Sunday, April 9, 2017

Something New and Different


I see that my last post was almost a year ago and I can't believe I have let so much time pass, but in fairness to myself - and I know it sounds like a cliché - since I started working part time at World Market I find myself so tired when I get home I feel fortunate if I can run my errands and do housecleaning.  Still, I have managed to find time for some art time, whether it's making cards or mixed media art, my new passion.  I have long admired this art medium and have always wanted to try it but had no clue how to start.  Seeing words like gesso, gels, paints and waxes just intimidated me, but in February of this year Anna Dabrowska - better known as Finnabair - announced on her blog that effective March 1st she was going to offer her first online course.  I am sure I was not the only one delighted with this news!  Finnabair is extremely well known and travels all around the world teaching classes and workshops.  Her first course is called "Imagine", based on an iconic piece she has done variations of in the past. 

I must have watched each sectional video at least twice before attempting my first efforts.  Since I took my time, the canvas took me days to complete, but I confess I was pleased with how it looked.  There is always room for improvement of course, but for a first time I think it looks fine.  I posted a photo on Facebook and I was very surprised with all the positive feedback! I was and am truly flattered.  I feel confident not to try more projects, one of which will be an altered bottle...I have seen some spectacular bottles online, especially on Pinterest.  I have been busy taking notes of tutorials I have watched, so I have some ideas for my next project.

For those of you that are curious about mixed media art, you can get more information by clicking on the Finnabair link on this page. Anna's blog is wonderful and informative.  Do not be afraid to try this art medium as Anna is an excellent instructor and even makes it easy and fun.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Bird Crazy

Hello everyone.... I can't believe so much time has passed and I haven't updated my blog... I have certainly been coloring the last six months and I have no excuse but that the time has once again gotten away from me.  Anyway, I am back to showcase these wonderful and kooky little birds designed by Tim Holtz and made by Stampers Anonymous.  There are six different birds in all sizes and moods, and the best thing is that there is a matching die set so one can cut them out (this is especially useful since it would be difficult to fussy cut the legs!
I colored the birds with Copic markers in various complementing colors, using mostly blue-greens and yellow-greens.  I wanted to keep the cards simple to keep the focus on the sentiment.   
I used the Tim Holtz stencils in different colors for the background, then stamping the sentiment over this.  Some of the sentiments are also by Tim Holtz, but some others are not. For this I went with my instincts as far as matching the birds with the quote. 
Although Tim Holtz also designed a stamp set full of accessories (hats, neckties, etc), I do not have this so had to improvise.  Most of the clown hats are from K & Company, and the crowns are from a die set called Regal Crowns by Poppy Stamps.  For the crowns I used gold glitter cardstock. 
My aim in making these cards was to create simple but meaningful cards that can be used for any occasion.  The inside of the cards I purposely left blank so a sentiment can later be stamped.
What I find interesting about these little birds are the expressions... some look kooky and funny, but a couple - like the little round bird pictured above - look sad and pensive. 
In the near future I plan to color the Crazy Cats - also designed by Tim Holtz - and will also use them for cards.  Like the birds, the cats also have a matching die set.  The accessories made for the birds can also be used for the cats.
The above card is the only one I made using two birds, and this is because by this time I was running out of sentiments.  I decided to color them differently from the others.  This is strictly a funny card as you can see!  I hope you like my Bird Crazy cards and the possibilities are endless, so give them a try and have fun! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Recreating Christmas Past


This past January when I took down the Christmas cards I had received, some were so lovely that I could not throw them out. I decided to save all the store bought cards I really liked to recycle them into new Christmas cards this year.  Not only is this a excellent idea, but a way of rechanneling your creativity.  I've only posted a few cards here, but I made several using the front of old Christmas cards.  I feel like I have saved in some way a bit of a beloved Christmas past.

The card above is one I made for my mother, as she loves birds.  I had a card with a cardinal on the front and felt it would be perfect for a brand new Christmas card.  I am pleased with how it came out and my mother loved it!

I was able to make two different cards from a rectangular Christmas winter I made square using the central image of the old card, and I had enough left over to make a smaller card, decorated with gold embossing on the side.  I think both cards look charming and each is different in spite of originally being from one image.
Card #1
Card #2

It is true that one can practically make a card from any materials and you are only limited by your imagination.  For the past few years I have been saving dimensional holiday tags, as I felt they were just too lovely to throw out... This year with the aid of embossing folders and mirror foil cardstock, I was able to produce some elegant and somewhat ornate looking cards. Take a look and judge for yourself....

I hope you like what I have created and I hope I have inspired you to save and recycle old Christmas cards... saving something from Christmas Past can make a beautiful Christmas Present!

Happy Christmas to all and I wish you all a creative new year!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hooray for Halloween!


Hello everyone, and Happy Halloween to one and all!  This year I made more Halloween cards than at any other time in the past....I sent them all out except for two that will be on next year's list.  I made a variety of different styles this year, just went with whatever mood I was in.

The card above is the first one I made, this one for my sister.  The witch is a design by Rick St Dennis, new for this year, and as soon as I saw her I knew she would be featured in a Halloween card. I used the new Odd Curiosities collection from Graphic 45.  I added the glasses as a final touch, and this is from a die set by Impression Obsession.  The card below is a variation, and this one I gave to my mother.

Mama Mumba Voodoo Woman is another Rick St Dennis design, and I used her in a fold out card made to look like a botanica, a type of herbal shop found in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. I look at Mama Mumba as a curandera, Spanish for healer.

