Thursday, November 17, 2011

"I am the diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher" is hosting a Giveaway

Do you do Zendoodles? Do you do Zentangles? Or, do you do what I do, doodles. To me they were always just doodles. It's something I have done for as long as I can remember. I now know there is an entire community of others who do doodles too (love the way that flows off the tongue). One community calles them Zendoodles and another calls them Zentangles, and yet another calls them Zen Dazzles, but for me they seem the same doodles. Maybe someone with a deeper understanding will correct me if I'm wrong. I have a small sketch book I use rather than zentangle tiles, but there are products dedicated specifically to the srt. Now, that didn't really surprise me since anything seems to open to free marketing these days. But what did surprise me was to find that there are copyrights on doodle concepts (look at the footnote of this blog post). Really? copyrighted doodle concepts? What does that do to doodles done thirty years ago that look like doodles copyrighted in the 70's or 80's?


There are also challenges out there to be found and participated in. I haven't had the time to particiapate in any, but it is on my "To Do" list. In the meantime I just follow couple of sites and look at other peoples work.


If you are interested just search either term, zendoodle or zentangle, and you will find plenty to keep you busy for a few days.


But I digress - here is a link to the giveawy referenced in this blog title - enter a comment for a chance to win some doodle supplies: I am the diva - Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT®)


And, since I don't consider my doodles blog-worthy I will not post them - just go look at the doodles of folks who sem to take more time making theirs look more planned out and symmetrical than any of my doodles.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This is a Really Nice Craft Room . . .

. . . NOT mine, but I wish it were. I love her many many wonderful, and inexpensive, storage ideas. And the size of the room is phenomenal! If ever I build my dream house I will have a room this size so i can set it up this nicely:


Here are a few sneak peeks:


So Nice

I would call this a "Luxury" item - love love love this chair!


Handy dandy indeed!

Beats my ribbon storage!




Go to her blog and check out the entire room: Sew Many Ways . . . 

Friday, October 7, 2011

More Coloring Fun!

I ordered some new Copic markers this week and all eight of the fluorescent colors were in my order. They are such pretty colors that I had wanted them since they were first released. I was so excited to get them that as soon as they arrived I printed out some Karber Digital Images and started making some bright & pretty characters in costumes. 

As I was coloring I mentioned to hubby dear about how bright the orange was that I was using on my little Tiger Girl and he suggested we go turn on the black light (we are old hippies and we still have a black-light from way back int he 70's. But we have several things in out basement that date us - like an Atari with a couple dozen game cartridges (I really need to hook that console up and see if Space Invaders still plays - LOL).

Well, anyway, image my surprise and pleasure to find that my little Tiger Girl did glow (I was calling it a Tiger Boy until I started typing this blog post and went to the Karber site to get the link just to discover it is a girl O.o). I was so tickled I went back upstairs and colored swatches of all my new fluorescents and hurried back to check them. Well, four of the eight would glow. I'm hoping that Copic will release some glowing purple and blues in the future,.

So, here is my original sheet of  Karber images. Isn't that Tiger just tooo cute?!?!



Here is a close up of Tiggry Layla. She isn't even finished. I became so distracted by the glowiness that I never colored her hair, her arms or the tummy part. I'll get back to her :D But, finished or not, I am entering her in the Karber Challenge #42 - Anything Goes.



And here is a close up of the Bear Girl. She is Bear Millie. She is colored in FV2 Fluorscent Dull Violet, which does not glow. But her hair is FRV1 - Fluorscent Pink and I used RV02 - Sugared Almond Pink for highlights. I colored her first so I didn't realize the FRV1 glowed and you can see how the RV02 highlights caused the top area of her hair to glow less.




These are the color swatches (seen at the bottom of the first image) with a top/bottom comparison to show the colors that did not glow for me.



And, I had so much fun with the fluorescent colors that I printed out the graffiti line art that Copic published and had more fun.



