Playing With New Ideas

28 02 2017

One of the things I like about paper is all the possibilities there are to branch out and try new things. So I’ve been playing a little the last couple of days.

First, I decided to play with Kraft paper. I used markers and pencils. I wasn’t really happy with the outcome, so I kept changing it, trying to make it feel right. I’m still not sure I like the result. I think it would have been better if I’d used just pencils.

Here’s the progression of me trying to fix it. I just don’t think there’s enough contrast between the main focus (the bird) and the back ground. I tried to fix it by lightening the background.

 

I try to learn from my mistakes, so this next card I just used pencils for coloring. I like it better, but it’s still not my favorite. I think it’s too dark still and the contrast between the light house and the rest just doesn’t do it for me. I need to adjust my color selection due to the darker paper. I think pencils are good, but choosing lighter colors to work with will be better next time.

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For the next project I jumped back to white paper, but I wanted to try mixing my copics and prismacolor pencils. I recently watched a few videos of this technique and loved the results that artist got. I still need more work, again, I think it’s color choice and figuring out how the colors will work together. I had to color the image three times before I was happy with the results, but FINALLY, I got to something I liked ok.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO





Butterflies equal Spring, Right?

20 02 2017

We had another 70* or so day, so my spring card making must be working 😉

Here’s a cute butterfly box card I made for a friend. I’ve been itching to make this for a while and finally the time was right 🙂

I cut the butterflies out on colored paper then embellished with copics, using the examples Mary used in the kit (found here at SVG Cuts).

Thanks for stopping by and happy almost spring!





Spring Box Card

19 02 2017

I’m kind of in love with box cards. This one is part of the Springtime Box cards kit from SVG Cuts.

One of the things I like about floral box cards is the ability to give flowers that last longer than traditional flowers and don’t cause allergic reactions 😉

This card is nice and simple to put together. You can do it quickly, or take some time adding details to the stems and flowers.

I cut the tulip bulbs out on white cardstock then used my copics to color them 🙂 I used my prismacolor pencils to add shading and highlighting on the stems. The little paper beside it is for the greeting. I’ll add this to the back after it’s signed. This kit also contains envelopes for each card. Let’s face it, non-traditional cards don’t fit into traditional envelopes 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

 





Digital Stamp with Digital Die

17 02 2017

I have a Silhouette Cameo digital cutting machine. They make it VERY easy to buy things from them. Luckily, they also have a very large selection and variety 🙂

They’re starting to carry “digital stamps with coordinating digital dies.”

Years ago, when I started stamping, we bought a stamp. We did cool things with it, but if we wanted to cut it out, we used scissors and sometimes an exacto knife.

Then die cutting machines started becoming popular. But they were big and heavy and expensive. So were the dies. And we had to find somewhere to store all those things. We gave up valuable paper storage space for those suckers. But, we wanted those letters and simple dies cut out, and idn’t want to spend all of our time cutting them. As die cutting machines shrunk, so did their price, which probably helped boost their popularity. And then, holy cow, someone had the brilliant idea to introduce embossing folders! I love these things. And now we have physical stamps we can buy and store and coordinating dies we can buy to cut the images out for us. Hallelujah! No more scissor hand cramps!

But the digital world was taking off and getting more affordable, too. Years ago I bought something called a Wishblade, by Xyron.  It was one of the precursors to the Silhouette family of digital cutters, but was more than twice the price of today’s machines. I have to say, that machine was pretty cool, but my Cameo is so much better! With these machines we have the ability to create our own shapes. Use an unlimited amount of fonts for whatever we need. We can make 3D things, cards, scrapbook pages, and probably more that I can’t think of right now. We can completely design a card, from bottom to top on the computer, print it out then cut out what we need and assemble it, like I did today.

So it’s not a surprise that digital stamps are now coming with digital dies.

You may be wondering what the big deal is. Can’t you just make your own outline around the image? Yes, you can 🙂 And I do – a lot. But what I’ve found is neat about these so far (and I haven’t tried many yet) is that the image has already been made user friendly for digital stampers.

Here’s what I mean by that.

Most images made for use with digital cutters are meant to be cut out on paper, so they’re not filled with any color – they’re just lines, they’re completely transparent.

In the card above, if the cute little treat girl had been transparent, one, she would have been a little difficult to cut out because of all the tiny pieces. Two, I would need to somehow fill her in so she wasn’t see through and probably adjust the line weight. Sometimes that’s easy and sometimes that’s not. It depends on the image. Then I could create an outline around her with no problem.

Creating and marketing them as digital stamps means a lot of that work is already done for you, so you don’t have to spend precious crafting time prepping an image to do your bidding 😉 That being said, I think I would like a smaller white border around her. I can totally do that. I already have. That’s what’s so wonderful about working digitally. It’s SO flexible.

The card above was created using a pattern (the background paper) and a digi stamp and die set from the Silhouette store. I printed everything separately, colored it then let my Cameo do what it does best, and cut out those images for me. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Thanks for stopping by

xoxoxo

 





I think I might need another sympathy card soon…

16 02 2017

I’m planning a head.

In the foster system, when children have supervised visits with their biological parents, a parent aid is used. The parent aid transports the child, teaches parenting skills, observes how things are going, and brings the child home when the visit is over.

Our parent aid told me the other day that her brother was moved into hospice. This card is hers if we need it.

The card was created in CA2. I imported it into my Silhouette work space and printed off the pieces (base, tag, and bow). I made the flower black and white so I could use my copics to color it. The saying can be found in the Silhouette Store.

Thanks for stopping by.





