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Monday, September 1, 2014

Traveling Journal, Part 1

I have been fortunate to meet some very wonderful and talented friends here in cyberspace.  A group of Instagram artsy friends are participating in a traveling journal swap.  The first one arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago and I have to admit I was a bit intimidated by the gorgeous mixed media cover that Sharon created using fabric, ribbons, thread, inks and paint.  Since I am the first stop on this journal's journey I had a lot of blank pages staring at me and taunting me to do something creative with them.  Several times I picked up the journal and then set it aside waiting for inspiration to strike.  I finally decided that it was time to just get messy and see what developed.  Here's what happened...




I used a mix of acrylic paints, Distress Paints, Dylusions spray inks, pens, washi tape, Distress Ink, dye ink, stamps and a page from an old phone book.  It was actually a lot of fun to start without a clear plan in mind.

To my US friends, I hope you're having a spectacular Labor Day.  My youngest and I are about to head out to the lake to enjoy a little sunshine.  :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Festive Friday Challenge 39

Hey, I made a card! Festive Friday is a challenge blog that promotes getting ready for the Christmas rush gradually; at least as it relates to card-making. Every two weeks they throw out a photo for inspiration and ask their followers to create a card based on the photo. Great idea and I've been meaning to play along all year. While my good intentions didn't produce anything the first 8 months of the year, it's never too late to start.


Here's the inspiration photo:



You can see that I pulled the idea of fresh evergreens and the rustic Christmas greeting from the photo.  I tried to stay true to the look by using watercolor stamping and a faux chalkboard look to my greeting.


Hmmm...think I have time to get the previous 37 done before Christmas?   ;)


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mixed Media Butterfly ATCs

My Facebook mixed media ATC group is creating in the theme of butterflies this month.  The Muse whispered the suggestion to use crackle mediums; probably because they most often sit in my drawer unused.  Don't know why I always forget about them as I love the look.

First up is my blue butterfly.  I had lots of fun creating the background for this one.  I wish I remember which of my regular blog stops I was inspired by, but in my daily rounds I saw an art journal page that forced me to stop what I was doing and start spraying dye inks about immediately until I eventually ended up with this background.


The base butterfly was made from aqua cardstock that I first painted over with Picket Fence Crackle Paint.  After it dried I added another layer over the top using Crackle Accents.  The top butterfly is a laser cut wood piece that I painted with Distress Paints and added a bit of glitter to.


Next up is my lavender butterfly.  The background for this one was simpler with some stamping and embossing paste.  To color the paste I added some Dylusions Lemon Zest spray and some white super-fine glitter.

The base this time was violet cardstock with the Picket Fence Crackle Paint over the top.  After it dried I went a different route and put Diamond Glaze over the top.


That's it for today. We are counting down the days until school starts here in Steedtopia.  Next Wednesday is it.  I am not eager for life on a schedule - summer has been wonderful.  It's a big year for us though with my oldest being a senior in high school and my youngest starting middle school so I know there's good stuff to look forward to.

Enjoy your week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Julie vs. Clogged Bottle Tips

Greetings, peeps.  Ever have one of those days?  Yikes.  Clogged Stickles and Diamond Glaze bottles attempted to lure me into a creative slump this afternoon.  Defying the odds I soldiered on.  I have some butterfly ATCs on my To-Do list and I wanted to play along with the A Vintage Journey Challenge this week.  I've never participated in the A Vintage Journey challenges before, but couldn't resist their ATC challenge this week.  Per the 'travelling instructions' prepare to dive into my Tim Holtz-influenced psyche.


In Tim-esque fashion, I built up several layers on my background using Distress Inks, stamps and stencils.  Flicked some water around too.  Metal was incorporated on my ATC in the staples and my steampunkish (kinda) butterfly.

Most telling though was my firm embracing of Tim's 'Embrace Imperfection' philsophy.  Oh, I embraced it.  

