PagesPat's Ponderings

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Challenge at Squigglefly

I had a smidgen of time yesterday so I created another card using a fabulous August new-release digi image from artist James Horvath. The image is  fun and it's called Female Explorer.
I created it with this week's Squigglefly challenge theme of NO SQUARE CORNERS. My card is round the sentiment is round, and everyone knows that the world is round, so my project will fit right in!!
If you have some time to craft, try round or rounded corners and use a Squigglefly image to play in this week's challenge. What?!! Don't have any Squigglefly images. Here's a few FREEBIES that they offer at their STORE.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Time Flies When you're Crafting

Time flies when you're having fun, like water coloring or crafting or spending time with the grandkids. I've had a broke-down clock for months, and was waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, it did over the weekend, and here's my finished project.
I took off the glass cover and removed the hands and broken guts, then used a newly-released digi image from Squigglefly. It's called Angel & Birdie by the ever-talented artist Sandra Caldwell. After coloring the image with my trusty Copics, I fussy-cut my angel and adhered it to the clock face. The sentiment went on next, and then I threw on jeweled flowers. I sprayed a protective sealant on it and it's now hanging in my kitchen.
There are some awesome digital images released this month at the Squigglefly store. The challenge blog, whose challenge this week is to "round those corners," offers up plenty of inspiration to crafters, and the chance to win free digis when you link your own "rounded project using a Squigglefly image.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Exploring the World of Digital Scrapbooking

I am slowly but surely discovering what my Photoshop Elements 12 can do for me. I just finished my very first all digital layout. Yes, it's primitive. But this time last week I could not even put two photos together to make one, so it is an improvement.
The patterned paper is from a prize package I won from "Touched by a Butterfly". I had almost lost any hope of ever being able to use it, and all the wonderful items I received as prizes! My inspiration came from Anne Geddes, of course. Her photography with babies and things of nature always made me smile.
So I decided to let each of my grandchildren bloom in one of the pretty blossoms on my page. I have some beautiful grandkids!!
Thanks to my daughter-in-law, I continue to learn how to manipulate photos and play with digital elements. I look forward to discovering more and more fun things to do here in digi-land!! Whee, here I go...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Ocean Calls Me

Internet was down earlier today, so I managed to get some time in with my water colors. I picked up a couple seashells a long time ago while I was vacationing in the Florida Keys. For inspiration, I placed one of my shells on the table and, well, I hope it looks like a shell to you!! LOL
I am still learning what I can do with water colors, and today I learned to put a very small amount of paint into the water when I wet my paper. Not only does it show me where the paper is wet and the paint will spread, but it also gives me a shaded background so that when I finish my focal point, it's not sitting in the middle of a white background. I've found it very difficult to add a background after I paint something.
I also learned that I can turn my paper to pull color in the direction I want it to go. I was having trouble with giving dimension between the front and back of the shell (still am). I had better luck when I rotated my paper 180 degrees.
Again, what I created can pass for a shell, but is in no way perfect or even great. But my art is an educational journey, one I want to share with my fellow artists. I am determined to keep stretching my creativity, opening myself up to more inspiration and more creative outlets. When I first started playing with water colors, I could only paint backgrounds (and some of them had to be "edited"). But as I kept at it, I experimented, I took out library books, I bought better paper, better paints, watched YouTube videos.
I was determined to figure out why paint moves the way it does with water, how I could get more dimension in my work. I thought about taking a class or two.
Now I'm thinking of just continuing on my own. All because I was determined to make water colors one of my "techniques" in my little corner of creativity. And I am happy I kept on.
What are you determined to learn, to discover, to conquer?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Finally, Time to Scrapbook

I finally got time to scrapbook, and got some photos printed as well! I made two pages of our recent adventures at Great America. My sister's company has their annual picnic once a summer there, and Wendy & I met up with her to enjoy a day of rides, sunshine and a buffet lunch.
I made a journal box from a leftover frame from a kit, part of an index card and words from the amusement park brochure that named all the "lands" to discover.
We had our photo taken on a water ride, and famous celebrities posed with us along our journey!
Of course, I'm never one to pass up a photo opp, and we were treated like royalty during our day. Since we ate the Funnel Cake faster than I could photograph it, I had to cut a picture out of same brochure. After all, that's the biggest reason we all went there in the first place!

