Monday, November 25, 2013

Elf on the Shelf in an Ornie, Oh My!

Can you believe it!  Two days in a row that I am here posting!  Another ornament to share.  This one is my interpretation of "Elf on the Shelf" and is vinyl layered on a transparency film circle.  He is layered on both the front and back of the transparency so that he is visible from any direction.  The topper is my first attempt at korker ribbons.  There are lots of YouTube vids out there and I found them helpful when I finally was ready to try it.  I couldn't wait to see how they would curl after baking...doesn't take much these days to make me happy.  All this, of course took place at 2 a.m.  But I just couldn't go to bed without finishing the topper for my ornie!  Like a kid with a new

This was actually quite challenging for me in that this little guy had at least 6 layers of vinyl.  I'm not even going to tell you about the itty bitty eyes...let's just say I was thankful for the heavy duty magnifier I have on my  This may be a one-of-a-kind ornie because MY eyes can't handle much more of the "miniature" pieces.

Let's make this a great week!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Snowmen and Gingerbread Men

Just a short post to share a few things I've been working on for the holiday season, which is now upon us!  I can't believe it is November already!  It's time to get in gear and start making a few things in preparation for the season.

Every project, so far, has been created with the help of my Silhouette Cameo, which I just adore.  I could play with this machine all day long (and admittedly, sometimes I  I have actually become a little more experienced with it to the point where I am now trying my hand at making my own files.  It is very satisfying to see an image on my computer screen become reality whether it be on an ornament, plate, glass block, or in the form of cards.

I was so tickled when I designed my little snowman in Silhouette DE.  He just makes me smile, especially since  he is sticking his tongue out trying to catch a snowflake or two.  It reminds me of the first year I moved to MD.  Born and raised in So. Calif.,moving east was a big culture shock for me.  That first year we had a big snow storm here in MD.  It was so exciting--and a first for me.  I watched as the snow fell.  There was a calm; a peacefulness that fell over our neighborhood. I wanted to touch it and experience my first snow so I stepped outside and stuck my hand out to catch the snowflakes.    A blanket of white glittery fluff was everywhere!  It was beautiful.  That is a moment in my life I will always treasure.  Now my snowman ornie will remind me too.  Isn't he a cutie?

The snowflakes are not my file.  I actually purchased that file from the Silhouette store.  I created the ornie by layered the vinyl on a transparency film round shape, rolled it up, and inserted it inside the ornament.  I added some Diamond Dust for snow.  On the outside, I adhered the snowflakes, added some marabou boa trim and I was done.

Using the same snowman file, I etched a glass block.  I cut my image with the Silhouette on contact paper, removed the extraneous pieces, and transferred the vinyl to the glass block.  Using an air eraser and air eraser compound, I etched the image on the block.  I am very happy with the results.  I added a string of mini lights inside, a bow, and stood back to admire.

My last share is a Gingerbread Baker....again, it is a file I created in DE.  I found this plate at IKEA for .99 cents and decided I couldn't pass it up.  It was the perfect surface for etching and so out dame the air eraser again.  The results surpassed my expectations and I think it would be a fabulous way to present homemade goodies or cookies!  An apron would be cute too!

Well, that's it for now.  Til next time!

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Couple of Canvases

This morning as I read friends' blogs, I realized I hadn't done anything with my own in some time.  So, here I am to share a couple of canvases I've worked on recently.  The first is of my granddaughter, Mia.  I kept the canvas pretty light but somehow managed to grunge it up lots!  Lots of flowers (wrong kind, I might add), metal bits, mists, stenciled gesso, lace, and even some eggshells.  The eggshells were a mistake, in hindsight, but I had to try.  That's the thing with jumping in without a don't know what will work and what won't until AFTER the fact.  I tried to minimize the eggshells by placing a rhinestone blingy flourish over it....think I drew more attention to it  Oh, well.  The flowers were not conducive to painting since they were manufactured with big chunks of "glitter" on the petals.  It made it quite difficult to paint and the stamens? in the center of the flowers made in that much more difficult.  Next time I'll use smooth, plain flowers.  Overall, I do like the shabby sort of look I ended up's a cross between shabby meets grunge feel.

