July 27, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show.... Anything!

Hey everyone!

This week's theme over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge is to do a project with..... well... ANYTHING!  Now really... how can you *not* participate in that.... and there's a chance to win a $50 gift certificate towards all that fab new stash from CHA!  Come on... you know we all need help paying for our stashly purchases...

So... a few weeks ago I shared the cover of a project I made for a very good friend of mine, but couldn't share the insides until it was received... in case you missed the cover... here it is... and click HERE to see the post on how I made the cover....

It's pretty evident that this is a mini-book... those Cinch rings are a dead give away... so... here are the insides... I made SIX tags and used my tiny attacher to staple them together into 3 fat chunky pages... here we go!

Tag #1:  tag background done with broken china distress ink (direct to paper).  Then used the awesome background stamp from Tim's Papillion set and embossed with white embossing powder.  Added two mini butterflies (Tim Holtz movers and shapers die), ran gold stickles around the butterfly edges, and stamped the "world of reality" stamp on manila card and inked with scattered straw and rusty hinge DI. Added the Live word tag.

Tag #2:  pearl paint dabber randomly swiped over tag, leaving lots of open space.  Then used forest moss and spiced marmalade DI over the pearl paint, which acted as a resist.  Used checkerboard stamp from Tim's Mini Grunge set to stamp randomly around the edges, and the sunburst stamp at the top.  Added some measuring tape and another word tag, and cut the sentiment stamp into its individual words.

Tag #3:  distress ink background with Tim's famous flourish stamp.  Stamped the film strip in black archival ink and added film strip ribbon over top.  Added the sentiment and a philosophy tag (with gold and meadow paint dabber filled into the word and numbers). and finnally, added some black pearl pen accents.

Tag #4:  Covered tag with dictionary paper, white washed, added script stamp (Wendy Vecchi), bird on branch stamp (Tim), and the sentiment in black archival.  The sentiment was stamped on the back of a journaling tag.  Then stamped the sentiment again in aged mahogany, with clear embossing powder and cut out the "fears" and "dreams" words and glued them over the black stamp.  Added the philosophy tag with white and cranberry paint dabber in the word/numbers.

Tag #5:  distress ink background (stormy sky, dried marigold, and brushed corduroy), stamped Tim Holtz flourish, splatter, and stars in coffee archival, then stamped the "Life is the Art of..."  stamp on a blank tag, and used brushed corduroy and dried marigold ink spritzed with water on the craft sheet to dip the tag for a splattered effect.  Used distress inks to color in the words and images, tore the edges and inked with walnut stain DI to help the image stand out against the background.  Added philosophy tag and vintage lace ribbon to the bottom.

And, finally, Tag #6:  distress ink background, stamped Tim's alphabet background in pumice stone DI (very subtle), and then stamped the flames and birds with black soot DI and embossed with clear embossing powder.  Added the sentiment (which was stamped on a blank tag, colored with the same DI colors as the background, and mounted each word on white card stock to they would stand out against the background.  Added the philosophy tag.

I used Tim's kraft resist paper for the inside of the back cover, with spiced marmalade and scattered straw distress inks, and added my "created by" stamp and the date on a mini tag.  And the back cover is the same as the front, but left plain with no embellishments.  

Added rag ribbons to the Cinch rings, along with some charms on some metal chain (sorry... didn't get a pic of this...)

If you're still reading this... thanks for stopping by to check out my project for this week.  It was a labor of love.  Hope you stop by the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog to check out all the other amazing art!  See you soon!

~ ellen.

July 26, 2011

My Dylusional Weekend


Sorry I've been out of touch, but I'm sure you'll understand since I was lucky enough to spend the entire weekend at The Queen's Ink with none other than THE Dyan Reaveley!!!  As most of you will know, Dyan is the force behind the Dylusions line of stamps, which just had their second release (12 new sets!) at CHA - and yes - we were lucky enough to have them in the store!!!  This weekend marked Dyan's first in-store teaching "gig" in America, and it was absolutely *PERFECT*.

Our adventure started on Friday evening with Dyan teaching our monthly "Two Tag Minimum" class.  We learned about color wash, gesso, stencil spraying, and used some of her brand new character stamps!  We were a little short on time so I was rushing, so these aren't the best thing I've ever done, but here they are...
"Arsey" girl had an accident with a puddle of worn lipstick distress stain so has a very bad case of rosacea---where's that "oops" stamp??? LOL)

Then the real fun began on Saturday morning!  Dyan taught THREE classes on Saturday, and then the same three on Sunday (yes - 11 hours of teaching each day!).  I took ALL the classes on Saturday so I could help out in the store on Sunday... here we go with the first class.... we made a mini book using kraft resist paper, gesso, distress stains (we had the honor of having all the new colors available in the store!!!), learned the "Dyan wiggle", used lids for stamping in black and white, and then hand-sewed the whole book together with a sticky back canvas binding... here's a shot of the pages with just gesso and distress stain...

and here's a few pix of the finished book pages....

