Saturday, November 30, 2013

O is for ~ altered dictionary spread

Caution: Long and winding post.
Do not attempt on an empty stomach :D

Hello crafty friends!I haven't played in my altered dictionary for a while and when I saw all of the fabulous owl digi images by Norma J. Burnell at Sweet Pea Stamps, I knew exactly which one I wanted for my O spread. Mind you, I bought 5 other stamps at the same time...LOL. They are gorgeous and I am weak :D

I coloured Hoot with Prismacolor pencils using very intense colours and contrasting shading for more drama. Hoot and his tree branch were fussy cut, edged with Black Big Brush pen and asked to wait patiently while the background was completed.

The two pages were adhered to the ones next to each with Matte Medium for added strength. The working pages were covered with slightly watered down white gesso making sure that the definition was not covered. Shades of blue Neocolor II watercolour crayon were scribbled (literally) across the page  and spread with water. Once dry, White Linen Dylusions ink was sprayed through the Prima Threads stencil and left to dry thoroughly.

Some Michael's inexpensive little stamps were used along with Studio 490 Cornflower Archival ink to add more circle designs aka background texture :) More stencilling was applied with a make-up wedge and Coffee Archival ink through Dylusions Number Jumble stencil.

White gesso was pounced with a scruffy brush through two of TCW's Well Rounded stencil designs. Before adhering any of the elements to the pages, black gesso was slightly watered down and flicked across the pages (and my arms/hands) with a brush. Seriously, I could not stop laughing. I even had it on my glasses. Rings were stamped using a bottle lid. (far less messy)

The poem was computer idea as to the source. It was always in the Primary readers back in the day, although the last line is sometimes slightly different. It was printed on white cardstock, cut with a Spellbinders die and inked around with Vintage Photo Distress ink before being matted with brown cardstock. It was then faux stitched and popped up on foam dots.

Clouds were cut from white cardstock using an MFT die and then run through a Cuttlebug embossing folder to get the large raised dots. Broken China Distress ink was applied to the bottom edges.

The lettering for the word owl is chipboard with a woodgrain pattern which seemed to fit with Hoot's tree branch. White paint pen dots were added to each letter. The Oo letters are Idea-ology Ransom Alpha Parts.

To ground the bottom of Hoot's branch, washi tape with a measuring tape pattern was glued to both pages. A leftover piece of scalloped paper was placed under the horizontal piece and a circle was cut and half was glued to the other page for continuity and repetition. A length of border cut from brown cardstock with an MFT die was also applied in two places to bring a little more brown around the pages. It's just like when my sister and I were little...whatever one got, so did the other. I treat my pages the same so that they flow better. Lots of black doodling was done on both pages and around each element before the edges of the pages were inked with Pthalo Blue and then Black Big Brush pen.

This page puts me half way through my altered dictionary which means that I still have lots of fun ahead. Yay! Thanks for stopping by today. I really appreciate your visits and your kind comments. Hoot thanks you, too, but he's the quiet type like the poem says.

I am entering this project in the following challenges:
One Sweet Challenge ~ It's a feast! Focusing on the colour blue
Left of Center Challenges ~ No People
Sweet Pea Stampers ~ Lots of texture
Wags N Whiskers ~ Things with wings
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Life is good; so is art.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gimme a little kiss! ~ Craftitude Challenge #54

I cannot believe it is already the end of November. Was it not just the beginning of September yesterday? My, oh my! Well, it is time for another challenge at Craftitude Challenges. This fortnight the theme is Button Up and we are asking you to add a button to your project. Easy peasy! We have two fabulous sponsors this time, Digi Darla and Eureka Stamps. I chose to play with Eureka Stamps' Mistletoe Couple for my ATC.  I think these two are so cute in their Christmas finery puckering up under the mistletoe. I coloured them with my Prismacolor pencils and fussy cut them, using a tiny circle punch for the greenery.

The paper is from DCWV's The Christmas Combo stack which I think I will never use up in my lifetime. There are 180 12x12 sheets in this baby. That's a lot of cards and Anyway, I used a brown holly patterned tone on tone paper for the background and then cut a scalloped border off the same paper. A length of red and white dotty ribbon was adhered next to the scalloped border and faux stitching was done with a Micron pen. Two green buttons were stacked and threaded with brown and white baker's twine before they were glued on top of the red grosgrain ribbon. The mistletoe was popped up on a foam dot and a Walnut Brown Big Brush pen was used to edge the ATC and colour in a floor to ground the sweethearts.

