Thursday, 21 January 2010

My brother is a Guitar Hero junkie. My brother had a birthday recently. And my brother is the victim of this semi-literate card.
I used alcohol inks on glossy card and blew them around with a can of compressed air. It's a somewhat satisfactory technique, but your hands get cold pretty quickly. It also makes you wish you had more colours of alcohol ink even though you have a lot of colours already....
The rocker (Stampin' Up) is stamped in black Archival ink (Ranger) and embossed in black. I mounted the main panel on black and added a few extra things, like a chipboard circle, painted white and stamped with the same dragonfly (Inkadinkado) as on the white card. I used red versamagic ink for that. I dithered for a while about what sentiment to use, and wished in vain for a grunge alphabet set. Then I recalled my snazzy dymo label maker and whipped off this semi-literate little number. (That little space between u and r is what turns this from Sumerian anachronism to hipster-cool.) The blue paper is textured Pacific Point (SU), torn on the bottom. I notched the "hero" sticker like a pennant and added some denim dimensional pearls. I love how this turned out! I don't normally stamp in the psychedelic grunge style, but this isn't bad for a first attempt!

Prismacolor Pencils

Do you ever have a card that you just love! This is one I just love. The scanner couldn't quite pick it up, but the petals are so softely shaded. I just love looking at them. The paper was a perfect match too (Hot Off the Press Cardmaker kit). I've had that in my stash for a while and use it now and then - it's wonderful shades of blue and purple and pink.
This stamp (Penny Black - Gossamer) is a recent acquisition and I thought I would try it with Prismacolor pencils. I have tried them now and then and not really spent a lot of time experimenting. I watched some you-tubes on them and got some tips and tried them out. I have odorless mineral spirits and a stump to blend them out. I didn't find that the blending with pencils alone worked for me, but I have the Scholar variety of pencil and I don't believe they are as soft as the more professional pencils. The centres of the flowers have some stickles for a bit of sparkle on the card. The sentiment is a Stampin' Up rub on from the Chit Chat pack, punched out with a Stampin' Up punch. I edged with a bit of warm violet chalk ink (Colorbox). The flowers were stamped in India Ink (Memories) on whisper white. I didn't have any trouble with smudging, etc. and it is a very true black, great for the detail lines here. I used coordinating ribbon (also HOTP) and some lavender eyelets. The card is 5 1/4 by 5 1/4. I'll be needing a farewell card at work soon, and I sort of had this in mind for that purpose. Thanks for stopping by!

All 12 Tags

This post closes the loop on my compulsive requirement to tie up loose ends. These are all 12 of the tags I made over Christmas. Can't wait for the 40 Tags of Lent to start!!!
Sorry this is wrong way up. It shows up the right way in my photo editor. Clearly there is some sort of poltergeist afflicting Blogger today.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Tag 12

Hello! I thought you might be tired of tags, so I will just upload my favourite instead of all the remaining ones. I love this one, but it's a bit of a love-hate relationship, mostly due to the bells at the bottom that I sewed on at 3 am. Sad but true. They used to be silver - but I tinted them with alcohol inks. The flower isn't made of grunge board like Tim's, but it is made of velvet paper and die cute with a Nestability. Love it! It's accented with some butterscotch dimensional pearls.

I also really like how the background turned out. It's stamped (Stampers Anonymous), but there's also a piece of sheet music that I printed off the computer from some free place and aged with antique ink and a blending tool. The message is cut from a Nestabilities die and stamped (Cornish Heritage Farms) and embossed in black, and tinted with green and the blending tool. A few jingle bells on the bottom and you're done!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sixth and Seventh Tags

Here are tags six and seven, inspired by Tim Holtz' 12 Tags of Christmas. Tag 7, with the Santa, used a masking technique, so the tag is all one layer, with lots of fun distressing and stamping, etc. I love the gold flourish (Stamp-It)! That was a stamp I picked up when I was visiting my aunt in Victoria and she took me to her LSS (yay!). The Santa is coloured with distress inks and a blender pen, accented with distress stickles.

