Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Blues and Metal

Today is the day that I can share my second guest design for Xandeous Crafty Stash! I enjoy working with metal trinkets and tid-bits and Naomi (the owner of XCS) was kind enough to let me have a play. With so many wonderful challenges going on I wanted to create a design that fit all so I decided to keep it blue. For some reasons blues are more easy for me to work with. I have been working on trying to create more layers, texture and composition in my designs. Exploring the possibility is what I am enjoying right now. Here is the final result.
I started by applying black gesso to my background board (compliments of Autumn from Sew Paper Paint) and adding some stenciling with black modeling paste. 
Then I had to decide on the composition of the pieces. Every metal piece you see is from Xandeous Crafty Stash! The paintbrushes are from my stash. Everything was glued down with multi matte medium. 
Once you have everything glued and in its place, apply more black gesso and cover it all up. 
To add even more texture I randomly slopped on some texture paste. That's the white gritty lookin stuff in the picture below. 
A thin coat of DecoArt Prussian Blue Hue was brushed over the entire piece, then another thin layer. Once that was dry I kept using different DecoArt blues to create different layers of blue colors. Cobalt Teal Hue, Cobalt Turquoise Hue and Turquoise Water. Around the edge, where most of the texture paste is I added some Quinacridone Gold. And some Q-gold in other random spots. 
Then came the dry brushing using different shades of white. The best white I use for dry brushing is DecoArt Titanium White.
I would like to share this design with these fun challenges:






*I was inspired by those lovely paintbrushes and the textured wall. 







Saturday, July 15, 2017

Galaxy Card with Distress Ink

Wowzers! Can you believe we are more than halfway through 2017!?! Say what! Pretty soon the summer will be over and that means back inside out of the cold. But enough about that glum price of news. I wanted to try to create a galaxy card using distress ink and because our new challenge over at Mix It Up is all about Distress Inks/Distress Tool, I had a go. Enjoy!

I started with some heavyweight white card stock and began blending distress ink colors. I went from the lightest color to the darkest and spritzed my card stock with water along the way. 
Next time I'll try using watercolor paper instead. :) I heat dried my card and then added the darkest distress ink-black soot. 
Then I smooshed black soot and mermaid lagoon onto my craft mat and spritzed with water. I added the ML randomly to the card to create an almost blue swirl. Then I did the same with the black soot. And heat dried it again. I then watered down some white heavy acrylic paint and splatter the entire card to create some "stars". 
While my card was drying (under a heavy book) I got started on the stars. I used some Snow Cap alcohol ink on the rusty stars and poured some DecoArt glitter to those while wet. Once everything was dry I added some TH chitchat stickers and glued the stars down with a hot glue gun. Viola!
 My first attempt at a galaxy card. Whew! The best part about this technique is there is no set pattern or colors to use. Just enjoy the process. Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki
I would like to share this design with these wonderful challenges:

What is more beautiful than the galaxy we live in. :)


I was inspired by the night sky fireworks and the stars. 



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Altered Tree Bark

Hello all! My have the hands been busy this summer! Between my crafting and my power tools, I don't know what keeps me more happy. I have decided to alter a piece of a tree trunk that was leftover from a recent cut down. The tree was dead and needed to be taken down because it was so close to the house. This piece is for my guest spot over at Xanderous Crafty Stash. She has everything from metal trinkets, bling bling, rhinestones, lace appliques and so much more!
I started with applying a white wash to the bark just to lighten it up a bit.
 After the wash I used multiple stamps with black Archival ink and added some more interest to the bark. 
While that was drying I started heat embossing all of the wonderful metal trinkets from Xanderous Crafty Stash. Each metal piece got at least two coats of embossing powder just so I could make sure none of the metal peeked through.
I layered the metal pieces to create a butterfly and some metal coral colored flowers. Then I added some moss and grass. The sign "This Way" is from Prima. 
Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki
The stamping is subtle but in real life it pops more. Hopefully this picture below shows the stamping okay. 

I would like to share this design with:


I was inspired by all things nature








Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mix It Up #2

What a lovely week it has been and I am thrilled that the weather is so much more to my liking of being hot. Summer is my favorite season and then Spring. Anyway, today is the day for the Mix It Up Team B's designs and our technique focus this month is stamping! Rubber stamps, cling stamps, hand made stamps-just no digi stamps. :) So without further ado here is my design. Enjoy!

This is my very first time using Gelatos and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely! The colors for this design are all from the iridescent collection. Everything from Black Hole, Lunar, Blue Moon to Satellite, Nebula and Supernova. Cool names for such gorgeous colors!
I used a watercolor canvas and applied a layer of gesso first. I then just slapped on all the colors that came in this set and sprayed it with water letting the drips happen here and there. 

