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

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just when you least expect it...

I won an item on e-bay! I don't bid often and when I do, I usually lose the item because 1) I'm not around at the end of the auction to quickly outbid others or 2) I post a maximum bid that never wins. On a whim this morning I bid on a vintage portable typewriter only to be outbid by $6. So, I found another and bid on it. But I never dreamed I'd get it as it had over two hours remaining and I had to be somewhere all afternoon.

Surprise, surprise! When I read my e-mails upon my return, I won! And it didn't even go as high as my max bid. I can't save the photo from the e-bay listing, but will post here as soon as I receive it (probably about a week). It's a cute black Remington manual portable and looks like it's about a 1920's or 1930's machine. Now to find a ribbon for it. If anyone out there knows where to look, the model # is NM52739.

I'm giddy, but my husband just doesn't get it. He asked "what are you going to do with that?" and I said "type!"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"A New Page" Journal

My online group, AAWA, just started a journaling challenge a few weeks ago and I've jumped onboard. Autumn (Autumn's Antics) is leading us through creating a ring-bound journal "from scratch" with miscellaneous papers and ephemera and posting a new prompt every week for us to ponder and write about. I've always wanted to start an art journal and never gotten around to it, so this is a good excuse to jump in and do it.

The first week we gathered our papers - I used the K&Co paper stack that Autumn suggested as I had it in my stash - and cut them 6"x9". I tore the covers off an old book and am using them as the journal covers. At the moment they are naked, awaiting my muse to tell me what more to do to them.

Last week the prompt was the title of the journal - A New Page - and comprises the first spread in the journal. I pretty much copied the layout and many of the images that Autumn provided for us. I'm hoping I will get braver and branch out a bit more as the weeks progress. I like the inclusion of the Bingo card.

This week is about "Beautiful Things" and I've already changed my spread from Autumn's example. Many of the things I added were laying around on my desktop - I love the fact that you can use up lots of bits and pieces left over from other projects or use that one special item that you don't have enough of to make anything with. The beautiful postcard was sent to me with an order I purchased from a gal in Australia and was too pretty to discard. And the blue scalloped tag, also sent with an order, was something I'd saved. I didn't particularly like the paper on the left page so I dry-brushed some white paint over it to tone it down. The pretty pattern on the right page is a piece of a beautiful napkin and that cute little guy is my husband. This is so much fun, even though I'm still struggling with the written part...

If you want to see more, check out Autumn's blog (link above) to see what she's doing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Little Book of Big Ideas

When you design and teach, sometimes it's fun to do a project without thinking - a project designed and taught by someone else. When I saw this darling little journal on my friend Karin's blog, I knew I just had to have it. (I'm not sure if it is still available, but it was an online video class from Cropped.)

I had so much fun making this! Karin's kit was all-inclusive except for the paints and she included so many fun little bits. I loved doing the painting on the pages and using vintage wallpapers and lots of book pages. And I love the finished shabby chic journal. I think we are kindred spirits! Thank you Karin for a fabulous project.

One of the few changes I made to the original - and not intentionally! I punched the holes on the wrong edge of the Sept/Oct page, so I had to add some ribbons to that edge. But I like how they stick out the side of the book.

Sorry for the washed-out photos. I just got a new computer and haven't figured out the photo-editing yet.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Classes

Christmas cards in summer? Well, why not - the craft stores have had their Christmas decorations out for over a month now! And, if you're going to make your cards, you need to get started early!

I designed these two cards for a new card class at Anthologies, a local scrapbook store. They are relatively quick and easy and designed to be easily mass-produced.

And this is a two-page travel layout using the new Teresa Collins papers. These photos don't show the colors well - they do match! I used Glimmer Mist on the background and it shimmers nicely.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is your card style?

There is a new magazine out from the Paper Crafts conglomerate called Card Style. All the samples included in the issue fall into four different styles: Fun and Cute; Clean and Graphic; Shabby and Chic; and Classy and Elegant. (And, by the way, this isn't just for cards! It translates just as well for scrapbooking layouts or any art projects.)

So, do you know your style? Take this little quiz which I found in their online newsletter, www.papercraftsconnection.com.

