Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Book Review: A Well-Crafted Home


I'm very fond of DIY decor and Janet Crowther's A Well-Crafted Home was a great find! 
Starting with an introductory section about design rules and a DIY Tool Kit, the author goes on to detail the steps for creating projects for every room in the house. The projects are simple and can be tailored to your space and are notches above the average DIY as they require quality materials (often salvaged) and carefully designed to last a long time. 
My favorites from the book are the refurbished table lamp (p.139), woven leather basket (p.21), framed brushstroke art (p.62) and the air-dry clay bowls. 
The photography is beautiful too. Must have for a crafter's library!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  

Monday, October 02, 2017

Card Tutorial: An Autumn Greeting!


Ah GORGEOUS Autumn! With so much rain this year, we lost a lot of leaves before they could turn colors. But even then, every day it's a delight to see the colors peek though the thick morning mist. These are the scenes that inspired today's card. Follow along to see how I made this card, starting with the supplies:

Supplies:
Artsy Leaves Stamp Set
Embroidered Greetings Stamp Set
Lemon Grass True Color Fusion Ink Pad
Candy Apple True Color Fusion Ink Pad  
Summer Days True Color Fusion Ink Pad  
Dark Roast True Color Fusion Ink Pad   
Gold Silk
Whip Cream 8.5 x 11 Cardstock
Details Pro Shears 4.5"
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small


Stamp the Artsy Leaves onto Whip Cream cardstock with Dark Roast True Color Fusion ink.


Press Lemon Grass True Color Fusion Ink Pad face down on the leaves. Repeat with Candy Apple True Color Fusion Ink Pad and Summer Days True Color Fusion Ink Pad till you have a spread of autumn colors over the leaves. 
 

Cut the colored leaves with scissors following the stamped lines and cut one into a block.


Attach the cut out leaves with the Easy Glide adhesive runner. Add the artsy leaf block overlapping the other leaves with Journey Foam Squares - Small.


Splatter Gold Silk on the card.


On Whip Cream cardstock, stamp the sentiment 'Hello' from the Embroidered Greetings Stamp set and Candy Apple True Color Fusion Ink.
Cut the sentiment out with scissors and attach to the card with Journey Foam Squares.


Here's my finished card. I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and have fun with these lovely stamps!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: New York Street Style


My first book by Zoe de las Cases was Paris Street Style. I had loved her loose drawings depicting various scenes from the city along with pages dedicated to patterns. I was excited to see her new release New York Street Style. As I turned the pages, I couldn't help smiling, seeing the various stylish expressions that I have seen walking in the streets of New York City. There are just enough details and yet the drawings are so laid back. I know I'm going to enjoy coloring this one as would anyone who is fond of coloring books!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Card Tutorial: Love You!


I am fascinated by intricately cut papers. Most of us don't have the time it takes to cut papers into such fine details. So, the next best thing is to use die-cuts to do the heavy lifting for us. In the card above, I used a detail butterfly die. You can follow along to see how I put the card together.

Let's start by looking at the  supplies.
All Aflutter Die set
Origami Love Printed Paper
Embroidered Greetings Stamp set

True Color Fusion Ink: Candy Apple
Amaze machine
Cardstock: Whip Cream, Butter Cream, Cotton Candy 
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small 

Journey Glaze
Other: scissors, trimmer, pen



Trim cardstock to 8.5" x 5.5". Fold in half to make 4.25" x 5.5" card. 
Open up the card and place the All Aflutter Butterfly die blade side down at about the center of the front flap of the card. Use the Amaze machine to cut a butterfly 'window' on the card.



Trim Cotton Candy cardstock to 4.25" x 5.5". Trim print paper to 4" x 5.25". 
Attach printed paper block to cardstock block. Attach the whole thing behind the butterfly window of the card using Journey Glaze. 



Stamp 'Love You' with Candy Apple ink on Butter Cream cardstock. Cut out with scissors and attach to card with Journey Foam Squares.


Add details with pen.


Here's the finished card. 
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Little Heart Shrine


This little heart shrine made with Crafty Chica's Sizzix dies is dedicated to Frida Kahlo. It now adorns the gallery wall I have in my studio. Follow this link to the Sizzix blog for a tutorial to see how I made it!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Video Tutorial: Mix Your Favorites to Make Your Own


The fact that I LOVE patterned papers is evident everywhere in my studio, actually my whole house. Look and you'll find stacks stashed away in bins, on shelves, and under-the-bed boxes!!! While I absolutely love having them around, they pose a decision challenge when I actually go to create...sometimes I JUST CAN"T CHOOSE! If you are the same way, you might find an easy answer/reminder in this video tutorial. It is a SUPER-SIMPLE-could-not-get-any-easier-than-this technique. 

