Saturday, July 20, 2013

Experimenting in Black and White

Hello People!  Can you believe that we are already nearing the end of July?!! Summer is just flying by and before I know it, the Kiddos will be back in school!

This summer has not lent itself to a lot of creative time.  In addition to summer league basketball and cross country for the Kiddos, I joined in on a challenge that one of my cousins dangled in front of the rest of us: a goal for exercise miles for the year.  It started out with the goal of 1500 bicycling miles then morphed into a 2000 (or 2013) mile challenge that could be met by biking, walking/hiking, running, tennis (30 min= 1 mile), kayaking or what ever other activity we could convert to miles.

Did I happen to mention that the challenge was given at the END of May?!! And that while I had been walking/running some, I had not been keeping track of any miles prior to that time?!!  So, not only did I accept this challenge in the negative, I started with not having ridden my bike seriously for a couple of years and a nagging chronic plantar fasciitis foot pain.

But, I'm chipping away at it!! The foot pain is now tolerating up to 7 miles of walking with some very short distance jogging started this past week.  I'm slowly getting back my biking legs. Basically, I have to average a minimum of 60 miles a week to reach my goal of 2000 miles by December 31. As of this writing, I have knocked out 673.02 miles, only 1,326.98 to go!!

But, those miles also mean that 2-3 hours a day is spent away from the possibility of any creativity.  And right now, that's okay.  I miss the creating, but I'm starting to feel better physically, which is a plus.

It's a give and take.

On the creativity bright side, I "won" a spot from Linda's (Studio L3)  blog for Claudine Hellmuth's Technique Toolbox Class!  (There is still time to sign up for the class if you are interested!! While the class has officially started, registration does not close until July 24th!!  QUICK!  Go sign up!!).  I was so excited to have the chance to give my creative mojo a swift kick in the rear to get back into gear!! This week one of the techniques is tinting photos with acrylic paint.  While out on one of my walks, I came across some wild sunflowers (weeds) that I immediately thought would be the perfect subject for this technique.  So this morning I dragged the Toad out for a little walk so that I could take some black and white photos of the sunflowers.

Go figure that this morning the wind was blowing in a summer storm!  Despite the flowers literally blowing every which way, I managed to get a few photos (with the Toad literally having to try and hold some of the flower stems still!). This is the first time I actually have set up my camera to take black and white photos.  I'm hoping that this storm system will pass this weekend so that I can experiment some more with this setting.  In the mean time, I had a bit of fun attempting some photo editing (which I have very limited skills in!).

I have to tell you that I was amazed that any of these photos came out somewhat in focus as I was having a hard time just trying to focus on a spot where I hoped the flowers would "blow" into!! LOL!!  Now to get these printed up and photo tinted!!

Stayed tuned!  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Process of Creating

The Oldest Kiddo has been invited to a classmate's 16th birthday bash this weekend, which resulted in a swift kick in the rear to clear off enough space on my desk to make a card.  To make it more of a challenge, the party is in honor of a lovely young lady.  

Eeeaaak.  A sweet 16 card that can't be so girly that my son is uncomfortable in giving her the card.  

During the process of creating this card, I made an enlightening discovery.

It is now understandable as to how I can take HOURS creating a simple card and have a huge mess made in the process.

I thought I share just a teeny tiny behind the scene look as to how my brain functions when I create. I will spare you the complete process, as I'd hate to put anyone's creative mojo into shock.

The Sweet 16 celebration is to take place at the beach and the invitation had a wonderful color combination of soft sea green and a blue/teal, which I used as my starting point.  Went through all my "beach" stamps and decided that they were either too cutesy or not what I envisioned for a 16 year old.  Pulled out a couple of old SU retired stamps and had the idea to go a bit more trendy with a more geometric type look.

I then pulled out some distress inks and smooshed (technical term) them randomly on my craft sheet and spritzed with some glimmer mist.

Nope. Didn't like the look today.

Then I took Glimmer Mists in Honey Dew and Patina and spritzed on my craft sheet.  Smooshed (that technical term again) my paper in the mist and came up with a background that I liked.

PERFECT soft, sea foam look I was going for!! 

Then I stamped the sketchy circles from SU's retired So Much set using Memento Rich Cocoa ink.  Added the circle dot stamp with Distressed Tumbled Glass.

And here is the final project

Did your head spin 360 degrees?!!

Yeah.  This is how my brain works.  I start out with one idea, then I go off on a completely different path!  

After I got the first basic background done, I die cut the numbers and wasn't feeling the groove. Dragged out several different paper packs and nothing was bringing that background to life. Mind you, this is after cutting SEVERAL different colors of card stock for the base and matting layer thinking that would help the creative flow.  Nothing was flipping that "OH YEAH" trigger.  I think the background had turned out too grungy or masculine for this particular young lady.  So, I started messing with different ideas on scratch paper (I'm a slow learner). I liked the sketchy circle, I just had to find a way to use it in a more feminine way.  Finally, the idea to use SU markers in Rose Red and Old Olive randomly on the stamp clicked with the die cut numbers. First tried making the flower in a solid red, but didn't like that.  Went with the basic white with a bit of Rose Red sponging on the edges.  Stamped the sentiment in Old Olive, cut the flag banner by hand and sponged the edges and curled it.  Got everything all layered for Oldest Kiddo's approval before final taping was done.

Oldest Kiddo;"Oh. That's cool. Thanks Mom."

Showed him the original background.

Oldest Kiddo; makes weird face. "Nah. I don't like that one as much. It doesn't fit *L and I think it is too busy.  I like the white better."

Smacking my head.

Details:  Card base and white layers:  Gina K pure luxury card stock. DP:  Basic Grey Sweet Threads. Stamps:  SU (retired) So Much and Celebrate Everything. Inks:  SU Rose Red, Old Olive.  Dies:  Spellbinder's/Donna Salazar Rose Creations.  Tim Holtz/Sizzix Word Play.  

'Till next time.........let the creative path lead where it may!