Friday, December 30, 2011

Saying Farewell To 2011

I'm sorry if you arrived here expecting a traditional Four Ways Friday post.  I feel it's necessary to somehow mark the end of the year - the conclusion of 2011.  To stay with the Four Ways theme, today's post is about Four Ways to bid farewell to 2011.

1.  Reflect:  As this year draws to a close, it is a perfect time to reflect back on where it began.  As I stamped my 2012 calendar I realized that my 2011 calendar could be put to good use.  I am going to take some time prior to midnight on Saturday to reflect back on each month and do a bit of journaling.  I am going to take those 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" calendar months and write on the back of them - things I was grateful for that month; significant events in my life; lessons learned.  I keep a daily gratitude journal so I will be able to look back at my daily entries to reflect on those moments that stand out and write them on the calendar months.  One way to bid farewell is to reminisce about what you have experienced.

2.  Bid Farewell With Gratitude:  If you are reading this post, you have been given the gift of being alive for the year 2011.  You have been able to breathe every day - breathe in and breathe out.  You have experienced the gift of life - with all of its ups, downs, sideways and reverses!  Be grateful.  What an amazing gift it is!

3.  Bid Farewell Surrounded By Those You Love:  Whether you sit on the couch, find yourself in a large crowd, or experience your own personal ritual ringing in the New Year, surround yourself with those you love.  For some of us, we will actually physically be with those we love.  For others of us, we will need to connect with them via phone or on-line chat, or email.  Most of us also surround ourselves with those we love by turning our attention, our thoughts, to them - whether they are still with us or have passed.  Surrounding ourselves with those we love makes us appreciate the opportunity to live this life with love.

4.  Welcome 2012 And All Its Possibilities With Open Arms!  I drink tea by a company called Yogi and on each of their teabags there is a message.  The one I opened tonight had this to say "When you are in tune with the unknown, the known is peaceful."  This seems very apt as we see the wide open unknown of the year ahead.  Know that you don't know what lies ahead in the coming year - it is a mystery.  If you can be in tune with the unknown - if you can accept it is unwritten, that it will unfold as it will - then the now - the moment that you are in at this very time - is a place of peace.  What a perfect way to bid farewell to 2011 - to bid farewell from a place of peace.

I wish you and your loved ones a 2012 filled with infinite possibilities.  May you find peace in all of your moments!  Thank you for sharing moments of your 2011 with me - it has been an honor.  I hope to see you again in 2012! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Every Little Bit 2012 Jewel Case Calendar

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Time Is The New Currency
Every once in awhile I channel surf on the television and come upon a show or a scene that makes me stop and think.  That happened the other day when I landed upon a show about people who take couponing to the extreme.  They collect newspapers - maybe even go diving into garbages for them - and then spend hour upon hour upon hour categorizing their coupons and planning their shopping trips.  Then they go on these crazy shopping trips where they buy tons of grocery items at the supermarket and save a ton of money.  I was struck by one of the husbands who was commenting that this was going to be his wife's last shopping trip for awhile since she had been eating, sleeping, and breathing coupons and coupon cutting and had little time for anything else.  And that's what made me stop and think.  What we see on the show is the cash register total going up and up and up as these individuals shop and then watch as the total begins to go lower and lower as the coupons get redeemed.  The impression we are left with is that these individuals are saving a ton of money...and maybe they are.  What we don't see and what I really question is what is that savings worth?  Aside from the fact that it seems these shopping trips involve buying items that I can't image will ever get used (take for example the 30 boxes of artificial sweetener packets), what I am really struck by is what people are willing to trade the precious minutes of their life for.  And it makes me question that about myself as well.  How much is saving $500 at the grocery store worth to you?  The week or more that it will take to cut coupons and sort them and shop?  If that takes you 40 hours, does that mean you are willing to trade an hour of your life for $12.50 in savings?  Maybe you are and maybe you aren't.  What seems important is that we focus not just on what we appear to be saving, but also on what we are sacrificing to do it.  I would gladly trade the $12.50 of savings for an extra hour of walking with Buddy out in nature.  That to me is worth trading the currency of time for.  I guess for each of us, what we are willing to "sell" our time for will differ.  As we come upon 2012, I wish that we all will consider what our time is really worth and what we are willing to "sell" our time for.  My hope is that we think of our time as the new currency - the new wealth - and that we use it well.
Today's project is a calendar that I have made in the past - at least the "body" of the calendar is the same.  The pages are 4 3/4" by 4 3/4" and fit perfectly into a CD jewel case that can be placed on your desktop.  The twist is that I wanted to try to decorate the entire calendar using just one stamp set, Every Little Bit.  I succeeded but for one month where I incorporated a few letters from the Calendar Alphabet & Numbers stamp set.  Here are photos of each of the months...I hope you enjoy them!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paper Crafter’s Library Design Team Submission

