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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Handmade Prayer Journal

You will be reading this post while I am in Austin celebrating Halloween with two of my little grandsons. (Happy Halloween everyone - hope you eat some yummy candy!)

 I made this a few weeks ago but have not had time to post it so I scheduled it for while I am gone.

This is not original - I copied exactly what Tai Bender did for the Illustrated Faith website back in August. (See her post here dated Aug. 30 for more information on how she made it.) It's bound together with a very simple stitch and is a great size (about 8.5" x 5.5").

I fell in love with it when I first saw it and since I had the same papers from the Whatever is Lovely collection from Bella Blvd decided to make one for myself. Isn't it adorable? I think I'll use it for a prayer list or maybe for notes when studying the bible.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today's the Day! "Gather Together" Front Porch Kit is in the House!

This is what you've been waiting for - check out all the cute goodness in this latest Front Porch Kit from the Little Blue House! It is filled with fall papers, coordinating cardstock, ribbons, yarn and twine, tons of embellishment pieces, vintage pages from a recipe book, doilies, cupcake wrappers, a mason jar lid and even a pie pan and a cute little fork and spoon! So many possibilities for creating  with this kit! I love all the different directions the design team went with this one.

For my projects, I first created a "plaque" with the pie pan surface to sit on an easel or hang on the wall. There's room for a favorite photo and a little tag for listing things you are thankful for.

Next up is a cute shaker card using the packaging from the "chips" - the ephemera pieces. I punched a few tiny leaves from the papers, backed the front of the package with a dotted paper which I also used for a punched border to cover the packaging label, and filled the leaf window with some of the beads included in the kit. The burlap was the only remaining piece of ribbon I had after using it on my layout!

This is a little treat bag made with one of the little brown paper sacks. I folded both the foil and the orange paper cupcake wrappers over the top for a decorative closure, tied a bow with twine and added the button. I punched one of the cards to fit inside the mason jar lid and it's also backed with another printed circle for adding "to" and "from" when gifting the goodies.  I used the second bag as a border wrap and topped it with the printed canvas piece.

And, finally, here is the single layout I made using some of the pretty papers, ribbon, recipes and recipe card and some of the "chips."

I love, love, love this kit and I think you will too! Check out the projects IRL at The Little Blue House, and pick up your kit! You can order online at www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com or call the store at 817-431-7930.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Front Porch Kit - Last Day of Sneaks

Day Three (and last day) of the sneak peeks. Tomorrow the entire kit will be revealed. If you pre-ordered you will even be able to pick up your kit at the LBH then as well!

I have two more snippets to show you.

More photos on the blogs of these awesome designers:

Pre-orders continue on the website here: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com. Full reveal tomorrow, October 29! Many of the design team's projects will also be on display that day so stop by and pick up your very own kit. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Front Porch Kit - Sneak #2

Welcome back to Day #2 of the sneak peeks! Did you check out all the other gals' sneaks yesterday? Very fun!

Here's a peek at my second project. I used the surface included in the kit for this. Have you been able to figure out what that is yet?

Again, here's the list of blogs to visit for more project pics.

Pre-orders are being accepted on the website here: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com.  And mark your calendars for the full reveal on Thursday, October 29! Many of the design team's projects will be on display in the store on that day.

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Front Porch Kit Time Again!

Fall is in the air and it's time once again for another fabulous Front Porch Kit from The Little Blue House! This kit is filled with great papers, embellishments and other surprises for your creative pleasure. "Gather Together" - hmmm, what could this be?

Want a sneak peek to see what I created with some of the products in my kit? Here you go, but I'm sworn to secrecy until Thursday!

Hop on over to all the design team blogs to get more sneaks!

Pre-orders start today on the website here: www.thelittlebluehouseonline.com.  And mark your calendars for the full reveal on Thursday, October 29! Many of the design team's projects will be on display in the store on that day.

Come back by tomorrow for another teaser!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Treat Bag

As part of my LBH Media Team packet this month, I received a variety of Crate Paper Halloween papers, a glitter-stripe kraft sack, a spiderweb stencil "Fragment" from Crafter's Workshop (Ronda Palarrazi), cute black glitter stickers, cheesecloth and ribbon. From these supplies, I create! the cute little treat bag above.

It was featured Sunday on The Little Blue House Blog here. Click on over to see the full details about how I made this.

Here's a close-up view of the cute little spider I made with two buttons, some short lengths of wire and two goggly eyes. He's not scary at all!

Monday, October 19, 2015

"You've been Booed"

Last Wednesday my Halloween treat cone project was featured on The Little Blue House blog. Take a look at this simple and fun project!

