Saturday, November 22, 2014

My New Crafty Crush

Okay you might be laughing at the title...but if you think about it, I bet you have a crafty crush too! Maybe its Tim Holtz and his grunge-chic style or perhaps its the haphazard nature of the beautiful art journal pages of Dyan Reaveley.  So I'll let you in on a crafty crush is on Stephanie Ackerman

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie at Right at Home Scrapbooking in North Attleboro, MA, last weekend for a class on doodling. Yes, you heard me right. I paid good money to have someone teach me how to doodle. But it really is an art form and here's what I created during class:

It may not look like much, but I am artistically challenged. In fact one of the reasons that I like scrapbooking and cardmaking is that it allows me to be "artistic" without relying on any real skills. Thanks to dies and border punches....anyone can scrapbook. But drawing? That's a whole other kind of artist.

So I left class, picked up my journal and created this during my son's soccer practice:

And then learned how to turn my doodles into page embellishments for my scrapbook pages, thanks to a tutorial from Art to the 5th.  Look at how cute they are?

When I was all done doodling....I found this great $5 tutorial on Stephanie's website for handmade ornaments (1/2 the cost of the PDF is donated to India's Daughter's of Hope charitable organization. And it is as easy as it looks....look at my almost finished product. Just need to replace the ornament top and wrap with twine. Voila! Super cute, handmade ornaments for the holidays. Perfect for those hostess gifts that we always need at this time of year.  

Pretty cool that I've gotten all this inspiration from one class. Stephanie is coming back to Right at Home Scrapbooking in May and I will be signing up for ALL of her classes. Can you say stalker...just (kinda) kidding? So I'd love to hear, who is your crafty crush? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stitching Together a Couple of Cards

So after my first sewing lesson last week, I've been stitching up a storm....some projects more successful than others. 

First up is a clean and simple sympathy card (based on something I saw on Pinterest) that I made for a friend who suffered not only the loss of her father but her little grandson as well. No sooner had I finished this card, when I heard of another friend who lost her uncle and aunt this week as well. I should have made a few while I was at it. Try to overlook the fact that the stitching cuts across some of the butterfly wings...I'm still a beginner.

Butterfly die from Penny Black's Tag set and sentiment from My Favorite Things.
The second card was one that I tried stitching by machine, but ended up going the old fashioned route with a needle and thread since I'm just not practiced enough to turn corners. I'm not sure who this will go to...but I always need general greeting cards around the holidays for the teachers, mail carrier, and dry cleaner.

Snowflake punches by Fiskars, sentiment from Paper Smooches, and fabric from Hobby Lobby.

Not bad for a day's work. Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Anniversary Card

So you'd think that since it's Halloween that I'd be sharing something spooky, but I am working a few days behind schedule and forgot to share this card that I made for hubby in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary.

The inspiration for this card came from a layout from one of my ScrapHappy "sistahs," who cited her inspiration to this Splitcoast stampers card found here.  

Rather than using patterned paper for my die cuts, I decided to create some of my own using Tim Holtz distress inks spritzed with water to give me a watercolor look in a more masculine color pallet.  Then I used my Spellbinders dies to cut out the hearts and outlined them in black marker. And finally, I hand stitched them onto the card front, since I still haven't figured out how to work my sewing machine. The sentiment is a quote from Goethe that I thought was similar to the one used in our vows (but it was so long ago that neither my husband or I remember the original).

Hope you have a scary night (if you celebrate Halloween)....if not, make it a crafty one.

Friday, October 24, 2014

All About Me Scrapbook Page

It's almost the end of October and I am not sure where the time has gone. The Fall is always a crazy time...the kids are back in school, the sports schedules overlap, and to top it all off, work picked up after a pretty quiet summer. It was a perfect storm that has eaten right into my crafting time.

That being said, I've managed to do a few projects and am committing to resurrecting this blog and posting on a more regular basis. I finally changed the photo on the top since I never really loved the one before and this new one is bright and cheery and makes me smile.

Today, I am sharing with you the first layout I did for our October members-only Layout a Day (LOAD) challenge. The prompt instructed us to create a fun page about ourselves. I had seen other people create layouts with lists of facts about them that correlated with their birthday age and got in my head the idea to make my page resemble a quilt, with tidbits about me in each shape. Good thing I am only 46, as you can see, I would have run out space if I were any older. I printed out the journaling on some scrap pieces of paper and then punched them with my Fiskar's hexagon punch. Unfortunately, I placed the photo down the spacing is a bit off and to compensate, I used some stitching in the corner to tie in with the quilting theme.

