26 January 2013

Finding Your Happy Place

This Saturday started out earlier than I imagined...the cat started meowing at 4:15am.  Does she not realize it is Saturday?  Silly Cat.  I finally gave up all hopes of sleeping around 6:00am and got up.  First things first, I fed the cat...then I sat at my art table.  My brother-in-law had saved me some old photos and I wanted to use some in something today.  I thought I would look at my favorite creative site CR84FN and do the challenge colors.  The owner had made a new post with this challenge's best projects.  They were lovely!!  I read the post, Mona (the owner) was closing the challenge.  WHAT?  No more CR84FN!  I was so sad. I have played along for a couple of years and the challenges have inspired me to try new things, to think outside of the box, and most of all to not be afraid of my least favorite color.....YELLOW!!!!

I picked myself up and decided to think about something happy.  I thought of a friend who has been on my mind a lot lately.  She is going through an extremely tough time, but you would not know it.  She smiles all day, she offers to pray for others, she works hard, but she is hurting.  What is her secret?  I think it's her faith in God.  She has given her problems to God...praying everyday.  She is pretty wonderful.

I decided to paint and I was going to paint what I thought her soul looked like.  A colorful world, with many flowers, lots of things going on, but still she is wearing a pretty dress.  Her castle represents the Kingdom of God.  It's a pretty deep painting for one afternoon.  As you can see from the painting, I think her soul is a pretty happening place. I am grateful to be her friend and grateful to know her.

What started off as a rough day ended up pretty swell.  

Luke 6:31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.


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The painting contains many different types of acrylic paint...apple barrel, craftsmart and Americana.  I used stamps from Technique Tuesday.  Inks by Stazon, red flower made by Ina Champion (my mom-in-law) and is about 30 years old, paper flowers in purple made by Michelle's Musings (hey, that's me), green flower by Prima, yellow flower by Creative Memories.  Leaves cut from green cardstock scraps and the die is by Sizzix.  Castle, clouds, bubbles, happy word and all shapes designed and painted by me.

This painting is dedicated to my friend....may she display it proudly.





20 January 2013

Operation beautify your home: Laundry Room

I have been working on making my house a little more put together, a little more cohesive, a little more not so much a showcase for our yucky mismatched furniture, but a shabby chic paradise.   My first project was the kitchen that you all ready know of, my second the utility room.  This room is going to be my owl room. In reality I am the ONLY person that spends any time in this room so I am making it into something I LIKE!  I started with redoing some of the picture frames that were in the room, then I made a canvas, then a quote, and next was the first owl.  Today I made the second owl, and started working on the third and forth (those two won't make their appearance for a blog post or two).

Today addition was inspired by a quilt hoop that my mother-in-law gave me about 10 years ago. I held onto it thinking I would do a large cross stitch and would need it for that.  NOPE that won't happen so I got it down and thought about what I could do.  Since I usually work in paper I decided I needed a change of pace. I chose felt. I have a massive pile of felt that I stamp on and make into flowers.  Since I have it by the yard it works perfect in the hoop.

I chose a blue for the background, and free handed cut out things from the felt. Since it was a laundry room I chose a clothesline and owl design.

I glued the shapes onto the felt and had all ready planned I would stitch around the pieces.  This was the fun part. I used some of my stitches I learned from cross stitching.

When I was all finished with the sewing I painted the hoop black and I have the perfect addition to another wall in the laundry room.











19 January 2013

CR84FN Challenge 70----Wish my eyes were Aqua

Have you ever seen a person with Aqua eyes?  They are simply breathtaking!  This color makes me wish I was around it all the time. I had thought of doing a room in my house this color, but I am saving it for now.  One day, if I ever get a craft room the walls will be purple and aqua.  So I am saving it.  In the meantime I will stick to putting it into my work.

Three of today's cards feature a line of paper that I have been trying to get my hands on for MONTHS!  Every time I went to Achiever's they were out.  In early December I got to go on a trip for my work and had about two hours to go to the mall.  I only went to Achiever's and there I did some serious damage to my pocketbook.  One of the things that I bought was a 8x8 of Ladies Diary by Graphic 45.  The pad that has eluded me for what seems like FOREVER and now it is MINE!!!!  Here are the first projects I made using a single sheet. *****I intend for this paper to last me quite a while.  

Images of ladies and gentlemen are from the Ladies Diary paper pad.  The patterned paper and the stickers are by Creative Memories, the ink is by Tim Holtz (Distress), the bird and butterfly die cuts are by K&Co and the flower by Prima.  They all go together so nicely. I simply can't stop staring at them.

The last card is just as cute, but playful too.  It features a bike by K&Co.  I have actually had it for some time I just didn't know what to do with it.  I think this works nicely.

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I am also going to put a little chat in this blog.  Think about Happiness.  What does it mean to you?  I am an extremely happy person. I am blessed beyond measure. I have a wonderful family.  I have a great job.  I thought about why people are NOT happy.  One of the books I read was The Happiness Project and while I KNOW I have flaws, my family has flaws, my life has flaws....I would read this and think "I am way happier than this girl".  So I am just going to share with you something that I read years ago and made note of...

