Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tag, I'm it

My passion for altering manilla tags is well know to many people, if not, let it be known. I also love anything vintage or distressed. I have been playing with paint again lately, and turned my creativity toward collage for my latest set of cards. I wish I could decide on one style of card making, but I'm into the One of a Kind, not easily duplicated. Enjoy!

I'd love to credit the stamps and paper, let's just say it's mostly Club Stamp/Club Scrap with a bit of stash mixed in. Ephemera was taken from National geographics and an old dictionary.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I've been busy...really busy!

Here's some of what I've been up to lately. Between a retreat in Wsconsin, and some local classes my artistic direction is very confused and out of whack! Here's what's coming out of it: ps-the lady christmas cards were designed by scrapologychicago with Dolly Mama's stamps.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Caardvarks- Beads micro challenge

I had to take some time away from cleaning up to play with my new witchy! All paper Club Scrap, stamps Sunday International & Stampendous, polka-dotty tape Heidi Swapp, ink Nick Bantock, Vintage Seed Beeds from my Grandmother's stash!. Click on the image to see a close up. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Level 1 Hurricane in Chicago?

Seriously! Thursday pm, about 3:15 as all the school busses had just left the grade schools, Grade 1 Hurricane force winds blew through our neighborhood north of Chicago. The sky and air were white with whipping rain. 100 year old trees were falling like toothpicks, the ground was so waterlogged, as the trees blew, they were uprooted and blown over. It was Armaggedon!

Allison was suppossed to be on the school bus, but I had picked her up. Good thing! An electric pole was torn out of the ground and wires smashed into the bus as the pole lay on top of it. Emily's bus driver tried to take her wheelchair off the bus...moron! I shouted for him to keep her on until things calmed down. Insane!

Crackle....Crackle...Snap...Crash! One of the huge 50 foot Maple Trees which Canopy my house cracked in half and came crashing down on Utility lines. Buzzz....buzzzzz.....the power went out.

OMG what is happening?

The streets were beginning to flood...think Louisianna. It's time to get out of here!

Off to Mom's, where they have lights, electricity, air conditioning and food.

We call my sister who lives nearby, but got hit harder. She's out of town, her basement is flooding, no power and the sump pump doesn't work.......

72 hours later...

We are all safe. Power was restored earlier today,and tomorrow we attempt to go home. No food in the refrigerator or fresh fruit...everyone wanting to stock up too. It's crazy, simply insane. Tomorrow I will begin to put together an emergency kit, even if I never use it. When the world is spinning out of control, you don't have time to think, but you have to! You have to stay calm. You have to protect your family. You have to protect yourself. We made it through this one, I don't want to do it again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


1 Embellishment = Fence
2 Patterned papers
3 Flowers

Friday, July 27, 2007

a few cards for Fall

I know July isn't even over, but I got this great paper and wanted to do something with it. All paper is from WeRMemory Keepers (Available at Archiver's for Limited time), Stamps are Club Scrap/Stamp & Rhonna Farrer's"Flurishes v:1", Vintage ribbon from stash, Vintage button, Other supplies Flavia & Tim Holtz Distress inks in Mustard Seed, Tea Dye & Vintage foto. Black is Staz-On.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

ATC Art Dolls

Details to follow, I wanted to get the foto up while I had a minute.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!

I hope everyone out there had a fun, safe 4th of July!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Back to the paperplaeing

Life has a way of hitting me upside the head until I've fallen over and forgotten everything I was doing.
Actually, my scanner broke. Since I was unable to upload stuff, I lost motivation to make anything. The good news is that the slump is over! The scanner is still caput, but I've found the time, and a little motivation to crank out some ATCs, and begin 2 really neat board books. I'll post as soon as I get fotos.

Friday, May 11, 2007

an artist at 4 years old

It's been a while since I made a scrapbook layout. Tonight I decided to try out the UHU glue roller,(which is really a two-sided tape mechanism)and play with some pictures I took yesterday of Allison painting her 1st canvas.
Supplies: Stratosphere paper, Paint: Making Memories 'daquiri' & Anita's Acrylic 'steamed milk', Stratosphere UMs, Versamark ink-Amethyst (came with Jr kit) heat embossed with Stampendous 'Kaleidoscope' transparent embossing powder. Fibers & eyelet from stash.
Adhere foto to light blue cardstock, then dark blue, then to 12x12 Fuchsia paper from April's Club Scrap Stratosphere kit. Apply paints, alternately to brayer, roll onto paper in one direction. Refill brayer, repeat. Stamp Phrase to tag cut from light blue cardstock with ink & heat emboss. Punch hole and place eyelet with crop-a-dile, tie fibers through hole, put a dab of UHU roll-on to paper, press down fibers in a jaunty fashion.

