Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jingle Belles - Taking a Header

jingle belles

If you haven't visited the Jingle Belles Blog this is the beautiful header designed by Lauren for 2014.

Our challenge this time was to create a card based on the header.  Here is my interpretation once again last minute.  I did spray the bottom portion of the lighter lavender paper with some silver glimmer mist that puddled horribly and wound up sopping it up with of all things some white crepe paper streamers that I had on my table.  The photo doesn't catch the shine, but IRL is a little prettier. 

The bells were actually a couple of those swirly tree dies that I had that I cut down to bell-size and backed with silver foil paper.  (Easier said than done - sorry for all the glue smudges.)  And of course I had to add a line of glittery silver jingle belles.  

Okay, let me go see what other beauties await.  Click here to check them out.  

ICAD - Week 7 and Almost All of 8

July 13 - Violin or Cello.  Colored Pencil.

July 14 - Kokeshi Doll was the prompt but as you can see it is not a Kokeshi Doll or anything that resembles it.  I took some bottle caps that were lying on the table and dipped them in my new SU In-Color ink pads and just kept adding circles.  Some of them needed a little enhancement with dots using the markers in the same new colors.

July 15 - Dala Horse.  I really would like to have done a nice painted Dala Horse, instead I was inspired by a pixilated mariner's map I had seen on a weather site on Facebook.  Done in Prismacolors.

July 16 - Formula or Recipe.  I laid out some paper tape strips and then over them I used a quilt block pattern for my initials and did some simple tangling withing the block.

July 17 - Purple.  This started with the dark purple lines that I found on a painted rock I saw on Pinterest.  I then added some periwinkle and burgundy additions to the design.

July 18 - Matryoshka Doll.  Hmmm,  methinks I forgot to use my blending pencil on this.  She looks kind of simple.

July 19 - Pretzel or Knot.  I don't know how much knottier I could have gotten with this.  This goes back to basic doodling that I do when I'm on the phone, just added some bits of color here and there.

Thought it deserved a close up.

July 20 - Elephant.  This was inspired by an elephant brooch I found on-line that was enameled, however, I kind of liked it just in black and white.

July 21 - Octopus or Monster.  The monster is pain.  This is what I saw when I laid down on my stomach on our new mattress and closed my eyes as I willed the pain away and fell asleep if only for a while.  

July 22 - Rainbow.  I have seen this "technique" on Pinterest for the past two summers and have wanted to give it a try.  I think I might have needed to exaggerate the curves on the fingers a little more to give it more dimension.

July 23 - Mushroom.  HWNSNBP said these looked like kumquats, which I knew he meant to mean kiwi fruit as I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what a kumquat looks like.  But given that he is color-challenged, I can see why he might think they are.  But I meant them to be the undersides of mushroom caps.  I cut circles from some brown packing paper and then used some watercolor pencils to add the shading and detail.  The background was just some brown hued watercolors washed across the index card to resemble a cutting board.

Yeah, they probably don't look any better close up.  At least we won't have to eat them!

July 24 - Feather.  Drawn with a micron pen and then colored with Prismacolors.  Then I used a scribbling technique for the background which I kind of like.

July 25 - Jewel.  Well not really following the prompt again but there are some jewel tones in there.  This time I used some wrapping paper scraps from our schools annual fundraiser book and tried a one-staple collage.  Five layers of paper stapled with one staple to the index card.

Well, there are 6 more cards till the end of the challenge and some of the prompts are a little far-reaching for me and also I'm doing a little recuperating from some spinal injections that I had yesterday that will hopefully rid me of the pain I've been having from this sciatic problem.  But I am determined to have them done by the 31st.  I've been out of work since July 11 because I've been unable to sit and I haven't done much crafting other than these cards which have helped a little with my sanity.  It's also been one-level crafting and what I mean by that is I've been mainly using what supplies I have managed to bring downstairs from the stamp cave which has been just a slight bit limiting but challenging at the same time.  

My dining room table is a shambles of things, but I don't care.  An artist lives here.  Not a famous one, but one who makes messes when she creates, saves bits and bobs of things she thinks she'll someday use.  Collects boxes and paper, and bottle caps (metal and plastic) with the hope of finding a use for them other than the landfill. 

There are cameras scattered about and any number of projects in various states of completion, or in some cases actually beginning.  