Thank you for popping by today to visit with the three of us. I really appreciate that you took the time to do that. Be sure to stop by the Craftitude Challenges blog to see the Button Up projects created by the rest of our fine team. Then dig into that button stash and join us this fortnight. Well, I don't know about you but I'm going to leave these two alone now...they told me three's a crowd :D

I am entering this ATC in the following challlenges:
4 Crafty Chicks ~ Christmas
Crafty Ribbons ~ #72 Anything Goes with ribbon
Crafting by Designs ~ Christmas/Winter
Charisma Cardz Challenges ~ #46 Christmas
Craft-Room Challenge ~ Vintage Christmas

Life is good; so is art.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thank You Fairy Much ~ CYP Challenge #190

To celebrate Thanksgiving with our American friends this week, our new theme at Craft Your Passion Challenges is Give thanks/Thanksgiving. We had our Canadian Thanksgiving back in October but since gratitude is so good for the soul, I'm happy to celebrate again :) Our wonderful sponsor this week is The Sugar Kissed Cottage and I was lucky enough to play with this gorgeous little vintage fairy. The Sugar Kissed Cottage has such lovely and sweet vintage images. I coloured Sally the fairy using Prismacolor pencils...I know you are I added silver metallic gel pen to her shoes, tiara and wand star and i Icicle Stickles to the dots on her dress, as is befitting a fairy.

The background was kept simple with layered fishtail flags overlapped by layers of scalloped circles. The papers came from Recollections Habitat paper stack as well as my scrap bin. White paint pen was added to the background in the form of faux stitching and other doodling in order to add detail and tie the mix of papers together. Two mulberry flowers were stacked and topped with a resin flower with a bling center. Narrow silver cord was made into a triple bow and adhered behind the flower stack. The letter stickers are both puffy and sparkly for added dimension and shimmer.

Thank you for joining Sally and me today. If you get a chance, pop over to the Craft Your Passion Challenges blog to see the lovely creations by the rest of our talented team. It's always a treat to see what they make in response to the challenges. I hope you'll be inspired enough to join us in our Give Thanks/Thanksgiving challenge. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, have a wonderful time with family and friends.

I am entering this project in the following challenges:
613 Avenue Create ~ #47 Create Your Own Challenge (image, diecut, Stickles, flowers, ribbon)
Come and Get It Challenges ~ Anything Goes with a twist (use a digi)
One Stitch at a Time ~ #191 Bingo (gem/dies/ribbon)
The Squirrel and the Fox ~ #57 Use Violet
That Craft Place ~ Stars
2 Sisters Challenge ~ Thank You
Di's Digi Designs ~ Thanks

Life is good; so is art.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recycling ~ the new eTeam Picks challenge

It's the third Thursday of the month which means it's time for the new eTeam Picks Challenge at eclectic Paperie. The eTeam Picks Challenge is an opportunity for all of us to be inspired by one of the eTeam's creations. It's a chance to mix it up, enjoy the creative process, and try a new technique or product. You get a chance to share your work through a link on the eclectic Paperie blog and to gain a chance to win a $15 gift certificate to the eP store...gotta love that! Tracy is our fabulous hostess with the mostest this time and her theme is Recycling. It can be recycling from your stash, tin cans, book pages, paper bags . . . the list just goes on and on. All Tracy asks is that you have a blast, create and let your imagination run wild!

I chose to begin my recycling by using a piece of an old scrabble board that had been cut into four sections. White gesso was applied to the board with a wet brush so that it dried fairly transparent. I wanted the grid and the double/triple score messages to still show. Pink, yellow, and orange watercolour crayons were scribbled over the gesso and blended with a wet brush. Once dry, Watermelon, Mango, and Red Gelatos were smudged around the board to deepen the colours. Cotton Candy and Raspberry Gelatos were used on the outside edges and spread with a wet finger. White gesso was applied to the background through the Tim Holtz Burlap stencil before Jet Black Archival ink was applied with a TH script stamp and a Stampendous cracked marble stamp.

 Vintage book paper was recycled from a very tired and torn old book. A digital stamp from Rick St. Dennis, called Denise the Artiste, was printed on the paper and then scraps were adhered in three places on the board. The image was coloured with a combination of Prismacolor pencils, markers, and watercolour. The paper was extremely fragile so it was difficult to add enough pigment without scraping a layer of paper or poking a hole. That's why I went to all three mediums. I love that the old text peeks through in places. Denise was backed by a mat of black cardstock and then by a torn section of the same black stencilled with gesso and Dylusions Number Jumble stencil. At that point, Denise was set aside to await her grand entrance.

Black Soot Distress ink was applied through the Tim Holtz Shattered stencil onto the background. Then Coffee Archival ink was sponged through the TH Splatters stencil and outlined with a black pen to make all of the curves and dips really stand out. Left over borders, one punched and one die cut, were recycled onto this project in opposite corners. Black flat pearls were added as well as white gel pen dots.

