Keeper of the Tiles

Don’t you love that feature photo? I know I showed it to you yesterday but I am still smiling every time I look at it. Hahaha! It is perfect for me! Christine made it for me and yesterday I showed you the other art pieces she sent me but I saved one treasure for today’s post.

Just look at that little face <3 Christine knows how much I love dragons. She found this little guy hatching out of his egg and sent him to me, and I have added him in with my other dragons. He fits in perfectly! I think I am going to name him CK after Christine.

All my dragons have names. Some make sense, some don’t. Depending on whether the Frankles named them or if I did. Hahahaha! And I’m not telling you which ones make sense – hers or mine. Hahahaha!

And though I have a lot of dragons I don’t have any similar to little CK. He was kind of bashful and didn’t really want his photo taken.

So I had this great idea to find CK a job. He wasn’t all that excited until I told him he would get paid in bugs and frogs and chicken parts. Then Ck was all about that work thang! What job did he get? Keeper of the Tiles. Yep. It is an official role and very important and only a baby dragon can do it. So here CK sits – guarding my precious Tiles that have been discontinued. And he has strict orders to burp fire at anyone who tries to steal one. Take that, tile thief! Thanks, Christine!

Tangles and Some Sketchy

Short post today. We are having an ice storm here and the weather is abysmal. Posting short so maybe I can get this live before the power clicks out again. Never fear – we have a generator and we are good.

Starting with my Getting Sketchy for last week. I am trying a new sketchbook from Cheap Joe’s. Hahaha! Great name, yes? I thought this sketchbook would be perfect for storing patterns and I decided to start with cute ones.

And the pages are white so I have no idea why these photos look like they do. Hahahahaha! Check out this Remy pattern from Silke Wagner. People are doing so many different things with it. She named it Remy after the little mouse in Ratatouille. I’ve seen it drawn as mice, teddy bears, Santa Clauses, snowmen, penguins, a seal and I am sure there are others.

I also worked on a few Tiles from Hahnemühle with my technical pens from Zebra. The color on this one is Lindy’s Shakers. Kuke, cirquital and printemps are the patterns.

Patterns in this one are printemps, kuke and cee-a-mosa.

The color background is Lindy’s Magicals. I love their colors – they are all beautiful so far. I haven’t tried every one but I am working on it. Hahahaha! For this I just tangled up a whole bunch of crescent moon and shaded.

But I felt it was a little plain so I added white gelly roll pen and liked this a bunch more. My instagram friend Phillis said they were staring at her 🙂 hahaha! Yes, they are! Hahahaha!

The weather is supposed to be crazy – pretty much all over North America. Stay safe and be responsible. If you have to drive – take your time, watch out for crazy drivers, and be safe. Maybe throw a couple quilts in the car and make sure you have gloves and a hat and a warm enough coat. We already had to get AAA involved early this morning to pull our son out of a ditch on the side of the interstate – heading home from work and hit a patch of ice. That is all it takes sometimes to ruin your day. Thankfully both Jason and his car were in good shape. Love you guys!

Technical Pens from Zebra Pen

Art Gifts

I have fabulousness to show you today! Is that a word? If it isn’t – it should be because it totally describes all I want to show you! Occasionally I have a package arrive unexpectedly in the mail and I can’t wait to rip it open and check out what is inside. The pieces of art I want to show you today all came to me in the mail over the past month or two. I didn’t make any of this art. My friends did and I want to share it with you here.

Andrea Kine hails from Ohio. Her critters make me smile and chuckle and I love them all! She has such a great imagination and eye for cuteness and lovability! Andrea posted a picture of this little guy in our Facebook group Tangle All Around and I told her how much I loved it! And the next thing I knew he showed up in my mail. Can you just say, ‘Eeek!?’ Cause I did! Side note * Andrea is one of the international tangle artists featured in my latest book Tangle All Around the World.

