August 31, 2011

Simon Says Stamp Super Blog Hop - a la Studio 490!

Hey there bloggers!

For the second year in a row, Simon Says Stamp and Show and Simon Says Stamp Challenge blogs are joining forces to bring you a SUPER hop and treasure hunt to celebrate the approaching fall and winter holidays.

To help celebrate we will be giving a BIG BASKET OF CRAFTING GOODIES to the winner of this hop! PLUS 3 $25 VOUCHERS to the Simon Says Stamp Store ! The vouchers will be the hidden treasure on 3 DT blogs and you have to find them.

The Blog hop will start at on August 31st, 2011 on the Simon Says Challenge Blog 

and will finish on September 5th, 2011 at on the Simon Says Stamp & Show Blog.

The theme for both challenges this week will be ANYTHING GOES. You can make anything you like … a card, an ATC, a Scrapbook layout … the possibilities are endless!

You will need to hop through each blog, find the little parcel of goodies and make a note on which designer’s blog you found them. You do not HAVE to comment on all the DT blogs but we would appreciate any comments you would like to leave. If you lose your way at any time a full list of all the participating blogs with links will be available on Simon Says Stamp Challenge and the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge blogs.

The last stop on the hop is the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge blog. You will need to leave a comment there with the names of the 3 blogs with hidden treasure. The comments will be moderated so you will not be able to see the answers. You MUST enter the challenge and link your creations with the Inlinkz on the Stamp and Show Challenge to be able to win the Grand Prize or any of the $25 vouchers.

For more details please refer to the Simon Says Stamp Challenge or the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge blogs for more details.

If you arrived here from the amazingly talented Joy's blog then you are going in the right direction otherwise you need to start at the beginning on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge.

For my part of the HOP, I went all out with Studio 490 Stamps and Art Parts!  I started with the artful shrine frame, adding loads of art parts:  queens and crowns, wings, raven, pen nib, lamp post, flower, key, and umbrella.  

The art parts were colored with distress stains in fired brick, black soot, broken china, peeled paint, rusty hinge, and scattered straw.

The art parts were then stamped using archival inks in jet black, coffee, olive and monarch orange using all Studio 490 stamps!

Added an idea-ology hinge clip and mini key to the side.  After everything was assembled I added highlights to each element using a white gel pen by Sakura.  It's a Studio 490 Shrine!  Inspired by "THE" Wendy Vecchi of course!

From here you need to go to the super talented Britta's blog for more inspiration :-) I would appreciate a comment if you would like to leave one.

Happy Hopping!!!

~ ellen xxx

August 29, 2011

Super Blog Hop - Reminder


Wanted to remind everyone that Simon Says Stamp is kicking off a SUPER blog hop on Wednesday to start off the month of STAMP-tember!

For the second year in a row, the Simon Says Stamp and Show & Simon Says Stamp Challenge blogs are joining forces to bring you a SUPER hop and treasure hunt to celebrate the approaching fall and winter holidays.  There will be lots of opportunities to win prize packages and blog candy, so be sure to check it out!

See you Wednesday! 

~ ellen 

August 26, 2011

A "Friendly" Tag...

Hi everyone,

A couple weeks ago a very special friend of mine in the UK... any guesses?...  sent me this AWESOME ceramic button of "Big Ben", which, to my knowledge, is only being sold at LB Crafts in the adorable town of Olney.  The buttons are handmade by a local artist and I absolutely love them!

I started by using the scraps from my London paper stack and gluing lots of pieces down all over the tag, trimming the excess when done.  Then added brushed corduroy distress ink, and sunflower sparkle perfect pearl mist, and some white drippage with Golden's titanium white airbrush paint.

Added the ceramic button, tied to the tag with black hemp, 

some Tim Holtz rosette trimmings died with scattered straw distress stain,

and THIS great sentiment stamp from Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions line.

Finished it off with a "Big Ben" charm, and black pearl pen dots around the edges.  Topped it with some Tim Holtz trim.

This was a pretty quick tag, but I love that the sentiment will always remind me that I received that special button from a very special friend.  It won't mean anything to anyone but *me* - and that's OK!

We are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irene, expected to hit tomorrow evening... fingers crossed we will be OK.  We live in a water-front neighborhood that is very prone to flooding, in the best of circumstances... needless to say we're a little bit on edge.... I'll be back with more as soon as I can!

Best wishes to everyone in it's path, they say it's a *monster* storm... hope everyone stays safe!

~ ellen. xxx

August 22, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show... Travel


Thanks for all the amazing feedback and warm welcome from last week's challenge!  You guys really rocked the bling!  This week's challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog is to do a project using *TRAVEL* as a theme.  Be sure to check out the challenge and see all the amazing projects from the Design Team!