Today's post is a special one!  I have decided to try to become a part of the Paper Crafter's Library Design Team!!!!  What a fun way to challenge myself to create new projects and videos while receiving some great new products and supplies at the same time! :)
It has been an interesting journey trying to put this post together.  The submission guidelines require me to share pictures of 3 projects as well as a project video.  So, I started looking over past projects and videos and it was like a journey through time!  It is interesting to look back at your own work and see how you have grown (or gotten stuck!).  As interesting was stopping to read some of my posts and look at some of the day-to-day photos I have shared with you.  This chronicle of my life has definitely been a work of love and passion!  Thank you for sharing the journey with me!
So, here are the 3 projects and the 1 video I have decided to submit.  They are pieces that represent the variety of items you can create with your stamping supplies and they are all pieces that make me smile:
Stamping provides a wonderful way to say "I love you" to those special people in your life!  This little accordion book provides little pockets as opportunities to share special messages, photos or coupons for the one you love :)  You can watch a video for how to create this adorable book here!
Tags add such a special touch to your gift giving!  They can also be saved, included in scrapbook layouts or reused by the recipient.  To learn more about how I made this tag, you can check out this post or this video (of a similar project).
This final piece I am especially proud of since it was the first piece I ever had published in a magazine!!!  This piece was published in the 2011 special issue of PaperCrafts Magazine entitled 350 Cards & Gifts :)  It was quite a milestone for me!
Finally, the project video I would like to share is how to create this shaker card using transparencies/window sheets, your sewing machine, and some glitter!  Enjoy!!!!

I want to thank PaperCrafter's Library for their consideration of my submission!  I will let you all know how things turn out!!!! :)
p.s.  If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, why not apply????  You can find out more info here!  Good luck!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chalkboard Mug

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Am Drawn To Handmade Things
I guess today's lesson might not be a surprise to you, although I have to admit that it is a bit of a surprise to me.  I have traditionally been a fan of big box stores - stores like IKEA and others, where you can affordably furnish your home.  Lately we have been thinking about making some changes to the inside of our house and have done a bit of browsing in some of these big box stores and I'm just not feeling it.  Today we started looking at websites of artists and artisans who do woodwork and millwork and couldn't stop ourselves from saying "OOH!" and "AAH!" at every turn!  Now we are thinking about making change more slowly - bringing things into the house with intention - things that are instilled with the spirit of the person who made the object and that approach just feels right.  It may not happen in the same amount of time - the handmade items will cost more and therefore won't be purchased at once.  Regardless, the thought of having a few handmade things v. filling a room with store-bought fixtures really speaks to my heart (as I sit here at my laminated desk and look at my $20 bookcases from the big box store down the street!).  I guess each thing has its place and time.  As I live in the now, I know that handmade things are what appeal to me most.
Speaking of handmade things, I have been enjoying the kitchen turned craft room :)  I haven't put the extra table away yet!  Instead, I have added to my glass painting and have started painting on ceramics!  Again, I am using paints that can be painted, then air-dried, and then baked in the oven to make them dishwasher and microwave safe!  How awesome is that?!  I purchased some mugs at Crate & Barrel and have been experimenting with ideas.  On this mug I painted a rectangle of chalkboard paint and added the handwritten message "I want you to know..."  I made two of these mugs to give as gifts to a friend and her boyfriend.  The mugs will gifted along with a pieces of chalk attached to the handles with a pieces of string/ribbon.  That way, every day, they can write messages one another when they make their morning tea/coffee/hot cocoa.  I also made one for Michael :)  I figure that I can leave it on the counter for him in the morning with a new message everyday :)  (I am already imagining that some days the message will be "I love you" and other days the message might be "we need more apples!" :)  I love that this mug can be "recreated" every day with a new message :)  I hope you like it!  Tomorrow I plan to be back with a project you can make using some of your Stampin' Up! supplies (with a few other household items thrown in!).  Thanks for joining me as I took a break to play with some new materials :)
I also wanted to share this picture with you...looks like peace to me :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Painted Martini Glasses

