We are almost through the Holidays - January 1, 2012 is a day away. I always find it a difficult time of year to get into the Studio. Kids are home from school (college) and family time takes precedence. I have cleaning to do all over the house, including the studio. This is one of the times that I give myself something of a pass for creating. Given the different family activities ( and some travel), I tend to get caught up on magazines that have been stacking up. I dog-ear page corners, or tear out ideas to be tried during the new year. Do you get in some studio time or take a break?
As the year is drawing to an end, many of us think of cleaning, purging, and organizing. I have made a list of rooms in my house that need all of the above! As you are tossing old materials, keep in mind some things may be great crafting fodder. Recycle old phone books and magazines as background or unique "papers" on which to stamp and die cut. Old maps can be quite interesting in collage. Keep your eyes and mind open as you clean!
Finally completed my Christmas cards - in the nick of time! I showed an "in process" shot earlier this month. I stamped the white glossy panel with stamps from Stampers Anonymous and Technique Tuesday, using Distress Inks and Brilliance Galaxy Gold. The mats and card are from Club Scrap. I die cut the deer and then embossed with a snowflake pattern. A little Distress Ink was sponged on to add dimension. A quick die cut of a ticket, more inking and stamping, and a strip of Washi tape - the card is complete!
In continuing with the Double Embossing technique, I used a Christmas tree border folder with my Top Boss pad and Big Shot. The embossing powder is an abalone pearl I bought years ago. The color and texture always look better in person. I decided I wanted a lighter look to the embossed background (the card stock was a dark green from Club Scrap). So, instead of clear Top Boss, I used Colorbox white pigment ink:
I liked the look of this combination much better...so I made a handful more!
Here is one of the many gift tags I recently made. The background was created using an embossing folder and heat embossing. I inked up the folder with a Top Boss embossing pad and placed a glossy panel into the folder (glossy side to the ink). I ran it through my Big Shot. After dry embossing, I dumped some (very old) Embossing powder onto the panel and heat embossed. The technique is known as double embossing. I had a fun time trying different combinations of card stocks, inks, and powders. The swirl tag was stamped with Pool Adirondak ink on a white scrap and punched out using a Stampin' Up punch.
I have been discussing the use of everyday objects in stenciling/painting/stamping. I found a great technique from Christy Tomlinson of Scarlet Lime. She used steel wool for a very cool texture effect. Needless to say, steel wool is on my shopping list!
Another fun little tag I made for a friend. Similar technique in that I created my own collage with winter/snow stamps and Distress Inks. The little round disc I bought years ago and used similar ones quite a bit. Then, they languished in my stash until just recently. I thought to imitate a little snow globe by filling the disc with glitter glue.
I have busy working on Christmas art - cards and tags, specifically! The cards are almost done and I am in desperate need to gift tags (especially since I need to get several packages in the mail!) I guess you can figure out what I will be doing today!
Earlier this week, a couple of my friends and I had our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange. We call it "Christmakkah" - it was so christened many years before the TV show (The OC?) ever used it. I made a couple of tags early for Nancy and Tracy.
For this tag, I gathered together some small Christmas images and made my own Holiday collage. The background was colored with Distress Inks. The little charm is actually a green plastic disc game piece. The mini tree was stamped, the disc glued to the image and the then trimmed. I added foil tape around the edges. With all the fervor over Tim tags and his collage background, I thought I would make my own and save a few bucks! The greeting was stamped on a die cut ticket.
We are mid-way through the Christmas bustle. I am still working on Christmas cards, tags, wrapping, etc. I am not using any flocking or Flower Soft on cards and tags this year. It is a fun accent to use flocking for Santa's beard and trim. After applying the glue and a generous amount of flocking, place a piece of card stock, or part of a non-stick craft mat, over the top. Roll you brayer over the area a couple of times. Then, leave it to dry thoroughly. You should find that the flocking will stick better and provide better coverage. This will also work when using Flower Soft.
