Thursday, May 10, 2012

CC2 - #4 - Graduation Time

I've missed the past couple challenges that Linda Ledbetter has sent out into blog land for the Compendium of Curiosities 2 Challenge, but not this week!! For new folks, this is all about Tim Holtz and his amazing teaching book, Compendium of Curiosities #2 which you can purchase here. This week it was about faded layers which he describes on page 43.

After seeing Linda's piece, a big ole' light bulb went off in my head about using die cuts with mask material. So I set out to make a very sweet girl a graduation card.

I started with a piece of manilla paper cover stock and applied Evergreen Bough, Shabby Shutters, and Peeled Paint distress inks to the bottom portion of the paper. On the top I used the new Shaded Lilac, Spun Sugar, Stormy Sky, Broken China, and Tumbled Glass distress inks....very lightly. Next I used the tall grass embossing folder on the bottom of the piece. I laid down my new mask of the branch tree and mostly used the same colors on top of the mask to get a nice blend and a faded picture of the tree. I was careful to avoid the bottom of the tree and used a little sponge finger dauber to color the top of the grass. Next I put some picket fences on one Tim's stamps from the Floral Tattoo collection for a bit of extra interest on the background.

Then came the fun part!!

I used the Tattered Floral Garland die cut and cut out a bunch of the smallest leaves and flowers. I'm really into beads lately, so with my trusty Scotch adhesive in hand, I glued down beads for the flower centers.

I used one of Tim's new kilt pins to attach a heart, a muse token which says Knowledge, and a Dream charm. They seemed like a good combination for someone headed off to Arizona next year for college.

Finally I used one of Wendy Vecchi's stamps for the sentiment. Now I all I have to do is write the inside and slip her a few bucks!! Tis the season.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

WOYWW # 153

This is technically my third post in the same 24 hour period, and ironically enough, a 24 hour period where I spent zero time in the Fun Room. Still fighting the shingles and now a cold on top of it, and after a year of trying to sell our house, we got a great offer today, so we spent part of the afternoon at the real estate agents, and the rest of the day wondering where we might be living at the end of June. Hmmm.

So I scurried upstairs and snapped a photo, because for sure this is what it will look like tomorrow. What is tomorrow? Why it's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday #153, Julia Dunnitt's brain child that let's us take a  peak into every one's lives once a week. I'm kinda addicted I have to say.

On the right side is my Martha Stewart score-it...a fabulous little item. I could never use those little score-its-always having to chop off part of it for some reason. On top is a layout idea from Graphic 45 which I will probably never make; but as I was making Mother's Day cards with Graphic 45 papers yesterday it seems appropriate. There's a new package of baby wipes front and center....can't run out of those. The black paper in the upper left is what I use for most of the backgrounds for my photos. The tray in front has the supplies for one of my newest idea...paper beads which I've been covering with wire and beads.  Here's an example of a few of them.

Below are the beads which have been cut from the 48 marbled distress stain tags I made one morning. What a gas that was...I found the more I made the more things I tried - lots of fun!! I cut the tags into long, skinny triangles (no measuring, just eye-balling) and wrap them around a round toothpick and then give them a coat of Diamond Glaze or two to beef them up. I've been busy looking for pretty wire - but managed to get some that is a bit too thick...thinner is definitely better for this project.

And beads. Beads come in such luscious colors. Mmmm, just yummy. I've found it's a good TV project and I can be with the rest of the crew and still be doing something creative (hence the tray). The Styrofoam ball holds the toothpicks while the glaze is drying.

Pretty much sums it up for me this Wednesday's hoping you all have a great week!

I Made a Book!

I have always loved books, and have wanted to explore making them for a long time. I finally did it. Not quite what I would have imagined - ever - but I learned a lot, and had fun in the bargain, so it's all good.

One day while poking around Dina Wakley's blog, I came upon an on-line class called, 21 Secrets, An Art Journal On-line Playground from Dirty Footprint Studios. Since I seem to be the last person to jump on the art journal wagon I signed right up. From a list of 25 artists and projects I selected  Dale Anne Potter's Personal Acts of Kindness to start; it intrigued me exactly because we got to make a book.

In deference to Dale Anne, I'll just tell you the concept was to make seven postcards (think master board), each with a special word. We write the postcards to ourselves, citing reasons why we think the word applies to us. Once we get the post cards back, we tuck them away in their own little envelopes inside our little book, which then becomes a pick-me-up for those not so good days in the future when we might not be feeling our very best.

Here's some of the stuff I learned: 
  • toilet paper and multi medium are pretty cool when mixed together (aka the heart on the front)
  • less is more (still)
  • waxed bead thread is probably not the thing to use for binding
  • choosing things based solely on whether YOU like them is very freeing, not to mention fun
  • paper beads are really fun, albeit a bit time consuming to make
  • multi medium is an amazing product (just ordered a gallon of the stuff!)
Here's a tour of my project.

Front Cover 

  Fun with beads

 Back Cover....Multi-medium on Kraft Paper and Adirondack ink on top...feels like rubber. Way cool. 
 My postcards. I used chalk for the color; to tie them all together I used the same color chalk on the little Tim Holtz stamp: Art is a shadow of what a person is thinking.

My inside envelopes - some of the bits and bobs from my table found a home

Have a serious thing for tickets right now....

The inside back cover...a collage in progress

It was a great project...looking forward to diving into the next section of 21 Secrets!! 

Happy Mother's Day with Domestic Goddesses

I mean, who wouldn't want to be a Goddess, domestic or otherwise? I love the Domestic Goddess line of paper from Graphic 45, but am afraid it's a bit difficult to find these days. It's so tongue in check, that I thought it would be perfect for Mother's Day cards for my sisters and my Mom. All the cards are very straight forward. A bit of dimension and mix and match the papers up and I was pretty much done.

