Thursday, January 31, 2013

Be My Copic Valentine

I have to apologize for the absence of posts the last couple of days.  I’ve been working really hard to make sure there is a blog entry every day (a new goal of mine!), but as I was digging through the 1.7 GB of pictures on my hard drive, I got confused on which pictures I had used on what blog date, and whether or not I had used this or that card, so I just had to take a day or two off to get organized!  The good news is that I found several cards that I thought I had posted last year, that never got posted at all, so now I have bonus cards to share with you over the next few weeks leading up to Valentines Day. 

For today, I’d like to share two cards I made last year as part of a Copic Marker class I took at Personal Scrapbook with Frank Vento.  I really love the Copic markers for their blending qualities, and the sheer number of colors available makes it possible to color-match just about anything.  If I remember correctly, we even colored some of the cardstock on these cards.  Apologies for the photo quality of the girl card; I used the scanner to capture the image, and didn't realize the quality wasn't good until after I'd already put it in the mail.  The stamps used for these cards are “Marci” and “Luka” from La-La Land Crafts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

365 Week 5

Whenever I start a challenge like the 365, my emotions run the gamut.  In the beginning, I’m really excited about it, and I look forward to each day’s challenge.  By the middle, I’m starting to wonder what I got myself into, and then it turns into, “When is this going to be over?”  Amazingly, once I get to the end, I’m look back and think to myself, “Did I really do all that?”

Since our 365 is a long challenge, I know that many of you may be already in the “What did I get myself into” phase.  Hang in there!  We may still have a long way to go, but I do promise that there will be more times when you are excited about each day’s challenge.  It’s a lot like a roller coaster, and if you just keep working the prompts, you will get to the end and say, “Did I really do all that?”

So are you ready to dig into another week?  Here we go:

  • I would like to return to
  • Someone once told me
  • What gives me hope?
  • I would like to be remembered for…
  • Family
  • If I were an animal, I would be…
  • Use a newspaper article or current event on tv as your prompt

Here are some of the pieces I did this week:

Day 22:  Worry
I tried my hand at drawing again.  I still have mixed feelings about the results.  I found a picture in a magazine of a woman posed like this and drew from that.  Although I think I fairly accurately sketched a person with a worried expression, my woman doesn’t even come close to looking like the woman in the photograph.  I wish I could figure out why.

Day 23:  I recommend
I hate to say it, but this one is sort of unfinished.  The prompt made me think of the healing powers of faith, so I started out by drawing symbols of faith and I was planning to do some kind of zentangle-ish thing with that, but it just never quite evolved.  Eventually, I added some other objects and decided to fill the page with other symbols, but I ran out of things I thought I could draw.  I haven’t decided where to go with it from here.  That’s okay…art journaling isn’t necessarily about finishing a page every day, and it’s actually pretty common for artists to revisit past pages to add a little here or change something there.  An art journal is a work in progress.

Day 24:  Negative anagram of your name (faults and vices)
I went with a more scrapbook feel for this prompt simply because I couldn’t find an example of what I was wanting to do with it.  Several days earlier, I had been surfing the web and found some really cool art journal examples.  On one, the artist had done some cool 3–D zentangle-type art with the words and then filled up the page with other stuff.  I wanted to see if I could do that.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the sample again, and I can’t remember enough to try and replicate it, so I went with something I do know…scrapbooking.  The words were a little hard.  I’m not happy with the Y, but it was the best I could do.

Day 25:  Define grown up
I think this page turned out better than I hoped.  I had the dress stamp and the “bug hat”, which I just bought, so I was excited to try drawing the rest of the girl around those stamps.  I started out by stamping the dress in Staz-on ink and then using a Sharpie to draw the rest of her body.  I masked the area with the quote and then stamped the other images on the page.  I used water colors for the background, and my Stampin’ Up! markers for most of the rest.  I did color the girl’s hair and clothing with Copics.  Unfortunately, I forgot that Copics and Sharpies don’t mix and it bled a little where I colored her shoe.

Day 26:  Rules are meant to be broken
I had a lot of fun doing this page.  The background was a scrap that I had pre-sprayed with Tattered Angels a few days earlier when I was testing a few things out.  The rulers were scraps of patterned paper I had used on some scrapbook pages a while back and the little quote was a piece I had in my smash book box.  I found the picture of the sheriff on the internet and printed him out.

