Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Linzi & Kelly Pages

Just a quick post to show some pages I finally finished.  They're from one of the kits from Close to My Heart.  I discovered their kits this year by accident, and I just love them!  They come with all the papers, embellishments, clear stamp set, and beautiful color instructions.  Such at bargain at $29.99!  I wish Stampin' Up! would follow their lead *hint, hint*.

Last month, while in Rochester, NY for my son's graduation from R.I.T., my husband & I took our daughter, Kelly, and her girlfriend, Linzi, kayaking on the Erie Canal.  Brendan's girlfriend, Tanya, was heading back home that day, and that's why they didn't join us.

I couldn't resist using this pic of Kelly as the focal point for these pages.  It's a classic Kelly pose for the camera!

We didn't know Linzi had a fear of water activities until we actually got to the kayak rental place.  The top left pic shows a little of the fear in her face.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Watercolors for Card Makers: Day One

Finished Day One, and I had a blast!  Know how you can tell if you had a successful creative day?  By the big mess!  lol

We learned 3 different types of background techniques, and I loved them all!  Enjoy!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Watercolors for Card Makers: Pre-Class

I'm sooo glad Online Card Classes is now offering a watercolor class for card makers.  More, a watercolor class for beginners.

I've always loved the soft, beautiful look of watercolors, and thought they were waaay out of my league.  I took a beginner class with Andrea Frank at Michaels about 10 years ago, and have been hooked ever since!  In that 2 hours, she taught me so much, that I felt confident enough to not only use watercolors on my art, but to also teach a little in my card classes.

Lately, I've felt a real need to take it to the next level, so I took some very expensive watercolor classes with Andrea at the art studio where she's been going for years.  Whoa!  Soooo out of my league there!  So much so, that I haven't really done any watercolors since.  I kind of felt overwhelmed after those classes, and I yearned for some simple, beginner classes.

Well, my prayers were heard.  As soon as Tim Holtz announced these classes on his website, I immediately signed up!  This was just what I was looking for!

As I write this, today was actually Day 6 of the classes.  Where am I you ask?  As usual, I had a very busy week--that's always the way when I have other plans--and I just got to the pre-work yesterday and today.  Before the classes began, there were a few videos to introduce us to all the many types of watercolor supplies, and the "homework" was to "get to know your watercolors".  I love Online Card Classes, because 1) we have lifetime access to the videos, and 2) I can do them at my own pace.  So wonderful when life interferes with your plans!

Like I mentioned above, I've been mesmerized by this medium for a long, long time, so I've been collecting many types of watercolors over the years.  Here are just a few of the color swatches I made in the last 2 days:

This was my most recent purchase ($12.05 at Blick).  After watching the videos introducing us to the different types of watercolors, this type really seemed the easiest to use.  Alas, I didn't own this type.  Jennifer McGuire (who's also one of the teachers in this class series), recently posted a comparison of the different types on her blog (giveaway too!).  One type I really want to try are the Peerless watercolor papers, and they're on my WANT list.  lol  *I just noticed that my swatch is upside down in this picture!  Sorry.*

This next swatch was made using my set of Derwent 36 Watercolor Pencils.  I stamped circles (using the tri-circle stamp from Stampin' Up!'s retired set Fun With Shapes), and Ranger's Archival Jet Black ink (it's waterproof).

I colored approximately 1/3rd of the circle on the left, and used my waterbrush to wet and draw the color to the rest of the circle to get the variation.

These swatches were made using Ranger's new Distress Watercolor Paper with the Distress Markers.  After making a light grid (I erased it when I finished), I scribbled each color, and used the waterbrush to moisten and drag the color to the right.  Love 'em!

And, for this last swatch, I used all my tube watercolors.  The top half of 10 colors are from a cheap set I bought at Five Below ($5.00).  The 3rd line shows all the colors mixed with white.

The bottom six colors are from L'Aquarelle, Windsor & Newton, and Holbein.

Now, guess how I'm enjoying my Mother's Day?  I'm spending all day doing my classes!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Tim Tag

Aah, April ... finally!  It's been a long, frigid winter here in New Jersey!  I always loved the coming of Spring, but this year, I'm especially happy to see it since I've been working outside!

