Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I made this one last card for the season to say happy holidays to my many blogging friends.  Today is Solstice and my community started celebrating the cycle of more daylight last evening with fireworks.  I hope all your holiday celebrations are sparkling in a way that is wonderful for you!

The card's background is water stamped with a HA diamond background stamp. Watercoloring with distress inks adds layers to the stamped images. Splattered acrylic ink, gold lame spray,  icy white pearl pen and distressed edges create lots of added dimension. 

Reminder:  Mixed Media Card Challenge is open until  December 25, 11:55 p.m. PST (GMT -800).

Peaceful Wishes! 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

A HOME Made Christmas

This month's Mixed Media Card Challenge theme is home and an
option of lace. The theme is very broad. For me home includes home
made Christmas gifts. Over the years I have enjoyed making ornaments to share a few of my recent favorite techniques with a few stamping friends who also love techniques.

When I read that Virginia's View Challenge this month is "all things distressed" I knew my ornament would contain lots of distressing and could serve as the focal point of a card.  The card serves as the means to present my ornament to my friends.  Here is my first ornament card for the season.

I began with the ornament's base.  I tore apart a flap from a box waiting to be recycled.  Roughly tearing off the top layer of paper resulted in a the textured piece of corrugated cardboard to which I added white acrylic paint and mica snowflakes. The large snowflake is an acrylic skin and here is a link to my photo tutorial.

Behind the snowflake is a watercolor background stamped with Stampendous holiday sentiments.  The background is misted with Perfect Pearls in broken china ink and larger gold dots are made with Heidi Swapp's gold lame spray. The edges are distress with ink and frayed with a distress tool.  A watercolored bird is created with a Memory Box die cut.  A  gold pipe cleaner across the top was formed into a hanger for the ornament. 

The card base is watercolored with distress stains and water stamped (no ink just misted water on stamp).  I used a Hero Arts diamond pattern background. I felt the diamond pattern would compliment the pattern of the snowflake tips.  Well that is open for interpretation since the misted water on my stamp created some of it's own shapes. On the left side of the card is a loosely woven jute "ribbon".  I like the unusual texture it provides. I distressed the sentiment banner and chose a sentiment filling for all my stamping pals.

Thanks Virginia for another fun challenge and bringing guests to share their knowledge and inspiration!

Remember Mixed Media Card Challenge is open until Dec 25! 
Have fun getting inky!...Jan

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Mixed Media Card Challenge

 Winter Wonderland

The December challenge theme at Mixed Media Card Challenge is Home with the optional element of lace.
Holiday Wishes to my stamping friends!
Our winter days here in northern Alaska are filled with the magic of everything frosted and sparkling with ice crystals. And as every tree bough is filled with snow it feels like one is living in a Christmas card scene. For this month's challenge I want to share the brightness the snow brings to my home during this month when our days provide less than 4 hours of daylight.
The background began with stamped archival ink to color a flourish stamp and then distress ink colors the wave stencil (Memory Box). I used a baby wipe to move color onto the wave areas. And for the top layer I use a dotted circle stencil (ColorBox) with texture paste. 
The snow scene is stamped with archival ink (potting soil). A white charcoal pencil creates the look of layers of snow over the background and stardust glimmer is added. Layers of frost white acrylic paint added depth to the snow. A 2nd cabin is stamped and added on top the first for additional dimension. The sentiment is from Hero Arts.

Creating Acrylic Skins
This snowflake is created with an acrylic skin.  It is a very thin layer of colorful plastic I created to die cut these snowflakes. This is my 4rd acrylic skin and since some have asked for photos I will share  the basic details to help you get started.

Acrylics-either glossy or mat products will work and products can be either white or transparent.  Products like PVA white glue and gel mediums can be used successfully for the base.  Since I had Golden Clear Tar Gel Medium on hand that is what I used.  Acrylic paints or acrylic inks can be used to color the medium. 
Working surface-the skin will take on texture from the surface.  Cheap plastic wrap, freezer wrap or glass will work.  I use an old stained craft sheet and attach it to a cardboard base with masking tape for so I can move it easily .
Tools-texture tools such as skewers, toothpicks, plastic fork.

Basic steps:
Close-up of gel medium in center of  8x12 craft mat
I pour a puddle of medium on the craft sheet.  I tilt the cardboard to speed along the process of the medium spreading into a thinner layer.



