Monday, March 30, 2009

That background I mentioned...

Hello again! If you read the last post, you know that I was having fun making gesso backgrounds and I promised to share some more.
I really love the way this came out! Much like I said in the last post, I stamped the diamond background with white gesso on white paper. When it was dry I went to town with all kinds of lovely sprays. :) Which ones? Well, I can guess that I used Amaretto (Memories Mists) and a dark blue (Midnight something-or-other) Glimmer Mist - and quite possibly the Blue Martini MM also, but I can't swear to that. Once they were dry I stamped my new Tim Holtz wings in white gesso, then overstamped with Charcoal chalk ink. The swirls were stamped along the edges with the same chalk ink but no gesso. See what a huge difference that made?! The Michelangelo quote was stamped in black (twice with Brilliance in order for it to show up - gesso doesn't take ink well AT ALL).
Once the main panel was dry I mounted it on a piece of black vellum. The vellum *needed* something (ha!) so I went around the edges with my distress stickles (lovin' those!) and smooshed them around with my finger. Of course I had to dab some in the corners of the panel too. Finally it was mounted on a bronze card base. What you can't see is the strip of background that I put on the inside - a nice finishing touch.
Here's a slightly different view that shows the 'glimmer' part of the glimmer mist. Like I said, I *love* the way this came together. :D

So, here's another little something I've been working on. Most of the time I feel like I have crafty ADD - anyone else?? I get started with something, head off on a tangent and never get back to what I started in the first place! This time it was the sprays... oh, those lovely colors just called out to me. So I got down a piece of rice paper and spritzedbrushedsprayedblotted until my fingers were waaaay inky! I'm not sure what this will eventually become, but I liked it enough that I wanted to share it. How 'bout you? Like it? Have crafty ADD too? Ever take time to just play with your colors? Do tell!
Thanks for visiting me today, I appreciate it every single time!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Down and Dirty!

Here I am again! Two posts in one day - is it the end of the world?!? :D

I made this card while I had all the stuff out for the blog-o-log. The gesso was just tempting me... so I made several backgrounds (you'll see more of them later). This one wasn't very 'springy' so I kept it for a separate post.

First I stamped with gesso on white paper. Once that was dry I sprayed Amaretto and Pale Ale Memories Mist over it. It needed some glimmer - so the Pearl Glimmer Mist came out to play. Just a thin spritz where the two colors met. I did use a paper towel to blot the extra ink from the gesso. Not a lot came off, that Memories Mist dries ultra fast!
The man (my *new* Tim Holtz stamp!) was stamped over the dry background in Charcoal chalk ink. It stamped beautifully over the gesso. Unfortunately it stained my new stamp. That chalk ink is *never* coming off! Meh. At least you can tell that I love my stamps.
Finally I added some Scrapbook Nails. They're plastic, umm, sort of like brads but they have a piece that fastens on the back. Since I didn't think the color was working well, I coated them with my new Tim Holtz Distress Stickles! (Did I mention that Michael's got a bunch of cool new Tim stuff in? Awesome!) That panel was layered over a textured piece of black (that I rubbed with my Winter Rust Opalite pad) then on a copper colored card base.
Not exactly bright and colorful, but I really love how it all came together! How 'bout you?

Thanks for visiting!

Takin' care of business!

Ok, let's take care of some business! :) I had a great time with the blog-o-log! Even more than that, there were a couple of new subscribers (Welcome!) via Feedblitz (don't those email notifications from FB just make you giddy?) and some lovely comments and emails. I really appreciate all of your comments, I'd like to think that we're having a conversation - I just have to be patient while I wait for your response.... :D
One of the persons that commented here was Iberostar. She has some mighty fancy coloring with Sharpies. Believe me, I've tried coloring with sharpies - I'm *ahem* not all that good at it! She saw fit to grace me with the 4th picture tag. Here are the rules:
Go to my picture files, pick the fourth folder and select the fourth picture and describe it - then tag four other people. No editing is allowed.

Sorry, but I had to cheat a bit. You may (or may not) know that I got a new laptop for Christmas. Sadly, all my pictures are scattered thither and yon (isn't that a great expression?!) so I don't actually *have* a 4th folder right now. Then, when I finally picked a near-fourth folder, I found that the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th picture are of someone that doesn't even know I have his picture! Ok, I'm not as creepy as that sounds, promise! *lol* I'm attempting to learn digiscrapping and have some pix of a family members boyfriend. Ummm, soooo not posting that! So I chose the very next picture (my son, who else??) but then I *had* to add a watermark. Can't be too careful with pix of your little ones. So, basically, I broke practically every rule. Sheesh. Anyway, here he is:

I didn't take this pic, his dad did. I can tell you that he's in his tee pee (a Christmas present that he LOVES) that was up in the living room. Can you beat it? *lol*
Now, quite honestly, I'm not sure that there are four people out there that I can tag for this. And I'm sure that I'll be tagging some people who have already played this game (you can certainly excuse yourself if that's the case!), but there are a couple of people that I really am curious about! So, here's my list:
Zeb - she always make the most outrageously gorgeous stuff, I *really* want to see what she's got up her sleeve!
Annette - another amazing artist, this one from 'down-under'.
Etha - who has some really fun stuff on her blog and always makes my day with her comments!
Mel - who is the most amazing, creative and FUN stampire I know!
The final piece of business that I'd like to share with you is this amazing blog I found over at the B-muse site. If you haven't seen it, the B-muse site has a list of blogs to check out (you can even add yourself!) when you have a moment. I was randomly checking links out and ran across Beverly Gilbert. She beads. And teaches color theory. And has the most inspiring... well, pretty much everything. Go. Look. Drool.
Well, I think that's all the business I have for you.... Stay tuned, I have a card to share next! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome SNR blog-o-loggers!

If you're visiting from the SNR blog o log, welcome! I'm glad you're here! :) I hope you stick around and check out all the other goodies that are waiting to be discovered. If you haven't checked out SNR yet, do! The link is over there in the sidebar, I suggest you make (lots) of time to check out the SNR Card Universe. Tons of goodies over there, and the spring fling has been tons of fun!
If you've been around for a while, you know that I'm an (ahem) eclectic stamper. Today I think I've outdone myself for bright (yup, get those sunglasses out) and cheery. For my contribution to the BOL I've dressed up a picture bookmark from Michael's in very springy colors. I wasn't too concerned with failure - it was in their dollar bins. :)

Here in this first picture you can see that I've removed the insert and acetate where the picture goes and started painting with gesso. What you can't see (somehow I've managed to lose a bunch of pictures, wonder which computer those are on??) is that it was a *very* slick surface - therefore I sanded it before applying the gesso. I just used a medium grit nail block kept from the days when I actually *cared* about how my nails looked (ROFLOL). I did two coats on each side, one vertical & one horizontal since the pattern was so pronounced.
Next you can see that I added Distress Inks over the gesso. I just used a couple of cotton balls to mush the colors together. After I added all the colors I sprinkled with a little water & dabbed with a paper towel to give that signature DI look. Ummm, yeah, you can see a spot near the bottom where I blotted too hard - no worries! I intend to cover that with flowers anyway.... I did stamp the sentiment using VersaFine (not a great ink for this, next time I'll try a permanent ink like Staz On) but had to use the heat gun to get it to dry enough for the next step....

Here you can see what happened when I added Crackle Accents. Honestly, I forgot that DI over gesso starts moving when you add a clear gel product on top. I've had this reaction with clear gel medium, Glossy Accents and now Crackle Accents. I really like the look, it was just unexpected! You can see that the color intensifies and looks more impressionistic - I did help that look along by applying the CA with my finger. The cool thing about applying it with your finger is that you can vary the amount of coverage - some spots will crackle heavily, some lightly and some not at all. Of course you can apply it however you wish, it's all a matter of personal taste.
Once it was dry I rubbed it with a Vintage Photo DI pad - rubbing the color well down into the cracks for contrast. In retrospect I think I could have used a darker (probably Walnut Stain) pad, but I was afraid to overpower the underlying colors. Sadly, that' s another mysteriously missing photo. You'll just have to trust that I actually *did* rub it with ink! :)

While that was drying I started on the flowers. Now, I don't know about you, but I have tons of white flowers - paper and silk. It's very easy to color them, and you can get some amazing effects using a couple of simple techniques. Just place the flowers on your dye ink pad, cover with a scrap of paper and brayer over them. Or just mash'em with your fingers! :) I used a combination of multicolor and Distress Ink pads. You'll get a different look if you spritz with water first (the one on the left) or spritz after inking (on the right). I chose to spritz with Pearl Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels over the ink. It gives a lovely shimmer and moves the ink around even better than plain water. If the color is too intense you can blot with a paper towel until they pale out (keep adding water if you need to). So, I set those aside to dry, and once they were I added Swarovski gems to the middles - like they needed extra bling!
The next step was to arrange the flowers and glue them down. I used Fabric Tac because some of the flowers were silk and that seems to hold them the best (it also works great on paper flowers). And since I just couldn't stop... I added some of my new Distress Stickles all over the top (um, Frayed burlap & Walnut stain) for a little more dimension. These are not traditional glitter, they aren't sparkly - and they're very chunky, but I love the way they look. Of course I wanted a *little* sparkle, so I dusted over the wet stickles with clear crystal glitter.
There you have it! Bright, oh-so-sparkly and very springy! Now I need to find a bright springy picture to feature in the little opening. It will never be able to serve as a bookmark, but put a little magnet on the back & it would look really fun on the fridge! What do you think? Was it worth all the effort?

I hope you enjoyed your visit with me. Come back soon! :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm back... with an addition!

So... did you try it?! If you have, I'd *LOVE* to hear about your results! Any results, good or bad! After all, like I said in the tutorial post - I can't get better without some feedback. :)

I've been playing a little more with different combinations of ink and paint. I've discovered that Opalite pads work amazingly! Do you still have some of those? They were such a big deal when they came out, but much like mulberry paper, they seem to have fallen into obscurity. I can't believe it - I love those pads! Beautiful results, and they're sooo versatile!

