Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I have talked about Sally Jean Alexander and her gorgeous book, Pretty Little Things before. But Sunday's Cabinet of Curiosities prompt has brought her to the forefront of my inspiration again. The theme for this fourth prompt was Wonder. Basically, it was what art/ist or thing inspires awe and wonder within you as an artist. I adore looking at other's art and being inspired by it and there are a LOT of artists that inspire me daily, but for this prompt, Sally Jean was entirely the inspiration. I scraplifted her style...I even used some of the clipart from her book to create my layout.

The journaling reads:
Artists in general fill me with awe and wonder!
I love to examine their process and technique,
and to use it as inspiration for my own art.
Sally Jean Alexander is one my new favorite artists.
Her collage work is amazing esp. when you consider
the small scale in which she works.
I try to emulate her style and hope to one day learn
her technique for jewelry-making.
Until then I will just have to settle for that kind
of beauty on paper and sit back and admire her through her book.

This second layout is one that I did yesterday using a sketch that Angie did over at the Cottage for our February Challenges. The original sketch was for a double layout, but I converted it to a single. I was so excited to use these gorgeous new Prima papers. They are part of our DT stuff for February and are simply breathtaking!!! All the photos are from the day that we spent in Old Salem last April.

And speaking of the Cropper's Cottage and challenges. Starting tomorrow and running through the weekend, we are having a SuperBowl Cybercrop full of challenges. It promises to be a lot of fun and very inspiring. I am extra excited about this one because I am not the one in charge which means that I simply get to sit back and play. I hope to get tons done!!! So come on over and join us and if you come as a result of reading about it here, be sure to let us know because I earn a 2-point conversion for that. :)


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Exploring new avenues...

I have been in a funk the last couple of days. I am feeling unsettled. I feel the need to explore a new creative venture, but at this point I am not sure what that is. I want to make an impact with my life and I think that I can do this creatively, just not sure what I need/want to do. But something is coming...I promise.

Part of the funk has come from my struggle to do this challenge for the Cabinet of Curiosities. Challenge #3 was to do a page reflecting your dreams. Throughout my childhood/teenage years I had several different be a nurse (just like Cherry Ames in the novels), to be an architect, etc. The one thing that has remained a constant throughout my life has been my love for books and if I were truly to be honest, my real dream is to write. Write what? I am not sure. At this point in my life, I would think that it would have something to do with crafts and my love for them and to a certain extent I am doing that. No, I am not writing books, but I am writing for the magazines, but that just doesn't seem like enough. So for all this rambling, I am really not saying much...I just feel the need to do watch this space and I will let you know when I come up with a solution for my restlessness.

On to other creative things. I finally have finished Challenge 3 for The Cabinet of Curiosities hosted by Kari (artsymama) and Bonnie. Like I said, this was a REAL struggle for me. I have been actually working on this layout for 2 days and putting real thought into it for at least another 3 more, but it is finally done and I can get to work on Challenge #4 (Wonder) that is already up. I don't want to fall behind on this project.

I also got the chance today to work on Sketch #17 from the Pencil Lines gals (although this week the sketch was done by the talented Miss Elsie Flannigan.) Loved this sketch for it's ability to accomodate so many photos. Super fun and easy.

That's it for now. For those of you that don't know, the Craft & Hobby Show is happening this week and I will be posting my top 10 picks within the next day or so. Fun, fun stuff!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

What a fun weekend...

Well, overall, it was a very successful weekend. On Saturday, I managed to do all of these layouts. Love days where I can create like this. I didn't get dressed or take a shower until 3:00 in the afternoon, but it was so worth it. I was lucky in that I had several challenges to take advantage of. The Pub was hosting challenges all day and then I had a scraplift challenge from the Cottage to do. You guys know how I love challenges. :D

This layout is a scraplift from a layout titled Friends for Life from Corinne Delis.

This layout was a scraplift from the left hand side of a double layout titled Santa Baby from Shannon Allor.

The guys made it back fairly early yesterday so I didn't do any crafting yesterday. They had a fun time. It was the first time Jacob has gone backpacking so I was a bit worried about the hiking with 25 extra pounds, the cold, etc. They were cold, but I think that the trip can definitely be considered a success. This morning they are both battling sore, tired bodies, but looking forward to going again in February.

I have a bit more to do in my craft room today. I have fallen a bit behind on my Cabinet challenge so I need to get cracking on that and then I also have Emily's challenge to do. In addition, I received another magazine commission this morning that's due mid-Feb so it would be a good idea to get ahead on that (something I NEVER seem to do...LOL!)

