Monday, December 16, 2013

Day 5 Twelve Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist

Today is the final day of posting a tag to enter Ellen Hutson's Annual 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist. My tag today is inspired by Kelly Alvariz of Lawn Fawn. Her tag presents a fierce Yeti in feminine holiday style. I don't have any stamp creatures close to an Abominable Snowman and this is very much a stretch for me. But I just had to give this tag a try since Kelly's gave me a big hug smile. Here is my tag with an alien snow angel. Thanks Kelly for the fun!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day 4 Twelve Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist

Ellen Hutson continues her annual 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist. My tag today is inspired by Kittie Caracciolo designer for day 4. I have enjoyed her scenic stamping designs for several years. And now she creates dimensional works with die cuts. 

Now a look at how Kittie inspired me to look at my own supplies and tools. I don't have many dies that are specific nature shapes. However, the trees from CottageCutz Dies-trees and moose set worked wonderfully. So I started with a search of my stamps to complete a scene. I colored the background with peacock feathers distress stain. The distant ridge of trees is stampscapes's-row of trees. The large white diecut trees and the recycle corrugated snowy hills are painted with Acrylic Paint-Distress Dabber, metallic pearl. The boy on a sled is a stamp from a stamp company that is now closed. The snowflakes are dots of Viva's Pearl Pen-ice white. I previously used the pearl pen only to add a few highlights on a project. But once I got started on this tag I couldn't fun I couldn't stop giggling! Thanks Kittie for terrific inspiration...the dimension is so fun to create! Thanks for stopping by...hope you will consider playing too!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 2 Twelve Day of Tags with a Feminine Twist

Ellen Hutson is hosting another "12 Day of Tags with a Feminine Twist". It has become an annual favorite tradition of my holiday season. Daily for the first 12 days of December she provides very inspiring tags created by fabulous designers and then it is our turn to create and share our tags. This is Julie Ebersole's Day 2 Inspirational Tag: A newer holiday tradition for me is to be in line for Ellen's Black Friday sale which begins at midnight PST. This year I was ready and bought my goodies before dawn Friday morning...and then amazingly they arrived in Tuesday's mail. So my thoughts immediately went to breaking out my new a girl does what she has to do-LOL! Julie's tag featured a window with a mini scene with layers of dies cuts so it didn't take but a few split-seconds to be inspired! Here is the tag I created:
I started with inking a watercolor paper for the tag base and then misting with Heidi Swapp's gold lame mist. For the window background I blended Tim Holtz distress inks. To add dimension to the background I inked an additional layer the paper stencil leftover from the foliage die cut. With enthusiasm I worked with my brand new dies--Memory Box Fresh Foliage is a muti-stemmed die which provides lots of opportunities to use it in parts. I spent considerable time playing with different possible window arrangements. The Elizabeth Craft Designs 709-Birds die also provided several choices. This set provides a solid bird die as well as the left and right facing birds with intricate cuts and two different wings. I almost got side-tracked into making a 3-d bird ornament...but that went on my future project list. For now I decide to make a high contrast bird. And a close up showing some of the sparkle:
With the with window complete I embellished with Memory Box's Frosty Border, crystal stickles, Stampendous holographic mini stars and finished with a MFT sentiment. Many thanks for your wonderful video and all the inspiration in your tag. There lotsw more fabulous inspiration on Ellen's Classroom Blog as well as some opportunities for some terrific prizes...hope you join in the fun!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Creating Sparkling Embossed Backgrounds

Here's a favorite technique to add glitter sparkle without glitter all over me and every little thing I come near. I use this technique with artsy layer backgrounds I create but it certainly can be used with any embossing you do. I personally didn’t worry too much the precision of the coverage since any extra white inks or glitter blend with my mottled background.
1. Select an embossing folders- designs that are very close together and little blank space in between the images work best. 2. Creating an artsy background paper- I begin with inking my craft mat with variety of distress ink spots and lightly misting before laying my white paper into them and then dabbing the remaining ink into the paper as desired. Heat dry. Additional layers of ink can be added as desired. 3. On the following background I added distress ink on the top inside of the embossing folder close to the image before embossing. Note it is easy to wipe off excess or misplace ink on the folder. Run through embossing machine.
4. After embossing: On several of my examples I swipped Memories white metallic ink across the top of the dry embossing.
5. Adding Glitter: Squeezed glitter glue (I use stickles)the size of about the amount to cover a quarter on an acetate packaging scrap. Cover brayer by rolling only away from oneself) then roll glitter over top of embossed area. Roll in one direction add more glitter to brayer and roll in the opposite direction. My goal was to create a sparsely glitter the embossed background. The glitter will dry very quickly in these small quantities. The glitter glue should be left to air dry. Stickles will dry quickly if applied in a thin layer. Note-Heating glitter glue adhesives may burn the glitter.
Card with sparkle embossed background

