February 26, 2014

let it go


e.e. cummings is the poet who inspired the text on this tag
(you can read the poem here)

I'm new to using paste medium and since I need the practice , I've made another tag for link-up to the Simon Says Stamp Monday blog challenge (a second-chance to win the prize drawing can't hurt either).

I just jumped in this time, spread medium all over the tag and pressed in a bird cage stencil. After it dried, the uneven texture made me think of hills and valleys so I used some acrylic paint and a landscape was born.

Since the impression on the side of the cage was messed up, the idea of birds escaping came to mind (déjà vu) and I found a Tim Holtz stamp that worked. Due to the surface's uneven texture there's no way I'd get a perfect impression so a few areas were filled in with a marker.

All in all, it was a good lesson. To be an artist means letting go, right? By treading new territory I've learned how this stuff works and see its possibilities.

Now I just need to figure out how to photograph it!

My cat will help.

February 25, 2014

Make a Bird Cage Stencil

First I found an image I liked
(thank you Graphics Fairy).

Then I used Photoshop to posterize it
to remove small details and thicken
the lines and then I printed it.

I taped the print-out on some
stencil paper (I like using Yupo).

Then I used a black marker to
highlight the areas I would cut.

The cuts aren't perfect but I
like the hand-made appearance.


The end result works as both a positive or negative image. The left image was made using the normal stenciling technique. The right image was made by inking the stencil then rubbing a piece of paper over it (like a collagraph).

Houses are for People

Paste medium and a stencil were used to create this tag but it fought me every inch of the way!

The stencil was hand-made and the paste emphasized the space between the bars and gave it a funny dimension.

So I scraped off most of the paste and re-inked the bars by hand.

Thank goodness I coated both sides of the tag with gesso before I started, otherwise, it would never have held up to the abuse.

I plan to make another bird cage stencil (this one's worse for the wear) and I'll post the steps I take so you can see my approach.

I'm linking this tag to the Monday blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp where the theme is Paste. The background is Idea-ology tissue paper and the birds were made with a stamp from Stamping Bella.

February 24, 2014

Sig and Gracie (in Print)

Have you heard that song by Pharrell Williams called Happy from the movie Despicable Me 2? It's nominated for an Oscar and topping the Billboard charts right now. It's a catchy tune that makes you feel happy when you hear it.

Well, that's how I feel today because I just received a magazine in the mail called Somerset Studio and the editors published my artwork in the Readers Expressions section of the March/April 2014 issue.

They regularly place calls for submissions and when the theme was "Le Cirque," I created Sig Sautelle and Gracie the Elephant and sent them in. If chosen, you receive a complimentary copy of their magazine. Here's a link to the current calls if you'd like to know more about it and maybe submit something of your own.

February 21, 2014

To Have and to Hold


The best part of a challenge? For me, it's exploring a subject that's not part of my normal repertoire like Weddings or Anniversaries, which is the theme for Wednesday's blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp.

I started by finding a great vintage photo of a bride and groom and thought I'd turn this lovely couple into a wedding cake topper. The cake was decorated with washi tape, acrylic paint and a fine tip marker. Distress inks, acrylic paint and a hand-made stencil were used to create the background.

Since I do a lot of "fussy-cutting" I thought I'd share a tip, especially when using figures from photos: After cutting, take time to ink the edges as this will help to blend them into your collage.

Making this tag was a lot of fun and a great excuse to play around. I never decorated a wedding cake before and I got to know this couple a little better. But why didn't the bride smile and what did the groom need gloves for?

February 18, 2014

Money Dance


I'm linking yet another tag inspired by SSS's Monday blog challenge, Making a Cameo Appearance. I've never entered multiple pieces in a challenge before but for some reason this cameo bit has really resonated with me.

I printed an image of foreign money (courtesy of Amy Barickman) and used gel medium to transfer it to the tag for an aged appearance. The center was cut out and filled in with paint to make a sort of frame for the dancing ladies. I used black and white fine tip markers and also a touch of violet watercolor to make the scroll work and background stand out a bit more. The bottom strip was cut from a gold doilie that I darkened with acrylic paint. I went back later and added some copper Stickles to the frame edge and just above the doilie.

When I was done I thought, wouldn't it be nice if, instead of boring old politicians on the face of money we could have dancing ladies instead?

