January 31, 2011

I Challenge Thee / CCC - Mini Canvas

Hi all!

(I have to start this by saying.... I just read Hels' blog for this project and I nearly fell off the couch.... my post will be so TAME in comparison... but here we go....)

This week's "I Challenge Thee" project is a mini canvas.  Here's the recipe Hels and I came up with this week:

4x4 canvas
Handmade fabric flower
Grunge or chipboard flourish
Clearly for Art
Sentiment (1 word)
Stamp - anything

As it turns out... this weeks technique over on the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge (CCC) is altered metal with paint, which happens to fit in with this piece.... so I'm doing a two-fer.... so to speak...

So.... I dove right into the project yesterday after our weekly skype session, and proceeded to fall FLAT ON MY FACE.... not literally.... but figuratively in the *extreme*.... nothing I tried worked out... hated it all.... had to walk away... I *hate* it when that happens!  I was little miss grumpy the rest of the day.... (I hate that too!)   But... what can you do....

Came home from work today, and went back to it.  Amazing what a difference ONE day makes... finished it in 30 minutes.... everything just came together.... yay!  Here's the result!

Not too shabby, right?  I rather like it...

Started by dabbing Terra over the entire surface of the canvas.  Then used the tattered florals die to cut the clearly for art.   Selected a flower and used alcohol ink to color it to match the fabric flower I made.  Also used the same alcohol ink on the button in the center, and the "LIVE" tag.  I figured while I was at it, I'd dab the alcohol ink pad all over the Terra as well!  I went a little crazy, but hey... it all matches.... and it works for me.  Cut a flourish out of grungepaper and painted it with snow cap white paint dabber. And added a word tag done with the "altered metal with paint" technique from Tim's book.  Check it out HERE if you're interested.  Final touch was to spread a very thin layer of "starry night" stickles over the surface for just a hint of sparkle.

If you're interested in learning how to make this style of fabric flower - head over to Donna Downey's blog HERE - there's a great tutorial. I think I scared Hels with the mention of needle and thread.... she's a little bit sew-phobic.... but.... hopefully this has cured her of that.... her project is FAB!

Here's a side view to see the dimension of the clearly for art flower.

And finally.... wrapped the canvas in some tissue tape - I'm seriously addicted to this stuff.  It's so easy to work with, and gives a finished look to any project.

Hope you're enjoying playing along with these "I Challenge Thee"..... challenges... we have fun coming up with them each week, and it's a great way to try new techniques, or revisit ones you've been neglecting...  Remember to head over to Hels' blog HERE and check out her project!  You'll LOVE it!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

January 27, 2011

Welcome to the new Stampotique Design Team!

Hi all!

This post is specifically directed to the brand spankin' new members of the Stampotique Design Team! I absolutely *adore* Stampotique stamps - tho' I must admit to a particular weakness and affection for the Daniel Torrente & Jill Penney designs... so quirky and funky and beautifully "ugly" (in the BEST sense), if you know what I mean.

I started with a *HUGE* shipping tag, manilla base and added peeled paint, wild honey, and vintage photo distress ink to the background.  Then stamped with various background stamps by Tim Holtz.  I especially love the brick wall - the stamp is actually quite small but it's so distressed that it's easy to repeat the stamp for a *seem*-ingly *seam*-less brick pattern... 

Then I stamped the three Stampotique images - Welcome Door, Twinkie (my all-time fav), and Mort on white cardstock, cut the images out, and did some watercoloring with distress inks.  I popped all three images up on the card front with Liquid Scrap Dots for lots of dimension, and stapled the door at the hinges with TH's Tiny Attacher. 

The "what is normal?" sentiment at the bottom was done on my DYMO labeler.  I love this because, really... what IS normal anyway?  Normal is relative to the group you're with.... and since these lovely little guys may be considered AB-normal in some groups.... well... not for me... I LOVE them! 

The greeting on the inside was stamped with individual type letters.

So I say a heart-felt Congratulations and Welcome to the new Design Team!  I can't wait to see your creations - I know I will be inspired by your art! 

Have a great day...

