Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Welcome everyone to August's art adventure - Sun, Moon and Stars!  I was so thrilled when our dear Yvonne came up with this theme!  I actually had an idea brewing in my head for quite awhile and I couldn't wait to put it together!  I have a wonderful photo of my mother when she was young (she is 87 this month) sitting on a bench that I couldn't wait to use.

Isn't she adorable?  As you can see, I turned my mother into a little angel sitting on a crescent moon among the stars.  There are several themes going on here - my love for my mother - and also a tribute to her challenges in life that she took on fearlessly. Well, maybe there was some fear there, however, she never let on....

Anyway, I wanted to create a night sky using one of my all time favorite Tim Holtz techniques from his Compendium of Curiosities III book.  I was fortunate to participate in Linda Ledbetter's CCIII Challenges last year and created several projects using this technique.

I started by dabbing some Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans and Picket Fence Distress inks onto my craft sheet.  Then I sprayed some water onto the paints on the sheet and swirled a manila tag through the paints.  I was so lucky as the first time was the charm and I got a wonderful night sky with this technique:

I then die cut Tim Holtz's Crescent Moon and Stars from a piece of card stock.  This was originally going to be just a trial run for a moon cut from cardboard to see if I liked the colors, etc., however, I ended up liking this original cut piece, so I die cut two more moons from  black cardstock to layer to the original piece for strength.  I apologize as I got so caught up in the fun of creating this tag that I forgot to take separate photos.  Hopefully, this close-up will give you an idea of the moon.

I began by using some Brilliance Moonlight White pigment ink to the base of the moon and then went over the top of it with Tim Holtz Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink.  I finished it by adding some areas of  Hickory Smoke to the moon.  I was trying to go for a more subdued "glowing" look to the moon.

As you can see, I offset one of the two layers of black card stock just a little to give the moon's face some definition.  I added a Gumdrop from Idea-ology to the top point of the moon along with an embellishment I found years ago at a retail show (I knew all those wonderful embellishments I purchased years ago but didn't know what to do with yet would come in handy!) to create a "hat" for my moon.  

I copied a photo of my mother onto card stock and cut her body out.  I then used Neo Color II crayons with a tiny bit of water to hand color her dress and socks pink, her hair brown and add just a little flesh color to her body.  I adhered some little wings to her back and an oversized little rose with a touch of blue to match the background to her dress. 

I set this aside to dry and then stamped Tim Holtz's "Love You to the Moon and Back" from his Life Quotes stamp set using black archival ink onto the tag.  It was pretty plain, so I used his Ranger white Picket Fence marker to add a bit of color to the letters to make them pop.

Then Mom was able to take her place on the crescent moon just below the words.  

To finish this piece,  I added three star brads to the tag and used another layer of black card stock to the entire piece.

I cut apart the quote from Tim's Idea-ology Small Talk stickers "with brave wings she flies" and backed each word with black card stock, finally adhering the words to the moon.  I also ran a bead of Stardust Stickles around the edge of the moon.

I always thought of my mother as one of the bravest people I knew.  She married my father, a young Navy dentist,  in 1956, had me in 1958 and then got on a ship to the Philippines with a toddler for the first of many adventures.  We moved around quite a bit and Mom always "bloomed where she was planted" and provided a wonderful life for my brother and me.  She and Dad even had the opportunity to travel quite a bit when we were stationed overseas and went to what I thought were such exotic places as Thailand, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam before the war.

So, here's to you, Mom!  Happy Birthday!  I love you to the moon and back!




  1. Ah, your Mum really is adorable in that photo and she looks beautiful sitting on that wonderful moon. For me, the background is quite stunning, what a brilliant mix of colours. I love your tag and it is a wonderful tribute to your Mum! Anne xx

  2. Susan, you had me at that first photo of your sky background. It's wonderful! And you're always so clever with your family photos incorporated into your art. That makes each and every piece personal and full of love. This photo of your mother is so sweet, the way she's sitting cross legged like a little lady. It's absolutely perfect for sitting on the moon. Love it!!

  3. Beautiful photo of your Mum in her early years, my Mum will be 97 yrs old in November !! It's so lovely to use old photos in various pieces of art work. The sky is stunning and I love the layer of black card under the edge of the moon.xx

  4. This is such a cute tag, Susan. Love your night sky and the Tim Holtz moon and stars. They are perfect for this theme as is the sentiment. The colorized picture of your mom as a little girl really gives this tag a personal meaning!! She was darling. Thanks for sharing! Love this!