Sunday, February 28, 2010
Go here to enter: http://alatteinkinfun.blogspot.com/2010/01/im-farmer-blog-candy.html
Another Blog Candy Giveaway
Go here to enter: http://magslittlethings.blogspot.com/2010/02/blog-candy-magnolia-ranger-prima.html
Also, don't forget to sign up for my St. Patty's Day giveaway if you haven't done so already. Deadline is tomorrow at Midnight. Best of luck to all of you!
Friday, February 26, 2010
Got Some Goodies!
So I will have something to share on Monday, but for now, check out these goodies I picked up today! I don't know if you're like me, but I LOVE looking at all those youtube videos of people unpacking their latest craft haul. I just find it interesting to see what's out there on the market and what people's favorite tools and embellishments are.
I got lucky today, because I found a new craft store! It's just this tiny, hole-in-the-wall place, but she actually kept a decent supply, and a lot of what I saw there were specialty items that I haven't seen anywhere else in town. She had some adorable patterned papers, cute stamps and.... COPIC MARKERS! Not a lot, maybe two or three each of a dozen colors, but two of them were on my wishlist already, so I grabbed those for now and will probably go back for a few others in the next couple weeks.
There's my haul. Three sheets of patterned paper, two clear stamps, one rubber stamp, and two copic markers (B6 Peacock Blue and Y11 Light Yellow). I just love that little typewriter stamp! I have a thing for old typewriters, and it will be fun to make cards for all my writer friends using it. The side has a tiny bonus stamp that reads "I < 3 u" (the < and the 3 are together, but for some reason it won't let me post them that way) that you can stamp onto the paper if you choose. As for the clear stamps, one is a little puppy that was on sale for $.99 and the other is a gecko that says "Age is just a number... mine is unlisted." I thought that would be really cute for birthday cards, especially more masculine cards where flowers and butterflies might not be as appreciated. Lol. Plus, I think he could be very versatile. I can add a little party hat and some balloons, or switch up the sentiments... He could also be used on a card for little boys, or on the homework sheets I grade for my son's teacher. So he had to come home with me.
This sheet is called Kitchen Recipe Cards Cut Out by BoBunny. I thought it would be the perfect compliment to the mixer and measuring cup I colored on my first Copics tryout. Actually, it works with that whole "What's the Scoop" by Hero Arts stamp collection.
And then these are the backs. I love it when designer papers are double sided! I just feel like I'm getting more for my money, since I have a coordinating pattern already built in. I can just cut off a strip and flip it over, and viola! I've got a matching piece to use with the focal point of my card. The pink gingham is the other side of the Hearts Abloom sheet, the polkadots the back of the Basic Grey paper, and the recipe cards are the same as the other side, but with fewer sentiments. Pretty neat, huh?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Ten years after their mother Marilyn has died, the multi-racial Sinclair sisters (Meg, Kendra, Tandy, and Joy) still return to her converted attic scrapping studio in the small town of Stars Hill, Tennessee, to encourage each other through life’s highs and lows.
Book one spotlights headstrong Tandy, a successful yet haunted attorney now living back in Orlando where she spent the first eight years of her life on the streets as a junkie’s kid. When a suddenly enforced leave of absence at work leads her to an extended visit with her sisters in Stars Hill, a business opportunity, rekindled romance, and fresh understanding of God’s will soon follow.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Blog Candy Giveaway!
Here's what you get.
This givaway includes:
3 notecards and matching envelopes from Craft Essentials
1 mini paper pad from Colorbök
1 mini stamp set, 1 acrylic block, and 1 stamp pad from studio g
1 spool of gingham ribbon from American Crafts
10 paper shamrocks from Prima Flowers
12 mini buttons from foof-a-La
So that gives each and every person up to three chances to be entered to win this great package. After the deadline, I will copy all the names down on slips of paper (one for each time you entered), fold them up and put them in a jar, let the kids stir and shake them up, and then draw the winner's name. We'll keep this fair and square, not to mention lighthearted and fun.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Coloring With Copics, Round #2, On A Card
Down the lane and across the street, just before the little duck pond, lives a sweet older woman named Annchen. I think the only thing Annchen loves more than her flowers is children. Alone in her house, she watches for them to pass by so she can come out to greet them and bring them little treats. The children look forward to her smiles and hugs, steps slowing as they reach her garden, just in case she needs extra time.
Annchen shares a birthday with our sweet Dominic, which is coming up in just over a week. Only a special card will do for such a special lady.
