Thursday, April 28, 2011

Squirrely Challenge

A couple of friends have been working through the Technique Junkies Newsletters. Since my good friend, Nancy, is the driving force, it is being called "Squirrely Challenge" after her blog, Squirrely Art.

This week's challenge is Foam Stamping from the current month's Newsletter. My card is posted below. The background was done using this technique.

You can see the other samples at Nancy's blog, Jen's blog, Chrissie's blog, and Diane's blog. I am not sure how long it will take for all to have their samples up. And, remember to check out Pat's Technique Junkies Newlsetter and website!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

One of the latest scrapbook trends is the use of fabric as an accent. Fabric die cut shapes, strips as borders, buttons, and other embellishments are available.  Companies, such as Bazzill and K & Company, sell pre-made embellishments. Of course, you are paying a premium price.
You can find a variety of felt squares and fat quarters at your local Micheal's. Use a 40% off coupon and they are even cheaper. Fabric/quilt shops will have a greater variety. You can use your die cut machine - or stencils and a chalk pencil and draw a shape to be cut.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Have You Submitted?

Several years ago - well, probably about 10 years - I decided to try my luck at submitting art work to magazines. Have you done that? It was back in the "hey day" of stamping magazines. Some of you may remember "The Rubber Stamper" and "Expressions" which are now defunct. I submitted cards and ATC's. My cards were published in "The Rubber Stamper" - quite a fun little surprise! I submitted my ATC's to RubberStampMadness for a challenge. I received an e-mail that they wanted to use the ATC for a Heirloom Productions ad. The great thing about the ad was it was published in all the stamping magazines (except Stampington Publications) for a year. It was great to share with students taking classes from me.

Flash forward to Fall 2010. I decided to submit some cards to Stampington's The Stamper's Sampler. I have not really thought much about it.And, I had never submitted to them before. So, I was a bit confused when I received the Catch Up edition in the mail since I did not remember ordering it. Well, it helps to read the cover letter. It has not officially been published yet - so I cannot share photos of cards. But, if you have an opportunity, check it out. And, by all means, consider submitting artwork. You never know!

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Embossing Folder

I purchased (on sale) a card sized embossing folder made by Szzix. I really love it. The folder is a classic style, suitable for any types of card. This is a simple and quick card, but I envision a variety of possibilities. I lightly inked the raised lines to bring out the design. Is there a particular new find that you really like?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Since the start of the new year, there have been a plethora of new patterned paper. Sometimes, the larger papers are a collage of images. I always hate to cover them up entirely. So, I cut them up to use some of the images as embellishments. One 12 x 12 can go a long way. It is a bonus if the paper is double sided.  That is exactly what I did in the blog post "A Little Keepsake".

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mail Art

I made a little bit of Mail Art to send to my friend, Nancy. Since she likes bird images, I thought I would use a new set I bought from Stampin' Up. On the background of the matte coat postcard, I spritzed some water and added 3 complimentary colors of Distress Stains. Once the background was dry, I added the vintage flower page. The images were stamped in India Ink black and Distress Inks. Washi tape was added around the borders. Then, to tie the whole card together, I added a wash of Distress Stain.
Mail art postcards are a quick, easy and fun little project for times when you do not have a lot of time. You can still create something fun and brighten the mailbox of a friend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Little Keepsake...

So, the picture isn't that great (taken with a cell phone and fuzzy). But, it was a fun remembrance page to create for my "Beauty Best Friend", Sonja. She'll be moving to St Louis to be near family.

I do not often show usage of patterned paper. But, this is one of (if not my) favorite manufacturers, Graphic 45. I used the reverse of an image sheet as the diamond motif background. The female images were from a companion page in the line. I added a bit of glitter and Glaze pen as accents. I have a lot of ephemera (that I need to use more frequently), thus the addition of the vintage labels.  It is a fun combination of vintage looks!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Break in the Action...

I had been traveling until the 11th of April. It has been difficult to get back into the art groove - particularly since I had A LOT of unpacking and laundry! Where did I go?

