Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rhinestone cowgirl: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a trucker.

Sounds odd, I know, but remember that when I was a kid the world revolved around Smokey and the Bandit. So, you were the slap sticky Sheriff, the runaway bride, the player in a sports car or the truck driver.

Now that you've read all of that you might think my trucking aspirations seem even less appropriate: How is it that I identified with the skinny guy driving the big rig?

Because, my friends, he was the only one with a dog!

If the Bandit's sidekick had been a big black lab, or the Sheriff's chase car came with a droopy-faced hound dog: Well, honestly things wouldn't be much different except I'd be here now telling you how I wanted to be a criminal or a Sheriff.

Luckily some young girls have bigger dreams, and awful big boots to fill: They are our Rhinestone Cowgirls, and the focus of this week's Drunken Stampers' challenge!

Look at that ... I got to the point in less than 175 words!

So, I lucked out and found this adorable "cowgirl" over at The Graphics Fairy (have you been by yet to visit with Karen? You'll love her!).

One bit later, after adding an inked and embossed chipboard frame, colored-pencil highlights, grunge paper boots and a silver star brad ... Yeehaw! A future Reno Rodeo Queen!

Give us a look at your own little butt kicker before Friday, March 4 at midnight!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Altered metal alcohol inks: A Studio L3 Compendium Challenge

Had I never learned anything at all from the Compendium except Mr. Holtz's alcohol ink-colored metals technique I still would have been giddy with excitement!

And so my brain went to work on possibilities when our Lovely Linda at Studio L3 announced this technique, found on page 56 of The Book, as the week's challenge.

Metal bits of various sizes and shapes passed through my mind, birds and book plates, tokens, foliage and sprockets: Alas, though the technique is a favorite, I found no inspiration for a project.

Luckily roof flashing warbled in the background, louder and louder until I finally gave in and ran a chunk through the Cuttlebug atop a Sizzix Alterations Tattered Florals die.

This essentially embossed the metal: I was able to remove the flower shapes, but they didn't separate instantly as paper die cuts.

Then, as so often happens because it annoys the crap out of me: My Guy offered an ingenious suggestion. Cut apart a soda can for a thinner, more pliable metal (could you hear me slapping my forehead?).

Tada! Instant metal flowers!

Of course, the most exciting part is that while a standard soda can results in a bit of metal that isn't quite big enough to cut all four Florals flowers ... surely you know what's coming next ... a Guinness can fits nearly perfectly!

Is there any problem that Guinness can not solve? I think not.

So, we've got here a part roof flashing, part soda can flower with multiple alcohol ink colors. A hitch holds it all together, with a magnet glued onto the back and a memo pin to carry a message for the recipient.

I intend to spend all day tomorrow making more and more and more of these in different styles, so I hope all of my friends like them (everyone will be forced to take one or two because what the hell would I do with a bunch of these ... my fridge is already covered in magnetic art).

Anyhow, while I'm busy hacking up Guinness cans, run off to your own craft space and create a piece for Linda's Compendium Challenge! You've got until 8 p.m. Sunday, February 27 (Mountain time)!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dieing for you, use die cuts: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Today's post is a short one because I'm running low on time for the week, which makes my Drunken Stampers project even more appropriate!

Our challenge for the week is to use die cuts! Yay! I used mine to make a clock face and hands and to add fleur de lis borders on the top and bottom of my clock frame.

I've been planning to refurbish a broken-down clockworks for nearly a year, so it's with excitement that this finished piece can now adorn my already-too-full craft room!

Don't you love the beaded border and the alcohol inked "PLAY" tag? I knew you would!

So, what can you do with a die cut or two? We want to see what you've got before midnight, Friday February 25!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Inking and stamping masks: A Studio L3 Compendium Challenge

Welcome to another installment of How to Not Quite Follow the Instructions.

Today we're looking at a piece created using the Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities technique described on page 59.

