Monday, February 29, 2016

Linking Up At SILVER MESS: Boxed In

Today, I am linking up at SILVER MESS.  Rachel's prompt (is that what you call it?)(and by the way it's here) is "boxed in."  I was trying to come up with something along those lines, but was having a fair bit of trouble.  WHEN - it hit me!  I am boxed in by clutter!

That's how this post was going to begin, but now Rachel is not doing the link-up because she has other things to attend to, and that is completely understandable!  However, I had this post almost all ready to publish, so I'm not just going to delete it, or even change it to a non-link-up post, because then you wouldn't have the opportunity to check out Rachel's blog!  That would be a shame, wouldn't it?  So I'm just going to proceed as if she is still doing a link-up.  Go!


My desk is cluttered.  Beside my bed is cluttered.  My inbox is cluttered.  My brain is cluttered.

So today* I'm going to make a card inspired by clutter, or rather, the absence of clutter, since I can't in good conscience make a card inspired by clutter.  The idea sort of makes my brain hurt.  And of course, since the prompt is "boxed in," I have to include a cute little box in the design.

*let's be honest here.  I didn't make this card today.  I made it on Thursday, but I'm posting on it now.

Because this card is inspired by the absence of clutter, I definitely wanted to make sure this card stayed super simple and had a lot of white space.
I knew I wanted to include a box, so I got out my nice brown paper, and lightly sketched an open box.
 When I got it the way I liked, I outlined it with black sharpie.  I used a brand new sharpie (meaning, this is the first time I've used it, even though I got it months ago), which is why the lines are so thick.
After I outlined the box, I cut it out.
Observe: these are two different types of pens here.  The toppest is a black sharpie pen, which I used to outline the box, and the other, a really nice pen that I love which came from my neighbor's car (no, I did not steal it.  He let me have it).  It writes really nicely, and the stroke is nice and thin - the way I like it!  It does not have any indication anywhere on it though, that tells what the brand is or anything, so I guess I need to keep it extra safe so I can keep it foreveeer.

I have a few graph paper scraps on my desk, so I practiced writing the sentiment on one of those before finally getting it right.  Fun fact: I didn't know I was only practicing when I tried the first two times.  I thought I was going to get it perfect the first time, but no.  I didn't.  Oh well.  It happens.

The last time, when I at last became victorious, I decided to use the thin-stroke pen for the bottom part of he sentiment, and I'm happy to say it worked splendidly!  Before, I had used my sharpie for the top and bottom, but didn't like the thick lines that the sharpie made.  So I switched it out for the other, and this is what happened!
Now, for this last easy peasy step, gluing the sentiment and box to the card, I used my sticker maker instead of liquid glue, because liquid glue would make the paper warp, which I did not want.  It worked well for the graph paper, but for some reason the sticky stuff didn't adhere to the brown paper as well, though it wasn't too bad (I did end up using a teeny bit of glue on the section that the sticky stuff came off of).  Just something to keep in mind if you try it.

This is actually sort of a strange, why would I send this to someone?  But I will, and I shall explain!
Do you find it ironic that perhaps boxed in is my style?  No, I certainly hope it's not.  It shouldn't be!  Creativity is about breaking those barriers, and that is what I aim to do!

How are YOU boxed in?  What do you do to break out of that box?  Do you think my card depicts well what it's like to break out of the box?

P.S.  Don't forget to stop by Rachel's duper cool blog and leave her a nice comment!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I Did Get Officially Tagged! -- Infinity Dreams Award

I feel so special!  My very first tag!  By name, that is.  I've done one tag before, but that was only because I really wanted to do it, not because the tagger actually tagged me specifically.  I think it's a whole lot more specialer when you're tagged by name.  It's true, that Lydia tagged me after she published her post because she forgot me the first time, but it still counts.  She just forgot the first time around, and that is okay!

One of the rules of the tag is that you have to thank the person who tagged you, but I would thank Lydia even if it wasn't one of the rules, because tag posts seem so fun.  So thank you for tagging me Lydia!

On to the festivities!

The rules are...
  • Use the Infinity Dreams Award picture
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you
  • Tell us 11 facts abut yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Tag 11 bloggers
Oh boy, 11 facts...
  1. When I was a baby, I had a random tooth in the roof of my mouth that had to be pulled.  And now I have braces because of one tooth that would have gone horribly awry without braces.
  2. I have never moved once.  Right before I was born, my family moved to this house, and this is the place I'll always call home, even after I move out.  I mean other than my true home, heaven.
  3. I own three bathrobes.  All of them are special, and I still use each one.  (I wear the biggest most of the time, the middle one goes under my pillow, or, when it's cold enough, under my biggest bathrobe, and the smallest is wrapped over my pillow.)
  4. I used to want to be a ballerina, many, many years ago.
  5. Once I got so sunburnt that I got a bad fever, and had to take an oatmeal bath.
  6. Apparently I'm allergic to sesame seeds?  (Pfft, yeah right.)
  7. I get my lefts and rights mixed up very easily.
  8. I like to address envelopes with a color that's on the card.  So if you ever receive a letter from me, chances are, if the address and return address are written in color, that color is on the card somehow.
  9. I have this pair of pants with huge-mongous pockets, and I LOVE THOSE PANTS MAN.  They are the most comfiest.  I am wearing them now, in fact!  I love them.
  10. I received my Bible on my 7th birthday, and once it got rained on profusely, and now it looks like a wrinkly old man, minus the man part.
  11. I've never changed the color of my hair in any way, unless you count chalk pastels dying.  (I don't.)
I just know you wanted to see my special pants, so here they are, along with my biggest bathrobe, and a pair of socks that I love.
Those questions I was asked...

1.  What is your biggest hobby?
Card making of course!  I hope it's not only a hobby though.  I hope it turns into a business!

2.  Who is your biggest inspiration? very hard.  I either have very many, or not many at all.  I choose very many, which makes it hard to narrow it down.  Okay, I'm going to go the overly cliche route, and say Jesus.  Because if I could only pick one, that truly would be my answer.  He influences every single area of my life.  It's through Him I learn how to live my life.  How can He possibly not be my inspiration?  Me knows not how.  There are lots of other people who are my inspiration also.  Like for art stuff, my sister Katie Beth is a big one.

3.  What is your favorite piece of music (can be either classical or modern)?
I don't have to think about that one!  I Wish You'd Stay by Brad Paisley!  It's beatifuuul and I love it.

4.  What is something you wish you knew more about?
Haha, uh, blogging?  Maybe photography too.

5.  What is your favorite quote?
I don't have a favorite quote, I don't think.  But, here is one that I love.  (Let's use the picture from my pinterest board.)
I like to think that quote describes me.  Dr. Seuss is great, isn't he?

6.  What is something you look forward to doing each day?
Creating something at my desk!  There are seriously a bunch of things I look forward to each day, but this is a big one.

7.  What is your favorite way to get exercise?
Probably...pull-ups and chin-ups.  We have a bar in our hall right outside my room, so I get lots of practice.  Currently I can do 3 to 7 of each, going all the way down each time.  I also like to run, but that's harder to keep up with.

8.  Describe yourself in three sentences.
I am a daughter of the Creator, and thus, I am a very creative individual, just like every other person, whether they realize it or not.  I take particular joy in creating, laughing, and playing with kids.  I have bright red hair and green eyes.  (How'd I do?)

9.  What has been your biggest life achievement so far?
I.  Have.  No.  Idea.  I guess...the only thing my brain is going to is last year when I sang in front of an audience for the first time.  That was pretty dang exciting.  I wasn't even nervous somehow, but a few years ago, I wouldn't have believed I could do it.  So I guess you can call it an achievement.

10.  What is something you learned recently?
Recently?  Weell, I've been learning more and more recently that God is good.  Just, God is good.  That simple truth has been very meaningful to me lately.  His plans are good, and I have no need to fret about a single thing.  Ever.  (Not saying it doesn't happen.)  So, I don't know if that answer really counts, since I have known it for many years, but I have been noticing it a lot more recently.

11.  Where is the most interesting place you have ever gone?
Ergh, that's a hard one too.  I had to ask my sisters for help!  Hum, I'm going to go with a suggestion from my seester Rebecca, which is: there's this really artsy place called The Scrap Exchange over an hour from where we live, that Katie Beth took me to once for my birthday.  That was very interesting, first in a weird artsy sort of way, but by the end, in a very good I-need-to-come-back-to-this-place sort of way.

Yay, now I get to ask questions!

