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!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

making magic...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

I can't believe we're at 40,000 FB friends… You guys are seriously AWESOME!

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!)

So, ya wanna know what I've been doing the past few days?

(KOM subscription freebe, 25 Days of Christmas)

This, my friends, is 60 Christmas cards! Yes, you read that right! Funny story about it… I went to a Scout fundraiser to help decorate. I stayed for it because my ride was helping with the auction. I took the cards to work on watercoloring them… might as well be productive while waiting, right? A friend of mine saw me and asked about them… The next day, he saw me again and asked if they were done yet… UMMM I've got SIXTY to hand color…nope, I'm not done yet! Ha! 

It actually did go fairly fast. I started them Saturday, and finished gluing them together Tuesday night…. Yup, I'm pretty proud of that! Now on to the 60 gifts to go with them.. then the birthday cards and gifts for next year… Sigh… I hope the kids like them!

I love background stamps… and the Chicken Wire Background is one of my most used Unity backgrounds! I love how subtle yet effective it is with the tone on tone stamping!  The sentiment is a fun one from the new Thanks & Giving kit (released today!!!). I love how it can be used as either an element or focal point in a card. Yay for awesomely designed stamps! And that flower from this month's KOM… yeah, be still my heart, LOVE. (actually, there are several heart-stealers in that kit!)

When I was making this card, I decided to pull out my Lindy's Stamp Gang Flat Magicals. (these are a HIGHLY pigmented powders with a built in binder, so you just need to add water or other wet medium… So much fun to work with!)

There are TONS of ways to use the Magicals powders, but here is one that I ADORE because it is super simple yet the end result looks complex, and is distinctively unique each time…

Step 1: Ink up your stamp with a clear embossing ink and stamp onto your paper. Different papers will give you different results… I like to use a mixed media or watercolor paper because I like the play it gives the water…

Step 2: Use a DRY paint brush to dust Magical colors over your image. You have all the control you want… brush colors on randomly, or carefully apply to specific areas.. your choice. They will be dull and blasé right now, but don't worry. 
(yeah, so my stamped image didn't come out completely clear… that's what I get for not cleaning my stamps real well… it still works, and ended up showing up better for the picts. LOL!)

Step 3: Here is where the "magic" part of Magicals takes place… once you are done painting on the powder, dust off the excess, then lightly mist with water… the colors will POP.. so will all the stray specs of powder that you didn't even know were still on the paper. 

One of the fun things about Magicals is how they are made… each color is NOT made up of an individual pigment… instead, it is the combination of multiple pigment particles. They blend wonderfully when stirred into water or other medium, but when you just spritz lightly with water, you get speckles of differential colors.. SO FUN! 

Be careful not to over spray.. if it gets too wet, the colors will all just run and bleed… great for backgrounds, not so great for a stamped image. 

And, as a bonus tip… if you are looking for a fun way to add just a touch of dimension and texture, try Ranger's Enamel Accents… it comes in Black and White…it's like Glossy Accents but opaque. Supper fun. If you make dots with it, the peak will sink into it, leaving you with a beautiful dome. Yup, pretty awesome!

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!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Play date with Faber Castell and Unity...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Have you been having a blast with the Unity & Faber Castell Hop? I hope so! So much awesomeness!

We've got some ADORABLE new Angiegirl stamps at Unity…along with some great deals! Don't forget to do some shopping this weekend after the hop. :)

I ADORE this cut bird! It's a freebe for those who are members of the KOTM club. How stickin' awesome is that?!?   The sentiment is from Warmth and Winter Wishes.

I used Gelatos and a water brush to color them… by mixing the colors just a few colors, you can get a lot of depth and variations. Super fun!

I stamped an extra bird and fussy cut it… I then attached it to the card using foam tape for some fun dimension.

Another fabulous thing to do with Gelatos is stamping… Simply scribble the Gelatos directly not a stamp, mist with a little water, then stamp. I used Moments in Bloom  Now, of course I needed some matching ribbon, so I tried one of my favorite tricks. Guess what? It worked!

Gelato Crinkle Ribbon

Step 1: Scribble various Gelatos onto 100% rayon seam binding (this can be found with sewing stuff)

Step 2: Spritz with water and scrunch up in a ball

Step 3: Allow to dry, or hit it with a heat tool… 
You end up with a beautifully variegated  crinkle ribbon!

Well, that's it for me! If you haven't stopped by the Faber Castell blog, make sure you do! So much fabulous talent! Seriously! (plus, they have a prize up for grabs too!)

Thanks Faber Castell for teaming up with us! You guys are awesome!

 Don't forget to leave a comment on all the blogs...You have until 9-21 to comment and have a chance at this amazing prize!  Good luck!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

fall and winter...

Hello my wonderful friends!

It's time for another Unity hop!
(and sale!)

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!)

I love fall… the crisp air, the cooler days, the colorful leaves…and sweaters. I love sweaters!
One thing I'm not so fond of, is the critters that have decided that the huge forest behind the house isn't big enough for them, and they move in. I've had bugs. My parents have had this…

Yes, that would be baby mice. Super cute…just not in the kitchen drawer! We'll call it motivation to deep clean the kitchen…and the living room…and the bedrooms… and…

While my parents are having 'fun' cleaning, I've been getting messy!

If you haven't noticed by now, a NEW challenge is up at the Unity blog, and we'd love to see what YOU do with it!

Here's my take on the colors…I promise there are browns and greens in there, but I ran out of sunlight to take the picture! I used a stencil and modeling paste to get the patchy brickwork, then covered it in Distress Inks. I used Archival ink to stamp the sentiment and flowers from the kit "Create Today" (one of my favorites!

Along with the challenge, I decided I needed to get started on Christmas cards… I have SO MANY to make!  The sentiment comes from an older kit "25 Days of Christmas", while the background snowflake comes from this month's KOM "Happy, Thankful & Blessed" (totally LOVE this kit!).

Have you started Christmas yet? Either way, I'll tell you a little secret.. more winter & Christmas stamps are coming, and they are FAB! *shhhhhhhhh!* 

And for a little inspiration for you… allow me to walk you through the different techniques I used on the snow card… use any or all and have fun making your own backgrounds!

Step1: "Ink" up stamp with a light acrylic paint. I'm using a metallic silver. Very subtle, but gorgeous! (white works as a great, bolder resist!) This snowflake is from the "Happy, Thankful & Blessed" kit.

Step 2: Stamp onto paper. I'm using a mixed media paper because I like how the inks blend on it in the next steps.

(Repeat steps 1-2 until satisfied.)

Step 3: Apply various colors of Distress ink using a blending tool or sponge. I used Broken China, Faded Jeans, and Chipped Sapphire.

Step 4: Spritz/splatter some water onto the inked background. Allow the water to sit for a few seconds, then dab with a paper towel or cloth. this will lift the ink leaving snowy watermarks.

Step 5: Spritz a stamp with water. (I'm using the same snowflake, but you could change it up… there's another great snowflake in the same kit!)

Step 6: Stamp your watered image onto the background, then, just like with the water drops, dab it with a paper towel. This leaves an awesome ghost image! (this is a great stand-alone technique!)

Step 7: For a vintage-y feel, add a little brown Distress ink to the edges.. I used Gathered Twigs.

Step 8: For a little texture and wintery glitz, spread a very thin amount of Faber Castell's Glass Bead  Glitter gel along the edges.  

Check it out! You can't see the awesome texture the glass beads give it, but you can see that sparkle.. also, notice that since we went around the edges with Distress ink, and Distress ink activates with moisture, the gel picks up the color and blends it into gorgeousness! (It's really a ton better in person!)

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!