January 30, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Kings and Queens


This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a "Royal" project using Kings and (or) Queens.  Of course as soon as I saw this challenge I *knew* I had to use Wendy Vecchi's Art Parts Queen... she's one of my favorites - love her!  Here we go!

Before I get started - all the inks used on this project are Distress Inks (DI), and are available in sets or individually at Simon Says Stamp - HERE.

First the background:  I started by blending a mixture of antique linen and wild honey DI on the tag background, and then stamped with Studio 490 alphabet background stamp in brushed corduroy DI.   Then used the leafy vine stamp (also Studio 490) in forest moss DI. 

For the queen: Stamped the queen stamp in jet black archival ink on to the matching art part.  Lightly blended worn lipstick distress ink onto cheek and lips, and broken china DI for the eye.  Highlighted with white gelly roll pen, and added the small idea-ology crown for eyelashes.

The crown was colored with crushed olive DI, and fired brick DI for the brim (cut from grungepaper).   Added the art part wings, colored with wild honey DI and polka dot background stamp in fired brick DI.

The art parts leaf coming out of the crown was colored with forest moss DI, and again accented with white gelly roll pen.  Finally, stamped the "she only flew..." stamp on white cardstock, and aged with antique linen DI.

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!  And CHA-Winter is underway as you read this, so an extra $50 would be FABulous to help buy all that lovely new stash that we'll have access to... SOON! 

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

January 23, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - A Song Title

Hi everyone,

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project based on a song title.  I chose the song "Imagine" by John Lennon. 

I started by taking the compass page from Tim Holtz' kraft resist paper and covered it with aged mahogany distress stain.

Then I cut some of Tim's gadget gears out of grungeboard and gave them a coat of crackle paint in vintage photo, pewter, and black soot, added some idea-ology game spinners, sprocket gears.

added some measuring tape and film strip ribbon to the top, and a keyhole, and finally stamped the "imagination" stamp on to a journaling ticket and attached it with a memo pin.

Hope you enjoyed my project this week - remember, as always you'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree to Simon Says Stamp if you join in this week's challenge! 

Hope you have time to get crafty this week!

~ ellen

January 20, 2012

Scraped Paint Art Journals


Hope you all had a great week - I, for one, am VERY glad it's Friday! We may get a little bit of snow and ice tonight so I'm ready to snuggle in for the weekend. 

The other project I worked on last weekend at "Stamp Camp" was creating what I have named "scraped paint art journals".  I learned this technique when I took the "painted pages" class at The Queens Ink, and fell in love with it!

I started with 8 sheets from my Canson Multi Media paper, 11x14 inches.  I cut each page in half, so I was working with 16 sheets of paper, each of them 7 x 11 inches.

Now comes the "scraped paint" part.... I chose various colors of Golden fluid acrylic paints and Lumiere paints (Jacquard) and squeezed 2 or 3 different colors all the way across the top of the page, going 11 inches across with all 2 or 3 colors, ending up with 2 or 3 lines of paint.  Then I used an old gift card (any old credit card will do), started at the top and literally scraped the paint down the length of the page, scraping several times to go across the full width of the page. 

I discovered some variations along the way, which I think are really fun.  Squeeze 2 or 3 lines of paint at the top, but then put some random drops of paint in other parts of the page.  When you scrape down from the top, the "drops" of paint get stretched out and look sort of like raindrops - cool!

I did this to all the fronts and backs of all 16 pages.  The great part of this technique is that you are putting such a thin layer of paint on the pages that they dry really quickly! 

Once they were dry, I got out my Crafter's Workshop stencils, gesso, spray inks, and even some bubble wrap for stamping with paint, and added a few accent areas to each page.

Now comes the book-binding part that turns these pages into a journal.  I folded each page in 1/2, and nested 5 folded pages together to form a single "signature" of pages.  So, in the end I had 3 journals, each with 5 nested pages, painted front and back.  I made covers slightly larger than 7 x 11 using all the same techniques described above, but left enough on each end to have a small "flap" on both the front and back covers.

