February 27, 2013

Ranger Paint Dabbers Meets Dylusions


I did another "speed tag" and wanted to share it (click HERE for the first one).  The thing I like best about these tags is the quick way to do a painted background.  I have a LOT of Ranger's paint dabbers, but for some reason I haven't been using them.  I think it's because I always have a hard time with the "dabber" part of dispensing the paint.  So (duh) I decided to just use the paint with an actual paint brush instead.  And guess what... I've rediscovered my *love* for these paints!  The colors are gorgeous, and they retain their color even when thinned with water, and they blend beautifully with each other.... so here goes...

For this tag, I used three colors: watermelon, stream, and lemonade.  I painted up the background, blending each color with the next, and then added some black accents with the edge of my craft scraper and the black paint dabber.

Then I added some of my hand-carved stamps.  I stamped my leaf stamp up the left side with black paint, a texture stamp with lemonade paint, and the circle/swirl stamp in watermelon.  I outlined the leaves with a white gel pen, and went over the swirl stamp with some liquid pearls (ruby red) to add a little texture.

I added some white dots with the end of my paintbrush and some white paint, and outlined them, again with the white gel pen.  And finally.... the feature of the whole tag.... the Dylusions character from the "Monster Mash" set (isn't he so cute?!).  I stamped him on some book text and used my Dylusions inks to color him in, matching the colors as closely as I could, and adding some cross-hatching to his jacket.

Added some of the new dragonfly stamps from Dylusions (also from the Monster Mash set) and another classic Dylusions saying... love this one about mornings... and people... (LOL).

Hope you liked my speed tag.  I've been doing some more painty-style backgrounds on post cards.  They're a nice size (4" x 6") to work with, and it gives me a reason to send more postcards to Jane Davies to save her post office... (WIN-WIN).  I'll be back to share some soon.

'til then... have fun playing!

~ ellen.

February 22, 2013

Dylusions Journal Pages

Hi everyone!

Happy Friday!  Boy am I glad it's Friday... my day job has been crazy busy this week... budget meetings, auditors, and people out sick.  PHEW!  I haven't had much time for art this week, but last weekend I had a play day with my best arty girlfriends at The Queens Ink and did some journal pages...

This first page has a scraped paint background with magazine and text collage, with journaling in paint/gel pens.

Dylusions ink spray/stencil background, collage with magazine image and Tim Holtz tissue wrap , journaling with Fude ball pen, border with paint pens.

And this page also has Dylusions ink spray background with hand carved stamps and magazine collage. The journaling was done with Fude ball pen (around the magazine image) and paint/gel pens for the larger words.  I also used my new Dylusions Journaling Block for the journaling, drawing the curvy lines before fitting the journaling into the curves.  FUN!

Hope you've had a good week - Enjoy the weekend!

~ ellen.

February 18, 2013

The Postcard Project

Good morning!

I wanted to share a link to Jane Davies' Postcard Project.  Jane is a collage / mixed media artist who also owns the local post office in her small town in Vermont.  In order to help boost the volume of mail being handled in her post office, and help to keep it from being closed down, she has asked people to send postcards - art postcards, or any kind of postcard.  The request has been massively popular and she's receiving hundreds (probably over a thousand by now) of postcards!

Here's a link to Jane's original blog post - honestly - have you ever seen anything so cute?

And HERE is a link to another post Jane did, showing a video of one technique she uses for making art postcards, and the inspiration for my post today.

Here are mine... I'll be sending one postcard a month...

Hope you enjoyed and *really* hope you decide to join in with the Postcard Project!  If you'd like to send one (or more!) here's the info from Jane's blog:

  • YOU send me an art postcard. It can be original handmade, or a photocopy of something you've made. Print your name and address clearly on the card.
    • Mail to: Jane Davies, PO Box 45, Rupert, VT  05768
  • I  send YOU a postcard, handmade.  I don't promise it will be something you want to frame, but it will be original.  I will send postcards to the first 200 respondents.
  • I will post ALL the post cards I receive on this blog.  On each card I will indicate the name of its creator and the place from whence it came.  If the volume is overwhelming, I'll open a separate blog just for the cards.  If nobody sends me a card, I will be sad and our post mistress will be out of a good time, and eventually a job.

