Creative Jumpstart 2021

Creative Jumpstart 2021
Join me for the 10th Anniversary of CJS2021

Wednesday, December 14

on my desk today

Just a quick post to share what I'm working on this week, a card from my Spellbinders Cards class at My Creative Classroom. I love the way the dandelion stamping came out -- the mixture of inks give the sentiment some depth. Wish I had some dandelions with the things being blown in the air, that would have been perfect in that little spot in the center.

I also wanted to share a few things I posted over on the Spotted Canary Expert Blog: 
  • Here you can read about my escapades in the woods looking for treasures to make holiday decorations with.
  • You can learn how to make a fun felt snowman ornament, complete with twig arms here, on this post.
  • And how about a pretty glittered up pinecone swag or tree ornament here?
As you can see, I use elements from nature in my crafting all the time. Hey, why not?? Everything I find and lug home is free and gets me outside for some fresh air and exercise -- not to mention lots of inspiration from nature!

Hope you are doing great, and make something crafty today!


Wednesday, December 7

For the love of Butterflies

I can't believe it's been over 3 weeks since my last post  -- I knew I was going to be busy but I had no idea exactly how busy. CHA is coming up quickly -- as well as some new things on HSN (yes so excited about THAT) as well as a brand new Spellbinders Card Class at My Creative Classroom...oh and a free holiday class over there too -- and a collaborative Christmas Class -- phew. Way to pack it in.

Plus life. Yes there's always THAT. Life isn't always a bowl of cherries.

Since my new class is taking up so much of my head space I thought I'd share a quick little shot of a small part of one of the cards this week. I think it's ok to share this -- this is a little assemblage/embellishment sneakie peakie from Week 3. This was so much fun to create -- it uses one of my ALL TIME favorite things to craft with -- a butterfly -- and my second all time favorite thing -- my Spellbinders dies.

I also wanted to share some of my favorite quotes about butterflies that I found here and there on the internet.

The butterfly counts
not months
but moments,
and has time enough. 
~Rabindranath Tagore

If nothing ever changed,
there'd be no butterflies. 
~Author Unknown

Happiness is a butterfly,
which when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp,
but which,
if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you. 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Love is like a butterfly: 
It goes where it
pleases and it pleases
wherever it goes. 
~Author Unknown

Thanks for stopping by, will try not to have such large gaps in between posts! Take some time to get crafty today!

Friday, November 11

30 Days in your Art Journal

So this is the latest attempt I made in my Art Journal, much better than the first two pages I must say. Loving the blue and orangey/yellow in the background!

I had sent some images to a friend in Australia from my Martha Stewart magazine stash, and came across this one when I was looking -- and it really sums up how I am feeling lately.

With a title, some distressing and the date -- it looks great! Now I just need to add some journaling.

I didn't have a large number stamp set so I used a chipboard number and acrylic paint. When the 9 is dry I'm going to sand it so it doesn't look so "new" and foreign to my page.

That's it for today -- will share more later. There's no school today and I've got a special visit planned for later today! HAve a great day -- thank you so much for stopping by -- catch you on the flip side of the day!

Wednesday, November 9

30 Days in your Journal

I did something I never have the time to do -- sign up to take an on-line workshop. I'm usually so busy teaching my own classes that I don't have time to take any. When I saw this class from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer I  decided I would make the time -- even though November is crazy!

It started out disappointing for me -- not with the course -- but with the journal I made. Last week I trekked down to Portland to pick up some watercolor paper to make a new journal -- and made more time over the weekend to get it done. I was ready to start on Monday.

Yesterday I got right down to work after dinner -- thinking I would "catch-up", I created my background -- which I fell in love with the layered colors and black circles.....and when I flipped the page it ripped at the score mark. (Another reason to use the masking tape like she suggests -- but I didn't have that and decided to just get to it and pick it up next time I went to staples.) I didn't use cheap paper either -- 140 lb. watercolor paper from Canson.

Anyway, this is one of the pages after I ripped it out. I decided just to go with it and see what I could make of it. I added stamped words and journaling and then ripped the one page into tiny pieces. It was almost freeing to rip that pretty background into tiny pieces!

I used Gel Medium to re-attach them to a new page in an old journal. At first I was skeptical -- it's such a 180 degree deviation from my style. I usually am clean and straight and balanced. This was a MESS. I did try and keep the stamped word "balance" together -- but other than that I just stuck them down to the page.