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Outlawz CAS Challenge

It has been a spell since I last posted but I found that retire life is a whole lot busier than working! And here I thought it was the other way around when I was working! Just recently Joan Petty my stamping pal from across the pond gave me a nudge to take a look at The Outlawz an active daily challenges site. So here is my first CAS challenge card to sing a happy note back to the many folks who sent me welcome notes.
Thanks so much for stopping by! ...Jan

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Faux Watercolor Color Technique

Get ready for some special o-o's and ah-h with this fun technique!

Recommended supplies:  Stamps, watercolor inks or makers, white cardstock or watercolor paper, small mister, tissues, small brush, container of water to clean brushes, heat gun and craft mat or other surface to work on. Note: Distress inks and markers are designed to work well with water so they are recommended for this technique. Other watercolor products may also work.

Basic faux watercolor technique

Any stamps can be used for this technique.  If this is your 1st time with this technique you may want to begin with some mid-sized stamps-about 3” where no more than ½ the stamp is solid rubber.

1.      Color with stamp with multiple colors. There is not a need to be exact in coloring since the colors will move and blend once misted.  No problem if your colors dry before you stamp-the misting will take care it.

2.      Mist the stamp with a complete coverage of water-start with 2 light spritzes from a mini mister.  (This varies according to the products you use so take a close look each time you mist so you can know how to adjust in follow-up experiments. 

3.      Place the stamp on your paper and apply pressure for a few seconds before removing so the ink has a little time to settle into the paper. 

4.      Dry with heat gun.

Advancing your faux watercolor skills

Negative image stamps (ones that are designed so you ink the background of the stamp) can be somewhat more challenging to achieve terrific results. Make a trial image as described above.  If you have lots of areas that are not colored on your image after misting you may want to lay your stamp face-up flat to the table and place your paper over top and rub one hand over the paper while holding the paper in place with the other hand.  Gently remove paper from stamp and heat set.

Improving faux watercolor issues:   


     Too much water on some areas of the stamp-carefully remove water with tip of tissue.
     To add color- Paper must be dry.  Place some additional color on an acrylic block or mat to use as a palette and apply with a wet paint brush. Dry with heat gun. Additional layers can be added as desired.

·         To remove color- Paper must be dry. Add clean water to area with a paint brush, blot water with tissue, repeat until it is satisfactory.  Be careful not to rub paper or it may peel off.

·         If your paper curls after drying- hold paper with both hands on opposite ends of the paper and roll back and forth a few times over a tabletop’s rounded edge. 

Tips and tricks:
·         To avoid accidental water spillage-set up you workspace with all your supplies on your side of your dominant hand except for your water container and any beverages to the opposite. Reaching across your work takes extra attention which hopefully will eliminate some accidents. Unfortunately I remembered this just today after I ruined a couple nice images.

Other things to try: gradient multi-color inkpads; sentiment and background images; color with distress strains instead of ink; dilute liquid pearls with water to brushed on faux image to create a sheer pearlescent effect; if full image is not acceptable can a portion of the image be used for border, pendant, banner or a punched image?

Inking may leak through regular card stock-work on a protected surface. 
  • Hot press paper is smooth, inks more evenly when stamping.   
  • Cold press paper has some texture and absorbs water faster than hot press. Note: this is all I had and found that the flatter backside worked much better for this project. 
Last week I shared this technique with stampers at 2 Peas in a Buckets.  We enjoyed many beautiful results.
One of the terrific participants was Michele Duffy whose blog is It's About the Paper I overheard a secret tip that she is having a GIVEAWAY on her blog today for a Sweet Stamp Shop stamp set and you may just  want to make it your next stop!  

