August 29, 2010

Hotsie Swapsie

(***Seeeeee???? I did it too!!! That play on words thing.... figured I better come up with something clever since Hels was so tricky with the title for her blog post**) 

If you've been following along, you'll know that I just participated in my first *swapsie* with the fabulously talented, wonderfully waffling, gorgeously grungeful, and equally as slightly bat sh*t CRAZY *Hels Sheridan*. 

For those of you who have ever wanted to leave a comment on someone's blog, but you weren't sure it was quite appropriate, or didn't want to seem presumptuous... take a lesson from me and DO IT.  This swap came to be when I noticed that Hels was asking around the Everything Wendy Vecchi Yahoo Group to see if people in the UK wanted to do a swap.  I had been admiring Hels' work for months and was so wishing I lived in the UK so I could participate in a swap with her.... so I sent her an email saying just that!  Well, next thing you know, I got an email back from HER! saying, and I quote, "I'm up for a swapsie if you fancy!"  YAY!!   Sign me up!!!

So, we decided to do a three-for-three tag swap, using the style of either Tim Holtz or Wendy Vecchi.  You saw the incredible creations that Hels made for me yesterday, so I thought I would share the things I made for Hels here, too.

First up was my "Wendy" tag.... I was lucky enough to grab some of her brand new stamps before they hit the stores, so I definitely wanted to use them!  This tag uses the new layers of script flowers which are just DIVINE.  Cut them out of grungepaper and inked them up with DI - same approach for the stem and leaves.  Used two of Wendy's new background stamps and used one of Tim's die cuts for the ribbon/label across the bottom.  The bingo chip in the middle of the flower is by Maya Road.

Second up was my "Tim" tag...

Can't get enough of the bird-cage die cut from Tim's Alterations line with Sizzix.  I wanted the cage to look like old rusty metal so I sprinkled it with several different colors of distress embossing powder (walnut brown, vintage photo, peeled paint and antique linen), added some small brads to the bottom and smashed them to look like rivets.  Linked several jump rings together to make a chain, hung it from the trinket pin.  Background was a combo of script and floral stamps, then painted a thick layer of rock candy crackle paint down one side.  Added the "Soar" ticket with a memo pin - VOILA!

Now, because I have been spending my summer with Claudine Hellmuth, taking her 12-week online class, I've been sort of obssessed with paint, so I added a Claudine tag as well (with Hels' consent, since it's not what we agreed to...)

I used the faux batik technique - stamping the flower stamp in gesso on sticky back canvas, and then painted a layer of watered down paints over the gesso.  I love this look!  Then I spritzed the whole tag with Pearl glimmer mist, and added some pearl accents with Viva's pearl pen.  Added the scallop edge at the bottom and hung type charms spelling out Hels' name, along with the "laugh" and "love" charms.  (*little did I know that Hels would also use type charms with my initials on one of the tags she made for me!   we've decided we must be long-lost sisters*)  Used this jewelry finding to hang the tag from.

I also had to throw in a little extra for her, so I sent her some foam stamps that I made using Craft Foam sheets and Tim Holtz Alterations dies!  Easy... and instant foam stamps!  (*sorry I don't have a pic of them yet, and my camera battery just died!!! drat the timing!*)

We've been emailing like mad ever since, and having a ball.  We are all so lucky to be part of such a fabulous community of crafters.  If you want to get more involved - leave comments, start your own blog, and if you want to do a swap with someone - GO FOR IT!  I was so nervous to ask Hels because I think her work is just so wonderful (so I was a little intimidated!), but it was the best thing I could have done because now I have a great new friend, too!

Looking forward to another week!  New challenges coming, another class with Claudine... life is good.

See you soon!


~ ellen.

August 28, 2010


Hello blog-land!

For those of you that also follow the lovely Hels Sheridan's Ink On My Fingers blog, you know that Hels and I just did our first SWAP (Hels & Els!).  Hels got my package earlier this week, and today..... I GOT MY PACKAGE FROM HELS!  My husband brought it in the front door and I literally **squealed** with delight!

