Watercolor experiments

So after a binge of watercolor stamping videos on YouTube, I thought "how hard can it be". 

This is the result of dabbing ink pads directly onto acrylic blocks, dripping a few water droplets onto the block and the pressing a very heavy-weight watercolor paper onto the block.

FYI The ribbon on the above card is by Recollections (the Michaels cover brand) and can I just say it ties magnificently! Really magnificently. And it's a perfect match to Stampin' Up! Tempting Turquoise ink and paper.

Live a Scrapworthy life.


A Scrapworthy Life

IThree years ago, I fell off a cruise ship and broke my knee. In three places. I had surgery and spent 2 months on some very powerful narcotics. Somehow, during the time I was injured and subsequently retrofitted with stainless steel parts and pieces, my scrap-craftiness got lost and even though I had spent the previous 16 years as an enthusiastic lover of all things Scrapbooking, suddenly, I was no longer that girl. 

Nothing felt right. 
Papers didn't match. 
I had no voice in my head telling me to write things--other than a grocery list.
I was numb.
And afraid.
All my favorite scrapbook stores closed.
My card stock stash gathered dust.
Anything I tried to do felt flat.
I lost my creative spirit.
I lost my ability to pay attention to long term things and read long books.
I lost 40 pounds.
And my hobby.
It kind of sucked.

Three very long years.
In that time, we remodeled our house, experienced having a teenage son in psychiatric in-patient care twice, and subsequently, sold the newly-remodeled house and moved to Texas. 

We've now been Texans for almost a year.
It's growing on me.

So this past week, I had quite a bit of driving to do and for some unknown reason, I thought that maybe I would listen to some of the podcasts I've been putting off listening to for too long, as a way to pass the miles.

More than 2400 miles later (spread over 6 days), I'm six episodes into The Scrap Gals podcast and so thoroughly ready to scrapbook again, it's not even funny. See, I've known Tracie Claiborne for many years and no one is more enthusiastic about all things Scrapbooking than Tracie. She and co-host, Tiffany are two of the most knowledgable people around when it comes to Scrapbooking--why and with what, who does it and how to do it well. These two are the girls you want to sit beside and chat with at a crop--I've had the pleasure of doing just that--it's both educational and enjoyable.

Four minutes into the first podcast I chose to listen to--the one on Creativity--I felt like maybe I could get the spark back.  A few minutes past that, I was itching to get back to my craft room and pull out some papers! 

I'm rusty. 
I'm out of practice.
I'm starting slow.

I have a plan.
My new way of Scrapbooking is simpler. 8.5x11, my first love.
Hand-written journaling.
Single photo, single thought.
Limited scope, limited product.

The little strips of patterned paper on the layout above are pieces of a journaling card, cut up. 

By the way, I've been playing with Post-it's lately, so I'm including a Post It on each layout.

This book is going to be called the #lifeinTexas project. It's simple and observational.

Live a Scrapworthy life.


Little bits of Yellow


The color of the sun and Daffodils in spring.
The color of ribbon reminders on Old Oak Trees and fresh juicy pineapples.
The color of #2 pencils and summer squash.
The color of allegedly tiny little polka dot bikinis...and the occasional card creation on my desk:

(The inside)...

Happy Stamping!

Scrapbooking with Post-It's

It's very simple.

At this point in my life, I crave simple.
Post-it Notes are very simple.

Let's try this.


The story of the drawer shelves

I can't even remember how it started--but a while back I became infatuated with all the many uses and reuses there are for old drawers.

Kitchen remodels yield no-longer-needed drawers that most people just discard...but why throw them out when a new life is just around the corner?

Broken down dressers and chests of drawers my have seen better days but what of the actual drawers? 

I enjoy giving new life to discarded things...a little paint and hardware...maybe some wheels.

This drawer shelf hangs in my craft space and holds a few of my favorite stamps. It was a drawer I picked up $4 at the Habitat re:Store. 

My ever-handy brother cut the wood for the shelves and belied it into place. 

I added the rope trim and painted it all. I added a patterned paper to the back.

I have written many times that I love wood-mounted stamps and while the rest of the crafty world goes gaga over photopolymer stamps, I remain steadfast in my love for rubber on wood. Little blocks of art they are...all lined up on my shelf.

I digress...

More on the drawer shelves...

I like nice hardware on the drawer shelves...glass knobs are just the right amount of sparkle.

This was a huge drawer. In one of those happy accident sort of things...my ever-handy brother placed the shelves in this one perfectly, spacing them like it was planned to be a rolling shelf for **stamps** in DVDS cases!  

There was some kind of dancing going on in the garage that day!

Drawer shelves. Who knew they could be so fun!?

Thanks for stopping by.

A little look around

So it was a festive Valentine's Day here...I did a little decorating around my paper room...

With the new house in Texas came a small bedroom for me to call my own--and store the crafty goodness and mess. A neat and tidy crafts woman I am certainly not. 

It's taken some time to get it arranged but I think I'm finally getting there...

The ladder shelf is overdone. I know. I have to let it breathe more. Not use every inch.

The ledge is a work in progress. Always.

This is the card made at stamp club last Saturday...well, I added the ribbon. No surprise there. :)

Trees are just so universally useful, don't you think? I do. I can't wait to use this tree set more.