I guess I still have a good bit of that's 70's girl still in me because I sure am tickled that my markers glow! :D

And, for even more fun - Copic Markers posted my Black Light Image on their Tumblr Blog. That made me feel good!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Treats

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Today I'm posting a card I put together for OWH (operation Write Home) for the Midweek Throwdown Challenge. I was asked to make a card with a Sweet Treat theme. When I was contacted regarding this project I looked at what I had in the way of sweet treat themed materials and realized that I had very little and half of what I had was glittered (which we all know, for the safety of our troops, is an OWH no-no). So I thought I either go buy better sweet treat themed materials or I improvise.

I thought improvise was a good option because so often we see cards made with all the typical, pick it up at the local craft shop, materials and if I improvise I could show how you can put together a cute card with your printer and the internet - or, if you want to get even more creative, your printer and your computer. If you have a program like Photoshop you can make your own designer papers for the backgrounds. If you don't have Photoshop there are good, and, more importantly, FREE programs out here that you can edit images with Like Paint.net or Gimp. I found that Paint.net works a lot like Photoshop - not exactly, but close enough. And lets not forget that we can also do some stuff with the basic Paint program that comes with most computers. 


So, keep an open mind with regard to what your options and possibilities are. And, now I want to show you the cards I came up with. Here is the first card. It's a simple card, but I think it's pretty cute. I hope you do too.



For this card I started out with two images that I grabbed from a website with free desktop background images:
http://www.backgrounddiva.com/wallpaper/desktop-wallpaper/valentines-day-wallpaper/valentine-cupcake
Be sure you stay within the guidelines of copyright infringement!  Most of these images are free for personal use but not free for commercial use. Once saved to my PC I can use it as is or use paint or Photoshop to tweak and edit.

I wanted to add the sentiment directly to the image but I wasn't really feeling the love of any of the fonts I currently had so I went to dafont.com and found what I liked. One thing I like about dafont is that if you see a font you think you like, just click on it and it opens a new page that allows you to type the text you are going to use and you see how that text actually looks in that font.



I installed the font to my PC and then opened the image in Paint to add text to the cupcake wallpaper and then saved that with a new name (that keeps the original in it's original state so I can use it again later.

Now that I have my sentiment image saved I open Microsoft Word and using the "Insert" menu I select "Picture" and then select "From File". I select the location I saved the picture to and it is inserted into Word. Then I grab the bottom right corner and drag the arrow to reduce the size to fit my A2 card - or, reduced to fit as the top layer on my card. (TIP: I printed on plain paper for a dry-run to verify my sizes)

Next I "Insert" the second wallpaper I saved (the one I decided would make a good designed paper). This one I did not resize since I knew I was going to trim it to be my bottom layer the same way I trim store bought DP.



From here I print my images on cardstock and trim. I added a punched trim behind the cupcake layer - punched with a Martha Stewart around the page punch (TIP: I cut my layer and made the around-the-page punches and then made the top image fit that size since the around-the-page punches require specific measurements in order to make a smooth transition from corner to corner). I used foam tape to pop the top layer up a bit and threw in a few pearl dots for glitz.

Okay, now, lets change this up a little. Lets use a cupcake from a kids coloring page for our top layer and a photograph image designed paper:



I took a photo of real cupcakes and using Paint.net (the free program) I lightened them so they would be a softer image.  Next I took a cupcake picture that I got from a children's coloring page website  and inserted it into a Word doc, added my sentiment and printed it out (along with my image for my background paper) so I could color it in with my Copic markers. 






Again, I added the punched border for a bit more layering and raised the top layer with foam tape. For this one I added some soft pink sheer ribbon for that touch of bling.

So, there you have two Sweet Treats cards and neither required store bought paper or stamps. Sometimes it's just fun to play "outside of the box" and be a little more creative!




PIN IT

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Coloring

Haven't made many cards lately, but I have been coloring up a storm. I just love my Copic markers so much that I stamped bunches of my images and colored them. Then I started wishing I had something bigger to color so it would not be finished quite so fast. You know, something that takes a little time, effort and a little more concentration. In that quest I ventured over into deviantArt and looked around. Lo and Behold, they have a group named Color-Me-Club where people upload images they drew and other people are free to download the images and color them. And so I did.


