Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

I feel like so much has happened since my last blog entry. I guess I will have a lot to talk about. Pardon me if my post runs on and on!

I recently returned home from spending Christmas with my family. It was wonderful (as usual). I am truly blessed to have the family I do. My holiday was very relaxing, but I suppose it is time to get back to work as well as get back to creating some new cards and projects!

Speaking of new projects, I have two new classes coming up in January, so be sure to look for them. My 10 in 10 Valentines day class is Thursday, Jan 24th from 6:30-8:30, and my Clearly Hero Arts class is Wednesday, Jan 30 from 6:30-8pm. The Hero Arts class will highlight their new 2008 images, but it will also focus on working with clear stamps (how to use them, care for them, etc).

Today I am posting my version of tea "pots" that I gave to some friends for Christmas. I found some cute mugs at a store that reminded me of flower pots. I filled them with the foam that florists use and then covered the top with moss. I then took some bamboo skewers and painted them with ink from my VersaMagic Tea Leaves reinker. I am a big fan of VersaMagic ink because it seems to dry on everything, and the colors are gorgeous. If you have never used this ink on vellum, you should really try it! But, I digress.... I cut flowers from various colors of cardstock and then taped them to the bamboo skewers. For each "flower," I cut two shapes at the same time so that the edges would match. I attached the skewer between the two shapes so that the top of the skewer would be obscured by the cardstock pieces. I then attached two tea bags to each flower (one in the front and one in back). I used one gummy glue dot to attach each tea bag. I didn't want to go crazy with the adhesive because I wanted the tea bags to be easy to remove without tearing the paper wrappers.

What else? Oh! I was tagged by Julie to list 7 interesting things about me. Here goes:
1. I attended 6 elementary schools growing up.
2. I know all of the words to Don McLean's American Pie.
3. I have seen The Nutcracker in both Manila and London.
4. I am the shortest adult on both sides of my family (5' 4").
5. I am a Scrabble geek.
6. I broke my arm trying to climb a tree by jumping off of a pair of stilts. My brother said I couldn't do it. He was right.
7. I recently won tickets to Spamalot by submitting my favorite Spam recipe. (I made it up in my head, but let me know if you want my Spam Stir Fry recipe- I am curious how it tastes.)

Finally, I had a chance to check out the Annie Leibovitz exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery of Art last Sat. It was FANTASTIC! It is only going to run through Jan 13th, so you need to hurry if you want to see it. There is also an Ansel Adams exhibit currently running at the Corcoran, so it is really worth the trip (IMHO).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas from DC!

Sorry it has been a while since my last post, but I really haven't done much in the way of crafting this month. The few items I have made will be given to people soon, and it seems rather rude to post pictures of their gifts before they open them!

Instead of crafting, I have been trying to get ready for Christmas, and I have been trying to do a few Christmas events to get in the holiday spirit.

Today my friend Chrisi and I drove into DC to see the National Christmas tree as well as the Capitol tree. We also stopped by the National Botanical Gardens to see their lights and mini railroad set-up. I had no idea it existed, but I recommend going to see it if you are in the area! I am including some pictures of our outing. Sorry if Christmas lights aren't your thing.

Today's card is a quick and easy Christmas card. The branch is by Stampendous, the ornament is from Memory Box, and the saying is by Hero Arts. I colored the ornament with Prismacolor pencils and then added some gold and green Spica markers on top of the color pencils. The Spica pens are translucent so I often put down a bottom layer of color and then use the pens on top.

I am leaving tomorrow to be with family for the holidays, but I promise to post some more pictures soon. I have a TON of new Impression Obsession stamps to play with, so watch out for some new IO samples as well.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a new year filled with peace and happiness.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Prima Paintables Part 2

I said I would post more of my Prima Paintables samples, so I thought it was about time to actually make good on my promise. I still need to photograph my Twinkling H20 card. Twinks do not scan well at all.

The snowflake card was made using a Twinkling H20 wash on the background. A wash uses very little of the Twinkling H20 paint so there wasn't any sheen or glimmer to the background. However, the color turned out very nice. Once again, I am learning that pale blue does not scan well. I colored in the snowflakes using my Copic markers and then finished with clear rhinestones and a bow. It was a very quick and easy card!