Monday, April 23, 2007

a bit of metal tape

I don't remember where I saw this, but somewhere out in cyberspace I learned to use metal tape as a background. I like the industrial look of it, I'll have to experiment with aging it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

anatomy of an ATC Tim Holtz

I adore everyhing this man invents! Here is my ATC offering for Art Techniques ATC group. ATC created from a sheet of aluminum, inked with Tim's Alcohol inks. I added the Harlequin from Stamp Camp with Black Staz-on. Transfered some bingo stuff onto seriously old paper (thrift store find) as well as one of Tim's newest stamps from Stamper's Anonymous. A bit more alcohol inks on some metal thing-a-ma-jiggers. Voilla.

Friday, April 13, 2007

a life in mixed media

This piece is my entry in the April Challenge "wrapped fiber art" for arttechniques. It is my 1st attempt at a few techniques in my journey into the 'dark side': Fiber wrapping, art dolls, found metal collage, and mixed media. I'm really enjoying the freedom that comes from this! I guarantee there will be a whole lot more to come!!
I'm working on a set of shrines...oooohhhh

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

an exerpt from Lee Iwan Acumulated Experience

I am away from home, unable to create today, but wanted to share one of my favorite thoughts taken from Lee Iwan Accumulated experience. A fantastic blog that makes you think about the world we live in, the the quality to which we live.

January 17th, 2007
Frustration can cause bizarre behavior and out of proportion reactions.

When we are frustrated we get angry or apathetic. Our responses become magnified or diminished.

The perfect example of how strange we can react when frustrated is reflected in the “mosquito in bed” scenario.

We lie in bed just dozing off. We have a planned a perfect long nights uninterrupted sleep.

Then the thin piercing buzzing begins, seemingly inside one of our ears. A mosquito.

A quick pass of our hand seems to frighten away the mosquito, and we close our eyes again and drift toward dreamland.

Again the mosquito appears. Exactly in front of our ear. This time we move quickly and with more vigor in order to squash the tiny insect before it can fly away.

This happens several more times.

By now we are angry, frustrated and bent on killing that bug.

Each time we slap at the mosquito we are increasing our velocity and the force behind each swing.

By the 6th or 7th swat all we are really accomplishing is increasing our frustration level and repeatedly hitting ourselves about the head harder and harder.

The apathetic approach calls for us to cover our entire head with the covers and pillow.

This successfully prevents the mosquito from entering our ears and has the added benefit of increasing our body temperature and reducing the oxygen level, eliminating every possibility of breathing normally.

After 10 minutes we throw back the covers gasping for breath, sweating at the temples and find our nemesis in our ear again.

We don’t stop, sit up and turn on the light and track down the tiny bug in a well lighted room. No, our frustration has driven us to absurd behavior, boxing our own ears or suffocating ourselves in the attempt to eliminate a tiny problem from our lives.

Now think about your day at work.

Can you identify your “mosquito” that’s preventing you from fulfilling your real mission?

What the best, most efficient way to find and eliminate your “mosquito”?

Lee has been to or worked with: Russia, China, India, Taiwan, Philippines, South Africa, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Holland, Turkey, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Canada, USA, Mexico, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba, American Virgin Islands, Grenada, Panama, British Virgin Islands....and the list keeps on growing. 35 years in the USA and 15 years in Mexico. What's next?

Mosquito image courtesy:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

a new e-zine & free download

New & Free...anything better? There is a great group of smart ladies out of Australia who have just released a new website: and e-zine: Astarte's Mega-Zine, for your artful enjoyment. If you follow this link Astarte Mega-Zine: you'll be able to sign on to their mailing list, and download:
"A three-page "Saucy Ladies" clipart-and-quotes set
Two pages of high resolution butterfly clipart
Issue #1 of Astarte's Mega-Zine - nearly 40 pages long with 17 fantastic articles to inspire you to create art AND to work with creative processes like reflection, goal setting, art journaling and more."
Ooh la la. I used some of the ladies in my nightlight below. They are offering the free-limited time- sign up in hopes you will subscribe, so don't just take and run! Look over the magazine, and you'll realize there are a ton of tips, projects with step-outs, and fotos!! Instant :Inspiration, Instruction and Gratification. Go visit them & sign up!