Here is the first image I colored - drawn by a girl from Lithuania. I'm not 100% satisfied with my work, but she was very pleased with it.


I am also working on another picture I downloaded. This is a WIP image - I am still working on deciding what colors to use for her hair.
I originally chose the mermaid image so i could use her on the Copic Markers Twitter Theme Thursday Tweets, but since I am having so much trouble figuring out my hair colors I decided to CASE an image I saw on splitcoaststampers. Here is a link to the post where I got my inspiration for the next image: Splitcoast Gallery and here is what I did freehand (used Copic markers and a Faber Castell drawing pen) and tweeted for Theme Thursday:


So, while I may not post a card a week (or even a month - lol) I'm not just vegging out on the sofa lost in TVLand. I am keeping myself sufficiently entertained! :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank You Card Set

I made this set of Thank You cards for my daughter. She unexpectedly became the legal guardian to her grandson last week. Several people she works with immediately jumped into action and rounded up a ton of baby things for her, which is such a blessing since, unlike having a baby and preparing for several months in advance, this was a family emergency situation and she had no months, no weeks, not even days to prepare. She wanted to give Thank You cards to those who helped and asked me if I could make her some. She also added that if I could not that it was okay, she would buy some at the store. But I know how much more it means when more effort is put into these things than just a quick stop at the local Wal-Mart or Target, so of course I agreed to do it. 


My first thought was that I wanted to use this uber cute digi-stamp that I got from karensdoodles.com. When I started looking through my designed papers for a good background I decided I really liked some of the pages in a 4X6 pad that my little sister Cricut Crazy Lisa brought me last year. Problem was there were not 6 of the same design so I was going to have to use a few different ones. Not a problem since they are pretty well color coordinated anyway. And with that i decided to color each image a little different from the last image to keep the variety going.


So, here are my little boys when I was about half way through with the coloring. They are (obviously) colored in Copic markers.
Once I had finished the last three fellows I started pairing up my designed papers with each boy. 
That was a good pairing of paper and kid when I went to bed last night, but somewhere between going to bed and putting the cards together today I got them mixed up and they didn't necesarrily end up paired up the same today. But they still paired up nicely as seen here:
I added a simple sentiment to the inside because the position of the design, and it being a 4X6 piece of paper, dictated that the designed paper be used on a horizontal card. That did not allow much room for a sentiment on the front. If I had a verticle Thank You sentiment that might have worked, but I don't, so to the inside it went:
Of course I had to add some kind of embellishment to the front - I mean, it just called for something. And since it is all about the little boy I certainly couldn't go with rhinestones or pearls, so a simple grosgrain ribbon with a small bow worked out just fine. 


And these little fellows are so darn cute that I decided they deserve names. So here they are:
Eric
Jeremy
Richie
William
Frankie


Bradley

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Copic Marker Storage





I saw a post on the Copic Marker facebook wall where some one had used an ArtBin Double Deep Satchel, some plastic grid that goes over a fluorescent light and wooden dowels to make wonderful storage for Copic Markers. A few posts below that was a link to a blog post about it, but it really didn't tell much, none-the-less, here is that blog post: Scrap Happy Ohio


[EDIT 08-11-11 to add: As can be read in the comments of this post the idea was born before the July 8 post I referenced above. Helen Johnson blogged this storage on 04/10/11 in this post: To Cut or Color. In her post she links to the 2 sources for the idea. I love my new storage and wanted to add this paragraph for the benefit of those who may not open and read the comments below. Thank you Helen!]


My markers were in a bucket type tote bag that made it hard to find the color I wanted. 
This image is an older image, so I already had more markers jumbled up inside the tote. And knowing my collection would continue to grow I knew I needed to put one together for my own use.


