November 29, 2011

Inky Painty Layered Mini Book - Gelli Arts

Hi everyone!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving - last week I hinted that I had been playing with lots of inky painty layers with this amazing new product I discovered at The Queens Ink!  Thought I would show you what I'd been up to...

It's called the Gelli Arts Printing Plate.  They have a great website with some how-to videos and lots of samples in their gallery.  Check it out!  They have two sizes of the gel plates - 8x10 and 6x6 - I have the 8x10 size - that way I can do big or small projects.

I set out for pure play time, with a stack of #8 manila tags, my bag of crafter's workshop stencils, lots of acrylic paints (everything from cheap craft store paint, to Lumiere paints, to Golden fluid acrylics), some rubber stamps, a brayer, a craft scraper (or old credit / gift card) and some bubble wrap for stamping. 

Here are some of the finished tags... fronts and backs...

The key to this product is lots of layers and contrasting colors.  You can start out with a print you don't care for much, but when you keep adding more layers it often turns into a favorite! 

So... I did about 15 tags, both front and back... but then I thought... what am I going to do with them?  So I decided to trim the tops off the tags, fold them all in half, and make a mini book!  Imagine the art journaling possibilities!  Now.... if I could only find the will to do an art journal... perhaps a personal challenge for 2012... Anyway - here's the book and all the tags inside! 

So if you want to try some inky painty layered pages - check out Gelli Arts Printing Plates! The possibilities are literally endless!  If you want to see more - HERE is a link to their Facebook page.

Have a great day - I'll be back soon with some different painted book page projects... :) 

~ ellen.

November 28, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Stars

Hi everyone,

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to use STARS.  I really struggled with this - I realized I don't really have much stash with stars.... so I had to get creative...

I decided to alter a 6x6 canvas.  I started by blending several colors together on the canvas.  I used red pepper, citrus, pearl and copper paint dabbers.  

Then I added some molding paste with a palette knife and painted over it with the same colors - this is a great way to added texture.  I was completely inspired by Rach's technique in her latest YouTube video - check it out!  I found some stars I bought a while ago - they are nestaboard by spellbinders.  I painted them with pearl and copper dabbers.

Then I used the pearl paint to add more stars with the Tim Holtz star stamp (from bitty grunge set), outlining all the stars with a black pitt pen

Added some random patches of mirobeads,  a sentiment stamped with mini alpha stamps, and added some bling

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

If you do take a moment to wish upon a star.... I hope all your wishes come true! Have a great week!

~ ellen

November 21, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Tickets


This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project using tickets.  So... of course the first thing that sprang to mind was Tim Holtz' adage and journaling tickets.... but I thought that was too obvious... so I further challenged myself to come up with another way. 

I remembered that a few months ago I bought a new ticket die with a matching stamp from Memory Box!  Perfect!  So I cut out five tickets, stamped with the matching stamp in coffee archival ink, and started antiquing them with distress inks (old paper, brushed corduroy and gathered twigs (from the autumn seasonal collection which is, sadly, no longer available), with just a hint of black soot on the edges). 

I've been doing so much with layering and stamping and painting lately that I wanted to do something very clean and simple.... so if these tickets look a bit plain... it was intentional... :)

The cover has an ornate plate with a TH ticket stamp from the 100th collection, distressed and coated with some rock candy crackle paint - you'll see a theme emerge with that below...

The remaining tickets have grungeboard elements, die cut with various movers and shapers dies - great for small projects, inked or stained in various ways, and all coated with rock candy crackle paint.  Each ticket also has one simple word stamped with a mini alphabet set.  See each photo below for the specifics.

mini flourish and mini butterfly movers & shapers dies, crushed olive stain, dried marigold & barn door stain, vermillion archival ink for polka dots stamp from mini grunge stamp set (TH)
mini heart movers and shapers die, barn door stain, ruler salvage sticker on grunge board
mini pine tree mover and shaper die, forest moss & pine needles stain, ruler salvage sticker on grunge board
mini branch and bird movers and shapers dies, brown paint dabber, white paint pen, weathered wood and brushed corduroy distress stain for bird
Hope you enjoyed this week's project, and remember... it doesn't always have to have a million layers to be beautiful... sometimes less really *is* more...

