Kasey Litt

Kasey Litt

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shades of Spring

So I've been playing with a paper tye-dye like effect as you can see from the paper I created on the right.  It is a technique that uses alcohol and a few drops of several different reinkers.  I was playing with colors and did a couple of combos.  It was really fun but a bit messy -- not sure how long I will have blue and green and purple finger nails!

I haven't decided what I will use all the papers for but I had fun making them.  Here is a card that I did using the Real Red, Yo Yo Yellow and So Orange.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Introducing Crafty Kids!

Hey Moms and Dads-

I've just added a new chapter to the Crafty Girl odessy  -- Crafty Kids!  I wanted an outlet for young girls or boys to be able to do some arts and crafts projects and have an outlet.  Plus a couple of hours for mom to be able to run errands is an extra bonus!

I have kind of a history of kids and art.  I love working with kids and teaching them about things I love to do. 

A couple of months ago, I invited my GA niece (no relationship by blood but big relationship by heart), Amanda, and another girl (whom I also love like a niece), Olivia, to my craft pit.  We took some pics of them with my dogs and decided to make a scrapbook page.  I went through my paper supply and had them pick out their favorite colors and favorite patterns.  Then we started punching circles and cutting strips and using the crimping tool.  We used the Big Shot and made some butterflies and I taught them how to use different glues and stamps.  Although each girl was using the same materials it was so much fun to see how different each girl's page came out. 

Last but not least, I brought out the bling -- rhinestone brads, silk flowers, felt flowers, epoxy brads.  Amanda loved the bling and she filled her page with flowers and jewels. 

Olivia  turned to her and said, "The focus of the page should be on your picture, not on all this stuff!"  Olivia very sparingly used the embellishments and carefully chose which ones and where they would go. 

Honestly, when it came time to take them home, I called up their moms and asked if I could have them longer!  I love kids so I really have to utilize my friends' offspring.  I always wanted to be a Girl Scount Leader. 

One year, our local elementary school didn't have enough parent volunteers to be "Art Mom" so I did it.  It was so much fun to incorporate art projects and music to the kids.  I had a 3rd grade class and they all wanted to know who's mom was I.  When I said no one, one incredulous kid asked, "Why???" with his big eyes looking up at me. 

This was the test, the make it or break it moment that the kids would either accept me or not.  I answered honestly and told them that I didn't have any children but I really liked kids and I really liked Art and another mom told me about this opportunity. 

The child looked at me for about half a second and said, "OK."  I guess my answer was enough. 

May 7th is the first Crafty Kids session. $15 includes all supplies for the make and take projects (and two hours minimum of baby sitting).  We will have a snack (please let me know any dietary special needs).  If you want to stay for the class feel free to...you can do the craft too!  Class starts at 3:30 - 5:30 on the first Friday of every month.  I'm also available for birthday parties or group events like youth club at church.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Cards

