Outside the Professional’s Studio

While waiting for the photographer we took some shots of our own.  Here are some scrapbook pages made with those photos.

This was a quick and easy page because I followed a layout from Splitcoast Stampers.  The papers and ribbon are from Fun Stampers Journey – gotta love the quality of their CS and DSP.

A smaller format here, 6 X 8, is for the Simple Stories album. I pulled some chipboard out for the embellishments and title.  Using this small format is more challenging for two photos.  The princess anticipated the flash, she nearly closed her eyes before the lens did its job.  I do love the shot of them smiling at each other.

The center photo shows how the photographer was posing our baby boy in the studio, I just had to sneak a shot myself.  The other two were taken back home in the den with his long pants off.  He is just so cuddly looking, makes me want to pick him up and hug him!  As for the building of the page, I followed a challenge from Splitcoast stampers again, this time to create the bars on the sides and have everything at the top – raising the bar, so to speak.  I cut 2 inch red strips, scored them, ran liner tape and added glitter.  The eagle is a digi from TLC that I printed with blue ink and then used a red gel pen on the inside, mounted on a circle of red.  I looked for quotes and found this one by Perciles.  “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”  Whether our little man follows his father into the Navy or not isn’t important, what is important is that he understands his choice to honor and protect freedom.

Many words have been written about the concept of what freedom means.  It isn’t just about the military who stand for the freedom of a country.  What does it take for one to be truly free?  It all starts from inside the individual.  My struggle has been to be free from the sadness in my life.  How many of us run around seeking happiness only to find we never quite achieve it or it all too swiftly vanishes?  The freedom to be happy is right here in this moment if we just stop and let it be!  All the good there is to be found is already ours, right within each of us, waiting to be accepted.  Let go of the past – it’s gone, over, done with, and can’t be changed.  That’s a hard one, for sure, and I will admit I struggle still, but when I stop fretting and just “be” I find the peace and joy I seek.  How can that be ?  Sounds too easy.  It isn’t easy to stop thinking about the past and future, it’s necessary to be free, though.  I forget, sometimes, that I have a helper within, a source of strength, the giver of freedom to just be.  The truth is within each of us because God, the Creator of everything, the Source, if you will, built it in us.  It’s helpful if you study the wise words of the Bible and learn the teachings of Jesus to understand how we already have the ultimate power to be free right here within us.  I’m going to throw this pitch for attending Church regularly out there.  Really.  It will help.  It helps me stay focused on the now.  There is something to be said for how freeing your own happiness can be when you are involved in helping someone else in need.  That’s what a good church group can do for you, give you the field in which to work for the greater good.  That’s one of our freedoms in the USA.  We should be thankful for it.  Some say they can do good for others on their own, I say “good for them”, not everyone can.  I work better when I’m focused on the Source of the power that is in me.  Sunday morning is my recharging station, my one on one with God.  So, I hope you will find your happiness and protect the freedom of others with the help of the power of our Creator in you.  It’s really okay to stop and just be, just to feel the freedom from worry, stress and fear.  You are not alone.

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Taking a Hike

My granddaughter and great granddaughter were in the habit of taking exercise just about everyday.  Some walks were shorter, but most were rather hearty.  There is a nice part down the road from their apartment complex.  She said it’s about a mile or so.  By the time one winds their way out of the complex I suspect it is certainly well into the “so” portion of the estimation.  The next day after I arrived I gladly joined the walks.

To my surprise Tiny Tot rides her bicycle.  I feared one of us would be pushing the bike home while the other carried the little one.  Not so!  She is a tuffy for sure.

There were talks about nature as we went along and several stops to pick a wildflower.  Soon, though, she had to be convinced to stop and look, but leave them,  She realized they were always withered by the end of the walk when she picked them and placed them in her basket.

Here is a layout I did with those first photos.

