Thursday, April 16, 2015

Showers of showers: Week #3

For the month of April, the Dream Team are featuring "Showers of Showers" as our theme. As usual, we'd love for you to play along. Just link your creation on the Dream It Up! blog for a chance to win the stencil of your choice...bonus chances for incorporating Dreamweaver and/or Stampendous in your design. Here's what I'm showering you with this week... LOOK closely for the raindrops (translucent embossing paste on acetate....see how)

We were in Oregon last week and the pink dogwoods were in full bloom! Wow! (I really enjoyed the cooler weather, because here in Southern California we have had more than our fair share of heat this spring.) Here is a picture we took while in Oregon...and it was such a beautiful tree. It inspired me to use the dogwood stencil (LG668) seen above. To give it a springtime shower effect the raindrop stencil (LJ905) was used on acetate. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself, first the dogwood stencil design was used through an embossing machine... using the letterpress technique. With this particular technique you spray the stencil with ink and then place your card stock on top of the wet ink and run it through the embossing machine. The stacking method for my big shot or cuttlebug is: thick white plate, wet stencil, card stock, thick rubber mat (REM), two acrylic plates (if it's the cuttlebug machine that you have...this means use the two "B" plates). This made the blue speckled background behind the dogwoods (the Blue Lagoon color of the Memories Mist spray MM120 was used) and of course the flowers were the white from the embossed paper. The paper is dry immediately so you can reposition the stencil on the flowers and use a variety of pigment inks and small stencil brushes.

Because I wanted the raindrops to be clear and show up on the embossed and stenciled image of the dogwood flowers I paste-embossed a piece of clear acetate with the Translucent embossing paste (DEPT). On the left is the acetate with the translucent paste and the raindrop stencil on the right. The translucent embossing paste appears white when you first use it, but it dries clear like you see on the card that is finished...shown above. After it dried I turned it over and paste embossed the sentiment "when it rains it pours" stencil (LG738) on the side without the embossed rain, this way I had a smooth surface to paste-emboss.  

For the sentiment I used gold embossing paste (DGP). AND because it didn't POP quite as much as I wanted, I traced just a bit of a shadow with a black micron pen under the letters. It's hard to see the effect of the letters on the "rain spattered" acetate, but it really is a fun technique to be able to have the paste embossed sentiment on top of the clear raindrops which is really on the other side of the acetate. Looking forward to seeing how you might translate the challenge this month. And in the meantime please take time to let our Dream it UP team know that you are loving their creations. 

Here's the links for the "A" team that is posting this week:

Dream It Up! (you're here)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Zensdays: New Challenges

This week I am joining the new challenge of Diane and Carolien...they have put forth the challenge to use three tangles ...choosing patterns that start with the first three letters of the alphabet. I think I had a lot of fun just making a decision of what patterns to use. And of course since I am not very accomplished with the entire process I had to do quite a bit of practicing the ones I chose. The middle pattern called B'Twined was actually the most enjoyable to do and the arched pattern was the hardest. 

I stacked Archer on top of B'Twined and then at the bottom did Chard. It sort of reminded me of a church door. (I think it was those arches.) You can go to to know how these tangles  are drawn and more about the people who created them. They were not hard at all and really well rendered with detailed instructions. Wayne was kind enough to walk me through the nuances of shading. 

The diva's challenge #213 this week is to use unique objects to create a string. If you have time, go to her site and see what she has done. She also suggested using a stencil for a string and since this month our dream it up challenge is showers of showers I thought this umbrella Wayne did was fun. I stenciled the umbrella (LG737) with blue ink and then he tangled it with crusade (his tangle...far right), cubine (one of my favorites...middle design) and the heart looking one is a variation he did of leaflet.(I think...on the left). He also traced it with the yellow florescent pen from the moonlight set (#38176) by Sakura (it's one I love to add some color with) if you are having a hard time finding it to purchase here is a source.

Would love to have you come back on Thursdays if you have time to see what the design team has done for the showers of showers challenge. And leave a comment or two to encourage them...they work so hard for so little.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We have three Zensdays random winners:

Three Random Winners
Last Zensday I gave commenters the opportunity to win a discontinued metal stencil of an Arts and Crafts tile stencil design ...all you had to do was comment and say, "I'm IN" at the end. Here are the three winners:
1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More
Jean Chaney
Christine Springer
Please email your snail mail to:
(I won't have time to ship it until the end of this week.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Showers of Showers: Week Two

Ever use the expression, "When it rains, it pours"? This does not have to be a bad thing, does it? For the month of April, the Dream Team are featuring "Showers of Showers" as our theme. As usual, we'd love for you to play along. Just link your creation on the Dream It Up! blog for a chance to win the stencil of your choice...bonus chances for incorporating Dreamweaver and/or Stampendous in your design. Here's what I'm showering you with this week...

