Aug 29, 2014

Paper Wings Productions: Featured Friday



Hey there! Thanks for stopping in today. I'm over at The Aviary with a Featured Friday post for Paper Wings Productions. So jump on over! Today I'm covering one stamp set; two ways with this great Paris Clear stamp set and adding water-colour for good measure.




Anybody else out there intimidated by water-colour? There is SO much out there. Lots of ways to do it, but regardless, the results are stunning and will surprise you every time!


I hope you will come join me and maybe you will find something new to love? I know I did!

xoxo
k


Aug 27, 2014

A little bit of Truth

Hey crafty friends! I stayed up late last night. I was supposed to be crafting (I am a bit behind!) But all I could do was browse the internet. I came across some blogs that are big in the biz (I guess you could say). Not the crafting biz, but the blog biz. I read posts from different women. Most posts were about people: moms, dads, marriages and children. But also about addiction, frustration, depression, and trials. In short; life.

As I had a few moments to myself, in my own brain today something dawned on me.... I have a blog. I have people who visit me. But yet, I don't think anyone knows who I really am! And I don't know much about you either!
Now, please know, I am not turning into a "get to know yourself"- "share your deepest and darkest" blogging kind of a person. This is a place for crafting fun and learning, but I also thought that maybe, just maybe, instead of just pretty cards today, I could also let you know a little bit about who I am and how I came to be me.  Then when you come to visit me in this little land o' craft, you will know more about who's behind it all and not just what you see.

As you may know, I have been so blessed to be chosen to be on a few design teams these past few months. I am so very very excited! It adds some more fun to this hobby that I love. Now usually when you apply for a design team they always ask you to share a little bit about yourself. I usually start out with "Hi! I am Kristie. And I am a stay-at-home mom of 4 crazy boys."  Because you know, it's the truth. That is my name and I do have 4 boys and boy-oh-boy do I ever stay at home with them each and every day. But I realized this doesn't say much about ME. It says something about what I may do with my time, but that's about it.

So in way of introducing myself to you, I thought I would go back a bit and talk about who I am inside and how I have changed through the years to find myself here: A mother by day and a card maker by night. Because let's be honest, something leads us to cutting paper and stamping ink and trolling the isles of craft stores for bits and bobbles that will look so great on a card!

I feel like I have been creating for a large part of my life. Not cards actually. It started when I was young. I loved music. I loved to sing. I would play dress up and sing my favourite Annie songs.
I found dance and enjoyed creating stories with my movements. I did those things for many years and then I went to college and most things changed. 

Upon leaving my parents home, as most young adults do, I found parts about myself that were different than I thought. Sometimes better but most of the time, not as pretty as I would have liked them to be. I wasn't always the best friend I could be. I wasn't always the most honest, or forgiving. I have things I have done that I wish I hadn't. Things I wish I could forget, but can't. I have regrets and disappointments but also triumphs and lots of learning and growing.

In college, music lead to acting. Which thinking about it now, seems so odd. I guess it fit me then. And maybe it still does, but I chose not to do it after getting married and having children. For many reasons, that I don't need to go into. But for many years I enjoyed creating characters on stage.

If you were to tell some of my old college friends that I was a crafter, they might actually laugh at you. In fact I have had at least one laugh at me! "I didn't see it coming" he said. Like my crafting was a UFO that landed in his front yard at midnight. Well to me, you don't have to see things coming to know that when you want to create things, you just find ways to do it. 

I think we are all creators inside. Some create spreadsheets, some organisation out of chaos. Some of us use oil pastels, water-colour or charcoal. Some create music where there wasn't any or dance moves that would rival even Janet Jackson (I am showing my age here ; )
But deep down, we all have to create. It is a fundamental part of our beings. And I have found that I love to create cards. I love to cut paper. Heck I love to SMELL paper! Pretty papers with patterns and colours that make your head spin. I love the smear of ink and the bounce of the stamp off the ink pad. I love removing said stamp and seeing a crisp clear image revealed. Something permanently pressed where there once was empty space.  I don't know what it is. I just know I love it.

I first started card making in 2009. I had a friend at church who was a Stamp-in' Up demonstrator and she had monthly craft nights that I started going to. I bought a few stamps and ink and mostly enjoyed chatting with my friends. I found Papertrey Ink and designs that I didn't know came in stamp form. I started to see patterns and designs all around me. As I walked down the street or visited a store. I soon became enamoured with it all. Creating something out of only a few elements. 

Now, I have tried just about everything. Jewellery making, Quilting, Soap making, Scrapbooking even non-crafty stuff like Tai Chi, Taikwondo, and sailing! It wasn't until stamping came into view that I felt settled and I never looked back. It started when I had little kids at home and of course sitting at a table in the quiet of the night brought enjoyment to the chaos of the days with little children. (A lot of you will know what I am talking about!) But also, I fell in love with cards because of 2 reasons:

1. They are a small canvas. You can go from blank to done in a little over 30 min. if you are inspired. You can use colours you love or trends you have seen only in shop windows. I tend to have a short attention span so laying out pieces for days to create something (quilt, scrap page, necklace, unfinished furniture) was just too daunting for me. It's almost an instant gratification, so it fills a part of my life that just needs that boost of quick excitement. You know!? 