 This last one was for my Mom - she gets the she's been at it the longest!!

 These cards were made so much easier by the addition of the chipboard cut in exactly the right shape for all the Graphic 45 tags. You can find it at Leaky Shed Studio. I was really impressed with how right on the size was; I didn't have to make any adjustments, and the dimension the chipboard added was fabulous.

I used the same paper, along with with Dreamer Paper from 7 Dots Studio and some chipboard letters to make a cover for my recipe book. I'm always clipping recipes out of magazines, and if I try it, and we like it, it gets put into a sheet protector and into the BIG BOOK of of the kids named it years ago, and the name has stuck around.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Domestic Goddesses out there in Blog-land!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Little Something for Bits and Bobs

The other night I got a great little email from Gale at Paper Whimsy with a nifty idea for all those leftover seeds that cry out to be shared with your friends....the Seedman's Purse. If you're not familiar with Paper Whimsy they have the most lovely digital images, and lots of other goodies in their one line Shop. I had just purchased some new paper at my local stamp store, the Stamp Cache and thought perhaps I would give it a go.

I have a tin lid on my table where all the extras know those little items I audition for a piece that don't get the part, and then don't go home right away...cause sometimes they don't have a home. Anyway, its current condition is over-flowing. Could there be a better solution? I wondered if a passel of purses could be the answer.

I started out with 6 inch squares and folded according to directions. For the lids, I scored them with about a quarter to half inch shelf at the top, to allow for some expansion with the stuff.

I tried buttons as a fastener, but settled on brads because they too, allowed a bit more room to wind the jute, ribbon, and/or waxed thread around. Next, they needed a place to hang-out. I gave a plain tin a couple of coats of black acrylic paint, and used Ranger's Glue and Seal to paste on a band of paper. Wow...was that slick. To put some ribbon around the top, I used my regular tape adhesive. And finally there was some place to put a button or two.

Even though several of the purses had a bit of a lip on the lid, they still didn't sit nicely, so I crafted an insert that seemed more hospitable to them. Some trial and error here, but after a couple of times I got it right.

So now I have this nice, compact little bit of goodness on my table.

Originally I thought this would be my entry into Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers this week, which called for RED. One small oversight on my part. No stamping. Oh well; perhaps another time.


I Tidyed up for WOYWW #152

Greetings oh fellow WOYWW'ers...
....(that's What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday for my non-fellow Woyww'ers--a kind of fun and odd in the very best sense of the word opportunity to go snoopy about other people's workspaces which Julia Dunnitt hosts each week on her blog, Stamping Ground)

I'm still in quarantine with my ear shingles, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which is getting more than old. However....I have had lots of time to play and watch You Tube. My new addiction. Oh, it's bad. Whew....

So anyway, my work space was getting smaller and smaller as I zoomed from project to project (did I mention they treat this with steroids?) so finally yesterday I thought I might tidy up a bit.

Pretty impressive, huh?

The small pile to the right is paper for a possible mini-album for my daughter's prom with her boyfriend; the pile to the right are letters which have been painted and stickled for some banner desk plaques/cards which I started playing with last week for a Simon Says Stamp Challenge which you can see  here. The pile in the middle is for my next project.

This is what it looked like about 5 milliseconds after I took the first picture:

And this is what the other table in the Fun Room looked like. I'm really into mini-albums right now which seems really odd to me, but at least they are functional. I think it's fun playing with all the paper too. And it's quick and easy - not requiring too much concentration from my addled brain right now,

For a quick tour around this same Fun Room wall, I show you:


Lastly, Alaska time is eight hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time, which means when it's 10:00 pm there, it's only 2:00 pm here....which is why I always am, and always will be at the tale end of the posts. C'est la vie.

Thanks again Julia for your good humor and great idea of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

All Things Seem Possible in May

Ah, the beginning of a new month. And here in Alaska I could actually see little, tiny, leaf buds on the trees today. Cause for great excitement!!. After all the cold and snow we had this winter, many of us thought spring would be a long time coming, but this is almost early for us.

The lovely, talented, and Ranger U educated Kate Crane invites us to her blog, The Kathryn Wheel  each month to post our on-going calendars. Kate has been hosting this challenge for a few years and it's a fabulous journey. I use it to record my artistic endeavors of the month, what I'm working on, sometimes why I'm not working on anything, what I'm doing, etc. For May I'm celebrating green!

I played with my Dylusions spray inks....what a gas. Such vibrant, sassy, amazing colors. Just love 'em. I've found that a coat of glaze on top of the finished piece makes writing oh, so smooth. So after I spritzed, misted with water, dried, and used a touch of black paint with a very dry paint brush, I put a quick little coat of glaze on top of the background.

The design is pretty basic...please note my ode to the mosquito (got my first one today!). All the little white dots and the bird are Ranger white enamel which I like a lot...very glossy...comes in white and black - the black is way cool around Halloween. The bird was a bit too white though, so I popped a bunch of seed beads in its tail and body. This is all a result of thinking about the design for about, oh, maybe a fraction of a second. It started to rain this I used the umbrella. One of those things.

I had the most fun with the journal blocks. Dylusions spray inks again, but in lighter colors, more water, and more blotting. I used Gesso instead of white acrylic on top of the stencils, and liked that technique better.

In the end I have to say, May looks more like me. I love that I got a nice, light, creamy yellow for April because I tried pretty darn hard to do that, but I just couldn't use one ink color for journaling and had to put some pictures in from my trip to Los Angeles. It got a bit busier than I kind of pledged to do at the beginning of the month...oh well.

Hope you all have a great month of May!!