Wednesday, February 27, 2008

adventures in art journaling

My friend Julie is sharing a weeklong tutorial on creating art journal pages. I've been reading along this week, but just didn't have the motivation, time, whatever to play until today. I'm all caught up from the first three days in just over an hour's time. Here is the progression of the page so far.

Assignment #1~ Easy job here, tear some paper and glue it down with a glue stick on the page. I used some handmade papers, an old map, and play money. I'm using a spiral bound book filled with watercolor paper from my stash.

Assignment #2~ Add paint. I forget how much I love paint until I start playing with it again. I used 2 different kinds/colors of paints here. Watered down the aqua and sort of water colored it on. The fresh green is more of a dry brush effect. I don't really like this yet.

Assignment #3~ The fun begins. I sprayed on a green and a walnut ink. Then I cut a strip of map with deco scissors to put on the end. I sprayed the map of my area with the same green ink. I smudged around the outlines of the papers with a pencil. Finally, I stenciled on some white ink. I'm liking the page now. The doodling is next, and that makes me nervous.

A pic of the hi-tech tools used so far.
I am loving the beginning of the art journal adventure already. Thanks for the fun Julie.

Monday, February 25, 2008


The gothic arch challenge this week is history. It always amazes me that so many arch challenges fit right into my life at the moment. My grandmother and aunt are here visiting and my aunt brought a whole CD of old family photos she scanned when she was at grandma's. Well, there is this one photo of my great grandfather that I absolutely love. He was about 14 years old sitting in front of an old quilt playing a banjo. The photo was badly damaged, so my dear hubby spent about an hour photo shopping it to repair the damage. It's a gem now. I printed it onto fabric for my arch.

This is John William Bowen who lived August 18, 1899 to September 20, 1982 in Kingston, Arkansas. He was a farmer, woodworker, musician, loving husband and father of six. I am very lucky that I had an opportunity to spend time with him and know him when I was a child and young teen. I spent time visiting with great grandpa on the porch swing that he built. I enjoyed playing in the yard, swimming in the creek, gathering eggs, and picking vegetables that he and grandma grew. I did not enjoy using the outhouse, but that was part of going to their house, too. I always saw him wearing overalls, never any other type of clothing as far as I can remember. I was the same age that grandpa is here when I last saw him. He made an indelible impression on me and I still miss him.

For this arch I used a variety of things: denim, photo printed on muslin, vintage button, grungeboard swirl with crackle paint and distress ink in faded jeans, vintage lace, vintage sheet music, K&Co letters, the base is a bark like paper that I picked up at the thrift shop, and a date stamp down in the corner.

If you'd like to see what I am doing with all these wonderful arches, I posted about it on Craft Critique today. I am using a product called CardKeepers that is just perfect for the arches.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Feeling Green

I'm feeling green in a good way. I have live theater afterglow of the Wicked type. I know this musical has been out a long time, but it was everything you hope a visit to the theater will be. I was entranced the entire time, chills, tears, laughter, it moved me to my core. I've been singing along to the music for a couple of months in anticipation to our journey to the Pantages theater in Hollywood. I thought I had a good idea of what to expect. Not even close. You have to put this on your A list if you love the theater. I think this musical was written for all of us who grew up watching the Wizard of Oz each year on TV scared silly by the witch and the monkeys and the creepy little munchkins. This brings the story together in a whole new way, and I adored it. I could see it again and again. It was the best Christmas present ever. How many 40 somethings get to say that? Yep, it even topped the purple bicycle with the banana seat sporting those groovy flowers. Don't tell Mom :)

Supplies used: sparkly green felt cut with wavy blade rotary cutter, SU sentiment and tag punch, green stickles, blue twill tape, printed paper, ready made card by MM, white ribbon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

teabags and women

This is one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes. I had many of my friends in mind when I made this card. My aunt told me once that there is nothing so bad in life that some small good doesn't come from it eventually. I've always found it to be true and it carries me through the rough times. So, my friends, even if the going is tough, don't forget to stop and enjoy a cup of tea every once in a while.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mom is getting better

I've been waiting to post this just to be sure, but it surely is true. Over the last 2 weeks, my mom is slowly getting some strength back. The doctor confirmed today that her body is healing after 3 long months of illness. She still has a way to go, but it's wonderful to see her on the mend. She even went out to breakfast with my dad after her appointment this morning to celebrate. It was her first outing in such a long time. Thank you to all my friends who have supported us on this long road. Your kind words, deeds, and prayers have carried me through this most difficult time. Hugs to you.

pink works, too

The image is a little muddled because I used distress ink, but it was the only pad available in the color I wanted. I think it looks ok, since it's just the background behind her that is messy. I have the hardest time finding the right color of pink ink. First I stamped the frame part and then I masked it off with post it notes. I stamped the little girl, just getting part of the image in the frame.

Supplies used: art declassified photo stamp, rubber stampede background stamp, all night media frame stamp, worn lipstick distress ink, black versafine, clear embossing powder, DCWV pink paper, SU white and glossy white paper, black paper, vintage lace, hero arts pearl.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

a bit of ink on my hands

I love playing with inkpads. I really only thought about using photo type stamps with black and brown until I made one with red in a make and take. I loved it, so I played with blue today and it worked. Nothing fancy about these cards, just basic stamping on glossy cardstock with lots of layering. I'm amazed by how much these images look like photos.

image by Art Declassified, stamped with Nick Bantock prussian blue.

image by Art Declassified, stamped with Brilliance sky blue ink.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More thoughts on CHA

Cruising around the net this morning, I see that I missed so much at CHA. One day on the floor was so not enough. One of the places I missed was Kitchen Sink Stamps. I met Maria, the owner, at a fun cupcake party the night before the floor opened. She was just such a warm and wonderful person who is passionate about her work. I meant to stop by her booth to see the 3 step stamps she told me about. I never made it to the booth, but stopped by her site this morning. Oh my, you need to check out the samples in her galleries. Her acrylic stamps work on 3 or 4 steps to create the most amazing flowers. The roses and daisies are over the top.

I went by to see the Copic booth on one of my first stops of the day. Their supplies had not arrived, and the booth was nearly empty. So sad, but the demo was there with her own supplies. Michelle showed me this amazing Spica glitter pen. I am telling you that there is no other glitter pen out there like this one. It rocked my glittery world. So smooth and even and no clumping up. I meant to go back later to see if their supplies had arrived, but didn't make it. I'll be looking for these pens for sure.

I am also noticing lots of little things that came in my press kits that I just didn't have time to comb through while I was there. Did you know Pentel makes a clickable permanent marker? It works like a sharpie, but it clicks open like a pen. Such a handy little thing. The eyelet outlet has a really unique kind of eyelet. It attaches using a pen, no loud tools necessary. I love this adorable pink spray bottle that is about the size of a large marker called mist it by Inspired Crafts. Oh, and I got these amazing glue dots in a class...I know everyone has glue dots. But, I'll bet you don't have pop up glue dots. They are like glue dots on steroids. They are a mix between a pop dot and a glue dot. Very handy for attaching heavy things. There are these cool erasers called Moo that don't leave crumbs all over when you are erasing, just one smooth thread that is easily removed. I can see these will be helpful with colored pencil work.

I hope you aren't bored with all this yakking, but I want to share with you before I forget. I have a hot lunch date with my honey, and he's tapping his toes. Gotta run for now. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Some of my favorite things

So sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I've been busy with my real life duties. People demand to be fed and need clean socks. I also met with both of my card groups and helped out at my parents. I taught my first card making class today and it was a success. Of course there was much needed sleep to find. My body was threatening an all out germ war if it didn't get some rest. So, on to what you want to know....

Here are a few favorite things from CHA.

Maya Road was a top pick company for me. They have these wonderful 12" x 12" flexible black plastic diecut sheets in 6 designs. I can see masking possibilities with these. They had cute diecut chipboard and plastic keychains that need to be stamped and inked. Yummy flowers that wanted to jump in my pocket. They also had some adorable little clear stamps in single packages.

New tiny shapes of grungeboard by Tim Holtz idea-ology with lots of cardmaking possiblities or even jewelry making uses. I know some people think that grungeboard smells, but it just smells like leather to me. A 3" scallop circle punch by EK success that hardly weighed anything. I don't like to use heavy things. Martha has some more of her new border punches that also emboss coming out. They look like fun if you are willing to spend your money on her stuff.

Die! There is so much happening here. I think this is really going to explode. If you don't have a die cut machine just hang on for a bit. Spellbinders had a prototype of an electric machine, not computerized. Basically it works like any of the hand crank machines without the crank, just press a button. I loved this, since I have issues with my hands. They were not allowing pics, but somebody out there may have sneaked one. The new machine is called Xcalibur. The new Slice was very popular with the computerized die cutting crowd.

I saw lots and lots of felt everywhere by many companies. It wasn't that fuzzy kind you buy in sheets for 25 cents, but a denser type of felt die cut or maybe even laser cut into amazingly intricate designs. Some was self adhesive like the stuff from Queen & Co. Big fat chunky glitter was on lots of samples.

