Art Journal: Life is Good.

I’ve been having so much fun lately doing ATCs and tags, I haven’t had a moment to do an art journal layout just for me in a while. So yesterday I sat down and decided to just play.

Life is Good.

This layout was inspired by a tag I saw on Pinterest. (And I’ve found the creator! Visit Claudia’s amazing fan page or watch the tutorial on the tag that inspired my art journal layout!) I loved it so much, I wanted to do my own version in an art journal. I took pictures as I went along, so I could show you how I created this fun piece.
I’m using my Moleskin notebook. First I applied a layer of gesso to the top half of the spread. I knew the bottom half would be covered with die cuts, so I didn’t bother with the bottom of the pages.

I then used several gelatos in shades of blue: Elderberry, Cotton Candy, Blueberry and Boysenberry. I applied the gelatos to the page and used a wet baby wipe and my fingers to spread the colors until I was happy with it. I then covered the color with a layer of matte medium to protect it from whatever I wanted to do to the skyline.

I then cut several “sand dunes” using the Lawn Fawn Stitched HIllside Borders.

I then blended on some Distress Oxide inks in Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey and Vintage Photo. I inked the whole die cut because I wasn’t sure of my placement yet.

I fiddled with the placement then glued the dunes onto the page using Ranger’s Multi Matte Medium. I used an alcohol marker to color the edges under the dunes, because I thought there might be a chance some of the background page might show through my wave die cuts.

Next I cut my waves using the Frantic Stamper Frothy Wave Edger die. I inked the die cuts with Distress Oxide Salty Ocean and Peacock Feathers, then flicked some water over the top for the bubbly look.

I had left the tops of the waves white, so I applied some Versamark embossing ink to the wave tops and sprinkled on some White Puff embossing powder. After heat setting, it puffs a little bit, giving it some texture.

I then stamped out some of the images from the Lawn Fawn Life is Good stamp set and also die cut the trees, coconuts and crab from the Lawn Fawn Palm Trees die set. I colored the stamped images with my mishmash set of alcohol markers (I use a combo of Blick, Spectrum Noir and Copics, so my colors wouldn’t be very helpful) and inked the trees with Distress Oxides Vintage Photo and Peeled Paint. I fussy cut the stamped images since I didn’t want the white border around them as my trees and girl wouldn’t have them.

Next, I stamped out one of my Julie Nutting doll stamps, Betsy. I knew her legs would be mostly hidden, so I didn’t bother with her feet. I used a darker piece of the Julie Nutting Skin Tone paper pad to stamp the doll on, then stamped out her swimsuit onto some pretty scraps I had in my stash, and pieced them onto the doll.

I glued down the two back waves, then placed my pieces where I wanted them before gluing them down with matte medium.

Before I glued down the final waves, I spritzed them with a silver shimmer spray to give it a bit of sparkle. I added some stamped birds and my sentiment as the final touches.

Hope you enjoyed a look into this process! Thank you for visiting! ūüôā

ATCs for July 2017

Hello again! July has been such a crazy month for me, I’m amazed I got anything crafty done at all! But I did manage to do some ATC sets and my very first pocket letter! Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to take time to do step-by-step instructions for these, but I hope you will forgive me. My job was so crazy this month, I only had a few precious hours each week to play!

Without further ado, I will feature my July ATCs made for the lovely swap group over on the forums of Scrapbook.com.

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Red, White and Blue

These were my first set of July ATCs, which I have already discussed in detail in my previous blog post. Click here to read about how I made them!

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A Box of Blooms

For the second July theme, Flowers/Blooms, I was at a bit of a loss. I sat down with my container of Memory Box/Poppystamps dies to see if I could be inspired by anything, and came across this small window die complete with flower box. Perfect! (The die set also comes with a shutter, but I couldn’t fit it onto my small card.)