Day 27:  I will
There’s been a lot of clues about my power word lately, both on my art pages and here on this blog.  This page is made of sales flyers and magazine cut-outs as well as some die-cut letters made from a page I tore out of the book.  The background images were all stamped using Memento ink and an assortment of tiny stamps.

Day 28:  By the numbers
This page didn’t turn out anything like I expected.  I started out trying to clear emboss on the page so that certain areas (the numbers) would resist the ink rubbing.  Unfortunately, my embossing pen wasn’t really clear – it left a bluish tint behind, and when I heated the embossing powder on it, it just turned dark and made the paper look oily.  So I wound up coloring over the numbers with white pen.

That’s it for this week.  I hope you’re hanging in there!  Please feel free to share your work with us on our Flickr gallery.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two Simple Layouts

I never did post the last two layouts from LOAD 512, so here they are.  They are very plain pages because by this point in the challenge, I was pretty much worn out!  But simple is sort of what Lain was going for with this challege, which is obvious from the prompt she gave us for Day 30:

30. Simple Simon : cardstock, photo, letter stickers, one embellishment

Everything on this page is made from cardstock.  I chose a stamp (the large medallion in the background) as my "embellishment".  My title is made of die-cuts that I turned into stickers with my Xyron Sticker Maker.  The small medallion is made of cardstock as well.  I can tell you this isn't my favorite page.  It needs something, but I'm not sure what.  It is very plain.  I keep thinking I might go back and add something to it.

31. Found photo

Day 31 allowed for a little more wiggle room, but quite honestly, I couldn't think of a darned thing that this page needed, so I just left it as it was -- clean and simple.  The found photo is a postcard of a Norman Rockwell painting titled, "The Scoutmaster", which he created in 1956.  The type-written story attached to the layout was written by one of my husband's Boy Scouts as a school assignment.
Well, that finally wraps up LOAD 512, just in time for LOAD 213 to start!  I promise...I will try to post those layouts in a much more timely manner!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Card Trek the Next Generation....

Oops, looks like there was a minor error in the emailed version of the blog yesterday.  If the video does not come through, please use this link to view it on YouTube:

I love Star Trek.  I love Stampin' Up.  What could be better than combining the two?

I might just have to make a few of these for the Trekkies in my life!

Card Trek

I love Star Trek.  I love Stampin' Up.  What could be better than combining the two?

I might just have to make a few of these for the Trekkies in my life!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Red and Green

I love challenges!  In the past, we've always had a card swap at our 3rd Wednesday Stamp Club meetings.  We've done the usual birthday, get well, anniversary, thank you, and other assorted themes.  For this last round we decided to mix it up a bit and make it a little more challenging.  In December, our theme was to make a red and green card but it could not be Christmas.  I also made a few tags out of the scraps.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mix It Up!

As I was looking back at my blog entries from this past week, I realized that the layout I posted of the 2009 Pam’s Pals event was the last email of that series and that I never posted the first.  Sometimes I do stuff like that…post things out of order, crop things out of order, live my life out of order…. 

The first page of the series

I was at my most productive when I worked on my scrapbooks out of order.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when working chronologically is an absolute must like when I did my son’s Philmont Trek with the Boy Scouts.  I knew I had to work on each page in order to make sure that there were no gaps or blank pages..   But unless I’m working on a specific event that has many of pages, I prefer to mix things up.

I generally tend to divide my scrapbook pages into categories depending on what album they are going into.  For instance, I have a category for each of my children, family events and holidays, and then one or more special categories like NASCAR or vacation, etc.  I’ll plan out two or three layouts for each category and work on them in an alternating fashion.  That way I can mix things up a bit and won’t get bored working on the same subjects all the time.

A layout from our 2007 cruise.  I finally finished this album this fall.

So that’s the way I like to scrapbook, but I don’t get to do that very often these days.  Way back in 2007, I stopped working on everything else in an attempt to get Steven’s Boy Scout albums finished.  He was working his way up to Eagle Scout, and I wanted to have those albums finished before he did.  I didn’t even come close…not even with me dedicating every single scrapbook hour to working on those albums.  By the time he achieved the rank of Eagle, I was so sick of working on Boy Scouts that I haven’t done a single Boy Scout page since!  I was also woefully behind on everything else!

