Saturday, July 31, 2010

Faded Patchwork Quilt - Sunday Postcard Art

 This week at Sunday Postcard Art we are doing some patchwork.
Click on photo to see details.
I used a patchwork technique from TJ, rubber stamps, distress inks & distressed embossing from Tim Holtz and Gold Metallic Sakura pen. My aim was to make it look like a faded old quilt. The scan cut the top off a bit, the gold pen goes completely around the card.

Red,Yellow,Orange Challenge plus A Challenging Dishwasher

Over at Gingersnap Creations there is a challenge to use red, yellow and orange together. I pulled out the Kromecoat paper, red and orange alcohol inks and a background stamp. After stamping with the inks, I used yellow liquid watercolor and went over the background with that. Then I attached a photo printed on linen, a strip of torn vintage music sheet, some fabric leaves and a rose I made from some gorgeous multi colored ribbon. Distress inks and Sakura pens were used also.

The dishwasher won't drain again. My poor hubby is doing his best to figure out the problem and is off to the hardware store at the moment. Seems like Saturday plans all went up in a poof of smoke, or in this case, they were drowned in the water on the floor!

Update at 7:33 PM- the dishwasher seems to be fixed and we are exhausted, but happy it's draining properly. At least for the moment!! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tag Tuesday-Christmas In July (Colors!) and other red things

Tag Tuesday time again at Kard Krazy and Louise has an interesting one today - the red and greens of Christmas without Christmas! It was fun to think of red and green on a hot day.
So I had a Ticket to Ride.... to Paris! The background is a collage of scraps that I made a couple of weeks back and copied it so I could use it more than once (see below). I added a little Eiffel Tower, a red and green ticket, decorative tape, "pearls" dyed with alcohol inks, tiny red foil hearts, a pewter heart and red and green ribbon. Sakura pens were used for accents.

I think probably all of us have a scrap box, it's hard to throw anything away! I plundered through mine and made this collage sheet from odds and ends, including some fibers and a piece of left over dyed baby wipe. It has remnants of tissue paper, card stock, song sheets, and decorative bits and pieces trimmed from other projects And a good spritz of Glimmermist. Artistic recycling!
It's been a yucky two days for various reasons and I had a real spirit lifter while I was working on the tag for today's challenge. I glanced out of my window just in time to see a gorgeous red headed woodpecker flying away from the bird feeder. You just don't see them very often and it's the first one I have seen at the feeders since we set them up a year ago. 

As I was gazing at the tree where it had landed, more movement at the feeder area caught my eye and I watched in delight as a pair of bluebirds took turns bathing in the bird bath. The male was very polite in letting the female go first. They splashed about for several minutes then flew up to perch on one of the feeder holders to preen. 

God knew just what I needed to see!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sea Chariot Skinny

A friend won a WTA (Winner Take All) drawing I was in and as her theme she chose "Ocean", specifically she wanted something deep sea rather than "on the beach".

I made the above mixed-media Skinny (3 x 5) for her. Distress inks were used in the background, along with some water color crayon and pastel chalks. All of the rubber stamps are Oxford Impressions except for the little fish and I've had that one forever. The sand is a mixture of Golden Pumice Gel Medium and liquid water colors. I added 2 "jewel" brads and waxed cord with a bead and used Sakura & Spica pens and Diamond Glaze for detail.

As always, you can click on the picture if you want a closer view. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art - Owls

Over at Sunday Postcard Art the theme this week is Owls. Having said that, I now present this:
I used a color image from an old 1925 book about birds, altered it with Spica, Sakura and Micron pens and brushes. Distress ink was added, along with some ephemera from Tim Holtz and it was finished off with a rubber stamp sentiment at the top. Hooray for Sundays and Owls!

On another note, I am becoming quite overwhelmed with all of the wonderful and fabulous companies which design and sell rubber stamps! I have added many to my collection over the past weeks and today I found another company! It makes it so hard to choose, and to stick to a budget. It seems that every other blog I read mentions another enticing stamp which calls out to be added to my collection. What's a poor artist to do??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sunshine On My Shoulder

For the Gingersnap Sunshine Challenge, I had fun putting this together! The background is alcohol inks and a bit of watercolor, I drew the figure on grungeboard, cut it out, and colored it with alcohol ink as well.The sun and rays were also cut from grungeboard; I used 2 kinds of tempera metallic paints and 2 kinds of Stickles on them. Enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Faces, and a Vintage Skinny

Louise at Kard Krazy gave the theme today of Faces. So many choices for that one! Here is what I came up with:
I made this with a series of stamps featuring a woman's face, watercolor, Golden gel mediums, Sakura pens, distress ink and fibers.

