Creative Bliss

Friday, May 29, 2015

Crochet African Flower Motif Dragon called Smaug

Hi Crafty Friends!

Yay! School's out for the summer! :) 

Now that I have a minute to breathe, I thought I'd show you a project I've been working on recently. It's another doll using the African Flower motif using a pattern created by Heidi Bears. 

My assistant manager at work asked me if there was a dragon pattern like the hippo I had made her daughter. There is indeed a dragon pattern! She asked me if I'd be willing to crochet the dragon for her and I agreed. I've been pretty busy working on this so that I could finish it before school let out for the summer. I handed it over earlier this week, but not before I took a few photos. He/She is bigger than the pictures suggest and it was kind of hard to get even decent photos. I was kind of surprised at just how long it turned out to be! It was fun to create, but also a challenge. I can't imagine how big this would have been had I used heavier weight yarn. I used the Aunt Lydia's crochet thread and it seemed huge!

Enough talk, here are the photos. Hope you enjoy!

In case you were wondering, 128 motifs were crocheted to complete the project. That is way more than I've had to crochet for previous projects I've made. But many were for the wings and the scales, so it makes sense, I guess. 
My friend at work was thrilled with the final project. Yay!
It's a one of a kind, for sure as I have no desire to make a second one. LOL 

Thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate you! I know I am completely hit and miss when it comes to posting and I am sorry for that. Life and kids keeps me hopping, but you all are busy, too! I so admire the bloggers who are able to juggle everything a bit better than I can. I'll keep plugging away!

Thanks again for the visit and I hope to be back again soon.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Shimmery Butterfly Thanks Card

Hi There!

I recently started following a blog called Me and Minime Crafting. Marika is a wonderful artist and I've watched a video or two of her watercoloring. Oh my! Such talent. :) Anyway, she recently posted this card and I was instantly smitten. Butterflies! Squeeeee! I really liked how she heat embossed the image in white and chose to watercolor the butterflies green. I decided to try my hand at a similar look.
Since I felt a bit more successful watercoloring with pencils, I used them again. Why mess with success, right? These butterflies are from an old CTMH butterflies set (long retired, I'm sure). I forgot to note the name of the set, and I'm too lazy to go back and look for it. Let me know if you'd like the name of the set. I stamped them in Versamark and heat embossed with white. The first butterfly I made was all green. Then I started to wonder (uh oh) what it would look like with some blue. I liked the result! I set them aside to dry. Then I added some shimmer with my Wink of Stella pen. Only you can't really tell. I set this aside and left it alone until today. Should I mention I'm working hard now not to rush myself in finishing a card? 

I sat back down today and decided to fussy cut the butterflies out. Initially I planned to plop them onto white cardstock, but I got to thinking again...I wonder what it would look like if I washed a watercolor card piece with shimmery blue watercolor? I liked the result! (whooo hoooo 2 for 2)

You can see the shimmer much better in this second photo. :)

Finally, I wanted to add a sentiment and I really like the thanks Marika used. But I don't have that die. I noticed some wayyyyyyyy old Cuttlebug dies on a shelf. I mean these were released the first year the Cuttlebug was, if I remember correctly. I remember when purging before debating whether I should donate the dies as I'd not used them much at all. But I decided to keep them. Golly! Am I happy to have hoarderish tendencies when it comes to crafty supplies. :) I cut the thanks with a shimmer cardstock from Michaels. It's a recent release stack called Sophia and is part of the Recollections brand. Adds just the right touch. And to finish off the card, I added some sequins. 

Happy sigh!

Thanks so much for stopping by. 
I hope you have a happy day.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stenciled Happy Birthday Card

Hi there!

I needed a masculine birthday card and got to work this afternoon trying to come up with something using stencils and distress inks. I found some neat looking Faber Castell stencils at Hobby Lobby recently. They have shapes that can easily be used for backgrounds on cards using whatever technique one may desire. Using stencils is really making a comeback it seems. The only drawback is the stencils I got are paper. So, while you can reuse them for a time, they aren't going to last forever. Ah well. I'll have fun for a while anyway.