My next canvas I am actually teaching at my LSS in a few weeks.  I used Silks Glazes for almost all the color.  I started out with some leaves from my yard, adhering them to the canvas with heavy gel medium.  Once they were dry, I gesso'd the entire canvas, and then gesso'd with stencils, stamped, and added some drywall tape as well.  I then applied the Silks over the entire canvas using Emperor's Gold, Olive Green, Ginger Peach, and Pomegranate.  They have a wonderful rich shimmer to them.  I kept the area where the leaves are darker.  The arch I created by making my own stencil on my Silhouette Cameo.  I added gesso with this stencil at the same time I did my other stenciling.  The leaves I created with a Stampendous Jumbo Leaves stamp.  I embossed with copper powder, and painted with Silks Glazes.  The twig is from Michael's and the acorns from my stash.  I added a ribbon to hang my canvas.  I was amazed at where my efforts and the techniques guided me but I like it!  Definitely has a richness to it.  Sorry for the bad pic.

When I set out to create these canvases, I thought I should start small so I made this tiny little 4x4 canvas to sort of get my feet

My background started out with bits of scrapbook papers with some stencils using molding paste, gelatos, and stamping.  I added some embossing powder and added Frantage elements over it.  Because Frantage is chunkier and does not melt, I needed the embossing powder as an "adhesive".  The bird was an image from the Internet that I printed out in grayscale and colored over with gelatos.  I then took some black Gelato and darkened around the bird and the word.  Finally, I put a tiny black bead for the birds eye and painted the edges of my canvas blue.  I love how he turned out!

So, that's it for me.  I've got to come up with two card designs for Demo Day at my LSS and so far I'm drawing a blank.  Demo Day is Oct 19 pressure!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cant Put the Vinyl Down

I continue to enjoy the vinyl process.  I'm afraid soon I'll have vinyl on everything!  Although I enjoy the results very much, the weeding (removing all the tiny unnecessary bits) leaves a lot to be desired.  I soon discovered it's not my favorite part of the process.  Small items really challenge my eyesight and it doesn't help when I choose to work with black....yikes!  Sometimes (almost I have to recruit hubby for this part.  He has lots more patience than I do and his sight is certainly much better than mine.

I spent time trying to come up with a little design for a coffee mug.  The idea of a "prescription" came to mind and after much debating, procrastinating and making it much to do about nothing (which is my MO), I finally cut it out, layered the various colors and applied to the mug.  First take was not pretty...I curved the decal way to wide and had to redo it.  This is my second and final take:

I'm working on a 20oz tumbler as a gift for someone.  This has to be the most challenging to date, for me.  It involves tracing a photo and translating it into vinyl.  I'll share after I give her the gift.

This Saturday is Demo Day at my LSS and I have to prep 100 kits...needless to say, I am still prepping.  I love the card we'll be doing at my table BUT what was I thinking?!!  My Grand Calibur is smokin' and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight yet :(  And I have a quilt that just needs binding calling me upstairs but there it sits until I can finish these kits.  Oh well.  The sooner I get off this computer, the quicker I can finish.

Til next time!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

All Things "V" -- Vinyl and Vellum

I have been having a blast discovering new types of media to cut with my Silhouette.  I have recently discovered the wonderful world of vinyl and although I am a total newbie to this medium, I love it.  I have seen fabulous projects from Wall Art, Subway Art, to tumblers, and beautiful home décor.  The Silhouette Cameo is definitely not just for cutting paper!

I found a really inexpensive cutting board at Wal-Mart for 99 cents for my first attempt at vinyl.  There was a free file on the Facebook group I belong to for a split kitchen utensils pattern.  I have o say, vinyl cuts like butter on my little Sil.  Weeding, which is the process of removing all the little unwanted bits around my design, was definitely time comsuming and patience goes a long way on this  I adhered my vinyl underneath the cutting board so as to be able to see it from the front and thus also making it functional and not just a wall décor.  Air bubbles are the only things one has to be careful of.  It was fun, quick and definitely inspired me to continue my exploration of vinyl.

Below is my finished cutting board:

I also made a home décor piece using a the Regal font (free online) and splitting it to create a space for our last name.  Although not perfect (not aligned straight), I am pleased and with my next one I've figured out how to make sure the image is straight.

Moving on to paper, I recently saw a video demonstrating how to create beautiful butterflies with patterned vellum by "F Fundamentals".  My vellum has a beautiful damask pattern and the finish has a silver color to it.  I used my Adirondack Alcohol Inks to ink the back of the vellum.  It was totally random, and looked rather messy but once I flipped the vellum over, it had a beautiful array of color behind the "silvery" damask pattern.  It was really quite pretty!  Im not sure it will show up in my picture below, but hopefully you can see it:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Quick Share

I created another card which I think I will send to my granddaughter, Mia.  She's just the right age to appreciate this cute card.  The card base I designed and cut on the Silhouette Cameo.  It's a simple clam shell cut from off-white cardstock.  It reminds me of the little Polly Pockets my daughter played with as a child.

