Thursday, September 17, 2020

Autumn: Home from the Sea

 Hello again! Hope you are all well and safe. Today I'm sharing a project I made because of a crazy idea in my head, lol. I saw Sunday Post Card Art's Ships theme last week and ideas began growing. And even though I couldn't possibly have finished it by their weekly deadline, I kept on thinking it through, collecting images, stamps, and papers, until I finally had to make it, past deadline or not. And, to be honest, I can still link it there as there is no hard and fast rule against it. So, I will!

Papers: thin scrap chipboard recycled for 4x6" base; Springhill card stock; Avery sticker paper; deli paper; DCWV Autumn Stack
Images: Gecko Galz collage sheet image of Urina, Greek Muse of Astronomy; Vectoria Designs digital celestial sky paper
Rubber Stamps:  BG/Hero Arts; Cornish Heritage Farms; Collage Stuff; IO; Artistic Outlook; Third Coast
Inks: Promarkers, Versafine Clair, Versamark, printer
Dies:  Lawn Fawn Stitched Clouds
Other:  Wink of Stella clear glitter gel; Sakura clear metallic gel pen; clear embossing powder

I plan to keep this piece of art, frame and hang it in my hallway along with the other 4x6" art I've made and want to keep. I did some research into aspects of my scenario and want to remember the fascinating stuff I learned, which I will whenever I walk by my art. I always give what I frame plenty of air-dry-cure time first, though. So this will be sitting out on a little easel for a few weeks. I use inexpensive MCS aluminum 4x6" frames with glass fronts that I buy on Amazon. So many frames will not fully accommodate a 4x6" piece. This frame has a very thin black lip perimeter that my art slips right into and if I don't use the enclosed chipboard shim, it accommodates a layered piece just fine. So far I haven't gotten any broken or chipped ones - fingers crossed that continues! (I hate returning stuff, but I will if I have to!)
This piece of art began innocently enough with the Ships theme and then when I spotted the painting of the woman holding a sextant in my Gecko Galz collage sheet inventory. I Google-image-searched it and discovered it was a 1992 painting of the ancient Greek Muse or Goddess of Astronomy, Urina. It was at that moment that my little journey down the learning rabbit hole began! (You can see the many other images of this Muse HERE.) 

I learned that ancient mariners aka ship captains used the constellations and stars of the night sky as their first GPS's. Makes perfect sense, just something I'd never focused on before. Every captain knew his astronomy! Plus, much like a devout Catholic calls on the saints to protect them, the sea captains of old called upon Urina to guide their journey and protect them! And, that like so many other parts of their lives before the advent of electricity, the earth's revolution around the sun dictated so much of life. Most seafarers returned home in Autumn, as you didn't want to be stuck out away anywhere in the Winter elements. And now you can see how I arrived at creating my little scene with stamping and paper collage. Gecko Galz's current theme is Autumn is Calling. It all serendipitously fit!  

My intent was to show a ship returning to home port, and show Urina sitting on a hill or bluff overlooking the homecoming as protector. I had a night sky showing the constellations and stars in a Vectoria Designs digital paper pack, so I printed that to use as my sky. As it had a few whimsical vintage pieces floating around in it (like the compass fob on the left), I added the stamped IO ship wheel on the right side. And I chose both the clouds die and the Basic Grey/Hero Arts ocean waves background stamp because I thought that all together it reminded me of a Winken, Blynken and Nod look, which I loved as a child. Very comforting and soothing. I stamped the waves with Versamark ink on white Springhill card stock and then heat-embossed with clear powder (why waste white powder?) I then took some Distress ink blue shades and sponged the embossed area. When that dried, I took a paper towel and rubbed the distress ink off the embossing. 

The ship is an Artistic Outpost stamp, colored with Promarkers and fussy-cut, as is everything except the ship's wheel which was stamped directly on the sky paper.. Urina is sitting on a tree stump which is an old Third Coast stamp. Bare ranches of a tree jut out from behind her, a Collage Stuff tree stamp. The stone wall and colorfully-leafed tree behind it are old Cornish Heritage Farms stamps. A ground of autumn leaves was created by using some DCWV paper scraps. The computer-generated sentiment was printed out on Springhill card stock. I accented many of the stars in the sky with the Sakura gel pen and I brushed Wink of Stella across the ocean waves and on the cloud stitches and the moon at upper left that shows through the deli paper clouds. I then took permanent Starry Night Palette ink and ink-distressed the edges of my piece.

