Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jumping Into The Colour Pool

Happy Sunday everyone, hope you are having a lovely holiday weekend.  In typical Victoria Day long weekend style, it is raining and cool here in B.C.  It always seems to be that this first long weekend of the 'summer' ends up rainy no matter how glorious the weather before it's arrival.  Lots of people will be dumping water off of their tarps and packing up wet sleeping bags come Monday as they return from their inaugural camping trips.  Ahh, life in the great outdoors LOL!

Since hubby is working this weekend, there is no camping taking place here so I decided to sign up for Marjie Kemper's online class at Craftsy; 'Inventive Ink - Colorful Mixed Media Effects'.  As I have stated many times, colour scares the livin' bejesus out of me so thought this would be a good way to get me to jump into the colour pool, with both feet!  I've only watched the first video and part of the second (I am burning through my monthly internet download allowance at an alarming rate watching the videos so am having to pace myself!) but decided to dive right in and get colourful.

I can't begin to tell you how far outside my comfort zone this is!  But it is also amazingly liberating to throw caution to the wind and ink up those tags and gasp! an art journal page with bright, intense colours.

Here's a finished tag, I have a niece and a nephew graduating from high school this year so think this will become part of one of their graduation cards.

And then, I actually broke open one of my multiple art journals that I have in my stash, I buy them on a routine basis when they are on sale at Michaels, but have NEVER put ink to paper on a single one.  Something about those multiple, blank white pages just paralyzes me, I can't think where to start!  But I want to journal so badly, I see the amazing work being done by so many others (check out Brenda Brown's 'Visual Journey' journal pages blog hop for a tiny taste of the art journal goodness out there!) and so I opened up a (small) journal to a random white page in the middle of the book (the first page was much too scary!) and started inking, stamping and painting.

Where's it going from here?  Haven't a darn clue but it is a start and it feels great!  And amazingly enough, it wasn't scarey at all once I got that first swipe of Mustard Seed distress ink on the page ;O)  Here's a link to the trailer on YouTube for Marjie's class, go check it out and then head over to Craftsy and get colourful!

And speaking of colour, the blossoms are starting to burst out around here so I wandered about and took some pictures the other day.  The beautiful flowering almond is one of the first to appear, it doesn't last long but is so lovely!

And the johnny jump ups are showing their bright faces all around the yard, such a cheerful little flower!

See all the pollen on the petals?  Think the bees have been hard at work already.

And while not colourful right now, the Saskatoon berry bushes are loaded with blossoms so hopefully we will have a bounty of beautiful purple berries soon.

Have a great weekend everyone, I'll leave you with another colourful picture, this one of a lovely Rufous hummingbird at the feeder, love these wee birds so much.  Happy creating!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Colours

Hello and welcome!  I am thrilled to now be able to tell you that I was invited to be a guest creative guide over at A Vintage Journey this month and my project has been posted on their blog today.

I was so excited and honoured when Chris contacted me a couple of months ago to see if I'd be interested and of course I leapt at the chance!

As many of you will know, this months theme at A Vintage Journey, hosted by Astrid, is 'Spring Colours' and here is her brief:

"To celebrate Spring (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), I have chosen Spring Colours for our theme. The theme itself of course is fairly easy, but it is important to remember that this is a Tim Holtz inspired challenge, so when choosing our top 3 entries, we want to see Tim's influence clearly represented in your project. If you describe it in your post even better! You do not have to use Tim products, though his wonderful Distress range of course offers plenty of choice, but we do want to see that your project is inspired by one of his wonderful techniques that he so freely shares.
You can make anything you want, as long as it clearly follows our challenge rules."

As soon as Astrid's brief was revealed to me last month (I was treated to an early peek of the theme :O) I thought of the soft greens of new leaves, the powdery blues of a Spring sky and the ephemeral whites and pinks of cherry and apple blossoms.  After a bit of brainstorming, I created this Spring Colours mixed media canvas that incorporates many elements representing what Spring means to me.

I have a full tutorial below on how I made this canvas for those of you who'd like to know the 'how to' but here's a quick over view just in case you don't have time to plow through it all.

