Saturday, November 30, 2013

Looking for Leaves - Process video and Sketch

(Sorry for the delay in posting this week.  Our Internet has and is down through the holidays :-(.  I'm missing all the sales!)

In the NC Mountains, traffic can get heavy in the fall as parades of "Leaf Lookers" want to take in the scenery.  This fall pretty leaves were hard to come by.  I don't know if it was our extremely wet summer or that it has barely rained since the first of September.  Many of the trees just turned brown and the leaves fell off.  There were a few pretties to look at and we went searching for them one October day.

The 5 photo layout has 3 - 3x5" photos and 2 smaller ones.  The chipboard trees are from Maya Road.  I love painting and stamping chipboard.

The background paper is stenciled with a Claudine Hellmuth stencil and some distress inks.  Here's the video at YouTube:

and the sketch:

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Capturing the Holiday (December Daily)

"December Daily" seems to be the catch phrase for all the various albums and systems used to document the holiday system.  This is my first holiday season trying to document on a regular basis and I thought I'd share what I'm doing - or part of what I'm doing.

The first thing I started is an art journal.  At last count I have 7 pages done!  I'm quite proud of myself as this is 6 pages more than the first time I tried an art journal a few years ago.  I haven't shown it to anyone yet as it is pretty basic.  OK, some of the pages might be downright ugly but I'm learning and playing and I am capturing stories and thoughts of the holiday season.  I started this in October actually and I'll share more about it later.

What I just started is a little envelope of cards to capture the memories of the season as they unfold.  A few days ago I attended Lain Ehmann's November Scrapinar called Dazzle Your Decemer (It is available for viewing through November 24).  If you are on her e-mail list, you heard of this I'm sure.  You didn't even have to register.  She shared some great ideas for capturing the holidays without a complex system.

The day after her webinar I found myself at the doctor's office with my dad for a last minute appointment.  (No big problem, he's fine).  His doctor is quite prompt so we didn't have to wait long.  Nevertheless, as soon as we sat down I thought "Darn, I forgot my book."  I accompany my parents to  a lot of appointments and am never without a book.  In the rush, I forgot.  So I peeked inside my purse to see if there was anything there to amuse me.  Nothing.

Then I remembered the Scrapinar and thought "wouldn't it be great if I had a little book or something to write some holiday ideas on?"

And that was the basis for this envelope system.  I created a custom envelope to hold 4x6 index cards.  On the cards I wrote a few of the following prompts.  Now when I'm out with a free moment, I can document holidays past or present.

My prompts:
  • Christmas Past - Gifts
  • Christmas Past - Decorations
  • Christmas Past - Family
  • Christmas Past - Events
  • Christmas Present (no pun intended) - Gifts
  • Christmas Present - Decorations
  • Christmas Present - Family 
  • Christmas Present - Events
  • Favorite Treats
  • Thanksgiving Past
  • Thanksgiving Present
  • Giving Thanks for...
  • Signs of Christmas  (what do I see right now that reminds me of the holiday season)
Granted these are very broad.  I could write a book on many of these topics.  I just want them to jiggle my mind to write something that might become inspiration for an art journal page, a blog post or a scrapbook page.  For example, Christmas Past - Gifts might be the 'best gift received as a child' or 'what my Aunt Clara always sent me for Christmas' or 'how I dog-earred the Sears Wishbook.'  

There are tons of stories just waiting to be captured and often I find myself with a few minutes here or there as a captive in a waiting room.  Perhaps you have a few minutes waiting to pick up a child from school or an activity.  

I put this to use this afternoon when at the eye doctor with my Mother to write down a few of the ways we celebrated Christmas at church and with family when I was growing up.

I think the key to this is to just get some thoughts, memories and ideas down.  Don't stress if you don't do something with every card.  The "Christmas Past" cards might get scrapbooked or journaled or they may get filed with my older 4x6 photos for a scrapbook page some other time.  The memory isn't just in  my head anymore, it is on paper and that is memory keeping.

Here is the video for creating the project:

Are you doing a holiday album or other memory keeping project?  Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Complementary Pages and going barefoot in public

In October, my parents celebrated their 55th anniversary.  My husband and I took them to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville for dinner.  Beforehand, we visited a couple of art galleries.  And in one of them, I ran around barefoot.

First, you should know that my mother is a very stylish woman.  She loves to shop for pretty clothes.  She maintains her figure and can wear clothes from many years past combined with more current fashions.  She really has a gift at putting together beautiful, if sometimes impractical, ensembles.  On the way to Asheville, she showed me her fabric covered pumps and matching bag she'd bought several years ago at a boutique.  She pointed to a shopping bag and said she'd brought along a change of shoes.