A note about the Spanish contemporary artist who painted the collage sheet image of Urina that I used: see  Jose' Luis Munoz Luque's collection of Greek Muse paintings from his The Muse and The Myth exhibition HERE. You can Google Sextant, Urina, Greek Muses, Ancient Naval Navigation, etc., just like I did to learn more.

Thanks for visiting me and allowing me to share my creativity. I hope you have a great weekend coming up. My prayers continue for all who were in the path of Hurricane Sally or are dealing with her remnants. As I type this, Tropical Storm Wilfred is churning in the Gulf to our south and is expected to give us 75 mph winds and rain by Sunday night. As much as I hated becoming the nag to my Mr. I'm Retired and Have the Lazy to Prove It husband, ever since our near miss with Laura I have pushed him to get our front year tree trimmed (Done!) and to buy plywood and clips for our windows (Done finally this week, but he has not yet cut it to fit the windows - he just got told to work on that tomorrow and be prepared to put them up on Saturday - HELLO WAKE UP). It's been like pulling teeth. When we lose that work ethic.... what can I say? Hard to get it back when you are close to 70! And at the same time, old frugal habits die hard. Our range vent hood motor quit and we ordered a new one that sat in the box for a month until I nagged enough. Then come to find out he should have hired someone to install it but he wanted to save a few dollars! It was a 5-hour torture of retrofit hell. OY!!!!! :-)


1.  Gecko Galz September Customer Challenge: Autumn is Calling -- The woman at bottom right of my art piece is a collage sheet image from one of GG's October newsletter sheets. I'm not sure of the year. I thought it was 2017?
2.  Gecko Galz Facebook Challenge: Celebrate the Arrival of Autumn -- see #1 for image used
3.  Sunday Post Card Art: Ships
4.  Stamping Sensations September Challenge: The Great Outdoors -- Please see discussion in my post describing stamps used.
6.  Time Out Challenge #170: Adventurous -- 
7.  Artistic Stamper Creative Team Challenge September: A Stitch in Time -- figuratively and literally! My artist post card is an homage to Greek mythology and ancient ship navigation history, and I also have die cut deli paper stitched clouds. Hand stamping with rubber stamps definitely happened as well. Please read post for the deets.
9.  Country View September Challenge: Complementary Colors -- Blue + Orange AND Purple + Yellow... the predominant shade of blue here is a blue-violet, so...
10.  Crafty Cardmakers #263: Use a Recycled Element -- my recycled element is my 4x6 chipboard base. It was originally packaging.
16. Try it on Tuesday: Use Your Scraps -- I used scraps of patterned paper, deli paper and card stock, also recycled chipboard for my card base.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Guest Designing for Outlawz September Monday Greetings: Strawberry Stitches

Hiho, everyone! How's it all going? Good, I hope!

I am sharing my first of two creations as the September Guest Designer for The Outlawz Monday Greetings Challenge.  The Outlawz Challenges is a great online crafting community, free to join, with lots of inspiring challenges and some of the nicest friendliest crafters I've ever known! I have been a member there since Feb. 2019 and it has been all pleasure and no pain. If you are looking for a supportive, no-pressure, create-when-you-can community, check them out!

The first challenge this month is Stitching and is open for 2 weeks from 9/14 to 9/27. You may enter 3 different projects and there must be a greeting or sentiment on your entry. Fabrika Fantasy is the September sponsor and has graciously provided the Design Team digital images to work with. The link to the image I've used is down below in my supplies list.

I decided to take on this Split Coast Stampers sketch from a few weeks ago. I'm still not sure if it was a good idea!  I stretched it in my mind to a 6x6 square card. It's just a weird sketch to me, but it's done now. (I have been trying to use as many sketches from Split Coast as I can, which isn't many so far but I am making a microscopic dent.)

