Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sheet Mica

I've had several questions on the sheet of mica I used to mount the Bird/Egg beeswax collage's the dark brown irregular shaped piece behind the rectangle collage.
bird n egg beeswax collage 001

It is a sheet of "Grand Effects" mica from USArtQuest. It's about a 10" x 13" piece! They also offer smaller sheets and other mica products as well. Actually, USArtQuest is the largest supplier of art quality mica in the world!!

The Grand Effects is like the biggy mac size in mica world. It's actually the largest sheet of mica I have been able to find. Beautiful stuff. If you order, be sure to keep in mind that since it's a natural product no two packages are going to be the same...shape, size and coloration will vary from piece to piece.

If you've visited much or read my book you'll know how much I love mica. It's one of my favorite materials to work with. I even created a mica triptych in one section of my book using the large/Grand Effects sheets.

Simply marvelous stuff!!!

Crystal Eggs

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I hope you're having a great week so far.

Today is usually Retailer Wednesday where I feature a new or different rubber stamp designer, retailer, or other business to aid in our craft. But since Easter is only a few days away I wanted to get in a few more crafty techniques before the big day!

Crystal Eggs

This is a fun technique that uses clear micro beads! Mmmm gotta love those little buggers. With a bit of glue (and mess) you can turn anything into a crystal delight!


Images - Stamped or Computer Generated - on Tissue

Preserve It! (if using comp. generated images)

Collage Glue

Glossy Accents

Micro Beads

Dye Inks (optional)


1. (Optional) If desired you can color your eggs with dye ink and an Ink Blending Foam. I colored one but left the rest natural.

2. Gather your tissue paper images. Now you could stamp your images onto the tissue paper with a waterproof ink. I didn't have any Easter images small enough to fit my eggs so I am using the second option - collage images printed onto tissue paper. (I used the Vintage Easter Postcards I shared with you on Sunday.) If this is the method you are going to use you will need to seal your images with something like Preserve It! by Krylon. Just a quick spray, let it dry 10 minutes and your images are ready to go.

Crystal Eggs 002

3. Trim your images...I like to use pinking shears because the notches are like little relief cuts for less wrinkles in the finished image. A must when you're working on curved surfaces. ;)

Crystal Eggs 005

4. Apply a layer of collage glue to your egg. Now you'll need to decide ahead of time where you want your image...for one of my eggs I added images around the center, for the 2nd I added one main image and for my third egg I added smaller images over the entire egg.

Crystal Eggs 006

5. After you have applied the glue, lay the image on your egg; smooth the image and make sure all air bubbles have been removed. I like to wet my finger with a bit of extra glue for this helps smooth the tissue and allows your finger to glide over the surface without tearing the tissue. Let the tissue dry.

Crystal Eggs 009

6. Pour your micro beads in a small container.

7. Apply a thin layer of Glossy Accents to the images/egg. This is a fun but messy'll need paper towels read to wipe your fingers off.

Crystal Eggs 012

8. Place the GA egg into the container with the micro beads. Coat the egg with micro beads. During this step you're going to need to keep your fingers off as much as possible. I just shake the egg around until it's completely coated.

Crystal Eggs 013

Crystal Eggs 011

9. Place your eggs in a safe place to dry....

Crystal Eggs 015

10. After the Glossy Accents have dried it's time to de-bead the extra layers from your egg. I know....What???? Well when you apply the beads to the egg you'll notice that in some spots there is one layer of beads while other areas have 2-3 or more layers of beads. For the best results you want one layer of micro beads over the image. Too many layers and your image will be obscured. Hold your egg over a tidy tray or box lid and gently run your finger over the surface of the micro beads/egg. You'll notice that the extra layers flake off easily....I save these beads for later use. If you run into a tough area that just doesn't want to come off no or two small spots won't hurt.

If you find you have areas where there are no micro beads at all you can go back and add more Glossy Accents & Beads or cover those areas with other embellishments.

Now your eggs are done...You could go ahead and string them as they are or embellish further with whatever your heart desires.

Here are two of my eggs (the third wasn't dry yet.)....

Crystal Eggs 016

Crystal Eggs 017

Crystal Eggs 018

Crystal Eggs 019

I thought I should point out that I used 1/2 tube of micro beads for 3 eggs...two that were totally covered and one that had about 1/2 covered.

So, what do you think?

Pretty fun huh?

I'll share the embellished eggs with you tomorrow along with another fun Easter-y project!

Till then friends, go get inky!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Little Cat!

I wanted to share this picture I took today...this is my girl ~ Little Cat.

I know ~ weird name but she picked it...I don't even remember what we were calling her but she totally ignored us and I said something to dh about "little cat" and she came right over.

Little Cat - Preg 010

She's such a pretty cat ~ she's got the neat bulls eye pattern on both sides of her body! Up till now she's always been a very sleek, thin, streamline cat.

