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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines- Count your Blessings

Good morning everyone!  Wednesday again, and getting a bit blustery here in Chicago.  Today's hop encouraged me to show you how the very last leaves that have been clinging to the trees are finally giving up the ghost and dropping (or blowing) off the trees.  If you began at Robbie, then you already have an idea of what we are doing, but if you are starting here, no worries - you will circle back in time! 
Here is this week's inspiration photo and Stampin' Up! colors:

and here is what I have chosen to do with them:

 As you can see, I swirled all of the colors into here, stamped with both Soft Suede and Basic Black, and I even added a few little gold sequins (Nothing Gold Can Stay - for you big readers out there)... 

Now be sure to hop on over to Carol's website today and see what she is up to today!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - Soft & Simple

Good morning, and happy Wednesday - are you ready to HOP??  Great! If you started with Robbie, then you started right at the beginning... but we are a big circle, so even if you started here, if you just keep hopping you will see all of us!

Here is this week's inspiration picture:
and the coordinating Stampin' Up! colors are:
Pistachio Pudding
Wild Wasabi
Basic Black
Crisp Cantaloupe
Pear Pizzazz

And her is what I have for you today

I hope that you have enjoyed the hop so far today, and that you will continue to hop along and visit Carol and see what she has for you today!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 31, 2014

BOOO! Take the Plunge!

Happy Halloween (for all of you Halloween lovers out there)!  I will admit something to you.  I am not really a Halloween lover.  I love my kiddos, and they really wanted to have a party this year, so I caved.  We are having a Halloween party ~ and I am enjoying myself.  I probably only own about 6 seasonal decorations, so it was a bit of a stretch for us, but we rocked it!  The theme this week over at The Paper Plunge is "Anything but a card"... not a problem here - we have been crafting fools the last few days, and not a single card in the mix.  I am also cheating a bit here... First - my kids made the treat bags I am putting here.  Second, they were last month's Paper Pumpkin kit.  Paper Pumpkin is a monthly kit that is mailed straight to your door, with everything you need (except adhesive) to make a project... these kits are so easy, even kids can easily be successful completing them, and they make a fun group project.    Here are some of the things we made:

We also made the Halloween Wreath kit... this was only slightly more challenging as it needed a hot glue gun and a bit of patience making the bead spider:

We wrapped washi tape around the bottoms of votive candles to spruce them up, and one last thing we did, we took paper straws (all the rage right now), and used the mustache framelits die and cut out some black mustaches... we then added them to the straws (to one side), and they are adorable when you hold them up to your face!  How fun is that??

Okay - so maybe we'll survive this season afterall!   Be sure to pop over to The Paper Plunge and give this "Anything but a card" challenge this week! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

WooHoo! Handmade Market

Well hello there!  An extra post for me this week, which is amazing since I have been running like a chicken without a head, but I really am excited about an upcoming Handmade Market at Vintage Fresh, where I will be showcasing many little holiday goodies!  One of the things I get tons of requests for each year are little grab-and-go gift items that are great for all of the people in your lives that you like to acknowledge with a small token.  A gift that is both handy and always appreciated is a post-it note holder that people are proud to have on their desk or counter!  I made some of these fall versions for the upcoming market - I completely love the Designer series paper that Stampin' Up! has for fall, and the little wooden leaf accents are just so fun!
It is hard to see in this photo, but I have added a little strand of gold sequin trim into the ribbons at the top, and, in person, that makes a huge difference!  The Handmade Market is Nov.7th and 8th - I will look for you there!!  Hope you enjoyed this!  Be sure to stop by again tomorrow, as I will have my Design Team entry for the new challenge over at The Paper Plunge!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - through the window

Good morning, and happy Wednesday!  Today is once again time to hop - so let's get moving!  If you began with Robbie, I am sure you are already happy with the fun you have in store for you!  She is always amazing!  On Wednesdays, we use an inspiration picture and the coordinating Stampin' Up! colors and make something special for you.  This week I went pretty literal, and used both the colors and the theme of the photo!  What do you think?
Here is the inspiration photo:

The coordinating Stampin' Up! colors we used were:
Mossy Meadow
Pear Pizzazz
Perfect Plum
Crumb Cake
and Basic Black (I skipped this one - sorry ladies!)

I really love green in general, but especially green with purple, so this card was an easy choice for me!  I made my card using punch art, and only one stamp - the Hardwood stamp for the background.  I did use the same colored inks to ink the edges of the flowers to give them more texture. 

Here is what I have got for you :
I took a closer picture to show you what I did with the window.  I used window sheet and dimentionals to make it look more like glass, so you will be able to see the reflection of the lights in my studio in the "window". 
I am actually loving the way this card turned out!  That makes me smile!

Now hop on over to Carol and see what she has done with this picture.  I am sure she will make you smile too!  Have a great day, and stop back tomorrow to see what I have been making for an upcoming Handmade Market!  Thanks for hopping!

Friday, October 24, 2014

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night... Plunge!

Hello!  I have been promising for awhile now, but haven't wanted to post a picture of the Halloween invitations that we sent out for our upcoming party (go back a few posts and get the whole skinny on this deal), until after my kids' friends would have received them in the mail.  So today is the happy day that I get to show you what I have made -  (it is also my Design Team project for The Paper Plunge challenge website).

It is a double-slider card, which means that you pull on one side, and BOTH sides come out opposite sides.  This means you get a whole series of pictures... here we go!
halfway open
fully open!
This card is not that difficult to make (after you've made one or two), and always has a great "Wow" factor!  I am considering posting a few videos... would you like to learn how to make something like this?  Let me know what you would like to learn in the comments area below, and I will see what I can do about posting some videos for you!

Have a great weekend, and please be sure to pop over to The Paper Plunge and check out some of the great SPOOKY cards my fellow designers came up with this week!!  Once you are fully inspired, make a Halloween or dark card yourself and enter it in our challenge!  We would love to see what you make!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - farewell summer

Good morning and happy Wednesday!  If you are starting with me, you are doing just fine...Robbie is actually the first stop, but in a circle, does it really matter?  If you just keep hopping along, you will go full circle, and see all of the cards!

This week was tough for me,  long and hard, and this week's colors didn't really speak to me.  I was describing the colors to my sister, Jill, and without seeing the picture, she said, "oh, that's a sail boat scene - maybe some seagrass, and blue sky...".  Yeah, right.  She lives in Arizona, where they still have a bit of warmth.  Hard to muster a sailboat scene, when I am bundled down in my studio in bulky socks and a sweatshirt!  That is why I chose the sentiment I did.  I normally love fall, but after the last winter we had in Chicago, I was not looking forward to the seasonal change.  Here is the inspiration photo (which I didn't use at all) - and the coordinating SU colors are: Crisp Cantaloupe, Basic Black, Marina Mist, Mossy Meadow, and Very Vanilla.

and here is what I have for you...

I apologize for the obvious lack of mojo, but sometimes that is what you get!  Last week I promised you a picture of the Halloween party invitation I made for our upcoming party... well, only today did I get those in the mail, so I should be able to have the picture posted for you tomorrow... Please stop back (it's worth it).  In the meantime, I hope you get a little better inspiration from Carol this week - I know she always gets my wheels turning! 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall-tastic Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday means happy hop-day!  Today for our blog hop, our good friend Robbie from Inkedx2 has matched up a picture with the Stampin' Up! coordinating colors and set us loose to play!  This is a hop, meaning that when you are done checking out what I have for you, you should hop along to the next person and see what their interpretation looks like - bet it is different!  Today, instead of matching up the picture, I just used the colors to inspire me... that and my drive home from teaching some amazing young adults over at SEASPAR...  the grey day outside does dampen the mood a bit - but the beauty of the front of my neighborhood in the fall time sure does help.  I'll show you what I mean...
Here is the inspiration photo and coordinating colors:

and here is what I was thinking about when I sat down to design...

So here is what I made for you today:
 and a close up so you can see what I did for the "water"... I sponged some craft white ink on top of the "water" area to make it look more splashy.  It doesn't matter that the trees don't match up with the exact daubers of color to give you a fall effect! 
 Snap a quick picture today of something that you like, and try and see what you can do to either re-create it, or just do something that gives you the same feeling!  I think you will be surprised with what you can do!  Now hop on over to Carol's Cards and see what fabulous thing she will have for us over there!  It is always something great!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Creative Blog Hop!

Welcome to the next hop on the Creative Blog Hop!  I was so honored to be tagged by a fellow papercrafting artist, Elizabeth Volker, over at Willow Tree Papercrafting.  She is amazing and her blog is so much fun to explore!  I hope you will take a minute to check it out - then be sure to follow her blog by email - you aren't going to want to miss a thing! 

I am so excited to tell you all about myself and my creative process - I have been thinking about this post since Elizabeth told me she was going to tag me.  So let's get started:

1. What am I working on right now?

Well, like all creative types, I am always working on several projects!  A few of my friends and I just started a brand new challenge website, called The Paper Plunge, so that has been keeping me hopping lately - I do a project for that each week, and manage the posting and promoting for that...  I also do a weekly Coloring Down the Lines Blog hop every Wednesday right here on my blog, which was started by a good friend of mine, Robbie Rubala from Inkedx2, and it's purpose was to make us each get out of our color ruts (c'mon, you all know we have them) and step out of our comfort zones.  We have been doing this for about two years, and the hop has evolved into using an inspiration photo and the coordinating color pallete.  This has been a huge growth exercise for me, as an artist, and I would highly recommend that if you haven't participated in a challenge website or a hop, that you give one a try - I guarantee you will grow.

Like Elizabeth, I am throwing my very first Halloween party as a mom.  I have four young children (ages 5-13), and have decided that this would be a good year to host this, as it may be my oldest son's last Trick or Treating year.  I am using the same stamp set that Elizabeth is using, but I am making a double slider card.  Stop back here on Thursday to see how it turned out - I want to get it in the mail before I post it here.


2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Interesting question.  I would say that since I come from a quilting background, I think that I tend to see things in "parts".  I enjoy puzzles and making pieces fit together to make a whole.  This is probably why I enjoy punch art and 3-D projects so much.  Here is a recent punch art waterlily project I made for my weekly blog hop:

And a 3-d Fall leaf project I made awhile back - I really do love the fall colors

3. Why do I create what I do?

Honestly, I create because I must.  I find that sometimes when I get especially busy with my family, and don't have time to get down to my studio, I start getting a little rattled and tense.  One really good day in my studio and I am right back here I need to be!  Another reason I just keep going is that I LOVE to teach, and share what I know.  My classes are all taught, and not just "prepped".  I love to walk people through the process, then turn them loose to create.  I teach cardmaking each month to a phenomenal group of disabled young adults -  which is my very favorite day of the month.  Seeing people create, and have real pride in something they have made re-energizes and inspires me! 

4. How does my creative process work?

There are really a few things - first of all, I take a ton of pictures... nothing too fancy, I just use my cell phone and grab photos of everything I see that may inspire me when I sit down to craft.  For example, I went to a conservatory this past weekend, and I took these two pictures of some of the flowers I saw... I really believe that looking at flowers in the sunlight helps to teach me how to shade things when I color them with markers or watercolors later. 

Here is a card where I used what I have learned by looking at flowers in the sunlight... I colored this project using the Blendabilities markers..I think it really looks 3-D here, what do you think:

The second thing I do as a process, is "let it speak".  I may gather the colors that are required for a particular challenge, or a stamp set that I want to try, and then I really examine my collection of stuff.  sometimes I close my eyes and just let it come.  Usually if you have a group of things, you will get a feeling from it - I just go from there.  Try not forcing it - just let the stillness tell you what to make!

Now is the really fun part.  I get to tag someone else for you to watch.  I am actually tagging two people, because I just couldn't decide - I know so many amazing artists, who would inspire you to create amazing projects...  first, I am tagging Laura Lynn from La Dee Dah Day.  Laura is my hero when it comes to punch art!  She masterfully pieces projects together and creates fantastic 3-D items too.  You'll get a kick out of her work.   The second person I am tagging is a new friend (although we've never met in person), Leslie Mahon from Ink, Paper, Scissors - Stamp! I was referred to Leslie's work through another artist friend, Helen.  Helen thought I would really enjoy the infinitely readable style of her writing, as well as here love of color and textures.  She couldn't be more correct!  Leslie is a true artist, making it exciting to see what is coming next!  Be sure to check out their work all week, and don't miss their posts next Monday, to follow along on this fabulous Creative Blog Hop! 

Thanks for stopping by, and please be sure to stop back in from time to time!  I will do my best to inspire you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Watercolor Halloween - take the Plunge!