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Play Like A Child!!!!!
This weekend we had a ton of fun in the kitchen turned craft room!  Michael and I set up a table in the center of the kitchen...
and we played like children!!!!!  I had recently purchased some new paints - glass paint and porcelain paint that you can use in your home.  You can paint glass and ceramic/porcelain objects and then, once they are dry, bake them in your own oven!  We had no idea what we were doing, but we dove in with enthusiasm!!!!  We began with the glasses pictured above - a gift for a friend's birthday.  Michael painted two and I painted two and boy did we experiment!  We dripped and drew and sponged and spattered!  Yes, the internal critic showed up along the way, but we told him to shut up and just kept going :)  After all, if we are playing like children, why would we listen to any "adult voices?!"  I highly recommend some time to play like a child - draw outside the lines, make a mess, break the rules!!!!!  It feels amazingly free! :)
I also want to use this post to say a very special thank you to Doris for your wonderful comment this weekend!  You put a huge smile on my face and warmth in my heart!!!!  Thank you for that!!!!  Also, I absolutely know where you can get your hands on some sequin waste (also called punchinella) ;)  I know someone who would LOVE to send you some if you would be willing to provide a mailing address :)  Feel free to email me at so you can keep your email private (although I guess I just made mine incredibly public :)  It truly would be my pleasure!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Four Ways Friday #73 - Satin Ribbon

For this week's Four Ways Friday I want to show you four ways to use your 5/8" satin ribbon!
I LOVE using satin ribbon to make ribbon roses!  Here I used some Old Olive satin ribbon and a hot glue gun to roll this rose.  I may try to make a video to show you how I made the rose - it is still an imperfect science for me and every rose comes out different!  The petals are from Awash With Flowers.  I stamped them with Wild Wasabi ink and cut them out and adhered them to the stamped, sprayed, stenciled and embossed tag :)  The "U" was die cut from chipboard using the Big Shot and the Serif Essentials die.  The "just for" is from a stamp in the Just Believe stamp set.
Roses aren't the only flowers you can make with your satin ribbon!  I found a few really good tutorials on YouTube for how to make gathered flowers.  You can see them HERE and HERE.  To make my flowers I used Whisper White satin ribbon and then sprayed them with various colors of ink mixed with water in small spray bottles!  I love that you can use the Whisper White ribbon to create flowers of any color!  Very economical!  I added brads and buttons for the centers.  Can't wait to use these on a project!
Your ribbon makes gorgeous flowers and it can also be used as a hangar for ornaments!  I created this ornament as a 42nd anniversary gift for some friends.  The ribbon is sandwiched in between pieces of embossed chipboard.  I ran the chipboard through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.  I then sponged some champagne shimmer mist paint over the chipboard.  Prior to adhering the pieces of chipboard together I hot glued pieces of waffle paper to the back of the chipboard pieces to create the "fringe."  A touch of glass glitter, a vintage brad, some ribbon roses and a bit of stamping with gold heat-embossing finishes the look!  Here are a few close ups so you can see the details more clearly:
Your ribbon can also be used with fabric to create a quick and easy bulletin board!!!!  Here is a picture of the bulletin board I created, along with a video to show you how to make one!

