Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tattered Florals Challenge

I am doing something that I have never done before. I am actually submitting a piece of my art to an artists challenge.  I procrastinated and left it until almost the very last day, but I pulled it together even though I am 4000 miles away from home (and all my craft supplies) and I finished it!

The challenge was to use Tim Holtz' tattered florals was that simple...make something using the die.  I decided that my project would be to use the die on recyclables.  I chose two different Teavana tea packages, a Kleenex box, and an aluminum soda can. I used buttons for the centers and placed them on a recycled styrofoam ring covered with recycled ribbon.

So here, for your viewing pleasure is my first ever completed challenge!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lack of money can be a great opportunity for Creativity

For 23 years I had a career that allowed me to live without having to worry about money.  I raised my kids as a single mother, provided all necessities and most non-essentials (don't let them tell you that I was always buying plants and compost instead of food...).

Since I retired last December, my income reduced by 2/3rds.  That is a significant decrease especially for someone who wants to pick and choose when or whether she works.

One thing this reduction in income has showed me is that I can be really creative when it comes to funding non-essential purchases.  For instance, my friend's birthday is coming soon and I would normally go out and drop a wad of money on something that she probably wouldn't use very often.  Instead, I'm putting together a myriad of gifts gathered and made which will cost me next to nothing.

A good place to start is with all those boxes of nick nacks that everyone has stashed away somewhere.  I have two large eaves in the upstairs of my house where I packed away boxes and boxes of things anticipating that I would trade them out as whim dictated.  Several years later, the same items are still packed away in the same boxes.  I guess that means I really didn't need them that badly.

Secondly, I consider myself quite artistic when it comes to certain talents.  Oh, I couldn't draw a portrait of anyone if my life depended on it (if you need confirmation, check out Miho Yagi's profile picture on Facebook, bless her heart).  However, I do some great things with bleach, ink, leaves, and something to print on be it material or paper.  I also own every scrapbooking supply known to (wo)mankind.  This makes it fun and easy to create gifts.

Thirdly, I love to cook!  This gave me the idea of cooking and freezing things that I know my friend wouldn't do for herself.  Wouldn't you just love to have several packages of pre-cooked lentils, rice, or beans in your freezer?  So easy to open and create a fast meal or toss into your reusable bag for a healthy lunch.

The fourth idea cost a little bit of money but it has a large impact.  I donated to a small business on in her name and had the donation acknowledgment sent to her.  I think this is such a great helps entrepreneurs realize their dreams and means so much more than the cost of the donation.  Please consider this when you are creating your holiday gift list. is another website and  every charity has gifting opportunities.

Just in case my friend looks at this blog, I won't add any photos of actual gifts until after her birthday.  Stay tuned for photos of just how creative I can be!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Centsational Girl Linkup...Favorite Souvenir

Amazing blogger Centsational Girl issued a up a blog on my favorite souvenir.  I'm glad for the challenge as I've been remiss in posting lately.

At first I thought I would submit a photo collage of my trips; however, I've never bothered to put them into any organized format.  100s (really 1000s, 3965 to be exact) of photos reside on my iPad, iTouch, HP desktop, 4 external hard drives, and numerous SD cards.  The job now seems so overwhelming that I think I will leave it for my children to handle after they ship me off to the seniors' home.

I do have one all-time favorite souvenir that I can submit.  It is a tattoo of a thistle that I got while visiting Scotland in honor of my 50th birthday.  This was a fabulous 14-day trip that my daughter, Brooke, and I took to celebrate this milestone.  I have over 400 photos from this trip alone....residing in all the various places.  But, with no further ado, I present MY THISTLE TATTOO (and my favorite souvenir)!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry 101 Day 6-10

As I usually do, I got behind in my coursework and am only now finishing up this amazing class.  Thank goodness it is online and I won't get docked on my final grade for being late!

I spent the last 3 days finishing up projects from days 6-10.  It has been a very enjoyable time and now I will share photos of the 'fruits' of my labor.

Day 6: Watercolor with Distress Markers
Today was more of a technique day than a project day.  I explored different ways of adding color using Distress Markers, different papers, and wet/dry methods.

Day 7: Embossing Basics.  These projects all include using embossing powders as either a resist (adding a layer that remains the original color regardless of how many layers you add over it) or for dimension on a project.

I screwed up the card but I think I recovered beautifully!

Batik Technique

Enamel Technique

Distress Powder Resist Technique

Day 8: Paint Dabbers and Crackle Paint.  Loved these techniques especially the Shatter Stains.  These are projects that I will make again and again.