1.  Everyone is an artist in some way.  How are you an artist?
2.  Come up with a creative answer to why you don't own a hippo (or why you do!)
3.  What is your favorite type of shoe?
4.  Describe your favorite pair of pants.
5.  Do you prefer to write letters on lined paper or in cards?  (I won't judge if you say lined paper!)
6.  If you had to go a whole day without either sharpies or scissors, which would you choose?
7.  Would you rather maintain a garden for a year, or be the only one to clean the kitchen for a year?
8.  If you had to change your hair color, what would you change it to?
9.  Do you like the New Testament or the Old Testament better, and why?
10.  How many stuffed animals do you own, or did you own as a kid?
11.  What would you say to me if I urgently entreated you to rescue my pet kumquat named Pluey before it got kidnapped by a walrus?  Would you think I was crazy?

And I tag...

1.  Alyssa at My Woods Between the Worlds
2.  Anna at Demigods and Unicorns
3.  Anna at Girl With the Binder
4.  Emily at The Leisurely Dilettante
5.  Faith at Princess Faith
6.  Grace at Experiencing His Joy
7.  Meaghan at LotsAndLotsOfDIYStuff
8.  Moira at Original Me
9.  Olivia at Summer of 1999
10.  Robin at A Sparrow For Jesus
11.  Tane at Fifth Out of Ten

I know a bunch of y'all don't post very often, and that is exactly the reason I'm tagging you!  You have to do it, because I said so and also because I want to know what your favorite pair of pants is like.  Oh and my sister Anna, you especially have to do it because you didn't do the other tag I tagged you for!  And because you are my little sister, so you automatically have to obey whatever I command you, and I command you to do this.  :)

Go!  Do your bidding!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Although I Don't Like the Number Four...

Although I don't like the number four, it seems I can't get away from it at times.  This post will feature four different mediums that will all be combined on one card.

Remember how I hinted in my last post about an upcoming post that I was super excited about?  Well guess what.  IT'S HERE.
Now, I am fully aware that this might not be as exciting for some of y'all as it is for me.  Fully aware, meaning, I am keeping that as a possibility in my brain, whether or not I understand how that could be the case.

Granted, I get excited quite easily about cool artsy techniques, but I am hoping that SO DO YOU!  Because this technique is really cool.
Watercolors lately have been one of my many loves.  Not for painting pictures with so much (though that is lovely too), but simply for painting pretty little background/centerpieces to use on cards.  This pink piece specifically is something I made a couple weeks ago, to use on a Valentine's Day card (which I still have not done).  It was my first time combining all four mediums like this, and I was so happy with the result that I had to try it again and show y'all!

Here are the first two mediums we'll be using.  A sharpie and a crayon, in the colors shown, but of
course you can use whatever colors your heart desires!  OH HEY.  I has a question called: can writing utensils even be called mediums?  I feel like they're not supposed to be called that, but I've been doing it, and I do believe I will continue.  Because I am a rebel like that.  (Tell me in the comments whether or not you think it's okay.  I'm curious.)

So, obviously, since we'll be using watercolors later, you'll need to be working on watercolor paper.  I used a smallish piece, like half the size of a card, but the size doesn't really matter.

I wrote "Happy Birthday" on mine because I needed to make a bunch of birthday cards, and in my opinion, birthdays trump Valentine's Day.  I would have done Valentine's Day if I didn't need to make a birthday card instead.  I'm thinkin' this would be super cute for Valentine's Day though.  You should try it and show me your beautimous work.
I was intending at first to write it basically the same curly way as the pink piece, but apperently, my hand had other ideas. So this is what happened.  You can do any font you like; just make sure your letters are wide enough so that you can paint inside them later with acrylic paint.

Now for some polka-dots!  I thought about making a video for this, but I didn't want to take the time to make a video and figure out all that complicated stuff like how to speed it up at parts.  Maybe I will do that sometime, but for now, pictures will have to do!
Starting at the top left corner, draw a column of evenly spaced polka-dots.  When you've finished one column, go back to the top, and do the same thing, making sure to put each polka-dot right in the middle of two polka-dots on the left.  Does that make sense?  Keep going in this manner until the whole piece is covered.  You can probably tell that my polka-dots are not perfectly evenly spaced.  That's okay, as it should look like it was handmade anyway!  We don't want a card in the end that looks like it was bought in the card aisle.
I did this technique a bit differently this time than I did it the first time.   The first time, I didn't draw the polka-dots over the letters, as much as I was able to keep from it.  I didn't know then that I was going to paint over them later with white acrylic paint, which is why I also filled in the letters with white crayon!  (When crayon is painted over with watercolors, the crayon resists the paint, so the color of the crayon isn't covered with the color of the paint.)
It turns out it wasn't necessary to fill in each letter with white crayon, which makes things so much easier!  So just draw your polka-dots right over those letters!

