Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pigs and Irises

The challenge over at Splitcoast today was an inspiration challenge. The inspiration material was from the Mackenzie-Childs online store (at and we were to use any product from the store as inspiration for our cards. This is the first card that I made and it was inspired by a piggybank.

I was inspired by the pig itself and immediately thought of this Whipper Snapper Designs stamp. I loved the pattern on the pig which was pink flowers with green vines. The B&W stripes were inspired but the B&W checks on the bank's ears and feet.

This card involved alot of masking again and colouring directly on the stamps with marker, spritzing with water and then stamping. The pig was stamped in black ink and then coloured. All of the sentiments are hand written.

The second card I did was inspired by the bearded iris pattern bread plate as well as the honeymoon pattern (checker board pattern). All of the piece was done with watercolours and the only stamp used was the Penny Black iris stamp which I coloured directly on with markers and spritzed with water before stamping it.

The two cards have different feelings and I'm happy to have been able to be inspired enough by the challenge to have made two different cards.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Today's challege over at Splitcoast was a limited supplies challenge and the limitation was no December holiday stamps, no red and no green were allowed to be used. We were just supposed to make a card to make a card.
The first card I made was the card with the blue and rust coloured bird. I made if for a friend of mine that is very ill and in ICU. She has a terrible form of malaria and the last I heard she was in a coma. We were all asked to offer our prayers for her. I decided that I wanted to make a card for her. Now I realised that she wouldn't be able to see it but her family will be able to see it and they can certainly read it to her if they want to. I just wanted them to have a tangible bit to know that I was thinking of them and of her.
Now the second card was just pure whimsy and craziness. Mother Mark had posted this card:
that showed a bunch of chickens and ducks and the chickens were teaching the ducks how to do the chicken dance. It made me remember going to weddings back home in Saskatchewan in the 80's and we always did the chicken dance (and the butterfly dance too of course). It was also played on the radio on the Saturday Night Dance Party on 980 CKRM which is now no longer that call number anymore. I also happened to remember this stamp from Art Impressions that I got at Marchant Paper in Kingston, Ontario and I've been wanting to use it for awhile. I just wanted to make something funky and different as far as an image went and I found the ribbon in my stash and chose it because it was on top and was the first thing that grabbed me and also because it kind of reminded me of a feather boa.
I like the way both cards turned out and already have an idea for what I'm doing for tomorrow's challenge. I love it when the post the challenges early like Stef did tonight!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

If The Shoe Fits Hang It On The Tree

I was in a couple of car accidents in the last year and as a result have been going to physio and for massage therapy. My massage therapist knows about my creativity and asked me if I could make a shoe ornament for each of her dauthers, Izzy and Abby.

Not having enough to do, I agreed to make them and promised that if I had to drive them to her house on Christmas Eve she would have the goodies in her hot little hands even if we had a humdinger of a snowstorm that day. Thank goodness it had snowed over night but by the time I got them done and got on the road the plows and sanders had been out and the roads were AOK!
I started making the ornaments on Christmas Eve morning actually. Which was sort of nuts but was it ever FUN! Just me and some tiny plastic shoe, some glitter and some feathers and I'm a happy girl even if time is tight!
Abby's ahoe is the pink one and Izzy's is purple. Mom requested lots of glitter so that's exactly what she
got. And I added some maribou in becasue - hey what girl doesn't like feathers right????
The shoe bases are some ornaments I bought at fabricland and are just some sort of hard frosted plastic that I coated with glue and added one colour of glitter to at a time. The outer uppers are pink or purple and the inners are green-gold and gold and then there are green or teal decorations on the shoes with an onyx coloured glitter for the sole and the heel. I added the feathers at the very end.
I think they kick butt and let me tell you it was hard to give them up (did I mention I LIKE shoes???) but who can argue with such a wonderful tradition as giving your daughters each and ornament every year so that when they leave home they will have a treeful of ornaments to take with them? I asked mom what would she do then and she said she'd have a colour coordinated tree that year - but I bet she'll miss all those ornaments.