I hope that everyone has a great Monday in store. Stay is darn cold here this morning!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fun Weekend Coming...

It's Friday and my guys leave in less than 2 hours to go camping for the weekend. Whoohooo! The whole house to myself...I continue to ponder all the wonderful things that I can do and waffle about the exact plans for the weekend. Do I spend the whole time in pj's and play in my scraproom? Do I go out shopping at some of my favorite stores? Do I make up a chocolate cake and eat it all myself? Do I teach myself to knit and watch chick flicks all weekend? These are the big dilemnas that face me today...I LOVE IT!!!

I have actually gotten a little bit of work done over the last day or so while I ponder my possibilities. This is a layout that I did for the Speshals Dare Blog (UK version of the effer dares). Their challenge this week was to do a layout based upon the theme of I Can See... I had a lot of fun playing with this one and my new Li'l Davis papers.

This second layout was based on the sketch challenge from the Pencil Lines blog for this week. I have been saving all this gorgeous Scenic Route papers, but they went too perfectly with Junior's coloring and tag to leave it in the bag any longer.

Thanks for all the inspiration, girls!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kat's Wall Art...

*disclaimer* This is not an original idea by me. I saw this done by one of the Art Warehouse artists on their blog and I simply copied the idea using the supplies I had on hand.*

This is a 12x24 art piece that I made for Kat's room on Tuesday. I had seen a version of this on the Art Warehouse blog and knew that these Stamped in Ink stamps (available at Croppers Cottage) would be perfect for it. The letters are all stamped onto Daisy D's romance papers and the background is made up of Fancy Pants and 7 gypsies (harlequin) papers. I think that it turned out really fun and perfect for a baby girl's room.

In other news, I got absolutely nothing done yesterday. I had such big plans, but that means that I just have to get more done today.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Getting Lots Done...

I have been getting lots of scrapping done this week. On Monday I completed these three projects here and then yesterday I did a piece of artwork for Katherine's baby room. I haven't taken a photo of it yet, but I will probably have it up later today or tomorrow morning. I figure that I seriously need to take advantage of my free time over the next few months because I am not sure how well I am going to find time to create once she is here. Luckily my creative muse is flowing and I just have to find time to fit it all in. I know that I have 2 layouts in my head that I want to get done today.

This is my week 3 altered card for Emily Falconbridge's year of cards challenge. This week's theme is I am... I had fun playing with paints for the bottom layer of this card. I really like the marbled effect that I ended up with. I am excited because I have a friend sending me a band-aid sized tin to alter that I think will make a great container for all these little cards.

This second project is a gift that I made for a friend. It is a journal purse. I love the new WRMK punches these holes through this hardbound book like butter. You simply can't ask for anything easier. The papers, oval frame, and Butterfly card are all from Daisy D's Romance line, the butterfly is Bohemia, and the handles are from 7 gypsies. For the "R" monogram, I printed it up on the computer using word art (so that I could get it the right size) and then simply transferred it to the tag using pencil. Super easy and fun gift!

This is a layout that I did for the Cropper's Cottage store. I just got in the beautiful Daisy D's Romance line and it was perfect for this beautiful photo of my niece Emily. Supplies used are: Daisy D's Romance (paper & tag), Heidi Swapp silhouette & stickers (title), Fontwerks rub-ons (the dotted lines), and Prima flowers. Everything should be available over at the Cottage to buy.

I hope everyone is having a creative week!

Monday, January 22, 2007

When do you know you're done???

As most of my blog readers know, I have been working on a Cabinet of Curiosities challenge that is being hosted by Bonnie and Artsymama. One of my goals (actually my main goal) for the new year is to be more creative and experiment more. This challenge is the perfect avenue for that and this prompt #2 was exactly along those lines.

Kari (artsymama) hosted our prompt #2 with some wonderful facts about curiosity and how exactly that plays into our creative process. The prompt this week also featured Sally Jean Alexander's process for creating collage. I have recently started using this technique (I used it for my Create A Beautiful Life canvas posted below). Basically it is a wonderful cheat for those of us that aren't so comfortable with creating collages (and that is definitely me!) Basically, you place slips of paper with words/techniques on them in a jar (mine are in a wonderful toile matchstick holder that sits above my work space) and then you draw out 6 or so of them to use on your piece.