Tag 6 uses the dictionary paper. Luckily for our French-English dictionary, DH reminded me that I could scan a page from the regular dictionary rather than using an actual page removed from the book itself. I thought the dictionary wouldn't have minded such a noble sacrifice and we hardly ever need the J's.... Anyway, I managed to get a good effect here, and I didn't even need to mail away to some paper supply shop across the border! The pear (Stampers Anonymous) is embossed in black and coloured with the blending tool and distress ink. The dictionary background is as Tim himself does it (or as close as I can come), the flourish is Stamp-It. The gold rick rack has shown up again, this time with jute. I love the warm tones of this, and it could be an all-purpose card, not just for Christmas. But I think pears can definitely be Christmassy. I didn't go with Tim's tree-on-car motif because (a) I only have bright yellow and lime green flock, (b) I don't have a car stamp, only trucks, (c) my only tree stamps are weeping willow and bare deciduous, which would look quite peculiar on my dumptruck stamp, flocked in lime green/yellow. This is sounding kind of funny, and I just might have to try it! 12 Tags of Christmas gone horribly awry.....
Well, I should sign off. hubby has finished tinkering with the various remotes and appears to have stumbled on the successful combination of buttons and pointers to allow us to watch another couple of episodes of The Border before bed. We have the whole fall season backlogged since we missed the first episode and haven't figured out how to watch it on the computer. I just saw it on Sunday and now we are catching up.
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Fifth Tag of Christmas

Here's my fifth tag, based on this one by Tim Holtz. I picked up some fragments and silver tape to make these ornaments because they looked so cool and I thought I would enjoy doing these on lots of cards. It was a lot of fun!

I love the colour scheme of the gold and bluey green. I will be using that again! I followed Tim's design in creating the background using distress inks and the blending tool, and the same for the ornaments. I also added a flourish (Stamp-It), stamped in Snow Cap paint to resist the ink. The bough is from SU's Peaceful Wishes set, stamped with pigment ink (browny copper for the branch and metallic dark green for the needles) and clear embossed. I see now that Tim added some fun stuff at the bottom and a rub-on, so I may doctor this up a bit, or not. I like it as it is and don't want to overdo it. I used SU silver cord instead of wire for the hangers. The background stamp overall is a lovely background stamp by Heather's Stamping Haven, and the image is an old-time letter from the times when they would write twice on the page, the second time perpendicular to the first, to make the most of the paper. I stamped that in Broken China. BTW, has anyone seen my Weathered Wood ink pad? It's on the missing list and I have done an extremely substantial clean-up of my stamping area.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fourth Tag of Christmas

Here's my fourth tag, inspired by this one by Tim Holtz. I didn't have all the hardware and bits and bobs for this one, but what struck me from his was the little window vignette, so I went with that. I did a similar collage background (Stampers Anonymous), coloured in the same technique, but different stamps and colours. I chose the Santa face (Stampers Anonymous) for the window, and created a frame using a SU chipboard frame, painted with Espresso dabbers, then a bit of Snow Cap and lastly some SU shimmer paint to give it some shimmer. There are microbeads inside the window for some interest. Also it was high time for my cards to have an auditory element other than some colourful expressions when I smudge/fudge something or cut myself. This one actually looks better in the picture than in real life. Whooda thunkit!

The holly sprig (Sunshine Designs) is stamped on the back of botched Tag 2 and coloured with the sponge applicator in shades of yellow and green and red on the berry, accented with distress stickles in Fired Brick and Peeled Paint. There is also a bit of accent stamping on the edge, behind the gold rick rack in Aged Mahogany. I think it's more holly sprig, but I can't quite make it out.

Thanks for looking!

