Saturday, July 31, 2010

girl's weekend

Chautaqua Belle - Mayville, NY

Weekend away with my mom and sister in Mayville, NY. Visiting the town my mom lived in for a few years as a kid. Beautiful, small, quiet. We took a steamboat ride on Lake Chautaqua today. The steamboat is one of only 4 working steamboats in the country! I had no idea. A piece of history. It was so wonderful. This whole trip has. We may make a girl's weekend a yearly tradition.Very long road trip for us split up over two days driving. We are heading back tomorrow and will be home Tuesday. I'll post more photos then!

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

wordless wednesday

the willow tree

Sunday, July 25, 2010

halloween in july

It does seem a bit early for Halloween. But I took a great class at my LSS last week using Memory Box's new Halloween stamps and papers. Neat techniques and a lot of fun! Here they are....

#1: Spooky Collage

This first card was the first and most complicated one we worked on. The owner of the store and the class teacher experimented that day to try and master the techniques for this card. They found a way to do it that came out really interesting. We started with copper/gold-like piece of cardstock that we rubbed with yellow acrylic. Then we applied Alcohol Inks in yellow, red and brown. I had never used them and LOVED them (but can't afford another new set of supplies)! Next was the fun part. We sprinkled a pile of clear embossing powder on the bottom, right corner of the inked (dry) cardstock. Then we heated it from below with a heat gun until we had a puddle of wet embossing powder. The stamp "Spooky Collage", was inked up (black ink) and ready to go and we stamped it onto the cardstock (and into the wet embossing powder). This was the result! A dimensional look. Really cool in person.

#2 Distressed Crows

This card is shades of black, orange and yellow (the photo gave it a bluish tint). This card was pretty simple - the stamp has so much visual interest on its own. We distressed the edges of a piece of Memory Box's paper with black ink and a sponge first. Then we stamped (in black ink) the "Distressed Crows". Added some black glitter to a few of the small crows with a glue pen. I have never used black glitter before and really like the effect. Obviously it has a Halloween-like appearance but I think it could be kind of elegant too. Finally we stamped & embossed the "Elemental Damask" stamp several times along the top of the card using a light orange ink and clear embossing powder. It mimics the slight damask pattern in the Memory Box paper we used. Finally we mounted the image with dimensional tape on top of a piece of black cardstock and the yellow card.

# 3 Old Fence

This was my first time using an embossing machine! We dry embossed a piece of black cardstock for the background with a spider web image. Very cool. Also used an iridescent white cream lustre on the embossed spider web - another product I had never used. The image "Old Fence" was stamped with black Stayz-On onto a shiny piece of white carstock. The edges were distressed with an edge distressor and black ink. The image was mounted onto bright green paper and mounted onto the other layers. A spider was cut with a die-cut machine (another first for me!) out of sparkly black paper and mounted with dimensional adhesive.

#4 Halloween Collage

Another simple card but I think this is my favorite of the stamps. These are nice stamps because they look like you have layered several stamps to get this appearance. But all the imagery is on one large stamp. We stamped the "Halloween Collage" stamp on a piece of inked, edge-distressed cardstock. The two spiders were colored in with a Copic marker and iridescent glitter was added with a glue pen. Finally we stamped the "Vintage Scroll" stamp across the top with light orange ink and embossed with clear powder. The imagery was mounted onto a piece of glittery cardstock with a strong adhesive.

#5 Night Cat

This last card was a little tricky but clever and a really nice effect. We started with two pieces of Memory Box patterned paper cut into the size we needed. Then on one piece we stamped the "Night Cat" image. We drew a line down from the light of the lantern down in a cone shape mimicking how the light would fall onto the cat. Using an xacto night we cut out that cone shaped portion of the paper (including the cat). We layered the second piece of patterned paper under the first (with the cut out portion and stamped image). Carefully we inked and stamped just the image of the cat into the place it needed to be (on the bottom layer of patterned paper). I'm sure my explanation is confusing but you can kind of see how it was put together if you look at the photo carefully.

So that's it! Fun cards and really nice stamps!

Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a moment of quiet at the end of a busy day

the "river" - flood tide

Just got home. It has been a long day. But not too bad. Busy day at work and then I took a long walk after, drove to grab a sub sandwhich for dinner, and ate it in the car before a class at my LSS. It was my own fault for cramming in too much.  I had signed up for a Memory Box Halloween card class. It was fun. Learned some really cool techniques...I'll try to post the cards this week. And the walk was necessary. I have gained back all the weight I lost a few years ago because of some random medical things making exercise a challenge over the past year. But I want to get back on the wagon....

