Saturday, June 30, 2012

ATC Saturday: Turtles

This is an ATC I did some time ago for a swap.  The theme was "turtles". 

I used a photo from a paint chip that I picked up at Home Depot for the background, then stamped and embossed the green seaweed.  The sea turtle was stamped on two different papers, then pieced together.

Too Easy!

My love of turtles came from my 3-yo Holly, about 13 years ago.  She loved turtles, and begged me to buy her a rather large garden decoration one time at the grocery store.  It was a substantial rubber turtle, not at all cuddly, that she promptly named, "Samantha". 

Samantha was cooed over and carried around, invited to tea parties and treated every bit as a treasured member of the family by Holly.  Samantha lived in a cigar box.

One day when Holly was four, she wanted to play a guessing game.  She wanted her Dad and I to guess what was in the box!

Her clues were as follows: 
1)  It is in this box
2)  It is green
3)  It has a turtley head

That third clue had her father and I rolling with laughter, almost unable to utter the words, "What could it be?  What could it BE?!"  Of course it was Samantha.

Turtles will always remind me of four-year-old Holly.  :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Recognize me, there?  That's imaginary me, rejoicing at finishing my first-ever 5K last year.  I followed the "couch to 5K" routine (you can find it here) and at the end of the program, signed up and ran a 5K race.

See that little snail at the bottom?  He beat me to the finish line.  I stunk.  Really!  I knew I was no speed-demon, but the race was plotted through the woods on a trail...a narrow, gnarly-root-covered, twisty, horrible, dirt trail.
Not exactly ideal conditions for a novice runner like me.  Sigh!  So I blame the trail for at least some portion of my less-than-astounding finish.   But finish I DID.

I must let you all know what a swell husband I have.  He jogged along beside me at my snail's pace and encouraged me the whole way.  He also trained outdoors with me for several Saturdays leading up to Race Day.

So, about the stamping.  The theme was "Numbers" and if you are into typography, please do go check out Ma Vinci's Reliquary.  Robin offers a wide variety of alphas in sizes ranging from Really Big (2-1/4" per letter) to Itty Bitty (3/8" per letter).  The number set I used in the PC above is the "Large A&P Numbers Set" on page 2.

The smaller letter "K" is from a Printworks alpha--which was among the very first stamps I ever purchased (Printworks is updating their site, so not all of their images are shown).

The snail is a portion of an Eat Cake Graphics stamp, "Speedy Delivers the Mail", and I drew in the finish line bunting.  My actual finish line wasn't nearly as festive, but I was oh-SO-glad to reach it!

The lady is from Viva Las Vegas Stamps

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ATC Saturday: Dancing Frogs

When I saw the swap-bot listing for a frog-themed ATC, I knew I wanted to use my dancing frog image from 100 Proof Press.  I grabbed some royalty-free music from somewhere on the internet, printed it and got to work.  This one came together quickly with just two stamps. 

The flying hearts are from a larger image carried by Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.  I cut the image apart as soon as I got it.  It's much more versatile that way.

Obviously this pair has been in love for a very long time ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

School's Out

Thought balloon: hand drawn.  All others: 100Proof Press
This is how I feel sometimes, as a home schooling (or "home school-er-ing", as my young son used to say) mom.  It's a huge balancing act for sure.

Thankfully, the rubber stamps are only a few steps away, providing a marvelous way to ease the stress of a day or week.

Yay for summer!

I can't help but notice that the No. 2 pencil is threatening to up-end the whole scene.  Look out, lady!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ATC Saturday: Mortise Masks

The challenge this week:  Use a mortise mask.

You can think of a mortise mask as the "field" surrounding your image.  Some people think of it as the "negative mask".  For the ATC below, the mortise mask was large enough to cover the whole ATC, but with a bird-shaped hole cut out of it.  Sorry I didn't take photos of the process, but hopefully it makes sense.

Perhaps a sage outline around the bird would've been better?
The lines of music were stamped first, with a mortise mask (which had the shape of a bird cut from it) in place.  After removing the mortise mask, a traditional mask was used to cover the (now bird-shaped) music image.  Using a large background stamp, I filled in the rest of the ATC with the botanical flourish.  Finally, I outlined the bird shape with a micron pen, and punched a tiny hole to represent the bird's eye.

I have to admit when I think about the time it took to achieve this effect, I marvel at how simple it would be to do via PhotoShop!  Virtual "cutting" is so much quicker, lol.  On the bright side, I liked the design enough to stamp a few all-occasion greeting cards in addition to this ATC.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Postcard for the Guys

Dedicated to all the Dads, Uncles and Grandpas out there.  This pc features stamps from Arizona Stamps, Too! (grass), Stampscapes (lake), Beeswax (rocks), Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers (fish), and Eat Cake Graphics (fisherman, and cat).  I drew the fishing pole by hand. 

The main image here is so versatile--think of all the things this little guy could be holding and saying.  Or maybe he doesn't have to hold anything at all.  What if his hands were empty?  He could be just ranting on about something...the possibilities are endless.

I'm happy to report that Stampscapes now offers their stamps unmounted!  This may be old news to you, but it was a welcome surprise to me.
You shoulda seen the one that got away!

Happy Father's Day!  I hope you're able to share some special moments with the men in your life this weekend.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

ATC Saturday: Body Part

This week, the task was to include an image of a human body part.  Scary thought, eh?  While there's not a lot of stamping on this ATC, I think the words are just as important as the drawing.  I chose to play it safe and draw my own eye.  It's been a long while since I tried drawing anything realistic.  It was a good exercise, and made me want to get back into drawing.

Not as confident in my drawing as I once was, I drew first in pencil, then traced over the lines with a micron pen.

The alpha is a sweet, tiny set from Hero Arts.

Friday, June 1, 2012

ATC Saturday: Underwater

So many options for this theme. I was in a paper-cutting mood though, so went with an array of shells and starfish. Once I got all of the images stamped, I scanned the ATC into the computer and set to work  coloring it in PhotoShop.  Most of these images are from Stampington & Co.  Others are from Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers.  It's a bit flat, I admit.  Sometimes, it's fun to just play!