Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Christmas project takes shape

I am excited about completing my first Christmas project of the season. This tea box is fast and inexpensive to make. I had everything except the embossed paper mache box which I found at JoAnn's for $1. I am thinking this gift box will make a perfect size for a small stash of tea for my friend's office desk-(nicely holds 6 smaller size teabag packets).

I began with 1 layer of Ranger's Dabber Acrylic Pearl Paint- for the basecoat on the entire box. The dabber sponge top made an easy job of highlighting the tops of the embossing and box edges.

All images on the box top are heat embossed. I used the HA clear- tea for two set as the focal images. Sharpie markers worked best for coloring and stickles were add sparkle for the steam.

I also worked on these scraplings. I began by running the labels thru the CB with the swiss dot embossing folder with it partially inked. Stamped the images and put the snowman on pop dots.

Ah-h we have 2 inches of snow this morning...more will soon be here. Time for more holiday projects!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Time for making Christmas Cards

Last week Hero Arts threw out a great challenge to encourage me to get started with some holiday cards. I pulled out my Christmas stamps to try Sheri Carroll's Shabby Chic's tips. This is not a specific style that I have worked to achieve in the past so it was indeed a challenge for me.
My first idea was to recycle a coffee cup sleeve.
After all I feel recycling is very chic! The sleeve has such a wonderful texture I had been wanting to create something fun with one. The background is metallic gold dabber with lots of sticklers. HA Stamp, punch table cloth and embellishments. I added a little pocket to inside to make it a gift card holder.

Here I used a plain wooden ornament for my jumping off point. Crackle paint, metallic dabbers, and distress ink were all used on the snowflake...and then more sparkle and pearls to finish it off. The outside backgrond paper was put through the cuttlebug with distress ink.

At the last moment I decided I just had to try combining this collage stamp with some the button printed paper that I had hanging out for quite a while.

Hmm now the dilemma--now I am ready to start Christmas stamping but I don't feel I have enjoyed my fall and Thanksgiving stamps enough....could my answer be to just take the week off work? Oh how I can wish!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ah-h the leaves are swirly in the breeze and gently floating to the ground as only a few geese remain behind...
Mother Nature is such a special inspiration for me. I continue to play with the cuttlebug and alcohol inks.
The new picture on the header is taken in my neighborhood and the one in the sidebar is of my drive. Please remember when you look at the thin spruce trees that their feet are buried in frozen soil. Yes, the forest here is mainly aspen, birch and not a broad range of color.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a terrific award!!!

Look at this fabulous award I received ~
I love sharing stamping & creative ideas with the community on the Internet. As our interests develop and grow in new directions it is possible to find a new group of folks that can support and encourage our talents and yet we can still stay connected with our beginning pals-even if it is just ever once in a while. Joni is a fabulously talented and creative friend and it is always fantastic to check in to see what she is doing at her blog Kix in Life! Joni, thank you so much for my award!
Equally special is making new friends. I have be playing with the Hero Arts group over on a Flicker website in one group that posts to participate in the HA blog group and also a cuttlebug group. This award was also presented to me by Gigi 001 (AKA Deborah) and known as Mimi on blog posts. Many thanks Gigi!.

Ta-dah I pass along this wonder award along to:
Christie is always trying some new techniques and having fun with stamping. Currently she in not in communication with us because her home in in the Hurricane Ike's territory. I am sure she would appreciate knowing other stampers were thinking of her.

Jennifer is from a family of professional seamstresses who continual shares her skills of putting just the right combinations together. No detail is too small for Jennifer to give it her all.

Kim is a very talented artist don't miss going to the bottom of her second page to see the broad scope of her world.
Phree is a new friend from Scotland. She is patiently sharing with me some things that are unique to her corner of the world.

Renu is one of those exceptional creative talents who always has a beautiful work.

Sherri is one of our most fabulous yakadackers at the stamp shack. She is passionate about playing and creating or most any kinda fun!
Stacy has a fabulous eye for color and details. Her work always has wonderful detailed embellishments which often includes stitching.

Tami creates non-stop stamping fun -an esty store, on-line zine writer, and a has prepared a wonderful alcohol ink class to share at her local stamping store and shares her samples.

Here are the instructions for award recipients:
1. Pick 7 of your favorite blogs
2. Winners can put the logo on their blog.
3. Link the person who gave your award to your blog.
4. Name the 7 that you are giving the award to with their links.
5. Leave a message on their blogs so that they know they've won!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Part II More cuttlebug play

Thanks Kim for throwing out the suggestion of trying out alcohol ink on metal! Oh I love metal and don't use it often enough. I saw your comment this morning and every time I had a spare moment today my mind was turning around how to give this a whirl.

