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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone has a fun-filled and safe Halloween today and tonight! We don't get any trick-or-treaters at our new townhouse and I miss all the kiddies from our old neighborhood. We even had a Halloween parade through the neighborhood before dark and it was fun to see all the costumes.

Above is a Halloween shaker card I made with a white CD envelope - the ones with the cellophane circular window. I stippled with orange ink and stamped spider webs and spots with black. The witch is from a new stamp sheet from Artistic Outpost which I stamped on orange cardstock cut to fit inside the enelope. I added spider "confetti", then attached a dimensional sticky strip at the bottom before sealing the envelope. The dimensional gives just enough room so the confetti moves around. The sealed envelope was then attached to a 5 1/2" square black card.

This has been a crazy, busy week. Returned from our long weekend in Chicago on Monday night and have taught two days. Also celebrated a good friend's birthday with a day-long art day, voted early and went to the dentist for two crowns.

Hope to get caught up with sleep and art projects soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Homemade "Tim Holtz" Distress Ink Applicators

We are off on another quick weekend trip to Chicago tomorrow so I'm setting this up to post while I'm gone (hopefully it'll work!) Our "baby" Sara turns 21 on Monday! Very hard to believe - now all five kiddos are adults. Wow, that sounds surreal. So we will spend the weekend with her and another daughter who also lives in Chicago and return on Monday (figured the big girl didn't want to spend the birthday night celebrating with parents...so we will celebrate earlier).

I've finished my project with the Disney princess stamps. I'm wondering what my readers might have thought I would be doing with them. I have made them into my personal version of the Tim Holtz Distress Ink Applicators which are a bit expensive to have one for every color like he does!

This isn't my genius idea - I saw it here on Becca's blog. You can go to her site to see her wonderful tutorial and pictures on how to do it. This is a photo of mine finished. You can see one that's slightly yellow (I tested it) and that's the first one I did. I was freehand cutting and it turned out looking like a kindergartener made it (the photo is after much trimming!). After e-mailing her I found out she had used her Sizzix circle die with the Accucut machine. So I used a friend's Accucut to cut the rest. They turned out a bit smaller than the block because we didn't have the right size circle and ended up using a flower center. Hey, it works!

I love that I will have one for every color family at least and the wood block will help me keep my hands ink-free. These blocks are nicely finished and feel really nice in the hand.

If anyone plans to make their own, I will give you one big tip: get square blocks so you can have nice, smooth cut-n-foam tops!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gratitude Thanksgiving Book

I can finally post this! Tuesday was "Scrapstashers" class again and, as always, we are given a list of things to bring from our "stash" and we make a mystery project. Since it is a mystery, I can't post the project until after the Thursday class.

Here is the darling "I Am Thankful For..." Thanksgiving book we made. We took a small carvable pumpkin - about 6" - and cut it in half and sprayed with various Maya Road color mists. These are hollow, so we covered both open sides with chipboard and cardstock. Five pages were added to make up the book. Then we decorated the top.

In the picture below you can see the open book with the pages. I've decorated them a bit but will also add photos and journaling. I'd like to get the entire family to journal either what Thanksgiving means to them or what they are thankful for.

Here's a closeup of a few pages. I used the Bo Bunny fall line of papers, Beautiful Life, which are gorgeous. I love this little book - it will do double duty as both decor and a book of gratitude.


Monday, October 20, 2008


I just figured out how to add html to my blog to change the background! I am feeling so smart!

Thanks to my online friend, Veronica, who helped me out and pointed me to this great site for blog changes. How do you like the new look? I know, my header doesn't go with the background now, so that will be next on my list...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Busy days

It's been a busy few days. I taught two classes and also took one on Friday - that was exhausting! This is the canvas I made in class - I just love it. The larger canvas is 18" x 24" and the smaller one is 11" x 14". The wooden cross was painted a deep red and then sprayed with copper glimmer mist and edged with black ink. The medallion is inked with copper. Patterned papers were adhered to both canvases along with pieces of black metal embossed with various Cuttlebug folders. These were then sanded and alcohol inks added. There's even some embossed stamping! This looks great in so many areas of my home that I can't decide where to put it!

