Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simon Says: Stamp and Show..... A Tag

No CCC this week....Linda has decided that through the holidays, all challenges will be for a two week duration.  (Click here if you need to be reminded of the current challenge).

Over at Simon Says Stamp and Show, we're to show everyone a tag.  My entry is kind of a warm up for Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas scrapaganza, which starts tomorrow (be still my heart!)

And here it is:

I began by copying  borrowing  Wendy's technique for creating a plaid with ink and tissue tape.  Except, being frugal, I didn't want to waste any of my tissue tape and used painter's tape instead.  Shabby Shutters and Barn Door were the inks I used. 
Then I ran the tag through my Big Kick in Tim's Sheet Music embossing folder, and highlighted the raised areas with Pine Needles.
The trees on the left, in the background are from the Stampin' Up set, Lovely As A Tree (one of my all time favorites), and Pine Needles was used there as well.
The lighter colored (Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint) trees in the foreground were made with Tim's Tall Pines embossing folder, and cut out.  The snow was done with white Liquid Pearls.
Santa is from Tim's seasonal paper stack, and he's blinged out a bit with Forest Moss and Barn Door stickles.
On the bottom.....I covered paper with Christmas tissue tape, then cut it with Tim's Snow Flurries on the edge die.  It was then heavily inked with Barn Door.
I made a rosette from some dark green ribbon and placed it behind the snow flakes.
My good old Dymo label maker was used to create the words silent night, and Tim's Tiny Attacher adhered then to the tag.
Some ribbon and two tiny jingle bells finished it off.
Yep, I'm most definitely warmed up for tomorrow!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frida and New Eyes

As I've said many times before, one of the things that gives me the most pleasure is my participation in several collaborative art journals. This past week I completed pages for two:  Leanne's Frida Kahlo journal, and Sue's Journal of Dreams.

Leanne asked that we place an image of Frida somewhere she had actually been, so I chose her home in Mexico, Casa Azul.  And as a tribute to Frida's style, I have her riding a reptile.  (Riding a Reptile....good name for an indie band or a porno flick, huh?)

The backgrounds were done with the paper towels I put in the bottom of my spray box, so they have colorwash, glimmer mists, maya mists, perfect pearls mists, and homemade mists.  Waste not, want not (my fifth grade teacher was VERY big on proverbs, and for some reason, I've remembered just about all of them).

Frida herself came from a rubber stamp, stamped on watercolor paper, colored with Portfolios water soluble oil pastels, and then the clothes were pieced together from various leftover papers, fabrics, and ribbons.  She also has a necklace and matching earrings I made from annoyingly tiny beads.

The snake I drew freehand, and decorated with my version of pre-Columbian art, colored with markers, gel pens, and watercolors, and embellished with fabric and crystals.

Casa Azul is a photo I found on the internet.

When I sat down to work on Sue's JOD, I was (literally) up to my eyeballs in....well....eyedrops, having just had cataract surgery in both eyes.  Eyes were most definitely on my mind.  Images, I've always been drawn to (hence the vast number of eye stamps in my stash), and of course, the first three letters of my most oft used screen name.  Eileen, eyeleen, get it?  Not to mention, my mom always greets me with, "hi, ei."  

Not to digress too much; I just wanted to give a little background on where these pages came from.


The background was done on watercolor paper.  The first layer was a whole lot of spraying with various mists, then some tissue paper, ink, more spraying, rubber stamping, then stamping all the circles with gesso.  When dry, the gesso was colored with distress inks.  I used some vari-colored metallic threads to add some machine stitching.  Then some black crystal accents and a piece of optical glass finish it off.  All the stamps are either from Tim Holtz or Wendy Vecchi collections.


I sprayed the back page at the same time as I did the front, but left this side pretty much alone at that point (a little gesso, but no layers of tissue paper, ink, stamps, etc).

The eyeglasses came from a copyright free vintage image site, and I was tickled to find the quote, as my eye surgeon has most definitely given me new eyes.  I did the journaling with Sharpie water based poster paint pens (gold and black).

And, since I used machine stitching on the front, I gave this side a border of a zig zag stitch. 

Eye am pretty pleased with these pages.  (Sorry!  Eye couldn't resist!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Double Distress, Oh Yes!