Later in the day we relaxed on the carousel (several times). More journaling completes my layout and I am very happy with two pages in August. Normally I wait until I go to an all-day crop, but I had the time (snuck into the craft room and locked myself in), so am very proud to say I scrapped our day together within the same month we went!

Hope you get the opportunity to do a little crafting yourselves. Until next time, happy crafting!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weird Animals and Some Faith-filled Fun

Thanks to many crafty volunteers, discounts and clearanced items, generous crafters and parishioners and a boss who let me have my way with the event, Weird Animals vacation bible school was a huge success. Fifty-seven kids walked into a transformed Parish Center. We offered an ocean habitat on two of the walls, where starfish rested with turtles and whales swam with fish. Jellyfish floated among the coral-scapes in the windows, and our Tadpole Territory (Kindergarteners) were smack dab in the middle of it all.
On the other two walls, kids walked around in a rainforest, complete with monkeys, owls, hedgehogs and (very friendly) snakes.
In One-of-a-Kind Bible Adventures, kids walked into a middle eastern dessert oasis, where they walked among those who walked among Jesus.
In the swamp (yes, it was very boggy-looking with lots of frogs croaking) kids watched video clips of children around the world who were different in their situations, but just like them in their faith lives.
And of course, Critter Cafe offered them yummy snacks that brought the Bible point of each day home to them.
It was an amazing week--a lot of hard work, time, planning, shopping, reworking, and SINGING, DID I MENTION THE SINGING?!
I think it will take me weeks to get those catchy tunes out of my head. But the best part of it all is that the kids loved it. One mom emailed me afterward to tell me her daughter wanted her to sign her up for next summer's VBS!!

I can't thank all the volunteers for all the extra time and help with the week. I hope that they too enjoyed their experiences as much as I did!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Identity Crisis

Had some time to play in my art journal today so I thought I'd share my page. Growing up I always heard comments like "You have your mother's eyes" or "you have your father's chin."
I got to thinking, if most of me is someone else, then who am I? Which then inspired me to create some art on that exact theme.
I decided to run with a collage page, because my sketching skills are sadly lacking.
I used Tim Holtz Distress paint dabbers for the background and edges, adhered my magazine pieces, drew a chin and wrote the words.
I've been itching to get back to my art journal and am happy to finally have the time. Now maybe I'll pull out my water colors and create something along that line. Whoop, whoop--today's going to be a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Color Combo Challenge

SBP Challenge Blog has a new challenge starting today and I love it!! The challenge is to make a "Get Well" card using the late summer colors of Baked Brown Sugar, Crisp Cantaloupe and Bermuda Bay. I made the first card using a digital image from their guest sponsor, The Stamping Boutique. The image is called Puppy Surprise and I colored this cute bit of fluff with my trusty Copics, adding some Stickles for shimmer.
My photo and computer are not playing nice, so the colors look off. The background is a nice bright white, but it sure doesn't look it!
TSB is offering three images of winner's choice, and there lots of cute ones from which to choose!
Here's a short hello from our sponsor:
"Thank you so much for having us as your sponsor. We at TSB are very proud to offer original digital images and artwork to you. Thank you for giving us a few minutes of your valuable time to look over the store at:
Good luck in the challenge and we hope to see you over at our TSB Community network:"
Thanks so much!

Tracey Malnofski

I love this color combo so much that I just had to craft another card, this time using the TSB image "Medusa."
This is a Z-fold card on which I used Distress powder to emboss the pattern you see. I used sequins to add shine, and printed the two-part sentiment: "Look into my eyes...and feel better soon."
So come join us in the challenge and perhaps win yourself a fun prize of The Stamping Boutique digis.
Please read the challenge rules as they have changed:
Challenge Rules:
  • You are welcome to combine your entry with other challenges.
  • New projects/cards only - no back linking. Limit three submissions per person.
  • Please link your project post to the challenge blog, not your entire blog link. If your project is not linked, it will not be counted in the random drawing
  • Please include a link back to this blog in your entry post. If it is not linked back, it will not be counted in the drawing.
Good luck and happy crafting!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Another Christmas Card Today

