Creative Jumpstart 2021

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

Monday, February 18

In + Out Freebies #2: Art Journal FF

Happy Monday! Today I thought I would share this video of how I painted the image I posted yesterday! I put this up awhile ago on my Vimeo Page but thought I'd share it on YouTube as well!

I don't know about you, but I'm really really anxious for spring. Here in the NorthEast we are in the midst of another Winter Storm -- 26" last weekend and then upwards of 6" today.......I am not complaining  --  just saying that I'm ready to see the pretty blooms sprouting in my garden

Since the journal page in this video is happy and sunny --  I thought you might enjoy this little bit of color to remind you that spring isn't really THAT far away!

Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy it --  have a wonderful day. Oh and inquiring minds want to know ........ how much snow have you received this year so far?

Saturday, February 16

Friday, February 15

the Whatevers #8: OH NO -- Not Andre!

It's the time of the month again -- when Nat, Vic and I reveal the latest about what our Whatever Characters are doing! 
Check out what Vic is up to here! 
Winston Newton Whatever was not a Doctor. 
He was not working in a hospital in Bombay, and his wife was not visiting him at the hospital. 
He WAS missing his children, his wife and all the comforts of home. He was also on a secret mission in a location that that no one would ever be able to find him if he didn't turn things around soon. 

What he didn't know was that his lovely Cordelia was searching for him in Bombay and Andre the Big Headed Giant was posing as the new chauffeur at the Faber Castle.
As he worked on loosening the bands on the huge wooden barrel he started thinking back to August.
Things had started going terribly wrong ever since he'd taken on this secret mission and he wasn't sure what was going to happen next. Right about now, though; all could think about was his family and retirement.
Cordelia, on the other hand realized at once that something was amiss the moment Andre knocked on the heavy wooden door to the castle kitchen looking for a chauffeur position.
She immediately started making arrangements to travel to Bombay to find Winston. She knew it was risky, what she planned on doing when she got there was a mystery. She just knew she had to get to her beloved Winston before it was too late! 
Want to play along?? We have just a few things to let you know about: 
  • Vicki, Nat and I have made a one-year commitment to each other and picked twelve photos with Whatevers whom we will give a story.
  • Every month – if possible always on the 15th –  each of us will do a post with an individual story that goes along for us with the same photo.
  • If you want you can play along and we will have the photo for you – just right click on it to safe it to download and show us your version of The Whatevers.
  • There are no rules to the story itself- it can be funny, sad, uplifting, breathtaking- WHATEVER
  • There are no rules on the length or the form of the story- it can be a short sentence, an essay, a poem or a soap opera – WHATEVER
  • There are no rules on the art form you choose – it can be a scrapbook layout, an altered art project, an art journal page – WHATEVER
  • Here is a rule though: if you take the photo you have to link back to us and show us your story.
  • These pictures are from our personal stash and are for personal use for you only! If you want to use them for a publication whether a book or magazine in print or digital form please ask for permission!
  • If you want to participate we’ll have a linky list for each Whatever Post.
  • You can also join our The Whatevers -Facebook Page 
And here are is the image for February for you: 
Here's a fun little Linky so you can share you work too!  

Thursday, February 14

Baby and Portabella's

I don't know about you but I don't think creativity is limited to the studio and using art supplies! There are so many ways to be creative -- think about how creative you can be on home decorating projects, sewing -- quilts AND furniture, writing -- poetry, books and even silly blog posts.

What about gardening. For me it's a huge creative outlet -- designing rockbeds, planting flowers and then sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labor. In flower AND food form. Even in mushroom form ;-D

For Christmas my parents got me a Grow Your Own Mushroom kit. I was a little bit afraid of it at first. I, honestly -- am not that great at following directions. As a friend mentioned the other day -- I wing it -- and I do that a lot. I like to hope for the best. Go out on a limb and see what happens. That's why my husband puts all things together in this house...he reads directions. and follows them. and he does it well.
Because I knew this kit was NOT cheap -- I procrastinated about digging out the directions and actually reading them. It just does against how I do things.
I had until the end of January to get things set into place and get the mushrooms on their way to growing! I didn't wait until the 31st though -- they were ready to grow and in a cool dark place by January 21st! Yay me.
The directions turned out to be not so bad, obviously I did something right because I harvested my first batch of 'shrooms over the weekend.  It was a good thing I dug the directions out to see how to harvest them because I would have cut them instead of plucking and twisting. Yeah, pretty technical terms here. 