Pam here, with a simply elegant card perfect for a bridal shower. The main panel has been created using the letterpress technique of spritzing the Bride stencil itself with Memories Mist Silver, placing the white cardstock panel on top, and running through the embossing machine to transfer the ink and emboss the design at the same time. A flourish of self-adhesive pearls completes the panel, of which has been adhered on a black linen card with a panel of letterpress white cardstrip using the Damask stencil and silver spray. The completing sentiment is from Stampendous.

For a shower of inspiration, please visit the blogs of the "B" team:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Zensdays: Stenciling and Tangling

This week's diva challenge is UMT which stands for Use My Tangle ...Laura Harms randomly chooses someone's tangle and we incorporate it into our tile. This week's tangle is "FANZ" by Susan Goetter and click HERE to find out more about the diva's challenge and find the links for Susan's fan design. Wayne used it on a portion of the leaves on our creation.

This week I did a stenciling tutorial and Wayne did the tangle creation afterwards. We actually did this in black and white last week, but when I saw the challenge for this week I thought it would be fun to do the design in color by stenciling the flower. See below to see how it was done. Just need to let you know that the stencil was discontinued several years ago. It is an arts and crafts tile design called Chrysanthemum and Dreamweaver had it as a brass stencil design in 2003. I have a handful of them left and if you are interested in having one I am having a random drawing from those commenters on my blog who indicate they want the stencil. All you have to do is at the end of your comment write..."I'm IN"! And...I will ship overseas.

First I traced the design with an 01 Micron pen by Sakura. One thing you need to be aware of this stencil is made out of brass and as such can create havoc with your pens if you are heavy handed. Be sure to hold the pen perpendicular to your paper surface as shown here and don't angle it, otherwise you can slice the nib of the pen with the pressure against the metal stencil edge. I tend to be pretty hard on pens and using a light touch doesn't come easy to me. I have had to practice and pay attention to not pressing too hard when tracing the design of these intricate stencils. If you are aware of this it will be much easier to make it through the tracing process without ruining a pen. In fact using an 005 pen is even better because some of the openings of the stencil are really tiny and as you get better using this finer tipped pen makes it easier to achieve the detail you want.

I am using pigment ink...dye ink works better for this because it is less likely to clog your micron pens but it was all I had at the time. The paper towel is for off-loading the excess ink into, don't be afraid to push hard. This moves the ink up into your bristles and keeps the brush "dry" ...hence the term dry-brush technique. If you practice this a bit on scrap paper first you can get an idea how wet your ink pad is and how much wetness you need to work out of your brush. First I laid a base of yellow and then worked with green shading it into the yellow, and to dull the colors I next used red so the colors ended up a bit dull and more authentic to the Arts and Crafts time period.

Stenciling fuchsia with a very light touch will give you a base to make a purple with a light loading of blue for the last coat of color.

Now remove the stencil for this next step. The process of blacking in the background started by using an 03 Micron pen. This pen has a slightly thicker nib and then in the next step use a marker type of nib. I know some people even use "Sharpie" pens to do lots of blacking so they can preserve their finer pens, but as you can see in the picture below I used a Micron "Graphic 1".

I actually like the image just stenciled without any of the tangle work. I did a couple of these and tested my skills with the "FANZ" challenge tangle, but alas I was running out of time and I wanted to get this up for you to see, so Wayne saved me on this one and did the tangle work. He's a CZT and rarely tells anyone, but he is a fabulous teacher and is very encouraging. He usually cheers me on, but on this occasion he buckled to my need for getting the job done and did a great job. But I have to say the real masterpiece is the one he did on his Flickr site, you can interpret it a couple of ways, but I saw a sunflower in his finished piece. So take a minute to see the work he did for the challenge this week and leave a comment if you have time. Don't forget to write "I'm IN!" if you want to join the random drawing for this stencil. I will announce the winners by Sunday evening.

