Sunday, February 26, 2012

Timeless Tuesday Challenge From Florishes

Here is my entry for the challenge. I used a poppy from the Poppy Patch stamp set. The lacy look border is a Nestibility called Fleur De Lis Squares from Spellbinders. I colored the poppy with Prismacolor pencils.
Florishes' Timeless Tuesday Challenge.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Studio or Craft Room?

What do you call yours?  I prefer studio, because it elevates what we do to art. Crafters are artists too. I mean seriously have you looked at some modern art lately? A painting that looked for all the world like a fried egg sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. We could SO do that! Even rubber stamping is art. Can just anyone produce beautiful cards and stamp art projects? No, they can't and besides just read the definition of the word art: "The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, or what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." I visit a lot of blogs and belong to a few stamp art forums and the work people post is most definitely "more than ordinary significance." So, I say crafters unite in calling your rooms studios!

 Okay so here is my studio. There, I said it and I refuse to feel the slightest bit pretentious. Although I must admit it doesn't look much like a studio. It's filled with old things, leftover things, and things I made. And then there's that stupid futon. I want that thing OUT OF THERE. My husband says we can't get rid of it, because it's perfectly good and we might need the bed space some day. Humph. I know just what I'd do with that space too. I have this large folding table that belonged to my late mother. I'd cover it with a pretty vinyl tablecloth to cover the utilitarian parts and make it easier to clean off. Then I'd have lots of space to spread out my projects. I'd love to have some of that specially made furniture to store stamps and large sheets of handmade paper.... oh and have all the same color too, so it matches. And I would love to have a bulletin board on the wall to post some current work, photos, inspirations and the paintings that I'm too embarressed to frame. But my husband says, "NO MORE HOLES IN THE WALLS, and besides a bulletin board would look tacky." This coming from a man who has an alligator skin and deer antlers hanging in his shop. I would make it pretty, I'd cover it with fabric and tie it to the wall with pretty ribbon. Of course I am running out of wall space. Since he said no more holes in the wall, I've hung three more pictures in there. You'd think he'd learn NOT to tell me not to do something, I mean seriously, when have I ever listened??

So, I use what I already have, my childhood furniture, with paint worn off in places, and the dent where my best friend kicked off her clogs in the 8th grade. I do love the two prints that belonged to my mom, the collage of Dublin doors my son helped me do in Photoshop, and the photos of my favorite Grandparents, and their wedding certificate from Washington state in 1907.

The futon I want to disapear. It did come in handy for propping up my watercolors to see if I had the nerve to frame any of them. Maybe the two doors could go next to the Dublin door collage. Two more holes in the wall lol! The Iris carts hold stamps and if it weren't for that stupid futon, I could put them all next to each other.
The wood table in the corner was in the "to be disposed of" pile in the school where I taught. I brought it home, sanded and restained it all by myself. It's missing a drawer, but I just turned it to the back. The monstrosity on top is my son's old printer that was damaged by lightening. It still prints in black and white so I'm going to use up the toner before I throw it away. Then I'll have that nice table space.

No fancy shaped storage, just drawers and I cram them full of stuff.

I love making and decorating pretty boxes, but then what do you do with all of them? Put stuff in them of course! These hold brads, buttons, sea shells, sea glass, postage stamps and currency from other countries and 6 round boxes for charms and beads!

I just put my embossing powders, glitter and Pearl Ex in plastic bins and shove the heat tool on top.

Fibers, ribbons and book binding thread are in balls, wound around pieces of mat board or in plastic baggies. The baby wipes to clean stamps of course.

No fancy contraption for storing ink pads. I just stack them in those plastic bins. All my Cat's Eyes are in that fishing tackle thingy that sits on top.

My husband made one thing for me: three pieces of wood with indentations drilled in them to hold all my Radiant Pearls paints. I won 50 jars in a contest and then bought a few more of course!

My art supplies share the closet with the Christmas tree and decorations. The shoe hanging gismo has my stuff in it as well as some of the boxes.

The bookcase is a dorm room cast-off from my son. Iris carts are full of stamps and I covered all the boxes to make them pretty. Flower press and postcard collection are there too as well as binders full of templates and directions for various techniques. The basket on the end holds completed cards to be sent, or taken to the gift shop for sale.

