Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Birthday Poppy Card

I couldn't help myself, I had to post again tonight.  Just getting in under the wire for the deadline on one of my challenges.

I stamped this stamp with abandoned coral and crushed olive distress inks for the no-line watercolor technique.  I used different shades of pink and orange for the flower, and greens for the stems and leaves.  The stamp is Penny Black's Poppy Time.  Background stamps and text are Penny Black stamps, as well.  The background was stamped with antique linen and frayed burlap inks.  

I stamped the happy birthday (from PB's salutations clear set) onto vellum and adhered, using the metal swirl piece to offset the swirls in the background.  The dragonfly is from my stash of metal pieces, and I used it to offset and balance the other metal piece.

Challenges for this card include:

Little Red Wagon - Text Me (use text on your card)

Addicted To Stamps - Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Show Us Your Metal (use metal on your card)

That's it for tonight.  Thank you for stopping by again!



Simon Says Stamp Make It Girlie Challenge Card

Today's card is for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  The theme for this week's challenge is Make it Girlie.  I thought pinks and oranges and flowers were pretty girlie, so I'm entering this card.
The stamps used for this card are from the W Plus 9 set Beautiful Bouquets: Dahlias.  These pretty flowers were fun to paint.  I used an inexpensive, low-quality set of pan watercolor paints, just to see how they would perform.  I hadn't used them in quite a while, and actually have kept them to share with my grandies.

Overall, I was not really happy with them.  They were quite chalky and brittle, and it was difficult to get enough pigment on my brushes.  I did this little experiment, because I want to purchase a better set of pan watercolors, but I needed to justify spending more money on them when I already had my set that I share with my granddaughters when they come over.  I did order a set of the Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolors after this trial.  I know I will get lots of use from them.  The card isn't too bad, but it was a lot more work than if I had paints that cooperated with me.

For the layering piece under the panel, I used plain white card stock, and taped a stripe template over it.  I used Tim Holtz distress inks and Clarity stencil brushes to brush on my stripes.  I did the orange first, then moved the stencil over slightly and added pink, then moved it over more and added more pink.  It looks as though I used three colors, but I only used two.  I will definitely be using this technique again.

Thanks for stopping by today.  


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dreamweaver Trees Stencil - Three Cards

The old adage, "one person's trash is another's treasure," certainly rings true.  I rescued this Dreamweaver tree line stencil from my friend's waste basket during one of our stamping sessions a while ago.  Today, I thought I would challenge myself to make a card or two.....or three!  Here is what I came up with.....
I used distress inks with my Clarity Stamp stencil brushes through the stencil, onto light kraft card stock.  The die is from Simon Says Stamp, along with the verse (die - Wishing SSSD111423; stamp - Sending & Wishing set SSS101475).  A few dots with my white Signo pen finish this one.

This one I embossed, and it really came out pretty raised, although it doesn't show in this picture.  I embossed it on light gray card stock, then used my brushes to swish some pumice stone distress ink onto it.  Added Simon Says Stamp With Sympathy SSSD111360 die.  I punched some dots from the same card stock and added them for a little interest.

Finally, I watercolored a panel using the smoosh technique and dried it with my heat tool and set it aside.  Then I took the stencil and dabbed black soot distress ink directly onto the stencil, gave it  a little mist of water, then turned it ink-side-down onto the watercolored panel.  The ink beaded up a little on the stencil, because it is metal, but it came out pretty clear.  I just filled in the missing spots with my black soot distress marker.  I did leave the leaves part of the stencil sketchy, and I like the look of the leaves that way.  Printworks PW Borders Q045 set has this Love You stamp, which fits perfectly in between the two trees.

So, I had fun in my craft room this afternoon.  Three different looks from the same stencil.  I wonder if Arlene is going to want her stencil back now!

Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thank You Pussy Willows Card

Hints of spring abound, but still no sign of the pussy willows.  So, I thought I'd create my own.  I'm not sure if that's what this stamp from a Penny Black set I borrowed from a friend is, but they sort of look like pussy willows to me.  I took some artistic license in my coloring, because I really wanted to use these mauvy/pinky/peachy colors on my card today.  
The design of the card was one of those 'happy accidents.'  I got my big finger into some ink, and - plop - right along the right side of the image - after I had it all colored, of course!  So, what to do?  I just cut roughly following the outline of the right side of the stamped image, and cut that ink blob right off.  

Then, I used my new....drumroll.....wait for it....Clarity Stamps stencil brushes.... to make a soft haze of the ink along the actual card, right along where the right side of the aforementioned stamped image was cut.  You can see a youtube demo of these brushes HERE.

Then I adhered the stamped image panel onto the card, dusted some more color along the left and bottom side of the stamped image panel, and adhered it with craft foam and tape for dimension.  

