Monday, November 18, 2019

Impression Obsession Challenge "So Thankful"

As an artist, I believe I'm entering my experimental phase. I went into this challenge by setting by creating my own challenge within the Impression Obsession challenge of "So Thankful". My challenge to myself was that I had to use 2-3 elements. Being the overachiever that I am, I ended up with 4. Water, wood, stone and metal.


I'm not sure why I'm so happy about it. It's not like I'm going to give myself any gifts or anything. 
Or am I?

IO Stamps has this Poinsettia Frame Die I've been wanting for quite a bit, so it might be a nice gift for myself for winning my challenge that I made for me and only me.

I'm kind of liking this new challenge I just created for myself!

I know. You'd be "So Thankful" if I'd get to the card, right? There's always a comedian in the group, isn't there. Fine.

I used Daniel Smith watercolor on my basket of apples, which is one of my fave new IO stamps. Using birch wood 'paper', I cut a circle, darkened it with Vintage Photo Distress Ink then set it back into the panel flush after popping the panel up with tape. 

Next, I used the die "Thankful" from IO and cut it from copper. Then, I used my Link torch to heat it until it changed colors. You can do it with a heat gun if you have about 7-1/2 years to spare, but I'll take the torch every time. Not only does it take mere seconds to get results, I'm rarely bothered by the spousal unit, kids OR the dog while the torch is anywhere within my reach. 

Ahhh. The benefits of butane.

Lastly, I wanted to use the sentiment on the card but needed contrast. NOTHING looked right. I was digging through a junk drawer when I saw a very beautiful, dark brown, thin agate I'd purchased when mining for gemstones. It's supposedly native to North Carolina. Not that I really cared, to be completely honest. I didn't give a rat's hind end if it came from the caves of the Taliban. It was cool looking and I needed contrast, people!

Using glue dots, I placed the sentiment over the rock and mentally patted myself on the back. It had to be mental because if I'd tried to do it physically, I'd have dislocated a shoulder and missed this challenge AGAIN.

Until the next challenge in which I create another challenge within to challenge myself so that I may win and give myself more prizes, I bid you adieu.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

JUGs #513 Anything But a Card-Soldering Mini Album-Magnet-Ornament

Now...BEFORE we get to the entry below...(the one whose title alone simply gives me the shivers...I do believe it's the most poetic and beautiful I've ever created) I'd like to turn your attention to one of my fave challenges. 

Just Us Girls is hosting "Anything But a Card". So, let's rock and roll! I made a mini album for a friend. Which isn't the entry, by the way. Using the glass from 2 identically sized cheap frames, I enclosed fussy cut pictures (Graphic 45 Birdsong-which is BACK in stock, btw!!) along with Dresden scrap, mica flakes and a real set of butterfly wings. Then I distressed everything I could. Using copper tape, I taped around the edges then applied silver solder, adding the artwork around the edges. Taking 2 brass pieces, I bent and soldered them onto the top and bottom, then soldered 2 pieces of moonstone rosary chain to the top and bottom.

I was determined that this piece would serve 2 purposes. I'd never seen an elaborate piece like this on the front of any mini album. But I thought it would be a waste to just E6000 it to the front and just let it sit there. So, I attached 2 large, flat magnets under the paper on the front of the album and 2 to the back of the piece. Now, she could lift it away and attach it to something metal or hang it. That being said, next time, I'm going to experiment with magnets hidden between the papers on the detachable piece. I may have to use 4-6 of the tiny magnets, but it may work! We'll see. ;)


Spousal Unit, Psych Meds and Gravy

The Spousal Unit found me weeping quietly with my head on my laptop. He knew something was wrong. He'd called me to dinner three times already. Being that the meal included copious amounts of gravy and I'd not appeared to cut a roll in half and load it up with mashed potatoes and gravy to make my concoction with the uninspired name of "Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Sandwich", the unit knew that something had occurred to rock my world. And not in a good way. Because there is no freaking way I would allow anything to stand in the way of gravy.

However, knowing this to be the case, he looked only mildly concerned with my non-response. There was no worry in the eyes of the man I'd married. But there was plenty of time for me to be angry and plot revenge. There were bigger things in my world at this moment.

"What’s wrong?" he said, already chewing on a chicken leg. 
"He’s back!", I cried. "And I can’t find my font! And he won’t let me go until I do!". 
"Oh."my husband said, still chewing. "Uh, I thought those new meds...", 
"No!" I whispered, "He was just lying in wait. You know that’s how he rolls!" 
My husband nodded and begin backing slowly out of the room. "I’ll save dinner for you then."  

He began taking step by slow step out of the door
“Wait!” I called.
He stopped, foot in mid air.
“Put everything on the plate I like except for the gravy. Put it in the little plastic bowl and set it on the plate.”

Apparently, this was the moment fight or flight kicked in. He opted for flight.

As if he could outrun the crazy.

“Saran wrap,” I yelled “not foil! You know he doesn’t like foil!”