I received this beautiful glass coaster from my "inspiration mingle" partner. Remember the black lace skirt that was the inspiration for this month? Brenda used real black lace sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Then she added copper foil tape and used a patina solution on the tape which makes it look aged. This scan makes it look huge - it's really 3 1/2" x 5" which is great since you can still see some of it when a glass is placed on it. I love it - thanks so much Brenda!
And here's what I bought this week with my Michael's 50% off coupon. No, I haven't suddenly gone cutesy or gaga over Disney princesses. I have plans for altering this - I have already removed both the labels and the stamps. I will post the project in a few days...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It's raining for the second straight day here in Texas and I'm loving it. We need the rain and it's helping cool the temps down a bit. I also can't resist a good excuse to stay home and art away the day in my room.

I finished the last altered cabinet card! Yay! I did this one completely different from the others. I tore and glued on patterned papers for the background, then cut out the cabinet card image and layered it over the background. I embellished with vintage lace, buttons and some black snaps and hook-and-eyes. I feel almost guilty that there's no stamping on this one!

We also have to make some sort of container to hold the cards, so I used this suitcase-type box that contained an embellishment kit by Making Memories (Passport collection). The cards fit inside perfectly and I love the window on top. It also has a cute elastic closure that fits over a copper knob.

I used two 6" x 12" coordinating papers from a Crafty Secrets paper pack to cover the inside bottom of the box, the back and spine and around the front side. This paper pack also came with coordinating labels which I used on the spine and near the closure.

Although I had no plan when starting on the box, it worked out just perfectly as these are the only scraps remaining! How's that for serendipity?These will be going in the mail this week. They will be swapped out at the end of the month when I will receive six different cabinet cards and another box in return. Can't wait to see these!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

36 Years!

Today my hubby and I are celebrating our 36th anniversary! I just can't believe it's been that long - we certainly aren't that old, are we? It seems like just yesterday that our parents' were celebrating numbers like that!

Five children and lots of ups and downs later, we're still together. We went to a quiet new (for us) Italian restaurant tonight and toasted to another 36 years. Hmmm, not sure if we'll make that...

So I dedicate this post to my darling, wonderful, patient husband - I love you babe!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Proof Positive and 2 more Cabinet Cards

So here's proof positive that Tim was in TX on Saturday. I was lucky enough to be there early in the day - before the swarms of ladies surrounded him the remainder of the day. As usual, he was full of tips and information. For example, I have not one, but two, pairs of his Tonic scissors but never knew that there is no metal whatsoever in the handles - you can actually squeeze them together! That's what makes them so comfortable! Also, did you know that you can use alcohol inks to recolor silver glitter stickers whatever color you need? No need to buy every color in the rainbow - just silver! Just a few of the things I learned that day...

I've finished two more altered cabinet cards. This first scan is blurry - that's a 3D rusted key on the left which is very hard to scan. This was actually a bright gold key which I used Sophisticated Finishes 2-step rust antiquing on. I used the watercolor crayons again on the background after first gessoing and adhering scraps of text pages.

I love this precious baby photo. I used pink acrylic paint and a script stamp for the background and added a sticker border and word, text page Stickled wings, two hand cut hearts and some antique lace, tatting and button.

One more to go and then I need to work on the box/holder which will accompany them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Busy Saturday

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. It's still very warm here in Texas but today was a bit nicer and it's starting to cool down a little in the evenings.

First up today was to drop by my local Michael's in Hurst where they were having a grand "re-opening" - Tim Holtz was there demoing all day and there was a make-n-take using a butterfly cut from grungeboard which we painted with a paint dabber, sanded, inked, misted with water, wiped off and then sprayed with a "homemade glimmer mist" of water and Perfect Pearls. We then attached some of Tim's new findings, swivel clasps and round metal tags. You can see mine below.

