Sunday, August 09, 2015

Twice in One Week?

Yep, I am back already!  :-)

I thought I would share a couple more projects I found on my camera and also a work in progress. 

The Bad Babies had a tag swap in July. We could submit either 3 or 6. I struggled to find ideas for 3. No way was I going to make to six!

Above are my 3 tags.
As you can see I included one of my chibis. What can I say, that is what I am focusing on right now lol

I used alcohol inks for the background then did a gel medium transfer for the eyes.

Tag #2 was Gelli printed I then added images of day lilies and a Victorian woman.

And lastly, I spritzed a tag with Dylusions sprays, I then painted a peacock feather with acrylics. Next came a gel transferred peacock then a definition of peacock from an antique dictionary. Finally another spritz of Dylusions.

I really struggled with these but I am pleased with the final products.

I told you I am obsessed with Chibis...well maybe I didn't say 'obsessed' but I think I am!

Here is one of my cards from the ICAD challenge. The prompt was Disco.

I think he was the first boy I drew. (I have only drawn maybe 2 or 3 since....boys are yukky lol)

And my sister, seeing all the projects I post on Facebook, asked me to draw her dog and my other sister's cat together (even though they live hundreds of miles apart).

My sister's dog loves to play with socks (or so they tell me lol) My sister's cat does not seem to be amused haha  I seem to be much better at drawing cats than dogs!

And now, here is my current work in progress.

I did the pencil sketches on tracing paper so that I could easily transfer the lines onto card stock with a light box. 

Here is my initial transferred lines just begging for color.

It took me several days (and a trip to the local craft store for a couple more pens) to color in all 4 characters.

I am currently working on their environment. I used watercolor for the road but am not please with how the cardstock is buckling so I am now trying to figure out what I want to use for the ground and sky.

So that is where I am at right now....stuck lol

Maybe something will come to me while I am working this week. :-)

Happy Crafting and have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 07, 2015

Can you believe it is already August???

I know, I have not posted in a while. My, sorry, don't have one. lol

So, I thought I would pop in and share a little of what I have been doing lately.

In my last post I shared some of my favorite cards from the first 30 days of the Index Card a Day challenge over at Daisy Yellow.

I am proud to say that I completed the 61 day challenge. I did not skip a day and I ended on time.  Now, I won't say that every card I created was a work of art. Some of them are pretty bad lol  But I created a card EVERY day and that is the challenge.  I also stayed on prompt for every card.  Yep, I am very proud of myself....and feeling a bit lost without the daily challenge.

So here are some of my favorites from July.

The prompts from left to right:
Top Row: Queen of Hearts, Chess, Face, Flag
Middle Row: Definition, Parachute
Bottom Row: Bridge or Gin Rummy, Raindrops, Weather

I found myself drawing more in those 2 months then I had in years....and loving it!  I also had strange and unexpected side effect. I became hooked on Chibis. Yes, those cute little childlike Japanese anime characters. 

Someone in the group posted a card one day stating she had bought her daughter a learn to draw chibis book and decided to try it herself. Her little people were adorable and made me want to try it too.

I ordered a couple books from Amazon (How To Draw Manga Chibis & Cute Critters by Samantha Whitten and Jeannie Lee and Manga For the Beginner, Chibis by Christopher Hart)

I am having so much fun! My kitten from the Raindrops card was my first attempt at an animal chibi. I love how he turned out.

I am finding that I am better at drawing the faces than I am at bodies and clothing....but I am loving the learning process so I draw at bit a few days a week. I think I am getting better....not sure how hubby feels since I keep bugging him with 'how does this look?' haha

So, here she is, my very first chibi. Her face is cute and done fairly well. Her body and clothes...well there are issues lol I drew her on July 17.

Red Riding Hood. Again, I really like the face but the hands, legs and feet are too teeny/scrawny. Drawn on July 19.