Many of you… And by that I mean the two or three who aren’t relatives (whom I’ve conditioned to read this blog using Pavlov's method of treats and electric shock) may have an idea as to what has occurred. I’m talking about him and his most cruel and exacting presence.
Yes. You're right. He was back.


I’m pretty sure we’d all gotten too confident he’d been banished by the last adjustment to my pharmaceutical cornucopia. For a year now, I'd been able to walk away from towels not folded in thirds, I could eat off of paper plates without portion dividers and could also thumb my nose at the kitchen table migration from under the hanging light that I used to confirm the table was in the dead center of the room.

In short, I was free.

But last night, he stole back into my life. Quietly. Then, he waited. If there's irony to be had, he'll wait for it. And irony, there was. It was the font. That's right, the font, appropriately named Minion Pro-515.

You see, when I came back to you after my two-year sabbatical, I had to re-learn certain things. One of those things dealt with the pictures I would upload for your perusal. After I'd posted several pictures, it occurred to me that I'd forgotten to put my name and blog on the photographs. It didn't take too long to remember how I'd done it previously.

I typed my name and began looking for the font I'd used previously. It was a pseudo-whimsical font but with a modicum of structure. It said “fun and carefree and not too self-absorbed with her art but one who would make sure her creation was to the best of her ability without behaving like she has a stick up her butt about the whole thing“

You didn’t know a font could say all that, did you?

I tried every font that Paint AND Adobe offered. After an hour, I knew I was in trouble. Having no other choice but self-immolation (which, since I'd survived this miserable summer, just seemed "too soon"), I sent it to the spousal unit so that he could use skills to pull the layers apart and identify my font. When he found it, I started searching. But out of the millions of Minion fonts, there was NO 515! There weren't ANY fonts that said "fun and carefree and not too..." 

Well, I won’t put us through that again. You’re welcome.

After an hour, I called the unit (who was upstairs, supposedly working but actually watching the golf channel) and asked for his help. 5.2 seconds elapsed before he yelled "515 isn't available anymore but Papyrus is almost identical to it!"

And that, my friends, is what led me all the way back to the beginning of this ridiculously detailed post.

It didn’t take OCD long to tighten his claws on my shoulders and begin to whisper words of evil like "Papyrus" doesn’t look a &^%^& thing like Minion Pro–515!" to "Now you just look like one of the billions of bloggers out there. No fonts exist anymore that say "fun and carefree and not too..."

Well...once again...You're welcome.

Not to mention, I feel like my nemesis-"He Who Shall Not Be Named" was somehow triggered by the unavailability of my beloved font. Therefore, a lawsuit against Adobe could very well be a possibility. Perhaps some legal action against J.K. Freaking Rowling, as well. She made gazillions using that moniker for fun. But this is my LIFE.

It's also a choice between a meltdown or gravy. And I think we know the outcome of that. Gravy can soothe most any heart, mind and soul.

Even the virtually nonexistent soul of OCD.

Welcome back, you b***ard.

Monday, November 4, 2019

The Card Concept-Sliding Under the Wire

Well, aren't you some lucky folks today????

You'll be spared my usual mania and OCD rants and my silly natterings. Why? Because I've two hours to pull several days of work together in the entry and get it posted. And if you only KNEW all of the pain, suffering and curse words I've run through...let's just say there's not a rosary that's going to be up to the job of the Acts of Contrition I'M going to have to serve.

But I digress.

ALL I could think of when I saw the inspiration image was the door. And I HAD to make it.

Needless to say, my card is in the mixed media style!

I started with the Tim Holtz Arch Frame. I hand cut the pieces to mimic the door. I used the thin, wood paper birch sheets you can get at Hobby Lobby or Amazon. I used Vintage Photo ink to make it dark.

Using acetate, a flourish stamp and Staz-On, I stamped the acetate on the reverse to mimic the iron work

Okay.  THIS is the part I LOVE!!!
I use Bromley Craft Products. They are located in the UK but I'm sure you can find them in the US. I've just always ordered from them. I have brick, slate, stone and field stone stencils and the powder to match. You add water, get a thick consistency (just keep thinking "does this look like it'll run under the stencil dividers?") and slather it on. You cannot mess it up. Seriously. Just LOOK WHO IS TELLING YOU THIS!

Spray re-positionable tacky spray on your stencil. 

Using Brick Red, Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke and Antique Linen I layered the brick with the colors in the picture. 

Then, taking two miniature wreaths I found in a junk bin some time ago, I cut everything off, spray painted them white and took red and orange pieces from some fake foliage I had on hand. 

I'm no hand at tying bows but did my best. I had some already made flowers on hand and dyed them with some Brick Red reinker.

Then I made pots with metallic paper and used this great stuff that miniature railroaders use called "Foliage Clusters". 

Squeeze them into the shape you want on an armature (I used wire bent into a general bush shape) and glued it to it, baby!

Last but not least! I happened to have the Tim Holtz Pedestal! The card is 4.5 x 5.5 and the pedestal folds away for mailing and opens up for display. I KNEW I'd finally find a use for that die!

The only real problem?? Taking pics. They're a bit overexposed because they're dark. But oh well!!  LOVED this challenge! Thanks ladies!