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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Tags 4 2" #3

Last week was the third round of the tag swap between my friend and I. We've dubbed it the "Tags 4 2" challenge.  The theme this time was "aqua and/or spring."

On my tag, I combined both the color and the season.  I Cuttlebugged the tag and then inked it aqua (Broken China Distress Ink - love that color!).  The ruffles are two layers of gathered Melissa Frances crepe paper topped with a scalloped strip of paper.  I laid a piece of Wonder Film (thin double-sided adhesive sheet) over the vintage Easter postcard image and covered it with fine clear glitter.  I placed this over a piece of vintage crocheted lace along with some velvet ribbon, paper flowers and a paper rose misted with Shimmerz. The butterfly was punched out of book text and the stamp is a recent Michael's $1 spot purchase.

This is the gorgeous tag I received.  The photo doesn't do it justice as you cannot see the Stardust Glitter Pen which covers the entire chandelier and the label edge!  The color is spectacular too - who knew that aqua was so hard to capture in photographs?

The next theme hasn't been decided yet.  Can't wait for the next round!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Got Color?

Last week we had some gorgeous weather - in the 80's and sunny - almost too hot too soon. But the past few days have been gray, dreary and cold - in the 50's.  When will spring ever come? (Though I shouldn't complain since many are still knee-deep in snow!)

I thought it would be fun to share these colorful images I found, mostly from Pinterest.com (do you pin yet? check it out)

Look at these colorful homes! (I'd pick the hot pink one.)
Bo-Kaap, Capetown, South Africa

Guanajuato, Mexico

Check out these amazing stairs!
Wuppertal, Germany
Artist: Horst Glasker

 Have you ever wanted to colorize your bookshelves?

Fun paint chip colorwheel on a bicycle

from Kate Spade blog

This is bright and cheery but could you live in this poodle room?  Makes me think of the 60's.
from ceilingexplorer.tumblr.com

This floor makes me dizzy!

from flickr.com (chorda)

YUM, this I love!

I hope this post brought some color to your day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Revisiting my Art Journal

I finally had some time this week to get back to working in my art journal.  I have been following Donna Downey's inspiration journal posts every Wednesday and a few weeks ago she devoted an entire week to journaling with daily videos.

I decided to try a few of the techniques, mainly the image transfers.  She provided images for download and copying so I printed one of them on our inkjet printer.  This was then transferred to the page with gel medium.  I liked this transfer because you don't have to wait for it to dry - you remove the paper after burnishing completely and the medium is still wet.  I've done other gel medium transfers where you wait for the paper to dry and then it takes alot of work and time to remove the paper pulp to reveal the transfer.  

My transfer came out well (note that this did not work with my Epson printer as those inks are DuraBright meaning they will not run if they come in contact with water-based products).  I then painted the page lightly with gesso to integrate the transfer. I stamped with paint and also used Donna's "drippage" technique of adding diluted acrylic paint to the edges and spraying with water to encourage dripping.  I added the quote and then inked the words in addition to portions of the page with bisque chalk ink.

I had so much fun playing in my journal that I also started prepping a few more pages.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tag Swap

 My friend and I just swapped our second tag. The theme for this one was "red/Valentine."

I received this gorgeous red tag with so many lovely details: punched borders, glitter, pearls and beads, stamped and embossed background, ribbon and a beautiful stick pin.  Even the back was decorated with tiny punched keys and locks.  Love it!

This was the one I sent to her (sorry for the poor lighting - it was very late at night when I photographed it).  The background is sticky-back canvas on which I used a resist technique with Claudine Hellmuth's Multi-Medium.  I stamped the flourish with medium and let it dry. Then I swiped over the canvas with Fired Brick Distress Stain (I'm loving these new stains which work on a multitude of surfaces!).  The dried medium resists the stain and the pattern is revealed.  I overstamped with script and postage stamps in permanent ink.  The heart is one of my favorite stamps from Stampington. I embossed it with silver and then sponged it with Distress Ink.  I added pearl trim at the bottom, a Dymo label strip and pearl on the heart, and pearls and lace seam binding to tie it off.

Next up is an "aqua/spring" theme.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Look what I won!

This wonderful package of goodies came in yesterday's mail from Eclectic Paperie, an online store that carries so many great products!  I participated in their blog hop a few weeks ago and was one of two commenters to win!  I couldn't believe the generous prize - a package of Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers, a TH travel label cling-mounted stamp set, #10 manilla tags, three colors of baker's twine, a package of Wendy Vecchi pocket watch Art Parts, and a handmade tag!  THANK YOU so much to Eclectic Paperie! I am going to have fun with these products!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Front Porch Kits Projects

In addition to the two cards I made for the tutorials included with the Front Porch Kits, I made two other projects for the Inspiration Gallery on the FPKwebsite.  Products used had to be from the kit, but surfaces and "lotions and potions" could be added.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love to recycle and repurpose.  I've been saving a few of these empty product packages for awhile, waiting for the perfect project.  They are very sturdy, have a ribbon hanger and a lovely acetate window.

