"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Last page for "Sea" altered book

This one was a tough one for me. I just could not get inspired as lots of the usual sea/beach/seahorse/pirate themes had been done. After browsing through piles of my saved pictures, postcards, postage stamps, stickers, etc. etc., I finally found an old postcard of fishing boats in a harbor. I glued it to the page and gessoed around it, then painted around with blue paint. Then my muse skipped out for a few days! Today when I looked at the still fairly empty pages, I decided to add houses for the foreground harbor scene. The Fresh Fish sign is a sticker but I attached painted toothpicks to make it into a sign and made it into a "pop-out" - it pops out from the page when the book is opened. This is not my favorite page, but at least I'm now done with my three spreads and can send it on to the next person. I hope Pat likes the pages I've done in her book.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Busy as a bee

I seem to be as busy as a bee but don't have many photos to post as most everything is in various degrees of completion with nothing totally finished yet.
I did finish sewing two more throw pillows (20" square) for my friend today. I call this my neverending sewing project as the more I finish, the more there seems to be left to do!

I was reading on Gingerwood today about gals altering the popular Brides flowers (these are tins of white/ivory flowers sold in the bridal section of Michael's that everyone was talking about recently and are far cheaper than paper flowers found in the scrapbooking/stamping department). I had bought some a few weeks ago and since they were lovely as is, with a beautiful subtle sheen, had only used them "unaltered." So, I dug them out and here is a chart of my results of altering. The top left shows a plain flower. Top right is one that I stamped with Archival Black ink and a text background stamp. I wanted to try coloring the flowers to test different inks to see what would dry and keep the sheen. Of the four I tried - Palette Hybrid, SU Dye, Brilliance Pigment and Adirondack Dye - all worked well, dried and retained the pretty sheen. On the two colored flowers on the right, I applied the ink to the reverse side and like how ink did not get into the little outline groove. Lots of possibilities for these little guys and I like that I will always be able to have a matching flower if I choose!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Little Black Book

Here's a page I made for a round robin book swap my local stamp group is doing. Everyone had to make their own book and pick their theme. This one is "Little Black Book" and is just that, a small (approximately ATC size) spiral bound notebook with black pages. The only instructions were "Like the perfect black dress, my little black book is classic, sexy and timeless." So this is what I did. The image is a stamp from Rubber Romance which I embossed with Black Opals embossing powder on pale pink paper. This embossing powder is from Judikins and is very glittery - I adore this. I cut the image out and glued it to the black page. The white border is a rubon and the little "sign" is ultra-thin shrink plastic stamped with a Hero Arts stamp that repeats "Style is Eternal" three times. This was almost 2 inches square and shrank up to almost nothing! I attached a beaded fringe to the bottom. This is for Mette - hope she doesn't peek!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Pirate's Life

Another page done! This one is about pirates - way out of my comfort zone! The photo doesn't show the pages well as there is vellum over both. I was going for the misty, gray sky look. On the left page I typed the "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, It's a Pirate's Life for Me" song and laid it over a blue painted sea and a gray inked sky. The sand is paper that looks just like sand. The Black Pearl ship on the right was actually a picture of a model kit. The treasure chest, jewels, knife and hat are plastic embellishments and I added a broken gold chain to the "loot."

"The Sea" Altered Book

I hope everyone enjoyed a relaxing holiday weekend and took time to remember those special American heroes, living and dead, who dedicate themselves and sacrifice so much for our freedom.

I took a little time to get one spread finished in the next book I received in the altered book round robin. This one's theme is anything to do with the sea, beach, mermaids, pirates etc. I tore several pages and inked them brown to simulate a sandy beach and added some vintage photos. The ocean and sky were painted with several blue acrylic paints. I added some water lines with white ink and wiped on a sparkle glaze to hightlight the water. For the sun I punched a hole in the page and painted the page behind with yellow acrylic paint and some more sparkle glaze. The final touch was adding some real shells and the little sand bucket and shovel.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday AAWA

I am a member of a small online group (AAWA) which celebrates it's sixth year tomorrow. The members are sending the group "mom", Jeri, birthday 4 x 4 squares to be bound into a book as a small token of appreciation for all she does for the group. This is my contribution, although the scan for some reason doesn't look quite square! I inked the background with two or three colors of Distress Inks, then stamped the sequin waste in white ink. It's hard to see but there are also tiny scrolls stamped all over the background in copper ink. The main image was stamped in black. The hat has three small orange sequins which I sewed on, tying the threads on top and leaving small tails. I attached the tiny tags (hand cut and inked with a soft blue) with orange brads. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AAWA!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another spoon fairy

I had so much fun making the other spoon fairy doll that I made another one a few days ago. This is a smaller spoon which didn't have the holes drilled in the top or the handle, so I just wrapped the wire around, adding beads as I went. I think I even like it better this way! I just used vintage images from the Internet, but my friend liked these so much that she made three for her daughter-in-law's birthday using black and white copies of photos of her three grandchildren. And for the little boy she used leaves instead of the flower petals. They came out really cute -- what a special gift!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May Inspiration Mingle