I used waxed linen cord to sew the pages and cover together, and voila! 3 custom art journals... backgrounds done and ready for further stamping, collage, embellishing and journaling! Here's a shot of all three journals standing up with pages fanned out - gorgeous colors!

And a few more finished pages...

The funniest part to me is... I'm not even an art journaler!  I just LOVE making these books!  I'm hoping one day the art journal bug will BITE.... when it does I'll be all set!  'Til then.... I have some good friends who might enjoy these! 

Have a wonderful weekend!  Think snow... and... being from Baltimore... GO RAVENS!!! :)

~ ellen.

January 18, 2012

Getting Dylusional Again...


Hope everyone is having a great week - things are a little crazy at my day job at the moment, but I've been having a blast making art lately, and that helps me keep my balance...

As I mentioned last time, I spent last weekend with 6 of my artsy BFF's.  Twice a year we rent out a lodge and spend the whole weekend making art - (affectionately known by me as "Stamp Camp" - but it is FAR from camping).  It is SO good for my soul!  What could be better.... awesome friends, awesome art, lots of laughter, great meals (that we don't even have to cook!)... life is good....

One of the projects I made over the weekend was another Dylusions Printer's Tray!  I've made a few varieties of these in the last several months, but just couldn't resist the urge to make another!  Perhaps it's because I just found out that Dyan Reaveley (a.k.a. "Her Royal Gorgeousness") is coming back to teach at The Queen's Ink right after CHA!  (and you know I'm signed up for ALL the classes!)

Here's the results...

Sorry about the somewhat blurry pic - difficult to shoot a large piece in less-than-ideal light... I've got some close ups below that are much clearer...

I started by taking one sheet of Canson multi media paper, 11 x 14, cutting it in half, and then sprayed each piece with different color combinations of Dylusions spray inks (sadly, these sprays are in the "not available anywhere zone", as the entire line has ended in the UK and is making it's debut with Ranger at next week's CHA show).  I LOVE the bright vibrant colors - I'm soooo hoping that the new line with Ranger will have these awesome colors, too! 

Then I got out some of my stencils (I used harlequin and swiss dots from Crafter's Workshop, and an alpha stencil I got at Michael's), and started spraying ink and scraping gesso through various patterns to create interesting textures on each page.  The last step to the backgrounds was spritzing each side with perfect pearl mists - I used mint and forever blue.

Then I had to measure and cut up both sheets to fit in each of the little section of the printers tray.  I jumbled up the patterns as I cut so there is lots of variation from section to section.  This takes a bit of time and careful measuring, but it is so worth it!

Once all the pieces were cut to fit, I laid them out on my craft sheet in order and stamped the leafy border around the entire piece - all the way across the bottom with leaves growing up and all the way across the top with leaves growing down). This was the beginning of bringing some cohesion to the jumbled up pieces.

I painted in all the leaves with perfect pearls paint (just spray some water on your craft sheet and add perfect pearls pigment powders in colors of your choice - makes a wonderful pearlescent paint!) I used patina green and forever red).  I sketched around all the leaves with a white gel pen (Gelly Roll white by Sakura) and accented each leaf with a highlight.

Then the real fun began! Choosing stamped images to fit in all the sections!  I stamped each image (all from the Dylusions line) on white card stock in jet black archival (except the girl with red glasses... stamped her with Vermillion archival ink).  All the images were painted in with either distress stains or dylusions spray inks, then cut out and adhered to the section background.  I love overlapping a large image over several sections - it gives nice movement and helps more with that whole idea of "cohesion". 

I added stickles to some images (mushrooms, cuffs of the pointing hands, and hat of red glasses girl), accented others with glossy accents (hearts, red glasses), and used a copper pearl pen to fill in the "dreadlocks" of the girl on the right.  Accented lots of the images with more white gel pen, and traced around everything with a black pitt pen.

This was definitely a labor of love, as I am totally *in love* with Dylusions stamps and sprays!  I can't wait to see what Dyan has in store for us at CHA - can't believe it starts next week!  I started this project on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday before dinner.... so all told... about 20 hours.  EEK!  That's probably why I waited to do this project at our art retreat - a whole weekend of dedicated time with no distractions!  Hope you enjoyed it!

