Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Friendly Flowers and Questions Answered

I made this for a girlfriend I've known since high school for her birthday. She moved away early on so I have not seen her in years, but we stay connected on Facebook. Since I moved my cutting dies to wall sheet magnets (magnetic wallpaper! lol) and can see them more easily, I've been using them more. (One day I'll take photos and share.)

I had this 3-pack of Petaloo flowers and I got tired of looking at them in my purple flowers drawer, where they were there all alone. I also needed an empty drawer for my cancelled postage stamps which I'd had to evict from their previous location because.... anyone with too much stuff knows this explanation can go on and on, so I'll spare you the domino effect. The time had come to use these flowers. So, a window box appeared in my mind. I gathered the dies I had (a Sizzix framelits die they call a grid) and half of a Spellbinders Lotus pendant diecut leftover. I did not have a windowbox die so I had to make one. I looked at my Spellbinders flower pots die, so I used the top lip of one. I had some purple brocade ribbon with little  bows that I used as the ground bloom in the box. I grabbed some green scrap strips for the flower stalks. I found a magazine photo of a patio and trimmed it to put behind the window.

The sentiment stamp is Papertrey Ink.

My background is a Technique Junkie technique using punched circles called Collaged Circles. I used my leftover circles on the back:
And I used an old Splitcoast Stamper sketch:

I do not play with sketches in real time. I choose exclusively from old sketches, it holds down the stress. But I'd be lost without a sketch about half the time. Sometimes a design just appears in my head, but not always.

Now, I have had a few questions about my scene stamping Cinderella piece from those wanting to know a little more about how I did the scene.  Here's a PSE file that shows the original printout on the left and the finished piece on the right:

And here are the stamps I used for the scene, all Impression Obsession Cover-a-Cards:

I/O Bookshelves

I/O Distressed Brick

I/O Woodplanks

Hopefully this helps to see what I did. I apologize for not including this with the original post, but better late than never, right? xoxo

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cheeky Challenge Time - Week 3

The theme of this third week of the 2016 Cheeky Challenge at Dezinaworld was "Valentines/Love". I wanted to use June's brand new digital Valentines set, specifically that forlorn-looking chap wearing the sign. But I had to think of just the right person to send this card to. Luckily I have an artist friend who celebrates Anti-Valentines, and I had resolved awhile back to send her some mail art.

Sometimes I think 99% of my artistic ideas come about by covering up mistakes. The reason the pink pearly cardstock is cut diagonally? I wish I could say it was what I meant to do all along, but I would be fibbing. Truth is, I was working on another card that had a diagonal cut and after I cut it I realized the cardstock was not long enough for the card base. (Measure twice, cut once yada yada.) I had wanted to use that text stamp with the poor chap and suddenly thought to stamp it on a Tim Holtz film strip diecut, which I did, then colored with Distress inks. Cupid is a stamp and die cut by WPlus9, and the photo corner diecuts are My Favorite Things. I used an EKSuccess punch to cut the little hearts borders, and the big broken heart is also in the digital image set. The paper and the text stamp are so old that I cannot remember who made them.

Anyway, I do wish that big heart was a deeper red but I think that at Valentines we are allowed to mix red and pink, and even use color hues or tones that might clash. Plus, if I were only half-good with digital art, I could have probably deepened the color in PSE before I printed (had I even known I needed to at that time). I stamped Cupid with pigment ink and then heat embossed him, but the ink wasn't that juicy and so the color coverage was thin. Well, did you know you can use alcohol ink markers to color over embossing powder? That literally saved Cupid's butt (area), haha.

I was thinking while I worked on this card, that I probably need to quit doing all these challenges. Earlier, I had a bit of an anxiety attack worrying about the deadlines. Since I work soooooo slooooooowly, the key for me is to begin earlier, I guess. The next theme is "Time Machine", so I need to get my thinking cap on for that one!

Before I go, I wanted to share a second card I made last week (but didn't finish in time) for the "Wildflowers" theme. June doesn't require that we use her images, but I just do as a matter of principle...and I have so many of her images.