Tim was his usual bubbly self, showing great techniques and aweing everyone! It was like old home week - lots of former Recollections customers and fellow employees showed up and we had a great reunion of our own. Someone took photos so as soon as I get copies I will post some.
I worked on more of the altered cabinet cards that are due for the swap soon. The backgrounds on these two were made with watercolor crayons. I just scribbled several colors randomly over the cabinet card (after first masking the image) and used a waterbrush to blend them. I then randomly stamped various stamps with black or brown Staz On and added some embellishments. I really like how the layers built up on the backgrounds.

And, last but not least, we went to the local Mid-Cities Annual Greekfest this evening. Our neighbor's friend was in charge of the entertainment and three of her daughters were dancing. The little five-year olds were adorable and did a great job. Of course, the older ones were fantastic. My hands are numb from all the clapping! The live music was great too and ... the food yummy! We brought extra baklava home - can't wait to sample it again tomorrow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Campaign for Creativity

"believe in your creative potential,
enjoy the creative process,
try something new,
explore new possibilities,
but most of all believe."
Everyone is creative. Just listen to your inner voice. Let it happen. Try new things. Don't be afraid. There are no mistakes - just creative opportunities! Just do it.
Donna Downey (http://donnadowney.typepad.com) has embarked on a Campaign for Creativity, trying to encourage everyone to believe in themselves and CREATE. Check out her blog - you will definitely be energized and inspired!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I finished my BOO banner this afternoon. I got the black glittery letters at Joann's awhile ago ($1 each) and wanted to make some kind of Halloween banner. I saw a tag banner on Kris Hurst's site that was so cute and, since I purchased her Halloween image CD last year, I decided to make these similar tags to add to the letters. I like how it came out! It's hanging on my kitchen bar that looks out into the family room. When I finally get around to getting out my Halloween and fall decorations, I will be decorating above it with some leaves and pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A few cards and a tag

Two friends have had surgery this week so I made some simple get well cards today. I used my new Stampin Up set, "Upsy Daisy", with the new "in" colors of Kiwi Kiss, Baja Breeze and Pacific Point. I love those colors together. I white embossed the daisies on white glossy paper and then swiped the Baja Breeze inkpad all over for the background.

I also finished a Halloween tag for an Inspiration Mingle for an online group. Every month a picture is posted for inspiration and you send your project to a mingle partner. Here is the photo for this month - a black lace skirt from the Coldwater Creek catalog.

The black lace on the skirt made me think of spider webs and Halloween, so I made an oversized Halloween tag. The background was embossed with a sparkly black embossing powder and vintage black lace and rick rack are sewn on the bottom. The images are from a Halloween image CD I purchased from Kris Hurst. Of course I had to add orange Stickles to a few of the hats; the others were colored with black glaze gel pens so they are a bit shiny.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Class tonight

Aren't these pretty? I made them in a class tonight taught by Tracy, the gal I teach with. These started as the cheap carvable pumpkins you can buy at any craft store this time of year. We layered on paints and glimmer mists and added lots of fall floral goodies to the tops. The photo just doesn't do justice to these - they are shimmery and look almost like glass. I love how they turned out! Thanks, Tracy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

several things...

First, I want to update everyone on the Breast Cancer Auction that was held last Sunday. You can read more here (scroll down to the Charity Success button), but the event was very successful. More than $1,100.00 was raised with the twenty altered dress forms! I was so proud to be part of this creative endeavor to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Here's a simple card I made today for a friend's upcoming wedding. I used the Cuttlebug heart embossing folder on the front and used a Martha Stewart punch on both sides of the strip I attached to the left side. The wedding cake is a Michael's $1 stamp which I embossed in silver and layered on a scalloped silver metallic square. Sorry for the shadows in the poor scan - scanner doesn't like lumpy bows or white on white!

I finished the first of my six altered cabinet cards for a swap with an online group. Cabinet cards are formal photograph portraits from the 1870's to the 1920's. They are usually on a single panel of stiff cardboard or matboard and sometimes have a decorative embossed or printed frame. Usually the name of the photography studio is printed on the front. They do not have an easel back so were typically propped on a cabinet or sideboard, hence the name.

