Monday, May 30, 2016

Lavender Thank You

Being on the Susan's Garden Design Team is especially fun because Susan's dies are made by Elizabeth Craft Designs, and the beautiful flower dies work so well with other dies and papers from this fantastic company.

Take this simple Thank You card, for example, which I created with two different Susan's Garden Notes dies: Lavender and Wisteria Vine in addition to the Barrel Basket with Pop-Up die set from Karen Burniston and Through the Lens Wood Series papers.

Let's take a closer look...

I cut the barrel from one of the sheets in the Wood paper series. (In this paper collection there's a wide variety of wood grain images shot through the lens of Els van de Burgt herself. There's also a Stone and Metal series.) I inked the edges of the pieces with different shades of brown Distress ink.

Next, I cut the pieces from the Lavender die, using Olive Twist and Perfect Purple Soft Finish Cardstock. I cupped the tiny purple flowers to prepare them for adhering.

I assembled the bucket along with its handle, then adhered the stem portion of the lavender plant.

Using my tweezers, I picked up each tiny flower and dipped it into a puddle of Tacky Glue and adhered them into place.

For the inside of the card, I cut a piece of pattern paper (Graphic 45's Botanicabella) 3 3/4" x 7 3/4" then die-cut the pop-up portion across the fold. I adhered this paper to a brown cardstock base measuring 4" x 8" to create a folded 4" x 4" card.

I adhered the bucket of lavender to the pop-up, stamped a sentiment and added the bow. The bow is part of the lavender die set.

Oops! Here's a lesson learned. You have to make sure your card base is tall enough for the pop-up so it doesn't hang off the inside of the card like mine. 

I could've started the whole card over, but instead I added a strip of lace across the bottom. 

I cut another wood paper 3 3/4" x 3 3/4" and adhered it to the card, stamped Thanks onto pattern paper, fussy cut the bird, and added two leafy branches from the Wisteria Vine die. To finish it off, I added two metal photo corners at the top.

This little 4" x 4" card was super simple and fun to make, and came together quickly.

Here's a list of the supplies I used today...

Elizabeth Craft Designs:

Metal photo corners
Thanks stamp (Close To My Heart, retired)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

My high school graduate

It's here. Finally. Jamie has graduated high school. It's been quite the final year. She's been counting down the days. It's not that she didn't like high school, it's just that she simply cannot wait to get to Ringling this Fall.

I thought I'd share a few photos from graduation last weekend.

We feared rain, but it ended up being a perfectly sunny (hot) evening. My mom and dad joined us.

Some of Jamie's closest friends came too.

Here they come. Viera High School Class of 2016. I remember when Jamie was a baby, I would think to myself that she's going to graduate high school in 2016 and its seemed so far off in the future.

Now look at her, shaking hands with the principal and other staff, saying good-bye to this chapter in her life. I only hope she didn't wish it away too quickly without holding onto some fond memories first.

Diploma in hand, striding confidently, smiling big. She's going places, this girl of mine.

I'm sure she's sweating her ass off in the hot sun, but I'm also sure she's a happy kid right now.

We were looking at old photos of my high school graduation recently and I remember her asking me how I got my cap to stay on that far back on my head. She liked the way it looked. I noticed hers right away.

Tradition is to take photos on the field afterwards. I don't know why I'm holding my purse like that. 

Doin' the Dab. A favor to Jamie. 

Damn, I'm gonna miss her.

We had a small party afterwards with her friends and some family members. All in all, a very nice evening for a pretty special kid. Onward and upward, Jamie!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Featured Artist - Tuesday Tutorials

Today I have the honor of being featured as the Tuesday Tutorial designer of the week by Marjie Kemper on her blog.

In Marjie's popular Tuesday Tutorial Series, she features art tutorials created by different artists from all over the world every Tuesday. It's a fantastic place for inspiration and exposure to many styles. And who doesn't love tutorials?!

