Lots of Work, But Not A Lot Accomplished

20 08 2017

I dusted off my jewelry making stuff this week. I’ve tried to make numerous and handy things.

I have failed every single time, but it has been quite sometime since I’ve played with the sparkly pretties.

Then, I spent about three days on a coloring project. It’s turning out okay. I will probably like it when I’m done, but I can’t finish it. Not until I place an order for ink to refill some of my markers.

But today, today I actually finished something! Nothing great, but after this week of creative road blocks, it feels good to complete something.

I found the image on deviant art last year and printed it off. I found the printed version today in a little stash of things to color later. I’m grateful to artists who are generous enough to let people like me color their line art. I linked to their work down below so you can check out more work like this 🙂

I used patterns from the Silhouette store to create the mats for the picture, printed them, then cut them out. I chose this one because I really wanted to work on hair today. And, because unicorn… It’s very faint, but it’s there 🙂

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Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

Image, red pattern, yellow pattern (both for card front)





I Made a Pineapple

20 08 2017

School started Wednesday. It’s a weird mish-mash of schedules now, and I’m not sure how I’m going to make this school year work, but I’m sure it will 🙂

School break down:

3 graduated. Of those 3, 2 are enrolled in college classes. All 3 working and sharing a car.

3 in school. They’re spread out over 3 different schools. 2 of the 3 have extra-curricular activities.

1 still at home.

The one I’m most worried about is the little guy who started kindergarten this week. He’s had a rough beginning and that still plays out in cycles in our home. Right now, we’re in one of our good cycles. But change is SO HARD on this kiddo, I’m waiting for us to start spiraling downward again. Maybe he’ll surprise me, like everyone suggests while I’m gearing up for another round of power struggle battles.

In preparation for these rough times on the horizon, I made a paper pineapple box for his teacher. I put a few goodies in it. He has the same teacher two of my other kids had and I’m so grateful 🙂 But I want to show her my gratitude ahead of time while things are good 🙂

Here’s some pictures of the box.

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We got him started in school and that first week went well. Next up is the solar eclipse and we’re in the path of totality, so the schools are teaching around it. My next success will be my boy getting through this amazing event with out burning his retina’s. I think this it totally doable 😉

Stamp and Die set, Pineapple

 





I Had Plans But….

13 08 2017

I had a stamp set picked out to use.

I had a card sketched out on paper.

My card kind of resembles my sketch.

Here’s the sketch I did. I don’t know if you can really tell what it is, but that’s okay, since I didn’t really follow it 😉

Here’s the stamp set I planned to use…but I don’t think I used any of that, either.

From the sketch, I think I kept the background and the coral…

Here’s how the card turned out. I’m not disappointed at all.

The background is sponged on using multiple colors of multiple shades of browns and blues.

The white line around the card was done using a Silhouette sketch pen and a pixscan mat.

The mermaid was stamped and colored with copics and pencils.

I wanted to use my pixscan mat again to cut her out – but after the first cut, I could see the cut was off. I stopped the machine and rescued the image and ended up cutting her out by hand.

I kept trying to work in the sea horses I’d colored and cut out from the stamp set, but it just didn’t work. I dug through my things and found the bliss stamp and I’m jazzed how well it all came together considering it barely resembles the idea I started out with.

Thanks for stopping by!
Xoxo

Bliss stamp in a set from Serendipity, but I’ve had it forever and I can’t find the specific set. There is a stamp there that looks like it, but I have no idea how the size compares.

Mermaid is from a place called Coronado Islands stamps, but I don’t believe they exist any longer.

The coral is from the octopus set I used a while back 🙂





This Crazy Foster Care Thing Update

11 08 2017

I've blogged a bit about my family and how it's put together. I've shared the books I've made for my foster son's bio mom. I've asked for prayers at crucial times in our case.

Yesterday, 70 days after the state suggested the case goal be changed to adoption (with us), we finally got the news.

The judge CHANGED THE CASE GOAL TO ADOPTION.

So, if you've prayed for us, thank you so much. We're not done, we're on a different path that may still take some time to finish. But we're on it and that's the important thing.

You might think I'm jumping up and down in excitement. I'm not. That sounds odd, doesn't it.

I'm relieved. I'm grateful. I'm conflicted.

This was the right call. But somewhere today, there's a mom, a mom who truly loves her son, who is learning that she will probably not get him back.

A mom who's heart is probably breaking. I can not celebrate my good fortune, not when I understand the magnitude of her loss. And I think that was a lesson I needed to learn. My heart aches for her.

The next goal is for the state to file the appropriate petitions in a timely/quick fashion. So, if you're a praying person, we'd be grateful for more prayers on our family's behalf.

And while you're praying, please remember his bio mom. I'm sure she can use some prayers, too.





Because Summer

7 08 2017

My kids go back to school soon, but that doesn’t mean summer is over. I’m trying to hold on to that a little bit longer, so I worked on this.

It’s a digital stamped I used in Craft Artist 2. I transferred the whole image and just the stamp image into my Silhouette workspace. I did a print & cut with both pieces.