I enjoyed returning to a simple design this week, but fear not... I've spent the whole day doing LOTS of painty layers with this awesome new toy I got... check it out.... HERE.  All I can say is.... FUN! Paint + stencils + brayer + gelli arts = AWESOME!

If you have a chance to join in this week's challenge amidst all your Thanksgiving preparations (for my US friends), you'll be eligible for a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week... and Happy Thanksgiving!  (*gobble, gobble*)

~ ellen.

November 14, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Women Only

Hi everyone,

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project with a "women only" theme.  I decided to get girly Dylusions-style with this week's theme, going for the painty/messy/stencily look.

I used ranger's craft scraper to.. well, scrape Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints in modern red, landscape green and classic teal down the length of a manila tag.  Then I added layers of white and black gesso scraped through the squircles and dots stencils by Crafter's Workshop. 

Then scraped more paint over that, accenting with a white paint pen and a black pitt pen

Then I stamped images from Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions line and painted them with distress stains, and finally added some stickles and idea-ology to finish it off. 

Hope you enjoy this week's theme and have a chance to join in the fun.  As always you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp and could be chosen by the Design Team to be among the Top 3 for the week!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

November 9, 2011

Art Parts Bouquet

Hi everyone,

When Hels came to visit in October, we did some shopping at Michael's and found some awesome crystal flower vines by Recollections.  We both thought they would be perfect in a Studio 490 Art Parts base, so last week I decided to try it.

I started with an art parts flower, two circle bases, and a tube, and covered each part with paper from Basic Grey's "Out of Print" collection, sanding the edges and distressing with vintage photo ink.  I added this beaded trim which I've had for quite a while, some bark ribbon trim over top, and some bead chain around the perimeter.  Here's a close up.

Then I started working on the crystal flowers.  There are two separate sprays of flowers, and both of them came with clear crystals, which I decided to dye with alcohol inks.  I used, lettuce, stream, wild plum, and butterscotch. 

I also had some garden stakes that I painted black. The garden stake idea came directly from a class I took with Wendy Vecchi last year - I was able to find some so wanted to use them again!  They came with copper sheeting for writing on, which I distressed by banging with a hammer for some texture, adding some juniper paint dabber, and stamping "Imagine" (Studio 490) with jet black archival ink.  Added some idea-ology: a bulldog clip and a philosophy tag (also altered with juniper paint dabber), and a game spinner.

Hope you have some time to play with Art Parts - the possibilities are endless and I'm having fun exploring different combinations of products with them. 

Hope you're having a good week - see you soon!

~ ellen.

November 7, 2011

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Recycle/Upcycle

a.k.a..... tribute to Ranger Products and Designers!

Hi all,

Well, I didn't set out to do this, but when I finished my project for this week, I realized I had used products from my 4 favorite Ranger Designers, Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi, Claudine Hellmuth and..... drum roll.... the very recent addition of Dyan Reaveley as the newest Signature Designer!  I'm so happy for Dyan and can't wait to see what she and Ranger have cooked up for us!

This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project using something recycled or up-cycled.  I started out with an old book I found at an antique store...

I cut the cover off the book, cut it in half, and then set about the business of altering it.

I started by covering both halves with Claudine Hellmuth's sticky back canvas and used Ranger's craft scraper to apply a thick, uneven coat of gesso.  Once dry, I colored with brushed corduroy distress stain, and some generous spritzes with biscotti and cappuccino perfect pearl mists.  I love that it looks like an old plaster wall.

Then I used jet black archival ink to stamp the leafy border (quickly becoming my most-used) stamp from Dyan Reaveley's Further Round the Edge set, coloring in each leaf with both patina green and bronze perfect pearls (the pearl powder mixed with water makes great paint), and finally outlining everything with a black pitt pen to make the images stand out.  At this point I joined the two halves together with Graphic 45 hinges.