This is what it looked like when I went to bed last night. I was happy, it turned out ok and no one would ever be able to read my journaling!

This morning I got up and decided to finish off the page. Instead of ripping the second background, I used my paper trimmer to cut it into small pieces and then attached them to the page in an "organized, chaotic" fashion.

I added more circles, and kept the title really organized -- but with a few bits of chaos and added the journaling, some color using punchinella and the second page turned out like this.

My double page spread. Individualy the pages are kind of ugly -- but together they look ok. So not a representation of my work - AT ALL. But you must learn from your mistakes. I decided to just buy a journal like what Julie is using in the workshop and be happy with it!

Thanks for stopping by -- hope you'll make the time to ART Journal today!

Tuesday, November 8

oH cHRISTmAS tREE, oH cHRISTmAS lovely are your branches!

It is NOVEMBER after all, (don't forget to vote today) so I guess it's ok to share more Christmas projects! Last week I spent the afternoon catching up with a friend I haven't seen in a bit -- and since I was inbetween projects and had a new Spellbinders Die Set I wanted to play with I got myself all prepped to make this little ornament.

I used all wool felt, it cuts so much easier in my die-cutting machine. Acrylic felt from the craft store has little fibers that always hang on and you have to cut them by hand -- I think it may be because they are made from recycled plastic containers -- not sure on that though.

I made the poinsettia from 4 or 5 layers of die-cut wool poinsettia flowers, some hand embroidery (doesn't really show), some freshwater pearls and velvet leaves from my stash.

With some hand-sewing, beading and other fun things I think this ornament came out perfect! Not sure if I am going to gift it or try and sell it in my Etsy. If you are interested in taking a class from me to learn how to make ornaments like this and more plus a vintage shadowbox (PLUS: 3 other instructors teach their holiday projects) in a fun holiday class at My Creative Classroom, check out All About Christmas. It's still open for enrollment -- but won't be for long. You'll have to wait until next year if you miss it this time!

Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great day and get everything you vote for ;-)

Monday, November 7

Play time!

I had fun making this fun card for my latest Expert Blog Post over at the Spotted Canary. (The  instructions aren't there yet -- but should be before the end of the day!)

You can use it as inspiration or follow the step-by-step instructions and photos to make one just like it!

Gotta get back to work now, I'm swamped! Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 2

November at MCC

I can't stand it any longer -- I have to confess that I've been keeping a little bitty secret from you.
But today -- I'm going to spill the beans.....since it's after the beginning of November! Last week or so I mentioned I was in the Christmas spirit....and it's all because of this project!
Most of the instructors at My Creative Classroom have been working on a fun FREE class! When you sign up for a class at My Creative Classroomm (any class I think) in November we'rre going to thank you by giving you access to our collective class "Wrap it Up". This project is my contribution that I totally had a blast making!

So, I hope you'll take a moment to check out the offerings and prepare to be amazed at this free class! Oh, and I'll have a VERY LIMITED Quanity of kits available in the classroom! (BTW, I've got three classes starting this month -- a spellbinders card class, a punch class and a Christmas class!)
THANKS for stopping by, have a great day!

Monday, October 31

Happy Haunted Halloween!!

It's Halloween -- and we have several inches of snow on the ground - how weird! Saturday night was a wild one that's for sure! It started out with rain, then snow and freezing rain -- oh -- and let's not forget the wind. In the middle of that we lost our electricity! I hope that is NOT an indication of the winter!

Anyway, since I get so few trick-or-treaters I like to "fancy" up the candy a little. Not that the kids will notice, but it's something I like to do. A little tradition I guess. This year I thought I would share the quick little treat I put together!

I started with a package of test tubes I picked up on clearance at Micheals a couple of years ago, and I tied a piece of grograin ribbon on the top.

Then I stamped one of my favorite Halloween stamps on cardstock and used my paper trimmer to cut it into a tag. I tied one tag to each test tube with Hemp twine.

Then I tied some cheapo plastic toy to the test tube with twine, on the home stretch!  

The only thing left is to fill each one with candy. I know I'm weird about what I let my son eat, so rather than put loose m&m's or jelly beans (I would have been able to put more) I stuffed them with tootsie rolls, they are pre-packaged and will usually pass a candy inspection.

I had wanted to put rollos, but they were too fat, so I had to eat them. ;-) Then I tried individual Twix and they were too big, and I had to eat those too.  Nothing fit and I had a stomach ache by the time I was done trying, ha ha.