This package was chock full of the most AMAZING ART!!!  Our swap was to do 3 tags each --- so I got 1 tag in "Tim" style, and 2 tags in "Wendy" style!  All three are just LUSH and LOVELY - that doesn't even do it justice.... THEY ROCK!  Here they are!!

THEN, she stuffed in all sorts of goodies and extras (little and BIG) too!

Here's the altered box frame - look at all those gorgeous grunge flowers & butterflies!

And here's the wall-hanging - YUMMO!!!

PLUS, extra distress stickles, a wooden heart to alter, stamps from The Artistic Stamper, and literally the coolest card I've ever received in my life.... I'm falling madly in love with Stampotique Stamps!!  I am not a fan of the whole "goth" look, but these stamps are just so quirky and cool... I can't stand it... I MUST have them!!!  :) 

Plus I won the much coveted "Freddie Mercury" ATC on Hels' blog, so I got that too!!

I am SO thankful to Hels for making such beautiful work for me!  But more than that, I am happy and grateful to have a new friend!  Now, if we could work out that darned DISTANCE thing.... I wish we could hang out and make art together!!  Better start saving my pennies.... I see a trip to the U.K. in my future.... (I hope!)

If you want to see what I made for Hels, click HERE.... to see it on her blog....

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!  And don't forget to stop by and visit Hels tomorrow for The Sunday Stampers weekly challenge!


~ ellen.

August 27, 2010

Sunday Stamper - You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Hi everyone!

Wanted to sneak my entry for the Sunday Stamper in under the wire... deadline is fast approaching with the time diff in the UK!  If you haven't joined in the inky madness with the Sunday Stampers' fabulously funny and delightful Hels, click HERE to check it out.  You'll have a ball just reading her blog!  Yes, she is funny, but also delightfully nice too - and UBER-talented!!!! I'm so glad to call her a friend.

I haven't made any cards in quite a while so I thought I'd share this set I made recently.  I love the bright colors of these cards.

I started with these adorable flower stamps from Hero Arts.  Stamped them onto white cardstock, and then colored them in by smooshing distress inks on the craft sheet, spritzing with water, and then used my waterbrush to color them in.  This is one of my favorite coloring techniques.  Then I cut them out, mounted them with pop dots on coordinating card stock, mounted that on white paper with the scallop punch edge, added the "thanks" stamp and the "bling" - and there you have it!  I even went so far as to stamp the envelopes with the same stamp.

And then used my Scor-Pal to make a box for the set:

This is quick way to make a gift for a friend! Hope you have a wonderful crafty weekend!


~ ellen.

August 25, 2010

Simon Says Stamp & Show - Tim Holtz

Hi everyone!

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp & Show challenge is anything/everything Tim Holtz!  Can't go wrong...

I actually made this about a year ago (pre-blog) so I thought I'd share it with you all.  I followed this project on one of Tim's DVD's - can't remember if it was the first or second.... I call it the Pinwheel Mini Tag Book.

There are detailed instructions on the DVD, but basically this book is made up of three 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of light weight paper, that when folded, form two of these little pockets.  So I made three of them and then strung them all together and made a mini tag to go inside each of the little pockets.

I made this when I was fairly new to "Tim's World" and I was desperately trying to break out of the "perfect stamping" mode and "Embrace ImperfeKtion"

I had just bought my first sets of Tim stamps and I was determined to experiment and play with them, without any specific PURPOSE except to embrace the concept of playing and trying not to be "perfect".  I wanted to embrace the MESSY a little!  I took a shot of all the tags together to save you from having to scroll through all of them individually.

But, if you're interested in scrolling through them all. here they are:

Yes all the mini pix are of ME....
The tags are pretty simple when I compare them to my current work, but I had such fun playing with these at the time and I love the way the project came out in the end.  I keep it in my studio to remind me to embrace imperfeKtion.... a little mess goes a long way....

Have a great day - see you soon.


~ ellen.

WOYWW - I'm back for more!

Hi everyone,

Here it is Wednesday again already - time for the WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday) madness.  If you haven't seen it before, pop over to Julia's blog and check it out - it's so fun to see how others desks look - what they're working on - what their studios/ craft rooms look like...

