Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hey...where ya going?

Meljen's Designs is having a fun challenge this week...bookmarks. I am an avid reader so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use one of my favourite Meljen digis, Kitty Butts. Anyone out there who has cats knows this view. My cats think this is their best side and show it to me all the time!

I coloured the image using my Prismacolor pencils but didn't use OMS because I wanted the colouring to be choppy to look like hair/fur. I rounded the upper corners and mounted the image on black cardstock. That layer was mounted on a yellow checked paper from my scrapbox and then on another layer of black. A grommet was added to the top of the bookmark and ribbon/fibres threaded through.

The sentiments were computer generated. I imagined the book saying these things to me as I was putting it down to play with paper. Seriously, I have the strangest imagination :) The double scallop at the bottom was cut with an MFT die. A black satin ribbon covered the seam and then blingy stars were added.

This bookmark will make me smile when I insert it into the book and again when I open it next time. Gotta love that!

I'm off now to enter it into the Meljen's Designs Challenge.
Thanks for visiting. Tomorrow is Canada Day and my husband's birthday. Double yay!

Life is good; so is art.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Frog Hop

Welcome to StampNPlus Stamp of the Month Blog Hop!!

If  the Stamp N Plus blog sent you over for a visit then you are exactly where you are meant to be. If you just happen to be visiting, then you should head over to StampNPlus for the beginning of this fabulous hop!
This month the Design Team was working with this sweet tree frog stamp. He's so darn those toes! I coloured him and his branch with my Prismacolor pencils, fussy cut him out and mounted him on a piece of black cardstock so he'd show up against the green background. That background is embossed with a bamboo folder and distressed with ink to allow the pattern to pop. Froggy was then mounted on foam tape for dimension. The two sentiments were computer-generated, edges inked and matted on black. Once they were adhered, the green cardstock was layered on more black and then on yellow and white dotted paper. A slim border of the white card was allowed to peek out around the edges. Blingy stars were added to opposite corners to lead the eye through the card.
Now it's time to visit Melissa and check out what she's done with our friend, Froggy.
If you get lost along the hop here is the complete line up:

Bonnie Irvine-
Melissa Pinter-
Kathy Hering-
Tina Keller (Crafty and Green)-
Paulette Akagi-
Cindy Groh-
Julie Ericksen -
Beverly Montez-

Thanks for visiting. So glad you decided to hop with us (including Froggy).

Life is good; so is art.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello Tiger

Tiger lilies are another of my favourite flowers so when I saw this stamp from Stamp N Plus, it was a "must have". They remind me of cottages and summer breezes and living in the country....happy sigh.
I coloured this image with my Prismacolor pencils and fussy cut it out. It was popped up on foam tape and adhered to an embossed piece of black cardstock.

The next layer consisted of an orange and white dot scrap matted with black cardstock. Then I took my handy dandy piercer and punched holes using the dots as a guide so I could embroider a cross-stitch corner. The vintage black button snuggled right into that corner. The image layer was glued over the orange dotty paper and some dollar store letter beads spelled out the message. The white background is the card front which picks up the white negative space in the image.

Simple design...high contrast. Works for me :)
Thanks for visiting. You know that makes me smile!

Life is good; so is art.

Monday, June 25, 2012

AMW ~ Drama Queen

For Week 2 of our Anything Goes/Performing Arts challenge theme at Art With No Boundaries, we are working once again with amazing images of Anna May Wong created by CS Designs. The more I learn about Anna May Wong, the more smitten I become. Anna May was a film actress from the '20s and -30s. She was the first Chinese American actress in Hollywood and because of that, had a difficult trail to blaze. She was known for her superb acting, her beauty, and her sense of style. She was also known for her challenges to the prejudices and restrictions of the times.

This piece tells part of  Anna May's story. The foundation is a bamboo placemat which I combined with paper parasols, Chinese coin charms, and butterflies to represent the Asian roles which were the only ones Anna May was allowed to play. The image of Anna May is coloured with Prismacolor pencils with the exception of her dress. Green metallic watercolour was used on it to create the sheen of fine Asian silk. Paper with Asian symbols was pieced to serves as the background for her image.

Anna May became frustrated with the roles that she was offered in Hollywood so she travelled to Europe to make films and act on stage. The guest ticket with her initials symbolizes that travel. The filmstrip, also from CS Designs and printed on transparency, shows her first love which was film with the number 1 indicating her role as the first Chinese American actress. The black feather represents the glamour of Hollywood and the fashion icon she became.

