Tuesday, December 3, 2019

IO Challenge Holiday Wishes "Joy in Copper Mobile"



For this Impression Obsession challenge, Holiday Wishes, I had a little copper left, along with the bright idea to try a few things I hadn’t tried before. 

Lesson number one: trying new things is good. Trying new things with a thin metal that slices through skin in a way that makes paper cuts seem like a rocking good time, is not good.


Lesson Number two: using die cuts to cut images from copper makes a nice change to always using them to cut images from paper. Using intricate die cuts on copper means that you must stuff your Big Shot so full of paper shims that you must enlist help from your entire family; half to hold the machine and the other half to crank it the approximately 27 times it will take to get the cuts deep enough. This can take some time, especially when you happen to have all Y Chromosomes on the job and whose hands will "accidentally" keep slipping from the crank, right when it is at its tightest. The result is the crank rocketing back with such force that the unsuspecting ones still holding the crank will lose their grip and end up with bruised knuckles and cracked wrists, much to the great hilarity of the rest of the pack. I tolerate it because-and only because-don’t have to do it. 



I believe I've already addressed-in toto-the potential liabilities of using blow torches to heat copper, starting with the trip to any craft store and simply asking for a blow torch. But I have an actual positive to share today, friends. 
I’d been heating copper using the torch function. See, when you ignite a hand torch, you get a soft flame. Then you engage the torch which will turn your copper colors. It's very difficult though because it happens so quick that you end up with the metal turning silver (called scaling-caused when you overheat metal) too quickly and you bypass all the warm colors. This time, I just used the soft flame, not the torch. Took a few minutes but worth it. Totally pleased. 
And, for the record, you can emboss copper! Which I did before heating. 
And hence, my Holiday Wish for you. 
Joy. 


I also wish for the Spirit of Christmas to fill your homes and your hearts! (Along with a a different type of spirit to fill your eggnog and keep it full of another type of joy. Heh heh) 

Merry Happy Chanukah Christmas!

Ingredients:











Monday, November 18, 2019

Impression Obsession Challenge "So Thankful"







As an artist, I believe I'm entering my experimental phase. I went into this challenge by setting by creating my own challenge within the Impression Obsession challenge of "So Thankful". My challenge to myself was that I had to use 2-3 elements. Being the overachiever that I am, I ended up with 4. Water, wood, stone and metal.

YAY ME! 

I'm not sure why I'm so happy about it. It's not like I'm going to give myself any gifts or anything. 
Or am I?
 Hmmmmm. 

IO Stamps has this Poinsettia Frame Die I've been wanting for quite a bit, so it might be a nice gift for myself for winning my challenge that I made for me and only me.

I'm kind of liking this new challenge I just created for myself!

I know. You'd be "So Thankful" if I'd get to the card, right? There's always a comedian in the group, isn't there. Fine.

I used Daniel Smith watercolor on my basket of apples, which is one of my fave new IO stamps. Using birch wood 'paper', I cut a circle, darkened it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink then set it back into the panel flush after popping the panel up with tape. 

Next, I used the die "Thankful" from IO and cut it from copper. Then, I used my Link torch to heat it until it changed colors. You can do it with a heat gun if you have about 7-1/2 years to spare, but I'll take the torch every time. Not only does it take mere seconds to get results, I'm rarely bothered by the spousal unit, kids OR the dog while the torch is anywhere within my reach. 

Ahhh. The benefits of butane.

Lastly, I wanted to use the sentiment on the card but needed contrast. NOTHING looked right. I was digging through a junk drawer when I saw a very beautiful, dark brown, thin agate I'd purchased when mining for gemstones. It's supposedly native to North Carolina. Not that I really cared, to be completely honest. I didn't give a rat's hind end if it came from the caves of the Taliban. It was cool looking and I needed contrast, people!

Using glue dots, I placed the sentiment over the rock and mentally patted myself on the back. It had to be mental because if I'd tried to do it physically, I'd have dislocated a shoulder and missed this challenge AGAIN.

Until the next challenge in which I create another challenge within to challenge myself so that I may win and give myself more prizes, I bid you adieu.

Recipe:





Wednesday, November 13, 2019

JUGs #513 Anything But a Card-Soldering Mini Album-Magnet-Ornament






Now...BEFORE we get to the entry below...(the one whose title alone simply gives me the shivers...I do believe it's the most poetic and beautiful I've ever created) I'd like to turn your attention to one of my fave challenges. 

