Halloween 2012 memories

Recently I was looking at some of the pictures I had on my phone and forgot about these from Halloween. 

At work each year we have contests by dept for best decorating and/or best costumes.  Our group did a haunted cemetery scene in the office.  I had a limited time, budget and supplies in order to participate. It also had to be something I could easily put together at while I was at work.   I decided to do Day of the Dead makeup.  I did a little research and was inspired by some artwork I found on Pinterest.  Here’s the a pic of the artwork that knocked my socks off!  The image I found wasn’t tagged when I initially did my search. 

 Day of the dead

So between the Halloween makeup kit, the green eyelashes and the flowers for my hair, I think I spent about $10.  Not bad for a quick costume!

At the time I didn’t know the artist was Big Gus.  He’s an amazing tattoo artist!  I happened to be watching an episode of Tattoo Nightmares recently and saw the artwork on the wall of the shop in one scene.  I did a quick search on Big Gus, found the image on his website and  was blown away by his artwork.  http://www.biggusink.com/ 

I’ll have to think about what to do this year for Halloween and come up with some new ideas.  I recently accepted a promotion into a different dept at work and my new coworkers are a little more sedate.  Hopefully I can talk them into doing something fun!

New stuff in progress….

So I’ve had some blank wooden boxes I got from Michael’s ages ago.  They’re the cigar box size and could be used to make those wooden cigar box purses.  I was originally going to try making them into those cigar box purses but I never got around to it.  LOL! 

So I ened up sanding a few boxes to smooth out any bumps or scratches and then painted them with different colors of Lumiere paints. 
You probably noticed that I added feet to the bottoms of the boxes.  The feet are unfinished knobs.  I’ll be painting them too – 1st with a base coat of the same color I’m using for the box, then I think I’ll use a color to coordinate with whatever design I decide to place on the cover of the box. 
So I painted one of the boxes with Lumiere Halo Pink Gold and it dried to a golden orange color with a pink undertone.  I’ve been struggling with ideas for designs or images to place on the cover.  I ended up finding a cool dragon stencil by Tulip (Duncan Enterprises).  This line has repositionable adhesive on the back so it won’t slip while you’re working with it and it’s a fairly affordable line of stencils too!  Luv it!  It was super easy to use and cleaned up really well.  Since the stencil doesn’t come with an acetate to store it on, I placed it on some wax paper so that I could use it over and over again. 
Anyhow, I used Metallic Olve Lumiere paint to stencil in the dragon, but I wasn’t too excited with the results after I was done.  After mulling over the colors and patterns for a while, I decided to out line the entire dragon with a black Sakura brush marker.  I love this marker because of the fine tip and the control you can have over the brush strokes.  I decided I wanted the image to “pop” and wanted some glitter.  I ended playing around with different color Stickles in layers, but making sure each layer was dry before I added a new color.  I found a Magenta stencil of plum blossoms and branches in my stash that I got at Stampology a while back.  So here is the work in progress………
The Magenta stencil was a little hard to use even with repositionable tape.  I think it’s because I was painting with Smooch paint, versus stippling color in layers using an actual stippling brush.  I free-handed some extra branches and I’m going to add more blossoms, plus fill in the centers of all of the blossoms.  I also need to make the flames from the dragon’s mouth more red and orange.  I’ll post a new pic and update as soon as I’m done.   

Key to My Heart

So here’s a quick little thing that I did once I found my artistic mojo with that last piece.  LOL!  It’s only 2″x3″ and can be hung on a wall or sit on an easel.  I still haven’t decided yet if I want to put a magnet on the back of it so I can stick it on the fridge.  We’ll see…..

Anyhow, I got a little masonite Shrine kit from Retro Art Cafe.  The kit comes in pieces and you have to assemble it.  So I only used 3 of the 7 components and painted each part with a different color of Lumiere paint.  I love that paint because of the shimmer and how rich the colors look once they’re dry…..but I digress.  The Sacred Heart is from Bombshell Stamps.  I colored it in with Smooch paint and then added Stickles in different shades for glittery goodness! 

The swirl and keyhole are from the Grungeboard Elements set.  I painted the swirl with Lumiere paint and the keyhole with Distress Ink.  I added Distress Rock Candy to the keyhole so that it would crackle and look aged.  I think the key is from 7Gypsies.  I added some Stickles to it so that it would be sparkly.  :) 

I’ve been doing that a lot lately – adding glitter to make every thing shiny and sparkly.  I think the Crafty Chica said it best – Glitter makes everything better!  I have to agree with her.  LOL!  :)

Ok, back to the art…….  The flowers are from Prima and the ribbons are from my own stock.  The dragonfly was a brad and I removed the little legs….poor little dragonfly, suffering all in the name of art!  LOL!  I also added some touches of alcohol inks to the metal so as to give it some depth and color.  The little silver image is an actual milagro that I received as part of some of the goodies from the Crafty Chica Cruise.  It was provided by my friend Annette’s shop CJ Angels.  I added a little bit of alcohol ink to it to make it look a little aged.  The final touch was applying some white gel ink to add some extra dimension.

