Friday, March 29, 2013

Published in The Stampers' Sampler Spring 2013

Guess what is finally on the shelf?
The Spring 2013 issue of The Stampers' Sampler!

This issue is so impressively packed full of beautiful art and
distinctive techniques that can satisfy a variety of artistic styles--
I'm honored to be a part of it.

First of all, it made me so happy to be mentioned in the letter from the editor. 
(I've never had this honor before!)  And it's special to me to have a Table of Contents entry...

My work begins here and is staged beautifully:
All of the stamps are from Oxford Impressions Vintage Circus and Big Top collections.

All of these are "shaker" cards--I didn't know what else to call them.  They have a frame over a clear transparent sheet, then a foam liner.  Inside is chunky glass glitter, tiny glass balls,
and some also have hearts or stars.  It's a little bit difficult to see that they are 3D. When they are tilted, the "confetti" inside washes over the images--a little burst of excitement and festivity.

Here are the individual photos that I took before sending it in a year ago:

Love the tickets--so many uses, and they're a great size!

Those tickets again, and I LOVE the hat that's part of the banner. So versatile!

Blurry photo :-( but the banner rocks!  You could put any sentiment inside.

This is a wand with heart glitter inside. I'd love to see a little girl waving this around!

These curtains are amazing. Cut them into two panels to make them larger. 

Love the old ad.  Barnum was such a character.  So if he "says so..." it must be true!

So there it is... The culmination of a few weeks of work and a whole year of waiting and wondering.

These Vintage Circus and Big Top stamp collections from Oxford Impressions (here's my little ad)
are so versatile and could be used for quick party decorations
when stamped in one color and  then added to "spice-up" pre-made circus cards,
 crowns, bags, and other circus themed items that are now at Michael's craft shops
and will probably be everywhere soon.

 I just purchased some of these items at Michael's and have a whole new idea for
using these stamps with them for quick decorations with a lot of bang!
I'll either post them on my blog soon or submit to a Stampington publication--
in which case, I'll probably be waiting another year to show anyone!  :-)

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm linking up with:
Your Gonna Love It Tuesdays
Wow Us Wednesdays
Weekend Showoff Party
Funky Junk
Share Your Cup Thursdays
Time Travel Thursday

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wine Cork Key Chain

Do you lose your keys?
Everyone in my household loses theirs--just about every day!

My husband's head is always on his next orchestra piece, big band chart, theme song...
My son's head is always in his next optical laser computer something-or-other and 
how to solve injustice in this world...
And my head, well... between art projects and work, is on the typical things we women have to be concerned with, like cooking and shopping and laundry and dust and Weight Watchers and vitamins and exercise--you know the sort of stuff...

So "somewhy," -- the term my son coined at 3-yrs-old--
we ALWAYS lose our keys!!!!

So one day this week, I just got sick and tired of it, and decided at least I would know where MY keys were if I made a really big key chain.  Here's what I came up with:

The pieces of this key chain actually have a lot of meaning to me
(besides, the cork feels great in my hand).

I had saved the cork from a special bottle of French wine
that was brought over recently by a famous person in Hollywood with whom my
husband was working--a very nice guy and a very good bottle of French wine--a heck of
a lot better than the "Two-buck Chuck" we drink from Trader Joe's.  :-)

The top button is a vintage one from my mother's collection that I played with as a little girl. 

The bottom button that attaches the charm is bone that I got on a trip to
Indiana with my friend, Jean and my cousin, Cathy.

The French glass charm was from an outing at the Topanga 
Vintage market-- a nice Sunday out with my husband.

And the metal tag that says "Inspire" 
just reminds me that I do and need to continue to inspire
 those around me to tap into and explore their own creativity. 

I am loving this new creation, and plan to make quite a few more. 

And now at last, I can find my keys!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Exciting News

I've now posted the art from this issue. Click here.

Oh happy day!  I've actually been waiting a year for this:

If you create, you know that sometimes you make something that is beyond yourself. 
You get lost in the creative process, and what results comes mostly from somewhere other 
than your rational brain. It's a magical experience, and the art just feels so right.
 And when you're finished, you stand back as an onlooker and just feel like "yeah!"  
Hard to express in words...

