December 29, 2020

Merry and Bright

 
Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings,
all the snow in Alaska won't make it white. -Bing Crosby
 
Remember this December, that love weighs more than gold!
-Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon
 
There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake
Christmas morning and not be a child. -Erma Bombeck
 
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
-Dr. Seuss
 
Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.
-Charles M. Schultz
 
When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that
the simplest things--not the great occasions--
give off the greatest glow of happiness. -Bob Hope
 
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.
 -Larry Wilde
 
Wherever you are, whatever you are facing, whatever your
challenges or opportunities may be…
may your days of Christmas be merry and bright.

December 23, 2020

Praying for Time

 Praying for Time 

 
I've used a favorite Found Relative for this tag, I can't explain why this image appeals to me like it does and I only use it for special pieces. 

This Christmas tag has a melancholy side as I made it to commemorate a singer songwriter who passed away four years ago on Christmas day. His name was George Michael and he wrote a song called "Praying for Time." The words to this ballad are especially poignant during the holiday season and speak volumes about this tumultuous year.

The techniques I used include fussy-cutting, distressing, stamping (hand-carved), and placement of ephemera on some Paper Stash. 

I think it's worth noting that whenever possible, I peel the backs off photos, ephemera, etc., and rub away as much of the paper as I can to make these elements nice and thin. They naturally become more fragile but I encase them with medium (applied to both sides) so they hold up well when pasted down or painted over.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

December 15, 2020

Happy Holidays

 

A greeting card to share today representing a milestone for me as it's my first creation since relocating my crafting space. Abandoning my old studio after almost 15 years was traumatic and because I had to downsize, I cleaned up and donated a lot of extra material. My new space is doable but I'm struggling to remember where I put stuff--I guess the easiest fix for that is to just starting making again!

For this card, I distressed the edges of printed papers and used some hand-stitching and Stickles on the border. The stamp is from Ellen Hutson (Mondo Holly by Julie Ebersole) which was altered quite a bit.

First I heat embossed it, then tinted it with Distress inks, ironed off the embossing, redrew the lines with a fine line marker, fussy-cut it and added Distress Rock Candy Stickles to the berries.

Happy Holidays, close-up

Happy Holidays, side-view

I plan to continue blogging about my creations (even though many bloggers have left the pack) because it serves as a kind of diary and good reference tool. Now that my numerous family projects/obligations are winding down, I have more time to create and will be able to post more regularly again. I also post snapshots of my blog entries on Instagram @123beulahbee for those who like to click-and-run ☺.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

September 21, 2020

Heritage


It is said that as a figure is sculpted by the hand of the Artist,
so is a man molded by those who preceded him on Earth.

We have a heritage of which to be proud and
much to learn and impart to those who follow us.

-------------------------------

Hello after one very-long absence from the crafty-blogger world! Historically, I've been pretty good about posting on a regular basis and participating in challenges but it's been almost two months since you've heard from me.

The reason for my absence is I somewhat accidentally stumbled upon a new hobby and got so thoroughly involved with it that everything else took a back seat. And I mean everything!

What, pray tell, could have been so compelling? It was genealogy research and putting together my family tree. An opportunity presented itself and once I started I couldn't stop. Mind you, it's probably not for everyone but for me, it was a fantastic escape into a past rich with history and heartfelt stories that kept me wanting more.

It took longer than expected because I didn't realize both my parents had descendents that traced back to the earliest colonial settlers. The process involves matching up husbands, wives and children (and my oh my, they had lots of children!) using places and dates to connect them. But the real treasure was inadvertently learning about things like Civil War pensions, government land grants, typhoid outbreaks, the Married Women's Property Acts, etc., etc..

To gather up names like Ithiel "Telly" Tellofare, Bushrod Ashburn, Rufus Benedict, Miles Omega, and Euphony Ann, some of the eleven children born to John and Mary from North Carolina who married in 1803, just made my heart sing!

I'm certain this experience will influence my art in the future. My love for vintage has taken on new meaning as a result of this experience. I plan to dust off the paints soon, I'm ready to begin again filled with the new found knowledge of many lifetimes lived. So proud, so brave, our Americans!

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

Update 10/19/2020: My plans of crafting and blogging again have been put on hold due to an unplanned relocation of my studio. Finding a new space has forced a major decluttering event which only seems to grow the more I pursue it! Other responsibilities are also taxing my time--there just doesn't seem to be enough of it no matter how hard I work. There will surely be a silver-lining in all of this and I'll definitely be grateful when time permits me to craft again, I miss it so much!