Follow Your Heart

So back in April I posted about some stuff I was working on.  The pic showed some bits and pieces still in progress.  I wanted to put something together with the Sacred Heart image from Bombshell Stamps as the central image and used my canvas book from the 2008 Crafty Chica Cruise as an inspiration.  I kept adding different elements and taking things out that didn’t work.  I had a heck of a time trying to pull all the elements together.  It took me forever to work out the final product, but I’m really happy with the result.  It’s so multi-dimensional and I find something new to like about it every time I look at it.

I usually work with mostly paper and create different kinds of cards.  The base of the whole piece is a 5×7 piece of Clayboard by Ampersand that I’d been hanging onto for a while.  I used various Adirondack Ink pads and swirls colors together.  I started with the lighter colors first and let the ink dry completely before I layered on more color.  When it was the final shade and tone that I liked, I randomly brushed some citrine and gold Lumiere paint to add some shimmer.  I barely dipped the brush in the paints and just swiped randomly.  Once everything was completely dry, I was then ready to build layers.

I really wanted the Sacred Heart to have wings and look like it was in flight.  The wings are from the Tim Holtz Grungeboard Elements Swirls Set.  They were already die cut.  I painted them blue and then added several layers of Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy.   I think I have about six layers and let it get really crackly!  I bent the wings once they were dry to add extra cracks and then swiped Glitz Stickles in Mermaid over the top.  I colored in the Sacred Heart with Copic Markers and added dimension with different shades of stickles, then I popped it up against the wings.  I wanted the look of flames to appear from behind the wings and Sacred Heart.  I added swirls of Smooch paints in different colors but could make it look right.  I found some fabric I had with a rose pattern that looked cool.  Once I glued it on the piece, I added some Stickles to make it glittery.

The Day of the Dead praying girl is also a Bomshell Stamps image.  She’s holding a heart and I thought it really went well with the whole theme.  I used Smooch paint in different shades to color her in and then used Stickles on her veil for that glittery pop.  LOL!  The flowers are from Prima Flowers.  I had gotten them from the $1.99 bins at Archivers ages ago and finally put them to use.  I also used some swirls from the same Grungeboard set as the wings.  I only painted these with Lumiere paints – no Crackle paint, but I did add some purple bling. 

The confetti ribbon and the grey bric-a-brac were from the remainders I got from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I had planned on using the confetti ribbon from the beginning, but realized as I was finishing the piece that I needed something for the edges.  The grey bric-a-brac gave it just the right look.  The green velvet ribbon with the metal flowers was supposed to be a book mark.  I scrunched up the ribbon so it looks like it’s flowing.  The final thing I added were the words “Follow Your Heart”.  These are from the Art Words II set from Invoke Arts.  It tied all of the elements together and was exactly what I was thinking. 

I know it seems like it was a lot of work, but it really wasn’t what took me the longest was just trying to get out of my own head and let the ideas flow.

stuff I’m working on

Been trying to fit in at least an hour of craftiness at least once a week.  So I’ve been working on a few rough sketches for some ideas plus painting some bits and pieces.  Attached is a pic of what I’ve accomplished this week.  I’ll post more with pics as I continue with my progress. 

The chipboard pieces are from one of the Tim Holtz Grungeboard sets.  I think this is from the swirl pattern. I used Lumiere paints.  I brushed Distress Crackle paint in Rock Candy (clear color) on the blue wings and the pink heart. The Sacred Heart image is from a Bombshell Stamps set.  I colored it in with various Copic markers.  The large reactangular piece on the right is Clayboard by Ampersand.  I used Adironack ink pads in the bright colors released last summer.  I applied the stamp pad directly to the clayboard.  Then i had some Lumiere paint in Halo Violet left on a brush so I just swooshed the brush all over the clayboard.  You can’t tell from the pic, but it has a great golden & violet shimmer effect on it now.

ah, the memories……

Last year I took part in the Crafty Chica Cruise.  It was a trip of many firsts – first cruise, first art workshop, first trip to California, first time in Baja…..  It was an incredible trip and & I’ll treasure the memories forever.  I met so many incredible people and learned so much from all of them.  I was REALLY intimidated at first because here I was just a paper crafter and the rest of the group were “real” artists!  The ideas and craftiness just oozed from them so easily.  I was struggling just to slap some paint on stuff.  I had to stop overthinking and just let it flow.  My sister was with me on this trip and her advice was invaluable to me.  She really helped me get my confidence back after that first day.  After that, the days just flew by. 