I add drops of paint.

 Since I am using a transparent gel the foggy
looking gel throughout this skin will dry crystal

Here I added white pearl paint along with other colors and pull the colors through the medium.
I tilt the position of my skin vertically “to help” the medium spread across the surface.  Okay, that's my creative energy-I love to play with goo! 

When I'm satisfied with the look I make a few more additions. Here I add gold paint and some gold embossing powder.  Micro seed beads or other small elements may also be added. It generally takes mine an overnight to dry but climate variables can change the drying time considerably.

Here is my final skin with it's transparent base. It is “tissue paper” thin. The "yellow" is actual gold which is seen in the snowflake.

Using a skin in paper crafting:  So far I discovered the joy of die cutting shapes from my skins for use on cards. Metal framelits work well.  But punches do not.  l cut a piece of the skin and white typing paper the general shape of the die and  lay them together on the die with the paper next to the die. The paper helps with the release of the skin from the die as well as providing a means to handle the skin.  I attach the paper and skin to my card to provide a bright background for the colors to show their best. 

 I have not yet determined how to make the best use of the transparent quality other than stamping with archival ink on the back.  Stamped images are very clear but of course they are reversed.

Leftover skin pieces-flat storage is essential. If pieces fold-over onto themselves it is next to impossible to get them apart.  And for my already complex colors-double the look is way too much.
I can’t wait to see your skins!  Please let me hear from you so I can stop by and share in your experience.

I also hope you to see you playing in the mixed media card challenge!

Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Craft Stamper-Take It, Make It November Challenge

November's Challenge asks players to use a regular, every day stamp to create a Christmas themed project. Be sure to check out this link to see all the details and inspirational ideas.

The Raven is a bird often associated with Halloween but I wanted to connect it to Christmas for this challenge.  Ravens have a good reputation here so I am quietly easing the bird into a Christmas role.  Here is what I created...

I began with acrylic paints using a wet marbling technique with white iridescent paint.  Once the paint was dry I stamped the Raven image.  The image needed extra attention of permanent markers, colored pencils and glossy enamel to complete the coloring details. The ornament is created by using a Prima doily stamp. The front side of the stamp to an acrylic block and the flat shape is painted with white acrylic paint and stamped. Once the ink is dry the doily is stamped with red archival ink overtop of the white. Stickles are used to hand draw the bow.

I returned to the background above the raven and stamped the dotted swirl image by Magenta.
The Wplus9 "merry" sentiment is stamped in black ink and embossed in clear.  The white shadow is added by hand for additional emphasis. The card is finished with a Prima border stamped image. 

I had so much fun making this card I am really thinking about adjusting the design to create a small canvas for my work space. Hope you had a merry time playing this challenge too!

Happy creative stamping!...Jan

Monday, November 10, 2014

Challenge-12 Days of Christmas Tags

Oh my, what a fun challenge this is!  Loll is one of my new design team pals from the monthly Mixed Media Card Challenge . She is currently hosting 12 days of mixed media tag inspiration along with a guest designer each day. I love creating texture and dimension
so Loll certainly piqued my interest with this challenge. But I can't believe how quickly the days are flying by!  We are already to day 8 and this is my first entry. Yes, I intended to play from the 1st but some times life gets busy and runs into our creative time.  But oh well, I am here to tell you that there is still time to get in on the fun! 

Let Heaven and Nature Sing
I had tons of fun playing with distress sprays for the background and added some navy suede for design interest and a touch of yummy texture. I have always enjoyed making inchies...those little 1x1 inches pieces of art add fun interest to a larger piece like a tag. For this inchie I layered homemade distress sprays to add dimension to the background, stamped the pinecones and edged in glitter (texture). I used an CB embossing to create the frame with a blanket stitched edge and added a thick inchie mounting square to the back to pop it above the tag's surface-yes this little piece adds both texture and dimension. To complete the tag's background I began stamping off the edge for added dimension as well another layer of distress ink around the outer edge. 
Many thanks to Loll and all her friends for some terrific inspiration!  What an awesome challenge!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ring those Christmas Bells

The Mixed Media Card Challenge continues with this month’s Christmas theme and an optional bell element.  Shery Russ the creator and administrator of the MMCC challenge site also owns a terrific stamp company called STAMPlorations.  The challenge this month is sponsored STAMPlorations.  All the entry details are explained on the challenge site.
Card details:  The background base is made with a wood grain background stamp and distress inks are blend on top and distressed edges.  Similarly the die cut window frame is stamped with the same wood grain but positioned vertically. The stain glass effect is created by coloring aluminum foil with alcohol inks, scrunching and attaching to the window frame.
My use of the STAMPlorations bells differ from my original example with new colors and berries. The dimension of the bells is made by shaping each bell over a the base of a Sharpie pen and adding 2 layers of pop dots at the base.    

