Saturday, July 27, 2013

flowers and wire...

Hello all my wonderful friends!

Can you believe it? Two posts in one day! Ha! I'm on a roll! 

Normally I would space things out a little, but I'm celebrating and decided not to wait!

You see, I've been fighting a migraine for the past week and a half... finally at around 11:30 last night it was gone!!!!


I felt SO good I just HAD to get my hands inky and make some art!

This card combines two of my favorite stamps (what am I saying? I have so many favorites... just depends on my mood! LOL!). 

The background is Chicken Wire (super fabulous distressed background!!!), and the flowers are from a set called Moments in Bloom. Both are from UNITY.  

So, I guess I can enter into their challenge with this... ;)

For the flowers, I colored directly on the stamp with Distress markers, then stamped... Quick and easy way to get a colored image! For a more watercolored look, you can mist it with a little water before stamping... that's lots of fun too!

(speaking of Distress Markers... my seasonal markers are in the mail! *SQEAL!!!!!!!*)

I wanted the stamped background behind the flowers to be there, but faint... I ended up using a third generation image. (I inked up the stamp, then stamped it three times without re-inking it between. This faint image is the third time stamped, hence it is very light)  I guess I could have dug through my inks and found a lighter ink color, but I was just sticking with my Distress inks since they were all right there. Generation stamping is a great way to get more milage out of your inks! It's like having a whole bunch of colors in one ink pad! :)

For the background of the card, I used the same Chicken Wire stamp, but this time I heat embossed it on watercolor paper. I then used an ink blending tool to apply a fair amount of Distress ink over the whole piece. The embossed areas resist the ink, leaving a fabulous image.

However, I wanted a little something more... So, I mixed a little Perfect Pearls with some water and used my fingers to flick it at the paper. The splotches react with the ink leaving cool little watermarks, and the Perfect Pearls make the watermarks all shimmery. The photo really doesn't do it justice... Yay for overcast days! LOL!


Supplies Used:
Paper: card stock, watercolor paper
Ink: Distress Ink, VersaMark
Stamps: Unity "Chicken Wire" & "Moments in Bloom"
Dies: Spellbinders "Labels 18"
Other: Perfect Pearls, rhinestones, embossing powder

deliquesce tones...

Hello my wonderful friends!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret of my crafting life... I've become slightly addicted to stencils. 

So much so, that I am always making more to feed my addiction...and I have quite a large folder in my Silhouette library dedicated JUST to stencils.

True story.

I do buy stencils as well, but they can really add up, so for a lot of my stencils, I use my Silhouette or Cricut to cut designs out of transparencies you can buy at an office supply store. They are a little thin and flimsy, so if you want to work with heavier mediums, you can pick up some stencil material for your stencils.  However, I find that they generally do the job just fine. 

The fun thing about making your own is that you can have several of the same design just different sizes! 

My last tutorial shared one way I use stencils, here's another... 

Tone on Tone with Deliquesce and Stencils

Step 1: Lay your stencil down over your paper. (Kraft works really well for this!) You may want to tape your stencil down here, but you can just hold it if ya want.  

Step 2: Cover the entire thing with clear embossing ink. You can do this by pressing the ink pad directly onto the paper, or you can use a sponge. Just make sure you get inside all the nooks and crannies of the stencil!

Step 3: Carefully remove the stencil. Now, move your piece onto a piece of scratch paper and cover with Clear Deliquesce by Creative Inspirations Paint.  Once you get a nice layer, carefully tap off extra onto your scratch paper and return to the jar.

Step 4: Heat the powder and you will see a fabulous tone on tone! I love how this looks!

Step 5: If you want to keep going, the Deliquesce design you just melted... it will now act as a resist!  Yup, go ahead and paint or ink over it and it will wipe off the embossed design!  I added some random strokes of Antique Silver Creative Inspirations Paint to my gears for a little grungy shimmer. :)

Step 6: If you want to Stamp over your design and have it NOT act as a resist like I did here, you need to use an ink such as StazOn or Ranger's Archival Ink. They will dry on the nonporous surface and be nice and permanent. 

(check out that shimmer!!!)


Supplies Used
Paper: Kraft, My Minds Eye
Stamps: Tattered Angel "Tattered Traveler Clock"
Ink: VersaMark, Archival
Creative Inspirations: Deliquesce "Clear", Paint "Antique Silver"
Stencil: Silhouette "Gear & Cogs"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

challenging myself again...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

So, have you heard the most exciting news?????

