Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Include Zentangle in your Homework to make it more fun!

I am currently taking an on-line class with the FABULOUS Jenny Doh. ( If you don't know who she is just Google her.)  For this week we had to produce a homework project that showed what we felt our true artistic calling is.  Hmmmmm.  What I seem to do naturally is recycle ugly stuff and make it cute.  Also, I love to just "play" with different materials and mediums.  So this is what I made for my homework.
I started with an 8.5"x11.5" piece of white card stock.  I used some of my favorite Alice in Wonderland stamps, Stampington's Tea Party stamps and IndigoBlu's Alice stamps.  After stamping figures and words all over the paper randomly I started tangling around the images and words.  When I finished with that I colored areas with copic inks.  Now I have a piece of my own paper!  I photocopied this so I can use just the copy and keep the original in case I need it again.  So this is what my paper looks like:
I had a 4 1/2" paper tube that I wanted to cover with the paper.  So I cut a strip for that.  Then I made circles for the top and bottom of the tube out of the same paper and sealed the edges with 7 Gypsies tissue tape.  I sealed everything with Mat Medium to give it a little strength, let it dry and then started punching holes in the top circle.  The holes were to hold the pearls at the top that I hung bits and pieces of chains, mirrors, crystals, etc.  Just whatever I had left over in my scrap bag.  The little bottle at the bottom says "Drink Me" and I filled it with glitter glue.  I wrapped the little bottle up with blue waxed twine and glued it to the bottom near Alice's feet.  This makes a cute paper weight and was really FUN to make.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Challenge: Simon says Stamp and Show Kings and Queens!

A beautiful Monday and a new challenge from Simon Says.  For my entry I have created an ATC (Artist Trading Card) that measures the standard 2 1/2" by 3 1/2".  I first used Tim Holtz's color blocking method, applying the ink pads in various colors directly to the card, masking off areas with post-it notes until the entire background was complete.  My lovely queen is the "Prom Queen" from Stampotique.  She was stamped on the card with Black StazOn ink.  Catslife Press makes the phrase "Queen Bee" and her wings are really flowers cut in half, made by Jolee, like the flower topping her crown.  I stamped the crown, also by Catslife Press, with Ranger's Embossing Ink and then applied some Queen's Gold Embossing Powder and melted it on with my heat tool.  You can almost her her buzzing can't you?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last one, I promise

File:Annabel Lee fair copy Poe 1849.jpg
I have one more chunky ATC to share and then I promise to stop.    At least I'll stop posting them on my blog everyday.  The poem on display here is a copy of a poem that Edgar Allen Poe wrote that was published after his death.  When I was about 13 years old I had an English teacher that used to read out loud to us about once a week.  Mr. Philpot, my fabulous teacher, loved to read the works of Poe and he especially loved the poem "Annabel Lee".  Unlike many of Poe's works this one was not frightening or spooky, just terribly romantic.  I'm no longer 13 and I still find it romantic.  Anyway, this ATC is one showcasing Edgar in all his finery with a few ravens thrown in for good measure. 
First, I prepared the ATC wooden block with Ivory colored acrylic paint.  The crackle effect came from using the Crackled stamp by IndigoBlu.  I stamped the crackled look with Ranger's Rusty Hinge ink.  The stamp on the back is by Stampers' Anonymous, Tim Holtz Collection.  I purchased the small ivory peel and stick flowers at Michael's.  The pictures of Poe are a part of a digital downloaded collage sheet from Alpha Stamps, as are the words that were cut out and pasted on the side of the block.  There just happened to be parts of the poem on the collage sheet and pictures large and small of ravens, which of course had to be included.  I finished it off with golden colored fresh water pearls for the feet, a pewter pull with a large red stone in the center by 7Gypsies mounted on the top, and a rather large black and cream colored ribbon tied in a bow.

