Thursday, November 20, 2014

brown thursday awesomeness...

Hello my wonderful friends!

If you are arriving here from Kary's blog you are right on track... if not, go ahead and start at the beginning by clicking HERE.. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration (or chances to win!)

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale… this one's a HUGE one!)

Ok, so in case ya don't know, in the USA, the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) is one of the BIGGEST shopping days of the year, and the following Monday is Cyber Monday where all the online stores have their big sales. Yup, pretty much it is all a huge scheme to get you to spend money… I mean, to help jumpstart your holiday shopping…

 Well, at Unity, we do something called "Brown Thursday" the week BEFORE Thanksgiving, and Unity donates $1 from EVERY SALE to RICE BOWLS, a fabulous group who turns that money  into FOOD for KIDS in NEED. Yeah, suddenly, getting a jump start on your seasonal shopping sounds pretty AWESOME, huh! And we got the fairly awesome deal of 55% off SITE WIDE, along with some other great incentives for you, because we kinda LOVE doing that!

We also love to release new stamps… pretty much every week. Here's one of the BRAND SPANKIN' NEW ones from Phyllis Harris. (Around the edges, I used Beautiful Elements… a newer set that I absolutely LOVE! So excited when it came in the mail!)

Can we say "AWWW" FACTOR?
Sorry, with the silver background, it is was hard to get the lighting right in the photo… it says "Sometimes we just need someone to be there." How TRUE. I am SO thankful for those precious people who have 'just been there' for me!

One of those people that have been there for me, is this little ANGEL. I know, not what you typically think of when you think of "someone to be there", and she isn't even mine. However, she is one of my angels. I get to play with, cuddle, sing to, and hold this SWEET little one every Sunday, and each time my heart heals just a little more. I LOVE her. And I'm so glad her momma trusts me with her little girl while she is teaching!

I used both Unity's current LO sketch and color challenge for this page. (Check out the details HERE…. super simple to enter, and you have a shot at $150 worth of stamps!) The stamps come from this month's SMAK kit "Trust Your Soul"… If you want to get JUST this month's kit, click HERE, if you want to subscribe and get a new SMAK kit delivered to your door, click HERE

You may have noticed, that this month's color challenge is a little different… one of the colors is SPARKLY silver. Love the idea. HATE the glitter flaking off all over everything… so, I thought I'd share with you a fun way to get that BLING on your projects with out the MESS on everything else!

Step 1: Stamp your image with a clear embossing ink.  This fabulous heart background is from the Trust Your Soul kit. LOVE.

Step 2: completely cover the image with a "sticky embossing powder" then return extra powder to the jar. These go by different names depending on the brand...Heat and Stick, Simple Stick… Sticky Embossing Powder… You get the idea. Instructions for use will be on the jar… follow the suggested directions for best results….I'm just sharing the basics.

Step 3: Heat the sticky powder… again, follow directions on your particular brand for best results. For mine, I simply hit it with a heat gun (just like I would for any embossing powder)…. The biggest trick is DO NOT OVERHEAT! As soon as it changes to clear and shiny, it's done. Heat it too long, and it just soaks into the paper and becomes useless.

Step 4: QUICKLY, while the image is still hot, press some silver leafing over the image. Use your fingers to make sure it is good and stuck. My embossing powder suggest quickly hitting it with the heat gun again at this point to make sure everything is nice and stuck.

Step 5: Let it COOL before doing anything! Once it is cool, you can use a soft scrubby to rub off all the extra leafing. (I'm just using one of those cheap kitchen sponges what have the soft sponge on one side and the course scrubby on the other)  Be sure to save what scraps of leafing you have. You can use them for other projects!

I like to do a quick cleanup with a lint roller to get off any stubborn pieces of leafing…

And the end result is a FOILED stamped image! Sparkly, and NOT going anywhere! 

Alrighty guys, go check out the rest of the hop, then get some shopping done!

Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winners will be announced Saturday night on the Unity blog.

Your next stop is Rachel!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

tricks and pinwheels...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)
Love me them new releases!

 And if you are looking for a jumpstart on holiday/winter stuff, these might just be perfect!

If you are arriving here from Kary's blog you are right on track... if not, go ahead and start at the beginning by clicking HERE.. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration (or chances to win!)

Trick or Treat, smell my feet…

So, I looked at all these amazing new releases, and I couldn't wait to get started… then, Halloween came early at my house and played a rather nasty little trick on me, leaving me dizzy, nauseous, and super tired.