This beautiful card came to me in a swap package from Cynthia Blackwell. Cynthia is a member of Facebook group Creative Crafty Friends where we participate in art swaps. I don’t remember what the swap was for but Cynthia added this elegant card she created. Love the fiber in that mulberry paper base behind the Thank You component. And that bow! Wowzers!

Priscilla DeConti is a sister kind of friend that I met through Tangle All Around. Recently she sent me a lovely hand made card and this package of tiles she colored using various products and techniques. That lower right tile is one of hers that I have already tangled. I think I am going to work on that speckled one in the middle next!

Don’t you just love this lady? Hahaha! That signature PD stands for Priscilla DeConti, yep, she sent me this, too. Priscilla sells her art at craft and vendor fairs. She showed us this gorgeous flamingo in Tangle All Around and said it was for a vendor show. Hahaha! I asked her ‘how much?’ and told her I wanted to purchase this one from her. Priscilla sent it to me. Free of charge. She wouldn’t take a cent for it. Priscilla, you are such a wonderful friend and sister. I am so thankful God put our paths together! And not just because of these lovelies you sent me! But because we truly are sisters at heart.

How would you like to open a package and find this cheeky guy staring at you? Hahahaha! I love him so much! He was a complete surprise! My incredible artist friend Robin Mead of Robin Mead Designs down south had been crocheting owl ornaments and I asked for two. Let me show you.

Aren’t they adorable???? I swear I don’t know where Robin gets all her ideas. Something different all the time – but always colorful and bright and unique. So much like Robin herself. I just love her! Those pink letters up there are a link to her store. Be sure you check it out. The paper owl will be hanging on one of my trees this year along with these two!

Rachel Foster is also an artist living in Ohio. Rachel does wonderful collage art – unique and fun and eclectic. She and I send each other packages of scraps and papers and bits and bobs to make art with. Last week I received an unexpected surprise package from her. This thankful tag was the first thing I pulled out of the mailer. Love that stamp art on it. I used to have a Tiffany lamp much like the one on the stamp. Before my husband dropped a hammer on it and destroyed the whole thing. But that’s another story. All the details she adds – so beautiful!

Rachels tangles as well as anyone but collage art is really her area of expertise! She has a great eye for putting pieces together like this post card sized piece. Did you notice the similar shapes in the salt and pepper shakers and the field glasses/binoculars in the paper background? A good eye!

Tags are one of Rachel’s specialties. And recycling pieces like that tea bag tag. My eyes immediately went to the word ‘Doloroso’ – I used to sing in church a lot and Via Dolorosa by Sandi Patti was a solo piece I did a couple times. I even sang one of the verses in Spanish. This tag instantly transported me back to those days and I can still see the smile on Cynthia Velasquez’ face when I started the Spanish part of the song for the first time. She was sitting on the back row and I instantly spotted that smile. I was nervous about singing in Spanish in a Florida country-ish church but Cynthia’s smile instantly put me at ease. Good memories, thanks, Rachel!

But this piece right here is why I call Rachel the Queen of Collage! This is an envelope Rachel made from a page torn out of a cookbook and sprayed with ink. Those roses along the left are tissue paper – love it. And Rachel uses printed materials in pretty much everything she makes. Like that sheet music. And over the past couple years she has shared with me – book pages, sheet music, newspapers, magazine pages – in various languages. Medical papers, receipts, restaurant order slips. It all works.

Inside the envelope was this package. I wish I knew where she got those rose stickers – I love them! And see what I mean about the paper – two pieces. I don’t know what language the top piece is – this is just one thing that stands Rachel’s art apart.

This is another. Hahaha! I was surprised when I turned the package around to see that it was a recycled oatmeal packet. How many times have I just tossed those in the trash???? But Rachel turned it into something wonderful.

And inside were these two ATC coins – 2.5″ in diameter. Just beautiful! Love all the gems! You can get new ideas just from studying her art! Side note * Rachel is also one of the international tangle artists featured in Tangle All Around the World.

