Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sweet 16 Vintage Style

   Just a quick post to share my latest make ... a commissioned Sweet 16 Shadow Box featuring a sage green dress to match the party girl's dress, and some vintage embellisments as her theme will be vintage. She wanted sage, gold and white colors.  I so love making these special keepsakes!  This shadow box is a 10x10 inch size. I get them in white and black at Joanns and the do feature a glass cover with the frame.
     Once again, as in my other Sweet 16 Shadow Boxes, HERE I began with a Sizzix Bigz Gown die cut (5.5 inches long) using thick chipboard, and painted it to match the color of the dress. Then I add gathered tulle, satin and lace on top and secured it to the chipboard form. I also did the same for the top of the dress. I especially love this little vintage necklace and earring set I bought from an Ebay store who makes jewelry accessories for Barbie Dolls! I cut the clasp off the necklace and the post off the earrings and used the necklace for the drop waist sash and the earrings as dress embellishments in both front and back of the dress.
     Once again, I used Tim Holtz mirror paper and cut out a mirror oval with my Spellbinder oval dies and used another Sizzix ornate frame die on which to mat the mirror. As I use dimensional adhesive to secure the dress to the background, it allows the back of the dress to be viewed in the mirror creating a cool effect. I also used a Spellbinder border die to cut the 10 inch border attached to the inner frame.
     The design paper is from Maja, flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and Prima and the lace and bit of pearls on a string in cream color are from Live and Love crafts.
     These are custom made shadow boxes and they are available for special order in my ETSY shop.  Thank you so much for stopping by, and, as always, for your kind comments.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Little Mermaid- Michele R Designs Design Team

     Happy Sunday.. we're having a heat wave here in New York but I will take it! Hope you are enjoying sunshine wherever you are!  As you know, I love, love, love mermaids. This one has just been added to my collection.  That combined with the fabulous Michele R Designs digital papers made for a fun & colorful card for my Michele R Designs dt post today! Warning: Photo intense post!
     Where to begin...first, I fell in love with these digital papers from Michele R Designs called "Designer Grunge". You can find them HERE.  I so love the collections Michele creates, not only for the 6x6 and 12x12 designer papers, but also for the  Inserts and Elements coordinating collections (see pic below). The best part is that you never run out of them. Here are some of the printed papers from the collection (which I print on 8.5x11 inch, Neenah Bright White 65lb paper which I get at Office Max and print on an Inkjet printer.) The "doily" print is one of the "inserts" which are used to decorate the inside of my them!
  Right about the time I decided on these papers, I saw a blogpost by Patty Sue Chapman of Ink it Up where she colored up this absolutely adorable new mermaid digital stamp, "Little Mermaid" by Raul Guerra.  It is available HERE at his new ETSY shop. I HAD to buy it and color it up the same day!
      The image was colored with copic markers (see colors below) on Make it Colour cardstock.  I cut her out using Spellbinder grand ovals & grand scalloped ovals using Bazzill Swiss Dots cardstock in turquoise as a mat.  I distressed the edges of all the design papers with the new Tim Holtz distress ink called "Mermaid Lagoon" which is a perfect match for those bright BG copics.  (BG 000, 00, 02,05, 09 and BV29 for deep shading). While the image comes with hair drawn on, I embellished it further with C9,7, 5 and 3 to make it pop!
     The sentiment is a digital sentiment from Create with TLC Artfire HERE, called "Serenity of the Sea."  I love to incorporate them when using digital images-  just size and merge with digi image and print out.
      Last, I added some cream mesh, flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and in between the flowers I added tiny pools of glue and poured on multi-size pearls.  Beneath the pearls, I used a fun die cut from Memory Box, "Sketchy Rings"
Here are papers from the same collection which I used to decorate the inside of my card. The doily is part of the design paper, not separate, and you can stamp a sentiment or merge one from a digital collection right onto the paper!  Each insert collection comes with several different inserts all using a match to one of the design papers. Both the top gingham and the bottom doily with flowers are part of this "Designer Grunge" collection. 
        Thanks so much for hanging with me for this looong post, and as always, for your kind comments. Have a great day! This card is available for purchase in my ETSY shop! SOLD