Over-the-door towel rack with skirt hangers hung upside down. That way the clips can hold my decorative papers.

Behind the papers, tassels and mizuhiki cord hang on knobs arranged by color.

That's it. Nothing extraordinary, but I like it. Know anyone who wants a futon?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Prismacolor Pencil Journal

I started keeping a Prisma color Journal last year. In it are the color charts and notes from my tutorial as well as other notes and articles. I've been looking at the journals kept by Copic lovers and have gotten some great ideas for those of us who love Prismas. I want to add some of those ideas to my journal to make it an even better tool. What's in my journal right now:
  • I created an inventory chart by numbers to keep track of what pencils I have.
  • I also developed a color chart by color families and colored in with actual pencils. This one I use while coloring as it allows me to see what the colors actually look like so that I can select just the right colors, highlights and shading. Link to both charts
  • I also have a Prisma color wheel. This helps in the selection of overall color schemes. Link to Janet's color wheel
  • My notes on tools, techniques and my lists of color combinations that I like.
  • An illustrated list of successful color palettes.
  • Lists of colors used on certain stamps.
  • Debbie Gimbel's article, “Totally Useful Color Theory For Stampers.”
  • From River City Rubber Works,Dana DeCicco's article, Colored Pencil Tips and Techniques For Rubber Stampers.”
  • Color Theory 101 by Robin Schoenfeld.
  • “To the Point, Developing Your Colored Pencil Techniques” by Yvonne Perez
I used my spiral binder to put my book together.
my inventory checklist

I use this ALL THE TIME! When coloring I can see what each of my colors looks like.

shading families

Prisma People take note of these great ideas I found
I want to add these ideas to my journal!
Dana's Inspirations is a great blog. Her chart of several color families which contain the base color, shading and highlighting colors to go with it is a great idea that could be used for Prismacolor pencils too.
The complete charts can be found here:

Michelle's chart of eyes for those who like to color people is another great idea.

What about pages of colors like this? Something like this would be great in a Prisma Journal as well. Follow the link to see Emma's great ideas for her Copic journal.

Finally, I love the way Dana shaded each color in her chart. Why didn't I think of this! She also has a chart for skin and hair, and some great Prisma video tutorials on her blog. Be sure to check it out!
  3/4/2012 Just found the coolest thing to add to a journal!!
Jessica creates the most beautiful color palettes and posts them on her website, Design Seeds.  These are gorgeous tools to print and use in your journals!!
Jessica calls this one "Flora Bright" you've got to visit her site to see all the lovely things she has created. You've probably seen them all over Pinterest too.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rubber Stamp Show!!

I experimented with my new stamp and Flowersoft. I thought I didn't want to use it all over - you know, not overpower it. What do you think? Would it look better as grass

It's been several years since I've been to a show, so I went with a friend to one in Columbia, South Carolina, called the Stamp Scrap Art Tour. I drove all the way there with my new GPS and didn't have any problems. The last time I used a GPS, I borrowed it from my husband. It wasn't a very successful experience, since the dumb thing was speaking German and I couldn't figure out how to get it to speak English! You know it's hard to watch the road and traffic and the GPS to see where you're supposed to go. Today, my new unit was speaking English and I thought that would make it so easy. It wasn't real easy trying to navigate traffic and listen at the same time. (Maybe it's one of those blonde things my husband keeps laughing at).

It was a very nice show and we had a great time. I was surprised to see my neighbor there and find out that she scrapbooks. She had a friend with her who works with rubber stamps also. I'm so excited to have met someone from my hometown who uses rubber stamps!!

So, what did I buy? What did I see? What did I learn?

