Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lovely As A Tree Holiday Card

I have decided to not do Four Ways Friday this week and instead, share this card with you.  This past week began last Sunday like this...
I was away until Thursday night for work and I have to admit that I am officially pooped!  I have been sitting in the craft room today doing a bunch of organizing (and building a new cart that I bought at IKEA!) and for whatever reason, my creative mojo seems to be hiding out in the recesses of my being right now.  I was able to put together enough motivation to create this card for you...but that seems to be all the creative energy I can muster.  So I hope this will do and I hope you and my creative mojo will be back this coming week for a week's worth of projects and a new Four Ways Friday next Friday!!!!!  Today's card was so simple - just a piece of Naturals Ivory card stock that I stamped with the tree from Lovely As A Tree using Garden Green ink.  I then stamped the greeting from Sincere Salutations using Sahara Sand ink.  There is something very peaceful to me about this color combination.  The final touch was to add a bit of Dazzling Diamonds with the 2-way glue pen.  I hope you like it and I hope the rest of your weekend is peaceful, creative and filled with love and laughter!!!!!!

My On-Line Store Is Back Up!!!!

Just wanted to let you know that my on-line store is back up and running!  Yeah!!!  You can place your orders HERE!  Thanks for your patience!!!!

My Stampin' Up! Store Is Temporarily Off-Line

I just wanted to let you know that there are some technical issues with my Stampin' Up! on-line store and that on-line ordering is currently unavailable.  I have been informed by Stampin' Up! that it should be up and running within the next 24 hours.  Thank you so much for your patience!  I appreciate your business!!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

My Encaustic Journey - Part III

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Push Past The Dislike...Yummy Cupcake Sprinkles Await!
This is the third and final piece I created in my encaustic class last week.  It's funny how this piece came about.  I had completed my first two pieces and our time in the class was coming to a close.  I knew I didn't have a lot of time and yet I still wanted to try to get a third piece done.  So I began by trying to adhere this fortune from a fortune cookie to the panel using encaustic medium.  The minute the medium hit the fortune the paper became transparent and you could see the words on the back of the fortune (a definition of a Chinese word) start to peek through.  I pulled the fortune off - a bit frustrated - and wondered what to do next.  Victoria, our teacher, walked by and said something like "I kind of like the transparent look of the paper" and that helped me begin to push past my dislike.  I committed myself again to adhering the fortune to the panel so I dipped the fortune in the wax medium and positioned it on the panel.  I then started to create a box around the fortune and the encaustic paint and my hurrying turned into a frustrating combination!  We definitely weren't helping one another out!  So I took a deep breath and decided I just needed to loosen up and just start flinging encaustic paint.  I needed to stop being so purposeful and rushed and to just play - a decision that helped me push past the dislike of what I had been seeing unfold in front of me on the panel.  So I began to play!  I covered the fortune with a piece of painter's tape to protect it and then began going around the room and borrowing melted encaustic paint from other participants to add to my board.  Drip, drip, fling, spatter...with a bunch of fusing with the heat gun in between.  As the piece began to build I began to smile.  It started to remind me of candy or cupcake sprinkles!  Yummy!!!!  By the time I removed the painter's tape from the fortune, my dislike had turned to joy.  So next time you find yourself criticizing your art and feeling rushed, see if you can just loosen up and may end up with yummy cupcake sprinkles!!!! :)
Just a quick note...due to my schedule I will likely be posting Four Ways Friday on Saturday this week.  Thanks for your patience - I really appreciate it!!!  Have a beautiful tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Encaustic Journey - Part II

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Take Bold Steps!
Today I wanted to share with you the second piece I created in my encaustic class last week at Victoria Eubanks Studio.  Victoria had suggested we bring bits of ephemera and scraps of paper/fibers/knick-knacks with us to the workshop.  I did a bit of scavenging in my craft room prior to heading to the class and grabbed a Polaroid photo of our house, some polymer clay tiles I had made, some dictionary pages, and some odds and ends.  I began this second encaustic piece with a piece of mdf board.  I glued down a piece of dictionary page and then asked if adhering a photo would work.  I was told it would and was asked if I wanted to use the original photo or make a black & white photo copy of it.  I had taken this picture with a Polaroid camera that I purchased off of ebay.  It was my first successful Polaroid (I tried to take a picture before reading the directions and the first picture didn't come out - after reading the directions this second photo worked perfectly...lesson learned :)  The picture is of the back of our house as we began our house-painting project.  I decided to take a bold step and believe that whatever I would do with the photo it would somehow work out.  So, rather than photocopy or preserve the photo in some way, I just went for it!!!!  I had to scratch the photo up with sandpaper in order to give it some "tooth" for the wax to grab onto.  Then I added glue to the back of the photo and adhered it to the board and then, once the glue dried, on went the first layer of encaustic medium!  The photo stayed clear and the piece was then built from there!  I'm not sure what will happen over time to the photo - it may fade over the years even though it is encased in the medium.  No matter what happens, this piece will always be a reminder to me - not just of the effort and enjoyment of painting the house, but also of always having the courage to take bold steps!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

