Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mixed media canvas - Create

It's been so nice having this week off work. Good thing too because the weather has been more than a little frightful. We have had a dumping of no less than 2 feet this week, and there's more on the way. Seems that a little while ago, most people were hoping we'd have a white Christmas and they weren't disappointed.

I've been busy crafting, cleaning, crafting some more and today, I made a new mixed media canvas.

I noticed that a friend was making fingerless gloves for presents, and asked if she'd have any to sell. Well, long story short, we bartered the gloves for a canvas. I really hope she likes this one.

I started with patterned paper, gave it a light purple wash, used some gelatos, portfolio pastels, Prima flowers, Color Shine, and lots of trinkets and bling to pretty it up. Oh, and of course, I had to put some modeling paste though a few stencils for interest.

Some stamping and more stenciling and I think I'll call it good. I really hope she likes it.

It had been a while since I had done any mixed media canvases. Think I'm going to have to do a few more soon and put them in my Etsy store. Let me know what kinds of designs you like in the comments, and maybe you'll see something with you in mind soon.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

So excited!!! Just a quick post this time around!

I'm so excited. In fact I'm a little geeked out to be announcing this...wait for it...

Notice anything new in my sidebar? Ahem....the badge in white? The pretty badge with the white background?

Here, let me show you a close up!

I'm one of the newest members to join the Scrapbooking from the Inside Out design team! You can read more about it here.

I'll be posting my layouts using their amazing kits in the coming months and telling you more about what stories I decided to tell.

Exciting times are coming, and I'm going to keep you informed whenever I have more amazing news!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Just remember to breathe

This past week's been especially challenging. I know... so many people are really busy. I'm not the only soul on earth that has just way to much to do. But lately it's been chaotic. That's the only way to describe it really. Work was strenuous, and demanded too much of my energy, leaving me with nothing left by the time I got home. But work around the house still has to get done. And everything all combined put me over the edge. Friday I couldn't lift my arms, pains were shooting in my legs, and work was definitely out of the question. I spent most of the day in bed trying to recuperate, and get some strength back.

I managed to find a little energy today to complete a challenge for a site that I recently found that really speaks to me: Scrapbooking from the Inside Out. This past month's challenges have all been centred around mindfulness, or being aware. I completed one of the challenges today on focus.

My focus lately has been on my pain levels. And that's not where I want it to be. So this layout is more or less about changing my focus, taking one moment at a time, and remembering to just breathe.

I used Teresa Collins Vintage Chic paper, a doily, and a cut out bingo card from the same paper line first. Then I added some lace, some Prima resist canvas, some flowers and the journaling card. I'm very happy that Leanne from Mad About Scrappin' decided to throw in some doilies for me when she sent my kit. They added just the right touch to the layout I think.

I'm glad I took this challenge, because this week, boy did I need it. I reminded myself that this weekend, even though I am not working, I still need to keep my focus, watch my energy levels, and then I can move on to tackle other projects.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Loads of productive fun!

What a Saturday I had! It was fun, perhaps even a bit manic, but it was still very productive. I went to a scrapbook crop at Auntie Em's Scrapbooking store in Cornwall with quite a few friends, and got my scrap on! I was really looking forward to working with some products I received just a few weeks before...from Australia!

I'm a guest designer for Mad About Scrappin' this month and the owner Leanne sent me a wonderful box full of great goodies to play with. I chose a few papers from Teresa Collins. I cannot resist damask, in any shape or form, so that was a clear winner for me. I also selected some sweet flowers, some jute ribbon, and charms. By the time the weekend rolled around, I was really ready to dive in and create a layout or two using these beauties.

I wanted to do a sophisticated layout with a self portrait I had taken a while back. I really loved this vintage clock paper, and I wanted to jazz it up just a bit. I used the beautiful patterned paper and fussy cut it to fit over a doily, and put down some jute ribbon, some lace, a couple flowers, bling, and some glass elements.

