Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Fun Halloween Treat

I'm posting this Halloween treat and a few photos to jump into some last minute challenges.  I've mentioned before that the ladies at work got together and decided to encourage one another with small gifts and treats throughout the year.  We're each assigned one person to specifically bless, but usually end up blessing the group.  These treats were made for just such a purpose and handed out this week at work.  

The orange piece is cardstock cut at 3.5 inches wide and then I used my stitched rectangle die to cut the window.  I scored the piece a .5, 4.5, and 5.5m to create the "envelope".  I folded the first score mark and cut the 1/2 moon shape with a 1" circle punch.  This provides the hole for the treat bag to fit through.  A swirl stamp on the front with black ink created something interested as a backdrop for the tag.  The tag was from a Michaels seasonal kit and I used black modeling paste through an extremely old Sizzix stencil to create my creatures on purple cardstock.  I fussy cut them out since I didn't have a matching die (no such thing back then!).

A little black and white twine and some candies and this treat was ready for sharing.


I just couldn't resist the opportunity to share my friend Kyles fun Halloween creature.  She works at a school library where they are having a pumpkin engraving contest.  Meet the Grouchy Ladybug.  Her take was from a children's book.  I think it turned out fabulous.

I'm going to enter my treat in the following challenges :

City Crafter Challenge : Creatures of the Night

Word Art Wednesday's : Challenge #207 Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp's Wednesday Challenge : Simon Says Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge : Throwback I'm throwing back to the 10/27/14 challenge Treats.
Lastly, I'm going to link up to Our Beautiful World's challenge Boo! with my picture of the Gorouchy Ladybug.   Come join the fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Sunflower

The Sunflower by William Blake
Ah, Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime,
Where the traveler's journal done;
Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

I made these images using my Heartfelt Creations Sunflower Stem stamp and my Prima Oil Pastels watercolor crayons.  I used the technique similar to what Kristina Werner uses in this video.  As you can see from my attempts, there is a technique that requires mastery here.  You need to use enough water to activate the crayons and less water to allow the image details to come through.

I simply adore the results.  Today is a reason for me to celebrate all on its own as today is my mother's birthday.  I hope it is a special day for her and send this spot of sunshine in her general direction to brighten her day.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Prima Oil Pastel Watercolor Crayons

I've been playing around with my Prima Oil Pastel crayons.  This water soluble oil pastel media is so creamy and the colors so wonderful, I just couldn't stop creating images.  I used the technique found in this video for reach of these stamped images.  The leaves were stamped using my Heartfelt Creations Classic Leaf stamp.    The rose is a wood stamp from way back.
Fail - Used too much water on the brush to fill in the gaps

My Heartfelt Creations Delicate Asters stamp provided the detail for these images.  Since this is not a solid stamp, I finished the look with a waterbrush and some water - filling the centers of the petals in with the oil pastel transferred to the page.  It's a different look that I'm sure to explore some more.

One shouldn't end on a disappointing note, but these wings stamps just didn't retain the fine detail in the stamped image.  They are lovely in their own right, but I'm not sure they worked out the way I'd like.  Just proof that I need to keep on experimenting with my new tool.  As so I shall.  If I end up making these into anything, I'll share that with you here as well.  Hope all is well in your world as we look forward to November being here.  Isn't time flying by?

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Spread Your Wings Notecard Set

Here today again with another card set using my Brushos water color crystals.  The background wash of color was made by shaking the water color crystal on the card front and then washing over it with a large brush loaded with water.  You can see some crystals that didn't fully dissolve which only adds to the interest if you ask me.  

The butterfly was die cut out of blue cardstock (a matching strip is applied to the inside edge of the card) using my Memory Box Willoughby Butterfly Wings die  and embossed with clear embossing powder.  I applied embossing ink and powder, melting each layer, at least three times which creates a very even, dimensional look to the die cut.  This die is intended to cut the wings out of the middle of a piece of paper leaving it intact to the paper to pop out.  I simply snipped the ends and glued the body over the snipped ends.

The sentiment was stamped using black Archival Ink and some of the edged of the cards were cut using a stitched border die.  I'm super pleased with this card set and intend to set them aside for Christmas gifts as well.

I definitely feel like I'm having a creative spurt of energy.  This is in part because of how busy I have been between work and other travel schedules.  What have you been inspired by and how is your creative process working right now?  I will wish you inspiration and energy for your crafty endeavors.

Spread your wings and soar, my friends.  Make this a crafting end to a beautiful year!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Spread Your Wings to Soar

I've been using my Brushos water color crystals again.  This time I washed color into the background of a premade card by shaking the water color crystal on the card front and then washing over it with a large brush loaded with water.  I sprinkled each color, one at a time, drying with a heat gun in between the colors.  

Creating the color wash left my card warped with some clear wrinkles in the card as you can kinda see in the image above.  I super detest when this happens and so went looking for a solution.  I knew that the paper fibers would relax if I applied heat, so I first started by heating the backside of the card front after applying the water.  This did nothing to help.  Thinking about my flat iron, I decided to get out the iron and ironing board, assuming the heat and flat surface of the iron might work.  Presto - setting my iron on the very lowest setting and placing a paper towel to the back side of the card, I pressed slightly to the card and they evened out just like new.  The image to the right shows the fixed card front.  In fact, you can sorta see how the edge of the iron left a small mark in the card.  It isn't noticeable in the final result.

