Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Born From Color Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Begin With A Blob
Yes, you heard me right.  Begin with a blob!  If you are sitting there thinking, "I can't paint" or "I'm not creative," all I'm asking you to do is create a blob and go where it takes you.  Our friend Mario is an amazing artist and he has told me stories about his childhood.  One of his precious memories is about being on his kitchen floor - a laminate that looked liked marble - and his mother saying to him, "Find the horse Mario!"  So he would sit there, looking at the veins of fake marble pattern on the floor and he would find the horse - the places where the darker veins of color would somehow come together and form the shape of a horse.  She would have him find other animals and objects in the random patterns of the veins on the floor.  This page was like that for me.  I began with blobs of paint and blew them around with a straw.  Once they were dry I just looked at the patterns...and found this woman!  I created this page for Paper Crafter's Library.  If you would like to see videos with my full step-by-step process for creating this page, head over to Paper Crafter's Library by clicking on the badge in the upper right-hand corner of my blog and sign up to become a Paper Crafter's Library member!  Whether you choose to sign up or not, I encourage you to begin with a blob!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Floral Purse Card Set – December Bonus Project! – Christy Fulk

Floral Purse Card Set – December Bonus Project! by Christy Fulk.
This beautiful purse has a set of six cards with envelopes inside. There are two card designs, and they are both made with the Beautiful Bunch stamp set, Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack, and Fun Frames Textured Impressions Embossing Folders to coordinate with the purse. The purse is made with Coaster Board, and there are two pockets inside to hold three of each card design and envelopes. This would make a wonderful gift and a great card class.

Bonus projects can be obtained by subscribing to two or more months in a row at Craft Project Central, putting the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or by referring a friend and when they subscribe, letting Craft Project Central know.  Head on over to Craft Project Central to learn more!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Elegant Greeting Card Set & Box! – Monika Davis

Elegant Greeting Card Set & Box! by Monika Davis.
Nothing makes a better present than a set of handmade greeting cards. Make this elegant card set showcasing four different lay-outs, using the same stamp sets and same colors. Learn how to make your own striped paper using a stencil. The cards come in an envelope style box with its own decorative band. Great for a stamp camp, or as a class project.  For full step-by-step instructions, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!!!!!

Today I wanted to wish all of those who will be celebrating the holiday of Christmas a very HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!!!!  As I think about the coming year, this picture seemed quite fitting.  It is part of a piece of canvas that I painted - colors, details, depth.  May the coming year be filled with color.  May you find happiness and love in the details.  And may you experience every moment with depth and gratitude.  I will be spending some quiet time reflecting and creating over the holiday!  I hope you have a precious, peaceful and love-filled rest of your week!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spiral Flowers & Polka Dots! – Boni Montano

Spiral Flowers & Polka Dots! by Boni Montano.
This project uses an embroidery hoop to make a fun and easy work of art for your home. The coordinating card has a matching envelope with a unique twist on your “average” envelope. This trendy piece of art will put a smile on anybody’s face. It is so easy to make you will want to make two so you can keep one for yourself!  For full step-by-step instructions, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Simply Pressed Clay Ornament Tree

This Ornament Tree is my December project for Craft Project Central.
What if you had a tree base that you could decorate all year round?  This project features a unique and beautiful handmade sculpted tree.  In this tutorial you will learn how to create an armature using upcycled cardboard.  You will also learn how to color your Simply Pressed Clay to create realistic color for your tree. The set also includes instructions for four different types of mini ornaments you can decorate your tree with.  You might even choose to make customized ornaments for holidays throughout the year and change the look of your tree with the changing seasons.  Of course there are also instructions for a coordinating gift card so that you can gift these trees to friends and family for the holiday season.   You might even choose to spend an afternoon or evening making ornaments with them! Head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December for full step-by-step instructions!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Handmade Menorah Stencil Hanukkah Card

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  What If You Made It Yourself?
I wanted to make some Hanukkah cards for family and friends and didn't have a stamp that I liked.  So I sat and wondered what to do and decided I would try making my own stencil :)  I wanted to draw the menorah image freehand - instead of using a photograph that had perfect lines and dimensions.  I drew the image on a scrap piece of paper with pencil and then went over it with a Sharpie marker.  I then taped it to the back of a piece of stencil film and used a stencil cutter to cut out the image.  I then decided I needed some flames (they weren't included in the first stencil), so I cut a separate stencil for the candle flames.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out!  I love the idea that the card is unique and that each one I create will be a little different depending on how I apply the ink (or paint...I could make little napkins and other home decor pieces using the same stencil)!  Next time you don't have an image that you would like ask yourself, "What if I made it myself?"  Wishing a very Happy Hanukkah to those of you celebrating this special holiday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Tote"ally Terrific Golden Card Trio Gift Set! – Carol Lovenstein

"Tote"ally Terrific Golden Card Trio Gift Set by Carol Lovenstein:
Who doesn't love a fashionable tote?  Just in time for the new year, this project features an elegant tote and three sophisticated cards, all featuring gold accents & embellishments.  Think Watercolor Wonder Washi Tape, Gold Foil sheets, Gold Glimmer papers, Gold Brushed cardstock, Gold Fancy Foil Designer Vellum, gold heat embossing, Gold Glitter, and Baked Brown Sugar Classic Stampin' Ink Pad for a faux gold look.  This tutorial will show you step-by-step how to coordinate all these wonderful products together for an amazing, perfectly finished look.  This project is easy to assemble but looks like you spent hours on it.  It's a perfect New Year's gift for that stylish and chic friend on your list!  Head on over to Craft Project Central for all the details and subscribe to the month of December!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where Is She Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Art Is A Means Of Finding Yourself
I am finally home for the year - no more planes, no more hotel rooms, time to slow down.  I turn to my art to turn within.  To burrow deep within myself to find what is there.  Maybe this piece is the beginning of my journey within.  The weather will become colder.  The snow will fall.  The heat will warm me inside and I will burrow.  Not with my mind - my rational thoughts.  I will burrow with color, shape, form, texture.  Art is a means of finding yourself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monogrammed Note Cards Gift Set by Yapha Mason


This Monogrammed Note Cards Gift Set by Yapha Mason makes a wonderful gift for teachers, college students, and anyone else who might enjoy sending a personalized note. The handsome display case holds six single-sided note cards plus six folded note cards, for a total of twelve cards in three different designs. Wrapped in cellophane and finished with a tag, the completed project is ready for gift giving. This monogrammed gift pack is great for a stamp camp, a class, or making a gift for a friend.  Get the full step-by-step instructions for this wonderful project by heading over to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of December!

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Believe I Can Fly Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Find Your Inspiration In Everyday Things
I think we sometimes believe we have to have some type of outrageous travel experience or life experience in order to find inspiration.  What is revealing itself to me is that seeing what we pass everyday - actually seeing it - meditating on it - taking it in - is a way to have an outrageous life experience!  Take a walk and being present is a spectacular travel experience.  Because there...right in front of you...is inspiration knocking!  Those feathers you pass that have been left behind by a bird.  The leaves that have fallen.  The blooms that are opening, then closing, then dying.  All of it...inspiration.
Today's art journal page was inspired by some feathers I picked up in the backyard.  I created the page for Paper Crafter's Library and you can see my full step-by-step process by heading over to Paper Crafter's Library using the badge in the upper right-hand corner of my blog and signing up to be a member.  Come join me on my art journal journey!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gold & Silver New Year Party Ensemble by Julie Warnick

You will be ready to celebrate the New Year in style with this classic Gold and Silver New Year Party Ensemble by Julie Warnick! This fun and festive set features a banner, party hat, party blowers and a card/invitation! The banner will look fabulous hanging in your home anywhere you want to add some sparkle! You can create the decorative bottom edges of the banner pieces using the Labels Collection Framelits. The party hat can either be worn or used as a focal point in a centerpiece. And don’t forget party blowers! You can make them yourself to coordinate beautifully with your party d├ęcor. They are simple to put together and make any event a celebration! For the finishing touch, the matching card is perfect for invitations for your friends and family to come and ring in the New Year!  For full step-by-step instructions head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cookies In The Kitchen

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Take Your Creativity Into The Kitchen!
Sometimes I crave something sweet.  Usually I don't eat a lot of sweets, but when that craving comes it needs to be satisfied :)  I eat a vegan, gluten-free diet, so I need to get creative when I bake!  These cookies have no eggs, dairy or wheat!  I made them with ingredients that would meet my needs including garbanzo bean flour and quinoa flour, some applesauce, a bit of banana, vanilla, dark chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.  They have a touch of added raw sugar - an ingredient I have reduced each time I make the cookies and they still taste wonderful!  Sometimes it is a lot of fun to take your creativity into the kitchen...and then into your tummy :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Watercolor Play

