Monday, September 29, 2008

Colored Pencils with Karen Lockhart


Lockhart Stamps are amongst my favorite stamps. I started collecting them two years ago; my first stamp was the limited edition snowglobe from 2006. The image is of a daddy snowman lifting his baby snowman into the air, and it just made me smile.

Since then, I've expanded my collection to include a lot of the fantastic images that Karen Lockhart has to offer. There are several things that always hold true about these stamps - they're always beautifully etched with amazing detail, they're always light-hearted and whimsical, and the samples ALWAYS have gorgeous layers of color from pencils.

I've been a long-time fan of Prismacolor pencils. My mom, the artist, gave me my first set in college, knowing my affinity for (horrible) sketching, and I've had that set ever since. (Come to think of it, I've had the majority of my Prismas longer than I've known my husband...) One thing that always grabbed me about the Lockhart stamp samples, though, is that elusive coloring technique.

So when I was scoping out my new neighborhood stamp store (Angela's Happy Stamper, if you're in the Washington DC area, I highly recommend it!), I noticed that Karen Lockhart was scheduled to teach some colored pencils classes. OH yeah - signed up for that baby right away!

Well, the class was Saturday night, and did I have FUN! I learned so much (mostly all those elusive tips that I had been yearning for!). Karen is on her way to Buffalo Stamps and Stuff, so if you are nearby - GO! I promise, it is so worth it.

One of the new-to-me techniques was using white pencils on black paper. (I'm always so neglectful of black paper!) Here's my sample from class:


Isn't that cool? My friend, Becky Oehlers did a similar technique this weekend, too, so this is definitely catching on! It ends up looking so stunning!

I couldn't resist picking up several new Lockhart images! I picked up this one for a Halloween card for my niece:


I also had to stamp up this Candle Stocking right away. It reminds me of the stockings that my grandmother knitted for my brother, sister and me when we were little:

Isn't it darling - all the detail is just amazing. Ah, stamp love.

I hope that your weekend had a little creative fun in it, as well. Be well, Jenn

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One week until WCMD!

World Card Making Day is celebrating its third anniversary on Saturday, October 4 - just one week away! Sponsored by Paper Crafts Magazine, WCMD is an event celebrated throughout the country and beyond.

WHAT

World Card Making Day is a holiday especially for card makers around the world to:

Celebrate the creativity of handmade cards and the personal connection that they create between friends and family

Kick off (and get a head start on) the holiday card-making season

WHEN

The first Saturday of each October, kicking off the holiday card-making season, the most popular time for creating and sharing handmade greetings.

WHO

The card-making community worldwide, including hobbyists, beginning card makers, manufacturers of card-making products, retail sellers of products, educators, and press are invited to come together to celebrate this holiday and creative passion.

WHY

It is a day to connect with fellow card makers both near and far, to applaud the creativity that powers the craft, and to provide an opportunity for card makers to connect and find resources that will empower, inspire, and encourage them in their card making.


Make sure that you check back next Saturday for a fun giveaway and holiday card ideas (getting a head start on my family's holiday cards is my favorite use of the day!). In the meantime, you can find out more about WCMD on the WCMD website.

See you next Saturday! Be well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quilter's Gift set



I have always admired the art form of quilts, so when Papertrey Ink released Quilter's Sampler, I was thrilled. My mother is an amazing folk-art painter with quite a following, but as I well know, that has become a job. Quilting has always been her escape, and just like everything else she touches, her quilts always turn to gold. She tried to teach me when I was younger, but I believe I was too young to really appreciate the effort that goes into the art. So when this stamp set came out, I knew how much I wanted to fuse her passion with mine and create some notecards for her.

I made a set of 8 with different sentiments, all on flat panel tag cards with PTI Dark Chocolate ink. (These are old Paper Salon ones, but this is easily done on your own.) I used Prismacolor pencils to color in the quilt panels and used PTI's Faux Ribbon to stamp the stitches along the edges. A little Dark Chocolate twill tops each notecard.