The stamp set used is Darcie's Oceans of Joy Clear Stamp Set.  I also tried for the first time Frantage Encrusted Jewel Pink and applied it to the bottom half of the clam.  Not sure why I've never tried this product before but I will certainly use it again.  It gives color, texture and loads of shimmer!  I colored the images with Inktense Pencils and as a final touch I applied Donna Salazar's Fairy Dust Glitter with Glue Gloss.  I love the salt shaker container the glitter comes in and the glue gloss was so easy to apply with the handy wand.  Just a couple of swipes for full coverage on my images and a light sprinkle or two and I was done.  No glue on my hands! 

Ta-da!!  Here is my card:

That's all for today!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Gettin' Inky...with Pencils!

Today, I've been playing with a new box of, not crayons........pencils!  I purchased a set of Derwent Inktense Pencils recently and cracked the box open to play.  From my understanding, these pencils are unique in that they are actually pigment ink and are water activated.  They go on vibrant and once dry, they are permanent just like ink.  I used a small brush to apply and preferred it over using a "water brush" (mine releases too much water).  I found I had better control with the regular brush.

I am currently working on another card and although I'm not anywhere near finished, I did use my new Inktense pencils to color the floral stamped image (JustRite Seeds of Summer) that I am using.  Note to self:  do NOT use Memento ink for this technique.  It runs!  After restamping with Ranger Archival, I was very pleased with the results considering I'm not sure what I'm  I did watch a video over at Mama Dini's which was very helpful.

Below, you can see my little flower.  I initially thought I would glitter it up a bit, but I think I used too much glue and I wasn't happy with it.  Maybe I will leave if off on the final card.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Latest Card & Catching Up

Lots has happened since I last posted.  Had some health issues which eventually landed me in the hospital.  Thankfully, after some fluids and med adjustments doing much better.  Also had some issues with my neck.  An MRI revealed that I have a herniated C6 and bulging C5 and C7 discs.   That led to my quitting my part-time job at the quilt shop.  After 8 weeks of resting, my neck is doing better and the tingling and pain in my right arm has subsided.    Rather than have surgery, I am opting for therapy at this time.  I will exhaust all other avenues before surgery.

In January of this year, we lost my Dad.  He had suffered a major stroke approx. several years back and slowly deteriorated over time.  A few days before his passing, he went unconscious and never woke up.  I made it there before he passed away and for that I am thankful.  I can only hope he knew I was there with him.  Still hasn't really sunk in.  My mom says she hates being home because everywhere she turns, there are reminders of him and she finds it very upsetting.  Wish she would consider coming out to stay with me but I think she would miss the rest of the family and her friends.  Only time can heal our broken hearts.

On the crafting front, I continue with my cardmaking.  My latest card is an homage to the Chesapeake Bay.  I designed and created a heron and cattail frame on my Silhouette Cameo.  Love my Cameo!  The bridge is a die by Memory Box and the ocean/sailboat stamp is by Sweet 'n Sassy.  I did cut a sailboat from black cardstock and popped it with foam tape over the stamped sailboat for a 3D effect.  In the top left hand corner I think I will stamp a small sentiment.  The water was lightly covered with Star Dust Stickles to give the water a sparkle.

Here's my card:
I recently took a class with Dyan Reaveley (she's one of my fav artists out there!) and had the time of my life.  There were so many techniques we learned and she is just a hoot!  Spent the day immersed in Dylusions Sprays, stencils, journaling, and fussy cutting images from really cool mags, some which I had never heard of!  I especially like and have begun purchasing W Magazine.  It has some of the best images for collaging.  Once home, I was hesitant to create my first "real" art piece but after watching the news about all the lives lost at Sandy Hook, I picked up my journal and created this:

I journaled around the edges of the floating woman, incorporated some gesso (the seaweed), stenciling (the bubbles) and my backround was sprayed with Dylusions sprays.  My lettering needs some work but it's finished!

In August, I will be taking another workshop, this time with Anna Dabrowska (Finnabair in blogland).  I have always admired her work so when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it!  In fact, she inspired me to create a layout using her technique for a challenge my LSS was hosting.  The rules were that we could do anything, but it had to include the puzzle piece given to us.  I decided it was the perfect time to try my hand at Anna's technique.  I must admit I was really worried of going "too far" so I held back.  This is my piece:

It was so much fun to create.  I think I included everything but the kitchen sink, as they  The pic is that of my granddaughter, Mia.

The fun will really begin when I go learn from the master, herself!  Can't wait.