Look how cool they look all lined up on this Instagram photo. LOVE it. (See -- not only did I get creative with gardening I got creative with taking some pictures of my beautiful, organic Portabella mushrooms!)

I had a nice range of sizes -- the ones in the top row were the biggest -- I gave them to my Mother so she could make stuffed mushrooms out of them. I think they liked them. 

I sliced the ones I kept and sauteed them in butter with some garlic. 

They were SO delicious! I'm kinda wishing I had waited to serve them for dinner tonight -- they would have made a delicious meal for my Valentine's!

Happy Valentine's Day -- and do something different today -- read the instructions! See you later!

Wednesday, February 13

Randomness on a Wednesday!

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Hard to believe we are 7 weeks into this year -- it's been a blur! Anyway, this year Mr.Chivalrous and I decided to boycott VDay -- in a way. We decided to go to the store and choose cards and hand them to each other, read them -- then put them back and hug/kiss and save ourselves $10 and then go out for sushi or something. 

We're also going to give each other the Nutri-Bullet and start down that path we've started a MILLION times toward healthiness. Green Smoothies -- for Valentine's Day -- oh happy day!

I know -- I can hear you saying but Catherine you make such beautiful cards. Yes. yes I do. But I'm going to save that beautiful Valentine that I made and give it to my Mother. Well, it is what it is. 

For those of you that do NOT boycott VD head on over to Reminisce in Exeter, New Hampshire and pick up one of these beautiful sachets that I created. They've been there for a while and since I want to get them on the move out of her shop we marked them down.
Each one is made from a Vintage quilt piece, lace, Vintage Jewelry and lots of other bits and bobs -- with a secret pocket to hide secret love notes in. 
Oh, and did I mention it smells heavenly too? Your sweetie will be overjoyed with happiness. Hurry though, VD is tomorrow. 
For those of you NOT interested in VD, this is a Public Service Announcement reminding you that my newest class, In + Out Embossing that I'm having over at My Creative Classroom starts on Friday! Click on the image below to be whisked away to that magical crafty place!

PS. I've got another PSA for you -- I'll be headed to North Attleboro, MA on March 9th to teach 2 workshops -- stay tuned for more details on that! THANKS for stopping by - have a GREAT Wednesday and Happy VD to all you love birds!

Tuesday, February 12

Forget Me Knot

Well, it's FINALLY time -- I know I teased you a few weeks ago about creating a little video on how to create this card -- and well -- today's the day!

All you have to do is head on over to the Use Every Stamp 2013 Challenge blog to see a video of how I put this sweet lovey-dovey card together and then you'll know a few of my secrets!

That's it for today!! THANKS for stopping by -- oh and make sure you DO go over and leave a sweet comment because there MAY or MAY NOT be a give-away involved! 

Monday, February 11

Getting Creative during the Blizzard of 2013

Ya gotta laugh sometimes. What's the alternative? Crying? I do that too, sometimes. I have these little word stickers on my door to remind me as I leave each day to laugh. The window near my computer says create. The mirror in my bathroom says smile.

It's pretty handy to have them in clear view during blizzards. First thing in the morning. When the door to the shed is wide open and SOMEONE has wade through 2 feet of snow to go shut it before it fills full of snow. I'm thankful my husband was feeling pretty chivalrous and got up out of bed so I wouldn't have to.

By Saturday afternoon I had been lying on the couch for the 4th day -- I decided I needed to get some pictures of my tree and get out for some fresh air. Clear my lungs and refresh my constitution.... whatever that means -- something my Mother used to say when I was a kid.
Since Mr.Chivalrous had already outdone himself to shut the shed door, make coffee + breakfast, shovel a path for the dog to pee AND clean-up the kitchen I decided that I wouldn't make him clean off the car to drive up and take pictures. That it would be a good thing to walk. It probably would have been easier to clean the snow away and drive up there, lol.