I saw lots of clear stamps by every company out there practically. I'm not wild about clear stamps, but if you love them then you have alot more choices coming soon. I saw a trend toward cling mount on rubber stamps by most companies and some that offer a choice of cling mount or wood mount like CHF. There are a few that offer wood mount only, but that seems to be dwindling. A new company called Unity Stamp has some very cool stuff that's a hybrid of red rubber cling mount and wood mount. You have to check out the video on Craft Critique of their stamps.

Tsukeniko has a new line of inkpads in 24 yummy colors called Memento. They come in full sized pads and also in dewdrops. I love those little dewdrops, but how the heck do you store them. Well, check out these prototype racks they had in the booth. I could use some of these if they decide to make them. Maybe if we let them know, it will happen. So, I guess we might all need more ink! LOL

I saw more companies going green. Recycled paper was big. I love companies that are socially aware. Fiskars wins big with me. They were taking donations for developmentally disabled children in exchange for engraved scissors. They engraved a brand new pair of scissors for each person right on the spot in exchange for a donation. I have no idea what this cost the company, but judging by the length of the line it had to be a major donation.

Kits were big. Anything you could imagine was available in a kit somewhere. I love the idea of trying out something new with a kit. There were kits for soldering, jewelry making, watercoloring cards, memory clocks, and so much more. What a great way to start on a new little venture in crafting.

I'm not going to talk about paper because honestly anything your heart desires is available. I can't even believe how much paper is out there. If you want it, you should be able to find it. The economy may be having trouble, but it seems like everyone can afford a little paper or ink to help craft away the blues. I didn't see any sign of a recession at CHA.

CHA Afterglow

OMG....what fun! I am almost at a loss of adjectives to describe the last few days. Every single person I met was amazing in their own way. First of all, I'm so happy I got to meet up with a few of my Craft Critique pals. Sarah is overflowing with energy right up to her adorable pink hair. Martha and Kim are cutting edge artists behind the big camera lens. I love that they are working on their next post or scrapbook page constantly. I don't know how I got in this group, but I'm honored to be a part of it.

I want to share with you my top pick from CHA. I absolutely fell in love with ART Declassified. They make cling mount red rubber stamps marketed in CD Cases. The owner of the company, Karen, took me on a tour of the booth. She shared with me the stories behind her stamps. Each stamp has a little story. Many of the people are family members with names. Her daughter's eyes are featured on one of the new stamps. I love this. What a wonderful personal touch. Ok, are you ready for the part that almost knocked me over. She got a better price on production of her stamps, so she lowered the prices. You can pick up her stamps for $5.98 to 18.98 per set. How amazing is that. It was so refreshing to talk with a business owner who is interested in much more than the bottom line. Here is a link to all of her newly released stamps.

This is a pic of the adorable make and take gum holder I made in their booth along with a pin that Karen gave to me before I left. The stamp set is such a fun one, and the pocket holder is a project I made a while back using their stamps. More CHA dish soon. I need to get my stuff unpacked and organized.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I am off to play at CHA today and tomorrow with my fellow craft critique pals. I hope to have a ginormous amount of pics to share with you when I return. We are posting lots and lots of stuff on craft critique this week. If you want to know about all the new crafty goodies coming to your shops soon, please stay tuned. Today we have a carnival of sneak peeks listed and a little blip on how you can win some goodies.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

getting outside the box

I never really thought much about my style of stamping. I just do what feels right to me at the moment. When we went to the stamp show a couple of weeks ago there were alot of clean style cards. You know, cute, simple, white space. They really appealed to me, and we talked about trying to do some cards like them. Heather posted a love bites challenge and since she was with me at the show, I thought I'd try her challenge with this style.

So here is the finished card. The concept was so much easier than the execution of this one. I learned something about my style. I think my cards have the look they do because I am a messy stamper. I can't keep a white piece of paper white to save my life. You can't even imagine the troubles I went through making this one. I could have made a 1/2 dozen cards in my regular messy style in the time it took to make this one.

Then I decided to try out one more thing from that stamp show. I got some of that fun prima paintable paper. It reminds me of those doodle posters I used to color in with markers back in the day. Even thought this was black and white, it wasn't clean. I could mess around with paint. That made it messy. I like messy. Here is the little funny valentine page I made with it.

I love this one even though it's way out of the box from my normal style. I tried Beth's tutorial on watercoloring with tombows to do this. I have been admiring Jennifer's watercoloring with tombows, and was so happy to finally learn how. Oh, I love watercoloring with tombows. You have to try it. I only did one thing different than the tutorial. I used a waterbrush. I like the ease of it. I'm sure it worked on this project because pink and red are so close together, so if the colors blend, who cares. See, I'm a messy stamper.

I did a review of this prima paintable paper that will be on Craft Critique tomorrow.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Getting to Know You....

When I was a young teen my mom started taking me to the theater. She is one of those amazing people who believe that you should try everything in life once and if you like it, do it again. There is a small disclaimer she always includes in this statement - as long as it isn't immoral or illegal. Mom loves the theater, so we have been many times. I can remember the very first time she took me to LA to the big theater to see The King and I with Yul Brynner. What an absolutely magical experience. We even had lunch at the Brown Derby first. I remember nearly every detail of that day.

Last year Mom and I took a trip to NYC with my son to see his first real Broadway show. He chose Tarzan, which wasn't our first choice. But really you can't go wrong with a Broadway musical. It was a magical night. The theater had the fancy gilt and heavy velvet curtains and amazing sets and all the magic. He fell in love with the theater that night, I could see it in his beaming face.

So, this summer Mom bought tickets to the local series of broadway shows for she, Kyle, and I . We went to the first one in the early fall, West Side Story . Then the second in the series was Seussical the Musical. None of us had seen it. We were so excited, but Mom was hospitalized earlier that week. She couldn't go with us. My husband took her place and we enjoyed a magical show. But, I missed her terribly.

Yesterday was the third of the musical series, The King and I that I fell in love with those many years ago. Mom was not able to join us due to her poor health. Kyle's adorable friend Julia, went with us yesterday on Mom's suggestion. She and Kyle both had these amazing huge grins on their faces at intermission. They were falling in love with the theater and The King and I. Julia said that she had never been to an amazing show like this before, and it made my heart happy that we could be there to share it with her. By the time the play was over I had no makeup on any part of my face. I cried for Anna, I cried for the King, and I cried because Mom wasn't there to share this magical day with us.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

and more tyvek

I told you that I'd be posting tons of this stuff. It's just so fun to play with. The stamps are both new to me and now they are inked up. The sentiment is CTMH. The fun block print like image is by Toomuchfun. I got it from an etsy seller who is cleaning out some of her stamps. I don't know if I should share the link with you. She has so much wonderful stuff and her shipping is great. Ok, if you have to know, go check out siennamoon's shop.

Supplies used: SU cheesecloth background stamp, toomuchfun image, CTMH sentiment, tyvek, mulberry paper, hemp twine, brown staz-on, chalk ink, kaleidacolor ink.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


I'm having fun playing with a new kind of background paper. This is made from Tyvek which is that really tough nearly indestructible paper that you see envelope mailers made from. If you haven't seen this stuff yet, check out the express mail envelopes the next time you are at the post office. It has a really wonderful texture to it. I brayered a ton of this stuff with ink today, so you will probably be seeing a whole parade of cards made with it. I'm thinking this will be the card I teach next week at our stamp club. Not sure if you can tell, but the clock face with the brad in the middle is stamped on transparency and cut out. The rest is stamped directly on the tyvek background. Check out this link if you'd like to play in Embee's tyvek challenge, too.

Supplies used: CTMH stamps, staz-on ink, transparency, tyvek, brayer, vintage twill tape, black brad, kaliedacolor autumn leaves spectrum stamp pad, antique linen distress ink.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stamping Fun

Take a peek over at 2peas stamping board this week. So many talented stampers are posting challenges and tutorials to help get the creativity rolling here in the depths of winter. I see two challenges posted already tonight and many more to come soon. The link above takes you to the master list of all the challenges. What a fun group it is over at the stamping 2 peas crowd. I've hosted challenges in the past, but am not able to this round. I'll just be playing along. Now, I need to get out there in the recycling bin to find a tyvek envelope to play with. And, I need to see where some cheesecloth is, that's for another challenge. See, I told you it would be fun.

It's been a good, busy day around here. I helped out at Mom and Dad's earlier. Then this evening I made a reservation to stay overnight at CHA next weekend. I've been perusing the amazing list of who will be there and trying to plan a strategy. I think the most important thing will be to have a couple pair of comfortable shoes and lots of water.

Wear Red

Today is the beginning of heart health awareness month. There is a fun movement on to wear a red dress today to help bring awareness to this issue. I'll wear my red socks and sweater with my jeans, but wouldn't it be fun to wear a dress like this. This is stamped on patterned paper and cut out. Darn near everything on this card is embossed. The definition seems to fit for heart health and I cut it from a 1940's dictionary that I love to use. It's so much easier to create in a clean room. I spent the better part of yesterday shoveling out my mess. Ahhhhh....
Also, I have a book review up on Craft Critique today if you'd like to take a peek.