Thursday, September 22, 2011

Steampunk With A Feminine Touch

Yes, I know I said yesterday that would probably be my last post until after the cruise, but I got an inspiration for another steampunk tag, and had to roll with it.

Usually steampunk, being all about gears and machinery and Victorian images, has a masculine feel to it.  Thanks to Graphic 45's gorgeous Steampunk Debutante line, it can also be soft and lovely.  One of their images was really speaking to me and it wound up on this tag:

For the background I layered two DCWV papers.  I cut out the beautiful debutante and then added my own embellishments.....glossy accents, glaze pens, and a bunch of tiny watch parts from my stash to go with those already part of her hairdo.  I hope you can see all those details, and I also hope if you click on the photo the enlargement isn't a fuzzy mess, which has been happening lately.

And now, I really do have to stop and get packing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Steampunk And A Gift

I have two more steampunk tags to share with you; one came out of an Inspiration Showcase technique, the other was just me messing around.

This one used Jennifer's stamping on canvas technique for the background.  The man with the birdcage hat is from Tim's Pen and Pencil set, and he was heat embossed with black powder.  The tiny lightbulb was in my stash and I can't remember where I got it, but it's a size that has come in handy for several projects, so I hope I can recall the source and get some more.  The gears on the right are from Tim's on the edge die.  After cutting them from grungepaper, I ran them through the Cracked embossing folder, then inked them with several brown distress inks (but mostly walnut stain).  The words are rub-ons, found some time ago in Michael's dollar bin.

I admit, I love this one.  I used one of Ranger's new tags....the black one, and it is a great addition to their tag collection.  It went through Tim's Pocketwatch embossing folder, and the raised areas were highlighted with some copper paint.  The bird, standing on an idea-ology timepiece is from Oxford Impressions, as is the hat he's wearing.  Both were stamped with black archival ink, then colored slightly with old paper distress ink.  The bird was completely covered with glossy accents and the hat got the rock candy distress crackle paint treatment.  The words on the bottom are also from Oxford Impressions.  The tiny clocks are 7 Gypsys rub-ons.

As for the gift referred to in the title.  I'm in a yahoo group that has a monthly lottery, and the way it works, the winner (picked from those who participated in the prior month's lottery) gets to choose the theme for the gifts she'll receive.  My friend Angie was the winner for September, and being Angie, all she wanted was for us to "make art."  So, I did a small (5x7) altered canvas, using all of the layering techniques I love so much, and came up with this.

Lots of layers, lots of texture from tissue paper, paint, modeling paste, stencils, and random bits from my scrap pile.  The one really recognizable image, the woman on the right is from Graphic45's Steampunk Debutante set.  The piece on the left is one of Pink Paislee's artisan elements, white rubbery ornamental designs that can be altered in many ways, with ink, paint, stain, etc.  The canvas is already on its way to Angie and I do hope she likes it.

I don't know if I'll have any more blog posts until I return from the cruise.....and then I'll have plenty.  My plan for today is to clean up the studio and put everything away and begin the packing process.  We'll see how that works out.  Yesterday I received the three new limited edition seasonal distress inks, and I'm itching to play with them.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspiration Showcase -- The Completed Canvas

There were three new techniques today, all what Jennifer refers to as "finishing touches."  And so all there was left for me to do was put together my canvas of sample birds.  I chose a 6x12 canvas.  Why?  Because that's what I had in the house!  I didn't attempt to do the rows of daily way there wouldn't be enough room horizontally.....the other way there wouldn't be enough room vertically.  So, I just attached the samples four in a row (except for the last row), and they fit beautifully.  They are in the exact order as presented in the classes and I have a list on the back of the canvas to remind me.  Of course, I've also downloaded all the PDFs, so I'll have them as a reminder as well.

In Jennifer's canvas it looks to me like she didn't do anything to the canvas itself, which I understand.  The samples should be the star.  But I didn't like the starkness of the white, so I used some light colored distress stains and inks (mainly old paper and weathered wood) to add just a bit of softness.