It went quickly because I was lifting a page done by a scrapper on Splitcoast stampers a while back.  I selected papers from my scrap bin for the squares.  Before placing anything, though, I spattered ink with a toothbrush.  Digging into the stash bags I found the word pieces and tags.  The yellow strips are K&Co I think.  It’s all a hodge podge of companies.  I did do some stamping.  The bottom left panel is a Fun Stampers Journey stamp, so is the little yellow saying near the top (which is hard to see-should have used a darker ink).  The bottom tag says “19 days to “D” day”, meaning until baby will be born.  She stayed healthy by walking, eating right, even going to the gym a couple times a week.  She is one awesome young lady, I’m very proud of my granddaughter.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stay happy by staying crafty!

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Summer Snapshots Scrapbook Layout

I gathered these 3 photos my dear Granddaughter sent to me for a 3 photo sketch by Cheryl for Splitcoaststampers.  Also for a challenge on Scrapbook.com I had certain requirements to follow.  I like how my page turned out – it’s a quick and simple one especially when lots of variables are already mapped out for me.

Pulling out old stash is always fun.  I always find stuff I didn’t remember having.  Piecing elements together to try to make a cohesive page is a fun challenge.  Once I picked this background patterned (the first requirement) I settled for just a pop of red to finish it off.  No sequins on here, but I do have a doily, my other favorite item to use.  In the end this page is all about my baby Great Grands!

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Coming Soon to a Newsstand Near You

DSCN3980_edited-1I love Take Ten magazine!  I also love getting the advance notice, especially when I have cards published inside.  I always feel “validated” when I’m published.  It’s good to know that the cards Stampington & Co receive are given to charity too.  So, it is selfish to a point but there is good that will come of the cards.  There are only so many cards one can send to friends, family, and that can be sent out from the church ministry. Currently Doris, our secretary for sending members cards from the church, says she has plenty.

After making the large batch of 42 cards recently for the challenges offered by Splitcoaststampers.com I have still been making one or so now and then. I guess I am back to my usual routine which is to switch between cards and scrapbook pages.  Just recently I have been pondering the fact that I am not focused.  I have too many interests.  I dabble in lots and am proficient in none.  Every time I come across a new technique I just on it.  I have to try it!  That in itself isn’t a bad thing, is it?  It’s good to be curious about every aspect of my crafting world.  That’s how we grow as artists.  There’s the catch: can I call myself an artist?  I believe I could be.  I could be so much more if I worked at it.  Artists who cut a piece of card stock come in many degrees of proficiency when cards are made.  Some of the card makers I have come across blow me away with the artistic mastery of their pieces – time and time again.  I seem to get lucky once in a while and put out a card that looks really good.  I want to be great, not just good.

Accepting good is the enemy of being great.  My daughter is an example of how hard work pays off.  She set out to learn to color with Copics.  She didn’t settle for getting good at it.  She has studied techniques and practiced the paths to perfecting her coloring.  She worked at it, coloring all the time, hours of coloring.  She now produces great works.  I’m still good at water coloring a simple little stamped image.

We all have a choice.  We can accept the “I can’t” and let it go as it is.  “I can never be great at water coloring”.  I don’t believe that.  I believe that practice makes us become better, lots of practice makes us much better.  I need to focus.  Where do I want to spend my energy?  What am I willing to sacrifice?  I have the supplies, lords knows, and I have the time.  Time passes and I squander most of it.

These are some cards I just made that have interested me to spend more time perfecting.IMG_1473 (Edited)

This one was for a challenge to create my own illegible handwriting and have some multi-media aspect.  I was inspired to make the background after heat embossing this Fun Stampers Journey image.  Then I mixed some gelatos with the light modeling paste and used it over the FSJ Stencil.

 

The challenge for this card was to use book page.  I also sponged some Distress ink over the tree stencil and did a quick but not awesome coloring with my pencils of the FSJ owl.

Opportunities!

I can!

Time – I can put it to use or continue to squander it until it runs out.

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42 Done!

42 cards in one week!  I amazed myself.

