Sunday, February 18, 2018

Alcohol Inks and Mandalas

I wanted to pop in today to share a few cards I created recently. I am sincerely trying to post more frequently despite the fact that I am having supreme difficulty getting decent photos of my projects.

I've been trying different things for picture taking. Trying my phone, which ends up slightly blurry. Trying my camera, which ends up blurry or dark or in some other way unappealing. Trying in my living room by the big picture window, which ends up with a blue cast. On my dining room table, which ends up blurry and a bit dark. I even tried my bright bedroom as seen in the first photo here and that looks odd to me. I've tried editing these and this is as good as I can get it. I really think my camera is too old, but I haven't pulled the trigger to buy a new one. I have to do something though, because it's getting pretty frustrating. So, feel free to enlarge if you like, but no promises on how decent it looks. Eventually I'll get it worked out.

Enough of that vent, here's what I've been working on.

The first card I am sharing is to give you an idea of what I used for the second card. I used alcohol inks on Yupo paper to get the look you see in this heart. I also added some gold mixative. I tried to capture how pretty and intense the color is.

The Lawn Fawn hugs sentiment is cut from some gold cardstock I bought at Hobby Lobby over the holidays. It's got some dimension from a couple of cuts from black cardstock and layered. 

I had some of the alcohol inked paper left over and recently received the My Favorite Things new Magical Mandala die which I thought would look neat die cut from the alcohol inked background. I tried it on a background I didn't like as much and it failed to cut cleanly despite running the die through a couple of times. I thought the Yupo paper couldn't be cut cleanly until I saw a blogger who shared a card with this same die cut from Yupo paper. I asked her if she did anything special. Nope, just ran it through a few times. So I tried again, this time running it through like 5-6 times. It cut better, but I still struggled to get some of the pieces out.  (My Cuttlebug is the original one from like 2005 or so, it probably is showing its age, too). 
Here's what I came up with. 
 Despite all the struggles getting a clean cut, I am thrilled with the end result!
The happy birthday is heat embossed in gold using the sentiment from Paper Smooches recently released In Stitches stamp set. The rounded corner stitched mat is from MFT Blueprints 31.

This final card is not alcohol inked at all. I just thought I'd share it because I was using the Magical Mandala die. It cut regular cardstock beautifully. I cased a card made by Torico  as shown in this blog post . She colored vellum with Copic markers to get the stained glass effect. I remember learning that technique way back in my early years of paper crafting. I love how these techniques come around again and are so fresh and fun. 
I didn't have a frame for the stained glass window effect that Torico used, so I adhered the vellum to the cardstock mandala using Stick It. I then fussy cut around the edge  of the mandala to cut away the excess vellum. I colored the back side of the vellum using Copic markers.  I used what turned out to be the last of the adhesive in my Xyron 5 inch machine to cover the back of the vellum so I could attach it to the mat. I heat embossed the sentiment in silver. I added the white dots with my white Uniball gel. pen. I'm so happy with the final result. 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 
I hope you have a happy day!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Distress Oxides + Distress Glaze = Cool!


Thanks so much for the wonderful comments about my new blog look. I am so very happy with it. 

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope your day has been filled with fun and love in whatever form makes you happiest. I got to spend a little time playing today (which made me very happy), and I wanted to share what I created.

Last week, I came across this blog post by Laurel Beard. In the post she talked about a technique she had seen in a video using Distress Oxide inks and Distress Glaze on glossy cardstock. She shared what she did in a video on her blog. I was so intrigued. It almost looked like alcohol inks. I didn't make a video, but I tried the technique myself and took some photos. 

First up, I smeared some Distress Oxide inks onto freezer paper and spritzed with water. The colors I chose were Salty Ocean, Picked Raspberry and Twisted Citron. Later I added Peacock Feathers and Wilted Violet. 

Then I smooshed a piece of glossy cardstock into the inks and dried it with my heat gun. Drying the inks is very important. I added another layer and dried it. I added more ink onto my freezer paper and smooshed again. I think I smooshed 3 or 4 times. Drying the paper between smooshings. I ended up with this. Which looks pretty cool all on its own. Kind of chalky, but neat.
But look what happens when you start to add Distress Glaze (I bought mine at Michaels with a coupon). I only added it to half the page so you could see the difference. Wow, huh? Isn't that fascinating?

And here is the piece all done. I buffed off the glaze with a paper towel after I was all done. The glaze makes it shiny and waterproof. I really like all the layers of color you can see. 

