Thursday, June 27, 2013

Out Of Chaos...

  What a week it's being on a roller coaster ride at the top and then plunging down, desperately waiting to go back up. (The art part is below this if you want to skip down).

   It began mid Sunday when I suddenly got the worst stomach pains and spasms I had ever had. Then I got so cold (mind you it was a hot, humid 90 degrees F here) I was in sweats and wrapped in a fleece blanket all day and eve. Barely sipped on some Gatorade. That continued thru Tues AM. But, on Mon. I attempted to do some laundry. Uh oh-something doesn't sound right. Got to the basement to an awful smell and smoke. Oh  #%&*!! Flipped off the  laundry machine both literally and figuratively, unplugged, looked around, then ran up to get hubby (who had only an hour before gone to sleep after working the night shift). Frantically we both went around checking to be sure there was no fire. Opened basement doors and put on some fans. Def. came from machine. Rung everything out and hung outdoors. Kept checking in basement just to be sure. Hubby gets up and prepares to make toast. Oh #%&*- the toaster went!! The clip that holds down the knob you press to toast broke. Tues. still only eating saltines but had to meet at Mom's with insurance rep. Came home and decided I needed to make some art.

  On Wed. AM Bill replaced the belt on the machine which was bad. Started to run a mini load to test. So far so good. But then at spin time the smoke began....Holy  #%&*!! Flipped off the  laundry machine both literally and figuratively then unplugged it. Actually felt good enough for coffee and some light food today (even tho stomach muscles feel like they went thru 3 sets of 150 sit ups) so off I went for a new washer and toaster. Good news!!! Picked out a high efficiency Maytag I really liked. It was on sale, delivered free and the old one hauled away free. And would you believe-still manufactured, made and assembled in the US of A!! Off to another place. I really wanted a Cuisinart toaster-love their products. Bingo! New model coming out soon so this one went from $75 to $34. And it matched the appliances I have- done deal :)

  On to art challenges :) First up are some more CAS cards :

 I'm linking this one to Inspiration Avenue where the theme this week is "outfits for all occasions" and to Simon Says Stamp and Show where the theme is "stripes", and the  Simon Says Stamp Challenge-"anything goes".
 Products used: white note card; patterned papers-DCWV Matt Stack Classic Prints; vintage image-Top Hat Designs; topstitch ribbon-Offray; red card stock; blue pigment ink-Colorbox; antique brass jewelry findings.

 I'm also linking the following two cards to SSS&S and SSSC:

  Products used for both: white note card; patterned papers (source unknown); VersaFine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko); UM Clear Stamps(Inkadinkado-Just Saying Set); 2 1/2" and 2 3/4" punch (Paper Shapers).

  It's week 3 at Kristin's (Twinkle,Twinkle) Summer of Color Challenge and the color combo that had the most votes this week was Lime Green and Purple. Here's my project:

   This is a 5" x 7" canvas. Music paper (Paper Studio) was glued to substrate. Excess trimmed and edges were sanded. Dry brushed African Jade Silks Acrylic then added a bit of Ocean Wave twinking H2Os. Dry brushed some white acrylic paint over that. Sharpie paint pens were used to doodle the border frame after using sequin waste and Staz-On Mustard ink (Tsukineko) in the background. Live your Dreams stamp (Hero Arts) stamped on tissue paper then glued in place. Lastly I used Golden's heavy matte gel medium to secure the butterflies. It just so happened I had a baggie of these butterflies I was going to put away since I had them for so long and was rearranging some space in a drawer. Good thing I hadn't done it yet :)

  Lastly I have a new calendar spread to share for Kate Crane's (the Kathryn Wheel) Calendar project. July is just around the corner!

  Red, Med Blue acrylic paints were brushed over the pages with a foam brush. White dots were added with Dylusions Dotted Flower stencil and Snow Cap Adirondack Acrylic Dauber. Stamped letters with white gesso and harlequin with balck gesso (stamps-Dylusions Basic Backgrounds). Circles added with a bottle cap and gesso.

  And here is my calendar spread ready to go:

  Sticker letters(Me and My Big Ideas), numbers (Making Memories rub-ons). Stars punched from white card stock, edges sponged with Memories Midnight Blue dye ink and glued in place. Added days of week (Magenta set of foam stamps). Finished with a Dylusions stamp image colored with markers, sticker circles and metallic star stickers.

  Linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every day, Kate Crane's Calendar Project, Summer of Color and of course, Paint Party Friday!

  Here's to a happy,sunny,creative and fun weekend !

                    "A degree of chaos can be liberating to the creative spirit." Anonymous


Friday, June 21, 2013


  Today, Friday, it is summer solstice-officially the first day of summer- at least in my part of the world. Oh how I look forward to this season!! And I always celebrate by listening to the following song. This a rendition by Norah Jones. And for those of you going into the winter season, I hope this warms your spirit.

   For the art part..I have more gelli print pieces to show you from my gelli plate play day with my friend LuAnn. You can read about my first post about it here.

    First up- some of our results printing on fabric! I brought along some pieces of muslin along with a few patterned swatches to try out.

     This is the patterned swatch we used:

 And here are our prints on this fabric:

 This is LuAnn's first (and only) fabric print (I will get her to do more next time:):). Isn't it so soft and beautiful in this light blue and pink??
  Of course, I just had to go bold and vibrant! :

  I'm definitely going to play on printed fabric more-what about you?

  These were printed on plain muslin:


  I also printed on recycled tea bags:

  I thought it would be fun to put these transparent tea bags over some patterned card stock. And here is how I finished them:

  I wanted to do some abstract/texture play and I liked the black and white pattern for these. They're a tad larger than an ATC so I'll call them miniatures :). The printed tea bags were sewn onto  the patterned paper. I then glued down a mesh square to each and sewed on the black and white chip board buttons using wire, wrapping the wires to the back. They were then glued to black card stock.
 In my last post I shared some CAS cards I made inspired by the Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge for this week which is "kraft". I got two more done before cleaning up and putting the kraft note cards away.

 This one is so CAS it may even be considered minimalist graphic :) Products: kraft note card and striped paper-Canvas; die cut doily accent- Colorbok; white adhesive dot-Jo-Ann Craft Essentials.

 The second card:

  Products: kraft note card-Canvas; patterned paper-DCWV; die cut tag- K & Company; die cut bird-Colorbok; rubber stamp-PSX; VersaFine Onyx Black ink pad-Tsukineko.

  And now I leave you with my two very favorite summer quotes:

"Summer afternoon-summer afternoon...the two most beautiful words in the English language." Henry James

                           "In summer, the song sings itself." William Carlos Williams

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Art Challenges

   I managed to get two posts in last week including some new challenges I created art for. And I do believe I'll have two posts in again this week :) I don't know how anyone finds the time to post every single day!

   First up are my entries for Kristin's Summer of Color Challenge. For week two the color combo of Hot Pink and Orange got the biggest number of votes. I know I said that last week's were a fave of mine but so is this one! And to prove it I'll share two pics of a RR book I did back in 2007 using these colors as my theme :)

                                                 These are envies I made using my gelli plate.

                                                           And these are gelli print papers.

  This is the fabric journal cover I made for my RR book back in '07:

  The German borders are from ARTchix Studio. I painted the gold borders with Golden Transparent Orange. I painted the flowers on the back of the transparency with Twinkling H2Os so the flowers would pop once adhered to the fabric cover.

  An here is one of the pages I did:

 I wish I could share each of the pages because they are fabulous!!  But I'd need to find all the contributing artists and get permission which would be too time consuming at this point.

  The challenge this week at Inspiration Avenue has to do with Audrey Hepburn. I adore her movies so I had to make a little something to honor her :)

  I don't believe the image is actually Audrey but she certainly reminds me of her. Products used: image -ARTchix Studio; patterned cardstock-DCWV La Creme; black ribbon-Michael's; clear rhinestones; red cardstock; beaded trim-Michael's.

  Last week I entered a challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show for the first time. Glad I made the time for some cards for this week's challenge which is "kraft". You have thru Sun June 23 11:59PM EST to enter up to 5 times for a chance to win (by Random Generator) a $50 gift voucher at's shop!!