~ ellen xx

January 24, 2011

I Challenge Thee - Stampotique Sweet 16

Hi everyone,

In keeping with tradition, I had my weekly skype session with Hels on Sunday morning, and we came up with another "I Challenge Thee" project.  I had a specific *need* today, so I set the project type, and the stamp type - the rest we did together:

Type: Card
Stamps:  Stampotique
Distress Inks:  Worn Lipstick, Broken China (Ellen); Weathered Wood, Spiced Marmalade (Hels) plus one wild card color - Old Paper for me.
Embellishments:  Flowers (stamped or grunge or prima), Ribbon, Paper Punches

This past week, my niece turned *sweet 16* years old and yesterday we went out to celebrate her big birthday.... so I had to make her a card, of course.... wanted it to be a little funky to match her funky personality... so Stampotique was just the ticket.

Used the "oh my dear" stamp and colored in all the checkered patterns with distress inks and a waterbrush.  These stamps are so quirky and fun to color in - you can't go wrong, in fact the more bold and outrageous the better (in my opinion)....
Added some prima flowers with a bingo chip with #16 of course, and some paper chains to go with the "goth" look.  

and on the inside, I hand-stamped a greeting...

Of course I forgot to take pix before i wrote my message to her, so I've cropped that out... 'tis HER card after all... suffice it to say I wished her a *sweet* birthday and then announced it was "TIME TO SHOP!"  I take my nieces to lunch and shopping for their birthdays - it's a great way to spend special time with them each year, and we always have a *great* time together.

Be sure to pop over to Hels' blog HERE to check out her card!  I can't wait to see what she's come up with!

have a great week!

~ ellen xx

January 18, 2011

Stylish? Attitude? Me? Who Knew?

Hi everybody!

My good friend Lori - I Been Thinkin' ... 'Bout Inkin' - was soooo kind and passed along not just one, but TWO, blogger awards to me today!  How cool is that?  First is the Stylish Blogger Award (ha!)

And then, if that wasn't enough, came the My Blog Has Attitude Award!

 I tell ya... I'm so not used to getting awards... but I must admit... it's kinda fun!

Part of receiving these awards is to tell you 8 things about myself (taking Lori's lead on the categories), and then pass the awards on to 4 other special bloggers.... I'll start with the 8 things... hmmmmm..

1. International travel:  I was SO lucky to be able to go to England last year to see my friend and fellow-artist HELS.  It was my first overseas journey, used my first passport, and got the very first stamp in it!  Such a thrill!

2. Music tastes:  Oh my... difficult to say... it changes all the time depending on my mood... suffice it to say I like everything from new age instrumental, a little classical, country (new, not old), modern rock, classic rock, you name it.. a little bit of everything.  However.... the things I've been listening to most lately are:  John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, U2, Sarah Bareilles, The Beatles, Jackson Browne (live acoustic Vols 1 & 2 are AMAZINGLY AWESOME).

3.  Favorite Foods:  Well... this one is easy... at the very tippy top of the list is my all time favorite, could-live-on-it food.... POPCORN.  Any kind of popcorn... stove-popped, microwave, MOVIE.... with salt, with butter, caramel... you name it.  No contest.  (oh... and I never met a potato I didn't like...)  hee.

4.  Fave colors:  This one is more difficult.... my favorite color is red, but only in little bits at a time.  So, in my art, I like to use a little bit of red in almost everything I do, but I don't like a lot of red at a time... weird?  Probably.... but then again... so am I.... ;D

5.  Something I try to do every day:  Well, there's the obvious stuff like brush my teeth, wash my face, all the things your mother said you *have* to do every day... then there's the not-so-obvious stuff... I like to try to say "I Love You" to my hubbie every day, because he's my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and most importantly, he supports my addiction to *stash* !  (LOL!)

6.  Biggest wish:  To do LOTS more traveling.  There are so many interesting places in this world and I want to SEE them... IN PERSON... not just in pictures.

7.  Biggest fear: Not taking any risks in life.  And I'm *horrible* at it... I'm so darn practical and pragmatic that I sometimes lose out on fun opportunities... must take more risks... working on that.

8.  Jobs I've had:  Like Lori, all my "career" jobs since college have been in Accounting.  Weird, huh? Accountant by day.... Artist by night.... who'dda thunk?  :)

And now... to pass the awards on to 4 other special bloggers.... there are so many choices!  But I will narrow it down and happily pass this on to:

1. Hels Sheridan ---- Ink On My Fingers --- what can I say?  If you know Hels, then no explanation is needed... if you don't, then you simply *must* read her blog.  She's UBER-talented, and uber-funny too! If you read her blog once you will be addicted. LOVES all things Wendy Vecchi & Tim Holtz.