When I was done, I looked at my freezer paper and saw this
I thought the colors looked so cool, so I took a small piece of glossy cardstock and smooshed  and dried a bunch of times getting this result.
When I started adding the glaze, it looked like this
And finally, I got this result. Gosh, those colors are so pretty!
I will eventually make these into cards, but for now, it was so much fun playing! Thanks, Laurel for sharing what you found and making the video. If you want to see it in action, check out her blog post, linked at the top of this post. 

Finally, I got this shot of our dog, Ollie, recently and thought I'd share. He's a silly, goofy dog, but seems to finally be settling down a bit. His nickname is Goober, because he is such a goober! I liked how this picture came out with his head tilting. I was saying his nickname. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope to share again soon!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Coloring Challenge and Refreshed Blog

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Since the Broncos tanked big time this year, I don't really care all that much about the game, except I'd rather the Patriots didn't win. Not likely, I know. So, I may have it on for the commercials. I saw a Peyton Manning one that was pretty funny. The half time show might be okay. And I might pick up my cross stitch, which hasn't seen any action since Christmas! We'll see.

My friend, Loll, of Stamping with Loll,was so kind to offer her skills in updating the look of my blog. Thanks so very much, Loll! I am so tickled with the happy flowers and the bright fresh look! If you haven't ever been to Loll's blog, I think you should go check it out. She creates beautiful cards that have gorgeous backgrounds. They are a feast for the eyes.

Kathy Racoosin, of The Daily Marker, is holding another 30 Day Coloring Challenge and I started out really well and was coloring up a storm. Here's the last thing I worked on over a week ago now. I've kind of fallen off. Oops.

Anyway, I'm taking a pencil coloring class at Kit and Clowder and this is the image from the class. I'm using Prismacolor pencils, but no blending solution. I just barely started the fur, which is a new technique for me. The classes are really good and Alyce is a wonderful and encouraging teacher who is readily available to her students.  Maybe I'll work on it a bit more later today.

I wanted to make a bunch of cards yesterday, but thought I'd play a bit with some alcohol inks first. Then work on cards while they were drying. Got a little carried away and ended up with these:

This is still wet and also shown in the first alcohol ink picture

This is still wet as well and a little blurry. It's just blue inks with a smidge of green. Looks like water. 

Was having so much fun that I kept playing with the inks and never got a card made. Oops. 

Finally, here's a picture of a mug I saw in Walmart this morning. Sent it to my girls.
True, no? LOL

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have a happy day!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

It's A New Year! Let's Update A Bit

It's amazing to me to think we are already three weeks into the new year. I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying the start of a brand new year (with no mistakes in it yet). I kind of quit making resolutions because, let's face it, those get broken pretty quickly. I am working on setting some goals, though. One of them is to update this blog a bit. 

I'm going to start by sharing a photo I took of myself earlier this month. 
You might notice the hair color is a bit different. I started going gray/white in my 20s and always vowed never to color my hair. I liked how it looked and I was very lucky that my hair changed evenly. It kind of looked like I had it highlighted for a long time. Over time, though, when my kids were very young, people began assuming I was their grandmother and not their mom. I was also told I looked about 10 years older than I was. I succumbed to wanting to look younger and started coloring my hair. I liked it fine, but got tired of seeing roots within a couple of weeks of coloring. I have wanted to stop coloring it for a few years, but the girls didn't want people to think I was their grandma and not their mom. I gave in for several years. After my dad died though, and all that you go through in that life changing event, I decided I was done messing with my hair. This is me, and if you think I look older or like a grandma, so be it. I actually really like the color, or lack thereof. 

And for the record, a sales associate at Joann's asked my girls if they were enjoying shopping with Grandma. She was quite apologetic when the girls politely corrected her. I laughed and told her she wasn't the first and wouldn't be the last to assume that. 

All my life people told me I looked like my mom. (She passed in 1994).  I honestly never really saw a big resemblance. Mom was Mom and I was me! Well, I posted the above photo on Facebook (yes, I have a Facebook account, but honestly don't post much there) to let my brothers know about the hair change. They have either no hair or white hair as well. My niece commented, like most people who knew her, that I looked so much like my mom now.  And she posted the photo below:

I know it's not the best photo of her, but I can finally see a bit of the similarities in this side by side!
{Hi Mom! Love you and miss you! Hope you are having a wonderful birthday today with Dad and Jim. :) }

And to finish off this post with something creative, here's something I've been working on coloring this past week. There's a new 30 Day Coloring Challenge and I want to participate. In addition to a Facebook account, I also have an Instagram account and am actually much more active on there than on this blog. if you are interested

Jeanne Tomshack 
This is a background stamp from Simon Says Stamp and it's called Center Cut Heart Background. I heat embossed the image in white embossing powder onto Bristol smooth cardstock and colored it in with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers and a waterbrush. I also added a bit of White Gold from the Starry Colors palette of Gansai Tambi watercolors. I love the shimmer it adds.