I added the Penny Black Thank You and dragonflies from the salutations 30-014 set.  

I stopped myself there, but I really wanted to do more....but I am trying to stop sooner rather than later.  I'm beginning to appreciate the 'less is more' rule.  

Inks used are Tim Holtz distress inks in tattered rose, victorian velvet, bundled sage, and evergreen bough.  I used the Dove blender to color the images.

I am adding this card to the Simply Less is More blog challenge , where the challenge is to use three stamps, which I did.
Also to the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday blog challenge , where the challenge is to make it girlie.  Hence...the pinkies.

Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ZenGems - Gems for Zentangle

I will admit, I am hooked.  I love making the gems for my Zentangles. They are fun, and each one comes out differently, having it's own personality.  I am new at creating them, and I'm sure you will be seeing lots more of them as I learn, and hopefully get better.  I have a few in my journal, as I am trying out different colors, combinations, and shapes.  

My Zentangle today includes the patterns Huggins, Leaves With Picots, and Phicops.  I used my graphite pencils to create shadows, and colored pencils to create the gems and other coloring on the patterns.

This is the before and after shading and coloring:

Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Shneck, Schnek, Schneck.... One Zentangle Pattern, Many Spellings!

The challenge on a couple of the Zentangle Facebook groups I belong to is to use the pattern Schneck...or however it really is spelled.  I have seen it spelled so many ways.  I will admit, it was a difficult pattern for me.  When I finally relaxed and decided to just have fun with it instead of having to make it perfect, I did enjoy it.  I will keep using it, as practice makes perfect, yadda, yadda.
One of the groups is Purely Zentangle.  For that group, we go back to the basics of Zentangle and produce 3.5" x 3.5" tiles, using official patterns and no coloring.  Tangling just for the sake of the experience.  Each week there is a prompt... a pattern... that we can choose to use or not.  Since I had never used Schnek before, I thought I would give it a try.

The other group, Shading Zentangle, is...well... about shading your Zentangle.  It's a new group for me, and this is my first post to it.  I am working at getting better at shading, and hoping that the kind, constructive critique there will help me.

Finally, another group is Purely Fun Zentangle.  This one is not as structured, and allows any size tile, using any medium, color, journal pages, etc.  

I love them all, and if I could do nothing but tangle all day, and, of course, stamp and make cards and art journaling, I would be ever so happy to do just that.  Oh, and knit!   But, ah....life beckons.  And right now, the sunshine and 70 degree temps are luring me to the back yard to survey how much work my garden is going to take to get it ready for the spring sun and rain to do it's job.

I will be back with a card soon.  Possibly even later today.  Especially if my new stamps and dies arrive from my Simon Says Stamp winnings from the last challenge!

Thank you for stopping in.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Simple But Elegant Thank You Card

I'm a sucker for those dollar bins in the big box stores, and the section in Target in front where things are just a couple of dollars.  I always find something I can use.  I got some packages of cards at Michael's a few days ago, and have been itching to use them.  Of course, their dollar section is not $1.50.  But these were still a bargain, I think.
This is a package of eight thank you cards with envelopes.  What I like is the simplicity, and also the paper...it's very similar to watercolor paper.  
Sooo... I decided to sacrifice one to experimentation today.  I needed a special thank you card for a friend.  While I like these as they are, people expect that they are going to get a hand made card from me.  You know how that goes, I'm sure!  So I pulled out some of my Tim Holtz distress mini pads, rubbed them on a stamp block, and spritzed.  I wasn't sure how the paper on the card would take the ink, so I held my breath, and placed the block onto the card and waited a few seconds.  Voila!  Incredible watercolor....vivid and blended just right.

I added some spatters and really liked it.  (I took two photos to try to capture the shine of the gold letters and embellishments).
It seemed to need some more touches of that awesome gold, so I used my Cropodile to punch out some little circles from gold wrapping paper....and added a strip of the wrapping paper along the bottom.  I used my soft mat and embossing tool to round the gold small circles before gluing them to the card.

That's it today.  Easy-peasy thank you card.  I'm going to play with other color combos now, and have them on hand for when I need another thank you note.  Sometimes I like to just drop one off to one of the staff people at our church, with a small note of appreciation for their hard work.... along with a nice package of chocolates.  A couple of our parishioners did that for me when I was our church secretary, and I really appreciated it.  Paying it forward now that I'm retired....somewhat.

Thanks for stopping in today.  Have a great weekend...enjoy the sunshine!