You’ve been BOOed” Door Hanger
Don’t you love the Halloween tradition of secretly delivering treats to neighbors on their front step with a note that they’ve been “Booed”? Here is a super cute project for delivering these treats in style.
Roll a full 12”x12” piece of double-sided patterned paper into a cone. I used the Crate Paper- After Dark Collection. Use Scor-tape to secure the edge. Trim around the top. 

Punch two holes at top and thread ribbon through holes from front to create a hanger. Knot ends so they do not pull through the holes. 

Tag: I inked the edges of the tag with black ink. Add Orange and Diamond Stickles where desired to decorate tag. Tie to one side of the handle. Tie two bows with a coordinating ribbon at base of hanger.
Cut 4 12”x1 1/2” strips of coordinating paper and score entire length of each at 1/2” intervals. Fold at score lines. 

Add Scor-tape all around open edge of cone and position 2 strips over tape around opening. Pinch into “pleats” as you go. Add Black Stickles around lower edge of “ruffle."

Glue two remaining strips together end-to-end to form a circle and create a rosette. Add Black Stickles to edge.
Cut kraft tag into a 1 3/4” x 5 1/2” strip. Dove tail the ends. Add Orange Stickles around edge. When dry, add “BOO” glitter stickers, 3 glitter star stickers and handwrite “You’ve been” to the left of BOO and add “ ‘d “ to right.

Glue kraft banner to center of rosette and rosette to center of cone. 

Fill with treats and hang on the doorknob of a special friend or neighbor!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 41 - All Caught Up!

Finally, I'm caught up!  I actually finished this lasts week's page on Friday night but had already scheduled my post for Saturday, so now I can work on the current week during the current week!

October Theme: Translucent Papers
Week 41- October 10
Art  Challenge: Tissue Paper
Journal Prompt: The Disappearing Trick

I was happy to not have a quirky journal prompt this week and to be able to use one of my favorites - tissue paper. 

I have long been a fan of Rebekah Meier's work and have been stalking Joann's Fabrics since early September when her new line of fabrics, stencils, tissue papers etc. was supposed to be in-store. Last week I finally found the products and went a little crazy purchasing many of them. (Hey, it was my anniversary and my husband was out of town so I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and needed some consolation!)

The tissue paper comes in a pack with two sheets each of two printed collaged papers and then several pastel solids.  It was perfect for this spread!  I tore pieces of both patterned papers and collaged them on the background. I also tore small pieces of the turquoise solid and glued them on as well.

Next came magenta, yellow and turquoise paints splodged on with an old credit card (my favorite method of applying paints). Then I scraped on some white paint to lighten it a bit.

I stamped with bottle lids and white paint; stamped small dots with a permanent black ink and finally lightly scraped gold metallic paint over all. It's hard to see in the photo but it adds some shine and highlights.

I wasn't sure what to do next as I didn't want to "ruin" the background so I decided to just write out a favorite saying with diluted black paint and a tiny paintbrush. (This is much harder to do than it looks. I think the trick is going quickly and not hesitating - something more to practice!)

I inked around the edges with black to frame the page and then added the final touch with diluted black paint specks.

Done and caught up! Feels great.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Documented Life Project - October

Whew, I'm finally in the weeks of October - catching up!

October Theme - Translucent Papers

Week 40 - Oct. 3
Art Challenge: Deli Paper
Journal Prompt: You Had Me at Hello

This is my page spread for Week 40.  Being from Vermont, I love fall - all the beautiful colors of the changing foliage and the crisp, cool weather. Now that we live in Texas we don't experience much of fall but I do miss it! 

 I decided to use the fall theme and fall colors for this page and started by journaling my thoughts about fall on the blank page (see below).

Then I glued torn pieces of dictionary, book pages and sheet music randomly over the journaling.

Next came a wash of white gesso to mute everything.

After that step I got in the zone and forgot to take more photos! I used Distress paints and finger-painted a background. Then I stamped many leaf shapes all over the background using various coordinating colors of permanent ink.

The large scallops and also the borders between the dates are Gelli® printed deli papers I had on hand. I die cut the words out of white cardstock, inked them with brown ink and over-stamped with a woodgrain pattern. The words were also outlined with a black pen to make them stand out from the background.

The three large maple leaves were stamped with a sticky embossing powder and then a variegated metallic leafing applied over the sticky powder. After brushing off the excess metal leaf, I had beautiful, colorful fall leaves. Below is a closeup of one. This is a technique that was popular way back when I first started stamping and I'm happy to see the foiling making a comeback.

YAY! I am now caught up - just need to finish the spread for this current week as the new prompts come out today!

