October 31, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - A House


This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project with a House in it.  I have been wanting to do a metal piece with Tim Holtz's Artful Dwellings die for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity....

I started by covering two sheets of grungeboard with Ten Seconds Studio metal - barn red and bronzed god.  Then used the artful dwellings die to cut the houses out of both sheets.  I wanted my houses to have lots of texture so chose several different texture fade embossing folders, one for each house.

I added additional texture around the edges of each house with a texture wheel, and sanded the raised areas with a burnishing block.

Once the houses were laid out on the 6x12 canvas, it was time to start choosing embellishments!  I went NUTS!  Here's a list of embellishments used...

Bottle Cap Co. - mini bottle caps, mini cabochons, and birds and crowns
Tim Holtz Idea-ology - timepieces, pen nibs, game spinners, philosophy tags, long fasteners, hitch fasteners, ornate plates, alpha parts, mini lock, jump rings
7 Gypsies - antique silver dome studs, antique silver key
Industrial Chic embellishments by Susan Lenart Kazmer
White Gel pen - for stars
Denim paint dabber
Wood stars from woodcrafting section of local craft store

Here is a close up of each house so you can see the detail...

Hope you have enjoyed my project this week - I had such a great time making it! There are lots of options to do this project on a large scale, or a small scale with a single house.  Have fun playing!  And remember, if you do join in the fun, you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

~ ellen.

October 24, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - One Color


This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project using one color... any color!  I thought long and hard about how to make this week's piece, and finally remembered that black and white are considered by some to be the absence of color.... and black, white and green is my favorite color combination, so I chose peeled paint as my one color.

I started by creating a multi-layered background on a tag with distress stains, (black soot, peeled paint and picket fence) adding intensity to the color by blending distress inks over the stains.

Then added the circle stamp from Tim's Bitty Grunge set, covering each circle with a circle fragment and sprocket gears, game spinners, snaps and a little bling.

Added accents with a white pen, and the word "imagine" in grunge letters painted with peeled paint crackle paint, filling in the cracks with black soot distress ink.

Added some distress stickles in black soot, rock candy and peeled paint - hard to catch in the light, but it gives a very subtle glittery look.

Hope you have time to join in this week's challenge - as always you will have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

October 22, 2011

Art Parts Project!


Since Hels and I had quite the Wendy Vecchi experience, naturally we wanted to play with Art Parts and Studio 490 stamps.... here's the project I made...

I started with the small rectangle frame and base.  (***EDIT*** this background technique was used in Wendy's class on Sunday.... credit where credit is due and all that... ) Cut a piece of sticky back canvas slightly smaller than the base and stuck it to my craft sheet.  Applied a thick uneven (think old plaster walls) coat of gesso with a foam brush, heated to dry, and then applied rusty hinge distress stain over top, dabbing with a baby wipe to expose some of the white areas.  Then used Wendy's script and circle stamps over the top.

Used Viva's Terra (sahara color) to dab over the frame, and then swiped jet black archival ink over the raised areas to highlight the texture.

Stained the leafy vine with peeled paint distress stain, stamped with the new "square-ka-dot" background stamp in olive archival ink.  Used aged mahogany and crushed olive distress stains on the art part flowers, stamping with 490 background stamps, and added a resin flower from Michael's to the center, after coloring it with rust alcohol ink.  Highlighted the resin flower with gold paint dabber.

Then cut two mini rosettes in coordinating patterned paper, and used one of each to layer them together, with a Maya Road resin flower in the center (also highlighted with gold paint dabber).  I distressed the patterned paper with brushed corduroy distress ink before folding the rosettes and assembling with a glue gun.

Added two mini bottles by Tim Holtz, using Wendy's labels (colored with scattered straw and barn door distress ink).  Attached to frame with hot glue.

Added the key and 490 sentiment, and finally added the scalloped borders at the top and bottom, painted with black paint dabber.

The last step was to finger swipe over many of the elements with Inka Gold.  This stuff is awesome... a little bit goes a long way, and it gives a gorgeous gold shimmer to whatever it touches.  But be careful... it's addictive - and while a little goes a long way... more, in this case, is TOO much, in my opinion.

Hope you enjoyed this project and take some time to play with art parts - they're so versatile... you can ink, stain, paint them, cover them with paper, canvas, fabric... possibilities are endless!

Thanks to Wendy Vecchi for the inspiration!

See you soon...

~ ellen.

October 21, 2011

Hels and Els - Class with Wendy - Day 3

Good morning!

