September 29, 2010

WOYWW - with a special guest!

Hi WOYWW-ers!

This week I have a special guest on my work desk!  Last night I had a lovely hour long chat with my new BFF in the UK - the fabulous and uber-talented (and uber-funny, too!) HELS!  So while we were chatting away it flashed in my mind that SHE was on my work desk.... and the idea was hatched.... So here she is!  I'm so proud that she's letting me post her picture (cuz she really doesn't like having her picture taken - it's a pretty big deal!)

See me taking the picture down in the corner?   Too funny!  You can see me over on her blog, too, doing my impression of the "royal wave"... LOL! 

I had a great weekend - went to my *FAVORITE* LSS called The Queen's's like heaven... Got some lovely new stash - a new TSS mold, another Wendy Vecchi stamp set, some NEW Wendy 'Clearly for Art' - can't wait to play with that, and some other random stash (reinkers, ribbon, etc.).   I'm SO excited because in precisely 17 days.... I'll be taking classes at The Queen's Ink with none other than THE Wendy Vecchi!!!  She's teaching 4 classes, and yours truly will be at ALL of them.  Can't wait!

Have a lovely day - see you around blog-land!  Thanks for stopping by!


~ ellen.

September 26, 2010

Art Journal - Sept 26 2010

Hey there strangers!

Hope you had a lovely weekend - I spent today working on a page in my art journal.  You gotta hang in there through the *process* on this one... it was a struggle, but it was definitely worth it in the end... read on....

I knew I wanted to do a page, but had NO clue what I wanted to do.  So I started with literally no preconceived notions... step one - need a background - hmmm what color do I like today?  Orange? Orange is *always* a good idea (my fav color)... so painted the whole background in orange.  Now what? Well, can't just keep it straight orange - gotta grunge it up a little... so I decided it needed some drippage... love the drippage... and since the opposing page had that yummy magenta color, I thought that would look good on the facing page.  So voila - magenta drippage.  Oops.... maybe not so good ... little bright... so decided to try a whitewash (never done that before) - so painted a whitewash over the whole page and did some MORE drippage in white!  Background done.  Liking it.... uh oh.... what now??  Yeah... no idea.... Good time for a break....

Two hours later... still no clue... so decided to try (another) technique from Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday video... Tore some book text into oval (ish) shapes and laid them out on the page - nice, but needs color... So I painted them with turquoise Glimmer Glam - cool stuff!!!  It leaves a very light varnish-y finish - I like it!  I knew I wanted them to eventually be flowers, so I drew some stems in with India Ink, and scribble/sketched around the outline of each flower to give some extra definition.

I don't know why I thought this, but it just seemed like I was taking this page so seriously... I mean come on... this is supposed to be FUN!  So I decided to completely change the tone of the page, and what better way than to break out the *googly eyes* ??!!  :D  Perfect!  Immediately it went from a page that was "so-so" to a page that I absolutely loved... Moral of the story... *keep it light, remember to have fun, and laugh whenever you can*.  Added some funky leaves, some leaf antennae, and some leaf-y horns for the little guys...

I think I might need to add some mouths... how can they laugh without mouths??? 

Hope you enjoyed playing along.. have a great week!



September 22, 2010

CCC - Alcohol Ink on Grunge

Hi everyone!

The time is just flying by lately - I've been horrendously busy at work, and I'm so whipped by the time I get home my creative mojo is being overpowered by mental exhaustion... I miss it!!!  Anyway, I have managed to create something for this week's Compendium of Curiousities Challenge.  If you're interested in checking it out, head on over to Linda's blog HERE for all the details!  There are awesome prizes to be won - I'm living proof!!!  I won some awesome Tim Holtz & Heidi Swapp masks last week!  Thanks to Linda for hosting these challenges and Daisy at eclecticPaperie for the generous prize packages!  Here's what I came up with:

I've been LOVING the cooler temperatures and am SOOOO ready for fall.  It has been an extremely hot summer here and I'm so looking forward to fall foliage and pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee!!!

