Friday, November 29, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - choosing comfort

Working on my art journaling for my Brene Brown ECourse - The Gifts of Imperfection!!  I have used a fine tip black sharpie to create my letters - both using negative space and positive space.  I watercoloured the title with orange - not a "go to" colour for me. It has been super fun to see what I can create and not feeling that it has be perfect.  In this exercise we need to discover what drives us to numbing - taking the edge off the pain!!!
For this title I used a large marker and just wrote the letters free hand!!  Too easy!! I stamped over it in blue ink using a stamp I created using leftover rubber from trimming some stamp sets. I cut the scraps into small pieces and glued them to a small block of wood.   I love the randomness of this stamp!!  Needless to say, it is beneficial for all of us to know what our "go to"s are when we feel pain or stress - food, drugs, gambling, acting out, rage, shopping, etc, etc, etc.

For this title, I created the letters using a pencil, traced them with my fine tip sharpie and filled them in!!  I love the way they turned out.  I have been using my Creative Lettering book by Jenny Doh as inspiration for all of these hand lettered titles.  Comfort Wisdom is about learning what calms and comforts you and choosing that instead of numbing.  It is about consciously choosing your thoughts, words and deeds in order to create the life you want to live.
You can check out my previous pages here, here, here, here, here and here.
You should give hand lettering a try!  There are so many techniques out there that can be executed with a minimal amount of supplies - pen and paper in most cases!!


Kid's Christmas card

Made this card for a little boy who will be having a special Christmas this year!!  You can check out his story here on Susan's blog - Simplicity!
He likes bright colours so I started with a yellow card front, added a layer of blue glittery handmade decorative paper onto which I layered a hand cut Christmas tree made from green paste paper which is embellished with a gold glitter glue garland and red glitter glue ornaments.  Added a yellow punchie star, a little piece of brown cardstock for a trunk and a red hand stamped greeting!!  Love the way it turned out!!
RAKs are so part of the spirit of this season!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Sheet Wonder Christmas cards!

Here are the seven sets of Christmas cards I created using the One Sheet Wonder technique
- a total of 35 cards in all!!
I have blogged the details here, here and here.  
I thought you would like to see all the cards together 
that were created using the same OSW paper.  
You can check the bottom of this posting to find the One Sheet Wonder cutting 
template I used for these cards.  


OSW - Christmas - two rectangles - 5" x 1 7/8"

Here are the cards I made with my two 5" x 1 7/8" pieces of OSW.  I cut them in half and then diagonally to create four corners, being careful to cut the diagonals opposite each other so the corners would create the central diamond.  You could cut them into any configurations you wish.
 I cut a coordinating layer for mounting the triangles to and in some cases, I embossed the backing layer and for others I glued on the corner triangles and then embossed this layer.  I like the fully embossed layers better.
I created the central elements using downloaded images combined with greetings which I laser printed and then cut apart using an oval Nestibilities.   The images were all downloaded from CLKER.  Once cut, I watercoloured the images and then added some sort of embellishment - seam binding, ribbon, bakers twine, etc.  A couple of them have a small metal ring which was a spiral clip which I cut in two because it was too large in its original size.  The ovals were added to the card fronts using 3D foam tape.
Click on the images to see the details!!
You can see all the cards made with this One Sheet Wonder technique in this post!


OSW - Christmas - 3.75" x 3.5"

Each sheet of OSW yielded one rectangle that measured 3.75" x 3.5" which I cut into four uneven rectangles.  It could certainly be cut into even rectangles, strips, triangles or multiple cuts as you wish.  Each would have it own charm!!  I mounted all of them onto coordinating cardstock though I did change the card orientation as well as the position of the rectangles as I went along.  I did add embossing to some of the layers, some punchies, colour printed greetings along with stitching, staples and seambinding and thread.   Lots of fun and it helps to break up the monotony of making all the cards exactly the same.   Click on the image to see the details close up!!


OSW Christmas - two strips - 1.75" x 4.25"

Christmas cards!!  I am close to having as many as I need for this year!!

I found several sheets 8.5" x 5.5" of One Sheet Wonder decorative paper in my stash and decided to make some cards using them. You can click here here, here and here to see some of my previous OSW cards created with stamped decorative paper.

 Here and here are some made with printed decorative paper instead which makes them really fast and easy!!
You can find all the cards and the OSW cutting template here.

These cards all started with strips of OSW decorative paper that were 4.25" x 1.75" which I cut into four sections.  I chose to cut them into uneven geometric shapes but you could certainly cut them into rectangles, squares or strips instead.  I cut a layer slightly larger in a coordinating colour to back them.

