Thursday, March 19, 2015

be yourself poppies...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

Somehow, despite everything, time passes. I find myself marveling that we are nearing the end of March already. Some days it feels like time has stopped, but most days seem to slip past without me knowing. How does that happen?

The past year or so has been filled with a lot of discovery, growth, and change. Some of it has been liberating and joyful. Some of it has been painful and hard. Lately, I have been feeling like I have totally lost myself, like I have no idea who I really am....

I guess you could say, I'm a work in progress. I'm still growing. I'm still finding my place.

And that's ok.

Flowers may not look like much at first either, but when they finally open up, they are beautiful, just they way they are.

I know, I should have taken pictures while doing this, but my friend came over to my studio, and I was distracted, and didn't get my camera out. SORRY! I'll try to explain what did, and hopefully it will make some sense. (I promise, nothing too complex here.)

I started this canvas with a couple colors of spray inks. I then sealed the color in with a layer of mod podge. (this allows the blue to stay in the background instead of reactivating and mixing with all future layers.)

For the poppies... I stamped one of the big poppies and one of the little poppies on a piece of paper. I then used my PicScan mat and Silhouette to scan them in and create both stencils and masks SUPER quick. I made sure to cut the stencils and masks out of acetate so they can be used over and over.
(here's a video made by Camille from the Unity DT on PicScan basics.)

*note: when she is cutting out her stamped and colored images, she traces then uses the 'off set' feature to create a slight border... for my stencils and masks, I chose not to do that.*

After I had my stencils all cut out, I sponged gesso through them onto the canvas. Because of the layer of mod podge, the gesso stayed white... otherwise it would have turned a light blue as the inks underneath react to the moisture...

At this point, it looked like I had a bunch of clouds in a blue sky. LOL!

Once the gesso was dry, I stamped the Vintage Handwritten  background stamp through the stencil using Archival ink. Once that was dry, I sponged on just a touch more gesso to lighten the script.

I then went back and stamped the Donna Poppies outline stamps over the gessoed "clouds" using acrylic paint. It was super fun to see the clouds turn into fantastic flowers!

One  complaint I have heard about rubber stamps is that you can't line them up because you can't see through them. Well, for this, I didn't really care. It gives it a very artsy look to have it slightly offset.

I hand painted the stems in, then added a wash of pinkish coral watercolor over the poppies.

Finally, I stamped the sentiment "be yourself" with acrylic paint. This time, I did want to make sure everything was lined up perfectly and STRAIGHT, so I used a stamp positioner.

Nice and simple...

Next time, I'll remember to take pics. :)

Tip: One of the challenges of stamping on a wrapped canvas is that you have a 'gap' in the back. The wood frame lends support to the outer edges, but stamping on the center leads to problems because there is nothing supporting the center. To fix this, place a piece of wood (or, I stacked about 4-5 flat canvases) underneath the center. Make sure it is the same height as the frame so when you flip it over to stamp, you have a flat solid surface all the way across.

You will notice that my inserted canvases don't quite fill the whole back.... that's ok, I just had to make sure to move them to whatever area I was stamping in.

alright... that's all I've got for you today...

Have a wonderful day, a fantastic weekend, and ENJOY the hop!

Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winners will be announced Monday on the Unity blog.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

OWH and Unity...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

We are super happy to be supporting Operation Write Home with a BRAND NEW stamp kit.... Ragged Ol' Flag!

Isn't this kit AWESOME?!?!
And so is this organization that helps keep our Armed Forces and their families in touch with a touch of handmade love! Make sure to check them out!

Of course I HAD to get the rubber all inky this week! I've had so much fun! (more a little later on the fun technique I used here!)

So I JUST got my NEW(remade) island table for my studio!!!! EKKKKKS! Totally excited! It's BIG, and it's GORGEOUS... It does, however, mean things in the studio have been a bit chaotic... Rearranging... reorganizing.... going slightly crazy.... Yeah. Good stuff!

(sorry, no picts yet... I'm writing this super late at night... gotta wait for some sunlight... and a little more organization.)

In the midst of the chaos, I still had work to do... like say, a birthday card for my SWEET little sis!

I LOVE this swirl stamp from January's LOL kit 'Time to be Happy Again'! I think this may be one of my FAVORITE LOL kits to date.... however, that changes frequently cuz Unity keeps putting out AWESOME new ones! 

(you can check out and become a member of the Layers of Life club HERE!)

I also wanted to make a 'thank you' for my DEAR mother who has been doing all the hard work transforming my old studio furniture into FANTABULOUS new things! She has skills that I don't! I l
ove her so much! (and she has to put up with all my OCD freak outs....) She is AMAZING!

The fabulous rose is from the SOTW 'Here's to New Beginnings'. Love this one! "Merci" is from 'Heartfelt Sentiments'. A perfect kit to add just the right sentiment.
(and thank's to Pinterest, the starburst background was a cinch! Here's the link!)

If you want to get a new stamp in your mailbox EACH WEEK, click HERE to sign up.

 Ok.. so remember my first card? Well, here's the scoop...

Step 1: use a felt blending pad on an ink blending tool to apply Alcohol Ink to a piece of acetate. (the darker the color, the more dramatic the end result.) I applied the ink with a pouncing motion... that is what gives it the mottled look... if you want a more solid look, you can swipe the blending tool across the acetate instead

Step 2: Stamp your background image with Ranger's ARCHIVAL INK. 
I used the quote from the new Ragged Ol' Flag kit.

Step 3: Let the ink sit for a little bit, but not long enough for the ink to dry... then wipe it off with a paper towel. This not only removes the black ink, it takes off the Alcohol ink leaving a ghost image. It isn't super crisp, but it is awesome for a little bit of extra texture!

Step 4: Stamp your main image, again with Archival Ink (because it is formulated to dry on non porous surfaces)... this time, let it dry for a permanent image. 

ALRIGHTY... need to go break in that table!

Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winner will be announced Monday on the Unity blog.