Friday, August 1, 2014


The challenge this week at Outlawz Alcohol Markers Challenges is "Friends"! Outlawz Friday's Coloring Challenges is now a coloring challenge! You can use alcohol markers, other markers, colored pencils, and any other coloring medium. The only requirement is that you color an open line image!

August's sponsor for the Outlawz Friday's Coloring Challenges is Bombshell Stamps. The winner of this month's challenge will win his or her choice of a digital set of stamps.

Here's my card, which features Stamping Bella's Victoria and Juliette (on sale!)

Victoria and Juliette was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Copic markers. I was not pleased with the blonde's hair, so I used Polychromos colored pencils to try to fix it. A pink chalk pencil was used to add a touch of blush to both girls.   Turquoise Spica glitter pen was used to add earrings and a belt to the blonde. Red Spica glitter pen was used to add earrings to the auburn tressed beauty. Stardust Glitter pen was used to add glitter to both pairs of shoes. Clear Gelly Glaze pen was used to add a clear dimensional shine to their stemware and shoes.

The patterned papers are from the Lucille 6x6 pad by Basic Grey. The die-cuts are Nestabilities by Spellbinders. The silvery accents are foil stickers from my stash. The sentiment was created using stickers from Making Memories (the individual letters) and Chit-Chat by Idea-ology (words). I didn't realize that the whites are a bit different from one brand to another, which is what I get for crafting in the wee hours of the ayem. I think the difference is a bit offputting, but not completely heinous. So, I'm going to let it go and say that it shows the charm of handmade. Yep. That's the ticket.

Thanks for visiting today!

I shall enter this card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenges: Anything Goes

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stampendous Stack Art Challenge!

Stampendous recently sent several artists, including me, packages of their Stack Art product line.

I received the Regal Bird Stack Art Kraftboard set, the Regal Bird stamp set, and the Fusion Stack Art Elements set. Once again, the folks at Stampendous made a perfect selection for me as I am an avid birder as well as somewhat of a birdbrain!

If you don't know anything about the Stack Art Kraftboard sets, here's what Stampendous' website says about them:
Our Stack Art Kraftboard kits include four sheets of die-cut kraftboard with tag shapes, frames, and embellishments. Four matching, die-cut sheets of double-sided adhesive paper, and four sheets of printed greetings. Use with our Stack Art Elements kits or any of our glitters, micas, color fragments, etc for easy, creative, stacked art that you can give as a gift, greeting or favor.
Stampendous is very generous and is giving away a prize, so be sure to check out their blog today. Here's the LINK! Actually, you should pop back in time and leave comments to increase your chances to win some fabulous Stampendous goodies!

I decided to make a quick and easy tag with the kit, some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics, and a few other odds and ends I had laying around my craft room.

Here it is!

I mixed Titanium White with Blue Green Light, and Cobalt Teal Hue Media Fluid Acrylic paint and painted sponged it over the large tag kraftboard set. As I hadn't mixed the paints all that well, it yielded a variegated look which I quite liked. I heat set this layer, then mixed Pthalo Blue and Titanium White Media Fluid Acrylic paint, applied it to the leafy background stamp with a make-up sponge, and stamped it over the tag. I immediately ran to the kitchen sink to wash the paint off the stamp, then ran back upstairs to my craft room and sponged the edges of the tag with the paint remaining on the make-up sponge. This layer was heat set and set aside.

There was still paint on the sponge, so I dabbed it all over the smaller tag and heat set it. Once again, I mixed Titanium White with Blue Green Light, and Cobalt Teal Hue Media Fluid Acrylic paint
and used another make-up sponge to apply the paint to the cobble-stone looking stamp. This was stamped over the blue and heat set.

There was still a bit of that mixture of paint left on my palette (a spare lid from a take-out container), so I spritzed it with water and sponged the watered tealish paint across the sentiment, which had been stamped onto cardstock.  The smaller tag and sentiment were set aside while I got to work on the bird.

A lighter mixture of the Titanium White with Blue Green Light, and Cobalt Teal Hue Media Fluid Acrylic paint was made and applied to the bird's Kraft board body with a cotton swab, which created a textured look which I hope looks a bit feathery.

I applied the matching die-cut double-sided adhesive to the bird's kraftboard wing and shook on some Eyeshadow Blue Fun Flock from the Fusion Stack Art Elements set, then pressed it down, and shook off the excess. The wing was glued to the bird, which made him feel more complete.

The next step was to apply the the matching die-cut double-sided adhesive to the kraftboard crown. I wasn't feeling the glitter that came in the Fusion Stack Art Elements set, so I shook on some Silver Halo Mix Glitter, rubbed it down, and shook off the excess.

