Thursday, August 28, 2014


If you are looking for my Stampotique project for this week, it's right below this one!

My friend and uber talented Stampotique teammate Claudine Criner will be leading an online workshop she is calling THE ALTERED PLAYING CARD CHALLENGE...and it's FREE! Over the next 6 months, starting September 1, Claudine will be sharing techniques, tricks, tips and tutorials on how to alter a simple deck of 52 playing cards into fun pieces of art. She will walk us through the process, doing two cards a week, so there will be no pressure. We will create as we go--together!
NON-ARTSY FOLKS are encouraged to join in, as you will need only the very basics of art supplies. This project will be a fun way to "get your feet wet" if you have a desire to get crafty but don't know where to begin.
Check out Claudine's blog for the details here.
I will be there...will you?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The Stampotique Designers' Challenge is sure to cool the summer heat as we are going "under the sea" to please my talented teammate Arwen McCullen!  Here's the challenge in her own words:
Who doesn't remember Arielle the little mermaid?  :)  I love the sea and the residents there.  Mixed with fantasy and mysticism, it's a perfect theme for a Stampotique Challenge! Let me see how your underwater world looks.   
                                        xx Arwen
I took the easy way out and enlisted the help of some "seaworthy" patterned paper from my stash to create this card.  The large fish on the right and the sentiment are from Stampotique Originals.
The stamps I used are:
Gueneviere (Amy Wellenstein)
One Fish, Two Fish... (Amy Wellenstein)

I hope you will join us in creating something this week.  The submission guidelines are here.  At the end August, two lucky artists will be randomly chosen to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."  

Thank you for stopping by today, and thanks, too, for taking a moment to leave a comment.  Both are appreciated! 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


My favorite day of the week is here again, so that means the Stampotique Designers' Challenge has been posted and we are free to move about the garden!  Kristen Catalano is our lovely hostess, and she is saying, 
We may be nearing towards the end of summer, and for most, the flowers are fully bloomed, but for me, some of the best flowers are yet to come.  I love the gigantic sunflowers and the autumn mums, and for that reason, I challenge you to use flowers in your creations this week. Have fun !
I have been playing with coasters recently, and decided I was ready to try something just a bit different.  Rather than using alcohol inks, I gessoed my ceramic coaster, added some paint and stamping, then--surprisingly--paper!  Here's my project:

As I didn't want the glare of the varnish to reflect during the scanning process, I will add that later.  I promise to let you know how the paper pieces survive with use!

I used three Stampotique Originals' stamps on the coaster:

Flowers For You (Maryse Carrier)
Flowers are love's truest... (Carol's Collection)
Carol's Flower, small (Janet Klein)

Thank you for coming by again today!  I appreciate both your visits and your comments.  I hope you will spend some time getting crafty this week and create something for this fun challenge.  Directions and rules for submitting your artwork can be found here.  At the end of the month, two artists will be randomly selected to receive $30 gift certificates for products found in the Stampotique "store."


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


The Stampotique Designers' Challenge is up, and I can already hear the music!  Kathi Rerek is our host this week, and here's her challenge to you:
I love music and enjoy most genres ranging from liturgical music to rap, from classical to head-bangin' rock!  Music fills my soul and moves me emotionally and physically. 
Let's see how music inspires you!  Use song lyrics, music notations, or words associated with music in your project and share it with us!
Have fun!  I can't wait to see what you all create!
Like Kathi, I like music, too!  All kinds of music.  One of my favorite genres while in my studio, however, is Chinese music. I love the flute, the sound of the wind and chimes, birds chirping, and water rushing.  One of my favorite pieces is called "The Tea Ballad," and it has inspired my piece today.  If you'd like to give a listen while you're reading, click here.

For Kathi's challenge this week, I have chosen to work in my Finnabair Journal (by Prima).  I chose a page with a background showing colors similar to those in a piece of patterned paper I wanted to use.  The paper is from a collection called "The Far East" by DCWV.  First, the finished page...

then, the detail...

The cup image is from Stampotique Originals, and is called "Musical Cup."  I stamped it on a scrap piece of the background paper and adhered it with pop dots so that it wouldn't have to compete with the depth of the cherry blossom branch.

I hope that music moves you, too, and that you will be inspired to create something for this great challenge.  Directions and rules for submission of your artwork can be found here.  At the end of August, two lucky winners will be randomly drawn to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."  It could be you!

