Sunday, May 31, 2009

Donna Downey Workshop

(Sorry had to re-post this because it got spammed)
Part of my getting out of my creative box is to attend more retreats and workshops done by artists who are at the national level. Today I took theDonna Downey Fabric Scrapbook workshop at Scrapbook Island. I signed up without ever looking at the sample - always forgot when I was in the store. There were 31 people signed up for this all day class. I know there has been a lot of negative feedback about Donna but I found her to be funny and on top of the what she was doing. We were the first group to do her new fabric canvas scrapbook so there were some hiccups but nothing major. This isn't a workshop for someone who is afraid of putting color down on canvas or working out of order. It's also helpful if you bring the right type of photos. The ones I had were all wrong (didn't look at sample ahead of time) so I didn't use them. The unmounted stamps didn't stamp well on the canvas (and we used Stazon) so I spent a lot of time covering up them up. I did get to work with some product I've never used before (molding gel and liquid water color) on canvas which was really cool. I did get the wash out look down but I used paper towels to remove the color instead of add more water the way Donna does. The workshop did give me are few more techniques and tips on what I can do with my collage and alter art work. So for me it was worth the time and money to attend.

My pages from the Donna Downey Workshop

The top photo is the opening page in the Donna Downey fabric scrapbook, which is the only page I did that looks like the class sample. Since I didn't bring the correct photos, I went off on my own creative path using the techniques that Donna was showing us. I alter the bird to a black bird (it was a countryish looking polka dot fabric) and made a collage of stamps we had in class. I use an gold rub on from Glitz which Donna provided over my collage. There are lots of layers of color on this page since I was experimenting with the various paints and gel mediums we had to use.

Adding to my collections - Mariage Freres tea tin from Paris

My very favorite tea is Macro Polo tea (not to be confused with Marco Polo Rouge) from Mariage Freres in Paris. It's use to be served at the Red House Cafe (my favorite restaurant) in Pacific Grove CA. For several years I've wanted one of the large tins (about 2 feet high) which I've been told are no longer made. The tea used to be shipped to Mariage Freres in these tins back in the day. The only place you can get one is from the tea shop in Paris. I've had several girlfriends go over to France, but they never managed to find the time to stop at Mariage Freres. Maybe the size of the tin scared them. :) Anyways, a friend's husband was going over to Europe on business and I asked if he could look it up and buy one for me. Well, "Mort the man" not only got it for me (even called me from Paris to make sure he was getting the right one) he dragged it around Europe with him since Paris was in the middle of his trip. Happy dance time!

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Honey" bee card - Copic airbrush

This is one of the cards I did with my new Copic airbrush system. The background is the result of spraying several flowers at the same time. Makes a fun quick card. The bee is "Honey" from Penny Black which of course I could not pass up. I will be doing this card as a free make n take in the next couple of months, that's how fast it is to do. Flowers from Cricut, the blue background Cuttlebug Swiss dots and the Happy Birthday from Hero Arts.

Purrcy and the Mocking Bird

Purrcy has been spending a lot of time on our roof. We have a pair of mocking birds nesting in the top part of our Jasmine bush. When we drove up tonight, the mockingbird was yelling at Purrcy to get away from her nest. She had some tasty treat in her beak for her babies and was not too happy to see Mr. Purrcy. I did get a good shot of Purrcy with the blue sky in the background.

Copic Air Brush System

One of the good things about teaching classes is all the new stuff we get to work with. Of course that's also the hardest thing too. I can't use any old or discontinued product for classes, which means I always have to keep buying the latest and (we hope) hottest product coming out. I finally broke down and got the air brush system (compressor and everything) to use with the Copic pens. It was a pretty hefty investment but a better deal than buying those little cans. I'm breaking out all the markers (Copic, SU, Marvy, Tombow) I have and running them through the system to see how they work. I'm left handed so I'm also having to figure that all out too. I've made up some samples I will post later.

