Friday, April 26, 2013


Just a quick post to share a gift tag made for a friend's daughter.  Easily made by repeatedly dipping the tag into Ranger Distress Inks stamped, then misted on my craft sheet!  A sentiment stamp, a couple of embellishments on pop dots and instant tag!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

Joy to you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I find myself looking forward to Wednesdays each week.  While I often create on other days of the week, Wednesday is the Stampotique Designers Challenge!  Each week, a member of the Stampotique Design Team hosts the challenge, each trying just a little harder to make us think outside of the box, to step outside of our "comfort zone."  This week, Belgium's France Papillon is pushing the envelope!  Here is her challenge:
It's a double happy Wednesday today, as i get to host this week's Stampotique Designer challenge! I hope you're ready to join the fun :)))
Don't you just love all the details on Stampotique stamps? The best way to realize just how detailed they are is... by trimming them! And that's our challenge this week: i'd like you to use (at least) 3 trimmed stamped images!
Up to you to use 3 times the same image or 3 different ones, to use them on a tag, a card, an altered object, ... I hope you find this as relaxing as i do!
Not sure that I found this process "relaxing," France, but I did find it fun!  I created this project in my 6"x9" art journal.  I began by selecting a background paper and adhering it directly to my journal. The main image that I wanted to use is called "The Crafter."  What I did will sound a bit complicated, but it was actually quite simple when taken one step at a time.  I think if you look at the end result, you will be able to follow along more easily, so here she is:

  • Stamp on cardstock and cut off the head and upper torso of The Crafter (now referred to as "main image") to use as a mask.
  • Place the mask on your page where your final image will rest.
  • Use the "heart" stamp and stamp (red StazOn ink) over the mask.
  • Place a bit of tape over the scissors (in her right hand on the actual stamp) and ink up The Crafter.  
  • Remove the tape and stamp (black StazOn ink) onto your journal page.
  • Ink up the full image on cardstock; cut out, omitting arms at the elbows.
  • Adhere this image over the main image already stamped on your page (arms from the first image will show behind this new one).
  • Using the "pen" stamp, tape off the long "squiggle" and ink up (black StazOn ink) the stamp.
  • Remove tape and stamp the pen image near the right hand of the main image and, using a thin Sharpie pen, draw her fingers to reach the pen.
  • Stamp the pen image again on cardstock, cut out the pen omitting the clip (it will show through from the one you already stamped); adhere over the pen image on your page.
  • Stamp (red StazOn ink) the "heart" stamp again on cardstock, then cut out one heart and adhere over the black heart in her left hand.  Draw in her thumb and fingers to grasp the red heart.
  • Stamp the sentiment under your main image.
  • Stamp the small journal above it.
  • Stamp the small journal image on cardstock, cut it out and place it on "pop dots" over the stamped image on your page.
  • Date your work!

I agree, it sounds complicated now that I look at it, but, believe me, it took much longer to write this than to actually create my journal page!  The point to this challenge is so you know how to "fussy cut" an image omitting intricate parts like the pen clip.  Stamping first on your main page and then placing your cut-out image over it (either directly on the paper or on pop dots) allows the tiniest detail to show through from below.  A great technique to learn!!  Thanks, France!

Stampotique stamps used (find them here):

  • The Crafter (designers Daniel Torrente and Jill Penney)
  • Daniel's Hearts (designer Daniel Torrente)
  • When Heart Speaks (designer France Papillon)
  • Writing Pen (designer Daniel Torrente)
  • Tools Cube for journal stamp (designer Daniel Torrente)

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!  Please take a moment to leave a message so that I will know you were here--and because it let's me know someone is listening!  ;-)

Joy to you!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I can get lost for hours watching YouTube technique tutorials and, sadly, retaining little.  That said, once in a while something seems totally within my grasp and my abilities, and I immediately head for the studio and begin pulling out supplies.  Yesterday, I found several tutorials on the "waxed paper resist technique" for creating art journal page backgrounds.  Most of the tutorials require using an embossing machine.  While I have one, I was being lazy and thought I might be able to accomplish much the same thing by using Gesso as my base.  First, the reveal:

Here are the simple steps for creating this background:

  1. Apply a generous coat of Gesso to your art journal page.
  2. Create a random textured pattern by using your brush to push around the Gesso.
  3. Cover your page with a piece of waxed paper; press gently.
  4. Allow to dry naturally for a couple of hours.
  5. Peal off the waxed paper and discard.
  6. Use spray inks (I used two) to cover your page, blotting with baby wipes as you progress.
  7. Allow to dry (do not recommend using a heat tool).
While I am pleased with the outcome, what I learned is that you cannot successfully stamp directly onto your textured background!  An "oops" moment very quickly averted by stamping my image again on a piece of cardstock, coloring it, cutting it out and adhering the image to my background using pop dots.  I then used stencils and some acrylic paint applied by "pounching" with a stipple brush to add the clock and flower images.

Here are some close-ups of the journal page:

Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Please take a moment to leave a message so that I will know you were here!

Joy to you!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


This weekend, my studio is full of activity with my stepdaughter here with me.  We were each working on separate projects, but came together on this one when I said to Sarah, "Tell me about a man's strength."  Without even hesitating, she replied with the perfect quote for my our project:  "A man's strength is not in his arms, but in his heart."  Profound, and wise beyond her 17 years!

Since I am using a Gelli plate print I made a few weeks ago, I had my background and now my quote.  But, what about my man?  Sarah continued to work on her project while I flipped through magazines and, finally, I found the perfect man.  He is unidentifiable, except for his form.  Sarah stopped again and with her delicate hands and small muscle coordination, perfectly cut him out!

A few stamps later, here is our project:

So glad you stopped by today to check in.  It is good to leave the stress of this week in Boston behind and to move on.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Joy to you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


It's Wednesday, and that means a new challenge over at the Stampotique Designers Challenge website.  This week, Design Team member Carol Fox has challenged us to use a birthday theme to create an artful project. 

I have chosen to make a birthday card for a sassy friend of mine who is having a May birthday.  Spykee is one of my favorite Stampotique images, so I am using her again, this time with added butterfly wings!  She is quite the diva now!  I have added Designer France Papillon's Stampotique banner stamp for a festive look!

Thanks for coming by to check out what's up with Kay!  It makes me happy when you leave a message, so, go ahead...make me happy!

Joy to you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Two posts today--that is a first for me!  Today was dedicated to artful pursuits, and I did not disappoint (even myself)!  Each month, mixed media artist Tracy Weinzapfel challenges her blog followers with an artful "dare."  Tracy has made us stop and think about those things for which we might like to be remembered.  Rather than, perhaps, accomplish- ments, I have chosen characteristics.  I have humbly chosen the words creative, thoughtful, strong, sensitive, and grounded.  While these are self-assigned, my family (at least) would pretty much agree, I am sure!

I am trying to use my newly-purchased Gelli Plate in creating backgrounds, so that is what you see today.  I have also used two handmade stencils--ala my Cricut, the diamond and leaf patterns.

One of the things with which I have the most difficulty in my art is my own handwriting.  I challenged myself today to include that in this dare.  In doing so, I, the Queen of Grammar (and all associated things--like spelling) have created the greatest of sins--a misspelled word.  I debated about attempting to correct it, but decided to leave well enough alone.  You see, another characteristic is forgiving!

Here, for the second time today, is my work of (he)art!

Thanks for visiting!  I appreciate your comments!

Joy to you!


This week's Stampotique Designers Challenge is brought to us by DT Member Sarinda Jones!  Sarinda wants us to continue to think Spring as we wait, and wait, and wait for its delayed arrival in the U.S.  The adage April Showers Bring May Flowers immediately came to mind for my art journal page today.  I used my 5x8" art journal for this piece, which showcases "Twinkie" dancing in the rain!

Glad you stopped by today!  I hope you will consider becoming a follower, if you have not already done so.  I will do my best to keep you entertained!

Joy to you!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I am stepping back to bring you the Stampotique Designers Challenge from last week (sometimes life gets in the way of doing things chronologically!).  Jane Wetzel has challenged us to get out a stencil and use it in conjunction with a stamp.  

I have been reminded recently that it is not in an artist's best interest to begin a project with a preconceived idea of what it should look like when you say, "Done!"  One should just sit down and begin.  While that is sage advice, and I try to do that, sometimes an idea just gets stuck in your head and you just need to "go with it."   

