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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Sizzle Open House at LBH this week!

Summer Sizzle
Open House

Tues. 5/29 & Wed. 5/30 
10am to 8pm

Please join us at The Little Blue House as we celebrate the arrival of Summer! 
Come see the new collections, new class projects, and enjoy some hot prize give-aways and refreshing treats!
We also have a SuNsational Make & Take
 for you to enjoy!
Hope to see you then! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Sew Artsy" Canvas

Today I'm sharing another project I created for the current "Sew Artsy" Front Porch Kit.  I can't share all the details since this is a class at The Little Blue House, but I thought it would be fun to show some of the "in process" photos I took.

This is the canvas after the first layer. Doesn't look anything like the finished piece!

Working on grass area - several layers...

The sun ...

More layers...

And the finished canvas... I couldn't tell you how many layers there are or how many steps to the process. It's just fun to get started and see how it evolves!

If you haven't ordered your Sew Artsy kit yet, call the LBH at 817-431-7930 or order online at www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com while there are still some kits left.  And check out the Inspiration Gallery online where all the projects are SEW fabulous!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

You Keep Us In Stitches

Here's another Sew Artsy project of mine, a wild and crazy layout showing my wild and crazy son.  It seems we never get a straight-faced photo of him so I thought I would do a layout with all these goofy faces to show that not everything we scrapbook has to be the gorgeous or posed photographs, or cute babies! All supplies were in the kit except for the spray inks and thread.

I used a Crafters' Workshop chevron stencil for the background of the page and misted with the new vibrant Dylusions Spray Inks from Ranger. I used several colors for a multi-color, rainbow effect. When that was dry I flicked diluted black paint across the background.

I did alot of machine stitching on this layout. Several strips of patterned papers were torn and stitched horizontally across the layout. I also did lots of irregular vertical lines of stitching.  The little canvas butterfly was misted with green and yellow spray inks and then straight stitched directly to the layout. The stitches form its body and antennae. The canvas tag was misted red and then stitched around the perimeter. I added some letter stickers on the tag for part of the title (shown in first picture above).

To add more texture, I added two overlapping banners made from 1" punched circles and a few of the circular stickers from the kit, machine sewn together. I just fed them through my machine, one after another, using a straight stitch. Some of the circles were popped up with dimensional dots to keep them in place, but some were left "floating."  Here's a tip - if you aren't sticking down a sticker, dust the sticky back with powder or cornstarch to remove the stickiness.

The photos were placed in random fashion over the yellow paint chip.  This adds some fun to the layout.  The word "unique" was cut from the packaging of one of the vintage zippers from the kit. (There were some fun and unusual items in this kit!)

It's not your usual layout for sure, but I had fun with this one!

Note: These kits are selling fast, so don't wait too long to order yours! Because of the vintage and one-of-a-kind nature of many of the items included with this release, when they are gone, they are gone.  Call LBH at 817-793-3592 to reserve a kit or order online at: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com  Be sure to visit the website for a glimpse of all the wonderful projects created by the Design Team with this kit!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chunky ATC

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a hard time throwing something away that could possibly be repurposed into something useful or pretty.  This project started out as an empty soap box!  While refilling the soap dish, I had one of those "aha" moments and thought it looked the right size for an ATC (Artist Trading Card). These cards are usually flat, 2.5" x 3.5" works of art meant to be traded.  Sure enough, the box was the right size and it became this chunky ATC!  (You could also do this with a small piece of wood, but this is cheaper and, if you were mailing it, much lighter!)

I first taped the box shut to reinforce it and then covered it with the purple and white damask print from the "Sew Artsy" kit.  It's a beautiful, linen-textured paper but a color I don't use often. 

For the front I cut a small piece of the canvas fabric in the kit with pinking shears and stamped a flourish with pink acrylic paint.  Once this was dry I misted with Ranger Colorwash spray ink and the paint resisted the ink.  I cut two small hearts from the batting and misted these with Dylusions pink spray ink and was surprised how beautifully the batting took the ink - it looks like felted wool.  When this was dry I used white pearl cotton to do a blanket stitch around the heart.  This was embellished with a button pin, rickrack bow, resin button and a tiny sticker, all from the kit.

I cut a narrow strip from the white lacy fabric and adhered it around the sides of the box.  I sprayed another piece of canvas pink and diecut it with a Sizzix spiral flower die.  This was formed into the rose and glued to the top of the box along with two leaves cut from green polyester fabric. 

So what do you think of my soapbox ATC? I bet you will never look at those boxes again without thinking of something to make with them!

Almost forgot to tell you that the Sew Artsy Inspiration Gallery is now up and running and is well-worth the trip over here: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com  And, if you're thinking of getting a kit, don't delay as these are going fast. Due to the vintage one-of-a-kind nature of many items in this kit, once they are gone, they are gone!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SEW ARTSY is here!

Finally the suspense is over. We can now reveal the entire kit and you will be sew surprised at all the fun and sew artsy items incuded! The gallery of all the projects the DT created will be online in a day or two (technical issues and very slow uploading) but it will be sew fabulous! 

Here's the design board showing the contents of the kit. Can you believe all this fits in one box?

