Sunday, January 29, 2017

New toys

Usually I hate that my birthday follows closely after Christmas because it ends up being an afterthought in my most peoples' minds (even my parents!) but this year I really can't complain because between the two I received lots of awesome new crafty/ art goodies.  With the craziness of the holidays & "100 Days of School" celebrations over I'm finally finding time to play with them all.

My dear husband made an order through Simon Says Stamp for my birthday & this "Magical Birthday" stamp set was included as a bonus, how awesome is that?!  Now first I have to share with you that he intended to give me Otterly Love You stamp & die set(s) by My Favorite Things because otters are one of my favorite animals; so ever since we were dating he tries to find new & different otter themed products for me (sweet correct? ;-) ) -- BUT he didn't realize stamps & dies are sold separately so he only bought the dies LOL!  Oh well, it's the the thought the counts is it not?!  I'll get the stamps eventually but until then....as soon as I saw this bonus Magical Birthday set I knew it would make an adorable birthday card for our niece.  She's turning 4 in February and what little girl doesn't love unicorns, rainbows & glitter?! The rainbow is colored with Fired Brick, Carved Pumpkin, Pine Needles & Faded Jeans distress markers at the top then used a water brush to fade the color down as it ends at the stars; the cloud is watercolored with Gansai Tambi White Gold mixed with Picket Fence Distress Crayon.  For the unicorn I wanted a mottled effect so I mixed Spun Sugar & Picket Fence Distress Crayons with Gansai Tambi White Gold watercolor .  The hooves & horn are done with gold gelato crayon & Gansai Tambi Champagne Gold, The mane & tail are watercolored with Spun Sugar, Victorian Velvert & Faded Lilac Distress Crayons.  The text is Black Soot Archival Ink & the stars are Starlite Silver Silver Brillance ink.  Finally mounted the panel on a piece of Authentique paper (from Jan Card kit) & then onto a pink card base.  On the inside I embossed "filled with sunshine & rainbows) & a cupcake also from this mini bonus set.



Of course with being blessed with all these amazing new goodies I had Thank you cards to make!  So I used many of them & made mini shaker cards (4 Bar) with the SSS Jan card kit, SSS Birch tree die , Lawn Fawn Happy Mail .  I also stamped matching wood envelopes for them but failed to photograph those, sorry!


Crafty Goals

'Resolution' comes from the word 'Resoulute' which Merrim-Webster defines as: "a firm adherence to whatever one holds allegiance" or Google defines as "admirably purposeful, determined, unwavering" -- And this folks is why I don't like 'New Year Resolutions' because a few things always hold true: 1) They are inanely nebulous & open ended without any clear way to achieve e.g. "I will drink this caffeine" "I will finally get in shape" "I will finish more projects" 2) They seem to be more about proving yourself to others then helping yourself & 3) They take either exceptional self-control that most do not possess or make you neurotic as you constantly remind yourself "I can't do 'x' or I must do 'y' ".

Alternatively 'Goal' defined by Merrim-Webster "something you are trying to do or achieve" or Google as "the object of a person's aim or effort; a desired result" is much simpler to wrap one's head around and to actually achieve.  Maybe it's just the former athlete in me but I like to set new goals constantly as I achieve old ones; not just at the new year. Most of the goals I set for myself are clear-cut & self-explanatory "Finish reading & compiling notes on  Michael S Gazzinga's "Human" before switching tracks to the applications of discrete mathematics on cognitive science" [ yes that was a real one, already achieved & yes I really am that much of a geek :-P].  But every year I set a more long-term, resolution-like, nebulous, goal like this year "to be more free form in my creative endeavors" or as many artists I admire say to "just play & see what happens".  I know that I will not likely achieve this goal within a year [or possibly my lifetime given how structured/ perfectionist I am lol!] but that's ok it's a goal not a resolution.  I don't have to commit to being 'free form creative' every time I sit down to make something, I will still want projects to go & look a certain way and that's ok too.  As long as I give myself time to play 'loose & fancy free' and I make some strides towards being like the styles I admire then I've achieved something.

So in the past months I set out a few times to just put ink/ paint/ stencils/ paper/ stamps etc to paper & see what happens and most...well...isn't much to speak of...I find incredibly difficult to find that line between "art in the chaos" and good heavens this looks like my 15mth old did it!  Thus most of it has either ended up in the scrap bin or file 13 but at least I tried :-P.  But last week I finally came up with a background (that I turned into a card) and a card in 'free play' that I like the result of enough to keep and pass on (to my mom & grandma in this case). 

First here is the background I created with the full "You Matter" stamp from Simon Says Stamp on watercolor paper & then cut down to make a card front.  I started with the bloom stamp set (by Tim Holtz) in Black Soot Archival Ink and then masked it off before stamping 'You Matter' in Hickory Smoke, Black Soot & Pumice Stone Distress Ink sprayed with water.  Leaving the mask in place I sprayed Carved Pumpkin, Pickled Raspberry & Seedless Preserves Distress Stain & then more water. Heat set to dry, applied silver Texture Luxe through the Latticework stencil & then left to air dry.  The full 6 x 6 panel looked lopsided with the textured stencil at either corner but I like the effect of the white flower set in the colorful background so I cut it down to A-2 size & (I think) the corners balance out much nicer. 

** Entered at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Spread Your Wings" 

Another day I die-cut chipboard using the "Tea Time" dies by Sizzix and tried different mediums on them.  This one is the simplest of all but reminded me of Alice in Wonderland (one of my mom's favorites) so I made it into a wonky Wonderland inspired card for her.