I really love how it turned out. I really loved the pink flowers too. Two-toned flowers are so much more fun.

I've been wanting to scrapbook these pictures for over a year now. We took a trip with my father-in-law to the Royal Canadian Mint last summer, and we each took the opportunity to have a photo taken with us holding a real gold bar. These pictures needed something neutral, and the papers worked out great!

I wanted the photos to be the focus and be surrounded with bling, to go along with the gold. I also cut out some more of the patterned paper and added the pieces as embellies.

That wasn't all I accomplished at the crop, but I'll leave that for another post later this week. I've been a very busy lady, and I've got lots more to tell you on the weekend, so come back soon!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gelli Arts makes art journaling easy and fun

Today was going to be an especially busy day, and I didn't think that I'd get to play in my art room. However, I just got a new art journaling tool recently and I was dying to play with it. By now you've probably seen the Gelli Arts videos on printmaking using their printing plate.

It's this really squishy flat gelatin plate that you can put paint onto, press textures into and get really cool monoprinted pages. I bought the smaller of the sizes, which is 6 X 6 inches because I often work in a small art journal, and I didn't just want to use sheets of paper as the Gelli Arts videos show. I have to say, I love it!

This is what my final page turned out to look like:

It's the fastest way I've seen to create interesting mult-coloured backgrounds that have immediate texture and interest. So I started with some craft paints I had in my stash, and got to work on my background. I used some stamps I have on hand, as well as a piece of shelf liner to give the paint interesting texture. I flipped my 9 X 12 journal over onto the painted plate, and pressed down.

What a quick easy background. I repeated the process and laid down another monoprint on the same page, to cover most of the page. After that, I just went to town with a Dylusions stencil and modelling paste, some Heidi Swapp Color Shine sprays, stamps, some scrapbook paper scraps that I put through my Sizzix and then added some lace and washi tape.

I love how the page turned out. Lots of texture without being overwhelming. Here are some close ups:

I think next time I won't cover the entire Gelli plate so that I get some rough edges along the sides of the paper. Right now you can see the size and shape of the plate clearly on the page. Spreading the paint randomly should take care of that next time. I'm also going to use some stencils and masks next time, so that I can get multiple colours onto the same page without the colours blending on the plate.

It's definitely a fun way to play. I'm going to get the larger size plates in the near future, and get to playing often. I think what I'll do in the future is use cardstock and then cut them into piece to use in my journal.

Another fun technique I used for the first time was stamping into Color Shine spray to see what effects I could get. The large heart was stamped using Dina Wakley's stamp. I just sprayed the pink spray directly onto a craft sheet, stamped into the spray and then transfered it onto the art journal spread. I love the grungy effect I got from it.

So that's my art journal play for this weekend. Hope you enjoy these tips, and go and try monoprinting using Gelli Arts printing plate. It's way too much fun!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Prima Workshop - Take 2

After over a week of having a messy craft room, still not unpacked from my last crop, I figured that today, being as cold as it was, was a good day for hunkering down, and cleaning out the craft room. Then I found my unfinished layouts I had done at the Prima workshop that was held at Auntie Em's Scrapbooking and Beading in Cornwall, and decided it was high time to find photos for those layouts.

We had such a blast there over the two days. There were plenty of techniques taught and learned, and lots of messes made by all. I think this was the cleanest my workspace had been all weekend. I have yet to complete my cover for the journal. I'll have to see if I can find my muse later this week.

One of the art journal pages almost complete!
Cari Fennell had taught us a couple of layout techniques using Firefly by Prima. You'll recall I posted the layouts without the photos. Well I found the perfect pictures for the layouts.

Our proud flower girl and ring bearer at our wedding.

And these photos were found in the cleanup. Below are photos of the flower girl and ring bearer years before our wedding. Look at Grandma's loving smile. This one is going to be framed and given to my mother as a gift.

Proud Grandma moment!

During the weekend, especially the day we worked on our art journals, I kept going on coffee and the candy buffet. Boy can that combination get you some interesting results in your art journal! Some of us react to sugar and coffee more than others.

