Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hobbit Hole

I am super excited to be a guest blogger on Balzer Design's blog today! Seriously, I found and loved mixed media through this blog AND I have so many of Julie's stencil designs in my collection.

Be sure to visit Julie's blog for the full tutorial on using gel medium for a resit.

Monday, October 13, 2014


This week's case at CSI was a really interesting one for me. I loved the sketch and the inspiration photo was so interesting, but when I got to the journal prompts, I knew exactly what I was going to do. See, sometimes I struggle with feeling like I have nothing worth hearing, so I stay silent. It's something I've struggled with, off and on, always. I was actually quite shy and quiet as a child and those feelings rear their ugly head from time to time. One day I was feeling particularly on the outside, so I poured out my feelings in a free poem. Writing poetry is something new for me. I have always believed that I couldn't write. Sound familiar? Actually, a lot of the rules elude me, but I don't need to worry about all that in poetry, so I have found my sounding board.

I went out and snapped a few selfies to support the story, turned them black and white, added them to a film strip frame file, and cut them apart to add to my banner.  To make my background, I masked off one half of my page, got it good and wet, sprayed with spray mist and stamped to add texture.  Then I masked off that side, brushed red paint, stamped a cool gear stamp all over, added some watered down grey on top to calm it down. I then just started throwing things into a banner position, adjusted bits, added bit, removed bits, and glued everything down. I cut some clouds out of book pages, printed off my poem, cut it up into strips, and adhered all those down. I decided to let the last word in the poem stand as the title. It's what the whole piece was about.

Evidence used: mixed media background, bird cage, birds, frame, gears, circles, book pages, typewriter, and clouds.

Testimony is a free verse poem.

Silence crashes all around me
Words unspoken
Feelings tamed
Like wild animals behind bars
Silence rings deafeningly
Lips are still
Eyes plead
Hear me, oh hear me
Silence bullies its way in
Do not speak
You have nothing to say
Silence roars from the distance

Monday, October 6, 2014

Take To The Sky

Summer of Chaos Catch Up continues!  When I first glanced at the color palette for August Scrap 365, at CSI, my heart sort of sunk.  They are not colors I use at all!  At least not together.  So pale, so light, so boring?  The inspiration photo helped at bit with that awesome drawing of hot air balloons.  I had just purchased a balloon stamp set and had my photos taken on my trip to SLC, from the plane, so I set to work.  First thing I did was take my favorite cloud stencil, by Julie Balzer, and stamp with distress inks, from the color palette, mist, then press onto my water color paper.  If you haven't seen the Tim Holtz technique he used on his June tag, be sure to check it out here.  It is awesome and I use it a lot! Because the colors were so light, I doodled in the forms of the clouds and added some curly cues for a whimsical look.  Then I stamped on some flying birds and circles.  I stamped, embossed, and colored in some hot air balloons, then fussy cut.  I added some strips of washi, including a travel themed one, for a matte.  Added a photo cluster and arranged my balloons, some die cut clouds, gears and propellers.  I added some sayings and my title to some hand cut banners and placed them on the balloons, like they were being flown as advertising.  For a case that I did not like, at first glance, I LOVE the finished piece!

Evidence used: clouds, hot air balloons, birds, doodling, polka dots, string.

S365-7 - Take To The Sky

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tree Bones

Back to my Summer of Chaos catch up.  I really loved this CSI case.  I loved the colors, the inspiration photo, the prompts.  I have a special place in my heart for Asian design.  Love the looks and mixes of color and pattern.  I was excited to be able to play with the design for this case.  I took my friend from Phoenix to the Japanese garden when she was here.  It's one of the few places she requested to go.  I love going.  There is a Japanese maple there that is somewhat famous.  There are whole websites and Flickr groups dedicated to That Tree.  I remember the first time I saw it; I almost walked right passed it!  To get the uber cool photos, you need to lie down on the ground.  This time, the leaves were not on the trees so I took a series of photos of the "bones" of the tree.  I love how they twist and turn and look like a gnarled old man.

To make my page, I used a brayer and just a touch of cream paint to create a matte.  Then I took an Asian writing stamp and added on top of the paint.  I found an assortment of patterned paper bits from 6x6 pads and punched them into hexagon shapes.  This is part of Asian decorating to me; they use patterns and colors together that you wouldn't normally thing to use.  I arranged the pieces into a quilted like pattern, then added the photo cluster on top.  I took some other Asian style stamps and stamped and fussy cut them, turning them into corner brackets.  All I needed to do was add a tag with my title and a few bits and write a Haiku.  I LOVE Haiku.  I even looked up the Kanji for Tree Bones

132 - Tree Bones 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tide Pool

And onward I go in my quest to catch up from the Summer of Chaos.  One of my favorite places to go is to the coast.  Nothing quite settles my overwhelmed mind like the soothing sound of the crashing surf and the salty air.  It has become our go-to escape.  I was so excited to see that Tim Holtz released the sea life blueprint stamps!  I go so often, I know I will use them a lot.  I actually ordered in the car on my trip back home.  I love going to this particular beach.  It has a gorgeous lighthouse and fun tide pools.  The perfect subject for my new stamps, right?

To create the background, I applied some bead gel medium through a circle stencil, then stamped the circles with a pale grey.  Next, I stamped three sea life blue prints right on my page and used watercolors to fill them in.  Add my photo cluster, and some twine with a few metal tags hanging down.  Simple, yet really pretty and peaceful.

Evidence used: polka dots, suspend something, ribbon, watercolor, and tie something.

133 - Tide Pool 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Work & Create

I seriously loved the fun colors and topic this week at CSI!  I know I have my right brain side and my left brain side.  Nowhere is this more evident than the state of my two desks....  In order to feel successful at work, my desk MUST be neat and tidy, whilst my scrap desk is an utter disaster!  Both spaces work for what I am doing when I am at them.  It seriously makes me giggle.  I thought the best way to showcase this was to make a layout with stark contrasts between the two.  I used some painter's tape to divide my piece of watercolor paper in half, then set to work making a beautiful mess on the lower portion.  I used paste and ink and let stuff mingle and drip.  I love it!  To highlight the orderly me, I made the top half very neat and clean.  Orderly and straight.  Full of office embellishments.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Evidence used:  plain white background, grid, ampersand, stars, phrase sticker, and circles.

Testimony is about the two side of my brain; the work brain and the create brain and the desks that support each.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

This month's Scrap 365 case at CSI is super fun and I love both the color palette and the inspiration photo!  I decided to use some recent photos I took when we went to the coast.  I know, I know, big surprise that we went to the coast, but this time we went further south and visited a lighthouse that I have never been up.  This one lets you go right into the lens room and let me tell you, it is a photographer's dream!  So many cool textures, angles, and abstract designs.  I could have snapped away all day as the giant lens turned.  It's one of the few lighthouses they let you in.  So glad we went!  It had been very foggy when we first arrived, but by the time we go up there, the sun was streaming in and it was absolutely glorious.  

I kept the layout simple so the photos could really shine (snicker).  I placed a circle stencil on my watercolor paper and gently misted with the teal color.  I made my photos all the same size and matted onto some red cardstock.  I layered some patterned paper and placed the photo matte on top.  I cut some clouds out of plain teal cardstock and vellum and scattered them about, adding a couple of die cut birds.  I decided to make a couple of half circles out of gems.  They just mirrored the shining circle patterns in the photos and fulfilled the half circle prompt.  I decided this would be a good place to add my title.  I journaled on a couple of the clouds and all done!

Evidence used: clouds, birds, semi-circles, textured paper, layering elements, misting, and vellum.

Letting Off Steam and Sunshine

Hello, and welcome to October!  We have another double inspiration photo challenge, at Scrapstuffz, but we've added a twist; a word prompt to go along with each photo.  You can do one or the other or both to be in the running for the prize.

For the first photo, I decided to just go with the uber cool, icy look and dove into my Yellowstone in winter photos, and I used photos of steam being let off for the verbal prompt.  I first got a piece of watercolor paper soaking wet, then added blue spray mist.  I finished it off with some stamping with a sapphire blue ink pad.  Then I got out this cool circle stencil, applied modeling paste, then sprinkled with silver glass glitter.  For my matte, I cut off some strips of gauze, inked, then dabbed with white paint. I added my photos and die cut some clouds out of white paper and deli paper.  I went to add some more white paint, through a stencil and got some on one of my photos.  After a few seconds of frustration, I added some more on all the photos. I think it turned out cool!  A happy accident.  I finished off the piece by adding a title and some wooden trees, along with a bit of journaling.

Verbal Prompt: Let It Go

For the second photo, I went to my quotes board on Pinterest, to cover the verbal prompt, and the very first pin there just struck me.  I could really use that advice right now.  I found a pretty photo of a sunburst through fall leaves.  I love how you can see the rays actually coming out.  To create my sunburst, I applied modeling paste (seriously awesome stuff) through a sunburst stencil, then colored in with distress ink (after the paste dries, of course).  I used just one color, but added more in some spots to give the variegated look. I created a layered matte with some fun Fall color papers and added some cute embellishments and finished off with a sprinkling of stars. The final bit was to add a big title, that also stands in for my journaling.  The small letters are Fancy Pants sticker letter, that I outlined, and the large word is made up of Thickers. 

Verbal Prompt: Words To Live By

There is how I was inspired by this month's photos, let's see how you are inspired!