She got out in Feb. and was gone for 5 whole days...during which we had a snow storm, below freezing temps and and ice storm to boot! I figured after the 2nd/3rd day we'd never see her again since it was so bad out.

WELL, on the 5th day she showed up, scared, cold and hungry! The first thing she did....went to the litter box (slap my forehead!!!)

As you can tell...she is now VERY pregnant!

Dh...the man who "says" he doesn't like cats (yeah right!) can't wait till their are born (he's never seen kittens born). Honestly, I can't either but I won't admit that to him since I tease him all the time about being an anxious grandpa - LOL!!

I've been trying for a while now to get a good picture to demonstrate just how larger her belly is. Most of the time she just looks like a "normal" size cat since she was so sleek to begin with. This is the first time I've been able to capture the mommy belly.

Anyway, that's my little girl :)

BFF Album Challenge #2

Working on our BFF Album again today with #2 in our series....

The second part of our little album is...

"2. When you are blue, I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you."


The Challenge for today is...


what else could it be ;)

I was particularly excited about this challenge since I LOVE blue!

I used a mono print type technique for the background but I added a bit of a twist to it. So many times you see people using only Distress (or other dye) Ink or Alcohol Inks... Well, I did use Distress Inks but I also added one of my favorite acrylic paints in the mix....Adirondack Acrylic Dabber ~ Pearl. Yes, pearl. I love this stuff. I think it is one of the most versatile paint colors you can have in your stash and you'll see why in a minute.

BFF #2 001


Coasters (or other desired foundation material)

Distress Re-Inker(s)

Adirondack Acrylic Dabber - Pearl


Embellishments & Stamps (if desired)


1. Add several dollops of Pearl paint onto a Non-Stick Craft Mat or other non-porous surface. To save time I take the cap off and just pounce it around several times until I have what I think I will need.

BFF #2 012

2. Add a few drops of desired color of Distress Ink....I used Chipped Sapphire and Tumbled Glass for my pages. I used 2 drops of the Chipped Sapphire since it's so dark and 4 dots of Tumbled Glass.

BFF #2 013

3. Squirt the ink/paint with water several times. This really helps blend the two mediums for a smooth finished look.

BFF #2 014

4. Now press and twist your desired foundation material in the mixture. I am using the could use paper, chipboard, wood, cardstock, etc....

BFF #2 003

You will get results something similar to this....

It doesn't show up in the photos very well but the Pearl paint has taken on subtle hues of the ink but has retained it's natural shimmer and sparkle. It is just lovely!

BFF #2 005

After it dries you're free to embellish as desired!

Here are my finished pages....

BFF #2 008

BFF #2 009

BFF #2 010

Fun huh?

I hope all of you out there are having fun playing along!

If you'd like you can always share a link to your creations in the comments section or you can send me the images to post here on the blog.

Donna did just that very thing. She took this little poem and created a book for her friend and was kind enough to let me share it with you!

Thanks Donna!!
friend book 001

friend book 003

friend book 002

friend book 004

So, it's your turn....

pull out your paper, pull out your inks,

it's time to get crafty!!

Be sure to tune in next Tuesday for the next installment to see what the challenge will be :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Birds Beeswax Collage

Happy Monday!

Since it actually feels like Spring today I wanted to share a really fun bird themed beeswax collage with you!

bird n egg beeswax collage 001

It was created using various vintage egg clipart/graphics; vintage dictionary pages; real feathers, flowers and foliage; Perfect Pearls and Ranger's Natural Beeswax pellets.

The base for this collage is a piece of gameboard that I trimmed to size. I LOVE how gameboards hold up even after you apply layers and layers of wax. The stuff is just the berries for all sorts of stamping, collage & altered arts techniques!!

The collage is mounted on a huge sheet of Mica.....mmmmm don't you just love it! I think mica is one of my all time favorite things to work with!

Anyway, here are a few more shots a bit more close up....

bird n egg beeswax collage 001

bird n egg beeswax collage 003

bird n egg beeswax collage 004

This collage was made using all of the beeswax collage techniques I shared a bit ago.

If you'd like to create your own birds/egg collage here are a few links to some great vintage images....

Hope you're all having an

"egg-ceptional" Spring-y Day!

Victorian Flower Pin Winners!!

Hi Guys ~

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post these yesterday. We had company that ended up staying later than anticipated and by the time I cleared away the dishes & all it was late and I was pooped.

So here you go...

The winner of the Victorian Flower Pin Kit (to make your own goodies) is....


pooky said...
I wish I could get inside your brain for a day!!! These are simply adorable! Thanks for the chance to win and Happy Spring!
March 21, 2010 1:57 PM

Congratulations Pooky!


since I have all those fun pins to share I'm going to draw 4 more winners of the "already made" pins!

Those winners in no particular order are....