Lots of beautiful papers and new and vintage fabrics, trims, buttons, and embellishments galore.  There's such a variety in this kit - something for everyone!  There is always a surface of some kind included in each Front Porch Kit and Sew Artsy has a 10" embroidery hoop, which we lovingly named "Hattie Hoop." Just wait until you see all the creative and unique ways the DT used her!

Are you ready to see the projects I created?

This is a double layout, the full instructions for which are included on the printed "Blueprints" enclosed in the kit.  It's called "Blessed Beyond Measure" and showcases several photos of my daughter during her pregnancy and the focal photo features one-month-old baby Carl. 

This is a single layout. I came up with the title first - "You Keep Us In Stitches" - and then searched for some of the craziest photos I had of my son.  He is always cutting up and has done this since he was young, trying to get a rise out of his four sisters.  I wanted to show that layouts don't always have to use the perfect shots or photos of cute little girls or babies! The bright colors in this kit suited this theme well.

For my "mini" project, I decided to use the purple colorway papers, a color I don't normally use.  This is a chunky ATC and the base is an empty bath soap box.

Next is a fun canvas with lots and lots of layers. You can hardly see the sewing patterns and printed papers I started with.  And stay tuned, as this is going to be a class at the LBH!

And here's my Hattie Hoop. I made a sewing wreath, using the sewing pattern tissue in the kit to cover the hoop as well as create the flowers around it. Then I added lots of sewing items from the kit and made flowers from some of the fabrics.

I LOVED working with this kit! I have tons of products left, too, so I can keep creating more. 

Order your kit now, as I doubt these will last long. You can come by the LBH or call in your order at 817-431-7930.  Or order online on the website  here.  Kits are available for pickup TODAY at the LBH!  And I will let you know as soon as the gallery on the website is available to see all the fantastic projects.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sew Artsy Last Sneak Peek

Today is the last day of sneaks. Tomorrow is the big day - the full reveal of the Sew Artsy Front Porch Kit. You will be amazed at all the goodies packed into this sew fabulous kit. I can't wait for you to see! And tomorrow the Inspiration Gallery will also go live on the website (www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com) so you will be able to see the full projects the Design Team has created with the kit. If you've been blog hopping these past few days, you will know from the sneaks that the projects are all sew gorgeous!

My sneak of the day:

This is a portion of the project I created for the Sew Artsy Blueprints that will be included in the kit. Full instructions will be provided for 5-6 projects that were all created from ONE kit, so we know you will be able to make them all if you desire.  Tracy, Elaine and I all share the kit to create these projects "sew" once something has been used we have to get creative with other products.

Many of you commented on my messy desk (can't believe I shared that) but I'm going to also share what happens when your desk gets that bad - you move on to utilizing the other flat surfaces in the room, namely the floor! Oh my, guess I'll be cleaning up now.

Hop on over to the other DT blogs so see more sneaks and visit the LBH blog here and comment for a chance to win your own FREE kit. Also pre-orders are now being taken either live at LBH, by phone (817-431-7930) or on the website - www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com

See you tomorrow for the full reveal!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sew Artsy Sneak Peek #2

Have you been enjoying all the sneaks from yesterday? We've got some amazingly talented designers on our Front Porch Kit team and they have created wonderful projects for this release.  I haven't seen all the complete projects yet, but those I've seen are beautiful!

Sew, here are a few peeks at some of my projects. Can you guess what they are?

This kit is packed with  "sew" many wonderful items, both new and old. Here are a few hints. If you like vintage, you will love this kit! If you like fabric, you will love this kit! And if you like color, you will love this kit! Oh, heck, everyone is going to love this kit...

Pre-orders are now being taken at The Little Blue House, or by phone (817-431-7930, or online on our new website: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com.  The full reveal will be on Tuesday, May 15, and kits will start to ship or be ready for pick up then.

Be sure to visit all the blogs of the design team. Everyone is sharing peeks of their own projects. Here's a list with links for your ease in hopping!

Susan Tidwell (you are here)

Then hop on over to the LBH blog (www.thelittlebluehouseblog.blogspot.com) to see even more peeks and leave a comment to have a chance to win a FREE KIT!

See you tomorrow with more peeks!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

FPK "Sew Artsy" Sneak Peek #1

Today's the day of our first sneak peeks! Mine will give you a hint of some (not all!) of the luscious papers included in this kit. I love the bright, happy colors!

Be sure to visit the Little Blue House blog here where you'll find a list with links for all the design team members and their blogs. Check them out to see more sneaks! And pre-orders start today as well - go to the website (www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com) to order online or call the LBH at 817-431-7930 to place your order. And don't forget to comment on the LBH blog for a chance to win a free kit.

And for a sneak of another kind - here's what my worktable looked like in the midst of all this recent creating frenzy! I hope to have some time this week to clean up.

Come visit again tomorrow when I'll show some peeks of some of the projects I created.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Coming Soon!

It's been another busy week, designing and creating, creating, creating. The newest Front Porch Kit will be revealed on Tuesday May 15 and you will then see some of what we all have been working on!