I'll be back soon with pix of the other project I did at "Stamp Camp".  'Til then....

~ ellen.

January 16, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Anything But a Card

Hi everyone!

Hope you had a great week - I just returned from my twice-a-year art retreat with my crafty friends.  We spent the whole weekend in our pj's making our respective styles of art and it was FABulous!  Stayed up too late, ate too much, laughed ourselves breathless, and generally had a blast.  Always good to go away, but also good to be home.

This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do "Anything But a Card".  I decided to go mini this week and made at ATC (Artist Trading Card - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). 

I used alcohol inks on all the elements, and started by attaching Ranger Metal Foil Tape to some white card stock and then embossed it with one of Tim Holtz' texture fade folders.  I used stream, wild plum and snow cap mixative alcohol inks on the background.

Then I grabbed some of Tim Holtz' fragments, alcohol inking them with several different contrasting colors (upper left: butterscotch and lettuce, top right: rust and espresso, and bottom: red pepper and caramel).  

Then I added the heart from the adornments set (red pepper), a pen nib (butterscotch and espresso), and the keyhole (rust and gold mixative) and attached each piece to a fragment using matte multi medium.

As usual, if you join in the challenge this week you will be entered in the drawing and have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree to Simon Says Stamp!  CHA Winter show is only 2 weeks away - lots of new yummy products coming out!  A few extra dollars would sure be easy to spend! 

Hope you have a great week - I'll be back soon with some pix of the projects I worked on over the weekend... 'til then...

~ ellen.

January 8, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - A Red Letter Day


This week's theme on the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to do a project which recognizes a "red letter day".... what's THAT you ask??? Well, I'll tell you... I didn't know either... here's the definition I found via Google...

Meaning:  "In earlier times a church festival or saint's day; more recently, any special day."

So... not so confusing once you know what it means.  This week I chose to do a very simple project to celebrate a very simple man... my father.  He passed away several years ago, and it just seemed like the perfect day to remember.

I started by printing out an old photo of my Dad on Neenah white card stock (isn't that old jalopy awesome?) and adhered it to a #8 manila tag with multi medium matte. Then I added some alpha parts to "remember", including "dad" and the date he passed away.  I accented the alpha parts with snow cap paint dabber, which was then lightly brushed over with some vintage photo distress ink.

I used a pearl pen to add the black dots between the numbers in the date, and to highlight 'dad' at the bottom.  Added some brushed corduroy distress ink to the edges to add to the vintage feel, and some ribbon to top it off.

This is one of the simplest tags I think I've ever made, but the subject matter more than makes up for its simplicity.  My dad wasn't one to make a big fuss about much, so it seems a fitting way to remember him.

Hope you have a great week and take some time to join in the fun of this week's challenge.  As always, you'll have a chance at winning a $50 shopping spree to Simon Says Stamp!  At this time of year, with CHA looming close on the horizon, I know we could all use a chance at some free stash! 

Next weekend I'm heading off to my semi-annual "Stamp Camp" with all my local arty friends - can't wait!  I've got a few projects in mind but haven't decided on which one I want to do... time will tell! 

'til next time....

~ ellen.

January 4, 2012

I Challenge Thee.... A Dylusions Tag!

Hi everyone!

Over the New Year's Holiday my friend Hels Sheridan and I had a long Skype session and thought it would be fun to re-visit our "I Challenge Thee" projects!  I haven't played with my Dylusions stamps in a while, and Hels got a few sets for Christmas, so that seemed perfect!  We came up with several products that we both had to use on our tag, agreed on a time to post to our blogs, and then spent the rest of our Skype time making our tags together in real time!  FUN!  What did we ever do without Skype?  So cool!