As you can imagine, time just flies by when you're having SO much fun... and the last class with Wendy Vecchi was no exception.  This last class was a marathon... 5 hours.... but the results are just stunning!  Before we get started.... here's a shot of Freckles when we arrived on Sunday morning... the lovely Janet had been "at it" again... looks like Freckles was out partying on Saturday night!!  LOL!

Then we settled down and got started on our project.... here's some shots of the final results....

A shelf constructed out of art parts!  Genius! I love the filmstrip frame, but adding a shelf to it just takes it to a new level of COOL.

And since we were at The Queen's Ink... it would be wrong not to include Wendy's awesome QUEEN stamp and matching art part... just love her!

The giant bottle is amazing with the big "Serum of Art" stamp.

The shot above shows a little better the dimension of the project...

And of course... the sentiment was just perfect for us.... so so so true!

As some of you have probably read on Hels' blog... we had a "moment" of sorts about 1/2 way through the class... and when I say "moment" I mean we could barely contain ourselves... here's a little explanation... For any of you reading this that watch "The Big Bang Theory" on TV you will understand without much explanation needed.... there's a character on the show named Raj... and he can only talk to women if he's had a drink... well... he had been drowning his sorrows when he learned some shocking news from one of the other characters, and he said three little words in reaction to this news that have become a common expression in our household.... I had been sharing said expression over the weekend with Hels, and used it during the class at a moment she wasn't expecting it... chaos followed... here's a link to a clip from the show... I'm sure you'll know which three words I'm talking about...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kooNUv5YmwQ Pay attention at 1:17....

Thankfully... this chaos occurred just before a break... Hels and I almost literally RAN out of the store and exploded!!! Couldn't stop laughing... eyes creased, bent over, shaking laughter!  The funny thing is I don't even remember why I said it! 

Hopefully the humor translates... it's probably one of those "you had to be there" moments, but I just had to share it...

So, once class was finished, we had some time to shop in the store (such a struggle, but we managed), and then we helped Wendy pack up all her supplies to be shipped home.  We were all tired from a busy weekend, and to be honest we just didn't want it to end.  Wendy was so kind, so generous, and just so NICE... it's one thing to admire the art, but it's wonderful when the artist is just as wonderful as the art.  Love that.  Love Wendy.  Was an awesome weekend and we felt so lucky to be such a big part of the "behind the scenes" parts of it.  Will never forget it.

Here's a great shot of Hels and "Queen" Patti... two of my favorite people... makes me happy!

Hope you've enjoyed hearing about the classes... I'll be back to share another project I made while Hels was here - a small art part project... see you soon!

~ ellen.

October 20, 2011

Hels and Els - Classes with Wendy - Day 2

Hello again!

As if Friday didn't provide enough excitement.... Saturday morning we arrived at Queens Ink to take the first of three classes with Wendy Vecchi

As you know... Hels' friend Freckles has traveled the world getting up to all sorts of mischief... when we arrived in the morning, we found Freckles on Hels' desk all wrapped up like a babe in swaddling clothes... the lovely Janet had given him a little blankie for the night.... Here's Janet with her new UK baby...

Our first class was called "Do NOT Mess With the Queen" - how perfect for The Queen's Ink!  It's a small rectangle art part base, with lots of art parts elements and a big grunge flower - plus some clearly for art, too!  Here are some pix...

Great project to start off with.  We had a two hour break at lunch time, and during that break we discovered that Terry Horvath from Ranger was in the class too!  We sat in the sunny courtyard and ate our lunch together.  Hels and Terry attended Ranger U together in the Spring - what a nice surprise that they got to see each other again.

And after lunch we were off with class two, called "Inspiration Station".  For this class we used a large art part book cover and Tim's binder rings to make a hanging refillable notepad....

My friends Connie and Matty took this class with us, so after class we all went out to dinner together... it was great to introduce my friends to Hels - they fell in love with her, of course!

That's the wrap up from Day 2.... I'll be back again tomorrow with pix from the third class with Wendy... it was a BIG project and I know you'll love it!

~ ellen.

October 19, 2011

Hels and Els (and THE Wendy Vecchi!) - Day 1


OMG... it should be a crime to have this much fun and excitement!  I'll give you the recap starting from Thursday night when Hels arrived....

We went to the airport to meet Hels on Thursday evening, and rather than holding a fancy airport sign to welcome Hels back to America, I thought it would be quite fitting (not to mention hysterical...) to put a bag of *cheesy chester cheetos* on a string a wave it back and forth.... LOL!!!  She found me in no time!

We had our cheery reunion Thursday evening, stayed up way too late talking and laughing, and then Friday morning we went back to the airport to pick up THE Wendy Vecchi!  Hels and I had made welcome signs for Wendy.... each in our own Studio 490 style...  Hels is hold the one she made...

