Saturday, September 9, 2017

Total Eclipse

I was lucky enough to be able to experience the eclipse last month in the band of totality, with my mom and step dad. It turned out to be a perfect day. We found (at the last minute) a winery to set up camp near the center of the totality band, up on a hill, with clear skies. We set up at a table they had out for us, complete with special eclipse wine glasses, with eclipse glasses tucked inside. We even got a tasting flight included. We were tucked in at the edge of the vineyard, with it's grapes near ready to pick. We were able to get some fantastic photos of the event. We shot from first shadow until the sun was complete once again. I have to say, the 2 minutes of totality were the fastest two minutes ever and was so much more amazing than I ever dreamed.

I put together a compilation photo of the stages of the eclipse and decided that it would look amazing on a galaxy background. I tossed in some of the different stages to have better views. I've included links to some of the supplies from (I am an affiliate member and receive benefits from use of the links) Here are the photos. I think I jumped up and down, squeeing, when I saw those solar flares in the back of my camera!

To make my background I started off with a piece of watercolor paper and gathered my other supplies.

I started applying Distress Oxides randomly around the paper. I used Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, and Picked Raspberry

It doesn't need to be all neat and pretty, as most of it will be covered up with the blackness of space.

Next, I gave it a good spritz with the Tim Holtz spray bottle. I like that you can get a very fine mist as well as larger spatters with this bottle.

It makes for some really cool texture!

Then I began the task of covering most of the color up with Black Soot Distress Ink. We want it to look like space with bits of galaxy and nebulas peeking out, so don't worry about covering too much up.

I then went back over with some of the Black Soot Oxide. I found it to be nice and dense and really added to my spacey look.

Spritz again to activate the water reactive properties of the inks, giving cool spaces and textures.

The last step is to add the stars by splattering white spray ink or watered down white paint all over. This last step is what really takes the piece from looking like a mess to really cool. I used Dylusions White Linen spray

I added my photos, some Tim Holtz ephemera, flair from A Flair For Buttons, wooden stars, and a Silhouette die cut eclipse embellishment.

There you have it, a cool galaxy layout for a seriously cool moment in my life. 

Did you get to experience the eclipse? Be sure to document this momentous occasion! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Team Tierra

I am super excited to announce that I'll be on Artist Tierra's design team! Tierra is one of my favorite artists at Unity Stamp Co and now she has her own digi stamp Etsy store, filled with amazing designs, with more to come.

 To print this image, I used a lightweight watercolor paper that would go through my home printer then got to work with my watercolor paints. I used a mix of Van Gogh tube paints and my Gansai Tambi paints. Not much else was needed since the image is so rich. I just added a hint of a doily and some gems.

Be sure to stop by Tierra's shop and see if there is an image there just right for you, and be sure to check back as she adds more and more designs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How To Make A Multi Layered Background

Good morning! I got my distress oxides and participated in a challenge to make layered backgrounds, so I though I'd do a little tutorial. Those who know me know I love everything about the coast and I also just in a new Tim Holtz stamp set with this amazing octopus. I decided to make my background into a multi layered under da sea scene.

Seriously, these two colors were meant to go together! They are found in the newest release of the oxides

I blended the colors on to my watercolor card base, then spritzed with water to activate the oxide effect, using the Tim Holtz spritzer. Seriously love this thing.

Next I pulled out the supplies needed for the texture layer of my sea scene. I first applied texture paste through a stencil, Pomegranates, by Julie Balzer.

Then I applied spray ink and distress ink right then and there, with the stencil still in place. I learned this from May Flaum recently and I love the look! 

When you pull up the stencil, you get these nice bits of colored shapes. It's sort of like unwrapping a gift.

Lastly, I added some painted seaweed, using a brayer to roll the metallic paint into my stamp.

Next I got to work on this amazing octopus. Isn't he cool? I decided to use one of my favorite stamping/distress ink methods. You lose the detail, but it looks so cool and watery, perfect for under the sea.  I set a clean piece of watercolor paper in my Misti. You can do this with a stamp block as well, but I've had a wrist injury and don't always get the first stamping down well, so the Misti has been invaluable! I highly recommend it.

I started off with my lightest color, Wild Honey, and filled in the image. Then I took Rusty Hinge and randomly applied. Finally, I finished with just a tad of Fired Brick.

Once inked, hit it with some water. Be careful to use enough that you get the watery look, but not too much and end up with a giant blob. It takes a bit of practice, but is so cool.