We are getting so close to the end of the year!  40 weeks done; 12 to go! Here's a peek at my Dylusions journal. It's bursting at the seams and I'm not sure it will make it! What do you think?

Friday, October 16, 2015

More Documented Life - Week 39

Week 39 - Sept. 26

Art Challenge: Storyboard

Journal Prompt: A Week in the Life...

This is the last week of September's theme of using photos. For my storyboard I decided to use polaroids for each day. I cut these from a Silhouette file, resizing them to fit 2" x 2" photos. The "this week in my life" journal card is a printable from one of the Art to the 5th coordinators. I inserted photos from the week (it was a VERY busy week) and journaled underneath.

The background was created using Distress Spray Stains and stencils. I also used some white texture paste through a ledger stencil to add some texture and interest.

Since I'm still behind a few weeks, I was happy that this page went together fairly quickly. It was also perfect for this specific week as usually I don't take photos of every day!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 38

Still in the September theme of journaling with photos...

Week 38 - Sept. 19
Art Challenge: Using a Silhouette
Journal Prompt: "There is no shadow without light"

For this spread I searched "silhouettes" online until I found this image of a little boy jumping. Since I am knee-deep in little grand boys, I decided to use this!

For the background I blended Distress paints until it looked somewhat like a sunset. For more texture I used the same paints through a few stencils over like colors so it would be subtle. I imported the image into my Silhouette machine and created a cut file. I used that as a stencil with black gesso. (Did you know that black gesso is more opaque and darker than black paint?) I also brushed the gesso across the bottom of the page to ground the image and used light vertical brushstrokes for grass. The flowers are from a Tim Holtz stencil - I just used a few and the tops only.

I finished the page with very old rub-ons (love using up old supplies) and some uppercase gold alpha stickers. I'm happy with the result and will always think of my boys when I see it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Catching up on Documented Life Project - Week 37

September Theme: Journaling with Photos

Art Challenge: Digital Imagery and Design

Journal Prompt: "What Makes Your Heart Sing?"

After much thought, I decided to create this week's page spread about color and art supplies - they are truly what makes my heart sing!

The challenge was to use digital imagery and I'm not very capable in that department! First I imported a "Spark Inspiration" printable from Carolyn Dube into Photoshop and added a "paint daubs" filter. I printed it out and glued it on my page. Then I scraped paint colors around the edges with an old gift card, extending the color to the edges of the page. 

I had wanted to take the photo of paintbrushes I'd found online and layer it over the first image in Photoshop but never managed to figure that out. So I changed it to black and white in I-photo and printed it out separately. My original plan was to make a packing tape transfer with this, but inkjet prints don't work with this technique so I went with plan B and did a gel medium transfer directly on the page.

Finally, I added the title with stickers and a washi tape border to make the page pop.

I procrastinated a long time before starting this page but once I began, it all came together quickly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Life Happens - All at Once!

Life just got crazy busy this past month and I can hardly believe it's been over three weeks since I've blogged. So what has been keeping me busy?

First of all, the week of Sept 13 I flew to Albuquerque to babysit Drew and Grant for three days, then got home to teach class and left again to babysit Carl and Mitchell Friday night in Austin. (So thankful for the SW non-rev benefits!)

Drew finally ready for a walk - it took us 1/2 hour to get ready
and we only went 1 1/2 short blocks!

Grant is sitting up now
Carl is such a card - when you run out of things to paint,
paint your brush!

Mitchell learned to roll over and also put
his toes in his mouth!

 Once I returned, we were in full swing getting ready for the Little Blue House's sixth annual "Little Somethings" Workshop on October 3 and 4 - three sessions of three-hour workshops. Participants created 9 "little somethings" projects (stocking stuffers, little gifts suitable for co-workers or neighbors, a wearable, baked goods packaging etc.) We had 112 sign-ups and spent several weeks designing the projects, cutting papers, assembling buttons and ribbons and twine, creating 17 samples of each project and packaging 200 kits of each project! It was a success, but oh so much work. We were exhausted at the end!

Kitting in progress

Samples all loaded to transport to teaching venue

9 projects students made

"Lil Blue" vintage camper (aka mobile store)
we managed to get inside the venue!

Classroom set up
The LBH gals and Santa
On top of that, I had a full house of visitors the same weekend. Initially we were going to babysit Drew and Grant (from Abq) so Dana and John could go to a concert in Dallas and spend the night there. Then Kelly decided to bring her boys up to see their cousins and my oldest daughter, Kim, who also lives in Austin came with her so she could meet Grant! It was a full house!

With all that going on, I've gotten several weeks' behind on the Documented Life Project but am trying to catch up before life gets hectic again.