So take a lesson from me, mix it up a bit.  Have some fun.  Don’t let scrapbooking become drudgery.  If you’re tired of working on one album, move on to work on another.  It will get finished eventually, and you’ll enjoy it a lot more!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

365 Week 4

Wow!  I am so proud of everyone who’s still following along with our 365 challenge.  Can you believe we have made it through three weeks?!  Twenty-one prompts if you’ve followed along every day!  Even if you have missed a day or two, that’s okay…you can either catch up, or just pick up where you left off!  So how do you feel?  Are you still stoked?  I am, and I can’t wait to share with you all the cool art projects Christen and I have been doing in our journals this week!

Day 15:  What Keeps Me Awake at Night

This piece was actually inspired by Christen’s piece on Day 7, “Square”.  If you see it in the Flickr group, you will notice a couple of squares with cartoon eyes in them.  I thought the eyes in the dark were a perfect way to illustrate the creepy feeling I have when I’m lying in bed at night and can’t sleep.

Day 16:  Angels

I had a lot of fun with this prompt.  I really wanted to explore the idea of adding texture to my mixed media pieces and I was intrigued by other art journals I’ve seen where they do creative things to magazine cutouts.  The wing is made from cardstock covered with mulberry paper.  Her dress and headscarf were colored with an Elmer’s brand pearlescent paint marker.  The quote is from a song called “I believe” by Diamond Rio.

Day 17:  A Piece of Cake

I picked Christen’s cake piece because I just love what she did with the magazine clippings – it’s a skill I admire and am working to improve.  I would share her description of the piece, but the silly girl didn’t send me one!  I do know that she made her background using a silicone baking mat much in the same way as you would use a gel plate.  I haven’t ever used one, so I can’t comment on the details. 

Day 18:  What 3 Words Would Someone Use to Describe Me?

This piece has several layers of symbolism.  I used a technique I learned in grade school to illustrate my three words.  I started by choosing three negative words about myself.  These are words the insecure side of my ego thinks people use to describe me.  I drew those on the page and colored them in.  Then I drew a random swirly pattern all over the page and colored those spaces in as well.  I used markers for all of this.  When the whole page was colored, I went over it with a black crayon to symbolize that I’m burying those words because they aren’t relevant.  When I had a solid, waxy black surface, I used some stencils and assorted tools to scrape away the black in the shape of my new, more positive words, revealing the multi-colored paper underneath.  I had some extra space, so I used a brass stencil of a butterfly to do the same.  I’m pretty happy with the results but I did learn a couple of things: 1) it really works better with bright crayon coloring under the black instead of markers, 2) you need to put a piece of tissue in the book when it’s closed or you will have crayon all over the opposite page, and 3 you cannot heat set or emboss on the next page!  Oops!  I now have a kind of flat, melty spot in one area.

Day 19:  What Was the Last Thing That Made Me Cry?

This fun little collage was also made by Christen.  I love her color combos.  For the background, she used several different stencils, including a die cut of a muffin tin.  I think the patterned paper hair really sets it off.

Day 20:  Someone I Look Up To

While digging for crayons in my “kids drawer”, I discovered a set of Crayola watercolors that I didn’t even know I had.  I’ve been complaining for nearly three weeks that I didn’t have any to play with, so I definitely had to do at least one page with them.  Here’s what I did.  I’m really surprised at how vivid and lovely the colors turned out.  These are higher quality than I would have thought.

I wanted to show you Christen’s take on this prompt, too.  While shopping on Saturday, we stumbled across a rack of free magazines and newspapers just inside the door of the restaurant where we ate lunch.  Needless to say, we each grabbed a copy of every magazine there – this is a great source of pictures for our collages.  One of the magazines was a health and fitness-related one, and in it she found a photo of this white mannequin.  The splatters are actually a stamp Christen owns.  The dotted lines were already on the mannequin, and Christen added a few of her own and some flourishes to the background.

Day 21:  Introvert/Extrovert

I was determined to revisit the zentangle/doodle technique.  This time I played with adding some bigger shapes and doodling around those.  I fully intended for this one to be colored in at some point, but it took me so long to get the outlines that I gave up.  I can’t decide if I want to go back and color it or just leave it as is.

Wow!  That was fun!  Here are the prompts for this week…I’ve already started on mine!

22.  Worry
23.  I recommend
24.  Negative anagram of your name (faults and vices)
25.  Define grown up
26.  Rules are meant to be broken
27.  I will
28.  By the numbers