Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blue skies after Hurricane Sandy

We woke up to blue skies this morning after torrential rains and winds all day yesterday into the night.  I do believe every leaf in the neighborhood is on our lawn but that's OK.  The only tree branches on the ground were the ones that broke in the storm last year right around this time.  Thanks to all for their phone calls, emails and general good wishes and prayers.  Our hearts go out to those who did not fair as well!
The blue skies were an inspiration to me and I decided to put it to paper in my DR Journal with a bit of journaling marking the storm.  Since there is a challenge at Simon Says to just add pearl I decided to deck my lady, let's call her Sandy, out with a pearl necklace so she is dressed for the party over there.  There were a few sprays of Mementos Bahama Blue Fireworks involved to add a glimmer to the pages.
Products used:
Claudine Hellmuth's Studio Paints
Dover clip art hand and butterflies
Stamps:  large face stamp, Dyan Reaveley stamps, Cardboard, Judi Kins Gears
Tim Holtz Gears Die
Queen & Co. Pearls
Reeves Water Soluble Crayons
Memento's Bahama Blue Fireworks Glimmer Mist
Black micron pen

I hope this post finds all of you on the East Coast safe, sound and dry.  Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers in behalf of us all.  We had definitely braced ourselves for the worst, glad it is over.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I'm Dylusional again

I've been playing around in my DR Journal again.  This time I used orange paints, acrylic and spray paints.  Just making a mess as usual.  In my rainbow colored bathroom, of course.  Gesso was applied first combined with some red and yellow Claudine Hellmuth paints.  The color came out really peachy.  I covered most of the 2 pages leaving the edges a little bare.  I stenciled across the bottom with Dyan Reaveley's star stencil.  I used Reeves Crayons for the stenciling in the crimson color and then stippled a little of Mementos Pear Green ink over the area.  The balloons were stamped on water color paper and colored with Distress Marker inks.  I trimmed them out and glued them to the page.  The girl is pure Stampotique, her name is Top Knot.  The word "FLY" is also Stampotique.  The phrase is TH Stampers Anonymous collection.  The hand is cut from G45 paper and glued down with Glossy Accents.  Dyan Reaveley's leaves were colored in with Distress Markers.  The hand is tossing down leaves that were punched out of Inkssentials Foil Tape Sheet scraps and colored with alcohol inks.  I wrote in loopy handwriting my feelings about fall.  The leaves are falling so fast here it looks like it's raining LEAVES!
We are preparing for that big storm that is supposed to hit tomorrow.  Joe has been outside battening down the hatches.  Hope all of you in the path of  it will be safe and sound.  I just hope we don't lose power again!

Friday, October 26, 2012


There is a new book out called Joy of Zentangle by Design Originals.  I read about it the other day on Sandy Steen Bartholomew's blog.  What a surprise I had today when I received a copy of it from the publisher in my mail.  Oddly enough I was just going through some old emails yesterday when one came up from this publisher asking how and when I had become a Certified Zentangle Teacher.  They wanted to see a piece of my work as well.  So I told my little story and emailed them one of my mandalas that I made last year when I wasn't feeling well.  I didn't think of it again until I saw that email.  Now it is in a book.  I'm amazed.  My husband....not so much.  He said "wow, that's nice, when is dinner going to be ready".  Here is a photo of the book.  It does have a really nice break down of how to draw 101 Tangles.  Great for new tanglers and nice for us old tanglers as well.
This is the Zentangle Inspired Mandala I shared with them.

When I saw this today I suddenly remembered that I don't have this mandala any more.  About 6 months ago someone very dear to me was fighting AML, a form of acute leukemia.  She was struggling to cope with the diagnosis and I sent this to her with a long note written on the back as well as some Zentangle supplies, etc.  We had done Zentangle projects together many times but she had 2 small children and never enough time to sit for very long.  I was ill at the time and couldn't go for a visit but I told her the package was on the way. She received it and told me on the phone of her plans to do some mandalas herself to help her cope.  She could not accept how serious and deadly this disease was.  Unfortunately, she passed away very shortly thereafter.  When I saw this in the book today it opened a floodgate of all kinds of memories.  Many happy times and some profoundly sad. All in all, I'm just pleased that I happened to choose a photo of this piece of Zentangle to send to them.  It is  like a tiny memorial to a precious person that I could call a "friend".

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn ATC swap

Finally finished my ATCs for a swap and popped them in the mail.  I did 3 different sets of ATCs and just couldn't decide which ones to send.  Really, I think I just torment myself too much over things like this.  Any way, I decided to send the ones that I liked the best.  It always goes back to the foil covered work.  I love that product.  So here is my set of four:
I named them "Autumn in Paris 1890s".  Tim's foil, stamps and ephemera.  G45 paper.  Doesn't get any better than that for supplies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sweet Dreams Art Journal Page

I suffer from funny little bouts of insomnia from time to time.  It usually lasts for a month and then I'm good for a while.  Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I decided to just play in my studio until I dropped.  It only took until around 2:30 am.  Not bad.  Of course my ideas that seem so brilliant in the middle of the night usually don't look so hot in the morning light.  But I did do a jounaled art page that I still like this morning.
It started with Dina Wakley's hearts then I added a little Zentangle.  I decided with all those hearts the theme should be "love" (I really think that came from playing '80s love songs in the background).  The color surrounding everything is my new crush, Memento inks, applied with a sponge applicator.  I used Morocco red and a little Pistachio.  I wrote around parts of it with a black Copic Multi Liner 1.0.  Always nice to have some fun toys to access in the middle of the night, I used to do needlepoint all night long when I was younger.  I'd love to hear any thoughts or comments you might have, this art journaling thing is still pretty new to me.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Abandoned Art::Marci Tag

We got all gussied up and went into town tonight!  We went to Olives restaurant and it was everything I had imagined it would be.  Usually if we are going into Boston I try to take a piece of art to abandon and tonight was no exception.  I made a tag with Stampotique's Marci on it.  The background was done with yellow and blue pastels rubbed on top of words stamped with clear embossing ink.  The chalk picked up the impression of the letters.  Very subtle.  The crown is a cute one by Hero Arts.  A little bow on the top with a safety pin and a lock and it was ready to be abandoned.
I left it in the ladies room.  I hope she found a good home!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mommies need play dates too!

