The other day, I got a couple of Distress Oxide sprays to do some experimenting. I like that they're more opaque and you can quickly make a background. Also, if the background is too bright, you can tone it down by just spritzing with water to oxidize the colors a bit. I cut out some wildflowers using my Tim Holtz wildflowers die set.
The flowers below were sprayed with spiced marmalade and picked raspberry on watercolor paper.
These three blue flowers are wilted violet and mermaid lagoon on tan drawing paper.
And these last two were cut out of a manila tag and sprayed with all three colors.
The tan drawing paper was really thin, but I like the way the brown paper shows through a bit (probably due to lighter spraying). The blue and purple really mixed together; but when you look close, you can see that extra detail and texture. Neat!
Next time I'll take a photo of the sprayed paper before cutting to give you the "big" picture :)
Experimenting with a few supplies is a fun way to be creative without any pressure. Just play!
So I was looking at my pillow today and sadly it's in a stiff, scratchy pillow sham. Then I thought, well, duh girl, sew yourself a nice, pretty pillowcase!. You know how!
So I made this:
Tada! I've probably made hundreds of pillowcases - for charity, for my kids and for my grandkids. My go to pattern is the burrito-style. A video will you how way better than I can explain it, so just pop over to You Tube and search burrito pillowcase. Bluprint and Crafty Gemini have excellent video tutorials.
A custom made pillowcase is a great gift. Picking the three coordinating fabrics will get your creative juices flowing and you can easily design it to include your person's favorite colors or interests. Halloween, Christmas or Valentine fabrics are fun and make great themed gifts.
A pillowcase is a good beginner sewing project so I hope you'll check out You Tube and add pillowcases to your sewing creations!
Today I worked on a few birthday cards. I was inspired by these cards on Catherine Pooler's Instagram.
(Love her inks by the way!) I didn't have any of the stamps used so challenged myself to use what I had on hand.
I really liked how the cake layers looked like paint swatches, so next I came up with this:
I'm not too sure about the coral splotches, but it is a fun card. Maybe I'll redo it without those. You can change the colors of the cake layers to match your recipient's favorite colors!
Here's the inside of the first card:
Now go do something creative!
I've been using the classic size Happy Planner this year and thought I'd share pictures of some of the changes I made to make it my own.
First off, the cover;
If you're careful not to overheat the plastic, you can heat emboss the cover! I like the black and white striped inside covers of the "This Beautiful Life" Happy Planner. The "live creatively" logo is perfect, so I flipped the covers and used gold embossing powder and a dandelion stamp to add some pizzazz!
You can make your own dividers by attaching thinner decorative paper to heavy cardstock that is punched and cut to size. I use Altenew's tabbed die set and a label maker for my tabs.
Or you can use your favorite stamps and sentiments right on heavier decorative paper.
Showcase your gel press or mixed media experiments on a divider:
Now you have somewhere to use those arty experiments!
I thought this was a neat quote and tried a little art journaling:
It became my divider for August. If you want to switch out an existing tab with your own creation, you can! And you've made the planner fit you.
Now go and play!
I've been trying to get better at watercoloring (wc), and the other day I read someone's words about how those gummed wc blocks can be intimidating because you are afraid of messing up and wasting the paper. I certainly feel that way. But if you separate the sheets, cut them to a smaller size and make your own wc journal, they might just seem more accessible and more beginner-friendly.
If you're like me, crafty things all mix together when you're internetting. Over the last few months, I've read about planners, disc bound journals and fauxdoris.
So today I made some DIY wc journals.
This first journal has a variety of different wc papers and, yes, I did break down and get a disc paper punch. The TUL punch handled all the 140 pound papers beautifully. A YouTube by Sea Lemon inspired me to use laminated decorative paper for the cover. I used my corner punch to round the corners and used some discs from last year's planner. Yay! A pony tail elastic holds the journal closed; all neat and tidy.
This second journal is made from a large sheet of 300 pound wc paper that's been sitting around forever cause I'm afraid to use. That stuff is super thick and wouldn't fit in the TUL punch; but it did fit in my adjustable 3-hole-punch. I cut the paper down to 6" x 7.5" pieces, added a laminated cover and used 1" loose-leaf rings to hold everything together.
So the covers are pretty, they're super portable and they look friendly! Now, when I'm watching the pups get messy, I can mess with my watercoloring. I hope you'll try some creating too!
So I've been struggling with getting a print that I like with my Gelli plate. I've watched a bunch of videos and (messed up) inked up a ton of copy paper and some cheapy cardstock. Once in a while I get something I like. Yay!
After watching this video from by Tracey from Lavinia Stamps, I accomplished the print above which I think is a start in the right direction. For my first attempt, I used Distress Inks, but it was lighter than I wanted so I tried again with Distress Oxides. It didn't apply too evenly, but I got closer to something acceptable. I used Catherine Pooler ink for the blue and purple stamping. (I really like her inkpads.)
The card with the gold leaf is the first one I tried after watching the tutorial. The Distress Inks turned out kind of light so I switched to Distress Oxides for the rest.
Tracey has some darling fairy stamps, and I definitely "need" some right away! Did you know nobody in the US makes fairy silhouette stamps? I couldn't find any.
I don't have a round gelli plate so after inking my rectangular plate, I added a circle mask before pulling the print. It worked pretty well!.