PAPERS:  KI Memories, Springhill and SU card stocks; Studio Calico South of Market 6X6 collection; Kaisercraft Nan's Favourites 6X6 collection
IMAGES/STAMPS:  Fabrika Fantasy Sweet Tooth Hedgehog digital; Papertrey Ink front sentiment; Sugarloaf's Mom's Best back sentiments and images; Hero Arts siggie
INKS:  Printer, Promarkers, Memento, Versamark
DIES:  Avery Elle Signature; MFT Stitched Ric-Rac and Jumbo Fishtail Banner Stax; The Stamps of Life Stitched Rectangles; Lawn Fawn Stitched Cloud; Spellbinders Classic Small Labels
OTHER: Clear embossing powder

We received this cute hedgehog image called Sweet Tooth Hedgehog to create with. I used the pre-colored image but my printer made the berries really dark. I was able to color them a tad lighter and brighter with my Promarker! No kidding, true story. I colored the vine blossom and his cone treat pink - both were originally white, and I colored all the ric-rac die cuts. The strawberries reminded me of the berry paper I had in Studio Calico's South of Market paper collection, but more importantly, they reminded me of all the delicious homemade jars of strawberry fig jam that Honey's mom has supplied us with over the years. So I decided to make her a thank you card.

I wanted to show you how I changed the strawberry punch out that came with the Kaisercraft paper I used a bit of as well. It was not the right shade of red for my card, so I firstr die cut the perimeter of it using an Avery Elle Signature die. Then I got out my darkest red Promarkers and carefully colored, holding my breath, LOL. I then made white seed marks with my Signo gel pen. I think it looks much better!

The inside is lined with more papers. I am working on a little poem telling her how much we appreciate her which I will print out and layer onto the pink paper.

I've had this Sugarloaf stamp set forever and never used it, so I stamped the cook, Mom's Best, jar and the strawberries all in Memento Rhubarb Stalk red ink. The siggie stamp is Hero Arts.

I hope you can join us over at The Outlawz and thank you for allowing me to share my card with you. Have a marvelous week and stay well and safe!

1.  Split Coast Stampers Sketch SC812 -- sketch is shown above
3.  Country View September Challenge: Complementary Colors -- I chose the Red/Green combo, also venturing into the Pink/Blue Green variation. Here is the challenge's color wheel and 2 others I found when researching complemetary colors:  
9.  Crazy 4 Challenges #C4C552Stripes - create a card that includes stripes! Create your own striped background by using paper scrap strips; striped stamps or patterned paper. -- I created my own striped background using paper scrap strips.
10.  NBUS Challenge #18: AG w/Never Before Used Schtuff -- this is my first time using my new MFT Stitched Ric-Rac die  

Friday, September 11, 2020

Birthdays Can Be RUFF!

Hello Again, how is everyone doing? It's been 10 whole days since I've posted. I had to work on a few projects I can't show yet but now I'm done and glad to be back! Today I'm sharing the birthday card I made our Dear Son-in-law-love. He and Dear Daughter are owned by an adorable pup and when I saw this image I had to use it.

Papers: Recollections and Springhill card stocks; Basic Grey 6x6 Cupcake paper collection; green check stash paper scrap
Image/Stamps: Pattie's Creations, Hero Arts, sentiments created and printed by me
Inks: Promarkers, Signo white gel pen, Memento, printer
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Cloud and Banner on front; MFT Jumbo Fishtail Banner on back
Other: Darice A2 Paw Prints embossing folder, fine sandpaper, distressing tool, Posca silver paint pen

I used this Split Coast Stampers sketch from 2019, resized to A7 in PSE, and I stayed pretty close to this map.

I had some leftover paper strips in the collection so I created a base mat background with a few of them and then distressed the edges. White card base is Recollections heavy card stock. The wide red vertical strip of patterned paper was embossed using a paw prints folder and then I sanded the raised part of the paper lightly while still in the folder, and then distressed the edges.

Here's a couple of shots hopefully showing the white embossed paw prints on the red patterned paper. It looks (and feels) very textural in real life.

So, next step was sizing and printing the image in PSE and coloring it with Promarkers. I accented the fan with a silver Pasca Pen. I accented the pup's mane and the ice cubes with a white Signo gel pen (close-ups of that are further down). The idea for this sentiment hit me as I looked at the image! I typed it in PSE and printed it out and used a banner die to cut it out.

Inside, just a simple printed sentiment.

On the back I used more collection paper and a front scrap and a Hero Arts siggie on a die cut banner.

