Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Around the House Page and Video

Back to Project Life and back to what's happening around the house.  We did leave the house this month, seriously, we did.  And I'll have more layouts about that coming along.  For now though, we also tackled quite a few things on our to do lists this month plus trying to spruce up our wardrobes.

The latter wasn't so successful.  I bought and returned 7 pairs of shoes.  I truly hate shopping for shoes, hate it.  My feet are so fussy.  Clothes, no problem, but shoes are a nightmare.  Lenny on the other hand loves shoe shopping but he needed clothes.  The funny story of his new shirt is in the journaling.

I used some Hero Arts stamps for the house.  The color is from Stampin' Up! markers, water and water color paper.

Here's the video to watch here or at YouTube:

And the PDF with sketch.  or save the sketch from here:

What kind of projects have you done around the house this spring?

Thanks for watching!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mother's Day Frame

Jaime sent me this photo of her, Dillon and Nai Nai on Easter Sunday.  It's been about 4 years since I did a frame for her so I thought it was time for an update.

The frame is raw chipboard coated with gesso and then several coats of watercolor.  I finished it off with a coating of Crystal Effects (from Stampin' Up! but very much the same as Ranger's Glossy Accents.)  I wanted a shiny surface.  I just love how the watercolors look.  This technique is from Wilna Furstenberg's Art class at Two Peas.

This was a great place to use some Prima flowers - both paper and the resin ones that are a bit sharp for scrapbook pages.  The gems are from Kaiser.

The sentiment is a Jewish proverb I found on-line:  "God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers."

Speaking of art classes, I'm taking a new one from Christy Tomlinson called Behind the Art which is so in depth. There is a ton of material.  I just started it last week.  It is the perfect class for someone like me who is new to mixed media and very confused about what products to use and how to use them.  She shows all that.  Here are the details on the class in her blog post.

Hopefully I'll have a project to share on that in a few days. In the meantime, I'll have a couple of new pages and videos this week including one using nail polish - but not on your nails.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BMW Tour and Layout Video

A couple of weeks ago, we toured the BMW plant in Spartanburg S.C.  This is a wonderful tour and I highly recommend it if you are ever in upstated S.C. It's not too long a drive from Atlanta or Charlotte.

I've always wanted to go but never quite got there even though it is only about 2 hours from us. I love seeing how things are made.  Periodically they suspend tours when they are bringing new models on for production.  That is happening over the next few months so we really had to go the week I called.  It was worth the drive.

You start at the BMW museum seeing cars like these little tiny things that seem to me to just be a metal box you would ride around in.  The door is actually on the front.  Apparently they were popular in Europe years ago.  I'd feel like I was puttering around the village in my coffin but they are cute.  We are posed next to an Art Deco motorcyle and also saw the James Bond BMW which has a vehicle ID number ending in 007.  It was made at the Spartanburg plant - the only US BMW manufacturing plant.

The main event was the factory tour.  Photos aren't allowed.  You wear headphones to hear everything the tour guide says.  The amount of computer programming to make their processes run must be incredible.  Everything in the plant is where it needs to be when it needs to be there.  When an associate is ready for a right front tire on a vehicle, the exact type of tire the customer ordered is the next one off the pallet.  Robotics are everywhere.  We were really impressed with all they do to create an ergonomic environment for their employees.  The cars ride along on these pallets on top of the conveyors.   The pallet automatically raises or lowers the vehicle when it reaches its next station depending on whether the associate will need to reach high or low for whatever part is installed next.  It's just amazing to watch the process.  It is like an orchestra.

The tour takes an hour and half (the website says an hour) and it is all walking and standing indoors.  There was one person in our group who had a wheelchair and was glad of it because she wouldn't have been able to walk that much.  I'd love to take my dad if I could convince him to 'ride' through the tour.  He just can not walk that far anymore.  Well see how he feels when the tours resume probably next year.

Today's layout is based on a sketch at PamelasWorldofScrap blog.  I substituted triangles for squares for embellishment.  The triangles go with the BMW symbol and suggest movement like an assembly line.

It's been ages since I did an all cardstock page.  Cardstock seemded a cleaner choice and really popped on the black background.

Since I couldn't photo the assembly lines, I wrote quite a bit of journaling and it is pocketed behind the last two photos.  A little gray and white striped Washi and some silver brads finish off the embellishment.

Here's my process video which you can watch here or at YouTube:

Check out Pamela's blog for info on her giveaway chance if you create a project using one of the sketches.  She has a giveaway going until the 30th.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday Frame

This started out as a card and ended up more as a photo frame for Dillon's 12th birthday.

