Monday, May 30, 2011

Rockin' 14

How was every one's Memorial Day?  In our house, it is also a celebration weekend as the Oldest Kiddo just happen to be born on this holiday 14 years ago.   The weekend was spent cooking, feeding, cleaning up, cooking, feeding, cleaning up after four teen age boys and one younger kiddo who so wishes he was a teenager!! haha!  It was all good!  There is nothing like the sound of kids cracking themselves up with a good time!

I finally managed to make the Kiddo's birthday card the morning of his birthday.  Hey!  I got it done BEFORE the family celebration, so that has to count for something! snort.  I'm telling you, the lack of creative time has definitely caused some serious rust in my stamping skills!  After FOUR attempts, I finally was able to get the main image panel to look somewhat as I envisioned. 

I started by clear embossing the large splatter of SU's Extreme Elements onto a 4 1/4" square base of Gina K' Pure luxury.  I then pulled out Distress Ink in Peeled Paint, Broken China and Vintage Photo, randomly swiped them across my craft mat and misted with Perfect Pearls Turquoise for a Wrinkle Free Distress look.  I then sandwiched the panel between copy paper and ironed off the clear embossing (Faux Bleach technique).  The main image was stamped with Azure Stazon using SU's Extreme Guitar.  The other stamps (flourish, grunge dots and stars) are also from the Extreme Elements set and were stamped randomly with Stazon Timber Brown (the flourish over the removed embossed areas), Peeled Paint and Broken China inks.  The sentiment was stamped with more of the Azure Stazon ink and hand cut.  Light sponging with Peeled Paint, Broken China and some Vintage Photo along the edges blends it in with the main image.  Pop dots raise the sentiment forward.

To finish off the card I used the Alpha Parts Ransom numbers to create the 14 in the corner.  The main image  was distressed.  I deliberately did not sponge the exposed white edge as I liked the look against the white base. The image was then matted on SU's Pacific Point and everything layered onto a 5" square piece of Pure Luxury. 

Life will continue to be crazy this next week as it is the last week of school and the birthday boy graduates from 8th grade on Thursday.  I've got 6 graduation cards that still need to be made, but posting might have to wait until after the weekend, LOL!  I'll be lucky to get them done between everything else that is on the schedule for this week!

'Till then....................................take time to Rock some Creativity!

Friday, May 27, 2011

QUICK!! Another Glimmer of Hope (and a card too)

Do you think that computers can be possessed?  I'm seriously thinking that mine is.  Refuses to connect for, what, a week?  Then, this afternoon, The Toad decides to try it and ABRACADABRA!  The dang thing works.  I REFUSE to think that the stupid thing was protesting at my demands for non stop blog hopping!! 

Of course, tomorrow will probably bring back the "refuse to connect" story.  BUT!  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a quick card that was made a couple of weeks ago for the gal that does marketing for work.

This gal is a rather creative and crafty gal herself, so it was decided to get her a gift certificate from our local scrapbook store.  The store puts the  certificates in a clear cellophane bag with pretty tissue paper and ribbon.  I was inspired by the tissue paper to make all these different punched flowers from various dies.

You are just going to have to trust me when I say that these resemble the flowers on the tissue paper.  It would seem that once again, SOMEBODY was so flustered trying to get a half way decent picture of the card before running out the door for the lunch party, that she forgot that important photo of the gift packaging along side the card!! 

This card uses so many different dies and punches!!  The base is Pure Luxury (but of course!) in a 5 1/2 square layout.  I believe the bright green is SU's Green Gable or Green Galore.  The largest flower was made using PaperArtsy's grunge flower #2 and 3.  Spellbinder's Peony dies and Snowflake were also used (EEEAAAKK!! My computer is starting to act more links! Sorry!! Just going to try and get this posted QUICK!!).  The circles were made from various circle punches. 
Papers:  SU's Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore or Gable Green (which ever one it was!) and Tangerine Tango. 

(How's that for short and to the point?!!)

I hope you all have a safe holiday weekend!  Remember to take a moment and remember those who have sacrificed so much in serving our country. whether in active duty or by being a family member of one serving!

A very sincere THANK YOU to all of you who are or have served!!

I'll be back (hopefully!) with a b-day card and graduation cards in the next day or so!! 

'Till then.................explore some creativity!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Treading Water

Hey Peoples! Have you missed me? (did you even notice I was gone?!)

I'm still having computer issues. Stupid thing still refuses to connect to the Internet (I'm writing this on my phone. Who would have ever imagined that one day our phones would be capable of such tasks?!). Anyhoos!

I would REALLY like to get the dang thing fixed, but I have had no time to even think about sitting on the phone for the amount of time it would take to understand some computer geek to explain what I need to do. It would seem that somebody (ahem) scheduled herself to cover vacationing therapists all this week. DUH! What the heck was I (I mean SHE)thinking? We are in the last two weeks of school! This means a push for those last minute projects, field trips, "skip" days, etc.! Not to mention the oldest kiddo has a birthday this coming weekend, and is planning on having some friends over for a weekend of Xbox, movies, air soft shooting and eating me out of house and home.

Did I mention that this same kid graduates from 8th grade the first week in June? And that the same lousey secretary said I would decorate for the reception? Just smack me now!
I also have his b- day card, graduation card and the graduation cards for four other kiddos to make. Of course, this means that if and when I'm finally able to use my computer, I should have quite a few cards to share!

So. I hope you will all hang in there with me until I manage to get on top of things. I really do miss posting, and even more so, visiting my favorite blogs! But! This is just a crazy, busy time. Things will slow down in the next couple of weeks( well.....somewhat, anyways, LOL!) and hopefully I'll have my computer up and running by then and lots if goodies to share!

Until then.....

P.S. Please excuse any major typos or funky paragraphs. While it is incredible that I'm able to do this on my phone, it is NOT ideal! Lol! Not easy to see my whole screen or correct mistakes!

I'll be back!

Friday, May 20, 2011

World of Color

eclecticPaperie and the E-Team are beginning another series of fun for you!  And to kick off all the festivities, we are joining the Stampavie DT team! 

Of course, as with any great party, there has to be goodies! Besides 10% off the Stampavie stamps that eP carries AND 10% off of the available preorders for the newest releases of Stampavie images,  5 random winners will be chosen from the comments left on the E-Team blogs and the Stampavie Blogs to receive a Stampavie image and some extra eP goodies!!  All you need to do is leave a comment on the participating blogs between today, Friday, May 20, and Sunday, May 22.  The winners will be announced on the eP blog on Monday, May 23.  


Stampavie DT

Let's get down to to the fun stuff, shall we?!!

Today I chose to work with the Mo Manning image Swine Flu

I decided to color with my current favorite coloring medium Copics.  My favorite paper to use with Copics is Gina K's Pure Luxury, #120.  It's smooth surface makes for wonderful blending and if I so desire to make a one layer card, NO bleed through!!

I usually stamp images with Archival Jet black ink, but for this image, I used Memento Tuxedo Black.  Occasionally, I will find that when I am using the lighter shades (such as the colors used on Swiney), the Archival ink will smear.  I don't know why, even if I heat set it.  It doesn't always happen.  But it did for this image and I just went with the Memento Tuxedo Black.  No smearing!!

Now, I'm about to share my secret to coloring with Copics or any other coloring medium for that fact:  I have no set rules for coloring and just go with my gut instinct.  I don't worry about picking colors from the same classification (confession:  I can't figure out the Copic classification system!). I'm not afraid to mix colors or color families. Sometimes this means I have to re color an image.  That's ok with me.  It's an experience that I don't mind repeating.  I don't make a certain type of stroke with my pens.  Sometimes I blend, sometimes I like the harsh lines.  I DO try to remember where my light source is coming from, LOL! But have been known to mix that up too and usually, no one notices but me (unless I tattle on myself).

I don't follow "rules" for coloring.  I just go with the moment and COLOR. 

And because I just go with the moment of coloring, I usually will not share what colors I used for a project because I'm grabbing, hit or miss and in the end, really have NO idea which colors I actually ended up using!

