Wednesday, December 30, 2015

IO Challenge "Snowy Wishes" Entry #2

I know, I know...I have a hard enough time consistently entering challenges every 2 WEEKS! Much less 2 entries in ONE! 

Go HERE to enter the Impression Obsession challenge.

But lately, I've been on this tag making, mixed media binge, and I stumbled on a technique I wanted to try with my IO poinsettia die and the Season's Greeting's die.

I used sticky back canvas and stained it red and green and adhered them to grunge board. I ran the dies through my big shot twice but it didn't cut all the way through, so I snipped them out. It wasn't difficult, but it added some extra time to the project.

I inked the edges with Walnut Stain and used distress stickles on the leaves for sparkle and snow effect.

I cut the sentiment out of black cardstock, then used black embossing powder to give it a punch. The greenery I cut from cardstock and alcohol ink stained glossy cardstock. 

The tag was colored using distress stains but if you look closely, you'll see I used the Cover A Card Music stamp which I stamped on the background using white distress stain. 

I'm not altogether thrilled with the 3 brads at the bottom...they'd been silver so I used alcohol ink to turn them a muted gold...but I ran out of patience and left them there. I needed something to anchor the tag and they're ok...I tried trim, crystals, dresden....but nothing was able to weight the piece without drawing the eye away from the poinsettia. This was as close as I could get.

Finally, to satisfy the snowy part....and, in truth, because I REALLY like to do this, I spattered distress paint over everything for 'snow'. DANG I love doing that!!!

Impression Obsession Supplies:

Thoughts on Interventions...

I began seriously thinking about a need for intervention, when I bribed my 17 year old with take out Chinese and a tank full of gas in exchange for his silence. It just so happened that HE was home when the Amazon deliveries rolled in, instead of me. 

Staggering under the weight of packages over several days, he finally said "If you're out of a job, how are you buying all this crafting crap?"

"Don't use that language! It's not 'crap'! They just happen to be 'supplies'."

"Hhmmph. They still cost money." he said.

"Gift certificates." I snapped. "Now, take my wallet and get the green card...not the green and gold card...that one's maxed out. But the green card I just made a payment on, so use that to go buy yourself some Chinese. Don't get a drink with it, though...that might be pushing the limit. Literally."

Ok...look. I'm OCD. I can't help that. For some reason, God decided that I would be best served with OCD AND ADHD. I kind of imagine it like God sitting back, chin in hand, saying "Let's name this one Carmen. Alright. let's start by throwing in some ADHD, so she has zero impulse control. Then, just for kicks, let's toss in some OCD-and not the good kind that would make her clean her house, let Me give her the kind that-when she ends up doing things her ADHD makes her do, her OCD will kick in and make her KEEP doing these things until they're right. Oh! I almost forgot...let Me make sure to put her in the lower middle class bracket so that she can't afford ANY of those impulses. Heh heh. Now...who's next. This guy? Oh, what the heck. Let's give him the name Bill Gates...I'm in the mood to make a billionaire."

Story of my life.

At any rate, it all started when I thought it would be a good idea to sit down and really try some mixed media. That's right...I'm one of the rare few who never jumped on the train and was okay with it. But I wanted to do something 'arty' and I didn't want to have to complete card after card. I just wanted to play. So, I visited Tim Holtz's blawg, and decided to try his December tag.

Everything after that is a bit of a blur. The next thing I knew, I was having weird feelings for grunge board and paint dabbers. My hands were stained, my clothes were ruined and I was going nuts because I didn't have tape or tissue paper or stamps or dies or spray get my drift.

The next thing I know, I'm ordering little bits here and there, putting little charges on all sorts of different cards. I actually felt like a knew what a drug addict went through! Secretly hiding my stash, claiming I'd had it all along, saying I borrowed stuff from other people, etc. etc. I swear I started thinking about getting the husband to coordinate an intervention.

Actually, I TRIED to get him involved, but he was too busy on the golf course. 

So, I ordered some fun foam to makes stamps out of my dies. Because that would totally save me money. Except I needed some more dies to make the stamps I wanted. It's a never-ending cycle, people.

