"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thank you cards

I've spent most of today assembling "stuff" to take to a 6-hour crop tonight. It's so hard to know what you will need, so I try to determine a few projects and just work on them. Tonight I hope to finish a mini-book album for our Christmas trip to Mexico and to start working on Save-the-Date cards for my daughter's wedding. She "approved" this design but I don't know how many, nor do we have the url for the website yet, so for now I will just start cutting and doing the embossing.
I did manage to also make a few much-needed thank you cards. The dress image (Renaissance Art Stamps) was stamped with Twinkling H2Os applied directly to the stamp. I love this technique and it works particularly well on solid stamps such as this because you see more of the pigment and the shimmery quality of these watercolors. By the way, I've heard that the company that makes these (Luminarte) is going out of business and is having a close-out sale on their website. If you like these, stock up now before they are gone!

If you like banners (yes, I do!), check out the ones that Aileen of Outside the Margins has been making and posted on her blog here. She even has a banner giveaway going on right now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthday Banner/Book Class

This is one of the birthday banners I made for a class I am teaching. This project is actually two-in-one. The banner can be used as a decoration for the party and then doubles as a book for the party photos. There are two versions - one for girls; one for boys.

Here you can see the "girl" version hung as a banner. Each pennant is approximately 7 1/2" wide at the top and about 8-9" tall. I used Basic Grey "Two Scoops" papers for this one.
And here are a few close-up shots.

This is the "boy" version, made up as a book. The punched holes at the top of each pennant are used for stringing ribbon for a banner and replaced with book rings for the book. This was made with Basic Grey's "Cupcake" papers. I love both lines and they were perfect for the birthday theme!

I can't wait to teach this class as it was such fun to put together. And I must thank Tracy for letting me use these photos which she had taken for the website of Cre8Joy Workshops, since I didn't have any! If anyone is local, you might want to check out the website and see all the great classes coming up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Class Projects

Now that we have had our "open house" for the new classes and they are uploaded to the
website, I can show you what I've been working on the last few weeks.
I will be doing a "Birthday Bundle" card class. There are four birthday cards and students will make a total of a "baker's dozen" - 13 - cards (three of each card and one extra). These had to be fairly simple cards without too many details and layers and embellishments in order to get through 13 cards in a few hours. I also tried to have cards "for anyone" - feminine, masculine, older, younger.

As I was uploading these last two, I noticed that my photos had been taken before I added the final details. On the pink and white cupcake card, I added a real pink cupcake paper liner as a layer to the round stamped piece. For the primary colored card, I cuttlebugged the white scalloped "icing" piece, added Stickles glitter glue to the swirls and then added a red button to the top. You'll just have to use your imagination since I no longer have the cards here!I will also be teaching a "party" banner. I was in such a rush to get this finished (I did two - one for girls and one for boys) before the crop that I never took photos! I will try to post some later.

Monday, February 23, 2009


That's what I did all weekend! I think I needed a creative break after being so busy last week.

I did make a run to the local Michael's - just have to use those coupons, you know! They had new $1 stamps out so I bought some spring and Easter stamps. I am really amazed at these $1 stamps - the rubber is well-cut and stamps well, especially when you consider the price. Aren't the bunny and chick cute?

Saturday's mail brought me a swap package - the challenge was to make any project using the word "love" as inspiration. Laurie made this very nice accordion coaster piece. She used the Bind-it-All wire bindings to assemble it. The letters are cut-outs behind which she put a shiny red paper or foil. The vintage picture behind the "o" is her uncle. I love it!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cupcake Crop and Happy Birthday to Cre8Joy

Cre8Joy Workshops is where I teach local workshops and we are one year old this month! How time flies when you are having fun! To celebrate, we hosted a 5-hour crop last night, fittingly called the "Cupcake Crop" in honor of the birthday celebration. Can you believe that 98 women joined us?! We had rented the gym in a church and we filled it!

We had two make-and-takes, played Scrapbook Bingo, unveiled our new classes for the upcoming months, gave out over 50 prizes, and, of course, had lots of great snacks and CUPCAKES to eat.

Here are two views of the room filled with lots of happy croppers. (One of the most fun things for me was that one of my daughters from Chicago was visiting us for a few days and came to the crop - her very first! And, I think she's hooked - she's going to return to Chicago and look for a scrapbook store with crops!)

The cupcakes and chocolate fountain were the hits of the party! This was the darling centerpiece that one of our most loyal "customers" - Linda Hahn, who takes just about every class we offer! - made for the occasion. Aren't those little cupcakes just the cutest? They were either huge pompoms or cotton balls stuffed in pink mini foil cupcake liners with a tiny pompom on the top. She also had pink and white layered scalloped circles which said "cre8joy." I wish I had gotten a closeup of this.

This was one of the make-and-take projects - a cute pink, white and black treat holder (can you tell we like pink?) made out of a lunch sack and some cardstock. The Cre8joy was cut on the Cricut. The lunch sacks were cut down to 6 inches tall with two pieces of pink cardstock adhered to the front and back. The longer piece on the back was folded over to the front and secured with a tied ribbon. The white flowers were punched from the extra pieces of lunch sack and they look almost like delicate tissue paper. The other make-and-take was a cupcake tag which I forgot to photograph.

Linda also gave the four of us on the Cre8Joy team these darling gifts, beautifully wrapped.

Inside was this precious, precious cupcake! Thank you so much Linda - you are such a sweetie!Another friend, Vicki Bell, gave us this cute present - it's a neat little box about the size of a recipe or index card holder. She made two darling tags to hang on the pretty ribbon.

And inside was this fun card and a Fiskars fingertip craft knife. I use craft knives alot but haven't tried this one. I can't wait to use it - just hope I don't rub my eyes without thinking! I love the cupcake on this card - this photo doesn't show the tons of glitter on it! Thank you Vicki for your thoughtfulness!

After all that excitement, I "took the day off" to recuperate and did nothing! I'm cupcaked out for awhile... Many thanks to all the wonderful women who celebrated with us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fun

I've been blog hopping this morning and just came across a cute blog, The Pink Potpourri. Click here to visit and check out the neat Friday giveaway, vintage-looking "spring" flashcards and a darling garland.

My daughter from Chicago arrived on Wednesday afternoon for a few days' visit. She needed some R&R from the cold winter weather! Tonight we will be going to Cre8Joy's Cupcake Crop - this is a crop/party we are giving for our customers to celebrate our first year in business. We have two cute make-n-takes planned, lots of great snacks including a chocolate fountain and tons of cupcakes, and some fun party games. We will also be displaying all our new classes. It's going to be great fun - I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine Goodie Box Swap

My local art group met last night and we swapped Valentine goodie boxes. We each purchased a heart-shaped box of chocolates, ate the chocolates (oh, now that wasn't hard for me!) and then filled the box with anything red, pink, white or Valentine-themed. This was the inside of the heart I made. It was such fun to find little goodies and then pack them into the little candy cups. Doesn't this look yummy?
We also had to decorate the outside. Here's the top of the heart - I ruffled crepe paper for the outer edge and layered pearls over the stitching. I used a black and white typeface paper from Little Yellow Bicycle for the background and over that layered the felt heart border, a black embossed metal heart, glitter hearts, a playing card and two little reproductions of vintage valentines.
Here is the side view - since the box edge was already red, I just layered the black and white polka dot ribbon over it. I just love a black and white and red color scheme. This was such a fun swap to do. It was amazing to see all the different heart variations!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dusty Stampers

Today was Cre8Joy's monthly class "Dusty Stampers" - cute name for a class that is for helping stampers find more techniques and uses for the stamps they already own. We teach the class for two hours in the morning and then again in the evening to accomodate people's schedules. This month's focus was on fabric techniques - embossing velvet, stamping on muslin and stamping on ribbon.

I made this quick little notepad cover to use all the techniques, plus sewing on paper and muslin. It is made so that a 5 x8 "mini legal pad" will fit inside. Some students had never sewed before and some were very timid about it, but everyone did a great job! I wish I had taken my camera to photograph all the unique results. We encourage everyone to be inspired by the project we show but to do their own thing and today everyone did! Each one was very different!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Hearts Day!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine's Day, spending time with those you love. Look what I woke to this morning from my wonderful hubbie! This photo hardly does justice to these beautiful pale yellow roses. The tips are tinged with a bit of the most gorgeous pink.
And, if that wasn't enough, these luscious Belgian chocolate hearts. The red ones are white chocolate filled with a dark chocolate and raspberry ganache and the chocolate ones are dark chocolate filled with more dark chocolate. Can you see which one I could not resist? Yum, yum.

Today of course is also the last day of the wonderful "14 Days of Valentine" swap. I unwrapped this darling pin from Angie. (Check out her blog, Angie's Artful Life, here.) The base is crocheted fabric strips and the heart is felted. So, so pretty! Thanks Angie, and everyone, for a lovely swap. The presents are treasures! I am so sorry to have it end.

If you have time today, check out the blog hop starting at http://flatwoodsfolkart.typepad.comd/. There's a list of participating blogs in the left column. (I wish I'd known about it before to join in - maybe next year.) Many are offering giveaways, so go visit, leave comments and be sure to bookmark a blog if you wish to return. Who knows, you might just win something but, more importantly, there's lots of eye candy to enjoy.

I will leave you with this beautiful vintage Valentine image from Dover. Have a happy day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 13 and only one more to go!

Today is the next to last day of the Valentine swap. Oh no!
This package was wrapped in white tissue paper with this cute tag from Barbara.