Here is my resulting piece. My words were: paint, stamp, sand, ribbon, text, bling, and surprise (this is anything that you want to choose...I chose buttons). It really does help to create the collage look, but I have an awful time when I do these knowing whether or not I am really done. LOL! I absolutely adore the collage look and continue to strive for perfection. I haven't made it yet, but I sure am having fun getting messy and trying.

Lots more to create today so I am off for now!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

I Must Confess...

Well, instead of following the mini-album instructions that Shimelle provided over on her blog (which was beautiful, but I just don't need another mini-album), I just went with the theme and made a layout.

I must confess:
*I love finding joy in little things- a beautiful song, a pretty flower, a good book.
*I would rather buy lots of little things than one big thing.
*I like to listen to my music LOUD- even if its classical.
*If I have more than one oreo, I have to eat the cream filling out of all of them before any of the cookie parts.
*My favorite wine is red- Cabernet Sauvignon
*My favorite place in the world to visit is Paris.
*I'm not warm unless my feet are warm.
*I love sweets, but hate sweetened cereals.
*I like my coffee made as a cappuccino-plain.
*I can waste the entire day simply by playing on the computer.
*I could eat chocolate cake for breakfast every single day.
*My least favorite chore- laundry- simply because it takes so long!

This was fun! Thanks for looking!

Exploring the world of creativity...

As I set out over the new year and hope to Create more while I still can, I have joined several new challenges.

The first of these is the Cabinet of Curiosities hosted by Bonnie & Kari (aka artsymama). Each week will feature two challenges/themes: the first (on Thursday) will be on Bonnie's blog and the second (on Sunday) will be on Kari's.

Our first theme was Explore and Bonnie posted some really fantastic prompts to get our creativity going. And here is what I created:

I definitely put more of a personal spin on it. The journaling says: "As 2007 begins, one of my goals is to Explore more! Explore myself through my ART. Explore my art through new challenges. Explore personal relationships through the sharing of my art. 2007 is going to be a year of change for me, but I want to explore ways to make my life better and more fulfilling in all areas. Explore Create Share!"

I can't wait to see what they have in store for us on Sunday!!!

A second challenge that I have joined has come from Emily Falconbridge's blog. Over the past year, it sounds like she has taught a workshop centered around altering a deck of playing cards. Each week we have a prompt and are supposed to alter one playing card using the theme for the week so that at the end of the year, we will have an entire deck of 52 cards altered. I have always been amazed by the art created on altered playing cards and have wanted to explore this art form further. Obviously I have a long ways to go to be an ATC artist, but I am excited about the learning process.

Here are my first 2 week's cards. The themes are the little bits of journaling at the top of each card.

I hope that you have some creative projects planned for this weekend!! Don't forget that Shimelle is hosting a mini-album class over on her blog this weekend. That is first on my agenda this morning as my guys are out doing Scout stuff this morning so I have to take advantage of the quiet time around here!


Thursday, January 18, 2007


I had written a trendwatch article for the March, 2007 edition of a UK mag that has subsequently ceased publication. I thought that you all might be interested in it. The article was never completely finished or proofed, so here it is in it pseudo-complete state. The artwork was completely done though and is some of my favorite stuff that I have done to date. So, enjoy!! BTW, there is one big pennant shape that is one segment of a wall pennant banner that says LUCKY.

BTW, the overall theme of the article was Luck/St. Patrick's Day and the art is all attached at the bottom of the thread.

The article:

Stand First –
As we design, we naturally use geometric shapes…squares, rectangles, and circles, but there is another really fun shape that you may be overlooking. This shape provides some excellent creative possibilities for your papercrafts projects and that shape is the triangle used for pennants or flags.

Main Text –
The pennant or flag shape is a variation of the traditional triangle. The popularity of this shape came about centuries ago when banners were created by hooking several of these shapes made from fabric together to create an eye-catching hanging vignette. These banners were hung in marketplaces and vendor faires to catch the attention of people as they walked past.

Today’s crafters have reinvented this process to create fun signs using paper that are used to decorate creative spaces and other areas within the household. These signs are perfect for celebrating special occasions, thoughts, or people. Because of their hanging shape, they work well over doorways, mirrors, hooked to the handles of furniture pieces, or simply hanging on the wall. The Lucky Wall Pennant is a good example of this. This sign would be appropriate to hang in a child’s room the week of a big exam or football game to wish them Good Luck.

The fun thing about this project is that you can customize it based on who the recipient of the good thought is. You simply change the number of pennant shapes to correlate with the number of letters in the word that you want to display and it is very simple to change the look from masculine to feminine simply based upon your paper choices. You can create a very simple pennant using only a couple of papers and colours or you can get very extravagant with your embellishments and attachments to create a pennant that is truly a work of art.