Let's start by looking at the supplies.
Supplies:
Hello Butterfly Stamp/Die Set
Origami Love Printed paper

Ori Wings 3D Stickers
Berry Black True Color Fusion Ink
Cardstock: Whip Cream
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small
Other: scissors, trimmer 


And here's the video tutorial for you.


I hope you enjoy!
 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Card Tutorial: Follow Your Dreams


Who doesn't love a beautiful nature-inspired encouragement card! If you wish to make one like the card above, follow along. Let's start by looking at the supplies.

Supplies:
Dreams Follow Bundle
True Color Fusion Ink: Candy Apple, Denim Days, Hazelnut Blend, Lemon Grass, Rock Candy, Summer Days
Amaze machine
Cardstock: Golden Glow, Candy Apple, Denim Days, Whip Cream, Butter Cream
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small
Other: scissors, trimmer

 

Start by stamping the images on cardstock.


Die-cut the stamped images using Amaze machine along with the corresponding dies.


Layer the die-cuts together to create dimensional embellishments.

Trim Whip Cream cardstock to 8.5" x 5.5". Fold in half to make 4.25" x 5.5" card. 
Trim Candy Apple cardstock to 4" x 5.25". Attach to card. 




Arrange the butterflies and flowers on the card.
 

Add the sentiment block to finish the card.

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial!

Monday, September 04, 2017

Card Tutorial: Hello Origami Butterflies!


Origami has long been one of my paper crafting favorites. No wonder I'm loving the origami trend in crafting and home decor these days. One collection inspired by origami is Origami Love by Richard Garay. From papers to stamps to dies, this collection has a lot of fun elements to love. That's also the collection I used to make the butterfly card above. If you wish to make this card, follow along. Let's start by looking at the supplies.

Supplies:
Hello Butterfly Stamp/Die Set
Origami Love Printed paper
Berry Black True Color Fusion Ink

Captivating Coral True Color Fusion Ink
Amaze machine
Cardstock: Golden Glow, Odacious Orange, Candy Apple,
Whip Cream, Butter Cream
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small
Other: sewing machine, scissors, trimmer
 

Stamp the butterflies on cardstock using the Hello Butterfly Stamp/Die Set and Berry Black ink.
 

Die-cut the stamped butterflies using Amaze machine.


Stack the butterflies as shown.


Trim cardstock to 8.5" x 5.5". Fold in half to make 4.25" x 5.5" card. 
Trim print paper to 4" x 5.25". Attach to card. 
Attach the stacked butterflies to the card, leaving the wings free.


Machine stitch down the middle of the stacked butterflies. Sculpt the wings with your fingers as shown.


Stamp the sentiment and cut the block with scissors. Mount to the card.


Here's the finished card. 

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Seasonal Decor Tutorial: Halloween Monster House Diorama


This sweater weather and all the craft pumpkins in the stores have put me in the mood for some Fall crafting of my own! And Halloween is the most fun Fall festival for me. So, here's a little Halloween diorama, or may I say, die-o-rama using Tim Holtz's newest 'frighteningly fun' dies for Sizzix.

Supplies: 
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 5PK - Silly Monsters 
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 3PK - Trick-or-Treat 
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 4PK - Feather and Ravens
Sizzix Movers & Shapers L Die - Artful Dwellings 
Sizzix Big Shot Machine Only (White & Gray)
Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Purple w/Silver Glitter)
Sizzix Accessory - Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies  
Other: Gelatos colors, PITT pens, watercolor paper, watercolor pencils, dimensional adhesive, numeric stamp, trimmer, paint brushes, water cup


To diecut the above shapes, create the following Sizzix Sandwich -  on a Sizzix Accessory Magnetic Platform For Wafer-Thin Dies, lay another Sizzix Accessory - Cutting Pads, Standard, 1 Pair (Purple w/Silver Glitter). On it, place a piece of water color paper and on it lay out the Silly Monsters, Feather and Raven, and Trick-or-Treat dies blade side down. Cover with the other Standard Cutting Pad. Pass the whole Sizzix Sandwich through the Sizzix Big Shot machine.  


Die cut Artful Dwellings by placing paper on the blade side of the die and sandwiching the set between a pair of Standard Cutting Pads and passing the whole Sizzix Sandwich through the Big Shot machine.
 
Trim five pieces of watercolor paper to 9" x 6". Cut out a window from each piece, reducing each subsequent window by about half an inch all around. When you stack these papers, the windows should line up to look like a tunnel.



