Saturday, December 31, 2011

My favorite cards from 2011 -

This is the time of the year when lots of bloggers are reminiscing about their favorite projects of the past year.  Karin Martin is hosting "A Year in Review" on her blog, so I thought I'd jump on that bandwagon with my favorite cards from 2011.
This bird makes me happy since he is from cardstock that was covered in washi tape stuck in a plaid pattern.
Colored with Copics, this card features a fun layout and a set from SU! that has been sadly neglected -
The flower on this card is a removable pin - a card and a gift all in one!!
Carved my own chevron stamps - boy, have I loved using these on lots of projects this year.
Patterned paper that matches any color combo you want is possible if you stamp your own.
Sometimes everything adds up just right - That's how I feel about this CAS butterfly card!
The colors, stamp set and "beachy" feeling of this card set makes me miss living in Florida.
A gorgeous coat in a Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger sparked this yellow paper rose on a pink damask background.
This is one of my favorite cards ever from last year.  All the vintage images (Graphics Fairy) were imported, resized and printed onto vellum.  I cracked myself up with the punny sentiment - 
YUP - those are my favorites from 2011 - 

Friday, December 30, 2011

LIM47, CQC117 - Vellum rose "Bonjour"

It is unseasonably warm and sunny around here these days - in the 50's!!  Not sure what to think about it but I am enjoying the pleasantness while it lasts!  Today's card is based on 4 current challenges!!  First up is the CARDS challenge to use vellum.  Little Birdie Studios made a video nearly two years ago that inspired my first ever paper rose!  I've made gobs of them since, but vellum (because of its thickness) is a little trickier to work with, so I am thrilled with how this bloom turned out!! The second challenge is the sketch by Lucy Abrams featured below.  Lucy is one of my favorite designers for Hero Arts - she make the most beautiful creations with kraft cardstock!!
The third challenge is from the Less is More blog to make a clean and simple card featuring Just One Word (LIM47).  My one word is Bonjour (retired stamp from a muse) - I always thought that was two words but since I don't speak French I am not going to quibble with a stamp about its spelling.  Finally, the last challenge is from a blog that is new to me - ColourQ (cqc117) - Black, White and one other color of your choosing.
Never thought the color of my choosing would be orange but that small scrap of Basic Grey Ambrosia paper was just begging to be used and seems to be the perfect backdrop for the gorgeous rose!  Maybe I should listen to my patterned paper more often!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Watercoloring in the car -

Have you ever watercolored in the car?   I would never think to do such a thing if not for the inspiration I get from artists like Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Donna Downey who think nothing of creating on the go.
These are the tools that I packed - Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim, KOI Water Colors, ZIG Millenium Waterproof Markers, pencil, Copic Marker, ZIG White Opaque paint pen and a kitchen towel to soak up the watery mess.
My first picture was inspired by LAB 20 - Take inspiration from Spanish artist Joan Miro.  I am not familiar with his art (and therefore may have something totally un-"Miro-esque") but the elements and geometric forms called to me and inspired my crazy bird.
My second picture was inspired by LAB 19 - Picasso Dogs.  Obviously, I decided to go human and not canine but my son Caleb says my bald lady is as ugly as a dog.  He is quite disturbed with this picture and asked me to not even put it in my art journal.  If the purpose of "art" is to provoke emotion than I will take that as a compliment.
Both the watercolors were painted on our way to Mississippi to visit family.  Once we were there though it was time for some traditional stamping.  My cousin, Selena, had a commission to make some mini calendars and I jumped in to help her.  Here are the 18 mini calendars I whipped up.  All her mini calendars are gone now but I managed to snag one of the butterfly ones for myself - I'm sneaky that way!
I did some painting on the way home too - and will post that on another day. . .

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger: Stripe-tastic!!