Next came a brand new stencil. I used a white color box ink through the stencil. Since this is a pigment ink it sits on top of the canvas and doesn't dry fast at all. I waited a few days for it to dry.
While my canvas was drying, I decided to try my hand at making a dream catcher. First time doing this as well. I used some broken grape vines I had leftover in my stash and some embroidery thread. I wrapped the thread around the vines and made a circle. I then wove a greenish blue embroidery thread through the circle and made the inside of the dream catcher. It worked! Surprise surprise! I used a Prima word sign and some clear bead things to add some texture to the dream catcher. 
Raiding my feather stash produced some teal feathers, some teal feathers with polka dots, some white feathers and some small metal trinkets from TH Ideaology.
I attached those to the bottom of the dream catcher and then added the silver rose (from Emerald Creek). 

The dream catcher was popped up on foam dots and the middle feather was adhered to the canvas with a hot glue gun. 

The last thing I added was some stamping with random rubber word stamps. I used Distress Ink and slapped down some script. 
You can see the stamping much better in real life but here are more close ups as well.
I used contrasting colors so everything would stand out and the stamping would be visible. 
So get out your stamps and enjoy a good play day, or week! You never know where your paints and colors will take you! Carpe Diem and Hugz! ~Niki

I would enjoy sharing this design with these challenges:




I used Dream Road because creating my own version of art is a dream road I journey down for every piece. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mix It Up!

Today is the day that the Mix It Up challenge blog goes live with the first challenge and Team B's projects. We are a monthly technique challenge blog featuring various techniques on mixed media projects, altered art, and paper crafts such as cards, tags, mini albums, ATCs, 3-D projects and scrapbook layouts! Are you excited? I sure am! We would love to see you enter this challenge and it's a good one. The challenge is to use embossing. You can do heat embossing, dry embossing, or think outside the box as well.
I started with a canvas and glued a piece of paper to it. Not sure of the designer of the paper though. Then I used a chicken wire stencil and some adirondack ink to add some interest. Pinks, purples and Blues were my main colors.
The frame chippie is from Creative Embellishments and I painted acrylic paint in two colors. Once the paint was dry I stamped some script stamps onto it with adirondack Watering Can ink. The frame was popped up on foam dots.  The feathers, bits of flowers and bits of picks were from my stash. I did end up adding some stamping to the feathers. The little jar is filled with magical fairy dust (embossing powder) and the lid was glued and a bow added to it. The butterfly is from Reneaboquets store. 
I used two different colors of embossing powder through the CW stencil. Layering powders is a fun way to create new color combos and enjoy your powders. 
The clock mold in the top right corner is made from an IOD mold and polymer clay (I prefer clay that needs to be baked). I painted it pink and then applied white antiquing cream to it. Smudged some ink in it and glued it to the cheesecloth. Then added another flower cluster. And ta-da! Done!
Looks different in the sunlight in the picture below. It is more true to color in the picture above. 
Enjoy the journey and Carpe Diem! Hugz! ~Niki

I would like to share this canvas with these amazing challenges:

I need to learn to explore outside of my comfort zone. 



I used stencils, embossing, and about 4 different stamps on the background


I used about 4 different stamps on the background and 2 different stamps on the flowers and the chippie frame



Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Challenge Blog!

Why hello there crafty people's. I sure hope your weekend is going well. I have some BIG news to share about a new blog in blogland. It's called Mix It Up Challenge. This is a technique based challenge blog that will make you want to try new things. Cool right? Yeppers. I happen to be on the Design Team (yippee!) and just wanted to share the news.
The challenges start in May but we are doing a "Just For Fun" challenge for April.  You can design anything your heart wants. Mix It Up and try something new if you feel up for it. Anything Goes with this Just For Fun challenge. And you can also become a follower. You could even possibly win a prize! Awesome sauce! 

Click HERE for the link to the challenge.


Happy Crafting and Carpe Diem! Hugz. ~Niki


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Simple Little Card

Well simple is a relative term when it comes to me and cards but that is okay. Last night a friend came over and we ended up in my art room with me showing her how to use different products. I asked her if she wanted to make a quick card and this is the result. She kept her card and I didn't get to take pictures but we used the same techniques.