Then I had this lightbulb moment, inspired by my sister. See, the whole creativity thing runs pretty deep in my family - my sister is an amazingly talented PMC (precious metals clay) artist. After chatting with her about how well clear stamps were working in the PMC, I decided to try it with polymer clay. I chose colors that were as close to those I had used in the notecards, the blue and pink have a pearl shimmer, but the brown is flat. (I don't think you can see it in the notes, but the blue tags have a shimmer, too, so that's where I drew that inspiration.)



I made a small charm and a pin. It has been a while since I've done detailed work with clay (I used to do this when working on button prototypes), but polymer clay is such a forgiving medium, that it is easy to make something great-looking in no time flat. I simply rolled out pieces of blue, pink and brown, and stamped each one with the same stamps. I determined that I wanted the brown to be the background and cut the pieces of blue and pink with an Xacto knife and placed it on the brown. I used a clay rolling tool to gently press the pieces onto the base.

When you purchase Premo or Sculpey clay at the craft store, the baking directions are on the side of the package. If you work with clay often, it is a good idea to get a toaster oven dedicated to clay, as the safety of it is often questioned. I use my oven, but always try to be careful, and always turn on my range fan. Whatever you use to work with the clay should remain dedicated to clay use and never come in contact with food. (For example, I have a clay box; in it I have a pasta machine, a cheap Xacto knife, a small rolling pin, and a Pyrex dish. NONE of those will ever see food again, and since I have them in their own bin, it makes it easy to do so.)

After the baking and cooling, I simply adhered a pin back from the craft store. (For the charm, I put an eye pin into the clay before baking. The temperature is low when baking the polymer clay, so it isn't a problem to put the eye pin in beforehand.)

You can see by all the detail that the stamps work just beautifully with the clay - so well, in fact, that I'm already thinking of the other PTI sets and what can be done! Hmm, if I keep this up, I may have to think about changing the name of my blog to Created with Clay... ;)

If you have any other questions about stamping on clay, shoot me an email or leave me a comment, and I will try to answer it for you! In the meantime, give it a try - it is a lot of fun!

Be well.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crazy couple of weeks!

Just when I think I am all settled, and ready to get back into blogging, Mother Nature laughs in my face. See, when Tropical Storm Hanna rolled through two weeks ago, our finished basement flooded, our roof leaked, and our deck wicked in water that leaked into 2 separate places. Needless to say, I've had my hands pretty full with lots of contractors. Things are going pretty smoothly, thankfully!



I made this quick card using some Paper Salon stamps and papers. I made it for my new neighbor, a super-sweet young woman who lost her darling dog in traffic the other day. She was completely heart-broken, and I just wanted to let her know how sad I was for her. I love the sentiment "Thinking of You" - it is just the right one for a situation like this.

I wanted to say THANKS! to Marge at Maricopa Stamper for passing along this nice blog award (although I've been such a bad blogger as of late, that I feel a little odd getting to display it):


My family and I have been having a great time in our new location! We've been exploring museums and sights, and we've been into the District every weekend (with the exception of our flood weekend, LOL). Today we went into Georgetown; I'm in need of a helmet for my latest toy, my new PINK Schwinn scooter! :)


One of our favorites family activities as of late has been going to DC United games. What makes it all the more fun is that Volkswagen (DH's new employer) is a sponsor of the team. Just the other day, all the stars of the team came to the VW offices for the HQ's grand opening. I was able to get Wally over to the office after school to meet his favorite players; can you spot the future MLS star amid all the current stars?! ;)


Do you think he was on Cloud 9 or what? (And yes, I'm sure I will be doing a LO about it very soon.)

Well, I think that is about everything for the time being! I have some Spellbinders work that I hope to be able to share soon, as well as some Papertrey Ink pieces that I've been working on. Chat with you soon!

Be well.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

I am re-directing you today!

It is my turn to blog at the Pursuit of Craftyness blog today; I made an easy organizing project that you might find interesting, if you want to take a peek.

I also have a project up at scrapbooking.com, too!

I'm slowly getting back into the crafting groove. Having the boys in school helps tremendously! ;) I hope that you're getting a chance to enjoy some creative time, too! Made anything really cool lately? Leave a link in the comments - I love seeing what you're up to!

Be well~