Monday, September 01, 2014

my favorite cards

Hello dearies!

This week on the Scrap Gals Podcast we're talking about "Scraps, Tags & Cards!" So fun!

I thought I would start the week out by sharing some of my favorite cards I've made.
These have all been on my blog before but some are from years ago so maybe they'll be new to you. :)

Let's start with my favorite card I've ever made. This is a design that can be used over and over with different patterns and for any occasion...

One of my go-to techniques is to use strips of patterned paper...


My favorite technique - diagonal strips...



Here's another way to mix patterns - just cut random size rectangles....

Card using a word cut out with my Silhouette Cameo with paper peeking through...

Here's a fun one using my hexagon punch...

Here's a basic card design you can use for any occasion...change the patterns/sentiment....

Look for paper with spaces you can fill in with a tiny punch/die like a heart/butterfly, etc. I filled in each of the spots on this paper with a different heart...

Square cards are fun! This one is 5x5 and has punched squares of patterned paper...this is an easy go-to design to use over and over!

Here's a post that shows a great sentiment set to use inside (purchased at Target).

Here's how I store my blank card bases/envelopes...

I hope that will help some of you to get started making cards! In this week's show, I give a step-by-step plan to make a card because I think many people just don't know where to start!

Happy Labor Day. I hope you'll be crafty!

Monday, August 25, 2014

monday 8/25

Hello dear blog friend!

I can never decide what my post title should be so I decided to just put the date. I'm in an unoriginal mood, I suppose. :)

I hope your weekend was delightful! My husband was out of town for a gig so I was kind of worthless and vegged on the couch watching "Once Upon a Time" and "Wings" on Netflix. I'm really getting hooked on "Once Upon a Time!" Caroline and I are watching and we're up to Season 2, Episode 3. I've tried watching before but this time I started closer to the beginning and I understood it a lot more. Right now, I'm very worried about Pinocchio turning to wood and if he'll be okay. I guess I'll find out soon! 

Other than the binge TV watching, I did sit at my desk for hours, practicing my lettering. I made this art journal page...
These are things I always say and they make me laugh. Tiffany said, "Why didn't you make a layout about that?"
I said, "What would the picture be? There's not one!"
This is why I'm digging art journaling - there's no need to find a photo - you just start the page and have fun.

Not to say I've abandoned scrapbooking because I definitely have not! I have some layout ideas brewing right now.

Well I started this post early afternoon and now it's 9:30 pm and I'm watching another episode of "Once Upon a Time." Rumpelstiltskin has just met Captain Hook and I'm thinking he's going to be an interesting character!

See you again soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

art journal pages

Hello my dears,

I have been a bit MIA because I had a little accident! I was at my friend's cabin in the mountains Monday night and since I have been there so often and know it so well, I thought I could make it down the stairs without turning a light on. Wrong!! I missed the bottom step and down I went. I hit my head pretty hard and my tailbone took the worst of it. It ain't pretty - let me tell ya! I've been in bed for two days with lots of bruises.

I did manage to get up for a bit last night and play. I was longing for my markers and watercolors so I pulled them out to make a page. I watched this awesome watercoloring tutorial before sitting down to play and I was amazed by how much her instruction helped me!!


I highly recommend watching that if you are at all interested in watercoloring. (Click and watch on You Tube - it's huge there and you'll be able to see much better what she's doing.) I've watched many videos on it and this is the one that made it click for me. She is using distress markers but I used the same techniques with regular watercolors. (By the way, I now want to buy tons of distress markers! You can use them like watercolors!)

The best tip she gave was to wet a small area completely and then fill in with color and the color will stay within the area you carefully went over first. She shows a transfer method for tracing an image but I just used a very light distress ink stamp pad and stamped my image.

After watching the video, I looked in my stamp drawer for an image I could color in and found this bird. Perfect! Then I thought about what I could say with the word "bird" in it and I thought about how when I'm with Tiffany, I feel so free and young...free as a bird! So I made this page in honor of my time with Tiff-Tiff.

I used a Stampin Up brush marker to make the word bird and I don't like it that much but I just used it anyway because I had already stamped and watercolored the bird. I have a bit of gray under the bird to ground him but I don't think you can see it in this photo. I made my printing a little messy just 'cause I was not that concerned about it being perfect and then I put a skinny orange border around it and called it done. I may add the word "Tiffany" above it but probably this is done.

