Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's Personal(ized)

A couple of weeks ago I was presented a challenge. And here is the final result. A personalized mirror/frame that is FULL of love ♥.

 One of the supplies I received last year as part of a class was an Ikea mirrored frame.  Although I loved the idea that we were given to create in the class, I didn't feel it would fit the decor of my home.  So, I didn't do it, but I kept the unfinished mirror in my stash and have had the idea in the back of my mind, for a rainy day or a any special day project....

Working on my Art Journal this year has re-introduced me to Mod Podge and ripped paper images.  So, when I was challenged to send some love ♥, I thought the perfect way was to create the image with words that represent this special person. Words she wrote, words she said, words that literally describe her, and unfortunately with some spelling errors (argh! but heck that's what makes it original, right?)
Here we have it... layer upon layer of computerized sentiment art.  Layer upon layer of Mod Podge. Fun funky paper punched flowers adding a bit of whimsy to each corner.
One of a kind art from the ♥! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Lollipops aren't just for Lickin'

Here's a sweet treat to look at!  Ever have a Lollipop Moment?

I wanted this creative greeting card to be bright and colorful and full of fun things to catch your eye.  Swirls and stripes, glitter and pop ups!

So many words mean so many different things these days.  A bird used to tweet, but now that's what you do while texting 140 characters on Twitter.  A mouse is something a cat would chase, now you use it to guide your cursor on the computer screen.

And a Lollipop Moment is when somewhere in time, someone entered your life and made a difference. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading...

I'm willing to give it a try... spread a little SH!NE, Brighten Someone's Day... help create a Lollipop Moment.... what about you?

Friday, July 27, 2012

6 Ways to view Gus

Wow, I LEARNED a lot of new things this week.  Scroll down my blog and you can see 6 different fun creative greetings of Gus the Beagle / Basset hound.

Things I re-learned?  I have lots of paper and doo-dads I really can use it in so many ways. The layouts that I found through web searches are awesome inspiration to make every single card I create, unique to itself! 

You have to look close but I stitched all around the chevron paper.  Added a cute Tim Holtz paper clip with matching ribbon knotted to show off some flare! Look for
the not so hidden ♥

And I worked on Photoshop, a lot!  Probably can't tell that much of a difference on my pics.... but I'm working on better lighting and layout of the card when I take the actual picture.  I'm learning how to enhance the light on the photo in the Photo shop program, add a frame around the picture to give it a soft glow and add a signature watermark. 

At times I should take a picture of my work area... I have a Photo Shop for Dummies yellow and black book open on my desk amongst my pens and pencils, my laptop is wide open learning from wonderful on-line classes on the web and of course...I'm being over stimulated by all the colors and shapes in my creative studio.  I'm on a learning high!

Thanks for stopping by, scroll down and view all 6 cards in the Gus series.  He's a cute hound to doodle.  FuN MaiL is going right in someone's mail box.

Go ahead,
Brighten Someone's Day!!!!!
My greeting cards are always for sale.... much better than Hallmark, trust me!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Party with Gus

Gus is getting the party hopping through this hot hot week at the end of July 2012.  Two more cards in the series of 6 note cards going off to a friend who is giving them as part of a birthday gift.
All of these cards are simple and fun doodles of Gus the Beagle/Basset hound. Today he is party bound with a present surrounded by popping stars and a cool party hat with a fluffy thing -a- ma- jig at the top!  These cards can be given for any type of celebration or acknowledgement.

A little bitter sweet... took Sissy to get her picture taken for the high school yearbook today, her Senior Picture.  My baby is going to be a senior, and now I need to grow up.  We took some fun pictures at the pond next door too.  I'll crop them and show some soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hidden Hearts

Two more cards of Gus the Beagle/Basset hound.  Is he the mischievous sort?  Or does he get caught in  the wrong place and the wrong time.... those big black eyes seem like trouble to me! 

My challenge in creating these cards is to use all materials on hand.  I have a lot of wonderful supplies (mostly  patterned paper)  that are just stuffed in drawers and folders and they NEED to be used.

Added small punched flowers to the mailbox above.  Used a balled stylist to give the flowers some shape.  Then added sparkly stickles to the centers. Tied the knot on the bow really tight, in creating flat cards that are easy to send as FuN MaiL....