Monday, April 9, 2007

a saucy nightlight

March ClubStamp project was a nightlight...and here it is. The vintage images came as a bonus for signing up for a new e-zine (details soon to follow), Beads and twill from stash. This was an incredibly easy project! The difficulty was deciding on images and where to put them, then I photocopied the group onto thin paper, attached it and voilla, done!
I did notice the other day at the LSS there were similiar nightlights for sale, but in bright colors.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Caardvarks Stars Challenge

The month kicks off with the theme of stars. MM scrapbook paints in spotlight, asphalt & red wagon on CS cardstock. My mind's eye paper inked with Walnut Distress from Ranger, Flag um Sunday INternational, staples from MM & ribbon from stash. Vintage image.

an art-e-zine

Ok, my life is now complete. What will those wacky girls from the UK come up with next? art-e-zine ! This web zine (like a magazine but it's online) has the most amazing collection of altered artists I have found in a long time. The art is not for the squeemish, and definitely not mundane. It's edgy, bold, funny, sentimental, bright...everything you could imagine and more. If you stop by, you'll get entranced, and lose hours of time there. If you're looking for "paperarts, art stamping, collage, altered books, art journals, assemblages, digital art, polymer clay etc etc in fact any art medium you like playing with and experimenting and being creative, no limits, just enjoying your art" that is how they describe themselves.
The owner of the site asks for a $10 yearly subscription, if you find yourself using the information. a very very small price to pay for a wealth of stuff!
Finally, if you still haven't gotten enough, there is a yahoo group to join for swaps and information...guess where I'm gonna be all day!

a great clip art site

Clipart ETC. is an off shoot of the Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse, where they house thousands of fantastic clipart images. I'm not talking everyday childish designs, these are detailed black and white drawings and etchings like the flies above. Fantastic to print out, color & collage or use as a focal point for a card. This is not your mother's clip art page. Enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2007

a coffee cozy

Apparently one of the latest crazes in paper crafts & knitting is personalized insulated beverage cozys... Hmmmm, not a trend I'm going to rush out and buy a bunch of, especially since I make excellent coffee at home, and can make the cozys myself. So here is my take on it. I used the pattern below (feel free to use it, just send me a scan of what you make). Fortunately I had a corrugated cardboard box sitting around (always recycling) and cut the pattern out of it. I stamped some great images from the Original Club Scrap Mocha Java kit, as well as images from the new MJ-remix on the cardboard & harlequin pattern from Stamp Camp. Clear embossed over colorbox brown chalk ink an image from StampCamp, and words from the MJ-remix on Manila folder paper, which I then color washed with my own washes. To secure the back, I punched holes set eyelets, threaded a thick brown yarn and tied with a bow. If you're going to use eyelets, remember you want the smooth side against the inside of the cup so it doesn't tear when you insert a beverage. I also added eyelets to the outside for the finished touch.

a beverage cozy pattern

Click on the image, save it to your computer (the foto, not the link). Either embellish digitally or print and decorate, or print and use as a template on very thin cardboard. I use very thin cardboard boxes so it actually has insulation.
I'm offering the pattern here for anyone to use, but please send me a scan (in the comments section)if you actually use it!

Anatomy of an ATC

This swap is titled "Rhapsody". It is the March swap from Club Stamp, using papers and stamps from the monthly kit. Stamp images from Unmounted rubber on Orange and beige paper with Superior Navy ink. Cut out phrase. Ink edges of all pieces. Dip the quote into UTEE, covering both sides. Attach confetti with white glue, and quote with pop up foam adhesive. Attach an eyelet to the side and thread with fibers.

