Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Summer!

Hi there!
Well, it's officially summer! Hope you are enjoying it wherever you are. It hasn't been too hot here, but I'm sure that won't last too long.
The girls and I are enjoying ourselves. We've done a few things, but mostly they are enjoying life being a little low key right now. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to sneak into my crafty corner as often as I'd like. But today I managed to. Well, I had to do some clean up before I could actually do anything. It's amazing how things start to pile up when you turn your back. 

Anyway, after some fiddling and futzing, this is what I came up with. I was inspired by a card I saw here. (edited to fix link) The yellow and black really caught my eye. 
I searched my stash and found a Close To My Heart Stamp Set that doesn't have a name on it. I'm pretty sure I've used it before, and Becky probably told me what the name of it was, but I didn't note it. (oops) The Happy Birthday is from Papertrey Ink. I added some gems and decided at the last minute to try putting some tiny ones on to mimic doodling three dots together. I like it! (The yellow ink is Sunflower from CTMH)

And just because it's not really summer until you have a "snowcone." I had to get some shots of Jessica making hers. It's a shaved ice machine, but the girls call them snowcones. Who am I to quibble? I'm happy they are self sufficient and make their own.  ;)

The juice is Strawberry Watermelon. 
Well, they thought so. 
I like mine with lemonade, but we don't have any right now.
Best fix that soon.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Having Some Artistic Fun

As I was watering my flowers one day last week, a friendly neighborhood butterfly decided to come for a visit. It looked so lovely fluttering from blossom to blossom, that I had to take some photos. When I chat  on the front porch with my neighbors across the street, we'll see this butterfly flitting around in their yard or other yards. Makes us smile, that is for sure. (This photo was taken with the up close flower scene setting on my camera, one that I haven't used all that much because I forget to move the dial sometimes. And I didn't edit the photo, it is straight out of the camera-well, except for my name down there in the corner).

I've mentioned my friend, Barb, a time or two. *Ü* Some recent email chats with her and her blog posts about watercolor has piqued my interest in playing around with watercolors myself. As I have said before I am supremely watercolor challenged. I recently watched this you tube video by Amy Rysavy where she reviews the Artist Loft brand of watercolor paints. These are Michaels "house brand" of watercolors and this review, coupled with projects Barb has been sharing using watercolors prompted me to buy a set (with a coupon, even though they aren't expensive at all without a coupon-hey, save where you can, right?) I watched a few other videos on using watercolors in cardmaking and took the plunge to play a bit. (Boy oh boy, You Tube is amazing, isn't it??) I messed around  a while to get the background and set it aside to dry(for like a week, because the girls and I were off doing summer vacation activities or I was watching more You Tube...that site can get addicting).

I knew going in to creating this background that I wanted it to look sort of like a sunset. Not sure I got it right, but the feel is there. I also knew I wanted to use this Hero Arts cling stamp for the silhouetted flowers. So, yesterday I stamped it, not even considering that I was stamping onto watercolor paper and the surface wasn't smooth! (Yeah, I'm not the brightest bulb, sometimes). It looked awful and I was so bummed. But before I chucked the piece in disgust (it was the only one I painted this way) I remembered a trick I saw Jennifer McGuire do with a black marker on an image that didn't stamp cleanly and decided to try it, using a Micron pen. Oh thank heavens, it didn't look too bad and I was able to salvage the image. I'm very happy with the final result. Whew! This isn't a card at this point. I've toyed with the idea of adding a sentiment, but I kind of like it as is. Who knows...maybe I'll frame it and keep it for myself. 

And finally, I'm going wayyyyyyyy out on a limb here, sharing this next picture. I've recently become intrigued by something called Zentangle and ZenDoodling. If you Google either term you will come across tons of links/images/videos on this art form. There are boatloads of pins on Pinterest and Flickr as well.  Basically, it's repetitive drawing with the intent to de-stress and express oneself. I used to tole paint years and years (and years) ago, and somehow the art I've been seeing reminds me of the patterns I used to paint. So, I've been playing around with this form of expression as well. Not all Zentangles or doodles are colored, but I can't seem to leave it alone after I am done drawing. I've used my Prismacolor pencils on this page. 

I was really inspired by some pieces I saw on the internet, but I didn't print anything off to "follow" or use as a guide. This is very out of the norm for me! It was fun trying different doodles and patterns. 

Who knows maybe someone will be inspired to try something new like I did. I feel like my creative juices are flowing again, after a very long dry spell!

I'm very thankful to those who share so willingly and freely. 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a terrific day.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Mary Engelbreit Easel Birthday Card

Updated January 12, 2015 to let my readers know that My Scrap Chick is no longer selling the Mary Engelbreit SVG files. I don't know of any shops at this time that are carrying them. :( If you come across this post and find another store selling the files, please let me know and I will update this post. 

