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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another round robin page

I spent this afternoon working on another book for my local stamp club's round robin project. This is Karen's book with a theme of Heirloom Recipes. She wanted a family recipe with the story behind it.

I used my mother's recipe for raised donuts which she made all the time my brothers and I were growing up. We loved watching her work the dough and were always fascinated when they rose to double their size. And the best part was eating them fresh from the oven dusted with powdered sugar!

Since Karen loves the vintage look, I used an antiqued brown color scheme with a punch of red. The background is paper from Flair Designs called "Bake Off" - very appropriate for this. I distressed it and aged it with brown ink. The "Old Family Recipes" in the upper left corner is part of the paper - I covered it with a piece of mica and added the metal corner stickers.

I copied and reduced my mother's handwritten recipe, crumpled it and aged it. The baking utensils are all stickers. On the right page, I journaled on a little card, added a sticker at the top and tucked it inside a vellum envelope which I stamped. The little measuring spoons are a plastic embellishment I bought ages ago on which I tied some twill ribbon imprinted with cooking utensils.

The photo is of my mom in the early 1950's. I covered a slide holder with vintage wallpaper (I actually think we may have had something very similar in our kitchen back then) and used it as a frame for the pictures. I hope Karen will like it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Where have I been?

Busy, but not doing much art this week. This has been doctor appointment week - all those routine annual checkups that take a chunk out of each day. So now at least I have a clean bill of health, new contacts ordered and future dental work to be done.

I did teach my postcard class on Thursday night to a very enthusiastic class. Most students are primarily scrappers so sewing on fabric and paper, stamping and doing techniques like transfers are out-of-the-box for them, but they loved it.

Tuesday night was my local stamp club's monthly meeting. This month we had an altered gift card swap. Everyone took a gift card - like those given out at just about every store now - one without any $ on it of course! The altered results were imaginative, unique and awesome. Six of us participated and each was very different.

This is the front of mine. It started as a Target wedding gift card - the white pierced scallop edge was already on it and there was a wedding cake in the center. I gessoed over the front since it was slick and ink would not stick. Then I masked off the edges, stippled a robin's egg blue ink in the center and stamped with a script/bird stamp (from A Time to Stamp unmounted sheet - note: this company no longer in business). Then I stamped the bird's nest (Invoke Arts) twice, colored with watercolor pencils and layered them at the bottom of the card for dimension. I didn't scan the back but I used a "grungy" blue paper on the back, glued on a large blue egg image and overstamped with "Love warms every nest" (from a Crafty Secrets stamp set). Blue sheer ribbon was added for hanging.

The cards were all so unique! Julie used two oriental cards from World Market and make a little red booklet out of the paper card carrier. She cut up the images on the two cards, added some Jolee stickers and made a neat Asian collage. Debbie used some girlfriend images from Crafty Secrets on both sides of her card and clear embossed both sides. She added letter bubble stickers, flowers, fancy brads, a frame - darling. Mette covered her card with textured stencil paste and Pearl Ex for a beautiful shimmery background in which she embedded lots of beads, a large key and a circular image with Diamond Glaze over it for dimension. Laura used black paper to cover her card, cutting a rectangle out of the center to make a frame for a black and white photo of our group. She added black and white ribbons for a very cute presentation. And Cathy covered her card with an old photo of her mother and herself as a baby at the beach. She then covered this with vellum and some beach stickers, hanging it from a small vintage-looking little hanger. She also hung a tiny chipboard word cutout from the bottom with a little sunglasses charm - precious.

I did not have my camera with me but some of the other gals took a group photo of all the cards together, so I will post that when they share. So now, when you look at all those gift cards at the checkout line, think of all the possibilities for altering them into great little art works!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Cards

Just a couple of simple cards I made this weekend for a friend. The first one uses a Hero Arts tree stamp and a new Tonic border punch. The red hearts on the tree were punched with the same punch. The background was stamped with Versamark and a heart stamp. Inside I used a new stamp I bought at the recent stamp convention that says "happy everything." Unfortunately there's no company name on the stamp so I don't know who makes it.
The second one is a matchbook style card. The top lifts out from the lower border. I made this mostly from the black and white scraps left over from the altered composition books/wedding planners I made last week. The friends stamp is a $1 stamp from Michael's and the white borders were made with a Martha Stewart border punch. Inside I attached a scissors charm for my friend with a little friendship poem.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bits of This and That

I have been working on some postcards for a class next week. There are four with different techniques for each. In the upper left corner is a fabric postcard with some stamping on muslin. This is stitched on a machine. In the upper right I used a Cuttlebug folder and inked one side of the folder before inserting the paper and running it through the CB machine. It was embossed and colored at the same time. The lower right postcard is a simple "scrapbook" type card with room for a small photo. The background is stamped. The last one on the lower left has a painted and stamped background. I used a white gel pen to outline some areas of the design to make it pop. The focal point is a tape transfer added to a torn piece of music paper.