I added lots of Tim Holtz goodness here; distress inks and distress stains for the sky blue background with overstamping and some spritz and flick; the Spring greenery on the right was stenciled with transparent texture paste through Tim's 'Blossom' layering stencil; and Tim's 'Honeycomb' frameworks die was used to create the honeycomb on the left out of Grunge paper.  I added some of the honeycomb offcuts back after either dry embossing them, adding remnant rubs or covering them with some paper from Tim's 'Wallflowers' paper stash.  All of the offcuts were also covered with either a coat of Glossy Accents or Rock Candy distress crackle paint for a little more texture.

The cherry tree branch was die cut from Tim's 'Bird Branch' die and the cherry blossoms were cut from tissue paper with the 'Tattered Florals' die.  I wanted the flowers to have the fleeting and delicate feel of real cherry blossoms so thought tissue paper was the perfect choice.  The wee bird clothespin was stamped with a text stamp and I hand cut and stamped a hang tag with the word 'sing' since the woods are full of cheerful birdsong in the Spring.  Butterflies and bees abound at this time of year so I added the little bees from a K&Company chipboard set and the butterfly was stamped onto a fragment charm using Tim's August 2008 challenge technique. The 'dream' typed token had the lettering emphasized with some distress paint and both the fragment charm and the typed token were 'tied' onto the cherry blossom branch with some button thread colored with distress ink.

What would Spring be without bunnies and daffodils?  The cardstock images were fussy cut and mounted on pop dots for dimension behind the green Spring 'grass' that was hand cut from a strip of paper that was coloured with distress inks, spritz and flick and some overstamping.  As a finishing touch, a word band saying 'capture life's moments' was attached to the bottom along with two alcohol ink coloured mirrored stars.  For me, this canvas just shouts Spring, I am so pleased with how it turned out.

And now here's a step by step tutorial for those of you who would like a more detailed explanation of how I made my Spring Colours mixed media canvas.  I will warn you though that there are a lot of pictures and I tend to talk a lot so consider yourself warned LOL!

 I started with an 8" x 10" stretched artists canvas and coated it with gesso.  After the gesso dried, I colored the right side of the canvas where I wanted my leaves to be with distress inks - Bundled Sage, Mowed Lawn and Peeled Paint.   I then stenciled with Ranger transparent texture paste through the Blossom layering stencil and let it dry.

After the texture paste was dry, I used a baby wipe to remove the excess distress ink and voila! green leaves!

Next I coloured the whole canvas with distress stain - Salty Ocean and Broken China.  It was too dark for the look I was going for so I added a thin coat of gesso overtop with my fingers.  I did some spritz and flick, dried it with my heat tool and then augmented the blue coloring here and there with distress ink in the same colours.  I took a baby wipe and bunched it up and used it to 'lift' some of the blue colour near the top of the canvas to simulate clouds.  Any excess distress ink, stain or gesso was wiped off of the green leaves with the baby wipe at the same time (the texture paste acts as a resist so it comes off easily).

Overstamping came next, I used 'Chestnut' pigment ink by Recollections and a variety of stamps from my stash.  I just stamped randomly here and there but kept in mind where the branch and honeycomb would be going so that some of these stamped images would still be visible once they were added.  These are the stamps I used, many have discontinued I'm afraid so I couldn't find any links for you:
Stampers Anonymous 'Flourish' wood mount stamp (discontinued)
Inkadinkadoo for EK Success 'Scroll' wood mount stamp (discontinued)
Recollections 'Script' wood mount stamp (discontinued)
Crafty Secrets 'Wildflowers' Clear Art Stamps (discontinued)
Crafty Secrets 'Born To Fly' Clear Art Stamps (discontinued)
Tim Holtz Visual Artistry Clear Stamps 'The Journey'
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz  Collection 'Bird Feather'
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection 'Mesh & Linen'

Time to die cut!  I folded some grunge paper as shown in this Sizzix tutorial by Catherine Scanlon and die cut the 'Honeycomb' frameworks die.  I tore it to size to fit up the left side of my canvas and colored it with distress ink - Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed and Wild Honey.  I added some Rock Candy distress crackle paint here and there and, once it had dried and cracked, I emphasized the cracks with some Walnut Stain distress ink.