I could only put 4 tootsie's in each container so I filled a little paper sack with candy to accompany each tube. I made up 8 sets of tubes and bags in a half hour or so -- quick easy and cute!

Also wanted to share my cute container! I bought this quite a few years ago, it was a Halmark special. LOVE it.

Hope you have a great Halloween making costumes and taking your kiddos out trick or safe and remember a flash light and to check the candy your kids bring home!

Friday, October 28

More on Art Journaling

One of the biggest challenges I had when I first started journaling was when I wanted to add text to my pages using an ink color other than black or brown. White pens like sharpies, gel and painty pens just didn't give me the look or quality I wanted.

Up to that point I had been playing around a lot in my journals with my Speedball dip (calligraphy pen) pen using only black ink. On a trip to the art store to get more black india ink I noticed they had red, white, blue and  A LOT of other colors.

So, I picked up a bottle of the red and white to experiment with. I am so happy I did, as the white ink looks great on darker pages, and the red is REALLY vibrant -- I used the red on the veins of the flowers on this page. The pen I use is a speedball dip pen with a 512 tip.

If you haven't tried a dip pen, they are really inexpensive, have interchangeable tips and are fun to experiment with. You should try one today! I do like using a Pitt Pen on my pages too -- but recently read that there is a chemical in the paint that can damage the tip of the pen....hmmmm not that they are expensive to replace -- but I want to use up all the ink before the tip dies, so I think I will probably stick with my dip pen for writing on acrylic paint on my art journal pages for now.

Hope you have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by and do something artful this weekend -- it's the perfect time of year to settle into some great artsy routines!

Thursday, October 27

Faux is sometimes the way to go!

I just finished up the last week (Week 5) of my "Mixed Media Workshop Two" Class at My Creative Classroom -- this week we touched on the basics of working with beeswax to create encaustic art. I had so much to cover that I didn't have time (or room) to talk about this fun project.

It's my "quick" fix encaustic -- faux encaustic -- or down and dirty encaustic -- whatever you choose to call it -- it's fun, a little messy -- and not any where near as HOT or as involved as working with hot wax! One of the things I love about working with wax is the beautiful "translucent, thick and layered" look the wax gives my art! I can get that look, to some extent --with Heavy Body Gel Medium from Golden.

I basically make my collage or piece of mixed media art --and apply a couple of layers -- drying in between each coat -- of the heavy body Gel. Sometimes just 1 really heavy layer is enough. When the Heavy Body is dry (takes a long time) it has a bit of the "look" of wax -- but no where near the mess, hazard to my fingers -- because I always burn myself -- or expense that encaustic collage does . BTW, the burns don't stop me either -- I'm addicted to it, ha ha. I don't really notice them until I'm done.

Mixed Media Workshop One starts Friday -- November 4th if you are interested in learning some new and fun mixed media art techniques!

Hope you have a great week, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25

More Holiday Stuff!

Remember those pine cones I talked about last week?? Well, I couldn't stop thinking about them and since I had a Blog Post for the Spotted Canary Expert Blog due on Friday -- I thought I would make something pretty with them!

So, if you take a minute and check out the Expert Blog sometime in the next week or so, you'll get step by step directions on how to make something pretty out of pince cones and glitter for yourself!

I can imagine lots of different things you could do....and then fancy it up with a couple of pretty stamps!

Hope you have a great day -- I've got a VERY busy week so I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 22

Fall via Hipstamatic

Have a great weekend!
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. 
Stanley Horowitz

Friday, October 21

I know, I said it was EARLY!

I was in Joann fabrics the other day and saw they were starting to display the Christmas decorations and things (and saw some cute tin boxes that I must have for candy making this year) and thought -- OH MY HECK -- it's way too early. Really. Really early.

But then I remembered this image -- that came over the summer -- and I didn't feel like it was so far away! But, more on that in a minute ;-)

Add to that I was working on a free class that we are offering at MCC (remind me, I'll tell you about that another day) of a pretty package topper (could also be an ornament) and I'm in full holiday I got a few assignments that are holiday related...and I made a project for a new blog post for Spotted Canary that was due this morning -- and I might as well put up my Christmas tree next week. Anyone that knows me knows that I don't usually put that up until 12/23 or so ;-)

Anyway, I was going to save this post for December -- but since Christmas is already on my mind -- and it's only -- yes I'm screaming it -- only FORTY.ONE days away -- you might as well see it now. Ha ha. I was pleasantly surprised this summer when I got a copy of Stampington's magazine, Hand-Crafted and saw that they re-ran an article I had written in 2009...the 12 Days of Christmas. I think it's still on news stands if you want to check it out.