Third tag of Christmas

For this tag, inspired by this one, I created a plaid background using alcohol inks and glossy paper. It looks better in real life. It's hard to capture the depth of colour and shimmer with a camera. The background is shades of red and green and yellow, picked up on the mini tag for the sentiment. I stamped poinsettias (Penny Black) in archival and coloured them with distress stickles (Fired Brick, Scattered Straw). The holly sprig (Sunshine Designs) was stamped in distress ink (Aged Mahogany) and sprinkled with perfect pearls (I forget the colour, I think it was a red or purple) and misted to seal. This causes a bit of ink to bleed out for a neat effect.
The sentiment mini tag isn't as garish in real life, but I did sponge on some Mustard Seed to give it some oomph. It's "attached" with a idea-ology diaper pin to some jute. The ribbon on the tag is from the Recess collection by BasicGrey, with some jute. I also added an SU jumbo eyelet, perfect for the tag. I covered the whole tag with the glossy paper, instead of mounting it with other tag showing. These small tags just don't have the same amount of design space as the #8s. However, these are small enough to fit on a half-sheet card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 front), in the unlikely event I can bring myself to give them away.
I loved doing this plaid and will definitely be doing it again. Tim recommended adding a bit of black, and I think he's right. I didn't have black alcohol ink at the time of plaiding, but I have since added it to the repertoire so the next time I do it, it will have the bit of depth.
Thanks for looking!

Art Canvas

In December I went to my upline's Demonstrator Christmas party and a highlight of this great event is the gift exchange. It's one of those where you draw numbers and get to steal or open a new one. I came away with a fabulous present, a set of four cubes decorated beautifully. I didn't manage to get a picture of them before I gave them away today at my stamp club Christmas party as a prize for the Christmas trivia game. They were beautiful though, all done in old olive, real red, and chocolate chip, very crisp and clean and stylish.

Here's the project I made for the exchange, an embellished art canvas. I started with one that was 8x8 and it came already gessoed. I had planned to make a 12x12 one but they weren't on sale, and this one was, so I went with this one! I had a vision in my head of soft creams and blues and different textures and for once it turned out like the vision in my head! (Usually it's my head that's soft and I'm blue...)
I started by painting about four different shades of cream and taupe and blue on the canvas, using some acrylic paint we had on hand from our plywood cutout Christmas carollers. (Yes, we are a plywood cutout kind of family... in my defence may I say that we also have some original -non-plywood-based art in our house?) Once the background was painted, I made some papers, using the colours from the Bella Bleu designer paper pack as inspiration. I started with Very Vanilla paper and stamped on the Medallion and some images from the Boho Backgrounds set. I tore the edges and sponded them, and added in some layers of paper for interest. I also made some butterflies from vellum and cardstock, and ran some of them through the big shot using my texturz plates. I used some of the new shimmer paint on the butterflies, which adds a very elegant touch. A few halfback pearls from the pretties kit provided the finishing touches.
Some of the canvases I've seen on-line have the paper adhered with mod podge but I like the textured look better, so I used sticky strip. I hope it all doesn't peel off. The image in the frame is Stampin' Up's Statement of the Heart, which I thought was appropriate for the demonstrator event. You could use any nice quote here, or even a photo.
This was quite quick, all in all it only took me about an hour, not including drying time for the paint. I did the background painting the night before I made the rest of the project, displaying an uncharacteristic degree of forethought in a project.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Second Tag of Christmas

Here's my tag for the second tag of Christmas, inspired by this one by Tim Holtz. I used the same colour scheme, and kept the distress-embossed frame motif, using corner elements to suggest a frame. (I tried one with a frame, but it didn't work out - that last extra thing I tried just didn't work, and the next thing I did to salvage it made it worse, so it got used for testing and cut up on future tags.) I used the same steps as Tim (are we on a first name basis now???) to create the background and the droplets of gold perfect pearls. I didn't have the metal hardware for the accents, so I kept this one flat - would be good for mailing or a bookmark. (DD1 has been eyeing the tags, wistfully remarking about her current dearth of bookmarks, so maybe this will go to her.)

NSR: We had a great day today. I had a huge sleep in, which was a real treat, then I went downtown to serve sandwiches at the Bishop's Levee, following the service. It was our parish's turn to host the reception and there were sandwiches, hot appetizers, tea & coffee, punch, sherry and wine for 350 to be served. It was quite the do! Then home again to go tobogganning with the kiddies. It was a lot of fun, then a picnic in front of the TV with a movie, then kidlets went to bed and DH and I played the new game he got for Christmas, a strategy game based on Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It's a really good game, which is good because I don't have a great track record for picking good board games. This one was fun, with lots of possibilities. And it won Game of the Year. Now it's time for a quick blog post - a great day!

Thanks for stopping by.