Sunday, January 30, 2011

Normal...what is that, anyway?

I've often thought that normalcy is overrated...sometimes it's nice to be reminded of this kind of girlfriend wisdom!
Supplies: Papers from Cosmo Cricket, "Material Girl;"
blue layer cut out with Spellbinders Label 4,
embossed with Cuttlebug folder & swiped with blue chalk ink;
lace layer from stash; vintage clip from Crafty Secrets
I don't ever want to be normal!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How I relax...

Day 7: Relax!  Do you relax to create or create to relax?
I definitely create to relax. Sometimes I find myself puttering around my desk but not actually sitting down to create, and those times I nearly push myself to sit down & begin to work on something. Even if it's just folding blank cards or cutting out the little labels to go on the back of cards, or, heaven forbid, putting things away...listening to music and sitting at my desk calms me down & lets me relax. Speaking of music...currently the four CDs in rotation are Paolo Nutini, Sarah McLachlan, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Winehouse. For some reason, that combination gives me the giggles.

My favourite craft for relaxation is quilling, crochet being a close second. Both produce an intricate and lovely design, but take shape fast enough to satisfy my need for instant gratification :)

Supplies: Patterned paper by Fancy Pants;
'love' letter stickers from Bo Bunny "Crazy Love;"
quilling paper from Lake City, all flowers quilled by me
  One of the best things about quilling & crochet both is that they can be done while watching TV - and thus, you aren't wasting time, you're working!

Supplies: all papers & bird sticker from Basic Grey "Olivia;"
flower crocheted by me; green "leaf" flower by Recollections;
buttons from Dress It Up (heart) and Basic Grey;
"baby girl love" rub-on from Daisy D's; doily pieces from Wilton

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Try not to judge too harshly...

Well, if any crafty people make their way here, this will probably look pretty familiar. If you are a neat and tidy kind of person, if clutter bothers you, if messiness gives you heartburn....please just skip this post. And don't say I didn't warn you.

Day 6: How does your living space reflect your creative nature?  Share a picture if you can!

Please don't be too harsh :)
It's a tiny house. This is my itty bitty oasis, crowded on all sides by toys, computer, furniture... See that tiny 8.5 x 11 piece of paper? That's my creative space. I let it go until the clutter encroaches onto that space, and then it's time to tidy up.

Now, the prompt actually asks how my creative nature impacts my living space...and I don't think it does, other than in the nook where I create. The rest of the house is just crammed full of the detritus of family life and children and three cats. Speaking of cats, the white cat, Sophie, sleeps in my desk chair about 90% of the time that I'm not in it. I can't even get the fur off! You might notice the shelf above the desk - well, the right-hand side is apparently fair game for any papers that someone wants to keep visible, but the rest is one of two places where I can safely put breakables.

Supplies: Tulip stamp from PSX, embossed in white EP;
coloured in with Prismacolor pencils.
Paper is from DCWV Mariposa Mat Stack;
Thank You stamp is from Inkadinkado, stamped with Palette Noir.
Thanks for sticking with me :) Forgive the big shadow - still fiddling with the camera, but despite the shadow I still like how the card turned out in this photo!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Inspiration comes from everywhere - I find it in nearly everything. I read so many books - sometimes it's the cover art, sometimes the words of the author, sometimes the characters themselves. I follow loads of blogs, and although I am inspired by everyone I follow, it's rare that I actually try to imitate someone. Today's prompt, Day 5, is this:

What artists do you seek out for inspiration?  Create a small something based on your source.
There are many people I look to for inspiration, but the one I chose to be influenced by for this creation is Jill Foster of "Inspired By." Every week she chooses a different artist to be inspired by, and shows the original artwork and her interpretation, and discusses how she was influenced in her own creation. The amount of dedication and effort that goes into her blog is astounding, let alone the variety of her talents and creations. I encourage you to go over and have a peek. The cards that I was inspired by are within this post.

Supplies: flower image stamp from Fifth Avenue Floral, Stampin' Up!;
embossed with white EP, coloured with Prismacolor pencils, fussy-cut and adhered to the white panel;
papers all from My Mind's Eye Fine & Dandy, True Blue;
"Birthday Wishes" stamp from Inkadinkado, doodles added for border.
I received a wonderful set of Prismacolor pencils for Christmas, and I'm still learning how best to shade with them. The flowers each use 3 different colours, blended by dipping the pencil lead directly into the blending solution before colouring. I was originally planning to use the same three colours as in Jill's card (purple, teal, yellow) and coloured enough flowers in those colours, but when it came time to assemble the card the purple flowers just didn't want to join in. They're still waiting for their own card. Because I'm still practicing with the pencils, I didn't want to mask the flowers as Jill did, in case I messed up, so I fussy-cut them and layered them. 

