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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Missing in Action

I went to a six-hour crop with a friend on Friday night and managed to get my Halloween cards (7 of them) finished. I had just purchased this cute witches' shoes stamp (Stampendous) the day before and was itching to use it. I used watercolor pencils and a waterbrush to color the images. The blue cast on the card is from the scan as the card is bright white.

I also worked on a few other projects which I can't share right now. They are for classes and gifts. But here is a sympathy card I made today for one of my daughter's best friends who was 6 months pregnant and just lost her baby boy. This was a quick and simple card using a Cuttlebug background and a white embossed floral image on a soft aqua cardstock. It was CASEd from a card I had seen on 2 Peas some time ago. I so hate making sympathy cards...

I was gone all weekend as I spent two days in Albuquerque with my daughter, Dana. It was a quick trip with the purpose of hand-delivering my wedding dress to see if it would fit or she liked it. I was thrilled that it mainly fit (a little tight in the arms and neck) and that she is interested in trying to re-style it. When she tried it on, it was one of those teary "mom moments". Still can't believe she's actually getting married!

And, yippee, today I received my order from the QVC Scrapbooking marathon last week - very quick turnaround! I had resisted the sales pitch of the Tim Holtz grungeboard book and tin set that day, but the next day when I saw on his blog that they were still available, I succumbed! The book is a gatefold book with grungeboard dividers between sections of cardstock. I particularly like the closure. It's smaller than I thought from seeing it on QVC, but it fits in the tin which is super cool. It's actually the embossing powder case. There were also two packages of his tile fragments included which I had used for the first time at the art retreat a few weeks ago. The sample case was covered with these tiles in all sizes and colors. I can't wait to play with my new purchases!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Glass Ornaments

One of the gals at the retreat, Brenda, was working on little glass ornaments made from microscope slides and holiday papers. She decorated a black wire Halloween tree with these darling danglies - check out her blog here to see the finished tree. Many of us were promptly hooked and started looking at our papers with a new focus. I even learned how to cut the glass, after several bad attempts - thanks Bren for your patience!

Here are the ones I made. I love the Christmas trees in non-traditional Christmas colors and the chunky vintage glass glitter.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old Hollywood Glamour

I finished another page for the round robin book swap for my local stamp club while at the weekend retreat. This book is for Bess who wanted "Old Hollywood Glamour" using black, white and Tiffany blue and is a chipboard scalloped album held together with a book ring.

These scans came out a bit faded, probably due to the flash. Here is the front which I covered with a patterned paper and stamped the flourish and "style" in black. The glamour girl stamp (love this stamp from Rubber Romance) is stamped on white cardstock and heat embossed with Judikins Black Opals embossing powder. The large flower was originally white - I inked it to get the Tiffany blue color. I added the vintage rhinestone button, vintage black lace and Stickles to the flourish and the top of the lace.

On the back, I stamped a dress stamp from Renaissance Art Stamps, tiny shoes and purse from a $1 clear stamp set and another flourish. I inked the dress sash and shoulder ties with a Versamark pen and embossed them with the same Black Opals embossing powder. Hope she likes it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

12 Tags of Christmas

I'm back from a weekend "do your own thing" retreat - left Thursday morning and returned last night. The retreat was under three hours from my home so the travel to and from wasn't too bad and a good friend went with me so we had a great time catching up with each other during our road trip. The house is a Frank Lloyd Wright house built in the 60's and was fantastic - almost everything inside was original to that period - and the setting was out in the country - peaceful and relaxing.

There were 15 ladies there and everyone brought projects to work on. Several ladies wanted to work on the "12 Tags of Christmas" that Tim Holtz posted on his blog last December. So seven of us worked on them off and on during the four days and finished all except the eleventh tag. We did not have the supplies or stamps required for that one. In fact, we improvised on some of the other tags as well, mainly with different embellishments, but they came out well and it was fun trying all the different techniques and products.