I did promise to stop showing the ATC blocks every day for now but I really can't promise "Nevermore".  (big smile on my face)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A short tutorial showing how to make a chunky, wooden ATC

Recently one of my viewers asked if I would show how the wooden ATCs are made.  I will do a short photo tutorial to show how easy and fun these are to make.  Your only limits are your own imagination!  In addition to that, it is a great way to use up older materials that you have had around for years.
First I start with a wooden block cut to measure 3 1/2" by 2 1/2", the more distressed looking the better the block.
Then I paint the block with whatever color I like, in this case I like "My Studio" Acrylic Paints in 72710 Light Pink and 72702 Ivory.  I mixed them together and gave the block a couple of coats last night and allowed them to dry all night.  If there are any rough edges you don't like just take a little sandpaper to them.  You may at this point decide what papers you might want to use or stamps.  I decided to first stamp the block with a crackled look using IndigoBlu crackle stamp.  My inks were Ranger's Distress Inks, Worn Lipstick for the crackled part.  Then to distress it a little bit more I used Ranger's Distress Ink in Tea Dye and a little bit more of the Worn Lipstick applied to the edges with Tim Holtz's applicators called Inkssentials.  That tool helps me to control how much ink I apply.  Now the block looks like this:
I heat dry all the stamping at this point so the crackle is very pronounced and now I'm ready to apply my papers, stamping and ephemera.  I started by stamping some butterflies called "Papillon" made by Stampers Anonymous, Tim Holtz Collection.  I used the large butterfly stamp and the small one, for the side panel.  I found that Ranger's Brushed Corduroy ink showed up nicely, especially after I applied embossing powder and heat set it with my trusty heat tool.  I liked the effect so much I decided to stamp the "curiosity" phrase on the other side panel  from a different Stampers Anonymous collection called "Visual Artistry", also a part of Tim Holtz's Collection.

The phrase side looked a little lonely so I attached an antique keyhole that I picked up at a metal salvage store in Boston.  The man that works there has been doing this for the past 50 years and he had some really cool things.
I also added little bead feet with Glossy Accents and a picture of Marie Antoinette, from a collage sheet by Alpha Stamps.  Young Marie is in her "hunting costume" which I am sure she only used for photo ops.  She just didn't strike me as much of a huntress.  The text next to Marie is torn from an old French "up-cycled" book.  I gave Marie a little orange satin flower on her jacket and topped the whole thing off with a knob from 7 Gypsies, some waxed twine and a couple of keys.  I hope that explains my process.  I love these chunky ATCs!  This is my first "tutorial" so I hope you will bear with me until I get the process down.  Any constructive criticism is welcomed.  : )
Thanks for visiting and taking a look around!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,..." Charles Dickens

My daughter is currently reading A Tale of Two Cities.   We love to discuss it over the phone.  Even though the book was written over 100 years ago it is still an amazing and moving read.  Originally in 1859 Charles Dickens published the story in weekly installments.  That would have driven me wild!  I did this ATC in honor of one of the, shall we say "pivotal" people during the time period in which the novel is set, Marie Antoinette.  This ATC is also one of my wooden blocks that measures the standard 3 1/2" x 2 1/2".  These blocks are 1 1/2" thick so there is a lot of surface to decorate.  I prepared the block with acrylic paints by Claudine Hellmuth Studio, in this case her Modern Red semi-gloss acrylic paint, and then added my decorations.  All of the "Young Marie" Antoinette images are from Alpha Stamps.  Talk about instant gratification!  I order the digital download of collage sheets and Voila! there it is, no trips to the store, just print it right off of my printer.  The sheets are amazing and beautifully colored.  (And they did not pay me to say that, I just love their stuff that much.)  On the front side Marie is the focal point with edges cut with a fleur-de-lys corner punch.  There are little pearls in each corner.  On the side there is a portion of the first paragraph in the book, torn from an old paperback saved and re-purposed from the second hand store.  I tore the edges and inked them with Ranger's Tattered Rose ink.  I then covered the quote with a piece of Mica.  The back side is also a picture of Marie (the same Alpha Stamps digital downloaded collage sheet) in all her glory embellished with a strip of Studio 18 rhinestone clusters.  The tattered flowers, Tim Holtz trimmings, on the next side were inked with Ranger's Antique Linen.  The block is topped with a little crystal pull by 7 Gypsies, some wired red gingham ribbon, and fitted with some speckled bead feet, kind of a French Country look.  Makes a nice paperweight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Dance!

