Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Altered Canvas...

I am on a creative high! I recently finished my first altered canvas. I am so excited. It started with the idea to do a grouping above my desk... I bought my canvas and just had fun! I tried to keep the mindset that this was a collage... if I messed up, I could just layer over it! There is something so inspiring about having a blank canvas in front of you. I combined several different inking techniques. The Products that I used are as followed:

Tim Holtz's Distress Inks

Tim Holtz's Crackle Paint

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist

Adirondack Alcohol Ink

Adirondack Paint Dabber

Making Memories Arcylic Paint

Memento Dye Ink

Ranger Clear Embossing Powder


I started with a swirly template from Crafter's Workshop and my Distress Ink & Blender Tool. Then, not thinking, went in with my Tattered Angels Screen and Glimmer Mist and sprayed... well this created a "Happy Accident". I washed away my stenciling work. Distress Inks react with water/liquid. If you look you can see where my swirly design dies off into the canvas. Some other fun techniques I used were:

"Blended Batik" - I read about this in Tim Holtz's new book, A Compendium of Curiousities. You stamp with clear embossing powder, ink, & then iron off. This is the general gist of the technique...
"Pop-Up Flower" - It is hard to see from the picture, but I cut out a flower from my left over paper and pop-dotted it on top of another flower for added dimension
"Glimmer Mist Screen & Stamp" - I have been using Glimmer Mist for a while now... but they recently came out with stamps to match the screens. You use your screen and spray first, then you go back over with the stamp that matches the screen.
"My Red Rose" - I took a white Prima Rose and painted it with my Snow Cap Paint Dabber, (I took off the lid and just poured some paint into a tray), and Cranberry Alcohol Ink. I just played with this and I really had fun. There are so many ways to alter embellishments to make them fit your needs, Paint, Glimmer Mist, Inks, Chalks, Embossing, Glitter, Watercolors, Etc... Remember, next time, when you can't find that perfect Embellishment in your stash, you can make an imperfect one, perfect!

I am really excited about getting into altered art, (like I need one more obsession in this hobby!), I am also reading and learning quite a bit about color, so I want to start posting some color tips & tricks and some challenges to break you out of your comfort zone! Also, more to come about using design principles on your layouts, like, the Rule of Thirds that I talked about earlier...

The Mad Inker...

We recently had a crop... it was "The Mad Hatter" Crop. With Alice in Wonderland being released, we thought it would be fun... Here is my take on it....
"The Mad Inker"
The Mad Inker in her studio...My Hat! I took my St. Patrick's Day hat and personalized it for, "The Mad Inker" This is the back of shirt. I used many different inks to design my shirt... Glimmer Mist, Stickles & Distress Stickles, Distress Crackle Paint, Stamping, Distress Ink, Stenciling, Copic Markers.

Below, I stamped this image using Memento Ink and then colored it in with my Copic markers. The other inking techniques I used are not permanent for use on t-shirts, etc. but Copic markers will stay... so just imagine all the cute things you can make, baby onesies, bags & totes, and so much more! (be careful with the reds when you wash because you might end up with pink undies!)

Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here is a layout I did a while back... it is from St. Patrick's Day last year.... You see the striped paper that is cut so pretty? Well it was actually just a regular piece of 12 x 12 paper. Here is the tip for the day... it's small, but one I use a lot...

Paper lines these days are coming out with all sorts of shaped papers. I love them! What I do when I get a new "shape" is trace it onto a thick piece of cardstock and the cut it out to use as a template. It works great! I can use as much or as little as I want of the template and I can use it on whatever paper I would like. This is just a great way to make your supplies, in this case paper, work for you.

