Sunday, September 30, 2007

underwater missives

I have been battling a sinus infection since Tuesday afternoon. I really don't want to take antibiotics again since I've had them three times in past few months. So, I am armed with tissues, steam, over-the counter meds, supplements, and my big comfortable bed. This WILL pass. I am still angry that I watched Sir Henry bring it home and did little or nothing to protect myself. -growl-

Today is better, mornings usually are too. So, here I go. I don't have recent art to show for this week. I went to my Pine Cone Press Book Club, but I didn't get to finish. Our topic was flap books--we stay one month behind to insure good shipping. It's a fun topic.

Holiday gifts are on my mind. I want to make lots of cards and ornamanets plus I've got a list of individual gifts. Getting started seems to be the hard part. I did some holiday projects for Spellbinders this spring and they are now available for viewing here. There's an article on my web site featuring the buckle cards in more detail.

I'm busy working on my classes and free classes for My Creative Classroom. I can't wait to get that rolling--please let me know if you have ideas or requests.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Digital Fun

Am I behind the times or ahead of the times? It feels like both from my perspective. I used to do digital scrapping in the late 90's and even taught a class or two on the topic. When it came back into fashion, I didn't think I wanted one more thing to tie me to the computer. My carpal tunnel is bad enough now (in both wrists).

Spellbinders got me started on it again when the introduced digital packages that coordinated with their dies. It's a brilliant move on their part to combine die cuts and digital for hybrid scrapping--but they've been unable to publish new kits frequently and I'm no longer infatuated with their digital line. The concept however, has stuck and made me very happy. I published my Bruce layout here using their dies and some free digital downloads in August.

I'm considering doing my October gallery with hybrid projects so I don't want to spoil it with more photos too soon--but I've got some cute stuff to show you. Today's photos are projects using digital elements from Designer Digital Art Deco Collection. I have absolutely no affiliation with this company other than liking their products. They offer kits or individual parts and pieces which works well for me. The other great thing about this company is that they have free downloads every week and they have discounts every Thursday. Brilliant marketing --in my judgement.

I still consider myself a photo shop novice, so if it I'm using the wrong terminology here, please correct me. I will say if you are intimidated by digital scrapping, I certainly understand. To me it is like re-learning everything. However, once you get it going, it's really fast and so easy to change. I'm not ready to stop anytime soon.

AWESOME: 2 page layout using Art Deco Elements from Designer Digital and my photos from our trip to Wonder Works in Orlando before the shuttle launch. As of now this is a pure digital layout, but I haven't printed it yet--once I print I usually want to add flourishes from my studio. I'll post again if I do.

THANKS for reading and for all the great emails I've gotten. Please visit my newly revised web site--I'm still making updates regularly and I'd love to have your input.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The New Website is here--the new website is here....

The new web site has launched and I'm so excited!

I've paired down many items and made room to make frequent updates easy and fun. Whew!

From the main index (home page) to the articles and bio--everything has a fresh new look. I disabled a lot of links that may reappear at other times, but I have the time now to add and subtract. My articles and the gallery get the most attention so that's where I'm focusing first.

The September gallery is all about circles. I've mentioned these recently and shown some of the pieces in the blog, but you'll see new ones as well. The journal pictured here is a "blog bonus" not in the gallery. I made it to be my wedding planner and log. I like the colors of turquoise, pink, and brown too, but since we are leaning toward marrying in a vineyard, I may change those.

The October gallery will be up in two weeks. I still haven't decided on a theme, but I think it will include some topics that I will be teaching soon on My Creative That's right I'm teaching again and you can come to my classes no matter where you live! I've had so many kind requests to come teach in areas that are just tricky for me with traveling and I'm so excited that I can get back in saddle again with an online classroom. Be sure and use the link above to get started with the mailing list at MCC and stay in touch with requests for topics.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Left my comfort zone

For me, leaving my comfort zone often means following the directions...sheepish grin. I love and cherish my local Pine Cone Press club--but usually I make a point of doing something very different with the sample projects and materials. This time I missed the meeting because I was still exhausted from my trip to Virginia.

After picking up my materials from Lynn's house, I went home and thought I'd have some good scrap therapy to aid in regaining my strength. I sat down and went through the fun papers and embellishments and turned to page 8 in the book to check out the sample by Debra Jennis. It was simple and brilliant.

Now I usually admire all the sample pages, I just like to give them a little twist. This time, I pushed myself to just make the sample and I'm so pleased with the results. I have a few tiny variations because I cut wrong and my photos fit flowers better on different sides, but for the most part--I stuck to the plan.

And now the rest of the confession....When I sat down with the fabulous (as always) Pine Cone Press book--I was drawn to the layout on page 9 first. I just love how designer Alcia Ackerman Grimm used one photo and white pen doodling lines on this one. Plus those great chipboard flowers similar to the ones we got in the kit from Scrapworks. So, before making my strictly "by the book" spread, I created this one as a warm up:

So the moral of the story for me was: If you want to move outside your comfort zone, do a warm-up first. Remember you can click on the layouts to see larger images and be on the lookout soon for lots of news about my new and revised web site, online classes, and new articles coming to Suite 101. THANKS!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Party Decor

One of the best things about being creative is sharing that creativity with family. I know, if you've been a student of mine, you are fully aware that EVERYONE is creative, but some just don't believe it and sometimes there's not enough time to do it all yourself.

My "almost" sister-in-law's step son got married last week in historic Williamsburg, VA. She has a total of four children and this was her only boy. Good practice for her before all the girls start tying the knot. She emailed me a couple months before the wedding to ask about decor for the rehearsal dinner. I was so honored and excited. She offered to pay the bill if I would come up with something which was extremely helpful considering my limited budget--grin.

I immediately went to Oriental Trading Company's site because I knew they would have great stuff for her luau theme. I book marked the suggested items and sent them to her. She ordered them and arranged for delivery to Virginia so all I worked on here was the "favor signs" little pokes that went in baskets at each place setting.


Centerpiece: We used a wooden wreath of flip flops with a tropical color burst candle in the center. The wreath was accented by small tropical votive candles and tiny eraser flip flops scattered lie confetti. (Thanks to my friend Jill for showing me those!)

Individual favors: We used 3" plastic flip flop baskets that were on sale (can't resist a bargain) filled with Starburst Tropical Fruit Chews and Skittles. Perched in each basket was one of my photo on a stick designs with a picture of the bride and groom.

There's a shot of a full table too for effect. Our decor added a lot of color and theme to a typical hotel banquet service and Rosemary spent less than $75.00 dollars on all of it. There were four tables of eight in the room, so if she'd bought arrangements from a florist the decor cost could have been doubled or tripled....I love doing things with family!