Now we jump ahead a couple weeks. I was stuck in bed with severe back spasms so I had hubby bring me my sketch pad, pencils and markers. I decided to concentrate on faces and hair for the day. I wanted to create expressive faces and cute hair. July 31

Moving forward to today, August 7. I have been wanting, since day 1, to create the cast of the Wizard of Oz. I may have jumped the gun but I am having a good time and learning as I go.

Here is the pen drawing. 

I have started adding color. I am using Copic markers. Now if you have read my blog over the past few years then you are probably shocked. I swore I would never jump on the Copic bandwagon! Who in their right mind spends $6+ on a single marker? Well, obviously, now I do. I found that for the first time in my life I could not get the look I wanted with pencils (and I am really good with pencils - if I do say so myself lol)  

So each payday I head to the local craft store and pick up a couple. Not a huge hit to my budget and I slowly increase my stash. Tomorrow I need to pick up a couple for this piece as all I currently have are flesh and hair colors. Dorothy said she does NOT want a peach or brown colored dress!

But fear not, I have not totally abandoned my Explore lol

My nephew's birthday is next week so I created this fun box card for him from the Summer Box Cards set at

I used my Minc to create the gold foil stars. I love how the Minc can give any project a little extra 'pop'.

Well that's all for now.
Stay cool in this summer heat and if you are on the west coast of the USA, try to stay smoke free. The fires are really bad this year and the air quality is becoming very hazardous. 

Until next time. Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

One Day At a Time

The month of June has just flown by! It seems like I just posted last week but no, it was a month ago! How can that be???

I feel like I haven't been busy creating anything lately and yet I have been. I joined the Index Card a Day challenge over at Daisy Yellow. And I can proudly say that I have not missed a day yet!

Now do not worry, I am not going to bombard you with 27 index cards lol
I will just show you a few of my favorites. You can see all my cards on my ICAD Pinterest board

I found that for the most part the cards I like the most are the ones that pushed me out of my comfort zone or ones that I did things I never did before or not in a very long time.

I am using 3 x 5 unlined index cards.

Ok, so this one doesn't fall into any of those above mentioned categories lol  It is just me being my quirky/goofy self. The prompt was Carnival. I used watercolor pencils to create the tent and then added the stamped images. The Chicken is from Art Gone Wild, Dog from Rubber Stamps of America, Elephant from ImaginAir, Ticket and Clock from Tim Holtz.

 The prompt was Draw a Map. I immediately thought pirate treasure map. I wanted it to look like old parchment that was rolled and crumbling on the edges. It has been many many years since I tried to create dimension and 3D effects. I think I succeeded in the rolled edge on the right.
This piece was done entirely with Prismacolor pencils. 

 I have never drawn a car in my life. All the boys in school would sit and draw/doodle cars all day long. I'm a girl, I doodled flowers and horses lol

The prompt was Taxi. I wanted a vintage looking taxi. I found a photo of an old 50's Chevy taxi and went from there. This was all hand drawn with graphite pencil then colored with Derwent Graphitint pencils and Prismacolor pencils.

The license plate is a salute to one of my favorite TV shows. (how come it isn't in reruns like all the other shows from that time???)

 The prompt was Carrot and Lemon. I used Distress inks to created the carrot colored background and then painted the lemon with acrylics. I haven't done any still life paintings/drawing since high school and I don't think we ever drew fruit. lol

Ok, back to goofy! The prompt was Blueberry and Plum. I was googling blueberry just so I would have a real subject to draw/paint when I found a photo of this single blueberry. For some reason it said 'baby bird' and here we are. lol
The background is Distress Inks, the nest is acrylics, the tree is drawn with Sharpie pen. 

The prompt was Salt and Pepper.  Here we are way outside the comfort zone. I initially was going to find a photo of an 'Old Salt' and create a collage but instead, I did a portrait. I have never done a portrait like this before. I drew the man and then colored him with Prismacolor pencils. I then added the dog. (my aunt had a miniature schnauzer name Pepper so now this sailor does too) The clouds were created with chalks. 

