Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tagged again?!?

Angela tagged me for the 7 reasons, which I did a few months back. If anyone really wants to know 7 weird things about me they can read it here. I will not tag anyone else, as no one played the last time I tagged them (which was ok). If anyone wants to play, read the rules on Angela's blog and you can say I tagged you :o)
Time to clean up my art mess, so I can have room to play again, as I'm awaiting a fun surprise (to me) package to come in the mail soon.

Folded ATCs

Great idea for another swap, and a new way for me to look at ATCs. I made one for myself and one for the swap.
I've been wanting to use some of my photographs. I took this picture of Rodin's sculpture "The Gates of Hell" last Spring. I cut the photo in half along the opening to the gates or maybe it is the exit?!?! I highlighted the thinker above the gates with a pebble, cut in half.

I wanted the inside of the ATC, to be in contrast with the stark image of the photograph, so I used the shining stone background, for a bright color with gold hightlights.

And finished the ATC with these stamped images:

For the swap, I decided to make a tri-fold ATC. I took an old map, wrinkled it and ran a distress ink pad over the surface to give it an aged look. The front of the ATC:

With the first fold open:

Opened all the way:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flourishes & Swirls

On ccswaps there is a swap for ATCs using Flourishes & Swirls. This made me think of vintage & romance. So excited because on one of the yahoo groups, Carol Clements just mentioned a technique using Distress Inks to get a soft distressed backgrounds. Perfect timing and I was ready to play and made two different ATCs. For the first one, I went for the soft distressed look:

Following directions, I used a mini brayer to roll some distress ink (tattered rose) on a non-stick craft sheet, then rolled the brayer across the card stock. Replenish the brayer from the craft sheet and gently cover the cardstock. Dry with heat tool.

Then I added a second layer of color (milled lavender) in the same manner and dried with heat tool.

Next, I cut the card stock into pieces for the ATCs and rubbed the edges across the same color of ink that was the second color brayered onto the card stock. Using the same color I stamped on a flourish, and set with heat tool.

To make the flourishes stand out, I stamped them again in a darker shade ( the color was too deep for the look I wanted, so I stamped on scrap paper before stamping on my cards stock) and slightly off set them. Last I added a romantic image, some words and a swirly embellishment.

For the second ATC, I decided I wanted a bolder background, so I did the same technique, but used darker Distress Inks:

I used tattered rose & worn lipstick Distress Inks to brayer on the background.

For the background swirls, I used worn lipstick & fired brick Distress Inks and metallic gold. I stamped the saying in fired brick.

To finish the ATC, I made a slide mount out of the same card stock I mounted the background on, and created raised swirls with the Cuttlebug & Swirl embossing folder. I rubbed the metallic gold ink pad over the embossed slide mount to make the swirls stand out, and placed it over another romantic image. A metal flower with a matching brad finished the ATC.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Too funny!!!

What Carol Means

You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.

You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.

A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

Can you tell I'm spending too much time surfing the net!!! Some of this is so me and other is definitely not me. Plus, I know a lot of Carols and we are not alike.
True: open, chameleon, ton of energy (at least my family thinks so), okay, okay I'm intense!!! ROTFL
Let's see it says I'm a rebel, trouble, wild & crazy, yet solid & dependable; put too much pressure on myself, am type A and yet I'm relaxed & go with the flow (guess that's the chameleon in me LOL), anyone could find parts of themselves in this list, no wonder it seems to fit a bit.
I've certainly struggled with perfectionism, but am NOT usually the best at everything. If I have any "secret" to life, it's no secret: trusting God day by day. Carol means 'Song of Joy', I find comfort in Zeph 3:17.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Background ATCs

More backgrounds!!! These will be for the March 10:9 ATC swap on ccswaps, the theme is backgrounds. When I was playing with backgrounds yesterday, I made some that were too time consuming to do 5 - 10 full sized sheets, but worked to do one sheet from which to cut out ATCs.(I am not a very patient person, LOL)
The background paper for the first ATC was made out of dictionary pages.

I tore pages in half out of a couple of different sized dictionaries I found at the dollar store. I wrinkled the pages, opened them up and glued them onto a piece of card stock. Make sure to glue down the over lapping edges of paper.

I colored the raised areas with distress ink.

I mixed some Kiwi perfect pearls with water and brushed it over the surface and let dry. (I love a bit of sparkle!)

I wanted more contrast, so I highlighted the very top creases with a darker shade of Distress Ink. Then I cut the paper into 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" pieces for ATCs, and inked the edges with this same Distress Ink pad.

For fun, I used the large Punch Bunch slide punch and a small heart punch on some different background paper I had made. This paper was made using mists & water, and then scratching the surface (sorry I didn't take pictures). Even the saying was stamped on another background paper I had made (but don't remember what I did).

The next ATC was made with cut tissue paper on glossy cs.

I cut a variety of colors of tissue paper into sort of squares and laid them on a sheet of glossy card stock, and generously sprayed water over the surface. Then I let it dry.

After it dried, I cut the sheet into ATC sized pieces. The small squares for the letters J O Y, were punched out of background paper using the Luminous Paste technique similar to what I did for the background swap. I got the idea of punching slots and running a ribbon down the side from a little beauty I received from Maggie in an Instant Art Swap. I get lots of great ideas from swaps.

Background Junkie

I love backgrounds, making them and using them. On ccswaps there is a background swap, where we make 10 backgrounds of the same backgrounds on 1/2 sheets of paper (5-1/2" x 8-1/2"), put the instructions on the back, send to the hostess and receive 10 different backgrounds in return. What a great deal! Plus we can sign up THREE times, as long as we send in 3 completely different sets of 10 backgrounds. I had lots of messy fun yesterday afternoon & evening. You can see what I choose to do below. Have fun, make your own backgrounds & get messy!!!!

