Monday, November 7, 2011

Spots, pox and wedding day polka dots

A coworker recently got to take an even earlier last day than she'd planned.

Thanks to chicken pox.

She contracted the dreaded disease of spots and dots and chalky topical creams shortly after her replacement was hired.

Her replacement who had never had chicken pox. So, goodbye to her one week early.

I hope she didn't have to use up sick time and therefore get cheated out of that final "extra" pay.

Anyhow, I made a card for her celebrating her pox! The background is lightly inked and stamped with bubble wrap that I brushed with Perfect Pearls.

The butterfly is made up of wings and a dot from some packages of pre-cut Grunge shapes that I inked and embossed with clear glitter powder.

The "SPOTS" text, stamped and embossed in black, is from a Close To My Heart set and the "seeing" text is from a ProvoCraft stamp.

My coworker, by the way, had to resign because she's getting married and moving to another country. I'm not sure of her wedding date, but I'm crossing my fingers that her pox cleared up before then.

Does any bride want to wear polka dots on her wedding day?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Artist trading cards

Art, like so many things, comes in many sizes all of which are useful if you can learn how to best employ the differences (oh my yes, gentlemen, you'll be pleased to know: most of us girls agree this theory applies in *that* area, as well).

Anyhow, back in April I created my first ever Artist Trading Card project (for a Frosted Petunia's Artful Bag swap).

Since then I've continued to create mostly cards and altered art, but once a month or so find myself drawn to create more of these diminutive works of art known as ATCs.

Most of them have been crap (I didn't say *I* had learned to best employ the different sizes), still the three I've posted here turned out nicely and display multiple techniques including some from Tim Holtz, a few from other designers and maybe one or two from yours truly.

The first ATC also features one of the stamps from Holtzs' Stamper's Anonymous sets and a picture I trimmed out of a Burning Man calendar.

The second and third pieces are made with Octopode characters: The owl has glow-in-the-dark glitter eyes and the optic flower is mounted in front of a harlequin glow-in-the-dark glitter pattern. Neither of these are terribly visible in my photographs, of course, but they're completely awesome in a dark room.

Just to make sure I don't go too crazy with the trying things that don't relate in any way to artist and product creator Tim Holtz ... the fonts on the second and third ATCs are cut from one of Mr. Holtz's  Alterations strip (named Vintage Market and/or Carnivale, depending on where you look).

What do you think of my ATC's? Are they sweet and simple miniature works of art or tiny bits of trash?

Honestly, you can tell the truth. Because I already like them.

Which means that if you don't ... I'll just pretend that you do.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Self-imposed, Sisyphus-style blogging vs. Fun

It's an olive branch! A COCKTAIL OLIVE branch!
The way I'm often yammering on about one thing or another, I bet you've been shocked that my mouth could stay shut, my fingers could keep from typing, for nearly One Entire Month!

My Guy has asking questions, too: "What's wrong?" "Why are you being so quiet?" "What can I do to make sure every month is this peaceful?"

He did of course manage to enjoy most of this Zen For Me time, but I'd like to personally thank two friends and bloggers who checked in on me with questions similar to those My Guy has been asking: Lynne at Savvy Sisters Studio and The Altered Alice and Terry at Terry's. Ladies, I'll be replying to your e-mails later today!

So, just what the hell have I been doing? Well, first I was going to make a big announcement at the end of September ... I killed that announcement though. Realization hit just in time! I'd been feeling overextended because of challenges I'd joined and was considering opening my own challenge blog.

What in world was I thinking? Being the boss makes things easier? After years and years of middle management jobs I know that being boss only makes things harder and more stressful.

So, I declined that promotion and decided instead to just take a break. Just. Stop.

Stop joining and commenting and replying and worrying and forcing uninspired creativity and blogging and start having fun.

Stop pushing the words and the art out every week only to start again the next week, the next month, and on and on and start creating things that are fulfilling.

It's been a lovely break that has had one negative: I've missed seeing what my friends in blog land are creating, and leaving them messages telling them what amazing people and artists they are.

Now I get to start again, checking in with everyone and sharing whatever it is I feel like sharing. Hopefully you'll forgive me for my absence and gather here for future activities.

