Monday, July 21, 2014

Creative Blog Tour!

I've been tagged by my friend Roxy in a Creative Blog Hop!  Today I am answering four questions for you and then next week a friend that I tag will do the same- it's a fun way for all of us to meet new people in the creative blogosphere :)

I met Roxy a few years ago the same way I was able to meet so many wonderful creative ladies, through my store!  Roxy was a member of our Design Team for a while as well, even after she moved out of town she managed to create fabulous samples for us featuring her beautiful family!  Roxy is a scrapbooker who creates fun & colorful layouts as well as cards and SMASH book pages! 

Here's a link to the post Roxy tagged me in.  Check it out, feel free to visit the hop backwards and forwards... and maybe sometime you'll get tagged and join in as well!

Okay... now for the questions.
1. What am I working on? 

I am currently working on card & canvas projects that will hopefully become some upcoming classes!  As I'm new to the area here, I'm figuring out what sort of classes people are looking for, and I'm hoping to teach in more than one location (trying to set some up at our local Hobby Lobby store) and get to know a bunch of new creative friends :)

I also have a ton of wedding photos that I'm getting in an album either by scrapbooking them or pocket page style... just for fun, I'll include a few that have been previously featured on the blog in the past several months:

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

That's kinda a tough question... I guess my work is unique in that it pulls inspiration from so many different places and styles to mix together.  I have always loved mixed media (even before it was a 'thing') and adding texture to my work.  I started out as a card-maker and have tried & loved so many different things, including scrapbooking, mini books, mixed media... My work tends to be inky but I love clean lines and balance as well, so I try to work all of that into my projects.


3. Why do I write/create what I do? 

If you are an artistic person, you are probably laughing a bit at that question... I do it because I can & because it's in me and it needs to come out!  It makes me happy to get ink & paint on my fingers and to see the colors mix together on a page/paper/canvas...  Sometimes I do it for emotional release and other times I do it simply to try to bring joy to someone else.

4. How does your writing/creating process work?
To be honest, I'm still kinda re-learning & discovering my process since my situation is a whole lot different now than it was for the past several years!  I'm used to having a whole store and classroom area at my disposal when I create, but since closing my store and moving from BC to NC I'm adapting to creating at home, still setting up my little studio space and working with a much smaller work surface (but no matter the size, I usually have less than 12x12 to work with!)  If I'm card-making or working on a mixed media type project, I really enjoy starting with a challenge- either a product, sketch or technique.  Sometimes I challenge myself the same way if I'm designing a class!  I like to narrow down my theme or materials to help keep myself focused, because the variety of materials available to me (even after buying almost nothing since closing my store) can be overwhelming! 

If I'm really stuck creatively and my mojo is missing, I like to pull out some tags and Distress Ink and just play with technique.  I'm working on using my art journal the same way, but don't quite have it as a reflex just yet ;) 

So I'm not sure how helpful that was for you... but you learned a bit more about me at least :)  Now for my linkup...

I'd like to introduce you to my creative friend Lynn Kopas!  Lynn & I met when we were connected to be roomates at Ranger University in 2012.  We had a great time sharing a fab little condo together (talk about a great free upgrade from our hotel!) and getting some major inspiration from our instructors there!  Now that I'm living a whole lot closer than I was when we met, I hope sometime we can spend another weekend creating together :)

Lynn is a very talented mixed media artist who has been on a bunch of fabulous design teams, but right now she's a part of the DT for the new Mixed Media Monthly Challenge blog- it's so great, you need to check it out (and I'm not just a fan because I won a big prize from a random draw before the blog went live).  Her blog is really beautiful and you'll find a fun combo of canvases, tags & project life pages there most recently!  Here's a sweet canvas she created:
Love the textures and bright colors!  I hope you'll visit Lynn's blog (tell her I sent ya!) and watch for her post next Monday where she will tag another creative friend :) 

If it's your first time visiting my blog, I'd sure love to have you follow me on bloglovin' or join my little group on facebook. I'd love to keep in touch!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watercolor with Distress Class Tomorrow!

I`m looking forward to being back teaching again tomorrow with this summery class featuring my favourite product line... Distress!