The DTGD challenges on Splitcoaststampers.com just kept coming and kept me interested. This is the kind of deal where one shouldn’t ponder too long, just make it happen.  I really like some of my cards, many I could have more, and some need a complete re-do.  But, in the end I finished all the challenges and won the honor of being on the Kings and Queens list.  Funny how titles can motivate and push us, isn’t it.DSCN3913_edited-1

I managed some variety in theme.  The most surprising are the bending frame (which is cool because I used the new tree die and have a deer and cabin in the woods scene) and the box to hold note cards or what ever.  Using different media, especially getting to play with watercolor more was a treat.  I even hit the 3 upcoming holidays with a start on cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you will find some inspiration to go get crafty too.

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Cards from Saturday’s VSN

My card stash is starting to grow, thanks to the Virtual Stamp Night at Splitcoaststampers.  Here are 5 cards I have finished from the challenges posted on Saturday.J_3745ATC-1_edited-1

This card went together quickly because it was an extra panel from where I made ATC’s for a swap. So all I had to do was mount it on the Butter Cream. Kristy had cut the background to use (the opposite side) on a card but changed her mind, this side was a perfect match for my bird panel.

Loved how this watercolor technique turned out. It was created from a tutorial on SCS called Bokeh.  I used Fun Stampers Journey Splash sprays, made a stencil with an acetate sheet and sponged on FSJ’s Whip Cream ink. Isn’t this new light bulb set too fun!

So long ago I fell for this “snarky” guy while shopping at a stamp store. It’s not often I can use him, so of course I jumped at the chance when I read the challenge was “something that swims”. I stamped him in FSJ’s ink and colored him up, quick as a flash, with the new pan pastels. The sentiment and heart dies are Fun Stampers Journey, as is the scissors that cut the grass strips.

Lucky for me, this Fun Stampers Journey die arrived in the mail this morning given me the perfect opportunity to make a 4th of July card to send and it fits the VSN challenge about baseball and the using these colors. The flag stamp is retiring and I had yet to actually use it until today. I inked it with the Candy Apple red, then with the Denim Days. The sentiment stamp was from the $1 bin at Michaels years ago, when those stamps were still just a dollar. I colored it with pencils. The narrow ribbon was a scrap still lying on the table so a made a little bow to embellish it. Now, I ask you, what could be more fitting as a tribute to the All-American game of baseball?

This final submission was a real treat.  It is a waterfall card technique. For the most part it was simpler than I thought it would be.  The one catch was the dimensions for the card base (what the patterned panel fits onto) was wrong. Once I got past that shock, I made my own by measuring out a new sheet of card stock. The bottom of the strip, the turquoise twine, pulls out and allows the panels of cactus pots to flip up. My plan is to mail this to granddaughter now that she is in Arizona. Besides, this new set of pots and cacti are just too cute.  It was from the latest Bloom Box.

I first thought the plant would pop up over the 2 inch square but it wouldn’t work because of the flip motion and how it would need to fold.

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Three Cards During VSN

Last night I stayed at it (the crafting table) and finished 3 cards for the challenges on Splitcoaststampers for the VSB (Virtual Stamp Night). I haven’t played in these challenges for a while.  Actually, I haven’t played much at all lately but I’m changing that.  Although there were 5 challenges, here are the 3 I joined in on for Friday.

The first one, using feathers, was a direct CASE from the Fun Stampers Journey catalogue, except for the colors.  I stamped the feathers on a scrap of Butter Cream and cut them out.  After stamping the green circle on the white panel I used just the piercing die from the circles, to make an impression and add some interest.  The edges weredistressed with the edge of the scissors and sponged with Oatmeal Cookie. The splatters were made with green and gold Silks.

The “Fabulous” red dress card was fun and quick.  Trying to decide on what fabric to use, as this was the challenge, proved to be overwhelming and the cards need to be completed within an hour, so I picked a stamp first. Thumbing through the stamps I spotted this lady and from there it was easy to walk into my sewing room and decide on a piece of fabric. I chose the piece of red tulle, folded it over and tied a narrow red ribbon in the center.  I “painted” her dress with my new and marvelous pan pastels. The small pallet knife with its little sponges worked perfectly to color on the velvety yummy red. Notice the ombre effect?