Instead of challenge or blog hop pieces, I'll share art and projects and recipes that I think you'll like, or that might inspire you or that might make you laugh.

Maybe I'll show off one of the twelve altered art and paper gift projects I completed in the last month. Or one of the nine new recipes I managed to try during these weeks away from the computer.

I could even show off photos of the wee vegetables our garden gave us this year or talk about the sewing and knitting projects that are currently annoying me.

Yeah. We're finally getting back 'round to that title, aren't we? See, I'm putting an end to the "self-imposed, Sisyphus-style blogging" that I've been doing.

Now I'm going to be a fun blogger. A having fun blogger.

I hope you'll drop in occasionally and have some fun, too, but my feelings won't be hurt if this new concept isn't what you're looking for in a blog.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome to my belated Practical Magic Blog Party

We take any party seriously at my house, and especially so when it's in celebration of a wonderful event such as this weekends' Practical Magic Blog hop!

You're surely not surprised then that this post had to wait for our blender to stop spinning and the afterglow to subside.

Please, whenever you have a few moments to sit comfortably with a cup of tea or a cocktail take a look at what our fellow bloggers came up with for this years' celebration. It has been, well, magical.

My own Practical Magic Blog party became a real party, albeit a small one, with margaritas, planting of terrariums and the lighting of a candles.

As each candle was lit we made a heartfelt wish for you and for our Practical Magic friends and for ourselves. Those wishes were: Health, wealth, happiness, joy, laughter, creativity, clarity, peace, honesty, fairness, friendship, insight, nourishment and beauty.

Inspired by the kitchen and apothecary scenes from Practical Magic we planted two glass jar terrariums with a fern and a ficus and we found an enamelware chamber pot in which now lives some more creeping plant friends and three wee begonias (which might not survive the winter, even indoors, but we'll see).

Finally, we found at a thrift store the perfect glass jar to house a bushel of limes: Not only pretty and green and reminiscent of the Practical Magic movie ... but damn convenient for our bar, too!

Thanks to everyone who participated, and I'll be 'round to comment soon: I hope each of you finds yourself filled with an abundance of magical inspiration!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get well/thinking of you: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Hi again Drunken Stamping friends!

The newest challenge at Drunken Stampers is all about those people who could use a little attention from you! A wish to get well, or a reminder that he or she is in your thoughts: Create something that is for that person.

My piece is for someone special who has lately been feeling stressed and disjointed and not at all confident.

The project began because this friend of mine ogled a lovely, vintage-look French chic over-the-door hanger at World Market.

So, I made my own version for my friend: The flowers are Tim Holtz' Tattered Florals in aluminum and grunge paper, each layer coated in inks and embossing powders then bent and beat into obviously organic garden shapes before being attached to the rusted steel hanger.

I added a crystal curtain rod end found at a garage sale and hung a sign "Live well" made using the faux crazed porcelain technique found at The Inspiration Journal (owned by the Inspiration Emporium).

Don't go there yet, by the way, or you'll never get back here: Believe me, The Inspiration Journal is very, very aptly named.

Though my own crazed porcelain plaque isn't as good as the one found at the technique link above, it's certainly a good start and can be easily improved as I make more items like this one. You absolutely must try this technique, too!

The final news of the day is that this is my last post as a Drunken Stampers design team member. Later this month I'll share news of what you can expect to see on this blog in the future.

In the meantime you should drop in at the DS blog to check out what they're doing and join in the fun: Challenge blog owners Peggy and Spike are an incredible, creative pair worthy of your participation!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest designer project for The Altered Alice Chapter 7 Week 2: Text as nonsense

My guest designer piece is after The Altered Alice challenge information!
Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: `-- and I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that hill -- ' `When you say "hill,"' the Queen interrupted, `I could show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that a valley.' `No, I shouldn't,' said Alice, surprised into contradicting her at last: `a hill can't be a valley, you know. That would be nonsense -- ' The Red Queen shook her head, `You may call it "nonsense" if you like,' she said, ` but I've heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!' -- Chapter 2, Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

Using text as pattern is a trend right now that I really love. Your challenge is to use text as nonsense - not to read but as pattern on your project! Of course you can still have words or sentiments, but we also need to see text used in a non-reading way. I have a stack of old books and dictionaries that I use for this purpose.

