Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Markers and a...wait, what? a super tiny COMIC!!!

Ok, everyone, I am interrupting the regularly scheduled post of month old paper crafting for this--I got a set of 12 Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush Pens for my birthday from Dr. A. Every YouTube crafter has been going on and on about how great they are for months. Basically, they are watercolor markers with actual brush tips. If you are interested in learning more, I'd recommend this video by Jennifer Maguire

I show the first image which clearly looks like a child drew it because it is just another tiny step in my gaining confidence to try free hand drawing again. The second image is a tiny comic. It was a status I had intended to post on Facebook earlier today, but when I decided I wanted to try out my new markers, I added some slight illustrations. 

In a lot of ways this blog is an autobiography of my artistic journey. I may be skipping ahead a bit, but I just couldn't help sharing how nice it feels to not dread lifting up a marker--those of you who have followed for a long time will understand this. It's not even just that I did it, but that it was one of my first thoughts when I opened the pens and started coloring. The smooth and beautiful glide made just coloring feel too confining.

I think I still feel more in my element with paper crafting, but it's nice to do other things, too. I don't think I'll really be returning to comics often, but as I said when I decided to quit, quitting a weekly comic doesn't mean I can't post one when the mood strikes. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Set of Birthday Cards

Hello, Readers,

I really went to town using my dessert stamps on this set of birthday cards commissioned by a friend. For this occasion I brought out my new custom stamp to "sign" the backs of my cards.

The design for these cards is reused from this card, but I extended it to the ice cream stamps and made continued good use of the Lawn Fawn's Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables dies. You may recall that when Simon Says Stamp sent me a free gift awhile back they sent me a set of stamps with a coordinating frame die. I was finally able to put it to use on a few of these cards. I used Avery Elle's Bring on the Cake and Simon Says Stamp's Ice Cream Dream. The patterned papers are from basicgrey's 6x6 Prism pad. I used Glossy Accents for the first time. I'm not super happy with my execution, and as you can see I took photos before it was completely dry and clear. In theory, I like the idea of Glossy Accents, but I'm not sure I'm ultimately going to find it worth the trouble. I have enough drama with adhesives as it is...wait, what am I even on about...



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Decorating Boxes

Howdy, Readers, 

You know, I'm not sure at this point how exactly I got this idea--I think it was a bunch of tiny bits of inspiration here and there. Anyway, I wanted to decorate a jewelry box with mirrors and have a shaker on a jewelry box. I did both below and used a large amount of washi tape in the process. I made one box with a shaker on top and another with a mirror inside and water color and stamping on the exterior. I used the Lawn Fawn's Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables dies, and the patterned paper is from Authentique's 6x6 Classique: Beauty pad.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

An Inspiration Journal

I have a confession, Everyone! I broke down and bought a die cut machine--it was on sale, I swear! Unfortunately, I also only bought one set of dies to start with (those things are expensive!). I purposefully chose the set I thought would be the most versatile and useful--Lawn Fawn's Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables. These dies can make perfectly rectangular panels with beautiful faux stitching, or windows for shaker cards, or small rectangular pieces for sentiments. I certainly used this set a lot for the project I share with you today.

I have been wanting to try to make my own books for awhile now, having only gotten so far as to make stapled mini journals (see herehere, herehere, especially here, here, and here). In fact, some of the first paper crafts I did involved making stapled journals. Honestly, I keep putting off the bookmaking because of nervousness about making a real binding. I know, I need to just give it a shot. But, I also saw this Frugal Crafter video a few weeks ago, and fell in love with the idea.

Here's my take on it. I'm calling it an "inspiration journal." There are stamped pages, some with nice phrases, and pattern paper pages, but also enough pages with open space that you could paste in items to collage or write in the book. Can you believe I used a cereal box?

I used the aforementioned dies. I also used three stamp sets I have not posted with before: Lawn Fawn's Flutter By, Simon Says Stamp's Ice Cream Dream, Winnie and Walter Multifaceted, and an adorable little set my friend sent me from Florence! I did a bit of masking to set the butterfly and flower inside the prism with white ink. I also used non-neutral colored ink for the first time with this project. The cover papers come from a set of 10 assorted papers by Black Ink Creative International Papers Decorative Papers. The pattern papers come from these pads: Authentique's 6x6 Classique: Beauty,  Crate Paper's 6x6 DIY Shop, Echo Park's 6x6 GetawayPebbles' 6x6 Front Porchbasicgrey 6x6 Aurorabasicgrey's 6x6 Prism, and Heidi Swapp's 5x7 Wanderlust Collection.

I show images of the loose pages, a process photo, and images of the finished book.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Overcoming My Fear of Envelopes (Yes, envelopes.)

Okay, Gang, this post may seem really really silly. But, even though I had bought a Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board months ago, I could not bring myself to try to make an envelope (I know a lot of people use this envelope punch board). The directions on the back seemed like gibberish (of course, I didn't really look that closely), and I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of not getting it right. Sure, now I think it's pretty easy, but I am posting this just in case there are any other newbie crafters out there who think to themselves, "Making an envelope must be too hard for me--I'm an idiot." If I help one person feel less like an idiot, it will have been worth it!

So, here's a super step-by-step explanation:

Ok, the back of the board looks like this. It tells you what to do to make different sized envelopes.

I selected 4 bar and cut my card stock down to the appropriate size listed on the back of the board with my paper trimmer.

Then, I lined up my card stock on the board so that the edges matched up to the dotted lines for the correct size envelope. (Feeling Like an Idiot Moment # 1: I initially cut the paper the wrong size by mistake and couldn't figure out why it wasn't fitting inside the lines.)

Then, I attempted to follow the directions and score the paper at the correct lines for a 4 bar sized envelope. I messed up. (Feeling Like an Idiot Moment # 2) I knew it wasn't right because the board said I should have creased triangles, and I did not.

Ok, I cut a new sheet of card stock and tried again. I don't think I was following the correct lines to score the first time. Use the lines with the arrows, guys. The arrows! Wow, I am easily confused.

Then, I cut out the creased triangles.  (Feeling Like an Idiot Moment # 3: I didn't realize that there were 4 of these rather than 2 and couldn't figure out what was wrong.)

I folded the envelope on the score lines.

I applied adhesive to finish the construction process.

So, looking back, this was not complicated in the slightest, but there was just something about all the lines on the board that just threw me for an idiot loop (both in lacking confidence and in messing up). But, if I've learned anything from paper crafting, it's that you can always use a new piece of paper. It's okay to start over with a new piece of paper.

Update: Well after I had initially written this post, I saw this brilliant post from the Frugal Crafter where she illustrates a method she learned from a fellow artist to make an envelope any size without a template. We can do this, everyone! We can make paper to transport other paper from one place to another!


Saturday, August 8, 2015