Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Using Spray Mists as Watercolor

I'm not an artist by any means but I wanted to try and hand draw some large background images using watercolor. Here are the three cards I created..

I decided against using regular watercolors and used Studio Calico Spray Mists instead. To create these cards, I "drew" my image with a paintbrush and some water. Once the inside of each image was filled with water, I dabbed some spray mist colors onto the wet image by unscrewing the nozzle and using the end as a dropper. I made several dots of color then went back in with a wet paintbrush to get the color moving. I'm very happy with the end result and the colors seemed to blend quite nicely.

For the star card, I embossed THIS greeting in silver...
(I used Taxi and Sunshine Mists from Studio Calico)

For the cloud card, I used THIS greeting...
(I used Bonny Blue, Dewey, and Water Cooler Mists from Studio Calico)

For the heart card, I used THIS greeting...
(I used Cameo and Pretty Pink Mists from Studio Calico)

I decided to heat emboss some strips of white cardstock with the silver embossing powder as well to tie it in with the greeting. All the background pieces are mounted onto Hero Arts Notecards.

I hope this inspires you to try Spray Mists as a watercolor medium. Have a great day!

P.S. The winner from THIS post is Lin! Congrats. Please hit the CONTACT ME button on the top of this blog to send me your address.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gift Giving

The birthday celebration is continuing over on the Little Tangles Blog with the new theme of creating a gift. I decided to create a card set using THIS new fabulous stamp from Neat and Tangled....
I decided to use Distress Inks with the stamp to create a watercolor look. Here's a closer look at one of the cards...

Here's how I created each card:
1. I started out with 2 or 3 Distress Inks in each color family. 
2. I inked up the stamp with the inks going from lightest to darkest, creating an ombre effect. 
3. I spritzed them lightly with water before stamping onto some watercolor cardstock. (Apply more water for a messier watercolor look. I didn't want the colors on mine to run a lot, so I used less water.)
4. Choose a greeting from THIS stamp set for each card and stamp it in black ink.
5. Cut out each greeting and attach it to the card along with a few black sequins.
6.Trim down the side of each cardstock piece slightly and attach to a coordinating color of note card. ( I used Hero Arts note cards.)
7. Package up all the cards along with some coordinating envelopes, pen, and stamps in a clear box....

Here are the ink combos I used for each card...
Red- Worn Lipstick, Barn Door, and Festive Berries
Yellow- Scattered Straw and Wild Honey
Green- Shabby Shutters, Mowed Lawn, and Peeled Paint
Blue- Tumbled Glass, Broken China, and Peacock Feathers
Purple-Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord

Speaking of gift giving, I recently purchased one of THESE stamps for all of the design team members on the Little Tangles Blog. I had to purchase one for myself as well. ;) I love this custom stamp and use it on the back of my cards...
I created a thank you card to go along with it to tell the ladies what a great job they're doing...
I used the Everyday Labels on these cards as well but in a completely different way. I heat embossed the greeting in white and added some watercolor on top. 

I hope this inspires you to participate in the gift giving challenge HERE. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quick teacher gift that won't break the bank....

It's that time again...time for school to start back. My 2 year old is not in school yet but I wanted to share a quick teacher gift that I whipped up for my sister to give my nephew's teachers...
I purchased three hand soaps from Target (I chose my favorite from the up and up brand- Milk and Honey). They were all on sale at the time so I spent less than three bucks! I printed out a saying that reads, "Please call if you ever need a helping hand...". I used THIS tag die to die-cut some tags and heat embossed a hand print stamp using THIS ink first and then a clear embossing powder on top. I wanted to give the hand print some shine to appear wet so it tied in with the theme. 
I also cut some more tags from the same die in pink cardstock and stamped THIS alphabet background in the same ink for a tone on tone look. I added a pink strip of patterned paper to the front tag from THIS paper pad and finished it off with some pink gingham ribbon. Here is a closer look at the back tag. It is a spot to write your contact information...
So there you have it. A quick and easy teacher gift for the first day of school that doesn't cost too much. I was a teacher many years ago and know first hand how appreciated these small gestures are. Let's hear it for teachers!!! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Tour of my Creative Space

I'm so excited to give you a tour of my creative space. Here is the video of my room...


