Posts Tagged ‘cards’

just a little word.
I finished the cards I was working on, the ones I was originally going to submit to Somerset Studio for their “simple pleasures” theme, but then ran out of time to finish them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. I’m calling them my “encouragement cards” – pretty little cards to give a word of love, hope, and encouragement to someone.

encouragement cards

I’m going to make organza bags to put them in. I envision these cards as little gifts – throw a chocolate or perhaps a small trinket in the bag, too, and voila! I’m not quite sure if they fit in with the Somerset Life style, but I’m going to give it a try. I’d like to sell these on my Etsy shop (whenever I get it up and running again!). They’re pretty simple to make, but turn out so lovely. The flowers are circles of scrapbook papers, dry-brushed with gesso, then cumpled up and unfolded, layered on top of each other, and fastened with a brad. The cards are about six inches by almost three inches, and have Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist on them. The backs are pretty scrapbook paper.

I think the world could use a little more encouragement.

what inspires you?
Artbeads is currently accepting submissions for their “What inspires you?” beading contest. There are two categories – beaded necklaces and other beaded items. The contest is open up through November 22, and then on November 23 the voting will be opened to the public. Basic guidelines – you need to submit two photos, one of your work and one of the inspiration; you need to write a short paragraph about your creation; and half of the supplies must come from Artbeads.

Good luck!


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the teacups were not my cup of tea
We went to Knoebel’s a couple weeks ago (I’m a bit behind here – meant to publish this post last week but didn’t have time to before leaving for Ocean City!) – Julian had to work, so it was just me, Marc, and Lily. It only took Lily about an hour this time to warm up and start going on rides. She loves the rides – and she certainly doesn’t get that from me! I tried to be more adventurous this time – we all went on the Whip, which was fun. We all went on the torture cups – I mean Teacups. That was not fun. Not even close. Let’s just say that I prayed a lot on that ride, and I didn’t feel well for a while after disembarking.

But Lily and Marc love it all. Lily’s favorites were the Flying Tigers (which I went on with her and had no problem!) and the kiddie roller coaster. Next year Marc wants to take her on the big coaster. I’m a bit nervous about that, but I think she might be ok. She wanted to go on the Italian Trapeze, but I said no, because I was afraid she would fall out of the seat! I don’t like the idea of her being alone on a ride. At least if Marc is next to her he can hold onto her. Maybe next year.

I forgot the camera, so I have no pictures to share. bummer.

I have been continuing my exploration with Polyshrink. I tried embossing, both on an already-baked piece and an unbaked piece. Neither worked out. I tried Ranger’s Alcohol Inks. I found that I couldn’t get the colors as vibrant as I wanted, although it did look nice anyway. In the end though it wasn’t really the look I was going for. I’ve never used the Alcohol Inks before – they’re fun!

I also tried Ranger’s Pigment Pearls – again, I couldn’t get the look I wanted, but I would love to try them on other surfaces.

After these experiments, I’ve come to realize that for my Polyshrink fragments, I prefer the simplicity of the rubber-stamped designs, with no additional colors (except of course glitter chalk!).

So now I’m trying out some different sealers, and then I’m done. For now. Then I need to make some actual jewelry pieces!

and in other creative news
I’ve also been working on a couple projects to submit to Somerset Studio for their “simple pleasures” theme. One project consists of three tags, each featuring an antique photo of a lovely woman engaging in some sort of pleasant activity. Originally I wanted to make a book depicting leisurely pasttimes of yore, but reality was kind enough to smack me on the head and say, “um, do you seriously think you have time to make a book, in a month?” So the book turned into tags. Here are the photos I’m using – these are from digitalimageryplus.com

in my garden



The other project is a set of three cards (I love the number three – it’s a very good number for sets of things!). Each card has an encourgaging, hope-giving sentiment (“you are beautiful”, for example). Each card will also have a handmade paper flower embellishment – I want the cards to be very simple, and elegant. The idea is that creating a card for someone, giving someone a card, and receiving a card are seemingly simple things, yet contain much potential for pleasantness!

So that’s what’s been cooking in the kitchen here. The creative juices have been bubbling away!