On to the second class, which was a canvas project... you may have seen this project before as Dyan taught it at CHA in January - the difference is that the folks at CHA didn't have time to do the whole background (they got scanned versions of the background - we made it ourselves - lucky us!). I love the vibrant colors, painting with color wash / distress stains, and painting with perfect pearls (bird and flowers). 

And, last but certainly not least, the third class.... my favorite.... the Accordion Book.  We used color wash to lay a vibrant background on watercolor paper, front and back, and then did lots of layering with stencils, gesso, color wash sprays, perfect pearl mists, etc. and hand-sewed the mini pages in.  We didn't get to add in all the stamped images during class, so I spent a lot of time yesterday working on this book and will share more detailed pix when it's done.... but here's a few....

And, finally.... a pic with me and Dyan... this was taken after the last class on SUNDAY... about 10:30 or 11:00 pm... so if we look a little bleary-eyed please be forgiving.... I don't know how Dyan managed it, but she was a bundle of energy the entire weekend, and gave every single student a fantastic experience - she is so kind, so generous, and just a bundle of fun and love.  Life is GOOD and I'm so happy I got to share in this experience!  Thanks Dyan... and a BIG thanks to "Queen" Patti who owns The Queen's Ink for making this happen and being her awesome self. 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend - now it's back to reality.... see you soon!

~ ellen.

July 19, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show Embossing / Grungy Monday 16


This week the stars aligned with two awesome challenges..... 

the first is over at the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge Blog, where this week's theme is to use embossing...

the second is the Grungy Monday Challenge, where this week's theme is to use grungeboard or grungepaper.... honestly, this has to be one of Tim's best products EVER... be sure to check out his blog HERE for serious inspiration and amazement... he's so flippin' creative...

so... since I *love* both these techniques and products, and I *love* both of these awesome challenge sites, I decided to do both!

I bought this Tim Holtz Alterations cabinet card die a few months ago, and decided it was long over due for a good workout.  I decided to make a mini book, with the cabinet card die used as the pages.  So I cut the front and back covers out of grungeboard, and embossed the grungeboard with an embossing folder and my Vagabond - challenges satisfied!   Here are the covers....


And the back:
All of the stamps used in this book are Studio 490 by Wendy Vecchi (ok... for those eagle eyed stampers out there.... there is *one* stamp by Dyan Reaveley - can you find it?) - these Studio 490  stamps are highly addictive and so versatile - if you haven't checked them out you simply *must* !  Check out Wendy's blog HERE to see all the different ways to use them, along with her other fabulous products.

The pages of my book are made from raw canvas.  I cut six pieces from the Cabinet Card Die and sewed them together into 3 pages, front and back.  Here are the six sides:

(*needed that "oops" stamp! - outlining the sentiment and went a little off-course!  OOPS!*)

Once all the pages were completed, I punched holes in each page using my Cinch, and then tied the book together with some ribbon by May Arts.  I love their crinkly ribbon!  Can't get enough.... :)

Hope you've enjoyed this book - hope to see you around the blog-o-sphere!

Time is drawing very very near!!!! Only THREE DAYS until Dyan Reaveley arrives at The Queens Ink! I'm hyperventilating!!!

See you soon.

~ ellen.

July 14, 2011

Grungy Monday 15 - Rusted Enamel / and more Stitches!

Hi everyone,

Grab a cuppa coffee.... this is a long one!

This week's theme over on the Grungy Monday Challenge, brilliantly and lovingly hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter (say that 3x fast...ha ha..), is to use Tim Holtz' Rusted Enamel technique, demonstrated HERE on Tim's blog way back in 2007 during the very first 12 Tags of Christmas series.   And since the theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show is to use stitches, I figured I'd put my hat in the ring (again!) - I'm falling back in love with my sewing machine this week!

I started by doing the technique on the base of the tag, using scattered straw and brushed corduroy distress inks. You'll have to check out Tim's blog for the specifics... click link above...

Then I started building the tag.  I've had these mini hinges by Graphic 45 for a few months and finally was inspired to use them!  Here's the completed tag...