So dear readers, many of you know that I've been sick since I got back from Germany so I haven't been especially creative.  Creative and sick do not equal completion of projects!!!  I did manage, however, to get a few Easter cards done that I wanted to share with you.  I was trying out some different techniques - layering cutouts of the same stamp to add dimension and then glazing over the petals with our Crystal Effects which is a self-leveling adhesive/glaze.  You can sprinkle in some glitter while it is drying and it is absolutely awesome!  I was really pleased with the result.  I also used a paper sueding technique for the "ribbon".  I tore of a piece of coral pink paper and ran it through the crimper (one of my favorite tools!!!!).  Then I took the end of a long, thin paintbrush and pulled the paper like I was curling ribbon with a pair of scissors.  I did this a couple of times to break down the fiber in the paper.  It is important that you use paper that is made of color fiber throughout and not paper with a white core.  With the Stampin' Up cardstock, I never have to worry about white core showing through because it is colored throughout the paper.  As the paper fibers break down, you'll be able to peel the layers of paper apart leaving a very soft, suede-like texture that is really flexible.  Then I just laid down some terribley tachy tape and ruffled the paper.
The rose itself is a stamp from our Fifth Avenue Floral Stamp set which I absolutely love.  In my Crafty Girls-Suwanee Chapter we used this stamp with white ink on black paper and then used the pastel chalks and an aqua painter to color the flowers.  It is very versatile.  We even have a Sizzix texture folder that matches the big rose stamp.  I stamped three copies of the rose and painted each real red using a couple of drops of reinker and the aqua painter (I just put the drops of ink on a paper plate that was waxed top).  Then I went back over with a few drops of Elegant Eggplant and the aqua painter and did the edges of the petals.  Then I cut out the "heart" of the rose from one stamped image, a mid-layer cut and then on the bottom I had the whole stamped image.
Before I layered the stamped images though, after the watercolor had dried, I applied a coat of Crystal Effects to each layer.  Crystal Effects is a glaze that is self-levelling.  It is a great adhesive but when you want to ad some dimension and some shiny texture to your project, think about using Crystal Effects.
Once the Crystal Effects dried, I layered each layer with Stampin' Dimensionals.  The final step was using the small hole punch on my Cropadile through the middle (Dimensionals and all) and then I placed a rhinestone brad in the center. 
If you'd like to make this card for Mother's Day, it is one of the items we'll be making in our April Crafty Girl workshop on Tuesday, April 20th.  We we also be making a gift for Mom!  Join the Crafty Girl Club (a six month commitment for a $25 monthly purchase) or come for $10 per workshop to cover the cost of materials.  All Acworth chapter classes are held in the Crafty Girl Craft Pit (I took over my husband's man pit!) at my home -- 6125 Fairlong Run, Acworth, GA 30101 in the Brookstone II subdivision.

Zentangles for Sanity!!!

So dear readers, I return from Germany pretty much craft-less!  I worked (and worked).  I got ill and slept (and slept).  And then I worked and worked some more.  Meanwhile my craftiness was trying to get out and I started drawing in this little blank page notebook I keep in my purse.  Then I got some markers while we were in Heidelberg one afternoon and started to put color to my drawings.  I'm not the worlds greatest drawer for sure but it kept me occupied for hours which was great since the only English language TV stations were BBC and CNN.  No matter if it is on this side of the pond or the other, the news is the same and the same stories play over and over and over and over.  So having some markers (because I didn't pack my own) was nice.  I discovered a little something I've heard called Zentangles which is a doodling technique.  On a piece of paper, put four dots for a rectangle (or square).  You'll join the dots to form the outside of your rectangle.  The best thing about Zentangles is that nothing is supposed to be perfect.  This is a technique to make you relax!  It's like raking the sand in one of those Zen gardens which to me seems pointless so that annoys me so I don't do it!  But Zentangles calms the brain.

Once you have your rectangle, you'll make some squiggly lines and cross over them.  The point is that you want to have different segments of your rectangle to randomly doodle in.  In the first picture, is my first zentagle...it actually took me a couple of days (not nonstop but doing a little where I can) but the calming effects were amazing!  It's very freeing because there is no right way or wrong way.  The first one I did in pencil but then I experimented with different colored markers and shapes.  Zentangles really don't have to be rectangular or square.  It's just a doodle.  So try a zentangle today!  I will add pics later but my camera has died.

What can I take with me to keep my creative soul going?

Well readers -

I have a 10-day trip to Germany for work.  To the average person, it sounds exciting but because my company is there, I average usually three trips a year with little or no time to sight see.  What can I take with me to keep the craft addict happy?  I thought about taking my personal laptop because I have My Digital Design Studio on it and I could build pages (new thought -- how about creating scrap book pages specifically for your digital frame?).  But to lug another laptop through security and through the airport - yucko.  So I have a couple of beading projects I think I'll take.  They can fit and this cute little carrying case and be very unobtrusive in my carry on luggage.  Then of course pictures...I'd really like to get better as a photographer and really use my camera better.  It has some very funky features that I'm just now understanding.

what else can I work on?  I guess I can cut supplies for Easter cards and do them over there.  And I could finish MarieOdile's album finally!  Yay...that's the game plan! 

