Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fifty Cent Prize

What could you possibly buy these days for 50 cents?  An ART Journal, that's what!!!!  And actually, it was 53 cents because I bought it in MD, and they have sales tax.  I found an awesome, hard-bound book, about 9X6 inches and on inch thick, for sale for 50 cents, at the Elkton, MD Big Lots!

 It looked sort of interesting, if you like mysteries, I guess.  I didn't get it for reading.  I got it because of it's awesome size and it's hard cover!  I loved it for 50 cents!!!  I got it home and proceeded cout out 3-4 pages, then tear out 8-9 pages, then count 3-4 pages, then tear out 8-9 pages, until I got all the way done with tearing.

I got as close to the seam as I could when I was tearing.  The reason I tore so many pages out is to give the book room to expand once I start adding my touches to each artsy page.  I tend to add a lot of 3D elements to my projects.  Before long, all my books are quite bulky!

I then glued the 3-4 pages together using mod podge, so that my Art Journal pages are thick and able to handle all the mixed media I will put on them.  I also began gessoing my pages, so that I can use my Faber Castell water color pencils, and pitt brushes, and pastels, and oils, and acrylics on the fresh canvas with libetty, and my pages will hold up well.

The gessoing took out some of the written words, but they are still peeking through.  I didn't gesso that thick because I like the look of the book paper as a background to my art.  I may end up covering each page in patterned paper or in paint, but I will know the words are there as the foundation.  

Here's a side view of the closed book, with the pages ready for art:

I will probably put things in here that I may not want to share with anyone, so I'm liking the fact that this journal will sort of look like a regular 'ol book on a shelf, while the inside will be rich in colors and textures.  

But part of me thinks I will end up personalizing and colorizing the outside.  What do you think I should do? 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Craft Project

After a long, cold morning and early afternoon of Car Washing for the Newark High School Men's Lacrosse team, I am happy to say I came home and still had the energy and desire to finish my craft sample for the Newark AfterProm Party next month!  I will show you a pic of the completed project but you must promise not to divulge a peep about it to any Junior or Senior from Newark High School!  They are not supposed to know the theme until they walk in the doors of the school.

Here it is:

This is a 5X7 chalkboard. I painted it with Paint Dabbers, which dried in about 5 minutes, then hot glued thick twine around 3 sides of the chalkboard.  Then I added a bunch of "game elements" on two sides, and some letters to the top.  The kids will be able to pick from one of 3 Paint Dabber colors, and they can pick from 10 different game pieces.  They also will be able to personalize the chalkboard however they wish, with up to 14 sticky letters.  Lastly, they will be given 2 sticks of chalk to start them off on their old fashioned tablets!

It is a quite "retro" craft, as these days, most kids don't get to use chalkboards ever.  Most have electronic tablets, instead of the old chalk ones.  But I think it turned out real cute!  Let me know what you think about this craft.  And if you have ideas for me for next year, I would love to hear those ideas too.  Next Spring will be my last AfterProm Craft as Elliott will be graduating and my kids' high school years will be officially over.  I'm sure I will look back on these years and remember them fondly.  I have no regrets about my involvement in my kids' lives!!!

Oh, and for the record, the Lacrosse team worked real hard today in very cold temps, to wash a grand total of 53 cars.  Between the cars that were washed, the snacks that were donated and sold, and the amazing generosity of so many people that gave big tips, we made $533.25.  I am, however, glad that this fundraiser is over now.

My Painted Bunting

I will soon be starting an online class with Christy Tomlinson, and for these past few weeks, we've been invited to work on some journaling ahead of time, to get us ready for when we start the artwork.
One of the gals taking the class shared a picture she took of a birdie that landed on her back porch.  It was gorgeous!

This is a Painted Bunting in Florida!

I told Ann Margaret I had to paint it in my journal.  Here it is:

The lighting is awful, but I love the way my little birdie turned out!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Collaging Day!

My son left for Salt Lake City, Utah today.  He is competing in a DECA challenge.  DECA is an international Business and Entrepreneurial organization, with over 180,000 high school and college members that offers competitions in finance, business, and management fields.  Elliott competed at the state conference in February, and came in First Place in Finance and Marketing.  So today he flew out, with 3 of his DECA and Lacrosse buddies to represent his school and the state of DE!!!  I am so proud of him.  They will meet up with one other buddy while out there.  That buddy is in IL competing with the Business and Professional Association!  

I spent the rest of the day, once I dropped Ell off, just reading my blogs, watching technique shows on the internet, and cutting out things from magazines to collage in my Living Canvas new journal, which I will be using a lot next month, when I take Christy Tomlinson's Your Living Canvas class.  I'm feeling the empty nest right now.  Have tons of projects to work on, but not too much more motivated than just collaging.  This will have to do.  

