Monday, November 28, 2011

Still Thankful - although I forgot to post this prior to Thanksgiving!

Ok...so you probably are totally laughing at me - since Thanksgiving was LAST week...but perhaps you will still enjoy this video and find some techniques that you could use on some holiday gifts...(except for the quirky turkeys).



I LOVED seeing Tim Holtz make those cute turkeys... you can check his blog out here....I made a few modifications because my computer is off being fixed and I couldn't print his pattern out to make the heads...so I had to just "punt" and draw my own. I think they turned out cute.

I also have an idea for a way to use the rosette die for some Christmas projects so I will be back with a tutorial on those soon. Also - I totally will be using this basic card design with some of Tim's Mover and Shaper Dies that are Christmas themed...

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving...and for those of you that reside outside of the US...I am sure that you have days (perhaps not a holiday specifically) where you stop and focus on all the blessings you have in your life. I am thankful for each of you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Before You Were My Dad

Here is a video I did showing a gift I made for Dad a few years ago. He was a professional baseball player...and had quite a collection of pictures and news stories that I was able to use in making the mini.



I used a medical file folder...it's construction is VERY sturdy...and I love the long fasteners that make it easy to add additional pages...I think I am going to have to create another project with a medical file folder as a base so I can do a tutorial for you guys.

Hope you are all headed towards a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for...and know I count you as a huge blessing in my life!

{{hugs}}

Jann

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dad

I love this picture of my Dad. It was taken soon after he graduated from college...and around the time that he and my mother married. Dad finished his freshman year of college and then was drafted into the Army...and served in Korea. He finished up college when he returned...I think he looks so dapper!

My Dad was always super healthy. He played professional baseball - and even as he got older he had the physique of an athlete. I think that is what has made the past 10 months so hard. At 84 he was totally embracing life...traveling, hunting with his brother and playing golf several times a week. Back in January he had a regular doctor's appointment and his bloodwork came back with a total surprise...Dad was diagnosed with leukemia. He was referred to an oncologist - but the doctor sent word to Dad's doctor that he didn't really need to see him - the leukemia was so advanced that he would not recommend any chemo therapy for someone as old as my Dad. Even today, that both makes me smile...and a little MAD! *smile* Just goes to show that none of us know EVERYTHING! (I especially need to be reminded of that myself on a regular basis).

We insisted that the doctor actually SEE Dad before he made his final prognosis. When he walked into the examining room and took a look at Dad, his first words were, "you certainly are not what I expected!" Dad began a journey that day ... and he approached it much like he approached teaching me math! "This isn't going to be FUN - but we're gonna do it the right way!"

Dad continually surprised his doctors - he withstood three rounds of chemo...and began to get stronger. They would just shake their heads...he wasn't doing what they expected - but my sister and I were not really all that surprised...Dad always did the unexpected!

Because Dad was a fighter...we were blessed to have 10 very special months with him. He lived in Dallas and I live in Nashville - but I was able to make several trips home to see him...and we spoke daily on the phone. We had some priceless late night conversations...and every night we would end the conversation with me saying, "good night Dad - I love you!" and he would respond, "I love you too sugar!" Those words had the ability to take this 50 year old woman and transport her back to an eight year old little girl.

Dad finished his journey on Thursday morning - November 3rd. We were blessed to have home hospice there for the last few days of his life. I will always remember one of his nurses, Quinita. She is a very special lady. Her care for my Dad was gentle...like she was caring for her own father. She was always aware of what was going on...and just took care of things - allowing Ruby (my Dad's wife), my sister and me to just spend our time together loving on him. Very precious hours.

I know I have been absent for a while but I am hoping to be back soon with some fun projects to share with you. Life just got a bit overwhelming between the death of Jess (husband to one of my best friends here in Nashville) and then Dad's health deteriorating so quickly. I hope to have some quick last minute Thanksgiving projects to share...I made some fun cards, Thanksgiving dinner place cards and a little accordian mini with tags for each person at dinner to share what they consider their greatest blessing of the past year. I made them prior to heading to Dallas because a friend of mine and I were going to to have a booth in a local craft fair. She was super sweet and took the projects that I already had completed and sold them along with her own delightful home decor and holiday gifts. I have the BEST friends!