Friday, March 30, 2007

a little mona lisa

So here's the deal: Last weekend I spent time making the "Mona Lisa" card fronts for a Coffee themed swap. Thinking I was incredibly creative, I used actual espresso and coffee grounds for the ink and embossing powder. To my chagrin, the final list was posted, and in a round about, polite way, it was hinted not to use actual coffee due to it's high acid content! Well, now I have a ton of coffee embossed Mona Lisa card fronts, not to mention the culls.
Here I have placed one, stamp by Tim Holtz for Stamper's Annonymous, on brown Club Scrap paper, as well as the phrase from the CS Reaching out Unmouunteds. I used a moldable blue foam stamp with patterns I created from an urn on another CS paper. Embossing powder in Gold and chalk inks from colorbox.
Since I have a ton of 'Lisa's', just send me something, leave me a comment, or email your address & you'll get a Mona Lisa in the mail!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

a little sister

Here is Emily. Paper Club Scrap, flowers Prima, Ribbon Michael's, Buttons from my grandma.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

a break in the action

Actually I'm working as mad as a Hatter on an ATC swap, and can't make up my mind! Every time I decide to take the cards in one direction, they just don't look right. Grrrrr. The theme is Tea party, and the extra challenge is to make a Triptych rather than an ATC. What is a Triptych? I'll explain it all once the cards are done. The mod podge is drying right now, or I'd scan one in. Homework for today: look up definition for Triptych...hopefully I'll have a yummy post ready for Wednesday!

Monday, March 26, 2007

a great program

The Font Thing is a free download to help you manage your fonts. Why would I need that you ask? Well, once installed on your computer you can type your journaling into a little box and it will show you how it looks written in all the fonts installed on your computer, especially since you have probably downloaded everything you could off Urbanfonts last week. How cool is that! No more time spent trying out each font, and going back and forth figuring out just which will work with your layout or project. I have a gazillion 'dirty' fonts installed, and never know just how much dirt I want on the page, now it is so super easy!
If that hasn't convinced you to get it, then this will: It organizes your Dingbats too! Woo hoo, everyone loves organized dingbats, right? What is a dingbat? Imagine you type the letter 'A' on your keyboard and instead you get a flower, or a moon, or a goat. Dingbats are little itsy bitsy designs in place of letters. Just enlarge them and you can have some great cut outs for your artwork. Dingbats, although super easy to use, just type, can get confusing when you don't remember what letter stands for which dingbat. With The Font Thing you see all of them in one place. I suggest you type the alphabet in the little box that pops up when using dingbats.

It doesn't look like it works with Vista yet, but I'm sure it will soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

a sense of self expression

This layout is for my BOM (Book of Me). Although it sounds arrogant to make a book all about yourself, it's more about why I am the way I am, where I came from, where I hope to be going and what is important right here, right now. I've just started it, and haven't decided on 12x12 format, or 8 1/2 x 11. This layout is 12x12. Paper from Club Scrap Refresh (Feb. 07) but I'm afraid the kit is out of stock, Retired, as CS puts it, but you can still get individual sheets. Mosaic tiles from CS- Refresh also. Stewart Superior ink in navy, Eyelets every month Refresh pack, fibers and ribbons from my stash & the font is 'Artstamp Medium'. Fotos of Nicole Richie and Janet Leigh are Copywritten images, and not by me. The Gorilla resides in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida.

a fish story


First I snap the foto, then she hears the click! And that's the secret to making your child look so sweet on film!
Paper from Club Scrap Rhapsody (March 07), ink Stewart Superior which came with the Jr. Kit this month. Brads from eyelets every month Refresh pack, and fiber & button from my stash.
If you visit EEM, eyelets every month, and decide it's as great as I did, please use me as your referal! She gives away free stuff for that kind of thing, and you know I love free stuff!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

a caffeinated lady

These card fronts were to be for a coffee swap. Coffee you say? Where is the coffee? Where is the cup, the spoon, cream & sugar? Both Mona and Leonardo's autograph have been inked with espresso and embossed with Sumatra grounds!
Glossy cardstock inked up with Adirondack Latte, caramel and butterscotch, with a hint of copper mixative. Then I created an ink pad combining scrapbooker's glue and very strong espresso. A heavy dash of finely ground unbrewed Sumatra. Once dry, I brushed off most of the coffe grounds, and only the finest grinds stayed for a velvety finish. These were mounted on Club Stamp Ivory Elegance cardstock distressed with Vintage Photo, mounted onto more Ivory Elegance cardstock with a velvet texture. Mona Lisa stamp is wood mounted from the new Tim Holtz collection at Stampers Anonymous and Leo's signature is unmounted rubber available at Club Stamp. I used no adhesive in these, other than eyelets and brads!
The aroma is fantastic, but now my desk is covered in coffee!

