Friday, May 24, 2013

Using clip art in cards

First things first, there is nothing wrong with using clip art in any of your projects.  There are a lot of beautiful images available on software and online.  Take full advantage of them!  But let's be stamp something, means you have to physically apply some sort of medium like ink or paint onto an object and then apply it to paper.  There is no such thing as a digital stamp.  If you print it out, it's clip art.  If it weren't for clip art, I might not have gotten into card making at all!

I really wanted to join in the fun of the Altered Pages Challenge this month.  The theme is shoes.  I love girly cards and thought this one would be fun.  I started going through my stamp drawer to find the perfect image and discovered that I really don't have a shoe stamp that would be a good focal point on a card.  The stamps I own are just too small.  So I went on Google and searched "shoe coloring page" and found this really cute pair of wooden shoes.
I pasted the image into my Print Shop program and printed them out.  I colored the shoes with a coconut-colored Sharpie and then went over it with a colored pencil.  The flowers were painted with Sakura's 3D Crystal Lacquer, which were colored with Terri Sproul's Mixers in Shimmer Rose and Shimmer Green.  The large flowers at the top were embellished with Dew Drops from The Robin's Nest.

To make the flower border, I cropped out the largest flower from the shoe and printed it in various sizes.  I also flipped the image so some would be facing the other way.
 I can't decide if I prefer the scan or the photo so here's both!

Here's another fun card I made with clip art.  This one was for my husband's birthday.  He's a real car guy, but I don't have much in the way of stamps.  It gave me a great opportunity to highlight some of the car embellishments I found, though!
The background is a paint chip.  I love pink and black together and the gray helped blend the buttons and brads into the design.

If you're like me and you want one of every stamp in your collection that's fine.  But if you need an image and you can't find the perfect stamp or can't afford to stockpile them then go find yourself some beautiful clip art.  The joy is in creating!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dew Drops - my favorite new embellishment!

Anyone who looked in my craft cabinet might think I have a lot of embellishment opportunities.  I have buttons & glitter, of course.  Who doesn't?  I have beads and stray jewelry items.  I have cancelled stamps, stickers and gem stones.  And I have Dew Drops!

The Robin's Nest has been around for a long time but I just discovered them last year.  And I love them.  I have a rainbow of these lovely little half round beads.  I also have a wish list because they come in so many different colors and sizes.

I was looking through my bin of spare card parts and found this pretty daisy background and thought it was the perfect design for my new little embellishments.
The yellow card stock was stamped with yellow pigment ink and embossed with fine, clear powder.  And then tossed into a bin for a couple of years. ha-ha  So tonight I took my white paint marker and colored the inside of each tiny daisy petal.  I sorted out tiny yellow Dew Drops out of the Getaway color mix and glued one inside each of the flowers using Helmar's Gemstone Glue.

A touch of yellow & white ribbon and another daisy stamped on white and embellished completed the springy card.
Here are a couple of other recent cards that were also made from card parts.  The first one is a background made with acrylic paint and glitter glue.  The embellishment is a charm I picked up somewhere a long, long time ago.  I don't even remember where I found it.  The Dew Drops help balance the card.  Without another dimensional embellishment, the charm would look too heavy on the card.
This next one has been floating around half-complete for quite some time.  It's a background of collaged papers with a piece of yarn, a button & a charm.  The Dew Drops were added just to give it a sort of framed look.
And this last one is with my favorite panda stamp.  Grey Wolf Graphics has awesome animal stamps.  I grabbed the Chinese writing background out of the same bin as the daisy paper.  I chose Dew Drops to blend with the color scheme and fill in the blank space.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A New Project ... Art Journaling!

I've started two different types of art journals recently.  When Terri Sproul announced that her online class was going to start an art journal series I went out and bought my first book in anticipation!  A book full of blank pages just waiting for me!  It's been a fun first couple of weeks.

I have always been a little intimidated by acrylic paint.  I have at least a dozen of the colorful little bottles and I've used them on card backgrounds, but I have never considered myself a "painter" so they have been sitting around waiting for me to get brave enough to use them.  When I came up with my idea for the first page entitled "My Art Journal", I laughingly told my husband that my brain was always wanting me to do things my hands had trouble doing.  He was very encouraging and told me that of course I could do it and he never doubted that there was an artist in me.  What a wonderful thing to hear!

After the first class, I got out my paints and went to work.  I started by penciling in the bottles freehand.  Then I took a deep breath and painted them!  I completed the background and other little touches over a week. 

I've worked on this page three separate times to add, tweak and FIX!  That's right, when you're learning to do something new, you can count on making mistakes.  But it's not just a journal, it's a journey.  I'm learning new things all the time.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  Mistakes are okay.  You can see the paint bubble in this photo that happened when I was drying the paint on page two.  I used a paintbrush and USArt Quest's PPA glue to seal over the bubble to try and prevent peeling.  Now I have learned not to get too close to the page with my heat tool.  So there it one!  I am very proud of how it turned out.  I'll be posting others soon.

If you need a creative outlet I really recommend starting an art journal.  They're great stress relievers.  I've started a second (smaller) journal that I take to work and draw in on my lunch.  It's filled with doodles and it's a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour.

Drop me a note and let me know where/what you doodle or how you best express your art.  Or you can follow my journey.  Just use one of the links below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Playing with Mica this week

I found a really cute plastic suncatcher at the dollar store this week and thought to myself, "Gee, I bet that would look pretty filled with Crystal Lacquer!".  So I brought it home and got out my box of Mica products and I also got out my Sakura 3D Crystal Lacquer.  I've used the lacquer on a few jewelry pieces and all of my bezels are gone so I've been trying to find other projects for the beautiful lacquers.  I only have one set so I used what I had and then also mixed up batches using Terri Sproul's mixers and the clear lacquer.  The mica mixers have a different look to them than the others so my suncatcher has different textures.  The pre-made 3D colors are pearly and, although it's hard to tell from this picture, the mixers are a more sparkly effect.  For the sky, I mixed USArt Quest's Mica D'Lights into the clear lacquer.  The D'Lights don't completely color the lacquer so the sky is more opaque and not as glittery as the mixers.  I really like the look and I will be seeking out more of these cute (and cheap!) projects.

 While I had the box of Mica out, I noticed my mica tiles.  I haven't played with them very often and I thought this little one was the perfect size for an ATC.  I grabbed my mocha colored alcohol ink and a Q-tip and darkened the tile up just a little.  Then I added a drop of the ink to the tile and let it spread out naturally.  I smudged some charcoal colored chalk ink around the edges and then stamped a weave pattern with ink very similar in color to the card stock and embossed.  I added another background pattern and a couple of other stamps and glued down the mica on top using clear Crystal Lacquer.  I dipped the edges of the card on the charcoal pad and now I can decide if this one is for trading or if it will go on a card in the future!

I've done a little art journaling this week, as well.  I'll be sharing those pages with you soon.  In the meantime, if you'd like to follow along on the art journal journey (try saying that 5 times fast!) please join Terri Sproul's online classes every Tuesday.  I'm learning a lot and have started using the acrylic paint that has intimidated me in the past!  It's a lot of fun!

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