About a quarter of the way there I wondered who's crazy idea it was to walk, LoL!  That was at the end of the straight-away above!

By the time we got here we were frozen, windblown but having a lot of laughs. It was fun. Walking in the heavy winds and snow. Plus, we couldn't turn back now -- I could imagine the beautiful pictures I'd get -- and I've got one big beautiful project in mind for the one great picture I took for an art show I'm having in December!
When we got to the tree we realized we had to walk INTO the wind the whole way back. LoL.
Not a good moment.
We were thankful we didn't have drifts as high as this house! 
Looks like the river didn't flood either. That was a big relief too!

I love taking pictures during/after a storm -- the sky and freshly fallen snow is so beautiful and creates a very interesting moodiness that you don't normally see. So, even though I didn't CREATE much Art over the weekend I did get creative with my pictures! 

Thanks for stopping by -- have a GREAT week!

Sunday, February 10

Congratulations Myoriah!

Congratulations Myoriah -- your'e the winner of the lavender sachet! I've got your email address already so I'll email you to get your address! 

Have a great rest of your day!

In + Out Embossing starts on Friday!

In between the blizzard that dropped 26+ inches of snow Friday and Saturday and being sick with some NASTY flu since last Wednesday I've been trying to work on finishing the final details for the second class in my In + Out Series -- this one is: In + Out Embossing and it happens to be starting this Friday -- February 15th.(click on the image below to head on over to My Creative Classroom to check out the details for yourself!) Be sure to email me if you have any questions! Happy Valentine's Day to you ;-D
I've also been working on the supply list, photos and details for the March In + Out Easter project. (It's not ready for enrollment yet -- but will be in the next day or two!)
I've been enjoying the beautiful winter that has suddenly appeared around me and I have some beautiful pictures that I'll share tomorrow! 

On a side not, I'm not the kind of person that enjoys being sick -- lying around on the couch watching TV and having people peer at me from across the room with worried eyes, air hugs + kisses to prevent the contamination of others and lots of other sick idiosyncrasies that happen when one isn't well really aren't at the top of my favorite list -- so it's been a long haul since last Wednesday! 

I guess I'm feeling better every day -- but hoping for 100% REAL soon! 

THANKS for stopping by -- and have a WOnDerFul Day! I can't remember when I said the drawing for the sachet was -- so I'll check that in a minute! See you soon!

Tuesday, February 5

Are you LOOKING?

I'm always looking at the world around me. thinking about it. thinking about how to capture it with my camera and my mind's eye too! I think that's why digital photography really makes me happy -- I can take as MANY PICTURES as I want and if they aren't good -- I just press the delete button and move on.
There are certain places that I travel around everyday that I really love. Like this tree. Do you think I'm  crazy that I love this tree?

I take pictures of it all the time -- in different seasons, from different angles. sometimes walking. sometimes driving. sometimes riding. I find it a little weird that I love this tree.

It's the 1 mile land-mark from my home. Round trip 2 miles. When I was a kid (thirteen and up) I would tell my Mom that I was walking to the big tree when I needed some fresh air. sometimes it was at night. sometimes it was during the day. she knew where I was walking to.
I have no idea how OLD it is. But I do believe it is pretty ancient.
This picture is my favorite so far -- it's so moody. and even more so when I add a little sepia tone to it.
Look at how much better it looks with snow above -- than withOUT snow below. I just wish that house wasn't there. it's a little distracting.

Is there something you see everyday that speaks to you somehow? Have you documented it in any way? like I did on this big canvas with an image transfer?

oh, hello tree.

thanks for stopping by -- have a great day!

Monday, February 4

Something NEW: In + Out Freebies

Good MORNING and happy Monday! I have been thinking a lot about adding some free videos that include tips and tricks on how I create things in my studio. I think they'll include some card-making tips, basic crafting tips and a little art journaling and other fun things -- who knows what that will include, LoL. I promise, I'll keep it clean, ha ha.