A good friend of mine is a fan of Mary Engelbreit and for many years I would look for fun ME gift items to give to her. Several months ago, one of the SVG companies I get newsletters from, My Scrap Chick, started selling Mary Engelbreit SVG files. I knew immediately I wanted to make the Ann Estelle file for my friend for her birthday. I just sent it off to her and thought you might like to see how it turned out. I used my Silhouette Cameo and the Designer Edition Studio program.  Feel free to click on the photos to enlarge them if you want a closer look.

The file I purchased had  bonus files included to make the easel card, chunky envelope and liner. The envelope is 6x6 in size, which gives you an idea of the size of the card. It also included printable tags. I just had to dig through my stash to find the colors of cardstock I wanted to use(mostly Close to My Heart, but also some Recollections and American Crafts. 

I had a lot of fun putting this one together.
Thanks so much for stopping by! 
I hope you have a great weekend.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mowin' Season!~Digital Layout

Hi there!

Here's a layout I started yesterday afternoon and just finished up. Dad has been happy to hand over the chore of mowing the back lawn to the girls. And while it's far from perfect, they do a very good job when they mow.

The kit I used is called Yardwork by Krisitn Aagard over at Scrap Orchard. I love how the lawnmower element looks a lot like our lawnmower. *Ü*
The template is from Set #169 by Cindy Schneider at Sweet Shoppe Designs. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Can you believe it? Three posts in two days?! Summer break is agreeing with me, so far. :)

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bookworm~Digital Layout

Hi there!

I've been working on this digital layout for a bit and thought you might like to see it. Jessica is a voracious reader and worked her way through a series of books by Brian Jaques about animal characters in a place called Redwall this school year. She was introduced to them by her music teacher, whose daughter read them when she was about Jessica's age. There were ten or so full size hardcover books and Jessica read every one that her teacher owned. Whenever we go to the thrift store, the book section is her first stop, and she rarely comes away without a "new to her" book. We go to the library regularly over the summer, and throughout the school year she often tells me about the books she is reading in class. Gotta love a girl who loves to read!

I used a kit called Between the Pages by Heather Roselli from Sweet Shoppe Designs. I used a Cindy Schneider template as well, but I can't remember which one. 

It was fun working on this layout and I have some ideas for other layouts I want to create. 
I can share if you would like to see them.

Thanks for looking!

Casing Barb's Just Keep...Swimming!

Hi There!

My good friend, Barb over at The Buzz recently shared a really neat looking watercolor card here. She has been taking an online class on watercoloring and I've just been amazed by her creations. (You can see them here) You see, I am completely watercolor challenged. As I told her, it's not a bid for sympathy or anything. I just don't have the right touch. I remember becoming so frustrated years ago when I was a consultant for Close To My Heart and I would try watercoloring. Nope, watercolor and I just don't get along. 

When I came across the post I linked above, I was intrigued. Barb insisted that you can't mess this technique up. In her post she explains how to do the technique and I watched the video she linked as well. Seemed like it could be something I could do. I had most of the supplies on hand. Well, except the two ink colors I wanted to use, that is. What a perfect excuse to add to my stash of distress inks! *Ü* Armed with some coupons, I picked up Peacock Feathers and Spiced Marmalade yesterday. And wouldn't you know, Michaels put ink pads on sale starting today?! May have to add a couple of more colors to my stash this week.

I wandered into my crafty space this afternoon to give it a try. My first attempt...did not like! I couldn't get a good coverage of ink onto my watercolor paper. There were large patches of white showing through. I had no idea really how much ink to smear onto my craft sheet and how much water to spritz onto it. I dried my paper and reinked it, but still large spots of no ink coverage. I got a little worried that this easy sounding technique wasn't going to be so easy for me. I tried again on a new piece of paper, still a lot of white space. Hmph!! Then I got the idea to try on the flip side of the watercolor paper, the side that was a little more smooth. Ahhhhh....that looked much better!

And, after a bunch of fiddling and futzing...here's the final result...

I told you in my title that I cased Barb's work, but I did try to add my own little twist. I added some detail on the fish with a colored pencil and a colorless blender. I had some googly eyes in different sizes and I found some neat looking sequins in my stash. They are from Hobby Lobby, Make It Christmas. I need tips on how best to add sequins. These were a bit of a pain to get to stick. My extra touch is the spraying of the shimmer onto the background, all over the watercolored piece. I took the second picture in the sunlight to help capture the sparkle. You might need to enlarge to see it better. 

That's all for today. Felt good to get my fingers inky (and I do mean inky, this may be a somewhat easy technique, but it is also a little messy, hee, hee).

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.