Collage Lab – Unit 1 Lab 1

A few days ago… wait, a few weeks ago… no, a few months ago… Wow! Is it already mid-August?!? Oh, my! How time flies… Collage art - basic gesso backgroundsAs I was saying, a few months ago, I started working through a book my husband gave me for Christmas. It is Collage Lab by Bee Shay and it explains how to create, you guessed it, collage art.

As you know, I love trying different types of art, so putting several together into one piece is really exciting. In the interest of learning the basics before jumping around in the book, I started with unit 1 lab 1. This lab focused on creating a basic gesso background. I made a mess and had a blast! Continue reading

Cards Using Handmade Paper

A few months ago, I made some paper and wanted to use it in some cards.

Christmas card using handmade paperFor Christmas, I had grand plans for a cool card that had a little gingerbread man stamped directly on the handmade paper. However, I completely forgot that the paper was still textured and the image barely showed up. It didn’t occur to me to iron the paper or flatten it using my Cuttlebug, so I went with plan B and just used the paper as a background panel. It turned out cute and simple, so I was fine with it.

Birthday card using handmade paperThen for birthday cards, I decided to use an embossing plate to give it a swirly texture. My big plan for this one was to have a hole punched in the textured paper and then stamp the sentiment on the main card paper through the hole. Um, not as easy as it seemed in my head. Again I turned to my trusty plan B. I grabbed some tracing paper (I hope to find my vellum one of these days) and a test panel I made with regular copy paper to line up where to stamp the sentiment. Then I just attached it with brads. Similar effect with a little more visual interest. I love when plans change for the better! Continue reading

Making Paper

First of all… Happy New Year!

I realized I haven’t posted in a couple of months. NaNoWriMo took up most of my time, energy, and words in November (I won with 50,115 words… woohoo!!). Then December brought a big project for work and making Christmas cards at home (post coming soon about the cards). My plan for cards involved making paper, so I spent a couple of hours doing just that.img_2142

In early fall, I bought a paper making kit from Paper Alice and was happy with how easy it was to make the paper. I managed to make a huge mess in my kitchen, but that just means it was more fun, right?

The kit had good instructions with pictures, so I just followed those. I didn’t take pictures while I was making the paper because my hands were dripping wet most of the time and I didn’t think ahead to grab an extra towel and my phone or a camera to take pictures. Next time…

The basic instructions were to tear up some paper and put it in a blender, cover it with water, blend the crap out of it, pour it in the frame, then take it out to let it dry. There is a little more to it than that, but that was basically how easy it was. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo 2016 – Day 1

November snuck up on me! At least I’m prepared for NaNoWriMo. Well, as prepared as a pantser will be.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Shield

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

I had a few story ideas and, a week or two ago, my 11-year-old son helped me choose which one to write. Since then, I have named a few of the main characters and thought about a general story line. Here is my synopsis from my novel announcement:

Tulpa pets are all the rage. Everyone has one. Except for high school student Jen. (I’m pantsing the story again this year, so we’ll see where the story goes from there.)

The working title is Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Tulpa. Why? Because I love the Beatles song that inspired the name (Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey from one of the best, if not the best, albums of all time) and it kept getting stuck in my head. So I went with it. I’ll come up with a better title once the first draft is finished.

It will be a young adult novel and I’m going to write this one in first person. This will be a fun challenge, because I wrote in third person last year and it was intended for adults. Yes, I cursed freely in that one. Won’t be cursing so much, if at all, in this one. I plan to make it something my son can read.

As for the actual writing, I’ll be writing on my iPad during lunch at work again. Then writing for another hour or two at home in the evening. I’ll be using Scrivener at home again this year. I didn’t use it “properly” last year because I just put in a bunch of text pages for each chapter. Not rebellious, just lazy. But it was easy to go back and break out the novel for revision.

Enough writing about writing for NaNoWriMo 2016…

Good luck, fellow participants! We can do this!

NaNoWriMo 2016

Right after winning my first attempt at NaNoWriMo in 2015 as a pantser, I decided I was going to be a planner for 2016 to try something different.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Shield

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Guess what.

I still haven’t planned.

Perhaps I am meant to be a pantser. I’m okay with that. It was so fun watching the story unfold especially when I didn’t even know what was going to happen next. I’m actually looking forward to that experience again this year.

At the moment, I just have a couple of vague ideas of a couple of stories I might want to write, with a few more rolling around in the back of my head. About the only planning I’ll be doing before November 1 is deciding on which story to go with. I could do like I did last year and change my mind on October 31. Heck, I may just go with a suggestion from Stephen King in his On Writing book and pick a situation and let the story unfold. As long as I have a starting point on November 1, I’ll be happy.

One thing I do hope to do different this year is go to a local NaNoWriMo writing event. I didn’t do this last year, and I think it could be fun to do. We’ll see how schedules work out next month.