Just Us Girls is hosting "Anything But a Card". So, let's rock and roll! I made a mini album for a friend. Which isn't the entry, by the way. Using the glass from 2 identically sized cheap frames, I enclosed fussy cut pictures (Graphic 45 Birdsong-which is BACK in stock, btw!!) along with Dresden scrap, mica flakes and a real set of butterfly wings. Then I distressed everything I could. Using copper tape, I taped around the edges then applied silver solder, adding the artwork around the edges. Taking 2 brass pieces, I bent and soldered them onto the top and bottom, then soldered 2 pieces of moonstone rosary chain to the top and bottom.


I was determined that this piece would serve 2 purposes. I'd never seen an elaborate piece like this on the front of any mini album. But I thought it would be a waste to just E6000 it to the front and just let it sit there. So, I attached 2 large, flat magnets under the paper on the front of the album and 2 to the back of the piece. Now, she could lift it away and attach it to something metal or hang it. That being said, next time, I'm going to experiment with magnets hidden between the papers on the detachable piece. I may have to use 4-6 of the tiny magnets, but it may work! We'll see. ;)



LOVE THIS CHALLENGE! Ty JUGs!






Spousal Unit, Psych Meds and Gravy


The Spousal Unit found me weeping quietly with my head on my laptop. He knew something was wrong. He'd called me to dinner three times already. Being that the meal included copious amounts of gravy and I'd not appeared to cut a roll in half and load it up with mashed potatoes and gravy to make my concoction with the uninspired name of "Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Sandwich", the unit knew that something had occurred to rock my world. And not in a good way. Because there is no freaking way I would allow anything to stand in the way of gravy.

However, knowing this to be the case, he looked only mildly concerned with my non-response. There was no worry in the eyes of the man I'd married. But there was plenty of time for me to be angry and plot revenge. There were bigger things in my world at this moment.

"What’s wrong?" he said, already chewing on a chicken leg. 
"He’s back!", I cried. "And I can’t find my font! And he won’t let me go until I do!". 
"Oh."my husband said, still chewing. "Uh, I thought those new meds...", 
"No!" I whispered, "He was just lying in wait. You know that’s how he rolls!" 
My husband nodded and begin backing slowly out of the room. "I’ll save dinner for you then."  

He began taking step by slow step out of the door
“Wait!” I called.
He stopped, foot in mid air.
“Put everything on the plate I like except for the gravy. Put it in the little plastic bowl and set it on the plate.”

Apparently, this was the moment fight or flight kicked in. He opted for flight.

As if he could outrun the crazy.

“Saran wrap,” I yelled “not foil! You know he doesn’t like foil!”

Many of you… And by that I mean the two or three who aren’t relatives (whom I’ve conditioned to read this blog using Pavlov's method of treats and electric shock) may have an idea as to what has occurred. I’m talking about him and his most cruel and exacting presence.
Yes. You're right. He was back.

OCD.

I’m pretty sure we’d all gotten too confident he’d been banished by the last adjustment to my pharmaceutical cornucopia. For a year now, I'd been able to walk away from towels not folded in thirds, I could eat off of paper plates without portion dividers and could also thumb my nose at the kitchen table migration from under the hanging light that I used to confirm the table was in the dead center of the room.

In short, I was free.

But last night, he stole back into my life. Quietly. Then, he waited. If there's irony to be had, he'll wait for it. And irony, there was. It was the font. That's right, the font, appropriately named Minion Pro-515.

You see, when I came back to you after my two-year sabbatical, I had to re-learn certain things. One of those things dealt with the pictures I would upload for your perusal. After I'd posted several pictures, it occurred to me that I'd forgotten to put my name and blog on the photographs. It didn't take too long to remember how I'd done it previously.

I typed my name and began looking for the font I'd used previously. It was a pseudo-whimsical font but with a modicum of structure. It said “fun and carefree and not too self-absorbed with her art but one who would make sure her creation was to the best of her ability without behaving like she has a stick up her butt about the whole thing“

You didn’t know a font could say all that, did you?

I tried every font that Paint AND Adobe offered. After an hour, I knew I was in trouble. Having no other choice but self-immolation (which, since I'd survived this miserable summer, just seemed "too soon"), I sent it to the spousal unit so that he could use skills to pull the layers apart and identify my font. When he found it, I started searching. But out of the millions of Minion fonts, there was NO 515! There weren't ANY fonts that said "fun and carefree and not too..." 

Well, I won’t put us through that again. You’re welcome.

