Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Great Smoky Mountain Anniversary Trip

Bill and I always try to go somewhere for our anniversary. Usually it's to Branson....but we decided to change things around this year and go some place different.

And boy have we had a great time!

We had a tour up the mountain today. It wasn't too cold when we left, but as we got higher, of course, the temp dropped 20 degrees.

Our guide took us up Sugarland Mountain as far as we could go this time of year to Newfound Gap across the Appalachian Trail.

With all the rain, the rivers and streams were VERY high. This bridge across the Pigeon River (I think) was very cool.

This was further up the mountain where it began to snow and get colder fast.

Bill HATES to have his picture taken. This was about 10 minutes before we hit the level with snow coming down. (don't tell him he's on the blog.....)

Here is a shot of the raging water.

This is where it had just started to snow. You can see the mountain road going up the side of the mountain.

You could almost see the Indians riding up through the gorge in Dances with Wolves. It was so beautiful. 

And this is Chris, our tour guide, out on the rocks in the middle of the river with Jeff!!!!
They made my heart STOP!!! GEEZ!

A fun day.

More tomorrow.

Sleep tight!

Bill and Linda

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Emporium from Graphic 45

 Those of you who follow me may remember I started this Graphic 45 Altered Art Box/with Album in Sept. up at the cabin in Minnesota.

Having said that, it's not unusual for me to work on something for months. Look at it, play around, add this, think of that at midnight, forget what I thought about the next morning....etc, etc, etc.

But, I did paint the box and glue the 2 layers around the base that you see here with the GORGEOUS Merry and Bright paper.

I LOVE the papers with the most black in them for some reason, and this one is fabulous!

These are mostly from the 8x8 paper pad Christmas Emporium, but I did use a few 12x12 sheets and some lighter backgrounds Let It Snow from Christmas Past.

I started by painting the box with Black Acrylic Paint.

Then I cut the papers apart...

Literally....all of the pieces...only using one of the 2 sheets in the pack.

Then I trace and cut the opening for the front section, stamp, distress ink, spray, and glue.

Time for a night photo.....this really shows the gorgeous spray of Sunflower Sparkle Perfect Pearls Mist on the blue paper for the cover front.

Next I start layering.

The hardest part for me is deciding it's time to glue.

So I punched out all the Christmas Emporium Tags 1 and started to add paper and stamped images to the backs.

This is a look inside the box standing up after I've tied the tags to a Tim Holtz Curio Knob.

A closer detail look at the inside spine. Be careful not to layer anything too thick as the box will not close properly. 

The chipboard frame is from Red Lead, and I've added many different layers of Distress Ink and Stamps.

The cutout frame with Glossy Accents is layered on top.

The Gold beaded trim is tree trim from Hobby Lobby.

The Wooden Stars and Gold Rick-Rack are from JoAnn's.

Although the papers from Graphic 45 are perfectly vintage the way they are, I tend to add Tea Dye Distress Ink. It seems to make them just a bit richer and deeper in color.

I've stamped the edge here and added some extra dots as fill in.

The green chipboard piece has permanent marker along the edges.

After painting a couple of layers of acrylic paint on the wooden feet, I added Platinum Pearls-Liquid Pearls in little dots. 

Then some black Gel Glaze Pen dots to the bottom of the feet.

This is the bottom of the box.
I stamped the rejoicing family onto Let It Snow paper and added different Distress Inks to the edges.

The Green is Evergreen Bough from the Limited Edition Winter 2011 Distress Ink from Tim Holtz, and an Artistic Outpost stamp from the Sleigh Ride set.

The stamped piece was layered onto Transatlantique-Globe Trotter paper for drama!

Here's a detail shot of the Stamped images with Jet Black Archival Ink, and dots that I can't live without.


This is a dark picture of the inside of the box.

This is what is on my desk....Emma told me it was "kinda a mess" yesterday. JUST KINDA??????

I think I've worked harder than that to make it a REAL, BIG MESS...but that's just my opinion.


Come Back AGAIN!


Friday, November 18, 2011

A Busy Week

WOW! It's been a whole week since I've blogged!

We've been busy around here, cleaning up the garden and yard for winter.

Lunching with our friends in Lincoln.

Shopping and installing a new 42" LED TV in the bedroom. (got a real education with THAT adventure). Bill is genius when it comes to fishing a wall PERFECTLY for the cable!!!

I was extremely impressed!

Then I programmed it...yes, I did quite well even if I do say so myself. I learned a lot when I put in the DVR in my Studio.

One night earlier this week, I was working in the Studio, and out of my window, I saw the most glorious MOON!

So, to cut the chance of glare....my worst enemy it seems....I opened the window and got this cool shot going through the trees! More like Halloween than Thanksgiving, but I'll take it!

