Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Have a safe, happy joyous new year full of creativity, health and all good things.

I appreciate so much the support of my friends and fans and hope that 2014 will be a better year for all of us.

This is a recent shot of me and my friend Katie taken in November 2013
BIG thanks to my design team including those members who left us this year-without this talented group of dedicated people I couldn't do all the things that we do.

Special Thanks to Monique Van Dijk who coordinates the design team having taken over the job from Aletha during 2013....Helen Angel Cullem who does so many things for the blogs and me personally behind the scenes-along with Lady B and Miranda they have been around for quite some time and are the heart of my EDT.

Julia, Sue, Kristen, Karen, The Liljas (Milo and Anna) and Kristy have each brough new, fresh ideas to the team this year and are much appreciated members of the team.

Helene is the longest running member of the team and has been with me almost from the very beginning-her work continues to be the beautiful, crisp personification of what I look for in an EDT member.

Elaine Lienhart was the very first EDT member-she and Helene stuck it out and have earned honorary lifetime status as members of the EDT.

We are looking forward to changes this coming year-Etsy will either go away or change purposes and the Zibbet shop will continue to grow.

I suspect we may cut down the number of blogs we are running-for now we will continue the monthly challenge on either Airless Chambers of Sparkle abd Glitter but the newsletter and the freebies will need to change.

There are hundreds of names on the newsletter mailing list and many of those people do not buy digis from my shoppes - the freebies were intended as a reward for the regular customers so I will be finding a new way to send them out-probably with orders from Zibbet.

Don't forget my rubber stamps at Smeared Ink and I BRAKE FOR STAMPS both companies do a great job with my images.

In 2014 let the world be full of love for EVERYONE and let Hate and prejudice die as a thing of the past...this is MY wish for the new year


Saturday, November 16, 2013


I started doing the somewhat racy Burlesque elephants many years back-they were very popular at art shows and always had a humorous slightly bitchy edge to them.

I did many versions of the "girls" backstage waiting to "go on" where one had used scissors to cut another's costume strap leading to a "major wardrobe malfunction" as they say these days.

In  the early 2's I was working with a company trying to develop a line using the elephants and there was a whole story about a plane goin down in a remote jungle and a cult of BurlesqEphants springing up.

While going through some boxes I found quite a number of usable drawings that I thought were worth bringing back as digis and my sexy, voluptuous elephant ladies in their extravagant costumes were among them.

Karen of my design team does some wonderful teams ups so she asked Paulette of CREATE WITH TLC to come up with some sentis that she could use with the Elphants.

This one is LET IT SNOW and below is BurlesqEphant

Be sure and pop over to Paulettes site and see the senti sheet she did for the "girls"...

Thanks to Karen for the great job on these cards.

This perky lady is LIMEHOUSE

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Lets clean out ETSY before I close the shoppe there-this coupon code is good on orders of 20.00 or more and will give you 25 percent off on your entire order-limited to ETSY only and expires NOV 15, 2013-also limited to stock on hand

Have fun

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Meet Renee Zarate

I wanted to share this project and info I received from Renee Zarate

Renee used my EURO CLOWN TROUP image on a project which is featured this month in this magazine:

Here is what Renee had to say about the article"

My article explains how I wanted to focus on one word for the year instead of multiple resolutions. I chose "Balance" since I know this touches all aspects of life. I felt that your image of "Euro Clowns" signified balance to me. It was executed on watercolor paper using inks, paints, stencils, stenciling paste and pens. The article is a mini-tutorial, like those that I post on my blog. This became a sign I hung on my studio door.

Here is what Renee has to share about herself:

I am a self taught, mixed media artist and instructor currently living in New England. My work has been featured in many magazines over the past 8 years. This particular magazine is called Somerset Studio, but my work has also been featured in Take Ten, The Stampers' Sampler, Handcrafted and The Catch Up Issue/400 More Cards. To see more of my work, please come and visit me at http://renee-boltonhouse.blogspot.com/

and finally here is a shot of just the project...

I want to thank Renee for sharing I know many of you will enjoy visiting her blog and seeing more of her work

I am always so happy when someone gets recognition and especially when it's using one of my images-Best of luck Renee with your future projects and hope we get to see more of your work in the future...

Friday, October 11, 2013


Have you been over to my NEW shop at ZIBBET?

Aletha Jane turned me onto the site and I have to say that I like it a great deal.

First of all I have wanted for the longest time to have an ecommerce site where I could really catalog the images in such a way that my customer can go in a find what they want in less than a minute-at least category wise.

Zibbet has this feature-unlimited sections - I have it fairly good right now but I am still uploading so in a week or two I will have it really tweeked and arranged so that you can go directly to a section and find the type of image you came by for.

I like the clean open feel of the ZIBBET page design and I think my artwork looks very nice on the page so another plus.

I hope the site lasts and I hope it doesn't evolve the way other sites have---for the time being I will be keeping both Zibbet and ETSY-Etsy still has the download feature that Zibbet hasn't added yet-I have to email out Images like the old days-and Zibbet is strictly PAY PAL=
no direct payment feature-two things I know that some of my customers like-for that reason I will keep both sites at least for a few more months.

We are deep into the 31 days of Halloween blog hop over at Smeared and Smudged-lots of participants this year and some wonderful projects to inspire you every day for 31 days.

Don't forget to watch for a festive surprise at Smeared Ink around the 15th-thats all I can say about that...
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Della has both Rubber and digi Randi Dandi Christmas at I BRAKE FOR STAMPS-also the new 2013 Halloween imagaes we did in rubber and digi next up will be Randi Dandi Valentines, Easter and Spring-watch for those In November or December.

Do you remember when we aere all sitting around waiting for the year 200? It seemed like it took forever to get there and here we are staring at 2014-FOURTEEN!!!!! on the horizon-Hard to believe isn't it???

Hope everyone is in a suitably spooky mood...Halloween candy here we come...woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jardin Metalique

wow was this throw down a challenge for our team-we had two of our EDT members who were doing the throw down drop out for personal reasons which left poor Julia who is juggling school, work and family....I recruited Monique while still thinking one of the ladies would be doing her project and ended up having to take over at the last minute.

Originally we were doing projects that had a metal garden theme-I envisioned a candle platform that would hold one of those large jar candles.

My project is entirely made out of chipboard-atc cards and 4 x 4 cuts layered with chip die cuts-I glued it together with glue dots, a heavy duty glue stick and foam tape and was amazed when it actually held that heavy candle for the photos.

When I had the piece together I base coated it with DECO ART Metallic Silver and Pewter in a streaky mix-I allowed this to dry overnight-then I did a stipple on heavy layer of Americana Soft Black, Burnt Sienna, Georgia Clay and Red Iron Oxide blending the paint as I stippled for a rust effect-For highlights I used a fan brush and hit the high spots with a soft dry brush layer.

Again once this had dried I decided to go glitzy with a fan brush layer using Craft Twinkles in Orange and Copper-I made a chipboard stamp of a curly-q and stamped the center of the flowers with soft black.

It was fairly fast and fun and something I will return to in the future-constructing with chipboard and layering with the die cuts offers lots of possibilities for creativity-wait till you see Monique and Julias projects-WOW=there are links to their blogs on the right+++++++++++>

PLEASE be sure you look at all the projects and then when you vote-vote for the team that deserves your vote and NOT just for your friends...its an art contest and not a popularity contest-when you see the wonderful creative projects people do they deserve your consideration.


Thanks for visiting and Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Colour and Mood - Use Deco Art Americana in your backgrounds

COLOUR sets the mood:

Often artists and designers become attached to certain colours to the detriment of thei work overall.

Using combinations of colours that are outside your comfort zone can really add atmosphere to seasonal designs.

Lets look at some examples using digis from my shop and designs from my HAUNTED PLACES rubber stamps for Smeared Ink:

My first panel puts my GHOST TOWN image against various background combinations of Peach and payne's grey.

Notice how the different configurations can highlight a certain area, add an oppressive feeling or just generally "spookify" the scene.

My samples are done in photoshop but one could use transparent watercolours, gouache or premium liquid acrylics like DECO ART AMERICANA to achieve these looks.

Working on BRISTOL BOARD-especially VELLUM finish Bristol which has been coated with 2 even coats of GESSO followed by a smooth even coat of a base colour will give you a wonderful foundation for your "art cards".

One you have your well dried base tape off the area you want for your background using DRAFTING TAPE-be sure to use drafting tape and not another type as drafting tape will not lift the acrylics-you can also paint the tape down by adding a coat of the premium acrylic over the tape and allowing to dry completely.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to allow paint and mediums to dry thoroughly and also avoid the urge to speed things up by using hair dryers and heat guns unless absolutely necessary-air dry finishes are the best abd also how the products were designed-high heat can alter the chemical composition of a product and make it work differently tha intended (or not at all).

This second panel uses blue greys for a cold, wintery feel-once again notice how the placement of light and dark makes a big difference on the feeling of the project.

Chrome or Naples yellow with brown makes a sick, nuclear winter sort of feel.

One might not immediately think of this colour combination for skies or backgrounds but see how effective it is and notice when watching old cartoons how often this sort of palette is utilized!

Cartoons, especially the Warner Brothers Looney Toons series from the 40's and 50's is a great place for those new to experimenting with colour to see what artists did back in the day when THEY were experimenting with a new medium-a wild array of colours were used to creat mood and shadows on those old cartoons and they are remarkably fresh colour wise today!

Using the STONEHENGE image from my Haunted places set for Smeared Ink I have used colour combos drawn from Cartoons; ACID GREEN, YELLOW and RED combined with contrasting darks to show how fantsy colour can work to set a mood.

It' so important to plat and experiment with colour and colour combos to see what emerges and how it will enhance your projects.

Opaque backgrounds combined with transparent washes on your digis will give your work a great atmospheric feel and a wonderful "theatrical" quality.

You might consult books from your local library about rendering set designs or storyboarding art direction for films for inspiration points to set you off on your colour journey.

Once again here is a panel using fantasy colours, blues, aquas and fuchsias to lend atmosphere-I think it's clear how certain combos add a real atmospheric feeling to the image-in this case I love the ble but the Fuchsia is also working for me and sends me off in a different direction than I might have gone with the project.

Finlly here is a little more finished vista-I have used a basic background and kept my colours in the stormy, autumnal palatte to frame this vignette of a ghost town on the prarie-this image uses one of my Haunted Churches, Phantom Rest graveyard and the GHOST TOWN image.

I wish more designers would experiment with these sorts of VISTA compositions-they could be tri-folded in order to fit in standar envelopes and I think unfolding these wide cards and displaying them-they stand up like a folding screen-is very impressive.

One could add a small swatch here and the of diagonal verticals using a micro glitter paint to suggest rain falling-you can do your basecoat in yellow then friskett out a circles for a "smoky sun" remove the friskett at the very end to expose the yellow dun orb.

I hope that there is something here that Inspires you to try colour and DIFFERANT colours and techniques than you may be used to-its such fun when the smallest thing can lead someone off on a path of discovery...Happy Crafting with COLOUR this Halloween Season!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I have been so irritable...

It's the heat---the heat and no snacks and no puddings---its a stupid thing to start dieting in this sort of weather-what am I doing-becoming more healthy so I can suffer longer?

I was comparing notes with Della from IBFS-its 107F where she is with thunder and flash floods-O I have decided we are on the Misery Loves Company world tour and we are out of T shirts in Tulsa.

It has to break eventually-It cant still be summer in January or we will all know we are about to crash into the sun and there will be pandemonium.

Do you still listen to the radio? Have you noticed what a huge flock of miserable radio announcers full of doom and gloom there are-and it doesn't matter whether right or left-they just all have a huge crock of buggy peanut butter and sand coated suckers-doom is our only possible way out....

I broke down a remailed the free images for September so some of you who are NEW to the mailing list may or may not have gotten them-I assure you I am not sending them out again -they are ensconced in my shoppe FOR SALE.

I never thought about selling the freebies after-I think it was Aletha who suggested I run them for a week or so and then put them up for sale.

Three Chimney Cottage is the first image I did this with-and it has been one of my best and steadiest sellers.

Since I was already in a black and dismal humour I decided to compare my mailing list with people who had bought an image in the last two years-that was a venture into disappointment-sort of an "I LOVE YOUR WORK-=so long as its free!"

One of the people who missed her newsletter this month emailed me and asked if I would rush the free images to her since she didn't get them-she also took time to apologize for not buying any images from me but she can't afford it since she has to buy Cricut stuff and images from another artist who she likes better.

That made my day.

Another told me that if I was going to HAVE a newsletter and give things away its my DUTY- (MY DUTY mind you) to see that everyone is treated equally and all get the free stuff in a timely manner.


It goes on but I will spare you some of the more annoying missives-Dealing with the public is something I have done pretty much all of my life-I should be immune by now-but since I am still pretty much human...

I get some of the nicest messages from people-so I apologize if one of you nice folks got into my cross hairs while I was dealing with rampant greed on another front.

I believe still that people-as a general group-are pretty swell.

I still try my best to be kind and generous like my Mother taught me to be (although she was so passive aggressive that she could say No and there was never a negative word in the sentence).

HEAT and age-and lack of snacks and puddings.

Here I am the grumpy old curmudgeon I said I would never become-I was actually fairly grumpy and curmudgeon like in my youth although I had a much better sense of humour and my ability to seem to have patience was much better honed.

People actually made pilgrimages to visit my temple of eternal patience and understanding-trust me when I say it was all an illusion created so I wouldn't be shunned by humankind in general...do you love "WHO will play me in the MOVIE"?

Simon Pegg---anyone who knows me knows I have a huge fondness for Simon Pegg=noted ginger, English actor-plays SCOTTY in the new Star Treks and the assistant in Mission Impossible-he has a whole string of his own films Sean of the Dead. Hot Fuzz, PAUL and the latest END OF THE WORLD (about an epic pub crawl spiced with robot zombies with blue blood-led by, Why Not! Pierce Brosnan..

SO I will select Simon Pegg to play me in any and all feature films or lengthy series on the BBC, _especially if they revive AB FAB and decide to write in my character--SP is a must.

I know I should hold out for one of the Hollywood demi-gods byt Keanu is looking old and used, Pitt has luggage under his eyes and Travolta-well, do I need to saying ANYTHING but Travolta? One of a sad trio including Nick Cage of men who were once attractive and now have hair of a colour that doesn't exist in nature...well actually it does exist if you consider BLACK HOLE a colour.

So that's it then-Simon Pegg plays me in the films, I am in a snit because of Heat, Humidty, lack of salt and sugar and the possibility that Simon Pegg won't be available hence they will cast some random actor whats that new one who has a brother who plays THOR-very tall, very handsome, very dim.

While I was in a mood to abuse people I called my cable company and demanded (and got) 50% off my premium channels for a year. That's whats called harnessing the Krakken---take that negative energy and use it as a force to save money and get more mediocre films delivered to my set in sparkleing Hi def colour and sound.

I made a dreadful mistake at another point last year when It was too watm and signed my life away for a new cable company who offered the world but deliver the standard drap one gets from Cable companies-they just do it slightly cheaper-I am locked in to a 2 year contract but they seem willing to make it possible for me to pay the bill by reducing rates here and there when I complain.


Friday, September 6, 2013

So many changes-so little time

Hello from sweltering Southern California where the temps today are supposed to be mid-ninties and high humidity-HORRORS!!

It should be starting into fall weather-misty cool and the sky at sunset that wonderful peach frappe colour with grey fog on the hotizon.

Have you been over to Airless Chambers and Spakle and Glitter? Lots of new stuff---we have 2 new EDT member Julia and Lisa both are enormous assets to the team.

For those interested in the September Images-they are available here:
After I have mailed out newsletter images they become part of my stock and are for sale at my EWSY shoppe-if you sign up now for the newsletter you will receive the OCTOBER image for the challenge...the back to school kids are ONLY available voa BUYING them and BTW I have sent them out TWICE because people said they didn't get the newsletter-lets face it they didn't want my ramblings about the heat etc they wanted FREE STUFF-so these images are no longer FREE STUFF sorry-I think I have now done my bit for this month.

ALISON did the rendition above of the back to school kids freebies "BUDDY" and "BAD BITSY"...love the colours she used.

The one's below are from LISA:

Thanks for the support on the Pinterest Issue-as you may know I no longer will be posting freebies on the internet-they are now sent via email with my monthly newsletter-the back TO SCHOOL KIDS for this month.

Next Monrh (October 2013) we go back to challenges on Airless Chambers and Sparkle and Glitter and it will be ONE challenge per monrh alternating between the two blogs so OCTOBER will be AIRLESS CHAMBERS>

We will also be having blog hops and lots of other fun activities and many of them require you to belong to the mailing list so be sure and sign up.

REMEMBER: When you sign up for the mailing list you must put your email address in the TEXT of the message so something like this:

Please add me to the mailing list using this email mail address crafter@yahoo.com

If your email address is not in the text of your message we discard the request - I don't have time to track you down and tell you how to do it so PLEASE be sure the email is in the text of the message!!!!

Here are a couple more BACK TO SCHOOL KIDS - these are from Aletha:

Aletha was telling me about how much BUDDY reminded her of her son (and Bitsy the assertive side of her daughter)-so as a surprise for Aletha (and all of you) I thought you might like to see the ORIGINAL BUDDY:

There he is sweater, bow tie and cowlick-That would be ME just about 60 years ago...

And YES Aletha I was every teachers pet for many years...

Because sales have been so slow and because we are cutting down to ONE challenge a month I will be sending out ONE freebie from now on instead of the usual two - sorry - the good sales on my site made it possible for me to be more generous with free images-besides my blogs I also sponsor MANY challenge blogs each month-they are listed under the WHERE AM I SPONSORING tab on this blog---I am sponsoring all 31 days of the Smeared and Smudged Halloween Blog Hop for instance.

Have fun visitng the other two blogs and we hope to see many of you entered in the October Challenge on AIRLESS CHAMBERS.

Here's another version from Lady B to send you on your way!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Meet another new EDT member ANNA

ANNA LILJA has been with the team for awhile and is the partner of MILO-we are so glad to have a married couple in the time of marriage equality coming of age across our planet.

Anna is from Sweden also and will be working a lot on the Airless Chambers side of our blog world (she is also a member of Smeared Ink design team).

We are happy to welcome ANNA to the EDT-here is a project she made from one of my Silent Hill images (available in the CRYPT section on my ETSY shop).

Here is the image coloured without the project...

You can visit ANNA's Blog by clicking HERE.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Do you ever....

see things that aren't there?

Seriously you have to visit a blog that GLOWBUGG pointed me to:

Click HERE and visit the amazing world of M.J.Girling and please come back and leave me a note about what you think...

Friday, August 2, 2013

First Saturday Freebies - AUGUST 2013

Its that time yet again - I have freebies for you on both Sparkle and Glitter and Airless Chambers.

On Sparkle I have Bitsy ate the Beach-a chubby little lassie enjoying the August heat close to the surf.

In my strange little world everything must be fun so since we are taking a summr break from freebie challenges I decided to give a challenge to my EDT ladies.

They had to use specific colours when doing up samples for the blogs and in this case Bitsy's Bathing suit had to be in a colour that started with the first letter of their first name AND it could be a colour with an English name or a colour in whatever language they normally speak.

Some of them made their challenges even harder-Helen I believe used only H colours, I think Miranda used M's and Monique couldn't use ANY of the latters in ANY of her names (that was my doig).

Hazel-who is actually on vacation from the EDT sent in her BITSY and she actually sent her TO THE BEACH:

Here are a few more examples of Bitsy at the Beach:
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Lady B

LISA our newest EDT member sent this amazing offering:

Trust me I am alwys amazed at the creativity of my EDT...

This one is from Monique:

And so is this next one:

and from Helen:

On Airless Chambers I have TWORKI a little monster who wants to steal your heart. Tworki had to have his HORNS the same colour as Bitsy's bathing suit.




And finally from SUZI I have this note:

Twoki has Sunshine Yellow Horns and a Spanish Orange Body
His Eyes and Flower are Submarine and Steel Blue
Papers are from Pebbles Sunny Side Paper Pad.
Not sure if I could get many more 'S's in there for you :)

You can see many other samples on the other blogs so be sure and stop by and pick up your two freebies...
see you next month, Challenges start again in OCTOBER but there will be freebies again in September.

Be sure and stop by my ETSY shoppe and see whats new and take a look at the new rubber at I BRAKE FOR STAMPS and SMEARED INK-having good loyal customers makes it possible to give away all the free images that I do every year-Thanks!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Welcome MILO new EDT member

I would like to welcome the first of two new EDT members - MILO LILJA of Sweden.

Milo and her partner Anna will both be joining us ad I know they will be a real addition to the EDT in general but also to both Airless Chambers and Sparkle and Glitter as well.

I asked Milo to colour up 2 of my newer designs: Finale (shown above) and ANGRY ANNIE:

Visit Milo's BLOG HERE.

I hope you will all enjoy seeing Milo's work on the EDT and we welcome her to our little group.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

NEW - August Smeared Ink Rubber Club sheet

Just released this is the new sheet of 10 stamps I did for the Smeared Ink Rubber Club called VOODOO-this is the 2nd sheet I have done for them and the first sheet of skull designs I ALSO available still.

These images were carefully selected, researched and drawn from research on the topic and presented based on what I would want to stamp on a voodoo project.

I hope you will enjoy using these image-visit HERE to find out about the Smeared Ink Rubber Club...Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Looking forward to Halloween and Fall

I know it mid-July but when one crafts for a living like any retail business we start early preparing for the Fall holidays.

I have been asked specifically for CUTE Halloween/Fall designs this year and I came up with three little scarecrow designs that I think really fill the bill.

I asked my EDT to colour up some samples and here is their gallery of Inspiration:







And here is also HELEN"S You Make Me Blush:


Lady B









These 3 images are now available in my ETSY shoppe under the HALOWEEN section.

Look for more CUTE Halloween coming soon, be sure also to stop by I BRAKE FOR STAMPS and see 21 brand new 2013 Halloween designs in my RANDI DANDI line exclusivly at IBFS.