First I took my ATC base and sponged some Pumice Stone Distress Ink onto it. Then I taped it into the Tim Holtz Wood Plank embossing folder inked with a little Hickory Smoke ink. I die cut the window and flower box and stamped a text stamp onto them to give it a weathered look. I chose a piece of green patterned paper for the “wall” and some pink flower paper for the “curtains,” which I die cut using a die by Cottage Cutz. I adhered the wallpaper and curtains and a piece of clear acetate together, but still felt the window needed a little something, so I added a die-cut cat as well.

I popped up the flower box a little using foam squares, then hot glue some small flowers and leaves to the front. A couple of die-cut butterflies completed the card.

 

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Pack Your Bags

The third theme for July was Travel. I had a hard time deciding what to do for this category, but eventually settled on making the cards into small suitcases. I cut some patterned paper down to ATC size then rounded the top two corners. Using some scraps from the same papers, I cut some small triangles to add to the bottom corners and some strips for “straps.” The handles were just cut free-hand. I added a bit of a text stamp for texture. I used a stamp set from Mama Elephant to stamp the little stickers which I then colored with alcohol markers, fussy cut and glued on at random. I also added a compass stamp from the same set as well as a star brad for variety. The word stickers were from my stash.

 

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Just Be.

The final theme for July, Peacocks, was the one I was the most excited about… so much so I did two sets! For the first set, I kept it simple. I have a gorgeous peacock stamp set from Mudra Stamps. I stamped the tail feathers onto the ATC base with Versamark ink, then heat embossed white embossing powder onto the card. I then sponged Distress Inks in various shades of blue, green and purples which brought out the embossed image beautifully. The body of the peacock is a separate stamp from the feathers, so I stamped him onto some scrap cardstock, colored him with alcohol markers and fussy cut him out, as the set does not come with matching dies. I added some Wink of Stella clear brush pen on top for some shimmer. I attached the peacock body to the card base with foam tape, then added a few purples gems here and there onto the tail. Finally, I used a quote sticker from the Tim Holtz Small Talk sticker collection and outlined it with a white gel pen.

 

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Truly Radiant

For my final set of Peacock ATCs, I finally got to use the Hero Arts Color Layering Peacock stamp set that I had been dying to play with, but hadn’t had the chance since I bought it. I cut my ATC bases from a Kaisercraft paper pad, then using the ink cubes that came with the stamp set, I stamped the peacock directly onto the base. Since the peacock stamp was larger than standard ATC size, I decided to use the partial die-cutting technique to cut out only the top of his head. (You can see in the photo where I goofed on one of the peacocks and cut a little too far.) I then glued some sequins onto this tail and stamped the sentiment, “Truly Radiant,” from the stamp set onto the bottom.

 

And so ends another month of ATCs! I’ve already started on August’s topics, and I’ll post my other July projects soon. ‚̧

ATCs for June 2017

I participate in a monthly ATC swap hosted on the forums of Scrapbook.com. Each month, I will be showcasing the cards I have made for the swap, describing products and techniques used to make them.

The four themes for June were Day of the Dead, Medicine, Outdoors/Camping and Nautical. I ended up doing the all the categories, including a second set for the Nautical category.

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The Great Outdoors

I didn’t have any camping-themed supplies, but I did have some great wildlife dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. I used the same techniques I did with my Mother’s Day fairy card, only with the two smallest forest dies instead of using all four. I inked up two panels with Cracked Pistachio and Peeled Paint Distress Oxide inks, flicked some water on them, then die cut the Wildwood and Thicket collage dies from Memory Box. For the back panel, I used Broken China and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides to give a sunrise feeling to the ATCs.

I die cut some Memory Box/Poppystamps animals and plants out of plain white cardstock. Foam tape was used to give the layers some dimension and the animals were glued onto the different panels. To give the cards a finishing touch, I inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

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Let’s Sail Away

For my first set of nauticals, I cut my ATC bases from a piece of paper from Prima’s St. Tropez collection. I distressed the edges with a Tim Holtz distressing tool. I die cut the lighthouse, trees, birds and wave from dies by Memory Box/Poppystamps. The hill is from the Memory Box Country Hills Oval Frame, and just cut the frame off. They were colored with Bundled Sage and Frayed Burlap distress inks.

