Embrace Creativity

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tombow Markers
Last week I came across an article titled, Crush The I'm Not Creative Barrier, and I paused. 

Working for a paper arts company I hear the statement, "I'm not creative" far too often from family, friends, and clients. It makes me cringe. The single sentence rips through my brain and heart, taking every bit of self control to not let the desire to smack the person who said it win. So let me take a moment to say something about it. A public service announcement, if you will. 

You may not be expressively creative. You may not consider yourself an artist. However, you have the ability to problem solve, to invent, and to create. Business and engineering, not just design fields, require innovation and CREATIVITY. The article I mentioned above suggests five statements that are significant ideas to practice. So give yourself some credit, and THINKObserve and experiment. And then encourage others, especially children, to create right alongside you.

Maybe you're just like the numerous clients that walk into our store and feel defeated by the act of creating an artistic piece. Again, stop it. The very definition of create is to make or bring into existence something new. So don't' hold back. Let go of all that insecurity, pressure, and judgement. Just create. Put that pen to paper. Glue that picture in place. The ladies of A Beautiful Mess wrote an insightful article on just this. I encourage you to read that article too, and get to work making something. Anything.

You have the ability to be creative. Allow yourself to be creative. You are creative.

Card Making Monday : Happy Birthday

Monday, August 25, 2014

One of my favorite card makers is JJ Bolton. I'm constantly inspired by her great ideas, and this card is no exception. For today's post, I created a card using her rings of gold as inspiration. 

Paper Smooches Rainbow Die
The rings were cut from gold, pink, and dark blue cardstock using the Paper Smooches Rainbow die. I started with the two largest pieces, adhering them in place to create a full circle. It was easy to fit the smaller pieces into place from there. I made sure none of the seams connected to create a graphic element. To finish the card, I heat embossed the sentiment in gold and added a few pearls.

Paper Smooches Rainbow Die
This experiment has me looking at dies in a new way. Who would have thought this card was created with a rainbow die?! 

SUPPLIES :: Paper Cut Cardstock / Melissa Frances White Pearls / Hero Arts Stamp Set / Ranger Princess Gold Embossing Powder / VersaMark Watermark / Paper Smooches Rainbow Die

Just A Few Things...

Friday, August 22, 2014

1. Lampshades are important, but not as much as chocolate milk.

2. Jerrod Carmichael is an amazing comedian, and I'm psyched and ready for his HBO special. I fell in love when I first heard him say, "$30 could change everything. I'm one overdraft fee from bankruptcy." He gets me. I recently saw him live, and he killed it, which is why I was so pleased to read this article referencing it. He's anything but politically correct, almost offensive, and I can't get enough. 

3. Flowers + Sunshine. Just a few more weekends of summer left here in Wisconsin. 

Farmer's Market Flowers
4. Hello Giggles featured must-make recipes containing the bottom tier of my food triangle, Nutella. Let's get together and try them all tonight. 

5. You wash. I'll dry. 

6. This Pinterest board full of piƱata DIY ideas? Yes.

7. I'm back to blogging and face-a-bookin' and instagraming. Let's do this.

Stamping Clear Stamps

Card Making Monday: Wish Upon A Star

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I headed into the studio early this morning for a card making session and came out with this fun card... 

Sweet Stamp Shop Castle Card
I tried a few different things with gelatos before settling on just one color. I scribbled a blue gelato on watercolor cardstock and used a water brush to smooth it out. It created a light, watercolor-like background. The small star stamp from Sweet Stamp Shop's Enjoy Calligraphy set was used to add to the background. It went perfectly with the sentiment and image from the Royal Wish set I had planned to use.

Wish Upon A Star Card
The sentiment was heat embossed on vellum while the castle was stamped and colored quickly with Tombow markers. I used a darker color marker to add a few quick lines of shading rather than carefully blending.

Gelato Background Card Making
I couldn't resist adding just a few sequins with a small amount of Liquid Pearls dropped in the center. Too cute! I'm in love with this release from Sweet Stamp Shop. Check out their full line of stamps here.

SUPPLIES :: Paper Cut Cardstock, Watercolor Paper, Vellum / Sweet Stamp Shop Enjoy Calligraphy & / VersaFine Onyx Black Ink / VersaMark Watermark / Ranger Clear Embossing Powder / Silver Sequins / Black Liquid Pearls / Tombow Markers / Faber-Castell Gelatos

TOOLS :: Tonic 12" Guillotine / Acrylic Block / MyStik Permanent & Vellum Adhesives / Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares 

Card Making Monday: Artful Backgrounds

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello! I took a month-long break from crafting to focus on some personal, home, and work related items...  But now I'm back in the studio and couldn't be happier. I got my hands on a few new stencils and a container of embossing paste, the latter I may need an intervention from. I can't stop using this stuff! Here's what I ended up creating this morning... 

Judikins Background Stencil With Embossing Paste
To create the background, I started with a few Distress Ink Pads. The ink color was added directly to a craft sheet and misted with water. Next, I dragged and dropped a piece of watercolor paper through the ink. This is one of my favorite faux watercolor techniques. I used a heat tool on a low setting to dry between layers of ink until I had a background I preferred. 

