Monday, August 3, 2015

Hello August

Hello everyone, hope you had a great weekend and ushered in this last full month of summer in style.  Hard to believe that it is indeed August but that's what the calendar is saying so it must be true!

I made another banner for our ongoing swap at the Mixed Media Studio, this one for the month of August.  While making my creativity art journal page, I thought that many of the elements I had die cut for it would work well for a summer banner.  So I die cut another bird, a branch and some leaves from fabric using the Birds, Bird Branch and Arbor dies.  I then searched my fat quarter stash and found a batik style dragonfly and butterfly print and used that as the background.

The bright yellow and oranges of the background fabric really said summer to me as did all the lovely butterflies and dragonflies flitting about on it.

I cut the bird from muslin and stamped it with a text stamp, thinking the lighter colour would pop off of the background, but the poor wee guy was just lost.  So I coated him with Glossy Accents hoping that would help but he was still struggling to be seen.  I then decided to outline him with some gold Stickles (there is a gold thread running throughout the background fabric) and gave him a wee gold confetti star for an eye and that seemed to do the trick!

The leaves were cut from two different green hued fabrics and I edged them with a simple straight stitch using some Valdani pearl cotton.

I coloured some white trim that had a metallic thread running through it with some Butterscotch alcohol ink and then attached a bronze coloured nest and eggs charm from my stash with a jump ring to the point of the banner.

Hope my swap partner will like it, now on to the September banner which I have to get made before we head off on holidays, back to the sewing machine!  Have a great week and happy creating!

Deb xo

Monday, July 27, 2015

Creativity Art Journal Page

Howdy blogging peeps!  Hope this finds you all well.   I've been working away on a new art journal page and finally have it completed, this one was a bit of a struggle but worth it in the end I think!

I wanted to join up with the latest challenge at Wendy Vecchi's Make Art challenge blog, the theme this month was polka dots and so I promptly die cut this little bird using the Sizzix Birds die;

stenciled him with some of Wendy's Crackled Texture paste through a polka dot stencil and coloured him with Distress inks and stains in shades of orange and brown.  And that's where I got stuck!  I hemmed and hawed for days trying to figure out where to go and while I mulled it over I made a tag that I'd coloured with the mop up from making the bird.

The colours reminded me of rust so I stenciled a gear with some Ranger texture paste (I used the negative image from a Tim Holtz Gadget Gears die as my stencil),  stamped more gears from a Forever In Time 'Old Fashioned' stamp set and then added the light bulb from a previous project, which I mounted on top of the gear with some foam tape.  The 'creativity' sentiment from Tim Holtz's 'Life Quotes' stamp set seemed a good fit with the light bulb image, so it was added along with some rusty wire.  After I was done, I put the little polka dot bird and the tag together and really liked the way they looked together, so decided they would be the basis for my creativity art journal page.

I coloured the page background with shades of blue distress spray stain and then deepened the colours with distress inks and added some pops of yellow to each side.  Using Tim Holtz's 'Typo' layering stencil and Ranger transparent matte texture paste, I added bits of stenciling around the edges.  I wanted to echo the polka dots on the bird die cut, so I mixed some orange Distress stain into some Ranger texture paste and applied it through the polka dot stencil in random areas on the the journal pages.  When dry I added some marks using a pill bottle lid and a credit card with black and white acrylic paint and then sealed the whole page with Mod Podge.  The 'Explore' sentiment was stamped using Tim Holtz's 'Life Quotes' stamp set and the arrows were stamped from Tim Holtz's 'The Journey' stamp set onto watercolour paper and fussy cut.

I overstamped with gears from the 'Old Fashioned' stamp set, numbers from Tim Holtz's 'Perspective' stamp set and added the corner squares from a Stamper's Anonymous Classics #16 stamp set.

To bring an organic element to the left side of the page, I stenciled the poppy pods from PaperArtsy's 004 ELB stencil using Ranger texture paste and then coloured them while the paste was wet with some Distress stains and a paint brush.  The colours blended and moved as the paste dried, this is definitely something I will do again!  I also wanted to add an industrial element to the poppies so tried an experiment and impressed a gear stamp into the wet texture paste.  As you see some worked better than others, the main reason being I was trying to impress one gear image from a continuous line of gears without smudging any of the other seed heads, but think this would work great if you had a stamp with one distinct image on it to impress into the wet texture paste.  Again, another technique I'll try again on a future project.  I also added some curls of rusty wire in a couple of spots on the page to echo the rusty wire on the hang tag.

More texture paste polka dots here as you see as well as a curled paper clip that I coloured with some alcohol inks and black acrylic paint.  The tag was cut from kraft cardstock using Tim Holtz's Tiny Tabs and Tags die and stamped with the word 'Imagine' from a discontinued Crafty Secrets stamp set.

