Friday, July 20, 2012

Four Ways Friday #95 - Apothecary Art

I am typing this week's Four Ways Friday against the backdrop of the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado very early this morning.  I woke to reading the news on-line and a wave of mixed emotions washed over me - anger, sadness, frustration.  My heart and prayers go out to each and every one of us who are touched in some way by this senseless tragedy and I pray for peace, comfort and healing.
For this week's Four Ways Friday I decided to focus on the Apothecary Art stamp set.  This set coordinates beautifully with the Labels Collection framelits and it also does fine all by itself!
For the first card I decided to do a bit of stamping...with a bit of a twist :)  Before I began stamping anything, I took a standard envelope and used a labels framelit to cut a hole in the front of the envelope!  I then inserted a Sahara Sand card base into the envelope and used the cut out hole as a guide to stamp the Apothecary Art image onto the card front.  Next I sewed a few embellishments (Comfort Cafe dsp and a bit of fabric) onto the card and added a button strung with linen thread.  Next came a greeting from Apothecary Art that I stamped with Midnight Muse and punched with an oval punch.  I used the color spritzer tool and a Sahara Sand marker to add a dash of color to the envelope and card.  Here is what the card looks like in the envelope:
For this second card, I stamped the image from Apothecary Art using Primrose Petals at half strength.  I also stamped the image using Raspberry Ripple at full strength.  Both were then die cut using a label framelit.  I then punched the center out of the Raspberry Ripple stamped image using my 1" circle punch.  The center was popped up onto the Primrose Petals stamped and die cut piece.  I added a bit of Dazzling Details to the flowers.  Finally, I took the remaining scrap piece from the Raspberry Ripple stamped and die cut image and cut off the ends.  I then used a dab of glue and glued the ends under the Primrose Petal focal piece.  The card base is Naturals Ivory.
Always remember that you don't have to ink up an entire stamp!  For this card I just inked up the floral wreath with my Versamark marker and then stamped the image and heat embossed with gold embossing powder.  I used my aqua painter with some inks to color in the flowers.  Next I embossed some brushed gold card stock using the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder and then cut the card stock into a banner.  The greeting from Teeny Tiny Wishes was then stamped and cut into a banner as well.  A little crochet trim completes the card.
This next project was a bit difficult to take a picture of - sorry about that!  I decided to stamp the image from Apothecary Art onto aluminum tooling foil using Staz-On and then die cut the image using the labels framelits (yes, you can cut through certain gauges of tooling foil with the framelits!).  I then used the crop-a-dile to add small eyelets on the ends and threaded some taffeta ribbon through the eyelets.  I stamped the greeting from Just Believe with Staz-On and then added some Dazzling Details to the flowers.  Here is a close up of this wine bottle tag:
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Four Ways Friday!  Thanks so much for stopping by!!!!  I wish you a wonderful, peaceful, creative weekend surrounded by those that you love!!!!!

A Small Delay :)

Thanks for stopping by!  I am working on Four Ways Friday and will do my best to get it posted by later today...tomorrow at the latest!  See you soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Furry Folk and Everyday Flexible Phrases