Simple Alter Art Look

Another card for my Cuttlebug card class. It's the fourth card so there are more techniques involved. It's done on heavy duty foil with alcohol inks. The "collage" look is hard to teach in a class. People really want it to look like the sample and that's not what collage is all about. I kept it on the simple side so people wouldn't stress out about it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cuttlebug Card Class

Here's one of the cards I will be doing for my Cuttlebug card class next month. It's four cards going from super easy to a little more technique on each card. This will be card number three. I like the alter look but not the over the top stuff (you know with bat wings on baby heads with nails sticking out) and wanted to show people Cuttlebug embossing folders don't always have to be cutesy looking. This card involves several layers of ink and misting water over everything to get the ink to spread out .

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fresco in the making

One of the projects I have on my list of " creative things to do" is to make a faux fresco wall in my master bedroom. I got the idea when I was at the Anthropologie store in Santana Row a few years ago. They had a wall with vintage wall paper that they covered lightly with plaster, so it looked like an old weathered building. The wall paper is $200.00 a roll (only covers 56 sqf) which is a little steep since I'm planning on covering most of it with plaster. I decide I would wait for a large painting to come into the auction house. Most painting this size (51" X 62") go for a lot more than I was willing to pay. I made an offer of $35.00 and when I didn't get it the day of the auction, forgot all about it. I got the call from the auction house today (two weeks later) that the consignor accepted my bid! I will be pulling it off it's frame and wallpapering it up on one of my bedroom walls, then plaster over most if it with just some of the images showing through. I have to first practice on some old wallpaper to get the right thickness of plaster. I'm also begging one of my good buddies to fly out here and help work her magic with faux painting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Copic Holder

I know there are plastic boxes made to hold the Copic markers but I would rather spend the money on getting more pens. I decided to take some the empty sticker rolls I got from my local scrapbooking store and make my version of honey comb. The store had just thrown out a box of empty rolls so these were all I could get on my first visit. They are now saving them for me since I will need at least 10 more, yes I have a lot of Copics. Which is surprising since it's not even my favorite "go to" marker I will post more photos as I get the more tubes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Graphic 45 meets Crafty Secrets Stamps

Another card for my Graphic 45 meets Crafty Secrets card class. The hardest part about working with Graphic 45 paper is I love both sides so it's always a dilemma which one not to use. It's cherry season here at our house so of course the cherry side of the paper won out. The little tag pulls out of the pocket behind the little boy. You can't tell, but it is a full size A2 card. The theme of the class is quick and simple for those who like to make cards on the fly.

Crafty Secrets Stamps

This is one of the cards I will be doing for my Graphic 45 meets Crafty Secrets stamps card class. The stamp set is Sweet stuff - all baking images. This is what you come up with late at night and only having your fur babies to talk to. I thinks it's too funny! People have been requesting quick and simple cards so I designed 6 new cards. I will post each card separately for those of you who would like to case them. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Breakfast This Morning

The hardest part of changing how I eat ( I've lost 27 pounds - 13 more to go) is eating breakfast. When I get up in the morning, I have so much I want to do, stopping to take the time to eat hasn't always been on the top of the list. I really have to force myself to eat. Last night I had a marathon card making session (have to re-stock my card rack at the store) and left a few things to finish off in the morning. I really wanted to dive back into where I left off last night. Meal planning is a major part of weight control. You have to know and plan what you will be eating for the whole day. So, while in the shower this morning, I was going over in my head what I have left in the house. I'm out of strawberries (what I have for a quick snack) and then I remembered our Van cherry tree is over loaded with cherries (big thank you to our honey bees) so I went out and pick a big bowl to go along with my breakfast. Lucy followed me out this morning to check out all the birds that where yelling at me to get our of their cherry tree. Lucy maybe another reason we have so many ripe cherries on the lower branches. :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Graphic 45 project - mini book