I then assembled the tag, adhered the bird, and glued on his crown. A brown Prismacolor marker was used to add a beak and a pearl was added for his eye.

A feather charm was added with a rhinestone topped brad and some silvery fiber was added as a hanger.

Thanks for visiting today!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's black and white and yellow all over?

My project for Kay's challenge at Stampotique Designers Challenges this week! 

Here's what Kay had to say about her challenge!
"It is my turn to host the Stampotique Designers' Challenge this week! What might seem like a simple challenge to most, for some, whose work is generally full of color, it really will be a challenge. But, for all of us, it's good to try something different. I have been on a black'n'white artistic kick lately because I love the crisp freshness it can bring to a card, journal page or ATC. Whatever you decide to do, keep it black and white with just a pop of color! Get creative this week and join us!"
If you'd like the chance to win $30 worth of Stampotique stamps, you should play along. Visit Stampotique Designers Challenge blog and be sure to read the rules, so that you'll have the chance to win a great prize!!!

Here's my card featuring Stampotique's Birdy Up (Kira Nichols)!

 Birdy Up was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Cool Greys and Yellow Copic markers. The cloudy sky and grass were drawn in using the same greys.

Black and White patterned papers by MME and Basic Grey were layered, though some of them were colored with a Y17 marker. The border die-cut is by Die-namics. I haven't added a sentiment as I don't know who will receive this card for what occasion. The sentiment will likely land on a die-cut in the plaid portion of the card.

Thanks for visiting today!

I shall enter this card in the following challenges:
Cute Card Thursday: For the Birds

Friday, July 25, 2014

Double Dipping for Christmas in July!

Since my crafting time is at a premium at the moment, I'm "double dipping"! The following project qualifies for two of my teams, which have the same challenge!!!

Gez is your hostess for this week's challenge, which is Christmas in July! Here's what she had to say about her challenge.
It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas right?!! ;-) I thought it would be nice for us to spread a wave of festive cheer throughout Blogland!

Every year I set out with good intentions and imagine a great big stack of handmade Christmas cards all ready to send out nice and early in December, in reality I think it's happened once! So, lets do it together! Dig deep and crack open the Christmas stash box early!!

This is a fun challenge, I hope you enjoy it too!
If you'd like the chance to win $30 worth of Stampotique stamps, you should play along. Visit Stampotique Designers Challenge blog and be sure to read the rules, so that you'll have the chance to win a great prize!!!

My card also was created for Outlawz Alcohol Markers Challenges, which is coincidentally a "Christmas in July" Challenge! Outlawz Friday's Coloring Challenges is now a coloring challenge! You can use alcohol markers, other markers, colored pencils, and any other coloring medium. The only requirement is that you color an open line image!

July's sponsor for the Outlawz Friday's Coloring Challenges is All Dressed Up. The prize is two digis of the winner's choice! There are some great digis, so be sure to check it out her shop, then play along with this week's challenge for a chance to win this prize!

Here's the card which uses Stampotique's Kitty Squad (Kira Nichols)

Kitty Squad was stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Copic markers. Each kitty was fussy cut. The kitties were set aside while I created the rest of the card. Don't worry! They weren't lonely as they had each other for company!

White Metallic cardstock was die-cut with Nestabilities Circles dies by Spellbinders. The circles were then sponged with Adirondack and/or Distress inks. When you sponge dye inks onto white metallic cardstock, you end up with a lovely shimmery result. 

Silver metallic cardstock was die-cut with the ornament hanger part of a Christmas Ornament die-cut by Memory Box, which I won last year! Woo-hoo!  I used these silver ornament hanger to transform my circles into ball ornaments. The Delicate Chain die-cut by Memory Box was used to die-cut the silver metallic cardstock and adhered to the top of each ornament.

Patterned paper from older 6x6 pads by Basic Grey was layered to create the card front. The fussy-cut
Kitty Squad kitties were adhered to the ball ornaments, then adhered to the card using foam dimensional adhesive.

White metallic cardstock was die-cut with a Die-namics banner die. The banner was edged with Fired Brick Distress ink and glittery sticker letters were added to spell out the sentiment. As is the way with stickers, I ran out of red glittery "eeeeees", so I substituted silver glittery letters instead. The sentiment banner was adhered to the card front on foam dimensional adhesives.

Thanks for visiting today!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

SCACD This & That Rubber Stamp Blog Hop

Welcome to another fun showcase of newly released rubber stamps and a few new digital stamps from SCACD. You should have come from Susan's blog where you definitely saw something amazing!  If you get lost during the hop, visit Follow Your Heart, SCACD's Store Blog, which will send you along your way!

