Friday, July 25, 2014

Lily on the Fly

I needed a quick card and here it is! I took the stamp and stamped it with Worn Lipstick on the top and Shabby Shutters on the bottom. While it was still wet, I started mixing in the Dr. Martin's watercolors. These are really vibrant colors and they ROCK! As I always do when my image is large, I kept the color panels monochrome. In retrospect, instead of white, I should've used 2 pink or lavender panels. Very light, of course, but it would've supported the image better. As it is, it'll make a nice thank you card for its intended. Lots to do today...I'm giving SCS Mixability Challenge a shot today...see you there!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bend Frame Tutorial from SCS

Kittie C. just did a great tutorial on the Bendi Frame card at SCS. Here's my card. This adventure took several hours to pull together. I began by brayering the sky in yellow, orange and rust. I masked off the sun with a one inch circle. A small panel was sponged in blues for the oceans and a white gel pen and stickles formed the wave caps. The 'sand' was another venture into the world of that modeling..ummm..stuff that weighs about 6 pounds unless you use it sparingly. Which I usually don't. After, I cut 2 each of the cattails and grass borders to serve as sea grass and oats. I got that idea from Kittie as well! I'd seen her use it in a beach scene before...Ty Kittie! I colored them by sponging with green and brown distress inks and, in what I consider great personal success, forcibly restrained myself from the overwhelming impulse to use stickles to brighten them up (yeah..I have no idea what the devil THAT impulse had to do with) by occupying both hands with baked goods. The seagulls were the final touch, stuck in place with glue dots.

Ink: SU! Tangerine, daffodil, really rust Distress Inks tumbled glass, broken china, salty ocean, dusty concord
Accessories: Ferro special effects. IO cat tails, seagulls and grass border die 
Paper: PTI White


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fishing, Fretting and Fussing-Teapot Challenge for my step-father Joe

When Sheri asked what a good theme for my step-dad would be, I immediately said "Fishing!". Afterwards, I spent the next 24 hours, vowing never to tell the truth again.

You see, the truth doesn't always set you free. It can actually enslave you and cost you precious time, money and whatever peace of mind you've managed to salvage as a hostage of the little militant army in your house you gave birth to. Of all the 27 thousand dollars in stamps I've purchased (upfront as well as with embezzled funds from the grocery budget and maybe a SMALL loan or 9 from the kid's college funds) can you guess the ONE stamp I DON'T possess in ANY form?

Yep. You got it.

Had I not been so inclined to tell the truth, I would've taken a mental inventory of stamps I DO have and replied with a theme that calls for plenty of those stamps and the style to go with it. Of course, Sheri might've questioned my response of "Pretty Pink Princess' and Flower Fairies! Yes. I'm sure. Joe is TOTALLY into that!", but I would've been able to pop out a card, secure in the knowledge that, not only would I get to play with plenty of sequins and stickles, those who might possibly question my step-father's 'likes', would probably never meet him.

Not having anything that would work, I turned to the computer. I don't have much experience with digi stamps, and it's not that I don't like the concept, it's just that the extent of my computer knowledge is equal to that of whomever happens to be in my scream range. But I stumbled on this wonderful image and purchased it.

I immediately downloaded and clicked 'print'. 17 pages later, I realized that a resizing was a necessity and I would have to scream...I mean 'call' the pros in. Thank goodness my husband (along with the rest of the neighborhood AND our community emergency response team) responded quickly. With help, I DID manage to get it down to a workable size.

It didn't take me long to watercolor, and I was pleased that I would be able to get this uploaded earlier than my usual 5pm. Unfortunately, it was about that time my OCD woke up and, probably unhappy I was a little low on coffee and had allowed the cereal boxes to fall out of alphabetical order, began nagging me to add a lure to accent the card.

"Come on," my OCD whispered, "you can do it! You'll have to run to the store for beads and while you're out, you can grab a Whopper and then a frozen yogurt for desert to cancel it out. Oh! And don't you DARE forget the coffee. The cereal boxes we'll deal with tonight. You know, right after you go to bed and just before you drift off to sleep? Yeah, I'll make sure to pop in at that moment to remind you that Froot Loops NEVER come after Fruit and Raisin (the fact Froot should be spelled "Fruit" does NOT count as a technicality) and you can fix it then. Ok? Ok. We're good."

So, it was on to the store and the result is this fabulous lure, made from a feather, beads, glossy accents and Bowdabra wire.

Thanks again for doing this for Joe and if you don't send a card, that's ok too! I know how it feels for things to be overwhelming. Besides, numbers of cards notwithstanding, I know you all care and you're always here for me, along with anyone that needs some cheering up...I home you know I'm here for you, too. Love and hugs again, my friends!!

