Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's new at the Loft - Episode 22

Susan Tuttle's new book has arrived !!!

Click here to win a FREE copy

For those of you who don't know I have been a admirer of Susan's work for a while now and recently took her Visual Poetry Digital Photomanipulation 2 class.  She is an amazing teacher and I learned so much from her.  I have been eagerly anticipating the release of her new book Digital Expressions: Creating Digital Art with Adobe Photoshop Elements and I'm happy to announce the wait is over!!!  

And from now until May 4th you can enter to win a free copy of Susan's new book by going to  Be sure to mention you heard about the contest from here.

Susan's a fantastic self-taught mixed media artist, author and instructor with a passion for photography and creating digital art.  I first learned about Susan while I was browsing around in my local bookstore one day and  happened upon her book Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations + Explorations.   I had never really been exposed to Mixed Media before, but her art inspired a new passion in me.  However, it was her photography work in Stampington's Somerset Digital Studio publication that made me a devoted follower.  Her photos are so beautiful and convey such feeling.  I was honored to be able to take her class and am looking forward to taking more.  

If you would like to learn more about Susan please visit her website at or check out her blog  or you can visit her etsy store

If you would like to see more of Susan's photography work check out her photoblog or  her flickr page .

To see examples of my work using some the techniques that Susan taught in her class you can view my previous posts labeled Episodes 5, 7, 9, 12 and  13  or visit my flickr page

Congratulations Susan, can't wait to dive into your new book!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 21

The whole family back under one roof
We were very glad to be home from our fantastic Spring Break vacation in beautiful Charleston, SC.  I was too tired to go out to my mom's house and pick up our pets on Friday, 4/9 (Thanks mom for taking such good care of them), so I went out and picked them up on Saturday.  They were very happy to see me and I got a great big welcome from my puppy.

Here's some pictures of our pets

Here's our Dog, Diefenbaker.  She was so happy to see me that she started howling

She (yes Diefenbaker is a she) is a Red and White (Blue eyed) Siberian Husky

And here's our boy Nigel.  Isn't he a handsome thing!

We got Nigel from our local Humane Society

ATC 3.6.5. Challenge

I made one more card in honor of our vacation on 4/10 which I called "Once upon a Cupcake" which was made from brochure materials from a great little shop we stopped at in downtown Charleston called Cupcake.  It was a small little show but there cupcakes were so delicious.  My cupcake was called "French Toast" which was a streusel cupcake with maple and cream cheese frosting.  Yummy!

For my card from 4/11 my card is called "In a man's dreams" and was made by starting with a water color ATC card blank stamped the image of the corset on the card.  I then applied the background color using my Neo II watercolor crayons and lightly apply water.  What's I love about watercolor crayons is the control I have over the intensity of color, and they are great for doing large areas of color, but sometimes not so good on smaller areas, which is why I used my Crayola watercolor pencils to color in the corset, adding only a little water.  The intensity with the pencils are not as strong, but they are the next best thing to me.  To bring more intensity to the red I colored on top with a red Gelly Roll pen.  I also used a black Gelly Roll pen for the trim of the corset.  Next I took a red star and clear star Gelly roll pen to add a bit of glimmer to the corset (which didn't carry over to the photo sorry) I then took the word stickers for the title and inked the edges in black Tsukineko chalk ink before placing on the card.  Lastly I used a white Uniball pen to draw a dotted line around the edge of the card for decoration. 

My card for 4/12 is called "Moo" .  I got the idea for this card from my Scrapbook daily calendar.  When I turned over the date for the calendar the paper was one of cows that was so cute I had to use it.  The background was cut from the border of the page and fit together to cover most of the card while the cow was detail cut from the center of the paper for today.  The border was glued down first, but to add a little contrast I cut a strip of cow pattern (black and white strip) from another day's paper and glued down at an angle for more visual interest.  The detail cut cow was adhered down in the center of the card, and then I stamped the word "Moo" with my mini wooden alpha stamp set.

My card from 4/13 is called "Home Sweet Home" and was inspired by a blog posting from Tim Holtz, which I took a little further.  In Tim's post he created a little house using a text paper for the main structure and a bingo card for the roof area.  I did the same but changes some bits and added some embellishment. I'm not much of a artist when it comes to hand drawing anything, but I honestly try to do my best.  And even though things are not perfect I kind of like the charm here of the imperfect.  So once I got the papers glued for the house shape, I added a little white paint wash over the text part of the paper.  While that was drying I added some scallop detail to the roof using a white Uniball pen and a blue Prismacolor marker, and drew a small dormer window.  Once the paint was dry on the lower half, I drew windows and a door on with a black Sharpie and began to add some additional detail.  I drew curtains in the windows and a frame around the door with a mix of blue Prismacolor marker and a white Uniball pen.  I then faux drew some faux brick at the side edges of the card using the same.  For added interest I cut the tiny image of the woman from some Graphic 45 paper and glued her in the window, and detail cut a tree from some scraps of patterned Heidi Grace paper I had laying around.  I then crumpled small pieces of pink tissue paper and glued under the windows to look like flower boxes.  Lastly I glued a button on the door for a door knob.

For 4/14 my card is called "Tired and Unoriginal" which basically reflects my spirit of the day. I was just so tired that day that my creative energy was tapped, which I think my card today clearly  reflects. The background was cut from a magazine ad I found, which was adhered to the card and given a wash of white paint.  The other images were cut from my Tweety Jill "Travel to Paris" collage pack. I then attempted to add (and failed miserably) some added color by using a red metallic Gelly Roll pen on the background.  This was definitely not one of my better efforts.

For 4/15 my card was called "I Only Have Eyes For You" was inspired by this neat photo I found online of a close up of a womans eyes with  Tears on them.  I first printed the photo on a black and white laser printer, but when I went to glue it to the background I noticed the image was too small, so after I glued the image down I inked the edges of the card in turquoise Tsukineko chalk ink.  Next I used a white oil pastel crayon to cover over the entire image to fade the harsh black ink a bit.  I then colored in her eyes with a bright blue oil pastel crayon.  To bring out some detail I used a black Zig marker to redraw her eyelashes and outline the blue in her eyes a bit.  I then used a white Uniball pen to add a hint of sparkle to her eyes, slightly outline the tears.  Lastly I used a clear star Gelly Roll pen to the tips of her eyelashes for a bit of shimmer.  

On 4/16 my card was called "Always Explore" and was inspired by a need for a little peace in my chaotic house.  While looking through a magazine earlier in the day I can across this picture of the lake with the boats which was the perfect size for an ATC, so of course I had to cut it out and use it. 
Next I found this tiny image of a woman walking in a catalog and detail cut her out adhering her to the card.  I then edged the card in midnight blue Tsukeniko chalk ink, and then stamped the tile stamp on the card using black Tsukineko chalk ink.

On 4/17 my card was called "Let's Hang Out" and was inspired by a photo I say in an Urban Outfitters catalog I brought home from Charleston.  The original image had a girl sitting in the chair in a bra and underwear.  Since I hadn't done a magazine painting in a while, I though this one would be a fun one to do.  After I adhered the image to the card blank, I gave the image a very light white paint was, except for around the face.  Using a light pencil I hand drew in a shirt and a mini skirt , which I then painted in blue and green Basic acrylic paint respectively. I then drew in the shoes and painted them blue as well.  I next brought some detail back using a black Zig marker using a darker line on the shirt and shoes but a lighter line on the furniture and curtains.  I then stamped the title using black ink, and then edge the card in turquoise Tsukineko Chalk ink.

My card for 4/18 is called "Love" was inspired by some new clear acrylic stamps I bought on clearance.    I started by taking a blank card and coloring the background using a red Neo II watercolor crayon. I then added additional color to the corners to add a more vignette illusion by dabbing some red Tsukineko chalk ink in.  Next I stamped the card in black ink with the heart/face/love stamp I just purchased.  I then took a Tsukineko "VersaMark" pen and colored in the entire key.  I then embossed the key using gold Stampendous embossing powder and my heat tool.  Last I used my white Uniball pen to add some white dots to the image for more decoration.

Well that's all I have for today.  I hope you have enjoyed your time here.  As always please feel free to send me your comments.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back soon.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 20

Greetings from Charleston Part 3

There is still so much to tell you yet about our wonderful trip to Charleston.  Last post we left off on Tuesday, 4/6.  Unfortunately we had to check out of our gorgeous hotel in the historic district and we went on to our next hotel in North Charleston.  We all agreed we would have loved to stay in the historic district longer, but unfortunately our reservation there was only for 2 nights, and the hotel was booked for any additional nights.  But we weren't too disappointed though when we got to our hotel in North Charleston, which was a nice one bedroom suite.  Even though we were having a great time, I think we were all happy to have the extra room to spread out.

So we got up on Wednesday morning and after a great breakfast in the hotel, we went back to the room for a bit to relax , after which we headed to Sullivan's Island to visit Fort Moultrie.

                                                     Ray and the girls on the lookout

Inside the Fort



Behind the Fort is a nice beach area, which the girls really enjoyed

After our time at the beach we headed back to the hotel, but stopped in Mount Pleasant for a bit where we went to a flea market/antique auction house, a book store and had a great steak dinner.  It was a full day and we were all pretty tired, but I was still able to make my card before crashing for the night

 My card from 4/7 was named "Classic Fashion" which I made from Charleston tourism book.

