Saturday, March 5, 2016

A little happy life...

Recently we did some remodeling and created a nursery/guestroom.

This used to be my husband's office.  And it was open to mine.  Our little remodel project, was to turn his office into a spot for the babies to sleep when they are here for Nana daycare.  I wanted to have them on the main floor of our house.  So we closed up the wall and created a space, did some painting, and put in some new carpet.  I LOVE the grays.  Gray is my new neutral.  LOL

Its a little tight, with a full size bed and two pack and plays, but I think it's perfect.  It just needs some decor...

So what better to put on the walls but picture of the boys?

About a week ago I took a photo and sketched my new Grandson, Grady.  He is just one of the sweetest little babies ever.  He was so teeny.  Born early, and less than five pounds, but man...  he is just perfect to me!

Meet Grady:

So a week passed and I hadn't sketched the other twin!?!?  How dare I??

A new Nana, showing favorites????  Impossible!

So last night I sketched twin #2.

Here is the other half of my heart...  Meet Gabriel:

These two handsome boys turned two weeks old yesterday even though they shouldn't have even been born until the end of March. But they are amazing.   It's incredible how much they change each day.   Hopefully they will be going home from the hospital soon.  They need to grow a bit more and get strong enough to take a whole feeding.  Right now, they just don't have the stamina to do that.  They just get too tired.   So for now, they have feeding tubes to make sure they are getting enough calories to keep growing.  I chose not to draw those tubes.  I look past those, and only see the the most beautiful boys....

We are so blessed.

We are taking the new momma and daddy out for dinner tonight, so I hope to be able to get prints made of these today, and frame them.  I'll keep the set of prints, and give the framed originals to the kids tonight.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 4, 2016

More experimenting with Polychromos pencils

Good morning.

Today I'm sharing a card that I made this today during my morning coffee infusion.  (I really wish there was an IV for that. Both hands would be free.)

I experimented with my pencils and I learned a lot this morning.

I had this idea...  I swear I dream about these things at night.

I wanted to experiment with the white and ivory Polychromos pencils.  I had the crazy idea that perhaps I could use my Papertrey Ink Fine Linen card front as part of the color in my image.  It didn't work as I'd hoped.

My image and sentiment are from Large Peony 2 from The Ton.  I stamped it in these colors onto my Fine Linen card front:  The Ton Vanilla Frosted Cupcake for the bloom, and Papertrey Spring Moss and Kraft inks for the leaf and sentiment.

Then I started coloring in what I decided were going to be the brightest highlights with the Polychromos pencils.  The first thing I learned, was that my card front color choice was a little too light.  The white was not as pronounced and bright as I'd hoped.  I should have used Kraft paper.

I realized quickly that I wasn't going to get enough depth by using just the white and cream pencils on this card stock.  I needed to bring in more color.

Second thing I learned?  I definitely need to swatch all these pencils.  The pencils I grabbed were not quite what I was expecting.  LOL

And I learned that this 120 set is missing a nice neutral tan color.  Wish there was one.  There is a flesh color, but it's quite pink.

I was not loving how this was turning out.  But I hate to give up on an idea, so I kept trying.  I tried pink, and yellow, and brown...  finally realized I should have just gone for the warm grays.

Here are my choices...  There definitely should have been less.  LOL

I kept working with it.  I kept adding more shading with the grays, and worked in some more of the ivory to try to mute the pinks, yellow and brown.  (FYI, these pencils do erase - which helped, but did not erase completely.)

In the end, it was salvageable.  Had I chosen more wisely, this would have been completed in 30 minutes.  These pencils are fabulously easy and quick to use.  They blend and cover beautifully.  Instead, this took me an hour.  I'm not thrilled with it, and was a little disappointed that my idea of using the Fine Linen as part of the petal colors didn't really work, it still turned out kind of pretty.  I'll mail it.  I'm really quite late on sending a sympathy card.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

OH MY GOSH. So very, very amazing.

Warning:  Enabling ahead.

I've been drooling over the beautiful coloring of Marika Rahtu for a long time.  She is an incredible artist.  I'm in awe of her talent.  Like fan girl awe. When I grow up, I want to be her.

In her blog posts she often demonstrates using Faber Castell Polychromos pencils on her images.  I've always been tempted to try them.

I have and love my Prismacolor pencils, so I hesitated.  And hesitated.  But I played with a few of the open stock pencils at my local art store the other day and fell hard.  So I ordered a set.  They were on my doorstep when I came home from the hospital.

Hellooooooo Gorgeous!

Aren't they beautiful?  I love coloring mediums.  All of them.  But these might just be my favorite.  They are incredibly creamy and vivid, and blend easier than Prismas.  And you don't need Gamsol or OMS and blending stumps.

I had to play.  (Shhhh.  I'm supposed to be working on my taxes.)

This Altenew Peony Bouquet set arrived today too, from Butterfly Reflections Ink.  (Can I just say how incredible fast their shipping is???  Amazingly fast.  Seriously.  Thanks so much Vanessa!)

It took me longer to cut out the peony mask to stamp the leaves than it did to color this.  These oil-based pencils are so smooth and easy...  Unreal.

I don't think the taxes are getting done tonight either.

Keepin' on.

This blogging thing is actually kind of fun.  And a little easier than it seemed last year.  Perhaps there have been some updates.  I don't remember adding photos being as easy as "click and drag" last spring...   I still have lots to learn though.