Our sponsor is Stamp Attack, a British company that is well known (among other things) for their fantastic Alice stamp plates which have sold to customers all over the world. In fact, Helena Bonham Carter, the actress who played the Red Queen in the Tim Burton Alice movie, purchased sets of Alice stamps from Stamp Attack, which were then delivered to the studio!  Enabler alert: Stamp Attack offers speedy worldwide shipping for only £1 on unmounted stamp orders, so go on and check out their beautiful stamps!

The winner will receive a Stamp Attack gift certificate for £13.50, which is equivalent to one of the stamp plates that the design team will be using!

You have until Friday, September 23 to enter your creation at The Altered Alice and the winner and honorable mentions will be announced on the last Sunday of the month, September 25.  All kinds of projects are welcome, they do not have to be "altered art" and as always, entries that feature some aspect of Wonderland are given two chances instead of one in the random prize drawing. You may enter multiple times as long as each project is on a separate post.

We are also saying goodbye to our current crop of guest designers, so please leave them some special love this month as their projects have been FABULOUS! Thanks so much ladies, you have added so much to The Altered Alice! And stay tuned, there will be some special design team announcements next month too!

Hi again folks, thanks for dropping by to visit me, CuddlyBunny, especially today as I post my final guest designer piece for The Altered Alice!
Wow! What a fun group of wonderfully inspiring artists! Should you ever be asked to join the designer, as a guest or full-time member, say YES!

So, my piece with beautiful stamps from sponsor Stamp Attack is a triangle easel flip-top book.

Each page features different techniques and colors, so to keep things realistically short here ... let's see the photos and you can drop a question if you want to know how something was done!

OK? Okay!

Have a wonderful day everyone, hug the people you love!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quote: The Octopode Factory Friday challenge

Whew boy do I love the Octopodes!

And you all know how I also love quotes: Found and made up ... I'm a fan of inspirational, comical, memorable words strung together and repeated for all eternity.

So, this week's The Octopode Factory Friday challenge of the week, Quotes, is ideal for me.

Then we've got the toys that I collect, new and vintage, and roughly ten seconds passed before I decided to combine a vintage sewing thread ad from Graphics Fairy, the Octopode teddy bear and a phrase that is courtesy an antique embroidery my sister has hanging at her house.

"My teddy bear has a rip and a tear love pours from him everywhere."

You can use it, too: You're welcome.

But not for this exact challenge, please. Though you absolutely must join in at The Octopode Factory Friday challenge.

We'll be sad without you.

What did you do this summer: A Drunken Stampers challenge

Welcome back to another Drunken Stampers post!

We took a few weeks off to catch our breath and let our livers dry out, but we're back now and with a couple of surprises!

First, it's important that everyone have plenty of time to create and then to recover from that hard work before a new challenge, so we'll now only have Drunken Stampers challenges on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month.

Next, and read this one carefully: That strange itch in your ears has been the Drunken Stampers Design Team call echoing in your art space! Go to the link to find out what the very, very loose requirements are and throw your hat into the ring! We'd love to see you 'belly up to the craft bar.

Finally, we've got the first new challenge since the Spring: What did you do this summer?

We bought a hillbilly pool (an above-ground, inflated sides pool) early in the summer and have been happily splashing about, but there's been some much bigger events during the season as well.

I celebrated a birthday and received dozens of wonderful game pieces that my parents found for me at thrift stores! Awesome! Then there was the camping trip to Antelope Lake where we found itty bitty seashells perfect for a little altered art embellishment.

Despite loving paints, from the aroma to the endless technical possibilities, it wasn't until this summer that I returned to creating with dry brushing and globs of color mixed for custom shades and gesso and gorgeous technicolor pallets.

We remembered to get ourselves to some garage sales, too, and the Habitat for Humanity resell store where we found bits and bobs for hanging and dangling and creating.

There was even a class this summer! Although not well-attended by yours truly who could not find the time to watch inspiration videos and read instruction sheets and create, I have since been back-tracking and find learning at my own pace, while not the original plan, is still motivating and rewarding.

All of this, I'm sure, is some part in the most important discovery I made this summer, which I prefer not to discuss at length here, but will say this: Occasionally reassess your life, your self, your world.

