November 29, 2010

England! - Day 2 & 3


We've had a brilliant two days - as I said yesterday - we worked on our Wendy mini-books on Sunday - finished them up this morning!

Here are a few shots of my fav pages:

Then we went out to have lunch at the most adorable, quaint country pub....
Imagine our surprise to discover they are closed on Mondays.... sadness.... but the story has a happy ending!
See Hels peaking around the corner?  Still camera shy.... I'm working on it... I've insisted on one photo of BOTH of us - bloggable PROOF that we really were together!! 
This is an actual beacon (like Lord of the Rings!) that gets lit in the little village when something of importance is happening.  I ask you.... how cool is this??? Love it!
OK - here's where the happy ending kicks in.... we were driving through the countryside on little side lanes, looking for a nice place for lunch, and Hels said...."We're only 10 minutes from Olney, you want to go there?"  And I thought..... "I know something important is in Olney.... but what is it?"  She said that's where LB Crafts is (LB as in Lin Brown).... DUHHHH... YES!!!!!  Who needs lunch?  Let's go!  So off we went into the little village of Olney - as adorable as they come.  Lin's shop is down a little offchute from the main square, at the end of a tiny little lane.  It is the MOST adorable shop EVER.  I actually did a little bow as we walked in the door!  We went in and Karen called up to Lin in the classroom to tell her "Hels and Ellen are here" and she came down to say hello.  She is so sweet and was showing me where all the coolest things were.  I came away with quite a nice stash.  My only shopping rule is that I can't buy anything here that I can get at home...and I stuck to it (mostly, but there are circumstances.... really.... there are!)  Got a load of Paper Artsy stamps and dies, some tiny little glass vials, Inka Gold in Bronze, and here's the exception.... Loads of Ten Seconds Studio metal molds... but they were all on 50% off!  They are older lines being discontinued, but they are all new to me, so I went a little crazy!  

Here's me in my PaperArtsy "happy place" ---- oh.... I was indeed a very happy girl....

It's supposed to snow tonight.... which under normal circumstances would be quite exciting, but we're supposed to have our class with THE Linda Elbourne tomorrow, and it's quite possible that it may be cancelled.  We aren't supposed to get much here in Wellingborough, but where Linda lives they may get quite a bit more.... say a little "no snow" prayer for us so we can take our class....

More to tell tomorrow!  I'm having the time of my life, and I'm already sad at the prospect of going home.... but won't focus on that..... lots more time and fun to be had! 
Love to all,

~ ellen.

November 28, 2010


Hello from Wellingborough, England!!!

It's official!!!!! I made it to England and I'm here with HELS!!!  It's like we've known each other our whole lives.... just relaxed right in.... spent yesterday chatting and settling in... Hels made the most delicious lasagna and garlic bread for "tea".... Since I didn't really sleep on the plane, by the time I went to bed I slept like a ROCK, straight through the night. 

The funniest expression I learned so far was in reaction to me showing her a picture of our blizzard from last winter... four feet of snow in three days.... this was the reaction..... "JESUS CHRIST ON A CRUTCH!!" I thought I would pee myself!!!!  Classic! 

Today was ALL about ART!!!  We've been working on our Wendy Vecchi mini-books - almost finished - will have pix by tomorrow for sure.... have barely taken any pix so far - but we're going out tomorrow to a quaint country pub for lunch, so I'll deffo take more pix tomorrow - promise. 

I was sitting in the living room this morning, drinking my coffee and looking out the front window, across the street to the other houses.... here's the picture..... big bay window with diamond panes, roof tops across the street have the curved tiles and more diamond pane windows, brick front houses.... and I literally expected a flock of owls to be sitting on the rooftops throughout the neighborhood.... scene straight from the first Harry Potter movie.... Yes... it's official.... I'm in ENGLAND... and I'm LOVING it. 

When we got back to the train station in Wellingborough, we got my bags into the "boot" (trunk for all you Americans), and I'm standing next to the "passenger" door, ready to head home, and she looks at me and says "What are you doing?  You want to drive?"  OMG.... classic mistake.... I was on the RIGHT side of the car.... DUHHHHH.... had to go round to the other side.. felt SO weird!  We had a good giggle over that....

Lots more stories like that.... I'm having a ball and want to find a way to S-L-O-W down time.... I keep wanting to pinch myself... I'm so fortunate to have this opportunity.... we're already talking about what we'll do "next time".... because there WILL be a next time....

And.... to THE Wendy Vecchi.... You've simply GOT to come over here... you will love it!  The Wendy Vecchi suite is cozy as can be... you'll be quite comfy... and Graham is delightful - so sweet, and funny, big teddy bear.

More later - and pix tomorrow for sure.

Hugs to everyone!

~ ellen.

