edges with some dusty concord and glued a half pearl on top of the brad.
The leaves are a stamp from Wendy's dimensional rose art set.  I stamped them with archival olive on sticky back canvas and colored them with bundled sage and forest moss distress ink, attached them to some paper for a little heft, cut them out, and applied some peeled paint distress stickles.
The sentiment is from Wendy's seriously art set.  I stamped it with archival olive on a scrap from a tag which was inked to match the background.   The little flowers (dandelions????) you see behind the words are on a stamp from Wendy's botanical art set.  I cut the whole thing with a Stampin' Up punch.
One last detail.....a row on tiny pearls to go with the flower's pearl center.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Simon Says.......

.......Stamp and Show!  A new challenge blog sponsored by Simon Says Stamp, and one that has two of my cruise buds as DT members....Lori and Nancy.
I know, this is my second post of the morning, but I find these challenges hard to resist.
The first SSSS challenge theme is "wings."  I figured I'd do something a little different instead of my usual tag or ATC.  So, here is a button fairy:
The butterfly wings were cut from Ten Seconds Studio metal with Tim's Fanciful Flight die, then sanded a bit.  The "art" face is an Invoke Arts stamp, and it is on a crushed bottle cap.  The buttons are just some from my (very large) stash.

The Compendium of Curiosities Challenge - Week Nine

Distress Crackle
By now I'm sure you know all the details of this wonderful ongoing challenge, but just in case....click on the link above to go to Linda's blog and read all about it.
As it turns out, I only have some Rock Candy (clear) distress crackle at the moment (methinks there's a shopping trip in my near future), so that is what I used.  Here's my tag:
I used the technique on the background paper (from Tim's Vintage Shabby paper stack) and on the large tattered floral (from Tim's Lost and Found paper stack).  The small flower and leaves on the top are grungepaper stamped with Wendy's stamps.
The bottom of the tag was cut with Tim's Ornate die, and the sentiment is a Stampin' Up stamp. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vintage Beauty

Jason from ATT hosted a vintage photo page swap, and yesterday I received all the pages......they are all gorgeous!  Sometimes in these multi-player page swaps you get a page or two that are....well, how do I put this?  Not as great as the others?  Underwhelming?  You get the idea.  Not this time.  Honestly, I love them all, so much so, that I wasted no time in getting them bound together.
My one and only complaint....four fabulous artist did not identify themselves!  As soon as they step forward and claim their pages, I will insert their names.  ****NOTE:  I believe all pages are now properly identified, but if any of my information is incorrect, please let me know.****
Here is my precious book:
 Jason's Cover....he did one for each of us!
Cover with door opened
 My page
 Unknown :(   Sue Stoughton's Page
Inge's Page
Unknown :(   Joyce Norman's Page
Jason's Page
Pamela B.'s Page
Gail's Page
Pam A.'s Page
Unknown :(  Liz Walters' Page
Unknown :(  Lisa's Page
Ellen's Page
Kim's Page
My great friend Pat's Page
Penci's Page
Deb's Page
Nancy M.'s Page
Jan's Page
Sue B.'s Page
Gloria's Page

I have to say, I only snapped pix of the fronts, and the backs are every bit as gorgeous.  Hmmmm...maybe I'll do a page back post another time.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Dream In Colors.......turquoise, rust and white

I received Lil's wonderful IDIC journal yesterday, and as sometimes happens, had an immediate idea, and once I got started, couldn't stop.  As I've mentioned before, this collaborative journal was inspired by True Colors,  a wonderful book edited by Lynne Perrella.  For more on that, go here.
Anyway, Lil's chosen colors were turquoise, dusty rose and white, but in her introductory note she mentioned that she didn't really love the rose with the other colors, and preferred rust....and I obliged.
Here are the two pages I did, side by side:
And closer views of each separately:
(you can click on any of my photos for a more detailed look)
I sprayed the entire page (watercolor paper) with a homemade spray (water, turquoise re-inker and turquoise perfect pearls), then set about tearing up several different papers, patterned and solid, that had rust as the primary color....tore them into literally hundreds of pieces.  I started out doing a random collage, but soon felt that it all looked like a bunch of abstract buildings.
The '64 hit by Martha and the Vandellas has been in my head all summer (it's been a hot one), so I added some dancing silhouettes made from white mulberry paper.
The added texture to the sky is just some aqua tissue paper rolled up and glued down.  Speaking of glue, I used soft gel medium on everything.  I really do love the stuff.
The journaling, or I should say, song lyrics, was written with another greatly loved tool....a Sakura glaze pen in dark blue.
My only regret.....I should have written "dancin' in the streets" not "dancing in the streets."  Guess the part of me that was once an English major won out.  But in the actual lyrics, the correct word is "dancin'"