2.  THE Linda Elbourne --- A Crafting Journey ---Linda is fabulous, funny, and super-talented. She's also the Design Team Leader for the Simon Says Stamp & Show Challenge blog, which is wildly popular among all us "Tim Holtz/WendyVecchi" fans. 

3.  Lin Brown - Yours Artfully - queen of metal - owner of L.B. Crafts, co-host of ArtsyCraft events in the U.K., Tim Holtz Design Team member.  Lin has awesome tutorials on metal work.

4.  Nicky Creswell (aka "Minxy") - The Altered Inker - I just recently discovered Minxy's blog, and she is amazingly talented! Loves all things Tim & Wendy, and does amazing art! 

Thanks again to Lori for thinking of me.... hope you have an inky day!


~ ellen xx

January 17, 2011

I Tag Thee Challenge

Hello again!

I know... two posts in one day... what can I tell you... weekends are all about ART... and today is a holiday to I get an *extra day*... :D

Yesterday, Hels and I had our second "I Challenge Thee" session via skype, and this time we actually did most of our crafting LIVE.  She had me propped up on her laptop, sitting on "my" desk in the Room of Stash.... was great to feel at least a little bit like we were together again, crafting our little hearts out, singing along with the radio... make sure to pop over to Hels' blog and check out her project, too! 

This week we came up with the following recipe for our project:

Project Type:  Tag (normal size, #8)

Distress Ink Colors:  Broken China & Scattered Straw (ellen); Chipped Sapphire & Old Paper (hels); plus we could each choose a "wild card" color - we both chose Vintage Photo.... (because vintage photo makes *everything* look better!)

Archival / Staz On inks as needed.

Technique:  Embossed Resist

Stamps: Paper Artsy grungeflowers, stamped on metal; and Studio 490 Background stamps

Embellishments:  As desired...no rules....

And away we go!  I'm excited as this is my first metal flower!! 

I started by stamping the vine background by Studio 490 onto my tag using distress embossing ink. Heated it up, and then inked over the embossed area with ALL the colors above, starting with the lightest and working darker & darker to build color and contrast.

Then I made a "tape sandwich" out of black cardstock, Ten Seconds Studio (TSS) humungo tape, and gold metal.  This gives the metal some stability and makes it easier to work with.  Thanks to Lin Brown and her awesome tutorial for the idea....  Then stamped the collage flowers from Paper Artsy onto the metal using black Staz-On ink and heated to dry.  Did same technique with Paper Artsy dotty leaf onto green metal (also a tape sandwich).

Cut the metal images out with scissors and texturized them with the various refining tools and wheels from TSS.   Layered the two flowers together with glossy accents, and added a bottle cap in the center, with a Tim Holtz philosophy tag in the middle.  Added layers of clear UTEE and melted with a heat gun (carefully so as not to blow it all over the room! voice of experience there...).

Added an ornate plate with the word "create" handwritten on the green metal.  Covered the inside of the frame with glossy accents and waited about TEN YEARS for it to dry.... this pic was taken after about 6 hours.... still drying....

Since the embossed background didn't cover the whole tag, I stamped the alphabet/numbers background (Studio 490) at the top of the tag, and added some Maya Road crochet trim as a border between the two sections.  

I am LOVING these "I Challenge Thee" sessions - it is so helpful to make the major decisions at the *beginning* of the process, and stick to them!  We art-lovers are so over-loaded with stash that it is sometimes completely overwhelming to just decide what to make!  Let alone how to make it.  And it's so simple... pick a project type (tag, card, altered frame, etc.), pick 3 or 4 (or 5!) distress ink colors, choose several stamps to use, and a technique you want to focus on, and just START! 

Have a great Monday!  I'm going to see "the queen" today.... Queen's Ink that is.... like I need more stash.... LOL....


~ ellen xx

A Friendly Tag

Hi everyone,

The other night I wanted to make something with my Paper Artsy stamps so I decided to make a quick tag.  I was lucky enough to grab up *several* of the Paper Artsy stamp sets at L.B. Crafts when I was in England several weeks ago, and haven't had a proper PLAY with them!  The horror! 

