Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ohhh I'm not dead yet, I can dance and I can sing, I am not dead yet I can do the Highland fling..

Monty Pythons fans and Spamalot fans will recognize the song. Last week I was focused on making cards for the competition (our team won btw). Then I pinched a nerve that runs from shoulder to fingertip (I'm owing a lot as I type). Then I got a cold, which seems to be hovering on the brink of bronchitis. I had hoped to post the pile of cards I made during the last 8 weeks, but it seems it will have to wait. I can do a very very tiny highland fling, but it's better than nothing lol.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Introducing Neptune

Neptune is settling in nicely. He followed a trail of food up the ramp to his food dish. He is very industrious and works for many hours a night on his wheel. I wish I could think of something to harness the wheel to. He's still relatively small, only 4 inches.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Positive and Negative

The backgrounds are from a very old cut I made on DS before the laptop died. It's made from one cut and two pages of the same paper. The positive cut is glued on one paper. I used painters tape to remove the negative and turn it over to apply glue to the back of it. You can also use the positive image to make a pattern by lightly tracing a pencil as a guide for gluing the negative. To get the full effect, the border of the image has to go over the "cutting" line.

The image I used is from page 37 in Storybook using the accent/frame feature. The seventh image in the third row. The "Positive" title is the base cut from the Opposites Attract cartridge. The shadow was made by making a second cut in a darker paper and gluing the lighter slightly above and to the left of the darker. Rhinestones bling up the i's. The "negative" title is the trapezoid feature in Opposites Attract cartridge. I glued the letters on top of the lighter paper used for positive and cut the shadow to fit.

The journalling is on vellum (not seen here) about how the same thing can be positive and negative. I haven't figured out how I'm going to attach the vellum yet. On the one hand it's done, on the other hand it's not lol.

We have the sounds of little feet in the house again.

I've had one of the best birthday weeks ever (and I've had a few to compare this one with lol), and yesterday my DD gave me a new hamster. Here it is 5:31am and there is a soft whirring of the hamster wheel. Hamsters are exempt from our alphabetic pet naming system, and this little boy is named Neptune. I will take pictures later when he has settled. One thing I've notice right is he just eats the food instead of carrying it away in his pouch. Color me a little older, but happy : ).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Variations in Coloring

I love to play with variations. I used a Club Scrap stamp from Nature's Wonders with pigment ink and black embossing powder and heat set the image. Then I used some watercolor pencils and colored the green parts of the stamp and used blue to color the background. A sidenote, I bought these watercolor pencils in 1979ish and they still work beautifully.

In the top card, I used the color that brush picked to make a "frame" and then washed the rest across the inside. In the second card, I used a little more pencil, but after making the "frame" I didn't wash the color across the entire mat.

In the third card I did the same thing as the first, but then I took a craft knife and cut away part of the image and slid a small mat with a sentiment from Henna behind the cut.

In the fourth card, I just added the Henna sentiment directly to the Nature's Wonders colored image. Thank goodness for unmounted images and acrylic stamping blocks. It made it so easy to get the sentiment close to the flowers.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today is Your Day!

A very simple card using all Club Scrap materials. I loved the dr. seuss quote, last week was his birthday, and the colors reminded me of those used in his books. I used a balloon stencil from the Club Scrap Jubilee kit, and the sentiment is from the Down to Earth kit. The balloon is tied with a piece of sewing thread that is only attached to the card where it is tied to the balloon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Awards Night

Yes, it is Awards Night, no, no not those other doings out in LA. I finally figured out how to post the Beautiful Blogger Awards. Thank you Audrey Frelx, Flowerdisco and Pam aka TheBugBytes!
So here it goes I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 people and list 7 things about myself. I thought I'd pass it onto people whose work I admire that don't already have the award posted on their blog.

About me.
I love sunrises. I read a book that was published in 1595 (the actual book that was published in 1595, not a reprint). I was in the mosh pit at a black flag concert in the very early 80s. I don't have cable tv, but my tv has a dedicated computer with HD output. One of the best breakfasts I ever had was 2 tomatos and an ear of corn warmed by the sun straight off the plants out of my garden. I hate to cook everyday. I love reading cookbooks.

15 Terrific Blogs
Our Inspiration Station. Great Cricut projects.

Clever Someday. Really great projects and really useful information.

EAS Creations. Wonderful kid-friendly projects.

See Fluffy Scrap. Look at the Flight of the Butterfly and you'll know why.

Koala-t Kreations. I still haven't made a mini-book, but she's tempting me.

Marie's Make and Mend. She made a bucket in January that made my jaw drop in wonder. I love her work : ).

*{CraftChaos}*. Adding a bit of international flair. Caution, this site may cause you to start drooling over Club Scrap and Michael Strong products lol.

Light Whimsy. I was glad I had my computer-reading helmet on, because I could have done myself an injury from laughing so much. Beautifully made and so much pun (you know I had to go there).

A.Go's Craftomonium. There are some seriously beautiful things here.

Two at a Time. Great talent in papercrafts and story telling.

Card Creations by Lorraine. Great tutorials. Wonderful cards.

Kim's Kraft-e-Korner. She made a totally amazing crackled embellishment that I could have sworn was porcelain in the picture.

Chrissy's Craftin' Corner. She has some wonderful Cricut projects.

Popsicle Toes. Just wonderful.

Flip-Flops and Poptarts. So creative.

I was totally overthinking how to put the award on my site. I'll just quote flowerdisco's instructions. "Save the award image in your picture folder and then proceed as usual as when you are posting and adding a photo. To put it on the side bar go on add gadget, look for the one that says picture, click on it, browse for the award, click and save."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's Blog, It's Blog, It's Better than Bad, It's Good

I confess, that's pure Ren & Stimpy "Log" song with a B added (there are lots of examples of the Log song on YouTube BTW should you not be familiar with it or just want to see it again).

