Thursday, March 25, 2010

Here Comes Petter Cottontail!

This week over at One Powerful Hour Nancy selected the theme Easter.

I am not a huge fan of Easter, the commercial holiday or the types of stamps I have to create art with this theme but I decided to give it a go and while I was at it step out of my comfort zone.

I started with a decorative paper, normally I make my own papers. And then I painted the road on...yep, free handed! There is an iridescent shimmery effect on the road that did not show up in the picture so it is much more eye catching in real life.

I thought it looked really plain so I added some stippled dots in 2 shades and then some swirls in another color. Trying to coordinate them with the paper.

The bunny is from Stampington & Co. and is painted with watercolors. Ever since DH reminded me I had watercolor pencils I have been playing with them...yes, I had forgotten...way to many art supplies...The tail is a round cotton ball and I 3D mounted him on the road.

My finishing touches include the phrase from Repeat Impressions that I added Diamond Glaze to, outlining the road and entire tag with kaleidoscope glitter and lastly attaching coordinating ribbons.

Hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green or Black...Tea that is...

I was introduced to a new (to me) challenge site today and there was no way I could pass up the theme.

Three Muses challenged participants to "A Nice Cup of Tea"

Tea/Coffee is one of my favorite themes...there is so much you can do with it, so much that comes to mind. Vintage images of high society tea's all the way to rushed cups of Starbucks.

A few months ago Paula's Kit Club was a tea/coffee theme so I went digging through my stash and pulled out the chipboard cup shape. One of the samples on Paula's web site included the "tea, Black" collage images and immediately I decided to play off that. Black tea is my favorite.

Once I started putting together my piece I decided I couldn't leave the back blank so one thing lead to another and walla Black or Green Tea was created.

Green Tea uses a paper from Alpha Stamps. Then I water colored the cup images, from Stampington & Co., the doily was a last minute addition that I particularly like. To finish it off I added multiple layers of gold embossing powder to the outline of the cup.

On the Black Tea side I played with my newest toy, melted wax. I've been having a hell of a time with it but I think I may have finally found my groove, style with it. I really like the additional aged look it lends to the piece. Both collage pieces are from Paula's Kit Club. I brushed the heavier drippings of wax with an old gold pearl ex powder.

To finish off the piece I attached various charms and beads. I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ocean Themed ATC's with mini tutorial

This month I am hosting the Circle of Friends project, Ocean Themed ATC's. When I selected the theme I did so because I love anything and everything having to do with the Ocean, I had no idea what I was going to create.

I was perusing a friends blog when I ran across a tutorial she did for a Red and Black ATC Swap. I loved the background she created and thought it would be perfect for my ATC's but I did not have the same supplies. So I tried it with what I had on hand and I am happy with the results.

The collage image and German Scrap Fish are from Paula's Kit Club, the netting stamp is from Stampington & Co. and the sea shell (hard to see but adds great texture, clear embossed) is from Repeat Impressions.

Lenna used a watercolor crayon on her ATC's but I went with three different shades of watercolor pencil. The dark and medium I squiggled all over the watercolor paper and then the lightest shade I colored the entire ATC with.

To activate the Watercolor I spritzed it with water. The 4 ATC's on the right are the result of just letting the water land, I wanted a smoother look so I took a paint brush and spread out the water and paint. The result is on the left. Just like Lenna I found that I wanted more color on some so once it dried I added more and repeated the above process.
I thought my paper had a great texture to begin with so when I added my texture stamp, the netting I did not cover the entire ATC. I used a dark blue ink. And this is where I chose to stop with the background. Lenna goes on to add more texture using various colors, be sure to check out her tutorial. HERE

I cut the images mostly just keeping the female but on some I kept some of the scenery. Affixed one of the German Scrap fish. Edged the ATC with sand and some real sea shells and miniature pebbles. To finish if off I added the blue beaded fringe.
In truth this is a really simple design for me but somehow it looks like I spent hours and hours on least I think so. I'm very pleased with them and can't wait to get all the other ATC's from this swap.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What's the Final Combination going to be?

One of my fabulous clients asked me to put together some Ocean themed coaster samples for a gift.

I love anything Ocean themed but had a really hard time coming up with ideas, I think it is because there is so much that can be done with this theme and I have a ton of stamps that lend themselves to the theme.

Anyway, here are the 4 different designs that I came up with. The only one I am not a big fan of is #3 and in truth it is not bad, just so much simpler than the others.

