Thursday, April 30, 2015

Showers of Thanks and Showers of Creativity!

Birds on Bare Branches Stencil LG733

So it's the last day that the Dream it UP team is posting with me and that my blog is home to the team. But good things are in store for them as some of them continue on with the Stampendous team. Pam will be in touch and telling you all about how it will work. They have invited me to post with them if I want and of course I know that will  happen occasionally too. Wayne and I will continue to stencil and Zentangle and post weekly as much as possible...maybe even two or three times a week if the mood moves us.

I of course want to take time to thank all of the wonderful designers who helped me get started. Deborah March was our first leader and I learned so much from her. Pam joined the team and later headed or should I say "herded" this group of wonderful designers ever since. Thank you so much Pam for being that creative influence in all of our lives. Hope you are feeling better as I know you have had many struggles with a recent car accident...we are sending energy your way every day.

Today I am posting one of the first cards I did with a memorable technique called "Double Glitter". This is one of the first posts I ever did and if you would like to know how the card was HERE to know the step-by-step process of this technique from that post. These birds remind me of all the colorful personalities that have come together to make this team and blog work. Many of you have let me use your creations on my blog because running this business has meant that sometimes I have not had very much time to create. It has been fun to see your wonderful creativity shine each week. This is also a  thank you to those who I've considered honorary members and have mailed or emailed me your card creations and instructions for posting. My heartfelt appreciation also to those of you who have dropped by weekly to support stenciling technique...kudos to you all for making us part of your weekly routine. Thanks for your showers of creative spirit that has enriched my life.

The past few years I have also been supported by Stencil with Style owner, Shirley Parlin, who continues to sell each and every Dreamweaver Stencils product. (Also known as "Mom" to me). This is a bit of an early Mother's Day tribute, but want her to know she is the best and always the most supportive force in my life. Thanks Mom! If anyone needs that hard to find stencil, she can probably still find it for you. In fact she sells some of my favorite Stampendous stamps and products as well.

Also, Stampendous now has a Dreamweaver Stencils YouTube site and many instructional videos are there showing you how to do the many many stencil techniques that are available with the varied products they now sell.

Be sure to stop by and see what the team is showering you with this week!  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Zensdays: Labyrinths Challenge Dedicated to Iona

This has been I wild week of Zentangle goodness. So many challenges and I still want to do something for Daniel's pokeroot challenge. He is a teenager who has embraced Zentangle and even has a weekly challenge on his blog. Stop by to support him if you get the chance. A most amazing young man and quite the tangler. Click HERE to visit his site. And here is my answer to the pokeroot challenge...with a few cockles and mussels and a smattering of paradox as well:

Well, I am going to let you read Laura Harms' (the diva) challenge to us this week. It is quite a thought provoking idea for a zentangle challenge, I am still reading and learning more and more about labyrinths. Here is what she has to say: 

I've been taking a year long course on Mandalas with the amazing Scottish beauty Julie Gibbons, this is my third year exploring the Great Round of Mandala with her.  And it just so happens that Stage Three (which corresponds with the month of March) involves labyrinths.  I've been thinking about tangling a labyrinth ever since. 

I had wondered how well a labyrinth would translate into a Zentangle challenge, and then in my online travels i found a website which said:

A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles, designed to vex the mind, but labyrinths are contemplative designs, designed to focus the mind.  (source)

and i thought, that sounds much like tangling to me!  So i gave it a go. 

So take time to go to her site to see her creation, and see what others have been doing as well. You might even be inspired to join the fun.

My labyrinth shape is dedicated to a very dedicated commenter, Iona/Gail. The reason? She is from Norway and so is the labyrinth inspiration I have chosen today. Finnmark Norway. Besides Iona is very lovely about stopping by and cheering on the Dreamweaver Dream it UP team each Thursday. Thanks Iona! Have you been to Finnmark to see the labyrinths, Iona? Makes me want to stop by sometime to see these amazing stone structures. I know that sounds a bit simplistic, but who knows, I may travel to Norway yet. I've wanted to see Norway ever since I saw the "Song of Norway" when I was in high school. A  biographical movie about Edvard Grieg. And Wow! what fabulous scenery! 