Thursday, 4/8 was our last full day in Charleston, so we decided to spend it downtown, walking around the historic district.

I loved these pretty flower boxes.

St. Phillips Graveyard is just as creepy in the daytime as it is at night

The newly rennovated Dock Street Theater, said to be haunted

The famous pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park

The girls looking out over Charleston Harbor, in the distance you can see Fort Sumter

We did a lot of walking but we were glad we got to visit downtown one more time.  Back at the hotel that night I made my card for the day called "Blue", which feature materials I picked up at the Dock Street Theater.

On Friday 4/9 we got up very early, had breakfast at the hotel and headed home.  It was a long trip but we were glad to be back.  Later in the evening after all the unpacking I made my card called "Back Home" in which I used materials from an Urban Outfitters catalog I picked up.

Well that's all I have for today.  As always your comments are welcomed so feel free to drop me a line.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 19

Greetings from Charleston Part 2

Tuesday, 4/6 we checked out of our hotel in the historic district, and the family split up for a short time.  Ashlyn and I headed towards the upper King Street shopping district. because I wanted to go to this great store called Knit where I bought these fantastic yarns.  Gotta love a store that has a knitting night called the Knit and Bitch.

Here's a close up of the above yarn.  I really love the fibers in this.

I really loved the color to this skein. 

After we went to Knit, Ashlyn and I visited Urban Outfitters.  Although I probably could never wear the clothes in this store, I really loved this store itself, which was a converted old theater.  Here's some photos of the store.

Here's the interior looking towards what was the stage at one time.

Here's a view looking towards the balcony.

Ashlyn bought a pair of skinny jeans here, but I was excited because I got a Diana Mini Lomography camera.  For those of you unfamiliar with Lomography here is a link on the subject.   I can't wait to play with this and will no doubt be posting on this in the future. 
After leaving Urban outfitters though, we headed to an art supply store where I bought some carving blocks, so I can hand carve some rubber stamps.  I'll be posting about this in the future too I'm sure.

After the art supply store we met up with Dad and Cassidy who spent a couple of hours at the Childrens Museum, and walked the market area, had some lunch and took a carriage ride through the historic residential area.  Here's some photos:

My card for Tuesday 4/6 is called ATC by Lynn, which was made from a postcard advertisement I picked up at the art supply store, and a Charleston tourism booklet.

There is lot's more to tell you about so keep a look out for the next posting.  As always comments are appreciated so drop me a note and let me know what you think.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 18

Greetings from beautiful Charleston, S.C.

Hi everyone, the family and I are enjoying a great vacation so far, but I couldn't go the whole week without posting a little bit from our trip, and how things are going on the ATC 3.6.5. Challenge on the road.  On my last post I let you all know that for vacation week  I was going to challenge myself further by taking a minimal amount of supplies and make my card per day with things I've found along the way.  It has definitely been a challenge, but I've been keeping up with making my card per day.  I'm going to show you the cards, but since most of the materials were collected along our travels, I think I'll just tell you about what we were doing that day.

4/3 Today we spent almost the whole day driving to Charleston, except for a picnic break we took in Georgia.  The girls had just gotten their haircut the day before we left.  Cassidy had around 7 - 8 inches cut off, and Ashlyn had about 4-5 inches cut.  Both girls looked so cute with the shorter hair.

We stayed our first night in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. which is just over the Ravenel Bridge famous for being the longest cable spanned bridge in North America.

We got into the hotel later in the evening and I made a card called "The Tall Ship" from a brochure on Charles Towne Landing, which is the site of the original settlement of Charleston and features a replica of an 18th century tall ship you can view.

We got up Easter Sunday morning and headed over to Patriot's Point, home of the USS Yorktown.  Upon arriving at the museum park, we boarded a boat and headed out into the middle of Charleston harbor, and visited Fort Sumter - the site where the Civil War started.

Here's a picture of Daddy and Cassidy on the boat to Ft. Sumter

Here's a picture of the Fort from the boat 

Here's a view from inside the Fort

The USS Yorktown

View of the Bridge area from the Flight Deck
Daddy and Ashlyn playing in the Engine Room

Ashlyn giving the flight briefing
After a full day at Patriot's Point, we checked into our hotel in the historic district of downtown and I made my card (4/4) "The Charm of Charleston" was made from brochures for the nearby plantations.

Later that night we went on a ghost tour which took us into a graveyard.  Here's some photos

Monday, 4/5 we got up and went to the Charleston Museum, here are some photos

After the museum we did a lot more walking, going to the Four Corners of Justice, the Provost Dungeon, Washington Square park and the City Market.

My card from 4/5 was called "Lady in Red" and was made using a childs fashion design plate system that they had for the kids to play with at the Childrens Museum

That's all I have for now but I will be adding more soon from the rest of our trip.  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.