It is always a thrill to have your work chosen for publication in ANY Stampington magazine!  I even get really excited if my work is in any of their ads.  : )   I just received my copy of the February/March 2012 issue of The Stampers' Sampler in the mail.   I have tried to "curb my enthusiasm".   Joe thought someone had died the first time I was published.    I couldn't speak, I just kept crying and pointing to the magazine.  Another time I was at Barnes and Noble when I saw the magazine and kept showing complete strangers my work.  But, as I said before, it is always a thrill and a privilege to have the folks as Stampington like my work enough to put it in a magazine.  They were nice enough to show a box I made using the fabulous Dina Wakley grunge style stamps.  I made the box to hold other projects that I had sent them.  They gave me a two page spread in the Artists-On-Call section demonstrating the use of Kristen Robinson's lovely stamp line called "Love Lines".  So I am doing a happy dance today!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Less is More Challenge, Week 51 Theme "Cut it out"

The site called "Less is More" is having a challenge currently that involves a cut out on the project.  My project is a card with a circular window cut out on the left side.  I cut a circular frame to go around the opening and used the circle that remained to go on the inside of the card.  I stamped the inner circle with the crackle stamp from IndigoBlu using Ranger's Frayed Burlap ink.  I cut a gear out of cork with Tim Holtz's Gadget Gears die and placed a father figure from Graphic 45 paper.  The word "dad" is from Authentique.  The cork panel is matted onto the crackled panel and glued inside the "window".  On the front of the card I glued the circular frame around dear old dad.  I then tore strips of butterfly tissue tape (also by Tim Holtz) and then glued a strip of flowers (Trimmings by Tim Holtz).  The inside of the card says "You are very special to me".  But then, isn't almost every one's daddy special?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Wooden ATC

Cute little screw on feet!
I really went wild with those wooden blocks!  Here is another one that I just wanted to share since I liked it so much.  Marie Antoinette is the subject matter.

The Map to Your Heart Challenge in the Moxie Fab World-Part Deux

I liked this challenge so much I actually made a second "map" entry.  This one is an ATC executed on wood.  I have wooden blocks that my husband, Joe, cut to the size of an ATC ( 2 1/2" by 3 1/2").  I painted the wood with acrylics, stamped on it, glued things to it, like the map paper, a bird and some flowers.  Then I had Joe attach a knob to the top for me.  I glued little beads on the bottom for feet.  There are several photos here so you can really see everything, hope you like it!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Map to Your Heart Challenge in the Moxie Fab World

Here is a new challenge from the Moxie Fab World.  The challenge is to use an old map or map paper to create a project.  My project is a card with a butterfly that was stamped on a piece of map paper by Wander Paper Pad/Basic Grey.  First I used a 5"x7" blank white card as my base.  I stamped it with miscellaneous travel stamps from Stampington using Ranger's Iced Spruce ink.  I then cut a strip of cardboard to adhere across the center of the card.  Tim Holtz's "journey" stamp graces the bottom.  I bought the tiny canvas,  which measures 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" square, at Michael's.  I did a direct to paper technique with Ranger's Stormy Sky ink and then cut little strips of the map paper and glued it all around the canvas to cover the edges.  The peel and stick words are from Authentique.  The butterfly stamp is by PSX.  I used Ranger's Rusty Hinge to stamp the butterfly and heat embossed with clear powder.  The antennae are a Jolee beaded coat hanger that has been twisted around.  The final touch are circles that were punched out of the map paper and glued randomly around.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RC007: Frosty - Use Vellum Challenge with Rogue Redhead Designs

Rogue Redhead Designs has a challenge to use vellum in some way on a project.  I have used the wisdom of Winnie the Pooh printed on a piece of vellum to answer that challenge.  Really, wisdom does not get much deeper than Pooh Bear, does it?  I first covered 5"x7" blank white card with some pink birdcage card stock.  I applied a strip of double sided tape across the middle of the card, peeled off the protective covering and dumped silver glitter across the tape.  Removed excess glitter by a lot of tapping.  I cut out the VELLUM phrase, framed it with a pink Anna Griffin frame, matted that on white card stock cut a little larger, then cut a slightly larger piece of green card stock and matted the entire phrase panel on that.  I stamped LOVE from studio G's alphabet stamps and glued that to the right corner.  I then glued the entire panel to the center of the card.  Popped a peel and stick bird in the upper left corner, tied two tiny pink bows and attached one to the top and another to the bottom with glue dots.  I stuck two pearl topped hat pins to the top portion and one peel and stick pearl by Queen and Co. to the bottom bow.