I am really pleased with how this turned out - and I can completely see how the inspiration piece influenced the final design. Sometimes it's not so obvious!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Four all over the place!

First of all, here comes day 4 in the 30 Days of Creativity prompt...

Do some doodling... share it and write about it!

It took forever! I carried around my black fine tip marker and a red Sharpie for a few days, and never figured out how I wanted to start. Finally I just decided to write the word "Doodle" and go from there. As all the best doodles do, it then took on a life of its own. I've always loved putting eyes into double "o" words, and then the rest of the face took shape. I think my two favourite details are the spiderwebs in the Ds, and the "shaded" black areas around the face - I did that by drawing hundreds of teeny hearts in two directions, on top of one another. The final touch was added this afternoon, after staring at the remaining white space for a couple of days...and now, it is filled with the words WHITE SPACE. Sometimes you just have to go with it.

I have no idea if this will give me the desire to doodle more often, but next time I hope I don't find myself thinking about it so much! It's just a doodle!!!

The next part having to do with fantastic blog I follow, Understand Blue, had a great post on Sunday (as usual...I want to be her when I grow up) with a fun little "four things" post...and given that I knew I was working up to Day 4, I made a mental note to do this too. Here goes:

1. Four shows that you watch:
-Grey's Anatomy
-Private Practice

2. Four things you are passionate about:
-my kids!
-reading & books!

3. Four words/phrases you say a lot:
-um, four-letter words {blush}
-I love you
-Come ON.

4. Four things you've learned from the past:
-Seriously, try not to sweat the small stuff.
-Walk away before you lose it!
-Mistakes are just opportunities for creative embellishment...for cards, anyway!
-Life is too short to bother dealing with mean people.

5. Four places you would like to go:
-Vancouver. It'll always be "home," even though I won't live there again.
-Newfoundland & Labrador, so I can see our tenth province.
-All 3 territories, for the same reason as above.
-Hawaii, because it was -35 degrees Celsius this morning with the windchill.

6. Four things you did yesterday: Ugh, Sunday is never a fun day...
-a long bath
-talked to my sis for 2 hours or the day actually got pretty good :)

7. Four things you are looking forward to:
-when Sarah and Andrew come to visit's freaking cold today! day is my favourite day of the week
-bedtime. Someone is having a rough day, and it's not me.

8. Four things you love about winter:
-No mosquitoes. That's a no-brainer.
-Snuggling up with blankets and the heat going, and feeling cozy and warm inside.
-Going for a walk on the crisp but not freezing days (down to -15 or so...)
-That it does finally end!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do I Smell Cake?

Supplies: penguin & sentiment stamps from The Cat's Pajamas;
all paper from K & Co, Citronella;
The orange layer is originally yellow, embossed with the Spots cuttlebug folder, and swiped with Spiced Marmalade distress ink.
Penguin bellies are covered with Fun Flock (Stampendous);
cupcake is frosted with Liquid Applique and sprinkled with beads.
That's it for today!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 3: Inspiring Words

ETA: This was lost in much for thinking I'd mastered the 'art' of scheduling posts! lol

From 30 days of Creativity, Day 3:

What words or phrases do you find inspiring and why?
Sometimes when creating a card for a particular occasion, I look up quotations on the subject to find cues for a visual image. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson are favourites. One that I may have used as an encouragement card more than any other is the following:

Hope is that thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops... at all. 
~Emily Dickinson

Supplies: This card is from long ago...but I'll try!
Bird silhouette from Inkadinkado, poem from Wordsworth...
and that's all I can remember for sure!
Other words that I tend to create with are what I call "trendy" words, those commands that one often finds in card stores (gasp! what are you doing in THOSE!!) and home decorating, like DREAM-BELIEVE-CREATE-LOVE and so on.

Supplies: Papers from Basic Grey "Capella;"
doily & flowers from dollarama.
The copper flowers were "made" by heat-embossing with copper EP;
miscellaneous ribbon, stick pin & eyelets from Making Memories;
"With Love" rub-on from Kaisercraft
I've finally been able to capture some photos of the earring cards! My dear friend Cheryl Mosher makes the loveliest earrings, and I get to be inspired by them all the time. I have a little row hanging on my desk, and as the random disaster shifts around I find all sorts of neat ways to include them on cards. Hopefully now that I'm learning how to use the camera I'll be able to share more of her beautiful jewelry on the blog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

OMG, Day 2 on Day 2!