So I thank Marjie for not only providing this great resource for us all, but for asking me to be a part of it. She is sharing my altered cigar box project I posted here a few weeks ago. Please take a trip to today's blog post to check it out and all the other fabulous works she has posted there.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Pretty Hats for Mom and Me

What a busy couple of days we've been having here at the Green household. Classes, prepping projects before we leave for Tokyo, and Jamie's high school graduation, just to name a few. I've been in hyper-mode for the past month! I love it, though. This is what I thrive on.

Today I'm featured on the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog with my creation using Susan's Garden Notes dies on two sweet little hats I made for my Mom and me on the day before Mother's Day. These were so fun to make!

We attended a tea/luncheon with many other ladies that day and everyone was asked to wear a hat. It was such a special way to celebrate Mom for Mothers' Day.

Be sure to hop over to the ECD blog to check out my tutorial and more photos, including one of Mom and me wearing our hats.

I'll share a few photos of Jamie's graduation in a few days. It was a great night! Thanks for stopping by today. Hope your Monday starts the week off happy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wishing you a Happy Hot Air Balloon Kind of Day

I seem to be on a hot air balloon kick lately. I just love them. It's on my bucket list to take a ride in one. They're so colorful and happy, and with the Hot Air Balloons die from Elizabeth Craft Designs, you can mix and match colors and papers to create all sorts of varieties. This is a 5" x 7" card I created using the die, along with the Banners die and a brand new, soon-to-be-released Susan's Garden die "Rose Hedge." See the end of my post for all the links to these goodies.

Let's take a look at how this fun card came together...

I began with a 5" x 7" card base of sky blue cardstock. I've also used Graphic 45's World's Fair papers, which are perfect with the hot air balloon theme. [This photo shows the floral paper which I used on one card I made earlier this week, but as you'll see in the coming photos I used a slightly different paper in the collection and I think it works even better.] After layering two pattern papers from World's Fair, I embossed more sky cardstock with the Mini Mosaic embossing folder, then rubbed some Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink over the raised surface.

I die-cut some of the pieces in the die... (there are more than these!) There are actually tiny little sand bags to attach to the bucket, but I left them out.

...then layered them up. I like to ink edges for dimension, so I used Distress inks for that.

Next I die-cut five pennants from the Banners die. There are four pennants in this set, so I just used one of them twice.

After inking the edges that will show from the front, I laid the pennants in a row and ran a piece of waxed twine at the seams of each, then adhered each flap down to seal in the twine for my banner.

(Here you can see the different paper I used for the background) I adhered all my elements to my card front. You'll notice I added two small bows of the same waxed twine to the ends of the banner. The "Have a Happy Day" stamp is from Hampton Art's "Children's Hour" cling set 2. 

I used different levels of foam tape to add dimension to my elements.

As a finishing touch, I decided to add some tiny little roses and leaves, so I die-cut five orange roses and a bunch of the leaves from the Rose Hedge die. These are super easy to assemble. Just grab some tweezers or a quilling tool and roll them up!

After assembling the roses, and veining the leaves, I added them to my card around the stamped area. This added touch of tiny flowers is what really makes this card special. Don't you think?

Here's another look at the completed card. I'm glad I have two of them now. One to keep and one to send to someone very special.

Let's not forget the inside of the card. Here's a simple way to dress it up. All from the World's Fair collection. 

Supplies Used:

Rose Hedge die - coming soon!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Art Journal Spreads 2 & 3

Hello again. Back today with two more art journal spreads and tutorials for ya. Sorry for the late post. Let's dive right in!

My mermaid layout is a whimsical, happy piece that reminds me to take in all the beauty around me and just breathe each day.

(remember to click on any photo for a larger view)

Begin by NOT putting gesso on the pages, but instead spraying two compatible Distress Stains. I used Salty Ocean and Cracked Pistachio. Be generous as you spray and then tilt your journal upright and let the colors run. Don't try to guide it too much. Just let it happen naturally. If your drops aren't running, give the journal a tap on the table to encourage them. 