Sometimes when I use AI on aluminum it does not give me the contrast I want and I end up covering the background with acrylic dabber paint or gesso which does not leave the metal look to be enjoyed. So I started this time with trying out the AI on small pieces of brass, aluminum and copper. The colors did their own polished stone effects and created fun backgrounds. I then run it through the CB and tried a couple methods of removing the AI from the embossed leaves. Of course blending solution works great but one must be careful not to have a tip of the rag remove it from the background at the same time the leaves are being cleaned. I personally liked my other solution...Sharpie markers also lift off AI so I did that to replace the color of the stems. I found success in cleaning the leaves with a quick pass of the Sharpie marker and an immediate wipe with a dry tissue. This left the leaves the beautiful natural golden brass color.

I gotta tell you this is fast become my favorite embossing folder! The embossed pieces can be used any direction. This close-up may have the image upside down from the folder but to me it looks a lot more like tree branches as opposed to the bush-likeness in the original direction. This little serendipity learning occurred while using the scraps to make the card above. This photo is somewhat better of the AI than the card but I tell you--just try it! Get your fingers a little inky. This larger piece will be a wall hanging but I gotta finish it another day.

When I first saw these landscape type embossing folders I wondered what I could possible do with them besides pumping out the same image over and over. Now I am glad I gave them a try and I am one my way to order some of the other seasonal ones too!

Thanks Kim for expanding the possibilities even further! And for any of you who don't frequent Kim's blog Running on Ink do know she is one fantastic, creative and immensely talented young woman. You just might want to check out what she is doing too.

Artsy Play with the Cuttlebug

I just bought 2 of the new landscape embossing folders (the Leaves and the Grass with single bird) and have spent some time playing with them. Here is some of my work.

For these 3 cards I used the technique of inking the inside top of the embossing folder and running it through the CB. The outside of the top of each CB folder has a little printed indentification which helps to quickly distinquish the top from bottom.

The leaves and branches are the color of the paper I selected. The ink added to the folder is the flat background. The thread like lines are created by allowing the ink pad edges to leave heavier ink lines on the folder.

Here I added some background lines with cut n dry sponge.

Also colored a little color to the leaves a little.

Not too much space for stamping...but I okay with that since I got to have some creative play time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

An ATC Matchbook Project

I am in a swap that requires using 1 stamp in 5 different ways. I am partnered with Sarah{loobylou}from the Stamp Shack for this swap. Sarah is a moderator at the Shack and helped me through many technical glitches which I created while doing work for the creative team. I am thankful that her schedule generally matched up with mine and she could solve my problems almost instantaneously. Sarah was my behind the scenes person who was there through every season! While I worked on the concept for these ATCs I was also inspired by the Hero Arts weekly challenge to create a book. I thought it would be added fun to combine these 2 projects since my 5 ATCs wouldn't fill the typical album page that Sarah stores them in. However she will have the option to lift the ATCs out if she so desires.

The front cover features the full image of the Hero Arts tree stamp from the Live Simply clear set. It is copper embossed and is colored with several inks to represent all the seasons. I used a fiskar's texture plate in my by cb for the background--many thanks to a RAK sent by Mary {swapin cards}!

This first ATC represents spring with a bird sitting in a hand drawn nest with 3 little sparkling gem eggs. The tree is colored with Tombow markers and the sky is stippled. A background stamp finishes with a tree bark look.

The summertime tree sparkles in the sunlight and is colored with spica pens. The background is created by putting dimensional pearls on the blending tool and twirling it in circles on the paper.

The fall ATC is a camouflaged look created with alcohol inks. A quail sits hidden in a pile of fall leaves.

An emboss resist technique was used to create the winter look with a fresh layer of snow on tree. The background is embossed with the cuttlebug.

The final ATC is the bird on the very top of the tree.
The background is lumiere paint tapped on black cs with a piece of a plastic shopping bag.
Thanks Sarah for all your wonderful help through all seasons! Hope you enjoy this little remembrance!

Thank you for a special year Stacy!

Serving on a creative team for a full year is a large volunteer commitment. So I wanted to say a BIG thanks to Stacy {jbgreendawn } for the tremendous effort she put forth to making the Stamp Shack creative team projects a success. Stacy and I share the joy of gardening so I made her a lunchbox and of course sent the red and yellow card I posted earlier.

Drying flowers so I can enjoy summer throughout the year is a favorite of mine. I love incorporating them into boxes. Here I use a white lunchbox (perfect for storing our A2 cards) and covered it in alcohol inks. I use coordinating Adirondack pens to complete the coverage next to the hardware. A layer of background images is stamped and heat embossed. Ferns and a net background are stamped and embossed with Ranger's seafoam white powder. Finally I add the flowers and ferns that I have dried with a microfleur in the microwave. I put down a layer of modpodge where I want to place them and place the flower on top. Then I add another layer of modpodge on top starting in the center of the flower and gently stroking it onto each petal to the tip in an effort to complete coverage without bubbles. A coat may take approx 15 minutes to dry. I used a foam bush to add an additional layers. I generally add 3-4 coats before I like full coverage.
My original photos turned out blurry so I want to say an added thanks to Stacy for taking these for me.