And here's me... Wendy is holding the one I made...

Here's a close up of my sign... since the other photo is a little blurry...

It was lovely to see Wendy again and have the opportunity to meet her at the airport - thanks to Queen Patti for letting us help out - was quite the honor....

Then we took Wendy to The Queens Ink, met up with Patti, and went to lunch - Here's Wendy and "Freckles" - Wendy is holding a 490 style mini book that Hels made for her... SOOOO cool!

Here's a nice shot of Wendy and Patti at lunch - They are surrounded by awesome art that Hels brought to show to Patti - (at Patti's request) and several of her pieces are now proudly hanging in The Queen's Ink!  GO HELS!

After lunch, Hels and I did some shopping around the Queen's Ink while Wendy and Patti started to set up for classes.  Then, Patti came over and invited Hels and I to join her and Wendy for dinner!  So we happily obliged and met them at an awesome burger place called Five Guys Burgers and Fries - YUM!  We didn't get home until after 9:00 pm - and we definitely needed our beauty rest to be ready for the next day when classes began!  It took us quite a while to settle down from such an exciting day!

OH!  Look at this!!  Before we left for dinner, Wendy gave Hels and I these..

Yes, folks... they are  Studio 490 tote bags!!!  The only two in existence on the planet!  They were samples Wendy got from a manufacturer and she gave them to US!  How awesome is that??

I'll be posting more tomorrow so stay tuned!  I'll show you the projects we did in the two classes on Saturday - you will love them!

~ ellen.

October 17, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Stripes!

Hi everyone!

This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project using STRIPES.  I'm not a huge fan of stripes myself, so this was indeed a challenge.... I am, however, becoming a big fan of collage work, so I decided to put a little twist on the stripes theme by using "strips" of paper as the background for this tag. 

I started with Basic Grey's Out of Print paper, added some of the amazing new seasonal distress inks to tone down and alter the paper colors.   Here's the finished project....

Then I added this long skinny sentiment stamp from Tim Holtz to a piece of handmade paper, tore the edges and distressed it with the new gathered twigs distress ink.  Then I used some Shabby Chic paper to cut some mini rosettes, again altering the color with the new ripe persimmon distress ink, and crushed olive distress ink.  I distressed the edges with gathered twigs distress ink.

Added another sentiment stamp from THIS set and cut up the words before adhering to the tag and altering with antique linen distress ink.  Outlined the words with a black pitt pen to make them stand out.

Finally, added some idea-ology, and some 7 Gypsies metal corners to finish off this cute tag! 

Hope you make some time to make some art this week and join in the fun.  As always, you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

October 13, 2011

Dylusions Mailbox


Well... a minor miracle is occurring... I'm actually blogging more than once a week!  I was actually thinking of saving this for a future DT project but I just couldn't wait to share it. 

Jack and I recently had some work done on our house - including new siding & gutters... here's the before picture.... taken the last time Hels came for a visit and proudly sporting the Union Jack...

And here's the AFTER picture...

You may notice in the first picture that the mailbox (just to the left of the door) was a boring terra cotta color.  With the new siding (closely resembling *bundled sage* in color) - that terra cotta just did NOT work anymore... so I decided to alter it! 

I should preface this by saying this is one of the easiest projects EVER!  Here's your supply list...

White spray paint (outdoor)
Leaf/vine border stamp (Dylusions)
Black Staz-On ink
Two shades of green paint
Black PITT pen
Tim Holtz alpha parts

That's IT!

So here's the finished product...

So simple!  I spray painted the whole mailbox, inside and out, with two coats of white spray paint.  Once that dried, I used the leafy vine Dylusions border stamp to repeatedly stamp the same image all the way across the mailbox with black Staz-On ink.

Then used two shades of Paper Artsy's Fresco Finish paints - I used Guacamole and Toad Hall.  I understand that these paints are outdoor safe, so they're perfect for this project.

Then I outlined each vine/leaf with bold tip black PITT pen, not taking my time at ALL... intentionally being a little on the sloppy side - it actually looks *better* if it's not perfect!  Hard lesson to learn, but so true!

Finally - added some Tim Holtz alpha parts, spelling out VARGO.  Voila!

Hope you enjoyed this project - once the spray painting was done, the rest of it only took about an hour! 

As I type this, Hels is in the air flying to Baltimore!!!  She'll be here in just 3 short hours, and then we are off on a Wendy Vecchi adventure for the weekend!  Can't wait to see my friend... it stinks when one of your best friends lives so frikkin' far away!!!  But we have been SO fortunate to be able to see each other so often in the last year. 

We'll check in with updates on our awesome classes over the weekend - see you soon!

~ ellen.