Saturday, January 25, 2014

Creating Pretty Cards - Sketch Challenge #31

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  The More You Give To Art, The More Art Gives To You!
I have been doing quite a bit of creating lately :)  It's my happy place :)  I have been home for a bit - not on the road traveling, and it has allowed me to get into a bit of a "creative groove."  I've been very excited about some of the art journal pages I've started to create for Paper Crafters Library as they allow me to delve into my stash of art supplies and create with abandon!  The freedom is a lot of fun!  I find that the more I allow myself to give to my art, the more my art gives back to me.  I feel more centered, more peaceful.  And, when I awake in the morning and take Buddy for his walk, I am finding that ideas are flowing into my mind - more things I want to create, techniques I want to try.  I also love how the freedom is flowing into my Craft Project Central projects!  Wait 'til you see what I did to a hardcover book for my February project ;)  I even let myself bring gesso into this month's Creating Pretty Cards - Sketch Challenge #31.  I created my own stencil using a crop-a-dile and some acetate and then put some gesso on the stencil and pressed it against the Crumb Cake card stock.  I added some gold smooch spritz (retired) and a touch of stamping from the Chevron background stamp.  Next I distressed the heck out of the edges of the panel and adhered it to a Whisper White card base.  Some strips of washi tape and a heat embossed strip of vellum with a greeting from From My Heart add a bit of flare and are finished off with an In Color Boutique Detail.  I hope you like it!  Why not head on over the Craft Project Central and join the challenge?!

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Perfect Ending To A Pretty Perfect Day!

I am sitting here on the couch on Thursday evening, smiling at the beautiful day I have had!  It began with waking up to about 4 inches of snow - so white and peaceful.  Out I went, early in the morning, to head to the gym for a morning swim.  I was part of a swim class led by my swim coach who I love!  We worked quite a bit on breathing today and I practiced the art of letting go and not tensing up so that I could take fewer breaths as I covered the length of the pool.  When I got home I checked my email and I had received a number of emails from the company that I do much of my contracting work for and they had me in tears!  The emails were sharing positive feedback from a client.  It felt so good to receive the recognition for my work!  The tears were tears of joy and relief and I was on Cloud 9!  Next I changed out of my gym clothes and Michael and I went to the Denver Art Museum to see the Passport to Paris exhibit!  I become quickly overwhelmed at museums - all of the visual stimulus and all of the people.  We did really well in spite of my tendency to get overwhelmed!  Our first great decision was to return the audio tour handheld devices after listening to the audio that accompanied the first two works of art.  I just couldn't get into having a voice in my ear as I tried to take in what was in front of me.  It just felt like a distraction.  I found it much more soothing to read the information provided alongside the art pieces and view the art in silence.  There was also an interactive drawing studio set up on the first floor that had some amazing photographs and quotes.  This one made me smile:
After the museum we went to City O' City - a restaurant that can easily accommodate my crazy dietary needs (vegan and gluten-free)!  They have a salad that I am a bit addicted to - I have actually dreamed about that salad (weird, I know!).  Mixed greens, avocado, candied nuts, tempeh with a yummy mustard dressing.  Yum!  They also have cookies that make my mouth water :)  We stopped at the library on the way home so I could pick up some books I had on hold and once we were home I went into the craft room to do a bit of straightening.  I worked on organizing my stencils while watching the movie Jane Eyre on tv (really enjoyed the movie - must go back and read the book)!  And now, here I am, after a hot shower, on the couch, eating a favorite dish and connecting with you!  A note about the favorite dish - if you follow my blog you may already know that I am addicted to O & C's premium balsamic vinegar of Modena!  It is amazing on just about anything and I love it on tomatoes (especially fresh garden tomatoes!  I had to settle for some store bought tomatoes tonight).  Another favorite item is the Sarah's Sea Salt - Mediterranean Salt by Coastal Goods!  It is great to sprinkle on so many things, including tomatoes!  The only thing that could have improved my tomatoes?  Fresh basil (but we didn't have any in the house and since I'm snuggled up on the couch, a ride to the store was not part of the plan :)  Yes, this is the perfect ending to a pretty perfect day!  Wishing you a weekend that is also pretty perfect wherever you are!!!!!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Polka-Dot Pieces Get Well Soon Ensemble by Laurie Zoellmer

