Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sketch Challenge

So, it is sketch week again. These are always a little bit of a challenge for me, because they cause me to think of a card in a very different way. Of course, all of the challenges are creativity expanding, because they are made to get you out of the proverbial "box". It somehow seems easier for me to do the other challenges than the sketches though. This sketch, however, was a little easier for me. It is actually a format that I use quite often. (At least a modified version of it.) In this case, I chose to highlight a couple of the new Dreamweaver Christmas stencils, Joseph and Mary LL 3019 and Prince of Peace LX 7004. (I used just the bottom line of this last one.)

Both of the stencils used the Double Glitter Technique. First, I soaped the back of the stencil with the Dreamweaver Soap. (The soap acts as a release agent so that the stencil doesn't bend when you take the adhesive paper off of it.) I brushed off all the little "crumblies" with a large Dreamweaver Stencil Brush. Then, I attched the stencil to the Double Sided Mounting Paper. I used the Microfine Art Glitter in gold, to get into all of the little details. Because it is Microfine, I used my finger to rub it in well. After I was sure that it was all rubbed down, I used the large Dreamweaver Stencil Brush to brush off ALL the excess glitter. When I thought it was done, I brushed it again. I then placed the whole thing stencil side down and very carefully peeled the adhesive paper off of the stencil. I "walked" my fingers along the plain stencil as I peeled off this paper. This keeps it down and unbent. I then poured Crystal Art Glitter over the top of the paper.

This project was simple and fun! The rest of it was even easier, as I just had to assemble the card.

It has been great this week. Check out everyone else's interpretation of this sketch. You should play along with us. If you get a chance, go link to the Dreamweaver Blog so that we can see what you have been up to.
Until next week--stay inspired!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Week--Pandora's Box?

Alright, I am going to be completely honest. I absolutely LOVE working with metals on Dreamweaver Stencils. I adore it so much that I could easily and happily do metals for almost every post (alternating, of course, with all the variations of Double Glitter). It is SO addicting. I am really excited that I am going to be teaching classes in working with metals and stencils at a couple of different stores. Anyway, on to this week's post.
The Greek legend of Pandora says that Pandora was given a box (actually a jar) and told not to open it. Being a curious woman (I can relate), she opened the box and all the bad things in the world came pouring out. When it was hastily closed, the only thing that remained was Hope. I love this legend. It explores human nature, sure, but I love it because I have learned, the hard way, that when all else is truly lost, there is ALWAYS hope. Never give it up. In fact, the first time my mother had Sepsis, and we were told that she could never live, my cousin gave me one of those rubber bracelets that said "hope". I wore it, never taking it off, until my mother actually passed, several months later--months after RECOVERING from the Sepsis. It reminded me that hope is the one thing that can never be taken from you. You have to agree to give it up.
How do Greek legends and my personal experience relate to this project? Well, that image embossed image is the character for "Hope", LS 1008. Of course, the image is Chinese, I think. Hope has no native tongue, however, even if the Pandora legend does. The stencil I used was the small version of it. I placed the stencil face down on a hard, smooth surface. I then placed the red side of my colored aluminum on top of it. I used the Mercart Teflon Tool to press it down into the cut out parts. I removed the aluminum from the stencil, placed it face up on a hard surface, and refined it with that Teflon Tool. I flipped it back over and placed it on suede. I used the small Mercart "Ball" tool to push out the design. I once again flipped it right side up and refined it for the final time on a hard surface with that Teflon Tool. I filled the raised design with Mercart Filling Paste. After it was dry, I finished this part by sanding the raised portions to highlight them.
I had purchased this box for a dollar, yes, just a dollar, at Michaels. It was natural colored when I purchased it, so I painted it black. I then used the Koi Stencil LG 613, well, the edging of that stencil anyway, to deboss the metal for the edges. This was even easier than the embossing on the lid. I simply placed the stencil right side up on a hard surface and laid the red aluminum, also right side up, on top. I rubbed lightly with a blending stump over it so that I can tell where the edges were. I then used the tip of that Teflon Tool to press in all the details. I sanded it while the aluminum was still on the stencil. I removed it from the stencil and placed it on Double Sided Adhesive Paper to help me attach it to the box. I bent the aluminum over the edges where appropriate, and had to trim it just a little on the top corners. Then, I was done.
This project was SO much easier than it looks. It really was. If you haven't tried Metals with Dreamweaver Stencils, I encourage you to do so. Please--you won't regret it. If you are in the Michigan area, look up one of my classes. I will be teaching metals (not precisely this project) at Stamp Peddler in Northville, My Craft Room in Troy, Capture A Memory in Flint, and Altered Art Addicts in Jackson. Check their calendars online for dates. As a reminder, EVERY one of these classes has different projects, so check the photos and find out which class interests you the most.
So, what do you think about this project? Leave a message and let me know. I had so much fun making it. I find it very appropriate to October, breast cancer month. It was breast cancer that taught me one very important lesson: even if things look bleak, it is hope that remains in the box, and hope that remains in your heart.
Until next week, I hope you are inspired!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Dream Scheme Color Sketch--Pink and Black