I am currently working on Christmas cards - as well as gift tags. I always think I will start during the summer, but that has never happened! Since I am a bit pressed for time, I thought I would use a die cut image to save steps and time. I use the Sizzix/Tim Holtz reindeer die to cut out the deer. The were then embossed and inked with Distress Inks. The other images were stamped in Distress Inks and Brilliance Galaxy Gold. I still have several more steps, but they are moving along! When you make your cards, are you a stamping purist, or do you use die cuts, stickers, etc?
Last month, I was in Boston visiting my daughter. The weather was great and the Common and Garden were in full Fall foliage. While she was busy with classes, meetings,etc, I would wander about taking photographs. I thought some of the pictures would make a great Fall journal page. After inking, stencilling, and spraying mists, I had to decide which photo(s) and what sizes. Since I like the idea of color peaking through, I printed the photos on plain, inkjet transparencies and cut them to size. They turned out fairly clear considering I do not have a transparency mode on my printer. It also started my thinking it would be fun to print up a bunch of different photos on transparency to use in journals and collage. Have you printed your own transparency? Give it try!
This past year, pink was the premier color used in fashion and design. I have always liked pinks - they actually mix well with a number of neutrals, primary and secondary colors. The Pantone color announced for 2012 is an orange.
It is called Tangerine Tango. I have never been a big fan of the color orange. so I will have to wait and see...
I was cleaning up a bit in my studio - needed room to start on Christmas cards. I found a couple of sample books from painting class. It reminded me why I had kitchen utensils in my studio! Spatula's and cookie cutters are fun stencils - and sponges create a variety of textures. Old graters make some fun designs as well. Next time you are purging your kitchen wares, you may want to give them a second life as an art tool!
It seems like a very long time since I stamped a card. I made the above card for friends who were married back in August. Yes, I am a bit late! I thought a something simple using similar colors to the colors of the bridesmaids dresses. Making this card reminded me why I became interested in rubber stamping - making my own cards. I am currently working on Christmas cards (about halfway done) and getting caught up on real life since I have been home.
When I work in my Art Journal, I tend to use magazine page images. I have a couple of quirky magazines that I specifically buy to pillage-Juxtapose and High Fructose. These are not for everyone, but I do love the interesting graphics. I found a page of Bill Murray paintings that I could not resist. I turned them into a couple of Retro pages using Washi tape, transparencies, and patterned paper.
I made this ATC as part of my Elements swap. I thought, given that Halloween had just ended, it would be a fun premise to explore. Pepto Bismol contain the element Bismuth so I thought I would use it in conjunction with eating, The background was stamped with an old Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers food background stamp. All of the other images were stamped and cut out. A clever trick I learned from my friend, Elaine (a Stampin' Up demonstrator), is using the scalloped oval punch to look like teeth marks.
I always like to use stamps and/or materials in a variety of ways. It can help "justify" the purchase (I know you know what I mean!). Not long ago I bought cotton thread to make my own baker's twine. I have used it on a variety of projects. Since it is white, I can color it with markers, re-inkers, etc. I also found a great way to make flowers with the twine. Keep it flat and create a flat spiral circle. I put it on a piece of carpet tape to hold the circle tight. Remember to color the twine before you wind it around.
Yikes, it is so difficult to stay creative when you are traveling. It seems that I have been gone every other week since August. It makes for difficulty in finding motivation to create, and in finding the time to do it when so many real life issues need to be addressed!
We are getting to the end of the Periodic Table ATC's - and I was able to sneak a few minutes to get a couple of them done before the deadline (only 2 more to go after December 1st). I continued my usage of transparencies with Radon. They are great fun and I need to make a not to use them more.
The transparency is used as the radon gas. I thought, to stay with the theme of invisibility, I would stamp the atomic abbreviation in Versa Mark ink.
It is late morning and the calm before the storm (in the kitchen!) My daughter is home from college for the weekend and my son will be popping in and out. It will be a happy Thanksgiving with both kids home. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. Good luck to those participating in Black Friday. If you find any Maserati's for $100, let me know. That would be one of the only deals that I would brave the mobs/wait in lines...