SCACD is releasing nine rubber stamps which are collectively called This and That Collection. SCACD Artist Carmen Medlin and Susana collaborated on these new images that were inspired by events in Susana's life and the imagery she loves. We think that Carmen did an amazing job bringing these to life!

The This and That Collection includes the Zen Beauties Collection as well as five eclectic and fun stamps. If you buy the complete set of the Zen Beauties Collection at one time, you will get an accompanying accessory maple seed stamp as a bonus stamp. They each can be purchased now by clicking HERE.
SCACD also decided to offer three of these new rubber stamps as digital stamps as well as rubber for her SCACD Digital fans. You can see the three newest digital stamps by clicking HERE

Our International Friends can find SCACD's new rubber stamps at Quixotic Paperie.

Now it's time to show you my projects and to share information about them.

Here's my first project, which uses Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones has a partner, who is named Mrs. Bones (who is also available as a digital stamp). If you buy them together, you will receive a sentiment that says "You're Invited!"

Mr. Bones was colored with Copic markers, then masked with a fussy-cut colorless version of himself. Mr. Bones and his colorless twin took a ride through my Big Shot inside a Nestabilities Labels die. They were kept inside the die and a piece of Washi tape was placed across his feet to act as a mask. A background was airbrushed around him. The tape was lifted, the background was covered with Post-It notes, and Old Paper Distress ink was sponged along the bottom to ground Mr. Bones. Bundled Sage Distress ink was sponged over a Burlap Layering Stencil. (It's gone now, but the remaining stencils by the Tim are on sale!). The mask was lifted and the stamped die-cut panel was set aside.

Patterned paper from the Necessities 6x6 pad by MME was layered over a rose-printed paper from an old MME pad. Burlap ribbon was adhered across the card front, then the stamped die-cut panel was adhered.

I grabbed some very old sticker letters and added the sentiment "Just for You!" I sponged Pumice Stone Distress ink over the sticker letters, then removed them, leaving their outline on the wood-patterned paper. Pumice Stone Distress ink was sponged over an arrow and a heart from the Arrows and Hearts stencil by The Crafter's Workshop.

A burlap ribbon bow with two red roses was added to finish the card.

My second card mixes the digital version of Steampunk Cupcake with the rubber stamped Party Lights Border

The Party Lights Border was stamped on Neenah cardstock using Tuxedo Black Memento ink. The Steampunk Cupcake was reduced using PhotoElements, then printed onto the stamped sheet of cardstock using my laser printer. I also isolated the pinwheel from the cupcake using PhotoElements, then printed it out onto another piece of cardstock. All the elements were colored with Copic markers. The lightbulbs' elements were colored with a Lemon Spica Glitter pen. A dotty background was added to the background with Copic markers. The second pinwheel was fussy-cut, edged with black marker, then adhered over its counterpart using a tiny screw-topped brad. It really spins!!!

The pocket watch, rivets, and lightbulbs. Several layers of Clear Gelly Glaze pen was added to the light bulbs, the cupcakes rivets, and the cupcake's pocket watch. Oh! Please note that I had to trim the Party Lights Border to make it fit. It's wider irl.

Here's a close-up so you can see the glittery and the glazy bits.

The background patterned paper is from Club Scrap. It's rainbow colored in colors that matched the stamped piece. It was dry-embossed using a Gears embossing folder by Cuttlebug. Lightning Black Brilliance ink and Golden Glitz Delicata ink were lightly sponged over the raised pattern and used to edge the embossed patterned paper and the stamped panel. The patterned paper was matted with gold metallic cardstock and the stamped panel was adhered to the card front.

SCACD's Alice's Clock Statement Corner die was used to die-cut gold metallic cardstock three times. The intact corner was adhered to the lower right of the card. The Delicate Chain die by Memory Box was used to die-cut gold metallic paper, which was adhered along the left side of the image panel. Alice's Clock Statement Corner die-cut has two connected gears which were cut from the other two die-cuts, then adhered to the upper corners of the card. The Mini Gears die by Memory Box was used to die-cut silver and gold metallic paper. These small gears were adhered over and around the connected gears and onto Alice's Clock Statement Corner die-cut.

That's it for me today! Thanks for stopping by today. Your next stop on the hop is Kim Dellow's blog, where she is sure to wow you with her gorgeous artwork.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Hop with a Difference/Getting to Know Me

This is going to be a completely different sort of blog post from me. I'm supposed to describe my creative process and inspiration and stuff like that. I usually go into excruciating detail about how I create my projects, so I likely will just babble on more about stuff like that!