Prompt of the day....Wabi Sabi. I had to google that one and I am still not 100% sure what it is but from what I understand it is seeing beauty in everything good or bad or falling apart. 
Our fence is old, cracked, weathered. The neighbors grapevines are growing through some of the spaces between the boards (don't get me started on how much that annoys me!!!)

I wanted to try and draw this old, cracking knot hole. I used primarily graphite pencil with a little Prismacolor and Graphitints thrown in for color.

I included a photo of the fence so you can see what I was actually trying to draw. :-)

Psychedelic. I didn't like it when it was originally popular so I was not too keen on using it as a prompt but the idea came to me and I ran with it and I am thrilled with the results. 
The hair was colored with Sharpies and Bic permanent markers. The moon was colored with Prismacolor pencils. The background is black Sharpie.

Oh but look! I did things other than a card a day lol

The latest building from SVG Cuts is the Country Market set. 

It took me about a week, working a couple hours a day, to complete. I used my Cricut Explore to really personalize all the signs.

I love how this turned out! It is so cute and vintage American small town.

And thought we would never get to the end didn't you?

I am in a tag swap with the BadBabies. We are using the big shipping tags.

I used Distress Inks for the background.
I then painted the peacock feather.
The definition is from a really old dictionary and I printed "Beauty" on my computer.

It needed something more so I did a gel medium transfer and added the peacock, glued down the definition and word. Added some distress inks to Beauty and spritzed the definition with Dylusions to settle them into the piece. The colors are not so muted in person and I am very happy with the results.

Well that about covers this past month. I hope every one is staying cool in these record breaking high temperatures and getting lots of projects created.

I have another month of index cards to create...and very excited to do so! :-)

Happy Summer!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Loving this beautiful weather!

The rain has finally stopped and we have had a full week of sunshine and warmth. Most people would head outside for picnics, camping, hiking. Not me. I head out to the garage to refinish furniture lol

Last weekend (Memorial Day weekend) was gorgeous. The rain had stopped, the sun was sort of peeking out and the temperatures peaked in the mid 70s. My husband was looking forward to a weekend in front of the television and playing on his computer. Yeah, I didn't let that happen lol

I have been wanting to get rid of the dresser I have been was a hand me down from my inlaws...a bland/blah thing from the 80s. No character and definitely not 'Me'. It clashed with all the antique and vintage style furniture in the room. So I convinced hubby that it was time to refinish the old dresser he had stashed out in the garage.

We estimate, based on wood type and construction, that it is from the 1940s. It was originally stained but at some point in it's life someone spray painted it black and added some hideous gold drawer pulls.

I had already removed some of the pulls before I remembered to take a picture.  Poor thing, it was in pretty rough shape and yet still very structurally sound.....and weighs a tons! lol

I primed it and then painted on several coats of Behr's Cottontail latex paint. I let it dry overnight then hit is with a sander (and a bit of hand sanding) to bring back that aged (and well loved) look.

I then hit all the home improvement stores to find the perfect pulls and fell in love with some that have a dark bronze base and porcelain looking inlay.

The fronts of the drawers have a swirled texture in the wood. I didn't know how this would look when I distressed the paint but I tried to use a light hand and I am thrilled with the results.  And I just LOVE the new pulls!  :-)

It now has a whole new life and although hubby was not happy about losing his weekend, we are both very happy with the results.

But of course, that is not the only thing I have been up to  :-)

My postcard swap items are due in mid June. I completed 2 of the 3 a while ago (see prior posting) and have been stuck with trying to come up with something for number 3.

I finally went digging in my old photo stash.

I found this girl proudly showing off her dress. It isn't a really fancy dress but she seems very happy so I wanted to send her to a dance. I went searching online and found this ticket to a prom "Under the Big Top". Yep, I could see her wearing that dress to a circus themed prom.  I added one of her old hair ribbons and the chorus to one of the songs they played that night.  :-)

Here is the complete set I am sending for the postcard swap.

