Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saddle Up! THROW DOWN!

I can barely recall life before bloggy paper challenges... These days, I am consumed by color swatches and decisions like "which STAMP SET might best provide a fabulous way to show off these gorgeous colors!?!" It might start with a few sheets of card stock, but by the time I'm done digging through "happy town," my work space is littered with ribbon, bling, scraps of designer paper, re-inkers, watercolor crayons... basically, it's a FESTIVAL of color!

Last week.... {*sob} I missed two great color challenges... Including The Color Throwdown! GASP! Yep! It's true! I got such a kick out of playing "color" with those dynamite ladies a few weeks back, but in order to get my "home-body" butt out the door for a little family vacay, I HAD TO WALK AWAY FROM SOME CHALLENGES! {Hold me!}

NOT THIS WEEK, though, babies. No way. So what if I've been going like a crazy loon with the beginning of school, no sleep and too much leftover laundry from the family road trip... {OMG, I'm totally whining! Sorry! My blog is my HAPPY place!} Speaking of happy, I'm so happy to present you with this:

Oooooowwwwww and YEE HAW! I made some Western Happiness! My fave! I was thrilled to play with these color choices, three of the new IN COLORS from Stampin' Up! Here's the teaser:

Don't you LOVE this!?! "Can you handle THIS?" Are you CRAFTER enough to handle the truth? {Do you hear Jack Nicholson, suddenly?} Do you KNOW who I am? Do you know who WE are? WE, we... are sisters (and a few brothers... It's all gooood!) of the paper craft! OF course we can handle THIS! I got so excited to share the fun-o-this, I sent a goody packet to my darling and sooooooo dear bloggy friend, Rosemary, so she could play, too! {She lives FAR away from me, so I'm praying she gets the loot in time to make it sing...} Anywhooo, THAT'S how WE can handle THIS, your color throwdown, you sassy and amazing designy ladies of Color Throwdown Challenge Headquarters! Ohhhhh, yeah. We can HANDLE the truth of these gorgeous colors. *phew!*

Anywhoo, where was I...? OH, and I am combining with ANOTHER challenge! A really, brand spanking new sketch challenge called "Get Sketchy!" I learned about this dynamic new place for sketch challenge from yet another DEAR friend-o-blog-o-sphere, Ann from Creative Antics... SHE is on the DT for this great site, so check it out, if you have the means!

Fun! Eh? Me likey. Me likey, a LOT!

So I got busy in the exploration of color and composition. If you can stand to bare with me, if you're interested... I'm going to share some of my discovery. I'll try to make it quick:

First of all, classic cowgirl beauty, brought to you by Dawn Houser and Inkadinkado! Ain't she the vintage Queen-o-the old rodeo!?! I had to make her lips a little more luscious, so I re-stamped her in Dusty Durango and cut her lips out and paper pieced... And NOW she looks a little like Andy Warhol got a hold of her... BUT SHE'S STILL GREAT! Don't you think? Anwhoo, I had to share this close up so you could peek at the magic of the old fashioned "mask" technique. I stamped the lasso and THEN cowgirl cutie, masked her off with a post-it and then stamped the word circle right over her: BIG AS YOU PLEASE! I just love that look and it's way "old school!"

The blank sheet of Very Vanilla is WAITING for some love from some of these great ink pads. I haven't had the opportunity to really indulge in too much of S/U's new products, ie. designer paper in the new in colors, so I set about to make my own. I felt strongly that this card needed to look a little weathered and less CARD STOCK strong...

For quick and easy water color looks, I love to give a closed ink pad a good squeeze and then grab the color from the lid with my large watercolor brush...

For this card, however, I wanted to create layers of color, so I brushed the entire panel with a well loaded (water only) aqua brush very quickly, then dipped the same brush directly into that little puddle of ink, and then back across the wet panel. Speed is your friend here: don't overwork the card stock or it will tear or look muddy!

Here's the finished look of the watercolor work! It's AUTHENTIC watercolor work, me thinks...

LET THE WHOLE PANEL DRY! Seriously, this is critical... and difficult! But patience is a crafty gal's BEST friend, eh!?! The paper will curl, a lot. Don't fear. When it's dry, flatten it with your hands. Bend, gently, in opposing directions and it will calm down considerably! THEN, stamp with full strength! I used MORE Dusty Durango ON the Dusty Durango wash! In this case, where I was using a big ol' background stamp (Bella Toile from S/U!) I inked the stamp, placed it on my work top and placed my watercolored paper on top! To avoid smearing, lightly bend the panel into a "U" shape and set the middle of the "U" down in the middle of the stamp and work from the middle out from the back side, rubbing as you go. Brayers work well for this job, as well. {A little practice, if this sounds frighting, is NEVER a bad thing!} But don't it look purdy!?! Here's my practice piece... I decided that I'd been too shy with the watercolor phase, but it's still okay for ANOTHER project sometime!