I made this for a sister-in-law whose birthday is today and I will hear from her if she liked it. If you remember the Mae West card I made, that was for another sis-in-law whose birthday was yesterday and she was very complimentary. I chose these papers from Basic Grey Hopscotch collection because I thought they went so well with the image's colors, and I used a Spellbinders frame combo die to highlight it. It's ashamed about Basic Grey deciding to quit making papers, although I have enough of their lines to last 3 lifetimes, so I can't say that I'll miss them much. I have so much paper I quit buying it a couple years ago (for the most part - a pad of something will occasionally end up in my cart, how I could not say, lol).

I'll be back in a day or two with my next post  - I have more to share. I may be slow, but I've been a busy girl! Stay warm and crafty!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Challenge Card for Dragonfly Journeys

I happened upon a challenge blog the other day that really impressed me. Jeannie at Dragonfly Journeys hosts a weekly challenge where she gifts a handmade card and some goodies to those who link a handmade card. I believe it runs from Sundays to Saturdays. Go check it out for the deets if you are interested. This week's theme was Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty. I needed to make a Valentines card for my neighbors who are also good friends, and they have both cats and dogs, so I had my motivation.

I wanted to do something non-romantic, so I decided on Hula Cat and Moon Doggy, two very old stamps from The Cat's Pajamas. I used an Avery Elle Aloha die, the My Favorite Things Making Waves dies and the Impression Obsession palm tree dies. I masked off the bottom 2/3rds and brayered rainbow ink for the sky. For the sand, I sponged on some Scattered Straw Distress ink and lightly pounced Brushed Corduroy over that.

Lately I've been in the mood for using my colored pencils, so the trees and the cats are colored with those. I finished the card off with some white gelpen dots and called it good. I think they will like it! Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

I hope whatever you are doing this weekend is something you like, and that everyone is getting some better weather. Aloha!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Another Week, Another Cheeky Challenge

This week's Cheeky Challenge theme was Wildflowers. I took some liberties with this. You may know my weakness for puns and plays on words. I was dying to use this gorgeous freebie image of Mae West from Dezinaworld15. One silly brain fart led to another, and soon I was thinking, hey, it's a Maeflower and she's plenty wild! Ha! So, hopefully I won't be disqualified. Just to be technical, the DCWV La Crème flocked cardstock she is layered on top off has some black wildflowers, and the flocked cardstock on the back of the card has them as well. I was tres pleased with how this card came out. And isn't Mae fabulous??? LOVE this image.
The rest of the deets: front sentiment is a really old Leave Memories stamp from the Divas set, image and papers already mention, inside sentiments from Art Impressions and Hero Arts, and the sentiment on the back is from Wild Rose Studio. (Whew! Don't know how often I can provide this, as I do not submit for publication or design team, and really have no need to keep this kind of info. I have enough trouble just using the stamps, lol.)
Until next time, which hopefully will be more often than once a week...

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cheeky Challenge

Well, hello there! LOL, almost 4 years later I'm posting to my blog again. I've been wanting to for the longest, but it is apparently ridiculously hard once out of the habit. So, I should thank this challenge for providing the motivation that worked! Thanks!

I made this for Dezinaworld's Cheeky Challenge, Week 1, "Rags, poverty or homeless" subject. Now, June sells digital images, so I don't even know if anyone enters with non-digital art. I may be the first! But that's how I roll, and I did use an image from one of her collage sheets that I printed. (That makes it hybrid, right? hahaha) The sheet is called Storybook Faux Stamps, and what interested me to do it was that I wanted to see if I could place a printed image in the middle of a larger artwork...well, seamlessly. And I think that I accomplished that AND had a ton of fun in the process.

I cut the image in PSE out of the collage sheet and pasted it into a letter size new document, then centered it and printed on cardstock. I then went to work extending the scene, drawing out the fireplace, and then using my background stamps to create the brick wall, bookshelves and books, and the wooden plank floor.  I got out my markers and pens and colored away. After I finished, I realized I'd just created my own coloring book page and colored it! Haha

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, for sure, but thoughts are forming of a fairy tales altered book. There are images from other stories on the collage sheet, plus I have others already in my files. Hmm......