2. It is also the vehicle in which we send out love, encouragement and happy thoughts to those that are important. Whether they are important to us, or to someone else. I have sent cards to total strangers before but also my very own mother.  A handmade card can always be enjoyed!  You only have to participate in Operation Write Home or Ronald McDonald House to know that these little cards, while seemingly small and unimportant have the ability to make a little change. 

I believe that its the little things that make the biggest difference. And that even though I am not on Broadway or winning Grammys or Emmys, I can still make a difference in the small sphere in which I live. When you bring happiness to one person, they in turn will bring it to another. And that my friends, is what I think life is all about.  Even if you only do it with paper and ink.

So I am a crafter, a card maker and a mother of 4 crazy boys. But I am also a woman, a believer, a lover (and a fighter :), a sister, daughter, aunt, a friend and a member of this human race that feels the burning inner drive to create.

I have learned how to be kinder to people, but need to apply it to myself more often. I have unsightly varicose veins (Thanks Dad!), but I never see them so I don't really care. I eat pizza every Saturday night while watching a movie with my kids, and I rarely say 'no' to a diet pepsi. I don't like to exercise, but know its good for me. I love me some brownies and ice cream but I know its bad for me. I, like you am a dichotomy of things all rolled up into one little (or not so little) package. 

So that's my story! What about you? What's your story? Cause I really do want to know! We connect with each other over time and space every week and really it's silly if we don't know each other, if even a little bit.
So if you have some time, leave me a comment. How did you get started in this craft? Are you new to it, or did the bug bite you long ago and you have yet to step away? Did you take a hiatus, and then return to it? (Like I did after babies... cause sometimes you have the energy and sometimes you. do. not.) 

I would love to hear from you! 

Thanks for stopping in today. For sharing with me, my little bit of truth. And thank you for your crafty support. You make a difference to me!

xoxo
k


...and for those of you who made it aaaaallll the way down here... heres a little somethin' pretty to look at. Thanks for your visit!


Made with:
Stitched Party Banners die cuts, Hello Baby stamp set (Lawn Fawn)
White Card stock (Papertrey Ink)
Water-color paper and gold twine from some odd art store ; )
Faux water-colour technique
and a whole lotta love!

Aug 26, 2014

Happy Monday!


Hey there! Now, I am the first to admit, that Monday's haven't always made me that happy. But today wasn't too bad (my Monday is over!) so I can say with confidence, "Happy Monday to you!"

I have a quick card to share today, for no other reason than sharing it. I made it awhile back and it has everything to do with embossing and masking. Take a look:


I used a bunch of background stamps. Mostly from Papertrey Ink, but one in there from My Favorite Things. I used all Zing embossing powders. The green and purple one being the metallic kind they carry. Kind of mellow but shimmery. I skewed the embossed panel off the side of a teal card base.

It's an easy card, to celebrate an easy kind of day.

And what are you up to today? Lots of crazy-town or a bit mellow off the weekend? Whatever life may be dishing out to you, I hope today shapes up nicely for you!

Thanks for stopping in! I know it takes time, and I do really appreciate it. I hope you have a great week!
xoxo
k

Aug 23, 2014

CutCardStock.com


I'm excited to start working with CutCardStock.com starting in September! So keep your eyes open for some amazing product. I just received my supplies and you are in for some real amazing things! If you are new to CutCardStock.com, head on over and check it out. They have an amazing array of papers, envelopes, card stock and accessories for paper crafters, designers, Copic colouring, and specialty designs. Stay tuned!


Aug 20, 2014

The Card Concept: Be Inspired!

Hey all! Welcome to my little space in the blog-o-sphere. It's Kristie here and I have a few cards to share with you for The Card Concept challenge for this week. Check out the inspiration below:


My challenge for this week was to create a Clean and Simple card with the above picture for inspiration. The first things that stand out are obviously, the white on white tone, the BIG chartreuse flower print and my favourite element; the stitched head board. I Just love it!  So here is what I came up with after a few different tries:


Now I say a few different tries, because I did make a few cards for this challenge. I for some reason, really thought of myself as a CAS designer. But it took me a few tries and some reading of the "styles" to come up with something I felt fit and even then, I had to ask some people if this card did actually qualify as a CAS card!

But... lets not get ahead of ourselves. Before we get into ALL that, let me show you what I did for this card. As I said, I LOVE the stitching on the headboard and knew I wanted that element in my card design. Lucky for us there is a plethora of stitching die cuts on the market that help give this great look without having to wield a needle! Whew! 