I only got this one card done with this week's new stamps. SUPER SAD!

This, however, doesn't mean I haven't been busy since I last talked to you guys… I've actually been quite busy with an oldie but goodie kit… Happy Pinwheels (and the swirl from the 7/14 KOM Beautiful Inside and Out)

This was just what I was looking for… a fun, playful, yet simple stamp to make birthday cards….
 The pinwheels are HUGE (5.75 inches tall!) and there is also a bunch of little banners all stacked up.. I just cut out the one that said "celebrate" and used that as my sentiment.

(did I mention I needed 60?)

Yup! Next year's primary kids' birthday cards are DONE!  Each hand stamped, doodled, inked, cut, layered, and folded…. 120 folded pinwheels to be exact. Call me crazy… but I kinda, really enjoyed making them. It makes me happy to be able to do this for the kiddos. :)

So, since I totally don't have anything else to do a tutorial on in my current state of mind, I thought I would show you how to create the pinwheels. 

Obviously, you could just stamp and color the pinwheels. Totally works, but I wanted more dimension. I also didn't want to hand cut and glue on 960 tiny triangles… so I did a little figuring, and came up with this simple solution…

Folded Pinwheels for Unity's Happy Pinwheels stamp:

Step 1: Cut out a 1.75 inch square from DOUBLE SIDED paper/card stock

Step 2: Fold corner to corner, open and fold the other corners together (so you will have a creased 'X' where I have drawn in the dotted lines)

Step 3: Carefully cut along your creased lines a little past half way to the center point (Shown with my solid lines)

Step 4: Fold the bottom left corner up to the center as shown. 

Step 5: Turn your square a quarter turn and repeat until you have done this to all sides. A little dot of glue in the center will keep then all in place.

Step 6: Punch a hole in the center of your pinwheel, as well as the center of the stamped pinwheel.

Step 7: Attach your pinwheel to your stamped image using a brad.

They fit just PERFECTLY over the stamped image… and they move! Happiness!


Don't forget---
 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winners will be announced Saturday night on the Unity blog.

Your next stop is Lisa!


Monday, October 13, 2014

sand dollar canvas...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Are you ready for a picture heavy Monday tutorial? Awesome!

I was tasked with coming up with a birthday present for all the Primary kids (boys and girls 3-12) in my ward for the up coming year. Here's the catch…

1. NO FOOD. there are too many allergies, we just don't go there.
2. It must have value. We want them to be kept for years to come, not end up in the trash tomorrow.
3. Umm, it's for church. Were on a budget.

I spent hours on Pinterest, browsing the web, and window shopping. Nothing stood out. Finally, I ran across the Sand Dollar Legend. I remembered learning it when I was in Primary…So I set out to design something based on that… Here's what I came up with:
I'm happy to say, it was approved. Now I just have to make 59 more… 

So… here's what I'll be doing for the next…LONG while. :)

Step 1: Lay a stencil over a primed canvas, and randomly smear on some modeling/texture paste.
(I'm using a 5x7 canvas, and a stencil I designed with my Silhouette and cut out of acetate… I just welded a lot of {} together. )

Step 2: carefully remove the stencil, and allow the paste to dry.

Step 3: base coat the whole thing with acrylic paint.

Step 4: just before the paint is completely dry, rub some of it off with a baby wipe.

Step 5: spritz with several colors of inks…. I'm using Lindy's Stamp Gang Stardust sprays, so they are two tone with shimmer. LOVE. 

Step 6: spritz on a little water, and use a heat gun to move and dry the color.

Step 7: continue adding layers of colors until you are happy. I added in some dark brown around the edges to help frame it.

Now, you can try stamping, but because of the texture, you probably won't get a good image. I just used the image as a reference, and freehanded it...
 (Tattered Angels "Seaside on the Beach")

Step 8: paint image with acrylic paint.

Step 9: Sponge some dark acrylic paint around the edges.

Ok, so I have had a TERRIBLE time finding a white pen I like… I like this. It is the Faber-Castell PITT artist brush pen… it isn't fine tip, but you know what? It shows up FABULOUSLY on top of paint. 

Step 10: add some white highlights… I didn't really pay too much attention to where my light source was… I just kinda added some highlights randomly to add a little definition to the silhouettes.

