Friday, April 29, 2016

The Art Studio is coming together!

It feels like it's taken AGES for me to get used to having the art studio but I'm really starting to make it my own space now.

I thought I might show you a few of the 'decorative' things in the room... things that make my space feel like it actually belongs to me!

Two weeks ago, Krystal and I drove to Napier for the day to meet up with my sister and her friend.  For those that don't know it's about 220 kilometres each way... probably crazy to go just for the day but Krystal had to work on Sunday so we had to be back.

It was a totally fabulous day!  My sister and her friend drove down from Gisborne and we arrived in Napier within 5 minutes of each other.  They were staying the night so we all met up at their hotel before heading into town for lunch.

Then it was time for a spot of shopping and in Michael's words my wallet was 'hemorrhaging' money by the time I'd finished LOL   It was well worth it though!

First up I bought a cool metal flower to go on the wall.  I really love the red!

The metal flower is fixed to the back wall of the art studio so you see it as soon as you walk in.  It's right beside the TV that's on the wall and it really does add a pop of colour to the room.  I have the TV hooked up to my computer so that I can watch You Tube tutorials and it's brilliant!

At the next shop we visited I found a really cool gecko/lizard.  He's also made of metal and I love the bright enamel colours on his back.

For months now I've been thinking it would be nice to have all my Distress stains and paints displayed.  Partly to make them more accessible and partly to add some more colour to the room.  I've looked at several options but none of them seemed right for me.

My sister took us to a really cool shop in Napier and as I was looking around I found the PERFECT solution!  I knew as soon as I saw it that it was right for me and when I showed my sister she totally agreed.  Getting it into the car with the four of us also in there was a mission but we managed.

There was exactly enough room for all my gorgeous bottles of colour and on the bottom shelf I've got all my embossing powders along with my stickles, liquid pearls and enamel accents.  I'm using one of the drawers for my Versa cube and embossing buddies and I'm sure I'll find a use for the other two drawers.  I've also got a hook in the wall (to the right) so that I can hang my extra long rulers... super handy to have them ready and accessible.

At the same shop, I came across a big metal 'S'... Tim Holtz would love this shop!!!  The 'S' is about 12 x 12 inches and 2 inches deep.

I have it on the same wall as the printers tray I did a couple of years ago and they look great together!

Also hanging on this wall is the wall quilt I made several years ago.  I used to have it hanging in the house but I think it suits my art studio so much more.

At the other end of the wall I wanted more colour.  Several years ago... actually probably about TEN years ago... I got right into doing jig saw puzzles.  We glued several of them to backing boards with the intention of framing them.  Little did we know how much the frames were going to cost!

In the end I gave all but one to the second hand store but there was one that I just couldn't let go.  I loved the picture as well as the colour and just recently I managed to find a frame to fit it in a Farmers sale!  I did have to paint the frame to help it match into the room a bit more but I love the end result!

Right beside the doorway I've finally put the coat hook Toby gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  I think I'll use it a lot as we move into the winter season.

Down by my desk I have some great shelves that Michael put up for me.  I use two of them to house my antique camera collection and I've also got a fabulous room atomizer that scents the room with vanilla... so lovely when you walk in the door and the room smells divine!

On the bottom shelf I have the cool clock I found while Michael was still making the art studio.  It was a fabulous find and actually it's quite a large clock... it stands about 12 inches tall!

While I was downstairs in my art studio yesterday I had Toby for company.  He and Nivea have got a blanket to snuggle up on and Toby was quite happily having a wee snooze.  Nivea had come for a short visit but decided she didn't want to hang out with Mumma.  I should have KNOWN something was going on because she was SO QUIET.  This is what I came upstairs to find:

Miss Nivea has had a wonderful time pulling the foam mattress from Toby's old day room apart!  Luckily we can just put all the pieces in the rubbish bag and call it done!

To finish off today's blog post, I've got a tiny bit of creativity.  I spent some time early this morning colouring some of my stamped images using the Peerless watercolours and I love how they've turned out!  Now all I need to do is turn them into a card!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog xx

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A little bit of this and a little bit of that :)

Hello again :)

I don't have any cards to share with you today... my mind has been on other things... mostly on organising my art studio!  I'm still not ready to share the ENTIRE room but there's still lots of snippets to show you.  LOL

First up, I mentioned in the blog post I did yesterday that the courier man had just arrived... and he bought me some wonderful new goodies including another stamp and die set.  This time it's Simon Says Stamps Warm Christmas Wishes.
Oh my goodness!!  This Santa set is super cute!  I knew I wanted to do some watercolouring using these images so I set about die cutting, stamping and heat embossing a heap of images... enough to do several cards because I had multiple ideas running around in my head.