Please be kind. I'm new to this video making process and sound like I'm twelve. LOL A BIG shout out to my son (Alex) for helping me with the editing and composing the music. He rocks! 

Now for some more information and pictures about my space in case you want to skip the video...
This room is a bonus room in our house. It was set up as a game room by the previous owners when we looked at the house, which my husband liked,  but I was SO excited to transform it into a craft room because of all the natural light. There are four windows and two doors in the room which makes it  nice and bright while working. (I had all the blinds closed this day so there wasn't a glare on the video or in the pictures.) 

Also, as you can see, the colors are bold. I did this because this is my happy place. The rest of my home is more neutral colors and I wanted this space to be vibrant and energize me to be creative.

Let's start the tour in pictures...
When you enter the room to the left, you will see this white cabinet (from Home Depot) and a gallery wall above that. The gallery wall consists of a canvas that I created in a Jennifer McGuire class, some of my favorite layouts framed (frames from Kohls and Michaels), and two prints from Baby Bird and Bub Bub
On the top of the cabinet is an extra large clothespin (Michaels) that holds cards that I receive from friends. There are some stamps displayed around that which are new Hero Art stamps that will be coming out soon. These are specail to me because they are my handwriting. More about that HERE
To the right is a spinner (Pottery Barn) that holds cards from friends. They received the stamp I designed at a craft retreat and sent me cards using it. SO sweet. :)  Inside the cabinet holds photographs, mini albums, the cards I create, and organizational items. 
Continuing on to the right....This wall has two large windows and a door. That door leads to the back covered porch, which is my favorite spot to retreat when I need to step away from a project for a few minutes. The curtains were made by my friend's mom (who is a fantastic seamstress) and the fabric is from Heather Bailey many years ago. 

These shelves that mirror the door were made by my sweet hubby from some scrap wood he had laying around. I organized all my wood block stamps on these shelves by theme. I like that it is open and I can see what I have at a glance. 
Next up is my wall of shelving. This is the wall you see when you enter the room. I got all of these shelves at Ikea.I was thrilled when I measured that wall because it only leaves inches on either side of the units, making them look like built-ins. 

So for the shelving on the left of the window...
Starting from the top and working from left to right.....

-Love Notes Box..it holds all kinds of notes/cards from my hubby, kids, family, and friends. 
-Yellow Baskets (Target)-holds Xyron Sticker Machine, Acrylic Blocks, and Misc. Stamping Supplies
-Red Buckets (Target)-holds sewing supplies and jewelry making
-Antique Scale-holds magazines that I was published in
-Red Cabinet (Hobby Lobby)-holds all my Spectrum Noir markers
-Metal Bin (Kohl's)-Extra Card Making Supplies
-Three Red Boxes (Container Store)-holds Project Life stuff, Patterned Paper Scraps, and Large Photos
-Magazine/Idea Books
-Antique Locker Baskets (Antique Store in Indianapolis)-hold Larger Stamp Sets and Bakcground/Cling Stamps
-Two Green Design Baskets (Pottery Barn Outlet) and Clear Binz (Home Goods)-hold acrylic stamps
-Empty Large Glass Jar-is empty at the moment. I like to keep some containers open so I have a home ready for new items coming in. 
-Green Basket (TJ Maxx)- holds 6x6 paper pads
-CD Baskets (Target)-holds Hero Arts Note cards and Papertrey/ Amuse Stamps
-Metal Large Bins (Kohls)-holds stencils, embossing, and extra trimmers
-Two Silver Trays (Target)- holds Distress Stains and XL brads
-Green Tray (TJ Maxx)-holds watercolor sets, paper, and brushes
-White Box (Micheals)-full of more love notes. 
-Four White 12x12 boxes (Michaels)-holds Rub-ons, Calendar Making Items, and Kid Projects
-White Cubbies-holds my 8.5 x 11 cardstock (the cases on top hold Bo-Bunny dot paper and cardstock and my Ranger mat is on top)
-Albums-Yellow/White Stripe from Project Life line

Next to the shelving unit is a small desk that holds a sketchbook (TJ Maxx), some markers, and a caddy (Target) filled with Glossy Accents, Stickles, and Perfect Pearls. Under the desk is where I store my rolling tote that I take on crops. 

