Monday, 30 August 2010

Thank you card set

Hello! I mentioned in a previous post that I'm trying to build up a stash for the church bazaar this year. I thought some nice sets in a little paper box might sell well. I'm thinking under $10, perfect for teacher gifts, etc.

I had some scraps from a Basic Grey paper pack (Lime Rickey, I think), so I stamped them with a Hero Arts apple and paper pieced them. (I coloured the stems, though, absolutely do not have patience for paper piecing that x12! I made three sets, four cards each. The card base is So Saffron, with a Hero Arts shadow stamp also stamped in So Saffron. I edged it with a doodle line for emphasis using a Micron pen and stamped the little thank you (Impress) underneath. The three dots on the apples are accented with Diamond stickles.

I have gotten more mileage out of that stamp... I love it. It's the perfect all purpose font, and just the right size for this kind of clean-and-simple card. The other picture shows all four cards in the set. I found a template on-line for a box made with one sheet of 12x12, so I made those with decorative paper band to go around them. In real life these are quite cute and came together really quickly. This afternoon I was working on another set, but that one has taken more time since I am designing a new card for each of the four (mostly because I haven't found a layout I love for the scraps and stamps I'm using).
So much for "auto post". I had this set to automatically post on Monday. Oh well. Maybe I have a special, lazier less attentive version of Blogger.
Thanks for stopping by! I've been having fun stamping from my scrap pile this week. I even made a garish orange card for my bizarre stash. ;-)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Scrap Stash Sunday 3

Here's my card for Scrap Stash Sunday. I'd made the panel for another project, but didn't use it for anything. It's a Hero Arts stamp that I got at Heather's Stamping Haven, stamped in Pearl white ink (Adirondack paint dabber). I sponged over pale shades of Distress ink, then added some script (Tim Holtz, Stampers Anonymous) stamped in a light shade. I matted it on some textured cardstock that's a shade lighter than the card base. For the base, I stamped a floral silhouette (Cornish Heritage Farms) in white ink down the side. The sentiment (also Cornish Heritage Farms) is stamped in dark green with a bit of sponging. I see that the pearls are slightly askew, which is starting to seem like my signature style. Some people have fantastic silk ribbon bows or dazzlingly blended Copic colouring as their signature style. I have crooked embellishments and smudges. Oh well, at least people can look at my blog and think, "I can do that!"

NSR: The good news - my family is back home. The bad news - my three-day stamping binge is over. Yes, DH took the girls camping for a few days this week. He had the week off and the weather was good so they packed up and headed off to Bon Echo park for a camping trip. They had a great time by all accounts. One evening at the amphitheatre, there was a presentation on lumberjacks and they showed The Log Driver's Waltz, a National Film Board short that I fondly remember from my childhood, when they played it on CBC a lot. Now it's available on-line and if you want to spend a very pleasant six minutes, follow this link. One of the things DH did to help get the girls on-board about their adventure was to involve them in menu planning. I have scanned in DD1's menu list. (DH also added things like fruit and vegetables to the grocery list!) Though I missed my family (if not the din and clatter), I had a wonderful time too, stamping my little heart out and watching murder mysteries on TV. My menu was mushrooms, mushrooms and more mushrooms, since 100% of the people who like mushrooms in my house didn't go camping.
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Old Truck Photo Stamp