Learn how versatile Distress Ink & Markers can be as we explore a variety of watercolor techniques & create four summery cards with stamps from Tim Holtz & Prima, simply embellished to showcase your watercolor artistry!

Watercolor with Distress Class is scheduled for Thursday, July 17 at 2pm located at Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro, NC. $25.

I'll be back after the class to give you a closer (& complete!) look at each of these cards :)  If I'm on the ball, I may even have some photos from the class!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Classes Coming Soon!

I'm excited to finally have some classes scheduled on the calendar at a nearby store and I'd love to have you join me at one of them! Here's a peek at what I'll be teaching:

Watercolor with Distress
Learn how versatile Distress Ink & Markers can be as we explore a variety of watercolor techniques & create four summery cards with stamps from Tim Holtz & Prima, simply embellished to showcase your watercolor artistry!

Watercolor with Distress Class is scheduled for Thursday, July 17 at 2pm located at Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro, NC. $25.

Cards for Men
Masculine cards are a struggle for so many of us, so I invite you to join me to make four cards perfect for the men in your life.  We'll combine tags, Distress Ink, die cuts and stamps plus some manly details that will make your cards shine.

Cards for Men Class is scheduled for Thursday, July 24 at 2pm located at Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro, NC. $25.

Mixed Media Summer Flowers Canvas

Mixed Media is hot right now, so join me to see how fun and easy it is to make the jump from making cards or tags to creating some decorative art you can display in your home or studio!  We will create an 8x10 canvas as well as a card & surprise bonus project (perhaps another card or tag?!) using techniques featured on this Summer Flowers Canvas.  You'll play with ink, paint, stencils and more to create fun textures on a finished product that will make you smile.

Mixed Media Summer Flowers Canvas Class is scheduled for Saturday, August 9 at 2pm located at Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro, NC. $30.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Birthday Butterflies

For any of you who play along with Tim Holtz's 12 Tags series, here's a card inspired by the June tag!  You can see the other tags I made using these techniques here & here.  It was a good one, great for a colorful card for one of my good friends who celebrated her birthday last week!

I stuck pretty close to the tutorial again- using a numbers stencil because they are always great for birthdays, and brown Archival ink for a different look.  I added a bit of Distress Stickles & Crackle Accents to some of the butterflies for extra details.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Celebrating the Fourth of July {tutorial}

So I decided to make some use of the patriotic American stamps in my mini blueprints stamp set from Tim Holtz, and make some cute cupcake toppers and a sparkler holder!  There's sparklers & fireworks for sale everywhere here, and I picked up this package for a couple dollars thinking they were ordinary sparklers... only to find these colorful (very pink!) wrapped things inside! So, I switched up my festive berries distress ink for picked raspberry and went ahead with my plan!  Here's what I started with:
 (not pictured, but also used: matte medium, Distress Markers in the same colors & some glitter!)
First I cut a sheet of cardstock at 4" and set it aside for the jar.  One the remaining piece, I stamped each image I was using twice with Black Archival Ink.  I used an ink applicator with sponge (don't have any of the cute new mini round ones yet!) to apply Distress Ink over each image.  I highlighted each image with a Distress Marker as well to add a bit of extra depth.
Trim the stamped images (use a circle punch for Lady Liberty) and adhere toothpicks to the back of each image using Matte Medium.
Add some sparkle with Stickles Glitter!  I used dry glitter with Matte Medium, but a tube of stickles would work great too :)
To finish off this project, go back to that 4x11 piece of paper you set aside and stamp the images with Distress Ink, adding a few other stamps with Black Archival.  Ink the edges blue and adhere around the jar.  (FYI- I did measure the jar first and 11 inches was almost perfect to go all the way around!  I had a tiny 1/4" overlap!)
Here's another photo of my finished project.  I'm looking forward to lighting up these sparklers with the family (& giving the fireflies a little competition!) and celebrating my first Fourth of July as a resident of the USA :)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Oh Canada {CC3C #5}

Between the June tag by Tim and this Compendium of Curiosities Challenge, I've been doing a fair bit of Distress Coloring lately!  I've had some sort of project with this maple leaf blue print stamp in my mind for a while, but it's been fun to add the texture of canvas to it & make a "real" Canadian flag with it :)
Tomorrow is Canada Day, and I'm definitely missing Canada right now!  I would love to be spending the day with my Canadian family and friends, but I'm sure I'll squeeze in a visit or two via facetime (hint hint)!