Decided to fussy  cut ( target and cut a specific motif that's printed on paper, rather than randomly cutting the image as we normally do. ) Gus and the mug. 

Makes his image pop out on the card.  One theme throughout is to add a ♥ to the card images that I doodle. Easy to spot in the bottom card, where is it in the top card???  That also gives me another challenge to remember to find a way to add that special touch!

It's supposed to be another real hot, hot day here in the suburbs.  Heat index above 100 degrees.  This will sure be a summer to remember, for a lot of reasons!!!

Remember not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck ~ Dalai Lama

and finally, also from Pinterest....

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you!

Now go.... brighten someone's day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gus is Back

I'm so excited to share a few cards this week that include my favorite beagle basset Gus! 

I made up 6 different *original doodle dog poses for note card fronts and then searched out ways I could use my scraps to make fun and whimsical Gus cards.  Here, he is enjoying a little bit of nature sitting in the grass with the flowers and a lady bug friend!
Here's the Mojo Monday sketch I followed when creating the card.  I love how the little banners peak out the bottom and give a rugged/jagged edge!

As you know, I struggle as an artist and a blogger with this, and have recently seen some others address this to their blogs...
* Doodle - original doodle would be something I created and drew by hand. 

However, a disclaimer... I don't know if any art is original, we all get inspiration somewhere, from a photo in a book, pictures on the internet, nature and actual people, places and things. PRDesigns defines some doodles as CASe-ing a STAMPED image where I hand draw and color (not tracing or scanning the image) and give credit to the best of my ability, due to the original artist or company.

We've had rain!  It's the thing where water comes down from the sky...you almost want to go outside and stand in it and soak it all in.  It's wonderful!  This summer 2012, as any summer or season... has sure been different!

Hey, stay tuned and see some more Gus cards being posted soon!!!
Brighten Someone's Day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hello, Nice to Meet You

Oh, I can't get that little song out of my mind, the new promo for the Jeff Probst talk show on tv.  He is the 'host' of the reality show 'Survivor'.  These guys don't have enough to do hosting a show about wacko people? They now get asked to host a talk show?  Do we really want to know what he thinks?

Well, I guess that's why I have a blog, I can tell the world what I think!

Simple and clean card above.  Months ago I got the Fresh Vintage stamp set from SU!  I hadn't found the right moment to try it and now I had the opportunity.  Nice and crisp image.  I added the Hello and the punched flower row from different sets.

Two things come to mind as I write this post.  The opportunity to use this stamp set.  By no means am I a craft hoarder.  Oh, just like the average crafter, I do have my share of 'stuff'.  Any none paper crafter who would walk in my 'craft studio' would be overwhelmed.  I'll say what most would say... "I might need that.... some day..."  Most all my 'stuff' is in organized piles.  (Sadly, I am waiting for the day, and it will be happening real soon, when Bubba cleans out his bedroom and takes his furniture plus the hide-a-bed couch from my office and haul it off to his apartment at the University) and then I will be able to merge and purge my 'stuff' in a more sensible order. (Stay tuned for that)

And then you had me at 'hello'.  I walk my neighborhood daily.  When you have two active fur babies it's kind of hard to ignore them when they are standing at the door.  I have found it strange lately how many new people I encounter on my walks.  Our neighborhood is not that big... or so I thought.  I keep my dogs on a leash, in tow whenever we cross paths with other people and dogs.  I can't tell you how many times I am walking right by someone and I greet them with a basic "Hello"  ( not even how are you, or tell me your life's problems) and they continue walking by as if I didn't say a word to them. Okay, so I've been told, maybe they have their ipod playing in their ear, they're deaf, they're not in the mood to speak, don't take it personally, they're socially inept... a simple bob of the head, roll of the eyes, tiny raise of the hand, a mumble 'hi'.... it's just one of those things that makes me go hmmmm.

Friday, July 20, 2012

So She Did

I like to think I'm pretty crafty.  I lean more toward the Folk Craft World than fine art.  I like to make things and give them away, but if I make a little money on the side, it's just a perk to re-invest in my supplies to create more art!

There has always been a creative studio spot in all of our homes.  Boxes and bins full of popsicle sticks and yarn!!  Baskets with markers and glue. I've been a room mom where I've brought crafts in for the kids to make during class parties.  I've even instructed adults in a few sessions of cardmaking and crafting... so being artsy fartsy is a part of my life. Sadly, the kids weren't much interested in creating their own fun from bits and pieces, scraps and inkings!

