Friday, 22 May 2015

Birds at Sunset: Art Class Number Five

Just because I haven't been sharing my artwork with you doesn't mean I haven't been painting. It just means I've been slack about posting. Better late than never, right? 



This piece is one I did a couple months ago. It was actually one of the paintings I was most excited about in this series because I love the colours! It instantly became one of my favourites (Is it ok that they almost all become my favourites?) and immediately found a home in my guest room.




Rather than try to explain how we were led through this painting, I decided I'd just share the photos with you.



Saturday, 16 May 2015

Simple Scrapbooking: The Supplies

Scrapbooking can be overwhelming. I get that. Hopefully, however, I can help you figure it out. 
   
Here's the backstory. I started scrapbooking back in university, thanks entirely to my mom. She thought it would be a great idea one summer to make three scrapbooks - one for her and my dad, one for my brother, and one of myself - essentially dividing all our family photos into three albums. Being the awesome daughter I am, I quickly agreed to help and we got started. That summer we spent way too many hours working on our foldout tables, sitting on the couch and watching entirely too much tv, but we both got hooked and have been scrapbooking for the 10+ years since.

However, I took an extended break. It wasn't intentional but somehow I got 3+ years behind. But that doesn't matter. I spent many hours getting all my photos printed and organized and have spent the last couple months working to get caught up. I'm currently mid 2014, so I'm making progress.


     
What is important to point out is that my scrapbook layouts are simple. I can appreciate other people's fancy pages but that's just not my style. The most fancy book I've done is my wedding album (which you can see here, here, and here), and even that wasn't too decorated. If you're looking for fancy, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest. However, if you're looking for a simple guide to the basics of scrapbooking, you're in the right place.

The first thing you need to start scrapbooking is supplies. In the beginning mom and I bought things we didn't need and I still have some of those supplies today. This list isn't about those things. These are the things I actually use on a regular basis.



Album - I like the 12 x 12 albums with the hidden binding. I do have a couple smaller ones and a binder-ring style album for my wedding but for my regular albums these are what I use. I buy them at Michaels when they're on sale or I have a coupon.

Page protectors - These have to fit the album (obviously) and typically an album comes with a few but I add a lot more to each of my books. Again, I try to get them when I have coupons.



Card stock  - I use 12 x 12 card stock. Over time I've learned that I'm not a fan of patterned paper and tend to use a lot more plain or textured paper in my layouts, and that I prefer light colours. That's just a matter of preference.

Small card stock - I love using these 4.5 x 6.5 pieces as mats for my photos. They're the perfect size and come in a variety of colours. I sometimes make mats from patterned paper but these are my favourite ones to use to frame a picture.



Paper slicer and scissors - I use both. I first bought a smaller paper cutter but quickly learned I needed one that cuts 12 inch pages. I've been using this one for years.

Glue and glue tape - I use both. Glue tape can be pricy but I buy the stuff from the dollar store and it works perfectly.

Markers - I use thin tipped markers for all my labelling and journaling. 

Edge rounder - This is not essential at all but I've used it a lot over the years, especially when making my wedding album. Mine was from Creative Memories.

Pencil with eraser



Stickers - I use stickers on many of my layouts, especially words and phrases. They're relatively cheap and can add a lot to the finished look of the page. I've shared how I organize them here.

In the spirit of keeping it real, I should let you know I take up a lot of space when I scrapbook. I keep all my supplies in containers and spread them out, open, all over the guest bed. I have one container for solid card stock, one for patterned card stock, one for smaller paper, one for scraps, one for stickers, and one for other supplies. 



I know I've told you all about the supplies you need, but what about actually making pages? Check back next weekend to see one of my favourite types of layout.


Shared at: Life on Lakeshore Drive, Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, What Meegan Makes

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Purple and Green Birthday Card

Every year for my grandma's birthday I hunt for a special card for her. Some years I find the perfect one, like the year I found one with tea cups, while other years I don't have as much luck. This year she's turning 90 so I decided that, instead of buying her a card, I'd make one.



