Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sassy Cheryl's: #177 Vintage Creams & Whites

This week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's is vintage and creams.  I immediately thought of this image, an older one.  She is so vintage.  This one is really simple-a couple of dies by Making Memories, lace with pearls, and then some pearl pen accents.  Except for the candy cane, I used only Copics from the "E" family...you Copic ladies know what I'm talking about!

Now, being the rule follower that I am (ahem, my Sassy colleagues!), I really tried to stick to the theme...apparently, you have a bit of flexibility!  Soooo, just use a Sassy Cheryl's image (that's a MUST!) and create a card with a Vintage feel using cream and white and, well, have fun!

Other challenges I plan to enter with this card:
Creative Creations Challenge Blog - 2W, E3, C10 - (2nd week) Anything Goes
Digi Sketch Challenge - 2W - (1st week) Anything Goes
Lady Anne's Challenge - M, E3, C10, papercrafts - (July) Monochrome
Lexi's Creations - 2W - (2nd week) Christmas in July

Monday, July 29, 2013

Splash of Color at CKU, Lancaster

This is what I did this past Thursday...and Friday and Saturday...

"Anyone going to be at CKU, Lancaster..."

I wasn't planning on it, but I've always wanted to go.  As one who LOVES scrapping and card making and altered arts, and a  long time subscriber to Creative Keepsakes publications, I was sure it would be a wonderland.  This was an opportunity to work with a woman I knew from my MA days...a woman who is enormously talented.  Cheryl Mezzetti is somewhat of an icon in the world of altered arts.  She worked at a Crafting store I frequented back in the day.  Her work was extraordinary from the get go.  She was "discovered", has been on any number of design teams and is currently the Education Director for Splash of Color.us.  She needed an extra set of hands to help in her booth.

Inquiring minds want to know... I shot her an e-mail.  Back and forth... decided to go for the experience, and what an experience it was!  Three days of non-stop, hard work, lots of laughs, interactions with the nicest people one could ever hope to meet, seeing long lost friends, little food, little sleep, and dazzeling products...phew!

And, now a memory...  With nearly 48 hours of recuperation under my belt, I'm now able to say, I had fun!  Had you asked me Saturday night around 11 pm, as I drove home in the dark, totally sleep deprived, extraordinarily hungry, oh, so sore and completely lost (thanks a lot Siri-my love affair with you is tarnished!) well, let's just say, you might have gotten a different story!  Ah, but now the memories, the satisfaction of a job well done, the inspiration, the good times...those are what come to mind!

Cheryl brought a long her friend and colleague, Lynne Forsythe, a design team member at Splash of Color.us.  Lynne is a delight...warm, friendly, enthusiastic, and compassionate as I discovered in a moment of , "I need a minute..."  (I was way over-tired, a bit hungry, and in that moment, a little overwhelmed...it happens!)  Oh, and did I mention, she, too is a creative genius!

The booth was hopping-arguably, the most popular booth there.  That isn't to say that there weren't other fabulous booths there...there were!   Had I gone as a "guest" it could have been a very expensive proposition!  My purpose was not to shop, but to SEE and see I did!  Sensory overload!

Splash of Color features LuminArte and Viva products.  Crafters everywhere are familiar with the Twinkling H2Os--I have them!  Up until Friday, I had never heard of Silks.  I didn't knowing what they were, and I certainly didn't care if I ever had them!  Now, well, let's just say, my Copics may have to share the love!  These paints are gorgeous.  I watched Cheryl layer color on color-colors that traditionally create mud...she took ordinary card board, the stuff folks recycle daily, and created art!  And, then she used stencils and Ferro and Crackle Paint and Glitter Pens...oh, my!

Cheryl and Lynne demoed product all day everyday.  I rang register, answered questions, and learned.  We had folks crowding the booth, up to 4 and 5 people deep, waiting for a turn to "play" with this line of product!  If they tried it, they had to have it---clearly addictive!  Look at those yummy colors!

If you haven't seen this product and you LOVE to create, you've got tot check it out!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge: #176 Best Friends Forever (BFF)

This week at Sassy Cheryl's-BFF- Best Friends Forever!  I think Maddie and Max certainly qualify as BFFs.  They are so often together experiencing all the wonderful moments of childhood.  

I colored with Copics, used a little twine and this cute nautical paper.  

I know you probably have at least one BFF.  Oh, I know, best implies only one, but as the comedian Jeannie Robertson will tell you, Southern gals have 
lots of "best" friends.  I'm here to tell you Northern gals can have more than one, too!  This can pose a bit of a dilemma...to identify your VERY BEST friend, well, (s)he's your bestest friend ( auto-correct does NOT like this term!  

