Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Owl of Us

Just playing around with my stamps today.  I have to say I'm rarely happy with the way solid image stamps appear.  I guess that's the reason I started watercoloring images.  However, I do like the way solid images look on patterned paper, so I paired up some Colorbok Friendly Forest stamps with cooridinating patterned paper and look what happened.
I added some acrylic drops for the eyes.  These can be found at Michael's in the floral section in big bags in a variety of colors.  The drops are attached with some Crystal Effects.  I also added some Crystal Effects to the leaves.  This card is very self-explanatory, so I won't go into it much.  There's just a ton of layering.

I hope you all have a wonderful restful Sunday.  I'm off to start my chores:)

Til Next Time,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Embossed Watercoloring Experiment

m Good Morning All,

I hope you're having a lovely Saturday morning.  We have rain here, which is unusual for Northern California.  Usually September is our warmest month, but I have given up trying to predict what kind of weather we will have after the unusually cool summer we just had. 

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to try combining embossing and watercoloring.  This is not a new technique, but I wanted to alter the technique a bit to make it "new".  So here we go....
I started out by stamping my image from the "Morning Soft" stamp set three times and embossing with fine black embossing powder. 

The next step is to watercolor.  I used a waterbrush and my SU re-inkers, starting with a light yellow wash on the background of one of my stamped images.  This will be my base.  It then watercolored three stamped images, starting from the lightest to darkest colors.  Let dry.

The next step is to cut out two of the stamped images.  To do this you want to look at the "depth" of the image; what is the closest the the viewer?  What is the furthest away.  The leaves in my images that are the furtherest from view are going to stay on my base and will not be cute out.  The next level of leaves and flowers will be cut out from the second stamped image, and then the last and closest leaves and flowers will be cut out to form the top layer.  Clear as mud you say?  It will become easier to visualize in the next photo.

Okay, so you see I have my flowers and leaves cut out and ready to attach to the base image.  I used a dark felt marker and went around the cut edges, so there would be no white showing.

The final step is putting it together.  I used a mouse pad and an embossing tool to shape the images from the back to give them more dimension.  I then used some fast-drying glue (or glue dots will work) before attaching the layers to my main image.

And here's the finished card.  I added some patterned paper, gathered ribbon and buttons.  I also added some faux stitching with a black pen to the edge of the image and then mounted it on the card asymmetrically to add more interest. Before I forget, I spritzed the finished layered image with a bit of Smooch Spritz in clear glitter to give a little sparkle and also added some black seed beads to the center of the flowers.  I'm loving seed beads lately. I hope you liked this tutorial and will try this technique soon.

Til Next Time,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Last Frontier

Back of house before remodel

As I might have mentioned, my family and I have been remodling our home for the past....well, you might say 10 years.  We moved into a house built in the early 1950's and it needed a total overhaul, as well as another bedroom. 

I have been an active participant in many of the projects and have learned so many new skills, many I hope to never use again!  For instance, I really, really dislike cutting moulding.  This probably has to do with the fact that I hate to measure, let alone make mitered corners.  I did enjoy tiling and painting wasn't so bad. It has all been a long, tedious process and though it was something I always wanted to do, I would never, ever do it again! Where is this post leading you ask?  Well, now that most of the inside projects have been completed, it's time at long last to attack the yard.  As you know, we've mostly used the backyard for vegetables over the past couple of seasons, but the front yard has really remained an eyesore as long as we've owned this property.  First of all there was that white quartz rock covering most of it, which not only dated the property, but made it dang hard to plant anything. 

Very brave man taking down the tree.

Then, there was a very, very ugly palm tree.  We removed the rock a few years ago and then a few months ago, we removed the palm tree and overgrown shrubs.  I was also lucky enough to have a friend who's husband graciously removed the old cracked walkway (thanks Dean).  Now, we have a clean slate to work with.  We have retaining walls to build and drip irrigation to lay, as well as a little picket fence I think will add a great deal of cottage charm to this place.  Over the coming weeks I want to share the transformation.  We will be doing all the work ourselves, so all you do-it-yourselfers stay tuned. 

On another note, I've had an idea for combining watercoloring with embossing.  I know it's been done before, but I want to see if I can make the technique my own.  Watch for the next post.

Oh, before I forget; I've inherited my daughter's laptop.  That means I'll be able to post more often, but also means some typos and getting used to a flat keyboard, so bear with me. 

Til then, I hope you're all having a great week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blogger Award

Hi Everyone,

I received this wonderful award from my blogger friend, Barbara Diane Ramsey at  Thank you Barbara Diane.  Barbara Diane has stuck with me through thick and thin with my blog. 

I am to list seven things about Christmas and send this award to seven other deserving bloggers.  So here we go.  I love Christmas, always have.  It's more than the gifts and festivities.  Christmas is all about magic and possibilities.

1.  I love the crisp Winter air when searching for the perfect tree.  Of course, this may mean the crisp air at Home Depot while searching the artificial tree aisle.
2.  Christmas cookies made by my brother, sister-in-law, me and whoever will join in.  My brother can make any cookie shape into something weird and amusing.
3.  Seeing the kids light up with anticipation of opening gifts.
4.  Creating the perfect Christmas menu.
5.  Unwrapping all the Christmas ornaments from when my children were young and even some from my father's youth.
6.  Sharing the hoilidays with friends and family.
7.  Packing up all the decorations and starting a new year.

And now for the bloggers:

I hope you check out all these wonderful blogs.

Til next time,

Goodbye Little Garden

I really truly  believe that the Bay Area never really got a summer.  Yes, we've had some warm days, but not a typical summer.  We have now moved into fall, and so with this card, I will officially move into Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Yes, I may even shed a tear or two.

On to brighter news, the recruiter I used to find my job recently gave me celebratory lunch.  It was really fun and filling and I wanted to send her a special thank you.  During lunch we talked of our love for organic vegetables, so I thought "Farm Fresh" would be the perfect stamp set to use for her card.

What do you think?

I used Gamsol and Prisma pencils to color the images.  The paper is from Making Memories.  I originally thought to craft some produce crates to place the labels on, but proved to be beyond me.  Isn't it funny how a card evolves as you work?

Til next time,