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a pumpkin adventure

Last autumn in Somerset Life was an article by Carla Buchanan about her designer pumpkins – pumpkins that she had painted in a “way cool, shabby-chic” fashion, to borrow her words. I made a note in my calendar book for September 2009 – “consider designer painted pumpkins as in Somerset Life”. That way I would be sure to remember.

Miss Buchanan’s pretty painted pumpkin.
Painted pumpkin by Carla Buchanan

So dutifully last weekend I purchased two small pumpkins (from Wegman’s, alas, not a local pumpkin patch. But I figure they’re good enough). I haven’t painted them yet. I’m a little nervous, since I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m afraid I’ll mess them up! Plus I need to get some paints.

And I need to get more pumpkins, too, because my husband and son want to paint some as well.

So my pumpkin adventure has begun!

and a birthday card
Here’s a little birthday card I pretty much threw together for my mom. I think it turned out cute, n’est-ce pas?

Birthday Card, 2009

Birthday card, 2009

~sweet dreams~

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girls rule
I’ve been working on my Mother’s Day cards. I’m so happy with how they have turned out – I wish I had made one for myself!

I have a new idea concerning Mother’s Day, inspired by my Girls Rule stamp by Tim Holtz, which I am implementing through these cards.

an official proclamation
I decided that Mother’s Day is too exclusive. We need a day to celebrate all women. Therefore I am renaming this year’s Mother’s Day. It will now be known as Girls Rule Day.

Here are some pictures of the cards.

This is very close to life-size.
Girls Rule - Mother's Day card

And the inside…
Girls Rule - Mother's Day card, inside

Each card features that adorable little girl, and inside I have written five reasons why the recipient rules. Each recipient has her own list, since each has her own particular strengths. Although I did put that last item on each card.

back to basics
I’ve also been working on a simple necklace with the leftovers from my bronze pendant necklace. I have an idea for a bracelet too, if I have enough of a certain bead. We’ll see!

~happily creating~

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Today marks the one-year anniversary (birthday?) of What if I’m a Mermaid?.

When I first thought about starting a blog I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with it, what with three children to look after (I count my husband in there), as well as a full-time job, a part-time obsession, a house to take care of, etc. But I think I’ve done well, and writing my entries is something I very much enjoy. I just wish it didn’t take me so long!

I thought I would take a moment to review my initial goals in starting a blog. Here they are:

1. Mark my artistic creations, endeavors, hopes, dreams, failures, and accomplishments.
2. Share with other women the struggle to maintain a “room of one’s own” when one has so many other responsibilities to tend to.
3. Share my art with others.
4. Put myself and my work out into the world.
5. Challenge my creativity.
6. Meet new people.
7. Allow those interested in my work an opportunity to learn more about my processes of thought and creativity.

1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 I have definitely met. I think I could work on 2 and 6 a bit more. But I think these are good goals, and they shall remain the goals of my little blog.

You may have noticed the Artella pictures/links over there on the side. I decided to become an Artella affiliate, which means that I’ll have some handy links on my blog for those who want to check it out, and hopefully will earn some commissions on sales generated through my links (I’m always looking for ways to support my creative habits).

I only support and promote companies that I believe in and that have shown themselves to have integrity and have something positive to offer the world. I have bought or received many Artella products myself, including workshops, their magazine, and digital collage stuff. Check out the digitally-altered book I created – the photos were mine and everything else came from Artella.

If you’re not familiar with Artella you can download a free copy of Stunning and Simple Seasonal Salutations, an e-book featuring nine (the book says ten, but I only counted nine) handmade cards, complete with photos and basic instructions, showcasing a variety of techniques such as rubber stamping and collage. Copy and paste this link if you’d like to take a look (there are some ads in the book, just to let you know, as well as some coupons that are good through December 31st) – http://www.artellaland.com/affiliates/jrox.php?id=1174_1_eaid_5

I have other free items that I will be offering here and there, but I thought I would do this one first in case anyone wanted to try making some holiday cards. I wish I had time to make some myself!

So if you’re interested in digital art, e-courses, or e-books take a look. There are also forums, blogs, and galleries, and everyone there is truly friendly and supportive. It really is an artistic community.

