Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Meet my Molly! She was wondering about across the street, so we scooped her up, looked for her home, then brought her to ours. We stopped by the animal shelter so they could put her up on their Web site where her picture stayed for 30 days. On July 3, 2014, she officially became ours! She was in heat when we found her and had all the signs of having had puppies. And she's estimated to be only a year and a half!

Molly was spayed today, and when I went to pay the bill, I was told SHE WAS PREGNANT! I broke down and cried right there on the spot. I'm so sad she had to go through the pain of an extra difficult surgery and all that goes with it. She could barely move without crying out, like a cat, wide-mouthed, but silently because her throat was sore from the breathing tube. But we managed, after much coaxing and fussing, to get her up and walking for a little bit.

I'm so angry her previous owners didn't care enough to protect her.

But she's ours now, safe and sound, and that's what matters most.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stamping and Painting

Did a bunch of stamping and made my first tag. It may end up on the front of a card.

But it's my paintings that I'm most recently proud of. I don't know why all of a sudden I'm wanting to do this, but it sure is a lot fun!

One of my friends wants me to do a triptych. Challenging, but I'm determined to do it. Also, my daughters and I have challenged one another to make something with specific themes. I can't wait to see the results.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Intricate Embossing and Friends Reunited!

I dove into Dawn's cling stamp stash and came up with these doilies. I love the detail of these stamps!
These were created by stamping with embossing ink, sprinkling white detail embossing powder over it, and then heat setting it with my embossing tool.
The results were stunning. The contrast between the white and black makes the intricate lines pop.
I also stamped silver on black and white on white. I took some ink to the white on white and really liked how they came out, especially the multi-colored one. I took an ink pad with variegated colors on it and swiped it several times, back and forth, being careful not to mix the colors. After I fussy-cut them I thought they'd make great stickers, and they do!
I did some collaging of post cards, something different to send a couple of crafters I follow on-line. The cowgirl, a Julie Nutting stamp, is for someone who lives in Texas. I liked the feel of it from all the Mod Podge I used, made it feel leather-like.
This one, which is very different than anything I've done (and I'm not sure I like it very much) is for someone who designs clothing, fabric, and everything else under the sun. I'm hoping the sequins stayed put.
On a completely different note, I was so happy to have caught up with my best friend of 49 years while she and her new beau were in Monterey! Our motto is "Through thick and thin..." (Obviously, I'm thick, she's thin!). My daughters and I had a great lunch with Lauri and Kevin at Dominico's on the Wharf in Monterey. Every time I go to Monterey I forget how beautiful it is, this time made even more so by the coming together of lifelong friends.
I love you, Lauri!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Art and Easter

I grabbed a little 5"x7" canvas board, pulled out my pitiful collection of acrylic paint, inks and a handful of those triangle-shaped make-up sponges and just started sponging on a few lighter colored paints. Before I knew it, I created this! I stepped outside my comfort zone yet again and I couldn't be happier. As I sat there, staring at it, I actually said a prayer of thanks for giving me this surprise gift. It wasn't pride I was feeling, it was more like magic, that I, someone who can't even draw a straight line, painted a scene that actually looked like something.

And when Dawn spotted it and said, "Wait, what have you been up to?" (looking at my paints all over my craft table) and then looked up to see my little work of art, "You did that?! Are you kidding me?!" it made me feel so great!

It's nothing out of the ordinary for most folks, but to me it is huge because it came from my imagination. I didn't have a starting point with stamps or stencils. I was totally in the moment and made some art from nothing.

I used the edge of the sponge to make the grass, stems and blue and purple flowers. The pinkish-red puffs were made with a Tim Holtz Distress dauber. I did the blue parts of the flowers first and thought I'd ruined it. It needed something more. So I spilled out some purple acrylic paint and sort of smooshed it on. As I was doing that I kept telling myself, you're making a mess, oh, man, you're gonna have to gesso over the whole thing and start over again. But I didn't! They actually look like whispy things found in a field of wildflowers. (At least, to me.)

I'm in love with the sky! I still can't believe this was done by my own hand. On the back is place to name your art, so I wrote "Accidental Beauty."

Okay, enough about that.

