Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter is just around the corner, and I thought I'd share an Easter Egg book that I made for my Mom. I designed the template myself and cut the pages from chipboard that I snagged from claim form reams at my office. I attached scrapbook papers to the pages with Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. The medium gives the pages flexibility and strength, with minimum warp. Just a little is all you need, but be sure the medium extends all the way to the edges. It's perfect for adhering papers to board books, because these little beauties tend to get a LOT of handling!
One of my favorite faces stamps:


A Retro-style page spread. This retro-style stamp (Polaroid Cutie) from Artistic Outpost is perfect for this bunny page:

Vintage-style spread with my favorite little girl stamp from Oxford Impressions:

Back to the Retro-style for this page. Love the Martha Stewart glitters & glue. The tiny point on the glue bottle lets you get the best detail! Look at the accents on the Paisley (left) and flower centers (right):

Back to Vintage-style. I found alternating styles on the pages made a cohesive book: That's it! The end! The back cover is covered with a coordinating paper, and contains a personal message to my Mom.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Artful Framing

Wow, I hadn't realized until just now how long it's been since I've posted to my blog. I've been so wrapped up in spending time with my son before he goes off to North Carolina and points beyond with the US Army. This is his last week home, and we're trying to make the most of it.

So, on to the crafty topic. My girls hiked up Piestewa Peak a few weeks back, and Brandi (my eldest) surprised Rach (my youngest) with this framed pic of them on that hike. Brandi wanted my touch on it, too (bless her), so I stamped up the white mat that came with the frame. The bright flowers reflect the vibrancy of both my girls' personalities. I used stamps from Stampington & Co., Hero Arts and Art Impressions. Inks are Tim Holtz's Distress Inks (who says "distressed" has to be brown?). Flowers are just some cheap-o fabric stems from the dollar store and brads are Memory Makers (I think). I hope this inspires you to create Artful Frames of your own.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sharing Friendship & Altered Stuff

I have such wonderful friends at work. They all think I make such lovely things and I always enjoy sharing little gifts, made by hand and with love.

These are paper-clip containers that I've altered, one for myself and one for my dear friend Pat at work. They started life as a clear plastic container, just one of those throw-away cups that binder clips come in. Of course, I never throw anything away (husband sighing in the background), and I knew just what to do: alter and re-use as paper-clip holders!

I measured scrapbook paper long enough to go all the around the cup, with about an inch over-lap. Stamp on the paper, then attach with adhesive dots or roller. Then, you can gently poke holes through the cup and attach paper or silk flowers with brads.

I know Pat will enjoy her little decorative paper-clip holder, and I so enjoyed making it for her. And, if I've provided inspiration for your own creations as well, please let me know! It's such a joy for me to see what other folks are making and sharing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Marking Time...

I am an avid reader, and my children and lots of my friends are, too. So, I've been playing around with bookmarks as little gifties "just because"...
These first two went to my daughter Brandi and her bestest friend Kiera. I love the designs on these two, and using flat embellishments add charm but not bulk, which is better for the books they are intended to mark! I used a face stamp that I'm not sure is still available, and added a strip of German scrap to simulate a crown. Brandi thought this was a clever touch, and she is my most truthful and supportive critic!
Some close-ups of the detail...

These bookmarks went to my sister, neices and my other daughter, Rachael. I just love the little girl image from Oxford Impressions, and the Inkadinkadoo birdies!

More Inkadinkado birdies in various colors and inks. These stamps are clear, and I find I get a really sharp image using Colorbox Chalks inks. But I do at times like the "pebbly" effect I get from a dye ink on the clear polymer.
Here's a close-up... Use hand writing to accent your pieces.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Remembered...

Well, I did it. Finally finished the Valentine's Day book for my hubby, Lee. The base is a heart-shaped chipboard, sized about 6 inches. I picked it up at Michael's for just $1 - and it included the ring as a binder!

Here's a close-up, showing the layers of elements and detail...
I think the cover is just too sweet for words. I've used pictures of me and Lee on our trip to San Diego in December 2007. It was a rememberance of sorts - celebrating our anniversary, but also visiting his very first duty station, the USS Midway, which is now a museum.

Here is the second page spread. This past December, we celebrated our 23rd anniversary, but I still used a pic from that San Diego trip a year prior.
A close-up of the detail of flowers with pearly centers...And the german scrap as a regal trim.

In addition to a photo of Lee next to the hull number of his beloved ship, I used a lovely stamp from The Stampsmith - I call them The Lovers! Other stamp credits are available on request. Just email me.
More detail...
This spread is my favorite - simply because of the photo! My Lee actually smiling!!!

Here's a little detail... stamped die-cut letters from Basic Grey...

Last page, I promise! This one kind of got away and went very girlie and valentine on me! It's all good, though. Lee loved his book. But more importantly, he loves me! Thank you Lee for being my valentine all these years. Here's to many more to come!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

He brought me flowers...

What does Valentine's Day mean to you? To most, it's an occasion set aside for celebrating the loves in your life. But isn't it nice when you can celebrate love every day of the year? Yes, take a few moments each February 14 to say "I Love You" to your dear ones. But I personally don't see any need for extravagant gift-giving.

My darling husband (of 23+ years) is not one to buy into the global gift-giving craze that retailers promote, usurping the true purpose behind a "holiday". Occasionally, he has surprised me by bringing me an extravagant gift for Christmas, our anniversary or Valentines Day. But mostly, we recognize those occasions as time to be spent together - and there's no need for lavish spending.