I made this second card using the same technique.  The butterfly was die cut out of blue cardstock using my Memory Box Willoughby Butterfly Wings die  and embossed with clear embossing powder.  I applied embossing ink and powder, melting each layer, at least three times which creates a very even, dimensional look to the die cut.  This die is intended to cut the wings out of the middle of a piece of paper leaving it intact to the paper to pop out.  I simply snipped the ends and glued the body over the snipped ends.  I so adore how this card turned out, I'm thinking of making another card set to put in the stash.  I've already cut the butterflies and embossed them.  Only some happy water coloring and I'll have another set.  I'll try to get those done and the pictures edited and posted.  See you soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Beautiful Hummingbird

So, Brandy and I have done a fair bit of traveling in the recent weeks.  Traveling is a strange mix of exhaustion, busy work and down time.  Often trips are some of the more stressful work each of us does.  As such, we need our crafty therapy as much on the road as at home.  I'm sharing an image today that Brandy created after a short trip to Hobby Lobby on the road somewhere.  A wood stamp, some water color paper and a small pack of Distress inks which included Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, Black Soot and Walnut Stain.  A simply watercolor brush and she created the attached using a technique similar to Kristina Werner's no line coloring demonstrated in this video.  I really like the monochromatic look of this work.

We've simply decided that watercoloring requires practice.  If you are alone in a hotel room (despite the poor lighting), practicing works.  It is also a technique that requires little supplies that can be tucked into a suitcase easily without taking up a great deal of space.  To prove that practice works, I'll share one more image of the second attempt to color this stamp given the small supplies.

I just encourage everyone to give it a try.  These watercolor techniques do not have to require a lot of money.  Just pick out a media that you'd like to try, Distress inks, watercolor paints (even the Crayola version is passable especially while you are learning), watercolor markers, etc. and some watercolor paper.  We've found the Strathmore brand, available at Michaels or Joann's making it inexpensive with a coupon, to work reasonably well for beginners who are still learning about how much water to use (sometimes more, sometimes less!) and how much color to apply.  There's a ton of videos on techniques to watch and educate yourself.  It's a medium that is wonderfully forgiving and very satisfying.  Trust me, I was intimidated for a long time.  I've been freed!  Won't you come join the fun?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let Me Introduce My Dear Apple

This is another Gorjuss girl, Dear Apple, stamp image colored with my Inktense Watercolor pencils.  I purchased a set of 12 pencils (inexpensive investment at Amazon) and find that with combining colors I can make most of what I'm looking for.  At least while I'm still such a beginner.

I colored this image while on a work trip recently.  I simply stamped the image with Archival black ink onto watercolor paper before leaving the house and tucked the image, my waterbrush and pencils into the suitcase.

The image coloring is a bit rough because the lighting at night in the hotel room isn't the best.  However, I am really pleased with how pretty she turned out.  Notice the intensity of the red color in her hair ribbons.  This is the same pencil that colored the pink in her dress and socks.  I applied pencil directly on the hair ribbons and used a small amount of water to activate the color.  Also, I scribbled pencil on some palette paper and used a watercolor brush to mix the color with water, allowing me to apply intense color to a very small space, like the hearts on her socks.  I watched this video and used similar techniques throughout my image.

I'm serious folks - you need to give this a try.  If I can do it, anyone can.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Another Flower Gift Set

I think I'm almost done creating card sets with my Altenew Vintage Flowers stamp set.  This set was made similarly to the previous set, using a prepackaged purple notecard set.  Here I used Close to My Heart Sunset dye ink in both the background the foreground.  The twine is olive green, but the picture doesn't capture that well.  All sentiments were made using my SSS Handwritten Borders stamp set and black Archival Ink.

Brilliance Pearlescent Sky Blue pigment ink in the background and
CTMH Moonstruck dye ink in the foreground

Brilliance Pearlescent Purple pigment ink in the background and
VersaMagic Purple Hydrangea pigment ink ink in the foreground

All in all, there are eight cards in this set.  I'll probably break that into two sets of 4 cards as gifts for this Christmas.  As you can tell, I just can't say enough about how great the Altenew stamp set is.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Our Beautiful World - Gather

My Uncle Bobby is on the left with his back to you, grandma Mabel and grandpa Bob are the left most facing you and my father Roger is the one facing you on the right side of the picture. 

Our Beautiful World is at it again this week and I'm just going to have to play along.  This week's word prompt is Gather.  I immediately thought of these photos my mom sent of the 80th Army Division annual reunion.  This group was originally started as a World War II veteran's association meeting.  Over the years, the number of participants have dwindled.  My grandpa, Bob, was one of the youngest to go to war and he is now 91 years old.
Yet, there are a few diehard old men who still show up year after year.  The gathering usually involves a scrumptious meal together, some sort of outing to remember the men who died during the war, and long days of reminiscence in various seating areas around the hotel lobby.  It might seem weird for a granddaughter to enjoy these events, but it is a wonderful time to hear about a side of grandpa he doesn't show often.

The outing this year was to the battelfields in Virginia.  Not a lot of good photos in that batch, so I'm sharing these of their trip into Washington D.C where they climbed the Washington monument.  I love that these national monuments and the White house all have open space where, presumeably, people can gather.

Thanks for sticking wth me tonight and flipping through my photos.   Come join the fun at Our Beautiful World and show us what gathers in your neck of the woods.