This is possibly my favorite part.  For the pink piece, I only used one color to watercolor with, but I wanted to use more this time.  I started with turquoise, and then added light blue, and then dark blue.
Color by sections.  I always start in the top left corner, and work my way out from there.  Working quickly, lay down one color, and then wet your brush again, get another color, and color another section.  By section, I mean roughly one inch in diameter, but it shouldn't look like you did it by sections in the end.  You know what I mean?  I never know exactly what a piece is going to look like until I'm done.
After it's all filled in, add more color where you think it's needed.  Try not to mess with it too much though, or it will get muddy-ish and/or the paper will get too soggy.
In the end, it should look diverse, but not so much that it's not smooth.  Smooth like jazz.
So, why wasn't it necessary to fill in the letters with white crayon?  Because we would be covering the crayon up with white acrylic paint!  That makes the crayon pointless.  It's so much easier to use acrylic paint instead of crayons.  It's best to only squeeze out a teeny bit, because this part is fairly time-consuming. know I can't make a card without doing something kind of complicated and time-consuming!
Unless you can work really fast, I also recommend adding a few drops of water to your paint to thin it down, so it won't dry as fast.  I used my smallest watercolor brush for this part, since I don't have an acrylic brush small and precise enough.  If you do that that too, make sure to rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.  It's good to wet it at intervals anyway.
See how it's kind of messy in this picture below?  That's okay, since you can back over the lines after it's dry with the sharpie you used.  Just be sure not to go outside of the lines, because you can't really re-watercolor that.  Try as much to stay off the lines as possible, because the sharpie may not like to write over acrylic very much.  But it is okay to do that if need be.  I did!
Here it is after getting all fixed up!
I had some leftover acrylic paint, so I painted this little piece.  I'm really happy with how it looks.  Sort of retro-like.
And I also did these, which was just enough to use up that paint!
Alright, now we need to finish that card, don't we?  I gathered a few supplies to match the centerpiece: a graph paper scrap (which I cut to size), two rectangles of thin, brown paper, out of which I cut two circles each to make four circles total, which became a flower (leftovers from this post - remember that?), green and white baker's twine to make a bow, and a rectangle of...thin cardboard?  I also put a dark green eyelet in the center of the flower, but sadly, the bow covers it completely.
I arranged everything as I wanted and the card was done!  Happy Valentine's Day, my lovely people!
You can tweak and personalize this technique in so many ways.  I want to know what you will do with it!

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Portable Craft Kit and Why You Need One

I have a fierce and irrational fear of boredom.  In the same way, I also can't stand the thought of going a day without crafting in some way, if only for five minutes (as I did the other night).  I have this tendency to over-pack when I go on trips so that that I'm prepared for anything that might happen.  This fear has saved me many a time from being bored, but I must admit, I might obsess over it a little too much.  Maybe.

Thus, when my family and I went on a trip last weekend, I made sure to pack plenty of craft supplies for the six to eight hour drive each way, plus the time in between of course!  I always pack plenty of craft supplies when I go out of town, but it may have been more extensive this time.

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of all the craft/card making supplies I brought on this last trip to share with you all.  Keep in mind that I packed each of these items with the intention of using them in the car, not just on the days in between!

Some of these are simply items I keep in my purse at all times, but I am including them in the list because if I didn't already keep them in my purse, I would still bring them along!  These items I will mark with an asterisk(*).

The List
So, enough with the rambling explanations of ever'thin'!  Here is a list of everything I took on my last trip, along with reasons YOU should have what I will fondly call My Portable Craft Kit.

Sharpies obviously have to be the first thing because WHY WOULD YOU EVEN ASK THAT, THEY'RE SHARPIES!  I can't go anywhere, anywhere, without a sharpie easily accessible.  Oh JK.  I walk up to the mailbox with a pen instead of a sharpie.

Blank cards have to be the second thing, because they would be the first thing except that sharpies are more important.  Always.

Liquid glue* is important for many things, like adhering goofy drawings you drew on your sister's homework, or just random stuff like sticking all the parts of a card together to complete the finished piece.

Scissors* come in handy all.  the.  time.  So that you can cut out...stars!  You should always have scissors with you, just like you should always have a sharpie with you.

Watercolors were something I had to include on this trip, considering how much I've been loving watercoloring lately.

Watercolor brushes can't be left out!  They're quite helpful when using watercolors.  I prefer the kind with the pointed end, which is what most of mine have.  I'll tell you why I prefer those in an upcoming post!