Now that I've taken the plunge back into the blogging waters, I hope I'll be able to dash off future entries a little more frequently. I'm going to try. If there is still anyone subscribed to get this blog, I hope you are enjoying 2016 so far and making progress on your wishes your heart makes! xoxo

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red cards

I just spent a little time uploading some cards to my Flickr account, which holds pretty much my portfolio of art. Thought I would catch up here as well, sharing some cards I've done recently and haven't posted. No main theme of this card walk should be You Know There Are Scraps Involved! hehehehehe

This card was made for a girlfriend. It began with the idea of the flag strips. Added almost the last of that twill tape, and some orphaned stickers. The 3 patterned papers are all part of Basic Grey's Lime Rickey collection, tho. And the candles are Quickutz diecuts.

This was a card for another girlfriend. First thing that caught my eye in my scraps stash was the vintage calling card paper scrap, so that became the base design-wise. Then, I was looking for a vintage collage sheet image that suggested partying or a party, because the inside sentiment plays off of that theme. So, I pulled out my collage sheet binder and the first thing I ran across was that very old BMuse image of a performer in the Paris Follies, a showgirl. Yeah, okay. I distress edged both in red ink and adhered to a red mat. I am finding that I'm growing tired...real tired of feeling like I must find perfect combinations, no matter how long it takes. It sometimes takes the time that makin another card would take. That's just wrong, so first 'it works' rules these days, lol.

Here's my dad's birthday card. The photo is one of him with his childhood gang, all on their hobby horses, lol. Circa 1932 or so. I combine it with 3 patterned papers from the Flair Designs western collection (also old, but not as old as the photo). Letters are Cosmo Cricket.

Red is a funny color when it comes to matching shades, hues, tones. I have a particularly hard time with it myself, but I think anyone is hampered by their materials. Just seems to me that so many other colors are easier to combine and match. And believe it or not, I think that black is hard as well.

On the other hand, I think that green, brown, and orange is easy to work with. Colors are funny, which is why if you are completely lost when trying to combine them, paper collections may be a necessity. I'm enjoying them, because I run to them more and more when I need to have some colors match 100%. This is usually when I've loaded orphaned scrap elements on the piece.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day! I hope all of you moms reading this have a blessed day. :-)))

My mom passed away on this day 2 years ago and we will be remembering her at our family luncheon today, as well as honoring Hubster's mom, my sister-in-law and me. I'm sharing the card I made my mother-in-law:

I'm suffering with what I can only describe as spring allergies, I guess. My ears are stuffed, my throat glands are a bit sore, and my eyes are junked up with stuff. I'm taking Vitamin C bombs and sipping green tea like no tomorrow, washing down my antihistamine like clockwork. Trying to hope it won't get worse and thankful it's not worse and that I can suffer through naturally. Most stuff seems to run its course with or without prescription meds. We'll see...fingers crossed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sorry to be so long in posting. I really have no good excuse. I have not been creating stuff that ever gets finished, lol. Work in progress seems to be my middle name. Life has also taken center stage.

So, even though I've nothing to share art-wise at present, I did want to pop in and say I'm still alive! And the Muse is beginning to get antsy to create, so I'll have some stuff to share soon, promise!

In the meantime, great good luck for surviving the month of May, possibly second only to December for busy social lives. One week down, 3.5 more to go!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Toasting Special Days...

Hubs and I celebrated San Jacinto Day with old friends at a local eatery. it was tinis all around (mine was a delicious lemon-drop martini).

And for dessert, chocolate brownie and ice cream for 4:

Saturday was a gorgeous day here, but Friday was a bit scary for awhile, as we had strong wind gusts and sideways rain, thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening!

The birthdays keep on coming in April. This one for a sister-in-law:

It's hard to see in a scan, but I added plenty of gel and glitter penning.  

I also used a Stamper Corners sketch for the design. The papers are all from my Blackhole of Stash.

I also scallop-punched one edge of each of the overlapped paper strips, then edged them with the gelpen. It adds a nice texture and interest in person, but it also is hard to see in photos. The diamond 50 is also a punch. I handcut the paisley on top and outlined it as well.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hubster!