This month's tag is once again a card for me, and another tutorial.  You can see Tim's original tag here.  He used one of his new dies, and since I don't have it, I used the butterfly die.  Lots of tedious work, but it was a labor of love.  :-)

Before I begin with the tutorial, I wanted to show you a wonderful tip my bestie, Andrea, showed me.  I've been saving the plastic tags from the bread and English Muffin packages.

They're perfect for holding the end of your tape rolls:  tissue tape, masking tape, package tape ... any kind, and they work great!

So, I began with a 5-3/4" square piece of Ranger Manilla Cardstock (it'll get mounted onto a 6x6 card)

I covered MOST of the surface with different tissue tapes.

Then, painted over the surface with Iced Spruce Distress Paint.

Then, wiped the excess paint from the surface.

I added Antique Linen Distress Ink.

I added some splatters of water, then dried with my heat gun.

 Frayed Burlap Distress Ink was added around the edges.

Used the Fanciful Flight Alterations die and cut all the pieces from Grunge Board.

I also cut all the wings from a sheet of cork.

Repeated with some Idea-ology Mirrored.

I covered some more Grunge Board with some scrapbook paper with a glue stick and then cut the wings out as well.

I painted all the butterfly plain pieces with Evergreen Bough Distress Paint and set aside to dry.

Once dry, I lightly sanded all the pieces.  *Important:  don't sand something on top of your craft sheet.  Sand your pieces on top of a piece of scrap cardboard.

I added some Frayed Burlap Distress Ink around the edges of the butterfly pieces.

Amazing what a difference before & after, huh?

I used the Frayed Burlap Distress Ink on all the pieces (except the Mirrored) before gluing them into the butterfly wings.

I cut some scrapbook paper using the Tattered Pinecone die, then inked it with Peeled Paint and a little Forest Moss on the edges.

My camera battery died, so I only have pics of the finished flowers.  I adhered them to my card with hot glue.  If you go to Tim's website for the April tag, he has a video link showing how to make them using the Tattered Pinecone die.  I colored one using Squeezed Lemonade with a little Mustard Seed.  The 2nd flower is supposed to be Tattered Rose with a little Ripe Persimmon, but I grabbed an applicator tool that was previously used with red, so it came out a little darker than I anticipated.

I colored my ribbon with Ripe Persimmon and Mustard Seed, then spritzed with water to blend the colors.

I needed something in the upper right corner, so I decided to use one of Tim's Word Bands.  I swiped some Ripe Persimmon Distress Paint across the top, let it sit a few seconds, then lightly wiped the excess off the surface.  I wanted to adhere it with the Tiny Attacher, but I had already adhered everything to the card base (Distress Co'ordinations cardstock) with very tacky tape, so I had to use some long fasteners.  I hammered them with the distress hammer tho.

Not used to being done with my tag this early in the month.  Gonna go crazy now waiting for Tim to post the May tag.  haha

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Tim Tag

I was waiting and hoping my friend, Grace, could work on this tag with me this month, but the poor girl has been working so hard, she never got the chance.  Instead, Kelly was home this past week, and she played with me!

As always, you can click here to see the original tutorial on Tim's blog.  The technique this month was smudge stamping.  I wasn't too crazy about the composition of my tag, so I whipped up a 2nd tag today and that's at the end of this post.

I think this tag was coming along great until I put that large numbered stamp down the center with Black Soot ink.

Two pieces of tissue tape in the upper right corner.

This colorful jute string was part of my prize from last month's tag.  Love it!

These were Kelly's tags ... she did a great job!  The colors are just gorgeous!  We did the March tag so quick, we decided to do the November tag from last year that I missed.  What a difference using the Frosted Crystal embossing powder!  Worked like a charm!  I was nervous that I'd melt it too much, but it really was a very easy technique.

These are the tags I whipped up today.  I used a clear polymer stamp set, and I don't think it holds as much ink as a traditional rubber stamp does.  The 2nd generation tag was so light, I decided to throw it in my background tag bag to use another time.

I like the composition of this tag much better, but I'm not sure which tag I'll use to post on Tim's blog as my entry for March.  I'm gonna do that when I'm done here, so I'll have to pick soon.

