Tuesday, September 30, 2008
If you're a handmade card enthusiast and/or buyer, please share your opinions and help us better meet your expectations and needs, by casting your vote on the current poll topic of "the importance of using acid-free materials in handmade cards".
Please visit The Card Chronicles Blog (http://www.creativecard-designs.blogspot.com/) and cast your vote!
AND, while you're there, you can find out the results of the just completed previous poll on "How important are handmade or embellished envelopes?"
Monday, September 29, 2008
One of the activities I set about doing was to find some new bedding ensembles for our master bedroom and the guest room. Of course, being a little hard to please, I ended up going to beau coups department stores and wading through numerous online and printed catalogues, before I found something that I thought would work for us.
Eventually, I did find a lovely duvet cover and matching shams and sheets for our master bedroom, in a design and colors that BOTH my husband and I loved . . . . . which is a feat in and of itself!
I liked the fabric design SO much, in fact, that I decided to use it as an "inspiration" piece for a new handmade card. Here’s a photo swatch of the fabric design from our new duvet cover . . . . .
The color combination of salmon and blue has long been a favorite of mine, and I always enjoy creating new paper piecings, so once again, I was all fired up for a new card project.
First of all, I started with a background "canvas" of a 5" X 7" piece of white textured Bazzill, which I glued to the front of a pre-folded cardstock base which I use for all my cards.
Several hours and many layers and glue dots later. . . . . . here’s what I ended up with . . . .
It just so happens that some of my fellow cardmaker friends and I were having a card challenge around this time, and the theme of the challenge was to “make a 'wild' card” . . . . . . hence I named this creation “Wild Flower”. . . . . .and it has turned out to be yet another example of how a card design evolved from CONCEPT to REALITY.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As for me, I get the inspiration for my various card designs from lots of different sources . . . . such as colorful or special themed scrapbook papers, beautiful or unique embellishments, animals and nature, a poem or saying, a life event, or even a “challenge” by a client or fellow cardmaker to produce a card along a certain theme.
From the point that I get an idea for a card, how I go about developing that card design will vary…. For example, if my “inspiration” comes from a particular patterned scrapbook paper, I’ll start with the patterned paper and build a card design either around the color scheme or theme of the paper, sifting through all my papers and embellishment to find just the right combination. Other times, I’ll find a great quote, print it on a piece of cardstock, and then pick the papers and embellishments to go with that theme. Or, I might see something (a tree, an animal, a flower) that inspires me to create a paper piecing, and then the paper piecing becomes the focal point of my card design, with the overall card design evolving around that.
For today’s Blog post, I thought I’d show an example of one of my handmade card designs that evolved from a poem. The origin of this card was a rather lengthy poem (author unknown) that one of my card clients/friends sent to me, posing to me the challenge of incorporating it into a sympathy card. After a little tweaking, my friend and I came up with a shortened version of the poem (The original poem was actually about a “ship”, but I changed that to “boat”.)
"Here she comes!"
I couldn’t find any paper that lent itself particularly well to this poem/message, so I decided to try my hand at developing a paper pieced sailboat. I was lucky enough to find an image of a sailboat in a cutout from a brochure I had saved. (I'm ALWAYS cutting out and saving pictures and sayings that I see in magazines and catalogues, and adding them to my “inspiration” file!)
Not being an artist by trade, but having some limited skill in sketching, I managed to come up with a sailboat drawing of my own, using the little sailboat cutout as a guide.
And from this drawing, I developed a paper piecing pattern for the sailboat. Then I used the pattern to cut out the pieces of the sailboat from various scraps of textured Bazzill cardstock that I have around, punched out a large circle (the moon, or maybe the sun...you decide!) from deep yellow Bazzill, cut out a few free hand seagull silhouettes, a mast and a tiny flag, and came up with the following sailboat design.
Since all of my cards are fully lined with another layer of plain acid free white cardstock, I printed the text of the shortened version of the poem on the inside upper liner of this card. The inside bottom of the card remains blank for the sender’s handwritten message.
Over the next week or so, I hope to show other different examples of how some of my favorite handmade card designs have come to be.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from my fellow cardmakers (and indeed, other craftspersons and artisans as well!) about how you get your inspiration, and once inspired with an idea, how you bring that idea from CONCEPT to REALITY.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I'm honored to have one of my favorite handmade cards featured in a lovely Etsy Treasury created by fellow Etsyan "Reflections"....the title of the Treasury is "Keep Holding On" and the overall theme is one of HOPE.
Please take a moment to stop by the Treasury........and make a comment if you wish.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I haven't had a chance to post to my Blog yet today, but I did write an article, entitled "What INSPIRES You?" for another blog that I participate in, THE CARD CHRONICLES.