I am really excited about this Kit - it's called "Sew Artsy" and combines lots of products and fun extras that are right up my alley, melding sewing and art. I can't wait to show you what's included and you will be amazed at the gallery of the design team projects.

I'll start showing sneak peeks here tomorrow and they'll also be on The Little Blue House blog. Be sure to leave comments on the LBH blog for a chance to win a free kit!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Baby Shower

Well I survived the past week and weekend and am now home from Albuquerque ready to take on my next projects.  Another Front Porch Kit is due to be released on May 15th and I still have a few more projects to finish.

Dana's baby shower was lots of fun on Sunday. It was a couples shower (which I've never been to) and we had quite a crowd.  Dana and John are world travelers - they just returned last weekend from two weeks in Paris and France - and they are decorating the nursery in a travel theme, so we went with that  theme for the shower.

I found a template online and changed it up a bit to create the invitations in the form of an airline ticket. They were printed on cardstock, corners were rounded and I perforated and folded the tab on the left side to make it look more realistic.



For decorations I made a long banner by cutting real maps into large triangles and glueing to kite string. I cut letters on the Cricut to spell out "welcome baby boy" (they're undecided on name still). I thought it could be used again in the nursery if they desired.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of this.

I made copies of vintage postcards on cardstock, cut them out and then stamped a postcard stamp on the backs. These were put into a small suitcase box for guests to write out either congratulatory messages or words of advice which they then pinned to a "clothesline" strung around a big tree. The line was attached to a balsa wood airplane.  I was disappointed that so few people did this - I was hoping that everyone would and we could assemble them all in a little book for Dana and John.

For the favors, we bagged blueberry and caramel popcorn from a favorite local popcorn place and stapled on toppers made from squares of plane-patterned paper and stamped "It's a  Boy" medallions. These were corralled in a paper mache suitcase trunk that I decoupaged with maps.  They can now use the trunk in the nursery for small toys.  I recently bought a TSA-approved plastic case for liquids to replace my ziploc travel baggie and the packaging was perfect for the baggage claim sign. All I did was cover the back with maps and covered the upper portion of the front with a strip of cardstock and cut letters. And the little stuffed airplane was purchased by my husband recently when he toured the Boeing facility in Seattle.  It was a cute addition.

On the same table as above, I placed an 8" x 10" piece of cardstock on which I had painted a leafless tree trunk. I had three colors of green ink for guests to ink up their finger or thumb, stamp it somewhere on the tree and sign it.  I printed "Baby Grisham, a special addition to our family tree", matted it and placed it near the bottom of the tree. This will be framed to hang in the nursery for a memento of the shower. The only photo I took of this is below but maybe you can get an idea from this. It really is cute when filled with "leaf" fingerprints.

Here are some of the gifts I made her, all of them similar to what I had recently made for my other daughter. (Sorry for the poor quality of the photos!)
Burp cloths from cloth diapers

Tag "blankie" with different textures of ribbons

Decorated clear paint pail for Hospital Survival Kit (filled with items that will come in handy but they might forget to pack). They can't open this until they get to the hospital and the suspense is killing them!

Top of pail
And, finally, a "Baby Blessing Ring" for holding all the cards from the shower as a special memento.  (This is actually the one I made for Kelly as I forgot to take a photo of Dana's but hers is very similar. I also added the vintage postcards that I mentioned above to this with the cards since there were so few.)

Everyone had a great time and it was lots of fun to plan and create for the shower. But now I'm ready to move on to the next step - baby grandson #2, due the end of June!

(Edit: I forgot to add a photo of my daughter - doesn't she look darling and hardly seven months pregnant! In fact, that's not even a maternity dress!)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Apologies - MIA

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted - the past few weeks have been craziness! Tomorrow is National Scrapbook Day and we at The Little Blue House have been celebrating all week long.  We've had events every day and, of course, that means design and prep work for me as well as being present for the events.

Cheryl Mezzetti (with Creative Imaginations) was our guest teacher this week and taught two lovely classes along with demoeing the Luminarte Twinkling H2Os, Radiant Rain mists and new "Silks" acrylic glazes.  I was able to sit in on the evening shadowbox class and played with mostly the Silks. It was certainly fun to be a student for a change! This is the class sample - mine isn't finished yet.

Today we did Make-and-Takes.  These are two samples of the card I taught using a new Hero Arts background stamp with matching Sizzix embossing folder. We also stamped directly on the folder before embossing with one of Tim Holtz's "Reflections" word stamps. These stamps are backwards - if you just stamped directly on paper the text would not be readable. He designed these specifically for stamping directly on embossing folders so the text (which is reversed when embossed) would be readable. The card is embellished with a little wooden tag from Jillibean Soup - these are real wood (look somewhat like balsa wood) and take the Distress Stains and Inks really well.

Tomorrow is another busy day - we are teaching two sessions of "Craftmasters" - lots of techniques for borders, titles and embellishments for scrapbooking.  These will all be bound in a darling little reference book for students to take home.

And to top the week off, I will be leaving for Albuquerque right after class. My daughters and I are hosting a baby shower for pregnant daughter #2 (Dana).  I'm still finishing up some of the last-minute details and will share next week upon my return.