Mostly, his gift-giving is thoughtful and heart-felt. As today, when I awoke to a sweet bouquet of white tulips and a too-sweet box of chocolates. Wasn't expecting a thing! And the most important thing to me is this: Lee gives me his most precious gift every day - his love, devotion and steadfastness.
Once again, it's the little things...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's the Little Things....

No art to post today, but I just have to share a few thoughts with you. Have you ever had one of those days where all the "little things" just seem to go right? The printer doesn't jam when you're printing 250 invoices, the paper goes in the right way, you hear small bits & pieces of good news all through the day, and every little thing just keeps getting better & better. I've had one of those days. And let me tell you it's such a relief from the days where every little thing goes wrong.

So, I come home from a long day of celebrating the little things, and find 3 little gifties from my grown daughter! She went to Michaels, saw these things and thought of me. And the fact that they came with a little price-tag made it just that much better! The bunny & alphabet set are each no more than 2 inches, and each cost $1! The adorable brads were a bit more pricey, but I bet I can get 23 projects out of the set!

Here's to the Little Things in Life! May your days be filled with Lots of Lovely Little Things!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love Story...

My daughter, Brandi, travelled from Arizona to England over our Thanksgiving holiday to visit with her boyfriend, Kingsly. They are such a cute couple, and thier story is such a sweet thing.

Brandi and Kingsly met quite by chance while he was here taking pilot training over this past summer. They started hanging out as friends - she meeting his English friends and he meeting her Arizona friends - and before they knew it, their feelings were for much more than friendship. They were practically inseparable until Kingsly had to return to England in September.

I admire my daughter's adventurous spirit, because I don't know that I would have had the fortitude to travel half-way around the world by myself, as she did in November. But, she has always wanted to travel - to England especially, and having a ready-made native guide in Kingsly, this was the perfect opportunity.

Kingsly and Brandi went everywhere they could in the one week she had for her visit. On their way to Devon to meet his parents, they stopped at Stonehenge and a kindly stranger snapped this photo of the two of them. I loved the way this brightly earthy floral paper complimented the greens and grays in the photo.

Of course, Brandi has many more photos of her trip to scrapbook, and she and I are doing it little by little. It will take a while, because she wants the book to express the love and adventure of both this trip and the basis of her relationship with Kingsly. It's so sweet to see young love just starting to blossom.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old-lady Bonnie

Isn't it wonderful when our four-legged friends completely capture our hearts and become part of our family? Our friend, Bonnie, is 10 years old this March, and she has been with us since she was 2 months old. Her mother was pure-bred bassett hound, and we think daddy was a lab. This combination produced quite a funny-looking Bonnie. Picture the Bassett body and legs, with a slightly longer-eared lab head perched on top, and the red-gold coloring. That's Bonnie.

My daughter Brandi and I decided to do some scrapbooking of our beloved old girl. Brandi snapped the photos we used (she's a delightfully talented photographer). This first one is a 5x7 photo that Brandi will take to work to post on the "pet-board" - she works in the radiology department at a local hospital, and they often have to "park" the patients while they wait for their tests - this pet board gives them something to look at to pass the time.

This second pic is of an 8x8 page. I wanted to do something that complimented the lovely color of Bonnie's coat, so I chose orange, brown and blue. I use an archival quality artist paper as my rubber stamping platform, so I often wind up with lovely colors and images from past projects (stamp-offs or color trials or just off-the edge images). I save these sheets for inspiration, and decided to use one for this page. The "dream" images and some of the "xoxox" border were there from previous projects, and I added the butterflies and more "xoxo" borders. Bonnie used to chase butterflies as a puppy, so I imagined as she lay there dozing in our front doorway that she was dreaming about that. What an inspiration this lovely pet has been, and we treasure every moment we have with her.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Muse is Back!

I have been away from the blog-world for far too long. Lots of things going on in my life in the past year have caused my muse to absolutely desert me. One thing I've been dealing with is clinical depression - or as my doctor phrased it, a "blue funk". I cry at the drop of a hat, have not been effective in my day-job (the one that pays the bills), and haven't been moved to create a thing - which in itself causes a bout of weeping when I think about it! But, I've been taking medication for about 6 months and just recently began to create again.

I was strolling through a local dollar store a few weeks before Christmas and came across these delightful shadow-box frames. They're about 7 x 7", with a 1 & 1/2 inch deep shadow. They were only a dollar each, so I bought three. One actually made it to the family Christmas gathering as an altered piece of art for our gift exchange (in my rush to get to the gathering, I forgot to take a picture of it - that's how last-minute it was).

The other two languished a bit until my muse was feeling stronger. They began life as white-painted frames with rather unattractive and generic artwork behind the glass. Now, altered, they are lovely pieces that I gave to my mom (the red/pink one) and oldest daughter (the blue/beige one). I hope they inspire them as much as creating them inspired me!

It was a bit of work getting the frames apart for the alterations, but I'm glad I persisted. One item of note - the inks I used (both dye-based and liquid chalk) didn't dry well on the frame's surface, so I embossed them with clear detail powder. I was hesitant to remove the glass in these for fear of breakage (they were glued surprisingly well for a mass-manufacture item), but the heat from the heat gun didn't damage the glass at all - but be sure not to apply heat directly to the glass, just in case.