After that, I sloppily added a thin layer of white embossing paste with the help of a palette knife and stencil. I really wanted this card to be a mess of art supplies, and I think I got it! 

I had planned to cut down this piece but decided in the end to make it the entire card background. That texture is just to die for! Two strips of cardstock and a stamped image from Hero Arts completed the card. 

Hero Arts Just Saying Hello
So much fun! It's great to be back. 

SUPPLIES :: Paper Cut Cardstock & Watercolor Paper / Distress Inks (Scattered Straw, Fired Brick, Broken China) / Dreamweaver Embossing Paste / Judikins Stencil / Hero Arts Clear Stamps / VersaFine (Onyx Black)

TOOLS :: Palette Knife / Painter's Tape / Inkssentials Craft Sheet / Heat Tool

Project Life Update : Week 17

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's time open up my Project Life album for another 2014 update. Today I'm sharing Week 17 which documents April 23rd - April 29th.

Project Life Spread by She Zig Zags
This spread includes: 10 cell photos, 2 screenshots, 3 web photos, and a glassine envelope.

What happened this week: More cold weather, catching up on Elise's podcast, a trip for my favorite ice cream, mastering code, finished a new book, and a dear friend's wedding.

Project Life Spread by She Zig Zags
This week is a continuation of my love for 3x4 photos. I don't plan ahead of time to take landscape photos that would fill up the 4x6 pockets. Rather than switching to a different page protector, I enjoy filling pages with 3x4 pockets, whether journaling cards, photos, or memorabilia. 

It's been forever cold this year. The 'survived winter' sentiment (found here) was perfect for documenting it. 

Project Life Title Card
Lots of printable labels and shapes from Studio Calico's digital shop were used on this spread. I'm starting to enjoy using printables that can change color and size, as well as be printed numerous times, over stickers. 

Project Life Layout
Studio Calico Project Life Spread by She Zig Zags
The left side of the spread was all I really needed for this week; therefore, I chose to use the entire right side to document a wedding I attended this week.

Studio Calico Labels Printables
 Journaling was semi-hidden in an glassine envelope on a 3x4 journaling card. I added a label and piece of flair on the album to hide it just a little bit more and dress it up. 

Project Life Hidden Journaling
That's another week documented, and I still love this project. 

SUPPLIES :: Studio Calico Project Life Kits, Printable Labels & Shapes, 4x6 Paper Pad, Heart Wood Veneers / Scraptastic Labels & Pennants / Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste Chipboard Stickers / We R Memory Keepers Chalkboard Alphas / A Muse Studio Glassine Envelopes / White Tags

TOOLS :: Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors, 0.3 Marker, Date Stamp / StazOn Jet Black Ink / MyStik Permanent Adhesive / Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Project Life Update : Week 16

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good morning. It's time for another Project Life update here on the blog, sharing with you today Week 16. For me, this week is April 16th through April 22nd. 

Project Life Spread
This spread includes: 6 cell phone pictures, 3 camera pictures, 1 screen shot, 1 bus pass, and 3 web photos. All the photos were printed at a local photo lab...This was my first time trying this location, and I was highly disappointed. It wasn't until I completed the spread and paged through the album, that I realized just how grey the photos are. If only I had noticed sooner. That's what I get for working in dim light this week. I really love the idea of white borders...And I say idea, because they're anything but white. boo. I'm resisting the urge to take it all apart and instead, enjoy another week documented.

What happened this week: Easter lunch with extended family, Brewers baseball game, movie watching, coffee addiction, received one amazing gift, and embarked on a disappointing adventure.

Studio Calico Project Life Spread by She Zig Zags
I didn't include the exact dates of this spread on any title card; however, I did add a week marker. I occasionally slip in metro cards that have a date on them. It's a great way to add memorabilia while documenting a source of transportation. 

Project Life
Wood Veneer Embellishment
Studio Calico Project Life Spread
Project Life
I love documenting the movies, songs, and TV shows that are entertaining me. Adding a quote is one way to do so. This week I had a few extra pockets, so I wrote down a long, famous, inspiring quote from one of my favorite movies that I happened to watch this week. I printed a photo from the movie and added vellum and the ending of the quote. I can't wait to try this technique again. 

Vellum Flip Pocket Project Life
I've recently fallen in love with the 4x6 paper pads that coordinate with Studio Calico's Project Life Kits. The extra paper works wonders for backing photos or creating your own journaling cards, and I've used it several places in this week's spread.

Studio Calico Project Life
That's another week in the books! 

SUPPLIES :: Studio Calico Project Life Kits, Printable Labels, 4x6 Paper Pad / Paper Cut Vellum / A Muse Studio Baker's Twine / Scraptastic Labels & Pennants / Simple Stores 24Seven 3x4 Elements 

TOOLS :: Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors, 0.3 Marker, Date Stamp / StazOn Jet Black Ink / MyStik Permanent Adhesive / Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

Star & Watercolor Background

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

One of my favorite card making techniques is using Distress Inks as watercolors. That's exactly what I did to create the sky-themed background for today's card.

