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.


Helen said...

Yours is great too, what a cracking idea!

Artyjen said...

Love how both books are different even though you both started out with the same recipe ;) That's the fab thing about stamping don't you think?
xoxo Sioux

Juls said...

just found you from Hels, blog!! Love your book...love how you got your mojo kickstarted, and the fact your books are just so different!! Think I might have to make myself a book too!!! Thank you for your inspiration! Hugs Juls

Hels Sheridan said...

Mwhahahahaaaaaa...wasn't that just THE best fun!!! We are seriously going to have to do that again Ellen! Who'd have thought that two peeps using the same ingredients would make seomthing totally different! I LOVE your book, it is A~MAY~ZING!!!!! the title... inspired! And the whole look of the project.. STUNNING!! And.. I LOVE that ickle crown charm... ooh, that just finishes it off perfectly!
Right, what next then?? I challenge thee......

Lori said...

Awesome! Just awesome! It's great to have friends that challenge each other, isn't it? Wonderful way to create! Off to check Hels...great job, Ellen!

Marijane said...

Just a beautiful interpretation of this "art challenge." I find your book to be so "art-spir-a-tional" that I want to make one for myself!!

SusanK said...

Oh my, you two are just so darned clever! Love this project..may have to take the elements and give it a try myself. Thanks for sharing!

flutterbycrafter said...

Wow, this is fantastic, absolutely love it. What a brilliant idea.

Sussie said...

This is stunning! Gorgeous book! :)