Hello! I was very fortunate to win this stamp from the Darkroom Door blog. Thank you so much Rachel! Here is the thank you card I am sending her. In real life it's a bit brighter, but not too far off. I think I over-tinkered the brightness of the other one a bit.
Anyway, I just love this stamp. I find it very evocative of the trucks you see here, parked in grassy corners of farms, or out in fields. Our trucks have the steering wheel on the other side, but that's what makes this a bit special - I know it's all the way from Australia. (Did you hear me shriek a bit at the end there? I tried to hide it and sound all mature, but it still got somewhat squeaky near the end.)
I used more or less the same technique on both cards, thinking I would make one for the bazaar stash while I was at it. I started by sponging various colours of Distress Ink on some Very Vanilla paper, roughly in the area of the image. I used mostly Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Bundled Sage, Crushed Olive, Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans. I added other colours as needed for depth/brightness, but you get the idea. Once I had it all good'n sponged, I stamped the image on using Ranger Archival ink in black.
For the layouts, I mounted my stamped image on black paper and struggled mightily with the layouts. I sometimes find it hard to match paper to Distress Inks, especially when I've achieved a nice glow. Paper either clashes or washes out the glow. Any suggestions? The card I'm sending has a bit of a blocky background, with a rust panel stamped in houndstooth (Cornish Heritage Farms scrapblock), a curry strip, and then a Darkroom Door word stamp (happy days) on the gray side (card is Basic Gray, SU). I made a curry tsumugi "thank you" using SU stamp and punch, sponged a bit with wild honey ink and Artprint Brown (Memories). All the pieces were edged in Artprint Brown. I didn't want any bulky embellishments for it's trip around the world, so I just added some photo corners. Black would have been nicer but I just have gold.
For the other layout, I used a strip of curry tsumugi and a narrower strip of old olive. I edged the main image panel in gold leaf pen so it would show up against the black card base.
Nice to finally play with this stamp! I've had it since I got back from holidays but needed some EZ Mount to put it on.
NSR: Have finally acted on my friend's recommendation to watch Modern Family. It is really, really funny. It stars the Bundy man from Married with Children (I won't guess the name because I always mix it up with the bad Bundy man) only he's funny in this one. He has a steamy Columbian wife and her son Manny, and two grown up kids of his own with their families. It's clever, crisp and makes me laugh every time.
On the book front, I just finished reading Little Bee. The jacket says it won't say what it's about, you have to read it, and implored the reader not to tell either. I was powerless to resist this ploy. I won't tell you what it's about, but would suggest that you look up the awards it won, in case they are for a category of fiction you are not expecting. I was expecting a category of summer holiday fiction, but this was more capital L literature, which I suppose is good for me now and then. I should read more than 1-para card descriptions in Stampers' Sampler..... So if you are game to read a book you know nothing about, I would recommend this one. If you want to know what it's going to be about, don't read this one. I'm not going to be the one to give it away. Actually I probably will give away this book, but not as in give away the story. Just the book. You know what I mean. And while I'm at it, can I make a confession? I didn't really like the Twilight books. I fear this might make me a bit of a freak. I tried watching the movie, thinking the thin plot might be better suited to Hollywood, but I didn't like that either. Give me Breakfast Club any day for movies about teen angst.
I'm going to sign off now, my man Vinney White's on the radio now with Studio 93 and he said he'd be playing Fine Young Cannibals. Can't miss that!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Collage #2

Here's my second collage for the Collage Coterie. The lesson here was to use chalk on vintage images and charcoal pencil. I don't have a charcoal pencil, so I left the image whole, mounted on brown cardstock (Early Espresso, SU). I made this into a card, since I am trying to build a stash for our church bazaar. Since I was trying to make a usable piece, I chose clipped words that were nice instead of some of the more ....unsuitable.... options that occurred to me as I browsed my old book to clip words. I had felt a bit bad about cutting up a book, but as I browsed, I realized it is a terribly dreary novel and about time someone put it to good use. So I felt a lot better about clipping it up.
The background of the collage is strips of various pieces of designer paper from an old SU pack, I forget the name, but it's really pretty Baja Breeze and textured, with kraft. I inked it with Antique Linen to change the white tones to vanilla, and also used a page from the novel for the "words" element. There's some gesso on there, to unify and subdue (now if only that worked in real life!) as well as some circles sponged in with sequin waste. (I have advised my family not to be still for too long or they will find themselves sponged with sequin waste. They have been warned!) I had some lace in my stash, so on that went, and a die cut flourish, and button/flower embellie. I enhanced the flourish with some rock candy stickles so it has some shimmer in real life.
I might get hooked on collage! I have to confess that it's nice to get into collage and finally use some of the things I've been saving in case I ever do a collage.
Thanks for stopping by!
NSR: We watched Gunless last night, a great Western/comedy starring Paul Gross. I recommend it. Some good laughs and a reasonable plot. Hubby gave it 3.5 out of 5, I gave it a solid 4. However, if your tastes run to CGI, this movie isn't for you and the only explosion occurs off screen. Some great scenery, galloping horses (always a hit with me), and Paul Gross. What more could you ask for? I do have to say, though, that his teeth are implausibly white for the old west. But it could just be some sort of ironic joke that escaped me. Though it would have been more fitting to have the Mountie have the dazzling white teeth than the outlaw. Just saying. We also watched Mist with the youngsters. It's a sheepdog movie, with real life sheepdogs on a real life farm. Sort of documentary but with a story voiced over. And praise be, they didn't CGI the animals mouths to move. I'd recommend that one too, if your tastes run to sheepdog movies.