First thing was to find the ArtBin Double Deep Satchel. I had read on other discussion boards that they were available at JoAnnes and Michaels, but that it was sometimes hard to find them in stock so I just went staright to the internet. Little did I expect to find one in any color other than white translucent, but lo and behold, ArtBin recently introduced some new colors and one of those colors is "Raspberry"! A perfect match for the rest of my craft room accessories! Needless to say I just went ahead and ordered one direct from ArtBin rather than spending time trying to track down a raspberry color locally.


My case arrived Saturday and Monday I was off to the BIG NAME hardware store in search of the plastic grid for fluorescent light fixtures. Interestingly the BIG NAME store did not have any. All they had were the solid sheets of textures acrylic fluorescent light covers. Next stop was a small local hardware store. A hole in the wall, grubby feeling (like a construction site grubby kinda feel) place that has a ton of odd stock. YES! They had it. I was so glad. After the BIG Name didn't have it I was afraid I was going to have to locate that online and order it too. 


Got the dowels, but I could not get a perfect fit. One dowel was a slight bit too big and one dowel was a slight bit too small - no Goldilocks Dowels to be had. Papa Bear (that would be hubby dear, on a good day - LOL) said he could try to shave a little off the "too big" dowels, but I had a better idea, so off I went in search of rubber washers. It took a few attempts at testing the fit, but I finally found a decent fit that would go on the dowel and still be tight enough to stay where I put it. Here are my pieces and parts:


Next step was to cut the fluorescent light grid down to fit inside the case. I used the picture from the Copic Marker facebook post to count out how many squares to use. I trimmed it down using a Dremel tool - kinda loud and messy, but it worked great for cutting the grid down. The top section is 20x20 with sections notched out to allow for some raised flanges type areas inside the ArtBin case (the case came with inserts to allow the satchel to be made into divided compartments). Because the case has a slight taper to the sides the bottom grid had to be cut to a 19x18 grid. Straight sides - no notches required for the bottom piece.
Here is how the top grid is trimmed:


While I trimmed the fluorescent light grid down Hubby Dear took the wood dowel out to his workshop and cut four posts for me. We used a piece of cardboard to measure the depth from the position the top grid rested when set inside the bin and he cut that length, so I can't really say it was 4 inches or 5 inches, but something in that area is about right. 


Next step was to put rubber washers about .25" up on each of the dowels and then slip them through the four corner squares of the bottom grid. Once that was done we added another rubber washer to the top of each dowel about half an in down and positioned the corresponding squares from the top grip onto the dowels. With both grids in place we then added a third rubber washer to the very top of each dowel to lock the top grid in place.


I really love my new storage! Of course it's only half full, but as my Copic marker collection grows it will fill up more and more! :D

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Copic Creations Challenge No. 53 ~ White Clothing

I saw this challenge (Challenge No. 53 ~ White Clothing) on the Copic Creations blog and thought I needed to try it since I had no clue how I would make something intended to be white look like it was really suppose to be white and not just an oopsie that I forgot to color. 


Well, here is my attempt - just the image. I just found the challenge today and the deadline is tomorrow and, considering it usually takes me a couple of days of laying out papers and shifting and swapping and shifting more and sometimes starting over completely,  I really don't have time enough to figure out what card layout she will go on.




I'm not really happy with the end result. I can see I need a lot of practice to make it look right. But it's a beginning. And, she is acceptable enough that she will end up on a card eventually.

A Day of Learning

Yesterday I spent a  good bit of my day learning a new technique. Well, lets say working on because I don't know that I can say I have "learned" it yet. I think it will take practice to become more comfortable with it. And, maybe it's not really a technique. I don't know - it is a . . . method? style? I don't know, maybe it is referred to as a  technique.