I also watercolored this image I had started last week. I had a freaky moment one day when I went out driving and literally everywhere I looked, I saw the trees for the first time with a variety of colors. It was like someone took the blinders off my eyes and I truly saw nature as God painted it. It was an amazing moment! So I made this page to remember that moment.
I am still learning about watercoloring and not very good at it yet but I will get there! Still testing pens and practicing my lettering every day! I just bought a copic marker to try writing with the brush side and I also bought a calligraphy pen and ink well. I can't wait to play with them tonight!

I have more journal pages to share but they need to be completed. Will try to do that tonight. I have two journals going right now. One is horizontal pages from a mixed media pad (nature) and the other (bird) is 6x8 watercolor pad paper and it's a bit harder to do my lettering on but takes watercolor better. I bought two more mixed media pads at Michaels because they are buy one, get one free this week!

I hope you're enjoying your week and feeling great about life! I will as soon as my tushie heals! :)

See you soon my friend!

Monday, August 18, 2014

art journaling?

Hello bloggie friends!

This week's Scrap Gals podcast is all about Art Journaling. Art Journaling? Surprising...I know! There is a story behind this topic and here it is....

A couple years ago, I started following a wonderful artist named Lori Vliegen who specializes in hand lettering. I thought, "Hmmm...I could probably do that." but as with most things creative, I never took the time to explore it although I continued to read her blog and pin her work which is wonderful!!

Then recently, I visited the blog of Susan Branch, one of my favorite artists. I knew she had a blog because I had read it several times but this time was different. This time when I started reading it, I couldn't stop! I literally read her entire blog in about two weeks. It is captivating. She is captivating. I wanted to be captivating. Reading her blog made me want to be an artist. Like a real "paint on the paper" artist. Her books are all written completely by hand with her paintings making the pages come to life.

Of course becoming an artist seemed very daunting to me because I really do not draw very well and I knew nothing about watercolors or the style of art that Susan Branch does. But as I read her stories of sitting in her studio in the early morning hours painting, I had a hankering to do the same! I wanted to start with a blank piece of paper and finish with something that would make someone's heartstrings go zing! I gave myself a little pep talk and said, "You can do this - you can create art!"

I began to ponder about what I could do that would be fairly easy. What did I already know how to do that could be called "art?" Light bulb moment!! Hand lettering!! I've always been interested in calligraphy and hand lettering and Lori Vliegen's adorable art journals immediately came to mind and I knew she worked in a style I could try to duplicate. I decided to really work at it and learn how to do hand lettering. The idea continued to blossom until I bought a mixed media pad of paper and I was on my way!
One of the things I love about Tiffany is that she is game for most anything I want to do so she caught some of my enthusiasm, bought the same pad of paper and we both made several attempts at making pages...some we love and some we just tolerate.

After much trial and error, I found that I could write in a style similar to the hand lettering I love by using a Zig Calligraphy pen and then cleaning up the outer edges with a Micron marker (01, 03 or 05). I looked at lettering I love to show me exactly where the thick part of the letter went and then it just clicked in my head and know I now.
I always start with one big word and make a page based on that word. Here's the start of a new page...this is all I've done to it so far but I want it to talk about how this has changed my life. I am so excited about it and think about it morning, noon and night!

All the pages for my journal will be horizontal like the one above. I intended to share several today but I went on a quick trip to my friend's cabin in the mountains tonight and forgot about this blog post so I promise to post them Wednesday when I return. Meanwhile, here's a page I did for our little friend named Lilly. I love this so much I might not give it away. This is how I want my art journal to look...just an experimentation into drawing, lettering and painting. I want there to be lots of wonderful quotes and thoughtful journaling...
I made some mistakes on this but I don't even mind - it kind of adds to the homemade feel of it. I penciled in the flower after looking for one online. Then I drew the lines with a Micron marker and attempted to paint it and goofed a bit on that because I didn't allow dry time but again, I don't mind. It was a lesson learned. I just got a library book on watercolors and I've already learned a lot by reading it!

It's all a growing process...something new and different. I've been experimenting with hand lettering using pencil only and I tried filling it in afterward instead of starting with a calligraphy pen. I'll be sharing more about that later this week. I promise I have loads to share but this is enough for now and it's 12:33 am here in the mountains and my friend is asleep so I will say goodnight and I hope you enjoy this week's show and my little venture into the world of Art Journaling.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

songs and other ramblings

Hello dearie!