My article was just posted a little while ago......I hope you can take a minute to read it and share your comments!
Here's a link to THE CARD CHRONICLES: http://creativecard-designs.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Well, you wouldn't know it, but I've spent HOURS today working on (tweaking) my BLOG! Admittedly, this little Blog o' Mine has quickly become an addiction! (Can any of you Bloggers out there relate?)
As most of you know, I'm very new to the World of Blogging (remember, my Blog is only two weeks old), but I'm still trying to learn, despite a rather steep learning curve!
Nevertheless, what I DID accomplish today was to figure out how to create a "badge" on Flickr, and with that, I was able to upload a few photos of some of my previous card creations onto my new Blog (scroll down vertically along the right side).....
I also decided that, after the last five days of listening to the same music when I logged into my Blog, it was time for a change! So, I switched out some of the music.....let me know what you think.
And now.....this moment......I'm TIRED of blogging. ("Enough, she cried!)
BUT, tomorrow's another day, and already I'm pondering new topics to post....I think I'm going to focus the rest of this week on topics related to CARDMAKING!
So do please stay tuned.....
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I've tried to pick a few photos that are representative of Sedona and the surrounding landscapes, as well as to show you a few shots of my dear hubby, Lee and me.
Both Lee and I love our trips to Sedona, and we never tire of the majestic red rocks and the unique beauty of the desert. For those of you who've never had an opportunity to see Sedona, which is, in my opinion, one of the great TREASURES of the SOUTHWEST, I hope my little travelogue photos will pique your interest!
And another Uptown Sedona shot.....you can see that even the concrete is made with the local red dirt. Many of the large rock formations surrounding Sedona are named for their shapes...e.g., Snoopy Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock....and so forth. I'm only beginning to recognize them, after years of traveling to Sedona!
Here's a whimsical pair of pink javelina sculptures in Uptown Sedona. Real javelinas (not pink, of course!) are known to roam the area near Oak Creek Canyon at night. We've even seen them at our little condo by the creek from our balcony! Javelinas are NOT pigs, believe it or not, even though they look like it. Their more scientific name is: collared peccary.
Here I am, having breakfast at the Sedona Airport Cafe.
And here is my husband Lee. He loves to soak up the ambience of the small airport scene in Sedona....having once been (indeed, still is) a small plane enthusiast and licensed pilot.
A typical landscape scene in the countryside around Sedona. I love the gnarly bark of these little cedar (I think!) trees.
And here's one of the many cactus plants around....I'm certainly no expert on desert plants, but I think this is a prickly pear cactus.....you see prickly pear jelly in a lot of the shops around town.
My husband tells me this is a ocotillo cactus. It looks pretty innocuous from a distance, but when you're up close to it, you can see it has inch long thorns! All these desert plants have to protect themselves, I guess.
Moi, soaking up some of the local landscape ambience. That's a Sedona tee-shirt I'm wearing....can you tell I'm fond of horses?
This is a scene from another of Sedona's attractions, the Tlaquepaque Shopping Village....it's a self contained outdoor shopping area that's been in Sedona as long as I can remember. It's nestled down along Oak Creek (which runs through Sedona) and was built to replicate a little town in Mexico by the same name. There are lots of unique shops and galleries, as well as restaurants in Tlaquepaque. Note the cobblestone pavement.
Here's one of several bronze statues in Tlaquepaque.
Me, in Tlaquepaque.
Hubby Lee, in Tlaquepaque. (See the cute bronze frog in the background?)
This was the scene just off the lower balcony of our condo time share at Arroyo Roble Resort (http://www.arroyoroble.com/) in Oak Creek Canyon. It was SO relaxing just to sit outdoors and listen to the rippling of the creek. Of course, this time of year, the cicadas were also singing from dawn to dark. (Growing up in Kansas, I'd never heard of cicadas...I used to call them locusts.) The Arizona cicadas seem to LOVE the huge old sycamore trees that line the banks of the creek.
You can click on the above (or any) photo to see it larger, and actually get a glimpse of the creek....I'll bet you'll ALMOST be able to hear the rippling of the water and the singing of the hundreds (or thousands?) of cicadas!
Lee, on the edge of Oak Creek.
And me, also on Oak Creek.
This gives you some idea of how HUGE some of the old sycamore trees are in the area. That's a sycamore tree on the right (Lee's left) and a cottonwood tree on the left. I understand that sycamore trees can live well over 100 years.
The above shot was taken in Crescent Moon Ranch State Park, near the Red Rock Crossing along Oak Creek, where many a photo have been taken of Sedona's most familiar natural icon, Cathedral Rock.