Part of remodeling my Dad's 40 year old bathroom also includes cleaning up the master bed room. Remove old wall paper (that was falling down) replacing windows and washing all the blankets and bedspreads. While I was at the laundry mat watching the huge washing machine spin an off white comforter back to bright white, I sketched out some ideas for a new class using Graphic 45 paper and Crafty Secrets stamps.
One of the project will be a quick mini book. The Graphic 45 paper really works well with the collage look. This was the first project to come off the design board last night.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In my garden

Today was a Domestic Diva Day since it's been awhile. Spent most of the week demolishing my Dad's 40 year old master bath that he is finally letting us remodel. It has termites and major water damage so it has to be done. Today was the first day I could spend on cleaning up my house. To break up the marathon cleaning, I went and worked out in the back garden for a few hours this evening. We won't talk about how bad the front garden is looking right now. We have two little birds that are nesting near our bee hives. I don't have a macro lens on my camera so you can see how close (less than two feet) I can get to the Purrcy's little buddies. They were chatting at me and Purrcy to get out of the garden. I had a great picture lined up with both the male and female when I ran out of disc space on my camera - I couldn't believe it! Of course they didn't want to wait around for me to reload my camera.
Our bees have done a great job on our cherry trees. Before we got the "girls" we were lucky if we got one cherry. Now our tree is loaded with cherries. For all those people who don't think honey bees are important to our national food source, just think about what (non meat) foods you eat that don't need winged pollinators. Last year we also had a bumper crop of tomatoes, zucchini, green beans, peppers and eggplant. Got to love those bees!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Looking for a few good nuts

You would think, since I have a cousin who owns a walnut orchard getting a hold of a few nuts in the shell wouldn't be so hard. I'm working on a new project for a class (yes, it has something to do with paper crafting) and I can't for the life of me find big walnuts in the shell. Since I've been on this diet, walnuts are my new potato chips so I have tons of shelled nuts around the house. Anyone out there have to good source for local "in the shell" walnuts?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Desing Team Challenge - Chow Babies

The design team at Memories Live On was given a new challenge this month. Once of a month we are all given the same photo to design in our own style and medium. We can also include our own made up stories and names. This is project to help the creative process for the customers to see how one photo can be used in several different ways. Melita went first with a group photo of her children and nieces. Since I'm in a book phase (and really I couldn't see how I could turn in into card) I decided to make a children's cookbook with the (pretend) favorite recipe of each child. All this came to me after one of my creative power naps - I just love that when that happens. It 's the same photo on each page but I highlighted each child's face by cutting out circle on the vellum that has the recipe. After I finished the book, the cover looked a little bare so I looked up Melita's last name (Google is such a wonderful tool) and found out it was "Chow". This was just meant to be the title "Chow Babies" aka cookbook. Other than the recipes, everything else in the cookbook is accurate.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Guess who has bees at her house?

Guess who has bee hives at her house or I should say on her estate. Yep, Big Martha keep bees too! Here's the link if you want to see all the photos of the package bees being add to her hives.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whoopsie Daisy - A Place to Bark and Meow

If you need more inspiration on what to do with our fundraising stamps for A Place to Bark and Meow, check out Jane's blog - Whoopsie Daisy for more details on these project.
It's great to see all the creative ideas people have using the same stamps.
Big thanks to everyone help in support our fundraiser.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Heavy Metal Maddie

Using our "Maddie" stamp from our "A Place to Bark and Meow" fundraiser, I did an altered metal embossing technique. I didn't have any thin metal handy so I used heavy duty aluminum foil from the kitchen. I glued the foil on to card stock so I could work on it without losing my embossing. My first try was using the number 9, as in "cat's have 9 lives", to make a background. I liked the look, so decided to use Maddie as the next emboss image. I want the background to look like a wood block engraving, which I think I will get better at the more I practice. There are several layers of Pinata inks, which are a alcohol base ink that I rub into the foil. Pinata inks have a much richer color tone than Rangers alcohol inks but are much harder to find. This is the first time I've used staples on a project. I woke up this morning and knew I had to use some other type of metal and brads seem just a little to tame for the heavy metal look I wanted for Maddie.
To order Maddie and her friends go to:
Scrapbooking Supplies R Us

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yu Ai Kai Cards

It's that time of the month again - my free card class at the Japanese Senior Center. This time I worked backwards and started with the picking the base card colors and finding something in my stamp collection to go with it. I'm working really hard on using up my HUGE stash of paper. Do you know there are only three Japan towns in the US and they are all in CA? San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles.

Telemarketing Tuesday

One of the down sides to working from home is all the telemarketing calls. As of 4:30 p.m. today, I've gotten 20 calls. Is Tuesday telemarketing day? So when I saw this photo and it just made me laugh, it's titled "forking telemarketer again!". It's time to switch on the answering machine.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank You Card

Following Lydia's (Understand Blue) lead, I'm sending out thank you cards for everyone that buys one of the cat stamps for our "A Place to Bark and Meow" fundraiser. I will be also doing a free card class using this stamp for anyone in my area - more infromation on that later. You only have to bring in your stamps to take the class. All the stamps are back in stock now so if you would like to order them here's the link to Scrapbooking Supplies R Us
If you haven't seen Lydia's video "Is your momma talking smack?" on her blog, click on over to it now. It has to be one of the funniest how to tutorials I ever seen.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day Flowers

My mother's day flowers arrived today! The ones on the left are from a girl scout troops annual Mother's day fundraiser, which I think is so much better than nasty tasting cookies. :) The top flowers are from my children. My daughter (up in Washington) is spending the weekend helping her Dad clean up our Whidbey island house, getting it ready to sell or rent. While our son was stationed on the island, he lived in the house along with several dogs and roommates. You can only imagine what state the house was in. She's a trooper and has been cleaning non-stop all weekend. The carpet is being replaced (at my son's expense), walls painted, weeds pulled and other minor repairs made all while I get to enjoy these beautiful flowers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Maddie Stamp

Lydia (UnderstandBlue) is really on a roll with her Maddie cat stamp! Here's another creative card she's come up with. Check out her blog (see my blog roll) and I think this is the card she will mail to the first twenty people who by the Maddie stamp. Don't forget you can order them online at Scrapbooking Supplies R Us
The lady with cat will be back in stock on Saturday.
Lydia is really making me look bad. I still haven't finished my samples yet :( Hope to get to it this weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Green Room - Upcoming Projects 2009

You may be wondering how I keep track of all the projects and classes I design for. Well, really I don't have any system. I realized that the other day when I had to clean up my studio (again) for my hubby's weekly jungle juice meeting. I was getting very frustrated at having to put my creative chaos away and having to start/sort it all out again in the morning. Following the Da Vinci method of creative thought, I let my mind relax (better known as napping) and came up with this idea. When coming up with new classes, I have to try the project out in several ways to see if it can be taught. After that, I have to pick the supplies that are still current in the stores, not as easy as it sounds. Then multiple samples have to made, photos taken, display boards made and directions written. Closer to the class date class kits have to be made and supplies packed up to transport to class. So you see there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into doing just one class. Right now I have nine projects in the works, so how do I keep track and not lose my mind? I decide to do what I like to call "the green room" (notice the green card stock under each project?) after the holding room people use waiting to go on stage. These are projects that are ready to turn into classes but are in different stages of the process. For you anal people who think, well why don't you just do one project at a time instead of some many? I find when I do that I get in a rut and things start to look the same. Jumping from project to project helps the creative flow, something Da Vinci also did. What may not work on project A, looks great on project B. So I now have what I call the "green room" section in my studio. I would take of photo of the "wonder if this would make a good class" but you don't need to see a HUGE pile of paper scraps and dirty stamps. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Class - "Best Fishes"