Using watercolor paper, I showed her how to stamp with Versamark and heat emboss an image (I think that was her favorite part) and then we used LSG magical to add some color. Her color choices were purples, pink, and blue. We spritzed our paper with water first then added some of the Magicals powder. We created drips and I showed her how to smoosh her paper onto the craft mat to get all of the excess powder that  accidentally flew off the brush. Haha! 
I then made us both a shabby twine bow and showed her how to spray white flowers to create any color she wanted. We also added some glitter to her flower cluster. 
The chit chat sticker I used was edged with ink and the flower cluster was glued with a glue gun. The edges were distressed on the base of the card and the panel. I used the word delightful because this was a fun experience and also because this card is going to be mailed to my dear Grandma whom is a delight to me. The card was finished with some white splatter paint. :) 

I would like to share this card with these wonderful challenges:


 I used green on the background and the flowers



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Broken Art

Well I have been back in my art room for the first times since December. I lost my mojo, it plum left me for a few months. I didn't even really want to look at anything art related. Rock bottom is what it was like, but just for art and not anything else. I am not sure why this happened or if it will again, but I have an inkling about what started it. So now I am trying new things and even took an online course from Andy Skinner (more to come on that). We shall see what happens. The design I am sharing today has been remade about 8-9 times. This piece has been on multiple journey's, color schemes, details added and taken away. Only today was I able to see a clear picture of what it wanted to be. Thank goodness! Lol. I give you
  Broken Art


The frame was found at a thrift store and I saw so much potential.

 FIRST IDEA: The initial project was going to be a Valentine's Day gift. Ever see those frames on Pinterest that say "Spooning Since ..."? Well that idea didn't pan out because my metal stamping stamps wouldn't stamp into the spoons. 

2ND IDEA: lots of chippies and a frame to hang jewelry. The metal mesh that is inside the frame wouldn't hold anything and actually broke rather easy. No pics. 

3RD IDEA: soft pastel colors to create a Prima inspired design. That was nixed almost immediately when I went to gather supplies. I have no pastels. Lol!

4-7TH IDEA-didn't work

8TH IDEA: altered rusty paintbrush. Hmmmm, that is feelin about right! Here is how it went down. 
I am not sure exactly what I did because everything you see in the picture above was used. The frame got some paint and stamps were added with Versamark. Then I used about 3-4 embossing powders. The metal corner pieces are from Emerald Creek and heat embossed with Charred Gold.

Stamps, stencils, metal tidbits, paints, sprays, micas, texture paste, crackle paste, embossing powders, and on and on. I did add some white paint around the edge of the paintbrush to define the edges because it was getting lost in the pictures. What a journey! 
The end result was so very different than what I had started with. I am okay with that. Add in the flinging of the splattered paints and drips and drops, it was fun, and fun is what I was after. That was the journey that I wanted to take. 
Thanks for stopping by and Carpe Diem! Enjoy the journey. We all have Broken Art somewhere just waiting for that light bulb to go off in our brain. Hugz! ~Niki

I want to send this piece on more journey's so I took it to a few different places to get my photos. I will be sharing it with these challenges: 




I came "aboard" by reaching my own destination for learning to "art" again and have fun doing it after a dry spell.

I believe I used 4 stamps, maybe 5 and that is just on the frame alone. Not counting the stamps hidden under the paint on the altered paintbrush.

I was inspired by the dark background with the highlights of the purples, blues and teals. I used a CE leafy vine frame chippie as the focal point of the altered paintbrush.   

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saying I love you with wood

Hello and welcome to my little blog. Hopefully you all have had a wonderful holiday with Valentine's Day. I decided to make my DH a wooden sign. The numbers on the sign are very special to us and one of a kind.
I started with some leftover pine boards and stained it with MinWax. I let that dry overnight and then printed out my latitude and longitude. These coordinates are the location of where Kyle and I first met. Awwww! I printed just the outline of the numbers to save on ink.

The next step was to "weather" my boards. I applied some watered down DecoArt chalky paint. After that was dry, I dry brushed some of the same chalky paint over the boards. Viola! The easiest way to make new boards look older and weathered. TIP-You might also want to take some random objects (metal works best) and beat the boards. This technique makes some interesting intentions for your stain to seep into. I've used a tire iron, chains, an axe, hammer and such on past projects. It's awesome and fun. 
The time consuming part came when I outlined all of the numbers and letters to show the coordinates. Yes, some people use transfer paper, others remember to flip their image before they print it and trace that outline but I plum forgot and had to transfer paper. So, I taped my "template" to the board and used a pen to trace the letters. Using a bit of force while tracing I was able to get the font onto my board and then use a pencil to make it even more apparent. 
Once my outline was done I used DecoArt titanium white and painted the letters and numbers. 
After everything was dry, I used a hand sander and lightly sanded parts of the boards to create even more of a weathered look. Below is a closer look after the sanding. 
All done and ready to hang up. I nailed some shims to the back of the boards and some hooks. This was a gift for my husband for Valentines Day and I just got it hung today. Whew! Here is a look at it on our wall.
Please don't mind my wall color. Our living room has not been painted yet and this brown was there when we moved in. I am so very tired of living in brown houses. Haha! But that is another post for another day.

Hugz and Carpe Diem! Thank you for stopping by! 
~Niki

I would like to share this design with these challenges: