Sunday, April 28, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge #18-ATCs

Hello! Just a quick post to let everyone know about the new challenge at ABAC.

"It's time for a new Challenge...  Challenge 18 is all about "A.T.C.'s". For this challenge create anA.T.C. {artist trading card}. We are going to have an ATC Extravaganza. So for this challenge we would like EVERYONE to make ATC's. This tiny format is wonderful and lends itself to making mini masterpieces."

Susan has included some interesting info about ATCs on the challenge site if you have any questions or just want to learn more about them!  If you are not familiar with ATCs, they are small pieces (2 1/2 x 3 1/3) of art.  You can do just about anything with them; add them to cards or scrapbook pages, decorate a bag or box, or just keep them as an inspirational piece!

I have to admit that the size was a bit of a challenge for me.  I'm used to a much larger canvas!  But once I got started, it was a lot of fun!  My project is about half finished right now, but will be ready for posting next week.

I hope you will play along and link up with us!  Have a wonderful week and happy crafting!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenges- April Showers

Hi! I am so glad you are visiting today! It has been a very wet ending to my week, which ties in perfectly with the current challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges! Our theme is April showers and with our rainy weather, there was plenty of inspiration. I really hope you will play along with us this week!

My project is not at all what I had originally considered when I saw this theme.  I was thinking umbrellas and flowers. You know, April Showers brings May Flowers... Well, that didn't exactly happen here.  I had my umbrella stamp and several different flower stamps pulled out on my table and was hoping to brainstorm until I had time to create on Friday, so it wasn't lack of planning for once.  Warning: This is a super lengthy post! If you want to bypass my thought process, please feel free to scroll down to the picture!

On Wednesday, my preschoolers were using watercolors on coffee filters and there were several children that were experimenting with the absorbency of the filters and being surprised by the blending of colors.  This is not the first time I have done this with my children, so I knew that there would be a lot of different results based on how much paint was used, painting technique, and frequency of cleaning the brush.  What I didn't expect was the absolutely gorgeous blending of blue and green that one of the kids achieved. As I watched the student paint and saw the project coming together, a light bulb went on! I was NOT going to be using umbrellas and flowers; I was going to watercolor a background with blues and greens!!!  It was fabulous in my head and I could hardly wait to try this.  

As luck would have it, the rain freed up my Thursday evening and I was able to find some crafty time.  I pulled out a piece of watercolor paper, grabbed my reinkers in blues and greens, and dug out my aqua painter.  I really had no clue how to begin. I am sure that for those who are artistically educated, there is a process of layering and blending that should occur, but my art background is art history, not art technique...  So I started with a lighter blue and kind of painted and smeared the color around.  Then I added a darker blue in a few spots.  Adding the green proved to be a little trickier since it turned everything green (hmm... probably should have done that color first or used yellow instead...), but I just went back and painted more blue over the top until I liked the way it looked.  At this point, my paper was pretty wet, but also full of beautiful colors.  

While the paper dried a bit, I decided to add a rain quote and wondered what would it look like if I wrote on the paper before it completely dried.  So I added my quote and actually giggled as the dark blue began to weep into the background.  Unfortunately, the weeping was nonexistent in several spots, so I lightly touched the words with a damp paintbrush.  Success!  But here is when I began to panic a little.  I loved how everything looked so far, but also knew it needed a little more, but I didn't want to ruin what I had... I really hate this stage!!!  So I inked up the flower silhouette stamp from Love and Sympathy, using pool party (very light blue) and stamped a corner. Not so bad... so I added more along the bottom.  Now the top half looked off balance. Grrr...  I placed a variety of embellishments on the top but nothing seemed to fit  Then my eyes settled on my container of glitter glues, more specifically, a light shade of blue.  I held my breath as I made a few dots of glue on the top.  At this point, DD #1, who was watching with great interest (possibly hoping to catch a glimpse of her mother having a breakdown or throwing a fit), commented "It looks like rain drops." Perfect! So I randomly added a few more dots and put the paper up to dry.  Friday morning, I woke with the hope that I would still like what I made and was pleasantly surprised to see that the glitter glue had dried with just the right amount of shimmer to add interest without overpowering the colors.  My ultimate compliment came when DH walked in the door and said "You made that? That's pretty cool!"  It is now framed and hanging in my living room, to remind me that sometimes, even in art, you have to feel the rain in order to recreate it!


I tried both indoor and outdoor shots, but neither captured the green properly.  The muddy-like spots are actually a very pretty shade of dark green.  If you click on the photo, you can see the glitter 'rain drops' and the splatters of blue I added with the color spritzer.

I hope you are inspired to share your version of April Showers with us! Have a wonderful week and happy crafting!

Project Recipe: watercolor paper, Inks-marina mist, pacific point, pool party, island indigo, midnight muse, wild wasabi, Stamp Set-Love and Sympathy, Accessories-aqua painter, color spritzer

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anything But a Card Challenge 17- April Showers

Hello! I am popping in to let everyone know about the new challenge at Anything But a Card.  We are celebrating the arrival of spring here (finally) and ABAC is also using this as the theme for the next two weeks! April Showers is our theme and this could turn out to be quite fun.  You could do the rain and umbrella thing or really stretch the boundaries.  Here is what Susan has to say about our challenge...

It's time for a new Challenge... Spring is arriving {hopefully} so Challenge 17 brings "APRIL SHOWERS". For this challenge April Showers - create anything with a WATER theme including mermaids, beaches, seas, the color of seas/oceans, thunderstorms, rainbows, streans, rivers, ponds, snow, spring showers, umbrella, fountains, waterfalls. We are sure that this theme will have you drenched with creative energy!

