stuff and things

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!

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 

30 May 2015

Friend ...

The people behind Lawn Fawn Stamps seem to have cuteness all bottled up and served in a cut-crystal coupe. These images -- especially the critters -- just make me smile.

I love how the wine-bottle foil seems like real giraffe hide.

I made this simple friendship card with two goals in mind: a Simon Says Stamp challenge to use stencils, and Lawn Fawn's New Technique challenge. Wouldn't you know I missed both deadlines: Lawn Fawn's by only five minutes! This is only my third or fourth week of trying to meet challenges, so it's a learning curve here, folks!

It's all good: I need to try out more techniques, and this card pushed me to forge several boundaries. I mono-printed from the reverse side of a stencil: It's patchy but it turned out to give the feeling of a dry place in the African savanna. In my vision, at least.

 I used a hillside border die (... for the first time -- yes, I am the late adopter of the world ... lol)  but  I used the "waste" side. The  "real" side has little stitches, which I felt wouldn't go well with the wild look of the tree and background. I stamped grasses and other scrub-looking foliage behind the hill, creating the feeling of a savanna look, I think. I fashioned the giraffe by die-cutting a wine bottle's foil topper. I used ink spray to watercolor the little birdie friend. Finally, I finger-painted the green hill with fine glitter, and I used a white pen to shadow my sentiment, "friend." These are all new paper-crafting techniques for me. Whew! I'm all worn out here, friends. ;)

Card Ingredients:
Cardstock: background:  Bazzill, Avalanche -- sprayed with Dylusions Funky Fuchia Ink Spray, and Heidi Swapp Color Shine, Georgia Peach.
Hillside: Core'dinations cardstock by Ranger: Crushed Olive Distress Collection, finger-painted with glue and Recollections Pumpkin glitter.
Tree stencil: The Crafter's Workshop: "Mini-Branches," used as a mask to spray the two spray inks, above; then I inked the reverse side of the stencil and blotted the tree with tamped-on inks in Ranger Crushed Olive Distress Ink and Archival Brilliance Pearlescent Olive.
Flora stamps, a wonderful and versatile set from Inkadinkado: "Meadow," inked with Ranger Crushed Olive Distress Ink and Archival Brilliance Pearlescent Olive.
Critters stamps and die: Lawn Fawn, "Critters on the Savanna": The giraffe was die-cut from a wine bottle's foil and stamped with Lawn Fawn's coordinating giraffe stamp, then colored with Copic # E39. I forget the wine brand and vintage, but it's probably a Chardonnay!
Hill: Lawn Fawn's beloved "Stiched Hillside Borders" die cut set. I used the "waste" side, however: I felt that the side with little stitches wouldn't go so well with the looser background treatment. Instead, I was pleased with the effect of the non-stitched side. I've admired the look of this die set for years -- and finally I broke down and bought a set of my own. It's such a versatile tool.

As always, I'd love for you to comment, suggest, give links to helpful sources, or just say hi!
Tina in San Diego

I would like to enter my friendship card into the following challenges:
Crafty Creations Challenge #290: All Creatures Great and Small
The Color Throwdown #344
Simon Says: Anything Goes 
Crafty Gals Corner #21: Critters
Love to Scrap Challenge Blog #54: Anything Goes

28 May 2015

A Mother-in-Love's Card for Alice

I was so happy to find these themed stamps and dies from Verve Stamps: Perfect for Mother's Day. Believe me, Alice is the mother who never fails to button all the buttons! I am the luckiest Daughter-in-Love on Earth.

Gotta love this sentiment: "Mothers Are Like Buttons: They Hold Everything Together"

Using a coordinating die to cut out a stamped image was a new technique for me. Purchasing a stamp set is a fairly reasonable investment -- especially if you love it and get lots of cards or layouts or altered art or whatever you do ...  out of it. Buying the coordinating die set is purely a luxury item: There's no more tedious "fussy cutting" with scissors around the stamped image, but the steel dies are pricey. If I use my imagination, however, I can see this die as a wonky blue ribbon award medallion -- and lots of different flowers. I can't wait to explore this set some more!