For the swap, we are to make six altered cabinet cards and will receive six different ones back. I could not bring myself to use the original, so made a copy and mounted it on heavy matboard, approximately 4" x 6". I gessoed around the figure and then randomly swiped several blue acrylic paints over the gesso. Then I tore text from a book and glued pieces in several places. Next I stamped some swirls in blue ink and some text in brown and gessoed over this lightly. I stamped snowflakes with gesso and sprinkled glitter on while wet. Final touches are the words made with a label maker, a crown punched from silver paper and covered with Stickles and some Stickles along the bottom.

This was so much fun - can't wait to get to the other five!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

a whirlwind few days

Stop the world, I want to get off - for a nap at least! The last few days have been a blurr. Thursday I taught two classes from 10 am to 3 pm and today had a class from 10 am to 1 pm (which lasted til 2).

And yesterday four good friends and I went to Canton, TX, for "First Monday Trade Days." Canton is a typical little Texas town of 3500 which happens to also be a county seat. Trade Days started in the 1850's when the District Judge would stop in the town to hold court on the first Monday of every month. As people came to town for legal matters, they would also bring goods, produce and livestock to sell or trade. This has now grown into quite an experience. The town hosts approximately 7000 vendors and 300,000 people on a typical weekend before the first Monday of every month.

There are metal bunker-type "pavilions" which have roofs and cement slabs but are open on the sides. Vendors set up their "booths" and sell arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, just about anything you can think of. At this time of year especially, there's tons of seasonal decorations, floral arrangements and gift items. It's so huge, there is no way you could see everything in several days, much less one day.

We usually take a girls' road trip for this several times a year. It's a long day with two hours' driving each way. Yesterday was hot and very crowded, but we had a great time, spent some money, ate some junk food and, most of all, spent pleasurable hours with good friends.

Here are a few of the things I bought. Doesn't look like much when you get it home, but it feels like alot when you're paying for it and carting it around!

Three pumpkins for $3.50 each! These will look cute with some fall leaves for a centerpiece.

Love these little holiday hangers. The Happy Hallween and Merry Christmas are covered with glitter; the Happy Holidays is a magnet!

I absolutely fell in love with this shabby bird. He will be nestled in some snow-frosted greenery for Christmas time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Art Friend

I met a new art friend at the art retreat a few weekends ago. We each drove about 100 miles to the retreat and we live less than five miles from each other! Yesterday LaDonna graciously highlighted my blog and my cancer auction altered dress on her blog.

LaDonna does beautiful and meticulous paper cutting. I don't know how she has the patience for such detail and fine work. Visit her blog at : http://ladonnawelter.blogspot.com/ to see her lovely work. She is also a member of a group of primitive artists that sell their work on http://www.tdiptmercantile.com/ so check that out as well.

Here is a very simple card I made yesterday for a friend's birthday. It snuck up on me, so I had to do something fast and get it in the mail! The scan is horrible - the bow is baby pink; the blue is baby blue; and what shows as yellow on the bottom of the card is actually a green like what is near the scalloped border. Love that little bird $1 stamp and the simple Martha Stewart border punch.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another round robin page

I've finished yet another of the round robin pages for my local stamp group. Laura's book is made from regular CDs - she punched holes and attached them together with a large ring clip. Her theme is "Fruit of the Spirit" and she wanted bright "fruity" colors.

I chose faithfulness and used deep purple cardstock on the front of my page. Unbelievably, I only had one cross stamp and nothing with faith! For the background I stamped the cross stamp with Versamark and wiped over it with silver Perfect Pearls. I filled in the center cross with a silver Krylon pen, attached the cross charm and added silver Stickles. I borrowed a stamp for the wording and cut it up. The "faith" metal embellishment was part of a $1 package and I used alcohol inks to color it. I heat-embossed a glittery silver embossing powder around the edges.

On the back, I adhered a song page from an old hymnal, stippled it with purple ink and coated it with a sparkle glaze. I think the ink ran but I like the mottled coloration. The scripture is, again, a borrowed stamp. Then I added purple and silver fibers at the top.

Only two more books to work in! Can't wait to see my own finished book.