Whatever Wednesday... got 5 bucks?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What will people do for five dollars? You'd be surprised... check out this website. Some funny, amazing, and downright puzzling services are offered. Need someone to proofread your english paper? Need someone to design a logo? Need someone to call and sing to you in a munchkin voice? Need someone to make you a duct tape wallet? It's all there. Really.

Just 6 days left to enter the contest!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't forget about the mini-album contest HERE. You can win a hand-made album by me, plus a $22.95 stamp set. All it takes is a picture of your album, inspired by my online tutorial. If you're having any trouble posting the pictures, I don't want you to miss out. EMAIL me your photos and I'll post them for you.

If you'd like to tune in to the final class on ustream for this album, it will be liveWednesday, June 30 at 7 pm, pacific time. Class will last about one hour. Hope to see you there! Don't forget to set up your ustream account (it's free) so you can chat online. I love my chatters!
Note: the original class date was Tuesday, June 29, but there were technical difficulties. The new date is Wed., June 30, same time.

Miss the class? Want to see the first three? Go to my channel and click on videos.

Another Bleach Technique

I know what you're thinking. "Wow, how'd she get another video out so fast?"

If I had a nickel for everytime someone leaves me a comment to make more videos, I'd have...well, a lot of nickels. I'd love to have a hundred videos on my channel, but the editing and shooting on my videos is a bit more complex than some of the more prolific producers on youtube, and I do all the shooting and editing myself so it's just going to be slow. But I've finally found a shortcut! I filmed two videos at the same time. This saved me so much time in set-up, why didn't I think of it before? I only had to set up the lights, background and supplies once. Not to mention the time it saved to do my nails, hair and make-up for just one video session. (You do NOT want to see me without those three essential components to the video).

The editing still takes the same amount of time, but the shooting schedule was so much shorter this time I am pleased as punch!

Oh, wait, so you weren't asking how I made the video so fast? You were asking "how did she get a husband who is such an amazing actor?" I'm just lucky I guess.

Magical Bleach Stamping

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stamping with bleach. It's like a magic trick, I tell ya. Well, a magic trick that's kind of stinky. But still, it's pretty darned amazing the first time, watching the image appear before your eyes. Or should I say disappear before your eyes?

This technique is probably the most controversial I've ever done. Stamping with bleach is so scary for some people, that it's best to just skip this video if you're terrified at the very thought of it. I can only tell you from my direct experience, that I've never had any damage to my stamps or scrapbooks from using bleach. And I've used it a LOT. You'll see in the video, I recommend stamping in a well-ventilated area, rinsing your stamps immediately after use, and allowing the project to dry thoroughly before using in your scrapbooks.

Here's the bonus:  after a session of bleach stamping, your family will think you've been doing laundry all day! Shhhh... it's our little secret.

I'm having so much fun!

Friday, June 25, 2010

If you haven't checked out my new ustream show, you just gotta! I've had a total blast this week, after broadcasting this past Tuesday and Thursday evenings, I've discovered that I absolutely LOVE this way of teaching. It's LIVE, so it's very different from my youtube videos (which I won't quit doing anytime soon). Since it's live, there's no editing, no do-overs and the bloopers aren't saved for the end. I'm keeping it "real time", so that nothing is done in advance, the projects are completed while you watch. The shows are about an hour long, so there's lots to take in during that time. I try to share lots of tips and tricks throughout, and sometimes I goof up and have to fix it, right on camera. (gasp!)

My favorite part about ustream is being able to interact with the audience during the show. You can tune in and watch live, or watch the recorded episodes, by just visiting the show page. But if you'd like to chat, you'll want to set up a ustream account (it takes just a minute). That way you can ask me questions... or heckle me. On second thought, don't do that.

I'll be wrapping up the last pages of the Bella Mini Album (pages 7-10) on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:00 pacific time. Visit my show page to RSVP if you plan to attend. If you're not a member of ustream the RSVP will take you to the right place to register. If you'd rather just pop in and view without signing up, you can do that too! You can also watch all three of the past episodes from my home page, just click on "videos" to access them.

Here's what I've done on my ustream show in the last three episodes...

A special shout-out and huge THANK YOU to the viewers who have joined me live on ustream so far. Big hugs to those who've contributed by chatting with me, it's so nice to "hear" from you!

After I've wrapped up this mini-album series, I need some suggestions for the next class on ustream. I'm thinking of a canvas wall-hanging, or a banner like this one (but not the same). Let me know what you'd like to see by leaving me a comment below!

P.S. The Mini Album Contest is still open! See the post below for info, can't wait to see YOUR work!