Just a couple days ago I received a surprise package from Christine Reyes, my Pennsylvania artist friend. Isn’t this watercolored card Christine made beautiful? Her style – she loves to watercolor and flowers are kind of her signature thing. I think she likes making flowers more than any other art element. And she is so great at it!

Christine’s package had a lot of cool stuff in it! Check this out! That is two sides of the same hexagon. Christine used alcohol inks to color this – at least I think she did. And I love the A she sent. Both the hexagon and the letter are made of a thicker plastic material. Non-porous, so perfect for inks.

Christine sent me a couple colored tiles, a stack of hexagon tile blanks and one of the hexagons like the one she colored. Can’t wait to play with that! Probably with my Marabu alcohol inks. Yay!!!

One can never have too much washi tape. Hahahaha! And a beautiful Breathe tag – did you know Christine is the friend who helps me make all the Tangle Starts books actually happen? She is my technical super ninja friend who tells me there is a way when I say there is no way. Who says let’s try this when I say this doesn’t work. Who tells me put it in your dropbox when I am at wit’s end trying to figure it out. She taught me all about Quark, and Dropbox, and PDFs and she tried to teach me about InDesign but that one didn’t take. Hahahaha! And I can just hear her telling me breathe!

And this is absolutely what Christine would tell me when I worry about what other people think. When I worry about people ‘getting’ me. Don’t worry about it. Be yourself. Even better . . . be a crab. <3 Thank you for making this for me, Christine, it is getting framed and going up on a wall in my studio.

And Christine sent me this cute little watercolored guy. I showed it to Mark and said these are Christine’s colors! with a big smile on my face. Cause they are. Mine, too, just add some teal but when I think about Christine’s art blue and purple come to mind. Side note * Christine is another of the international artists featured in Tangle All Around the World. And she walked me through some technical minefields to make it happen.

Do you recognize this artist? I can’t believe I have an original piece of her art!!! I didn’t just receive this, actually I have had this for a couple years. When we moved to Maine I put some boxes down in the basement and I am just getting to one that still had art in it. Maybe you see that Michele B. up there on the right and maybe that means something to you. Michele Beauchamp is one of the first tangle artists I started following. One of my heroes in the arts. I love everything about her art style and I want to be her when I grow up. Not creepy at all. Hahahaha! I really do love her artistic ideas and I really have studied her pictures – to try to get an idea of what I love so much about them. Actually, I also have a tile Michele sent me back during one of the big time hurricanes we had in Florida. And a card she tangled. And I wish I could say ‘side note’ here but I can not. Maybe in the next book. I’ll have to see if I can get Michele – or Shelly Beach as some of you know her – to design a new tangle for Tangle All Around the World 2. Hmmmm.

Friends. Where would we be without them? Lonely and bored and uninspired. Friends make our lives richer and fuller and give us meaning. The good friends do. And I thank God every day for the good people He has put into my life. I never want to take any of them for granted. And that includes you who have read this far. You make me smile, too. And I am so thankful for you! Your comments make my day!

T is For Texture

Today I am showing you the last of a set of four ATCs I made this week. Creative Crafty Friends is trading ATCs based on the letters T and U and we make two of each. You have already seen Tree, Underwater and Unicorn. Today’s letter T is brought to you by Texture. Hahaha! Did I say that right? Who watched Sesame Street?

Texture to me means a lot of things going on at once. A lot of things to touch and feel and explore. I began with a gelli print pull that I had stashed away for such a time as this. I used bubble wrap to make this print. And I see at least two layers of bubble wrap – so that is two layers right off the bat! I cut out a 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC and put the rest back in the drawer for another day.

I made this ATC first quickly followed by the three you have already seen. Here you can see I was pulling things out of drawers that I thought could fit anything T and U related. And I just made a big pile on my desktop to get started. I do my best work in a pile of clutter. Hahahahaha!