Now that the background is done… Let's talk about the focal point...
Yes, this is a real sand dollar. I went to the beach (Ocean Shores, WA), and gathered TONS in a relatively short time. I make a point to only collect ones that are already dead. If the sun has completely bleached them already, bonus! I spend about half a gazillion years shaking sound out of them, then they are then soaked in a water/bleach solution, and set out in the sun to dry. (sand dollars can also be purchased… check your craft store, or search online.)

Step 11: carefully crack open the sand dollar. Each will crack differently… I have found that going slow and gentle gives the most control. 
(I am skilled at using what ever I have handy instead of the "correct" tools… I just used a flat head screwdriver and a rubber mallet.)

The question I have been asked most is how I made the birds… 

I didn't. Nature did. 
(which is all part of the awesomeness of this!) When you crack open a sand dollar, 5 little dove shaped pieces will come out. These are actually the sand dollar's teeth. 

Step 12: Glue your sand dollar and the birds to your canvas.
(I have successfully used Ranger's Glossy Accents as well as Beacon's 527 Multi-Use glue for this) 

Step 13: don't forget to sign it! I use a super fine sharpie for that.

On the back is a copy of the Sand dollar legend…

The Legend of the 
Sand Dollar

According to legend, these little shells tell the story of Jesus.

If you look carefully, you will find a five pointed star. This represents the new star that appeared above Bethlehem the night Jesus was born.

Surrounding that star is a flower. This is the Easter lily, a reminder of His sacrifice, death, and resurrection.

If you break the sand dollar open, five little doves come out. They represent Jesus’ light, peace, healing, compassion, and mercy. 

Left behind is an empty shell... similar to the empty tomb Mary found...

“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.”
-Matthew 28:6

I know my Savior Lives. 

Yay! Another one done….

 Only 58 to go…


Thursday, October 9, 2014

thinking outside the lines...

Hello my fabulous friends!

It's that time again… Unity hop!

So there are some ADORABLE new releases, and an AWESOME sale going on right now!

If you are arriving here from Kary's blog you are right on track... if not, go ahead and start at the beginning by clicking HERE.. You don't want to miss any of the fabulous inspiration (or chances to win!)

Alright, let's be honest. We've all had those times when we feel like we have hit a creative wall. When our inner muse seems to not only fled, but burned down the city behind her. Yeah. We've all been there.

Sometimes, we know the reasons… maybe it's stress. Maybe it's exhaustion. Maybe it's that inner critic has been a little too harsh lately. Sometimes, it just hits out of the blue. 

It is SO frustrating! I've been running my head against this wall for a while. Sometimes I can break through, but I feel like it is a constant battle to keep those creative juices flowing. I know the reasons behind it, and I'm not really ready to share publicly, but my question to you is:

How do you get over it? What things bring back that spark? How do you turn that block into a step to bring you to a new level?
I want to know!

While I wait for your ideas, let me share what I made for World Card Making Day over the weekend…
I never quite got around to blogging it, so I get to share it today. YAY! 

I LOVE this heart tree with the owls. A-DORE-A-BLE! You will find it as part of this month's KOM Love and Joy for the Holidays

I love the KOMs. They are awesome! So many great images and sayings in a variety of styles. (oh, and I just saw the preview of next months… SWOON! I can't wait to have the rubber in my hands!) If you are interested in signing up, click HERE.

And, because I love to bring you tutorials..
Here's a fun little way to get more out of your dies...
When your stamped image extends beyond the edges of your die...

Lightly trace the edge of your die, specifically focusing on the areas where the image extends beyond the edge. (I don't draw ON the stamped image itself, just up to the edges.

Now, grab a pair of scissors and cut the image out JUST where it sticks out past your pencil line. You may need to cut SLIGHTLY past your pencil line to give you the movement needed for the next step, but don't get carried away.

Place your die how you want it, but slip the now cut out extended parts of the image OVER the die. This will insure that the blade won't cut it off. Run it through your die cut machine like normal….

And, look at that… you have a custom shaped die. Pretty fun, huh! 

I used this deer on a birthday card for my dad. I used the NEW CHALLENGE sketch for my design. Super simple. You should totally join the challenge this month! So much fun! Click HERE for details!

The deer is from October's KOM Love and Joy for the Holidays, and the saying is from Blossom Stackers

On a side note… If you aren't sure you want to commit to a monthly kit, you can purchase this month's KOM at club price for a LIMITED TIME by clicking HERE

Don't forget---
2 of these, up for grabs!

 Leave a comment on EACH blog in the hop (including the Unity blog) for your chance to win.  The winners will be announced Saturday night on the Unity blog.

Your next stop is Laurel!