This project was like that for me.  A while back, I was watching HGTV and saw a New York apartment with a brick wall only partially covered with plaster and I thought, "Ooo!  I like that!"  That image has stayed with me and, yesterday, I decided to try to reconstruct it in my art journal.  

I began with my Gelli Plate and covered it with acrylic paint in the closest color I could find to brick red.  Over top of that I placed a Crafters Workshop stencil (TCW191, "bricks"), and on top of that, my journal page!  Applying pressure by rubbing on the back of my journal page transferred the paint to the journal!  Easy as that!

Next came the fun part, that of "frosting" my brick wall with--not plaster, not expensive modeling paste, but with spackling compound direct from the hardware store!  The fun part of using this is that it goes on pink and dries white!  I did let it dry in the sun for a few hours.

For my stamp, I used Stampotique's "Sheer," a favorite of mine.  I first stamped the image directly onto the spackling, then stamped another image onto white cardstock.  It is the second image that I cut out and colored.  This trick I learned from France Papillon, a member of the Stampotique Design Team.  Rather than try to cut out all that whispy hair, just cut the hair off.  When you adhere the cardstock image directly over the image you stamped on the page, the hair from the first image shows behind it!  Genius!  Another trick I learned from France is that your image should not be "floating," but, rather, seen standing on something.  My stepdaughter Sarah was in the studio with me, and suggested using a crayon!  She immediately went to the computer, found an image of the Crayola named "brick red," and the rest is history!

And, here's the reveal:

Thanks for stopping by today!  I would love it if you left a comment so that I will know you were here.

Joy to you!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

SDC94: Flowers

Stampotique Designers Challenge is brought to us this week by Gez Butterworth.  While many of us around the world are experiencing a delayed Spring, Gez has challenged us to "focus on flowers" in our art.  I used my new Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate in creating this page in my art journal.  I used the same flower stencil three times, using two different acrylic paints each time, then a second stencil (the chicken wire) over the top.  Next, I used a Stampotique stamp called Dandelion Duo.  I chose to stamp the dandelions in black rather than a strong color so that they might appear weaker than the other flowers (bear with me...there's a point here).  The last step was to use a second Stampotique stamp called "You're Strong," created by my artist friend France Papillon from Belgium.  Sometimes, the humor I inject into my art is subtle, as it is today.  The point?  Is not the dandelion the STRONGEST "flower" that you have growing in your yard?  

So, here's the reveal:

I am glad that you visited me here today.  It's easy to let me know you were here--leave a comment!

Joy to you!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


When time and/or space is limited, but you still want to create art, an ATC may be just the thing for you!  An ATC, or Artist Trading Card, is art in a small format.  There are exact specifications for the size of an ATC, and that is 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" (either orientation).  Further, an ATC may never be sold; it may only be given as a gift or traded.

What brings me to this topic today is that I have been asked to trade pieces of art with a woman in New York State.  We met on a website called, where art journalers (primarily) gather to share their work, chat about projects, and/or  inspire or be inspired.  Susan and I were often commenting on each others' work, and Susan proposed that we "swap" pieces of art once a month.  I laughed when she said, "We like each others' work so much, we are pretty much guaranteed to like what we receive!"  And she has been right!  We swapped Valentine-themed "tags" in February, then Spring or Easter tags in March.  This month we are swapping three ATCs of any theme.

Both Susan and I like vintage-themed *anything*, so I have created two vintage ATCs and then one about birds--a passion of my own.  Here are the ATCs I created:

The first, "she is JOYFUL," was created by manipulating a photo of my sister as a young girl using a photo editing program.  I protected her image with a scrap piece of paper and then stamped over it with a script stamp.  The vintage numbers at the side are rub-ons, and the title, a portion of another stamp.

The second ATC was covered with a piece of scrap patterned paper and contains a vintage image from a "free" site that I trimmed and then adhered to my ATC.  I next stamped a clock and the quote, "to be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible, to be all that we can be, we must dream of being more."

The background for this last ATC was created by applying more layers than I can count of red, orange and pink Dylusions ink sprays!  I added a stamp created by coating bubble wrap with acrylic paint, then applying it to my ATC.  Lastly, my quote and the birds on a wire are also stamps.

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today and might just be inspired to create an ATC yourself!  I love comments, so please leave one if you like what you see here!

Joy to you!