Here is another background I colored with my Zigs and made into a card. This one is Center Cut Kaleidoscope background from Simon Says Stamp. I was completely inspired by this post from Debby Hughes on Lime Doodles Designs blog. I used some Close To My Heart Spring Iris cardstock, a gift card die, heat embossed with the same image on the die cut and a Reverse Confetti sentiment. Oh and the sentiment on the card front is from Simon Says Stamp and is from Stained Glass Love set. 

Jeanne Tomshack

Jeanne Tomshack

Jeanne Tomshack
Okay, I think that is enough for one post!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you are having a happy, creative day!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Cards Inspired by Kristie Marcotte


Oh my gosh, it's been SO long since I posted here. I used to be so good at blogging. I've let it get away from me. I wouldn't be surprised if people quit checking this little spot on the internet. My intentions are good, but life sure has a way of getting in the way. I hope this finds you doing well. 

My mother-in-law loved that we showed up for her birthday party way back in August and she loved the hummingbird picture I cross stitched for her. Yay! 

Got home from that and school started for the girls. I have a junior and a freshman this year and both are in marching band. Once marching season starts my life is not my own. LOL In positive news, the band made it to the state quarterfinals competition. They performed at the Air Force Academy football stadium. While they didn't advance, they had a marvelous time. 

We adopted a dog in early September. His name is Ollie and he is a rascal. He's got cute going for him, and we'll leave it at that. 

I have had to work some extra hours recently, which sure puts a crimp in creative time. And over my Thanksgiving break I started working on organizing my stamps better. I moved the stamps and dies to clear pockets like Jennifer McGuire has done. That was a job! 

I have been able to make some cards over these past months, but haven't always gotten photos before giving them away or haven't posted here. 

Today though, I have decided to dust off the bloggo and share something! 

Several months ago I discovered a blogger named Kristie Marcotte. She has a blog and a YouTube channel. What intrigued me the most is she shares cards she makes using a 6x6 paper pad and sketches. Not only that, she shares how she makes them on You Tube. She is able to get 30+ cards from one 6x6 pad (along with solid cardstock). I remember back in the day when I was a Close to My Heart consultant, we'd have patterns to get 10 or 12 cards from a 12 x 12 sheet of pattern paper, stamps and cardstock. But more than 30?! Wow!

I have many 6x6 pads that I don't utilize near enough. This seems like a great way to USE up some of my stash!

So in the fall I tried it and loved the cards I made. I didn't get photos of them and have since used several of them. It was fabulous having a ready stash. Over the past few week or so I've been following her Milk & Cookies (Doodlebug) tutorial and while I didn't get 30+ cards from the pad (due to cutting errors on my part), I did make 19 cards and that's pretty cool! I had one full piece left and several small pieces, so I know I can make a few more cards from the pad if I want to. For a second time doing this, I think I did pretty well. 

Here's the post where she shares the individual cards and sketches she used.

And here are my versions. You can click on the photos to see them larger. 
I've been buying up some new tools and supplies due to some great sales recently. 
And thanks to Kristie's inspiration. :) 

Thanks so much for stopping by! I sure appreciate the visit.

Have a great week.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Hummingbird Counted Cross Stitch and Some Cards!

Hello There!

I felt it was high time I came back and thanked all of your for your kindness and comforting thoughts with regard to my previous post. They meant so much to me. 

I also thought you might like to see something a little happier. 

My mother in law is having a milestone birthday very soon. She is turning 80! She still knits daily and is pretty feisty. Guess I know what I am in for with my husband as time goes by. ;) 

Anyway, she loves hummingbirds. Last Friday I got the bright idea to find a counted cross stitch pattern of a hummingbird and came across a gorgeous one desgined by Sasha Turisheheva that I purchased from her Animal Cross Stitch shop on Etsy. I fell in love with the colors. I downloaded the pattern, printed it, taped it together and pulled my colors. I started on a piece of Aida and worked all that evening. The next morning I went to start working and looked closer at the pattern. I determined that the design wouldn't fit on the size cloth I had. Darn! I had to run and get a new piece and start over. Then I stitched like a maniac every spare minute I had this past week. 