In the end, I love how this turned out and think I want to make it a tradition of creating a birthday page each year (not necessarily with the hexagon pattern, but some way to capture what is going on in my life at that point in time). I imagine it will be fun to look back on these in a few years. Have you ever done a layout about yourself? Feel free to link to yours in the comments below, I love to get inspiration from others.

Have a crafty day.

Friday, July 25, 2014

So Long, Farewell...a Card!

Popping on with a quick card share today. My son's karate instructor is leaving tomorrow... headed out of state to start a new life with his soon-to-be wife. Although we are really happy for him, saying goodbye will be hard. There is a going away party tomorrow, so I pulled together this quick card to wish him well in his new life. 

I think it came out pretty cute considering I haven't made a card in a very long time.

Stamps: Paper Smooches Smarty Pants. Die cuts from Heidi Swapp. Paper from K&Company.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to craft more this weekend! See you soon.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Picking Paints for the Gelli Plate

With the summer here and the kiddos out of school, I am finding it very hard to carve out crafting time. But I am managing to sneak up to the craft room a little bit each week. And thanks to some motivation from some new scrappy friends, I am revisiting some of my neglected crafting tools.

My latest craze is the gelli plate. I had the 8 x 10 one already, but I recently bought the cute little 3 x 5 plate, which is perfect for creating page embellishments or project life pocket cards. But despite loving the idea of gelli printing, many of my prints weren't coming out that great. So I took to YouTube in search of some instructions to help me get a better print.

Gelli printing is really quite simple. All you need is a gelli plate, stencils or other items to make patterns, and some paint. Although the folks at Gelli Arts say that you can use any kind of acrylic paint, I wondered if different paints would give me better results. And so I set up a little experiment and thought I'd share the results. I decided to compare regular craft paint with both the fluid and open acrylic paints from Golden.

To keep things consistent, I followed the steps demonstrated in the Gelli Arts video tutorial here. Like in the video, I used three colors for each print (yellow, magenta and blue) from each of the paints (I didn't have a blue in the fluid acrylic paint so I used the blue from the "open" acrylics).

And here's what the prints look like:

Acrylic Craft Paints
3 layers of craft paint. You can see a lot of texture showing through each layer and there is good blending
of the colors in the first print, but there wasn't a lot of paint left over for the ghost prints.

Golden Fluid Acrylic Paints
The colors in the first set of prints are much more vibrant than those made with craft paints, but like
the craft paint there was not a lot of color left on the plate for the ghost pulls.
Note: an open paint was used for the blue layer , which is why you see predominately blue in the ghost print.

Golden Open Acrylic Paints
Like the fluid acrylics, there is great coloration in the prints, but the most noticeable difference
is seen in the ghost print.

My Verdict

Although using regular craft paint is perfectly fine for gelli printing, I like the colors that you get using the Golden paints. They are a little richer and they seem to blend a lot better giving the illusion of multiple layers. So for me, its a tie between fluid versus the open acrylics for the first pull prints.

The Golden open paints are slow drying, which means you can take your time working with them because they are going to stay wet a lot longer and for gelli printing, that means great color blending and better ghost (or second prints) because a little paint goes a long way. That being said, I am actually pleasantly surprised to see the results of the fluid paints. Although the ghost prints aren't as showy...the color in the first layered print is pretty similar to the print made with the open paints (and I actually like the softer purple color in the fluid print versus the bold indigo color that resulted in the open print). That's good news for me since AC Moore sells the fluid acrylics and I can use a coupon to cut the price down to $4.50 a bottle versus the $8.00 average price of a 2 oz tube of the open acrylics (which can only be bought at an art store). And the fluid acrylics dry much faster which means the prints will be available to play with sooner than the ones made with the open acryli

In my next post, I am going to look at a few different iridescent paints to see how they stack up again each other. Hope you'll stop by to find out.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Over LOAD ed-ition

Wow! Has it really been almost two months since I blogged last? I guess I've really been out of it for awhile. Crafting a bit more than usual, but not posting anything here. That tends to happen when I am involved in a month of LOAD (Layout a Day with Lain Ehmann). We just wrapped up another intense month of scrapbooking, with May's theme being Past Perfect 2. It was a great time to scrap some of my childhood photos and start putting some of my memories of growing up to paper before I forget. I ended up creating 34 pages (+2 for National Scrapbook Day) it was a great month.

Here are a few of my favorite May layouts:

One of many layouts that relied on images I found online...a trend this month.
Loved using the hidden journaling to keep the page clean.

Layout created for a sketch challenge for National Scrapbook Day.
Ended up using the wrong sketch for the challenge, but loved the page anyway.

Trying to get used to leaving more "white space" on my layouts.
This is one of my favorite photos from my childhood.

