February 29, 2012

I Challenge Thee...


Hope you're all having a good week so far... the good news is we're half way to the weekend!  Last weekend, Hels and I had a nice long Skype session and came up with a new "I Challenge Thee" project.

Sometimes when the old mojo disappears this is a great way to get it moving again.  We'll come up with a combination of "ingredients" that we each have to use on our project, and then set the laptops aside and just talk and craft together - what an *awesome* way to spend a Sunday afternoon - what did we ever do before Skype?

Here's our recipe of ingredients:

Jumbo size tag
Multi Medium Resist technique
Paper Artsy Hot Picks stamps
Paper Artsy Fresco Finish Paints
Paper Artsy Metal on Card
Color Wash spray
Industrial Chic (Susan Lenart Kazmer) embellishments
Tim Holtz Rosette trim

I started by painting random thin lines of multi medium (matte) vertically on the jumbo manila tag.  Then I used sunset orange and wild plum color wash spray to create the background, using water to help blend the colors together.  The areas where I painted the multi medium resists the color wash sprays, leaving a streaked effect.

I used the grassy stamp from HP1005 at the bottom of the tag, and then used the spiky flower stamp from HP1004 over top of that, filling in the stems with a pitt pen if the stem didn't go all the way to the bottom of the tag.  I used jet black archival ink because a water based ink wouldn't have stamped nicely over the resist areas.  Then I used the script image from HP1006 to randomly stamp over the whole background.  I didn't mount the stamp on an acrylic block, but held it in a curved shape to get just patches of the script for a worn look.

Now for the flower... LOVE this flower! I used Paper Artsy dies (Grunge Flower #1, and Grunge Flower #2 and #3) to cut out three sizes of flower from Paper Artsy "Metal on Card" - which is sheet metal pre-mounted onto black card stock.   Then I used three of Tim's texture fades to create different embossed patterns on each flower, and the leaves (which is part of the Grunge Flower #1 die set).
I used Fresco Finish paints (butternet and orchid for the flowers, and guacamole/toad hall for the leaves) and then sanded over the raised texture of each element to reveal the metal.

The rosette trim is also painted lightly with butternut and orchid fresco finish paints.  The sentiment was stamped on the back of a journaling ticket. I used the same technique on this background so it would coordinate with the rest of the tag.

The final touch was adding the embellishments from Industrial Chic.  I used the metal spikes and mini gears on several of the spiky flowers, a washer with the same mini gear on the large metal flower, and the "67" (a significant year for me) plaque at the top.

I hope our "I Challenge Thee" project inspires you to get out your craft stash and play!  Feel free to substitute products where necessary.  I know that Paper Artsy stamps, paints and dies aren't readily available in the US (although that's starting to change - thank you Simon Says Stamp! YAY!), and Industrial Chic embellishments aren't available in the UK, so just use what you have.

Hope the rest of your week goes quickly - come on Friday!

~ ellen.

February 27, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Ideaology!

Hi everyone!

This week's theme on Simon Says Stamp and Show is to show off your idea-ology!  I've never needed much of an arm-twist to use idea-ology, and this was no exception.  

I started with a 6x6 canvas this week, creating a background with distress stains (aged mahogany, crushed olive and picket fence).

I've been lucky to get some of Tim's new stamps, and the mixed media set is to DIE for - such awesome possibilities for random texture.

I've always had a fondness for old things, whether it's an old sewing cabinet drawer or antique skeleton key, so the sentiment from Tim's Words for Thought set was perfect.  I stamped different words in different colors to match the background and give emphasis to the key words. 

Now comes the idea-ology!  I added pen nibs, link chain, the bird adornment, the birdcage, and metal corners.

Hope you enjoyed this week's project.  As always - I hope you have a chance to play with some idea-ology this week and join in our challenge.  You'll have a chance to win a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

February 23, 2012

Dylusions Tag Master Board Tutorial


I've been wanting to do a tutorial for a while, so this is my first effort.  If you follow along on my blog, you'll remember the Dylusions Valentines tags I made for Dyan Reaveley's visit to The Queens Ink.  To create the tags, I did a "Master Board" so they would all have a similar feel to them, yet still be unique individually.  This is the technique I used... hope you enjoy it. 

For this Master Board, I started with a large (10" x 20") piece of water color paper (Fabriano Artistico - available HERE), several colors of Dylusions spray inks, and a water mister.

I started by spraying a very generous amount of water over half of the paper.  I like to work in sections on large pieces so the inks don't soak in too much, allowing for blending and bleeding.

Then I used the Dylusions spray inks, which blend immediately with the water.  Here's a shot showing the blending.

Then I repeated the process on the second half of the sheet, continuing the colors on the first half so they would blend nicely across the whole sheet.

At this point, you can blot the excess ink with a roll of paper towels, and then add more spray inks if desired to intensify the colors.  Here's the finished result after drying with a heat tool...