Just a Card

14 02 2017

sepia-flower-hello-cardThis was fun to do.

At first, I colored the flower in purple and greens and I just didn’t like it. I printed that piece off again and tried for a sepia look. I’m not sure if I actually pulled off a sepia color with my markers, but I still like how it turned out. I like that it’s all browns except for the hello. The color around the flower was inked on with a sponge.

I did everything on my Silhouette Cameo, from the brown paper in the back to the hello on the bottom. The paper, mat, and flower can all be found in the Silhouette Store.

This is one of the ways I try to save time. If I print everything off, my machine cuts everything out and I don’t waste time looking for the perfect cardstock colors just to find I only have scraps left. Using the print & cut route guarantees I have the right colors.

I don’t know who this card belongs to yet, but I’m sure I’ll find someone 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

 





It’s Almost Valentine’s Day

12 02 2017

I’ve been busy this weekend making some valentine projects – yay!

  1. The corset purse  with little roses embossed on the white is from the Silhouette Store.
  2. The bon bon gift box (the top comes off) is from SVG Cuts.
  3. And the cute little Valentine card for my son’s class is also from the Silhouette store, as is the digital paper design. This was a print & cut project 🙂

I hope you’re set for Valentine’s day, whether it’s extravagant or simple, it doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re with loved ones.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂





I’m More than Art…

8 02 2017

…even though you probably can’t tell from my blog because it is so art focused. But I use art to cope with some of life’s stresses.

I’m also a mom to a couple of children I didn’t give birth to. Luckily, six out of my seven children are legally mine. We’re hoping and praying that the seventh (a nine month old we’ve had since he was three days old) will also legally be ours; but that’s still up in the air.

It’s one of the hardest paths I’ve ever had to walk.

I’m not good with uncertainty. I need the control of having things planned out so I know what needs to be done and when so I can make sure everything gets done.

The first two years we were foster parents showed me that I’m really not a great candidate for this. We have to cede too much control to the state, and it rankles. But when we found out about this little guy (he’s a bio sibling to a couple of our other children), there was no doubt in our minds that we needed to bring him home. In nine hours we rearranged our entire lives and at the end of the day we were smitten with this adorable little boy. We knew he needed a family, but we had no idea how much our family needed him. He’s been a huge blessing to us all from day one.

But babies aren’t easy and seven kids is crazy, but we’re managing. But every three months these last 9 months we’ve had court. We have no idea what will happen those days because the commissioner who has our son’s case has not been predictable. It seems everyone leaves the court room scratching their heads and wondering what just happened. Except one of the attorneys who probably walks out thinking, “I can’t believe that worked.”

So every three months my stress levels amp up. Not only am I managing the normal things of life, I have to prepare myself and my six other children, just in case we go to court with a baby, but come home without one. It has happened to others, so we know the possibility exists. Every three months I have to tamp down my anxiety so I’m not a puddle on the floor. I have to find a way to be okay around our court date. I have to find a way to see something good in the people who may one day leave the court house with their son, who has been my son since he was 3 days old. I have to find a way to see something good in the people who were not able to parent three other children well enough to keep them. These children, two of which are now mine, did not have an easy past and these are the people who should have made their lives better but didn’t. I have to find a way to see something good in them because my children carry them in their hearts and heads all the way down to their DNA. When my children look in the mirror in the future, these are the faces they may see looking back at them. My children need to know that there is good in them regardless of who they look like. They need to know that I love them, no matter who’s eyes they have, or who’s DNA. If they see me finding good in those people now, I hope they’ll believe me later.

To help me gain that perspective, I’ve been making books for them each month of what’s going on in the baby’s life. They’re missing so much, I hope this helps them not miss everything. And I find that when I can put my fears aside and do this, it’s easier to see them simply as parents. Parents who are missing out on their child’s life. I put myself in her shoes and I know this is how I would want to be treated. It’s the right thing to do, so I do it. Then my eyes are opened a little bit more and I realize she’s not the enemy. That although I think this precious little one will be safer here, she still deserves respect. And art does that.

Art brings things into focus for me. It distracts me when I’m trying not to think about the upcoming court date, or when I have too much nervous energy to sleep the night before court (I didn’t fall asleep until about 5 am this morning).
When I’m stressing out about all the other things on my plate (I have 4 teenagers – two are graduating this year, a tween, a preschooler, and now an infant, and each one can be classified as special needs) I can sit at my desk and lose myself in the quiet of the night and de-stress.

Art makes life better.

I’m including the book I finished today for his 6th month. I purposefully didn’t include his pictures. I made a deal with myself when I started this blog, that very few, if any, of my childrens’ pictures would show up here. It’s too public of a space. Thanks for understanding and thank you for stopping by.

 

 





I Appear to Like Hummingbirds

8 02 2017


I have another hummingbird card. Used my copics and twinkling H20’s.

I used one of my metal dies to cut it out then designed the background in Craft Artist 2 which I then moved into my Silhouette design space and cut out a few separate pieces and put it all together 🙂

Thanks for stopping by 🙂





Not Sure How I Feel About This One

5 02 2017

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Another beach card 🙂 Can you tell where I’d like to be?

But I’m not sure if I like this one. I’ve seen people like the awesome Sandy Allnock stamp an image then add an amazing background to it. That’s what I tried, but I need a little more work on that technique. The embossed white of the card is the stamp, the rest filled in with copic marker.

I have more coloring I want to do, but I have other things that need to happen first. I’m behind on the little month by month books I make for my foster son’s bio mom. I should really get some done, and then there’s Valentines Day 🙂

Hope your day was nice and relaxing. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 XOXOXO