It is 9:24 pm on a Thursday and I'm listening to Johnny Mathis singing "It's Not For Me to Say" on my Pandora station and thinking about how dreamy his voice is. It transports me to the 1970's, sitting in our living room, coloring in a Christmas coloring book by the glow of the Christmas tree, listening to my parents' Goodyear Christmas records playing in the stereo cabinet. Johnny Mathis sang "The Christmas Story" and to this day his voice gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Those Goodyear albums from the 1960's are some of my most treasured possessions. Daddy got them when he got new tires. I love to listen to them at Christmas more than any other music. I still own the originals but one of them skips a lot. I've thankfully replaced it with a perfect copy I found at an antique store.

Speaking of antique stores...tomorrow I'm heading to Bowling Green to hang out with Tiffany. I'm planning to stop by an antique store if I can find one. I am just in the mood for all things vintage and feeling very sentimental lately. I want my house to be cozy and homey and filled with good smells and good food.

Tonight I made spaghetti and we had a salad with some homegrown tomatoes a friend gave us. There are no words. There is nothing like a homegrown tomato! They make me so happy.

Now Nat King Cole is singing "Stardust" which is my current favorite song. It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time. I couldn't figure out why I loved it so much until this week when I popped my "Sleepless in Seattle" DVD in and halfway through, the same version of this song came on and it was the saddest scene. I sat with tears rolling down my face and knew that hidden in the recesses of my mind, I remembered the emotion of that scene when the song came on my Pandora station. What a great movie. It is one of the all-time greats. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks really should have won an award for being adorable.

I just made a huge payment on my Disney World trip. We leave on Halloween for nine days and every day I'm giddy and nervous at the same time. Nervous because I still owe $770 and have one month to pay it and also because I have not walked like I should but I am going to start soon.

I am giddy because the last time we were there, in 2011, Fantasyland was under construction. This was all we could see!

Now we'll be able to walk through a life-size version of this picture and ride the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train ride if we're brave enough. (Caroline and I err on the woosie side of riding rides.)

And seeing that picture above, I sigh in giddy excitement that soon we will be there as Louis Armstrong's voice fills the air singing, "and I think to myself what a wonderful world." Yes it is, Louie. Yes it is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

midnight update

Hello my friend!

It's Monday at midnight as I write this. Ella is singing in the background about "Autumn in New York" and I'm thinking I'm happy to be out of the summer rainstorm I just experienced! 

Earlier today, I went out to have dinner with my family. The rain started coming down just as I got in the car and by the time I got to the restaurant, it was a full monsoon but it slackened as we ate. After dinner, I walked to the car and at that very moment, the sky let loose and I got completely soaked even with an umbrella!! My back and the legs of my jeans were so wet I looked like I had just gotten off The Grizzly River Rampage (a ride I rode growing up). 
We were expected at a TV show taping and had committed to being there so although I was soaked from head to toe, we went to the studio and I sat there for two hours sloshing against the back of the seat and shivering in the overly cold air conditioning. The show was awesome and I loved hearing the singing and all the great speakers but my teeth chattered the whole time! 
When I got home, my back and underwear were still soaked! I crawled into dry pajamas but now my throat is feeling scratchy. 

Sure was a big change from yesterday when the sun blazed down until we could barely bear it! Caroline had a friend over after church and they got out the Slip 'n Slide.
She ran in the house asking me to take her picture. She said, "This is a moment that will never come again!" I dutifully went outside with my camera to catch this and other cute moments. :)
14 but still my baby!

This weekend Tiffany and I had a fun Saturday out! We hit a town about an hour away for a day of shopping. We went to the big three; Joann, Michaels and Hobby Lobby plus the scrapbook store. I do have a picture of us there but it's on her camera and she hasn't sent it to me. Here's a pic I grabbed of the new Heidi Swapp stuff at Michaels! It was all delightful but I talked myself out of buying any of it! 
Here's a shocking statement. I've made a decision to try and not buy any more scrapbook supplies this year. Gasp! I know, right!!!? I just have too much stuff to keep buying, plus I'm paying off our Disney trip which is due in full in about one month. 

