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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

SNOW DAY!!!

The silver lining of a frigid winter is a . . . SNOW DAY!

I just got two and made good use of my time. I broke out the Gel Press petites sets of mini gel plates.  They are a great size, and act as a large clear stamp.





The fingers got a bit messy, but who cares!! I had a ball.



I even know what I'm going to do with all these amazing papers I created!! I've got a card design and I will be making some really colorful birthday cards.







Making every moment count!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Put that art on display!!!

I made an impulse purchase at an amazing art supply store just around the corner from me. It's called Artist and Craftsman and it's got all kinds of fun supplies and great gifts.  They had a display of Umbra products for displaying art on desks, walls and from the ceiling.  I decided to take a chance on home improvement and moved a framed artwork upstairs to make room on a wall near our kitchen.  I purchased this Umbra Hangit which has clips for 40 images. Even when it's not Christmas card season I love having pictures and art work. The fridge is an option, but doesn't seem to be a fitting locale. So this display is perfect!  For those who do not have a trove of art to show, the best part is that it comes with fun images, until you have time to add your own creations.

It's a simple design, albeit a bit stressful to put up in a home with plaster walls.  I'm not the best at being precise and I ended up going to the hardware store to pick up a new drill bit. Let's just say I was lucky that I got it up and any errors in my drilling efforts were covered up by the wood slats.


I will use this for my holiday cards and for the rest of the year, I'll put up photos and cards.  The one thing I want to do is to make sure pictures get out of my camera so I think I'll try to print a couple each month and remember the fun things we do through out the year.  


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Scan n Cut

I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos and happened to become intrigued by the Brother Scan n Cut machine demonstrated often by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  

I saw a project on Scrapbook Soup and invested in a cut file, a pattern prepared that you can purchase on Etsy.  I thought I'd try it out.  I'm thrilled with the results.

The hearts pattern started as a white sheet of card stock and I used crayons to color the columns of hearts in a somewhat complimentary group of colors. Then I used fiber paste with a stencil and allowed it to dry before arranging the hearts and sewing them so they stay lined up as they were in the cut file.







The next project was my own work of art, scanned and converted into a cut file.  I simply drew the love you below on paper, making large thick lines and connecting the word in a box shape, so that everything was "connected."  Then I scanned the image and the machine then read the image and cut it out.





It's really exciting to have my own artwork turned into a die cut that I can use in my art.  It allows me to create exactly what I need instantly.  So rewarding and I've only scratched the surface of what this machine can do.  Can't wait to show you more!!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Washi tape

As if art supplies are not addictive enough, now we have another item to obsess over.  Washi tape!!  I've been collecting it faster than I use it.

The collection began innocently enough, and now it's exploded.  I'm sharing some pictures of my stash, please don't judge my hoard.








Tim Holtz has a line he refers to as tissue tape, which is light and paper-like with the vintage theme.  Much like fun duct tape manufacturers are catching on selling lines in office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot. I've given rolls to my nephews in hopes they will use it in their smash books. One of their favorites is the caution tape and one that looks like tire tread.



A fun version I picked up at Paper Source is color your own washi tape. It is black and white design with room to color.  So I decided to try it out.  Since the washi tape has a slick surface I used Sharpie markers to do my coloring.  I have a huge collection and I had a blast decorating an envelope that I included with a friend's birthday gift. You need to enjoy coloring if you decide to use this tape.  







My only comment is that there are some tiny little spaces to color, so don't plan on using a very large piece unless you have a lot of time on your hands.

Also, the most recent addition to my collection is the Jane Davenport tapes I picked up at Michael's.  They were on sale and I adore them.  Particular favorite is the small roll that says "I'm learning to fly."




Finally, for the Christmas cards I delivered to neighbors I chose to dress up the naked envelopes with some tape from Paper Source. The tape is translucent, so the white of the envelopes just makes the tape pop even more.




Sunday, December 31, 2017

Flowers

Okay, so there's a part of me that wants to totally skip any reference to the fact that my last post was way, way back in the summer.  I guess with the big January 1 hours away I have decided to get back to posting my creative antics.  There are loads of blogs where people mention their regrets about their blogging frequency.  I'm going to just jump right [back] in.  Everyone knows how life goes, so I see no need to even say that I've been living a busy life.  You probably already figured that out.

In August I joined a community share garden, actual they refer to it as an urban flower farm in Philadelphia. It's called Love n' Fresh flowers.  I joined online late in the season and each week, for 4 wonderful weeks, I would pick up a huge bucket of cut flowers. The best part of this deal is that late in the summer I got tons of these amazing dahlias. My neighbor Theresa has beautiful dahlias which I posted about in the past.  These flowers are stunning colors and frankly, they didn't look real.

I took them home and grouped them into half a dozen floral arrangements and shared them with friends at work.  

These are pics of the amazing trove.


I




If I could name the bunch above I'd have to call it Bollywood.





This last bunch is my favorite.  The flowers look like those honeycomb tissue paper decorations.  I wish there were a way to collapse and preserve them and open them up whenever I want.  Alas, the photos are my only memory now.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Another trip down memory lane

I have to say that organizing my studio is a teeny, tiny bit like being Indiana Jones for a day.  Thankfully, there are smaller spiders and no snakes and it's exhilarating to go through relics of my crafting history.  I never know what I'll find and sometimes it's like a time capsule, where I get the joy of reliving my creative past.  Other times I realize that I have totally outgrown any interest in certain collected treasures which, at one time, were like the holy grail.

Those of you who are artists, who enjoy taking classes might know what I'm talking about.  I took a class once and learned to make metallic ornaments from aluminum trays.  After that class I was obsessed with visiting dollar stores in search of the perfect type of tray.  I used old antique keys at one time and that began an Ebay obsession where I was bidding on boxes of "antique" keys.  

Please don't get me started on old jars of buttons, I could dedicate a post just to that collection alone.  

Anyway, the best find is artwork created ages ago that you really love.  I found this board from my last class at Create an Impression, a rubber stamp store that closed years ago sadly.  I loved teaching classes at my friend Heather's store, which was in Ardmore, PA. I worked at the store for a time, and taught classes and I wanted to advertise. So I started making boards to hang up and I'd attach the sample cards to the board.  I now treasure these, because they are like my own portfolio.  

For this particular class I had the students sign the board for me, as a souvenir of the last class I'd be teaching at my favorite rubber stamp store.  It means so much to find it. The staff, students and customers at Heather's store were the best.  I always felt that Create an Impression was my "Cheers" where everyone knew your name and we were always so excited to see everyone and shop for the newest products.  I met so many great people.  I miss it and it's great to take a trip back.



Here are a couple samples from the class.  The title was inspired by a line of products called 7 Gypsies.  I still love the style, it was so "me" and they had these great clear buttons, so we applied decorative paper to the back with Judikins Diamond Glaze.  I also loved the copper tape, which I put through a label maker to emboss letters.





The heart card below was fun. Using wire, ribbon and other findings (including coffee stained paper) to make a personal card.  Just yesterday I found the jar of instant coffee (French Vanilla) I used to stain the paper and man does that paper smell amazing.  I recall using the mixed coffee to stain the paper but also using the granules on top of puddles making really interesting patters on the paper.  



Thanks for joining me on this trip.  I hope to do more organizing so I was thinking that maybe throwback Thursdays are in order to check out some older cards to get a new take on them.

TTFN!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Happy Summer and it's off to a great start!

I have so much to tell you about!  I'm brimming with news and excitement.

So I actually tended to my email a couple weeks ago and noticed that one of my favorite artists and teachers was blogging about her new book.  The artist is Nathalie Kahlbach who is a mixed media artist and has her own line of stamps, stencils and an amazing blog. She also hosts the Creative Jumpstart online classes, which I was gifted a couple years ago.   

I took a class with Nat at the Create New Jersey retreat in 2014! Anyway, I posted to her blog to enter the contest to win a copy of her book and voila!!  I was the winner!!  The book is called ARtful Adventures in Mixed Media and here's the link to her blog, where I won!!

Nathalie Kahlbach's blog N*Studio


I was so excited when the book arrived I had to take a picture to send to her.  Her book has great ideas and is a wonderful go-to guide for those of us who have been paper artists for a long time and sometimes need a creative prompt to help decide what to work on next.  I love the idea of using photos of what we see each day to inspire us.  

Can't wait to make some art, inspired by Nat's book!!

I've got some fun artwork to post, but I'll keep you in suspense.