May 25, 2011

Altered Cabinet

Hi everyone,

I spent some time this weekend altering a little cabinet of drawers I found at a flea market.  When I rescued it, the poor thing was covered in stars and planets, really rather sad.... but with a quick coat of paint, some Ten Seconds Studio metal, and Tim Holtz' texture fades... it was transformed into this!

Since I knew I would be covering the drawer fronts and the sides, I didn't have to paint the entire surface, just the parts that would show.  I used Ranger's brown paint dabber to get the paint onto the cabinet and then brushed over it lightly to smooth it out and give the appearance of wood grain.

Then I cut the sheets of metal (color: bronzed god) to the correct size for each portion of the cabinet and ran it through my Vagabond with Tim Holtz texture fades.  Instant texture.  Sanded the raised portion of each panel to reveal the silver color beneath.

Used sheets of adhesive to cover the entire back of each metal panel, applied to the drawer fronts, cabinet sides, and the top, and burnished the edges down with a paper stump to get rid of sharp edges.

I also lined each drawer with Tim Holtz paper.

I re-used the drawer knobs that were on the cabinet, painting them black and then rubbing Inka Gold (antique silver) over the black base. 

So next time you're at a flea market or antique store and you see something that needs rescuing... keep this in mind.  It's an easy way to transform something old and make it something new!  Have fun playing!

~ ellen x

May 23, 2011

Grungy Monday 08


This week I am honored to be a guest designer on Studio L3's fabulous weekly challenge, known across the blog-o-sphere as Grungy Monday.  These challenges are devised and hosted each week by one of the sweetest artists on the *planet*.... someone I am honored to call my friend, Linda Ledbetter.

And if that wasn't enough, I have the pleasure of sharing this week's guest designer spot with Sue West, Please make sure you go check out her awesome creation!

This week we're drawing inspiration from a past technique challenge on Tim's blog, called Adirondack Watercolor Stamping:

Here's my piece for this week's challenge.... (sorry... not the best quality picture...)

I started with three ATC size cuts of watercolor paper, and stamped three of Tim's images using the watercolor stamping technique.  (*Confession: I don't have many colors of the Adirondack dye ink pads, so I improvised with distress inks - so don't be afraid to try this technique with other products - it works pretty well!*)

Once I had the images stamped I started adding embellishments:  the "aRt" letters are the new grungeblocks from Tim's latest CHA release.  I inked the bases with black soot distress ink and the letters with brushed corduroy distress ink.  Then added various bits of idea-ology to each ATC. 
The L3 and EV letters are from Tim's new alpha parts.  The white buttons between the L-3 and E-V are from Jenni Bowlin's collection - FAB!

The ATC's are mounted onto cardstock that was whitewashed, then covered with scraps of dictionary paper, and then whitewashed again.  Then mounted the whole piece onto two layers of card stock. After I had taken the pix I was able to find the perfect size black frame to put this in, but I forgot to take more pix.... sorry....

Now.... I have to tell you.... there's a story to go along with this piece.... At the time Linda asked me to be a guest designer for this week's challenge, I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to meet her when I went to pick up Hels from Ranger U... so.... I hatched a sneaky plan.... I wanted to make this piece not only for the weekly challenge, but also as a gift for Linda.  She has been such a special blogging friend to me, and I wanted to give her something to mark the occasion of our meeting each other.... So... look carefully....

L3 = Studio L3 (Linda Lee Ledbetter!)
EV = duh.... that's me.....
and the bingo pieces from Maya Road 5-1-11 = the date that we met each other for the first (and hopefully not the last) time!

And here's the proof that we really did get to meet each other!

Be sure to add your art to the Grungy Monday photo album at the All Things Tim group at Yahoo, too! Lovely List Mom, Gloria, has created this awesome way to share your work with the entire list of talented, supportive Tim fans, and you'll love the community there!

All the products used on this project are available on-line from eclecticPaperie or Simon Says Stamp.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you enjoying playing along!  Now go make some fab art!

~ ellen.

May 18, 2011

ATCs with Donna Downey

Hey there!

I've been busy preparing kits for a class I'm teaching at The Queen's Ink on Friday, so I don't have anything new to share this week, but I've been playing along each month with Donna Downey's ATC Kits.  These kits are awesome, because every month there is a technique or a new material, or a new approach to doing something that always inspires me. 

Here are the ATC's from April's kit.  If you're interested in these kits, click HERE to head over to Donna's website where you can get the kits each month, or get just the instructional downloads if you want to use all your own supplies.

This month was all about combining black and white images with color images.  Such a simple concept with a great impact!  Here's a close up of each ATC.

 This first one (above) uses a scallop edge circle punch of a black & white image, colored with distress inks, as an overlay to the same image underneath.

The 2nd ATC also uses a scallop edge circle punch, but this time the black & white image is underneath the color image.  And I love the "art" banner made from canvas triangles & reverse-printed letters.

And again, the 3rd ATC with a scallop edge circle punch of the black & white image, over the color image.  And another canvas banner.  Such a simple idea, but I just love it!

And finally, the 4th ATC uses a scallop edge square punch of a color image, over the black & white base, enhanced with distress ink.  Love the black & white vellum butterfly.

Honestly folks, these kits are an awesome way to build a technique library.  I bought the 7 Gypsies ATC Carousel and I'm loving watching it fill up with awesome techniques I can reference when the ole' mojo takes a vacation.... Check it out!  Sometimes you just want to *make* something.... and don't want to have to *design* it, too.  A great creative escape. 

I'm working on a Ten Seconds Studio metal project.... hoping to finish it this weekend - a trip to Home Depot is needed.... can't wait to share.

Have a great week!  

~ ellen.

May 11, 2011

Back to Reality...


On Sunday, Jack and I drove Hels back to the airport in Newark, NJ to head back across the pond.  We had an amazing week and we miss her already!  Here's a recap of the rest of our week...

On Wednesday, we went SHOPPING!  We went to Michaels first, and wandered through every aisle ooooh-ing and aaaaah-ing - mostly in the jewelry section..... Then we headed off to lunch at the Rams Head Tavern...

And, finally.... we paid a visit to "Queen Patti" at The Queen's Ink..... 

Thursday was a "stay home and play" day.... we did some ATC's and some tags for our monthly swap... here's some pix of the ones I made....

And here's a few tags I made for our May swap:

On Friday we went to Havre de Grace, MD to an awesome antiques mall which sits right on the Chesapeake Bay - there was lots of oooooh-ing and aaaaah-ing!!!

And then, to wrap up our week together, on Saturday we had a good old fashioned American Cookout (BBQ).  Hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, fruit salad, and spinach salad..... and my sister's famous almond pound cake for dessert - YUM!  

Wish our time could have lasted longer - there is already a "hole" in our house... I wasn't brave enough to go into the studio until yesterday, because I knew it would feel less than complete without Hels there with me.... but.... I will always be so happy that we were able to spend this week together, and look forward to the next time we can see each other.

Thanks for stopping by...

~ ellen xx

May 3, 2011

Hels 'n' Els - Together Again!


It has been a whirlwind two days but I wanted to take a few moments and share....

On Sunday I drove from Baltimore up to Tinton Falls, New Jersey to pick up Hels from Ranger U!  Got there in plenty of time and made my way to Ranger so I'd be there right at the end - perfect timing - found the classroom - found Hels! - saw TIM!  saw MARIO!  And got to meet.... LINDA LEDBETTER!  OMG I think Linda is just about the cutest person I've ever met... she is SO sweet... and SO lovely... and it was SO cool to meet her!  If you can believe it, she is even nicer than the comments she leaves, and that is saying something because her comments are amazing!  I sense a trip to Boise, Idaho somewhere in my future.... I'm just sayin' ....

Hels was up at the front talking to Tim so I went over so I could just bask in the presence of TIM... and Hels is saying... "Ellen you should go check out the warehouse, it's just out the back of the classroom and who knows when you'll have another chance!"  So I'm like.... OK..... (????).... so I go back there and run into Candy Colwell and we started chatting (she's hysterical!!!)... eventually made our way back to the front of the classroom.... and Tim hands me this....

O....M......G..... Hels asked Tim if he had any demo tags left from the class but they were all gone... so when I went up to the front....he was actually MAKING this for ME.... Candy was recruited to distract me and get me the heck out of there!  This will hang in my studio forEVER...  the fact that he would take the time to do that for someone that wasn't even at Ranger U.... and yet I was SORT OF at Ranger U!  So cool....

Then a huge group of us went out to dinner at Applebee's.  Here's a few pix... first.... me & Hels.... (HAPPY PLACE!)

And.... Hels, Linda L. and me...

Had an awesome evening hanging with about 1/2 the Ranger U girls... talking, sharing stories, LOTS of laughing... and yes... there were a few cocktails involved.... such an honor to be a part of it.

Back to hotel, talked, talked, talked and talked some more.... finally went to sleep about 2:00 am.... got up.... had coffee... Hels packed up and I took her to an AMERICAN McDonalds for breakfast (her choice!) and hit the road back to Baltimore....

Got home around lunch time... turned onto my street and I could see she was looking for my house... I didn't have to say a word.... eventually she figured it out... here was her hint.... it HAD to be done!

Once we got over that excitement... we walked into the house.... here was her greeting... in the living room windows....

And in case there is any doubt.... YES... they are "curtains" made out of CHEESY CHESTER CHEETOS!!!  And this is just ONE window... there's a second one just the same!!!

Thanks to hubby Jack for the idea AND the execution....

So... the rest of the day was just about settling in... giving the house tour... and *collapsing*.... today we're up... had lots of coffee.... blogging.... then it's TIME TO MAKE ART!!!!  It's going to be a painty, inky, drippy day!!!!  And before the week's out the melt pot will be making an appearance....

Will keep you posted on our antics....

Hugs to all,

~ Hels & Els xxxx