Can you believe? Well I do.... but Pinterest sparked Sissy's interest.  And she created the above canvas.  It is a perfect quote and a job well done in painting, stencil lettering and overall completion.  She says she even had fun making this... while sitting on the front porch on a very, very, VERY hot summer afternoon 2012.  She wrapped it up with a bow and gave it to a very special friend.  The smile on her face is priceless. 

I think anyone can do something ... anything... as long as they really WANT to.  Some skills and life challenges are a bit more involved... but you never know until you try.

Maybe too, she'll understand that I'm not just doodling up in my office again... I'm working on creating SMILeS!
Brighten Someone's Day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trilogy by Design

 Card number 3, in this weeks card trilogy. 

All three cards are connected with the same mono-chromatic color scheme and I used two different 4" x 6" patterned paper sheets to add the major color pieces to all the cards.  Other coordinating paper scraps were added from my stash.
All three cards have a different feel to them as well.  The top 'thank you' card is very simplistic and straight forward.  The punched circles are all 'perfect' in their rows. The ribbon and the punched edge are all very calculated.

The second card, although there is no sentiment, it could be used a number of different ways, from a thinking of you card... anywhere in between, up to a hello note card!  The different size banner shapes and the book fringe make this card somewhat, versatile,  eclectic and spirited.
The hugs and kisses card is most planned.  It follows a layout from Mojo Monday (if interested, scroll down to find that blog over to the right -->).  The shapes are all uniform, there is a mix and match theme to the pattern paper... plaid then paisley, paisley then plaid. I colored the little girls hair and the hearts to the reds and oranges throughout the card palette.  And this last card has the most detail with multiple  layers, framing, added floss, faux stitching holes, the banner sentiment and crystal effects to pop out the hearts!

Today's post was a two fold project, actually.  I wanted to use up all the paper I had pulled to work on the cards, so I found 3 completely different ways to do that.  And, I also learned how to sharpen the color and add a watermark stamp to the cards while working on my skills in Photo Shop! I'm LEARNING (something new, almost every day)

I'm really happy my plan came together.  Now get out there, order some creative greetings from me, your humble starving artist card maker and send some FuN MaiL..... it WILL
brighten someone's day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lil Bit of Fringe

Two handmade greeting cards with similar patterned papers and colors themes have already been highlighted (one yesterday and the other today) on my blog. 

Did you know there is something out there in the card making world called One sheet wonders???  Where some creative soul took apart one sheet (normally 8" x 11-1/2") of crazy fun patterned paper and cut and divided to make an impressive color coordinated mix and match of 10-12 different card fronts.  This week I'l reveal a 3 sheet wonder... I'm starting out small!

I'm using a small sheet as well... a Hippie Chic Matstack from DCWV and it's only 4" x 6". Please notice the funky reds and oranges with paisley, plaids and glitter.

The fun surprise on this card is the book paper fringe.  Here's a close up view.

With coupon in hand, last year I bought the Martha Stewart fringe scissors.  It's cut is really cute, but don't know how often I will use them.  Maybe this fringe style would be more useful making big fluffy pom pom flowers for a gift, or some sort of ribbon hanging off the present.

Stop in tomorrow and see how I end my trilogy.  There is more behind the pictures too... learning  how to set up a photo shoot, upload and color enhance the photos, and add a watermark and shadow around the pictures.  Trying to EXPLORE the possibilities with PhotoShop Elements... and of course trying to create a fun card to....
Brighten Someone's Day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

X & O's

Oh, I just love how this card turned out!  (I guess I wouldn't really be showing you cards that I didn't like how they turned out now, would I?)

The title should be O's ( the circle indicates arms around someone for a hug) and  X's (which where the two points meet together in the middle are lips kissing)  But it hugs and kisses not kisses and hugs!!!

Not that it's the end all solution to my dilemma, (artistic and life)  but I think sometimes I get overwhelmed with too many ideas.  Let's say I visit 5 blogs regularly, every day.  I get ideas, I'm inspired, I'm roped into the bloggers life and aha moments occur when new ways to use old things arise.  But some days, those 5 blogs lead me to at least two more new blogs (each and so on and so on) , then I happen to be at Splitcoast Stampers, then Pinterest comes my way, then I happen upon Ustream... do you see where I'm going?

