September 24, 2012

Braver, Stronger, Smarter - Dylusions Tag

Good morning!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend - I had an art day on Saturday (taking an on line class - will share more later), and yesterday we had a family birthday celebration - jumbo Maryland crab cakes, corn on the cob, potato salad, and bean salad - and "end of summer" feast!  Was a great time with family...

Wanted to share another size #12 Dylusions tag I made. I love the sentiment - it's a good reminder to take pride in all we have to offer.  The background was done with Dylusions ink sprays, stencils and stamps, and then I collaged the pennant (bunting) stamps, the sentiment, and some book text and hand-drawn houses (totally inspired by Kate Crane) over the top. 

The houses were colored in with Faber Castell watercolor pencils and a water brush.  The flowers at the bottom were colored with with Sharpie paint pens.  Because the flowers were stamped over some gesso, a water based color would have resisted, so a paint pen was perfect.

Have a great week!

~ ellen

September 20, 2012

Hels 'N' Els Recipe - ATC Master Board


Hope everyone is having a good week!  Hels and I have come up with another Recipe Challenge so we wanted to share it!  Here's the list of ingredients:

- Master Board large enough to cut down to 9 ATC's (each ATC is 2.5" x 3.5")
- All 9 ATC's will be mounted on a base (approx 8" x 11") and hung with a "clippy hanger" - you know - a hanger with clips on it!
- Textured background
- Ink sprays
- Hand stamped sentiment
- Tape (washi or other)
- Embellishments of choice

We both really wanted our project to have that "WOW" factor - I'm not so sure mine has much "WOW" - but I'm still happy with it... here it is... sorry the pix are a bit dim... I waited too long to take them and the light was just *awful*... here goes...

I started with some manila card stock and glued an old map to it.  I've always loved maps and thought it would be fun to do a travel piece.  I white washed over the map with some white airbrush paint, and then started stamping and inking over top.

I used some old Tim Holtz stamps, as well as some of my hand-carved stamps, and then used my new favorite "junk stamp" - the glue stick display stamp for the black circles, then dabbing some white gesso in the center of each one with my finger.  I used a palette knife to add some Terra to the corners - it looks like old plaster.  I wanted to emphasize the *map* aspect, so I used a black pearl pen to highlight the course of a river that runs across the page diagonally.

I stamped out the sentiment with a mini alpha set.  The quote reads, "the use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are".  I love that!  Our imagination can take us lots of places, but there's nothing as *real* as being in the actual place, experiencing all of its wonders.  I added some Tim Holtz "cash keys" with maps as tokens in various places.  I just stuck the epoxy sticker over the map and cut around it, then glued it to the metal base with glossy accents.

Added some polka dot washi tape (Smash Book) in random spots, ran a border around each ATC with black paint dabber, and then glued each ATC to a sturdy base (I used heavy water color paper).  Clipped it to the hanger, which I added the word "travel" to.  Voila!

Hope you enjoyed our recipe... I'm sure we'll come up with another one soon!  Be sure to go check out Hels' ATC Master Board - I haven't seen it yet but I'm quite certain it's amazing as always!

See you soon.

~ ellen.

September 18, 2012

Fascinating... Dylusions Tag

Good morning,

Wanted to share another #12 Dylusions tag... this one started with ink sprays in cut grass and black marble.  Added more sprays using the large alpha and number stencils, and some stamping with the basic backgrounds harlequin stamp.  Added some gesso through the dotty flower stencil.  Then I used the luscious leaves stencil and a citrus paint dabber to create the leafy border... 

I stamped out several images on white card stock and then used my water brush with more ink sprays to color them in.  Added some torn book text at the bottom, cut out the images and glued them down with glue 'n' seal.  Added the sentiment and the spider stamp, and then did some highlighting with my white gelly roll pen.

The mushrooms got an extra "lift" with some foam squares.

All of the items used on this tag are available locally in the Baltimore-Washington area at The Queens Ink, in the U.K. at Art From the Heart, and on-line in the U.S. from Simon Says Stamp

Have a great day...

~ ellen.

September 17, 2012

Was That A Dragon?