But I'm telling you, when the husband is done golfing and I find I'm unable to bribe my children in a way to which they're accustomed, I'll quit. I swear. Just one..more..bottle..of..distress..glitter....

Thursday, December 24, 2015

IO Challenge "Snowy Wishes"

Okay...listen up. You've got until Jan 5th to get your entry into the Impression Obsession Snowy Wishes challenge! You COULD win a 20.00 gift certificate to their store! 

Actually, it's 25.00...but my cut is 20% for letting you know about it. you have any idea how much work it takes to throw a hyperlink into one of these posts? That's worth a little something, right?

I have to say that this is one of my fave Christmas Cards I've made this year. I sponged four colors of blue ink, spattered a mixture of white Distress Paint and Acrylic Paints, then cut the deer from grunge paper. I painted him and put so little glitter on him that pretty much everyone here in the house thinks something is wrong with me. I usually have the stuff streaming out the air ducts by October, but have shown uncommon restraint this year. I'm not sure why, but I can tell you that I fully intend to resume my abuse of glitter and sparkly stuff, shortly. I've missed going to the store or the stable and having people squint while looking in my general direction.

Sorry. Ramble. 

One of my favorite dies from Impression Obsession this year is the Jingle Bells. I took the flourishes from the die and attached them to the back of my reindeer, being very careful to enhance his flying and not look like he was having some type of gastric disturbance. 

Kittie, one of the DT at IO, started putting cute little sprigs with berries around her deer several years ago. She put 3 berries in the middle of hers, but I wanted to see if I could get close to a little poinsettia, instead. It's not quite that, but cute nonetheless.

After all that tomfoolery, I cut the Peace out and stuck everything on with those little traitorous 'glue dots'. Oh...they SEEM convenient. Until you end up finding them stuck all over your clothing, or until you're 12 year old has told you-for the thousandth time-that watching you roll them up with your fingers looks like you're playing with a booger, then hearing the little &*&(^(* howling with laughter like a little, annoying hyena, as he relates the story to twenty relatives that have just converged on your home for a Christmas celebration, and you're tearing the kitchen cabinet apart looking for a Xanax (or Nyquil, in a pinch) there's not one to be found. Anywhere.

Oops. Ummmm....let's just go with all that being totally hypothetical...mmm-k? 

But I still have to say that this card makes me happy. And it'll make me significantly happier if it makes that gc land in my lap. With the way things are going, I doubt I'm going to be leaving my craft room before spring, and I can use all the supplies I can get.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tim Holtz 12 Tags....December is in tha' HIZHOUSE!

I've almost got myself convinced that I'm going to do the whole tag a month thing with Tim. Mostly because I have this need to hang around with people who know what they're doing. 

I, certainly, do NOT. 

Besides playing with the love of my life...that's right, my horse....I've been messing around with jewelry, clay and found myself wanted to get back to a fairly flat surface. And play with ink and paint. THAT'S where Tim comes in.

I was hoping that, with the decision to jump on the tag bandwagon, I would find myself at peace working on a smaller space. I saw myself playing around with techniques and effortlessly creating these gorgeous tags that I intended to put on every Christmas package of relatives who deserve one. 

Ahem. Sorry. That whole 'truth' thing just jumped in and ruined that. 

Anyway, my reality was pretty much consistent with what it always is...which involves me spending twice the time arguing with my OCD before I can even post the *&^& thing. 

Okay...I like the tag. But I don't know about the peace sentiment. Shouldn't it be in gold or silver? But it matches the flowers on the wreath! But maybe they should be red. But that would be too much red! And there's that space in the bottom right corner. It feels empty. But they said I should always take one thing off? Yeah....but NOT AN ENTIRE QUARTER OF THE DANGED TAG! Why are you yelling at me???? 

It's pointless. If I start changing everything, then I'm on to a new tag. And I don't WANT to do another tag. I like this one. Mostly. But still...I have GOT to get to a point where I can do 2 things in one day instead of one thing a week.

So, I'll leave it a little on the bare side instead of mucking it up with...well...something from the boxes of junk that I've been taught to call 'stash' because it sounds cute and not like something that threatens to consume the house and everyone in it.

Merry Christmas, peeps.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Little clay magnet thingies with lots of balls...

