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.