My tag is pretty simple, but so is our flag!  I stamped the maple leaf blueprint by Tim Holtz on watercolor paper and colored it with a mix of barn door and festive berries distress markers, with a bit of pumice stone for shading. (Check the CC3 book for details on how to do that!) The splotches were added simply by picking up leftover colors from my craft sheet :)  I added Crackle Accents (another discontinued product from Ranger!) over the leaf for some added texture.  The flag itself is a canvas tag my mom cut out for me- inked up by applying the same two shades of red directly from the Distress Ink pad to the tag and then to my craft sheet, drying and dabbing in the puddles of colour to get a fun mix.  Once everything was dry, I both glued and stapled it onto a skewer which I cut to length using my Tim Holtz scissors. 
I almost forgot I had this awesome alpha set from Tim, I love it!  Looks great stamped in red with a bit of Distress Stickles to finish it off :)  The label sentiment is another fabulous Tim Holtz stamp set... so many great sayings to choose from, but this fit my mood at the moment!  I used the new Fude Ball Black pen Dina Wakley recommends to write 'oh'.... and I can totally see why she loves it!  So smooth and creamy :)
 So, to all my Canadian friends out there, or to any of you who love a Canadian... Happy Canada Day!  I hope it's spent enjoying our beautiful country and includes time together with Family & Friends :)

And for you cat lovers out there... here's another pic of our pesky/adorable kitten Abbey helping me photograph my tag... sigh.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June's 12 Tags of 2014 {take 2}

I told ya I'd be back with another tag and here I am!  This one uses the same butterflies as Tim used (in the original size- trimmed by hand... not too painful!) and another stencil from my prize pack from MMMC :)  I wasn't crazy about how this one turned out at first, but once I got my layers added I was happier with it.
 I rubbed some Distress Stickles on the butterfly wings for a bit of sparkle.  Love this stuff- pretty bummed that it seems to have been discontinued!  I may have to beg & plead with Tim & Ranger to at least bring the rock candy color back!  I think this is pumice stone I used here. If you see it on sale somewhere... snag it while you can!
 Here's a look at this bow.  I somehow over blended my inks on this... forgetting that the blue & yellow I used mixed together to make green LOL  good thing I love the color!
and another glimpse at that shimmery butterfly :)

Big thanks to Tim Holtz for another fab technique... I've been enjoying it and even have a card inspired by it that I'll share once the recipient gets it :) I'm entering this tag in the Anything Goes Challenge at Simon Says Stamp :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Girls Just Wanna Have WINE {Mixed Media Card}

I started playing with my project for the first Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog a few weeks ago after I won a fabulous prize package from them full of stencils and specialty papers (burlap & corrugated papers!). I finally got my act together this week and decided to turn one of my inky, textured tags into a card!
 The start of this project was the large tag- I added texture paste through a woodgrain stencil and then sprayed it up with a combo of Dylusions and Lindy's Stamp Gang Sprays.  I used two shades of brown here on both the tag and some crinkle ribbon.   I sprayed some opaque white by Crate Paper through a script stencil afterwards.  The smaller tag was actually used to mop up my craft sheet :)

I decided to stamp this sweet stamp from Unity (isn't this Angie girl fab?!) onto the smaller tag and see what I could do from there... it was stamped in Archival ink and then colored with some Distress Ink.  The white spray was a bit tricky to work with as it interacted with my inks, so I kept the coloring really simple!  Since it added an opaque element, I went over some of my details (like her hair) with a Copic Spica pen.
I finished off this card pretty simply- some lace and bling add some extra textural elements.  It was a fun project!

Here's a peek at a couple other tags I played with too- they both used a stencil with texture paste and a mix of sprays :)  Hopefully I will be back soon with some finished projects...