I always enjoy some metallic splashes on my holiday cards so I am excited that Virginia’s View Challenge #9 this month is all things metallic.  I am entering my card in this challenge.

Hope you find some creative time soon!  Here's a link to the Mixed Media challenge if you would like to give it try!

Happy creative moments!...Jan

Supplies-STAMPlorations-bells  Stampin Up-woods grain Die-Sizzix-window with flower box  Aluminum foil, alcohol inks and distress inks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Mixed Media Card Challenge

Silver Bells
The November challenge theme at Mixed Media Card Challenge is Christmas with the option element of bells. If you haven't already started now is the time to start preparing for the holiday season with creating mixed media Christmas Cards.  And as an added bonus this month's challenge is sponsored by STAMPlorations. So be sure to check out the details for winning this month's prize stamps on the challenge blog.

I wanted to make these beautiful STAMPloration bells the focus of my card this month.  I found some wonderful silver textured paper to stamp and emboss the image.  The bells are color with sharpie markers and the berries are created with liquid pearls (by Viva my favorite for dimension) and also colored with sharpies.  I added pop dots to the base of the bell for some added dimension.

The background stamp became much more challenging than I expected.  I tested several colors of ink and was ready for a final image. But when I looked at the fully stamped image and the stencil wreath on top it looked like the wreath was having a very bad hair day...boldly inked double bars on the16th notes where spewing from behind the wreath in very odd directions. After a few more tests I was pleased with a much softer 2nd generation inking for the background...I stamped the 1st inked impression on scrap paper, then lightly misted the stamp and stamped the card background. Stamped sentiment and distressed edges.  Added pieces of textured cardstock to top and bottom of card.

Our sponsor for this month's challenge is STAMPlorations.
Thank you Shery for providing stamps for the design team's use this month!  What fun to see 1 stamp used in so many different ways. You will want to check out the inspiration of the entire design teams as well as 
other terrific STAMPlorations Christmas stamp sets here.

Looking forward to seeing your cards at the Mixed Media Card Challenge!

Hope you enjoy great creative moments this month!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Shirley's your day!

Happy Birthday Shirley Bee!  Welcome to another stop along your virtual birthday party.  I am so glad that we enjoy time together on the Mixed Media Card Challenge Design Team.

Today is your day to kick-back and do what makes you happy all day long.  Hope you enjoy all of the very special attention. Thank you for sharing your wonderful art and talent with all of us! 
Here is my card that is on it's way to you...


Back story for this card:   The other day I wanted to create a special birthday card for you but was unsure of where I wanted to start.  That morning we had an earthquake. It was the area’s 3rd earthquake  that was over a 5.5 magnitude since late August. Not strong enough for severe damage but certainly leaves the insides of one's body shaking for a few days. Later in the day I stopped by the river that runs through our town.  There I observed the ravens gathering on the sandbar.  I was sure they were chatting away about the morning’s event (LOL).  I watched the pancake ice float safely downstream until it hit a log jam where I heard new sounds of…no, not  the usual "Nevermore" but rather "Shirley B,   Shirley B!"   When I arrived home I knew I wanted to use this stamp for my card.

Shirley, lots of good thoughts are showering on you this week.  As you begin your new adventure of illustrating and designing your own line of stamps, The Bee's Knees, I hope you recall the raven's message to find some quiet moments along the way. 

Happy Birthday Shirley!  May it be a most awesome year for you! 

Card details:   This image is a single stamp by Inkadinkado. All white areas are created with the wax resist technique.  I cut notched marks into the side of the white crayon to create openings in the wax resist background.  The clouds are created freehand with a crayon tip. Stickles are added to the moon.
For the card base I color white paper with a layer of aged mahogany distress ink, then brayer a layer of Walnut Stain and a layer of brushed  corduroy  over the top of inside of the handwriting embossing folder; mist lightly before closing folder and ran through Cuttlebug.  In person the texture looks like material fibers.