Blogging is natural, Blogging is good, not everyone but does it, but everybody should. (Paraphasing of a George Michael song, with blogging as a substitute word lol).

I was deeply honored to be the recipient of not one but three Beautiful Blogger awards (Thank you Pam aka BugBytes and FlowerDisco and Audrey Frelx. I'm still wrestling with how to post said awards on my blog. I start out trying to figure it out, then I get distracted by widgets and reading blogs, then an hour has gone by and still no clue as to how to post the awards. But you will note, I still don't have a photo or an avatar either.

However, I did find a totally FABU search button from the widgets. I haven't given up on posting the blog awards, just letting you know which bumps throw me offtrack for a while.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Here's a Challenge to Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile

I used to think that I had to create everything from scratch. I either had to draw it, make the stamp for it, sometimes I even made the paper for it. As you can imagine, I did not have a lot of completed projects from this period of time. I've come to have a more Marcel Duchamp view of my creativity. To paraphrase, I've come to see that Creativity can be in the selection.

Now I am head over heels in love with kits. With a kit all of those pesky, overwhelming choices that I need to make about every single thing are put aside and I can focus on making something. I can learn a new technique. I can shift my focus and take my mind off my troubles with the joy of a new project, the smell of paper, the beauty of a new stamp or beads or whatever the kit contains. If I'm feeling stumped, working on a kit can prime the pump of inspiration, I start thinking ... "Ohhhhh, what if I used this kind of paper, what if I made a stamp with something I can't find a stamp for or a stamp in a different size." I keep my notebook nearby so I can write down the ideas, and try them later.

I also have participated in some challenges. And from this I have learned to use materials differently, make a lot of something (or at least a few lol). I have the joy that I made something creative, but also the joy that I made something quickly, perhaps even that I made multiples of things.

I'm also learning to make things that aren't perfect. Okay, I'm actually learning to be happy with things that aren't perfect lol. I've always been ABLE to make things that weren't perfect, but I'd usually stop working on it if the flaw couldn't be fixed and throw them away. Unless it was a sweater with a dropped stitch. In high school I would say, "how are they going to know it's homemade if it doesn't have a hole in it" and keep on knitting. So now I have the joy of continuing to work on something, and a chance to make lemonade out of all those lemons.

And now for those of you who like a picture-rich post, and you know who you are lol, here are some pictures of cards I made from the Greetings to Go Castaway kit from Club Scrap.

The coconut anatomy and Big Thanks are stamped images.  The splatter is made with a wet brush colored with a watercolor crayon.

In real life the mat looks more graduated than it does in this picture. The I love to sea that smile sentiment is a stamp, the cut-apart is inked with light blue and green. The image under the cut-apart was rescued for future use : ).

The two white cut-a-parts I inked the edges with a pale blue and a light green Martha Stewart cat-eye ink pad. The chartreuse mat had a lovely dolphin in the middle so I cut it out before mounting the starfish in it. I'll use it for something later. This time I remembered to set the brads before I had put everything on the card. But, if you forget, you can always cover them with a lovely stamped image lol. I'm thinking about adding some heat embossing to the starfish and the happy anniversary, or maybe some diamond glaze.

Teal ribbon wrapped around the mat, ends held in place with brads (remembered before I glued down the mat lol). I inked the cut-apart with a little light green and light blue ink.

The sentiment and the turtles were hand stamped. The turtles were colored in with some garden green and some blue Stampin' Up watercolor crayons. The ink was water base so it looked more water-colored when the crayons were blended. It's one of my favorites.

Same coconut stamp, brown ink, watercolor crayons in coconuts and border. This is another favorite of mine.

The dolphin, whale and swordfish are stamped. The whale and big thanks are part of a cut-apart that came with the kit. The edges are inked.

The mat and the two cut-aparts were inked with a soft blue ink pad.

I tore the cut-a-part, then colored it with a water color crayon then blended it with a wet brush. I tore a piece of handmade teal paper and glued it around the mat. Three brads which I also remembered to set before I glued the mat on the card (yay!).

I inked this one along the edges of the mat with light blue and green. I loaded the stamp with ink and then just kept stamping above and below the original stamp and then down the mat.

The white printed cut-apart was inked with light blue and light green inks which matched the printed colors remarkably well. The graduated mat had an image, which I saved for future use. The teal mat is the most beautiful paper. It looks like water, if water was paper lol.

Torn strips of handmade teal paper, topped by a swordfish cut-apart edged with blue and green ink. The teal paper was a bit resistant to being glued, so I used Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive and put it under a box of watercolor crayons and some colored pencils until it had dried.

The clams were stamped on the card. The white cut-apart was edged with light blue ink.

Jelly fish were stamped on the background. The cut-apart was inked and attached with dimensional dots.

Everything was inked with Versamark Ocean.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Traffic Cone Stamp

I used a very very thin thin thin piece of fun foam (I mentioned it was thin didn't I?) to cut the two parts of this traffic cone stamp. This is the super inexpensive fun foam sold in a pack with cardboard in the middle to make keep the stack from going limp in the wrapping. It's barely thicker than the Cricut Stamp sheet and much less dense.

I used the Deep Cut Blade (set at 6), a very new mat to cut the base and layer of the traffic cone in the Disney/Pixar Cars cart. The beauty is with the Mount-It glue you can make stamps that will work with the clear acrylic blocks and store on page protectors, in cd cases, on zip lock bags, etc.
"It's not a party until somone puts a traffic cone on his head" sentiment from Club Scrap Jubilee. The Giant Clam and "party" are from Club Scrap Castaway.