Saturday, October 17, 2020

Winter Moose Scene

I’m not sure why I felt the need to create this card... but it was calling me to do it! This card has tons of texture and I went a little crazy on it. I used patterned paper (Bo Bunny), gesso, Daler Rowney acrylic paints, Art Anthology (AA) media, various embossing powders (Seth Apter Baked Texture, Stampendous, and Wow), Prismacolor pencils, Gansai Tambi watercolors, and Archival Coffee and Stampin Up Taupe inks,

Starting with a 6x6 teal patterned paper (can see scroll detail peeking through in top left and bottom right corners), I white gessoed the paper. I then added with a spatula and my finger, at the bottom, AA Mermaid and, at the top, AA Cayman and white acrylic all over. When I was satisfied a had the beginning of a sky and hill, I embossed the fence from Unity’s beautiful SMAK kit, Winter Wild (10/17) I used a Stampendous Powder from a kit. I added white acrylic and Raw Sienna to build out the impression of a snowy fence and later added AA’s Walnut Sorbet (which has a slight sparkle to it). 

Next, I pulled out the trees from the kit and created a mask for the hill. I stamped and embossed twice, moving the stamp in between and using 2 different powders (a patina and a teal) for color and texture differentiation. I also added white acrylic on some for a snowy effect. 

I then turned to the left side of the picture and first added white and Raw Sienna painted lines. I then stamped and embossed the wheel tracks stamp from the kit using another embossing powder. Turned out okay... not great, and added more white paint and sienna. I decided to try to make a road into the hill and used both the AA paint and my watercolors.

I then stamped out the moose from the kit with Archival Coffee and used my pencils to add dimension to the image. I fussy cut it out and then realized I probably should have reversed the direction of the hill and fence as I didn’t want to cover up the fence. So, to salvage it, I decided to add a sentiment in the middle and ended up using a die. I pulled a stamp from Unity’s Winter Blessings kit and used the Taupe ink with it. Again, I backed it with a Bo Bunny paper scrap I had and created a second inner layer by diecutting an in between size and embossing the paper. I then attached the moose head to that.

After looking at it more... I decided to paint in my own fence and add the sentiment and moose on foam strips. I spattered the moose and background heavily with white paint. I cut the paper to fit an A6 sized Kraft card and called it done.

Let me know what you think... does the moose look wonky hanging out in the middle or okay? How do you think it turned out?

If nothing else, I had so much fun putting this one together! I absolutely think the Unity kits used are some of the best in their whole line of Christmas/winter themed kits! If you are not following me and enjoy my crafty efforts, please click on follow or add your email to keep updated! 

Well, hope you enjoyed my journey... till next time, happy crafting!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Unity’s October SMAK + Ciao Bella Paper

 Oh my, My October SMAK, The Best Memories finally came in! I was drawn to both wreaths but I ended up stamping out the smaller one using an old Stampin Up Taupe ink on scrap pale beige paper. To see what I could do with it, I pulled out Spectrum Noir Metallic Pens and started adding brown, gold, copper and silver inks to the petals. Liking the look, I then used the brown pen and a black pen to embellish the stems and leaves more.

Okay... Well, I ended up loving how it turned out! Now I had to figure out what to do with it. I recently picked up Ciao Bella’s Sound of Winter, and thought the colors were complementary. So I picked a snowy background paper out and stamped the smaller snowflake from the kit using Distress Weathered Wood and Wow Sea Salt powders. After deciding on the sentiment I would use, I then fussy cut pinecone clusters, a lamp and squirrel from the paper to place around the wreath. I lifted the lantern and and a larger cluster with foam tape. Needing more embellishments, I decided to add Nuvo droplets around the wreath, in a wedgewood color, a silver and a whitish/blue clear sparkly mix. I also added Liquid Pearl drops in Rose Gold.

I stamped and embossed the sentiment twice on paper from the pack using one of the blue powders and then a Brutus Monroe Espresso color. There’s a blue halo effect around the letters, some from smudging, others deliberate, that I’m fine with! I also did a little snowflake stamping around the sentiment too. I then tore it and inked the edges with distress oxide inks. To complete the card I added a little paper burlap hand cut out.

