Monday, May 28, 2007

Finding Inspiration

The good news is that I once again have a computer at home that I can use. Woohoo! I have my new BFF Jim to thank for fixing everything and updating my computer so that it is better than ever.

I have been thinking a lot about inspiration lately. Perhaps part of it is joining a design team and knowing that I will have to design some projects on demand. Perhaps another part of it is the need to design new classes for the summer. In any case, it all boils down to the quest for inspiration!

The first box that is to arrive from Impression Obsession will have Christmas items in it. I believe I will have to crank up the AC and turn on some Christmas music to help get in the correct mood. Humm.... perhaps Christmas cookies? For my upcoming "Summertime Blues" class, I took some inspiration from the irises that are growing in the front yard. They are gorgeous! I am including a picture of some of the flowers in the yard as well as well as the resulting "inspired" card. The card I designed is obviously "bluer" than the original, but the theme is "inspiration" and not "copying!"

Friday, May 25, 2007


I swear it has felt like Friday every day this week. Today it is actually true! Woohoo! Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day for me at the stamp store. Beverly Seymour of B Line Designs will be teaching classes and hosting a trunk show. It is always exciting to have a guest instructor, but it sure does add a lot of chaos!

The card I am posting today uses a technique that I haven't seen in a while. To make this card, I used a "bunny burner" to transfer a photocopy of floral scrapbook paper onto a tag. A bunny burner (have no idea why it is called that) is essentially a heat tool that can transfer photocopies onto a number of surfaces. It doesn't have any safety features, and I am prone to burning myself with it every time. However, I think it sounds cool to say the burn marks on my hands come from my artwork (at least, that is what I tell myself). After I transferred the paper, I sponged ink all around the tag and added some stamped items. The background was made using a large background image stamped onto mulberry paper and then highlighted with some green chalks. All stamps are from Impression Obsession.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Waiting for the box

When I was working at Angela's last night, one of the shipments I entered into inventory was from Impression Obsession. Looking at all the stamps made me wonder when the box of supplies they are going to send will arrive. There is a definite sense of anticipation. I can't wait to create!

I was talking with my friend Michael the other day
reminiscing about our holiday crafting parties we had with our friend Deedee. We would throw a bunch of stamps we didn't use or didn't know what to do with into a box. You would then have to draw out a few of them (without looking at them) and create a card using the stamps you picked. I told her that if I could make a card out of the skeleton, cowboy and bathtub I once drew out of the box, I will probably do fine with what Impression Obsession sends me!

The card above was colored using
Prismacolor color pencils. It takes a long time to color with wax pencils, but you get a vibrant finished product.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Computer Woes

Well, the unthinkable has happened and my computer has crashed. I had a friend of a friend look at it and he says it is the operating system. Yikes! Right now the computer won't even boot. He says he can rebuild it, but the phrase "try to recover data" is not comforting. Again...yikes! It has motivated me into looking at better ways of backing up the hard drive. Sigh... I still have access to computers, email, scanner, etc., but I feel sort of "naked" without my own computer.

The card on the left was made using Twinkling H2O's. They are a fabulous brand of metallic watercolor paints. The only problem is that the metallic quality doesn't show up when the card is scanned.
My posts might be somewhat infrequent until my computer returns from the hospital. Sorry!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Quick and Easy

Sometimes you just don't have the time to craft like you want. That can be a very bad thing for me when I need to send someone a card. Over the years, it has become physically impossible for me to purchase a store-bought card. Therefore, I am often late getting cards to people. In order to have a stack of "emergency" cards to send, I bought some of the new blank Memory Box butterfly shaped cards last night. I got a pack of multi-colored cards and then just stamped a design on them in a darker color to make very quick and easy cards. I think it took me 15 minutes to get 5 cards done (and that included clean up!) It is similar to the "buy a cake mix" approach to cake baking, but it works for me! I take that back. When you bake a cake from a box, it is still a lot of work. Maybe my card is similar to going to the grocery store, buying a cake and then sticking the little "happy birthday" candy letters on top. Easy, but in my book, it still counts as handmade.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Designer

Well, I received the news today that I would be part of the design team for Impression Obsession. Yeah! I am really looking forward to the challenges they send to me. Basically, they will be sending me a box of product every two months for me to play with. I am required to make at least four projects with the supplies. It sounds like fun. If I can parlay the projects into classes I can teach at Angela's....all the better!

Of course I had to look at the work of the other designers who were selected. I must say they are a very impressive bunch! There is a nice eclectic assortment of card artists as well as scrapbookers. Everyone seems to have their own blog, so I am glad mine is up and running.
The card today was made by using the "faux batik" technique on watercolor paper instead of mulberry paper. I embossed the butterfly images with clear embossing powder then sprayed the entire paper with an assortment of blue color sprays. I then used an iron to remove the powder. I finished the card by masking around the butterflies and then stamping them with a script stamp. The thing about this card that amused me was that I had forgotten what it was like to design a card with so many steps. Usually I make cards that easily translate to teaching in classes. It was nice to make art for art's sake.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Scanner

I am working with a new scanner and trying to figure out how to scan copies of my work. I loved my old scanner, but when I updated to a new computer, it no longer worked. I tried to download a new driver for it from the scanner company, but they referred to my scanner as an "end of lifer" and would not patch it to my new computer. Seems rather harsh to me. I think we should not refer to our elderly as "end of lifers." Sometimes technology can stink. What good is a new computer if you have to replace all the peripherals? But I digress....

The card on the left is a photocopy of a picture of my great grandmother (aka Mackey). I attached the photocopy to script scrapbook paper by using melted paraffin wax and a paintbrush. The hot wax allows the background paper to show through the copier paper. After the images "melded" together, I removed the extra wax with an iron. This particular technique has a lot of collage possibilities!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another Day

Well, at least I have lasted two whole days interested in blogging. I hope it continues!

Currently I am working on designing my cards for an upcoming "Summertime Blues" class. I am really enjoying the challenge of working with a monochromatic palette. It is amazing how many different "blues" there are! Unfortunately, some of the wonderful sky and beach patterned papers I wanted to use for the class have been discontinued. I guess I am destined to have more of a design challenge than I had planned.

Okay, the card on the left isn't "blue," but as I said, those cards aren't finished just have to wait! It is another Impression Obsession card and was colored using chalks, watercolor pencils and gel pens. I couldn't keep the teabag in its wrapper because it covered too much of the artwork. We can't have that!

Monday, May 14, 2007

And so it begins....

This is my first blog entry! I will gradually be adding things to my blog such as upcoming classes I will be teaching, samples of what I am rubberstamping, links to templates, sites that interest me, etc. Perhaps no one will be interested but me......who knows! Although my blog will focus on crafting, the occasional personal thought or life event might be included.

Impression Obsession
Recently, I submitted work to be considered as a designer for a stamp company called Impression Obsession. I love their images, so I hope they are impressed (no pun intended) with my work. The card on the left is one of the cards I submitted. It was made using watercolor paper (90lb), watercolor crayons (blues and greens), and a mister bottle. I tore the edge of the top piece of watercolor paper and used a waterbrush to smudge the color along the torn edge. I was quite pleased with how it turned out.