After an hour, I called the unit (who was upstairs, supposedly working but actually watching the golf channel) and asked for his help. 5.2 seconds elapsed before he yelled "515 isn't available anymore but Papyrus is almost identical to it!"

And that, my friends, is what led me all the way back to the beginning of this ridiculously detailed post.

It didn’t take OCD long to tighten his claws on my shoulders and begin to whisper words of evil like "Papyrus" doesn’t look a &^%^& thing like Minion Pro–515!" to "Now you just look like one of the billions of bloggers out there. No fonts exist anymore that say "fun and carefree and not too..."

Well...once again...You're welcome.

Not to mention, I feel like my nemesis-"He Who Shall Not Be Named" was somehow triggered by the unavailability of my beloved font. Therefore, a lawsuit against Adobe could very well be a possibility. Perhaps some legal action against J.K. Freaking Rowling, as well. She made gazillions using that moniker for fun. But this is my LIFE.

It's also a choice between a meltdown or gravy. And I think we know the outcome of that. Gravy can soothe most any heart, mind and soul.

Even the virtually nonexistent soul of OCD.

Welcome back, you b***ard.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Card Concept-Sliding Under the Wire














Well, aren't you some lucky folks today????

You'll be spared my usual mania and OCD rants and my silly natterings. Why? Because I've two hours to pull several days of work together in the entry and get it posted. And if you only KNEW all of the pain, suffering and curse words I've run through...let's just say there's not a rosary that's going to be up to the job of the Acts of Contrition I'M going to have to serve.

But I digress.

ALL I could think of when I saw the inspiration image was the door. And I HAD to make it.



Needless to say, my card is in the mixed media style!

I started with the Tim Holtz Arch Frame. I hand cut the pieces to mimic the door. I used the thin, wood paper birch sheets you can get at Hobby Lobby or Amazon. I used Vintage Photo ink to make it dark.







Using acetate, a flourish stamp and Staz-On, I stamped the acetate on the reverse to mimic the iron work


Okay.  THIS is the part I LOVE!!!
I use Bromley Craft Products. They are located in the UK but I'm sure you can find them in the US. I've just always ordered from them. I have brick, slate, stone and field stone stencils and the powder to match. You add water, get a thick consistency (just keep thinking "does this look like it'll run under the stencil dividers?") and slather it on. You cannot mess it up. Seriously. Just LOOK WHO IS TELLING YOU THIS!





Spray re-positionable tacky spray on your stencil. 







Using Brick Red, Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke and Antique Linen I layered the brick with the colors in the picture. 



Then, taking two miniature wreaths I found in a junk bin some time ago, I cut everything off, spray painted them white and took red and orange pieces from some fake foliage I had on hand. 






I'm no hand at tying bows but did my best. I had some already made flowers on hand and dyed them with some Brick Red reinker.

Then I made pots with metallic paper and used this great stuff that miniature railroaders use called "Foliage Clusters". 



Squeeze them into the shape you want on an armature (I used wire bent into a general bush shape) and glued it to it, baby!




Last but not least! I happened to have the Tim Holtz Pedestal! The card is 4.5 x 5.5 and the pedestal folds away for mailing and opens up for display. I KNEW I'd finally find a use for that die!

The only real problem?? Taking pics. They're a bit overexposed because they're dark. But oh well!!  LOVED this challenge! Thanks ladies!






Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Calling all Jugheads! Word Week-Designer Paper



I'm trying to decide if making only two cards a week is the sign of a careful, thoughtful and deliberate artiste or just simply pitiful.

Not sure I want to answer that one.

Not sure I want YOU to answer that one either, people! 

I mean, I know you're a helpful bunch and all but there are times when you're a little too anxious to help. Know what I mean? Besides, I already have a mother and several other female family members who excel in doing that job already. And they're doing a bang-up job, if they say so themselves. 

SO...with that out of the way, we shall move on to the actual reason for this post and that is to enter the Just Us Girls Challenge #508 Designer Paper.

I used this god-awful white, embossed, one-step up from toilet paper crap (pun intended) on the front and back layer of the card. The ONLY reason it's there is because I'd come to far on the designer paper cake before I realized what happy-crappy stuff I was dealing with. What wasn't used here ended up in the trash can.

I used brushed gold DP, along with pearl trim and porcelain flowers to accent the cake. I though I was clever to use DP for the little green leaves for the flowers but since they're practically microscopic, I was the ijit. 

