Sealed with a Kiss

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last night's ustream class was a hoot. I have a new hi-def webcam with auto-focus so the show is so much better when you can see it clearly. The techniques I demonstrated in this card are box-pleated ruffles with copy paper (yes, just plain ol' copy paper!) and a very special embossing technique... let's just say I had to get up close and personal with my cardstock to make the pink kiss print.

Note: I added a few improvements to the card shown above, after finishing the class video, so it looks a tad different. Another row of rhinestones on the bottom, and I re-kissed the cardstock. In the class I kept laughing (from embarassment) and I thought my lip print looked more like Joan Rivers, less like Pamela Anderson. If you try the technique, you need to practice your pucker!

Whatever Wednesday

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's a fine line between odd family photo and compelling artwork.

Funky Flowers

Monday, July 26, 2010

Need a custom-made accent for a scrapbook page or card? Lollipop flowers are so easy, and you can use any paper or cardstock for a perfect match to your project. See the how-to video here.
Remember to tune in Wednesday, July. 28th for my next live show on ustream. Showtime at 7 pm pacific, 8 pm mountain, 9 pm central, 10 pm eastern.

Crafty to the tips of my fingers

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am back from vacation and can't wait to get Fabulously Artsy again. I was enjoying the sun and water on the Pend O'Reille river in a river-front house that my husband's family gathers at every summer. A week of swimming, boating, catching up with family and relaxing. From Friday's post, you saw that I had almost no art supplies on vacation, but my inner stamp goddess wouldn't take a break. Had to create something, so I got busy on my nails. After I'd two-tone painted and glittered them, it still wasn't enough, apparently. So, I added a little white and yellow paint. Man oh man, I was fancy.

When I have no crafting supplies....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I do stuff like this.
I thought I could survive on vacation with nothing but nail polish and books. Turns out I'm wrong.

Must. Create. Something.

Oh, and I am not a hand model. Nope.  I'm showing off my wrinkles, dry cuticles and short-as-can-be nails. To give you girls who fretted over your hands something to think about. Now go do something wild.

Whatever Wednesday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This video is about 10 minutes, but well worth it. I can't imagine how long this took to make, or how they got permission to paint so many public surfaces, or how many gallons of paint this video must have used. All I know is it's an amazing piece of artwork.

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Too Cute to be a Nerd

Monday, July 19, 2010

The last week of school my youngest daughter's school had a series of "fun" days. One of them was Nerd day... wear your nerd-iest outfit you can possibly come up with. We tried really hard. Mis-matched socks, un-even ponytails, striped shirt with plaid skirt. She even wore her dad's broken reading glasses that had been destroyed in the wash. We removed the lenses and added a rubber band safety strap since they kept falling off her head. Problem is, she didn't really look nerdy. She just looked cuter.
A little "tape" on the title. I used a strip of cardstock, sanded to give it a white edge.

I created this page during my live ustream show. The episode is about creating your own patterned papers and you may watch the recorded show on my channel page. It's a long episode, I usually like to keep my shows about an hour, this one runs about 1:45. Scrapbook pages are big and take longer when you're making all the patterned papers from scratch! Good thing you can fast forward in the recordings, of course you might miss all my helpful tips and sparkling conversation. (snort!)

The quality of the recording on the live show leaves something to be desired, so I wanted to show off a close-up of the orange "bad stamping" paper that I created. Look closely for the floral pattern, the bulls-eye pattern, plus the large dotted circle overstamping. (You can click on the photo to enlarge). All blended together beautifully, not visible at all on the ustream show. Sorry! Part of the problem is that the streaming live videos don't have the same resolution as recorded videos, which makes them easier to load, but you don't get the same crisp pictures. I am working on replacing my webcam with a higher quality auto-focus one, so that should help some. Until then, enjoy the shows and check here on my blog for the photos of the finished projects!

Joy Banner for Operation Smile Silent Auction

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Time to show off the final seasonal banner that I created for the Operation Smile Silent Auction held in Washington DC at Close to My Heart's national convention. You may see the previous three by scrolling down or checking the previous posts in the sidebar.

I kept the color scheme very pale in this banner. I like the icy blue with the creamy white, I imagine that it would look lovely against a dark wood colored fireplace mantle, or near a swag of evergreen branches. A lighter shade of distressing ink keeps the shabby chic look, but still stays true to the white-washed style.
The accordian pleated fans are made from textured paper. I stamped them with a mixture of elegant damask patterns and tiny country prints. Between the fans I attached small chipboard stars, also stamped with background stamps.