I dropped them off at their new home but haven't heard how the girls liked them yet. I'm sure I'll hear next week when I go for my next treatment.
I took pics of them from all angles because I thought there were so lovely and wanted to remember how they looked. Oh and did I mention that I really LIKE shoes????

Merry Christmas!!!

I haven't been able to stamp in awhile because I have been busy getting things ready for my craft sales and going to those and then there is the problem that all of my stuff was trapped in purgatory - a large disorganised mess in the spare bedroom. I decided that I was going to clean it all up and put it away somwhere that I could actually get at things until my studio in the basement gets finished and low and behold all of a sudden I want to stamp again!

I've done a bunch of other things over the last few weeks and have pictures of them all and I'll post them later on as I get the time but for now I wanted to post these two cards I did for the WTC challenge over at Splitcoast this morning.

The challenge was creative letters and we were supposed to find ways to use letter creatively along with images for our cards.

The first card "Moose You Much" was done because I decided to just make my card with the first image that I put my hands on and it happened to be this Inky Antics moose stamps. The pun on miss you came to mind and I dug out my MSE set with the U - can't think of the name of it right now and the packaging is currently MIA. I stamped the moose, masked him, stamped the U and masked it, then masked off the perimeter of the card with post-it notes and then stamped the rocks and grass with a stamp from Rubber Necker and then I cut a free hand cloud mask from another post-it and sponged in the sky with brocade blue and pacific point ink from SU. Lastly I added the shadows and the dashed brackets to finish the card which is actually all on one layer.

This second card happened because the moose image just delighted me so much and I wanted to use him again. I masked and stamped the layered images much the same as the other card, starting with "Merry" from Stampendous and then the snail which I got from Ellen Huttson and finsihed with the moose image. I stamped the moose face 3 more times so that I could do some layering and also stamped the little snail a second time as well. After everything was masked off I sponged in the background with riding hood red from SU inside the maksed off borders and then I coloured all the images and layered everything onto the card. At the end I did some doodling touches with my pens and added stickles to make it all shimmer a bit.
The snail probably doesn't make any sense but I am going to send this card to my Auntie Heather in Calgary. She has always been notoriously late at sending cards and stuff and this year I never managed to send any cards. I thought that she would appreciate this card so I'll send it to her and if it's late she won't judge me.
Have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Barnyard Black-Eyed Susans #1

This is the second block print image that I made. I 'd done a few drawings on the fun foam and was liking some of them and not others. I'd done another barn and it was nice but I didn't like what I'd drawn in the foreground and after I took it back to class I realised from what Bonnie was doing that I could just cut them apart and get parts of the image to use as I chose on my collages.

But this image I wanted to do as an entire image so I worked at thinking a bit about the composition as I drew it and what was going to be in front of what and all that. You don't have any opportunity to erase when you're essentially carving the image out of the fun foam as you draw. I guess I could make a drawing ahead of time and then "carve" it from the foam but there is something sort of spur of the moment and loose that I like about doing it the way that I am right now. That may get old soon but right nowI Ilike it so I'm going to keep working that way - at least for now. The image is a little dirty and there is a paint blob on the bottom but that's because I haven't worked in pencil for awhile and forgot how easily they can smear on the side of your had as you work. I made a mental note to use a paper under my hand to protect my work next time.

There was a technique on Split Coast Stampers that I hadn't gotten a chance to try and I forget what it was called right now but essentially there you were stamping with white ink onto black paper (ah there you go - it was called "Black Magic") and then colouring with pencils on top of the white and then some of the girls were outlining with white gel pen to make the images POP! I stamped mine in black and because it's a negative image thing the outline turns out white already and that makes it POP for me. I guess if I wanted to have a black outline and a white ground I'd have to use white paint on black paper. You can do whatever colour background paper and whatever colour paint you like. And you can also do this with inks although I haven't tried that yet because I'm enjoying playing with my paints and pencils right now.