Tim Holtz has released Distress markers in the SEASONAL COLORS!!!! I have been wishing for this since... well, since the markers came out and the seasonal inks became part of the permanent line up! 

You can check it out here.


Ok, now that that is out of my system... LOL!

Since I had my Unity stamps out, their challenges on my mind, and a little more time to enter another piece, I figured, what the hay! I needed a little inspiration, and if you will recall Saturday's post, if you have a creative block, challenge yourself! LOL!

This time I went with their color challenge. I love this color combo!  Not one I would normally go with, but I love the maroon with the brighter blue, yellow, and green! 

For the background, I sponged some white acrylic paint through a stencil onto some white card stock. After it was dry, I went over it with my blending tool and some Distress ink. The paint does act as a resist if you want it to (by using a wet cloth to wipe the ink off the painted areas like I did towards the center, but you can also heat set the ink to tint the paint for a tone-on-tone look. 

This lovely flower is the Silhouette "3d Ruffle Flower" cut out of Core'dinations card stock. I then got it slightly damp. I rolled each petal around the end of a paint brush, then while it was still rolled, I scrunched it together. This creates nice crinkles all radiating from the center of the flower outwards and the petals have lots of curl and dimension. Once they dry, they are fairly hard and hold their shape nicely. 

The leaves were inked with distress ink, then dampened and crinkled as well. Once dry, I used the ink pad to ink the edges and some of the wrinkles. I then straightened them out slightly, and used one of the  banners from Unity's "Good Times Vintage Banner" set to add some stamped texture. 

Well, it is perfect berry picking weather, so I think I might just go pick me some wild blackberries!


Supplies Used
Paper: Core'dinations, card stock
Ink: Distress ink, Memento
Stamps: Unity "Rose Head to Toe" & "Good Times Vintage Banner"
Dies: Spellbinder "Labels 18" & "Rose Creations"
Silhouette: "Fancy Lattice", "3d Ruffle Flower"
Other: crinkle ribbon

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I don't have a scrapbook...

Hello my wonderful friends!

Recently, all my family got together for our yearly reunion. One conversation, I admit, made me feel a bit guilty. It went something like this...

Me: Thanks for letting me take your family picture. Now I can put it in your scrapbook so you can remember the hike we took. 

Nephew: I don't have a scrapbook.

Me: Yes you do! I've been making one for you your whole life. (then slightly sheepishly) I just haven't added any pages in a while...

Ok! So I haven't been keeping up with my scrapbooking, I admit it! 

Part of my problem is that LOs take me FOREVER to finish! I have about 10 in-the-works pages that keep getting put on hold so I can get smaller and faster projects done to keep on top of DT and blog deadlines. I really need to do better though because I really LOVE scrapbooking. It is what got me into this whole business in the first place!

Recently, I bought a few stamps from Unity because they were on a really good sale that I found out about on FB... Yes, FB marketing does work! LOL! I also checked out their blog, and their challenges. They had a LO sketch as one of the challenges. Normally, I don't do LO sketches. It just isn't my thing, but I really needed a kick in the rear to get me going on my pile of pictures, and I figured this was just the thing! 

So, here it is! A simple LO that DIDN'T take me forever to complete.

It may not be my most favorite LO ever, but it is finished, which is more than I can say about the 10 others still siting in file folders. 

This stamp here is part of a bigger stamp that I cut down... I didn't want the whole stack of banners, so I just cut out the one I wanted... after all, it wasn't really "fun in the sun". It was actually quite rainy that day! Who says you have to use an image just the way it is?

I think one of the most challenging things about this challenge was only using Unity stamps! I hardly have any, so I was really struggling. Here's to hoping I win the drawing and can get a whole bunch more stamps! LOL!


Supplies Used
Paper: Basic Grey, Bazzill
Ink: Archival
Stamps: Unity "Happy Pinwheels", "You & Me"
Other: Imaginisce hot rocks

Saturday, July 13, 2013

breaking the blocks...

Hello my wonderful friends!

As I was trying to figure out what to share with you today, I found I was in quite a creative block. I had no ideas. I sat in the middle of my studio surrounded by stamps, brushes, paint, paper, inks, and all the other creative elements that usually inspire me to create magic, and instead I felt completely adrift in an ocean of blank canvases. 