Tip: Next time, I'll die-cut the cardstock and then stamp it! (The base we use with clear stamps is a clear acrylic block, so you can see right through to your stamping surface. Some are ruled. A joy.) ... I digress. Anyways, you know how Mothers are: They love everything we do!

To make this card, I used:
Paper: Xerox 110lb. Cardstock, and Core'dinations Distress: Tumbled Glass.
Embossing folder: Cricut Swiss Dots, the blue paper sanded lightly to reveal the embossed dots
Stamps, Flower Die Cuts and Sentiment: Verve Stamps' Button Best
Leaves Die Cut: Verve Stamps' Sprightly Sprigs
Corner Rounder: Creative Memories
Sequins: Verve Stamps' Pastel Sequin Mix
Inks: Hampton Art "A La Mode" Red; Tim Holtz Distress pad, "Tumbled Glass".

I'll enter this card into the following challenges:
A Creative Need: Favourite Moments with Mom (or a Mother figure in your life)
Stamp and Create: May Flowers
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes!
Hiding in my Craftroom Any holiday
Stampotique Designer's Challenge: Something Old ...

15 May 2015

Happy Post-Mother's Day

As I delve deeper into the world of paper arts, I continue to discover the coolest stamps and dies, inks, papers and embellishments. Marcella Hawley, the designer at Power Poppy, does a real number on florals: romantic, not too cute, and ... just my style. My cousin Gabriel brought Mom a lavish bouquet of lilacs -- a rare treat here in San Diego -- for her 97th birthday this past April Fool's Day. When I found Marcella's "Lilac Time" stamps, I knew I had a perfect combo for a Mother's Day card.
Mother's Day coincides with Lilac Time!
Power Poppy has challenged the paper arts community to "fussy cut" around some stamped designs,  and add them to a card, altered art piece, scrapbook page or art journal. I'm In!! I doubled up some of the smaller bloom stamps and used them on the same ribbon that bound Mom's bouquet from Cousin Gabe. Then I stuck that same cutout piece onto the major bouquet at center. Fun! I like the way it pushes the edge of the central bouquet, but in a subtle way.
"Fussy Cutting" stamped motifs can be ... erm, meditative! That's the word!

On the smaller element that says "Mother's Day Wishes," top image, I tried an old technique that's new to me: using a paper napkin as a printed paper layer on cardstock. I used the simple, basic technique of separating the napkin down to its colorful design base, and gluing it down on cardstock using acrylic Gel Medium. Check You Tube for tons of other ways to transfer napkins to paper, fabric and more.

I hope you all had a great day on Mother's Day.
I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Power Poppy, Cut It Out!
Craft-Dee Bows, Anything Goes (Handmade Bow)
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge 
Word Art Wednesday
Craft Your Passion: Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations: Flower Power
Creative Fingers: Anything Goes
A Creative Need: Mothers

12 April 2015

Today's Art Class: Pastels and the Renaissance!

Today was my second art class at San Diego's Museum of Art. It's a great series, super reasonable (okay, cheap) and very worthwhile. We studied several paintings with the excellent docent Dianne, who led us from the medieval through the Renaissance and into the modern, in only 5 galleries (only spotlighting one or two paintings in each). We spent a litte more time in the first gallery, the Italian Renaissance. I learned so many new things! Gosh, given my bad hip, how I wished I'd signed up for a docent training at the Museum instead of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. I digress.

After observing the changes in styles of painting and materials (Tempura!!!) we headed down to the Museum's art workshop: a fantastically organized yet artistically grungy place of brushes, paints, sinks, and lots of roomy tables. Each one had a vase of sunflowers upon it. (Ours was a little droopy.)

First, instructor Susan Roden, an expert artist in the pastel medium, had us do a quick sketch out of what view we saw of the sunflower arrangement. She had us use a blue pastel for the quick, "gestural" sketch, and then a white for any highlights we noticed in the glass jar, etc.

Then we went to color, finding a background by quickly using the sides of broken chalks to color vast areas. Then, more and more layers ...

Here's my Gestural and "finished (not quite) "painting" not quite). I'm very fond of gestural. Let's just leave it at that.
On right, my first, quick sketch to "solve Problems." On left, I added many "Problems!"