I coloured a few of the honeycomb hexagon offcuts with Wild Honey distress ink and then added the words 'sweet' and 'shine' using 'Words' remnant rubs to two of them.  On three other offcuts, I used Tim's 'Typewriter' texture fades folder to dry emboss the letters B, E and E and then emphasized the embossed areas with some Walnut Stain distress ink.  On the remaining two hexagons, I chose some small images from Tim's 'Wallflower' paper stash, cut them to size and glued them onto the hexagons.  I randomly added either a coat of Glossy Accents or a coat of Rock Candy distress crackle paint to all of the offcut pieces.

Next I die cut two branches from kraft cardstock using the Bird Branch die.  I cut off the birds (and saved them for a future project) and colored the branches with Distress ink - Tea Dye, Gathered Twigs, Brushed Cordury and Vintage Photo.

The little bird on the clothespeg was found at Micheal's and I sanded the edges of the bird, coloured the bird and the clothespeg with Walnut Stain distress ink and then stamped a typography stamp over top of the bird (from 'Born To Fly' Clear Art Stamps by Crafty Secrets) with black chalk ink.  I hand cut a little tag from some manila cardstock and stamped the word 'sing' onto it using some individual alphabet stamps to place into the clothespin.  The wee bees are from a K&Company chipboard set I got on clearance awhile back, it is called 'Nature Icons' by Susan Winget.

Tissue paper flowers were die cut next using $1 store tissue paper and Tim's 'Tattered Florals' die.  I used the two smallest flowers on the die and found it cut much cleaner if I cut several layers of tissue paper at one time.  I gently coloured the larger of the two flowers with distress ink - Spun Sugar and Tattered Rose - and coloured the smaller flower with Mowed Lawn.  I then 'scrunched up' all the flowers from the center to form blossoms and glued the smaller green flower into the center of the pink cherry blossoms with a small drop of Glossy Accents.

The grass was made from a piece of copy paper that I coloured with distress ink - Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Cracked Pistachio, Bundled Sage - spritzed and flicked with water and then overstamped with an Ellen Vargo Eclectica stamp.  The paper was folded on itself a couple of times and snipped with scissors along the top edge to make the 'grass' texture.

The bunny was cropped from a vintage etching I found on The Graphics Fairy and printed onto heavy cardstock.  I coloured one bunny image with Distress markers - Antique Linen and Spun Sugar - and Wild Honey distress ink using a water brush.  I fussy cut two of the bunnies (one coloured and one uncoloured) to mount on the canvas.

Daffodil images from a Dover Pictura collection were resized and printed onto heavy cardstock.  I fussy cut two of each image and heat embossed one of each image with clear detail embossing powder

Are you still hanging in there?!  If so you are a trooper!  Getting close to the end, won't be much longer now :O)

The words on the Typed Token and the Word Band were highlighted with Old Paper distress paint (click here for a quick tutorial on the how to by Tim) and then both metal embellishments were coloured slightly with some Ginger alcohol ink.

The butterfly fragment charm was made using Tim's August 2008 technique challenge (it's amazing how it works!) and I used Caramel and Pesto alcohol inks to colour the fragment and a butterfly stamp from a Crafty Secrets 'Born To Fly' Clear Art Stamp set.  The tip I'll give you after you read Tim's tutorial is to QUICKLY wipe off the archival ink after stamping your image, it dries pretty darn quick and I had a couple of oopsies because I hesitated too long.  Have your cloth at your side and ready to wipe the charm as soon as it's stamped to get the clearest results.

I coloured a couple of mirrored stars with Pesto alcohol ink and glued them to each end of the word band with E6000 glue to make sure they stayed put.

Since I was using an inexpensive $1 store stretched canvas, it was stapled on the sides rather than the back so I needed to gussy it up some!  I painted the frame and edges with Brushed Corduroy distress paint and once it was dry, added a strip of Tim's 'Elements' tissue tape to hold the edge of the canvas down.  I don't have any of Tim's tissue wrap so I randomly stamped some images onto a piece of white tissue paper with archival ink:

and cut strips to cover the sides of the canvas (and  hide those ugly staples!) and glued it down with Modge Podge.  If your canvas is stapled on the back side, you can skip this step and just continue your blue distress inks and stains around to the sides of your canvas to finish it off.