I started with a sheet from a chipboard book and traced it onto grungeboard and cut it out.  Then followed the directions in Tim's book for this technique - no fair to Tim sharing the directions here - if you're interested - pop over to Tim's site HERE and get a copy from him! 

Since I'm on this *FALL* kick - what better way to celebrate than with Tim's new tattered leaves stamps!  Stamped three of the leaves onto golden yellow cardstock, and then watercolor painted with distress inks in some orange/red tones to highlight the fall colors.  Spritzed them with pearl glimmer mist for some shine.  Popped these onto the piece with my new *fav* product - Liquid Scrap Dots - available HERE.  Added the "FALLING" grunge-letters and inked them up with Inka Gold (paste).  Added the metal foliage flower/leaf after hitting them with paint dabbers and blotting off with a paper towel.   Added a grommet to the top and a jute hanger.  Voila!

This just makes me want a cup of hot chocolate and a roaring fireplace.... unfortunately, Indian Summer has hit - it was 90 degrees today.... still summer... but it won't be long!   Thanks for stopping by!

See you soon.

~ ellen.

September 19, 2010

A Birthday *Wish*


My sister's birthday was last week, and we had a little party for her today.  So of course I had to make a card for her!  The first attempt was made when my mojo had completely disappeared.... that one was flung into the trash.... pathetic.... thankfully.... it didn't last long....

I managed to find some inspiration and came up with this:

I started by painting a piece of card stock with a layer of gesso, then scraped sky blue paint over the majority of the background with an old credit card - I love this look - like an old plaster wall, perfect in it's imperfeKtion....    Added some tissue tape and found some old grungeboard tattered florals that had already been covered with book text and color washed.

Found some green velvet rick rack ribbon for stems.  Added the grungeflowers with the *fabulous* Liquid Scrap Dots (LSD - oops - unfortunate abbreviation... LOL - available HERE) - so cool.  You can "pop" things as high as you want!!!  It does take a couple hours to dry though.    Added a clear dew drop to the center of each flower, then added the bird, which I painted with a thick layer of picket fence crackle paint.  Used the LSD on the bird, too.  (*poor bird.... sounds like I drugged him!!* HA!) 

Added *wish* with black Thickers.  Repeated the blue paint and tissue tape on the inside of the card (*forgot to take a pic of that.... and now the card has been given to my sister....oops...*) Painted a thin strip of blue paint on the left side of the inside panel and put tissue tape on top.... you can visualize that I'm sure...

Hope you enjoyed.... thanks for stopping by!

Back to work tomorrow.... last few hours of the weekend... enjoy!!

~ ellen.

September 18, 2010

Uh oh.... Stampotique... this could be baaaadddd!

Hi everyone!

Hope you're enjoying your weekend - it's gorgeous here in Baltimore today - 78 degrees and totally sunny - low humidity (for once!) PERFECT!

I am one lucky lady... I got the most delicious package in the mail this week... if you follow Hels' blog, you've seen her use the scrumptiously dark and slightly silly stamps by *Stampotique*.  I think they are adorable (*and I'm not usually a fan of the whole "goth" look*).... so I've been mentioning how much I like these stamps.  Look what Hels sent to me!!!!

First and most importantly.... the TWINKIE stamp!  He's so cute, isn't he?  PLUS tons of stamped images from lots of other stampotique stamps to play with!  Plus a gorgeous mini-card and an awesome tag.  And some (of the many) issues of Craft Stamper magazine that Hels has been published in!  That's her altered frame ON THE COVER!  Such a superstar.... :D

I fear this love of Stampotique could lead to yet another *crafting addiction*... like I need another one.... NOT!  These will keep me busy for quite a while though.... keep my wallet in your thoughts & prayers.... I may need it!  LOL!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~ ellen.

September 17, 2010

Art Journal - Sept 17 2010

Howdy blogland...

Have been playing in my art journal again this week - finished another page this evening!  Had to use that new magenta paint so it would turn out magenta instead of red.  I LOVE this color!! 