The challenge this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show is to use distress inks.  Well, yeah....I use them every day.  And, as luck would have it, the Compendium of Curiosities challenge is to use Tim's double distress technique.   Oh lucky me....another twofer.

I went whimsical this week....not my usual thing, but I don't argue with inspiration.  I just go where it takes me.  It took me to the corner of Silly Street and Cutesy Corner today, but hey, it's good to get out once in a while.

Here we go:

 C'mon...you know it made you smile.

The double distress technique can be seen in the background, on the leaves in the corner, and on the turkey's head.  I just HAD to do this once I got the idea of using parts of rosettes as turkey feathers.  

The frame and the scalloped base are all from Wendy Vecchi's art parts line, and I'm loving the way they work so well with Tim's stuff too.  Speaking of which, the word gobble is from his new seasonal salvage stickers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Little Christmas Configuration

I've seen quite a few blog posts of the amazing projects some of my online buds did when Tim taught classes at Absolutely Everything last month.  I was especially taken with the Christmas themed configurations, and decided to do one as a present for a friend.  At the class they used a large configuration, but all I had was the smallest one, which is about 5 1/2" square.  Still......with the right (in other words small enough) objects,  I figured that size would work too.

I was on a hunt.  Found by entering "Christmas miniatures" in google I was on the right track.  Then I took out the word Christmas, because I felt I was possibly missing some things that would work (and I was correct), and found even more sources.  BTW, any place that sells dollhouse accessories is a good place to look.

I'm still waiting for some of my stuff to arrive, but no worries, as I also plan on making some more, in larger sizes.  So, without further verbiage, here is my little Christmas Configuration:

All the components plus the entire base were covered with Tim's Christmas tissue tapes (which were inked), and in addition, the back has some of his seasonal Salvage Stickers.  

And now for some close-ups:

The banner, including the letters are Jenni Bowlin products.  Inside, a tiny tree decorated with fired brick distress stickles and some dabs of white paint.  The gifts came just like this, and a good size for the project.

 The clock started out as a brownish resin, and I used some white paint on it.  You can't see in this picture, but the roof of the clock was covered with white liquid pearls and some chunky glitter was sprinkled on top of that while still wet.  The little plastic deer are on some more of that pearls/glitter combo.  In the next compartment, part of a tiny wood train, a metal lantern and a wreath.  (All the background papers are from Tim's seasonal paper stack)

 The rocking horse is one of those objects I found in the dollhouse section.  While not specifically for Christmas, I thought it evoked a vintage feeling....maybe a gift a child would have found under the tree in years past.  Surrounding the horse, some miniature glass ornaments.

The birdhouse was a dingy dark metal, so I painted it green.  The roof has green distress crackle, which does not really show up in the photo.  The tiny bird arrived with purple feathers, so it got a paint job too, the red being more in tune with the theme.  It is perched on little pine cones.
I have some really cool pieces that were just a tad too large for this configuration (larger trees, super wooden soldiers, larger ornaments), so I can't wait to use them in a larger piece.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Challenges, Again....

Very clever of people to schedule new challenges on Mondays.  They can be dreary days (yes, even when you're retired, the sense that something fun has ended lingers on), but new challenges brightens things up.  At least for me.

A Compendium of Curiosities
Week 22


Simon Says Stamp and Show
Whatever Makes You Happy

Even the name, alcohol ink splatter, sounds like fun (and it is).  Oh, yes, I've done this one before, many times, in fact.  I think it is addictive.  As for whatever makes me happy......autumn makes me very happy.  Absolutely my favorite season.  I know for many spring signals new beginnings.  For others it might be the start of a new year in January.  But for me, autumn = new.   That's probably because I spent most of my life in school, first as a student, then a teacher, and the new school year begins in September.  Whatever the reason, I love this time of year.

So, here is my dual entry in today's challenges:

I actually used the technique in two different ways.  For the tag I followed the directions in the book exactly, stamping over the AI splatter background with Tim's Falling Leaves set (black archival ink). Then I did a second background and cut the leaves from it.  I stamped over some of the cut leaves with the Falling Leaves set again (using olive archival ink)  to get the veining.  No, the leaf stamps and leaf die cuts don't match up perfectly, but it works.