After waiting about one minute, add a third color. This time I chose a very bold Dylusions spray, simply because i didn't have the bright pink color I needed in Distress. Dry this layer.

Use two compatible colors of Distress Inks to stencil some designs across the bottom of the spread.

Stamp a focal image. Here's a lesson I learned. My plan was to stamp the mermaid, then use the water brush to paint over her and dab with a paper towel to lift away most of the background color so she would stand out better. However, this was as light as I could get her with that method. On to plan B in a moment...

I didn't stress about her or the seahorse I stamped in the lower right corner. I just kept going forward, filling in the white areas with Mustard Seed Distress Ink and a blending tool.

Create some fun bubble-like images by scribbling a rough circle with Picket Fence Distress Crayon, then wet your finger and rub over it in a circular motion to get a slightly transparent bubble. Outline with a fine point white pen, if desired.

Texture paste through a stencil. Let dry and then rub a desired Distress Ink over the texture surface. Always remember to go off the pages with your design when you are stamping, texture pasting, inking, whatever. People tend to want to stay within those four walls. Don't!

Back to the mermaid. I decided to stamp her on white cardstock and color her with Distress Markers and the waterbrush instead. I did the same with the seahorse. Cut them out close to the stamped edge and adhere them into your spread. You can hand letter a title if desired using a white brush pen, or you can use stickers, stamps, or rub-ons are great too.

Here's a close-up of my mermaid once she was adhered to the page. To help blend her into the background more, I used the wire mesh stencil (which resembles a fishing net) to add some color and depth. See it on her tail and in her hair? 

This is what I aim for when working in my art journal. Layers. Lots of luscious layers. It just makes me happy.

My Friends layout makes me smile. I have some very good friends who I cherish greatly. Women are really some amazing people and without friends, I think we are less of a woman ourselves. That's why my title is Friends are Everything. They truly mean the world to me and I don't know what I would do without my woman friends.

Start the spread by adhering tissue wrap with gel medium (matte). Spread the gel medium over the top of the pages as well. Let dry then trim any excess tissue.

Select a solid surface stamp and stamp randomly in three opposing areas of your spread using clear embossing ink. (I used a set of 9 hearts) Sprinkle clear embossing powder and heat set the images. This now creates a resist. Select three colors of Distress Crayons and scribble in large areas to fill out the entire spread.

Spritz water on the page and push and blend the colors around with your fingers to soften. Right now, it looks like a hot mess, I know, but don't stop and think about it. Use a dry paper towel to lift any residual crayon off the embossed areas. Heat set the page until it's almost dry, but not completely. Lay a stencil (like my flower) in an open area then use a baby wipe to rub away the crayon in the stenciled area only. Cool, right?

Heat set the pages and once dry, select a main focal image stencil (like my friends here) then pick up some paint onto the foam pad of a blending tool so you have a thin layer. Tap and turn the blending foam into the stencil. Don't swirl. Repeat image, if desired. Then rub more of the same paint color around the outer edges of your spread and through the center with your fingers. Heat until completely dry.

Now select some stamps to start filling in open areas. I used the row of hearts and red archival ink, as well as a butterfly stamp and black archival ink. If you want to emphasize the resist areas, you can outline the images with a Distress Crayon then rub with a wet finger to blend and smooth out.

Talk about layers. 

If desired, stamp a title. I used two different alphabet stamp sets and archival black ink. Now you can step back and take a look at the spread and decide whether you are finished. I went back in and blended out some harsh looking areas with a wet finger to smooth the color transitions a little better. (Compare this photo to the one two photos up.)

I hope by reading my process it has helped some of you want to jump in and give it a go. It's nothing to be feared. And if you take it one step at a time and don't judge along the way, you'll be okay. And you'll have such a good time! 

What's the worst thing that could happen? 

You don't love it. 

My advice to you?

Turn the page.

And try again.