Friday, August 7, 2015

Another Chance to Win

I'm one of three authors featured over at Leslie McKee's blog today.  She's reviewing the final three stories in The Homestead Brides and offering a chance to win a book.  Hop on over and join the fun!

Until next time,
Becca

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Anniversary Wishes

Two more days...that's all I have left of hotel living and crafting.  (Insert angels singing the Halleluiah Chorus here).  In the meantime, I'm restocking birthday and anniversary cards for this very busy month of August.


I was inspired by the following challenges:
Color My Heart: Hollyhock, Sunset, Olive, White Daisy
Freshly Made Sketches: #197

The flowers (Friendship Blessings) were white embossed on watercolor paper then colored with Derwent watercolor pencils "Rose Madder Lake 21" an "Spectrum Orange 11" as Hollyhock and Sunset for the color challenge.  The banner is Garden Green paper overstamped in Olive script (Universal Backgrounds), Sunset and Hollyhock circles (Friendship Blessings) and then white embossed with the dots (Argyle Background). Even though I let my banner dry after using pigment ink and patted it with a embossing buddy before adding the dots, the white powder still clung to parts of the script.  I decided it was kinda cool (especially in light of how tedious it would have been to clean off the script and leave the dots).

After I had the card assembled, I decided it needed a sentiment.  I used Finding the Words, which is the only stamp set I used still available through CTMH.  It's stamped in Olive.

When I packed up my craft room almost two months ago, I kept a few it-would-kill-me-to-lose-them stamp sets.  It's been a good challenge to work with limited supplies, but I'm ready for the full craft room to be back up an running.  We get our stuff on Monday, so fingers crossed it all arrived in good shape.

Until next time,
Becca

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Little Message

Still crafting from the hotel room.  I'm actually more tired of my wardrobe than my limited craft supplies.  But, there's a glimmer of hope on the horizon.  The last two crates are supposed to arrive in Fairbanks on Tuesday, so we hope to be into our new home this coming Wednesday or Thursday.


If you've been following along this hotel crafting journey, you can see the progression of where I'm taking pictures.  We started on the dresser, proceeded to the bed, and now it's the window ledge.  Stuff is creeping into every corner of the hotel room, so it's getting harder and harder to find a clean surface.  Or I could say that I wanted to take a picture in direct sunlight to make sure you caught the Liquid Glass on the typewriter keys.  Yeah...let's go with that!

Speaking of the Liquid Glass typewriter keys, may I give you a piece of advice?  Let them dry longer than you think it's going to take.  If you touch to test and they aren't completely dry, there's no quick fix.  Did you notice I have two layers to the typewriter?  You might have thought I planned it that way.  You'd be wrong.  Now, to be honest, I like the double layer so it ended up being a "good"  mistake.

I'm entering this in the following challenges:

Color My Heart: Canary, Cranberry, Slate, and White Daisy
CASology: Line
Addicted to CAS: Chevron (2nd entry)
Less is More: Snippets

I'm not entirely sure what "snippets" means, but I think it's using small bits of this or that.  Yeah...let's go with that, too!

All supplies are CTMH except the Baker's Twine and sequins.  The typewriter and sentiment are from a retired set.  So glad I got it when it was available because I'll be using this one over and over again.  This card is for a fellow author who's taken some tough criticism.  I thought I'd send her a little message of appreciation for all she does.

Until next time,
Becca

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Enjoy the Ride

My brother and his wife celebrated their 24th Anniversary earlier this week.  Since I'm having to replace all the cards I pre-made (and left somewhere along the road), I'm late getting one made and mailed.  I needed inspiration and got it from the following challenges:

Addicted to CAS: Chevrons
CAS(E) this Sketch: #132
Color Throwdown: ctd #351


If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know I'm in a hotel room until the last of our crates arrive in Alaska.  I brought a suitcase full of stamp supplies, but I'm feeling the limitations.  I had to go to the front desk to borrow a stapler, for instance, and photography is hit-and-miss.

I used Thistle colored paper from CTMH Paper Fundamentals.  I cut it at 1.25x3", turned the page 90 degrees, then cut another 1.25x3" strip. I inked each strip on the side that has the plastic coating with Gypsy pigment ink.  I had to let it dry for a long time to soak into the exposed paper before rubbing gently to get the excess off the plastic coated part.  I then glued the strips onto a larger piece of white cardstock to create the chevron pattern.

