Monday, November 25, 2013

AJ PanPastels Wise Men

I am posting a page I completed in my Art Journal (AJ) using a variety of Christmas stamps by Tim Holtz, and a Stampendous Santa stamp.  I once said I had no current plans to get into the PanPastels and now I teach how to use them.  Yep, I got hooked and now I am constantly devising new ways to use them.  I love this art medium for mixed media!

If you haven't used PanPastels before, they are simplest to explain as a type of chalk called pastel.  They are a soft refined pastel pigment powder that is compressed into a jar that seems almost creamy.  However, the binding agent used in these pastels is unique in that the dust content from usage is extremely low, while the pigment is a higher artist quality.  The price point is initially higher, but their longevity helps even the score.  You can use these with a variety of tools & products, but the Sofft Tools are my favorites...besides using my fingers.  They apply like a paint, but don't need any water.  Oooo, and did I mention clean up is a breeeeeze.  Keep an eye out on my blog, as I'll be sharing more about these little beauties, including tutorials & videos -- hopefully in the new year. 

Regarding today's mixed media page:  believe it or not, this page layout is super simple to complete -- you're basically just working in layers. 
1.  The complete background is a light dry wash of PanPastel. 
2.  Randomly stamped with several TH stamps using VersaMark.  I lightly went over the stamped images with a slightly darker pastel shade.  (TH stamp sets:  Shabby French, Reindeer Flight, Letter to Santa)
3.  Sprayed Krylon's Workable Fixatif over the pages and let sit a few minutes until dry.
4.  Stamped the Angel & Joyful Christmas (TH Joyful Song) again with VersaMark, and heat embossed using Ranger's Chinese Red Antiquities, and Stampendous Aged Silver (I love the tarnished silver look for this page).
5.  Using black Archival ink I stamped the Wise Men.  I didn't apply too much pressure to the stamp so that the image would be somewhat mottled. 
6.  For the Santa image (by Stampendous),  I stamped the Santa image with black Archival ink onto copy paper before crumpling it up.  Then opened it up and created a dry wash of pastel.  I love how the paper's creases picked up an extra "shadow" of color.   I used the pointed Sofft Knife with various colors of the PanPastels to "paint" the Santa.  Finally, I ripped the edges, sprayed it with the Fixatif, and adhered it to the page with Scotch Quick Dry adhesive once dry.

That's it.  Most projects & page layouts can look overwhelming to re-create when you first see them.  But if you break it down by layer, it really makes them very do-able. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Hope your day is beautiful!  Lisa

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Craft Closet

It has been a looong time since I've blogged, and I'm sad to say it might be a couple more months until I can get back into the groove.  As you know, we've had some major life changes this year...starting with our youngest son's high school graduation and move to college, our eldest son's wedding, my husband's military retirement, and finally ending the year with a temporary move while we look for jobs & and a new home.  I will get to blogging some of the things I've worked on for these events...eventually.  In the meantime, thanks for hanging in there!

For today, I'm posing a video of my craft closet -- sort of a teaser before seeing my actual craft room video in an upcoming post.  I've had several requests to see my crafting spaces, and with our move being so close now I asked a friend come help with the video taping. 

My craft closet is just that...a walk-in closet of sorts.  The space is more long than wide, but I'll show you how I have it set up.  Keep in mind that we are moving and it's not as tidy as I'd normally like it.  But hopefully you'll get the idea.  =) 

I also showcase towards the end of the video how I've been doing my stamp storage/organization.  If you've read my stamp organization post, you'll notice I am no longer using the clear DVD cases for my stamps -- I have more space utilization with the pockets than the DVD cases.  I've actually decided to use the cases for something else...but I'll save that for a later post. 

If you're reading this post in an email subscription, please click HERE to view the video & comment on the post.  Comments are once again enabled for everyone (love getting your comments) -- I had to close comments for awhile because of a hefty amount of spamming. 

Below are a couple links to some of the stamp pockets I showcased in the Craft Closet video. 

TH Stamp Storage Pockets (7" x 8 1/2") - As long as the TH stamp pockets are being produced, I will continue to use those -- my absolute favorite for the size of stamps that will fit in them. 

Office Depot brand Pockets (5" x 8") - For the stamps that are sized the same as the Lawn Fawn stamps or smaller, I am seriously thinking about using the Office Depot clear pockets.  I love their durability.  I have found better prices online than in the of the writing of this post.

Avery Clear Pockets (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") - The clear page protectors are still a good solution for those that are looking for a more economical solution.  However, I would recommend adding 5" x 8" cardstock inside the pockets to make them sturdier.

(If you had trouble seeing the video in this post, please click HERE to view in YouTube)

In my upcoming craft room video I also show how I store my TH stamp sets AND a great (and inexpensive) way to take the stamps sets with you to a crop, etc.

I know it's been a while, but I appreciate you taking the time to stop by!  Lisa

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Graduation, Wedding, and Retirement -- Oh My!