Before I get to this week's project I want to tell you about a really exciting blog hop coming up!  For the second year in a row, Simon Says Stamp and Show & The Simon Says Stamp Challenge are joining forces to bring you a SUPER hop and treasure hunt to celebrate the approaching fall and winter holidays.  Be sure to come back on August 31st to start the hop.  It will run through September 5th.  Simon Says Stamp is offering some great prize packages, and there will be other opportunities to win some blog candy, too!

OK... now on to my project.... I have to tell you... I LOVE maps... any kind of map... but old maps are even cooler.  A few months ago we were antique-ing and I found this amazing old Atlas - we had one just like this when I was growing up, so of course I had to have it!  It's dimensions are 14" x 19".  So when I saw that this week's challenge was *Travel* I knew I had to use those maps!  Here we go!

I cut a section of map out of the book, and then cut two pieces to be the same height and 3x the width of a #8 shipping tag.  I used a glue stick to glue the two pieces together, so the front and back are both showing the map side.  Then I did a tri-fold so the folded up "map" is exactly the size of a #8 tag.  I held up an actual #8 tag to the folded up map and snipped the corners, and punched a hole at the top.   Here's how it looked at this point:

I wanted the maps to look old and worn, so I used masking tape over the folds, front and back, to give the impression that they were torn and had to be mended.  Then I crumpled the whole thing up into a ball... then un-crumpled and started inking up the maps to age them.  I used brushed corduroy distress ink over the whole surface, and then applied vintage photo over the crumpled spots, and some walnut stain distress stain to my craft sheet, spritzed with water, and pressed the map into it to look like coffee stains.  Then I used a baby wipe to apply a very thin layer of gesso over the whole map, and then used brushed corduroy and walnut stain distress inks again.

Then I cut the word "JOURNEY" using THIS die, using  Distress Core-dinations card stock.  Sanded the brown paper to reveal the lighter base, attached to tan paper underneath, and inked over with brushed corduroy DI.  Attached to far left side with my tiny attacher.

Used the harlequin stamp from THIS set and the arrow stamp from THIS set to place some accents around the border, using jet black archival ink.  Inked around them with white gel pen.

The sentiments (which can be found HERE and HERE) were stamped either on manila card stock or a journaling ticket, inked with brushed corduroy, and given a generous coat of rock candy crackle paint.

Stamped the small jalopy from THIS set twice with Black Perfect Medium and then embossed with clear embossing powder.  Inked over the embossed cars with brushed corduroy DI and added accents with white gel pen.  Adhered with foam tape for dimension.

Used my new (*awesome*) picket fence distress stain on some grungeboard to get a white surface, and then stamped the compass from THIS set in black archival.  Toned the white down with some vintage photo DI.  (**TIP: if you use white distress stain, or gesso, or white paint under distress inks, you get a chalky pastel result - so vintage photo turns out very light when it dries**).  Used a tiny bit of multi medium (matte) to adhere the compass to the optical lens (7 Gypsies), added a game spinner with foam tape, and attached to the tag with some ball chain and a charm clip.

Adhered 3 trinket pins (Tim Holtz) using multi medium, and then added some Maya road trinket pins (star and rhinestones, colored with butterscotch alcohol ink).  Added some antique brass charms (heart and fleur-de-lis)  from my personal stash, using ball chain and charm clips.  Added a grungepaper pull tab to the right (colored with brushed corduroy DI), with a tiny attacher, and finished it off with some rag ribbon and jute to the tag tops.

Here's a pic of the tags folded up, and once again all opened up...

Hope you enjoyed this week's project.  As usual, if you have a question please leave it in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer it for you!  But don't forget to leave your email address!

Be sure to join in the challenge this week!  If you do, you'll have a chance at winning a $50 shopping spree with Simon Says Stamp.... and really... who doesn't love free stash??? Get busy!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great week!

~ ellen.

August 21, 2011

Spreading the Dylusional Love... Art with Onnie!

Hi everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since I posted... I've been under the weather all week, but am finally starting to feel better. 

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with my two GORGEOUS nieces... we had an inky/painty/afternoon playing with DYLUSIONS stamps (available at Simon Says Stamp), and the Dylusions ink sprays (available from Dyan Reaveley's Art From The Heart website).... shipping rates to the US are very reasonable, and they will let you know what the shipping cost will be before they finalize your order. 

They both fell in love with the bright colors and awesome, quirky characters and fun images and sayings.  Lauren especially liked the "I don't like you. You're very ugly and have no manners at all" sentiment --- from the "Say What You Mean" set.  Ahhhh... the things we wish we could say out loud at certain times in life... it's one of my favorites too.

We used the Dylusions spray inks on watercolor paper to create a vibrant background, and then added accents with Crafter's Workshop stencils and gesso.  Here is what Jessica created for her background (in progress):

And here is what Lauren created!

Now, being the bad "in progress" photographer that I am... I forgot to take the rest of the pix along the way, but after the gesso, we added more details to the backgrounds, using alphabet stencils and dylusions spray inks, and then added a spritz of perfect pearls mist over the whole background for that awesome shimmer!