Tomorrow is Lacrosse Car Wash day at the high school.  I feel compelled to be there all day because I am a Booster officer and because Ell won't be there doing his part for the team.  But it makes for a long, day.  I hope it's sunnier and warmer than last year!  I don't even know what I will bring for the bakery sale.  Again, not motivated to cook either!  I miss my son!  But I'm so happy for him.  He is thrilled to be going to away.  When he returns next Wednesday night, he will leave that same day for Boston, to do a "remote shoot" with his Newark High School Camera Crew.  That will be fun too.  Ell is so excited about that as well.  All in all, he will be gone 10 days!  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Two Peas in a Bucket Rock!

Yesterday when I got home from work, I found a package from Two Peas in a Bucket!!!  I won a prize packet for leaving a comment on one of their Personal Shopper videos!!!

There are Thicker letters and some smaller swirly ones and two sets of journaling sticker from Basic Grey and some Studio Calico rub on clouds.   Awesomeness!!!

What a blessing!  I will use a lot of this stuff when I make the layout of my recent trip to Boston with my son.  Waiting to hear when my dear friend wants to get together again to do some more scrapping!!!  

Speaking of my son, he leaves for Salt Lake City tomorrow to represent his high school and the state of DE in the DECA international competition for Finance and Marketing.  He'll be there 6 days!  Without me!!!!!!!  In the Scrapbooking Capital of the world . . . . without me!!!!!  Seriously though, I am so proud of him for coming in first place here in DE and getting to go out there for this competition.  I pray he wins so he'll get scholarship money for college next year!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

IBS Art!

Ok, so in case you missed my post yesterday, I am going to re-post the original "canvas" for my newest
Inspire Believe Soar Art!  I love the vibrant colors, can you tell?

I also love the texture.  It is most definitely NOT smooth!  I decoupaged wrapping paper onto the box and it was all wrinkly and left beautiful ridges. Then I added coarse texture gel medium to the yellow acrylic paint and it gave it a nice grippy feel to the box.  

Next came the fun painting, starting with the orange colors on top of the yellow:

Now some more shades of orange and some reds and some more yellows.  These are the happiest colors for me!

 And I just kept adding layers until I was happy.  The red hearts are diecut fabric.  The other hearts are diecut doilies that I misted and painted with my Faber Castell pens.  


What do you think?  Leave me a comment!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Late Afternoon Crafting

On Tuesday this past week, I received a gift I was not expecting:

A pair of scissors may not mean much to you, but I love scissors, almost as much as pens and all my multi-media products.  But these scissors are especially special to me because they are a gift for me, directly from Fiskars, simply for becoming a Fiskateer last year.  Why am I just getting them now??  I don't know.  I didn't even know that they would be sending me some new orange and lime green scissors (my favorite colors) in a really cool olive green burlap bag!  I just love them though and feel real blessed to have them.  So thank you Fiskars! 

But here's something that is extra special about this specific gift:

Can you read what is engraved?  It says: Fiskateer #8263.  These scissors are exclusive for me, stamped with my official Fiskateers ID number!!!  I am officially part of a community of creative people who love sharing their passion for crafting!!!  Hot-diggity Dogg!!!  Ain't I somethin'!!!

Here's another cool thing:  The box the scissors came in was a really nice, sturdy box, that I decoupaged with wrapping paper and will use as a box canvas for a major piece of art.  It is almost the traditional 6X12X2 size canvas that Christy Tomlinson loves so much.  It is actually 6.5 X 11.5 X 3, but that is close enough for me.  So here is my progress so far on this new art piece.  I will call this piece my IBS Art.  And no, it does not stand for irritable bowel syndrome!  

No, it is much grander than that!  
It stands for Inspire, Believe, Soar!  

I will write more about that in a future post.  Perhaps when I get closer to completing this project, or when I've completed it!  
Right now, the canvas is calling me.  It has a lovely layer of primary yellow mixed with coarse texture gel, and it will be further texturized in the next few hours.  This is a wonderful project for my last day of vacation.  Tomorrow I go back to work and have a lot to accomplish in the coming weeks.  

Till next time, happy crafting!

Mini Heritage Scrapbook Part 2

I thought I was going to get to posting a lot sooner than Sunday, but alas, I spent the rest of the week living life to the fullest and actually doing stuff!  This week has been awesome!

But I did want to post the last few pics of my Heritage Album before too much more time went by.  So here goes:

This pic is some sort of family gathering.  Not sure who most of the people are.  But I do recognize my mom and her two sisters.  The bottom picture shows the happy group dressed in fun "cowboy" attire, like they were going to a big square dance or something.  Wish I could ask my mom or aunts.  When I get to heaven, I will!