Last week I shared my first few pix of my room, so this week I thought I'd share a view of the whole room.  I must admit, I'm a bit of a "neat freak" so no interesting messes to look at, just a few distinct piles waiting to be sorted out... Here's a long view of the room.

 And here's some pix of the little areas that are hard to see in the long view:

Have fun browsing!  Must remember to start taking pix on Tuesday night --- I'm gonna be late for work!  Gotta run!  See you around the WOYWW-blogosphere!


~ ellen.

August 24, 2010

@ Home with Claudine - Week 8

Hi everyone,

This week with Claudine our project was to do a sampler.  The assignment was to pick our favorite techniques from the class so far, and then assemble 2x2 squares of those techniques onto an 8x8 canvas.  I decided to pick my VERY favorite technique (faux batik) and use all of my favorite Tim Holtz stamps to do that one technique.

Here's the result:

I started by painting the canvas brown.  Then chose three colors that would coordinate, and did the faux batik technique (stamp image in gesso onto sticky back canvas, dry, and then paint over with watered down paint) on nine 2x2 squares of canvas, mounted onto 2x2 chipboard squares.  Then mounted each square in a grid pattern on an 8x8 canvas using multi medium as adhesive.

Keeping it short today.  Happy crafting!  See you soon.


~ ellen.

August 23, 2010

CCC - Blended Batik


This week's theme over on Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge (CCC) is blended batik.  If you turn to page 36 in Tim's book, you'll find the how-to's for this technique.  As always, if you're interested in this book, go to Tim's site HERE - if you order it from him, he'll sign it for you!!!

I've never tried this technique before, but I quite like it!  I used this technique, and then added the script stamp in vintage photo DI over the background.  Then I used an oval scallop frame by Maya Road - inked the center with Brushed Sage DI, and painted the actual frame with Antique Linen crackle paint.  Once dried, I inked in the crackled parts with Vintage Photo DI.  Stamped the sentiment in the center, added stitching and "squiggles" with black Pigma pen. 

Then added these incredible new flowers by Prima --- I must confess I now feel like I'm cheating when I use a pre-made flower, rather than taking the time to make a paper or grunge flower myself.... however, these flowers are drop dead gorgeous, dontcha think?  Lots of flower themes going on this week, so I'll get to the handmade ones soon.

And finally, added this new crochet trim by Maya Road.  Such a soft intricate texture - love it!  Just arrived in the mail today.  I have a feeling this will be showing up a lot in the coming weeks and months!

Lots more to work on this week - see you soon!


~ ellen.

August 22, 2010

Lots To Do - Beads & Buttons

Hi everyone!

This week's theme on the Lots To Do challenge is Buttons and/or Beads. 

I've been wanting for a long time to do some playing with my melting pot / UTEE and mold 'n pour.  I finally did it!  Made my first molds this week:

But now, the challenge is to USE them in some ART.  So I thought it wise to start small - I chose a 4x4 canvas.  Started by painting the entire canvas in traditional tan paint (by Claudine Hellmuth), then globbed a mess of Terra (thick medium by VIVA that dries like a terra cotta finish) over the whole piece, leaving a few areas for the canvas to show through.

 Wrapped the entire canvas using TH tissue tape - distress inked over the entire piece in various areas, swiped some gold "paste" medium (also from VIVA) over the inked areas, added some gold and patina stickles for some "bling". 

Decided on a molded piece to use, and discovered that it fit PERFECTLY over the oval Ornate Frame!  Love that serendipity.... :)   Added the "Breathe" tag to a trinket pin.  Wrapped some gold beading cord randomly around the whole canvas, added some beads, and glued everything in place with multi medium.  Voila!  My first official altered canvas and UTEE mold!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.... I'll be back with more later this week.


~ ellen.

August 20, 2010

Blog Candy from The Artistic Stamper

Good morning all,

Just a quickie this morning ---- wanted to let you all know about a great giveaway of blog candy over at the Artistic Stamper, run by Jennie & Hels!  Click HERE or over on the sidebar, leave a comment on their blog for a chance to win!  Good luck to all!


~ ellen.

August 19, 2010

Simon Says Stamp & Show - THE Wendy Vecchi!!!

Hi everyone!