I also had a Skinny due for the Letter V swap on Swap-Bot, and I did that one today too.                                                      
I used a vintage image on background paper, scraps of an old music sheet, the letter V stamped on a small tag and attached with a pearlized brad, distress ink and old buttons. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Postcard Art

Two items today which relate to the Postal system. On Sunday Postcards this week the challenge is Magic. So abracadabra, here is my entry:
It's the Kingfish Magic Show! Although the woman at the left doesn't seem to be enjoying it. :)

And then I had a Skinny Swap on Swap-Bot for Going Postal which had to include a rubber stamp in something to relate to mail. I went a bit sentimental on this one:
I just loves those Czech postage stamps with the toys on them. Rubber stamps are from Oxford Impressions and Stampers Anonymous, then I used distress inks, Sakura and Spica pens and old children's buttons.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heat Mirage

Yesterday I was writing about how hot it was, and it made me think of the GC Heat Challenge and that gave me inspiration for a new piece.
I used a 6 x 4 piece of Kromecoat paper, alcohol inks, Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous stamps and a metallic gel pen. I wanted the man to look as if he were a mirage and I think he does! The edge is bordered by a Gold Leaf pen. So can you feel the heat?

Today it's actually a bit cooler (all things considering) and that made sitting on the porch to watch the birds more enjoyable. I have mixed feelings about my latest guest at the bird feeders - a red tail hawk. So far it's killed 3 doves in 3 days. I know that's the rhythm of nature, I'm just not sure I want it playing in my back yard. This morning he swooped right down and skimmed the feeders with me not 5 feet from it, pulling a weed up! Then we noticed him circling over the pasture next to our property. The birds keep coming though, so I guess I will see how this plays out. I will update as developments occur.

And here's a site for Blog Candy Giveaway you might want to check out!

Friday, July 16, 2010

All Drama, No Rain

Once again the clouds built up over the small mountain range just to the north, rumbled loud enough to make the dogs bark and then moved around us. We are so dry here and need rain badly! For a couple of weeks now, I hear the tantalizing promise of a storm, only to have it sneak away after a hour or two. Then the sky looks innocent, as if I dreamed the whole thing up. We are praying for rain!

I am a swap coordinator with a group on Swap-Bot (have I mentioned that before? Sorry!) and today I started a new one for a Skinny, which is a 3 x 5 piece of art. It's called Ink A Thing, using anything (other than a rubber stamp) to stamp inks to make a design. It's quick and easy:
I used styrofoam, small sponge, ink over lace, pencil eraser, crumpled paper towel and a wet baby wipe with chalk inks and black Stayz-On ink. The background was a greenish colored paper. Looks sort of Impressionistic, doesn't it?

Hot, hot, hot. I have two fans going in my studio, since it is tucked away on the 3rd floor of our house. It's actually the only room on the 3rd floor. When we bought the house, it was called a 2 1/2 story house, which I thought was a strange description. But I guess that's easier than saying "Two story house with extra small room on top"!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Treasure Under The Sea

Hoo boy, I am tired today! We had to move some things from our daughter's small garage, which she had been kind enough to hold onto for us since we moved up here. I just felt that it was time to clear the stuff out of her way and move it to the barn. Of course, I couldn't help with any of the work, but I was there to give input as to what was what and what we could throw away or give away. Thankfully, our daughter had a strong male friend who was willing to give us a hand and now it is safely in our barn. But it was soooo hot, and the air is very humid and it just seems to suck the life out of you if you are out there too long. I am thankful for cool, clear water! It's something we don't often think about, we just turn on the tap and it's there. But if you ever travel to a 3rd world country, you'd be struck by how what we take for granted is so scarce or non-existent. Drinkable water is a precious convenience!

On to art! Yesterday I got some new stamps in the mail from Oxford Impressions and even though I was already tired, I couldn't wait to play with them.  I had a Skinny due for the letter U, and this is what came together:
I used the diver rubber stamp and colored it with stardust pens; glass micro beads form the coral. I then used some blue netting to make, well.... a net! and then added some black cord and inserted a metal letter U covered with metallic paint and 2 "jeweled" brads. Background is water color and a little metallic paint with glimmermist. So the brave diver captured the treasured letter U and is hauling it up.

Ok, I'm tired, but doesn't all of our art tell some sort of story? ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tag Tuesday - Heart, and Back in the Day

Tag Tuesday aKardKrazy is on again today and the theme is heart or hearts. Here is my entry:
The title is La Ballerina; obviously it is a vintage figure, which I altered with Spica and Micron pens and put it on a background of alcohol inks blended with a metallic blender. A swath of crumpled gold foil is held in place by an old jewelry finding and the tag is topped off with a beaded flourish.

Yesterday I did an ATC for a swap entitled "When I Was Born..." which had to include the year you were born. So, truth time! It wasn't hard to see the cost differences between then and now, and I included part of an old advertisement which underscores the view then of the importance of Women In The Kitchen!
I hand drew a postage cancellation with my birthday and birthplace. I don't think too many women today would think being crowned with a sauce pot was a good thing!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I spent this afternoon tidying up and puttering around my studio. I made a card and envelope for an 83 year old gentleman in Holland who was kind enough to send me stamps after I sent him a postcard on Postcrossing. Then I sent another postcard to Taiwan; that got me thinking about the Sunday Postcard Challenge site I had stumbled on a few weeks back. So I pulled out this and that and created 2 postcards, one for this Sunday's (tomorrow) challenge and another I sent to a friend.