I won't go into the how-tos for the tags here, as Tim's instructions and photo tutorials are excellent. If you want to know more, go to his blog and check them out. Here are the ones I made (in numerical order):
Tim also has a technique posted for every month during 2008 and we worked on the March technique. These are the two tags I made:

I really liked this technique. These colors and stamps see fitting for spooky Halloween projects. Basically you sponge several different Distress Inks directly on the manila tag. These are some of the brighter colors, like Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Broken China etc. The lower left on each of these tags was Black Soot. At that point it looks pretty garish and colorful. Then you sponge Vintage Photo over the entire tag which adds a yellow tinge to all the colors. After that, you sponge Walnut Stain over all until you get the blended look you want - this step darkens everything. The birds and tree are stamps from Stampers Anonymous and are stamped in black Archival ink which is permanent. I liked the colors of the tag on the left best but there was a smudge of black ink from the stamp in the lower right, so I stamped the Halloween stamp to cover it up. The tag on the right needs something else stamped at the bottom. Again, if you want to know more about these tags, be sure to go to Tim's blog and check out all the techniques.
I have more projects to post, but am still catching up on things since I returned, so will try to post them tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Once a month the gal I teach classes with has a class that's called Scrapstashers. The idea is to get you to use your "stash" of supplies. You sign up and the project is a mystery until the class. A list of supplies is sent out a few days before.

Today was the day and we decorated real plates! Similar plates are shown in an article in the latest Home Companion magazine, but ours turned out so much better.

We were to bring one to three photos, a plate, some coordinating paper scraps, ribbons and buttons. I could not decide on any photos - it seems our family is only together once or twice a year and we never seem to get an "entire family" photo taken. And, not knowing exactly what we would be using them for, I just decided to go with a photo of the flowers on Michigan Avenue in Chicago where 3 of my girls live. I found a square green plate at Walmart and this is what I ended up with (sorry for the glare - it was impossible to photograph this without one and this is the best of five attempts):

They are hard to see, but there are some rubons on the top and in the bottom corners. The "ribbon" along the bottom is actually the piece on the edge of a piece of patterned paper (that has the company's name on it), but it was brown polka dot and too pretty to throw out). Everything is glued down with glossy Modge Podge and then 2 coats over the top.

This was a fun, quick and easy project and I can see this done in different ways. It would be great with vintage photos or holiday photos. In fact, the class of approximately ten ladies all ended up with totally unique projects and they were all wonderful.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Breast Cancer Charity Event

Remember that wire dress form I altered recently? The silent auction for the 19 "dresses" will be held on Sept. 28 and photographs of all the dresses are now posted here: www.stampsaladotexas.com/Special_Events/Charity_Event.htm

It's amazing how unique and creative each of these dress forms are - and how beautiful. Be sure to check them out and, if you are so inclined, bid on one or more. You do not have to be present to "win" - just be sure to outbid others! 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help find a cure for breast cancer. I am sure all of us knows someone who has been affected by this disease so please help out if you can.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it Halloween time yet?

I am so ready for fall and Halloween! Enough of these 90-100 degree days already. Let's have some cool, fresh air and crisp fall days!

In preparation, I made this Halloween paper cone from a 12x12" piece of cardstock. I decoupaged Halloween papers to it, set eyelets at the top to thread ribbons through for a hanger, and added a black crepe paper ruffle and orange ball fringe. I'm thinking of adding a few embellishments - some glitz or maybe a tassel at the bottom, but for now it is hanging on a little black easel.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Round Robin Page

Here are the pages I finished this week for Debbie's book. Her theme is "Family Tree" and she wanted us to add photos of our immediate family. She used a chipboard flower-shaped book which she covered in Basic Grey papers.

I drew the tree shape freehand and colored it in with a marker. Then I scribbled brown Liquid Applique inside the shape and heated it with a heat gun. It puffed up and looks very barklike. I had found the quote in a catalog and knew immediately I wanted to use it for my page. I intended to stamp it, but I liked the look of the white letters on the darker background and ended up cutting the word blocks and using them as is.