I will be entering this card in the following challenges:
The Outlawz- At the Beach 
Color Q- Color Inspiration
Deep Ocean Challenge- Maritime
Pile it On- Bright Colors

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Little Bit Girly- Die Cuts and Lace - Little Girl Shadow Box

     Happy Wednesday.. Just wanted to share a commission piece I finished for a little girl's bedroom. Her Mom wanted an 8x8 inch Shadow Box that featured the items you see in a 10x10 inch "Sweet 16 Shadow Box" HERE that I sold in my ETSY store, but the one below is for a girl who is three years old and her Mom wants to hang in her bedroom. The date is the little girl's birthdate as per her Mom's request, and she wanted it as a keepsake for her daughter!  I so love making these altered dresses. 

     Let me begin by saying I am so grateful to Angela Holt for her amazing youtube tutorials that inspire me to create these dresses!  Since this was going to be included in a shadow box, I needed to be mindful of the depth of the box and how "poofy" the dress could be. Because it would be encased in this glass enclosed box, I began with a base of the Sizzix Bigz L Dress Die HEREI cut it out of thick chipboard and then coated with gesso. Afterward, I used Tim Holtz Acrylic Paint in the color of the dress- in this case "Pink Sherbert".  The TH acrylic paints cover chipboard so much better than my other acrylic paints. I do this on BOTH sides of the die cut. You will notice that for this dress, I cut away the little "straps" and made it strapless which makes adding the fabric much easier.
   Then the fun begins. I start with a layer of folded 2"wide strips of pink tulle -using a hot glue gun or Fabri -Tac- around the waist to secure it. I only do this on the front of the dress because it must lay flat. I trim the tulle hem with scissors when done so it hangs right below the scallops of the die.  I then added the lace the same way, pinching and making pleats as I glue but I add the lace around the entire die cut. I love using lace with a finished edge and here the scallop mimics the scallop of the die cut.  I always begin attaching fabric at the back of the die cut and end there neatly folding over each edge for a clean seam down the back.  I do this because I mount this dress on Tim Holtz "mirror" cardstock HERE and I want the back of the dress to be as visible and pretty as the front, depending on how large the mirror and how much of the dress is shown. The pic below shows the top part of the back of the dress reflected in the mirror and you can see a hint of the sash, pearls and there is one rose in the center back that matches the small front roses. No matter at what angle you view the shadow box, you see the back of the dress and it is so pretty.
    Once done with the skirt, I add my lace to the top of the dress. NOTE: I found lace trim at Joanns where the scallops perfectly matched the sweetheart it was easy peasy to match up and glue on, again beginning and ending at the back of the dress with a folded over seam, and adding dots of glue at the edge of the lace only.  Now you can see why I painted the die cut as any pink that shows through blends beautifully!
   Last, I added some lace pearl trim as a sash -beginning and ending in back of the die cut and covered where the ends met with a rose.  As the top is added last and its edge hangs OVER the top of the skirt, that along with the sash hides the top of the skirt that was glued down first.  After that, you can add pearls, sequins, and glitter...but since this was for a little girl, I made it much more juvenile than I would a teen or adult design.
     Last, I added a "mirror" using two Spellbinder Dies, ovals and Floral Oval dies. I attached pearls around the mirror to accent it. The beautiful 8 inch (yes 8 inch) Lattice Valance border die is from Cheery Lynn HERE... so beautiful and perfect for my 8x8 inch shadow boxes. I attached it to the front of the box to give dimension to the other elements most of which are attached with foam tape. I will be using this border a lot! I ran it through my xyron and added glitter to the die cut to make it pop. The resin frame is from Prima, flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and filmstrip from Tim Holtz.  Last the gorgeous paper is from Maja- "Sofiero- Strolling down the Rose Path". (HINT: I waited until the LAST and I mean LAST minute to pull off the release paper from the mirror paper. This way the "mirror" was not scratched and no glitter attached to it.  As soon as I did it, I adhered the dress and put it in a safe place until all other paper, die cuts and embellies were glued in place and it was last to be secured! )
  I hope you are inspired to use your die cuts in a different way and to experiment with fabric. Have a great day, and as always, thank you for your kind comments!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Here Comes the Bride - Michele R Designs