Now for the next shelving unit...
...again, starting from the top and working left to right...

-Monogram letters (Pottery Barn, Hobby Lobby,Michaels)
-Pez-seems odd but I've collected them for years and keep a small amount out on my shelf because they make me happy. I rotate them every so often. 
-Red Bread Boxes (Target)- holds my letter stickers
-Red Boxes- holds extra ribbon and misc. tools
-Red Jars (World Market)- holds ribbon and washi tape
-Canvas (Kohls) and Stand (Pottery Barn)
-Wire Display (Antique Mall)- holds Wood Background Stamps
-YES plaque (Home Goods)- I'm a fan of Bethenny Frankel's and I love her motto of coming from a place of yes. 
-Yellow Basket (Michaels)- holds all my spray mists
-Large Glass Jar (Hobby Lobby)- holds Gingham Ribbon
-Black Columns- these were from Sizzix and used to hold my dies but now it holds all my Hero ink. 
-White Tray- holds all of my Distress Inks and applicators
-Green Tray (Target)- holds little jars of embellishments
-Red Flower Pot (Michaels)- holds extra ribbon
-Large Metal Bins (Kohl's)-holds fabric, paper scraps, and card kits
-Metal Buckets (Target)-holds journaling cards, tags, pockets, and frames/labels.
-Twilight Books and Designing With Calendars
-Laundry Baskets (Target)- holds foam stamps and magazines
-Metal Boxes (Container Store)- holds gems, eyelets, and extra foam 
-White Boxes (Pottery Barn)- holds vinyl, cutting system, and chipboard
-clay pot- my son made me this when he was younger and it holds my paintbrushes

Moving on to the wall on the right as you enter the room...

Two White Shelving Units (Making Memories)- holds flowers, thread, ribbon, paint, brads, and glitter
Shelves- holds buttons, i-pod, and dies
Table-purchased from Jenni Bowlin.. I was hoping her mojo would come home with me as well but that didn't happen. ;) The table holds my Big Shot and Cuttlebug and has a plexi glass top to display layouts underneath...
To the right of that are some vinyl butterfly decals on the wall I created with my die-cut machine. There is also a red cabinet that was meant for a computer but I made it into some crafty storage....
It holds all my colored cardstock, larger dies, embossing folders and the tray where the keyboard would be pulls out to reveal all my punches. Under that are some totes that have paper and embellishments by theme (Halloween, Christmas, Stickers, etc.) and also some mini albums and Project Life items.On top of the cabinet is some artwork I purchased from Etsy. Those scissors were from Hobby Lobby and the small metal quote plaque is from Pottery Barn. I hung a hook on the wall to the left of the cabinet to hold all my tote bags that I take to crops. I like that it's hidden...
To wrap up the tour is the center of them room where my work station is....
I would love to find a large, white dining room table to put here but for now these folding tables will do. I have it set up for four people. Everyone has their own light (JC Penney) and garbage can (Ikea) because I like having family and friends over. I also have my travel totes out filled with essential tools because I'm always on the go. 

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my creative space. Feel free to leave any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Simple Hand Stitching

Today's card features a way to adhere tricky embellishments. Freckled Fawn has some really fun embellishment kits! I loved the transparency letters included and wanted to create a sentiment from them. Since they are clear, I didn't want to use an adhesive that would show through, so I chose to hand stitch each letter onto the background with some black thread...
I like how it enhances the homemade feel of the card. To create that background, I did layers and layers of pink and orange watercolor, letting it dry before each new layer. Here is a closer look...

That greeting is from an all time favorite stamp set of mine that can be found HERE. I love how the font works with any style of card.
For the finishing details... I added some pink enamel dots to draw attention to the smaller greeting, adhered a black mat behind the watercolor piece, and adhered it to a pink notecard after stamping THIS background on it. 

I'm thinking those clear letters might be fun with some coloring behind it. I'll have to try that. 

