stuff and things

29 February 2016

Azalea

Azalea Card for a Baby Shower

I wasn't feeling well enough to head over to Heidi's shower. By all reports from my beloved Brownie Troop friends, it was a wonderful event. (The Brownie Troop is my small group, or "Bee," of fellow quilt makers, and when it's our turn to host, we're entrusted to make brownies  -- plus often times lovely fruit bowls, soups and other healthy treats when we're up for it.) In short, when I mention my Brownie Troop, please don't picture me with a bunch of eight-year-old kiddoes stringing beads and/or singing Kumbyaa.

Heidi, Jane's daughter, is expecting her first child, and here's a card for her, filled with love.
Heidi, about to be a new mother, has traveled all over the world working in places like Africa and Central America in non-profits, helping people. Now she's settled in the Bay Area. Although she will be a single Mom, by choice, she'll be near her sister. I admire her courage. If I'd been fortunate to have a baby, my home would be lined with shelves of scrapbooks or altered-art canvases documenting every little burp or step. Alas, it was not to be in my or Andy's lifetime, but nonetheless, we've created more than a few cards and pages of our great dreams and adventures.

16 February 2016

Up for a Challenge? Color a Card in a Different Medium Than You're Use to


Challenging Rummaging

Power Poppy specializes in stamps that evoke the whimsical side of nature. This month's challenge asks us to rummage through our neglected art supplies, trying a different medium than the usual go-to. Whether digital stamps or clear, Marcella Hawley's images are delightful to color. To do so, I usually grab my Copic Alcohol Ink markers, because I'm trying to grow as a person. (An inside joke here; sorry. The markers are very, unh, challenging.) This time, to meet the challenge, I rummaged through my supplies and found a forlorn tin of Derwent Inktense pencils.

Relative rightousness for a brand-new medium, Inktense Aquarellable Pencils.
Originally I bought the Inktense pencils to color fabric into my art quilts. (Sorry, I still don't know of a better term for quilts that are neither bed quilts nor conventional. Are these former not art, too? Especially the quilts done in the mid-nineteenth century, many of mind-blowing design, done by [mostly] women un-schooled [mostly] formally in art? Do we say, "art paintings"? "Art sculptures"? The debate continues.)

Renowned for their vivid hues, Inktense pigments become watercolors with a wet brush. Have you ever closed your watercolor palette after a painting session, dripping Thalo Green onto everything? For convenience alone, Inktense pencils are a win/win. Initially, I bought the modest 24-pack, and then heard one of my workshop teachers say that, upon my recommendation, she'd worked them into fabric, then rinsed it in water -- and the colors ran. For some reason, that turned me off to the pencils, but I wasn't thinking. Who would wash a quilt that's meant to hang on a wall? Still, I never really warmed up to this medium. However, after seeing my results, I agree with Andy that they're worthy of further experimentation ... which, I guess, is the point of this month's Power Poppy challenge.

Normally, Andy's Monday ukulele group meets at Ed's, but Ed's down with pnumonia and away indefinitely. To cheer him up, Andy suggested I make a card, and he'd go around and get the other members to sign it. Frankly, I'm not so sure if this medium is as successful as the tried and true, but I'm tossing aside the perfectionism and just going with it. Hey, it came out okay.
  
Card Recipe: On my favorite card base, 110# Xerox white cardstock, I cut a 5x7"base and adhered  a panel of 92# Curious Metallics Ice Gold. You can't tell from the picture, but it shimmers and morphs into a richer gold when tilted around. Using the Elliana Background die (Memory Box), I cut it in 92# Curious Metallics Gold Leaf. (Yes, I had fun at Paper-Papers back in December. If you're looking for a creativity boost, treat yourself to a Metallics Sampler Pack. Your world will be forever altered.) After coloring, fussy-cutting, and glueing down Power Poppy's Daffodils clear stamp set, using Strathmore 140# Mixed Media paper (it's super reasonable, and holds its own against water media), I added a sentiment from Power Poppy's Olive and Oak Expanded clear stamp set. An ancient Sizzix Framelets die (#658362) encloses the sentiment and echoes the swirls nicely, I think.

Inside, see below; two nesting dies from Spellbinders Opulent Ovals done in the Ice Gold paper surround a sentiment from PP's Daffodil's clear stamp set. The outer layer is coated with Ranger's Perfect Medium, then dabbed with Pearl Ex powder in Brilliant Gold. I finally figured out how to use my Pearl Ex powders!!!
(Does anyone else ever use their weekly coupon to buy an unknown, untried art supply?)
Ed's friends have signed around the sentiment.
I'm entering Ed's card into this challenge:
Power Poppy's Switch up Your Shades




26 November 2015

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

I couldn't be more thankful for Alice, Andy's wonderful Mom. She is the most thoughtful, helpful, kind and beautiful person I have ever met ... along with Andy, and my own Mom. I am truly surrounded by an exceptional crew! For Alice's Thanksgiving card, I used Fall colors, along with dry embossing, glitter, metallic orange paper, watercolored paper, a ribbon, die cuts, and plenty of tiny metallic-paper die-cut accents.
I presented this card to Alice, Andy's mom, for whom I feel much love and gratitude.