Mostly, that is: Mostly using the technique as it was described. Today, having apparently no sheets of blank masking material we used vinyl transfer tape.

And, lo and behold, it worked great, but using transfer tape results in a non-reusable mask. Once you've inked and stamped over it, there's nothing left to do but pull it off and throw it away.

Still, the technique can be accomplished using the tape and that's the important part of today's lesson!

Please don't forget to create your own inky masked art to show off at Linda's Studio L3 Compendium Challenge!

Also I know I've been babbling to anyone who will listen about how busy I've been, and how sorry I am that I haven't been commenting and checking in much this week (or, I think, last week).

I am so appreciative and grateful for those of you who've continued stopping in and saying hello despite my rude inattention!

Hopefully you kind people will be awfully thrilled with this good news: The clouds are clearing and by Monday I'll again hassle all of you with my exclamation point-filled comments and beginner questions!

Until then, Prost!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Changes in form and Dress forms: The Altered Alice

I apologize to anyone who has been wondering why I haven't been politely responding to blog comments or even posting any new creations.

First, work has been consuming a lot of time (way more hours than those for which I'm paid, but such is life working for a non-profit).

Then My Guy ever-so-helpfully introduced me to Lord of the Rings On-line. What a stupid game. I don't know how many hours I've spent to figure that out ... and I have no idea how many more hours it'll take: But it's important to note that I'm at level 15 with 250 silver pieces and a horse. So, you know, I should only need to play for a few hundred more hours to realize it's a grind and boring and silly and totally uncreative.

Finally, about a week ago I discovered The Altered Alice challenges. Clearly I lack the time for another challenge piece. I also obviously lack the skill because, well just look at it, and the form spent several days sitting on my craft desk before I finally gathered the nerve to dive in this evening.

My dress form, handmade with copper and an altered card stock Plumbob Papercraft, makes me happy enough. With practice I could easily make some cool artsy dress forms using perhaps something more appropriate than the Plumbob base.

Come to think of it though, the entire creation does make me happy: After all, there's plenty of comedy in this piece.

Hopefully you can at least decipher that my sad little doll form is the Red Queen dress. No matter what, just don't think about Snow White (which is who I think of when viewing this dress that was obviously made by Dopey).

And, instead of Burton's Red Queen with the bulbous head, my queen is short of leg and long of torso. And chubby. And her royal photographer will surely be sentenced to the guillotine.

So, yeah. Aside from all of that, I like my Red Queen of the Stubby-Legged Kingdom.

I know you can do better: Take a minute to decide which better project you're going to complete and show it off at The Altered Alice.

Oh, and be patient with me for awhile more. I'll try to get back to everyone soon ... but can promise nothing until next week.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winners of the Greatest Day!

Woohoo! This blog is now one year and a week old!

I appreciate everyone who stops by, who comments and who follows my sometimes random and nearly always unintentionally off point blog!

It's always a great feeling to read what people have to say after I've posted a bit of art or a recipe or a random description of my garden -- though I know someone isn't being perfectly honest since not a single commenter has ever said "Why are you talking about this boring crap?"

So, it's with a big fat bloggy smile that I get to give away two prizes today to people who obviously like me too much to tell the truth (I'd love to give something to all of you, but that will have to come after I've won the lottery).

For the $15 gift certificate to eclectic Paperie, Simon Says Stamp or Alpha Stamps my very own random chooser (My Guy) picked from the hat:
Terry said...
And who are you??? Happy Blogaversary to one of the coolest artists I am happy to know! Always love your art and humor! Big Blog Hugs!
And, for the $10 gift certificate to eclectic Paperie, Simon Says Stamp or Alpha Stamps My Guy chose:


Thanks again and again to everyone who drops by -- I know we're all busy, so it means a lot when you share your time to read and comment!

OK winners: You have 24 hours to let me know, via e-mail, which of the offered companies you'd like your certificate to come from, and to confirm the e-mail address where I should send the e-certificate!