I wanted to keep it simple, so started with this flower and did an embossed resist.

Inked over the embossed flowers with Wild Honey, Broken China, and Peeled Paint distress inks and then wiped away the excess ink from the embossed area.  Added some vintage photo DI to give a little more contrast, then stamped the Studio 490 script stamp over the whole background using coffee archival ink. 

Added the phrase, which I love, some green and brown raffia, a Tim Holtz idea-ology pin, charm and baubles, and finally, some Maya Road crochet trim.

Simple, not a lot of layers, but I love that the Paper Artsy flowers really *shine* and take center stage.  Looking forward to doing more with them soon! 

Once the tag was finished, I realized it would be a *perfect* tag for a friend of mine... so this tag will be going into the mail on Tuesday, headed off to a new home.... and who knows... maybe it will be someone reading this.... (I'm just sayin' .... wink, wink).
Hels and I had another "Challenge" session today via skype... stay tuned for details!  We had fun, and worked on our project *live* --- I tell you... skype is a miracle.  Especially when your friends are so frikkin' far away! 

Off to watch the Golden Globes... can't wait to see what Ricky Gervais does... he cracks me up!

See you soon!

~ ellen.

January 16, 2011

Wendy Vecchi Altered Frame - 100th Post!!!


I can't believe this is my 100th post!  How time flies!  When I started this blog last year, I never dreamed how many incredible people I would meet that love all the same things I love!  It really is miraculous to me how art unites people.  When I started the blog, there were very specific people that inspired me enough to create a forum for sharing my own art... they are....in no particular order.... Wendy Vecchi, Tim Holtz, Jennifer McGuire, Claudine Hellmuth and Suze Weinberg!  What a RANGER girl.... and proud of it.... Love them all, and have come to discover lots of other inspirational artists along my journey.... some of whom are.... and I'm sure I'll forget somebody.... Hels Sheridan, Donna Downey, Lori Hassler, Linda Ledbetter, Linda Elbourne, Lin Brown, and many other blogging friends.  Thanks to ALL of you for making my journey more interesting, for your friendship, your *lovely* comments (because we all LOVE comments, right?), and for sharing your amazing work with all of us.  You're the BEST!

So... on with today's share... as you may remember, I was fortunate enough to take several classes with Wendy Vecchi last October at The Queen's Ink in Savage, MD.  Of course, I HAD to get the obligatory picture with Wendy, and I thought it was long past time that I gave that picture a special place in my studio.  So yesterday I spent some time altering a wooden picture frame to house that very special memory.  Here it is!

I started with an unfinished wood frame.  I wanted to play with the Ranger color washes, so I picked three colors and started spraying.  My goal was to try for the same blue in Wendy's shirt.  By the time the colors were blended, it was distinctly GREEN... NOT good.  So I gessoed over the whole frame, and then spritzed some "stream" color wash on my craft sheet and painted it over the gesso - RESULT!  I love this look!  The gesso tones down the intensity of the color wash, and I ended up with a beautiful turquoise blue.  Not an exact match, but I love the color anyway.  This is a technique that Wendy shared on her blog last summer and it was a perfect *save* for this project!

I'll say from the beginning that ALL stamps used on this project are from Wendy's Studio 490 stamps - would be *wrong* to use any others on this particular project, right?  

Then I used the snow cap paint dabber on Wendy's script and stripey ticking (?) background stamps and stamped them over the blue frame - script in the corners and ticking on the remaining sides.  I like the variation.  

Now for the fun part - embellishments!  "THE wendy vecchi" is spelled out in maya road chipboard letters, inked with butterscotch pigment ink, and over-stamped with the polka dot and screen background stamps.  

The flowers are inked with barn door DI and stamped with the german text background stamp, curled and layered together.  I love the "w" in the middle of one of the flowers - I've had that metal "w" FOREVER!!!  Old stash come to life!!  Leaves are stamped with olive archival ink and then inked with peeled paint DI.  Butterflies are inked with wild honey DI with rock candy distress stickles over top.  Layered together with a game spinner in the middle (classic Wendy technique - love it!) 

Then added some idea-ology - since Wendy loves idea-ology and does lots of samples for Tim Holtz I figured it was OK - the "dreams" key and the "muse" word tag and the snaps (flower center, and dotting the "i" in Vecchi - it truly was a dream come true to meet Wendy and get to know her a little bit, and she is such an inspiration that 'muse' was a perfect fit.  

