Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue Moon Challenge at Gingersnap Creations

It's that rare time.... a Once in a Blue Moon Challenge for a fifth Wednesday of the month at Gingersnap Creations!  This time we challenge you to create something based on a prior Gingersnap Creations Art Exchange theme.  You can see all of the Gingersnap Creations Art Exchange posts by following *THIS LINK*.  For my piece, I chose the Party Time Postcard exchange.... which was to make a party-themed creation using a 4 x 6 inch format.  I decided to keep with this month's theme (but you don't have to!) of Babes and Tots, and created a little beach party scene using the adorable kids from Rogue Redhead Designs Beach Babes plate.  I colored them with Copics and altered them a bit to fit the party theme.... the little girl in orange now carries a gift bag with tissue peeking out of the top, and the little boy now sports a patterned paper party hat (as does the cutie in pink), and the little gal in the pink dress now carries party balloons instead of a handkerchief.  They are on a sandy beach (leftover background that I made with distress inks), with a patterned paper banner in the background (I believe the paper is from Glitz).  I added the beach party letters along one of the banners, and also added some postcard-type stamps, too (from Stampin' Up and Artistic Outpost).  Isn't it cool... the postmark says Ocean Grove, and I was sooooo close on the date, LOL! 

I hope you'll have the chance to play along!  And ... you've got one more day to sign up for the current Art Exchange, which is Encouraging Words magnets.  Head on over to Gingersnap Creations for the details. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paris ATC

Where oh where has the week gone?  I think maybe my cat stole it.  He's been jostling open the door to my craft room and stealing my ribbon that I have rolled onto vintage clothespins.  He comes downstairs and deposits them in my shoes, or next to my purse.  So, I think he may be stealing my days, too.... yep, that's my story. ;)

Sharing a little ATC I made for a swap I was just in, where the theme was travel.  Three of us chose Paris in some way!  For my version, I started out with a photocopy of a vintage Paris map.  The colors were a little bright, so I opened it in my photo editing program, reduced the vibrancy by about 60%, then tweaked the colors to be warmer than they appeared, and presto! - it had just the colors I wanted.  I did a little stamping on it, too, for a more layered effect.  Next up was the Eiffel Tower image, from I Brake For Stamps.  I first made a background using a variety of Glimmer Mists, then stamped the image in black.  I went back in and added some color with a small dose of Mustard Seed distress ink (that's one very vivid color.... a teensy itty bit goes a long way!)  Then I added color to the flowers using colored pencils, and traced over the word "Paris" with a white gel pen.  I added a stamped Paris cancellation mark and stamped French postage.  I love making ATCs, and this was a fun little project.

I hope everyone along the East Coast of the US stays safe this weekend!  I'm sure many of us will be without power as Hurricane Irene surges through.  Take care and take cover!  Hurricane force winds and torrential rains can affect areas farther inland than you might imagine.... Hurricane Fran was still a category 1 storm when it came through central North Carolina in 1996, and it caused severe damage and power outages that lasted several days (we had a giant oak tree on our house for weeks! and...were without power for 4 days, which was much shorter than some others in the surrounding area).  Just sayin'....  don't treat this thing too lightly.  Okay, end of lecture, LOL!

Have a happy weekend everyone! Hopefully I will still have power so that I can blurf and blog!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rogue Redhead Beach Babes

A quick little post today of a card I made with the new Beach Babes set from Rogue Redhead Designs - you can see the details on the Rogue Redhead blog *here*.

Did you know that Rogue Redhead Designs ships to the UK and Canada now??? (as well as in the US, of course).  And there is a special discount on the Beach Babes set going on right now..... you can get the details on the blog or in the shop.  Just a little enabling for a fabulous Friday. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gingersnap Creations Tribute to Teens

I love the Random Redhead challenges over at Gingersnap Creations - there's always something to stretch you, make you puzzle a bit, and they're just a whole lotta fun!  This month is certainly no exception, because GC115 is: a Tribute to Teens!  Aaaahhhh, the teen years.  Actually, my kids are currently in the Tween years, so I guess this is just a warm-up.  My 12-year-old daughter loves art, she loves to craft right along beside me, and she was just a teensie bit miffed when I said I was going to do my teen tribute piece for her 10-year-old brother.  Truth is, I really don't have much in the way of girlie teen stuff.  But I hoped I could come up with something boyishly fun.  So I started by asking my son what colors he liked.  "Orange.  And green.  And maybe blue.  And black."  Hmmmmm....  "How about for hockey teams, what colors then?"  "Purple and silver.  And green and gold," he says.  Double hmmmm.......  Okay, I can't use all of those, so I picked the ones I thought would be most "cool" and went with it!

My son is a goalie, and part-time defenseman.  (Did you know that NONE of the equipment for these two positions overlaps????  Sorry, had a hockey mom angst moment just then.)  So, a hockey canvas for him. This is a 6x6 canvas that I first covered with black gesso.  Then I layered on some clippings from a USA Hockey magazine using gel medium.  After that was dry, I thinned down some more black gesso and applied it all over to tone down the graphics a bit.  Next, I thinned down some orange acrylic paint and squished it along the side with a wide brush, allowing it to drip down the canvas.  (The lingo for ice hockey goalies is that they "melt down" the puck.... wanted to capture that melting feeling.)  More drying time.  I added some gaffer tape from 7 Gypsies, then used the same technique with some deep blue acrylic, this time letting it "melt" down from the top left-hand side.  More drying...... Next up, I used an old plastic cap dipped in Golden Interference Gold to make some iridescent gold circles - sorta icy, sorta pucky, and it checks off another of my son's preferred colors.