I decided some good "guy" colored distress inks include Peacock Feathers, Mowed Lawn and Spiced Marmalade. I used some old stencil brushes because I had seen a video where a lady made a great looking background using them, creating a stippled look. Weeeeeelll, I tried that to start out with the technique she used in the video and I'd probably still be stippling next week. I obviously didn't have the right touch (or the patience) to continue that technique. I started moving the brush in a circular motion while pressing down a bit(kind of like how I used to do this years and years and years ago-ahem). Ahhhh, now that looked a lot better and was much quicker. It probably doesn't look any different than using a sponge, but I didn't get any hard lines either, so there is that. Here's the final card.

And below is a close up of a mistake an opportunity to embellish I made. I wanted to clear heat emboss the happy birthday sentiment. But.....I didn't wait long enough for the ink to dry from sponging the colors on and the embossing powder stuck everywhere. Um, oops? Nah...I embossed it anyway and liked the texture it added to the sentiment. So I used it! The die is a Nestabilities Shapeabilities die. I cut a white rectangular piece of cardstock and used the same stencil brushes to add the colors to the rectangle. This is a nice low profile card that should be easily mailable. 

That's it from me today. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a great week!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Flower Fairy Hello

Hi There!

Last month I saw this card and was smitten with the image and the colors Christine used to color this sweet fairy. Christine's coloring is terrific and I enjoy looking at what she shares. You might want to take a peek. I've added a few blogs to my Feedly over the past few months where the blogger is a fantastic colorist and seeing what they have created makes me want to color, too. Thanks for the inspiration, Christine (in case she ever stops by to read my little blog)! 

I had fun using my Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits to color this. I don't know if anyone is interested in what colors I use, so I don't keep track. If you are interested, please let me know. The pinks were colors I hadn't necessarily pulled out before and I liked how they looked. 

A heads up for those who like to use Wink of Stella pens and to color digital images. I honestly don't know what the liquid is in the pen (I've never investigated that) but whatever it is, it sure doesn't play well with printed digital images. It smears the ink. Remember when I mentioned something on that card that Jessica made. That's why she had to color another image I smeared the ink. So I forgot about that when I started to put some WOS on the wings of this little gal (after I had colored everything). I just barely started when I remembered. Thankfully it didn't ruin the work I had done(I'd have been so very sad to have to start coloring  the image again because of that). I ended up using lots of Stickles instead. 

I wanted to add a little more of something and I know sequins are popular. I've not gotten colored sequins, but I did like how these iridescent sequins(from Hobby Lobby) looked, so added a few for interest. Hopefully they don't detract from the image. 

The hello is from the Gingham Backgrounds set from Lawn Fawn. I just love that font! It's stamped in Watermelon ink from Close To My Heart. I also used their Stitched Rectangle die. 

That is all from me right now. I thank you very much for stopping by! I hope you have a great day. 


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Watercolored Butterfly Hello


I was able to head into my crafty space this afternoon and I tried something new for me. And I think it worked out better than I'd hoped it would. :)

My friend Kay participated in a blog hop for Papertrey Ink way back in February. She posted a sneak  peek of  her card here. One of the things I especially liked about this card was her use of the quatrefoil pattern and distress inks. I copied this idea with a Memory Box stencil I picked up at my local scrapbook store (probably back in February). I used the same inks and that was as far as I got that day. This background piece has been sitting on my desk ever since. 

Then a week or so ago, I took a bit of a drive to a store that sells all the colors of Prismacolor pencils. I had some holes in my collection and wanted to fill them. :) They were having a watercolor demonstration. As you regular readers know, I am very much watercolor challenged, but I stopped to chat with the gal working the demonstration. She showed me how to use watercolor crayons and watercolor pencils. I have had a set or two of watercolor pencils collecting dust for years. I even have some watercolor crayons somewhere. Seeing someone demonstrate the technique in person was so helpful! I even got to try it under her watchful eye. Ever since that demo, I've wanted to try my hand at using my watercolor pencils. (I still have to look for the watercolor crayons I think I own).

I have to say, I'm quite pleased at how this turned out!

I used a new Hero Arts butterfly stamp and die set that I found at Joann's. Last month I came across this post and the idea came to mind of what I would try to do!

I used a Dazzle Versamark ink in Champagne and clear embossing powder to emboss the butterflies. Then I used General's brand watercolor pencils to lightly color along the edge of the embossed lines. I pulled out the color with a paintbrush dipped in water. 

I actually achieved a look that I liked! Whoo hoo! I have to say, I do like the control I felt I had with the pencils. 

I popped the large butterfly up with some foam dots. You can't really tell in the photo, but the body is covered with Wink of Stella shimmer. 

Finally, a watercolor session that didn't end in my being completely frustrated. 
There may be a little hope for me yet. 

Thanks ever so much for stopping by.
I hope you have a great day!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Finished a Crochet Project for a Friend...

Hello Friends!

While I was not successful in creating a single Easter card this season, I have finished a project I've been working on for several weeks. I'm pretty happy with the finished product(s).

A good friend of mine emailed me to ask if I'd be able to create an item she found online. Normally, I might say no, but she is a very good friend. :) Going by the picture alone and some of my crocheting background and patterns, I managed to cobble together a fairly decent replica of the picture she showed me. These are gifts for people working with her on an upcoming weekend event that is Hawaiian themed.

Are you ready??

 Hula Minions!
Aren't they so  fun and yes, funny?!

They are about 3 inches tall and I've attached them to a key chain.

Don't they look like they are ready to hula (or maybe do the Rockette kicks) here? 
Hee, hee!

So, this is what I have been working on lately. I'm happy to have been able to help out my friend with this project. 

I used size 10 crochet thread (Aunt Lydia's brand) and a size 1 crochet hook. I also used 6mm safety eyes. They are stuffed with fiberfill. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
I hope you have a lovely holiday and a happy Spring!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Feel Better and Hello Cards

Hi There!
Don't faint. I've got a couple of cards for you to see. 

We are on Spring Break in my neck of the woods and after running a couple of errands this morning, I shooed the girls outside for a bit and got to work on a card. Sneaky, huh? 

Actually, this first card I have to share was made by my daughter, Jessica. 
My husband contacted me yesterday to say that one of his co-workers has been fighting some kind of bug or illness that the doctors haven't been able to diagnose. He thought it might be nice if Jessica made a card for her. You see, Jessica has gone to Take Your Child to Work Day with him for the past several years and she's gotten to know some of my husband's co-workers. She and this gal have developed a nice relationship. She was happy to get to work last night, with a little assistance from me (and even one instance where I messed up her image enough that she had to start over with coloring. Oy, Wink of Stella does not always play nicely, I found out. Jessica was not happy with me over that, but gamely colored one more image). Hopefully this card will help her friend feel a little bit better.
I had to take the photo at night, so the lighting was not very good. But I think you can see what she did.  She likes to color with my pencils and odorless mineral spirits and I think she is pretty darn good with them (I'm probably a wee bit biased). The stamps are from Lawn Fawn's set called On the Mend and the paper is from Doodlebug's Hello Sunshine 6x6 pad. The white flowers are from Making Memories...I've had the set of ribbons wrapped on a tall card for years! It's nice to use a little of it. 

Below is the card I worked on today. Yes, I pretty much cased it. I was inspired by the card featured here on the Lawn Fawn blog.

I only have one set of stitched rectangles, so my frame came out a bit wider than the one she showed in the video. The gingham paper in the background is from the same Doodlebug pad (Hello Sunshine). The clouds I inked myself. I stamped a cloud image using the cloud stamp from the set called of all things, Hello Sunshine. I cut out the cloud and used Sky ink (from Close To My Heart) and a sponge to create the cloud/sky background. The flowers and bird are colored with my pencils and odorless mineral spirits. Unfortunately you can't really see the line of glitter pen I added to the chest of the bird and the edge of the flower centers. (I was afraid to use the Wink of Stella, especially after my little mishap last night using it). I popped up the frame with foam squares to give it a little dimension. The hello stamp is from Lawn Fawn's Gingham Backgrounds set. 

Anyway, I'm happy with how this turned out. Makes me think of a field of daisies on a summer's day. 

That's it from me today!
Thanks so much for stopping by.
I appreciate the visit and hope you are having a good day.