Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wrinkle-Free and Still Distressed and another thing......

No, the title of this post does not refer to botox gone wrong.  It is time for another Compendium of Curiosities challenge.  The latest technique is what Tim refers to as wrinkle-free distress, and it is one of the basics in any inker's arsenal.
Click HERE to be taken to Linda's blog for all the deets.
Meanwhile, over at Simon Says Stamp and Show, the weekly challenge is all about distressing and sanding, so once again, I get a twofer!  Click HERE to learn more about this challenge.
I recently added to my collection of Tim Christmas stamps, so decided to ignore the fall foliage for a moment and make a Christmas tag:
For the wrinkle-free distress I used forest moss, crushed olive, barn red and brick red.
As far as the sanding/distressing goes, you can see that around the ticket and also the edges of the tag.  There's a bit of scratching on the tag itself as well.
What about "and another thing.....?"  Do you recognize this logo?
If you do, then I'll probably see you tomorrow.  If you don't....it's the logo for the 2010 Tim Holtz cruise, and I'll be on board having a blast and learning from the master himself.
Not saying all this to make anyone jealous, just pointing out that this will be my last blog post for a while.  Be back on October 9, and I promise LOTS of photos!  So, bon voyage to me and all my fellow cruisers!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From Cruisewear to Casa Azul

So, there I was last weekend, relaxing on the couch, watching a recorded episode of NCIS, when I get an urgent text from my friend Heidi:  "Quick....turn on QVC NOW!!!"  Fortunately the remote was within reach, or this might not have happened (I did mention I was relaxing), and there was this very famous comedienne and jewelry designer hawking a very lovely necklace made of fabric flowers.
I knew immediately why Heidi wanted me to see this....not to buy it, of course, but because she knew,  WE COULD TOTALLY MAKE ONE OURSELVES!
It took a little thinking and fiddling with supplies, and of course I didn't make an exact copy, but I'm really happy with the result:
I had a roll of white tulle that I swear was leftover from a wedding project I did in 1996.  I cut a bunch of flowers from it with Tim's tattered florals die and stacked a lot of them together to make each flower.  They are held together with a running stitch which also pulled them into a more dimensional flower-like shape.  
I did say the tulle was white.  So, I concocted a spray with black reinker and a little perfect pearls for a hint of shimmer and sprayed them.  Just a side note:   those suckers took forever to dry and the ink has only just left my fingers.
The original design actually had five flowers, but honestly, I thought it looked more like a scarf than a necklace there was so much going on, so I pared it down to three.
Now, I feel a bit like I'm pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz and revealing his true identity, but here's a view of the back of my piece, so you can see just how it was constructed:
Yep, the flowers are attached to flattened bottlecaps.  A pretty humble material, but it worked perfectly.
And this is now on my "must pack" list for the cruise.  Oh, and did I remember to point out that the "original" was selling for over $40+tax and shipping?
Casa Azul refers to Frida Kahlo's home in Mexico, and that was the focus of my pages for Lee in our Frida collaborative journal group.
This may very well be the first time I've used a ruler so much in a piece of art.  Not at all my usual thing, but my muse insisted on straight lines.  Here's the two page spread:
I drew and colored everything (except the Frida image, which is from a collage sheet....but I did rework it with colored pencils) with markers and oil pastels.  Everything done on watercolor paper.  From what I have read, Frida really loved that house, and it was the only place she considered home.  Closer looks at the individual pages:

Did you notice on the countdown on my sidebar that we're in single digits now, leading up to the cruise?  I noticed, and I'm so excited I can't think of much else.  Not just the cruise itself, or even the prospect of more classes with the one and only Tim, but also getting to see some friends who live very very far away.  I'm giddy!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Ah, once again the ink gods smiled upon me, and made it possible for one project to fulfill two challenges.  
Compendium of Curiosities
Week 15
(Click on the above link to get the scoop from Linda, grand host and creator of this wonderful challenge)
Simon Says Stamp and Show....
Your Grunge 
(Click on this link to get the deets on this challenge)

The word grunge appears in both challenges, and though that can mean different things, for me, it means grungeboard and grungepaper.....lots of each.
I decided to do a wall hanging, perfect for the resident artist (that would be me, though I may just gift this one).
Just about everything is grunge...paper or board.  The base is GB cut with Tim's ornamental die.
I did the alcohol ink agate technique on GP cut from Tim's regal crest die (the banner and leaves).  BTW, this technique calls for a specific paint dabber which I do not own, but found that a liquid pearls that I do have to be a good substitute.  Just sayin'.....
The large flower is GP cut from Tim's tattered florals; the small flower, also GP was done with some of Wendy's stamps.  The phrase "resident artist" is also a Wendy stamp. 
What are you waiting for.....show your grunge!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feelin' The Spirit....

