Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stamping a Winter Canvas


Peaceful Winter Moments

Some stampers shy away from working on stretched canvas feeling the canvas has "too much give" to get good images with their stamps. But there are many ways to use stamps.  Here are some details on how I use stamps to create the focal image and other images on this canvas.

I started by applying a generous coat of gesso to the top surface of the canvas using a credit card sized piece of packaging plastic. To create the surface dimensional texture I pressed an inkless swirl foam stamp into the gesso and in other areas laid the plastic card on the gesso (see center of right edge) and pulled up on it.  I immediately washed the stamps and other tools. I let the gesso dry to a very solid surface. 
I painted the background and ran gold acrylic dabber paint over some of the raised edges to add interest. I stamped several images around the edges with ink and/or acrylic paint. 
The Stampendous snow bird is stamped on thin white tissue paper with permanent ink. The image is colored with permanent ink pens and acrylic paints. When dry I tore the tissue around the image and then I smooshed the tissue into a wad and open flat. Gel medium is added to the canvas and then the image is place on top. Another layer of gel medium on is brushed on top of the tissue with strokes to continue to flatten the image to the canvas. The edges disappear like magic. I cannot detect the tissue paper even when I take a close cool.
Once the gel medium is dry additional layers of acrylic paint are added onto the image as desired.

I added glossy accents to the berries and snow glitter to their tops and branches. Dry stardust glitter was sprinkled across a canvas prior to finishing with a layer of gel medium.
I strongly encourage you to try creating a stamped canvas.  Experimenting with making textures in the gesso base is a ton of fun.  There are a lot of magically moments in how easy this seemed to come together for me--Totally FUN! 
Wishing you lots of wonderful creative moments now and into the New Year!...Jan

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary Inks Stains-Altoids Tin Blog Hop!

Today is Roni Johnson's 5th anniversary of  her blog-Ink Stains  She is celebrating by hosting a blog hop/art festival with her blogging friends and stamping community with fun and prizes.


This tin combines some of my favorite things...metal, flowers, flourishes, alcohol inks and opportunity to create and share a little surprise for someone. Really does it get any better than this?  I painted the base of the tin with acrylic dabber paint and the rest of the tin with alcohol inks.  I stamped the flourish with Versamark and embossed with green tinsel.  Add the dried flowers from last summer's garden and decoupage entire lid.  I wanted to keep a simple look so I did not embellish the sides beyond the alcohol ink-polish stone.

Roni, sending you wishes for another wonderful 5 years!  Many thanks for all the inspiration you bring to the stamping community through your book, Teach Yourself Visually - Collage & Altered Arts  and of course your blog.

Inky HUGS!...Jan

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Multi-medium Christmas ornament

Tis the time to start creating for this holiday season!  These 4x4x.25 paper mache stars have taken up space in my "to be altered" box for several years because I have never been satisfied with a focal image that I felt worked well with the star shape.  Finally when I saw this  snow bird cling stamp by Stampendous I immediately knew I had to try it out on the star.  And to sweeten the work Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge this week is to stamp with out ink. 

So to get started I painted the base with Ranger's white acrylic dabber paint and continued with Hero Arts Music Collage background stamp CG376, Claudine Hellmuth's Gel Medium, Acrylic Paints, Luminere w/Gel, Dimensional Pearls, Distress Stains, Ranger's dry glitter, glossy accents, Rock Candy, embellishments-stars, mini jingle bells and pipe cleaner.  For me this project became extremely challenging with the paint's uneven lines. As I was painting I looked at the lines incorrectly and ended up with a bird that that looked like it was wearing a cape!  I had painted 3 of 4 sections of the bird I created the wrong color-yikes! It made for some great laughs! And I learned the best thing of working with acrylics paints-just add more layers of paint.  However the bird you see was hand know I stamp because of my limited drawing skills.  So for me this was a terrific challenge in which I stretched my skills in many directions of putting together an ornament, using products that have not been cracked open in the last year and drawing a bird!  Who would have thought!  But tons of fun!  I will be happy to sign and date this one!

Happy holiday crafting!

Friday, September 21, 2012


So glad you stopped in today! 

 I have a special guest surprise to share with you today.