I was "tagged" by my friend, Penny Mull, who blogs at 9 Hawks and a Dragonfly. If you're not familiar with her work or her blog, I urge you to stop reading this and go visit her blog right now. She's a really talented artist, colors beautifully, and her designs are truly unique. She layers die-cuts and other embellishments in way that never overpowers the focal image of her project. Penny also writes extremely well. Her warmth, sense of humor, and intellect color her writing and will most definitely make you smile. You'll also learn a lot about food, wine, and travel while reading her blog as those are passions of hers, plus you'll see some amazing photographs, as she's a wonderful photographer!

I'm supposed to answer some questions, so here goes...

1. What am I working on?
I'm frantically trying to catch up with design team and other miscellaneous projects that I had taken on before my mom got ill. Family trumps all, so my crafting has taken the hit.

I've got four or five different projects in various states of completion as I was able to color images while at my mom's house. Those images are slowly being put onto cards and tags.

Once my mother recovers, I will continue my experimentation with paints, texture products, and other media. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think what sets my work apart from others is that my work is somewhat quirky and very eclectic. My style, for want of a different word, ranges from cute and whimsical to dark and edgy. The one constant is that whatever I create is clean, linear (I think that's my Virgo side showing!), and somewhat detailed and techniquey (new word)

I try to dabble in different styles but can't do CAS or elegant.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Concentrating on artwork keeps me calm and centered. Without art, I tend to be a bit anxious and very scatter-minded.

Inspiration is everywhere. I can be driving along and wonder which Copic colors will match the colors of the sky! The shapes in clouds will make me think of what dies, stamps, or stencils would work to mimic them. A tree's reflection in a pond will set me thinking of ways to reproduce what I see using paints. Similarly, reading magazines and watching television can inspire me to try to change up my usual color palette and try different color combinations and/or designs!

I'm not sure why, but the edgier side of life appeals to me (probably because my background is middle class and my life is one of comfort). Graffiti, tattoo art, old decaying buildings hold a certain beauty. Imagery from mythology and non Judeo-Christian religions is fascinating. On the other hand, whimsical, cute images make me smile and I love, Love, LOVE cats and penguins. My stamp collection and therefore my artwork reflect my taste.

Irony and word play delight me. IMHO laughter is such an important part of life, so humor tends to find its way into my artwork, sometimes unintentionally.

The last reason why I create what I create is that excitement factor. There's nothing like the rush I feel when a completed project reflects what's in my mind's eye or when something takes a left turn (at Albuquerque) and comes out completely different, yet better than the original intention.

Oh. I should probably mention that I started paper crafting as a scrapbooker on June 27, 2000. I was combining desktop publishing with photo prints and cardstock. Yep. I did hybrid scrapbooking before it was popular. Such a trend setter. In September 2000 we were hooked up to the internet. Someone had told me that inkjet ink would kill my photos, so I started to research that. And found a site called Scraptalk, where I learned about cardstock, nice patterned paper, punches, die-cuts, stamps, and a little thing called internet shopping. My scrapping and bank account have never recovered.

In July 2001 I got curious about stamping in scrapbooks and attended a Stampin' Up party, vowing to just look, learn, and NOT buy. You all know how that worked out.

Somewhere in there, I realized that all these paper scraps that I was amassing could be used for cards and tags and started to make those. Big fun! Small projects that didn't have to be perfect for a photo and posterity! And I could play around and experiment without hurting a photo. Even better!

I applied for my first design team for a kit club and was accepted. Several teams, a few publications, and suchlike followed. I started designing for a company that wanted projects mailed to them. I didn't want to do that with scrapbook pages, so I started to create more cards, home decor items, decorated boxes, clipboards, and notebooks.

No one ever looks at the scrapbooks I completed. I have a gazillion and two layouts in boxes that need to go into albums that would be looked at by no one. So these days, I'm primarily a card maker, who dabbles in home decor items, decorated boxes, notebooks, clipboards, and journal pages. My journal pages do not contain my thoughts. Those stay in my head where they belong. After all, I am a Virgo.

Did I answer the question? I dunno.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Does it? Ha!

It depends. If it's design team or contracted work, it starts with the product and/or challenge. In most cases these days, it start with the stamp or stamps I'd like to use. I'll usually stamp the image, then choose the color palette based upon the patterned paper that will work with the image. Most often I'll color with Copic markers because I consistently get good results with them and because I need to justify the huge expense of amassing my Copic marker and reinker collection. *grin*

I'll decide whether I want to create a background behind the focal image or want to plop it into another background. I'll either fussy-cut the image, color a background behind it, or mask the image and create background with markers, paints, chalks, stencils, texture paste, or whatever I'm in the mood to use.