Anywho, I'm very excited about this new challenge blog and am thrilled to finally have my project done to submit!  I hope YOU will play along!  I'm going spend some time checking out all the submissions soon and can't wait to see what next month's challenge will be!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tim's 12 Tags for June {take 1}

I had fun with this month's '12 Tags of 2014' tag, it was nice to take the time to play along again- especially because I was able to do it with some of my friend's from back in BC via FaceTime.  Isn't technology awesome?  I made two different tags, I'm gonna share the one that wasn't finished yet when I finished chatting with the girls last week first!
 For the background I used one of the stencils I won in a giveaway from The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge blog (thanks again guys!  I've been playing... and will have a project to enter on the blog tomorrow!) and the arrows inspired me to pull out my hot air balloon stamp :)
 I embellished this one simply with some wood veneer shapes- love these teeny things!
This 'paula bow' technique Tim Holtz shared is just fab... love this crinkly, inky goodness in a puffy bow!

And that's one of the tags I made with this month's techniques!  I'll be back to share the other tag AND a card I made in the near future... sorry I've been quiet lately, but I have been working on some projects to share :)

Oh- and I've got a random side note of happy news... I got my green card this week!  It's been a long process getting through the application and all, but it's good to be 'legally' living here in the US with my husband and I'm looking forward to driving my car again and working/ bringing in some income!  (If you have any job leads or ideas for venues where I could teach paper crafting classes nearby, please let me know!)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thinking of Mom (my first Prima Doll card)

 My mom got her birthday card today finally, so I thought I'd share it with you all quickly!  It's a pretty simple card, which features one of the small Prima dolls stamps- I love these cuties, but this is the only one I own so far.  I stamped her in brown on a kraft tag just to try her out, then decided to go with it.  I used some tiny floral patterned paper by Crate Paper (love 6x6 pads for stuff like this!) for her dress and painted her skin using some white gesso mixed with water and a bit of ink from a Distress Marker to get a (very pale LOL) skin tone.  The gesso is great for this as it is so opaque, and it allows you to add other mediums for color.  As you can see, I added a bit of color to the flowers the same way- just added Distress Marker on top of the gesso.  Her hair is colored with Distress Markers and a bit of Spica Glitter pen.  The rest of the card is pretty simple- a button and prima scissor clip embellishment and Crinkle ribbon to match.  The sentiment is an oldie from Hero Arts.
I'm hoping to be back tomorrow to share something masculine in honor of Father's Day!  Wish me luck... we got a new kitten last week and while she is simply adorable, she doesn't allow me to get much done unless she is sleeping :)

Just cuz I can... here's a couple kitten pics!  One of her 'helping' and one sleeping (when she really is helping!)

If you want more kitten pics (LOL) and sneak peeks of blog posts, plus some other randomness... follow me on instagram!

Monday, June 09, 2014

The birthday experience

I didn't intend for this card to be a birthday card, but it certainly would work!  Today is my mom's birthday (and my mother in law's too!) and while this is not the card I made her (I'll post that once she actually gets it! I'm a lot better at making the cards than actually sending them...) it is a card that makes me think of her!  

From the theme to the colors and patterns & textures... It reminds me of mom. I miss you a ton Mom!  I'm glad you have my siblings with you today to help you celebrate!  Enjoy whatever yummy cake they feed you!

Happy birthday Mom!  I love you lots!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

12 tags of 2014- May- artful gentlemen

 I'm just squeaking in at the last minute to finish my tag inspired by Tim Holtz's May 2014 tag!  I decided to go with a masculine theme for my tag and had some fun pulling out stamps and embellishments to work with it.  I've always loved this stamp of 3 men, and the hat & moustache brads from my stash (stache? LOL) seemed like a fun addition!  Assorted brads, & Tim Holtz idea-ology embellishments together with assorted TH patterned papers came together quite nicely for me :) 

Here's some close ups for you:
 I highlighted the 'artful' tag with Distress paint and the gentleman's hat with Crackle Accents.  Here's a photo of the full tag with my crinkle ribbon (can't get enough of this stuff!)
I also made a Father's Day card using a lot of the same elements- here's a look at it:

As I'm uploading photos, I realize I forgot to watermark my photos... so I guess I'll be editing this post soon!  But, as it's pretty close to the end of the month I'll continue on- it feels great to be 'on time' with Tim's monthly tags again!  Hopefully I can keep this up!