Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Huge catch-up post on Crafty News!

It's been so long since I've blogged regularly!! February was NOT a good month for me, and I'm hoping March will be much better. I had such a nice bit there where I was feeling better and sleeping like a champ....and then BOOM! right back to square one again. It makes no sense, and I've given up trying to figure it out. I'm "lucky" to get 4-5 hours of sleep at night, and that's not straight through either. Even with a thermacare on my lower back and gobs of bengay on my legs, I can't keep the nerve pain at bay for long. It's much, much worse in the evening and night-time, although I've had several pretty bad days too. *shrugs* It sucks, but it is what it is I suppose.

So I have a ton of photos to share with you! This batch is from February 6th! I got Bella a sewing box kit (sewing for beginners basically) from Amazon, and there are quite a few projects included with it. Here she is with her first project, a stuffed cat. She finished it, and then completed a stuffed elephant. She did a great job and really loved making both!

She got the blue buttons from my crafting stash, as the ones that came with it were really small and she didn't like them. I have quite a few retired embellishments from SU that I probably will never use, so I was happy to let her dig through them and pick these out.

The next set of photos is from February 11th. I was using my then new set from Lawn Fawn Bugs & Kisses. As I've been doing lately, I stamped a ton of images out, colored them and then die cut them. Then I had quite a collection to make into cards.
My desk was invaded by bugs, lol!

Cards I made with them and sent out:

This last one I was revisiting the bokeh technique, and I was trying for a blended, night-time sky. It came out much lighter than I anticipated!! Still I'm pretty happy with it. I ordered new, better quality paint brushes and I'm going to use them the next time I water color. I'm thinking it might make a huge difference in how the backgrounds come out....we'll see!

The next group of photos is dated February 17th. I had made a few more cards, and took photos of some new crafting goodies that had come in.
This card was sent to the woman who had made my stuffed hedgehog! I colored him darker and added gold highlights to match my George! I think it came out pretty cute!

This was a simple card using a small set from Lawn Fawn called Hello Sunshine. I used the rounded journaling die that had just come in.

This was made using a background die that I had had for a longggg time, but had yet to be used yet. (Ooops!) And the Lawn Fawn set Life Is Good. A friend of mine is about to go on a cruise, so I sent this to her to set the mood. I'm hoping it gets to her BEFORE she leaves - stupid, slow mail!!!

I splurged a bit and ordered these amazing dies from Tattered Lace. They are crazy expensive for dies, but the detail can't be beat. (Click to enlarge images!)

A trio of animal print embossing border folders

Journaling die set from Lawn Fawn

Butterfly corner die set from Spellbinders

Swirly background die

Super cheap glittery water color set. I'm going to try them for backgrounds.

I didn't even know I bought these super nice Japanese water color markers!!! I had looked at them but didn't realize I bought them until they arrived. Told you I was tired!!! Nice surprise though. Much like Distress markers, you can paint with these. Very cool!

I'm rather disappointed in these stamps from Taylored Expressions. I thought they were MUCH larger!! Trying to color them has been a real bear, and won't work for me with my pencils, which is what I was aiming for. I'm going to try heat embossing them on water color paper and see if I can paint them with any success. If not, they will go in the sell/donate pile I've been creating!

I bought these WOW embossing powders because they contain glitter - very sparkly!! I used them on the ballerina die cut shown earlier, but I wasn't happy with how it turned out. I'm going to wait and try them on a different project. Stay tuned!

This photo is from February 19th. I was having one of my bad days, so Thomas agreed to bring home dinner that night. Along with the food, he stopped by the florist for this lovely bouquet too! LOVE THAT MAN!!!

Our 13th wedding anniversary was on March 2nd, and I made Thomas this card!

I wasn't feeling well, but I still made a nice dinner, baked a cake and made him a card! And it was all worth it, because the next day he came home in the middle of the day to bring me this...
Finally!!! My huge Lawn Fawn ordered had arrived!!!
These are from the winter CHA and I had been admiring them online for months!

Of course the first card I made was for Thomas!

So there you have it. Not a lot of crafting going on, but a little here and there. I have two sheets of card stock stamped up with some of the new sets, and I will be coloring those up next. It's hard to get the energy to drag myself upstairs to stamp when I'd rather be comatose on the couch!!! But these cards aren't going to make themselves, right??? If I'm going to spend all this money, I need to USE them!! :D

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #300

Welcome to WOYWW!!!! It's number 300!!! I can't believe it - Wow!!! I wasn't going to participate this week, as I have been in a really deep funk because of my lack of sleep and the nerve pain in my feet and legs. Each makes the other worse - ugh. But I couldn't miss this great milestone of Julia's and everyone who comes to visit at The Stamping Ground! So I hope you will join along in the weekly world-wide snoop of amazing crafter's desks!!

My desk this week:
Rather a mess, with far too much stuff on it, LOL!!! Ah, but such delightful stuff though! My long-awaited order from Lawn Fawn (or Lawn FUN, as we call it over here!) arrived yesterday!!!!! And my dear husband brought it home for me in the middle of the day, rather than make me wait til he came home in the evening. He gave up his lunch for ME!!! I did make him a thank you card yesterday, using some of the new dies and stamps I got in, which I will post later today. You'll see I've completely covered two sheets of white card stock (from Paper Temptress!), with images from three of the new sets. I think my Copics will be getting quite a workout very soon!!!