Image from Mo Manning Digital Pencil
Distress Ink Watercolor
Paper from PTI, SU! and Authentique 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tim Holtz 12 Tags Challenge


Finally. After saying I was going to take the jump into Tim Holtz's 12 Tags challenge, I sucked it up and DID it!

This month featured an under the sea theme. Using Tim's large die, I cut the Seahorse. Following his tutorial, I ran my tag through various Distress Inks. Salty Ocean, Tumbled Glass and Broken China were the main colors, but I tossed in a little Dusty Concord and Mustard Seed as well. I also took my Distress Marker air spritzer and sprayed the tag with Dusty Concord. I covered the tag with Ranger clear acetate (I think it's acetate) that I ran through the Bubbles Embossing Folder and stapled it onto the tag in the areas I planned to cover later. 

I coated the seahorse with a combo of Wild Honey, Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks. I finished him off with a coat of clear crackle paint and put Vintage Photo stain over that to give it extra texture. I used the small starfish cut from the small silver dollar movers and shapers die. The sand dollar is actually handmade. I traced and fussy cut it from a computer printout and covered it with Antique Linen and Wild Honey. Then, I melted UTEE over it and the starfish and the Sand Dollar to give it a grainy finish. The Spring Greenery I went over with various green and blue distress inks as well as Vintage Photo. The 'coral' is actually a bare branch die that I colored with Rusty Hinge. The sand is from Tim's tutorial and it is amazing!

Finally, the band. I grabbed one that said 'Encourage your hopes, not your fears'. That suited me, perfectly.

This was so fun and so exciting to do! I've never done something this heavy on the mixed media before and was surprised that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Join the tag tutorial and challenge, here

Thanks, Tim!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Love and Lillies

I began with heat embossing my stamped image on pink vellum. I loved the sequin trim I got from Hobby Lobby, but couldn't work it in on the card as an I made a frame from it! When there's a will...I cut the lily from white paper and used pan pastels to color and copics to put the freckles on the petals. I learned this from a great tutorial on Kittie C's blog here I used hot glue on the flower, greenery and tulle. I used the gorgeous back of this girl's wedding dress at the perfect palette here

Country Curtains

When it comes to decorating styles, my mother loves the French Country style. Mine is more 'eclectic'. Which is a nice way of saying "cast-off and garage sale chic". Any of you who have more than one Y Chromosome running around in your house, probably have the same decorating style. Boys can make any area resemble a war zone in mere minutes. One day, I may develop a style, but only on that day when the last one turns 18 and I change the alarm code for the last time, will I be able to figure it out.

Today's inspiration challenge is 'Country Curtains' and I genuinely like the website. I loved the seaside lines and toile, but I wanted to push myself out of those comfort zones and work with patterns I didn't really care for. I picked up this 6x6 paper pad at Hobby Lobby a year ago. It was half-price and, comfort zone notwithstanding, I ain't turning down half-price!! It's the only one of its kind in my craftroom, and has never been used til today. I saw this quilt pattern on the website and it became my inspiration. Not only was this a first in color and style for me, it's the FIRST time I used the sewing machine I purchased a year ago and JUST FIGURED OUT HOW TO USE!!! Sort of. I managed to keep it sort of straight around the edges and did NOT injure myself!! That's SUCCESS in my book, people! After the fact, I realized I should've used a navy thread but I let it go...I'd had ALL the success I needed for one day.

The paper I sewed to the mat was so pretty, I couldn't think of anything I could do that would make it worth covering up. So, I took a second sheet and fussy cut several balloons, which I attached over each one's mate with mounting tape. Then I set 2 eyelets, punched out 5 banners with letters spelling "Merci" and glued them to the twine I strung through the eyelets. I feel like I totally cheated but DANG!! That was GREAT paper!!! I totally blame the paper company for making such spectacular paper. Feel free to do that as well.

Fintastic!!! SCS Gate Fold Challenge

This idea centered around some cute 'bubble' printed paper I saw online. Since I own enough paper to scare the trees within a 100 mile radius, I never worry about having themed paper. I always have something close. Until now. So, having fixated on bubble themed paper, there was no way I would be able to shift mental gears and come up with another plan. I happen to be a professional obsessive-compulsive, mind you. Not one of these upstarts who can just drop everything and trot down another creative path. Pffft. Quitters.

So, not having bubble paper, I had to make my own. Which I did, with Distress Ink and a bubble stencil. The mermaid was colored with copics and, having forgotten how to operate a basic shaker cup, stuck the actual picture on the back of the cup, instead of acetate. There are some pretty pink sequins at the bottom of the cup and there they'll stay...the fit was a bit too tight for any kind of shaker action. I dressed everything up with some dies I hoped you would be kind enough to see the resemblance to undersea greenery. The front was made with a square nesting die.