This next top picture is of my mom, my aunt Toya, and the little guy could possibly be my uncle Manny.  Again, I won't know till I get to heaven--cuz that's where they all are now.  The bottom pic is just one with mom a little older and some people I don't recognize.  Mom's handwriting says School Memories, December 1950, so she was 15 years old in this pic.  Sadly, most of her pics do NOT have dates or names of those in the pics.  So lesson learned:  label current pics with names and dates!  

Here's my dad and mom.  They were married on January 21, 1962.  I was born 10 months later; my brother, 18 months after that.  Not much of a honeymoon period for them.  Perhaps that short time "pre-kids" contributed to the marriage not lasting beyond 3 years.  I think there was a lot more to it.  There always are 2 sides to the stories.  I have only known one side, my mom's, my whole life.  And she did a pretty good job raising my brother and me all by herself, so I am okay with that one side for now.  But I'm pretty sure they did love each other at one point, so there you go.

These pictures are of my uncle Antonio and his wife Vicky and their girls, Adriana and Liliana.  The bottom pic is of my aunts Anabel and Toya. 

This last set of pics is of our early years here in America, after mom left my dad and most of her family.    The top picture includes my uncle Jose, who was the closest I ever had to a "father" in my life.  He died just 3 years ago and I miss him greatly.  I do remember very happy memories growing up in Brooklyn.  Though looking back on those years, I often wonder how mom did it without complaining or crying or feeling sorry for herself.  She was a remarkably strong woman, who put Carlos and me first in everything, and made huge sacrifices to bring us here, to America, to give us a good life.  Because of her lack of fluency in English, she usually always held low paying jobs, but she got us through college.  The Lord really dealt both Carlos and I a huge measure of grace and blessings.  We are successful today because mom was tenacious in helping us get through school, and because the Lord blessed us with resources to do so.  Except for my brother Carlos and two people in the 3rd pic, all have gone on to heaven.  Someday, I will be giving a bunch of hugs to these dearly parted ones, especially my Mami, whom I think about every single day and miss greatly! 

I have a bunch more scrapping to do for Carlos' album, and that will hopefully happen over the next few months, in time for Christmas gift for him.  I will keep you posted on that as the time approaches. 

Now it is time to hit the Craft Studio and do some "shining" through my crafting!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mini Heritage Scrapbook

Well, I've been a busy beaver this week!
It's vacation week, so I've had some time to travel (went to Boston with Elliott to visit Northeastern University) and also spent a ton of time learning new art techniques and making a mini-heritage album.  The album is what I will be focusing on for this post. (Though I do want to blog about NU soon.)

I bought a leather mini album for the heritage scrapbook and plan to send it to my brother for his birthday this week.  I will be a little late, but earlier than most years!  Can't wait to hear what he thinks of it.  Here is the cover page I did for the album--I wanted it to be pretty simple because (1) it will be mailed and I didn't want to damage the embellishments, and (2) it is going to a boy who would probably not appreciate all the frills and flowers that I normally do for my albums:

This is the inside front page: 

Here is the first page:

Here is the second page: 

Here is the third page:

Here is the fourth page:

Here is the fifth page:

This will be it for tonight as it is almost midnight and I have to get up early tomorrow to meet my friend  so we can paint a giant castle wall for our AfterProm hallway.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

No Worries

God sure has blessed the Delmarva region this Easter season!  The weather has been gorgeous.  Beautiful blue skies and crisp 60 degree weather.  A bit chilly for laying out in the sun, but perfect for walking the doggies:

This weekend has also been wonderful for my creative heart.  I had such a busy week at work getting ready for our Easter service and then preparing materials for the two weeks after Easter because I will be on vacation next week, that I did not have a chance to craft at all till Thursday night. 

Thursday was extra fun because I invited my dear friend to come over and play with me.  We both started with blank canvases and had a fun time just creating a scene for ourselves out of nothing!  
I frankly had not given much thought to where I was going to go, but knew I wanted to play with acrylic paints and many of my mediums to create texture on the canvas.  

This is this what I did:

Title:  No Worries!

I found a perfect verse in God's Word and I just love how all the the shading pops off the page.  A complete random assortment of leaves and birds and butterflies!  And even my clock in the bottom right side fits.  The verse is found in Matthew 6:26-28.  It is long, but I took key words:  Look at the birds of the air . . . . See how the lilies of the field grow. . . . .  Are you not much more valuable than they? 

These words follow, but are not on the canvas:  which of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Hence the clock on the bottom right.  Though I didn't know at the time, that this would be the words I'd choose for this piece of art.  It is just a God-thing!  

Now I am off to either begin a new project or to play with a couple of other projects I have in the works.  

May God bless you and yours this Easter--the most important holiday of our faith!