June 30, 2010

A Great Trip

We got home from Denver on Monday night - we had such a fabulous time visiting with my brother and his family.  I got to spend lots of time with my two nieces and they are INCREDIBLE!  I took it upon myself to bring some stamps so we could play - I think I've successfully created two new stamping MONSTERS!  Yay!  Here's some of the highlights of our trip.

Rocky Mountain National Park - still LOTS of snow up there!  We were at about 12,000 ft. elevation.

Jack and I went out early Friday morning and did a little exploring in Idaho Springs - an adorable little mountain town - with a rushing mountain stream running through the town where the gold rush began!

They had an awesome shop called the Wild Grape - I loved their sign...  and I got a cool pendant with a vintage picture of a woman with a cello and the words "Artsy Fartsy" printed across it, old typewriter collage style - it ROCKS.... I'll have to take a pic and share...

Friday afternoon we had a fashion show after I took the my nieces to lunch and a shopping spree for all the missed birthday shopping trips.  OK, I know I'm their aunt and all, so I'm definitely prejudiced, but aren't they gorgeous!!!?

Then we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater - what an awesome place... wish we could have seen a concert there...
On our last night we went downtown to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner - what a cool place!  Atmosphere was amazing - OLD train station turned restaurant - with a real train car inside and more stained glass and exposed beams than you can imagine.  And the food was fabulous!

We had a wonderful time, great weather, great times with family, amazing sites, couldn't have been any better.  We've decided to stay home this weekend (no campground - just need some time at home) so hopefully I'll have some new creations to post soon. 

My on-line class with Claudine Hellmuth starts tomorrow!  Can't wait!

Happy summer, safe travels, and happy crafting!


June 20, 2010

Sunday Stamper - I'm "Back"

Hello again!

Sorry I've been out of touch all week - I had big plans to participate in lots of on-line technique groups this week, but alas, I threw my back out and have been on the sofa with the heating pad as my trusted companion since last Sunday night.  I am SOOO glad to be feeling better, and was able to finish my project for LAST week's Sunday Stamper.... lucky for me the project I finished fits this week's theme - METAL - too.  (phew!)

I seem to have tunnel vision for the whole 10:36 art "thing" - I suppose it's because I'm so excited to finally have a way to share my work with any and all who care to see - and I actually have a NAME for "my art" that is just so, well, (or as Hels would say "erm"), ME!    Bare with me.... I will branch out into other things eventually...

I wanted to do a wall-hanging, Wendy Vecchi style, and this certainly fits that description.  Once it was done I realized that I incorporated items from almost every Ranger designer (sorry, Suze, I didn't fit Melt Art / UTEE in this time --- hmmmm goal to work on that soon....).  BUT - this project has products from Tim Holtz (grungeboard, grungepaper, idea-ology, flourish stamp, sizzix die and on-the-edge die, alcohol ink to color the hanging crystals from Maya Road, rock candy distress stickles on the flowers), Claudine Hellmuth STUDIO paint (used to paint the 10:36 art, and used to stamp the TH flourish), and even though Wendy isn't TECHNICALLY a Ranger designer - she's a Ranger demonstrator - AND she was at the highly coveted Ranger U this weekend (I swear one day I will get myself together and APPLY because I SOOOO want to have that experience) - anyway - the flowers and leaves are by Wendy Vecchi - LOVE her.... I'm really "tickled" with how it came out!  I believe all (or very close to all) products used are available from eclectic Paperie.

I won't be posting for a couple weeks - because Jack and I are leaving on Wednesday morning to go to Denver to see my brother and his family!  I can't wait to spoil my two nieces - don't get enough chances to do that in person.  Then we'll be heading to our camper for 4th of July weekend.  By the time I get back I'll be in a creative frenzy and very ready to start creating!

If any of you are interested in exploring the world of sticky-back canvas --- great opportunity --- I've signed up for Claudine Hellmuth's 12-week online class, called "@ Home with Claudine Hellmuth" - see the badge on my sidebar if you're interested - there is still time to sign up!  There's a great sneak peek video on Claudine's blog that shows many of the techniques we'll be learning!  There's also an interview between Claudine and BigPictureScrapbooking (they are sponsoring the class) on her blog.  The first class is on July 1 - can't wait!

I'll definitely be sharing the techniques I learn in Claudine's class - I've been wanting to play with her paints and canvas for a long time - excited to get started!

Be well, hope you all are enjoying the summer - don't forget to take time to do something creative!

~ ellen.

June 12, 2010

Sunday Stamper - My First Entry

Happy Saturday!

Ever have one of those Saturdays that, despite how convinced you are on Monday thru Friday that you could literally sleep all day, your brain starts firing at an insanely early hour on the weekend?!?  Yes, that's me today.  It's now 5:06 am and I've been up since 4:30, made coffee, did some dishes, and now I'm ready to CREATE!

I've been following Hels Sheridan in the U.K. for several months now, thanks to Wendy Vecchi for posting a link to her blog!!!  Hels runs a weekly challenge called The Sunday Stamper.  I've been watching on the sidelines for long enough and I'm ready to post my first entry.  This week's theme is LETTERS.  Just so happens I made a tag last weekend that fits the bill perfectly!