First ATC and Scrap Stash Sunday

Hello! I recently signed up for an on-line collage class. I've been drawn to collage art lately and thought I would take a class for some tips and tricks etc. If you're interested, here is the link to Collage Coterie. There are downloadable instructions and lessons, as well as great digital art. I have saved a bunch of files but haven't actually used any yet. Here is my project for the first class, to make an ATC (artist trading card). ATCs are 2.5 x 3.5" and this is the first one I made! I could get addicted to this size of project. It's a really fun size - big enough to fit things on, yet small enough not to be inimidating.
For this lesson I was supposed to be thinking about size, so I'm not sure enormous butterfly and teensy child demonstrate my grasp of reality. (Or perhaps they actually do!) I think I do like the proportions on this ATC. I liked it well enough for it to be here anyway, and I'm learning so we all have to start somewhere, right? Right.
A few details: I started with an ATC-sized base and glued down some French poetry (tore up my first book!) and decided to incoroporate some scraps so this could be my Scrap Stash Sunday project too. I had some more "fake washi/yuzen" paper from my failed attempt to stamp my way to Japanese paper heaven. This was a scrap that was well suited to tearing into tiny pieces (in fact it narrowly escaped this fate early on in its creation), being covered in ink and gesso and stamps. This paper is on the far left, and there is also a scrap of paper that I tried spritzing glimmer mist through lace (second from left) and a scrap of Stampin' Up paper from a winter kit to make ornaments (third from left). I put some gesso over to unify and mute the colours, then sponged over some distress ink and what appears to be particles of black paint from my craft sheet. Must be time to clean craft sheet. (Once again, this is why I prefer vintage/grunge stamping!) I stamped a flourish (josephinekimberling for Impress) in Olympia green Versafine over top, as well as a little border (Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous) on the left side and bottom. The child is clipped from a sheet of vintage photos. The butterfly is another scrap on my desk from yesterday, so I sponged it with Distress inks in yellows and pounced Vintage Photo ink through sequin waste. I am addicted to sequin waste now. After an extensive search through a local store, I finally got my hands on some. They even sent me up to rootle through the Christmas decoration warehouse in a fruitless search for sequin waste. My kids loooooved that. (not.) It was funny to see my little 4-year old scanning the aisles muttering "sequin waste, where is sequin waste". Anyway, I have 2 yards now, which should set me up for a long time of happy sponging and dabbing. I fiddled for quite a while with wire clippers, needle nose pliers, tiny beads and copic markers to achieve the end result of butterfly antennae that look extremely vintage (translation: somewhat mangled). I felt the whole thing needed a sentiment, so I added a Dymo label word. I am quite pleased with my first attempt at an ATC. Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Summer flowers

