Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Scans

Some of My Fall Work

I recently got a new computer - and the learning curve has been steeper than I expected. I am persevering, but the transition has been slow. I finally got back to my blog and uploaded a few things that I have worked on recently.

Oriental Stamp Group has produced a fat book over the last nine years, and the theme for 2009 is the seasons. Our pages had to be 6" X 6." "Windy Walk" (Hero Arts) is one of my all-time favorite stamps, so I used it to create a page for winter. It is stark, just like winter in Wisconsin. I used a new CB border along the right side and colored it with white Pan Pastel. "Winter" seems faint in the scan, but it does show up in "real life!" The book should be gorgeous!!!

Cuttle Bug Embellishments
Using a few CB dies and also one from Spellbinders, I created these embellishments for a swap. They aren't the traditional Christmas colors, but I liked how they turned out!

Tag Boxes
My friend Bonnie and I get together every few weeks or so and make cards or other items - it's always great fun, a delicious lunch, and we come home with at least a few finished items. The front and back of each tag box is made with shipping tags from the office supply store. I covered mine with some decorative paper from SU and embellished one with a tag cut with CB die. The snowflakes are pre-made embellishments fro Joann's.

Triangular Folded Card
I belong to a ScorPal group which is always a challenge - I can't fold straight without this handy tool. The card opens up into a large rectangle. I used CB and Spellbinders dies again along with a cute set of clear fall stamps which cost only $1!!!

Double Bugging
Double "Bugging" - read about this technique and just had to try it. I embossed the base card with "Divine Swirl" CB folder, swiped with Tea Dye Distress Inks, then ran it through CB placing the embossed piece under the closed folder to flatten it out. I ran it through a different folder "Pumpkins," to emboss it a second time, and colored the new raised parts with Distress Inks. The pumpkin is a die from CB colored with Perfect Pearls

Side Step Card
Here's another ScorPal project - some simple cutting, scoring, and folding. Then, of course, there is the embellishing. Bonnie had it all figured out, so I used her suggestions to make this. I still haven't sent it to anyone - it's on the dining room table as part of a fall centerpiece.

Easel Cards
Another easy technique using ScorPal , Spellbinders dies, and some stamping. These cards fold out and stand alone, just like they are perched on an easel. I'll post a picture of them open later as I forgot that I have to put the scans on Blogspot in reverse order (or else I haven't figured out how to move them around!)

To see some of Bonnie's tutorials on how to make some of these cards go to:


Now I'm finishing up Christmas Cards, really early for me. I make over 80 and have 60 almost finished. For the past few years I haven't made the cards all the same - I haven't figured out if this is a good idea or not.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just a Few Swaps

Just some quick pictures of a few recent swaps.

This is a small canvas for the Quote of the Month on CCSwaps. I glued torn sheets of text and gessoed over it which you can't see in the picture and then stenciled some leaves lettuce and silver daubers. The picture is clip art which I was able to add text to. The diamond shapes are small mirrors.

This card was made for a Coffee, Tea,or? swap. I used a piece of paper napkin, some decorative paper for the background and the text, and added a coin and tassel. It's all mounted on bold CS.

If you have read earlier posts, you know that I ran a swap using Distress Inks and Perfect Pearls. I made a bunch of tags for samples and used two for the swap. I simply used a 12X5-1/2 sheet of Basic Gray CS, scored at 4" and 8", cut off a diagonal piece and stamped. I glued the sides and bottom shut and added faux eyelets.

Color challenges are some times hard, but I did sign up for Light Blue, Peach and Chocolate Brown. The brown paper is Color Core Chocolate with a light blue background which I put through the CuttleBug and sanded down to reveal the blue underside. "Hello" is a CB die, and the butterfly is from Spellbinders.

I made this for a Masculine swap - again I used one of my Perfect Distress tags and put it on a card which I had put through the Cuttle Bug with the Argyle embossing folder. I highlighted some of the texture with brown chalk ink.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Perfect" Distress Technique

An internet friend recently posted a link toTim Holtz's blog which featured a new video using Distress Inks and Perfect Pearls. I always enjoy his videos because he explains things so well. So I got out my supplies and gave it a try. My first set of samples, while pretty, didn't have quite the effect that I wanted, so I watched the video a second time and discovered that I hadn't followed the directions. You can see those samples at the end of this blog. I tried again and this time the samples turned out better. Another internet friend, Carol Sweeney, also blogged her sample of the same technique. Here are the links:



As I was experimenting, I decided to also try PearlEx instead of Perfect Pearls - not surprisingly they worked as well. I have also included that sample.