My online group, AAWA, has a monthly mingle where we take inspiration from a given photo and make a project to send to our mingle partner. This month the above photo of a polka dot bedding ensemble was the inspiration. Below is the canvas I made using the blue polka dots. This is a 5x5" canvas which I painted with two different green acrylics, then added the polka dots stamped with acrylic also. The flowers are punches, the house is cut from various papers, the words from a book page and the image is from Lisa's Altered Art. The little girl has the sweetest face. I hope Jeri will like it. (The scan is a little skewed and looks rectangular but it really is square!)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fun stuff in the mail

Today was a fun day at the mailbox. I received a large package - the Cuttlebug I recently ordered. I have gone back and forth since these came out on whether to buy one. I have a pasta machine which you can run the embossing folders and the smaller dies through, so why would I need to buy another gadget? Back and forth, back and forth - finally there was a deal I couldn't possibly refuse online, so there you have it. Now I'd better use it!

I also received a Chic Stand which I had ordered awhile back. What is a chic stand? It's simply a small rectangle of very stiff, dense foam which makes piercing holes and setting brads so much simpler and saves your fingers or worktop from getting stuck. The gal who sells these has a great video on her website that you can see here. Be sure to browse her site while there as she has many videos and tutorials.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Second post today!

I've been playing with the layout of my blog and added a Flickr Album and a
Traffic Tracker on the sidebar. As of today I will be able to see where all my readers are! I also somehow messed up the site meter so it has now returned to zero! Rats, it was fun to see the numbers rise.

Masculine cards

It's a beautiful day here in Texas, with a nice breeze, slightly overcast and not too humid. Tomorrow we expect it to get back to the normal hot and humid - ick!

I've been making some cards suitable for men. It's so easy to make floral and/or frilly cards, but difficult to come up with something more masculine. This first one uses masking tape for the background, swiped with brown ink. It almost looks leathery.
For this card I crumpled a brown paper bag and embossed the ridges with gold embossing powder. The sentiment is stamped on a gold-embossed paper fastener with the extra pieces cut off. Last night when I embossed this it was a shiny gold, but overnight it seems to have "aged" and I like the more rustic look better. The background for the butterfly was painted with Twinkling H20s.
The background for this card is stamped with a harlequin stamp in blue. The same stamp is stamped in Versamark on the blue cardstock for the background for the tags. The polka dots were stamped in white with a new pencil eraser. Love that trick for nice dots.
This card was cased from a post on 2Peas. It uses black cardstock swiped with green Crackle Paint from Tim Holtz. The leaves are then embossed with white and copper after the paint dries.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stick Fairy

I took time to play today - in between swap and round robin deadlines. I belong to an online art group which has a monthly "lottery." Each month a new theme is chosen and members can make something with that theme and upload a scan to the Yahoo group. A "winner" is randomly chosen who receives all the pieces of that month. She also chooses the theme for the next month.

The theme for May is "wings." so here is my fun little submission. It's a "stick fairy" - the body and head are a vintage image which I glued to the top part of an inked popsicle stick and then added glittered butterfly wings to the back. The skirt was cut freeform out of a floral-patterned envelope liner. Because the address of the envie showed on the back, I backed it with white cardstock, cut a little longer and scalloped with scissors. Final touches were Paper Frills at the waist, paper flowers and Stickles centers and thin strips of green cardstock for stems. She's ready to fly to the May winner when chosen.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Last spread in AB

I finished my third set of pages in the bird themed altered book for Kris. Above is the left side of the spread. I used a collage sheet of bird eggs from Shabby Cottage Studio for the background of both pages and brushed a thin coat of gesso over it. Then I glued down some torn cheesecloth, a piece of torn corrugated cardboard, a blue ticket, scrap of lace and an old button. I stamped and colored the bird's nest and word and attached them over the cheesecloth.

On the right page, I cut a niche which I backed with the definition of "egg" from an old dictionary and glued in a half-egg wooden shape that I painted with aqua acrylic and spattered with brown. I glued on a small real branch and a stamped grouping of birds and then tucked in two feathers and the stamped quote.

These scans make the pages look washed out, but irl they are more colorful but still subtle. I like how these turned out and hope she likes them. I've mailed it off to the next person in the round robin and am awaiting the next book.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. I hope you had a wonderful day either with your own children or with your mother. It was quiet here as my five adult children live all over the country but I did get calls and presents! And my husband totally surprised me while eating out tonight by pulling a pair of diamond earrings out of his pocket! In almost 36 years of marriage, he has never done such a thing. It was very sweet and the earrings are beautiful.
I leave you with roses - not a great photo as I just have a point-and-shoot digi camera, but I love my old English roses that are now blooming profusely. These are Abraham Darby roses as I recall. I planted them at our former house and when we moved two years ago, I just had to order more. They are the most beautiful color! They also smell wonderful and require no special care.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another AB spread

This is the second spread I have done for Kris' bird-themed altered book. It's a double spread with an extra page inside.