Diane and I getting more than a little messy and zany!
Once we had come down from the sugar and caffeine high, it was time for a group photo, and time to hit the road until next time.

Needless to say, I cannot wait until all of us get together again to have some scrap-happy fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I scrap because it make ME happy!

So often I get the question asking why I decided to start doing paper scrapbook layouts, considering that I don't have children, don't have a legacy to leave to anyone, especially since I've been doing digital scrapbooking for over 7 years. While it's true that I don't have adorable baby pictures, or pictures of events I want to remember years from now, my every day moments are just as important to scrapbook. I recently read an article by a woman who is obviously wise beyond her years who addressed the issue of creating scrapbooks for yourself. Not your children, your family, but you. And it really resonated with me. So I decided that instead of scrapbooking my fave photos of my dog, or my cats, or my husband, it was time I showed up on the page, and not feel guilty about it.

This weekend, I did just that, and I scrapped a large 4X6 headshot of myself. Yikes! Seeing my face, that large, staring back at me from the page was intimidating. I thought others might think it vain to use this photo. But I did it anyway. And I love it! Really love it!

And of course, since I had the stencils and modelling paste out, I couldn't resist creating an art journal page on a 12 inch piece of cardstock. I love how it turned out, given that I didn't bring a lot of my art journalling materials with me to the crop.

I guess what I'm saying in this post, is that sometimes, even if you DO have children and family that you share your scrapbooks with, do a few pages every now and then that are just for you. It's very liberating, and gives you permission to try things that you've never done, without worrying about having the pages judged by others.

Now, I know I promised you photos of the mixed media journal I did at the Prima workshop, but I'm going to reserve posting them just yet. I still want to finish up the cover, and complete the journal before I post more about it.

Have an amazing weekend everyone and for those of you that are in the path of Frankenstorm, stay safe!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Serious fun this weekend with Prima!

This weekend was such great fun! Some wild and crazy women got together at Auntie Em's Scrapbook and Beading shop in Cornwall, Ontario for a fun-filled weekend with Cari Fennell. I have to say that personally I make it my mission to attend each and every Prima workshop that is within my area if I can. They have some of the best educators for scrapbooking and mixed media. Cari is a special treat though, throwing her own flavour and excitement into every class.

We worked with the gorgeous Firefly collection from Prima, and I had no doubt that I would love that class on Saturday. I have a love of all these soft and dreamy, especially watercolour-like papers. If you haven't seen this collection, you have to see it in person. No pictures I've seen online do it justice. We worked on two layouts on Saturday, and for the first time, I scrapbooked layouts without pictures. Eeek! Totally out of my comfort zone, since I usually work with picture first, and then select my papers, embellies, etc. But they did turn out quite wonderfully I think. Here are the layouts, waiting for just the right pictures.

I was in flower cluster heaven! A picture should cover the cut journal scalloped card.

Yummy layers!

I admit to being bow challenged.

Such juicy layers!
Even though I have been scrapbooking for a while, I learned so much in this course. Use those beautiful journal cards to create more dimension on your page. Cut them up and use them on the edges of your layouts for a little cluster yumminess. I also learned that no matter how ugly your bows are (and mine are definitely lacking in romance), your layouts can still be beautiful.

I cannot wait to find the right pictures for these layouts!

I'll be back later this week to share more from the weekend, including the Donna Downey Mixed Media canvas journal we worked on, so stay tuned. There was plenty of madness, and a whole lot of fun this weekend at Emma's. I'm looking forward to more.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sometimes the weekend doesn't get off to a great start

I should have known enough to leave the housework alone on Friday, given that I was home sick and not feeling well at all. I had to do the dishes because, well, they didn't get done because I wasn't up to it. So why did I think I'd be up to it on Friday? I chalk it up to a lapse in judgement, stupidity. No, I wasn't running with scissors! I'm a crafter, yes, but I know better than that.

The lack of judgement came when I decided to wash the knives. Three soaked paper towels and an emergency phone call to hubby minutes later, and I was on my way to the hospital to get stitches in my thumb. I'm right-handed, and yes, that's my right thumb. It's going to be an interesting week. (On a positive note, I got treated by a doctor right away at the hospital when we were expecting a huge wait time.)

So what did I decide to do this morning, after feeling sorry for myself (of course) Friday night and Saturday? I did an art journal page. I haven't art journalled in what seems like forever, and this seemed like a good occasion.

The stitches are supposed to stay in for 7-10 days, which means I'll still have them when I go to Auntie Em's Scrapbooking store in Cornwall next weekend. By then I should be able to hold things properly without too much difficulty. I'm looking forward to next weekend...Prima workshops with Cari and having no more pain in my hand.

So next time you do the dishes, be careful with those knives people. You never know when one might decide to flip up and getcha!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Look who'll be rocking the sketches!

I can't help but be excited about this news. I told you that it would be coming and now I can reveal all....hmmm, reveal. Sound familiar? Like a Creative Scrappers Sketch Reveal maybe?

I am so excited about this news! The new Creative Scrappers team will be rocking new sketches from the new sketch designers and I'm one of them! Wow! I really never thought I'd have seen this one coming. But I met some great friends who encouraged me to apply to the call, and much to my surprise this group of women with mad skills will be using my sketches! Be sure to head over to the Creative Scrappers blog so that you can check out their blogs and congratulate them!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Go on! Layer It!

This week wasn't your typical work week. I got great news, upgraded my iPhone, and had a short work week, but the work week seemed to go on forever.

First off, my creative life has taken on a life of its own, and I'm thankful for that. Not only was I recently added to the Creative Scrappers team, but this week, I discovered much to my delight, that I'm one of the newest members of the design team at Tina's Scrapbooking Creations. I'm so looking forward to working with a local group of talented scrappers. We all bring something different to the table and I'm looking forward to learning more from these gals.

And, much to my delight, I'll be combining my two passions, teaching and art journaling, at Tina's store. My first class, called Layer It! Mixed Media Canvas, is open for registrations for the November 21st class. Those of you that know me understand just how exciting this is for me...primarily because I love to share my process when I create. And I have a real passion for teaching as well. Watching students when they have that "ah ha!" moment makes all the work worth it. So register for the class. Registration is limited and that means more discussion and feedback so that we both enjoy the class. It's only $30 and you'll walk away with your own mixed media canvas that you'll be proud to show off.

Other classes will follow, including an introduction to art journaling course.

So this week had its ups...and its downs. I didn't expect this week to be that difficult. But generally speaking, aren't the weeks before long weekends longer than we think? And with all this positive news I was itching to get home and be creative! Well, with that in mind, you can imagine how long my week was, because not only is it a 3-day weekend this week, but it was my first week back to work after vacation. Originally I thought it would be good timing, but it was truly a "semaine des quatre jeudi", or in English a "week of four Thursdays". But now the weekend is here, and I'm ready to get journaling, creating, and completing my travel journal/scrapbook.

There's lots more news to come very shortly on my blog, but I can't tell you just yet. Aren't I a terrible tease?!

I hope that you have a great weekend, no matter how long it is, and enjoy every single moment of it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crop & Create Ottawa was an incredible experience

Friday morning after arriving home from our vacation at the cottage, I sat down to my laptop as usual and perused the usual...Facebook, Google Reader. I thought about how lovely our vacation was, and how even though I packed up some scrapbook and art journal materials, I hardly did anything creative while up there.

And then I got a notification for a group I'm in. It had a new post, and I checked it out right away. I was thrilled to read that the owner of Loonie 4 scrapbooking was looking for someone to take her spot at Crop & Create in Ottawa, and it started that day! She was offering it to the first person who replied, and I had to say, I scooped that baby up so quick! The owner contacted me right away to arrange the transfer of registration.