Ok so on to the creativity for the week -- it was very difficult to be creative due to a lot of pressure and time sensitive deadlines at work.  But I have been playing around with the Easter theme this week, chalks/watercolors and mini milk cartons.  Yes I said mini milk cartons!  Soo cute and fun to make.  I have a die template for the Big Shot that cuts them out.  See the picks to see how cute they are!  And also some of my other Easter themed creations.

PS I just realized that I didn't post this before I left!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I stayed up way too late last night!

Ok readers - I have to admit that I didn't really do anything creative today.  About 4pm I was going cross-eyed at my desk and I had a killer headache and some weird restless leg stuff going on so I quit working on the paying job.  Maybe it was my lack of sleep last night...or maybe it was that I didn't have any Coke Zero today (ok I broke down later tonight and finally had one) but I could not get creative! 

But...let me tell you about my fun last night.  As I mentioned, I've been collecting packaging and things that I thought I "might" be able to use for creative endeavors.  Last night I took the acrylic packaging from a big shot die and used my five petal punch.  Then I put several of the punched out acrylic flowers into the polka dot embossing folder.  Next I mixed a little bit of gold shimmer with some Close to Cocoa reinking ink and using a sponge dauber painted the shimmer color on the textured side of the flower.  Once it dried, I punched a hole in the middle and using a pink brad attached it to a design I am working on.  It is very cute and my packaging went a long way. 

I will post a photo soon...I forgot to bring the camera down to the craft pit and I was too lazy to go back upstairs to get it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11 - Day 39: Can I be creative if I never got the chance to get out of my PJs?

As many of you know, sometimes my real job can be brutal!  Today was one of those days.  Of course it didn't help that I didn't go to bed until after 2 am.  I was a bit wired when I came home from Bunco last night.  I love my group of L-Inked Ladies and Bunco nights!  As usual, Mandy had a really cool "make and take" for us using several techniques.  I have to say I had more than a little trouble with using the corner punches BUT once I figured out you gently (I know that is usually not in my vocabulary) place the paper in the punch the new circle scallop border corner punch is so pretty! 

But today there were many phone calls to be taken and many documents to create and many deadlines to make.  It was a high performance day for sure -- one thing gets done and I'm immediately onto the next project. Exhausting day with several hours of sleep missing from my beauty rest.  But I'm here feeling energetic and ready to start a project! And I don't think it is the Italian Blend coffee frappacino I just made myself either!

My goal tonight is to come up with some creative ideas using some creative material.  I've been collecting a nice little supply of material from packaging from cereal, Crystal Light, some acrylic packaging, corrugated cardboard, etc.  I'm off to my workshop to see what I create...I'll upload pictures later!

I'm here! I'm creating but I've failed already

Before I start...Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! I've been so busy that I haven't had time to update the blog. And, sorry to say, but I have fallen off the wagon already! Unfortunately for me, life sometimes gets in the way. It will happen again so I'm making a caveat to the rules...I can only complete something creative when I'm in town, not sick and not working 12+ hour days. I have to face it...my job can sometimes get in the way.