Hope you have a great day. I have to go find my hat to wear today!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Color Wheel

Do you remember learning about the color wheel? about color combinations? You know, way back when in Elementary School.... Well, I didn't very well, but I recently purchased a color wheel. What a difference! It has gotten me out of my comfort zone of just keeping cool colors with cool, warm with warm, or just pulling out a color from my photo or paper. I have been referencing it to get "harmonious color schemes". I select my key color and then chose from what the wheel is showing me.... it's easy and it's fabulous! I used it on the layout I featured for my post on Rule of Thirds. I took my background color of blue-green and chose to use the split complementary scheme, which is orange and red. I would of never put those colors together, and you know what, they look great.
I am going to continue to "refresh" my memory about the color wheel and just color theory in general. Color is such a big part of my world, of design in general. Color makes me happy. As I learn, I will create and post. I encourage you to get a color wheel and play. See what combinations you can use on your next layout. Does it break you out of your comfort zone? I hope so.
Enjoy! Play! Color!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rule of Thirds

This is my latest "creation"! I am very excited about this layout... I really love how it turned out and I am entering it into a sketch contest for My Mind's Eye. But what I really want to show you is the concept behind this layout.... curious?

That's it! Do you see the lines on the layout on the second picture? No, no, I didn't draw them on there, (that would of made me cry...) They are from this....

This is a 12 x 12 piece of acetate that I divided into 4x4 sections... neat, huh? But why? Well this is where the concept comes into play....


This is a rule of thumb for composition. It is used in fields such as design, photography, & painting. It is a guide to what part of an image the human eye is most strongly drawn towards first. Important elements should be placed along the lines or their intersections. Now, go back and look at my layout with the lines on top... do you see where I put the picture? The title?
When you are taking pictures, try to think about the rule of thirds. Mentally divide your picture with these lines. Put your horizon line on one of the horizontal lines... try to put your subject's face at one of the intersections. If you are photographing a building or tree, etc... put it on one of the vertical lines.
There is a ton of information and examples out there about the rule of thirds. I am just introducing the concept. Try designing your next layout with this in mind... see where it takes you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Creative Road Blocks.... and ways to get around them...

Hello... it has been far too long since I have posted. And this post, I am sad to say, will not have my bleach layout. It is still unfinished. I recently had a baby shower for a dear friend, so most of my time was spent there, and then I was trying to enter a design team contest... and that is where this post starts...
I wanted to enter the design team contest for GCD Studios. The deadline was last Saturday, and you had to have a short paragraph about yourself and 3-4 pictures of your best work. Simple enough. Well, I was not sure what I had that included their product, so I thought I would create a layout using their product and then include some of my other layouts that I love. I worked on this layout for a week & a half! I literally hit a "creative road block". It was awful! Needless to say, I did not enter the contest and have just been trying to win the battle over the "what do I do now?" syndrome.

How many of you have hit your own creative road block, or have in the past? It is frustrating, aggravating, and just plain un-inspiring! Here are some ways that you can bust through and come out loving your layout, and being excited that you were able to just finish it!!!
~Sketches: I love using sketches! What I find so great about them is that my layout never ends up looking anything like the sketch. I use them for inspiration. When you find yourself stuck, look at sketches, even if you didn't start from a sketch. My favorite places to get sketches is http://www.pagemaps.com/ Becky Fleck has some awesome sketches and an archive of them on her website.

~Quotes! Lyrics! Poems! : There are so many of these out there, and so many of them "speak to our hearts". I loving looking for inspiration from quotes, lyrics, & poems. I did a page once where I wrote out the lyrics to the Rascal Flatts song, "God Bless the Broken Road". It was my background for my layout. Journaling is very difficult for me, and looking to these help me get over that hurdle.

"Scrap-lifting" : Have you ever just seen a layout that just WOWs you? Or maybe a piece of a layout. Take inspiration from that and make it yours. Change it up a bit to make it fit your layout and colors... Look at magazines, books, the Internet.... there is so much out there from which to draw inspiration!

These are just a few things that help me... but if you really look INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE! Just the other day I pulled out a page from the Martha Stewart magazine... it was a picture of what you can do with dried leafs and flowers... I loved the colors, the shape of the leaves, it was just fabulous.

So, without further ado... here is my layout the took me forever to finish! I am happy with it and I think that it is fun...

and the journaling...