Remove from Misti and hit with a heat tool to set. I use the Ranger tool, quieter and blows less air. As you can see, I lost the eyes, but a lot of the suckers show up. I repeated with some of the seaweed in the set and used Peeled Paint and Forest Moss

I cut out the pieces, though I only ended up using one of the seaweed pieces.

I played around with arrangement but the octopus felt ungrounded, so I added some twine.

Lastly I added a sentiment from Unity Stamp Co. It was the perfect sentiment and it's going to a good friend having a bit of a rough patch. This is where the Misti shines!  I used Chipped Sapphire to stamp the sentiment and it needed 3-4 stamps to get as dark as I got it. The Misti not only helped me get it on straight, but stamp in the exact same spot, numerous times.

The twine worked wonders and I added some gems for the look of bubbles.

I love how it turned out and want to make one for me, but on canvas, to hang in my living room.

Thanks for joining me and I hope I can help you create something you love.

Monday, July 3, 2017

With Brave Wings She Flies

Welcome to July! Here is the first of the July CSI cases.

I just loved the colors of this case. I used a prompt from Weekend Mental Health about imagining yourself as an animal. It reminded me of these photos of my kitty exploring the big maple tree in the yard, so I did an animal imagining herself as another animal. We had only recently allowed her outside. She really only stays in the backyard and wants us to be with her, so I feel good about letting her out.

I used watercolors to make a cool background, with splatters of the same paint, then added some washi tape and paper banners, along with my photos. I added some book pages from a girl scout manual that I found at a local second hand store. I cut the paper into banners and wrapped with twine,for interest. I then added some die cut leaves, wooden trees, and a piece of flair. A stamp by Unity Stamp Co made for the purrfect title and the "meow meow meow" for a fun addition.

Evidence used: book pages, string, watercolor, wood, leaves
Testimony is a prompt from Weekend Mental Health.

Play along with us this month, you have until July 31st!

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Smith Rock

I'm back after quite a blogging hiatus. I've been dealing with a wrist injury, that ended with surgery and typing one handed is just such a difficult, frustrating thing to do, but I finally have some use of my right hand and typing is so much easier, so I bring you CSI case number 232.

I'm a big hiker (it's been hard to not be able to hike with trekking poles right now!) Last summer we tried a new trail, as a family, at Smith Rock in Eastern Oregon. The trail name is Misery Ridge. That should tell you something. It's quite a way up, on an exposed and rocky trail, but the view is spectacular. We then wound our way down the back side of the rock formation, a lot of it in the shade, and ended with a nice walk along a pretty little river. It was a fantastic trail!

Evidence used: wood, trees, mesh, mushrooms
Testimony is documenting an outdoor activity.

 Come and play with us!

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

GIU Blog Hop

I am excited to be part of the GIU blog hop! A sort of farewell from the GIU gals from the first of the year. Hopefully you came from Guadalupe's blog. If you've just wandered here, be sure to begin at the Unity blog and happy hopping!

Today I decided to play in my art journal. Recently Angie did a Facebook Live using this lovely heart from Beautifully Confused. I thought what a great stamp to use in an art journal! I made a little tutorial for you.

I gathered supplies and added more after I got going and was inspired, but this was a good start.

I started with a base of Tim Holtz tissue paper, applied using soft gel. It's a great glue for this sort of thing. Similar to Modge Podge, but denser. 

I added some dry wall tape for texture. It's sticky, so I just cut it up and stuck it on. You can find this at the hardware stores.

For  additional texture, I tore up some masking tape into random strips.

After adding the base bits, I used a thin layer of gesso to hold everything down, mute the tissue, and prepare the background to receive ink.

Removing the kitty from my laptop was the next task. I can't see Annie! You may or may not need this step.

I next applied various distress inks, randomly and without much thought. After I was finished, I hit it with water to get the cool splats

I wanted some larger, watery spots, so I stamped the ink onto an acrylic block, sprayed with water, and flicked the wet ink over the page.

For the heart, I got out some coordinating paints and my brayer. I ran the brayer through the paint and onto my stamp.

I tried to leave distinct color differences, as you can see.

The mesh tape left gaps in the stamping, so I filled them in with a brush.

I repeated this process with some background stamps from Let Adventure. Fantastic set for texture!

I decided the best way to get my sentiment on the heart was to emboss. I chose white and used a sentiment from She. I also embossed the bird from You Make You in a green with gold specks powder. It looks cool!

After that it was just a matter of  adding this and thats. The bird SO need a crown and I added some washi tape and metal bits, finishing off with splatters in white.

The finished piece! Be sure to comment and visit the other blogs for more inspirations. Next up is Karen!