Sunday, November 19, 2017

Prep Day

I only have access to these alphabet dies for three days, so I am working my tale off in my craft room.   I'll be spending all my time with these dies, so I may or may not have time to visit.  This is a huge undertaking for me, and one I greatly appreciate.

In the background on the right are a few tags.  It is the one and only die I owned.  Not much you can do with a single die.

Then my friend Erika sent me a die that cuts the bird, butterfly, and circles.  I was in hog heaven, although I confess I didn't use them until today.

This entire day was rather fraught with peril.  As you can see, I don't have a lot of room on my craft table.  There are some things I always keep there, like my stapler and 3-hole punch.  

In the basket are a bunch of leather circles that had been cut to make badges.  A friend didn't use them, so gave them to me.  I had to remove the yarn from the leather which took seemingly forever.

The envelopes were very old and also given to me.  They were attached to backer paper that was originally used in a dot matrix printer.  They were fan-folded and on sheets that were tractor fed.  Those of you who had a computer and printer in the 80s will know what I'm talking about.  I had to remove each of the envelopes from their backer paper, then I wrote each letter on both the front and back of each envelope. 

You can see I saved a few of the tractor feeds, and I also painted some paper that I hope to use with the dies.  Prep day may will probably turn into prep night and prep tomorrow, too!

This is Day 19 of AEDM, and I am in the process of prepping some painted papers and using some dies loaned to me.  I really appreciate your visit because it is greatly appreciated.  I promise to try to find time to visit each of you today, too.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to stay warm

I am offering a bit of advice as I join Chris from PearShapedCrafting, this month's host at Art Journal Journey with her theme of 101 Ways to Stay Warm.

I'm also providing a bit of nostalgia with this really lovely drawing I found in a calendar.

My advice for staying warm?   Rake leaves and debris into a pile, then start a bonfire in that pile.

Does the colored baby wipe look familiar?

I was so impressed with how the smoke rose above the flames.

For this two page spread, I began by laying down white and lavender acrylic craft paint using a credit card.  On the right, I laid down the baby wipe, then added the focal image I cut from a calendar.  Computer generated text was swiped with lavender pigment ink, then layered over the rest of the baby wipe.

This is Day 18 of AEDM and I created a two page spread in my Challenges altered book.   I'm also linking to Art Journal Journey.  Hope to see you at both places.   I am most grateful that you visited today.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Homefires Day

Today I'm once again joining Chris from PearShapedCrafting who is this month's host at Art Journal Journey.  Chris wants us to suggest 101 Ways to Stay Warm.   I'm also joining the wonderful ladies at Try it on Tuesday whose theme this fortnight is Home Sweet Home.

I would love to keep these home fires


Doesn't this look like the perfect romantic place to share an intimate dinner, after which the ideal place to sit around the fire pit to stay warm.

If it got too cold, the festive fireplace inside would end the night perfectly.

For this entry, I started with four watercolor crayons for the background.  The computer generated words were also colored using watercolor crayons.   I cut a postcard to look like a photograph and added some washi tape because I thought it needed something more.

This is Day 17 of AEDM.  I also joined Art Journal Journey and Try it on Tuesday with a spread in my Challenges altered book.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I really appreciate it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Second Thursday Tutorial: Easy Backgrounds

I apologize that the second Thursday of the month came around before I realized it, so I was definitely unprepared to create a tutorial.  I was looking for an easy tutorial, but when I couldn't find one, I came up with this one I call "easy backgrounds."  Not sure how easy they are, but they were certainly messy.

From an easy standpoint, these are all the materials you will need.

I'm using distilled water because it's all I use in my art, but I'm sure regular water would work just as well.

Although made by different manufacturers, these are ALL dye re-inkers and kept in the same containers.   Seems I have more dye re-inkers than any other type.

Besides dye re-inkers and distilled water, you will need a craft sheet.  Mine is a bit worse for wear, I fear. 

You will also need some paper.  I used 110 lb card stock and used file folders.  You should use whatever you have on hand, but I don't suggest lightweight paper, like copier/printer paper or thin scrapbook paper.

Once you have placed drops of various colored re-inkers on your craft sheet (I suggest monochromatic, or colors from the same family), spritz with water.

Continue spritzing until some of the colors blend together.

Lay your substrate face down in the mixture of re-inkers and water

You can twist the substrate slightly, or use your hands to spread and pick up all the color.

Lift and enjoy.   I had so much excess water and dye on my page, I grabbed another used file folder and swished the two together.

Then I did the same thing a second time.

You can see the two pages I got from one swipe.

Next it was time to clean all the ink from the craft sheet using a baby wipe (don't confuse these with wet wipes which are more plastic and less cloth).  Unfortunately, it did nothing for my fingers

and some of the ink on the craft sheet.  But don't throw that baby wipe away.  If I'd been thinking, I would have dyed some lace, too.  But hindsight is always 20/20.

I did the same thing using green dye re-inkers.

Unfortunately not all that ink was green.

I got these from those drops of green and turquoise re-inkers.  I keep reading my British friends tell they used a mop-up page, but never really understood what they meant until I mopped up the last of the ink on the sheet of white card stock on the far right in the second row.  Now aren't you glad you saved that baby wipe? 
Although I don't hang out at the Ranger site, I remember reading that distress inks take water well and don't dilute.  After checking all my distress inks, this was the only green or green-ish I owned.

I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this before, but I will reiterate that I sort my inks by TYPE, NOT BRAND.  I have dye re-inkers, pigment re-inkers, chalk re-inkers, distress and vintage re-inkers, specialty re-inkers, and Staz-on re-inkers.  I don't care who made them, just that they are in their correct storage space.  After all, each has its own special use and need. 

For someone who is not known for my stamping abilities, I have a lot of re-inkers.  I use them in techniques like these easy backgrounds, and for dyeing fabric and lace.  I use them in resist dyeing, too.

I admit, I was wasting time because I wanted the other background papers to dry before I continued.  I have very limited space in my main floor craft room, unlike in my basement studio, where I have a large concrete floor space.

When I first saw this page, I was shocked.  I thought the paper had pilled, or broken down due to too much water.  But that was not the case in the other card stock backgrounds I had created, so I decided it must be a by-product of the distress ink.

I got two decent backgrounds and two not so decent.

After I looked at this a bit, I decided it was a bird sitting in an evergreen tree.  Yes, I have a wild imagination.

Thank you for joining me today for my second Thursday tutorial which was a week late.  Once this goes live, you will find it on my Tutorials page under Easy Backgrounds.

This is also Day 16 of AEDM.  I created my monthly tutorial, which I hope you will try.  These can be used as backgrounds in altered books, art journals, cards, postcards, ATCs, scrapbooks, or as embellishments.  The possibilities are endless.