The photo is from last summer's fishing adventures.  He and Lenny are both looking forward to this summer so I included the wood tag from Studio Calico and used some bright colors for the chipboard frame's paint and masking.

In yesterday's post, I captured some conversation between us and my parents.  I was reminded of that when I heard Lenny on the phone with Dillon asking about his new girlfriend.  Then apparently the phone gets passed to Lenny's daughter.

"Has he kissed her yet?" Lenny asks.


"Oh, good, I'm not ready for that yet." I hear Lenny say.

Guess my husband isn't quite ready for his fishing buddy to grow up.

Hope you have a lovely day! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Humor in Transit - CKCB Blog Hop

Welcome to the Counterfeit Kit Club Challenge blog hop.  This month's challenge was to use this photo as inspiration for a page.  You've probably just arrived here from Rebecca at How I Burb.

The winding road on a beautiful day reminded me of a recent outing.

My father likes to drive.  Correct that.  He LOVES to drive.  So I was very surprised when he took me up on my offer to drive the 4 of us to Charlotte to celebrate my Mother's birthday last month.  Of course, for many years I had a van with only two seats so driving more than one other person was a problem but that is another story.  Anyway, for the last year, I've had tons of seating space and yet I think this was our first outing as a family in my van.

With my dad in the front with me and my mother in the back with my husband, there was a lot of repetition.  Everything was said twice.  My parents do not hear well.  Now if you mention anything about this to my dad whose hearing has declining for decades (as did his own mothers), all YOU will hear is how my Mother is worse and you need to be talking to her about a hearing aid.  Or vice versa if you start the hearing topic off with my Mother.

On this lovely day, we didn't talk about hearing aids at all.  We talked about all kinds of other innocuous things.  We just talked about everything - twice.

So my page attempts to capture some of the funny things that were said as there are always funny things with my parents along.  I took inspiration from the challenge photo in the road and the pretty blue sky to capture our carefree drive.

The speech bubbles are an actual exchange that occurred.

(Dad) Not much traffic today... (Mother) Traffic's not bad today... (me) There's and echo in here... (dh) There's an echo in here.

Here's the journaling:

On our trip to Charlotte for Mother's Birthday celebration, I drove.  Daddy started the exchange above with my mother repeating him.  After Lenny repeated me, she laughed.  She hadn't heard me say it any more than she had heard exactly what Daddy had said.  She asked Daddy to get my spare sunglasses out of the glove compartment for her.  They didn't immediately jump out at him so he declared they weren't in there until I found them.  It wasn't just them providing amusement.  When we started home, Lenny had some trouble getting my van unlocked.  After unlocking he got in the driver's seat and was fumbling around looking for the keys.  My parents though it was hysterical that he had left them in the van door.  With them, it is always an adventure.

My page is a bit unusual as it has no photos!   The cute little bus or van as I'm using it is Mayberry from SEI.  I got almost everything from this layout from a Blog giveaway I won at Pamela's World of Scrap.  The paper is Amy Tangerine (Scatter Sunshine and Yes Peas). The border stickers and speech bubbles are also SEI stickers.  They are sort of canvas and I wasn't sure about printing, but they did great going through the printer.

I made my arrows by cutting up some old chipboard.  I had saved the remains after using little squares so these were frames, sort of, and I just cut them on the diagonal with Stampin' Up! craft and rubber scissors that cut through chipboard like butter.  I colored them with a marker to match.  The little people in the van are also courtesy of Stampin' Up! and the Loads of Love Accessories set.  Appropriate as I was hauling around Loads of Love in my van.  (OK, that is terribly corny but I couldn't resist :-)

Thanks for visiting today!  The full blog hop list will be published on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog so if you get lost along the way, head over there to find your way back onto the hop.

Your next stop in the hop is Candace at  Us Three by the Sea.    

Don't forget to leave me a comment to let me know you were here and happy hopping!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Story first and then Sketch

I have something to celebrate.  Today is my 1000th post!  I started blogging in February of 2009 and never really imagined where it would lead.  Thank you for stopping by.

So now onto the layout.

When I started this page, I really didn't know what kind of arrangement I wanted.  I decided on a large letter title and figured it would go under the photos but that was about it.

So I did something I used to always do before even beginning a page.  I typed up my journaling.

By typing the journaling, I could see how much room I needed for it but more importantly I saw that I needed some space for journaling both before and after the title.  This led to the layout.

The story here is about our little squirrel my husband has named the Pirate.  He only has one good eye and he is thief.  He steals the bird food pretty much every day all winter as long as the feeder is stocked.

