Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year Begins - Welcome 2018


Every year at this time we look back on the year past with fondness or regret and begin to plan for the twelve months ahead with an anticipation that rarely lasts past the end of January.

We often set ourselves up for failure with goals loftier that we can reasonably achieve. Then when we do not succeed our enthusiasm wanes.

I'm trying not to do that this year. I believe that my list of goals are reasonably achievable. I wish to make some simple lifestyle changes to make it easier for both my body and soul.


I want to focus more on taking care of myself and not worrying as much about looking after everyone else. That strategy only wears me down and does not leave enough in me for self care.

My decluttering project will continue, not in a mad flurry, but a little at a time. By the end of the year, I anticipate a major improvement in my house and my peace of mind. I want to downsize my way to a happier, more fulfilled life. Here is my motto for the year, Don't put it down, put it away!

Crafting will remain a big part of my life. I am happiest when creating and sharing my art with others. I've changed my main focus from artist trading cards to pocket letters over the last couple of months, although I will continue to participate in a few ATC swaps. That includes the annual 31 ATC Halloween swap and a monthly swap with a group in Alberta.


I have several pen pals across Canada that I am exchanging pocket letters with now, and hopefully, building lasting friendships. I was introduced to this fun way to send happy mail a couple of years ago but I did not realize how much I would enjoy it. To learn more about this new trend, do a search on YouTube and you will find tons of tutorials. 

What are your plans for the upcoming twelve months? Whatever they are, I wish you great success and much happiness. Have a great year!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Making Rosettes

All paper craft artists have boxes, bins, drawers or piles of paper scraps left over from various projects. I wonder sometimes if I will EVER use all these bits and pieces of paper that I've been saving, in the off-chance that I can utilize them 'some day'. 

Faced with that same issue this past weekend, I came up with a plan for a few of those scraps. Several 12" X 12" pieces of patterned card stock had been cut down into 2.5" X 3.5" size cards for pocket letter inserts. What I was left with were several scraps that were approximately 1.25" X 12".



I remembered a tutorial that I'd watched on YouTube some time ago and decided to try to use up those odd shaped pieces to make rosettes. I scored each piece every 1/4", then folded along the creases accordion style.

After gluing one end to the other, I manipulated them into the round rosettes and glued them in place with a punched out piece of card stock on the back side. On the front, I glued another circle piece of card stock, then added the chipboard sticker on top of that to finish them off.



They are going to make fabulous gift toppers. I may even adhere a magnet to the back of them so they can be used a fridge magnets. And the best part of all, they cost very little and were fun, easy & quick to make.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Clutter Collectors

Have you ever noticed how practically every horizontal surface in your house or apartment ends up being a clutter collector? This includes kitchen tables, dressers, nightstands, coffee tables, end tables, chairs, desks, countertops and even the bed in the guest room if you have one. There are many other surfaces left unmentioned too.

These platforms seem to attract all kinds of stuff; from paper to books, dishes to clothing, and piles of other bits & pieces too numerous to mention. And piling MORE stuff on top of the other stuff is so much easier than actually putting it away in its proper place.

But wait, shouldn't that the first part of this equation? START BY ASSIGNING AN APPROPRIATE PLACE FOR EVERTHING, making sure that these spots are as easy and obvious as the surfaces we are currently leaving them on. Isn't that an interesting concept? (sarcasm intended)

However, once you are overwhelmed by the surface clutter, how do you escape from it? The problem looks so huge! The situation seems so bad that we often give up on it. That is where I have been for a long time now, stuck with those terrible feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy. I don't like feeling that way. Have you been there too? I imagine everyone has been at some time in their life.

I've reached the point where I am resolved to 'fix' it. I'm ready. One way or another, I want to eliminate the stress associated with an untidy home. I'm tired of feeling guilty about living in a messy space. I'd like to be able to invite friends over without being embarrassed about my surroundings.

The key to success, I believe, is to take baby steps. It’s easier to have one goal than many, so I will stick to clearing one surface at a time until it's done, then moving onto another one until the whole job is completed. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as there is continuous progress made and no regression back to the way it was. 

It did not get to this state in a day, it will take more than a day to clear it all up. I will set aside one or more 15 minute blocks of time each day to tackle the clutter. No more excuses! Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop this woman from the completion of my appointed tasks. I'm determined! Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mixed Media Weekend Project

I am continually watching YouTube videos for artistic inspiration. I got the spark last week from this video by Shira Manor on a technique for creating mixed media ATCs. I did not have all the same products and materials that she used but, as always, I worked with what I have, including drywall tape, modeling paste, embossing powders, old book text, acrylic paint and washi tape. The base is 100 lb. watercolour paper.


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
Two of the ATC size cards had to be sacrificed in the name of art. I needed to cut them down for some of the bits and pieces used for the layered clusters on the seven completed cards. I added Tim Holtz metal gears and simple two word phrases to finish them off.









A couple have already been traded or gifted to others. And I had so much fun making this set, that I made another similar set on the weekend too! It was a great way to spend a long weekend.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Heart Art Challenge - Week 13 & 14

My heart art tag for week 13 was an experiment, using a background technique that I have never used before. I'm not overly thrilled with it but as experiments go, pretty successful. I first tried this emboss resist technique with clear embossing powder but did not like the results at all. So, I tried it with white embossing powder. I used two colours of Distress Ink pads for the resist, Fire Brick and Walnut Stain. I edged it with black archival ink and called it done.

With this image greeting me outside my front door on April 7th, I decided that the week 14 tag had to be springlike. This cold, wet, snowy weather is not my idea of a nice, spring day! Wouldn't you agree?

Since I had my Big Kick die cutting machine out anyway, I decided to create this tag completely with die cuts. The hearts form the flowers, and the other bits finish them off. I edged around the tag with black archival ink. Very quick and easy to put together. And I think that I am back on track with the current week!

To watch Bea Grob's Heart Art Week 13, click here. I am amazed how she manages to keep herself within a twenty-five minute time limit. I sure have not been able to do that.

Bea Grob - Week 13

 
Bea Grob - Week 14
To watch Bea's Heart Art Week  14, click here. She has been using a lot of techniques and materials that I've never used before and hope to try some of them out in future art projects.

I'm so happy that I've finally caught up. March was a challenging month for me and I lost a bit of my creative mojo. But it's back!!