I have missed you all - and I am looking forward to being back with you in my studio soon! Hope you are headed towards a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am certainly counting my blessings...and you all are right there on the list!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We are sad....

 My very dear friend and co-worker lost her husband yesterday.  He was a young man (remember I think you are still "young" if you are within 5 years of my age...yes it is a sliding window - but I'm ok with that!)  - and full of life and love for his wife, his children, his grandbaby girl and his work.
In fact, he was in the middle of a presentation at work - and collapsed.  Such a shock to everyone - and we will all miss him very much.  Jess played soccer on one of the teams in Spain when he was younger - and I enjoyed learning a lot about the sport during the World Cup - Jess was a very patient teacher (up until I met Jess and Carole - I only had a working knowledge of Football and Baseball and a willingness to watch Basketball with my nephew) - but Jess sucked me into this sport that was totally foreign to me.  I am sure I will be tuning in the next time the World Cup Tournament is being played - although it just won't be as fun since I won't have Jess available to explain the difference between yellow and red cards...and why certain guys on the team can't go past some of the lines on the field!

Jess always had his priorities straight.  He loved God (he was a pastor for many years and then worked to equip and resource pastors around the US). He loved his wife (he would just pop into the office to say hi or to surprise Carole for lunch) - and they were married for more than 30 years. He loved his kids. His eldest is a policeman and is married to a wonderful woman and they have a precious little girl whom Jess adored.  He has two beautiful daughters...and they are a reflection of their Mom and Dad - caring, sweet lovely girls. And then there was the bond between Jess and Buddy...his dog.  Yes - Buddy was clearly Jess's dog.

Jess will be missed. We know that He has gone to spend eternity with his God...and we know we will see him again. But for now - we are sad...we miss him...and there is a Jess shaped hole in our hearts.

I also need to let you know that those of you who have purchased items from my previous blog post that I did not get them packaged up yesterday or today - everything that was on my "to do" list just needed to be set aside so that I could spend time with Carole...love on her and support her in any way that I could.  I am hoping that I can get things packed up and shipped out on Monday or Tuesday.  Thank you for your patience - I appreciate it!

I have been especially reminded over the past couple of days that I want to live every moment of every day as if it might be my last.  I want to tell the people that I love - that I LOVE THEM!  So - dear blog following friends - thank you for hanging out with me - for encouraging me - for challenging and inspiring me.  Know that I love you...and feel blessed to be your friend.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Few Things That Need A Good Home!

Ok...this post is long overdue...but I finally have taken all the pictures. It is going to be a bit long - so hang with me here. 

When I was doing the BIG STUDIO overhaul - I found a few kits or collections that were left over from classes that I have taught over the past year.  As you all know, I teach at local scrapbook stores and scrapping retreats, and I almost always end up with an extra kit or tool because someone cancelled or I had to buy a certain number of a product.  I am getting ready for the fall and spring round of classes - and need to move these things  out to make room for the new inventory. I would love for them to go to a good home...could it possibly be yours? *smile*  I only have one or two oftmost of these kits... If you click on one of the Buy Now Buttons and I have already sold it, you will get a message that it is sold out - and you can come back to this post and keep shopping. (shipping will be added at check out)




My Mind's Eye Haunted Halloween Kit - $25




October Afternoon: 5 & Dime Complete Collection Kit - $60

Contains:
14 Pattern Papers
2 Cardstock Sticker Sheets
1 Die Cut Page
3 Alpha Cardstock Sticker Sets
2 Rubons
Mini Tag Album
Word Stickers
Label Stickers
Buttons
Rubber Charms
Sprinkers - Spray Ink
Chip n Stick
1 Pkg Miscellany





Melissa Francis Fall Mini Album Kit - $ 35

Contains:
10 Pattern Papers + 5 Coordinating Cardstock
2 Sticker Sheets
1 Melissa Francis Mini Album blank
Buttons
3 Glitter Tubes
Rubons
1 October Afternoon Fall Stamp Set
1 Pkg Fall Melissa Francis Chipboard Shapes



Graphic 45 A Proper Gentleman Paper Pack - $10




Basic Grey - Periphery Collection Pack  - $8





Basic Grey: Infuse Collection Pack - $8




Basic Grey: Phoebe Collection Pack - $8
This pack has two letter stickers missing.