I'll get back to the hinge later... let's start on the left... I stamped Tim's long skinny message stamp onto plain white copy paper, tore the edges around the text, inked with antique linen distress ink, and then crumpled the whole thing into a little ball.  Un-crumpled and then ran brushed corduroy lightly over the surface so it only caught the high points of the wrinkles.  Then sewed black stitches around the edges.

Then, I pulled out these mini envelopes, also by Graphic 45, and added a mini tag on top, doing some background stamping in brushed corduroy, and the main message stamp in black archival ink (all Tim Holtz stamps).  Added some grungeboard wings (from the mini grunge set), painted with gold paint dabber and black archival swept over the top.  Sewed black stitching around the edge of the tag.

Notice the little arrow on the left?  That's supposed to tell you that there's something else to look at.... Here we go... and here's the hinge part....

Cool right?  So.... the envelope/tag that shows in the original pic at the top of this post is actually the back side of the hinged tag, closed up (hope that made sense....).

I hinged two envelopes together.... so.... on the two "inside tags" I added two small tags, also did background stamping in brushed corduroy and message stamps in black archival ink (again, all Tim Holtz stamps).  Added another arrow, pointing right, and a mini grunge crown to the tag on the left, painted with gold paint dabber.  Sewed black stitching around the edges of these tags, too. 

Added an antique brass heart charm (AC Moore clearance bin!) to the bottom of the envelope with a memo clip. 

The fibers tied to the tags are actually recycled silk fibers... I found a big ball of it when I visited the American Visionary Arts Museum a few weeks ago - cool place - cool gift shop! 

And, finally, added a grungepaper flourish and grunge butterflies (both from Tim's Alterations dies).  Inked the flourish with vintage photo distress stain, and the butterflies (2 layers) with wild honey distress stain.  Stamped the butterfly (front and back) with one of Tim's antique label stamps in coffee archival ink, ran cranberry paint around the edges, added black pearl pen dots to the body, and sandwiched a game spinner between the two butterflies.

Here's the finished tag - opened up.

Hope you enjoyed this project - thanks for stopping by!

~ ellen.

July 12, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away.... more fun with Dylusions

Hi everybody,

I've been having a lot of fun playing with Dyan Reaveley's awesome stamp line (range), Dylusions and had another good day creating with them over the weekend.  If you haven't seen the previews of the new stamps coming out next week, you've got to check them out HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE- lots more fun on the way!

Last Thursday and Friday we had more rain than I've ever seen in my life!  Torrential downpours, power outages, and some serious worries about flooding.... that said... rain has been on my mind...

I started this tag with color wash sprays, letting them blend and bleed in the background, building layers of intensity in the colors.  Then added some white drippage.  At this point I didn't have "rain" in mind for the tag, I just like drippage!

Then it was time to start building layers.... that's where the rain came in... I used the leaf stamp from THIS stamp set, but instead of using them as leaves, I cut the stems off and used them as... raindrops! Also used the circles from THIS set.  I painted each raindrop with color wash (denim), outlined with white pen, and then put glossy accents over the each raindrop for a wet look.  Must admit.... rather pleased with this!

Once I had the raindrops in place, I had to use the umbrella from THIS set.  Painted the umbrella with orange color wash and added glossy accents to the skeleton frame of the umbrella.  Painted the handle with butterscotch color wash, and also added glossy accents.

Needed somebody to hold that umbrella, so stamped "Lucy" from THIS set onto book text, cut her out, painted her with distress inks and water, and layered her over the background.  I cut out her left arm so it would look (somewhat) like she was holding the umbrella.  And, of course, her awesome red boots had to have glossy accents, too.

Added the "Rain, Rain" sentiment, just typed it out on my computer and printed in a fun font (chalkboard).  Cut the words apart, glued them down, and added some black dots around the edges.

Finally, finished off the tag by added pearl pen (by Viva) dotted border all the way around the edges.

Hope you're having fun playing along with my Dylusions adventure - love them!  And.... now it's only TEN days until Dyan arrives at The Queens Ink!  Oh, what fun we're going to have!

See you soon!

~ ellen.

July 11, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show... some Stitching!

Hi stampers!

My luck is running well lately... last week I made a tag and it fit perfectly with the theme... and this week the same thing happened!  I made this tag on Sunday, and then Monday the new challenge was announced... stitching... perfect!

This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge is to show some stitching... faux or for-real... my tag has a lot of real stitching and a little bit of the faux variety... and here it is...