But happy Thursday!  It's kind of gray and gloomy here, but I'll be visiting those gorgeous babies soon, so how can that not brighten a day?

Here are a few of things I played with last night while I waited for my husband to get back in town.  I had a request for some simple Thank you cards, so I grabbed the Golden Garden and Label Love sets from Altenew and mass produced.  Thank you MISTI.  You make that so easy!

I also wasted a little time playing with color combos for this flower from Altenew's Beautiful Day.  Check this one out!  I LOVE it!  Papertrey Ink's Lemon Tart, So Suzy Ink Bites Buttercup Blast and Mango Marmelade, and the Spiced Chai ink from The Ton!  Amazing.  I have all the layers set up on my MISTIs now, so I'm going to mass produce some of these later tonight.

(I did add a little colored pencil and Multiliner to this one.  It's a habit.  I try not to, but I can't help it.)

And then, here's a card using the Daisy Flourish and You're Amazing stamps from So Suzy Stamps.

These cute little daisies were stamped with Versafine on Bristol smooth paper, then colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.  I used the Ripened Pumpkin Gloss Nuvo Drops to create the flower center.   Once they were dry, I fussy cut them and added them along with a stamped sentiment strip to my simple card.

And in the interest of keeping it real?
Yeah, I spend probably too much time playing in my office.  I realized yesterday that we've been using the little laundry room as a dressing room for days.  Who needs closets???  LOL

I do have them all put away now.  Unfortunately just in time to start over...

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I really should not be left unattended.

Spring is the financial world's conference season.  So my husband has been traveling a lot.  That's exhausting for me.  When my kids were tiny little things, I would be exhausted from the constant responsibility.  Now that they are older and rather self-sufficient.  I get exhausted from losing track of time.

In other words, I stay up too late.

I was having a hard time really focusing on crafting last night, so I started organizing.  Ahem.  I do that:  Clean until the feeling passes, or I get distracted by something like stamping or online shopping. Believe me that doesn't take very long.

I reorganized one of my drawers and started cutting, scoring and restocking my stash of card bases.  I have to say it's much easier to so now that my card stock is now organized and labeled!

The little boxes hold precut card A2 sized card fronts from a variety of papers and card stocks, and white bases.
I'm hoping that will cut down on all the scraps that pile up near my paper cutter.  Maybe.

And then after seeing that pretty rainbow stash, I got motivated.

My Simon Says Stamp card kit on Tuesday.  I hadn't even taken anything out of the box, since my nephew was here.  He's amazing.  Not only did he deliver my quarter of beef from the farm/butcher shop to my freezer, he has amazing skills.

He's an electrician.  So I put him to work.  ;)
We are in the midst of a mini-remodel/refreshing list of projects at our house.  Lately, we have had a parade of contractors, plumbers, painters, carpet installers, etc throughout the house.  Its a mess, and still ongoing.

We had purchased new light fixtures, so he put two of the trickiest ones up for me!

I have light in my craft room!  A huge globe that puts out 400 watts of awesome room-filling light!

And a new funky chandelier in my dining room and I love it!  The '80s gold and plastic icicle looking chandelier is in the trash.  Finally.  I've hated that thing for five years.

Ignore the stuff on the table.
Actually, don't.  It's good stuff.  Look at these adorable onesies!!!  My good friend Kim sent these to me for the twins yesterday!  Maybe she's afraid I'm going to mix those boys up when Nana Daycare starts.  LOL

But I digress. Back to my card kit...

I dug in to the stamp kit.  The stamp set is called My Kind of Peep.  I hate the taste of Peeps, but I do think they are adorable.

I first made this one.

I used my So Suzy Stamps Ink Bites to stamp the peeps, and Brutus Monroe Raven Detail ink for the sentiment. As I stamped it, I thought of my husband and his bizarre Peep obsession.  He loves Peeps.  But they have to be frozen, stale and chewy; so he opens the package, freezes it, and then eats them later after they have dried out.  Ewww.

And that made me think of this one.

This peep outline stamp was stamped with Summer Sky Memento, then colored with Copics.  The sentiment and the oval dies are from Papertrey Ink.  (Scrambled Eggs stamp set and Limitless Layers oval dies.)
I added the gasping mouth with a Copic Multiliner pen.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave a comment or hello, and let me know you did.  That would make my day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Look Ma! I'm blogging!

Happy March 1st, everyone!

It's release day over at So Suzy Stamps.  Make sure you check out all the new goodies in the shop!

Today I'm featuring three of the new March stamps on this gift tag: Rose Bloom, Dot Splatter, and Gift For You

I stamped the Rose Bloom onto Bristol smooth surface paper using Tattered Rose and Bundled Sage distress inks.  I then used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a paintbrush and water to color the image.  I seem to have better control with the amount of water when I use a brush rather than when using a waterbrush.

Once my image was dry, I used an embossing pen to draw in some highlight areas on a few of the petal edges, then heat embossed them with gold embossing powder.  I fussy cut the finished flower with my PenBlade.

For my tag, I used a two die cut tags (from Tag Sale #10 - Papertrey Ink), one in a solid coordinating pink, they other in white.  On my white tag, I stamped the Dot Splatter stamp several times at the bottom with embossing ink and also heat embossed with gold powder.  I also embossed the sentiment in black powder.  I then added my colored rose image to the bottom of the tag, and used a piece of cotton twine to attach my two tags to my gift bag!

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Feel free to comment and say hello!  
Happy shopping!