Before you even START to say anything, the answer is YES...I am aware that my titles aren't exactly the creme de la creme of blog post titles. But after making these little suckers, I'm a little too tired to be witty. 

Snarky? Yes.
Witty? No.

These ARE fun little things to make, however. I found this online tutorial site called and bought a few clay tutorials for this and for an under the sea based tutorial that shows you how to make coral and sea foam. I didn't do so well on the sea foam, but that's another story for another day.

These little guys taught me a lot about blending clay and rolling little balls until your fingers are ready to fall off and you get cramps in your wrists. Bear in mind that these are INCHIES. It STILL took me a couple of hours to make them. 

After baking, I painted them with black acrylic then quickly wiped it off to make the colors and designs pop. I don't mind telling you to remember to do this after you bake your clay. I did it before on an Impression Obsession challenge piece and that's why you will NOT see that particular piece. 


I'm not quite sure what my next project will be. I'm having this 'thing' for gel mediums and messy ink/watercolor time, so I just may have to give into that urge.

Anything to get away from the little, tiny balls for awhile.

Monday, December 14, 2015

More ATC's, More Clay, More Seahorses.


It wasn't my intention to do another seahorse atc on clay, just to do it....THIS happens to be a special request and is going out as a gift, to an unfortunate soul who made the mistake of complimenting my artwork. This is an unintended consequence that most people find out the hard way. Compliment my stuff and it'll be on the way to you in less than 48 hours. And nothing...NOTHING...short of you moving out of the country will stop this from happening. 

Not even a restraining order. 

So let this be a lesson to all of you. Say something nice about my junk, and it'll be cluttering up your living room for years to come. 

And you KNOW I'm not kidding about that. 

Ever notice how the things that you dislike the most have a tendency to haunt you? 

It's almost as if our dislike gives an unwanted chotchie super powers. If you hate it, it will be impervious to breakage, fire, earthquake and theft. 

Yeah...well...'duh' on the theft part. 

But I'm serious about the rest. So be warned...this could happen to you! 

There is a wonderful lady on Splitcoast named Kathy (screenname muscat) and she is one of the constants at SCS. She's always participating and leaving sweet comments for everyone. Her avatar is this sweet little leaping kitten, and I see it all the time at SCS. She's one of those who is easy to take for granted because you get used to her always being there and always encouraging. But if she were to NOT be there, for whatever reason, we'd all feel her absence. That's where the sentiment from Verve comes in. Because she is treasured by so many of us!

I've been meaning to send Kathy something for a while now. But I dropped out of crafting for six months, so I didn't have a chance to send anything. When she left a sweet comment on my atc named Pura Vida Dream and said she really liked it, I asked her if she'd like one like it. That particular one had been given as a gift, so I set out to make Kathy another. 

And here it is.

So, Kathy...I HOPE you have learned your lesson. ;)

And another thing...don't you EVER go away.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Clay ATC Reindeer Wishes

I am TOTALLY addicted to this clay medium! 


Granted, I had to buy one of those pasta machines thingies to roll it out with because my hands STILL don't want to work properly after carpal tunnel surgery, but hey...when there's a will...

My significant other likes to say that the carpal tunnel surgery also rendered me incapable of folding laundry and cleaning. But when I pointed out to him that my trigger finger worked flawlessly, he quickly abandoned his attempts at comedy.

I used an EF of swirly dots to texture the background and my assortment of mica powders to go nutballs with on top of that. I really can't stop myself with the mica powders. I've been sliding toward a craft intervention for years, but the mica powders may have actually pushed me over the edge.

I grouped little clay balls for color and buried those crystal beads with that treatment that makes them flash different colors. DANG...why can't I remember the name??? Grrrr.

Anyway...they don't show up very well but they add some sparkle. It was the 'moon' I consider my artistic contribution. 

Oh...get that look off your face. I mean the TREATMENT I used on the moon. I've not seen anyone else do it so I'm claiming 'firsties'. 

Using a large, clear, glass thingie you usually put in the bottom of glass vases, I created the moon. But with it being clear and the clay being black, it was pointless. So, remember the last ATC I did where I experimented with baking shells into the clay and said the worst-or best-thing that would happen is that my stove would blow up? And it didn't?