Samples 1 and 4 will have different Sea Shell images on the 4 different coasters. I have attached a photo of the 4 different images I'll use bellow, the stamp is from Stampington & Co.

Sample 2 can also have 4 different images. Those images are also below and by Oxford Impressions.

Sample #3 was the last one I worked on and I was running out of black ink. When/If that is the one selected the sea shells will be darker...I have already ordered a re-inker.

Any of these designs can be placed on any of the different color combinations. The client asked for blues and silvers. I however am not a huge fan of blue so I had to add a more earth toned sample. I used gold instead of silver on sample C but I could just as easily use silver.

I've never given a client so many options before. I hope that I am not overwhelming her. But I think it is fun to pick and choose and I hope she thinks so too and enjoys what I have put together.

Now I guess I better go clean up and get started on my next project. Put this one aside until I know what the final product will be.

So stay tuned to find out what she selects.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Instant Keeper

An instant Keeper for fact I was only halfway through it when I knew this book would rest on my keeper shelf.

In a sea of happy go lucky Young Adult books that have overly mature females and impossibly sappy, predictable love stories, The Forest of Hands and Teeth screams of realism, in a Zombie infected world that is.

Mary, the main character is selfish, moody, impractical and struggles with her emotions, just like a young teen girl. The great thing about her is that she grows something many main characters in teen novels do not do. She regrets many of her decisions and sees how her mistakes and blind sidedness have harm others and ultimately hurt her.

The novel is written from Mary's point of view but you still get a wonderful feel for the other characters. At times you dislike every single one of them and at other points you are rooting for them. Each character is very different so the reader finds someone that they can relate to in one way or another.

I have never read a Zombie book before, in fact when I selected it I didn't even know it had anything to do with Zombie's I was envisioning something more like M. Night Shyamaln's The Village. Ryan takes a bit of a heavy religious direction which I found believable, after all there are a few things humans cling to when devastation touches their lives and religion is one of them. I would not say that this novel is sad, just an accurate depiction of the ruin that such a situation could bring to the lives of those left human.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is about choices, those made by Mary's family and friends and by herself, and how she deals with the destruction each decision seems to create. It is about dreams, how all encompassing they can be, how destructive and ultimately how they may be the only thing left for us to cling to. It is the quest to find the light at the end of the tunnel and I could not put it down drug through the good times and the bad with Mary, hoping against all odds that there would be a happy ending.

The novel has a satisfying ending for those that do not want to read further...but as for me I am out the door to purchase the next book The Dead-Tossed Waves

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blog Candy Winner!


Postal Orphan

You are the winner of my blog candy give away. Please contact me no later than Monday the 15th noon pacific with your mailing address and I'll send your goodies on their way.

Thank you everyone that stopped by and took part in the give was great to see all your faces :)

Winner was determined by assigning numbers to each name and then having select a number.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2010 Circle of Friend Journal

This is the 3rd year in a row that I am taking part in the Circle of Friends Round Robin Journal. Each year who ever takes part gets to create a journal with a theme of their own. This year I have selected to expand on a swap I did a number of years ago through Alpha Stamps. This is my...Template Tales Journal. My requirements are that each member use at lease one Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty Image on one of two different Castle Templates. All the collage images are from Alpha Stamps. I also asked, that if the member felt like it, to add to the cover (front or back) of the Journal. Here are some of the pieces that I have already received through the Alpha Stamps Swap. Sleeping Beauty Sleeping Beauty Cinderella Cinderella When I received the castles back from the original swap I didn't know what to do with them because I didn't want to harm any of the work by poking holes on the sides to bind them all together. After a long time of pondering the issue I finally decided to sew them into clear envelopes (page protectors). This worked pretty well. I am not 100% pleased with the cover shape but I know it will be better once it is decorated. Plus since there are two different shapes of castles it made creating a cover difficult. I mail out my journal this Monday and I won't see if again until the wonderful ladies of COF have added their fabulous work. I am super excited and can't wait to get it back and use it as my new coffee table book!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vacation Reading

This is my first ever Fairy book…and it may be my last!

Marr is super repetitive. I’m not sure if it is because the story is really small or because she was “writing down” (which I don’t think teens need these days). I expect some reminding of important points but from page 1 all the way to the end the main character has the same thoughts making her actions in the end seem very out of character.

The love story is nice, but by no means is it a Twilight. About halfway through the book two separate and very different love lines become evident and this is what I held onto to get me through the book. Would they end up with who they should be with or would all the Fairy mumbo jumbo get in the way?

