Best. Mascara. Ever

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do you ever...

Do you ever get so excited to try a new technique or idea that you push other projects out of the way to start this new project and then another shiny object comes your way and the new project just doesn't get finished either?  

I consider myself a scrapbooker.  I have two scrapbook layouts all laid out and ready to be taped down with just some finishing touches to be added... but it seemed like "work" (haha) so I have them stacked on the corner of my desk.  I've been trying out new techniques on my scrapbook layouts - whether design ideas inspired by Noell Hyman at Paperclipping (www.paperclipping.com), or story ideas from Stacy Julian at Big Picture classes, or technique ideas from May Flaum (www.craftwithmay.com) but I got distracted.  By card making.

I'm kind of on a card making roll.  I have been taking all of these classes (online and in person, too) and have been filling my brain with all sorts of new techniques and ideas.  Even reinforcing old techniques and ideas too.  My brain is overflowing with ideas.  This is, of course, reflected in the massive amount of clutter in my scrapbooking room.  There are a lot of ideas and projects happening.  Really.  

The blog is motivating me to get projects finished.  It makes me feel like they have to get done.  I think sending my first child to college (and the other two to High School) may be bothering me more than I realized.  Adjustments.  But on the positive side, more time to craft!

Here is a scrapbook layout inspired by Noell Hyman:

I think it may need a title, but I've got nothing, so for now, it is being considered done.

And here are some cards I've been working on.  The first is based on my Richele Christensen class (www.californiaartgirl.blogspot.com) and the rest are my interpretation of that!



This was an unfinished card that has been on my desk for weeks (ok, maybe months), but it is now finished!

 This is inspired by May Flaum's Distress Ink class.  Stamping with water.  Brilliant.  Can't believe I had never thought of it before!  Told you I have been taking a lot of classes.


That's it for today!  Thanks for visiting.  Hope you have a crafty day!

Leslie




Monday, September 22, 2014

A bit of planning

I took my first "in person" class (in other words, not online) yesterday at my favorite local store, The Stamp Asylum.  It was so much fun, I met some crafty people, I made four awesome cards, and I learned some things - always a bonus.

I was a little apprehensive about taking a class because, unlike a scrapbook weekend where you are all working on your own pages, in this class we were all going to be making the same thing.  I wasn't sure how that was going to work.  But it was fun to use the class kits (everything was pre cut by the teacher - Richele Christensen - and did I mention she is part of the Tim Holtz team?  Automatic "rock star") so we just got to play with the inks and distress tools and glue.  No thinking involved.  Just relaxing.  It was like following a recipe (although I don't find that relaxing!) with the teacher there to answer questions.

Here is the card we made following Richele Christensen (www.californiaartgirl.blogspot.com) techniques:

Her card is full of details and layers.  It inspired me to create my own cards using her card as a template or "recipe" for my own designs.  Here is the card I made using hers as my inspiration:


Different, yet the same!  Here is what I learned from doing this on my own (no precut, ready to assemble parts):

You can never own too much Tim Holtz product! It is all good.
Don't glue/tape too early - plan a little bit first.  Embossed paper is hard to peel up to add ribbon behind it… um, don't ask how I know this!
The Tim Holtz distress tool really is better.  I now own one.
If you are using text paper with a die cut, you might want plan which direction the text will cut (so it is not sideways!)
Inking the edges of all those little pieces really does make it better.
The Distress Kraft Core paper is amazing - you can emboss and sand it to bring out the kraft color (see orange) and use it as the card base (see the dark brown).  The inside of the card is Kraft colored - easy to write on.
The Vagabond die cut machine is AWESOME! 
Don't wait to sign up for classes at Stamp Asylum - so fun.  

Hope you can get crafty today!

Leslie




Thursday, September 18, 2014

If it tastes good...

So we've all heard it when trying to be healthier, "If it tastes good, spit it out!"  I couldn't quite spit out the Trade Joe's Grand Slam Snack, including caramel coated popcorn and peanuts, almonds, cashews and pecans.  It was too good.  But darn.  I'm trying to make better choices - but I just love the "bad for you" stuff.  Back on track (now that I've finished eating that bag of popcorn!).

Speaking of great eats, I love this layout from our trip to Italy.  We indulged in some delicious focaccia bread from the region and some wonderful restaurants.  Look at those views.




I used a stencil and some Tim Holtz Distress paint to make the border based on a video in Paperclipping.com.  It was fun to get paints and stencils out on a scrapbook page instead of for a card background.  I love the colors because the reminded me of all of the colorful houses built into the cliffs.  All of these towns in the Cinque Terre, Italy are right at the edge of the sea.  The views are just stunning!  (And the food is good too).

At least we did lots of walking that trip to balance out the eating.

Hope you can find some balance in your day today!