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Follow The Art Impulse!
I was on a work trip earlier this week and had an opportunity to go to a contemporary art museum and take in some art and inspiration!  One of the paintings that drew me in was by Mark Rothko and it had a combination of colors that spoke to me - orange, grey, a touch of red and black.  It spoke to me so deeply that I just HAD to make some art...but I was ill-prepared.  I had my usual little kit with me - some black markers, washi tape, a glue stick and scissors.  But I wanted color!  I guess I could have found some magazines or paper to cut up that included the respective colors, but somehow the urge took over to be able to brush pigment onto paper.  Next stop?  The museum gift shop!  I went straight to the section in the back that was for kids...after all, the kid in me wanted to play!  And there they were - smiling at me - a set of watercolors, brush included - for $8!  Nirvana!  I bought that set and went straight back to my hotel room.  I filled up a glass with water and opened my new set and off I went in my small sketch book!  Follow the art impulse!  Let it take over!  Find the colors you need!  You will be glad you did :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow Day Party by Buffy Cooper

Unless you live near the equator – or Florida – you’re going to have snow in the winter.  It’s inevitable, so you might as well enjoy it and have a party with this Snow Day Party set by Buffy Cooper!  Here are some fun – and “out of the box” - ways to use the Gift Box Punch Board and All Is Calm suite from the 2014 Stampin’ Up! Holiday catalog to make party favor boxes and a basket of snow party refreshments.  Add a fun invitation and a sparkly snow banner using the Build a Banner Simply Created Kit, and you’ll have the best party ever.  If you live in an area that doesn’t get much snow, or your party is in the spring or summer, it’s easy to switch it to a “no snow” or beach party just by changing the designer series paper and colors.  To see the entire project and to get full step-by-step instructions, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #17

Today's lesson from the craft room: Experiment!
This mini collage started with a new little jar of paint that I bought at the art store the other day - Pebeo prisme paint - I just had to try it out! Sometimes you can be inspired by one little blob of paint that looks like a moon or a planet or something you've never seen. Show up and experiment!

Mini-Collage Challenge #16

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It's All About Losing Myself
My mind was full of twisted wires.  Crissing and crossing.  Confusing.  I needed a break.  I could have gone for a swim.  Could have taken a nap.  But what I was led to do was to head into the craft room.  A place where I can lose myself.  Where my thoughts turn from twistedness to serenity.  Where my focus turns to what color to apply.  What tool to use.  And everything else melts away.  There are days when I question why I create.  Today I knew the answer.  It was all about losing myself in the process.
This is the next mini-collage in my 2" x 2" mini-collage challenge that I have set for myself.  I began by experimenting with a thin layer of crackle paste - it didn't quite crackle.  The layer was too thin.  But it created a nice "toothy" surface to work on.  So I stamped and colored in with some metallic Sharpie markers and found some suitable words in a book I've been cutting up.  As always, the perfect message always appears.  If I lose myself and allow the process to take over.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Under the Tree Window Treat Box & Money Holder by Laurie Zoellmer

Fill this festive Under the Tree Window Treat Box & Money Holder by Laurie Zoellmer with your favorite goodies for the perfect gift!  These boxes are easy to make, but sure to impress – and the window in the front adds just the right touch!  The coordinating money holder makes this ensemble the perfect gift for anyone on your list!  Head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of December for full step-by-step instructions!

Friday, December 05, 2014

It's Not Who You Are Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Being truly happy depends upon living close to the pattern woven in the soul.  - Michael Meade
Uncovering the pattern that is woven in my soul.  That is my true journey.  When I make art I feel very close to that pattern - even if I haven't fully uncovered what that pattern is.  Or it's quite possible I have uncovered the pattern...if I'm being honest with myself.  I know what the pattern is.  I know creativity is woven into that pattern - expression, art, sharing.  Yet I find myself afraid to live that pattern.  So maybe the true journey is to allow myself to continue to live closer to the pattern I know is woven in my soul.
Today I am sharing an art journal page I created for Paper Crafter's Library.  I had a ton of fun creating the background!  To see the full step-by-step videos on how I created this page, head on over to Paper Crafter's Library using the badge in the upper right-hand corner of my blog and consider becoming a member.  I would love to have you follow my art journal journey with me!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