The letters for "A picture is worth a 1000 words", a quote that both Denise and I believe in, came from a mix of stickers, Idea-ology Alpha Tiles and Alpha Parts,and recycled Scrabble tiles. I buy up old Scrabble games at the thrift store for my art...and also to scatter as words around my house. Denise needed a place to stand so washi tape with paint splattered numbers was adhered to white and then black cardstock and  attached in three strips to the sides. The paint splatters go with Denise's splattered outfit and also bring some pops of the image colours to the background. A black photo turn was attached to the upper right corner with a black brad. An Idea-ology pen nib was adhered so that it was pointing to the letters in "Words"...seemed apropos. A scrap of black cardstock was placed over the scrabble letters to ground them and also emphasize the diagonal play of black across the project. The nib placed on the diagonal also aids eye movement through the piece. Doodling with a fine black pen, edging the piece with Purple Violet, Cobalt Green, and then Black Big Brush pen, and adding some Jet Black Archival stamped dots finished off the board.

 Whew! Sometimes it seems like it takes longer to describe the process than to actually do it :) Anyway, thanks for dropping by today and if you made it all the way through this lengthy post, you deserve a hug. Consider it sent! Be sure to drop by the eclectic Paperie blog to see the fantastic wonky tonky building that Tracy created from recycled goods and her amazing imagination. I love it! I'm hoping you will join us for this fun challenge. Everybody has stuff they can repurpose and recycle.

Life is good; so is art...and recycling!

Links to the eclectic Paperie store for some of the products used here are found below:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Altered Playing Cards

I haven't had as much crafting time lately so it's been a while since I've played with altered playing cards. I decided it was about time to change that so I took an afternoon to play with some that had the background started. The cards were already sanded and gessoed, had Neocolor II watercolour crayon applied and blended, and paper scraps adhered. I deepened the colours around the edges and next to the papers with gelatos spread with a wet finger and also with Big Brush pens smudged with a dry finger. Stencilling and stamping added interest and texture to the backgrounds. Fussy cut images, sketch and wash pencil, and doodling as well as bits of borders were added to the mix before the computer generated and black matted messages were adhered. The magician above makes me smile. He's from a different the mustache and the huge flower. Doesn't he look like he knows the secret about magic happening all around us?

This next image as well as the magician come from collage sheets from Tumble Fish Studio. I added her wings to make her more fairy or fairy god-mother-like. She is reminding me of an important message I need to hear often both in my art and in my life. When I listen to my inner voice and follow it without over-analyzing, I'm generally a happy camper with the results. The black border was punched and the kraft diagonal border was die cut with an MFT die. The white rings on the background were made with a bottle top dipped into watered down gesso and twisted onto the page.

This third card has a border cut from an Amy Tangerine paper which I then doodled patterns onto. It reminds me of a curtain on a stage and seemed to suit this fun fellow from a Laura Carson collage sheet. He was a little pale so I added some shading with Prismacolor pencils and gave him a funny top hat. White paint pen doodles further embellished his dapper costume. The black dotty circle was just punched from a black scrap and dotted with a paint pen. It was needed to balance out the corner and bring some pattern to the bottom of the design.

I have a few more that I completed but I'll save them for another day. I love altering these cards and it was an excellent reminder to me that it's important to make time just to play with no other purpose than enjoyment and refilling the well. Note to self.... lol. Anyway, thanks for joining me today. I always appreciate your great company and encouraging words. I hope you make time to play soon.

Life is good; so is art (and play).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Tummy ~ CYP Challenge 189

We have a new challenge at Craft Your Passion Challenges this week. The theme is Buttons Galore and it's a great opportunity to do a little stash busting. I don't know about you but I have tons of buttons, some new and some inherited. Love them all. I can remember as a little kid, emptying my Mom's button jar on the floor and sorting, sorting, sorting :) Some things never change although it seems to take a bit longer to get up from that floor these days...LOL.  Anyway, I digress...we want to see you use some of those buttons you've been stashing on your project this week.

 I was able to play with this hilarious QKR Stampede image called Happy Tummy. QKR has some of the best characters! I coloured him with Prismacolor pencils and fussy cut him. One little trick I used in colouring the apple was to apply white pencil to the apple skin which is black on the image. This allowed my red to show up better and created depth and shading as well. Happy was popped up on foam tape over a die cut circle embossed with a basket weave design. The circle was also popped up on foam tape. I doodled around a computer generated "burp" (excuse him!) and cut out the speech bubble using white half pearls for the dots. To me, he looks like people do after a huge Thanksgiving meal.

The background papers are a mix of patterns from MME pads. The striped paper was cut into four and adhered with a space between the sections. An MFT banner die was used to cut the flag border pieces at the top and white paint pen dots were added to the left side of them.