So since the time I last wrote, I'm trying to piece together the projects I did.
2/10: Bunco Night and we made a fabulous card using ribbon scraps and punches
2/11: working on digital scrapbook/brag book of all our dogs! Doing two page spreads on each dog in My Digital Studio. If you are not a traditional scrapbooker but like the idea of creating layouts on your computer, this is the software for you! I finished a two page spread of Bailey
2/12: Today I made a birthday card for my sister-in-law. I used one of my Sale-A-Bration free stamp sets (Happy Moments)and inked the bunch of flowers and then embossed with black embossing powder. I then colored the stamp (and didn't have to worry about going outside of the lines! I also made a Valentine's Day card for my Sweetie. I used some bits of fabric and sticky tape and used the Heart Shaped treat cup. I like him more than M&Ms!
2/13: Today I did a page on the Snow Storm we had and the dogs playing in it.
2/14: Today I did a page with pictures of all the girls
2/15: Had a ball this afternoon as I invited two young ladies over to be crafty. Amanda is age 7 and Olviia is age 9. I took pictures of them when they arrived and we made a photo layout. I had them pick out their favorite colors of paper. We used the Sizzix Circle die (with four different sizes of circles) and cut out their favorite colors. Then I cut 2 1/2" strips of paper and ran them through the crimper tool. It was great fun to see each girl
2/16: Today I did a spread of Izzie. She is getting so big but boy oh boy is she so cute! The My Digital Studio software is really easy to use. I used a photo template and copied the page to get the two page spread. Then I added the embellishment. Easy Peasy!
2/17: Today I completed a two page spread on Phoebe and Viola. I guess they are our neglected dogs...I didn't have enough pics of them to do a two page spread on each one. I must be a better doggie mommy.
2/18: Now that I completed the photo spreads, I made a 3"X3" brag book for Andy. I saved each page as a JPEG file. If you start out with a 12X12 page, you can literally shrink it to fit any square size. I found this kit for making 3X3 albums called Zoom Book. You can either use a solid paper cover or you can stretch a photo into a wraparound cover. For Andy's brag book, I decided to do a photo cover. Then I printed using the zoom book software and their photo page paper. The paper is perforated and the whole page is peel and stick adhesive. You fold accordian style, matching "A" to the front inside and accordian fold until you match "B" to the inside back cover.
2/19 - 2/23: It's been too long since these days passed and I can not remember all the stuff I did! I will try to not wait so long to update my blog!
2/24: Spent the day traveling to Philadelphia airport, sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate for about 2 and a 1/2 hours (way longer than the flight itself) and then driving to Newtown Square.
2/25: Meeting with some bigwigs and then dinner with a friend who lives up there. DARN...missed punch class! Wish I was home.
2/26: Spent most of the day in the Philadelphia airport with no crafty material or my personal laptop!
2/27: Uhoh...head is beginning to pound. Lots of pressure behind my eyes.
2/28: Full-fledged sickness. Head feels like it is about to explode. Throat feels like I swallowed acid. Can't stop blowing my nose.
3/1: I'm down for the count. No creativity. No work. I feel bad.
3/2: Now no voice. There is an alien trying to force its way out of my head through my eyes. No work. No creativity. I am one with the couch, two blankets, a fresh box of Kleenex, hot tea and antibiotics. Full-fledged sinus infection zapping any energy I have.
3/3: Still no voice -- throat feels a little better. Headache still intolerable but I feel the antibiotics starting to kick in
3/4: I feel like a human again! And good thing...BUNCO tonight! We made a really cute double sided note card
3/5: Yay my monthly day off so I can go to Stamp Club at Mandy's and Lunch with Cathy! This month we made a really beautiful card using the Vintage Vogue stamp set and a technique called two step stamping. With one color ink, we were able to stamp three related colors with this technique - Light, Medium and Dark. We also made a really cute candy bar holder using the Movers and Shapers Sizzix die. Also, Mandy taught us a handy technique using packing tape and Dazzling Diamonds!
3/6: I didn't do a craft per se but I did make really awesome chocolate chip cookies!
3/7: I liked the brag book I made Andy so much I made one for myself. This time, I used a solid colored cover but I cut a 3x3 piece of paper from the Sale-a-bration paper back and using 2-way glue, affixed it to the cover. Then I used my D is for Dog stamp set (I got free from Sale-A-Bration)and put paw prints running up the cover.
3/8: I worked late and then had Book Club -- although i don't have something tangible to show for the evening, I can say that the creativity of my Book Club girlfriends is huge...we had so much lively discussion and LAUGHS!!!
3/9: Worked LATE...had to run Andy's suit to the dry cleaners and almost didn't make it. I was tired so I sat down at my computer and started writing this blog trying to catch up on my lack of communication.
3/10: This wasn't so creative but being a computer geek, I wanted a way to search my stamp inventory for the images I want so I started looking at each stamp set and writing out each stamps attributes. For example in the Wings of Friendship stamp set, there are two stamps with birds on it. One has got a fancy swirly wing and one is a negative image of a bird on a branch. I can create a database that I can easily search for stamps with birds or stamps with flowers or sayings...whatever the attributes I decide. what can I say...I'm a geek!
3/11: Bunco!!! Great Card using Sizzix dot texture folder, two different size circle punch, our new scallop corner punch.