When my kids were younger, they spent an afternoon creating paper ornaments with their Nana. She cut various squares from old Christmas cards, added glitter, and glued them into shapes. With all the different punches on the market, it makes these types of homemade ornaments quick and easy! Circle punches are particularly versatile. Larger size shapes can be folded in half and glued together to make balls of various thicknesses. Some of the smaller (1/4 inch) sizes make great additions to cards.
I have been traveling a lot lately. Usually, I visit Boston 2-4 times a year to visit my daughter at college. I usually bring my Nook to continue whatever book I am reading. I also tend to break up the trip (5 -6 1/2 hours depending on direction and winds) to catch up on magazines.
Recently, I was reading some scrapbook magazines. One had many layouts with creative clusters. These clusters were smaller photos, words, images, ephemera. Interestingly, these clusters were in random vertical and horizontal strips.The strips were placed in various locations on the pages and were floating. I am not a big fan of floating - images not grounded to an edge/other image. I am sure you have seen this before - random diagonals on a collage card, ATC, canvas. Or, floating clusters on a scrapbook page.
These combinations of ungrounded clusters were quite distracting to me. One friend once told me she thought people did that to be "artsy". I do not know about that. Each page contained one or two photos at most, but quite a few clusters...
Scrapbooking is not my number one hobby. I enjoy it, but not as much as stamping and mixed media. When I do scrap, I tend to keep things simple with clean lines.
For me, this way of scrapping keeps the focus on the photos of the memory that I am showcasing. After all, most people tend to look at photo albums to see if they or someone they know are in the photos. I try to make it easy for them.
So, in looking at the featured layouts, did I focus on the photos? Not at all. Yet, is not that why many of us scrapbook?
I have still been traveling - this has been a very busy Fall. It has been difficult to get into a routine for anything, because it changes week to week! I have been squeezing some creativity in, in small bunches. Mainly, I need to finish a couple of projects before their fast approaching deadline!
The above journal pages (I think I have mentioned before that I usually coordinate facing pages) were fun bird variations. Of course, my friend Kelly, found me the word "supper". She knows me well!
I have purchased various chip board collections in the past. I think many of us have them, but do not always use all the pieces. I find there are certain favorites that I tend to use up. As much as I love the parenthesis chipboard shapes, I find them a challenge to use at times. I recently saw a fun way to incorporate these shapes into art - as photo corners. They can be painted, glittered, stamped and Washi taped! I plan to dig them out and start using them!
I have decided that I really like to add color to my pages with inks and paints - as well as papers and ephemera. Again, a fairly normal page I created. There are layers of stamping and Gelato water colors on the right page - it is difficult to see all the layers in the photo. I really loved the image on the left. I cut it from a Juxtapose magazine.
I have many handmade books and journals. Actually, I have a drawer full of them. They all have some pages done - but none are fully complete. Until now! Finally, I have finished an art journal! Feels pretty good - only umpteen more to go!
This is the final 2 page spread - although I may eventually go back and add some words.
I was catching up on my magazines, when I saw a clever idea for an embellishment. With Halloween over and Christmas on its, I thought these would be cute for scrapbook pages or cards. To create fun candy accents, wrap brightly colored buttons in cellophane (in a color similar to the button). Tie the ends with baker's twine, and you will have a clever little candy embellishment!
I know - it took me long enough to take photos of some of the pages from last weekend. I have been busy unpacking, cleaning and completing a few things. The above are 2 pages from yet another newly made book. I generally work on 2 pages at once as I like them to be somewhat complimentary and cohesive. I also used Faber Castell Gelato watercolors to add some color around the doll images. I like to add paint/ink to my pages and these are very easy to transport.
The images were taken from a Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I find I cannot keep all my magazines, so I pull images that might be useful in collage and place them in a storage container. The butterfly overlay swings both ways so it can also go over the house. Yes, this was a somewhat sedate (and normal) page for me. Do not be discouraged - the unusual ones will come.