This was not quite my first experience with pastel, although this other technique used a monochrome style and Caran d'Arche pastels that only come in like, four colors. Similar to the stuff Leonardo used, I guess. Anyways, this first one I did remains a favorite: I was lucky enough to study with our local great, Anette Paquette, who takes us all to the Zoo (and we try gestural sketches doing monkeys in flight: yeah, right! maybe monochrome is meant for me!
Warthog Love (just kidding) but it's one of my few "loves" of my art
Sorry for the poor lighting, but it's night and I just wanted to get this post up.

finally, here is one of our teacher's works: She's awesome, in every sense of that overused word:
Deep 4, by pastel artist and teacher Susan E. Roden
Oh, and most finally, several students felt the medium wouldn't be something they'd be returning to, so gave me their chalks!
A limited palette, but I will become the Sunflower Queen of the World!
Maybe I can work on that second "painting" a bit and incorporate Susan's excellent advice. Pastels are a notoriously difficult medium but I would like to put some work into it and see what comes up. Oh, and don't go to the Facebook Pastels group unless you want to just ... die of intimidation! ;)

Hugs, Tina in San Diego

Happy 97th, Mom

I'm determined to try more new techniques this year, especially with paper arts. So I tried a form of paper "dyeing" using shaving cream and alcohol inks. The butterfly was die-cut using one of my more successful marbled papers.

To simplify, you drop drops (in this case, of alcohol inks) into a flat pan (think baking pan) of piled up shaving cream (think Dollar Store). Then you take combs or chop sticks and swirl it all around. Until it reminds you of grooving to that special album back in '68. 

Finally, lay the paper on top and press gently for a minute or two. Let dry. Try it on different papers you have: vellum, watercolor paper, textured paper like mulberry, ultra-smooth paper made for Copics pens ... and even cheapo-copy paper. It's all different, and lots of fun.

Happy 97th, to a wonderful, inspiring Mom!
If you've ever opened an antique book and marveled at how cool its endpapers look, perhaps you were looking at marbeled papers, commonly used on the inner front and end covers in finer books back in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.
You can also marble fabrics. Maybe wood. Maybe anything. I digress.

Card Recipe: size: 6 1/2" x 5"
Backing Paper: Gypsy Sisters Collection, Kaisercraft
Butterfly die-cut: self-marbled paper using Ranger Alcohol Inks
Die: Tim Holtz for Sizzix Butterfly #2
Lace die-cut: Martha Stewart Doily Lace Trim Double-edge Punch, using the paper below :
DCWV Glitter Stack, pink
Glitter accents: Copper Stickles, by Ranger
Sentiment Stamp: Autumn Leaves Stampology: Between the Lines (check Ebay) oop

Vellum by Recollections, embossed in Gold
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink in Peacock Feathers for Sentiment; Card Edged in Picked Raspberry
Gold Die accent: Spellbinders Majestic Elements Adorning Squares
Aqua star beads on Gold Die accent

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Quick Quotes: Celebrate Something!
Power Poppy: Pop! of Pastel 

I hope you're having a Spring in your urge to create, whatever your art form may be!

06 February 2015

A Doggie Valentine

A Doggie Valentine

A Doggie Valentine
My doggie friend Rosie hasn't been up to sniff lately ... So I made her a Valentine. Here's the front, above. I like the way the back came out too, see below. The upside-down hearts and paw prints  look as if they're raining down.
Rosie's Valentine, Back view
My kitties, Chevy and Lotus, make all my cards in exchange for treats -- but they insist that every card feature their portraits on the back. It's so fun to watch their little paws handle the stamps and the glue applicator!

Here's what I used to make this card:
The Pet Stack cardstock pad, by DCWV
Tag Die, Sizzix, Tags Scallop Combo #2
Heart Die: Memory Box, Grand Heart
Heart Stamp: Memory Box, Gingham Heart
Notebook paper, torn and distressed with spring green Copic Markers
Flowers and Bakers Twine, Michaels Stores
Stiching: My adorable Singer Featherweight, c. 1949!

I'm entering this card into the following challenges (yes, there are card and/or layout challenges!!!). How much fun is that?

2 Cute Ink Challenges: Valentines/Love 
Oddball Stamps : Add Some Sparkle