For the lighthouse, I inked up a text stamp with some grey ink and tilted it diagonally. I shaded one side with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. The wave die comes in two parts. I used Salty Ocean on the base, then spritzed it with a silver shimmer spray. I left the overlay white and just glued it on top. The sentiments were from the same Prima St. Tropez paper collection. I added just a bit of graphite pencil around the sentiments and inside the lighthouse windows. The edges of the cards were inked with Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.

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Explore.

For my second set of nauticals, I inked the ATC base with Tea Dye Distress Ink. I then taped it into a Tim Holtz woodgrain embossing folder and inked one side with brown Archival Ink. That gets ink down in the impressions but not on the rest of the paper.

I die cut the porthole using a die by Cottage Cutz. To give the shaker dimension, I then cut the porthole into craft foam three times per window and glued the layers together. The top paper layer I painted with bronze Distress Paint. The inner part of the window was inked with Antique Linen Distress Ink. I added a piece of acetate between the paper and foam layers for the window.

For the background of the window, I die cut some waves using a Simon Says Stamp wave die and inked it with Salty Ocean and drew waves on with a white gel pen.  I also spritzed it with a clear shimmer spray. The sky was done in Tumbled Glass. I glued a little wooden ship onto the ocean and added some seed beads before attaching the background to the layered porthole.

When I went to attach the porthole to the textured card base, I decided it was getting lost against the background, so I dry brushed a thin layer of white gesso onto the textured background to mute the color a little. I glued on the porthole shaker, a wooden sentiment I’d painted blue and some blue and green flowers to finish.

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A Spoonful of Sugar…

For the medicine-themed card, honestly, all I could think of was that song from Mary Poppins. I had these gorgeous little copper spoons I wanted to use. I squeezed some Sprinkled Sugar Stickles into the spoon and added some clear glass beads. And that was as far as I got for about a week. My first background was… a mess. Oh, they had potential for a different project, but not for this one. I finally ended up stamping a medicine bottle stamp from Lawn Fawn in Fired Brick Distress Ink over a background of Antique Linen. I glued on some Prima flowers and die cut the little label. Because the label was so small, I had my mother write the sentiment. She has such tiny handwriting! I added a piece of sheer ribbon and my problem cards were done.

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R.I.P.

I swear, I didn’t plan to do the Day of the Dead theme. I don’t know much about the holiday, except people call it “Mexican Halloween.” And I know that’s not really what it is. I wish I’d had time to really read up on Day of the Dead traditions.

What happened was… I sat down at my craft desk to tidy up from my weekend crafting. I was putting my Poppystamps tag dies back in their folder when I realized that one of the smaller ones was ATC sized… and kind of looked like a tombstone. So I cut a couple out to play with. I inked the card with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, then taped it into my Tim Holtz stonework embossing folder, inked with Hickory Smoke ink.

I then die cut some grass using a Lawn Fawn die, the R.I.P. letters from an Elizabeth Craft Designs alphabet die into pink glitter paper and some candles using a Cheery Lynn Halloween die set. I had a sheet of sugar skull stickers, so they became the focal point of my tombstones.

After adding the grass and candles, I still felt the cards needed a little something so I dug out some critter dies from Memory Box/Poppystamps. They turned out cuter than I was expecting.

And I never did tidy up my craft desk…

Can’t wait to see what next month’s themes are!

 


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Vintage Tag Swap

On the forum where I trade ATCs, a vintage tag swap was being organized. I had never made a tag before, and wasn’t going to join, but as I was reading the thread, I started to think, “Well, maybe….” And tossed my hat into the ring.

 
I was totally nervous about joining. I had never made a tag before, my style isn’t really “vintage” and I still feel like an untalented newbie when it comes to mixed media. But I’m glad I tried! Tag-making is lots of fun!

I started with a chipboard tag base I bought at Michael’s. Using matte medium, I glued down a piece of paper from Prima’s Rose Quartz collection, then added a piece of lace wide enough to cover the whole tag on top at that, also with matte medium. After letting it dry, I spritzed the lace with just a bit of Cotton Candy Pink starburst spry from Lindy’s. 