Day 2 in the 30 Days of Creativity...

What colors are meaningful to you and why?

My favourite colour is green, nearly any colour of green. I am not even sure how to express why it's meaningful to me! All colours are meaningful to me, in that I love them all, and create with them all. I do remember hating brown, and orange, and I use them both all the time now. This is a much harder question than I anticipated... How about this? I find that, during the winter months, I am drawn to bright colours, probably in an effort to counter the darker days.

Here's a bright & shiny card to hopefully bring some brightness to your day:

Supplies: all papers from Basic Grey "Lemonade;"
vase punch by Marvy Uchida; leaf frond punch by Martha Stewart;
Happy Birthday sentiment from My Favourite Things, stamped in Regal Rose ink;
tag die from Provo Craft; ribbon from Offray
All the quilling paper is from Lake City, and the quilling all done by me
 Sarah, if you could let me know what you think about these photos the next few days - I'm learning how to use the camera, slowly, and the editing software. I got about 10 usable photos out of 2 hours' work today. Yay me!

Monday, January 17, 2011

30 days of Creativity!

Blogging appears to be much harder work than I thought - not so much that I don't have anything to share, just that it's hard to type messages with no clear audience. I tend to imagine myself just talking to my sister Sarah, but of course I highly doubt I will ever share as much on the blog as I do with her! That would likely upset a few people :)

I follow a large number of blogs in my Google reader - I have no idea how to sync that with my blog so that it appears as a 'blogroll' other than to edit them one by one, so I haven't done so yet. One of the best in terms of craft research is Craft Critique, which as you might expect, provides user reviews of different products. 30 Days of Creativity is a little different. It's a list of prompts to help shove crafters into crafting, and maybe even blogging about it. I have no idea how well I'll do at keeping up with it, but I'm intrigued by the idea, and I'd like to give it a shot. Some of the prompts are for writing, as for Day One.

Day 1: When you were a child, how did you express your creativity?

Well, like every child does - I drew, I coloured, I pasted. I remember quite vaguely learning how to sew at about age 7 or 8, and I can't say as how I've improved that much at it since then, at least not with fabric! Sewing on paper is so much easier for me. As a teenager, I adored collage. My room was nearly papered with different collages - movie stars, black & white photos, quotes written and twirled in amongst the magazine clippings. I loved making them, and hanging them. I doodled - you know, what's now that ultra-trendy zentangling? Loads of it. I made enormous birthday cards for my friends, decorating the envelopes with their names writ large. By my late teens I moved on to cross-stitch, and I even made a doll. By the time my kids were born, I learned to crochet, and moved back into paper-crafting, and now I couldn't imagine lasting long without that creative outlet.

Well, I'm not the only person home today, and apparently my time on the computer has come to an end! One quick card before I go, and maybe I'll see you soon for Day 2. In honour of my improved PAPER stitching...

Supplies: Bird stitching pattern from Andrea Zuill;
all papers Basic Grey; leaves cut freehand;
"happy birthday" stamp from Hero Arts

Monday, January 3, 2011

I'm such a lucky duck!

I think I am, most of the time. Everyone has down days (no pun intended, groan!), but I really truly do think I am a lucky person. This year has gotten off to a really crazy-lucky start in that I've won two "blog candy" prizes from stamp companies - My Favorite Things and All That Scraps. I was pretty dang excited after reading yesterday that I'd won at MFT, and when I saw today that I'd also won at All That Scraps, I'm surprised I didn't pee myself! Truly. All of the prizes are new releases - MFT's hasn't been released yet, so I can't link up a picture for you, but here are the sweetie pies from ATS (hands down, my favourite online shop. Christine is super-fast, the shipping is very reasonable, and she carries all my favourites.)
Love Lolita Honeybee
Love Lolita Butterfly
Love Lolita Ladybug
Now, aren't those going to make the cutest girly cards??? {swoon}
I'm still wading through Christmas cards for posting (and don't forget about the 50% off sale on Saturday in Sackville...) but I have a perfect one featuring an All That Scraps stamp: Holly Starshine
Supplies: paper from Imaginisce, Holly Starshine stamp, both from All That Scraps;
chipboard sentiment from never-ending Christmas stash;
Holly Starshine 'watercoloured' with Adirondack inks
& glossy accents added to her eyes, berries, & boots
Totally flapping with excitement...time to go do some shoveling of the steps so the paperboy can get in here in the morning!