Here's the "recipe" we came up with:

Jumbo size tag (4 1/4" x 8 1/2")
Dylusions stamp sets: Basic Backgrounds, Quintessential Quotes and Around the Edges
Color Wash spray inks
Stencils optional
White and/or Black gesso
Tim's Rosette dies (small, medium and/or large)
Idea-ology / embellishments of choice
White pen

(all products are available from Simon Says Stamp)

Here's what I came up with:

I started by creating a color wash spray background, using butterscotch, wild plum, sailboat blue, lettuce and red pepper sprays.  I sprayed a generous amount of water on the tag before I sprayed the colors, and did two layers of color, drying with a heat tool in-between layers.  This gives you more intense colors, which I love.

Then I used the alphabet stamp from Basic Backgrounds, and stamped it randomly using red pepper color wash spray as the ink.  I just sprayed a few times on my craft sheet and dabbed the stamp into the ink.  I used the same technique with the harlequin (diamond) stamp, but used gesso for the stamping.

Then I used the "squircle" stencil from Crafter's Workshop and sprayed Dylusions granite spray ink through the stencil.  It's important to spray from a bit of a distance so you don't get puddles of ink under the stencil.

Now that the background was done, I stamped the leaf/vine stamp over the background with jet black archival ink, and colored in each leaf with perfect pearls powders mixed with water (makes an awesome paint) - I used green patina and perfect gold.  Accented each leaf with a white gelly roll pen.

Now it's time to embellish!  I used scraps of leftover paper from my Painted Pages book (click HERE to see that post) and cut the large and medium rosette from Tim's die, then stacked them together.  Added a timepiece and game spinner to the center, and some idea-ology wings to the sides.

I also made a small rosette and added just a portion of it to each corner, adding a mini bottle cap in the corners as the rosette centers.

The final touch was to add the sentiment from the Quintessential Quotes stamp set.  I cut the words apart to make the sentiment flow down the length of the tag.

This was so much fun!  I'm glad Hels and I decided to get back to our "I Challenge Thee" projects - it's a great way to craft/make art with a friend, no matter the distance... thank you SKYPE!   Be sure to check out Hels' amazing creation on her blog HERE.  It always amazes me how we can use the same products and come up with something totally different!

Hope you're having a good first week of the new year!  See you soon!

~ ellen.

January 2, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Something Old, Something New

Hello and Happy New Year!

This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge is to incorporate something old and something new, appropriate to kick off the new year.  I decided to incorporate antique hardware, key and pin for her "something old" with new art parts by Studio 490 and a quote from the "Twilight" book. 

I started with the large heart frame, coloring the top frame with brushed corduroy distress stain and stamping with the script stamp.

Then I added the art part leaf/scroll, coloring with crushed olive distress stain, and stamping with forest moss distress ink and embossing that with clear embossing powder

I found this old hardware at an antique store and I just LOVE how old and grungy it is.  I didn't do anything except adhere it to the frame with some long fasteners.  

I wanted to use a sentiment that gave a nod to the "old/new" theme and thought this quote from the Twilight books would be perfect, since the book is about the relationship between things that are very old blending in with the new (Edward and Bella).  Yeah... I know... I'm a Twilight geek.... :)  I stamped the quote with a mini alpha set and adhering the words to corrugated cardboard in the center of the frame, and added some 7 Gypsies dome studs to the corners.

Hope you enjoyed today's project - if you're able to join in the fun you'll have a chance at winning a $50 shopping spree to Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! What a start!

Hello all!

The gods were smiling on me today!  I was checking my Google Reader today and noticed that Tim Holtz had a new blog post up so I went to check it out.... imagine my surprise to see I had been selected as a prize winner just for finishing the 12 Tags of Christmas this year! 

YIPPEE!  The odds must have finally caught up with me!  So I wanted to take this opportunity to thank both Tim and Mario for all the hard work they put in to give us the 12 Tags this year... their FIFTH year!  And for being so kind and generous to those of us who follow along on their journey.

I thought it would be interesting to look at my blog stats to see if there was any extra traffic... ummm.... WOW!  Just a tad!  Look at that spike!  Amazing what one little mention will do when it's mentioned on Tim's blog... unbelievable!

What an awesome way to kick off the year!  Just wanted to express my appreciation for the prize and my utter shock at what a difference one day makes... you just never know when something amazing will happen...

Happy New Year!

~ ellen.