Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring in Bloom - ColourArte Featured Artist

Hi all!

My work is featured over on the ColourArte blog today - I hope you will go check it out!  I have done a full tutorial for you!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Joy - My Yard

Hi all!

Is there ANYTHING better than Spring?????  I wanted to take a minute to share my yard with y'all today.

A little background - prior to building this house 10 years ago I have never owned a home before.  I was always a renter.  Since I was a renter I was very limited as to what I could do to personalize any place I have lived.  There were lots of things I was VERY excited about when hubby and I started building.  But there were TWO things I looked forward to more than anything else - painting the walls something OTHER than white and gardening in my very own YARD!

As I was walking home from the bus stop a few mornings ago I came up to my front yard and I am absolutely in love with it!

These are my favorite of all my daffodils and the greet me at the foot of the driveway.  The Hyacinth smell SO good too!

I did quite a bit of garden design when we moved in, then we had a baby instead and well, you know how that goes.  Everything else takes a back seat!  So last Spring we began on the next phase of my front garden vision.  The front was lined with a row of boxwoods all the way across - I hated them!  So OUT they came!

Yep!  Hooked 'em to my truck and OUT they came!  We replanted a few things and then some accidental pumpkins sprouted and I wanted to let them go so they took over the whole thing and we sort of put additional planning on hold.

The other thing I hated?  The porch railings.  I prefer open porches with just the columns - reminds me of the south so this year OFF they came!  All of our planting has been chosen for it's shortness - I love the open-ness when sitting on the porch now!


I just love it!  I put in the low stone wall around the tree last year too.

This year I cleaned everything up and added in a few more evergreen type bushes and new perennials and annuals in the bare spots.  I really wanted my evergreens to be more interesting than just green like the boxwoods so I found this cute little bushes with teeny pinecones.  The flowers are Lantana - LOVE Lantana but it is an annual this far north :(

See the evergreens on either side of the steps?  Also more interesting than plain boxwoods!  They are not only variegated in color with the green to yellow but the foliage is pretty and lacey/delicate - reminiscent of ferns - another fave of mine but the front gets too much sun for ferns so these were a good 2nd choice.  We decided we needed a little bit more evergreen for the front for winter time so I added a few more of the yellow green bushes.  Everything is small now but will gradually fill in.

I designed and planned out the whole garden myself when we moved in and the re-vamp this time around.  It takes a lot of research but I am QUITE pleased.  All of the plants are able to withstand drought because we are occasionally on water restriction here during the hottest part of summer and I have it arranged so there is almost always something blooming from spring through fall.

I have extensive plans and ideas for the back of the house but unfortunately they come faster than the time/money/energy does!

Anyone else enjoy gardening?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Watercolor Mother's Day

Hi all!

Today's post will be a quick one as I need to make a Walmart run and clean my house before school is out!

I was not planning on being in the studio today but I saw the challenge up on SCS this morning and couldn't resist!  The challenge is watercolor backgrounds and I had one on my desk with focal pieces and everything just begging to be used.

Both the background and the main images are done with different Twinkling H20 techniques.

Just look at that shimmer!

Aren't they just gorgeous!  That my friends, is the magic of ColourArte Twinkling H20s!

The background for both was originally all one piece.  I began by giving my colors a good misting with water and letting them sit.  I used Apple Blossom, Lemon Drop, Sunflower, Ginger Peach.  Once they were good & goopey, the consistency of honey is a good image to keep in mind, then I made random puddles on my craft sheet.

Mist the whole thing well with water and lay your watercolor paper face down in the paint, smoosh it a little and lift it up.  I usually cut the piece to size beforehand.  Check out the front and if there are any white spaces just lay it back down in the puddles of paint, misting them again first if needed.  Mist the front of the painted paper and sprinkle salt onto it and then let it dry completely.  Do the process fairly quickly.  The salt will add a bit of additional texture and interest to the painted paper as it dries.  Once completely dry brush the excess salt off.  Some of it will stick to the paper.  Next I took a stencil and added some plain white Modeling Paste and let that dry.  Wince the paint is waterbased the color will seep into the modeling paste.  You could also use gel medium which will give a slightly different look to it.  modeling paste is more opaque.

This is a 2 step stamp that I stamped with Twinkling H20s.  Red rubber works much better than clear stamps.  Again you want the paint to be honey consistency.  Paint your colors on thinly with a small paintbrush.  Mist very lightly (from a distance of several inches) with water and then stamp down onto watercolor paper.  Some stamps work better than others and you may have to play around with whether you do the misting step or not - on these I decided to skip it to get a crisper image.