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Watercolor Card With Inktense Pencils

Yesterday I posted a card using the Penny Black stamp Playful (30-347).  I really like the stamp, and wanted to make another card with it today, so here it is....
This is the same stamp, but looks entirely different from yesterday's card.  That one I painted using the no-line watercolor technique.  On this card I decided to let the lines help me give it more definition.  I used my Inktense watercolor pencils to watercolor the image and the blue background behind the flowers.

On the card itself, I stamped Penny Black stamps, including a phrase stamp (don't know the number as it is off the wood and I neglected to write it) and some other PB stamps that I love to use for interest on my cards with Tim Holtz distress inks in squeezed Lemonade to carry the yellow onto the card.  I also sponged the squeezed lemonade behind the circle panel and on the smaller panel with the phrase.  The Special Day stamp is from PB's Gratitude 30-105 clear set.

Two shades of blue sequins finish off the card.

I used yellows so I could enter it in the Color Throwdown # 388 challenge.  The colors this week are yellow, blue, green, and white.  I hesitated because I really didn't want the flowers yellow.  I'm glad I did it, because I never would have chosen yellow for them, but it turns out I like them yellow.

I also entered it in the Penny Black At Allsorts where the challenge is Birthdays.

Thanks for stopping by. 



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Simon Says Stamp! Seven Years Old!

That's right, Simon Says Stamp, a favorite online paper crafting shop for so many of us, is celebrating their 7th year!  Congratulations to all the wonderful folks at SSS!  Best wishes for so many, many more years.

My card for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge (which is Happy Birthday).....
The stamp is Playful 30-347 Penny Black (I only inked part of the stamp).  The wishing die is Simon Says Stamp, and the phrase underneath it is from the SSS Sending & Wishing set.

I used Tim Holtz distress marker in abandoned coral and peeled paint to ink the stamp, and stamped second generation so I had a light image for no-line watercoloring.  I used TH distress inks in abanoned coral, fired brick, aged magahony, and ripe persimmon for the flower and bud, and peeled paint and forest moss for the leaves.  I used chalk for the shading.

For the center of the flower, I used tiny gold micro-beads, and tied gold fiber around the left side to carry the gold over.  The spatters are black ink and FineTec arabic gold pigment flicked on with a wet brush.

I also entered this in the Penny Black At Allsorts challenge, which is also birthdays!

Be sure to stop by Simon Says Stamp to wish them well on their 7th birthday, and check out all the awesome design team cards, as well as the tons of gorgeous entries.  Maybe even make a card of your own to enter.  They are giving seven prizes this month!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  So happy to have you visit.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sending Prayers Card

This card started out with the Peony Scrolls from Altenew.  I embossed them with white embossing powder, masking as I went along, then watercolored them using distress inks in seedless preserves, dusty concord, wilted violet, and chipped sapphire.  When the flowers were dry, I watercolored the background with wild honey and squeezed lemonade.  Since yellow and purple are opposite on the color wheel, they complement each other.  I used foam tape to add the two smaller flowers, and drew the stems with my Versamark pen and embossed them.

I painted a scrap of the watercolor paper with the purples, and die cut the word prayers from that.  I manipulated the die into a curved shape and attached it, then stamped 'sending you' from the Simon Says Stamp Prayers set SSS101562.  The die also comes from that set.

A few green pearls finished off my card.

That's it for tonight.  Hope you had a blessed day.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Random Act of Zentangle

You've been RAZ'd!

As many of you know, I'm a little obsessed with Zentangle.  I love this art form.   I do not go anywhere without my little journal, a couple of 3 1/2 inch tiles, and my micron pens.  I never know when I will have to wait...the doctor's office, dentist, meetings, etc.  I love that the supplies I need are very few and small enough to be very portable.  Rarely a day goes bye that I don't tangle at least a little in my journal, and often a tile.

Here is a recent bookmark I tangled, learning a new pattern to me...
I joined a Facebook group recently called Random Acts of Zentangle.  As the group name suggests, the idea is that you make a Zentangle tile, or bookmark, or any piece of art with tangling.  Then you bring it out into the world, and leave it somewhere for someone to find.  The supermarket, the gym, library, park, doctor/dentist office...you get the idea.  I put a little note on mine so that whoever sees it knows they can take it, keep it...pass it on...or leave it there for someone else.  I tell a little about what a RAZ (random act of zentangle) is, and give the Facebook group address so they can tell of their find if they choose.

People always ask me what I do with them.  I don't usually 'do' anything with them...occasionally I will give one to someone who likes it, and I have a little plastic square cube frame in my kitchen which displays six zentangle squares at a time.  The rest are in a scrapbook.  I really do it for the experience of doing it.  I find it very relaxing, and calming.  My blood pressure is lower, I sleep better after tangling in the evening, and I just plain feel better.  It is a wonderful stress reliever!