I love how this card turned out... so different from the normal. And perfect for the times we are in! Hope you enjoyed this different approach! Till next time, happy crafting!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Autumn Leaves Card

Hello again! Been busy making ATCs and sample entries for Unity’s Show & Tell monthly Challenge which I am hosting the next 3 months. (‘How to’s’ on my entries submitted there will be documented on a Unity Stamp Co’s blog.

The inspiration for this card came from my new Stencil Girl, Turkish Wedged Stones stencil, my 2 Tim Holtz color collections, Crackling Campfire and Speckled Egg, and Unity’s August KOM, Count Your Blessings. The TH color collections include all line products, embossing powders, inks, sprays and paints.

I had a lot of fun using the paints, inks and embossing powders from both Tim Holtz’s color collections. I’ve been watching mixed media videos about using stencils. So, using what I learned, I added paint through the stencil onto watercolor paper with a makeup sponge. After cleaning the front of the stencil, I turned it over and added paint to the back of the stencil before turning it over and lining it up and pressing down on the already stenciled paper. Pretty cool technique as it fills color back into the untouched white areas. I loved the stone colors created with these 2 colors. To differentiate the stones and add dimension, when dry,  I added grayish brown paint and pens. I also applied a little white paint with a spatula over the stone areas. Loved the textured look it ended up creating. 

Next I turned to the leaf from the kit. I pulled out the matching embossing powders, and a brown and orange powder, and ended up sprinkling the powders over the inked leaves. I also spattered oxide ink over them and fussy cut them out. I stamped a random sentiment from another kit and backed that up. 

To pull the Kraft mounted card together, I added a gray strip of corrugated paper, teal ribbon and coordinating enamel dots. 

Hope you get a little inspiration from this one! Till next time, happy crafting!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Friends of Unity October Bog Hop

Welcome to the Friends of Unity October Blog Hop! Birthdays are our focus this hop, just in time for several occasions in my immediate family! Remember to comment on each blog for a chance at winning some Unity goodness!

For the first card, I used another Somerset Studio artist paper, as I very much enjoy the artistic look of them... a development skill I really want to acquire. Notice the script in the paper... which is where i got the idea for this card!

I decided to use the leaf from the Letting Go kit. Using purple, red and blue archival inks, I stamped the leaf out. I then added coordinating brighter/darker watercolors to the image. Using the 6/17 Be Fearless SMAK kit, I white embossed the script over the image and fussy cut it out. 

To make the card stand out, I used purple paper as a foundation, to frame a purple embossed random Unity birthday greeting, and as a fussy cut shadow for the leaf. I added purple crystals for accent.

The second card began with watercolor paper and 2 Altenew spray inks ihtn blue and green. I then used the wonderfully versatile Small Details background stamp with Coffee archival ink. I also randomly added some Dinged Dots using the archival ink as well. I then added the corner stamp from the Hello Beautiful kit using a brown Nuvo embossing powder. 

Next, I turned to the main image, the car from the Consider Yourself Vintage kit. The image was embossed using Aqua Tinsel powder. After consideration, I decided just to use just one of the sentiments from the kit (knowing my audience). I pulled another sentiment from Slowly Turning Classic. I decided to use vintage ephemera to stamp the images on using Ground Espresso oxide ink. I also used a long stamp from an old kit to stamp around the sentiments. I then cut the sentiments down.

Having the base piece, car and the sentiments, I decided to pull Kraft cardstock and looked for a "road" like stamp. Found one in the The Ocean is Calling. I stamped it on the card stock and white embossed it on the background several times. I tore the Kraft cardstock, attached everything together onto a Kraft card base, and added crystals, studs and ribbon to complete the card.

Now, on to the hop! You should have come here from - 

Eileen’s Blog!

Now, follow on to -

Bobbie Sue’s Blog!

If you need to start from the beginning, head over to -

Crystal’s blog!