Basic Grey: Stella Ruby Collection Pack - $8 SOLD



Cosmo Cricket - Social Club Crafting Kit - $18




Cosmo Cricket - Odds and Ends Collage Kit - $35

Contains:
Mini Deck - 36 Papers
2 Tiny Type Alpha Sticker Sets
Button Pack
16 Designer Papers
Cut Apart Ephemera
                                                            Cardstock Stickers





Perfect Pearl - Confection Collection - $12.50 SOLD

Contains:
Pink Gumball
Sour Apple
Grape Fizz
Blue Raspberry
2 Brushes
Perfect Medium Ink Pad




Imaginisce - iRock Tool - $13










Imaginisce - iTop Brad Maker - $15











Grab Bag - $50

Every one will be different, but filled with at least $75 worth of products....these are incomplete kits that I will combine together to create a one of a kind collection of paper crafting goodness.




Whew!  Sorry, it took so long for me to get this done...I know some of these supplies were getting REALLY lonely! LOL  Have a great day!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Good Things Come In Small Packages



Hello sweet friends...

Hope you have had a great weekend - and are looking forward to the week ahead!

I just got a notice on my phone that middle Tennessee is likely to experience frost tonight!  Woo Hoo - I think that may mean that FALL is actually on its way here! YEAH!

I was able to re-tape the video tutorial on the mini canvases - it was a little frustrating having to tape it with the camera off to the side - so I am really hoping to get back to using my computer and the overhead camera again soon! I apologize for the number of times I was demonstrating something out of frame or the goofiness of telling you to "look at something" that you clearly COULDN'T see because my left hand wasand was in the way! LOL.  Oh well - I learned a lot by doing this one and hopefully will do better on the next one.

This afternoon, I got to start on the project I told you about in the video...the mini album that we want to send  to the family of the kidney donor Royce received last October 8th.  We want to share with them our gratitude - but want to be mindful that the gift we received came at the cost of the life of their loved one.  We take that sacrifice to heart - and want them to know that Royce cherishes that gift - and throough his life, their loved one is continuing to influence the lives of others. This is one of those opportunities where I can use my art to express what is in my heart! I hope that you find an opportunity to do the same!  Have a great week - and I will be back to share the progress I am making with our mini albums.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I am SO NOT scared of small canvases

So they are a GREAT place to spend a little Creative Play time. These first two tiny canvases ended up being small thank you gifts for two sweet friends.  I found several of these small canvases (they are approximately 2.5 - 3.5 inches) back in the art department at JoAnn's - I think they were no more than $1.  They are wood framed and are basically square or ATC (artist trading card) sized. Small...and totally un-intimidating.

I used Distress Stain (yeah - I can't seem to stop playing with that stuff) on the blue one and on the autumnal version, I used acrylic paint and acrylic washes.  The dandelions were stamped and then I used Sakura gel pens to add some dimension to the canvas.  I stamped the pumpkins with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then colored them with Copics  - but you could use colored pencils or Bic pens - hey - you might even try crayons...remember we're just playing so anything goes! I cut the pumpkins out and popped them up on dimensionals. Even when working on something small like these canvases - remember to use the same design principles you would incorporate on a scrapbook page, a card or larger canvas.  Even though there is plenty of room to center the pumpkins on the canvas - I felt that letting them hang off the right edge created a lot more visual interest.  What do you think?

I had no idea where I was going when I started out - but these two little canvasses with splattered paint began to take on a life of their own. Once I had added the butterflies and the dandelion stamp I just knew that it needed to be a little "thank you" for a sweet friend of mine.   I so liked the pumpkin version (the stamp is by CC Designs) that I think I will do a season series so I can change them out with the seasons.  Stay tuned for those - I will share them when I get them done. I added a loop of thin satin ribbon so they can be hung or placed on a small easel.