My friend Ann works and has a four year old with a fully booked play date schedule.  When does Mom get to take some time to play?  Last night Ann and I left Lanie with Daddy and took off for our LSS, Ink About It.  It doesn't get any more fun than that!  We both love that store, they have just about everything to play with that you can imagine.  Ann really wanted Dyan Reaveley's new Journal so she can start art journaling.    They only had a few left but she was able to get one!  Back we went to my house, the one with the colorful guest bathroom (again).  Joe was napping in front of the TV and we decided that since all my spray inks were out on the counter it seemed as good a time as any for Ann to start messing up her new book.  Out came the gesso, old credit cards, ink, stencils, acrylic paints.......the usual toys.  Within no time at all Ann had the background completed on her first two pages.
We have both decided we need another DR Journal so we can create calendars for 2013.  I'll keep you posted on that idea.  Our first journal books will be dedicated to trying out new techniques and perhaps writing in them later or just keep adding to them as we learn more.  In the meantime, Hooray for Ann!  I love her first 2 page spread. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stampotique Designer's Challenge 70::Backgrounds

Time for a Stampotique Challenge!  This time it is "Backgrounds".  I took a class a couple of weeks ago at my LSS with John from Tsukinedo, they produce Memento inks and several other really cool products.  I fell in love with a product called Goosebumps.  It reminds me of liquid plastic in a spray bottle.  I used it to spray through stencils.  After it dries you can ink over it and then wipe off the excess ink.  It provides a resist similar to embossing.  The texture of it feels like rubber, it is pretty amazing stuff.  John also re-introduced me to Memento inks.  I don't how I've drifted away from using them but the colors he had us working with are delicious:  Peanut Brittle, Pistachio, Morocco (my fave) and Espresso Truffle.  Here is a fall ispired tag I made using all these colors and of course the Goosebumps.

I used Goosebumps with a stencil on the bottom of the tag and then stamped the word FLY in the Goosebumps and stamped it next to the bird.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Art Journal Pages

I just purchased my Dyan Reaveley art journal recently and it has been so much fun to play in.  The paper in the journal is nice and smooth.  I can honestly say it also loves gesso, paint, ink, water.....you name it, this book can take it.  I am very new to art journaling so at this stage I am just preparing background pages and then I'll do more on them later.  Here is what I've come up with thus far:

If you haven't tried Art Journaling yet you might want to give it a go.  The new Somerset Studio magazine Art Journaling has some really great ideas.  The articles help to lower my anxiety about trying to draw or write.  Two things I'm not entirely comfortable with.  Oh well, if I don't like the looks of something I can always cover it.  I believe that is why God created gesso.  If only that worked in all aspects of life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumn ATCs

Lately I seem to be making a lot of ATCs and preparing pages in my new Dyan Reaveley art Journal.  I did an ATC to abandon this week, which I did yesterday.  I abandoned this Poe ATC in the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Leominster, MA.

Then I made some "Autumn in Paris" themed ATCs for an upcoming swap.

I apologize for the bright sunlight on this last photo.  Can you believe the sun shone most of the day here today?  And yet when I went outside for a few minutes it was FREEZING cold.  It is definitely Autumn here in New England!  Good weather for crafting.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

ATCs with Foil

What a better way to spend a Saturday night than sitting around making ATCs?  Ever since I took that class with Tim Holtz showing us how to use the Inkssentials Foil Tape Sheets I can't stop "foiling" things.  I made another chunky ATC similar to the one I'm teaching the class on next Saturday at Ink About It.  Then with the leftover pieces I made some regular flat ATCs.  I dry embossed the foil with a texture fade and then peeled off the paper backing and applied it to a paper piece that measured the standard 3 1/2" by 2 1/2".  I did the same type of application for inking the metal by using alcohol inks.  Then I just glued leftovers onto the ATCs with some Red Line tape and Mat Medium.
And a little Alice in Wonderland featuring TD & TD at the bottom under some mica.

A little foil can go a long way since it can be pieced.  It is easy and fun to work with!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Altered Paint Brushes

Have you seen Donna Downey's website featuring altered paint brushes?  It is quite amazing how many different ideas there are when it comes to altering a paint brush.  I tried my hand at two recently.  One for a swap and another for my sister in California.  Here is what I came up with.
This is the one I did for the swap.  It has a little book of watercolor paper glued to where the bristles used to be.  The pages were sprayed with Dylusions and stamped with Dina Wakley's new stamps.

This is the brush I made for my sister who has always wanted to go to Tahiti.  Both of the brushes are 4" paint brushes purchased from the hardware store.  Both were painted with acrylic paints.  A lot of glue was involved in the form of glue dots, Glossy Accents and of course, Red Line tape.  The only limits are your imagination.