I am SO happy with the final result. My girls and I found this frame at Michaels and I ended up going outside to take a picture. I'm sad to say even this photo, with editing doesn't truly capture just how vibrant and pretty the colors are. The frame has more green in the color than shows up and really picks up the blues and greens in the stitching. Feel free to click on the photo to get a better look. Cross stitch pieces under glass are extremely hard to photograph, but I did my best. Anyway, I think she will be happy with her gift.

And for those of you who stop by to see cards, I've got a few to share today. 

My brother Jeff has done a wonderful job handling all the details that come with someone passing and I made him this card, along with a batch of his favorite cookies. We've always called them Ranger cookies. They have oatmeal and coconut in them. We usually took some on a backbacking trip when I was growing up. Anyway, he loved the surprise. 

The thanks is inlaid and I used a stencil on the background. 

This card is a case from Nichol Spohr. I made this one for my brother who had lived with my dad. He moved in with some friends and I wanted to send him some happy mail at his new place. I think those pineapples are so fun. I followed Nichol's YouTube video to make the stripes, too. 

Finally, I couldn't resist this birthday bus after I saw a card on the internet using it. I colored it with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers. Looking at it now, I realize I should have put the sentiment on the other side of the card to help balance it. Oh well. It was fun to make. 

I'm doing okay over all. Keeping busy as you can see has helped. Back to school time is fast approaching. Only a couple of weeks of "freedom" left. Maybe I can squeeze in a few more cardmaking sessions before my time becomes more limited. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
I so appreciate your visit.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Dad and Buster

It's been a while since I posted I know. I don't remember if I've said much here on the blog, but my dad got sick right after Christmas with both the flu and pneumonia and it really took a toll on his health. I took a couple of trips to California to help him and my brother out since then. I found out in February that my dad's health was much more compromised than he had let on to any of us in my family. He was put into hospice care at the end of February, mostly to help him avoid having to go to different doctor's appointments. The care came to him. He did well under that care, but he really was housebound due to his health challenges.

I'm writing today to share that my dad passed away on May 20, 2017. He was 86 years old. I am so glad he isn't suffering anymore, but I miss him dearly. I flew back to California the day he passed and stayed for 3 1/2 weeks to work with my brothers to lay him to rest and then to clean out his house and put it on the market. It was a marathon of work, but we got it done and Dad's house sold the first weekend it was on the market.

The service for my dad was pretty neat. My friend, Kelly, and I along with Jessica worked together to put together picture boards filled with pictures we found of my dad and his family throughout his life. My brothers and I found Dad's Boy Scout shirt that he wore when he was a scout that we put out on display. We also found his Eagle card. We found his basic training cap from when he was in the Marines and photos of him when he worked in Alaska in the late 40s. We found copies of the magazine he founded and tried to get going for a couple of years. During the service he received military honors.  We chose two songs to play. Not religious songs, but two that we felt were completely Dad. One was El Paso by Marty Robbins and the other wasn't even a song at all, but a recording of a P38 flying overhead at an airshow. He would play that recording whenever someone new came to the house and they would go outside to see the plane that was flying so low. He got such a kick out of that. He got Steve a few times with that recording.

After the service we took his ashes and my mom's ashes that he kept all these years (she passed in 1994) to the Riverside National Cemetery where they were interred together. It's a beautiful cemetery and I know they will both rest comfortably there.

I've been home a few weeks now and trying to adjust to my new normal. Every day I think, I've gotta call Dad and share what's going on. Gah.

We had Amy's 16th birthday party last weekend. A low key affair, but she had a great time spending time with her friends and playing a few games. She made an angel food cake and loved every bite of it.

Then on Tuesday of this past week our sweet dog, Buster, had some sort of seizure or stroke and we had to put him to sleep. He was 13.  Boy do we miss him, too! The girls say he is playing with Grandpa now.

This is Buster a few months after we brought him home from the shelter. He was such a sweet boy.

So life has been challenging so far this year. I'm doing okay. I've been working on cleaning up and purging a bit. My dad was a pretty good packrat and the lesson was not lost on me to pare down. I've been working on some cross stitch and working on some cards when I can and feel like some card therapy. I hope as time goes on, I will be able to do a bit more in the crafty department.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the visit. I hope this helps you understand partly why I've not been posting much at all this year.