So, now I have decided to send some of my little pieces of art out into the universe.  I know that God gave me artistic talent to bring joy to others.  I try to do that whenever I can.  So when I saw this group, I thought I would give it a try.  It is difficult letting go of my 'babies,' not knowing where it will end up.  But it's exciting at the same time.    My hope is that each piece I send out into the world will bring a little joy into someone's life. 

Today I sent one of my pieces out for the very first time.  I will admit, I almost took it back.  I wasn't prepared for how difficult it was to let it go.  But, let it go, I did.  I put it against the mirror on the shelf in the ladies locker room at Planet fitness today.  I can't wait to see if it is still there when I go back.  I hope someone finds it who needs a smile today.  I am putting encouraging and inspirational quotes on the backs.  

I'm glad I found this little group.  It's one more way I can bring happiness and a little blessing to others. 

The bookmark tangle above will go in a library....probably tomorrow. This is the tile I placed in they gym today....
If you would like to know more about Zentangle, you can read about it HERE .  If you try it, let me know what you think.  I will be happy to answer any questions and share my ideas with you.

Whew...this was a long post.  Thanks for stopping by today.  

I am working on a watercolor card for tomorrow's post.  I'm not exactly enamored with it, but I have decided to post it anyways.  I did the watercoloring tonight, and will assemble the card and post it tomorrow.  

Have a wonderful, restful night.  


Monday, April 4, 2016

Life Is About Learning To Dance - Challenge card

I would say that winter has decided to return to upstate New York, but I think it would be more accurate to say that winter has finally actually arrived!  Albeit late.  The weather people say we will have more snow between last night and today than we have had in all of December and March combined!  My poor, poor daffodils have bloomed and are now buried under 8-10 inches of snow!  So far.  My lilies are not appreciating their blanket of snow on their fresh, vulnerable sprouts.  I hear no birds today..they have gone back into hiding, me thinks.

So, good day to create.  And today's card has flowers for us to enjoy.  Flowers that the snow cannot squash!
While I had the stencil (The Crafter's Workshop) out from yesterday's card, I decided to ink another piece of watercolor paper with TH distress inks in shades of green.  I was going for a pale gradiated look here, as I knew I would be stamping over it.

I stamped Penny Black's brush tulips 2835K on the panel, using TH blues and greens.  After it dried, I touched up areas of the tulips and added more shading and details with my colored pencils (I use Faber Castell polychromos).

The saying is from an unmounted stamp a friend had given me (thanks, Karen).  I love when my friends buy two of the same thing!  She couldn't remember who the manufacturer was, and I don't know either.  If you happen to know, please leave a comment below to let me know.  Thanks!  I stamped it with my favorite permanent black ink pad, India Ink Black.  Because the watercolor paper is textured, some of the letters were not as dark as they should be, so I used my micron pen to go over them.  The Happy birthday is Penny Black, stamped on green vellum.

It took every ounce of my being to not embellish this card, as I love to use ribbons, bows, pearls, rhinestones, and/or sequins.  I just wanted the flowers to be the star of the show here.  I did, however, enhance the flowers with my new favorite glitter pen.  It is the Spectrum Noir clear glitter pen.  It adds just the right amount of shimmer.  It sparkles and twinkles, but does not overpower!  I love it.  I have a feeling you will be seeing a lot more of it on my projects.

Challenges for this card:

Color ThrowDown - Challenge # 386 - use lime green and teal

Penny Black Saturday Challenge - April showers (dance in the rain)  Even though it is snow here, not rain!

So, off to my next project....or shall I work on my prayer shawl...or Zentangle, or tackle my knitted socks?  Decisions...well, off I go to do one of those things.  Or take a nap.  Hmmmmmm.  I do love retirement.....no money, but no job stress either!

Be blessed,

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Friends Forever Card

Today's card is for a special friend.  I am trying to send more cards, especially to those people I care about.  
I started by creating a light ink smooshing background, then with a stencil by The Crafter's Workshop - Mini Rosetta TCW461s, inking it with Tim Holtz distress inks.  Then I used the Penny Black Flower Dance stencil 25-002, using my distress inks and pens to ink the flowers, then paint them with details after removing the stencil.  The stamps - dragonflies and verse - are Penny Black stamp set Salutations 30-014.
I used the clear Spectrum Noir sparkle pen to add glimmer to the flowers.  A few clear sequins, and some iridescent cording were the finishing touches on my card.

This is entered in the following challenges.....

Addicted To Stamps Challenge # 187 - Make Your Mark - use something that makes a mark.  I used markers, stamps, inks.

Little Red Wagon Challenge - For the love of water - use water based products - I used inks and markers, and sprtized.

Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you had a great weekend.  Blessings for your week ahead.