I threaded the tag onto the curled paper clip, love the dimension it adds to the page.

You can see more of the transparent Typo stenciling here along with another piece of curled rusty wire, love how it seems to be growing out of the stamped circles.

Although I struggled initially with the direction I wanted to go with this project, I have to say that I love the end result and had fun playing with some new ideas and techniques, always a bonus!  I'd like to link this journal page up with the following challenges:

Make Art Challenge Blog - Polka Dots July Challenge (Wendy Vecchi product used Crackle Texture Paste)

Mixed Media World - MMW#5 Stencils

Thanks as always for stopping by and hope that you have a great week.  Happy creating!

Deb xo

Saturday, July 18, 2015

True North

Hello blogging friends, hope you are having a great start to your weekend.  It's going to start heating up again here in B.C. after a brief cool down but we at least got a good amount of rain over the last few days so the forest fire danger rating has gone down, thank goodness.

I was feeling very badly that I did not get my June tag for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags Of 2015 done in time so was determined to get the July tag finished early this month.  And lo and behold, I did it!  I think this is the earliest I've ever completed one of Tim's monthly tags, hopefully it is a sign of things to come!

Tim has a wonderful and detailed tutorial on his blog on how to construct his July tag (click here to view it) so I won't go into too many details but as you can see, I did make a few changes :O)  Tim's tag was a celebration of the 4th of July in America and since I live in Canada, I thought that I would make a very Canadian tag celebrating my country.

My colour palette is red and white for the Canadian flag and I used Distress inks in Barn Door, Fired Brick and a touch of Aged Mahogany.  I hand drew the Canadian flag (hey Stampers Anonymous, how about a Canadiana stamp set? :O) and I added the 'peace' Typed Token since Canada is well known for it's peace keeping duties with the United Nations around the world.  I striped the crinkle ribbon with Barn Door DI on each edge and left the center white to echo the colours of our flag.  I don't have any Distress Micro Glaze, so I went old school and protected my images with candle wax before colouring them with a glaze of red DI.

I used a font called 'Chalk Line Outline' to write Canada and then added some lines with a black Pigma Pen and coloured the letters with a water brush and DI.

There is a line in our national anthem "Oh Canada" that goes "..with glowing hearts we see thee rise, the true North strong and free .." and those words have always touched me deeply.  So I decided to use them on the bottom panel of my tag and Tim's 'Compass' blueprint stamp seemed the perfect image to use.  The stamp was too big to fit in the space I had, so I stamped it, scanned it and then shrunk it down to the right size.  I added the words 'true north' and printed it out on some cardstock.  To continue the red and white theme, I used the red Vial Label and added the words 'strong & free' and coloured a small metal heart with Red Pepper alcohol ink.  The number 1 was stamped using Tim's Worn Text stamp set (Canada Day is on July 1st) and I embossed it with white embossing powder, mounted it on some fun foam and cut it out and edged it with Barn Door DI.

So that's my True North July Tim tag, thanks as always to Mr. Tim Holtz for his continuing inspiration and thanks to you for stopping by my blog.  Have a wonderful weekend and hope that you will be able to find some time to get your fingers inky, happy creating!

Linking this tag up with Dragons Dream Tag It On No 1 Challenge #195

Deb xo

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Happy Thursday everyone and thanks for stopping by.  Today I am very excited to be able to share with you my guest designer project that I made for the current challenge over at A Vintage Journey.
I was honoured to have had my 'A Boy And His Dog' shadow box chosen as a Pinworthy Mention back in May and want to thank Brenda and the rest of the Creative Guides at A Vintage Journey for asking me to do another guest post for them this month.

The theme this month at AVJ is 'Destinations' and this is the prompt that Jenny gave us:

So many people are taking trips to far flung places or exploring locations closer to home right now. With this in mind we would love to see creations based on a destination or place of your choice. Tim has provided stamps themed around the United States, Great Britain and Paris but don't let this restrict you! Let your favourite destination inspire you.

 I have to admit to a moment of panic when I received the prompt for the Destinations theme, being the Mom of three very large rescue dogs means that jet setting off to exotic and cultured locales is definitely not something we do around here!  But then I noticed that Jenny said to 'let your favourite destination inspire you' and I knew what to do, an art journal page celebrating our favourite camping and fishing vacations.

Every year in September we load up the truck, trailer, hound dogs and fishing poles and head off to one of the many, many lakes that surround our home here in B.C.  We don't always head to the same place but wherever we end up is always our favourite destination because we get to sit back and relax beside a beautiful lake with each other and our pups, it's pure heaven!  This journal page is a collage of photographs I've taken on our various vacations, stamped images from some great stamp sets and lots of Idea-ology embellishments, Distress inks and texture paste.  If you'd like a closer look at how I composed this page, keep on reading.

