Birds & Words

Monday, July 24, 2017

Baker's Twine Flowers

Hey guys, Janet at Creative Impressions asked me to do a blog tutorial to show you how to make flowers with her Baker's Twine and Thin Jute Twine.
Here are the items you'll need.  Pretty simple, no?  The pasta fork is a great tool!  You can make different sizes of flowers and it keeps your loops a uniform size.
 Tape the end of the Baker's Twine and Thin Jute Twine to the back of the pasta fork.  The Baker's Twine by itself is pretty limp but the jute helps give it some body and hold shape.
Make several loops with both fibers and tape the end on the back of the pasta fork.  I did six loops.

 Cut a length of both twines to tie off the loops in the middle.  About 4 or 5 inches should do it.
Tie off in the middle nice and tight.  Release the loops from the fork.
 Fluff the loops out and repeat.  You'll need two of these.
 Overlay one set of loops on the other, one horizontal and the other vertical.  Glue together with a little matte medium.
I stamped a large round paper fastener with tiny script.  On the left is the paper fastener as they come in the package.  I spread the pins to accommodate the thickness of the flower and make a flower center.

Have a little fun today and "create" your own garden of flowers with Creative Impressions embellishments!


Friday, February 10, 2017

❤︎ Love ❤︎

Happy Valentine's Day, lovers everywhere!  Valentine's Day is almost upon us and "love" is the perfect theme for February.  Not only because of Valentine's Day but because what the world needs now is love, sweet love, no?

I sort of got carried away with this theme.  I kept creating and each creation meant of few cast off things that didn't work for that project, so I had to start another to use all my ideas up.  I'll be posting some of my other pieces on Facebook over the next few days.

The old photo of this couple is such fun.  It spoke to me of  young love and the beginnings of a life together.  So I kind of invented a story for them and told it on this art journal page.

My other inspiration for this page was this lyric from Eric Clapton.  Let it Grow is a really catchy, soulful, George Harrison-y song, easy and relaxed.

I did want to experiment a bit with the idea of spreading out embossing paste with my finger for a thin layer on a background.  This is Wendy Vecchi's Embossing Paste tinted with DecoArt Payne's Grey Media paint.  I like the effect and that it felt good to work with my hands and not just use tools to apply medium.  Dampen your fingers a little or the paste will stick to them.

Thinlets Greenery Dies worked beautifully here.  I could cut a lot of them in one pass and got the wild, overgrown, "let it grow" effect I wanted.

This is the train ticket this couple took on their honeymoon.  Creative Impressions triangle clip and metal tag make the embellishment.  I hammered the names into the metal tag, rubbed black paint into the recessed letters and then wiped away the excess paint.  I then dabbed on a just bit of Espresso Distress paint with my finger.


Who's getting a valentine from you??  We've got so many new friends on Creative Carte Blanche.  Take some pics of your work and share them with us!  Just use the InLinkz button on the Creative Carte Blanche page, located just below art for the current theme.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Creative Impressions DT

I'm happy and honored to announce that, along with my good friend Susan Mostek, I'll be on the Creative Impressions Design Team for 2017.  Creative Impressions is a supplier of a huge variety of embellishments & trims and is owned and operated by the beautiful and gracious Janet Ramsos.

Ask your LSS, do you carry Creative Impressions?
So excited to launch some creativity with these sweet girls!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Baby, It is SO Cold Outside! SO COLD

Welcome to my blog and to 2017!  We are getting a chilly start almost everywhere and that makes the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" theme so much fun.  Thanks to Susan Mostek for choosing this one.  Her husband is a meterologist.  Do you think she may have had some inside information on the weather that was to come??  Mmmm....... 


One of my favorite things about crafting is that my friends and family who have January birthdays get winter themed birthday cards.   A goal of mine for 2017 (just as it was for 2016) is to stay on top of getting handmade cards done for everyone to whom I want to send greetings.  I did pretty well last year, but want to be even more organized this year.

My strategy is to use my Inkwell Press planner pages for Important Dates and record all birthdays and other dates I want to remember.  In January, I count all the cards I want to send for the next two months for men.  Then I make that number of cards appropriate for men.  I do the same for women, children, teenagers, etc., but at separate creative times.  I collect these cards in my birthday planner, ready to send when the time comes.

This was a fabulous class taught at Rocky Mountain Art Retreats by the talented Mandy Welch.  She taught the construction and the inside layout for the planner.  The design for the cover is mine.