The word "autumn" is from Tim's new seasonal Salvage Stickers, and I sanded and inked it up a bit, and adhered it with pop dots for some dimension.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And The Winner Is........

First of all, thanks to everyone who left a comment and played the "guess-the-value-of-the-Ranger-stuff-I-scored-for-$30" game.  I have to say, either I'm a VERY savvy shopper or some of you are hanging out in super expensive stores, because most of the guesses were way over my estimate.

I did say I was guessing on the  conservative side, and also mentioned I was pricing the items as though I got them online.  And I should say, I very seldom pay retail prices.  I am a bit of a bargain hunter.  But seeing all those high figures really made me feel even better about Heather's mad shopping skills.  And yes, she is a great friend to do that for us.

A few of you came close to the number I wrote down, but one person nailed it.

                             Kathy Eddy said...                             She did a splendid job! I am guessing $198.00.
                             Does she want to shop for me next year?

Well, Kathy, I can't tell you if Heather will shop for you next year, but in a way she shopped for you this year.  I put together a little sample of the stash and am just waiting for your address to send it out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nothin' Says Lovin' Like Somethin' From the Kachelofen

Huh?  Let me begin at the beginning.  I received Lee's Marie Antoinette journal a few weeks ago but only got to it this week.  Her sub-theme is recipes and events where the recipe would be appropriate.
Here's how my brain jumped from thought to thought to.... I made up a story in my mind that Marie would at times like to play at being a commoner, and serve up some treats for her kiddies that she herself prepared.  I don't have a clue if this is true or not, but it's a nice idea, so I ran with it.
Then.....I remembered that Marie was not actually French, but Austrian.   This took me back several lifetimes ago to a summer spent wandering about with a Eurail pass and a copy of  Europe on $5 A Day. 

A few wonderful days were spent in Salzburgand I definitely remembered touring a castle and gawking at these huge and gorgeous tiled stoves.  I did a little google search and found many beautiful examples.  From this, my pages were born.

A recipe for Parisian macarons, and  Marie with her hand in the oven  kachelofen, getting ready to remove a tray of the dainty morsels for her hungry offspring.

Again, a disclaimer....I made this all up.  Did Marie actually grow up in Austria with kachelofens?   Did she miss them and have one brought to France?  I don't know.  But it made for a good story in my head and I thought, some fun pages to do.

So, here's cookin' with Marie:

Both backgrounds were done with Stampin' Up paper called Presto Patterns.  The paper looks blank, but when you add color (I used Adirondack Colorwash in eggplant and Perfect Pearls Mist in forever violet), the "hidden" embossed pattern emerges.  Makes for an easy and beautiful background.

The recipe (thanks to Martha Stewart, LOL) was printed on vellum.
For the kitchen page.....I printed a photograph of an actual old kachelofen, added color with glaze pens and pastels, and a lot of bling with german scrap, crystals, stickers and enamel accents.

Marie herself is a graphic I snagged from Val (my go-to gal for great images), and I dressed her with ribbon and flowers and bling.

My little narrative (remember, all a figment of my imagination) was also printed on vellum.  The title banner above it is a cool embellishment left over from one of the cruise projects.  It's from Pinkpaislee, and it is a rubbery product, originally white.  I used copper paint on it and some brown ink to age it a bit. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What's In The Bag?

A whole lot of goodness, that's what's in the bag.
One of the really cool things that happens on the east coast is the Ranger Warehouse Sale.  Last year I went with some of my best art friends and we scored BIG.  I think I spent $20 and I still haven't used everything I bought.

I was really looking forward to the sale this year, but as fate would have it, Ranger was cleaning out its warehouse at the same time that I was on the Tim Holtz cruise.   Pat and I were disappointed, but our pal Heather said if she could get there, she'd shop for us.  

Good news.  Heather has a GREAT EYE for bargains.  Last year, even though we were all in the same place, she came away with some fab things we never even saw.  So we knew we were in good hands.
We both told Heather that if she wound up going, to just spend $30 for each of us.