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

August Unity ATCs

Had fun creating these August ATC’s!

Starting with the Know You Are Strong Kit and Unity paper from Whitney’s Have Courage Kit, I found the perfect Washi tape to pair with both. The basewas easy to put together as I just adhered strips of paper and Washi tape on cut up ATC’s and stamped the sentiment on a smaller paper. I then added horizontal watercolor drips to the sentiment paper in matching colors. I embossed the small feather from the kit using leftover paper from the first step using white, purple and teal embossing powders. I fussy cut them out and adhered everything together.

Keeping to a purple theme, I started the second ATC set with the fantastic Life is Better With Friends Kit. I decided to start with a base of patterned paper. It was a 12 x 12 sheet I cut down and added white gesso to... using a heavier hand toward the center. I wanted the pattern to show through on the edges. I stamped and embossed the image toward the left using purple and dark silver powders and used a combination of acrylic paints to loosely add color to it. I then used another stamp to add magenta to the side and top. Finally, I embossed the sentiment in purple and a dark silver. I added a violet rick rack ribbon to the bottom.

As usual, loving using ATCs to experiment with. This time I tried painting with acrylics (need a lot more practice and lessons), tried out the Crafters Companion purple embossing powder I picked up discounted and practiced creating drips. Hope they turned out okay and my crafty friends liked them, despite learning curves! Well, till next time, happy crafting!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Second SMAK Card, Fly!

Created another SMAK card using Unity’s September 2020 SMAK, Everything is Up to You. This was so easy to make and I just love how it turned out! These leaf stamps are so intricate and pretty, I used them in combination to create an autumn inspired encouragement card!

I started by stamping the sentiment in green Versafine ink. I then used a combination of that and the Tim Holtz Crackling Campfire and a little Fossilized Amber to add the leaves surrounding the sentiment. I then spattered the ink all over. I die cut the top and bottom and used a leaf border trim on the sides. I added a green paper border trim piece behind each side. I then used another background stamp from the kit to make the bottom layer. 

For embellishment I added sparkly sticky dots and twine. Hope you enjoyed this simple card. Till next time, happy crafting!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

I See Your Soul Card

Love sunflowers, so I was happy to see one included in Unity’s September SMAK, Everything is Up to You! I recently picked up a grungy Echo Park paper collection and decided I wanted to try using the papers for this grungy card. I pulled out Seth Apter Ancient Amber and Wendy Vecchi Buttercup embossing powders, the Crackling Campfire oxide ink, and my Gansai Tambi watercolors.

I started by first taking a paper from the Transatlantic Travel pack and embossing in yellow the sunflower petals and used the brown powder in the center of the flower. I also used the red ink to get the fade away bits of the stamp. I then began adding dimension to the flower with watercolors. It’s an interesting contrast that the powders fully cover the paper while the watercolor bits are transparent. I used a Brea Reese brush pen in black ink to add some random lines. Again, just trying to go for the “impression” of a flower.  I used other stamps from the kit to add more texture to the background. I then spritzed flecks of black, white, red and gold paint all over. Used the same paper to stamp the sentiment and a gold pen to highlight the letters.

I die cut the sunflower paper, fussy cut the sentiment and backed both with more paper from the kit. I added sequins with prills and black ribbon to embellish the card. I like the combo of the sunflower facing one head on with the sentiment! The “grunginess” just says to me, I see you as you are and that’s okay!

Hope you enjoy this unique take on a card! Till next time, happy crafting!

Friday, September 11, 2020

First Art Journal Pages

So for the last few days I’ve been playing with my September Unity SMAK kit, Everything is Up to You, some new stencils from Stencil Girl and a bunch of products from Altenew (spray), Versafine (ink), Dylusions (acrylic paint), Ranger (paint) and some random acrylics, embossing powder, and pens.

I decided to try my hand at creating a two page layout in my new ArtC art journal I had picked up at a Tuesday Morning last year! What fun... must admit I love watching mixed media artists on YouTube and get a lot of inspiration and courage from watching them play and change things up on the fly! I did the same thing with this layout.

