Thursday, June 28, 2012

Color Lovin' Catch-Up

Hey Everyone! The kiddo is over at a friend's house, had is first non-camp sleepover so I thought now would be a perfect time to catch you up on what I've been up to!

inktense map

I am still loving my Color Class I'm taking with Joanne Sharpe and am actually keeping up with the classes. That is huge for me!! The quilt looking thing above is a color map of my Derwent Inktense pencils and the pictures below were created using color palettes from the above map.



I had so much fun doing a few sketches of Iceland and coloring them in. Makes me miss it even more!

Next are a few pictures of playing around with a product called Peerless transparent Watercolors. The paint is actually imbedded into strips of paper that you re-activate with water and a paint brush.

Here is the palette I made with the color samples:

And here are a few practice pages getting familiar with the paint:

peerless wc recipes
fearless peerless

So very pretty! And finally, been doing some ink spray pages with stencils and found objects:


That's it so far, of course, another lesson will be posted tonight! I can't wait!! Thanks for checking in on me. :0)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Camouflage Cupcakes

That's what AJ asked for his birthday this year, camouflage cupcakes. Thankfully, I already had this one figured out. I made these cupcakes

back in February for a Cupcake Rodeo and knew the technique was going to be used again. A few people asked how I accomplished these, so this time I took a few pictures to try and explain the technique. (this is NOT my original idea, I saw a gal doing it on a youtube video and for the life of me, can't find the video again!! Whoever she was, she's brilliant!!)

After making the frosting and tinting it three different "camouflage colors" I spread each color out onto plastic wrap. 

Pull the edges together to make sure it is completely enclosed. Grab the two ends, one in each hand and twirl in the air. This twists the ends closed and makes a burrito:

Now take one end of your burrito and put it into your decorating bag, it takes a bit of maneuvering.

Pull the plastic wrap out of the metal tip, as far out as you can get it,

Now cut off the plastic sticking out, you are ready to use the bag as you normally would.

Here is an alternate design:

When you are done, just pull out the plastic and toss! The inside of your bag will still be clean and all you'll need to wash is your decorating tip.

Nice! I bought the army men and washed them up before putting them on top. The background is melted chocolate, unfortunately - it wouldn't hold up to the heat so wasn't used. The kids didn't seem to miss it!!

Hope you get a chance to try this, it was so much fun! Happy Birthday, AJ!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Well, I had so much fun coloring and making the cover page for my practice journal that I had to keep going.  I belong to a postcard exchange group and each month make postcards to send out so I thought this would be a perfect project!

Again I took a picture of my first layer and then of my last layer so you can see the difference. I did two separate 8x12 watercolor sheets so I came out with 4 postcards from each sheet (4x6).

Here is one of the 8x12 inch sheets:
The Start
After they were done, I chopped them into 4x6 postcards and wrote a quote on them. Ready for the mail!! 

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter
Don't you just love getting mail!?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Color Love Starts!!

I am having so much fun with my new (and a lot of old) supplies!! The class Color Love 101 with Joanne Sharpe just began on Monday and we are having so much fun. :0) This is a close-up of my cover page to the journal I am working in.

Began on Monday by playing around with the yummy pens, inks and watercolors:

Last night I did a sketch of the picture we were given, it looks mostly the same, just a few little tweaks of my own here and there:

Then did a first layer of color:

Then the final shading and details were added:

I really LOVE how it turned out! The best part about taking the class (besides the great instructor!) is seeing everyone else's take on it. They are all turning out so beautiful!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Summer Catch-Phrase

I have found my catch-phrase for the summer. 

I read a cool blog the other day talking about having a theme for your summer to focus your family so that you get more out of summer instead of ending it and not really having much to show for it. (Please don't ask me, I've tried to find it and have no idea what I was reading. If you know, please leave a comment with the link!) 

I could imagine doing something like, "Our Adventurous Summer", "The Summer of Color", "Flying through Summer" or "A Summer in Bloom" and basing our activities around our theme. We could check out library books, plan day trips, and do crafts all in relation to our theme. Sounds like fun!... Sounds like a lot of work... Sounds like a plan for next year....