For the feature goalie image, I heat-embossed the goalie silhouette onto black paper, then added orange embossing powder.  (Goalie stamp is by My Heart Stamps For You.)  Before I heat set it, I stamped over it with Tim Holtz's reflections numbers stamp.  Yes, I know, the numbers are backwards this way.  Truth is, I tried it the proper way into the embossing ink and it didn't work with the thick Zing! embossing powder I was using, so I just went for the very subtle patterned effect. It sorta looks like numbers, but not really.  Then I heated the embossing powder.  I like it - a goalie's life is filled with numbers - save percentage, goals against average, shoot-out percentage, etc.... I liked the subtle reference to go along with the numbers on the tape.  I "melted" a tiny bit of blue paint down the goalie, and gel medium-ed it onto the canvas.  As a finishing touch, I painted the word "larceny" in a graffiti font.  (More background - the lingo for a really, really good save is "larceny" - as in, you have stolen the puck away from the shooter, stealing his score.)

I took the canvas downstairs to where my son was playing a video game.  He looked up at me, looked at the canvas, *smiled*, and said, "Cool."

Ahhhh, success. ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sail Away

Edited to add: I had a question about what kind of watercolor crayons I used.  Funny thing, that.  I am a total newbie at this, but I'll tell you what I've experienced so far.  Just a few weeks ago I purchased a small, cheap Staedtler set to see whether I liked them and if I would use them.  12 colors, mostly primary.  They are fun, and I figured I could get by for the near future with that.  When I went to Donna Downey's, however, she had Caran d'Ache Neocolor IIs in her shop, by the set, and *individually*!  I couldn't resist buying a few luscious shades individually (rust, coral, turquoise, olive... stuff like that).  So... the comparison:  both have beautiful, vivid colors.  Both are easy for me to work with.  However.... the Neocolors are definitely creamier, and blend more readily than the Staedtlers (that is, it doesn't take much "scrubbing" to have them blend beautifully).  If you have access to individual Neocolors, I'd say buy a couple.  (Although this is not "cost efficient" compared to the sets, it makes sense if you are unsure about what you want or how much you'll use them.  This way you've only invested a few bucks.  Try getting a few colors that are not in the smaller sets, that way you won't have overlap if you decide to invest in a set.)  But if you don't have Neocolors nearby and you want to try out watercolor crayons for the first time, the less expensive versions are still very nice, too.  So that's the long answer, LOL! Hope that helps.

Happy Friday. :)  Today I have a little clean and simple card featuring images from a brand new plate from Rogue Redhead Designs called "Beach Babes."  I decided that this little boat image, border design, and sentiment would go along perfectly over at the Less Is More Challenge, which this week is to use the colors of your nation's flag.  A little send-off to summer with the Red White and Blue.  I wanted to play with some new watercolor crayons I purchased, so I stamped the boat a bit off-center and filled in the sea and sky with crayons.  The boat is paper pieced, with a little crayon color added.  I scratched out some splashing waves with an Xacto knife.  The greek key border is embossed in dark blue, the sentiment stamped in a deep red.  The hardest part about this card was photographing it!  You can click for a larger view.... something went wonky in my photo processing efforts and I think I've ended up with a bit of a blurry image in the regular sized version.  I've also been having trouble uploading images to blogger again..... anyone?

I've got a few more pics of projects from my classes with Donna Downey.  Here are a few album pages from the Heart and Soul class......
Masking, glimmer misting, inking..... fun stuff.  Here's to a happy weekend for all! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Good Times and Happy Mail!

Well, it seems I've gone from having nothing to share to having so much to share that I've got to split it over a few posts!  I have returned from an amazing, inspiring, fun, and fab-u-lous weekend at Donna Downey Studios.  The journal above was made in her "Butterfly Moments" class, and is a canvas mini album.  We did lots of fun distressing with papers, inks, and paints.  The main butterfly portion is from a 12x12 canvas sheet available here.  We ripped and distressed it, then painted over it with Shimmerz, which is paint infused with mica.  Loooove it!  Here's a close-up:
Canvas letters, Prima flowers, book text.... so many of my favorite things were included in this class!  Here's a peek at an inside page, done by applying distress inks and spritzing them with water:
Okay, so enough about me...... the most fabulous surprise was waiting for me when I got home, from the lovely Linda at My Happy Place blog:
How awesomely gorgeous is this?????  A beautiful layered mini canvas, a gorgeous coordinating card, an adorable little tag, and... hello!...... the envelope was even stamped and painted to coordinate! Wow!  I am so, so very grateful that Linda shared this with me - Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!  I love each and every piece.  How wonderful are blog friends?!?!  I am in awe.

Hope everyone has been having a wonderful summer.  It's been busy around here, I haven't been to your beautiful blogs nearly as much as I would like.  Hoping the pace will slow a little in these last, sweltering days of summer.  I've still got more to post.... but it will have to wait a bit.... ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Classes with Donna Downey!

Hello everyone,
No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I've just fallen out of my craft room chair, LOL!  We've been away for awhile (in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland, visiting family), and doing all sorts of kid things - starting school, orientations, the start of sports seasons, the ending of sports seasons......

BUT - this weekend I get to have some UBER artsy crafty time with none other than the delightful Donna Downey!  I'm so excited to be going off and having some uninterrupted, serious-but-fun creative time.  I'm taking three classes - Heart and Soul, Butterfly Moments, and Inspiration Journal: Creating a Visual Diary.  If anyone is in the general area of Charlotte, North Carolina, it sounds like there is still some room to enroll.  You can check it out at Donna Downey Studios.

When I come back I'll share some of my projects (yikes - that's a bit scary - I'm definitely out of my box here!).  I'm also expecting a certain gorgeous stamp set to be in my mailbox sometime very soon.... that's all I'm sayin'! ;)

Have a fabulous weekend!