With print & cut projects that I plan to color (like this one) I actually print, color, then cut – because I don’t have to be exact and stay in the lines. I’ll be cutting off the mistakes.

Sadly, this method backfired on me this time. I went too far out of those lines and didn’t realize it until I had the image cut out. I went back in with my craft knife and gave the beach girl a closer trim.

Before the trim 😉

Thanks for stopping by!
Xoxo

Digi Stamp





Of Spiders and Brain Surgery

5 08 2017

My life is not normal.

You guys may not know that, because I try to keep my blog and my family separated for safety reasons. But believe me when I say, my life is not normal.

I don’t remember most of my dreams, but I remember last night’s. One of my kiddos has epilepsy. In my dream that child had to have brain surgery. Instead of panicking like I should, I asked the doctors to take pictures – because my child would love to see them when surgery was over. That was the end of the dream. I was uncomfortable and woke up to find a better sleeping position.

I glanced at my husband, who was sleeping peacefully at the time.

I saw something big, black, and blurry moving across his shoulder.

I slapped my sleeping husband, trying to get the spider off him.

I missed.

The blurry blob skittered closer to the whiskers my husband keeps around because I like them. I tried to go for the critter again, but couldn’t get to it.  The thing made it to the shelter that existed between my husband’s chin and throat. I didn’t know what to do, so I yelled.

“Get up! Get up! Spider!”

That poor man went from sleep (even though I’d smacked his shoulder less than a minute ago) to straight up, his hands paddling over his shoulders in an effort to save himself.

We didn’t find the spider.

At this point, the assumption is that it was probably there. But I’m torn. If it was real, then it’s really creepy, and I’ll probably find him in the towel when I dry off from my shower (it won’t be the first time.)

If it’s not real, then I thwacked my slumbering husband in the shoulder for nothing.

 





If At First You Don’t Succeed…

5 08 2017

Some days I make something and look at the finished project and I’m happy with it. Some days, I’m shocked because it turned out better than I hoped. Those are the times I sit back and say, “I can’t believe that worked.”

This week, there were no days like that. I feel like I struggled for every card I finished – and I only finished three of them. I’m not even posting one of them. I know if I force a project and it’s just not my “thing,” I hit walls like this. But that wasn’t the problem this time. But I also know, that I need to push through those walls. Sometimes pushing through leads to ideas I’d never have thought of, and they worked.

This week, there were no days like that, either.

But I thought I’d share, and even show some of the things that just weren’t working for me.

First up, is the happiness card.

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I designed the strip along the side in Craft Artist 2 (so sad they’re not around anymore) using a combination of paper layering and then stenciling (all digital). Once I had what I wanted, I exported the pieces and dragged them onto my Silhouette work space. I used a saying that I love, but up until now haven’t figured out a place to use it. I’m still not sure how I feel about using it here, but it’s done 🙂

The challenge here was finding the best way to transfer all those letters onto the card in one piece – I don’t enjoy lining up letters and words just right, it takes too long and I could be doing something fun, like coloring 😉

So the answer I came up with was matting the words. This worked great. I created the mat for the saying using the Offset feature then filled it in with black. It wasn’t quite what I was going for – the letters and words weren’t as connected as I wanted them to be – so I did another offset.

It looked great but cut terribly.

After printing the elements I needed, I loaded my paper into my Cameo. Instead of doing one cut to cut out the exterior mat, it tried to cut out everything. I tried over and over to get it to do what I wanted. Finally, on like the 5th try, a light bulb went off over my head. And in case someone else finds this helpful, I’m going to share that light bulb moment.

When using the offset function, you’re essentially creating another layer. I typically group those layers so I can move them around my workspace easier. Now, remember how I wanted that third mat/layer? I selected my grouped item and used the offset function. What I didn’t realize, was that it was creating a mat for BOTH layers. When I went to cut it, it wasn’t cutting how I thought I’d designed it. THE FIX – ungroup them, “unstack” them, select ONLY the mat that was just created, and offset just the mat. After I had all my pieces done, I layered them, centered them, grouped them, and printed the saying (again), then FINALLY, SUCCESSFULLY cut that thing out how I wanted it.

So here’s the next card.

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Once again, I designed the background in Craft Artist and got it into my Silhouette work space. I added a sentiment I found in the Silhouette Design store and then added a bird on a branch silhouette (I’m sure you’ve noticed, there is no bird on a branch on this card). I actually tried two or three different bird on a branch silhouettes. The plan was to add the details in and color it – like I’ve done with so many other projects.

It didn’t work.

New idea.

Use one of the stamp and metal die sets to find something that worked – a humming bird fit what I was trying to do. I colored it – and I was happy with how it turned out. Then I lined the image and the metal die up, taped things down and ran it through my die cutting machine. I went to remove it and realized my die slipped at some point and it didn’t cut the image correctly. I stamped and colored again, then lined up everything, added extra tape this time to keep things in place and it FINALLY worked. I put that bad boy together and declared the card done.

Here’s a picture of the card with some of the things that didn’t work. There were more things, but I’d already thrown them away.

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I hope you had a better week doing whatever it is you do.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

Thank you, Butterfly saying, stamp and die set, bird I didn’t use