Thanks for coming by today and for taking the time to leave a comment!  Both mean a lot to me!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014


As Stampotique Designers' Challenge design team members, we have a list of upcoming challenges so that we can be ready to post on the day the challenge goes live!  A perk you say?  In most cases, yes.  We can design without the pressure of deadlines.  But, there are those rare occasions, like this one, when I know what's coming and absolutely dread it!  I am not a "bow" person.  If you could look through everything I have ever created, you would not find one bow!  But, first, read what my wonderful teammate and friend Jackie Payne has to say:
   Ribbons have been around since the Middle Ages. Merchants travelled the world, buying and selling ribbon, many of which had gold and silver in the silk. ribbons were a sign of nobility and worn only by the rich. By the  seventh century ribbon was part of the fashion industry and was part of clothing.
   Today ribbon has numerous uses, and it is a favourite crafting accessory, I have lots of it! 
   You can make fabulous bows with it to adorn your cards, scrapbook page,  tags, journals, etc.
   So, I would like to see you adding a bow to your project, if you don't have ribbons, bows can be made out of many mediums such as paper, clay, and string to name but a few!
   I looking forward to seeing your creations with a bow!
So, I have been saving bows.  People who knew of my predicament have been saving bows for me.  I have been practicing tying bows.  But, nothing seemed to inspire me. I have been creating gelli prints for months, but my prints have just been stacking up and I have not been using them.  My goal was to do that for this challenge.  I gathered all my prints and leafed through them for inspiration.  I found one that I liked and the color immediately reminded me of a Stampotique stamp that I had purchased, but not yet used. 

"Stacked Cups" is a fun stamp created by designer Roc Nicholas.  I stamped it, trimmed around it and laid it on my gelli print.  I was now on a roll.  What followed was a bit of coloring with my Copics and printing a sentiment on my computer.  An addition of a piece of "scrap metal" from my stash, and done...well, except for that damned bow!!  Keep it simple, I thought.  I combed through my ribbon drawer(s) and found twine.  Simple, basic, very ordinary twine...and I tied a simple, basic, very ordinary bow!

So, while I did not like the challenge, I really do like what I created.  So, thanks, Jackie, for giving me the nudge!

I hope you will join us in creating something this week.  The submission guidelines are here.  At the end August, two lucky artists will be randomly chosen to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."  

Thank you for stopping by today, and thanks, too, for taking a moment to leave a comment.  Both are appreciated!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I am thrilled to have a turn to host the Stampotique Designers' Challenge this week!  What might seem like a simple challenge to most, for some, whose work is generally full of color, it really will be a challenge.  But, for all of us, it's good to try something different. I have been on a black'n'white artistic kick lately because I love the crisp freshness it can bring to a card, journal page or ATC. Whatever you decide to do, keep it black and white with just a pop of color!  Get creative this week and join us!  The directions and rules for submission can be found here

To inspire you, I have made a card. The "technical details" are below, if you are interested.

I used a black card blank and scraps of patterned paper and black card stock to create the card.  I trimmed the patterned paper just a bit smaller than the card blank so the card blank serves as matting.  I used one of the new Tim Holtz Frameworks dies (Honeycomb) to create a bit of interest on the left.  I used an oval punch to create the "rug" to ground my image.  That delightful image is from Stampotique Originals, and is by one of their newest stamp designers, Linda Peterson.  This image is called "Hazelheart," and you can find all of Linda's stamps (most with coordinating text stamps) here.  For my sentiment, I used a Stampotique text stamp called "You are in my prayers."

Thanks so much for stopping by today, as well as for your comments.  Both mean a lot to me!  Between my blog followers and networked blog followers, I am nearing that 200 mark!  If you have not yet joined as a follower, please do so.  I would love to see you back again!  


Thursday, July 24, 2014


If you are looking for my post for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge, it is immediately below.

I am thrilled to have been asked to host today's challenge on the Tag Along Blog!  I created this tag for my step-daughter's high school graduation last month. A personal note was included on the back. I love steampunk, but with a "softer" edge, so I took great latitude here with the steampunk theme.  

If you are interested in the process, the details are below.

For the tag base, I chose Strathmore Mixed Media 140 lb. paper. Using the "gears" stencil from The Crafters Workshop (TCW262), I applied a very thick layer of Liquitex Modeling Paste.  I let the paste dry naturally for several days.  Next, I randomly pounced (yes, I did say pounced!) color onto the surface by using Ranger's Distress Paints in Spiced Marmalade, Rusty Hinge, and Wild Honey.  Without allowing the paint to dry, I tilted my tag up on its base and began spraying water along the top.  I added more paint, then sprayed again, repeating until I was happy with the coverage and "drippage." To add a bit more color and interest, I rubbed on some Inka-Gold in orange, then diluted a few drops of Golden's fluid acrylic in Teal and sparingly added that.