Anyway, gotta run, conference call at 9:30 -- have a great weekend see you on Monday!

Thursday, October 20

I KNOW it's early and all.....

I know it's early, but I wanted to share a new class at My Creative Classroom that I'll be working on next week -- I will be teaching two fun weeks. My first week will be ornaments and the second will be a shadowbox, and you will have 4 other weeks with other instructors -- it's going to be a blast -- you won't want to miss it!

Here are the details of what we'll be teaching and a link to their personal blog so you can see  all their awesomeness for yourself!

It's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas! Gather up your holiday crafting supplies and come join four MCC instructors for a wide variety of Christmas projects from home decor to card making to rubber stamping and loads in between. This 6-week class is loaded with detailed projects that will have you creating items to be cherished for years to come.

·        Week 1 with Donna Salazar - Count down to "the most wonderful day of the year" as you create a "Girlie Grunge Christmas Countdown" wall hanging in Donna's signature style. This decor item is made with cardboard, bling and Spellbinders die-cuts using Mix'd Media Inx, Smooch Spritz and Fairy Dust Glitter from Clearsnap. It is sure to be a family favorite year after year.
·       Week 2 with Catherine Scanlon - Hey, that's me! Create five unique and festive handmade ornaments. You'll do a little sewing, a little beading, a little of this and a little of that to create ornaments from classic to whimsical.
·        Week 3 with Sandy Hulsart - Create four elegant masked, stippled, and stamped cards. Using masking techniques create these wonderful one layer holiday cards with softly stippled backgrounds.
·        Week 4 with Deena Ziegler - Create two Christmas cards and a holiday door banner using various techniques and downloadable/printable templates.
·        Week 5 with Donna Salazar - Create "Mixed Media Elf House" tabletop home decor project with cardboard, the Crafty Chronicle, Spellbinders die cuts, trims and stamps using Mix'd Media Inx, Smooch Spritz and embossing powder from Clearsnap.
·        Week 6 with Catherine Scanlon - Make a lovely vintage-style winter white shadowbox that you can adorn with a vintage holiday photo, ephemera or current family photo. Start with a new shadowbox or vintage box/cigar box and transform it to a lovely winter wonderland with glitter, vintage papers, snowflakes and more. This will be another heirloom in the making!

Please let me know if you have any questions! Oh, I almost forgot -- the first class with Donna Salazar starts on November 3rd - and the entire course is 6 weeks long. We know the holidays get busy -- so you will have 12 weeks to complete all the projects and share your work in the student gallery!!

For more information, or to enroll,  visit My Creative Classroom  today!

Have a great day, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19

Fall is in Full Swing

I feel so lucky to have a great relationship with my parents -- they live about 500 yards from me, at the end of our drive-way. It's really great that my son can spend as much time with them as he wants -- he often has sleep-overs at Gram's house -- or goes down for a visit, it helps that she usually has great homemade snacks! He helps her in the garden and dries her dishes and helps my Dad with the wood in his wood box. I think of the great times I had at my Grandmother's house before she died (I was 17) and am so grateful and thankful that he'll have the same type of memories, they mean a lot to me. I hope he gets the time to make a LOT more with them.

Over the weekend I was taking my little dog for a walk by their house I noticed my Mom walking around her yard with an old potato basket and filling it up with something. I usually have a camera with me on my doggie walks -- you never know when you might see something awesome -- and want a photo for later.

Her yard is covered with these beautiful pine cones, they look like they are covered in white or silver-white glitter. Which instantly gave me an idea -- I haven't had a chance to execute it yet. Hopefully I will soon. But anyway, aren't these beautiful?!!
I also saw this beautiful red leaf on the road in a bed of pine needles, and today I saw some pretty green ferns surrounded by brown dead ones, the contrast was lovely. I've got a plan in mind for that too. I think Fall is a great time of the year -- I just wish that it didn't have to be followed by the snow and ice of winter!