I printed off a Copic Color Chart onto Pure Luxury card stock and filled in the squares with the markers that I do have.  This is always out when I color for a starting point as to which colors I might like to use.  I also usually start with my lightest base color and add the darker shading after.  I have to say, that the Mo Manning images are so wonderfully drawn and detailed, that shading is pretty much pointed out for you! Some of my shading on the tissues was lost in the photo, as it is so slight (but a detail noticeable in real life).

I really did intend to show a more step by step demonstration of my coloring! But, I got caught up in the "moment", and that quickly went out the window!!  I DID manage to keep all the markers I used for this image separate today. 

19 different markers were used for this project. I'm not kidding when I say I will grab, hit or miss!! LOL!

Other details on the card:  I had pulled out some design paper that I had intended to use on this card.  But one drawback of just going with the moment of coloring, is that very often, my finished product does NOT end up matching the colors I had intended to use!  I ended up pulling out some SU papers from my stash (I know that Almost Amethyst and Wild Wasabi were used.  The SU blue is unknown).  I also went back to  a basic of stamping, by stamping my own background.  I used SU's Blue Bayou on the unknown blue with the retired SU Print Pattern.  The image was die cut with Spellbinder's Classic Circles.  While the paper was still in the die, I carefully went around the edge with the pale lavendar and gray that I used for the floor shadows.  The base is 5 1/2" squre Pure Luxury.  Black ribbon placed at an angle in the corners makes this a pretty CAS layout. 

The main point that I would like you to take away from this project is Don't get hung up on what are suppose to be the RULES of coloring.  Go with what the moment brings!  

'Till next time.......................

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Metal Tutorial

Shortly after a friend introduced me to stamping, she brought to my attention an online community, that in all honesty, changed my creative life for the better.  She linked me to Splitcoaststampers.


When I joined in 2006, the community was much smaller.  There was a core group of us who "chatted" everyday and participated in the daily challenges.  I found a very sharing and caring group of crafters, who were willing to share their expertise with me, the newbie stamper.

Even more important, I formed friendships that continue to this day.  These special gals are the ones I look to for inspiration, a swift kick in the rear, when needed, and a resource for everything from crafting to daily life.

Today, I am sharing a tutorial on Splitcoaststampers on making Flower Embellishments Out of Metal, which are based on Lin Brown's ( of yoursartfully) metal flower tutorials. 

Insert terrified look here___________________.

I'm not going to repeat the step by step written  instructions here.  Instead, I'll let you view them on Splitcoaststampers (insert VERY frustrated look here_____.  My STUPID computer is still not working and I'm trying to edit this on my in-laws Mac.  Which I have NO STINKIN' idea how to use.  The link for SCS is above.  I'm sorry!)

But I will share the  project pictures again. 

Supplies:  Stamps--TenSecond Studios Life.  Paper:  7gypsies Gypsy Market.  Inks:  Archivial Jet black
Accessories:  TenSecondStudio Spiced Rum metal, finishing/burnishing block, Ranger Alcohol inks, Sizzix sizzlet leaf die, Tattered Florals die, Patchwork texture fade and Cuttlebug Swiss dots embossing folder, Wendy Vecchi's Large Circle frame Art Part, acrylic paint, 1/2 pearls.  I believe you can find just about all these supplies at eclecticPaperie.  

And the video version. 
Be kind.  My first attempt at making a video tutorial required learning how to edit and use a Mac on the same day. 

I hope that this tutorial will show you how easy it is to use metal in your creations and inspire you to give it a try!

'Till next time................remember to explore some creativity every day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Get Whale Soon

So, it would appear that my computer is just psycho. 

Seriously.  I think it needs to be put on medication.

It would seem that said computer takes great pleasure in giving me false hope with little snippits of times where it will work, only to snatch it away when I'm in the middle of trying to get something accomplished online.

This is one of those snippits of time that it appears to be working.  So, I am going to QUICKLY try and post a project.


There are just some cards I wish I NEVER had to make.  Sympathy cards are one.  But this isn't a sympathy card. 

This is a Get Well Soon card.  For the 15 y/o daughter of good family friends.  On Tuesday, she will undergo brain surgery to try and remove a 1.5 cm tumor from the cerebellum vermis (a very important part of the brain that controls proprioception and movement). 


But!  This young lady has a very positive attitude and a whole lotta spunk!  She posted on her Caring Bridge page that she thought that everyone should just "Save the Whales and Kill the Tumor". 

Her Motto and design have been made into a T-shirt., which will raise money to help bring awareness to brain tumors. 

I decided that I know NOTHING about what 15 y/o girls are into and wouldn't think as corney (as it would seem I'm surrounded by barrels of testostrone).  So I went with the Whale Theme.   The jury is still out on whether or not this is too cutsey or corney, but I will take refuge in the fact that I'm probably at the age where all 15 y/o kiddo's will just roll their eyes at me and think that I'm just another corney adult. 

The 5 1/2" square  base is Gina K's Pure Luxury.  The design paper is from My Mind's Eye and comes from my "I've had forever stash".  The Whale image, from Stampin' Up's Silly Sea Life, was stamped using Archival Jet Black ink onto a scrap piece of Pure Luxury.  I die cut around the image with my Classic Circle Nestabilities.  Leaving the image in the die, I made a mask of the whale and lightly sponged Distress Ink in Tumbled Glass for the sky and a combination of  Distress Broken China and SU's Pacific Point for the ocean.  I added some waves with Copic markers. 

The whale was also colored with Copics and then covered with Glossy Accents.  The waves were highlighted with Distress Rock Candy sticklesHint:  Do NOT try to speed up the drying of Glossy Accents (even from the back of your paper) with a heat gun.  This poor guy has a blister on his head that required an attempted fix by adding more Glossy Accents.  Just sayin'.

Finally, the image and design paper were matted with an unknown SU blue. It would seem that SOMEONE just bought all the blue paper's from her former upline when said upline decided to quit stamping.  But SOMEONE has no idea what blue this particular shade is, as she has not kept up with the latest from SU.  Robin's Nest Dew Drops finish off the bling on the card. 


That's about it for me today.  I need to start tackling the mile long list of projects that need to be done over the next two weeks as school winds down!  Keep your fingers crossed that my computer will continue on the  "I like you phase". 

'Till then..............give your loved ones a Whale of a Hug. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stand By

We are experiencing technical difficulties.

I am back in that dysfunctional, love/hate relationship with my computer. This past week the stupid thing (yes, I have stooped to name calling) refuses to connect to the Internet. And, if by chance I do get it too connect, it will only last for a short time.

Today, I can't even get a glimmer of hope out of it. The Toad called in reinforcement and hopefully that will fix things.

Until then, I'm trying to use my phone. But that means no uploading of projects. 'Cause I'm not savy enough to know if I can take horrible pics with my phone and get them to here.

Cross your fingers I get this mess straightened out. I have projects to share next week and blogs to visit!

Until then.........

Friday, May 6, 2011

Art Parts Meet Metal

Are you ready for a RIDE?!!  Oh Yeah!! The E-Team is featuring the creative genius that is
Wendy Vecchi! Her theme is "Make Art!" and believe me, her line of Art Parts and stamps will get your creative juices flowing!

Of course, no E-Team Blog Hop would be complete without some wonderful prizes!!  Two random winners will be chosen from all the comments left on the E-Team blogs to receive 1 new Studio 490 stamp set, Art Parts Square & Rectangle Frame and some other fun surprises.

One more winner will be chosen on the eP must leave a comment about your  favorite mother's day gift you have either received or gave to your  mom.  The eP Blog winner will receive a $25 voucher to eclectic Paperie to spend on goodies of your choice!

The E-Team
Starla (me!)

You will have from Friday until Sunday night to blog hop and leave your comments. The winners will be posted on eP Blog Monday. Good Luck!

P.S.  OOOOO!! Daisy is putting Wendy's stamps (aka Studio 490), both new and old on sale at 10% off.  Aaaand! Art Parts will also be 10% off.  NO EXCUSES!! Time to "Make Art!" as Wendy says!!