Each chapter starts off with a quote from books written on Faeries. I found this very annoying; while they were short they interrupted the story. If you were reading a chapter at a time they probably would be fine. The language these quotes are written in is much different from our modern verbiage and I believe that is what caused the “slow down” in reading. Eventually I started skipping them since they also did not seem to relate to what was currently going on.
As I stated at the beginning I am not sure I will be continuing with this series, I guess time will tell. There are so many great YA books out there these days with a message about choices and with great romance lines that it seems a shame to waist time reading one that is not up to par.

The Exterminators Daughter by Meg Cabot I’d give 3 stars. It was a fun read but to me some of the characters reactions were unbelievable.

The Corsage by Lauren Myracle I did not like at all. The story did not seem original at all and it was very predictable.

Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper by Kim Harrison I’d give 4 stars. For a short story you really got a lot of information about the main character and her family. You knew “bad” things were going to happen but what did occur I never would have suspected. Also, I feel like she left it open so that more could be written…so yes, I am hoping she expands on this story.

Kiss and Tell by Michele Jaffe I give 3 stars. I enjoyed the story but it really didn’t stick with me like the one by Kim Harrison.

Hell on Earth by Stephenie Meyer I give 4 stars. To me Stephenie is the most talented writer in this group. In about 50 pages she introduced a number of characters and made you feel connected to them. The descriptions are wonderful and I think the story was cute and original. She, like Kim Harrison left the short story open for more and I do hope she expands on it.

Overall I am very glad that I read this book and now I am off to investigate some of the new authors I’ve been introduced to.

I was hesitant to read this book because I did not enjoy The Vampire Diaries. However I had heard that L.J’s later works were better and this one was written many years after The Vampire Diaries.

I really enjoyed all 3 stories.
Secret Vampire 3 Stars. The development of this story was very good so too was the humans reactions to the Night World. My one problem with this story is that it has a rather abrupt ending. I wanted more…but that may be the Twilight Saga lover in me.

Daughters of Darkness 4 stars. This was my favorite. But unlike Secret Vampire the human reaction to the Night World was a bit unbelievable. However this story has the most diverse and well developed characters. The story also kept you guessing and when it was over Smith left it open enough to write more or not.

Spellbinder 3 stars. My least favorite of the three. I did not like the leading male character, his personality seemed to go against everything that Smith described that he was into (sports).

Amazingly I managed to not pick this book up for almost an entire year after reading the first in the series. However now I will be picking up Shadow Kiss right away.

This book starts off with a bang but almost immediately hits a lull. The lull is still interesting, it’s just not action packed. More of a section filled with information you need to know but presented in a slower pace. And then the last 150 pages hit…and you can’t put the book down. It has a fantastic ending and you really get a good feel for the characters, who they are and what drives them. I now feel much more connected with the characters and am genuinely concerned about what may happen to them.

As I stated in my review of Vampire Academy there is some mention of cutting and this is a grittier read than Twilight or The House of Night books. I recommend this series for an older teen, 16+.
Well...those were my vacation reads...alas vacation is over and my reading will slow again but I will continue to read :) Next up...The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice In Wonderland

This week over at One Powerful Hour I set the theme of "Alice in Wonderland"

When I was young my little sister loved "Alice in Wonderland" so much so that I got sick and tired of watching it. Which is why I was very surprised when I realized how excited I was about the new Alice in Wonderland coming out tomorrow.

I decided to use the Cheshire cat in my piece about Alice in Wonderland. Starting with a purple base I colored in some black stripes, embossed the tree, colored the cat image (from Alpha Stamps) with colored pencils and then hand wrote the phrase.

I had a lot of fun creating this piece. I hope you enjoyed viewing it and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Publication Celebration Blog Candy

Well today issue of Scrapbooking News and Review where I am the featured artist came out so I'm celebrating with this massive give away.

In this box you get
3 sheets of my Marbled paper, yep marbled by me
Various papers from Paula's Kit Club
2 sheets of Grunge Paper (textured)
2 Chipboard Houses
2 Rub on sheets
2 single slide mailers
3 vials of glitter in various shades
2 inks
1 unmounted stamp
pack of white feathers
various fibers
Plastic Baggie full of flowers
Plastic Baggie full of charms
and some other items that I know I am forgetting...

Who is eligible to participate...Anyone...please tell me how you heard about my blog and leave a link or e-mail so I can contact you if you win.

I'll select a winner March 13th.