Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wendy Vecchi Inspired Wall Hanging

I was playing around awhile ago with my Distress Inks, Grunge Paper, and Wendy Vecchi stamps and created this.  Many of my students have seen this over these many months, and have always asked me to teach a class.  Well, I finally finished it off, and it's on my schedule for July 2012!

In this 3-4 hour class, we'll be learning lots of techniques with Ranger products, especially the rose technique I learned from the fabulous Wendy herself!

You'll have the freedom to be creative with all my Wendy Vecchi stamps, and the full line of Distress Inks.  Contact me at stefrick@optonline.net if you're interested.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Graduations Galore!

I've got 8 graduations this year!

I decided to copy (what I thought was) a simple card designed by Marlene Peters (all supplies by Stampin' Up!).  Yeah, basic card, but 6 layers, 4 of which got the corners punched with the Ticket Corner Punch (that's 16 corners per card, times 8 cards!  Oy!).  Still, very simple ... Basic Black card base, layered with Basic Grey & Whisper White.  The Baroque Motifs swirl was stamped with Real Red ink.

I decided that if any of these kids really decided to check out the diploma, I'd make it more than just a piece of white paper.  I used Microsoft Excel and created 8 little diplomas.

After cutting them apart, I had to roll them up and tie them with Real Red 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon.  I used Tombo Temporary Adhesive to hold them together, but it wasn't so easy tying a ribbon around those slippery little buggers!

I attached the little diplomas with 3 mini glue dots.

I have to send 7 of them to various parts of the country, but my nephew, Joe's graduation party was this past Saturday.

He's just like his father (my brother, Mike) when it comes to having his picture taken ... they usually cover their face when they see a camera coming.  Joe was nice to me here and let me take a pic of us together.  He also just received 2 small scholarships (hey, every penny helps!), and got his Eagle Award like his older brother, Michael, and my son, Brendan.  So proud of all our boys!

The best part of this party was having 3 of my 4 siblings together for a group pic (Karen, the oldest, lives in Arizona).

That's my sister, Marisa, on the left.  She lives in Maryland (we used to tease her that she must be the milkman's kid!  lol).  Next is me, then my brother, Michael, who lives in Ringwood.  Alecia is on the right--she lives in East Windsor, and she's the grandmother of my sweet great nephew, Rian, now living in Italy :-(.

We also got my beautiful Aunt Eleanor to the party.  I drove down to Toms River to get her.

She's my favorite aunt, and I love & miss her soooo much!  Here she is with my brother, and my wonderful hubby, Rick.

Dress Form Part II

Well, it's back to the drawing board for the dress form. 

When the expanding foam starting coming out of the ends, we decided to lay the dress form on a piece of rubber that we previously used under our pool filter.  Well, the foam stuck to the rubber, so I moved it all to the top of this cooler to take these pics.

I didn't have high hopes for this, because Kelly's butt is ... let's say shapely.  During the drying time, the butt got kind of flattened out.  She does not have a flat butt.  Also, the breasts didn't fill up completely either.  I had visions of poking small holes in each of the breasts and sticking the applicator tube in them and trying to add more foam.  After unsticking the dress form from the rubber, I took some pics, and after laughing a bit at the side view, I thought I'd post a pic of Kelly's side view:

Butt (pun intended), never fear.  This is our first prototype.  We're going to start over again tonight.  This time, she's agreed to just stand still and let me do all the wrapping.  This way, she won't be bending and twisting and compromising the stiffness of the duct tape.  Also, she's going to just wear undergarments so we have a more true-to-life form.  We're going to try to support the larger areas with pieces of hangers before filling up with the foam.  We also decided to maybe add tape to the bottom, so it's flat, and we can stand it upright while filling.  And, finally, we're going to do one can at a time, allowing 24 hrs. between each for proper drying time.

I the meantime, I thought I'd add a pic of this year's Anime costume that she made.  She makes a new costume every year, with no pattern, and no dress form.  Even if this foam thing doesn't work out on the 2nd attempt, I think she does a pretty good job on her own.

These costumes are based on comic images that these kids bring to life in costume.  This next picture was from last year's convention.  We had a lot of fun making the hammer.  The gear section is one main gear that's about 3-4" thick, filled with smaller gears.  There's clear plastic on each edge so you could see all the gears inside.  To make the clock arms on top, she drew the swirly hands on clear packaging plastic and colored in with black sharpie marker, then meticulously cut out.  The red hammer part is also clear plastic packaging, painted red, and the 10 different pieces are all hot-glued together before she painted a final coat.  The handle was made from a kids' bubble wand we found in Michaels.  The grey gears at the base of the hammer and the base of the gears were made from thick foam.