Other Applications –
Because we have seen the increased use of these flags, it has become a natural progression to begin to see this same shape applied to other areas of papercrafting. The shape is a natural fit to draw attention to certain areas of your project; much like an arrow draws attention to whatever it is pointing at. The shape also works well when combined together to create decorative borders and effects to help frame out the central portion of your project as you see on many of the cards created here.

Making it Happen –
For the all of the projects in this article except for the wall hanging, pennant shaped stamps were used (Stamped in Ink’s Elegant Pennants), but it is very simple to create this shape without the use of a stamp. You simply need to determine the overall size that you want the pennant to be when it is finished and cut this size as a rectangle. Find the center across the bottom and cut a straight line from this point to each of the top corner points. You now have your pennant/flag shape. If you desire a more finished look to this pennant, simply draw the outline using a dark or coloured pen and then trim close to this line.

BTW, all the pennant stamps used in this article are from Stamped in Ink and Sue has posted some gorgeous new sneak peeks of the new stamps coming out on her blog so go check them out!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I am a couple of week's late with this art piece, but I did finally get it done. Ali had posted a challenge in her newsletter at the beginning of the year to choose a word that would define your goals for this year.

My word for the year is Create. And, yes this does mean crafts on one level simply because I want to get more done than I have lately and challenge myself in more areas, but for me, this word goes much deeper. I first posted some of my ideas on this in my Sept 8th blog post. Around Christmas I received the book Living Artfully by Sandra Magsumen. I haven't finished reading it yet, but this is such a powerful book!!! I plan on giving a full-on review when I finish the book entirely. The idea behind the book is that there are endless possibilities and ways to be creative in life beyond crafts that enrich your life and all the people around you. It can be as simple as the extra note that you put in your child's lunchbox or actually pulling out the good dishes for dinner to make it a more beautiful experience. There are creative things that you can do in your world every day, every moment to simply make it a more beautiful life. And this is what I strive for over the next year. This piece of art is something that I plan to hang prominantly in my life to remind me of that.

And here is a glimpse of the going's on for Katherine's bedroom. I finally found a bedding set that I liked at a price I liked (half price!) Then over the weekend, I made the lamp to coordinate with it. The base is made from one of the wood Prima Vases. The papers are from the Basic Grey Oh Baby! Girl line and everything else (flowers, gems, and ric rack) are from Prima.

I hope that you all are having a great week!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Creative Whoohoooo!

Yesterday was fantastic! I woke up with the urge to create and did so all day long. There is nothing better than a day where your creative muse cooperates!!! And it absolutely does help when I have some added inspiration from all of my blogging friends!

This first layout is done using the sketch #15(created by the uber-talented Kari aka artsymama) and posted by the Pencil Lines gals. Have I mentioned that I am a shoe girl? LOL! I am really pleased with how this layout turned out. Thanks for the sketch Kari!!!

This second layout is from an art inspiration piece posted as a challenge by Linda. I loved the way that the art piece had all of the shading/gradation of colors in the background. I tried to mimic that by using chalks to color areas of my Foofala paper. I am still not sure about the result, but it definitely created a more artsy look which is what I was going for. The photo is my favorite from our vacation last year. We were out hiking when this rainstorm hit and found shelter in these 100-200 year old cabins. It was so cool!

Finally here is my Cabinet of Christi's Curiosities. This is an ongoing challenge starting on the 18th by artsymama and Bonnie. This is actually a tabletop photo album which I am altering for the project. I realize that it may be a bit smallish in size for the project esp. since I am really not sure what we will be doing, but I think that with the ring binding, it will leave lots of room to grow (fatwise) and I am definitely leaving the options open so that some days I can do several pages if my format isn't big enough. I just have been so crunched for time to create lately, I wanted to keep it small enough so that I wouldn't fall behind on the project (like I seriously did on the Book of Dreams).

I realize that I still owe you baby room peeks, but I will have to take photos later today of the bedding (which I bought) and lamp that I made so continue to keep on the lookout for that.

In other news, I have been poring over Sally Jean's gorgeous book Pretty Little Things and am feeling a serious urge to try my hand at some glass jewelry. Has anyone tried this? I am wondering about the soldering DH has one, but do I need a special jewelry one? There is a class being offered an hour and a half away which I know would be beneficial, but I am thinking that I may see what I can find around here and try to teach myself first. Wish me luck and if you have any advice, Please Share!!!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Sharing Inspiration...