I just spent a couple of days at art journaling classes. We had a lot of ephemera, glue, stamps, journals, rulers - you get the idea. It was so easy to lose some of the smaller or flatter tools (especially awls, glue sticks, and rulers). A great way to prevent losing tools is to use a plastic cup. Place all the little tools inside the cup when you are done and waiting to use them again.
Hope you all enjoy Halloween - watch out for the little guys trick-or-treating.
I was Art Journaling Friday and Sunday, then at a Recruit Event for Emerson College (my daughter's school). So, I will be finishing some pages and will be posting later this week. Until then, here's a bit of "Nightmare before Christmas" love...
I love using a wide variety of ink pad colors. Heaven knows I have more than a few different brands and a wide variety of colors. Sometimes, the color I stamped with is just a little too light to get good details of an image or single word. I will usually start over - but if you are near completion it can be a major pain. So, recently, I stamped an image in Cloud Blue Adirondak that was a bit too light. The edges seemed to fade into the card stock. I still liked the look, but felt it needed definition. I did not want to over stamp with a darker color because it would change the design. So, I tried outlining with a thin lined marker in a similar color - just a little darker. I did use a light touch - and it looked great! No re-stamping necessary. If you have a problem with too light a color, try outlining with a shade darker!
A couple of weeks ago, I completed some projects that were laying around awaiting the finishing touches. (I posted the Shadow box a couple of days ago.) Back at the end of July, I took a couple of Tim Holtz's classes when he was teaching in the San Jose area. Well, the largest of the projects has finally been completed. The great thing about this class and project was the variety of techniques it showcased. We used tapes, paints, alcohol inks, stains, embossing, chipboard, and metals. Most of the techniques were not new, but the class was a great reminder of using your materials!
We even added a cute (or so my friends think "creepy") little porcelain doll, and some fun gears and watch parts. If you have a chance to take this class, I highly recommend it!
Several months ago, there was much discussion on one of the on-line boards I subscribe to regarding Configurations boxes, Design team samples, etc. At that time, I had mentioned that you could probably make your own with chip board. Well, the above photo is of a box I crated using chipboard that I cut myself. it was a bit of a pain, but I wanted to see how it would all turn out. After painting it white, I set i aside for quite a few months. A couple of weeks ago, I was determined to complete that which i had started oh,so long ago!.
I used a couple of photos from a trip to Paris in 2009 (Moulon Rouge and 1920's art deco Metro sign). The rest of the backgrounds came from my stash of vintage french ephemera. The large Fleur de Lis was purchased at Les Puces flea market outside of Paris. A few stickers, cut-outs, and German Scrap completed the shadow box. I used a lot pop up dimensionals in the shadow box - unfortunately, there is no way to adequately photograph. So, my experiment worked - although it was no fun cutting the chipboard. So, you can "do it yourself" if you do not want to spend the money on a pre-made shadow box!
With all the travel, I have indeed missed Tuesday's Tip. So..this week in will be Thursday's Tip!
Banners have been very popular of late. Several companies make die cut dies, punches and stamp sets to tickle your fancy. And, yes, I have several products myself. Remember, banners can have a variety of hangers. I have seen mostly paper and ribbon, but keep in mind Baker's twine (store bought or home made), waxed linen thread, hemp twine (for a rustic look), wires of various colors and widths, and chains can all add a distinctive look to your banner. The width of the material will depend upon the type/size of your banner.
October has been a crazy and busy month these past 2 years. In addition to Parent's Weekend at my daughter's school, I have been attending Club Scrap's Retreat. This year was no different!
Overall, it was a fun time - especially the time spent with friends that I do not have the opportunity to see in person unless at this Retreat! Also made a few very fun new friends! I must say that the projects were only so-so - my opinion. Thankfully, that meant my credit card remained warm and dry inside my wallet. There is usually a technique class at the Retreats (at least these 2 I attended). Since I have been stamping over 20 years, the techniques shown were not new. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to share any specifics until sometime next week. When my projects arrive in the mail, I will post them and you can see for yourself.
For me, the joy is in seeing and spending time with the friends who live outside California. Plus, although I would not make additional projects, it is always good to try something new!