And here's my humble shot of Cathedral Rock......just taken across the pathway in the park, NOT from Red Rock Crossing.
I'm NO photographer (as you can tell by the fact that the sky in this last photo is "blown out"), but nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed these snapshots. I have certainly enjoyed being able to share them!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I just wanted to urge all my Blog readers to participate in a poll being conducted by the Creative Card Designs (CRCD) Team, a group of my fellow cardmakers.
If you're a handmade card enthusiast and/or buyer, please help my fellow cardmakers better meet your expectations and needs, by casting your vote on the current poll topic of "handmade/embellished envelopes".
Visit The Card Chronicles Blog (http://www.creativecard-designs.blogspot.com/) and cast your vote! Only 9 days left to make your vote count!
Admittedly, I'm a pretty strong Type A personality, so multi-tasking is a way of life for me! And every night last week, as Lee and I settled in to watch the Campaign (I think you know which one) and Hurricane Ike events on TV, I would drag out my paper crafting "travel box" (an old shoebox actually, filled with essential paper crafting supplies) and work on some new pieces.
Sometimes, as I go through my paper crafting travel box, I even discover past projects that I've forgotten I had! And as luck would have it, this time I found a previously designed pattern for a paper pieced tulip.
So, here's what I created last week: TEN paper pieced tulips, each with SEVEN individually hand cut and chalk shaded petals, glued together one at a time with mini glue dots. (If my ancient math skills serve me properly, that's SEVENTY individually hand cut, chalk shaded, and glued tulip petals! Yes, I know.....I'm over the edge.)
Be on the watch for some new handmade card designs in my Etsy Shop, using these little beauties!
And tomorrow, I WILL get my Sedona snapshots uploaded for your viewing pleasure!
Thanks for looking, My Friends!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Only yesterday, during my search for notable southwest-themed art on Etsy, I discovered a new shop that I'd never seen before, Desert Photography, which features the beautiful photography of Michael Heppler of Arizona.
Today, I'm featuring one of Michael's photographs, this 8 X 10 print of a wonderfully striking image of a saguaro cactus, entitled "Storm in the Desert." Clearly, it took a lot of patience to be at the right place at the right time, as well as a lot of talent and skill to compose and capture this beautiful image!
Thanks to my own photographer-husband, Lee, I have developed a strong appreciation of photography over the years. Trust me, once you've been following photography for a while, you quickly recognize who has the "eye" for it. And Michael Heppler, like many other wonderful photographers on Etsy, definitely does!
Michael's Etsy Shop, Desert Photography, is fairly new, having been opened on August 1, 2008, but already Michael's work is attracting the attention of fellow photography lovers like myself. In his shop, you'll find fine art photographs of a wide variety of Southwest images, including landscapes, flowers and wildlife.
Please take a few minutes to check out Michael's Etsy Shop, Desert Photograpy at http://www.desertphotography.etsy.com/. You can also see more of Michael's photographic art on his website at http://www.desertphotography.com/. You'll love what you see!
And stayed tuned to my Blog, because tomorrow...........I hope to post a few snaps of Lee's and my recent trip to Sedona!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In keeping with my current blog theme, TREASURES of the SOUTHWEST, today I'm featuring the work of a another fellow Etsyan, Nancy Matus, of Arizona.
Nancy has been painting professionally for about 20 years. She works in acrylics, oils, and watercolors, and much of her wonderful art depicts colorful images of America's desert southwest.
Today's featured art is a digital print of one of Nancy's original watercolor paintings, entitled "Color Box". I selected this print, not only because I love the colors but because for me, it epitomizes the beauty of the southwestern desert, where my husband and I have been lucky enough to spend the last 5 days.
I hope you'll take a little time to check out Nancy's Etsy Shop, The Desert Studio (http://www.thedesertstudio.etsy.com/) to get a closer look at this piece, and to see more of her work. In her Etsy shop, you'll find original handpainted watercolors, ACEOs, ATCs, and prints of Nancy's original art. It's clear to me that Nancy loves the Southwest and I think you'll agree that she has done an amazing job in re-capturing its natural beauty in her art.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This ACEO Limited Edition print is of an original painting by Rosalie, called Raven's Wing. Each print is on acid free archival card stock, hand enchanced with acid free inks, signed, numbered and titled by the artist on the back, also using archival acid free ink.
I absolutely LOVE this artist's work and this is indeed one of my favorite pieces.
Rosalie resides in California, and has over 35 years of experience creating her art. She works primarily in acrylic paints, but also experiments with mixed media (decorative boxes, leathers, and objects), watercolors, pen & ink, pencils, and markers.
Rosalie opened her Etsy Shop in February 2007, and is currently offering a wide variety of original art work, ACEOs and ACEO Limited Edition prints. She also sells her work on other online venues, and considers custom work as well.
Please visit Rosalie's Etsy shop (http://www.biggirl4664.etsy.com) to see more of her fabulous art!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Today I'm featuring a photograph taken by my husband Lee, picturing one of Sedona's most well known (and most frequently photographed, sketched, and painted!) natural icons, Cathedral Rock, as viewed from a quiet spot on Oak Creek.
Since Lee and I try to go to Sedona at least once a year, you'll usually find at least 2-3 photographic notecards or prints of Sedona scenes in Lee's Etsy Shop (The Photography of Lee Robinson). Please take a minute to check out his shop at http://www.unclelee.etsy.com/. I think you'll love what you see!
For the next week or so, Lee and I will be enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sedona and the surrounding areas, visiting shops and galleries, trying out new (and old favorite) restaurants, and relaxing on the deck of our little timeshare condo in Oak Creek Canyon........as we listen to the rippling waters of the creek and try to get a glimpse of the great blue heron who nests along the high red rocks there.
Although I'd love to be able to post travelogue photos to my Blog during the next week, I don't think I'll be able to do that, because I don't have photo-editing software on our little laptop. BUT what I will plan to do on my upcoming Blog posts is to highlight a number of my fellow Etsy artisans (of paper or any other medium) whose work I find exemplifies TREASURES of the SOUTHWEST.
Monday, September 8, 2008
This card is one of my personal favs from my own repertoire of Halloween card designs. I don't have one made up right now, but time-permitting, I hope to do a similar card design with this little witch sometime before Halloween this year.
I'm still pondering the theme for my upcoming Blog posts this week and next, but I hope you'll check back and be pleasantly surprised.......
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Elizabeth started making cards for friends and family several years ago, as an alternative for store purchased cards, and like so many of us, discovered a new passion for cardmaking.
She opened her Etsy store, Lazy Bone Creations, in July 2008, and offers a variety of distinctive and unusual handmade cards, all of which are limited editions or one of a kind designs. Elizabeth uses multiple layers of quality papers and embellishments to give depth, texture, and richness to her cards, and enjoys creating handmade cards with rubber stamped images.
Today, I've chosen to feature a card from Lazy Bone Creations that struck my eye for its haunting beauty, and for its Halloween "look." Done in shades of orange and black, the card features an embossed whimsical tree image across a hand colored background, and multiple layered pieces of handmade paper. The inside is lined with recycled writing paper for composing a personal message.
Please visit Elizabeth's shop on Etsy (http://www.lazybonecreations.etsy.com) to see more of her wonderful and unique card creations!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Since woman does not live by cardmaking alone (teehee......some of my cardmaking friends just MIGHT disagree with that!), I've decided to feature the work of a wonderful lampwork bead and jewelry artist, Eliza. I only recently discovered Eliza's work, but am SO impressed by the beauty of her lampwork beads and pendants.
The pendant that I've chosen to feature today is a striking creation made with Eliza's own striped lampwork bead, czech glass, swarovski crystal, and sterling silver. Done in orange and black (with just a touch of red), this lovely pendant is "just right" for my Halloween theme!
Eliza has been working with beads in some form or another since the 1980's. She now specializes in making her own lampwork beads and creating jewelry from them. Please take a minute to check out Eliza's Etsy Shop ("Bead A Little Dream") and see more of her lovely lampwork beads and unique jewelry @ http://www.lizajayne.etsy.com/.
She's currently having a SALE from now until September 14th!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Today, I'm featuring the work of another of my favorite fellow paper crafters, Lisa, of Scrapbook Heaven. I know for a fact that Lisa enjoys Halloween as much as I do, and she LOVES to make Halloween themed cards, tags, and other paper creations.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
I hope that you'll check back every now and then and take a little time to get acquainted.
In future posts, I hope to focus a bit more on my cardmaking and paper crafts, as well as to highlight the work of other cardmaking artists, photographers, and craftpersons.
And of course, I ALWAYS encourage and welcome comments and active participation from anyone who happens to read my Blog!
And this is my dear husband, Lee, who shares my love of nature, animals (especially greyhounds), music, and the arts. Although a land surveyor by trade, his first love (or second, if you count me!) is photography. Please check out his Blog and his Etsy Shop under Some of My Favorite Blogs , and under Some of My Favorite Links.
Lee and I will be celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary in a few months.
Ride is pictured here with her favorite soft squeaky toy, a giant spider.