Welcome to my blog. Over the years that I have been stamping and paper crafting, I have so often been inspired by the ideas on other sites and blogs. I hope I can pay that back in some measure with my own. (In between laughs -- or cackles as my son calls it!)

November 7, 2014

Watercolored Bookmarks

To make these bookmarks, I first covered a large sheet of watercolor paper in a rainbow wash.  Rock salt was thrown on to the paper while it was still wet, for interesting texture.  Then I cut bookmark-size strips, approximately 7 x 2.5 inches, give or take depending on the stamp I chose.

I used a variety of stamps -- in black embossing powder and one in white embossing powder.  The butterflies were stamped on coordinating patterned papers and fussy cut and adhered.  All the other bookmarks use only one stamp.  This made these a very quick and easy project.

All were matted on either black or white card stock and coordinating ribbons added.

November 5, 2014

Yarn cap ornaments

Look at the video of these fun yarn cap ornaments that I found on You Tube!

So easy and a great way to use up those pesky yarn scraps.  Of course they are designed to be ornaments, but I can also see them as package decorations, or place cards at the Christmas table (you could hang a tag with the guest's name from the pompom).  Wouldn't they be fun made in everyone's high school or college colors?

November 1, 2014

Bon Voyage for Leona!

My BFF Leona is heading off to Asia for five weeks -- first to Taiwan, where she grew up, then to Myanmar (formerly Burma) along with some friends who have relatives living there.  Here's the Bon Voyage card that I made for a group of friends to sign.

I did a collage style with two retired Stampin Up! sets (Travel Post and Travels Abroad) and a Tim Holtz set.  I used various chalk and distress inks.  The "twine" is actually frayed strands from some old burlap that I couldn't bear to throw away a while back.  I threw on three leaves that I had left over from an encaustic wax session last month...because, well, I love leaves, they coordinated with the color scheme, and it is still autumn, although you wouldn't know it from the chilly weather we had on Halloween yesterday..

Inside is a Bon Voyage greeting.

October 1, 2014

Drawing class at COD

In late August, I started a "Drawing I" class at College of DuPage.  While I've always been artsy-craftsy, and as you know I adore rubber stamping, I really wanted some formal training to develop my drawing skills.

The instructor has led us through several weeks of skill build-up.  She started with line/contour, then we moved on the proportion, then to value/form.  Lately we focused on positive and negative shapes and we just started a landscape unit.

I'd like to share a few pencil sketches out of my homework sketchbook that I was quite happy with.  

The first two are of leaves that I picked up on walks around the neighborhood. I like these so much that I'm seriously considering doing a set of notecards with them.

The third one is a fall frosted glass candleholder.  I picked it up at a garage sale for a $1.  Actually I bought a pair.  I worked hard to make the frosted glass look.

The last one is my favorite.  It's a close-up of my scarecrow in my front courtyard.  I was really happy with how he turned out.


September 13, 2014

More NatGeo Magazine Art

In our People's Resource Center class, we've spent the last 4 weeks creating, and then further altering, pages from National Geographic magazines using the CitraSolv technique.  Read more about that, here.

Now, in upcoming classes, we'll be taking the magazine art in a different direction.  By cutting strips, and either rolling them on a diagonal or folding and weaving them, you can get some pretty cool creations.  Cover boxes, cover picture frames, or use a form to make a 'vase', there are a lot of possibilities.  It takes a little patience and some tacky glue, but I've finished some samples that I'd like to share.

As you can see, I've done both rolled strips and folded strips for weaving.  I was especially happy with how the one that was just black and white text pages turned out.  It uses 1 inch strips, folded.  Really like it!

In the next example, I used some of the altered CitraSolv pages.  I purposely chose some of the 'uglier' pages that were just brownish that were kind of leftovers from the class, nobody was giving them any love.  I love how it looks woven, very stone-like or marble-y.  Totally redeemed the 'ugly' pages.  I topped it with a trio of buttons.  These were also 1 inch strips, folded.
I was lucky enough to find an article about sharks that had a lot of blue-toned photos.  This box uses wider strips, about 2.5 inches or so, folded.  I love the monochromatic feel to this.

The hardest piece to do was the rolled circle vase.  It took quite a long time.  I recommend that you be watching a good movie on TV while doing this!  First you have to roll the strips.  Then you flatten then, and wind them around a straw or pencil to the diameter that you want.  I used tacky glue to hold all the circles together, over a yogurt container 'mold' which was covered with plastic wrap.  It's small; not sure I have the stamina to do one much larger.
Finally, here's a larger shot of a box covered in the rolls.  I selected earth tone pages for this box lid and glued the rolls on a diagonal.
Hope you enjoyed these!

August 31, 2014

End of Summer Sunflowers

This card is for my friend Hiroe's birthday.  Sunflowers always seem to be a transitional flower, between late summer and early fall.  It uses a variety of techniques:

  • The mottled green and beige background is one of my altered NatGeo pages.
  • The sunflower is a napkin design, decoupaged directly to the background.
  • The sentiment is from SU's 'Art of Life' set, stamped on to tissue paper and then adhered with ModPodge.  I chose this sentiment for Hiroe because her sweet, sunny disposition always brightens our day!
  • The swirls are by Sheena Douglass (from Crafter's Companion) and are heat embossed with SU olive green embossing powder.
  • I added some brown micro beads (by Martha Stewart) in to the center of the flower.
  • This is then matted on a mustard cardstock, then on to a moss green 5x7" card base.

I love bringing together many different techniques on to one card.

August 24, 2014

Altered NatGeo's

Have you heard of the technique where you use CitraSolv to alter the ink on National Geographic pages?  I took a course on it last year at Create -- and the instructor, Cathy Taylor, has YouTube videos posted.  There's a series of four videos, and really worth watching.

We decided to do this technique last week in the PRC art class that I co-teach.  Basically, the CitraSolv dissolves the ink on the clay-coated premium NatGeo papers, resulting in one of a kind designs that can be further processed, or used as is, for collage papers.  We had to do it in the parking lot because of the fumes...but the ladies had fun and we made some beautiful papers.  Here is just a small sampling from one magazine only; aren't they cool!
Next week we'll take the papers we made and further process them with stencils or paint.  I was doing up some samples for the class and here's a look.  These were hard to photograph because the glossy magazine pages kept reflecting the flash.

This first one is 8x10" uses a fish stencil from The Stencil Girl.  I used it on heavy Bristol paper and collaged several other papers to make a sea scene.
The second one is 8x10 also and uses leaf stencils (I think from Crafters Workshop).  I cut oak leaves from several different papers with cool patterns.  To some, I added a touch of metallic copper paint.  The quotation is heat embossed in black.  It was serendipity that the globe in the upper right was not dissolved by the CitraSolv; it echoes the quotation beautifully!
These next two are smaller scale, and use new fish and tiger stencils that I bought from iStencils.  In person, the backgrounds on these are amazing.  
And finally, two more.  The cityscape and reflection stencil is from the Stencil Girl; the aspen/birch trees are from The Crafters Workshop.  I added a bit of glitter to the cityscape reflection.