Well, I do think we are closer to the tribulations of winter -- cause we started the wood stove tonight! So not happy about that! Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, October 18

Happy Flowers

I've been so busy making art and art journaling, preparing new designs and samples (that I love by the way) for classes that I haven't taken any time to make art for myself. It's easy to loose sight of why I do this -- because I love it -- and get  bogged down in the  other details.
So, Sunday night after I had spent the weekend making samples, thinking about class ideas etc. I decided to heck with it -- I'm making some art just for me! So after my boys went to bed, and Dexter and Homeland were on -- I got started on some play time in my studio. (can you believe something this colorful came about while watching Dexter?? LoL!) I've been creating art for so long that people recognize my style --  I've been thinking a lot about re-making or giving my art a face lift. I want to be unique. I want my art to look unique and something other people aren't doing.
I certainly didn't do that in this piece, but it sure was fun cutting, pasting, painting, spraying and image transfering on this piece. I did it on 200lb. watercolor paper, so it's really sturdy and could handle all the abuse it put it through. What I've known for some time, but realized for certain while working on this piece --  I'm definitely not a whimsical artist, I think that's why I don't like this. But, we must first explore, play and experiment with new techniques, supplies and styles before we can discover our true style, don't you think?
So with that, I must get back to work on finishing up my class for Friday! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 14

Art Journaling Friday

My friend Leslie from Beattie Chicks Makery has started hosting an Art Journaling workshop on Friday mornings in their studio down town -- and today was the first day. Since my plan is always to have Friday's off from work, this schedule totally worked for me, especially since I already had lunch (and dessert) planned with another friend at noon and I was already going to be out and about.

I love the way she starts the journaling process -- it's really unique and no book or magazine I have ever read directs you to journal this way. Leslie has a way of getting the best and the most from people creatively, or at least she does for me. That's just one of the things I love about her, but that's another blog post.

I joked with her at one point that I had a tendency lately of taking my art to the brink of disaster -- and then somehow I turn it around like a phoenix coming back to life and it comes out looking ok. Anyhow, we starting singing that song from whoever country rock band it is "Flirtin' with Disaster" (yes, I know you can hear it in your head now -- it's been in mine all afternoon, LOL. I'm happy to pass it on) and my mission for these two pages was to get it back. From the edge of disaster. No easy task since it was REALLY bad.

Before I added the dip pen details, it was a disaster. I had stamped with some flower stamps with red StazOn and the result was awful! Totally ugly. I was on the brink of abandoning it, and had I not loved the journaling so much -- I probably would have.right.then.right.there. I kept telling myself -- how can you teach that there are no mistakes in art journaling and be so willing to give up on this....and that kept me going too.

And then right when it was starting to blossom (no pun intended, ha ha) I had to go or I was going to be late for lunch at Little Tokyo and dessert at Gelato Fiasco -- yes -- my definition of a perfect day - art, sushi and gelato! I was late, but it was ok because I blamed it on having to circle the block several times in the pouring rain looking for a place to park. 

Anyway, the flower on the top left of the above photo is one of my favorites - as well as one other in the previous photo. Thank you Leslie - you have a way of inspiring me to stick with it and I always create something groovy when I'm around you! Can't wait until next time! If you live locally -- you should come if you can, it's a lot of fun!

And with that, I'm inspired to get my art on. Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13

Somerset Holidays & Celebrations, 2011

Good Morning!! It's almost Friday -- the one day of the week where I normally don't do any work -- and depending on how much I procrastinate today -- I may or may not have work tomorrow. That's the one thing about working from home that is not a good thing for me -- I'm distracted by laundry, dishes, television (this morning one of the Twilight movies) and I put things off.

I also put off doing what I should be doing to take care of little things like blogging, what I'm doing at this very moment, Pinterest and Facebook. Right now I should be narrating and editing and working on new classes instead of walking around in my pj's sipping on a cup of cold coffee looking out at the rain. Daydreaming, I should NOT be doing that. I have presentations and hand-outs to make, lol. Daydreaming about making art, connecting with friends and getting distracted from the rain by pretty pictures on Pinterest is so much more fun than presentations, video and voice-overs, LOL.

But anyway, thought I would share a little something that I got in the mail a few weeks ago. The 2011 issue of Somerset Holidays and Celebrations -- where I have two articles. THANKS Jennifer for the great page layouts and photo designs, you always make my stuff look good! I appreciate that!

The first article is a holiday article, called Winter White, and it's all about felt ornaments. Seems like forever ago that I made these -- and gearing up to make some gilded versions real soon...planning..buying supplies..brainstorming. LOVE that!  

All these ornaments are made with Spellbinders dies, they make crafting so much fun; wool felt and lots of doodads' a little sewing and some nice smelling stuff to make them delicious! 

I'll share some pictures of the other article soon! Now, I really MUST get back to work. Hope you have a great day, thank you so much for stopping by!