After gluing down two more strips of floral lace, I cut some strips of paper from Prima’s Wild & Free collection. I distressed the edges and layered them in the center (though this got mostly covered up). I sprayed a chipboard floral frame from Scrapiniec with a silver glitter spray to make it sparkle. It was then I decided the paper layers I had glued down were too dark, so I put another piece of lace in top. I glued the frame on top, then went to town with some moss and Prima flowers on the other side. 

The bottom of the tag still needed a little something so I fussy cut some feathers from the Prima paper, used a pen to give them a slight curve, and glued them underneath the flowers. I added the big butterfly with hot glue, and a quote sticker from one of the Tim Holtz collections. I still thought it needed a little something, so I die cute some tiny, tiny butterflies using a Memory Box die and added them as well. Added some ribbon at the top and my tag was done!


I really loved it in the end. I didn’t think I would when I first started, but it worked! I really hope my partner liked it as much as I liked the one she made for me! ūüôā

National Scrapbook Day 2017

I was super excited to participate in my first National Scrapbook Day, held this past Saturday, May 6. It’s been just over a year since I started crafting and every day I have new ideas.

I don’t actually scrapbook though. I used to, about 10 years ago, but I have trouble printing photos out so I just never seemed to get to work on pages. But card making and mixed media… that I can do without photos.

I completed three projects on Saturday. I’m only sharing two today, as the third was for my Round Robin art journal group, and I’m planning a large post on my entries when we finish, sometime next month.

The two projects I will be sharing today feature Memory Box dies. I have absolutely fallen in love with this company’s dies and can’t wait to add more to my stash!

Deep Blue

I started by¬†blending three pieces of white cardstock with Distress inks… Tumbled Glass (background), Evergreen Bough (middle) and Peacock Feathers (front). I splashed some water drops onto the cards for the “bubble” effect. Next, I die cut the Evergreen Bough and Peacock Feathers cards with the Memory Box Underwater Collage craft dies.

For the inside composition, I die cut a rock and piece of seaweed from a Cottage Cutz die and a branch from a Tim Holtz die that could pass as underwater foliage. The rock I inked with Vintage Photo Distress ink. For the foliage, I “smooshed” Mustard Seed and Abandoned Coral inks onto my craft mat, spritzed with water, and dragged the die cut through the ink.

I then die cut Memory Box’s Delicate Coral and Swimming Seahorses. I inked the coral with Worn Lipstick. The seahorses were colored with Mustard Seed and Spiced¬†Marmalade. ¬†I used a texture stamp with orange ink for the details on the seahorses. Then it was just a matter of assembly, using foam tape. A couple of water droplet gems were glued on to complete the card.

As Deep as the Ocean

For the next card, I had been dying to use the Memory Box Ocean Swell craft die since I got it. I cut an 8 1/2 by 11″ piece of white cardstock in half, then scored it down the center to create my card base. I taped the die to the front of the card and ran it through my die-cutting machine. This die has intricate little details, so have a craft knife handy to help separate the design so you won’t tear it.

I then took another piece of cardstock and inked it using four shades of blue — Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Broken China and Tumbled Glass. I also sprinkled water over the cardstock when I was done inking. Finally, I sprayed the entire inked panel with a silvery glitter mist. You can’t really see it in the photo, but the blue background absolutely shimmers.

I stamped my sentiment using a stamp from the Ocean Wisdom set from Stampendous in black Archival Ink, then taped in my blue panel to the inside of the card. A few sparkly sequins gave this card the perfect finishing touch.

I’ve just placed an order for some more die by Memory Box, and I can’t wait to try them all out!

More Artist Trading Cards…

I haven’t been feeling too creative lately. Probably just too busy with work and life stuff, as well as working on my Round Robin art journals and taking part in The Daily Marker 30-Day Challenge for November. There just hasn’t been a lot of time to just… play.

I have, however, managed to make several sets of ATCs for various swaps and two¬†sets just for me. Thought I’d do a quick share…

Splatter Trees
Splatter Trees

These are just simple little cards that were stamped with an image of a bare tree, then masked and splattered with different colors of Distress Inks. I also made an autumn-colored tree, but my mother stole it, heh.