So, dear readers, that's my creative conundrum. I can't always complete a creative adventure but you can bet I'm going to try to add some creativity somewhere in my day.

Interested in some of the products or techniques I have described? Shop my site!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nine Days -- Whoo hoo!

Tonight I played with My Digital Studio software and made a double page layout that I think is absolutely ADORABLE!!! And of course of my favorite subjects -- my girls (and my dear hubby). I think it is so cool how I can download different stamp sets and embellishments. It's like modernizing traditional scrapbooking! The two pages took me about half an hour to complete. What do you think?

By the way, picture them as a double spread with the first page being on the left and the second page on the right. I can't figure out how to have the pages side by side.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 8 (Is it only 8 days since I started?)

So tonight was Book Club night but I was able to duck down into the Craft Pit (as my husband has now dubbed his man pit/my craft studio) to make a quick card for my good friend Cindy. Cindy is an artiste herself and makes beautiful jewelry. One day I admired some lemon drop earrings on her blog (www.lottiebird.blogspot.com) and the next day I had a beautifully wrapped little box of joy! So I wanted to make her a special card to show her my appreciation.

I used the new Sweet Pea designer paper and the Of the Earth stamp and of course my favorite Top Note exclusive Sizzix die. I love how this came out.

On the flower stamp I used the Stampin' Up markers and colored in the stamp and then spritzed it with a fine mist of water and then stamped it on Whisper White paper. To make it pop on the front, I used SU Dimensionals which are two sided adhesives that are little pieces of foam to make things pop out. I love the color of the paper and it reminds me of Cindy because her dining room is very close to this shade of blue.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday is writing day

So today I'm posting some of my writing. I am taking an online class on writing a Young Adult novel. Let me set up my story for you...

15-year old Kaylee Rich loves her family, loves the Goo Goo Dolls and loves animals, in particular dogs. Kaylee's mom, Kathryn turned her onto the Goo Goo Dolls and they've been to several concerts. Something is odd with the way her mom reacts to the lead singer, Johnny Resnick. Kaylee believes that she "knows" Johnny from the way she reacts to his songs.

One day while she's volunteering at the animal shelter, an animal control officer brings in a large male pit bull who is immediately sentenced to death just because he is a pit bull. The town she lives in has passed an anti-breed law against pit bulls and they are all to be destroyed. Kaylee takes the dog from the shelter so it doesn't get killed and runs away across country to find Johnny Resnick so she can give him this dog.

So here is my latest exercise for class and my creative endeavor for the day!

When the animal control officer brought Fred into the shelter, you would have thought that the dog was rabid. The officer had suited up wearing his protective dog gear that sort of made him look like a dirty Michelin Man. He stormed into the kennel area of the shelter dragging this pitiful looking dog. He was white and beige – not brown or golden like a retriever but sort of like the color of a deer. The dog did not want to be here and was whining and wimpering. Officer Stark was pulling him on one of those long aluminum poles with the noose on the end.

“I just finished cleaning 412 Officer Starke,” I yelled over to him. The kennel had erupted in a cacophony of barks and howls. I looked over at the poor dog and saw that he was shaking in fear.

“This one’s going in the back Kaylee. NOT FOR ADOPTION.” He ran his finger under his chin across his throat.

I watched him drag the dog across the kennel to the back room. We volunteers weren’t allowed in the backroom. It had some kennels and the area where the euthanasia was performed. I felt a lump form in my throat.

“Why? What did he do?” I yelled to Stark. I followed him to the back, forbidden area. “Tell me. What did the dog do?”

The dog looked at me and I saw his tail relax a little, maybe even wag a little. I stood with my hands on my hips waiting for Trask to answer.

“He didn’t do nothing. He’s a pit bull. We have a policy. Owner turned him over. But by the looks of him it don’t look like the owner cared for him anyway. This is the best for him.”

“You’re going to kill this dog? For nothing?” I could hear my voice thin out. I was close to screeching. Red was washing into my view and I could feel the heat flushing my skin.