No, no... not that the whole day is wasted, but the whole time I'm inspired, and then that stimulates me too much.... all these creative people I have come into contact with (via the computer) and they are all giving us their best.... wow!!  That, is a lot of pressure!

This card was inspired by a Mojo Monday sketch.  I try not to 'cheat' and look at the other entries before hand.  Some creative soul gives us a card layout with circles and squares, and all kinds of shapes, and then we are supposed get our Mojo to get creative.
Here is a close up view of the area where 3 of something were to be put.  Lately, I've been on a kick of wanting to create 'flat' cards so that they don't have a problem going through the postal service.  So, instead of buttons.  I adhered matching card stock to tag board and then embossed it to give it dimension, circle punched them and then used them like buttons.

I'm only one person comparing myself to hundreds... the competition is stiff... but I have to give myself a break... I wasn't born to fit in, I was born to stand out! ~ Dr. Suess

Monday, July 16, 2012

So She Did It

What's the buzz? 

Every day I'm trying to be true to my Year of SELF  (both in life and my creative adventures) and I am LEARNING, how to be a free-er and more creative crafter/cardmaker, FINDING ways to take better pictures, SEEKING out help from others who have more experience and are willing to teach, and I'm EXPLORING new things that I have the resources for, just didn't know what to do with it!

This week: challenge to learn more about Photoshop Elements, picture taking, watermarks and whatever else comes my way! :0)
I got a new stamp set from Tim Holz's Stampers Anonymous set and it has these way cool 2" x 4" rubber stamps with grungy honeycombs shapes, distressed dots and funky shapes.  So, I actually started backwards with the card, doing the background first and then finding a bee image that I could doodle for the top layer to frame.  I had gotten a mix of the colored twine and thought the yellow/green was just the right amount!  It would be perfect to stamp a few layers of the honey comb, cut them out and pop dot them up for even more dimension. Bright and fun.... something great to send as FuN MaiL... to Brighten Someone's Day!
Sissy loves Pinterest, we all love Pinterest, don't you??  Although my children have been around an Artsy Fartsy mom their entire life, unless they have to... they don't do crafts... very much.  But she wanted to make a special friend a special gift.  Quotes, signs, canvas, paint... all the rage... so she got everything she needed, found the quote, one day sat on the porch in the sweltering summer heat .. and voila`... She believed she could, so she did!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hot Friday

Edit:  I got a great tip from Andrea, and am trying to photoshop my photos.  Old style on the left, new attempt on the right, I'm learning.  Her blog is Ewan Style to the right-->

I'll finish off the week with some other inspired doodles from my art bin... along with paper piecing and background papers that come from my scrap stash. Add to them some vintage rick rack, multi-colored twine and a little inking and trying to make these cards somewhat flat (for mailing purposes) to Brighten Someone's Day....

Real floss stitches above add to the stuffed feel of the cute & cuddly toy giraffe.  And faux stitches below look like I really used my sewing machine to adhere the banners and circles in place.

Oh my goodness, it has been a hot, hot week.  Love the sunshine, but need a little relief and a lot of rain!!!  It's getting very crispy outside!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Have Some Cake

and eat it too! 
 Playing around with left over scraps, (once again)  and found some tutorials for paper piecing the cake layers, the candles, the tags etc....in this 3D evolving cartoon world I guess it's fun to have eye popping birthday cards as well!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fox and Friends

Eclectic mix of pictures today. 

My head is bouncing with all kinds of ideas!! While trying my hand at a little photo shoot the other day, my little fozzy bear, Tucker, just plopped down on my white cardboard 'studio'.  Who could resist that face??? He turned 4 last month and is still a ball of fuzzy fire!!!!
Gname the gnome who has been with us since the beginning of my blog, got a make-over the other day.  He was a little worn from all the mid-west weather elements, 100 degree heat, snow, freezing temperatures and rain... so I pulled out the acrylic paints and brushes and freshened him up a bit.  He's a little shy and promptly turned away as I was snapping his pictures!

