September 24, 2015

Sparkle

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The most difficult stamp I have ever worked with (and also the most expensive) is this image by Lynne Perella for Paper Artsy. I don't know why it's not available in the US so I had to order it from the UK and the shipping added a greal deal to the cost.

It has a tremendous amount of detail and is not deeply etched so it's a bit of a struggle to get an impression that's satisfactory.

This time I used a really bizarre inking method that worked rather well. Surprise, surprise.

I applied thick watercolor using a brush and let it dry then stamped over that layer with black dye ink. Then I lightly spritzed it with water and stamped onto my paper surface.


The paper border was made with one of the most useful stamps I own and if I had to pick a favorite from my collection this would be it because it's so versatile. It's from Tim Holtz and is part of the Visual Artistry Lost and Found stamp set.


The text is Idea-ology chit-chat and the dots are Ranger Liquid Pearls.

I made this card for my bestie Thelma who's got a milestone birthday on the horizon and I'm linking to Simon's Monday blog challenge where this week's theme is use a stamp.

I must give a special shout-out to all the Design Team members who really rocked their creations this week. It was very inspiring!

September 19, 2015

Artvue

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I'm still rather confused as to what constitutes a piece of "mail art." According to Wiki, it's centered on sending small works through the postal service and that at it's core, it's about interpersonal communication, exchange and the creation of a virtual community of participants. Huh?

I thought it was just about using postal ephemera in collages!

So, while I work on my understanding of this art form, I'll share my latest attempt (interpersonal communication) with my blog readers (virtual community). Gee, maybe this is mail art after all?


Beginning with a virgin postcard (never been mailed), I used an image transfer technique to add the newpaper print. I used a distressed Idea-ology frame sticker and stamped a bird on tinted watercolor paper for the center.


The red and green postage stamps are real, the cat stamp is homemade. The address label is from the Tim Holtz Correspondence stamp set. I applied it to paper then used a typewriter to fill in the address before pasting it on. The postmark in the top left corner and the words Par Avion are also from this set.

With a bit more stamping, tinting, dotting and a strip of washi tape (white strip near the center), I considered it complete.

Now all I have to do is mail it!

September 16, 2015

Carousel

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Today I'm sharing a journal page made with vintage images, a stamp (the carousel) and stencils which I'm linking to Simon's Monday blog challenge.

This week's theme is love this technique and in this piece, I primarily used sponging and stenciling which I enjoy because it's a fast way to get results.

And since I live in a very dry climate it's almost impossible to apply acrylic paint without leaving brush marks. So, more often than not, I'll apply paint with a cosmetic sponge because paint daubs seem easier to blend. I also use sponges to apply paint through my stencils.

One of the stencils I used is a tree but it's a positive shape (photo left) so I had to trace it with a pencil then fill in my lines with a paint brush.

I would have preferred the reverse version but ordered the wrong kind by mistake and I have learned to live with it.


The photo above is the full-page, uncropped view and you'll see an image transfer of the moon in the upper-right corner along with some stars made with a stencil. Stamp credit for the carousel goes to Tim Holtz--it's from his Tiny Things stamp set.

And speaking of techniques we love, I'll close by sharing an artist who I thought of while working on this page. Her name is Maggie Taylor and I first discovered her work during the opening credits for a TV Series called Ghost Whisperer. Her dream-like artwork is made digitally and she's a Photoshop expert. Her website is a lot of fun and if you're not familiar with her work, I think you'll enjoy it.

September 13, 2015

Zulu


I've made lots of tags over the past few years but little in the way of postcard/mail art which is funny since, size-wise, they have a lot in common.

So, channeling my inner Nick Bantock, I went way out on a limb with this creation. Yes, it's still a tag but with credit for pasting on a postcard, I think it could be called mail art.


The bird is a hand-carved stamp and the image transfer is from the British Library. I was attracted to the postcard because the handwriting was in red ink and also for the blue circles and text. I used a Tim Holtz Correspondence stamp (247) over the postage mark and there's a bit of Postale tissue paper at the top.

Why I chose this image will remain a mystery, even to me.

September 10, 2015

Escape


A bonus from mucking-out the craft room last month was discovering long-forgotten goodies like the wooden birdcage die-cut (from Kaisercraft) that I used on this tag.

And since this week's theme at Simon's Monday blog challenge is stamp and punch/die-cut what better time to use it?

A background was made with old book paper, paint and stamping then I tinted and stamped the birdcage and used an image transfer for the text. Yes, that's a bit of washi tape for the shadow and I used a black Fudi-ball pen to ink the edges.

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I have yet to invest in die-cutting equipment and only have a few, very small paper punches so I was happy to find this birdcage in my stash--otherwise, I'd have to sit this one out!

Stamp credit: Kaisercraft Dictionary Meanings

September 05, 2015

Note to Self

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This week's theme at Simon's Monday blog challenge is to create using only three colors and, while this tag may look like I left them out, my trio is off-white, green and sepia.

According to Google, black is not a color; a black object absorbs all the colors of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to the eyes (in case you were wondering).☺


I used a Found Relative photo which I cut-out and pasted to the edge of a postcard and then attached to a manila tag tinted to match the postage stamp.

The backside of these photos has pretty patterned paper which I peel off (to make cutting easier) and I decided to use it to make the postcard background more interesting.

I just cut away some of the pattern, flipped it over, pasted it down then peeled away parts of it (like on the lady's face).

I added some Remnant Rubs and emphasized the shadow near the lady's feet.

(Note to self--dream big AND dream in color!)

(Another note to self--the postmark on this card is 1915 which means I used a 100-year old post card to make this tag.)

September 04, 2015

Remnants

rem·nant
/ˈremnənt/

noun

a small remaining quantity of something.

a piece of cloth or carpeting left when the greater part has been used or sold.

a surviving trace.



I only have remnants of brain matter left this month after working on my entry for Tim's September tag--it was a challenge!


To begin with, I'm alcohol-ink impaired so piles of glossy stamping paper later, I finally arrived at a background that might work.

I don't have transparent gloss texture paste so I used gloss gel medium with Tim's Scribbles stencil instead. I thought it would dry clear but I believe the thicker application prevented this. It's still somewhat transparent though and the pop of alcohol ink colors shine through but it's obviously not the same effect as Tim's.

Rather than highlight the texture with archival ink I used Vintage Photo Distress stain to darken the cracks and provide some contrast.

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There's no frosted paper in my studio so I took a laser printer transparency and sanded both sides to mimic this product. I guess it's close-enough but didn't curl as easy as his did.

Finishing touches included a Foliage charm, Remant Rubs (Words), ribbon scraps and Scribbles (3D fabric paint) dotted along the tag edges.

Tim's monthly tags always challenge me and this time, after allowing myself to fail (and learn), I thankfully pushed myself through.

I am grateful for the process and the end result!