I like maps and I’m enjoying seeing stamped images of maps becoming popular this season.  Maps are also popping up in other art forms.  Last month I saw Valerie Goodwin’s website  of quilt designs showcasing community highlights with local maps of real places.  I loved that concept perhaps because I live in a town with high tourism.  As my mind started spinning on how to blend the inspiration into a card design I asked my friend Anne Gaal to join me in making another map inspired card.  I am so pleased to share both of our cards with you today.  
 As I started to create my concept I focused on one of my favorite local features. Creamer's Field was a fully operational dairy from 1928-1966 and now it is a 1800 acres Migratory Waterfowl Refuge on the northern side of town.  It’s location is ideal for migrant and resident songbirds traveling to the arctic, subarctic, and temperate regions of northwestern North America.  During our beautiful summer days I often stop by the Refuge 3-4 times a week and walk the trails with my dog. The annual appearance of Canadian geese and sandhill cranes announce the changes in the seasons in Fairbanks.  
Let me share the card I created:
The map became the background of my card. Starting with a simpler map I hand-colored many details. I enjoy that the river runs through the center town and creates many parallel curving streets. The refuge is at the very top of the card and it is uncanny to me that the main road across the top is shaped very much like the actual hills to the far north of the refuge.  I used an embossing folder to create the wildflowers where the goose is standing. Inked it DTP and added some sparkling ink accents to the flowers.  I do enjoy using this large goose stamp and colored with my Tombow markers.  I attached the goose with pop dots and added an additional 3-D effect by dry embossing the edges so they would roll towards the card which is capture with the light on the goose's back in this photo. 
Now I am honored to share a sneak look at Anne's map inspired card:
WOW, Anne's details and colors are fabulous! Here is a close-up.
If you want to hear about her secret in creating the fabulous background details you will want to jump over to her blog
 I thank Anne for all the fun times in preparing this post!  I believe her sentiment is the perfect closure to this happy creating til our paths cross again!...Jan

Friday, September 14, 2012

Creating home decorations

Fiskateers recently sponsored a challenge and asked participants to create some home decorations. In this challenge a pillar candle was to be decorated using die cuts or their paper punches.  Here is what I created:
Next a piece of framed art was to be created.
and I also made a couple small framed magnets:
Thanks for stopping and taking a look!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Notes from the garden

Fall is my favorite season of the year and it has definitely arrived in northern Alaska.  My card celebrates the harvest season.   Many gardeners keep notes on the status and success of their garden so improvements can be made in future years. My friends are familiar with the process and I am sure will enjoy reading some notes from me as a reminder the season.

Making backgrounds for cards.  This year I decided I wanted to mist some leaves to make stamping backgrounds.  I pressed carrots tops as well as several other leaves overnight so they would lay flat against my papers. While I used my flower press placing the foliage between paper towels in a telephone book with some heavy books on top will also work fine. I cut the paper to card size, layed the foliage as desired (often face down helping all the leaflets to be flat against the paper so the spray will not seep underneath. I sprayed them with various colors of homemade mists with Ranger’s Perfect Pearls and Distress reinkers. 

Here are several backgrounds that I prepared. In the top row (L to R) the 2nd and 4th backgrounds are made with the carrot tops. I used a carrot top background for the background on the Notes from the Garden Background.   I also included flowers I dried on the card.  I use a microwave press for flowers so the water is remove faster and I feel this gives me better results. 

Next to the flowers I dried, I stamped a beautiful vintage ink bottle.  Oh I love such pretties!

Excerpts from my Garden Notes:
8/31/12  Today hundred’s of Canadian Geese flew overhead in V formations heading south for the winter season.

9/8/12 The weather reports are predicting temperatures tonight about 34 degrees and tomorrow night in the high 20’s.  All the tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and cucumbers are now harvested…with the exception of some small carrots.
The final harvest results include:
·        1 jellyroll pan full of cherry tomatoes
·        the largest carrots of any harvest!
·        large green tomatoes
·        6 zucchini
·        And some selected leaves to make background papers for my card making.

Challenges I am also going to play in with this card:
  • Simon Says Stamp is celebrating their 10thyear anniversary with STAMPtember. This event is filled with inspiration, guests and prizes. Details can be found on their blog. I am entering this card into their weekly challenge with this week theme “READ all about it” challenge. This challenge has some awesome prizes.  If you have some time checkout their STAMPtember blog hops-Fabulous inspiration!
  • 2 Peas, Stamping Forum challenges: Tide us over challenge
  •  Big Picture: May Flaum's challenge #5 -Believe in Happy Crafting
Thanks for stopping in!
Til next time Happy inking!...Jan

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ribbon Weaving with Closed Curved Punch

Falling Leaves

I recently purchased a Fiskers Interchanage Closed Curved Punch.   I made the card to show a punch effect as well as one filled with ribbon.

