Wednesday, 26 November 2014

you should celebrate the end of a love affair as they celebrate death in new orleans, with songs, laughter, dancing and a lot of wine - francoise sagan

Oooooh-la-la this post is l-a-t-e!  By a month at least.  It seems that I have found a trend in my posting and it isn't pretty.  Good thing New Year's is fast approaching; I can be assured I will not struggle with coming up with enough resolutions.  First one was a pilot to test out the waters: I resolved to not be cold this winter.  So far, so good and I am definitely gaining resolution-making confidence.  Second resolution: plan out my crafting a bit better.  I need to balance out the commitments and plan better.  I'll keep you updated on how my resolutions are coming along.  Third resolution: Follow through with following up.  I should throw in a: don't-take-on-more-than-you-can-chew resolution but that would mean before December even hits I already have four resolutions.  I should pace myself.

I had a blast making this double-sided Halloween tag for our Halloween tag swap.  Theme: New Orleans.  I wanted continuity between the two sides and so the cobbled path on the bottom of side one matches up to the cobbled path on side two as does the fence.  F-U-N spells Halloween in New Orleans.

I wanted the haunted house stamped image to be a mix of colour and black & white; vintage meets retro colour.  I kept the tag to three main colours: orange (all time fav colour), purple and green and accented the colours with stickles.  The background was painted using distress ink (pumice stone).

Here's a close-up of the pumice mixed media cobbled path.  I decorated the fence with sequins and sprayed tag side one using dylusions (picket fence) and both the shattered and halloween text stencils.

Tag side two highlights our zombie/day of the dead friend who may have left his haunted house to party New Orleans-style at the Haunted Chateau which is in the cemetery.  The forest was created using dylusions (picket fence) spray and a forest stencil.

I added a day of the dead face to mr. zombie (stampers anonymous zombie dancer) with a wiggle mechanism so mr. zombie really does boogie.  He was painted using distress inks (peeled paint,seedless preserves, tea dye).

The rats in the cemetery image is actually not a stamp but an embossing folder that I inked.  I'm not much of an embossing folder user, however, I do have an unexplainable number of folders and I often take a bunch out at the beginning of each project hoping that one will find its way into my work.  And really they do not.  I was adamant about using the rats in the cemetery folder for this tag swap and as I often do, I thought how the folder would make a much better stamp than a folder et voila! the background embossed stamp was born.  Not revolutionary but effective.

Some folks do Christmas in July; maybe Halloween in November will start to trend.  Just when you thought it was over and all that was left was a memory and some caramel chews you visit everything she touches for a little reminder of our favourite spooky holiday.


Friday, 7 November 2014

genius without education is like silver in the mine - benjamin franklin

This post is long overdue.  The delay in posting was partly due to its length and partly due to the how busy life has been the last few months.  Better late than even later. 

I am still saddened by mr. chemistry's retirement this past summer.  There are a few people at work that brighten my day and although my interactions with mr. chemistry were limited and mainly in times of crisis, our conversations were always extremely entertaining, awe inspiring (mr. chemistry is a world of number knowledge) and very special to me.

It was a pleasure putting this memory book together in his honour.  Every page has a pocket to fill with mementos, colleague well wishes and greetings and other keepsakes.

I found this truly adorable mini clipboard at Michaels which made a great front cover and fit in nicely with the Chemistry theme.  I stamped the formula image from the Tim Holtz stamp set The Chemist in white Brillance pigment ink onto the clipboard and layered the same set bottles and flasks in front for some dimension.  The mini glass bottle was a Dollarstore treasure, filled with gold glass beads and a cork topper secured with glossy accents.

Page one: I love this stamp set!  I coloured the Chemist in with coloured pencils and distress inks as watercolour medium.  The background was created using peeled paint and vintage photo distress inks.  I stamped the bottles and flasks onto a page of an old book with the exception of the green bottle in the foreground to add a bit of interest.  You have seen the brick stencil before in many of my projects.  Definitely a go-to stencil.

Page two:  I embossed and distressed tinfoil (yep, tinfoil; thank you The Inked Stamper for that amazing tip and technique) to create the front layer of the pocket.  The image is a photo I took at one of our local science centres and printed it on glossy paper.  The back layer of the pocket was created using primary elements (black emerald) through the ink splatter and mini grid Tim Holtz stencils.  I am madly in love with primary elements.  Easy to use, great variety in colours and they have a spectacular shimmer.  I have to thank Finnabair for getting me hooked.

I seriously love these little Dollarstore bottles/vials.  I wasn't sure how well they would take to paper and the other medium but they did incredibly well and they are fantastically sweet.

Page three: I simply love this paper.  The colours and the image are just fab.  How sweet is that telephone?  I popped up a few of the argyle squares for a bit of fun and added the chandelier to the back part of the pocket.  Love chandeliers.  Love.

Page four:  The graphic design team at work created the image of mr. chemistry in bed with the monster hovering above him.  He always had a saying about putting the project or job to bed.  I decided to transform that image into my interpretation of mr. chemistry's bedroom.  The stars and dots on grey pearl paper were added with the lovely izinks.  If you haven't yet played with izinks you definitely should go out and get a couple of bottles.  They are very reasonably priced and they are really fun and versatile to play with on projects.  The inks are good to go as-is out of the bottle or they respond really well to water.

I added multiple layers of the memory box die cut cityscape and the created the bedpost by hand.  I drew and outlined the image on some wood paper scraps I had lying around and covered it with glossy accents.

