Monday, July 25

Add Some Texture!

Hello friends, and welcome to our Monday challenge! This week we are all about adding some texture to your work. I love texture! So many things can be used to add texture from pastes to embossing to layering. I chose to go simple with my texture and tried out the woodgrain paper from Tim Holtz. It is nice heavy paper and I love the woodgrain. 

I've been inspired by the lovely colors my teamie Andrea uses, and decided to work in nontraditional colors. I feel like I am in Dr. Seuss land! I started out by making blue wood with distress ink and splattering it with water.

Next, some distress spray and more water...

Since I have blue wood, why not pink trees? and an orange bird?

I knew what I wanted to say and since I could not find all the words, I made my own and I like the mix of styles. I took my white pen marker and went around the words and added little dots on one of the trees. Final step was to stamp the bubble wands in peacock feathers for some added interest (love these Andrea!)

Yes, I do choose a colorful life! I also choose lots of texture, and am curious to see how you will add texture to your project this week. I hope you will join us in our challenge and have some crafty fun! 

You could win the $50 voucher to Simon Says!



A great place to shop!

Simon is on Instagram!

Be sure to head on over to the challenge blog so you can be inspired by the wonderful creative talent of the team!

Sunday, July 24

Under the Sea Challenge!

How can I resist a challenge like this one from DecoArt? I love the sea! There is nothing like heading to the ocean for some dreaming, relaxing and invigorating swimming (or wading). That reminds me, I need to do that soon, but in the meantime, I've had a lot of fun creating about the sea.  

Life Under the Sea

Don't you wonder, I mean really wonder what is down there in the ocean? It is so vast and deep, there must be areas we haven't explored and wonders we have yet to find! I do love to imagine what might be there...mermaids maybe, with lantern fish to light their way, or treasures untold in secret caverns, or tentacled wonders in the dark depths? My mind just spins with ideas like these.

I started my project by adhering my collection of items with a gel medium, and added some texture with the Sand Paste for my ocean bottom.

Next, I put a layer of gesso over everything and let it dry.

I went in to a lot of the areas with Crackle Paint and more sand. My thought was the crackle paint would look like the water when you look up through it and see the sun above and the rippling movement. 

Next, my first layer of paints with my fave Quinacridone Gold, and Cobalt Teal hue.

More fluid acrylics to create the wonderful variation of color you see in the ocean.

Just had to add a touch of Purple Rain and Deep Turquoise.

I added some Shrimp acrylic and Metallic Lustre to highlight certain areas.  

Can you find the "lantern fish"? the "diatom gears"? the "gear jellyfish" with their long tentacles (string)?

I decided I needed some splatters, so added some water to the Rich Espresso Metallic and splatted away. And, it was here at this step that I wasn't sure if I was done yet. I had some pieces cut out that I was thinking of using, but didn't know if I wanted to add them. What do you do when you have a creative dilemma like this? Well, I asked my son for his opinion, and we talked about some ideas, and back to work I went.

A mermaid on a gearfish looking over her undersea realm...

more mermaids emerging from the cave of wonders...

"lantern fish", one with a large eye (watch piece) and a bit of outlining along those flowing tails...

flying fish, jellyfish made from gears with string tentacles...

What a beautiful and mysterious world it is under the sea!

DecoArt Supplies used on this project:

Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Teal Blue, Carbon Black, Quinacridone Magenta, Yellow Green Light, and Prussian Blue Hue

Americana Acrylics - Purple Rain, Deep Turquoise, and Shrimp

Media - White Crackle Paint, Texture Sand Paste, and Patina Green Antiquing Cream
Metallics - Rich Espresso paint, and Copper Kettle and Gold Rush Metallic Lustre

I hope you've enjoyed diving under the sea with me, and maybe I've sparked your imagination to join the challenge with me.
Now, I need to make some plans to get to the ocean!

Also entering these challenges:

Thursday, July 21

Extra Steam Power!

Head on over to Sandee and amelie's Steampunk Challenges for some extra steam power! I'm sharing how I made these little steampunk gems.