The Fiskars new Interchangeable Punch Series has a frame base that is purchased and then several choices of punch design (puchased seperately) that can be dropped into the base. The punch flaps fold for storage creating a small stackable rectangular box for all each punch design.  A nifty way to be be a little earth friendly as well as storage friendly.

I now have spent several hours experimenting with my curved punch and determined repeatable ways to achieve results what I may want to use. Here is a sampling of the materials and my experiment results: 
1.   ½ inch seam binding no edging-this lightweight ribbon has no body and made it difficult to use. After many attempts I could not get ribbon in the bottom section to equally fluff .
2.   3/8 inch seam binding with edge worked much easier than #1
3.   3/8 inch satin ribbon also works well.
4.   ¼ inch weavers of designer paper leave a small opening showing the card base. I found 3/8 inch to be too wide to weave.
      5.     1/4 inch plus a smidgeon for paper weavers works best for me
Instructions for using the Fiskars Interchangeable Closed Curve Punch
to create punched ribbon embellishments for cards 4.25 x 5.5 inches
1.   Cut a cardstock weaving base 4.75 inches long x 3/4 inches wide.  I like 3/8 width ribbon best.  When using decorative paper to I found ¼ inches plus a smidgeon works best for me. 
2.      Insert ribbon base into closed curve punch from left to 1st grid line, past last punch. Punch.
3.   Move punched cardstock to the right matching to the end of template printed on the base of punch. Punch again. 
4.   You are now ready to weave ribbon. Begin at small semi-circle end.  Leave a small tail to turn over to back if you so wish. Weave the ribbon (or paper) down the hole under 2 bars, up and over 2, repeat under and over until the end. The ribbon/paper will be on the top side when finished and will stay firmly in place; cut as desired. 

Experimenting is always fun...thanks for letting me share it with you.
Happy crafting!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Double stamped background

My friend Anne over at Gaal Creative is celebrating her 4th Blogoversary and has announced a new Gaal Creative Circle at Flickr .  This creative circle group is for anyone who reads Anne's blog and who would like to share their creations made using techniques or tips she features.  Of course there is a giveaway too so to join the fun!

For my initial post at Anne’s Creative Circle I created a card using distress inks.  I tried a new technique featured on the cover page of the Ranger Ink website.  The technique involves blending several colors of distress ink to create a background then misting a craft sheet with pearl mists and using that to stamp the  background.  I used a HA lattice background stamp.  A 2nd background stamp (HA polka dot) is used to repeat the process after hydrating the craft sheet leftovers with a small mist of water.  I heated the water image immediately so it would not migrate.  In person the stamped background images really sparkle.  This technique creates several layers of interest and the look of texture. It was a fun technique which I look forward to doing again.

Distress inks used for background: crushed olive, rusty hinge, dried marigold and edged in vintage photo. 
Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simon Says: Layer

This week's challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Share was layering.  No specific guidance on what to layer...simply layer.
So I had a blast playing with my stamp and inks.  The focal point of my card is a Twinchie...a little 2x2 piece of art.  This little 3-D butterfly in the garden took 6 stampsand 7 ink products to create.  All that does notinclude the work on the background stamp. Hope you enjoy my garden scene. 

By the way how is your garden doing?  Here the season started wonderfully with a little daily rain.  Unfortuntely now the evening temperatures are dropping into the 40's at night and my flower's growth is stalling.  Hope it is a beautiful flower season at your house!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Challenge at: Simon Says Stamp & Show

It has been the longest time since I added anything to my blog so thank you for stopping in! The good news is my home remodel is complete! Yes, that 4 week project turned into a year, really it could be written into a full season soap opera but for now I want to stamp!
My new exciting plans include retiring August 1 after working for 43 years! I am thrilled to think of all the creative crafting I will be able to do.  So I thought I would warm-up my stamping skills will a challenge.  Simon Says Stamp & Show is a wonderful weekly challenge so I thought it would be a grand place to start especially since that is also where I stopped my blog posting.  My inspiration is a thank you card I want to make for special teammate as I say good-bye.  I sprayed the Tim Holtz clock mask and accented with distress inks.  I also used his fabric stamp on the top portion of the card and the card base inked with Tsukineko’s Delicata-Golden Glitz…I have added this to my favorite pigment ink list.  The other stamps are from Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies.

Please leave me a note of where I can find you so I can get hooked back in with my stamping friends!  Thanks!