Then I'll decide whether I want to use die-cuts, embossing plates, and use those. After all, those need to be economically justified as well.

I'll use gemstones, ribbons, lace, metals, and/or flowers (premade, die-cut, punched) for embellishments. That's usually the last step as I'm not real good about using them and have a tendency to place and remove them repeatedly.

If the product I'm to showcase is paint, I'll use try to use it in a variety of ways in one project so that I can show its versatility.

Sometimes I just create because I have an idea that must get out of my head before I can move on to another project. Yes. I know it sounds certifiable. Sadly it's true.

Other times I just want to play and experiment with a product or media. I've been doing quite a bit of that in the last year or so as I've slid into mixed media. I'm still midway up the base of the learning curve with acrylics and the different texture media you can use with them (pastes, crackle stuff, gels, etc.) There are so many different kinds and so many different ways to use them that I just play around and see what happens. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn't. I learn either way. After all, that and the Hokey Pokey are what it's all about.

I'll share some favorite old layouts and some newer stuff just for giggles.

 from 2002
from 2007




I am also supposed to tag three women whose work I greatly admire and who I am honored to call friends. I have known them for various amounts of time. I've never met any of them face to face, but know I can rely upon them for a pep talk if I need one.

They will be sharing more about themselves next Monday, July 28th. I can't wait to learn more about them!

I am tagging:
•  Alaine Medio, who blogs at MissAlaineous' Mosaics. I've know Alaine for several years now as we're teammates at Bombshell Stamps and SCACD.  Alaine is a wonderful artist, with fabulous design skills. Alaine excels at coloring with her Copic markers. I've learned so much from just looking at her artwork. Alaine works full time, travels extensively on business, yet still manages to grow and evolve artistically.

•  Corinne Rollet, aka Coco, who blogs at Les Folies de Coco. I haven't known Corinne very long. We met online when we admired each others' Stampotique projects. We started emailing a bit and became friends. Corinne continually inspires me with her wonderful mixed media artwork that is filled with color, texture, and whimsy.

• Nicole Maki, aka PerkyNihilist, who blogs at Made by Nicole. I've known Nicole since 2008ish when she joined justjohanna/Odd Bird Planet's design team. Nicole is a flat-out amazing woman. I want to be her when I grow up. She's got three boys who she has homeschooled. She cooks, bakes, sews, stamps, paints, keeps her house decluttered, and makes wonderful artwork. I'm lucky enough to have a Nicole-original print that I keep in my craftroom. Her artwork, primarily her painted mixed media work, is most of the reason I started my journey in mixed media.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Curiouser and Curiouser

Things continue to be hectic in my life as I've been away from home for two or three days per week. I'm still playing "catch up" with my projects, putting images that were previously colored onto cards and what not.

Here's a card featuring The Hatter, which is a SCACD digi.


The Hatter was resized in PhotoElements and printed onto Neenah cardstock using my laser printer. He was colored with Copic and ShinHanArt Touch Twin Brush  markers. His goggles, the clock on his hat, and the pocketwatch were coated with several layers of Clear Gelly Glaze pen to make 'em dimensional and shiny.

Teal cardstock was die-cut with a Die-namics frame die. Clock hands from a Spellbinders die set were used to die-cut ultramarine cardstock. Memory Box's  Mini Gears die set was used to die-cut gold metallic cardstock, which were added to the top corners.  A Gold Krylon pen was used to change the color of very old, but very useful, hanger brads, then the brads were stabbed through the cardstock in the lower corners. At that point, I discovered that I did NOT have small gold jump rings, though I had huge ones and small ones in silver, black, pewter, and hot pink. I also did not have a gold chain. Therefore, I put this part aside and worked on the rest of the card. 

Two pieces of teal floral 6x6 cardstock from the French Country Graphic 45 6x6 pad were adhered together. The Gearworks Border* die by Memory Box was used to die-cut gold metallic cardstock and more mini gears from Memory Box's  Mini Gears die set were die-cut. The gears were adhered to a strip of teal cardstock and layered atop the floral cardstock. *The Gearworks Border die is no longer available, but the Antique Gear set or the Deluxe Gear set would work equally well. I have not yet acquired those yet, but I will. *grin* 

The Timepiece die set by Die-Namics was used to die-cut both metallic gold and ultramarine cardstock. The die-cuts were added to the center of the card front. 

First thing today (after coffee), I ran to Michael's and picked up gold jump rings and a gold chain. Then I hurried home and finished the card with the chain and three charms from my stash.

Thanks for visiting today!

I shall enter this card in the following challenges: