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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!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Flipbook, and Take the Paper Plunge!

Hello all!  I am excited to share an exciting announcement with you today!  As of right now, there is a new Challenge site on the block!  My friends (some of whom you already know from our weekly blog hop), and a few other new friends you will be excited to meet and I have started a new challenge site called The Paper Plunge.  Each week on Fridays we will post a new challenge.  Play when you can - and it is really just that...  we are all just playing here, so no pressure!  The link to add your creation will close on Wednesdays, the "swim team" of the week will be announced on Thursdays, and a new challenge will be up again on Friday...  Tah dah!  No stress!!

Our first theme for our challenge is FALL (since that is really just another way of saying PLUNGE!).  We are laid back here... could be a card, a scrapbook layout, something 3-D, etc...  I made a very fun fall flipbook. 
8x8 album - closed

... and open!  You pull on each cover and the pages "flip" open to show you all of the pictures!

These are great for popping in quick photos and you are done.  No extra page embellishments are needed! If you are in the Chicago area, and would like to learn how to make this cool-i-o album, be sure to check back for an upcoming class.  You will be addicted to making these, and they make the absolute best gifts!!   I see a quick album for Halloween, and Holiday gifts for all my kids teachers!

 In addition to the Cajun Craze,  Mossy Meadow, and Crushed Curry cardstocks and Versamark ink... 

Here is what else I used:
Color Me Autumn Designer Series Paper
Color me Autumn Designer Series Paper

Autumn Wooden Elements
Autumn Wooden Elements
For All Things Wood-mount Stamp Set
For All Things Stamp Set
1-1/4" Burlap Ribbon
1-1/4" Burlap Ribbon

Autumn Accents Bigz Die
Autumn Accents Bigz Die for the leaves on the cover                                

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - 3-D flowers!

Good morning, and happy Wednesday!  If you started our weekly "hop" over at Robbie's website, then you are aware of our plan here, but if you are starting here, then I will explain...  Each week, we use a picture, and a corresponding Stampin' Up! color palette to inspire us to make a card (or in this case it is a 3-d project from me).  Here is the photo from this week:
and the coordinating Stampin' Up! colors:
Now, I had just done an all over flower card last week, so this week I decided to do a little 3-d project.  Here is what I did:
and closer:

I used the flower fair framelets, cut several times for each flower.  I then spritzed all of the layers with water, and crunched them up in my hand.  When they dried, I punched a hole in the middle and ran floral wire through all of the layers.  I cut a strip of Daffodil Delight paper and snipped it with my fringe scissors and rolled it to make the flower centers.    It is tough to see in the sunlight, but I also did another thing... I took a clear glass bottle and some white acrylic paint.  I added several drops of Daffodil Delight re-inker to the paint to tint it.  It is much more vibrant in person.  

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you will stop in on FRIDAY as it looks like I may just have an announcement for you!!  Be sure to keep on hopping on over to Carol's website and see what she has for us this week!  Have a great second half of your week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - soft flowers

Wednesday, Wednesday - nah nah, nah nah nah!!!  If you dropped by to hop, you are on the right track!  If you started with Robbie, then you know what we are up to this week...  We have a picture, we make a card...  we use the picture and the colors to give us some inspiration!  Here are the pictures we used to inspire this week:

I really wanted to make something soft that had the feel of this card, so I played around a bit with the inks and sponges, as well as the Flower Frenzy Bigz die.  I cut a bunch of flowers with the die, and used one of them as a mask to form the background... then I made a few 3d flowers, added the sentiment from the
So Very Happy stamp set, and here is the final result:

I hope you enjoy this week's hop - I know I am looking forward to getting over to Carol's card to see what she's done with this week's inspiration!  Be sure to stop back on Friday and see what fun I have been cooking this week!!  Thanks for stopping by~!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

coloring Down the Lines - Eat your Veggies

Hello there, Wednesday hoppers!  Today is a fine day for hopping- (for some... But not me... I broke a toe yesterday!). If you started with Robbie then you are one lucky stamper!  I know she has inspired you..., but if you are starting here, don't worry- just keep following the links and you will hook right around the horn to the beginning!
Here was the photo inspiration:

So when I saw this, i thought it may be fun to make a really "artsy" veggie card, so I pulled out one of my favorite stamp sets right now, Work of Art and got busy.  Reminder: this is not an exact replica, but rather an "inspired by" kind of thing...  So, are you feelin' it?

Please continue on your merry way now, and hop on over to Carol's website today - I bet hers will be fabulous (and completely different)!  Have a great day, and thank you for stopping by!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Coloring Down the Lines - Welcome!

Hello everyone!  It is Wednesday again, so let's HOP!!  If you started with Robbie this week, then you are already hopping along... if not, don't be alarmed - just keep on hopping and you will circle back to the beginning - with a circle, it doesn't really matter where you start or end!  Today's picture inspiration choice was from Helen.  Here was the inspiration:

and the corresponding Stampin' Up! color chart:

So this picture reminded me on Italy, actually, with the great doorways on every street.  I thought I would make a door myself...  Here's what I did this week:

The door to my house isn't green, it is a kind of red, and my stoop is stone, not wood, but it does have flower pots, and I hope others find it welcoming.  I couldn't capture that with this card, but I did want to photograph it in the morning light that I get at my front door, so that you still may get a bit of that.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Now be sure to hop over to Carol to see what wonderful thing she has in store for you today!