Thursday, October 13, 2011

Crimped Background Thanksgiving Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Keep Going!
I've really been enjoying the P90X program!  Well, maybe "enjoying" is a strong word - it is a really tough workout!  Every time I finish a workout though, I feel really good about what I've just accomplished - it's a great feeling.  As you likely know by now, I travel a bit for work and it can be tricky to keep going with a regular workout or eating schedule.  But I'm doing it!  I have brought the dvd's with me on the road and since so little equipment is needed for the workouts, it's working for me so far.  It makes me realize, yet again, that when you are really committed to something you can keep going, even in the face of potential obstacles or roadblocks.  This lesson is true with our creativity as well - if you are really committed to expressing the creativity that lives inside of you, you will find the time to make it happen!  Just keep going!!!!!
Today's card began with my crimper and a piece of Soft Suede card stock.  I crimped the paper and then used the direct to paper technique to apply Whisper White craft ink.  I used the heat tool to speed up the drying process.  I then wrapped a piece of Victoria crochet trim around the piece and knotted it.  The panel was then attached to a Soft Suede card base with dimensionals.  I took a small cello bag (I think that's what they are called - it's the bakery type bag that you would put a cookie in - it's make of a wax paper) and ran it through the Big Shot with the Petals A Plenty embossing folder.  I then tore a piece of the bag and adhered it to the crimped layer using glue.  Next I stamped the leaf image from Lovely As A Tree with Early Espresso ink and colored it in with Stampin' Pastels.  I then cut it out and adhered it to the card using dimensionals.  The final piece was to add the greeting that was stamped from Teeny Tiny Wishes and punched out with the Modern Label punch.  I sponged the edges of the greeting, added a few adhesive pearls, and then adhered it to the card using dimensionals.  I hope you like it!Victoria crochet trim.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nature Walk & Fabulous Phrases Muslin Bookmark

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  You Don't Have To Know What You Are Doing!
As I was making this bookmark - particularly when it came time for sewing on the beads, I kept thinking to myself, "I have no idea what I'm doing!  I really don't know how to hand-sew, let alone sew on beads!"  My next thought, however, kept me going..."Who cares!  Just keep sewing and see what happens!"  And I did.  I'm not sure where I came to believe that unless I knew how to do something I shouldn't even bother trying - after all, how am I going to learn anything if I don't just try?  I know that there are some activities that might benefit from a little learning at the outset - I don't think I'd jump into the cockpit of an airplane and just give it a whirl if I didn't have a bit of a clue as to what I needed to do :)  However, most of the things I encounter in the craft room don't have the potential to crash and burn! :)  So just do it!  You don't have to know what you are doing!!!!!
Today's inspiration was my laundry :)  I'm serious!  I took my one-millionth dryer sheet out of the dryer and thought to myself, "there's gotta be something I can do with this as opposed to just throwing it away!"  I had also recently looked at the cover of the Jul/Aug/Sept 2011 issue of Somerset Life which featured Pillows & Pouches by Becky Shander that incorporated dryer sheets!  Off to the craft room I went!!!!  I began by die cutting a dryer sheet and a piece of muslin with the clear Circle die.  I then machine sewed them together using gold metallic thread.  I left an opening so that I could put in some small pieces of lace and some Confetti card stock stamped with words from the Fabulous Phrases stamp set.  I stamped the words using Marina Mist ink and sponged the edges before added them to the pouch.  I then finished machine sewing the pouch closed.  Next I stamped the bird from Nature Walk using Basic Black ink onto Sahara Sand card stock.  I cut him out and then covered him with versamark and clear embossing powder and heat embossed.  I did this step about 3 times.  I then, with a bit of pushing, sewed him onto the circle with the gold metallic thread (I should have used another foot on my sewing machine - it didn't like the thickness of the bird).  I made small cuts around the edge of the circle just to fray the edge a bit.  Next I tore a piece of muslin and then sewed a piece of Marina Mist seam binding to it using gold metallic thread.  I added a bit more stitching on the edges for embellishment and then sewed the circle to the bookmark in two places.  Finally, I got out a needle with the gold metallic thread and did some hand-sewing for the gold beads.  I hope you like it!  Remember, you don't have to know what you're doing :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Large Scale Creativity!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Take Your Creativity On A Large-Scale Experience!
I decided to share my latest large-scale creative experience with you today!  We have decided to paint the outside of our house - we figure it's cheaper than buying a new one :)  We want to give ourselves a bit of a home makeover - something fresh and cheerful.  So back and forth to the paint store we go...making our house into a bit of a color quilt with all of the sample colors!  This picture is after our latest paint color choices - we have already painted over a few of the "nope - can't live with a house that color!" colors :)  Today we started playing around with a few browner undertones, however I'm finding myself drawn to some of the yellow colors - something I would have found surprising had you asked me if I thought we would end up going in a yellow direction.  We are wanting to create an adobe-style look - maybe even with a bright blue or purple door!  It's fun...and a little frightening - to take your creativity on a large-scale experience!  Unlike a card or small canvas, which I can put aside if I decide it just didn't work - the house is a whole different story!  I'm hoping we'll find the color that speaks to our hearts and avoid the effort of having to repaint something that doesn't work!  Wish us luck!!!!!  I'll be sure to share our final choice and the "after" photos...although painting is going to take us a bit of time so you'll have to be patient ;)  How can you take your creativity on a large-scale experience?????  p.s. - that large window to the left of the ladder is the window to the craft room :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flower Folds and Paper Flowers Altered Tin Can

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Mozart did not compose, he copied.  He copied what was already written on his soul. - Marc Chagall
When I read this quote it really spoke to me; how art is so much about getting in touch with what is written on your soul.  On days that I struggle to create I feel it is because my soul is buried under so many layers of day-to-day trivialities - thoughts, fears, overloaded with external stimulus.  It is at these times that I need to become still - to allow space and time for quiet to settle in and for my soul to be visible again.  How do you get it touch with what is written on your soul?  If I just begin to create - to sit down in the craft room and just begin - no matter what is going on in my day - I often find that my soul will start to dig through the grit of everyday life and begin to breathe - begin to share with me what is written within.
Today's altered can began with some leftover paint on a brush :)  We are starting to play around with new paint colors for the exterior of our home and of course I couldn't let any of that paint on the brush go to waste!  So I ran inside and grabbed a can that I had sitting in the craft room and painted it with a base layer of the paint.  Once that dried I sponged on a few other colors - metallic acrylic paints.  After this second coat was dry I did a bit of sanding to give the can a distressed look and reveal some of the silver metal.  I then punched 2 holes in the can using my crop-a-dile (I love that it can punch through metal!!!!).  I thread wire through the holes and wrapped it to create the handle.  Next I made the "dreams" tag using the Loads of Tags sizzlit and the stamp from Fabulous Phrases and Cajun Craze ink.  I attached the tag to the can with wire after sponging it with metallic acrylic paint and Cajun Craze ink.  Next came the hot glue gun!  I used it to attach a variety of fabric and paper flowers that I had saved from projects over the past few months.  The base flowers were made using the Flower Folds die and some scrap fabric.  One of the flower centers was made using the Vintage Springtime fabric.  The other two flowers were made from card stock and designer paper.  A few adhesive pearls were added to complete the altered can.  I hope you like it :)  I think these cans are adorable as holders for special little house gifts - maybe a small plant or a bunch of fresh herbs from your garden! :)