DecoArt paints and stencil
charms - Tim Holtz, Emerald Creek
Die cut - Seth Apter with Emerald Creek allure powder in Copper Leaves

Monday, July 18

Nautical Challenge!

It's Monday my friends, and that means it is time for a new challenge! In our celebration of summer, we are sailing and diving in to all things nautical and by the sea! Don't we all love to head to the sea to listen to the waves, dig our toes into the sand and collect pretty treasures? I know I do!

I am back to my favorite color palette, green, blue and purple on this project and trying out the new Prima Paintables. What fun! I love how they are pre-embossed to the design shows up with the watercolors. I used some G45 paper as my background, laid down a stencil and went over it with Picket Fence paint, which really did not show the design, so I went over it again with Ground Espresso ink. I believe the stencil is called "old fence" but it reminded me of fishing nets.

Next I printed the lovely seashell stamp by Tim Holtz on a recycled sheet of acetate, using my Archival jet black ink by Ranger. You really have to be careful stamping on slippery surfaces, and I ended up doing it twice.

I still wasn't happy with the lettering, so decided to stamp that on the paper, using some scrap acetate so I would only stamp the words onto the paper.

I took some heavy twine and separated it into strands to tie on, and then I couldn't resist adding some lovely shiny treasures with my 28 Lilac Lane collection.

Collect Life's Beautiful Moments
This was an exclusive Stamptember item from Simon last fall. You could easily use the blueprint seashell stamp and add your own words.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you get inspired by our sailing/nautical theme this week! Join us in the fun, and you could win Simon's very generous $50 voucher!



A great place to shop!

Simon is on Instagram!

Be sure to head back over to the challenge blog to see the team's wonderful, creative takes on this theme!

Thursday, July 14

A Steampunk Bag for A Vintage Journey!

I am so excited to be the guest designer today at A Vintage Journey! I truly am feeling honored. I would love for you to head over there also and take the journey with me.  The theme this month at AVJ is monochromatic, hosted by the lovely and talented Tracy. I have not done much creating in monochrome, so this was a challenge for me also, but I dug right in and created a steampunk art bag in lovely blues.

Let me go through the steps with you. I wasn't even sure the paint would stick, so I am really happy with the results. I'll have to start using it and see how it holds up.

I have a number of mesh bags that I use to store projects and materials, so this is the base I used.

First step was to spread a fairly thick layer of gesso over it and let it dry. My thought was the grit in the gesso would help adhere the paint to the plastic. 

I painted over the gesso with a blend of the deep turquoise and peacock teal, then went over it with the ice blue metallic. I laid the whirlpool stencil on the paint, and used a baby wipe to remove some of the color.

I dug into my stash of mark makers to add another layer of paint and depth.

For that, I used my objects and stamped them using lamp black and snow white. I really liked the abstract design and could have stopped here.

But no, time for more blue!  I went over everything with my fluid acrylics - Prussian blue and cobalt teal hue. Oh, isn't that lovely?

Next step, bubble wrap! I love stamping with bubble wrap, and mixed some black and white in to change the hues.

No photo, but I rubbed some areas with paints to blur the background, and then stamped using a permanent black ink.  I also stenciled several areas to create a layered look. My challenge was to create layers by using the paint, stamps, and stencils, since I couldn't build out 3D in order to use my bag. I did not resist adding some metallic splatters, and used the rich espresso for that.

Some steampunk details...

I hung a key and some gears from the pull tab.

I love steampunk, and now I have this great art bag to carry my things in!

Thanks so much for joining me today! 


fluid acrylics - Prussian Blue hue, Cobalt Teal hue
acrylic paint - Peacock Teal, Deep Turquoise, Snow White, Lamp Black
Metallics - Ice Blue, Rich Expresso
stamps - Andy Skinner Steampunk (Stampendous)
stencils - Andy Skinner Whirlpool and Industrial Elements

Mesh bag, white gesso, permanent black ink, charms


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