Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Papercraft Tools

In early December, a friend was having a Stampin' Up home party for her and a few friends. I knew that I would not be attending, so asked her to bring a catalogue for me to peruse. You have to know what happened next. I found a 'few' things that I wanted.

Being on a tight budget, I could not have it all, even though I would have liked to. I settled on something that I have wanted for quite some time; a scoring board. I have not been able to find them anywhere else, so I was quite excited when I found one in the catalogue.

The 'Simply Scored' board has a base that is slightly larger than 12" X 12". You can create multiple scored projects (like envelopes or mini boxes) or projects with many score lines (like rosettes). The grooves are etched in every 1/8". You can choose how far apart you want the score marks to be. Since my plan is to start making greeting cards, and possibly some rosettes, this is the perfect tool to have.

I've ordered another new tool that will not be available until mid-April; the Tim Holtz Stamp Platform by Tonic Craft. I can't wait to get this one! Simon Says Stamp is taking pre-orders now.

The platform is 8.5" X 8.5" and has a side ruler to help accurately placing stamps where you want them. The base plate is magnetic and it comes with 2 high strength magnets to hold the paper in place. It can be used for both clear and rubber stamps.

I was sold on this tool after seeing a video demonstration on YouTube. Click here to watch it. Tim Holtz himself was doing the demo at Creativation 2017 in Phoenix, AZ from January 19 - 23. This is one of many new products introduced at this event. I would have loved to be there!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Heart Art Challenge: Week 4

For week 4, I tried a different background technique. I used two different colours of Distress Ink pads from Tim Holtz, Shabby Shutters and Peacock Feathers. I laid some colour down on my craft mat, spritzed it with water and placed the tag on top. I did that a couple of times, drying in between each application, making sure the whole tag was covered and until I was satisfied with the look.

I've seen this technique used in lots of videos, but never tried it myself. I'm not sure it is a method I will use that often. It was another fun learning experience though. 

Next, I cut out two birds from bits of paper from my scrap box. Once I decided where I wanted them positioned, I glued down the 'mama' bird first. Using a black Sharpie marker and a ruler, I drew and coloured in her legs.

The 'baby' bird was glued down after that and his/her legs were added. The finishing touch was the various size hearts punched out of red card stock. The tag worked up quite quickly and I am very happy with the results.

Check out Bea Grob's video, Heart Art: Week 4. She used the napkin technique for her background. I may have to try that one sometime soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

DIY Embellishment Clusters

A couple of months ago I picked up a grab bag of scrapbook papers at the local thrift store. I was not sure what all was in there but I was certain that I'd be able to make use of some of it for my artist trading cards, tags or art journal pages. The $2.99 price tag was very appealing too.

One of the paper pads in the bag was this Princess Paper Pad by K&Company. I love the mix of colours; pink, purple and lime green, but until now, I really did not know how I would use this pretty card stock.

Saturday was a rainy day, which always means that my pain levels are high, and I was not getting around very well. So, I decided to pull out this paper pad and some dies and punches. Might as well use the time constructively since I was not able to move about much. I sat at my craft table and punched out scalloped circles, mini tags and hearts, then pulled out my Big Shot to die cut banners in two sizes.

The next step was to start layering various pieces on top of each other to create unique embellishments for art journal pages, tags and ATCs or to drop in as extra goodies when sending happy mail to my friends.

I used a glue stick to adhere the layers together and some Tim Holtz Chitchat stickers provided the finishing touch. I could sit and make these for hours. (Actually, I think I did.) It was a good way to keep busy and focused on something fun, rather than the pain.

I think you will have to agree that life is a bit more manageable when you are creating art. It is for me anyway.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Heart Art Challenge: Week 3

The inspiration for this weeks' tag came from a picture I found when doing a Google search for heart images. This one immediately sparked my imagination.

I picked up a set of Halloween dies at ScrapFest in September and one of them is a 'spooky' tree. It does not look so 'scary' when punched out of brown card stock instead of black though. And I have a small heart punch from a set that I purchased from Michaels some time ago. Off to a good start.

Next, I went searching for an appropriate quote or poem to put on the tag. I typed 'heart tree' in the Google search bar and surprisingly found just the right quote very quickly. One more hurdle cleared.

The idea was coming together nicely, except I had to decide what kind of background to make. I finally settled on using the plastic wrap technique, with green at the bottom and blue at the top. I enjoyed experimenting with that method a couple of weeks ago and wanted to try it again.

I really intended for there to be less green and more blue but I was overly generous with the paint and this is how it turned out. So, instead of having the tree close to the bottom and the full quote at the top as I'd planned, I had to rearrange in my mind where the elements would be positioned. No problem, I'm adaptable.

