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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cards from Classes

I had another class with Stacy of Stacy Stamps.  She has really nice cling-mounted rubber stamps in a variety of styles.  We made these four very simple Christmas cards which are easily reproduced in quantity and wouldn't require extra packaging or postage.

This guy is my favorite. I like the wood-grain embossed background and the addition of the little twig.  Stamping the cardinal on red cardstock with black ink is a great alternative to stamping it on white or ivory and then coloring it.

This was a quick and easy make-and-take card from Doodlebug. Just love those little monsters!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Collins Group Trade Show

I think I've finally rested (?) from our whirlwind long weekend at the Collins Group show in Houston.  We drove to Houston on Thursday afternoon and started classes bright and early on Friday morning (8 am).  Anyone who knows me knows I'm a nightowl, not a morning person, so this was difficult for me!  Classes ran 1.5 hours with about 10-15 minutes between - just enough to find the next classroom and possibly take a potty break.  We had two classes in the morning, three in the afternoon and one at night with a 1.5 hour break for dinner.  Then we repeated this schedule on Saturday, except in the evening when we had a marathon three-hour make-and-take event.  There were 30 vendors attending and each had a make-and-take for us to do.  As soon as the doors opened we made a beeline for the Tim Holtz table where there were four available spaces. By the time I got over there, I was #4 in line! So I spent the first hour waiting and then making the great Halloween tag shown in the last post.  In all, I think I only made about 6 projects, but they were fun.  I have no idea how you could possibly do them all. Sunday was an all-day trade show much like CHA (but much smaller!) where you could talk to vendors, see their products up close and order if you wanted.  The keynote speaker, Bob Negen, was scheduled for 8 am (early again!) but was worth getting up for. He was an awesome speaker and was full of tips and information for retailers.  The Little Blue House even won a door prize - a free, 30-minute private consultation with him!  And the fun continued on Monday with an all-day class with Tim Holtz called "Winter Wonderland" in which we made three gorgeous Christmas projects.  

One of my favorite classes was with Hero Arts with instructors Jennifer McGuire and Shari Carroll.  They were very organized and knowledgeable.  We made these four technique-filled cards using lots of distress inks and stains.

The last one above uses a new Hero Arts cling stamp and matching embossing folder.  So many possibilities with this.  And Hero Arts also just debuted matching dies for some of their stamps - fun, fun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tim Holtz Halloween Tag

This is the make-and-take tag I made with Tim Holtz at the trade show last weekend. We used his Halloween kraft resist paper, kraft glassine paper, distress stains and Perfect Pearls mists and some Ideology trinkets. I love the vintage tinsel on the bottom of the tag.  We also added a grungeboard diecut easel on the back so it will stand on its own.

Tim graciously posted the instructions for this tag on his blog. You can make one too - scroll down to the "Bewitching Tag" post.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back from The Collins Group Trade Show

We returned from Houston last night and I'm recuperating! The show was amazing - loads of inspiration, education, fun classes and projects, and lots of new products!  I have lots to share, but need to deal with real life for a few days. Here's a photo of some of the goodies I came back with - and this doesn't include all the catalogs from vendors or my finished projects!   (Edit - this loot completely covers my queen guest bed!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Tomorrow

Tomorrow I'll be going to Houston for a regional retailers' trade show with Tracy and Elaine, my LBH "co-instructors."  Vendors will be showing us their newest and greatest products and we will be taking many classes. Looking forward to being the student for a change!  The highlight of the weekend will be a day-long class on Monday with none other than Tim Holtz.  Can't wait!  I'll update you when I return.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few Halloween ideas from Pinterest, my latest addiction.

painted acorns - familyfun.go.com

dollar store pumpkins cut in half - bing.com

feathers and fabrics - familyfun.go.com

fabric pumpkins - gingercakes.typepad.com

super cute treat cauldron - eighteen25.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm Back!

I can't believe it's been an entire week - I've been a bad blogger!  We had such a successful open house that all I've done this week is either teach classes or prep kits for future classes!

I'm taking a break today to catch up on everything and I also took some time to get back to playing in my art journal.  I started several backgrounds:

 playing with spray mists

glueing down leftover pieces from my worktable

more glued down scraps and spraying through stencils

I even finished a page I'd started weeks ago.  Can't remember all I used on this, but there's lots of acrylic paint, stamping with black ink, and stamping with gesso and white paint.  The dots are stamped with bubble wrap.  I cut the heart out of my "dirty" paper towel that was too pretty to throw out and hand-stitched it to the page.  The title is stamped, cut out and outlined with charcoal pencil.  It felt good to play!

Monday, October 3, 2011


It may be the beginning of October, but here in Texas we have a long way to go before we can say it's fall. This week we're actually getting a "cold spell" with mid-80's temps!  At least we can create autumn projects.

I belong to a Yahoo group that is starting a new monthly challenge. One member posts a "make-and-take" project with specific guidelines and then we can play along, creating a similar piece or changing it up as we wish.

This month Diann posted a 5" x 7" autumn card with several layers. We were to incorporate an oval layered fall quote/sentiment and fall leaves.

I decided to play along - it was relaxing and fun to follow someone else's directions for a project!  I made this fall card with bits and pieces from my stash.

It's a simple card with several layers of patterned papers and a stamped quote.  The leaves are glossy paper with alcohol inks.  They were diecut with the Tattered Leaves die.  I added the burlap and twine for texture.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Family, Home and Heritage

The remaining classes for the current feature are centered around family, home and our heritage.

This is the heritage layout I designed using the Vintage Blue paper collection from Glitz Designs.

"Cherish the Past" Layout

A beautiful shadowbox made from an old drawer - perfect for showcasing special memorabilia from the past.  Or, it could also be used for college or baby or wedding memories, or whatever you choose!  Our home decor projects are always customizable.

Altered Drawer Shadowbox

This is our gorgeous designer wooden cross. Isn't it beautiful?  Again, it can be decorated in your choice of colors and finishes.

Designer Cross

And last, but not least, is our set of three frames using Ten Seconds Studios Art Metal.  These are perfect for your house number, a favorite family photo and the "Bless this Home" sentiment.

"Bless this Home" Frame Set

So you can see we've been busy, busy, busy creating some fun projects.  If you would like to sign up for any of the classes, be sure to call The Little Blue House (817-431-7930) to reserve your seat while they last!