The inspiration for this piece is a photo I took of some wild black-eyed susans in the ditch here last summer. I caught a small bee in flight just about to land on one of them. I've made another stamp inspired by the same image using only the flowers and nothing else and have used them on a collage I'm working on now in class. I'd like to find the picture again and work on the little bee image a bit because it just delights me. But that may be hard to do because when I was moving last spring I very carefully kept all my photos and scrapbooking papers aside so they wouldn't get wet or spoiled in the move and put them into my Pathfinder to move. That night I was in a car accident and rolled the truck and all of my pictures (which were actually organised) and all the paper got tossed around the road and ditch after the windows smashed out of the truck and the truck did a very effective roof slide with a twirl. I wasn't hurt but it's really hard to lay my hands on most of my pictures still because I haven't had time yet to go through them all and see what I still have and what's missing. If I can find it digitally I'll post the photo later. I just looked now and it isn't on the computer so it must have been on one of the disks that went through the crash.

This one I called Barnyard Black-Eyed Susans #1 (6x9 paint and pencil on cardstock).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jack O'Lantern - A Portrait Of An Irish Gentleman

Happy Halloween!

This is a block print coloured with pencil crayon that I did in honour of tonight! It was done as part of a collage class I am taking from Bonnie McQuillan at the Village School of Art in Osgoode.

Bonnie is an awesome teacher and always lets me work really freely. This technique involves making a stamp for block printing by drawing with pencil on fun foam and then using acrylic paint to make the print on cardstock. Then the image was coloured with pencil crayons and the stars were added with metallic pen.

This was the first drawing I made that night in the limited amount of time I have to go to the class on Thursday night after work. I never coloured him in class, I worked on him after I got home and decided his name was Jack O'Lantern. The suit was so that it would look like a formal portrait but of course that is the irony because it is so not formal at all given the looseness of the technique I was using.

I am just thrilled with this technique and have done several other pieces with this technique and slight variances of the technique which I'll try and post later on as I get them completed.

"Jack O'Lantern - Portrait Of An Irish Gentleman" 4x6 paint and pencil on cardstock.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sometimes Life Sucks

Today started out great. It was sunny after pouring rain all day yesterday. I had the day off and I was going to go out with my DB's sister Tammy to do a craft class at my friend Pat's house. DB, Donnie was going to baby sit Tammy's two kids so we were all set. We got the kids set up to do crafts here - think lots of acrylic paint, paint bushes, fun foam and water. Also lots of newspaper covering the table. They were all set. Nascar was on so he was all set. It was perfect. We got there, we did two of three projects and my pager went off. No biggie really - I was on call after all. But the nasty part was the lady who paged me had a dog who had been hit by a car and three other veterinarians that were closer to her than I was REFUSED to see her dog for various reasons, one being because they were at a hockey game. If you're on call you shouldn't be at a hockey game or you should at least be willing to leave the game to do your job. So we went and met with the client and her poor little dog was in shock and had a fractured and separated pelvis. Pain meds and IV fluids for support and 4 hours later I thought she was stable enough to leave and take Tammy home. Her owners knew that her status was critical and that she would not be watched 24/7 - we don't have ICU - and they couldn't afford to take her where there was ICU care. I came back after I brought Tammy home and found her dead. She had died in her sleep and there hadn't been any struggle so at least she was not in pain but I feel so terrible because she was alone when she died and no one should die alone. I called her owner and told her what had happened and she is coming to pick up the little dog tomorrow to take her home to bury her. But after I got off the phone I just sat and cried for that lady and her little dog. I was angry that no one would see them but me and that they had had to drive so far to get help. She likely would not have survived anyways but being treated for shock right away rather than after almost an hour of driving and who knows how long negotiating for care may have saved her life. I left a note for the morning staff to let them know what was going on and ended it off with sometimes this job sucks, because sometimes it does and there's nothing you can do to help someone who needs you. All I can do is pray that God will help them all get through this.

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