Very, very cool.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tag Swap

I entered a tag swap for this new yahoo group I'm in.  It's a great little group of experienced artists, that I was fortunate and honored to be invited to join.  The first swap of the group is a tag swap, and since I've been so busy with classes at Michaels (besides my home classes), I haven't done a swap in a loooong time.  Since I quit, and have all this time on my hands now, I figured this was as good a time as any to jump back in!

First, I have to give a shout out to my art buddy, Eileen (she does art everyday, and posts to her blog here).  I met her on a couple of the Tim Holtz cruises, and she lives fairly nearby in the Bronx (unfortunately, I haven't seen her since the last cruise, but I will at an art retreat next month!).

Anyway, she was randomly selected to send me her swap, and here's a pic of her cool work:

It's a really cool backgroud, and I love how she made the hands of the clock using keys.  You can see details of this tag on her blog (see link above).  She also sent me a little goody package of brads!

Thanks Eileen!  Anyway, even tho we have til the end of the month to send our tag swap, she inspired me to get working on it last night.  And, my daughter, Kelly, joined me and created an awesome tag too!  Here's mine that I'll be sending out to Jason later today:

I had some leftover colored background paper I created and used for a scrapbook layout (more on that soon), so I decided to use some of it for my tag.  I used Broken China, Tea Dye, Walnut, Shabby Shutters & Spiced Marmalade Distress Inks.  I distressed the edges and swiped them with more Broken China.  I then stamped with my Stampin' Up! Basic Black, and one of my favorite Wendy Vecchi background stamps from the Dimensional Rose Art set.  I then colored some sticky back canvas with Wild Honey and inked the edges w/Vintage Paper and stuck it to the bottom.

I added some Clearly For Art flowers I'd made a few weeks ago (sorry, can't remember the colors) by cutting some white CFA using the Tattered Florals die.  I think the buttons are Stampin' Up!, and I put some yellow hemp through the button holes.

I wanted something to 'pop' on the card, so I decided to emboss the words with white embossing powder.  Wow!  A little too much pop!  Kelly suggested I add some white somewhere else, so I wrapped some of Stampin' Up! white Bakers Twine around the bottom.

For the butterfly, I used a new stamp I just purchased this past weekend at The Ink Pad in NYC.  It's a Julie Fei-Fan Balzer set called Butterflies.  The script words came from this set as well.  I used the foam applicator and added some Wild Honey ink to a piece of Whisper White cardstock, then stamped the butterfly in black and carefully cut out.  I covered the whole thing with Glossy Accents and when dry, I adhered it with different heights of Dimensionals (for these pics, I just laid the still-wet butterfly on top).  Added some fun fibers and wa-laa!

Now, onto Kelly's awesome tag--this is her first tag where she wasn't using one of Tim's as an instructional starting point.  It's all her:

She really liked the background paper I made, so she used some as well, but she stamped the background using my Stampin' Up! Paisley stamp--love this look!  She then used a smaller piece of sticky back canvas near the bottom (don't know which Distress Ink color she used), and wrapped it with black hemp and added a heart button.

She then used one of the rub-on's from Stampin' Up!s Cherished Memories pkg.

With all the punches I own, I didn't have one to fit this circle, so we used my Circle Cutter.  She opted to just cut a circle layer by hand from some Bravo Burgundy cardstock.  She said I tend to "overthink" things.  lol

She added some red paper flowers I had in my stash with a little clothespin.  She then punched more of my background paper with the Stampin' Up! Boho Blossoms punch, and added spots of Bravo Burgundy in the centers w/Glossy Accents on top.  She popped a black large eyelet in the hole, and don't ask me where she found the paper twist she knotted at the top!  I've so much stuff here, I have no idea what I've got!  lol

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Distress Stain Storage

I recently came across a 50% off sale for the Tim Holtz Stains, so I figured it was the best time to complete my set.  They came shipped in these flimsy boxes, and each box fit 18 bottles.  Lucky me, they sent me two!  I decided to use them as my new storage.

I added some pieces of cardboard in the bottoms of the boxes to add strength, and then I set about decorating them.  I used some fabulous vintage papers my friend, Nancy Lynn, sent me.  I met her on a couple of the Tim Holtz cruises, and here's her blog:  Using Up All That Stuff.  She gets the best stuff!  She was very generous and sent me several sheets of ledger, music & journal papers.

Aren't they great?!