 Here are three cards I've done (so far) all using kraft notecards. I decided to go CAS for this challenge and build up my card supply at the same time:)

  Products: kraft notecard- Canvas; patterned paper-Ambrosia; die cut frame- Colorbok; rubber stamp-DeNami; inkpad- VersFine Onyx Black (Tsukineko); felt butterfly- Michael's.

 Products: kraft notecard-Canvas; patterned paper-the paper studio; tag- K & Company; rubber stamp- Hero Arts; inkpad- Versa Fine Onyx Black (Tsukineko); sheer red organdy ribbon-Ribbon Boutique; glitter glue-Diamond Stickles (Ranger).

  Products: kraft notecard-Canvas; rubber stamp- PSX; tag- K & Company; inkpads- Versa Fine Onyx Black (Tsukineko), Distress Vintage Photo (Ranger); antique brass jewelry bits (unknown).

" The reason so many people never get anywhere is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the back yard looking for four-leaf clovers." Walter P. Chrysler

Friday, June 14, 2013

Paint Party Week!

  This is going to be a post primarily consisting of photos of all the paint play I had this week. I'll share our paper prints and envies now and save the fabric and teabag prints for another post. My friend LuAnn and I got together again at her place on Wed. for 4 hours of gelli plate printing and oh what FUN we had!

  Setting up:
 This is but a small portion of all the stencils and paints we had to use :) And then came the painting frenzy-on paper, recycled tea bags, envies and fabric. And these are but  a smattering of all we created!

                                          Ready for printing using scraps of recycled materials.

  Paper prints:

 Above are some of LuAnn's prints. We used the floor and even the stove to set things out of the way :)

  And all the while, except for an occasional look into the kitchen, LuAnn's "boss" (as she calls her) Ginger slept soundly surrounded by some of her favorite things:

 She is such a sweetie and that little cocker tail never stops wagging!

Here are some of my papers. Oh, on my way to LuAnn's I stopped in Hobby Lobby and bought a feather stencil to play with (as if we really needed another stencil with the selection we had to use) and as you will see I LOVE IT! I think LuAnn was going out this week to get one too :)

 I know the silhouette stencils are  "Annie" by Dylusions' Dyan Reavley. I can't possibly list all the stencils we used so if there is one you see in particular you want to know about please email me.

And here are some of my envies:

 LuAnn said the feather one looks like a staring eye.

 I love sending mail with a decorated envie and this is such an easy way to add instant fun and color! Just wait till you see our fabric prints, coming soon -ooh la la!

  This page is from one of my art journals:

  I started with a page on which  had glued a piece of blotted paper towel. You can read more about these backgrounds here.  I traced a silhouette onto cardstock and painted it black before gluing it down. Yellow watercolor crayon was used along one side for shadowing.

  Last but not least I want to mention an incredible artist (one of MANY) I "met" thru Paint Party Friday.
Tracey Fletcher King creates not only gorgeous watercolor illustrations but her posts are so witty and humerous! Tracey is participating in the ICAD (Index Card a Day) challenge. She also decided to add a challenge of her own combined with this one. Tracey asked that anyone who wished should send her a photo or two of mugs or teacups you own. She in turn would draw/paint them on an index card a day. I was delighted that one of the first ones she created was this one I sent her a pic of:

  LuAnn bought me this beautiful Vera Bradley mug with a lid for my birthday and I use it every day!

  And look how gorgeous Tracey's illustration of it turned out!:

  You really must visit Tracey's blog and see all the wonderful illustrations she sketches and paints. And I'm sure you'll want to continue to see the cups and mugs she creates for the challenges.  I believe she's still open to taking pics of mugs to illustrate :)

  Sorry for the long posting. If anyone can direct me on how to post some of my photos side by side I'd SO appreciate it!

  Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Paint Party Friday, and Mandarin Orange Monday.
As always, thank you for all your thoughtful comments :)

         " A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ATC and Art Challenge Fun

  Just time for a quick post so I can get these challenge pieces linked in time. My battery went dead on my camera after taking photos- I mean dead as in I need to buy a new battery because the current one won't recharge at all any longer-ugh!. So, I had to retake photos using hubby's camera this AM.