All Is Calm Desk Accessories Gift Set by Julie Beltramo

Get ready for the New Year by organizing your desk in fashion with this All Is Calm Desk Accessories Gift Set by Julie Beltramo!  This compact and practical Calendar Easel sits atop a secret pull out drawer to store your note cards. Plus it folds flat if you needed to stow it away. The coordinating Pen Cup is an easy up-cycling project that is super fun to make! And when you buy the tutorial, you’ll see the super sweet and simple card that will make this the perfect gift set to give!  Get all the details and step-by-step instructions by subscribing to the month of December over at Craft Project Central.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Mini-Collage #15

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Create Your Art.  It Will Inspire.
I was on the plane last month.  Coming home from a family visit to Atlanta.  In my zippered bag were my usual supplies, but I also had a map and a hang tag from the rental car.  I began by cutting the map into different sized circles.  I made some cuts into the circles and glued them all together.  I added a touch of water in my hand and did a bit of crumpling.  As it dried it reminded me of a bird's nest.  So I cut out the bird from the hang tag and made some blue eggs with some washi tape.  I cut out the message from the map - a message I would not have noticed had I not gone looking for it :)  I then glued the whole thing down to my 2" x 2" piece of watercolor paper as part of my 2" x 2" mini-collage challenge.  This was the first time I took my challenge to a 3-D level!  Who knows where this new advancement will take me next!
Then I realized the only way to transport my mini-collage safely when I landed in Denver was to carry it in my hand to the car.  As I boarded the train to the main terminal I was standing next to a woman who immediately asked me what was in my hand!  I shared the collage with her and she asked, "Are you and artist?"  To which I proudly responded, "Yes!"  She said that she felt she was missing the cells for creativity and I told her that I felt she had creativity inside of her - she just needed to be willing to risk making some ugly things and her creativity would find its way out!  Another woman overheard us talking and she looked at my mini-collage too.  She said that I had just inspired her to use her extra time in a new way.  She used to draw and this tiny collage inspired her to commit to begin drawing again!  Create your art.  It will inspire.  It will inspire someone, somewhere - in ways you may not even realize!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #14

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Out of limitation comes limitlessness!
I travel with a little zippered bag filled with a variety of pens, a blunt-end scissor, a glue stick, some 2" x 2" watercolor paper squares and some rolls of washi tape.  It's a limited mix of supplies and I tend to supplement with bits of paper ephemera I pick up during my trips (ticket stubs, receipts, wrappers).  I have had the same few rolls of washi tape in the bag for about a month now and I was just thinking about switching out  the colors - which I might very well do...and, at the same time, limiting myself to the supplies I currently have in my little zippered pouch is allowing me to realize how limitless having limitations can be!  Even though I keep working with the same supplies, those same supplies continue to lead me in different directions!  This collage has quite a few built up layers - tape on tape on tape.  Doodles on doodles on doodles.  Quite different from the small landscape I made with the same supplies just a few days ago.  Yes, out of limitation comes limitless.  Maybe that will be my next challenge...to limit myself to a few supplies and see what I can do with just those supplies in a week...a month...or possibly longer!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Monthly Memories Album by Regina Andari

Let’s face it . . . not every stamper is a scrapbooker, but we all have dates, events, activities, milestones, etc. that we’d like to record and remember.  This Monthly Memories Album by Regina Andari, which can stand on its own, is comprised of pockets—one for each month—with at least one card in each pocket to record (with journaling and/or photos) special events.  Of course, photos and mementos can be included or attached to the front (and/or back) of each pocket.  The whole family can be involved recording a memory about something special for each month!  The handy gift bag features a really neat way to make sure the card doesn’t get lost or separated from the gift and, of course, there’s a gift box for the album!  This is an especially perfect gift for a New Year’s party hostess, or host your own party and give this ensemble to each of your guests!
See the full project and get the step-by-step instructions by heading over to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of December!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gift Bow Christmas Creations - November Bonus Project by Christy Fulk

These Gift Bow Christmas Creations are the November Bonus Project for Craft Project Central and were created by Christy Fulk.  It’s time to create all of those cute Christmas projects you need to make! Be sure to add these three projects to your list! All three are made using the Gift Bow Bigz L Die. The cute snowman makes a great decoration for any room, the angel ornament is perfect for any tree, and everyone would love to get a treat in this cute Santa box. These projects can be made quickly, so you can make them for all of your friends and family. Don’t forget to make one for yourself, too! This would also make a great Christmas, product-based class.

