Monday, August 10, 2015

Little Wings Photos

Before Summer slips away from us, I wanted to introduce all of you to my friend Linda Ledbetter's awesome hummingbird photos!

I absolutely adore hummingbirds - they are such amazing little birds with what seems like endless energy.  Unfortunately, I only see an occasional one here in the foothills of Colorado.  They seem to prefer being at higher altitudes, so I have to go to my friend's house up higher to enjoy them!  As I don't have that opportunity very often, the next best thing is to enjoy a gorgeous framed photo of a sweet little guy (I should say "gal") in my house.  Here is my favorite one:

Here is a closer look at it:

Isn't that beautiful!  Linda used an app to give the photo a watercolor look.  I love it.  It makes me smile and be happy to see her every day.

Linda takes these photos in her backyard garden.  She has a tremendous amount of patience to wait for just the right shot!

If you would like to see more of Linda's beautiful photos, head on over to and click on the "little wings" icon.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Layering Stencil: Monoprint

Here we are at the last challenge for Tim's A Compendium of Curiosities III book - Challenge number 34, Layering Stencil: Monoprint!  It just doesn't seem possible!  The time has flown for me and I have loved every minute!

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for all your wonderful comments and for playing along with these challenges!  All of you are so talented!  I have SO enjoyed getting to know all of you - even though I haven't met most of you personally, I still feel like I know you.  Hopefully our paths will cross in the future!

Many of you have commented that you have enjoyed the use of my family photos in my artwork.  I have had so much fun incorporating these photos into my projects and have loved creating some wonderful keepsakes for my family along the way.

As I started off with a family photo for one of my first projects, I thought I would finish up with several as well.

You will find this wonderful monoprint technique on Page 48 of the Compendium of Curiosities III book.  You will see that there are actually two different ways to incorporate this technique.  I decided to go for it since it is the last challenge and created two different projects - with each one I have used the technique differently.  Here they are side by side, one tag and one journal page:

As  you can see, both projects are very different, a vintage tag with a photo of my mother-in-law and my very first journal page using bright colors.    First the vintage tag:

This is a photo of my husband's mother, Rosa Maria Cura Mostek.  She is originally from Spain.  This tag project is a tribute to her amazing journey from Spain to the United States shortly after she married.  It is also a way to thank my wonderful husband who has never complained about all the time I spend working on my art and waiting for dinner on more than one occasion when I didn't want to quite working as I was "on a roll".

I started by creating a monoprint on cream card stock with the Flourish Layering Stencil.  While I can't tell you how I did it, I followed the first technique using Broken China, Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, and Hickory Smoke Distress Paints and Antique Linen Distress Ink.  I could have kicked myself when I realized I had become so engrossed in the project I forgot to take step-by-step photos, so I took some close-ups of the project.

I created a frame by die cutting Tim's Sizzix Postage Stamp from Grunge Board.  I then added a layer of gesso and added Antique Linen Distress Paint over the top when dry.  I finished my frame by adding Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs Distress inks around the edges.  Once this was completed, I added the photo of my mother-in-law after adding some Vintage Photo ink around the edges.

I adhered my frame to my monoprint tag and then began adding several Idea-ology pieces I had painted with Cracked Pistachio, partially dried and then rubbed off a bit to create a patina.

My mother-in-law fell in love with a young Czech man who escaped from then Czechoslovakia after WWII and came to this country shortly after they were married, not knowing any English or anyone here in this country.  I felt Tim's "Life was meant to be a great Adventure" stamp from the Handwritten Thoughts Stamper's Anonymous set was quite appropriate as well as the Idea-ology Word Band choice.

The "angel" wing from the Idea-ology Adornments: Regal represents Rosa's faith and Guardian Angel watching over her.

I added the crown from the Adornments: Regal as she reminded me a bit of a young Queen Elizabeth.  Lastly, I created a bow from Tim's Crinkle Ribbon, using Antique Linen and Broken China Distress Stains.  I added a Trinket Pin, Jump Ring and Heart Charm with the words "All my Heart" representing her love for my father-in-law.  I finished the project by adhering the finished tag to a piece of Aqua color solid card stock.

Now for the second project.  This is my first first journal page (which I have been dying to start) using a photo of my mother, uncle (in the back) and their cousin.  It always puts a smile on my face as I think of simpler times, a fun picnic and wading in the stream.

Now I definitely don't have a step-by-step of this monoprint technique as that would completely give away the technique.  I can tell you I used Picked Raspberry, Cracked Pistachio, Twisted Citron, Dusty Concord and Mermaid Lagoon Paints along with Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks.  I wanted to leave quite a bit of white on the page as well.

The wonderful sentiment is from Tim's Stamper's Anonymous set Handwritten Thoughts.  Here are a few close-ups:

 Thanks for being patient with my longer than usual blog post.  Hope you have enjoyed both projects.

This final challenge is being sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique.  Linda Coughlin will be offering a $25.00 shopping spree in her online store to the winner of a randomly chosen project.  Tim and Mario  are generously offering a fabulous prize package to the winner of the Curiosity Crew Choice.  A big thank you to all of them for supporting these challenges!

Finally, I would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our fearless leader, Linda Ledbetter.  She has done such a wonderful job putting these challenges together and keeping the Curisioty Crew in line!   I feel so honored that I was asked to participate - I have stretched myself so much artistically and had so much fun along the way, especially being associated with all the other terrific gals on the Curiosity Crew!

Now head on over to Linda's website, study the rules and enter your project!  We can't wait to see what you create for this final challenge!

Hugs, Susan