Now that we have a base of color, it's time to start adding layers of pattern and texture.  So of course I had to reach for the new Dylusions stencils and inks.  I stated with the alpha jumble stencil and postbox red spray ink.

Sprayed randomly across the page.

I repeated with the graduated circles stencil and crushed grape spray ink. 

Now it's time to add some texture, so I used the harlequin stencil and some white gesso.

I scraped the gesso through the stencil with a Ranger craft scraper.  This is NOT an exact process - be messy and random.  If you look closely, you'll notice that I used the stencil horizontally across the top of the page.  The only reason is that I know three #8 manila tags will fit, running across the top of the page.  So, the end result will be a tag where the harlequin pattern will run vertically.  You'll see later when we cut the Master Board down to tag size.

I felt like this Master Board still needed more pattern, so I went for the number jumble stencil and bright turquoise spray ink.

Here's the end result.

The Master Board is now complete, so it's time to decide how you want to cut it up.  I wanted to make tags, so I laid out the #8 tags across the whole sheet so I'd know where to cut.

I drew a line across the top of the sheet, measuring with the tag itself.

Then cut all the way across, separating the top and bottom sections.

I repeated the same process for the bottom section, using the tag to measure and draw lines to cut on.

Here are all the tags, nine in all, plus the one actual manila tag I used as a template.

Once again, I used the tag as a template and cut the two diagonal notches on each side and punched a hole in the center, using a standard hole punch from Office Depot / Staples, etc.

Et Voila!  A collection of tags with patterned / textured backgrounds, all ready for stamping, collage, doodling, painting - anything your heart desires!  You could even thread a ribbon through all nine and make a mini book, or sew them together with a sewing machine.  Let your imagine run free and have fun playing!

This is my first step-by-step tutorial, so I hope you enjoyed it.  Please let me know what you think - not enough detail? Too much detail?  I really do want them to be helpful and easy to follow, so give it to me straight!  Thanks for hanging in through a long post.  See you soon!

~ ellen.

February 20, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show... London, Paris or New York


Last week's challenge was a record setter!  Over 365 entries!  Let's keep the creativity flowing - join in the fun again this week and put your hat in the ring for another $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp!

So it's time for another challenge on the Simon Says Stamp and Show blog!  This week, it's time to pack your bags and head for London, Paris or New York.  I, for one, never pass up an opportunity for travel, so I took the opportunity to head "across the pond" to London.  Let's get started...

I started with a 4 x 4 shadow box frame I picked up at LB Crafts the last time I went to visit Hels, which was, coincidentally, exactly a year ago!  I painted all the edges and the inside of the frame with my black paint dabber to help the paper blend in when it was covered.

I used multi medium (matte) to cover the front and all 4 sides of the frame with paper from the Paddington paper stack by 7 Gypsies.  LOVE that paper stack - I'm a big fan of black and white, and these papers are gorgeous!  I sanded the edges with my sanding grip to give a worn look.

Then I found a square chipboard frame by Maya Road that fit the opening of the frame and painted it, again with the black paint dabber, and glued in a picture of me and Hels that was taken when we went to London for the day and stopped for lunch and a little shopping in Covent Garden.  It was a great day, but I can honestly say I don't ever remember being so *COLD* as we were that day!   Brrrr!

Then I added some London charms by Blue Moon to the front of the frame, and topped it off with a curio knob.  I love this little frame - it will always remind me of that special day with such a special friend.  Wish I could hop on a plane and pop 'round for a *coffee* and a good long 'crafty natter' (a chat while crafting for my US friends!).

Hope you have time to do some mental traveling this week and join in our challenge.  As always, Simon Says Stamp is giving away a $50 shopping spree to one lucky winner!  New stash is arriving daily from the new CHA releases - I keep checking to see what's new!

Have a great week - hope you join in!

~ ellen.

February 13, 2012

Simon Says Stamp and Show - Anything Goes!


Back again for another week with Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenges - this week it's a free for all - *anything* goes!  So no excuses this week - no rules, just get your art on and have fun!

I know it won't come as a big surprise that I've done *another* Dylusions tag... but I will say - I made this about 3 weeks ago and had no earthly idea that I would be on the Dylusions Design Team now! 

It is still like a dream to see my name on Dyan's sidebar - makes me so happy!  Here we go...

I started with  #8 manila tag used a craft stick to spread three lines of paint across the top of the tag (I used Ranger paint dabbers in pool, raspberry and snow cap) and then scraped the paint down the length of the tag with a craft scraper - cool, huh?  (I'm seriously addicted to this technique - you never know what you're gonna get.)  Then I used the same paint dabber colors to stamp the dots and harlequin stamps from the Dylusions Basic Backgrounds set to add another layer of texture/interest.  

I stamped some additional images from Dylusions (Traveling Travis, Bags of Bunting,  and Pondering Petunia) on white card stock and painted in with watered down paint dabber colors.  I love mixing and matching heads with different body parts and legs.  Here the bunting was used as the body/dress.