Because sometimes we get off track and, if we're not careful, discover that everything that makes us unique and amazing is buried under a blanket of worry and stress and things we can not possibly control.

Ah so, breathe deeply my friends. Life is good!

And we need you at Drunken Stampers!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PMS: Haunted Design House

Normally I wouldn't talk in very pleasant terms about PMS, but this week I absolutely must!

Just take a look at what they've got to challenge us with at Haunted Design House Macabre Monday! It's PMS or Psychotic Miss Silver!

See? You knew you could trust me, didn't you? Trust that all of the design team work is worth your clicking over the HDH blog, too!

My own piece features Femdom's Dominatrix from Smeared Ink, a great place to find fantastically fun and dark-ish images!

Our Dominatrix is printed on white stock and colored with Sharpies and colored pencils, and has inked edges courtesy distress ink in broken china.

She's mounted on two layers of different-colored blue stock edge-inked in black and more broken china. Two silver chains accent the entire card and finally we've got a silver-embossed sentiment "Surprise Party" from Making Memories' magnetic sets.

I think our Magnificent Mercedes (yes, I named her) manages to fall nicely into place just between slightly inappropriate and giggly cute, which of course also makes her just like all of us: Slightly psychotic at least once a month.

So, where do thought of PMS lead you? Surely you'd like to share, wouldn't you, with the kind folks at Haunted Design House?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stripes: The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge

This way and that, up and down, crossways and straightways, stripes lead here and there and nowhere.

Reaching behind and above and around the Octopode Factory's Andy Warhol.

Coming together just in time to be a part of The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge gathering!

Are you enjoying my more simply-designed cards and creations? They're fun and speedy to create, but I can't help feeling that they are awfully plain ...even with dear Mr. Warholpode's blue skin and yellow hair.

I appreciate his pink sunglasses, though. Maybe I could find a pair for myself ...

Recreate a scene: The Burtonesque Dolls challenge

Here's my second version of this post, which I'm forced to write because Blogger boogered up just as I was trying to add a photo and click "publish."

Color me freakin' happy.

Anyhow, I'd mentioned in my prior now non-existent post that this holiday is doing me a huge favor as I would otherwise have missed the chance to create a piece for the current Burtonesque Dolls challenge: Recreate a scene.

My brain just wasn't wrapping around the idea that while September 5 seemed a long way off more than a week ago: It wasn't exactly never coming.

Lost track of things as usual and here I am at the last moment to tell you that I used the Bugaboo Stamp Sassy Gal Devil and computer-generated text placed on a background inked with three colors of Distress Ink.

The border is courtesy a Martha Stewart Around the Page punch "Iron Gate."

Hopefully you enjoy this Beetle Juice scene as much I do: How could you not love it when our friend Beetle Juice is enticed by the luscious ladies of Dante's Inferno to get a little action.

One day I'll figure a way to recreate the dining room carnival scene from Beetle Juice, another favorite of mine.

Until then I'm off to try to add a photo and then link up with Burtonesque Dolls.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Framed: Haunted Design House

Take one vintage middle school photo, a wood-cut style bat from Graphics Fairy and a tiny wedding favor frame and you've got the perfect set up for this weeks' Haunted Design House Macabre Monday challenge: Framed!

Of course the challenge is nearly finished so what you have very, very little of is time.

Even less than I had when I started this project that took much longer than it should have for such a ho-hum creation.

Still, this little bit of art is funny and I'm looking forward to displaying it on Halloween.

Have a great day everyone, and don't forget to drop by Haunted Design House to see what the amazing design team put together!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Carnival of Curiosities: Haunted Design House

Surely you could already hear me gleefully giggling at this week's Macabre Monday challenge at Haunted Design House!

Another chance to use one of my Whimsical Circus Octopodes! Woohoo!

Today's troop member is our fluffy-haired, big-nosed clown. You can see that she's terribly shocked to discover that so many of us find clowns terrifying.

In fact she's so shocked that her wee little brain is considering a bit of bloodshed with a nice big butcher knife *shudder*.

At my house we don't like clowns. Or any other animal or person in a mask or disguising makeup. That is what makes us shudder. Freaky flippin' fakers. I want to see your face people. If not ... please keep your distance.

