Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Alcohol Ink On Acetate

Creating a watercolor effect using Alcohol Ink and blending solution on Acetate is a technique that I've been looking forward to trying out for the longest time. My friend JAN and I decided to begin a monthly technique challenge between ourselves and post our results on our blogs. I was excited when Jan suggested that our first challenge be to use alcohol ink and blending solution as a watercoloring medium and to use acetate as our painting surface. You can view Jan's beautiful card that she created, titled "Pocket full of Posies" HERE.

For my card I began with a clear sheet of acetate and stamped the vase of flowers image using Stazon black ink. One immediately discovers that you have to have a steady hand when stamping and to lift the stamp directly. Even though the stamp does "stick" a bit to the acetate with the stazon ink, the risk of smears is high since the acetate is like an ice skating surface.

After I inked the surface with my stamped image and used a small plastic paint palette and put a drop of each of the colors of alcohol ink I wanted to use on the image in the little "bowls" in the palette. I don't have too many alcohol ink colors (YET!) so I blended some of the colors for various shades.

Next I filled a water brush with alcohol ink blending solution and used the blending solution to regulate the intensity of the colors as I painted it on the acetate. The colors just flow so smoothly. I thoroughly enjoyed this painting technique and can see myself using this frequently in the future.

If you'd like to see a tutorial using Alcohol Ink and Acetate, click on Michelle Zindorf's blog, Freedom in Creating, HERE.

I think this technique will be great for coloring highly detailed images when you want the stamped lines to be predominent in defining the image.

Thanks Jan for the challenge! I loved using this technique.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Baskets for the Cure

Did you know that every 13-minutes, a woman dies from breast cancer? One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause of cancer death in women 55 to 74.

My friend Ethel, whose art work is known and admired by many on cardmaking blogs, has created a special blog called BASKETS FOR THE CURE. Ethel's "Baskets for the cure" blog is a special site she has created to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Ethel's idea is to offer you the opportunity to bid on some very special Longaberger baskets and the procedes from this auction will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to battle breast cancer.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can help, follow the link to BASKETS FOR THE CURE.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Easter bunny funny

Happy 1st day of Spring!

Hmmmm...well let's see. Today is the Vernal Equinox! The first day of spring. Outside my front room window I've been watching snow plows and huge dump trucks removing piles and piles (like mountains - 2 stories high) of snow from business parking lots. I'm afraid it will be months before we even begin to see any semblance of spring. Nevertheless, I do look forward to warmer temperatures and even if it only says it is spring on the calendar, at least it gives one hope to the end of one very long and cold and snowy winter.

My card today is to welcome the new season with a whimsical Fluffles the Cat card. If you are not familiar with Fluffles stamps, they are of the funny kitty named fluffles who almost always is getting himself into some type of predicament or mischief. I colored with prismacolor pencils and used a bit of machine stitching.

Now, if only we could have a few grasshoppers and flowers and kitties on the hunt, that would feel more like spring!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Easter Bunnies

How about one more Easter card? This stamp of the bunnies just makes me smile each time I see it. They have such sweet expressions.

The card itself is pretty straight forward. The stamp is from The Stamp Barn here in Ottawa, Ontario. I love stamp barn stamps. The are cut and mounted on wood blocks better than any other company's stamp I use. The rubber is deeply etched and stamping is so easy to achieve a clear image. Plus, stamp barn stamps are simply beautiful. I sound like a commercial for them. I have no ties other than I like to shop for stamp barn stamps.

The sentiment, "Hoppy Easter" is a stamp from Hero Arts.

I colored with prismacolor pencils. I think next time I'll switch to watercoloring them with Tombow markers for a different look. I did add some liquid snow to their tails to give them a three dimensional look.

Isn't the carrot ribbon fun? I found that on the teeny tiny spools at Michaels.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cross and Blossoms

Another Easter card using Paper Inspirations stamp titled, "Cross and Blossoms." Again I colored the image with chalk and a very, very fine touch of stickles glitter glue on the cross itself to make it glow more than sparkle. The background is stamped using a Hero Arts stamp called Poetic Petals Two. The sentiment, Happy Easter, is also a Paper Inspirations stamp.