A well sealed water container, with water in it of course, came in handy too!  I was planning at first to use a water bottle, but my parents didn't like that idea so much, so instead I used an old coconut oil container, which worked much better than a water bottle would have.  I took this with the intention of opening it and using it in the car, but let me tell you: when you're riding in a 14-year-old 15-passenger van going around 60 mph most of the time, it is not the most smoothest ride, and your attempts at having an open container of water there without spilling it may not be very successful.  But don't let me stop you from trying it!

Assorted small sizes of watercolor paper is pretty much a must if you're doing a bunch of watercoloring.

Crayons may seem like something only children use, but OH MAN, they are so fun!  (No wonder kids use 'em.)  I love to - wait!  I can't tell you!  But there's this really really cool technique I love doing, which I will show you all soon!  Can't wait!

Lined paper is an item I always keep stocked up in my blogging binder, for obvious reasons.  Same reason you keep it stocked in a school binder.  But did you know it can be used for so much more than just writing on?  (Surprise, surprise.)  I even made this flower one night on our trip, using lined paper + A WHOLE LOT of glue.

White acrylic paint I brought, but alas, did not use.  Not because I couldn't think of how to use it (ha!), but because I simply ran out of time.  You can do so many cool things with white acrylic paint.  I like to use my littlest watercolor brush for detailed things with acrylics.

A paper plate is, again, something I brought but didn't use, ONLY because I didn't use the acrylic paint.  If you don't want to bring acrylic paint on your trip, but you do have squeeze-out watercolors, you'll still need a paper plate.

Paper towel(s) can't be lived without, for the painter, that is!  Whatever type of painting you're doing, you'll need a paper towel to dab brushes on, or fingers for that matter.

Small cardstock scraps are just a good thing to have in a craft kit, even if you don't anticipate using them.  You never know when you'll need that one extra piece to complete a card!

A six inch metal ruler* is great for on-the-go crafts, when you don't have room for a foot long ruler, but you still need something to measure with.

Pencils* are mucho important!  Whether you're drawing out a design that will later be erased, or simply tracing around a shape, pencils are not be left behind.

Erasers* can be said the same of!  If you have a pencil, you need an eraser.  Pencils need erasers like people need bacon.

Pens* are almost as pencils, if not just as much.  I used to be partial to pencils, but nowadays, I use pens more often.

Envelopes are sort of optional, even for me, the person who has a letter to write pretty much all the time, especially on trips!  But they are good to have, and I like to take at least two stamped envelopes on every trip (more if needed!), just in case I happen to finish a letter before we get home, which has happened before.  If you run out of other paper, you could decorate your envelopes!  Note: generally it would also be good to bring an address book if you have one, but it was not necessary for me this time, so that's why it's not listed, except for here.

Tape* is also optional.  Nevertheless, it does come in handy at [sometimes unexpected] times.

A small box to carry all your little papers in is super helpful.  I use a card box my grandma gave me a while ago.

A flat hard surface to work on is definitely beneficial.  I used my blogging binder, which is falling apart anyway, so I don't care if it gets messy.

A big portable bag to stuff everything on this list in - this is not something you would forget, but it should be mentioned anyway.  Mine has flip-flops on it.  :)  I call it my Flip-flop Bag.  Very useful indeed.

A camera needs to go everywhere!  I'm sort of obsessed with taking pictures, and now I have a fancy big camera, so the pictures just look superb, and makes it so much more addicting.  In fact, my little bro of nine years used my new camera for the first time on the trip, and took a bunch of pictures.  He's not bad!

Additional Items
Now it's time for you to put your very own Portable Craft Kit together, or, at least think about what you could put in yours for when you need it.  It's meant to be personalized, changed, and tweaked!  In fact, I think the items in mine change a bit every time I go out of town!  I've taken my little knife, cutting mat, buttons, corner rounder, eyelets...and much more with me at different times.  It depends on what you're into at the time.  Recently I've been loving watercolors, so that's what I brought!

Whew!  That was a lot...  But you can never have too many craft supplies!  No sirree!  I managed to make one card on that trip, using the flower I made with lined paper.  I suppose you'd like to see it?
This card is a foreshadowing of upcoming posts.  Be on the lookout!  (I feel like I'm using so many exclamation points in this post.  Forgive me.  I'm just an excitable little person.)

Although I only made one card, I don't see that time as wasted, since I worked on many little pieces which will later be incorporated into several cards.

So, I want to know about you!  What would you include in your Portable Craft Kit?  What would you exclude from the items on my list?  Tell me all about it!