Last week I made a few cards. This sympathy card was for someone who had a 9-month old chocolate lab puppy. He swallowed parts of a squeaker toy and rubber, which caused a blockage. Although they did surgery on him, he didn't make it and his owner was really torn up about losing him. I don't know why rubber is included in dog toys. It doesn't make any sense.
I only made 3 Easter cards this year. Dawn gave me this stamp because it's one of our favorite songs, and it's freaking adorable. So it was the natural choice for her card. I fussy-cut the two little birds and popped them up. The bow gave me a hard time, it just wouldn't glue down, so I ended up using a stapler to tack it down.
Valerie has been having a tough time lately, so I made this one for her to set out and be reassured when she looks at it. (Dawn also gave me a set of stamps with darling dogs on it; this is one of them.) The butterfly on the pupper's nose is sort of 3-D. And I didn't even try to glue this bow down, I went ahead and stapled it in place as well.
This is for my husband because he IS "egg"stra special!

If you haven't noticed, the common thread is the pastel card stock I spritzed with Recollections pastel sprays. The squares on my daughters' cards are cut from it and the bunny and sentiment were stamped on it as well. I also started with the same pre-made card base in a pretty shimmery purple. All say "Happy Easter" on the inside from that same sheet of spritzed white card stock.
On this Easter Day, I am thanking God for sacrificing His son so that I can live this wonderful life. In the words to a song we sang in my youth choir (back in the day), from the CELEBRATE LIFE musical, "He is alive, he IS alive"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cards, Tags and Punches

I was excited to use one of my newer Julie Nutting paper dolls, but when I got paid for it, well, yipee!
 My faces are improving!
This sympathy card was for an on-line friend who lost their brother. I know how that feels.
A life-long friend had birthday, which is a lot to celebrate because she's going through some health stuff right now. She likes The Wizard of Oz as I do, so I eluded to it by putting this darling little La-La Land stamped paper doll in blue gingham on a red poppy background.
I wouldn't normally point out someone is another year older, but we're celebrating her life, so...
My daughters recently came home from a trip with lots of PJs and clothes they found at an awesome Walmart sale. Being the hoarder that I am, I saved some of the tags because, tags.
I covered them in gesso and white paint, ran them through my die cutter inside embossing folders then went to town painting them with all sorts of inks and paint. I sealed them with matt-finish Mod Podge because I like the finish and feel it gives to the paper. I'm going to add eyelets at the top when I go to use them.
My daughter bought me a balloon punch (inspired by how much I liked the balloons paired with the Julie Nutting doll above), so I punched some scrap paper from other projects. It made quite the variety and now I have tons to choose from.
Instead of shoving them in a 12"x12" as usual, I now have a binder filled with clear sheets with different sized pockets. This way I can see exactly what I have and (hopefully) use them more.
I'm not sure what I'll do with those tags, but they sure were a lot of fun to make!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Celebrate life, joy, laughter, love, family, friends

This was one of my most fun projects yet. I was nervous about doing this because I have no talent for painting, but this was more like playing with mixed media, not really sitting down to paint a picture. I used gesso, acrylics, inks, gelatos, stickers, stamping, dies, stencils, stucco-like media and sprays.
I started by gessoing over an old 9"x12" canvas. It took about 3 coats to cover the old painting.
To get the various colored background I used makeup sponges to dab on Daler-Rowney inks and used my fingers to smoodge around gelatos.

I took a home-made stencil and sprayed them with Dylusions ink spray.
When that was dry I used a store-bought stencil with a stucco-like Martha Stewart product. The neat thing was that it started out white, but as it set it absorbed the colors that were underneath. It was an unexpected, wonderful surprise.
My handwriting isn't the greatest, and the surface was too uneven to stamp words, so I chose to use word stickers. The colorful ones are cushiony-sparkly and the others are plain chipboard. I also used a word stamp and a few pieces of tissue paper to add more texture to the background.
The ruffle was made by spritzing and inking paper lace with matching colors. It was tucked up under the dress with some Glossy Accents for glue and lightly highlighted with Stickles. See my previous post on how I made the Julie Nutting doll.
The branch is a Tim Holtz die (with bird removed). The flowers were cut with a flower die from inked scrap paper from a previous project. I layered a couple of them and they all have a brad at the center.
I was glad to be able to use a Julie Nutting image I put together instead of tucking it away in the album I keep them in (because I don't know what else to do with them).
This is definitely not professional level art, but it's going to hang on the wall for my own self, so it's good enough for me. I'm ready to make another one, you should, too!