Hope you enjoyed the project - and hope you've enjoyed this, my 100th post!  Here's to the next 100, and many to come after that.  Thanks for stopping by, thanks for being interested in my little corner of the art world, and hope to see you all around the blog-o-sphere often. 

Big Hugs and Big Thanks to Everyone!

~ ellen xxx

January 12, 2011

WOYWW - I'm back!

Hello fellow crafty peeps!

It has been a few weeks since I joined in the fun of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) but I'm back!  Hop on over to Julia's blog if you'd like to play along!

Had a lovely long Christmas holiday - stayed home and played in my studio the whole time, which is just about as perfect as I can imagine... now it's back to work... back to the gym... back to reality.... and back to WOYWW!

This week, my desk is mostly full of leftover scraps and supplies from the projects I worked on over the holidays....

You can see my *art-spir-a-tion* book sitting on top next to the phone - worked on that over the weekend as part of the first "I Challenge Thee".... erm... challenge.... which Hels and I came up with during our weekly skype session!   Click HERE if you'd like to see the post with that project - I'm already loving this new book!  I'm sure we'll be doing these challenges again, so check back every so often if you want to play along.  No prizes.... just good inky fun....

Also wanted to share one of the *coolest* Christmas presents I got this year!  My dear hubbie found this for me at the antique store and I am in LOVE!

That tool caddy is the BEST, right?  It's got seven huge compartments in it - and I've got it stuffed with all my favorite pens, pencils, paint brushes, pearl pens, adhesives, tweezers, hold punches, gesso, glue glider, pliers, jute, and anything else I could stuff in!  And of course next to that is my most favorite stamps.... Studio 490... of course... with my other favs next to those.

Hope you're having a great day - thanks for stopping by!


~ ellen.

January 11, 2011

I'm Getting A Little "Misty"


As you can see from my title, this week is all about misting!  Tonight I worked on this tag for this week's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, hosted by the fabulous Linda Ledbetter over on the StudioL3 blog - hop on over and check it out!

This week we're working on page 60 of Tim Holtz's book - click HERE if you've been living under a rock and want to check it out.  The technique is called Distress Misting Masks.  

I did the technique from the book, using Brushed Corduroy and Heirloom Gold, then added the perfect copper perfect pearl mist over top of that.  Inked over the fence area with crushed olive, forest moss and vintage photo DI's.  Then used a charcoal pencil to outline around the fence design to give it some depth and emphasis.  

On the right side, I used one of Tim's stamps and inked it up with forest moss, vintage photo, and aged mahogany DI's, spritzed it with water, then stamped - love the multi colored effect of watercolor stamping.  It doesn't show very well in the photo.... :(  Added the idea-ology bookplate with the "trust" ticket and smooshed over it with rock candy crackle paint. 

Then added a quick grunge-flower using Studio 490 stamps by THE Wendy Vecchi with a Maya Road resin blossom in the center.
The skeleton key is a real one... very old.... that my dear hubbie found for me at an antique store!  I got loads of them in my Christmas stocking this year!  He definitely knows how to make me happy!!!

Hope you enjoyed following along - thanks for stopping by!


~ ellen.

January 10, 2011

I Challenge Thee!


As promised, I'm back with another project to share.  On Sunday morning, Hels and I were chatting on skype, and out of the blue she says to me.... "Do you have a paper and pencil?"  I said, yes of course... I was in my studio, so those things are *fairly* handy... LOL...and then she said,


Well... I was a little surprised, and more than a little curious to see what she had in mind!  We had been talking about different ideas for art and she was sketching some things out as we talked.  I have never been one to sketch out an idea ahead of time, just never got into that habit.  SO... the challenge was to make a book/journal to write down / sketch out ideas for our art.   She had an idea for the book sketched out already (so credit for the design is totally hers...) but then we decided to set a few ground rules for the challenge, which we worked out together.

This is what we came up with:

Stick to the sketch for basic design

Use only 4 distress ink colors - she picked two and I picked two (independently chose colors and then shared.... oops!  Two greens!  Gotta make it work!)

 - Crushed Olive (ellen)
 - Wild Honey (ellen)
 - Vintage Photo (hels)
 - Bundled Sage (hels)

Plus, we agree that we could each use ONE additional "wild card" distress color.

