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:

Have a great weekend!


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.