July 26, 2020

Live Out Loud



Altering vintage photos seems to be my thing these days and each one I work on is a lesson in techniques--some that work and some that don't.

I used Photoshop to print this photo on manila cardstock after cropping it to a 6.25" x 3.125" format (the size of a #8 tag).


Then I used watered-down gesso to cover almost everything in the photo. This provides a surface that water-based inks or paints (I used watercolors) can adhere to. So, unless the tint is staining, it's easy to remove/change colors with water and tissue to erase it.

To stamp the background, I used masks cut from deli paper which is see-thru and easy to trace and cut.


I've mentioned before that I use the tip of an Xacto knife to scratch away shadows or other dark areas to make some areas read better. You can see an example of this where the woman's hair blends into the dark areas of the umbrella.


I used a Remnant Rub for the text and embellished the black line borders with dots from an orange SoufflÄ› gel pen. I'm linking up with Simon's Monday challenge for A Day at the Beach.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

July 19, 2020

Grace Notes



"Early Bird" was Simon's Monday challenge this week but I'm no early bird as I only managed to get this done just before the deadline!

I used a bird stamp (Penny Black Just Looking) that I've had for quite a while but always had trouble using. A search turned up a technique (thanks, Mimi) that helped me figure this one out and then I assembled it with various papers to make a card.

Ingredients include Collage Paper, Clipping Stickers, vintage sheet music, paper scraps and a ribbon. I machine-stitched the borders and used Distress ink to age the papers.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

July 12, 2020

Good Bye Old Paint



I thought I'd dig out my watercolors and paint a card or tag for Simon's Play with Paint prompt this week. I didn't know I would end up making a color mixing chart instead!

One look at my badly neglected palette (bought years ago by way of a recommendation when I was just a beginner) and I knew it was time to take care of it. The paint was dry and cracked, some of the wells needed to be refilled, etc. It has served me fairly well but truth be told, it is way too big for my needs today and I decided to replace it.

I found a smaller, air tight pallete at Amazon and set about transferring paint from the old one to the new one. It was a tedious undertaking but my paint is expensive (Maimeri Blu from Italy)--I didn't want to waste it and two of my favorite shades are no longer available.

No, I'm not about to tell you how I scraped and reconstituted paints ☺--I just have a few more photos of the palettes then I'll share some links for two really useful websites to learn about watercolor paint properties and how to make color charts that I think you'll appreciate.





If you are a beginner to watercolors (or even if your not), here's a link to excellent, step-by-step instructions for why and how to make color charts (which I used to make mine):


Making the chart was so useful and such a good way to learn about paint properties, to practice control of mixing, and to learn how to get just the right color.

Mine was made large enough to reflect the 18 colors I used in my new palette and it will be an excellent reference going forward. I discovered some new combinations that I can't wait to try!


And finally, I'll share this link for a really good explanation on watercolor paint properties which I frequently use as a reference:


For the most part, watercolor is easy (with good supplies) but what held me back the most was not appreciating that some paints stain, some are opaque, some get muddy and you can't figure out why, etc. This website provides a good explanation and doesn't bog you down with too many details. I highly recommend it.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

July 02, 2020

Happy Heart


"Take Me for a Ride" is the challenge at Simon Says Stamp this week so I altered this photo by creating an image transfer on a manila tag.


Then I used watered-down gesso to cover most areas with a small paint brush, applied a mask cut from deli paper and used a background stamp on the car's surface.

I used inks to tint the photo, applied some stamped tissue paper on the right-hand side, placed some vintage postage stamps in the lower corner and the text is a Remnant Rub

This tag reminds me of one I made last year (Maurice Crooks) which is a favorite of mine.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

June 14, 2020

Girlfriend


I would say my greeting cards look a lot like the tags I make, or a journal page, for that matter. Here I have assembled one using a hand-cut botanical print, a Found Relative and some Collage Paper (Tim Holtz) onto a book page stamped with a French postage mark. I machine-stitched a border and embellished it with 3D paint (Liquid Pearls).

Everything was tinted with Distress inks and I used a watered-down layer of off-white paint over the girls dresses to change their appearance.


I think a key element in this composition is the addition of dark shading behind the girls which gives it some dimension. And it was mounted onto a kraft paper card base which reinforces the vintage vibe.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

June 13, 2020

Craftman


This is Craftman, the super-hero who saves the day by helping artists create and play. And where there's play there's happy and the world could sure use a whole lot more of that right now.