Have fun!  Hope you join in...

~ ellen.

February 15, 2013

Art Heals - Dylusions Journal Page

Hi all,

Quick post from me today.  There are some people in my life who I love more than I can even express... and they are treating each other with such hatred, contempt, cruelty and disdain.  And it's been going on for far too long. If there was an ounce of empathy for the other's perspective it could all be so much better.  It's making me physically ill to watch, knowing that there is little if anything I can do to help.  This journal page is my attempt to vent my frustration and anger at the situation.

Stencils by Dylusions and Dina Wakley
Dylusions ink sprays
Golden fluid acrylic paint - cobalt teal
Fudeball black pen
Sharpie water-based black paint pen

Here's to better days ahead... I hope...

~ ellen.

February 14, 2013

Hels 'N' Els Recipe Challenge - Multi Canvas Painting


Hels and I are back again with another recipe challenge.  We don't normally have these so close together, but this one got started a few weeks ago and then I was struck down with bronchitis, followed by the flu... lucky me... but I'm all better now, so it's time to share!

Here's our recipe:

- 4 x 12 canvas (orientation of choice)
- three 3 x 3 canvases on top of the 4 x 12
- brand new or never used stamp(s)
- blue, green, black, and white
- "pop" of red
- 1 metallic
- washi tape (store bought or hand-made)
- a crown

Sorry this main pic is a little blurry - the close ups are better...

I started by painting the background of all 4 canvases with Golden fluid acrylics - green gold, cobalt teal, and turquoise (phthalo).  I blended them with a good amount of water for a more mottled, watercolor look.

Then I accented the turquoise (phthalo) areas with both black and white gesso, applied in thin stripes with the edge of my craft scraper.  My 'brand new' stamp came next.  It's the sea bubbles stamp by 'Designs by Ryn'.  I stamped the bubbles in the opposing corners of each canvas with white gesso.

The sentiment is my own, though I'm sure someone has said it at some point.  I typed it out on my vintage typewriter, adhered it to the canvas, and outlined it with my Stabilo ALL pencil, blending the outlines with a water brush.

I punched the 3 hearts out of some scrap painted papers, added some accents with a white gel pen, and again outlined them with a Stabilo ALL pencil.

The final touches were adding the crown charm with a long fastener brad, wrapping each of the 3 small canvases with a 1/2 width of black/white polka dot washi tape, and adding some shading to the edge of all the canvases with a tiny bit of turquoise (phthalo) paint, applied with Ranger's cut 'n' dry foam.

The timing of this canvas was perfect for Valentine's Day, and my hubby Jack was really happy to receive it!  Hope you enjoyed it.  Be sure to go over to Hels' blog HERE to check out her canvas!  I haven't seen it yet but I'm sure it's gorgeous!  She seems to be incapable of producing anything that isn't gorgeous!  :)

See you soon!

~ ellen.

February 11, 2013

Hels 'N' Els Recipe Challenge - A Speed Tag


Hels and I have been up to our antics again with another recipe challenge, but this time we were a little short on time so we decided to put a time limit on our efforts.  30 minutes!  I also entered this tag in to the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge this week, which is to do something messy! I think my background qualifies!

Here's our recipe of ingredients:

- #10 manila tag
- painted background
- collage
- stamping with paint
- sentiment of choice

Ready... set... go!  I started with my painted background, which I did using 3 colors of Ranger's paint dabbers: wild plum, stream and willow.

I added some accents using my craft scraper, black paint dabber and white gesso, giving both horizontal and vertical accents.  I stamped my hand-carved circle swirl stamp with stream paint in several places...

And then my hand-carved leaf in willow paint as well, highlighting each with a white gel pen.

Since I was on a time limit I sketched out a quick, simple house on book text, cut it out and colored it in with Faber-Castel aquarelle watercolor pencils and a water brush for blending.

And, finally, a Dylusions sentiment... one of my favorites... such a nice thought to believe in the absurd.