Then I did a search for money art on the web and found that altering money is not a new idea. There are many collections including Pinterest and Tumblr boards and also bloggers who specialize in it. Then I wondered if it was legal and, in the United States:

Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
So when I alter my next $100 bill, I'll do it anonymously.

February 17, 2014

Miss Emma


Still inspired by the Monday blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp, my dear Miss Emma is Making a Cameo Appearance on this tag. She's a silhouette image I found on the web, cut-out and pasted on Idea-ology Paper Stash and tinted with Distress ink. I used a stencil to create the oval and made a frame from paper covered with black and copper Scribbles (a 3-D paint). The flowers were stamped and cut from old book paper then some were painted black.

I can't say where all my creative energy is coming from today (maybe it's remnants from the full moon). I seem to be "on a roll" and sure hope it continues because I am having a blast. If it's contagious, I hope you catch it!

Mrs. Wheeler

A Cameo Appearance is the theme for Monday's blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp and I am inspired!

This tag was made from a Claudine Hellmuth chair stamp, a vintage photo, some scrapbook paper and a bit of colored pencil.

Mrs. Wheeler (making a cameo appearance on this tag) is a good example of how I'm interested in exploring composition, balance and the use of negative space.

She's not traditional
but very original
and perhaps
even one of a kind.

February 12, 2014

Got Rubber?

I can't explain exactly what the attraction is. Sure, rubber stamps are easy to use, the variety is mind-boggling, and they come in handy for all kinds of things. I think they have magical powers because they put a little voice inside my head that whispers, "you know you love me, buy me."

The Monday blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp is "We Love Stamps," so to show my love I've used a total of 15 stamps to create this tag. They are all store-bought except the cat and the box he's sitting on.

The "got rubber" stamp came in a bundle I bought on E-Bay. I've had it maybe three or four years now and this is the first time I've officially used it. It's not too versatile (for obvious reasons) but given this week's challenge theme, I think it's most appropriate.

Birds of a Feather

click to enlarge
Here is the valentine I made this year for Thelma (my good friend who introduced me to card making). I always push the envelope when making something for Thelma as she's somewhat traditional but has begun to let her creativity run wild after a bit of inspiration.

I stamped directly onto kraft paper card stock using a rainbow ink pad and the French script stamp from Dark Room Door. I tore strips of washi tape to make a border then blotted on Picket Fence Distress stain. The hearts were cut from deli-wrap that was stamped and trimmed with acrylic paint. The birds were made by stamping (Tim Holtz, Birds on a Wire) on the back side of some glitter paper then cutting out and pasting the front side up. I edged the border with dots and lines using a fine-tip marker.

The inscription on the inside will read:

Birds of a feather stick together!
Happy Valentine's Day

It just so happens that the Wednesday blog challenge at Simon Says Stamp is "Get Krafty" so I'm linking it there and then it's off to the mailbox so Thelma will get it by Friday.

February 08, 2014

Cupid Is As Cupid Does

Simon Says Have a Heart so the Wednesday blog challenge inspired this tag.

The background is book paper stamped with hearts using ink and powder (to create a resist) and tinted with Distress. After removing the embossing with an iron, I pasted on a heart made of fibrous paper and embellished the border with ink and paint.

Cupid was cut from the monthly Trader Joe's flyer, I added a stamped bird and also some paper strips.

I believe it was Forrest Gump's mom who said, "Cupid is as Cupid does." I sure hope mine brings me a box of chocolates.

February 05, 2014

Love Notes


The Simon Says Stamp Monday blog challenge is "Love Notes" and that was my inspiration for this greeting card design. Fashioned from various collage papers and rubber stamps (Paper Artsy), I used sewing machine stitching and painted dots to add interest along with a branch cut from scrapbook paper.

February 02, 2014

Heart Candy Love


Just a simple tag inspired by Tim Holtz using his Kraft Resist Paper Stash for a background, a paper punched strip and some hearts, embellished with sewing machine stitching, white Scribbles and a black fine-tip marker.

The love script is a store-bought stamp, the postage stamp frame was hand-cut. To get a chalkboard effect, I mixed white and clear embossing powders together after stamping with white pigment ink and used a white charcoal pencil to cloud the background.

To see more detail, click to enlarge...