My Encaustic Adventure - Part I

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Don't Assume It Won't Work.  Just Try It!!!!
I took an amazing encaustic class last week given by Victoria Eubanks here in Denver.  I highly recommend it!!!!!  It was an all-day creative session - from 9-4 - and Victoria shared her passion and knowledge in a patient and inspiring way!!!!!  What a great teacher!!!!!!  Over the next few days I want to share with you the three pieces I created that day.  This piece began with lots of questions - could I stamp on tissue paper and embed that in the wax?  Could I incorporate broken pieces of a vintage Christmas ornament?  What would happen if I colored the stamped image with colored pencils and then embedded it?  For some of my questions Victoria had immediate responses based on her experience.  For others she said, I haven't ever tried it, let's see what happens!  I loved the opportunity to just try things and to see what would happen!  It seemed easy for me to apply this attitude since this was a medium I had never explored and I was curious.  I think the more familiar you are with working with supplies, it can be a bit more challenging to keep this open mindset.  Shunryu Suzuki said that In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.  May we all learn to approach our art with the beginner's mind - believing that there are many possibilities waiting to be discovered!
For this encaustic piece I began with a piece of mdf board that I covered with kraft tissue paper that I stamped with the retired Stippled Butterfly stamp using Staz-On ink.  I then stamped the image again on another piece of kraft tissue paper and colored it in with colored pencils.  I applied a few layers of encaustic medium and encaustic paint and then added the colored butterfly.  I then added an additional layer of encaustic medium and the drips of green encaustic paint.  Finally I embedded the small pieces of broken vintage glass Christmas ornament.  This was my first encaustic piece ever and I loved the journey!!!!  Thank you Victoria!!!!

Monday, December 05, 2011

2-Step Bird Punch Stencil

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It's A Beautiful Day If You Think It Is!
On Saturday it was snowing - Buddy's favorite weather!  We decided to go out for a morning walk and the snow was about 5 inches deep and still coming down.  It was peaceful and quiet - very few cars driving around the neighborhood so early on a Saturday morning.  We finally came upon one man walking his dog - a small husky named Kona.  Buddy and Kona said hello and the man turned to me and said, "Beautiful day, isn't it!"  It was a statement - not really a question.  I agreed that it was gorgeous out and then, as Buddy and I went on our way, I began to think about the day and how there were likely people out there who would not have agreed with us.  For some, Saturday's weather would have seemed inconvenient - maybe even downright miserable!  Not for us.  It is a beautiful day is you think it is!  It matters not what others might think about the day...or so much more for that matter.  It is beautiful - if that's what you think!
Today's card began with the idea of using the 2-step bird punch as a stencil and combining that with a stamp.  I began by punching the bird out of a piece of scrap paper and adhering it to the Whisper White card stock with drafting tape.
Next I took a flourish stamp from the Tiny Tags stamp set and stamped it again and again with Crumb Cake ink.
I then repeated the same stamping using Chocolate Chip ink.
And finally Early Espresso ink.
When I went to remove the drafting tape things didn't go as planned.  The tape pulled up some of the card stock.  But I decided to just go with it!  So I masked off the bird and grabbed some Blushing Bride ink and began sponging all over the card.  Next I took a Crumb Cake marker and placed it in the color spritzer tool and did a bit of spritzing!  I removed the mask and began to build the nest with punched out branches from the 2-step bird punch.  The greeting was the next to be added - a word from Fabulous Phrases stamped using Early Espresso ink.  I felt the card needed a bit more color so I cut off the bottom and then cut a piece of Rose Red card stock.  I ran the Rose Red panel through the Big Shot with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder.  I then used the scallop edge punch to scallop the card before adhering the Rose Red panel to the underside of the front of the card with glue.  It was fun to let the drafting tape take me in a new direction :)  I hope you like it!