November 25, 2010

CCC - Double Distress

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm fortunate to be doing "light-duty" this year for Thanksgiving, so I have some time to play this morning.  We'll be heading over to my sister's house for dinner later today, and I only need to bring one dish - so I'm all set!  Hope all my American friends have a happy & safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

This week's challenge over on Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge is called Double Distress.  Go check out StudioL3 for the details - these are great challenges and really get you thinking about all the different ways to use Tim's products - the possibilities are literally endless!  If you're interested in playing along and don't have Tim's awesome book yet - check out his website HERE.

Here's my take on this weeks technique:

And here's another shot to show you the effect I was going for with the raindrops - used Glossy Accents for the raindrops and on the umbrella to give it a wet look.

Hope you have a great day! 


~ ellen.

P.S. --- I leave *tomorrow* for England!!!  Look out - here I come! 

November 24, 2010

WOYWW - 3 Days!


Yes - it's Wednesday, which means it's time for "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday" --- go check out Julia, the chief desk inspector's blog HERE to check it out and join in! 

The level of excitement is reaching EPIC proportions.... emails and skype sessions increasing (if that's possible)... and I CAN'T WAIT to go see HELS!  Here's my desk today......

Yes, it's true, that's my *very first* PASSPORT!  Never traveled overseas before, and I'm so looking forward to getting the first stamp!  But the thing I'm looking forward to most of all is meeting my sweet, funny, generous, adorable, long-lost-sister, separated-at-birth, Hels.  There will be PLENTY of crafting time built into our visit, and Hels signed us up for a class with THE Linda Elbourne at THE Lin Brown's store, which is only 10 short minutes from Hels!  I fear we may need to visit daily.... LOL.... (sort of....)  And of course I need to visit the Queen... :)  I know we will have the best time ever.... just can't wait to get there! 

Oh.... and I'm working on my CCC Tag for this week --- that's the brick wall and umbrella man behind the passport.... and I just picked up Tim's new Trimmings - gotta play with those soon!  And the front of a card, just waiting for a focal image.... that's my desk for this week!  Next week.... it may look VERY different!  Just sayin' !!!  :)  It will be "my" desk.... UK satellite office... HA! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all the US visitors... and to those in the UK --- SEE YOU REAL SOON!!!  :)  

Hugs all around,

~ ellen.

November 18, 2010

The Hands of Time

Hi everyone,

It has been several weeks since I played in my art journal and I got the "itch" to play last night.  I had been watching Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday video for this week, where she did a painted stamp resist.  I liked the idea of a resist, but she also challenged us to use a stamp we've been hiding away for that perfect project.... I've had this Tim Holtz "hand" stamp for about a year.... definitely time to use it!  It evolved into a masking project.... Here's what I ended up with....

I started by stamping the alphabet background (Wendy Vecchi-Studio 490) , available HERE, on the right side of the page in black archival ink.  Then used the TH sprocket/gear masks to .... well.... MASK  over the background.  Then used pumice stone, vintage photo, walnut stain and black soot distress inks to blend over the masked sections, leaving the white background behind.  Added some idea-ology timepieces & sprockets and game spinners.

On the left hand side, I didn't have a mask for the hand stamp, (Tim Holtz cling mount set #83) so I made my own... stamping the image on the white background, then stamping the image again on a scrap of paper, cutting the image out and placing it over the image on the page with temporary adhesive.  Stamped another Studio 490 background image over the masked hand, then used the distress inks to blend all the colors together.  Removed the mask to reveal the hand with the white background.

Wrote the "Hands of Time" message in white India Ink, available HERE.  Had to go over it several times to get the white to *pop* --- (*note to self - use a spray fixative over distress ink before using white ink over top.... the distress inks bleed.... reactive with water and all... like we've heard Tim, and Wendy, and Jennifer, etc. etc.  say a *million* times.... DUH*).

Added some tissue tape, and some white gesso circle stamps (lid of a mini mister.... perfect....). 

I'm happy with how it turned out - and was grateful for the inspiration to finally USE that stamp! 

Have a great day!

~ ellen.

November 17, 2010



Can't believe it's Wednesday already!  Time to get on your magic carpet and fly around the world peeking at craft desks!  If you're not sure what I'm talking about, head on over to Julia's blog to check it out and join in the fun! 

Thought I'd share a quick peak at my workdesk from my weekend!  Twice a year I go on a weekend retreat with 12 ladies - we pack up all our stash and craft our little hearts out for 3 days - it's awesome and such a special time with friends.   Clearly I was working on Christmas cards / tags.  Love that new Seasonal paper stash from Mr. Tim.... :)

(yes.... I'm a smoker..... don't hate me.....)
And here's one of my projects from the weekend - used Wendy Vecchi's ART PARTS and some wooden snowflakes.  My friend Matty gave me the snowflakes and challenged me to make something with them - VOILA!!  Hope you enjoy!

pearl paint in background, tissue tape covered in alcohol ink on frame, painted wood snowflakes with pearl/bling accents, chandelier tear drops, snaps on scalloped trim.
Thanks for stopping by!