My inspiration came from a birthday card by Linda W. You can check it out here.

This is only my second card (you can see my first here) but I'm pleased with how it turned out. I realize that making a card may seem simple to some but for me, it still requires a lot of thought. I figured there may be others who feel the same and thought I'd share my process. 



Supplies:
Main paper (cut to whatever size you want your card)
Several complimentary papers
Envelope
Happy birthday stamp
Stamp pad
Sponge brush
Glue stick
Paper cutter and scissors
Marker


First I cut my purple paper to the proper size and folded it into half. For all my pieces, I didn't actually measure but used the envelope and other parts of the card as a guide.


Next I made the happy birthday part of my card. I stamped the words on my paper (it took several tries to get it nice) and cut it out. Then I used the sponge brush to apply ink to the edges, which I think gives it a more polished look. 
   
After that I cut out my other complimentary paper. They start at the bottom on the back and end at different lengths in the front. I played around a little to find thicknesses and lengths I liked and, once I was happy with them, I inked those edges as well.


The last thing I had to cut was a square to go inside the card. I made the square just slightly smaller than the actual card, and cut it from the same paper as the happy birthday stamp. Just like all the other pieces, I inked the edges.

After that I glued all the pieces together, wrote a message on the inside, and left it under a book to press for a couple days. 


Last summer when I went to Newfoundland to visit I brought home a few jars of sour cherry jam (you can see the recipe here). Grandma liked it so much she ate her jar and then mom gave her the jar she had. I went home to Newfoundland last week for Easter so, along with the card, I brought home the few jars of jam I had left (11 pounds worth to be exact) and put them in a bag to be delivered to her.



Shared at: My Pinterventures, Sew Much Crafting, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, A Creative Princess, Life on Lakeshore Drive

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Book Club

This month it was my turn to host book club and our novel (as you probably figured out from the title of this post) was Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Have you read it? I hadn't, nor had I seen the movie. It was odd but I actually didn't hate it, which surprised me because I'm not a fan of science fiction. I would even consider reading more of the series. Then I watched the movie which made me sad because that was not how I pictured the depressed robot. Anyway, I digress.



For book club I wanted to decorate for the novel but in a simple, tasteful way. I went online and found the quote, printed it off, and popped it in a frame. I stood the frame on my towel (because you should never be without your towel) and voila, my decorating was done. Sorry but I didn't make note of where I found the image.



As for the snacks, they're all things I can eat (gluten and dairy free), and I tried to have lots of healthy choices so I wouldn't be tempted by the leftovers. The hummus and salsa were both store bought, as were fruit, veggies, chips, crackers and tortillas. I made a giant batch of Texas Caviar and enjoyed the remainder of the batch all week. The Carob Chip Squares and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Carob Chip Cookies were both homemade as well.



We're always looking for suggestions for books to read. If you have any, I'd love to hear them. Unless they're science fiction, in which case I've had my fill for the next year… or 42.



Shared at: What Meegan Makes, Sew Much Crafting, My Pinterventures, Kathe With An E, A Creative Princess

Sunday, 8 March 2015

A Prairie Sky: Art Class Number Four

Last week when I shared a free printable and clipboard frame, you got a sneak peek of painting number four: A Prairie Sky. While I don't enjoy living in the prairies, it really is incredibly beautiful here. Even though I've been here for eight years now (wow!) I still find the open fields and beautiful skies to be incredible stunning. 



For this painting I started with a fan brush and painted the sky and grass. I thought this painting would be quick and easy but it was more complicated and took longer than I expected. Getting the textures realistic was time consuming and pushed my (still very limited) skills.



Once that was finished I added my lines. I'm not exactly sure what they're supposed to be but I think that's part of their charm. It's not uncommon to see something far on the horizon and not be able to tell what it is.



Then came the clouds, which were the most challenging part of the painting. I struggled to get my clouds to look like clouds but, with a little help from the teacher, managed to make them look somewhat realistic. I had never noticed the colours in the clouds before but now I can't stop seeing them.



Is it strange to have a favourite part of a painting? The picture above shows mine. There's something about the colour and texture that keeps drawing my eye. 



I'm starting to get a nice little collection of art and I love seeing my pieces hung around the house. It's such a feeling of accomplishment and I can't wait to make more! Want to see my other pieces? Check out Lesson 1:Painted Flowers, Lesson 2: Three Women (still my favourite), and Lesson 3: Funky Trees.

Shared at: The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Kathe With An E, Fluster Buster, What Meegan Makes, Creatively Living, Sew Much Crafting, A Creative Princess

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Free Printable and Clipboard Frame

This project hardly counts as a project but I love it and couldn't resist sharing.



Several months ago I went to Costco and printed a beautiful free printable from Leanne at Organize and Decorate Everything. As a perfectionist, the words are ones I need to remember and I thought a visual would be a good addition to the shelf in my office / craft room. After printing it, I laid it on the chair until I got a frame and kind of forgot about it. 



Fast forward to this afternoon. I was putting away some piles in my office / craft room and came across it. I dug out my stash to see if I had a picture frame that would work and came across my clipboard. Lightbulb moment.



Now I have a beautiful new addition - with an important message - displayed in my office / craft room.  In case you're wondering about the other things on the shelves, the abstract artwork was made by my two year old nephew and the prairie sky was art class number four, which I still haven't shared with you. The wedding pictures are in little frames that were place card holders and I have a lot of Willow Tree Angels around the house. The "home wasn't built in a day" printable was free from Krista at The Happy Housie, and is another important message for me to remember.


      
Also, I need to apologize if I haven't been responding to your comments recently. Typically I respond to all comments, except those that are from no reply bloggers, but lately I'm not getting notifications for some of the comments. Please don't think I'm ignoring you. I love comments and appreciate you taking them time to leave a few words!

Shared at: Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, Kathe With An E, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, Creatively Living, A Creative Princess

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Painted Mirror

You know those projects that you put off for a very long time, and then once you finally do it wonder why it took you so long? This was one of those projects. 



I've wanted a mirror over the top of the closet / ledge in our living room / entrance for several years but couldn't find the right one. Then a few months ago I found one that was the perfect shape. As an added bonus, it was cheap and not heavy. The only problem was the colour but that's easy to change. And yet, it sat unpainted for months. Honestly, it probably would have stayed that way until summer (aka spray paint season) but the other night I decided it needed to be painted and hung up right away.



One thing I was dreading was taping the round edges but I saw an awesome trick that was responsible for my need to paint it immediately. I wish I knew the blog where I first saw it but I didn't pin it and can't find it again. If you happen to see it, please let me know. So what's the big trick? Instead of taping the mirror, rip pieces of cardboard and tuck them underneath the frame. Quicker and easier than taping, and it worked pretty well.



Now's the point where you should not do what I did. Instead of priming or finding paint meant for plastic, I used cheap white acrylic paint and a foam brush because that's what I had on hand. After several coats I achieved good coverage but the paint did not adhere well. It's fine for my purposes because the mirror is up high and won't be touched but if it was going in a high traffic area, the paint would be chipped and damaged very quickly. Be sure to use the proper kind of paint for your project.



Back to the cardboard trick, once I'd done my final coat I carefully removed the cardboard. The line wasn't as clean as if I'd taped it but, like I said above, this mirror is up high so nobody will be looking at it that closely. If I wanted perfection I could have cut around the edge with a sharp blade before removing the cardboard but I didn't bother.



Thankfully, J was willing to hang it the next morning, as I don't think I could have reached, even on a ladder. It's not placed exactly where I wanted it (slightly more to the right) but I'm not about to complain or ask him to move it. Even though it's not perfect, I'm really pleased. I love the clean look of the clean white frame and it helps break up the large, odd wall in our living room.

Shared at: Sew Much Crafting, The Kolb Corner, A Stroll Thru Life, Sugar Bee Crafts, Kathe With An E, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, A Creative Princess