Monday, September 30, 2013

Dusting off the cobwebs...

Good grief!  Did you think I disappeared?!  I had to dust the virtual cobwebs off of my blog last weekend when I posted my project for ABAC, and honestly hadn't realized it had been THAT long since I posted anything, and here I am a week later, finally posting again!

My new job is going great and both girls are adjusting well to their new schools, and DH is being incredibly patient with my complete lack of organization at the moment-hence the neglected blog.  I have been doing a few (hundred) crafty things for my nephew's upcoming wedding, but I didn't want to post those yet.  Other than that, my life has been one big battle to keep the laundry from suffocating family members in an avalanche, and wrangling the girls into keeping enough clean dishes for our meals.  It has been so busy that when I did finally sit down on the couch, Shadow took the opportunity to play lap dog and tried to keep me there.  Some nights I did let him win! :)

I thought the last weekend would offer me a complete day without any obligations, and while DH slept (worked nights) and the girls vegged out in front of the tv, I could manage to squeeze in some much needed crafting time.  Instead, my Mom called me at 9 am and asked if I still wanted the volunteer trees that were growing in their landscaping.  My brother was there doing some yard work and was going to get rid of them, so instead of crafting, I played arborist and dug up 5 trees and about 15 bushes.  This was followed by an afternoon of replanting them, and since I was already sweaty and very dirty, I mowed the lawn.  This weekend was a local festival and we spent most of the weekend enjoying the food, games, visiting, parade, and even a 5K (I walked it...).

Sunday, after the parade, the clouds decided they were holding all the water they could stand and it started raining.  This put an end to our last trip through the booths and watching the closing events.  Instead, we came back home and I spent the afternoon getting crafty!

I am so far behind on my Christmas card goal, and really needed to make a few cards, and we won't even talk about my scrapbooking...did I do any of that?? No...  I spent over an hour just organizing and clearing off my table, and then I finished up some cards that were all but done.  I decided to work on two different Paper Pumpkin kits and I think the simplicity of the kits was just what I needed to get my mojo going.  Today I came home from work and made a scrapbook page that will be posted later on.

But I'm sure you didn't just come here to read about my very interesting time :)  So here is one of the PP kit cards that I made.

The four cards from this kit came together so quickly and I even did a little stamping on the envelope to make it all matchy!

Well, I am still doing battle with the laundry and the family would really like to have clean clothes to wear tomorrow, so I will leave you with a thank you for sticking with me and a wish that you are finding plenty of time to play and be inky!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ABAC Challenge-Hit the books!

I want to start off apologizing to my fellow teamies at ABAC!  I have not even introduced the latest challenge and here I am sharing for it's last week... So, a little late, I am letting you know there's a challenge at Anything But a Card Challenges and it's all about books!  You can alter a book, make art with a page from a book, create something inspired by your favorite book, and any other wonderful things you can think of that relates to books!  The design team has already shared two weeks worth of fabulous inspiration, so I hope you stop by and check them out!

Oh... I can not tell you how hard this challenge was for me!  While I am ever in awe of all of the beautiful altered books that I see, I have never been able to bring myself to actually tear up a book.  My love of reading and books began early in my childhood and has happily continued over the years.  I love finding an old book in an antiques shop, smelling the pages, and wondering how many eyes have poured over the pages.  I've also been known to finish a much loved book or series, and suffer a slight depression that my relationship with the characters has ended.

So you can see how this puts me at a of books or love of creating...  Fortunately, during a recent attempt to purge a few more things from my overcrowded home, I came across an old dictionary and some very neglected books that really were beyond being saved.  Rather than pitching them (which would have helped my cleaning efforts), I moved them onto the shelf with my 'recycle/repurpose' items.  It's probably best that this happened without any witnesses since I had just finished reprimanding the entire household about our need to get rid of all of the 'junk' that doesn't have a purpose anymore... Technically, I'm not deeming myself a hypocrite because they do have a purpose, right??

I had already spend some time on Pinterest looking at book inspired art and was amazed at some of the intricate folding and cutting that made sculptural masterpieces.  I knew that this was well beyond my level, but I did find several other inspirations that I pinned for future use.  One of my favorite techniques is covering all but a few choice words with paint and ink, and then adding artwork to enhance the visible words.  This is what I chose for my design team inspiration piece.

I used a page from a very mistreated Pocahontas book, and as I was painting the base, my DD (former owner of the book) freaked out on me wanting to know WHY I would cut up a book.  Little did she know that Sarcastic Mom was the mode of the day, and I responded without batting an eye "Oh, and on the floor being stepped on and ripped up is more appropriate treatment of a book?". No response to that one...  Which left me sitting in peace to paint around the great quote from the book.  As a tribute to the former owner of the book, I used purple to add a splash of color to an otherwise neutral palette.  I love the ultra subtle leaves on the background, and the glittery butterflies were added to tie into the 'listen with your heart' theme.

I realized a little too late that my initial paint coat was a little too thick in most spots.  I really wanted a few more words gently bleeding through. Live and learn...

I hope I have inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new too, especially if you are a book lover like me.  At least that poor book had a small piece salvaged and treasured!

Project Recipe: vintage white & purple cow acrylic paint, crumb cake & soft suede ink, Lovely as a Tree and Gently Falling stamp sets, heart to heart punch, asst. stickles, purple burlap fibers

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cha cha cha changes....

I'm channeling my inner Bowie today to announce that there are some big changes happening at Anything But a Card Challenges.  We are still continuing with our fun challenges, but with a twist!  The challenges will now go for THREE weeks to allow time for our muses to properly kick in.  On the fourth week, we will have an In the Spotlight post that features a member of the design team.  That team member will introduce their very own mini challenge that will run for a week.

Kicking off our In the Spotlight is none other than the ultra fabulous, Julie.  I am forever finding my jaw hitting the keyboard as I view her blog!  Julie can pull inspiration from anything, and her creations always have such an emotional edge that can't be overlooked.  Add into that pot, the fact that she is one of the sweetest ladies on the planet, and I know you will love her as much as we do!!

Julie has some fabulous journals for your viewing pleasure and a few inspirational words as well!  I hope you will visit the challenge blog and Julie this week!!

Today is Labor Day in the US and I am going to disconnect for the afternoon and spend some much needed fun time with my family! I hope you have a fabulous week! Happy crafting!!