So -- today I am introducing In + Out Freebies. These short videos are little clips I'll share on my YouTube Channel as well as here on my blog. These videos are free and I'm creating them to help promote my classes and how I teach at My Creative Classroom. For these little videos I'll create short 5 to 10 minute clips to demonstrate a particular thing that you might be interested in. Sometimes I might talk -- other times I might just be a fast forward of an art journal page -- or it might be a mixture of both. I won't know until I sit down to make it. I don't know how often I'll make these -- and I don't have a schedule of subjects -- just whinging it as best I can.

Anyway -- I know the suspense is killing you  -- so here's my first Freebie -- how to make an organic, maybe even grungy bow for your cards.

Enjoy -- and please be sure to leave me a comment with any tips and tricks you might be interested in seeing in this In + Out Freebies Series -- I'll be choosing one person to win one of these sweeties -- one of my Sachet Girls Lavender and Buckwheat Sachets.

She's sitting here, on my desk waiting for a new home. I'll choose the winner on Saturday, February 9th. Good Luck! Have a great day -- thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 2

Painting with Glimmer Mist

I have gotten a LOT of requests to share how I like to use Tattered Angels Sprays as just another paint to watercolor paint with -- and so I thought I'd show a step -by-step for one of the projects I did for the Canvas Corp. booth at CHA.

For me -- I will USE anything that has color -- as long as I like the colors. I love color. AMEN. And really, what's not to like about all the Spray Inks out there? One of the things I like about the Chalkboard Spray by TA is that it's flat and doesn't really have a lot of glimmer to it. Sometimes the glimmer can get in the way when I'm using it as a paint vs. a spray - plus I like to use the glimmery colors as an enhancement when I'm done.

I start my paintings and art journals pretty much the same way - I draw a design on watercolor or Mixed Media paper using a pencil. When I'm satisfied with the results I start painting. I try not to be real sketchy but use strong, determined lines. I don't usually pick the colors first -- but sometimes I will pull out some pretty colors I might like to work with. It's a hit or miss though -- I just use what I'm drawn to.

When I am painting with spray inks I work with the top off of one color at a time -- to prevent accidents. I'm pretty accident prone and spills on the coffee table aren't on the top of my fun list at midnight -- LoL! So to start, I take the cover off of the jar and put the sprayer in my water bucket and dip my paintbrush right into the jar of ink. I can mix up the spray with my brush or choose to use just the color on the top.
I start every painting -- PRETTY MUCH this is a rule of mine -- by painting the background. This helps me isolate my designs and make them pop forward. In this case I used TA Chalkboard in Splash.

Then I start layering the colors for the focal points - which just so happens to be poppies on this one. I start with the lighter colors first and build to the brighter and darker colors -- making sure to leave some areas light.
You can see how that works -- layering light then darker and darker -- really gives the look of traditional watercolors AND creates a dynamic and textural painting.

NOTE: I always test the colors out on a part of the paper that will be cut off or won't show to see how they look before I use them. Sometimes they look a little different than what I had in mind and I throw them back and choose a different color.

I just keep layering and splattering and maybe a little spritz here and there to liven things up.

Once the flowers are done I add the greens (Chalkboard Sprout and Clover I think).
I also used some Icicle Glaze and splattered it here and there to create some lovely glistenings of water. 

When that's done I add some browns here and there and in the part where the quote will go to tone some of the colors down.
Before you know it the color is done. Now it just needs to DRY completely.
When it's dry I go in with a black pen and add the details marks.

Sometimes, but not in this case -- I'll add texture with colored pencils or watercolor crayons. Just to liven things up and add more texture.

Then, when it's done you have a beautiful piece of art that you can frame and enjoy!

The colors I used for this painting are: 
  • Chalkboard: Inchworm, Chalk, Sprout, Ruby Slipper, Splash, Polka Dot Pink, Sandy Beach, Alaskas Salmon, Valencia and Clover.
  • Simply Sheer: Rosey, Fresh Orange, Pink
  • Glaze: Icicle
That's pretty much it. Thanks for stopping by today -- gave a GREAT weekend!