Live, Teach, Create

Live.Teach.Create said...
These are so gorgeous! I am going to have to make some of these to attach to cards so that they become interactive cards that the embellishment can be reused!
March 20, 2010 3:24 PM

Erin Glee

Erin Glee said...
I love how you use little pictures in the flower centers~ these are all so sweet! Thanks for a chance to win : )
March 26, 2010 12:56 AM


2amscrapper said...
So cute and clever! I'd love to win the supplies, and even more to win a pin made by you!
March 21, 2010 1:36 PM

Pat M

pat m said...
I love them all, but my favorite one is the one you used lace to help make it. I just l-o-v-e that one!!!!!
March 21, 2010 11:43 AM

Congratulations Everyone!!!

Please send me your snail mail addies so I can get your pins out in the mail to you :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vintage Postcard Sunday...More Vintage Easter

Well I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Spring Sunday....

It's a bit on the dreary side here today ~ lots of rain and clouds but they say the rest of the week is going to be beautiful...sunny with highs ranging from the 50's to possibly even the mid 70's by the end of the week!!!

Since Easter is next weekend I wanted to share some vintage Easter postcards.

And just a heads up....I'll be using a few of these in a couple projects this week ;)

Vintage Easter Postcards

easter 10

easter 11

easter 9

easter 8

easter 6

easter 5

easter 4

easter 3

easter 2

easter 1

I wanted to send out a great big Congrats to the first winner of the Retro Cafe Art TYV-Collage & Altered Arts Give-A-Way....

Denise Phillips!!!

Congrats Denise ~ hope you enjoy the book!!

If you haven't entered you still have two more chances to win!

I'll be back later today with the winners of the Victorian Flower Pins so if you haven't entered be sure to do so while you still have time!!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Quick Spring Tag!

Well I know it's happened to all of us from time to time...

We need a card or gift tag NOW.

Well here is a quick little tag that can be used as is tied to a gift or added to a plain white card base in a jiffy!

quick tag 008



Pattern Paper



Glitter Glue (I used Distress Stickles)

Distress Ink

Spring (or other) Stickers

Pop-Dot or Foam Tape


1. Cut tag shape from chipboard. It can be a shipping tag style, circle, square, oval, etc. Whatever shape tickles your fancy at the time. Punch a hole at the top.

quick tag 001

2. Attach a bit of pattern paper to the lower half of the tag. You can distress it if you have time or not.

quick tag 003

3. Swipe a bit of paint across the top. (doesn't have to be perfect, just a quick coat will do.)

quick tag 004

4. (Optional) Add a bit of Glitter Glue and heat to dry. I like to use Distress Stickles if I'm in a hurry. You of course can use traditional glitter but it's much more messy and takes a bit longer to adhere/dry. Since we're going for quick...this works great.

quick tag 005

5. Attach some ribbon and/or lace to the bottom, center and add to the hole.

6. Add a pop-dot or bit of double stick foam tape to the back of a Spring sticker. You of course can use any sticker that works for your particular need. If you have extra time you could use a stamped image (colored or not). Totally up to you and your time frame.

quick tag 006

And you're done!

This tag would have taken me about 15 minutes if I hadn't been taking photos. If you omit step 4 (adding glitter) then it would have taken about 5 minutes.

Really quick and really easy!!

This tag can be tied to a gift, flower bouquet, gift basket, etc or if you'd like you could attach it to a card base with a few pop dots!

Great for when you're in a hurry and almost out of time!

Curious "R" Penny

This has nothing at all to do with crafty goodness but it is very curious....

Dh was sorting out the small change from his pocket "stuff" yesterday and he came across this odd looking penny.

curious penny 001

It has two upper case letter "R"'s stamped into the front side. There is also what looks like a large slash on Pres. Lincoln's face running from his hairline to his cheek bone.

Now I tried to search to see if this might be a reject (because of the slash on his face) or ?????.

Couldn't find a thing about it but then I'm not very good at searching for things like this so it's still a mystery.

Anyone know what this might be?!?!?

I'd love to find out what the R's signify if anything.
Anyway, that's my mystery of the week - LOL!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ink Stained Card Sketch - 3-26-10

Hi Everyone!

Wow, another week has come and gone... For some reason I seem to be loosing a day or two each week. Never seems like I have enough time for all I want/need to do.

Since Easter is fast approaching I thought I should slip at least one Easter related sketch in here before it's too late. Today's sketch is a shape Easter Egg to be precise!

Here you go...

Ink Stained Card Sketch


Cut away the areas with the lines drawn through.

ink stained sketch 3-26-10 001

And here is my card....

I used Distress Inks, Distress Stickles, Rock Candy Crackle Paint and watercolor pencils to color the bunny. The background stamps are Basic Grey and the bunny/grass is from TAC.

ink stained sketch 3-26-10 002

If you haven't entered any of the recent give-a-way's there is still sure to check the list of them on the right hand side of this page.

Tomorrow I'm planning on a quick and easy but very glitzy card that you can use for any occasion :)

Till then friends ~

Have a wonderful evening!!