Here is the journaling:

Every day, usually late morning

Jasper will be on his box

and that tail will start to twitch rapidly.

He has spotted…  (The PIRATE)
The little squirrel may have only one eye, but he has it trained on our bird feeder just about every day.  Jasper may have both eyes fixed on our squirrel but that is as far as he goes.  It is up to us humans to chase him away or the birds will go hungry.  We let our little one eyed thief have some first.  Sometimes he scampers back to the woods, other times he just climbs back up the chimney and out the trumpet vine to try it all again.  This is his 2nd or 3rd winter with us.  He has even invited friends to his favorite fast food hangout.  Who can blame him?  Free and easy food.

For the page, I used Crate Paper's Acorn Avenue collection.  With a name like that you might except fall themed papers with lots of autumn leaves, little squirrels and plenty of gold and rust.  You'd be disappointed.  You wouldn't be though if you wanted versatile papers.  There are papers here for every season but the only acorns and squirrels are in the stickers and die cuts.

The squirrel die cut really didn't go with the papers so I used some white ink to tone him down a bit after a failed attempt at recoloring him.  Apparently I have as little control over paper squirrels as I have live ones.

For the title, I ripped off the top layer of these large chipboard letters and then painted on colors that matched my papers.

Lately, I've been seeing lots of triangles and arrows running up and down and across layouts.  For this one, I used a particular paper in the collection to get that effect.

This is one of those pages that makes me smile.  I'm very pleased with how it came out but more because it reminds me of the moment each day where Jasper and I went into little frenzy of acknowledging and then running off the squirrel.  Despite his theft, he is very cute and fun to watch so we hope to see him this fall.

Here's the video to watch at YouTube or here:

And here is this week's PDF file with sketch and tips.

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you will return tomorrow as I am participating in a blog hop from the Counterfeit Kit Club blog.  I have a fun and different kind of layout.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Art Play

Off and on the last couple of weeks, I've been playing with some small 4x6 inch canvases experimenting with paints, stamps, book pages and other mixed media.   This is SO much fun playing with paper, mists and paint.  Right now, I'm not that concerned about creating any great masterpiece.  I just want to see what works and what doesn't.  Eventually, I'd like to do 3 or 4 larger canvases to go above the bed in my guest/craft room.

The first piece is based on this one from via Pinterest.  The base is a book page.  The birdie is from the Straight from the Nest cartridge on the Cricut.  I stamped my clouds and filled them in with modeling paste after misting the background.    The misting over book paper worked well for me.

My selection of book paper wasn't so hot.  I took a page from an old novel that I scanned quickly for any inappropriate language.  What I missed is a phrase "enter country dead."   I don't know what that means but it doesn't really go with my cute little birdie. This is my second time having words show through that I really don't care for.

So of course that problem led to some shopping. :-)  We've really paired down our books over the years and have nothing left I want to cut up.  We get pretty much everything we read from the library.  So I went to an Antique's Mall where I found an old Latin textbook from 1908.   Then I stopped at the used book store and found an architectural textbook with lots of tables and line drawings and a book on sewing tips from the 1950's. The sewing tips book has great illustrations and is fun to read as well.  It is all about what the 'good housewife' should do to take care of her husband and children.  My how times have changed - thank goodness!  So now I have lots of pages to paint and mist.

Some other things I've learned...

Stamping over Modge Podge doesn't work so hot but rub-ons and Stickles adhere beautifully.  Finally a good use for rub-ons in my stash.

Mixing up the papers in tiny pieces creates a pretty background and solves some of the inappropriate phrase problems.  I went over these with various Color Shine mists.

I have a couple of other pieces in progress.  Besides being great fun, this is also a wonderful opportunity to use products like rub-ons, Stickles and some stamps that haven't gotten much use lately.

Thanks for visiting today!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Making Tags and Tracking Mists

Although I have a tag making cartridge for the Cricut, I rarely use it.  Mostly I make my tags with my paper trimmer and some common punches.

For the tags above, I used some cardstock and various designer papers including a journaling card that had gotten chopped off when I was using the "B" side of the paper (the one on the far left).  What was left is now a decorative tag.

This all started because I refused to pay the price for a large box of manila tags at the office supply store many years ago.  They only had one size box and it was far more than I figured I'd ever use.  So I just started making my own.  I like that they can be any size from any paper.

Also on the video is my version of a mist sampler.  I first saw this on Sue Althouse's blog some months ago and I think she got the idea from another blog who got it perhaps from October Afternoon.  Wherever it originated, it is very handy to have a record of your mists and what they look like on plain paper.  For my sampler, I did a spray on the lower part of the card and splatters on the top.  The video also shows my transparency sampler so that you can lay out your mists over an existing layout to get an idea how they look.