I haven't been able to join in with this incredible new challenge site yet, but I'm so excited about it!  It's called the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog challenge.  It focuses on vintage style products and techniques (aka Wendy Vecchi & Tim Holtz, Graphic 45, etc.), which is right up my alley!  If you want to check it out, go to their website HERE

This week's theme is to use stamps by none other than THE fabulous, THE "she loves to make art" artist, THE Wendy Vecchi!  If you're not familiar with her stamping/creating/art, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go check out her Studio 490 blog HERE.  I just love her style!  All the stamps used in this tag are available from Simon Says Stamp.

I really wanted to "rock" this challenge, because I just LOVE Wendy's style.  I started by creating a mottled distressed background with distress inks.

Then I stamped the background of the tag with stamps from Wendy's "Be Happy Make Art" and "She Created Art" sets.  I am in LOVE with the random circles stamp.  Then I used the face stamp from the "It's Face Art" stamp set.  Stamped the face onto grungepaper and tinted the skin tones using my ink blending tool and Stampin' Up's Almost Apricot ink pad - it's a good flesh tone.  Used a water brush to color the eyes & lips, and went over them with glossy accents to give them a shiny finish.  Added the faux tear drop using the mini alphabet stamp from the "Art Inspiration" set. (*must admit, I stole this idea directly from THE Wendy Vecchi - well, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?*)  I stamped the hat portion of the face stamp onto grungeboard two more times, and cut out the entire hat from one stamped image, and just the hat band from the other.  Inked with peeled paint (whole hat) and barn door (just the hatband) DI.  Then glued those layers over top of the main piece - it's a great way to add distinct lines of color - don't have to worry about coloring outside the lines.... :)

Added a mini crown from Maya Road, painted with the Silver paint dabber. Added the mini grunge butterfly covered with Tim's tissue tape and inked with DI.

The sentiment is also from the "It's Face Art" set.

AND, my most favorite part of this piece is the TH mini metal crown that I added over the eye, to look like EYELASHES!  Love it!

But my *other* favorite part of this tag, other than the fact that it is upside-down, is the curio knob at the bottom.  I don't know what made me even consider this, but I LOVE the way it turned out.  It doesn't really make any meaningful addition to the piece, other than the fact that it just looks COOL.  (and that's all that really matters, right!?).

Wow, this has been a much more long-winded (*waffling* - nod to Hels... ) post than I intended, but I really enjoyed making it, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Hope you like it, too!

Next up on the "to do" list is this week's installment of my on-line class with Claudine Hellmuth.  We've finished learning all our technique recipes and are now getting started with our projects!  This week will be a canvas sampler --- tune in this weekend to check it out --- will take a few days to do this one!

Be well until then!  Thanks for stopping by!  (If you've actually read all the way to this point.....) LOL.


~ ellen

Distressed Curiosity

Hi everyone!

This week's theme over on the CCC challenge (hop over to Linda's blog HERE and join in the fun!) is distress stickles.  I decided to do another wall hanging this week. 

I started with a page from a chipboard book.  Then I cut the bottom section off of another chipboard page and glued it over the bottom of the main page (only around the edges - left the top section open) to create a pocket for the stems to slip into.I covered both chipboard pages with paper from Tim's paper stack.  Then I added some background stamping over both sections to create interest.

To create the sunflowers, I used scallop frames from Maya Road, inked them with Dry Mustard and Walnut Brown DI, and added distress stickles (Antique Linen over the yellow, and rock candy over the walnut brown).  The stems are from a Bo Bunny chipboard set, inked with peeled paint DI and distress stickles in same color.  The "bloom" letters are also from a BoBunny chipboard set - inked with dry mustard, with antique linen distress stickles.    

Then glued all the flowers and letters down with glossy accents.  Added a ribbon between the top & bottom sections to create some definition, and added faux stitching in black ink around the entire border.

Since I covered up the hole in the book page, I added a jewelry bale and covered it with a copper brad.   Then I added a TH chain and hook to hang it with (*can't remember the proper name at the moment*).

Hope you enjoyed this week's project - I'm having such fun playing along with this challenge.  It's great to see all the wonderful art being created!  Thanks to Linda for hosting this awesome event!


~ ellen.