As referred to in my previous post: Bats and rats good. Masks and clowns bad. And grasshoppers. Were I ever forced to be in a reality television program they could easily finish me with a handful of grasshoppers.

Or those damn living statues like the performers near Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Super Freaky! The statues, not the Cafe. The Cafe is awesome.

... whew, see this is why you want me to keep the posts short ... so there's a chance in hell I'll stick to the point.

Back to our challenge: I used a background from DezinaWorld (this background is ONE DOLLAR ... and there's lots more great stuff for just a buck!).

I added some clear embossing with glitter around the edges, a drippy goo edge punch embellishment with red glitter and handwritten text "Everyone loves a clown."

Finally I get to show off the Tim Holtz small easel die cut attached to the back of this piece. My favorite part of the easel die is that I can make shelf or desktop art for friends that can be mailed in a regular envelope with a single first class stamp!

What can you create that costs only 44 cents to mail? Something for the Macabre Monday Carnival of Curiosities challenge perhaps?

Steampunk and feathers: The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge

Each week I see a few more of you at the The Octopode Factory Friday challenge, and it's so exciting!

After all, everyone knows how much I love Octopodes, so it's additionally wonderful to see in what way multiple artists envision Octopodes in the weekly challenge themes.

That doesn't mean I get myself on to TOFF every week though: Last week I got by to discover the challenge, and even created a challenge piece, but never found time to post.

So, my piece for last week's "Birds of a Feather" is posted here: It's an alcohol ink splatter on white gloss card stock with the remaining white smudged in sapphire Distress Ink.

The text is printed and inked with Distress Ink in various colors, and I added rhinestones to the word "Feathers" because what else would a bat's be full of than lovely shiny pink feathers?

I'm very fond of bats, and all other rodent-like animals. Can you tell?

My piece for this week's challenge, Steampunk, begins with a collage tag I found at DezinaWorld (six different printable tags for TWO BUCKS!).

Then I added some printed and inked text and the lovely Steampunk Mabel.

Since you asked, I'll tattle on myself: I've been enjoying the last week or so creating some very simple pieces. My goal lately has been to focus on color and style combinations instead of worrying about adding hewhaws and gewgaws.

Not to worry however since the concept of not including bits of this and that is too painful to maintain for any length of time.

OK friends, off to create your own Octopode Factory Friday challenge goodness!

Frosted Petunias Artful Bag Challenge: August

Happy summer Frosted Petunia Artful Baggers and loyal followers!

The unseasonably comfortable temperatures* we've had lately must have inspired my pink, vintage-look couture ATC bag.

*Normally our summertime temperatures run from holy crap it's hot to it's so hot I can't breathe ... this year, aside from one or two 100-plus F days, it's hovered consistently at What Lovely Weather ... just as I suppose always is the case in Paris ... in my fantasy Paris at any rate. 

Back in the real world: My ATC is inked with Distress Ink in worn lipstick, then embossed with clear embossing powder in the style of Tim Holtz's compendium technique page 41.

The stamps are from Stampin' Up sets and an ideaology hitch tops our stamped dress form that displays my bag for August.

This lovely paper purse has a magnetic closure, gusseted sides and a rhinestone closure cover.

As Anna at Frosted Petunias has noted: This is the final of the second group of Artful Bag challenges, so next up is the final set of four! I hope everyone finds time to join the challenges!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Queen of the Damned: Haunted Design House

You get another fantastically fast post since I'm so behind: Not just in creating this for a deadline that is now less than an hour away but also because I was supposed to make baked spinach dip stuff for lunch ... now it'll be for dinner.

Oh well. Crafting is always more important!

OK, this lovely girl is Prom Queen from Stampotique and is honestly one of my very favorite stamps it the world!

I've owned her for a couple of months, but until today didn't feel that I had just the right project. Thanks to Haunted Design House Macabre Monday for giving me a fabulous reason to use her!

She's black embossed on a cranberry color wash background that was allowed to drip down the face of a tag that had already been spritzed with butterscotch color wash.

The sentiment "All Ways Are My Way" is from the sadly defunct Scroll Works Stamps.

