Sunday, June 30, 2013

Relax with a Second TH June 2012 Tag

Wow!  Another TH June 2013 tag before the end of June!  Ok ... it took a couple of extra days to finish this tag, but I so wanted to do something special with my favorite dragonfly blueprint stamp.   I particularly loved this dragonfly with its vibrant colors.  That's the great thing about the distress markers.  You can use them to produce a subtle watercolor image or one that pops.

For this tag, I did both.  On the watercolor paper, I tried a "reverse" effect with this image where the image itself has a subtle coloring and the background is more intense.  I used Spun Sugar, Tumbled Glass, and Dusty Concord on the dragonfly wings.  I applied the markers to my craft sheet and used a water brush to apply the ink to the archival stamped dragonfly blueprint.   Mustard Seed was used for the Dragonfly name circle.    I used Worn Lipstick (I just love this color) to outline the dragonfly and Spiced Marmalade as the background color for the watercolor paper.   I flicked some water on the  background of the stamped image and let it sit for a few seconds and then blotted it with a paper towel to remove some of the ink.  Finally,  I used Walnut Stain Distress Ink to edge the watercolor paper.  

This tag took so long because I went through several backgrounds for the dragonfly image.  I finally found one, using a complementary color scheme, to make the image pop.  I started out making almost a rustic painted board effect.  I took a manila tag and painted the entire tag with Broken China Distress Paint.  I applied the paint sparingly  directly to the tag in vertical stripes (going from the top of the tag to the bottom).  I could see the stripes and really liked the effect.  I liked it so much that I think I'll enter it as a second entry into Simon Says Stamp & Show Stripes Challenge.  I dried it with a heat gun immediately.   

To bring out the stripes, I used the paint as a resist and covered the entire tag with Dusty Concord Distress Ink using an ink blending tool.  I really worked the ink into the crevices where the paint was missing or light.   I then took a thick water brush and applied water to the entire tag to diffuse the Dusty Concord ink and blotted with a paper towel (rubbing the dusty concord off of the painted surfaces). 

I used Ranger's Aquamarine archival ink to stamp the tag with flourishes and vines.   I tried doing these images in black ink and it was too harsh.  The archival ink seems to soak into the tag behind the paint.  I highlighted the vines and flourish with a Picket Fence Distress Marker and used a fine waterbrush to dilute the ink to create a "whitewashed" effect for my tag's board texture.  I completed the background tag by stamping the word "Relax" in black archival ink and lightly edged the tag with Pumice Stone Distress Ink.

Because of the intense ink, I decided to use only one embellishment a really cool ribbon.  I saw someone take some of Tim Holtz's remnant rubs and put them on a clear TH Fragment.   I really loved this idea and so I used a white rub-on for this fragment.  On the reverse side, I used Ranger's Adirondack Alcohol Ink in Eggplant.  I then used my Silver Paint Dabber to cover the entire alcohol inked surface and let it dry.  I think the effect is pretty awesome.
And now for the the ribbon ... I've had some Tim Holtz trimmings in my stash for awhile and now found the perfect place to use it.  I colored the tattered rosettes with Worn Lipstick and Spiced Marmalade Distress Stain.  I used a thick waterbrush to dilute and blend the color a little.  Then I dried it with a heat tool (don't get too close though -- I learned the hard way!)

The end result made me smile.  Loved playing with these colors!!    I hope you've had an opportunity to craft something you love this weekend as well.  Enjoy your week and I hope to be back with something new soon.

-- Mary Elizabeth

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Celebrating Independence Day with Tim Holtz ... 2013 Tags

My business trip was very successful.  I returned home on Tuesday just in time to hit the ground running again.  I finally grabbed a couple of hours in my craft room last night.  Yay!!!  Here is my latest project ...

The United States celebrates its Independence Day on July 4th, so I decided to use my Americana star blueprint stamp for my Tim Holtz Tag for June 2013.  At least this tag will actually be posted in June (unlike my last TH tag for 2013).

I used Iced Spruce Distress Ink, Chipped Sapphire Distress Stain and Ranger's Silver Paint Dabber to create the background on my tag.  The background was stamped using black archival ink with a variety of images.  I went over the edges with Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain on a ink blending tool.