I have gotten some questions recently about ATC's...what are they? Here's a little bit of their history (from Wikipedia):

Artist Trading Cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards,[1] or 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches (63 mm X 89 mm),[2] small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets.[3] The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland.[4] Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.). The cards are usually traded or exchanged rather than sold.

I find that they are a really great way to experiment with techniques, colors and themes without feeling as intimidated as I do with a large piece of paper or canvas. I play around more. I also like how mobile they are...I keep some in my desk at work so in between groups and sessions I can work on one to process how the session went. Probably my favorite reason for enjoying them is that it isn't really like starting a whole new hobby or artform. I am using the supplies I already have on hand for my other loves: scrapbooking, collaging, cardmaking, painting and drawing. I am having so much fun making them! I just signed up for the website ATC's for and am finding it to be a great source of inspiration and challenges in the form of swaps.

Well...I am going to head off to bed now. Starting it all over again tomorrow!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

art therapy atc swap

"Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings." - Miles Franklin

I am participating in an Artist Trading Card Swap with approximately 50 art therapists across the country. These are my contributions! It has been organzied by a Linked In subgroup for The Art Therapy Alliance. I can't wait to see the three cards I get back. The topic was "how art therapy helps others, our community, world."

Monday, July 12, 2010

monday gratitudes

pies I made for my girls night - blueberry pie and chocolate chip pie

Today is sort of my last day of vacation for now. I say sort of because I usually have mondays off in the summer but I was off from both jobs last week. I don't want to go back tomorrow. I just don't. I'm not ready. I have fantasies of spending my days baking, cleaning my apartment, walking in the woods, making art, spending time with my guy and family, growing a garden, reading, working a part-time low stress (highlight on the low stress) job. I feel like I can't do that. I feel overwhelmed a lot. Bills, student loans, choices. Feel like I can't backtrack and do it differently particularly because of the student loan part. Acceptance is what I need to do today. Focus on the Serenity Prayer.

So today is a good day for a Gratitude List. I need it. I also need to see how I want to spend my day....Stewing over feeling stuck? or enjoying the freedom of the day?

Today I am grateful for:
  1. having time yesterday to make some ATC's for the art therapy swap (I'll post them soon)
  2. blueberry pie
  3. Paula Deen's recipes and humor and love for butter ;) I got the chocolate chip pie recipe from her. So good!
  4. my flowers and balcony outdoor space
  5. english muffins for breakfast
  6. lots of flowers in the apartment
  7. time apart and how it makes us appreciate the time together much more
  8. the smell of cut grass and coffee brewing early in the a.m.
  9. a good book to read with lots of pages left
  10. learning of an old friends pregnancy...can't wait to knit her something sweet!
Thanks for listening to my non-sensical babbling and complaining. It is just one of those mornings....why? I need to get over it! I have the day off and it's summer!!!

Happy Monday

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Took a class this week while on vacation to do some collage-y ATC's. So fun! We might start an ATC "Club" of sorts out of it too. That will be fun. I hope to make some more today to send off for an art therapy swap I'm participating in this month. Here are a few more photos...
We made a little card holder out of a die...sorry not sure what die it was since I have actually never used one
 before! It was all new to me...

The theme of this one in the class was orginally supposed to have the "How do I love thee..." words and a little collage photo of this old photobooth photo of a couple...but we were encouraged to go off in our own directions if we wanted. I found this Statue of Liberty image on the table and thought it would be perfect! For some reason I have never really loved using "photos" or images of people. I don't know why? I get hung up on wondering who the people are and feeling no attachment to them. If I don't feel a connection to what images I'm working with I am not as into the art. So...I skipped the people on this one. I did challenge myself to use the people image on another ATC to try it but it wasn't my favorite card.

This was the first ATC made in the class and it was one of my favorites...but it makes me laugh that I arranged the two birds plotting thier escape from the nest with the words..."Fly away with me!"

Hope to make some more today and post them later....

Happy Sunday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

monday gratitudes


It has been a nice 4th of July weekend all-in-all. Walked to the parade to meet friends and see the floats. Watched fireworks from our apartment balcony. Saw more fireworks on the 4th. Two beach days. My sister joined me and my mom for one today. Cookout at my parent's. Hamburgers. Watermelon. A delicious dessert by my mom... cream. Video games. Movies. An afternoon nap. All good holiday vacation stuff. So instead of writing a list.... this is my gratitude list for today! Hoping for many more fun, relaxing summer-like things this upcoming vacation week.

Happy Monday!


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