Our Prom Queen finds herself wearing an aluminum can crown that began life as a fleur de lis, and she is surrounded by fired brick Distress stickles that offer just a tiny bit of the glimmer you'd expect from a high school dance.

Thanks for dropping by everyone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crowns or hats: The Octopode Factory Friday Challenge

Thanks for visiting again! My recent posts have been unbelievably wordy so you get a gift today: Me getting to the point. Quickly.

My tag, for The Octopode Factory Friday challenge of crowns and hats, is sprayed with homemade glimmer mist ala Tim Holtz's Compendium instructions, and has two corners sprayed with lettuce Color Wash.

When I win the lottery I'm buying buckets of Color Wash. Maybe kegs.

Anyhow, I used a Stampin' Up roller stamp with perfect medium covered in white embossing powder.

The image is from the Octopode Steampunk Gents collage sheet. His name is either Cedric or Glaeken. I'm not sure. He sure is freakin' cool regardless of his name.

Finally we have "You are" stamped in black archival ink, then highlighted with dark red Sharpie and an ideaology must token "unique".

A few inches of Amercian Crafts ribbons tied on and wahlah! One tag and an entire blog post in only 159 words!

You're welcome.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer sparkle: KennyK Krafty Girlz Challenges

Welcome to another Monday post!

Not long ago I finished my Grungy Monday chatter, and now I'm here with a card that I created for the KennyK Krafty Girlz Challenge!

Since you're nice enough to put up with me posting so often ... and in many different styles ... this also is a blog candy post! Yay! More later ...

Returning to your regularly scheduled KennyK Krafty Girlz Challenge post we're looking at Summer sparkle!

That means I'm also looking at Summer birthday sparkle because who else would I think of when I see the gorgeous, modern bomber art from KennyK than My Guy?

My Guy who is today celebrating his birthday? Yeah, yeah ... I'm not being a bad girlfriend because I'm here instead of with him celebrating. He loves lots of space to mess about so aside from actual gifts his gift today is me Leaving Him Alone.

Plus I cooked three of his favorites today; when the temperatures in our region were well above 90F (our South-facing house is warm in January sans oven, let alone August).

Alright, no need to explain myself. He's happy. Partially because he received this card that is resplendent with fourteen rhinestones and multiple spots of glimmery ink such as our KennyK Delores D'ammage lips and boot buckles.

... also because upon seeing this card he asked "So ... are you going to wear that when I express my wish?"

Lots of giggles and raised eyebrows later ...

I should explain the "WISH" text is cut from Cricut cartridge Storybook (sort of ironic) and the "Make a" badge is created in Microsoft Publisher.

All other backgrounds and elements are cut from and with general stock and punches available at most chain craft and art retailers.

So, the Blog candy. Because this is a KennyK challenge I'm offering to buy a single KennyK image for the commenter who is chosen at random on August 21.

Prior followers, you know I appreciate you, if you have the random winning comment ... the prize is two KennyK images!

Finally, I enjoy creating many types of art using multiple techniques and styles, but I understand that others prefer more focused creating.

I hope that if you're in that category you'll still comment, but include the message "No Digi". I won't include you in this prize pull. But in a week or two when I post another project with a tiny non-digi blog candy prize I can give you an "extra" prize entry with your comment!

Or at the very least my friends ... I understand if you comment only on the creations that interest you ... I know ... all art doesn't speak to every artist!

Drop by with a KennyK image or not, at the KennyK Krafty Girlz Challenges. They only include in their prize drawings entries with KennyK images, but I know from the entries I see there ... they love all participants!

*Editor's note: The KennyK blog candy winner is Jingle!

Distress Stickles party: Grungy Monday

Welcome to the Not a Moment to Spare Grungy Monday post ... on Monday!

Today we've been asked by our Lovely Leader Linda to play along with a Distress Stickles party! Woohoo!

Aside from any kind of embossing, I'm pretty much all about the challenges that ask us, nay, require us to use glittering, shimmering, shining goodness!

You won't be surprised that next up in my world is a post for KennyK Krafty Girlz' Summer Sparkle challenge ... but that's a whole different post.

So, back to the original subject: Dig out your Distress Stickles people! Those little squirty bottles full of glitter glue ... but really, really fantastic glitter glue. With great big distressy glitter chunks ... in colors which conveniently match many other Distress colors! Woohoo again!

