Friday, May 31, 2013

Today in my garden

Finally we have some sun....of course it is 90 degrees F out there but hey, it is sunshine and it makes my garden GROW!  Here is a little peek at what is growing in my Bolton Garden right now. These are the plants that come back every year all by themselves.   Don't mind the weeds, they are always with me.  I did spot a hummingbird today and a woodpecker.  They just wouldn't hold still for a photo.

Bleeding Hearts
Chives and chocolate mint


Now that the weather has improved and it is nearly June 1st, the magic planting date here in New England, I can start planting my summer veggies, etc.  Oh and I can start getting serious about pulling weeds!  I hope you have a great weekend.  Take care and leave a comment if you have time.  Thanks for stopping by, I'll talk to you soon. ~ Renee

Sunday, May 26, 2013

New stamp from STAMPENDOUS!

When I was at Winter CHA in Anaheim I saw the cutest stamps in the STAMPENDOUS! booth and their samples were amazing.  Our local scrapbook store just got some in last week so I finally bought one of the adorable shoe stamps.  It is called "Click Heels" and has a kind of steampunk feel to it.  This is the card I made using Tsukineo StazOn ink in Midnight Blue.  After the ink had dried I colored it in with Spectrum Noir pens and some Copics.  I'm thinking about doing a series of cards like this in different colors and styles.

I hope you find time to make some art this weekend!  Have fun~Renee

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

AIRs Challenge::Themed Project

Today my AIRs (Artists in Residence) challenge for Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko is to take my spring colored products and make something original and interesting out of them using the theme of "Self Portrait".  I had to think of a project that represented me and my personality.  One thing I know about myself is that I LOVE to read.  I also LOVE to give gifts to others, though they might be small gifts, all through the year.  I don't believe in waiting necessarily for a particular day or occasion to show someone that I love them or that I just happened to be thinking of them.

 When I think of a project that would reflect my personality but would be a useful item to others I think of a book marker.  Summer is right around the corner, summer reading goes along with that.  What better thing to make than a book marker?Personally I love to read historical books, which makes me think of historical figures that were larger than life and that inspired me to think of Marie-Antoinette as being the person that I would like to put on my book markers.    In a way I have multiple themes going on here......items that reflect my personality, Spring Colors, Marie-Antoinette and book markers.  Here is what I came up with.

Did I hear someone scream "group photo"?  All of these images are by Alpha Stamps and are from their digital art collection called "Young Marie".  I will show you a tutorial for the pink one but the same techniques apply to all of the book markers just using different colors.
To start I cut a piece of 140# Strathmore water color paper into strips that measure 2" by 9".  You can cut the strips shorter if you like or change the width, it depends on the measurements of the book you are creating it for.  After cutting the strips I used a large stamp by Magenta, you can use whatever stamps you have on hand,.  I covered the stamp with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Luxe Wedding Dress ink which is a lovely shade of white, then covered the stamping with embossing powder.  I heated the embossing powder and then allowed it to cool.
I love the IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in the Pink Petunia color so I started applying that all over the marker, right over the embossed areas.
One of my all time favorite products to use for blending inks and removing inks are baby wipes and this project is no exception.  I coated it with the Pink Petunia ink first and then sprayed the ink covered book marker with IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in the Angel Pink color.  I let it run down the marker and then wiped the entire marker down with the baby wipe.

I could continue to add more color if I wanted to at this point and just keep removing portions with the baby wipe until it is just the color I had in mind.  Next I edged the book marker with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink in  Espresso Truffle to distress it a little.

Now it it ready to decorate.  I emptied my stash of trim on the table to see what would work with this project.  I know I can change the color of trims with ink pads and Fireworks! sprays so they match the inks I've chosen.

I had some white seam binding that could be dyed and crumpled for that old world look so I used IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in Angel Pink color with a tiny bit of Dandelion Fireworks!  too.  You can keep adjusting the color by spraying some water on the ribbon, wrapping it in a paper towel and drying it with the heat gun.  Just crumple it up while you do that if you want it to look aged.

I decided to use a large tattered lacy flower and give it the same treatment with a touch of IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment ink in the Aloe Vera green to mimic a leaf and the Angel Pink Fireworks! spray for the pink petals.