Friday, March 23, 2007

a set of cards

See what happens when someone gives me a challenge! This set of cards will be a gift from my mother to a friend who enjoys gardening. Papers are from Club Scrap Rhapsody & various other CS kits. Envelopes are brown craft paper from Allison's stash...snagging swag from a 4 year old, shameless I know... Stamps from CS Rhapsody, Farmer's Market, Nature's Wonders, brads and fibers from my own stash. Embossing powder clear from Ranger and Tim Holtz's Black distress powder. Inks are Whispers (in color) and Ranger archival black.
The box was embellished with the same stuff, and UTEE covering a wooden puzzle piece.

Cardvarks Challenge

Don't 'cha just love a challenge! I do and Cardvarks is a new Card challenge site worth checking out. New challenges are posted on the 5th and 20th of the month.
This week the challenge is to use buttons and staples. My entry uses Club Scrap paper from various kits with Unmounted stamps from CS Farmer's Market & CS Nature's Wonders, inks courtesy of Whisper's and buttons Colorbok.

a pair of dolls

Every girl loves paper dolls, these have just grown up a bit. The pattern came from Mirkwood designs and can be resized as you like. These ladies are 11" tall once assembled. I took this opportunity to practive some doodling, which seems to be all the craze these days & a bunch of Ranger alcohol inks, various fibers, brads and eyelets. Don't forget to select your hardware before you start inking so you can custom ink that too. Any opportunity to pull out the alcohol inks is a good day. Although the cutting and attaching of limbs is a job for an older child, grab a bunch of markers, and your little one and let them color away. A super fun way to use up little scraps you don't have the heart to throw away.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a little bird house in your soul

An Itsy-bitsy little birdhouse windchime is the perfect way to welcome in spring. I decoupaged the paper and cherub images with Matte Mod Podge, added the words "a little heaven" and a string of Club Scrap beads topped off with a Blue Moon Bead hanger. Each side has images of flowers or cherubs with their own titles. I plan on a second one painted and stamped.
The house is 3" tall.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

a house of blocks

During a quick visit to my local stamp store I saw a project next to the register made from wooden blocks. Since I love projects, I had to figure out how it was done, and what my take would be.
Using the new Tim Holtz unmounted stamps, my favorite from Stampers Anonymous, and a bunch of Club Scrap/ Club Stamp um's I sat down with Allison and we began stamping away on our newly found blocks with a water based archival permanent black ink. Once the ink was dry I mixed up some Walnut Ink and the rest is history.
This was a really fun project, and so easy for kids. What I like so much, is that you can change the blocks around and keep playing after the project is done!
Allison colored hers with colorwash, and it worked as well as the Walnut ink, but her's is now pink/cantelope!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Anatomy of an ATC

March Madness is the theme this month over at the Club Scrap ATC exchange. I'm not a basketball fan, especially since my alma mater gave Chief Illiniwick the boot earlier this month, and we dropped out after the first round...I digress. But, I do fall into madness every once in a while, so I decided to go there. John falls deeper and suggested a 'Jack' theme, so I began.
Starting with a stock foto from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next colored with Tim Holtz's Old Paper distress ink, I added an alcohol ink background with Aidarondack Stream, Lettuce, Butterscotch & Meadow. Leprechaun hats were cut from Club Scrap Refresh (Feb. 07) light green, and colored with Stampendous Ultra fine glitter in Olive and fine glitter in Kelly Green.
I think I made over 30 of these buggers until I came up with 9 I liked, but that's the perfectionist sticking it's evil little head out again.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

a winning Ranger Ink entry

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I won!!! woo hoo!! Ya just gotta love that, and getting free stuff! Over at Rangerink links I entered this little tray from Club Scrap into the March Distress challenge, and low & behold was notified I won! (It was a random drawing) but who cares,I get cool stuff from Ranger!!!

**Update- They sent me a few acrylic paint dabers, a great metallic pen and goreous Cerulean Azure ink, Thank you Ranger!***