Monday, June 20, 2016

Let's take a Safari Adventure

Happy Monday, bloggers and Graphic 45 fans. After returning from our fantastic vacation to Tokyo, Japan, I couldn't wait to return to my studio and play with the new Safari Adventure collection by Graphic 45. You are going to LOVE this one, no matter what type of crafter or artist you are! The incredibly beautiful imagery is perfect for a scrapbook, cards, mixed media, journal pages, you name it. I am going to make SO much more with this collection, but I began first with a Graphic 45 black shadow box.

I decided to use strictly the imagery from the paper collection in addition to a few die-cuts for my shadow box. Sure, I could've made room for family photos or miniatures or other embellishment, but once I got to fussy cutting these fabulous creatures, flowers and leaves, I found I could fill the whole thing!

You can probably calculate the amount of fussy cuts in just this area alone. It's a lot! But I'm one of those crafters who rather enjoys fussy cutting. And I challenge those of you who purchase this collection NOT to fussy cut. You just won't be able to resist!

I added several layers of foam tape behind images as I layered them into the frames to give dimension and depth. To the "ledges" between the frame openings, I adhered strips of burlap.

As you can see in the background, I've layered the palm frond paper between the two sheets of acrylic which come with the shadow box. And all my fussy cuts have been inked with Ground Espresso Distress Ink for a finished look.

To the top of the shadow box, I added this pediment die-cut from black matboard. I layered three of them together, gilded the front with a bit of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, and adhered this with strong Tacky Glue, then more fussy cut imagery added in front.

Graphic 45's antique brass claw feet are perfect with this paper collection!

These palm fronds are from an old QuicKutz die I've had forever and use often.

Safari Adventure is starting to show up in scrapbook stores now, so run out and check it out in person. You're sure to love it!

Thanks for stopping in today. I've got lots to share about our trip to Tokyo. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a recap here on my blog. Thanks and have a great day!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Creative Carte Blanche - Winged Things

It's a new month and time for a new Creative Carte Blanche creative adventure. This month, Susan Mostek has challenged us with the theme "Winged Things." I knew right away that mine was going to include bees. I love bee imagery!

I created this art journal spread and I'd love to share how it came together.

I began with gesso on my pages. Once dry, I added Fossilized Amber Distress Paint with my fingers. I find that I'm applying paint more this way lately than with brushes. Something about literally getting my hands in there makes it that much more enjoyable.

Next I worked in Wild Honey Distress Paint. (Yes, with my fingers.)

Once dry, I stamped this dictionary stamp with Sepia archival ink onto the pages. How fabulous is this? It's a dictionary page with the words and definitions for Bee, Beehive, Honey and Clover. (I'll put a link to all stamps and products used at the end of this post.)

I Googled images of bees and printed out this line art, approximately 7 inches wide. I only have an inkjet printer, so after printing it on regular inkjet paper, I sprayed it with an even coat of Workable Fixative. I wasn't sure if this would work or not, so I just gave it a try. Once dry, I blended Distress Inks in different areas of the bee with colors such as Abandoned Coral, Peacock Feathers, and Mustard Seed. Not traditional bee colors, I know. And that's exactly why I did it.

I took creative carte blanche. (*wink*)

Next, I cut the bee out close to the image outline. It doesn't really matter what color I make this bee, don't you agree? I think it would look pretty cool with any combination of colors.

Before adhering my bee to the page, I tapped some Rusty Hinge Distress Paint through a honeycomb stencil. 

This might be hard to see, but I masked off the bee and crown from the center of this great stencil from StudioR12. I recently discovered their website and bought a bunch of stencils. I wanted to focus on the laurel wreath for my pages.

I used Ruby heavy body acrylic paint from Dina Wakley Media for the laurel stencil. These are by far my favorite paints to work with, and Ruby is the perfect, true red.

I stamped this sentiment from the Ponderings stamp set by Stampers Anonymous onto Tim Holtz's Tissue Wrap, then cut out each line and adhered them to the page with Collage Medium. Once dry, this tissue will be less noticeable.

