Thursday, October 23, 2014


My Inspiration Colors

The day is FINALLY here! Well, we are getting closer. A bit of backstory:

My office (I'm a writer) and studio are in the basement. My space is about 120 square feet (10x12) and has one small casement window. Air flow is a real issue. Then I have a separate room about the same size for my sewing and mixed media - no window. When we moved here seven years ago I had a place for everything and room to work. However, with time to play and explore new mediums - not to mention new techniques and products being introduced daily - I've outgrown the space.

During a quiet dinner for two about four years ago, my darling husband made the comment I needed to get out of the 'dungeon' (the basement).

Challenge 1: Funds
We looked into determining the cost of building an above ground addition for me. Though the estimates were comparable, I was not ready to go into debt for my work space. So we put the project aside and I continued to outgrow my 120 square feet.

Challenge 2: Knees
I know I'm overweight by about 50 pounds but for some reason I never considered myself 'fat'. I am very active, though not athletic. I never was. But I don't stand still for more than about 5 seconds... if you're lucky. Since I also work from home, I have to make multiple trips up and down the steps every day to multi-task between work and household stuff. I have finally gotten to the point where by the third trip my knees are telling me to pick a level and stay there. I was raised family and home come first yet I'm at a juncture in my writing and music promotion career where I can't let that slide either.

So with both vehicle payments behind us and needing to put a new roof on the house, we revisited the possibility of my addition. We signed the papers on Monday afternoon.

This is a check register designed specifically for the project. I will track every bit of spending. Over the coming weeks I'll share some of my inspiration pieces with you. However, I am querying a couple of magazines and since they will want 'first rights', I may be limited to what I can show. I hope to know more on that part soon. In the mean time, updated posts of some sort will run on Fridays... recapping the week's progress.

And Now... The Floor Plan:

Our house is the front rectangle - about 1200 square feet. The new studio will come off the south side of the house into the backyard from off the dining room. The new space is 16' x 30' = 480 sq. ft. 

Thanks to a 1/4 credit in Home Ec in the 1970s I am able to draw floor plans to scale. I have utilized every inch of space to accommodate:

Mixed Media
Spiritual (currently in our bedroom)
Paper Crafting
Collections (Broncos & Girl Scouts) that are currently still in tubs in storage

In future posts I'll show you more of how I'm utilizing the space. Some of what I've learned along the way will be used in my Organization Class in mid January. 

In the mean time, tell me what you would do with this much space and what your medium of choice is (paper/ mixed media/ fabric/ etc) . I'll draw one person for a Surprise Bag of goodies! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WOYWW #281 - Zombie Wedding!

Before I show you my desk, I want to remind everyone to come back tomorrow when I reveal that Super Sekret Project (phrase cloned from my friend Deborah Blake). For those of you who've been following along, you do NOT want to miss what I have to tell you. :-) At least, I hope you don't Hehee
Okay... On with the show!

This is my desk this week. With much encouragement, accountability and determination I've finally completed the centerpiece I wanted to make seven years ago. We have our Ozarks bride and groom and 13 black roses. 
If you check out the previous blog post HERE 
you will see the supplies. I used 2 blocks of the floral foam and glued them side by side in the clay dish. I glued the tombstone in place and covered everything with Spanish Moss. 
Each rose stem had 2 leaf sprigs so I stripped the bottom sprig off, cut the stem down to about 9" and stuck them into the floral foam. I used the remaining leaf sprigs as filler around the base. The two candles are battery operated and will add a nice touch in the evening. A drape of cotton spider web and you have a fitting tribute for any Zombie Apocalypse or Day of the Dead.

Now that I'm in the spirit I hope you'll hop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground and join me as I travel around the world visiting other creative folks.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WOYWW #280 - Zombie Attack!

Okay... so this was not actually on my desk but this is the tub of zombie centerpiece supplies I've had since leaving Michaels Arts & Crafts almost eight years ago. Every year I pull out this tub with the intent of getting the centerpiece constructed.... and every year the tub goes back into storage due to lack of time.

This next photo is staged, but I wanted to try and get all the components in the shot of what is on my desk this week... a better (though not good) shot of the items I'll be using.

A zombie bride and groom, a tomb stone, battery operated candles and black roses. For lack of space I left the floral foam and Spanish moss in the tub at the moment. That little dish sits in a hammered wrought iron stand. I am determined to have this constructed by the end of the week and ready for the sofa table or dining room table. Halloween, or Samhain in my tradition, is upon me. 

So that's my desk. What's yours? Every Wednesday almost 100 of us gather at Miss Julia's Stamping Ground to pick up our map of other desks to visit. Come join us, won't you? Don't be shy. We've all seen the disasters - and shared them ::: cough cough :::

Creative Blessings!

Monday, October 6, 2014

MIXED MEDIA MONDAY - Shopping Mini Album

Because I knew I was going shopping over the weekend I wanted to make sure I got my shopping mini notebook put together.  I was inspired by pinkaboo6691 video which I have on THIS blog post. 

This is what the (5.5" x 7.5") notebook looked like before:

I dismantled the notebook and cut pieces of SU Marina Mist cardstock to be 1/8" smaller on 3 sides than the cover. I punched tabs using the SU Scalloped Frame punch and run them through the 1" Xyron. Rather than fold the label in half I chose to stick 2 together, giving me the decorative edge on the tabs.