So all that's left is gluing all the bits and bobs onto your canvas!  I used Elmer's white glue for the lighter elements and E6000 for all the metal pieces since I don't trust anything else to hold them in place.  It takes awhile for the E6000 to dry and is rather smelly (use in a well ventilated area please!) but it holds like iron.  The 'string' that I used to tie the fragment charm and the typed token onto the branch with is white button thread that I coloured with some Broken China distress ink.  The coloured bunny and the two bunches of embossed daffodils were mounted on pop dots overtop of the bottom images to give the canvas a little more dimension along the bottom.

If you have made it this far in reading my post, my hat is off to you and I do hope that you enjoyed the tutorial!

Thanks once again to the Creative Guides at A Vintage Journey for honouring me with a guest creative guide post and also for the wonderful 'Spring Colours' theme that inspired this canvas.  Have a great day everyone and if you haven't thought about entering the current challenge at A Vintage Journey I encourage you to jump right in and give it a try, you will have so much fun, I know I certainly did!  Happy creating,


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Very Very Merry Month Of May

Hello, my Mom received the Mother's Day card I made for her so I can share it with you today, love you so much Mom and hope you had a day as special as you are xo

Having just discovered easel cards, I wanted to make a card for Mom that she could display long after Mother's Day has passed, but I also wanted to include a small gift I had made for her.  While looking for tutorials for easel cards on YouTube, I came across a video on making easel cards with drawers incorporated into them and so that is what I made for my Mom.

As some of you may know, my Mom is battling with cancer and so I wanted to include some daffodils and butterflies onto her Mother's Day card.  The daffodil is the symbol for the Canadian Cancer Society and the butterfly is synonymous with hope and renewal so both of these images are very special.  I went back to that beautiful Graphic 45 'Botanical Tea' paper pad to make this easel gift box card and found that lovely vintage James Vick's Sons catalogue cover on line to use as the focal image.

The butterfly was created with an EK Success butterfly layering punch and I die cut the tendrils with a Sizzix 'Decorative Flourish' die and the wee hearts with Tim Holtz's 'Shape Strips' die.  A couple of the daffodils were fussy cut and mounted on pop dots to give the card a little more dimension and the butterfly and the 'mom' label were also mounted onto dimensional tape.  Wish you could see the sparkle in the pictures, I used some glitter glue on the butterflies wings and the Wink Of Stella brush on most everything else and it just shimmers beautifully.

Mom was quite taken with the little matchbook notebooks I made a while back, so I included one in the drawer for her and then she can use the drawer to store some wee treasures.

I used the same paper on the inside of the card that I used for my MIL's Mother's Day card, courtesy of Astrid MacLean, to write my message to my Mom on and stamped the 'family' sentiment onto the easel card stopper as my Mom is the heart of our family.

I used one of Tim Holtz's 'Custom Fasteners' brads as the pull for the drawer and used the vintage image of the young couple on it since it reminded me so much of pictures I have seen of my Mom and Dad at that same age :O)

Here's a side view of the easel card and I also added papers to the back of the card so it will look pretty no matter where it is displayed.

This wee easel gift box card hardly seems to be enough to thank my Mom for all she has done and continues to do for our family but it was made with so much love and I hope she will be able to feel that across the miles.  Love you Mom!  xoxoxoxoxo

My very, very merry ( and lucky!) month of May is continuing as I just found out that one of my projects was chosen by the creative guides at A Vintage Journey for this month's 'Pinworthy Mentions'! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the creative guides for choosing my 'A Boy and His Dog' shadow box window; I am so honoured and thrilled, thank you very much.  Congratulations also to Shilpa and That Crazy Chick for their Pinworthy mentions and to Felicie for her Country View Crafts voucher win.

And as if that weren't enough, Alpha Stamps just emailed me to let me know that I won their very generous 'Run Away And Join The Circus' giveaway from last week!  Thank you so much to Leslie at Alpha Stamps for her continuing generosity; if you don't follow their wonderful blog you really must, so many wonderful tutorials, products and inspiration not to mention their amazing giveaways.  Thanks again, can't wait to get that wonderful package and start on my own vintage circus!

Thanks as always for stopping by and I hope that this week is bringing you lots of creativity and energy.  Happy creating!  (And P.S., make sure you stop by tomorrow afternoon for a very important post, so excited to finally be able to share my secret project with you all, see you tomorrow!)