“It’s the law. City Council passed it last year. Pit bulls are banned in this town. “

“Well, I’ll take him to another town. Look at him – he’s terrified, Starke. Can you at least take him off the pole?”

“Come on Kaylee. He’s a dangerous animal. You just leave him be.” Starke pushed open the door with his butt and pulled the dog inside the dark room. I tried to follow them in but he slammed the door shut. I jimmied the knob – it was one of those automatic locking doors.

In a few minutes, Starke emerged from the room with the pole on his shoulder. My eyes welled up with hot tears. “Is it done? Did you kill him?”

Starke shook his head. “Have to wait ‘til Thursday. That’s the day we take ‘em.”

Exercise 2

I got to the shelter early on Sunday morning. In the parking lot, I noticed that Officer Starke’s pickup was in the employee parking lot. I was hoping that he was off today. After our run in yesterday, I don’t think I am his favorite person. I know he’s not mine.

As I was pushing the back employee entrance door open, Officer Starke was coming out. “Hey Kaylee – you here again today?”

I nodded my head to him and ducked through the door. I turned back to Officer Starke and forced myself to tell him to have a nice day.

As I walked through the kennels, the dogs came to the front of their cages and barked to get my attention. “Just a minute guys…I’ll be right back,” I called to them as I made my way to the front office.

Pearl was manning the front desk today. “Hey Sugar, what’s shaking?” She handed me the sign-in clipboard.

“Pearl-what’s up with that pit bull Officer Starke brought in yesterday?” I asked her trying to sound nonchalant about it.

“You talking about that big-headed boy? Fawn and white?” she asked.

I nodded my head and pulled up another office chair. I was ready to hear a tragic story. “Well, there’s not much to tell. The owners brought him in about 2:00 yesterday afternoon. It was a normal surrender.”

I had to scramble to pick my jaw up off the floor. From the way Starke had treated that dog, I was sure he must have killed something or someone.

“Pearl is there any way I can go see him?” I asked her as sweetly as I could. I knew Pearl had a soft spot for all the animals here. “He just seemed so scared and confused yesterday.”

Pearl leaned in toward her like she had a big secret. “Sugar I AM not supposed to let volunteers back there but I’ve been sneaking in to see Fred all day myself. He is one sweetheart of a dog. If Starke finds you in there though, I know nothing.” She slipped me her keys . “Oh, and here – he really likes these.” She handed me a Ziploc baggie full of freeze-dried liver treats.

Days 5 and 6

I had a rare night alone and at home on Friday night (2/5). I went down to the man-pit/craft studio (Andy is not at all pleased that I have infiltrated his manpit with girlyness). It is a great area to be able to spread out and be able to work on different things. I held my workshop down there and now I want to move the plans for the craft room down there...at least utilize the storage space so I can store everything down there and take what I need depending on what I'm working on. I could actually have a place to set up my sewing machine always and my Cricut and Your Story. And a place where I could see all my stamps and supplies!I will continue to work down there until I'm thrown out.

But on this Friday night the dogs played away while I did some watercolor marker experiments using the Stampin' Up Circle Circus set. I stamped one of the larger stamps in black, heat embossed (using Stampin' Up black embossing powder). Once it was embossed I colored in the parts. Then I used Crystal Dimensions over the top and now it looks like an epoxy brad. Brad...hmmm perhaps I will make a brad. Good idea!!!

I was playing with different card lay outs and techniques I have learned from my upline, Mandy using colors and layers, ribbons and embellishments. My friend Tiffany's grandmother passed away so I wanted to make a Sympathy card for her. I really like this card. It's pretty and a bit understated but also has some pizzaz. Maybe a little too much pizzaz??? I chose red, white and black as my colors. First, I took a 3/4" strip of white cardstock and using the scallop border punch, made a sort of lacey edge. Next I put the strip through the crimper tool. Once the strip was crimped, I took my black ink pad and wiped it across the strip. This made it look like black stripes on paper. I used a heart punch out that I had laying around and put strips of Sticky Strip across the heart punch out and then using the 2-way "blue glue" I stuck it down (sticky strip side up)on the card. Next I peeled off the adhesive backing of the Sticky Strip so my heart was ready to work with. Taking one end of the crimped, punched, colored paper strip, I firmly placed it on the outline of the heart punch and secured it down in the sticky strip. Now I wound the rest of the strip around and made a paper rose. Then I put a Real Red Corduroy button brad into the flower. Using another strip of Sticky Strip on the outside of the card, I added black gingham ribbon to the bottom of the card. On the inside, I cut a slightly smaller piece of Real Red cardstock on the inside of the card (covered brad prongs and ribbon leftovers, etc. Then using the Modern Label punch and a dimensional added the "Thinking of You" from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp collection.

I also just played with the stuff I have...I experimented with the Movers and Shapers dies, with the stamps, with dimensionals to pull an image off the page, with textures and colors. It was fun! Just me, Bruce Springsteen and the bands he's influenced (there was a special programming on the Rock Legends channel on TV), the dogs and my creativity.

Saturday I woke up and had a miserable headache. It went from behind my left eye, up my skull, over the top and down my right side of my neck through to my shoulder. I was not thinking about creativity just how to get rid of this headache. But, maybe because of the change in the barometric pressure, this headache clung to me all day. Having Fibromyalgia puts a damper on my creativity sessions a lot. There are some days where I have difficulty even just getting out of bed - never mind trying to get my brain to work and "create" something. I worried that I couldn't even make it a week without breaking the project.

I picked up my laptop and opened up my new Design Studio (Stampin' Up) software. I didn't know what I was going to make but my sister-in-law just sent me a series of pics of my favorite subject, my niece Zoe. So I did a layout for an 8 1/2 X 11 Scrapbook. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I decided to make a layout on my own but I could have used some pre-made templates.

I wanted to experiment first so I made a simple layout but I'm so pleased with how it turned out. My niece's favorite colors are purple and pink. The photos had a lot of green and yellow and pink in them so I wanted to make sure that color jumped out of the page. I chose the Craft paper as my background. With this software, you can add stamps and different embellishments even ribbon or sewing machine stitches. It took maybe 20 minutes to make. And, if you don't want to start from a blank page as I did, there are templates you can use. Pretty cool!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Days One through Four!

My Crafty Girl project has started with lots of heart. On Day One I went to a workshop hosted by my friend Chris and conducted by my Stampin' Up upline, Mandy Grant. We made the most beautiful Valentine's card for our Sweethearts. We used a 12 x 12 piece of Stampin' Up Close to Cocoa cardstock. I won't post a picture (I don't want my hubby to see his card before Valentine's Day!)

I have to tell you that I have become a bit of a paper snob. I have always bought whatever is on sale and have had very mixed results -- sometimes the paper is too heavy to make good folds, sometimes the paper doesn't take the ink from a stamp well and it ends up fuzzy and smudged or sometimes the die cuts reveal a white core because the paper isn't 100% colored. That is why I love the Stampin' Up cardstock because for every project, I know what my result is going to be and I'm never surprised. Plus the variety of color and speciality papers is awesome. Best of all, I think the cost is very affordable. There is also this very cool supply option that you can automatically get paper sent.

Day Two I had a little workshop at my home where I taught Angela and Cathy how to make the Valentine's day card and we also made little gift card purses (or in our case, little Valentine candy purses). Holly came late but she was able to make the purses too. We had a blast playing with all my Stampin' Up stamps. Cathy made me a prototype Valentine card using the heart treat cups! When I've perfected it, I'll post the finished product!

Day Three -- The picture here is not that clear but I'm taking a class on watercolor markers. This is using a stamp from the Eastern Blooms and four different watercolor markers. Once you color in the stamp with the markers you sprints them with water and then stamp the page. The result really makes the stamp look like hand-painted water colors.

Tonight we had Bunco and made a really cool card using the small star punch and ribbon scraps behind the punched out stars. Such a great way to use your ribbon scraps. I will post a picture tomorrow.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tomorrow starts the Crafty Girl Project!

