Monday, March 28, 2011

The other million things........

Just wanted to share a few of the other things that have been going on in life lately and keeping me out of blog land.

- My mom sent me an ecraft.  I'm tickled pink about it but haven't had much time to try to figure it out.  Tried looking for a group to join but none of them really caught me eye.  If you know of a group or good resource for it please send it my way! 

- I'm trying to get all the last few loose ends and bits & pieces tied up for the 2011 Stamp, Paper, Scissors store event.  Big plans.  Just hope I've got time to pull them off.  The event has a Facebook page that will be updated regularly.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the logo Marianne Walker drew for me.

 - Had a blast at my last 2 Copic classes and the first ever DIE-no-mite! class.  Working on the next set of samples and will post them once they're done.

- Mel & I spent an evening last week taking care of some small, nagging things in my office.  And WOW! what a difference they've made!  Turned the desk so it is horizontal in my room rather than catty cornered.  Who would have ever guessed how much more room that would make??!!  I'm wheeling a little further to a few things but now I can walk around the entire desk!  We hid the big printer behind some of the doors, put the ecraft in it's place and he finally moved the extension cord plug to a better spot under my desk.  No more getting poked by it or the cords coming out of it when I slide into the knee hole.  Still looking for a convenient spot to put all my Copics though.

- Just joined a monthly Mixed Media Art Group.  So excited about this.  It's headed by the amazing & inspiring Dina Wakley over at The Creative Quest.  Can't wait for my first "meeting"!!  This will truly be an opportunity for me to just play and go as far outside the box as I want!

- Have several other classes in mind or in various stages of completion.  Need to get them finished so they can be crossed off my to do list.  Look for them soon.

- I'll be participating in my first ever Blog Hop next month.  Can't wait!

- Our 17 1/2 yr niece moved in with us a few weeks ago.  So far it's been smoother than I would have expected but I'm still waiting for that other shoe to hit me on the head!  We're back to full time parenting and taxi driving.  And just found out that I need to create her graduation announcements.  Immediately!  Have a design worked out, need to get all the supplies in hand ASAP.  And did I mention that Prom's in a few weeks??

-  Seriously considering HTC after talking to a friend.  Need to do some research on it.  Anyone out there have any experience with it?

- Mel just took down the pool table.  We're getting ready to tile the front room to match the entry way, kitchen, family room and hallway.  Cross your fingers and wish me luck in finding the same tile again.

- I've finally freed Davis from her pen.  She's still a little gimpy but most definitely on the mend.  We'll be heading back to the surgeon & dermatologists soon for follow ups.  Send good vibes for a clean bill of health for her from both of them.

I just re-read all of that.  NO WONDER I'm so bloody tired all of a sudden!  But I'm grateful to be able to say that nearly all of the stuff that's been keeping me busy is positive stuff.  And if it's been stressful or drama- laden - well, we've just been working thru it and not letting it drag us down.  What else can you do?/ 

Have a totally wonderful day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just Breathe is more than a song title............

Time flies when you're, um, uh having fun???  Is that what the last few weeks have been?  Someone pinch me.  Please.  Maybe I'll wake up. That sounds terribly doom & gloom & unhappy and I don't really mean for it to.  It just feels like I can't catch my breath or catch up with all that's been going on.  Well, unexpectedly and more importantly, unplanned!  I took the day yesterday to just completely veg out.  Or more accurately - read out.

I started reading Insomnia by Stephen King - my favorite author EVER - Thursday night.  And finished it up around 8 o'clock Saturday night.  :)  Bawling like a baby.  Yes, bawling from an SK book.  Try it.  You just might like it.

Here's a run down of what's kept me away from the blog and all my invisible friends - you know who you are!

2 very special by request projects with short time frames for completion.

The first was 60 baby shower invites in about a week and a half.  As soon as I was asked and started talking about design I knew just what was needed.  The adorable Wise Owl & Falling Leaves stamp sets from Papertrey Ink.  The only problem was, I didn't own these sets yet.  I placed my order, made sure to put a note on it that I needed the items as quickly as possible because of the short time I had to create these baby shower invitations and hoped for the best.  PTI came thru in stunning fashion by getting them out to me with in only a few days & that included the shipping!!  Spent a few days playing around with ideas and coloring.  Ended up with all kinds of variations on this theme.

All the cards used the same design but none of them were alike.  One of my favorite things about them I think.  Since time was short I had to use items around me that were easily available - or so I thought - and make it work.  I ended up making trips to 3 different Joann's Etc. stores to find 3 boxes of the DCWV colored A2 card bases I needed.  While I was there I looked around at some of the DCWV paper packs and decided I like the Citrus patterned papers & a stack of colored cardstock.  I colored 6 different Wise Owls with my Copics and scanned them into the computer; stamped 6 of the Falling Leaves and scanned them too.  A little computer foolery and I was able to print out 60 owls and the "branches" to put them on.  Some fancy knife work with my trusty Fiskars Craft Knife (really, the only one I ever use it's so comfortable), a little Spellbinders magic and all 60 branches & owls were ready for assembly.  Final touches for the design included little doilies airbrushed with 6 different Copic markers, stitching to hold the sentiment strip down - again, 5 different colors used on the various card fronts and some "glue time" with Mel & Tricia for final assembly.
If you're curious about the color scheme I keep referencing and the inspiration for the whole thing this is it.  Aubrei is decorating the baby's room with this theme and ordered this wall decal (sorry, I'd give credit but I have no idea where it's from) with a plum colored trunk and teal leaves in place of the light pink ones pictured here.  Kinda cute, huh?  I think the shower invites did a good job of mimicking this theme.  And I'm brewing ideas for her gift that continues the same thing.....