Collaged pieces are a great way to add texture. I used my Dina Wakley Clear Gesso and the color shaper tool to add bits of a map and a Bible page. Torn edges adhere and stay in place better for me than straight – and it adds another texture layer. I don’t worry about those edges that stick over the sides of the ATC. And no, I did not tear up my Bible to get this piece. A dear friend sent me a couple pages that I am hoarding and using sparingly. I do believe you could find an old, used Bible at a Good Will that could be used for collaging. Or even to become an art journal. A Bible art journal. How cool would that be? Praise and art all at once!

Back to those edges, I just lob them off with a pair of scissors and move on.

Anyone remember these circles? I punched them when I first started trading ATC coins. I originally punched them out of watercolored paper and made them too big. So I went back with the right sized punch and made them smaller. This is the leftover. I didn’t want to waste the rings so I threw them in my collage basket. I have two left after this one. I just adhered this in place with some clear gesso. I could have used my sticker maker but I didn’t think about it till it was too late.

And I trimmed away the excess. By the way – I put that back in my collage drawer, too!

I showed you this stamp yesterday. I chose the bubble wrap stamp to enhance the bubble wrap design already on the ATC. And of course one of my favorite inks.

And stamped some bubble wrap right over the top of everything else that was already on here.

The next couple steps involved Distress Oxide Ink pads in Fossilized Amber and Peacock Feathers. I rubbed the ink pad on my craft mat then sprayed it with water. Then I placed the ATC face down into the color and lifted. The thought was to add some more texture through additional colors.

Mostly the amber didn’t work all that well but the peacock feather worked like a champ!

And where that amber didn’t want to work I instead added some Starfish color from Jane Davenport’s mermaid brush pens. At least I think that’s what they are called.

Reaching into my dark closet I brought out what I thought was a roll of really cool looking washi tape. Which instead turned out to be duck tape but hey! that works, too. Hahahaha!

I wrapped the excess to the back and trimmed off the ends. This duck tape sticks better than washi tape. I may need to make this mistake more often!

The next thing this ATC needed was marks! So I brought out various mark making tools. Actually I have a drawer of those, too! Hahahaha! That could be a whole post of its own. The newest thing I added to mark making is that round clear piece with the handle. It is the top of a tube of Lindy’s Magicals!

That’s a finger dauber – I have a box of about 24 of these. And I have 2 that I actually use all the time. Hahahaha! You just put your finger inside it and stamp on the ink pad, lifting the color then stamp it down through the stencil. Easy peasy. And your fingers stay clean. Mostly.

And those added stars look great, they work on top of gesso, paper, watercolor, and duck tape sort of. And . . . I used another stencil from my stencil stash! Just sneaking them in wherever I can! Hahahaha!

See all those black circles? I made those with the clear top from the Lindy’s. Just stamped it right down onto the ink pad and then onto my ATC. Empty medicine bottles work great, too!

See those green dots? And the pink dots? Those are called Dauber Duos and I bought these probably 15 or more years ago. I don’t believe they sell them any longer but I did recently find a few on eBay. Pre-inked, they look almost like lipsticks and you just dot them onto your paper.

Marabu has some fun product! Acryl Mousse is one of them! Works like texture paste, I used another stencil – yayayay!!! – and my color shaper to scrape some mousse through the stencil and make those circles. I made a bit of a mushy mess in the bottom section but this is all about texture so I am good with that.

Several mark making things happened here. The pink dots came from a Zig Painty FX pen. The green dots are from a Painters Opaque Paint Marker from Walmart. The white is a Sharpie water based Paint Pen. The jewel also came from Walmart about 20 years ago but I know they still carry them.

Black lines and circles kind of segmented the piece. Those were drawn with a Sarasa Fineliner from Zebra Pen.

And just one thing remained. Because this didn’t look complete.

Inked those edges and called this Texture ATC complete √ So, let me go back and see if I can count how many layers of texture were added to this one. At least nineteen layers and possibly more. I was a texture making sucker! Hahahaha!

For the T and U swaps I made a total of four ATCs. And by coincidence, they are all going to the same home. To wrap up, let me refresh your memory with the other three. Creative Crafty Friends is still looking for people who wish to join in on the fun. If you are interested, just click here.