Monday, 17 November 2014

Winter Deer

These wintry Impression Obsession dies -- Birch Trees and Deer Trio -- remind me so much of life in Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains, a stone's throw from where I live in Colorado. However, we don't have cardinals here. Instead, we have different types of jays, including the magnificent Stellar Jay. Perhaps in the next version of this card, I'll switch out the red cardinals for the blue jays.

The background features a Stampin' Up Christmas tree, stamped in a variety of green and grey inks. In theory, this is a relatively easy card, but cutting and assembling pieces was a bit of a bear!

Fall Foliage Tutorial

Here is a perfect gift or decoration for your upcoming Thanksgiving gathering. You can find the tutorial for this mixed media piece by clicking here.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Autumn Card Tutorials

This month, I had the privilege to teach autumn-inspired card classes at Artsy Stamps and Paper Crafts Studio here in Loveland, Colorado.

Now that the classes are completed, I wanted to share the tutorials with you, as I realize that most of my followers are strewn around the world!

Click here to view tutorials. If you enjoy these cards and tutorials, please leave me a comment. Thanks! Happy stamping!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Fall Foliage & Perfect Poinsettia

 Autumn is in full force here in Colorado, and that means pumpkins, apples, scarecrows and falling leaves. Here is a little display in my living room, with a mixed media piece in the center.

My "Give Thanks" autumnal artwork features Tim Holtz Distressed Leaves die, gesso and stenciling, and lots of Silks Acrylic Glazes. I will be teaching this mixed media class at the Artsy Stamps & Paper Crafts in Loveland on Wednesday, November 12 from 2 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, November 30, I have another mixed media class at Artsy from 1 to 4 p.m. We will be getting into the spirit of Christmas with this Perfect Poinsettia decorative artwork. More Silks Acrylic Glazes have been put into use, along with dies, gesso and chipboard.
If you're in the Northern Colorado area, I'd love to have you sign up for these mixed media classes!

Monday, 24 March 2014

All the Glitz and Glamour

When I bought a big bag of papier mache eggs years and years ago, I was a novice at altered art. My first attempts at transforming the boring brown-papered eggs were woeful. I even taught a class in altering eggs back then, and I am glad the ladies were so easy going. LOL!

Now I am a bit of an altering art addict. If a tin or box or other interesting vessel sits around too long, I am bound to grab it and start slapping on some Art Institute glue, designer paper, glitter, beads and buttons and spray loads of glimmer mist and apply lots of Tim Holtz Distress inks.

This past week, when I revisited the remaining papier mache eggs, I was filled with some kind of zest and lust, and I dove in with unrelenting energy. I found every time I walked past my art studio that I was magnetically pulled in, feeling an irresistible urge to paint a few more eggs or glue on more beads.

I've finally run out of eggs! Here's what I've created. 
 Twinkling H20s were painted onto the papier mache eggs. Pearl beads were glued on using Art Institute Glitter Glue. The pink velvet ribbons were glued into place and run through big pink buttons. The egg on the left also has glitter.
 The eggs were painted in a light pink acrylic first, and then pearlescent acrylic was brushed on and partially wiped off. I used a small Stampin' Up! flower punch and pink cardstock. The wee flowers were sprayed with glimmer mist and glued onto the eggs. Finally, little pearl beads were glued on.

This is a complicated egg! It has embossing powder, fabric, bugle beads and microbeads!
The underlying egg was painted in Twinkling H20s. I then brushed glue all over the egg and sprinkled on Flower Soft. The individual flowers and pearls were then glued on. Finally, the egg was sprayed with some copper glimmer mist.

 Twinkling H20s were used to color the egg. Prima flowers were stuck on and then the whole thing was sprayed with a silvery glimmer mist.

 Pieces of designer paper were punched out with a flower punch. These flowers were glued on with Art Institute glitter glue. Pearlescent glimmer mist was then sprayed over the egg and beads were glued on.
 Prima flowers were distressed with Tim Holtz inks. Pieces of designer paper were punched out with a flower punch. These flowers were glued on with Art Institute glitter glue. Various glimmer sprays were used on the egg and the flowers were glued on.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Vintage Collage

Tim Holtz March edition of his 12 tags of 2014 was my inspiration for this card, which features a vintage-collage stamped image from Magenta and is adorned with an egg from the Stampin' Up's Backyard Basics.

Once again, I used some of the 1950s English manila luggage tags, which I had bought on an excursion to an antiques fair in Epsom, Surrey. The old string on the tag was repurposed as a tie around the body of the tag.
First, begin by stamping the tag in brown ink (I used Stampin' Up! Soft Suede). Then use a selection of light blue and blue-green markers to color and shade the dragonfly. The markers will blend the brown ink, too, creating a subtle mottled effect. Smudge the edges of the tag by using a sponge and Tim Holtz Festive Berries Distress Ink. If you don't like red as a highlight, you can play with other Distress Inks that suit your background paper choices.