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.
-- Francesca Reigler

 You can agree or not, that doesn't matter, what matters is I am happy, I am blessed, I am loved. 









The Third weekend of 2013

I always have a fear of not finishing things. I try hard to achieve the end of the goal. I write down my goals and follow through with completion.  There is something wonderful about adding that check mark on the iPhone or marking a line through the paper notes.  A deep satisfaction.

Proverbs 15:23 - "A man finds joy in giving an apt reply and how good is a timely word!"

One of my goals last year was to send more cards. I did EXCELLENT with that goal last year. I sent more cards than I ever had before even to random folks just so they would know someone cared. I can't tell you how many people would email me back saying that my card arrived when the needed it most.  That God must have knew they needed that encouragement today.  That is how it started...I let God guide me with who needed a card.  Often when I sat down to write out the cards I had NO idea who would be receiving the cards and BAM it just hit me who needed it.

Here is a verse I remember when I am trying to stay on target

2 Timothy 1:7
  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 

Self discipline!! I try to use it every day of my life.  If you find it hard  to stay focused, stay on task, to achieve the goal, think about writing down your goals.  Even a simple task of "fold laundry" or "put away computer cords" all the way to "get oil changed" gets completed with a goal sheet.  

If you need help with what type of goal sheet to use, there are some fabulous ones in word, on the internet or if you have an iPhone my new favorite is Wunderlist.  It syncs to my mac and iphone with no issues.  It has a place for lists that include shopping, private, work and  a wish list.    http://www.6wunderkinder.com/wunderlist

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I realized if I am going to keep this goal of sending cards in 2013, I needed to make more...so today that was my focus.  I have missed every CR84FN this year so today was  good time to start back in my routine.  Actually, I did two weeks of challenges even though one had ended.  This is the color palate for the previous week.

I am so in love with the colors.  Raspberry, Lavender and Neutral.  What a perfect combo! I have always wanted a room in the raspberry color....ALWAYS!!

Three of the fours cards used for this scheme have a 1920/1930 vibe.  I have this Graphic 45 paper from the Curtain Calls collection that is simply perfect for someone like I (that is someone going through a 1930 fab).



Picture Perfect....eatures Rudolph Valentino and I am pretty sure, Theda Bara.  If it is not Theda I will be shocked.  It is just hard to tell given the rough drawing.  Both were very famous in their day, Rudy was seen as SEXY and Theda was VAMPY (all be it a bit trashy in my eyes).  This is a simple design using the Graphic 45 tags and Creative Memories paper.  All inks are by Tim Holtz (Distress line). 

The next two use a jazzy font from my MAC (Andes).  I used Jazzing sayings from the Roaring 20's.  Again, I used the Graphic 45 tags, do you see Louis Armstrong?  I also used more of the CM paper and of course the Tim Holtz ink.  The brads are by K&Co from the Mira collection.

The last one is my favorite. I took a die cut from K&Co and inked it using Walnut Stain.  I took the CM paper once again and inked it, then spritzed with water.  I sprayed the butterfly with water and curled the wings and left a hump along the body so it looked three dimensional.  I inked the back of the wings to give some depth.  After she dried I glued her onto the CM paper.  I think poked holes for the antenna and a flying trail.  I used DMC floss to backstitch along the holes.  I absolutely LOVE the way this one looks.









13 January 2013

2nd productive weekend of 2013


I tried to be very productive this weekend. I created 16 scrapbook layouts, 8 cards, one owl and 4 painted ladies.  I also squeezed in a fast 7 hour trip to Bowling Green and back through a giant rain storm!!

The way to be more productive with your memory keeping is just to get it done.  Some of the things that I made this weekend were quick and to the point, just to record the memory...while some took literally hours to complete.  Some folks are scared of scrapbooking because they don't know where to start, some are so far behind they lose heart, and some just can't stay focused.  The later is a problem for me....if I don't have a paintbrush in my hand I simply have trouble focusing (could be that ADHD?), I just became disciplined.  I will NOT let myself do something else until I finish. I set small goals at first "today I will complete 2 layouts", but once I get in a groove I set my sights higher just to prove to myself "I COULD do it!!"  Yesterday my goal was 10 layouts, I find it easier to accomplish if I write down the goal.  I wrote down on a sheet of paper, "complete 10 layouts", being competitive with everything I do, I sought out a way to outdo that goal.  Hence the completion of 16.

Focusing on card making is much easier.  Less time is involved in the entire process so I can usually accomplish many more. For this round I only completed 8.  There were quite a few today that took a bit of time to produce.  The Marilyn card with the pocket and 3 tags took a tremendous amount of time.  The Marilyn on the block was completed in only a couple of minutes.

There are many hours involved in the owl. I have put simplified instructions below.

The whole purpose of this was to tell you that you CAN leave your family story.  You CAN make cards to show you are grateful.  You CAN be creative.  You simply need to sit down and do it.  Make a goal in 2013 to make something.  Anything!!!  Maybe you cook, maybe you sewing, maybe you have wanted to try something but never had the guts. NOW is the time!  Make a bigger impact by giving it to someone you care about  There is nothing like getting a handmade gift from someone you love.