Other challenges I plan to enter:
Time 4 Scrap - W, 3E, C5 #8  Water
Hobbycutz  2W, 3ESIO - (1st week) Summer  (ends 3rd August)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mo's Digital Pencil:Turquoise

I've had a couple of wins this week, one of them was at Mo's Digital Pencil!  Whoo hoo!  Neither win is a testament to my card making skills, but hey, I'll take it!  Actually, I don't consider myself a "winner".  Generally speaking, I don't enjoy "good luck" though after my lucky wins this last week, I seriously considered buying a lottery ticket!  Off I went to Mo's store and I picked up these two cuties---and, of course, it cost me a little money, but I just had to have BOTH of them!  I pulled out my turquoise Copic marker, and went to town.  I had some scraps of this DP, used some solid card stock and made two fun cards.  The epoxy "bubbles" have been in my stash for a LONG time---pretty sure they came from Michael's.  I thought they worked :-)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nature's Creations...

We have a butterfly bush in our backyard.  Today, we noted lots of activity at the bush!  Our heat index is over 100 degrees so I haven't been spending much time outside, but I had to try and get some pictures of these beauties!  I got as close as I dared.  At first, they fluttered high above the bush.  No sudden movements...I was quiet and still.  They apparently decided it was safe, dove down and started sipping the sweet nectar.  The yellow one, while beautiful, is not unusual.  If I spot a butterfly, it's one of these. Ah, but the black one, now that was a beauty.  (S)he was quite large, too.  A few minutes out there observing nature, and I was ready to return to my delightfully cool home!

Remember to "Stay COOL and carry on!"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Little Bit Mo...

It's too hot to be outside today so, this morning, I did a bit of coloring and creating.  
This time, inspired by Mo's images...

I love this guy-he's just perfect for most men I know!  I decided to try the Copic technique using a rag and colorless blender.  I really like it-and you know what that means, you'll be seeing it again!

Here's a close up...

I was on a roll... (and, to be honest, procrastinating, too!)

...and, yup, I did the colorless blender technique, again!  I used the DP scraps from the first card.  This DP has been in my stash for, oh, 7 years.  I've done a few scrapbook pages with it, but kind of done with it in my scrapbooks!  It's from MME: Wild Asparagus.

...and, finally, this one...

Now, can I just say, I HATE that I've put the watermark smack dab in the middle of these cards, but I know I have to watermark...my program gives me options that include upper & lower, left & right or the middle.  The other four options don't even touch the images, so here it is-right in the middle.  Sigh...a few bad apples, as they say!

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge #175 Outdoor Fun & Games

This week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's is Outdoor Fun & Games.  The DT has really knocked my socks of with some incredible cards!  

I decided to use some of those under-used dies.   I think they are all Memory Box.  No designer papers were used this time-just several colors of card stock.  There are 5 layers-pine trees, the houses on the hill, and then three layers of grass, the backdrop for Max's adventure!  I'm guessing he's kind of new to this skateboard thing.  I'm sure his Mom doesn't know he's jetting down the street sans helmet and knee pads, but I think this boy is a bit of a dare devil!  He looks a wee bit unsure!  No worries, though, he's fine...I know the end of the story :-)  The little tag reads embrace possibility ( watermark obstructs the view a little!)

And, of course, I colored with Copics...LOVE my Copics!

Do join us this week for the Sassy Cheryl's challenge!  Remember to use a Sassy Cheryl's image-lots to pick from.  

Other challenges I plan to enter with this card:
Created With Love - W, 3E, C10 - Anything Goes
Digi Sketch Challenge - 2W - (2nd week) Sketch* and/or Theme: "Lots of Layers"
MarkerPOP Challenge - 2W, 2E, C10, must use Markers - (2nd week) Anything Goes

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Works of He{ART}

Wouldn't it be great if...

 I could actually make a little money doing what I love to do?!

Since I've been in this location, I have been unemployed, or rather, not working for money.  My mother, a widow, needed help managing her day to day life.  Her body was failing, but she was sharp, alert, and loved both her home and her community.  She wanted to stay home until she couldn't.  I could make that possible, but it meant giving up my job.  With my husband's support, I became my mother's companion/caretaker, a job that I took seriously.  I was paid in hugs!

As with all decisions, there is a "cost", but I have never regretted our decision to keep my mother comfortably at home for her last years. Sadly, my "job" came to an abrupt end as those jobs do.  My husband retired (he's a wee bit older than I am ;-), and once again, I have to reinvent myself.

Once again...