I tore the sheets into smaller pieces, then used the Distress Inks and the Wrinkle Free Distress technique.  I also added some Walnut Distress ink on the edges.  I attached them to the boxes with Modge Podge, overlapping them as I went.

I love the way they came out, but they're a little tacky.  Any suggestions on getting rid of that?

I used Tim's suggestion of inking sticker sheets, and when dry, punching out a 3/4" spot to label the tops of each bottle.  Love it!  I wanna do somethig like this for my Distress pads.

Here's some more pics of the finished boxes:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kelly's Home-Made Dress Form (Part I)

I thought she was crazy, but I gotta admit, not only was it fun making, but it just might work!  My daughter decided it'd be much cheaper to make a dress form using duct tape and expanding foam than to buy one.  She's always making costumes for her Anime conventions.

I came down to the kitchen and found her wrapping herself in Saran plastic wrap (kind of a funny site to see someone trying to wrap themselves in Saran wrap!).  I decided to pitch in to help and realized I should start taking pictures.

After wrapping her with duct tape, I then had to take sissors and cut up the back.  Very nerve-wracking because she gets crazy for this stuff!  She was wearing one of her favorite t-shirts.

T-shirt intact, she then started taping it back together with adhesive tape, inside & out.

Now, for the fun part ... filling it with expanding foam!

She used 5 cans, and we decided to let it dry before adding more.  We put it aside, and while eating dinner, I noticed that the foam had expanded outside the form! Good thing we quit!

It's still drying some 5 days later.  Kelly's still not home from her convention, so this story is to be continued ... Check back again on Thursday to see pics of the finished dress form, and this year's awesome costume she made!

June Techniques Class


Happy Summer everyone!  I've been wanting to create a shaker card for a while now, especially since I've collected quite the bag of plastic packaging!  Does that mean I've been purchasing too much? 

I got this new stamp set by My Sentiments Exactly! called "By The Sea Sentiments."  Just love it!  I'm crazy about text and alphabets, and anything nautical or beach themed.  This set suits both loves ... the shapes are created with text.

I chose the starfish and stamped with Tim Holtz Distress Tattered Rose, and then used the Brushed Corduroy Distress Marker and colored just one edge of each fin.  I then used an AquaPainter to blend the colors a bit.  I also inked the edges of the paper towards the center.

The frame was made with Soft Suede cardstock, also inked w/Brushed Corduroy.  I added some gold brads that I used Tim's Distress Hammer on.  When I was ready to put it together, I realized I couldn't find my bag of sand!  I've got soooo much stuff in this craft room, that I can always find, but that darn bag of sand always eludes me!  After wasting most of my day searching for it, I finally broke down and took a trip to Michaels.  You know I then divided that bag of sand into 3 smaller zip bags and put them in a few different places!

Here's a better look ... even with my glasses on, I can't figure out what the words say ... maybe I blended the colors too much?  lol


For the card base, I used Regal Rose cardstock and Crumb Cake.  I stamped on the Crumb Cake with Versamark ink using the retired Cheesecloth background stamp.  I also distressed the edges and inked w/Brushed Corduroy as well as the sentiment, also from the same stamp set.


My next card was using the old fashioned dry embossing technique using a light table, brass stencil and stylus tool.

After dry embossing, I took both the cardstock & stencil to my foam mat and used the stencil to pierce the design in the paper. 

I layered the Whisper White onto Sahara Sand, and after stapling a piece of  Not Quite Navy taffeta ribbon with my Tiny Attacher, adhered that to a piece of Not Quite Navy.  The card base is Crumb Cake, and the butterfly is stamped with the Butterfly punch and some DSP from the retired Blueberry Crisp.


This last card was also dry embossed the old fashioned way.  I then removed both the cardstock & stencil, and using sponge daubers, I lightly tapped color over the image.  I used Powder Puff Chalk Inks in the colors of Biscotti, Purple Passion & Very Berry.  After removing the stencil, I tapped a little more Biscotti ink in the center.  I then paper pierced the corners using my paper-piercing template.

The card base is Soft Suede with some Elegant Eggplant Textured cardstock on the bottom half.  The Whisper White was run through the Big Shot using the Perfect Polka Dots folder.  I wrapped this w/Elegant Eggplant grosgrain ribbon.  As a finishing touch, I stamped the saying using the Tiny Tags set and the Biscotti Chalk ink and punched out with the Jewelry Tag Punch.

I just realized that this card has both the old fashioned dry embossing technique, as well as the quick, modern use of an embossing folder.