Saturday, October 17, 2009

Speaking of Halloween

Before September 2009 I had never owned a set of Halloween stamps. It always seemed a bit wasteful to buy stamps that can only be used once a year. I've never really seen a lot of Halloween stamps that appeal to me either...

Making Do

Instead of buying specific holidays, I enjoy finding ways to make "regular" stamps work for holidays and special occasions. Pictured here are some of my ideas for using stamps in my current collection for Halloween this year.

Technique on Left: Word Play

I always loved that silly knock-knock joke that ends in "orange you glad I didn't say banana?"

I had a cool citrus theme stamp that was just right for a word play for the holidays. I stamped the collage-style image from Club Scrap onto paper treated with the polished stone ink technique. I scribbled the wording with a fine tip pen on crooked cut scraps and accented with printed papers and a small hand stamp.

Technique on Right: Stamp, sketch, or die cut a holiday shaped accent

The focal image of this card was also stamped on polished stone paper using a Tim Holtz stamp. I sketched a witch's hat onto purple card stock for the little girl to wear. The focal image was matted, accented with a hand die cut and handwritten wording on an orange scrap. The entire front panel was wrapped in metallic bronze thread.

Both cards achieve holiday status with choice of color scheme as well. Just like red and pink say Valentine's Day--orange, green, and purple say Halloween.

Bonus Idea from Halloween 2008

Die cuts and pre-made elements are also great tools for once-a-year greetings. They also qualify for the "flash card" series since this type of card assembles very quickly. The pre-printed element is by Crafty Secrets and the leaf die cut was cut on The Wizard using a Sizzex die. A few inked edges and some fiber complete the card.

Flash Cards for Halloween

Card making is one of the most satisfying forms of paper art for me. I’ve had a busy schedule this fall trying to work part-time at Anton Aesthetics Academy. While I may not qualify yet as one of those “busy people get more done” folks, I have made conscious efforts to keep the creativity in my life as my workload increased.

For all you visuals out there
I’ve been recruited by to create how-to videos on a variety of topics related to art and crafting. I’ve had a few stumbling blocks in the process because I’m still learning how to edit and resize my videos for publication.

This Halloween Flash Card video is one of my projects for that is being pre-released to blog views on my web site with a slide show of the individual cards.

The Why of it all
Over the years I’ve taught lots of fun card-making workshops but my favorite topic by far is the “Flash Cards” series. There are lots of approaches, but the goal is always to create 6 or more cards in an hour.

Intricate gorgeous cards are a treasure and I make them for very special occasions or when I am struck by a great pattern or design. However, I prefer to create “Flash Cards” the majority of the time for these reasons:
v In about an hour, I can create 6+ cards that can be mailed that day which gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment along with nurturing my creative spirit.
v Face it, cards are relatively disposable art which means that devoting hours and hours to one card can be a let down when you realize that the card may not be even be cherished for the length of time it took to create it.
v I love to “share the wealth” when it comes to creative projects and the card making allows me to give more away than any other type of project.

Stay tuned Paper Art fans for more footage from the Trailer Park Studios of the Artful Tourist.

Regular Features

Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently:

Ten Two Studios for project ideas and supplies to make recycled altered art from matchbooks, tin cans, bottles, and more:

Basic Grey’s newsletter online is amazing and see it easily if you sign up for their mailing list. Here’s October:

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me— Orange, green, and purple for Halloween!Media Moments- Just changed this from only music to all media. Ratings are based on a 5 star system.

Media Moments- Just changed this from only music to all media. Ratings are based on a 5 star system.

We watched three movies over the weekend of October 9th:
Duplicity: 3.5 stars
Gran Tornino: 4 stars
Curious Case of Benjamin Button: 3.5 stars from me and 2 from Sir Henry

Just finished a book called “The Reincarnationist” my M.L. Rose: 4 Stars

In the kitchen—

Easy Cheesy Cracker Spread
Henry and I love appetizers and finger foods. We ate this spread this week as an appetizer one night and beside some chicken noodle soup on another night.

2/3 (regular) bar of softened cream cheese
2 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar (about a 1/4/ cup) I love using my Pampered Chef™ cheese grater for this.
1.5 teaspoons McCormick ranch seasoning mix (we buy it by the jar)
1 tablespoon of Tastefully Simple™ Sweet Red Pepper seasoning or you can substitute a another spicy type mixed seasoning.

Combine all ingredients in a mini mixer or by hand. Serve on wheat crackers or on celery sticks. To spruce this up for a party you could refrigerate, form into a ball, roll in nuts and serve on a platter.
*I use a cream cheese and sharp cheddar base for lots of different spreads. Play around with it and enjoy the creative process.

Austerity Plan progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools): I combined September budget with some birthday money and spent about $30.00 in my local scrapbook store at the beginning of the month. In keeping with my goals, I used most of the materials right away. I still need to create something with that new collage stamp from Magenta™ and the cool new champagne watermark ink from VersaMark™. See photo.

My opinion and where it may lead: Since the birth of our grandson almost a year ago we have really been focusing on recycling. By my friend’s standards, we’re late to the game here, but we’re on board nonetheless. What I never realized is how satisfied I would feel to try and lighten my global footprint. I can find guilt in just about anything and I had no idea how much guilt I had been carrying around about not recycling.

Lesson 1: Recycle to make a better world for yourselves and our children.
Lesson 2: Find places in your life where you can release guilt and enjoy living.