The challenge is "Babies" and I designed something a bit different than the usual baby theme:
The background is watercolor, then I stamped the corners. I added a piece of antique gold over netting lace, and then put a tape transfer of a mother and baby over the lace. The transfer is from a 1907 postcard from Holland. The final embellishments were two dragonflies in alternate corners, colored with sharpies and Starlight pens. I'm really happy with the way it turned out! (If you want to see it closer, just click on it.)

On the other postcard (which was not for the challenge), I created a faux Fresco look, again using watercolors and rubber stamps:

I'm pretty pleased with this one too!

Is it hot where you are? It sure has been here, and dry too! I was so hoping that it would rain today, but so far not a drop. My impatiens let me know pretty quickly when they need a drink, and I have to be on top of it to keep the other plants watered. I already lost one plant in a pot with mixed plants in it, so I hope that will be the only one. Ah yes, the middle of summer is here!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A New Technique

I'm usually ready to try a new technique and one of the swaps I'm in has us doing just that. It's embossing a piece of black matte metal with colored pencils. There is a video about it at the Dick Blick website. It's interesting, but it is not something I would want to try again. 
There just isn't enough opportunity for rich color in this. The video suggested using Prismacolor Pencils because of their softness and they did work well. I guess you could call it a metal Zentangle, but I'm not crazy about doing those either! Now I have this extra metal, enough for 3 more skinnys and I'm not sure what I will do with it. Perhaps trade it with someone? 

On another note, the bluebirds I wrote about earlier are feeding their second brood, the eggs hatched last week. When the fledglings leave the nest, they fly up to a tree branch and stay together and the parents continue to feed them for a while. So, these parents are feeding their second group of nestlings, and I noticed the juveniles from the first brood are hanging around the nest, still waiting to be fed. The parents either ignore them now or fly at them to drive them away. Poor things, time to grow up!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Caesar and China

Things have been rather slow for me these past couple of weeks. In this illness, there are valleys and hills and it's been a valley for me lately. Not much energy, some fibromyalgia, and a lot of lying around. Keeping the bigger picture is key, all in all I am further along than I was a year ago, and I hope that means that I will be even further a year from now. July marks two years since the symptoms of ME/CFS started to manifest themselves. I hope and pray that I am over the halfway mark. If not, then I will continue to learn and adapt and be thankful for all that I do have!

Art wise, I completed two ATCs for a couple of swaps on Swap-bot. One is a swap I host which is a series based on the history behind the names of the months of the year. July was named for Julius Caesar. From his name, all of the future emperors took their title, putting the word Caesar in front of their own names. Down through history, the word Caesar found its way into other languages to mean king, ruler or emperor such as Kaiser or Czar.

His statue, or bust, is very a common image; I just added some life to it! Hollywood portrays him as blond, but since he was Italian, I gave him black hair. He is often portrayed with a laurel wreath, hence the leaves. The background is a wallpaper scrap altered with Metallic pens, image altered with watercolor, Micron pens and color pencils and distressed inks. Brad, jewelry finding and Gold Leaf pen added.

Another group swap is a series featuring different countries in Asia. We've been to Japan, Turkey and this time it's China. I did an ATC earlier and thought I might use that, but I wanted to play some more, so I designed this one:
I did a tape transfer of old Chinese fabric print and laid it over stamped Chinese characters; I also used distressed ink, tiny washers (Tim Holtz), black embroidery floss and ribbon, metallic pen, a vase rubber stamp, red eyelet, and a jewelry finding.  I wanted to do more art work, but just didn't have the energy. Maybe tomorrow!!

Oh, and some fun news! I had submitted a piece for the GC #57 Wings Challenge  at Gingersnap Creations and it will be showcased on the Gingersnap Creations Yahoo Group  for a week as the Home Page Artist. Yay! 

That puts a smile on my face!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Happy Birthday!

Today I celebrated my 62nd birthday with my husband and daughter. Tabitha made a delicious luncheon of Gazpacho, edamame hummus & crackers and blackened chicken. For dessert, she made a divine dish of Plum Crisp with a mixture of plums and pluets. It is the most exquisite of desserts, especially warm from the oven, with vanilla soy ice cream on it! I do not think I will be eating dinner tonight! My husband painted a little watercolor card for me and gave me an art book, and Tabitha gave me an assortment of beautiful microbeads. And in addition to that, I had a surprise gift - I noticed in the paper an article about the drop in mortgage interest rates, so we called our bank, and we have locked in on a fantastic rate, which will have us free and clear of house payments in just a few years! Joy comes from surprising places sometimes.

I was working on an ATC for a Fontastic Letter ATC swap, where I design a swap using a word my partner chooses. My partner chose gra┼żus (beautiful in Lithuanian) and I came up with this:

I collaged two shades of green tissue and while it was wet, sprinkled art glitter over it. The I cut it into inchies and hand drew a letter, topped that with glue, then added glass microbeads. The background is a patterned tissue paper with distress inks, accented with Sakura starlight pens, and then bordered with a copper metallic marker. More bling than appears in the photo, as usual! I wish I could figure out how to make the sparkle show-argh. Anyway, the gift of beads from my daughter came just at the right time. 

Now, I will go rest some more so I don't overdo it today. It was a great birthday!