I actually did two labyrinth creations...the second one that I worked on I am actually showing first as that is the one I like the most. The first one I worked on was a lot of practice at shading and trying to make the path clear. And I have never done N'Zeppel (the background tangle on each one) and I clearly need to work on that some more. "Practice makes progress" is my motto. So I am planning on using this tangle more often because I really did enjoy the results. Also if you want to see a most amazing labyrinth created by the Wayne-meister go to his Flickr site to see his take on this challenge. He never ceases to amaze me...

The tangles used for this Finnmark Norway labyrinth are:




My first try at the labyrinth string.

Tangles used:




I also joined Diane Clancy and Carolien's challenge for their next in the alphabet series..."G  H I": The tangles I used are Grass Border, Hibred and Ixorus. Black card stock with a white gel pen and Ixorus was shaded with a white Prisma Color pencil.

One more tangle honor of my design team! This is the last month I will be officially posting with the Dream it UP team. I have been invited to post if I want but Stampendous will be taking a much bigger administrative role in organizing the team and putting it all together for a cohesive mix of their team and the Dream it Up designers. Thanks ladies for all you have done. This next tangle post was done by Louise Healy, a designer from the Chicago area who has been dedicated to stenciling and teaching everything and anything that you can do with Dreamweaver Stencils, including tangling. And she has been on the team from it's inception. This card front is one she tangled a couple years ago and it is so wonderful...thanks Louise for all your  support for our team over the years. Pam and I have appreciated your consistent work and dedication to the team. Thanks again for all the wonderful Zentangle ZIA pieces you've contributed.

The beauty of this is hard to see ...because it is done in 3-D. Louise tangled the rolling hills stencil (LJ910)  and then photo copied it, colored it with inks, pens etc. and then cut the pieces out and popped them up with foam tape. It really reminds me of the heartland of our country ...maybe even Illinois, where Louise is from or South Dakota (my old stomping grounds).

I hope you'll continue to pop by and see what is done with stencils and connect to see where the Stampendous team  is headed as well. Come by tomorrow for the Showers of Showers could win a stencil of your own choosing.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Showers of Showers-Week Four

For the month of April, the Dream Team designers are featuring "Showers of Showers" as our theme. Showers could mean actual rains, mists or cloudy days. It could mean a physical element of your design (like a shower of embossing powder), or it could be showers of flowers, bouquets or candy and of course the obvious a baby shower or wedding shower or even a retirement shower (I'm sure there is such a thing). As usual, we'd love for you to play along. Just link your creation on the Dream It Up! blog for a chance to win the stencil of your choice...bonus chances for incorporating Dreamweaver and/or Stampendous in your design. Here's what I'm showering you with this week...

Yes, I went with the obvious this week...a wedding is coming and I need a special card. Wayne made this one using the bride stencil (LJ924). He traced the design with an 01 Micron Pen and used the following tangles: Florz for the outside of the skirt, Shattuck was the border of the skirt, Yincut for the center of the skirt, and Printemps for the bouquet and her hair. If you want to know more about how the tangles are drawn step-by-step go to Linda Farmer's site If you want to purchase stencils and micron pens go to

Last week I was in Oregon and we had a baby shower for our daughter. So I am sharing a card that I made for her shower. Sad to say it wasn't with stencils or stamps, but I enjoyed the process non-the-less and purchased paper and stickers at a local discount store to make it happen. I used what was at hand while traveling and was tickled with the results, so decided to share it with you:

This first picture is of the outside of the card. I had seen this on pinterest some time ago and tried to find it again to give credit, but when I did there were so many similar cards made and 'pinned' as baby cards that I couldn't figure out who to give credit to. So if you are the originator of this card I apologize. When I make a card which has a distinctive  design inspiration I like to CASE appropriately. CASE means "copy and say everything", in other words please give credit. So whoever came up with this idea I want you to know I really enjoyed the process. The easiest thing about this card is that it didn't require much for equipment and materials other than paper, a trimmer to cut the paper and a few stickers. Wayne helped me out by cutting the base of the chest by drawing a "bracket" or parenthesis symbol and then cutting through two layers of paper using an X-acto knife. You might also be able to use a frame die that you have in your stash. He also printed out the sentiment on the inside on a piece of vellum and I added a few more stickers around the words and again on the outside of the envelope.