This was perfect for a little birdie shadowbox!  I covered the inside, back and front with three of the lovely Fancy Pants and Echo Park patterned papers that were in "A Little Birdie Told Me..." kit.  I used two of the bird diecuts and part of the tree/branch diecut.  The little bird was covered with fabric and the momma bird was Cuttlebugged and colored with Broken China Distress Stain.  The bird nest inside was made with a piece of cream burlap. I shredded a piece of the Fancy Pants "It's the Little Things" script paper to add to the nest.  Other details: feather tail; wing made from one turquoise flower petal; inked "Noah" Maya Road alphas; eyes made with black Enamel Accents; pinked fabric strip around box edge; buttons stacked and added to top edge; replaced original hanger with piece of jute.

From this angle you can better see the fabric edge, buttons, hanger and the nest. 

My second project started with an embroidery hoop!  I misted the Echo Park "Stamp of Approval" paper with Blue Hydrangea Maya Mist for the background.  A strip of Moda fabric was folded in half and ruffled on my sewing machine. This was then glued to the paper followed by three overlapping rows of border-punched papers from the kit.  Then I glued the hoop to the top and cut off any excess around the edge.  

The flowers were all made from papers, trim and chipboard from the kit.  The rose on the right was diecut with the Sizzix 3D flower die.  Do you recognize the flower stems? They are the remaining portion of the tree/branch diecut cut into pieces.  Leaves were cut from burlap and inked.  The chipboard alphas were painted and then covered with Glossy Accents (I am totally loving this tiny font!) For the pleated frame I cut strips of the Bella Blvd. paper (it took 3-4 strips to go completely around), pleated it by hand and then stitched down the center on the sewing machine.  I was pleasantly surprised when glueing it to the hoop that it went around the curves very nicely!

Both projects were made from supplies in the kit and I still have a ton of goodies left to play with!  To see more inspiration projects from the design team, check out the Front Porch Kit Gallery starting tomorrow (Monday) at: www.frontporchkits.com  These gals made some amazing projects!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And the winner is...

Thank you all for your awesome comments and for giving us support by watching our very first Friday Night Live at The Little Blue House!  We had a great time and, besides having first-time jitters, it was a ton of fun.  Our Front Porch Kits were received with such a great response that by the end of the broadcast we had completely sold out!  Next month we will be sure to have more.

I had eight comments on the two previous posts and I wrote down each name (anyone posting twice got two chances!), put them in a cup and pulled out..........


Congratulations, you win this baggie full of at least twenty different ribbons (I lost count in the midst of all the winding!).  E-mail me your information and I will get this out to you el pronto.

These are the two cards I created for the instructional CD that will be included with the kits.  The first is a square easel card using lots of the embellishments in the kit.  Don't you love that mega bottlecap from Maya Road! And I used the "negative" of the chipboard flower.

The second card uses the art acetate (scrolly heart) from P.K. Glitz and their wonderful loose glitter in lime green and turquoise.  Again, the instructions for this as well as three other projects will be included on the CD in the kit.

Tomorrow I'll share more of the featured projects.  On Monday, the full gallery of all the design team projects will be up and running. You'll be able to view it at: www.frontporchkits.com and click on "gallery."

Thanks again for visiting my blog and commenting!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Front Porch Giveaway!

Since everyone is giving away goodies today in honor of the new Front Porch Kits I thought I would jump on board and offer a giveaway too! So, if you leave a comment on this post or the earlier one today, I will add your names in a hat and pick one lucky winner!

Two more hours 'til the live webcast on ustream. Will you be there? http://www.ustream.tv/channel/front-porch-kits

Front Porch Kits Reveal

The day is finally here! Our Front Porch Kits are now ready to launch! The inaugural kit "A Little Birdie Told Me..." is up on the website and can be purchased NOW! Fly on over to www.frontporchkits.com to see what's included in the kit.  

With the purchase of your Front Porch kit you will also receive an Instructional CD. It will have full "How To's" and pictures for 5 Feature Projects that have been designed just for YOU! You can see them on the Front Porch website...Click on the March Kit and scroll down the page...they are shown after the Kit Content List. 

The Front Porch Inspiration Gallery will be making it's debut on Monday, 3/21. At that time you will be able to see all of the fabulous FP Design Team creations!  