Three Random Winners
Last Zensday I gave commenters the opportunity to win a discontinued metal stencil of an Arts and Crafts tile stencil design ...all you had to do was comment and say, "I'm IN" at the end. Here are the three winners:
1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More
Jean Chaney
Christine Springer
Please email your snail mail to:
(I won't have time to ship it until the end of this week.)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Showers to Showers a New Challenge: Plus March Winners

Our challenge this month is all kinds of showers! WOW...this could be interpreted in a myriad of ways. The obvious and one that many of us are involved in each year are showers for weddings and babies! YAYA! Then as we move into April it could be about mists, rains and downpours which of course bring flowers. Today I am going off the grid a bit by making my creation a shower of embossing powder. I just taught what I called a designer class in Roseville CA. And this was one of the cards I demonstrated by designer Marj Marion. You know how it is though...even when you CASE a card you end up making it your own creation. Thanks Marj for the wonderful inspiration. I know it is different from Marj's original, but the class absolutely loved this process for the spider mum stencil we used.

The embossing powder that was used in this shower was a thick type...the Stampendous brand is "Deep Impressions". I first paste-embossed the spider mum stencil (LJ892) with the original embossing paste (DEP) and let it dry. Next, without the stencil in place and my largest stencil brush (NHB-3/4") I rouged color all over the outer area of the image...then placed the stencil on the design and stenciled the outer edges of the flowers and all of the leaf area. Now it's time to remove the stencil and sprinkle the card with the thick embossing powder...but remember don't overdo it. Just a light shower or "mist" of powder. Heat this with a heat gun, (I always start with the gun under the paper to get things going and so that the particles of powder won't blow away, but keep the gun in motion.) Now I place the stencil back on the embossed image and stencil the leaves greens and blues and the mum blossoms pinks and purples. I remove the stencil and use a 1/2 stencil brush (NHB 1/2") and rouge the pink or fuchsia pigment ink color all around the edges. Take a soft t-shirt cloth and wipe away the excess ink from the powder and the particles show through yellow (remember the first color you used?) this is the resist technique, so simple. 

Now if you want to do it again you can sprinkle the powder again at the edges and heat that layer...then stencil on top of the heated layer with dark purple or blue (or both) and wipe the excess off and the second pink color of particles (or rain droplets) will show through. Each time you add another layer you need to add a color that is darker. Here is a close up of my shower of embossing powder droplets...(I realize this is a bit overkill with the size but it's nice to be able to see it up close and personal). 

Now...just want to get down to the business of having you visit the rest of the team. For a bit Pam Hornschu will be taking some time to heal. Unfortunately she was in a car accident and although she is now home ...she's very very uncomfortable. We wish her a fast recuperation ...we hate it when our fearless leader is under the weather. You can send any encouraging comments her way here on the Dream it UP blog.

Please visit our Dream it UP team and leave a shower of comments. Here is our list of creative team members for this week and then I have listed our two winners for the Marching into Spring challenge:

Dream it UP (you're here)

Winners for Marching into Spring Challenge:
#44 Cec
#68 Heidi Schleimer
Please email me at and tell me your favorite stencil. #68-Heidi chooses two stencils because of using Dreamweaver/Stampendous products in her creation # 44-Cec chooses one stencil. YAY! Thanks for participating! We're hoping you both join us for this next month of Showers upon Showers! Remember bonus points for using our products...

*Just an addendum...because of the accident, we will not have our linking tool up for a few days, this gives you a bit of time to get your creation together. : )

** We were able to put together a gallery link sooner than we thought. Yay! **

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thinking of You! on Zensdays

Laura's diva challenge this week, #211, was slowed down just a bit by a much more important challenge in her life...the necessity of taking care of her littlest one. After a very stressful trip on the way to a routine doc appointment for Artoo her dear one ended up sick in the ER in Calgary...many miles from home. In spite of this she has taken time to give us the challenge to do either Rick's version of flux or Maria's version of the same tangle. Read more about these founder's of Zentangle and their information regarding this original tangle and how it has evolved by clicking HERE. If you would like to join the challenge click HERE to find out more and link your creation.

I chose Rick's version of the tangle FLUX...somehow it just seemed to click for me. Adding a few zingers and the Florz background seems to bring it all together. I am just now noticing that "one of these leaves is not like the of these leaves is just not the same"(humming the song), however I'm not too worried, because in light of our special friends' weekend visits to the hospital, in the grand scheme of things's a picky thing and really doesn't matter. BTW to see Wayne's cool creation on his Flickr site click HERE.

For those of you who know Pam H., the head of the Dreamweaver Stencils design team, please send some love her way in the form of a comment on her latest blog HERE. She was in a nasty car accident last Friday and is in a load of pain. She is now home after two nights in the hospital. Thinking of you, Pammie, and Artoo as you both heal.