If others would like to join in this virtual party please checkout Maria's blog for details....thanks Maria for hosting!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Great Distressed Pumpkin

Hope you had a wonderful week!  I have been working to extend the feeling of  autumn here while I look outside and feel like I am living inside a snow globe. Several inches of snow cover everything outdoors and  the snow continues to fall. But now I want to enjoy sharing the details of my most recent card with you.

The light brown base of this distressed pumpkin is stamped with a typed background. The pieced pumpkin top is created with a mix of alcohol inks and stamped images. The edges are completed with hand-drawn doodles. The stem is embossed with a crimper and inked.

The based of the background is dry embossed, brayered with black and accented with white line doodles. 

Wonder Under-so very sheer

Wonder Under (WU) Embossing Technique

The top of the background is one of my long time favorite embossing techniques.WU is available in most fabric stores and is often located close to the cutting table.  Generally it is used to adhere 2 pieces of fabric together.

Heat embossed with multiple powders

For this embossing technique cardstock is cut to the size desired  and the WU is cut a little larger for it will shrink when melted (perhaps about 1/2" around each side). 

It only takes a heat gun a few seconds to melt the WU so be prepared to keep gun moving or the webbing will melt away.  A clip clothespin may assist in holding the WU on top of the cardstock to protecting fingers from the melting plastic.

It's time to heat the WU and just go for it!  The fun part is to see the unique web patterns that the heat creates.

Embossing powders can be poured directly on the desired areas and excess dumped off. Versamark ink is NOT needed. Heat again just until the EP melts.

Final Touches-I was happy to tie up this pumpkin card with a bit of twine.  And add the stamp sentiment "Celebrate" across the great pumpkin!

This week I found some challenge inspiration at several wonderful places:
            Splitcoaststampers Mixed challenge 88: asked for a distressed pumpkin
            STAMPlorations October Challenge: embossing and stamps
            Simon Says Stamp Monday's challenge: finishing touch

Stamps used: Stamporations-Mixed Media Backgrounds set for distressed pumpkin images; Sentiment Builders-Celebrate set

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Challenge-Mixed Media Card Challenge

Hi there!
Are you ready for a new month for challenges?  I hope you are ready to enjoy this month's challenge for Mixed Media Card Challenge!  This month's challenge topic is vintage with the optional element of keys

For my Design Team card I decided to ink up the Stampendous stamp "Deco Lady" which has sat in my "new stamp" box far too long.  Art Deco flourished from the 1920's to 1940s. The years between  WWI and WWII were filled with art and fashion representing luxury, glamour, exuberance.  Those are words I don't often think about when I create.  But I love that Mixed Media encourages us to try new media products and explore their the challenge begins!

I began my adventure to create a feeling of luxury, glamour and exuberance by marbleizing 1/2 sheet of manila cardstock with distress acrylic paints.  I mist the paints and offer encouragement for the paints to run and marbleize. I am still exploring these paints so I have no idea if my results will be something I can use. But no worries since one can always paint another layer until their smile reappears.  I loved the dried paint's smooth surface.  
While I found myself uncertain about the brightness of the colors I recognize that brightly colored backgrounds often look alot different once stamped with a black image.  So I focused on finding the area that would work best for Deco Lady's face. After stamping the image with archival black ink, I added highlights with gel pens, watercolor pencils, a stardust sparkle pen (sorry that doesn't show in the photo), a white pen and finally drops of Heidi Swapp Gold Lame mist.
Next for the mat I wanted to continue to achieve the same feel but in a different manner.  This lead me to crumble a piece of white tissue technique for texture, attach the paper to the base using PPA glue to and also use the glue's moisture to paint the paper with powdered metallic-Pearl EX and Perfect Pearls.  Once dry I added highlights with Inka Gold.
The Hero Arts sentiment was stamped onto acetate and adhered with a vellum tape runner.
The border was stamped with a stamp from Fiskars Henna stamp set.
Hope you enjoy some creative play while making a vintage card for the MMCC challenge! Thanks so much for taking a look at this month's card...and I greatly appreciate everyone's comments.
Thanks so much!...Jan

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's Up?...Mixed Media Card Challenge

Hi there!
It sure looks like autumn here!  The pretty colors of the season are such fun inspiration to use in our art and are a terrific theme for this month’s challenge at Mixed Media Card Challenge.