Tuesday Trigger time and this pic is very cool!  While I am not so in love with the dress, I think it is super cool to have the fabric on the wall behind her.  I used to work for some people that had padded linen on the walls of their powder room and it was really unique!!  The card uses patterned paper from the Stella Rose collection from My Mind's Eye to mimic the stripes but added a fun touch by mitering the corners.
The sentiment is one of my favorites from the Monogram Frames set from a muse|studio.  ALAS, it is soon to be retired along with many other sets - to see the complete list click here and to order click here!!
Have a great day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

CFC32, PDCC111, CSC70 - Aqua bird

I made this card on Friday but didn't have a chance to post until today - Life is busy, busy, busy!!  Three challenges are represented here - The Play Date Cafe Challenge (Black, White and Splash of Aqua), CASE Study Challenge (Amy Sheffer), and CAS-ual Friday Challenge (decorate your envelope).
The stamp is a clear stamp from Indakindado and the bird is diecut using the Tim Holtz Diecut.  A muse|studio Washi Tape decorates the envelope and the ground underneath the bird while a length of seam binding ties a pretty bow.  
Guess what??  I won a free spot in Alisa Burke's Create Daily Online Class - It starts January 1st - I can't wait!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Handmade Coptic Bound Art Journal

Look at my new art journal!!   I am so tickled with it because it is exactly "me"!  The perfect color, fabric, patterned paper, etc.  That is because I made it myself!!  My good friend Kim and I don't get to craft together near enough - in fact, a couple years back when she owned Serendipity and I taught at the store we didn't get to craft together at all!
When Kim asked if I wanted to try my hand at making an art journal with her I jumped at the chance - first stop was Blick to pick out the perfect Lineco Book Cloth (Linen).  An indispensable tool  is the teflon bone folder that I bought at The Paper Source about a year and a half ago - it was a huge splurge at the time but I use it every single time I craft!!
Here are my finished covers!  Used my most favorite paper (Roni - I only have 3 sheets left - YIKES!) - Cloud 9 Design, Hannah's Story Collection - Botanical Garden.  I so wish I had bought an entire pack of that particular design before it was retired!!  The front cover is enhanced with a quote that I cut down from a greeting card.
Here's my favorite part - the binding.  I've seen handmade journals in lots of books but never thought to try it out myself.  It was SO fun!!  I love how the Coptic binding looks just like a chain stitch in crochet.  This type of binding allows your book to lay flat when it is open and you can make it as thick as you choose (I used 5 signatures).
Kim printed out some botanical prints for me on vellum (she knows me so well) and I was tickled to layer them throughout my journal.  It adds a pop of color and whimsy here and there.
sigh. . . don't ya just love ferns?  Anyhoo - I love my  new journal so much that it is intimidating to me right now - not sure I'm ready to mess it up with my scribbles just yet and the binding bug was still biting me so I
cut up some old Little Golden Books and played more!  My boys are way too old for these children's books but reusing them allows me to still have the memories but in a practical way.  In fact, I am using the Tickle Me, Elmo book to store recipes in - the ones that you write on scraps of paper.  I have gobs of those and they needed a home.  (BTW - are you as creeped out as I am that "exercise Elmo" looks like Richard Simmons? I never noticed that until now).
Linking up to Artists in Blogland Show and Tell Saturday #15

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Sketchbook Challenge - Trashed, Ruined and Decay

Here are the definitions of Ruined and Decay:
1. Total destruction or disintegration, either physical, moral, social, or economic.
2. A cause of total destruction.
3.a. The act of destroying totally.
b. A destroyed person, object, or building.
4. The remains of something destroyed, disintegrated, or decayed
5. A gradual deterioration to an inferior state

My art journal page is reflecting definition 5 - gradual deterioration to an inferior state.  Fall leaves are beautiful but don't last long. . .  In an attempt to keep these colorful leaves from further decay I attached them to dictionary paper with Glossy Accents (Ranger) and then flipped the leaf over and applied more Glossy Accents all over the front of the leaf.  After a while I had a pretty pile of shiny leaves that were quickly cut out for use on other projects.
The aged background was made from patterned paper, masking tape, fabric book tape and "drippage" (if you watch Donna Downey Inspiration Wednesday videos you know exactly what I am talking about) and some painted/splattered paper I made a while back.
A stamped sentiment finishes up the page.  I will admit that even a few months ago I wouldn't have been able to stamp a sentiment like this on anything - it is soo sloppily done - the letters don't line up evenly - it isn't perfectly centered.  But. . . . I like it - kinda a lot - go figure!  Have you done anything creatively recently that you thought you would NEVER do??
Linking to Art Journal Every Day and Just Journals Link Party #8.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a muse|studio - Retiring List


All good things must come to an end  -  Above is the retiring list for the 2011 a muse studio catalog.  If you are interested in ordering any of the above sets do so quickly.  They won't be around for long!