 The Hubster turns 60 today and so the card I made him reflects his love for the brass instruments he played in his high school band.
 I had these very old B-Muse collage sheet instrument images. I cut them out and paired them with some Basic Grey Marjolaine papers an assorted alpha stickers.
 The circles were cut using my discontinued old-skool and beloved Coluzzle templates. The blade on my Coluzzle knife finally dulled out, and since I can no longer buy the refills, I'd taken a chance and picked up some Fiskars swivel knife blade refills. This was the moment of truth and I am happy to report that they work great in the Coluzzle knife. YAY!!! (I was really dreading having to face a life without my Coluzzles, but now I don't have to worry, big relief!)
 The inside sentiment, which I wrote and printed out, says, "Strike up the band / On the day you were born / Happy Birthday to the guy / Who can always toot my horn!" LOL He liked it. :-)))
Tonight we are having a private dining party at Cullen's of Houston, a fancy restaurant that is hosting the dinner portion of Houston's Titanic Centennial Exhibit. They have a round room suspended from the ceiling that seats 12, and for $12,000, you can book a private tour of the Titanic Exhibit at Houston Museum of Natural Science and transport by motor coach to Cullens for an authentic Titanic dinner for 12. Sadly, we did not purchase that, but hey, we'll be looking at the richy riches who did and eating pretty much the same food for a whole lot less money. It's gonna be fun.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Here's the story...

Just in time for an Easter Sunday, this is the story of new beginnings and redeemed lives, art journaling style. Or, how I altered a background spread in my Little Gluebook of Wisdom quote journal.

I had originally painted this background with leftover paint, not thinking as I painted circles...circles with dots in them...that ended up making the circles look like pepperoni pizzas:
 I first applied a whitewash (1 part paint, 1 part acrylic glaze medium, 2 parts water), but that wasn't gonna make it look any less pepperoni-ish. I then considered a planetary space spread, but I wasn't feeling that either. So, I diecut a city skyline with a Sizzix border and used it as a template to paint one on my spread. Better! But still too many planets, suns, etc. Cleaned my navy paint off my brush with some sky strokes and got an idea:
 I completely covered the entire spread with more navy blue paint, then cut out another skyline diecut from a piece of deli paper that I had stamped with a brick background stamp, and glued it down. I then went about applying layer after layer of lighter colors of paint, each time blotting and wiping with a paper towel to let the underlayers peek through, finally winding up with this:
 Now, onto the sides of the spread. I've had these colored images of french provencial icons and crests, etc., and for reasons known only to my Muse, I determined to use them here. After adhering, I laid down a coat of lighter blue for a few seconds before wiping off the paint with a baby wipe. The end result was a staining of blue, which muted the images that had been white. I also cleaned my brush on the top of the sky, adding more blue to it and creating a stormy sky effect.
 Here you can see the stormier sky along with the stained side images:
 This photo shows a bit of the different colors in the sky (from the layers I painted):
 Here's the finished (for now - I still need to add a favorite quote) background:
My first thought after studying it was that it really reminded me of a scene from Ghostbusters, lol. I was expecting the camera (my eye) to pan in on a hi-rise balcony adorned with gargoyles and Sigourney Weaver! Oh, what an imagination can conjur up, lol.

One thing is for certain, though. This page spread looks NOTHING like it did originally, does it? Mission accomplished, and no more pepperoni pizza planet nightmares!

I hope you and yours have been having a lovely Easter weekend. Here's to new beginnings and redeemed lives for us all. <3

Friday, April 6, 2012

"Egging" it on...

I made two versions of this Easter card this year, one Designed 2 Delight digital stamp image a bit larger than the other, with the same papers and trim. The stamp is colored with colored pencils. I also used Card Patterns sketch 159.
Then I made this one with some collage sheet and german scrap images and a Stampers Corner yahoo group sketch.