Please join us tonight!!!  It's our first episode of Friday Night Live from the LBH!

Click here to get to the U-Stream
If you would like to log into the chat, you will have to open a U-stream account if you don't already have one. (No Account needed to just watch.)

You will meet the Front Porch Team and we will show off the FP March Kit and Feature Projects...and have a little creative FUN! You will learn our famous "Mush & Skwush" technique. Create right along with us tonight...here are the items you will need:
Spray bottle / Mister (water)
Hot Glue Gun or Helmar 450
1 1/2 x 12 in. strip of cardstock
1 x 6 in. strip of chipboard

We will have lots of give-aways tonight, including two "A Little Birdie told Me..." give-aways! One will go to a lucky chatter and one will go to a lucky commenter on the LBH blog.

Every"birdie" needs to be there to join in the fun!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Only One More Day!

Just a few more sneak peeks at some of the products and projects from the "A Little Birdie Told Me" Front Porch Kit for March.  The full reveal will be early tomorrow morning on the website (click here) and don't forget to tune in to our first LIVE webcast from The Little Blue House tomorrow night at 8:30 pm (CST). Here's the link to U-stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/front-porch-kits.  Join in the chat and we will be giving away a free kit to one lucky person!  We'll also be sharing our "Mush and Skwush" technique and creating a fun little project.  See you there!

ribbons and trims!




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I just can't help it!

Had to do another post today to share more sneak peeks of the wonderful products included in this month's Front Porch Kit and the fantastic projects the design team is making!  You can check us out live at the Little Blue House on Friday night at 8:30 pm: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/front-porch-kits

Aren't these totally cute?

when the full reveal of the inaugural "A Little Birdie Told Me So..."kit will happen.

Another Sneak Peek

Here's another sneak at what's included in the new Front Porch Kits to be revealed this Friday!
Find out more on the website: www.frontporchkits.com or our blog: www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com

Do I see fabrics?

Here's a tiny peek of one of the projects I designed using supplies from the kit. What could this be?

Monday, March 14, 2011

LBH Art Group

The Little Blue House Art Group met for the third time this week and this month's project was ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).  I'm so proud of these ladies - most of them had never heard of, much less made, ATCs and they all made at least two or three during the session.

Here are the results of the morning group:

and the evening group:

Didn't they do a great job?!

Everyone brought miscellaneous paper scraps, ribbons and stamps and I provided ATC cardstock blanks, stamps and other supplies.  We even made some with Ten Seconds Studios art metal and molds.

We are hosting our first ATC swap!  All participants are making 6 ATCs to swap next month when we will be creating a fantastic Maya Road shadow box sized perfectly for displaying them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coming soon!
Are you ready for a new kind of Kit Club....how about one with NO Strings attached?!?!  Well, I have great news for you...The Little Blue House will soon bring you the best of the best of all things crafty!!

We'll be launching our online kit club on March 18!  The kick off will be held that night on Ustream live (and at The Little Blue House in Keller, TX)!  During the show we'll reveal the full kit contents as well as peeps of the 4 complete projects you can make out of your fabulous kit!
(yep...  you read that right...  4 whole projects with full instructions too)!
You will also enjoy our Front Porch Inspiration Gallery packed with wonderful projects designed from each month's kit. You will also see a few other additions as we grow...more info coming soon about that!

You can check out our site HERE but it's pretty bare bones right now!  We'll be updating it over the next week or so to get everything perfect!    I hope you'll enjoy the projects and good times to come from this creative adventure!

Here's a sneak peek to whet your appetite! We'll be "sneaking" all week so be sure to check the website daily!

Too cute!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring Fling Open House

The Little Blue House is having a Spring Open House to reveal our new spring and Easter classes.  We invite you to join us on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, from 10 am to 5 pm.  There will be lots of new products in the store, a free make-n-take and lots of eye candy!

Here's a sneak peek of one of the classes I designed - we named  him Chuck as we couldn't decide if he was a duck or a chick!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tag Swap

A friend and I have decided to do a one-on-one tag swap for awhile.  We will alternate choosing themes, color combos or whatever, create our tags and then mail them off to each other.  I started off with the theme "green" - that was it, the only criteria was it had to contain green.

This was the tag I created for my friend.  I used a gesso/alcohol ink background technique, embossed that in gold and then adhered the birdcage and bird dies.  The bird was painted and Stickled and has a wing cut from a coordinating paper.  The cage was first embossed with Vintage Photo Distress Ink but it didn't come out as dark as I wanted so I then embossed it with Rust embossing powder.

All the while we were each creating the tags, we had no idea we were on the same wave length! Look what I received - a tag sporting the very same diecuts!  I love this tag - it is so very textural with several layers of papers, metal embellishments and the flower with wire stamens.  

