"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?" by Marianne Williamson
My Christmas gift from my wonderful Hubby was a new Macro Lens for my Digital Camera. I was thrilled because I love taking close-up photos and now I can get even closer! The weather was great today so we took a walk around our property and I snapped a few pics. Here are some of my favorites. The one above is the temp gauge on my Hubby's grill.
We didn't have a white Christmas but we did have a white day after Christmas. It's still snowing. It's been a cold season for us so far. I like seeing the snow and I like that I don't have to drive to work in the morning. But, I'd be very happy if we warmed back up soon and stayed that way until Spring.
We've had a very nice Christmas. We not only had a decorated tree inside but we put one up on our porch too.
Today we are enjoying a lazy day. Tomorrow will be a busy day, probably. Unless I decide I just want to be lazy again. :) We have been very blessed this year and are very thankful for everything. Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!
For a recent swap I needed to make Christmas tags. I cut the tree shapes out of cardstock and stamped them with snowflake stamps. I found some buttons and painted them with light blue acrylic paint and once that was dry I painted them with glitter paint. I then stamped the "SNOW" and dabbed ink around the edges of the tag. Last touch was the fibers. I think they turned out beautifully and I hope the ladies who got these liked them too.
There is no question that it is Fall. The leaves are falling off the trees today by the thousands! I took a little stroll around my house after lunch and found some beautiful leaves. And, my Lantana bushes are still blooming. That's one of the things I love about Lantana is that it blooms for so long! I even spotted some bees and butterflies still enjoying the blooms as well.
Of course one of the great things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! This turkey and dressing will make for a delicious dinner this evening and tasty turkey sandwiches tomorrow.
Friday I was able to make 72 handmade paper Christmas Tree Shapes! My plan is to use some for cards and some for gift tags. So today I started on the cards. I've made this design before without the red background. I wonder... what style is your favorite? With or without the red?
I saw this idea in a magazine recently. I wish I could remember which one it was. There were so many neat Halloween ideas in it. This is an orange that I hollowed out and filled with chunks of orange, apple and grapes. This is such a neat idea! The saw from a pumpkin carving kits works very well on the orange. If you do decide to do this, the orange pulp you carve out of the inside will be pretty mangled so you might want to have an orange on hand that you can slice into better looking pieces. :) It's a great gift to give to friends or to use for a Halloween party. I wish I would have though to use something bigger like a grapefruit or on a larger scale, a watermelon would probably work nicely!
While getting groceries last week, my daughter spotted a bag of mini pumpkins in the produce section. Since it is a little bit too early to carve pumpkins, I picked up a bag of the mini pumpkins with the idea of painting them. I painted this one with Green, Peach and Yellow acrylic paints and painted on the details in Black. I also glued a black prima flower next to the stem and found a nice bead to glue on top of the flower.
Sometimes ideas come right out of the blue when you are absolutely not expecting it. In fact, I am surprised my husband didn't wake up in the middle of the night because of the bright light bulb that lit up over my head! Really crazy... in the middle of the night. Sometimes that is when the best ideas happen.
I was able to get a box of out-dated tile samples a couple of years ago and I had yet to use them. I KNEW they would be great to use in crafts but just hadn't been inspired. In fact, I hadn't even thought of these in over a year so it was really surprising to me when my brain came up with this. I had to dig these out from under a pile of stuff yesterday morning! Here is one of the samples. They are 2 x 2 inches.
I painted the tile samples black with an acrylic paint, painted the sides and the back as well...
I also had these great papers that I just got from my friend Sarah at Paperpeddler.etsy.com. Aren't these just the cutest Halloween papers!
I cut and glued the images and then glued a magnet on the back. I am just tickled about how these turned out and plan to make a few more in the Halloween theme. :)
I encourage you all to keep a notebook by your bed so when those bright ideas happen in the middle of the night, you can write them down!
Last summer my Brother, Sister-in-law and Nephew came to visit us in North Carolina. Before they came to our house though, they spent some time at Gem Mountain. My brother is a Geologist so he couldn't pass up the chance to visit a place like Gem Mountain. They arrived at our house bearing gifts of bags full of colorful gems. I haven't done much with mine except ooh and aah over them occasionally. Well, my SIL's birthday is next week and she collects crosses for her living room wall and I thought this would be a nice way to showcase some of those colorful rocks. I think she will love it!
This is another corner bookmark for my friend in Lubbock. She is a big "Twilight" fan and even though she said the bookmarks didn't have to be "Twilight" related since she will be using these for any book she reads, I couldn't resist this idea. I photo copied the page out of the book and glued it to the sealed envelope corner that I used as the body of the bookmark, then I lightly inked it with brown ink. Then I masked off the quote (one of my favorites from the movie) and inked using more brown ink. Then I used the Flourish mask by Tim Holz and inked around with even more brown ink. I inked the edges with black ink and then decided to use my gold gelly rollz pen to drawn a line right down the edges. I think she will love it! :)
I have a wonderful friend in Lubbock who asked me to make her some corner bookmarks. This one is in a Red/Black theme. She asked for scroll work and I had some stamps that I thought would really work nicely. I've shown it here, on and off a book. I think she will love it.
One of my first loves was Photography. I wanted to major in Photography in college but the college that I got a scholarship from didn't offer it as a Major. However, they did have classes so I took 2 semesters of black and white photography. Got to learn composition as well as developing in the darkroom (that part was FUN!!!). I kind of got away from photography after getting married and moving away and all that stuff that happens when you are young and trying to start a family. Zoom ahead 20 years.... I met a wonderful lady at work who is artsy like me and found out that not only does she make cards but she bakes some fantastic cakes and is an amazing photographer! Heather and I have become great friends and we joined a local photography group that meets monthly for photo shoots. Heather didn't get to go to the last one but Kristina and I did and here are a few of our photos.... Kristina's are edited using an online photo editing site (Picnik). She's gotten a lot of great comments...
Barn wall in Sepia by Chrystal
Barn by Kristina
Barn Askew by Kristina
We found out that this group of buildings was built in June 1915. The date is etched on one of the walls and one of the other photographers found it. This place was very interesting and we had a great time walking around taking pictures.
I got to play in my ART Studio last night. It is always so wonderful to be able to sit down and get messy! I have two swaps that I needed to get made so I can get them in the mail. One is for a corner bookmark. They are made using sealed envelopes. You seal your envelope and then measure 4 inches down each side and then cut across. I used decorative scissors for my cut. Then I used some "Peeled Paint" Distress ink for the background and "Forest Moss" Distress ink for the stamp. The stamp I used is just a foam stamp. Then I painted the leaves with gold glitter acrylic paint. The word "READ" is made using Martha Stewart Alphabet stamps. These bookmarks are so easy to make and really work so well. Just slip them over your pages to hold your place, no matter what size the book! The second swap was to make an ATC based on certain events and holidays in May. I chose May 20 which in 1990 Hubble sent it's first photo from space. This ATC is in honor of that day. I went to the Hubble website (here) and found an image from their print gallery. This photo is of Spiral Galaxy M101. I added little dots of glitter to the stars and added my own text. The glitter really makes the stars shine!
One of the things I love about being in North Carolina is everything that blooms here. It all looks so great against the green. Don't get me wrong. I am very fond of the Texas plants and flowers that I enjoyed growing up, especially bluebonnets. But since we've moved here I've really enjoyed the Springtime. Last year I noticed all of the Honeysuckle that grows wild here and wanted to find a way to get some growing in my back yard. Well, as I was walking around the yard last night I discovered a Honeysuckle vine growing along the fence. Needless to say I was so happy so see it there. Honeysuckle is my very favorite scent. I took some time to enjoy it last night and again this evening. It's a small vine but I am hoping it will spread out a lot this season. It is too bad they only bloom for a few short weeks.
I finally got to stop and take some time to make a couple of cards last night. Just playing around with paper, stamps, ink, paint and glitter. These will be fun to send to a friend just to say "Hello"!
I had so much fun making the Spring is Here ATC that I decided to use some of the same elements in a tag. The base paper is my handmade paper. I used the Floret mask by Tim Holz and Colorbox ink. The flowers are Prima Flowers, the swirl stamp is by Stampendous and the "A Happy Hello" stamp is by Hero Arts. The polka dot paper is by Me&My Big Ideas.
This tag was so quick and easy and I think the monochrome look suites it well! So much fun!
Spring is officially here! Time for warmer weather, sunny days, blooming trees and flowers, bees, butterflies, thunderstorms and much more! I made this ATC for a swap I am in this month. I made the background using Peeled Paint distress ink and floret masks by Tim Holz as well and bright blue and deep purple inks from colorbox. The flower and swirl stamps are by Stampendous! The jeweled flowers are K&Company and the big green glitter flower is Prima Flower. This was fun, quick and easy ATC to do and I just love the color combination! I sure hope my swap partner enjoys it!
After months of planning and designing it is time to launch my new website! I am way beyond excited right now. This is something I have been wanting to do for so long. Craftstudiopaper.com will be the place to buy Craft Studio Paper handmade papers, greeting cards and more! Right now I only have the handmade papers, greeting cards and 2010 Christmas card pre-orders available but I am in the process of developing new products that will be introduced soon. So, check out www.craftstudiopaper.com and bookmark it!
I will continue to have my Etsy shop. The Etsy shop will have sets of handmade papers instead of individual sheets. And it will also have my art pieces and handmade paper shapes.
Stop by both shops anytime! And thanks to everyone for your support because without you, there would be no Craft Studio Paper.
This ATC was inspired by the photo I took of our front yard this weekend after the snow. (See the previous post). It's been a while since I made an ATC just for fun and not for a swap. I really enjoyed making it. The background is gray paint ( I didn't have gray so I mixed black and white paint until I got the proper shade of gray). The bottom of the background is just an iridescent glitter. The tree came from a digital stamp CD that my good friend Penny gave to me. I really love this willow tree image. I cut out some of the areas between the limbs so the background could show through. I also glittered up the tree a little. The first photo really shows off the glitter. Then I just printed out the words "Winter Wonderland" and dabbed a little of the gray paint around the edges. The ATC turned out just lovely!
Friday night we got snow! It was so fun to watch it start Friday night and to wake up to a beautiful Winter Wonderland on Saturday Morning. We got out in the backyard Saturday morning and played. Our dog and one of our cats had a blast running and playing in the snow. We were not prepared so we didn't have gloves to wear for snowball throwing or snowman making. But it was very nice watching the animals and seeing everything covered in fluffy white stuff. :)
The snow is melting now... only staying in the shady areas. And it will be completely gone in a couple of days... But it was fun while it lasted!
Well I jumped onto the button fairy bandwagon and made my very first button fairy a few weeks ago. I have a ton of buttons and never really thought about using them in my art. I've seen so many great uses with buttons though. Lots of really neat art pieces using buttons. I was introduced to the button fairies by my Yahoo group and I was just amazed at the beauty, whimsy and artistic expressions I saw in the different fairies. So, for a "love" themed lottery, I made a button fairy using only heart shaped buttons. The fairy is an angel image that I dug out of my image book. I highlighted her using my metallic gelly rollz pens. I think she turned out lovely. She is on her way to the winner of the lottery. I see myself making many more of these intriguing buttons fairies in the future. :)
January ATC swap in my Yahoo ARTHaven group was to make an ATC with hearts. I made one that I just was not happy about so I scrapped it and started over. I have a bag full of little wooden hearts and I had been wanting to cover some of them with paper for using in my art. I picked two to go on this ATC. The background is just a pink paper and I inked the edges with a dark red ink. I had this lovely image in my stash and thought she looked like she was in love. :) I really liked the outcome of this ATC much better.
A wonderful lady named Robin has ordered custom papers from me recently. I have one more batch to make in yellow for her. I will be making that paper tomorrow but I thought I'd share the green. She will be getting the dark green sheets on top but I wanted to show off the whole batch! :) I have had such a fun time making these papers! I enjoy picking out different papers and blending them together. I am always so happy with the end result. Robin will be using these papers in a card making class she will be giving in March. I am thrilled! I hope she and her students enjoy using the papers as much as I enjoy making them. Here are a few cards Robin has so kindly shared with me. These are her creations using my papers. Just lovely!
Staying on the Valentine Theme... I made these hearts recently using the left over paper from a custom order. I have several shapes that I use to pull as much paper pulp as I can out of the water before I dump the water for filtering. I love making the hearts and this paper color is just delicious. I call the darker pink "Cranberry". :) I have a set of these listed in my Etsy Shop. They remind me of my childhood. I always loved making Valentine's Day cards and cutting hearts out of construction paper! Too much fun!
I made up some pink papers and hearts a little while back hoping to use them for Valentine's Day cards. Well, I finally got them put together. They turned out really nice. Love the color!
This year has already be very busy for me. I've had several requests for handmade paper. It just makes my day when someone asks to have some paper made! Work has been very busy, lots of changes going on. And, I am working on a Craft Studio Paper website which will be up and running soon.
It's been so hard to really get motivated because of the cold that is just everywhere! I am not a cold weather person and all I want to do after work is snuggle up on the couch under a nice warm blanket! How many days until Spring? LOL