This artistic adventure gave me a chance to use my beautiful Tim Holtz Grunge Flakes.  I stamped the snowflake on Specialty Stamping Paper with Wendy Vecchi Watering Can ink.  I used white Perfect Pearls powder and dusted over the ink right way to get a subtle shimmer to the snowflake.

The next layer for my focal point are the beautiful holographic die cut snowflakes from Creative Impressions.  I didn't want to use the holographic effect however, so I dabbed Picket Fence Distress Paint on them and let dry.  I used my heat to to just warm the paint a little to speed drying.  This caused the snowflakes to begin to curl a bit which I didn't mind, if it was only a bit.  This helped with the lift for a more dimensional effect.

Creative Impressions also has several sizes and colors of snowflake brads which are fantastic for altering.  This one got Picket Fence Distress Paint and then dipped in Rock Candy Distress Glitter, then dried with heat tool.  I repeated this step a couple of times.

Another tiny die cut snowflake layer and a pearl competes the layered snowflake for my focal point.  Additional die cut and brad snowflakes compliment the front of the card.  I dabbed a little additional Diamond Stickles for more glitter still.  The silver glitter ribbon is from Creative Impressions.

The background panel is Shadow Vintage Double Dot paper from BoBunny, one of my favorite paper collections.  I almost always need this paper when creating, especially for cards.  I cut the panel into strips, distressed the edges and then adhered them all down on a white panel for additional dimension.  Additional Watering Can stamped Grunge Flakes fill out the background.

I liked the way these turned out but they definitely needed a little extra attention for mailing.  This one is best for hand delivery.  

Thanks for your time and I hope you've got a teaspoon of inspiration for your own creative time today!


Friday, December 30, 2016

Song Lyrics Challenge - Pancho & Lefty

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  It's my turn to host the challenge this month and I hope its been fun for all of you.  I love music, I love words, and Song Lyrics seemed a good fountain of inspiration for us this time.  So to wrap up this challenge and to finish the year, grab a cup of something good to drink and enjoy.

Pancho & Lefty
Song Lyrics

There's something about this song that just carries me away.  The melody, the romantic story told in the lyrics, the dusty Mexican desert, I don't know.  But it evokes images for me that easily translate into an art journal page spread.

This song has been covered many times, made famous by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, but this recording by the writer of the song, Townes van Zandt, is for me the most charming.  Unpolished and a little flat at times, I think it captures the spirit of Pancho & Lefty more than any other.

I began this background way back with Yvonne's challenge, "Sun, Moon, and/or Stars".  It grew and evolved and I ended up deciding to save it for this challenge.
You may remember that in last month's challenge I covered over a practice page with gesso and did the October Wishy Woman art journal spread.  It was the practice page for this art journal spread that I covered over.  I love this about art journaling.  I can work out colors and spacing and lettering without necessarily committing to that page as the final product.
I painted the pages with DecoArt Media Acrylics.  I sprinkled a bit of water on the paint before it was totally dry and got this speckled look that reminded me of a night sky.  I accentuated some of the spots with Diamond Stickles for stars.
I downloaded some images from the internet for the hat and guitar.  I looked for images of a worn, beaten looking guitar and sombrero.  I cut them out and layered them.
"Lefty, he can't sing the blues all night long like he used to..."
I tried writing the lyrics around the edge of the pages.  Fail.  No really, epic fail.  But awesome opportunity to use music washi tape around the edges to continue the "music" theme.
I hid a cross in the background to represent a grave marker.
"Pancho met his match, you know, on the deserts down in Mexico...."
For some reason, this repeated lyric is so endearing to me.  I think its that little pause.  

If you'd like to hear the song again in a more produced and well known version, here it is.  This one's pretty good, too.

Our good friend, Susan Mostek is going to kick us off for 2017 on January 3 with a new challenge.  Thanks so much to all of you who have followed with us and created with us this year.  As I look at and reminisce over all the art we've created this year, I smile at this journey we're on.  Hopefully, you've been encouraged and are continuing to find your own unique, creative voice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Creative Challenge - Stitches

You Keep Me in Stitches!!
November Creative Challenge

Art is a lovely diversion just now, isn't it?  I loved it when Annette announced her theme for this month.  If you follow Annette's blog, which you absolutely should, you know the outstanding quality of her art and her joyful embrace of life.  She's an amazing artist, a wonderful friend, and a beautiful person all around.  I'm a little jealous and fighting bitterness.  #dontjudgeme

Wink, wink.  Kidding!!!