We visited our daughter, who is studying abroad. This is the castle she has been living in since January 20th. Classes are also held here and in the barn...
The tulips were just starting to bloom, although the other bulb flowers were in full bloom. Where did we go? If the tulips did not give it away, perhaps the photo below will help:

We spent a week in the Netherlands. It was wonderful to explore the country side (we rented a car) and, especially to see our daughter! The one museum we visited did not allow photos, unfortunately. It was the Van Gogh Museum with the added bonus of a Picasso exhibit. It was so interesting to see the progression of Van Gogh's art - from young beginner to mentally ill end stages. The colors and brush worked changed dramatically. I wish I could have taken some photos of a few pieces - it was fascinating!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

When using paints and various inks, I often work on a craft sheet. Most mediums clean off with soap and water - sometimes a baby wipe will do the trick. When I use alcohol inks, I was using Blending Solution to clean off excess inks. However, a cheaper alternative is hand sanitizer (such as Purel). It works great!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Art Journal

I took  a little break from card making and Distress Stain. My art journal needed some attention, so I completed this page I started a bit ago.

I had painted the background and stamped a while ago. After adding patterned paper and tape, I found another fun image from the Housewife's Tarot deck. I added the stamped palmistry hand before adhering my focal image. After all, it is 5 o'clock somewhere...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Stains

Last post, I applied the new Distress Stains from Ranger onto card stock. For this next experiment, I applied pools of stain on a non-stick craft sheet. I used the same 4 colors as before. I cut my card stock into mat size pieces. I sprayed the cut pieces with water, but I did not saturate them. I then placed them into the stains and gave a slight turn. I wanted to get a fairly covered piece of card stock. The photo below was the result:

These were the panels. (The upper left was slightly different and will be covered at a later date). By wetting the card stock,  the stains flowed and mixed better. I  made the mats into cards.

Here is one of the cards I made with the Stained background. I over stamped the background with one of Club Scrap's newest stamps from the Raku kit. The colors are much brighter in person. Can you tell I am enjoying playing with the Stains?!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Distress Stains

I admit it - I was quite enamoured of the Distress Stains from Ranger. Tim Holtz demonstrated their uses at CHA, which was filmed. I did not want to like them, but I did, So, I found the Stains at a great price and had them shipped. I decided to try a few different techniques.

 I picked 4 colors and just applied them to card and 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of card stock. There was nothing special about the card stock, I just scribbled/swirled them on. They soaked right into the paper, so blending was out of the questions. I did soften some edges with matching Distress Inks and a sponge applicator. The parent sheet was the cut up and used a card backgrounds.
This card was made with part of the sheet. The colors are much more vibrant in person. I wanted to keep the card fairly simple since there was so much color going on in the background. Below is another card made from the same parent sheet:

Once again, I kept the card fairly simple, adding a punched border on which I sponged Distress Ink. In my next post, I will show another way in which I used the Stains. I must say that they are very fun. You really do not "need" all 12 colors - but they sure are nice!                                                                                          

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

I recently posted journal pages and a card with an acrylic paint background. I usually paint with Golden's Fluid Acrylics, and the Studio paint line from Claudine Hellmuth and Ranger. The pigments of these paints are wonderful and saturated.

When painting on card stock, I find the paint soaks in pretty quickly. I was watching a slide show of The Painted Page on My Creative Classroom using this same technique. The instructor, Jennifer Priest, recommended spraying the card stock with water before brushing on the acrylic paint. I gave it a try - the paint flowed across the page more easily and evenly. Also, I needed less paint. This was an easy and economical technique!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Painted Card Background

After making my art journal pages for Spring, I thought I would use the same techniques for a card. I used the same paints and colors - green base with yellow and orange splatters. I thought a nice floral theme seemed to be in order. So, I mixed in a bright pink and blue with the existing color palette. The finished card:
I added a bit of bling. In retrospect, I would have planned my splatters better. I hoped to use the splatters as the centers of flowers, but it did not work out that way. This may be one of the makeover cards - mainly to better spread out the splatters.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Painted Backgrounds

Spring appears to have sprung in the Bay Area. We went from cold and rain to sun and 80 degrees in less than a week. I was inspired to play with paint and bright, cheerful colors. Using Claudine Hellmuth's green acrylic, I covered 2 art journal pages. I found a great tip to help when using acrylics on paper. (Sorry, tune in to Tuesday's Tip for the information!) Then, I took a bright yellow and orange and made splatters. That was the starting point. I pulled out some images, stamps, and tapes (of course). Below is the double page spread:
I also used portions of flower punches to add interesting elements. A close-up of the left page side:

And, a close up of the right side:

Bright and cheerful pages calling out for Spring.