I colored this rose to resemble the ones I remember from Annchen's garden. I used Copic makers on Gina K Pure Luxery cardstock, stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento Ink. The colors I used are as follows:
rose: RV11 (Pink), R22 (Light Prawn), R27 (Cadmium Red)
violets: B21 (Baby Blue), BV00 (Mauve Shadow), BV08 (Blue Violet)
leaves: YG06 (Yellowish Green), G21 (Lime Green), G24 (Willow), G05 (Emerald Green)
ribbon: Y15 (Cadmium Yellow), R02 (Flesh)
I added some glitter to the flower centers for a little sparkle, rounded the top corners, accented with green patterned paper from My Mind's Eye, ribbon from American Crafts, and chose some black cardstock to make the colors really stand out. I wanted infuse some elegance, so I broke out those sparkly pop dots that I won in the Blog Candy giveaway from Kathy at The Daily Marker. I think they were the perfect touch, don't you?
I chose not to add a sentiment, since I don't have any in German. Instead I'll write something personal on the inside, have the whole family sign it, and include a recent photo of the boys. I hope you enjoyed it!
Come on back tomorrow, I have something special planned!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Coloring With Copics, Attempt #1
And because I always like to know what colors others used in their Copic projects, I'm sharing mine with you. I used BG13 (Mint Green), BG11 (Cool Shadow), C3 (Cool Gray No. 3), and 0 (the colorless blender pen). I also used R27 (Cadmium Red) for the lines on the measuring cup, but I forgot to include it when I took the picture.
What I would recommend to you if you are interested in purchasing a few, is to pick your favorite color family, and then choose two or three markers that vary 2 to 3 digits from each other. Then choose one or two more in a color family that compliments the first. Consider what you'll likely be practicing on. If you'll be coloring flowers, then you'll want your second color family to be greens. If you're coloring people, you'll want to invest in some nice skin tones. And definitely pick up the colorless blender. It removes color, so you'll be able to lighten and shade with it, not to mention erase any little mistakes.
Okay, so other than Copic coloring, I also picked up these alphabet stickers from K&Company. Aren't they cute? Just $3.50 at Walmart for six double-sided sheets! I love all those polkadots and patterns. I'm excited to see what ideas I come up with for using them. Lots of options there.
And last but not least, remember how I was lamenting about bobbin ribbon storage? Well, I stumbled across this handy little tool at Office Max today. According to the tag, it's called a spindle. I have no idea what it's used for (maybe postage stamps? It's a little tall for that though.) but it only cost $1.99, and was exactly what I was looking for without knowing what I was looking for! Lol. To keep the open ribbon from unwinding, I just stuck a mini glue dot on the loose end and attached it to the spool. Hopefully I don't have a problem getting it back off!
Friday, February 19, 2010
I stamped the butterflies in various shades using my Colorbox chalk ink Q, then cut them out and arranged them on the card. I glued them down using a combination of Tombow Mono Multi Glue and 3D dimentional adhesive to (hopefully) gain the appearance of butterflies in flight.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
A Storage Tip For Craft Odds And Ends
Look at these sweet little storage containers! They're half pint
(8 oz) canning jars. This particular brand is by Ball. I bought them today at Walmart for $3.74 for the four pack. They're clear, so you can see exactly which one you want, and the low shape and wide mouth make it easy to flick through and fish out what you need.
And you can use them to store all kinds of things. In this one I dumped the rest of the pack of felt flowers that I used on the card I made earlier this week. Now I don't have to worry about them getting bent or folded in my big plastic craft box, which holds everything from stamps to punches to tools.
In another I'm storing my buttons, many of which belonged to my great-grandmother when she was alive. When I was a small child, I loved to visit her and sort all her buttons by shape and size and color. My grandmother, her daughter, is a talented seamstress, and she's used many of them in her creations, but she let me pick out a few to keep for myself.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
So here's my latest creation. I'm calling them Oceanic Stack, because they remind me of the color-shifting, blue-green waters in all those travel ads of exotic locales. Plus, they're in a stack. Clever, huh?
The beads are cut glass from the Bead Gallery at Michaels. From their depth and clarity, I'd almost swear they were Swarovski crystal if I didn't know better. The photos really don't do them justice. In person, the colors are so vibrant and sparkly.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
How I Make a Card/Use a Blender Pen
I did want to do some coloring today though, so I went with my next best option, the blender pen. I started by stamping this sweet little honey pot in StazOn ink. StazOn is a permanant ink that dries almost instantly and doesn't bleed (though it's still wise to use caution when going over it) which makes it a perfect for using with a blender pen. Keep in mind that because StazOn is permanant, you will need to use StazOn ink remover to clean your stamps afterwards. The paper I'm using is the backside of a sheet of watercolor paper because it has a smoother surface than any of the regular white cardstock I have at the moment.