Well that's it for today. I hope I've inspired you to try some simple hand stitching on your next card. Thanks so much for stopping by.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Stamping in Stencils

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm taking the Stretch Your Stamps 2 class from Online Card Classes and today's card set is inspired by Day Three of Class. My sweet friend Stephanie Klauk shared a technique where you stamp inside of a stencil. Here are the cards I made using that technique...
My spin on this technique was to mask off the image once I was done stamping inside the stencil and pull color out from the design, giving it a shadow effect. Stephanie pulled ink inside her stencil image on top of her stamping, to give a clear definition of the shape. I wanted to try and reverse that to see what it would looked like and I like the result. 

Let's take a closer look at each card...
This was the last card I created from the set and I didn't have a large star stencil so I created one. I drew out a star shape on an acetate notecard using a sharpie and cut out the star. I kept both the negative and positive pieces because I needed both to create this look. I used the negative space as a stencil and stamped the You Rock Sentiment repeatedly in Green Hills ink onto some Hero Arts Layering Paper. Then I laid the positive star piece mask over the stamping and used Mowed Lawn Distress Ink and pulled the color from the edges of the star mask, creating a shadow. The "dude" sentiment is from Paper Smooches and the remaining stamps are from Neat and Tangled. I finished it off with a few enamel dots, some glossy accents on the stars, and adhered the entire piece onto a Hero Arts Notecard.
I used THIS fun stencil by Heidi Swapp for this card. I love how the positive and negative pieces are included. It makes this technique so easy. I repeated the same process as the last card but I stamped THIS greeting in THIS ink inside the butterfly stencil. Then I used Dusty Concord Distress Ink to create the shadow. I finished it off by stamping THIS sentiment in black on a purple banner and adhering that to the center of the butterfly along with a few sequins scattered around. I adhered the panel to a Hero Arts purple notecard that I stamped with THIS background. 
This card uses another stencil by Heidi Swapp that can be found HERE. I repeated the same process as the other two cards but used some Splash Ink to stamp THIS greeting. I used Peacock Feathers Distress Ink to create the shadow around the heart and stamped THIS sentiment in black directly on top of the previous stamping. I finished it off with some yellow enamel dots and adhered some wood veneer hearts. I changed the look of the hearts by putting black enamel accents on top of them. Once that was dry, I rounded the corners and adhered it to a yellow notecard from Hero Arts. 

I hope this inspires you to give stamping inside your stencils a try. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Challenge

August is Neat and Tangled's Birthday month and the company is turning two! So I thought a birthday theme was in order! Here is the card I created for the celebration: 
I created this card by die-cutting some balloons from THIS die out of white cardstock. Then I used THIS border stamp and stamped on the top of the balloons in different colors. I also stamped a sentiment from THIS stamp set onto a banner I created out of white cardstock. I adhered the pieces onto a kraft cardstock base and added white string to the balloon ends. I hid the adhesive of the string ends to the back of the panel. Then I added some fun sequins and adhered the kraft base to a green notecard. To finish off the balloons I added glossy accents on top. I love the shine it gives the balloons...
Make sure you visit the Little Tangles Blog HERE for more inspiration and all the details to enter your Birthday themed card.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hero Arts Sneak Peek and Watercolor Giveaway!

The latest class started over at Online Card Classes and Kristina Werner's card on Day One inspired my card...
I started off by embossing THIS Hero Arts background stamp in white on some watercolor cardstock. Then I used this super cute, tiny watercolor set from Studio Calico....
and covered the entire piece with blue and green watercolor. Once it dried, I went back in with those same colors and only applied it to the flower pattern. The embossing creates little pockets for the watercolor to pool up in. It really makes the pattern pop...
For the greeting, I wanted to keep it simple and let the background shine. This is a new sentiment from Hero Arts that I designed for them. I'm so excited. Hero Arts has been showing sneak peeks of their new product for Christmas and today's sneak peek featured my stamps...



You can read all about it HERE! What I love about the sentiment I used for my card is that even though it was intended for Christmas, I'm using it for a sympathy card. I thought that was perfect since the class is called Stretching Your Stamps. :) 

Now for the giveaway, I have an extra Mr. Huey's watercolor set up for grabs. Just leave a comment telling me your favorite sentiment from the stamp set above by Saturday, August 9th at midnight EST to be entered into the drawing. 

Oh, and the winner of the mini inks from the last post is Jess. Congrats. Just click the Contact Me button on the top of the blog and send me a message with your address. 

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