This stamp was love at first sight for me. I just love the old fashioned charm, and of course I love colouring-in. It's a retired hostess set from Stampin' Up, possibly called Country Morning. This was previously coloured-in and kicking around my desk so I decided it was time to get it on a card before it got paint or ink on it or too dog-eared to use. I coloured it with Bruynzeel pencil crayons and blended with odourless mineral spirits. Under the unforgiving eye of scanner the I see that the "haze" is blowing downwind a bit. Let's just call this a new "technique". Any suggestions as to what to call this?
This country image just called for some fresh country paper, so I went to some October Afternoon (Fly a Kit pack) and chose some coordinating blue and yellow patterns to go with the Baja Breeze cardstock. I dithered a bit about the layout, and found a nice piece of marigold morning already scalloped. Again under the harsh light of the scanner, it's not the best match (I had picked out a PTI yellow that was better, but this scrap was cut and trimmed already). I found a cute little sentiment "You are my sunshine" (A Muse) and that was the perfect thing to finish it off. In retrospect, I would have liked it stamped higher, but as usual I was stamping kamikaze-style, so that's where it landed.
A special thank you to the ladies who came out to my make-and-take class at Heather's Stamping Haven today. She's celebrating her fourteenth anniversary this August and is running her traditional fundraising classes for Victims of Violence: It Shouldn't Hurt to be a Child. We did emboss resist and I had a lovely time with the delightful people who came to the class.
Speaking of classes, I finished up my October class samples for Heather. We're going to be doing... [drumroll please].... zombies! More specifically, how to make zombies out of otherwise cute stamps (e.g., Roly Polys and Magnolias). It's a bit of a risk - I'm not sure how many zombie lovers there are out there, but there is a certain appeal, to me anyway, in the element of the absurd. In the contrast between the almost saccharin-sweet Magnolia images and colouring them up grubby style. It's also nice to have a change of colour combination for skin tones, nothing like good old green and purple. And best of all it doesn't matter if you smudge! For more traditional folks, my next class will be Sept 18th, in the afternoon, and we will be doing a Magnolia (Lady Tilda), ol' skool. (Except for the face - I will show you how to add a mouth and nose, if you want to. Nu skool.) (Can you tell I learned to text message over the holiday? Yes, it's true, I joined the 2000s and learned to text message. I still refuse to type the ancient Sumerian city for "your" and "you're", or "U" for "you" (and presumabley "ewe" and "yew", though these arise less frequently in text messages).) We could get a cell phone signal from the top of the hill behind the cottage. Well, DH could with his arm fully extended upward. I'm too short for cell service. I got endless amusement providing the soundtrack for these electronic communications, lustily singing the theme song for Hercules alongside DH on the hilltop, with his arm high aloft, cell phone pointed heavenward. (Hercules was a cartoon on when I was a kid and Herc would encounter various monsters, who roared with one of two sound effects, and put on his magic ring, raise his fist in the air so lighttening could strike the ring, charging it up so he could smite his foes, who were waiting, patiently roaring/hissing, in the wings, to be smitten. Not one of these simple-minded beasts ever discovered they could have taken Herc out while he was getting his ring zapped. And Great Zeus!, why was Helena blonde? Perhaps I was overthinking things a bit.....)
Thanks for stopping by! Time to go do something worthwhile like a load of laundry before I cuddle up with DH to watch a movie. I love holidays!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Scrap Stash Sunday 1

[warning - lengthy computer rant follows. If you want just the stampy bits, scroll down to the picture. If you want to read modern-day David and Goliath story sprinkled with techy-sounding words, read on.] I said I'd be back with something stampy, and I really did try. I tried to scan in a lovely card I made yesterday using only scraps, but my scanner refused to cooperate. Allegedly some other program was using it and I was to wait and try again later. Now I know this to be untrue, as I am the only one using it and there are no other scanny programs running. I am certain that it is a diabolical plot on the part of Paint Shop Pro to come up with new and different ways to torment me each time I try to scan and save a card. I don't want to do anything fancy like do digital collage or photoshop a politician's face on a pumpkin. No, I merely want to scan and add my 'watermark' and possibly enhance the colour, if I can bear the tortuous procedure to do so. Despite my troubles learning to use this sophisticated, and undoubtedly marvellous in the hands of the competent, software, I do harbour suspicions that the real villain might be our operating system. It's a very common OS, and I suspect that this OS or its evil overlord and parent company has cunningly and knowingly designed their software to thwart the use of competitors' product with its operating system. This is possibly groundless paranoia. However, we have been having trouble with our video camera and uploading movies. DH has been unable to upload videos off it with our new system. The operating system people claim that it's not their responsibility, that it's to do with the computer settings so they don't provide a patch. However, we had been able to upload our home movies with earlier versions of this company's operating systems on other machines, including our very elderly and unreliable computer. Arrgh. This has occupied DH for several evenings now, which might not sound like much, but he is normally pretty quick about fixing things of this nature. Sadly, he is but one man, working against the combined might of the overlord's XXIVth and XIIIth Legions stationed in Seattle, with only the clandestine whispers and murmurings of internet chat groups to support him in his struggle. He thinks that it's because the latest version of this OS can't recognize big USB drives. Odd in that storage devices like this have been increasing in capacity in past years, so it seems reasonable to expect that to continue or at least maintain the current capacity. This is why I was reluctant to get into blogging. The least thing goes wrong and I'm completely thwarted. What irks me the most is the mendacious dialogue boxes that pop up and tell me what's wrong. At least the programmers could have had the decency to tell the truth there: "You are getting an error message because this computer hates you and has decided that you should be doing something worthwhile like laundry or cleaning off your dresser top. This scanner will work when it is good and ready and not before. Ok?" day... [basement, scene fraught with tension and (occasionally) suppressed fury. Blogger enters stage left.]....