Here is a picture of the back of the board (oops!  I forgot to show that in the video!).  I just cut a piece of 11" x 11" chipboard and hot glued it onto the back of the bulletin board.  Then I added a cloth picture hangar.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday!!!!  Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season!!!!  May you have a peaceful and love-filled weekend!!!!!  Let me leave you with a picture of what I woke up to Thursday morning :)  It was a day filled with shoveling :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Extreme Elements Gift Tag

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Some Days It Takes Awhile To Get Started
I'm writing this post at night after a day of spending time doing who knows what in the craft room!  It seemed that by noon I had written a few thank you notes, taken Buddy for a walk, and had breakfast.  Not what I would call a particularly productive morning.  I felt a bit like Michael's car - it's a diesel and you have to turn the key part way and wait for this little light to go off before turning the key fully.  You have to let something in the engine warm up before just starting the thing.  Well, I was that engine today - I just had a hard time getting started.  The afternoon went a bit better - I got down to the business of creating (and watching Law & Order in the background...not sure that this helps with my creative energy, but I sure do seem addicted to the old episodes!).  Once I started creating, time seemed to move differently and I felt like my time was being well-spent - like my engine was humming.  I guess it's just another reminder that some days it takes awhile to get started, but once you do, you'll be warmed up to head in the exact right direction for yourself :) 
Can you tell that I'm on a bit of a tag kick right now?! :)  I've really been enjoying a break from traditional cards and playing around with techniques and lots of ink on the tags!  This tag started out as a vintage vanilla tag.  It then got sprayed, stenciled, and sprayed some more with various colors of ink (Cajun Craze, Cherry Cobbler, one of the brown colors - I can't remember which, and So Saffron).  Next I did a bit of stamping using the Extreme Elements stamp set.  First the small dots with Early Espresso ink and then the large "splat" with VersaMark and then gold embossing powder (heat embossed).  I then stenciled a few additional circles using champagne shimmer mist paint.  I die cut a piece of chipboard using the Top Note die (just a small piece of chipboard placed strategically on the die before running it through the Big Shot).  The chipboard was stamped with a greeting from Afterthoughts (retired) and heat embossed with gold embossing powder.  I then stenciled with champagne shimmer mist paint and sponged the edges before gluing the chipboard to the tag.  I punched a piece of watercolor paper with the designer label punch and then cut it and sponged the edges.  I added a few eyelets with the crop-a-dile before adding the pieces to the tag with glue.  A few pieces of fiber were added to the tag for a bit more shimmer.  I hope you like it!!! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nature Walk Painted Transparency Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room: People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that distinguish me from a doormat. - Rebecca West, writer
I saw this quote in a book called The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women written by Gail McMeekin and it really struck me.  Maybe it struck me right now because I have recently been noticing how much I hate bras!  Yes - I confess!!!!  I know, I know - they are a necessary evil at times - or at least we've been led to believe they are.  But I can totally understand the Burn Your Bra movement back in the '60s!  For some reason bras make me feel trapped or "contained" - two things, as an artist, I seem to loathe.  So maybe my current distaste for bras right now goes well beyond the bra itself.  Maybe it is much more about a desire for freedom - a need to release myself from any limitations or bounds that I have put on myself in my artwork and, maybe even, my life.  So while I am here at home - undershirts and tank tops, here I come!!!!  And maybe, when I do need to wear them (I haven't quite decided what the criteria is for determining when is a "yes I need to" day and when is a "no way in heck will I wear one" day), I can take the metaphor of the bra into my art making - maybe on those days I can set certain limits on my artwork and see where that leads me.  Maybe I can see both freedom and containment as ripe seeds for growing some art!  Phew - that felt good :)  Now let's get on to some art :)
Yes, I do seem to be in love with this bird from the Nature Walk stamp set right now.  Maybe it's because in the midst of winter, painting this bird makes me feel like spring inside :)  This card was created by stamping the bird image, using Jet Black Staz-On ink, onto a transparency/window sheet.  I then painted the back of the image with acrylic paint.  I stamped the kraft tissue paper using a stamp from the Elements of Style stamp set and Crumb Cake ink.  Can you see the score lines on the card?  I love adding these lines using my scoring board - they create a wonderful frame for your stamped and painted transparencies!  For more details on how I created this card, feel free to watch this video - the steps are the same - I just used different stamps and paint colors.  You can also skip the step of stamping on the tissue paper and instead adhere designer series paper to the backside of the transparency/window sheet.  Here is a card I created using designer series paper in place of the tissue paper.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Transparency Gift Tag