The other custom project was a bit more unusual.  :)  A friend of ours had been asked to create a bar area in a local bike shop/club that he belongs to.  And he asked me if I'd be willing to do some of my "artsy-fartsy, paste eating stuff" to it to add the logo.  No restrictions other than the name and logo needed to be included.  I KNEW my Copics were the only way to go with this and let it start percolating in the back of my head.

The whole thing probably only took me 2 - 3 hours max.  Cutting out the paper stencils took longer than anything else.  Here are a few pics during the creation  :)
Anti-Hero Cycles w/ logo - Gothic 32 font used
close up with some of the color added
flame stencils
coloring the flames - I really liked these flames since there were both positive & negative parts to them - much more interesting looking once they were colored

Here's the finished project, just waiting for a clear coat and 2 layers of poly.  I managed to totally surprise our friend with it.  He had no idea it was done.  I'd left a frazzeled message and a couple of emails saying I needed help.  Had him come over to help me, got him sidetracked trying to figure out my new ecraft - ostensibly what I wanted to use to cut out the stencils.  When it wasn't working I suggested picking out colors and then we'd just hand cut the stencils.  After removing all of the papers and markers and other window dressing from the top of the table all he could say was "You already colored it!"  The look of shock, followed quickly by delight was well worth it!!  And the text he got back from the bike shop owner was priceless!!
Colors used: YR24, YR 14, YR18, YR15, 0, N5, N7, N8, T5, R24, R46, R59, Y19, Y38, E19, E49
I'll fill in the rest of what's been so nutty around these parts in another post.  In the meantime, if you know anything about working the ecraft LET ME KNOW!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Copic Inspirations April Class Project

Where has the last 3 weeks gone too????  I'd like someone to bring it back so I can actually remember it, thank you very much!

I promised the Copic Inspiration ladies I'd put up pictures of the project I've got in mind for April.  I didn't get to play with it until late on Sunday.  There are still a few things I'd like to do but it'll go out in the mail to the store tonight.  Look for it in person by Wednesday.  :)  Full class details on the Class Projects tab.

The front of the canvas messenger style bag we'll be decorating/coloring/altering.
Back and one side of the bag
under the flap of the bag

Supplies used on my bag: Copics, Spica Glitter pens, Prima masks, Love My Tapes Lace Tape, Stampendous Jumbo Hydrangea set, sewing machine, American Tag Purple Monster, eyelets & nailheads, fabric 

Other goings on around me:
- we moved our 17 1/2 yr old niece in with us recently.  It's proving to be interesting so far.  Heaven help all of us once the honeymoon period is over.
- Davis is still penned up.  But she's been able to sleep on the bed with us the last 2 nights.  We even got a nap together on Sunday after Mel had me doing yard work all morning.  I keep her leash on her and put the loop up on my arm so I'll know if she tries to get down.  Silly me!  Once that dog is asleep, she's ASLEEP!
- Mel's sister & husband are coming to visit.  This is the first time they've been here so it should be fun.  Besides several things with family Mel's planned an all adult trip to the Grand Canyon.

Don't forget about the DIE-no-mite! class at The Creative Quest this week!  I'm already thinking about some of the cool die tricks and techniques to highlight for the April class!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

5 in 1!!!

Whew!!  When I clean my desk off a little it's amazing what all I can get done!!

It was my turn to post the next challenge for the Papertrey Playhouse this morning.  Looking over the last few challenges on the blog and the PTI Blog Hop I was struck by how many of them I really wanted to participate in but didn't get to for one reason or another.  That was what inspired my challenge - The Second Chance Challenge.  Choose a challenge from the Papertrey Playhouse blog or a PTI Blog Hop from November through February and finally create the card that you wanted to make for it but didn't get a chance to.

There were just tooooo many that I wanted to participate in but couldn't.  So I elected to do ALL of them.  :)
Victoria challenged us to embellish a treat container at the beginning of December and I thought it was awesome!  Not to mention perfect for giving cookies to the neighbors, which we haven't done for a while but I liked doing.  Adele had us challenged to stamp a background and Mary posted a sketch to use as the basis for our project.  And the totally adorable photo of Dana's daughter inspired a color challenge.  Nicole had everyone including scallops in their projects.  Mix all 5 of those challenges up and this is what I got.  I wanted to create something quick & easy but useful.  I've got a bunch more of these coffee cans waiting to be decorated thanks to my friend Leann.  This one will likely get filled with candy or cookies and given as a thank you gift or perhaps set out during my classes.  :)  I may add some ribbon or even some buttons but I actually like the simplicity.

Supplies: stamps PTI - Button Boutique, BB: text style, Think Big Favorites 1
              dies PTI - eyelet border, FF: 5
              cardstock - Core'dinations, The Paper Company
              ink - The Paper Company
              coffee can - from my friend, Leann

Two New Classes Posted

So delighted with the projects for 2 more classes.  Take a look at the projects in the Class Projects tab.

I'm especially happy about the DIE-no-mite!! class that I'll be doing each month at The Creative Quest.  I'll be focusing on all the things that you can do with die cuts.  In this first class we'll be die cutting 4 materials besides paper.  Techniques will include creating windows in your cards, creating a shaped card & making your own stamps!  Here's one of the projects.

And here's one of the cards for the Copic Club this month.

Check out the other projects on the Class Projects tab.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Copic Inspirations

The class samples for the March Copic Inspirations are on display at Scrapbook Barn.  I've also posted them on the Class Projects Tab.  March's Inspirations take our markers from stamped images to just a few of the surfaces you can color, alter and embellish with them.  Here's one of them.