Well, I'm no quitter, people.

Using silver metallic alcohol ink, I painted the flat side, let it dry, and pushed in into the clay. Then I baked it, hoping  wondering if it would result in some type of fireworks. 

Since I'm sitting here and typing this and NOT being interrogated by arson inspectors, you can safely assume that can use alcohol inks on the underside of your crystals when using clay. Not a huge finding, mind you, but it's nice we can create our own colors now to coordinate, I guess.

I'm off to scour the house in search of other things to stick in clay and experiment with in terms of how explosion-y it might, or might not. be. 

The things I do for art. Sigh.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First Clay ATC "Pura Vida Dreams"

Well, it took me long enough, but I finally hopped on the ATC train.

My very first ATC was a Marie Antoinette piece that was okay, if a little boring in predictability. But this is one I'm simply thrilled with!

While watching lots of videos on ATC's (which is my MO...reading is lost on me when it comes to art) I stumbled upon THIS ONE by Gabrielle Pollacco. I was so intrigued with it that I jumped on board. This is the result.

The stones and beads are directly from Gabrielle's example. The shells were some I already had and wasn't sure if they'd take the heat but what the hey, right? Worst I could do is blow up my over. And for my family, that would be the best Christmas gift of all. 

No loss there, friends.

I used black clay and mica powders, 2 glass rock/bead thingies and a row of glass beads. The seahorse is cut from grunge paper. I actually followed Tim's blog where he showed a way to color this die and coat it with rock candy crackle.

Now, par for the course, I have decided to devote all of my time and energy to making clay and regular ATC's. And when THAT 7 or 8 days are over, I'll find something else to obsess over.

Merry Christmas, friends!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

First 'Commission' I'm playing a little fast and loose with the word 'commission'. 

In short, she paid the cost of the materials and agreed to feed my horse the 2 days I'm out of town. 

But HEY....there was SOME trade off,...a little....I think....

At any rate, I had a LOT of fun making this sucker!

The inspiration (and collage sheet) is from the art goddess Laura Carson. She made these and I just fell in love with them! 

She came up with the idea of using juniper (sprayed first with acrylic) and micro beads to double as seaweed and juniper painted with blue and gold lumiere paint to serve as coral.

The shell is a Lion's Paw. You can find them at Hobby Lobby for 3.99. I also purchased the majority of the shells used here at Hobby Lobby as well. My fave is the little clam with jewels at the bottom...fill with glossy accents then rhinestones and let dry! If you look carefully to the right, you'll see a real seahorse. Mummified, of course, but cute nonetheless.

I purchased a nautical lantern from Hobby Lobby to put this in but am going to let my 'buyer' (hee hee) make the decision as to whether she wants it or not. If she does, I'll post the finished results. 

I'm off to go wallow in delight at the fact that I ALMOST broke even on a craft project!! I was THISCLOSE!!! That's saying something, friends. 

What's that sound? Oh! My husband. 

I just can't figure out if he's laughing or crying. ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

IO Season's Greetings JEWELRY!

Well, well....look who's sliding into home plate at the last second for the Impression Obsession Challenge "Season's Greetings"!

This was one of those projects that started with the phrase "I wonder if I can..." 

Anything I attempt that starts with that phrase usually ends in one of three ways:

1-Spectacularly (rare)
2-"Meh" (underwhelming-this is common)
3-With the rapid arrival of EMT and/or Rescue Volunteers. (Usually the Volunteers, as the EMT's have found I make an unusually reliable-and frequent-training opportunity. 

Fortunately, today was NOT number 3, even though it involved heated copper, spray paint and E6000.

The question tonight was in response to realizing that Impression Obsession's deadline for their challenge was...tonight. 

The challenge was "Season's Greetings", which was easy enough, but sometimes even when you own virtually every die and plenty of Christmas stamps, it just isn't enough to give you a solid idea of what you want to do.

I've been playing around with art assemblage jewelry, when I said "I wonder if I can make actual jewelry from my Impression Obsession dies?" 

And it was on like Donkey Kong, friends.

I ran the Peace and bird die through the Big Shot and cut them from copper scraps. I heated the word until it turned that gorgeous shade of gold, with a little pink and blue-which you can't see in the photo. Sigh. 

