Tuesday, September 23, 2014

everyday life

My bestie, Tiffany, and I had a conversation today about blogging. I told her that my favorite blog posts to read are ones where I get a true glimpse of the blogger's everyday life.

If I like the person enough to read their blog, I really want to see what they are up to; I want to see them in the photo. I told Tiffany that sometimes when people post a picture of the work in progress on their desk (which I love), I want to reach into the computer screen and turn the camera this way and that to see everything going on in their house!! I want to see their furniture, their outfit and more!

My favorite blog posts are similar to a reality TV show....just a whole lot of nothing really but enough of something that makes me feel like I am connected to the blogger. I want to do more of that here.

I really do have a very fun life - I just forget to share it here! I usually post to Instagram or Facebook and then there's nothing left to say. I want to change that. I was a better blogger (and scrapbooker, actually) before social media came into my life.

So with this renewed focus, I promise to share more daily pictures like this one of me, grinning from ear to ear when I found Susan Branch's "A Fine Romance" at Barnes and Noble after weeks of wanting it....

Or this one from Target when Caroline found Frozen themed soup....

Or this one of Tiff with her four bags of books that cost a quarter each...

Or this one with my sweet hubby at lunch one Sunday afternoon...

Or this one of my daughter when we visited the newly renovated Krispy Kreme!

Or even this super crazy one of me with a bear in the Smoky Mountains!

I'm going to put up a sign or something to remind me to take everyday photos and share them with you, dear blog readers! Thankfully the task will be much easier in a day or two because this week, I'm upgrading my 8 GB iPhone 4 to a 64 GB iPhone 5S! Finally I can make the videos I've been wanting to make to share here and I even have an online class or two in the works!!! Very exciting!

So stay tuned - I promise to overshare very soon! :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

it's feels like fall!

Hello blog dearies!

I hope you're having a lovely week. The weather here has been wonderful and plans to be more wonderful this weekend. Saturday will have a high of 72! Eeeek! So exciting to have it feel like fall. I even snagged some mellowcreme pumpkins tonight which I've about made myself sick on. Of course I washed them down with a diet coke. ha!

I've been practicing my lettering daily. I thought I would try my hand at drawing some fall images and coloring them in. Came out kinda cute!
I didn't really even know if I could draw these images but I looked each one up on Google images and then sketched them with a pencil. I really want to learn to draw simple things like this more. It was a lot of fun!

Caroline had a lot of fun this Sunday at church playing our new Kids Ministry mascot - Rover Comer. :) She even got to go on stage!

Check her out as in the middle of what we call "Praise and Worship." She had some moves I couldn't capture with a mere camera. :)

I was very proud of her although I don't think she will continue to be Rover Comer because she came out of the costume drenched in sweat! LOL I think a boy would be better suited.

I also had a fun role with the kids. I was a puppet called "Fast Talking Freida." Perfect, wouldn't you say!? I forgot to get a pic! I will next Sunday.

Today we're going somewhere exciting but I can't share it until it's over, per a promise to my girl. Pictures coming soon!

Have a fun Tuesday!

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!

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!