This is from a gorgeous set of stamps from Crafter's Companion.  I stamped with black Archival ink.  Next time I will emboss my image with embossing powder when I stamp it to make the lines stand out a little better.  I am just learning how to watercolor images and I was pretty happy how this one turned out.

When you tilt it in the light the shimmer and sparkle just burst from the image!  You can also see how some of my black lines are covered by paint - this is why I will heat emboss next time.  When the image was done I spattered the piece all over with Twinks by tapping my brush against my finger.

And those are my last 2 Mother's Day cards!  I am entering them in the following challenges:

So do you have any Twinks in your stash?  If not you really should add some!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Party Bag!

Hi all!

Is everyone enjoying the arrival of Spring?  I know I sure am!  We have completed our overhaul of the front porch and front gardens that we started last year - I will have pics of that in the next day or two for those interested!  I have also been doing a little sewing I have gotten behind on for little Brennan and we have another grandbaby on the way!  Drake & Dianne this time, due on 9/11.  Not only that but we also have NEW FURRY BABIES!  Pics at the end of this post!

My project for you today is a gift bag for a party Pez is going to this weekend.

I usually make a gift tag but I have 2 very oddly shaped packs of Perler Beads and wasn't sure I could wrap them adequately so a gift bag was a better option.  I thought Hey!  Why not make something for the front of the bag instead of just a tag - tags are like cards but smaller, gift bags are like cards but larger!

This bag uses several cool techniques.  For starters I really liked the sort of split negative sketch posted on SCS:

I also wanted to try a technique I saw in the SCS gallery called Embossing Folder Stamping - now this is not anything new to me, I have done this lots of times but this person used shimmering mists and I have such a fantastic array of gorgeous shimmering Radiant Rains shimmering mists from ColourArte so I pulled them out and started playing around.

It works fabulously!  While playing I wanted to try it out on both the positive and the negative sides of the embossing folder and then I realized it would be perfect for the sketch!  It is cloudy here so I was not able to catch the shimmer quite as well as I would like but you can see glimpses of it around the pink hat and on the right side.  The shimmer is stronger where the mist was more "puddle-y."  The last technique I used was also a challenge on SCS - Negative Glitter.  I cut out the row of party hats and before I glued them together I covered the bottom layer in Scor Tape and glitter.

I am also entering this gift bag project in the following challenges:

I made several backgrounds and they are all gorgeous!

Now let's see those babies!

The momma's name is Chai so these are the Little Javas!  Meet Cappacino, Latte, Machiatto and Espresso.

The babies are nursing well and gaining weight.  this time the momma came to us from an owner and was with me getting fresh water and plenty of food for 4 weeks so she is nice and healthy and it looks like her babies are too!  A nice change from my usual sickly litters.

That's Latte doing a great big yawn!  I am pretty sure they will all be long haired like Chai.

I hope y'all have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Twinkling Daisies

Hi all!

I was browsing the challenges on Splitcoast Stampers and the Technique Challenge was intriguing so I thought I gave it a shot.

The technique is a basic masking technique.  I began by finding a die to cut a "window" in my paper mask - just plain copy paper, it needs to be thin.  I dug the 2 daisy stamps out of my stash.  Since we have been featuring Twinkling H20s on the ColourArte I had my Twinks out and ready.  I thought the daisies would work well with the Twinks because they are solid and red rubber (it doesn't work well with clear stamps.)

I put temporary adhesive on the corners of the back of my mask to hold it in place.  Then I misted the open area lightly with Seafoam Radiant Rain.  To stamp with Twinks you need to mist them with water and let them sit until the paint is thick and gooey.  Then paint a thin coat of Twinks onto the stamp and stamp it onto your paper.  Repeat across the opening until you are happy with the effect.  I edged around the opening in a couple spots to accentuate the shape before removing the mask.

Look how pretty that shimmer is!  Both the stamped daisies AND the background thanks to Radiant Rain.  I cut the sentiment on my Cricut Explore and use the current Lunch Time Sketch from my old friend Mary Jo/TechnoStamper.
I used to play with her sketch EVERY week when I had my store.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Twinkling Silhouettes

Hi all!

We are having some gorgeous weather here lately.  Hubby and I got out in the yard this weekend and removed the railings from our front porch (I had been wanting to do it for some time) and then cleaned out all the flower beds and got new mulch down.  It looks fantastic but I, of course, am now sick as a dog thanks to my allergies BLAH!

I have a post up over on the ColourArte blog I am hoping you'll take a look at - it shows you how to do an EASY wonderfully sparkly background technique.  And while you are there check out the other wonderful projects by the other DT girls - truly awe inspiring!

Twinkling Silhouettes

Enjoy your day!