Good morning and Happy Monday!

Wanted to share a project I did that was *WAY* out of my comfort zone.  In my non-art life, I work as an Accounting Manager for Catholic Charities.  Every two years, Catholic Charities hosts the "Dragon Boat Races" here in Baltimore. 

It is an awesome event to raise funds to help the many clients we serve.  Part of the event is that every team creates a hat to go along with the theme of their team tent.  The competition is fierce, and I was nominated (OK... really I was coerced) to create the hat for our team.  I then very quickly coerced Jack to help!  The theme chosen this year was Hollywood / Movies so I immediately thought that creating a hat of Graumann's Chinese Theatre (on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) would be cool... here's the result...

We started with a hat as the base - we used the hat from a child's magician kit - it was small, but made of a very sturdy, hard plastic so we knew it would stand up to some construction.  We found some small styrofoam building bricks in the craft store, and hot-glued them onto foam core to create the walls of the building. 

The doors were made out of grungeboard and I used the wood grain texture fade embossing folder to get the look of a wood door - colored with some distress stains and gave them a coat of rock candy crackle paint, and of course, some hitch fasteners (sadly being discontinued) for the doorknobs.

The roof was a real challenge!  Jack and I tried and tried to figure out how to get the shape we needed for that curved roof... and then Jack had an "A-HA" moment... he said... you know what would be perfect?  A lamp shade!  Genius!!  And it worked! We glued the lampshade to the top of the building, and then I cut curvy strips of grungepaper to look like the roof tiles.  Painted each strip with juniper paint dabber, hot glued to the lampshade.  The seams on each corner were created with LOTS of hot glue, painted with the same juniper paint.  Then I accented the roof with Inka Gold (gold), and dry-brushed some black paint to age it a bit.

I'm sure you'll recognize the film strip ribbon on the roof, wound around some small film reels that Jack found. I painted them black, accented with Inka Gold, and added some idea-ology wings.

The dragon on top and the dragon heads at the top of each column on the front were found in the craft store - you know those bins of plastic animals for kids?  The one on top was just hot glued on... no alteration made... and the ones on the columns... I just cut their heads off!  Painted them with some heavy body gray paint to look like concrete and accented with Inka Gold - simple! 

Hope you enjoyed my "out of the box" project... it was fun to collaborate with Jack on a project - we make a good team... in life and in art!

Have a great week!

~ ellen

September 11, 2012

Ledger Journal - Wonders of Nature


As promised, I'm back today to share the next page in my ledger journal.  Yesterday I shared a sneak peak of the background before any collage or journaling was added.

The background was done with Dylusions ink sprays (london blue, vibrant turquoise, fresh lime and cut grass).  Then added some more ink sprayed through stencils (large circles, large alpha), and then some gesso scraped through the large harlequin stencil.

I decided to add some stamping, but wanted to use some of my hand carved stamps.  I used my vertical striped border at the top left and bottom right, and the horizontal stripes went across the book text at the bottom.  Then I added my arrow stamp in a few places using black archival ink so it would be a bolder image.  And lastly, my circle spiral stamp was scattered in a few places - they're hard to see because I used a light green ink.

The large circles scattered across the page started by using book text and a 2" circle punch.  I outlined each circle with a Stabilo ALL pencil, traced over with a water brush to blend. Stamped my circle outline stamp in veridian green archival, added some cobalt teal paint, and a dab of gesso in the middle.

(sorry for the glare... )
The white drips were done with Golden airbrush paint.  Since this paint is made for airbrushing, it's already very watered down so it's ideal for "drippage".

Then I added all my collage elements using Ranger's glue 'n' seal.  I was a real skeptic about this product when it first came out, but I must say I REALLY like it!  It's lighter than multi medium and it dries faster.  Excellent for paper gluing. My collage elements were cut out of a magazine called "Birds and Blooms" - awesome if you love birds and butterflies!  My SIL has a steady stream of back issues coming my way = SCORE!