I've been using eggs as a motif in my art lately, and it is Easter and all, but I just also think eggs have caught my eye, simple as that. Perhaps it's because it is Springtime. Pinks and greens are calling me.
 On a wild hair this week, I finally began to cover the first composition book art journal that I began in 2009, worked faithfully in for 3 months, then every few months, and less and less. This year I began doing something in it a few times a week, if only to add a layer to a background, gesso or paint a page, etc. I was feeling vintag-y and grabbed an egg collage sheet image, some scrap paper and washi and gaffer tapes, and without too much thinking, laid down a front and base cover with my Royal Coat decoupage medium.
 By then I was more comfortable with glueing larger pieces of paper, so I chose a pretty simple pairing of floral patterns for the insides of the covers.
 I even used my Martha Stewart border punch to create a pretty scalloped eyelet design on the edge of the green paper. After the back paper got glued down, I happened to notice that the last page was painted with complementary shades of pink and green. Karma! lol
 I've had this white roses paper for ages, from a photo paper stack / slab, probably Die Cuts with a View. And I'd always been afraid to use a big piece of it. I guess I shouldn't have given it a thought, because I love looking at it. :-)) I used a brown Pitt brush pen to outline the outside edge of both covers and clean up the look.
 Then, seeing an awesome opportunity to use up some ancient Chatterbox cardstock alpha and other assorted stickers, I boldly branded it by name, and then gave it a couple of protective Royal Coats to seal it all. I 've known this art journal for 3 years as the 'Almost Daily', so it would be silly to change that now, even though it really did not end up being worked in literally that often. The added irony makes me smile, so it's all good.
It's also really cool to begin to see this journal fill up. I still have virgin pages left, but few in number enough to feel completely confident that I will fill it up and finish it off this year...definitely over the hump and then some.

I'll show some recent backgrounds tomorrow -- laterz!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More (Hot) Air.... :-))

Another air-balloon themed creation to share. This time, a post card. I love the techniques in Angela Cartwright's book Mixed Emulsions, but I've not yet mastered the oil painting on photos yet. So, I got out my oil creme pastels and colored a magazine image of old London before adding some gesso and collage elements. This kind of altering technique is very satisfying to me, for some reason.

I will be back tomorrow with an Easter card to share. Enjoy your Good Friday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Haiku Humpday!

Art journal page created for April's Paper Traders blog challenge - air balloons. Come join in!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Odd Couplings: Textured Vintage

Part of my creative makeup is to couple odd things. Well, actually, things that are generally considered by others to be odd, because apparently I do not think they are odd. :-))

 Here, in the photo above, are the unlikely components of a recent artventure. My task was to create a birthday card for my longtime art swap friend, Kim, whose main genre is vintage, but she also has a bit of a rebel side, too. So my Muse immediately took advantage of this, whispering to me to make something vintage as a nonconformist would.

 I've been trying hard to be more intuitive: listen to my initial creative ideas and go with them. My first reactive ideas to what my Muse threw down: create a little work of art on a card, and make it textural. I should also add that I had just received the image of that lovely young lady from my friend Trish Bee, and I'd left it on my desk to file away later. But that stare cast a spell, so I combined it with a few images from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet.

I also had just finished watercoloring a wavy-cut piece of watercolor paper that had been rak'd to me years ago and had sat patiently in my little miscellaneous papers bin, waiting for me. As I have often said, I seem to only be able to watercolor stripes, and this must be proof of that, lol. I was actually trying out colors I do not normally "see" on the palette, as was suggested somewhere from my blog reading a while back. Not all the colors ended up being perfect matches to the images, but enough of them were, and that caused me to see this as a sign to make my stripes the background here.

Also in my mind I was wanting to replicate the ribbed lace effect of the girl's dress. I soon concluded that I had no materials that would literally replicate it, but I might go for the effect of it. As in, reminds you of... I went to my window racks of ribbon and my eyes kept resting on the purple ribbon. Again, the ribbon is not exactly, but reminds you of... I really like that the white edging on it mimics the white line across the dress bodice. And it blended beautifully with the purple in the background.

The finishing touches were the Prima flowers and the base mat of the card. I tried to choose 3 colors that were in both the images and the striped background. I chose the rose pink, the light blue, and the grayish brown. I chose a large and small flower in each color, then coupled them. For the mat, I chose a scrap sheet of card stock that looks at times dark purple and at times dull grayish brown. And it has tiny stripes in it. If that didn't scream, use me!, I don't know what would.