Monday, May 11, 2015

My Tim Tag Mini Album Update

Hello, hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that all you Mom's out there got spoiled rotten, you certainly deserve it!  I was hoping to be able to show you the card I made for my Mom today but good ol' Canada Post has mucked up delivering my parcel to her, so she still hasn't received it, grrrr!  With any luck she will get it either later today or tomorrow and I'll be able to post my pictures to share with you then.

So in the meantime, I thought I'd show you the updates I've made to my 12 Tags of 2015 mini album I made to house all my Tim Holtz inspired tags.  I've been finishing the pages as I've made the tags so here are the March and April pages completed.

For the March page, I added the mask I made to protect my bird stamp (from the Stampers Anonymous Classic #16 set) from the texture paste and embossing powder that was used on the March tag.  The words I added reflected the trepidation I felt while making the March tag as all those bright colours had me quite terrified!

For the April page, I used the offcuts from the 'Explore Life' die I cut on the April tag and then added some words and images to echo the sentiment.  I also added some pen stitching around the edge of the page to represent the real stitching used on the tag and water coloured the truck and the 'Admit One' ticket stamps (both from the Tim Holtz Visual Artistry Clear Stamp 'The Journey' set) since that was one of the techniques that was used on Tim's April tag too.

It's so much fun to do each page as the tags are made and I can't wait to see the album completed come December.  It will be great to be able to review the whole year and revisit Tim's techniques and the tags I made for the 12 Tags of 2015 challenge.  Thanks again to Astrid for this wonderful idea!

Have a lovely day everyone, it's beautiful and warm here again today so time to get out into the garden and try and tame some of the weeds that are sprouting up like ... well ... weeds!  Hope to be able to share the gift I made for my Mom with you tomorrow and until then happy creating!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

 Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy
 Just popping in to wish all you amazing Moms a happy Mother's Day and that includes all the fur baby Moms too!  Have a wonderful day and thanks for all you do.

Deb xo

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Card For Mom

Happy hump day everyone, hope your week is going well.  I've been working on some Mother's Day cards and gifts this week as Sunday is Mother's Day here in Canada.  I can't show you what I made for my Mom as she does read my blog (Hi Mom!) but I can share the card I made for my mother-in-law.

The first thing you need to know about my MIL is that she is an AMAZING gardener.  Her yard is bursting with colour and beauty every growing season and her roses and peonies are prize winning - literally prize winning, she has won many awards in local flower shows for her beautiful blossoms.  So when I thought about a card to make for her, some papers with a floral theme definitely had to be included and the first thing I thought of was the 'Botanical Tea' collection from Graphic 45.  I just have the 8 x 8 pad but it worked perfectly for this easel card.

I made the card using a tutorial I found on YouTube by Splitcoast Stampers as I'd never made an easel card before but I will now be making many more, I love them!  Kraft cardstock was used for my base and some of that gorgeous Botanical Tea paper was used  for the background.  It is so lovely that I didn't want to cover it up too much, so I cut a label with my Spellbinders Labels 8 die, handstamped and embossed 'Mom' on it and then cut some teeny tiny hearts using Tim Holtz's 'Shape Strips' die.  The rose was one I round at Michaels and I gently edged the petals with some Tea Stain distress ink.   The little butterfly was a $1 Store find and I coloured it with more distress ink in 'Spun Sugar' and 'Tattered Rose'.  You can't see it in the picture but I also added some Wink Of Stella to the hearts, the rose and the butterfly, I just got that pen and love how it adds just a subtle shimmer.

The inside has more Botanical Tea loveliness, the pinked striped paper on the top was overlaid with another handstamped Spellbinders Labels 8 die and I used the bird and floral stamp borders as well as a label  included in the Botanical Tea collection as my 'stopper' along the bottom edge.  The paper in the middle is courtesy of Astrid MacLean and I resized it and made it transparent so my hubby can write his Mother's Day message to his Mom.

Here's the card set up into it's easel position, I love how it turned out.

And here is a side view so you can see the 'mechanics' of the card, they make a beautiful display I think.  If you haven't made an easel card before give it a go, they are very easy to construct and the results are quite lovely.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I will stop in again to show you what I made for my Mom as soon as she receives her parcel.  Got you wondering now Mom, don't I?!  Have a great week everyone and happy crafting!