Craft Project Central Bonus projects can be obtained by subscribing to two or more months in a row, putting the Craft Project Central badge on your blog, or by referring a friend and when they subscribe, letting Craft Project Central know.  Head on over to Craft Project Central for more details!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #13

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Authenticity involves acting from one's deepest essence, so that the 'uniqueness' of one's soul awakens and can be 'brought to life.'"  - Michael Meade
Another mini-collage on 2" x 2" watercolor paper.  This one made on a plane from someplace to somewhere.  It's hard to see the texture I created by laying layers of paper fiber petals onto the watercolor paper base and then adding gold washi tape and white gel pen and black pen details.  If I show up with authenticity to each of my watercolor paper squares, I allow whatever comes out of me to develop on its own.  To morph and grow even as the inner critic objects and throws tantrums.  I am trying to allow my uniqueness.  Trying to bring it to life on this tiny piece of paper...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Snowflake Flip Cards & Mini Album

These Snowflake Flip Cards & Mini Album were created by Amanda Corbet.  Are you ready for some snow? Or at least a few snowflakes? This set explores using the Snowflake Flip Card Thinlits set to make four cards that double as gift card holders, a box to hold those lovely cards and a mini album. This would make a wonderful gift for someone special or a fabulous winter class project!  For all the instructions for making this beautiful set, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of November!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #12

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  In the end the only genuine safety in this world comes from risking oneself completely in order to become oneself more fully. - Michael Meade
Landscapes seem to keep appearing in my mini collages.  For those of you following me on this journey, I have challenged myself to create a 2" x 2" mini collage each day for at least 30 days (I'm off a bit on the "every day" part, but I am continuing to move forward with the challenge).  Sometimes you will see me using a similar color palette - often this is because I am traveling for work and have challenged myself to use the limited supplies that I carry with me :)  I wonder if landscapes keep appearing because part of this challenge is about trying to become familiar with my inner landscape.  Who am I?  How can I get to know myself more fully?  I get to know myself a little bit more each time I show up to my 2" x 2" square of watercolor paper and risk taking any action to begin to fill the blank square.  Yes, it makes sense to me that landscapes keep appearing - they are nature; they are about my inner exploration; they are me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #11

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  In A House, On A Plane, In A Lounge, On A Train
I am learning to create wherever I can during my travels.  Sometimes that might be in my hotel room.  Other times it is on a plane, in a waiting lounge, or on some other mode of transportation.  I have had to get over the fear of someone watching me - looking over from the seat beside me - the fear of judgement.  I have learned to just take a deep breath and dive in...and soon it as if no one is around me.  This collage I created from some bits of ephemera from my recent trip to Doha.  The patterned papers are a combination of a cut up pamphlet from the Museum of Islamic Art and some pieces of washi tape I had with me.  The dark blue is actually a cut up piece of paper describing the journey through customs at Heathrow Airport in London.  I love that these little collages are filled with the secrets of my trip!  This collage is 2" x 2" and is part of my Mini Collage Challenge that I gave myself - to try to make one 2" x 2" mini collage every day for at least 30 days...(or maybe one collage every 3 days for 90 days :)  Sometimes I do a collage a day - sometimes two - sometimes I skip a few days...but I continue to make progress!  And for me, that's what matters most!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Online Extravaganza!!!!!

Enjoy Stampin' Up!s Online Extravaganza with flash deals on select items and bundles at a 20%-50% discount! But quantities are limited, and this great opportunity only lasts from November 24 through December 2, so get yours before they're gone.

As an added bonus, Stampin' Up! will be bookending the beginning and end of the promotion with door busters on special products—some that have never before been paired together—that are only available for 24 hours and while supplies last! These specific deals are extremely limited, so act fast!  Click HERE to shop now!!!!!