I'm pretty enthralled with art supplies right now so I'll get my fix by buying those! This weekend I bought a flat paint brush, a watercolor pad and a new Pitt calligraphy marker which I do NOT like. It's not juicy enough. My favorite is my Zig calligraphy pen which I will be talking about next week when our show comes out about Art Journaling.

I am still super excited about hand lettering. I wake up thinking about it and dream about it all night!! It's hard to even blog because I'm so brimming with excitement about my art journaling that I want to share it but I'm going to wait until our show is up next Sunday. .

Have you heard this week's show about summer? I intend to work on a few summer layouts this week if I can get my mind off art journaling and back on to scrapping. I think I'll watch a few videos by Nancy Damiano...that always inspires me!

Gotta get to bed. The Comcast cable man is coming in the morning at 10 am! We have not had cable TV for two weeks! I've got a lot of shows to catch up on...Master Chef, Food Fighters, Extreme Weight Loss and Last Comic Standing to name a few. 

Have a wonderful Tuesday! Toodle-oodie-fruitti!

Friday, August 08, 2014

creative field trip

Hello Friend!

Is it hot or what? Oh my word, I walked outside this week and when I came back in, I needed to be wrung out like a big fat sponge. We've had such a mild summer so far, I kind of forgot what the 90's feel like. Hoping it's cooler where you live or at least less humid!

This week, I wanted some new drawing pencils and Micron pens so I grabbed my camera and headed to Hobby Lobby. I always see one million things I love in Hobby Lobby but it's not the same shopping without a friend so sharing these pics will kind of be like you were there with me! 

Because my newest obsession is hand lettering, I couldn't help but notice that everywhere I looked - there was hand lettering in Hobby Lobby!! 

Check this out...is this me or what? I say this all the time! I don't like the colors but I drool over that design.

I actually already have a sign that says this hanging in my kitchen but I love the writing on it.

Can't think of where one would hang this but I love the lettering, especially the word "darling"...

This isn't my favorite font but I love the drawing and something about this seems so doable!

I don't think this is hand lettered but these fonts look like hand lettering so they are good to look at for a reference!

Love this!! I could do that Merry better than they did - the r's are very strange! Doesn't this seem like something you could make?

This is super fantabulous the bees knees right here. MUST OWN THIS but I was using my coupon on something else. 

I always feel bad about my inconsistency in writing but look at the cursive on this! It's not the same slant! LOL!

This seems like the beginning of something no one ever finished but I like the writing! 

There's even hand lettering to be found in the scrapbooking aisle! 
That Home Sweet Home and Enjoy the Ride make my heart go pitter-patter.

I also saw this great book I want to get it soon with a coupon....it was $24.99.

Here are some other things that inspired me while I was there.
The color scheme in this picture - oh Mylanta!

Also...
I wish I could draw and paint that turkey!

And lastly...me wantie.
So fall and sweet.

I hope you enjoyed seeing all that! I kept thinking someone from Hobby Lobby might ask why I was taking pictures but they never did. Whew! 

I'm so excited 'cause we're getting a Hobby Lobby one mile from my house! It's not going to be good for my wallet but it will be good for my soul! Here's how it looks today...so exciting!! It will be my new "happy place."

That's all I got folks. Hope my creative field trip inspired you! Have a blessed Friday!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

for the love of lettering

Hello my dear blog friend!

How are you? It's almost 2 am as I write this and I have so much to tell you - I don't know where to start! Get comfy 'cause this might take a while. First things first, so we know we have our priorities in order....let me tell you about my new favorite snack in all of LIFE.

First you take a bowl of these....
Then you get a jar of this (which is way chocolatey-er than Nutella)....
Then you go like this and the ANGELS SING! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! (My podcast listeners will know how that sounds.)
It's miraculous!

Now, I'm so excited to tell you about my new obsession - hand lettering! Yes, this is a strange obsession for a girl who has never written on or in a scrapbook. But a little known fact about me is that I have always been obsessed with handwriting.

I remember sitting in fifth grade, in "the Pod" (an area of my elementary school that was strangely named), in Mrs. Shedden's Math class, watching my friend, Vanessa, write her schoolwork. I was obsessed with her handwriting. Mine was very classic cursive, like the teacher taught us and hers was very fast and instead of dotting her i's, she made a slash! How fun. That was the beginning of the end for my good handwriting because from then on, I had a handwriting identity crisis. I watched her write until I could write just like her! I can still see myself, in my mind's eye, watching her. I wrote like that for a while until I found someone else who had handwriting I liked more and then I would copy theirs.

