Saturday, June 23, 2012

Admit One

This week, in my Challenge! online class, the theme was 'Circus'.

Ok, I am the first to admit, I don't like the circus. It has always had an overall creepy vibe to me.


I am always up for a challenge. And this certainly was for me!

I have no 'circus' rubber stamps and yet this project seemed to be calling out for them. So, being the adventurous artist soul that I am, I began thinking....what stamp do I have that might work in a circus setting? When you have as many stamps as I do, this thinking takes a lot of time lol

I did finally remember that I have an elephant. He is not all fancy or anything, more like out on the Serengeti, but that was ok. And I wanted a tent! No tent stamp, gonna have to draw that. Hey, I could put the elephant in the tent! Wow, that takes up all of 1/4 of my page! lol

Ok, I need performers! So, I began digging through one of my 'people' boxes...not the Victorian/vintage one....the other one. :-)

Who pops up first but my poor overweight woman that for some reason I have put up on a high wire before...might as well put her up there again, she has experience! Digging deeper into the box, I found her a couple friends.

Now to put this whole side show together!

As I said, I drew the tent on watercolor paper. Then painted it with twinkling H2Os (it is the circus after all...we need some sparkle). I then stamped the elephant on the journal page, colored around here where the opening of the tent would be, sponged on a cloudy sky with chalks, and painted the grass and path before gluing on the tent.

I stamped all the people onto white card stock and using Twinkling H2Os, Staedtler water color pencils and Prismacolor pencils, I gave them life.

Placement was tricky due to the size of my people and the size of my page (only 5 x 8.5). I didn't quite know what to do with my dancing girls....then I decided they must be midgets (oops, "little people") so they could go in front of my high wire act!

stamp credits:
exercizing woman: VivaLasVegaStamps, Woman with word clothing: Stampers Anonymous, Dog: Rubber Stamps of America, Dancing Girl: The Moon Rose Art Stamps, Elephant: ImaginAir, Grass: Posh Impressions, Curiosity definition and Admit One ticket: Curious Possibilities by Tim Holtz
In the above close up, you might be able to tell that the woman is wearing a tulle tutu and is standing on a floss wire stretched tight under her feet.
But let us not forget the Christmas in July tag swap from last week! I finished my third tag. I again used a leather tag from my yard sale stash. I stamped the angel/cherub and noticed that she is hold what looks like a bar of soap that says "Pears". Since I didn't really know what I was going to do with her, I took her suggestion and gave her some pears lol
I also added some vintage sheet music and gold cording.
Stamp credit: Cherub: VivaLasVegaStamps
And since I was STILL in a tag mood. I used one of Tim Holtz jumbo tags and played around with Distress Inks and walnut ink to get a nicely stained background. I added bits of book pages and several stamps done in browns so they really sink into the background. The girl is a stamp from Tim Holtz.
The rest of my time was spent watching my garden grow! I actually harvested my first sugar snap peas of the year! It is going to be a while for any of our other produce but it sure got me in the mood for more fresh veggies! :-)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

More great finds!

Last week I mentioned the fabulous photo album I found at an estate/yard sale. What I didn't tell you was that I also picked up a large box full of leather 'tags'. They appear to be upholstery swatches. They are about 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 and there are a couple shades of brown, a couple burgundys, a nice dark green and a couple different blues. There were also some large scraps of leather tossed in there too. There is about 3 pounds of leather.... over 100 leather tags! I paid $5!!! This is going to be a fun stash to play with!!! :-)

Since Tim Holtz put me into tag mode this week, I thought I would play around with them.

I stamped directly onto the leather and it took the ink beautifully! I then colored the boy's face with prismacolor pencils. Since it was a dark brown tag, he has a sort of ghostly look but I like it. I then highlighted the text with prismacolors as well.