When I first saw this Umbrellas Stencil, LJ 908, I remembered an image of a gathering in the rain. I couldn't tell you what it was from, of course. Everyone there had a black umbrella except for one person, who had a red one. That single pop of color really stood out because of its uniqueness. It was a little bit of brightness and enthusiasm in the staid black landscape of umbrellas.
When I decided to recreate the image on a card, I opted for the accent color of pink and, for an added bit of whimsy, a leopard print. I started by using matte black paste through the Leopard Skin Stencil LJ 817 on bright pink cardstock. As that dried, I cleaned the stencil and used it on white cardstock with pink pigment ink and a stencil brush. I then stamped this white cardstock with the sentiment. I pasted the Umbrellas Stencil LJ 908 on shimmery dove gray Wausau carstock, using the glossy black paste. As that dried, I flipped the pink leopard print over, and using the back side of the umbrella stencil, outlined the highlighted umbrella pieces with a pencil. I hand cut them, only slightly larger than the outlines. I put some glue on the back and situtated the pieces to create my focal point umbrella. A couple of scraps of the bright pink leopard skin print created the borders on the sentiment. I added ribbon, and I was done. Aside from the drying time, it may have taken me longer to write this blog post. You should give some of this paper "piecing" yourself. It is fun, dramatic and easy. When you finish, you should link to the Dreamweaver Site. We would love to see your stuff. Check out the pink and black on the other Dreamweaver team members sites. Get inspired. I will see you next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Challenge Week

Well, here it is, October. It is a glorious month here in Michigan, as the nights are cool, the days are warm and (usually) sunny, and the air is crisp and smells of apples and crackling bonfires. Personally, it was one of my favorites in childhood, being that it contained both my birthday and Halloween, which meant gifts, cake, costumes and candy. Later, it also held my husband's birthday and our anniversary. It was the king of months for me. The past few years, however, it has been a difficult month. It is breast cancer awareness month, and my mother passed due to complications of breast cancer. Now, October is often a month of as many tears as smiles for me. Not only do I miss my mom at the important events of my life, but I also get the "treat" of shopping at stores filled with pink ribbons on one side of the aisle and tombstones on the other. I have to wonder why no one ever foresaw this disturbing imagery when they chose October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
You may wonder what all of this has to do with this week's card. Well, this card symbolizes a lot for me, and I thought it wholly appropriate to include it as my first October post. First, the background, the beautiful Opto Checkerboard, LJ 915 which reminds me of MC Escher, art school and a lesson plan I once taught in a previous career. To me, it also relates to October, because it is an unexpected checkerboard. It is just a little "off", like all things in October, especially at the end of the month. I pasted this one with black paste.
The butterfly is absolutely one of my favorite new stencils. It is LJ 916. If you followed my Art Glitter blogs over the summer, you have seen this one before on a straw bag. I just love it. It looks its absolute best, I think, when it is double glittered, like it is here. In this case, I used the Double Sided adhesive paper and soaped the back of the stencil before I attached it. I then filled the holes with stunning autumnal (also Monarch colored) Art Institure Glitter, and black Stampendous Fun Flock (in the body). I removed the stencil and poured black glitter over the whole thing. This is a very large stencil, and it runs over the boundaries set forth by the card. I liked this. It seems like the butterfly's will to fly is so strong that it breaks away from its world. My mother and I used to go to butterfly houses where ever we could find them. She loved the idea and feeling of flight, so I imagine that she would have really loved this strong willed butterfly.
Finally, the Make a Wish sentiment. This one I did with Black Adirondack Pigment Ink and a stencil brush. It is from the Birthday Words stencil LG 704. I chose this one for many reasons. Most of all, it is because my mother and I went to Disneyworld after her cancer metastisized. We saw the fireworks display Wishes for the very first time. During the show, the narrator tells us to all "make a wish". Mom and I both started crying, because we both knew what we were wishing for. Anyway, that is what this phrase reminds me of.
So now, here it is, some years later. Sometimes, especially in October, it seems like yesterday, and I feel like an open wound. Most Octobers, I try to just "lay low" to escape all of those pink ribbons and tombstones in the stores. This year, I am opting to face it head on. That is what this posting really represents. While the butterfly reminds me of my mother, it also brings up the sayings that I have been so fond of lately, "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly" and, of course, "Without change, there would be no butterflies." I can't undo this change in my life, so I guess that it is time for me to try and become the butterfly. So, maybe this post was a little less lighthearted than others, and for that, I guess, I am sorry. Sometimes a card is just a card, but sometimes it is a catalyst for thought. I would love it if you could leave me a comment. Check out the other Dream Team designs for this week and play along if you are so inspired. Link it to the Dreamweaver Blog. I hope I didn't bring anyone down. Just remember, try to become the butterfly. It is never too late. Start now.