Today I made a Christmas card for the Digi Stamps 4 Joy progressive Christmas card challenge. I received a lovely DS4J image called Santa's Helper. I colored the image with Copics, then fussy-cut her out and popped her onto DCWV patterned paper. She's waiting for her Christmas Eve ride with the red man, and has her bag packed and ready to roll. I added some Stickles to give my snow shimmer. I added some diecut snowmen and the sentiment, "Wishing you sacks of fun this holiday season."
I really like this challenge, as it only requires one card a month, and if you participate in the challenge, you receive your next image free. So if you want a headstart on getting your Christmas cards finished well in time for the holidays, go check out the DS4J Progressive Christmas card challenge.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Journey into the Depths of Endless Possibilities

Another journey along the path of watercolors...
Along the way, I followed a fork that let me discover the endless possibilities of my creativity.
This watercolor did not start out at the bottom of the ocean where a few stray jelly fish linger. I splashed some color onto the page, thinking of maybe a desert scene with a few cacti. But the paint and my muse took me to another habitat altogether, and I started detailing coral and underwater life. I added definition with a white gel pen.
I don't like it much. I need even more definition, more shadows and light. But as I mentioned in other posts, every canvas cannot be a masterpiece, but every canvas can teach.
In the end, I added hand-lettering to inspire me and other artists to go down the fork in the road and let inspiration and creativity lead you. The path never ends, it just twists and turns and forks into endless possibilities...
Come join the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog where this month's theme is Possibilities. Inspiration and a chance to win some awesome prizes await you!

Monday, August 11, 2014

How Charming!

Welcome to a new challenge at Squigglefly! This week crafters are asked to use charms on your project so we can ooh and ahh and say, "Oh, how Charming!"
I got to play with a new August release from artist Tam Hess called "Sweater Cat." Now, I am not a cat person (allergies), but this cat is just too cute for words!! So I decided to use the image on a canvas.
I printed my image in several different sizes, as I wanted a mama cat and a few of her kitties to follow her. I decided to create a CAS canvas. I used handmade paper to cover the canvas, then colored my images with my trusty Copics and adhered them onto the paper. Although the cats look blue, the color is really shades of gray--my color is off on the photo.
I love watching the TV show Big Bang Theory, and if you also watch it, you'll recognize the sentiment as the beginning lyrics to a song gone viral. I finished off my canvas with some scattered sequins and my KEY ingredient, the charm. Isn't it "charming" the way mama cat makes sure her kitties are following her by luring them with the promise of a fish dinner??
Whatever your medium, Squigglefly digi images are great to use, and August offers some new winners from artists like Tam, Sandra Caldwell, James Horvath and many other talented people. Check them all out at the Squigglefly Store. You can also catch a few FREEBIES while you're there. Play in this week's challenge and you'll be in the running for free digis, too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Infinite Possibilities

Today I reworked one of my first attempts at mixed media canvas. Although I hung it on my craft room wall, I never really liked it much. It was missing something, but I couldn't tell what, as I was just beginning down the mixed media path. When I received this digital image from The Stamping Boutique to design a project for this month's new Path of Positivity challenge theme, Possibilities, it finally dawned on me. It was missing a focal point!!
This TSB image, called "Escape the Tower-Fairy", is the perfect focal point for my canvas, and after adding the title to it, I don't just like it, I love it! I hope you do, too.
Before I go into details about the new challenge and its many ways to win prizes, I have a short story to tell:
Have you ever been held back from your dreams? Have you ever felt like you were a prisoner with no escape? That's exactly how Lady Dylyn felt. Of course, lady Dylyn was indeed a prisoner, locked up in a tower with no chance to escape. She would stand for hours on the rampart, looking out with longing across the crystal blue sea, where freedom and dreams existed. She longed to cross that sea, to explore the island and the world beyond.
She wondered what the ocean waves felt like in the glistening sunlight-was the water warm? Would her toes curl up because it would be too cold? She wondered what lie below the waves-was there life underneath the sea foam? Would there be beasts with fangs or trees waving on a sandy bottom? She didn't know, so she gazed and dreamed of all the possibilities.
One day she was so startled to see a heron hop down from her window that she scurried behind her bed. While she watched fearfully, the bird slowly walked around her room until it stopped at a crack in the wall. It tapped its beak several times, as though trying to knock a hole in the wall.
Curios, Lady Dylyn forgot her fear and rose to look at what the heron was pecking at. The crack looked wider, but she couldn't see anything in it. Maybe she should...
Startled, the heron flapped its large white wings and sought the safety of the window. Nervously looking back at the girl, it seemed disappointed that it couldn't snag the treasure before backing off. No longer interested, it flew onto bigger and better adventures.
Lady Dylyn continued to work at the crack in the wall, curious as to what the bird had seen. She paused for a moment to check her progress. Peering close to the crack, she could see something, something shiny. Excited, she grabbed her comb and attacked with renewed energy.
Stopping once again, she found she could almost get her finger into the crack. Oh, she could almost feel it, whatever it was! Her comb took punishment as she stabbed and gouged at the crack, until it snapped in her hands. Tossing the pieces aside, she worked two fingers into the widened crack and twisted and turned them as she tried to catch onto that elusive something, until finally, finally it came out, caught between her scraped fingers.
It was a key! But to what, she had no idea. Not in all the years she had been imprisoned in the tower,not in all her ramblings into every inch of this prison, had she ever seen a door! be continued 