With a fabric scrap glued to the left side, some vintage book page scrap and old buttons, this one is complete!
(stamp credits: boy = Paperbag Studios, compass = All Night Media)

Tags must be the in thing this month because no sooner had I completed the one above when one of the Bad Babies suggested a Christmas tag swap. Oh yeah! I am all for that one!!!

I grabbed some more leather tags and began playing.
I used my Zutter to punch the line of holes on the left and threaded in some old lace.
I stamped the children on glossy cardstock then aged them with Distress Inks.
(stamp credits: all stamps from Oxford Impressions)

Here I stamped Santa on matte white cardstock and colored him with prismacolor pencils. I then aged the image with Distress Inks.
I stamped a string of snowflakes with white acrylic paint directly onto the leather. Then I layered a bit of music from an old hymnal (a yard sale find from a couple years ago...50 cents!)

Add some dark red buttons, some poofy yarn saved from a gift and some rusty jingle bells and you have a fun new Christmas tag!
(stamp credits: Santa = Gumball Graphics, snowflakes = Inkadinkado)

But tags are not the only thing I did this week! I have been a busy girl! lol

My art journal prompt for this week was travel.....a real vacation you have taken or one you only dream about.
I dream about Paris!
(stamp credits: Eiffel Tower = Postmodern Design, all others from Oxford Impressions)

And finally, my friend Cris ( turned me on to wrap bracelets. I saw them on her blog and just had to give it a try! :-)

I found a great tutorial at

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Vintage Photo Find

A couple weeks ago I found an awesome treasure at an estate old photo album....filled with old photos! They range in date from the 1920s - 40s (based on cars and fashions in the photos)
What an incredible find! On one hand, it is sort of sad that no one in the family wanted these glimpses of days gone by but on the other hand, now they will have a new life!
As I pulled these beauties from the ancient album (and I do mean PULLED as they were glued in with what appears to be old type school glue!) I was witness to graduations, marriages, births, new homes... It made me want to know these people better but alas, that will never happen so I must only imagine who they are and the lives they lead.
As I have been pondering what exactly to do with all these many snapshots of time (over 50 of them!!!) I saw Tim Holtz latest blog post....about aging vintage photos!!! Woohoooo!
blogger is not letting me link to the website so here is the URL look for the June 1, 2012 post.
Normally I would not destroy an original photo, but this one actually had a double so I chose the one that was damaged and played around. As you can see, it is creased and has some discoloration.
Below you can see how I 'aged' it even more using Distressed Inks. I thought the little guy looked dapper in Pine Needles green and I tinted his wagon with Barn Door red. I then darkened the rest of the photo with layers of Old Paper, Tea Dye and Walnut Stain. I made sure to enhance the creases in the upper right (just cause I love that look lol)
I then created the tag. I smudged Distress Inks over the tag and spritzed with water so they would bleed. I then darked the edges and corners with Tie Dye and Walnut Stain and spritzed again. I stamped random images in black knowing that only bits would be showing. I stamped the bingo card (Tim Holtz from Stampers Anonymous "Life Possibilities") directly onto the photo using Memories dye ink, Chestnut. The 'childish' text is from a sheet of scrap book paper I bought over 10 years ago and just keep tearing out sections when I need them. (I am down to about 3" square of that 12x12 page lol)
I added an old gold button that I aged with alcohol inks and finally more antique buttons threaded onto ribbon to finish it all off.
Here is a close-up.
And lastly, my 1 year old camera died...which needless to say upset me very much! What was worse, I found out that this is a known problem and the company doesn't care! They make lot of money having you ship your camera, they do a minor adjustment and then charge you an arm and a leg to get it back!
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me! I will never ever buy or deal with a Nikon product ever again!
Long story short, I bought a Canon! And as much as I loved the features on the Nikon, I am over the moon the features on my new Canon SX150!!!
I love playing around in photoshop but sometimes it is time consuming. My camera can do something that I had to manually do before......leave my subject in color and make the rest black and white!
This is one of the roses in my garden (which just started blooming this week!)