After stamping the star with black archival ink on watercolor paper, I tore all four edges of the paper.  The star was colored by putting Fired Brick and Faded Jeans Distress Markers on my craft sheet and using a waterbrush to apply the color to my stamped star.  I then outlined the star with Vintage Photo Distress Marker and diffused the color with my waterbrush.  Faded Jeans and Vintage Photo marker was then applied to the craft mat and sprayed with water using a mini mister.  I dragged all four torn edges through the ink.  I then applied Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Ink directly to my craft mat.  Once again, I sprayed this ink with water.   I picked up the watered-down ink with a stiff bristled paint brush and flicked it on the watercolor paper around the outside of my star.  It gave the image a pretty rustic look.

The watercolor paper was attached to the tag using some large staples and a brad that looks like a screw.  I used my Black Soot Distress Marker to "tarnish" the staples and screw.  I embellished my tag with a ticket that was stamped with "priceless", a rustic striped wooden heart and an star charm.  The striped heart is my nod to this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Stripe Challenge.

I really loved making this tag.  I'm working on another tag using Tim's June tag techniques.   Hope I get to show it to you tomorrow :) 

-- Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vintage Vintage Card

I came up with this idea of grapes out of buttons last week when thinking of something for the "Button" challenge at Simon Says Stamp & Show.  I played around with different techniques over the last week and finally came up with this thank you card.

The card is a piece of cream-colored cardstock.  I stamped it with a sheet music stamp and added a piece of newsprint scrapbook paper that I covered with matte multi-medium mixed with Frayed Burlap Distress Stain.  A piece of canvas-textured scrapbook paper was cut with Tim Holtz's On the Edge Ticket Postage die and grunged to form the background for the grapes.  This piece was laid aside until I made my "button grapes" .

To make the grapes I started with a piece of Ranger Gloss Paper and that I covered with a combination of Sail Boat Blue, Cranberry, and Eggplant alcohol inks.  I cut the paper with Sizzix Buttons #5 die.  The buttons were stamped with a variety of vintage images in Tsukineko Brilliance - Archival Pigment Ink in Moonlight White.  I added shading and highlights with Picket Fence and Black Soot Distress Markers.  After laying out the buttons in the "grape pattern" that I wanted on top of the Postage-edged background, I took a picture of it my phone and used that as my template for sewing the buttons onto the paper with embroidery floss. 

 I took a 6 x 6 piece of paper from a scrap pack and freehand sketched my grape leaf.  After cutting out my leaf, I used Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo Distress ink to go around the edges.  The leaf also got a coating of matte multi-medium and Frayed Burlap stain.  The leaf veining was drawn on with Vintage Photo Distress Marker.  The leaf was added with tape runner and a couple of foam adhesive squares.

I finished my card with a "Thanks A Bunch" sentiment.  

I'm so glad I finished this card.  I really enjoyed working on this project.  I think I'll submit it to Country View Crafts' Die Cut challenge.  Now it's time to call it a night and pack for a business trip that begins tomorrow.  Have a great weekend.  

Until next week -- Mary Elizabeth.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Artist Found

Over the last few weeks I have really started to started to feel like an artist ... someone who uses various mediums and materials to creatively express the feelings and ideas in their soul.  Before, I felt like I was just trying to create pretty images and learn how to use various products.  I'm still doing that (my goodness ... you should see my "trial" piles that are overrunning every surface in my craftroom), except now it seems to be attached to something deeper inside of me ... art as an expression of me.  As I look back over what I have written, the words don't seem to convey exactly this change in perspective.  Alas, they will have to do for now.  So on with today's project ...

In celebration of this new perspective, I've created a my "Artist Found" tag.  I am submitting it to this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Button Challenge since one of my favorite buttons (bought on clearance years ago and hoarded for a special project) seemed to be a perfect match with the rustic feel of a new background I was experimenting with.

I started by using Barn Door Distress Stain to cover my tag.  After it dried, I used a thin layer of Delta Texture Magic Dimensional Paint in Golden Pear over The Crafter's Workshop Mini Chicken Wired Template to create the hexagonal pattern on the background.  I used a stiff bristle brush to create striation textured in the thin layer of paint. On my craft mat, I mixed Claudine Hellmuth's Glossy Multi-Medium (love this stuff!) with some Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Ink that I had applied directly to mat.  I went over the entire tag with this to highlight the texture of the paint and give it a grungy feel.  I used sandpaper to roughen up the edges of the tag.  Walnut Stain and Vintage Ink were added to the edges with an ink blending tool.  Finally, I took the fine end of a Black Soot Distress Ink Marker and went back into the fine grooves of the hexagon pattern to give them a little more dimensionality (blending the ink with a fine paint brush and a tiny bit of water).  