The next thing I did was make myself a color palette by tapping a little Colorbox Chalk Ink onto an acrylic block. Then I took the brush tip of my Marvy blender pen and scribbled it in the ink to pick up some color. Test it on a piece of scratch paper, then begin applying ink where you want it, picking up more ink, or scribbling off as needed. When you're ready to switch colors, scribble and wipe until the marker writes clear, then pick up a new color.
I also stamped and colored this little honeybee, then carefully cut it out, since I wanted to pop it off the page later. Here you can see me choosing the elements that I'm going to use in the card. I decided on pink cardstock, this stripey patterned paper (the same one I used it last week's birthday card), and some sheer pink polkadot ribbon.
I had just finished my card and cleaned up my mess when the mailman arrived with a package for me. It was the blog candy I won from Kathy at The Daily Marker! http://thedailymarker.blogspot.com/ Kathy, if you're reading this, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Just look at all these goodies! I can't wait to share all the projects I make with them with you.
Monday, February 15, 2010
A Day Trip and Some Goodies!
It was such a fun day! And Hobby Lobby didn't disappoint. I'd heard that they carry everything in the way of supplies, and boy do they! I think I spent two hours just walking around the store, then another one carefully choosing my purchases.
They had lots and lots of good stuff, but the one thing I *really* wanted to get was some Copic markers. I've been watching dozens and dozens of tutorials on youtube on Copics, and I've been dying to get my hands on some. They don't have them anywhere in town, but Hobby Lobby carried them! Just look at all these beautiful colors. Don't they almost look like candy?
I know that when using Copics, you're supposed to stick with color families just a few numbers off from each other, but they didn't carry a huge supply, and at least half of what they did was out of stock. It's no wonder, they were 30% off, which was a total unexpected blessing. I thought I might be able to pick up 4 or 5, but since they were on sale I wound up with 11 gorgeous shades! I cannot wait to use them!
I also picked up this stamp set from a company that we don't have around here. I think it was called Paper Collection? I might be wrong though. And three pretty sheets of patterned paper. Sorry the colors are a little yellowed. It was late by the time we got back, which meant only indoor lighting. But I just love all those different butterflies and birds. And doesn't that flamingo look like so much fun?
Friday, February 12, 2010
Tied Up In Knots (Over You)
We still haven't decided where to go for dinner (and we'd better do it quick, because we're about to head out!) but I think we've settled on the movie Valentine's Day. It's got tons of stars in it, including Taylor Swift (love her!) and it just seemed appropriate given the title. I'll let you know how it is!
On to today's craft. Something easy for today. Valentine earrings!
The beads are Czech glass, both pink textured stones and ruby red bicones. Don't you just love the way the pink beads seem to glow? Hopefully you can see that in the picture. I've been saving these beads for something like a year and a half. I think I found a sweet combo here.
I separated the beads with a silver beadcap to add a little sophistication, and hung them on these darling little silver twining knot links. The pair took me maybe three minutes to make, once I'd decided on the elements (that part took much longer).
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Flying By To Wish You Happy Birthday
My son Chaztin has a birthday party to go to tomorrow night (a bounce house party -- how fun is that?!) so rather than going out and buying a card, I decided to make one. I think it turned out really cute. What do you think?
So, the inspiration for this card was the ribbon. I found it today at A. C. Moore for a dollar, and I just loved the vibrant colors and pattern. It seemed almost like little traffic signals or something. I remembered that I'd bought a baby stamp set a couple of weeks ago that included an airplane, so that's the direction I decided to go in.
I wanted the colors on the card to really pop, and the best way I know to do this is to use black cardstock as a base. The trouble with black cardstock is that it has a tendency to look really flat. Clear (or black on black) embossing is a great way to solve this problem. Listen to me, I sound like an expert! Well, I do watch a LOT of how-to videos...
Anyway, I was going to use my wood grain background stamp (currently my ONLY background stamp) but it just didn't seem to go with the theme. So I decided to look through my little stack of $1 studio g stamps I've been picking up, and found this little swirl shape. It's actually from the same little stamp set as the owl sentiment I used earlier this week. I stamped the swirl all over in versamark ink, then sprinkled it with clear embossing powder and took my heat tool to it.
I knew I wanted to use this cloud paper behind the airplane, but I needed some more color. I just happened to have a sheet of multicolored striped paper, and the bottom three stripes were the exact colors I needed to bring out the ribbon -- red green and blue. I centered the cloud paper from the top, and the striped paper from the bottom, overlapping just a little. Then I tied the ribbon over the seam and adheared with a mini glue dot under the knot to keep it in place.