Starting with the left hand side, I added some of Wendy Vecchi's art parts - the leaf from THIS set and than hand from THIS set.  The leaf is colored with forest moss distress stain and accented with a white paint pen, and added one of Tim's pen nibs to look like a fountain pen.

The hand is colored with frayed burlap distress stain and has a cuff, cut from Tim's trimmings colored with aged mahogany distress stain.  The sentiment is from Dyan Reaveley's "Quintessential Quotes" set, aged with antique linen distress ink.

Moving on to the right side... I used more art parts... the large queen/crown from THIS set (with the matching stamp from THIS Studio 490 stamp set), the flourish from THIS set, and the umbrella from THIS set.  The queen is colored with frayed burlap distress stain, with the eyes and lips colored with Ranger's cut 'n' dry nibs (broken china for the eyes and worn lipstick for the lips). 

Her crown was colored with crushed olive distress stain and stamped with a background from Dyan Reaveley's basic backgrounds set.  The flourish was colored with forest moss distress stain and a white paint pen. The umbrella was colored with aged mahogany and vintage photo distress stains, and then stamped with another Dylusions background.  Gave the whole umbrella a coat of rock candy crackle paint.  Added the bird from Tim's adornments, and the Maya Road velvet resin blossom, which was altered with rusty hinge distress stain and spritz of cappuccino perfect pearl mist.

I've been wanting to combine Dylusions stamps with Wendy's Art Parts for a while, and this is a good start.  Come back later this week for another art parts project I've been working on.  It's not a Dylusions take on it, but I think you'll enjoy it.

I hope you have a chance to join in the fun of this week's Challenge.  The design team has really come up with some interesting ideas on ways to recycle or up-cycle different things - so creative!  As always, if you join in and link up your project you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

November 3, 2011

Personal Shrine with Carol Owen


Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Owen, and taking her Personal Shrine classes at The Queens Ink.  I have to tell you, it was the most relaxing, *zen* like class I've ever taken.... the pace was very relaxed, no rushing, and lots of opportunities to stray from the class sample and really make the project "my own". 

We started on Saturday by making the main part of the shrine (the house).  I won't go into a lot of detail on how these are constructed because that would not be fair to Carol, who has been making these for over 20 years!  If you're interested, check out her website HERE, and if you really want to dive in, she has an awesome book on the whole process, available at Amazon HERE

I will tell you that every piece of this shrine is hand cut, wrapped, painted and assembled.  It's a lot of measuring, and a lot of precise cutting, but so worth it!  I already have some ideas for future projects... stay tuned!

The "hit" of the class was this awesome "bark ribbon" I found at Joann's about a year ago.  Sadly, I can't find any more of it, but it is AMAZING!  Instant texture and grungy interest - LOVE it!  If you know a place to get it, please do share!!  I need more!!!  I used it for the roof of my house.

Here's a few more shots of the completed project - I love all the little bottles, which I've been collecting from antique stores for about a year, waiting for the right project.... I dyed the insides with alcohol ink and created labels for each one with a mini alpha stamp set.

And check this out....

... look in-between the "who" and the "you are" - (a Dylusions stamp) it's my name!  How cool is that!? 

I painted every surface of the shrine (house and base) with Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Paint, which I'm lucky enough to have thanks to Hels!  I used Toad Hall, Guacamole and London Night on various parts.  Added a watered down very light layer of the Metallic Glaze, which gives a really beautiful shimmer.  Used my finger to smoosh some Lumiere paint (metallic bronze) over all the surfaces to age it a bit and give it that weathered look, and tore random pieces of 7 Gypsies tissue paper and applied with multi medium.

I adhered the bottles to the various places with a hot glue gun, and added some mossy bits to add more texture. Finally, I added the curio knobs (Tim Holtz).  They were the perfect size for the drawers, and the screw post is just the right length.

Hope you enjoyed the project - if you are at all interested in trying it I would highly recommend Carol's book - happy constructing!

~ ellen.