Editor's update: *******The second winner did not respond in time, so this prize will be saved for a future winner!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

At a loss for words: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

The way I'm always babbling away on this blog, it probably seems that I'd have been horrified at the thought of this week's Drunken Stampers challenge: At a loss for words, no text.

The fact is I'm happy to blather about stuff that has little, if anything, to do with the blog post I'm writing, but when it comes to adding text to an art piece ... well, you've seen what I do.

I'm only occasionally happy with my available phrase stamps, so I invent poems and lyrics (I say my available phrase stamps because although there are tons of good ones around ... I don't own many of them).

So my wordy inventions, people I'm telling you, they're tough to come up with. You only want Dr. Seuss-style rhymes if they actually are from Dr. Seuss. And text shouldn't swing over to Poe, either (I could be still not for the glimmering of the, ahm, glitter?).

All of which means it's fantastic to create something, in this case a paper plaque, without any words at all.

Instead we've got a funky background made with color wash and distress mist (homemade glimmer mist), a couple of K&Company paper flowers with Stampin' Up brad centers and a fragments charm with a very regal rabbit.

The rabbit is a piece of scrap cut from a Puppet Theater print out that is super cool and FREE from artist Marilyn Scott-Waters! Make sure you drop by her Web site!

Finally, we've got a lovely bit of Twinery string for the plaque hanger and two glass beads because I had them and they matched.

I know you're going to come up with something amazing for this week's Drunken Stampers challenge, and show it off before midnight February 18th! Just remember to keep your words to yourself!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Frosted Petunias Artful Bag challenge: February

Lucky me, lucky me: About three months ago I bought an ekSuccess slim punch and saved the box in which it came.

The container has red flowers printed on clear packaging with the motto "sleek, lightweight, superior."

Aside from that second thing, of course, it's exactly ME.

Erm. At least the superior part is so me (yeah, I've got some maturing to do). 

That, plus the guilt of adding to the landfill was too great, and the little box seemed so well made ... so here it has been sitting. Adorning my craft desk, then the office desk ... on to the bookshelves ... then finally the Artful Bag challenge for February arrived and TahDah!

The perfect little container to refurbish into a lovely floral and pink handbag! Yay!

I cut some Post-it brand craft paper to cover the less fortunate bits of the box, and then added a chunk of card stock on the interior back to create a backdrop for the super sumptuous Tattered Florals flower on the front.

That flower is created using a favorite technique from Tim Holtz's compendium: Alcohol ink agate on grunge. Delicious, isn't it?

I punched a few Fiskars flowers from a lighter pink Post-it craft paper, then popped in a little fleur de lis, ribbon handle with a key charm because, you know, this is a high-end handbag.

OK, now it's your turn. I know you're like me and have a pile of stuff around that was just "too good to throw away" ... grab something from the toppling mountain and dress it up for the February Artful Bag challenge!

But, before you dig into the crafty avalanche, be sure to stop by my own Blogaversary celebration post!

Rusted enamel: A Studio L3 Compendium Challenge

Finally at week 31 of the Compendium Challenge we've reached a technique for which I'd completed a project well in advance (is two weeks well in advance?).

What a relief that my Holtz collection has finally reached the point that I can try out whichever technique I want to ... instead of waiting for the challenge, then hoping I have the necessary products (or a local source to purchase them).

I don't mind using some non-Holtz products to add my own spin, but I get frustrated when there's no other choice (like nearly everybody alive ... I'm not good when cornered).

Anyhow a couple of weeks ago Yours Truly also found herself with the dishes done, a weekend in full bloom and an itch to try out Tim's Rusted enamel technique!

I'd been sort of dancing around waiting for this technique challenge to pop up since it's one of a handful of techniques that immediately caught my eye after purchasing the Compendium.

And whew was I correct! I'd like to turn everything into a gungy Rusted enamel project!