I started with a bit of last week's challenge which focused on a technique from the blog of Tim Holtz (the leafy vine is cut from an embossing folder package and inked with Citrus alcohol ink).

We see next a technique that's not technique so much as just stamping on a vintage letter background. Then I met this week's Grungy Monday challenge with the tea dye Distress Stickles on the grunge Regal Crest (also inked with tea dye).

You can see how that worked out in the second, closeup, photo. And isn't it completely freakin' awesome? If you think I'm nuts and it's not awesome ... you're correct that I'm nuts, but it is awesome! Erm ... was that phrase confusing? Being nuts isn't awesome: The art. The art is awesome.

Technically Linda and Tim's art is awesome since virtually everything here today is pretty much due to teachings I've received via Linda and Tim. Still. I take the credit because otherwise ... what the hell am I doing here?

OK, okay, really swinging back to the awesomeness you see: In the main photo of the entire card I created ... click on the photo to enlarge and note that the crest looks a lot like the outside border ... a lot like the outside border that is actual rusting cast iron.

Don't they really look so very similar? What the hell other reasonably-priced, easy-to-use, easy-to-clean products do you know of that can create a faux rusty cast iron? NONE!

I told you it's awesome!

And I'm telling you that you have got to, absolutely must participate in  the Studio L3 Grungy Monday post this week ... because it's also awesome!

And you want to be awesome. Don't you?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guest designer project for The Altered Alice Chapter 6 Week 2: Painting the Roses Red

'A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: the roses growing on it were white, but there were three gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought this a very curious thing, and she went nearer to watch them, and just as she came up to them she heard one of them say, `Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint over me like that!' -- Chapter 8, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

The cards were painting the white roses red to avoid angering the Queen of Hearts, so your August The Altered Alice challenge is to use PAINT on your creation!

Of course you can paint it RED like the design team will be doing, but you can also use other colors. You need to tell us what item was painted, what technique you used, and give us a mention and a link of course!

We are sponsored this month by Creative Inspirations [Store | Blog], makers of wonderful shimmering paint which comes in almost 60 colors, including clear iridescent Fairy Dust.
They also carry hot fix Jeweled Inspirations and Metallic Inspirations; I am particularly intrigued by the latter as they look like brilliant nail heads. The Altered Alice design team will be using Garnet paint, a bright sparkling red, and I hope the Creative Inspirations design team might decide to play along! The winner of this month's challenge will receive five colors of their choice.

Enter by 11:59 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC -4:00) on Friday, August 26. The winner and honorable mentions will be announced on August 28, the last Sunday of the month.

My inspiration piece is a vase of metal roses with petals cut from yet more of the Guinness can flats I've mentioned here so often.
We don't drink cases of this stuff every day, by the way. We only enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day a lot. For the entire month of March. Sometimes we start early, say February.

Anyhow, the flowers are layers from the Holtz Alterations tattered florals die: I ran the die through six times to end up with really "thick" flowers with extra layers. Next the layers were bent and curled and punched through the center then spray painted with white high-gloss enamel paint.

The leaves, cut from the Holtz Alterations tattered leaves die, also were curled and bent before being painted with high-gloss enamel in green: Veins were added beforehand as well, by "drawing" them on with a piercing tool.

After the enamel dried the flowers were combined with craft wire attached to button centers. The wire is threaded into copper tubing from a toilet repair kit with a drop of glue at the top to steady the bud.

Wire also is wrapped around the leaf ends where they meet the copper tubing "stems."

Finally, and the best part, we have one rose painted with Creative Inspirations Garnet glimmer, and a few droplets left behind by that crazy Five card who can't seem to control his brush.

This glimmer paint is truly amazing in it's reflective nature that has a lavender-pink shimmer! Another fun aspect of this product is the viscosity: You won't have to worry about it dripping and dribbling and going everywhere you do not want it to go.

My creative "drips" were actually a tricky achievement; isn't that wonderful? I love paint that doesn't easily splatter and trickle here and there!

Though I did find it ironic that the one freakin' time I actually wanted paint to drip ... I had to work to fake the effect.