I stamped the word "ARTIST" in black archival ink and added some teardrop black gems in a circular pattern around the end of the word.  I wanted a little more black to link to the Tim Holtz Remnant Rub "FOUND" that was rubbed on at the bottom of the tag. So I mixed some Black Soot Distress Marker and Ranger's Glossy Accents on my craft mat and added it in a teardrop and dot pattern with the eye-end of a small yarn needle (it was handy) leading out from the word "ARTIST."  Below "FOUND" I added this great partial quote "straight inside of my soul" from a Splash of Color Mixed Media {101} sticker set. 

Now I got to add my favorite button.  It has such great texture to it.  I used some Vintage Photo Distress Stain so that the ink would get into all those lovely crevices.  I used a fine paint brush to help distribute the stain and then dried it with a heat tool.  I attached the button with fine black yarn (that's why the yarn needle was handy before :) ).

For the left side of the tag, I embossed two pre-cut grungeboard hearts with Tim Holtz's Regal Texture Fade.  I colored the hearts with Barn Door Distress Ink.  Then I sandpapered the flourishes and went over them with Black Soot.  I painted the hearts with multi-medium and Barn Door Distress ink mixture and outlined them with a black alcohol ink marker.  (The same treatment was given to a cardboard die cut heart from my stash.  This heart was cut with a craft knife and fit around the button on the right side of the tag).  Foam adhesive squares were used to mount the small grungeboard heart on top of the larger one and also used to attach the stacked hearts to the left side of the tag.

I was thrilled to learn how to add a "patina-look" with Distress Paints to metal embellishments on Tim's April 2013 tag tutorial.  I used that technique here on a TH Ideology Philosophy tag and on a key hole embellishment (I think this is a Spare Parts embellishment).  The tag was then attached to the black fiber ribbon with a cute Spare Parts button brad.  The last detail to be added was a clear key sticker.

The finished product ...

Going back to work after my vacation brought many unexpected issues to deal with and projects that needed to be finished.  This tag slowly emerged into a finished piece during this time.  I loved playing in the paint and going to work with ink on my fingers :) 

I've learned a great deal from this experience.  EVERYONE has an artist inside of them.  We just have to believe it.  A very special thanks to those of you who have been encouraging me to find and believe in the artist in me.

-- Mary Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Late May Tag

Okay ... so I'm a little late with the May 2013 tag.  But this one was so much fun that I had to post it tonight.  I  love Tim Holtz's remnant rubs.  I used Worn Lipstick, Broken China and Mustard Seed Distress Stain to create the backdrop for them on this tag.  The colors reminded me of butterflies, thus the theme.  I used Distress Markers and a water brush to color in my large background stamp.

My favorite thing about the tag though is the Ideology Enamel Tag.  The alcohol inks make fabulous color options.  I'm so glad I took time to finish this tag.

-- Mary Elizabeth

Monday, June 3, 2013

S is for SEA ... sighhhhhh!

It has been some time since my last post.  After almost working myself into exhaustion, I desperately needed to get away from everything and get some rest.  So ... I headed to the sea.  It was marvelous.  I finally got to relax and leave work behind me.  However, I couldn't leave my art behind.  I packed up an emergency craft kit along with my bathing suit and away I went.  What a great life.

My "S" word project for Simon Says Stamp & Show Challenge brought to you by the letter S is something that I have been working on for the last couple of weeks.  When I returned from vacation, I was so surprised to see that my project fit this week's theme.  Wow! 

This project gives you just a taste of how I felt when I left the time constraints, deadlines and burdens of work for sand, sun and sea.  It was as if the stress melted away.  I love my job, but sometimes it can get a little hectic and overwhelming.