Erin had a school project due this week using the Mayan Indians for various things...art project, recipe, report....etc. And this is what she made with clay.

I did help a bit with the idea....these are all canvases covered with a really cool soft, air-dry clay!

Two 8x8 canvas boards on the bottom, then a 6", a 5", a 4", 2-3x3, and 2-2x2" canvases glued together. The top piece is just a square of clay in the top piece.

She really did a fantastic job!!! So proud of her!!!

 FUN TIME together!!!!

Today I decided I'd cleaned out enough closets and drawers in the last few days....7 bags to Goodwill!

I thought it was time to get out the half-done Graphic 45 Christmas Emporium project and work on that for awhile.....

So I dragged out a bunch of stash and hoped for inspiration.

It's still a work in progress, but I've been taking pictures along the way, so perhaps a TUTORIAL will be in the near future.....STAY TUNED!

Then in mid-afternoon....Bill brought up the mail!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!YAY!!!! What a treat!!!!!!

My Trinket Case and Cargo Case from Tim Holtz!

Already loaded up some of the things in the Trinket Case....still giving some thought to the Cargo Case.

I really think they need some ALTERING.....so I'm working on that thought, too!

Taking in easy, reading on the sunporch, and relaxing for a few weeks has been wonderful.

So that's the weekly update here from me.

Monday it's back to the dentist to check on the root canal and another tooth.

"Getting old ain't for Sissies" ~Betty Davis


Friday, November 11, 2011

Sleigh Ride Together Tag Tutorial

Well, you guys let me know that you like tutorials! Thanks a bunch for all the comments here and on Facebook....you're the BEST!

As I type this, I just read that it's snowing at the Lizton, IN rest stop where the Morton Band is on the last stop before Indy and the Grand Nationals Competition!!! So proud of you guys!
Knock their socks off!!!

So, here's your tutorial, since you've all been so good!!!

Keep in mind, that some of these shots are at night. so the color difference is there at times.

This is a #8 Manila Tag. I used the Mustard Seed beginning in the middle with at circular motion and a Blending Tool. This gives you your "sunny" area for a good contrast.

Then work your way upward in arcing sweeps (practice on plain paper, it helps) adding the colors Victorian Velvet and Festive Berries. Then Iced Spruce and a touch of Stormy Sky.

I layer colors like a watercolor glaze. This gives a deeper, richer color to your piece.

The lower portion is some more Iced Spruce, Evergreen Bough from the Limited Edition Winter  2011 Collection,  and Pine Needles all blended together.

Try to keep the blue out of the Mustard -  it turns it green...as you can see....

All the Texture Fades used here are from the Christmas Background and Borders set. A MUST HAVE!!!

Next I added 2 layers of Icicles Texture Fades, one first and the the 2nd offset. It puts one in the background and one more predominant in the front when you run it through the 2nd time.

Then the Boughs down the side. Only run up to the edge of the Icicles or you'll remove your Icicles!

The Snowflakes are added along the bottom.

 I juggle the last one on the right and only run up to the edge of the folder. If you keep going all the way through the Vagabond or other machine, you will loose all your other embossing. Vagabond...on your Christmas list??????????

Both the Snowflakes and the Icicles are painted with Silver Metallic Paint Dabber paint and a tiny brush.

So now the painting fun begins. I used Forever Green, Forever Red and Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls out of the jar mixed with water to form a paint.

Yes, these darker shots are the ones at night...I am a Night Owl.

Be careful NOT to get any brown over the EDGES of your template....that's going to go onto your tag where you don't want it!!! Trust me here.....wonder why?

I used the Artistic Outpost - Sleigh Ride stamp here stamped on Manila cardstock and cut out. Aren't they gorgeous??? Here's their link!

I start with a wet brush and pick up color from the ink pads...here Spun Sugar for the flesh color on the faces. I used the Iced Spruce and Evergreen Bough on the Sleigh and children's coats.

 I've also added TomBow markers for shading and deeper color in areas. The leggings had to add bright color to the tag, so I used a TomBow there and the Light Grey pen to shade.

Here is the Rock Candy Distress Stickles before it dries. I used a brush to add it into the smaller areas, but my finger over larger sections.

If I get the Stickles to show up in the photo, the metallic colors glare your eyes out! So you'll just have to take my word for the fact that the Stickles are there.

It's hard to see here, but I sprayed red Seam Binding ribbon with Kiwi Perfect Pearl Mists, crumpled it up and dried with the Heat It Tool.

I also added Perfect Pearl powder and water mixed to some areas along the side to denote snow.

The Crystal is from my stash I think I got when I was is St. Louis at RED LEAD! Oh the treasures you can find there.....love it!