After the first gallery, she slipped off her pumps in the car; her pretty shoes were pinching her toes.  So I suggested her spare pair.  Turns out they were high heels too with even more pointed toes!  In the 2nd gallery, she said she was just going to slip off her shoes and go barefoot.  Well, this one had polished wood floors and I was afraid she would fall.  That is how, she ended up wearing my sensible and comfortable shoes and I went barefoot.  I spent most of my time ducking around corners trying to avoid the staff who must have wondered where this barefoot hillbilly had wondered in from.  Oh well, they probably weren't surprised when we didn't buy anything.  They couldn't expect us to afford art, if we couldn't manage shoes.

Regardless, we enjoyed the art.  Dinner at the Grove Park means a stunning view of the mountains and tons of food.

For the pages, I put together a mini kit of supplies using Webster's Pages Recorded collection in 6x6 and some 12x12 plus a bunch of other stuff.  I talk about this process at the beginning of the first video.  The hearts are from Maya Road and they combine with an old trim and some MME enamel dots.  The cork piece is Little Yellow Bicycle.  The trim is Lawn Fawn.

This burgandy mistable gave me a fit.  The video explains some of may challenges.  In the end, paint saved the day.

So here it part 1 which is selecting the materials and doing the top page:

And here is part 2, doing the gallery page:

And here is the sketch for part 1

The sketch for Part 2 can be found with this post as I've used it before.

Thanks for stopping by today!  You'll be happy to know that I haven't gone barefoot in public anymore - it's too cold.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Peaceful cards

Just because I've made all the Christmas cards I have to make, doesn't mean I have to stop making them does it?

I hope not, as I do enjoy making holiday cards.  I can always save them for next year.  These are made with Raisin Boat's new set  Merry Nature .  I combined it with an image from Lovely as a Tree by Stampin' Up! for one of the cards.  Also had fun playing with mists and distress inks on the backgrounds.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week gets off to a good start!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Whimsical Project Life


What to do when you fall of the Project Life wagon?  Well, get back on - and apparently go a little crazy with your layout!  I kept up taking photos and scrapping them through July (about the time I started creating the Creative Cardstock class) and then I faltered a bit.  I took photos more sporadically and didn't scrap any of those as PL layouts until now.

So here's August!  For this whimsical layout, I misted some Bazzill orange peel white cardstock with several mists to match my photos and the Pebbles Lakeside 6x6 papers used for the lettering.

For the lettering, I did something that really isn't like me at all.  These are hand cut (no kidding, right?) and outlined.  I tried this in an art journal page recently and liked it so I thought it went with this fun page.  I did sneak in a few Thickers for the numbers. Otherwise, I'd go into Thicker withdrawal and I can't imagine what that would be like!

Washi tape frames the page.  That fun polka dot one on the right is from Doodlebug.

Here's the process video on YouTube:

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Papertrey Ink giveaway

Every 15th of the month, Papertrey Ink releases their new stamps, dies and other products for the month.  In the days leading up, they offer a chance at a $75 gift certificate each day and on the 15th, a $150 gift certificate. Here is Nicole's blog with the details:  Nicole's blog

I've never won but it is always fun to see what is new and keep trying.  I particularly like this giveaway because it is a gift certificate and just requires a blog comment.  They keep it nice and simple.

I'll be back later in the week with a new - slightly offbeat - layout and video.  Happy day!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scrapbook Process Video: The Monster Math

Halloween isn't really my holiday so I don't have any Halloween product.  For this page, I used orange, purple and very dark brown (almost black) Washi, papers and mist to create a Halloween page.

The photo is of my stepdaughter, Jaime (far right) and her fellow teachers.  When she was telling me about the other teachers, she told me about an event they did for their students for Halloween. One of the teachers took Monster Mash and changed the words to title the song, The Monster Math.  "Do the Monster Math..."  Then one teacher would say "why not social studies?"  and another teacher "Why not science?" as they each have their own specialties.  It sounded like a fun memory so I used it to title the page even though the photo wasn't taken that exact day.

For the chipboard stars, I peeled of the layer of covering they came with and embossed them in a copper color.  The Thickers had a few extras like asterisks and periods to use for embellishment.

To keep with the math theme, the main part of the page is misted over a number stencil.   I didn't quite get the misting in the best spot so I showed in the video how I recovered.

Here's the process video at YouTube:

Here's the sketch:

This was such a fun page to do.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Decor

My latest mixed media canvas is for Thanksgiving.  The stamp is from Cloud 9 and is a quote from Oprah Winfrey.