For the bike, I used Momento Tuxedo Black ink.  Because I don't have temporary adhesive products with me, I chose to stamp the bike after the Thistle/Gypsy strips were already on the white matting.  I simply laid a scrap piece of paper along the left side next to the edge and stamped over the top.  My original intent was to stamp the bike image on the card base so the wheel carried over.  I decided against it because - again - I have limited supplies, I have to replace a ton of cards, and I have NO IDEA when my household goods will actually arrive.  If I'd messed up this card base, it would be a big problem!

Now I have to clean up and start working on birthday cards.  There are only eight or nine of them coming up soon.  Aaack!!

Until next time,
Becca

P.S. I'm keeping up with my Writer's World Wednesdays over on my author page.  Go here if you'd like to see what's happening.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guest Blogger

Please welcome my special guest, Jennifer Slattery.  Jennifer is a fellow author.  You can visit her author website here.  She decided to get crafty and share her results with us...

What happens when a noncrafty person determines to make something crafty for her special someone?

 
I wasn’t sure, but I determined to find out. I figured the worse that could happen would be I’d end up with a mess, lots of wasted material, and a few hours (or days) of lost time. Not the most positive attitude going into a project, perhaps, but my expectations going in were a bit low. Of course, it doesn’t help that my daughter is the queen of artistic expression and can turn the most mundane objects into unexpected masterpieces.  Here’s an example.
 

Let’s just say, her artistic ability was not inherited from me! Even so, this summer, I was determined to make my hubby something I’d seen, perhaps a year ago, in a cute, women’s boutique. Minus the pink and glitter, of course. In fact, I chose red and, well, red.

Here’s the finished project. It’s a memory holder made out of an old fence piece that once barricaded our garbage. I guess this truly is a trash-to-treasure piece! Ha!



Here’s what I started with:


I began by sanding it down using an electric sander, mainly to make the paint go on easier and get rid of any residual gook. Lucky for me, a self-proclaimed germophobe, the only real gook I saw was algae. (If there’s something I don’t know about algae and it’s gookiness, please don’t tell me.) I did find an old spider’s egg nest pocket, empty.
Which means the spiders had already hatched and likely are, at this moment, roaming around somewhere.  

Once I had it sanded, I painted the outward frame, leaving the inside unpainted. I had thought of painting the inside white, but my daughter preferred the look of the wood, and post, completion, I must say, I agree with her. Keeping it on the rustic side also allowed for more errors.

In hindsight, I probably would’ve done better to tape off the inside portion, as I did get a bit of a mess on that part, but nothing another quick sand couldn’t knock out. I also painted clothespins, though they would’ve looked fine unpainted. (If you’re making a flower or handprint design on the inside of yours, it might look nice to paint your clothespins in an assortment of colors.) I chose to pain all sides, including the insides. I worried about not being able to open them once the paint dried but found that not to be a problem.

The N posed more of a challenge. Looking at it, it probably appears easy enough to create, but remember, I’m not artistic or highly coordinated, and getting the width of each part of the N correct took some measuring then fixing. If my husband were a Texas A&M fan, I might’ve opted for stencils. Although a tape measurer and painter’s tape worked well.
Once I had my N painted—all red areas required two coats in order to get the deep red I wanted—I added screws to the sides to hold the metal wiring. (I wanted to add three rungs of wires but my husband wanted me to keep the N as uncovered as possible so asked that I only add two.) Initially I had planned on using cup hooks but thought screws would fit the style I was going for better. You could also use nails.
To get the screws in, I first used what’s called a starter nail—a thin nail you can pound in part way to make a hole in the wood, to give your screw something to anchor in. Then, I used an electric screwdriver to drill these in.


As far as chains, twine, or wires going from screw to screw, I had three options:

 
My favorite—a metal chain I found in my husbands “junk container” a container. Operating on a near zero budget, this was my first choice, until I tried to make it work. I simply wasn’t strong enough to open the individual links or to twist the chain around the screw. Trying to knot it looked clunky and sloppy. So I tossed this idea aside. If you have access to brute male strength, this one might be an option for you.

 
I also found some thick twine at the craft store, though it cost more than I wanted to pay. (Did I mention I had a zero budget for this project?)

