Sunday, July 21, 2013

A weekend spent cleaning pays off

What is a crafter to do when there is no room on the table for even a coffee cup?  Clean, of course!
No this isn't a joke, it's a serious mess!
I spent all day Saturday and Sunday sorting, cleaning and generally putting things back where they belong.  I think I have a pretty creative solution to the problem of where to put my stamps after I wash them so they can dry.  I have a double laundry tub and in the "other side" I have a coated wire rack with a dish drainer mat.  Not pretty, but a pretty good use of space.

I wash my stamps with each use.  I just use a soft brush, Palmolive dish soap and warm water.
I've shown pictures of my studio before but I thought I'd try something new.  I made a short video of my space.  Maybe I just really want it documented that it was this clean at one point.  I hope you enjoy the tour.  It starts with the back "wall" of my main space and then goes around the corner into the entry way to the laundry room. 
OMG - is that really what I sound like??  LOL!  I did the tour in stages mostly because it took so long to clean the room.  Part two is the small area just behind my chair.
The main table area is where I spend most of my time in my studio.  When it's clean, there is room for two at the table.  It's a great size for a studio and I feel blessed to have it.  My husband agreed that it could be mine before we even bought the house.  I love it.  And I love it even more when it's clean enough to work in!

Here are my storage cabinets.  You can still get them at Home Depot, but they aren't as nice anymore.  They have really cheapened them up over the last couple of years and they don't have the nice built-in peg board on the doors.
Do you store any of this stuff  you see in a better way?  See something that could use improving? Drop me a line below and let me know.  I'm always looking for ways to have my room be more efficient.  The less time I have to spend looking for things, the more time I have to create!

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

More weekend projects

I've spent a lot of time in my studio this weekend.  I did some cleaning but not enough to make a dent in the mess on my tabletop.  I finished a page in one journal and started a page in another.  I made some card size backgrounds and finished a doorknob hanger for the Anything But A Card challenge.

The complete page is in my small journal, which I use mostly for doodles.  I had to gesso the backside of some of the pages because when I doodled with a Sharpie it bled through.  So the page I completed this weekend was on one of those pages and uses acrylic paint as well as ink.  It was also a good excuse to try out my new die cuts.

The page started out with a pretty bright pink background and when I was adding the floral stencil, it slipped and the top corner turned into a big black smudge.  I tried covering it with just the birdhouse, but it looked bad so I got out the gesso again.  I planned to cover the entire thing and start over, but I really liked how everything still showed through so I just kept stamping and adding ink and paint...and voila!  This is what I came up with.
The page that I started is in the larger journal.  I grabbed three bright spring-like colors.  I think they are very pretty, but they are out of my normal color palette.  Turquoise and bright green glitter were sprinkled into the wet paint.  When that layer was dry, the edges were colored with a cotton candy Gelato and some drips were added.  I'm still trying to decide what the page is saying to me. 
Finally this weekend, I made a project for the Anything But A Card challenge.  The theme this time around is Steampunk.  I haven't played much with the genre and thought it would be fun to give it a try.  I made a door hanger using the Tim Holtz pocket watch embossing folder and several stamps.
I embossed the image three times across the page and then used a sponge to added Colorbox Chalk toffee colored ink and then brushed a Cat's Eye Colorbox bronze ink page across the numbers.

The images I chose were an acrobat by Viva Las Vegastamps, a hanging pocket watch from Sin City Stamps, train by Creative Gifts and key & steam from Stampin' Up.  Sorry, I have no idea who makes the train track.  The saying was in a set I got at Michael's in the dollar bin.  I got it in a bunch of other stamps on eBay several years ago.  All of these images were masked together on a single piece of paper.  When the images were all on the wooden hanger I added a few charms.

All in all it was a pretty nice way to spend a weekend!  Sure beats housecleaning!!

Thanks for stopping by and spending a minute or two with me.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  And I always welcome new followers!  See you next time.  Happy stamping!




Saturday, July 6, 2013

An Anniversary "Card"

I made my husband his usual anniversary card this year and it turned out okay.  I'm never happy enough with the cards I make for my husband.  I always think they should be ... MORE.  Either more romantic or more pretty or just plain more special.  Since they are for him I would like them to be the best I can make.  So this year, along with the usual card I also made an anniversary journal page. 

Let's start with the card.  It also started out as a journal page from very early in the process.  The images I chose really didn't work well together as a whole page but I liked certain parts of the design.  I ripped it out of the journal and cut it into different size panels and they work much better separately. It's pretty but also kind of plain.  He loves it, which is really what matters most since it was for him!
But I thought I could do better and decided to make a journal layout to celebrate our anniversary.  I wanted a romantic page but I didn't want pink or red because those say Valentine's to me.  One of our wedding colors was purple so I went with every shade of purple paint I had. I added some silver to give it shine and teal and white for contrast.
The challenge in my mind was how to make a romantic layout without making it too feminine.  I used my favorite Stampin' Up butterfly, an open diamond weave and a script stamp both from Stamp Camp and a the largest Eiffel Tower from Viva Las Vegastamps. All were stamped with acrylic paint instead of using ink. Tip for you - when you're using paint to stamp something as detailed as the butterfly be sure to wash it right away.  Normally, I have no issues getting paint off the stamp.  It just peels right off when it's dry.  But the butterfly has a lot of tiny crevices and I'm still working on getting that one clean!

To add more texture and interest I grabbed the smaller diamond weave from Stamp Camp and the textured diamonds from Sin City Stamps.  To make the variegated diamonds, I just smeared three different colors of acrylic paint on them with my finger.
 
After the images were in place and dry I took a stencil and USArt Quest's 101 Heavy molding paste and added some floral touches.  The flower placed over the butterfly was to cover up a stamping error and is great camouflage.  Even I can't find it now!


More 101 was used to add some polka dots along the edges.  The words were stamped with matte white acrylic paint so that they would be bold enough to stand up to the shiny background. 

There it is...my anniversary gift to my husband for our 18th year.  The first anniversary "card" I truly like!

Thanks for stopping by!  I love comments and welcome new followers!  Have a wonderful day!