I'm not sure how to decorate for March...spring? Cruise? Trees? 


Thanks for reading.


Ten Things I Love about Texas

In no particular order...

This boy is a much happier person.

I have a laundry room.

I get to attend my brother's auctions.

The food...particularly the Curbside Taco truck!!

This dude and his mom are just up the stairs. I see them every day. And it's not enough. 

From Dallas, you can fly to anywhere. Last weekend, Joal spent time in Belize making music. 

This. A big tree in front of the big window. With a happy boy underneath it, enjoying the glow.

Painting with my sisters...one by blood, two by marriage.

This lady right here...who had the courage to say "if you lived here this would be easier"...that set us on a path. 

Cute confections show up on the bar all the time thanks to the midnight operations of the sister/baker. She flings fondant and does the frosting shwoop like nobody's business! Watch out...if you stop moving she will frost you and add some sprinkles too.

So now you know...

Turns out there's an app for that

Blogging...it's one of those tasks I have tried to do for the past 2 years but haven't managed to do because I couldn't sit in front of a laptop for an extended period of time. My laptop travels and when it's home, so is Joal, so I would rather not be staring at a screen when I can be here with him. 

Consequently, basically no blogging has been done in forever. I have missed it.

This morning it occurred to me that perhaps Blogger has an app.

Oh look. Blogger for iPhone!! Oh my. 

Happy days!


a study in Calypso Coral and Gray

After so much Christmas work, I needed a color break! Enter a combination I have never used before--Calypso Coral and Gray.



christmas cards

For the past three weeks, I have been happily creating Christmas cards for an arts and crafts faire I attended as a vendor last Saturday. I made about 170 cards to sell...something I have never done before.
That, my friends, is a load of cards.
I have a difficult time with repetitious activities (read: I get bored easily), so I limited each design to no more than 12.

This was one of the Christmas designs, created for the sale, but also shared at TwoPeas for a challenge. I've often been asked if I always embellish the insides of my cards--and I don't have a solid answer. Sometimes I do, sometimes not.
I do think it's important to have a space inside that's appropriate for writing a personal message, so I do always enclose a white layer on the inside to make that easy to do, especially when the base card is a color that would make it difficult to write on and read.
Occasionally, I will carry a design element from the front to the inside, like you can see in the second photo. Nothing too fussy, just a basic image. In this case, a little repitition is a good thing and easy to accomplish. I prefer to keep all the dimensional embellishments on the front of the card for the most impact.
I deeply enjoy card-making, even after such an intense few weeks of productivity. One of my favorite ways to add a touch of dimension without adding much difficulty to the mailing process is the use of self-adhesived, foam "pop" dots under certain elements.  Two of the ornaments on the front of this card are attached with foam tape to give them just a little lift off the surface. I also used a thick embroidery thread to "hang them". I'm not so fond of levitating ornaments. An ornament should be hanging from something, don't ya think? :)
If you don't want the bulk of adding thread, like on the red card, you could easily use a white ink pen to draw the hangers.

Here's one more for the road...Christmas will be here before ya know it. For the blue card, I just used a pen and ruler to draw in the hangers.
All the supplies on these two cards are from Stampin' Up! The ornament shown on the red card is from the newest holiday catalog and it has a coordinating punch to make cutting out those ornaments a breeze. The stamp set is called Christmas Collectables.

Couting the days,


summer cards

I joined a Summer card swap over at Stamp Nation not too long ago and I was completely inspired by the color yellow!
Which doesn't happen often, because yellow and I don't often get along very well...but for now, we are seeing eye-to-eye.
I love yellow when it's paired with gray or black, or navy so that's what I did.
Stampin' Up! has a yummy little stamp set called Mixed Bunch that has this awesome flower in it and of course, a coordinating punch. Love that.

The little banner that says "friends forever" came in a set of several banners--Banner Greetings. I'm going to get many uses out of this one, for sure. It's a hostess set but I found it on eBay, because sometimes a stamping girl can't wait around.

Happy stamping!


lazy cardmaking

So, I have happened upon the most delicious way to make cards without really having to think too much. It's the peak of summer and my brain might be a little fried...I need a way to make a few cards that don't require much creative energy.

The answer?

Simple Stories 6x6 paper pads--specifically the Summer Fresh one. See what the Simple Stories designers did with Summer Fresh on their blog. Awesome stuff and totally inspiring! I have noticed lately that many card-makers have embraced this fast-n-fabulous way to make cards and I wanted to try my hand at it too. The magic of the Simple Stories paper pad is two-fold. First of course, the patterns are coordinated, so I don't have to spend time hunting through the paper stash to find papers that go together. Second, there are are coordinating sheets of items intended to be cut apart and used as embellishments included in the pad.

Here are two:

Clearly, these could be used in a variety of ways, for both cards and scrapbook pages.

I started with four cards...I'm betting it would not be difficult at all to get 25 cards out of one pad of paper.
I think this one (above) may be my favorite. (I used a kraft base and added a little bit of ruffled ribbon.)

I have never done a card with a vertical sentiment before, but I enjoyed the twist of this, and it goes well with just a narrow micro-check ribbon.


No stamping today...just some layering and a few minor embellishment choices. How's that for easy?

Happy lazy cardmaking.