I attached the flower and ribbon with a strong adhesive and a light green brad in the center of the flower.  Now I just add Marie to the mix.

I trimmed out the image and adhered it to the back of the marker.  You could also cover the entire back with plain paper at this point in the event that you want it to look finished and also have an area to write book notes on.  I made several of these book markers since they are easy and pretty.  Every one has a different stamp design, is a different color and has a different image of Marie-Antoinette attached to the top.

IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Pink Petunia
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Mango Madness and Imagine Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in Angel Pink edged with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink in Peanut Brittle color

IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Spring Pansy and IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in Lulu Lavender edged with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Ink in Royal Purple color

IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Mango Madness and IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in Bahama Blue edged with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Ink in Azure and Teal Blue colors

These are great gifts to give with a summer read.  I personally use a Kindle when I read at night but for some reason on a plane or a beach I prefer a real book so a book marker is always a handy way to mark the pages.  Imagine one of these with a Romance novel......hmmmm, love that idea.

Here's a list of all the products and tools that I used on this project.


Strips of 140# Strathmore Water color paper
Miscellanious flowers, ribbons and trims
IMAGINE Crafts Embossing Powder
IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray Inks in Dandelion, Angel Pink, Lulu Lavender, Summer Sky and Bahama Blue colors
IMAGINE Crafts InkBlushers
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink in Peanut Brittle and Espresso Truffle Colors
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Inks in Royal Purple, Teal Blue and Azure
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Dewdrop size pads:  Pink Petunia, Spring Pansy, Mango Madness
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Luxe Mixed Media Pigment Ink in Wedding Dress White
self adhesive rhinestone
Digital clip art from Alpha Stamps
baby wipes


Heat Gun
Paper trimmer
Water spray bottle

Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a visit today, I really appreciate it.  I also appreciate any comments that you might have the time to leave.  Have a great day, I will talk to you soon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


My thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered such terrible losses in Oklahoma with the recent tornado.  I cannot imagine the pain they are feeling, there are no words that can heal their wounds at this time.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Postcard Swap

I recently participated in a postcard swap with "Kindred Souls Art Group" that had a theme:  Viva Mexico!  Who better to represent Mexico than artist Frida Kahlo.

I hope you're having a great weekend!  Take care, talk to you soon.~Renee

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

AIRs Project of Choice::Masculine Card

In the current issue of "The Stampers' Sampler" I had a card featured that featured stamped images from Artistic Outpost.  I love their stamps!  The wonderful thing about using their stamps on something that is published in a magazine is that if you notify them they will give you a $14 gift certificate to their store.  That is just enough to buy a full plate of stamps.  So of course I let them know as soon as I saw my card and within a couple of days I was the proud owner of a stamp set called "Paperboy".  Here is a photo of it so you can see how adorable it is!

I was DYING to give it a go so the card I made for the Imagine Crafts AIRs challenge will be one of my first Paperboy projects.  I usually do a couple of different cards at one time and I tried some different background techniques.  For this particular one I will provide a step by step tutorial to show how I did the card.  I wanted to show you another way to use the IMAGINE Crafts Creative Medium product in the clear color for a unique background.

Initially I cut a piece of patterned card stock to fit the blank card measuring 5" by 7".  I adhered the patterned paper to the card using IMAGINE CRAFTS  Clear Creative Medium.  When this had dried I covered the entire card with a very thin coating of gesso and then allowed this to dry.  I used a heat gun to hurry this process along.  When the gesso was dry I took one of my largest background stamps and applied some Imagine Crafts spring colored inks to that in different spots.

The colors I chose are IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink in Mango Madness, Aquatic Splash and Pink Petunia.   I spritzed the ink pad with about 2-3 sprays of water and then pressed it down firmly on the gessoed paper.  The result is very subtle.
Now I started building the layers on top of this background, starting with some black twine and a phrase from my new collection.  I stamped the phrase with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Jet Black and heat embossed it with clear powder.

I wanted to frame out my image of the newspaper boy with one of Spellbinders gorgeous shapes so I die cut a lovely one from Beaded Ovals.