Back to real life, bloggers! Now let's get down to the details of the new Path of Positivity Challenge this month:
The sponsors and prizes for this challenge are:

         Two images (or three if you use a TSB image on your creation) from The Stamping Boutique, our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also  be:
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

A Blog Hop with a Difference

I was invited to this blog hop with a difference by Lisa from the Path of Positivity. This hop gives me free rein to write and showcase any of my work, as well as answer four questions about my creativity. In turn, I have chosen three bloggers and their links who I have "tagged" to continue this blog hop with a difference. Those are below. Now for the answers to the questions:
1. What am I working on?
I just sent off a personal essay for the Path of Positivity. I love to write. I've been having a torrid love affair with the English language since the second grade, when Sister Carlene applauded my short story and told me I was destined to be a writer. On the crafty front, I design for Squigglefly Designs as well as for Lisa at the Path of Positivity, and join in challenges on a regular basis. Above is a card I created for the Digi Stamps 4 Joy Progressive Christmas Card challenge using Snowglobe by Margy from DS4J. I created an easel card after fussy-cutting the image. The faux snow on the image is homemade "SoftSnow." It's easy to make--all you need is two balls of styrofoam and rub them together, then gather it all into a container. 
I'm also into watercolors. I started with kids' water paints and cardstock, and graduated to cold pressed paper with lots of tooth and liquid water colors.  Here's one I recently painted from a photo taken while visiting Seattle, Washington. Between my photos and Pinterest, I'll run out of paints before I run out of inspiration.  
The last project to show you is a shadowbox I made of my son's wedding last July. My mom liked it so much I decided to make one for her as well, and it is sitting on my craft table until I get the time to put hers together. This is what it will look like. And let me tell you, if I had gone around the world looking for the perfect wife for my son, I couldn't have done better than the one he chose for himself!! 
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Every artist puts his or her sweat, emotions and heart into each work, whether it's a card, a layout, a canvas or journaling. I am an eclectic artist in that I am all over the place. The companies for whom I design never know if I will give them a fancy-fold card or a piece of altered art, a piece of room decor or a mini album. I like it that way--keeps them on their toes. LOL
3. Why do I do what I do?
Why do birds sing? Why do stars twinkle in the sky? I do what I love and love what I do. I feel blessed to be able to create with paper and paint and words. I was never one to look a gift in the horse's mouth (or is it a gift horse in the mouth?), so if I can do it, I will do it. End of story!
4. How do I come up with stuff?
I very rarely have a sketch or plan when I sit down to make a card. I just root around my craft room with an image I want to use and wait for the muse to attack me. And you know what? She never ever fails to do so! There is so much inspiration out there if you only keep your eyes and heart open to all the endless possibilities. Color, texture, scents, memories, music--they're all I need...that and a tall cool glass of iced tea. 
Now on to the crafters I've "tagged" that I think you might find interesting. Please check them out and leave a little love.

JOYCE GUTHRIDGE - Joyce and I are co-administrators of Your Scrapbook Place Challenge blog, and both members of SBP Yahoo Group. She crafts from sketches and templates so we are totally opposites and yet great crafting friends. Her projects always inspire me, and I know they will you, too!
VIOLET - Violet is a writer, and her blog posts shout passionately about self-respect, loving yourself and psoitivity. I enjoy her youthful and colorful discoveries, experiments and exercises she shares with her readers to help them over the hump of self-criticism, doubt and depression. 
VIRGINIA - Virginia is an avid cardmaker and talented crafter. She has a brand new blog and would love to see more crafters checking out her art and leaving some love.

That's all for now, my crafty peeps! Happy hopping!