First, here are the final three samples, pigment pearl and an embossed button embellishment, distress stickles and pearl painting on the wing, and glossy accents resist and solid embossing on the wing.

And here is the finished canvas.  I used pop dots to attach my birdies, except on the rosette one, as it is already pretty dimensional.

And the back of the canvas has the list of all the techniques for handy reference.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Inspiration Showcase AND Another Wendified Steampunk Tag

Another early morning with Jennifer McGuire's wonderful Inspiration Showcase online class.  The last time I was so eager to see the new project and get going was during Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas, 2010.  Yep, I'm liking this THAT much.

Today Jennifer focused on stamping with other than ink and/or stamping on other than paper.  Here are my samples.

 stamping with markers

 stamping on canvas and stamping on vellum (wing)

 stamping with paint and paint texture (wing)

 painting with markers (my favorite, I think)

stamping on acetate and bonus rolled canvas rose technique

Meanwhile, I'm not neglecting my other favorite places to hang out online.  Over at the EWV (Everything Wendy Vecchi) yahoo group, list mom Lori announced the latest Making Art! challenge.  Well, she announced it last week, but I completed my piece yesterday.  The challenge is based on the project on page 27 of Wendy's second book, but if you don't have it, all you need to know is that you should include a face and polka dots.  Since I'm in the steampunk tag swap over at ATT, I fulfilled this challenge with just that.  I think it's a fun piece.

They're subtle, but there are polka dots in the background, achieved with one of the techniques from the Inspiration Showcase classes. And the dots came from a Wendy stamp.   The gears on the left are on an Oxford Impressions stamp, and (mostly hidden) is a very cool stamp I bought at Absolutely Everything last year, but sadly, I have no idea who makes it.  The gears are both grungepaper, cut with Tim's mini mover and shaper dies and from the idea-ology line.  More polka dots made with glaze pens.

But the star of this show has got to be art chick from Wendy's Art Rules set.  I did alter her up a bit.  First of all I gave her a big hat, which is often seen in steampunk images.  I just cut it freehand from some scrapbook paper, my intention being to use it as is.  It is a great paper with embossed gears from DCWV, but it didn't pop with the background, so I covered it with clear embossing ink and black embossing powder and that did the trick.  I also enhanced parts of her face with glaze pens.    More polka dots on the hat, and another of those birds I did yesterday when following along with Tim's technique on the Inspiration Showcase class.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Inspiration, A Wonderful Guest Teacher, And Another Steampunk Tag

Today's in depth review of some of yesterday's techniques from Jennifer McGuire's online class was fun, and I'm already thinking about how to use a few of them on this year's holiday cards. 

But, I have to tell you, (no surprise here), the biggest thrill was a bonus technique from Tim Holtz.  It involves grungepaper, distress stains and distress crackle paint, and it got me so excited I started cutting shapes at 5:00am!

I hope you can see the awesome texture on these on the photo for a closer view.  BTW, if you have a base tray you can fit an awful lot of the mini movers and shapers on it to cut at one time with very little waste of the grungepaper.  I just had the most fun all morning, making these, and now I'll have plenty of embellishments on hand for future projects.

Yesterday I did another steampunk tag for the upcoming swap on ATT.

The background paper is from a stack my friend (and ATT list mom) Gloria sent me a while back.  I believe it is DCWV.  I punched some holes along the right side so that's another paper peeking through.  The lovely lady is one of Graphic45's Steampunk least from the waist up.  I combined her with the bottom part of Tim's dressform stamp. 

The gears are a mix of idea-ology pieces and die cuts (those mini movers and shapers again), which were colored with black paint and then dabbed with copper.  Recognize that bird on her mechanical arm?  Yes, it's one from today's online class, and I couldn't resist adding it to this tag.