The thing is - a big canvas somehow makes me think I have to do something SIGNIFICANT with it - but now that I have had some fun playing on smaller versions, I don't think I will be as intimidated when I get around to doing something with a larger version.  So the Creative Play Principle is: Start small and gain confidence.

Now I want to give you a sneak peek at my other small canvas.



This one was OUTRAGEOUSLY fun to create....and I am going to do a video to show you what all I did to create all the texture on the basic canvas.  I actually taped the process of making this one - kind of like I did on the painting faces video...but didn't get it edited before my computer died...and I am afraid all of that is lost...so I will be recreating it with another canvas to share with you.  Again - I just stayed in "creative play mode" and when I stopped playing - I liked the end result enough to add a few embellishments to make it into a piece of art that I now have sitting on my desk in my studio reminding me to "Be Courageous!"

 Friends, I do apologize for the delay in our Creative Play Series. I am working on an alternative method to shoot and edit videos until I get my computer back.  Don't you hate having to deal with the "downside" of technology!?!?!  I mean - I love all that computers allow us to do, but when they stop working it puts a real kink into my productivity!  Grrrr!

 I hope you all are having a great week...and that you are finding time for some Creative Play!  See you soon!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Digi Me...

Happy Saturday...

I had a great time seeing many of my scrappy friends here in Nashville today.  Once a year, I do a scrapbook yard sale to help me clean out my studio and guest room (affectionatly named "the warehouse!" *smile*). Because I teach classes throughout the year and at retreats, I often end up with an extra kit or two...from someone who cancelled at the last minute or I just ended up with more product than I needed.

It was a gorgeous day! I even ended up with a bit of a sunburn...I didn't notice the time passing - you know how it is when you are hanging out with other creative people...you just start sharing ideas and before you know it an hour has passed.  What a great way to spend a Saturday.

One of the ladies that came out to the yard sale challenged me to do some digi scrapping. I love a challenge...so I decided to work on a project I think is going to be part of our next series after we complete the Creative Play Series. So many times, those of us that create the family scrapbooks forget to include pictures and stories about ourselves.

So here is my idea (yes I know we have a LOT more to accomplish in our Creative Play Series - but I love letting an idea run around in my head for a while before we actually start on it): I want us to create an "All About Me" album.  I have talked with Scott at BlueMoon Scrapbooking, and he has said that he is happy to put together a kit that is just available here through my blog - for those that want to use the same supplies...but of course you will be able to use any products that you want to - and I will be creating some templates that will be exclusives for those that are participating in the series.  I am planning on using the "All About Me" paper crafting kit from Webster's Pages. I got a pre-release kit - and WOW is it gorgeous.  I will take some pictures and post it for you when I get back from my trip towards the middle of the week.  I am also looking into maybe doing the "All About Me" via UStream...so that we can talk and interact while we are doing it.  Let me know what you think about the idea...and if it sounds like something that would be intriguing to you.

I thought I would also let you know that I have six or seven kits (each one of them is from a different class that I taught) that I didn't sell today.  I will take some pictures of them and post them in the next few days.  You know I am not about using my blog to SELL stuff...but they are pretty cool kits - October Afternoon 5 & Dime (lots of embellies from the line are included), Cosmo Cricket Odds and Ends, Melissa Frances (Fall project kit) and a 7 Gypsies mini album kit - and they need to go to nice homes - LOL.  I know there are a couple more so I will take some pictures and let you know more specifics!

Ok...I need some sleep...so I am gonna head to bed.  Hope you have a good rest of the weekend - and for sure...save time for some CREATIVE PLAY!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Creative Play Series: Doing What You Think You Can't



Happy Friday!

I am super excited to be sharing this post with you today... because it is an opportunity for me to be totally TRANSPARENT and show you that I am on this journey to creative freedom right along with you!