After swiping the Distress Ink on a craft sheet (you can use waxed paper or freezer paper instead), I misted it with water and laid the tag down, swirling it around to pick up the ink. Remember to keep this first color light, so you might want to use more water on a darker color.

After drying the tag, I stamped the image and dusted Gold Perfect Pearls over the image, then spritzed lightly and dried.

Here's a sample made with PearlEx.

Since I had all the supplies out, I made a number of tags. After creating the central image, I added more stamping.

I made two tags using PearlEx and other images.

After adding all the images, I used more ink to darken around the edges.

Embellished with fibers and bits of odds and ends

Here's a tri-fold card using a sample from my first, darker attempt.

You can see how the central image is "lost" when the background is too dark.


Friday, May 8, 2009

New and Old - Repurposing Materials

I finished up two swaps for CCSWaps this week, both of which required me to search through my stash and either use up what I already had or something that I had received. The first is a 6X6 canvas titled "Mon Ami." I had all of the materials on hand including a paper napkin which I used for the background. This came from a swap a number of years ago. Scroll down to see the canvas labeled with the various items.

Source of Materials

The second item is a redesigned card front made from a commercial greeting card which I had received some time ago. I cut the back off, then cut the front into two pieces and trimmed down the larger reactangle.

Here's what I did to make the new card.

Guess it pays to save everything!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Metal

I have been enjoying working with metal, especially after taking a class at Artiscape with Cheryl Darrow. While I am still a beginner using the tools, I have been able to use the CuttleBug embossing folders to create a similar effect. I had made a similar item for a swap a week or so ago and wanted to make a present for my sister Juli. I had been frustrated trying to color specific sections of the metal with alcohol inks and was excited to be able to purchase two of the new Tim Holz alcohol ink pens last weekend at a rubber stamp/scrap show here in Waukesha. After coloring the embossed image, I was able to remove some of the ink from the tall grass using a cosmetic sponge and the blending solution. I put Wild Plum in one of the pens and colored the bird. The background is decoupaged paper on a hard canvas and a piece of the original Basic Gray paper which looks like wood. I don't think I'll buy a pen for each of the inks I have (sorry, Tim), but will decide which accent colors I will use the most and buy pens for them. Check out Tim's video for a demo: http://tinyurl.com/q2z8hp

"Morning has Broken"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Artiscape 2009

I have been excited since last year to attend Ariscape 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. I found a Yahoo group associated with this venue, and participated in a fat book swap. Here's the cover of the finished book - forty fat pages. I blogged mine previously. www.tinyurl.com/cau3dj


My good friend Barbara and I attended from April 16-20. We left dreary, rainy Milwaukee and arrived to SPRING! Columbus was warm, the flowers were blooming, and we didn't have to wear coats, hats, or mittens. It turned out to be a perfect weekend with lots of fun, wonderful classes, great opportunities to add to our art stashes. The good weather lasted until Monday morning - it was cool and rainy in Columbus, time for us to return to cool and rainy Milwaukee.

At registration we received our packet of materials including our "Dance Card." It held our list of classes, tickets for events, and other information. The theme for the event was "The Age of Innocence," so this fit in perfectly.


I had taken a class last year from this instructor, Mike Meador, so I knew I was in for something fun and just a little "wacky!" Yes, we used recycled soda (or other beverage) cans to make embellishments, charms, or ???? Covering the little wooden cubes was pretty easy, but making the wee frames with inserts was more challenging. I had a lot of trouble with the first one, but by the third time I had figured out how to do this. These are incomplete - they need clip art or something, but they're really practice work. The materials are free and easily found, a bonus. Think I'll try using piece through the CuttleBug.


This is the front of the book we made with office supplies and other found ephemera. The picture below shows a view of the book open. There is even a cloth bag included as well as coin envelopes, tickets, etc.


I have been interested in using beeswax as a medium in collage - it creates a beautiful effect. We were told at the beginning of the class that there is a Zen quality to using beeswax - the warmth, the scent, the soothing, repetitive brushing on the beeswax. We were assured that there are no mistakes as what you put on can be taken off. We had lots of papers, ephemera, botanicals, and doo-dads to use. Everyone seemed to enjoy this class. And I am planning to work more with the beeswax.


This was a short class, only an hour, but it was good, messy fun. The previous class had spent the afternoon mixing up batches of pulp and then making sheets of paper. They used all kinds of things as the base: bananas, dried flowers, bark, and even denim jeans! We were kind of the clean up crew, using the leftovers. I didn't have any cookie cutters with me, the open ones without a handle, so I used a can to create the base for some embellishments. I haven't worked with paper pulp for awhile and, now that the weather is better, I think I'll make some pulp in my blender and have some more messy fun.