I coated the background with Mod Podge and dried it with my heat tool before adding the tree, the hearts and the quote. I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out, even if it is not 'perfect'. 

Bea Grob: Week 3
Here is a link to Bea's Heart Art Week 3 video along with a photo of the completed card to the left.

 Now, to come up with an idea for Week 4. Where will I go for inspiration this time? Time will tell. But remember, you should always be aware of everything around you, because you never know what small sight, or sound or smell could open the door to creative expression.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Heart Art Challenge: Week 2

The basic idea for this weeks’ heart art challenge tag came from the book ‘1000 Artist Trading Cards’, a compilation of the work of hundreds of artists from around the world. Patricia Bolton, Editor-In-Chief of Quilting Arts Magazine and co-founder of the publication ‘Cloth Paper Scissors’, brought it all together in this full colour compendium of innovative and inspired mixed media ATCs.

I often find myself turning the pages of this book for creative inspiration and it never lets me down. No matter how many times I look, I always discover something new and interesting each time.

While my original intention for these tags was to use up bits & pieces left over from other art projects, I could not find enough suitable yellow or orange scraps in my stash! I had to go out and purchase some of patterned scrapbook paper for this one.

The phrase ‘Let your love shine’ is taken from a song written by Lawrence Eugene Williams (1935-1980) in the 1970s called ‘Let Your Love Flow’. It has been recorded by many artists over the years, but you can listen to the most familiar rendition by The Bellamy Brothers here.

The complete song lyrics are on the back of this tag. I had to make the font extremely small to get it all on but I did it!

Here is a link to Bea's Heart Art Challenge: Week 2 video and a photo of her creation for this week.

I already have an idea in my head for next week's Heart Art Challenge tag. I can't wait to get started on it. Hopefully, the ideas for the next 49 weeks come as easily to me.

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Favourite Mixed Media YouTube Channels

There are so many great videographers out there, putting quality content onto YouTube. I thought that I would share a couple of my favourites, and hope that you will share yours with me. There is always more to discover!

One of my all time favourites is ‘Mike Deakin Art: MyCreative Journey’. I watch ALL of his videos from beginning to end. Mike is based in the UK and shares arts, crafts, tutorials, hints, tips and reviews. He creates art journal pages, canvases, ATCs, shadow boxes and more. I also belong to his Facebook group, Mike Deakin Art. I hope to participate in some of his personal ‘Mission Inspiration’ challenges this year.

Another channel that I go to a lot is ‘Mixed Media Jenn’. She explores art journaling and mixed media, sharing her process of creating art journal pages, artist trading cards, postcards and index cards. I go back to those videos again and again for tips and inspiration. She has almost 16,000 subscribers on YouTube!  She is an editor of Cloth Paper Scissor magazine and contributes to other specialty publications also.

My list would not be complete without Cat Hand’s ‘MixedMedia Art: Just for the Fun of it!’ Her Mixed Media Morsels videos have introduced me to lots of new techniques. She uses a variety of mediums on art journal pages, index cards, canvases, etc. Her channel has over 15,000 subscribers! She has a Facebook group too, ‘Mixed Media Morsels’ where the goal is to be positive, share, and encourage each other, while keeping the main focus on Mixed Media Morsels.

Of course, there are so many more wonderful channels out there, far too many to share in one blog post. I’m sure you have some favourites too. Please share them with me in the comment section below. I look forward to checking them out!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekly Heart Art Challenge

“Let's start a new year with a lot of Hearts. Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for creativity, your mind for truth, and your Heart for Love.”

The challenge is to make one piece of ‘heart art’ each week for the whole year. Bea is using Altered Memory Playing Cards, which are 2.5” X 2.5“. I plan to use #8 shipping tags that are 3.125” X 6.25” giving me a bigger canvas to work on.

Bea Grob, Week One

You can watch the introductory YouTube video here, so you can see her process. She has given herself a limit of no more than 26 minutes per week to make each piece. I think she is planning on making a video each week, and will compile the resulting 52 cards into a small booklet at the end of the year.

Bonnie, Week One
This is the tag that I made for Week One of the challenge. The background was created using the plastic wrap method. It's the first time I ever tried it and I am quite pleased with the results. I will certainly use this technique again.

The hearts were cut or punched out from paper in my scrap box. The sentiment was stamped on with archival ink. I used twine and crochet cotton for the tassel on the top. On the back of this tag, I put Bea's quote seen at the top of this blog post. I plan to put a poem or quote on the back of all my tags.

Follow along with me each week as I create new tags for this challenge.