Today's video is about learning to BE BRAVE and try the things that you think you can't do -- or can't do as well as others!  Success is in the trying!  And I clearly will show you that if you watch the video.  The thing I chose - was painting faces...because that is something that I see other people do and do WELL and I just KNOW that mine wouldn't come out that cute.  So having said that...and because I can't encourage YOU to do something I am not willing to do myself...I decided to share my VERY FIRST attempt at painting a face.  Ok...so I am not even going for a Mona Lisa - kind of face...I just want to make one of those whimsical - mixed media kinds of faces....and I am even going to give myself a boost by using a STENCIL as a starting point!  Hey - the point is to TRY... and to use Creative Play as a safe place to try new things.  Did it turn out PERFECTLY? ummmmm that would be a NO....but do I love it?  Yes, I do...in fact I stayed up last night in order to finish editing the video so you could see it today!  I am going to keep using some of my Creative Play time to practice - and I will come back and show you the kind of progress I am making.  Even though it is FAR from perfect, I am really pleased that I tried.  I feel stronger and more confident...I feel BRAVE!  I hope that you will be a bit brave this week and try something you have been hesitant to try as well - and then please come share it with us on Mr. Linky!

I will be traveling over the weekend...and into the first part of the week...so it will be next week before I can do another episode of Creative Play - but I will be watching for your posts on Mr. Linky and can't wait to see what you do!  And I will be planning our next adventure!

If you are interested in the stencils and paints I used, you can find them here:
Stencils
Paints

Have a great weekend!

Jann


Monday, September 05, 2011

Creative Play Series: Playful Backgrounds

Hello Friends...

I am really glad to be back with another installment for our Creative Play series.

If you are just now joining us...skip down a few posts and  catch up with us...or just jump in where we are...it is all good! *smile*

Last time we talked about overcoming the paralysis of perfection by asking the question - "What if...?" and letting your natural curiosity take over.

Today's method for helping you find that 5 year old that is hiding inside of you that just wants to CREATE is to spend some time "Creating for No Apparent Reason."  Sometimes the pressure of having an end product in mind shuts down our freedom...and when that gets shut down, we are less likely to create our best art.  So one of my ways of keeping myself "playful" is to take a few minutes when I may not have time to create a whole project - and use it to just make some backgrounds that I might use on another project....or not!

Have fun watching the video...and then GO PLAY!  When you are done, please come back and leave us a link to what you have made down on the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.  Have fun - I can't wait to see what you create my dear ARTIST friends!





Products I used:
Tim Holtz Distress Stains
Crafter's Workshop Stencils
Pumice Distress Ink
Acrylic Paint
Watercolor Paper

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Webster's Pages Seaside Retreat Mini-Album


Hello friends...

Are you enjoying the long weekend? I am for sure. I can feel that I am getting stronger every day - so am hoping that this third round of antibiotics will be the ticket to no more pneumonia for me! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers...I sure appreciate them!

So wanted to share this fun mini-album that I created for a friend of mine. I have been saving these gorgeous papers and embellies from Webster's Pages (seaside retreat) for just the right album - and this was the PERFECT use for them.

The idea behind it is to make a mini that can hold lots of pictures - simply by putting two 4 x 6 pictures back to back and punching holes in them...and using the pages of the mini as a place to do the journaling. All the decorating is done - you don't have to wait until you have added the pictures to finish it up...put the pictures in and add your journaling, and you're done! I make quite a few of these...here are some of the kinds of albums I have made with this design:

1. Baby or Bridal Shower gifts - The Mom or Bride is always pressed for time - but they have a TON of pictures to deal with after their showers...giving them a place to put their pictures and add some journaling is a PERFECT way to help them document that special time in their life.

2. Year in Review: I do this for our family...and have started using this format for our year "overview." I made 12 tabbed dividers with the month on them, and then all I have to do is take the stack of pictures from each month, put them back to back and add them to the album...I can then journal about that months highlights - and I never feel "behind" in my scrapbooking. (Yes I do lot of scrapbook layouts - but I use them to tell the stories that I want to remember - the "story behind the picture" - this mini album is just a way to keep up to date with the on-going stuff...both are important to me).

3. Trip mini - when you have MORE pictures than you can fit into a regular mini...this is a great way have fun with those great travel papers and enjoy the process of making a great mini and not have to worry about resizing my photos.