Printibles by Wedding Chicks, Cricut Die Cut Birdcages (French Manor cart)
First of all...thank you for sticking with me, even though I haven't posted in quite a while.  I thought last year was busy, but this year takes the cake!  January & February I was working virtually full-time, during which we lost our beloved dog, Hercules, of old age (15 years), and a dear uncle on my husband's side unexpectedly.  Then already in March we've made a college visit with Cody, our youngest son (almost 18) who is graduating in May, plus two separate poetry reading venues (by Cody); and my husband had foot surgery...of which he is now recovering.

Our year had already included Cody's high school graduation and his subsequent move to college in the summer.  But then we added my DH Chris' retirement from the military towards the end of this year, which also includes a permanent move back home -- to Ohio.  We haven't lived there since 1999, so it will be strange moving back...but also good to be back around family after so long.  Of course with a move comes job hunting, and house buying.  A crazy year to be sure.

But let's just throw something else into the mix...shall we?!  Our oldest son Nathan (nearly 24), proposed to his girlfriend, Hannah, the beginning of March and the wedding has been set -- ** wait for iiiiiit** -- this year too.  In fact, he will be getting married just two days before Cody goes to college -- and all that happens just one month before Chris's retirement ceremony (which will be a month before we move)!  I'll barely have time to think about the whole "empty nest" syndrome.  Yup...this is a CraZy year for SURE.

Which brings me to a glimpse of what I've been up to this month ... working on Wedding Samples!  I had my year pretty well planned out until Nathan came to visit with his "finance".  Surprise!!  During their short visit they decided on a somewhat vintage "Birdcage" theme for the wedding with colors dark purple & blush pink.  Nathan talked up the announcements I had made for his Graduation, so they asked me to put together some samples for wedding invites -- on a budget. 

I started about by doing a lot of research for Birdcage themed weddings, and weddings with their color palette ideas.  To keep track of some of my research, I created a board on Pinterest called, Birdcage & More Wedding Ideas -- which you can see HERE.  I also found this fantastic website for printing invites, RSVP cards, table numbers, and much more.   You can check out Wedding Chicks website HERE (you're gonna LOVE it!). 

The following invites are all created from the Wedding Chick's free printables to which I added some stamping using Stampendous "Tweet Cages" set.  The ribbon is white seam binding ribbon (Hug Snug) that I crinkled & colored using Spun Sugar distress stain & Antique Linen ink (which tones down the bright pink). For the more vintage ribbon look I added light touches of Walnut Stain ink.  Since the color hues haven't been determined "exactly" there are a variety of shades used in the samples at this juncture.

Flat Bow (postage friendly)
stamped birdcages on chain
Pumice Stone ink, 2nd generation stamping
birdcage masked using Antique Linen ink
and ink blending tool
stamped birds

Bo Bunny brad holds cage in place
crinkled ribbon around cage only
This invite may cost more in postage with
the added depth of brad & bow
die cut birdcage from French Manor cart
smaller brad & dangly ribbon could help postage costs

showing cage moved aside
edges inked with Antique Linen
RSVP card printables w/envelopes
attached to back of invite w/photo corners
(they're on straight, just angle of camera is funny - lol)
Table Number printables from website
and die cut ideas using cage (French Manor cart)
and numbers from Heritage cartridge
with pink backing

with purple backing

Place Cards die cut from Thanksgiving cart
the two smaller ones show as individual name cards
The larger one is more budget friendly:  one per table
and would include family names for that particular table

die cut with Fiskars Fuse: letter press plates for tags
these could be used for place cards, wrapped around the napkins,
or for a variety of other uses/ideas

battery operated tealight under dome
One of the PINS I added on Pinterest, was of over-turned decorated wine glasses (click HERE to see inspiration photo) using the base for a candle.  I loved the idea, thinking I could use the dome of the glass to add the birdhouse theme.  Generally you can find water globlets/cheap wine glasses at a dollar store or thrift store -- so being budget conscience (and since using birdcages to decorate every table would be pricey), I created this version using my Cricut (Sophie cartridge, & Gypsy to weld extra bird).  There are several cartidges that have birdcages on them, so it would be interesting to make several variations of these for the table decs.

I also cut birdcages & lovebirds from random cartridges at 1 1/2" each for confetti -- any smaller and the birdcage bars are too thin to hold up.  Other cartridges used were: Straight from the Nest (confetti), and Elegant Edges (for the candle mat)

I forgot to photograph the washi tape flags (Recollections birdcages) I made for cupcakes, and the cupcake wrapper of the lovebirds from the Cupcake Wrapper Lite cartridge...but they turned out cute too ... IMHO.  =)

And that's about it for today.  With all that's going on this year you'd think my blog would be severely neglected.  But I've been so busy with all sorts of projects that I'm hoping to blog more often.  The most time-consuming part of blogging is writing out all the technical jargon.  So if at some point I don't give enough information, please leave me a comment with your questions and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Hope the birds are singing for you today -- and thanks for stopping by!  Lisa