Last but not least, I kept the journaling very simple this time since the page was so busy and full already.  I used an alpha stamp set I've had for ages to stamp out "Wonders of Nature"... I think my collage style will be more nature-based than fashion-based.  I've tried the fashion magazine collage "thing" many times and it just doesn't 'click' for me.  But the images of nature? Love how easily they come together.   I guess what I'm saying is... make sure you use images that inspire you!  I've never been much inspired by fashion, and that's why my art journal pages weren't giving me any joy!

Thanks for stopping by!  Tomorrow I'll have a very unusual project to share...

~ ellen.

September 10, 2012

Art Parts Patchwork Heart Frame

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a nice weekend - we finally had some *non* summer weather here yesterday and it was delightful!  I spent the weekend playing in the studio, and wanted to share an Art Parts piece I made last week... I was lucky enough to get my hands on some new Studio 490 stamps and art parts and wanted to give them some attention...

This piece came to mind because I had a ton of leftover squares of paper from my Configurations class with Tim.  Every little compartment was lined with paper, and the method required cutting off of all the corners into perfect 1.5" squares.  So I had quite a stack of them.  I had seen Wendy Vecchi use scraps to cover Art Parts before, so I figured this was the perfect chance to try it out...

I glued each square down to a piece of white card stock with Ranger's glue 'n' seal, and then traced the art part heart onto the finished result.  I cut around the heart and the center opening and adhered it, again with glue 'n' seal, using it both as glue (underneath) and a sealer (over the top).

Then I chose some of Wendy's new art parts with matching stamps - I love the wildflower and the butterfly.  I stamped each image on to the coordinating art part with distress embossing ink and then sprinkled on some black embossing powder.  Once it was heat-set I used distress markers to color in the images.

I added a mini gear and game spinner to the butterfly, and accented the edges with Inka Gold (copper).  I also used the copper accents on the flourish accent (Studio 490 embellishment by Blossom Bucket).

Then I created a coordinating background for the center part of the frame.   I used the wrinkle free distress technique, with some copper perfect pearl mist splattered over the top, and added Wendy's new honeycomb background stamp with coffee archival ink.

Finally, I chose this new sentiment (Studio 490 of course). Stamped it in black archival and cut out each line to fit inside the frame.  I outlined each line with a black sharpie.

The finishing touch was to add the black pearl pen accents around the outside and inside frames, to add emphasis and a border to each part of the frame.  I'm totally addicted to my pearl pens (Viva) lately.   I've also discovered Ranger's liquid pearls, which give the same result, but they have tons more vibrant colors to choose from!  I sense a new collection beginning... (eek! like I need another one... NOT!)

Hope you enjoyed my art parts piece... I did some playing in my ledger journal this weekend, too... here's a sneak peak of a page I did.... it's the background before any collage or journaling was added.... I'll be back tomorrow to share the finished result....

Have a good Monday... I'm off to work....

~ ellen

September 6, 2012

Dylusions Ledger Page

Hi everyone,

I recently bought Kate Crane's new DVD's - #3 and #4 - and was inspired to jump on the vintage ledger bandwagon.  I found a real beauty on eBay for only $10!  Of course the shipping was another $12, but still.... what a STEAL! 

I've christened the ledger with my first journal page...

Started with my favorite Dylusions ink sprays for the background, adding stenciling and stamping as usual.  I love that the ink sprays are transparent so you can still see the ledger entries behind them.

Added some texture with gesso and dimensional pearl swirls.

My collage is from magazine cut outs - and the bunting (pennant) stamps made a nice spiky hat topper.  The hat is actually cut out from the image of a killer whale.

Added the checkered background using a paint dabber and refined the image with white/black sharpie paint pens.

Then added the quote, which I love.  I love a good challenge, especially the arty kind.  I'm always looking for new techniques and things to try.  I'm still a little gun-shy with my doodling.  One of these days I need to just jump in.  Stay tuned...

This ledger is on the large side... approx 8 x 12 when closed.  And it's got over 200 pages with entries on every single page!  Love it!  This should keep me going for a LONG LONG time!

Have an awesome day!

~ ellen.