Oh, and I just have to week from today I'll be winging it to Florida for the Tim Holtz cruise to the Caribbean.  Can't wait to take the classes and see all my crafty friends.  ONE WEEK!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting Distressed on Inspiration Showcase

No, not distressed as in annoyed, but you knew that.  Today's video is all about distress inks and stains, and the techniques are fantastic.  Just when you thought you knew them all.....along comes Jennifer McGuire.   But before I get to that.....

The way Jennifer has the class organized, one day she presents five techniques and we do our samples, and the next day she goes into greater detail about one or two of them and shows ways to use them in cards and other projects.  Yesterday, she focused on embossing on acetate and ways to alter rosettes.  I put the two together in one tag, with a steampunk theme.  There is a method to my madness.  I signed up for a steampunk tag swap on ATT and I'm getting a head start.

I used Tim's Steampunk embossing folder on the acetate, and it is backed with some brownish cardstock.  The lovely lady is from Graphic45's Steampunk Debutante line, and I altered her in two ways.  First of all, I replaced the hot air balloon that is her skirt with the very layered and altered rosette I made, and secondly (and I don't know how well this shows up in the photo),  I added lots of lines on her with a copper colored glitter pen.  I topped the tag with a bit of a zipper to continue the steampunk industrial look.

Now, onto today's samples.  Again, sorry I can't go into details but once the class is over you will be able to get the PDFs.  The link to get more information is on my last Inspiration Showcase post.

 pearlized distress resist

 distress stamping
 stamping with water and metallic paper wing

 color blend stamping with distress dots wing

fingerinking (as much fun as it sounds) with distress ink watercoloring wing

Can you believe the amount of information so far?  And this is a two week class!  And, it was only $19.  Maybe the best bargain I've ever gotten.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hey Mr. Postman....

......bring me some postcards!  Do people on vacation still do that?  Nah, I think not.  We just aim our phones at random monuments and send them to torture our stay at home friends.  Well, to put an end to such modern but less than artistic practices, I recently hosted a postcard swap with some of my buds.

Everyone made cards depicting either real or imagined vacations, personalized the backs, got them to me, and I assembled them into books with my trusty Cinch.  I also made covers for the books, and now that everyone has received theirs (well, almost everyone, so you know who you are and if you want to be surprised, go to another blog) I'll share them with you.  It was a fun project to do this summer, and it reminded me of so many trips when I was younger and the only way to communicate with the folks back home was by mail.

Here is the front cover that I made, using Tim Holtz paper and stamps, tissue tape, a few other odds and ends, and covered with my new favorite supply, Ranger's Glue N Seal.

I'd love to show you the backs of the cards but I doubt my friends would appreciate seeing their names and addresses all over the internet.  Keeping privacy intact, here are the cards:

 love the bathing beauty!

 wish you could see all the shine and dimension under the lighthouse

 fantastic way to represent the sun!

 dreamy and romantic, just like Paris

 she really didn't go round the world a la Phineas Fogg, but sounds like fun!

 gorgeous stamping, and the blue star marks Alaska, the destination of this cruiser

 some people have out of control imaginations, as this card, commemorating a
trip to Idahopia attests.  The happy vacationer had a spud-tacular time.

 greetings from one of my favorite places, England

this one is mine, since I didn't go anywhere this summer (not that I think
being in NYC is any kind of hardship, LOL)

this swapper made cards of every place on her wish list to visit, and I
was lucky enough to receive Paris

The back cover was done similarly to the front, and is a good example of turning lemons into lemonade.  I did everyone else's book without a problem, but when it came to my own (guess I was tired) I punched the holes in the back cover on the wrong side.  Look how I solved that problem:

Sometimes ribbons are your best friend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspiration Showcase

A week or so ago, Tim Holtz blogged about an online class taught by his pal Jennifer McGuire.  I haven't had the greatest track record with online classes....not because the classes weren't good, but because I'd sign up and then never find the time to actually watch the videos and do the projects.