First of all, I discovered a couple stamp companies. Rubber Cottage had the most amazing realistic images. I bought a barn with Mailpouch Tobacco painted on the side, and left several others there. That's okay, though because I have their website and when my budget allows, I will be using it! As I looked at their samples, I saw some very beautiful cards with some type of crushed material covering the grassy areas. I knew from friends on Split Coast Stampers that it might be Flower Soft. I asked and sure enough it was. They even told me which both had some for sale. I promptly relieved them of a few jars! I also got two sets of sentiment stamps from Motivet rubber stamps. I hadn't heard of this company either, and I really liked their images as well. Stamp On It, a Michigan company, had the most unique dies called Geo Dies. These are definitely on my wish list as well. They kind of remind of the new Spellbinders dies. Tessler Stamps and Stencils had some beautifully intricate dies too, that I managed to keep my wallet away from. I bought some glitter type gel pens and a paper distressing tool which I thought would be just the thing to use with my woodgrain embossing folder.
Tim Holtz woodgrain embossing folder - I used my new distressing tool on the edges.
I added Flowersoft to this card that I did a few weeks ago. I like the way it's just a bit of texture here.
This Flowersoft is just the coolest accent!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Old Mill

Jim Harrison, an artist, painted an old grist mill several years ago.  The numbered prints sold out and now getting one is way out of my price range. This stamp image from Northwoods, reminds me of that old South Carolina mill. I made this card for my son who lives in Colorado. The woodgrain embossing folder is from Tim Holtz. I used Distress ink to age it a bit, and naturally, I colored the image with Prismacolor pencils.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Art Stamps

My Post-Ma'am brought a box with some lovely Northwoods stamps  yesterday. I really really LOVE their images. My wish list is ten miles long!! Here is the image in their online catalog:
Northwoods Tulip Windowbox Catalog Page
I love working with Prismacolor Pencils, so I used them for this gorgeous windowbox. I embossed the purple paper with a flourish design from Paper Studio and added some diecuts in different shades of purple using the Sizzix Decorative Swirls Set. I used a corner punch on the card to echo the swirls.  I really stretched my abilities with the pencils and shading on this one. for the shadows on the white curtains, I used French Grey 20%, French Grey 30%, French Grey 50%, and Cool Grey 70%. I made the color swatch below in Photo Shop and it took forever! I cut and pasted each color into a new document then merged all the layers. I didn't get each swatch the same size. Please let me know what you think. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to do this in a better way please share that with me as well:)


Friday, February 10, 2012

Unmounting Stamps, and shopping in the city again:)

I drove into the city again yesterday! My car drove right to the mall, and I didn't do anything silly! lol:) I met a friend, and we used coupons for Joann, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby! I've decided that Joann is my new favorite craft/art store! I love the huge selection they have, and the fact that they accept competitor's coupons! Plus, they had Tack N' Peel, which I am now in love with!! Hobby Lobby had all their cardstock on sale for half off. At 22 cents a sheet, that's a good buy. I like to able to buy just the colors that I want/need. I had a list, so I selected the plain colors that had a bit of texture. Oh, and you know girlfriends are such enablers right?  We found this gorgeous fabric in Joann that would look perfect in my kitchen and dinning room. Of course my girlfriend (who can REALLY sew) told me that I can make curtains. You see, I kind of play at sewing. I can make curtains, but clothes.... not so much. Unless of course you actually LIKE the waistband in  your skirt sewed on upside down, or the collar in your shirt backwards. I've also been know to sew pant legs shut (don't ask) and put zippers in upside down and wrong side out. Then there was the blouse with one sleeve longer than  the other. You get the picture right?  Curtains I can handle, they are rectangles:)  Hmmm if I make new curtains, that wallpaper will have to go, and then the walls will need to be painted... What a great day with a friend. We both scrapbook, she sews, crochets and decorates cakes, I rubber stamp and paint. We both have great husbands and we all have fun together.

I finally figured out how to deal with all this unmounted stamp business. My clear acrylic blocks already have some clingy stuff on them. My newer stamps from Impression Obsession and Flourishes stick to that just fine. However, when unmounting my older stamps, this Tack N' Peel is the stuff! I just put it on the other side of my acrylic blocks, so I can use either type of cling. The Tack N' Peel is cushiony so I can take my wood mounted stamps down to bare rubber. This makes storage a breeze as most of you know. I think I'm the last person on the planet to unmount her stamps! I'm going to continue to store them in my Iris Carts by theme. I've been doing that for 20 years, and if I change now, I'll probably forget and get all discombobulated ya know? Every time I move something in the house to what I think is a better storage place, I forget where I put it! I am sooo my mother!! So now, I've begun putting sticky notes in the old location telling myself where I moved it to. My husband asked me why there are all these sticky notes in the drawers and closets. When I explained, he simply said, "I'm with ya." Don't you love a man who "gets you?"