For the canvas, I used a lot of neutrals and citron green paint for the base.  Eventually I covered the entire surface with a combination of Faber Castell glaze and Vintage Photo reinker so it became more of light avocado green.  It takes just a couple of drops of the ink to give a nice aged glaze. The leaves were cut on the Cricut in several layers of pattern paper and light chipboard and then glued together.  It makes them really sturdy.  They feel more like wood veneer.
I don't normally do anything different in the house for fall but save all my decorating for Christmas.  Do you put out fall decor?

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holiday cards - check!

Ok, this never happens.  I have my holiday cards done!  Not only my cards but my mother's cards as well.  While I always love doing them, it is so nice to not be under pressure to finish.

This year, I got an early start thanks to my Raisin Boat stamp rental subscription.  I've enjoyed the variety of stamps.  I do think though this will be my last month as I've completed Christmas and I don't think I would use the same sets enough each month to keep going.  For the holidays, I chose sets that had some coloring and just stamped up a bunch of images before returning a set.  I also used the subscription to add a few new images for our card classes this fall.

Also, I got a little smarter in that I didn't get hung up on a design that took hours and hours to make the cards.  It was tempting with this elf on the rooftop.  I CASEd this almost exactly from one on the site.  The difference is the roof.  Their card had individual shingles.  I did two like that and they were just too time consuming - and messy as I had to use a hot glue gun to get the shingles to stick after embossing all the edges.  Talk about putting in the hours!  I don't know exactly how they made their sample, but my best efforts at replicating it just took too long.  So I did 3 long shingles on each card and left it at that.  Plus I only did 8 of these for my cards and concentrated on other designs like the one on top that is mostly coloring with simple assembly.

Most of my cards this year feature these adorable little elves.  The 'snow' is using white fabric paint.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Roof Top Tour - 2 Page Layout and Video

Asheville's Biltmore used to call this the Roof Top tour.  Now it is the Architect's Tour.  I stuck with Roof Top as that is really why I took it to go out on the roof (or really the ledges).  Also, "Architect" was too long to fit in my space :-)

In the video you see that I started with a different color scheme and plan and changed it after finishing the modeling paste border.  I'm much happier with the final color scheme as the softer colors work better with the color of the house and the feel of the slightly cloudy, cool morning.  They seem to me a little dressier too.

As for the tour, I treated myself to this for my birthday this spring. My husband has been to Biltmore far more than he really wants and he isn't at all interested in hanging out on the ledges of any building.  I learned a lot about the architect, Richard Morris Hunt, and how the house was constructed.  I've been to Biltmore at least a couple dozen times but I still learn new things and see little touches here and there that I've missed.  It is an amazing design.  Whenever I watch Downton Abbey, it feels like I'm seeing the Biltmore come to life.

For the pages, I used one traditional 12x12 and one pocket page so I could fit in more 4x6 photos.  To created the border, I spread modeling paste over a Prima damask stencil.  It still amazes me that the heavier mediums like gels and paste work the best with stencils.  All of the journaling is on vellum to add to the soft feel.  The idea for the title work came from a layout in Sue Althouse's Perfect Your Process class going on now.

The stencil came in handy again to add just a touch of design and color to the lonely top of the left hand page.

Here's the video:

I didn't do a sketch for this one since I was working with the pocket pages and the left page was pretty simple.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Card Box Top

About 3 years ago, I bought this white photo storage box at Hobby Lobby.  It is the perfect size for standard size cards so I keep some made up for birthdays, thank you's, etc.  At the time I tried to decorate it by stamping the top.  The slick surface didn't take to my dye ink at all.  Everything smeared.  Then, I'd never heard of gesso and didn't know what to do.  So I did the best thing I could think of - I procrastinated.

Finally, this weekend, I gesso, Mod Podged, and painted the top of this box.  The chipboard swirls are from Oriental Trading. I've had these for years to and have tried numerous times to fit them on a layout but they were just too big.  I'm glad they found a home.  They were covered with gesso, stamped with permanent black ink and then gone over again with a mixture of white paint and gel.  I put a final coat of Faber Castell glaze over the chipboard before gluing it on with Glossy Accents.

Some of the paint and stencils I used are products that just came in from Simon Says Stamp.  I was the lucky winner of a gift certificate and did my first order with them a few days ago.  The haul is covered in this video:

Lately I have an obsession with Mod Podge and paint.  I'm eyeing all kinds of things around the house that might need a little artistic touch.  The cat better not nap too long in one spot!  (Just kidding, Jasper)

Happy Monday!
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