My first challenge was coloring my embossing paste.  I knew I wanted to use the Worn Lipstick that I had used in top corner for the stenciled circles.  BUT I only had Distress Ink - no stain, reinker, etc.  I tried smooshing some (thank God for the minis) on my palette tray and then mixing in the paste.  It was too pale though and now that the paste was in there I couldn't really add more without possibly getting some on my ink pad.  No bueno.  I eventually just kept cleaning off my palette knife and then swiping my ink pad on that to mix it in.  

My next 'ugh' was an unfortunate clogging incident resulting in me repeatedly jamming a needle into the tip of my Diamond Glaze bottle to get the dried clump out of the way so I could glue on the key.  Squeeze, jab, squeeze, jab...finally I gave it an extra squeeze and that did the trick.  Sadly it also resulted in an oversized puddle smack dab in the middle of my butterfly.  Stickles to the rescue.  Oh wait.  That was clogged too (fortunately that bottle was more cooperative).

Still with me?  Here's another view of my ATC:


Thank you for enduring my verbose post today.  I wish you a fabulous week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

SDC 161 - Flowers

Kristen has challenged us to use flowers in our creations this week over at the Stampotique Designers Challenge blog.  I don't always think of a flower when I see this stamp but I almost always do so it was a no-brainer for me to grab it and go to town.  The Stampotique stamps that I used is Spray by Maryse Carrier.

I needed to make an ATC for a swap using a shaving cream technique background.  Fortunately I had one that I had done a while ago so it was easy to whip this together just pulling colors from the background.




Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, August 11, 2014

12 Tags - August

I have been horribly remiss in my participation in Tim Holtz's monthly tags.  I think my last one was March.  I had to do a bit of experimentation on this with mixed results.  See Tim's August tag by clicking HERE and here is my tag.




My first bit of experimentation was using Memento ink instead of Ranger's Archival Ink.  I really need to pick some of that up but thought I could get away with not having it.  How many black inks does one really need?  Apparently one more.  The Memento didn't really work on top of the tape so I used black StazOn instead.  It worked okay but I had to do some touching up on her face with my Pitt pen.


My next bit of experimentation was using embossing paste rather than texture paste.  The stain didn't seep into the embossing paste like it did the texture paste.  I kind of like the way it turned out though.


My third experiment was to combine regular acrylic paint with Distress Paint on the gears.  That worked out pretty well too.  Good to know.

I'm adding this to the Stampotique Designers Challenge Bows challenge this week too.

Have a great week!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Whimsical Art Journal Cover

I am participating in a traveling art journal group for the very first time and am really looking forward to sharing art with a talented group of ladies.  Several of them I've swapped ATCs with and some are new friends.  I decided that I'd make my own journal rather than buy one because I'm a glutton for punishment.  ;)

France Papillon (my art journaling idol) is celebrating her 100th Journal on Monday and has asked her followers to share their process.  This particular project of mine is very different from her style, but I learned so much from watching her JoM videos and since the theme for my journal is On the Isle of Whimsy I went a different direction.  Here is a look at how I created my art journal cover.

I cut some chipboard to size, 6" x 8" and then ripped pages out of random books and tore them into strips.


Next I glued the strips onto the chipboard.  I tried to keep it very random alternating the orientation of the strips.  After everything dried I cut the excess off with an exacto knife.


I smoodged on some gesso and while it was still wet I put the wet sides of both covers against each other to give it some texture.



Oops.  Forgot to take a picture of the embossing paste step.  I just randomly added some through a stencil and when it was dry I added acrylic paint in a few colors and then dabbed it with a baby wipe to blend the colors a little more.

I added some more bits using acrylic paint and ink with stamps and stencils.



I thought some glass bead gel medium would add some nice sparkly bits.


The white circles on the side were too white so I filled them with embossed and colored circles. After I glued them down they still needed a little something so I rubbed some distress ink over the tops to make the embossed parts stand out more.


Whimsical trees on an island are finishing her off for now.




I still need to come up with a title but I think I'll let it sit for a day or two until I figure out what I want.  Until then, check out France's blog and videos.  She's amazing.