It's like Christmas Eve and I can not sleep! The anticipation of being creative every day for a year is a bit overwhelming at times. I wonder if I am over committing myself. I am planning my project every day for a week and using Sunday to plan for the week coming.

I just found a project called Cards for Soldiers that I think I can use for my project too. I can make a card a day to send to soldiers who have been deployed. They then use the cards to write to their loved ones back home. I love the thought of being able to do something for our soldiers.

So, I have that project to add to my creative arsenal. I also have many project nights planned with my Stampin' Up upline -- Valentine cards and trinkets, punch art and digital and traditional scrap projects! I'm also looking at some other areas that I have not played in. Anyone ever heard of paper quilling? I'm going to try that! I'm going to try jewelry making...beading and glass painting. I'm going to do wood crafts.

Tomorrow I have a workshop I'm going to and we will be making awesome Valentine Card. That will be my first project posted. Looking forward to stretching my creative side!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting Ready for the Countdown

So, in five days, on Monday, February 1, I'm starting my creation a day, Crafty Girl GA , 366-days of creativity (I didn't miscount...it's Leap Year). That's a lot of pressure! I'm already wondering if I can do it. Blogging everyday is a pressure! And then, aren't I creating something by the words I write to you?

So in preparation of the big project, I thought I would try to anticipate what my life looks like or will look like throughout the February 2010 - February 2011 year.

  • WORK: Last year I booked over 10 week-long plus business trips with six of them going to Germany...that was on a year where travel was supposed to be restricted due to budgetary issues. I'm anticipating less travel this year but still some. In lieu of travel, I will be working on many projects virtually which usually means 6am or 7am calls starting my day; the morning and afternoon filled with back to back calls; the afternoon booked with actual heads down work; quitting around 7pm and then on some nights, coming back at 9pm for more calls to support the West Coast teams and Asia.
  • New side business -- I've become a Stampin' Up Demonstrator. I love the Stampin' Up products and I love all the things that you can do with rubber stamps, clear stamps, great paper and some ingenuity. I learn so much and have been able to create so much with the products. I'm totally excited to be able to share this with my friends and show them how creative they can be!
  • One loving, albeit unemployed, husband and five spunky dogs including a new puppy, a large home (no cleaning service), the usual friends and family obligations...you know the drill.
  • Online Classes -- currently taking a writing class and a photography class.

So, looking at this list of stuff, I'm thinking I need to set some more project rules. What qualifies as a creation...I think writing samples do, new recipes, cards, scrapbook pages, jewelry making...really anything I can start and finish in one day. Those are the projects I'll be reporting on in this blog.

How often will I blog? I can't say that I will report everyday BUT I will report on what I've done everyday so some blogs you may get several projects all at once. If it makes sense to show a video of what I did, I will.

Last, I need to hear from you! Is there something you always wanted to try in the creative world? Let me be your guinea pig! Talk to me...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Preparation for the Crafty Girl GA project

So, I've been reading books about "projects" that started out as blogs. Just finished a book about a woman who decided that she was going to "live Oprah" for a year. Last year a read a book about a woman who decided to cook all of Julia Child's recipes in a year. So 2010, I'm starting my own project about Creating something everyday. Can I have 365 days of creation? It could be a card, a scrapbook page, a piece of jewelry, a painting...any arts and crafts type thing. This will combine two of the things I love -- crafting and writing. So, what will this prove after I've completed 365 days of crafting?

One -- it will show me that I have the creativity to think of and do something every day. It will give me the creative outlet that I'm looking for. You hear the advice every day to take care of yourself before you take care of your family. Crafting is something I love to do and is a way to pamper myself.

Two -- I want to enable my girlfriends to get "Crafty." Not only will I have daily crafts but I will hold monthly Crafty Girl nights to help my girlfriends find their inner Crafty Girl. This is also why I have become a Stampin' Up demonstrator. I love their projects and the ideas the other demonstrators have come up with. I've done some really cool things with stamps, scrapbook pages, die cuts from a traditional card to home decor elements!

Three -- Someone dared me. That was good enough to start!