 
I finally ended up using wire I pulled from old spiral notebooks, something, as a writer, I have plenty of. This worked out very well. I loved the coil, and the wire was strong enough for my purposes but thin enough to be pliable for my weak hands.

 
Next came the fun part—hanging some of my favorite fatherly photos and simple, bordered notes I’d made. The first says, “Fav Memories”, followed by references to memorable places and event. The second one says, “When you…” and is followed by things my husband did, since the time I was pregnant to now, that showed me his heart and drew mine to him.
 

So that’s my project! I must say, I think it turned out better than I’d hoped. Then again, you probably remember my hopes going in were low.
 

What about you? Did you make any special projects this Father’s Day? Have you made anything similar to mine? What are some fun, creative ways you’ve stored mementoes and photos? Share your ideas and experiences with us in the comments below.


Jennifer Slattery writes missional fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes Christian Living articles for Crosswalk.com, writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, and writes devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutloud, and Internet CafĂ© Devotions. When she’s not writing, her and her husband are probably sitting at a coffee shop somewhere, him reading a sports article on his phone while she loses herself in a great novel.
Released December 2014
When a hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn't sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Worth Celebrating

More crafting from the hotel room today because I can't find the batch of cards and envelopes I made before leaving Oklahoma.  Yep... I left at least a dozen cards somewhere between Seattle and Fairbanks.  With envelops. Stamped and addressed.  **Bops head**

But life goes on, people still have birthdays, so time to pull up the big girl panties and get to work.  I combined the sketch from Mojo Monday and the color challenge from Color My Heart.


Because I'm limited on my supplies, I had to get creative.  (All supplies are CTMH.)  I only brought my pigment inks because they are small. To get the two-tone flower and leaves (Sunflower Garden, retired), I applied the ink lightly on the bottom layer and thicker for the top layer.  I customized the background paper by swiping Sweet Leaf ink over top of a Chantilly B&T paper (retired).  I had to be patient for about five minutes to let it dry before handling.  The woodgrain background was stamped using the Pathfinding Workshop on the Go stamp set.  I wanted a little more color, so I pounced my Slate pigment ink over the top.  I also sponged the edges of both the woodgrain and sentiment panels in Slate.

I'm quite proud of my stacked Slate Striped Ribbon embellishment.  Normally, I would have used paper or a wide ribbon for this.  I laid down a layer of Liquid Glass, smeared it with my finger, and then adhered pre-cut ribbon.  I might do this again even when I have all my supplies.

The sentiments are from the Blossom Cardmaking Workshop on the Go.  Because the pigment inks are so small, I was able to ink the YOU in Sunset then the rest in Slate and stamp once.  I added the line of Sweet Leaf dots at the end because it felt like the sentiment was too high. 

Sorry the color isn't better on this, but limited supplies also means no fancy-scmancy light box for better photography.

Very pleased with how this turned out!  Hope the recipient feels like it was worth the very long wait.

Until next time,
Becca

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thanks...

Hubby and I have made it to Alaska.  At last count, over 2 million acres have burned in forest fires started by lightning strikes.  The smoke is thick, so it's an inside kind of day even though the sun is shining.  We have been invited out to dinner tonight.  I wanted to make a set of note cards as a thank you using the supplies I carted from Oklahoma.  Fortunately, the Color My Heart dare this week uses colors at least similar to what I have with me.


This card measures 4.25" x 3.5".  I cut my 8.25" x 11" paper in half to give me a 5.5" x 8.25".  I then trimmed 1.25" off to measure 5.5" x 7".  I folded it in half the long way to get my 4.25" x 3.5" card base.  I decorated the 1.25" x 5.5" leftover strip with a 1" x 5.5" strip of decorative paper ("Superhero", retired CTMH, with Cranberry, Moonstruck, and Colonial White colors).  The space left at the bottom gave me just enough room to stamp "Thanks" from the set called "Finding the Words." 

Before foam mounting this strip onto the card base, I used it as a placement guide to stamp "so very much" on the card base.  I then cut a small strip of Black Shimmer Trim, snipped the edges into a "V", and adhered it.  Once the base was complete, I adhered the "Thanks" strip using foam mounting tape.  A couple of black sequins (the only non-CTMH supply) adhered with Liquid Glass added the finishing touch.

It's good to be back in the crafting world again.

Until next time,
Becca