DH got the scanner going and I was able to load up this card (on the fifth attempt, five different things going wrong, grrrrrrrr), which I made yesterday out of scraps from my stash. I had the black and white background rejected from another project, but it is stamped with a Heather's Stamping Haven stamp (a ship's record), ginkgo leaf (Old Island Stamp Company) and large flower (The Stamp Barn). The black ginkgo panel was a reject from an afternoon spent trying to fake yuzen paper for a class. It's tissue paper glued to black paper and stamped with gold ginkgo leaf. (It looks exactly like ginkgo leaf stamped directly on black paper - hence its arrival in my reject bin.) The hearts are from a scrap of glossy paper coloured with alcohol inks, which I cut out in various heart shape sizes on my Cricut (George cartridge). They are stamped with some Tim Holtz stamps (Stampers Anonymous) using Stazon. The only piece that was a fresh cut was the mustard fleck mat for the white piece. Everything else, even the card base, was from another project. Nice to have a home for all these pieces! Inside I stamped it with my sentiment stamp (Paper Inspirations) that says "Life is the flower of which love is the honey. Victor Hugo."
I'm going to try to use more scraps. I will try to photo the scrap pile before it becomes a card, since I always enjoy those photos on blogs. However, if it adds an additional step that causes the whole effort to fail, I won't bother.
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Hello! (NSR)

Hello! We're back from a wonderful vacation on Manitoulin Island. We had glorious weather and a wonderful time. It was the perfect cottage - rustic and cosy, complete with a little girl there to play with ours.

Some highlights and other notables:
- sandhill cranes - lots. Could hear them burbling in the field behind the cottage
- swimming, swimming and more swimming. The girls are much more confident this year so everyone had fun in the water
- beautiful church services in Mindemoya, including choral Evensong
- Mum's bakery (homemade bread every day and apple fritters "as big as your head")
- peanut butter (close family has allergies so no peanuts in our house)
- re-enjoyed Seasons 1 and 2 of Flight of the Conchords - it never gets old. Always funny.
- trip to Emergency and gruelling 15 minute wait for dishy Dr Burke. Was tonsillitis for the youngster and got her some antibiotics
- tubing with our friends - wheeee!!!!
- more swimming
- Providence Bay
- Tombow colouring and stamping while VDH took kiddies to Pioneer Museum
- Finally joined the Western world and read the first 3 Twilight books (didn't want to spring for hard back, will mooch fourth book if I can find it)
- Discovered new mystery author - Alys Clare - great medieval whodunit
- Did great butterfly puzzle (1000 pieces) made of of hundreds of tiny pictures (remember the rage about 6-7 years ago?)

Well, off to enjoy a nice cold one after our long drive home and catch up on some taped tv. Will it be Mad Men or True Blood???

I'll be back to post something stampy. I came home to a lovely envie from Australia containing the old truck stamp I won from Dark Room Door. Also enormous parcel from Stamping Bella with some grab bag goodies and Adirondack spray washes. Can't wait to try those out!