Look,,,the card looks fine. But I can promise you it'll be the ONLY one of its kind. Satan and his minions will be playing ice hockey before I attempt anything using this paper. It's awfully pretty...but reverse those two words and you've got what it's like to work with. HAH!

Thanks to Just Us Girls Challenge! Stop by and check them out!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

MAMA CLOSE YOUR EYES AND DON'T YOU DARE LOOK!!!

I'm so happy that the Card Concept 120 Cozy Cottage challenge dropped into my inbox right now!! It happens to be my mother's birthday (blog post about mamacita below) and she loves flowers. I, personally, happen to love blue and yellow, but especially sunflowers and delft patterns!! So, it was like total Kismet, baby...Kismet! 

I LOVED all the cards, but drew inspiration from Angel Rivera's Delft look and Betty Wright's Sunflowers. But I'm also a mixed media girl like Tangii Crain and Julie Gearinger???...but doesn't this smack of C&S just a bit like Susan Powel? It could sorta fit in the Classy and Elegant category Marcie Sharp, Mackie Robertson, and Nancy Penir, right? Granted, Classy and Layered like Michele Henderson and Maureen Plut might be a stretch, but after a glass or four of wine...OH *&^%^^ I DON"T KNOW! Let's just say everyone at The Card Concept influenced me in some way, shape or form. And that's the truth, my friends. 

This sunflower is made with McGill punches and they are so challenging that I've only made 3 in my lifetime. Mostly because to really make them beautiful I use Stampin' Up paper and it's 85lb paper. Difficult to punch and shape. But worth it!

Using thin manicure tape, I taped a grid, stamped using a background stamp and then carefully shaded the blocks to emulate the delft pattern before removing the tape. I stamped Happy Birthday on acetate. I thought about velum and ribbons, etc. but just didn't want to take away from the flower. I put a pearl on the inside of the stamen but covered most of it up. I just wanted a tiny hint to show.

Thanks to the Card Concept and Designers! 




Ingredients:

**There are tutorials on pinterest and youtube on making these sunflowers. I have the actual McGill sheet and will be happy to email you the file if you like! Just email me at salome000@aol.com

McGill Paper Blossoms Punches: 
• 12 sets of shapes (only lg and next to lg) from Star Lily MCG64511 in SU! Daffodil Delight
• 1 shape from Lg. Highland Snowflake MCG64535 in SU! Old Olive
• 3 shapes from Sun MCG64533 in Brown and Black
• 4 shapes from Birch Leaf MCG64502 in SU! Old Olive
Penny Black Stamp-I can't find the name anywhere...sorry!
SU! Marina Mist
Vintage Photo Distress Ink
Black Staz-On
Acetate


October 2nd is my mother's birthday. It's a day of celebration for everyone. It better be. 

My mom is STILL, at 7___, a beauty. Always has been, always will be.


1963



2019

My mother is classy, quiet, innocent, slim and stylish.

I, on the other hand, am none of these things, which further confirms my childhood suspicions that I was adopted.


But I DO think we've been good for each other. She has been a tremendous influence and help to me. She has always been my rock. I could not have asked for a better mother. I love her with every bit of my being. And no matter what, I know that whatever happens in my life, I can reach out and she'll be there.

Probably holding bail money.

(And for the LAST time...I swear, Ma...I did NOT cut the bathroom window sill with a knife back in 1978! That was the one-and, likely, only-thing of which I remain completely innocent! Besides, my irreproachable and seraphic brother must have a sin (or two) to call his own, or Jesus might be a tad miffed. I'm just sayin'...)

Love you, Mama!!

xoxo







Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A CARD??? Yep! For JUGS.


I want to begin by saying that I'm submitting this, the first card I've made since 2017, to Just Us Girls Challenge #505 Stacking Die Cuts.

Like you, I am SHOCKED I made a card! But I love my die cuts and decided why not? But can I tell you I didn't think I'd EVER get through this card. Apparently, I forgot how to: shape flowers, which side of the die cut is the "right" side, the actual size of the card (4.25 x 5.5 and yes...I had to google it, to my immense shame) and how glue dots truly, truly hate me. 

Whomever invented those things should face the horrors of imprisonment and torture. 

Or the wrath of the House Democrats. 

Either one.

Ingredients:

Poppystamps Small Blooming Poinsettias
Spellbinders Nestabilities Decorative Labels 8
Impression Obsession Mistletoe and Bells
Dimensional Tape
Tacky Glue
Stickles
Glue Dots of Evil