The following cards were all made using the Steampunk Spells papers from Graphic 45.  This collection is a couple of years old, but still very popular for making Halloween cards.

For these two cards I used the Tim Holtz Halloween Shadows die showing several children in costumes.
The last card is perhaps the most special and came about from an idea that had been in my mind for a long time... I am a big fan of Lavinia Stamps and love Tracey Dutton's silhouette stamp designs of all things faerie and magical.  For this one, I used mostly Lavinia stamps, although the witch is from  Cherry Pie Stamps.  The cat stencil is from Sweet Poppy, but designed by Tracey Dutton.  I wanted to show a cat on Halloween night calmly watching another cat on a broomstick, behind a witch.  I am delighted to say that Tracey liked this card very much and posted it on her Facebook  page.  I gave this to my sister, as the cat on the fence represents her cat Pascualina.

I wish everyone a Happy Halloween and beware of things that go bump n the night!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stylish Stencils


It's been some time since I last posted, and I so much wish I was more consistent, but I guess better late than never.... I recently posted on Facebook that I temporarily set aside my Copic coloring to explore other mediums of making cards.  I've had stencils for a while, but never really sat down and played around, but this time I got serious and discovered a while new creative outlet.  I was in Puerto Rico in May visiting my family, and since I had brought several stencils for my sister, this is when we really fiddled around and we came out with several interesting images. 

First of all, there are stencils made by several manufacturers, and just about every time I turn around, I discover more stencils and in such a variety. Like many of you, I was mostly familiar with Tim Holtz stencils, along with those by The Crafters Workshop (TCW).  However, I recently came across stencils by mixed media artist Andy Skinner, and these are fabulous.  Christy Tomlinson, Prima, and My Favorite Things are other brands, but I know there are many more out there, so if any of you know of other companies, please let me know, as I'm always looking for new designs.

I've literally been on a roll the last two weeks making cards using stencils and a little magic (what I like to call my personal touch LOL!). 

The stencil used for the card below is Wildflower by Tim Holtz, and it's such a versatile design, that I made two cards using two different color schemes.  Since I personally believe every living thing has a soul, I added the face stamp giving the image a look as if the flowers had come to life.  The cool colors on the first card gives the image a subdued look, while the warm colors give off happy positive vibes.

The stencil I used for the cards below is another Tim Holtz design, called Flourish, and I decided to go with a Fashionista look, adding vintage silhouette stamps of ladies from the 1920's and 1930's.


The card shown at the top is special for me, as it evokes the 1960's Go-Go years of the Mod Era. I was 13 years old and I loved everything about this time, especially the fashions and the music.  I used Tim Holtz' Rays stencil, and the dancer is a stencil by Andy Skinner, oddly titled Hippy Chic.  The sentiment is from a stamp set by Hampton Art, and one of the best investments I have made, as they are so diverse and fit in with almost any card design. 

The Hippy Chic set comes with two stencils, and I used it for this second Mod Era card.  Actually, looking at it carefully, the model looks more from the 1980's because of her Jennifer Beals look from the movie Flashdance.  The background stencil is called Cubist, and is from TCW.

For this card I used the same Hippy Chic stencil from the card at the top, but changed the background by using the Tim Holtz design called Stripes, and of course using different colors.  I love these stencils and they can be used in so many ways.

Last but not least, I just had to try out this Palm Tree stencil from TCW.... the stencil also has a cutout of a sun, but I masked this as I did not want it to show.  This is a perfect "hello, wish you were here" card LOL!

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my cards, and I hope I have inspired some of you to try using stencils to make cards... all I can say is that this is the way to go is you don't have too much time, but still want a card with pizazz! 

Until next time.....

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Delancy Street


Hello everyone!
I have great rendition of Delancy Street - a 2015 design by Rick St Dennis - was selected as Pick of the Week (POTW) for the week of May 3rd 2015!  I cannot express my surprise and delight, and more because Rick himself nominated me, so I am very touched, as you can imagine.

There are many fantastic artists out there, including Rick, but he is my favorite because of his diversity and originality.  He is also a very nice person and I hope one day we will meet.

Delancy Street was brought to life because my sister Anabel asked me for a "Rick lady".  Last year I made a birthday card for her using Adrianna, a fabulous design by Rick.  Adrianna was the very first RSD image I colored specifically for a card, so this holds a special place in Anabel's heart and also in mine.  In short, she had framed this card and wanted a companion piece.  I had already planned to color Delancy Street, so I used colors to complement Adrianna.  Below is how the image looked before incorporating it into the card you see above.       

I want to thank everyone who voted for Delancy Street as POTW... you made my week!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tropical Enchantment


A few days ago I colored a fabulous new design by Rick St Dennis, called Pearly Shells. This was an image I knew that was begging for a card, so following the coloring, I began designing with Pearly Shells as the focus. The design reminded me of a tropical south seas theme, and with this in mind I started with the background. The cardstock I used is from a DCWV paper pack called Endless Summer that I bought on clearance last year at Michael's. I decided to make this an easel card, with the intention of making this a display piece.

In keeping with the tropical theme, I added embellishments, such as different size pearls and shells. To one side I added gold netting to add a touch of enchantment.  The last touch was the sentiment, and as many as I have acquired over the years, I felt "Embrace the Goddess Within" was perfect. I hope you feel the same.....
                                                  Pearly Shells before she became a card!