Since then everytime I need a little inspiration, I think about the trip and remember all the great stuff I learned.  Everyone was super nice and I hope to continue to keep in touch with as many of the members of the group as possible.  They all taught me that art and being crafty is what I make it – it’s organic.  You can’t force it and if something isn’t working at that moment, try something else.  You might be surprised by the results and like it even better. 
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take part in this year’s Crafty Chica Cruise, but I think I might be able to go next year.  Can’t wait!  In the meantime, here are a few pics of me and some of the stuff I made on the cruise last year……
This is the calavera I made.  I started out just painting the skull with swirls and flowers.  I ended up dressing him like a luchador.  I even put a bit of bling on his teeth!  He looked so cute.  Unfortunately he didn’t survive the trip home from Cali.  The girl at the UPS store didn’t realize how delicate he was and his body got mangled when she packed him with the other stuff I shipped home to Chicago.  Oh well!  One more opportunity to make another one!  :)
This is one of the “pages” from the canvas book I worked on. 
Below is the front cover.  The colorful strip of stuff at the top is a bracelet I made in one of the workshops. I think the only theme that ties the book all together is the fact that I made it.  I end up doing something different on every page.  It doesn’t have a common theme.  I have images of tattoo art, Day of the Dead and low rider chicano designs on the back cover.  I painted, stamped, stenciled the pages and added embellishments like shells, cut fabric, stickles, beads and charms.  I still need to finish off the edges of it so the stuffing doesn’t come out since I decided on having puffy pages.
And this is me with the work in progress.  Camera-shy me and the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano-Murillo, decided to surprise me by taking my pic while I was hard at work.  :)

7 Gypsies Village

I keep forgetting to post a pic of this project I did last summer.  Cindy taught the class at Stampology.  We used the following supplies:

* 7 Gypsies chipboard village
* Adirondack dye based ink pads (brights colors)
* various Tim Holtz stamps
* black Staz-On ink pad
* white gel pen
* key rings

The class was a 2 day class since the ink on the chipboard village had to dry.  I recreated it at home and it took about 24 hours for the ink to dry thoroughly.  We applied the Adirondack ink pads directly to the chipboard.  Start with the light colors first and then you can apply the darker.  If you do it in reverse, you’ll end up with the darker ink staining the lighter color ink pads.  Let everything dry at least 24 hours.  Take a look at the color combos once dry and add more color if you want some deeper shades or additional layers of color.  Let dry another 24 hours.

Next up was stamping different images on the chipboard using various Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous stamps.  You can use any of your fave stamps.  We used Tim Holtz for the purpose of the class.  I used a heat gun on a low setting to dry the ink faster.  Once the ink was dry, I used a white gel pen to outline some of the stamped images.  At this point you can add additional embellishments if you like such as glitter, bling, etc.  You can even stamp each chipboard piece so that all of the houses make up a story or have a specific meaning.  Mine is just made up of random images and looks like a graffiti’d village.  :)  LOL!  You could even leave space to add pictures – just attach photo corners so you can put a pic in it.

Lastly, I punched holes on the sides of each chipboard piece with a Cropodile and hooked the houses together with key rings.  It lets me fold the houses according-style so it looks like a book.  You can also use book binding tape to achieve the same effect.  Using book binding tape also makes it studier so that you can permanently display it on a table, shelf or mantel.  This project is super easy & goes by really quickly.  Hope you like it!  :)

Stampology Chicago – new owner

So my favorite stamp store changed owners this past fall.  I haven’t had a chance to visit the store since the change over and I feel kinda bad about that.  So I figured I give them a quick shout out here along with a link to their site: http://www.stampologychicago.com/

Donna and her team have been working hard on everything and I wish them only the best.  She’s made some updates to the website & I like what she’s done with the new look to the class schedule and the gallery.  Now I need to find the time to fit in a class! 

Michelle Parlee Believe Wall art

I met Michele Parlee last year on the Crafty Chica cruise.  She and the rest of the Crafty Chica cruisers were some of the nicest people I had ever met.  I was S-U-P-E-R intimidated when I got there.  I thought they were way more talented than I could ever hope to be.  Once I got over my issues with help from my sister and some of the other girls in the group, I found a lot of inspiration from all of the incredible people in the group.  Unfortunately I won’t have a chance to go on the cruise this year, but I got this piece from Michele and it helps inspire me whenever I see it.