The letters are inked in Heavenly Blue ink and then distressed with Desert Sand ink around the edges. I painted the letters with decopauge glue and then coated them in Prisma Glitter, which allows the ink colors to show through, as well as giving a greenish-blue cast to the letters.

Chipboard snowflakes are left white and distressed with more Desert Sand ink, then glittered. Rhinestones add extra sparkle.

You'll notice this banner is a little less accessorized than the previous banners. Once I began creating it, I really loved the simplicity of the pale color scheme with the distressing, plus the touch of sparkle. Every time I added more embellishements they just seemed overdone. I imagine that at Christmas time there is plenty of overly-decorative items already on display, perhaps this simply adorned banner will stand out.

Mini Album Contest Winner!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wow, I'm impressed with all the votes in the mini album contest. Over 200 responses! Thanks to everyone who voted, I know many of you had a tough time picking just one.

The winner with the most votes is KATIE! She created her album with Perfect Day papers. I love her choice of red and white buttons and flower accents, and the mix of ribbon styles. Katie receives my mini album in Bella Papers, and the stamp set Cherished Flourishes. Congratulations!

Fall Banner, Operation Smile Silent Auction

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The third banner in my donation for Operation Smile's Silent Auction. Fall is about family, with all the activity of back-to-school, thanksgiving, sporting events and spending more time indoors, gathering with those you love.

I wanted to create something with the warm fall colors, but still keep it vibrant and energetic, just like a family should be!
To see any of the photos enlarged, just click on them. The owl above is felt with tiny chipboard wings and eyelet eyes. I stitched his beak with embroidery floss.

The photo spots are designed to allow the owner of the banner to easily slide their own pictures in, and change them whenever they like. I used magazine photos for my sample, nice looking people, don't you think?
The mushroom above is stamped, with brads for spots. The metal bookplate was originally copper colored, but I wanted an aged silver look so I dipped it in embossing powder several times, heating just enough to begin melting the powder but pulling the heat off before the powder melted smoothly. This leaves a bumpy texture to the powder.
The chipboard letters are covered in black embossing powder for a shiny look. The leaves are created by rolling the stamp into multiple colors. If you would like to learn this technique, watch my video. I found the acorns at Wal-Mart, in the craft section. They're so cute!
More felt pieces. All of the felt in this banner is in the Heartfelt Die Cuts, Wonder pack. This squirrel apparently likes to gather flowers, rather than nuts.
The leaves are stamped, cut out, edge inked and then coated with several layers of clear embossing powder. Very shiny and quite lovely!
One more banner to show off! Check back on Friday!

Mini Album Contest Still Open

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The mini album contest is open for a few more days, please vote for your favorite! Due to a glitch in the previous voting poll, I have replaced it with a more reliable gadget. If you have already voted, you may vote again. If you had trouble before, this should solve the problem. Now... go vote!

Relax Banner for Operation Smile Silent Auction

You saw the spring banner, now it's time to show off the summer banner! When I get into the crafty groove, nothing is safe in my home. I cut into my front door wreath for the wheat stalks, snipped buttons and cut tags off my family's clothing. I wanted a laid-back, farmhouse feel to this banner, so I used lots of denim, twill, canvas and natural materials. Turned out pretty cute, I think!

See that sunflower above? It's one of those projects that takes on a life of its own. First, I cut up three of the largest white flowers in the Big Pinks packages. Click HERE to see what they look like. I cut all the petals apart and trimmed each petal to a more pointed shape so that they would resemble a sunflower instead of a daisy. Next I dip-dyed them in yellow re-inkers mixed with water. While still wet, I hand painted the inner portion of the petals with a deeper yellow for shading. Once dry, I glued the petals together, overlapping them. Then I added a center set of petals made from cardstock that I trimmed to points, saturated with water and sculpted to curl over toward the center. The center of the sunflower is made from polymer clay, embedded with approximately 150 brads (I lost count officially).
Levi's tag taken from my husband's pants. He'll never miss it.
The denim fabric I salvaged from an outgrown pair of my daughter's pants. I just cut them up and stitched each panel, fraying the bottoms.
Coming next, Fall and Winter banners.

Vote for your favorite Mini Album!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Update 7/14: The voting widget provided by blogger has been replaced. There have been too many viewers blocked from voting, so I created a more reliable voting option. It's quick and easy, look for the VOTE link below. If you have already voted in the previous vote, you may vote again in the new one.

Help me choose a winner! There are some gorgeous albums here, I'm glad I don't have to choose, it's up the viewers this time. Click on the links to view each of the albums, then vote in the sidebar poll. You can view as many times as you like, but you can vote just once, don't forget to vote for your favorite in the sidebar!

To vote click here.
Once you click "done" use your browser's back button to return to my blog.
To view complete albums, click the names below.

All who entered will be receiving a hand-made card from me. The final winner will be receiving a completed mini album by me, as well as a Close to My Heart Stamp Set, Cherished Flourishes. The winner will be announced on Friday, July 16th.

Bloom Banner for Operation Smile Silent Auction

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Close to My Heart just wrapped up their national convention and for the 2nd year they held a silent auction to raise money for their primary charity, Operation Smile. I was honored to participate again this year. I wanted to make something that would really wow the convention attendees, I hope I succeeded.

I created four banners for a year-round theme. Below is the spring banner, I'll be showing the summer, fall and winter ones in following posts.

I couldn't be there in person for the auction, but I've heard from a few sources that my donation raised enough money to almost pay for one operation through Operation Smile. I'm so thankful for Close to My Heart to offer this opportunity to make a difference in a child's life.

Technique Class Marathon!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I had a crazy dream, that I could teach a marathon of classes with absolutely no advance planning whatsoever. It's amazing where one little idea can get you. If you're thinking "a lot of trouble", well, you're mistaken. I've been having a great time keepin' it real for the past couple of days on my ustream channel. Special thanks to all my viewers who've been tuning in and hanging out with me!

Here are the cards from the last couple of shows.

Two more shows to go today. 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Pacific Time. Missed the shows, you can watch the recorded episodes, available from my main channel page or click on this link.

Celebrating Close to My Heart

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I should be in Washington DC right now. I really should. As I type this, more than a thousand of my closest friends are attending the Close to My Heart national convention and this is the first year in a long time that I haven't made it to a national convention. I had to choose between convention or taking my oldest daughter on a cruise for her grad gift. So... family won out this year. My daughter had just better appreciate the sacrifices I've made... missing out on the screaming and jumping up and down when they unveil that new catalog is just killin' me!

One of my favorite parts of convention is the huge event called Extravaganza. Dozens of art classes are taught simultaneously, hundreds of pieces or artwork to view, it's overwhelming and absolutely inspiring. I've been  honored to teach at Extravaganza several times, it's an amazing experience.

While I may be missing out on convention, I don't have to miss out on the experience of sharing and teaching. Tune in for live classes on my ustream channel, continuing through Friday and Saturday. I'll be broadcasting off and on over these next two days with no set schedule, just getting on the channel when I can and showing some cool techniques and projects. If you miss any of the shows, they are recorded so you can watch them at a later time. But do try to tune in live if you can, the chat room is awesome and really adds to the fun. And the chats are not saved, so it's best to be there in person.

Below are the two cards I made on the previous two shows. If you didn't catch them live, you can visit the show page and watch these cards created step-by-step in real time.

Voting for Mini Album contest begins on Monday!

Check in on Monday, July 12th and vote for your favorite mini album submitted by viewers! All contestants will receive a hand-stamped card from me, and the winner will receive my finished Bella 3-ring mini album plus a D-sized stamp set, Cherished Flourishes.

Ghost Stories by the Campfire

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Camping and ghost stories are just made for each other. The not-too-spooky ones are the best, especially when you've got little ones. On our last weekend camping trip my husband told the assembled kids a story of a motorcycle rider who lost his head, but continues to ride at night looking for a new one. The story ends with a warning... if you hear a motorcycle at night it might be the headless motorcycle man. Our campground was near a road that received quite a bit of traffic from.. you guessed it: motorcycles and ATV's. Just enough scare factor to keep the kids in bed after dark.

The next day, the headless motorcycle man made a guest appearance.

Thanks to everyone who entered the mini album contest. I'll have the voting poll up soon, check back and vote for your favorite!

The Complete Bella Mini Album

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Would you like to see the entire album? Go here!

I had so much fun teaching the online classes for this album. The ustream class is complete for this entire book, so if you'd like to make your own, or just watch the show, go to my channel page and click on videos. There are four videos in this series.

There is also a supply list and cutting guide online (click on the links).

If you'd like to WIN this album, the contest is still open. Click here for details. Contest will close on Monday, July 5th.