The drama queen sign is another of Chris' designs for the performing arts package. I wanted it to look like the marquee sign outside of a theatre with the bling imitating the bright lights. Finally, the destiny charm and the key were added because Anna May inserted herself into the film industry at the age of 9 by hanging around movie sets and begging to act. She felt this was her destiny and the key to her happiness. What a remarkable woman and fascinating life story!

 I've really enjoyed learning a little about Anna May Wong. The determination on her face in this image really reflects her attitude in her life. Love it! I really hope you will join our challenge this week at Art With No Boundaries either in the Anything Goes or in the Performing Arts categories. Besides the awesome prizes available, I just love to see where your creativity takes us.
Thanks for visiting. Be sure to check out the rest of the DT's projects. A-MAZ-ing!

Life is good; so is art.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


My art journal called to me again today...and it was much louder than the vacuum or the door which needs staining. Funny how that often happens :)

Today I started with a gessoed page to which I added watercolour paints to start my background, Then the pan pastels came out along with some stencils sitting on my messy desk. Then just 'cuz I could, I spritzed with some spray inks, dabbed some circles in with acrylic paint, and stamped using Distress Ink. When the background was sufficiently messy and still wet, I moved on to the flowers.

The faces for the flower centers are part of a larger montage design from CS Designs called Best Friends. While I love the whole stamp, I'm especially crazy about these faces with the rectangular eyes and bow fun! Anyway, they were coloured with Prismacolor pencils and OMS to blend. I was playing with different skintones to see how certain colours worked together ... experimenting  because it's my art journal. The images were glued to the center of these large paper flowers from my stash. Doodled stems and burlap leaves were added.

Hmmm, now back to the background. The sun was added with yellow pan pastel and a stencil. Tickets from my stash were adhered. The little arrow, bracket, and heart box were from my leftovers box. The sentiment is another digi stamp from CS Designs and the bumbly bees are from a stamp buried on my desk. Next came the doodles and scribbles and scrawls done with my favourite black pens. Finally black ink was generously added to the outside edges. Even though the colours are more subdued than usual for me, these pages made me smile during the making and after so I'm happy.

Hope they make you smile, too. Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you came by.

I'm entering this journal spread in the following challenges:
Crafty Calendar Challenge ~ Flowers in Bloom
Crafty Mess Challenge ~ Use Paint
Pause Dream Enjoy Challenges ~ 3 things
Stampin for the Weekend ~ Show us your style (Funky/artsy)

Hope you get a chance to get inky, painty, messy this weekend.
Life is good; so is art.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Just a note card

When I was prowling through the Resource section at Split Coast Stampers the other day, I found this fun technique called Herringbone which seemed like a great way to use up some of my scraps. I cut a piece of cardstock to size and adhered a piece of mounting adhesive onto it. Then I cut strips about 3/8" wide and layered them onto the page alternating the two patterns. Start with the long strip that divides the rectangle into two diagonal sections. Using the same pattern, divide those two sections, offsetting them slightly and then just fill in the four sections. Seriously easy but follow the link above. Pictures explain it so much better than words.

Next I coloured up this sweet little  Stamp N Plus bird stamp (X818) with my Prismacolor pencils and used a Spellbinders die to cut out the label shape. Because of the busy background, I layered the image label on black cardstock and popped it up on foam tape to make it more noticeable. A few red pearl berries and a music brad were then added.

Finally, the sentiment was computer generated, coloured in with marker, matted, and attached with tiny brads. The herringbone rectangle was glued to black cardstock which was then affixed to the white card. I made a bunch of these  herringbone rectangles using different scraps. They are a time-saving background to have on hand when you need a last minute card but still want it to look special. It seems to look different each time you do it depending on the papers you choose. Besides that, the process is addictive :)

Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate the company.
Life is good; so is art.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be Bold

I declared Playtime yesterday and pulled out my art journal for a two page spread. I knew I wanted to use these two digi stamps from CS Designs: Splash Montage and the Be Bold sentiment. That meant I could go wild with colour...which I did :) (in case you didn't notice  LOL)

The background was spritzed with water and then 5 different colours and brands of spray ink. More ink was sprayed through a couple of templates to create random patterns and more texture. A crackle stamp was inked up in black and applied here and there. The other day in the paint bin, I found a roll of drywall mesh which never quite got put away...oops. Since it was on my desk, I simply had to include some chunks on my page...had to, I say!

The funky Splash Montage image was printed on white cardstock along with the sentiment. Splash was coloured with Prismacolor pencils, mounted on black cardstock to frame, and bordered at the bottom with a hot pink zigzag strip. More of that strip was added to the rest of the pages. The sentiment was torn, inked around the edges, and layered over another black cardstock shape.

Then it seemed time for more stamping: writing on the border, alpha letters to make the sayings. At that point, Splash and I ageed that it was time to pull out the doodle pen and get messy. She always has the best ideas! My final touches were a Neocolor II blue crayon heart which I overpainted with water and lots of black ink around the edges of the pages.

Playtime was declared a huge success since great fun was had by all!

I'm going to enter this spread in the following challenges:
Drunken Stampers Challenge #91 ~ colour challenge

Robyn's Fetish Challenge #112 - Anything Goes

Stamp and Create June Challenge : Bold and bright

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 70 - No Cards, No Tags, or ATCs

Thanks for stopping go and declare your own playtime!
Life is good; so is art!

Monday, June 18, 2012

AWNB Performing Arts Challenge

This fortnight the theme at Art With No Boundaries is Anything Goes with the bonus round being the Performing Arts. We are playing this week with Chris Stern's (CS Designs) gorgeous images of Anna May Wong, a movie star of the '20s and '30s. Anna May was the first Chinese-American movie star and the first Asian-American to become an International star. She was also known as a fashion icon but earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her superb acting.

I started with an old movie reel which my husband kindly sprayed black. Because Anna May has a star on the Walk of Fame, I wanted that reflected in this piece. I embossed some gold metallic cardstock, hand cut stars and mounted them on black. The Anna May digital image was coloured with Prismacolor pencils and blended with OMS. Pearls were added to her hair next to the flowers. I printed the stamp a second time on origami paper in order to paper piece the left side so it looked like fabric.

To balance the digital image and star, and further tell her story, a collage of filmstrips printed on transparency, two cinema tickets, pearl sprays to match her hair decoration, and mulberry flowers were glued to the left side of the reel. Two hat pins and a hand made movie clapper were also added to the collection. I printed the title of one of her famous movies on the clapper to look like chalk. The other two embossed stars were added to create a visual triangle and move the eye around the piece.

This is such a fun theme and a great way to celebrate the careers of some fascinating and talented performers. I hope you will join us in this challenge. I'm really looking forward to where your imagination will take us. Remember to link back to Art With No Boundaries and to include BR (Bonus Round) in your link for the opportunity to win a Performing Arts mini phrase collection.
Thanks for visiting Anna May Wong and me.

Life is good; so is art.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happiness Held; Happiness Shared

Sometimes when I create a card I start with the quote and find an image to go with it. For this card, I did the opposite. I love these sweet little Stamp N Plus fairy flowers (X1345) so I started with the stamp. I just knew the fairies would be fun to colour.

The lacy oval doily was cut using an MFT die and mounted on green cardstock. The flower fairies image was stamped in black and coloured with Prismacolor pencils. A tiny white bow was added to the bottom left of the oval.

The background paper is from DCWV Mariposa Matstack with a pretty border cut from a Memory Box die. It was mounted on the same green cardstock for contrast. Flat back pearl trim was added above the die cut section which meant that the image layer had to be mounted on foam tape to lift it above the pearls.

The sentiment was computer generated, cut using a template, and mounted on the same green cardstock. Foam tape lifted it up to create a shadow behind it. I love the simplicity of this card and how the white doily oval really shows off the image. This is one of those multi-purpose cards that I like to keep on hand for when I need a card in a hurry.

Thanks for visiting! I always appreciate the company.

Life is good; so is art.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Steampunk Saw Blade

For week 2 of our Art With No Boundaries Heavy Metal challenge, using CS Designs Steampunk Collection, I decided to raid my favourite handyman's toolbox again, as well as his workshop wall (Don't tell!). For the foundation of this week's piece, I used an old circular saw blade that was hanging on the wall, saying "Pick Me!"

