My first wedding scrapbook page

Our 1 year anniversary is coming up on September 15 and we haven’t even started our scrapbook.  I’ve been trying to get my wife to do it with me, but she’s been putting all her creativity into her cooking lately (not that I’m complaining about that).  So… I’m taking the initiative.  I’ll be obscuring our boy’s face with digital stickers because of the public nature of blogging, but everything else will be paper, stickers, my own writing and drawing, and embellishments.  All the photos are from our amazing photographer- Brian Hale at http://proofs.halechannel.com/.  And here’s the first page:

ImageThe layout came from “Sketch n Scrap” (http://sketchnscrap.blogspot.com/2013/08/sketch-n-scrap-38.html).  It was so clean and simple it was just perfect for first page of a wedding scrapbook.  My beautiful wife is on the left and I’m on the right.  This was made with a really pretty velum with dried flowers in it, ribbon, and card stock, and stickers.  The little glittery flowers in the upper left hand corner have tiny pearl-like beads in the center.  I have a feeling they’ll be making several appearances throughout the scrapbook.

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Completion of my ICAD Challenge!!!

ImageI DID IT!!  61 cards in Daisy Yellow’s 2 month long Index Card a Day Challenge.  In case you weren’t following along, here’s where all the magic began:

http://daisyyellowart.com/icad/icad-faq.html

She’s been doing this challenge for at least a couple years now and the only rule is that you have to use index cards as your “canvas”.  You can use any medium or mixed media combo you want and people came up with some pretty amazing ideas.  The idea was to do one index card a day but she suggests committing to 7 a week (which was a big help with keeping the pressure from being overwhelming for me).  She posted optional themes for each week and a list of (again, optional) prompts to choose from.  I decided to use mine to created a catalogue of quotes that I want to remember for future pieces and experiment with different techniques and mediums.  At first, I found myself really leaning on the themes and prompts.  After the first month, though, I was just inspired by everyone else’s work and I had more than enough ideas on my own.  I followed her Facebook group pretty closely and checked out the Flickr group fairly often, as well.

As a relatively new blogger, and a newly committed crafter, this has been an amazing experience.  It really got me to focus on doing something creative almost every day.  I also tried out a lot of new techniques, discovered a lot of new crafters on Flickr, and got a boatload of encouragement from Facebook.  Looking back on my 61 cards, I can see so much growth in my work and willingness to experiment.  I don’t really like all the cards I made, by any means, but I do like that I made them.  And there are several that I really do love and feel so proud of.  I, honestly, couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend the first couple months of my summer and I can’t wait for next summer’s challenge.

Here are some other bloggers who also been doing the challenge and who’ve provided me with additional inspiration:

http://defineyourjoy.com/2013/07/27/last-full-week-of-index-cards/ – I kept coming back to Natasha’s blog.  She focused on collage for her cards, but even given that boundary she had such a wide variety. I loved seeing her daughter’s cards displayed right alongside hers and hearing how proud her daughter was of her work and their posts.

http://tangledpen.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/thank-you-index-cards/ – She has some lovely cards and is a great drawer (a talent I envy).  Her son joined in, as well.

http://journey2wonderful.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/mini-art-challenge-week-8/ – Just like my theme was inspirational quotes, hers was illustrating books she’d read.  Some of them sound really good, and the cards make them all the more interesting.

http://joyfulploys.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/final-icads/ – Mary did all 61 cards.  I love her style.  There’s a great mixture of bold, contemporary pieces with vintage and more subtle tones mixed in.

http://pixelknitsponderings.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/index-card-a-day-2013-the-last-cards/ – Janet also did all 61 cards and has a great group shot of them at the end.  Congrats!!

Finally, I’ve been posting mine in little groups all along, so if you want to see some others check out the ICAD tag on my tag cloud.  Here (drumroll) are my last few cards:

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“Leap and the net will appear” really sums up my feeling about doing this challenge.  I jumped in, let go of judgement (over and over again), and kept creating.  I think that’s kind of what the challenge was about.  What do you think?

A card for a sad occasion

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A woman I used to work with on our local psychiatric crisis and trauma response teams died in a car accident last weekend.  She was just a little older than me (late 40s, maybe).  It was so sudden it’s still hard to believe.  I continue to work closely with the crisis team, which is part of the agency I work with, and remember from having spent about a year with them what a close, tight-knit family they are.  I think you have to be to do that kind of work.

I made this card to send the team, and am also going to enter it in a couple challenges.  I think the clean and simple look works well for sympathy cards (and for crisis teams, for that matter), but it’s something that I’m not necessarily used to doing.  I’m finding that I really do like it, even though it can be a real challenge not to overdo it.  Here are the challenges where I’m submitting it to:

http://cleanandsimpleonsunday.blogspot.com/2013/08/challenge-14-tag-it.html – This was the one I was originally planning to contribute to, and their clean and simple motif fit perfectly.

http://stampotiquedesignerschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/07/sdc109-clean-simple.html – Clean and simple is not the typical style for this blog, but I’m glad they’re trying it.  The contributions to this challenge are amazing and it’s so cool to see people playing “outside of their comfort zones” a bit.  (Oops!  I missed this one by a few minutes.  Maybe next month.)

http://thedynamicduoschallenge.blogspot.com/2013/08/dynamic-duos-64-strawberry-slush-and.html – This challenge was a somewhat interesting choice for this card, as the colors this week are “Strawberry Slush and Daffodil Delight”.  They’re described as a “bright and cheerful color duo”.  I’ve found that when making (and receiving) sympathy cards, the use of color can really be a nice way to add some light and brightness into what can be a really dark time.