Painted a background of turquoise and green with some extra yellow/green drippage.  Stamped TH foam flower stamps in magenta and then overstamped the smaller flower with gesso.  Then painted around the edges with a thin round paint brush with more gesso.  Used pen & ink to scribble sketch around the edges.  Had some grungeboard scraps covered with book text, so cut flower stems and leaves, and then did a waterwash over the text with green paint. 

Glued down the leaves with my new Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive - loving this too!  Then stamped the "HAPPY" on copy paper in black ink and glued down using new Liquid Scrap Dots - OK this stuff is AWESOME ---- thank you Donna Downey for the recommendations!  Helmar 450 is available HERE.  Liquid scrap dots HERE

Added the black border with Viva black pearl pen.  Available at eclecticPaperie - HERE.

All I can say is.... TGIF!!!  Have a lovely weekend!


~ ellen.

September 15, 2010

WOYWW - stash 3


Tis Wednesday again, so time to have a nose around the world!  If you want to join in hop over to Julia's blog HERE

Here's a few shots of my workdesk this week.  Pretty tidy - not much change from last week...

So I thought I'd share another chest of drawers - full of *stash*.... here we go!

TenSeconds Studio metal - just getting started with this - only have one lonely mold so far...
small sizzix dies, patterned packing tape, flower soft.
various cutting and texture templates
ink pads
stickles, distress stickles, crackle paint, reinkers, craft sticks, extra glossy accents
alcohol ink tin, paint dabber tin, random acrylic paint, alcohol ink felt pads
Hope you had fun nosing around.... thanks for stopping by!

Have a lovely day....


~ ellen.

September 13, 2010

CCC - Masked

Hello again!

Time for another one of Linda's fabulous challenges from Tim's Compendium of Curiosities!  These challenges have been so much fun!  I can't think of better inspiration to visit, or RE-visit Tim's incredible techniques.  I'm enjoying it so much - thanks Linda!  If you're interested in seeing what I'm talking about, head over to Linda's blog HERE and join in the fun!

This week's technique is to use masks.  Recently I've been making some travel plans for the near future (more to come later - some details to work out yet), so travelling has been on my mind.  AND, my sister in law Pam gave me the most beautiful necklace for my birthday recently.  It's a silver compass, with this beautiful inscription on the back - "Move confidently in the direction of your dreams."  Perfection.... So... compasses have definitely been on my mind.  So I thought it would be a perfect time to break out my TH compass mask.

This card is called "True North" --- I don't usually "name" my pieces, but this one just seemed perfect.  It's partly to pay homage to my desires for travel, but also as a gift to my *fabulous* husband and best friend, Jack.  He really is *MY TRUE NORTH*.  Love you!!

Hope you like it - no fancy close ups and angles for this one... just keeping it simple....

Have a great week!


~ ellen.

September 12, 2010

Sunday Stamper / Art Journal - Sept 12 2010


Yes, there is a theme emerging... did yet another page in my art journal this morning!  It's a damp, gray, misty, wet day here in Baltimore - perfect day to get cozy and *make art* !  (*oh, and also perfect for afternoon naps.... which I fell victim to this afternoon!*)

This week's theme on The Sunday Stampers is "Ruby Blue", which means just use something in red and/or blue.  I just bought some new paint yesterday so wanted to try it out.  The color is actually meant to be *magenta* but coupled with the yellow and orange paint it came out much more *red*...

Started by painting the whole background with a mix of yellow and orange paint - no drippage yet.  Heat dried that layer, and then went in with the magenta paint for some drippage.  Sprayed lots of water to get that runny look, then heat dried again.  I've been LOVING my new INKA GOLD by Viva - it's a gold "paste" - just tap the tip of your finger in the ink/paste and smear on highlights wherever you want them.  I highlighted all the yellow areas on the page, and also hit the bird cage, too.