Seasonal Printers Tray by Sharon Maranich

Get into the holiday spirit with this Seasonal Printers Tray by Sharon Maranich.  This Christmas Printers Tray and matching card would make a unique gift, that will be used year-after-year for someone special on your list.  The colors – Lost Lagoon, Soft Sky, Smoky Slake and Pear Pizazz - go together to capture the image of a silent, snowy night.  Head on over to Craft Project Central to learn how to access the full step-by-step instructions!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lantern & Greeting Card by Monika Davis

This beautifulTriangle Shaped Lantern & Greeting Card was created by Monika Davis.  You can make this triangle shaped lantern and learn how easy it is to make your own template. Switch out the vellum for cardstock and turn it into a gift box for teachers, friends, and neighbors or fill it with some treats as a party favor.  Either way, it would also look great as a party or holiday table decoration. You can also make it in different sizes.  Learn how to make your own heat embossed design, using a mask. Great for class projects, stamp clubs and or camps.  Head on over to Craft Project Central to learn how to access the full step-by-step instructions!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #10

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Use Ephemera From Your Travel To Memorialize Your Journey
Today I am sharing my tenth mini collage from my personal Mini Collage Challenge.  For those of you just joining me on my blog, I challenged myself to create one 2" x 2" mini collage a day for at least 30 days.  I haven't always been true to creating a collage a day, but I am pleased with my progress!
This mini collage was created while I was on a layover on my flight back to Denver from Doha, Qatar.  While in Doha I was able to visit the Museum of Islamic Art.  The building itself was gorgeous, let alone the art and artifacts found inside.  I decided to take one of the pamphlets I was given in the museum and cut it up to create this mini collage.  I also added additional pattern and detail with a Sepia marker and a white gel pen.  I love the idea of using ephemera from my travels to memorialize my journey in these mini collages!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cross The Sea Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Your Experimentations Can Lead You Further Down The Road
Today I am sharing an art journal page that I created for Paper Crafter's Library.  I was exploring how to color a transparency and use it as a focal image on an art journal page.  The texture and shine of the fish scales are hard to see in this photo, but the actual page makes me feel like the fish is swimming right in front of me!  Experimenting with transparencies in this way has taken me down the road to do some further transparency explorations.  I don't know where the transparency journey will take me. What I do know is that this page was a launching platform for my continued exploration.  If you are interested in the full step-by-step videos for creating this page, head on over to Paper Crafter's Library by clicking on the badge in the upper right-hand corner of my blog and learn about becoming a member!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #9

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Do those creative things you love to do, even if their only purpose is to make the rest of your life better. - Jill Badonsky
Sometimes we may ask ourselves why we are bothering to create at all.  Maybe we put off creating because we have a laundry list of things to do and somehow, when we begin to rank things, creating falls to the bottom of our list.  Why do we give it such little credence, particularly if our heart's yearnings are telling us otherwise?  Why do we give it short shrift when ignoring the urge to create leaves us unsettled and even annoyed.  If you need to find a purpose that will bring creating back to the top of your list, consider how much better the rest of your life would feel if you indulged your innate need to create!  As Jill Badonsky says, "Do those creative things you love to do, even if their only purpose is to make the rest of your life better!"
Today I am sharing my next 2" x 2" mini collage from my mini collage challenge that I gave myself.  I've been carrying 2" x 2" pieces of watercolor paper with me when I travel so that I can indulge my urge to create whenever the urge strikes.  In this way, I can do the creative things I love to do no matter where I am :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Wreath For Every Season by Amanda Corbet

What a beautiful Wreath for Every Season by Amanda Corbet!  Inside this lovely box are six different card designs using the Wonderful Wreath stamps and Framelits. Get a glimpse of the endless possibilities of this truly wonderful wreath set. This makes a wonderful gift or class project and it’s all wrapped up ready to give to someone special!  Get the full step-by-step instructions by heading over to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of November!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #41

This month I created the sketch for the Creating Pretty Cards - Card Challenge #41 over at Craft Project Central!  This is the card I created using the sketch :)  Why don't you come join us at Craft Project Central and submit a card for the challenge?!  For every ten cards that are submitted, Craft Project Central will pick one winner of a free month subscription on Craft Project Central! The winner(s) will get to select the month of their choice! CPC really wants to give away some free subscriptions, so please do join the challenge!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Tree in an "Exploding" Box Gift Set by Carol Lovenstein