 I colour printed greetings that coordinated, mounted and embellished them in a variety of ways adding ribbon or seam binding.  I added some small snowflake punchies and rhinstones as well and stitched a few with my sewing machine.
I used my border punch (MS) to embellish the tags as well as the coloured layer in several of the cards. 
Click the images to get a better look!!

I find it hard to make lots of the very same!!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JOY Christmas cards

 A few more Christmas cards!!  I started with the half trees that were left over from cutting out trees for these fabric collage cards and stitched the eight half trees into four whole trees by zigzagging them together down the middle.  I added a zigzag garland in red and then used straight stitch to attach gold sequins over the garland.  I was looking for a cool but subtle background paper for them in my stash and eventually resorted to creating my own using*" leftover paint paper".  I added some music notes (SU) at the top and bottom and a script (IO) in between in a beige coloured ink.  To give it all a bit of a collage look I stamped a portion of a collage stamp in the upper left hand corner - just enough to get a bit of colour up there.  Really happy with the way the background paper turned out!!  I stitched my trees to the background paper using green thread and then added a gold sequin with a gold brad to top the trees. I used a sharpie marker and scribbled in a trunk.  I stitched this element to my red card front on my sewing machine using beige thread.  That really worked out well!!
I added JOY in little red punched out letters.  My daughter had this punch set - one handle along with 30 or so little punch inserts - she was liquidating from a lot she purchased a while back.  They were the perfect size for this card!!  I will be hanging on to this set!!
 I love my little imperfect fabric trees on these lovely subtle backgrounds and the perfectly beautiful little red JOY!

*What is "leftover paint paper"??  I always apply any leftover paint from any project to paper - either clean white paper, the insides of bags or papers, junk mail or newspaper or any other sheet of left over paper I happen to have on hand.  This particular one was created when I was painting trim in our last house.  I just brushed out onto the paper as much paint as I could from my brush then cleaned up the brush.   I keep adding paint to the papers until I am happy with them and then they get incorporated into art.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - Self compassion

 Here are my journal pages for Week 3 of my Brene Brown on line Ecourse!!  I am two weeks behind but so be it!!  This week we had to find photos of times in our lives or experiences when we were hard on ourselves.  We will now show our selves compassion and whisper to our former selves (which are still inside us) what we needed to hear then.
I started this page by adding my photos and then the wording in two fonts that seemed to go with the words and laser printed the page.  I added
colour using pencil crayons.  Not my usual medium but that's what seemed to be calling me today.  I added frames around the photos and created a heart.  I added little scalloped circles to which I will add my compassionate whispers.  I created another page to record the compassionate whispers that I need to hear as I move forward.  I used my Creative Lettering book as inspiration and hand lettered the title and the definition along with some doodly lines to keep things organized using a fine tipped Sharpie. I coloured inside and between the letters with the same pencil crayons I used on my first page.  I love the little heart at the end of "whispers".
I am really enjoying the art journalling part of this class!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Birdie Tag Calendar

On one of my groups I have joined a tag calendar swap so I created this calendar for my swap partner!
I have used birdie artwork that I created in 2009 for a 2010 calendar which simply never happened!!  I have been storing this artwork in a file folder since then.
Recently, my sister Sylvia was over and she suggested using them for a 4" x 6" calendar because they were square - they would work perfectly.  She photographed them and created the calendar. It turned out wonderfully!!! You can check it out here.  (third down)  She has been making 4"x 6" photo calendars for several years now with her own photographs.  She has two new ones for 2014 - Garden and Nature. They are the first two on her calendar page.

 I created the little collages after I finished these birdie ATCs.  I started with squares of cardstock, layered on torn papers for the backgrounds adding watercolour and sponging as needed.  Added my little birdies with their wire tails and embellished each appropriately for the twelve months.

With the artwork already created it only took a few days to get this calendar ready to go.  I cut six tags - 8.5" x 4" - from black cardstock, stamped them with background stamps - one definition and the other script (SU) using white pigment ink - one on the fronts, the other on the backs.  I downloaded a 2014 calendar off the internet (12 months on one page), laser printed it and cut apart the months.  

  I glued the calendars on the bottom portion of the tags, added the birdie artwork above them then stitched on a length of white ribbon using black thread on my sewing machine.  I added some little black diamonds (squares) over the stitching, added yellow circles above that and punched holes for hanging the pages.