Anyway, what I spent time on was trying to color with my Copic markers to make the appearance of folds in the skirt of a Tilda. I signed up on a new Copic site, CopicColor.com, and after I set up my profile, loaded my Copic colors, built my Copic wishlist and loaded a few images of some of my Copic coloring I started looking at  some of the work others had posted and saw one that I was amazed by. I clicked the users profile and followed their website link to the Make It Colorful blog post where Zoe has a video tutorial on how she colors folds and pleats. And, there was a challenge for followers to make their own and since I loved the way Zoe made the Tilda skirt look so fluid I thought I'd like to try that. 


It took four attempts before I had a skirt I was happy with. One of my biggest issues, in my opinion, is my limited selection of Copic's. I needed a light, medium & dark in the same color family, and they needed to be close enough to blend well. Since my collection is still pretty small I had to try a few combinations until i hit upon one that worked the way I wanted it to. Here is my finished card with my cute little Tilda.






And, here is a side by side of the colored and uncolored Tilda's for comparison. Notice her skirt is rather plain. Normally I would have just colored her skirt solid and then added some shadow to indicate the light source. Until I saw Zoe's video I don't think I ever would have thought to try to create my own folds, pleats, gathers or other shape.




So, now to give you an idea of my progress through this process I will post the first three attempts - in the order they were colored. 


I felt the dark shade was just a bit too dark (not much of a photographer, so I have no idea why I can't get a n0n-fuzzy picture sometimes).

I thought maybe my purples were closer in values and would work better, 
but again, the dark was a bit too dark. Not only that, my dark lines were too shaky and would not blend out very well.

I went back to pinks, but this time I felt that my darkest pink was a bit too light. I did go ahead and color her on out, and I may still use her on a card, we'll see.

Of course I was also trying to work int he color families that worked with the DP I decided I wanted to use. Maybe this process would have been quicker if I had just determined what three colors I had that would work well together and then found a DP to go with it, but then again, maybe not.

Well, now that I have her finished I will post her in Zoe's Challenge #25.

And . . . here is the work-space where I was working yesterday - 
in my den and not in my craft room. 
I have a high-back chair in my den and I found that if I color a little and then rest my head back a little I can keep my problematic neck from hurting too much. So today I have more Tilda's stamped and waiting ion me. :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OWH in the News



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Here is a link to an article in the Orange County Register about OWH and the handmade cards. Prtty good read.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dimensional Ruffles

A couple of weeks ago, as I hopped along through the OWH Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop I viewed several cards people had posted where they used a technique that Sandy Allnock, President of Operation Write Home, had highlighted in a video tutorial. I missed the original posting of the video and the Dimensional Ruffled cards, but I really liked the way they looked and since I already had the Martha Stewart punch she used I knew that one day soon I would  give it a try.  


Well, today was that "one day soon". So off I go to the Craft Room - pull out the drawer of punches and my eyes immediately spy another edge punch that would work well also. So I decided to see how many edge punches I had that would work. Well, lets just say I didn't use EVERY punch that would work. But the punches that didn't get used today will definitely get used for this technique in the future. 


Having as many "acceptable" punches as I did led to a new inspiration. I decided to see how many I could make with nothing but scraps. I have a drawer labeled Small Scraps and another labeled Large Scraps. Small Scraps had to be the one to use so I opened the drawer and started creating stacks of scraps that would work both in size and in color relationship. Once I had my scraps all sorted I had five decent stacks so I picked the five edge punches that appealed to me based on the color stacks. Here are my punched stacks and the punches:


See the pretty confetti scraps at the bottom of each stack (kinda hated even throwing those out).
The cards are pretty easy to make and I see a lot of possibilities with this technique. And, as with all things, I expect to get better with this technique as I work with it more. But for now I'm pretty pleased with today's work. Here are my five finished cards. All of these go in my box of cards to be sent to OWH for our deployed troops.


All the Pretty colors!


This was the first one I made. I realized after it was too late that I should have stamped my sentiment first. The foam tape under the top ruffle prevented me placing the sentiment lower. I think it would have looked better lower, but, it is what it is. The punch is called Floral Lace. 