Gessoed Sea Sponge

This is a fun technique with vast possibilities depending on the colors you chose to use.
I choose buff colored paper so I could see the white gesso and have a contrast in colors. First sponge gesso over your paper with a lightly wet sea sponge. Allow to dry.

To highlight the edges of the gesso, I sprayed walnut ink over the surface and let dry.

Last, I sponged gold acrylic paint with the sea sponge and let dry.

Here is the dried half sheet.

Mists & Plastic Wrap

I decided to revisit this technique, which has been around for some time. In stead of brayering on dye ink, I sprayed two colors (yellow & red) of home made mists onto glossy card stock. Then I sprayed water over the colors and then sprayed on gold Shimmering Mist. Last I covered it all with wrinkled plastic wrap and set it aside to dry.

When I removed the plastic wrap, I decided it needed a little more texture.

I sprayed more water over the surface and dabbed a crunched up ball of plastic wrap over the surface.

Here is the dried half sheet. The glimmer of gold shows up better in person.

Luminous Paste

I got this idea from Julia Andrus's book "Paper Transformed" and made a few alterations.
I mixed turquoise perfect peals with a small amount of water and added gedl acrylic medium to make the paste. Spread the paste over the paper (I used glossy card stock because it's easy to spread the paste over).

While the paste is still wet, you can use a plastic fork or a cut up plastic credit card to make designs. I bought this trowel for working with paste paper years ago and really like it. Let it dry. This paste dries quickly.

I made a second batch of paste, similar to the first, but chose perfect violet with just a touch of bronze perfect pearls, and spread it over the dried surface.

While the paste is still wet, create another design and let dry.

Paste paper is so versatile. You can use any colors, any design, any paper to work with. In Julia's book she gives an example of multiple colors in one layer of paste over black card stock.
Here is the half sheet finished:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Excellence Award

Manna from Out of the East has awarded me with the E-Excellent Award! Thank you Manna I love looking at the art on your blog and hope many more people find your site.
I will encourage you to check out these blogs (hard to choose only a few, so making it an interesting mix of sites to inspire you) that are EXCELLENT:
Trish Bee's Art-Venture this blog is full of techniques, challenges and inspirations. You can easily spend days here.
Thinking Inking is where I go to see beautiful cards and other projects made with stampings and scrapbook papers.
Adrienne's Adventures is filled with the most gorgeous photographs of Adrienne's travels throughout Wales. She gets paid to visit old castles and abbeys, and these photos are an art form in themselves. You'll also find a link to her art blog there (which is another Excellent blog).
craft critique says it gives unsolicited opinions on the subject of craft, if you want to know more about the supplies available to crafters this is the blog to check out.
I would encourage you to check out all of the Blog links I have in the right hand column, as these are some of the craft sites I visit regularly.

More Quilts

Here are the quilts I've made in the past couple of months. One for me, one for my new grandson, one for my niece's baby, and three for comfort quilters.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse

Fortunate to have clear skies to watch the eclipse this evening. Discovered I don't have a steady hand for night photography, so used a tripod. Here are some of the pictures I got:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Little Beauties - Leaves

Trish challenged er encouraged me to sign up for the Little Beauties - Leaves Swap on ccswaps, when she left a comment on my blog for the Paint Scraping Background Technique.
These were the instructions for the swap: "Please create 10 Little Beauties for your partner, on the theme of LEAVES. There must be at least 4 different designs. If you duplicate your design, please use different colours for the repeats so that your partner has no identical little beauties. Little Beauties are items which can be used to embellish projects, top cards and/or ATCs. No precise size is specified but they should be no smaller than 1.5 inches by 2 inches,and not larger than 2.25 inches by 3.25 inches. Have fun playing!"
I had lots of fun making little beauties as part of the Instant Art Swap lLinkast month. I decided to give it a try, not certain if I could do 10 different leaf related pieces. I was liberal with my interpretation of the theme and ended up having lots of fun and enjoying a creative afternoon. I used a variety of backgrounds from my stash. From the top row: String Art, Paint Scraping, Faux Silk, Embossed (this one is upside down to me, but could work this way too).
Middle row: Glue Resist, String Art, Paint Scraping.
Bottom row: The two on the outside were left overs from playing around to make the pay it forward gifts. The middle one, I can't remember what or when I did this one. I think it was something that wasn't working out for a particular swap, but I saved it just in case. I'm glad I did. Reminder to self: from now on keep samples and write up instructions in new Background Noise Journal.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

About Me ATCs

On ccswaps, the Feb 10:9 ATC theme is About Me. The suggestion was to think about things you liked and incorporate some of those. Some of the things I like are the color blue, quotes (words in general), fabric, a little glitz, nature and the Lord Jesus, who created all things. We've also been given the challenge to make two different ATCs (5 of each) in the theme to give the hostess a greater variety to swap out. I've been making a "Jasmine" outfit to take to my granddaughter next month. I had leftovers of this light blue tulle with beads attached and wanted to incorporate it in an art project. Here was my opportunity. A blue piece of fabric with glitz, what fun!

Paint Scraping Technique

The third Background Noise Challenge by Trish B is Paint Scraping. You can read the directions on her blog. I gave this challenge a try, even though I have a limited number of acrylic paint colors. At first, I didn't like them, worried that I over worked them and left them to dry. Now I can see that they will be fun backgrounds to play with. I will post them to my Art journal when I have more time. These photos look better if you click on them to enlarge the image : )