I could write like my cousin Gina, my sister, my mom, my dad and all my friends! In fact, when I think of each of those people, I can see their handwriting in my head now. Here's an example of all the ways I frequently write, even now....
You would think this would lead me to be some kind of handwriting guru, like Heidi Swapp (after all, I was the Rich Little of handwriting), but the opposite happened! I started to feel like I didn't know how to write like myself! The carefully controlled cursive of my younger years seemed too starched and fussy but the loopy carefree style of my friends did not come naturally so I avoided writing at all although I could still write perfectly when I wanted to. In sixth grade, I won a trophy for perfect penmanship and my perfectionist nature reveled in my ability to write perfectly at will.

All through school I wavered between writing styles until I arrived at a handwriting so ridiculous my boss once told me I had better learn to write better or else! My wedding gift list is written in this writing so bizarre, I can't even share it here. Through the years, I wrote more legibly but when I write quickly, I find it very hard to be consistent. That inconsistency is what kept me from writing on my layouts.

A couple of years ago, I discovered an artist named Lori Vliegen and her blog/work. I'm trying to put into words how it made me feel but there are almost no words. I love and adore her writing and her drawing and painting. Here's a favorite piece from one of her many art journals...
It just makes me so happy! She has a class called "Letter Lab" so I immediately was interested in taking it but I just never got around to it.

I also love Susan Branch and Mary Englebreit who both incorporate their handwriting into their artwork. I have collected their work for years and been inspired by it but I could never draw so it felt out of my reach.

In the past few years, I've often sat at my desk and with different markers tried out a variety of handwriting styles. One of my favorite phrases to practice is "warm winter wishes." One time Caroline came up to me and said, "Did you write that? I didn't know you could do that!" I would just would doodle and play but nothing came of it.

Inspired by the fact that this week, Tiffany and I are taping a show about Art Journaling, I decided to see if I could figure out Lori's style of hand lettering on my own and make my art journaling something like hers. (I still intend to take her class.) I own lots of markers so first, I tried a brush marker and I like it but not as much as Lori's. I've seen Kristina Werner use a brush marker and it is wonderful but I can't get control of the pressure like she does. Still, I have experimented adding detail with the finer tip and kind of like it...
this is a messy practice sheet - I like the kindness except for that e

Then I tried writing in pencil, tracing with a pen like she does and then filling in the space like she does...it came out very similar to a word of hers I was copying. Here's the word "mom" and at the top, I copied her style of writing the word and then filling in parts....
Then something amazing happened! I started going through all my markers and found these "Scroll and Brush" tipped Zig markers I didn't even know I had. I had always wondered what you did with the scroll so I tried it out. I had an a-ha (angels singing) moment and realized that I could write with this marker and then fill in the spaces and make it look very much like I wanted!
Bottom right "mom" is written with a scroll marker and then filled in with a fine tip Zig marker. I love it!! It's not perfect and I'm still working on it but I am loving the experience! I just sit and practice all day, writing every word I can think of and deciding the best way to write it so I can fill it in.
Everywhere I go, I look at the world for hand written lettering. I wasn't aware of it before like I am now! I see logos, signs, words everywhere that look handwritten. I think to myself, "If I can master this...the possibilities are endless for what I can create." I plan to incorporate one large word into every page of my art journal.

I am truly more excited about this than anything I have tried in a long time. I'm still not thrilled with my regular writing but I have been practicing my perfect cursive and it seems to be making my everyday writing better too!
I've made two spreads for my art journaling and I'm so excited about art journaling and hand lettering right now that I am giddy! I go to sleep thinking about it and wake up thinking about it! My art journal is going to be nothing like other art journals I see and I'm happy about that! It's going to be filled with actual journaling and I'm hoping that it will fill the void that the lack of handwriting in my scrapbooking has left. I have a long list of ideas for the pages I'm going to do and I think of new ones all the time! Can you tell I'm excited?? I can't wait for you to hear our show we're taping this week and I'm hoping you'll catch my enthusiasm.

Let's see, I still want to tell you about my creative field trip to Hobby Lobby, my themed embellishments a-ha moment and something else but it will all have to wait. This has taxed my brain overmuch and I just finished working 13 hours at the office!

Be back Friday with more exciting news so see ya then my friend! Stay cool!