Had to include at least one layout of my kitties.
This is of Zoey who is getting more loving as she adjusts to her new home.

A fun phrase and story from childhood...brings back so many memories and
couldn't resist pairing it with this photo of my brother at age 3. Hysterical!

Talking about TV shows that we watch...and some of the overlap of shows
that are still on that my kids watch today. More internet photos.

Love this one for the artful mess that I made with it. Used stencils, stamps, and handwritten journaling
along with photos from the internet to tell the story of how we used to play as kids. 
Adapted from a layout I found on Pinterest. Just love that I could make a pretty page using some very
old and not very good photos from our vacations as a kid on Lake Winnepesaukee, NH.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a chance to create something today. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

True Stamp 2014 was AMAZING!

So it's been very quiet on the blog lately but I've been busy behind the scenes taking classes, playing around with some new techniques and getting my scrapbook pages done...slowly but surely.

This weekend I "attended" Lain Ehmann's True Stamp 2014 and it was amazing. This full-day on-line event brought together some of the industry's biggest and brightest stampers. Just look at this lineup:

  • Bobbi Lemansky & Kim Ziehr from Raisin Boat
  • Shari Carroll from Simon Says Stamp
  • Kim Hughes from Paper Smooches
  • Bev Grey from Technique Tuesday
  • Kelly Marie Alvarez & Chari Moss from Lawn Fawn
  • Nichol Magourik and Kryssi Ng from Mama Elephant
The stamping, the techniques the shared, and the cards that they made were unique, beautiful, and so inspiring. I have so many ideas brewing in my little brain that I can't quite contain myself. Now just to the find the time to get crafting.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this adorable idea that I "borrowed" from fellow ScrapHappy members Connie and Donna(aka OrangeGearle) to make your own enamel dots from Perler beads (those little hollow plastic beads). Head over to Donna's blog to get the directions...but in the meantime here's a sneak peak of the end result.

I tried the Elmer's brand of beads (seen at the very bottom of the page and unfortunately they produced tiny to medium sized holes in the dots). I won't throw them away though...with a dab of Ranger White Enamel or Liquid Pearls you can fill up the hole, or simply insert a brad like I did in the flower for an adorable (and handmade) embellishment to your cards or scrapbook layouts.

Well I'm off to make some more dots. Be sure to check back in the next week or two for some more peeks at the new techniques that I'll be trying out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Muse (and my mojo) is gone...

Despite being right in the middle of LOAD 214 (Layout a Day's scrapbook challenge) mojo has come to a screeching halt. 

On February 5th, we said goodbye to our little furry girl, Bailey. She was 19 and although that is a great, long life for a kitty, it didn't make it any easier to say goodbye. Fortunately, we were all home that day and were able to be with her in her last minutes. She always kept me company when I crafted and I often had to move her out of my chair so I could get to the computer. It seems weird being in here without her today.

Two days before she died, I created this layout for one of the LOAD challenges. I am so glad that I did. Although the picture of her reminds me of how fast she was declining (food all over her face)'s a wonderful close up and still makes me smile.

One of the last layouts that I created was a two-page spread with old photos of Bailey and her brother Huck (who we lost 2 years ago). The prompt was to use something old, and the photos were the perfect way to memorialize the little ones.

I've gotten so far behind the LOAD prompts that I probably won't do any more this month...but I have few cards to make today so I better get going. It's hard to craft when you are sad...but I'm hoping that my mojo returns soon. I miss crafting almost as much as I miss my little Bailey.

Here's to hoping...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

It's Time to Bust Some Scrapbooking Myths

So it's the second of February and that means we are on
day 2 of Layout A Day (LOAD 214). This round's theme is Scrapbook Mythbusters (where does Lain come up with these prompts?) and it's all about breaking down the myths and mysteries about scrapbooking.

I've decided not to post every layout this month, but rather highlight some of my favorites since I have a lot of other crafty projects in the wings. But I am particularly happy with how today's layout came out so thought I'd share.

The prompt today was to dispel the myth that you should only scrapbook big events or stories. So we were challenged today to scrap about a little story that was important for us to record. I knew right away which photo I was going to use...I've been saving it for just the right layout. (Layout design was inspired by another fellow LOADster, Orange Everything...ironic huh?)

When my oldest son was little, he loved to eat carrots...but they ended up turning his nose orange (hard to see in the photo). We actually were slightly worried about him and made an appointment to see his pediatrician. After taking one look at Matthew, the doctor said, "He must love carrots!" and assured us that his nose was just responding to the extra doses of beta carotene. We were relieved that it was nothing serious...but we did end up limiting his carrot intake.

Well that's it for now. The big game is underway and my craft space is being invaded by cheering fans.

Have a great night.