Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas crafting with the girls

I am very fortunate to be surrounded by talented people in my life.  I cannot express how much fun this makes my life.  I know that I can always create wonderful times with these people!

About a year and a half ago one of these talented ladies, Tove, invited several of us to her home for a day of crafting.  We were each responsible for creating some sort of loveliness of our own desire and then make a kit for each person.  We each then taught our design to the ladies.  Of course there was lots of laughter and lunch for all.  It was SO much fun!  So much in fact that we decided to do it again.  And again.  We have done this a couple times now.  Sometimes there is a theme like a holiday, but mostly it is just what we want to create and share.

I thought it might be nice to host this one.  I decided it had to be Christmas themed and off we went.  We had 4 of us for our Christmas crafting day with the ladies! (Melissa, Tove,  Barbara, and myself)  Oh what fun we had!  I thought I would share our craftiness with you today.

First up is Tove.  She was so sweet and brought a hostess gift for me.  She is from Norway and recently had returned home.  She brought me the most adorable little boy and girl dressed for the season.  They are absolutely precious!
 I love that they stand up on their own!  Even with my monster cats on the table next them they remain upright.  So cute!
And this is Tove's creation for us.  This star is huge!  It is made with 5 yardsticks that are glued together then strung with a strand of Christmas lights.  I hung it from my bannister so it can be seen inside my house but also through the front window.  It looks so cool at night!  Love it!

Next up is Melissa.  She is a "newbie" to the group.  She is incredibly talented and just doesn't know it!  She kept telling us that she felt like a kindergartener in college!  Too funny.
 This is her creation.  I fell in love with it.  I have a soft spot for vintage looking pieces and this one hit the right note with me.  The cone is paper mache that we covered with a kraft paper that had french phrases on it.  We tore the paper into small pieces and modge-podged it on. She gave us each a package of Prima wood buttons to add.  I chose to add some mini twine bows to some of my buttons.  She also included an initial of our last name.  I added glitter to it and to the edges of the burlap flower for the top.  A large pearl made the center of the flower just right.  Everyone made their trees different.  It was so fun to see how everyone interpreted the project to fit their style.

Next up is Barbara.  I gave everyone very, very short notice for this.  Barbara literally had one evening to design her project!  She had us make some very cute ornaments.  They fit perfectly on the small Christmas tree in my breakfast room.

 This was just the tag she tied on our kits.  It was too cute to not do something with so I glittered it and added a bow!  Perfect!
 Crystals dangling?  Oh yeah!  I'm on it!
All of the pieces were cut with the Silhouette.  Yep, still love my Silhouette!  Aren't they adorable?

And last of course is mine.  I had it in my mind to create a wintery scene in a lantern.  I had it totally planned out and then could not find any of the things I wanted!  I ended up making the lanterns.  They are quite large.  Larger than I expected.  About 14" tall.  But when all was done, I think they turned out great.  I painted the entire thing white then made a wash from turquoise paint.  Gave it a frosty look.  Inside the lantern is papered with antique music paper.  I added white paint to some artificial greenery to give a snowy effect.  Glued them in and added the snow at the bottom.  I added a frosty turquoise and white glitter to the eggs and the nest and a little on the beak of the bird.  Glued all that in.  I decided I needed a bit more bling so I added these cute little teardrop aqua colored gems that I found in the wedding department of the craft store.  Perfect.  Added ribbon (lots of it) and the large snowflakes.

A close up to show you the bling I added.  It really worked and reflected the light giving it a twinkle.  Some of the ladies were going to add a small strand of battery powered lights to theirs.  Love that.  I think I can keep this out beyond Christmas as it is more of a wintery scene.

I hope you enjoyed our crafts.  It is cold here; a bit unusual for us.  Wherever you are stay warm!

Friday, November 29, 2013

New layouts

This summer my family and I went to Spain.  We were there for about 9 days and it was wonderful!  We rented an apartment in Madrid very close to a subway entrance.  It was so easy to just get on the subway and ride to wherever we needed to go to catch our trains for a daytrip.  Of course, we walked our bums off too!  I joked that I should have packed hiking gear instead of what I brought.  And add to that the high heat that was unusual for the region at the time of year.

But we had a blast!  And of course I took pictures.  Mounds and mounds of pictures.  My kids tell me that sometimes I take them in a most horrible pose.  But then when I get home and they see it on the screen that is not 2" square, life is good again.  They even love some of them.  Alright, so bottom line is that I took around 750 pics.  I kept around 575.  The others were just either too blurry, did not capture what I wanted, or I let someone else take said camera and well, hum, they didn't turn out so well!  Now comes the gigantic chore of scrapbooking them.  I am more of an event scrapper at this time.  So I must get this done!  Christmas is coming!

I thought I would share some of my favorite pages so far (I really haven't gotten that far!). Here goes:
 This is the cover page.    The 2 tags pull out from the side and have journaling on them.  This is what my kids call the mandatory, horrible family vacation photo.  Is it really so hard to just look at the camera and pretend you are smiling for real?  (just joking)
 I really like this page.  I like how the date is incorporated in the embellishments and I like how the city map can be pulled out.
 I have numerous photos that I wanted to keep but are basically ones that will help us remember how everything looked.  so I decided to stack some of them.  I like the look of this page with the swirls and the gray pastel I brushed on around the page.  It was also a great use of all the small scraps I had.
 The page above and below are facing pages.  I fell in love with the architectural details in this Cript and thought it would be fun to mirror those on the page.  The resin pillars from Prima are perfect.

 I have this love for banners.  I think they are so cute.  Just had to have them on a page or two!

That's all for today.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  If you are one of those brave souls who chooses to explore the retail world on black Friday, then be safe!  I am headed for another cup of java and a blanket.  Maybe I can catch a few more z's before all the children get up!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A little decor

Last year while at CHA, my boss found these adorable galvanized metal stands.  They had a black chalkboard in the center and were scalloped around the edges.  Very cute!  She puchased one for each teacher and asked us to make something that would show our classes for the upcoming quarter (obviously it would change from quarter to quarter).

I teach around 6 classes each quarter for her.  So, I made a small tray that fit exactly inside the chalkboard part.  The tray was equally divided and in each section I placed something from each of the class projects and a little tag with the class name, dates, and price on it.  The whole tray was then placed on the stand with magnets so it could be removed and updated the next quarter.  I also took the time to decorate the stand itself with Tim Holtz distress paints and some other fun things.  I included my name on the top as well so people would know it was me!
 This is the frame after I painted and embellished it.  Sorry, but I did not take a pic before!  You can see that I was playing around with a tiny, tiny piece of chalk on the board.
 A side view 
This is the original tray I made for the stand.  6 classes each with its own small sample space.

 Everyone loved the idea enough that I had to make it a class!  This is what I came up with:

Can you see that the little lantern in the bottom corner lights up?  So adorable.

The tray itself is only 7 x 4.  I love the idea that this is something that is small enough to be placed on a desk and is easily changed for each holiday or season.  So many possibilities!  The trays are made with chipboard; takes a little time to put them together.  The little lantern in the lower corner is from Tim Holtz.  It comes with a battery pack so when you plug it in the lantern lights up!  Very cool.  I made a few modifications to it for the class.  I added a dark metal element under the numbers to help balance it visually.  Liked it better (now I have to make a new one for me!)  I also made 2 other holiday kits; one for Thanksgiving and one for New Year's.
Again, I made a design change for the class kit by adding very tiny twigs under the leaves on the tree.  It added dimension and looked so freakin cute!!!   Sorry about the glare on the tag on the top.  I used stickles on top of the stamped "so Thankful" image and my photo light just kept catching all the glitter!

New Year's has an old fashioned look.  I love the metallic colors with the deep black.  Feels glamorous to me.  All the stars and swirls were cut on the Silhouette.  Did I mention before how much I adore my Silhouette?  Oh My Gosh.  I love, love, love it!  It cut those pretty black stars (see all the little detail on them?) perfectly.  When I removed them from the mat they lifted perfectly.  I did not have to sit and meticulously pick out and cut out by hand all the little spaces.  Nope, they came off perfectly because they were actually cut perfectly.  And the swirls?  Cut those from a thick glitter paper.  Perfect.  No special tools to take them from the mat or little chads on the edges to cut off.  Again I love my Silhouette!  Sorry, I digress!

I have so many ideas of things to make for the next few holidays.  Not all of them are trays.  The stand is a chalkboard too so I was thinking of integrating that with a design.  Hope this inspired you today.  Happy crafting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Changing things up a bit and a little help

Life is crazy here (as usual!)!  I really thought that with 2 of my kids away at college it would be a little calmer.  Who was I kidding?  The reality is there are still 3 at home and they are a full time commitment.  And did I mention that I love it?  Well, I do!  If you know me then you know my kiddos take center stage with me.

So, 2 are away at school.  That has left me with some reorganizing to do.  There are things that needed to be packed away and put away.  I have left that chore for some time now.  Slowly I have been doing this.  One week I packed (or re-packed since the boxes were falling apart - rubbermaid to the rescue) all the oldest's things.  We have a bedroom for each child.  However, when the oldest left for school I took over the smallest bedroom for my craft room.  That said, all of his things had to go someplace!  I did not kick him out completely.  The bed and some of his things are still there.  I just share the space.

A huge shift in reality just occurred recently though.  My youngest daughter is now being schooled at home.  She has a medical condition that does not allow her to be at school right now.  She is in high school so she is following an online school program.  Kinda nice for old mom here!  However, I have found that I need to be in the same room as she is while she is working on school work.  Keep her on track and answer questions.

Enter operation re-do craft room to accomodate her and her desk!  Wow.  I spent the weekend redoing the whole room.  Cleaning.  Cleaning out.  Moving furniture all over the place.  I am lucky to have kids who help out though.  My son was invaluable to me when moving the furniture!  I am almost done.  Give me the day and everything will be in its place.  I think I will like the new arrangement.  I can get to all my stuff easier.  And my daughter is right there with me!  I love that.  And the biggest benefit?  If someone comes over I can just shut the door!  Woohoo!!!

So, I have changed things up a bit.  Hoping I can post more often.  And the little help I mentioned?  Well, I actually had 3 little helpers but only caught two on camera.
 The one above is the old, fat cat.  She was lurking among all the boxes.  She was actually snooping hoping to find a sock to pull out!
Then there was the little guy.  He doesn't care as long as he is in the middle of it all.  Amazes me how he can lay on top of just about anything and go to sleep.  He was rather peaceful the whole day on top of the desk.  I kept piling things around him.  He just stayed curled up.  Then we moved the bed.  Oh my!  He went crazy!  His toys were under the bed.  He took each and every one and found a new place for them to be!  He is so funny!

Maybe a pic or two of the new space this week.  Check back and as always stay crafty!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ready for a little Christmas

I just love Christmas.  It is just such a special time of the year.  I hate seeing Christmas stuff in the stores in say, August, but I love Christmas.  I have made my first mini for the season already.  The class is this Monday.  The mini is made with Authentique's Joyous paper collection.  It is so pretty!  Great colors and patterns.  I have purchased quite a bit of it for numerous projects yet to come.

Here's the cover.  It is made using the Zutter 8 x 8 bamboo covers.  After you make your pages you bind them with an "o" wire and it fits in to the cover perfectly.  It is so clean looking.  Recently I purchased a Silhouette Cameo (and seriously love it!!!).  I made the light pole and sign hanger with it.  There are lots of goodies inside; fun trinkets (Tim Holtz and some others); fun interactive layouts.  Ready for the season.

So, if you have already signed up for the class you will need to bring your basics to class.  Include a glue pen to glue fine details, pop dots, glue dots, zip dry, and distress ink if you desire (I used frayed burlap I believe).

If you have'nt signed up yet, there is still a spot or two left.  Just call the store (281-288-7289).

Hope you have a great weekend.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Adore Doors!

I have a confession today.  It is a strange thing.  I have been told so.  Don't judge me.  Just accept it and enjoy the photos.  Here goes......

I adore doors!  I do.  I don't understand why but I find beauty in old, unusual doors.  i just imagine the life that the door has had.  If it could talk, what would it tell about who has entered and left; the secrets it has held in; the love it has seen.

I thought I would share some pics of doors that I took while we were in Spain this summer.  Hope you enjoy them.
 In Madrid.  The detail is amazing.  This is the door to one of the consulate offices.
 This door is not nearly as old as the one above, but look at the sheer size of it!  All of these doors are around 15 ft tall!  So tall in fact that they have a smaller door that they use (see it on the right side door?)
 This is one of the oldest doors in Spain.  The detailing was amazing  There was leather added at the bottom with huge iron bolts.
 Toledo.  Look at the detail in the iron work.
 Not really a door.  This is a guard tower for the palace in Madrid.  No door, but cute kiddos!
 Massive oak door in Coca.  The door is from the 15th century.
 Segovia.  This door was about 8 inches thick!  And just huge.
 I could not get over the hand carved details on this door.  All of the elements you see were hand carved.  And this door is from the 17th century.
 At the Alcazar palace.  Love the morrocan detail in the frame.
Not always about the door.  Sometimes it is also about the locks, handles, and closures.  This is on a gate (acting as a door) to an inner palace garden.  It was enormous.  Hand made in the 1800's.

I have so many more, but I won't bore you with them.  I hope you enjoyed.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

New classes!

I know it's been a bit since my last post.  So sorry.  My house has been upside down with a variety of things this past 2 months.  Here's hoping everything levels out now!  On to my new classes....

It's a new quarter at Scrapp n' Savvy.  We had so much fun at the Sampler!  There were our favorites and some new faces in the crown too!  I have 6 classes this quarter and 2 are this coming week.  Here they are:

Autumn Harvest
This fun mini album (measuring a nice 6 x 9 size) will be this Monday.  We are using a special mini album design from Graphic 45's designer Laura Denison.  It is an adorable mini album that wonderfully showcases the lovely fall colors in Bazzill Paper's Autumn Harvest collection.  Very easy to make!  There is so much room in the album with all the tags.  Perfect to have ready to place those fall/halloween pictures of your family or just to give as a gift to someone special.  Each page is filled with embellishments.  No special supplies needed; just your normal stuff.

Absoutely Thrilling

This is probably one of my favorites this quarter!  Originally scheduled for last week, I had to reschedule it for this Tuesday due to some family health issues.  So, Tuesday it is!

This is a great piece of Halloween decor with a bit of a hidden surprise!  The front of the little wagon has an eerie Halloween scene perfect for the holiday.  Turn it around and the back drops down to reveal  a mini album!  The mini album holds so many 4 x 6 pics - perfect!!!  All the little details make this so much fun to look at.  We will be using Authentique's Thrilling collection.  It is just lovely.  Supplies needed: black and white distress paints, modge podge (or mat medium), orange highlighter, 3 in 1 glue, glue dots, and the rest of your reuglar class supplies.

Join me in either or both of these classes.  Just visit the link above to go to the store and sign up online.  If you cant make it but want a kit, just leave me a comment.

Have a great day.  Happy crafting!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ink Me!

There are so many inks available on the market today.  Pigment inks.  Solvent inks.  Distress inks.  So many to choose from.  Right?

Well, how do you know which is the right ink for your project?  This class will teach you that; and much more.  Ink me is designed to allow you to play with different types of ink and learn what each does, how to clean it up, and which is best used in different places.  We will make a small book that is perfect to keep in your scrapbooking bag.  Perfect for reference later on.

The supply list for the class is rather extensive.  There are some things that each person needs to bring with them.  Then there is the list of preferred items for you to bring.  These items are strongly recommended for each person to bring.  The class will be quite large and it will make things go very slow if we have to share just my things.  Please, please bring as many of these items as you have.  As always, there are products in the store that are on the list.  So, here is the list:

Mandatory (each person must have ):  tape runner, ink applicators, baby wipes (alcohol free), pencil, paper towels (about 10 should do unless you are really messy), hard surface to stamp on (the tables give and will not allow you to get a clean image.  Please bring a glass stamp board or a small cutting board or something hard to put under your paper to be stamped), and favorite small stamp (and stamp block if necessary. We are working on 2.5" square pieces so a stamp that size or smaller is great).

Everything on the following list will be used in the class.  Colors don't matter on this.  I have listed the colors I used in parenthesis so you know what is in my book.  Please bring as many of these as you have.  If you don't have it, then it will be available in the store or I will have my set to work with.  The more you have the faster it will go.

pigment ink like Brillance, Tsukineko, Versa-color, chalk inks (black or brown)
dye ink like Memento, Ranger Archival, or Stampin up classic
dye ink water based like Marvy, Tsukineko, Ranger Adirondack
india ink like PITT pens (this is optional)
solvent ink like Staz-On (black or brown)
White or clear embossing powder
heat gun
antistatic pouch (optional)
Versamark (to emboss with)
Distress ink pad, any color (I used walnut stain, broken china)
Distress stain, any color (I used walnut, broken china, peeled paint)
Distress paint, any color (I used tarnished brass, peeled paint, broken china)
Reinker, distress ink reinker , any color (I used walnut)
Distress stain picket fence
perfect pearl, any color
Alcohol ink, any color, and blending solution
Miny mister or misting bottle with water in it
small paintbrush to use with perfect pearls

I know this is a ton of stuff.  Many of you have this in your bags already but may not realize what inks you have.  This class is designed for you to learn how the different inks work.

I am excited about the class.  Should be fun!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A brand new life

I love to re-do something old and make it look new again.  Don't you?  There is something very satisfying when I take something that might be headed for the trash and re-make it so it is functional.

Recently I found an old, horribly painted cabinet at my local thrift store.  I don't have a photo to publish because of the grafiti that was scribbled on it (totally inappropriate!).  So let me give you a mental image to work with:  The whole cabinet was painted dark forest green.  The doors had large pine trees and pine cones painted on them in various shades of green and yellow and brown.  The 3 drawers at the bottom each had a different outdoor type item painted on it (leaf, pinecone, and something unknown!)  and the knobs were yellow.  Then there was the overall general condition of the piece....very bad.  The bottom legs were splitting apart and the doors were falling off due to a missing hinge.  Trust me when I say it was bad.  Very, very bad.

But with some TLC and some fun paper and embellishments it became this:

I first tried to paint the cabinet with chalkboard paint.  It looked awesome.  Until I went to move it 2 days later.  Don't know what happened but the black rubbed off!  Most stayed on the cabinet but just too much came off.  So, re-do!  Sanded, painted it a soft blue, then finally white.  I distressed all the edges with sandpaper allowing the light blue to slightly show.  I then added a variety of papers (I think they were all Prima Marketing papers), some vintage lace, Graphic 45 pulls, Tim Holtz knobs, and some other fun embellishments.

So that piece of trash has now become a shabby chic wonder!