I make many things that I feel are mediocre, and I'm always intimidated by other artists, but
I always sense when I've made something that is good--the form, color, detail just click.
 It's a wonderful knowingness that is a special privilege to experience. That's what
was happening with this series. I started with a color scheme, and
 a style, and the ideas kept coming. 

So I was very puzzled that it took a year for this to get published. 

But TODAY in my mailbox!!!!!!!!!
I have a three-page article with the nicest editorial comments.

Here's a hint of what's to come:

"...a circus themed collection that is awe-inspiring..."

I so wish I could post it right now, I'm sooooooo excited, but when the 
magazine hits the news stands on April 1, you can bet I'll be posting!

So thanks for sharing my excitement.  
Please come back to help me celebrate!  :-)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Here's to Oxford Impressions "With Love!"

When I think about how I would answer the question "How do you get your ideas 
for  projects," I think I would say that it usually begins with a color scheme.  
The design then begins to evolve as I work with the colors. 

About 50% of my work is graphic design of educational materials, 
so I like to stay up with current color trends.  I was really happy to see that
 the Pantone color of 2013 is emerald.  I can't wait to see all the shades from 
emerald to aqua in all the clothes and products this year!
(On the way to work this morning I noticed brand new aqua dumpsters 
at a construction site--coincidence?)

In keeping with my process, I decided to use a light pink with 
aqua for my first design team project of the new year for 
Oxford Impressions' With Love collection

 I embossed an aqua paper with a wood-grain embossing folder and then rubbed it with gold ink.  I stamped an ivory scrap with various stamps in various colors, and chalked the aqua tint.  I finished with a spritz of walnut ink to give it some age and added a peek of vintage lace.


For the card above, I used the With Love collection and the bird and cage
from The Bird's Nest collection.  I stamped a pink polka dotted paper with
a blue cabochon and a brown trefoil in the center.  I added glitter highlights to
the trefoil with stickles.  I stamped the bird cage, bird, and sentiment and then cut them out.
I finished with a piece of embossed paper, light blue seam binding,
and a lovely piece of vintage lace.

This is a versatile new stamp collection with nice images and sentiments for all occasions.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Five-Minute Vintage Cards

The trouble with vintage style is that it requires a lot of detail. 
Creating detailed cards can be a tedious and long process and result in a
treasure that you really don't want to give away if you think there's even 
a slim chance that the receiver might toss it one day...
Do you ever have those thoughts?  

So my personal challenge for the past few weeks was to use the new 
Oxford Impressions With Love collection to create quick, vintage-style cards.

I began by hitting the fifty-cent bins at Michael's, and oh what a sale it was:

Can you believe each item was just fifty cents???????

I picked out 7 card to work with:

I gave the floral ones a quick go over with a sanding block to dull the shiny surface and 
give them the worn look of an old book cover.  I punched a few borders, made a few die cuts,
prepared a few stamps, and in no time, the cards were transformed:

All stamps are from the With Love collection from Oxford Impressions. 
(See this post of mine to learn how to mount them) Now for some 
closeups. The card below on the left uses one stamp.  The card on the right uses two:
 a bee and a sentiment, both of which are embossed in brown. (Love the one on the right!)


The card below is probably my favorite--reminds me of a grandma's dress. I cut the
card edge with a die, added a punched border, an oval die cut, a punched tag, and two stamps.

The card below on the left is fun and young and kinda trendy. I added the heart and sentiment. 
The card on the right probably took longer than five minutes, but it was worth it.  I stamped five images from the  With Love collection, cut them out, and adhered them to the card along
 with a scrap of ribbon.

A quick, basic birthday card below. I punched an ivory scrap, 
stamped it, and then added two score lines to finish.

And the next card makes a great "Congratulations" card (flying to the top of the hill).  
I added the sentiment and the Paris postal mark in red.

All-in-all, I'm very happy with the results.  It was a fun challenge, stimulated my creativity and produced some quick, pretty cards. I would give these to anyone and feel they would like them.  

(Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of my Michael's haul!)

I'm linking up with
 Sunny Simple Life Sundays
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Share Your Cup Thursday
French Country Cottage Six Days of Spring
Metamorphosis Mondays
Making the World Cuter Mondays
Tweak it Tuesdays
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Thrifty Things Friday