Monday, December 30, 2013

Sometimes I Need to be Reminded

The other day a friend and I were talking about how different siblings can be. She, apparently, is quite a bit different that her sister. In an effort to explain this to her daughter, my friends mother said, "Lauren, not everyone wants to see the world."

Now Lauren and I can't imagine a life like that, but that phrase has been resonating in my mind all week. We have the grown (well mostly) kid at home, and yep, you guessed it, they don't all want to see the world. And it's okay. So I took some time today to make a journal page to remind me....

The entire time I was making this spread I kept thinking of Alison Bomber's work, of which I am a big fan. She works a lot in browns and blues, which is not my usual color scheme but I thought I would give it a try. She is also a QUEEN of layers. I managed to get 10 on my background. 

I started by putting a lot of water down in my Dylusions Journal, followed by Distress Paints in Weathered Wood, Iced Spruce, and Stormy Sky. After that dried I went in with a bit of Wild Honey mixed with Picket Fences and Antique Linen. The Antique Linen is the first color I've had to replace in that goes with everything!!

Next up was some soft gel through a stencil...I had the soft gel for a while, but haven't used it...perfect for translucent stencils. I applied some Distress Ink on top of the stencils to make the shapes pop a bit, and put on some Washi tape for color and texture.  I used the world stamp from a Tim Holtz collection for some added interest in the background as well.

My eye kept catching a container of white reinforcers on the floor (goodness knows where they came from?!) so I popped them onto the background and applied some more paint over top them in the same background colors. They looked a little plain tho, so out came the embossing powders which worked pretty darn well...I rather like the mixture of them on the spread now. The final background layer was some text stamped in white ink. 

I started with a size 12 tag - might as well have started with a 10 since I had to cut it down, but ah, the things we learn along the way. I'm not very good yet with the individual Hero Arts stamps, so the stamping took me a bit. I auditioned several backgrounds and finally just went back to a manilla tag, coffee archival ink, and some Antique Linen Distress Stain. 

I covered the tag with some scrap paper which I quieted down with some watery Antique Linen Distress Paint to bring them all together. Next I added some Tattered Angels mists and a mixture of Dirty Martini and Black Dylusions spray splattered about. Washi tape helped join the tag to the background. 

Final embellishments included my favorite film strip 2 ways, some Chinese tokens, and a faux rusted compass. Looking back I see it really isn't blue and brown, more blue and yellow-ish orange...but hey, at least I gave it a go. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Favorites

As I'm not sleeping I began to think back on 2013 from an artistic point of view. My word for the year was Artist - as in this was the year I would become one. Sometimes I own that, sometimes it still seems  far away, but there is no doubt I an artist. So here's my top ten of the year.

Tim Holtz issued a tattered flower challenge in March. This tops my favorites list because I really played with colors, mediums, and textures. I had never done anything on a a piece of metal either.

I used grunge board, cheese cloth, plastic, paper, and screening, with paints, stains, metallics, glue (to stiffen the cheese cloth), texture fades and some favorite buttons. The finished piece is hanging in the Fun Room. Original post.

The next piece was a birthday gift for a dear friend who has been nothing but encouraging about my art work. Not only was it a gas to make - she loved it! Original post.

From canvas to ATC, the next project was for an ATC challenge of underwater. I had been playing around with some Twinkling H2O's and salt a couple of days before and this kind of fell together.  Original post.

I participated - somewhat - in Lifebook 2013. It's a great, year long course, but it takes a lot of time - something I rarely have. This lesson was entitled Quirky Birds. Indeed. Original post.

The tag is another Tim Holtz inspired project. He's what got me into this after all. As I recall this was either the second or third attempt at the colors and layout, but I just love how it came out. It's incredible vibrant...and hangs within my field of vision at the office. Original post.

My daughter turned 21 this year. One of the things I started doing for the kids when they came into my life was silly birthday riddles - I'm made some very unusual rhymes over the years. This year I was informed she would like a BIG card. So I made her a canvas, and turned it into a card. Based on Christy Tomlinson's style...another find from Lifebook. Original post.

Another Lifebook project by a great teacher, Kelly Hoerning. I learned a BUNCH about eyes...even managed to draw a couple. Great techniques as well. Original post.

These little notebooks were Christmas presents I made for sisters and friends. What makes me laugh about them is I started to make them with scrapbook paper and then realized, duh, I make paper....I got good and inky with these! Original post.

These are a recent project as well. Affirmation Cards for the Brave Girls Club. They make the list not because they are such great works of art, but for how consumed I was in making them. I stayed up until 1:30 am and was back at my desk at 7:30 am. Quite unlike me for a Sunday morning! Original post.

And finally this rounds out the list...because it was another first. Really the first time I played with canvas....there's going to be more of that in the new year. Plus the colors are Yummy. Original post.