I used unmounted stamps on my new stamp-press, and liked that they could be laid out so precisely around the tag I had already secured to the card and then pressed on all at once.  However, I couldn’t figure out how to get the ink on the stamps once they were stuck on without getting ink all over the press, as well.  I tried to wipe it off, but I was worried about the ink on the stamps drying.  Some of the excess ink got on the card, so I covered up the smudges with a couple more little leaf stamps.  Any ideas on how to make this work better?

Challenge entry for The Stampsmith Challenge (and my new favorite stamps)

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I LOVE when neatly decorated packages come in the mail.  It’s always the sign of a crafter sending me supplies or a piece I ordered.  This one from Estelle was no exception.  I’ve been starting to experiment with stamping and loving all the resources on-line (and, of course, at good-ol’ Michael’s).  I found this challenge and knew it would be the perfect excuse to get some new stamps:

http://thestampsmithchallenge.blogspot.com/2013/07/tsc44shabby-chic-or-vintage-grunge.html

The “shabby chic” and “grunge” themes certainly helped peak my interest!  So, here’s my contribution to this week’s challenge.  I’m thinking it ended up being more of a grunge look.  I usually start out envisioning shabby chic, but then I keep adding more and more layers, pushing things over into “grunge-range”.  This card started out with really pretty circles using a few different yellow acrylics and “floating medium”.  You can see it more than in my last post’s card’s background.  It works amazingly well with shading and blending.  Then, I used one of my new Stampsmith stamps to add this great Anais Nin quote (I love her).  I used the cute heart stamps that I’ve had forever and a Sharpie to make little flowers in the centers of the circles I had made.  Then, I added some roses with the “extra” stamp that Estelle threw in (I LOVE extras).  The coolest thing about her stamps is the intricate details in some of them.  I had no idea stamps could actually be photo-realistic, as well.  I know that I’m going to get better at using them- there’s quite a skill to stamping.

This is where I started venturing into “grunge-land”, I think.  I recently made some spray-ink with acrylic and rubbing alcohol so I thought a little spray would add some more interest.  (Oh, here’s my post in which I made spray-ink, in case you’re interested: https://craftymadre.com/2013/07/18/a-few-more-icads-on-the-home-stretch/)  Little did I know, but the not-yet dry ink in the quote stamp ran a little with the spray, but by then I was committed to grunge, so it worked out.  Then, I took quote stamp that still had a little ink on it and randomly stamped over the rest of the card.  The black hearts are actually a wooden heart that I used as a stamp.  So, there you have it!

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As a bonus, here’s another ICAD I made this week, I used torn up coin wrappers for it.  Funnily, I used the label from a sheet of letters I got from the Stampsmith to stamp the letters over the top and grunge this one up, as well.  (By the way, the letters are in these intricate nouveau art flower designs- be on the lookout for a project with them soon.)

So, there you have it.  What’s the most unique way you’ve used a stamp/stamps?  I think I’m addicted.

Creative Corners Challenge entry and a new, cool tool

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GLITTER!  Who can pass up a challenge with glitter!?  This week’s theme at the Creative Corners blog is “Let it Sparkle”.  Here’s the link:

http://creativecornerchallenges.blogspot.de/

Now, I’m not a big sparkly person in real life, but in my creative life I think a little bit of well-place glitter glue can absolutely MAKE a design.  (for example: https://craftymadre.com/2013/06/16/icad-drunken-stampers-challenge/) The ICAD (above) is my contribution to the challenge.  I used a background that I made with a couple different shades of yellow acrylic paint applied with a “floating medium” (yes, I finally learned how to use it and I love it).  Then I went over it with a rough layer of gesso using a folded index card to apply it (ICAD all the way, baby!).  I used a few different stamps with “Distress Ink” Black Soot, “Color Box” Curry, and “Craft Smart” Kelly Green.  Some of the stamps I used were from Inkadinkado (the quote and Zeppelin from an awesome vintage collection).  And then, the pièce de résistance was some green glitter glue to highlight it.

The other cool thing I used on this card is my new “Stamp Press” from Fiskars:

http://www2.fiskars.com/Crafting/Products/Stamping/Easy-Stamp-Press

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I saw Aaron on Imperfect Impulses use it in a tutorial and fell in love.  And then, my lovely wife got it for me!  Here’s him using it (with home-made foam stamps- how cool is that?!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoIiFTjDYzs

The funny thing is, in a previous post of mine I was bragging about my new Fiskars weeder (https://craftymadre.com/2013/07/07/perfect-day-for-working-in-the-lawn).  This company really needs to pay me for all the advertising (or, I should invest in them because they make GREAT products for all my favorite activities).

So, a lot of link-backs to previous posts, references to other blogs, and product references in here.  What do you think?

ICAD + Drunken Stampers Challenge

ImageI could not resist the Drunken Stampers’ challenge this week.  As soon as I saw “Monty Python” I was hooked.  The challenge was to use “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in a card and, for the truly brave of heart, to also include a “rabbit” theme.

http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/drunken-stampers-challenge-132-monty-python-the-holy-grail/

This is my all-time favorite quote from the movie (possibly from any movie):  the knight insists “It’s just a flesh wound” after having his arms hacked off in possibly the funniest movie fight scene in history.  For the “knight”, I found this cute little rabbit from a Richard Scarry book I’ve had sitting on my craft shelf for ages.  I drew the wild bore insignia on his little suit jacket.  A little red glitter-glue blood and I don’t think it could be better.

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Instead of keeping it in my ICAD quote collection, I had to put this one in a little frame and give it away to someone who would appreciate it.

This was so much fun… I have to find more of these challenges.

UPDATE: This is the coolest thing ever- I won the challenge with this one. I’m SO, SO, SO excited!! Here it is on their blog: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/life-of-the-party-winner-challenge-132-monty-python-the-holy-grail/