My mom said she's never liked the portion of the saying, "puppy dog tails" in the little poem about "what boys are made of", so we changed it to "salamander tails" to go along with the appropriate sticker of a salamander or gecko or lizard or whatever that critter is to the left of the sentiment. Yes, the sentiment is a bit sexist and of course could be made for a little girl as well. I have a college degree in Biology and loved entomology, ichthyology, herpetology, and all those other "ologies" so of course it could be what a little girl is made of too. The white card in the background is actually the front of the envelope. 
I have really enjoyed this past year posting with the present design team. As they go forward there will be new things happening. Stampendous will be taking full responsibility for a different Dreamweaver blog in May/June. I will continue to have my Dream it UP blog and will occasionally post with their team. Wayne and I have started a weekly post called Zensdays (usually posted on Wednesdays) and will continue to tangle and "sten-tangle" and join different challenges throughout the week. So stay tuned, and for the next couple of weeks please show your gratitude to this wonderful team by visiting those members blogging this week and leave them some TLC in the way of an encouraging comment or two:

An InLinkz Link-up

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Zensdays....More Challenges!

The Diva's Challenge #214 is all about tangling something in honor of Earth Day (or in Chewie's world "Amanda Day")...go to Laura Harms site to learn her fun story, I think this is the fourth year that Earth Day has been celebrated on her site and take time to see what others have created as well. For my string I used the treeline stencil (LG745). The sun was a combination of Floatfest and the Diva's Dance, the tree leaves were Tipple, the tree trunks were Hached, the garden was a combo of Zinger and Flux. The clouds were stenciled using the rounded end of the Picasso stencil shield (LL332) and a pigment ink pad. I colored the leaves and sun with my Prisma Color pencils. For another perspective take a look at Wayne's creation on his Flickr site...I think he has done all four Earth Day Challenges that Laura has posted.

I joined another challenge this week and I tangled two very similar tiles. Just couldn't decide which one to post....there has been some discussion on people's blogs about going ahead and uploading the challenge creations you are not so satisfied with... and, I can't see anything wrong with that philosophy. However I do quite a bit of practicing just to get a bit better at the tangles I am working on and felt that if I put everything up that I worked on it might be a bit tedious, both for me and for anyone taking a look. Here are the two tiles I am entering in Diane and Carolein's challenge of using three tangles which start with the letters D-E-F this week. (Last week they got their challenge going with ABC.)

I used Dragonair, Echoism, and Fescu, they can be found on if you want to get an idea from the creators of the tangles how they are drawn and some of their own variations.

The second tile I used the pattern Hached as well, so technically this first tile done on a light brown card stock is the one for the challenge. 

As I said last week, I am enjoying this challenge because it's kind of enjoyable choosing the tangles I want to try. I used the brown gel pen from one of the Sakura gel pen sets called "Classic". 

A variation with the "Hached" added.

Remember the Dream it UP team will be doing Showers of showers on Thursday ....they'll be using Stampendous products which also includes Dreamweaver stencils and I'll be doing a separate post for that. As many of you know Pam Hornschu, head of our design team, was in an accident and she is now posting again. She tells us her hands and feet work, but is fighting very painful broken ribs, so we are thankful she is mending.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Showers of showers: Week #3

For the month of April, the Dream Team are featuring "Showers of Showers" as our theme. As usual, we'd love for you to play along. Just link your creation on the Dream It Up! blog for a chance to win the stencil of your choice...bonus chances for incorporating Dreamweaver and/or Stampendous in your design. Here's what I'm showering you with this week... LOOK closely for the raindrops (translucent embossing paste on acetate....see how)