Leslie

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Details, Details

It's the little details that make all of the difference.  I watched another May Flaum video (www.craftwithmay.com) on using Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  I can't really take credit for this card because it is kind of "scrap-lifted" straight from her.  It came out so stinkin' cute, I'm not going to lie. 

But it was a lot of steps.  It came together quickly and it was fun.  But it was a lot of little details! And the biggest for me was changing that darn bobbin.  I don't know why it takes me like 5 tries before I get it.  The black thread just kind of makes it though, don't you think?  

I used one color (yup, just one) on the background (Tim Holtz, Wild Honey).  First blending in the color then stamping with it.  Who knew it would look so different (well I guess Tim Holtz and May Flaum would know) but it was a simple way to get depth on the background.  The doily absorbed some distress ink (wiped up after a previous project and saved for now), and the tag was made for teacher gifts (last year) and this was an extra one.  I stamped with the mini blueprints leaf image (yes, a Tim Holtz stamp) and cut the leaf out and adhered with pop dots.  I've always struggled to put a tag on a card and have it look integrated and not just "plopped" on there (to use the technical term).  I'm feeling pretty good about this one.  I could have overlapped things a little more to make it a bit more cohesive, but overall I am pleased with it.

And my hubby gets high marks for his very enthusiastic response when I showed him the card.  I'll say thanks to May!


Here is hoping you can add just the right details to your day!

Leslie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where does the day go?

I mean seriously, we wake up, everybody scrambles out the door (it doesn't matter how early we get up - it is always a scramble to make it out with everything in hand!) and the next thing I know it is the end of the day!  haha.  At least it feels that way!  I, of course, plan on exercising (so far that is a fail) but instead sit at the computer.  Oh, yes.  Well that explains everything, I think!  I watch a crafty video or class, post on Facebook (not scrappy stuff there) and sit and write a blog post.  There goes the morning!  Afternoons are spent trying to wrangle laundry, keep up with dishes, dogs and did I mention laundry?  Any errands that need to be done (Mom, I need a compass for my math homework and math test today!) and any hope of crafting needs to be squeezed in the afternoon before everyone is back home.  Between school activities, homework and after school activities the evening is done.

But I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.  I love a statement by Stacy Julian (long time expert in scrapbooking and Big Picture Classes owner/teacher) where she says something along the lines of, "Day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different."  Pretty profound.  Makes me happy to be capturing moments in time with this hobby.

Here are some moments in time with my mom and daughter.  So glad we took some "girl" pics in addition to our family ones.




I used a Scrap Room kit (www.scrap-room.com) for this page, as well as some chipboard pieces I painted and stamped.  I painted and stamped them prior to working on the page with no idea how or when I was going to use them and yet they seemed to work great on this (the very next layout I worked on).  

Hope you can enjoy a piece of your day today!

Leslie

Monday, September 15, 2014

Some Messy fun

I have to remind myself sometimes that it is just paper.  It's ok to rip it and paint it and use it up.  There are times I just don't want to cut into that pretty paper.  Seriously?  That is why I bought it!  To use it.  I did clean my desk a little… just enough to work on some scrapbook layouts, but not enough to photograph it for everyone to see.  I am always amazed at how many little pieces, scraps and embellishments that are just sitting out on my desk seem to coordinate with whatever layout or card I am working on.  It pays to have lots of stuff.  I'm just saying.

I got out some paints and punches and made a mess.  It was fun to try some different techniques on my scrapbook pages (instead of for cards).  I'm not sure I am really following any design principals… more like adding items to cover up paint splotches where I  might have been overzealous with my paint brush.  But I like how it looks and I'm calling it done.  It probably needs a title.  But nothing is coming to me and I'm ready to move on.  I might add a title later when I move the finished layouts from the stack on a shelf into an actual album.  But I might not.  Just not going to spend anymore time on it.  It's good (enough)!




Hope you can make a mess today!

Leslie

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just Do It!

So I was going to procrastinate this card.  I had all of the pieces and I wasn't sure what to do with it all. I put it aside to deal with later… but then I realized I needed to just get it done.  Finished is better than perfect.  It is the advice I have been giving my daughter.  She is a little overwhelmed with the jump to high school and the increased work load and her cheerleading responsibilities and service league activities and pressure for THE FUTURE etc, etc.  So rather than having melt downs and being incapable of doing anything, it is better to break it down and get it done.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

I really want to be getting back to some scrapbooking projects - I think I have three 2-page layouts in various stages of assembly stacked up on my desk and about a 6x6 inch area of clear working space!  Hence the reason I have been making cards… they require way less room to work.  Perhaps I should stop procrastinating getting that scrap room cleaned… or maybe I will break it down and just tackle the desk.  I'll take a picture if I manage to make it presentable!

Here is the card I did get finished today:




More glitter - told you it was addictive!  A little Distress Paint on top of some old scrapbook paper and a few rhinestones to finish it off.  It may not be perfect, but it is finished.  And today, that is just fine with me!

Hope you finish something today.

Leslie

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just like cooking

I kind of think scrapbooking is like cooking.  (Except that I LOVE scrapbooking and not so much on the cooking front).  You have a bunch of ingredients (or scrapbook supplies) you mix and match them and BAM you have a dish or a layout completed.  People often wonder how I can possibly enjoy scrapbooking and I have to wonder how people can enjoy cooking.  But I think in both instances, it's just fun to create something.  (Ok, so you may have some burned dishes or some messy craft pieces, but it is still fun!).  I love spending time in my craft room and (thank goodness) my husband enjoys spending time in the kitchen.  Just like one can use recipes for cooking, there are sketches for scrapbooking.  You can follow them exactly (which somehow I can never do - with either cooking or scrapbooking!) or you can use them just as inspiration.

So while my husband was mixing up a yogurt chicken marinade (which is oh so yummy) I whipped up this birthday card for my girlfriend.  And I used the glitter butterfly I blogged about yesterday.  Oh yeah.  Used up one of my technique pieces.  I am so happy.



I collected various papers from my "scraps" pile that had similar colors to my butterfly and then layered them using a Lawn Fawn die cut set that puts the faux stitching on the edge... then I actually stitched the smallest layer to the larger layers.  The circles were left over from another project where I had sprayed mists in various colors (and then punched the circles out of the leftover scrap pieces). I chose the button because it had all of the same colors and I like the saying too!  My embossing was not the best since I had already glued everything down before deciding to emboss (kind of like getting halfway through a recipe and having it say "with the reserved flour" - what, I was supposed to save some of it out??).  But it worked.  I was running late for lunch with the birthday girl, so the one picture I took of the card is all I have.  It really is more sparkly (is that really a word?) in real life!

Hope you can spend time doing something you enjoy today!

Leslie

Monday, September 8, 2014

Do you have a weird shopping list?

I think I must confuse all of the programs designed to track your spending habits.  As a scrapbooker (or just a crafty person) I have some weird items on my shopping list for someone in my demographic.  I purchase baby wipes (yeah, so past needing those for babies!) to clean up just about anything in the craft room, make-up sponges to use with acrylic paint, Swiffer duster sheets to clean up glitter (a trick passed along from www.JenniferMcGuireInk.com - she is an amazing card maker), coffee filters to contain glitter mess (even though I am a coffee snob and use my Nesspresso or Keurig to make coffee), a cutting board (so not for cooking!) for watercoloring, and painters tape (so not for painting walls) to hold projects in place while stenciling, painting or altering in some way!

I've been wanting to use glitter on this intricate butterfly die cut for a while now and last night I experimented.  (Side note: the first time I tried this project I did not have the correct double sided tape and the project was an epic fail!  Use good quality double sided tape like Elizabeth Craft Design. Thank you Monica at Stamp Asylum for directing me to the tape and for the advice to always use good quality tools!)

I'm not going to tell you that I was entirely successful in containing the mess.  Jennifer McGuire made it look easy to be neat... I did have some glitter in unexpected places when I was done.  But given the amount of colors and glitter I was using, I think I did okay.  I was also down to my last 1 inch strip of swiffer cloth, which didn't help!  I think the butterfly came out pretty cute and the glitter is definitely adhered well.  After adhering the double sided tape to a scrap of cardstock, I die cut the butterfly using my Vagabond machine (love this machine!).  I then pulled pieces of the transfer paper off (to expose the sticky tape) and applied glitter to the exposed areas.  I did one color at a time.  So anything I wanted light green I pulled off the transfer paper and then rubbed in the glitter with the bone folder.  I put excess glitter (which was contained in a coffee filter) back into the jar.  After rubbing the color in quite firmly, I then used the Swiffer duster to wipe off excess from the die cut butterfly and moved on to the next color.

Lessons learned: I should have done the two lighter colors (yellow and lime green) last instead of first.  I should have had the duster cloth on hand to clean  between colors (you can cut the cloths into strips - a little goes a long way). I should have taken pictures of the process.  And finally, I learned that once you open glitter, the genie is out of the bottle!  It is awesome and fun to create with and you will want to use it again and again, but you will have glitter showing up in unusual places.  Forever.  But I am ok with that.

Here is my project (so far):



It has so much more sparkle in real life!  Guess I need some photography classes now.  These were just taken with my iPhone though because it is just so easy.  Now I just need to put it on a card (or maybe a scrapbook layout).  I love playing with techniques and making backgrounds and embellishments... I am just more challenged in making it a complete project!