The seven buttons were threaded onto three lengths of black embroidery floss and adhered to the background with glue dots. Molly, my cat, was particularly helpful at this stage.The floss was then taped to the back of the black matting. The sentiment was computer generated, cut, and faux stitched before being popped up on foam dots for added dimension.

Thanks for joining Happy and me today. I hope he gave you a smile... like he did for me. Actually, you did, too, because I enjoy your visits. If you get a minute, pop over to the Craft Your Passion Challenges blog to see the other fun QKR Stampede images my talented teamies chose. Check out the Buttons Galore over there...maybe you'll be inspired to play along.

I am entering this card in the following challenges:
613 Avenue Create ~ #46 Anything Goes
Challenges 4 Everybody ~ #33 Anything Goes
One Stitch at a Time ~ #190 Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge ~ #187 Fur and Feathers
Brown Sugar Challenge ~ #68 Thanksgiving
Eureka Stamps Challenge #66 Thanksgiving

Life is good; so is art.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oh those leaves! ~ Craftitude Challenge #53

Talk about odd weather. We had a funny thing happen on Tuesday. We had all kinds of snow that actually stuck around. Steve went out to shovel our neighbour's driveway. By the time he was finished, all of the leaves had fallen off the closest tree so he had to shovel them next. It made me laugh...probably because I was all toasty inside :D Anyway, we have a new challenge this fortnight at Craftitude Challenges. As always, the first choice of themes is Anything Goes but the second theme is Falling Leaves. Our wonderful sponsor this time is Milk Coffee Stamps and I chose to work with Girl Cleaning Fallen Leaves for my ATC. I coloured her with my Prismacolor pencils and then fussy cut her. She was popped up on foam tape.

The background is a layer of dark brown cardstock matting a layer of patterned paper from DCWV's Safari Chic stack. A strip of burlap was adhered over the rust coloured layer. Brown baker's twine was wrapped over the burlap and puffy leaf stickers were adhered over that. Three gold coloured brads were added to the upper right corner and faux stitching was added with a sepia Micron.

Thanks for popping by today. I enjoy both your wonderful company and you lovely comments. If you get a minute, hop over to the Craftitude Challenges blog to see the awesome projects from our talented DT. We'd love to have you join us this challenge either in the Anything Goes or the Falling leaves category.

I am entering this ATC in the following challenges:
4 Krafty Girlz ~ #6 Anything Goes
Addicted to Stamps and More! ~ #71 Anything Goes
Fab 'n Funky ~ #193 Anything Goes
Wicked Wednesday ~ #110 Anything Goes
Shopping Our Stash ~ #127 Use something already out on your desk (brown cardstock, burlap scrap, stickers)

Life is good; so is art.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


A little while ago, I bought a bunch of 4" x 4" x 1.5" canvases for a swap I was participating in. I bought extras because it's a great chunky shape and size. I decided to play with one for today's post. I started  by scribbling various yellows of Neocolor II crayon over the entire canvas. The colour was spread and blended using a wet brush. Once dry, gelatos and Big Brush pens in the yellow and orange tones were added to deepen the colour in places, particularly around the edges of the front and sides.

White gesso was applied to the background through TCW's Halftone Borders and Well Rounded stencils. Jet Black Archival ink was used to stamp a TH script stamp by rolling it onto the background for an incomplete impression. Another TH splatter stamp was used to add random dots with the same Archival ink. It's important to use Archival ink which won't smear if more wet layers get added. Since my designs evolve intuitively (without planning or sometimes even thinking :D), I never know when I might add another liquid layer so it's best to be prepared rather than be limited or disappointed...been there!

The sun face comes from an Alpha Stamps collage sheet and the two black matted layers were fussy cut from gold coloured designer paper and inked with Worn Lipstick Distress ink. White gel pen dots were added to the top layer of rays. Each layer of the sun was popped up on foam tape for dimension. Inktense pencil was used to outline the sun and was activated with a waterbrush.

The Dare lettering is Idea-ology Alpha Tiles which were adhered to the canvas with Glossy Accents. More Glossy Accents adhered the cheesecloth cloud and the Idea-ology metal bird to the sky. Black and white striped washi tape was layered over a strip of white paper to make it opaque. This was adhered around the canvas with Scor tape. Black gesso rings were added to the edges with a bottle lid as a stamping tool.

My thought behind this piece was that sometimes one must dare to fly close to the sun in order to fulfill the dreams she has. It's worth the risk to gain the brilliance and warmth in life. When I started the piece, all I knew was that I wanted to use Funny how things evolve.

Thanks for joining me on this creative venture today. I appreciate your time, your interest, and your support. You are awesome! I hope that some of the sunshine from this canvas spills into your life.

Life is good; so is art.

The following linked up products found in the eclectic Paperie store were used in this project: