Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Continuing the discussion

Ever since I posted about inspiration I have put some thought in to the subject. I've been trying to find a magical way to describe my process - "It just grabs me" or "It felt right", but that's not it at all. 

For me inspiration can be found anywhere. For the last year most of my inspiration has come from the love I have for the person I am creating a gift. 

Recently my Sister-in-Law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Being the smart and strong woman she is, she decided to do a fierce attack and she opted for a double mastectomy. A community of friends, family, coworkers and neighbors immediately came to her side to support her in any way they can. Tom and I felt powerless to help her and my Brother because they live in SoCal, so we signed up to brighten her day with flowers and decided to wait to see how else we could help. 

Well, my call to action came a few weeks ago when my SIL called to ask me to make Thank You cards for her. She'd looked on etsy for cards similar to what I do, but she couldn't find any, so she came to me. The only specific request she had was for lined paper inside the card to keep her writing straight. Her request was a real honor and I started to think over what I would want for cards to express my gratitude to those who had helped me in my battle if I was the one with Cancer. 

I kept her strength, love of beautiful things, and her sense of humor in mind as I designed each card for her. At first I felt a bit of pressure because I wanted everything to be "just right".  I had to make myself remember that she has an appreciation of what I do, so I need to create the way I always do. I repeated to myself, "keep it in your aesthetic". 

Tim Holtz featured his pine cone diecut on his blog a month or so ago. I happened upon a Sizzix rose die in Joann's and decided to sit in front of the TV and roll a few. This was before I received my SIL's call. By the time she called I had made about 50 in varying sizes and colors. 

Here's one of the cards I made with them. I had to make special wax paper envelopes with baker's twine as a closure to seal them in. I told my SIL she'd have to hand deliver these. You can't really see it, but there's a small "Thank you" tag tucked in with the flowers. Another Wedding embellishment from Joann's. 

This card is a variation of a series that I sold (and sold out) at the Holiday Bazaar last year.
The paper is so beautiful.
The "Thank you" tag is more of the Wedding embellishments found at Joann's. 

I love this paper!! It came out in a Valentine's Day series this year, but the local scrapbook store still had some so I bought 10 sheets.
The strip of sheet music was in a stack of miscellaneous maps and music I found at a local vintage shop.

I tried to make this really steampunk....... but my softer side came out. I like it, but I'd use brown cards next time. 

Very simple. Just more of the sheet music and sweet paper. 

I love my typewriter  stamp! I use it as often as I can. Simple "just a note" message.

I'm anxious to hear her reaction when she opens the box. I tried to keep them all simply beautiful - just like her. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gift Giving Inspiration

How do you give handmade gifts? Do you use an assembly line process and build up stock of one item that you give throughout the year, or do you make a personal gift?

I have a stock of Thank You cards that I pull from when needed. However when it comes to personal gifts, I think of the person I'm giving it to. What they like, what's going on with them, what the event is, etc. As I did below for my Daughter's Teacher and my Sister in Law, I mix all the thoughts and feelings together to come up with my inspiration.

Last week I had the need for a last minute gift. I went to my room and got to work. The present was for a Neice, and she's at a stage in her life that she's really taking a look at what she wants to do for a career, and how she's going to define herself. She's an earthy and creative girl who has an appreciation for wonder. 

I took all of those elements and created a message in a bottle. I'm pretty proud of how cute it turned out since I made it in a matter of minutes. 

Unfortunately the first one I made broke when I was wrapping it. It was shaped with a thin neck and I loved the way it looked. I didn't have another bottle like it, so I made do with a smaller one, which I still think is rather cute. 

Next post I will give ideas on how to draw inspiration from the people and things you love. 

Filled with blue sand, fine glitter, message tied to a mini key, and little shells.

Message inside "enjoy the journey"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 - July

Supplies: Tim Holtz® Adirondack® Alcohol Inks -  (Butterscotch, Stream, Wild Plum). Jet black archival ink, Gloss cardstock, heat tool, distress stains, #8 kraft tag, collage glue stick, miscellaneous elements, crinkle ribbon, brad, sanding grip; colored cardstock; canned air.

Tim Holtz' Tag

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

Card - Gears from an old clock, Tim Holtz Elements

I've been wanting to experiment with Steampunk, but since it's so much different than my "usual" aesthetic, I have been hesitant to try. Ok, I've been SCARED. I have high expectations of myself. 

My Husband likes the style, especially since Rush came out with their new CD last week, and the graphic art featured on the cover is in a steampunk style. 

So, for his Father's Day card I pulled out Graphic 45's Steampunk Debutante, some old clock works, and a few of Tim Holtz' elements and gave him this card. 

I mod podged the backside of the man and put toothpicks along edges and his arms and legs  to reduce danger of bends. 

I really like it, but the only thing enabling the hand to manipulate the man is a brad. I'd like to figure out a mechanical operation and use heavier chip board or Tim Holtz' Grunge Board.   
Tim Holtz "Journey" Key
Paper - Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante

Inside. Graphic 45 Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, Steampunk Debutante

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thank you

My Daughter's Teacher is a quilter. So for our year end Thank You to her, I decided to make her a sewing themed card. (And I was able to use leftover elements from my doggie post). 

I love My Mind's Eye papers, especially their Lost and Found line. So whenever I have a project that I can infuse with this wonderful paper, I do so. 

This is the card I made for my Daughter's wonderful Teacher! 

Happy Birthday!!

It's not always easy creating something by hand for another creative person. I have to just pour love in to the project and believe that the receiver will feel what I put in to it. 

My Sister-in-Law is a talented Seamstress and Knitter. She has an etsy site where she sells fashion and accessories for Doggie's. 

She likes getting homemade gifts from me, so I decided to keep an eye out for inspiration. I knew I wanted to make her something to hang on her sewing room wall, but I wasn't sure what. 

The inspiration came at a Scrapbook Store (of course) where I saw some cute little Jolee's Boutique stickers. 

I bought some other similar themed elements and some sewing themed papers and went to work! 

I searched for a quote about dogs or animals and found a wonderful one from James Herriot. The zipper is from Scrap. Columbia donated boxes and boxes to them. 

Tim Holtz - 12 Tags of 2012 - June

I've been busy with Birthday and Thank You presents, but I took a break. I really wanted to get started on the sweet tag Tim Holtz made for June.

I don't own the stamps he used on his tag, so I improvised. 
I used his film strip, and metal leaves, but I dug the other elements up in my craft room. 

A clock gear for a hole protector, an old fountain pen tip, a world charm from a bag of bits I bought at a thrift store, and the #3 is from a metal charm set purchased years ago. 

The "Du Visiteur" is ripped from an old map I bought in the same thrift shop. 

My Mother in Law gave me a pile of elements and clippings she bought years ago when she went through her cigar box purse stage. That's where the boy came from. I've been wanting a project for him, and I thought this would be perfect. 

Because I don't own any of his inks, I used coffee, stain I had leftover from a dollhouse project, and black stamping ink to distress the tag. I rubbed everything on with my fingers. I like using my digits as tools!  

Sweet Little Boy

Tim's Tag

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tim Holtz 2012 Tags - May

I've been meaning to do one of Tim Holtz' featured tags since December. I finally did one! Mine's a bit different than his but I made it a tribute to my first crafty love.... Sewing!

My Tag
Tim's Tag

Most of the items I used I dug out of my craft supplies. I made the base of the form out of beading wire, the gold leaves were part of a grab bag I bought at a local antiques store, the bead is from deep in my bead box, Vintage Lace Doilie, the flowers and glitter stones were in my supply drawer but can be purchased at any Scrapbook store. The bust form is from My Mind's Eye Lost and Found Pink Princess. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Holiday Event Season

Portland Crafters and Artists!!!

The Summer is quickly approaching, which means your handmade Christmas creations will be rolling off your assembly line soon!

If you are a seasoned craft show Vendor you have most likely participated in a Holiday show of some sort. 

If you are a home crafter who only gives your creations away to friends and family as gifts, consider building an inventory and renting a booth this year!

Our school is hosting their 2nd Annual Grout Elementary Holiday Bazaar on Saturday December 1st. For $25 you can rent a 6x6 booth. Last year it was an extremely successful event. 

We have a Pancake Breakfast from 8am to 10pm, and the Bazaar will take place 9am to 3pm. 

If you would like to rent a booth, the applications are available at the Grout Elementary Holiday Bazaar site. 

This year we are going to add a PTA Winter Hearty Lunch that will include homemade soups and bread and desserts such as Apple Pie and Spice Cakes. 

Craft on!!! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I entered a new stage in my career this week. I accepted a position as a Merchandise Presentation Analyst. I will be working with Buyers and Merchandise Planners to manage their product plans and fixtures. 

I've been interested in this field for years. The artist in me loves the creative presentation side of the job, and the nerd side loves the analysis end. 

What's really wonderful is that I'm entering a department that is coveted by many in our company. Not only because of the creativity that it allows, but also because the Director of the Department is a wonderfully kind, smart and compassionate man. He and his Wife have eight children and they value a life of balance.

The only downside of my new position is that I am leaving our Shoe Department where I was the Replenishment Analyst - responsible to keeping the stores stocked with shoes in the basic inventories. 

The Department is full of  fun, smart, kind women. It's a nice comfortable home, and I'm proud of what we have created there. 

I love them and I will miss them all. Here is the card I made for them. The Director of Merchandising hung the card in the window facing out of her department for all to see, which I think is super cool of her. 

I had to use a shoe!

I'm in a stage of using a 12x12 sheet of paper  folded in to a card.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Paris Lingerie

I just noticed that I didn't post about my most recent Graphic 45 collage. Their paper wasn't all I used. I also gathered some Tim Holtz, some Laughing Elephant (coffee cup), 7 Gypsies, and a few things from magazines that my Mother-in-Law cut out years ago. I love it! It was to be a gift, but since I never keep and hang my own art, and this one struck me, I kept it!

(Poor Quality Pic!)

Sick Day

I stayed home sick today. Woke up feeling OK, and quickly took a dive. This would normally not stress me out, I'd just go back to bed. But, today is my Husband's Birthday and it's my last week before I start my new job. 

Guess what I really wanted to do today? (Well, besides feel better and go to work.) Craft!! 

But I couldn't. I had to sleep.

So instead, I'll give you a glimpse in to what my day was like. 

First, this is Dieter. He is this blog's namesake. He is sweet, but he is also very conceited. Some of that conceit is warranted because he is so beautiful. 

He and his brother sleep all day, as feline's do. I got this dirty look  when I moved my legs.
I love his pink belly. He wasn't very happy that I turned him over, 

but he quickly fell back to sleep.

Belly close up.

My favorite part of his body are his pink feet. I love the white tufts of hair!

When my Husband got home, he got in to bed too. So when I woke up I had...........
and this......

as well as this.....

next to me.  The sun was coming through my windows and it looked really pretty.

I was feeling better. But the best was yet to come. 
My Somerset Life magazine came!!!! 

If you haven't ever read any of Stampington's publications, I recommend you purchase one (many places sell at least one). See their website for details. My favorite is Somerset Life, but I also enjoy Where Women Create... and their blog, and their facebook page, and their twitter updates.

In fact, pick up this season's issue!
Inside you will find all kinds of goodies. My favorites in this issue: 

A story on Christine Mason Miller, a gutsy woman who opened a boutique featuring handmade gifts in Santa Monica. 

Stacey Remiker of A Sort of Fairytale shows how you can incorporate vintage items in to your life. I found the featured pincushions especially sweet. 

Connie Fong at Artful Play made mini books with her sisters. I'd love to do the same with mine!

 So, the day wasn't a total loss! Now, off to bed!!