Friday, September 20, 2013

Altered Journal

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  The Tension Doesn't Help You Progress
I have been enjoying swimming lately.  I have taken some private lessons and now I participate in a group swim session when I am in town.  This week while I was swimming my coach offered me a piece of advice, "Relax your hands.  You can move through the water just as effectively if you just relax."  I hadn't even realized how tightly I was cupping my hands as I swam, pulling through the water.  When I relaxed my hands I became aware of how much of that tension hadn't stopped with my hands.  Holding my hands so tightly had caused me to tense my shoulders and my arms.  It felt so freeing to just let it all relax.  Such a simple piece of advice with such a huge impact.  The same is true with our art.  Our tension of not knowing how to start or what to make or whether or not it will be good enough can hold us back.  Relax the tension and allow yourself to progress.
I seem to be developing a habit of stopping in a store called Mosaic at the Denver Airport when I travel for work.  The habit is to purchase some type of creative book - my gift to myself for going on the road :)  On my last trip I purchased the book Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor.  I'm not through the entire book yet, but I was intrigued by a project she shares at the beginning of the book - a Book of Dreams journal.  What I was most intrigued by were the instructions for how to alter the spiral bound book.  Lucky for me I often come across free spiral-bound notebooks that are presented to participants at conferences.  Books that would otherwise be thrown away if there are more books than participants.  How fortuitous that on the same trip that I bought the book, I was also able to pick up a blank journal!  Or maybe not fortuitous at all...just the Universe working its magic :)  So I decided to try altering the journal and here is the result!  I'm quite pleased with it for my first try - a mix of painting, alcohol inks, metal embossing, trial and error and fun :)  Now the only question is what will I fill it with????

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to Doris and Cindy for leaving comments on my project over at Craft Project Central!  Doris, you are the winner for the free subscription to the month of September!  Congratulations!!!!  I will be reaching out to you directly to provide more information on how to claim your prize!  Cindy, feel free to head on over the Craft Project Central and join in the Sketch Challenge for this month for another chance to win.  You can also visit my blog again next month for a chance to win a free subscription to the month of October!  Thanks for participating!!!!!

Best of Halloween Treats by Regina Andari

Soon it will be time to create treats for those special little goblins in your life and, surely, one of these will suffice.  You might just need a festive card or a small test tube, but the decked out bag or box in this ensemble will hold plenty of goodies!  You’ll love the fact that any or all of these festive packages will leave you with plenty of time to select the perfect treats to put in them!  These adorable treats were created by Regina Andari.  You can find out more about Regina on her blog HERE!  To get full instructions for these great treats, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of September! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mixed Media Stitched Square

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  At Least I Try
Today I am sharing a mixed media stitched square that I created for a reader challenge in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.  It is the second thing I've submitted to the magazine and I'm still trying to one day see one of my pieces of art in the magazine.  I'm not sure why I have set getting published in that magazine as a goal, but somewhere along the line I thought it would be kind of cool since I've been reading the magazine for years.  When the finalists for this challenge were posted on Monday, I was disappointed that my name was not on the list.  It is disappointing when you put your heart and soul into a piece of art and it doesn't get the recognition that you would like.  I imagine this is a tiny insight into what some amazing artists have experienced - not being able to really reach or communicate to others what you are trying to express.  Yes, just a very small taste of that experience.  And, I could let it get me down...BUT I'M NOT GOING TO! :)  I figure I can reach out and share it with all of you (or one of you...depending on who ends up reading this post :)  And, I can at least take comfort in knowing that at least I try.  At least I am trying to express what is inside of me and put it out there in the hopes that it will touch someone else.
This project began with a photo of a dahlia that was growing in our backyard this year.  I then took the photo and created a hand-cut stencil from it.  I used photosensitive paints and sun printed the muslin fabric.  Next, I used the same stencil as a template to cut dictionary definitions that focused on the idea of growth.  The pieces were adhered to the fabric and then I machine stitched, hand stitched, beaded and added pencil lines before adding backing fabric and sewed it all together.  I put a lot of love into it and I hope you can feel that :)  I hope in some way this piece helps you grow as it did me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

L'Chayim Bar Mitzvah Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Need A Community
The group at the park.  Our neighbors.  My friends that I've met from far and wide on the internet.  What I realize is that I need a community - the ability to feel a part of something greater than myself.  I do enjoy my alone time - probably more than the average person.  I seem to be most at home in the quiet, surrounded by nature and the amazing creatures that are sharing their lives with me.  And yet, even in the midst of my greatest peace, I recognize the need to connect with others.  As Colorado deals with the incredible flooding that has befallen the state in the past week, I am also amazed at the power of community - the ability of people to work together to get through whatever they encounter.  Yes, I need a community.
Today's card was in response to a request to make a Bar Mitzvah card.  I turned to a great stand-by retired stamp set, L'Chayim, to create the card.  The torah image was stamped onto Pacific Point card stock with VersaMark and then heat embossed using silver embossing powder.  The sentiment was stamped using Pacific Point ink onto Whisper White card stock.  The card was created by layering Pacific Point, Smoky Slate and Whisper White.  Did you notice the Square Lattice embossing folder that I used to emboss the background piece of Pacific Point card stock?  I love the added texture! :)  I hope you like it! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Halloween Party Ensemble by Amanda Corbet

This spooky Halloween Party Ensemble was created by Amanda Corbet.  You can find out more about Amanda on her blog HERE!  Get ready for a spooky Halloween party with this fun set! Complete with invitation, food labels for your treats table, party favor bag, luminary, and a decorated jar full of treats. You will be all set to surprise and scare your guests! Also, you’ll learn fun new ways to use the Card Base Pop’n Cuts die to make these projects!  To get full instructions for this fun project, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of September!  Or, you still have time to head on over the Craft Project Central and comment on my Book Worm Set Project from earlier this month to be entered for a chance to win a free subscription to the month of September!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

We Are OK

Thanks to those of you who have reached out to ask if we are doing okay with all of the flooding in Colorado.  We are doing fine, although there are many people here who aren't as fortunate. Please send your thoughts and prayers their way!  Buddy has been quite soggy for the past few days!