......the Halloween spirit, that is.   I've been busy getting things done, including some not due for a month.  Want to leave on the cruise (which is in TWO WEEKS!!!!) with nothing on the to-do list.
I'm in a tag swap where the theme is Halloween, and the material that must be used is metal.  Here's what I came up with:
And for the blow-by-blow.....ran the tags through the cuttlebut spiderweb folder, added some spiced marmalade and black soot ink.
Cut the fence from balsa wood with a sizzix die, inked the pieces with vintage photo and black soot.
The bat is from Tim's Retro Halloween set.  He's done with black embossing powder and then some mustard seed ink.  Some champagne stickles on his eyes finish him off.  And he's on two layers of foam to give him a little lift.
The pumpkin is where the metal appears.  I punched three ovals for each one, using spiced rum (the color, not the drink) metal from Ten Seconds Studio.  I used one of their tiny wheels to create a little dimension, and the stem is some green craft wire.  Then I just wrote "boo" on the fence post.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More of My Faux Art Parts

I really really want those Wendy Vecchi art parts, but can't find them yet, so I'm back to improvising.  A good friend and fellow artist is having a birthday soon, so I thought I'd make something for her.  Wendy's blog has been full of inspiration lately, and though I'd rather be using those wonderful components she calls art parts, I'll work with what I can find until the real thing is available.
I cut the sunflowers from coasters with a sizzix die and inked them with vintage photo and wild honey.  The cylinders (toilet paper rolls, cut down.  shhhh.....) are covered with paper from Tim's lost and found stack.  I recently won a package of dotted grungeboard on ATT, and used a sheet to cut some flourishes.
The "resident artist" stamp is by Wendy, and was stamped with black archival ink on the largest of the tattered florals, which I then cut down and attached to the bottom layer.
Tiny holes were punched in some of the sunflower petals so the type charms could be attached.
Here's a side view:

Topping the whole  thing is a flower made from grungeboard, and cut with Tim's tattered florals die.  The bottom layer was covered with a page of text.  The top layer was inked, covered with clear embossing powder and heat set.  The brad in the center is from SU.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities, Week 14

Masks Basics

Week 14 already, and a technique I use often.  A mask is something that acts as a barrier to ink or paint or other colorants.  You can make your own, buy them, even use found objects to create them.
A Tim Holtz mask has all the grunginess you'd expect, and for this challenge I used letters from the Ransom Alphabet mask to create the word "boo," and the Haunted mask for the spider webs. (there are two of them....I actually used one mask, then the other)  Inks I used include black soot and spiced marmalade.  There is also a bit of spray made with pumice stone reinker.
I broke out the Retro Halloween stamp set for the first time and stamped the skeleton and bat with embossing ink and covered it with black embossing powder (regular, not distress).  After it cooled I inked over the images with mustard seed.
This tag is going to someone in a  Halloween tag swap I'm in.  Double duty again!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Chunky Goodness

Well, got myself involved in yet another chunky ATC swap.  Can't resist those little darlins.  This time it was my friend Lori who twisted my arm, conked me over the head, and otherwise forced my participation.  (funny, right?  all she did was post the swap on the EWV group and there I was, signing upin fact, truth be told, Lori put out a call for swap suggestions, and me and my big mouth came up with this idea).  This, after I swore no more signing up for stuff until after the cruise.  Too much to do, too little time.  Yada, yada, yada.  When do I ever listen to myself anyway?
I've done these before.  Click here or here to see other examples. 
And here they are in all their chunky goodness, Wendy-style: 