OK folks, it's still early in the month so no excuses for you not getting an Altered Alice piece finished and posted by August 26!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

eclectic Paperie challenge and E-Team blog hop

Egg cartons, Tim Holtz distress inks and stains and die cuts: That's the challenge for the eclectic Paperie E-Team blog hop.

My piece has an egg carton base and egg carton bird, which I think are kind of cool, but if you want to see some unbelievably awesome egg carton art make sure you hop along with the E-Team!

The bird is colored with Distress Ink in tea stain and fired brick, and the red is covered in fired brick Distress Stickles. The cage is alcohol-ink coated aluminum with glass beads danging below and is hanging from craft wire that is tucked into the carton base.

The base is colored with dribbles of Distress Ink reinker, which thanks to my incredible imagination, reminds me of a lovely antique cast iron cage stand that has chipped white enamel paint flaking away.

And, ahm, I guess I don't have anything else to say. Can you imagine? Me either. I must be catching a bug ...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kreepy Kids: Haunted Design House

I've been having a great time playing with three Burton-weenies stamps I won awhile back from Simply Betty Stamps, and this week one of them is even coming in handy for a new challenge!

Burton-weenie Pipper is the perfect player for this week's Haunted Design House Macabre Monday challenge which asks us to take a stab at Kreepy Kids!

Pipper is cute, but also has the appearance of being a bit aggressive and dangerous. So, I coupled her with some designer paper and a sentiment from Crafty Chaos Designs.

Now our Pipper is making herself clear: The demons have won.

Though that's not exactly a surprise. Don't all youngsters serve the dark side?

You know they do, and I know you can use that knowledge to great a fantastic entry for the Macabre Monday challenge!

12 Tags Christmas 2010 Day 10: Grungy Monday

Only yesterday I was telling you how cool the stuff is at StudioL3 Grungy Monday, and here I am to prove it again!

First, though, I'd like to thank Tim Holtz for sharing techniques that are designed, that almost require, we artists reuse and recycle. Everyone should do what they can to keep our planet as healthy as possible and in my opinion artists' responsibility in this area is even greater.

OK, so this week the project is based on Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas 2010 project for Day 10. It's a supremely fun concept for which you'll need some grunge board and a bit of leftover plastic packaging (among other neat stuff, of course).

You'll also need to drop by Linda's StudioL3 to see what she and her two designer of the week have come up with to emulate Dear Tim.

My tag uses some textured grunge board that I cut and others that came in a package of pre-cut pieces. It also includes silver acrylic paint dabber with broken china distress ink and actual honest to Jebus vintage watch parts.

The "ribbon" place on my tag is instead occupied by two game spinners attached to a swivel clasp, and the four corners of this tag are connected and spaced with four nuts under four long fasteners.

Why the mix of old watch bits and hardware store nuts and the numbers "3" and "7" you ask? Because this tag is for My Guy!

It's his 37th birthday on Monday! I know. He's old. But not as old as me. Which means I got for myself a younger man!

So, Happy Birthday to My Guy, forever my younger man. And thanks for understanding my craft and art addiction ... and even more thanks for not being too snarky in your teasing ... "Oh! Tim Holtz! It's made by Tim Holtz ... I have to have that."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

KennyK's Crafty Girlz meets The Burtonesque Dolls

Last week I missed the KennyK Crafty Girlz challenge because I failed to correctly note the deadline requirement, but that's OK because the situation drove my determination to not miss this weeks' deadline.

Of course the real luck in this case is that I'd already planned a card for The Burtonesque Dolls, using a KennyK image, that I knew wouldn't get done until today.

So, tada, two challenges in one!

Our friends at KennyK are asking us to have some Fun in the Sun and at The Burtonesque Dolls the goal is to see the Lighter Side of Burton.

While it might not be Burton's headliner move, his hand certainly can be seen in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, and it's unquestionably a fun, summery sort of movie.

Enter KennyK's Bike Kid! He looks like a hipper version of Pee-wee from the movie's DVD cover!

I added another DVD cover-ish element with the Holtz embossed and inked background layered in with colored, scallop-edged stock. The text is printed and trimmed and set onto the embossed background that is popped.

Thanks for dropping by, and be sure to see what design team members are doing at KennyK's Crafty Girlz and at The Burtonesque Dolls: My stuff is OK ... theirs is amazing!