Thanks for taking this little journey with me....both this post and the whole creative ride. I really can't imagine doing what I do, learning what I have, getting a fraction of the inspiration I have, without all you folks in blogland. I am thankful girl!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Four, Count 'Em Four Days

Until the winter solstice and we start gaining sunlight. This is importation in a location where even though it was a perfect gorgeous - and cold as in minus 14 F, I only really saw the sun for a couple of hours. Technically it was up for almost 5.5 hours, but it likes to play cute and hides behind the mountains.

This week is the 237 time Julia has asked WOYWW, or what's on your work desk Wednesday? Here's what's on mine

spiced nuts waiting to be, well, spiced up in their appearance, some background papers I am working on for a project and a bunch of other stuff....(how's that for eloquence - what can I say it's late and I need to go to bed).

But I did want to show you a couple of local photos from Palmer Alaska. I saw this Momma and her boy on the way home Saturday.

From one side of our work building this was the view this morning.

Quite arctic looking with the pink alpine glow in the sky....the water tower is a real symbol in our town, but doesn't function any longer.

Here you can see the sun is making it's way up. I think I took this around noon.

It was a downright gorgeous day. Everything was covered with a think layer of Hoarfrost. I looked up the definition just for you all - Hoarfrost refers to white ice crystals, loosely deposited on exposed objects that form on cold clear nights when heat is lost into the open sky causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air.

To say it glistens is an understatement. It's amazing!

So that's what we're up to here. Trying to stay warm. Thankful for the beauty that surrounds us. And working like crazy to finish up the Christmas preparations. Have a good week.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Love this Season!!

Unlike our fearless leader, Julia of WOYWW, I did spend this Sunday at home and got lots of time in the Fun Room. None since then, but such is the season....lots to do. At the end of the day, I collected my makes in the center of the table and this is what it looked like. 

Somewhere along the line I even tidied up the window sill. I don't know about you fellow WOYWW'ers, but I was getting sick of that color wheel. 

At one point in the day, my sweetie came in the room and mentioned that my work space had shrunk a know, down to about a 12 x 12 square.  The rest of the table looked like this slightly messy pile to my left. Oh well. You know it's true what they say - if you see it, you'll use it. 

I was busy making these little (3" x 4.5") composition book covers for my sisters, mom, and a few girl friends. Late Saturday night I started pulling out some papers and then stopped - duh. I make paper. So that's what I started with. Lots of luscious Dylusions sprays, some stencils, and some paint. And because I am getting wiser in my old age I gave the papers a coat of clear Gesso. I love the intensity of Dylusions, but sometimes I'm not so excited to have it react with the next layers. Enter the gesso. It gives the paper a great tooth and I can do just about anything next. You need to make sure the first layer is TOTALLY dry. As in maybe overnight. Even though I thought it was dry, I had a little bit of run when I did a final coat of matte medium to seal everything. In this case it was nice, as little streaks of color helped blend it all together.

Wait. That doesn't make sense. Maybe I missed a section. Whatever. Make sure it's

So I pulled out some scraps, some Art Chix and Pringle Hill Studios images, my trusty white and black pens and went to town.

The banner was stashed up on the window sill and since I didn't want it there I kind of threw it down on my desk. A few hours later, I had a little a-ha moment. Another happy accident. 

Oh, yes. I also used some of my favorite 7 Dots Studio Paper - the Dreamer line. I totally love that paper - it will blend with just about anything! I also used some stickles which I've rediscovered. The new mercury glass is a combination of silver and gold and just so festive!

One of the hardest things was finding ribbon that would match. You would think a girl with literally shoe boxes of the stuff wouldn't be in the predicament, but I am just about out of seam binding which I normally color myself....and I was at a loss. Eventually I got pretty close. My sweetie asked why the ribbon - I thought if you were throwing this in your purse or whatever it would be nice to keep it closed. 

I'm going to do a couple of larger book covers for some other friends....but at least I get to check this particular project off the list. Funny. That makes it sound like a chore. It was anything but. Things like this are why we call it the Fun Room. 

And if you've made it all the way here without knowing what WOYWW is, please be sure to check out the The Stamping Ground blog where you can join us as we look in at desks around the world. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Inspiration is Everywhere

There is something about the Christmas season that sends me right back to traditions. I think it's about the only thing that does, but I do miss Tim Holtz's 12 tags of Christmas. So the other day I went bopping about the internet (I love the internet--I must say this at least once a day) and found Ellen Houston's 12 Feminine Tags of Christmas. I was inspired by Rhonda's Palazzari's tag.

I started with a tag, attached vintage music paper and then did a marble swirl with distress paints - sorry, can't remember which ones - I didn't have her colors. But I did apply a layer of matte medium over the paints which Rhonda did. Brilliant. The best part was that I could wipe away all the extra glossy accents I had to use the to attach Joyeux Noel!

Attaching that was such a pain, I wondered what else I could put there. Another AHA. Simon Says Stamp challenge this week is flourishes. Love flourishes. So searching in my supplies I went. And what do you know? I found one (big 

I started with holly leaves from a Tim Holtz die, colored them with two green colors of Distress Stains, spritzed a bit of water, dried them and then applied a generous layer of Perfect Pearls in Pearl. I love what this does to paper - not only do you get sparkle, the paper becomes sturdier. 