I had full intentions of taking step by step photos but you know how it goes, you get on a roll and completely forget to do it.  So I'll try to briefly explain my steps as I go and hope it will help, drop me a line if you have any questions.

I started out by gessoing the pages and sprayed them with Salty Ocean and Peeled Paint distress spray along with a bit of water.  Once dry, I added more colour with distress inks in Stormy Sky, Crushed Olive and Mustard Seed.

Stenciling came next, I used a 'wave' stencil along the bottom (it's a FolkArt stencil by Plaid) and a birch tree stencil in the middle sections (which is now completely covered up unfortunately!).

I mixed some Ranger Texture Paste with Hauser Medium Green acrylic paint and applied it through Tim Holtz's 'Blossom' stencil along the top.

Ranger Translucent Texture Paste was applied along both outside edges through Tim Holtz's 'Tracks' layering stencil and here and there along the bottom edge.  Random overstamping came next with Jet Black Archival Ink and a text stamp, then the pages were sealed with matte Modge Podge and the edges shaded with Burnt Sienna acrylic paint.

The Wander sentiment was stamped on manila cardstock and embossed with clear embossing powder (Artistic Outpost 'Wander and Dream' stamp set).  The Idea-ology Arrow Adornment was colored with alcohol ink and adhered with E6000.  All pictures were resized and printed onto copy paper and adhered with Ranger Matte Multi Medium. (It's hard to see in this picture but Big Dog has his tongue barely stuck out and is just touching the nose of the fish, it's hilarious!)

 'Words' remnant rubs were added to a snippet of 'Filmstrip' ribbon and adhered to the page with Glossy Accents.  The fishing lure was stamped with Jet Black archival ink (Artistic Outpost 'Keeper' stamp set).

The young feller holding his prize catch is from the Artistic Outpost 'Keeper' stamp set and was stamped on manila cardstock and coloured with distress inks and a water brush.  I followed Shari's lead (Ain't That Artsy Fartsy) and stamped the fish from the same AO stamp set separately and mounted it on pop dots.  The whole image was attached to the memo pin and typed token in the same manner as Tim Holtz used for his May 12 Tags of 2015. The end of the memo pin was hidden behind the 'Admit One' ticket from Vectoria Designs.

The picture on the bottom left was taken at Rocky Point campsite on Adams Lake, it was a picture postcard day with not a breath of wind and that huge lake was like a piece of glass, quite amazing and so beautiful!

I continued the same themes and similar motifs on the facing page of the art journal, the 'Always take the scenic route' sentiment (from a Stampers Anonymous Classics #16 stamp set) was created in the same way as the 'wander' sentiment on the opposite side.  Those are words to live by in my book :O)

The picture of the beautiful sunset was taken at Lawrence Lake one early fall evening after a rain storm, once again the water was like glass with only the ripples from rising fish visible on it's surface.

The fishing gal (from the Artistic Outpost 'Keeper' stamp set) was stamped and coloured in the same manner as the young feller on the opposite page.  The 'Breathe' philosophy tag was coloured with Old Paper distress paint and attached to the page with a rusty safety pin and a jump ring.  The pointing hand was torn from a piece of 'Elements' tissue tape and the compass image was stamped with Jet Black archival ink (from the 'Timepieces' by Forever In Time stamp set).

The pickup truck is from Tim Holtz's 'The Journey' Clear Stamps set and the vintage travel trailer was an image I found online and resized to 'tow' behind the pickup truck.  The 'Gone Fishing' sentiment was created using Tim Holtz's Alpha Tiles.  All of the elements were outlined and smudged with a Soot Black distress marker to add shading and dimension.  Since the page had been sealed with Modge Podge and matte multi-medium, it was easy to smudge the distress marker with my finger to create a soft shadow.

Thanks to you for stopping by my blog today and thanks again to the Creative Guides at A Vintage Journey for giving me the opportunity to share my work on their wonderful blog.  If you haven't joined in the fun with the Destinations challenge this month at AVJ I encourage you to give it a try, you're sure to have fun and discover a wonderful new destination in your artful journey!

I'd like to link my Destinations art journal page with the following challenges:

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #14 - Summer Days

Country View Challenges - On Your Travels

Stamps and Stencils - Happy Holidays

Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog - Anything Goes

Artistic Outpost - Show Us Your AO Art July Challenge

Happy creating everyone,


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Those Dang Time Zones

Yepper, two posts in one day, you don't hear from me for weeks and now I'm spamming your blog roll LOL!  But I wanted to post my new Christmas card today before 6:00 p.m. so I could link it up with the latest Jingle Belles challenge ... only thing is I neglected to notice that the deadline was 6:00 p.m. Eastern which was about three hours ago.  The best laid plans, as they say, often go awry and that's definitely the case here!  But since I had it made I decided to post it anyway and here it is.

