Monday, March 26, 2012

The Making of an Art Card - Part2

I will now write this article for the second time!  The first one disappeared, except for the title.  Sooo, ya'll want to see how this card finished up and what techiniques and gizmos I used? Here we go!

The tag and butterflies were both made with Martha Stewart punches; her products are very high quality and I just love them.  The tag was made using one of her Punch Around the Page sets. You get two punches, one for the corner and one for the side. She tells you the measurements for various tag sizes that will work with this set, which makes it very easy to use.  I then inked the tag with colors to match and added the Happy Birthday vellum tag last.  The glitter on the butterflies is also Martha Stewart, along with her glitter glue, which has a pinpoint tip making precise application so easy.

Next the inside. What to do?

First I added the strip of Color Me Resist paper to match the front.  Then I sat and looked at it for a couple of weeks before I received the necessary inspiration to continue work!  I added the butterflies from a stencil I had.  I used oil pencils to color them because I really like the way you can blend their colors.  They are softer than graphite-based colored pencils.  In fact, I freeze them to sharpen them because they are so soft. (Doesn't everybody have colored pencils in their freezer?)  Then I looked at things some more.

The butterflies seemed lonely and needed something.... And then I found another stencil, with swirls and leaves, and I thought silver might be a good color. So I began the process of carefully inking them into the background areas, using sticky-notes and painter's tape to avoid inking over top of the butterflies.

Then for an inside sentiment.  I saw something similar in an art program I have, but I couldn't the change colors to suit myself.  So I made the tag from scratch, layering text boxes over top of each other to get the desired result. 

And voila! An art-style birthday card for my sister, who usually doesn't read my blog.  Her birthday isn't until later this month, so I'm kind of counting on that fact! 

Stay tuned for my next art card adventure.  It will be a 'thinking of you' style card.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Making of an Art Card - Part 1

I love playing with paper, and it's really all my friend Christy's fault. She is the one that had a paper stash and then showed me what you could do with all of those lovely bits of paper. And I was instantly addicted.

I had already been doing homemade photo Christmas cards, but this was a whole new world. It's kind of like creating a quilt, which my mom happens to be most excellent at doing. I layer techiques and colors and bits and pieces, and eventually the piece tells me it's done. It just looks complete all of a sudden.

Sooo, I am going to try and chronicle my art card escapades for you, as much as photographically possible.  Here is one I am working on right now.

The paper I used here is called Color Me Resist Paper and it is available at  Now this paper is really fun to work with.  The design is raised and resists all water-based inks. You can ink it and then you gently wipe any excess off the raised white part. You can color it with markers or pencils. And there are a multitude of other products out there I'd like to try, but I don't own them yet!

Here is what the paper looks like close-up as you get started.

And then I thought the front would need something more... And bless her soul, good old Martha Stewart has this fabulous butterfly punch that I have used and loved many times since I bought it. So I punched three butterflies out of heavy white paper and used Martha's glitter glue and glitter to jazz up the butterflies.
And here's the butterfly.

I'm working on the inside of the card now, and I will show you all how it finishes up, very soon. I have a deadline!

I also have more cards to show you, some complete, some still in process. Until then, happy crafting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New at Art by Andrea

Decorative silver sliders with clear and jet black Swarovski crystal alternate with clear silver-lined seed beads and more clear Swarovski crystal beads. This is 'Swarovski Crystal and Seed Bead Bracelet 2'. This bracelet is sized for a larger wrist at 8 inches!                    

Purple Swarovski crystal in decorative silver sliders alternate with silver seed beads and two colors of purple Swarovski crystal beads. This is 'Swarovski Crystal and Seed Bead Bracelet 4'.           

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Contemporary Corned Beef and Cabbage

If just the title of this post sends shivers up and down your spine with the memory of cabbage cooking for eons stinking up the whole house..... well I'm not with you.  My mom never did this to us, thankfully.  But I've read the stories!

So here's how to do this meal in less time and not stink up the house!  First, slowly simmer the corned beef roast for about 2 hours, not three like the package probably says. Now if you can really slowly, slowly, slowly simmer the roast, you can go the full three hours, but it has to be a very slow, barely bubbling simmer.  Toward the end of the cooking time, add your potatoes.  I like to use Yukon gold if I can get them, otherwise red or white potatoes are the next best choice.  Russets are bakers and tend to fall apart, so I don't use them in this dish.

Note I have said nothing about cabbage yet. It's not time!  When the roast is done and resting, then you do the cabbage. 

I use a saute pan for the cabbage.  I put a couple of good spoonsful of the liquid from the roast into the pan, with just a tiny splash of soy, and heat that up.  When it's really hot, add your sliced cabbage and a bit of freshly cracked black pepper and saute it over fairly high heat until it is tender crisp.  And that's it for the cabbage.

Time to slice the corned beef roast and eat!