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hope you have a lovely crafty weekend.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April Class Cards


Here are the cards we made in card class last week that I hadn't previously posted.  The one above was inspired by this  card by Vicky Hayes.  It uses the Madison Avenue Sale-a-Bration stamp set by Stampin' Up!  I like these element stamps that can be used for all kinds of layouts and cards.

The card below relied on the Cricut and the Storybook cartridge for cutting out design.  The tea cup is from American Crafts Soho Garden stamp set which I just love.  The colors are current In Colors for Stampin' Up!  I've had this paper since last summer and haven't used it much.  They are really pretty colors.

I'd like to welcome my best friend, Karen, to the world of blogging!  She launched her new blog Karen's Creative on Monday.  Be sure to stop by and visit her.  She creates beautiful cards, many with Copics.  I envy her ability to always find the right words and express herself so eloquently.  Happy blogging, Karen! 

Thanks for stopping by today.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Project Life Page with Stamped Background

Back to Project Life this week with a page about early spring days.  I created a sketch based on the size photos I was printing.  I like the sketch; however, I didn't really like  it with these particular photos.  These were taken the first week of April when it felt like Spring had finally arrived.  We had camellia blooming, were taking walks and just getting outdoors some, finally.  I wanted a softer look than all the lines I'd included in the sketch.

So instead of the stitching lines on the corners, I've used some stamped leaves and flowers that match one of the Pebbles Family Ties papers on the page. Also, to keep it all light and springy, I went with yellow as a contrasting color rather than the red in my husband's shirt - which is sort of a pet peeve of mine.

(Coincidentally while this video was uploading, I was cleaning out his side of the closet.  I'm back to it this afternoon.  When I find that red shirt, it may get buried far, far back.  I swear he has that thing on every time I want to take his photo and I end up doing a lot of red layouts just because of that t-shirt.  Every other shirt seems to get stained eventually, but not that one.  I don't think he cares about it so much yet he really doesn't want to ever throw away any of his clothes.  I had to talk him into letting me give some sweaters not worn in years to Goodwill.  Oh, well, venting over :-)

Anyway, back to the layout... I colored in the flowers with a 'secret ingredient' you'll see in the video.  I didn't have the right color marker and found something else in my stash that worked out nicely.

The Cricut got a little work on this one, too for some simple embellishment.

Watch at YouTube

Here is the PDF with Sketch and tips.

Back to closet cleaning...thanks for watching today!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Remembering being a Stampin' Up! Demo

For a few months in 2009, I was a Stampin' Up! demo.  I wish I'd titled my page, My Stampin' Up! Experience or something like that.  Calling it "Lessons Learned" makes it sound like it was an all bad experience and that was definitely not the case.

Here are a few of the things that resulted from my brief time as a demonstrator:
  • I started my blog. This is one of the best things I've ever done.  I love blogging! I love the people the hobby has connected me to.  I love being able to share my work with people who appreciate the creative process.  Thank you for being here.
  • I began having card classes in my home.  My demonstrator immediately assigned a "stamp a stack" to me that she didn't have time to do and that was the start of having card classes.  The ladies and I enjoy them very much.  I've been a trainer for years so this came naturally.
  • Sales does not come naturally to me.  Having had a sales job once before, I knew this.  My original plan was just to be a hobby demo but my demonstrator talked me into having some workshops so I got caught up a little bit in trying to sell.  I always prefaced my workshops with how I wanted people to really enjoy themselves, try out the product and not to feel obligated to buy unless they felt the hobby was a good fit for them.  I truly believe this, but you can see why I might have had some trouble making sales.
  • Since I don't enjoy attending home parties, I should have known I would be really uncomfortable having them.  Personally I want to be invited to someone's home because they want me there - not my checkbook.
  • No one company makes everything.  In my previous sales job, we only sold one product so it was easy to say we had the best and mean it.  Stampin' Up! makes fantastic quality products.  They are not, however, the only product I want to use so I was very uncomfortable trying convince anyone else of that.
  • That said, I love the many products I acquired as a demonstrator.  There were only a couple of things I ever bought that I regretted.
  • Stamping has been a gateway into other crafts and has added so much to my scrapbook pages.  
I left Stampin' Up! after only a few months because it was going to be difficult to meet the minimum sales and the company was putting a lot of restrictions on what we could say on our blogs and even in our e-mail.  I didn't and still don't agree with this business philosophy.  I believe we all benefit from sharing resources and ideas.