Hmmm ... how much embossing powder do you think I'd need to refinish the top on our kitchen table? I bet to afford that much I'd have to get a second job (which I might soon need to do anyway, ha ha).

Thanks for dropping in again this week for the Studio L3 Compendium Challenge! Make sure you get your creation finished and posted before 8 p.m. MST Sunday, February 13.

Until then, take a minute to check out my Blogaversary post! Follow and comment for a chance to win a gift certificate worth Ten Whole Dollars!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ice cream for breakfast: A Drunken Stampers Challenge

Isn't it awful when you face a challenge and end up creating something with such general or figurative meaning that other people don't "get it"?

This is why I was determined that my creation for this week's Drunken Stampers' Ice Cream for Breakfast challenge wouldn't be an esoteric piece of museum art.

I mean, I really, really worked to create something so literal and obvious that you'd never think to yourself "She didn't know what else to do with this challenge."

No, sir. I had lots and lots of amazing ideas. I only wanted to give you something simple so that you wouldn't spend the week with a headache caused by my unbelievable cleverness!

Have a great time creating your own Ice Cream for Breakfast piece, then show off with us at Drunken Stampers before midnight Friday, February 11.

And, don't forget to take part in my Blogaversay before February 13!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Greatest Day In the History of Blog Land

Or, well, you know a fun day in my personal history anyway.

Sunday, February 6 is my blogaversary! That's right folks! It's been nearly one freakin' year! I know it seems as if it's been a lot longer the way I yammer on endlessly, but just think of how long it must seem for My Guy who has weathered more than six years with me!

In my one year here as a blogger I've learned a few things, including this: In Crafty Blog Land ... Blogaveraries are gift time! And damned if I'm not a fanatic about gifts!

The thing is, despite being a random blogger person and gift fanatic, I'm also a bit of stickler for manners and etiquette (I know, who would have imagined this considering my constant swearing) (just wait until my nieces grow up enough that I don't feel the need to type freakin' instead of, ahm, well, you know what I'll be typing in the future, right?).

Anyhow, my manners and etiquette stickler-ism  means that while I'm bothered by blogaversary gifts that require "become a follower" as a caveat ... I'm going to require that a winner here be a follower (I hope you'll understand why as you read further).

I'm really annoyed by the concept that prior followers don't receive special treatment in these little blog gift times on our blogs. So, on my blog, anyone who is a follower as of the minute I post this bit and who leaves a comment on this post before February 13, 2011, is eligible to win by random pick a $15 gift certificate to eclectic Paperie, Simon Says Stamp or Alpha Stamps (winners' choice of certificate from the options listed) (I definitely know which of you are prior followers).

Plus, whoever becomes a follower after this post and who leaves a comment before February 13, 2011, is eligible to win by random pick a $10 gift certificate to eclectic Paperie, Simon Says Stamp or Alpha Stamps (winners' choice of certificate from the options listed).

The final caveat for my blogaversary gift time is this: Each winner has 24 hours from post time to respond to the announcement of having been named a winner; and I'll announce winners at some point on February 13 (who knows at what time folks, after all, this blog is for fun; in the meantime I work for a living).

If the winner of either pick hasn't responded within the first 24 hour period ... another winner will be chosen every 24 hours until a winner has responded (or until I'm tired of waiting and give the gift certificate to my mom "Hi Mom!" ... after all it's my blog and I know my mom loves presents).

I'm sure you newcomers are wondering: Why worry about becoming a follower and comment to perhaps win one lil' ol' $10 gift certificate? Because throughout the upcoming year I'll have other prizes and giveaways during which special treatment will be given to anyone who is already a follower.

Yup. There you go: I love my bloggy friends and followers and commenters despite not always being able to get back to everyone individually.

So, to show my love now and in the future ... anytime I host a giveaway ... prior followers will ALWAYS receive a bonus!

(p.s. the certificate sources I chose are based on personal experiences ... they are not hosts, supporters, advertisers, etc.)