To fill in open spaces, I stamped several small bees and some honeycombs of different sizes using archival inks. I also added a stitch stamp around the four edges of the spread.

After stamping the stitches, I rubbed Vintage Photo Distress Crayon around the outer edges and smudged it with a wet finger. Next I outlined the laurel with a white gel pen and outlined my bee with black Pitt artist pen Big Brush by Faber Castell and smudged it to create a soft but dramatic shadow.

I discovered that the Workable Fixative worked really well and kept my inkjet bee from running or bleeding when water-based products were applied over it. I sealed over the top of the bee with Collage Medium and a medium paintbrush.

Now it's YOUR turn to join in the adventure. Let's see what Winged Thing you can incorporate into your art! Post yours on the Creative Carte Blanche blog at the main challenge post by Susan (on June 3rd). Have fun with it!


Monday, May 30, 2016

Lavender Thank You

Being on the Susan's Garden Design Team is especially fun because Susan's dies are made by Elizabeth Craft Designs, and the beautiful flower dies work so well with other dies and papers from this fantastic company.

Take this simple Thank You card, for example, which I created with two different Susan's Garden Notes dies: Lavender and Wisteria Vine in addition to the Barrel Basket with Pop-Up die set from Karen Burniston and Through the Lens Wood Series papers.

Let's take a closer look...

I cut the barrel from one of the sheets in the Wood paper series. (In this paper collection there's a wide variety of wood grain images shot through the lens of Els van de Burgt herself. There's also a Stone and Metal series.) I inked the edges of the pieces with different shades of brown Distress ink.

Next, I cut the pieces from the Lavender die, using Olive Twist and Perfect Purple Soft Finish Cardstock. I cupped the tiny purple flowers to prepare them for adhering.

I assembled the bucket along with its handle, then adhered the stem portion of the lavender plant.

Using my tweezers, I picked up each tiny flower and dipped it into a puddle of Tacky Glue and adhered them into place.

For the inside of the card, I cut a piece of pattern paper (Graphic 45's Botanicabella) 3 3/4" x 7 3/4" then die-cut the pop-up portion across the fold. I adhered this paper to a brown cardstock base measuring 4" x 8" to create a folded 4" x 4" card.

I adhered the bucket of lavender to the pop-up, stamped a sentiment and added the bow. The bow is part of the lavender die set.

Oops! Here's a lesson learned. You have to make sure your card base is tall enough for the pop-up so it doesn't hang off the inside of the card like mine. 

I could've started the whole card over, but instead I added a strip of lace across the bottom. 

I cut another wood paper 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" and adhered it to the card, stamped Thanks onto pattern paper, fussy cut the bird, and added two leafy branches from the Wisteria Vine die. To finish it off, I added two metal photo corners at the top.

This little 4" x 4" card was super simple and fun to make, and came together quickly.

Here's a list of the supplies I used today...

Elizabeth Craft Designs:

Metal photo corners
Thanks stamp (Close To My Heart, retired)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My high school graduate

It's here. Finally. Jamie has graduated high school. It's been quite the final year. She's been counting down the days. It's not that she didn't like high school, it's just that she simply cannot wait to get to Ringling this Fall.

I thought I'd share a few photos from graduation last weekend.

We feared rain, but it ended up being a perfectly sunny (hot) evening. My mom and dad joined us.

Some of Jamie's closest friends came too.

Here they come. Viera High School Class of 2016. I remember when Jamie was a baby, I would think to myself that she's going to graduate high school in 2016 and its seemed so far off in the future.

Now look at her, shaking hands with the principal and other staff, saying good-bye to this chapter in her life. I only hope she didn't wish it away too quickly without holding onto some fond memories first.

Diploma in hand, striding confidently, smiling big. She's going places, this girl of mine.

I'm sure she's sweating her ass off in the hot sun, but I'm also sure she's a happy kid right now.

We were looking at old photos of my high school graduation recently and I remember her asking me how I got my cap to stay on that far back on my head. She liked the way it looked. I noticed hers right away.