Paint Dabber Resist Technique (this is on fabric)

Crackle Paint Resist Technique

My personal favorite, Shattered Stains Technique (these are made on grungeboard)

Day 9: Perfect Pearls and Beyond.  This project taught how to make pearly inks from Perfect Pearls (a pearly mineral powder), Distress Re-inkers (concentrated ink color), and water in a spray mister.  They add glimmer and shine to any project.  Bring on the Bling!


Perfect Distress Mist Technique

Showing a little of the pearly shine

Perfect Distress Technique

Perfect Splatter Distress Technique (like the Perfect Distress Technique only the ink is applied first to your working surface and added to the tag by dragging it through the color)

Trying to capture the texture and glimmer
So...that completes my 10 Days of Techniques by Tim Holtz of Ranger, Inc.  I loved both the online format and all the techniques I learned.  It will take my cardmaking to a higher level.

I'd appreciate a vote for your favorite technique!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry 101 Day 5

This online course is 10 days long and I've just completed Day 5.  The techniques from Day 5 are beautiful and I can't wait to get started on some cards and collages that I hope to actually frame.  I'm learning techniques that produce items that are worth to be given as gifts and every once in a while, something happens that I think would sell.  I'm not looking to become a mass producer of cards and whatnot, but if I have an outlet I certainly have added some tricks to my repertoire.  So, on to the reveal!

Stained Kraft Resist technique

This technique uses Tim Holtz' Kraft paper which is covered with a varnish in places. The varnished areas will resist add color (water based) so I can saturate the page, wipe away excess, and the varnished areas will come back through.

Stamping with Stains technique

I have a new favorite tool called Picket Fence. It is a heavily pigmented white stain that dries to look like white wash.  It adds a bit of Oomph to a piece.  It breaks up the layer between the multicolored, busy background and the main image.  I wish I had selected a bolder stamp for the black image, but the nice thing about these techniques is that I now own them. I can make another project anytime. This technique is definitely a keeper...I liked it so well I did two of these!

Marbled Stains technique

I have been fascinated with marbling since I saw my first piece of handmade paper. I've marbleized paper, eggs, poly clay, and my grandchildren (just seeing if you're paying attention).  This technique is simple and it doesn't contain any oil (reference to the normal process of creating marbling solution. If I have to explain the joke, is it still funny?).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry 101 Day 4

So today's entry will have two projects instead of three.  One issue I have with this course, is that we were given a supply list and a suggested supply list from which I purchased my, well, supplies.  However, there have been a couple of projects which relied on items that were not on either list.  I tried to make do, but today's third project (making a custom stamp pad out of specialty felt) was impossible to fudge on.  I have so many stamp pads that it doesn't make sense to go out and buy the felt for one project.

So, here are today's projects.  The first one used waterbrushes (plastic tubes filled with water that have brushes on the end) to watercolor stamped images with re-inker.  For those who do not know, a re-inker is a very concentrated form of ink used to renew a stamp pad.  I only have two re-inkers so I took a little license and used my markers to add highlights.  I really like this technique and the look I achieved!
Watercoloring with Re-inkers technique

The second technique involved creating sprays out of the re-inkers and using them to create backgrounds.  I only had two little mist bottles so I made the background by swiping my pads on my non-stick craft sheet and picking up color on my tag that way.  I then placed a mask and sprayed with some walnut stain that I had.  This left a negative image on my tag.  Because it wasn't very sharply defined, I did a very rough outline in black to add definition.  Not my favorite project, but I won't throw it away!

Layered Misting technique

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tim Holtz' Creative Chemistry 101 Day 3

Today's techniques were a little more challenging for me.  Mostly because I did not have the correct tools for the project.  One item that I must have missed on the supply list was Glossy stamping paper.  Tonight I discovered why glossy photo paper is not a good lacks the clay coating of the stamping paper which makes it impervious to the solvents in the alcohol inks I used.  Still, I think it turned out well even though I ruined three or four 'first tries' getting it down.  So, without further ado, here is technique #1: Alcohol Ink Agates

I had so much fun doing technique #2, Archival Resist. A solvent ink and a water-based ink will repel each other so I can stamp with one (solvent) then coat the paper with the other (water-based) and when I give it a wipe, the first layer shines through.  I really love how this piece turned out!
My final technique taught me some new ways to use my texture fade folders.  These are embossing folders that are ran through an embossing machine.  I happen to own the Big Kick which is cranked by hand.  Tim Holtz' Vagabond machine is electric.  I hope to one day own a looks like a vintage suitcase and I LOVE vintage suitcases!  I had to improvise because I did not have the correct stamps.  I like the outcome, though.  I hope you can see that the trees are raised (embossed).  I think I've found my Father's Day card...

So here is a composite shot of all three projects.  Another successful day in my endeavor to use my craft supplies!