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Faber Castell design audition - video

For those of you who know me or those who read this blog I think you will agree that I love Gelatos!.  They are made by Faber Castell Memory Craft and are just amazing.  I had the chance to visit CHA in January where I took several mixed media classes that featured some of the Faber Castell products, especially their mix n' match line.  Amazing.  I was hooked at the word go!

Recently I read that the wonderful peeps at Faber Castell were holding a designer team "audition" and I  just was so excited. I just simply have to try!   I have created a lovely mixed media canvas of a mermaid and I will show you how I made it!

Let me begin by showing you a photo of the finished canvas:
 We have a beachhouse and I began painting seahorses and mermaids to decorate some of the rooms in the house.  It has become a bit of an obsession.  I love to doodle them in black and white.  I have made them using only pastel pencils.  I have made many as gifts as well.  So it was easy to decide that I wanted to make this mermaid mixed media canvas for the audition.  She is made using all Faber Castell products along with some scrap paper and some other bits and pieces.  A supply list is at the very end of this post.

Are you ready?  It's time to show you how I made this lovely lady.

Do to size restrictions, the video has been split into 2 parts.
Click Here To View Video Part 1

That was just a quick tutorial.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I also used the PITT big brush pens, the smaller PITT pens, and PITT pastel pencils to highlight her tail and hair.  All were used on the mermaid pieces and on the canvas to add shadow around her.  I thought I would leave you with a few more pictures:

 This is a close-up of the mermaids tail and hair showing the beads, mini shells, and colors.  I absolutely love how her tail came out.  The colors are perfect.  Below is a page from my art journal showing some of my black and white doodles (using Pitt pens of course).  The mermaid in the lower right corner was my inspiration for this canvas.

I hope I inspired you to create someting wonderful.  If you have not tried the Gelatos or the PITT pens, I strongly recommend them.  I love creating with mine!

Supplies used:  Faber Castell - Gelatos in snow cone, cotton candy, blueberry, white, tangerine, mango, lemon, terra cotta, champagne gold, butterscotch, and silver ice; Big brush PITT pens - nougat and light cobalt turquoise;  PITT pens - orange glaze, dark chrome yellow, nougat, raw umber, and light cobalt turquoise; PITT pastell pencils - 1121-280, 1122-153, 1122-143, and 1122-156; gesso, Crafter's Workshop mask; glaze medium; Art Co. beads and micro beads

Friday, August 16, 2013

some fun

It's been a bit since my last post....sorry.  Life intervened!  We have had a wonderful summer and are back in school.  This means I have more time to post to my blog and play around with my scrapbooking and art!  Love that!

I thought I would post some pics of some of my summer art for you to look at.

These are some of my favorites.  I love to play with black and white and just doodle.  My daughter doodled a lovely feather and I decided to try my hand at it.  I really like how it turned out.  I bet there will be more of those feathers in my near future!  The bottom photo is a mixed media project that I made using all sorts of wonderful Faber Castell stuff.  You know how I love my gelattos!

Enjoy your day.  Stop by soon and see what craftiness I'm up to!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A little bohemian

I'm sure you have seen it by now and you might agree.  The new G45 Bohemian Bazaar paper collection is adorable!  So, let's have a class!

The class using the G45 paper and the Farmhouse mini album will be this Thursday the 25th.  Ladies, please bring your basic supplies and specifically tweezers, pencil, tiny attacher with staples, 1/8" scor or red tape, scorboard and tool, uhu stick or tape runner, 3 in 1 glue, scissors, paper trimmer, and any ink if you want to use it (I did not use any inks on this one).

 Front cover including the cute flower bead hanging on the rings.

 One of the inside pages
One of the pocket pages.

The paper is so fun and colorful.  Interested in joining us?  Just call Scrapp n' Savvy at 281-288-7289 and we can work you in!

For those of you who are Scrapp n' Savvy customers:  Our great surprise begins this Monday.  If you did not receive an email with all the juicy details, please take the time to call the store (number listed above) and we would be happy to give you all the wonderful details.

See you in class