By this time, we had gotten well and truly INKY.... nothing makes me happier than to see my girls' hands covered in INK.... (Lauren is so neat... she hardly got any ink on her fingers at all!! We'll have to work on that.... LOL!)  I think I won the inky fingers challenge.... I'm very messy!

Then we cut the background into four pieces, each roughly the size of a #8 tag.

I sent them home with LOADS of Dylusions images and brand new white gel pens so they could finish their tags at home, using their own markers to color in the images. 

I had an awesome time playing with them, and we've decided to make it a monthly event... Art with Onnie! (that's me!  that's what Jessica called me at 1 year old, and it stuck... I love it!)

Have a great Sunday!  I'll be back tomorrow with a new project for the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge!  Stop by and check it out!

~ ellen.

August 15, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show Me... Some Bling!


I'm so excited to share with you my first project as a member of the Design Team for Simon Says Stamp and Show!  I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the team, and honored to have been chosen... I hope you enjoy this project and find some time to get inky/painty soon! 

This week's theme is to use some *BLING*.... be sure to pop over to the challenge blog and check out the amazing pieces the rest of the design team have created!

OK - let's get started....

I started with an 8x10 canvas board and got out my Ranger paint dabbers - I used pool, red pepper, citrus and purple twilight.  I swiped all the different colors onto the canvas and used my fingers to blend the colors together.  I must admit there were some "muddy" patches that I had to dry and go over again to brighten the colors up again, so don't be discouraged if you get some mud when blending the paints.

Once the paint was dry, I used the harlequin stencil and my Ranger craft scraper to "smoosh" some gesso (Claudine Hellmuth) through the stencil - the most important thing here is that you do NOT want a nice clean, defined image... messier and uneven is better!  When the gesso dried, I re-applied the stencil over the gessoed areas and spritzed mint perfect pearl mist over the stencil again - I love the shimmery look this gives.  Another confession:  this *mint* color is never one I would have chosen for myself, but I had to use it in my class with Dyan Reaveley because all the other colors had been taken by other students... happy accident.... LOVE this color!  Looks great over dark colors.

Then I got out my Bitty Grunge stamp set (Tim Holtz) and used the dots to stamp in random areas on the canvas with jet black archival ink.  Then used white (snow cap) paint dabber to stamp white dots over the black ones for some dimension.  Then I used the small splatter stamp from Tim's Urban Tapestry stamp set, with white paint dabber, to stamp splatters in the spaces that needed filling.  When the paint dries, it looks like the paint has worn away in areas - this was a total accident but I like it!

Next up was to use my craft scraper (the edge), dipped in a tiny bit of gesso (both white and black) to create some hash marks in random spots.  I like the look over the over-lapping lines - very architectural to me. 

OK... so now the background is done... time to embellish!

I started by placing some of Tim's link chain across the width of the canvas to give some movement to the piece - the chain draws your eye across the canvas, and gives some separation to the large space.  I adhered the chain to the canvas with multi-medium (matte).

Then I stamped the "It's Not Who You Are..." sentiment from Tim's Just Thoughts stamp set on white card stock, cut out each word, and arranged them across the width of the canvas.  Again - placing the words across the width of the canvas draws the eye across the piece.  Glued the words down, and traced around them with a black pitt pen.

Now it's time for IDEA-OLOGY.... I used:  ruler ribbon, light bulbs, wings, clock faces, game spinners, small lock, pen nibs, metal corners, and a crown - phew!  Idea-ology overload!  Love it! I also used an old skeleton key I found at an antique store.  All of the idea-ology was glued down with multi-medium (matte).

And, finally.... I added some "bling" bits in random areas, over some of the dotty stamping areas, to give just a hint of sparkle.  I'm not a BIG bling girl, but I like just a hint of it for the sparkle factor.
And there you have it! 

If you throw your hat in the ring this week you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree at Simon Says Stamp!

Thanks for stopping by - please let me know if you have any questions - if you leave your email in your comment I will do my best to answer your question. Have a great week - see you next week!

~ ellen.

August 12, 2011

My First Design Team!

Hi everyone!

I've been DYING to share this news with you all, but had to keep a lid on it 'til it was announced officially - click HERE for details.... I've been selected to be a Design Team Member for the Simon Says Stamp and Show weekly challenge blog!!!!

I've been participating in these challenges since they started and have always admired the amazing work done by the team, so to be chosen to be part of their group is truly amazing!! I can't wait to get started --- I'll be sharing my first project with the Design Team next week so be sure to stop by and check it out! If you join in the weekly challenges you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree with Simon Says Stamp!

I also want to send a huge congratulations to the other new member of the Design Team, Tracy Evans! Tracy's work is simply amazing and I know you'll love seeing her awesome creations!

See you real soon! 

~ ellen.