Mini Album contest, and a LIVE class!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The project that just keeps on growing! First it started as a mini album for the monthly classes I teach in my home. Students made the cover in class, then took the remaining supplies home to finish their own inner pages, with a promise from me to upload instructions for some cool techniques to create the inner pages, if they got stuck on their own. As long as I was going to make the inner pages, I might as well make them into a video series on youtube, right? Well, that took just about forever as everyone patiently (or not so patiently) waited for the entire series to finish up.

And now.... I'm revisiting the same project, with different papers, as a ustream video series. So if you'd like to follow along and make your project in real time, you can visit my show page and tune in to the live shows or, if you miss them, each episode will be recorded and available to watch on your schedule. These are not quick videos, they are real time, and un-edited, so you'll have to suffer through my incessant chatter and lots of um's and uh's. If you choose to watch during a live broadcast, you'll be able to interact with me by chat. Sign up for a ustream account so you can chat, and while you're there become a follower of my show. Next live class: Tuesday June. 22, 7 pm pacific time.

For supply list, click HERE. For cutting guide, click HERE.

Mini Album Contest!
Enter your album using the link widget below for the chance to win the finished Bella album from me (that's right, I'm giving away the album I'm making in the live ustream series), plus the Cherished Flourishes stamp set used in both this album and the Adore Mini Album (retail $22.95). So you'll win a finished album AND a stamp set! All it takes is a picture of your finished album to win, so give it a shot!

Here are the rules:
1. Create your album and post your photo(s) online. You can post them anywhere that is publicly viewable. Your blog, flickr, photobucket, online photo album. Make sure you provide a direct link to your posted photo (copy the entire URL address while you have your photo page up, then paste it into the space where it says "blog address" in the inlinkz form below.) When linking to your blog, you must link to the actual post, not just the blog address or you'll be disqualified for the contest. Sorry, I have to do it!.
2. Use whatever supplies you want, or have on hand. Any brand, any pattern, any size. You just have to use at least one technique that was inspired by my original design, and it must be a mini album.
3. Contest will be open until Monday, July 5th. I will choose my favorite top ten and post the results. The top ten will all receive a hand-stamped card from me. The final winner of the grand prize will be chosen by a reader poll here on my blog.

This is my first time using the inlinkz widget, so I'm hoping it will go smoothly for all those who enter the contest. Click on the blue button below to get started, for questions you can click on the "?" button. If you get really stuck, leave a comment with the address of your picture, or email me the photo. 

UPDATE: Just tested the link out, you can use facebook photos by copying the public link. It's located at the bottom of the page, below your photo when you're viewing it. Good luck!

Did you make one? Are you gonna?

Friday, June 18, 2010

If you followed along on the video tutorial series and created a mini album using some of the techniques, it's almost time to share! I'm working on a measurement guide, for those of you who have asked, so if you haven't made an album yet because you are timid about "winging it", I will have it posted online by Monday. It won't be all fancy-schmanzy, just a basic guide with sizes listed, so you'll still need to watch the series for the how-to's on the techniques (I can't do everything for you guys, now can I?)

There will be a contest for those who post their mini album photos, with an awesome prize for the winner! Check on Monday for details!

DIY Shoes

If you have a daughter in elementary school, you've probably been asked for those fancy sneakers with the rhinestones on the toes. We can't get through a morning cartoon without a commercial for them. My seven year old has been begging, but who wants to spend $40 on a pair of shoes for a kid who's growing like a weed, and splashes through mud puddles whenever she gets a chance?

But these plain ones from Wal-Mart, which are less than $5, are just not going to cut it. Fabulously Artsy mom to the rescue! Able to transform a plain pair of tennis shoes into one-of-a-kind masterpieces!
Thanks to an overflowing craft room full of paints, sparkles and glues, my daughter has some pretty sweet shoes. DIY is always better. Bling it on.

Supplies used:
Aleene's Jewel-it Glue
Rhinestones (unknown source)
Black Sharpie Marker
Acrylic Paints: Lumiere by Jacquard, Folk Art, Zim Prints
Textile Medium: Folk Art (mix with the acrylic paint)
Glitter: Close to My Heart, Martha Stewart

Backstage Tour

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A "behind the scenes" look at my studio set-up for video shoots.

It's very glamorous, working in the video industry. Personal assistants, high tech equipment and sophisticated studio sets.

And now... back to reality.

For lighting, I currently use five clamp lights with 100 watt daylight spectrum fluorescent bulbs. I say "currently" because I'm always messing with my lights, in search of a better system that won't cost me a couple hundred bucks. Parchment paper clipped over the lamps diffuses the harsh shadows. Parchment paper is used for cooking (great under a frozen pizza!) so it won't burn.