Normally, I just leave my cards blank so that the person (or myself) who will be giving it can write their own sentiment inside, but since this one is for my eight-year-old to give, I figured I'd just write something for him so all he has to do is sign his name. I cannot write straight to save my life, so I again used one of my acrylic blocks as a guide, just underneath each line I was writing. Worked like a charm! The pen I used was a Signo Broad white gel pen, which is the one recommended my Kristina Werner on her blog (see link on sidebar). I bought it from a website called Trendy Right Now for $2.99 with free shipping. I even paid via paypal.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
My Own Personal Aquarium
All you need is:
1 plastic zip top baggie per child (colored zips are nice to make sure they're closed tightly, but clear will also work)
a half-dollar sized squirt of blue gel toothpaste
permanant markers in a variety of colors
ocean themed stickers (optional)
In my case, we don't use blue gel toothpaste, so I went and bought a trial size. The only one I could find in blue gel had these tiny breath strip crystals, which actually turned out to look almost like bubbles.
Squirt your toothpaste inside the baggie, press out the air and seal. Then mush it all around with your hands so that it's fairly evenly distributed. This can be especially fun for the little ones. It's kind of like rolling out thin playdoh without any of the mess or clean up!
On my first attempt I used regular washable markers, which did not stick to the plastic. That's why I didn't post this project right away. I had to wait until I got some permanant ones. I would recommend that you do not use the extra fine tip, as those tend to just push the toothpaste around and not leave much color. These here are the regular fine tip Bic Mark It markers, and you can see that the color laid down very easily.
Then let the kids embellish to their hearts desire! In class, we did this project to coincide with the book "Commotion in the Ocean" by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz and an open discussion on sea life. You could do the same, or you could do this as a fun craft for an ocean-themed birthday party, or even just a boredom-buster on a rainy day.
In class, the teacher also allowed the kids to use stickers (though she encouraged them to draw as much as they could) but since I didn't have any, I just stuck with free hand drawings. It turned out pretty nifty, don't you think? I hope you'll enjoy doing this project with the little ones in your life!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Short Story Submission
Since the contest ends tomorrow, there was no more putting it off. I got my butt in a chair and stayed there until I got it done. I had a bit of a stall at 760 words... it's so hard to cut an already short piece without losing key elements of character development, but I think I finally pulled off a decent manuscript.
After about 2 1/2 hours of reworking and rewording, switching around and swapping, I had exactly 750 words. It was time to say enough is enough and send it off to the good people at Writer's Digest. With a little luck, I'll be hearing from them in the next couple weeks! ;o) The editors will choose the top five stories, which will be posted online for people to vote on. The number one vote-getter will be published in a future issue of Writer's Digest magazine.
I can't wait to see how I do!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Owl Always Love You
Well, today my husband had off work, and we took advantage of the morning while the kids were in school and went shopping together. Thanks to four 40% off coupons (one each in two stores) I was able to pick up a few papercrafting supplies that I've had on my wish list for a while now, including a heat embossing tool, clear embossing powder, a versamark pad, and a wood grain background stamp. And since A.C. Moore currently has all their loose scrapbooking paper on sale at 40% off, I was able to pick up some pretty patterns as well.
Then I came home and decided to put all my lovely new tools to use.
I had a completely different card in mind using a completely different stamp set, but it didn't seem to be working out, so I ended up going in a new direction. Papercrafting, as I'm learning, is all about letting your supplies speak to you and going with the flow.
So I stamped the wood grain stamp with the versamark pad, and embossed it using the clear embossing powder and the heat tool. And let me tell ya, that thing gets HOT. You've really got to keep the stream of air moving, and in a direction AWAY from your fingertips. On this kraft colored card stock, it came out looking almost like brown ink, but the embossing did add a nice texture to the card.
After trying the green leaf paper in a few different ways, I realized that with the wood grain stamp it almost looked like a tree (until then I was still going in the other direction) so I cut out another piece and layered the two like leafy branches.
I remembered that I'd picked up one of those little $1 studio g stamp sets with an owl theme, so I dug that out and thought the sentiment was perfect, but I wasn't sure about the owl stamp. Luckily, I'd also grabbed a sheet of paper with owls on it this morning, so I decided to cut one out, then on second thought, cut out two. The second, yellow owl added a shot of sunny color, plus it balanced out the blank space on the sentiment nicely.
And I just happened to have a spool of ribbon from a different project over a year ago that matched perfectly. And thanks to the notecard notebooks I made last month, I had a spare cream colored envelope that was just the right size for the card.
The next time I make a card like this, I think I'll try doing some masking. I'll cut a tree trunk silouette out of scrap paper, and stamp in the blank space onto the card to make the wood grain stamp look more like an actual tree. But even as it is, I think it turned out pretty cute. What do you think?