And lastly, I got a new toy a couple weeks ago. I have a love/hate relationship with the HSN craft days. I see so many things that are new and interesting and thankfully I can usually resist (or only make a small purchase). But I knew this item was coming and I was positive that I didn't need it...and then I watched them demo it and I HAD to have it.

Anna Griffin's mini Minc machine

Have you seen this thing? It is a foil laminator and was just too cool for me to pass up. It had a premier price of only $69, much less than I have paid for other machines in my craft room heehee. (I used it in the prom postcard in case you didn't notice lol)

To be able to add foil accents to projects is just too cool. And I wanted to be able to combine it with other items in my craft room.

Experiment #1: stamp rubber stamp images, scan them then use my Explore to Print Then Cut them.
Then add foil to create fancy card embellishments.

Voila!  How cool would that look on a birthday card?  A shiny light pink and gold cupcake?!  Love it!

Experiment #2: scan images out of my Dover clip art books (I have a couple dozen of them lol) and then print and foil.

The cat is from a clip art book. the flower background is one of the pre-printed backgrounds that came with the Minc. (it came with over 150 printed items including backgrounds, sayings and awesome collection)

The foiled the cat with gold and the flowers with teal. What is really a very simple and basic card has now become elegant. Love it!!!

I am having way too much fun!  I foiled the text for my nephew's graduation card....but haven't photographed it yet (have to remember to do that).

And I made this card for my mom just so she can see exactly what I keep babbling about every time I call her lol

The bad thing about foil is that it is very difficult to photograph!
The background is another of the pre-printed, Anna Griffin backgrounds foiled in silver. The Hello is one of the pre-printed sayings foiled in rose-gold. The bouquet is a Print Then Cut from my Explore.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope you are all having beautiful weather and get to enjoy it in any way that makes you happy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you wonderful moms out there I hope your children shower you with love today.

I have been absent for a few weeks. Work has been such a bear that I run screaming from my desk each day and don't want to go near another one until I am forced out of bed the next morning. But projects and deadlines exist and I did manage to get a few things completed since I was last here.

The Bad Babies are trying out Pocket Letters. It seems to be the latest craze and we thought we would give it a go. If you haven't heard of them just hit up Google or Pinterest...there are tons of videos and blogs about them.

You would think that filling 9 slots with ATCs and ephemera would be easy....or at least I did. It was much tougher than I expected. I had ideas on what I wanted to do. I even made lists of things I could put in each pocket....and then I got stuck.

How do I decorate each pocket?
Should I have a theme for the whole thing?
Should I try to stick to a color palette?
I know nothing about my recipient...what if she hates everything I put in it?

What I thought would be a 2-3 day project took me almost a month (remember I also had that work issue making me dread any desk in my house lol)

Here is my final Pocket Letter.

I didn't know if she preferred brights or pastels so the corners are bright and the rest are pastels with the middle possibly going either way lol
The top, center pocket has a packet of flower seeds.
The center pocket with the typewriter has my letter.
Of course the Tea Time has the required tea bag (I hate tea and have no idea why that is a 'rule' for these but whatever)
The bottom right is a collage of postage stamps and the pocket is jammed full of stamps from all over the world.
I used vinyl on a couple pockets to hint what was inside.
This pocket is full of stamped quotes. Great for adding to projects.

Here is a stack of Gelli Print backgrounds cut down to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 for ATCs.

I also created some ATCs myself.
I honestly cannot remember what I tucked behind this 'Absolutely' card. Isn't that sad?! I mailed this out several weeks ago and my brain is mush these days....obviously lol.
The background colors are Gelatos. The woman is a stamp from Art Impressions (L-3103) The flourish is from Tim Holtz French Market set.

One of the ATCs had die-cuts behind it. It think it is this "trendy" one since she is a cut from the Cricut cart Forever Young. The background is a gelli print.

So that went out the door and I was on to the next project(s)...

I have probably mentioned this before over the years, my parents birthdays, Mother's day and Father's day all fall within a one month period. That keeps me hopping for several weeks as I try to get everything made, purchased, packed and mailed.