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.   Albert Einstein
This quote stands on its own.  It doesn't need any commentary from me.  What it does need from me is my attention.  Oh to walk through my life as though everything is a miracle - this is the prayer I have for today.  I wish the same for you :)
Today's tag was a lot of fun to make!  I began by using a retired SU stamp set called God's Beauty and stamped the butterfly onto transparency/window sheet using Jet Black Staz-On.  Next I painted the back of the transparency with acrylic paint...and even added a few dots of acrylic paint on the front of the transparency to highlight the body of the butterfly.  A piece of chipboard was die cut using the Circles #2 die.  I then cut off one of the edges of the circle and stamped the circle with the sentiment from Elements of Style using Jet Black Staz On.  Next I turned my attention to the tag where I sprayed with ink (I mix drops of ink with water in small spray bottles and spray the tags) and sponged the edges.  I used a stencil and sprayed with Elegant Eggplant ink to create part of the background design.  I then used some sequin waste - which I use as a circle stencil - with Frost White shimmer paint to create the dots on the tag and on the chipboard.  Next, the chipboard was adhered to the front tag with glue, as was the butterfly.  I then took some paper flowers (non-SU) and sprayed them with a variety of ink colors.  I added adhesive pearls to the centers and then drizzled some Crystal Effects on the flowers and on the tag to adhere some orange microbeads (non-SU).  The flowers were also attached to the tag using Crystal Effects - it makes a wonderful adhesive!  Finally, I sponged the strings at the top of the tag and also sprayed some pieces of natural cheesecloth with ink.  I tied the cheesecloth pieces through the tag.  I added one final touch - a spritz of black ink with the spritzer tool - somehow that brought everything together.  Here is a picture of the back of the tag - it got sprayed too :)  I hope you like it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stamped, Sprayed & Painted Gift Tag: A Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  You Don't Always Have To Plan Ahead
Today I am sharing a new video with you.  My hope is that it will become part of a series that I am calling "Process Stamping."  Usually when I create a video, I first create the project I am going to share and then I prepare to film myself making the project for a second time.  I always know, in advance, what I am going to be doing - it's all planned out.  Well this time I decided to not plan at all!  Instead, I set up my camera and turned it on and then just sat down to create from scratch.  As a result, I'm not narrating this video - instead I just put captions to share some important tips and info.  Beyond that you will just hear some jazzy music and you will see me in my own creative process - going step by step into the unknown :)  I admit that I edited out the time when I was just sitting trying to figure out what I wanted to do next and I also sped up sections where certain steps were repetitive or just took a bit of time.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this video format to see if I should continue with this series of Process Stamping.  It was a new journey for me - a journey that has so far taught me that you don't always have to plan ahead.
Here is the video - feel free to let me know your thoughts! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Four Ways Friday #72 - Chipboard