I always said that I would NEVER bother with learning to solder. Well, I was wrong! This was an excellent - lots of demonstration of techniques, good instructions to take home, and something that, with some practice, I will be able to do. The charms are double-sided: B/W clip art on one side and the checkerboard paper on the reverse. It was suggested to mix them up the way I did. I added them to a chain I had at home but I can always change my mind and use them in a different way. We left the class with our completed charms and a soldering iron.

I'm ready to go!


This is a portion of what I made in this class. I couldn't get a good picture of the project because it is metal (reflected the flash) and too large for the scanner (cut off 3/4 of the frame.) So, you will have to use your imagination.Or, you can go to Cheryl's website to see another shot of it http://www.tensecondsstudio.com/Gallery/index.html We used a 12X16 canvas as the base as well as a sheet of metal. We used the back side of the canvas as a frame by painting the edges with household caulk tinted with acrylic paint. While that was drying, we embossed (and debossed) the saying using special metal tools and sanding some of the color off the metal. The darkened words were printed on paper, cut out, and glued down. The metal was then set into the "frame" - ready to hang. I learned a lot in the class (Cheryl Darrow - Ten Second Studio) and will work more with this medium. If you are interested, check out Cheryl's website and her videos - they are very interesting, informative, and also a good laugh!!!


The last class - I couldn't believe everything was coming to an end. Cheryl Meador, the instructor, brought kits with all the pieces cut, the batting sewn in, and lots of pearl cotton for us to hand sew a mini-purse. In her instructions, she also showed how to make a pattern for other sizes or how to make book covers or whatever. I haven't down hand work like this for a long time and forgot how much I enjoy doing it. And, I love the fun colors.


So, that's what I did at Artiscape, well, at least the classes. We had a great time in Columbus, and I plan to go next year. Hope to see some of you there as well. Maybe the Canadian rugby players will be there again (but that's another story!
Check out the website at http://www.europeanpapers.com/

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Book Study: Glossy, Alcohol Inks and Mica Powders

My friend Carol Sweeney has been posting demonstrations of the techniques in Nancy Curry's book Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping for the Yahoo group Next Generation. This technique uses glossy card stock, alcohol inks, and mica or interference powder. You can find the directions in the section called "Flights of Fancy."

(Click on the image to see a close up)

If you don't own this book (and I highly recommend it), go to Carol's blog:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March "Madness" - Part 2

Here are some more scans of projects. I was in a swap where I had to use a puzzle piece as a part of the design. I had purchased a few children's puzzles which were made up of large pieces and chose one for the cover of a purchased notebook. I stamped the flourishes on the cover and added the puzzle piece which I had decoupaged with printed tissue paper and a purchased embellishment, adding some fibers through a hole I punched with my Crop-a-Dile.

Oriental Stamp Art runs many swaps every year, and this is what I made for a mingle (send one card to your partner) - the theme was black plus one color. The crane stamp (Stampin' Up) was stamped on DSP (see previous blog to unravel the secret meaning!) and layered over blue. I highlighted areas with a clear glitter pen. The strip is embossed with a CB embossing folder and highlited with Versamark.

I signed up for a lighthouse card swap and later realized I had sold my one and only lighthouse stamp at a rummage sale! Not be be deterred, I used a picture for the backgroun from a Wisconsin calendar - a lighthouse in Sturgeon Bay on the Lake Michigan side. The shore scene is the stamped part. All stamps are from Seaside Stampin'. If you love the ocean, lakes, sea life etc., go to their website for a treasure trove of stamps.

Recently I tried my hand at a technique called gesso resist. It is sooo easy. Apply a few coats of gesso to a page of text. When it is dry, stamp and emboss an image, then color over the whole thing. The embossing resists the ink!

Arrtiscape 2009

Last April my friend Barbara and I attended Artiscape, a wonderful art convention with outstanding workshops in Ohio. We had so much fun that we are going again, this time to Columbus, home of European Papers which sponsors and organizes everything. I discovered this year that there is a Yahoo group associated with Artiscape; members may sign up for various fat books (hand made books whose pages are 4" X 4"). The theme this year is "The Age of Innocence." I made 44 pages, all similar but not ecactly alike. Here is a sample of some of the pages.

For more information on Artiscape, go to www.europeanpapers.com.

More OSA Challenges

I am still keeping up with the OSA (Oriental Stamp Art) theme and design challenges. These are the ones for the the month of March:
Year of the Rat


Kanji or Text


For lots of eye candy, go to www.orientalstampart.com and look through the albums.