Beauty in the Rain
Beauty in the Rain

These were totally inspired by a YouTube tutorial. First I took a watercolor ATC and added Shimmerz sprays to the background. Then I took another ATC and glued on some pages from a Japanese-English dictionary, then added watercolor paints on top. I then cut out raindrop shapes before gluing the two ATCs together. Bead gel was applied to give it a shiny texture and painted chipboard clouds were added. Sequins were the final touch.

Silver Shine
Silver Shine

These were made for the “metallic” category for the November 2016 ATC swap on the Scrapbook.com forums. They were created mostly by layering coordinating Prima papers and stamped with silver ink. Silvery embellishments and flowers were also added. I think they turned out rather well.

A Little Inspiration
A Little Inspiration

These were an experiment. I stamped and heat embossed three watercolor ATCs with white embossing powder. I then added Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays and magicals. The embossed images resisted the color and the effect was so cool. I planned to keep these for myself, but the daughter of a friend liked the pink one so much, I sent it to her. ^_^

Birthday Bling
Birthday Bling

I liked the effect of the previous ATCs so much, I decided to do the same for some birthday-themed ATCs made to be sent with my swap cards for folks in the swap having birthdays this month. The purple one is my favorite.

Christmas Mini Shakers
Christmas Mini Shakers

And finally, my contribution to the Christmas-themed ATCs for the SB.com forum swap. I made mini-shakers! I used a variety of stamps, sequins and bling to create these. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

That’s all for now! Close-ups of all individual cards can be found in my SB.com gallery. My next post will probably be about my latest canvas I made which¬†inadvertently¬†sent me to the emergency room. XD

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

A few art journal pages…

I warned you I’d be playing catch-up! Thought I’d share just a few pages I’d done in my art journal so far…

"Imagine"
“Imagine”

I saw a tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a galaxy using watercolors. (Just search for watercolor galaxy… lots of examples!) I thought it might be something I could do, even though I’d never painted before, so I got a cheap set of watercolor paints from Amazon and this was my first attempt at painting… and I LOVE IT. I don’t know that I could ever do it again, but I’m just amazed I could do something like this to begin with!

"Tomorrow is another day..."
“Tomorrow is another day…”

Next, I thought I’d try a sunset. While it didn’t turn out as well as my galaxy I thought, it’s not to bad. I don’t hate it at any rate. ^_^

For my third page, I wanted to play with some mermaid stamps from The Greeting Farm. My inspiration was a silly television commercial… I don’t even know what product it’s selling, but it’s got a ceramic mermaid talking on her “shellphone.” It makes me chuckle every time I see it, so I thought I’d do a page inspired by it.

"Shellphone"
“Shellphone”

The background is watercolors, then I heat embossed a wave stamp over the top. I didn’t have a die cut machine at this time, so I cut everything out by hand after I colored it in with pencils. The narwhal stamp is from the Lawn Fawn Mermaid For You set.

For my next page, I thought I’d try my hand at collage, using a Tim Holtz ephemera pack I’d picked up along the way. Girls are often not encouraged enough to go into the STEM fields, but every girl has an opportunity to be a Mighty Girl. My nod to Marie Curie.

"Be Mighty."
“Be Mighty.”

My next page was inspired by Marta of Maremi Small Art. I’d watched her “How to Break a Blank Page” tutorial on YouTube which helped me start this one off. I glued down some torn pages from a foreign language dictionary, before covering them with watercolors. I fussy cut some hearts out of scrapbook paper and colored them with gelatos, then put some white distress paint through a stencil. I drew the stitching and patches on the hearts by hand. The finished page turned out better than I’d expected.

"Forever in My Heart"
“Forever in My Heart”

Finally I decided to try my hand at watercolors again. I found another tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a simple cherry blossom scene. While my mountain didn’t turn out very well, I still like the overall result. And I can only get better with practice!

"Travel"
“Travel”

I’ll upload some more pages soon!