And inside was this wonderful fabric and paper Valentine hanging. She has incorporated so many pretty details - the scalloped paper edging at the bottom and the folded polka-dot paper edge at the top. I love the "banner" at the top that is muslin stitched to the striped fabric background. The upholstery fabric heart just calls out "touch me." And the tag with the stamped little girls is adorable!
Here's a closeup - aren't they cute?

Thanks Barbara! Check out her blog here to see more artwork.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

News worth another post!

I had forgotten all about the One World One Heart Giveaway blog happening. This was started by Lisa Swifka and you can read more about it if you click on the above link. In short, it started with one blog and blossomed into something far larger - more than 800 bloggers participated this year! The idea was to reinforce the art blogging community by introducing everyone and linking people through their blogs. Many participants offered giveaways on their blogs - all comments on certain posts were put into a random drawing for that particular giveaway. Don't you just love the Internet!?

I had wound through a maze of blogs and commented on many. Chances seemed pretty remote that little ol me would ever win any of the beautiful items being offered. Much to my surprise I received an e-mail this morning from talented artist, Gillian Murray, that I won one of her 3 giveaways! I have followed her blog for awhile now and just love everything she does. I don't know which one I have won, but you can check out all three here on this blog post:


I'm so excited - can't wait to receive it! It's coming from England, so it might be awhile before I can post a picture of this wonderful prize! Yay for me!!

Day 12

Only a few more days! I just love how everyone in this special swap has attended to all the details, even down to the tags, wrapping and numbering. There certainly have been no two alike! Christy sent hers in a red paper bag folded over and held together with these sweet Valentine stickers. Inside was this darling little painted, stamped and embellished wooden heart. I love how she swiped a bit of paint and glitter on the background under the sweet sticker - it really highlights the focal point. Isn't that shiny red heart with bling just the cutest?

Even the back was decorated. The addition of the mirror makes this very functional. I think it will go in my purse for last-minute lipstick touch-ups. Thanks so much Christy.
Only two more days...I'm so not ready for this to end!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 11

"Brown paper packages tied up with string..." - you can do so much with just plain brown paper wrapping. My online friend Connie sent Day 11's Valentine package simply wrapped in kraft paper and this lovely vintage Valentine tag.

This is the beautiful "steampunk" heart necklace she made for each of us. I love it, as well as her presentation on the bit of wire screen. How fun will that be to use in one's art! I had not heard the term "steampunk" before this, but I understand it has something to do with wire and gears and marrying technology and past and future. . It wasn't in my dictionary so I googled it, but I'm still confused... guess it's a new art form ... Whatever it is, this clay necklace embedded with watch parts, wire and a tiny nail is amazing!

Here is a close up - bad, blurry photo but you can maybe see a bit more detail.

Many thanks to Connie! Check out her blog here.

On another note, I went to Cre8Joy's Scrapstashers class yesterday morning. You receive a list of supplies to bring (mostly "from your stash") once you sign up. The project remains a mystery until you come to class. This month we made this altered canvas. We started with an 8" x 10" canvas and stamped some artsy words which we then covered with the acrylic paint of our choice. The words peeked through the paint a bit. We brought 5-6 different scraps of coordinating patterned papers and tore these into different sizes of circles. These were crumpled and then inked and layered 3 or 4 deep into sylized flowers. We added buttons to each flower and attached these to the canvas along with a cardstock mat for a 4" x 6" photo and a swirl of jute.

And here is a close up of these cute little flowers. These would be so great to use on cards or scrapbook pages. You can "fluff" them to be very dimensional. I think I will give this as a gift to a friend when she has her new baby girl. Wouldn't it look precious in a baby's room with her newborn picture?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 10 - and another RAK

I love opening presents and I love receiving great mail! Today I opened the tenth gift of the Valentine swap. This darling little "cupcake" shaped handmade soap from Cris. This smells absolutely divine! No kidding, I can smell this from across the room! And don't you just love the little white duckie with red hearts encased on the top? I forgot to take a photo of the wrapping, but it was done up in beautiful black and white toile tissue paper. Thank you Cris. Check out her blog here to see more of her work.

I also received yet another 4" x 4" square RAK from a friend from an online group. It's beginning to look like I will be able to bind these all into a sweet little Valentine book! I love the four stacked and glittered hearts sewn onto the background. Thank you Sue Wickham! Here is her blog.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Day 9

Today I unwrapped this pretty little package. The little heart tag is embossed and I love the kraft paper with red woodblock-looking hearts.
Inside was this very pretty pocket calendar! I love the romantic paper and that Love stamp.
Here's a better picture showing both the front and back. This is going to be so useful to carry in my purse! Thanks Diann! You can visit her blog here for more peeks at her artwork.

I don't want this swap to end. It's great to wake up to another day knowing you get to open another beautiful present.