Can you believe that with just the "green" theme, we came up with such different tags but used the same elements!  This week our theme is "red" so we will see what we create for that!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Great Mail Day

Look what came in my mail yesterday!  Recognize that signature?

A few weeks ago Tim Holtz was featured on QVC-UK and upon his return he offered a giveaway on his blog of a few of the exclusive QVC mini clear stamp sets.  I've been commenting on his blog since he started it (and long before he was receiving 1000 and more comments on each post!).  To my great surprise and excitement, I won one of the sets!

Here it is - a mini compilation of many of his favorites.  These will be great for ATCs, cards and small projects!  I still can't believe I received this!  Thank you Tim and Mario for your generosity and for sharing so much with the stamping community!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Exciting News!

There's lots of fun things happening at The Little Blue House this month.  We are super busy this week getting ready for our Spring/Easter Open House on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, when we reveal our new spring and Easter class projects.  We have close to 15 new, wonderful projects to share with you! So, if you are local, be sure to visit us one of those days to see these in person. They will also be shared on the LBH blog shortly thereafter.

Other exciting news that's been in the works for several months now is this (drumroll please)

We'll be launching our online kit club on March 18!  The kick off will be held that night on Ustream live (and at The Little Blue House in Keller, TX)!  During the show we'll reveal the full kit contents as well as peeps of the 4 complete projects you can make from a single kit!
(yep...  you read that right...  4 whole projects with full instructions too)!

You can check out our site HERE but it's pretty bare bones right now!  We'll be updating it over the next week or so to get everything perfect!  We're super excited about this and hope you'll enjoy the projects and good times to come from this creative adventure!  Stay tuned for more...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Beautiful Gift

Look at the gorgeous necklace I was gifted with by my friend, Kristen Robinson.  Kristen makes beautiful jewelry and lovely journal pages.  I first saw her work in the Somerset magazine special issue "Somerset in Love" a few years ago and then met her at CHA in Jan. 2008.  She was very sweet and took some time to chat with me about her journaling.  Then this year we happened to be standing in line for the make-n-take at the Ideaology booth and she remembered me!  She is a Somerset "bon vivant" and has been published in their magazines many times.  Her work graces the cover of the latest issue of Somerset Life and her first book will be published sometime this summer.

I had commented on her blog for a giveaway near Valentine's Day. I didn't win the giveaway but received this beauty instead. I love it and will treasure it always.

Here's a closeup photo of the pendant (hijacked from her blog as I couldn't get a focused close-up).  She swiped a bit of white paint directly on the back of the glass and sandwiched a tiny felted heart inside.  Love, love, love it - THANK YOU Kristen.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Red" Journal Page

I've been playing along with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's Art Journal Every Day challenge since the beginning of the year, but I kind of fell off the wagon during a busy February! Yesterday I spent most of the day working on this double spread so maybe this now catches me up on the "10-minutes-a-day."

 On Feb. 25 Julie featured a guest post by Hanna of iHanna entitled "Collecting Colours."  She explores monochromatic color schemes.  I was inspired by her monochromatic journal pages and decided to do my own red one - love red!  This is the result. 

I started by making several blocks of different reds using water-soluble oil pastels, watercolor pencil, crayon, Twinkling H2Os, oil pastel and watercolor.  Then I started collecting and collaging any bits of red papers and odds and ends.  Included are some paint chips, a Hershey's kiss wrapper, ribbons, rick rack, postage stamps, labels, playing card, stamped images, chipboard and corrugated cardboard, plastic slide mount, bottle cap, magazine pics etc.  The 4x4 inclusion between the pages is an old time card. 

You can see the back side of the inclusion with the IBC Root Beer bottle cap in this photo.

Here's a closeup of the zipper flower I made from an old zipper from my sewing box.

This spread makes me happy.  I hope I can continue to keep up in March as it's so relaxing and fun to play in the art journal.  It's all about the process...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Punch Storage

This week at The Little Blue House Elaine's post concentrates on storing tools, dies, punches and Cricut cartridges.  I thought I would share my two storage systems for my punches.  This over-the-door shoe rack is perfect for most of my larger punches.  It's clear so I can easily see and find what I have and it also uses otherwise wasted space!

My smaller punches are stored in this shallow Elfa drawer in my desk.  It is easily accessible and perfect for the punches I reach for constantly.

Be sure to check out the  Little Blue House blog for more ideas!  And Rhonda at www.noidlehandshere.blogspot.com has many additional storage options.

So have you been following along with us in our attempts to get it together? How is it going?  We'd love to hear from you.  Only one more week to go...