The theme was 'Silver Belles' so perhaps this was a bit on the nose but I did incorporate some sheet music in the background to echo the musical aspect of the prompt as well.  The jingle bell is one of Tim Holtz's blue print stamps and I stamped it with Stazon ink onto some kitchen foil that I had glued onto cardstock and then I sprinkled the bell with silver embossing powder.  I didn't know if it would work or not but surprisingly it embossed rather well!  Some holiday greens die cuts were placed in behind the bell and the sentiment was die cut using Tim Holtz's 'Holiday Words:Block' die.

So that's it, short and sweet this time (thank goodness you are all saying!), off to get to work on Tim Holtz's July tag for his 12 Tags of 2015.   If you missed my first post today, I posted my version of Tim's June 12 Tags of 2015 earlier so click here if you'd like to take a peek.

Have a great evening and hope you will be able to stop by tomorrow afternoon when I will be posting a new make for a guest designer spot I was honoured to have been asked to do.  Can't say what it is so hope to see you tomorrow for the 'big reveal', till then happy creating!

Deb xo

Better Late? June 12 Tags Of 2015

Good morning everyone, hope this finds you well.  Just wanted to say thanks so much to everyone who has emailed me or commented with good wishes for my wonky back, your kind words are all very much appreciated and I'm happy to say that I'm doing fine.  So fine in fact that I was able to finally get my June Tim Holtz tag completed, better late than never as the saying goes!

I think I procrastinated on making this tag because I didn't have a darn thing in my stash that Tim used to make his tag (click here to see Tim's June tag and his 'how-to' tutorial) and also I have to admit to not being a fan of Starbucks coffee.  Shocking I know and I'm sure some of you may feel the need to unfollow me because of that blasphemous comment (please don't!) but since I don't drink coffee I've never jumped on that particular bandwagon.  So I had to come up with another focal point that could still incorporate all of Tim's June elements and techniques and here is the tag I created.

I love how it turned out!  Those sweet Scribbly Birds just steal my heart.  I did manage to use all of Tim's June tag elements but in different ways and I had to come up with a completely different technique for Tim's plaid background but I think it worked pretty well.  Tim used his 'Stripes' layering stencil for his tag but since I didn't have it I was kind of stumped on how I'd achieve a similar look.  Then I thought of the mark making technique where you use the edge of a credit card dipped in acrylic paint to make lines and hashmarks and wondered if it would work with Distress inks?  You bet it does!

I used three different shade of green Distress ink and randomly added stripes of colour and then lightly misted it with water and let the Distress do it's thing.  I repeated the lines and misting a couple of times until I was happy with the results; it's not exactly like Tim's background but a pretty reasonable facsimile so if you don't have the Stripes stencil either and want to achieve a plaid effect, give it a try!

I fussy cut the Scribbly Bird and coloured her with Distress ink and a water brush and mounted her on pop dots to get the same dimension as Tim had on his tag.  I didn't have any linen ribbon so used a piece of lace trim instead for a 'hanger' which worked well and attached the 'hello' Typed Token with a rusty safety pin and jump ring.  To incorporate Tim's corrugated textured surfaces element, I die cut some 'Arbor' leaves from coloured corrugated card stock and distressed them with Walnut Stain distress ink.

I was a bit stumped at first on how I was going to use the painted plastic packaging element in my design but then realized I could cut the packaging with the Bird Branch die and painted it on the reverse with Walnut Stain distress paint.  Once the paint had dried, I scratched some lines and whorls into the paint with a pin to simulate bark, it worked out pretty well!  I cut another Arbor leaf from cardstock and coloured it with Distress ink and sanded the edges for the leaf on the left and then coloured a glittery foam heart with alcohol ink to echo Tim's mirrored star element on his tag.  I added the bakers twine bows at the end when I realized I hadn't incorporated the jute string element on Tim's tag, for an afterthought they fit in well!

The elements on the bottom of the tag were done pretty much the same as Tim's although I had to make up the #tweettweet hashtag banner on the computer because I don't have the Hashtags stamp set.  It worked well though since I could make up my own hashtag phrase to coordinate with my tag :O)

So there you go, my better late than never June Tim tag completed.  Time to get working on the July tag so I don't have to do another late post and since I live in Canada and Tim's tag is all about the 4th of July I'll have to do some tweaking on the July tag too.  Hmmm, July 1st was Canada Day, I see a red and white Canadian tag taking shape!  Have a great day everyone and thanks so much as always for stopping by.  Happy creating!

Deb xo