Sunday, December 28, 2008

Valentine Collage

With the Christmas hustle and bustle gone, now it's time to settle down and focus on what comes next -- Valentine's Day. This collage mixed media layout was a lot of fun to put together. I used some handmade papers, fabric scraps, and printed ribbon. The best part about the whole thing is that it's a collage so there are no specific rules.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Featured on ImageKind

One of my favorite pieces that I have available at Calabash Studio -- 'My Sister Sepia' -- was featured on the front page of Imagekind the other day. It was quite a thrill since there are so MANY talented artists on that site.

It's the second piece from the bottom on the left.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Decopaged Cards

I've been busy playing with more napkins (compliments of
All About The Buttons) and here is another one that I came up with -- perfect for all of you coffee lovers out there!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Etsy Seller Using Unique Photographs For Cards

Using photographs for cards is an easy way to put all the unique pictures that we take to good use. I recently had the pleasure of visiting a fellow Etsy seller's shop who does just that. Linda, at LindaButterfly Cards and Art uses neat photos for her cards.

These two really caught my attention. She's managed to take images that we see everyday -- trees and branches -- and make a very artistic statement. Great job, and great cards!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bookmarks From Napkin Scraps

Since I'm never inclined to toss out scraps, I found a use for the edges of the napkins that I cut off when making the cards in the previous post -- bookmarks. The steps are the same as before, only this time you're using the edge of the napkin and trimming it down to the size of a bookmark, punching a hole at the top (or not if you prefer it without), and adding a tassel of some sort.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Using Decorative Napkins To Make Cards And Tags

I love decorative napkins. I think they add a lot to a table setting and they can really help to set a theme for a party. Well, I finally figured out what to do with those left over napkins that never get used -- use them on cards of course.

Find an image on the napkin that you like and cut it out. Then peel the (usually two) layers of backing papers off. This leaves you with a single(very thin) layer with the image you want on it. Lightly spray the back of the image with a spray adhesive and mount it onto card stock. This will give you a sturdy piece to work with, and you will be able to place it on your cards and tags.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing Around With Ribbons

I've been adding new cards to my Etsy store this week and playing around with some ribbons while I've been at it. Ribbons always manage to add that extra 'umph' to a card. This one sends birthday wishes and would be great for any age.

I like the color and the finishing touch that the ribbon adds to it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thinking About Leaf Prints As The Season Changes

With fall just around the corner I can't help but think off all the fun things to do with leaves. I always get a kick out of making leaf prints and then using them for cards -- this is also a neat activity to do with kids. All you need are leaves that have fallen from the trees, some acrylic paint (washable paint if you're working with the kids), and paper.

Once you've found a leaf that you want to use to make your print, just paint the front of it and then press it down on your paper. The amount of paint that you use will determine how detailed your print will be -- play around with it until you find the look that you want. When I did this one I decided to use green and yellow paint on my leaf, and then I did a watercolor wash over it when it was dry.

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Card - Handmade Paper,Raffia, and Pop Up Stickers

I've been working on some new cards to put in my Etsy store since it seems as though I've neglected new inventory for a while. This is one of the new cards I've added. I just had some fun playing around with scrap handmade paper,raffia, and some pop up stickers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Using Paper Scraps To Make Christmas Trees For Your Cards

Since I'm really big on utilizing paper scraps, I thought I'd mention using them for simple Christmas trees for cards (I know... we're still in August, but sometimes you really do have to start working on Christmas cards early).
Dig through your scrap pile and find a piece of paper that you like, cut 3 triangles and place one on top of the other to create your tree. Cut a rectangle from another piece of scrap to create your base, set it in place and you're done.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Christmas Cards

Although it's only August, I've already started thinking about Christmas card designs. If I don't start working on them now, I'll never get them done in time for the holidays. I used a recycled card stock blank for this one, and added a simple paper tree and printed ribbon to help convey the Christmas spirit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Flower Note Card

Handmade paper and patterned card stock help to make this flower note card come to life. I had worked on a bunch of these with the intentions of putting them in my Etsy store, but I took them to an outdoor festival and they were very popular -- this is the only one left! Yeah!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Simple Card Design Using Ribbon and Stickers

Sometimes the most simple designs are the best. They aren't cluttered and they offer simple style and elegance to the look and feel of the card. For this note card I used a patterned ribbon(1/2 inch) to lay horizontally across the front of a light weight card blank, and simply added a small floral sticker on top as embellishment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mixed Media Card Design

This mixed media card incorporates a lot of the things that I like to work with -- handmade paper, jute (has great texture), card stock, and glitter. It's an abstract take on a 'Basket of Flowers', but sometimes that's the beauty of an abstract mixed media piece -- it can go in any direction that you're willing to take it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mini Abstract Art For Cards

Sometimes abstract pieces will add just the right amount of movement and color that you're looking for when you're working on a card. I created this mini abstract painting using water colors and acrylics. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it until I pulled out this fluorescent white card blank with the gold deckle edge -- then I knew exactly where it was going -- and 'Abstract Splash' ended up on a card and in my Etsy store.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Girl Card Made From The Scrap Paper Pile

I've been trying to get back into the swing of things since I got back from my little vacation, and I've been playing in my scrap paper pile again. This card I've called 'Happy Girl', mostly because it pretty much sums up my post vacation mood.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Using Vacation Pictures For Cards

My family and I just got back from vacation. We were on the island of Jamaica enjoying the white sand beaches and the laid back lifestyle that the island has to offer. I took lots of pictures that inspired several card designs. These hammocks were truly calling my name... this card ended up in my GCU card store.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Punched Water Color Flowers

I had some left over paper that I had done a water color wash on for another piece, and I couldn't bear to throw the paper away because I liked the way the colors had blended together. So I decided to salvage the scraps by using a flower punch to punch some flowers that I could use for a flower pot design that had been floating around in my head.
I used handmade paper for the background, some type of construction tape (I have no idea what it's called -- I just liked the way it looked) for the flower pot, and added the punched flowers above the pot to finish it off.

So I was happy... I was able to make a card and put the left over paper to some good use.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Simple Stamped Images On Note Cards

Simple images stamped onto the front of an ivory water color paper note card with a deckle edge makes an elegant statement. The image you choose and the the weight and texture of the paper that you use to stamp on can make all the difference.

For these cards I used Strathmore ivory card blanks with a deckle edge (all the work was already done -- no need to cut and score), chose a stamped image that I liked and stamped it onto the front of the note cards.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mini Art for Cards done in Water Color and Ink

I love to create mini art for cards because when you give the card you also end up giving the person a small work of art that becomes a real keepsake. You can choose to mount the original art, or a copy of the original to the front of your card. The art for this card is done with water colors and ink on water color paper. I made copies of the piece and mounted the copies onto card blanks. It's available at my Etsy store as well as at my Greeting Card Universe store as a print on demand card.
Working with mini art pieces is always a lot of fun. Try putting some cards together and see what you come up with.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Final Product

Well, we finally finished the piece. We added a few more elements -- some splashes of green (acrylic paint) and flowers made from raffia -- and we framed it out in a cherry wood frame.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mixed Media - Wire,Fabric, and Acrylics

I've been working with a friend of mine to create a mixed media piece to hang in a room that she is re-doing. We painted the background fabric with moulding paste and acrylic paints (for a textured look), bent and twisted wire to make the shapes for the women, and cut and shaped fabric to dress them. When all is said and done, we'll mount the piece in cherry wood frame and get it ready to hang.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Simple Mixed Media Art Using Paper and Fabric

Have fun creating simple mixed media art pieces using paper and fabric. They are perfect for cards or for framing and hanging on the wall. For this piece I used torn pieces of handmade paper for the flowers, burlap threads for the stems, and scrap fabric for the flower pot.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Playing With Pigment Inks

Pigment inks are great for working on backgrounds. When I worked on this butterfly, I used the pigment ink dauber to work on the background and then I cut the butterfly shape out of corrugated paper, painted the ridges with black ink and stamped it onto the inked background. This is a simple technique but the end results aren't too bad.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Creating Cards on Water Color Paper

Sometimes when I paint a mini painting directly onto a water color paper card blank I like to add small embellishments to the painting to add another dimension to the card. On this card I used water colors to paint the flowers and then I added the paper butterfly as a way of incorporating another element.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Printed Note Card Sets

Every now and again I'll choose an original ink drawing or mini painting and make a set of note cards. Being able to print and reproduce the original image onto nice sheets of textured paper is a great way to keep the original piece 'alive', and make nice note card sets while you're at it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Using Ribbons On Note Cards

Ribbons can add a really nice touch to note cards, especially when the ribbon coordinates well with the card stock you're using for your cards

I chose this blue floral ribbon to use on these baby blue cards because I thought that they worked really well together.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Shopping on Etsy

I went shopping this weekend on Etsy at one of my favorite stores there --All About The Buttons and bought some bookmarks. I just love these and I can't wait to get them. The really cool part about about these bookmarks (other than the fact that they are absolutely fantastic) is that they will be featured in the upcoming book "Button! Button!" that's due out in April. Barbra does exceptional work, and I'm always amazed by her creativity.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bookmarks Done On Recycled Card Stock

All these posts about bookmarks got me in the mood to make a few. I added these to my Etsy store today. I used recycled card stock and some 'wordy' paper that I had. Two of the bookmarks have my 'Shapely Silhouette' girls on them, and one is covered with the same 'wordy' paper that I used for the girl's dresses.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Bookmarks Made With Handmade Paper

Whenever I come across a sheet of handmade paper that offers wonderful hues and textures, I am always excited to see which projects I'll be able to incorporate it in. I found this sheet and thought that it would make a perfect bookmark. I love the colors and textured elements that it has.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Make Matching Bookmarks For Your Cards

Sometimes when I make my cards I'll make a matching bookmark to go with it so that I've created a little gift set for the person that I'm sending the card to. Not only will they have a handmade card that they can frame, but they'll also have a bookmark (something they can use all the time) to go with it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Note Cards For My Etsy Store

I worked on some note cards for my Etsy store today and I'm really pleased with the way they turned out. I like the texture of the card stock (I love textured cards), and the simple but elegant statement that they make. They are blank inside so they are perfect for keeping in touch the old fashioned way.

Monday, February 25, 2008

'Happiness Is...' Handmade Note Card

One of best parts about creating cards is that they convey feelings. When I worked on this card I was having a really good day and feeling good about everything. So 'Happiness Is' was 'born'.
I used different patterned papers to create the blouse, the skirt, the head, and the hearts, and I used a solid piece of card stock for the background. Any which way you look at it 'Happiness Is'... creating cards!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Paper Collage

I've been playing with scraps again and working on another collage. I used all kinds of papers to put this piece together -- lots of handmade and painted paper scraps came into play. I chose a lot of bright colors because I wanted a more vibrant piece rather than one with subdued tones and I think that the colorful paper selection helped me to create just that.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wire, Ribbon, and Handmade Paper

I've been working on adding a few more pieces to my 'Women In Wire' series. This is 'Gina'. I had a lot of fun working on putting her together.
She is mounted onto a canvas board that's been covered with handmade paper. Her body is made from wire and I've dressed her with wired ribbon ( wired ribbon is a lot easier to use when you need to work out the shape of the dress).

I like working on these pieces because I get to work with some of my favorite things --paper, fabric (in this case ribbon), and wire, and I can create these 'women' who all seem to tell a different story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Write Love Notes on A Handmade Flat Card

If you have someone in your life that's truely special and worth the effort, then why not write them a love note on a handmade flat card? Flat cards are like heavy duty stationery. They are made from card stock so they are easy to work with and they don't wrinkle or tear as easily. When I made this flat card I used a vellum heart sticker and mounted it on pink card stock, but you can use almost anything (a heart shaped button, punched hearts, painted hearts...)to symbolize your love on your cards.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Working In Ink on Card Blanks

Sometimes I like to do simple paintings directly onto a card blank using ink. I always choose a heavy weight, high quality acid free paper for these cards so that I can make sure that the paper is able to support the ink without it bleeding through to the other side. Then when I'm done I'll usually add my sentiment on the front of the card usually underneath or beside what I've drawn or painted. In this case it's 'Thinking of you..." Truth be told, I'm always thinking about somebody, so it gives me an excuse to make a card and send it off!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Create With Wire,Paper, and Fabric

I like to work on mixed media pieces because they allow me to use several different elements all at once, and for the most part they usually work well together.

For this piece I used handmade paper, wire, and fabric to come up with this sassy lady. The gold threads in the fabric are an added bonus as they add a bit of sparkle and highlight the brown hues.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another Valentine's Day Card Idea

This is another Valentine's Day Card idea. I mounted a heart cut from mulbury paper on top of a textured acrylic painted background and then stamped 'love' on top. It's a simple layout but it gets the message across. I like it because you can use it for Valentine's day or you can use it anytime you want to send a card to someone special.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Give A Valentine Bookmark With Your Valentine's Day Cards

This year when you make your Valentine's Day cards for those special people in your life, think about making a bookmark to go with your cards. Bookmarks are a really nice touch to add, and they are a useful keepsake to pass along.

I chose a sheet of handmade paper that already had hearts on it for this bookmark, and I mounted it on card stock to make it more sturdy. Then I punched a hole at the top and added the ribbon.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stamped Tags

Tags are really neat to work with because you can use them for so many different things. They're great for journaling on a scrapbook page, for pocket cards or regular cards, for gifts, for collage and mixed media pieces, or for tagging our handmade goodies.

I blended pigment inks to create the background for this tag, and then I added a stamped flower at the bottom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Handmade Paper Backgrounds

Working with torn pieces of handmade paper is a great way to create a textured look for the background for a collage or mixed media piece. The process is a little bit more labor intensive than using paint, but the end result is usually a good one that will allow you to set the tone for what you're working on, and if you're trying to add some varying levels of texture, then this is another way to do it.

I used a lot of bright colors on this one, but muted tones will work just as well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hand Dyed Fabric

If you've never dyed fabric before you should give it a try. I figured that since I like playing with ink and paints so much I would probably enjoy dying fabrics as well ... you guessed it, I do. The neat thing about working free form with a free flowing liquid dye is that you never know what you're going to get in the end. I just poured different colors onto the fabric, added some sea salt, scrunched and twisted (the fabric), and left it to dry.

This is what I got . I just love the way it turned out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Memorable Gift Tags

Whenever you're giving someone a gift, don't forget about the gift tag. It's always nice to use unusual papers to make memorable tags. When I made these I thought that it would be cute to fill in the crossword blocks with different words like --With Love -- Happy Birthday -- Just For You, or the person's name. You could fill in the blocks with whatever sentiment you'd like just to give your gift that extra special touch. What's really nice is when you're able to coordinate your gift wrap paper and your tags and give your gifts a designer look.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bookmarks Made From Recycled Handmade Paper

Here are 2 bookmarks that I made from recycled handmade paper. I got the blender out (the one that I use exclusively for making paper) and gathered up all of my scrap papers and went to town. I ended up with a few sheets of interesting looking paper, so I decided to make some bookmarks and save the rest for some other projects.

I tore the edges before the paper was completely dry and then once they (the bookmarks) were finished drying, I punched holes at the top and added the tassels.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Striped Valentine

I found these great card blanks and I thought that they would be perfect for Valentine's Day cards. I love the red stripes across the thick recycled card stock. They really had a great organic feel to them. I added the some corrugated paper and a heart as the focal point, and a new Valentine's Day card was born.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cut And Paste The Old Fashoined Way

I still like doing some things the old fashioned way. I know that there are wonderful die cut machines out there that make our lives so much easier, but I still enjoy picking up a pair of scissors and cutting out the pieces for my design. It gives me time to think and enjoy the process. It may take me longer to complete the card, but I have a lot of fun along the way!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Using Different Textures and Colors for Valentine Cards

Sometimes I like to use unexpected colors and textures for card designs. We always tend to get caught up with using traditional colors to represent the season or the particular celebration. Every now and again it's good to go against the grain.

Instead of using the traditional red and white for this Valentine card, I chose to go with browns and more textured papers giving the card a bit more depth and dimension. It's a simple layout, but it's message is loud and clear. The best part about it is that this is a card that's not restricted to Valentine's Day only, you can send a card like this out at any time during the year just to let someone know how much you care.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Collaged Valentine

Hearts are in the air with Valentine's Day just around the corner and I've been playing around with a few collaged heart designs.

For this card I used various grades of handmade papers for the layout. I tore the abstract heart out out of the paper that offered the most texture and made it the focal point of the design.