But this one, first of all was recommended by Tim, and second of all was only $19, and third of all, I'd have access to the videos forever.  Duh.  No brainer.  I was in.  And to my very great surprise and delight, the instruction is so clear, the videos so well done, and the techniques so interesting, I actually started following along and am up to date!

Registration is closed and you can't sign up now, but in two weeks when it's over, the PDF version will be available.  Click here to find out more and see the finished piece we'll be making after doing all the technique samples.

If you went to the site, you saw that Jennifer did all her samples in the shape of a heart.  I'm not really a heart type so I used a Stampin' Up bird punch instead.  Some of the techniques didn't photograph very well, so you'll just have to take my word for it when I tell you they all look great.  I wouldn't lie to you.

The first 5 samples were all about resist techniques.  The name of each technique is under the photo.  I know I usually give lots of details and directions, but these are not mine to give.

 traditional resist

 paint resist (the wing is a different, bonus technique)

 trapped emboss resist (how cool is this?)

 kissed resist

 canvas resist

The next set of samples explore all sorts of dry embossing techniques.

 embossed glossy (with layered punch wing....another bonus technique)

 embosssed acetate

 paper rosette with embossed canvas

 altered color embossing (with cool tip on perfect punch positioning...say that 5 times fast)

  faux letterpress (maybe my favorite so far) with embossed metal wing

I have been a long time technique junkie, and thought I'd know them all, but there have been a few new ones for me.  And the ones I already knew about.....the class was a good reminder, because some of them I haven't used in ages.

I'm excited about this class and all I can say is, the next time Tim recommends a class, sign up!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Steampunk, Wendified

I can picture anyone new to this blog going, "huh?"  Well, in my world, Wendifying a theme just means using Wendy Vecchi's stamps to execute it.  It took me almost a week to create something for the current Making Art! challenge at EWV, but as it turns out, the delay worked in my favor, because the piece I did works perfectly with the new Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge.

The challenges:  at EWV, Lori says, make a tag and use stamps from no more than two of Wendy's sets; and Simon Says, show us some steampunk.

And here is my piece:

For the background, I ran one of Ranger's new (and fabulous) kraft tags through my Vagabond in Tim's steampunk embossing folder, and hit the high points with several distress inks....rusty hinge, vintage photo, and black soot.

The gears on the side were cut with Tim's on-the-edge die from grungepaper.  I painted it black, and when that was dry I dabbed it with brown and copper acrylic paint, very randomly so it looked like bits of rust.  And when that was dry, I covered the whole thing with a thick coat of rock candy crackle paint.  It is attached to the tag with glossy accents, applied only to the edge, so the gears sort of stand away from the tag and have a lot of dimension. (Especially since impatiently blasting the poor sucker with my heat gun made it kind of wonky.....sort of adds to the vintage charm, I think.  Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

The steampunkish man and the words are all from Wendy's set Seriously Art, stamped on plain old white cardstock with black archival ink, then lightly colored with distress inks.  Mr. Serious got some enhancement (the shiny parts) with a black Sakura glaze of my most favorite art supplies, by the way.

The pointing hand (stamped on grungepaper with clear ink and embossed with black powder) is from another Wendy set, Mail Art.

By the way, the word seriously is actually part of the stamp of the appears right below the image.  I cut it off so it would fit on the brim of his hat instead.  It's always good to find variations when it comes to using your stamps.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Favorite Art Journal...... far, at least, is the one I put together using some of my own pages, and pages I've received from friends.  Some were fully worked on two sided journal pages, some were backgrounds with art on one side only.  I blogged about the journal here, and loved it then.  But now....boy oh boy, if that was love then this is out of control obsessive all encompassing LOVE!!  The blank pages are blank no longer, and I've included the tags I've received as well.

I do intend to do some actual journaling (you know, put pen to page and write words), but honestly, this is stunning just as it is.  I might be biased, of course, as the pages were done by some of my favorite peeps in the world.  I even included some stuff done by friends who are not in the group, just because I had to include them somehow.

Well, enough blabbering.  Here it is, from cover to cover.