I have entered into a journal exchange with someone I met at a Kelly Kilmer class. Kate and I were chatting about exchanges - she had some bad luck in swap recently. It had been awhile since I participated in an art journal exchange, so I suggested we give it a try. Our first pages were to tell a bit about ourselves. I am not a writer. I do not diary/journal like that. I do use visual imagery. Sometimes, I add words or quotes. That is the closest I get to writing. So, of course, I went the visual route with my exchange page. The first page:
This page represents how most people probably see me. My family is a big part of my life - particularly since I retired from my profession when we began relocating with my husband's company. The page opens to:
This is my inner little devil - the one who loves the quirky, the odd, the dark....
During Scramp Camp, we were lucky to have Maryjo McGraw teach a couple of classes. The canvas class ended up being a big hit with all those who took part. I decided to make something more mainstream (if you have seen some of my art journaling, you know I am not really a mainstream type of person!) This graphic design was really tough for me. But, I am happy with the way it turned out! The images are from Helga Strauss of Art Chix , and the gate stamp from Club Scrap.
I mixed a couple of colors as a base coat of red. Then mixed a couple of different greys, adding a little green to the darker bottom color. The images were added next. I ended up keeping them linear. I finished by embellishing with gold pearl string, gold rhinestones, and a little sponging of gold paint!
The last of the houses...The background paper has a variety of iridescent images that cannot be seen in the photo. I used bead gel along the bottom. Once it was dry, I colored/tinted it to look like sand.
This is the back side - inked up some raffia to look like seaweed!
I am a little late in posting - too busy getting ready to fly out to Wisconsin for Club Scrap's Retreat! I did finish up some projects - mostly finishing touches. This had me thinking of color use. To get colors to pop on your card, collage, journal page, etc, use a little of your main color's complement. Some great color combinations are yellow and purple and blue and orange. Do not mix the colors together - just a dabs as finishing touches. (blending will make mud!)
I am a little later than usual with Tuesday's Tip. I have been a bit out of sorts for a variety of reasons - and it is definitely hampering my creative side. Know what I mean? What do you do to get back in the groove?
I am finding that scheduling creative time - specifically on the calendar - helps get me going. With all the traveling I had been doing (with most of October being the same), I like to break up my reading with magazines. Looking for inspiration, ideas, and techniques to get me back to creating. I do think getting back into my normal (now disrupted) routine will be huge. Any thoughts?
Or, I should say, former wooden fence posts were what we used to make little goodies for our Scramp Camp attendees. KJ's wonderful husband (Mike) cut their old fence posts into wooden houses for us to decorate - specifically in the style/likes of one of the attendees. After washing and sanding, I used a coat of gesso to start with a more uniform background.
These were the fronts of 2 of the houses I made. The one on the left was for my friend Diane (lover of theatre and cats) and the one on the right for Maryjo. I layered old book and music pages, and added a bit of molding paste. After all was dry, I painted with acrylics. The door, fence, and roof are thin balsa wood. I found the chipboard windows at Alpha Stamps (they have great stuff - one of my favorite company's).
I even decorated the backs! You can see some of the texture better on the house on the right. The image on the left was from the Moulin Rouge patterned paper pad. I also used rubber stamps and ephemera to embellish the houses. It was quite addicting making these houses!
I was finishing several projects (and making a quick card or two) this past weekend. After stamping an image, I placed my stamp down on my work surface. Actually, I placed it inked image side down on an acrylic block. It left an image on my block. So...I thought, why not try using the acrylic block as a mirror image stamp? The image is not super clear, but it made for an interesting effect. I think that using the larger blocks (stamped) would make for an interesting background!
These were the last of the little houses. The one on the right has grass and flowers around it. The one on the left also has flowers. I used a combination of liquid pearls and flower soft. Some of the flower soft was dyed using a green re-inker. Re-inkers are great way to change the color of many embellishments!
Wow - it has been very busy around here! I had wanted to post earlier in the week, but did not have much time. I had a lot of fun making houses for Scramp Camp. These were from a Club Scrap kit in which you can put little battery operated lights.