The tags are double sided with Jan to June on one side and July to August on the other side.  I alternated the backgrounds to create a bit of contrast month to month.
The pages can be stacked and hung on a pin or nail.
 Alternately, they can be clipped together using a small bull clip and hung or attached to a metal surface using a magnet.  They could also be tied together using a loop of string which allows it to be hung.  At the beginning of each month the old month page can simply be flipped to the back along the loop.  This method secures all the pages to each other and avoids losing any!!
I will be creating another set of collages for next year's calendar!  I am considering using houses, hearts, flowers or quotes as my next theme!!  So many possibilities!!

This has be a very fun experience.  It has been really cool to see my art on a 4"x 6" calendar and I am really looking forward to creating some collages for next year!!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - Authenticity

I have finally found the time to search for a photo for my week two exercise!!  I was not sure how many photos I had of myself as a child but I knew I had an envelope that Mom had given me of old photos which were left over from her scrapbook.  This morning I went looking - we have moved since I last remember where it was located - and was fortunate to find it fairly quickly though not were I expected!! I had more photos that I expected!!  The assignment was to pick one - but I chose three!!  The largest one is a photo of my twin and I over thirty years ago!!  Love it!  We often take fun photos of ourselves when we are together.  The top right photo is of me pregnant with my son - days before I delivered  - with my oldest daughter.  I so loved being a Mom and so loved her cuteness!!  The black and white is of me when I was 5 years old.  We (my twin and I) had been ice fishing with Dad & Pepere (a huge privilege) and had each caught a little fish that we were showing off.  It was really special to me to have the opportunity to spend time with my family in the great outdoors!!
For the layout I cropped the photos and arranged them over a scan of some fabric paper I made and added the word "Authenticity" in a font I like!!  I have colour printed it and will journal over it in white gel pen!! Going back and looking at photos of my life has been so fun and encouraging.  So often we remember so little of the richness of our experiences and photos help us to remember more!!
So dig through your photos and see how much more you can see in them!!!  For me, it has been a life expanding experience in that I have been able to add to my remembrance of events - enrich my memories of the past.  It is also a reminder to take photos often to keep building that resource for myself and future generations.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A modified shutter Thank you card

I created this card - a modified shutter card - for a swap on AFTCM.  I found the tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers and adjusted the measurements to accommodate an 8.5" x 5.5" piece of cardstock for the base - 2 1/8" for the large sections and just over an inch for the small sections.  I scored all the folds, cut out the two sections and trimmed decorative paper to fit the panels - the grungy plum for the three large sections and bright yellow for the four little sections.  I layered a piece of waxed fabric (3.5" square) over yellow and then onto plum cardstock and stitched all the way around incorporating two lengths of seam binding in the process using bright green thread.  After the stitching, I tied the seam binding pieces together using a double knot and added a colour printed greeting punched with the Modern Label punch (SU) using 3D foam tape.  I really love how it came together and the wonderful punch of colour provided by the yellow cardstock and decorative paper.  It is off to my partner in tomorrow's mail!!
You can check out the other cards I created using waxed fabric here, here and here.


More baby cards!

These are the other set of baby cards I made up. The decorative paper is from a set of paper announcements I bought a few years ago.  Pink and green makes them just perfect for baby cards!!
I cut the original panel in two and die cut the bottom edge with a thin wavy die.  I trimmed the other edges just a little bit so they would fit nicely on my green card fronts.  I stamped the baby saying (SU) on the tags provided in the kit and added a section of ribbon which was also included.  I attached the tag using 3D foam tape and added some faux stitching along the wavy edge using a white gel pen.  It was just as easy to make them portrait as landscape.
Love making cards - baby ones are fun!!


Baby cards - Series #3

These cards will go with a few more as a gift for a new Mom.  It is always a busy time when you bring a new baby home and having cards on hand to acknowledge the gifts you receive always appreciated!!
These cards are the last in a series I started a couple of months ago.  You can check the others out here and here.  The supplies were still sitting on my desk.!!
For these cards I embossed the card fronts, added the decorative paper in several different patterns and added the embossed flowers as my main elements.  Three of them have little circular greetings on the card and the other has a colour printed greeting.
It was fun to make these cards and I was happy to be able to make good use of the supplies I had at hand.
I made a few more cards for the baby gift.  You can check them out here.


Card for a new baby!