I didn't want it to look too elegant since there is a scruffy little boy featured so I cut it out in black card stock and then sewed a piece of burlap with some black zigzag stitching on top of that.  Then the boy image that I had stamped in IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Ink full size ink pad in Jet Black was trimmed out.  He looked a little pale so I colored in his face with Copic inks.  I used a strong adhesive to glue the boy's image to the burlap, finally the entire framed panel was adhered to the card and a little button was attached to the black twine.  I distressed the edges of the card with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye ink in the Espresso Truffle color.  The card turned out very masculine.  It would be suitable for any man in your life!

Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog today.  I hope you'll give some of these techniques a try.  If you have time please leave a comment, I love to hear from you!  Have a great weekend, I'll talk to you soon.  Here is a list of the products and tools that were used to create this card.

IMAGINE Crafts Creative Medium Clear color
IMAGINE Crafts Embossing Powder Clear
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink full-size ink pad in Espresso Truffle
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Ink full-size ink pad in Jet Black
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Ink Dewdrop size ink pads in:
Mango Madness, Pink Petunia, Aquatic Splash
one 5" by 7" blank white card
one piece of patterned paper cut to measure 5" by 7"
black waxed twine
burlap fabric circle

Paperboy stamp set by Artistic Outpost
Large stamp, Geometric Swirl by Rubber Stampede
Water spray bottle
Spellbinders Nestabilities "Beaded Ovals" die template
sewing machine with black thread
heat gun

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Artistic Outpost May Referral Program

The challenge at Artistic Outpost for the month of May is "Anything Goes".  The sole constraint that you have is to use only Artistic Outpost stamps which is easy since they are so cute!  I decided to use the stamp set that they so generously sent me recently as a gift for using their stamps in a card that was published in Stampington's "400 More Ideas" magazine.  The set is called Paperboy and has images and phrases.
I made an all occasion card, masking off the boy and stamping the cityscape "behind" him.  The clouds are made from Pan Pastels and scalloped paper.

I hope you're having a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by to visit.  Talk to you soon.~~Renee

Saturday, May 11, 2013

SDC99::Stampotique Challenge "Summertime"

Carol is the hostess this week at the Stampotique Designers Challenge and she is requiring some "sunshine".  I decided to make a postcard using one of my favorite Stampotique stamps, a little girl called Mela.  The phrase is by DeNami Design.    Mela is colored in with Memento pens and has PanPastel clouds in the background with a sun stencil of yellow ink on top of it.  StazOn greens, blue and teal on the edges and a couple of stray pieces of tissue tape to finish it off.

You still have time to submit to their challenge.  Even if you don't want to submit anything it is always fun to stop by their website and check out the amazing creations by their DT and the submissions.

Friday, May 10, 2013

"Boston Strong" Mail Art

I think all of us here is Mass. have been deeply affected by the Marathon bombing attack.  As the stories unfold it really just breaks your heart.  I did a piece of mail art just to get it off my mind.  The whole thing kept making me think of that song Eric Clapton sang about 20 years ago called "Tears in Heaven".  I wrote the lyrics on a large mailing envelope then applied gesso over them so only bits and pieces of the words are visible.  I stamped a large face image on the right side, colored her in with chalks and did some Zentangles for her dress.
How about you?  Does creating some form of art help you to express your emotions? 

Well, the weather here today has cleared up and it looks like a perfect Spring day!  Enjoy the weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by to visit.  I'll talk to you soon.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Map Card

Do you have any old maps laying around that you can recycle?  I not only have several but I found an old map book on sale at a Dollar Store the other day.  Great for recycling and doing work on when I'm trying to protect my work surface.  I just happened to receive some gifts in the mail from Taylor Usry, you might want to check out her blog when you get a chance:,  Anyway.....Taylor is the Social Media Coordinator for Crafter's Companion and also a member of the Imagine Crafts AIRs team, busy girl.  Taylor sent me some fabulous stamps to try out so of course I did first chance I got.  The Stamp-It (Australia) stamps are very clean and elegant.  I made a map card out of one of them.

The Frou Frou stamps by Kathleen Francour are adorable.   Here is a sample of one of them.