Now all I have to do is figure out whether I need to store the bare rubber stamps in CD cases, or just stack them in the Iris cart drawers????

Some of my Iris Carts, I have lots more on the other side of the room.

I just finished this Easter card yesterday. I think it was waiting for this gorgeous ribbon I found yesterday in Hobby Lobby. The stamp is from Peddlers' Pack and it was done in Prismacolor pencils.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Where Has Common Sense Gone?

I belong to a political message board/forum and we were discussing common sense, and how the lack of it can account for so many of our society's problems. Someone posted this obituary and I thought it was worth passing on. I've highlighted some of my favorite parts:)

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in  charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place: Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sunscreen or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; by his wife, Discretion; by his daughter, Responsibility and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I am a Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lucy-itis Strikes Again!

I'm so not a morning person. I'm retired, I don't even have to do mornings anymore. However, I had a doctor's appointment first thing in the morning on my birthday. I had to have my new knee checked out, as well as a muscular injury obtained in physical therapy. Yeah, I know, who gets hurt in physical therapy? Well, that would be me. Anyway I got up early, chugged my caffeine and threw myself in the shower. Did the hair and makeup in record time too. At that point I was reasonably awake which is quite a remarkable feat! As I got in the car and began the thirty minute drive to the city, I was busy congratulating myself for getting up and ready on time. I kept driving while singing along with the CD.  As I crossed the river I was totally oblivious as I was having such a good time singing along with Jaron to the song, Pray. This song is hysterically funny! I crossed the river into Georgia when it dawned on me, I'm going the wrong way! I'm headed for the mall!!

I'm not supposed to go shopping, I'm supposed to be downtown at the doctor's office in ten minutes. So I’m thinking, ‘Do I go straight ahead through the dangerous part of the city? I think that road goes near where I need to go. I've been that way before it's near the jail and it will look familiar. But what if it doesn't?  Not a good part of the city to be if I get lost.  I could get on the interstate and go backwards a bit, and take the new Interstate - then I know I would end up at the Doc's office.  Of course that might take longer, and I could be late.’

I'm basically a big chicken, so I decided to go back across the river hoping I wouldn't be too late.  It was shorter than I thought despite having to cross the river back into Carolina, and then back across into Georgia again on a different highway. Confusing? Try being an allergic to morning, time challenged, blonde Lucy.  Guess what? I wasn't even late!  How cool is that?  Sometimes I amaze myself.

Oh the song you ask? It's meant to be tongue-in-cheek, you wouldn't REALLY pray for such things of course. I think it is so funny, and Jaron, the singer?  He is so hot!!!!

Pray For You

I haven't been to church since I don't remember when
Things were going great '˜til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you cant go hating others who have done wrong to you.
Sometimes we get angry, but we must not condemn.
Let the good Lord do His job and you just pray for them.
I pray your brakes go out running down a hill
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I'd like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flying high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are honey, I pray for you
I'm really glad I found my way to church
'Cause I'm already feeling better and I thank God for his words.
Yeah I'm going take the high road,
And do what the preacher told me to do,
You keep messing up and I'll keep praying for you.
I pray your tire blows out at 110.
I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend and wake up with his and her tattoos.
I pray your brakes go out running down a hill.
I pray a flowerpot falls from a window sill and knocks you in the head like I'd like to.
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flying high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, near or far, in your house or in your car,
wherever you are honey, I pray for you.

On a totally different note, I finished the last Valentine's Day card with accompanying teabag folder.

  • I just used the picture as a guide. I saw this newsprint decorative paper at Hobby Lobby and used it for the strips.
  • I cut them on the paper cutter trying to eyeball the angle (next time I'll use a quilt ruler). 
  • I used my Tombo tape runner on the back of each strip, adhere to a piece of black cs. I alternated the angles - northeast/southeast then northwest/southwest. I used Distress ink to age the edges.
  • Wanted message on the computer then used Distress on that too. The heart stamp (Hero Arts) was colored with Prisma colored pencils.
  • Teabag folder - used Spellbinders Lacy Squares and Hero Arts stamp there too.