I usually use a black background for my videos, I like the contrast it provides between my project and hands as I demonstrate. When stamping with acrylic stamps, you need a cushion or pad under your surface, mine is hidden under the tablecloth. The only drawback to my black background is that it absorbs light, so I have to really over-compensate with my lighting to make sure my video isn't too dark. That and the fact that every spec of stray glitter shows up, so I often have little twinkles of reflecting light by the time my shoot is over... even when I'm not making a project with glitter, the darned stuff manages to make an appearance.

This photo was taken just after finishing up the demonstration portion of two upcoming videos. As you can see, it's a messy process. Everything needs to be in reach but out of camera shot, so I have this little island of clean in the middle of a mountain of chaotic craft supplies. I'm trying to get faster at my production, so I'm shooting more than one show at a time, to eliminate the time-consuming set-up and tear down. On to the next step, re-lighting for my "talking head" portions.

Hope you enjoyed the backstage tour!

A Card for a Special Young Lady

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm working on my next video, showing bleach with dye inks. This card is a prototype, I'll make a similiar one in the video, using different papers. This particular card is going to a very special fan whom I've had the pleasure to meet online. She's just 10 years old and lives in the Philippines, and can't buy Close to My Heart stamps because they're only sold in USA and Canada. So I'm sending her a little set along with this card, just for being such a sweetie, and I'm pretty darned impressed that such a young fan reached out and contacted me.

Thanks, Teacher!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Last day of school today, and I needed a quick project to thank my youngest daughter's teacher, Mrs. Vessels. My little Jessica LOOOOVES her first grade teacher, just can't get enough of her.

I decorated this little recipe box using the Cherry-O papers and a large paper flower. The center of the flower is a "lollipop" style flower, just punched circles, distressed and layered. I added the handle on top by hot-gluing a strip of brown canvas so that the raw ends wouldn't show, and added a ribbon. Then I punched holes in the top and added brads. Filled the box with Almond Roca (yum!) and added a thank you card. Mrs. Vessels tells me she is planning to reorganize her recipe cards this summer, and needed a new box. Score one for the Stamp Goddess!

Whatever Wednesday... Camping with Dad

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My kids may not realize how lucky they are. Take this great camping spot in Hell's canyon... but unless you have a jet boat or an airplane, you can't get here.

Don't Blink

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It happened so fast. Seems like such a short time ago I took this little girl in for her first day of kindergarten, and anxiously waited for the bus to come home and bring her back safely to me at the end of the day.

Melissa, my oldest child, graduated from high school on Sunday. We're so proud of her. As the oldest of four, we all learned a lot about raising a teenager and all the bumps in the road that come along with it. But in the last year, the road smoothed out and we discovered this amazing, talented and determined young woman. She grew her wings, and is ready to fly.

Everyday Inspiration - Inspired by a shoe?!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My latest video, just for fun!

So, what wacky thing inspired you?

And check out the Fantabulous Cricut blog. They're featuring my paper cupcake video, and giving away a Cricut Opposites Attract cartridge. Free stuff is very inspiring.

Same, But Different

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Round two of THIS mini album. This time I've used the Passages level two papers, stickease and the matching accessories, Passages Marks. See all these products HERE. Same cuts, same layout (well, one photo mat has been moved) as the Splendor album, but look how different it is! Sometimes things just come together so well, I just want to hug myself.

Special thanks to Denise Anderson Turley for the original inspiration. She presented me with a gorgeous mini book at Creative University, and her book used the same technique of sealing the center accordian page to make a large pocket. Thanks for the brilliant idea, Denise!

Whatever Wednesday with a Winner!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm all choked up after reading all the wonderful comments everyone left. I wish I could send stamp sets to each and every one of you, thank you so much for all the compliments! I'm so glad to have inspired so many, and that you enjoy my "teaching with humor" approach.

Without further ado, the winner of the stamp sets, chosen by random.org, is Melissa! Here's what Melissa wrote:

Melissa said...
I love this book and my favorite page is the
last page with the masking technique :))
thanks for sharing

May 31, 2010 5:53 PM

Congratulations to you, Melissa, please contact me with your mailing address so that I can send you the fabulous prize you've won! You have until Saturday to claim your prize, so I'm hoping you'll be checking in with me soon!

And now, for Whatever Wednesday... 'cuz I'm a mini van mom. I'm glamorous like that.

A Summer Mini Album

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This 6"x6" album is so sweet and sassy. And it's so simple, you wouldn't believe it!
My monthly "Creative Escape" classes will be making their choice of this book or another design featuring the Passages paper pack. Don't worry, I'll share the other album soon. This album uses Splendor level 2 paper and Splendor My Stickease, along with the matching Brads. I love the fabric covered ones, they're gorgeous!

The center is a large pocket to hold a pull-out page.

The back page has two tags for more photos and journaling. I love my interactive elements!

I've been toying with the idea of a live on-line class, and this album might be the perfect project. I don't know, would you show up for a free online class to learn how to make this little cutey? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!