Both my stamp and sentiment are from Stampotique Originals, the image being "Single Tear," and the sentiment, "Aborigine." The finishing touches include a Tim Holtz' Idea-ology Fastener, jump ring, and Crinkle Ribbon (colored on my craft mat with Dylusions spray inks), as well as some random trinkets found in my stash.

I am happy that you visited today, and would love it if you left a comment so that I will know you were here.  If you have not already done so, please sign up as a follower (above and to the right).  Then, sign up to "follow by e-mail" so that you don't miss an update!

Please take some time this week to get crafty and create a tag for my steampunk challenge on the Tag Along Blog!  You can add your artwork here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The weather in New England during the month of July has reached 90 degrees on numerous days, so it has been hard for me to think of "Christmas in July," which is what my ├╝ber-talented teammate Gez Butterworth is asking us to do for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge!  

Hi Gez here, I am delighted to be your hostess for this week’s challenge. 
It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas right?!! ;-) I thought it would be nice for us to spread a wave of festive cheer throughout Blogland! 
Every year I set out with good intentions and imagine a great big stack of handmade Christmas cards all ready to send out nice and early in December, in reality I think it's happened once! So, let’s do it together! Dig deep and crack open the Christmas stash box early!! 
This is a fun challenge, I hope you enjoy it too!

I have a niece (who shall remain nameless, Mandi) who is so into Christmas that she actually does celebrate Christmas in July.  She is an obstetrics nurse at a local hospital, and has been known to involve her co-workers in this (now yearly) tradition!

My answer to this challenge is a simple one, but tells the story perfectly from my stance.  Enjoy it!

That snowman is one of the Stampotique Originals' "funnest" stamps, and is called "Global Warming?" He was my inspiration for this July calendar page which I printed from the internet.

I hope you will play along this week and create something for this challenge!  You can find the directions and rules for submitting your artwork here.  At the end of the month, two winners are randomly selected to receive a $30 gift certificate for anything in the Stampotique "store."  Who can say no to that?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Yep!  It's Wednesday, and that means the Stampotique Designers' Challenge has been posted.  France Papillon is our lovely hostess this week, and she has challenged us all to create artwork which is inspired by our favorite book.  But, I will let France challenge you:
Hi! My name is France and I'm a bookworm.  No doubt there are a lot of other bookworms among our lovely Stampotiquers.  I would like to know about your favorite books.  So my challenge for you, should you accept it, is to create a piece, inspired by your favorite book.  Let the story, the title, the cover, a quote inspire you!  Now you might have a problem choosing your all time favorite book, don't worry, it's not like you are writing it in stone, just pick one.  Or maybe your problem is that you don't like reading at all.  Here is how to cheat: go for your favorite film based on a book, we won't tell ;)))
Long before I ever read "The Notebook," I fell in love with a quote from the book.  I was so impacted by this quote because I felt it perfectly described how my husband felt about his love for me.  Although I believe both my former husbands loved me (each in his own way), no man, since my father, has loved me immeasurably, as Russ does.  The quote reads...
I am nothing special; of this I am sure.  I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life.  There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
While I do believe that Russ is, indeed, something very special, I used this quote when creating the scrapbook of our wedding photos.  This month, we will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary, although we have been together much longer than that.  Here is the card I have created to give him tomorrow!

Thank you so much for visiting today.  Please do leave a comment so that I will know you were here.  I hope you will take some time this week to create something inspired by your favorite book.  The directions and rules for submitting your work can be found here.  


Wednesday, July 9, 2014


If you are looking for my post for this week's Stampotique Designers' Challenge, it is immediately below.

I was intrigued by the Tag Along Blog Challenge theme this week, so decided I wanted to participate.  The theme is "Nature's Glory," so I set out looking at all my floral stamps.  Stampotique Originals has a lot of them, but I chose something that is, by some, considered a weed because it most often grows naturally.  It's called "Spidergrass."  I also have a text stamp that I love, but hadn't had a chance to use.  It's called "Wildflower Verse," so is just perfect!  

I began by applying a few drops of two of Ranger's Archival ink reinkers on my craft mat, and added a bit of copper mixative.  I smeared these around with a palette knife, then pressed my tag into the ink and smeared it around.  I did this a few times until I had good coverage.  Once dried, I added a bit of washi tape at the bottom to ground my flowers, then stamped my text below it.   I stamped my floral image once on the left side.  I then created a mask of the stamp, and stamped my image a second time over the mask on the right side, just a bit lower than the first impression.  A ribbon, and done!  Take a look:

If you like tags, I hope you will participate and create something fun today!