September 5, 2012

Hels 'N' Els Recipe Challenge - Metal Frame

Hi everyone,

Hels and I have come up with another recipe challenge - we had a nice Skype session on Sunday and came up with this quick, easy project:

- 6 x 8 wooden frame
- adhesive backed sheet metal (Ranger metal foil sheets or other)
- texture fade embossing folders
- distress with black paint
- embellishments of choice

I think that's the shortest list of ingredients we've ever come up with!  But sometimes keeping it simple is good.  Here's my frame.  This pic was taken when I went to pick Hels up from Ranger U last year!  We all went out to dinner - will always be a very special memory.

Sorry for the bright flashy highlight... I had a hard time photographing all this shiny metal!  I started with Ranger's metal foil sheets and chose 3 texture fade embossing folders.  I adhered some pieces of the foil sheets to white card stock and then added some Ranger wonder tape to the back of each piece. The texture fades I chose were bubble, diamond plate and riveted.

I ran each sheet of metal / card stock through my Vagabond with each embossing folder and then pieced each one to size to fit on to my frame.  Just peel the back off the wonder tape and it sticks *forever* !  Be careful placing these pieces, because once you stick it down, it will NOT move.... just sayin'...

Once all the pieces were in place, I used a paper stump to get all the edges smoothed down, and then used a Ten Seconds Studio texture wheel on each of the seams between the different textures.  It helps to hide the seams and reinforces the wonder tape.

Then I used a black paint dabber over the entire piece and wiped off the excess with a paper towel.  The black paint gets into the nooks and crannies and leaves behind a wonderfully distressed look.  I chose to keep my frame embellishment-free (shocking, I know!) - letting the gorgeous textured metal speak for itself.

Hope you enjoyed our recipe.  Be sure to go over to Hels' blog and check out her frame.  I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure it is amazing as always!  Thanks for stopping by!

~ ellen.

September 4, 2012

I Am An Artist - Dylusions Tag


Hope you all had a nice Holiday weekend - the weather here in Baltimore was not so nice - lots of rain and very muggy - ick.  But I did have some time to play, so I'll be sharing those projects soon.  But today I wanted to show another of the #12 Dylusions tags I made recently.  Here we go...

I recently found this poem on-line by Linda Lively-Webb called "The Artist Within".  Since it really was Dyan who helped me to embrace my 'artist within' I couldn't think of more fitting project to use this snippet than a Dylusions tag.  Here's a link to the full poem if you're interested.

I started out as usual with some Dylusions ink sprays - London Blue, Cut Grass, and Fresh Lime.  I did some ghosting with the graduated circles stencil, used more ink sprays through the alpha and number stencils, and stamped some of the basic background stamps randomly.

Then I stamped the solid leaves stamp around the top and bottom borders, some random circles with a lid and gesso, and some accents with a craft scraper and black/white gesso.  I messy-sketched around each leaf and gave each a highlight with a gelly roll pen.

I sketched the hearts with a black sharpie onto book text paper, cut them out and adhered them to the tag with multi medium.   Finally, I added the first stanza of 'The Artist Within' by stamping it out with a mini alpha stamp set.

All of the items used on this tag are available locally in the Baltimore-Washington area at The Queens Ink, in the U.K. at Art From the Heart, and on-line in the U.S. from Simon Says Stamp

Hels and I had a quick skype session on Sunday and we've cooked up another recipe for you.  We'll be back tomorrow to share it - hope you can check it out.  I think this one would fall into the 'Quick and Easy' recipe category.  Be back tomorrow....

~ ellen

September 3, 2012

"Pear-Shaped" Journal Page

Hi everyone,

Hope all my American friends are enjoying a nice, LONG, Labor Day Weekend.  We're taking it easy, doing some stuff around the house, and of course, I'll have lots of time for ART!  I made this journal page during the recovery from my recent surgery and thought I'd share it...

This page was done in my "Teesha Moore" style journal.  I love the borders, and I must admit, I love the way the lettering came out on this one.  I'm still playing with the doodling and altering of the images I choose for my art journal pages, but this is a nice start.  Simple.  I think I'm still in the "less is more" phase of doodling.  I'm afraid if I add too much it will really be TOO much. 

Enjoy your day!  I'm off to the studio to make some Dylusions tags... which is always a good idea!

~ ellen.