The background was made using an emboss resist technique where I stamped (Tim Holtz Dots & Floral) with clear embossing ink and powder on a piece of light card stock. Then it was covered with black paint and wiped off the embossing before it was completely dry. Here's an old tutorial from the Tim Holtz blog where I learned the technique.

The map is a piece of Tim Holtz ephemera made thinner (almost see-thru) by peeling off the back and using a little water and my finger to rub away the paper bits.

Craftman (Tim Holtz Sideshow) was stamped on light paper with Vintage Photo Distress ink and fussy-cut. The flower pot was cut out of a coloring book.

It was mounted on a piece of light gray card stock and I machine-stitched the border. I'm linking up to Simon's Monday challenge--this week "it's a man thing."

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

June 07, 2020

Nature


A journal page: Distress inks, stencil by Prima (Read My Letter), botanical print (Plant and Floral Woodcuts for Designers & Craftsmen by Theodore Menten), text quote by Karen Madwell.

I'm linking up with Simon's "Make Your Own Background" challenge.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

June 03, 2020

Patience


I made a background by stamping (Tim Holtz Ledger Script) on a manila tag with black Archival ink then used several blue and green Distress inks to give it some color.

I transferred this image over the colored text background using gel medium. Because of the transparent nature of image transfers, the background would have been visible underneath the white areas of the image.  To solve this problem I printed a second copy of the image, fussy-cut just the girl and pasted her over the top of the first image layer. She was tinted with more inks and a text label was made with my typewriter.


I'm linking up with Simon's Monday challenge to Make Your Own Background.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

May 28, 2020

TWIV


There's such a good challenge at Simon this week called "We're Going Around in Circles."

So I made a hand-carved stamp of a circular symbol known as an Ouroboros. I wish I could say the design was my own but I found it on the net. It was chosen for its simplicity to make it easier to carve.

It was stamped on a vintage book page tinted with Distress inks and the snake's texture came from embossing powders. An Idea-ology sticker was altered with sanding and a vintage sun applied using my image transfer technique.



I printed an image of coronaviruses (Micrograph from Frederick A. Murphy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas) then cut/paste and tinted it with Distress and emphasized the edges with a black, fine-line marker.




I used my vintage typewriter to make the text quote which I heard on last Friday's This Week in Virology (TWIV) podcast. The border features dots of my new favorite crafting product, Pumice Stone Nuvo Vintage Drops (thanks Simon!) which dry to a matte finish and are so very easy to apply.

It may not be your cup of tea visually but I like it and it was very satisfying to make. My stamp turned out great and I hope to use it again soon. And above all, the symbolism in this tag makes my head spin. ☺

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

May 22, 2020

Honey Bee


This post is all about the bees. Thanks to lots of rain some weeks ago, every plant here is in full bloom including the desert trees now covered with a blanket of tiny yellow flowers and just as many bees! The air is filled with the sound of them.

The Simon prompt on Monday was "We're All A Buzz" and given my namesake, how could I pass this one up?

I made a card using a stamp set by Simon called Delicate Flowers, the background paper is Epiphany by Prima and Nuvo Vintage Drops were used around the border.


I stamped the flowers on tissue paper and redrew some of the lines to sharpen them. I used Distress Inks for color and created a shadow effect around the frame edges with colored pencils.


As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

May 13, 2020

It's a Dog's Life


Inspired by this week's Simon Monday challenge, I'm sharing this journal page that features a trio of vintage canines (Tim Holtz Paper Dolls).

The background is the original cover page from a magazine which I hung on to because I thought it had potential.

It's tricky working with magazine papers as they tend to wrinkle and can be fragile so I use a glue called "Yes" because it doesn't buckle paper.

I used a stencil (Clarity Stamps Treescape) with some dark gray metallic paint and the birds were stamped on tissue paper before pasting down.

The paper dolls were peeled from their backing and most of the paper rubbed off to make them nice and thin which is my preference when collaging.

Both sides of the dolls were sealed with acrylic medium before assembly on the page to protect them and give them strength. I used various staining inks to tint them with a small brush.


As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

May 02, 2020

Blue Skies



Does anyone know what day it is because I am seriously starting to lose track of time.

As one day runs into another during this sequester, I'm grateful for my hobbies which have recently grown to include playing the piano--something I haven't done for a while.