Finally - added the spider and web from the Bits and Bats set with jet black archival ink, and the sentiment is from the Quintessential Quotes set.  Did some hand-drawn stitching with a black pitt pen.

Hope you have time to join in the fun this week - do anything that inspires you!  And as always you'll have a chance of winning a $50 shopping spree from Simon Says Stamp

Have a great week!

~ ellen.

February 9, 2012

Newspaper Journal - Saved!

Hi everybody,

I'm happy to report that my newspaper journal from the last class with Dyan has been rescued by the lovely Janet and lovingly retrieved by my hubby Jack.  So now that I have some pix to share... here we go...

Well, obviously, the class was about making a journal out of newspaper... without revealing all of Dyan's techniques, let's just say there was a lot of gluing involved... Once we got all the pages created, we gave them a coating to give them extra stability and then learned some painting techniques.  Here are all the newspaper pages all lined up.

The page that is on top was the only page we actually did some journaling on.   But Dyan is tricky! We were all given a stack of collage images to choose from and everyone had to choose ONE image that would fit on their page... here's the tricky part... then we had to trade images with our neighbor, and then trade AGAIN with the person sitting across from us! 

Personally, I thought it was great, but I think some may have been very attached to the images they chose.  Of course,  Dyan was trying to make a point that it doesn't *matter* what image you use... you can still create a great journal page - just journal around the image you glue down. Dyan showed us how to do some easy lettering for the "art" word.

We also created some pages from manila card stock to add into our journal, using the new Dylusions ink sprays and stencils.  We used two different 6 x 12 pieces and then tore them in half to fit the size of the journal, so after the tearing we had 4 pages to insert.

And here are all the pages together, all lined up and ready to be hole-punched and bound with some rings.  The great part is, I can keep creating pages to add - all I need is a newspaper! 

Now... I guess with all these awesome journals, and some basic instruction in art journaling from the master herself... I've run out of reasons NOT to really begin art journaling!  Stay tuned....

Thanks for sharing in the Dylusional adventure - it was one I'll never forget!  See you soon!

~ ellen.

February 8, 2012

Sharing the Dylusional Fun...

Hi everybody!

I did warn you that it was going to get mighty Dylusional around here... so let the fun begin!  Wanted to share some pix from my weekend of workshops with Dyan Reaveley at The Queens Ink.  I'll just take it from the beginning....

I arrived at the store on Friday afternoon, all ready to get started with the first class.  So many people signed up that they had to rent an entire "available for rent" store in the mill to hold the classes!  But before I got to the classroom, I had to make my way through the store first.... here's the Wall of Dylusions all stocked up with goodies - even the new stamps and stencils from CHA! Woohoooo!!!  Sorry for the slightly blurry pix - my hand wasn't very steady with the cell phone camera....

Then, before i could make it out of the store I came across the Dylusions Valentine's Tree!

The first class was an altered book class, so we spent the first evening doing all the prep work - lots of carving and gluing involved - very fun!  Then on Saturday we learned all sorts of techniques for folding and creating hidden pockets, series of graduated pages, and more...  plus inky/painty techniques as well... here's a few pix...

One of the pages we inked and stenciled for a good background for a future journal page.

Oh my... very inky fingers... fun, fun!  Even today, 3 days later, there are still traces of "bubblegum pink" Dylusions spray between my fingers!  That was a not-so-subtle hint that we got to use the new Dylusions Ink Sprays!  AND the new stencils!  All I can say is.... GORGEOUS!

And here's the book standing up with lots of pages inked, painted, folded.  I've still got a lot of playing to do in this book!

On Sunday, Dyan taught her famous large (24" x 24") canvas class, which regularly sells out at Art From the Heart, her store in the UK.  Here's the classroom, all set to get started!

And the gorgeous Dyan... putting the finishing touches on her "turban" for the day... 

I've seen so many of Dyan's students proudly holding up their finished canvases on her blog, and now here's mine!  I'm going to add some writing to finish it off... something about dreams coming true for obvious reasons.... (yes, still pinching myself...)

Then, sadly... Monday came... the last day of classes... here's a shot from the front - WOW - 48 students!  (that's a mirror at the back of the room - if you look you can see Dyan's reflection, teaching from the front).

You'll never believe this, but I don't have any pix of the third class because I left my project at the store!  What???  Thankfully, I knew just where I left it and it has been rescued by the lovely Janet.  As soon as I get it I promise to take some pix and share with you.

Big thanks to everyone at the Queens Ink, especially our beloved "Queen Patti" for hosting another totally amazing weekend with Dyan!  I'll never forget it!  And of course to Dyan herself, for her energy, her generosity, and her belief that *everyone* is an artist.  I will treasure the memory of this weekend forever!

Hope you have a great week!

~ ellen.