My final Friday card will be sent to granddaughter once they get their new house. They just arrived in Arizona and are currently staying with his aunt.  I think he has this whole month off before he has to report to his new job. Anyway, I like how it turned out.  The challenge was to use at least one circle – I used a piece of paper with circles. Then we had to use at least 3 of the colors consistent with an archery target – red, black, blue, white, or yellow.

I know you are probably wondering about these stamp sets and I apologize for not listing them individually, but please take the time to browse the catalogue on my daughter’s website. Know that this catalogue will be retiring and a new one (OMG is it going to be so cool!) will premier July 1st.  ENABLER ALERT ! ! !  That means some of these stamps may be on sale!  (Supplies will be limited)

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Head Start on 6 x 8 Layouts

In anticipation of the July 1st release of the new catalogue where I can order the new Simple Stories binder I created my first layout.  The sketch on Splitcoaststampers.com had a nice one photo design so I adjusted the size and made it my own.

6x8_1706Mustash

Our cutie patootie with her cardboard mustache was too adorable not to scrap.  This measure 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall.  Cutting down the photo worked well, sometimes there isn’t enough room around the edges.  I pulled out the Fun Stampers Journey patterned paper scraps.  The mustache stamps made cute embellishments.

Turning everyday photos into scrapped memories makes me happy!

The pages that go with this new album will be so much fun to fill with the different sizes.  Never having gotten into the Project Life craze, I still see the fun in it and look forward to stamping accent cards and embellishments, along with journaling cards for photos!  I sure have lots of photos now of Tiny Top and her new baby brother over these past two months.

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Exciting New Way to Color

Daughter just got back from her companies convention in Phoenix.  Oh my!  She scored some of the fabulous new Pan Pastels that Fun Stampers Journey will offer as of the new catalogue starting July 1st.

I had been wanting pan pastels since seeing how they were used in French Photo Collage scrappbooking.  Some ways around it never quite soothed me but I kept plugging away – until now!

The first thing I did was to make a card, quicker that putting together an entire layout.  My hands were itching to get into those scrumptious, rich colors.  For this card I heat embossed in silver the new celestial background stamp then sponged on the colors to make my background.J_1705_Star

Viewing this image doesn’t do justice to the actual look and feel these colors give.  So amazing, actually, and versatile. Colors are mixable, can be made as vibrant as you want (soft here), can be lighten, or blended.  There is also the silver and gold.  Those pans alone are awesome for adding shimmer and shine to ANY project.

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A New Month

June is here.  Life takes a turn with new happenings in my life.

First and foremost, I have another great-grand child.  A baby brother for Tiny Tot!

Apr30_1610_edited-1 The month of April and part of May was spent with my granddaughter.  She had asked me to stay until their apartment was packed up so I could drive back here in her vehicle.  Here we are, until mid June, when hubby finishes his school before heading to his new assignment.Fan-tasy 1 Joyce I certainly have lots and lots of new photographs for scrapbooking.  I managed to get a few pages completed once I got back home.  This one is using a new Lea France stencil.  I also came home to the latest Take Ten Magazine.  It is my advance copy since I have 3 cards published in it.

So, here is a card I made today using a sketch I found on a blog.  I liked that it gave lots of room to do coloring. I stamped the roses using a mask to give them depth.J_1685_Roses

I am entering this in Lemon Shortbread challenge and Melonheadz Friends challenge.  I invite you to check out these blogs and play along.

The stamps used are from Fun Stampers Journey: The flowers – Glass Blooms; The girl – Birthday Girls; Happy birthday – Sentimental Prints.  I used pencils to color, Red ribbon is FSJ.

Thanks for stopping in,  I trust you have yourself a crafty day and please leave me a message.

Hugs, Joyce Ann