We were in Oregon last week and the pink dogwoods were in full bloom! Wow! (I really enjoyed the cooler weather, because here in Southern California we have had more than our fair share of heat this spring.) Here is a picture we took while in Oregon...and it was such a beautiful tree. It inspired me to use the dogwood stencil (LG668) seen above. To give it a springtime shower effect the raindrop stencil (LJ905) was used on acetate. Well, I'm getting ahead of myself, first the dogwood stencil design was used through an embossing machine... using the letterpress technique. With this particular technique you spray the stencil with ink and then place your card stock on top of the wet ink and run it through the embossing machine. The stacking method for my big shot or cuttlebug is: thick white plate, wet stencil, card stock, thick rubber mat (REM), two acrylic plates (if it's the cuttlebug machine that you have...this means use the two "B" plates). This made the blue speckled background behind the dogwoods (the Blue Lagoon color of the Memories Mist spray MM120 was used) and of course the flowers were the white from the embossed paper. The paper is dry immediately so you can reposition the stencil on the flowers and use a variety of pigment inks and small stencil brushes.

Because I wanted the raindrops to be clear and show up on the embossed and stenciled image of the dogwood flowers I paste-embossed a piece of clear acetate with the Translucent embossing paste (DEPT). On the left is the acetate with the translucent paste and the raindrop stencil on the right. The translucent embossing paste appears white when you first use it, but it dries clear like you see on the card that is finished...shown above. After it dried I turned it over and paste embossed the sentiment "when it rains it pours" stencil (LG738) on the side without the embossed rain, this way I had a smooth surface to paste-emboss.  

For the sentiment I used gold embossing paste (DGP). AND because it didn't POP quite as much as I wanted, I traced just a bit of a shadow with a black micron pen under the letters. It's hard to see the effect of the letters on the "rain spattered" acetate, but it really is a fun technique to be able to have the paste embossed sentiment on top of the clear raindrops which is really on the other side of the acetate. Looking forward to seeing how you might translate the challenge this month. And in the meantime please take time to let our Dream it UP team know that you are loving their creations. 

Here's the links for the "A" team that is posting this week:

Dream It Up! (you're here)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Zensdays: New Challenges

This week I am joining the new challenge of Diane and Carolien...they have put forth the challenge to use three tangles ...choosing patterns that start with the first three letters of the alphabet. I think I had a lot of fun just making a decision of what patterns to use. And of course since I am not very accomplished with the entire process I had to do quite a bit of practicing the ones I chose. The middle pattern called B'Twined was actually the most enjoyable to do and the arched pattern was the hardest. 

I stacked Archer on top of B'Twined and then at the bottom did Chard. It sort of reminded me of a church door. (I think it was those arches.) You can go to to know how these tangles  are drawn and more about the people who created them. They were not hard at all and really well rendered with detailed instructions. Wayne was kind enough to walk me through the nuances of shading. 

The diva's challenge #213 this week is to use unique objects to create a string. If you have time, go to her site and see what she has done. She also suggested using a stencil for a string and since this month our dream it up challenge is showers of showers I thought this umbrella Wayne did was fun. I stenciled the umbrella (LG737) with blue ink and then he tangled it with crusade (his tangle...far right), cubine (one of my favorites...middle design) and the heart looking one is a variation he did of leaflet.(I think...on the left). He also traced it with the yellow florescent pen from the moonlight set (#38176) by Sakura (it's one I love to add some color with) if you are having a hard time finding it to purchase here is a source.

Would love to have you come back on Thursdays if you have time to see what the design team has done for the showers of showers challenge. And leave a comment or two to encourage them...they work so hard for so little.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We have three Zensdays random winners:

Three Random Winners
Last Zensday I gave commenters the opportunity to win a discontinued metal stencil of an Arts and Crafts tile stencil design ...all you had to do was comment and say, "I'm IN" at the end. Here are the three winners:
1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More
Jean Chaney
Christine Springer
Please email your snail mail to:
(I won't have time to ship it until the end of this week.)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Showers of Showers: Week Two

Ever use the expression, "When it rains, it pours"? This does not have to be a bad thing, does it? For the month of April, the Dream Team are featuring "Showers of Showers" as our theme. As usual, we'd love for you to play along. Just link your creation on the Dream It Up! blog for a chance to win the stencil of your choice...bonus chances for incorporating Dreamweaver and/or Stampendous in your design. Here's what I'm showering you with this week...