This blue one is my husbands favorite. I believe this punch is called Deco Shells. It is one of the "Around The page" punches that has a matching corner punch. And the string is a freebie - it came off of a package of Lawn Fawn stamps. Kelly Marie at Lawn Fawn always ties your order up nice and pretty.




Hubby also liked this one as his second favorite. He said it made him think of a Fiesta. No sentiment on this card at all, inside or out. This punch is called Doily Lace. The hardest part of this card was threading those tiny buttons. I don't know why I decided seven. Five probably would have been fine, but I didn't even think that until after I had them all threaded and stuck in place with glue dots.






Here is the one made with the Lace Heart punch. Again, no sentiment, inside or out. Whoever uses it can use it for whatever they need it to be. The top piece of paper has some glittery flowers, but it is NOT loose glitter. It is actually slick to the touch. Almost like glitter trapped under acrylic or something.. But I did test it to be sure it would not rub off at all since glitter is a no-no for OWH card.  This is also one of the only two pieces of designed paper I used. The second is on the next card.


And here is card five - my favorite. But then, it is pink, one of my two my favorite colors. Purple is the other favorite so that makes the fourth card (the purple card made with the Lace hearts punch) my second favorite. This punch is called Scallop Dot. This card is the other one with designed paper, although it is hard to see. Well, actually, there may technically be two designed papers on this card. There is a ruffle made with a very very pale white dotted paper (second ruffle from the top) and  there is also a ruffle made with a card-stock that kinda looks like pink & white clouds (the top ruffle). And, yeah, that top ruffle ended up being a bit short, but that is only because I didn't pay attention and forgot to trim the vellum ruffle down to the 1.75" height and then had to be sure I covered all of it with the dotted ruffle. And since my personal challenge was to use only scraps from my Small Scraps drawer I just went with that top ruffle being slightly too short. It's okay - it works - LOL. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

OWH Memorial Day Weekend Blog Hop





HELLO AND WELCOME . . . 
to the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Blog Hop. I hope everyone is enjoying all the wonderful work crafted by the many talented folks who support OWH. And maybe you have even found some inspiration for your next project. If you came here from Darlene, of Expressions by da, then you are on the right track. If you didn't, then please hop on over to the first stop on this blog hop by clicking here, so that you can enjoy all the wonderful work along the way. 



I haven't done a lot in my craft room since the last OWH Blog Hop, but I do love a good Blog Hop and the OWH Blog Hop's are ALWAYS good, so of course I had to participate.


For today's blog hop I have created a "Missing You" card using the Tilda Blowing Hearts stamp from the Valentine Collection by Magnolia. She is stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink and colored with Copic markers. The two purple solid cardstocks are Bazzill and the green design paper is from the Best of Brenda Walton by K & Company. I used a Martha Stewart punch on the purple at the top of the card. The white ribbon is some that I bought in bulk at a local fabric shop some twenty years ago. The card base is textured white by AC Cardstock. And I wish I could give credit for the sentiment stamp, but it is a tiny red rubber stamp with no identification. 






BLOG CANDY
I hope you enjoyed my contribution to the Operation Write Home Memorial day Weekend Blog Hop and before you go lets enjoy a little BLOG CANDY. Please post a comment below and be sure to include a way for me to contact you. PLEASE NOTE - If your comment does NOT contain contact information I will redraw another number for the prize. If you are not already a follower I would really appreciate it if you would please become a follower (following is not required to win the blog candy, but is much appreciated!) ((Note - Blogger "Follow" is having issues today - you can always try the "Follow" at the top left of  the page)). Comments MUST be posted by midnight Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 31 and on Wednesday, June 1 I will have the random number generator found in the right hand sidebar decide who will win a Hero Stamp by Paper Inspirations. It is a gray rubber wood-mounted stamp (here are some simple Hero card's I made using my Hero Stamp).





NEXT STOP
Okay, now that we have taken care of the blog candy lets get you on to the next stop on this hop. 

Click here to visit 
Seongsook of Seongsook's Creations... and thank you so much for visiting today!