Tradition is to take photos on the field afterwards. I don't know why I'm holding my purse like that. 

Doin' the Dab. A favor to Jamie. 

Damn, I'm gonna miss her.

We had a small party afterwards with her friends and some family members. All in all, a very nice evening for a pretty special kid. Onward and upward, Jamie!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Featured Artist - Tuesday Tutorials

Today I have the honor of being featured as the Tuesday Tutorial designer of the week by Marjie Kemper on her blog.

In Marjie's popular Tuesday Tutorial Series, she features art tutorials created by different artists from all over the world every Tuesday. It's a fantastic place for inspiration and exposure to many styles. And who doesn't love tutorials?!

So I thank Marjie for not only providing this great resource for us all, but for asking me to be a part of it. She is sharing my altered cigar box project I posted here a few weeks ago. Please take a trip to today's blog post to check it out and all the other fabulous works she has posted there.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pretty Hats for Mom and Me

What a busy couple of days we've been having here at the Green household. Classes, prepping projects before we leave for Tokyo, and Jamie's high school graduation, just to name a few. I've been in hyper-mode for the past month! I love it, though. This is what I thrive on.

Today I'm featured on the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog with my creation using Susan's Garden Notes dies on two sweet little hats I made for my Mom and me on the day before Mother's Day. These were so fun to make!

We attended a tea/luncheon with many other ladies that day and everyone was asked to wear a hat. It was such a special way to celebrate Mom for Mothers' Day.

Be sure to hop over to the ECD blog to check out my tutorial and more photos, including one of Mom and me wearing our hats.

I'll share a few photos of Jamie's graduation in a few days. It was a great night! Thanks for stopping by today. Hope your Monday starts the week off happy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wishing you a Happy Hot Air Balloon Kind of Day

I seem to be on a hot air balloon kick lately. I just love them. It's on my bucket list to take a ride in one. They're so colorful and happy, and with the Hot Air Balloons die from Elizabeth Craft Designs, you can mix and match colors and papers to create all sorts of varieties. This is a 5" x 7" card I created using the die, along with the Banners die and a brand new, soon-to-be-released Susan's Garden die "Rose Hedge." See the end of my post for all the links to these goodies.

Let's take a look at how this fun card came together...

I began with a 5" x 7" card base of sky blue cardstock. I've also used Graphic 45's World's Fair papers, which are perfect with the hot air balloon theme. [This photo shows the floral paper which I used on one card I made earlier this week, but as you'll see in the coming photos I used a slightly different paper in the collection and I think it works even better.] After layering two pattern papers from World's Fair, I embossed more sky cardstock with the Mini Mosaic embossing folder, then rubbed some Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink over the raised surface.

I die-cut some of the pieces in the die... (there are more than these!) There are actually tiny little sand bags to attach to the bucket, but I left them out.

...then layered them up. I like to ink edges for dimension, so I used Distress inks for that.

Next I die-cut five pennants from the Banners die. There are four pennants in this set, so I just used one of them twice.

After inking the edges that will show from the front, I laid the pennants in a row and ran a piece of waxed twine at the seams of each, then adhered each flap down to seal in the twine for my banner.

(Here you can see the different paper I used for the background) I adhered all my elements to my card front. You'll notice I added two small bows of the same waxed twine to the ends of the banner. The "Have a Happy Day" stamp is from Hampton Art's "Children's Hour" cling set 2. 

I used different levels of foam tape to add dimension to my elements.

As a finishing touch, I decided to add some tiny little roses and leaves, so I die-cut five orange roses and a bunch of the leaves from the Rose Hedge die. These are super easy to assemble. Just grab some tweezers or a quilling tool and roll them up!

After assembling the roses, and veining the leaves, I added them to my card around the stamped area. This added touch of tiny flowers is what really makes this card special. Don't you think?

Here's another look at the completed card. I'm glad I have two of them now. One to keep and one to send to someone very special.

Let's not forget the inside of the card. Here's a simple way to dress it up. All from the World's Fair collection. 

Supplies Used:

Rose Hedge die - coming soon!