The birdcage is cut from chipboard, run thru the c'bug with TH's Alterations die.  Painted the cage black, added the highlights, and hit it with the Inka Gold for highlights.  Then snipped the bars of the cage to *free the bird* - makes me happy!

The swallow/bird is a new Sizzix die I bought yesterday - ran it thru the c'bug on some textured paper - it's hard to see but the bird is actually TWO birds layered on top of each other.  Stamped some script text on each bird then painted over top.  The bottom layer is a teal (slightly darker) and the top is sky blue - it's much prettier in person.  Then dry brushed on some white highlights.

Then stamped some wildflowers in black archival - was tough to get a clean image because the journal is pretty bumpy, even after only one page spread so far, but it turned out OK and I filled in some gaps with a black sharpie.

The quote came from a rubber stamp I have and I love it, but wanted it to be a more prominent part of the page, so decided to use India Ink and nib-pen to hand-write it.  Once I had the ink & pen out decided to draw in a chain for the bird cage - I love how the cage looks like it is a bit off-kilter from the bird BURSTING FREE. 

Hope you had a lovely weekend. See you soon!


~ ellen.

September 10, 2010

Art Journal - Sept 9 2010

Hi all!

I realized I posted my "entry" for Inspiration Wednesday a little early (technically my entry was from 9-6-2010 and the week didn't start until 9-8-2010... so... DARN... I just HAD to do another entry in my new art journal!  YAY!  (Like I needed an excuse - I'm having so much fun with it I just couldn't wait!)

So here's the next page in my journal....

I had fun playing with my new Tim Holtz foam stamps, made by running the Alterations dies through the c'bug  with foam sheets - easy!   Did a watercolor background with lots of drippage (actually this had so much water sprayed it's more like RUNNAGE, but despite the terminology... I like it!)  Then stamped over the background with the foam stamps.  Used some extra jute for the stems - I dyed the stems with a mini mister and some peeled paint distress re-inker.  Found a great quote and decided to paint a thin layer of crackle paint over top - just a subtle accent to the quote.

I also did the little inclusion page between the first two main pages:

I sprayed each side with glimmer mist - a really heavy coat to maximize "glimmage"  (*is that a new word??? I like it!*), added some tissue tape and some stamps and embellishments.  The button on the green page started gold and I hit it with a red paint dabber to give it a little pizzaz.

Here's some additional views of the finished page.  Hope you enjoyed - I'm loving it.... in fact just signed up today for a class with Donna Downey in October - can't wait!!!

Have a lovely weekend!  See you soon.


~ ellen.

September 8, 2010

WOYWW - more stash...

Hi nosey peeps!!  LOL!

It's another Wednesday, which means it's time to trek around the globe peaking at everyone's craft space again!  If you want to play along, go check out Julia's blog HERE.  As usual, my space is very UN-interesting and tidy....

That bag on the left has some secret stash for a certain *batty* (in the best way) friend of mine in the UK... hmmm who could that be???    (*Yes, I know... I'm a terrible tease... heehee.... but it's just so much fun!*)  

I know... boring right???  So I thought I'd share some more of my *stash* of stuff...  These pix are of one of my fabulous storage drawers from IKEA - they're the BEST for art stuff because the drawers are shallow - which means less digging searching in vain to find things... these drawers are right next to my work space so everything is within easy reach.

Top Drawer - TH Idea-ology, dictionary for collage, die-cutting, etc.
Close up of the yummy idea-ology - use this stuff ALL the time! There's some color dusters in the back, too.
Drawer #2 - Grunge, grunge, and more grunge, plus Tim's book!
Drawer #3 - Chipboard sets, mini books, Tim's grungebook from QVC (still haven't done it... I have a bad habit of buying mini books that I never get around to!)
Drawer #4:  All my "Wendy" stamps.. :)  acrylic blocks and the new fiskars stamp press - haven't given it a proper *test drive* yet. That Wendy set on the left is the one I won on her blog!!
Drawer #5: Memory glass stuff, chalks, DYMO labeler, craft foil, wire, foam tape
Bottom drawer: paper crinkler, shrinky dinks, random storage bags, extra page sleeves for scrapbooks, packing paper to use for die cuts later, extra nonstick craft sheet for play dates!
Hope you had fun peeking at my stash.... have fun on your travels today!  See you all next week - I'll try to be messy for you.... LOL... :)


