Monday, March 26, 2012

Storage and Organization

Sometimes it feels like my craft room is exploding.  Could I have too much stuff?  Really -- is that possible? No, I just need to clean up!  Lately, I have been cleaning up and clearing out, and one of my goals has been to use up all of my Fabrics.  I've been making marker rolls.  They each hold 12 markers and fit into my tool caddy quite nicely.

I alos used the same strip method with a storage folder for my embossing folders.  Christine sent a link some time ago of a folder created by an SU demonstrator which she created to hold her Framelits.  Since I have heard that there will be more Framelits, I thought the folder needed some extra "pages".  I think it works, but I will add another 1" to the length next time.

I am pretty pleased with the two items:  they keep supplies in one place, they are quick to grab if I'm going "playing" and they cleaned up some of my fabric stash!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring is here!

There's lots of ways I know spring has arrived at my home:
     - gravel trucks start running at 6:00 am
     - redwing blackbirds show up at the feeder
     - tulips, iris reticlulata and snow drops are up
but best of all, the swans return to the pond!  You'll have to zoom up on the photo -- they are the white blur in the lower left corner:
They stay for 3 - 4 days, and then fly off.  They have been coming to the pond for 5 years now.  When they are on the pond, nothing else is.  No Canada geese, no ducks.  I know they've left when i start hearing the geese.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yet Another Technique

To get my own mojo going, I take classes with artists in my area.  Sandra Spagnuolo is one, and so is Kathy Mostardi.  They introduce me to using materials other than ink and stamps (though, those things show up, too!).  I really enjoy expanding my knowledge of materials and techniques.  At UTreat, we want to emphasize the flexibility of SU supplies, so I am challenging myself to come up with new ways to use product.  One thing I have been playing with is re-inkers, and above, you see re-inker mixed with gel medium. 

 Gel medium is an acrylic-based liquid that can glue paper to canvas, can transfer ink from paper to another surface, can seal and protect a layer from the next -- it's used a lot in collage and mixed media.

The challenge I set for myself was to use SU stencils and re-inkers to modify SU dsp that I no longer like.  So, I tinted gel medium and gesso to see how it works!

Well, you're seeing the gel medium experiment above, because it was successful.  The gesso, although it tinted well, bled under the stencil.  I tried both Classic and Craft re-inker.  The Classic reinker dried very clear (you see Baja Breeze in the sample above).  The Craft was the most successful, I think.  It dried semi-opaque, and depending on how much I swiped away, I could see more or less of my background.  The reason you aren't seeing a card with it is because I used Tangerine Tango  dsp to experiment with.  I dislike the colour orange, and have little or no cardstock to make a card with!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Another Technique

I have been obsessed with garbage lately -- how can I use otherwise thrown away "stuff" in my creating?  Corrugated cardboard has been used with lots of success by many people.  Rubbed with a bit of white acrylic paint or White Craft ink, it adds a shabby chic texture interest to card fronts.

Recently, the Stampers' Sampler showcased an artist who repurposed used plastic gift cards.  I have a stack of those on my desk, which I use for painting, but I had never thought of painting ON them.  I swiped some gesso on, waited impatiently for the cards to dry, and then stamped with my Greeting Cards Kids outline stamps.  The gesso takes Staz-On very well, and SU markers and blender pens flow over the surface.  Don\t scrub -- you can lift the gesso with the blender pen!

I know the gesso is only one sharp edge from chipping off the surface, so my next experiment will be to sand the cards before gessoing, so that the surface isn't so slippery.

I combined my little kiddle with the Starbusrt card pattern found on Stampin' Connections.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

techniques and trolling

Some sites are just fonts of inspiration for me.  Inkstains with Roni is one, and so is Tim Holtz.  I had found the "Broken China" technique some time ago, and although I liked it, it wasn't really successful for me.  Tim taught me two things:  use papers that were designed to go together and put a drop of Crystal Effects on each of the paper "chips".  These two tips made all the difference!

This is an all SU card:  sentiment from Full of Life.  cs is Pool Party, Basic Black.  dsp is SAB set, as is the ribbon in Melon Mambo.