I made the SVG Cuts Peony Cottage for my Mom. I hope she likes it. I think it is adorable!

For my Dad, I made this cute Smores box from the SVG Cuts Camp Firefly set. It is just big enough to tuck a gift card inside.

My Mom loves tote bags. She says she has tons of them. She rarely buys them. She gets them free when stores are giving them away as promotions or she gets them as gifts from us kids.

I was in the middle of this project when my mom told me she had received an early Mother's Day gift from one of my sisters.....a large tote made from recycled sails. Mom was very excited about it. I am not upset but I was a bit bummed....I was making my mom a large tote from some Gelli Prints I created just for this project. :-(

So, I had to step back for a couple days and rethink. I ended up changing the project a bit. I went from large tote to not quite as large purse/tote with a shoulder strap and magnetic clasp.

The above picture is the front stamped with Fred B. Mullett stamps Lil Ox Eye Oreo, Seahorse 2 and Big Pompano.

And a note about Fred B. Mullett....I bought some stamps directly from his website. The customer service I received blew me away! I received a personal email thanking me for my order and a request that I let them know when it arrived and that he would look into possibly cutting the shipping cost on my order. A couple days later I received a reduction on my shipping! I emailed them back upon receipt of my stamps (which was much sooner than I had expected!) and received another personal and humorous email in return again thanking me for my purchase and wishing me years of enjoyment with my new stamps. No one does that anymore. Everything is automated replies. This was such a breath of fresh air. If I was not already a huge fan of his stamps I certainly would be now. So, if you cannot find his stamps in your local stores don't hesitate to order from him directly. You will not be disappointed.

And back to my Mom's tote/purse ...

Here is the back. This is stamped with a small school of the Lil Ox Eye Oreos, a Rockfish and Silver Salmon.

But since I was now making a purse instead of a tote I added a couple more goodies inside.

A pouch for tissues and a zipper pouch (I do not have a lot of experience installing zippers so hopefully Mom doesn't inspect too closely lol)

And of course, cards...

I love this hummingbird from Art Nouveau.

And my Dad's birthday card which comes from Wild Card 2.

This purse comes from SVG Cuts Luxury Handbag kit. I took the gift card panel from gift card holder in the set and added it to the Gal Pal card so that it is now a gift card holder and a flip open card. That probably doesn't make much sense but if you view the set it might lol

I think that covers should all know by now that you are in for a picture heavy post if I haven't been around for a few weeks lol

Thank you all for visiting and Happy Mother's Day!



Sunday, March 29, 2015

So many little time

I was in such an art/craft funk right after Christmas. I had no ideas and no desire to do anything.

Thankfully I found Gelatos and Gelli Plates.....and my Bad Babies!

These things have kept me sane and jump started my creativity again  :-)

The Bad Babies are really swapping up a storm right now!
Last week I shared my Arch shaped ATCs.

This week I joined a Postcard swap. We have to art up three 4x6 postcards and our theme is 'collage'. My mind was immediately full of ideas!  I created this first card within 24 hours of signing up. It was just screaming to get out of my head. lol

About 3 or 4 years ago I found an old photo album at an estate sale. It was full of pictures, baby pictures, family vacations, new homes, new cars, camping trips... I asked the seller (an estate sale company was handling the sale) why the family didn't want it. He said had asked the same thing and none of the remaining family had any idea who these people were. How sad is that? So I scarfed it up for I think around $4 for about 100 photos (the album was a mess so I trashed it). When a project moves me I scan one of the pictures and give these people a new life. This happy couple looked like they had a story to tell (there were several pictures of them in the album).

I folded the photo, sanded the folds and then rubbed on some Distress Ink - Old Paper to give it some 'age'.