I can almost image this type of image on turn of the century postcards, can't you?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vintage Chick and Egg

Vintage designs have always been a challenge for me. I love them but it isn't a style that I create in very well so usually I just drool over other people's work in the Vintage genre. When I saw the Paper Inspirations stamps though, I had to get a few and give them a try. I still find it very difficult to get my mind to work with them but I sure do love the look of them.

This stamp is from Paper Inspirations. I colored the image with Pastel Chalks and in a couple places (mostly the leaves) added just a light touch of prismacolor pencil. Primarily, though, these are done in chalk. I then added some beads to the flower, a tiny crystal to the chick's eye and some plaid ribbon.

I'm happy with this for me. I would love to see other people's interpretation using this stamp. I know that there is so much more that could be done.

Oh yes. I changed my blog template AGAIN! A friend and I were discussing blog backgrounds the other day. I said for me it was kind of like rearranging one's furniture. It always makes it feel like a new room. I'm not thrilled with this color so I may change it again in a day or two.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Outlines Easter Egg

With Easter just a little over a week away and needing to get my Easter cards in the mail NOW I am afraid I must make a confession. I'm sending cards that I made last year. This particular card was made for a swap at the STAMP SHACK last year. The swap was to use a stamp by OUTLINES rubber stamps. I have about 5 or 6 Outlines rubber stamps and I just do not use them enough. I should correct that situation because OUTLINES make the most unique and versatile stamps.

Anyway, this is a card from a year ago. I made a lot of Easter cards last year and my dear husband took them in to his office and put them in a basket on his desk and sold many for me for a little pin money, you might say. I had just a few cards left over after Easter last year and I put them away for this year. Consequently, I'll be sending these to my family this year as well as a few other designs.

Here is a close-up of the 3 dimensional image that one can create with OUTLINES stamps. These stamps are so unique and I urge you to check out their website by clicking HERE at OUTLINES RUBBER STAMPS.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Digging up Dirt

What a treat to go to the post office after last weekend's storm to discover that my new Gruffies stamps arrived. Oh my, I bought so many different ones. These little guys are so sweet and by the number of stamps I bought I guess I'll be making a lot of Gruffies and House Mouse cards for quite a while.

This stamp is called digging up dirt. As of today, I can only dream about being able to "dig up dirt" but since the Vernal Equinox is only 8 days away I just have to think spring, planting flowers and simply digging up dirt!

I colored the image with prismacolor pencils. I wish you could see the dirt in real life, rather than just a photo because I used GUNMETAL stickles glitter glue in thicker than normal globs on the shove and little Booda the bear's head and on the ground in front of Pebble the bear. (YES! The bears all have different names.)

The designer paper is some really old Daisy D's that I had in my stash. I used some machine stitching and buttons and floss to give it a bit of a homespun feel. VOILA! My spring themed card in honor of the Vernal Equinox on the 20th.

My friend, Ethel, has posted a challenge on her blog THE PAPERQUILTER to create a spring themed card. You really should check out Ethel's blog by clicking her blog name link. This is a woman who, whenever she touches stamp to ink to paper creates the most beautiful cards. I'm going to use this card as my submission for a bit of a whimsical spring themed card.

Let's all think spring and maybe...just maybe all of my snow will melt.

Stay tuned for lots and lots of different Gruffies.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Remember the photos I posted a couple of days ago of Paul shoveling the snow after another big snowfall on Wednesday? Well, that snowfall was just a precursor to the BIG snowfall we just had yesterday. We got another 20 inches of fresh snow! Yes! You read that right! Look at the photos below and add another 20 inches!

This morning when I opened the back door to let the dogs out, this was the sight they saw in the back yard.

Remember too that the white picket fence you see in the back is 5 feet high. It looks like it is only 5 inches high.

And just for fun, here is another very short video of what it looks like to have a 100+ pound baby Newfie running toward you full speed through the snow.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Swell News!

I received some "swell news" from a good friend and colleague of mine from Indiana. Her daughter is pregnant. I'm still grinning ear to ear as I think how quickly our children grow up and now are having children of their own. With the news I just had to make a quick card to send to Becky.

