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!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Video Tutorial: How to Create an Art Journal Page from Coloring Book

 

Here's a tutorial to show you how to use a coloring book page in an art journal.

The coloring page I used is from "At the Beach”, a printable coloring book of fond beach memories It is a fun collection of 30 hand-drawn images that bring back memories of that carefree sun-soothed, surf-soaked beach vacation. It includes a bonus section of inspiration to help you bring the black-and-white pen drawings to life in full color!

You can buy the book here.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Home Decor/ Gift Tutorial: Muscle Man Clipboard

Here's a fun and different type of home decor/gift project tutorial for a boy who wants to be strong! Gather the following Fun Stampers Journey supplies and follow along.

Supplies:
Muscle Man Bundle
Cardstock: Butter Cream, Denim Days, Rich Coral, Rock Candy, Summer Days
True Color Fusion Inkpads:Berry Black, Lemon Grass, Oatmeal Cookie
Journey Days Easel
Amaze machine 
Detail Pro Shears
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares Small


  • Stamp the parts of the muscle man on Butter Cream Cardstock using Berry Black True Color Fusion Ink.
  • Stamp the clothed body parts on Rich Coral cardstock. 
  • Stamp the accessories with Oatmeal Cookie True Color Fusion Ink.
  • Diecut the stamped images.
  • Use scissors to cut out the clothing parts.
  • Assemble the parts of the muscle man.


  • Attach the accessories of the muscle man as shown.


  • Stamp 'Muscle man' with Lemon Grass ink on Butter Cream cardstock. Cut into block with scissors. Mount block onto River Stone cardstock. Cut into block leaving a slight border all around. Attach the whole thing to Summer Days cardstock block.
  • Mount the assembled muscle man on the block you created in the previous step.
  • Attach the piece with foam squares to a 5" x 7" piece of Denim Days cardstock.  
  • Attach the above piece onto a 9" x 7" River Stone cardstock.
  • Clip it onto the Easel to finish.
Display in the room of your favorite boy or give as gift. 

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and try out this super fun stamp/die set from Fun Stampers Journey!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review: The Only Negotiating Guide


I'm a big fan of win-win outcomes where no one walks away empty-handed and resentful from a negotiation - where important relationships remain viable and are not sacrificed in the zeal of winning. I picked The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty out of curiosity and here are a few things I learned or had reconfirmed.
For win-win outcomes, it's important to avoid narrowing the negotiation down to just one issue. It's better to keep your mind open to related options. 
Your win does not have to be the other person's loss because you might not have the same wants and needs. 
Better ask than assume what your counterpart wants. Also try understanding the needs that are not being openly expressed. So, listen well and pay attention to nonverbal expressions.

There are 13 chapters each focusing on a specific aspect of negotiation making reference quick and easy. Definitely a book worth going back to for anyone who wants to negotiate better and fair.

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

How to color a beach bag

Let's color a beach bag today!

Pick a few bright summer-y colors and go for it. Watch the video for inspiration.

And if you want to color one yourself, you can find this image and 29 more in my newest coloring book  At the Beach.

Have fun coloring!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

New Coloring Book: At the Beach




When we lived in Florida, I didn't think I could miss summer... ever! But when we moved north, I found cold weather for most of the year. Even though we have pretty beaches here too, the drive is longer and the water much colder. All of a sudden summer days and our trips to the beaches became a lot more precious to me. 

As I washed sand off the beach toys, I felt that soon this summer too will be a thing of the past and we can only hold on to its memories. And I wanted to re-live these moments and cherish the fond memories we made. To do so, I compiled my drawings inspired by our beach vacations - things we saw, things we shopped for, things we did, and created a coloring book named At the Beach
 
At the Beach is a printable coloring book of fond beach memories. It includes a fun collection of 30 hand-drawn images that bring back memories of carefree sun-soothed, surf-soaked beach vacations. Plus, there's a bonus section of inspiration to help you bring the black-and-white pen drawings to life in full color!

In this coloring book, you'll find cute flip flops, stylish swimsuits, the dyed woven straw beach bag with raffia fringes which we ended up not buying as it wasn't big enough, the rose colored sun glasses I bought at St. Maarten and many more. At the Beach will surely help you re-live YOUR beach vacations and enjoy the special summer memories a while longer.

I’ll email you the printable PDF within 24 hours of purchase. No shipping fee, no waiting for the mail to step into coloring bliss!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Card Tutorial: A Bow tie for the Gentleman

Cards for the guys don't have to be hard if you got the right stuff. Hi everyone! In today's tutorial, I'll show you how just one piece of patterned paper and a stamp set can making a card for a gentleman quick and easy!

Let's start by looking at the supplies.
You'll need - 
RG Days Stamp/Die set - The Details 
RG Days Printed Paper
Denim Days True Color Fusion Ink Pad  
Berry Black True Color Fusion ink
Cool Pool 12 x12 Cardstock
Dark Roast 12 x12 Cardstock 
River Stone 12 x12 Cardstock
Summer Days 12x12 Cardstock
Whip Cream 12x12 Cardstock
Easy Glide Permanent Adhesive Runner
Journey Foam Squares - Small
Amaze machine 


Trim Whip Cream cardstock to 8.5" x 5.5". Fold in half to make 4.25" x 5.5" card.
Trim bow tie patterned paper to 4" x 5.25". Attach to the card.
Stamp the polka dot bow tie on Cool Pool cardstock with Denim Days ink pad.
Die cut the bow tie using the Amaze machine.
Attach the bow tie die-cut to the card with Journey Foam Squares.


Stamp the sentiment 'Complete Gentleman' on Summer Days cardstock with Berry Black ink pad. Cut it into a block. Mat the sentiment block with Dark Roast cardstock.
Cut a 4" x 1.25" strip of River Stone cardstock. Attach it to the card.
Mount the sentiment block to the strip to finish.

Hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and will give this cute stamp/die set a try!

Friday, August 04, 2017

A DIY Easel Frame


Make the most of your favorite vacation photos with this easel frame using the Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 16PK - Chalkboard Easel Card.
You'll find the tutorial right here. And there's a great sale going on right now. Just use the coupon code Back2School for 30% discount and free shipping on $99 or more.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Book Review: Thank You for Arguing


Arguments often have a negative connotation. But what if that negativity could be diffused and we could argue without it turning into a fight or a blame game? Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs explains how to persuade others to see your point of view and even switch to your side without aggression. With use of humor and anecdotes, the author explains how rhetoric should be one of the essential R's and calls it 'the art of influence, friendship and eloquence, of ready wit and irrefutable logic.' Throughout history, great leaders have used rhetoric to inspire and move audiences into action. This book will teach you those secrets of the art of persuasion. If language is your area of interest, you'll love this book. It might even help you win some arguments!

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