The OCD in me wanted to have the same amount of pages behind each tab. Except for the Washi Tape category.. well ya' know LOL So here are the eight stacks ready for assemblage. 

I used papers from the ROSEWOOD slab by ColorBok. I LOVE that slab. If I seem to be running low, a replacement goes on my WalMart shopping list. Thanks to my novella book cover, I'm in this Marina Mist color mode. Plus when I'm carrying my red purse, this book will be easy to find amongst the other red items inside the bag. 

My categories are:

And I have one left for whatever comes along.
I used the one of the sheets of paper as a template for the holes and the crop a dile to punch the covers. I used a standard office hole punch for the page dividers.

I KNEW I wanted some Thickers or similar for the cover. But when I got to Michaels yesterday I could NOT remember what I wanted Thickers for so had no clue what to look for. I have them written down for next week. :-)

I'm also not sure I'll add trims to the spine. While they look fun and artsy, I think I'll spend more time untangling them from other things in my purse. The only thing I might have done different would have been to cover the tabs in clear contact paper for durability. I still can... just would have been easier prior to putting them in place.  

Friday, October 3, 2014


On Wednesday, my first ever Close To My Heart order arrived. This is what greeted me when I opened the box.

My CTMH rep is my buddy, Brenda (see DisneyGirl )  on my sidebar under PBR. I swear if we were the same age we could claim separation at birth! So this post is all Brenda's fault. She is such an enabler!

I moved the stamps out of the way to see the bottom two items. Though this picture does not show the item well, you can see the bat and cat. Those are stencil charms. I ordered these to use them as stencils. They are perfect size for ATCs or the APC Challenge I'm working on.

This collection is Christmas Assortment. They go with a paper collection. I have plenty of papers so thought these would be perfect accents for a mini album

But my main order consisted of these:

Since September was National Scrapbook Month and this is CTMH 30th anniversary, they offered a special set of stamps. But you had to order a minimum of $30 in stamps to get the FREE set. I picked out sets I knew I would get a lot of use out of just so I could get this:

These are perfect size for Project Life. I also have a punch set from Stampin Up that coordinates with some of thee. Cool, eh?
And if you've never ordered from Close To My Heart... I am in LOVE with their packaging!

The envelopes are square plastic with snap closure! Oh my. These are going to be so easy to store! They are about the size of a 6x6 pad. 

You can bet I'll be playing with some of these new toys in the coming weeks. Right now I'm afraid to see what their October special is. hehe

Creative Blessings! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WOYWW #278

Welcome to Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) and what my desk looks like this morning. Remnants of various projects. Let's cruise:  The package of fall leaves I picked up while grocery shopping last night. Thought they might make nice masks for art journaling spots, the grid is where I made paint swatches of my acrylic paints before going shopping. the paints in the background are the new ones I picked bought to fill in gaps. Heat gun to dry those swatches fast - cause you know I thought of this like an hour before I needed to leave LOL The gold paint pen and the stack of APC. 

I'll have the details tomorrow what I'm doing with the paint pen.

In the mean time, hop on over to Julia's Stampin' Ground to hook up with an extensive group of bloggers opening their studios for your snoop.  If you're a player in our group, please remember to leave your # so I make sure to stop by. 

Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TECHNIQUE TUESDAY - or something ....

I FINALLY got some play time in the studio on Sunday. Before moving forward on the Altered Playing Card challenge, I wanted to have my alcohol misters done. I am making one for every SU color I own.  I have the 30 main colors (or will have once my order comes in next week to replace the 7 retired colors) plus my favorite neutrals - Creamy Caramel (retired but my 'go to' vintage tone) and two other browns.

So here's my supplies: 91% Alcohol, SU reinkers, Ranger Ink mister bottles, funnel, needle nose pliers and these: 

Although the alcohol inks are all liquid, I wanted to give a little agitation in the bottle so I used 3 BBs in each mister. I checked. I put 3 in a container with just the alcohol and left sit overnight. These do NOT affect the color.

With the exception of the misters from RangerInk and the 91% alcohol, my goal is to utilize what I have on hand. I printed labels out on my computer (okay, this one is hand written but I managed to miss typing a label for Real Red somehow) then punched them out using the mini curly label punch. I tried to place the labels at the same point on all of the bottles. By doing this, I could use the bottom edge of the label as my "Fill to Here" mark with the alcohol.

So I labeled the bottles then one at a time, filled them to the mark. After some trial and error I found that approx. 30 drops of the Reinker gave me the truest-to-stamped color.
Some of the reinker bottles were clogged. I used the needle nose pliers to remove the tip then dropped the tip in a little container of plain rubbing alcohol to swirl and soak for a couple minutes. Tip back in place and things worked fine again.

I stamped a heart with each color. This served two purposes. 1 - to give me a visual when matching the ink to alcohol ratio and 2 - for creating little labels on the top of the mister bottle. I used this mini heart punch by Marvy to punch out a color sample and adhered to the top of the matching bottle with a mini glue dot. 

In the coming weeks, you'll get a better idea of how this comes together.
In the mean time, check out this VIDEO from Tim Holtz from CHA 2014 on multiple ways to use Alcohol Inks! 
Creative Blessings!