4. Holiday Mini: I gave lots of these for Christmas last year....there are always MORE pictures from the holidays than we have time to scrap or photo mats in a mini can accommodate.

5. This is a great mini to share with a friend who is not a scrapbooker but loves to take pictures.

The ideas are endless....let me know how you use this idea.

Here are some of the products I used in this mini:

Tim Holtz Alterations Baroque Die and Mover and Shaper Die.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Creative Play: What If

One of the best ways I have learned to get over the paralysis of perfection is to ask "What If...?" The key to it working is to just let your natural curiosity come out to play. The purpose for asking the question is not a perfect answer...it is knowledge....finding out what happens IF you try something.

To begin with try asking one of these questions:

1. What would happen if I used watercolors on different types of paper?
2. What happens if I tear an edge on my paper by hand, with a straight ruler or a deckle edge ruler?
3. What would happen if I put this kind of ink on acrylic paint?
4. What happens if I mix this color with that color?


You just turn your desk into a Creative Learning Lab. And later, you can start asking more complicated "What If " questions... just by following your natural curiosity.

As you will see in this video, I started with a simple comparison question. I am new to working with Distress Stains, so I began with a simple question "What if I put the same stain on different types of paper?" Once I did that, my curiosity took over...what happens if I add water? What happens if I add Perfect Pearls, What if I tried to use them for watercoloring a stamped image? (trust me...the questions were flowing longer than I could keep the camera turned on).



So now it is your turn. Remember...NO FEAR! You don't have to use Distress Stains...that was just what I wanted to play the "What If" game with - because they are a new product to me.

Here's your challenge:
A. Pick something that YOU are curious about...and just go and PLAY!
B. Keep playing and trying new things as they occur to you.
C. When you have finished take a look and see which of the things you created should go on your refrigerator. It is ok if you want to stamp it, cut it or add it to something else...these are just building blocks...but be sure and find something to go put on your refrigerator because it will act as your reminder that YOU ARE AN ARTIST!
D. Share it with us. We are all learners here - and I can't wait to see what new adventures YOUR curiosity inspires in those of us that are on this art journey together. If you can - create a video and share it with us as a video response to this video on YouTube. If you have a blog, create a post and give us the link down here in Mr. Linky. Or just take pictures and post them on Flickr...and give us a link down below. The point is - we want to encourage each other on our creative journey.

Most of all...HAVE FUN! I have to tell you that even though I am spending most of my time in bed recovering from pneumonia...I am SO EXCITED to see what you create. Be sure and click on the links of the others who have posted - we could all use some encouragement as we seek to become FEARLESS ARTISTS!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Creative Play Series: Introduction


I want to invite you to come into my "virtual classroom" where we will throw off the things that keep us from creating with abandon and just have some FUN! Here is a quick introduction to the series:



And here are some of the things that I will be using in the first Creative Play Series:

Artist Trading Cards (ATC - 3.5 x 2.5)
Collage Stamps
Perfect Pearls
Mini Mister
Plain Muslin
I-top Brad Maker

Please know you don't have to have all of these things...I am just giving you a heads up in case you want to play along with me.

I have the first class taped - but since I am still on strict doctors orders to limit my time out of bed (while I am working on getting rid of this pneumonia) I will hopefully get that edited tomorrow....So until then, I will tease you with the topic...Tim Holtz's new Distress Stains!

If you are interested in getting a copy of the "I Am an Artist" pledge, please leave me a comment with your email address, and I will be happy to send it to you. If you have a color preference, I have it available in Blue, Gray, Pink, Green and Golden Brown.

Those of you on the East Coast and in the path of Irene, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. As I was praying for you and the others who are preparing for the storm, I was reminded of one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Jesus was crossing a lake in a boat and fell asleep - while He was sleeping, a HUGE storm came up - and those folks that were in the boat with Him were REALLY frightened. They went and woke Jesus up...and frankly couldn't believe that He was STILL asleep. When Jesus saw the storm He said two words- "Be Still!" And the storm stopped immediately! Very comforting to know that no storm is mightier than God!