Color the die-cuts and window frames using Gelatos colors and watercolor pencils.
Add details to them with PITT pen. 


Attach the die-cuts to the windows as shown to create a fun arrangement that tells a story.


Attach the Artful dwellings diecuts to create a roof line. Stamp a house number. Add the raven to make it a bit sinister.




Now, you get creative! I put the feather in the hand of the big fat red monster on the front step and the tree branch in the hand of the batty monster hanging from the ceiling. Can you imagine if you were tickled with a feather or had a tree branch dangled menacingly over your head while you were trick-or-treating???


And yet...look at those brave little kids that still dared to stand their ground and not leave till they got their candies! The monsters were more silly than scary after all!

Have FUN with these dies. Tell your own Halloween story!


HUGE LABOR DAY SALE going on right now!

Note: I am a project designer for Sizzix. Sizzix provided me with the above dies to create the above project. If you click the links to buy these dies, I will earn an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. Use the code SZB2015 at checkout. You get 15% off and I get an itsy bitsy portion of the sale. It's win-win!  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Review: Understanding Color in Photography


The cover photo had me before I even turned the first page of Understanding Color in Photography by Bryan Peterson with Susana Heide Schellenberg! I have read Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure before and knew this book too will show me to look at color in photography differently. Whether it's the corrugated metal wall on pages 24-25, or the fishes on p. 33 or the serene seascape on p. 103, I just can't stop looking at the photos! There are not only technical tips to improve your color composition but also the nudge to take a look at everyday things with fresh eyes. For instance, on page 65, the author talks about looking at a flowering window box as a potential out-of-focus color. He urges the photographer to look at not the objects but the line, texture,  shape, form, pattern, and color. With comparison shots throughout the book accompanied by the author's explanations of what he changed to create the different effects, this book is going to a wonderful addition to any photographer's reference collection.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Back-to-School Encouragement Card


Beginning of the school year is such a great time to give your beloved students a note of encouragement, something that reminds them to stay focused and motivated as they settle into their routines. With that thought in mind, I created the above back-to-school encouragement card using the RG Days Collection by Richard Garay. Watch the video below to see how I made this card starting with a list of the supplies I used.

Supplies:

Here's the video tutorial:

 

Have fun making encouraging cards! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Book Review: Start Where You Are Week-at-a-Glance Diary


This Week-at-a-glance diary by Meera Lee Patel is quite pretty. Small in size, with vibrant colors and a foiled cover, it has pages dedicated to making notes from the week, to write down your goals for each month, a section for birthdays and contacts, and even world time zones, international calling codes, conversion table, phonetic alphabet, roman numerals, etc. Each month begins with a brush lettered inspiring quote. The size is perfect to fit in a purse. Will make a nice gift for someone going back to school.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Card Tutorial: One for the Rockstar!


School's about to start again. My kids are groaning every day that their vacation is coming to an end. We go through this every single year. I try to perk things up a bit by taking them back-to-school shopping, finding cool school supplies and also by making them a handmade gift or two. My daughter was excited to find a backpack in her favorite color. And as my son is finishing up his summer homework packet, I made this card for him.

This encouragement card will work for any occasion. Follow along to make one yourself.

Let's start by looking at the Fun Stamper's Journey supplies I used.
Supplies:
Rock On ATS stamp set
Party Pop 8.5" x 11" Cardstock Bundle
Buttercream Cardstock
True Color Fusion Ink pads: Black Licorice, Candy Apple, Denim Days, Lemon Grass, Summer Days
Silver Shimmer Silk Luster
Pierced Circles Die set
Amaze machine
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small
Other: acrylic block, trimmer, scissors
 

Ink up the stamp as shown with Summer Days, Lemon Grass, Denim Days and Black Licorice True Color Fusion Ink Pads, making sure to not contaminate the ink pads.
Stamp image on Butter Cream Cardstock. 
Cut out with scissors.


Diecut some Pierced Circles using the Pierced Circles Die Set and Amaze machine from the Party Pop Cardstocks.


On the Butter Cream Pierced Circle, stamp the sentiment 'Rock On' after inking it as described above with Candy Apple and Black Licorice True Color Fusion Ink pads.

 

Trim Whip Cream cardstock to 5.5" x 8.5". Fold in half to make 5.5" x 4.25" card.
Attach the pierced circle diecuts to the card with Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner.
Splatter Silver Shimmer Silk Luster to the card.
Attach the sentiment and the cut-out image from above to the card with Journey Foam Squares for added dimension. 

I hope you enjoy!