I came up with my version of a card we made at the Yosemite stamp retreat. I was working on the card this morning trying to make it "teachable". There are many great cards out there but when you have to teach them in a class setting, it makes it much more difficult. People take classes to learn something but they also want to have a good time while doing. I have to keep that thought in the back of my mind when coming up with classes. This card started out with flowers - didn't work, then a bee hive - wasn't "teachable". As I was digging through my pile of scrap paper I came across this blue polk -a -dot paper I'm using for a free make n take later this month. The light bulb went on and I turned it into a fish bowl. I would have added Stickles to it but for a class people always forget to let it dry. Computer generated font use for Best Fishes!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Maddie Stamp

Isn't Lydia (Understand Blue) just to darn creative?! This stamp was named after one of her little fur babies "Maddie". I think we better start coming up with some more stamps for our other feline babies or some serious back turning and tail waving is in our future.

A Place To Bark Fundraiser Stamps

For those of you who like to see what you can do with the fundraising stamps we have for sale to help support Bernie Berlin's "A Place to Bark and Meow" no kill animal shelter. Lydia of "Understand Blue" fame made this amazing card! Visit her blog (see my side bar for the link) to see how she did it. The stamps are still for sale at the online store Scrapbooking Supplies R Us

Monday, May 4, 2009

Michael Strong at Yosemite Stamp Retreat 2009

Our favorite class was with Michael Strong. The class was well paced and organized. We joked that the cards were on the more manly side, which was something you don't see to often in classes. We made five cards using stamps from Michael's unmounted stamps line. To finish everything off Michael provided us with a box to hold all the cards. We used our scraps to decorate the band going around the box. It was such a fun and relaxing class and we had a great view of the lake too. We hope to be able to get Michael up here to San Jose to teach some classes.
If your wondering where Karen Lockhart's (the fourth class) project is, I didn't finish it. I had plenty of time but I didn't like the color of the picture frame or the images we had to color in with color pencils for the paper mosaic top. Maybe someone else in my group can email me photo so you can at least see what we were suppose to do. I will post my version of the project when I get it done.

Kodomo with Stephanie Scheetz

This was our second favorite class at the Yosemite stamp retreat was with Stephanie Scheetz from Kodomo who had two book binding projects for us. Not only was it a great class but we all liked the fact she provide a set of tools for everyone in the class. All the stripes in the photo are done with washi paper tape which was a fun product. The cover of the book standing up was made with spruce wood imported from Japan.

A Muse at Yosemite Stamp Escape 2009

Here are the cards we made in the A Muse card class with Julie Ebersole. Julie was fun and fill of engery but the class was not so hot. Most of the people could not do all six cards in the three hours time slot. There were a lot of unhappy and stressed out ladies. She picked cards that had some element that moved. Being that A Muse is on the simple side, she had to do more to keep up with what the other teachers were offering. Maybe if she had some help in her class, things would have gone a little better.

The Cat's Meow - Yosemite Stamp Escape

Back from a great weekend stamping retreat. On my 101 list was to attend an art retreat to see if they are really worth the money. This stamp retreat cost $225.00 (does not include lodging or food) for the whole weekend. We had two classes each day that were three hours long with all four teachers, Michael Strong, Karen Lockhart (Lockhart Stamps), Julie Ebersole (A Muse) and Stephanie Scheetz (Kodomo). More later on the each classes and the projects we did. Sharon (owner of The Cat's Meow scrapbooking store) puts on one GREAT stamping retreat. It was very well organized (something important to me) great location and everyone was very warm and welcoming. There were a few minor hicups but with over 100 women attending those can't be avoid. :) It rained most of the weekend but the view from our classrooms (photo above) was great. I think that added to the relaxed atmosphere and you didn't feel as tired after a very long class. The level of the projects we did were easy but still fun and creative. There was a nice mix of cards and other paper crafting projects (book bindng, mirror mosic) for those of us who came to try something new. On Saturday evening there were make n takes and an ATC swap. I was able to swap out all 60 of my ATC cards that I made! If you never have gone to one before, this would be a great one to start out with. The 2010 retreat is on the calendar for tha last weekend in April.