It has been entirely too long since I had a proper play with my Studio 490 stamps and I thought it was high-time they were brought out and loved.... I started by inking my tag background with Old Paper and Frayed Burlap distress inks, and added Brushed Corduroy to the edges.  Then I used vintage photo and walnut stain distress stains to make these splats.  It's a shame most of them got covered up with other elements - they're pretty cool...

Then used the ledger and definition stamps with coffee archival ink to cover the tag background, and then used the circle background with jet black archival ink over that.  The circles are so thin that using black in the background doesn't hurt the overall appearance.

Then I used these new matching stamps and dies from Memory Box to make a mini tag and a mini folder.  I folded one label in half to make a folder, and then stamped the writing hand and *important stuff inside* from Studio 490 on the folder.  Inked with same DI's as tag background.

I took the other tag, whose matching stamp is a ledger background, and stamped the *rules to live by* stamp on it - the items lined up perfectly with the lines on the ledger - I love when that happens!  Also added the Studio 490 flourish.

I ran the big tag, the little tag, and the folder through my sewing machine to sew black stitching around all the edges.  I wanted to use stitching on all three elements to give the tag a consistent design element. 

Added the sprocket/gear/game spinner to the edge of the envelope, and then attached the envelope to the tag with my tiny attacher, making faux "x" stitches.  Added some Tim Holtz rosette trimmings, stained with antique linen and vintage photo distress stains, and the 7 Gypsies chipboard clock button with a Maya Road bingo chip in the center to the bottom, and finally, added the "love" key to the top, using a memo clip and jump ring.

I haven't done anything this mono-chromatic in a while - it's a nice change and it's a good way to focus on good design, because the color is the only thing that doesn't stand out. 

Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a great week - see you soon - I've got more art to share - been having fun with Dylusions again!   My countdown has begun... only 11 days until Dyan Reaveley arrives at The Queens Ink!  Woohoooooo!!!

~ ellen.

July 10, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

Hi everyone,

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a day with my 16 year old niece, isn't she beautiful?

So we headed down to The Queen's Ink for a few hours!  First we shopped for some yummy new goodies to play with, and then we took over the classroom and played!  Here's what we came up with.... this is my tag.... hers is very similar and she did an awesome job!

First we bought this awesome ledger/flower background stamp by Hero Arts/Basic Grey.  We inked our entire tag with dried marigold distress ink, and then stamped the background stamp with fired brick distress ink.  I love the summer combination, makes me think of watermelon and cantaloupe.

Then we bought some more of these fun 3-d flower cut-outs by Imaginisce.  We inked them with the same dried marigold and fired brick distress inks, and rolled them around and around the tweezers, and then hot-glued them together.  I added some diamond stickles to the the edges of all the petals.

Added an idea-ology ornate plate with a dream adage ticket to the top,

added the sentiment "dream a little dream of me" printed from the computer, a 7 gypsies metal corner, and finally, some dimensional pearls to the center of the flower.  A simple design that lets the flowers really shine! 

This tag reminds me of summer time, and a quintessential part of any summer in Maryland involves steamed crabs.... Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.... and it just so happens we had some for dinner tonight - YUM!  If you've never picked crabs in Baltimore before.... you don't know what you're missing! 

Hope you're having a great summer!  I'll be back soon with more art to share.

~ ellen.

July 5, 2011

Grungy Monday 14 - Dabber Resist & Mists

Hi everyone,

This week's challenge on Grungy Monday is to use a paint dabber resist with custom colorized pearl sprays.  For the details on this technique click HERE to see Tim Holtz give the step-by-step instructions on his blog.  Here we go!

I used the dabber resist technique at the top portion of the tag, using Tim Holtz starburst stamp.  I accented the starburst with a black pitt pen.  Here's a close up.

Then I got out some text printed canvas (Prima) and cut it slightly larger than the bottom portion of the tag, spritzed with some color sprays (same technique as above), and added some white drippage for another layer of interest.

I sketched in a small landscape and then added in some of Dyan Reaveley's wavy houses.  Accented all portions of both houses with a white pen, cut the roof off the big house, and then used foam tape to add them to the tag, using a double thickness on the roof for extra dimension.  

Then added the "it's all perspective" words (from Tim Holtz stamp), to emphasize the *perspective* of the tag, with the smaller house (hopefully) looking further away than the bigger one in the foreground.

Used my tiny attacher to staple the canvas to the tag base, and continued all the way around so the staples act as a frame.

Added some embellishments - an antique brass heart with charm clock, and a Maya Road star pin colored with alcohol ink (butterscotch).    And some rag ribbon trim at the top.

Hope you liked this tag - be sure to check out the other awesome projects on the Grungy Monday blog!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.