I wanted the words to curve around the print, so I used the cutout from the mask and a background text stamp.
This is the 3rd card using Tracey's technique. I added some black and gold splashes, edged it with black and mounted it on grapsicle cardstock from My Favorite Things.
Below is a great beginner project using the Gelli Plate and envelopes.
What a fun and easy way to jazz up your envelopes!. This video by Queeny-E was my inspiration. Brayer on some ink (I used Distress Oxides) and use crumpled paper to add texture. Tissue paper makes a really nice flowery-type of image.
The envelope on the top right was made by brayering Abandoned Coral Distress Oxide onto the plate and then pressing a background stamp onto the plate to remove some color. The bottom right was done by pressing rubber shelf paper onto the plate.
I hope you'll take the time to do something creative and that it brings you joy!
A lot of people who make cards also do art journaling. I've tried it a few times; and after watching some You Tube videos by Karen Burchill, I got really inspired.
I love this crazy quote and thought it fit the journey of this page perfectly! This is a page torn from an old Moleskine watercolor notebook. I was inspired by this card from Heather Telford, but mine definitely went awry!
I started with green, yellow and blue color bursts from Ken Oliver. The green was too olivey so I added some mowed lawn distress reinker. Then the yellow wasn't bright enough so in went some squeezed lemonade reinker. The stamp didn't come out clear enough and I don't draw very well. So I embraced the vague by adding lines with a black Speedball Elegant Writer then spritzed with water to blur the lines. Then the black splatters were reactivated and smeared when I glued the page down in my "new" (old) art journal. In spite of all that, it was fun and I'm fairly happy with it!
I was looking around for a book that would fit the Moleskine page and came across this. Many years ago, I won this beautiful hardcover book at a quilting event (Craft Overlap alert!). It's filled with blank paper that's kind of thin, but I think I can glue a few pages together and it will work just fine.
I decided to add my name to the inside cover, started playing around with paints and stamps and ended up with this. I used my one Dylusions paint in purple and some ancient white acrylic paint I had left from my tole painting days (ooh, Craft Overlap!). Stamped some text in gray and faded with some watered down white.
This is the very 1st art journal page attempt back in October. I glued down some torn pattern paper, used texture past thru some stencils, stamping and some distress inks for color. Another excellent resource is Vicky Papaioannou. She makes cards and art journals.
This is the 2nd art journal page I made a few weeks ago after watching this background technique by Vicky.
Art journaling is a really fun way to play and be creative without any pressure about a successful end result. I usually have to let things dry overnight so I don't have to rush to finish. If I'm stuck, that gives me time to ponder and start inspired the next day or start a whole new page.
Karen has a whole Back to Basics series on journaling with minimal supplies. I really encourage you to give art journaling a try!
Masculine cards can be tricky, especially masculine Valentine cards! Here are a few of my attempts. The first two were inspired by a card I found on pinterest by Ann Greenspan.
These both use the Little Pickup stamp set from Honey Bee stamps and inkpads from Catherine Pooler.
Has anyone found a Happy "heart" day sentiment? I had to do stamp surgery to create the sentiment above. I really like it for guys' cards but it's tricky to get lined up.
The card below was inspired by Birgit's beautiful red, silver and white Valentine card. My teen-age grandson likes red so I toned it down a bit by using fired brick, black soot and walnut stain Distress Oxides.
Then I got on a "love you more than bacon" kick with this sentiment from Avery Elle's Simply Said: Love sentiment set. I figure most boys and men will think that's pretty funny. The dogs are from Crazy Dogs by Tim Holtz. The other sentiments are from Simon's Love and Quotes set and Simon's You Matter backgound stamp.
Hope these will get you in the creative mood and give you some inspiration for masculine cards.
While working on some cards for Splitcoaststamper's January Cards for a Cause challenge, I needed to attach some vellum to the front of the card. The problem with using vellum on a card is that the glue usually shows thru. This may not be new to you, but I found a neat way to adhere vellum to a card front. Yay!
This first card was inspired by Lisa at iminhaven.blogspot.com.
I found sticky-backed fun foam at walmart, yay! I got a pack with different colors so I can match the foam to the card front. I attach my vellum to the sticky side of the foam and use scoretape to attach the foam to the card front.
Here is the side view so you can see the pink fun foam between the vellum and the card cront. The sheefs are 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" so you can get two a2 cards from each piece.
Here is another card I made using vellum with gold embossing.
I used light purple fun foam to match mft's grapsicle cardstock.
After spending a few days focusing on following instructions to make birthday bags, I decided to play with some #Altenew stamps and my watercolors. I still struggle with watercolor, but I'm so pleased with how these turned out that they became cards for the Cards for a Cause Challenge.
Trying to be very relaxed with my painting (accidently!) caused some white spaces and I really like how the two cards above turned out.
I had some trouble with the painting on the green card and decided that some spatters would help!
The cards below use stamps from Altenew's Garden Grow stamp set and Zig real brush markers.
I'm finding that I tend to work in pairs, using the same stamp with different colors and settings for 2 different cards.
If you're not happy with your stamping creations, try making them into an actual card and you may find that they look pretty good after all!
When not quilting, I can be found creating and making pretty things. This page is where I'll share my experiments and discoveries in the hope that you'll try expressing your creativity!