Today I was at Walmart picking up a prescription and decided to check out the Martha Stewart products in the craft section. I didn't buy any of those, but I did purchase a stamp pad I had not seen before. It's called Stampology and is made by Autumn Leaves. It says that it is specially formulated for clear stamps. As soon as I got home, I tried it out on some brand new clear stamps that had not been inked before. The impressions are very nice - the ink didn't bead up like some other inks do and I did not have to condition the clear stamps either. I suspect this might have something to do with the fact that the inkpad is not really juicy. There were only black pads there today so I don't know if they come in other colors. The good thing is they were approximately $2.00! I have also had good luck with the Palette inks with clear stamps.

Today's mail brought my two new Donna Downey stamps from Art Declassified. I love these! They are approximately 3" x 3 1/2" and are mounted on EZ Mount. They were packaged very nicely in separate clear CD cases. I can't wait to play with these. If you haven't seen this stamp company before, check them out as they have really nice stamps and they ship quickly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Engagement Projects

I'm still floating on Cloud Nine from the recent engagement announcement and can hardly concentrate on anything! So, I've been making some fun stuff for my daughter. I didn't post these earlier on the chance she might possibly visit my blog, but she should receive them in the mail today or tomorrow so here goes.

Instead of sending an engagement card, I made her this little ornament from a juice concentrate lid. It was super easy to punch the holes for the ribbon with the crop-a-dile (love that tool!). First I spray painted the lid black and then applied gold leaf. The background is patterned paper and the couples image is from a free collage sheet from www.digitalcollagesheets.com. Sorry for the blurry scan - the text that I cut from a book page says "love is in the air."

Here is the back side. I gold-embossed the "To Love and Cherish", wrote a congratulatory note underneath and added the date of the engagement.

Every bride-to-be needs a wedding planner, right? So I made her this from an inexpensive school composition book. I used supplies I had on hand because I didn't want to wait for a trip to the store! I used my new Fiskars scallop border punch, wide and narrow black satin ribbons, a bit of old lace and two black and white patterned papers. The tabs were made with the SU tab punch. The metal book plate is from Basic Grey - Big Lots had a bunch of these really cheap recently and I stocked up. I used a set of Image Tree alphabet stamps for the title and my favorite heart stamp from Stampington.
Can you believe I didn't have any other black and white papers in my stash for the inside covers, so I used a SU jumbo wheel with black ink on white cardstock. I added a scalloped pocket and stamped "Follow your dreams" from Just for Fun Rubberstamps.
I had so much fun making this! I had enough of the cover papers to make another one, so I am making a similar planner for ME!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Great personal news!

This isn't art related, but it's an exciting personal milestone.

Our daughter is engaged! She and her boyfriend of approximately a year called us Thursday just a few hours after arriving home from their ten day trip to Argentina. They totally surprised us, as we were expecting the dutiful "we're back safe and sound" phone call and were looking forward to hearing about the trip.

We are so very thrilled! Our five children are all so independent and work and live in large cities, traveling frequently, that we wondered if we would ever have a wedding in the family!

They both live in Albuquerque where we lived for nineteen years before moving to Texas nine years ago. Not sure of any plans yet but New Mexico in the spring or early summer would be a beautiful venue for the wedding.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"Secret Garden" Altered Book

My altered book from the four-month round robin has finally returned home! It was almost like Christmas to receive this and unveil each lovely page. Three other people worked in my book and made some amazing pages. Thank you Kris, Pat and Carole from the bottom of my heart!

Here are the spreads Carole made:

The background on this first page is a napkin I think - so pretty. Love that paper lace too.

I love the window on the second spread - there is a transparency inside and you can see the floral picture from the next spread. Great idea!

Next are Pat's pages. My fav is the first one which is a copy of an original drawing Pat made.

Love these colorful flower girls!

The scans of the veggie and fruit pages above don't do justice to the detailed colored pencil work Pat did - very nice!

And here are Kris' pages. The first spread has an "evidence" book on the left side (second picture shows the opened book). Check out that darling button fringe on the right page!

The flower spread was done with oil pastels and has such a lovely finish. I think this was all freehand - lovely Kris! Isn't that ladybug the cutest?

The last spread is a tranquil oriental garden - I would never have thought of that! I love the Asian text and images.

I am so pleased with my book. I have lots of empty pages too and plan on doing more work in this. I still have to finish the front cover as well. Thank you all for sharing your art with me!