Tidbits on making your own owl:  I first had to draw him out onto paper just the way I wanted him to appear.  His body was cut from a leftover piece of mat board.  His wings from grunge board and then decoupaged with paper to match my utility room.  I liked the wings so much I pulled out the K&Co Urban Rhapsody paper pack (the paper I used for the utility room), and cover the owl body.  I made a stomach patch from the paper and covered that in Paisley Park plastic thingys.  Once the wings were dry I dotted Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint on the front and back of wings.  The eyes were made by cutting circle of leftover fabric and burning the edges with a candle.  Each eye has two different sized circles that I squished up and glued.  The feet and beak are made from leftover Technique Tuesday tiles. Everything was distressed with Tim Holtz distress products.



















both layouts feature journaling on the back


06 January 2013

A canvas of a different color

For this canvas, I wanted to do something that I had never done.  Something really different. 

First of all, I took a blank 12x12 canvas and glued a tissue paper tree with many layers on the right side. I actually got this idea from another artist, but I ended up not really having it visible in the final product. 

My next step was to post a photo of myself right smack dab in the middle.  I chose a color photo that I was not too in love with.  My thought process was that the photo would take a back seat to the "stuff" I was adding.

The next step was add the "stuff".  I used a variety objects that I have collected, flowers, magnets, game pieces, foam thingys, beads, rope, charms and baubles.  I had to use many different types of glue to adhere the objects....E6000, hot glue, craft glue and modge podge. After all that dried and stuck around I "painted" everything but my photo with gesso.  This was a long process.  I wanted to get this thing ready for many layers of paint.

I covered my photo with a paper towel.  Now starts the fun....I used many of my Michelle's Musings misting sprays as well as the commercial sprays.  I layered and layered these paints and in spots I used acrylic paints. I just really wanted to add colors.  When I got it like I wanted I removed the paper towel. I added gesso horizontal lines to give movement.

viola!!! It's all finished!









Tags of 2013 with Tim Holtz: January

Here we go embarking on the journey with Tim making 12 tags for 2013.  I did not keep up well last year, but this year I intend on doing every month, every time.

This month's tag featured some cool elements, but I did not have the same things Tim had so of course I had to improvise.

Tag #1 Journey to the Soul

I used as a focal point, a stamped frame that I die cut and inside the frame is a lovely lady. I used Purple Stazon for the frame and Sephia archival ink for the lady. I put a layer of glossy accents over the inside of the frame to mimic glass.  These are Sizzix products.

Tim Holtz provided the quote in one of his stamp sets, it is stamped in Black Stazon.

The flowers are prima, with Ranger ink enamel centers.

The large houndstooth embossing is by Stampin up! And all the inks on top are Tim Holtz Distress inks.  There is a small flower cut out that was made by K&Co.


Tag #2 Good Times

The embossing on the background is a Alterations embossing folder by Tim Holtz. The film strip is a Tim Holtz stamp that was stamped with Black Stazon onto the clear film that covers cricut pads.  The gears are die cuts from Sizzix and I used grungeboard.  The good times is from a kit, and the oval used is from a Christmas present.  The finger is from 7 Gypsies.  All other inks are Tim Holtz Distress inks.


Tag #3 The leftovers
This is a tag made from leftovers from the other two tags.  The polka dotted background is by the paper company.

Thanks Tim for the first tag, looking forward to 11 more! 







Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations

Our house was built around 1967 and the cabinets in the home have never been repainted and frankly I don't think anything has ever been done to them since the day they were installed.  I was fed up!  Check out the before pictures and you will see exactly how bad the cabinets looked.  They also had another problem that you didn't see, if you closed them you would have to lift on the doors to make them fit.  The cabinets hung loose and were just plain pitiful.  


My first thing had to be to number the doors. Since they are custom made every door is a different size and I thought numbering them would be easier for me. I first labeled with masking tape and as I took down the door I wrote the number on the side of the door that does not show when hung.  For the top cabinets it was the top edge and the bottom it was the bottom edge. 

I then took off all the doors, cleaned the hinges (I was saving them) and filled every single hole where a door was attached to the cabinet base.  This step was long and messy, but my intention was to hang these doors as if the cabinet base was new and then I would have a tight fit with no sagging doors.  Then came the kit......

The first three photos are the before photos

I had enough left over to do our pantry cabinet.  The before is on the left, it was sponged a combo of our kitchen colors and the right is the after, looks nice doesn't it?  I am pleased with everything, the ease of use, the actual product, everything.






The bottom cabinets are finished, the top cabinet are in two different stages.  The part of the cabinets on the left is being transformed, the ones on the right are the original cabinet finish.
Look at the difference in finished and the old way
New hardware pulls in the look.  Hardware was $70 at Lowe's for 12 drawer pulls and 22 knobs
The finished project.  Next we got a new stove (not pictured) and I am working on a new curtain.  Counter tops will happen in the spring.