You really oughta join us for this one, the possibilities are endless.  Just visit the Creative Carte Blanche website for the guidelines for our monthly Creative Adventures and link your project.  What does "stitches" mean?  That's for you to decide.  Carte blanche!!  Here's my interpretation:


 I'm finding myself using fabric more and more in my art and I have just gotten a fantastic new stash of ribbons and ephemera from Creative Impressions.
This was a REALLY backward process for me.  I cut a piece of linen to work with.  This was going to be just a practice piece, but when I was done I loved the flowers so much, I wanted to use them.  I wish I'd cut a bigger piece of linen!!!  Oh well, make it work, right?

I have a stash of "ready to altar" items and found there a zippered pencil bag my friend and fellow Creative Cohort Yvonne Blair had given me.  BOOM!  This linen panel would trim the front of my pencil bag.

I stamped the flowers with the big daisy from Cling Daisy Mix from Stampendous.  I just got this set and it's SO cool!  It comes with pre-die cut masks of all the images which makes it super quick and easy to get a layered look.  I used Eggplant 3/4 Crepe ribbon from Creative Impressions to stitch my flowers.  The brads are embossed with Cement EP from Ranger and I added just a touch of Fossilized Amber Distress Paint with my finger.  The brads didn't quite cover the circle left for the flower center, so i experimented with punching some leftover bits of painted lace, which didn't thrill me.  I punched circles out Creative Impressions 2" Gray Web Ribbon and liked the effect.  
I used Distress Crayons on the outline of the stamped leaf image and then used a water brush to spread the color.  Absolutely loved it, I didn't know I could use Distress Crayons on fabric!  I also used black Web Ribbon behind the panel to edge the entire piece.
It needs a frame, no?  I used black embroidery thread to stitch a border all around.
I totally, totally love these Words Remnant Rubs from Tim Holtz.  This phrase reminds me that when it comes to art, I must be brave, experiment, practice and not be afraid of failure.  I don't claim to be brave yet, but I recognize the value of this encouragement.
This dragonfly brad, and all the metal pieces used here, are from Creative Impressions.
Yvonne included a little collection of charms on the zipper pull when she gave this to me.  The "C" is my initial, so cute!!
Okay, you're up!!  Link up your project, we wanna see it!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Creative Adventure - "Wishy" Woman

Hello, friends!  Thanks for stopping by my blog.  The lovely and talented Candy Colwell came up with a sweet Eagles song title to give us our October theme: "Witchy Woman".  I know a lot of you have so much fun this time of year, but its just never been my thing.  So.....  Creative Carte Blanche, right?  So I just altered the theme a little and came up with an art journal spread....  Wishy Woman.

My art journal pages began on previously used pages.  I had worked out some ideas and then went to new pages for the completed project (which you will see in December).  I've been waiting for a chance to gesso over and work these practice pages into a new art journal spread.

 I layered some strips of masking tape for texture.  I mixed a bit of black gesso into white gesso and covered the prior practice pages.

 Here I've glued down some strips of old ledger paper for more texture and painted over with Dina Wakley's Sky, Turquoise, and Lapis paints.
 I experimented with rubbing white paint into a stencil with my fingers, but didn't really get enough definition.  I replaced the stencil and used my foam applicator to apply the paint through the stencil.

 I did some framing with the stenciling and with a favorite Seth Apter text stamp.  
"What will happen in the story next?"

 A little Stabilo pencil helps set off my Wishy Woman.
 A little star rub on is perfect to dot the "i".
Since I saw Tammy Tutterow making die cut flowers with crinoline, I'm hooked!  Die cut flowers sprayed with Antique Linen Distress Spray Stain and then stamped with text.  French knots embroidery make the flower centers.
I used a LOT of Tim's Small Talk stickers for the wishes.  The prolific Yvonne Blair's Journal Buddy tool was a fun way to add lines in the deeper blue paint (Lapis) on which to set my word stickers.  

Journal Buddy was chosen as an Editor's Pick in the current issue of Stamper's Sampler magazine.  WAY TO GO, YVONNE!

I signed this piece with my little signature bird from B Line Designs.  I can't live without this stamp.  If I ever lose it, y'all are going to have to call 911 for me.

I took my liberty with this challenge and hope it encourages you to truly enjoy your own Carte Blanche and get creative with us!  The details and upload link for our challenges can be found on the October Creative Challenge page.  

Your turn.  GO!!