I wanted to lose myself in a book, pick berries, solve logic puzzles, learn computer programs... anything but create my magic.


What causes those creative blocks? Those frustrating times when you want to tear out your hair, throw in the towel, or start chucking random art supplies out the window? 

Well, I think there are a lot of reasons that people in all the creative fields run into creative blocks, and they are probably as individualized as is each person. A better question to ask may be..


Here is what I suggest:

1.  Figure out if there is an obvious trigger, and what you can do about it. 
Maybe you are really stressed out and need to find a way to relax. Maybe you have a perfectionist streak that is holding you back, or a fear that your work won't be good enough (never let fear stop art!!!). Maybe you have been working at a particular thing for too long and need a break. 

Personally, I need to clean my studio and do some reorganizing. I am a bit OCD in my crafting, and as  I look around my studio right now, I realize that may have been a contributing factor to why I have been having such a hard time focusing, and why the back of my mind has been giving me a severe case of "organization cravings" (when all I want to do is come up with new ways to organize a space.... ok, so "a bit OCD" may be a slight understatement LOL!)

2. Take a breather!  It may just be that you are trying to force the creativity too hard... or maybe you just need to step away from your stamp table for a day and take in some sunshine. It can do wonders to think about some thing totally non related for an entire 24 hrs!

3. Let yourself play. Give yourself some time to just mess around with your supplies. Try things out... Don't worry about what it looks like, or the end result. Don't get caught up in if it looks good. Just let yourself realize it may never be seen by anyone but you. It is very freeing to just relax and play. It frees the mind to think outside your typical comfort zone.

4. Try something NEW. A new technique, a new product, a new media, a new color... Creative ruts aren't all that different from creative blocks, and the only cure for creative ruts are to shake things up!  If you always find yourself using bright blues and greens, challenge yourself to make a project using dusty pinks and browns. Or if you always use shabby chic, try you hand at bright and bold. Bears can be purple, ducks can be green, and trees can be hot pink. Ask any 4 yr old.  They never have creative ruts! :)

5. Don't give up, don't pull your hair out, (it hurts!), and don't chuck your art supplies out the window (you will probably want them later)! Persistence is key to success. Everyone has creative blocks. They come and go. Just don't give up when they hit!

Now, I'm not going to leave you without a little tutorial here. :)

How about a fun way to use your stencils for a softer background?
This is how we often use stencils... with a sponge and paint... right?  Well, let's try something different. :)

Lets put some paint on a stamp... texture stamps work best.

Now, stamp over the stencil onto the paper.

Look at that! You get the same fabulous design, but it's softer... broken up by the texture of the stamp. Fun, huh!

 I used it as the back ground for a "thank you card".

Here's a close up of the double texture you get... This works with ink too...

but because I used Creative Inspiration paint, it's all shimmery in the light (almost like a third secret texture! awesome, huh!!!)


Supplies used:

Paper: cardstock
Ink: Memento, Distress Ink
Stamps: Glitz "Distressing", Great Impressions "Butterfly Frame", Inkadinkado "Petals from Scratch"
Creative Inspirations Paint: Tanzanite
Silhouette: Quatrefoil Screen, Silhouette Flower
Other: acrylic paint

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Hello my wonderful friends!

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately... I promise, it hasn't been because I haven't been busy. In fact, it is just the opposite! I've been spending a TON of time in my studio, I just don't have a whole lot to show for it YET...

You see, I was asked to help make decorations for a wedding. Since I do all the scrapbooking for my brother's kids, my SIL knew what kind of amazing things the Cricut can do. So, when her sister wanted some Doctor Who decorations for her wedding, she figured it would be no problem. 

But,  there was a problem. 

Ever since the big fiasco between Cricut and third party software companies, it is impossible to design your own cuts for the Cricut.  But I didn't want to let them down!


Yup, I am now the proud owner of a Silhouette Cameo (and the Studio Designer software)!

Super excited!

I had to quickly learn just enough about the software to get the wedding designs made and sent off, but now, I have been scouring the internet, and spending a lot of time just playing on my computer learning! So much to learn!!!! I'm so excited! 

And I'll get to share this with you! 

Any one know the best way to file share cut files????  I'd love to share free files I design, I'm just not sure the best way. :)