I used a little of everything on this project -- so I apologize in advance for this image-heavy post.   I started by creating the "sea" on the right side of the paper.  I used Peacock Feathers Distress Ink on an Ink Blending Tool.  I sprayed the inked foam pad on the tool with water from Mini Mister and applied it to watercolor paper to create a light wash over the entire sea.  Then I applied Peacock Feathers ink directly from the ink pad to the paper to get the concentrated color at the horizon line.  As I got closer to the "beach", I blended in some Broken China Distress Stain with a water brush.  I used Distress Markers in Broken China, Faded Jeans and Picket Fence to create the waves.

If you notice some texture to the waves, I layered on Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and Picket Fence Distress Paint with  Claudine Hellmuth Studio Gloss Multi Medium to try to get help me portray the sense of movement in the water.

I wanted to show how the sea helped to dissolve the stress of work, so I began by writing the word "WORK" with a Perfect Medium Pen on the part of the paper where I wanted my beach.  I then blended Pumice Stone Distress Ink over where I wrote "WORK".  I was a little concerned because I couldn't see what I wrote.  I took my water brush and brushed water over where I knew the letters were.  As the ink began to diffuse with the water, the letters remained because the ink adhered to the medium.  I honestly thought it would be a resist and leave the letters white.  However, I like this much better because it looks like I wrote the word "WORK" in the sand and invited the tide to wash it away.

To keep the transparency of the waves over the word "WORK", I mixed Glossy Accents with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and used a flat paint brush to create the ripples of the tide as it washes over the sand.

Now work has reared its ugly head in my lovely art.  So I needed to way to show with how the piles of paperwork and deadlines (all of which were important and urgent) made me feel.  I started by creating a wash with Black Soot and Bundled Sage Distress Ink, the Ink Blending Tool, and spritzed water on the extreme left edge of the paper. 

I stamped various clock and watch faces by inking the stamps with Distress Markers in Black Soot, Bundled Sage and Broken China.  I used a water brush and Mini Mister to let some of the ink wick away from some of the stamped images.

The specter of Time was such a big issue over the last couple of months in my life; so, I wanted it to have a bigger part in the design.  I recently bought Tim Holtz's Weathered Clock die (on clearance!).  I used it to make a cardstock "mask".  I used my blending tool to blend Black Soot and Bundled Sage over the mask and my stamped clock faces.  I used a Black Soot Distress Marker to outline the weathered clock image and added three spinners (one of which was colored with a red alcohol ink marker).  Three hands on the clock instead of two helped me show how crazy Time was for me.

 I added some torn paper and a grunged Kraft Glassine envelope to the left side to complete the "evil" work side of the project.

I then used misted water and a water brush to started blending the Black Soot, Bundled Sage and Peacock Feathers ink and allowing ink to drip from right to left and back again.  I dried the drips with a heat tool.  Distress Ink is so incredible for this kind of effect on watercolor paper!

Now back to the "sea"-side!  I thought it was somewhat ironic to use a torn Kraft Glassine envelope and Spare Parts tape with print on it to create the rest of the "beach" for my sea.  I again used Glossy Accents and Peacock Feathers and Picket Fence Distress Ink to create the translucent waves effect.  I "overdried" the Glossy Accents with a heat tool to give it some bubbles for the sea foam.

 The entire "Sea" was then covered with Gloss Multi Medium.  It gave all of the "water" a glossy sheen.  I added some seashells that I had collected on my daily beach walks.  Heidi Grace "Ghost" letters were used to make the word "SEA".  I colored the letters with a turquoise alcohol ink marker and "glued" them to the sea with Glossy Accents.  I then used a Faded Jeans Distress Marker to add shadowing to the letters.

I waited until the end to do the sky.  I wanted to use a clock face background stamp to continue the fading clocks into the sky as well.  To make sure they faded out into the whispy cirrus clouds of the sky, I first painted the sky in places with Picket Fence Distress Paint and dried it with a heat tool.  I inked part of my clock face background stamp with Broken China Distress Stain and stamped it over the distress paint.  I washed over it with a water brush and dried the washed out images with a heat tool. 

I used my blending tool wash technique to add more Peacock Feathers over the sky and used  Broken China Distress Marker to stamp the word "escape".  I washed over this with a water brush and dried the word.  It was too light, so I used Faded Jeans to stamp the word "escape" again over the Broken China "shadow" image.

Whew!   That was some blog to come back to after weeks of being off the map.  I guess you can see that I really enjoyed my vacation and my art therapy :)

-- Mary Elizabeth