It’s that time of year when so many come down with a case of the “sniffles”, and this little gift is sure to put a smile on their face!  This ensemble, created by Laurie Zoellmer, includes a darling tissue holder, a hand sanitizer holder and a coordinating card and envelope to make your gift complete.  Find out how to make this adorable set by heading over the Craft Project Central and subscribing to the month of January!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Info About My Art Journal

Today's Quote To Consider From The Craft Room:  Conversation allows us little room to revise our original utterances, which ill suits our tendency not to know what we are trying to say until we have had at least one go at saying it, whereas writing accommodates and is largely made up of rewriting, during which original thoughts - bare, inarticulate strands - are enriched and nuanced over time.  They may thereby appear on a page according to the logic and aesthetic order they demand, as opposed to suffering the distortion effected by conversation, with its limits on the corrections or additions one can make before enraging even the most patient companion." - Alain De Button
 I've been enjoying Alain De Button's book How Proust Can Save Your Life.  This quote had me nodding my head - saying YES!  YES!  That's how I feel about conversation!  I am definitely one of those "think it through as I'm speaking" kind of gals!  As I was typing the quote here, I also realized that this reflection on writing could also be true of art journaling.  Art journaling is an opportunity to think out loud - on the page - without suffering distortion or limits caused by an audience.  On an art journal page we can set down whatever we want and we can always go back and paint over it, stamp over it, write over it, collage over it...and keep going until we are satisfied that we have said what we need to in that moment.
Today I want to respond to Lorraine's question about the book I am using for my art journaling.  Specifically, Lorraine was curious about the smaller pages/inserts and wanted to know how they got there :)  Well, I created the entire book thanks to Donna Downey!  I watched a number of her Inspiration Wednesday videos and really liked the book she was working in and, it turns out, she made it!  She even created a video with instructions for how to make these "Inspiration Journals" and you can purchase access to the video here.  You can also buy a completed Inspiration Journal in her on-line store - in case you're not up for making your own.  The smaller pages/inserts are tags or other fun things you can recycle or pick up at an office supply store (such as time cards).  Here are the two journals I created - one bursting a bit at the seams and the other anxiously awaiting a beginning :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stationery Box and Card by Amanda Corbet

Get organized with this lovely stationery box by Amanda Corbet that can hold many A2 greeting cards and envelopes!  The drawer is the perfect place to store a pen or two and some stamps to make sending greetings easier by having everything you need all in one pretty package. This project comes with a matching card design and makes a great organization gift!  Head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of January for full step-by-step instructions!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pages In Progress...And A Puppy!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  It's A Process
I sometimes look at posts on-line and think that behind the art work was a simple, easy process.  That somehow an artist sat down and everything just came to them and out popped the beautiful work of art!  Well, maybe that is the case for some people...I know it's not my process - at least not usually.  My art often comes out in fits and starts, bits and pieces.  I do a little bit, stand up, walk away...maybe walk away for a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months...and yes, even years.  Often I only show my finished work on my blog.  Now I'm realizing that may give you the wrong impression.  My art doesn't come out completely, easily - it's a process - sometimes a struggle - sometimes an adventure.  So today I'm sharing part of my process.  Pages from my art journal that are in progress.  Some have been under construction longer than others.  Some have started to take shape from wiping off excess paint from a brush.  I am not sure where any of them are headed....but I do know it is a process - a journey - one that I am happy to take!
 ps  I also wanted to share a photo of the beautiful soul who is a part of my journey :)  Buddy was outside - laying on the flagstone - with his head propped up on the first patio step.  And yes, he was waiting for his walk :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Valentine's Day Trio by Christy Fulk

This fun and flirty Valentine’s Day Trio was created by Christy Fulk.  It’s time to get ready for Valentine’s Day!  These projects would be a great way to show your special Valentine that you care.  Give them a little candy treat in the heart pouch, put a little gift into the Valentine gift bag, and let them know you love them by giving them a special double easel Valentine card.  This would also make a great Valentine’s Day class.  To get all of the instructions for these fun projects, head on over to Craft Project Central and subscribe to the month of January!