I will probably check around and see what prep other folks are doing. I might do some last minute planning, but it will likely be a small enough amount that saying I’m a pantser will still be accurate. 🙂

Copy And Share Everything

If you have been on the Splitcoaststampers site, you have likely seen the term CASE on several posts. In case you were wondering what that means, it stands for Copy And Share/Steal Everything. Basically, Splitcoaststampers is a huge community of people stealing like artists. 🙂

This is one of the many reasons I love this site. It is a great place for inspiration and everyone wants to inspire everyone else. You can practically feel the love when you look through the posts. (Ok, that might be overstating it, but it is nice looking through the beautiful work people want to share.)

A few months ago, I found a card posted on Splitcoaststampers by sistersandie in the gallery for the Gorgeous Grunge set (one of my favorite sets). I liked how she used the stamps to make a stripe of splats. It seemed like a perfect Father’s Day card, so I decided to CASE it. Continue reading

Bites of Creativity

We recently had a cookout at work and everyone needed to sign up to bring something. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I’m usually the one to bring the paper goods or drinks. But by the time I went to sign up, those were all taken.

Crap. I was going to need to make something.

Figuring I could at least make a simple dessert, I headed over to my Pinterest board where I have been electronically hoarding dessert ideas and recipes that look easy to make. I found one for S’Mores Pops, which looked simple enough.

“But, Rhonda, this is a blog about creativity and not about your attempts to make recipes from Pinterest. What’s up?”IMG_2030

Agreed. The same thought crossed my mind.

There is a tie to creativity here, so please bear with me.

The S’Mores Pops looked nice and had lovely proper pop sticks on them. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on something to take to a lunch where I knew there would be a ton of other desserts to choose from (and there were tons including a fabulous carrot cake) and I didn’t want to feel obligated to make them look pretty (my available time to make these was short and I didn’t want to stress out over it).

So I went with toothpicks and found a way to make them work. They weren’t perfect and pretty, but they still looked appetizing. Then it didn’t seem right to call them “S’Mores Pops” so I went with “S’Mores Bites” instead.

As I was making these adjustments (toothpicks, less pretty, different name), it occurred to me that these adjustments were actually a little bit of creativity. Continue reading

Rings and Things

In my last metal clay class, we focused on kinetic rings. In the past we have only worked with Art Clay, but this time we also used FYI Silver Metal Clay by Val Lewis.

FYI Silver Metal Clay BitsWe started with the FYI clay because it needs to be fired in a kiln and we needed the pieces to be ready for the next steps for making the rings. I hadn’t worked with this clay before, but it was quite nice.  We used 10 grams of the FYI clay, and I was able to make the 4 pieces you see here. For reference, the round pieces ended up about the size of a penny. (Note that it is tough to take nice pictures during class with your phone with silver all over your hands. :))

One thing to note about the FYI clay is it has a higher shrinkage rate than the Art Clay. The picture on the right shows pencil lines that were drawn before firing. You can see the pieces shrank about a 20-25%. The advantage to this is you could create very small designs more easily because you’d have more clay to work with before it shrinks.

I had some extra clay after making the 2 pieces for the spinner ring. I used it to make a small butterfly pendant for 1 of my nieces and another squiggle piece that I plan to use as part of a necklace. Of these 4 pieces, the squiggle is my favorite. I want to make more pieces like this simply because they are more my style. Continue reading

Better Late than Never

Inspiration can show up at any time – on a walk in a park, talking with a friend, searching for ideas online. Sometimes we act on ideas from the inspiration immediately. Other times the ideas get set aside for one reason or another.

When I was coming up with an idea for a Mother’s Day card a few weeks ago, I remembered an inspiration challenge I had seen on and the design idea I had for it. I went to look up the challenge and found it had been posted 9 years ago.Mothers' Day Card

This idea had been rolling around in my head for 9 years and I hadn’t acted on it yet!

I felt like such a slacker.

Then I remembered the saying of “better late than never” and decided to get over it and move forward with finally using the design.

The inspiration challenge image was one of the simple line drawings from Pablo Picasso. He is one of my favorite artists and I love these drawings. I immediately thought of the Heartfelt Thanks set by Stampin’ Up! because it had the line art of a flower. I wanted to use the line stamp in black ink with the partner stamp of the whole flower in clear heat embossed powder over it. But I never thought of a layout I liked for it, never found the time to sit and play with it, excuses, excuses, excuses.

Then a few weeks ago, I was back on and saw a card posted by Penny627 that she made for a Try a New Technique challenge. I really liked the layout and it felt perfect for the line art idea. Continue reading

Cards from Gelli Plate Prints

A couple of months ago, I made my first Gelli Plate prints and had a blast. I decided to try making some cards using inspiration from a site I found through Pinterest.

Card using Gelli Plate print circles

I enjoy the abstract look of this card. The circles look like flowers to me, but I also think they look like balloons. Either way, it is fun and the colors are happy.

The other thing I really like about this card is each card turned out to be a bit unique. (Quick side note… I usually pick a design each year and everyone gets the same card. Lazy? Perhaps. I think of it as practical, because time to sit and make cards can be scarce.) All five of the cards I made have the same design, but the flowers have their own colors and patterns and are in slightly different arrangements.

These cards were easy to make, but a little time-consuming because of all of the circle punching. I used three different sizes of circle punches on the prints I had made. The punches were made in different areas of the prints to try and get a variety in colors and patterns. Then the circles were put together with roll-tape adhesive. Continue reading