          Good Morning.  I am stopping by to share a commission card and MR Designs design team project I just finished for a lovely bride-to-be!  I just love love love this Mo Manning "The Other Bride" image. I have had the pleasure of working with her for many projects and it is so much fun color coordinating the image and design papers to match the actual wedding party! You can find Mo's "The Other Bride" HERE in her shop!
     The image is colored with copic markers and I used the "C's" (C0, C1, C3 and colorless blender) to add dimension to her white dress. You can work with pale blues, BV's or the N and T copics to achieve the "white" look you want. There are many tutorials on my Pinterest board on coloring "white".
      On to my card...first up- the "bling" pic.. yes, love to play with my camera to capture the sparkle on a card like this!

And here is a close up. I used a glue pen on her veil, flowers, bottom of dress and headpiece and added some "Glamour Dust" to those areas to make her shine!
      Speaking of design paper ... How wonderfully ironic that the colors of the bridal party for whom I created this card matched the new Michele R Designs "Romantic Shabby Chic" collection just released. I used several of the 6x6 inch papers and then the inserts for inside my card (see pics below). There are also two other coordinating collections, "12x12" and "Elements" which feature sentiments, bows, and other paper add ons to complete your project!
     My favorite paper from this collection is the 6x6 paper that has these lacey borders you can see behind my image above and in the "work in progress" pic below. I cut one out (there are three on a sheet), edged it (along with all the papers) with Black Soot and the new Hickory Smoke Distress Inks and placed it over my lace.  Last, I added Wild Orchid Crafts and Recollections flowers, pearls, a doily die cut (Cheery Lynn Designs) and a vintage rhinestone button over white ribbon to embellish my bride.
    Here is one of the "inserts" that I used for inside my card. I added a text sentiment that was requested using my photo editing software - just open up the file, click "add text" and add in the font you want. Makes creating the inside of the card so easy and elegant!

Decisions, decisions....

 "Romantic Shabby Chic" 6x6
"Romantic Shabby Chic" Inserts.

     Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. I will be entering this card in the following challenges:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Angels Will Find Us - Michele R Designs

    Good Morning! I am so happy to share that I was invited to join the super talented design team for Michele R Designs!  Michele Roos creates so many stunning design papers sure to fit any occasion or style! I feel like a kid in a candy store- I don't know which collection to play with next.  The collection I used on my card today is Cottage Garden. I used the 6x6 inch paper and the tags from the Elements papers which I cut down for my sentiment. The possibilities are endless...since a picture is worth a thousand words, let me just show you!

    What you may or may not know about Michele's paper collections is that they include a complete collection in digital format! Many collections feature 6x6 inch and  12x12 inch sizes and you can add on those coordinating extras such as her "Elements" sheets and Inserts! Wow, no longer am I struggling to find space for my paper pads and I never run out of my "favorite" sheets from each collection.
The inserts are so beautiful and they solve the problem of what to add to the inside of the card. They are beautifully decorated with a blank doily which allows you to add your own sentiment- by hand or merged from your favorite sentiment collections!    Note: I used 65lb cardstock from Darice to print my papers on an Epson wide format inkjet printer- each package comes in 8.5x11 AND 12x12 format!  It is available at Joanns online and in store as well as AC Moore and Amazon! Feels and works exactly like my paper pad design paper.

 For my card, I decided to play with a youtube tutorial I saw awhile ago by Angela Holt.  These papers yelled "shabby chic" and so I tried my hand at layering lace and doilies and snippets of organza roses (I cut them apart) among the cascade of flowers. I added some twine, pearls and butterflies (cut from the design paper using a MS butterfly punch) and the lovely sentiment is a rubber stamp by Quiet Fire Designs
        If you would like to see more of Michele's beautiful papers and see the creations by other design team members, you can visit any of the links below. We would love for you to join the facebook site as well! Just click on any of the links below to stop by.

    Thanks so much for you kind comments. Have a great day! I will be entering this card in the following challenges:
Papertake Weekly- Anything Goes
Card Mania Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers and More- Sentiment 
Come and Get It Challenges- Anything goes with Flowers
Sparkles Forum- Vintage or Shabby Chic
Cardabilities - Sketch Challenge


Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Reflection...