  The theme this Monday at Simon Says Stamp and Show is buttons.  The ATCs were both cut from gelli plate prints. On the top one I stamped a buttons UM image (Cat's Life Press) over the base using Tea Dye Distress Ink (Ranger). I also sponged the ink along the edges of the card, typed word, and over the flower trim. Transparency is from ARTchix Studio. Button is Dress It Up.
  For the second ATC I used image and words from ARTchix Studio. Edges are all sponged with Tea Dye Distress ink (Ranger). Tiny buttons are from Gary Burlin & Co.
  I am also linking  the second one to Inspiration Avenue (bird theme), Summer of Color 3 (color theme of citron and turquoise). At Summer of Color we get to vote for each week's color challenge and I was thrilled to have a fave combo to art with this week. Can't wait to see what the challenge is next week :)

  Here are two more ATCS:

  For this one I sewed fabric to a cardstock base after cutting the arch shape. Materials used are: sheer green swiss dot ribbon (Michael's); image, words and butterfly transparency (ARTchix Studio); paper flowers and brads (JoAnne's).

  Background and heart are gelli plate prints.

 I'm linking up to Glue It Tuesdays at artsyville and hosted by Aimee,  A Colorful Gelli Print Party hosted by Carolyn Dube, and Summer Of Color 3 at Twinkle, Twinkle  hosted by Kristin.

 These are wonderful, fun challenges (some of which also offer prizes!) and a great way to meet up with more bloggers and artists. Just click on the links for more info or click on the badges along the lower right sidebar. Hope to see you there, and thanks to the fabulous hostesses of these challenges!

"You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need." Jerry Gillies

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blooming Poppies and Art Challenges

  For anyone who doesn't already know, the poppy (the big red Oriental variety) is my very favorite flower. Each spring I anxiously watch and wait for my next door neighbors' poppies to emerge and bloom. This week they did not disappoint! I just have to get a few pics each year and of course I can't resist getting a close up of the magnificent center too.

  Here's an ATC I created for the June lottery at the Paper Traders Yahoo Group :

  I used a blotted paper towel for the background. Mermaid poste and German border are from ARTchix Studio.  The theme at Inspiration Avenue this week is a nautical theme so I'm linking this to their challenge.
 Two new (for me) challenges I'm also linking this to is Glue It Tuesday at artsyville  hosted by Aimee and  Simon Says Stamp and Show who's theme is anything with the letter "s".  I used a stamp, background is splattered, it's a seaside theme, and the border is a seashell border. I'm also linking the following two cards to SSSandS:

  Products used: white cardstock; Mariposa printed cardstock;  Vivid!  Spring Green ink; PSX stamp and black ink; Prima paper flower and leaf; Martha Stewart seam binding ; Spellbinder's Grand Calibur die cut machine and Big Scalloped Ovals Lg. dies.

  Products used: green notecard; white cardstock; Colorbox yellow pigment ink; PSX stamp and Adirondack Slate Grey ink; Flower Soft printed cardstock frame and flower bits; apricot silk ribbon; Offray sheer dotted ribbon; Spellbinders Grand Calibur die cut machine and Elite M-Bossabilities plate.

  I've seen at least several other bloggers I visit who link to these challenges so I thought it'd be fun and a way to meet some new artists. Check them out, be inspired,  and challenge yourself  also!

  My last art contribution for this week is for the Color This Quote Challenge for June hosted by Jessica Sporn at Artists In Blogland. Each month we are given a quote to interpret/ use in our art. June's quote is 
" May there be peace and prosperity within your walls. " Psalms 122.7. I chose a more subdued palette for my project which I made in my 5" x 8 " Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal:

   Doorways- ARTchix Studio; image -Somerset Studio; crocheted lace-JoAnne's Fabric. I aged everything with a combination of Distress Weathered Wood and Vintage Photo inks.Embellished with antique brass bits and a chipboard dove (Michael's) painted white with edges sponged in Adirondack Slate Grey ink.  Hey, I can include this also in the Glue It Tuesday challenge :)

 I'm also excited to start participating in the Color Of Summer challenge which begins on Monday and is hosted by Kristin Van Valkenburgh on her blog Twinkle, Twinkle .

 Of course I'm also linking up to Art Journal Every Day, Paint Party Friday, and Show and Tell Saturday! I'll be seeing you around ... 

" Notice what happens when you follow your intuitive feelings. The result is usually increased energy and power, and a sense of things flowing." Shakti Gawain