Have a good weekend...stay safe and dry - and save a little time for Creative Play!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Magnetic Storage Boards Tutorials

I did finally get the video edited for the tutorial on how I made the storage boards. I broke it up into two videos so will post both of them here.

Part One:



Part Two:



Materials used:


Hope you all enjoy this tutorial...and please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Have a great week!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Magnetic Storage Boards


Hello Friends...

Hope you are having a great weekend! I have been working my way through a "to do" list that is clearly longer than the weekend will allow for me to get done - but it is still very satisfying to put a check in the box next to an item. Even though I am a great fan of technology - my "to do" lists are still old school...a handwritten list with little boxes next to them - stuck up on my refrigerator for easy review!

Three of the items on my list were to 1) Finish shooting the tutorial on how I made my magnetic storage boards, 2) Get the tutorials edited and posted on YouTube and 3) Figure out a way for you to purchase a blank magnetic board or order one that is already made.

I have finished taping the tutorial...and will get it edited and posted tomorrow - actually it will be two videos...I wanted to give you a LOT of detail on the techniques that I used...even if you don't want to make one for yourself, the techniques are FUN to play with so I thought you might enjoy seeing them in detail.

And now, I have figured out how to let you order your own magnetic board in the format you choose.

The first way is for you to just order a blank so you can make your own. I realize finding a board with enough iron in it for it to hold these heavy dies is actually pretty hard to locate. A cookie sheet (I tried using several different versions of these a couple of years ago when I was creating a magnetic Advent Calendar for a class I was teaching) almost always has too much aluminum in it to hold the dies securely. I have several blanks still available from that project class and thought I would make them available to you. The blank is bare steel with rounded corners and a pre-drilled hole for hanging.

The other two options are Magnetic Storage Boards that I will make for you...based on the two versions that I created for the tutorial.

One is made with pre-printed tissue paper...I will use some 7 Gypsies kraft tissue paper and a make each one unique with tissue tape and stamping. I will not be adding the shapes sillouettes like you see in this picture because you will want to arrange those for yourself or may not want to add them at all.
The second version is made following the steps I show in my video tutorial...stamped and collaged tissue paper with additional stamping done to add depth to the finished board.

If you would like to order one, please just select the version you would want from this drop down menu - during check out you will have an opportunity to add a message - so please use this area to tell me if you have a color preference and I will try and match it as closely as possible. Remember, each one will be unique and one of a kind.

Magnetic Board Options




I still have five Flat Rate Shipping Boxes filled with scrappy goodness that you can purchase as well...Each box is different, filled with paper, embellishments, stickers, trims and anything else that will fit!




I have heard from some readers that the PayPal buttons are not working correctly and others are finding they work fine - so I will do some research. If you have a problem, please leave me a comment with a way to get hold of you and I will send you a PayPal money request. Sorry for the inconvenience, I am sure there is just a setting that I have wrong...will do some research.

Ok - so I am off to go put a check box on my To Do list...and call it a night! Have a great Sunday! Will be working on getting the tutorials posted tomorrow...so be sure and check back!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Benefits of Creative Play


Do you consider yourself an artist? When I first started getting interested in scrapbooking, cardmaking and other paper crafts...I thought of myself as a CRAFTER....not an artist. And when I think back on it - it really seemed like there was a difference...a crafter was someone who just likes to MAKE stuff....and an artist was someone with SKILLS!

I so don't believe that anymore!

I think almost everyone I come in contact with is a CREATIVE person...and most are ARTISTS. My definition of an artist is anyone who gives free expression to that part of themselves that is creative. Maybe you are an ARTIST who makes music. Maybe you are an ARTIST who bakes cakes. Maybe you are an ARTIST that paints pictures. Maybe you are an ARTIST that paints pictures with words...or a camera...or with paper and glue.

The biggest hurdle I had to get over in order to see myself as an artist was fighting the paralysis of perfectionism. Everytime I sat down to create, I found myself worrying that I could make a mistake...that if I weren't careful, I would MESS IT UP! Hogwash! I finally had to say - "you'll never be an artist if you don't ever CREATE anything!"