For this week's Four Ways Friday I wanted to share four different ways you can use chipboard in your papercrafting projects!  I hope you find some inspiration in these ideas!
For this first project I incorporated stamping and stenciling on chipboard.  I cut the chipboard using the Circles #2 die in the Big Shot and then used a paper cutter to cut off one piece of the circle.  The tag was sprayed, sponged and stenciled.  Next I sprayed the chipboard with a mixture of alcohol and champagne shimmer mist paint (I keep the mixture in a small spray bottle).  It is difficult to see in the photo, but this chipboard is really sparkly!  Next I stamped the chipboard with the sentiment from Sincere Salutations and Staz-On ink.  The final touch was to add some stenciling to the chipboard using some sequin waste and gold acrylic paint.  The chipboard was then adhered to the tag using glue.  Of course, I had to add a painted transparency bird :)
Did you know you can use your embossing folders with chipboard????  It works great and creates all kinds of possibilities for your chipboard!  Here I cut a triangle from the chipboard and then ran it through the Big Shot with the Petals A Plenty embossing folder.  I then rubbed the embossed chipboard against the Cherry Cobbler ink pad and did a touch of sponging as well.  Next I added a bit of champagne shimmer mist paint with my finger and a touch of gold smooch ink to the raised dots.  Here is a close up:
I then adhered the chipboard and a trunk made from card stock to the Wild Wasabi card base using glue.  The banner was created with a piece of Very Vanilla card stock and stamped with Early Espresso ink and the Calendar Alphabet & Numbers stamp set.  I curled the banner with my bone folder and then adhered it using 2 glue dots at the ends.  The adhesive rhinestones were added for a touch of bling :)
Chipboard is great to use for making signs!!!  Here I used a combination of mat board (my Aunt owns a framing gallery and had given me some leftover pieces of mat board to play with) and chipboard to create the sign itself.  The mat board was glued to two layers of chipboard to give the sign additional thickness.  I outlined the edges with a gold leaf marker.  Next I drilled a few holes into the chipboard (gotta love using power tools on your paper crafting projects!).  I then attached the silverware to the sign with some thin wire.  The letters were die cut from chipboard using the Serif Essentials dies and the Big Shot.  I then sponged the letters with a combination of Chocolate Chip and Early Espresso ink.  I sponged them about 3 times to create the dark brown color (chipboard likes to soak up ink and as it dried the color tends to get a bit lighter).  I adhered the letters to the sign with glue.
Chipboard also makes a wonderful base for the faux metal technique using your embossing powders!  Here I cut a circle from the chipboard using the Circles #2 die and the Big Shot.  Next I inked up the chipboard with VersaMark ink and then covered it with silver embossing powder.  I heat embossed with my heat tool.  I repeated the VersaMark, embossing powder and heating until I had four layers of melted embossing powder on the chipboard.  Immediately after melting the last layer, I pressed the snowflake stamp from Sweet Season into the hot embossing powder.  I pushed it down for a few seconds and then pulled it up and the image was embossed into the powder - magic!!!!  Here is a close up:
I added an adhesive rhinestone to the center.  Next I used the modern label punch to punch out a small piece of brushed silver card stock.  I adhered this piece to the chipboard ornament with glue and then adhered the entire ornament to the Whisper White card base with glue.  A small bow of gold elastic was added to the top of the ornament with glue and the greeting from Short & Sweet was stamped with Jet Black Staz-On.
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday and I hope it inspires you to look at your chipboard in new and interesting ways!!!!!!  Wishing you a wonderful, peaceful and creative weekend!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Framed Transparency Very Veggie Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Never Say Never!!!!
I am still in a bit of disbelief as I write this!  Today I was sitting in Michael's office - on Buddy's bed (Buddy has beds all over the house...totally spoiled :)  Anyway, I was sitting there talking to Michael and Buddy came in and plopped down on his bed.  Then Willow came sauntering into the room and she seemed to want some attention.  So I patted Buddy's bed - the part right beside me...and...she actually got on his bed...with him there!!!!!!  Now this may not seem miraculous to you, but these two house-sharers have never done this!!!!  When we got Buddy we already had Willow and it took her awhile to accept that he was now in HER house!  He learned very quickly that if they both ended up on the stairs at the same time he would be smart to look the other way as she passed so as to appear invisible to her! :)  Over time they seemed to warm up a little to one another (it's been over 6 years) - to a point where they could now pass each other in a hallway and steal a glance or a sniff.  But today was a day I never thought I would see!  Wanna see?
Pretty amazing, huh?! :)  Today I learned to never say never :)
Today's card is a continuation of my transparency/window sheet journey.  I have really been enjoying combining ink, paint and transparencies.  I started out with a piece of transparency and stamped the artichoke from the Very Veggie (retired) stamp set using Staz-On ink.  I then turned it over and painted the back with acrylic paints.  Next I cut a "mat" out of Bravo Burgundy card stock and ran it through the Big Shot with the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder.  I then added a bit of champagne shimmer mist paint on the "mat" with my finger.  The transparency was then glued to the back of the mat using glue.  The Crumb Cake card base was stamped with a few words from Fabulous Phrases as well as a leaf image from Very Veggie using Early Espresso ink at half strength.  The framed artichoke was then mounted onto the card with dimensionals (I was careful to not stamp behind the artichoke on the card, but am now thinking that could have looked really interesting as well).  Finally, I added a vintage mother of pearl button with a glue dot.  I hope you like it!
Check out the Clearance Rack Blitz beginning today!!!!  Shop HERE now!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Creating A Shaker Card With Transparencies/Window Sheets: A Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  One Thing Leads To Another!
Do you remember The Fixx????  Back in the 80's they had a hit song called One Thing Leads To Another (of course I am now to blame for you having that song running through your head for the next 24 hours!).  Anyway, today I realized, yet again, that one thing does lead to another!  As you have noticed, I've begun playing around with window sheets/transparencies and how to incorporate them into paper crafting.  I began by simply stamping on them with Staz-On and that led me to stamping on them and then painting on them with acrylic paint.  Well today the stars aligned and the thought occurred to me to combine them in multiple layers and fill the spaces in between with fun things like glitter and dazzling diamonds!  What fun I had in the craft room today!!!!!  Here is a video to show you how I made this shaker card.  I hope it inspires you to give it a try...and maybe that will lead you to another thing...and another...and another!!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Your Birthday Gift Tag