So be sure to stop by and see the inspiring things created by the design team and I hope to see your interpretation of April Showers linked up with us as well!

Have a great day and happy crafting!

PS- A note to my regular followers, I am still here! A major battle with seasonal allergies is slowly being won and I will be back to visiting and posting very soon!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Anything But a Card- Inspiration should be easy right?!

Today begins week two of Challenge #16 at Anything But a Card and oh what a challenge we have this time!

"For Challenge 16 we want to see what are you "INSPIRED BY". Create something inspired by someone you admire... it can be anyone – and it doesn't have to be art related. For example, Carla admires Thomas Merton; and she might make a collage of his quotes. You could do something inspired by Tim Holtz, by techniques or... even the gorgeous view out your window. The possibilities are endless!"

Now you would think that with a challenge as open as this one,  I would have no trouble at all coming up with a project.  Well, you would be wrong! There are so many people and things that inspire me and I really wanted this to be a special tribute to my inspiration.  So, for over two weeks I mulled over different ideas and quite honestly on Friday morning, I still did not have a clue what I was going to do.  Finally I pulled out my quotes journal.  I actually started this as my very first design team project for ABAC.  As I find quotes that inspire me, I write them on post it notes and place them on a page in the journal. Then as I find time or inspiration, I complete a page and write the quote somewhere on the page.  I came across the quote, "Hurry always empties the soul." by Ann Voskamp and thought " appropriate that here I am at the last minute trying to come up with a project and run across this quote."  My soul should be quite full since I waited until the very last second to create my page! :)  

After finishing this, the thought struck me that not only did the quote inspire me to do something, but ABAC inspired me to start the journal in the first place.  So here is my Inspiration Project quite fittingly inspired by ABAC!

As I was looking through my stamps, I came across the Hello, Doily image. The intricate doily struck me as something that would take immense patience to create, especially for someone with no knitting or crochet skills. I decided it would be the perfect background.  After stamping it, I remembered a very special box of goodies I won from my dear blogging sister, Lisa.  Among a wonderful collection of Christmas goodies were some lovely crocheted snowflakes.  I chose one that seemed quite 'doily-like' and proceeded to grunge it up with some inks (hope you don't mind, Lisa!).  I also added a button and some linen thread to complete the whole hand crafted theme.  

I really think this page hints back to a time when people weren't in such a rush to do 500 different things at once.  It also reminds me of evenings that I spent as a little girl learning to do embroidery.  My Mom was always reminding me to take my time and slowly pull my thread tight. Most of the time I followed her advice, but occasionally I would get in a hurry and end up with a big ol' nasty knot.  Nothing empties the embroidering soul faster than a nasty knot!  Amazingly enough, this is the one sewing skill that wasn't completely lost on me! I can cross stitch and embroider almost as well as my sewing Mother and sister. Just don't ask me to do French knots-I hate those things!

I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to inspiration and that no matter what your inspiration is please consider sharing it with us at Anything But a Card!  Happy crafting!

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Little Digital Play Time

Well, hello! I am so glad you stopped by! Especially since my sporadic posting hasn't given you much to look at lately... I am starting to wrap up my final year of teaching and while my stress level has gone down a little, there are a lot of things that need to be handled before I leave. So bear with me if I'm not around as much.  I promise that by the end of May, you will be seeing a lot more activity on my litttle ol' blog!

I do have a little something to share with you.  I recently signed up for a MDS class with my upline, Kelly.  A few of us meet every other month and work on 3 different digital projects.  This is the card front that we made. I had never used the digital card format because I wasn't sure about printing it out and having that be my card.  Kelly shared with us that she sizes her cards a little smaller than  a standard card (4 1/4 x 5 1/2) so that she can mount the digital print onto cardstock. Now, perhaps many of you are thinking this is not such a revelation, but it really opened the door for me!  I ended up using this idea not only for this card front...

which simply was matted onto a piece of soft suede and sent to my brother in law for his birthday, but I also created two Easter card fronts for my niece and nephew, made them even smaller, then added ribbon and a bow to my nieces, and added buttons to my nephews.  

Of course, I thought about taking pictures of the completed cards after I gave them away... so you are only seeing the digital fronts.  Sorry... 

I think I will use this idea for cards that are being mailed and need to be fairly flat.  It's also a great way to make cards when you are short on time and can't pull out all of your crafting supplies!

I hope you enjoyed my little experiments today and in case you didn't know, Stampin' UP has recently announced that they are making MDS a lot more affordable! It is now only $19.95 to purchase the full software program, and believe me, that is an amazing deal with a lot of digital material included in the price!  This is the exact same program that was previously offered for $79.95!!!

Well, I'm off to finish some laundry so my family has clothes to wear tomorrow... They are SOOOO needy!!!  :)  Have a wonderful weekend and happy crafting!

Oh! I almost forgot! I will be back on Sunday with a project that has been cooking my brain!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Hello! Just popping in to share some wonderful savings! Stampin' UP is offering FREE shipping on any orders placed April 6-8!  So if there is anything on your wish list or if you just need a few little things, be sure to visit my online store here!

There is also a Color Refresh taking place. So if you love any of the soon to be retired colors, be sure to stock up before they are gone!

I will be back tomorrow with a crafty post and hopefully will be more successful at blogging next week! Have a wonderful day and happy crafting!