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It's Fun To Be On The Receiving End Of A Random Act Of Kindness!
My neighbor needed to borrow my car the other day.  My poor is so neglected.  I bought my car back in 1998 and it has made it through thick and thin with me :)  I find that I rarely drive my car - between all of my work travel and being a bit of a home body...along with the fact that Michael invites me to use his car whenever he's home and I need to run some errands - my poor car just sits in the driveway and gets rained on my the evergreen trees and the birds (actually, I wish it were rain :)  So, inevitably, when I finally do go to use my car, she is covered in a mix of bird droppings, sap, dust and pine needles.  Well, this was the state of my car when my neighbor asked to borrow it.  I quickly rinsed the car to remove the surface dirt and off she went.  Well!!!  When she returned my car looked liked a shining beacon of roadworthiness! :)  As part of her errand running, she decided to surprise me and took the car to a car wash!  What a wonderful surprise!!!!!  It really is fun to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness :)  Now I need to figure out a way to pass it on :)
For this week's Throwback Thursday I decided to mix a bit of the old with a bit of the new :)  The Comfort Cafe designer paper provides the backdrop for the stamping.  The flower is from Furry Folk and, I believe, the word is from Everyday Flexible Phrases.  I created the card along with an accompanying matchbook notepad.  The flowers were colored in using my aqua painter and I added a bit of Dazzling Details to add some shimmer :)  I hope you like them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Out On A Whim Wednesday: Water For The Bees!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Build It And They Will Come!
Record heat seems to be plaguing quite a bit of the United States this Summer.  It's not just the humans that feel the impact of the heat - Nature is feeling her share too.  The birds and bees are on the lookout for water in these conditions.  So, we went out on a whim, and decided to see if we could construct a few more watering holes for them :)  We already have a few birdbaths and originally thought this newest addition would provide more water for the birds.  What we hadn't thought about was that the bees need the water as much as the birds do and this bath has turned into the popular place for the bees to come and gather water for their hive!  We put this birdbath together quickly - we placed a pot upside down, placed a large pottery dish on top and then added some water and a few river stones!  The bees seem to really appreciate the rocks and the shallow sides of the dish.  The dry sides and the stones give them a safe place to land and hang out while they drink in the water - otherwise they would risk drowning.  Watching the bees and all of their water gathering efforts has led us to do some research - reading parts of the book The ABC's and XYZ's of Bees - which is an amazing encyclopedia about all things bees! :)  We figure if we keep taking care of the bees, they'll keep taking care of our garden :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Acrylic Block Color Wash Nature Walk Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room: A Step Away Can Save Your Day
I knew I would wax poetic one day :)  I was having a bit of an "off" day.  I was a few notches grouchier than Oscar the Grouch - yup, pretty grouchy.  I walked with Buddy, watched a stage of the Tour de France on tv, ate some chocolate, tried to think happy thoughts - nothing was working.  Finally I decided I needed to step away from the couch and from what I was trying to do and do something else.  (Maybe I should note that what I was working on was that darn Stampin' Up! order that seems to be haunting me - the struggle between wanting more and the strong desire to live with less and use what I have.  I feel bad that "darn" and "Stampin' Up!" are even in the same sentence since it usually provides me so much joy!).  I suggested a bike ride to Michael - I just needed to get outside and participate in an activity that I enjoy and that takes quite a bit of concentration.  And it was PERFECT!!!!!  The ride itself was incredibly enjoyable - cloudy skies, touring through a local park, admiring gardens in bloom.  By the time we got home my day was "saved!"  It's amazing how much a "step away" can really save your day.  If you're feeling like Oscar the Grouch, what "step away" can you take to change your day????
Today's card was made using the acrylic block color wash technique that I shared a few weeks ago.  I combined Wisteria Wonder, Marina Mist and Pretty In Pink on the acrylic block before spritzing it with water and pressing the Very Vanilla card stock against the ink.  I stamped the images from the Nature Walk stamp set using black ink and then added the sentiment from Loving Thoughts.  The panel edges were sponged with Crumb Cake ink and then I color spritzed the card and panel with Soft Suede and Crumb Cake ink.  I hope you like it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Embossed Tissue Paper Tape: A Video!!!!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  What You Are Doing Right Now Is Addicting
I read an interesting article in the latest edition of Newsweek and it is a bit ironic that I am sharing the article with you here...on the internet.  It came as no surprise to me, as I read the article Is The Onslaught Making Us Crazy? by Tony Dokoupil, to learn that research is now indicating that our internet use leads to "behavior that people are conscious is not in their best interest and does leave them anxious and does make them act compulsively."  The article goes on to say that "the digital connection to depression and anxiety was also once a near laughable assertion" and that now numerous studies are finding that "the more a person hangs out in the global village (internet), the worse they are likely to feel" and that "Web use often displaces sleep, exercise, and face-to-face exchanges, all of which can upset even the chirpiest soul."  I'm not sure if you've noticed any impact of your internet use in your own life.  I know I have.  I notice the urge to run to check my inbox, my blog, my YouTube channel.  The urge to move from page to page on the Internet.  I notice that the urge rears its ugly head frequently during the course of a day...or even an hour!  It is not the technology itself that is the problem - it is about the boundaries we set in using it.  So I am determined to begin with making myself aware of the urges and then beginning to dial back on my actual time on-line.  I am hoping to figure out a schedule where I can do all my weekly posts in one sitting and designate a certain block of time for each day where I will do my searches, respond to email, and interact with "the Net."  Recognize that the behavior of being on-line is addicting.  Peter Whybrow, the director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, was quoted in the article as saying, "the computer is like electronic cocaine," fueling cycles of mania followed by depressive stretches.  I don't know about you, but that is not a cycle I want to be a part of!  So, please, be aware of how reliant you are on your technology.  While I so enjoy your stopping by and enjoying my blog, I would enjoy it a lot more if I knew you were visiting as part of a conscious and structured plan for maintaining a healthy relationship between you and your computer :)
I had a lot of fun creating some of my own tissue paper tape for today's project!  Here is a video to show you how!!!!  Enjoy :)