I decided that it was time for the Art Parts to Meet Metal.   

What a fun meeting!!  The two combined have LIMITLESS possibilities.  This is only one:

I think you can click on the photo to see the picture in a larger format

The Table.

I actually started with the flower pedestal table, which is made up of a variety of Art Parts. The flower was covered in TenSecond Studio's Dijon metal and embossed with TSS's Kabuka #18.  I then swiped some of Jenni Bowlin's Red Pepper paint across the metal and wiped it off with a damp paper towel.

The "stem" of the flower/table was done in Poison Ivy metal.  The vine was done free hand.  The base of the table is Dark Chocolate metal that I used one of the decorative wheels on and then sanded with the finishing block to remove the color from the raised areas. 

Sorry for the dark photo.  Had a HECK of a time trying to get a decent photo of all this metal without glares!!

The Vase.

I hunted through all my stuff and could just not find the type of vase that I needed to fit the idea of this project.  So, I created my own vase out of the Clearly for Art Blackout modeling film. 

 Hint:  make a template out of scratch paper first.  You can make adjustments to your template as needed, eliminating the trial and error on your modeling film.  Measure twice and cut only once!!

 I will admit that it was a little tricky to try and hold the film, heat it and mold it all at the same time.  May I recommend possibly the Plaid Hot Glue Gun Helpers?  I think that this is a MUST have on wish list!  I'm sure that my singed digits will be forever grateful too!!

The Flowers. 

The flowers were die cut from TSS's Dijon and Spiced Rum metal, using the Tattered Florals die.  Free hand squiggles and a small decorative wheel were used to emboss the metal.  Again, the finishing block was used to remove the color off of the raised areas to add texture. 

The flowers were adhered with hot glue to a couple of Art Part flower stems that had been painted with acrylic paint. 

The Leaves.

The small leaves are die cut using the leaf from Spellbinders Daisy Head out of TSS's Poison Ivy metal.  The large leaves were free hand cut from Whiteout modeling film. I painted both sides of the film with green acrylic paint then heated and molded the leaves.

The Butterflies.

The smallest black butterfly was made using a Martha Stewart punch on some Rock Star Black metal.  Free hand squiggles and a small decorative wheel were used to emboss the two different layers.  I used a bit of Clearly for Art Modeling film to suspend the butterfly above the flower.

The two larger butterflies were die cut from Peacock metal with my new mover's and shaper's Mini Butterflies. I used a couple of different Cuttlebug embossing folders on the meta, and sanded off the color with the finishing block.  The metal was attached to black modeling film by the body only.  After heating and molding, some self adhesive pearls were added.  The butterfly near the base of the vase was suspended from more clear modeling film. 

And the final project again

'Till next time...............I think Wendy says it best:

Make Art!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Exploring Creativity........... it's purest form.

This past weekend I went hiking in our local mountains with my friend up Spitler Trail.   We went to where the trail meets up with the Pacific Coast Trail,  not climbing the extra two miles to the peak itself.

Trust me, we still had an incredible view from where all the trail heads meet.

This hike is amazing in that fact that you go through so many different types of terrain. 

And the views.

About 30 minutes or so into the hike, looking back down to where we started.  The yellow in the far distance is a field of wildflowers

And speaking of wildflowers~~there were so MANY gorgeous flowers along the trail.  I did not stop to take pictures of all of them (smack!).  There were vibrant blues, red, yellows, purple and white.  Some were growing in just rock and sand.  AMAZING.

These yellow flowers are itty, bitty, growing in the rocks and sand. 

Why, and how, they grow in these conditions is just amazing

 Wild lilac bush.  Smelled wonderful and reminded me of my grandmother. 

The trail itself goes through wooded areas, desert/brush areas.  Different terrain, with different ecosystems.

And the view at the top

Looking down into Palm Springs and Desert Springs.  Desert in front of me and literally mountain terrain behind me. 

Did I mention it was just AMAZING?!

10 miles.  4 hours.  Good workout.  Good company.  Wonderful views. 

It's all about enjoying the journey.  

'Till next time.........................