A close-up of the white gel pen to give his fur a little texture and shine, also the ice cubes.

And using the silver Posca pen on the fan.

This way-cool pup up close in all his glory. I love those ears! hehe  His name is Dog Days of Summer from Pattie's Creations.

Son-in-law loved his card and his present. He and Dear Daughter both had summer birthdays in self-isolation (they are blessed to be able to work at home and stay employed). Prior to COVID, they were always on the go to one music festival or another across the country, but now they often speak of being grateful to have a home to cocoon in throughout this, so Honey and I have been pleasantly surprised and proud of their mature outlook.

Thanks as always for dropping in to visit me. I sure hope your week goes by smoothly. Stay well and safe! XXO

1.  Split Coast Stampers Sketch #774 -- Sketch is shown above
2.  Pattie's Creations #174: AG
3.  2 Crafty Critter Crazies Sept. #42: AG with a Critter  
7.  Colour Crazy Craft Challenge Week 35: AG w/Colouring - Used Promarkers, gel pen, posca pen
8.  I Love Promarkers #418: AG + Opt. Die or Punch -- I played the option and used dies

11. Sparkles Monthly #131: 3 or More Patterned Papers - I used 6 just on the card front and more inside and on back.
12. Creative Artiste #64: AG Mixed Media -- I used paper, ink, markers, pens, paint, and distressed, dry embossed and sanded textural elements.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Time For SEPTEMBER's Love to Craft Anything Goes Challenge!

You read that right - it is September 1st! It's almost Fall, Ya'll! Yikes! haha

Today's the day for me to share my design for Love to Craft's Anything Goes September Challenge. This is a birthday card for one of our nieces who is a Respiratory Therapist so it's also a Thank You and an Encouragement card too.

I used a Split Coast Stampers sketch 2013. There are over 800 sketches there now and I'm on a mission to use as many of them as I like! haha On this one, I resized it to 6x6 in PSE

Papers: Bazzill and Springhill card stocks; Colorbok Joy Marie yellow paper; Pink Paislee Birthday Bash 6x6 Collection
Stamps/Images: Polkadoodles' Winnie's Heroes and Winnie Sugar Sprinkles Sentiments; Gelatins
Inks: ProMarkers, printer, Versafine Clair, Sakura gel pens
Other: Heidi Swapp Adhesive Rhinestone Star; small flat back glass stars from stash

Pretty straight forward paper layering card front construction following the sketch. I colored the Polkadoodles image and sentiment with ProMarkers and Sakura gel pen accenting. I even hand-colored the frame mats hot pink for a color pop. I adhered a large rhinestone star and 3 glass stars as embellishments.

Inside of the card I used the Polkadoodles sentiments to print out a personal message on the right and Pink Paislee paper on the left.

The back of the card has another sheet of the Pink Paislee along with scraps from the front and a Gelatins stamped siggie.

Thanks for coming by to see what I've got going on. Please have some fun sharing with us at Love to Craft Anything Goes Challenge #50 and definitely check out what my teammates have created to inspire you with! Have a very lovely day and a September to Remember! :-)

1.  Split Coast Stampers Sketch SC459 -- sketch shown above
2.  Polkadoodles Gem of a Craft Challenge Week 18 Anything Goes -- ends 9/8
3.  Polkadoodles Digi Choosday Crafting Challenge Week 34: Anything Goes -- ends 9/3
4.  Polkadoodles Craft Challenge Week 35: Anything Goes  -- ends 9/8
5.  Polkadoodles We Love to Create MM #9: AG -- ends 9/24
6.  Three Muses: Layers -- in the non-digital sense, I used multiple paper layers ;-)
7.  Take a Word: Frame It
8.  Try It on Tuesday: Neat and Tidy -- I've used a clean and layered style on this card, very neat and tidy, as is my usual. ;-)
9.  Sparkles Monthly #131: Use At Least 3 Patterned Papers -- I used 4: 2 on the front, one inside and one on the back.
10. Outlawz Festive Fridays 8/22-9/3: Female Birthday theme
11. Classic Design Challenge Sept. #9: AAG 
12. Colour Crazy Craft Challenge Week 33: AG w/Colouring - Promarkers to colour my image and sentiment