Archival Ink - black, olive and coffee (gee, can you tell we're Wendy Vecchi fans???)

Tim Holtz - On the Fence die
Tim Holtz - Hardward Findings die (for the hinges)

5" x 7" size, bound using Cinch or Bind It All.

Embellish the binding with ribbons or charms or whatever.

So.... here's what I came up with!

I had a blast making this - here's a quick (well, maybe not so quick... it took a while!) summary of what I did.  I started by gesso-ing the front & back covers (both sides) and drying with a heat gun.  Then I used my "wild card" DI color - stormy sky - to ink the top portion of the cover, and used crushed olive on the bottom section.  (NOTE: If you use distress ink over gesso, you have to heat-dry it...  Eventually it will dry on its own but it takes *forever*... just sayin....) Then stamped Studio 490 (THE Wendy Vecchi) script background over the whole page using coffee archival ink.  Stamped the grasses/birds stamp (Paper Artsy) using black archival ink.  Added the picket fence die cut, which I painted with a light coat of ... wait for it.... picket fence... crackle paint, and distressed lightly with vintage photo DI.  Letters for *art-spir-a-tion* (clever? or corny?) are Maya Road inked with vintage photo DI and added glossy accents on top.  Flowers and leaves are by Studio 490 - inked with wild honey for large flower and vintage photo for the smaller one. Over-stamped with Studio 490 backgrounds.  Leaves are in crushed olive. Added rocky candy distress stickles to all.  The frame around 3-sides is just 1/4" strips of grungeboard, gessoed, inked with bundled sage, and stamped with Studio 490 screen background.  Added the idea-ology spinner and a Studio 490 stamp to the bottom section beneath the fence, and added some charms to the binding.

Here's a few close-ups so you can see some details:

LOVE that charm with the crown... been waiting to use that!
One element of the sketched design was to use a scroll/flourish - I found one that looked like an "E" - just had to snip a little piece off the middle... perfect!

If you're like me and never write down your art ideas.... use our ground rules above and go make yourself an *art-spir-a-tion* book!  I'd love to see it if you do!

Hope you've enjoyed playing along with me & Hels.  I have a feeling we may do this again from time to time.... Please go over and check out her project!  Just click HERE.  Have a great day!


~ ellen xxx

P.S. - I was bad and didn't use the hinges like we agreed... I did TRY, but couldn't find a way to incorporate the hinges with the Cinch rings in the way.

January 9, 2011

ATCs with Donna Downey

Hi everyone!

Well as you may have noticed... I've gotten off to a slow-start in 2011 from an art perspective.... back to work, back to the gym, and back to Jenny Craig!  So I've been busy getting some other areas of my life back in order... which feels good, but I've really missed *making art* and sharing it will all of you!

As a way to break the ice for the new year, I've decided to play along with Donna Downey's new ATC Club.  Each month, she will post 4 ATC's and will offer kits on her website if you want to make exactly the same ones.  Since this is my first dabbling into ATC's (shocking... I know....), I've decided to go the "kit" route, to see different techniques and options in this *VERY COOL* smaller size art.

Here's the results from January's kit... I'm loving them!

I like the fact that they are all similar in layout and techniques, yet they are all uniquely cool.   I think I'm going to have fun with this!  I'm going to get an ATC Carousel from 7 Gypsies to display them all (because I have issues and need to organize *everything*... yes, it's true....)

If you're interested in the details, the instructions are available for download on Donna's website... click HERE to check it out.

Hope you are off to a great start to 2011!  I'll be back tomorrow with another project I've been working on today.... I was *CHALLENGED* by THE Hels Sheridan... we were chatting on skype and came up with a cool project we could do together, yet 3700 miles apart.... even from a distance we can *make art* together.  Come back tomorrow to check it out!


~ ellen xxx

January 1, 2011

A Curious Scribbling from Yesteryear

Hello all ~

(*Warning... this is a monster post!  Not for the faint of heart...*)

I've been a busy little bee working (playing) away in my studio this week!  Mostly I've been working on an altered book, which I posted earlier today if you want to check it out.

But today, I thought I would do a quick tag for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge!  This week's technique is called scribble stain.  What started out as a quick tag exploded into a major project!  PLUS, it's also a good fit for the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge, which I actually already entered, but.... who says you can't enter twice.... Here's what happened....