It took ages so I took the die cuts upstairs so that I could watch a documentary while I was stamping and heat embossing them.  Here's the results of all my efforts:

Super pleased with how they all turned out.  The images were super crisp and I know I'm going to have fun colouring them... but all that had to wait because I had several appointments in town.

By the time I got home it was after 7pm and to be honest I was too tired to watercolour... besides the lighting in the lounge isn't really ideal for fine work and my knee didn't want to go downstairs to the art studio! 

This morning I got up bright and early and decided that I was going to start organising my stamps and dies... starting with my most recent purchases.  I've been watching how different people organise their supplies and trying to decide what will work for me and I think some of Jennifer McGuire's tips are my solution.

Another item that arrived in my parcel of goodies were some stamp pockets.  I'd seen how Jennifer organised her stamps and I'm a bit like her... everything needs to line up neatly and be in the same type of containers LOL

Here's the start of my stamp organisation:

I also decided to organise my new dies.  I'd already purchased some of the Sizzix/Tim Holtz storage envelopes.

I'd already bought several packs of these because they're the same as the envelopes/pockets that Tim Holtz's thin dies come in.  I really like how thick they are and how secure the dies are.  I labelled them exactly the same way I did my stamps.

It was at about this point when Krystal decided to come and join me.  She quite enjoys just chilling out with me in the art studio... although she often complains that there is NOWHERE for her to sit and draw because I've got stuff EVERYWHERE!  Today she perched herself at the table and put her drawing on my guillotine.  She even let me take a photo of what she's working on... can't wait to see the finished piece!

Then I headed into town to have lunch with one of my girlfriends... did I mention that I LOVE the school holidays??  After lunch I did a bit of 'organisational' shopping.  I wanted to make some dividers for my stamps and dies and following Jennifer's ideas I headed to Warehouse Stationery and bought myself some really reasonable plastic folders by Kookie.  I really loved the bright colours and they're pretty sturdy too.

When I cut up the folders I managed to get four dividers from each folder so they work out at a mere 75 cents each!

After cutting the folders I opened the corner punch I bought two YEARS ago and haven't used.  It cut through the plastic really well.

Then I used my label maker again and named the dividers... so AWESOME! Of course I had to put everything into alphabetical order as well. LOL

Next up I used a green folder to make dividers for my dies:

And here the baskets are side by side:

My last piece of organising for the day was for my new sequins.  I decided to use a container that matches the one I'm using for my rhinestones... and it's perfect!

So there you have it... lots of organising!  I must admit that it makes me smile to see my room coming together the way I want it to.

Thanks for visiting xx

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gnome note cards

Yesterday when I went into my craft room I was DETERMINED to stamp something other than a gnome... and I did... and then I decided a cute little gnome (from My Favorite Things)  would finish off the card perfectly!

In the end I just accepted that the gnome wanted to be on the card and I got busy colouring with my Peerless watercolours and I had a thoroughly good time... I even remembered to take some progress photos.

First of all I grabbed out a Fiskars stamp from my stash that I've had for several years and never stamped... really enjoying going through my stash and 'rediscovering' hidden treasures.

I decided to use the big daisy flower along with the stalk and leaf so I grabbed out my MISTI stamping tool (which is PERFECT when you are making multiple cards).

I stamped and heat embossed all of the images as I went.  First off was the daisy flower:

Next I masked off the flower with a Post It note and then stamped the stalk and leaf.

And then my little gnome friend kept calling me so I stamped him as well!

I decided that I wanted to add a simple sentiment to complete the stamping.

I'm still learning how to work with the Peerless watercolours and these notecards provided a good canvas to work on... lovely open areas and easy to shade images.

I made four notecards and decided to colour them each slightly differently so they could still be a set.  First up I coloured all of the daisy flowers.  The flowers are really vibrant and they really were super simple to shade for areas of dark and light.

Then I coloured the gnome faces with Warm Sepia... if you use the colour sparingly it actually does come out the right shade.

The next step was to colour the gnomes.  I decided to do all their pants, hats, shoes and belts the same colour and just change the colour of their shirts.  As you can see I also added some 'grass' along the base of each card... again using the Peerless watercolours but this time with a soft, wide paint brush.

I layered each card front onto a piece of Kraft cardstock.

And here are the cards all together... love looking at them on my shelf!

I really do think it's time to move along from the gnomes for a bit... and luckily for me the courier arrived a few minutes ago with a parcel of stamping goodies!  I think it might be time to head into my art studio!

Thanks for stopping by xx

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Something different... but still some gnomes!