Our neighbour's daughter had a baby last week!!  What a wonderful thing!!  It is a bit premature but both are doing well and they are already both home.  So off I went to make a baby card and for a gift I made some cards she can use to send her thank yous.
This baby card has an embossed pink card front, two pieces of decorative paper, a layered stamped image and a little border punched laser printed greeting to which I added some white thread.  It all came together fairly quickly as some of the supplies were already sitting on my desk.
You can check out the other cards in this series here and here!


Friday, November 08, 2013

Gifties on their way!

My gifties all wrapped up and on their way! I joined a Giftie Exchange - 12 Days of Christmas!!  I have Day 1 so wanted to make sure that my little packets arrived on time for the December 13 deadline.  I will be revealing the contents on December 13 once my swap partners have opened their little packets.  It was a fun project and I am looking forward to sharing with all of you what I made.  I have a few extra so I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY starting December 13 right here on my blog.  So come back and participate!!
I wrapped my little gifts in hand decorated paper which I made this summer when I sister was visiting and we took a shot at doing monoprinting.  It was lots of fun and I made several large sheets.  I cut them up into 8.5" x 5.5" pieces, folded them into three, inserted the little gift and stitched both ends with my sewing machine making sure to include my Day 1 tag in the process.  I hope they will enjoy the giftie and will be able to use the decorative paper in their creations - would work great for serendipity or collage of any kind.
So be back here on December 13 and see what I created!

(My apologies to everyone - turns out I have been an eager beaver and sent out my gifties very early!!  The deadline is December 13th for opening our Day ONE gifts so I have corrected the above info)


Train card for a special little boy!

Our grandson was two on Tuesday and we are will be celebrating with him and his family on the weekend.  I made this little train card for him - he is really into trains at the moment!!
I cut the train with one of my sister's dies a few weekends ago and made up the card this week.  The die is made by Quik Kuts and it cuts all the pieces at once.  I layered the coloured cardstock on the die so I could have all the little pieces a different colour!!  I really like the way it turned out.  I glued all the layers to each other to create the little cars then added dotted lines to them with a black sharpie to give them a bit more definition.  I used a sponged piece of blue decorative paper to create the sky behind the train and layered it onto a green card front.  I stamped the top section with "choo, choo" using an alphabet stamp set and then added the train cars by attaching them with 3D foam tape.  I added the greeting by hand.  On one of my group we have been challenged to add handwriting to our creations and because I did not have a stamp that would fit below the train I decided to give it a try.  I used a pencil to outline the letters to make sure they would all fit and then went over them with a black fine tip sharpie.  I thickened some of the lines by going over them a couple of times.  Not too bad for my first try at it. I was using "Creative Lettering" by Jenny Doh on page 100 - examplar by Lisa Engehbrecht - as a visual for my lettering.  This book has a wonderful array of cool lettering with some instructions and examples to get you started.
Looking forward to seeing everyone and giving him a hug!!


Waxed Thinking of you card

 Another card I created using a square of waxed fabric I created a while back.  I really love the bright colours on this piece of waxed fabric and I thought it would be appropriate for this "Thinking of you" card which I am sending to cheer someone's day!!
I stitched the fabric square to a dark blue layer of cardstock and added a colour printed greeting to which I had stitched some seam binding flags.  I added some stippling to the edges of my rust card before I glued the layer on.
You can check out the other cards I have made with this fabric here and here.
Have a few more to go!!


Monday, November 04, 2013

More waxed fabric cards!

A couple more cards using those squares of waxed fabric.  Pretty much the same steps - stitched my fabric square (3.5") to a coordinating card stock using coordinating thread on my sewing machine.  On the left hand card, I punched the edge with my eyelet border punch (SU), embossed it with a stitching embossing folder (CB), layered this whole element on my yellow card front and added a colour printed greeting.  On the right hand side card I added some coordinating seam binding as I stitched the waxed fabric to the coordinating layer, glued the whole thing to a card front and added the colour printed greeting using 3D foam tape.
Was really fun to play with this waxed fabric!!


Waxed fabric thank you cards

Here are some cards I made with the fabric I waxed with wax crayons a while back.
I started by stitching my little waxed fabric square (3.5") to a coordinating card stock layer with coordinating thread on my sewing machine.  On the left hand card, I added a tied piece of seam binding on the lower section and a layered colour printed greeting.  On the right hand card, I embossed the cardstock layer with a button embossing folder, layered the whole element onto an embossed card front and added a colour printed greeting.  It was fun to create cards that look quite different using pieces cut from the same piece of fabric.  I am really enjoying the challenge of trying different techniques!!  I will try something really different next time I use wax crayons on fabric - all sorts of ideas in my head.