Monday, December 12, 2011

CFC31, LIM45, CAS148 - Sweater Dog

Today's card is a mix of three current challenges - The CAS-ual Fridays "In the Mist" (use mists on your clean and simple card), the Less is More "Snow" one layer challenge and the SCS CAS148 "Chill Out" challenges.
At first glance you may not realize that this is a one-layer card.  A mask allowed only the center of the card to be open for misting while additional masks and sponging formed the snow banks.  A quick frame made with a fine-tip marker keeps the focus on the winter scene.
The shimmer spray (Blue Skies Glimmer Mist) is much more noticeable when the card is at an angle.  That adorable dog in a sweater stamp is a favorite of mine since it reminds us of our dog, Lily!  She has very short hair and spends all fall/winter in sweaters.  Want proof?
Four different pictures - four different sweaters.  Lily probably has 10 sweaters including some special "dress-up" sweaters with bling/flowers for when we visit Nana's house (yes, I am pitiful but I have no daughters and this is as close as I will get to a girl!!  No, her nails are not polished so Lily still has some dignity.)  The stamps are retired and from amuse.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Runway Inspired Challenge #1 (RIC1)

There is a new challenge blog on the block - The Runway Inspired Challenge started by Jennifer Rzasa.
Inspired by fashion, the first inspiration photo is taken from the Versace Spring 2012 collection featured at Milan Fashion Week.
Damask Floral clear stamps from Impression Obsession are stamped in black on white cardstock while the rolled flower and background layer are fashioned from Doodlebug Sugar Coated cardstock.  Sentiment is from a muse|studio (Vintage a muse).  This fun challenge is open through December 16th.

Friday, December 9, 2011

SheArt - Shell Girl

Mom and dad just got home from vacation in the Outer Banks of NC where mom was quite the beachcomber and returned with LOTS of gorgeous shells.  I decided to take most of the shells she gave me and do something different. . .
make a skirt for a SheArt girl!  Some of these shells are so different from what I am used to - they are smooth and worn like seaglass - I call them "shellglass".  After arranging them on my 6" x 12" canvas I penciled in my girl - Wouldn't you agree that a girl with a long, flowing skirt deserved long, flowing hair?
Stencils, sprays, rubons, markers, etc. added the details and the shells were attached with E6000.  There was a definite bad smell from the glue for a while but I was so enamored with the girl that I didn't mind too much.  The texture is fabulous
The SheArt girls are inspired by the online class taught by Christy Tomlinson.  Linking up to Show and Tell Saturday #14 at Artists in Blogland.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

FTL169 - hello

Quick post today - This card is based on the current FTL169 sketch from the Clean and Simple Stamping blog.  The circle has the Herringbone technique from SCS - so much fun the first time I tried it I decided to do it again - All patterned paper is from Basic Grey, sentiment stickers from Cosmo Cricket and felt embellishment is from Recollections - Boutique Fleur.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

CFC30, LIM44 - Love is for the birds. . .

What could be better than kraft with green?  How about SPARKLY kraft with green??  This card is based on the current CAS-ual Fridays challenge to choose a row tic-tac-toe style and make a CAS project.   As much as I wanted to do Stripes/Orange/Aqua (never in a million years!) - I settled on Green/Kraft/Chevrons.
Used my handcarved chevton stamp inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, the Martha Stewart Birds On a wire Edge punch along with a muse|studio cardstock, sentiment and ink.  A quick run through the Xyron and a generous sprinkle of Smoky Quartz Martha Stewart glitter and you have the sparkliest birds in town!!
This card is also for the Less is More Colour Challenge - GREEN.