I completely covered the wood with Tim's tissue tape, then sprayed it with some glimmer mist.  Turned out WAAAAY too pink, so toned them down with some white paint.  Yes, folks, this is the toned down pink, LOL.
Attached the cool knobs (also from Tim) to the tops with adhesive, though it looks like the wire is holding them down.  The wire is really doing nothing, I just like the way it looks, plus the nails it's wound around came in handy for hanging the little tags with Wendy sayings on them.
The flowers.....came from a bunch I made for the CCC challenge (see this post for a better look at them), and the butterfly is also a Wendy stamp.
These are such fun to make....so, my advice is to get yourself a two by four, cut it down, and bring some chunky goodness into your lives.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Frida, Dominos, and a Blog Birthday Bash

Sox selected "Frida in Paris" as the theme for her journal in my Frida Kahlo collaborative art journal group.  I didn't know, until I read the handy reference sheet Sox included, that Frida was a very unhappy camper when she was in Paris.  I probably would have done some very different pages had I not learned that.
So, I had this vision of Paris through Frida's eyes.....cold, gray, totally lacking the warmth and vibrancy of her native Mexico.   And the only color would come from Frida's memories.
All the Parisian scenes are images from the Stampsmith Paris sheet.
The Eiffel Tower was cut from a Sizzix die, and the wonderful lizard....I'm having a brain freeze and can't recall where I found that stamp, but I sure had fun coloring (and altering) it.  There are also some Heidi Swap transparencies on the pages.

Speaking of altering, I joined an altered domino pin swap at ATT and here they are. (sorry how dark they photographed)  These are the pins I'm swapping:
 And this is the one I made to keep for myself:

My friend Stephen is celebrating his blog's 1st birthday, and he's having a fantastic giveaway.  Besides the freebies, you'll find some really cool art there, so check it out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Compendium of Curiosities, Week 13

This week's CCC.....making Tim's fabulous grungepaper flowers.  Click on the link above to see Linda's wonderful entry, to read all about the challenge, the AMAZING prize this week (courtesy of Tim and Mario!), and links to those entries already posted.
I used a few different techniques to make my flowers.  Some were covered with old dictionary paper, some were inked then stamped, some were inked and embossed and inked again, some were inked, covered with clear embossing powder and heat set, and some were even covered with fabric.   And, I confess, a couple were actually made from grungeboard instead of paper.
OK, flowers made....what to do with them?  I tried a few ideas, but wanting to include all the flowers I made led me to the conclusion that all the projects I had in mind looked too busy with all those florals.....and yet, I didn't want to exclude any.
So, I wound up doing this:
I covered some floral wire I've had lying around for years, doing nothing but taking up space.  Not a lot of space, but space just the same.  What did I cover them with?  Tim's tissue tape.....fab use for it, I must say.   All the flowers have brad centers, and I used the brad's legs to hold the wire in place.  I arranged my bouquet in a jar and anchored the wires with a handful of sea glass.
Don't know if this exactly qualifies as a project, but IMO, it makes for a pretty cool centerpiece.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dreaming of Autumn

What else should I be dreaming of?  It's been 90+ degrees for days and I'm sick of it!  Yesterday it hit 99 and it was humid too.  Yuck.  Anyway....I received Elena's Journal of Dreams last week, and have been thinking about what to do in it.....well, the temperatures inspired my wishful thinking.  It's September.....let's have some autumn!
Here is the two page spread:

Elena made her journal with the fabulous Fabriano watercolor paper, and that stuff is a dream (speaking of dreams) to work on.
I started with colorwashes in stream and butterscotch, then added some colored paper towel bits.  Stamped some Tim Holtz leaves with different distress inks, sprinkled on some distress embossing powders and heat set them.  There are also some leaves stamped on old dictionary pages, cut out and glued down.  Some fibers were added to the spine as well as on the pages.  
My journaling consists of some words I associate with autumn on the first page, and just repeating the words autumn and fall on the second.
Closer looks at the two pages:
I'm not sure where the woman fits in, but she looks like the spirit of autumn to me (that's my story, anyway).  She is from Stampsmith, and I stamped her on a bit of paper left over from a background experiment.
I hope Elena likes the pages.  I just wish that dream of autumn would come true already.