~ ellen. xx

September 7, 2010

Art Journal - Sept 6 2010


I've been on visual overload with Donna Downey's inspiration journal videos lately - I can't stop watching them and talking about them and showing them to everybody!  Yesterday I completed the first page in my new art journal!  I love the fact that the journal is designed to just create whatever you're inspired to create on any given day, and it doesn't matter if it's perfect, in fact it's better if it's NOT perfect!  Really loving that.  I am, by nature, a person who likes things to be "just so" - maybe not quite to the OCD level... but to a certain degree... *I have issues*.... LOL...

So here's the first page!  Hope you like it!!

Watercolor background with lots of "drippage" - love letting the colors run and go wherever they want to go.  Glimmer screen and glimmer mist over that.  Stamped the grasses using Olive and Coffee archival inks, then added flower soft accents to the grasses.  Added 3 layers of gold/orange fringe ribbon at the bottom.  Maya Road chipboard bird, painted with CH paints.  Added the quote, painted the border with gesso (*mostly to hide the ribbon at the bottom*) and scratched out a frame over the gesso with a brown sharpie.

love this quote - perfect for the "start" of my journal!
was trying to capture the "glimmer" of the glimmer mist
shows the page in the book
shows the dimension of the flower soft
binder tab punch by Stampin' Up!
I know I've posted this link twice before.... but since this is the first actual page in the journal, I'll post it again.... if you want to check out Donna's inspiration journals, click HERE.

Have a great week!  See you soon!


~ ellen.

September 6, 2010

CCC - Grungepaper Flowers

Hi fellow art-peeps!

Time for another fabulous week of lovely Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge (CCC) --- this week we're on page 65 of Tim's book.  As usual, if you're interested in learning more about this great technique, go check out Tim's website HERE.

I decided to use a different style of flower (*what's that I said?.... a NON- Tim flower??? Yes, it's true!*) I used a template I got from Claudine Hellmuth during her on-line class.  It's whimsical, hand-drawn and perfectly over-sized - love it. 

As you've noticed lately, I've been obsessed with paint, and the love-affair continues this week... I started with a piece of watercolor paper and blended Claudine's painterly pink, dash of red, and classic teal (which blended with the pink to make an awesome purple!)  Added TONS of water and let the paint drip and go wherever it wanted - yummo.... :)  Then after I dried the paper, there were lots of little droplets of leftover watery paint left on my craft sheet so I just did a light pressing - same technique we use with tags & distress inks all the time - works with paint too!!! 

Then used a glimmer screen as a mask and inked chipped sapphire DI over the screen to creative a negative image - loving this look.  Repeated again with the same screen.  Then dipped the cap from the glimmer mist in gesso and stamped the circles as a border/frame.

Made the grunge flower according to the book and ran it through the c'bug in the swirls texture fade folder - hand cut the leaves.  The stem of the flower is craft wire with different colors of green wrapped around the base wire, and some copper wire wrapped loosely around that. Attached the stem at the base with the tiny attacher.

Assembled the layers of the flower with foam tape in between the layers for extra dimension and added one of Tim's buttons as the center.

Found this great quote on the web, printed it out, cut it up, and glued it down (not rocket science... but I like the look).

I'm having such a great time combining techniques - paint + grunge + inks + sprays + stamping + wire + collage = FUN FUN FUN!!  I can barely drag myself off to work these days - I just wanna stay home and PLAY!   But, I must remember... they do pay me to work... which enables me to continue with my various and ever-expanding crafting obsessions.... so I guess I better keep going, right???  (*better start buying lottery tickets is more like it... LOL!*)

Hope you all had a happy & safe Labor Day Holiday!  See you later this week!


~ ellen.