I punched the photos, glued them to flattened bottle caps and applied a coat of Diamond Glaze over the top. Can you believe of all the stamps I own I didn't have one family-themed stamp! I did find a $1 clear stamp set for the word family and for the little tag at the top on the back. The hardest part of this project was finding current photos of everyone!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Altered Dress Form for Breast Cancer Charity Event

Stamp Salado, a stamp store in Salado, Texas, is sponsoring a charity auction of altered dress forms. The auction will be held on Sept. 28th. Twenty artists were invited to alter identical wire dress forms for the event and I was honored to be asked to participate. You can find more information here. Scroll down to the Charity Event. I think photos of all the dresses will be posted soon.

This is my entry. Initially, I didn't intend to make it pink for breast cancer - it just happened! I used a piece of text from an old book for the bodice, stamping with flourishes, scalloping the top edge and trimming with pink Stickles. On the back I added three white eyelets on each side and threaded the white rayon ribbon through, tying in a large bow.

The skirt was made with manila office tags. The bottom row has larger tags and the upper two tiers are from smaller ones. I painted each tag with gesso and then stamped flourish stamps into the wet gesso. After they dried, I wiped each tag with Tattered Rose Distress Ink and used the Fiskars scallop border punch on the bottom. The tags were all tied with white rayon ribbon to the dress form. I also attached flowers punched from text pages with black brads.

The challenge of this was attaching the tags into a full skirt without being too stiff or sticking out too much. I hope it travels well in the mail and will be well-received by bidders.

Please do check out the Stamp Salado site and bid on some of the dresses. This effort is for a very worth cause - one that has probably touched each and every one of us.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Withdrawal and other stuff!

I have become seriously addicted to my computer, e-mail and blog! It's been two weeks since we've had Internet service and will be another five days until they can get to us! In the meantime, I've been camping out at our library to get online. But I can't wait to be able to get online any time I want at any time of the day.

Here are a few things I've been working on this past week.

First is the assemblage I made at "playday" last week. My theme was "Paris" and is done in a wooden box which is available here. My friend, Gloria's, father makes these - they are well-made and very reasonable. The box itself was painted with several layers of paint as nothing seemed "quite right." The final layer is basically a metallic black with a metallic bronze glaze on top. You can't see all the details from the angle of the photo, but there are pieces of metallic candy wrapper on the back; a small perfume bottle on the top ledge; a tiny glass candle holder on the lower right. The gold fleur de lys was made from clay in a mold I made from a large brad I had. I used a Krylon gold pen to color it. On the top ledge I glued a piece of vintage black lace with beading. I have no idea what the brownish area on the top is - possibly a shadow.

I also finished some cards for a couple of classes this fall. Here are the Halloween/fall/Thanksgiving cards.

Here are the Christmas cards.

My favorite is the last one. I stamped and embossed the Santa collage on red cardstock and then used bleach to color in some of the areas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's been way too long!

You just can't believe the last few weeks. First, we spent a long weekend in Chicago with four of our daughters and the new fiance. It was a great time celebrating four birthdays (mine, my husband's, oldest daughter's and new fiance's) which all happen to be between August 19 and 23! And we also celebrated the new engagement and the upcoming move of my oldest daughter from Chicago to New York City.

But the bad news of the past few weeks is we haven't had Internet access! I have been trying to keep up with e-mails by using my neighbor's computer, but there is nothing like your own computer in your own home! I finally remembered that our new library would surely have WiFi so now I am making a daily trek there to stay connected! The worst part is we won't be re-connected until Sept 10th!!

Anyway, I have at least had time to get some art done. I took a class on my birthday - the project was a mystery and we received a list of supplies to bring, most of which we would have in our stash. We also brought an 11 x 14 canvas painted black, a 12x12" black piece of cardstock and four pieces cut 2" x 4" of eight coordinating patterned papers. Here is the home decor piece I made:

The black flower was cut with the Cricut and pink rhinestones added to the center. Everyone's came out so different, depending on the papers they brought. It was a fun time.

I will have more photos of some of the things I'm working on tomorrow. Need to get them uploaded.