I began first by “gessoing” both pages. I then filled the pages by stamping a sentiment from the kit all over as well as 2 background stamps. I then started adding sprays and paint all over. I knew I wanted to try my hand at Talaya, Goddess of Rain Stencil. So appropriate, as we have another ashy, gray, bad air quality day from all the West Coast fires! I first painted over the area I was going to stencil with a flesh colored paint. I then took a dark brown paint and added the girl. I spent a bit of time adding color and shading to her hair and face and continued this till the end.

I tried adding other stencils and stamps and ended up going over what I had done with white and cream colored paints... hey, can always change it up... and, this is my first try, and... it’s for me! So next, I embossed the leaves from the kit twice with copper powder. I added paints to it and fussy cut them out. I continued to add lowlights and color to these till the end as well. I used the background stamps, again, from the kit to darken the area underneath where I’d affix the leaves. I then adhered them to the pages and tried using charcoal to outline them. I wanted it darker so I used a Brea Reese paint pen to add outlines. I added another sentiment from the kit by stamping on orange paper cutting it up and backing it with black paper,

I’m pretty happy with the delightful meaningful mess I created for my first attempt! I plan to continue attempting more pages going forward as this was so fun - turning blank pages into color and form! Be interesting to see if I can improve my skills in this area! There is certainly a ton of room for improvement!

Well, till next time, happy crafting!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Unity’s September SMAK Card

Just received the new September SMAK kit, Everything is Up to You and had to immediately open it up. I decided to start making an autumn card using the pretty row of trees. (May shoot for a Christmas version later, as well!)
Wanting something a little different, I pulled my Schmincke’s watercolors out and created a gradient watercolor wash down the paper. I was pretty pleased with how vibrant the colors turned out. Not wanting the background to wash out the image, I pulled out my Vicki Boutin crayons and crayoned over the rubber stamp, spritzed it with water and stamped it on the paper. I did this several times, using a heat gun to dry the image paper. When done, I stamped the tree tops one more time with red ink. There’s definitely a combo of colors in those trees. I love the loose feeling this technique gives the image.

Wanting some bling too, I took craft glue and added dots around the treetops and the ground to adhere flecks of gold, copper and purple glitter. Haven’t used glitter in a while... was fun to pull it out! Now, I was really happy!

I embossed a sentiment from the kit using a Zinc green powder. I trimmed down the image and sentiment. I found gold glitter paper I thought would complement the image and added small border strips on the top and bottom and backed the sentiment.

I love autumn colors and the season! And I think the bright colors and lovely sentiment of this card, could bring cheer to someone this season! See the video at the end for a look at all the sparkle!
Enough on this card, hope it inspired some ideas... till next time, happy crafting!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Friends of Unity Blog Hop

Hello and welcome back to the Friends of Unity September Blog Hop! You may have missed me last month as I had to prepare for a load of guests and household furniture and boxes to be staying with me for awhile. My son and family moved in (22 month old grandbaby, son and DIL, 2 cats, a dog, a tortoise and a chinchilla) while they tried to sell their condo and search for a house! And, successfully, they’ve achieved both objectives and will be closing on both in the next month! What a joy and great diversion to have them here!

Meanwhile, along with my sanity, I’ve gotten my crafty mojo back! Today I’ll be sharing 2 cards created with the theme of Friendship in mind! Remember to comment on each post in the hop for your chance to win some Unity goodness! In July, I promised a giveaway from my post, so I’d like announce

Andre M

as my winner! Please PM me to claim your stamp set!

The first card was created for a very special friend’s birthday, using the sunflower from August’s KOM, Count Your Blessings, and the sentiment from August’s SMAK, You Are My People! I watercolored the sunflower to match the Summer Charm paper from Craft O’ Clock. I then used pencil to deepen colors and fussy cut out the sentiment, the flower and some butterflies from the paper.