And yes, I do post in the forums – I go by Lilyrose.

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I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. – Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

I have the foundation of cardstock prepared for my inchies. I simply glued two pieces of cardstock together, and stamped the back, which is a light blue, with this really cool rubber stamp that I have. I also cut out the background papers, and chose and sized a bunch of vintage photos to consider.

I’m also making a card for my grandmother’s birthday. I’ll post a picture when it’s done.

Saturday night I continued work on my quilt. Sometimes I feel like I’m wasting time working on it, because it’s not furthering my jewelry and collage work. But I reminded myself that by making the quilt, I’m improving my sewing skills and learning how to work with fabric. Plus, I really do enjoy it.

So I worked on that and started watching Marie Antoinette – the old movie with Norma Shearer. I’d never seen it before and a couple weeks ago I saw it was on and recorded it. I first became interested in Marie Antoinette after reading Marie Antoinette – The Journey, by Antonia Fraser. I immediately fell in love with Marie Antoinette and felt an emotional connection to her – I find her fascinating, and her story is compelling and tragic. I definitely want to make a book for her someday – but first I want to read the book again so that everything is fresh in my mind. Maybe in a year or two.

Anyway, the movie is pretty good. I haven’t finished watching it yet, but I think I’m almost done. Of course they changed a bunch of things and I feel have slightly misrepresented her, but if you take it for what it is – a 1930s Hollywood costume drama – it’s enjoyable. And the costumes are gorgeous, and I love Norma Shearer too.

I finally finished reading Elizabeth & Mary – Cousins, Rivals, Queens, by Jane Dunn. Another fabulous book about two amazing, each in their own way, women. I absolutely loved this book. And it only took me almost a year to read it. I believe I started it last year when we were in Ocean City, Maryland, over Labor Day weekend. I love to read and I always have, but I have hardly any time for it these days. Mostly I read right before I go to bed, so there are many times when I can only manage to read a paragraph or two before I’m falling asleep. But books have always been an important part of my life, so I persevere, and if it takes me a year to read a book, I’m still better off for having read it.

So now I’ve started Ariel – The Restored Manuscript, by Sylvia Plath, and put together by her daughter Frieda Hughes. I bought this several years ago but had not gotten around to reading it. I’ve read some of the poems in the Ariel that was originally published. I’m excited to read the original manuscript as Sylvia had intended it to be. The foreword, written by Frieda Hughes, is very illuminating, moving, and filled with love for both of her parents.

That’s it for now. A lot of books in this post – they are one of my most treasured possessions.

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So here is my re-organized studio. I love my new table – it is just perfect. It has shelves underneath, two drawers, and the top part you can either put up or down, plus it has see-through bags and loops for more storage. I still need a chair though…



I was able to put all of my boxes (that I use to make embellished boxes for gift-giving) in my bead cabinet (which had a prevous life as my mom’s china cabinet) and I was also able to stack the bins containing my rubber stamps, inks and other coloring agents, embellishments, and future jewelry projects, on top. This freed up a lot of room on the floor, which is where all that stuff used to be, and eliminated all of that clutter.

Then there are my meager, but beloved, decorations – my Marilyn pictures, my 2007 Wizard of Oz calendar (which will remain hanging up because I like the pictures). I recently realized how un-creative and un-artistic my studio looks (I decided to call it my studio even though it’s only a corner of a room. “Studio” sounds more serious than “play area”.) so I want to start displaying some of my work as well as other things I find inspiring, like these beautiful cards I found at Wegman’s featuring the artwork of Alphonse Mucha.


This is The Precious Stones: Amethyst, 1900, and Documents decoratifs, 1902.


And this is The Arts: Music, 1898.

I just love these. It’s hard to see in these pictures, but there is a generous amount of glitter on each card. I’d never heard of Alphonse Mucha before I picked up these cards; I’ll have to do some research and find out more about him and his work.

And the final touch to my studio would be the removal of the wood paneling (someday…) Wood paneling was apparently the wall covering of choice for the previous occupants of our house, because it’s everywhere, and I really hate it. It’s the antithesis of artistry. oh well. Someday it will be gone, and that will be a very happy day indeed.

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