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  What If We Just Sit?
Have you ever watched little sandpiper bird foraging on the beach?  They skiddadle this way and that - bobbing their heads up and down, searching for food.  That's the way I've been feeling in the craft room this morning (I'm writing this post at 12:30 pm on Monday).  I sit down to create and next thing I know I've jumped up from my chair and I'm skiddadling into the kitchen to find something to munch on.  Or I'm skiddadling to my computer to check email - bobbing my head up and down - searching for something - although I'm not quite sure what.  So I'm wondering...what if I just sat?  What if, when I don't know what project I want to start next - or I don't know what next step to take on the piece I am working on - I just sat and waited 'til my next move or thought arrived?  My uncle, who is a sculptor, shared with me that he gave himself a 30-day challenge awhile back - to create a single piece of sculpture every day.  He would awake every morning, do some yoga, eat some breakfast, and then make his way into his art room.  Some days he would have a thought in his head about where to begin.  Other days, not a clue.  Either way, he would show up in his art space and commit himself to being there.  If not ideas were waiting for him, he would just sit...maybe handling some of his materials or staring around at his supplies - until inspiration or his creative muse took over.  Some days the wait was longer than others.  No offense to the sandpiper intended, but maybe I need to just sit and not skiddadle...I wonder what I would find if I did...
Today's tag began with a vintage manilla tag.  I sprayed the tag with mixtures of ink and water that I placed in small spray bottles.  I used a piece of hardware tape as a mask while spraying to create the grid-like pattern.
 I then sponged the edges with Chocolate Chip and Early Espresso ink.  Next I stamped the dotted image from Extreme Elements with Early Espresso and the star from Varsity Numbers with Riding Hood Red ink.  The birthday greetings from On Your Birthday were stamped with Early Espresso.  Finally, I cut a few pieces of cheesecloth and sprayed them with ink, let them dry, and then tied them onto the tag.  Tags are a great way to add a wonderful personal touch to your gifts!  I hope you like it!