I'm rambling again, so let me get on to those last 6 cards.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Chase

What better to do when you're awaiting the start of the chase than to check the cloud formations, or perhaps a beautiful Queen Anne's lace growing alongside the parking lot of the place you hope to catch sight of ...... wait, what's that you hear?  Not the air-conditioning system of the building you're parked next to, nor a truckload of lions roaring.  Yet, the sound is familiar and it's growing louder by the moment.

And then, between the trees you see it.  Well, in this case it was HWNSNBP who saw it first.  They call it the hare and given the sound you heard, the hounds are not far behind.  But..........they are not coming in your direction.  So you jump back in the car and try to make a calculated guess of which road to take to catch sight of the pack.

And if you're lucky enough in your guessing, you can catch up to the pack and hopefully find a place to pull over despite the numerous EMERGENCY NO PARKING signs along all the roads leading to the starting point that everyone else seems to be disregarding.  It helps when you live in the town and know some of the side roads and also that you not block any driveways or other people's views while you're watching the spectacle before you.

While some of them go up and continue on for a while, some of them don't get very far and look for any open field or yard to land in.

They might even fly over your head.

And it always comes in handy to have someone behind you to hold you up as you're trying to take a picture straight up in the air.

Those characters can get silly sometimes

and just plain make you happy that you got up earlier than you had to on a Saturday morning to take part in the chase.

And then you might pull up the driveway to find this..........

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's Feeding Time

(Make sure you enlarge the frame  to get the full view.)  
I know I said they're not noisy, but here they're fighting to be the first fed.  

And just a little later, they know enough to be silent when a stranger opens the lid of the box giving them the most daylight they've seen so far.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bold, Beautiful Bridal Colors

Aren't these some beautiful bold colors? This is part of a wedding invitation we received for my daughter-in-law's sister's wedding.  Gorgeous!  I was told a friend of hers drew the flowers and used a program, I think, to color them in.  You should see the response card - I told my DIL I didn't want to mail it back because it was so pretty.  It's the same floral outlined in white on kraft colored paper.  So simple and elegant.  

Anyway, when I saw these flowers I immediately thought of 4 of the new SU In-Colors for this year:  Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow, and Tangelo Twist. 

So I was inspired to use these colors for a bridal shower card for her.

I stamped that floral image in VersaMark ink on the Blackberry Bliss background paper first.  I ran a piece of Hello Honey through the Big Shot with a swirly pattern and used a 2/12" punch for the Tangelo Twist circle piece with the simple sentiment of Happiness in Blackberry Bliss.  The floral image was again stamped onto Whisper White with Memento Black ink and then I used an aquapainter and the inks in those new colors to paint it and then fussy cut it out.  On the inside I used another stamped and painted image in the corner before I wrote her a note inside as I couldn't make the shower in person.

They are getting married next month at an outside wedding and I wish them the most beautiful of days!

Friday, July 18, 2014

ICAD 2014 - Week 6

 July 6 - Tag or Label.  I added three little tags of that brightly colored paper tape on a card that I had used as a an experiment for those watercolor flowers a while back.  Then I repeated the colors with the highlighters on the top portion.  

July 7 - Lollipop. Or a bunch of them in Prismacolors.

July 8 - Green.  Positive and negative die cuts in green.  The two branches caught behind some teabag paper and the negative one stitched to it.  My first endeavor sewing paper.  

July 9 - Diagram.  One of the most basic diagrams that I could think of - that of a color wheel using Derwent Inktense pencils and water.  

July 10 - Kaleidoscope.  Overlapping circles of vibrant markers.

July 11 - The Moon.  If you remember the flowers and butterflies from last week that I used the teabag paper over, the basis of this was the watercolors that had bled through the teabag and I had put it aside.  The darker splotches of yellow and blue what was left on the card.  I added some more light yellow around the yellow splotches to make the moon full and then wisped some more watered-down blue throughout the rest of the sky.  Then I took some grey and streaked some clouds across the moon and sky.  It reminded me of the sky as it looked a couple of years ago after the fireworks on the fourth when there was a full moon, though that sky wasn't as blue.

July 12 - Text.  Confession time here.  These last couple of cards were done kind of catch up as I spent another evening in the ER with my sciatic again.  I can't even begin to explain the pain that I've been having and meds are only putting a dent into it.  Out of work again this week and discussing back surgery has been very stressful.  It's not just the sciatic nerve pain.   There are herniated discs and spinal stenosis and time has come to make a decision to improve the quality of my life in dealing with this.  There are options that run from simple to more involved and all of it is a bit, check that, a lot scarier that I would like.  