The blade was painted on the edges with silver and copper acrylic paint to make it look a little more worn. Next a circle was cut out with half made of embossed  black cardstock dry-brushed.with metallic acrylics and the other half of silver metallic paper. To get this to stand out from the background, the circle was matted with plain black cardstock.

The Steampunk Solitaire image was coloured with Prismacolor pencils, using OMS to blend. Silver glitter was  added to the screws and a little nut was added to her eye gauge. Once the black mat was added, she was popped up on foam tape for dimension. The nuts and bolts background was printed on gray cardstock. The heavy metal plate was printed over the background and again on the plain gray so the words could be cut out and layered over the printed plate. That way they showed up clearly. Brads covered the printed screws and the plate was popped up on double layers of foam tape.

I added all sorts of found objects from the toolbox: a wingnut, spring, rusty washers and nuts, and a couple of UFOs (unidentified found objects). The chain wasn't as rusty as I wanted but alcohol ink remedied that.

Come join us in this challenge at Art With No Boundaries, either in the Anything Goes category or in the Heavy Metal Bonus Round where you need to add something metal to your project. If you enter the bonus round, you have a chance to win the awesome Steampunk Phrase cool. Remember to link back to our challenge site. And don't forget our Heavy Metal challenge on Recycle, Re-Purpose & Re-Invent. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the projects that have been entered so far. Show us your metal!

Thanks for visiting. Be sure to check out the other projects by Chris and the rest of the DT. They are amazing!

Life is good; so is art.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Make a change

I came across one of my favourite Maya Angelou quotes and felt a strong urge to use it in an art journal page to remind myself of a very powerful message. It's funny how often I come across a quote just when I need to read it or hear it most. Hmmmm.

I used my Neocolor II crayons for the background and then Distress Inked with a number of Dylusion stencils to create texture. Next I randomly stamped my favourite splotchy stamp to make it messier. A Meljen's Designs digi stamp, Johnny Bird Boots,  was coloured with Prismacolor pencils and a little OMS and then fussy cut. Once he was all glued down, a sun was torn from a scrap of paper from my messy desk.

The quote was written on the computer, coloured in with markers, cut out and mounted on black cardstock. After the words were adhered to the page, out came the doodle pen and the white acrylic paint. Many dots, squiggles, and scribbles later, and my happy little page was complete. What a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I'm going to enter this baby in Meljen's DT challenge of anything goes. JFF!
Thanks for visiting Johnny and me :)

Life is good; so is art.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Be a Star!

I had an urge to art journal again...just for the creative outlet it provides. I used this sweet digi image from CS Designs called Chloe with a string of hearts. I combined that with the wavy striped frame image, also from CS Designs. It made such a cute combination that I know I will use it in a card as well.

I decided to make the image set as large as I could for the journal I had in mind. Then Prismacolor pencils were used to colour both Chloe and the frame. I wanted a little texture in the sky area so I coloured over a texture plate to get the subtle fish scale pattern. Chloe told me that her dress was a little too plain and since she's not one to complain, I took her comment to heart and added some white acrylic dots to her dress and the frame. Some flat back pearls were also added to her stars and shoes, as well as bling to bring out the sparkle in her eyes.

On the background of the rest of the page, I pounced over punchinella with white paint and randomly stamped with a checkerboard border stamp that was sitting on my desk. Then I hand lettered in the sentiment following some curvy lines drawn with my Pitt pen. A shooting star  was drawn in the corner, coloured and some sparkle added to the star, Chloe's wings, and the rays coming from the word light. Such a simple page but it made me happy which is, after all, the point of art journalling :)

I will enter this page in the striped challenge at Dilly Beans Challenge blog because not everyone thinks of adding digis to their art journal pages and I want to show that it's easy and effective.

Thanks for are a star!

Life is good; so is art.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mr. Butterfly's message

I love this butterfly stamp from Stamp N Plus. I wanted to create a fairly realistic looking butterfly so I googled swallowtail butterflies and found an amazing collection of colour combos. I knew Mother Nature would come through for me!

I stamped the large swallowtail butterfly on white cardstock and then coloured the open spaces with my Prismacolor pencils. A little glue was dabbed onto his body and some Stamp N Plus black glitter was added to give him some shine. I love this glitter because it's so fine and sparkly. Some dimensional foam was added to the back of Mr. Butterfly to lift him above the greeting.