I had a large, brass mistletoe which I spray painted silver. Then I used Gilder's Paste (black) to give some detail definition. A little E6000 finished the job. 

I wanted a little pop of color. I knew I wanted red and I knew it had to be something that made sense with the word. Cursing myself in a very un-Christmas-like manner for not ordering the cardinals die, I ended up using one of the birds from the Leafy Wreath die. I cut it from copper and coated it with red stickles. 

I glued the pin backing to the piece and it was done! And I was incredibly pleased with the outcome!! When I say it looks ten times more striking in person than the photo, I mean it! 

So, turns out you CAN make jewelry with your IO dies! 

WITHOUT becoming a training subject for your local rescue units.


Brass Findings



More Art Assemblage and ADHD!

This has to be one of my fave projects to date.

First of all, I have a bad habit of buying.  

That's right...buying. Period. In short, I spend way too much money and mostly on crap I don't need at the moment and probably will NEVER need. But, that's the way it is when you are a person with ADHD. You see something sparkle and you're in the midst of a bidding might as well just hang it up.

I've really been thinking about petitioning for a 'protected class' status. Because for people with ADHD, like myself, it's very hard to do things like not spend money. It's also very difficult for us to do all the things that society says we have to get a job and not talk all the time and not try to be the center of attention and get our 'crazy' cured.

You know, impossible stuff like that. 

I guess I see myself as the "Norma Bates' of the "ADHD Protected Class NOW" movement.

Wait...I think that's Norma Rae. Was I thinking about Norman Bates? I never DID see what was so classic about that movie...Classic potato chips and grilled cheese...I'm in!!

See??? See???? THIS is how horrific life is with ADHD. Most days, I drown my sorrows in a half gallon of Bryer's Chocolate Ice Cream (chocolate creamy chocolate, or dark chocolate or any of that crap...plain chocolate or risk my wrath.) only to find that once I finish the carton, I've forgotten why I was upset. So, I have to start thinking about all the things that upset me and THAT upsets me again and there goes another half gallon of chocolate (ONLY!) ice cream so now I'm fat AND upset and...


That's ok...I actually have a trick I use when I do this. Since, chances are, my subject matter was ME, I just sit and think about myself and I'll find my way back eventually. Hold,please.

(elevator music-some light symphony playing Guns and Roses, perhaps)

Where was cream....spending again....craft room...


Crafting with junk jewelry that I paid too much for and purchased too much of. Whew. That was a bad one, wasn't it? started with these two pieces of junk jewelry. They were originally flower brooches, I think...but they looked like coral to me. So I started sticking little ocean inspired charms in each.

The one at the top had started to tarnish a bit, which I loved, so I helped it out with some Patina Gilder's Paste. The rest was just E6000. I really love upcycling broken, junk jewelry!

Thanks for coming along...I promise you'll be impressed over the next several days...I'm in a crafting frenzy, my friends. I'd love to say it's due to a surplus of creativity and energy, but it really boils down to trying to use up a lot of stuff that's cluttering my craft room and waiting until the last minute to fulfill requests. Oh well...whatever works!

I swear...I HAVE been working!!

I want to start by saying that this was absolutely the MOST involved project I have EVER done in my entire life.

I'm serious. 

First of all, let me give credit where credit is due...

This is from Kathy Orta. I purchased the file several months ago because I wanted to make it 
for my sister for her birthday. The house, itself, wasn't that bad. What nearly did me in were the (&*(&*(&* albums!!!!

I made the one photo album by hand...there are 6 pages and each page has more pockets and fold-outs than I've ever seen in ALL my years of doing this. The other is the Tim Holtz small portfolio and between the two, it took me THREE DAYS.

At the end of all this, I didn't want to see another piece of chipboard in my life. For ANY reason.

But, my sister seemed truly delighted with it and I was so thrilled to get it OUT of my craft room, that it's sort of like having a swear you'll never do it again but about a year later, you lose your mind and develop amnesia and find yourself saying really stupid things like "it wasn't THAT bad", even though you just had the restraining order dropped by the nurse who refused to get the epidural going in a timely manner.

Anyway...Kathy has some very cool projects...many that aren't as involved. Find this and other projects at