So, Saddle Up, lovely blog friends! I hope you have a chance to catch some of these terrific challenges yourself! Giddy Up!


C/S - Stampin' Up!
Stamps - Carolee's Creations, Inkadinkado, Stampin' Up!
Ink - Stampin' Up!, Staz On
Scallop Border Punch - Stampin' Up!
Circle Die - Sizzix
Thread - Gutermann


Dora said...

This is stunning, a wonderful card!
thnx xo much for playing!

LeAnne said...

Dang, girl, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! So does the round stamp with the font come from Carolee's Creations? I LOVE both of these images, and your watercolor technique is awesome. I am going on vacation and probably won't have time to do that sketch, darn it!!! But I'm gonna be on the lookout for that stamp--my DD would love that!
Thanks for the smiles!

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

LOVE this awesome card and those awesome colors!!! I want everything you used!!! Yes.. I do! I live on a ranch... and that stamp is perfect!!! The card is so darn wonderful!!!

You rock!

Rosemary said...

Holey Cowgirl, Batman!!!! She is a real sweetheart of the ro-de-o!! Thanks for the shout out and I'm prayin' I get the goods in time, too!! Yipee!!!! Oh, and all your little tips??? Well, thank ya, ma'm!!! So good to see some of your amazing cowgirl goodness!!

Barbara said...

This is totally cool!! Great demonstration of your watercoloring technique and that image is just too darn cute! Thanks for playing the Throwdown!

Anonymous said...

Dear E,
I love your little cowgal. Also I am amazed at how grown up your son looks! I volunteered at Hahn School yesterday and helped set up bulletin boards and move my friend's stuff from the old to the new classroom. So I got in on some of the back to school frenzy.
Today I am playing with the Write Stuff designer paper and die cuts from S.U.and will use them for the next two weeks of Project 365. You have used the new In-Colors so I will try to emulate you!I loved your new robot design,too.
Call when you get a minute or stop by. Keep up the wonderful blog!
Fifi la Rouge (aka Linda B.)

Dana Gustafson said...

Hey cowgirl! I CAN HANDLE IT if it's as pretty as your card! YOur watercolor wash with the stamp over is as pretty as a new leather belt and, well, you know I {heart} that vintage rodeo sweetheart! Color mask away, it's always delightful. I love that magic myself!

liszha said...

Absolutely a great take on the sketch. Love how you made your own background. Adorable card!

Broni said...

How very cool! I love your cowgirl cutie! In fact she reminds me of a young Dale Evans!! Great card and thanks for playing along in the Color Throwdown challenge!

tg said...

Stunning -- this is so you Elise. Full of technique and of course, western! Love it.

~amy~ said...

yeeeeeee haaaawwww....okay, this is what you've done both with the color challenge and gs#2! OMGoodness...I couldn't believe when I read that you actually paper pieced those fun about fussy cutting! magnificent it!!!!! Thanks for playing with us over at Get Sketchy...p.s. isn't ann fabulous?!

Karen said...

You've put together a couple of fun challenges into an uber fun card! Love your watercolor,love,love! And your masked focal point......gotta love old school. :> I was stamping with the kidlets last week with some really old Aladin stamps and when I opened the set, I found a envie full of post-it masks! I guess back then, I was wise to KEEP them!! :>

Tammy Hershberger said...

OMGosh, LOVE this!!! Fabulous design, especially for these colors and I LOVE your watercolor background! Got a good laugh at your "restraint" from challenges before vacation, too! Glad you're "back in the saddle!"

Dotty Jo said...

Hey, I'm missed this one first time around! Great stamping and amazing watercolour work. You totally rock sweetie! Jo x

Anonymous said...

Wicked cool techniques girl.. love it to pieces.
Thanks for playing with us at Get Sketchy!

Angèle said...

Your card is stunning! I love the techniques!
Thanks for playing with Get Sketchy!

Beth aka BR-T said...

What a wonderful card, love all the images to get you to this card! Beth

papertrails leaver said...

amazing! I love this card you created and the background is cool!