This is how the sale works.  You enter the warehouse and are given a big white painter's bucket.  You fill it up.  Or fill two up.  Whatever.  When you're ready to check out, your bucket (or buckets) is weighed and you pay $5 a pound.  That's is.
All Heather did was take things in multiples of three, and when she got home she divvied the stash up.

Pat and I finally were able to get together with Heather this past weekend, and here is the low-down on what we all received.  For $30.  I have to repeat this a few times.  You'll see why.

Glossy paper, 2 packs of pre-cut shrink plastic (a Suze Weinberg product and very cool shapes in there), embossing pens in black, some Adirondack markers, and 4 packs of pop dots.

 9 paint dabbers and 1 colorwash....and here's the amazing thing.....all in colors that I don't already have!!  Told you Heather had the magic touch!

 Stickles, glitter and embossing powder.  What's in the shrink wrap?  Oh, only 6 bottles of Rock Candy Distress Stickles.  Yep.  On the right, mostly Glitz Stickles.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these products.  Some may be discontinued (or the packaging has changed), and in many cases there is no label or the label is damaged.  But the product inside is just fine.

And here we have 6 jars of Perfect Pearls, and 6 of Suze's Bedazzles, which are a kind of mix of teeny beads and glitter.  Very blingy, and can't wait to play with them.

 Above, two jars of Distress Crackle Paint, 2 distress ink refills, 4 small sepia accents, the clear resist pad and a reinker for that pad.

And last of all, 7 bottles of alcohol inks and 2 liquid pearls.  You can see the missing labels.  But who cares?  I know what they are!

So, how do you think I did?  (Or  I should say, how do you think Heather did?)   I've done an estimate of what I would have paid for all the above if I'd have shopped in a place like scrapbook.com.
My estimate is conservative, as I couldn't find prices for some items, so didn't even include them in the final tally.

Comment with your best guess as to what this stash is really worth, and the one who comes closest to my estimate will win some of the stash.  I'll give you until Friday night.  The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Perfect Distress and Favorite Stamps

Simon Says Stamp and Show asked a difficult question for this week's challenge.....what is your favorite Tim stamp?  No way to answer that with any accuracy, but I do have a current favorite set, one I know I'll be using a lot this month.
And as it just so happens to also work well with the new Compendium of Curiosities challenge, it's a no-brainer for me.
Add to that, it results in a completed holiday card, and I'm totally happy.
So,  CCC#21 is (as the title of this post cleverly reveals),  perfect distress, which is one of those great techniques I learned early on, but seldom remember to use. 

Here is the card I made for both challenges:

The background is very simple.  I stamped the christmas carol stamp from the holiday wishes set in olive archival ink on white cardstock.  Then I inked over the whole thing with peeled paint, then toned it all down with a whitewash of snowcap paint dabber.

The stamp set is grunge flakes, and I used the various snowflake stamps while doing the perfect distress technique.  Here's a little tip for you:  don't go overboard when you get to step 5 of the technique.  I'm just sayin'......

Distress inks used:  broken china, stormy sky, faded jeans, tumbled glass, and weathered wood.
Perfect pearls used:  turquoise, true blue sparkle, blue smoke, blue patina, and perfect pearl.

The snowman, tall trees and sentiment are all from the mini holiday set.
The trees were stamped right over the background with both pine needles and black soot.
The snowman was stamped with broken china and then embossed with  Zing embossing powder (in wave), cut out, edged with chipped sapphire, and attached to the card with pop dots.
At the last minute I decided that the fairly monochromatic card needed a pop of a different color, so I added the red ribbon scarf and put the sentiment on a red mat.   I'm not 100% on that, but think it turned out OK.
Oh, and while I was working on this card, I heard something that sounded harder than rain on my windows.  Hope I didn't bring it on, but there's a whole sleet and wet snow thing going on outside.  In November!  And wasn't it just last week that the temps hit 70??? 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Atlantis Lives! (In My Dreams)

One of my favorite collaborative art journal groups is JOD (Journal of Dreams) because it is the least restrictive.  No particular theme or color combination.....just whatever the artist dreams up.  And that dream can be a literal night time dream or a wish, or whatever.
I received Gina's journal a while ago and it has taken me this long to come up with an idea.
I can't even put my finger on why I thought of Atlantis (no, not the resort in the Bahamas; I'm talking about the lost city of mythology).
In my head, however, Atlantis did not sink into oblivion.  Nope, my Atlantis is a thriving city where the people just learned to ADAPT.
So, maybe adaptation has been on my mind.  Who knows?  Like I've said before, I really don't like to spend too much time on interpretation or explanation.  So, without further psychoanalysis, here is my Atlantis:

Sadly, much of the texture and dimension doesn't show up in photographs, and there is a lot of both on the page.  The stylized city on the bottom was done with modeling paste and a cityscape stencil. The upper part of the background received texture with gesso, tissue paper, bubble wrap and some scratch tools.
Color came from some of the new Perfect Pearls mists, distress inks, and of course, my favorite, Portfolio water soluble oil pastels.
Most of the images are courtesy of my pal Val and her amazing collection of graphics.  I did a bit of work on them with pencils.
The cool steampunk looking lady with the binoculars was a freebie from someplace on the internet....sorry I don't remember where.

This is the journaling page: 
What I'd like to share about this page is what I did with a very cheap and (IMO) tacky charm.  That fish.  It was bright.  It was gaudy.  It was cheap and tacky.  First I dabbed some green paint on it, wiped most of it off, and added some white paint, also wiping most of it off.  That toned down the glare but wasn't quite enough.
So, I made some marks on it with an embossing pen and sprinkled some Ranger verdigris embossing powder (from their Antiquities line) on it and heat set.  I'm not sure if it shows up, but there is also a dot of purple embossing in the eye. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Framed and Grateful

Note to self:  not every blog post title has to be clever.  LOL!  What can I say?  I try.
I belong to a group that has a monthly lottery.  A theme is chosen, everyone who is interested creates something within the theme, and at the end of the month one name is drawn from those participating.  That person wins the whole enchilada (and gets to choose the following month's theme).
So, November's theme is related to gratitude.  I had this unfinished wood frame I picked up ages ago in the dollar bin at a craft store.  It was so long ago I don't even remember which store.  This is what I made:

 The frame is roughly 4 1/2 x 10" and will hold a 4 x 6" photo.  I figured that whoever wins can insert a picture of whoever or whatever they are grateful for.

 The leaves were all cut using Tim's fantastic tattered leaves die.  I had some scrapbook paper with writing on it, and just inked the leaves after cutting, in a variety of autumn colors.   To give them some strength and (hopefully) longevity, I covered them with clear embossing ink and powder, which is why they have a shine.

The wood was stained with forest moss ink and the front covered with tissue tape (which was also inked).  For the word "grateful," I used letters from Tim's new lost and found salvage stickers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

When Shabby Met Grungy....

Monday, which means my two favorite challenges are up and running.  The Compendium of Curiosities challenge (week 20!!) is Industrial Grungeand over at Simon Says Stamp and Show, the theme is Shabby.   (Click on the links to learn more about the challenges and the cool prizes up for grabs this week).

Hmmm....not two styles that seem to work together.  Or do they?  Well, you know I like to get two for the work of one, so I'm determined that my project will qualify for both challenges. 

Here's what I came up with.  Did I succeed?  I like to think so.  

The industrial grunge technique was done on the raven (that die was one of the freebies on the cruise and I just love it).  I used copper metallic mixative and black soot and aged mahogany distress inks.
Nothing says shabby to me like crackle, and that is the top layer of the background.  But I should begin at the beginning.  I had the idea of using a technique from an earlier C of C challenge....alcohol ink agate on grunge....but it just didn't work with the raven.  So, I covered it with some green paint.  Then I dry brushed some white over top, most definitely a shabby look.   A whole lot of rock candy crackle paint on top, and when that dried I went over it with black soot to highlight the crackle.

The bottom of the tag was cut with Tim's new iron gate die, and some black lace and netting (another nod to shabby) finished it off.

Off topic, I've been whining for a while now about autumn not really making an appearance here in NYC.  Where are those crisp days, the orange and yellow leaves?  Well, finally, finally, summer-like temps have vanished and this is what I saw from my window this morning.....Autumn on the Hudson River:

Ahhh, life is good!