 I hope you get to enjoy some creative time today!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mix17 Ying and Yang Challenge

This SCS challenge requires using two different mediums.  One that creates a smooth surface and one a rough surface.

Finding balance when using different medium that result in rough and smooth surfaces

For a rough surface I started with a scrap of packing material which came embossed with a dotted pattern. To add to the rough appearance I added walnut distress ink and liquid pearls.  At the folded edge of the card I also added a line of hot glue and some micro beads.  While most might think of hot glue in terms of a nice smooth line my lumpy results are prefect for the rough surface.  Particularly after adding microbeads onto the hot glue.

 I must shout out a thank you to Vivian Keh  at Contadina K .  I have been blog follower for many months and frequently get to enjoy her use of hot glue in her mixed media projects.  I appreciate her inspiration!   My next challenge is to more on my hot glue technique so I can also achieve a more organic looking line.

For smooth surfaces I often think of vellum and one of my favorite looks is white embossing on the white vellum.  Here I used a Tim Holtz stamp and embossed in white.  I embellished with a few butterflies made with scraps of alcohol inked glossy cardstock. 

Thank you for stopping by today!  I'm curious have you ever thought of using different mediums to achieve different surfaces when working on a card or mixed media?...thanks for sharing a comment!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Virtual Vacation

Creating texture and dimension

I designed this underwater reef scene as a virtual vacation in an effort to ignore the snow that is falling outside my window…yes, I made this tag on Friday, May 17!

I hope you love texture and dimension as much as I do because that was a main focus for this tag.  I used scraps to create this scene and the “glitter under glass effect" techniques was added as described in this week’s SCS MIX16 challenge.

The base of this tag is a scrap of paste paper with a debossed swirl pattern. The seahorse was made with a scrap of paper created with the shaving paper technique. It was die cut and run through a crimper. The other sea life elements were cut with original Cuttlebug dies, embossed with small graphic patterns to add texture and enhanced with distress inks. All were attached with matte medium.

The "under glass effect was made by using stickles to highlight the seahorse and large shell and a light covering over the entire element. Once dry each  was covered with glossy medium for the “under glass effect”

The top of the tag is covered with small scraps. Stickles was used to fill in all the gaps between scraps and sparingly cover the surface. When dry the scraps were covered with glossy medium.

Since I previously had not used glossy medium I did a comparison test for this project. I found:

·   Glossy accents provided the look with the thickest layer of coverage and perhaps best meets the description for Glitter under Glass.

·   Ranger's Glossy Glue N Seal was the thinnest layer of coverage.

·   Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Glossy Medium provides a mid-range glossy look-similar to cloisonné and became my preference for this project.

I am entering this project into eP Picks Challenge - Gel Medium at Eclectic Paperie

As always I appreciate you taking time to look at my work and when you share your thoughts you add sunshine to my day! May your day include some happy creative moments!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MIX 15 Scrapping a scene

Challenge15: Use scraps of paper and make a scene. (See details of Splitcoaststampers Mix-Ability challenge details in the previous post.)

For the background I combined scraps of Basic Grey paper with some stenciling scraps. As I was laying out the paper I saw what is a natural looking shadow under the bird's head created by the background of the circles on the background paper. What a serendipity!...I worked with the layout to maintain this effect in my final card.

I covered the bird with newspaper scraps from the weather report and related articles. The numbers on the lower body are the high and low temps around the world. The little pendant shapes on the tail were from weather map portraying the cold front coming our way.

I added distress stains to the gel medium used on top of the bird to achieve translucent colors.

Below the bird I added punched leaves and dried flowers from last year's garden. I have found gel medium to be the best adhesive for adding flowers. I use my fingers when applying on flowers.

I used gel medium for the entire card both to adhere the pieces and a top coat.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MIX-Ability Challenges

Over the past weeks I have enjoyed playing the Mixed Media Challenges over at Splitcoaststampers. These challenges are designed to make mixed media simple and approachable, and to inspire stampers to experiment with medium from their stash. 

A "medium" can be any of the following:
  • Pencils - wax, oil, watercolor, graphite/charcoal, chalk/pastel
  • Pastels - chalk, oil
  • Markers - watercolor, pigment, water-based, acrylic
  • Pens - ink, glitter
  • Pigments - Gelatos, watercolor crayons, metallic rubons
  • Paints - watercolor, acrylic, oil, poster, tempera
  • Inks - dye, chalk, distress, reinkers, pigment, hybrid
  • Powders - mica, pigment, chalk
  • Sprays & airbrushing
  • Dimensionals - embossing paste, gesso, fabric, found items, papers (collage, piecing) & ephemera, foils
  • Heated elements - encaustic wax, embossing  
      A "mix" can be any two or more of these items or others.

MIX 10 Challenge-Circle Flowers

Challenge: Hand cut (no dies!) circles from paper, fabric or anything else and make them into flowers and then add glitter to make them sparkle!

I swiped several distress pads across the card base to create the background. The flowers are created with texturized paste paper I recently made. The stem and leaves are recycled security envelope liners. Lots of tearing, scrunching and folding paper.  This was so-o much fun!...pure playtime!


MIX12 Soft Landings My Friend

Challenge: Add a POP of color from across the color wheel. I also challenge myself to pull out a couple stamps I had not used before.
I used distress inks to stamp and color the feather and then clear embossed.  Highlights were colored with Inktense pencils and then wet a paintbrush to create a watercolor effect. Wow that yellow Inktense did give a pretty pop of color. Highlighted the feather's spine with a Signo white pen.
I covered moth and feather with gel medium and let it dry. Created the background with blue and green distress inks. I swipped inks on craft mat and moistened. Card stock was placed face down in ink and repositioned a few times. Dried with heat gun.
I tested several other methods of creating the floating skies and could not achieve any as effective as the distress inks. I was pleased with how the gel medium protected the images from the background ink.
These stamps are large! I had to create a 4x7 base to achieve the floating effect I desired. But it will be well worth making a special envelope.

   MIX 13 Challenge- Use 2 mediums and include some hand drawn doodling on your project 

This is my first ever hand drawn bird or anything on a card! I am so excited! It was so much fun!!!
I used Dylusion mists for the background above the ground. And stamped the Stampendous leaf with Ranger archival black ink stamp. I stamped a 2nd generation image from each inking to create a layered appearance and finished with white Signo pen squiggles on the leaves.
I used Inktense pencils to color the ground and bird. It is a great way to have a little more control when  watercoloring. Love the strong pigmented colors...only wish I would had started with a larger set of colors. I had fun using a slightly wet brush to rub off small droplets from the tip of the pencil to create the small dots on the bird's body. White pen squiggles again.
Handwritten sentiment banner edge is outlined with Black Faber Castell's Pitt big brush pen (India Ink). Stardust Gellyroll pen adds a touch of sparkle to the flowers.

Signs of Spring 

MIX14 Challenge: with a little springtime inspiration we are to step out of our comfort zone and create ART using at least 2 different coloring media.

I am still waiting for spring to arrive here. So I dug deep to think of happy spring time icons that are meaningful to me and came up with: newly leafing trees, linens blowing dry on the clothesline and bluebells.
For this project I covered a 5x7" canvas with gesso and used acrylic paints for the background. 
I love texture and wanted to try some new textures on the canvas. I wadded up some tissue paper and glued it on top of the gesso at one end. At the opposite end I wrapped bandage material across the canvas and painted it.

Once dry I challenge myself to not settle for what I thought the layout would be and turned the canvas to each side thinking about how I could use that side. Talk about moving outside one's comfort zone. Finally I decide to use the canvas upside down from all my thoughts during the beginning prep LOL!
I decided the tissue paper texture could serve as layers within the tree branches and would provide a place to hang my sheet. I started with creating the tree branch using embossing paste with stencil. I colored and added leaves.
I outlined a mask for the flowers. Since it had no interior lines to work with I just went with whatever came to mind. A few bleeps along the way but I just added another layer of colored over those 1st editions.
I ended up coloring with most everything in my stash....acrylic paints, watercolors, dye inks, liquid pearls, pencils, markers...What fun!  I am not yet calling this finished-- I want to let it sit a spell.

Are you starting to create some mixed media cards? These challenges are a great place to start with other stampers! The mix ability challenges are great fun and the talented hostesses provide lots of great inspiration. You can click on to the link on the right to connect to the MIX-ability challenges at Splitcoaststampers.








Monday, May 6, 2013

Monthly tag swaps at 2 Peas

April swap required including a tree image and quote.

I started by creating a distress background.  Then added a layer of brush strokes around edges and heat embossed.  Finished with an edging of vintage photo around entire tag and accented with some water droplets.

Selected an old favorite tree stamp from a company now out of business and stamped image and added quote and stamped edges. Create divider stripe by painting embossed packing scrap in gold. In upper left corner I added a skeleton leaf with medium gel and fibers for embellishment.

The May swap required the use of flowers and a masking technique.

This tag is inspired by my little rock garden tucked below birch trees at the beginning of my front walkway. Perennial violets are one of the few plants that survive our harsh winters.

I created a background with Dylusion mists. Stamped the violet in archival ink and colored with watercolors. Stamped the leaves below the plant.  I used a leaf mask to sponge in yellow honey distress inked areas at the top then added a layer of stamped leaves.  I made a mask for the violet plant and used Yasumoto Pearlescent watercolors to soften the color around the violet.

I added a layer of gel medium to adhere dried flowers from my last year garden(top and bottom left corners). Once dry I added a top coat of medium and liquid pearls to the center of the flowers.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tattered flowers cure spring fever

OH, I have spring fever bad!  It got dark here after 9pm last night.  In my head I know we can have another month of winter but oh, I am so-o ready for summer. Um yes, we  actual don't have spring, yes no spring flowers :-(  So a girl does what she must...MAKE ART!

With an encouraging message from Tim this morning reminding subscribers of the deadline tonight and a fun mix challenge of Rip it, Paste it, Ink it came together in my no stopping a day brightener being created today!

 To create the flowers, I colored white glossy paper with alcohol inks with the polished stone technique and cut with the tattered flower die.  Dimension was added to the petals by creasing and bending.

The background was made with printed papers. Some were created with the wrinkled distress technique and hills and valleys highlighted and were colored with mists, distress inks, distress stains and mists.

The hills in the background remind me of the snow capped mountains that can be so clearly seen for the next few months.  But my wishes for summer had me creating lots of green mountains and only edged with snow :-)  And if you note the top flower is soaking in all the sunlight.

Background for the card-Krylon gold webbing paint.

Here's to sunshine and making art!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Challenges during 2 Pea Winterfest

Finished results from Winterfest

Stencil/embossing paste
Created a cover for Technique Journal with stencils

More stencil work
Stamps used in scene
Alaska scene challenge
Masking challenge

Fiber Challenge

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Beautiful butterflies

Inspiration: Victoria Butterfly Gardens, British Columbia, Canada  Beautiful memories from a visit over 10 years ago.
Simon Says Stamp and Share-Use a stamp you love but don’t use often enough.  So happy to give my butterflies center stage on the card for they have waited a long time.  In fact so long I do not remember the manufacturer so if anyone can help me with that I would certainly appreciate it!
SCS Mix-abilitiesweekly Friday challenge #5-The Mask-erade Ball

I defined the portion of the Flower of Life stencil (by Artistcellar) that I wanted to print on my cardstock panel including the right top and bottom corners (border area on the stencil) by masking off unwanted areas with printer paper.  I also used Eclipse masking paper to define the placement of the butterflies.  After lightly misting the stencil I gently tapped the cardstock into the mist to capture a reverse print.
This is my first inking of the HA leafy vines stamp and I placed the image on the left side.  A blending tool was used to color the background with distress inks and a aquabrush to paint the butterflies with distress inks. The image is matted with black glossy paper and attached with 3-D dots. A corrugated packing paper was painted and buffed with Inka Gold covers the card’s front. Sparkling accents were added to the butterflies with a Sakura gellyroll stardust pen.

Thanks for stopping by...I would love to hear your comments.

Friday, February 8, 2013

WF13 Inky Layers x3

This is a challenge I am hosting on the  2 Peas Stamping Forum

February 9-17, 2013

Welcome to Inky Layers x3 !


 My challenge is a variation of the embossing resist technique which includes 1-2-3 layers of ink.
The technique inclues:

1. Ink a background stamp with 3 dye inks. Stamp onto cardstock. Heat set (dry ink with heat gun).
2. Rub image with anti-static bag or dryer sheet. Select a smaller bold image stamp. Stamp several images with resist ink. Add clear embossing powder and heat.
3. Blend at least 2 inks over the entire piece. Buff excess ink off embossed areas with tissue as desired.
And of course you will use your piece in a project of your choice.

To be included in my random drawing for a RAK players will incorporate Inky Layers into a new project of your choice

Yes, you may combined this challenges with others and enter as many times as desired..

When you prepare you gallery upload for your project  please title it WF13 Inky Layers x3  and check the box for this challenge.  Not only will your picture appear in the gallery but it will also be added here on my 2P blog with all other challenge entries. To see these entries you must open the blog directly to this challenge.

Post a link for your project in the gallery on the discussion thread in the stamping forum.

All entries must be submitted by Sunday February 17, 11:59 Central Standard Time.

If you have any questions please leave a message on the discussion thread OR send me a private message.  I look forward to seeing what you do with this technique!  I hope you have tons of FUN!
Happy Stamping!
...Jan/Far North

STEPS FOR Inky Layers x3 

1. Ink a background stamp with 3 dye inks. Stamp onto cardstock. Heat set. Note: I call this stamp Worn Flannel.

2. Rub image with anti-static bag or dryer sheet. Select a smaller bold image stamp. Stamp several images with resist ink. Add clear embossing powder and heat.

3. Blend at least 2 inks over the entire piece. Buff excess ink off embossed areas with tissue as desired.

4..Close-up of Inky Layers x3 technique.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The care, feeding and organization of distress inks

My major creative project this week was caring for my distress ink pads. I have worked for years to collect many of the distress ink pads and the reinkers. I consider them my "go to" inks. During the holidays I realized many of my pads were very dry. Finally I decided it was their time for considerable attention. So I treated them to their day at my craft room spa LOL!

Care and feeding- I cleaned every pad removing any glitter and frayed threads then reinked each one.

Organization- I generally work with my ink pads in tall stacks. Unfortunately the manufactures labels are not the actual color of the inks. Some time ago I began labelling the bottom edge of my ink pads with strips of paper colored with a blender tool and stamp as well after seeing the idea at the 2 Peas stamping forum.

Making color chart- I also sponged a piece of a label for each color and put it on a color chart that I download from the Ranger website.

Organization- After I was done I realized that it would be helpful to numbered the inkpads so I could quickly keep them in color order and insure I had not misplaced one during my work. Similiarly I numbered all the reinkers. Items that are missing numbers in the photo are still on my shopping list.

I plan to also label my distress stains and markers. When my project was completed I copied the color chart to track future purchases.

Thanks for stopping in! Have some fun creative time today! ...Jan

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Six Crayons and a Candle for your 70th year!

This week I created a special birthday card to honor and celebrate a special stamping friend’s 70th birthday.


Joan card 1.10.13
As I thought about appropriate images for the card this week’s challenge topic at Simon Says Stamp & Share , “embrace the old” replayed in my mind. Finally I grabbed a new stamp-a box of 8 Crayola Crayons from Stamper’s Best and decided I wanted to embrace the old with the new.  Wow what great memories flood me, of the smell of new crayons and all perfectly sharpened…at least until they got into my hands LOL!

So I started by creating a multi-media background, one of the current new twists. For the background’s bands of crayon colors I used Ranger’s distress stains and the vibrant colors at the bottom of the background are Ranger’s Dylusions sprays.  Stencils are making a comeback.  I enjoyed them in my childhood and smiled with the memories as I grabbed a new stencil and added dots to the card’s base.

Glossy and sparkling accents are newer products. But I learned to manipulate paper at an early age to make flowers look more realistic. So I bent the candle and rounded it to give a realistic dimension and placed it on thin pop dots.  The final touch was the decision to stamp seven stars across the sky’s rainbow in crayon colors to honor my friend’s years of creativity and celebrate this special year!