Simon Says Stamp Challenge, Spots &/or Stripes

This is a brown paper lunch bag decorated with Graphic 45's "Wizard of Oz" and "Alice in Wonderland" papers.  I love the way their colors match even if it is not the same subject theme.  The stamping is with Studio G alphabet stamps saying:  "The Old Bag".  The stripes  found at the bottom of the bag  have been enhanced with compasses cut out of G45 paper along with Tim Holtz's gears, a little silver chain and some tiny compasses that should point West in honor of the wicked witch.  I used black gros grain ribbon to tie it shut and a little bit of Ranger's Seedless Preserves (purple-ish) ink to distress the top portion of the sack.  The silver hands are by Alpha stamps, they have the most wonderful Steampunk ephemera!  If you look closely you can see the red pearls at the center of some of the compasses, just like the color of Dorothy's shoes.  Ding Dong the witch isn't dead, she just got sacked.

Monday, January 16, 2012

SDC46: Pocket or Purse Calendar-Stampotique Stamps ONLY!



Well, for me this was a challenge!  I wanted to make a really tiny calendar using only Stampotique stamps so I decided to use dominoes.  I have gotten a lot of inspiration from Laura Carson's site http://artfullymusing.blogspot.com/.  She makes BEAUTIFUL books, mine is just kinda cute.  So, after looking through my stash I found some old dominoes that I have been saving for a special occasion.  I made the little book covers out of two antique dominoes that I bought at the Brimfield Fair a long time ago (they each measured 1 7/8" by 7/8" and are 1/4" thick).  A couple of years ago I took a class with Tim Holtz using alcohol inks on dominoes and decided to try that technique.  So, I distressed them with Adirondack's Alcohol inks.  Using StazOn black ink, I stamped the Stampotique image called "Row Faces" using just two of the faces on each domino.  Then I wrapped the edges of the dominoes with a gold metallic tape, making sure to burnish the tape with a bone folder.  I covered the stamped images on the dominoes with Ranger's Glossy Accents and allowed it to dry overnight.  I used the Glossy Accents again to glue on the 4 beads that serve as "feet" that allow the calendar to be freestanding.  The dominoes are each attached to a corrugated piece of cardboard which is lined with ribbon and a patterned paper backing.  The black ribbon is cut to tie on each side.  I cut up the tiny calendar and glued it to a strip of black card stock which was folded accordion style and glued to the inside.  Ribbons tie on either side to keep it closed and little paper flowers by Prima were colored also with Alcohol Inks to match the dominoes and glued to the top with glue dots.  The pearl headed stick pins were also colored by the Alcohol Inks to match and tucked in behind the tiny flowers.  The finished product measures 2 1/4 " wide x 1 1/4" high.  Now that is a TINY calendar!

Bolton Common Appetizer Recipe

If you love mushrooms…
The Bolton Common
By Renee Zarate

I love the Super Bowl!  I remember watching the first Super bowl game with my family, many years ago.  I never get tired of it, but to be honest with you I do enjoy it a little bit more when “my” team is playing.  I like to go beyond the usual hot dogs piled high with chili, cheese, and diced onions, though that is really good, too.  To me it is fun to add a few “fancy” appetizers along with the usual chips and salsa.  This is delicious and is like eating a sandwich only with pie crust.  Yum.

A Rustic Pie Filled with Wild Mushrooms
Pie Crust:
2 ½ Cups flour
4 Tbl. cold butter
4 Tbl. Crisco
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. vinegar
1 beaten egg
Ice water (3 to 6 Tablespoons)
Milk or beaten egg for the wash

Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and stir together.  Add butter and shortening, cutting it in until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the beaten egg and the vinegar, mixing it well.  Moisten the dough with   ice water, just a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together nicely.  Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes or longer.
Make the filling:
1 pound of fresh mixed wild mushrooms or just Portabellas, chopped coarsely
2 shallots, minced
¼ pound of chopped ham
2 Tbl. butter
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or ½ tsp of dried thyme
½ cup of wine or fruit juice (I used Vermouth)
½ cup of chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