1. When you design your projects, you think in terms of:

A. Simple and/or playful
B. Plenty of “white space”
C. Layers, layers, layers!
D. Sophisticated combinations

2. The patterns that draw your eye most frequently are:

A. Polka dots and gingham
B. Ones that are bold and geometric
C. Soft and oversized floral
D. Damask

3. Your sentiment text is usually:

A. Full of doodles and whimsy
B. No-frills
C. Soft and scripty
D. Stately and formal

4. Your favorite embellishments are:

A. Buttons and hearts
B. Simple shapes and icons
C. Lace and found items
D. Glitter and bling

5. When you use fibers on a project, they are:

A. Pompom trim and rickrack
B. Bold ribbon and simple string
C. Jute twine and twill ribbon
D. Satin and velvet ribbon

Mostly A: you and your happy color scheme are definitely fun & cute

Mostly B: a little goes a long way with your clean & graphic designs

Mostly C: your soft comfortable style is shabby chic or vintage

Mostly D: your style pedigree is classy & elegant

So, what style are you? Does it change depending on the occasion or your mood? Here are some samples of cards showing the different styles (all photos are from Paper Crafts Connection).

The first card is an example of Fun and Cute, created by Heidi Van Laar. Cute image and fun, bright colors and patterns.

The next one is Clean and Graphic by Kim Keste. Lots of clean white space, simple image and font.
This Shabby and Chic card, created by Melanie Douthat, has alot of texture (including frayed edges), patterns and soft colors.

And,, last but not least, a Classy and Elegant Christmas card by Charlene Austin with a simple, elegant image and frame and a pretty ribbon.

Take a look at your artwork and see if you can find a recurring pattern to what you create. If you don't know your style, I hope this will help you determine it, or at least give you food for thought!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Card Sketches

Do you use them in your cardmaking? I bookmark various sketch sites, save sketches to my computer and then forget to use them or can't find them when I want to.

I recently bought this cute Laura Ashley notebook in the $1 bin at Michael's, mostly because I liked the color and design, it was cheap and I like notebooks! But then I got the idea to use it as a sketch notebook! I printed out many of the sketches I'd saved and glued them on the notebook pages, noting on the page where the sketch came from. I stamped a title on white cardstock and glued it to the cover. Here's my simple little reference book - hopefully this will help me find sketches when I run out of ideas for cards!

A few of the inside pages:

Simple, quick and easy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Life's A Bowl of Cherries

This is a little summer recipe/photo album class I taught using the Maya Road acrylic flip calendar as the base. It comes with 12 tabbed chipboard pages, but I only used four. These were covered in Nikki Sivils cute cherries papers; the pages between were made from chipboard sandwiched between two coordinating pieces of oilcloth, sewn around the edges and then pinked. These pages also had clear vinyl fabric pockets glued on to hold the recipe cards and photo or journaling tags. (Sorry about the photos - they were taken at the last minute in the back room of the store just before it was put on display.)

Does it make you want to have a picnic or a barbeque?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Classes

Now that our first round of summer classes at the store has ended, I can post the photos here.

The first class was a collaborative effort with the two other instructors. This is a summer "twinchie" canvas. We used the back side of a large canvas and added 2" squares of foamboard for the little twinchie canvases mounted inside. The themes of the canvases from upper left are: grandmother's screened porch (screening, corrugated metal strip and bead "raindrops"); summer picnic (oilcloth "blanket", cork picnic basket and ants marching around perimeter); lightning bugs in jar; girl at beach; snowcone; pinwheel; baseball field (sandpaper bases and a white tack baseball); July 4th; beach (sandpaper, starfish and shells); pool (lifesavor sealed with acrylic spray on alcohol ink background); sunflower (felt, beads, fringed "grass" and a dryer sheet cloud); and a s'more (embossed cardstock "graham cracker", fun foam with Glossy Accents "chocolate" and inked spackle paste "marshmallow"). This was a fun piece to design as well as teach.

These were two of the cards for a patriotic-themed card class. The first has a resist background with blue Glimmer Mist and a scalloped border using a new EK Success border punch which also embosses the edge.

The background for this card is white cardstock stippled with Distress Ink. The metal stars were embossed with a Ten Second Studios mold, sanded and punched, then threaded with wire. I love the vintagey feel of this card.