I've spoken about my two great aunts, Esther and Ada, and how I inherited many of their keepsakes. Ada was a college professor with a masters in Music and I have hundreds of pieces of her sheet music including the song "Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin.

That was my inspiration for this tag made to link up with Simon's Monday challenge this week because it is not a card.


I modified the image by replacing the wings, punching holes in them and scraping away the printing to lighten spots for tinting. I used a Gelly Roll and various ink pens to modify the umbrella.


The background is an image transfer that came from an old book page, I drew circles and made dots for the border and the text was produced on a vintage typewriter.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

April 17, 2020

Neighbors


Fortunately, during this pandemic and the stay at home orders, the weather here is suitable for walking outdoors and my neighbors are taking advantage of it.

As I gaze out my window, I am seeing many of them for the very first time!

The "neighborly" text sticker (Tim Holtz) seemed right for this tag made with a printed vintage photo that was cut-out and pasted over succulent plants cut from scrapbook paper (Kaisercraft).


I'm linking this up with Simon's Monday challenge blog because many succulent plants start with the name Echeveria and this week's theme is the letter E.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

April 11, 2020

Everything is Possible


Simon's Monday challenge blog features Stamperia this week and the theme is texture.

I have altered a page from Stamperia's Oriental Garden as the background for this tag by darkening the edge around the moon with colored pencils and inks. I used a dark marker to strengthen the color of the branches and other lines. Not much, you understand, but just enough to create more contrast.

The birds were stamped onto thin pink paper then cut-out and pasted to the tag. I like this bird stamp set but it wasn't made properly (trimmed). The rubber edges always print no matter how careful I am so I'm forced to make a cut-out. No big deal.



I created texture by covering the flower blossoms with Glossy Accents and used a Tim Holtz stencil called Dot Fade with white texture paste. I find this stencil so useful for adding random bits and use it very often.

The text was typed onto the back of thin scrap paper with my 1970's-era electric typewriter. While you can't really see it here, the center of the O's are missing. Because age has hardened the machine's rubber platen, when I use thin paper the striker cuts right through it.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

April 05, 2020

Grow


Inspired by a mood board posted at Simon's Monday Challenge blog, I've made a tag using pages/images from the Memoranda paper stash, a photo found on the net and stamped bees. The tinting came from Distress inks and a Gelly Roll pen.


The image is one of my favorites and I used it for this tag.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.
Until next time, take care.

March 29, 2020

Find Hope


Another tag made today--it will become #253 on manilaguerilla.blogspot.com. Have you been there? As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit. Until next time, take care.

March 19, 2020

Strength & Calm


I'm grateful to have an at-home hobby due to the confinement imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and I've made a journal page which was a good way to channel my emotions and nervous energy.

The elephant and lotus blossom symbols literally jumped right out at me to use here and they are so right for reminding me of how best to handle this adversity.

I'm linking to Simon's Monday challenge, this week's theme is "Stencil Fun."

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

March 15, 2020

Life is Good

(in spite of the chaos...)


I'm finally able to share something for the weekly Simon Monday challenge--A Bit O' Green. I've had a lot of false starts the last few weeks but you can't say I haven't tried☺.

This tag is nothing more than a background made with the Distress ink/oxide splat, drip, smoosh technique (Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Frayed Burlap), lots of stamping with archival inks and a Remnant Rub.

I used a Gelly Roll pen for the light/white details and colored pencils to tint the stamping.


You can see in the close-up shot that I used a very fine line black pen to sharpen some of the lines and add a little more contrast.

I can either spend hours fussing with something that just won't come together or start something on a whim that makes itself in minutes--and I have little control over when this happens or why!

My, how art can mimic life (and today's current events). ☺

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

February 23, 2020

Tell Your Story


I've got this thing about seeing sky inside a frame so I played around with the idea this week and I'm linking this tag to Simon's Monday challenge, "Frame It."

The girl is a Baseboard Doll (Tim Holtz) that I stripped from her backing and you may have guessed that's a flower cut from the Wallflower paper stash.

The frame is a tiny die cut from Stampendous that I crackled with medium, the text is a Remnant Rub and I used Ranger's Liquid Pearls on the inside edge of the frame.


As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.

February 10, 2020

She Loved Them All


Just four days away from Valentine's Day (and my wedding anniversary) and I still need to make cards for my hubby and my good friend (and fellow card maker) Thelma.

I guess I was warming up by making this tag and so I thought I'd share it with you today.

As always, I hope this post finds you well and happy and I appreciate your visit.

Until next time, take care.