Life is about change.  We like to think we are ultimately in control of our destiny, but, if you are afforded the luxury of a long life, at some point, you DO realize that you have limited control!  For every action we take, there is a reaction.  Sometimes we can predict outcomes, and sometimes we can't!

I love being a part of this rural community.  I share a beautiful home with my husband, our two dogs, and two cats (both cats inherited!).  My days are busy with friends, volunteer activities, creating, cleaning (okay, I don't do this as often as I should!), reading...but really, I need to supplement our, now, somewhat restricted, income.

A teacher by training, my certification has lapsed.  I can get that up to speed but to what end?  They're NOT hiring.  If they do have a vacancy, well, it goes to the young, the inexperienced with a bit less education than I currently have because, we all know, it's all about the money.  The young do, of course, need those jobs and are perhaps better suited to the demands of today's classroom though there is something to be said for experience!  It's funny isn't it!  I remember a time when the interview process focused on lack of experience.  The tables turn!

I am also at a stage where flexibility has appeal.  A job at a craft store would be just my speed.  I'd love to interact with customers, to teach classes...  There aren't any craft stores within, oh, at least 40 miles of here, and those are the big chain stores.  It hardly makes sense to commute 2 hours round trip for a minimum wage job, if I were able to get one.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me to create custom cards for her---and she paid me!  Several other friends saw the end result and urged me to put together a price list, create a brochure and some business cards.  Hmmm...

I am currently working on a brochure for custom cards and scrapbooks.  How does one determine prices?  I set about researching what others are charging for their creations and developed what I hope is a competitive price list.  I'll never get rich!  Materials are expensive.  Scrapbooks are labor intensive.     I don't honestly know if people will want what I can do!  Time will tell!

I've decide to call this little adventure, 


by AE designs

I actually tried this once before, after the death of both my father and son.  My husband was transferred which required me to give up my job.  It was a terrible year.  Who was I, if not my father's daughter?  Who was I, if not Erik's mother?  What was my purpose, if not to teach?   It was a period of reinvention, redefining who I am and what I do.   My husband suggested I try creating scrapbooks for people, but I didn't know anyone and was clueless about marketing.  Happily, I found a job as a director of a preschool and did some teaching for a homeschoolers cooperative.  I scrapped in the evenings and on weekends just for fun!  

During that period, I did take some online classes at Big Picture.  I developed a logo of sorts when taking a Big Picture class with Donna Downey.  It was the only thing I did in that class that got high praise from Donna...I'll take it!  That was 7 years ago, so with the original in hand, I decided to update it a bit.  This is the 2013 version-just a few tweaks!

When I joined my mother here, I had limited time and few materials.  My workspace was a t.v. tray in the family room.  It was then that I discovered card making and "digi" stamps.    I also discovered an online community of crafters who were my source of support and inspiration while I was pretty much house bound with my Mom.  I applied for a few design teams and began working for digis!  Those opportunities introduced me to a new world of people and creative expression.  I am forever grateful! 

Once again, I'm going to put myself out there.  This has NEVER been easy for me.  I am not a hard-sell-I am not good at selling myself (or anything else, for that matter!)  I am not aggressive, not even assertive, really.  Whatever I do, someone else can certainly do better.  However, what I can do is TRY!  Whatever I do, I do it to the best of my ability.  I AM a hard worker.  I do have an artistic eye---or so I've been told (and not just by my Mom!)


Friday, July 12, 2013

Mo's Challenge: LOVE!

So, last week, I waited until Wednesday to post my card for Mo's challenge.  What with one thing and another, I missed the deadline by oh, probably 30 minutes!  This week's challenge is "Celebrate Love." This little fellow loves his puppy!  I made a simple card, a smaller one...

I colored the image twice so I could add a layer.   His little head, his forearms, and the puppy are all "popped"!   I'm headed over to Mo's right now---going to make it this week :-)

Other challenges I plan to enter:

    Creative Corner - W, 3E  - No.27 - Anything Goes
    Inspire Me Fridays W - No. 111 - Anything Goes!
    Sweet Pea Stampers - 2W, SIO, E3 - Week 2 - for the men/boys

    Thursday, July 11, 2013

    Show Me Thursday At Sassy Cheryl's


    It's SHOW ME THURSDAY!  So, this is actually what I did this afternoon after doing "book work"-volunteer activities that require lots of word processing.  I decided to have a little fun, a reward, for accomplishing the days tasks.  I've had this image for a couple of weeks and decided it needed to be colored up.  I used the sketch from Sketch Saturday.  SASSY CHERYL is sponsoring the challenge this week-now, there's a good reason to play, right?!

    Here's the sketch:

    Well, I'm off---time to get dinner started :-)

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Mo's Digital Pencil Challenge-F is for...

    Mo's Digital Pencil has an interesting challenge this week..

    "F" is for...

    Feeling better...




    4 cards, one entry...I decided to use some DP that's been in my stash for years.  So, one morning, I printed these mighty cute images first on coloring card stock and then on the striped DP---thought I'd do a bit of paper piecing.  With all the colors picked out in advance, it was pretty "quick".  The designs are fairly simple-that's how I roll!

    Card #1 was made for a friend who just had a much awaited kidney transplant.  I love this guy-he's perfect for men of a "certain age".  There are so few images that really are appropriate for men...thank you, Mo!

    Card #2 is made for just about any occasion-perhaps a thinking of you or a thank you, but definitely for a friend!  I used a rubber stamp on the blank sign board!  I love this sign board-it makes the image so versatile!

    Card #3 -I was lucky enough to get this freebie image from Mo---every now and then, she posts a freebie-you've got to be quick!  I am afraid I do check Face Book far more frequently than I used to...no games, though!  I hate to think how much time I'd spend there if I got involved in games!

    Card #4---a fairy!  Mo does the sweetest little fairies.  This one is for the wife of the man that just got the transplant!  This has been a journey for them BOTH!  She needs to know she is thought of, too!

    So, there you have it...  

    Other challenges I plan to enter:
    Crafts and Me - 2W - #138 Anything Goes (ends Jul 24
    Nutcrafters - 2W, SIO, 1E -  #47 for boys
    Whimsical Designs - 1ECAS

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Sassy Cheryl's Challenge #174- Hats On-Cap or Hat

    This week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's --- "Hats On"...Just use any Sassy Cheryl's image with a character wearing a hat.  There are oh, so many to choose from, too!  And, remember, you can use not only Sassy Cheryl digital images, but rubber stamps, too.  She has done rubber stamps for Kraftin' Kimmie-(artist name, Cheryl Alger), and digital images for Squigglefly.

    I love Maddie and Max, a dynamic duo for sure!  This image just tickles me.  Max is going full speed ahead in his rickety cardboard go-cart held together with packing tape!  Poor little Maddie is hanging on for dear life!  Naturally, they're both wearing their signature hats!

    I colored with my much loved Copic markers!

    I hope you will join us for this week's challenge!  We have a newly expanded DT-a variety of oh, so talented designers.  No matter your signature style, there is bound to be one on this team that gets your creative juices going!

    Other challenges I plan to enter:
    The Pink Elephant Monday Card Challenge - W, cards - Woodgrain
    MarkerPOP Challenge - 2W, 2E, C10, must use Markers - (1st week) Anything Goes
    Make it Monday - W - always Anything Goes
    Lexi's Creations - 2W - (1st week) For a Friend

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    Show Me Thursday at Sassy Cheryl's

    Before I started making cards, I scrapped...often, a lot.  Now, I scrap in waves and it seems, more often for others than myself.  As a relatively new Grammie, though, I have a new subject-a precious little life unfolding before my eyes (thanks to technology).  This is right and good and makes aging much more palatable!

    So, in addition to a few cards-for some reason, not an overly productive week-AGAIN-sigh... 

    Perhaps it's the heat or the fact that it's summer or maybe I'm reading a bit more then usual
    ---oh, and swimming, too, and then, of course, celebrating the 4th...

    I did a layout...

    ...and there you have it!  This is what I've been working on!  
    Come on, now, show us what you're working over @ SHOW ME THURSDAY.

    My DP is by October Afternoon-Woodland Park.

    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Sassy Cheryl's Challenge #173 Red, White and Blue

    A BIG Sassy welcome to six new design team members for the Sassy Cheryl's design team!  

    There were so many AMAZING applicants.  Each designer brings her own unique flair to the team.
    If you didn't arrive here from the challenge blog, please go HERE!

    In the USA we celebrate the 4th of July this week- our colors are RED, WHITE & BLUE.  If you aren't from the states, however, no worries-your image selection doesn't have to have anything to do with Old Glory-just use the colors and a Sassy Cheryl's image!

    I've had this DP for a couple of years now-it lives in my 4th of July stash. I used some of my go to die cuts-the grass, the fence, and a Nestability.  I added some ribbon and a paper clip "thing-e".  I colored with Copics.

    Other challenges I plan to enter:

    Craft Your Passion - W, E3 Red, White & Blue
    Digi Darla Challenge - W, SIO Stars & Stripes
    Craft Your Passion - W, E3 Red, White & Blue

    Art Impressions-Spring Chicken Set

    AI Spring Chicken Set AI Clean and Simple.  While I do appreciate a fussy card, my style tends to be "Clean and Simple"...