Hope you liked our speed-tag!  I must admit we gave ourselves a few extra minutes to finish up, but just a few! It's fun to work quickly - no time to over-think each move (and I'm an over-thinker from wayyyy back... working on that...)  Be sure to pop over to Hels' blog and see her tag - once again... same recipe, totally different results!  And gorgeous as always!

We'll be back in a few days with another Recipe Challenge!  We started it a couple weeks ago and then I got sick.... so it took a while to finish it up.  It's perfectly timed for Valentine's Day!

See you soon! Thanks for stopping by.

~ ellen.

February 7, 2013

A Gelli-Grunge Basket!


I hinted the other day that I've been working on a project... one I've been wanting to try for a long time but just never got around to it.  As some of you might know, I have a craft-history of basket weaving.  When my local supply store closed, I sort of let that hobby slip, but I miss it!  So for a while I've been wanting to weave a basket with non-traditional materials... and I found a way to make it work!

I started with a pile of gelli prints on deli papers and 5 sheets of 6x12 grungepaper.

And I pulled out my "basket bible" which I've had for... oh my... almost 20 years.  It's the only basket book I've ever had and I've made several of the baskets you see on the cover.  I found a pattern that I thought would work with my chosen materials and got started.

First thing I had to do was glue all the deli/gelli prints onto the grungepaper, both front and back.  I used Ranger's glue and seal, which worked beautifully.  The pattern I chose called for 1/2" strips that were 34" long.  First I used my paper trimmer to cut the grungepaper into 1/2" strips.  Then, since grungepaper is only 12" long, I had to combine 3 strips together to get the required length.  My tiny attacher was the perfect tool.  Three mini staples to join each strip to the next.

Grungepaper is very flexible, but holds it's shape if you bend it.  The pile below could easily be a coil of actual reed for basket-making.

After following the pattern, weaving and weaving and weaving (and finding a mistake and starting over... twice!) here's the finished basket!

I wasn't worried at all about the random patterns and colors and I just LOVE how it came out!

You could use this basket for paintbrushes....

Or distress markers.... or any other kind of marker or pen/pencil for that matter....

Here's a close up on the weaving and the mini staples...

Here's the bottom of the basket.  I love baskets that have square bottoms but round tops...

And here's a shot of the inside of the basket.  That's why I had to cover both front and back of the grungepaper... I wanted color on both inside and outside of finished basket.

I can see more grunge baskets in my future... next time I think I'll try a more traditional basket - this was a difficult pattern for a first attempt because I had to weave all the pieces at one time (YIKES).  Might even try to add more/different materials into the weave along with the grungepaper.  Could use distress stain to color grungepaper and then stamp images - possibilities are endless.

Hope you enjoyed it... this was a fun experiment that worked out!  Have a great day!

~ ellen

February 5, 2013

New Dylusions - BONUS - Day 8 - I Needed a Shrink!


THEY DID IT! The RAVENS won the SUPERBOWL!!! YES!  My whole neighborhood, and in fact the entire city of Baltimore, erupted with celebration last night!  We could hear car horns and screams of joy and fireworks all from our living room!  Good times!

Back to the business at hand... as I mentioned, I did some more playing with my new Dylusions stamps over the weekend, and decided to try something I've never done with Dylusions before... and it worked!

I used another Ranger product in combination with Dylusions this time...

And boy did I have fun!  I stamped several of the characters and fishy creatures out with jet black archival ink on a sheet of shrink plastic, cut them out, and cut a hole in the top of each one.... and then whipped out the heat tool!  Instant Dylusional charms!!!  Then I colored in each one on the back side with alcohol inks and a Q-Tip (cotton swab).

I used these three as zipper pulls for my collage cut out keepers...

And this one was turned into a pin for a small cosmetic case I have.... just added a jump ring and a Tim Holtz wire pin...

This will give you a sense of the scale of the original image to the shrunken image...

Here's another style of pin I made using a round Fragment (Tim Holtz).  Materials used:

Painted the front and back of the fragment with pearl paint dabber, colored over top with stream alcohol ink, glued the charm on with superglue, added some black dot accents around the edge, and added a self-adhesive pin backing to the back...

And, finally, one last project... a charm for a bracelet!  Just string some beads on some Stretch Magic cording, tie a knot with a dot of superglue or glossy accents, and add a charm with a jump ring.  How cute!