A month ago I was at another estate sale and found a box full of postage stamps from around the world and a stamp collecting album. We are talking thousands of stamps dating clear back to the 20s and 30s up through around the 70s or 80s. It is a huge collection. I picked it up for $5. I was excited about the stamps, I use them all the time in projects. What thrilled me even more were the packets of letters I found in the bottom of the box when I got home. Letters from the 40's and mostly from WWII. An air force man name Bob stationed in Great Britain writing home to his family. I have not had a chance to read them yet but this letter jumped out at me with the heading My dearest 'Polly'. I scanned and printed the letter (which appears to be written on a vellum paper) and I decided this woman in the photo is Polly standing happily beside her Bob.

I saturated the letter with water then dripped on some Walnut Stain.

The British stamps are also from this bundle, the Love stamp is from my prior stash.

I wanted this card to feel like these items were maybe all stashed away in a drawer together.

A few days later I created postcard number 2. I went in a totally different direction for this one.

I applied gesso to my card then painted the background with Gelatos.
I stamped the woman (Stonehouse Stamps) and colored her with watercolor pencils.
I dug through my stash of Japanese paper scraps and found this gorgeous paper that matched my background colors beautifully. I cut it into strips and used Mod Podge to glue it down creating a magical tree line. Lastly I used torn pieces from a Chinese newspaper I picked up in San Francisco on a vacation in 2007 (it was thankfully a huge Sunday edition and will last me many more years lol) I wanted the newspaper to create the illusion of ground.
Finally I added the Chinese lantern stamp.

I have until June 15 to get my third card done. I don't think I will need that long. :-)

And of course I had to pull out a Gelli Plate this week.

I own 3 plates...the 3x5, the 5x7 and the 8x10.
I finally opened up the 8x10 and gave it a try.

Let me start with....I love my Gelli Plates. I have so much fun combining color and get a thrill with how unexpected each print is.
This was my first time using the 8x10 and although I love the results I think the 5x7 is my favorite and this is why....
My art desk, although quite large (about 10x30), holds a lot of items like my computer/monitor, 2 Cricut machines, several cups full of pens and pencils, towers of stamping inks, stacks of art journals, a land line Mickey phone and a box of tissues. My actual work space ranges from 36x20 to 24x20 depending on how clean my space is at the time lol
To use the 8x10 I had to move out to the dining room table which means finding newspaper to cover it, hauling out all my supplies and battling Minnie who claimed the table as her domain years ago.
I spent more time is set up, tear down and moving a cat out of the way than I did printing.
Although I liked the results I think I will reserve this plate for when I know that I need a large project and stick with my 5x7 that I can use on my art desk.

But, here is what I did (well part of it)
I tried fabric printing for the first time. I had a project in mind so I needed to print up the fabrics.

I have no idea why the background fabric looks pink, I was using muslin...and I photoshopped the crap out of this picture and still can't get the muslin to look off-white. Oh well lol

I used a pink paint for the base print and then a turquoise and green blend for the top print. I then stamped the fish (Fred B Mullett's Big Pompano) in white paint. Obviously I had issues lining up my prints lol

Here I printed a turquoise layer first and then a lilac layer on top. I stamped the fish with black paint (Fred B Mullett's Menpachi and Silver Salmon) and again color issues, the black looks almost red. No clue what was up with my camera lol

And my last fabric print of the day

Just one layer of blue and yellow (which created some green areas when brayered). I used embossed papers and scoring tools to create the patterns.

Now onto the project I envisioned before I printed.

Let me start with.....I NEVER carry a purse! Can't stand them. When I was growing up I watched my Mom haul around this huge purse and my dad and all of us kids would constantly be either asking for something from it or asking her to carry something in it for us as we did not want the burden of carrying it ourselves. I swore I would never have that happen to me.

However, when I go on vacation I like to have my camera with me and a place to carry small treasures I might pick up.
This little tote is 8 inches wide and about 9 inches tall. It has an over the shoulder/cross body strap so my hands stay free. It easily holds my camera, a package of tissues (darn allergies) and will have room for postcards, ephemera or other small goodies I might find.

I used the other fish print for my back fabric. I heat set both panels with an iron so it won't be fading anytime soon.

Now I just need a vacation!  :-)

Happy Crafting and have a wonderful week.