This year, instead of a fun theme, I found the catch-phrase that is going to carry me through summer! I'm calling it a catch-phrase because I haven't just said it once. I haven't even just said it once a day. I have caught myself saying it, as if it were a mantra, over and over.

After saying it this morning for the 20th time (it was kind of an A-Ha moment) I decided this would be the catch-phrase of our summer:

Figure It Out

Strange you may think, but it really works on so many levels. If you had a 9 year old son, you'd totally understand. If you had an only child, you would totally understand. Okay -  If you have a kid (or a spouse).... you will totally understand. 

"Mom, I can't get the computer to work."
"Mom, there isn't anything on TV"
"Mom, what day is it today?"
"Mom, why can't I have candy at 8:30am?"
"Mom, I can't find a clean pair of socks."
"Mom, I need a clean spoon."
"Mom, I'm hungry."
"Mom, I'm bored."

"Figure it out."

Now, sometimes it's said sympathetically: "Aw, that's too bad. Guess you'll just have to figure it out." However as we get further into the summer the sympathy has begun to wane and my catch-phrase is all that is left.... I have tried really hard to refrain from screaming it though (I mean, other than in my head). 

So, have you figured out what your summer theme or phrase is yet? Feel free to use mine, it really does work on so many levels! :0)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wrapping Station

Isn't it pretty!! I know we all have an area like this in our homes dedicated to the purpose of wrapping a gift. What? Why are you laughing?? Oh - you don't have a dedicated area like this? - yea, me neither. This is actually a picture from Country Living and would look ridiculous in pretty much any room of my house. Not that I wouldn't love it - it's just not at all practical. 

What I do have is an ironing board. (I can see you're impressed.) This was the beginning of my gift wrapping station. It is a great height for wrapping gifts, easy to set up and take down, and seldom used for anything else. I do iron, sometimes... occasionally... okay!! Rarely, if ever. Anyhow... moving on. 

So, now I have my table and just need to figure out the rest of the above set up. I have the luxury right now of a guest room, it is used sporadically, but has opportunities for storage. If you have a bit of space in the laundry room, under your bed or your kids bed or even just a corner you have the makings for a gift wrap station as well.

Now, go to Google and do an image search for gift wrap organizers. There is going to be something there that will fit your space, whether it's under the bed or standing up in the corner. This is the one I have, but filled it looks nothing like this:
and here is why - The wrapping paper I bought after Christmas last year is really really wide and sticks out of the top when it's mostly zipped up. I'm okay with that, but if you have some OCDness, I'd be aware of that when shopping. When shopping the after Christmas sales, look for neutral papers that don't scream Christmas - it's a challenge, but it can be done. I bought a bunch of solid papers one year in purples and teals, red is also great and works for Valentine's Day, 4th of July (any of the Patriotic holidays really) and is gender neutral. Also buy one large roll of brown craft paper. You can personalize solids and craft paper in hundreds of ways.

I also do not keep fluffy bows. Why - because unless you are hand delivering the gift to the person within an hour or so, the thing is gonna get squished. It's inevitable, one of Newton's Laws I'm pretty sure  - so why fight against nature. Instead get yourself to Party City or to Oriental Trading Co. and buy two big spools of curly ribbon. One in a boy color or neutral and one in a girly color. 

This one from Oriental Trading is $3.50 for 500 yards. I've had mine for YEARS and still have over half of the spool so make sure you get colors that you like and can be used together or separately and for both genders.  Now go to Google and look up how to make pretty bows using curly ribbon.

What else..... a few gift bags and some tissue paper. A really great pair of scissors and a roll of tape. A pen. That's it! Keep all of this together and threaten the family that the scissors and tape are not to be moved from this spot on penalty of limb amputation. If you can control that, then you've got yourself a wrapping station!!

(Disclaimer: These are NOT my Christmas wrapping supplies! Those are stored with the Christmas tree and ornaments and come out at the appropriate time. There isn't a space large enough for me to include all of the above in addition to all of the crap I have for Christmas wrapping. Just wanted to make that clear in case you were thinking otherwise. Yea, I'm good but I'm not THAT good!!)