Welcome, Friday, boy am I ever glad you are here...  Long week, and so ready for the weekend!  Really would love to get a bit more crafty this weekend.  Not sure where you are coming from, but here in Chicago, Fall is just beginning to give us quite the show with colors popping out everywhere!  Normally, given a challenge involving watercoloring (which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE), I would choose a pretty flower, or a big leaf - something like that... but with four youngish children, I have Halloween on the brain.  I am not a huge lover of this holiday, and don't enjoy dressing up, but have agreed to host a Halloween party for my kids and their friends... what was I thinking?  In any case, this was out of my normal watercoloring comfort zone, so I decided to take The Plunge, and submit this as my design team card over at The Paper Plunge.  Here is what I have for you:
 I stamped the tree scene, then watercolored the sky and the watery moon.  After that dried, I stamped the leaves and the bats.  I had intended to use my very tiny little pumpkin stamp that came in the same set as the bats and the leaves, but when I went to grab it, I must have knocked it off the card...  It is really tiny, and happily stuck to something in my craftroom, but I couldn't find it... Don't worry, I am sure I will find it soon (probably November 1st)!!    I also just sponged the colors onto a background panel to make it look like leaves...Here is a close up of the sky - moon - bats area so you can see how the unevenness actually makes it more "midnighty"...  the beauty of watercolor is how you can take some artistic license to NOT be perfect! 
There are many different techniques to make the watercolor effect...  In this case, I did a pretty pure version.  I used the lids of my inkpads and my waterpens to make a quick and easy splash of color! 
Now come on and play with us over at The Paper Plunge this week!  We would love to have you join our Swim Team.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - You Rock!

Good Morning, and happy Wednesday!  Welcome again to our weekly blog hop... If you are joining us from Robbie's site - Inkedx2, then you started at the beginning, but if you started here, don't worry - we are a big loop, so you won't miss anything!
Today's inspiration picture reminds me of home.  I am not sure how many of you may know this about me, but I grew up in Brazil.  My dad was the Army Attache to Brazil, so I lived in Rio de Janeiro.  This picture, of the natural agate gemstone looks so much like what we could get so easily in Brazil, that it made me a bit homesick, so I did what I could to stay as true as I could to the picture this week - I think if I had been the one to pick the colors for this I would have gone more blue than purple, but I am not the color-picker, so....  Here it is:

 and the coordinating Stampin' Up! colors:
I "painted" the new Dazzling Diamonds glimmer paper with re-inkers in all of these blues and purples, in various spots to give it a little life, then tore the outer papers to make it look more like natural rock...I used the Rock Star stamp from the Be the Star set!  It is hard in photos to see all of the colors and the glimmer, so I am attaching a few pictures with slightly different angles so you can try and see some of the colors. 

Hope you enjoyed this!  Please hop over to Carol's Cards and see what she made from this!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Circles, Circles - Round and Round She Goes

Hello!  I have been running around in circles lately, balancing work, kids, life, and my crafting... basically like every other woman I know.  It really fits well for the theme over at the new weekly challenge website for which I am now designing, The Paper Plunge.  I am loving this new endeavor, and hope you feel like playing with us!  The amazing artists (and friends) I am working with over there are unbelievable artists!  Please swing by and check us out!

Here is what I have done with this week's CIRCLE theme:

 I made the "circles" on this card by making hot glue dots on a silicon sheet, then, when they cooled, I peeled them off and colored them with the new Blendabilities!  I swirled the markers around so the dots have "movement" in them.  I also added a few gold sequins just to add some sparkle. 

Here is a close up of the dots:
Kind of fun, right??
Here's what I used.
Cardstock: Naturals White, Crushed Curry, Basic Black, and Cherry Cobbler.
Stamps: this is that GREAT new stamp set that you can get for FREE with a qualifying party this month, called Good Greetings! See the picture below!
Other: Blendabilities in Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler, and Daffodil Delight.  I also used Gold Baker's Twine and Gold Sequin Trim 

Good Greetings

If you love this stamp set as much as I do, then send me a note and we will gather your friends for a fun fall workshop!  Thanks for stopping by - and be sure to stop over at The Paper Plunge and see what the other designers have made to inspire you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - Blended Blooms

Good morning, and happy Wednesday!  I am hoppin' with my friends today!  If you started with Robbie at Inkedxx2 then you are already inspired to go stamp something, but I beg you to hop through all of us here for full inspiration.

Today's inspiration piece is a pretty meadow flower picture...and I was excited to give it a whirl.  Here it is:
and the corresponding color chart:

In my card, I made a softer background, without stems visible - I just wanted the softness of a meadow to come across, so I sponged all three shades of the green into the background.  I then colored the flower with Melon Mambo Bledabilities, and cut the entire image out.  I popped the flower up on dimentionals, and this is where we ended up.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Please continue your hop by popping over to Carol's cards to see what she has created today!  Please come back on Friday to see what I've done for the newest challenge over at the brand new Challenge site, The Paper Plunge!