Page five:  The graphic artists created a where's mr. chemistry-type page which I then expanded into the chemistry joke page with mustaches, spectacles and a pocket-protector filled with the funniest chemistry jokes I could find.

Page six: mr. chemistry was often teased for his messy office.  I'm not sure messy really adequately describes the volumes of paper, books and other materials in his office.  I'm pretty sure we had to, at one point, get the floor tested by engineers to ensure that it could bear the weight of mr. chemistry's stuff.  The graphic artists mocked up a photo of mr. chemistry's office adding bits of this and that to the floor, desk and existing stacks of paper.  I then went in and added even more embellishments.  It's kind of like an I Spy book now.  Have fun guessing what was in the original photo and what was added.

By the way, mr. chemistry, in addition to being a mathematical genius, speaks fluently in French.  TrĂ©sor means treasure.

Page seven: mr. chemistry is a genius with three or four advanced degrees in mathematics and sciences so the book papers were truly fitting.  If you look closely you will see the pocket line pretty close to the top of the page because I didn't want to mess with the fantastic dimension of the paper itself.  I really love the way the faux book bindings look and the way the popped up books turned out.  It is a multi-layer stack of books highlighted with gold stickles and distress crackle.  The feather, inkwell and mini-stacked books were coloured with watercolours and highlighted with pearl watercolour and glossy accents. 

Page eight: The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments was a children's chemistry book written in the 1960s by Robert Brent.  It is a controversial book and banned as many of the experiments contained in the book are now considered too dangerous for the general public. Despite this, its known as one of the best DIY chemistry books ever published (thank you wiki people for helping me out with the information).

I borrowed the fantastic apron die cut from my amazing enabler/friend and cut both the apron and the pocket out of grunge paper.  I distressed the edges with black soot distress ink and covered the pocket in a layer of clear crackle paint.  The front of the page pocket was stamped using white brillance moonlight pigment ink and the chemistry set blackboard stamp.  The back paper was first inked with tea dye distress ink and given a hit using primary elements black emerald and the Tim Holtz splatter layering stencil.

Page nine: I love the blueprint embossing folder and I love embossing wood paper.  Married together is a simply brilliant result.  I highlighted some of the raised lines for added interest.

The back of the pocket was stamped, distressed (black soot) and given a few embellishments.

The insert was first covered in tea dye, weathered wood and peeled paint distress inks and highligted with washi tape and embellishments.

Page ten: True story.  The Chemistry examination in June 2011 was interrupted by a streaker.  Great memories.  The memories of working with mr. chemistry were great, not the streaker.  Silly.  Although maybe for some students the memories of the streaker were greater than the Chemistry examination.  It's all perspective, I suppose.

Backcover: The periodic table paper was popped up and highlighted with a copy of a daily work report.  I love my GEEK is the new sexy stamp.

The book:  And here it is assembled.  I embellished the inserts with faux coffee/tea cup rings, spills and splatters.


Memory books are really fun to build.  I love the details and creating something so meaningful, special and unique.

Thank you for visiting.  I would love to hear from you about the memory books you have created.  What did you love most about the process?  What would you highly recommend for my next memory book?

Monday, 3 November 2014

inked stamper design team november project: gorjuss presence

I am over the moon excited to share with you my first official post as an Inked Stamper Design Team member!  Courteney, our Design Team Coordinator, has prepared some very sweet items to motivate our creativity for our projects this month.  I fell in love with the kaisercraft paper, the pearl berries and gems and was inspired by olive (julie nutting doll), the angel wing and snow marker.  I started off with the idea of a gift-giving angel and after some deliberation it morphed into having my girl perched on top of a pile of finely wrapped presents.  The presents in my mind originally were designed as simply layered paper but when you have an envelope punch why wouldn't you actually build presents?   

And then I found the on top of the world (ototw for short)gorjuss urban stamp set at the Inked Stamper - what a perfect fit!  First off let me just say that I am obsessed with the gorjuss girls line from santoro.  Obsessed.  No, let me rephrase and set the record straight, I am obsessed with santoro.  Designing is a breeze when you have such incredible sweetness at the centre of your project.  Seriously.

Ototw was coloured in using permanent ink markers in black, blue and gold.  The silver bib and stocking lines were painted in using silks and as the name suggests, silks are very easy to apply.  If you have not yet played with silks I suggest you try a bottle.  They are lovely paints with a fabulous little shimmer.  I used 130lb white cardstock for both ototw and the base of the card and she took the silks paint very well.  The face and arms were coloured with coloured pencils and I highlighted the top of the bib and her hair with stickles glitter glue (rose gold and star dust).

I stamped snowflakes on the base of the card using my Versamark and clear embossed them to finish the base and pull the card together.

Each present was punch cut using the envelope punch, folded and affixed to the card base using a heat glue gun.  The main present was given a bit of snow using the snow marker and all were embellished with pull-offs bits and glitter ribbon.  You can decorate your presents with a whole host of odds and ends.  Can you imagine steampunking it up for a birthday version?  The mini tags were cut from the same papers as the presents: kaisercraft (north pole collection), bo bunny (woodland winter), pink paislee (peppermint patty), echo park paper (snowflake furry), gemstones (gem opal) and blue cardstock.

I had an amazing time designing and crafting this 3D card and I am already planning out the next project.  I think it is time to create a layout again.  It has been a really long time, hasn't it?  Stay tuned to see what our December inspiration is and what develops.  And if you are in the greater Edmonton area go on and check out ototw in person.  There are a few left on the shelf.