Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's that time again

Hello friends,

We are just on the cusp of the planting season here in the Bay Area and I have been busy planting seeds and weeding beds. I received three wonderful half whiskey barrels from my family as a birthday present and, as you can see, I already have them planted with wonderful lettuce, onions and herbs. 
This is my first year attempting to grow all my vegetables from seed, and so far, I'm just thrilled with the success I've had.  Just look at the seedlings that are residing in a sunny window of my living room.

I'm using peat cells that will transplant pot and all directly in the garden.  So far, I have Italian pole beans, artichokes, several varieties of tomato, lemon cucumber, zuchini, fennel, spaghetti squash, eggplant, radishes, and strawberries.  All my little plant babies are thriving.  I can't wait til it's warm enough to put them in the ground.  Now, I haven't seen any of my snapdragon seeds germinate yet, but I'm still hoping. 

I hope my enthusiasm is contagious and encourages you to start your own vegetable garden, even if it's just a few pots on the porch.  Here's a card to put you over the edge.

This card is created using a retired SU set, appropriately named From the Garden.  The flower and foilage are from one single stamp.  I stamped the image three times and cut out the set of leaves and flower separately.  I then watercolored the image and used the tole technique to give it more dimension.  I also stamped the foilage portion of the stamp on the background to add even more dimension.  I love saying that...EVEN MORE DIMENSION!  To finish it off, I added some dots of copper metallic pen to the center of the magnolia blossom. 

So get out there people and start planting!  A little dirt under your fingernails does wonders for your mental health.
Smiley from millan.net

Til Next Time,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Smiley from millan.net

It's a foggy Valentine morning here in Northern CA.  I'm working on getting my garden weeded and ready for transplants, but I wanted to share a couple of Valentine treats I recently made.

First is a Valentine I made for my best friend from high school, Paula.  Paula was a bridesmaid in my wedding 22 years ago and she had recently married Bob that same year.  This is a picture of them at our rehersal dinner.  I printed the picture out in black and white and used paper flowers, buttons, ribbons and a tag to create a vintage look.  I really love the way this came out and I can't wait to hear her reaction.

This little cutie is a slider box I made using Lauren Meader's templates, which can be found HERE.  I filled it with heart-shaped chocolates for my buddy Ali.  She's enjoying a snow weekend in the Sierras, so I can safely post her Valentine without her seeing it.  This was a really fast and easy project to put together and it's really fun adding your own personal touches.  My daughter saw me making it and wants her own "pink" raccoon now.  Oh my gosh!

That's it for me now, as usual, I had lots more valentine projects in my head, that I just didn't have time to make.  I may just make them anyway and be ahead of the game for next year.  Of course, that means I will have to remember where I've put them next Valentine's Day.

Hope you all have a wonderful, love-filled Valentine's Day with people who mean the most. 
Smiley from millan.net
Til next time,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Striving for Organization

I am constantly searching for storage solutions to make my crafting space more efficient.  I want to share with you a tried and true solution I have come across for organizing small bottles or jars.

My spice rack re-inker organizer:

I found this spice rack at Target recently.  It has rubber skids, so items don't slip off and it's tiered design is perfect for organizing my re-inker bottles.  I'm thinking of getting another one to store my small bottles of paint. 

I have the organizer sitting on one of my shelves above my work area and have the bottles of re-inker organized by color family.  What's nice, is that even when I'm at my messiest (which is often), I can still find a color at a glance.  This is a big improvement from when I kept my re-inkers in a plastic case.  There is also plenty of room for more bottles.  I have every color of SU re-inker on the shelf now and plan to add Tim Holtz re-inkers as well.  You could also place labels on the white edge of the shelves if need be.

The other nice thing about this shelf, is that it's very durable and easy to clean, a must in my craft room.

Anyway, just thought I would enable a bit.  I'm still looking for additional paper punch storage, as my punch collection is bordering on an addiction (seriously!).  If you have any inexpensive, practical ways to store punches, please pass them along.

Til next time,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Kind of Superbowl Sunday Celebration

Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone!  I am not an avid football fan, but I will partake in a superbowl party for the food of course.  Today, I decided to celebrate by playing along with the Featured Stamper Challenge over at Splitcoast.  Barbara Anders (aka Bar) is our Featured stamper, and boy does she have a fun gallery to case.  I chose Barbara's Pie in the Window, because it reminded me of the first card I ever posted to Splitcoast in 2007.  This is the card that began my love of creating scenes with stamps.

I didn't have the same stamp set that Barbara used, but I had "Window Dressing", a retired SU set that had yet to see ink (gasp!).  I stamped the window on watercolor paper and added "siding" and "curtains" with my artist's pen.  I watercolored the image with SU re-inkers.  I then stamped the window again, watercolored just the shutters, and then cut them out and added them to the main image.  I added a cute little girl from the set and punched hearts to decorate my window. This was such a fun card to make today. 

Note:  If you live near the S.F. Bay Area and are interested in learning how to watercolor using re-inkers and create scenes with your stamps, I will be posting my class schedule this week.  Hope to see you all soon.

Til Next Time,

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm Back

I have a card to share.

This is a digital image from Mo's Digital Pencil Too.  I love Mo's artwork; her images are just magical.  To check out more from Mo, click on the Mo's button on my sidebar.  Or, you can go to Mo's Group on Papercraft Planet (click button on sidebar).  She often is generous enough to share free digital images there and you can see more samples from the Mo's Dream Team.

Back to my card:   Its such fun to combine different techniques and materials into one project. With today's card, I was able to combine watercoloring, embroidery and punches.

Adding hand embroidery is quite popular on papercrafts right now.  Yes, it does take a little bit of time to add hand stitching, but I find it calming.  I added a modified blanket stitch that I think gives the main panel great texture.  

Another fun aspect of this card was using Origami paper.  Don't the colors and patterns just make the card pop?  I even added embellishments made from this paper as well.  

It feels really good to be creating again.  I can't wait to start another project.

Leave me a comment and let meknow what techniques and materials are your favorites right now. 

Til Next Time,