The colors of these two houses were changed (somewhat) by a variety of color sprays (Adirondack, Glimmer Mist and Shimmering Rain). The red heart was made with the Red Queen in mind. Now, the green was actually made with my friend, Nancy, in mind. She is a big Wizard of Oz fan. You can see a bit of the Yellow Brick Road by the front door.
These are opposite side views of the houses and their inhabitants! These little houses are great fun - I am thinking of a little village, possibly, for Christmas!
I have been taking a couple of on-line classes in recent months. I really like them- especially as you can take the at your most convenient times. One of the more recent was with Christy Tomlinson. She had a great "texture" stamp tip - use the bottom of a flip flop! Some have interesting soles, and can give a fun background texture to projects. I must say I find myself turning over cheap flip flops to see if I would like the pattern!
was the theme for this year's Scramp Camp. My co-hostesses and I decided to spend the fee on a guest instructor at a local community clubhouse rather than at a hotel conference room. Since we planned to rent KJ's "Ranch House", we wanted to spiff it up a bit and go with a house (maison) theme. Part of the decorations were these mini paper houses from Club Scrap. They came in several color combinations, although we used the Halloween kits. KJ and Mariana kept to the Halloween theme (for the most part).
We put battery operated mini candles inside. I kept these two fairly simple - adding flower soft flowers to the purple house.
These three were themed. The black house was celestial with stars stamped and glittered, with the addition of stamp brads. The middle...Halloween-ish with Alfred Hitchcock (stamped on shrink plastic and shrunk down). The purple is a royal house with crowns and fleur-de-lis.
I am finally getting re-organized after my trip to Boston and Scramp Camp.My studio was such a pile of stuff that I did not want to spend time in there. I have been cleaning and unpacking...so I can see counter tops and the floor! I am loading and cropping photos from Scramp Camp...stay tuned!
While I was at Scramp Camp, we swapped out our latest round of Elements ATC's. The above card is nickel (a Buffalo head nickel is in the hand). The second element I did in this swap was Silicon:
It's difficult to see in the photo, but there is a bit of hot glue visible under the bra cups. And, yes, silicon is used in silicone....
I was recently attending (as well as co-hosting) out West Coast group's annual "Scramp Camp". We had arranged for Maryjo McGraw to fly out and teach a couple of classes on Saturday. While making a collage in the first class, we need to tear some background paper. Not wanting a scissor cut edge, I grabbed for my ruler to tear a deckle type edge. Unfortunately, I could not find it at the moment. The next best thing - an acrylic stamp block! Worked like a charm!
I will be teaching a Halloween Treat box class just in time for the holiday! It will be a quick one hour class at A Work of Heart Studio in Willow Glen.
The boxes are made from a large Accu-cut Die. We will be using card stock, pattern paper and home made baker's twine. The class will be Thursday, October 6th from 6:00 to 7:00pm. For more information, check out the website by clicking here.
I will be doing a 2 part scrap class at A Work of Heart in Willow Glen. I will be teaching a 2 page layout class using a variety of media and techniques, including heat embossing, resists, stamping on acetate and punches/die cuts. Below is the layout :
The dates of the class are: September 21 and 28 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. For more information, click here.
I love using Ranger products on projects, cards, and scrapbook pages. One of my favorite background techniques is using Alcohol Inks. Usually, these work best on metals and coated papers, like glossy card stock. Did you know that you can use alcohol inks on porous materials as well? I learned this tip in a Tim Holtz class: use silver Dabber Paint to seal the grunge board or porous material. Once it is dry, feel free to alcohol ink away!
This post is a bit of a Scramp Camp tease! I have been working on some projects that I cannot share until after September 9th (the first day of Scramp Camp). The photos are a bit fuzzy as I had to get a close-up so as not to give anything away!
This is a portion of one of the projects - taken from the front. You may be able to recognize the textures.
This may be a little tougher to decipher! It is taken from above. Let me know your guesses!