Check out this Christmas Tree in an "Exploding" Box Gift Set by Carol Lovenstein!!!  This gift set is perfect for a hostess, friend or co-worker.  The box is easy and quick to make with the Gift Box Punch Board.  The lucky recipients will burst with excitement when they open the "exploding" box and find the beautiful free-standing Christmas tree ornament inside!  The tree can be removed from the box and used as a desk decoration or kept as a keepsake ornament to treasure for years to come.  The accompanying card makes the Gift Box feel even more like a gift!  Get the full step-by-step instructions by heading to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of November.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #8

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Themes Arise When They Need To
When I sit down to create my small 2" x 2" collages each day (well, almost each day), I have no idea what will appear on the tiny piece of watercolor paper.  What I am finding is the certain themes arise as I start gluing papers.  This is one of those themes - house, home, landscape.  As I find myself traveling a lot for work, it is no surprise to me that the theme of home keeps coming to life in these mini art pieces.  Themes arise when they need to.  Your emotions will find their way into your art...if you allow them to unfold.  What themes arise in your art?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Trio of Trees Holiday Gift Display by Julie Beltramo

This sweet Trio of Trees Holiday Gift Display by Julie Beltramo comes together quickly, and uses just one package of designer series paper! Plus, with all the leftover designer series paper pieces, you’ll be able to add a bunch more custom little gift boxes – they’re fun and addicting to make! You can frame the card to make a great mantle display, or use it as it’s displayed for a special gift to give someone!  Get the full step-by-step instructions by subscribing to the month of November over at Craft Project Central!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Carry Your Heart Art Journal Page

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room: Be Open To Surprises
I recently traveled to Doha, Qatar for work and I had all kinds of preconceived notions of what I would experience there.  I am so glad that I remained open to the experience!  It turned out to be so much different than the stories and "build up" I had been exposed to.  Once again I was reminded to be open to surprises - to allow myself to take in what I am experiencing and to not be blinded by assumptions and preconceived notions.  I am so grateful for the experience and for the reinforcement of a lesson that I need to continually be reminded of!
Today I am sharing an art journal page that I created for Paper Crafter's Library.  It was inspired by an ee cumming's poem.  Every month I create a number of art journal pages for Paper Crafter's Library.  If you are interested in accessing the full step-by-step instructional videos for these art journal pages (and the other projects I create for Paper Crafter's Library), click on the badge in the upper right-hand corner of my blog and look into subscribing to PCL!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recycled Bottle Gifts by Regina Andari

Don't throw those Starbuck's bottles away!  These Recycled Bottle Gifts by Regina Andari are a fabulous way to repurpose the bottles!  Create three holiday gifts by recycling your drink bottles.  This tutorial will demonstrate three unique gift ideas with festive decoration, and the gifts are sure to be a perfect fit for some of the names on your list.  Get the full step-by-step instructions by heading over to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of November!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #7

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Find Inspiration In The Colors Of The Landscape
We went for a hike about a week ago and I was struck by the yellows in the landscape.  The grasses are drying up in preparation for winter.  The verdant green of summer gave way to the kaleidoscopic burst of Fall color and now the quiet hush of Winter is coming ever so close.  I used a variety of torn washi tape pieces to create this simple landscape.  What colors are in your landscape?  How might they inspire a piece of your artwork?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Festival of Trees Votive Box & Tent Card by Laurie Zoellmer

We all need little gifts to hand out during the Holidays, right?  This Festival of Trees Votive Box & Coordinating Tent Card by Laurie Zoellmer comes to the rescue!  This votive holder is easy to assemble using the Envelope Punch Board!  It makes a great teachers gift, hostess gift or thoughtful handmade gift for anyone!  The coordinating tent-card and envelope add just the right touch!  Get the full step-by-step instructions by heading over to Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of November!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #6

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Allow Art To Help You Manage Your Emotions
I have been a bit stressed about a work trip to a place that is very different from the place where I live.  I want to be sure that I am respectful of the culture I will find myself in - that I don't do anything that might cause offense unintentionally.  The stress has been eating me up quite a bit and I finally decided to pour that feeling into this tiny 2" x 2" space.  It felt good to let it out - to try to acknowledge and manage my feelings by creating something inspired by the feelings.  Art is a wonderful place to work on acknowledging and managing your emotions.  I'm feeling better already :)