So I still buy Stampin' Up!  I do card classes and some card videos with their products.  I'll even post about their sales and new catalogs.  I just use them as one of the many craft vendors I enjoy.

For this retrospective page, I used a sketch from Life.Paper.Scrapbook, a new Australian Quarterly scrapbooking publication which is just awesome!

In keeping with the theme and time frame, I used all Stampin' Up! products most from roughly the 2009 time frame.  The scallop circles were made with the Big Flowers set layered on another set of scallop designs.  The tab punch was one of my first purchases from Stampin' Up!   I was at the time doing a scrapbook page series where tabs were just the perfect embellishment.  Even the ribbons are Stampin' Up!  The background paper is my very last piece of Sage Shadow paper - a color discontinued in the last color revamp.

I resisted the urge to use mists so I stamped little dots on the background with SU!'s Itty Bitty Background set.   My journaling is tucked into the large pocket at the top.

Thanks for stepping back a few years with me today.  Later in the week, I'll have a Project Life video using mostly new products and yes, there will be mist...and also stamps and ink.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Favorite Stamp

I wanted to let a friend know I was thinking of her this week.  She lost a beloved pet.  We all adored her sweet cat.

The Upsy Daisy Stamp from Stampin' Up! has always been a favorite as it looks so pretty on any background.  Here I stamped and embossed with clear powder on watercolor paper and then went over with watercolors.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On the road again...

Oh, gosh, now I have that old Willie Nelson song running through my mind!  It's Lenny who is about to be on the road in these photos.  These are from last summer when he was off for 3 weeks (!) to see his family.  He was excited to go visit and excited to get back home as well.

For the page, I used some of the papers I got from Pamela's World of Scrap giveaway and a little new My Mind's Eye and some very old October Afternoon Campfire collection.  The map print is an Amy Tangerine.

Initially I thought I might trace his route with a yellow marker.  When I examined the print, I couldn't find Interstate 40.  Actually I couldn't find any Interstates.  The paper was obviously made from a pre-1950's map.  So I used the pins from Little Yellow Bicycle to mark the points.  The video shows how I worked with the long pins.

The title had to be adjusted to fit the stickers left in the pack.  There were so many choices for a travel themed page "On the Road Again" "The Highway is Calling" "Road Trip" and on and on.

These circles are punched from some Studio Calico Yearbook paper.  Gosh, this layout isn't just a trip across country it is a trip through all the manufacturer's lines! 

The rest of the page came together fairly easily.  I've noticed that I'm relying more and more on Washi tape to pull together my colors.  It is just so easy to add or remove if it doesn't work out.

Watch at YouTube

Here's the sketch and tips in PDF form.

Thanks for visiting today!  I've printed my Project Life photos for the week and will have a new PL page next week.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Card making Process Video

I just love these little bird images from Stampin' Up!  This is a current set called For the Birds.

For the video, I shared some of my process for designing a card.  Sometimes I start with colors.  Sometimes I start with a specific need or tone I want to set such as a pastel colored birthday card for a friend who wears those colors or a sympathy card.  Other times, like these, I had a specific image so I wanted a design and colors that fit the image.

Washi tapes provide the color.  You could use scraps of designer paper as well.

I have several versions of this card all similar with slight variations.   Two different images were used.  Some have sprinkles of mist, one is sprayed with mist and the other has a plain background.

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, April 8, 2013

First School Dance

Doesn't he look handsome all ready for his first school dance?  Jaime, who was a chaperon for the Valentine's dance, said none of the kids in Dillon's class really danced.  I guess you wouldn't expect them to at that age.  Still you have to start this growing up somewhere.  It won't be long before he has real dates and proms.  I'm sure she's not ready to think about all that.

For the page, I used ideas from a Two Peas video in their free series 213 in 2013. Each week there is a video with about 5 ideas of things you can do to spice up your scrapbooking.   The video I watched was from Core Jones.  She did a page where she created a sunburst and embossed each section with different colors of embossing powder - all bright colors.  I loved the idea of using a lot of different stamps randomly.

In my case, I created a heart design and used neutral colors.  I'll confess though that at first this seemed daunting.  I almost gave up after the first couple of stamps and embossings but kept going. It really started to get fun as I could see my heart taking shape.

After finishing the silver, pewter and white heart, I misted it with Heidi Swapp Color Shine in silver.  Then I masked that off and did the rest of the background with copper, gold and black embossing powders.  This was a wonderful chance to use a set of paisley stamps I've had forever and rarely used.

With so much in the background, I kept the photo, title and embellishment really simple.  The arrangement is very similar to my "Don't Worry" watercolor background page from a few days ago.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'll be back tomorrow with some cards and a video.
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