Hope you liked my shrunken Dylusional charms... I had a ball making them.  They would make great presents, present-toppers, or could even do a whole charm bracelet with lots of them!  Hope you give it a try!

That's officially the end of my New Dylusions Marathon.  It has seriously been so much fun, and I'm sad to see it end.  Have no fear, I'll still be playing and will share more projects as they come together, just not in such rapid succession!  Thanks again for all your support and comments along the way.  Here are the links to all the posts:

  Day 1
  Day 2
  Day 3
  Day 4
  Day 5
  Day 6
  Day 7
  Day 8

I've been working on another project that I'm so excited about.  It's something I've been wanting to try for a long time, and I've found a way to make it work!  I'll be sharing it soon!  Take care!

~ ellen.

February 4, 2013

New Dylusions - Day 7 - Trash-To-Treasure Part 2


Can't believe we're here at the end (?) of my week of New Dylusions marathon. As I sit writing this up for Monday, I'm watching my Baltimore Ravens play in the Super Bowl!  Now, I'm not *really* that huge a football fan, but when the home team is in the Super Bowl, you gotta get excited!  But I digress...

The last *tag* of our marathon is another in the "trash-to-treasure" style.  Another brayer cleaned up on newsprint for the background...

Ain't she (he?) adorable? I'm undecided on its gender... initially I thought it was a "he", but then it also looks like it is wearing a housedress... so.. maybe a girl?  What do you think??? Anyway... with the background instantly done with the newsprint, I added some borders with my hand-carved stamps.

On the left I stamped my triangle stamp at various heights all the way down the day in black archival ink, and then went over all the different sections with paint pens, black, white and red, plus some access with white gelly roll pen, and some dots around the triangles (not sure I'm in love with the dots, but... )  And around the rest of the tag I used one of my stripey border stamps.  I stamped with Lumiere green metallic paint, and then outlined with a fine line of black, and a fine line of white to get the level of contrast I wanted.

And now for our main feature... I'm gonna go with the masculine approach and say he's wearing a lab coat, like he's a mad scientist (or Uncle Fester? LOL!).  Colored the lab coat in with funky fuchsia and a water brush, calypso teal for his legs and eyes, and cut grass for his boots.

Any mad scientist needs supervision, but this one's been left on his own...who knows what could happen!  Sentiment is perfect for a monster tag.

And there we have it! I'm a little sad that our New Dylusions tag marathon has come to an end, but as I mentioned yesterday... I've been playing this weekend and I've found a new (for me) way to use some of the new Dylusions stamps, so I'll be back again tomorrow for Day #8!

Here's a recap and links to the last 6 tags... (I'll do this again, tomorrow, too.)

  Day 1
  Day 2
  Day 3
  Day 4
  Day 5
  Day 6

Thanks to everyone who's stopped by, left a comment, to those who became new followers along the way, and a special huge thanks to the Queen of Dylusions herself, Dyan Reaveley! I feel so fortunate to be a part of Dyan's Design Team, and couldn't be happier to play with all her unique and wonderful creations.  I hope you've enjoyed the last week and have found some fun ways to use Dylusions in your own art.

See you tomorrow!  GO RAVENS!!!

~ ellen.

February 3, 2013

New Dylusions - Day 6 - One (Wo)man's Trash...


Before we get to today's tag.... let me just say... I live in Baltimore, and as most of you are aware, the BALTIMORE RAVENS are playing in the SUPER BOWL today! Sooooo.... GO RAVENS!!!

Here we are already up to Day 6 of my New Dylusions marathon!  Today's tag takes a slightly different approach, one I love to use from time to time.  Here's the back-story:  A couple weeks ago, I had a group of my closest arty friends over for a long play day in my studio.  We spent the majority of the day playing with Gelli Arts printing plates, printing with and on everything that wasn't nailed down.  One of my friends, Patti Parrish (see her blog, Inky Obsessions, HERE), rolls the excess paint off her brayer after every layer of gelli printing.  As you can imagine, this resulted in a stack of newsprint with paint rolled onto it in all sorts of interesting layers and combinations and patterns.  At the end of the day, she was going to throw them away!