I opened up Tim's book to page 43 and made my first attempt at this technique.... OOPS, went a little heavy with the scribbling... let's try again.... 2nd attempt not much better than the first, so... third time a charm??? Yep!  But then something funny happened.... when I put all three tags next to each other I thought, "Hey, they look sort of cool together!" So I spent some time trying to figure out how to attach them .... and that idea evolved into this....

I think I used products from practically every major line I own!  The base is corrugated cardboard, painted with a combination of Golden's Yellow Ochre, Ranger's Willow, and Ranger's Mushroom paints, then added black paint to the raised parts using my fingertips.

I ran the tags thru the C'bug using a border folder that looks like rivets, sanded the raised parts and added Vintage Photo distress ink, and then added idea-ology snaps to accent.  This photo shows the scribble stain part of the project, which is the reason it began!

I stamped Tim's script background on all three tags, and added Maya Road's foundation frames to each tag, inking them with distress ink and then stamping Studio 490 background stamps on the frames and the centers.  Then stamped the phrases into the centers (this was one big stamp that I broke up by inking only the part needed for each frame (an exercise in careful masking and even more carefully wiping away the ink that landed where it wasn't supposed to be...).  Also spritzed all three tags with Heirloom Gold perfect pearl mist.

I just bought these Rusty Tin Stars last week, and they added that perfect vintage touch to this project.

I got these cool vintage skeleton keys in my Christmas stocking!  They are from an old paper mill where the antique store is now located!

Keys are attached to the cardboard with antique gold wire
The final elements were the mini canvases, which I smooshed Viva Terra (Sahara) all over, then dabbed with my finger to get the textured finish.  Then stamped into the Terra with the open sequin waste stamp from The Artistic Stamper.  Heat dried to get some additional texture, and then added distress ink in forest moss and brushed corduroy to give it an aged look.  Then added patina stickles over that to give some sparkle.
Added a grungeboard keyhole, with vintage photo distress embossing powder to give a rusted look, and a metal corner.
Added idea-ology timepiece, gears, game spinner, and metal corner.
This project just goes to show.... you never know where you might end up when you start a project!  This was supposed to be a quickie tag so I could make the deadline for the challenge!  Phew!  It took the better part of a whole day in the end, but I'm SO glad I stuck with it because I love how it turned out!  No preconceived notions - just pure play.  Perfect!

Hope you've managed to hang in there through this ginormous post!  Congrats!  You made it to the end!


~ ellen xxx

Something Old for the New Year!


Hope everyone had a safe & happy new year's celebration last night!  We managed to stay up 'til midnight, which is something of a miracle around here!  The hazards of working full time... up early... to bed early... hard habit to break...

This week's theme over on Simon Says Stamp & Show is to show something from yesteryear.   My current project couldn't be more perfect for this!

I've been spending lots of time over the Christmas/New Year's Holidays on this mini book, which I started when I took a class with Jenni Bowlin last week at The Queen's Ink!  We were able to select from an assortment of antique book covers (front & back, hardback variety), and then created pages to insert into the book during class.

Since then, I've been embellishing and adding photos from my trip to England!  Here's a few pages that I've completed to far...

The train platform in Hels' town of Wellingborough - I've arrived!
Gates of Buckingham Palace
Printed this photo on sticky back canvas, and printed another photo of a UK post box on SBC too, then stuck the sticky sides together and sewed them together - cool insert page for the book.  I've done a few others like this with different images.  I love making page inserts out of different materials than the main pages.
Class with THE Linda Elbourne - photos of our finished cards in top section, and me & Linda below - I'm all bundled up in my most bulky warm sweater because it was FREEZING! 
I still have all the journaling to do, and will be doing lots more embellishing, but this gives you an idea of where I am so far....  I'm having a hard time believing that I'm actually (*sssshhhhh don't tell anyone*) scrapbooking!  ACK! I prefer to think of it as an altered mini-book....

Best wishes to everyone for an awesome 2011!  I'm so fortunate to have met so many incredible people through the blogosphere - what an amazing gift!  Thanks so much to everyone who has stopped by to check out my little corner of the world, and especially to those who take the time to leave a comment - they really to mean a lot to me, and it's how I get to know you!  Keep 'em coming!

Happy, Happy!!!

~ ellen xxx