I used a die cut from Lawn Fawn to cut some water-colour paper and then embossed my flower images in white. I then took a blend of green, yellow and white water-colour and did a 'simple' wash over the entire area (I say simple because if you are like me, even a watercolor wash takes some time and concentration and becomes not so simple when you freak out about where you want colour and where you want water-- aaawww Freak Out!)


So once I had that, it was really simple to just add a sentiment and pop it up onto a card base. The only trouble was what to do with those pesky holes! I didn't want to run ribbon through it because it became way too bulky, thus killing any CAS qualities I felt like this card actually had (which after the watercoloring fiasco, seemed like very few) So I opted for some embroidery floss twirled around the holes a few time. Not the most simple execution but hopefully still a CAS look.


Ok, so that was card creation #3. Let me introduce you to cards 1 and 2. And I'll tell you why I didn't chose them to be my final card for today's challenge, (as you sit there and think I'm crazy!)

Here was the first card I made:


Now I LOVE this card. I think its super awesome. So awesome in fact that I made a whole set of them! They were SO simple to make. Stitched die cut, pop of colour, great big sentiment all white on white. What's not to love? And really, they were so simple! BUT, and that's a big BUT...


It was only after seeing some designs from a different category that these cards seemed too Clean and Graphic to me. (Not to be confused with Clean and Simple.) I re-read the styles and while most of this card design fit CAS (easy to recreate, lots of space, limited layers) the features of the Clean and Graphic seemed pretty spot on too (bare boned, no frills, message conveyed quickly). I mean, that's all I see is a BIG message and no frills! Anyway, I love them, and maybe that means I am more apt to be a Clean and Graphic designer, but I was not going to be deterred. 

I was determined to create a spot on CAS card... And card #2 was born:

So honestly, you want to know why I didn't pick this card?? GAG... that's why. I just thought it turned out TOTALLY ugly. I just dislike it for so many reasons, I just could not, in good conscience post this as my final card. It's just too UGH-ly for words. I even tried so hard to put in my stitching element on the right hand side of the card, and it just looks like I stepped on it with spiky shoes or something. I mean, just really don't like it. And the colour? What's up with the muddy colour?!

SO!That is why I made card #3. Which I adore and had such a great time making (you can see I chose some brighter more fun greens and yellows for this one... the last card was too pukey!) But does it officially classify? I will let you be the judge.


And there you have it! The epic long explanation of why I made three cards instead of my required one and what I learned in the process. I LOVE graphic. I LOVE simple and I can't necessarily differentiate between the two! HA!

I hope you try out the challenge this week over at The Card Concept. I would love to hear how it goes for you. Are you drawn to more than one style? Or do they all blend together? So drop me a comment if you have time. Which card do you like best? I'm excited to see how you navigate the challenge!

Thanks so much for joining me and taking the time to get all the way to the bottom here, which is a LONG way from the top ; )

Hope you have a great day!
xoxo
k


CASE Study week #2


So last night I was browsing blogs and realized I hadn't gotten to create a card for the second week of the Case Study Anniversary celebration and I instantly thought.... its 11pm, by the time I wake and do it tomorrow, it will be too late, so it ain't happening'.  Boo-Hoo! 

Then I thought... why admit defeat?! I want to play! 




So I decided if I created out of my ENORMOUS stash of painted/diecut/stamped things that just sit there most of the time, it would pull together in no time flat.  Well, it pulled together... fairly quickly, but not as fast as I thought it would! So much for my theory!

Here is my card... it is by no means ground breaking but it was a fast fly by my pants kind of a card, so I don't think it turned out too shabby. What do you think:




I was inspired by Maureen's card here.  Her's was so nice and soft and lovely. Again, I seem to have forgotten about the soft and lovely part for my card ;)

I had a bright pink panel that was watercolored with distress inks that I ran through the Cuttlebug with a Taylored Expressions cutting plate and then made it into a circle with a Spellbinders die cut. I had the other pink and white circles cut from a crazy card long ago. I die cut the vellum banner. Sponged a scrap piece of white for behind the banner and added sequins, and this card was born.



Now as for my photography, well there is just no excuse. Plain and simple. Gotta run this morning and have only a bit of time left to post so no fancy-smancy stuff today. Just my camera, my arm and some light from the window. So do with it what you will!

Thanks for stopping in today. Head on over to CASE Study for their anniversary celebration. Lots of fun to be had!!

xoxo
k



Aug 19, 2014

Paper Wings Productions Technique Tuesday


Hey there! Today I am over at Paper Wings Productions blog with a guest design post for their Technique Tuesday!


Join me for a step by step Iron-off embossing technique. Go check it out!

And after that, visit The Aviary, for a bit of a shop around. They have some great stamps and products that can add a lot of style to any project you are creating!



Thanks so much for checking in. Have a good one!

xoxo
k







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