On the left side I adhered a card front that I had received a long time ago from a friend. I loved the hand-stitched bird on muslin attached to the card and had saved it. It fit perfectly!

The middle is three book pages glued together and cut into a house shape. I then slit open a padded mailing envelope, removed all the bubble wrap except at the top and inserted the book pages. The cardinal is an Internet image glued behind a hole punched out of the "birdhouse." The roof is smudged with Staz On to define it. The side is open so a bird tag slides in. On the back I attached a bird image colored with regular pastels and wrote a quote around its perimeter. I used watercolor crayons for the background and attached clear stickers at the top of the roof.

The right page was painted with metallic acrylic paint. I attached a flap on the right side from extra book pages and covered it with mulberry paper and glued on Scrabble tiles. Handmade flashcards were aged and tucked in.

Still one more spread to do before mailing this book out to the next artist next week.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Altered Book Round Robin

Just finished the first page of three for Kris' book in our round robin. Her book is small - only about 5 1/2 by 7 1/2 so not sure why I procrastinated so long. I guess I just work better under pressure!
I used a new technique (to me - thanks Jeri) that I also used on one of my row houses. I first painted both pages with gesso and stamped into it while still wet with an uninked leaf stamp. After letting this dry completely I swiped several green, blue and yellow Distress Inks over the pages and then dabbed with a paper towel until I liked it. I spritzed with water and let it dry.
(Note: since the gesso seals the page, if you wipe the page after wetting, it will all just come off. The trick is to let it dry.) The water droplets leave little white spots which gives a nice texture to the background. The inks also settle into the depressions left by the leaf stamp which gives some definition to these areas. I then adhered some bits of torn music pages and cutout images from the Internet. Finally, the spread still needed something so I stamped the "sing" and attached it behind a copper name plate.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I just received an e-mail from Gail at Shabby Cottage Studio that I won one of four birthday giveaways on her blog! It's a beautiful hanging magnetic board with darling flower magnets. You can see it on her blog and, while you're there, check out all her neat art and photographs. She also has a great etsy site, wonderful products including digital collage sheets (pay for them, then download to your computer to use whenever you like - very convenient as there's no shipping!), and very prompt service.

The rest of my day went well too. I met five dear friends for lunch at a nearby tea room in an antique mall and we ate, chatted and browsed most of the day. Five hours to be exact - in fact we were still chatting out in the parking lot after leaving the mall and one man came out and asked it we wanted to rent the conference room! It was a great day catching up with everyone and looking for treasures. I only found a few things - a nice silverplate spoon for another spoon fairy (previous post awhile ago), a darling tiny glass cup and saucer to add to my shelf with my kids' old silver baby cups and christening dresses, an old package of rick-rack (original price on this is $.15 and I paid $.25! It'd be much more in the fabric or scrapbooking stores.), a very old tape measure and a few vintage photos of "instant ancestors." It was a fun day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last 3 Row Houses!

I'm finished! All 11 houses are now completed and in the mail. This was a fun swap, but why do I wait til the deadline to do these? I had two months... Can't wait to see what I receive back!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Canvas Class

As promised, here is the photo of the canvas I did in class Thursday night. Isn't it darling? My friend Jaclyn designed and taught it. It uses 3 1/2" squares of the new Simplicity line of papers from Fancy Pants and is 11" by 14". The embellishments include die cuts, ribbons, buttons, embossed pink metal and paper, velvet and crocheted flowers. The class sample had black and white photos of her three boys and her husband. I am trying to decide whether to add photos of my kids and keep it or maybe old photos of my Mom and give it to her.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy National Scrapbooking Day

for the next half hour at least! What did you do today to celebrate? I spent all day at a "Scrapbook in a Day" class and actually finished - yes, finished - a twenty-page album! This is my very first album since I usually don't scrap, but it was so cute I got talked into taking it by the teacher (and my co-worker!). It was alot of fun and there's nothing like spending the day with ten other like-minded women.

New card class

I will be teaching a "Stamp a Bunch of Thank Yous" class soon. These are the four sample cards - students will make six each for a total of 24 cards. I'm hoping these will be simple and easy enough to accomplish that in two hours. It's always hard to judge how long it will take everyone!

These all use white, dark chocolate brown and turquoise cardstocks and inks and are A2 (standard) size.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fun day

What a great day I had today! First, I taught a card class and then this evening I took a canvas class. I will upload a picture tomorrow when everything dries.

And I finished two more houses for the swap:

The second one - the birds - is a bit different than what I've been doing. I tried a technique that my friend Jeri wrote about on her blog, The Artful Gathering. The background was first painted with a rather thick coat of gesso and stamped into with a clean leaf stamp before it dried. After it was dry, I swiped several colors of ink across, letting it build up in the "valleys," and then wiped off any excess with a paper towel. After adhering the collage elements, I stamped leaves with a darker green ink. I like how it turned out.

And the highlight of my day was receiving a beautiful tag RAK from Jeri in my mail! She recently had a play day at her house which I couldn't attend and I was whining about not being able to make some of the neat projects they worked on. So she sweetly sent me one! I love it Jeri - thanks!