The stamp, of course, is Stamping Bella. The sentiment is computer generated. I used my Martha Stewart embossed border punch for the white punched detail and my SU punches for the small and large oval and the corner ticket punches. The image is colored with Tombow markers direct to paper. I rarely use direct to paper since I prefer watercoloring with them, but this time I tried using them as they are probably most commonly used. I applied stickles glitter glue all over this image from her maternity top to the rattle in the bag as well as the shopping bags. Also, I added some pink crystals.

I hope she'll be "tickled pink" when she receives this card, just as I'm tickled pink with the news.

Until later...

Simple single flower

You've heard of the acronym "KISS" haven't you? Keep It Simple Sister! I certainly did keep this card very simple and applied the KISS method.

This is another of the stamps in the Stampin' Up! "Embrace Life" set. A simple, single flower. I thought of many complicated layouts to showcase this pretty flower image but as I looked at it after I'd painted it with twinkling H2O's I decided that this flower needed to stand out on its own.

The background paper is from Anna Griffin (All Night Media) and I used a Martha Stewart embossed border punch along the sides of the mat.

OK...ok...I couldn't help but add a touch of sheer ribbon and a few pink crystals, but all in all I think this is a very simple card that could be used for many different occasions.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Winter in Ottawa

Do you want to know why I've been able to take so much time lately to color and make cards? Welcome to my world. This is winter in Ottawa. We have had continuous snow since the 19th of November! We haven't seen the ground since. Consequently, I've been snowed in this year many a day in a row.

These are photos taken of my husband just an hour or so ago, digging out yesterday's storm. We are bracing for 30 more centimeters of snow this weekend.

Sigh.......now you can understand why I am enjoying making cards with flowers on them because it is going to be a long, LONG time before I'll have any growing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Embrace Life

This is another stamp from the "Embrace Life" set from Stampin' Up! Again I painted the flowers with Twinkling H2O's for a very subtle touch of color on the petals. I used all SU products on this card from the designer paper (which is from the new Prints Packs) to the punched flowers (it is on of the SU flower punches) to the card stock.

In the center of each flower there is a very tiny bead of white liquid pearl paint.

I'm finding the "Embrace Life" stamp set very versatile and I'm looking forward to using these stamps as well as the ones I haven't posted yet many, many times and for a variety of occasions. HA HA! This sounds like a plug for SU. I just really am enjoying this entire set of stamps!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Joy in pink and white

Recently I purchased several new Stampin' Up! sets and this set, called Embrace Life, is probably one of my favorite SU sets I've ever purchased. OK...that is hard to say because I have a lot of favorite SU sets, but this one is going to be used a lot.

The flower is just one of five stamps in the set. I painted it with Twinkling H2O's and then used my cuttle bug for the white embossed background and then added a little joy to it with the sentiment.

It has been ages and ages since I've used my twinkling H2O's. So long, in fact, that I had to dust off the little pots of paint before removing the lids. YIKES! I don't even want you to know how much dust had built up on the lids.

Anyway, I painted using three colors of the Twinkling H2O's to create a soft pink flower. Then I added white liquid pearls to the centers. And THEN, in my typical necessity to add just one more embellishment I remembered that I had floral pearl stamens left over from the wedding stationery that I made for my daughter's wedding last summer, so I added those as well to the centers of the flowers.

I have four more of these particular flowers painted up but in different colors. I'll make cards later that will look completely different from this one.

Off to run some errands for now before our next big snowfall hits later today.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Chamomile Tea

When I saw this House Mouse stamp, titled Chamomile Tea, I knew I had to have it. Look at the relaxed and soothed mice on the pot from their sip of Chamomile tea and then do you see the little mouse at the lower right jacked up on a sugar cube high. Too cute!

I colored the image with prismacolor pencils, added a bit of machine stitching to the mats and a tad of frosted lace stickles glitter glue to the sugar cubes. My husband didn't like the flower I added to the upper left corner but without it there was a big blank spot on the canvas. How do you occupy blank corners or areas of an image?

My order of the new Gruffies stamps should arrive any day now so soon I'll be posting bears in addition to the mice and bunnies.

Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments, suggestions and chat! :)