Since I just started this blog, I wanted to do a tag that would represent my endeavor to share my projects in a more public arena.  I've had the large medallion stamp from Stampin' Up for quite a while  and wanted to incorporate that into the tag.   (Major goal - make it my business to use every stamp I've had for a long time but have never used!)

I started with the large medallion stamp - stamped it in white pigment ink and then heat embossed with white embossing powder.  Then I used my ink blending tools to add several colors of distress ink on the tag background - the area that was embossed resists the distress ink - love this technique.  Once you're happy with the color in the background, just spritz a paper towel with a little water and gently wipe the ink from the embossed area - works like a charm.  Added some script in aged mahogany DI (distress ink) to add some interest to the background.

Now, the fact that the clock fit perfectly into the center of the medallion made it one of those easy "meant to be" choices.  I love those!  (Note the clock is set to 10:36!)

Then, since I wanted to "represent" - I added some grungeboard letters in my initials that I painted with a thick coat of brushed pewter distress crackle paint.  I let these dry overnight and then added them to the tag with glossy accents.

Then added the memo pin with the SOAR tag (both from TH idea-ology) - let's hope the blog really takes off ("soars")- I can't imagine a huge number of people wanting to check in with me regularly, but I've seen many other people say the same thing - and somehow, through that "I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on... and so on..." phenomenon --- it spreads!  You never know...

Hope you all enjoy the weekend!  Thanks for stopping by - I'm off to the studio to play!

~ ellen.

June 11, 2010

the art of compassion

I've had a busy week but had to share this story with you all.  Earlier this week I was outside at lunch time with two friends.  We were just sitting in the sun enjoying a nice break when we looked down and saw that there was a tiny hummingbird on the sidewalk, obviously injured.  Our office building is covered in mirrored panels and she must have flown into the building (poor thing!).  Well,  my one of my friends is a HUGE animal lover - she flew into what I call "Momma Mode"... she went inside, got a box with a lid, cut holes in the lid, lined it with napkins and even put in a little cup of water.  She was able (with great fear of further injuring the bird) to scoop the bird into the box.  As soon as we went inside she got online, called animal rescue, and delivered the bird to them with the help of my other friend.

I was so blown away by the lengths they went to, to save a little hummingbird.  I wish I could say that I would have done the same, but in all honesty I probably would have noticed the bird, felt terribly that it had gotten injured, and resigned myself to the likelihood that the bird wouldn't make it, and went on my way (shame on me!). 

Well, an hour later, they returned to the office and told us that the people at animal rescue were able to straighten out the bird's wing and they said she (we assumed that she was a SHE, and dubbed her "Henrietta Hummingbird") would be just fine!   My heroes!

My sister-in-law is a HUGE hummingbird fan and I knew she had some hummingbird stamps, so I stopped by her house on the way home that night to borrow them.  I was so impressed with my friends that I had to do something to show them how awesome they are.  This is what I came up with.

I stamped the main image using Ranger's black archival ink and then used distress inks to color in the image with an aqua painter (just smear the ink pad on a non-stick craft sheet, spritz with water using a mini mister, and pick up the ink with your aqua paint brush - I LOVE this method of coloring in images).  I added some highlights using the Inkssentials white pen and added a clear Dew Drop to the center of the large purple flower.  Then I stamped the Thanks So Much and punched it out with a Stampin' Up punch, matted it on black cardstock and trimmed it up.  Voila!  In hindsight, some perfect pearls or glimmer mist would have been a nice touch on the background paper.... aaahh that hindsight... gets me every time...

The greeting on the inside was written as if the card was from "Henrietta" and was even signed "Henrietta Hummingbird".    It was one of those cards that just made itself - I was so inspired by their heroic efforts.

Lesson learned.... never give up... a little bit of extra effort just might save a life (however small)! 

Enjoy your weekend and take time to create!

~ ellen.

June 5, 2010

Garden Art

Hi all!  Last weekend we improved a bed in our garden to tie it in with the rest of the yard.  this morning i was up at 6:00 am and in the garden by 6:30 - planting, planting, planting!  Here's a pic of the existing gardens.  They are mostly perennials, which I love because they just come back year after year.  I always fill in the borders and gaps with annuals for some bright color.

Now, the other side of the shed has a complimentary garden and it's all planted up with lots more perennials, plus some annuals as well.

 Also, this year we have our first vegetable garden!  It's doing SO well!  We have sunflowers, tomatoes (beefsteak and grape), zucchini, summer squash, sugar snap peas, green beans, arugula, mesclun greens, rosemary, basil, oregano and sage.

And what would a garden be without a few guardians to keep watch:

Tomorrow I'm headed to a friend's house for a Stampin' Up! party.  My good friend Connie is a SU demonstrator and always creates such beautiful projects for us!  Looking forward to seeing my gang of friends.  

Hope you enjoy the weekend and take time to do something FUN!

~ ellen.