If you have taken one of my classes, you know that I start every single one of them with "the pledge!" It goes something like this (it is never EXACTLY the same way twice)...picture everyone with one of their art tools held up in the air.

I am an artist. For the next few hours, I pledge to forget about perfection and focus on having FUN! I can spill paint, smear ink and tear my paper and I will STILL be an artist. I can't make a mistake...it is all fixable and when I am done I will have a work of ART....because I AM AN ARTIST!"

Just those few simple words seem to help both me and my students to lighten up and change our expectations. See it really is as simple as that...it is all about the expectations. Are you EXPECTING what you make to have to meet some standard of perfection....or are you focused on expressing that creative part of yourself in a way that tells a story or expresses an emotion?

I love a quote by Pablo Picasso...."all children are artists...the trick is remaining one when you grow up!" Oh yeah...that is so true. When we were five we thought everthing we made was refrigerator worthy...but somewhere we lost that idea that the very fact that we created it makes it art....now it has to be PERFECT! Honestly, I rarely am moved by a piece of art that is perfect...it usually doesn't tell me a story....and rarer still is a perfect piece of art that reveals the heart and emotion of the artist. So I am a fan of "imperfect" art...it is so much more interesting!

One of the ways that I battle the paralysis of perfectionism is to set aside time for intentional PLAY. If you watch my YouTube videos, you know that I often end with "and I hope you will find some time this week to PLAY!" Trying to make ART is hard...playing is very freeing! I sit down and have no intention of creating a finished product. I just want to see how this ink reacts with that paint...or how a particular tool creates texture on the page. Whatever I make, may end up in the trash...or be put aside to be incorporated into another project at a later date. The point is, because I don't have any expectations other than to just "see what happens" - I can't be dissapointed. Most of my tutorials have come as a result of some creative play - an hour or two that I just sat down in my studio and messed around with tools and products to see what they do. It is like PRACTICE for an artist. You end up with new "tools in your artist's toolbox" that you can pull out when you need to get a certain result...and because you have played around with the technique on something that has no consequence...when you try it on the "REAL PROJECT" you can use it confidently.

The other thing I do is to try a new technique on something SMALL...like an ATC (Artist Trading Card) or a tag. Nothing scary about something that is 2.5 x 3.5 inches. If I don't like it, I can just paint over it or tear it or paste something down on top of it. No worries! I recently visited the blog of one of my FAVORITE artists Julie Fei-Fan Balzer...and saw that she was doing this same thing...only on CANVASES! oh yeah....she took a canvas that she made last week and just reused it...some of it showed through...some of it didn't....but she just boldly went right over it....NO FEAR! Check out her post on her blog about that here....you won't be disappointed.

Here is a video I did last year showing you some examples of things that I had created during some Intentional PLAY. As you will hear in the video, I hadn't had much time for creativity - so instead of denying my artist's heart ANY expression because I couldn't really create a MASTERPIECE, I just took a few moments every night to go and PLAY! Check it out...


I do hope that you have a great rest of the week...and will take some time to PLAY! Because you, my friend...are an ARTIST!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sizzix Shapers Die Storage - Sneak Peek

You may remember my post a few days ago where I showed you how I have been storing my Sizzix Movers & Shapers Dies...and there they are in one of my FAVORITE enamelware dishes...but that dish slides onto a shelf...and well....out of sight really is out of mind with me...and I LOVE these dies and want to use them more. So I have been working on a solution...and I now have the "prototype" completed. Because the Movers and Shapers Dies are magnetic...I realized that I could make a metalic board for them that can hang on the wall beside my desk...totally in view when I am working. Here s what it looks like.
This really is just a sneak peek....because I am working on a tutorial...and after showing it to a couple of friends, they have said they would like to buy one...so I am working on how to do that in case you want one too. The trick is that your "board" has to be metallic with enough iron in it to allow the magnets to stick to it...and I have a few of them left over from a class I taught a couple of years ago (An Advent Calendar with magnetic dates)...thin enough to not weigh too much and with a hole predrilled for hanging from a hook or adding some ribbon.

So...I will finish up the video and edit it in the next day or so. I like how it turned out....hope you do too! Have a great second half of the week!