Oh.... no, no, no... can't have that! So I took them off her hands (and out of the trash bin) and glued them down to some #10 manila tags....

Today's tag is the result of one of her newsprint brayer clean-ups...

The background is *nothing* but newsprint clean-up. Isn't it cool? I love the contrast between the bright reds and oranges and the bright greens and blues.  Couldn't have planned it that way if I wanted to.

I did some tissue-stamping with my hand-carved "eye" stamp, and glued them down one side with Ranger's Glue 'n' Seal.  I went over the black areas with my favorite white gelly roll pen to help emphasize the contrast with the background.

The featured character in today's tag is from the Dylusions Monster Mash set, full of wonderfully monstrous new friends.  I stamped him on white card stock and colored him in with the new dirty martini ink and a water brush.  I like to blend the colors with the water in the brush to get a gradation of color.  You can see this more on the lips and tongue, where I used the new funky fuchsia ink.  Watered down, it becomes a much softer pink.

And, of course, no Dylusions tag would be complete without one of Dyan's wonderful sentiments... just gotta love them!  And this one is no exception.  A quick dash-ed border with a black paint pen, outlined with white gelly roll pen, and this tag is done!

With an instant background from one wo(man)'s trash... this tag became a quick treasure!  Hope you liked it!  I'll have another trash-to-treasure style tag tomorrow.  I'll provide links to all the days with tomorrow's post as well.

And just so you know... I've done some more playing today... we may have to extend this to Day 8!  But no more tags... I've come up with another way to use Dylusions... stay tuned!

See you tomorrow... and remember... GO RAVENS!!!

~ ellen.

February 2, 2013

New Dylusions - Day 5 - Flossie's Debut

Hello again and a Happy Saturday to everyone!

If you're just joining in, we're in the midst of a week-long celebration of Dyan Reaveley's new Dylusions products that were just released!  If you want to go back and see the other tags I've shown, here are some links...

  Day 1
  Day 2
  Day 3
  Day 4

And here we are on Day 5... Today's tag introduces one of Dyan's new silhouette stencils... the fabulous "Flossie" (and, might I say... what a cool name...).  The best part, in my opinion, about the new silhouette stencils, is that you get three sizes of the same silhouette on one stencil sheet, and the *bonus* is that you get both the positive image (stencil) and the negative images (masks)... (I hope I got that right... could be backwards...) or as Dyan would say... you get the "inners" too!  Heerrrrrreeeee's Flossie!

Once again, I started by creating the background, and this one is the "twin" of yesterday's tag, created by pressing this tag into the still wet ink of Day 4's tag.  I also pressed this tag into the leftover ink on the craft sheet, picking up some spots and splatters.

Decided to branch out and use the diamonds stencil with both the cherry pie and white linen ink sprays for texture and interest in the background.  To use the Flossie stencil, I placed the mask (stencil 'inner') on the tag, held it steady with one hand, and then brushed black gesso from the center of the mask out on to the tag in all directions to create the silhouette.  I learned this technique from the awesome Dina Wakley, who also just released some new silhouette stencils!

I traced loosely around the shape of the silhouette with my white gelly roll pen a few times, intentionally overlapping the lines to create a 'sketchy' outline.  The white is the perfect contrast against the black gesso and really helps define the image.

The little eyeball stamps were added to emphasize the 'exhausted' part of the quote.  They really do look tired to me!  Stamped the eyeballs (from the Monster Mash set) on white card stock, cut out and adhered to tag, and colored in with dirty martini ink.  Did the same with the sentiment (Say It How It Is), cutting it out in sections and glueing it down, outlining with a black pen to help ground it.

The final element to today's tag was the hand-drawn zig-zag border at the top.  I drew the zig-zags with a black paint pen, and then added the white with both a white paint pen for the bolder area, and the white gelly roll pen for the finer white lines.  Used same pens to add the black/white dots at the end of each 'zig' or 'zag'.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be taking a different tack with the tags... little different style, but still Dylusional!  Hope you'll come back to see!  And thanks again for all the support this week! It's been a blast!

~ ellen.