The floral card was colored using watercolor pencils and a blender pen. When you use a blender pen instead of a paintbrush and water, the finished result isn't as "watercolored" as other methods. However, you have a lot more control over where you want the color to go.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wild and Crazy Night

Sometimes living just outside of DC has its perks. Sometimes you have the opportunity to do some really cool things. On Sunday night, some friends and I drove into DC to see the celebrities arrive for the taping of the Kennedy Center Honors. I was amazed that we were allowed to stand in the lobby and watch people enter the building. We were about 20 feet from the door and had no one in front of us so we had a really nice view of the celbs. We had a chance to see all of the honorees (Steve Martin, Diana Ross, Brian Wilson, Martin Scorsese, and Leon Fleisher) as well as Cameron Diaz, Steve Carell, Martin Short, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, Terrance Howard, Jordin Sparks, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lyle Lovett. Of course, there were also a gaggle of Kennedys and other politicos in attendance. Perhaps the highlight was when Robert De Niro tried to sneak by the photographers next to us. It might of worked if one of my friends hadn't yelled "De Niro!" That got the photographers whipping around! In any case, he walked a couple feet in front of us, turned, and smiled at us. Bliss.
I kept saying to my friends before I went that I really wanted to see Steve Martin. I just love him! I said that if I did see him, I would post a card on my blog in his honor. So, for todays card, I am including a party scene where all the characters have arrows through their heads. If you aren't familiar with Steve Martin's early comedy bits, then this card is probably morbid and very odd. However, I have to admit it amuses me. That is just the sense of humor I have.
Over the years I have collected a large assortment of whimsical characters from Claudia Rose and Rubbermoon. I find that I use them more if I create little scenes where they can all hang out. Because the stamps are whimsical, I never worry about the scale of the images...I just go ahead and put them all together. I then put little things into their hands for further embellishment. Putting items in their hands provides me a chance to use some of my other fun stamps such as balloons, flowers, martinis, presents, etc. I always feel like I get my moneys worth when I use so many stamps in one card!
As for my previous post, for some reason the photos don't enlarge like my other blog photos do. I keep getting a prompt to download them if I want to see a lager version. After many attempts to fix this problem, I have given up. I will post the other Paintables samples soon. Perhaps they will enlarge better.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Prima Paintables Demo

Today at Angela's Happy Stamper we are having our annual holiday party, and I am really looking forward to it! It is always so much fun to hang out with friends and my stamping "family." There will be food, demos, make-and-takes, and a fantastic stamping supply fundraiser for military families stationed in Germany. If you have a chance, stop on by!

I am in charge of demoing some of the new Prima Paintables papers. I wanted to post some of the samples so that anyone attending the demo will have a visual reference to remind them of what I was teaching. Plus, my mom wanted to see some samples, so....

The first sample was made by using some Copic markers. The Paintables papers are printed watercolor paper sheets. It seemed a waste to make a card that didn't use watercolor of some sort. However, I really liked the way the Copics worked on the paper...very vivid!

The second picture is also made by using the Copic markers. When I finished, I thought there was a lot of blank space around the images. To fill in some of the space, I outlined all of the images with a light blue pen. I forgot that light blue does not scan well, so you can only see the marker in some of the places on my picture. Oops!

The third card was created using watercolor crayons and a waterbrush. I applied the crayons directly to the card and then smoothed the color with the brush. The advantage of working with a waterbrush is that you don't have to keep rewetting a paintbrush with water. Nice! I finished the card by embellishing it with a few faux pearls on the flowers.

The fourth card was made using Tombow markers. I scribbled the markers onto acetate and then

picked up some color with a wet paintbrush. I then painted in the images with various earth tone shades. I cut the piece apart and then taped the pieces to a card. I finished by adding a circle punched saying layered onto a popped up yellow circle.

I really enjoyed working with the Prima Paintables. It is a lot like working with a coloring book. You don't have to think about what kind of ink to use that won't bleed when you color and the watercolor paper allows you to add all kinds of inks, sprays, watercolors, and other mediums. I will post some more samples soon.