All very different but very cool in their own way.  Thanks to Taylor for the gifts and thanks to you for stopping by.  Talk to you soon.

Friday, May 3, 2013

AIRs::Artist Challenge

Every month Imagine Crafts gives all of their AIRs (Artists in Residence) an opportunity to use each product that they have sent us, at least once, on the same project.  This challenge can be quite daunting since they are very generous with that monthly box of goodness that they ship us!  We are using the same products and theme that we used for April, which is "SPRING".  Personally I can't hear that word often enough after the rough winter we've been through here in the Northeast. 

For the challenge I decided to make a Masterboard because of its extreme versatility.  I started with a large piece of 140# Strathmore water color paper.  Since I have an assortment of gorgeous IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Inks the colors of the Masterboard are very Spring-like.  If you know me at all you know  I don't really "do" pretty so I had to add a little bit of grunge to the project.  Here is the completed Masterboard.

I started off by working all of the IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Pigment Inks in the dewdrop ink pads through different stencils.  I also used the IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Sprays with the stencils.  If the colors were too intense I sprayed them with a little water and blotted it with a paper towel.  I used the IMAGINE Crafts Ink Blushers to apply the ink from the IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye full size ink pad in Morocco through a numbers stencil I purchased at the office supply store.  Additional texture was achieved using my all time favorite product....GESSO!

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer sells this fab stencil that has honey combs, stars and circles all on the same stencil!  Love it.  After applying the gesso make sure you wash the stencil off immediately.  I used a heat gun to dry the gesso.  Here's another product I can't live without....IMAGINE Crafts Creative Medium in Clear.  I used it here to apply a small amount of text from an old book onto the Masterboard.

I painted it on through the honeycomb stencil and then covered it in old book pages, waited about 15 seconds and lifted it up gently.

It leaves just a touch of print, which is the look I was going for.  If you want more print just paint on more of the Creative Medium to your surface before laying down the old book pages.  Here is the look I was wanted.  If I want more on the finished project I can always add it later.

Now that my Masterboard is finished I can use it to make other projects.  If you make a Masterboard you always have the option of making a photocopy on heavy card stock so you don't use your original, you can use the copies like a background paper.  Or if you're like me, just cut it up and use it, you can always make another one at a different time.  Sometimes I'll even make two at the same time, oddly enough they never turn out exactly the same.

I decided use this to make some cards Dina Wakley style, sticking with my grunge-style idea.  I used Dina's new stencils with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Ink full size ink pad in Jet Black to add the image, some tissue tape, sewed it in spots on my sewing machine to add interest, added ribbon and some rubber stamping.  The water color panels were then adhered to blank white cards that measure 5" by 7".  All of the cards were distressed around the edges with IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink full-size ink pad in Espresso Truffle.   Now I have three wonderful "spring" cards for friends and family that are interesting but not too "cute".

Here is a list of the products and tools that I used to make this project:

IMAGINE Crafts Creative Medium Clear
IMAGINE Crafts Fireworks! Craft Spray in Summer Sky, Angel Pink, Lulu Lavender, Dandelion
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink Espresso Truffle
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Memento Luxe Mixed Media Pigment Ink in Morocco, Sweet Plum and Pear Tart
IMAGINE Crafts/'Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Inks full size ink pad in Jet Black
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Takc 'N Peel Reusable Cling Sheet
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko Versa Magic Chalk Pigment Ink Dew Drop ink pads in Pink Petunia, Mango Madness, Spring Pansy, Aloe Vera and Thatched Straw
IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko All-Purpose Stamp Cleaner
IMAGINE Crafts InkBlushers
Black Thread
Black Ribbon
Three 5" by 7" blank white cards

Water color paper
paint brush
credit card
old book pages
Miscellaneous stencils (I used Dina Wakleys, Julie Fei-Fan Balzers, office supply store stencils)
spray water bottle
sewing machine
Paper cutting tool
Stampotique Rubber Stamps

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog today, I really appreciate it!  I hope you'll make your own Masterboards with these products or some that you have on hand.  After you make one you'll be hooked on them like I am.  Have a great weekend, I will talk to you soon.