I had only found out about Crop & Create coming to Ottawa in August, and it was already sold out. So this opportunity to go was such a nice surprise! I cannot say enough about the owner's generosity in giving this wonderful gift! It just goes to show that women in the scrapbooking community are truly a reflection of the best qualities we possess. I contacted my friends to let them know I'd be there. It turned out that we were taking a class together too, and we got to sit together for the cropping on Saturday.

Here are a few layouts that I did during my adventure this weekend:

This layout was created for one of the challenges

I love using Fall pictures for warm layouts

My fave layout from the weekend
Learning from Vicki, Kelly and Catherine was a real pleasure. I learned so many techniques, such as tissue encasing, tape binding, and making an adorable fridge magnet from a Maya Road bottle cap and sticker sheets. (Catherine it truly was the best make & take EVER!)

I really hope that they come back to Ottawa again in the near future. It won't be the last time I go to an event they've organized. The location was ideal, and the organizing team had everything running so seamlessly that we quite often forgot about how much work went into it all. If you get a chance to attend a Crop & Create, take it! You will not regret it, and you'll be hooked and waiting for the next event.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Time to unwind...and news!

I'm ready. So ready to take a vacation with my husband away from the hustle and bustle of my job, the city, life. We are both eager to spend some real time together to enjoy each other's company and get out into nature. Just thinking about it brought my mind back to a hike we did together not all that long ago. So I scrapped it as my submission for this week's The Color Room layout. Here's the palette:

I love that he doesn't mind having pages with his photos surrounded by flowers. He's rugged but sentimental I guess.

And have you heard the news? I'm the new blog coordinator for Creative Scrappers. It's such a thrill to be working with these talented ladies. Mad skills I tell you. Mad. I'm sure going to enjoy soaking in all the inspiration!

So while I am away, I'll definitely be bringing my art journal materials with me, some scrapbook supplies too, and I'll be letting loose the creativity that is locked up inside me right now. I'm quite sure that I'll have several more nature-inspired layouts coming.

Hope you have an amazing week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I scraplifted... myself! Digital to Paper

I used to think that I would never scrapbook using paper. Digitally I could resize photos and crop them in an instant. I could resize elements to fit the layout. I could layer and shadow and make anything look realistic. But there is one thing that I learned today that I never understood until today. Despite being able to create a layout that looks virtually like a paper layout, it was not as satisfying as creating the same layout with paper.

Oh sure, I wish I had an abundance of items on hand to almost replicate what I did digitally, but the accomplishment I feel after having spent time looking through my stash for the right paper, the right spray, the perfect elements, well it's awesome. I sat down and looked at what I had in front of me, and I used what I had on hand, and what I didn't, I manage to improvise. And I love the final product.

Here's the original layout done about a year ago, digitally using Photoshop CS3:

It was definitely a challenge making this layout using a variety of elements from different designers and trying to get a cohesive feeling from it. I really loves the final product. That's why I decided to scraplift it. And here's the result (click the photo for a larger image):

I loved working with the leaf skeletons and the different flowers, and ribbons. I had a lot of fun, winding that rope through the title as well. I had done it digitally before but this was a first for paper.

It's not an exact replica obviously. I took a two photo layout and made it one photo. I changed the title location. I used slightly different colours. But I love it. I'm definitely going to put this one in a shadow box and frame it. I love this photo, and remembering the day and how perfect the light was.

I really hope you think about scraplifting yourself and seeing how you can change something up, especially if your style has changed over the years.

Hope you had a good weekend, and stay tuned for more fun later this week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A simply lovely gift tag!

I have a lovely quick project to show off today. I've loved working with Scrap'n with Flair's September kit featuring A Ladies' Diary by Graphics 45. It's perfectly vintage and feminine.

This weekend I made a quick tag using the papers and some beautiful flowers from I am Roses. I made a video of the process so that you can play along.

Here's the final product:

I'm definitely loving these tags! They are quick elegant gifts for friends, or decorations for my craft room.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!