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #5

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Faltering Doesn't Mean You Have To Abandon The Effort
I gave myself the challenge to create one 2"x 2" mini collage every day...at least for 30 days.  And I admit I have already had a few days where I don't get to the collage early in the day, the day gets away from me, and then I don't find the energy to go and create my mini collage.  I falter.  At first I got down on myself - the usual, "Come on Michelle!  It's only 30 days and you can't even keep up with that?!?"  Then I allowed myself to accept that I am doing the best I can and just because I falter one day does not mean I have to abandon the effort.  I have even been finding that some days I may skip making a collage and other days I make more than 1!  I am going to keep moving forward with the challenge!!!
Today I am sharing the collage I made on Halloween :)  I used a combination of paint, painted tapes, washi tape and chalk marker.  I am enjoying allowing the inspiration come to me in whatever form it takes - a flower on a walk, a holiday, a question I am pondering, a feeling inside of me.  I'm curious to see where this mini-collage journey continues to take me!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mini-Collage Challenge #4

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Let Go Or Be Dragged.  -Katie Holmes
Yes, I looked at People magazine on-line...I admit it...I am trying to kick the habit...For once though, the mindless reading actually provided some much needed insight!  There was an article about 5 words that have impacted Katie Holmes' life and those 5 words are let go or be dragged.  Letting go seems to be a theme that is running through my life (and my veins) right now.  It is a lesson I learned in the pool the other day when we were told to try to only breathe every fifth stroke instead of every third stroke.  It became harder to do the more I tried to hold onto my breath!  I started to tell myself, "Michelle, you need to be just as willing to let it go as you are to let it in."  Yes, let go or be dragged.  Oh there is so much that I allow to pull me down right now.  I need to be willing to let go...
Today I am sharing my fourth collage in my mini-collage challenge.  This one incorporates quite a few pieces of tape that I painted.  I then added some dimensional paints and a bit of Sharpie poster paint marker.  The green tape I used in the background was part of an experiment I conducted with heating acrylic paint.  I love all the texture it created!  I hope you like it...and if you don't...let go :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Mix & Match Winter Holiday Boxes & Tags by Yapha Mason

This festive holiday packaging by Yapha Mason includes four different size square boxes along with four gift tags that can be mixed and matched. Using shades of blue and silver, there are options for both Hanukkah and Christmas, with designs that will work for either one. This project set is great for a stamp camp, a class, or just getting ready for the upcoming holiday season. It includes instructions for two square holiday cards as well.  Head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of November for full step-by-step instructions!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Mini Collage Challenge - #3

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  You Can Create An Entire World In A Tiny Space
I have been enjoying the challenge I gave myself - to create at least one 2"x 2" mini collage every day.  When I approached the first collage I was quite uncertain about what to do.  Now that I have completed three, I am beginning to realize that you can create an entire world in a tiny space.  2"x 2" can seem so small at first glance.  Yet the more you dive into what seems to be such a limited space, the more you realize how much you can do in the expanse of 2" x 2"!  Ideas seem to be flowing to me right now - we'll see if that lasts!
For today's mini collage I turned to some painted tape that I had made.  This allowed me to skip using any other type of adhesive for my mini collage.  After tearing and adhering the bits of tape, I cut out a few pieces of the tape to create the house.  I then used some markers to add a touch of shading and a bit of outlining.  Yes, you can create an entire world in a tiny space!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Count Your Blessings Table Decor

Take time to count your blessings during the upcoming holiday season!  This set includes a blessings bank, gratitude cards to fill out and insert into the bank, place cards to gather blessings from your guests and a blessings list that your guests can fill in and take home with them.  This set can be used to adorn your holiday table or you can use the box, gratitude cards and lists as a way to remind yourself how blessed you truly are each and every day!  This is my November project for Craft Project Central.  If you want to get the full step-by-step instructions for making this entire set, head on over the Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of November.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Mini Collage Challenge - #2

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Allow Fate To Intervene
This is the second 2"x 2" mini collage that I created.  I began by adhering bits of torn painted paper to the watercolor paper with Utrecht matte medium.  You can also use painted tape, washi tape, masking tape...and you don't have to worry about having glue or matte medium with you :)  As I continued to put the torn pieces down I began to worry about what else I would add...and while I was worrying, I turned one of my pieces of painted paper over and saw these words staring right at me!  I had done some paper painting on one side of a page from a book!  And fate brought me to these exact words at the exact right moment.  So I cut them out and added them to my mini collage with matte medium.  I love it when I am open to allowing fate to intervene!