This is the really cute phrase in the AO set. I stamped it on Manila cardstock with Jet Black Archival Ink, then cut it out in a curvy pattern. I added some Iced Spruce to the edges with the Blending Tool.

The kids are layered onto the tag with black pop dots. I added 3 layers to the phrase to make it stand up even higher than the kids.

I trim the manila tag about 1/8" on both sides and 1/4" on the bottom.

This way when I cut out a tag with Tim's Tag die and black chipboard, it fits almost perfectly giving a nice edge of black around the tag.

Well, that's it for today. Hope you enjoy the tutorial and make something of your own.

As I said before, hearing from all of you makes my Heart Sing!!!!

Thanking all our Veterans for their service, my Sailor especially!!!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who Wants a Tutorial????

Thankful, I am so very thankful for all my blessings, especially my wonderful family and friends.

So, for you peeps out there who want to CREATE, here's a tutorial using some fantastic products from Ranger and the talented Mr. Tim Holtz.

I love using my favorite Tool-the Vagabond to die cut and emboss for this tutorial.

First I  took a #8 Manila Tag, spritzed it with water, and swiped several colors of Distress Stains over the tag letting them blend slightly.

I used Chipped Sapphire, Barn Door, Broken China, Tea Dye and Pine Needles. Spritz a bit more and dry with a Heat It tool.

Then swipe your Distress Ink Pad Vintage Photo on your Craft Sheet and spritz with water. Dip the tag in it, heat set, and pick up a few more dots of color for interest. Dry again.

Then I sprayed a slight mist and drops of Espresso Adirondack Color Wash. Dry again.

Add a strip of Traveler Tissue Tape to one side. If you're really reading this...you don't have to dry here....that's a joke.

OK, this is upside down to some people...I used the new Thankful Texture Fades on the tag. Then carefully...carefully swiped Black Soot DI across the raised letters with the Blending Tool.

You've seen this technique before, but here it is again. Die cut leaves from packaging plastic with the Tattered Leaves die.

Add Alcohol Inks to the back.

Then add Copper, Gold and Lettuce paint dabbers OVER the Alcohol inks....this is all on the back of the leaves.

Flip it over and add vein lines with a permanent pen. I like the Write4All by Stabilo.  Add a bit of Gold Paint dabber to the edges, too, for contrast.

A dash of heat from the Heat It Tool and you can curl the leaves as you like.

I added Gold Acrylic paint dabber over the embossed area...kind of hard to see the contrast here.

The cool stencil is from Julie Balzer -Time Travel, (they have a whole ton of new stencils in at Inspiration Emporium in the Just In section) added with Jennie Bowlin Malted Milk paint dabber.

I pushed the Spinner into embossing ink, then into the jar of Spruce Green UTEE and hit it with the Heat gun.

 Sprinkled a few bits of Butterscotch Adirondack embossing powder. And heated it again.

Then I decided it needed better contrast, so I took the top off the Copper paint dabber and painted the word Thankful.

Now you wonder, why then should I go to all the trouble to add the Black Soot DI???

Because it has created the perfect shadow outline to the raised letters!!!!

I would like to tell you I planned it that way all alone, but it's just a happy result of constant layering.

Since there's a lot of metallic color and plastic, there is a lot of different colors that show up in different angles of shooting the photos.

I think the copper lettering and the gold paint on the leaves shows up best here.

Layer up your leaves, a Timepiece and brad with your spinner. Add some Copper paint dabber around the edge of the tag.

I like to add my tags to a piece of black chipboard for stability.

And a row of Gold nailheads from Mark Richards is at the bottom for one last section of Bling.

That's my Thankful Tag Tutorial.

What are you thankful for??????????

Type a comment and let me know. Do you want to see more tutorials or just pictures?

It's no fun talking to yourself....all you bloggers out there know what I mean.

Your Friend in ART,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rainy Day Fun in the Studio

The sun has gone down and I've added about 300 glaze pen dots to this by now. Not much good light today for pictures.

But I just thought I'd share a couple of peeks at this fun Altered Art Box and the beautiful Christmas Emporium papers, stamps and Chipboard Tags.

The Tags are wonderful and haven't  quite found the exact place for them yet.

I LOVE the stamps!!! This is one of my favorites. I had 2 sets and gave one of each of the Christmas stamp sets away in my classes recently.  A big hit for sure!

Here I used a mask to stamp 2 different colors on the back of the tag. Fun.

It's a work in progress.....

OH, and just to let you know....Joy has the new release of Seasonal Distress Ink pads from Tim in here at Inspiration Emporium....get them before they're gone.

And,you can see Tim's video on using the new Seasonal colors there when you click on....nice!

Hoping for some sunshine tomorrow. I'm sick of the rain and wind already. BUT if it had been snow, the weatherman said it would have been at least 10" on the ground!

I'll take the rain........