For the second card, I used paper from a Somerset Studio magazine and stamps from Here’s to Love and Friends! The sentiments in this kit are lovely! I embossed the image twice, once with black and the second time, just the flower in shades of red and pink. I then used a Jane Davenport pastel palette and some Qtips and a dry brush to add color. To deepen colors a bit, I added Prismacolor watercolor pencils. I fussy cut out the wreath and made a shaker card with it. I used very pale sequins in the shaker and for embellishment. Finally, I added thin green sticky strips to the black paper backing from Love From Lizi to add a border.

Hope you enjoyed these friendship cards - see you next month! I am the last in the hop order, so if you need to stop back at the top, here it is:

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

July ATC Set

Had fun last month experimenting with a mixed media ATC using inspiration from the Somerset Studio Summer 2020 magazine edition. Collaged patterned paper from multiple sources onto mixed media paper using gel medium. I then added acrylic paint using a roller and my fingers. Once dried, I cut the paper down to ATC size and started adding Unity stamps from a variety of KOMs and SMAK kits! Here’s the start of my efforts!

Next, I stamped the small flower cluster from another Unity Kit onto separate paper and loosely watercolored them. I then tried to differentiate the background ATC with different layers using colored pastes, stencils, different inks and stamp patterns. I used a ton of products on this ATC experimenting with what worked and what didn’t. Again, I love that my crafty friends enjoy receiving all kinds of ATC’s, including some of my failures... all with the best intentions of encouraging creativity! I consider this set an okay attempt... A for color matching, B for effort and C/D for overall effect. 

I decided to share this effort, as I think it could serve as encouragement for trying something new and taking a chance, gathering inspiration from great artists, like, in this case, Laly Mille, and persevering despite so so results. Every opportunity to try something new is a learning experience!

So, with that, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new to you... a technique, an art medium, or design construct, be it mixed media, vintage, CAS, whatever... Just go with it! Till next time, happy crafting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Funky Pandemic Tag

Used Unity’s August SMAK kit, You Are My People, to create this artsy funky tag. I used a variety of products to create it: Brea Reese acrylic paint, Montmartre glossy acrylic paint, Art Alchemy metallic paint, 3 Tim Holtz stencils (plus another random stencil), Gansai Kuretake watercolors, 2 Washi tapes, glitter inks, ribbons, and a pen.

I started by laying down the colors and using the stencils to create a design. I then emphasized the stencil marks with pencil and started stamping. I ended up restamping both the center image and the main sentiment onto separate paper, adding color, fussy cutting them out and adding them toward the end. Must admit, I changed my mind several times in creating this one, thus adding several layers.

I have a full house right now, with my son and his family, their additional 5 animals and all their furniture and belongings, staying with me. I’m so thrilled they’re here and enjoying the brief time I’ll have with them while selling their current place and buying a new house! Especially my grandbaby... and during the pandemic and the Cali fire incidents going on right now! My husband is still on the other side of the country and hasn’t been back since the pandemic started. He and I are both at that age where we don’t want to risk travel and socialization, so this has been a godsend! What a change company can make to your mental state! Anyway, I’ll be keeping this one as a reminder if this time! 

Hope you are all staying safe and sane... happy crafting till next time!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Another Unity August 2020 SMAK Kit Card

Used Ciao Bella paper to stamp the bird image and sentiment onto, from Unity’s August SMAK Kit, You Are My People. I then grabbed the tag and postal image and added red and very pale green images on the paper. I stamped the tag onto a piece of patterned paper and added some lowlights and highlights and fussy cut it out. I outlined all the images with pencil and added a touch of white highlights to the sentiment to make it stand out.

Finally, to complete the card, I used patterned paper as 2 backgrounds, and added twine and red and green crystals. Pretty simple card to make with a very vintage feel.

Hope you all are doing well. I’m surrounded by fires currently, but they are far enough away not to be a danger to my family, but close enough to create serious havoc with air quality. After 6 days of over 100 degrees, we are enjoying the balmy 😏 90’s today! However, still can’t walk the dogs, until air quality improves! Oh well, the almost 11,000 lightening strikes California experienced Monday and the myriad fires they caused, just fell in line with all the other craziness of 2020! Stay safe, everyone, and happy crafting!