 Many, many years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble onto Suzanne Dean's youtube channel and discover the world of rubber stamp images and copics. I was mesmerized by the art of coloring and from that point on, I became a voracious student of coloring images!  I found other "copic superstars" and inhaled all their wisdom in an effort to better my work!

When I thought my work was worthy of sharing, as many of us do, I started a blog- how exciting for me to enter contests, challenges, and read so many wonderfully kind comments. Then the next progression, being asked to join design teams. Oh, my, how wonderful to be asked by some of the most creative and generous artists to join with other artists- many of whom became longtime friends- and create together! Truly a dream come true!

     Life dealt me a few blows over the years and sadly I had to resign from some of the teams, and my departure was always met with gratitude and I was sent away with prayers or good wishes to resolve whatever issues prevented me from staying on.  As many of us know, our home and creative life can often clash!  Yet, working on design teams has always been one of the most positive experiences of my creative life.

      I found myself thinking deeply about what separates the really great design teams from others that are fraught with drama?  I came to many realizations and decided it would be worth it to share.  

  •    Good Design Teams are the heart and soul of  a company and can bring images and dies and papers to life. They create inspiration for all to see and emulate and hopefully in the process, help the designer gain a following and an artist (or company) gain sales!  A win-win for both!  
  • Good design teams inspire its members to challenge themselves to grow creatively, to take risks and to contribute all they can to "spread the word" and build a company's following.  
  • Good Design Teams are comprised of people from different parts of the world with different life experiences who become a "family" and they support one another personally and creatively. As such, disagreements are worked out, without fear or reprisals, in the open with input from all.
  • Good Design Teams are about give and take.  When team requirements and rules are changed, they are openly discussed with members and members have an opportunity to share concerns which are heard with respect and consideration.
  • Good Design Teams are led by someone who understands the position is not a paid job and therefore values and shows appreciation for the time, cost and energy of promoting the products.
  • Good Design Teams allow members freedom to choose whom they wish to share a friendship, they do not mandate who a person can and cannot talk to.  
  • Finally, the best design teams are about sharing the ups and downs of life.  They are about sharing laughter and tears, children being born and others moving away, relationships gained and relationships lost, illness, loss, change with people who are genuinely caring.. all while talking color combinations, favorite design papers and the latest tools!
     If, like me, you have been lucky to know many of the finest artists, design team owners and stamp company artists in the industry or work for and alongside someone in any of those categories, count yourself truly blessed for having had the experience
     However, when disturbing and negative situations erupt, it makes you question how something so simple like playing with markers and inks and papers can turn some people so ugly, and whether or not you want to remain a part of it... then you remember the people who encouraged you and mentored you.. you remember the fulfilling experiences shared with the most giving people you met, and you  have faith you will find your way to them once again.  
     I have always subscribed to the belief that the "universe" puts you exactly where you are meant to be, even when it feels you are standing alone. In time, you come to see that with great clarity and gratitude that it was for the best especially when you know you have not forfeited an ounce of your integrity in the process.
     For now, I take a deep breath, cut loose all toxic people and situations, and turn the page.  I have replaced the negativity with positive energy, and the kind words and supporting validation - true gifts- from so many friends have helped me put this experience in my rear view mirror!  
   I look forward to sharing some new adventures and new projects with you...Have a great day!

Sentiment: Create by TLC 
Design Paper: Shabby Vintage Rose, Michele Roos

Friday, May 15, 2015

Moments that take your breath away- Pion Love

     Happy Weekend!!! Hoping wherever you are that you are enjoying this fabulous weather! I am here today to share my card with you.  I have been looking at my sentiment stamps a bit differently these days and am finding it so much fun to create a project using sentiment stamps and die cuts as my focal point.
     Why not look at your sentiments in a different way?   So many of the sentiments  can be used for so many occasions, not just birthdays. This happens to be one of my favorite sayings as well!  The design paper is from Pion, which I distressed with my Zutter distress tool. I added some mulberry paper roses, lace, pearls, cheesecloth, shabby burlap, MS punched butterflies and a lace flower from Petaloo to embellish my card.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. Counting the days down until school ends and summer fun begins. Have a great weekend!
I will be entering the following challenges:
Polkadoodles- Things with Wings
Kitty Bee Designs- In the Garden 
Stempelsonne - Stamp as Main Focus

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