Stampin' Up!'s new Backyard Basic stamp set has a matching Sizzix Framelits die set, so that you can easily trim out any of the pieces of the set.

To color the egg, use a blending marker and dab it into a Stampin' Up! Baja Breeze (or Marina Mist) ink pad. The goal is to create shading and highlighting, and a blending marker gives more gradation of color. Then use the blending marker in the Distress Ink Festive Berries, but gently wipe the marker on a paper towel to leave only a light hint of the red. To make the egg luminescent, and to hide some of the color strokes, spray the eggs with Perfect Pearls Biscotti (any pearlescent glitz spray will work).
The designer paper is made by BoBunny and the sentiment stamps are from Stampin' Up! As these cards will suit a multitude of uses, you can stamp labels that say 'happy birthday,' 'thinking of you,' 'thank you,' 'miss you,' etc. I like to keep a handful of these labels in a plastic bag and adhere them to the card when I know how I will use them. The manila tag was adhered using 3-D foam adhesive squares to raise it off the background paper. Play around with tying the string to get a knot you like.

Altered Gift Tin

Crate & Barrel's Christmas candy tins are just too wonderful to throw out once emptied of their yummy treats. For years, I've been addicted to creating altered art with candy tins, tea tins, boxes, trays and more. Here is my latest creation: a gift box decorated with BoBunny paper and embellishments for my friend LaDonna. I then filled the tin with all kinds of goodies.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Vintage Tags, Vintage Lady

My little family has been blessed with the opportunity to move around a bit and live in and explore other countries. While I am now residing in Colorado, where my husband and I plan to retire, we recently moved from Fetcham, England, where we had been living for five years.

While in England, I discovered one of my favorite diversions was browsing antique fairs and hanging out in auction rooms. There is a regular antique fair held at the Epsom Downs Racecourse, just up the road from where we used to live. The last time I was there, my crafty friend Pam and I stumbled across a young man selling all kinds of vintage office supplies and furniture odds and ends. He had stacks and stacks of manilla-style tags, which he said were from the 1950s. Well, paper crafters LOVE to use tags, and Pam and I almost bought out his entire collection.

I finally have put some of these tags to use on this 'vintage lady' card. I thought: vintage lady, vintage tags! And I set out to distress and age the tags even more.

First of all, I dropped some of Tim Holtz Tattered Rose Distress Reinker onto the waterproof craft sheet.

Then I sprayed some water to dilute the solution and then mix and spread the solution around on the craft sheet. I then laid the tags onto the wet mess to distress the tags.
Once they were mostly dry, I cut the tags to a length of 4.25 inches, so that they be the right size for a standard 4.25 x 5.5 inch card.

The next step was to apply Broken China Distress Stain to the edges. The stains have a nice spongy applicator, which worked perfectly to drag around the tag. I used my sophisticated tool, better known as my index finger, to smudge and spread the blue ink even more.
You can see from the images that you are trying to create a frame of blue.
Once the tags were dry, I used a stamp of a vintage lady and inked it in brown, which created a more subtle image than using black.

I played around with a variety of background papers, embossing folders, and flowers to finish the card.

I made about eight versions of this card, and I often like to keep my sentiment labels separate until I know how I will use the cards. There is nothing more frustrating when you have a perfect card for a friend's birthday, but you've already stuck on a 'thank you' label. This way, I'm always ready to go and pop just the right card into the mail.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Valentine's Day tea swap

I've been participating in a tea forum with a group of lovely ladies for quite a few years. Our group, Afternoon Tea Across America, 'meets' on Facebook and shares information and tidbits about tea.

For Valentine's Day, we have decided to have a card and tea swap. Of course, I had to MAKE my cards as that's half the fun of it for me. In addition to making the card, I also used a die and embossing folder to create heart-shaped tea bags using coffee filters. These were filled with loose-leaf tea and sewn up to seal. I then created die-cut pouches to hold the tea, too. I will post those photos later.

This Valetine's Day card features Stampin' Up's 'If the Halo Fits' and 'Morning Cup'. In addition, the sentiments come from SU's 'Teeny Tiny Sentiments' and Waltzing Mouse.

I used both Twinkling H2Os and Stampin' Up markers for coloring and shading. You can see that lots of SU Dazzling Diamond glitter was liberally applied. I am a glitter gal!

To create a more vintage appearance, I sprayed 
Perfect Pearls Mists in Biscotti for antique luster. Even the little punched pink flowers were sprayed with Perfect Pearls. Tim Holtz distress inks were used on edges and sentiments to add to the vintage feel. A few hand-drawn hearts were spread around the design. 

StazOn Jet Black, which is waterproof, was used for stamping the images.