And because I know you are all just as nosy as I am, I've shared a photograph showing ALL the delightful goodies that came in the order!!! I haven't spent this much money at one time in a long while, and it will be a much longer while before I do so again. So I will just thoroughly enjoy it!
(Click to enlarge photo!)

Thank you so much for popping by! I will be posting later today (*fingers crossed*) showing all the crafting that has been going on, here and there, over the past month or so. I'm afraid I've been a bad blogger the past month, so lots to catch up on. Take good care, have fun, and feel free to leave some comment love before you head off to the next desk!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Creative Blog Hop!

I was nominated by my friend and fellow stamper Heidi Weaver, to participate in this rather unique Blog Hop about a month ago. Even with my poor sleep and nearly constant level of pain, I figured somewhere, some time in a month I could find the time to make a card or project, right? But still, no reason to rush when there's gobs of time to procrastinate, LOL!!! Until there's only a couple of days left and then true panic sets in!!!! I had some new things I could use, and thought I'd start there. I must have tried at least a half dozen ideas, none of which was working at all before I was pretty much ready to admit defeat. But I had given my word, and that's never something I take lightly. So I began again. Since none of the "fancy" things I was attempting to do would come together properly for me, I thought I had best stick to what I'm really good at - color.

I love color. I mean, I really, really, really love color! I'm the girl that has ALL the Copic colors and still wishes they would come out with some new ones!!! And not just color, but different coloring mediums. I love new ways to color, with new colors to play with. From water color paints, to Copics, to pencils, to crayons, to ink pads, to embossing name it, I've probably got it (and all the colors it comes in)!! So with coloring in mind, I then had to decide what to color. *nutz* Now I really felt like giving up!!!! How was I suppose to choose from the thousands of stamps I have??? Luckily, I quickly came across Corner Garden from Stampin Up, a large background stamp that I had yet to ink up! Yay!

My card:

I stamped the image on smooth white card stock from Paper Temptress, that I used a stitched rectangle die to cut it out first. I then used painter's tape to block off the borders before stamping. I used Momento Tuxedo Black ink to stamp the image. For the coloring, I used Spectrum Noir's blendable pencils and blended the colors with Gamsol (orderless mineral spirits) and a paper blending stump. The background "dots" were used with four shades of blue Copics. The sentiment is from Fabulous Fuchias from Clearly Besotted Stamps. I really wanted to add more to the card, but adding "more" made the card feel like "less". Having just a cleanly matted image made it pop more than by having any other embellishments to distract from the bold colors. So for once, I left it be!

And now for the question part of this Blog Hop:

#1. What are you working on now? Well, I have at least half a dozen things on my desk and floor that might very well turn into something fabulous if I'm not under the gun to produce them!!! I also need to make the perpetual calendar project I bought in the attempt to NOT miss any of my friend's and family's birthdays or anniversaries!! But I can't really say I'm actively working on anything specific at the moment.

#2. How does your work differ from others in your genre? I'm not really sure! Although I'll go through temporary phases of a certain kind of card, my only real consistency is INconsistency! I get bored very easily, so I like new things, new techniques, new stamps, or just new ways of using the things I already have. I love NEW!!!! While I'm primarily a card maker, I do also enjoy the occasional 3D project as well.

#3. Why do you create what you do? I've never really considered myself "creative" until I discovered stamping. I always wanted to be able to paint and draw, and while I'm the worst partner you could imagine for Pictionary, with stamping I can make beautiful images that come alive off the paper. I love the thrill of bringing a blank piece of card stock to life. I consider a card a "hug with a fold in the middle", and there are a lot of hugs needed in the world today! I often think of the person I'm creating the card for while making it, sending my love, prayers and best wishes to them with each step of the process.

#4. How does your creativity work? Well, there's this....
 ...and of course this too!
I don't have a set routine for making anything! I'd say it usually either starts with a technique I want to try, and then I'll find stamps to fit that idea, or I'll have a stamp set that I want to use, and I'll figure out how I want to use it. Lately with my sleeping interfering with just about everything (!!!), I've taken to stamping a ton of images on a sheet or two of quality card stock, and then I can color and die cut them out as I have time/energy and have them on hand to make up a stack of cards at one time. The only problem with that is that by the time they are all stamped, colored and die cut...I'm usually bored of them by then!! But at least it gets some "therapy time" in and I can send out cards once in a while! :)

I'd like to thank Heidi for thinking of me for this Hop, and I encourage you to check out her beautiful blog, Stampin Along With Heidi!! (She posts far more regularly than I do as well!!!) And lastly, I was to choose two nominees to continue with the Hop for next week. I chose Emily Thompson from Stampin by the Sea, and Charlie-Louise Camp from Craft Room Diary. Both are phenomenal crafters and fabulous women - you won't want to miss it so mark your calendars for next Monday when they strut their stuff!!