I printed out Purple Woods, a digital image by Ching Chou Kuik, onto ultra-smooth paper suitable for coloring with Copic markers. Don't you love the little wings on the kitten? I would link to Sweet Pea Stamps so you could find the digi, but sadly, Lynette closed her store yesterday.
* I used two Spellbinders dies here: Curved Squares to cut out the woman and her kitty, and Decorative Curved Square for the leafy green frame, tiny leaves, and the blingy orange curls in her hair. I am very pleased with this die set and I know I'll get plenty of use out of it. Before I cut out the curlies and leaves, I had no idea that they were all separate pieces. I love the idea of tiny leaves to use ... no matter what the season.
* The sentiment on the large leaf is from Power Poppy's Olive and Oak Expanded clear stamp set. For the short time since Power Poppy has crossed my radar, it seems I own a ridiculous number of clear stamp sets and digis, too. What can I say? Marcella's illustrations and uber-positive sentiments seem to be a good fit for me. Also, she's built a wonderful community of talented designers who are incredibly generous with tips and tutorials. Along with that, Marcella blogs about what inspires her, and as a fellow artist, I enjoy reading her "process" from inspiration to realization. Often she'll share photos of flowers, family, or general, life-affirming images she gleans from her walks or outings. I'm not sure how long it will last, but right now her stamps are all on 'Post-Thanksgiving' sale: a good chance to get into trouble stock up!
* The large leaf I diecut with Tattered Leaves, a Tim Holtz Alterations die for Sizzix. I used one of my old, discarded watercolors for the paper: Treasure from trash! (Always a win.) Tattered Leaves is another die that I will continue to use and love.
* Embossing folder by Darice, Fall Leaves.
* All papers are by Bazill Basics, except for the metallic solid orange: It's Flame, by Stardream Metallics, from a sampler pack by Paper-Papers. This stuff is truly dreamy. If you want something truly flaming, order a sampler pack of Curious Metallics. Wheeee!
* Thin cord from my stash, inspired by Craft-Dee BowZ and their cool line of Bow Toys! ;)

I'd like to enter my card in a few challenges:
Power Poppy: Embellish This.
The Outlawz: Friday Coloring Challenge 
DiesRUs: #37, Thankful  (Update: oh my gosh, I WON the random draw for a $10-off coupon!)
Winter Wonderland Challenge Blog
Sweet Stampin' Challenge Blog
Craft-Dee BowZ

Cheers in This Cheery Season, and tell me what artiness you've been up to? Art as in writing, blogging, drawing, cooking, dressing, making dressing ... well, you know the drill. Share share share!
Love, Tina

24 November 2015

gratitude ... it's not just for this week

I am grateful to be alive in a time when it can only get better. Hello, a more peaceful, mindful World.


04 August 2015

Oh Happy Day!

We found a big box in front of our patio gate today!
We finally received Andy's author copies of Windows 10 for Dummies. Oh, frabjous day!




We saw the UPS delivery as we pulled into the driveway, with two cats in our hatchback area. I'd thought Chevy seemed a bit thin, and we decided to take both Chevy and Lotus into the vet. Each of the kitties recieved a mani-pedi (lol), an application of Frontline flea control goo, a full exam, an anal sac expressing for Lotus, two blood tests for Chevy ... basically, da woiks! It turns out lil' Chevron had lost a pound, but we weren't able to pin down the time period, so the vet felt it was no biggie (four years since our last visit).

The Bad News: Chevy has a heart murmur, which could be serious -- or nothing to worry about. (Our vet is the worst communicator in the world!, but his techs are great.) Anyways, the blood work will tell us more ... please, friends, if you see this, send up a little bit of healing thought or prayer for Chevy ... possibly the sweetest-natured kitty in the world.

The Good News: Congratulations to Andy! Your months of hard work (despite none, growing into little, and then sporadic, news from Microsoft during the writing process) have paid off in a great book, helpful to millions of folks, I hope.

20 July 2015

Up, Up and Awayyy! (In my beautiful, my beautiful balloon!)

My "bee" or small group of quilters wanted to make our member Gloria a special gift for her recovery from knee surgery. Knowing I love paper arts lately, they agreed that I could design a special card for her.
Big Hugs for Gloria on Her Speedy Recovery
Selecting a theme from my many stamps and dies is a ridiculously time-consuming process, normally: What stamps, papers, dies, colouring medium, and embellishments will be just perfect for the recipient? (Yes, as much as I have fought it, I still fight the "just perfect" character flaw.)
Our friend Gloria is so upbeat and fun, however, that this card came together in a snap! I knew it had to be the fun image of a hot air balloon sailing up, up and away!

Materials:
Stamps: Darcie's heart and home, Sky's the Limit; Lawn Fawn's Love
Colouring: Copics
Dies: Memory Box Mini Heart Collection; Lawn Fawn's Scripty Hugs (inside)
Face: Darcie Heater Under the Sea tin pin embellishments
Papers: Stripes, Bazzill Basics; Grandma's Feather Bed; Rust, Close to My Heart; Chevron, Lawn Fawn; Dots, Recollections
Embossing folder (the rust paper): Chevron, by Darice Embossing Essentials

I'd like to submit this card to the following challenges:

Take It Make It July Challenge: Inspiration! 

Power Poppy: Hang Some Paper

Craft for the Craic: challenge Summer Time