I cut the star from cardboard, peeled away some of a layer, and used some silk acrylic gold paint. So lustrous. While I was rummaging I found some little wreaths which I thought could be modified into a perch. 

A little smeared stickles (making a come-back in my Christmas crafting this year), a few vintage holly leaves, and A LOT of glue --- finally just resorted to the ole' glue gun --- and I was done. One for me, and another for a Christmas card. 

 It was a great time in the Fun Room.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WOYWW 234....Busy Times

This week my desk looks a lot different from last week....I've been lucky to have a  fair amount of time in the Fun Room...and it's been, well....FUN. But my desk is starting to pile up.


On the left you'll see the old file folders which I'm using as the base for some pages in my December album (still under construction). In the center of the cutting map is a small gift tag. Last year at my office we started a tradition of paper crafting. This year I've been looking for something that even a novice can make and finally settled on gift tags. A couple of us will bring in extra paper and ribbons and we'll spend some lunch hours getting creative. We start next week!

Last year's project was snowflakes - similar to the one sitting on the right. It was a kick to see them throughout the building...but some people missed out so we'll be making these again as well.

We had a terrible ice storm here on Friday - got sent home from work early. An adult SNOW DAY!! It was four found hours. I was able to finish my December project for the Stamp Cace. 

The muse tokens hung a bit differently than I had envisioned, so I ended up adding another button - naturally I didn't get another picture. C'est la vie. 

On Saturday night I was looking around the web and visited Stephanie Ackerman's blog where I  read about the Brave Girl Truth Cards.  The cards are sent to women around the world who need some positive reinforcement. Having been in that position a time or two I got kind of excited and started making some cards on Saturday night. I was having such a good time, I stayed up WAY past my bed time until 1:00 am. I was back at my desk at 7:30 Sunday morning....and when I was done I had a Baker's Dozen to put in the mail!

It's Thanksgiving in the United States this week and I don't have to think more than a millisecond to realize how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for. One of those things is certainly the community Julia has fostered through WOYWW.  The internet is a powerful tool. I so enjoy seeing other artists and crafters and finding a world of inspiration and support. May you have a moment this week to appreciate the good things in your world, no matter where that might be!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Clean Desk for WOYWW 233

Yippee Skippee. I finally cleaned my desk, just in time for the weekly sharing hosted by the wonderful Julia! I've been at the state planning conference for the last four days. I'm happy to report although I might be getting older, I am getting wiser and after four full days of talking and being "on" all the time (as one of the organizers) I took today off. It was blissful.

Here it is in all it's glory. Christmas bits and bobs to the left and ready to go. While I was cleaning I usually put things on my chair, but Ben the cat was there. Being the lazy cuss I am I put them there anyway. The most casual of cats, just kept on bathing. I did finally get him to look at the camera though.

He's just my best buddy. All cat ... all on his terms .... but I was told he missed him Mom. Big Smile.

On the things I'm working on is a Christmas Book. All three kids will be here at one time over Christmas and I want someplace to capture the memories. I was thrilled when Tammy Tutterow had an on line class....less thinking was just what a I needed. I don't have everything she's using, but I can get close enough. 

I had some time last week to play in an art journal....real quick....with lotz of colors. Super fun. Love the Zig Wink of Stella brush glitter pens. They make sparkles so easy and mess free. 

Life is good these days, and I am enjoying the journey. Hope you are too. 

I'm at the tale end this week, because it's 6:30 pm Wednesday evening here in Alaska. It's already Thursday morning (maybe even afternoon) and all my friends in the UK are probably fast asleep and will wake up in 4 to 5 hours to start their days. But as someone once said - It's Wednesday Somewhere in the World. And this time it's here! Have a good week everyone. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WOYWW 232 or Not Much

Yippee Skippee. I got home from work early enough to enter my work desk into the que at What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, edition 232. Hosted by Julia Dunntt in the UK, she provides a space for us to post and well, let's just say explore sounds so much nicer than snoop,  around the world. 

This is my desk:

If you look carefully at the left side you may see some country red and green papers. Yes, I got to spend a wonderful Sunday, in the Fun Room, in my night gown. Too much information??  It's my favorite way to spend a Sunday....and here in the US we celebrated Veteran's Day on Monday - thanking all the folks who have fought for our country. We help the celebrating by not working - so we had a 3 day weekend. 

Winter finally arrived this weekend in all it's glory....we drove into Anchorage (about 40 miles), did some shopping and had lunch with our college age daughter. This is right outside her dorm at school. 

The winter colors in the north are the prettiest pastels - blue and pink. Just beautiful. We saw this gorgeous sky on the way home. 

Oh. Yes. Crafts. 

I continued on with where I started here. Using up all my little squares. I had a ton of fun. 

Hope this finds you all well and happy.