1 Cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese

Chop all of the mushrooms and set aside.  In a large skillet, sauté the minced shallots in butter until soft.  Add the chopped mushrooms and the thyme; cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft.  Remove the mushrooms from the pan but leave the juices.  Pour the wine into the pan and cook down the liquid until it is about half of what you started with.  Add the chicken stock and reduce the liquid until it is slightly syrupy.  Add the mushrooms back to the pan and fold in the ham, check the seasonings at this point and add salt and pepper if necessary.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
Roll out the pie crust to about ¼” thickness.  Place the large circle on an ungreased cookie sheet or one covered with parchment paper.  Spoon the mushroom mixture into the center of the pie crust and top it with the grated cheeses.  Fold the pastry edges over the filling and then lightly brush the pie crust with milk or a beaten egg yolk.  Place in a 375 degrees preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer

Thursday, January 5, 2012

GC131: Random Redhead Challenge - Candelabras. Chandeliers and Candles

Gingersnaps Creations has a challenge going on using Chandeliers, etc.  I like this card using the stamp:  Glimmering Hope from Stampotique.  The chandelier stamp is  from Inkadinkado.  Inks are by Ranger.  The rhinestones are from Queen & Co.  I used copic inks to color in the stamped images and the words are from Authentique.  The hat is made from one of Tim Holtz's "trimmings" flowers spritzed with Glimmer Mist Patina.  The card measures 6"x5".

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Simon Says.....New Something "Challenge"

The challenge this time for the "Simon Says challenge" is something NEW.  How about a card celebrating a new job?  That should make anyone happy in this economy.  I used Stampotique's "girl with lunchbox" and stamped her with Memento Black Tuxedo ink and then colored her in with copic markers.  I stamped her lunchbox a second time, cut it out and popped it up with a pop-dot to give it a little dimension.  She looks a little overwhelmed with all the Blah, blah, blah (also Stampotique) going on around her.  The encouraging words are from Authentique and the blue pearls are made by Queen & Co.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Code RCC34/The Ribbon Carousel Challenge http://ribboncarouselchallenge.blogspot.com/

This is a fun challenge being held by The Ribbon Carousel site.  The challenge here is to create anything that contains an element of ribbon, twine, thread, lace, etc.  I created a card using a Stampotique stamp called "the girl with the heart purse".  The ink is Memento's London Fog, copic inks for color, a Prima flower, Queen and Co. red pearls, words by Authentique, a button from my old coat and Divine Twine in cherry red.  Oh, and I cannot forget the spritz of Cadillac Pink Glimmer Mist to make her sparkle just a little!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Code RRR39 "Sparkle and Ribbon" Challenge

I stumbled upon a site called "Really Reasonable Ribbon's Ramblings" today and was instantly smitten!  I thought it would be fun to take their challenge to create something using the theme of Sparkle and Ribbon.  The project must have some ribbon/lace or trim somewhere on it.  So since I have tons of Altoid tins in my scrap room to recycle I thought this would be a practical and yet cute entry.  I painted the tin with pink acrylic paint then after it dried I applied Ranger's Distress crackle paint, clear rock candy, to the top of the tin.  After this dried I used All My Memories Twill Ribbon and Tim Holtz's idea-ology TRIMMINGS that had a little Glimmer Mist spritzed on them.  To finish I placed a golden pearl made by Queen and Co. in the center of three of the flowers.  Voila!

Simon Says Stamp and Show: Simon Says Stamp and Show A Tim Holtz Themed Tag!

Simon Says Stamp and Show: Simon Says Stamp and Show A Tim Holtz Themed Tag!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Simon Says Challenge/Tim Holtz Tags

This is a Tim Holtz inspired tag.  The stamps are by "My Sentiments Exactly" and also "IndigoBlu's"crackle stamp.  The flowers are Tim's Tattered Florals die cut.  I used Rusty Hinge Ranger ink, Iced Spruce ink (which I adore) and Graphic 45 Steampunk paper with a little Rock Candy stickles on the butterflies.  I colored  some of Tim's pearls with ink to match the other components and tied them to the top of the tag.  It is a tag that can be used for almost any occasion.