As I have been looking to get inspired for a new creative year, I have come across some fun new challenges that I am definitely looking forward to.

First off is the Pencil Lines girls. These girls post a sketch every week that is simply phenomenal!!! Here is the layout that I did using last week's sketch (sketch #14):

This week's sketch has been created by ArtsyMama and is on my agenda for later today!! And speaking of artsymama, she and Bonnie are about to start up an altered journal challenge titled A Cabinet of Natural Curiosity. It sounds fantastic and knowing Kari's incredible work, I know that it will be incredibly inspiring too. I can't wait.

Another fun challenge that I am doing today (time permitting... although I already have some great ideas flowing) is the art inspiration challenge posted by Linda. Y'all know what a sucker I am for a good art challenge and this is a fantastic one.

Finally, one other bit of inspiration...Shimelle is putting an altered mini album with full instructions up on her blog next weekend. It looks to be a lot of fun and she promises that it is one project that you definitely can finish in a weekend. A teaser and the supply list is already up so go check it out.

And one other photo for you. I spent the two weeks after Christmas cleaning out my scrapbook room and this is everything that needs to find a new home (yes everything in all those boxes in the closet too!) Can we say that I have WAY too much stuff?!?! But it is time to start making room for baby girl Snow so it all has to go...

And speaking of baby girl Snow...tomorrow I will give you a sneak peek of how her room is going to be decorated.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Working the days away...

Well, I have spent the last 3 days in my scrapbook room creating and it feels wonderful!!! Sunday was spent making 7 cards for an upcoming book that will be out in the UK. It's been a while since I created without really any restrictions or limitations and I didn't really realize how much I was missing it. It feels fantastic to be creating again.

I also have been working on my DT projects for the Cropper's Cottage. They will be uploaded tomorrow and I have had so much fun with them. Our sponsor this month was GinX and Chloe's Closet with some really fun Christmas papers. I will absolutely be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of Christmas photos. They tend to be messy, blurry, with really bad lighting (that may just be my photography...LOL!), but I think that I came up with a fun way to show all these photos on one layout and I am really happy. Be on the lookout! BTW, Shannon is running a fantastic special this month on all the Imagination Project papers at 20% off...gotta love that!!!

So that has been a lot of stuff that I have been creating that I can't show you yet, but here is what I can show you. These are 2 circle journals that I have been working on.

This first one has the theme of Queen and the idea is to do a layout about what you are the queen of. I chose to be the queen of Creative Inspiration because I love to take unlikely inspiration and turn it into art. On the page are several layouts and the things that inspired them.

This second cj has the theme of "Betcha didn't know..." and I chose to do a page about the day that I got to go out and ride-along in a Nascar racecar. So much fun!

Tomorrow night I am hosting a party here so I think that I will have to clean up my scrapspace at least for the next two days and then I am straight to work on a Prima Vase for their contest. I have come up with a really fun idea using my vase for the baby's room...the goal is to get it to look as good in real life as it does in my head. LOL!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Creating Made Simple...

Hello everyone!!!

I have spent the last day cranking out 32 of these super-fast, super-easy invites. Love this kind of creating where it just comes so easy with little stress even though they all had to go out today. I received the guest list really late (like yesterday) for a party that is being held at my house next week so I had to get them done fast, but I love this design. It is so simple, but is perfect when you have all these gorgeous papers to work with. Too bad that the recipients can't see them all together because they make such a fun set. LOL!

One of my resolution's is to be better about my blog. I have so much going on that I want to share, but since I got pregnant, I just haven't had the computer time that I used to have (I think all that time is going to sleeping now!) But I promise to be better. I have some fun posts coming that I am excited about so keep an eye out.

Thank you so much for all the well wishes about our baby girl. I went shopping today and am loving the thought of all those fun little girly clothes. I am on the hunt for a bedding set, but am not having any luck finding exactly the right thing. I am thinking that I may just have to dust off my sewing machine and make it myself. It is hard to believe now, but there was a time when I made absolutely everything (including my wedding dress) I am lucky if I sew on a layout. LOL!

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

think PINK!!!

Everyone at the doctor's office concurs...we are having a little girl!!! She appears to be healthy and very active. We were able to count all of her fingers and toes and everything looks great.

Quite honestly, I am still in shock. I really thought that she was a boy, but now I get to buy all those fun girly ribbons & things. Life is good. I will be back tomorrow with more to share.
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