For the background, a piece of orange patterned paper (still scrapbox digging!) was scallop punched at the bottom and lined at the top before being added to black matting. The sentiment (which really speaks to me) was written on the computer, traced with a label template, faux stitched, and matted in black.

To complete the visual triangle, some paper flowers and leaves were hot glued to the bottom left corner with some K& Co. bling as their centers. I love the complementary colours of blue and orange together and you know me...bright is good :D

Thanks for dropping by. I hope your days are filled with dancing butterflies.

Life is good; so is art.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Stamp N Plus Black & White Challenge

The Stamp N Plus blog is having a Black & White challenge this month. The idea is to use only those two colours (or non-colours) on your card. You may use stamps from any source although we love it when you use Stamp N Plus stamps :)

My entry for this challenge uses the large drama mask stamp which can be found here. I fussy cut her out and triple matted her with layers of black, white, and black cardstock. Then she was popped up on foam tape and placed in the center of the card.

The background was made with two layers of cardstock cut like a frame. The white you see is the actual card base. Then I used the leftover black to cut the puzzle pieces using a Sizzix die which were glued randomly (yeah, right!) inside the frame. A few pieces overlap the frame to tie it all together.

A checked ribbon bow and a button were fastened to one corner and the computer generated sentiment was Distress Inked and added to the bottom with two little black brads.

This was a fun challenge. I am one of those people who loves black and white but usually has to add a pop of colour somewhere so it really made me think. I hope you decide to play along in our challenge this month. For more details, check out our blog. Be sure and visit the blogs of the other DT members. They've done an awesome job with this theme and it just might inspire you.

Thanks for visiting!

Life is good; so is art.

Monday, June 04, 2012

AWNB Heavy Metal Madness

Our fortnight challenge beginning this week on Art With No Boundaries is Anything Goes with a Bonus Round theme of Heavy Metal, a tribute to the handymen in our lives. The challenge is to add metal to your project. We have used the new Steampunk series of digital stamps from CS Designs which is amazingly cool. Love this theme!

I started with an old frame with chicken wire in the middle. I painted the frame black and layered it up with rusty chain, screws, washers, nuts, and bolts, all of which I scounged from my favourite handyman's toolbox. I even found a few watch parts and a's a treasure trove in there!

The nuts and bolts mini background was sized to fit and printed on kraft cardstock to serve as the background to the focal image. I added a metal plate digi from the collection with a couple of screw brads. More toolbox goodies and a watch charm ( I had to contribute something :D) completed that grouping.

Then came my favourite part: colouring the Metal & Screws digi. I printed it three times because I knew I wanted to add a second face layer popped up on foam tape and a layer for the washer on her face. All sections were coloured with my Prismacolor pencils and a little OMS to blend. Copper brads were added to the design over the printed ones. Finally, the small watch hand on her cheek was traced over with gold metallic pen. The entire image was matted on a layer of faux treated watercolour paper and then embossed black cardstock with foam tape between each layer to add more dimension.

Thank you for visiting. I hope that you check out the other fabulous projects by Chris and the rest of the design team. We would love it if you played along in our Art With No Boundaries challenge. I am always inspired by the creativity and talent of our players. Remember when you enter your project to link back to the challenge website. I can't wait to see what you create.

Life is good; so is art.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Welcome Little One

I needed a baby card to celebrate the birth of my cousin's new granddaughter. I love this sweet image from Meljen's Designs and I wanted to enter their latest embellishment challenge on the MelJen's Designs DT blog so this was a win-win project. The theme this week is pearls.

I coloured this sweet cloud baby digi stamp with my Prismacolor pencils, blending with a little OMS. Then I used a metallic gold pen to trace over the swirls and heart strings. Some diamond Stickles provided just the right amount of shine to show how special this baby is. The edge of the image shape was inked with Red Lipstick Distress Ink and mounted on a Spellbinders diecut shape. Tiny flat back pearls were placed between the cut out circles.

The background papers came from my scrapbox. It's nearly full which is always a boldface reminder to start using that paper first before reaching for a whole piece :) The tiny sentiment stamp came from a baby set of clear idea who manufactured them. That label is popped up on foam dots and inked with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I always keep the inside simple, using leftover bits of paper and embellies from the front of the card.

I will definitely use this image sweet and fun to colour.
Thanks for visiting. I'm off to enter it in the Meljen challenge.

Life is good; so is art.