OK, here's the card. Not my best work, but it shows the glimmer very well. The main image was black acrylic paint (same people as Lumiere's but the flat black I have is called Neopaque) and Winter Rust Opalite. Following the tutorial, I stamped first with the black paint then over stamped with ink. The brown cs is not dark enough to really make the Opalite pop, but the black base really helped that.

The card base is from a much darker brown, opalites really pop on that. I used my delicious Katzelkraft flourish with black VersaFine (and a Stamp A Ma Jig) to frame the bottom and side. Once that was dry I over stamped with Winter Rust (and the SAMJ) to give a little depth. That red ribbon isn't actually ribbon - it's 7 Gypsies fabric tape. DH actually suggested adding red, and I think he's right, but I really wanted some more of that Winter Rust color. I used post it notes to mask a thin line down the middle & colored it with more WR. It looks a little messy, but overall it added something necessary.
The pearls are from Kaiser - they were called 'Latte' but I colored them with Tim Holtz metallic mixative in Copper. They're also a little messy looking (grr). Have you noticed that the glue dots on the backs of those things aren't really the right size? They're either just a *touch* off center or just a bit too big! And yes, they hold alcohol ink just fine. *sigh*
Well, the main thing is that you can see how gorgeous Opalite looks over black paint! And it does, doesn't it?? :)
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The long delayed tutorial!

Here I am! I've been a little MIA, I know, but the little guy has pneumonia! :( He's at that stage of sick where he doesn't feel so bad anymore (hence the non-stop activity) but he *really, really* needs to take a nap! Or maybe it's mom that needs a nap? :)
Anyhow, I've finally gotten everything together to do my tutorial. Now, be kind - it's my very first attempt! If you don't understand something I've written, or just need some clarification, please, *please* drop me a line. I can't get better at this without constructive criticism! :) I think this is going to have to be a very long (and pic intense) post, bear with me.
Okay, do you remember this card:

Or this one?

Basically what we're doing here is stamping with Lumiere (or any other acrylic paint, I imagine) then stamping over that with chalk ink. The chalk ink still gives a soft finish, but if you look at it from a different angle you can see the shimmer of the Lumiere. And you get a 'halo' effect around the chalk ink. How awesome is that?! Now, you don't need to use shimmery Lumiere paint, you just get a different look if you use flat paint. Something else I should mention is that I've had the best luck using porous paper, coated or specialty metallic paper doesn't seem to work as well for me - your mileage may vary. :)
For this technique (which I have dubbed Acrylic acrylics - hey, it was all I could think of! :D) you'll need:
Versamark (the paint won't damage your stamp, when I've forgotten this the paint dries enough to stick the stamp to the paper, which rips the paper when you peel it off = :( stamper)
Lumiere paint (metallic or flat - so far I've had the best results with paint that is lighter than the ink color) and a sponge brush
Chalk ink (I've also tried dye and pigment inks & had varying results, sometimes they just *won't* dry)
Stamp A Ma Jig (or a way to position your stamp)
regular card stock (colored or white, some scrapbook patterned papers work too)
access to water & scrubby (to clean paint off before using the chalk ink)
rubber or polymer stamp - something with solid and open areas works best

We're going to have to move pretty quickly once we get started, so make sure you have everything within easy reach & ready to go.

1. Tap your stamp in the versamark. (yes, I have a yucky VM pad and a nice one - guess which one I'm using! )
2. Paint the stamp with Lumiere over the VM. Nice medium coat, but it doesn't need to be even & don't worry if you've gotten some down into the grooves.

3. Stamp with very firm pressure - but DON'T LIFT UP until you've placed the SAMJ in place. This is *very* important - you will need to be able to stamp in the same spot with the chalk ink.
[I wish I had a pic of this, but the camera batteries dies and I couldn't stop to look for more!]

4. Holding the SAMJ in place, lift up the stamp & go clean it with water & a scrubby (I use a cheap nail brush in order to get down in the cracks - don't want to contaminate the ink pad!)
5. Ink up your stamp with chalk ink, line it up with the SAMJ & stamp firmly. (sorry, moved the SAMJ before taking the pic. *sigh*) Can you see that awesome halo?!?

6. Lift it carefully & go clean your stamp!
7. Holler 'Ta Da!' - even if only in your head. :)
8. Let it dry! This will take a little while, usually I let it sit overnight just to be sure.

Some notes: move quickly between steps 3, 4 & 5 - you don't want the paint to dry before stamping over it. Trust me, it just doesn't work. I've also tried stamping with chalk ink twice, ummm, this didn't work out well for me either. lol Some thicker spots in the paint are a good think, I think it adds character!
Here are a couple more views of the completed card so you can get a better look. Remember, you can click for a larger view. :)

So, what did you think? Clear and concise? Major mess? Constructive criticism requested! Or should I say... kind constructive criticism requested? :)
Thanks for visiting!