Sweet Stamp Shop Dream Card
To create the background, I pressed the ink pads directly to a craft sheet. Distress Inks react with water; therefore, I added a few sprays to the inks before dipping watercolor cardstock into the ink. The first layer of ink was too light for my liking. I dried the layer and dipped it into the ink a second time. 

Distress Ink Watercolor Background
The new stamp set, Enjoy Calligraphy, from Sweet Stamp Shop quickly became one of my favorites. The script is beautiful. I used the small stars stamp repeatedly to cover the background before adding it to the card front. A little vellum scrap and a die cut completed the look. 

Distress Ink Watercolor Background
So dreamy... Excuse me while I create about 400 more. I just love these products. 

SUPPLIES :: Paper Cut Cardstock, Watercolor Paper, Iridescent Vellum / Sweet Stamp Shop Enjoy Calligraphy Stamp Set / VersaFine Black Ink / Spellbinders Die / Faded Jeans, Weathered Wood, Dusty Concord, & Tattered Rose Distress Inks

TOOLS :: Evolution Die Cutting Tool / Acrylic Block / Tonic 12" Guillotine / MyStik Permanent Adhesive / Mini Mister / Inkssentials Non-Stick Craft Sheet

Card Making Monday: Happy For You

Monday, June 23, 2014

People. Have you seen the Let's Roll stamp set by Lawn Fawn yet? It's simply irresistible. For today's card I used the set in combination with my favorite Copic Markers.

Let's Roll Lawn Fawn Card 
I created a folded card base of 4.25 by 4.25 inches, adding a 4.5 inch scalloped circle die cut to the front. The ends of the sentiment stamp were angled upward on the acrylic block to mimic the circular edges of the die cut. This is one technique that I too often forget about. 

The images were stamped on Copic X-Press It Blending Card, my favorite. Adding the face stamps really brought the sushi to life. 

Soy Happy For You Card
Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy your week. 

SUPPLIES :: Paper Cut Cardstock, 4.5" White Scallop Die Cut / Copic X-Press It Blending Card / Lawn Fawn Let's Roll Stamp Set / Copic Markers / Uni-Ball Signo White Pen / Memento Tuxedo Black Ink

Project Life Update : Week 15

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We've been moving right along with Project Life updates, already onto Week 15. I'm still so in love with this project and am glad that I switched to the weekly format this year. Week 15 for me documents April 9th through April 15th. 

Project Life Spread Studio Calico
Looking back at this spread, it excites me to know that it was made entirely of Project Life Kits from Studio Calico. Everything I need to document the month arrives to my doorstep in an adorable brown box. It really has helped me stay updated. If you haven't given their monthly kits a try, you need to. Like, right now. So rush over and see how it works!

Project Life Studio Calico
This spread includes: 8 cell phone pictures, 2 photo collages, 1 camera picture, and 1 screen shot. I didn't incorporate any memorabilia into this week. 

What happened this week: Worship service, a song about lactose intolerance, my nephew's first birthday, cold weather, more snow (in April?! yep), and a night out.

Project Life Tag Title Card
Tags, tags, tags. I love tags. To highlight the dates of this spread, I added black alphabet stickers and the individual dates with a stamp onto a bright red tag. I then attached it to a 4x6 card, allowing enough room for a small bit of "currently" journaling.

I want to add some journaling to the top right corner, but I'm not sure how I want to "hide" it just yet. For now, I'm leaving it unglued with a post it reminder to finish it up in the coming weeks. Sometimes you need a few extra minutes to figure out exactly what you want to say when it comes to those extra defining moments in life. 

Project Life See Through Pocket
Here's the pretty backside of the clear 3x4 card from last week's spread. It's just too cute. I may need to try this more throughout the rest of the year. Of course, I had to include a weather update this week with a picture of the SNOW we sadly received. 

American Craft Thickers
Studio Calico Project Life
The entire right side of this spread focuses on my nephew's first birthday party... because baby. cake. cute. Am-i-right?! The two bottom 4x6 photos were created on my phone with a collage app. Simple and perfect. I wanted to get all of his expressions. He was so focused and involved in opening each of his gifts. Also, can I take a moment to comment on how pretty my sister-in-law is?! Geesh.

Project Life Photo Collage
Woo hoo. Another week of 2014 documented. How are you doing this year as the family historian?

SUPPLIES :: Studio Calico Project Life Kits, Printable Labels, White & Red Tags, Gold Stars, 4x6 Paper Pad / American Crafts POW! Glitter Letters

TOOLS :: Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors, 0.1 & 0.5 Marker, Date Stamp / StazOn Jet Black Ink

21 Weeks of Project Life Title Cards

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

21: The number of weeks of Project Life that I am currently caught up on. Let me tell you, it's a beautiful sight to behold. While turning through the pages of the almost full album, I couldn't help but notice how different each title card was. Apparently, I'm not one who enjoys consistency. 

Sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy 21 Project Life Title Cards. Do you have uniform title cards, go crazy like me, or just do away with the dates all together?

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