Hi there :)

I recently discovered a You Tube tutorial by Jennifer McGuire about partial die cutting.  What instantly caught my attention was her use of the little gnomes I've been using.  I really wanted to give it a go so I watched the video several times.  If you want to see it for yourself you can check it out here:

Jennifer explains everything REALLY well so I gathered my supplies and got started.
  • Attempt 1 = epic fail!
  • Attempt 2 = epic fail!
So I went back to the video again and really paid attention and my third attempt was MUCH better although the die still cut further in, than I was happy with.  I did however take my attempt, coloured it with Distress Markers and turned it into a card that I'm pretty pleased with.

Then I put the card aside while I was doing a few card challenges... and then yesterday afternoon I decided to give it another go so it was back to the video and I realised exactly what I needed to do.

I die cut and stamped another gnome and it turned out perfectly!  This time I coloured him using Peerless watercolours and I love how he turned out!

And here's my cards side by side.  I really love the vibrancy of the Peerless watercolours!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog xx

Monday, April 25, 2016

Card Challenge... and MORE gnomes!

Oh my!  I just can't get enough of these adorable gnomes from My Favorite Things You Gnome Me. 

I wanted to try something different today so I went in search of a card challenge and I found just what I was looking for at The Card Concept blog.

Here's what it said on their blog: This week we have a colourful inspiration story! Of course, you do not have to use these exact colours but they are there if you want! We want you to inspired by any part of the photo!

Here's the image for Concept 53:

I have to admit it was the colours that got me!  Straight away I could see my little gnome friends dressed in the aqua and pinks and of course if you add in a bit of grass you cover the green as well.

The other thing you have to choose when entering the Card Concept challenges is to decide what style you card will be... and they have 6 design styles to choose from.  Best of all, they EXPLAIN their design styles really well!  I chose the Clean and Layered style for my card:
 2. Clean and Layered
  • clean lines
  • lots of layers
  • designer papers/embossing
  • embellishments/accents
  • clean and fresh looking
  • some coloured images at times
  • white space
 I also decided to try colouring my gnomes using my Peerless watercolours that I bought recently.  Apart from actually creating my palette I haven't used them... and they are FABULOUS!  The colours are rich and vibrant but I was also able to create subtle skin tones as well.

I got so into creating my cards today that I didn't actually take any 'in progress' photos!... but I made two cards using stamps and dies from:
  • My Favorite Things - You Gnome Me (gnome)
  • Lawn Fawn - Sunny Skies (sun)
  • Lawn Fawn - Summertime Charm (bee, heart and sentiment)
  • My Favorite Things - Grassy Fields (grass) 
Here are my cards:

Thanks so much for visiting my blog xx

Sunday, April 24, 2016

More Gnome cards... and another challenge!

This morning as I was browsing around blogland I came across a card challenge that inspired me.  CAS(E) this Sketch! is a Clean and Simple card challenge blog.

I'm jumping on board with Sketch #169:

When I first saw this sketch an idea popped into my head immediately except that I kept thinking it didn't 'quite' work for me... and then I flipped the sketch around and it worked PERFECTLY for what I had in mind!

Sometimes in life, we just need to stand on our heads I guess LOL

Since I'm still totally loving my gnome stamps from My Favorite Things You Gnome Me I decided to use a few of them for my card.  I also had this quote flowing around in my head:

You'll get where I'm heading soon... hopefully :)

I started off by die cutting some watercolour paper with my stitched border die.  I wanted to add a grassy strip without adding extra layers to the card, so I die cut a piece of card with My Favorite Things Grassy Fields, masked off a border area and used Distress Ink Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn to create some grass and I love how it turned out... I'll definitely be using this technique again!

Next I die cut and stamped the images I wanted to use and then I coloured them using Distress Ink markers.

Then came the bit I tend to find a bit tricky... actually designing the layout of my card.  I used my MISTI stamping tool because I wanted to add my sentiment before adhering all the elements onto the card.

Of course I wanted to make them 'the same but different' so I had to swap the sentiment and coloured images around for my second card.

After stamping the sentiment I went ahead and added my coloured images using thin foam dots.

At this point you might be wondering about how I was going to incorporate the friendship quote.  My daughter (Krystal) has been buying lots of little things off the internet lately and there always seems to be tiny parcels arriving from all over the world.  Yesterday a 'squishy' parcel arrived and Krystal told me it was for me... and it was a bag of the tiniest rhinestones I've ever seen!  LOTS of different colours and just perfect for adding to cards.

I decided that the gnome could be digging for precious jewels (friends) so I carefully added them to my card... and my Quickstik tool was invaluable!!!

The photos don't really show how sparkly the rhinestones are but they catch the light really well... I think Krystal will be impressed that I've already used them!

The final step was to add the watercolour card onto some Kraft cardstock and then onto the card base:

So here are my finished cards... super pleased that my 'idea' turned out so well!

So there you have it... another couple of cards made and another challenge done!

Thanks for visiting xx