Saturday, April 25, 2009


Has it really been that long?? I guess I got busy and didn't really notice how long it had been! In my defence, we've had all sorts of interesting things going on over here. In the last month my little boy has had pneumonia AND turned 3 (with the gazillion necessary doctor visits). I've been working on stuff - some of which I can't show, some I'm not ready to show and some that I'm not sure if it's done yet. Do you do that? Sit on a card for days, wondering what little 'something' it's missing? lol *I* certainly do! ;)
So, even though I've been MIA, I have been busy. Really, really busy!
Since I'm not quite ready to show you the card on my desk (I really do think it's missing something), I figured I'd share another card that I submitted (and was returned). The sub call was for Shabby Chic, and I, uh, don't really *know* much about that style. I guess it's not the kind of style I'm comfortable with! lol It did make me think outside my cozy little box, but it's not what I'd be doing on a regular basis.
Shabby Chic to me means lots of layers (distressed ones especially), sewing, vintage ephemera, multiple patterns in soft colors and possibly buttons. I tried to incorporate most of these things, but I don't do well mixing patterns or adding tons of layers. I *do* have some awesome fabric ribbon, it's all frayed and cool looking, but it was in the wrong colors - so I bleached it! Or, at least some of it. It came out a nice neutral cream, which was great since I started with blue. You can see that I layered the cream with some light blue scraps on the left - I thought it added a very shabby touch!
I think other than the bleached ribbon, everything else is pretty self explanatory. And yes, I did pierce all those holes before sewing with 2 strands of floss. Meh. Never again! If anyone has any tips on *how* to separate two strands of floss from the regular piece (without major snarls) let me know... pretty please? :)
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What inspires you?

I was captivated by an amazing quilt/wall hanging the other day. We were at Pearl St Mall (Boulder's walking mall - an expensive place!) and DH had ducked into one of the shops. I was with ds at one of their playgrounds. I looked up at some commotion and saw that one of the art co-op shops was having a showing. There, against the back wall, way up high, was a gorgeous piece of work. Really intense greens against a dark charcoal (fading to a misty gray) background. I *had* to get closer!
Once I got in there, I found that it was bright leaves against a jagged, pieced background of graduated grays. Beautiful. It was, of course, hideously expensive (although if I was swimming in money it would've been *mine*!) and much too large to fit in my house. Believe me, I really tried to justify it! lol
I couldn't get it out of my head. I wanted to create something that would pay homage to that quilt. Leaves? I have plenty - and they were an easy choice - but they just didn't seem right. I didn't want to copy it, just be inspired by it. And then it hit me! Eyes. Eyes staring at you from the dark. Oooooo. Chilling! :)

First I stamped these gorgeous tiger eyes from Third Coast on white c/s with Onyx Black VersaFine ink. Colored them in with regular ol' prismas (two colors of green) while trying to keep in mind everything I've learned about coloring eyes from Marianne's blog. Not too shabby, huh? Then, a la Zindorf, I worked that brayer! London Fog Memento ink from the top, Black Soot Distress Ink from the bottom. Then I ran the edge of the DI pad along the panel to suggest grasses. Cleaned up the eyes (a little ink stayed on the pencil & made them look dull) and added white gel pen accents.
I chose a green/black shimmery base and stamped the bamboo from one of the ubiquitous clear Inkadinkado sets with Onyx Black VersaFine. Which didn't really stick very well to the c/s, but looked pretty good 'faded'.
I mounted the eyes panel on black vellum, then popped that up over the ribbon and charm. I like that pop of red, although I'm still questioning whether I should have used plain black. *sigh* Am I ever totally happy?? :)
Thanks for visiting! :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do you submit?

Let's talk about something that I've never touched on. Do you submit your work to magazines? Late last year I was invited to join a sub group. Several talented women are part of the group and the list mom is great. (In case you don't know what this is, basically you join a group & agree to make a certain number of cards fitting the submission calls in various magazines. Everyone sends theirs to the list mom, she sorts & mails them as a group.) So, I joined this group and so far everything (well, almost - I'm still waiting on one or two) has been returned. Generally speaking, this doesn't bother me too much. There were a couple of returned cards that didn't have any acknowledgement (which irritated me just because it just seemed rude) but RSM has recently returned a couple of things to me with a note included (which really makes me feel better!).
Now, if we're being honest, I *know* that I don't make things that are, umm, usual. :) I don't have a lot of happy, cute images. I've certainly *tried* to do that look, but I fail miserably almost every time. I end up with backgrounds that look like they're refugees from the bottom of the DSP scrap pile! :D Mostly, I just seem to have a 'darker' look.
This card was returned by RSM just the other day. I have to tell you, I *LOVE* this card. I love the colors, the streaks, the glimmer and especially the image. I made it shortly after my grandfather passed away (which tells you why it's so sad) with the hope that it would be published - for him. Heh, not that he much cared about my hobbies - but it really speaks to me about my sorrow at his passing. Hence the title - 'Sorrow' (did you know that you should name pieces that you submit??).

Here's a closer look at the main panel. You can really see the glimmer and streaks in this shot. Do you want to know how I did this? Starting at the top of a quarter sheet of cs, I sprayed Patina and Midnight Blue Glimmer Mist in 'spots' and then brayered *down* the sheet. It was too bright after that so I added Obsidian Color Wash at the top and brayered that down too. You can see streaks - I really wanted it to look like rain (but my experiment with watered down glue was a complete failure) and give you that 'blue' mood. Over the trimmed background I stamped the image from Non Sequitur with London Fog Memento ink. Over that I colored just the lines with prisma pencils in brown, flesh tone, purple & green. The panel is mounted on a *very* thin panel of the same grey as the base, then popped up on a 2nd panel which is also popped up off the base. The ribbon is from the wedding section at Target, and the dew drops are from the Cowboy assortment.

All in all, I'm actually quite happy to share this here - with you. I feel like it's more personal this way. And since you're still here, I know you aren't judging me too harshly! :) Honestly, I hope I can always look back at this card and remember that my 'look' is different. And that I create what I love, because I love to (bonus if I ever get in print!). I hope you do, too.
Thanks for visiting, and listening to my long winded post! :)