The optional add-on to the challenge this month is either leaves or metal.  This month’s sponsor is Add a Little Dazzle who specializes in metal craft sheets.  Be sure to check out the details of the prize being offered on the MMCC post.  
 I began this card by creating a watercolored background with distress stains.   Next I wanted to create a metal focal image.  I drew the silhouette of a goose on the back of a white Add a Little Dazzle metal sheet and cut it out.  A Sharpie black marker was used to draw in some definition to the goose and the eye was created with Ranger’s glossy enamel.  Texture was added to the goose by dry embossing on back side with metal stylist tools and a dense foam mat.  I used backing paste to fill in the back of the goose so it’s dimension will be maintained when the card is mailed. 

Close-up texture of metal goose and dimension of leaves
Once the goose was positioned on the card I added the falling leaves and the stack on the ground.  The leaves are punched from paper I colored with alcohol inks and stamped on some small images.  I also punched some watercolor scraps from my scrap basket to add some additional colors to the mix.  I randomly bent each leaf to give the look of falling leaves.
The sentiment was stamped and  hand drawn lines and distress ink added.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you found some additional inspiration for a Mixed Media Challenge Card this month!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Autumn Colors at MMCC

Welcome back for the 3rd month 
at Mixed Media Card Challenge!

 The theme for September's challenge is Autumn Colors with the optional use of metal or leaves. Our sponsor this month is Add a little Dazzle.

Our leaves here are beginning to turn gold and color fill the hills. Hope you are inspired by the Design Team's samples and enjoy the colors of the season.

I started the card background by stamping an embossing folder with misted distress inks. For added interest I add paint drops and some small stamped images.

The foliage plant is a die cut from Add a Little Dazzle’s beautiful thin metal. The thin weight makes it possible to cut such intricate designs. I sandwich a piece of wax paper between the die and metal to help with the release of the thin cuts.Then a ball stylus is used on the back of the leaves to add texture. The plant is colored with Sharpie markers. And the metal is adhered to the card with mat gel medium.

After die cutting the metal sentiment I sanded the raised edges to create the silver outline around the word. I completed the card with blue metal ribbon that I created with metal hand tools.  I also made a punch alcohol inked butterfly to carry the blue color across the card.

Supplies:  Stamps-Art Impressions; Embossing Folder-Darice;  Mediums-distress ink, alcohol ink and gel medium; Sharpie pens; Add a Little Dazzle metal

Thanks to Add a Little Dazzle for being our sponsor this month.  Direct link to the Add a Little Dazzle shop.


I hope you decide to play in this month's Mixed Media Card Challenge!  

Get inky and have fun!...Jan

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Creating and Using Acrylic Skins-Part 2

So glad you could stop by to see the tag I created with the acrylic skin.  If you missed yesterday’s post you can find the beginning info on acrylic skins here.

 Here is today's tag-

And a close-up:

The entire background is stamped and colored with blended distress inks. The branches are stenciled with pre-colored Golden's Light Molding Paste that is for highly textured work and is to hold stiff peaks. I made by mixing distress ink with the paste on my craft sheet. After covering the branches with molding paste as usual I added texture to the leaves with a plastic serrated knife.

The bird  a piece of the acrylic skin I shared yesterday and cut with a Memory Box die.  The eye is added with enamel accents.  I did not attach white paper to the back of the bird which makes the translucent parts not as clear as the background sightly shows through.

Supplies: Acrylic skin-see original post;  Memory Box Die-bird; Stencil by Heidi Swapp; Ranger distress inks and archival ink, Stamps-STAMPlorations-mini mixed media backgrounds; Stamping Up-bark background.

Craft Stamper’s Take It, Make It Challenge  This month’s challenge is to use any featured technique from a 2014 Craft Stamper magazine.   I chose to try the technique to use acrylic paints and medium to create acrylic skins for use in mixed media/stamped crafts.  The technique tutorial “Skinny Love” is created by Trish Latimer. It is the featured cover photo on the August 2014 magazine and the tutorial feature begins on page 38.

Thanks for stopping in...hope your weekend includes some creative fun!