~ ellen. xx

November 16, 2010

CCC - Alcohol Ink Splatter


It has been quite a while since I joined in the fun over at Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, so I thought it was high time I got back to it!  This week we're doing the technique called Alcohol Ink Splatter - if you're interested in learning all the details on how to do this technique, head over to Tim Holtz's website HERE to check out his book.  If you order from him, he'll even sign it for you!

Here's my take for this week:
Lots of fun possibilities for this technique - I can see this becoming addicting!  Quick easy backgrounds!  Have a great week - hope to see you back again at CCC again next week!


~ ellen. xx

November 15, 2010

Long Time No Blog!

Hello strangers!!!

I realized it's been almost TWO weeks since I posted... ACKKKK!!!  I've been very busy, getting ready to go away to STAMP CAMP, which was this past weekend.  Twice a year I go away on a weekend retreat with about 12 ladies - we go to a retreat center out in the countryside of Pennsylvania - meals, bedrooms, and craft space all on one floor - it's the BEST!  Here's a few pix of my STASH of stuff, and my good friend Connie, who is solely responsible for getting me addicted to stamping.... she's a demonstrator for Stampin' Up!
My stuff is on the left table, this is about HALF of what I brought... scary!!!
Miss Connie - working on her Christmas cards.... see below for the finished product!
Needless to say, we had a BLAST.... we arrived on Thursday evening and spent the next three days doing nothing but crafting, laughing, sharing stories, (*eating way too much*), and generally having a ball.   I look forward to these trips every time, and am so fortunate to have such an awesome group of friends who LOVE the same things I love.  Kindred Spirits for sure... :)

Here are a few pix of some of my creations from the weekend - they are tags for a swap I'm participating in with a certain BRITISH friend of mine.... so I need to have them ready to take with me to Merry Old England in.... ELEVEN DAYS!!!  Can't believe how the time has flown by....  AND - the theme on this week's Simon Says Stamp & Show challenge is to make something that makes you happy, and these tags DEFINITELY make me happy!
grungeboard flourish, grungepaper rose, Studio 490 & TH stamps
TH alterations-hanging sign, woodgrain embossing folder, Studio 490 stamps, grunge flowers & butterfly - love that little spider on the right.
grungeboard antique car, grunge hinges turned vertical for lamp-posts (LOVE that!) with teeny christmas lights for bulbs, TH stamps & idea-ology
close up of car against city skyline.
distress background, picket fence alterations die, Studio 490 stamps, TH idea-ology, maya road crochet trim, antique buttons
Stampin' Up! Baroque stamp-embossed in white, TH rosette die, TH & Studio 490 stamps, random metal button

I also made some Christmas cards, but you'll have to wait to see those until after they've been sent out... wouldn't want to ruin the surprise, right?

Hope you've all been well - I'll be busy the next week plus getting ready to GO SEE HELS!!!  I'm going to need an extra bag for the art I'm TAKING TO HER, and another extra bag to bring back all the STASH.... OMG.... such problems..... HA.... NOT..... I'm feeling very lucky!!! 

Be well til next time!


~ ellen.  xxx

November 3, 2010

WOYWW - All Cleaned Up


Well, I finished that mini book I had started last week, and just cleared the decks to make room for the next project.... all cleaned up...

Here's a quick pic of that mini book - several of you said last week that you wanted to see the finished product, so here it is!

If you want to see more details, click HERE to go to my blog post from yesterday...

Thanks for stopping by for a peep!  I did much better at getting around to people's desks last week, and will do my best to keep up even better this week.  Check out Julia's blog HERE to join in the fun. 

Have a good one!


~ ellen.

November 2, 2010

Chunky Funky Mini Book


For the last week or so, I've been working on a mini book, and LOVING it!  I've always loved the look of a chunky, bursting at the seams, really dimensional mini book, but have never made one on my own.  Taking Wendy Vecchi's class recently inspired me to try one myself.  I really had no plan or theme or purpose for this book - just wanted to play and have fun. 

The color scheme fits in with this week's Sunday Stamper theme, which is Autumn; and the "look" fits in with this week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show.... something Shabby challenge!  So I got a two-for-one deal out of my book with no plan --- love it when that happens... :)  Here's the chunky-funky result!

And here's some detail pix of each page.... I won't describe each page, except to say there is LOTS of grunge, LOTS of Maya Road chipboard, LOTS of pigment and distress ink, and I was very glad to have the new Craft Scrubbie by Ranger!  It is miraculous at getting inky stains off your fingers! 

see next page for bird breaking free!

Had a blast making this book - hope you enjoyed taking a look.  Thanks for stopping by!


~ ellen.