In the meantime, I am grateful that we put in this kitchen island so I at least have something to lean against and hold myself up as I can't sit without hurting and I prefer not to lay down all day.  

And having these little pieces of art to work on does take my mind off of things of which I am also grateful.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bluebirds, Birthday, and Sympathy

Do you ever remember seeing a bluebird growing up?  I know I don't.  I heard them mentioned in songs and possibly saw pictures in storybooks, but I never saw one until I was a much older adult.  They were on or near the endangered list during my childhood which could explain the lack of siting any.

There were many blue jays to be seen though and I think that to this day most people don't realize that there is a difference between a blue jay and a bluebird.  This disturbs me when I hear people say things about bluebirds like "they're so noisy" or "they're so mean" because most likely they're not referring to a bluebird at all.  

Bluebirds are not noisy.  In fact they have a sweet vocalization and don't scream or caw like the jays.  And unless they're defending their young, they are very docile.  

We have our second clutch of four that hatched last Friday and Saturday and Mr. and Mrs. Blue are taking very good care.

Below you see him at the dish of mealworms that HWNSNBP puts out for them each evening.  

And perched on a dead branch that we allow to remain in the oak tree outside the garden to give us a better view of the parents monitoring the nest without being hidden by the leaves.  These chicks are growing fast.

The bluebirds aren't the only ones with a birthday this month.  Sharing a card below for my cousin who celebrated earlier this month and whom I've not yet had a chance to wish her a happy birthday in person.  Our lives get so busy it seems.  Wish we were more like the birds.

And a sympathy card for my boss who lost his father recently.  This card was inspired by Paula at Stampinantics.  I meant to take a picture of the inside also where I repeated the grass image in the lower corner stamped off in blue.  

Sunrise, sunset.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

ICAD 2014 - Week 5

I figured I'd better shorten up these posts from two weeks to one.  So here goes with Week 5 - 

July 29 - California.  I've been to California once with HWNSNBP back in the mid-90's.  He had won an award from work and that's where the ceremony was to be held.  We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel which overlooks the Pacific.  One of my most vivid memories was the hillside down to the beach - how it was covered with pink and yellow flowers and it was only April.  We were so high up the surfers looked like seals in the water.  Here is my attempt at that hillside in watercolors.

July 30 - Red.  I just received my Stampin' Up Blendabilities and gave the red set a tryout.  

July 1 - Flower Bouquet.  While not necessarily a bouquet, it is a bunch of watercolored flowers more realistic this time.

July 2 - Tea or Coffee.  I have been saving tea bag papers lately.  Why you may ask?  I'm thinking of a project I wanted to try inspired by Kim Henkel at Letting in the Light.  I used tea bag paper here.  I first stamped the floral image on it with Stazon ink and let it dry.  Then I laid the tea bag over the index card and watercolored it.  The watercolors flowed through the tea bag easily onto the index card.  I'll save that card for another time.  This time I took the painted tea bag paper and mod podged it to a blank index card and the painting looked even better.  The butterflies were punch leftovers that I glued on before the final coat of mod podge.

July 3 - Tomorrowland.  I know this was supposed to be a reference to the Tomorrowland in Disney World but instead, as we had Hurricane Arthur approaching tomorrow I cased myself from a tangle I had done when we were awaiting the landfall of Sandy and added the Jersey coastline with the storm spinning away from us.

July 4 - Flag.  There's an ice cream place we stop at sometimes on our way to or from Barnegat and the cones come wrapped in these flag wrappers, which of course, as you can see, I save.  The mosaic pieces I added were from the label on a Cool Whip Container.

July 5 - Postage Stamp.  I love this series of bird stamps and received a card with the painted bunting on it which you know I couldn't throw away.  I used my Prismacolor pencils to first draw the cancellation markings and then to add the colors that you see in the bird between the lines.  Then with my Micron pen I filled in all the white space with parallel lines, adding the stamp at the end.

I know that some of my cards seem a bit "elementary" but I'm trying to use different approaches and different media and leaving my comfort zone.  I already know that there are a number of them that I'd like to do over, or add to, but I want this to be a spontaneous exercise and not something that I'll have to perseverate over.  And so far, it has been fun too.