Among the crunchy leaves and crispy twigs that have fallen out back, there is beauty!  I have been watering my lilies diligently and on three stems I got about 8 gorgeous blooms.  They smell wonderful! I wanted to capture them in full bloom.  A photo like this could be a true inspiration for a creative greeting!!
Sent any FuN MaiL lately???
Brighten Someone's Day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our mini Cooper

 Just a cool reminder how the weather used to be here about 6 months ago.  One day I made a snowman, just because I could and a snapped a cute shot with my loyal friend Cooper.  Isn't he handsome?  He has been an inspiration for many photo shoots and lots of cards.  I love my dogs!

Cooper turned 7 last month.  His muzzle is starting to show a little grey, here and there.  But he is still spry and spunky when he wants to be.  While walking the neighborhood we happen upon a new walker, and they often want to know how old our 'puppy' is... when we say 7 they are shocked.  He holds his age well, I guess!
I've morphed a doodle from Marisse Carrier and turned it a bit Cooper-esc.  I am trying very hard to clean my creative space (use up the old) and am going through my extra paper stash and my doodle bin to try and come up with unique and whimsical cards that are just lying in wait to be created!  I was inspired by a few blogs that had layouts and figured these left overs with my doodle shapes would make two perfect cards!
A few weeks ago I posted that I had fallen into one of our window wells trying to retrieve a small friend we named Chip.  Cooper is nothing but a vigilant and dedicated varmint dog.  He sits and waits for hours amongst the hostas and bushes around our house.  Waiting for a glimpse or a chance to play with small furry friends.  Well, I'm happy, or maybe sad to report that he finally caught "A" Chip.

Stop reading here if you have a queasy stomach: I helped in the demise of Chip.  Seems Cooper heard Chip and gave chase around to the back of the house.  Chip ran up a plastic down spout.  Cooper knocked the downspot off and started rolling it around the yard.  Mom (me) came out to find what the commotion was about and noticed a scratching noise coming from the plastic tube. I tipped it up and nothing, then I tipped it down and heard a scurry of scratching noises. 

Something was inside the tube.  Cooper started pawing at the tube, his eyes were intense, almost pleading with me... "Mom, I've got this one".  Not to be cruel, but I let Cooper have a go at the 'caged' animal.  He rolled the tube around the yard, stuck his snout into each open end, he pawed at the baffles in the middle.  Not that there are any gory details... but Chip did not make it.  Cooper was triumphant!  We showed everyone in the house Cooper's prize and awarded him with words of great praise for his catch!

With a nature wonderland like our backyard, there is MORE where that came from.  Every day, our loyal Cooper waits for hours hidden amongst the hostas, shadowed from the hot summer sun.  He is now waiting, and waiting, and waiting.... maybe for Dale to cross his path!

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our life whole. ~ pinterest

Monday, July 09, 2012

Down by the Fountain

Through my window to the world, I see a lot of activity.  That window is my kitchen window that leads out to our backyard.  Birdies are swooping down to the ground from the trees, snacking on mulberries that have made their way south due to gravity.

Fanny, the doodled flamingo is strutting her pretty real pink stuff.  My main goal in card making the past week has been to use scraps from my stash and find  layouts that I can utilize as many complimentary layers as possible.  I don't want it overbearing and messy... but just kind of full!

The birds love our little water fountain and our birdbath.  With temperatures hovering around 105 degrees the past week, they too have needed some relief.  Cardinals, finches, robins and woodpeckers, line up on the glider, waiting for their turn to dip their toes in the cool bubbly water.

Faith, Hope & Charity are all Penny Black designs, doodled by me.  They're on stage ready to wish someone special a happy day.... no matter what the occasion is!  Flowers, sweet notes and a bouncy balloon all in tow are ready to spring on special wishes. The fantabulous fun thing about this card is the punched frame.  It really isn't a die cut, but a boarder punch that with just the right dimensions, I learned how to construct a frame, and no need for a special corner punch.
In between the shadows dancing from the sun filtering through the trees, squirrels, chipmunks and bunnies play games through the mulch and hostas that flank the burms outback.  No matter the weather, we have a small nature garden just feet away from our back door. The flurry and fluff is never ending.

These two love birds can't help but have googlie eyes for each other.  Shake them up a bit and they're looking somewhere else.

There is so much activity all around, yet some things seem to take sooo long to change.  Don't give up now!


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