Close up of the smudging.

I decided to paint on some metal foliage instead of using another word band.  Fun!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Got my prize from Tim & Mario!

Got my prize for my February Tim Tag (card, actually) on Saturday!  Wrapped up like a little gift ...

The new colorful jute I wanted, AND Mario's first stamp set ... #Hashtags!  Lucky me!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Marjie Kemper's Classes

On Februaty 23rd, Andrea & I headed to NYC to take a couple classes with the very talented Marjie Kemper.  They were through The Ink Pad (an amazing little store), and held at Westbeth Community Center.  The morning session was "Melt Art Madness" where we learned about a dozen techniques using Ranger's Melt Pot and UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel).  We didn't make a specific project, we just played and played.

This is Marjie's pic from the class advertisement.

The was my favorite piece I made all morning.  I added colors to the melted UTEE, and when finished, you're supposed to dump out the excess UTEE before cleaning out the pot.  I swirled the UTEE on my craft sheet, and ended up with this (holding against my apron so you could see the fine swirl details--so much better in person):

The afternoon session was called " Demystifying Distress Stains & Dylusions Ink Sprays".  Andrea & I have lots of experience playing with Distress Inks, but we wanted to learn more about the Dylusions Sprays.  What fun!  Marjie gave each student an entire package of Ranger's manilla ATCs (artist trading cards ... it's basically the size that makes them ATCs), and taught us lots of cool techniques.  She brought tons of stamps, stencils, Wendy Vecchi Embossing Pastes, Perfect Pearls Powders, Archival Ink Pads, Distress Stains & Ink pads, and of course, Dylusions Spray Inks.  Everything we needed to get inky.  And, if that wasn't enough, she whipped out this HUGE bag of manilla tags and told us to sop of the excess ink on our craft sheets with those!  So generous!  And, so freeing!  Everyone had a blast playing with colors and getting creative!  If you haven't taken a class with Marjie before, what are you waiting for??!

This accordian-style folded, black textured cardstock, was originally meant as a place to keep all the techniques we learned.  It could be folded up and tied with a ribbon or cord.  This first ATC was meant as a cover, but after finishing all the ATCs, I opted to display the whole thing on the wall in my craft room for inspiration. 

This one has black embossing paste with the harlequin stencil, and I stamped the numbers.

This was a very cool technique using Ranger's Ink Refresher and Perfect Pearls Powders.  I also stamped an image on it with Ranger's Black Archival Ink.  Since the surface was powder, the stamp actually lifted off some of the powder and just left a shadow image of ink.  Love it!

Another with black embossing paste using Tim's Splatters stencil.  I also stamped with Black Archival ink.  Can you see the paintbrush near the bottom?  Oh, and I also added the bricks with a stencil and Tim's Picket Fence marker.

19 is my birthdate!  I wanted something big and bold, and Tim's Numeric stamp set was perfect!  I used Ranger's Detail Black embossing powder.

I have black embossing paste on the side of this one with the stripes.  When I was looking at it to decide how to finish it, the colors made me think "mellow", and I used some of Tim's plastic letters along with his Label Letters.

The colors of this one reminded me of the class I took last summer with Jodi Ohl at Create NJ called "Graffiti Magnets." That's where I learned the cool doodling around the heart (white embossing paste), and the white gel pen 'stitching' around the edges.  I never would have thought to use both black & white, and I love the look.

Sidenote:  Marjie showed us that the Dylusions Spray Inks are so concentrated, that when you use white embossing paste on top, the paste soaks up some color.  Very cool.

This was the one and only ATC I finished in class.  It was just plain fun making, but I had to resist finishing the others in class because there were items I had at home that I wanted to use.

This was another with the Perfect Pearls powder technique, and some black embossing paste through a stencil on the left side.  I didn't get the details from this stenciling, but I thought it was cool anyway.  I added some Idea-ology, and Tissue Tape.

This final ATC was stenciled with Distress Stains, and then I used the Eye Chart stencil from Tim with some more black embossing paste.  Below are more pics:

Our very happy class, and below is Marjie's pic from her class description advertisement (she's a master!):

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