Pam here, with a simply elegant card perfect for a bridal shower. The main panel has been created using the letterpress technique of spritzing the Bride stencil itself with Memories Mist Silver, placing the white cardstock panel on top, and running through the embossing machine to transfer the ink and emboss the design at the same time. A flourish of self-adhesive pearls completes the panel, of which has been adhered on a black linen card with a panel of letterpress white cardstrip using the Damask stencil and silver spray. The completing sentiment is from Stampendous.

For a shower of inspiration, please visit the blogs of the "B" team:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Zensdays: Stenciling and Tangling

This week's diva challenge is UMT which stands for Use My Tangle ...Laura Harms randomly chooses someone's tangle and we incorporate it into our tile. This week's tangle is "FANZ" by Susan Goetter and click HERE to find out more about the diva's challenge and find the links for Susan's fan design. Wayne used it on a portion of the leaves on our creation.

This week I did a stenciling tutorial and Wayne did the tangle creation afterwards. We actually did this in black and white last week, but when I saw the challenge for this week I thought it would be fun to do the design in color by stenciling the flower. See below to see how it was done. Just need to let you know that the stencil was discontinued several years ago. It is an arts and crafts tile design called Chrysanthemum and Dreamweaver had it as a brass stencil design in 2003. I have a handful of them left and if you are interested in having one I am having a random drawing from those commenters on my blog who indicate they want the stencil. All you have to do is at the end of your comment write..."I'm IN"! And...I will ship overseas.

First I traced the design with an 01 Micron pen by Sakura. One thing you need to be aware of this stencil is made out of brass and as such can create havoc with your pens if you are heavy handed. Be sure to hold the pen perpendicular to your paper surface as shown here and don't angle it, otherwise you can slice the nib of the pen with the pressure against the metal stencil edge. I tend to be pretty hard on pens and using a light touch doesn't come easy to me. I have had to practice and pay attention to not pressing too hard when tracing the design of these intricate stencils. If you are aware of this it will be much easier to make it through the tracing process without ruining a pen. In fact using an 005 pen is even better because some of the openings of the stencil are really tiny and as you get better using this finer tipped pen makes it easier to achieve the detail you want.

I am using pigment ink...dye ink works better for this because it is less likely to clog your micron pens but it was all I had at the time. The paper towel is for off-loading the excess ink into, don't be afraid to push hard. This moves the ink up into your bristles and keeps the brush "dry" ...hence the term dry-brush technique. If you practice this a bit on scrap paper first you can get an idea how wet your ink pad is and how much wetness you need to work out of your brush. First I laid a base of yellow and then worked with green shading it into the yellow, and to dull the colors I next used red so the colors ended up a bit dull and more authentic to the Arts and Crafts time period.

Stenciling fuchsia with a very light touch will give you a base to make a purple with a light loading of blue for the last coat of color.

Now remove the stencil for this next step. The process of blacking in the background started by using an 03 Micron pen. This pen has a slightly thicker nib and then in the next step use a marker type of nib. I know some people even use "Sharpie" pens to do lots of blacking so they can preserve their finer pens, but as you can see in the picture below I used a Micron "Graphic 1".

I actually like the image just stenciled without any of the tangle work. I did a couple of these and tested my skills with the "FANZ" challenge tangle, but alas I was running out of time and I wanted to get this up for you to see, so Wayne saved me on this one and did the tangle work. He's a CZT and rarely tells anyone, but he is a fabulous teacher and is very encouraging. He usually cheers me on, but on this occasion he buckled to my need for getting the job done and did a great job. But I have to say the real masterpiece is the one he did on his Flickr site, you can interpret it a couple of ways, but I saw a sunflower in his finished piece. So take a minute to see the work he did for the challenge this week and leave a comment if you have time. Don't forget to write "I'm IN!" if you want to join the random drawing for this stencil. I will announce the winners by Sunday evening.

Three Random Winners
Last Zensday I gave commenters the opportunity to win a discontinued metal stencil of an Arts and Crafts tile stencil design ...all you had to do was comment and say, "I'm IN" at the end. Here are the three winners:
1 Art Lady Kate, Tangles and More
Jean Chaney
Christine Springer
Please email your snail mail to:
(I won't have time to ship it until the end of this week.)

Blog Archive