Any items on your shopping list that might confuse someone?

Leslie

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Do you ever...

Do you ever try and do more than one thing at a time?  Ha, ha.  Of course you do.  But the brain can't multi-task.  Or so I've been told.  Apparently there was a study done and the brain can not multi-task.  It can switch from one task to another pretty quickly, but it can't do two things at once.  Hmm.  I guess it's like when I am in the shower thinking about my to-do's and writing my blog post in my head, and then I wonder if I've shampooed or just thought about it.  Pretty sure I can't do two things at once, even though I am usually trying to do ten things at once.  Probably why I feel like I am not getting anything done properly!

So I think I managed to salvage the Halloween card I thought was a fail.  I wasn't liking the background I did, and then I added some stamping and some washi tape and I felt like it was going nowhere fast.  So I put it aside.  But then I started thinking (probably while in the shower - ha!) and thought if I could just add a spider or something to the card, it might be cute.  So I called my friends at The Stamp Asylum and they had just the right die cut for me!  I'd say don't tell my husband I ran right over there and purchased (another) Tim Holtz die, but since I know he follows this blog, I am doomed on that front.

Just thought I would share how the card turned out.  Then I guess I need to go finish getting dressed.  Did I actually use shampoo this morning?  I'm really not sure.


So the photo is not the best, but you get the idea.  I used glitter on the 31 following Jennifer McGuire's tips and tricks (www.JenniferMcGuireInk.com) and even "sealed" the glitter in using clear embossing powder.  It was very easy and worked really well.  I then inked up the spider (it's cut from grunge paper) and then embossed it as well.  I thought I was going to need multiple layers, but I thought it looked pretty glossy after just one coat.  I popped the images up with pop dots and then added a bit of string like a web.  I'm pleased with it now.  (It says Happy Halloween inside).

Hope you can get some crafting in... while juggling several other things at once too?

Leslie

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Confessions of a blog stalker

As you may or may not know, I wanted to start a blog for about 10 (or more) years, but just could never quite figure out how to just get it done.  In those many years, I started following several blogs consistently.  I never posted a comment.  Not once.  I feel like I know the people I follow (which I admit, sounds a bit creepy).  I've seen them through the births of their children, a divorce, discovering their child has special needs, new romance, life changes, new jobs and so on.  And of course, there was crafting ideas, lessons and examples too.  It is just a great start to my day.  But I feel badly now (now that I am a blogger, ha) that I never commented.  I never opened myself up to making those connections online.  I've started commenting now (because I love it when someone comments on my blog) and am happy that I can start developing these new relationships.

I'm excited that I have signed up for a REAL, in person, class at my favorite local store (The Stamp Asylum) on die cutting.  Looking forward to learning some new techniques and meeting some other crafty people.

Here is the card I made this morning... back to summery colors!  Had to change the thread in the sewing machine from black to white, which didn't even slow me down since I have pre-done bobbins. Who knew there was such a wonderful invention?  The slow down came with the picture taking - not sure it came out the best, but it's done and you get the idea!




Happy crafting!

Leslie

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

They have me doing it too

So the stores are already showing Christmas products for crying out loud!  School has just started and it's still almost 100 degrees here in Texas.  But, they've got me started... on Halloween.  It's still a ways off, but I felt inspired to make a few Halloween cards.  I know, I know, it's too early.  I will go back to summer layouts and "back to school" themes tomorrow... but for today, this is what I created.

It looks nothing like my original idea.  That, so far, is a fail.  But I did make these two cute cards - even if they had a few bumps along the way.  I stamped Tim Holtz mini blueprint images on watercolor paper and colored them in with Distress Markers.  These markers are awesome and give a watercolor effect with no effort at all.  After coloring the images, I pulled two bright orange tags that I had previously used to "wipe up" extra black ink from another project.  They have been on my desk waiting for a use.  (This is a great tip from both Tim Holtz and Paperclipping - it's probably obvious, but I always wipe up extra inks with tags or scraps of paper to use as future backgrounds or to use with diecuts).  I then embossed the Happy Halloween (another Tim Holtz stamp) and added those to the tags.  I pulled some orange patterned paper and backed the tags. It looked sort of plain so I "pulled a May" (in honor of May Flaum) and pulled out my sewing machine.  (Side note:  I only sew on paper!  I would be a terrible seamstress - did you see how narrow one of the tags is - yeah, messed up the sewing... but I went back and added zig zags and rub ons and it's all good now).  I thought the stitching tied it all together.

It's a little early in my book for Halloween stuff, but it felt good to get a little crafting in this morning.



I often feel like I have lots of bits and pieces on my desk of half finished projects, techniques and inspiration, but have a hard time pulling it all together for a finished piece.  I am happy to get this project done start to finish!  

Happy crafting.

Leslie